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  Messages 1-14 from 14 matching the search criteria.
Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use VitaNet, LLC Staff 9/19/18
A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy Breakfast Darrell Miller 7/31/17
Does apple cider vinegar have health benefits? Darrell Miller 5/2/17
Six foods you think are healthy but are actually making you fat Darrell Miller 3/20/17
Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk? - ProHealth Darrell Miller 12/5/16
D Limonene Solvent - What Is It and How Does It Work Darrell Miller 4/11/14
Vitamin B Complex Darrell Miller 11/24/08
Forskohlii Darrell Miller 6/15/08
L-Carnitine For Health And Wellness Darrell Miller 4/16/08
LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE - Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle.. Darrell Miller 6/29/05
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Clearing the Air Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Block the Absorption of Carbs in the intestinal track. Darrell Miller 5/17/05



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SOURCE NATURALS Diet Chitosan 250 mg With plan
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Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use
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Date: September 19, 2018 04:42 PM
Author: VitaNet, LLC Staff (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use





Protein Powder: 7 Best Types + How to Use

Protein powder is commonly used amongst body builders, athletes, and every day people working out. Recent research has shown that it could improve your skin health and even improve you immunity. Protein powder is made from animal and plant-based sources. The common forms of protein powder include; hemp, egg, pea, rice, bone broth, soy, whey and more. There are three common forms of protein powder called concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Protein powdering containing bone broth is one of the best kinds.

Key Takeaways:

  • Once the go-to secret of body-builders, protein powder is beginning to gain popular interest as a supplement to increase lean muscle mass and overall health.
  • Many protein powders incorporate vitamins, minerals and fiber, making them an excellent ally in the fight to lower cholesterol levels.
  • The primary protein source for powders can vary greatly, but some variants include, egg, hemp, soy, rice whey and pea.

"Produced from both plant-based and animal sources, there are many types of protein powders available to tailor to any diet plan, taste palate or personal preference."

Read more: https://draxe.com/protein-powder-best-types/

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5768)


A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy Breakfast
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Date: July 31, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy Breakfast





Breakfast is important. It gives you the energy you need to start the day. It should be balanced and should contain the right mix of foods. This gives advice on creating one which is healthy. You don't have to diet to eat a healthy one. You need only pay attention to the nutrients in your food. Dieting is often counterproductive since most aren't balanced enough, and they also tempt you to cheat since they are so prohibitive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs4ioUho8Hk&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • When starting a new diet, it is important to begin with realistic expectations and a Plan to pace yourself so you don’t burn out within just a few days
  • It is important to eat breakfast regularly no matter what because skipping your morning meal can likely lead to unhealthy eating or behavior later in the day
  • To get meaningful long-term results from your diet, aim for consistency and stability that is sustainable over time rather than unrealistic expectations of quick progress and perfection

"Breakfast then becomes the natural starting point for any diet, meal Plan, healthy eating vow, etc"

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5065)


Does apple cider vinegar have health benefits?
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Date: May 02, 2017 08:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Does apple cider vinegar have health benefits?





Is there any apple cider vinegar in your pantry? If not, perhaps it is time to make this addition. Apple cider vinegar has an array of health benefits that are going to be yours when the vinegar is used on a regular basis. What are those health benefits? You've come to the right place to learn. DO not wait any longer to enjoy the massive health benefits that come with apple cider vinegar used in your life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apple cider vinegar has proven to help lower blood sugar in people who otherwise would be insulin dependant.
  • The acid in apple cider vinegar makes it a great option for teeth whitening.
  • Apple cider vinegar has had alot of hype. Science is supporting it does have real benefits. We suggest trying it for yourself.

