Search Term: " Phosphate "
Researchers look at the potential of rice bran in treatingcardiovascular disease
August 31, 2018 09:53 AM
Malaysian and Chinese researchers recently published a study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that explores the potential of rice bran to reduce the platelet aggregation that contributes to harmful blood clots in people with atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The rice bran policosanol extract used in the study significantly reduced both aggregation induced in response to a mixture of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), arachidonic acid and collagen, as well as adhesion of platelets to surfaces. More research is needed to explore whether this could be beneficial to a variety of cardiac conditions
"Research has found that rice bran can potentially be used as an alternative treatment for cardiovascular diseases."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-29-rice-bran-treating-cardiovascular-disease.html
Why your brain fails as you age, what you can do now
August 24, 2018 09:53 AM
It is the mitochondria inside your organelles that produce adenosine triphosphate, and if it does not function now then that is bad news for you. It means that your risk of developing a degenerative disease rises dramatically. No organ in your body is more dependent on energy than your brain, and older people who have their energy impaired open themselves up to such diseases. Additionally, as one ages, their mitochondria is decreased in functions and numbers.
"If your mitochondria are not functioning well, your risk for chronic degenerative diseases will radically increase."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/why-your-brain-fails-as-you-age-what-you-can-do-now/
A natural sugar molecule, D-ribose, found to improve heart function and blood flow
July 04, 2018 09:54 AM
D-Ribose is a simple sugar molecule that plays an important role in energy metabolism within your body by helping to produce cellular energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Oxidative stress can deplete ATP, which can then cause further stress, in a vicious cycle for your heart. However, D-Ribose supplements can restore levels of ATP, which can improve heart function and exercise endurance in cardiac patients. Infusion of D-Ribose after a cardiac event may even be able to prevent dangerous ischemia reperfusion injuries.
"With one occurring every 40 seconds in America, you likely know more than a few people who have experienced one."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-01-natural-sugar-molecule-d-ribose-improve-heart-function-and-blood-flow.html
Top 13 Benefits Of Vitamin A For Health And Skin
May 22, 2017 08:44 AM
Vitamin A, found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and proteins, plays an important part in our everyday lives. Many people know of Vitamin A's existence, but are unaware of its host of benefits. These benefits include improving the immune system (raising lymphocytic responses, maintains moisture of mucus membranes, and improving white blood cell activity), maintaining eye health (through regulating light changes and moisture), keeping skin soft, strengthen teeth and bones (by forming dentin), prevent urinary stones (due to calcium phosphate formation), inhibit muscular dystrophy, may prevent acne and certain cancer, treat measles and cold sores, lower cholesterol, and protect from infection. And, as an added bonus, it's also an anti-aging agent, because of its wrinkle reducing properties! Just be careful that you don't take too much Vitamin A, and speak to a doctor before starting on supplementation.
"One of the most amazing benefits of vitamin A which ought to be mentioned first is improving your immune system"
Read more: http://vkool.com/benefits-of-vitamin-a/
What is the Krebs cycle and why is it important?
The Krebs cycle is a series of chemical response that helps in the production of Adenosine triPhosphate (ATP) and carbon dioxide, a compound that is rich in energy. This cycle happens with the combination of two carbon coenzymes and carbon complexes and goes through a series of changes to produce the required energy that is needed for the smooth functioning of living organism. This cycle occurs in all the cells that use oxygen for their respiration process. Carbon dioxide has an important role since it fuels breathing and the ATP also plays a vital role as it provides cells with a required energy for synthesis of proteins from amino acid and the reproduction of deoxyribonucleic acid. These are considered essential for energy supply and for the continuation of any kind of life including human.
The Krebs cycle is known as the second phase of the aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration is composed of three phases, Glycosis is the first phase, followed by the Krebs Cycle, and last is the Electron phase. These three stages are a series of a cycle that all living cells must experience to produce the required energy for the smooth functioning of the mechanism of life.
Why Krebs cycle is important?
Poor digestion, fatigue and lack of proper nutrition are the common complaints among the people of all ages all over the world. This complaint comes when the body does not get proper nutrition or is unable to digest food even if it's available. It leads to a chronic problem and makes most of the people suffer. But what makes them suffer? This is the listless metabolism that ultimately leads to slow Krebs cycle function. When Krebs cycle does not function properly, after a period of time it causes the accretion of undigested food remains in the blood vessels and also creates some other health complications such as constipation, fatigue and smoggy brain. In the long run, it can create some other health complication that is severe and sometimes life-threatening. So to avoid this situation people usually prefer to take the Krebs cycle supplement. This supplement resolves all these issues and also makes you feel energetic.
Why your body is reliant on Krebs cycles?
Krebs cycles are important since it helps to generate energy from the food, particularly from the carbohydrate. And you can get carbohydrate from grains, cereals, fats and also from vegetable and animal sources. You can also get carbohydrates from the proteins.
By definition, carbohydrates are the combination of three important things, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and these things can be changed to glucose inside your body. Initially your body uses the carbohydrate as the foundation of glucose and then through a series of processing, the body gets the required amount of carbohydrates from the diet. And here Krebs cycle plays an important role to generate energy from the carbohydrate.
The Krebs cycle is considered important for producing energy, it does not help you to run fast and to be active only, and it also enables your metabolic process to work efficiently.
Ribose is a type of sugar which is produced in the body and is of medicinal value. This organic compound is very essential in our day-to-day lives because it boosts our energy levels. Apart from energy boost, ribose is also used to relieve manifestations of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and coronary artery disease. It also prevents other symptoms like pain following a workout in individuals with a genetic condition known as myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MAD). This vital body chemical can help boost exercise ability in individuals with another inherited disorder known as McArdle's disease.
How Does D-ribose Work to Boost Energy in the Body?
The manner in which d-ribose works to deliver results is very simple and elaborate. It promotes the production of ATP (adenosine triPhosphate), which is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. Healthy, active cells constantly top up their supply of ATP to get adequate cellular energy. Through increasing levels of adenosine triPhosphate, the supplement can help speed up energy recovery, increase energy reserves and
As you can see, your body needs to keep its production of (ATP) at its highest possible level for maximum energy production as well as physical performance. But sometimes the supply of actual ATP molecules may be reduced due to a number of factors including physical activity and health condition. This is where D-ribose, a natural ingredient for boosting ATP levels comes in.
Ferrum Phosphoricum and Your Health
June 26, 2014 10:59 PM
What is a Ferrum Phosphoricum?
Ferrum Phosphoricum or iron Phosphate is a tissue salt used in Homeopathic medicine. It is derived from the combination of iron sulfate and Phosphate. It also features prominently among the 12 Schuessler's Tissue Salts of Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler. It is made by mixing iron sulfate, sodium Phosphate, and sodium acetate. Then, this combination is ground to a fine powder and the resulting product is Ferrum Phosphoricum, which no longer retains any traces of the original compounds.
Iron is well known as being an important mineral for growth in humans and animals since it is responsible for blood formation, e.g., hemoglobin, and for oxygenizing tissues.
Phosphorus serves its purpose by aiding in the development of bones and teeth and is considered to be a building block for certain B vitamins.
Ferrum Phosphoricum is most often used where there is a need to fortify the blood, particularly the cell walls which transport blood. It is most commonly indicated at the beginning of an influenza or if there are feverish symptoms, after a period of prolonged bleeding, or for general malaise (weakness) where it excels greatly.
People suffering from anemia and/or issues connected with deficient blood are said to benefit immensely by taking Ferrum Phosphoricum.
Other indications for the use of Ferrum Phosphoricum are the following:
• Sore throat
• Skin aliments
Generally speaking Ferrum Phosphoricum is beneficial for those individuals who have weekend or delicate immune systems, or who catch colds easily. It is most useful when given during the first stages of illnesses, particularly where there is heat, fever, or inflammation.
Part of the benefit of tissue salts and homeopathic remedies such as Ferrum Phosphoricum is that they are small, easily diluted and taste free. This makes them excellent for children and older individuals. Given the fact that they are quite inexpensive makes for all the more reason to give them a try.
Does The Red Raspberry Have Healing Properties?
March 26, 2014 11:54 AM
Red raspberry fruit
Raspberry provides some of the very best results when it comes to the medicinal values especially in herbal medicine. The usefulness of the plant delivered from roots, bark, leaves and the fruit. Due to the wide range of minerals that found in red raspberry, which includes vitamins, potassium, calcium, sulphites and Phosphate. The leaves contain important acids like citric, malic, tartaric and citrate, which are very good for the body. Red raspberry used in many cases to treat and prevent certain digestive system related diseases like diarrhea and dysentery.
Health benefits of raspberry
In many cases, raspberry in form of vinegar is used to cure sore throats and different cough related complications. The flowers of red raspberry used for the treatment of pimples in adolescents as well as poultice for eye inflammation. The juice made from red raspberry used as laxatives or as a remedy for children with fever, as well as the treatment of cystitis.
Raspberry products are used worldwide by women who are pregnant or have menstrual complications. The underlying factor in this case is that raspberry used to stop or reduce mucous discharge from genitals hence reducing the pain experienced during menstruation. For pregnant women red raspberry products used to prevent postpartum depression and hypertension while boosting breast milk production during lactation. In other cases, the leaves of red raspberry used to promote fertility in both men and women and prevent the causes of miscarriages.
Raspberries mixed with other products to produce medicines that can cure diseases like malaria, gonorrheal, leukemia and other dangerous diseases. This achieved through the ability of raspberry fruits having constituents that act like anti-septic, anti-gonorrhea, anti-malaria and anti-leucorrhea.
What Is Vitamin B-6 And What Is Its Health Benefits?
January 05, 2014 09:19 AM
Vitamin B6 is a water soluble vitamin that is part of the vitamin B complex group that consists of pyridoxal (PL), pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxal 5 Phosphate, pyridoxine 5 Phosphate, 4-pyridoxic acid (PA), pyridoxamine 5 Phosphate, and pyridoxamine. Pyridoxine is the form that is commonly given as a vitamin B-6 supplement. Vitamin B6 is also found in most multivitamin mineral supplements.
The benefits of vitamin B-6 include:
The amount of vitamin B-6 that is needed daily by the body depends on age and sex. Men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 1.3mg/day, women who are 51 years and older need 1.5 mg/day, pregnant women need 1.9 mg/day, and men over 51 years need 1.7 mg/day.
Below are some of the foods that contain vitamin B6 (the amount of vitamin B6 they contain is in mg)
Fruits- per carrot juice contains 0.27 mg per 125mls, prune juice contains 0.30mg per 125 mls. and one avocado fruit contains 0.26 mg.
Grains- 30 g of wheat bran contains 0.35 mg of vitamin B6, 30 g of bran contains 0.20 mg
Meats- 75 g of cooked beef liver contain 0.76-0.78 mg, 75g of cooked beef contains 0.14-0.26 mg, 75 g of salmon or tuna contain around 0.67 mg, and other fish (trout, cod, mackerel, snapper, bluefish, and herring contain 0.30-0.39 mg.
Legumes- 0.75 of a cup of soybean contains 0.30 mg, 0.75 of a cup of chickpeas contains 0.84 mg, and 0.75 of a cup of lentils contains 0.26 mg.
The symptoms and signs of vitamin B6 deficiency include:
anemia, depression, convulsion, irritability, morning sickness, and sore tongue.
You can easily meet your daily requirements of vitamin B-6 by taking vitamin B-6 supplements. Athletes who are taking protein and amino supplements should also take vitamin B6 supplements to improve their body’s intake of the proteins and amino acids consumed.
How Does Creatine Boost Muscle Strength?
October 28, 2013 11:13 PM
How Does Creatine Boost Muscle Strength?
First of all what is Creatine? Creatine is a protein that is produced by the human body and converted to creatine Phosphate and stored in muscles. The stored form can then be utilized for energy by the muscles. It is also found in meat and protein rich food products such as fish. Some clinical studies have surmised that creatine as an oral supplement enhance muscle strength and increase lean muscle bulk.
What Creatine Can Do?
Many young athletes utilize creatine supplements as part of their muscle building routines. Although there have been varied responses to these diet supplements creatine continues to thrive on the market as a sports and health vitamin. Other uses of it include lowering triglycerides in the body as well as homocysteine both of which play a role in heart attacks and strokes. Creatine also promotes better endurance and muscle strength among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease and Muscular Dystrophy. Clinical trials are still under way.
Creatine, like all other medications and supplements may cause some adverse effects. It is important that you consult a health service provider or pharmacist before initiating the use of the supplement. The common side effects of Creatine include muscle cramps, weight gain, muscle strain, abdominal discomfort, changes in bowel movements, dizziness as well as liver and kidney dysfunction. This is due to the fact that this protein is metabolized in the liver and the kidney.
Creatine should be taken in the recommended dose. Taking more than the recommended dosage can result to severe adverse events such as Rhabdomyolysis which is the medical term for the breakdown of muscles, the components released after massive muscle cell death can damage the kidney and lead to kidney failure. The recommended dose for adults is 2g daily. Using creatine for prolonged periods may eventually lower your body's production of creatine and may lessen its effects.
