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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Seven foods to eat to help keep symptoms atbay - Express Darrell Miller 4/11/19
Drink This Ginger Turmeric Mixture Before Bed to Clean Your Liver And Never Wake Up Tired Again Darrell Miller 6/2/17
You’ve Been Buying Fake Salt for Years ! Here is What You Need to KNOW Darrell Miller 6/1/17
Emotional Eating and Weight Gain Darrell Miller 5/28/17
Doctors Are Speechless: Boiling Only Two Ingredients WILL HELP YOU LOSE ALL OF YOUR BODY FAT RAPIDLY Darrell Miller 4/4/17
You Really Need to Join a Gym Darrell Miller 3/16/17
nasal polyps treatment miracle Darrell Miller 3/16/17
How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ... Darrell Miller 3/4/17
Fake Herbal Supplements - the unfortunate truth of fraudulent business Darrell Miller 6/12/15
Learn about the prostate Darrell Miller 6/13/14
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function? Darrell Miller 4/9/14
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health? Darrell Miller 3/16/14
Together Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Fight The Battle Against Joint Pain Darrell Miller 12/18/13
Best Probiotic Supplements For A Healthy Intestinal Tract Darrell Miller 12/9/10
Free Radicals and how to Combat Them! Darrell Miller 11/30/10
Saw Palmetto For Prostate Function Darrell Miller 9/10/10
Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good Darrell Miller 7/21/10
Glucomannon Fiber Darrell Miller 12/19/09
Pine Bark Extract Darrell Miller 10/7/09
Probiotic, Health, and Capsules Darrell Miller 8/4/09
Calcium, Magnesium And Vitamin D Darrell Miller 6/24/09
Great Taste, Lower Cholesterol, Triglycerides, And Blood Sugar Darrell Miller 4/14/08
The Growing Organic Market Place Darrell Miller 6/26/07
Hoodia gordonii Standard from South Africa! Darrell Miller 4/16/07
JOINT HEALTH Darrell Miller 12/22/05
Weight Loss and Toxicity: The Missing Link Darrell Miller 11/22/05
Re: Magnesium Darrell Miller 10/6/05
CLA and Cows Darrell Miller 6/22/05
Anti-Aging Nutrients Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair... Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Home on the Range Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Menopause: Disease or Condition? Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade... Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Acupuncture nutrient Connection Darrell Miller 6/12/05
Like A Rock Darrell Miller 6/11/05
Nutrients for Longevity Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Immunity - The Big Picture Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Breast Cancer Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Allergy Alleviation Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Fibro Response - Feel your Vitality ... Darrell Miller 6/2/05
Important Information for Allergy Sufferers Darrell Miller 5/13/05
Re: Sulforaphane Stimulates the Body's Cancer-Fighting Enzymes Darrell Miller 5/13/05
Re: Keeping the Intestines Healthy Darrell Miller 5/12/05




Vitamin B12 deficiency: Seven foods to eat to help keep symptoms atbay - Express
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Date: April 11, 2019 01:30 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitamin B12 deficiency: Seven foods to eat to help keep symptoms atbay - Express





A vitamin deficiency can truly make the difference between being healthy and feeling drained. In today’s article, the focus is centered on Vitamin B12. Bright pictures and videos fill the page alerting you to some of the signs and symptoms of being vitamin B12 deficient. This article also outlines seven healthy foods such as salmon, beef and eggs that can make the difference for your body’s overall levels. It also suggests possibly taking a supplement if you’re unable to eat the foods listed.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Vitamin B12 deificiency can cause symptoms ranging from headaches and poor appetite to serious fatigue.
  • Good dietary sources of B12 include salmon, liver, fortified cereals, eggs and beef.
  • Vegetarians and vegans sometimes have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 because many of the best sources are animal products.

"VITAMIN B12 deficiency can develop if you’re not eating the right foods, and serious health problems can occur if the condition is left untreated."

Read more: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1087211/vitamin-b12-deficiency-diet-foods-milk-egg-beef-liver-salmon-yoghurt-fortified-cereal

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=6127)


Drink This Ginger Turmeric Mixture Before Bed to Clean Your Liver And Never Wake Up Tired Again
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Date: June 02, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Drink This Ginger Turmeric Mixture Before Bed to Clean Your Liver And Never Wake Up Tired Again





Looking at the picture of this mixture is very appealing. Maybe because of its bright color.The ingredients in the mixture have a lot of health benefits.Such as turmeric which has a lot of benefits such as regulation blood sugar and it is also good for the liver. Ginger is good for the liver and digestion and nausea. The honey would give it a sweet taste. The drink starts out with cocoanut milk which is very popular these days. I was amazed at all the ingredients for this mixture and the health benefits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6GbyNDrhqs&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • Turmeric milk is a recipe, presumed to have developed as part of an ancient Indian system of healing, referred to as Aryurvedic Medicine.
  • Turmeric milk is useful for reducing blood pressure and regulating glucose levels in the body.
  • Turmeric is noted for its positive effects against liver disease and respiratory conditions, as well as muscular and joint pain.

"Have you ever heard of golden milk? This mixture of spices and herbs with coconut oil and coconut milk is a tasty drink which is a rich source of nutrient, and offers a myriad of health benefits!"

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4755)


You’ve Been Buying Fake Salt for Years ! Here is What You Need to KNOW
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Date: June 01, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: You’ve Been Buying Fake Salt for Years ! Here is What You Need to KNOW





The picture of the different types of salts was interesting. I did not know it came in so many color. I have to admit I switched from regular table salt to sea salt. Just like the article states we have a lot of sea salt choices theses days. The most beneficial salt, which has more nutrients is said to be a brownish color. I know for myself it would be hard to make an adjustment from white salt to salt brown in color.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLWjwLZ2Nqg&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • The FDA mandates that salts, not having iodine, must warn the consumer of this fact specifically, on the label.
  • Unfortunately, the inorganic iodide found in table salt lacks the necessary supporting trace minerals found in naturally occurring iodine.
  • Table salt comes from earth-bound deposits and is heavily processed, whereas sea salt comes from barely processed, evaporated, ocean water.

"Virtually all salt is sea salt because it came from the sea at some point."

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4747)


Emotional Eating and Weight Gain
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Date: May 28, 2017 09:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Emotional Eating and Weight Gain





For huge numbers of us, it started when we were youngsters. We were given a treat to quiet us down, improve us feel, and as a reward for good conduct. We likewise eat when we sit in front of the TV, go to the motion pictures or when we are exhausted. Stress is one of the key reasons that individuals have for utilizing sustenance as a method for dealing with stress. The initial step to disposing of passionate eating is first to build up on the off chance that you are an enthusiastic eater.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our eating habits are impacted by our emotions. We associate food with positive feelings, a treat to make us feel better.
  • In order to stop emotional eating you have to find out what triggers it.
  • If you find you want to eat even though you are not hungry try exercising or listening to music.

"Stress is one of the key reasons that people have for using food as a coping mechanism."

Read more: http://www.weightlossforall.com/emotional-eating-x.htm

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4713)


Doctors Are Speechless: Boiling Only Two Ingredients WILL HELP YOU LOSE ALL OF YOUR BODY FAT RAPIDLY
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Date: April 04, 2017 04:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Doctors Are Speechless: Boiling Only Two Ingredients WILL HELP YOU LOSE ALL OF YOUR BODY FAT RAPIDLY





Losing body fat is not easy job to do, and it takes a lot to burn it off. When people lost weight they lose the water weight first but their fat still remains which makes them believe they aren't losing any weight. However, this video shows two key ingredients that will help will help burn fat easily. The two key ingredients are honey and cinnamon. They have a man in the video of his before and after pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRBK-w-LS4&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon and add to 250ml of boiling water.
  • Add honey only after water has cooled. This preserves its properties. Never add honey to boiling water.
  • Drink half before sleep and the other half in the morning. Body fat will start to melt in seven days.

"People nowadays really care about their body weight. Women especially dream of losing weight quickly and effectively, but we often hear or see that they didn’t acquire the desired results. Body fat is something that is very difficult to get burned."

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4346)


You Really Need to Join a Gym
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Date: March 16, 2017 11:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: You Really Need to Join a Gym





There are those people that love the gym…I bet you’ve even got a picture of them in your minds eye right now. And then, there are those of us who cannot stand it. So much grunting and weight dropping. No thanks. However, according to a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, club members have a benefit over the rest of us when it comes to getting regular exercise. (Maybe this article will even convince you to join that gym you’ve been driving by every day since January 1st!)

Key Takeaways:

  • Iowa State University scientists recruited 405 relatively healthy adults; half had already belonged to a gym for at least 30 days and half hadn’t been members for at least three months.
  • The team analyzed all the participants responses to figure out which of them met the national recommended guidelines for physical activity.
  • The current recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week and at least two days of weight lifting

"However, according to a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, club members have a benefit over the rest of us when it comes to getting regular exercise."



Reference:

//www.healthnutnews.com/really-need-join-gym/

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4176)


nasal polyps treatment miracle
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Date: March 16, 2017 11:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: nasal polyps treatment miracle





A mechanical voice presented an advertising video regarding a natural way to get rid of nasal polyps. The video is not a moving picture but just a drawing of a woman injecting something into her nose and an audio description of an offer to tell the viewer how to naturally get rid of the polyps with diet and exercise along with the undisclosed remedy. A link is included to order the briefly described remedy, along with a written testimonial from the vendor and other purchasers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcqtadzoiu4&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • Natural remedies are the best, so I decided to look for a natural cure for nasal polyps.
  • Manuel Richards suffered from nasal polyps, and found a natural way to treat them.
  • They are painful, and often require surgery. Just apply the principles in this book and they will be cured in a few days.

"Firm believer of natural remedy and this guide will combat all painful ailment."

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4174)


How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ...
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Date: March 04, 2017 02:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ...





When it comes to boosting antioxidant intake, recent research indicates there's little benefit from taking diet supplements. A better way, according to a report in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, is eating a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein and many other substances may play a role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and macular degeneration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Antioxidants are everywhere. Energy drinks, skin treatments, vitamin supplements, and cold remedies, and all extol the virtues of their special combination of health giving ingredients.
  • To better understand antioxidants we have to start with oxidation, the chemical process of one substance “stealing” an electron from another and changing, or destroying it.
  • You don’t have to understand the chemistry to get the picture. Graphic examples are all around us. When iron is oxidized, it becomes rust.

"Antioxidants are everywhere. Energy drinks, skin treatments, vitamin supplements, and cold remedies, and all extol the virtues of their special combination of health giving ingredients."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//dailyeb.com/index.php/2017/02/27/how-antioxidants-aid-in-healthy-living-vitamins-c-e-and-beta-carotene-can-help-ward-off-a-multitude-of-diseases/&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjVkYjY3ZDViNDdiNGM3ZTc6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFwNIzD-nKbqEDvxNC_9h68PShyXA

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4072)


Fake Herbal Supplements - the unfortunate truth of fraudulent business
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Date: June 12, 2015 12:51 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fake Herbal Supplements - the unfortunate truth of fraudulent business

The free and prolific operation of numerous fraudulent herbal medicine brands is a major concern to the health and economy of America. Major players in the vitamin and supplement industry are in legal trouble for selling mislabeled supplements and false advertising. This is consumer fraud that has come under the scanner.

Brand pills have been tested to verify the allegations. Herbs such as Ginseng was found to be just ground garlic and rice, Ginko biloba was reportedly powdered wheat and radish. Valerian root was found to be powdered peas and beans. Valerian root, an extract from Valeriana officinalis roots, has a pungent odor and a very unpleasant taste – physical characteristics that are not advertised by the brands. The smell of the herb is compared to the smell of sweaty socks and therefore customers prefer to take it as capsule or extract.

It is high time, that the brands give a real picture of their product in their advertisements so that consumers can have a proper and true idea. For the welfare of the consumers, they should stick to name brands for herbs to ensure that they pay for what they intend to buy.

Stick to name brands like SOLARAY, KAL, NOW FOODS, and SOURCE NATURALS.  These brands do 3rd party testing of their product ingredients as well as contaminant testing to ensure their ingredients are authentic, pure and safe to consume.


(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3168)


Learn about the prostate
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Date: June 13, 2014 09:25 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Learn about the prostate

serona repens berriesIntroduction:

The human prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is located between the bladder and the penis. It is just in front of the rectum with the urethra running through the center from the bladder to the penis, letting out urine off the body. The prostate gland secretes fluid that is useful in nourishment and protection of sperms. The prostrate squeezes this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation and it comes out with sperms as semen.

Article Body

However, the prostate is faced by some conditions that lead to its dysfunctions. Some of the main conditions are.

Prostate cancer:

This is one of the major cancers affecting men and it kills one in every thirty-five men. Some of the treatments used to treat it are, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and hormone therapy.

Prostatitis:

This is inflammation of the prostate, which is caused by infection. It is usually treated with antibiotics.

Enlarged prostate:

This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery. This usually affects older men above the age of fifty. Its signs are difficulty in urinating that increases with age. It can be treated through medication or surgery.

It is of much importance to keep the prostate healthy due to its major functions. The general function of the prostate is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that is white in color constituting 50-70% of the semen volume together with spermatozoa and seminal fluid. The prostatic fluid is expelled in the first ejaculate fractions together with most of the spermatozoa. Maintaining good health of the prostate for example by taking foods rich in lycopene mainly found in tomatoes lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.

The pygeum africanum is made from the bark of the African palm tree while the saw palmetto is made from ripe berries of the plant serenoa repens. They are both used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pygeum may reduce symptoms such as nighttime urination, urinary frequency and residual urine volume. But despite that the pygeum is also proposed for prostatitis, impotence and male infertility. This makes it better than saw palmetto. Saw palmetto has mineral selenium and vitamin E while pygeum africanum has zinc.

Sources

  1. //www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/picture-of-the-prostate
  2. //www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21851
  3. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw_palmetto_extract

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3136)


Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
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Date: April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?

adrenal functionEffects low adrenal to body

As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:

Cause of low adrenal level

With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.

It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .

Types of adrenal stress syndrome

Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.

Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.

Mental burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3087)


Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health?
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Date: March 16, 2014 04:22 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health?

Skin health

skin structureUnfortunately our skin health will always deplete as we age and it is a normal thing to happen to anyone. There are various ways that one can improve his or her skin health. As much as there are several method for one to use, Hyaluronic acid cream has generated much hype in this particular topic.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health? A question in everybody’s mind at the moment The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and here are reasons why this is so.

Hyaluric acid

This is a naturally occurring acid that exists in our body. It is a component of the connective tissue that helps in strengthening various parts of our body, including blood vessels, cartilage, and definitely the skin. It helps the skin remain hydrated

Research shows that as we get older, the hyaluronic acid quantity in the skin diminishes, leading to a dry skin.

Hyaluronic Acid Cream

This is a skincare product that has been designed with the same properties as the natural hyaluronic acid that exists in our body. The cream, when applied will deeply penetrate your skin membrane helps the cells take in and retain moisture. This will eventually give your skin a supple and soft appearance that was wearing out.

All in all hyaluronic acid cream has proved to be an effective skin care product that will hydrate and plump drying and aging skin. Through research, this product is known to have been formulated with cosmetic-grade hyaluronic acid. Although to some people the name may paint a picture of a harsh erosive product that might do harm to ones skin, hyaluronic acid is tremendously gentle and nourishing to the skin. Apparently it proves to be so tender that it is even recommended for the sensitive skin.

In conclusion

Hyaluronic acid cream can help improve skin health.