"If you are using apple cider or other vinegars as one part of an overall plan, combining it with a healthy diet, portion control and exercise, it might help, Drayer says. She suggested using balsamic vinegar on salads, in a 4:1 ratio with oil, or adding it to sauces for poultry and fish."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4519)


Six foods you think are healthy but are actually making you fat
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Date: March 20, 2017 06:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Six foods you think are healthy but are actually making you fat





If you want to live a healthy life and maintain the body size comfortable for you, eating healthy is a part of the plan, at least for those who want to be successful. But, is it possible that some of the foods you are eating are actually causing you to be fat? These six foods are included on that list and you might wish to reconsider their inclusion on your menu and on your plate.

Read more: Six foods you think are healthy but are actually making you fat

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4229)


Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk? - ProHealth
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Date: December 05, 2016 02:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk? - ProHealth





Our bodies are very complex and require a balance of vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. The majority of supplement deficiencies are in vitamin D, E, A, C, magnesium, and calcium. These can lead to some serious side effects. All of these can be consumed in regular meals, but sometimes supplementation is advisable as well. By the time symptoms are seen of deficiency, some of the damage may already be done.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eating a balanced whole-food diet, such as described in my nutrition Plan, is a foundational requirement for optimal nutrition.
  • It can be quite difficult to get sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals from your diet if you do not eat real food.
  • Below, I will review some of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies,1 and how to address them.

"many of the most common nutrient deficiencies can be traced back to a rather limited range of foods"



Reference:

//www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=29674

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3575)


D Limonene Solvent - What Is It and How Does It Work
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Date: April 11, 2014 10:01 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: D Limonene Solvent - What Is It and How Does It Work

D LimoneneWhat is a D Limonene

D Limonene is the essential part of oil concentrated from citrus skin. It has two essential utilization: as nourishment evaluation D Limonene to add citrus flavor to non-citrus sustenances, and as specialized evaluation D Limonene to include citrus fragrance or citrus cleaning force to a mixture of cleaners. The production of the recent happens when pressed skin is set in a steam extractor, which gathers the ensuing steam and makes an oil layer that buoys on water.

Benefits of limonene

As a consequence of the regular living development, D Limonene use in business items has expanded drastically, especially cleaning results, where it might be utilized as an unadulterated dissolvable or a concentrated dissolvable that could be weakened. D Limonene is important as a supPlanting for customary solvents, a number of which transmit Hazardous Air Pollutants (Haps) or exhaust from Volatile Organic Compounds (Vocs). Solvents that are regularly traded with D Limonene dissolvable incorporate methyl ethyl ketone, ch3)2co, toluene, glycol ethers, and various fluorinated and chlorinated solvents. In institutional settings, D Limonene dissolvable is commonly blended with a surfactant, preparing an answer holding 5-15 percent D Limonene.

D-limonene is used to treat indigestion, it is a supplement which is concentrated from orange peel, and can soothe indications of acid reflux for up to 6 months. Numerous reflux sufferers incline toward it on the grounds that you just need to take it each other day for something like 20 days, to get durable easing. This supplement is a citrus compound which works by covering the throat. Along these lines, the throat is secured structure harm coming about because of the barbarous substance of the stomach. Utilizing d-limonene for GERD is likewise accepted to cause faster development of the stomach substance into the small guts, to keep the merciless acids from advertising as much reflux.

The utilization of d-limonene to avoid heartburn might likewise give a shield in the throat and stomach which will ensure them from bacterial contaminations from bacterium, for example, the H. pylori. The H. pylori bacterium has been found to expand the danger of stomach growth in patients. Fruitful studies have been led on the capacity of d-limonene in restraining the development of disease cells since 1997.

