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World Anti-Doping Authority To Permit CBD For Athletes
October 16, 2017 10:14 AM
The World Anti-Doping Authority has ended its ban on cannabidiol, or CBD, paving the way for atheletes to use the drug as from January 2018. Following decades of pressure from athletes and after extensive consultation with experts and other stakeholders, WADA has officially removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. CBD is widely sought after for its protective and restorative effects. However, CBD that is produced from cannabis may still contain some THC, which remains prohibited.
"Athletes claim they use CBD for protective and recovery treatments, and have been lobbying WADA for decades."
Read more: http://www.cannatech.news/2017/10/10/world-anti-doping-authority-permit-cbd-athletes/
Psyllium Husk: Fiber for Well-Being
May 18, 2017 03:44 PM
Plantago Ovata, known as the Horse Flower, is found in East Asia and the Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries as an important herbal medicine ingredient. The psyllium seed coat can retain large amounts of water and the outer husk of the seed is high in fiber, making it a good digestive aid. It absorbs toxins and aids in elimination from the bowel by increasing stool's bulk and aids in softening it to ease elimination.
"Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries."
Read more: http://www.healthplusinc.com/blog/psyllium-husk-fiber-for-well-being
CBD bill appears headed for passage
March 08, 2017 05:59 PM
My Racine County reports that the State Assembly Bill 49 will soon be coming to vote. Passage of this bill will permit the use of CBD oils for medical applications. Supporters of the bill in the state legislature have built a version that will likely be successful. It now appears that the bill will be passed, in which case it would be ready for the governor to sign. The families who have supported the bill in order to help minors with seizures and other disorders are hopeful about what this will mean for those that are sick and can benefit from use of the oil.
Read more: CBD bill appears headed for passage
Health Benefits OPC Grapeseed extract.
The grape seed concentrate is prevalent and sought after worldwide for all the great reasons for health purpose. It strengthens and secures the body cells and the blood vessel and venous dividers, boosts muscle repair and prevent inflammations . It likewise can shield the cardiovascular framework from free radical harms, therefore encouraging the bringing down of terrible cholesterol. What is grape seed extricate, you may inquire? It is a characteristic plant segment that is extricated from sound entire grape seeds that are lavishly thought with OPC's and other effective cancer prevention agents.
These concentrates are promptly accessible as resveratrol supplements in the market today. They are sold in type of cases, pills, and the preferences and contain resveratrol in high focuses. The measurements for these supplements will vary contingent upon every person and the goal of utilizing them. Regardless of the type of these supplements, ingestion is the thing that matters most. They bear few to no reactions, few as in somebody susceptible to grapes may have an issue. Be that as it may, quality supplements should not to stress you since they've been "modified" for every individual.
Reduce Caloric Intake with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which was discovered long back in 1891 but since 1960s it is used as a good alternative for refined sugar to sweeten a number of edible products. It reduces caloric intake and the chances of cavities in your dental line. But before discussing the benefits of this alternative sweetener you should know the harms of white sugar on your health which compelled people to adopt it as an effective alternative.
Harmful Effects of Refined Sugar on your Health
Sugar is a kind of drug that contains additive chemicals but no nutritional value. Most of the people use it in their day-to-day life due to its addictive properties. According to various health experts white sugar affects your brain like cocaine. In fact, the added sugar in your day-to-day diet can be the single item that is most unhealthy for you. Most people eat it as they are ignorant about the harmful effects of white sugar on their health. It has been proven that white sugar can;
After realising the harmful effects of white sugar on their health many people have started to adopt alternative sweeteners like Xylitol etc. to replace white sugar and protect their health from its ill effects.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural product which is produced by human body in normal metabolic conditions and is also found in various vegetables and fruits like fibrous vegetation, hard wood trees and birch etc. It is produced commercially from these fruits and vegetation plants due to the quantity of sucrose and sweetness it provides without giving unpleasant aftertaste and increasing calories. When you eat Xylitol it gives cooling sensation in your mouth.
How it replaces sugar effectively?
Xylitol has been approved to be used in various oral health and pharmaceutical products like cough syrups, lozenges, chewable pediatric multivitamins, mouthwashes and toothpastes etc. It is also Permitted to use in various food items like hard candies, chewing gums and gum drops etc.
Benefits of Xylitol as alternative sweetener
Xylitol is good in taste without any unpleasant flavour. It can be used in same quantity as in sweetness it is equal to sugar. Helps in reducing the chances of cavities in your teeth and reduces the formation of plaque in your teeth. Xylitol also helps in repairing damaged enamel of your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. It provides 2.4 calories per gram which is about 1/3 of the calories provided by same amount of white sugar.
Most of the healthcare providers advice it as a useful alternative to sugar to their diabetic patients. Thus, Xylitol can be used as an effective alternative to white sugar to reduce the chances of a number of health problems caused by the later one.
Does Mangosteen Fruit Have Healing Properties?
March 25, 2014 08:22 AM
What is a mangosteen
The Mangosteen fruit is usually a Hawaiian sapling, started in this Southeast Asian nation. This sapling evolves from 7 to twenty-five feet high. This rind (pericarp or maybe peeling) with the fruit can be serious reddish violet while ready. Mangosteen fruit can be related directly to other Hawaiian fruits, but it contains simply no regards to this mango. Mangosteen fruit need to be stored humid to practical until germination, the idea dies rapidly when Permitted to fail. Mangosteen fruit presumed to get a combination of vitamin richness, antioxidant strength as well as probable impact regarding reducing the danger in opposition to people ailments. This mangosteen fruit need to be harvested within a warm setting because exposures to help temperature ranges beneath 40oF (4oC) can kill this seed. Regarding the with the mangosteen fruit, it ought to be famous which Mangosteen fruit, generally known because "the queen regarding Hawaiian fruit", was launched to help BRITISH inside 19thcentury. From what individuals claim, King Victoria sampled this fruit in 1891, which the woman observed the idea fantastic.
Benefits of mangosteen
This particular wonderful fruit has been recognized due to the healing qualities. This rind (pericarp) with the fruit offers an incredible variety regarding natural and organic substances, among which can be Xanthones as well as tannic chemical which explains why the idea because already been for dysentery given that ages. Scientific research done around the healing utilizes with the mangosteen fruit ensures that a few substances inside rind with the mangosteen could have a few benefits in opposition to breast cancers, cancer of the blood, digestive tract cancers and thus onward. There are guaranteeing tips regarding other possible benefits down the route with the extraordinary qualities of the fruit. You can end, which mangosteen can certainly become a member of more information on plants that can be seen as guaranteeing sources of brand new medications. This particular seed is regarded as to give the strongest cause of xanthones (a kind of antioxidant) that may service the fitness of the complete human body. Thither are 20 various xanthones whole fruits that may produce potent physiological qualities.
Mangosteen research claims its compounds having antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor action and essentially anti-inflammatory qualities. The item protects in opposition to no cost radicals by getting rid of bacteria, viruses as well as infection. The item reduces irritation as well as aids your body's therapeutic process. Mangosteen fruit features exposed to get an exclusive scope regarding potent people health improvements.
Is Beta Carotene The Safe Vitamin A?
March 21, 2014 02:29 AM
What is beta carotene
Beta Carotene is a capable pwerful antioxidant that is useful for the heart and circulatory. In the constitution, it is changed into Vitamin A for the support of solid skin, great vision, and a strong immune system. Vitamin An is fundamental for ordinary structure of epithelial cells that ensures the form from ecological defilement.
Can MSM Work As A Lotion?
March 05, 2014 09:11 AM
What is MSM
MSM, or methyl-sulfonyl-methane, is the first sheltered, regular, symptom free solution for some sorts of torment and incendiary conditions. MSM is otherwise called Organic Sulfur. Sulfur is needed for our physique to capacity appropriately. Without enough sulfur in our framework our physique's unit capacities get languid. Defectively working units Permit poison development. We all distinguish poison development manifestations, for example, muscle and joint torment and general emotions of weakness.
Benefits of MSM lotion
Applying this lotion Permits you to gather MSM in the territories where you need the most profits. MSM Lotion gives alleviating quick alleviation for sore hands, elbows, hips and knees for a long time. The MSM lotion is perfect for skin health management and upkeep carrying non-abrasiveness and flexibility to your skin health management needs.
MSM in a topical lotion serves to takes out the irritation of carpal tunnel, breaks down scar tissue, surface spots, anticipate rankling and uproot the ache from a severe singeing. These are just a couple of the numerous prizes of utilizing Rich's MSM lotion.
Use MSM Lotion consistently to carry speedy help for terrible hands and joints. This quite brilliant lotion is hand made in little bunches to present you a 99.99% unadulterated MSM (17% result) Aloe Vera, Calendula, Jojoba and Tea Tree oil in a satisfying non-oily lotion.
MSM lotion is made of all characteristic items:
Sunflower oils, aloe vera and jojoba mollify and saturate your skin for about three hours without leaving an oily film. Calendula and tea tree oil execute parasite that creates around fingernails and additionally players foot.
This fine mix of elements takes the sting out of rashes and bug nibbles, even relieves outer surface yeast contaminations.
Utilizing Rich and Pure msm lotion helps pack MSM in spots where the form needs uncommon consideration.
When you have attempted msm lotions you will concur that they are the best lotions.
Are Cashews A Healthy Choice For A Nut?
February 03, 2014 07:30 PM
Are cashew nuts healthy?
Providing you consume them crude or dry broiled – and unsalted – different types of nuts are bravo. There isn't one sort of nut you might as well dodge. (As opposed to prevalent thinking, cashews and macadamia nuts are extremely nutritious.) All nuts are a great wellspring of plant protein, hold no cholesterol and are low in immersed fat. Actually, most of the fat in nuts is unsaturated, a heart solid sort of fat.