Sources

  1. //www.babble.com/beauty/20-amazing-products-with-hyaluronic-acid/
  2. //www.olay.com/skin-care/skin-care-science/hydraluronic-acid
  3. //www.redonline.co.uk/beauty/10-best/hyaluronic-acid-beauty-products
  4. //www.naturalnews.com/032283_hyaluronic_acid_skin.html
  5. //www.naturalnews.com/032283_hyaluronic_acid_skin.html#ixzz2w4ZVAObn

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3064)


Together Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Fight The Battle Against Joint Pain
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Date: December 18, 2013 03:36 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Together Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Fight The Battle Against Joint Pain

What Do Glucosamine / Chondroitin / MSM Have In Common?

In today's cultural, there seems to be a remedy for almost any ailment. If you have a headache then just take two acetaminophen every four to six hours. Maybe you have broken your arm and can recall the pain medication that was prescribed by your doctor. Unfortunately, as far as science is concerned,not a single treatment works 100% of the time. There is always some sort of relapse period during which, if an individual forgets to take their medicine the pain will return.

How Does Glucosamine Fit Into The Picture

Hundreds of individuals suffer from some sort of joint pain that is found in the knee, hip, or shoulder area. The chance is high that you are one of those people who have been diagnosed witharthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, or bursitis. Most likely, you have also been written a prescription from your doctor for anything from a muscle relaxer to an anti-inflammatory. Be aware of the fact that these medicines will reduce pain and swelling but only for a short period of time. What happens when the pain relapses and you cannot take anymore? Perhaps, you should consider a nutrional supplement that will help your body fight from within.

What About Chondroitin

By itself, glucosamine lubricates the connective tissues of the body. Although, glucosamine cannot work without another natural compound called chondroitin. The body uses glucosamine to produce chrondroitin which is an example of a glycosaminoglycan. Better known as chondroitin sulfate, it must mix with other proteins in the body to create proteoglycans which are found in all connective tissues.

Why Does MSM Sound So Similar

Just like glucosamine and chondroitin , also known as methyl sulfonyl methane , MSM is known to help aid in the fight against osteoarthritis and joint pain. It is naturally found in humans and in certain plants and animals. Usually MSM is paired with glucosamine and chondroitin in a pill or capsule form.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2927)


Best Probiotic Supplements For A Healthy Intestinal Tract
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Date: December 09, 2010 05:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Best Probiotic Supplements For A Healthy Intestinal Tract

Best Protiotic Supplements

It is very important to find the best probiotic supplements, but before you know how to choose the best probiotics, it is important to know what probiotics actually are. Probiotics are bacteria molecules that are beneficial and can also be in the form of yeast. These molecules are live and have been said to probiotic picture act beneficially by some one who uses them in moderation. The word “probiotics” comes from the word pro (for) and bios (life) so this gives the impression that they are increasingly important supplements that can be used in everyday life, which is true.

Probiotic supplements have been known to help with lactose intolerance, the prevention of colon cancer, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving the immune system and preventing harmful bacteria growth under stress, among other beneficial factors.

You may associate yourself with one of the above conditions and are therefore wondering what the best probiotic supplements are for you to use. Everybody’s needs are different so doses vary from person to person. In persons affected with lactose intolerance, the lactic acid bacteria can be digested to convert lactose into acid and then it is easier to digest. This is just a small example of the hundreds of probiotics out there that deal with many conditions.

When it comes to choosing a probiotic there are a few guidelines to follow. Keep in mind that it varies for different conditions and the best probiotic supplements may not be suitable for every person. NOW - Probiotic-10 - 50 Billion 50 Vcaps

Before you turn to probiotics, it is important to know that you are getting enough bacteria. If you are getting less than 10 million live bacteria then you probably want to increase your bacteria intake so that it meets this standard.

It is also important, when looking for the best probiotic supplement, that you look at the ingredients. Generally, it is good if a probiotic contains bacteria from the Lactobacillus family, otherwise there are obviously different bacteria’s that help with different conditions. Before you purchase a probiotic, be sure to do research on what you are specifically looking for or ask your doctor to recommend a good probiotic.

In addition to the probiotic supplement having bacteria, it should also house FOS, the preferred food for friendly bacteria. This ensures that the probiotic will operate on an optimum level, as FOS nutrition helps probiotics grow stronger and function better. This is especially important with probiotics that are taken for irritable bowel syndrome and chronic diarrhea.

Those who have been on antibiotics need probiotic friendly bacteria. Antibiotics destroy friendly bacteria. Probiotics can be used by people and children who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and want to have a strong immune system and healthy well balanced intestinal tract.

Have you had your Probiotics Today?

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2204)


Free Radicals and how to Combat Them!
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Date: November 30, 2010 02:41 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Free Radicals and how to Combat Them!

Vitamin C and E

Chances are you have heard about antioxidants. They’re everywhere: in the news, on the internet, and, of course, in our body. The first group of antioxidants that spurred the war against free radicals are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. As early as the 15th century, seafarers knowingly consumed citrus fruits in treatment of scurvy, which today we refer to as a disease caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. On the other hand, intake of green leafy vegetables results in healthy cells in the body, touted lately as one of the benefits of Vitamin E. Since the latter half of the 20th century the term antioxidants have come into wide use, sparking a series of studies that led scientists and health professionals to a much more well-informed understanding of how important these vitamins are to human life.

Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Two things about biochemistry that have been a part of our growing concern about eating right are antioxidants and free radicals, which you might have learned outside the classroom. The human body deploy free radicals for the purpose of killing harmful microorganisms, but somehow these chemical entities get out of control. It should be noted that most known free radicals are short-lived, explaining how we survive as they are toxic to the body. When not properly disposed of, free radicals are one of the reactive oxygen species that create a chain reaction damaging everything, including DNA. The problem arises when the body fails to detoxify these reactive oxygen species, and then the latter run amok inside the body. This is when antioxidants come into the picture.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Peroxyl Radicals

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are lipids that protect the interior of cells from the outside environment and play a role in storing energy for use by the human body. Different groups of lipids encompass several major chemical reactions in the body, including securing the proper functions of physiological communication lines. In a process called lipid peroxidation, peroxyl radicals go on a killing spree by depriving the lipids of electrons, which continues as they bring in more radicals. The human body make use of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to police the proliferation of lipid radicals in time to deactivate lipid radicals and avoid unwanted effects on cell membranes.

Ascorbate and Tocopherol as Co-Antioxidants

In chemical reactions, the body utilizes forms of tocopherol in Vitamin E and ascorbate ions in Vitamin C. These antioxidants work on the principle of pairing with peroxyl radicals, taking on radical forms, ascorbate and tocopherol, to stop the oxidation process initiated by free radicals. At the molecular level, ascorbate makes an ideal antioxidant as it does not react with oxygen and terminates harmful peroxyl radicals that continue to oxidize. Studies say that Vitamin C and Vitamin E are co-antioxidants in that ascorbate works with tocopherol. For example, when continuing oxidation damage lipids, tocopherol, Vitamin E, removes the harmful radicals, and ascorbate recycles Vitamin E back to its usable tocopherol form.

The Perfect Match

Alpha Lipoic Acid recycles both Vitamin C and Vitamin E because alpha lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble.

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Saw Palmetto For Prostate Function
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Date: September 10, 2010 04:29 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Saw Palmetto For Prostate Function

What Are Saw Palmetto Berries Good For?

saw palmetto plant pictureThere is plenty of evidence supporting the use of saw palmetto in the treatment of BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia), commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. This is a common condition in men older than 50 and even younger, and a large number of studies have been carried out on its treatment. Saw palmetto has figured in many of these with a good degree of success.

Although it is widely used in Europe for treating BPH, saw palmetto berry is not sold in the USA for that purpose since the FDA does not permit anything but prescription medicaments to be prostate picture enlargedrecommended for the condition. Nevertheless, it is available over the counter as a herbal remedy for male pattern hair loss and other conditions, and is widely used by men suffering prostate problems or trying to avoid them.

Where Can I Buy Saw Palmetto Berries?

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Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good
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Date: July 21, 2010 02:55 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good

There was once a case of a young man who had felt sick for years. Although it was nothing intense, it was just enough to make him feel listless, tired, and depressed. His medical doctors prescribed him a list of medications, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, he went to a chiropractor who was also trained in nutrition. After a few urine tests and an examination of his diet, the chiropractor was able to diagnose the man’s problem as auto-intoxication. This meant that his body was actually being poisoned by his intestinal tract.

Auto-intoxication, also known as intestinal toxemia, is a condition that is brought on by eating the wrong types and amounts of food that certain bacteria can thrive upon and produce toxins from. These toxins permeate into the bloodstream and are carried into the rest of the body. Symptoms of auto-intoxication include fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases, headaches, endocrine and circulatory disturbances, and others.

The chiropractor placed the young man on a regime of low-protein, high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, with the main emphasis being on raw fruits and vegetables. The young man felt great within a month. His symptoms had gradually disappeared. He states that it was frustrating to suffer for so long when the answer to his problem was a change in diet. The diet changes were not hard for him. After so long being sick, he was willing to try almost anything. He claims that the relief he feels today has made the diet changes worthwhile. The toxins which are formed and sent into the bloodstream are sent to the liver first, where some, but not all, of them are filtered out. They are then sent back into the bloodstream where they poison various cells. Finally, they are excreted by the kidneys into urine, making their presence able to be detected through a urinalysis.

A lot of medical literature has been published that supports the link between illness and intestinal toxemia. The following are just a few examples of this literature. One doctor studied 472 cases of allergies, with allergies clearing up when intestinal toxemia was eliminated. After 23 years of observation, another doctor stated that toxemia is the underlying cause of asthma. About 50% of all cases of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly helped by removing the toxins that are formed in the intestine. Similarly, about 25% of all cases of irregular heartbeats seem to respond well to the elimination of toxemia. Several hundred cases of ear, nose, and throat diseases were from auto-intoxications. A high protein diet that is combined with intestinal stagnation has been shown to cause toxemia of pregnancy.

It was found that many cases of eye disease respond well when the intestinal toxins are eliminated from the picture. Both mental and physical nervous system diseases may result form auto-intoxication. One paper reported that 517 cases of mental symptoms that ranged from mental sluggishness to hallucinations were relieved by eliminating intestinal toxemia. Recent research has actually found that toxemia is related to schizophrenia.

The process of aging is even sped up by toxins in the body. Low back pain and sciatica can be caused by nerves that are irritated by intestinal toxins. One doctor reported that intestinal toxemia is an important causative factor in the production of a variety of skin diseases. Breast diseases have self-healed when auto-intoxication has been removed from the picture. It seems that the answer to many health problems is building up the immune system with a healthy diet that is high in complex-carbohydrates, low in fats, and contains an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Increasing fiber in the diet can help colon function and eliminate the compounds that cause auto-intoxication. Acidophilus can help restore the intestinal balance once the colon has been cleansed boosting digestion and immune health. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality colon support supplements.

Solaray - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturalMax - Kal

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Glucomannon Fiber
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Date: December 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Glucomannon Fiber

glucomannon powderGlucomannan is derived from the extracted mucilage of the konjac root. This plant is part of the same family as yams, but does not have the calories. Glucomannan is a 100 percent natural form of fiber. The principle use of this herb is as a bulking agent to promote the feeling of fullness.

Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. This nutrient is considered to be a dietary fiber. Often, glucomannan is a food additive that is used as both an emulsifier and thickener. Products that contain glucomannan are marketed under a variety of brand names, but are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris, and type II diabetes. Glucomannan can be found making up about forty percent by dry weight of the roots of the konjac plant. This nutrient is also a hemicellulose, which can be found in large amounts in wood of conifer plants and in smaller amounts in the wood of dicotyledons.

Glucomannan helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain regularity, and promote intestinal health. The herb also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, relieving stress on the pancreas, and discouraging blood sugar abnormalities such as hypoglycemia. Glucomannan also absorbs toxic substances that are produced during digestion and elimination. The herb binds toxic materials and eliminates them before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Research has determined that glucomannan and lecithin together reduce cholesterol levels. Lecithin is responsible for breaking down fat and cholesterol, and glucomannan eliminates those broken-down particles from the body. This herb expands to about fifty times its original volume when it is taken with a glass of water. glucomannon comes from konjac root

Diabetic patients have reported that they experienced benefits with glucomannan. One study, in which patients were given glucomannan daily for ninety days, found the mean fasting glucose levels to have fallen by 29 percent by the end of the ninety days. At the end of the period, the mean fasting glucose levels fell by 29 percent. Most participants in this study reduced their insulin requirements. Glucomannan may also help cholesterol levels. Animal studies have determined that there is a significant reduction in cholesterol levels when given this herb.

Before supplementing with glucomannan, it is important to speak with your health care provider. In the same sense, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices that you use. It is important to give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This ensures both coordinated and safe health care.

The root of the glucomannan plant is used to provide anorectic, antacid, cholagogue, digestive, nutritive, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, and zinc. Primarily, glucomannan is extremely helpful in treating blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol, constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and obesity. Additionally, the herb is very beneficial in dealing with atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric problems, hypoglycemia, and pancreatic problems.

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Pine Bark Extract
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Date: October 07, 2009 11:25 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Pine Bark Extract

Pine Bark PictureMany Native American tribes relied on the bark of pine trees for its ability to treat a number of disorders. The Annedda pine was called the “tree of life” due to its marvelous healing benefits. Jacques Cartier, a noted explorer in 1535, wrote in his diaries about the early medicinal uses for pine tree bark. Cartier and his crew came down with scurvy after being caught in the bitter snows of Quebec and living on hard biscuits and cured meat. Multiple men died before Quebec Indians approached them and made a tea from the bark of a pine tree. After drinking the tea and applying poultices to their wounds, they were soon healed. The miraculous recovery is actually a result of the vitamin C and bioflavonoids in the bark. A French professor discovered Cartier’s account and became intrigued with studying pine tree bark. He isolated a certain kind of proanthocyanidin flavonoids from the extract and later found it to have antioxidant attributes.

Pine bark extract has become an important herbal remedy due to its antioxidant power. It is responsible for binding with collagen fibers and helping to restore elasticity in the skin. It also protects the body from free-radical damage, which prevents excess and premature wrinkles. Pine tree bark also protects capillaries from free-radical damage that can cause phlebitis, varicose veins, and bruising. Those people who are suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis can also be benefited from pine bark extract. Along with being an antioxidant, pine bark is a natural anti-inflammatory. It helps heal joint pain that is associated with things such as arthritis and sports injuries. This herb helps to control and prevent edema and bursitis. Pine Bark Picture Pine bark extract also helps with eyesight. It is responsible for reducing the risk of and treating diabetic retinopathy. Multiple studies have concluded that it is beneficial in improving night vision. One study even found marked improvement in visual performance in the proanthocyanidin group over a placebo group.

Additionally, pine bark extract may also help in inhibiting cellular mutations like tumors. Reports have found that this herb can help to prevent cellular deterioration in breast tumors and cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that this herb possesses antiulcer properties that may help prevent the formation of undesirable chemicals in the stomach.

Pine bark can also benefit other conditions with its proanthocyanidin therapy. Among these are autoimmune disorders such as lupus, neural problems such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, and vascular problems like heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stokes. Pine bark extract can also treat common complaints such as insomnia, flu, and even the common cold. This herb is very helpful in improving memory, longevity, and the prostate.

Additionally, its stimulant properties are responsible for decreasing the production of histamines in allergic reactions like hay fever. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pine bark extract, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.

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Probiotic, Health, and Capsules
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Date: August 04, 2009 02:16 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Probiotic, Health, and Capsules

More than 50 million people have from slight to continuing digestive episodes. It has now become accepted and even proven helpful to talk about bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and other uncomfortable sensations.

Digestive health is an everyday consideration, especially as we grow older. The good news is it’s a wellness issue in most cases. Over 400 distinct species of microorganisms inhabit the various regions of the human digestive tract, making up nearly four pounds of every individual’s total body weight. This vast population of microorganisms far exceeds the number of tissue cells that make up the human body.