Sample of d limonene as a cleaner

From provincial cleaners found at retail chains to modern cleaners that oblige unique requesting, there is no deficiency of results holding D Limonene. Anyhow in the event that you require a modern adaptation of the dissolvable, discovering one that offers the same or better cleaning power as its dangerous partners might be troublesome. One case of a D Limonene dissolvable that helps is VORTEX citrus cleaner and overwhelming obligation degreaser, a natural semi-fluid dissolvable that serves as a parts cleaner and general mechanical cleaner. With a 100 percent natural Plan, VORTEX is biodegradable however holds the ability to uproot oil, tar, oil, black-top, and natural saps in one stage. VORTEX's extra profits incorporate no risky materials or recorded solvents, no hurtful exhaust, and no petroleum distillates.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3090)


Vitamin B Complex
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Date: November 24, 2008 04:45 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitamin B Complex

The connection between B vitamin complex and stress is well known; although why a good B vitamin complex can reduce stress is less well known. Before discussing the reason why a Vitamin B formula can reduce stress, we shall first have a look at stress and what causes it. The term means different things to different people, and a stressful situation to one person might not be such to another.

The biochemistry of stress is fairly complex, although involves the production and release of hormones into your bloodstream. When an event occurs that causes stress, the hypothalamus portion of your brain becomes involved. It releases cotocotropin releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that protects you from stress by raising your spirits. CRF sends signals to the pituitary gland causing the release of ACHT (Adrenocorticotropic hormone corticotropin) that causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. Cortisol speeds up the metabolism.

Coincidentally, the cells of the brain stem and spinal cord send a message that stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine that increases the heart rate, breathing and alertness, ready for fight or flight. Both of these mechanisms then lead back to the pituitary gland and your new stress level can repeat the process or stop it, should your stress be reduced. If this cycle continues over an extended period of time it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health.

The B vitamins can help to regulate this biochemical function, and in doing so can reduce stress, and with it the associated anxiety and depression. In fact many of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are those that are also associated with stress: anxiety, nervousness, depression irritability and so on. There is no one specific form of Vitamin B that helps with stress, and there are eight in total. However, in saying that, the three members of the B vitamin complex that have most effect on stress are vitamins B 3, 6 and 12.

Every one of the B vitamins is involved in cell metabolism. Because they are soluble in water, they are quickly leached from the body so have to be replaced on a regular basis. The various B vitamins are needed by your body for specific purposes, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for the correct function of your nerves, brain and muscles. Although others have their own particular areas of responsibility, they are generally lumped together, not only because they are all soluble in water, but also because they each have a profound effect on the metabolism of your body.

Those mostly connected with the nervous system are Vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps to maintain the proper health of your digestive system, skin and nerves, and B12 (cobalamin) is also needed for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with vitamin B12 are the two principal members of the B complex that have an effect on stress, and a deficiency of these can make you more prone to this frequently debilitating condition. In fact many people that are suffering from a general Vitamin B deficiency have various forms of mental problems.

Because Vitamin B12 is available only from animal sources, deficiencies are common in vegetarians, and even more common in vegans who are advised to take a Vitamin B12 supplement. However, in general you are best to take a Vitamin B complex as opposed to a supplement of any specific member of the B family. This is because a surplus of any one could lead to a depletion of others.

It is thought that much of today's stress is caused by an inadequate diet, and a diet deficient in various forms of Vitamin B is believed to render the subject particularly prone to stress and anxiety. People that have been suffering undue levels of stress over a protracted period of time can be helped by a regular treatment of B vitamins. In taking such supplements, however, you should also be aware of the various possible effects on your body that the causes of your stress can have. These are frequently neither understood nor recognized when they occur.

For example, if you are under stress due to a poor diet, or conversely, are eating a poor diet due to your high stress levels, you might be building up fatty deposits in your liver. Because of this your general health could be at serious risk in addition to your mental health. It is important, therefore, that you don't just restrict yourself to a B vitamin complex, but also take a supplement containing inositol and choline bitartrate.

These can reduce the fatty deposit that a poor diet can cause to build up in your liver with consequent risk to life. Such deposits affect the ability of your liver to destroy the environmental toxins to which become exposed as part of your daily life, and which can be directly related to your ability to counter high stress levels.

In general, however, if you are prone to stress and get nervous and worried about the slightest thing that doesn't go to Plan, a B vitamin complex can help: vitamin B can reduce stress, although if your stress is sever you would be better advised consulting a physician than a health store.