When used judiciously and properly you can benefit from the positive effects of Creatine.
How D-ribose boost energy levels in the body
October 27, 2013 09:40 PM
D-ribose is a simple sugar, prontose sugar, or 5-carbon monosaccharide. It is used by all body cells and is essential component in energy metabolism. Ribose also gives the structural backbone of body genetic materials like RNA and DNA, certain vitamins and other vital cellular compounds. It provides raw material to facilitate the production of adenosine triPhosphate.
D-ribose was discovered in late 1990s by an American company. People who were suffering from fatigue and chronic related illnesses could be given pure adenosine triPhosphate instead of AMP. This new supplement was produced in a stable and safe natural form that allowed it to be sold as nutritional supplement.
Ribose is an essential ingredient in stimulating the production of natural energy. It promotes the cardiovascular health, minimizes cardiac stress associated with strenuous events. Ribose enables the muscles and heat to maintain healthy energy level as well as accelerating the recovery of energy when body tissues are stressed by overwork, strenuous exercise, or disease. The physiological fuction of d-ribose is known as 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyroPhosphate, which controls the metabolic path that synthesizes energy components in all body living tissues. In case the cellular energy pool is depleted by overwork, diseases or exercise it must be replaced. 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyroPhosphate will stimulate the metabolic pathway to replenish these energy pools.
Patients with myocardial ischemia condition or reduced blood flow resulting from reduced oxygen flow to the heart may experience discomfort and chest pain. This may cause heart attack to a person with such experience. The ability of the heart cells to expand and contract depend upon the adenosine triPhosphate available. The reduced blood flow lowers the level of adenosine triPhosphate, but this can as well be replenished by 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyroPhosphate. D-ribose stimulates the 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyroPhosphate production, which in turn increases the level of adenosine triPhosphate. This will actually restores the heart cell contractile functions and reduces ischemia.
CoQ10: What You Ought to Know about This Substance?
March 26, 2013 12:27 PM
Coenzyme Q10 or simply CoQ10 is a substance naturally present not only in a human's body but as well as with the other mammals. It plays a vital role in the production of energy. Back in the year 1957, Dr. Frederick Crane successfully used the mitochondria from the cells of a beef heart in order to locate Coenzyme Q10. But the truth of the matter is that, the substance is also present in human mitochondria. Basically, this substance has antioxidant properties which are highly beneficial in protecting the body against the free radicals present in the environment. Below are some relevant details you ought to know about this substance.
Here they are:
CoQ10 in Kreb's Cycle
There are a number of chemicals that the body needs to induce metabolism and one of those chemicals is CoQ10. The Kerb's Cycle is the body's mechanism to convert certain enzymes into energy. In order to achieve that, the body needs CoQ10 to facilitate the conversion of the enzymes in energy production. CoQ10 is fundamental in the Kerb's Cycle as it supports the electron transport chain in which the oxidative phosphorylation of the ADP (adenosine diPhosphate) into ATP (andenosine triPhosphate) needs electrons that are exactly delivered where they must be. Without CoQ10, the entire Kerb's Cycle process would certainly fail. The mitochondria of every power cells synthesize CoQ10 so the substance is present in almost all the body parts. However, the heart consumes the most CoQ10 for the reason that it has the most number of mitochondria and it keeps on working even while the body is at rest.
If the Kerb's Cycle fails due to CoQ10 deficiency, the person will feel exhausted and weak. But aside from that, there are other conditions that are often associated with the deficiency such as cardiovascular related diseases, Parkinson's disease and gum disease. Conversely, it doesn't necessarily mean that those diseases are brought about by CoQ10 deficiency.
CoQ10 Dietary Sources
The main sources of CoQ10 include fish oil, whole grains and organ meats. With a balance diet, people can get sufficient amount of coenzyme Q10.
Aging is an inevitable process and it can affect the synthesis of CoQ10. As humans grow older, the production of the coenzyme Q10 gradually decreases. It was mentioned earlier some of the foods that are incredibly beneficial in maintaining ample amount of CoQ10 in the body. But people who do not really include those foods in their diet should not worry for there are now food supplements that contain CoQ10. Some medications like cholesterol meds can prevent the body from using CoQ10, this is when it is essential for one to take a supplement.
Fortunately, with the advent of medical researches and innovative technology in drug manufacturing, CoQ10 can now be ingested into one single tablet, soft gel capsule, hard shell capsule or an oral spray. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance so taking it along with foods is highly encouraged.
Who Takes CoQ10 Supplement?
Children under 18 years old are not allowed to take CoQ10 supplements unless prescribed by the doctor. For adults at the age of 19 or older, the recommended dosage in 30 - 600 mg daily. Higher dosage may be taken for special conditions.
Humans need energy in order to carry out all the tasks. Therefore, CoQ10 must be taken daily, whether from foods or supplements, so the body has the energy to move.
Have you had your CoQ10 Today?
Magnesium Malate Benefits
January 30, 2013 12:54 PM
The compound Magnesium Malate was discovered by combining malic acid with magnesium. Malic acid is a naturally occurring element that aids in the generation of energy during aerobic as well as anaerobic activities while, magnesium is the fifth most abundant mineral found in the human body, which is vital for the health of the kidneys, bones and heart.
Malic acid and magnesium together offers several health related benefits. It helps to control numerous essential biological functions in the body such as the formation of nerves and muscle. It is naturally found in bananas, yogurt, fish, artichokes, almonds, grains, black beans, cashews and other nuts.
Health Benefits Of Magnesium Malate:
The malic acid present in magnesium malate attaches itself to the aluminum content of the body and helps to eliminate it. This allows the growth and detoxification of healthy nerve cells. Magnesium malate also assists in loosening stools due to its laxative properties so; it is used to treat constipation effectively. Physicians or technicians also use it as a cleansing agent prior to a bowel surgery or colonoscopy. This vital compound is known to relax muscles therefore; it is often utilized to treat uterine cramping, headaches and several other general muscle discomforts.
As per medical research, people who do not receive adequate magnesium through their diet usually stand the risk of kidney stone formation however; they can prevent this condition by consuming magnesium malate. This important compound also aids to synthesize adenosine triPhosphate or ATP - a nucleotide that aids to store energy in the tissues of muscles and converts it into cellular energy source. This energy generating properties are useful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Magnesium malate also encourages the production of saliva, which in turn controls oral bacteria. Moreover, due to its antiseptic properties, it is also used in mouthwash and toothpaste.
Studies have found that 70% or more of the American population is deficient in magnesium, magnesium malate taken daily is a good way for anybody to get more dietary magnesium. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme processes in the body, if you are deficient in magnesium, these enzyme processes that maintain the body will fail and your health can decline. Consider taking magnesium in the form of magnesium malate. Have you had your magnesium today?
November 17, 2012 11:58 AM
Vitamin B-6 was discovered by Paul Grorgy in 1930 when doing nutritional studies. He discovered the substance was able to cure a certain skin disease when he tested it in rats. Vitamin B-6 exists in three forms namely pyridoxine, pyridoxamine and pyridoxal. These three are precursors of PLP (pyridoxal 5-Phosphate). PLP plays an important role as a cofactor for most enzymes in the body.
Vitamin B-6 has many health benefits.
To begin with, it helps maintain a healthy heart. It prevents the formation of a substance, homocysteine, which damages the lining of blood vessels resulting to the building up of plaque. This happens when the body attempts to repair the damage. It prevents the buildup, reducing chances of a myocardial infarction. It lowers blood pressure, prevents platelet aggregation and it also lowers levels of cholesterol in the body.
Vitamin B-6 from supplements or diets reduces the chances of having Parkinson's disease. In women, it strengthens their immune system and it also promotes proper hormone balance in case of any fluctuations. Vitamin B-6 deficiency exposes one to the carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a disorder that is characterized by a burning or tingling sensation and pain that is felt on the wrist or hand after being strained repetitively. It also causes numbness, loss of strength in hands/ fingers, diminished coordination and swelling. Studies have indicated that increased levels of vitamin B-6, from diets or supplements, reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Toxic potential in grams per day.
Vitamin B-6 however becomes toxic if taken in excess. It does not relieve the symptoms immediately. Sometimes it takes up to six weeks before noticing any relief. Those suffering from this syndrome should take fifty milligrams of vitamin B-6 twice or thrice daily. You should never take more than two hundred milligrams of vitamin B-6unless you have been recommended to do so by a doctor.
The Health benefits of P-5-P
July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate
P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.
There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P
Let us have a look at some of them.
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.
The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.
This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.
Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.
To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea?
February 26, 2012 07:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea is medicinal herb that has many beneficial health effects on humans. It grows in the cold regions of the world like Europe, Central Asia and Arctic region. The phytochemicals present in this medicinal plant are good antioxidants and they are quercetin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and proanthocyanidins. It also consists of essential polyphenols namely rosiridin, rhodioniside and rhodiolin in the extracts of Rhodiola. These substances are the active ingredients of this herb and helps in improving the overall health of the body. The extracts of this plant can be taken in the form of tea, pills or liquid form and must be taken after prescription by medicinal health expert.
Some of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea plant are explained as follows
Stabilize the Nervous system: This nature gifted herb is very helpful to stabilize the levels of neurotransmitters in our brain and thereby increase the levels of tryptophan, dopamine and norenephrine in our body naturally. Thereby, improve the neuro-chemical reactions inside the body.A Good Anti-oxidant: It acts as a good antioxidant and also protects our nervous system. It helps to overcome the damage caused to nervous system by eliminating the free radicals present in our body.
Treat Depression: It is known though a scientific research that Rhodiola rosea gave good results to treat mild and moderate depression on people of age group from 18 years to 70 years. The prescribed dosage to get the complete health benefit is 340 mg to 680 mg per day. SHR-5, the extract of this plant enhances the mental performance and also helps the person to concentrate on healthier subjects. This medicinal herb can also be used along with other anti-depressant drugs as it has the synergistic effect. Regular intake of the plant's extract according to the prescribed dosage by expert doctor reduced the symptoms of fatigue and helped them improve their concentration power. This herb is being used in cold counties like Scandinavia and Russia to overcome the stressful life and chill climate. Improves the Overall Health: This medicinal herb is known to enhance the immune system of a person and also improve the overall health. It helps in preventing the side-effects of stress and improve the physical activity, enhance the mood, appetite, estrus cycle, reduce fatigue etc.
It also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, anemia, hormonal imbalance cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders of a person. It is also known to decrease the time needed for recovery after any strenuous muscular activity.
Treat Insomnia: It is also being used to treat Insomnia and has given good results. Sleeplessness can be cured effectively with this herb without any side effects. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medicinal herb as it has some side effects on them.
Always consult your medicinal health expert before taking the extracts of this herb and take the correct dosage.It is known to maintain creatine Phosphate at high levels and this is especially useful for athletes to maintain their stamina levels. Rhodiola rosea is also used to overcome the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What Makes CoQ10 So Good For Your Health?
February 14, 2012 07:51 AM
BENEFITS OF TAKING C0Q10
C0Q10 is a coenzyme that is produced naturally by the body or supplied by the various foods consumed such as oily fish, whole grains and liver. One of the functions of this chemical compound is to produce adenosine-50- triPhosphate in the body cells that contributes to production of energy for the various metabolic and physical purposes. CoQ10 is very important in the body because it helps to maintain and improve the health in the human body. One of the benefits of taking it that it helps to solve obesity, reduce fatigue as well as improve the ability of the body to fight diseases.
Research has proved that the chemical compound helps to prevent accumulation of toxins in the gums that leads to swollen gums. Doctors also indicate that it has the ability to increase fertility through enhanced sperm motility. In the Sport persons it helps to increase and improve their athletic performance through enhanced energy production. However it is important to exercise in moderation to avoid a decline in the levels of this compound due to excessive exercise.
C0Q10 helps to prevent the occurrence of heart diseases in persons. Research shows that the levels of this compound are low in person suffering from heart diseases while persons with high levels of the chemical are less susceptible to heart diseases. Hence taking this health chemical compound daily can help to reduce the chances of one suffering from heart complications. Doctors also use it to treat patients who suffer from congestive heart failure.
High blood pressure is one of the causes of heart problems in most people. C0Q10 helps to lower the blood pressure in the body hence preventing damage of the heart. Before a heart surgery, surgeons introduce the compound into the patient so as to prevent irregular heart beat as well as strengthen heart functioning during the recovery period after the surgery. This is achieved through reduction of damage that may be caused by free radicals and oxidative damage.
Recent research has also shown that CoQ10 in diabetic patients helps to prevent them from experiencing hypoglycaemic response. However patients should consult a doctor before taking the drug so as to get advice on how to take the drugs safely. CoQ10 supplements achieve this through reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood which in turn maintains the level of blood sugar at the recommended level.