What is beginning to be understood is that the gut has the power to influence out health, well-being and resistance to disease far beyond our previous convictions. How do probiotics fit into the gut health picture? Many consumers are starting to understand that prevention is one of the keys.

The wellness issue is an understanding that we may be bombarded with unwanted bacteria every hour of our day. These bacteria co-exist and in some cases balance each other in out vast internal ecosystem. It is with this balance that probiotics have protected your but for many years.

By consuming probiotics on a daily basis, one can successfully reduce or prevent colon disease. Are you taking a good probiotic on a daily basis? Taking a daily probiotic capsule can help boost your health and help you liver longer and happier.

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Calcium, Magnesium And Vitamin D
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Date: June 24, 2009 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Calcium, Magnesium And Vitamin D

In February 2006, the findings of an $18 million double-blind placebo-controlled study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and was on the protective effect of calcium and vitamin D. The New York Times reported on this study, declaring that the study found that there were no clear benefits to calcium pills. In this article, the fact that the women who stuck to their supplementation regime experienced 29% reduction in hip fractures was dismissed. This result is rarely achieved, even with use of the strongest pharmaceuticals.

This study was designed to determine whether postmenopausal women who were given calcium and vitamin D would have a lower risk of hip fracture. The intervention group was given 1,000 mg each day of calcium carbonate, along with 400 IU of vitamin D. Although these women portrayed a greater preservation of hipbone density, the decrease in risk of fracture of 12% was not significant as a whole. The fact that many of the women who were included in the study were under sixty, and therefore, not typically at risk for fractures, causes these results to be unsurprising.

The results that were found were also skewed as a result of the fact that compliance with the prescribed daily intake was only 59% by the end of the study. 41% of the study participants had fully stopped taking the prescribed daily dosage of calcium and vitamin D, with 24% having discontinued the supplementation altogether. With such an unexpectedly low compliance rate, along with the fact that the projected hip fracture rate was over twice what was actually observed, the power of the study was reduce to only 48%. As a result, the trial had less chance than a simple flip of a coin to find anything but the largest of differences in a risk for fracture.

Despite these shortcomings, the researchers looked at the subgroups, and found different pictures emerging. Looking only at the women who mostly stuck to their prescribed regime, researchers found that a reduction in fractures of 29% was experienced. Additionally, those women over sixty experienced a reduction in the risk of fracture of 21%. These results are actually remarkable, especially after considering the many problems which clouded the accuracy of the data. Unfortunately, reporters did not look at these findings, causing a slanted account of the study to be published. Because of this, the media failed to acknowledge what were actually significant findings.

Additionally, the design of the WHI study disregarded the fact that a reduction of fracture risk is actually dependent on several factors other than calcium. Studies have actually shown that magnesium is also of equal important in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, as a deficiency plays a central role in the development of the disease. Postmenopausal women and those women with osteoporosis usually have low bone-magnesium content, exhibiting other indicators of magnesium deficiency that are not seen in non-osteoporotic women. Also, calcium competes for absorption with magnesium, meaning that postmenopausal women who increase calcium intake without also increasing magnesium intake can impair their absorption of magnesium. With this knowledge, the failure of the researchers to include magnesium supplementation along with calcium and vitamin D caused the potential for a study that could cause harm on the patients. With the results as they are how can we trust studies that are conducted when the patients who participate do not follow the rules? For those who want to prevent osteoporosis, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D when taken together can help slow and prevent the onset of brittle bones.

Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D come in capsule, tablet, and liquid softgel forms at your local or internet health food store. Always look for a name brand calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D supplement to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.

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Great Taste, Lower Cholesterol, Triglycerides, And Blood Sugar
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Date: April 14, 2008 03:11 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Great Taste, Lower Cholesterol, Triglycerides, And Blood Sugar

cinnamon powder and sticks pictureCinnamon, a spice that every child loves, known to be added to many culinary foods to enrich the tastes buds. Cinnamon is a very old spice mentioned in the bible and popular in ancient Egypt, once was considered more valuable than gold. There are several varieties of cinnamon available on the market. Chinese or cassia and Ceylon which are found in grocery and health food stores alike.

Cinnamon has been used for the same things over the centuries, as a food and drink additive as well as medicinal purposes CINNAMON BARK 600MG 120 CAPS from NOWcinnamon was one of the first spices to be traded between Europe and the Far East.

Today, cinnamon is used for cooking, baking, and medicinal purposes where recent studies suggest this herb might help equalize blood sugar levels. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may help prevent blood platelets from sticking together in the blood as well as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cinnamon is available in power, oil, or whole bark (water soluble and oil soluble) for every need and application you may come across. This herb comes from the cinnamon tree (bark), and can stay fresh un-refrigerated for up to 6 months and longer if left refrigerated and kept in an air tight bottle.

Have you had your cinnamon today?

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The Growing Organic Market Place
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Date: June 26, 2007 01:51 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Growing Organic Market Place

It probably doesn’t come as much of a shock that the market for organic produce is growing—estimated by various sources at about 20 percent a year. What may be surprising is that the organic food market, which generated about $13.8 billion last year, represents only about 2.5 percent of the total U.S. food consumption.

While those of us involved in the natural products industry or natural healthcare take for granted the advantages of organic products over “traditional” ones, there is a pressing need to mobilize resources in order to meet the consumer demand for pesticide-free foods.

Currently, only 0.2 percent of the U.S. farmland is organic. The other 99.8 percent produces food utilizing the high-production, low-nutrient and flavor lacking industrial chemical methods we grew up with—the same tradition that drove consumers to seek out organic produce in the first place. The picture isn’t any better in Canada, according to the Canadian Organic Growers Association, where only 1 percent of the food grown there is organic.

This of course raises the question as to how we are going to satisfy this increasing consumer demand. In a word: imports. We already import more than 10 percent of the organic food we eat. But perhaps the figure of greater interest is that we consume 42 percent of the worldwide organic food supply, leaving only 58% for world’s non-U.S. residents.

In this enlightened era in which we understand the downside of processed foods, chemical residue and the portent of global warming, it’s hard to understand why we don’t muster our great resources and legendary spirit to launch a program to address these issues—like JFK’s Apollo Project, which put a man on the moon in under a decade using computers less powerful than are commonly found on our desktops today.

While we ponder the question, there are people of good will and strong conviction who are working, albeit with limited resources, to do something about it. one group is working on remineralizing the earth. We are proud to be supporters and friends and we think you will find their concept as exciting as we do. -Peter Gillham – editor.

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Hoodia gordonii Standard from South Africa!
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Date: April 16, 2007 12:48 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hoodia gordonii Standard from South Africa!

Hoodia gordonii, for very good reasons, has attained a high degree of popularity in the United States. There are standard laboratory tests that prove whether a hoodia product is true Hoodia gordonii and if it contains a significant amount of the active compound Oxypregnane, sometimes called P-57.

Source Naturals tests every lot of Hoodia gordonii according to a standard provided by the government of Namibia in southern Africa, one of the main exporters of Hoodia. Source Naturals runs HPTLC (High Performance Thin Layer Chromatograph) testing against the raw material that we purchase, and we subject the raw material sample to LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectroscopy).

Above are two chromatograph pictures of true Hoodia gordonii. The picture on the left is the standard approved by the Namibian government. The image on the right is from a batch of Hoodia purchased by Source Naturals.

Every plant extract has a unique identifying chemical signature that can be tested in a chromatograph. The bands represent the various chemicals in the compound. As you see above, the Source Naturals sample has the same bands in the same position as the standard, proving that it is true Hoodia gordonii.

The band marked by the star represents the active constituent, P-57. As you can see, there is a strong presence of P-57 in the Source Naturals Hoodia Gordonii raw material.

Unless a compound can be tested to show a similar chromatograph with similar banding, it may not be pure, 100% Hoodia gordonii.

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JOINT HEALTH
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Date: December 22, 2005 09:37 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: JOINT HEALTH

Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH

Everyone old enough to walk appreciates the value of fl exibility and ease of movement. Unfortunately many of us take such good things for granted. A famous folksinger sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” That’s certainly true for millions of Americans who live with stiff and uncomfortable joints.

Fortunately there are a number of nutrients available that provide the vital components of healthy joint structure and function and ease of mobility. These nutrients are referred to as “chondroprotective agents,” and include glucosamine and chondroitin, which supply the raw material necessary to produce new cartilage, and may even help rebuild worn cartilage. Other chondroprotective nutrients and herbs, like Cetyl Myristoleate, MSM, and Boswellin, work synergistically with glucosamine and chondroitin and further support normal joint function To understand how chondroprotective agents work, one must fi rst understand how joints work. The key element in human joints is articular cartilage, the shock-absorbing tissue that connects two bones together and allows pain-free movement. Articular cartilage is comprised of two different molecules, collagen and proteoglycans, with the remainder composed primarily of water (65-85%). Collagen, a protein that binds tissue together, provides elasticity. Proteoglycans, composed of sugars and protein, absorb water, which provides lubrication and resiliency, nature’s shock absorber for your joints. Both compounds are produced by chondrocytes, caretaker cells responsible for the formation and maintenance of cartilage. A defi ciency in any one of the above constituents will increase the likelihood of wear and tear on articular cartilage, which can eventually lead to compromised joint function.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are safe, natural and effective nutrients that support healthy joint function by supplying the materials needed to produce collagen and proteoglycans.

GLUCOSAMINE

Glucosamine is composed of glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). It is utilized by chondrocytes to form glycosaminoglycans (GSG) and proteoglycans (PG). Both of these constituents attract and bind water into cartilage, increasing resiliency. Research indicates that glucosamine may actually help your body repair damaged or eroded cartilage. A number of studies have been conducted on glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, with a preponderance of positive results. Glucosamine sulfate is considered the more effective of the two. One study from the University of Liege in Liege, Belgium studied the effects of glucosamine sulfate on 212 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Participants took either 1,500 mg glucosamine or a placebo once daily for three years. The study compared joint-space width at enrollment, one year, and at the study’s conclusion.

The 106 patients on placebo had a progressive jointspace narrowing, while participants taking glucosamine experienced no significant joint-space loss, indicating glucosamine may benefi cially modify cartilage structure.3 A study published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 1998 investigated the in vitro effects of glucosamine sulfate on proteoglycan and collagen production by chondrocytes taken from osteoarthritic articular cartilage. The results showed “a statistically signifi cant stimulation of PG production by chondrocytes from human osteoarthritic cartilage cultured for up to 12 days in 3-dimensional cultures.” 4 Another study from Italy enrolled eighty inpatients with established OA. They received either 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate or placebo daily for 30 days. The patients treated with glucosamine sulfate experienced a reduction in symptoms almost twice as large and twice as fast as those receiving placebo. Researchers also used electron microscopy of patient’s articular cartilage to support this hypothesis. Patients who received glucosamine sulfate showed a picture more similar to healthy cartilage. The researchers concluded that glucosamine sulfate tends to rebuild damaged articular cartilage and restore articular function.5

CHONDROITIN

Chondroitin is classifi ed as a glycosaminoglycan. It bonds with collagen to form the basis of connective tissue. Chondroitin helps attract fl uid into proteoglycans, thereby bringing nutrients into cartilage and providing shock absorption. While glucosamine helps manufacture and maintain cartilage, chondroitin keeps cartilage from becoming malnourished. Chondroitin works synergistically with glucosamine, and these two nutrients form the basis of most joint health supplements on the market today. A 6-month randomized, multi-center, double-blind, doubledummy study published in 1996 compared the effectiveness of chondroitin versus a popular non-steroidal anti-infl ammatory drug (NSAID) in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). One hundred and forty-six patients with knee OA were recruited and separated into two groups; an NSAID group and a chondroitin sulfate (CS) group. The NSAID group was given the NSAID and a placebo for the fi rst month, then placebo alone for months 2-3. The CS group was given the NSAID and CS for the fi rst month, and then CS alone for months 2-3. Both groups were then given 1200mg of CS for months 4-6. “Patients treated with the NSAID showed prompt and plain reduction of clinical symptoms, which, however, reappeared after the end of treatment; in the CS group, the therapeutic response appeared later in time but lasted for up to 3 months after the end of treatment. CS seems to have slow but gradually increasing clinical activity in OA; these benefi ts last for a long period after the end of treatment.”6

NOW® Foods is your source for natural joint support products. Our Extra Strength Glucosamine & Chondroitin is one of our best-selling products, and we also have combination supplements that include MSM, Concentrace® minerals, and more. We also carry both glucosamine and chondroitin as separate products, as well as in powder and lotion forms.

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Weight Loss and Toxicity: The Missing Link
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Date: November 22, 2005 10:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Weight Loss and Toxicity: The Missing Link

We are THE toxic generation and therefore must become the DETOX GENERATION. The solution to all of the se conditions is to limit consumption of animal fats because most oil-soluble toxins accumulate in fat. The problem is not the saturated fat content found in animal foods, it’s the toxins that are stored in the animal’s fat. Choosing organic dairy and meats, as well as eating organic vegetables and fruits, is another helpful way to lower your exposure to fattening toxins. For good measure, it is imperative to fortify our intestinal tracts with good bacteria, because over 75 percent of the immune system’s receptor sites are located in the GI tract-so the GI tract, especially the colon, functions as a secondary immune system.

Here’s where a good probiotic can enter the picture. R. Fuller undertook the most recent and accurate description of probiotics in 1989 that redefined it as “a live microbial fee supplement beneficial to the host by improving the microbial balance within the body.” Think of a probiotic like you do your daily multi- it is, perhaps, even more essential.

Basically, there are over 100 trillion bacteria and around 400 different strains residing in your GI tract. The key is to have enough of the beneficial and essential bacteria. The optimum balance is 85 percent friendly bacteria to 15 percent unfriendly bacteria. And the trick is to make sure that if you take supplements for your probiotic needs, your supplement can really perform.

There are certain strains of lactic acid bacteria that can attach to your intestinal lining and produce antibodies that are lethal to the most disease producing bugs like the methicillin resistant staph, as well as E. coli (which is harbored in manure used as fertilizer and then shows up on your imported foods) and H. pylor-the bug that causes ulcers, heart disease, migraines, and glaucoma. Simply put, probiotics crowd out the bad bugs by occupying most of the parking space in the bowel wall.

The most promising probiotic strain to be discovered since Metchnikoff isolated the beneficial bacteria from yogurt is the TH10 strain researched and formulated by Dr. I. Ohhira, one of Japan’s leading microbiologists, and a team of research scientists from Okayama University.

The TH10 strain is now available here in the U.S. in a probiotic formula known as Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics 12 PLUS. I have been an educator for this product for nearly five years since I discovered it and have found that after one day, my sensitive stomach no longer experienced bloating, flatulence, and other assorted discomforts. The product utilizes primary research, not borrowed science.

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Date: October 06, 2005 10:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

Magnesium is a dietary mineral with a wide array of biological activities in the body. Magnesium participates in numerous life-essential processes that occur both inside and outside cells. Magnesium deficiency impacts normal physiologic function on many levels. Adequate magnesium is a fundamental requirement for optimum function of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and skeletal muscle, as well as the uterus and GI tract. Magnesium deficiency can affect health of the heart, bones and blood vessels and alter blood sugar balance [1].

Magnesium–Important for Everyone, Deficient in Many The average person living in a modern country today very likely consumes less than the optimum amount of magnesium [2]. An abundance of data collected over the last two decades shows a consistent pattern of low magnesium intake in the U.S. This pattern cuts a wide swath across various age-sex groups. The USDA’s Nationwide Food Consumption Survey found that a majority of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily magnesium intake [3]. Twelve age-sex groups were studied and this low magnesium intake was true for all groups except 0 to 5 year olds.