Stress is a serious condition, and not one that should be treated lightly. It is possible to treat some stress conditions by using a good B vitamin complex, although should the stress be serious then you should consult your physician. Frequently the stress is not diet related, but due to personal circumstances that cannot be cured by any form of supplement.

However, there are few doubts that a course of Vitamin B supplements can help to overcome many of the metabolic causes of stress, and make up for any deficiency in these vitamins that leave your body almost as quickly as they enter it. Vitamin B can reduce stress, but only if your stress is due to a deficiency: and this is more common that most people are aware.





--
Buy A Good B Complex at Vitanet ®, LLC

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Forskohlii
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Date: June 15, 2008 07:31 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Forskohlii

Full Spectrum Forskohlii - Metabolic Activator and Healthy Weight Management

  • • Stimulates Cylic AMP
  • • Metabolic activator
  • • Healthy weight management
  • • Supports healthy circulation and lung function

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum™ Forskohlii is a premier Ayurvedic herb used for centuries throughout India. Its active ingredient, forskohlin (ForsLean®), works mainly through direct stimulation of cyclic AMP production. Cyclic AMP is a cellular messenger which determines how cells react to hormonal signals. When used as part of a healthy diet and exercise Plan, Full Spectrum™ Forskohlii can help to support healthy weight management. This formula combines a standardized extract (ForsLean®), with a whole root powder for a Full Spectrum™ effect.

Full Spectrum™ Forskohlii contains:
Forskohlii Root Extract (ForsLean®) 125 mg (20%) forskohlin)
Forskohlii Root 100 mg

Suggested Use: 1 capsule twice daily.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=1817)


L-Carnitine For Health And Wellness
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Date: April 16, 2008 03:25 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: L-Carnitine For Health And Wellness

Research continues to mount evidence that l-carnitine can help boost energy and quality of life. Carnitine comes from the Latin word for flesh: caro or carnis. L-carnitine was discovered and isolated from meat in the early 1900s. At that time, scientists thought that l-carnitine played a role in muscle function; this was many years before technology would advance so that this theory could be proved. Today, we know that this amino acid is found mostly in tissue of the body that requires lots of energy such as the heart, skeletal muscles, and liver.

L-carnitine is considered a non-essential amino acid since the body manufactures it from l-methionine and l-lysine. Depending on one’s diet, the body manufactures most of, not all, the l-carnitine it needs every day. There are circumstances where a rare genetic disease can cause the body to not manufacture its own l-carnitine resulting in a deficiency which can cause secondary diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, chronic renal failure, diabetes, heart failure or Alzheimer’s disease. Some medications can cause a deficiency as well, check with your doctor about prescriptions.

The primary energy source for the body is long-chain fatty acids. L-carnitine plays an essential role in energy production process. This amino acid transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it is used to produce energy for each cell in the body. l-carnitine then removes the “acyl” group by products out of the mitochondria as they accumulate. Both the transporting in and out of the cells mitochondria is vital for continued muscle function to occur.

Researchers suggest that the limiting factor in high intensity exercise is from the availability of l-carnitine in the muscle tissue. Studies conducted with this amino acid suggest that athletes experience improved performance when supplementing with l-carnitine by reducing post exercise lactate acid levels and improving recovery from exercise stress.

Some research suggests that l-carnitine can help chronic fatigue individuals by shuttling long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where the body manufactures energy. The bulk of this research was done on chronic fatigue patients who consumed 2 grams per day of l-carnitine. Additional research was performed on individuals over 100 years of age and the results were these individuals experiences increase physical endurance and improved cognitive activity.

L-carnitine can help cardiovascular conditions including angina, congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease. Recent studies showed male fertility improvement when l-carnitine was consumed on a regular basis. Men participating had better sperm motility which increases the changes of one reaching an egg and improving the odds of fertilization.