The cashew nut might be seen uniquely in contrast to alternate sorts of nuts. Above all else, numerous individuals validate the way that this nut is much sweeter than alternate nuts we are utilized to. Cashews can additionally be consumed as snacks or could be utilized as a crude element as a part of the readiness of distinctive dishes, forsakes and even baked goods making them exceptionally adaptable.
When you consume cashew nuts
You ought not just savour them for the minute since they are surely delightful however you may as well additionally take the opportunity to acknowledge how solid they are. Some individuals are agonized over a lot of admission of nuts because of their reputed connectivity to weight issues and heart issues. The exceptional thing is that cashew nuts don't generally hold much cholesterol contrasted with different nuts. This can without a doubt delete the stresses identified with cholesterol in nuts, along these lines, making it an extraordinary part in dishes or as stand-alone snacks.
Benefits of cashew nuts
There are numerous points of interest to consuming these nuts. Above all else, they hold a ton of vitamins and minerals and that is one excuse for why we may as well guarantee expending these nuts consistently. Not just are cashews extremely flavorful and delicious, there are additionally known to be quite useful for the form and this due to the accompanying explanations:
They hold a high amount of potassium which, thusly, is a basic building piece of the blood. Potassium aides encourage the methodology of blood clotting, therefore helps us adapt effortlessly to wounds or cuts. Individuals who experience the ill effects of the condition haemophilia can additionally profit much from consuming cashew nuts on account of the high potassium content.
Cashew nuts are additionally known to be extraordinary wellsprings of filament. As we know, filament helps our digestive framework capacity well. Cashew nut filament Permits us to process our sustenance better, in this way, helping simple defecation. When you have issues concerning customary and simple solid discharge, then it might be fitting to devour tree grown foods, vegetables and nuts that hold much filament. Iron is likewise held in cashew nuts. When you need press in your eating regimen, then you turn into an anaemic. Having anaemia is a condition wherein there are insufficient red platelets to convey oxygen all around your physique. Assuming that you are anaemic, then your different organs might be influenced and the level of vigor you have from regular can likewise be brought down. That is the reason legitimate oxygen measure ought to be guaranteed and that might be carried out by consuming foods grown from the ground, vegetables and nuts that can hold great measures of iron.
Cashew nuts likewise hold copper. The fundamental motivation behind this supplement is to support the figure in its press retention. As we have said, iron is one vital figure component and if brought with nourishment holding copper, then your physique can ingest the previous better.
Manganese and magnesium are different minerals found in cashew nuts. These two minerals help tissue and unit establishment. When you need your skin to look better or when you need your hair to develop well, then fitting cell and tissue development can help accomplish these objectives. Phosphorus and zinc, which are additionally vital for the working of our physique, can likewise be found in cashew nuts. Riboflavin and thiamine are additionally found in these delectable nuts and can help improve great vision, solid skin and likewise enhances our resistant framework.
Top reasons why gluten free diet is necessary
January 27, 2014 09:31 AM
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein found mainly in grains, which include wheat, farro, durum, bulgur, spelt, semolina and many others. It is also found in other foods and is present in some toothpaste brands. Gluten is difficult to completely digest and can cause serious health problems for some people. It is for this reason that many people are increasingly consuming gluten free diet in an attempt at avoiding its negative health effects. The following is a look at the adverse effects of gluten in the human body.
What Gluten can Do
Some people’s bodies react to the presence of the protein by attacking it and the body tissue surrounding it, which results to numerous health problems in the body. Gluten is responsible for a condition referred to as celiac disease, which is a serious form of gluten sensitivity. This disease is considered an autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system attacks the protein and the cells of the digestive tract’s enzymes. This leads to bloating, gas, stomach pain, anemia, skin rashes, muscle cramps and bone pain. Other symptoms include missed periods in women, stunted growth in children, seizures, mouth sores, calcium deficiency, nerve damage and nutrient malabsorption.
Other serious effects of ingesting gluten
Include increased risk of developing some forms of cancer and chronic diarrhea. The protein has also been found to cause intestinal inflammation and degeneration of intestinal lining. Weakened intestines are dangerous because they can Permit foreign substances into the blood stream, which is common in persons suffering from celiac disease.
Gluten is also associated with numerous disorders of the brain. Conclusive studies have associated the protein to a condition referred to as cerebellar ataxia. Its symptoms include difficulties in coordinating balance, problems with speech and movement. Gluten free diet results to significant improvement in health for persons suffering from autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
It has been observed that gluten may be addictive, which is why many people crave for meals made of wheat and other grains. This has not been conclusively proven but there are studies that suggest that traces of the protein’s exorphins can find their way into the human brain.
Gluten free diet is healthy because it improves a person’s bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Any people experience significant benefits in their mental, emotional and physical health after eliminating the protein from their diets. It is, therefore, important that a gluten free diet be consumed especially by people who react negatively to it.
Does Ubiquinol Get Absorbed Better Than Regular CoQ10
November 06, 2013 08:52 PM
Benefits is Ubiquinol
Ubiquinol can be described as reduced form of CoQ10 (Ubiquinone). For an individual to benefit from the type of nutrient that is needed for producing cellular energy and reduce signs of aging, the body has to convert ubiquinone to ubiquinol. Studies have shown that it gets absorbed better than CoQ10. It is also known to reduce exercise induced fatigue by around 90% when compared with Ubiquinone. This is probably because CoQ10 has a chemical nature that undergoes “redox chemistry”. This implies that it flips back and forth between not having and having two additional electrons.
Importance of Ubiquinol to Human Body
This is a very important part of the human body because it transports flow of electrons that Permits chemical energy to be harnessed down a gradient. This is normally the last stage where food is converted to energy to fuel the body. Ubiquinol on the other hand is the form where these extra electrons are reduced when speaking in chemistry terms. Although there is a small difference between the two, it really has big implications as this is exactly what makes it to be more absorbable in the intestines. In addition to this, the body prefers this form to perform the transport function of the blood.
It is important to note that Ubiquinol was introduced to the market when Kaneka discovered techniques on how to stabilize the ingredient in 2006. From then, it has become an ingredient in numerous products. Various findings also show that it is the preferred form when it comes to ingestion. There are some studies that also show that this form is beneficial for patients who are suffering from advanced stage cardiac disorders. This is because it is absorbed much easily and also shows potential for greater clinical benefit. Manufactures are also looking into new and more advanced methods that will be used to make sure that it can be absorbed more easily than before.
Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep?
December 20, 2012 12:22 PM
What is melatonin?
Melatonin can be described as a hormone generated in the pineal gland found in the brain. It controls the body circadian rhythms such as sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in the blood increase before you fall asleep due to darkness (Lack of sunshine).
Where to find melatonin
Melatonin occurs naturally in humans and plants. Natural melatonin quantity produced decrease with age. Older people produce very little quantities of it.
It is a synthetic medication that is produced in the laboratories. It is available in pill or liquid forms. The pills can be put in the cheek, underneath the tongue or swallowed. This Permits direct absorption in the body. Melatonin supplements are available in health food shops.
It is also found in foods, in small quantities, such as milk, chicken meat, turkey, and peanuts but in small quantities.
Melatonin and sleep
Melatonin does not work for every kind of insomnia or sleeping disorders. Your body needs to be ready for sleep for melatonin to be effective. It is safe to use melatonin supplements in low doses long term.
Melatonin treats insomnia, autism in children, and as a sleep reliever after withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs use. It is also very significant for changing sleep/wake patterns for people who work schedules changes regularly. It can also be used to calm individuals before anesthesia is administered for surgery purposes.
The body has an internal clock that regulates sleeping cycle and waking hours. The body clock regulates the amount of melatonin produced each day. Melatonin production is affected by light.
For effective treatment of cycle sleep, make sure you take the supplements at the appropriate time of the day (Night time).
Use the right method and dosage for it to be helpful.
Consuming the sleep supplement at the inappropriate time of the day can lead to biological clock reset. It is essential to understand the right quantity, time of taking and its effectiveness. Taking 1-10mg of melatonin every day restores the pace in people experiencing insomnia synchronizing them to duration of 1day.
Melatonin helps enhance sleep.
It enhances sleepiness feeling and can intensify the duration of sleep. This supplement has been applied successfully for improving sleep in healthy people and also decreasing jet lag feeling during travels. Remember to consult a physician if you are experiencing sleep issues. Give melatonin a try start with lower doses like 1 mg before bed time and gradually increase till it becomes effective.
What does GABA Do in the Brain?
November 02, 2011 07:41 AM
GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is a neurotransmitter of the brain. It is considered to be the main inhibitory brain chemical among mammals. In ordinary terms, it significantly regulates the firing of impulses by the neurons. This chemical is naturally produced by the brain and generally acts as a balancer together with other neurotransmitters. This neurotransmitter has a key role in the regulation of nerve excitability all throughout the nervous system. It effectively maintains the equilibrium of the body and the brain in excitation status. Chemically speaking, GABA is classified as an amino acid. However, GABA is not a building block of protein like the other amino acids. This is the reason why in the medical field, GABA is rarely considered as an amino acid.
Moreover, GABA is the prime brain chemical responsible for the regulation of muscle tone among humans. In a disorder called Spastic Diplegia, the absorption of GABA into the muscles is weakened because of damage nervous tissues and cells. This would significantly lead to hypertonic muscles in which the muscles will experience spasms and can not anymore recognize and process the neurotransmitter GABA. On the other hand, GABA in insects acts as both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter.
As mentioned above, GABA is an inhibitory neurochemical. It functions at the inhibitory synapses of the brain by attaching to receptor sites in the plasma membrane of both pre – and post – synaptic nerves. Once GABA has bind with the receptor sites, it will cause the ion channels to open and Permit either the entry of chloride ion which has a negative charge or exit of potassium ion which has a positive charge. Potassium is the main electrolyte inside the cell. This opening of ion channels will then cause the cell to be either hyperpolarized or re – polarized.