An analysis of the nutrient content of the diets of 7,810 individuals age four and above included magnesium among several nutrients where the amounts supplied by the average diet "were not sufficient to meet recommended standards" [4]. The FDA’s Total Diet study examined the intakes of eleven minerals, including magnesium, among eight age-sex groups. Data was collected four times yearly from 1982 to 1984. Levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper were low for most age-sex groups [5]. Surveys conducted in Europe and in other parts of North America paint a similar picture. Loss of magnesium during food processing is one explanation for this global lack of adequate dietary magnesium [6].

In particular, the elderly may be susceptible to magnesium deficiency for a variety of reasons, including inadequate magnesium intake, poor absorption due to impaired gastrointestinal function and use of drugs such as diuretics that deplete magnesium from the body [7]. It has recently been theorized that magnesium deficiency may contribute to accelerated aging, through effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as muscles and the kidneys [8].

Women who take both synthetic estrogen and calcium supplements may be at risk for low blood levels of magnesium [9]. Estrogen promotes the transfer of magnesium from blood to soft–tissues. Low blood magnesium may result if the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake exceeds 4 to 1. Magnesium supplementation is thus advisable for women taking estrogen and calcium.

Young adults are not immune to magnesium deficiency. The University of California’s Bogalusa Heart Study collected nutritional data from a cross-sectional sample of 504 young adults between age 19 and 28 [10]. The reported intake of magnesium, along with several other minerals and vitamins, was below the RDA.

Glycine is a highly effective mineral chelator. This is because it is a low-molecular-weight amino acid, hence is easily transported across the intestinal membrane. A study conducted at Weber State University found this particular magnesium glycinate was absorbed up to four times more effectively than typical magnesium supplements.

Magnesium-the Versatile Mineral

The average adult body contains anywhere from about 21 to 28 grams of magnesium. Approximately 60 percent of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in bone. Soft tissue, such as skeletal muscle, contains 38%, leaving only about 1 to 2% of the total body magnesium content in blood plasma and red blood cells. Magnesium in the body may be bound either to proteins or "anions" (negatively charged substances.) About 55% of the body’s magnesium content is in the "ionic" form, which means it carries an electrical charge. Magnesium ions are "cations," ions that carry a positive charge. In its charged state, magnesium functions as one of the mineral "electrolytes."

Magnesium works as a "co-factor" for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Metabolism uses a phosphate containing molecule called "ATP" as its energy source. Magnesium is required for all reactions involving ATP [11]. ATP supplies the energy for physical activity, by releasing energy stored in "phosphate bonds".

Skeletal and heart muscle use up large amounts of ATP. The energy for muscle contraction is released when one of ATP’s phosphate bonds is broken, in a reaction that produces ADP. Phosphate is added back to ADP, re-forming ATP. ATP also powers the cellular "calcium pump" which allows muscle cells to relax. Because it participates in these ATP-controlled processes, magnesium is vitally important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By controlling the flow of sodium, potassium and calcium in and out of cells, magnesium regulates the function of nerves as well as muscles [12].

Magnesium’s importance for heart health is widely recognized. The heart is the only muscle in the body that generates its own electrical impulses. Through its influence on the heart’s electrical conduction system, magnesium is essential for maintenance of a smooth, regular heartbeat [13]. Magnesium appears to help the heart resist the effects of systemic stress. Magnesium deficiency aggravates cardiac damage due to acute systemic stress (such as caused by infection or trauma), while magnesium supplementation protects the heart against stress [14]. This has been found true even in the absence of an actual magnesium deficit in the body.

Evidence suggests that magnesium may help support mineral bone density in elderly women. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplements showed gains in bone density. A control group of 23 women who declined taking the supplements had decreases in bone density [15]. The dietary intakes of magnesium, potassium, fruit and vegetables are associated with increased bone density in elderly women and men [16]. In an interesting animal study, rats were fed diets with either high or low levels of magnesium. Compared to the high magnesium-fed rats, bone strength and magnesium content of bone decreased in the low-magnesium rats, even though these rats showed no visible signs of magnesium deficiency [17]. While this finding may or may not apply to humans, it raises the possibility that diets supplying low magnesium intakes may contribute to weakening of bone in the elderly.

Maximizing Absorption––Chelated Minerals Explained Mineral absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine. Like any mineral, magnesium may be absorbed as an "ion," a mineral in its elemental state that carries an electric charge. Mineral ions cross the intestinal membrane either through "active transport" by a protein carrier imbedded in the cells lining the membrane inner wall, or by simple diffusion. The magnesium in mineral salts is absorbed in ionic form. However, absorption of ionic minerals can be compromised by any number of factors, including: 1) Low solubility of the starting salt, which inhibits release of the mineral ion, and 2) Binding of the released ion to naturally occurring dietary factors such as phytates, fats and other minerals that form indigestible mineral complexes [18].

A second absorption mechanism has been discovered for minerals. Experiments have shown that minerals chemically bonded to amino acids (building blocks of protein) are absorbed differently from mineral ions. This has given rise to the introduction of "chelated" minerals as dietary supplements. Mineral amino acid chelates consist of a single atom of elemental mineral that is surrounded by two or more amino acid molecules in a stable, ring-like structure.

Unlike mineral salts, which must be digested by stomach acid before the desired mineral portion can be released and absorbed, mineral chelates are not broken down in the stomach or intestines. Instead, chelates cross the intestinal wall intact, carrying the mineral tightly bound and hidden within the amino acid ring. The mineral is then released into the bloodstream for use by the body. Research by pioneers in the field of mineral chelation and human nutrition indicates that the best-absorbed chelates consist of one mineral atom chelated with two amino acids. This form of chelate is called a "di-peptide." Compared to other chelates, di-peptides have the ideal chemical attributes for optimum absorption [19]. Dipeptide chelates demonstrate superior absorption compared to mineral salts. For example, a magnesium di-peptide chelate was shown to be four times better absorbed than magnesium oxide [20].

Consumer Alert! Not all "amino acid chelates" are true chelates. In order for a mineral supplement to qualify as a genuine chelate, it must be carefully processed to ensure the mineral is chemically bonded to the amino acids in a stable molecule with the right characteristics. The magnesium bis-glycinate/lysinate in High Absorption Magnesium is a genuine di-peptide chelate ("bis" means "two"). It has a molecular weight of 324 daltons, considerably lower than the upper limit of 800 daltons stated in the definition of "mineral amino acid chelates" adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in 1996 [21].

Bioperine® For Enhanced Absorption Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that increases nutrient absorption.* Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine® [22].

Scientific References 1. Abbott, L.R., R., Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner electrolyte Metab, 1993. 19: p. 314-22. 2. Durlach, J., Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. Magnesium Research, 1989. 2(3): p. 195-202. 3. Morgan, K.e.a., Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1985. 4: p. 195-206. 4. Windham, C., Wyse, B., Hurst, R. Hansen, R., Consistency of nutrient consumption patterns in the United States. J AM Diet Assoc, 1981. 78(6): p. 587-95. 5. Pennington, J., Mineral content of foods and total diets: the Selected Minerals in Food Survey, 1982 to 1984. J AM Diet Assoc, 1986. 86(7): p. 876-91. 6. Marier, J., Magnesium Content of the Food Supply in the Modern- Day World. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 1-8. 7. Costello, R., Moser-Veillon, P., A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern? Magnesium Research, 1992. 5(1): p. 61-67. 8. Durlach, J., et al., Magnesium status and aging: An update. Magnesium Research, 1997. 11(1): p. 25-42. 9. Seelig, M., Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnesium Research, 1990. 3(3): p. 197-215. 10. Zive, M., et al., Marginal vitamin and mineral intakes of young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Adolesc, 1996. 19(1): p. 39-47. 11. McLean, R., Magnesium and its therapeutic uses: A review. American Journal of Medicine, 1994. 96: p. 63-76. 12. Graber, T., Role of magnesium in health and disease. Comprehensive Therapy, 1987. 13(1): p. 29-35. 13. Sueta, C., Patterson, J., Adams, K., Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: A critical review of new data. Magnesium Research, 1995. 8(4): p. 389- 401. 14. Classen, H.-G., Systemic stress, magnesium status and cardiovascular damage. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 105-110. 15. Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper, R., Leichter, I., Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis. Magnesium Research, 1993. 6(2): p. 155-63. 16. Tucker, K., et al., Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 69(4): p. 727-736. 17. Heroux, O., Peter, D., Tanner, A., Effect of a chronic suboptimal intake of magnesium on magnesium and calcium content of bone and bone strength of the rat. Can J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 1975. 53: p. 304-310. 18. Pineda, O., Ashmead, H.D., Effectiveness of treatment of irondeficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bisglycinate chelate. Nutrition, 2001. 17: p. 381-84. 19. Adibi, A., Intestinal transport of dipetides in man: Relative importance of hydrolysis and intact absorption. J Clin Invest, 1971. 50: p. 2266-75. 20. Ashmead, H.D., Graff, D., Ashmead, H., Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelates. 1985, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 21. NNFA definition of mineral amino acid chlelates, in NNFA Today. 1996. p. 15. 22. Bioperine-Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. 1996, Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, N.J.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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CLA and Cows
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Date: June 22, 2005 09:52 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CLA and Cows

CLA and Cows

Nutritional developments like that of CLA couldn’t come at a better time. America is a nation obsessed with weight, but successes in battling weight seem harder and harder to come by. Is there a nutritional reason for this? Have we been barking up the wrong tree in recent years, starving ourselves for fear of gluttony rather than looking at broader nutritional reasons for fat accumulation? For example, Dr. Cook says that modern nutritional dogma is that fat is bad. “I’m not sure the dogma’s right. We need to get down to very specific fatty acids.”51 One of the most exciting developments coming from CLA research is that modern animal-raising techniques may be partially responsible for those of us who eat meat getting fat around the middle, even though our consumption of meat may have declined or, at least, stayed about the same in recent years.

CLA has been declining in our diet. This one nutrient’s lack may mean many of us are gaining fat, despite eating less overall fat.52

This desire to simply eliminate fats without looking at the broader nutritional picture has its roots deep in our culture. The desire to starve ourselves to lose weight goes back centuries. We have often thought weight gain came solely from lacking self-control when, often, nothing could be further from the truth.

Take for example the experiences of conscientious objectors during World War II. These men who chose, for religious reasons, not to fight in the war, contributed in other ways. One group at the University of Minnesota underwent forced starvation to help scientists learn ways to help concentration camp victims recover after liberation.

Science learned many useful things, but one thing stands out. The objectors grew more hungry as they recovered and ended up weighing five percent more after they recovered than before the experiment began. (The same can be said for refugees and concentration camp victims, who also weighed more, on average after their ordeals than before.)53 This idea of dieting being the full answer to weight loss still persists, often tragically. Many have died of anorexia, obsessed with self-image. Others have died directly from ill-conceived meal replacement programs.54 In the 1980s, Americans spent $15 billion on diet soft drinks alone,55 but consumers weighed more on average when the decade was over than when it began. You’d think all of this energy and dieting spent on the effort would have helped people lose weight. (Thankfully, many people have succeeded in losing weight and keeping it off. According to Dr. Pariza, this may well be the most significant part of CLA, not so much in losing the weight, but in helping people keep it off.56)

To drive the point home further, consider your parents. They ate a diet that was likely higher in fat than yours. They never saw “lite” versions of snacks in the store. Yet they, in general, weighed less than we do. Why? Surely exercise may have had something to do with it, but, no one has the complete answer. It seems likely that nutrition too played a role. CLA itself may hold part of the reason. As we have seen, CLA nutrition means less fat and more protein in our bodies. Recent research is showing that the amount of CLA in cows has dropped substantially since the times of our parents. In 1963, scientists found that CLA was as much as 2.81 percent of milkfat. The amount of CLA in the milk products varied with the seasons. At some times during the year, cows ate grass. At other times, they ate feed. However, in 1992, Pariza and his colleagues did a large food survey and found that this variation in CLA is no longer occurring. Furthermore, the amount of CLA in dairy products rarely gets above 1 percent of the milkfat. 57

In another research paper in 1994, scientists noticed that Australian cows have as much as three or four time the amount of CLA in the meat from similar American animals. Why? These differences probably “reflect different feeding conditions.” 58

Today, farmers use more efficient feeding methods that rely less heavily on natural grasses. This means less CLA in the meat we eat, and less CLA can mean a higher percentage of fat on our bodies. Consider too that skim milk contains virtually no CLA with its no fat content. This lack of CLA may actually hinder some people’s efforts to lose weight.

The lesson here seems to be that gluttony guilt would be better focused on balanced living. Healthy lifestyles coupled with the right supplementation can make a difference. CLA, though no magic bullet, adds to this lifestyle and could be the key that finally opens many weight (and fat) management doors. It could help many people keep the weight off.

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Anti-Aging Nutrients
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Date: June 18, 2005 09:07 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Anti-Aging Nutrients

Anti-Aging Nutrients by Edward C. Wallace, DC, ND Energy Times, February 3, 2000

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful, easy feeling.

How Do We Age?

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain. On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents.

Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution. Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do?

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.) Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725). Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460).

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184). In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging. Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls. In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs.Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems.

In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less.

And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119[1], Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs. For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68). As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit. In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of longer life. And by staying healthier, your old age will be more enjoyable, too.



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Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
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Date: June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...

Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004

  • The Nature of Hair
  • Hair's Natural Nutrients
  • Ancient Chinese Hair Secrets
  • Revive Hair Glow
  • Go Natural
  • Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.

    " We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."

    Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.

    " The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.

    The Nature of Hair

    Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."

    Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).

    Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.

    Hair's Natural Nutrients

    To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."

    " Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

    Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."

    Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.

    Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."

    Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.

    Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)

    Ancient Chinese Hair Secrets

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."

    Revive Hair Glow

    " Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.

    When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.

    To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.

    For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.

    If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.

    Go Natural

    To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.

    Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."



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    Vitanet ®

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    Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
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    Date: June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number

    Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004

    As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.

    At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.

    As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.

    Ages 30 to 45

    When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.

    Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.

    By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.

    Set Health Goals

    According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.

    Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.

    As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."

    Develop an Eating Plan

    Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:

  • • Cut back on sugar. Dr. Williams says that, "Over my more than 20 years of clinical practice, I have found that nothing undermines health more than refined sugar."
  • • Limit your carbohydrates, especially the refined ones. Dr. Williams says you should "substitute whole grain breads for...white bread....[A]void commercial breakfast cereals....[E]at small amounts of beans several times a week."
  • • Cut calories. Cutting the amount of food you eat supports health in a number of ways and is believed to boost longevity. Dr Williams notes, "Calorie restriction is necessary...to normalize your weight...to reduce the metabolic burden of overeating on your liver and intestinal tract and to minimize insulin production from the glucose spikes caused by overeating." Problems with insulin production, linked to diabetes, may result from eating large amounts of sugary foods and little fiber, and are thought to accelerate aging.
  • • Eat mostly low-fat foods. Check product labels to limit fat. Foods that are high in healthy omega-3 fats, like fish and soy, can be eaten more often.
  • • Eat foods high in lean protein. Reichler recommends meats like lean beef, poultry, beans and non-fat dairy. • Eat fish. It provides a wealth of healthy fats and protein. "Fish, because it contains the good omega-3 fats, does not need to be lean; the same is true for soy products that do not have added fat," adds Reichler.

    Get Supplemental Help

    If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.

    Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.

    Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).

    In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).

    " Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."

    In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.

    Ages 45 to 55

    When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.

    For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.

    " The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.

    Increase in Heart Disease

    Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.

    Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).

    The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.

    " Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.