Presence of free radicals in the body results in health complications such as fast aging and destruction of the cell membrane. CoQ10 has some antioxidants that eliminate these free radicals from the body. It also prevents the radicals from causing oxidative damage to the DNA in the cells. Accumulation of free radicals in the tissues is usually as a result of certain behaviours such as cigarette smoking, UV light, pollution and also as from the various metabolic processes that take place in the body.
Due to the positive results of CoQ10 in preventing heart problems and maintain the body systems in the body, researchers and scientists hope that the drug can be used to treat Alzheimer disease and breast cancer in women.
What Are The Organic Compounds That Provide Our Brains With Their Basic Fuels?
October 12, 2011 01:58 PM
Brain health and nutrition has shown vast growth in interest in terms of research the past years and correctly so because the brain is a very important part of the body. This is something in my point of view that could never be replaced. Other organs like the heart, liver or kidneys can be transplanted or who knows in the far and distant future that it may even be replaceable. Well, I guess that may be just the sci-fi geek in me talking but seriously though, with the complexity in which the brain is made I do not think there will be any possibility even in the wildest of imaginations that humanity will be able to figure out a way to replace the brain.
The irony in all of this though is with human beings pushing the boundaries of their minds and manifesting the results through technological advancements all the more are we needing to protect our brains because life has become more complex. Things that were supposed to make life easier for us now seems to do the exact opposite and each technological advancement causes more and more Americans to have less and less time to devote to making sure they get the right nutrition through the right food preparation so the brain will have all the nutrients it needs. So with this we should look at how we can help augment our efforts in trying to keep our brain functioning healthily in a natural way.
Brain Health and Organic Compounds
There is a wide variety of organic compounds out there and too many of them to mention in this article in fact. Basically, organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon however not all are considered organic but that is irrelevant to what we are trying to achieve right now. So for brain health, the first organic compound that has proven to be very important is the vitamin family of rich antioxidant properties like Vitamin C and E as a couple of examples. Increasing antioxidant levels in the body through these vitamins is a very good way to reduce the risk of diseases and allow better protection for our brain against oxidative stress.
Not only that, it will also allow better health for our nerves and neurons which plays a big role in brain functions. Another example of a potent antioxidant to promote brain health is DHA and ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid because it is able to get into the brain much easier compared to other antioxidants and fight free radicals there. Carnitine and choline are also essential contributors in modulating brain health as they are precursors to the production of acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter to aid in efficient neurological functions. And lastly but certainly not the least, ATP or adenosine triPhosphate is also very important to brain function as this compound supplies energy to virtually all the cells in the body and any bodily processes that require energy to function efficiently needs ATP and that includes our entire nervous system.
Keeping your brain healthy is important especially since Alzheimer’s is an ever growing problem in the United States. Keeping your brain healthy with DHA, ALA, and vitamins is the right step for anybody who wants to take preventive measures and protect the brain.
Can Ginseng Boost Your Energy Safely?
October 05, 2011 04:27 PM
Ginseng is a slow - growing perennial plant in which its roots are fleshy which are commonly used as dietary supplement and beverage. This plant is a member of the genus known as Panax of the family of Araliaceae. It grows abundantly in the eastern part of Asia where the climate is cool specifically in Korea, northern China and east region of Siberia. There are many species of ginseng in which they are named according to where they are discovered. What is common among these ginseng species is its property as an adaptogen.
Ginseng is an herb which is considered as an adaptogen. This classification of chemicals improves the body’s resistance to physical exhaustion and external stress. In fact, for almost twenty centuries, Ginseng has been commonly used as a natural dietary supplement to boost vitality and endurance. The mechanism is that cellular energy is produced in the cell’s powerhouse called mitochondria which turn nutrients into usable energy called Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP) and Creatine Phosphate (CP). However, when we are under stressful situations, the body produces hormones which can alter the ability of the mitochondria to produce ATP and CP. Thus, energy levels are also reduced. Eventually, adaptogenic substances plays a critical role in improving the cell’s production of ATP and CP by allowing the body to deliver more oxygen to cells while greatly reducing oxidative damage affecting the mitochondria of the cells.
Not to mention, ginseng also has ginsenosides which are considered to effectively control the release of stress hormones such us cortisol and noradrenalin, thus, preventing chronic stress which can greatly affect one’s energy level. Studies show that ginseng also relaxes the blood vessels thereby improving circulation and delivery of oxygen to the cells of the body. Clinical research reveals that ginseng has the high potential to improve performance of athletes. It can boost stamina.
Other benefits of Ginseng are that it can serve as a nourishing stimulant to improve depression and as adjunct treatment for Diabetes Mellitus Type II. It can also be employed as a support agent for the improvement of sexual dysfunction among men.
The fleshy root of Ginseng is available in the market in dried form which may be whole, sliced, minced or semi – granule form. These ginseng products are often found in many energy drinks, teas, health drinks, food additives and energy – boosting supplements. Other commercial products which contain ginseng are also common such as shampoos, conditioners, skin moisturizers, soaps and even cosmetic items. This is for the reason that ginseng can effectively delay the ageing process and improve the health of the cells and tissues. Ginseng also has the ability to enhance memory, reduce mental fatigue and improve the health of the immune system. To note, ginseng combined with Gingko biloba can considerably stimulate memory among middle – aged individuals.
Ginseng is generally safe to use for any ages. In fact, this herb is widely used as day – to – day beverage among many people in Asia especially in Korea. However, if you are planning to undergo supplementation, it would be best that you should seek medical advice first.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are For Mental Alertness?
August 29, 2011 10:33 AM
There are many vitamins and minerals which can help improve the health and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins and minerals are significantly involved in many biological processes of the body. It influences the activities of the organs of the body including the brain. In fact, deficiencies on vitamins and minerals may result to psychological or even psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals. People with psychiatric problems are also prescribed with vitamin and mineral supplements which serve as one of its conventional treatment.
The vitamins and minerals which are good for the improvement of brain function and improvement of mental alertness are the following:
1. THIAMINE OR VITAMIN B1. Generally, insufficient amount of this enzyme may result to mild psychiatric symptoms. Studies revealed that people with inadequate amount of this vitamin has the symptoms of fearfulness, anxiety, depression, agitation and behavioral instability. This vitamin is necessary for the activity the body’s enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required for the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl – coenzyme A. If pyruvate is not catalyzed into acetyl – coenzyme A, the excess pyruvate in the body might be converted into lactate which can cause muscle pains and also psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. Deficiency of this vitamin must be suspected when the person is alcoholic or malnourished.
2. RIBOFLAVIN OR VITAMIN B2. This vitamin is closely associated with major depression in relation to oxidative stress. Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The building blocks of these macronutrients are important for the maintenance of brain health and proper functioning of the nervous system. It can improve the energy levels and functioning of the brain, thus improving an individual’s mental alertness.
3. PYRIDOXINE OR VITAMIN B6. Studies show that low level of vitamin B6 is directly related to depression. Inside the body, pyridoxine is converted into its biochemical active form called pyridoxal Phosphate which is important for mental alertness and brain functioning. Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This vitamin is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids which are essential for boosting energy levels.
4. COBALAMIN OR VITAMIN B12. Deficiency of this vitamin is closely related to decrease mental functioning. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor of the enzyme methionine synthase which is important in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is required for the production of energy in fatty acids and proteins which is important for the methylation reactions of brain chemicals.
5. VITAMIN C. This vitamin is considered to be a cofactor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for the maintenance of proper mental alertness.
6. FOLATE. Decreased mental alertness and depression is a common symptom of low levels of folate in the body. This mineral is involved in the methylation and synthesis of DNA. It is important for the development of brain function and improvement of mental alertness.
7. MAGNESIUM. This mineral is involved in many reactions of the body. Individuals with decreased mental alertness are found to have low levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluids.
8. ZINC. This is a mineral which is important in the catalyses of many enzyme sin the body. It is found in high amount in the brain which is important for nervous activities.
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyPhosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help Lower Blood Sugar?
August 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Alpha lipoic acid is a nutritional supplement best known as an antioxidant. It is an organic compound that plays many important physiological functions at the cellular level. For one, it is widely regarded as a potent scavenger of free radicals. It also affects the rate of metabolism and the production of energy. In fact, it has become one of the most popular supplements available in the past few years.
Often abbreviated as ALA, alpha lipoic acid is a derivative of caprylic acid or octanoic acid. As its name suggests, caprylic acid is generally linked to goat milk, though it can be obtained from several other sources of food, such as vegetable oils. ALA has been the subject of studies in recent years. Apart from its role it in the prevention of oxidative stress, it also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar.
Modulates Insulin Function
Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream as measured by whole blood, plasma, or serum. Glucose is obtained from complex carbohydrates found in the human diet. It enters the circulatory system, travels through the bloodstream, and nourishes cells. It is the precursor of biochemical energy that supports the physiological functions of cells, tissues, and body organs.
There is good scientific evidence that alpha lipoic acid influences the uptake of glucose. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels as it instructs cells to take up glucose from the blood. It has been observed that alpha lipoic acid induces the activation of insulin receptors, raises the number of glucose transports in cell membranes, and enhances glucose uptake in the process.
Increases Glucose Utilization
Alpha lipoic acid is a dietary supplement popular among body builders largely owing to the fact that it increases glucose utilization. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the effects of ALA on overall metabolic rate, the reason why it has been marketed as a weight loss supplement for years. As a general rule, glucose utilization by cells increases as the rate of metabolism increases.
The synthesis of adenosine triPhosphate requires the presence of glucose, which the human body uses as a source of cellular energy. Numerous studies have reported that alpha lipoic acid is capable of upregulating the production of energy in the form of adenosine triPhosphate. Its presence triggers cells to convert glucose to energy at a faster rate, effectively affecting and lowering blood sugar.
Alleviates Diabetes Mellitus
Alpha lipoic acid is especially helpful for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and its complications. In addition to its role in the management of blood sugar, it also protects the nervous system from cellular damage brought on by reactive oxygen species, as is the case with diabetic neuropathy. As a reputed free radical neutralizer, ALA not only alleviates diabetes but also prevents its complications.
How Does N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Help Energy Levels?
August 03, 2011 11:47 AM
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine And Cellular Health
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine refers to the ester form of the organic compound carnitine. It has been linked to many different health benefits largely owing to the fact that it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level. It plays an important role in keeping cells in prime working condition as derivatives of this compound protect cells from oxidative stress as well as contribute to reactions responsible for energy production.
Increases Cellular Energy
The biochemical energy that powers cellular activities comes in the form of adenosine triPhosphate. All types of tissues in the human body are capable of manufacturing this chemical compound, the reason why it is often called the molecular unit of currency. The human diet provides the biological precursors of cellular energy, but adenosine triPhosphate is obtained from the sugar glucose more often than not.
Cells make use of N-acetyl L-carnitine in the synthesis of adenosine triPhosphate. Research has shown that the presence of acetylated carnitine appears to modulate the metabolic processes leading to the manufacture of cellular energy. In recent years, endurance athletes and body builders have relied on supplements that contain this compound to boost their energy levels. Human trials support its safety.
Aids Healthy Metabolism
Glucose is the principal precursor of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triPhosphate. Complex carbohydrates are digested to simple sugars such as glucose, which enters the circulation. Insulin is a hormone that induces the uptake of glucose by cells, which convert glucose to usable energy. Studies have observed that N-acetyl L-carnitine improves the activity of insulin and consumption of glucose.
It is a well established fact that carnitine is involved in the breakdown of fats, waxes, and sterols, and their consequent utilization in the production of cellular energy. For this reason, N-acetyl L-carnitine is marketed as a nutritional supplement that promotes fat loss and aids weight loss. Human trials have noted that regular intake upregulates the conversion of fats and other lipids to adenosine triPhosphate.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Lysine and methionine are amino acids that act as immediate precursors of carnitine, which the body synthesizes on a regular basis to support a number of physiological functions. In particular, carnitine plays a major role in supplying cells with a steady supply of chemical energy during intense physical exertion. At the same time, they protect the cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.
N-acetyl L-carnitine is a very good source of carnitine as it is widely believed to be more bioavailable than L-carnitine. It adds to the number of carnitine in cells, boosts energy levels, and combats free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production, and thus carnitine produces a twofold effect. It promotes cellular longevity and raises chemical energy.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Work in the Body And Blood Sugar?
August 01, 2011 03:36 PM
Chromium, Blood Sugar, And More
Chromium picolinate is a form of trivalent chromium first developed to reverse chromium deficiency. It has been linked to many different health benefits over the past few decades. Inasmuch as chromium is an essential trace mineral required in minute quantities for the hormone activity of insulin, it is often marketed as a dietary supplement for the management of uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood.
Glucose tolerance is compromised in the absence of chromium in the human body for long periods of time, as is the case with chromium deficiency. Research has found out that chromium concentrations are decreased with high consumptions of simple sugars whereas regular intake of chromium has been noted to improve glucose tolerance. Also, several studies have supported its use for diabetes mellitus.