Research also demonstrated that 1 gram of this amino acid daily over three months can help one reduce weight by improving fat metabolism. This holds consistent with the findings that l-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids (fat) into cellular mitochondria so it can be burned as energy. With a good diet and exercise Plan, reports suggest that even more weight loss can be achieved.

Safety is of particular concern when adding extra supplements to one’s diet such as l-carnitine. Good news, l-carnitine is very safe at 1 – 3 grams each day, even higher doses are safe with no side effects. With the mounting evidence on the benefits of l-carnitine consumption, what is stopping you from adding l-carnitine today to your supplement diet to improve health and wellness?

--
Vitanet ®, LLC

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LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE - Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle..
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Date: June 29, 2005 10:39 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE - Essential Nutrients to Support Your Low Carb Lifestyle..

Life Force Multiple

Taking care of your body is an especially important challenge in today’s stressful and hectic world. Choosing a low carb lifestyle is an increasingly popular way to seek better health. In fact, there are approximately 30 million U.S. adults counting their carbs right now. While effective for weight control and therefore having positive health effects, low carb approaches can also result in serious nutrient imbalances. Thus, adding the right multiple to your low carb approach is an enormously important next step for your good health. LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE, the top-ranked and award–winning multiple from Source Naturals, replenishes these nutrients and provides compounds that will help your body process the increased proteins and fats better while you are restricting carbs.

Low Carb Benefits

Restricting carbs can have many health benefits. And lowering your intake of refined simple carbs, such as sugar and white flour, can help you promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, which is critical for your good health. Insulin is used to move the glucose from carbs into your cells for energy. Ingesting too many refined carbs can greatly reduce your body’s ability to use insulin well, which can lead to short and long-term health concerns.

Replenish Nutrients with LIFE FORCE

LIFE FORCE contains optimal levels of many nutrients that might be deficient in low carb meals. Counting carbs can lead to restrictions of nutrient dense foods such as dairy products, grains, fruits and vegetables. LIFE FORCE contains many of the same protective antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavinols, magnesium and selenium. It also contains high levels of the same vitamins found in grains, including all of the B vitamins, to support your body’s healthy energy metabolism. And it contains nutrients found in dairy products such as calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin D.

Support Healthy Fat and Protein Consumption with Life Force

Low carb lifestyles mean higher consumption of proteins and fats. Unfortunately, there are artery, heart, colon and many other health concerns associated with meals that are high in fat and protein and low in fiber and produce. However, the nutrients in LIFE FORCE can help you better process eating this way. LIFE FORCE contains high levels of protective fat-soluble antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C ester) and vitamin E to protect your body from the free radicals generated by consuming more fats. It also contains many nutrients for liver health, such as silymarin, CoQ10, N-Acetyl Cysteine and turmeric to help support the fat metabolism your liver is responsible for. LIFE FORCE also contains a high level of the B vitamin biotin, which aids in fat, protein and energy metabolism.

Restricting simple carbs can do much more than help you maintain a healthy weight; it can also be the foundation for maintaining good health throughout your long life. But you need to develop a thoughtful holistic strategy for success. When you integrate LIFE FORCE MULTIPLE into your wellness Plan, then you can benefit from decades of clinical research about the nutrients your body needs to support optimal health and a low carb lifestyle, long before this information becomes part of mainstream health recommendations. Join this wellness revolution by adding LIFE FORCE to your strategies for health and allow yourself to start feeling energized today!

References
Marchione, M. (2004). Eating Lots of Carbs May Raise Cancer Risk. Associated Pres. Available at com/news?tmpl=story&u= /ap/20040806/ap_on_he_me/fit_cancer___carbs . Warner, J. (2004). Have We Gone Carb Crazy? Experts Clear Up the Confusion Over the Low-Carb Craze. WebMD. Available at ent/ Article/83/97595.htm?pagenumber=2 . Whitney, E. N., et al. (1998). Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition. Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, CA. 325-484.