    Heart Health Factors

    The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.

    Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.

    " Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).

    Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.

    Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.

    Exercise and Weight

    Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.

    A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).

    Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.

    " The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

    An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.

    Supplements and Diet

    If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.

    As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).

    This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.

    " Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

    Calcium and Bones

    At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.

    According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."

    Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."

    Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.

    " As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."

    Ages 55 and Beyond

    Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.

    As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."

    But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."

    One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.

    Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).

    " In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.

    In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."

    In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.

    Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).

    " We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.

    An Herb for Menopause

    The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).

    " This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.

    While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.

    Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins

    While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.

    When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).

    Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.

    Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.

    Saving Your Sight

    After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.

    Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.

    The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.

    Healthy at All Ages

    When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.

    The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.

    Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.



    --
    Vitanet ®

    Solaray vitamins - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturalMax - Kal

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    Home on the Range
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    Date: June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Home on the Range

    Home on the Range

    by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999

    Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.

    But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.

    The Alternative Chicken

    Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.

    These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.

    Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.

    Antibiotics Stimulate Growth

    Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.

    This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.

    This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.

    "Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.

    A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.

    Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.

    "Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.

    Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.

    And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.

    "There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.

    The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.

    Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.

    Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.

    "Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.

    In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!

    To fight cruel treatment of poultry:

    • Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP

    • Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.



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    Menopause: Disease or Condition?
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    Date: June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Menopause: Disease or Condition?

    Menopause: Disease or Condition?

    by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999

    It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.

    It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.

    What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.

    Not An Overnight Sensation

    Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.

    Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.

    Hormonal Events

    According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."

    The most important reproductive hormones include:

    Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.

    Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.

    Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.

    Estrogen's Wide Reach

    Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.

    Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.

    In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.

    For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.

    Resolving The Impasse

    Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.

    But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.

    Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.

    Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.

    Help From Herbs

    Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.

    The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.

    Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).

    A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.

    These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)

    According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.

    According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).

    These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.

    Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).

    To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.

    Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.

    Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.

    Our Need For Supplements

    Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:

    a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium

    Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.

    Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.

    Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).

    Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.

    Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).

    The Omegas To The Rescue

    Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.

    In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).

    Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.

    In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.

    Still Suffering?

    Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.

    And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.

    Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.



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    Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
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    Date: June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...

    Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999

    With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.

    Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.

    The Dietary Difference

    Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism

  • - neutralize free radicals (which might otherwise cause carcinogenic mutations in DNA)
  • - boost the immune system
  • - inhibit enzymes that drive cell proliferation
  • - halt metastasis (cancerous reproduction)

    The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.

    Carotenoid Characteristics

    Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).

    Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.

    Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).

    Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato sauce enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.

    Unreserved Resveratrol

    Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.

    Fat Chance

    Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)

    Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).

    When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).

    Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.

    Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.

    Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk

    n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium

    In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).

    More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).

    Cruciferous Vegetables

    Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).

    Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.

    Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.

    Fiber

    Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.

    This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.

    Fighting Breast Cancer

    Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).

    Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.

    Fiber comes in two basic forms, insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.

    A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns deadly only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.

    Novel Antioxidant

    While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.

    But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.

    The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.



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    Acupuncture nutrient Connection
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    Date: June 12, 2005 05:53 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Acupuncture nutrient Connection

    Acupuncture nutrient Connection by Robert Gluck Energy Times, November 1, 1998

    The theory behind the practice of acupuncture confounds western science. This therapy, originating in Asia, is based on the concept that currents of energy called meridians flow through your body. However, no one has ever been able to conclusively demonstrate the existence of these meridians.

    Despite the evasiveness of these energy streams, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that alterations in these energy flows can disrupt health and cause pain. Consequently, an acupuncturist punctures your skin with specialized needles to redirect the body's vital energy.

    Alleviating Illness

    Despite the fact that western scientists have not been able to find satisfactory evidence of the existence of these energetic meridians, studies show that acupuncture works and is especially effective at relieving pain. This therapy has been used to alleviate a variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea and even mental illness. In addition, some practitioners apply it to those trying to shake off the chains of drug addiction. (More recently, many practitioners now also successfully use acupuncture to relieve physical problems in animals.)

    Of course, no matter what your perspective on this therapy, acupuncture's no panacea. While you might use acupuncture to relieve the discomforts of chemotherapy, you wouldn't use this technique as your primary weapon against a dangerous disease like cancer. Still, this reliable therapy occupies a welcome spot as an adjunct to many mainstream therapies. Consequently, many mainstream practitioners accept the validity of using acupuncture and many managed care companies reimburse this therapy. Some HMOs even keep a list of approved acupuncturists that they make available to enrollees.

    Acupuncture East and West

    The practice of acupuncture dates back at least 2200 years ago in Asia. Only during the last forty years has it become well-known and widely available in the United States. Today, 29 accredited acupuncture schools train practitioners in North America. In addition, traditional healers in Belize (south of Mexico) have been found to use a form of acupuncture derived from traditional Mayan medicine.

    Is the use of acupuncture by Mayan shamans coincidence? Or further evidence that acupuncture meridians really exist? No one knows for sure, although some experts believe the Mayan use of this therapy supports the notion that the original ancestors of the Mayans migrated from Asia.

    Needle Relief

    Acupuncturists insert needles into the body to relieve pain or enhance bodily functions. TCM holds that acupuncture, and the manipulation of these tiny needles, moves and manipulates qi (pronounced chee), the body's energy force.

    "Acupuncture is a method of balancing the body's energy," says Carol Alexander, an acupuncturist at the North Jersey Health and Pain Relief Center in Hackettstown, New Jersey. "Disease occurs because of an imbalance...Insertion of the acupuncture needles into meridians will bring about the balance of qi." Alexander has practiced acupuncture for 10 years and studied at the Tri-State School of Traditional Acupuncture in Stanford Connecticut.

    Alexander says patients sometimes suffer a blockage of qi or display too much or too little qi. The manipulation and placement of the acupuncture needles vary according to the need for adjusting meridian energy flow.

    Acupuncture can be used to prevent disease and, if disease is already rampant, it can be used to help the body correct the problem.

    In conjunction with her use of acupuncture needles, Alexander rarely prescribes single herbs but uses combinations of whole herbs that are very specific for different diseases and disease patterns. "Certain herbs, such as ginseng, are very prized in Chinese medicine," Alexander notes.

    "Astragalus is an herb used in China and around the world to tonify the qi and increase qi energy as well as stimulate the immune system."

    Licorice Root

    Alexander uses licorice root for assisting digestion and for helping women with menopausal discomforts. On the other hand, she recommends whole food concentrates like bee pollen granules for enhancing the immune system, peppermint for treating gastro-intestinal problems plus fiber supplements as well as the antioxidant/antihistamine quercetin, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin.

    "In terms of classes of nutrients, I use a lot of whole food concentrates: the green concentrates like barley greens, wheat grass powder, spirulina and blue-green algae," Alexander says. "These are high in minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids. I also use some soy products because the isoflavone concentrates are very much anti-cancer."

    The Fine Points of Acupuncture

    Acupuncture needles are very fine, as thin as hairs. They are available in a variety of diameters and lengths. When an acupuncturist inserts these needles, the sensation is that of mild pinpricks. (The needles enter the body at depths of only 1/8th inch to two inches.) In many cases people experience mild pleasure during needle manipulation.

    "From a Western point of view it's important to explain that there is a distinct function of acupuncture treatment and that is to increase circulation," Alexander says. "We do stimulate nerves and we know that with the stimulation of nerves many neurochemicals and neurotransmitters are released. They move through the nerves and find receptor sights, some in the brain, some in other parts of the body."

    By stimulating nerves, acupuncturists can calm inflammation and deaden pain. These effects are believed to be linked to the release of endorphins and dinorphins, powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories that the body produces for itself. Most acupuncturists use this therapy as part of an overall, multi-faceted treatment plan.

    Unique Energy

    "Qi is what makes you different from a sack of chemicals," points out David Molony, an acupuncturist at the Lehigh Valley Acupuncture Center in Catasaqua, Pennsylvania who studied at the Nanjing Traditional Medicine Hospital in China and has lectured at Cornell University.

    What You Need

    "You can manipulate qi with acupuncture, herbs and diet. Because people's bodies work differently, there are different approaches. When you ask the question what nutrients and herbs are effective at enhancing acupuncture, it depends on what the person needs, according to an Oriental Medicine diagnosis."

    An Oriental Medical examination, Molony says, begins with a long list of health questions designed to reveal factors that contribute to disease. A practitioner measures your pulse in several different places along your arm, inspects your tongue, may press on your stomach, sniff your general odor and closely examine your nails and skin for signs of problems.

    "You take in everything you can," adds Molony, a board member of the Acupuncture Society of Pennsylvania and former board member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. "This gives you clues that you need in order to make your diagnosis."

    Acupuncturists use nutrients and herbs that complement the treatment, as well as dietary and lifestyle counseling. Some acupuncturists don't specialize in herbal remedies, so these practitioners might go to a specialist like David Winston for advice. Winston, an herb expert skilled in Cherokee, Chinese and Western eclectic herbal medicine, works as an instructor, lecturer and consultant.

    "In China, acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy; you generally don't go for treatment and get purely acupuncture," says Winston who is working on a book about saw palmetto. "Herbal medicine, diet and qi gong are important therapies in their own right and acupuncture is one of those therapies. Qi gong is a form of martial arts that focuses on unique breathing and visualization methods. Qi is not exactly energy, it's energy in movement; it's what makes the blood move."

    Open Blockages

    Acupuncture is used to open blockages that sometimes build up in what TCM practitioners characterize as excessive heat or cold. These hot and cold spots do not always literally refer to the temperature of the body but are meant to depict changes in the character of the body's vital energy.

    Chinese acupuncturists don't necessarily treat diseases, but target clusters of physical discomforts. Winston says, "Herbal formulas change depending on the 'symptom pictures.' Somebody could have acute appendicitis but the symptom picture could vary. Usually Chinese acupuncturists use herbs like isatis (a very cold, drying herb that's a powerful anti-bacterial agent) and coptis (a powerful anti-bacterial herb)."

    Americans often visit acupuncturists complaining of back pain or some type of musculoskeletal problem-a wrenched knee, a ligament that hasn't healed properly or perhaps a torn rotator cuff. "If the injury is hot to the touch, it's red, it's inflammatory-that's a condition where there's excessive heat and in that condition the acupuncturist would give herbs that are cooling and anti-inflammatory such as the root of large leaf gentian."

    Pain that Moves

    If someone suffers pain that moves, pain that is sometimes exacerbated by damp or humid conditions, acupuncturists often prescribe clematis root, a wild variety of the garden plant that is an anti-spasmodic, or acanthopanax, a relative of Siberian ginseng used for damp pain.

    "If there's pain with excessive dampness," Winston says, "acupuncturists might use duhuo, a drying herb that opens the meridians."

    Molony agrees with Winston that when it comes to choosing herbs to enhance acupuncture, accurate analysis of the root cause of the health problem is paramount to making the right decisions. For example, if a person is qi deficient and her tongue is thickly coated, she may not be processing her energy properly. Phlegm builds up, decreasing energy. "What you want to do is give them herbs that move phlegm, like citrus peel, and combine that with acupuncture points that move phlegm also," Molony says.

    For stimulating metabolism, Molony uses lactoferin-processed colostrum from cows. He uses ginseng and atractylodes as qi tonics and he adds herbs like magnolia bark or atractylodes alba.

    Helpful Antioxidants

    He believes antioxidants are helpful too, as preventive medicines, including vitamins C and E. These valuable nutrients disarm the harm that reactive molecules can wreak within the body.

    So how important are herbs and nutrition to enhance acupuncture's effectiveness? Acupuncturists seem to agree that healthy doses of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E plus antioxidants from grapeseed extract) as well as specialized herbs, turn this therapy into a highly effective healing tool. Those wanting to benefit from this penetrating technique should stock up on nutrients. Then sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and let the acupuncturist do her stuff.



    --
    Vitanet ®

    Solaray - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturalMax - Kal

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    Like A Rock
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    Date: June 11, 2005 05:08 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Like A Rock

    Like A Rock by Carl Lowe Energy Times, September 3, 1999

    If you are over the age of 50, a quarter of your bone mass may have disappeared during the past two decades. And more of it may be exiting your body even as you read this.

    According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two women in the US will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis (bone weakening). Every year that translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, these breaks are life-threatening.

    Bone Nourishment

    To avoid or minimize bone loss, and keep your skeleton's calcium from "resorbing" into your blood stream and eventually being excreted, your bones require constant nourishment and exercise. As Patrick Holford, author of the Optimum Nutrition Bible (Crossing Press), says, "...the bones, like every other part of the body, are continually being rebuilt. They form a structure of protein and collagen (a kind of intercellular glue) which collects mainly calcium, plus phosphorus and magnesium. Also necessary are a constellation of other nutrients including vitamins D and K."

    Bone Deterioration

    When this structure begins to deteriorate, the gradual bone destruction proceeds without obvious warning signs. A broken bone, the result of a porous, weakened skeleton unable to endure the body's weight, often proves to be the first evidence of osteoporosis.

    The most obvious recommendation for preserving bone is calcium, since that mineral makes bone hard. Your requirement is probably more than you consume in your food.

    As Cheryl Hartsough, RD, Director of Wellness at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington, PA, points out, "People don't take in enough calcium in their diets so we recommend supplements." Other factors besides calcium intake contribute to bone problems. As The Supplement Shopper (Future Medicine) by Gregory Pouls, DC and Maile Pouls, PhD with Burton Goldberg, points out, "A high caffeine intake, excessive consumption of carbonated soft drinks and a diet primarily of protein, salt, sugar and processed foods can all cause the body to excrete calcium. When the condition is chronic, it leads to loss of bone mass as the body pulls calcium from the bones to correct the imbalance."

    Lifetime Problem

    While loss of calcium in your bones may accelerate at menopause, osteoporosis is a problem that starts young: Girls generally do not build up sufficient bone mass to withstand later losses.

    Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, "...osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." Consequently, youngsters should eat calcium rich, low-fat dairy products, plus plenty of leafy greens which also contain healthy amounts of calcium (as should older women to slow bone resorption).

    At menopause, bone weakening may accelerate because of the hormonal shift that changes women's ratio of estrogen to progesterone. Estrogen generally retards the breakdown of bone while progesterone contributes to its reconstruction.

    Those factors cause Ms. Hartsough to recommend a "combination of weight training and, of course, proper diet to build strong healthy bones as well as healthy muscle mass."

    She adds that women should eat plenty of "broccoli and greens as well as sardines and salmon and soybeans. You should get some calcium and spread it out throughout the day."

    Ipriflavone for Bones

    A substance called ipriflavone, a natural chemical found in plants, has been found to help preserve bone strength. Although scientists are not sure how ipriflavone works to keep bone rock hard, they believe it interacts with hormones to keep calcium from being taken out (Osteo Int, 6 [1], 1996: 137).

    In particular, studies that have given ipriflavone to post-menopausal women have found that it was especially effective at keeping these women from suffering weakened bones (Calcif Tiss Int 54, 1994: 377-80). A study in Italy of 250 post menopausal women aged 50 to 65 found that giving them ipriflavone, benefited their bones for at least two years (Osteoporosis Int 7, 1997: 119-125). The researchers' conclusion: "Ipriflavone may inhibit the progressive bone loss that occurs in women after menopause."

    While many of us may picture our bones as an unchanging, static foundation for our bodies, the human skeleton is an ever-changing entity. Bones should carry a warning sign that says "Under Construction." If you neglect your skeleton until you're about to suffer a fracture, you invite debilitating deconstruction. But feed your bones the right stuff while challenging them with exercise and they will flourish.