Improves Lipid Profile
It is a fact that trivalent chromium is necessary for the metabolism of lipids, which include fats, waxes, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins. It has long been postulated that chromium picolinate has an effect on the lipids found in the blood, the reason why proponents suggest its use for the improvement of blood cholesterol and serum lipids. It allegedly lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Aids Energy Production
Chromium picolinate has been marketed to athletes for years in that it aids energy production. As a trace mineral, chromium is involved in the metabolism of glucose, which is the biological precursor of chemical energy for use of each individual cell in the form of adenosine triPhosphate. It appears to modulate the uptake of sugar from the blood and elevate the production of energy in the process.
Induces Weight Loss
In addition to its putative effects on energy production, chromium picolinate has been reported to curb sugar and fat cravings. Indeed healthy levels of chromium effectively controls metabolism. Moreover, scientific literature has noted its role in the utilization of adipose tissue that leads to the burning of body fat. For these reasons, it has become increasingly popular as a supplement for weight loss.
Promotes Muscle Growth
There have been numerous reports that chromium picolinate promotes the growth of lean mass and skeletal muscles. In fact, it is one of the earliest supplements that remain in use by body builders today. Some sources say that it provides the muscles a steady supply of energy even during intense physical exertion and it accelerates the process of muscle recovery in between physical activities.
Enhances Mood Disorders
Chromium picolinate has shown potential as an alternative remedy for mood disorders. In particular, it has been investigated in a study that involved patients diagnosed with a chronic mood disorder called atypical depression or dysthymia. It has been observed that regular intake of chromium picolinate exerts a positive effect on the appetite of patients and enhances mood disorders at the same time.
Boost Energy, Improve circulation Heart Disease, And More with Methycobalamin (B12)
June 16, 2011 11:45 AM
Methylcobalamin is an organic compound that displays vitamin B12 activities inside the human body. It is one of the active forms of vitamin B12, and as such believed to be the most bioavailable of all vitamin B12 supplements. In fact, all other forms of vitamin B-12 in the market are converted into methylcobalamin when ingested. Its high absorption rate enables it to produce visible health benefits.
Influences Energy Production
Vitamin B12 is an indispensable component of many cellular activities. It is quite pervasive at the cellular level, inasmuch as it is directly involved in chemical reactions that lead to the production of adenosine triPhosphate(ATP), the primary source of energy that fuels all metabolic processes within cells.
In particular, methylcobalamin participates in DNA synthesis, allowing each cell to effectively perform its physiological roles. Healthy levels of methylcobalamin protect the cells from DNA damage, and contribute to the rate of metabolism. Vitamin B12 deficiency seriously affects energy production.
Promotes Circulatory Health
Studies on anemia led to the discovery of vitamin B12. The causes for anemia were uncovered at the turn of the 20th century. High consumptions of liver appeared to cure anemia as liver are high in the dietary mineral iron. It was also later identified that vitamin B12 also cure one specific case of anemia.
Pernicious anemia is one of the many types of megaloblastic anemia, in which red blood cells appear large but immature. This results from a deficiency in vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin supplements have shown the best recovery rate for this type of anemia, promoting circulatory health in the process. The presence of methylcobalamin in the blood powers DNA synthesis and nourishes red blood cells.
Prevents Heart Disease
Methylcobalamin is particularly good for the heart and the blood vessels. Its presence in the bloodstream influences the levels of organic compounds, such as homocysteine, which are implicated in the death of myocardial cells and the formation of risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The same endogenous compounds are incriminated in life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks.
Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood raise the levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine, or ADMA, which directly cause cardiovascular disease. Regular intake of methylcobalamin has been observed to lower serum levels of homocysteine, which in turn lower ADMA concentrations in the bloodstream.
Improves Neuropathic Disorders
Neuropathy refers to damage to nerve cells to the extent of producing symptoms, such as muscle weakness, impaired reflexes, gait abnormalities, muscle twitch, tingling sensation, difficulty swallowing, speech impairment, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction, among others.
Vitamin B12 is one of the many causes of peripheral neuropathy. Not surprisingly, supplementation of methylcobalamin significantly improves symptoms in very little time. Methylcobalamin has also shown encouraging results as an adjunct treatment for diabetic neuropathy. As a result, it also corrects the symptoms tied to neuropathic disorders, notably reflex impairment and muscle weakness.
Pick Up some Methylcobalamin (b-12) today and feel the difference!
Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More
May 10, 2011 11:11 AM
Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient. As its name suggests, it belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. The monosaccharide ribose is part of its chemical composition together with the ring moiety called flavin that gives its yellow coloration. Hence, it is also known by the name riboflavin. Inside the human body, it plays a central role in the synthesis of flavoproteins, which are involved in many chemical reactions, especially in the metabolism of other micronutrients and bioactive molecules.
Deficiency in riboflavin is quite common as it is routinely excreted through the urine. Common symptoms include sore throat, seborrheic dermatitis, lower blood count, all of which have been tied to higher incidence of esophageal cancer. Chronic ariboflavinosis, the medical condition caused by vitamin B2 deficiency, has been reported to contribute to carcinogenesis. The good news is that it can be easily reversed with regular intake of foods rich in riboflavin or supplementation.
Aids Nutrient Metabolism
It is not a coincidence that vitamin B2 deficiency is often accompanied by deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. In some cases, deficiencies may be attributed to impaired liver function or intestinal absorption. That being said, low levels of riboflavin do impact the metabolism of other vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B9, among other water-soluble micronutrients.
Metabolites of riboflavin are required in the conversion of these vitamins to their active forms, for example, from vitamin A to retinoic acid, vitamin B6 to pyridoxic acid, vitamin B9 to folic acid. Furthermore, the metabolism of bioactive compounds, including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, also necessitates the presence of this vitamin, the reason why it greatly impacts growth and development in children.
Increases Cellular Energy
In addition to its physiological potential in intermediary metabolism, vitamin B2 is also present in the generation of adenosine triPhosphate, the primary transport of energy that powers intracellular activities. Adenosine triPhosphate is synthesized in three different metabolic pathways, and one process called oxidative phosphorylation necessitates the involvement of flavin adenine dinucleotide, one of the active forms of riboflavin.
Vitamin B2 is an important cofactor in all chemical reactions that result in an increase or decrease of oxidation state. These reactions are collectively called oxidation-reduction, or simply redox. Metabolites of riboflavin are reliable oxidizing agents capable of carrying high-energy electrons needed for oxidative phosphorylation. They also participate in beta oxidation, another metabolic pathway that yields cellular energy.
Scavenges Free Radicals
A nucleic acid derivative of riboflavin is an important constituent of a special class of organic compounds called flavoproteins. These proteins are found in almost all cells of the human body, and one of their functions is to protect the cells from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Vitamin B2 is present in the production of cellular energy and the removal of harmful by-products of energy metabolism.
Insufficient intake of vitamin B2 is deleterious to human health, inasmuch as its biological roles are quite pervasive at the molecular level. Do you get enough Vitamin B-2?
Can Royal Jelly Really Boost Energy?
April 18, 2011 02:25 PM
Royal Jelly as an Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an all-natural animal product entirely derived from the secretions of honey bees. It is commercially touted as an energy booster because of its unique combination of compounds that help produce energy in cells and promote mental clarity. It contains an abundance of monosaccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, trace minerals, and enzymes, all of which have bioactive properties.
Inside a honeycomb, royal jelly is obtained from queen cells. These secretions are actually fed to all larvae, but only queen larvae are fed with royal jelly in amounts that can be harvested. This is the reason why royal jelly is considered rare. That being said, recent innovations in the manufacture of honey and the overall beekeeping process have contributed to increasing productions of royal jelly.
Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Royal jelly is available as a dietary supplement noted for its high vitamin and mineral content. It is a natural source of vitamin B complex, notably pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). It has relatively high amounts of simple sugars and fatty acids, both groups are biological precursors of cellular energy. In general, it contains up to 15 per cent carbohydrates and 5 per cent healthy fats.
In addition to vitamins, it is also rich in enzymes that are believed to aid the fast absorption of its bioactive compounds in the small intestine. In addition, it contains trace amounts of dietary minerals. Royal jelly is often marketed as a fast-acting energy booster because its components are believed to work synergistically in the prompt release of energy within cells right after absorption.
Improves Energy Metabolism
Coenzyme A is an organic compound produced in the human body to aid the metabolism of cellular energy. Its synthesis, however, requires the presence of pantothenic acid, a vitamin obtained largely from the diet. It is postulated that royal jelly helps increase the production of energy in that it contains pantothenic acid in amounts sufficient to affect the biosynthesis of coenzyme A.
Royal jelly is also noted for its pyridoxine content. Pyridoxal Phosphate, or pyridoxine, is the active form of vitamin B5. It is necessary for the metabolism of protein, glucose, and lipids. It is of special significance in yielding energy from glycogen, which it converts to glucose. The combination of fatty acids, simple sugars, and B vitamin in royal jelly enables it to bring about a noticeable energy boost.
Creates Feelings of Well-being
Royal jelly has been linked to an increase in the release of major neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. Serotonin is dubbed the happiness hormone. Dopamine is linked to rewards-seeking behavior and keeps interest in repetitive tasks. And glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Together they sustain mental focus.
The roles of its components and their metabolites in the production of energy and release of brain chemicals are the reason why royal jelly creates feelings of physical and mental well-being.
Royal Jelly Use It
As you can see, royal jelly is rich in many nutrients to support a health brain and metabolism. If you are seeking more energy, give royal jelly a try!
What is Vinpocetine and How Does it Help with Memory?
March 24, 2011 02:18 PM
Vinpocetine And Brain Health
Vinpocetine is a derivative of an organic compound found in the plant species Vinca minor, or common periwinkle. It is best known for its neuroprotective effects and used in Europe and Japan in treatment of age-related cognitive decline. More often than not, its activities inside the human body are described as vasodilator, which means it increases blood flow. It has also seen a growing presence in the North American market as a dietary supplement.
Vinpocetine is available as a prescription drug in certain European countries and Japan and has shown to be speed up prognosis of patients who suffered cerebrovascular accident, or CVA, which is commonly referred to as stroke. Most cases of cerebrovascular accident are brought on by ischemia, or very poor circulation of blood to certain parts of the brain. This is exactly what vinpocetine is beneficial for, and recommended dosages have so far yielded very encouraging results.
Improves Blood Circulation in the Brain
It has long been postulated that one of the mechanisms of action of vinpocetine is limiting the effects of Na+ channels that are sensitive to voltage. This creates a neuroprotective effect believed to contribute to mental clarity and sustained attention. Striatal nerve endings produce extracellular Ca+ ions that induce neuronal damage through a phenomenon called excitotocity. High levels of Ca+ ions are now alleged to be correlated with voltage-sensitive Na+ channels. Striatal nerve endings see a decline in Ca+ ions when Na+ channels are influenced by vinpocetine, and in the process lessen excitotoxicity.
Attenuates Ischemic Neuronal Damage
In addition to limiting neuronal damage induced by excitotoxicity, which in turn results from cerebral ischemia, vinpocetine plays an active role in the upkeep of brain cells after being subjected to ischemic damage. As a vasodilator, it not only counters the effects of ischemia but also significantly increases the brain’s access to bioactive molecules like oxygen and other nutrients exclusively distributed by the circulatory system.
It also inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which is specialized for the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monoPhosphate, or cAMP, and cyclic guanosine monoPhosphate, or cGMP. By so doing, vinpocetine contributes to glucose metabolism and energy production in the brain, and at the same time, improves the distribution of bioactive compounds in the central nervous system.
Displays Neuroprotective Activities
Vinpocetine and its precursor belong to a group of indole alkaloids known as tryptomines, which are present in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system in minute quantities. These organic compounds make up several psychoactive drugs and in the human body act as neuromodulators and neurotransmitters in the form of melatonin and serotonin.
Vinpocetine in particular displays activities that are primarily anti-inflammatory in nature. Several studies point to its effects on the enzyme complex called IkB kinase, which regulates cellular responses to inflammation, by preventing the translocation of a protein complex called responsible for the process of inflammation within cells.
In a Nutshell, vinpocetine can help you think clearer and protect the brain from inflammation and free radical damage. Give vinpocetine a try today!
How does Acetyl-L-Carnitine Help With Heart Health?
February 21, 2011 02:37 PM
Acetyl L Carnitine And Heart Health
Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a form of the chemical compound carnitine, which is active in the human body as the amino acid L-carnitine. It is an organic substance that is naturally occurring in mammals and many other animals, and it is released from the liver and kidneys to every tissue in the body. While our body is capable of manufacturing this amino acid, there are factors involved in its depleting levels at certain times, and thus it is made available as a nutritional supplement. Today it is primarily used as a treatment for heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
Helps Break Down Fats
One of the many factors that influence heart tissues is high levels of free fatty acids in the blood. Popular health magazines and the mainstream press have labeled transports of fat-soluble bioactive compounds in the water-based bloodstream as bad cholesterol, but free fatty acids are also to blame for the buildup of fatty debris in the blood vessel linings, resulting in the thickening of walls characteristic of many cases of heart diseases.