During brain development, GABA also plays a significant role. It significantly controls the proliferation of brain progenitor cells and development of synapses as well as the differentiation and maturation of neurites. Furthermore, GABA is also responsible for the growth and development of embryonic and nerve stem cells. It also activates GABA receptors which lead to the halting of cell cycling in the S – phase. As a result, this will limit the growth of cell thus preventing abnormal growth and even malignancies.
If GABA is in inadequate level, muscle tone is disturbed making it always tensed and the mind will keep on working and working because there is no brain chemical to stop it. Therefore, GABA must be importantly maintained within normal limits.
GABA is naturally produced by nerve cells. However, GABA supplement is now available so that adequate amount of such brain chemical will be administered to the body as needed. GABA supplements can enhance the sleep onset and quality. It can also provide a relaxing feeling and reduce stress and muscle over – activity. Other theories also state that it can regulate mood and behavior thus promoting the total well – being of the person. Ongoing studies are being conducted to show more evidence on GABA’s effect with Human Growth Hormones.
Curcumin and Pain
December 02, 2010 12:33 PM
Make no mistake about it: curcumin has long been identified as the compound responsible for the anti-inflammatory benefits of the ginger plant turmeric. The herb turmeric has been around for ages, cultivated for its wide array of culinary and medicinal uses that transcend regional and cultural boundaries. Apart from the popular use of its powdery form in bread, cakes, ale, and beer as a flavoring, the plant contains up to 5 per cent curcumin, which is one type of polyphenols now being looked into for its antioxidant properties.
Prostaglandin and Inflammation Pain
Autocrines and paracrines are contained in almost all tissues and organs to effectively participate in bodily defenses every time the systems call for them, for example in treating wounds. Prostaglandins are either autrocrines or paracrines that take on the job of signaling the tissues and systems implicated in defensive reactions when the body detects unwanted and harmful stimuli. Cells release autocrines to have an effect on the same cells and paracrines to aid nearby cells, making these compounds function as effective chemical messengers in immediate vicinities anywhere in the body as they are short-lived.
Prostaglandin is known as the chemical messenger causing pain and igniting fever among others. Defensive mechanisms start when cells release mediators, including prostaglandin, which brings about the known signs of inflammation. Prostaglandins relax smooth muscle cells within the walls of blood vessels in the area of inflammation and promote the flow of needed fluids like blood and plasma proteins into the spot, leading to the subsequent redness and swelling. They continue to mediate the healing process by Permitting the entrance of neutrophil granulocytes, the front-line soldiers against harmful stimuli, and consequently put an end to invading pathogens. The same group of chemicals also increases pain at the same time, for example the joint pains associated with inflammation called arthritis.
Curcumin and Anti-inflammation
Painkillers, classified as analgesic drugs, work in a number of ways that in the end relieve the continual sensitization of certain body parts to pain. One group called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen targets the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of prostaglandins aim to reduce levels of prostaglandins.
Curcumin works on the same principle. Take for example, joint pains caused by arthritis. Be reminded that individuals who complain about joint pains are suffering from varied forms of medical conditions, which one way or another contribute to the pain in addition to having excessive levels of prostaglandins in the joints involved. Damage to the joint brought about by wear and tear or forced movement involving joints spurs the body to take defensive measures that include inflammatory effects, thus the pain. The intake of curcumin and its derivatives act on the cells in its production of prostaglandins, resulting in both the easing of pain and the lessening of inflammation.
Saw Palmetto For Prostate Function
September 10, 2010 04:29 PM
What Are Saw Palmetto Berries Good For?There is plenty of evidence supporting the use of saw palmetto in the treatment of BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia), commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. This is a common condition in men older than 50 and even younger, and a large number of studies have been carried out on its treatment. Saw palmetto has figured in many of these with a good degree of success.
Although it is widely used in Europe for treating BPH, saw palmetto berry is not sold in the USA for that purpose since the FDA does not Permit anything but prescription medicaments to be recommended for the condition. Nevertheless, it is available over the counter as a herbal remedy for male pattern hair loss and other conditions, and is widely used by men suffering prostate problems or trying to avoid them.
Where Can I Buy Saw Palmetto Berries?
Fight Acne Naturally
May 06, 2009 12:13 PM
Acne treatment therapies focus upon two aspects of acne: its prevention and management, and the removal of its more lasting effects.
Looking at the latter first, acne scars can be unsightly, and there are several methods currently used either to remove them or to hide them. Some of the more radical are surgical, while others involve modifications the surface of the skin by means of techniques akin to sandpapering, and also cosmetic techniques.
However, such therapies are needed only if the condition is Permitted to have a significant effect on your skin. There are therapies that can be used to mitigate the condition if not remove it altogether. Before discussing these it will be necessary to consider what causes acne, because without that knowledge there can be no effective treatment.
Acne is cause by blockage of the sebaceous pores in the skin. That blockage is generally caused by a mixture of dead skin cells and skin oil, otherwise known as sebum. Why should this occur with acne sufferers and nobody else, when all of us have the ingredients of acne as normal components of our skin? The answer lies in our hormones.
The reason that acne is most prevalent in teenagers is that the generation of sebum is promoted by our hormones: specifically the male hormones known as androgens that both males and females begin to create in quantity during puberty. These cause the sebaceous pores to enlarge, and sebum to be produced in larger than normal quantities.
The hormones also tend to disrupt the usual desquamation rate, or shedding of dead skin cells. What happens is that the skin cells within the pores begin to shed in clumps, rather than singly, and when mixed with the excess skin oil form a plug that clogs up the pores. This plug of oils and skin cells then gets contaminated with bacteria that in time initiate the immune reaction, resulting in pus being formed through the action of macrophages on the bacteria.
The therapy needed to reduce the incidence of acne, then, can be either proactive or retroactive. Proactively, they can reduce the production of the sebum/skin cell plug. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) as found in Omega-6 oil can block androgen receptors and so decrease the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) produced. The less the amount of DHT, then the less will be the severity of your acne.
Evening primrose oil contains large quantities of GLA, and even applying this topically on your skin will dilute the sebum and reduce the likelihood of sebum and skin cells blocking your pores. This is an extreme simplification of what GLA does, but it does accurately represent the end result of its use. There are also medications you can take to reduce the rate of shedding of your skin cells, so that your pores have less chance of being blocked.
Retroactively, you can apply antibiotics to kill off the bacterial that act on the plug and that initiate the immune response responsible for the lesions. You can also give your skin a good wash with an effective skin cleanser, including a mild antibiotic to enhance the cleansing of the bacterial plug. However, there are alternative treatments, such as the proactive diet control, and the use of vitamins and appropriate herbs to control or even prevent the condition.
When you think of diet, don't think chocolate. Acne is not caused by eating too much chocolate, or even by fatty foods. We have already discussed the causes of acne, and if we can find any components in our diet that can create these conditions, then by eliminating them we should be able to avoid the condition. As a corollary, if we can identify any substances that could prevent androgens from creating excess sebum, or even control the androgens themselves, or that could help the skin cells to shed more evenly, then we could include these in our diet.
In fact such substances do exist. By going deep into the science, we will find that the secretion of testosterone is promoted by a hormone known as IGF-1 and also by insulin. IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, and is important in the growth of children. It also promotes acne! Insulin does the same, and what that infers that anything in the diet that promotes the production of insulin will also promote acne.
What promotes insulin? Sugars and carbohydrates! Therefore, if you eat a diet low in sugars and carbs then you should have less production of sebum, and hence less acne. What this is leading to is that if you have a tendency to get acne; then switch your diet from carbohydrates and sugary foods to vegetables, grains and seafood. The Japanese get very little acne, which supports this theory.
You should also take foods rich in zinc, since a zinc deficiency has been found to lead to acne. Nobody knows why yet, but use the information and either take a zinc supplement or eat zinc rich foods such as shellfish. Strangely, it is a deficiency of zinc that causes an increase in testosterone, not the surplus of zinc provided by eating oysters! These have another effect.
There are also herbal treatments that can be effectively used for acne. Most are topical, and tea tree oil is one the more recent such treatments used to treat acne. Among the chemical constituents of tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, with powerful antimicrobial properties. Little wonder then that it is effective in preventing the bacterial infection of the sebaceous gland pores. The oil helps to dry out the skin, again creating conditions alien to bacteria.
You could use tea tree oil by itself, though many people simply mix it with the acne creams they are currently using. That makes them much more effective. Another option goes back to the zinc again, but rather than take it as a supplement, use it topically. Chamomile and lavender are useful in calming skin that has been inflamed both by over-zealous use of skin scrubs and also the immune system's inflammatory response to the infection of the pores.
There are many healthy options to the severe pharmaceutical treatments offered by your physician. These can be used in place of, but preferably as supplements to, the treatment recommended by your doctor. Each of the natural treatments has a sound scientific basis, and if you suffer from acne can be well worth trying.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is Permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is Permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.
There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.
The active ingredient was isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.
Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.
The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.
It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, glycogen, that is stored in the liver.
A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.
ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.
It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of serotonin.
Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.
Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is Permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a Permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.
Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.
If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA Permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.
Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.
No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.
Huperzine And Memory
December 04, 2008 01:20 PM
Chinese club moss goes by the name Huperzia serrata, and gives its name to the sesquiterpene alkaloid it contains: huperzine A. This alkaloid has been found to be a superstar in the arena of brain-saving treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer's and age-related senility. Studies in China have found up to 60% improvements in the cognitive functions of such patients, and its potential has been recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is no mere folk remedy, and is the subject of serious study.