    --
    Vitanet ®

    Solaray - Ultimate Nutrition - Actipet Pet supplements - Action Labs - Sunny Greens - Thompson nutritional - Natural Sport - Veg Life Vegan Line - Premier One - NaturalMax - Kal

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    Nutrients for Longevity
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    Date: June 10, 2005 09:59 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Nutrients for Longevity

    Nutrients for Longevity by Edward C. Wallace, ND, DC Energy Times, September 1, 1999

    What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful easy feeling.

    How Do We Age

    Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

    The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

    Programmed Cell Theory

    In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

    Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

    Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

    The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain.

    On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents. Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution.

    Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

    DNA Repair Theory

    Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

    What Can We Do

    The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

    In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

    Antioxidant Protection

    Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

    Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.)

    Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

    In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725).

    Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

    Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

    Nutrition Deficiencies

    A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

    When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

    A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

    Longevity Diets

    A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460)

    Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers. (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

    Staying Alive

    Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

    Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects. (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

    In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

    Longevity and Exercise:

    Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

    Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184).

    In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

    The Treadmill of Life

    The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying. (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

    Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

    Longevity Supplementation

    Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging.

    Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

    Toning Down Enzymes

    Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls.

    In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

    In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

    The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

    Vitamins E & C

    A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

    Chronological Age Vs. Biological Age

    Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems. In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

    Similar Relationship

    A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less. And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

    The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

    Carotenoids

    When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

    Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119(1), Jan. 1989: 112-115).

    Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

    Flavonoids

    Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs.

    For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

    Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

    Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

    Amino Acid Health

    Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68).

    As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

    Attitude & Behavior

    Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit.

    In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

    In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

    Longevity at Last

    While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of living longer. An added benefit: By staying healthier, your old age won't only be longer, it will be more enjoyable, too.

    And, who knows, if you hang around long enough, taking your nutrients and getting a comfortable amount of consistent exercise, while meditating and refusing to succumb to stress, that magic bullet that will keep you alive for centuries may be discovered. Some day a new antioxidant or other substance may finally prove to provide the elusive fountain of youth. Stay tuned.



    --
    Vitanet ®

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    Immunity - The Big Picture
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    Date: June 10, 2005 09:51 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Immunity - The Big Picture

    Immunity: The Big Picture by Brian Amherst Energy Times, August 3, 1999

    Your body wants to be well. Outfitted with a battalion of defenses for strategic deployment, your immune system explodes with resistant force at the first sign of infective invasion.

    Think of the time a tiny splinter embedded itself in your thumb. By bedtime, the spot rose and reddened; by morning, white blood cells had launched their campaign, building a hot, throbbing fortification. By day's end, the bit of wood was propelled to the surface and ejected by the immune system warriors. Once again, a foreign assailant was summarily ousted.

    The Protective Force
    The immune system is a dazzlingly complex mechanism charged with guarding against infection, colds, flu and cancer. Laced with networks of couriers and transmitters, backed up by intricate fail safe devices and reinforced by memory units, immunity constantly adapts to highly specific and evolving needs.

    "Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health is critical to supporting the immune system." So write naturopathic doctors Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima).

    Maintaining the immune system requires a comprehensive program of wholesome diet, resilient attitude, fitness enhancing activity and nutrients keyed to the clear and specific needs of this energetic machine.

    The all-star lineup for immune sustenance: a high-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula, vitamins C and A, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, zinc and selenium, antioxidants like ActiVin (grape seed extract) and pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark), as well as the botanicals echinacea and astragalus.

    But optimal partnering with your immune system also benefits from understanding its workings.

    The Battlefronts
    The immune system wages war on the organ, tissue and cellular fronts. It encompasses the lymphatic vessels and organs (lymph nodes, thymus, spleen and tonsils), white blood cells, specialized cells in particular tissues and customized chemicals.

    Lymph, a milky fluid consisting of water protein and immune cells, is the essence of the immune system. Powered by muscle movement (an important reason why exercise boosts immunity), the lymphatic system collects and transports lymph to the lymph nodes. These nodes contain certain immune cells and filter out invading antigens, as well as produce antibodies, before siphoning the lymph out into the bloodstream.

    If you've ever had "swollen glands," that means your lymph nodes have been in overdrive.

    Macrophages are the immune cells that filter lymph, consuming bacteria and cellular debris while protecting the lymph system from invasion and damage.

    Gland Tidings
    Two organs dominate immune function: n The thymus. The most influential, critical gland of the immune system, located just below the thyroid gland and above the heart; produces T lymphocytes, white blood cells responsible for cell-mediated immunity not controlled by antibodies. This immune response is tailored to specific antigens and is vital to resisting infection from mold-like bacteria including yeast, fungi, parasites and such viruses as Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex and hepatitis. It also protects against cancer, allergies and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. n The spleen. The largest mass (about seven ounces) of lymphatic tissue in the body, located in the upper left abdomen behind the lower ribs; it produces white blood cells, which engulf and destroy bacteria and cellular debris; recycles material from worn out red blood cells and platelets; produces immune system enhancing compounds, including the proteins tufsin and splenopentin, and spleen extracts.

    The White Blood Cell Album
    Although white blood cells (WBCs) are uniformly accountable for protecting the body against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, the different types of WBCs vary considerably in form and function. n Neutrophils phagocytize, that is, eat, viruses, bacteria and old or dead cells. They don't need any biochemical messengers for activation and their effectiveness is wide-ranging.

    In Monocytes collect cellular trash after infections and can trigger immune responses; eosinophils can eliminate foreign particles and, with basophils, are involved in immune response.

    In Lymphocytes include varieties of T cells, which work with other white blood cells or attack and destroy foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cells; B cells that produce antibodies that bind to bacteria, viruses or tumors; and natural killer cells (NKCs) that destroy cancerous or virally-infected cells.

    (Based on information in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine; The Road to Immunity: How to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) by Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin; and the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (Harper Resource).

    Keep the System Sound
    Your immunity mechanism calls for special care and support. The dilemma: How to develop a balanced system of complementary and alternative therapies to build and sustain powerhouse immunity? "There is no question that, in terms of immune system response, certain supplements can reduce infections, asthma, autoimmune disease and risk factors for cancer," says Samuel D. Benjamin, MD, former project director of the Arizona Center for Health and Medicine and an ardent advocate for complementary medicine.

    "But you must always be sure to maintain the mind-body-spirit link," he told Energy Times. "For the mind, it could be exercise, yoga or meditation. Evidence shows improved immune system responses from these therapies. And in any case, you never read in the headlines that somebody has been admitted to the emergency room overdosing on meditation.

    "Intentionality also is an important part of the mind link: believing you are going to fare well. For your spirit, you must ask yourself such questions as, Do I feel connected to others?

    "For the body, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Much depends on your community: I live on Long Island, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, so I would recommend green tea and isoflavones from soy products for women."

    Dr. Benjamin stresses moderation in the use of immune-intensifying supplements, among which he cites mixed carotenoids, zinc and vitamin E.

    The Soy Solution
    Scientists who took the cue from the apparent link between high-soy Asian diets and low cancer incidence have developed a compelling case for soy as an immune-supportive anticancer agent.

    In a study conducted by the University of Southern California at Norris and published in the March 4, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that genistein, an active component of soy products, short-circuits the ability of tumor cells to elude destruction by the immune system due to an excess of defensive stress proteins.

    Genistein seems to make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune response. Researchers at Wake Forest University told participants at the January 1999 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that dietary or supplemental soy fed to monkeys counteracted cell proliferation that is a cancer precursor.

    That Championship C
    Probably the most widely recognized immune accelerator is vitamin C, an honored warrior against scurvy and, in 1970, again celebrated by Linus Pauling for its preventive powers over the common cold.

    Immune cells are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York now understand how that happens: Proteins called growth factors (which control growth and production of immune cells) also increase those cells' ability to take up vitamin C.

    These researchers, reporting in the April 1998 issue of the journal Blood, explain that the additional glucose that the growth factors pump into immune cells (for enhanced energy), plus extra vitamin C, intensify immune response.

    And folks with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum experience less cell damage from free radicals that leads to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.

    Scientists at the University of Buffalo (addressing the June 13, 1997 meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research) deduced from studying population groups that high levels of vitamin C are associated with low oxidative stress and lower risk of cell damage.

    From A to Zinc
    In Kids with neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor of embryonic nerve cells and the third most common form of childhood cancer, experienced significantly improved survival rates when their therapy included high doses of retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, who reported to the American Society for Clinical Oncology on May 18, 1998.

    In Colostrum, the pre-milk liquid produced by mammals during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, took the spotlight recently as a supplement imbued with multiple immune factors and natural antibiotics that augment body's immune response. A 1992 study showed that bovine colostrum might be able to reduce and prevente infections in immune deficient folks, especially those with AIDS.

    In University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers found for the first time (on laboratory animals) that vitamin D appreciably inhibits widespread prostate cancer by binding to cancer cells and triggering cell death or their transformation to benign cells.

    In Vitamin E exerts formidable immune-enhancing influence on both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. One fundamental study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (245, 1981: 53-58) established conclusively that vitamin E deficiency results in significant impairment of immune function. Later studies demonstrated that it reduces prostate cancer by up to one-third.

    In Coenzyme A, described as a metabolic enzyme, takes part in starting numerous body processes that provide energy for the immune system. If you ever run short of this enzyme, fat processing within your body would grind to a halt.

    in Researchers looking at a substance with the tongue twisting name 3-acetyl-7-oxo-Dehydroepiandro-sterone, believe it aids immunity by quelling stress hormones.

    in Mushrooms contain natural substances called polysaccharides, believed to enhance immunity. In particular, maitake mushroom, which conveys the immune booster beta-D-glucans, is reputed to help fight infections and drop blood pressure.

    in Men and women taking selenium supplements for 10 years had 41% less total cancer than those taking a dummy, according to a January 1997 study by Cornell University and the University of Arizona. Other studies have shown it to reduce the risk for colon cancer by about 60%. n Zinc may provide immediate protection against the all too common cold. Scientists at the University of Florida were the first to apply genetic fingerprinting methods like those used in criminal and paternity investigations to understand how nutrients directly affect human immune cells.

    The study, in the April 1998 Journal of Nutrition, demonstrates that zinc signals cells to make the protein metallothionein, which protects against infections, toxins and other stressors.

    Phytochemicals a la Carte
    Researchers extol the powers of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables available in dietary or supplement form as immune-igniting antioxidants. These compounds neutralize free radicals that oxidize cellular membranes, rendering them vulnerable to cancer.The Strang Cancer Prevention Center, an affiliate of New York Presbyterian Hospital, offers a menu of the top antioxidant phytochemicals. The center's director, Mitchell L. Gaynor, MD, is coauthor (with Jerry Hickey, RPh) of Dr. Gaynor's Cancer Prevention Program (Kensington): n Carotenoids, including beta-carotene from veggies and lycopene (the substance that lends the tomato is ruddy complexion), fight free radicals.

    n Isoflavones from soy, fight angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form to supply nutrients to cancerous growths. n Sulforaphane in broccoli, kale and cabbage activates anticancer enzymes.

    n Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish block the synthesis of prostaglandins, natural compounds in the body that promote tumor growth.

    n Ginger contains antioxidant compounds, each more potent than vitamin E. Recent studies on mice show ginger can prevent skin tumors. n Rosemary contains carnosol which deactivates carcinogens and helps limit the effects of prostaglandins.

    Sometimes the world can look like a dangerous place, especially when you're sick and tired much of the time. But in the search for immunity, menus of health help like this ensure that no matter what your immunity needs, a boost can be yours with the proper nutrient selection.



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    Breast Cancer
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    Date: June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999

    What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.

    But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.

    A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.

    In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.

    But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).

    American Problem
    Experts reporting in "Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer: A Primary Care Perspective" (Prim Care Update Ob/Gyns, vol. 5, no. 6, 1998, p. 269) say the risk of developing breast cancer for the average American woman during ages 40 to 59 is 3.9%; by 60 to 79 years of age that rises to 6.9%. A high-risk 40-year-old has a 20% chance of breast cancer in the next 20 years.

    New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).

    Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.

    Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.

    Dietary Benefits
    Of all the tactics for reducing the risk of breast cancer, diet ranks high on the list.

    The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).

    Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.

    But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.

    Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.

    Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.

    A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.

    The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.

    Finding Phytoestrogens
    Foods high in phytoestrogens include vegetables, soy, flaxseed and herbs such as black cohosh, chasteberry, red clover and turmeric. Soy is the darling of the day for good reason. Both soy and flaxseed can lengthen periods, reducing the body's overall exposure to estrogen.

    Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 [1995]:757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.

    Tumor Inhibition
    Studies have demonstrated that genistein inhibits angiogenesis (new tumor growth), slowing the progression of existing cancer.

    Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).

    Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.

    The Vegetable Cart
    Some vegetables are particularly protective against breast cancer because they change the way the body processes estrogen. Indol-3-carbinol, found in the co-called cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, diminishes the potency of estrogen. (Broccoli also contains isothiocyanates that trigger anti-carcinogenic enzymes.) These vegetables supply fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals (Proc of the National Academy of Science USA, 89:2399-2403, 1992).

    Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.

    Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).

    Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.

    Immune Boosters
    In Research links low levels of calcium and vitamin D, an inhibitor of cell division and growth, to higher breast cancer rates.

    n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.

    n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.

    The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.

    Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).

    Fat Can be Phat
    Fat conveys nutritional benefits. Not all fats are bad: we can't survive for very long without certain fats. Fat can turn you into a "well-oiled" machine. But the wrong kind of fat (the fatty acids in red meats and fatty poultry) is believed to be a major culprit in breast cancer.

    Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.

    Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.

    Restraining Prostaglandins
    Blood rich in the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-9 lowers cancer risk by driving down levels of prostaglandins, which promote tumor growth. The blood and tumors of women with breast cancer usually contain high levels of prostaglandins.

    Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.

    Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)

    Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).

    Selecting Organic Food
    Select organic foods for extra anticancer protection. Pesticides stimulate erratic cell action and often inhibit the estrogen carrier's ability to attach and remove estrogen from the body. Free floating estrogen then can attach to breast receptors and cause trouble.

    Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.

    Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.

    Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.

    Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements

  • - Integrate natural remedies with conventional medicine.
  • - Pick healthier foods.
  • - Reduce breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease risk.
  • - Slow aging's effects. Protect against environmental toxins.



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    Vitanet ®

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    Allergy Alleviation
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    Date: June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Allergy Alleviation

    Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002

    Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey

    Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.

    The Allergy Response

    Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.

    Just Blame The Folks

    Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.

    The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities

    Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.

    Breathing Problems Expand

    Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.

    The All-Natural Gesundheit

    Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 [1989]: 1210-3).

    Herbal Remedies To The Rescue

    n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica, [1990] 44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.

    Make Your World Allergy-Free

    For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.

    Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field

    On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.

    Fat Fix For Allergies

    The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."

    Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.

    Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy

    Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.

    Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.

    This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.



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    Fibro Response - Feel your Vitality ...
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 02, 2005 09:56 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Fibro Response - Feel your Vitality ...

    Fibro Response

    Millions of Americans, the majority of them women, are looking for a product to soothe muscles, relieve joints, support energy, and assist the liver’s natural detoxification process. Source Naturals FIBRO-RESPONSE is based on recent research into the physiological mechanisms involved in muscular metabolism. This research has given new hope to millions of people.

    Fibro-Response: A Bio-Aligned Formulation™ FIBRO-RESPONSE is the latest in a series of formulas we refer to as Bio- Aligned Formulations. We evaluate the underlying causes of system imbalances, then design products that support alignment and harmony in your body’s interdependent systems and functions. These formulas provide targeted nutrition to help create Body Systems in Harmony™.