The body has a mechanism to utilize these fats more effectively in the presence of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is quite active as soon as it enters the cells of any tissue, notably muscle and skeletal tissues. Free fatty acids are formed as a by-product of triglycerides that remained in the blood, but once they pass the cell membranes, they can be a source of energy far more powerful than that produced from glucose. Acetyl-L-Carnitine makes it possible for these fatty molecules to be converted into energy.
Maintains Heart Wellness
Every cell has its own form of storage fuel, and glucose and its metabolites are probably the best known. However, tissues of the heart and the muscles prefer fatty acids. As you might have surmised, tissues found in the heart and those that build the form of our physique, classified as cardiac and skeletal respectively, needs more energy than other tissues of our body. The skeletal muscles are directly involved in daily physical exertion whereas the heart is, of course, in constant movement.
Fatty acids yield adenosine triPhosphate, or ATP, the form of energy at the cellular level, which is in general more than two times the energy produced from either carbohydrates or proteins. This is one of the reasons why fatty acids can keep up with the hard work associated with cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The absence of energy required for the healthy functioning of the heart leads to cell death and affects the heart’s ability to pump blood as described in cases of heart failure.
Promotes High Bioavailability
Acetyl-L-Carnitine has been touted to be more absorbable and ultimately incorporated in body tissues more effectively than other forms of carnitine. It is a known fact that acetylating organic molecules increases the effectiveness of administered doses, and this remains true with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, the reason why it is widely applied in serious medical conditions concerning the heart.
If you have heart problems, give Acetyl-L-Carnitine a try risk free.
Did You Know without Magnesium, You Could not Survive?
February 16, 2011 02:04 PM
Magnesium and your Health
Magnesium is vital to life on all levels. All types of cells in all organisms must maintain a balance of magnesium to support life as we know it, and its presence in human beings is ubiquitous at a cellular level. Low levels of magnesium have been tied to a number of medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and osteoporosis whereas excesses are known to impair functions of tissues and organs, notably nerves cells and the kidneys.
Supplies the Human Body with Energy
Glucose is best known as the primary source of energy of most multicellular organisms, including of course human beings, while adenosine triPhosphate, or ATP, is the form of energy yielded by the utilization of glucose within the cells. All forms of carbohydrates and fats from our diet must be broken down into simpler compounds to be able to be converted into ATP that powers cellular activities.
That being said, ATP requires magnesium in its participation in a number of physiological functions. What we refer to as ATP in fact contains ions of magnesium, for the former must be chemically bound to the latter to perform its role in interactions with protein kinases. In fact, it is a common observation that magnesium almost always acts as the functional regulator in the binding of proteins with ATP.
Participates in Enzymatic Reactions
More or less 300 hundred enzymes in the body are dependent on ATP, which we refer to as coenzyme, a kind of chemical compound that binds to protein. Magnesium acts as glue that keeps the enzymes and ATP together, aiding in the catalytic activities brought about by the enzymes and their utilization of ATP. Thus, the metabolic pathways that employ these enzymes rely on the presence of magnesium.
One example of the interaction of ATP with proteins that necessitate magnesium as a divalent cation, in other words functional regulator, is in enzymes that modify the molecular structure of other proteins. These enzymes are transcribed in more than 500 protein genes and affect up to 30 per cent of all proteins in the human body. Moreover, magnesium plays a role in ribosome, the cellular component responsible for creation of RNA copies and the manufacture of proteins.
Magnesium Facilitates Absorption of Calcium
Over 60 per cent of magnesium in the body is stored in the bones, and this fact has become the basis of the recent trend of dietary supplements that utilize magnesium to induce healthy bone density. Indeed low levels of magnesium has been reported to contribute to the degeneration of bones as we age, resulting in porous bone particles in a medical condition called osteoporosis.
Prevents Ailments of the Circulatory System
Since magnesium is essentially everywhere in the body, it significantly impacts the overall health of the circulatory system, notably in the prevention of heart diseases. Not surprisingly, insufficient levels of magnesium have been documented to cause cardiovascular problems, including hypertension and congestive heart failure, and supplementation of magnesium has been noted to cut complications of preexisting circulatory conditions.
Have you had your magnesium today?
How can I Tell if I am Magnesium Deficient?
February 09, 2011 01:25 PM
Magnesium The Essential Mineral
Magnesium is a dietary mineral that has established nutritional values in most countries. The presence of magnesium inside the human body involves many different chemical reactions, assisting more than 300 enzymes in their functional roles. That’s why we need to meet the daily recommended allowances for this dietary element, which has been calculated by the scientific community to supply the body with amounts adequate to support body functions.
An Essential Mineral
Not all enzymes are capable of producing the effects that they are programmed for on their own, and enzymes identified to rely on the presence of magnesium can be traced in almost all metabolic pathways. Molecules that comprise the structural units of RNA and DNA are extensively used as a source of energy of all cells, such as adenosine triPhosphate or ATP. When enzymes utilize ATP for energy, they require another molecule that secures their binding to ATP, which is magnesium. In addition, ATP being the main source of energy that powers the functional roles of cells more often than not necessitates that it be bound to a magnesium ion to be fully activated.
Magnesium is ubiquitous in nature, and green leafy vegetables are ideal sources of this dietary element as well as nuts, wheat, seafood, and meat. In spite of that, it has been reported that in the US alone more than 60 per cent of the population does not meet the recommended daily intake for magnesium. The availability of magnesium in our diet does not ensure absorption of this essential mineral, and a significant fraction is in fact excreted along with other waste products in the urine or feces. Interestingly, diet high in protein or fat actually interferes with the absorption of magnesium.
A general feeling of malaise must not be taken lightly, for it is key indicator of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is indispensable at the cellular level, and insufficient amounts of this element will certainly affect the way you feel, bringing about the perception of fatigue. If you feel weak all the time for no known reason, then it is recommendable to visit your doctor and find out if you have an alarming case of magnesium deficiency.
Keep in mind that high concentrations of protein and fat in the foods that you eat contribute to malabsorption of magnesium, and subsequently malnutrition. Certain medical conditions are known to deplete your reserves of elemental magnesium present in your body, notably diabetes mellitus. Drugs and medications also washes away the magnesium found in your diet and your body especially osmotic diuretics, cisplatin, ciclosporin, amphetamines, and possibly proton pump inhibitors.
Continued exposure to stress and excessive intake of alcohol both result in the unhealthy drop of magnesium levels in the blood. While there are environmental settings that we may not be able to alter, we can certainly control what we ingest. Supplementation is the only surefire remedy for magnesium deficiency, but the best way to combat whatever symptoms you are experiencing is to seek medical advice.
It is Essential You Get Your Magnesium Daily!
The Krebs Cycle - Our Lifes Blood!
January 13, 2011 05:00 PM
The Krebs Cycle, also known as the Citric Acid Cycle, is an important series of biochemical reactions that are intrinsic to cellular respiration and the generation of energy from oxygen and glucose in aerobic organisms. Although humans can generate energy anaerobically, they cannot do so for long periods and oxygen is essential for life because it fuels the Krebs Cycle. Without this cycle, there would be no available energy to maintain our vital processes.
What is The Krebs Cycle
We shall first discuss exactly what the Krebs Cycle is and then its importance in the body. The process takes place within the mitochondria of the body cells.
A. The cycle begins with the ten-step pathway of glycolysis, during which glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvate: no oxygen is required for this step. Basically:
Glucose + 2NAD+ + 2P + 2ADP = 2Pyruvate + 2NADH + 2H+ + 2ATP
The pyruvate can then undergo aerobic or anaerobic respiration to generate energy. The Krebs Cycle is the aerobic route, and significantly more efficient that the alternative fermentation.
B. The two pyruvate molecules are then oxidized to two of Acetyl CoA with the release of carbon dioxide. The two acetyl groups of the Acetyl CoA are donated to Oxaloacetate in the presence of water to form Citrate.
C. Citrate then undergoes a number of chemical reactions to arrive back at Oxaloacetate again and the cycle starts all over again by reacting with more Acetyl CoA from Pyruvate and oxygen to form Citrate again. During the cycle more ATP is produced and electrons and other species are sent into the Electron Transfer Chain where most energy is generated.
During this cycle three major events occur:
1. During the various transformations of Citrate, specifically when Succinyl-CoA is converted to Succinate, one Guanosine TriPhosphate group (GTP) is generated, which then donates a Phosphate to Adenosine DiPhosphate (ADP) to create the energy molecule Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP).
2. Over the whole cycle, three molecules of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) are reduced to NADH that donates its electrons to the electron transport chain that is responsible for the generation of large quantities of ATP.
3. A molecule of Flavine Adenosine Dinucleotide (FAD) is reduced to FADH2, again donating its electrons to the electron transport system and the generation of energy.
Factor 2 and 3 are of more significance to energy generation than factor 1, and are the major means by which the Krebs Cycle generates energy.
Electron Transport Chain
The Krebs Cycle takes place within the mitochondria, structures that are contained in each of your body cells. Also within these mitochondria are a series of membranes that are very important in the generation of energy.
The major energy produced in your body cells comes from the Electron Transport Chain, a series of chemical reactions between an electron donor and an electron acceptor. Such reactions drive the transport of hydrogen ions (H+) across the membranes in the mitochondria.
The electron donors are species such as NADH, FADH2 and succinate and the electron acceptors are oxygen molecules. Hence the importance of oxygen in the process of aerobic respiration. The H+ ions are driven across the membranes and result in the conversion of ADP to ATP energy. In essence, the hydrogen atoms and electrons take part in a progressive chain of redox reactions, and at the end react with oxygen molecules and change it to water.
The Ultimate Products
Ultimately, through the whole chain and cycles of:
Glucose to pyruvate (glycolysis) Pyruvate to Acetyl CoA + CO2 (oxidation) Acetyl CoA to Citrate and the entire Krebs Cycle (reduction and oxidation) Krebs Cycle products to the Electron Transfer Chain Electron Transfer Chain to Water and ATP (redox) Final oxidation of hydrogen atoms to water
Basically: Glucose + Oxygen + 30ADP = Carbon Dioxide + Water + 30ATP
This is not balanced of course, and the ATP could be anything from 29 to 38, though 29.85 is the most accurate calculation to date. The entire process of glycolysis, oxidation, Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain is powered by a series of enzymes and a small amount of ATP energy.
Glucose and oxygen are used up as the raw materials and ATP energy molecules are the product. It has been calculated that the total ATP yield obtained from one molecule of glucose lies between 29.5 and 30 molecules of ATP.
The Importance of the Krebs Cycle to Your Body
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle you would not be able to generate energy efficiently from your food. In particular, the carbohydrate content of your food. Carbohydrates are available in your diet from two sources: simple and complex carbohydrate foodstuffs such as cereals and grains, and fats and oils from animal and vegetable sources. They are also available from proteins, which are composed of amino acids at the head of the molecule with a carbohydrate tail.
Carbohydrates by definition contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules, and can be converted to glucose within your body. Proteins can be deaminated and then the carbohydrate portion again converted to glucose. In fact, your body will initially use the carbohydrates in your diet as a source of glucose for its glycolysis to pyruvate, then the fatty tissue in your body, then the proteins will be deaminated so your body can get to the carbohydrate they contain.
Were it not for the Krebs Cycle, your body could not use the glucose as described above to generate energy. The only option open to it would be anaerobic respiration, or energy production in the absence of oxygen. ATP is still generated, but much less efficiently.
Anaerobic respiration is basically respiration without oxygen. If there was no Krebs Cycle, then this is the only way your body would have to create energy.
Because no oxygen is actually needed for glycolysis or the Krebs Cycle, anaerobic respiration can proceed right to the end of the Electron Transport Chain. Then instead of oxygen being used as the terminal electron donor, it has to be another species such as nitrate or sulfate. Because the Reduction Potential of these species is much lower than that of oxygen, the amount of ATP energy produced is also much lower.
Your body tries to compensate by producing even more pyruvate and the excess is removed through lactic acid fermentation. Although this also generates ATP energy enough for short-term use, it leads ultimately to lactic acidosis and a reduction in pH, causing pain and vomiting.
Ultimately, if oxygen is not forthcoming, the brain runs short of the energy needed for it to work and you die. There is insufficient ATP generated from anaerobic respiration to maintain human life.
The Krebs Cycle is of critical importance for the production of energy: not just the energy to enable you to run fast, but to enable your metabolic processes to continue. It is needed for both aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and while lactic acid fermentation can be used by your muscle cells as a brief but effective means of generating short-term energy, it is insufficient to maintain the needs of your metabolism.
Without the Krebs Cycle, mammalian and most other animal life would not be viable and the world would be populated by anaerobic bacteria.
Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination
March 22, 2010 09:07 PM
Turmeric / Boswellia Complex
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as great challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient-imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health. These unhealthy lifestyles and environmental changes have set our immune system on overdrive, a state call metabolic inflammation. Planetary Herbals Inflama-Care is a potent, herbal response to these modern challenges.