Known as Qian Ceng Ta, Chinese club moss has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for the treatment of fever and inflammation, which is not surprising considering that most plants contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. However, what is unusual is the fact that it has also been found effective in treating some forms of dementia and depression, and also helps to reduce the incidence of panic attacks in those susceptible to them.
Not only that, but the plant has been found to possess diuretic properties, and a reduction in the swelling associated with water retention could also help to reduce the pain and other effects of swelling and inflammation. However, for now it is its effect on the brain that we are concerned, and research has indicated the likely mechanism by which huperzine A works.
Huperzine is an enzyme inhibitor - specifically inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in the processes of memory, learning and mood. Outside the brain, it is involved in the movement of skeletal muscle tissue as well as in the regulation of cardiac and other smooth muscles such as those of the blood vessels.
When acetylcholinesterase (AChE) attacks acetylcholine (ACh), the latter attaches to a chemical site on the enzyme where it is then destroyed. It is a deliberate function of the body, designed to terminate a synaptic transmission. The purpose of a neurotransmitter is to allow the transmission of an electrical impulse form one nerve cell to another over a gap between them known as a synapse. Once the transmission has been completed, the enzyme can destroy the neurotransmitter, and then another takes its place. In fact one molecule of AChE can destroy around 5,000 molecules of ACh.
However, with age and for other reasons, these neurotransmitters can become depleted so that it becomes increasingly more difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other, and their destruction becomes undesirable. There are drugs available to help prevent this happening (e.g. donepezil, galantamine and tacrine), and so help to improve the memory and mental function of people as they grow older or contract conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Huperzine A has been found to take up the site in the acetylcholinesterase molecule that would normally have been used by the acetylcholine, and so save it from destruction. The more Huperzine A molecules present, the more acetylcholine available to pass messages between brain cells, and the stronger the cognitive function of the subject or patient. The pharmaceutical drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph work in exactly the same way.
This is a very specific reaction, one molecule adopting exactly the same space as the other, and has been proved scientifically by comparing the physical shapes of the two molecules. It's just like a jigsaw puzzle, where only one piece can fit into each position. Except here there are two: Huperzine A and acetylcholine both fit into the exact same place in the chemical structure of the acetylcholinesterase molecule.
The biochemistry of the reactions involved is very complex, and shall not be discussed here, but the upshot is that Huperzine A can do exactly the same job as modern drugs to avoid this hydroxylation of the ACh needed for the proper functioning of your brain.
In fact, clinical trials have indicated Huperzine A not only to be comparable in effect to the drugs current used, but also likely safer with respect to the possible side effects. This has still to be confirmed, but the National Institute on Aging is currently carrying out a trial to evaluate this claim in tandem with its effect on Alzheimer's disease. It has also been examined at Harvard University for its effect on epilepsy on patients with whom alternative pharmaceutical treatments have been unsuccessful.
Another suggested benefit of Huperzine A is that it is an NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor antagonist that provides protection against damage to the brain by an excess of glutamates, and that it can also help to protect nerve cells from damage. Since NDMA is responsible for the transmission of some types of pain, the antagonist can also act as an analgesic.
There are other benefits that Chinese club moss can provide, and myasthenia gravis is one of them. Although relatively rare, this is a serious condition in which acetylcholine receptors are deactivated on muscle cells. This is achieved through the autoimmune system malfunctioning and creating antibodies against the receptors, and the end result is paralysis and respiratory failure.
Huperzine A reduces the AChE available and so might possibly enable the acetylcholine to work more effectively and delay or even stop the deterioration of muscle function. When people hear of muscle paralysis they frequently forget that breathing requires muscle function, as indeed does your heartbeat. This is currently surmise, and studies are being carried out to determine whether or not this usage of Huperzine A is viable.
Another promising application of Chinese club moss extract is in preventing organophosphate poisoning. These pesticides permanently suppress acetylcholine. This results in seizures due to a lack of interruption of the signals from nerves to muscles. The seizures can result in rapid death from uncontrollable seizures, or from permanent contraction of the diaphragm muscle that allows breathing. Although no human studies have yet been carried out, animals given Huperzine A prior to organophosphate exposure have survived without seizures.
There are no doubts that Chinese club moss and the Huperzine A extracted from it are effective in preventing the suppression of acetylcholine, and in Permitting the proper activity of this important neurotransmitter. It is finding an increasing number of potential uses beneficial to the human body, not the least of which would be a partial remedy for some of the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
October 11, 2008 10:26 AM
The non-essential amino acid glycine is needed to generate muscle tissue and also for the conversion of blood glucose into energy. It is referred to as being ‘non-essential’ because the body can manufacture its own glycine, and is therefore not an essential component of your diet. Other uses to which glycine is put by the body includes the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Amino acids play three essential roles in the human body:
1. They are the building blocks of proteins: proteins comprise about half of the dry weight of the majority of your body cells, and without them there would be no life. They are produced using monomers known as amino acids, and there are about 20 different amino acids used to make the vast variety of proteins that make up the human body. Proteins are needed to form enzymes, the catalysts that Permit the majority of chemical reactions within our bodies, and also genes, the building blocks of DNA.
2. More relevant here, amino acids play an important role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by phosphorylation with creatine phosphate. The more creatine phosphate available, the more ATP can be produced. Since ATP is the molecule responsible for the generation of energy, then the more ATP available the more energy is generated. Although creatine is available from many food sources, it is destroyed by cooking, and over half of what you use is made from the three amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. The energy produced in this way is very short-lived, and last only a few seconds - more on that later.
3. Glycine is heavily involved in the production of collagen, which is the substance that maintains the flexibility of your skin and other connective tissues while still maintaining their strength and firmness. Without glycine your skin would become slack due to the degrading effect of sunlight, free radicals and oxidation.
The non essential amino acid, glycine, is believed to offer other benefits to the human body, but it is the second of those above, the production of ATP, which interests us here. ATP is an extremely important nanomolecule, second in importance to the body only to DNA, and possibly also RNA since the two are linked. RNA makes copies of your DNA structure for use in cell division and growth.
When a cell expends energy for whatever reason, such as when I am typing this, or when your heart beats, or even when your liver synthesizes a protein, one of the phosphate groups is removed from the adenosine triphosphate molecule, and converts it to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ATP is then said to be 'spent', just as your energy is spent when you are tired and can exercise no more.
The ADP is then immediately reconverted to ATP in the mitochondria, a part of every cell in your body. A cell can contain hundreds, or even thousands, of mitochondria, the number depending upon that particular cell's need for energy. Hence, cells in your muscles, or in your liver where most of the body's chemistry takes place, contain thousands of mitochondria whereas those in your scalp contain a lot less. Once changed to ATP, a phosphate is again lost when energy is expended, and so the cycle continues.
Glucose is needed allow the ADP to be converted to ATP, hence the need for sugars, or the carbohydrates from which they are manufactured in your body. Each cell can contain up to a billion molecules of ATP, although the couch potatoes among you probably have a lot less! Your store of ATP molecules last about 2 to 5 seconds before being changed to ADP although more rapidly for athletes that expend a lot of energy. Then the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the liver kicks in for another 4 - 6 seconds.
Additionally, you cannot expend more energy that the (eventual) sugars that you take in your diet, which can be in the form of ordinary 'sugar' (sucrose), fruit (fructose), glucose, carbohydrates that are metabolized into sugars, or any other member of the sugar family (e.g. lactose, maltose, etc.).
Glycine is one of what are called glucogenic amino acids, which refers to their ability to provide glucose to the blood. Because it helps to maintain proper blood glucose levels, it is often prescribed for conditions that are caused by low glucose levels, such as hypoglycemia that shows symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, and also anemia and what is known as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).
The one activity of the human body, in fact that of any mammal, for which ATP is essential, is the heartbeat. Without that no mammal could survive, or any other creature that relies on a circulation system for life. The only reason you heart has to beat is to pump your blood around your body, and it is your blood that contains the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain life. Your cardiovascular health relies on lots of ATP being available to power each and every heartbeat.
Analysis of the heart during the final stages of heart failure has revealed that there is a general decrease in the myocardial arginine: glycine amidinotraferase (AGAT) gene expression, which is indicative of the necessity of this enzyme for proper heart function. The enzyme is responsible for the first stage in the biosynthesis of creatine from glycine.
Creatine is well known to athletes, and while it is available naturally from some food sources, it can be destroyed during cooking, and at least 50% of the creatine needed by the body is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is creatine phosphate that is broken down into creatine and phosphate, the latter of which is used by the mitochondria to regenerate ATP from ADP.
The study carried out on the reduced AGAT levels found in heart failure patients indicates the importance of glycine to heart health. Without a good supply of glycine, there will insufficient creatine produced biochemically to generate the phosphate needed to for the ATP to produce the energy required to keep the heart pumping with the required strength. The energy provided by the mitochondria is used locally by the cells in which it is produced, and within a few seconds of that production. As explained earlier, ATP stores are used up within 2 - 5 seconds, and glycogen stores within another 4 - 6 seconds.
That is why sprinters cannot keep running at maximum speed for more than around 10 seconds or so, because the immediate availability of glycine, and hence creatine, are insufficient to last longer than that. That is one reason why they have to finish those 100 meters as fast as possible, because otherwise they would run out of energy. Other than trying to win, of course!
However, when it comes to the heart, ATP stores are essential, and the cells in your heart require a constant supply of ATP from creatine, which itself depends upon your intake or biosynthesis of glycine. Since dietary sources are insufficient to meet all your needs, and destroyed by cooking, a glycine supplement is the only way to ensure a sufficient intake. You cannot undernourish your heart and remain healthy.
ATP biosynthesis is essential if that of glycine theoretically is not, but the fact that 50% of your glycine requirement has to be produced by your body and the other 50% is sensitive to heat during cooking, a supplement of glycine could be essential to many people.