    FIBRO-RESPONSE was designed to help bring harmony to the interdependent systems and functions that influence joint and muscle health. Our muscles need energy and oxygen to prevent them from becoming fatigued. FIBRO-RESPONSE soothes muscles and joints by supporting oxygen supply and energy production, provides powerful antioxidants for healthy joints and connective tissue, assists healthy liver function, and supports the nervous system and circulation. The ingredients were carefully selected to influence a range of body systems. Some were included for their combined effects with other ingredients; some play important roles in more than one body system.

    Muscles and Energy Production: Our muscle cells are powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound popularly referred to as “the energy molecule.” ATP supplies energy for all the body’s myriad physiological processes. To provide this chemical energy, the body generates and uses an amazing two to three pounds of ATP every day! ATP production occurs through a series of complex chemical reactions, including the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain—and these energy production systems in turn require sufficient nutrients. Malic acid, a natural fruit acid that is also produced in our cells, and the essential mineral magnesium, are critical components of the energy production cycle in muscle cells. FIBRO-RESPONSE supplies both in the amounts used in recent scientific research. Additional ingredients that support energy production include coenzyme Q10, a coenzyme in the energy- producing pathways; manganese, which activates many metabolic enzymes; and copper, an important component of energy-producing enzymes. Pantothenic acid, and alpha-lipoic acid help form coenzyme A, a primary starting material for ATP production (pantothenic acid also supports the adrenal glands). Vitamins B-1, B-2, niacin and B-6 are all required for energy production.

    Connective Tissue: Healthy connective tissue is essential for proper muscle function. MSM dietary sulfur supports the integrity of connective tissue and joints. MSM is included in FIBRO-RESPONSE in the amount used in recent joint health studies. Vitamins A and C, zinc, manganese, and copper all have important roles in supporting connective tissue. Liver Support: The liver is the largest and one of the most important body organs. Its vital functions include clearing the blood of toxins, and producing bile, which aids in fat digestion and carries waste products away from the liver. Liver detoxification is essential for muscle and joint comfort. Silymarin from milk thistle seeds is an important contributor to the support of healthy liver function. N-acetyl cysteine serves as a precursor to glutathione, a critical selenium-containing antioxidant produced in the liver, which binds to toxins to help remove them from the body. Alpha-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 play important roles in supporting liver health. This is partly because they are components of the body’s energy production process, and the liver demands a great deal of energy. FIBRORESPONSE also contains a classic Chinese herbal combination traditionally used to harmonize liver “chi” or “energy”: bupleurum, ginseng, pinellia, skullcap, ginger, cinnamon, and licorice. Their actions are complemented by the traditional Western herb dandelion.

    Antioxidant Support: Antioxidants protect tissues and joints from highly destructive molecules called free radicals. Alpha-lipoic acid, termed the “ideal antioxidant,” complements the antioxidant activity of beta carotene and coenzyme Q10. Nacetyl cysteine, best known for supporting the liver, is also highly valued as an antoxidant. Zinc, selenium and copper support our natural defenses. Together, they provide a full armory of powerful antioxidants for joints and connective tissue.

    Nervous System Support: Ginkgo biloba is renowned for promoting blood flow to the brain. This is crucial, since brain tissue is very metabolically active, accounting for 2% of our body weight, yet using 15% of our total energy supply. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that may regulate the nervous system and support clear focus. The herb skullcap, and vitamin B-6, add further support.

    Taking Back Your Life: A Strategy for WellnessSM

    Source Naturals’ expert formulators have created an experiential product that can make a difference in the way you feel. But supplementation is only part of the picture. Healthy lifestyle habits can redefine and empower your own strategy for wellness.

    Rest and Relaxation. Deep, uninterrupted sleep is essential for energy and a healthy nervous system. Sleep 8 to 10 hours nightly and aim to finish meals two hours before retiring.

    Exercise. Even if you feel exhausted and it hurts to move your muscles, you must keep moving. Start easy with nonimpact movement—yoga is an excellent beginning. Do some gentle stretches, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of blood-pumping activity (i.e. biking, stair-stepping, or dancing). Listen to your body: increase activity time only when it feels comfortable. Food and Nutrition. You’ve heard it before but now it’s time to pay attention: eat healthy. Avoid spicy, oily foods and choose light, mild alternatives. Go easy on sugar and incorporate whole grains into your diet. Enjoy steamed vegetables, alternate brown and white rice, and eat less red meat and more fish or soy. Reduce or eliminate milk products. Relax and take time to chew. And drink LOTS of water—it is essential for hydrating the body, flushing out wastes, and absorbing nutrients.

    Breathing. Many people hold their breath unintentionally, often as a result of stress or anxiety. This can become a habit, reducing blood oxygen, interrupting the pumping mechanism of the diaphragm that helps circulation, and causing muscles to become tense. Breathe deeply and feel your lungs expand and fill. Notice how different you feel.

    You have in your hand a powerful, comprehensive formula. Combined with a healthy lifestyle FIBRO-RESPONSE can help you make lasting changes that will empower you throughout life.

    FIBRO-RESPONSE is available in bottles of 45, 90 and 180 tablets.

    References Abraham, G. and J. Flechas. 1992. J. Nutritional Medicine (3): 49-59. American Medical Association, Encyclopedia of Medicine. New York: Random House, 1989. Garfinkel, L. and D. 1985. Magnesium (4): 60-72. Russell, I.J. et al. 1995. J. Rheumatology 22(5): 953-8.

    Targeted Nutrition Muscle Cell Metabolism Malic Acid, Magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin B-1, (ATP Production) Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin B-6, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, alpha-Lipoic Acid. Connective Tissue MSM, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Manganese, Copper Liver Silymarin from Milk Thistle, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Ginkgo Biloba, Dandelion Root, Chinese Liver Blend (Bupleurum, Skullcap, Panax Ginseng, Pinellia Root, Ginger, Cinnamon, Licorice Root) Antioxidant Support N-Acetyl Cysteine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, CoQ10, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Nervous System GABA, Skullcap, Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B-6.



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    Important Information for Allergy Sufferers
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 13, 2005 09:52 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Important Information for Allergy Sufferers

    Important Information for Allergy Sufferers

    Richard Conant, L.Ac. C.N.

    Imagine you are one among millions who greet each spring with worry about the flood of pollen that fills the air this time of year. When the pollen season arrives, as it inevitably does, you find yourself with two choices. You can either take over-the-counter antihistamines and put up with unpleasant side-effects, or endure the sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and other discomforts of hay fever.

    If there was a natural ingredient, a nutritional substance found throughout nature in many foods and plants, that could offer an alternative, would you not be interested?

    Quercetin, one among hundreds of flavonoids found throughout the plant kingdom, is this ingredient. Quercetin has been researched in numerous pharmacological studies. The results of this work strongly suggest that quercetin helps to stabilize the fundamental process in the body which causes an allergic reaction. Quercetin, as shown in test-tube ("in vitro") studies, prevents the release of histamine from "mast cells," immune cells that stand guard in the tissues which meet the outside environment—the nasal passages, the lungs, the digestive tract and skin. While this has yet to be confirmed by human clinical trials, in the picture that emerges from the research so far, quercetin looks like a rescue nutrient for allergy sufferers.

    Reports from Quercetin Users

    I have seen numerous reports from individuals who have indeed achieved significant reductions in allergic sensitivity by using quercetin. And this includes food allergies as well as environmental allergies. Anecdotal stories like these carry little weight among scientists, because they do not provide evidence that the observed result will be repeated in other cases. Only placebo-controlled, double-blind studies can produce this kind of scientific proof. Yet, when anectodal evidence (this includes physician "case reports") correlates with the results of pharmacological research such as we have on quercetin, I believe it should be taken seriously. And quercetin is a nutrient that works effectively when taken as a dietary supplement.

    For example, one gentleman writes that his wife, who is allergic to pollen and dust, is now "sneeze-free" after using quercetin for three years. A Pennsylvania woman writes that her husband, also a long time allergy sufferer, "seems to be nearly allergy free" after one month of use. Another man says that "quercetin has literally changed my life." These are not isolated cases; a respected nutritionist who specializes in allergies and environmental problems has seen many similar outcomes with a quercetin. Clearly something significant is going on with respect to quercetin as a nutritional approach for overcoming allergies.

    Bear in mind, though, that quercetin does not function like an antihistamine medication; it is not a quick fix. As a nutrient that helps to normalize body functions naturally, quercetin needs time to work, and should be taken for at least two or three weeks to achieve these results.

    Quercetin Quiets the Allergic Response

    Exerting a broad range of biological effects, quercetin is perhaps the most active and versatile flavonoid. In test-tube studies, quercetin acts directly on the mast cell in a way that quiets the allergic response.

    An allergic reaction occurs when IgE antibodies, positioned on the mast cell surface, come in contact with a potential allergy-causing substance like pollen. The mast cell is then signaled to release histamine from storage granules located inside the cell, through a process called "degranulation." The histamine circulates throughout the body, causing the runny nose, itching and other discomforts associated with allergies.

    Quercetin stabilizes mast cell membranes, in effect turning down the allergic response signal. Quercetin also slows other mechanisms which are involved with inflammation, such as the production of inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. This adds to its membrane-stabilizing effect, and its value in allergy control.

    Quercetin appears to substantially raise the threshold for initiation of an allergic reaction. In allergy sufferers this threshold is low, for reasons which are not well understood. They may have more IgE antibodies than normal, making the mast cells overly "trigger happy." Histamine has its proper place in the immune response that defends us against truly harmful foreign substances in the body. But like many chemicals produced by the body, histamine is a two-edged sword. In allergy-prone individuals, the mast cells have become overreactive, releasing too much histamine, unnecessarily. With quercetin in the bloodstream, histamine release from mast cells is kept under control. Quercetin's ability to down-regulate both the inflammatory and allergic responses makes it, I believe, a highly important nutrient for humans to consume on a regular basis.

    Quercetin-the Scientific Evidence

    Several studies, published in respected journals such as the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and others, have demonstrated quercetin's ability to control the release of histamine from mast cells. (Quercetin has the same effect on basophils, a type of white blood cell that also contains histamine.) In these experiments, mast cells taken from both animals and humans are exposed in the test tube to various substances—called "antigens"— that stimulate histamine release. The researchers then add an inhibiting agent such as quercetin to the mixture and measure the differences in histamine output. Quercetin has shown itself to be one of the more powerful histamine inhibitors, more powerful, in fact, than disodium cromoglycate, an anti-asthma drug.

    Quercetin has other beneficial properties. A strong antioxidant, Quercetin has a higher level of antioxidant activity than both vitamin C and vitamin E. (Quercetin enhances the antioxidant activity of vitamin C; quercetin and vitamin C are true synergists.) Quercetin has been shown to block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by free radicals. Quercetin also protects cell membranes from being injured by oxidized LDL. The damage that oxidized LDL causes to the delicate membranes of blood vessel linings allows plaque deposits to form, setting the stage for atheroslcerosis. These observations point to quercetin as a key nutrient for maintaining cardiovascular health.

    Like all flavonoids, quercetin is not classified as an essential nutrient, although flavonoids were once called "Vitamin P." In view of its many beneficial actions, quercetin is a nutrient that clearly has important roles to play in human nutrition, for allergy sufferers, and for everyone.

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    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 13, 2005 08:38 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    Sulforaphane Stimulates the Body's Cancer-Fighting Enzymes

    Secret Weapon Against Cancer Found in Broccoli Sprouts

    by Richard Conant, L.Ac, C.N.

    The health benefits of vegetables were known historically, long before researchers began seeing a connection between vegetable consumption and cancer prevention. Over the last twenty years, evidence concerning this connection has steadily accumulated. The latest and most promising findings reveal that specific vegetable constituents—"phytochemicals" to use current scientific parlance— enhance the body's defenses against cancer.

    This article will focus on one phytochemical in particular, a sulfur-containing compound called "sulforaphane." Found in Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sulforaphane may prove to be one of our most powerful cancer prevention allies. Recent studies have shown that sulforaphane stimulates, or "induces," "Phase two enzymes." These enzymes are an integral part of the body's elaborate detoxification system that renders carcinogens inactive. This detoxification system turns carcinogens and other toxic substances into harmless molecules that are excreted from the body.

    We need not fear carcinogens—the body is equipped to deal with them.

    These findings, coupled with an appreciation of the body's ability to defend itself against carcinogens, have the potential to dramatically change the way we look at cancer and substances in the environment that "cause" cancer. We need to minimize unnecessary exposure to carcinogens, and the staggering quantity of hazardous chemicals in the environment remains an urgent health concern, for cancer and many other health problems. But, knowing the body is equipped with the means to defend itself against toxins, we do not need to fear carcinogens as perhaps we have in the past.

    The natural world is full of carcinogens.

    What's more, even if you eat 100 percent organic food and live in a environment free of toxic man-made chemicals, you are still being exposed to carcinogens every day of your life. Food is the primary route of this exposure. Plants, for their own defense, produce over 99% of all the pesticides in agricultural products.1 Almost all foods—in their natural state—contain tiny amounts of naturally-occurring, potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

    The point is not to trivialize the concern over environmental toxins. The point is that the natural world is full of toxins that are not man-made. These substances have been around since before we appeared, which is why we have evolved with a highly efficient system for neutralizing them before they can damage our cells and initiate the complex process that produces cancer.

    Broccoli sprouts are a concentrated source of cancer-fighting sulforaphane.

    We cannot avoid carcinogens. What we can do is support our internal detoxification system. Sulforaphane is a powerful tool in this effort. We can start by following the often-repeated advice to eat a variety of vegetables every day, and include broccoli in our menu.

    There is an even richer source of sulforaphane than broccoli itself. In September 1997, a group of scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine made a breakthrough discovery— broccoli sprouts contain ten to one hundred times more sulforaphane than mature broccoli.2 Vegetable sprouts are generally regarded as exceptionally healthy foods. Broccoli sprouts now look like a shining star, especially when it comes to cancer prevention.

    For those lacking the time or inclination to keep a fresh supply of broccoli sprouts on hand, broccoli spouts have been processed into an extract that is even more concentrated in sulforaphane. More on this later.

    What have researchers learned about broccoli consumption and cancer rates?

    More than 200 epidemiological studies—studies which track groups of people over time to uncover realtionships between variables such as diet and the incidence of disease—have invesitgated the connections between vegetable consumption and various forms of cancer.1 It should be understood that findings from epidemiological research are generally not regarded as conclusive; these studies are not controlled, and often use data gleaned from questionnaires, which are an imprecise method of gathering information. (In the case of diet questionnaires, for example, the study subjects may or may not record their food intakes with 100 percent accuracy.)

    Epidemiological studies look for trends. To be credible, these trends need to show up consistently, in different population groups. Findings from the vegetable intake/cancer studies easily meet these criteria; the number of studies is large and the trend is consistent—vegetable consumption is strongly associated with a lower risk of developing cancer.

    What about broccoli in particular? A paper published in the September 1996 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention analyzes epidemiological data gathered from 94 studies concerning the cancer preventive effect of brassica vegetables.3 (The Brassica genus, part of the Cruciferae family, includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.) The data suggest that broccoli consumption reduces the risk of some of the most feared forms of cancer, including stomach and lung cancer.

    Now, to put these data into a balanced perspective, the researchers point out that in most of the studies reviewed, brassica vegetable consumption was reported as part of the total vegetable intake. "In hardly any epidemiological studies was the effect of brassica vegetables separated from the effect of total vegetables or other vegetables by adjusting for consumption of these variables. Therefore, it is difficult to sort out whether the observed observation was attributable to brassica vegetables, to vegetables as a whole, or to other vegetables," they noted.