The Inflammation Cycle
As toxins and stress begin to alter our body chemistry and change the function of vital tissues, our body reacts with metabolic inflammation just as if it were being attacked. This reaction may result in a perpetual cycle of chemical imbalances and suboptimal health. Yet metabolic inflammation is often below the threshold of perception, not noticed or felt for years after its starts. It is only much later that the altered biochemistry and the system imbalances that it generates are noticed.
A Powerful Herbal Blend Inflama-Care helps support the body’s natural response to metabolic inflammation. The main component of the formula is the rhizome of the curcuma species, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (Curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines—inflammation messengers. This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits proinflammatory enzymes, and ginger, an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skull cap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Planetary Herbals presents inflama-Care to help maintain the body’s biochemical balance and integrity. Inflama-care was formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. Thie result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diPhosphate to the higher energy form guanine triPhosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
May 02, 2009 11:41 AM
Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is not synthesized by the body, and so has to be taken as part of your diet. It also contains sulfur, one of two sulfur-containing amino acids that can form proteins, the other being cysteine. It is a precursor for taurine, which is an aminosulphonic acid, and not strictly an amino acid, which together with cysteine supports the health of your cardiovascular system and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
Maintenance of Cell Membranes
It is also an important intermediary in the maintenance of cell membranes. Phospholipids are fat-soluble components of the cell membrane, phosphatidylcholine being a very important example. Also known as lecithin, this substance is derived from choline, itself biosynthesized in a chemical pathway involving S-adenosylmethionine.
This substance is made in the body from ATP (adenosine triPhosphate) and methionine with the help of the enzyme methionine adensosyltransferase. Known as SAM (or SAM-e), S-adenosylmethionine employs a number of metabolic pathways in its reaction, though generally aminopropylation, transmethylation and transsulfuration. These add aminopropyl, sulfo and methyl groups to a number of substances, the most common being the methylation of proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.
Phosphatidylcholine is produced by the enzyme-catalyzed sequential methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, SAM donating the methyl groups. The maintenance of the integrity of the cellular membrane by phosphatidylcholine is critical to all of the basic processes in human biology, including communication between cells, flow of information and bioenergetics.
A by-product of this reaction is homocysteine, formed in the liver from the S-adenosylhomocysteine that SAM is changed to after donating methyl groups. Excess homocysteine in the blood can create the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. SAM is also of use in the treatment of depression and of arthritis.
Creatine is a substance well known to athletes as being useful in provide short-term energy for high-intensity training. Although available in the diet, about 50% creatine used by the body is biosynthesized from methionine and two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. It allows a burst of energy lasting about 10 seconds, carried out without the use of glycogen reserves or fatty tissue.
Glycine and arginine combine to release ornithine as a by-product, and form guanidino acetate. SAM donates a methyl group to the latter to form creatine, about 95% of which is then stored in the skeletal muscle tissue. The stored creatine Phosphate has the effect of allowing the muscle cells to hold more water, which also enables an enhanced level of protein synthesis, and hence an increase in muscle bulk, which also results from the increased blood flow resulting from the short-term high-intensity exercise that creatine allows.
Creatine can also increase the levels of MRF4 (myogenic transcription factor), resulting in an increasing in the myonuclei provided by satellite cells to damaged muscle tissue, that not only repair damaged muscle fibers, but also increase their ability to grow.
Detoxification of the Liver
Substances that help the liver to process fats, or lipids, are known as lipotropic, and the important lipotropics in human biochemistry are imositol, betaine, choline and methionine. They prevent fat from accumulating in the liver, and methionine is also useful in its effect of glutathione. This is a substance that helps the liver to neutralize toxins, such as excessive doses of acetaminophen, and its supplies are regulated by methionine.
Methionine and Autism
Research into autism is closely studying the Methionine/Glutathione Transsulfuration Pathway. This pathway is a very important biochemical means of detoxification, whereby toxins are methylated and then excreted. This pathway seems to be disrupted in autistic individuals.
Not only that, but disruption can lead to oxidative stress which results in many health problems. An example of this is the build-up of the oxidant homocysteine when there is insufficient Vitamin B6 to convert it into cysteine. This has been discussed previously, and is discussed again below.
Although research is in its infancy, it appears that AIDS sufferers also have decreased levels of methionine in their blood. It is believed that the process of AIDS could be linked to this, particularly the dementia that can occur as a result of the deterioration of the nervous system.
It is also hoped that it can help with some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and pancreatitis. Initial research into this use of methionine has been very promising, as are studies into its use for urinary tract infections. It appears to operate like cranberry in this respect, preventing bacteria from attaching to the cell walls and multiplying in the urinary tract.
Methionine is believed to be essential for the formation of collagen, and for healthy pliable skin, hair, nails and other forms of connective tissue. For this reason it is often used as a supplement for the treatment of arthritis, although an excess should be avoided for reasons discussed above. S-Adenosylmethionine generates homocysteine during the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, and this can cause cardiovascular problems.
So stick to the recommended doses when you use methionine as a supplement. Used properly, and according to instructions, it offers many health benefits, and can also be used to bulk up your muscle tissue and give increased energy when you need it most.
Dietary sources include fish, eggs, lentils, onions, garlic, meat, seeds, spinach and yoghurt. A good supplement would be from 800mg - 1000mg per day, and is best taken along with a B vitamin complex, or at least folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, in order to prevent the increased generation of homocysteine.
Methionine also promotes the excretion of estrogen, so is a possible supplement for women on oral contraceptives that lower the production of this hormone. The elderly might also benefit from a supplement although, if taken for any specific condition, your health professional should be consulted first, as they should be for any supplement.
Nevertheless, methionine is a very useful supplement, and can be taken to prevent a large number of conditions. Research is continuing on its effect on AIDS patients, and Parkinson's, and it is hopeful that it will one day be recommended to help people suffering from these conditions.
Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine
April 27, 2009 02:08 PM
L-leucine is an amino acid that is used by the body to fuel exercise and muscle-building to provide you with that athletic edge that gets you ahead of your opponents. It does so in a number of ways, none of them specifically by the direct generation of energy as such.
It is also an essential amino acid, since it cannot be manufactured by your body and hence must be taken as a supplement or as part of your diet. Foods rich in leucine include nuts, whole wheat products such as wholemeal bread, and brown rice. It is a hydrophobic amino acid, meaning that it does not like water.
It is also one of three essential branched chain amino acids, the other two being L-valine and L-isoleucine, and offers many benefits to athletic performance that shall be discussed below It also helps to preserve the body's stores of glycogen, used as an emergency energy source. Other than these properties, it possesses others, such as the maintenance of the nitrogen balance in the body.
So how does it work to fuel your body while you are exercising? The answer is not as you might think. L-leucine doesn't increase your energy levels as creatine does when it elevates your ATP (adenosine triPhosphate) levels. ATP is the molecule of energy that is synthesized in your body cells, and is then converted back to ADP, the diPhosphate, with the release of energy in the form of muscular contractions.
This amino acid is what is referred to as a 'limiting' substance, in that the other amino acids cannot do their jobs in your body unless you have sufficient L-leucine in proportion to them. Specifically, you need two parts of L-valine and two parts of L-leucine to one part of L-isoleucine for optimum usage of the food that you eat.
Therefore you cannot just take the supplement without considering how much should be taken to ensure this balance. Excess will be wasted and a deficiency would fail to make proper use of the protein content of your food.
If you suffer from a deficiency, therefore, your body cannot make best use of the protein in your diet to the extent that muscle tissue will not be generated during exercise. In fact it causes catabolism, or the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in a loss of performance and possible increase in fatty tissue as opposed to lean muscle. The only way to build muscle is take in sufficient nitrogen in the form of amino acids and protein, along with L-leucine to put that protein to best use.
One of the major properties of L-leucine is in stimulating the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue and by using a supplement, the protein balance can be positive after a workout. It has been shown that this protein balance is generally negative until specifically L-leucine is consumed.
The way it works is to activate a muscle-generating pathway known as mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). mTOR is normally activated when the levels of ATP in the muscle cells is high, and when these levels drop then mTOR is deactivated. The activity of mTOR is sensitive to the concentration of L-leucine, and when the concentration of the amino acid in the body rises it informs mTOR that the protein in the diet is sufficient to manufacture skeletal muscle tissue, and so mTOR s activated.
Exactly how this is done is unknown, but is a fact the mTOR depends upon both L-leucine concentration and also ATP levels. This amino acid also decreases catabolism through a number of different mechanisms, one of which involves increasing insulin levels.
In fact, when insulin and L-leucine levels increase at the same time, there is a synergy that promotes the synthesis of new protein. Not only that, but the response of insulin to the presence of carbohydrates is enhanced, this resulting in an enhancement of your body's metabolism.
The amino acid can also be used to help those suffering from kidney and liver problems because it increases liver protein synthesis. It is therefore a useful adjunct both to diabetics and those suffering from liver and kidney disease.
However, because L-leucine is an essential amino acid with so many important properties, a deficiency can have specific consequences. Catabolism has been stated earlier as one such reaction to a deficiency, and others include decreased energy levels and irregularities in the levels of blood sugar.
Everything about this substance is not good however, and when taken by itself in excess, it can reduce the amount of the other amino acids in the blood, particularly of the other two branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). This in turn upsets the balance of amino acids, and reduces further the ability of the body to produce muscle tissue until a balanced supplement is taken.
Leucine also helps to maintain the nitrogen balance. It is essential for the human body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and L-leucine supports this. In fact, one study has demonstrated that after 12 hours infusion with L-leucine, nitrogen balance was improved by as much as 23%.
A supplement alone is not always sufficient to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. It is generally essential that you rest your body for a sufficient length of time to allow protein to be generated. If you don't take the required amount of rest, a surplus of protein could be used to maintain energy levels rather than replace lost protein and maintain a good nitrogen balance.
A positive nitrogen balance is essential for the generation of muscle tissue, such as in bodybuilding for example, since all proteins contain nitrogen and the net nitrogen intake must exceed the excretion rate. Not in gaseous form, of course, but in the intake of amino acids and proteins. The more positive your nitrogen balance is, the faster you will recover after exercise. It is essential for anabolic exercise.
L-leucine, therefore, is a supplement that can help to maintain your current muscle mass while undergoing strenuous exercise, in addition to increasing it while resting. It offers other health benefits, one being helping to maintain clarity of thought in the aged. However, it is for its effect on muscular build-up and the athletic edge that provides that the supplement is most commonly taken.
Protect The Liver with Glutathione And Cysteine
April 23, 2009 01:54 PM
The tripeptide L-glutathione is synthesized in the body from L. glutamic acid, L-cysteine and glycine, a reaction that can occur in any cell of the body although it is essential that it also occurs in the liver. Should glutathione concentrations drop, they can be increased by supplementing with cysteine or any other of the three amino acids that are used in the biosynthesis of this important if substance
The tripeptide exists in two forms: the reduced form (GSH) which contains a sulfhydryl (SH) functional group attached to the cysteinyl part of the molecule, and the oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). As electrons are lost from the reduced form, two molecules combine to create a dimer formed by a disulfide bridge, the process which can be reversed through reduction of the GSSG. Such electrons are lost during its reaction with free radicals, in which the free radicals are neutralized by the donation of an electron from the oxidized version of glutathione.
The definition of a free radical is a molecule that is lacking one electron from an electronic pair. Its prime purpose is then to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to it. In doing so, it can not only destroy that molecule, but also destroy body cells and lead, not only to premature aging, but also to some potentially fatal conditions.
It is an unusual peptide in that it involves a link between the cysteine amino grouping and the carboxyl functional group of the glutamic acid. It is a powerful antioxidant, acting as an effective free radical scavenger and protecting the body cells from the effects of free radical oxidation. However, it is on its detoxification effect in the liver that we shall focus here prior to discussing some other uses to which the body puts glutathione in its two manifestations.
Much of the detoxification is connected with the thiol group in the molecule. Take mercury for example. The thiol grouping forms a strong Hg-sulfydryl chemical bond within the liver, in the form of a glutathione-mercury chelate. In this form mercury is unable to exert any toxic effect on the body and can be excreted in the normal manner. The same reactive pathway is followed by other heavy metals that can bond to thiol groupings. In this way L-glutathione can protect the liver from the effects of a number of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and chromium.
This is an important property of the amino acid, particularly in industrial and urban environments where the population is more prone to exposure to heavy metals than their rural counterparts. However, the end result on the glutathione is that it is removed from the body, and, particularly with city dwellers, a supplement may be required to maintain a healthy concentration of this amino acid in the body and in particular in the liver. Therefore, although L-glutathione is not considered an essential amino acid, in that it is biosynthesized within the body, a supplement is sometimes required, particularly by those who live in large cities.
It is important to consider the form in which the glutathione supplement is administered. This is because of the presence of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase within the digestive system. This enzyme appears to destroy L-glutathione before it can be absorbed in the intestine so normal oral forms of supplementation are likely to be ineffective. Possible forms of effective administration include buccal (between the cheek and teeth) and hypodermically.