May 16, 2008 02:12 PM
The health benefits of coral calcium were discovered in 1979, when a British journalist representing the Guinness Book of records traveled to Okinawa to talk to Shigechiyo Izumi, who at 115 years old was at the time the world’s oldest documented living human being. Not only was the journalist impressed and surprised at how healthy such an old man was, but he also found that good health to be shared by the majority of Okinawa’s aged residents.
After his report was filed on his return to England, a team of researchers were sent to the island to make further investigations in the phenomenon. They found that the key to their longevity was the water they were drinking. The water of Okinawa appeared unique, and coral calcium was discovered.
It was not only the calcium, of course, that made such as difference but the whole mineral balance of the water. Okinawa is formed of coral reefs built up over millennia, and rainwater filters down through the coral collecting minerals and other nutrients on its way. This water is both alkaline, with a pH of 8.6, and closely resembles the natural mineral composition, not only of the human skeleton but also of body fluids such as blood plasma and amniotic fluid. It seemed the ideal stuff to bottle, and there are now over 4 million users of coral calcium in Japan alone.
The commercial use of Sango coral, as it is called, is controlled by the Japanese government, and living coral is left untouched: only the dead coral sand lying on the ocean bed is used. The sand is collected and cleaned, and then pulverized and the calcium and all the rest of the minerals it contains are easily absorbed by the body.
It is this ease of absorption that renders coral calcium so useful. Most minerals find it difficult to pass from the intestine to the bloodstream, but this is not a problem for the minerals in Sango coral. Because they do not come from inorganic mined minerals, but from natural organic sources, they are present in a very bio-available form and are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. It not only contains the common minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and so on, but also many trace elements that are essential for life. Not only that, however, but they also contain antioxidants to help prevent the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and also at a pH that allows the minerals to become naturally ionic very readily.
It is this ionic form of each mineral that Permits it to be so readily available to your system. This was a major discovery at the time, since the form that inorganic minerals generally come in had been a problem prior to this to the extent that only 10% was absorbed by the body. In comparison, 95% of the coral calcium and other minerals are able to be easily absorbed since they are in an ionized form – an even higher absorbency than colloidal minerals allow.
Why are minerals so important and how can they possible lead to such an effect on the elderly of Okinawa? In fact minerals are very important components of human metabolism and biochemistry. Most believe vitamins to be significantly more important to human health than minerals, but this is not the case. Many vitamins are useless without the synergistic effect of minerals, and the reverse is also the same.
For example, calcium needs vitamin D to be present before it can be used by the body to strengthen bone structure. There are many other such interactions involving vitamins and minerals, and without chelation (the rendering of large organic molecules to a soluble form by combining them with metal ions) many of the essential biochemical processes of life would be impossible. Coral calcium contains all the minerals found in your body, and in very similar proportions, so that you are able to use it to maintain that all important synergism and not throw the mineral balance of your body out of balance. This is very easy to do if you take individual mineral supplements.
However, there is still more to come from this remarkable substance. It is also rich in antioxidants that spell death for free radicals. Free radicals can’t really die, because they are not living entities but molecules that have a free electron, and free electrons like to pair up with other electrons. Free radicals are therefore very aggressive when near any body cell from which they can rob an electron, and that, unfortunately, destroys the cell.
Not only that but they also oxidize molecules from which they take the electron, and if that is a low density lipoprotein, or LDL, that happens to be carrying some cholesterol to one of your arteries that needs a bit of repair work, then it will cause the LDL to deposit the cholesterol immediately and form plaques that constrict and narrow your arteries. That is called atherosclerosis and it can kill you or give you a stroke. Cholesterol is essential for good health, but once the free radicals get to work you are better without it.
However, Sango coral contains substances that prevent the free radicals from oxidizing other substances, and in so doing destroy them. That’s what antioxidants do. They prevent free radicals from oxidizing other molecules and creating all sorts of havoc with your health. Excessive amounts of free radicals have been associated with over 80 different conditions, and one of the benefits of coral calcium is that it is one of the most powerful antioxidants known.
It is not only the mineral content and antioxidant properties of coral calcium that are of benefit to the human body, but also its pH. The various fluids of your body are maintained at a specific pH, which is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a fluid. This should be slightly alkaline without being caustic. If your body fluids are too acidic it becomes difficult for you to absorb minerals and vitamins, and it is essential for you maintain a balance of from around 6.4 to 7.0 Any lower than that and you will find it difficult to sleep and you will feel listless with no energy.
You can measure the pH of your body by testing your urine with pH strips available at any pharmacy. Coral calcium can be used to maintain a good pH level that allows your body to absorb the nutrients it needs, and keep you feeling not only well, but young and sprightly just like Shigechiyo Izumi did at 115 years old.
A toxic by-product of industrial waste.
April 21, 2006 04:34 PM
Imagine a government Permitting industry to dump toxic waste products into the drinking water supply, denying the public the right to make an informed choice by censoring the press and dissenting experts. Meanwhile, influential leaders disseminate misinformation and hoodwinked people demand community acess to the dangerous chemical.
Although it might seem like science fiction, this scenario has been playing in America since 1940’s. the toxic chemical? Fluoride. Today, 170 million Americans, approximately two thirds of the population, have fluoridated drinking water issuing from their taps.
A 1998 Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans—a whopping 70% --support water fluoridation. Dissenters are seen as crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
EPA Unions Call for a Moratorium
In august 2005, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions under the umbrella of NTEU Chapter 280, primarily scientists, researchers, doctors, submitted a request to Congress for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation, based on scientific evidence that fluoride is a proven carcinogen.
Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President of Chapter 280, explains that the biggest misperceptions about fluoridated water are “that its safe and effective, that basically there are no adverse effects, and that it does this magic of lowering dental decay rates.”
A Profitable By-Product
Although the American Dental Association explains that fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, the form used in drinking water, hydrofluorosilicic acid is, in fact, a product of man.
Today’s fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Air filtration vents, called “Wet-Scrubbers,” trap fluoride, which is a gaseous by-product of manufacturing. For many years, the gas was vented into the sky, where it caused lawsuits by farmers for burnt crops and sickened animals. Now, the fluoride is sold to American communities as well as developing countries, Dr. Hirzy calculates the fertilizer industry makes about 100 million a year from their toxic by-product.
Fluoride’s Tainted History
Fluoride’s effect upon teeth was first observed in children who were overexposed to ingested fluoride. Their teeth turned pitted and brown, a condition recognized as dental fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride damages only the body’s tooth-forming cells, buy many scientists are concerned that other cells are damaged as well.
According to Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist, animal research shows that fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing defects in the brain region devoted to memory and learning. In humans, the behavior evidenced in rats would qualify as motor dysfunction, deficits or learning disabilities.
Is Fluoride Good for Poor People?
Many argue that fluoridation is needed by economically disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to dental care. In fact, these are the people at greatest risk from fluoride, which wreaks its most hazardous effects on those who are malnourished. Calcium deficiency, in particular, is linked with fluorosis.
Is It Good For Anything?
Ironically, many dental authorities acknowledge that ingested fluoride has little to no effect on preventing cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where most cavities occur. Many researchers acknowledge that only topical fluoride can stop cavities. The largest nation wide study, conducted in 1989 by the national institute of Dental Research, showed that children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities have approximately the same cavity rate.
Fluoridation and the Wellness Revolution
The Fluoridation controversy is another example of our health care system’s approach of throwing chemicals at problems, rather than solving them through improved public hygiene and better nutrition. In addition, calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help build strong teeth, while vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Source: www. Fluoridealert .org, www. Fluoridedebate .org, www. Nteu280 .org/issues/fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
December 17, 2005 09:42 AM
Supports Healthy Nervous System and Joint Function Vital For Over 35 Biochemical Reactions Necessary For Optimum Health Promotes a Healthy Mood
As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are vital to health. Next to water, amino acids in the form of proteins make up the greatest portion of our body weight. They comprise tendons, muscles and ligaments; organs and glands; hair and nails; important bodily fluids, and are a necessary part of every cell in the body.
There are over 20 amino acids, separated into two categories – essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by your body, hence, it is essential that you obtain them from your diet. Non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by your body, however, your body must have the right combination of essential amino acids and supporting nutrients to optimize healthy protein maintenance, so supplementation may be desirable.
Amino acids are not only absolutely integral to life, they can have a profound impact upon how clearly we think and how well we feel.
SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally occurring combination of the amino acid methionine and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s primary energy molecule. In this form it is sometimes referred to as “active methionine”. Research indicates that SAMe plays a vital role in nervous system health and normal cognitive function.*
SAMe may support nervous system function by increasing the synthesis and recycling of certain neurotransmitters and enhancing the sensitivity of nerve receptors. SAMe is believed to positively affect a number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and norepinephrine. Although the mechanism for SAMe’s impact upon neural function is not fully understood, there is no doubt that SAMe’s capacity as a methyl donor is of critical importance.
As a methyl donor SAMe assists the body in the creation of complex organic compounds necessary for normal healthy function. Your body uses these new compounds for numerous purposes, including brain function and detoxification. This process, known as methylation or transmethylation, is vital to your body’s maintenance. SAMe may be the most effective of all methyl donors discovered to date. Research has shown that SAMe is the only methyl donor with the potential to increase transmethylation in the brain, which helps to protect it from homocysteine damage as well as increasing production of glutathione, one of the body’s most effective antioxidants.
Research into the biosynthesis of SAMe has established a clear link between SAMe and folic acid, or folate. Folic Acid has been proven to provide support for healthy nervous system function and a healthy mood, and researchers believe these two nutrients work together to beneficially affect monoamine systems, which directly affect mood and cognitive function.* SAMe has also been shown to improve the synthesis of phospholipids for use in the brain, probably one of the most beneficial effects SAMe has on brain health. The benefits of SAMe extend beyond the brain and throughout the human body. For example, it may also aid in the repair of myelin, the sheath of fatty material that surrounds nerves and nerve cells everywhere in our nervous system. It’s found in all human tissue and organs and is available for use by your body in over 35 different biochemical reactions necessary for optimal health.