    This uncertainty is a good example of why epidemiological studies alone do not give us open and shut conclusions. But the paper also adds that the apparent anti-cancer effect of brassica vegetables agrees with "the results of experimental studies in which brassica vegetables reduced mammary tumor incidence, hepatic tumor size, numbers of tumors per liver, tumor frequency, and the number of pulmonary metastases when given to rodents before or after a carcinogen insult."3

    When you put together a plausible trend from epidemiological research with results of experimental studies that agree with the trend, and then add additional research that reveals the underlying mechanism for these observations, a clear picture begins to take shape. And, indeed, we now have a fairly good idea as to just how brassica vegetables, especially broccoli, help prevent cancer.

    How sulforaphane helps prevent cancer from developing.

    To see how sulforaphane works, let's look at a brief overview of the body's detoxification system.

    The detoxification of carcinogens and other toxic substances takes place in the liver, and involves two distinct enzyme-driven processes or "phases". Phase one enzymes neutralize toxins by various routes. Some of these convert toxins into substances that are immediately eliminated. However, other Phase one steps convert toxins into intermediate products which are carcinogenic themselves, and require further treatment before they can be excreted. Phase two enzymes do this vital job. Phase two enzymes deactivate these carcinogenic metabolites of Phase one, and the final breakdown product is then eliminated once and for all. (For an excellent review of this subject, see Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, by Drs. Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno.4)

    Phase two is critical. If Phase one is in good working order, but Phase two is not, the potential threat from carcinogens increases. It is vitally important to keep Phase two operating well. This is where sulforaphane plays its cancer preventive role. Sulforaphane is a powerful inducer of Phase two enzymes.5,6

    Broccoli sprouts-the ideal source of sulforaphane

    Sulforaphane is one among a group of phytochemicals called "isothiocyanates." (These occur in brassica vegetables largely as "glucosinolates," which are precursors for isothiocyanates2,12 When the plant is crushed, glucosinolates are converted to isothiocyanates.) Sulforaphane induces Phase two enzymes exclusively, leaving Phase one enzymes alone. This means it helps reduce the load of carcinogenic Phase one intermediates without adding to the load by stimulating Phase one.8,9

    As reported by the Johns Hopkins University research group, broccoli sprouts are an "exceptionally" rich source of sulforaphane (in the form of "glucoraphanin, sulforaphane's glucosinolate precursor). And broccoli sprouts have another advantage over mature broccoli. They contain almost no indole glucosinolates, phytochemicals present in mature broccoli that "can enhance tumorogenesis."2

    Broccoli sprouts as an extract, now available as a dietary supplement, takes the concentration of sulforaphane to the next level. This recently developed nutraceutical product contains a potent 20 to 1 extract of three-day old fresh broccoli sprouts.

    One 125 mg capsule supplies the same amount of sulforaphane as 125 grams, or about 5 ounces, of mature broccoli. Taking just one capsule a day is like eating two pounds of broccoli per week, which equals the intake of cruciferous vegetables believed necessary to obtain their health benefits.

    References

    1. Steinmetz, K.A. Potter, J.D. Vegetables, fruit, and cancer prevention: A review. J Am Diet Assoc. 1996;96:1027-1039.

    2. Fahey, J.W., Zhang, Y., Talalay, P. Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1997; 94:10367-10372.

    3. Verhoeven, D.T.H., et. al. Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 1996;5:733-48.

    4. Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing;1998:110-120.

    5. Zhang, Y. Talalay, P, Cho, C., Posner, G.H. A major inducer of anticarcinogenic protective enzymes from broccoli: Isolation and elucidation of structure. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1992;89:2399-2403.

    6. Gerhäuser, C. et. al. Cancer chemopreventive potential of sulforamate, a novel analogue of sulforaphane that induces phase 2 drug-metabolizing enzymes. Cancer Research 1997;57:272-78.

    7. McDanell, R., McLean, A.E.M., Hanley, A.B., Heaney, R.K., Fenwick, G.R. Chemical and biological properties of indole glucosinolates (glucobrassicins): A review. Fd. Chem. Toxic. 1988;26(1):59-70.

    8. Talalay, P. Mechanisms of induction of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogenesis. in Advances in Enzyme Regulation, Vol. 28, Weber, G., Ed., 1989: Pergamon Press.

    9. Prochaska, H.J. Santamaria, A.B., Talalay, P. Rapid detection of enzymes that protect against carcinogens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1992;89:2394-98.

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    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 12, 2005 09:33 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    Keeping the Intestines Healthy

    "Friendly Bacteria" Therapy Breakthrough

    by Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.

    Ninety percent of the cells found in the human body are not of human origin.

    No, this does not mean we are all products of some sinister alien experiment.

    The human body is made up of about 10 trillion cells. This huge number is dwarfed by the bacteria we all carry around in our intestinal tracts. The lower bowel is a campground for roughly 100 trillion bacteria, single-celled plant organisms that can be seen only through a microscope.

    When we enjoy good intestinal health, the bulk of these bacteria are beneficial. Known as "friendly flora," these tiny guests help digest our food by breaking down undigested proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The friendliest of the friendly bacteria are the "lactobacilli," so named because they produce lactic acid in the bowel, by fermenting carbohydrates. This lactic acid production is profoundly important for keep the intestines healthy. And good intestinal health is the foundation of overall health.

    How do we maintain a thriving population of lactic acid-producing bacteria in the gut? First introduced into the human body through mother's milk, lactobacilli are somewhat fragile. Stress, poor diets, and antibiotics can kill them off. They should be replanted fairly regularly throughout life. One way to do this is through consumption of cultured milk products such as sour milk, kefir and yogurt, which contain live lactobacilli. They can also be consumed in dietary supplements, but this may or may not be a reliable route. Bacterial products do not keep very well on the shelf, they require refrigeration, and are largely destroyed on the trip from the mouth to the gut by our own digestive juices.

    Introducing Lactobacillus sporogenes- a revolutionary new friendly bacteria supplement.

    This article will focus on one particular species of lactobacilli, a relatively unknown member of the family called Lactobacillus sporogenes. This lactic-acid producing bacteria may prove to be one of the most practical forms for use in supplements, thanks to a unique property not shared by the more well-known friendly flora such as acidophillus. L. Sporogenes is a spore-forming bacteria. Safely enclosed within a spore coat that protects it from the environment, L. sporogenes is resistant to heat, oxygen and digestive acids. Once L. sporogenes reaches the intestines, its spore coat dissolves, freeing the bacteria to multiply and churn out the beneficial lactic acid. (The spore coat, made up of a calcium-protein-carbohydrate complex, is harmless).1

    The difficulty of keeping friendly bacteria supplements alive is an ongoing problem for manufacturers of these products. Studies have analyzed various commerical products claiming to contain acidophilus and found they often contain few live bacteria.2,3 L. Sporogenes is naturally microencapsulated; this insulates it from the gauntlet through which friendly bacteria in dietary supplements must pass.1 Autointoxication-Poisoning by Bacterial Toxins The intestinal tract may also play host to pathogenic, or disease-causing bacteria. These "unfriendly flora" cause putrefaction and release injurious toxins into the lower bowel. This healthy picture is all too common, and has long been concern of wholistic health practitioners.

    The concept of "autointoxication," poisoning of the body by intestinal toxins, was popular among doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An editorial on the dangers of autointoxication which appeared in the June 3, 1893 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) declared that "most likely a large majority of chronic diseases take their origin from this cause."4 The famous Russian physician Eli Metchnikoff pioneered the use of lactobacteria for preventing autointoxication and restoring bowel health. His landmark work 'Prolongation of Life' sparked interest in lactobacilli as a food supplement.5,6

    Naturopathy, widely practiced during the early twentieth century, has always stressed the fundamental importance of bowel cleansing. With the advent of so-called "scientific medicine," naturopathy slipped into decline, and the concept of autointoxication was discredited. Over the last thirty years or so, this has changed. Naturopathic medicine has rebounded, and the importance of bowel health is once again recognized. A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1964, while opining that autointoxication "was exploited by quacks and faddists" in the early 1900's concedes that "the concept of autointoxication must now receive serious consideration."7

    Leaders in the rebirth of natural medicine such as Dr. Bernard Jensen have helped educate the public about the importance of keeping the bowels healthy through regular use of lactobacilli. Jensen is well-known for his extensive studies of regions such as the Hunza Valley in Pakistan where people commonly live well over one hundred years. Jensen and others have noted that the consumption of fermented dairy products containing lactobacilli is a common dietary practice in these areas. Their observations have contributed to the popularity of friendly bacteria supplements. At the same time, clinical research has provided ample evidence of the beneficial effects of lactobacteria supplementation.5,9<.sup>

    Eubiosis-Keeping a Healthy Bacteria Population in the Intestinal Tract

    In his book 'Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management, which contains a wealth of valuable wisdom on intestinal health, Dr. Jensen writes, "Where health and vitality are found, we invariably find the friendly and beneficial microbes ... To a large extent the flora in the bowel determines the state of health in an individual."8 In a healthy bowel the friendly flora make up the bulk of the bacteria population. The unfriendly, disease-causing organisms are in the minority. The good bacteria keep them firmly under control. This healthy microbial balance in the gut is called "eubiosis."

    Life in our modern industrial society is hardly favorable to eubiosis. Residents of the Hunza Valley lead unhurried lives in a pristine, pollution-free environment. They grow their own food in fertile, nutrient-rich soil, work close to the landÐand consume lactic-acid producing bacteria on a daily basis. For the rest of us who cannot hope to enjoy this enviable lifestyle, eubiosis is something we should never take for granted. This means taking proactive steps to plant the seeds of health in our intestinal garden, by using a viable friendly bacteria supplement.

    Supplements which help to populate the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria are known as "probiotics." The term "probiotic" literally means "for life.' (In contrast, "antibiotic" means "against life.") Probiotics restore the natural state of "eubiosis" that is so very important for health and longevity.

    L. Sporogenes-an ideal probiotic

    Not every species of lactobacilli qualifies as an effective probiotic. As noted above, many do not survive processing, storage and passage through the digestive system very well. The following attributes make L. Sporogenes an ideal probiotic supplement:1,10,11

    1) Naturally microencapsulatedÐstable at room temperature and can be stored unrefrigerated for long periods without loss of viable organisms.

    2) Tolerates heat, stomach acid and bile, allowing it to successfully travel into the lower bowel.

    3) Non-pathogenic, has only beneficial effects on its host. Has similar characteristics as acidophilus: prefers a mild acid environment; produces lactic acid, digestive enzymes, etc.

    4) Readily multiplies in the human gut. In the stomach, the spore coat absorbs moisture and begins to swell. Upon reaching the small intestine, the bacteria cells germinate and begin to multiply, doubling in number every 30 minutes.

    5) Produces enzymes which help digest protein, fats and carbohydrates. These enzymes include lactose, the enzyme that digests milk sugar.12

    6) Creates a favorable environment (mildly acidic) in the gut for other friendly bacteria to thrive. Prevents overgrowth of pathogenic organisms.

    7) Produces lactic acid in the form of L- lactic acid only.

    The last point is especially important. Lactic acid occurs in the form of three isomers (substances with identical molecular structures that have different shapes): L-lactic acid, D-lactic acid and DL-lactic acid. The D form is metabolized slowly, and can produce acidosis in the system. (Infants have a particularly difficult time metabolizing D-lactic acid.)11,13 DL-Lactic acid, the kind acidophilus makes, may be converted to either D or L.

    The L form is the one we want. L. sporogenes is a "homofermenter," it makes L-lactic acid exclusively. Lactic acid keeps the gut mildly acidic. This acidity is essential for the gut to be a hospitable home for friendly bacteria, and stops the growth of the unwelcome disease-causing bacteria.

    L. sporogenes has only one drawback. It is a transient visitor that does not permanently colonize in the digestive tract. A study on the retention of L. sporogenes found no bacteria in the feces six days after consumption was discontinued.14

    L. Sporogenes-Results from Clinical Studies

    L. Sporogenes is used extensively in Japan and approved by the Japanese equivalent of the FDA. L. sporogenes has been given to hospital patients suffering from intestinal complaints such as gas and bloating due to abnormal fermentation, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. (These problems often occur after surgery or chemotherapy.) A total of 16 clinical reports are on record in Japanese hospitals, documenting 293 case of digestive complaints treated with L. sporogenes.15 The overall improvement rate is an impressive 86 percent. Results are typically seen within four to five days. L. sporogenes has also been used with success to clear up diarrhea in newborns.16 Like other lactobacilli, L. sporogenes lowers blood cholesterol. (Lactobacilli break down cholesterol and bile salts in the intestinal tract.) Researchers at a hospital in New Delhi, India gave L. sporogenes tablets to 20 patients with high cholesterol for twelve weeks.17 Total cholesterol levels were substantially reduced, along with LDL cholesterol, and the beneficial HDL rose slightly.

    The popularity of L. sporogenes in other countries as an ideal friendly bacteria supplement will no doubt be soon matched in the U.S. This microscopic helper for intestinal health is now sold in probiotic products under the name "Lactospore®."

    References

    1. Gandhi, A.B., Nagarathnam, T. Probiotics in veterinary use. Poultry Guide 1990;27(3):43-47.

    2. Brennan, M., Wanismail, B., Ray, B. Prevalence of viable Lactobacillus acidophilus in dried commercial products. Journal of Food Protection 1983;46(10):887-92.

    3. Gilliland, S.E., Speck, M.L. Enumeration and identity of lactobacilli in dietary products. Journal of Food Protection 1977;40(11):760-62.

    4. Dalton, R.H. The limit of human Life, and how to live long. JAMA 1893;20:599-600.

    5. Shahani, K.M., Ayebo, A.D. Role of dietary lactobacilli in gastrointestinal microecology. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980;33:2448-57.

    6. Metchnikoff, E.. Prolongation of Life. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons;1908.

    7. Donaldson, R.M. Normal Bacterial populations of the intestine and their relation to intestinal function. New Eng. J. Med. 1964;270(18):938-45.

    8. Jensen, B. Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. Escondido, CA: publ. by Bernard Jensen, D.C.;1980.

    9. Schauss, A.G. Lactobacillus acidophilus: method of action, clinical application, and toxicity data. Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1990;3(3):163-78.

    10. 'General InformationÐLactospore®' 1996; Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, NJ.

    11. Gandhi, A.B. Lactobacillus sporogenes, An Advancement in Lactobacillus Therapy. The Eastern Pharmacist August 1998:41-44.

    12. Kim, Y.M., Lee, J.C., Choi, Y.J., Yang, H.C. Studies on the production of beta galactosidase by lactobacillus sporogenes. Properties and application of beta galactosidase. Korean J. Appl. Microbiol. Bioeng. 1985;13(4):355-60.

    13. Oh, MS. D-Lactic acidosis in a man with short bowel syndrome. New Eng J Med 1979;31(5):249-52.

    14. Hashimo, K. et. al. New Drugs and Clinics 1964;13(9):53-66.

    15. 'Abstracts of papers on the clinical studies of Lacbon' Unpublished data.

    16. Dhongade, R.K., Anjaneyule, R. Lactobacillus sporogenes (Sporlac) in neonatal diarrhea. Unpublished data.

    17. Mohan, J.C., Arora, R., Khaliullah, M. Preliminary observations on effect of Lactobacillus sporogenes on serum lipid levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. Indian J. Med. Res. 1990;92(B):431-32.

    Full Spectrum Multidophilus Probiotic Supplement 12 Strains of acidophilus

    Proprietary Probiotic Blend (Supplying over 20 billion organisms):
  • B. lactis
  • B. bifidum
  • B. infantis
  • B. longum
  • L. acidophilus
  • L. brevis
  • L. bulgaricus
  • L. paracasei
  • L. planatarum
  • L. rhamnosus
  • L. salivarius
  • Streptococcus thermophilus


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