An alternative means of supplementation is to take substances such as selenium, methionine, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and glutamine that stimulate the biosynthesis of glutathione. Also, since the substance utilizes the raw materials of L-cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine in its intracellular production, supplementation with these amino acids should also help to produce L-glutathione.
That said, let's return to its antioxidant properties and its effect on the liver that contains the largest stocks of glutathione in the body. It is generally regarded as the most important antioxidant in the body. It protects cellular cytoplasm from oxidation by reducing disulfide groups and maintaining a highly reducing environment within the cytoplasm. It reacts with hydrogen peroxide and other oxidative agents, and is converted to the oxidized form GSSG. It is then reduced back to GSH through the combination of the reducing agent and an enzyme. The reducing agent is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide Phosphate (NADPH), the enzyme being glutathione reductase.
The implications that this strong reducing effect has on the liver are significant. Reduced GSH L-glutathione levels have been found in patients suffering from HIV, hepatitis C and other liver diseases. Supplementation with GSH has been found to restore normal levels of glutathione to the liver, and it has been demonstrated that the treatment has improved such conditions significantly.
Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries caused by the deposition of plaques formed from oxidized low-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. The strong antioxidant effect of GSH prevents this from LDLs from being oxidized and deposited on the arterial wall. There are other results of glutathione supplementation that indicate the effectiveness of antioxidants in the treatment of serious liver conditions, and there are no doubts that combating the effects of free radicals and oxidizing agents within the liver has a positive effect on many potentially serious liver diseases.
Many of these are exacerbated by the generation of free radicals by relatively modern pollution sources such as pesticides, petrol and diesel emissions, tobacco fumes and various other chemical emissions. A strong antioxidant such as L-glutathione cannot be anything other than an effective means of reducing the biological effect of these oxidants. It protects not only the liver but also the lungs and cardiovascular system.
For all these reasons a supplement consisting of L-glutathione or its constituent parts, glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine, provide significant protection against the stresses and strains of modern living. Increased pollution levels and heightened oxidative stress levels within the body are playing havoc with our body defenses, and GSH is an important one of them that can easily be enhanced by supplementation. There are no known reactions to L-glutathione supplementation, but pregnant women and babies should receive expert medical advice prior to taking it.
Detoxify With L-Citrulline
April 13, 2009 03:51 PM
L-citrulline is an alpha-amino acid, first isolated from the watermelon in 1930: hence the name, citrullis being Latin for that fruit, the skin of which is rich in the substance. It is used to enhance performance in sports, particularly through aiding recovery after exercise, and also helps the liver to detoxify the blood.
It is not an essential amino acid in that it is produced by the body and need not be part of your diet. It is a precursor to arginine, which involves the sustained release of nitric oxide in the endothelium that promotes increased flow of blood and the blood vessels as described further below. One of the biochemical pathways for its biosynthesis involves the urea cycle, whereby the toxic ammonia is detoxified into an easily excreted form through its conversion to urea.
The urea cycle consists of five reactions, and citrulline is formed in the second of these. In the first of these, ammonia reacts with bicarbonate to form carbamoyl Phosphate, the Phosphate coming from the two molecule of ATP used to energize the reaction. These are converted to adenosine diPhosphate (ADP), and the carbamoyl Phosphate then reacts with ornithine to form citrulline, which takes part in step three that eventually leads to the formation of urea.
The second way in which L-citrulline can be biosynthesized is from the oxidation of arginine, a natural amino acid. Arginine is oxidized into N-hydroxyarginine, and then into L-citrulline with the release of nitric oxide.
So that's how it is produced in the body, but how does it help sportsmen, and what part does it play in detoxification? Its effect on recovery after exercise is connected with blood flow. Energy is created in the mitochondria that are contained in every cell off the body. Among the raw materials needed for the production of energy are glucose and oxygen: glucose obtained from the carbohydrates in your diet, and oxygen transported by the hemoglobin or red blood cells.
Both of these rely on blood flow: greater the volume of blood transported to the cells then the greater the ability of these cells to produce energy. During periods of exercise, a good supply of blood is required to provide the raw materials needed for the energy demand of the muscles involved in the exercise. Not only that however, but recovery after exercise involves the replacement of electrolytes, the glycogen used in extensive aerobic and anaerobic exercise and protein replacement, particularly where catabolism has occurred.
In order to supply these raw materials at an adequate rate, it is necessary for the flow of blood to the appropriate muscles to be sufficient. A major restriction to increase blood flow is elasticity of the blood vessels and cells. Although a healthy heart is capable of providing the necessary quantities of blood, and hence of nutrients, any restriction to the flow could cause dangerously high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide plays a signaling role in enlarging blood vessels to allow an increased blood flow when it is needed by the body. It can provide more blood to the stomach during digestion and to the muscles during exercise and recovery.
During hard exercise, nitric oxide can act as a pump that provides blood during exercise and also during recovery. It can therefore provide more rapid gains in lean mass, increased endurance and faster muscle recovery. The way it does this is to send a signal to the smooth muscles to relax; smooth muscles such as those found in veins and arteries, so resulting in vasodilation therefore allowing increased blood flow.
It is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which uses the nitric oxide to provide the relaxation signal to the smooth muscles surrounding it. In fact, it is the effect of nitric oxide that enables those living at high altitudes to develop increased stamina and speed over those at lower altitudes, and find more world records seem to be broken during athletics meetings, such as Olympic Games, held at high altitudes. This is because the production of nitric acid is increased at higher altitudes with slightly lower oxygen levels. This is the same effect that is used by vasodilators such as amyl nitrite and Viagra that work by increasing nitric oxide levels in the smooth muscle wall of the blood vessels.
It should not be surprising therefore, that L-citrulline should work in a similar way, since it is intimately involved in the production of nitric oxide. Although this is now generally understood, what part does supplemental citrulline play in the body if it is a non-essential amino acid?
Supplemental L-citrulline is useful in supporting the detoxification of ammonia in the liver when supplies of ornithine carbamoyl transferase is naturally in short supply. This is the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between ornithine and carbamoyl Phosphate to form citrulline. Supplements can then help in the removal of ammonia from the blood, and also provide material for the continued production of nitric oxide support muscular activity and its recovery after exercise.
Ammonia itself is a by-product of intensive exercise, and without the urea cycle the body would rapidly become polluted. It is a very toxic product, and causes the death of thousands of people each year. This is generally in people who suffer liver and kidney disease, and the ammonia can be broken down and excreted.
Your brain cells are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and as levels increase the effect progressively ranges from drowsiness thru tremors to coma and eventual death. Any condition, therefore, that reduces the body's capability of metabolizing ammonia is potentially very serious, and any supplement that can help prevent this is valuable.
L-citrulline is believed to help in such situations, although any condition affecting the efficiency of the kidneys or liver and that can cause toxicity due to ammonia or any other toxic substance, should be referred to your physician. It is for its effect in increasing blood flow to provide sufficient raw material, for both the energy needed for high levels of exercise and for muscle recovery, that citrulline is predominantly used as a supplement.
L-Alanine Non Essential Amino Acid
January 05, 2009 04:31 PM
L-Alanine is one of 20 amino acids that are used by the body to manufacture the proteins essential for life. Each protein possesses specific biological properties that are imparted by the sequence of amino acids it contains. Proteins control the chemistry that takes place within the cells of our body, and comprise all of the enzymes that catalyze the body's biochemistry.
Amino acids are also the building blocks of DNA that determines the genetic make-up of individuals, and that also provides recipes or templates for the production of proteins from amino acid sequences. There is a different DNA template for every protein required by the body that determines which of the 20 amino acids are needed, and in what order they are to be combined with one another to manufacture the desired protein.
10 of these 20 amino acids can be synthesized by your body's biochemistry, the other 10 being essential parts of your diet. If you fail to include just of these 10, then your body will break down its proteins until it has obtained a sufficient supply of that amino acids for its needs. That involves muscle and other tissue degradation, and is one of the symptoms of malnutrition. Amino acids are not stored, and a daily supply is essential to avoid these symptoms.
L-Alanine is one of the ten that the body can manufacture, and used by the body to help build protein and also to enable the body to make use of glucose to generate energy. It does so as part of what is known as the glucose-alanine cycle. During anaerobic exercise, such as in weightlifting and sustained running, muscles produce lactate and also alanine.
The alanine is passed on to the liver where it is converted to energy via its conversion to glucose. This is not a particularly efficient means of creating energy because a byproduct of the process is urea, the removal of which in turn requires energy. However, it serves its purpose as an energy source once the liver is depleted of glycogen. In fact that is the major use to which alanine appears to be put by the body: the conversion of glucose to energy.
The way the glucose-alanine cycle works is that a process known as transamination produces glutamate from the amino groups of amino acids that are degraded during exercise. Glutamate is then converted to pyruvate by means of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase, with the production of alanine and alpha-ketoglutarate. This is a reversible reaction, and after the alanine has been carried by the bloodstream to the liver, the reaction reverses with the regeneration of pyruvate that undergoes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose).
The result of this is glucose that returns to the muscle tissue to provide more energy. The glutamate is broken down to the ammonium ion in the mitochondria, which in turn enters the urea cycle with the production of urea.
In a nutshell, then, the glucose-alanine cycle removes glutamate and pyruvate from muscle tissue to the liver where glucose is generated from the pyruvate and returned to the muscle. Since gluconeogenesis involves the expenditure of energy, and this occurs in the liver rather than in the muscle, all the energy in the muscle can be used for muscle contraction.
L-Alanine possesses other properties, among them the ability to help maintain the health of the prostate. A study of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) indicated that treatment with L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine over a period of three months reduced the symptoms. However, make sure that you consult your physician before using alanine in this way. This is not because there are any known adverse side effects, because there are not, but because it I always wise to so with any supplement taken with a view to treating any medical condition.
A less obvious application derives from the fact that it forms a stable free radical when deaminated. Deamination can be initiated by radiation, and so the concentration of this free radical can be measured to ensure that the correct dose of radiation is being given in dosimetric radiotherapy. It is not always easy to control the dose accurately, and this property of alanine allows it to monitored and to ensure that it is neither too low to have the desired effect, nor dangerously high.
Although it is a non-essential amino acid, and can be produced by the body, a dietary supply or supplement is advantageous if extra energy is required. Good dietary sources of L-alanine include meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, brewer's yeast, corn and legumes among others. Supplements are also available, and useful for body-builders, weightlifters and others involved in anaerobic exercise. Due to the glucose-alanine cycle, it can possibly provide energy when lactate build-up would otherwise lead to muscle cramps.
Those for whom a supplement could be useful are athletes and others who are trying to build muscle and stamina, or reduce their body fat and also the obese and overweight for the same reason. There is also evidence that a combination of the amino acids alanine, glycine and arginine can help to reduce arterial plaque from oxidized low density lipoproteins, and can also help to reduce high blood pressure.
Deficiencies are rare, although groups that do not eat meat should be careful to eat foods with a good alanine content. There are no known side effects of a deficiency since the body will generate what is needed for normal purposes, and while the supplement appears to have no side effects, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women should first seek medical advice. The same applies if you suffer from hypertension or diabetes. High doses of alanine might also affect those with kidney or liver disease.
Although the benefits of supplementation of L-alanine might not be immediately obvious, the results and the science indicate that it is effective in making better use of blood glucose in that the adenosine triPhosphate (ATP) created in the muscle tissue is allowed to be expended on muscle contraction while the glucose-alanine cycle provides the energy needed for gluconeogenesis.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triPhosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monoPhosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monoPhosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monoPhosphate (AMP), the diPhosphate (ADP), the triPhosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monoPhosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
Inositol And Choline
December 11, 2008 12:19 PM
Inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex family, being referred to as vitamin B8, but is not strictly a vitamin because it is biosynthesized in your body. Vitamins are essential substances that are not manufactured by your natural biochemistry, and must be taken in your diet. However, to all intents and purposes it works like a member of the vitamin B family.
The main function of myo-inositol (the commonest isomer of inositol) is in the health of cell membranes, particularly those that comprise the marrow, eyes, intestines and the brain. Without proper regulation of the cell membrane, the cell cannot function effectively. Some of its effects include healthy hair and controlling estrogen levels. It is also believed to help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
A deficiency will result in hair loss, eczema, increased blood cholesterol levels and eye abnormalities. You might also suffer constipation, although this is not as serious a condition as those preceding. It is present at highest levels in the heart and brain, which indicates where it is mostly used, although it also helps the liver to break down fats and enables the nerves and muscles to operate as they should.
Those that are depressed are frequently found to have low inositol levels in their spinal fluid, so it is believed to play a part in that condition. It is known that the substance takes part in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to play a part in depression, and initial signs are that its use in the treatment of depression could be effective. Neurotransmitters are responsible for passing messages across the gap (synapses) between nerve cells, their messages being decoded by the neuroreceptors. A healthy nervous system depends on healthy neurotransmitters.
For these reasons, inositol has also been tried on other conditions of the nervous system. These include bipolar disorder, bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder. So far, results have been inconclusive as to its effectiveness, but it is early days yet and field tests are continuing.