SAMe may support joint health through transulfuration, a process that takes a certain amount of sulfur from SAMe to create glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates. This enhances proteoglycan synthesis, the molecule responsible for keeping articular (joint) cartilage lubricated. As mentioned earlier, SAMe is also important for the production of glutathione, a powerful free radical scavenger that defends your body from toxic agents and is necessary for liver detoxification.
SAMe was first isolated in 1952 by G.L. Cantoni at the Laboratory of Cellular Pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Four years later, Cantoni and a co-worker found that SAMe synthesis involves methionine and ATP. They also found that it exists in the human body only temporarily, making production in a supplemental form difficult. It took nearly ten years until improvements in technology Permitted SAMe research to advance. With the discovery of a method to stabilize SAMe that overcame these manufacturing problems, U.S. patents were granted to allow the production of SAMe in a stabilized form.
SAMe in its ion form, as found in human cells, has a very short life span and is rapidly metabolized into other necessary compounds as needed. Therefore, it must be manufactured in a stabilized form to prevent rapid degradation as a supplement. Once tableted, it must be enteric coated to preserve stability.
This technology was not readily available until the 1990’s, hence SAMe’s long road to mainstream popularity. Dr. Joseph Zhou, Director of Laboratory Methods here at NOW, is credited with significantly improving the analytical methodology used to assure potency levels in supplemental SAMe. His work is one of the reasons SAMe is available as a supplemental with stable, guaranteed
Chromium Picolinate gets healthy claim!
October 05, 2005 10:30 AM
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will Permit chromium Picolinate products to carry a claim stating, “One small study suggests that chromium Picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance and possibly type 2 diabetes.” The Permitted language further states that “the existence of such a relationship between chromium Picolinate and either insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes is highly uncertain.”
Protecting kids from Colds is a simple as Enhancing there immune system.
August 22, 2005 02:30 PM
Lax hygiene and parents who Permit their children to attend school when they are sick are the main reasons that thousands of cases of colds and flu leapfrog from child to child each school year. Millions of school attendance days and adult work days are lost each year when schoolchildren get ill. In addition, schoolchildren can get and give a host of other illnesses, including strep throat, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), and impetigo. Sick children should stay home; a single child can easily infect 10 or more other children.
If a sick child sneezes on, drools on or touches an object, the germs can be picked up by others who touch that object. The most proven way to reduce this problem is basic hygiene. In one day-care study, kids caught fewer colds after they were taught to wash their hands regularly and the toys were disinfected three times a week. It is vital to teach your child to cover his mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing, and then to discard the tissue and wash his hands. Other ways to pick up germs are by petting a dog or a cat, handling dirty underwear, and using public restrooms. In one study, investigators added a mixture of bacteria and a virus to everyday objects at home and found that telephone receivers and kitchen faucets transferred enough organisms to the hands and then to the mouth to cause infections such as colds and diarrhea.
Hand washing is an important prevention measure, in terms of keeping healthy. The problem in some schools is that they make it difficult for kids to wash their hands. They don’t always have paper towels or adequate soap available. With all the things that are important to learn in school, one of the most important is washing your hands before eating and after going to the toilet. The purpose of school is to learn. And what’s more important to learn than good hygiene? Since regular hand washing is one of the best defenses against the spread of colds and gastrointestinal infections, teach your children to lather the hands with soap for at least 15 seconds, scrubbing between fingers, under fingernails and around the tops and palms of the hands. Teach them to dry their hands with a clean towel and to use the towel to turn off the faucet, open door handles, etc. You may also provide your child with sanitizing lotion so they can protect against disease when a bathroom is not close by.
When eating out or at a mass-prepared school lunch, first wash the hands. Avoid any raw food that doesn’t look washed or any item that has been implicated in a current outbreak of food poisoning. Eating raw fruits and vegetables at home where you can wash them may be a better choice. If you are unsure about the drinks served, have your child carry their own bottled water. The best way to fight back against these germs is to enhance your child’s immune system. Adequate nutrition is the backbone of health. Even marginal deficiencies of a single nutrient can profoundly impair the immune system. At least have your child take a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement every day. Eating sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, and orange juice all significantly reduced the body’s ability to have an effective immune system. These effects will start within less than 30 minutes and last for several hours. The white blood cells will not have the ability to gobble up those nasty bacteria the way they usually can.
Food is the largest challenge facing the immune system. When there is complete digestion, healthy bowel microflora, a healthy constitution, and minimal exposure to foods or elements that are toxic to the body, the immune system can do its job. Weaknesses in one or more of these areas can result in a weakened immune system. More than 50 percent of the immune system takes its signals from the digestive tract. It is one of the largest immune organs of the body that defends against the barrage of toxins ingested daily. Intestinal microflora also impact human health. The “friendly” bacteria living in us compete with the “not so friendly” germs and help us stay healthy.
The new U.S. food pyramid suggests we consume 5 servings of fresh vegetables daily and 3–4 servings of fresh fruits daily. Sounds easy enough. Yet, only 20 percent of the populations does this. It is also important to get adequate protein and fat in the diet. Water intake is vital as well. It’s best if the 6–10 glasses (depends on the age of the child) does not contain chlorine or fluoride. Dehydration may be a big factor in whether they stay healthy. By making even simple changes in your child’s diet and lifestyle, you might be amazed at how few illnesses she has this school year.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which Permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
Hoodia Gordonii - 20:1 Extract VS 1:1 Powder – The Whole Story
June 29, 2005 09:51 AM
The hoodia landscape has been unnecessarily clouded recently thanks to the misinformation circulating about concentrated extracts and socalled “100%” hoodia powder. Most of the information is highly subjective, with no studies whatsoever to support claims that socalled “pure” powder is more efficacious than 20:1 concentrated extracts. In fact, purporting to offer 100% hoodia powder is a dubious claim at best, with some groups offering little in the way of solid evidence that theirs is actually authentic Hoodia gordonii grown in South Africa and imported to the United States legally with proper Permits. Propagating the false notion that “more is better” is a risky, uncertain gamble if you’re not precisely sure what exactly you’re getting more of! At Source Naturals, a trusted company with years of experience and demonstrated excellence in nutritional supplements, we believe that nothing tops quality assurance.
Extraction – The Bottom Line
Much of the misunderstanding surrounding hoodia extracts directly corresponds to a common misperception that the word extract is mutually exclusive to standardization – a method of extraction that isolates and removes a constituent part of an herb or botanical for use in supplements to control potency. Unfortunately the ambiguity of the term “extract” in relation to hoodia products has led to uninformed claims that hoodia extracts somehow contain less essential Hoodia gordonii plant parts, which is patently false, and underscores the inherent confusion as to how high-quality concentrated hoodia powder is actually produced. Simply put, many of the truly effective hoodia products on the market are, by their very nature, extracts – whether they claim to be or not. That is because the concentration process by which the whole parts of the hoodia plant become dried powder is an extraction. Calling it anything but an extract would be, frankly, disingenuous.
Hoodia gordonii is a succulent containing excess moisture that needs to be removed in order to make an effective, concentrated powder. The process by which that moisture is removed to yield the powder is called an extraction. This process, however, is different from standardized extraction. This process does not remove a single component from the plant; rather it separates the water from the solid parts of the plant, making a concentrated powder for a more powerful, effective product.
The End Result
The raw materials used to make HOODIA EXTRACT have not been added to, nor have we attempted to specifically extract any constituent parts of the plant to regulate potency. What we have done is taken high-quality, authentic, certified material from one of the industry’s most respected suppliers of Hoodia gordonii and held it to our own high standards of Total Quality Assurance (TQA™) in making a supplement with 20 times more functional hoodia than had we ground the plant up water and all. By putting it through stringent testing procedures in our quality control lab we have assured our product’s quality and efficacy. The Hoodia gordonii we receive is carefully scrutinized; put through High Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic (HPTLC) analysis for authenticity, and microbiological screening for contamination, as well as other rigorous laboratory protocols.
Quality = Results
When you buy Source Naturals HOODIA EXTRACT, you can be assured that you’re not just getting an effective, natural dietary supplement, you’re getting part of an almost 25- year old tradition in providing quality products that support your good health. So before you buy into “more = better,” remember the Source Naturals edict: Quality = Results. Source Naturals – dedicated to excellence, committed to you.
June 25, 2005 07:23 PM
According to natives of the Amazon, when Tupan, the most powerful of all the Gods, decided to create man and woman and an environment in which they could t hrive, he assembled the other gods and goddesses and sought t heir assist ance. Jaci, the goddess of the moon, offered her help to Tupan. “I will teach the people how to grow seeds for food.
While many beneficial plants are steeped in myth and legend, few are as widely known and consumed among the natives of the Amazon river basin as catuaba, Erthyroxylum catuaba.
Revered as an enhancer of both libido and sexual potency, catuaba is a tree which grows widely across the northern Amazon.This most famous of all reputed aphrodisiac Amazonian plants is the subject of numerous indigenous songs,and the harvesting of catuaba bark (the part used for sexual enhancement) has become big business throughout Brazil.
In January of this year, I and two others went on a mission to the Brazilian Amazon to investigate catuaba as it is harvested and used by the indigenous people of that region. We possessed complementary skills.
My work involves researching and photographing indigenous native uses of plants around the world.My wife Shahannah, whose previous career as a marine mammal researcher put her on the ocean for three years, was our videographer.The third member, Bernie Peixoto, was born and raised in that region, speaks ten native languages fluently, and also holds a Ph.D in anthropology.We were a small, but capable group.