A test carried out in Beersheva, Israel, in 1997, found that treatment with inositol produced significant improvement in the depression of 28 patients after four weeks on the Hamilton Depression Scale1, and 21 patients tested with panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia) showed significant improvements in their condition, including agoraphobia. Results on 13 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder also showed significant improvement. These were all double-blind tests.
However, not all tests have been so conclusive, and a study on 42 people with sever depression who did not respond to conventional antidepressant, also failed to respond when inositol was added to their medication.2 Results are therefore not conclusive.
Four hundred people took part in a double-blind test that indicated a possible improvement in the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome when treated with inositol 3,4 and another that inositol treatment on patients taking lithium could help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition believed to be caused by a reaction of the immune system and nerves.5
The supplement has also been found to be just as effective as Luvox (fluvoxamine – similar to Prozac) after four weeks treatment. Although these results are good, they are inconclusive, and more data is need before any indisputable conclusions can be drawn. However, treatment with inositol might be worth considering if conventional treatment for these conditions has been unsuccessful.
The most common natural form of inositol is myo-inositol, an isomer of cyclohehexanehexol, a carbocyclic polyol that form the structural basis for secondary messengers in the cells of eukaryotes.
A secondary messenger system is one whereby a signaling molecule is released in response to a signal from a primary messenger such as a neuroreceptor, which then activates certain intracellular proteins known as effector proteins that exert a response from the cell. An example is cAMP (cyclic adenosine monoPhosphate) that is a secondary messenger that activates protein kinases and allows them to phosphorylated proteins.
Eukaryotes are organisms that contain cells composed of complex components contained within a cellular membrane, and that also contain a nucleus. Examples are fungi, plants and all animals. Examples of non eukaryotes include the bacteria family.
It is frequently recommended that inositol is most effective when taken with an equal amount of choline, although this might be due to the fact that when inositol deficiency is detected, choline is also frequently deficient. Both are vitamin B family like, and both are lipotropic, in that they aid the breakdown of fats in the body. It is not clear whether this is true or not, but taking both would certainly not harm you, and might be of great benefit.
Inositol is not essential, because it can be obtained from beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, cantaloupe, brewer’s yeast, liver and vegetables. Bacteria in the gut also act on the phytic acid (inositol hexaPhosphate) contained in citrus fruits to form inositol.
However, be careful if you drink a lot of coffee. It destroys inositol, and if you are taking the supplement medicinally, steer clear of coffee during your period of treatment because it will lose its effect. Excessive coffee drinking can also result in a general depletion of inositol from your diet, and hence a deficiency. In such a case you are advised to take a supplement, preferably along with choline that might also be deficient.
Although there have been no adverse side effects reported, no specific longer term safety studies have been carried out on inositol. Because of the way it works, inositol should be avoided by people with liver or kidney disease, and also by expectant or nursing women. It should be avoided by young children until safety tests have been carried out, and it is believed that it can cause manic effects in those suffering bipolar disorder.
Other than for these specific cases, trials with many times the average daily intake of the substance, it currently appears safe to take inositol as a long-term supplement. However, as with all such supplements intended for specific disorders, you should seek the advice of your physician.
References: 1. Levine J: Ministry of Health Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev,Beersheva, Israel ur Neuropsychopharmacol, 1997 May, 7:2, 147-55
2. Nemets B, Mishory A, Levine J, et al. Inositol addition does not improve depression in SSRI treatment failures. J Neural Transm. 1999;106:795-798.
3. Gerli S, Mignosa M, Di Renzo GC. Effects of inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS: a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2003;7:151-9.
4. Gerli S, Papaleo E, Ferrari A, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: effects of myo-inositol on ovarian function and metabolic factors in women with PCOS. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2007;11:347-354.
5. Allan SJ, Kavanagh GM, Herd RM, et al. The effect of inositol supplements on the psoriasis of patients taking lithium: arandomized, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150:966-969.
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.
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monoPhosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
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.
Horny Goat Weed
October 31, 2008 01:04 PM
Item: #4758, 90 Tabs
Product Categories: Hormonal and Vitality Support
Positioning Purpose: The vitality and hormonal support industry is one of the most lucrative in today’s health sector, as evidenced by record sales and an influx of new brands and product offerings. Amazingly, there are still people out there who do not realize that natural alternatives exist. Horny Goat Weed has been a staple in Eastern medicine for centuries, and continues to stand the test of time. Science advancement has helped us better understand its method of action, and we now know that it contains a number of compounds that help support energy, stamina and vitality.*
Product Details: NOW® Horny Goat Weed Extract contains 750 mg of horny goat weed extract (Epimedium grandiflorum, E. brevicorum), standardized to 10% Icariin. For increased support, we’ve added 150 mg of pure Maca Root per serving, another historically used herb that has been shown to support healthy hormones and vitality. Both compounds have a well-documented history of safety and effectiveness. Unlike other products within the hormonal vitality category, this formula can be used by both mean and women.
Nutrient Profile, per serving: Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium grandiflorum), 750 mg Maca Root (Lepidium meyenii), 150 mg
Ideal Users: NOW® Horny Goat Weed is ideal for healthy adults seeking additional hormonal and vitality support. It can be used safely by both men and women.
Recommended Use: As a dietary supplement, suggested use is 1 tablet taken daily, preferably with a meal. Complementary Products: Consider taking NOW® Horny Goat Weed with other NOW products, such as, TestoJack 100™, Tribulus, or ENERGY™
Other Ingredients: Cellulose, Croscarmellose sodium, Stearic acid, silica (vegetable source), magnesium stearate (vegetable source), and vegetable coating.
Supporting Science: Ning H, Xin ZC, Lin G et al. Effects of Icariin on phosphodiesterase-5 activity in vitro and cyclic guanosine monoPhosphate level in cavernous smooth muscle cells. Urology 2006;68:1350-4
Warning: Please consult a healthcare provider prior to use if you have any medical conditions, are taking medications, are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triPhosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
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.
August 19, 2008 08:38 PM
Folic acid is an important vitamin to the developing fetus in that it aids cell development, particularly those cells involved in the development of the baby's spine. A deficiency can result in neural tube defects, in which the neural tube, down through which the central nervous system passes, fails to close properly.
However, let's first discuss the substance itself so that its function in that process can be more easily understood. Neither should we ignore the other benefits that folic acid gives us, or the problems we can have in the event of a deficiency.
Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B9, sometimes referred to as Vitamin M. Its anionic form is known as folate, which is the form in which it is frequently offered in supplements. Incidentally, it gets its name from the Latin for leaf, so is from the same root as foliage. It is water soluble, and like Vitamin C can be leached through the body if not immediately used.
It is available naturally from leafy and green vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach and peas, but is also available in fortified breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds and some fruits. You would not normally suffer a deficiency, but if you are taking anticonvulsants, have liver problems or undergoing kidney dialysis, then you might need a supplement. Pregnancy, of course, is the important case in which a supplement should be taken, although, surprisingly, many mothers-to-be are unaware of this.
New body cells need folate for their production, particularly when they are dividing and growing rapidly such as during pregnancy and in infancy. The formation of DNA depends on many chemical entities, among them four nitrogenous bases, of which three, thymine and the two purine bases, adenine and guanine, depend on folate for their synthesis. If the growing fetus is lacking folate then DNA synthesis will be hindered. This retards cell division and growth.
Among the conditions this can cause are a form of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia, and neural tube deficiencies, where the sheath that surrounds the main nerve canal up the spine fails to close properly. The best known of such neural tube defects is spina bifida, though any condition caused by a lack of cell division can also occur. Anemia can be contracted by both adults and children, since production of red blood cells takes place constantly throughout your lifetime. These are the reasons why folic acid or folate is used in breakfast cereals.
The biochemistry is fairly simple to understand, and is important because it explains the importance of two other B vitamins, B3 and B12, in DNA synthesis. The initial stages are a six step reaction that forms methyl tetrahydrofolate from folate, starting with the reduction of folate to dihydrofolate, and then a further reduction to the tetrahydrofolate (THF). Vitamin B3 (in the form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide Phosphate) is an essential cofactor for these reductions. Vitamin B12 is necessary as an acceptor for the methyl-THF so that it can continue along the biochemical pathway - now that is too complex to discuss here!
However, the inference you can rightly draw from this is that a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause what is known as a 'methyl trap', whereby the methy-THF cannot be used, and so a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to the same symptoms as a folic acid or folate deficiency.
The implications of that are that vitamin B12 is also an essential component of a pregnant woman's diet. The problem here is that this vitamin is available only from animal sources, including dairy products. Its presence in vegetable organisms such as certain algae and fungi has been proposed, but it is believed that the cobalamin (chemical term for the vitamin) from these sources is not bioavailable to humans.
Vegans, therefore, who do not eat dairy products, will need a Vitamin B12 supplement in addition to folic acid or folate, particularly when they are pregnant and with young growing children. In this respect, a vegan diet is unsuitable for young children until their rapid growth period has stabilized.
For those of you wondering why the biochemistry above was discussed: that is your answer. Such discussions can frequently explain why certain supplements are necessary, or certain diets should be reconsidered under particular circumstances. Such things are easier to understand and accept when the logic behind them are explained. A folic acid supplement taken from the onset of pregnancy up to 12 weeks at least, and also a Vitamin B12 supplement in the case of those with a low meat intake, should prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
A daily supplement of 0.4 mg should be sufficient, along with a diet rich in green vegetables, fortified cereals and breads and oranges. Your greens are best steamed since prolonged boiling destroys folic acid - as it destroys Vitamin C. One source of folic acid that you might read about is liver, and its additional iron content might lead you to believe this to be a good component of your diet when pregnant. However, although normally a very nutritious food, liver should be avoided during pregnancy due to its high Vitamin A content. This can be harmful to your baby.
Finally, there are some circumstances under which the dose during pregnancy should be greater. If you have previously had a child with a neural tube defect, or have an NTD yourself (or your partner), if you are diabetic, if you have celiac disease (a gluten allergy) or are taking anti-epileptic medication, you should increase your dose to 5 mg (milligrams) for which you will likely need a prescription from your physician.
NTD is rare, so don't over-worry much about it, but take the above precautions to put your mind at rest since pregnancy is not a time during which you should be nervous but to enjoy. That will pass on to your growing baby, which will then itself be happy.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyroPhosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triPhosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
June 07, 2008 09:40 AM
Vitamin E is a known natural supplement and antioxidant that helps support the immune and cardiovascular systems. It is created by a natural process so that you can receive the purest form available. It is formed when natural d-alpha tocopherol is combined with a Phosphate molecule. This combination protects the potency of Vitamin E until your body needs it the most.
Ester E is processed so that its natural benefits are preserved to give the body the most optimal benefit possible. This is why Ester E is the best form of Vitamin E available. Vitamin E is known to aid in the following actions:
* Preventing Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin E Food Sources:
How Vitamin E Works:
Manufacturers suggest that Ester E be taken along with a meal that includes some form of fat. This is because when fat is combined with Vitamin E, it is more readily absorbed. Since the supplement is fat soluble, this aids in delivery to the cells of the body.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient because the body cannot produce it on its own. If you are not ingesting the proper amounts of it in your daily diet, you need to take a supplement. It is important to remember that improper preparation, cooking and storage can result in the loss of Vitamin E from the food.
Vitamin E is actually a combination of antioxidants, tocopherols and tocotrienols. Unfortunately, only alpha-tocopherol is actively maintained in the body. Therefore a supplement is needed to be sure the body is getting enough of the other ingredients that make up the complete Vitamin E.
Why do we need Vitamin E?
Part of its job is to protect Vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation. When oxidation occurs in the cells, it breaks down body tissues.
Vitamin E Benefits:
Vitamin E has been found to aid in the prevention of heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol causes blockages in the coronary arteries. This often leads to atherosclerosis and heart attack. Vitamin E helps to prevent or at least delay these effects by limiting this oxidation. This has reduced the mortality rate due to coronary disease.
In its complete form, Vitamin E may be effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women who are genetically predisposed. It is being tested for its effectiveness in not only reducing the incidence of breast cancer, but also in inhibiting breast cancer cell growth.
Vitamin E is thought to protect the body against many forms of cancer due to its ability to increase immune system function. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E protects the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. These are believed to contribute to cancer cell production and the development of other chronic diseases. Vitamin E may also block formation of nitrosamines. These are carcinogens that form in the stomach from nitrites consumed through diet.
Another possible benefit to optimal amounts of Vitamin E in the diet is the prevention of cataracts. The clarity of the lens of the eye contributes to the formation of cataracts, blindness and eye disease. Vitamin E is being found to aid in the prevention of eye problems in people of all ages.
Vitamin E Warnings:
Vitamin E can produce harmful side effects if it is combined with certain medications. Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement to be sure it is safe for your use.
When taken as a supplement in its complete form, Vitamin E is nutritive and helpful in maintaining good health. Be sure when purchasing Vitamin E supplements that you are using Ester E for optimal benefits.