Entering Brazil through Manaus, we made contact with Antonio Matas,the most famous herbalist in that area.Antonio described to us numerous instances in which the use of catuaba had resulted in renewed sexual potency in men, and revived or enhanced libido in both men and women.Antonio also introduced us to a man named Sivao,the primary dealer of catuaba in the entire sprawling Manaus region. From Sivao we learned that catuaba was increasing in popularity every month, and had become one of the most sought after and widely used beneficial plants in northern Brazil, due to its ef fectiveness.
After our meetings in Manaus,we headed down the Amazon river where we stayed with Ipixuna and Crinicoru Indians in floating houses right on the river itself.
With the guidance of an outdoorsman named Geronimo and a fisherman named Jose’,we hiked into the forest,saw catuaba trees growing, and witnessed the harvesting and sale of the bark.In addition,we were led to two elderly women shamans,who described to us the sex-enhancing and restorative virtues of catuaba.
While space doesn’t Permit an explanation of all that we saw and learned, we discovered during the course of our travels that while catuaba is used by almost all middle-aged men,it is also popular among couples of all ages for its enhancement of libido. More often than not,catuaba is used with muira puama. We asked repeatedly why this was so,and each time we were told that the combination of the two plants results in significantly greater sexual enhancement than can be obtained by using either herb by itself. Most of the people with whom we spoke use catuaba personally, and they expressed great enthusiasm for catuaba’s sex-enhancing properties. Throughout history, people have sought to enhance their libido and improve sexual potency. Catuaba,a common tree growing widely across the Amazon river basin,has centuries of safe,effective use as a sex-enhancer.As more people become aware of the botanical treasures of the rainforest,catuaba is destined to become popular and widely used in this culture as well. The views expressed in this article are those of the author only, and have not been approved or endorsed by Nutraceutical Corporation or any of its subsidaries or affiliates.
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that Permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.
June 12, 2005 01:59 PM
Certified Foods by Glenda Olsen Energy Times, July 13, 2003
What's in your food, and where does it come from? To most American consumers, that question may seem unimportant. But the answers might surprise you. Your food's origin and processing can make a big difference in its nutritional value, for better and for worse. Increasingly, concern over the quality of food and its influence on health are persuading shoppers to take a greater interest in their food. The result: More visits to natural food stores and more sales of organic food.
Once upon a time, food used to be just food. Crops were grown on family farms, and animals were raised in barnyards. But today, corporations have conquered food production in a big way. Agribusiness is just that-a big business in which animals and plants are treated like assembly-line items and raised on factory farms.
While the term "organic" gets tossed around endlessly in the media, the term is often misconstrued. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones."
In addition, organic farmers generally do not use pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. This type of food is also produced without genetically modified organisms and is not subject to radiation used to zap the bugs on food. Today, USDA-approved certifying agents inspect the farms where organic food is raised to ensure organic standards are followed. In addition, the companies that process food and handle organic food have to be USDA-certified. Meeting these standards allows companies to use the USDA's organic label on foods that are at least 95% organic in origin. Labels for foods that contain between 70% and 95% organic content can use the words "Made With Organic Ingredients," but cannot use the seal.
While the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food has raged for decades, recent research is beginning to turn up evidence that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain extra helpings of vitamins and other nutrients. A study at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, found that organically grown oranges contain more vitamin C than conventional supermarket oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 6/02).
Theo Clark, PhD, the Truman State professor who investigated the organic oranges, says that when he and his students began their research, "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges" because they are larger than organic oranges. To his surprise, chemical isolation combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the organically grown oranges contained up to 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they were only about half the size. "We speculate that with conventional oranges, (farmers) use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and doesn't have as much nutritional value," Dr. Clark says. "However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration."
If you want to avoid pesticide residues in your food, research shows that going organic can make it much less likely that you or your family consumes these unwanted chemicals. Research, for instance, into the diets of children (Enviro Hlth Persp 3/03) shows that dining on organic fruits and vegetables, and organic juice, can lower kids' intake of pesticides.
These scientists took a look at the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide breakdown products in the blood of kids ages two to five who ate conventional supermarket produce and compared it with the OP found in organic kids.
The children on the organic diet had less OP in their blood than the other kids. As a matter of fact, the children on the conventional diet had six times the dimethyl metabolites, dimethyl being a pesticide suspected of affecting nerve function and growth. "Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides," note the researchers. "Organic foods have been growing in popularity over the last several years," says Jim Burkhart, PhD, science editor for the journal that published the study. "These scientists studied one potential area of difference from the use of organic foods, and the findings are compelling."
On the way to tonight's dinner, researchers have created genetically modified organisms (GMO), plants and animals that have been transgenically engineered. In the food world, that means organisms containing genes inserted from another species. Chances are if you eat food purchased at the typical supermarket, those comestibles contain GMO ingredients. In the United States, food companies are not required to label for GMO content.
A growing number of American consumers are upset about not being told about the GMO products in their food. But industry scientists, worried that informed consumers may someday turn their back on GMO foods, consider consumer ignorance to be an acceptable state of affairs.
For instance, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is fighting regulations that would require GMO labeling. According to ASPB President Daniel Bush, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana, "The language...(in these types of regulations) is based on a system of beliefs of what is 'natural,' rather than a scientifically defined set of criteria focused on content and nutritional value. This is a radical departure from food labeling up to now, which is designed to maximize useful information for consumers concerning what is in the food they are buying."
Dr. Bush continues, "There are, of course, examples of voluntary labeling standards in the food industry that reflect how foods are processed, such as organic foods. The voluntary organic labeling standards were sought by the organic food industry. Kosher foods are also labeled as having been produced in accordance with specific beliefs. However, mandatory labeling of targeted production methods has never before been required and we believe would obscure rather than clarify important issues of food safety."
In other words, Dr. Bush opposes GMO labeling because he feels it would unnecessarily stigmatize GMO food items. Others are not so sanguine about the safety of GMO foods.
The arguments against GMO foods include:
These types of risks have motivated industry groups to urge more regulation of GMO crops. The Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association, plus seven other food groups, are worried that GMO plants grown to produce pharmaceutical drugs could contaminate the food supply and destroy consumer trust in food.
Mary Sophos, a vice president of GMA, warns, "To minimize the possible risks, a clear system of regulatory enforcement and liability needs to be in place. Until then, no Permits for new field trials or for commercialization should be issued because there is no room for trial and error."
These food industry groups have voiced their concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. Last year, the USDA forced ProdiGene Inc., a biotech firm, to dispose of 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with a drug meant to treat diabetes. What are the chances of more GMO accidents? No one knows. But if you buy and eat organic, you minimize your risk and maximize your chances of dining on safer food.
The Flex Factor
June 11, 2005 05:18 PM
The Flex Factor by Thomas Dunville Energy Times, February 10, 2004
Arthritis, according to recent research, presents its sufferers with a Catch-22: The nagging pain of this condition can send your spirits plummeting. But, then, the depression spurred by the disconsolate persistence of arthritic pain can make the condition worse.
Part of the trick is not to give in. If you can keep a bright mood even as your joints start to ache, the pain may lessen.
While nobody can offer a guaranteed, 100% effective cure for arthritis, you don't have to be a passive victim. Exercise, the proper nutrients and a positive, can-do attitude can ease arthritis pain so effectively that scientists have been able to measure the difference. While medical researchers recognize the existence of over 100 types of arthritis, most people with achy joints suffer from osteoarthritis, which is caused by everyday wear and is found in just about everyone over age 60. When this condition occurs, the body's cushioning, its cartilage, thins and the inner surfaces of joints grind together painfully.
Although aging itself increases your chances of enduring achy joints, other factors can also put you in the way of osteoarthritis. If you carry too much weight, it can wear on your joints. In addition, suffering a joint injury when you're young can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis as you age.
In another prevalent form of joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membranes lining the joints, causing swelling and pain. About 2 million Americans suffer from RA, which affects women about twice as often as men.
Exercise Away Arthritic Woes
Weekend warriors, don't despair! Arthritis doesn't have to mean the end of your weekend athletic wars. Matter of fact, in many cases, experts now recommend exercise to reduce the effects of arthritis.
While that might sound counterintuitive, a study out of the Netherlands shows that folks in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis who work out twice a week for about an hour each session may enjoy better physical and mental health than couch potatoes who receive physical therapy.
The Dutch study took 150 people, many of whom had just started to suffer from rheumatism, and enrolled them in RAPIT, an acronym for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Training. Rather than letting these folks rest their inflamed joints, twice a week the research team took them to the gym where they did:
When the researchers compared the physical changes in these arthritis sufferers with 150 others with similar arthritis complaints who underwent physical therapy without organized physical activity, they found that after two years the exercisers had benefited greatly. They were stronger and more aerobically fit, could perform everyday tasks more effectively and possessed a better, more optimistic mental attitude (Arthritis and Rheumatism 2003; 48(9):2415-24).
However, the exercisers who were already suffering severe rheumatoid arthritis did experience some extra joint damage, so the researchers believe this kind of program is better for those in the early stages of the disease. " This study demonstrates that participation in long-term high-intensity exercise classes decreases the level of psychological distress in RA patients," says researcher Zuzana de Jong, MD, a professor at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Fish Oil Lowers Arthritis Risk
Fish oil-in particular, cod liver oil-may be able to help ease osteoarthritis.
In looking at the effects of fish oil, researchers at Cardiff, Wales, discovered indications that "...the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can reduce cartilage degradation and inflammation in arthritic disease," according to Bruce Caterson, PhD, one of the scientists involved.
Dr. Caterson adds, "Our most recent work shows that by exposing human osteoarthritic cartilage to cod liver oil in the laboratory for just 24 hours we can turn off, or reverse, the action of the degradative enzymes and inflammatory factors affecting the tissue." John Harwood, PhD, another member of the Cardiff research team, adds, "This is where science and old wives' tales coincide. Our findings are consistent with advice that taking cod liver oil in early adulthood could prevent the onset of osteoarthritis and would reduce the harmful symptoms associated with the disease."
Dr. Caterson further explains that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil inhibit enzymes that break down aggrecan and collagen, substances that cushion joints. Consequently, cartilage stays healthier, inflammation is lessened and arthritic pain decreases. The anti-inflammatory action of omega-3s in fighting rheumatoid arthritis is also supported by studies performed in the US (Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(1 Suppl):349S-51S).
Other research shows that if you take natural vitamin E along with fish oil, you may improve even further your odds of relieving arthritis or lessening its effects (JACN 10/30/00).
Glucosamine, the stuff that cartilage is made from, has been shown to lower the risk of arthritis and possibly relieve its pain. This natural substance, made from a sugar and a molecule called an amine, is a building block of joint tissue. As a result, experts believe, when you take it in supplemental form, the body may use it to repair joints that have been damaged by arthritis. For instance, an investigation of osteoarthritis of the knee performed at the University of Liege in Belgium showed that taking glucosamine could stop joints from deteriorating.
The study, which involved more than 200 people suffering from osteoarthritis, found that in three years of taking glucosamine supplements, many arthritis sufferers found that their condition actually improved (Lancet 2001 Jan 27; 357).
Other Arthritis Fighters
Chondroitin sulfate is another material that goes into the making of cartilage. Chondroitin helps cartilage stay hydrated and Permits the flow of nutrients through the joint tissues. In addition, researchers believe that chondroitin helps fight inflammation, which can otherwise cause pain and stiffness as well as joint destruction.
Taken together with glucosamine, chondroitin is believed to hasten the healing of bone and cartilage. Another substance that may help ease the ache of arthritis is methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally occurring sulfur-bearing compound. "MSM appears to have anti-inflammatory effects when administered orally, intravenously or topically," says MSM researcher Stanley Jacob, MD, FACS, of the Oregon Health & Science University. That means it has shown an ability to reduce the heat, pain and swelling associated with arthritic conditions. MSM may also be able to reduce muscle spasms around joints and reduce the formation of scar tissue.
Herbal medicine has long been used by folks with achy joints. The yellow spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), a staple of Indian cooking, is a traditional Indian remedy for arthritis because of its painkilling properties. Ginger (Zingiber officinale), another culinary favorite, restrains the production of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. And willow bark (Salix sp), the source of aspirin, is longer-acting and doesn't irritate the stomach lining.
Those who suffer arthritis know that its pain and discomfort are often no laughing matter. But if you don't take arthritis lying down and manage to keep a smile on your face-and avail yourself of nature's remedies-you can get the upper hand on this often debilitating condition.
June 10, 2005 03:24 PM
by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, July 11, 2003
Nutrients do you no good if you don't absorb them. Eating the right stuff and taking the right nutrients can still be wrong if they never make it out of your digestive tract and into your bloodstream.
For instance, dietary supplements usually should be taken along with food. The presence of food in the digestive tract aids the absorption of nutrients. As a general rule, if you take dietary supplements on an empty stomach, most of their contents will probably pass through you and never escape your intestinal tract before they are eventually eliminated. This is particularly true for the fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D and E. By consuming fatty foods when you take these supplements, you enable your body to absorb a large amount of these valuable substances.
But there is at least one exception to this rule: Amino acid supplements (protein building blocks) should usually be taken on an empty stomach. Otherwise the other amino acids present in your meal may interfere with your use of these nutrients and counteract the benefits of the supplements.
The Standardization of Herbs
Taking herbs presents different challenges than consuming dietary supplements. While the chemical structures of nutrients in supplements are usually precisely identified, the active ingredients in herbs is usually a mixture of chemicals. Often, too, researchers disagree on exactly which active ingredients in herbs produce the health benefits linked to these botanicals.
But in an effort to derive the most from these substances, many experts recommend what are called standardized forms.
Standardized herbal supplements are formulas that have been created to insure they contain consistent and reliable amounts of certain beneficial chemicals that scientists have identified in these plants.
In the creation of these supplements, experts determine the standardized chemicals that are most likely the basis of the herbs' effectiveness.
By standardizing certain of the supplements' ingredients, therefore, standardized herbs limit the variation among batches of the product. You can rely on the fact that every purchase will contain the same amount of ingredients taken from the original plant. According to Michael Janson, MD, author of Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution (Penguin/Avery), "Although herbs have a long history of use for medicinal purposes, it is only recently that they have been analyzed to reveal their most active components. These active chemicals are commonly present in very variable amounts in herbs, depending on where and how they are grown, soil quality, when they are harvested, the amount of rain and sun, and other factors.
"Standardized herbs have guaranteed specific amounts of the known, active herbal components, as well as the other factors that might be of help but are not as well studied" (www.drjanson.com).
Herbalists who specialize in using entire plants in their practices can recommend non-standardized preparations that you can often use.
In general, that kind of herbal use is more effective when you secure expert advice. If you lack access to an experienced herbalist and you're choosing botanicals on your own, standardized preparations are easier to take.
Absorption From the Gut
Most of the nutrients you take in are absorbed through the walls of your digestive tract. This most often takes place in the small intestine.
What to watch out for: Fast food, fast living and long work hours afflicts our digestion and can disrupt proper absorption. You have to be relaxed to properly absorb the nutrients in your food and supplements.
Consequently, the occasions for meals should be relaxed and enjoyable moments. Set aside enough time to appreciate, taste and thoroughly chew your food. Adequate digestion and absorption begin in your mouth.
Another way to increase nutrient absorption is with the use of digestive enzymes. Since the digestive tract depends on the enzymatic breakdown of food that reduces nutrients to absorbable form, taking enzymes can help your intestines make better use of nutrients as they pass through the digestive tract. Normally, enzymes are present in raw food, like uncooked fruits and vegetables. Since most of our food is eaten after it is heated, a process that breaks down enzymes, not many enzymes are present in today's diet. Therefore, taking supplemental enzymes may increase absorption.
Beyond everyday stress, a variety of problems can make absorption go astray, allowing important nutrients to escape and Permitting unwanted substances to enter the body. For instance, a significant digestive malfunction that many experts have focused on in recent years is a condition that has come to be called "leaky gut."
As Anil Minocha, MD, director of digestive diseases at the Mississippi Medical Center and author of Natural Stomach Care (Avery), points out, "In a healthy individual, the wall of the intestinal tract is designed to absorb food molecules and prevent harmful microorganisms and toxic materials from passing out through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream. "In today's heavily polluted environment, the gastrointestinal tract of even the healthiest individual is called on to process an overwhelmingly large flow of septic and infectious materials."
Because of these digestion destroyers, as we take in a startlingly large amount of viruses, bacteria, toxic chemicals, fungi and processed foods, our digestive systems are often overwhelmed and are rendered unable to perform their tasks correctly. This constant assault on the stomach and intestines takes a serious toll. A frequent product of this process is the digestive walls' loss of their crucial ability to keep out unwanted toxins and organisms as they become, in Dr. Minocha's words, "loosened and inflamed." As a result, instead of keeping out harmful substances and absorbing helpful nutrients, spaces open up that begin to allow in "bulky, partially digested food particles, toxic substances and infectious microbes."
According to Dr. Minocha, the first signs of this absorption problem can include complaints such as allergic reactions, skin problems, joint pain, digestive difficulties, nausea, fatigue and lack of energy.
To improve your digestive absorption, Dr. Minocha recommends a six-part program that includes these steps:
* Detoxification by means of fasting and avoiding harmful items like sugar, over-processed foods, coffee and alcohol
* Taking herbs that can help the digestive tract heal, recover and repair itself; these include garlic, ginger and milk thistle
* Replenishing the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract by eating yogurt
* Keeping track of your daily diet and eliminating foods that cause allergies and other reactions
* Consuming more fruits and vegetables while eating a high-fiber, mostly vegetarian diet
* Developing consistent, healthy lifestyle habits; these include not smoking, cutting the size of your meals and eating in moderation, exercising several times a week and controlling stress
Young and Old Digestion
The nutrients in your diet can also beneficially influence the state of your digestive system and its ability to distinguish among substances that are supposed to gain entrance to your body and those that should be kept out. Since aging can further compromise the discriminatory ability of your gut, Dr. Minocha also recommends a steady diet of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables plus supplements to keep your digestive tract functioning at full capacity as you grow older.
Among the nutrients he recommends:
* Coenzyme Q10: By middle age, your body makes less of this powerful antioxidant that helps cells generate energy in the mitochondria (structures within cells that may decrease with age).
Dr. Minocha notes that research demonstrates CoQ10 may be able to help people with diabetes control harmful metabolic byproducts that appear in their bloodstreams.
* Natural Lycopene: This antioxidant, responsible for the red of both tomatoes and watermelon, has been shown to lower the risk of both heart disease and prostate cancer. As an antioxidant, natural lycopene also helps protect the digestive tract.
Absorption of the proper nutrients may be the key to health for many people. By paying closer attention to the well-being of your digestive tract and practicing lifestyle habits that promote maximum absorption, you may be able to substantially improve your nutrition and your health.
May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
It's in the BloodNatural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.
“The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.
“Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”
Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”
And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”
Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”
King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”
Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.
"Blur of Products"
With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”
To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:
Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.
Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.
Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”
“The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”
On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.
Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.
Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.
Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.
Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.
Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”
Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.
“Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.
Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.
“The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.
For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”
Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.
Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-Permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.
Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.
Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.
Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.
“In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”
Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”
Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.
However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”
Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”
Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.
Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”
With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”
Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.
“Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR
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