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Vitanet ®

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Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
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Date: June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!

Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! by Mimi Facher Energy Times, June 1, 1997

So you're feeling a little blah, a little overweight, and you're looking to drop a few of those winter pounds gained during the colder months. Maybe you've dabbled with diets and jogged around the neighborhood a few times but you're still packing unsightly bulges. If so, you may be considering the idea of turning to supplements to help you drop those pounds. Well, two types of diet supplements now generally available, combined with a diet and exercise program, may be able to help you trim those stubborn pounds.

The first type of supplement, called metabolic optimizers, which include ephedra, caffeine and salicin (derived from willow bark), boost your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster. The second class, lipotropic substances, aid the body in fat mobilization, causing greater utilization of stored fat. These products include chromium, carnitine and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Both classes of supplements have been around in various forms for quite a while but are now enjoying greater popularity among dieters.

Trying to cope with a weight problem is a dilemma expanding throughout modern society. According to a 1995 Harris poll, nearly 75% of Americans are overweight. Although it's well known that the way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you take in, supplements may be able to help you burn off extra calories.

Thermogenesis and You

Metabolic optimizers are supposed to aid weight loss through a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a natural process in which fat is burned to produce body heat. Fat that isn't burned is stored on the hips, thighs, stomach, etc. Thermogenic agents are designed to counteract your body's fat storage mechanisms by causing your body to maintain a higher metabolic rate-turning your internal thermostat up to burn fat faster. The thermogenic process can be jump-started by a number of factors including cold, exercise, certain dietary nutrients and metabolic optimizers.

Ephedra

The ephedra herb, also known as ma huang is one of nature's earliest medicines, known for over 5000 years to the Chinese, who used it to relieve allergies, coughing, wheezing and cold and flu symptoms. In the US, ephedra has been available since the 1800s.

The ingredients in ephedra include the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norephedrine. Concentrated forms of these substances are used in today's over-the-counter cold, allergy and asthma relief formulas.

Ma huang's effectiveness as a weight loss aid is tied to its appetite suppressant and stimulant properties. By speeding up action of the thyroid gland, the ephedrine found in the herb acts a thermogenic agent, boosting the rate at which the body metabolizes fat and promoting weight loss. According to Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "When used as part of a total package that includes diet modification and exercise, ma huang can be highly effective in the short run because it increases the speed of the body's metabolism and suppresses appetite."

Because of their strong stimulant effect, ephedra and its derivatives have engendered some controversy. However, in its long history, billions of doses of ephedra have been consumed without problem. But ephedra supplements should only be used as directed on product labels. People with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, thyroid or prostate dysfunction, high blood pressure and those taking MAO inhibitors, pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb.

Salicin Burns Fat

Salicin, a substance derived from willow bark-which is also the original source for aspirin, a related compound-can boost the burning of fat when combined with ephedra. An animal study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that while ephedra boosted calorie burning by almost 10%, when ephedra was combined with aspirin, extra calorie burning just about doubled. Another study in the Internatioanl Journal of Obesity showed that when overweight women took aspirin and ephedrine during a meal, their bodies burned off more calories than normal. (Eating a meal produces a thermogenic effect as your body expends energy in digestion. That's why dieters are told not to skip meals. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate, decreasing your calorie expenditure.)

Similar studies also show that caffeine, the stimulant that gives coffee its eye-opening kick, can also boost ephedra's thermogenic properties. But before using these combinations check with a health practitioner knowledgeable about nutrition. Aspirin or salicin may cause stomach upset in some people (although salicin is generally tolerated well.)

Carnitine: Lipotropic Amino Acid

To get carnitine into your system, you don't have to take it as a supplement. Your body already makes this vitamin-like substance. However, your body doesn't make that much. And it is said to be especially low in people with heart disease.

This non-essential amino acid (said to be non-essential because human bodies produce it) is a key ingredient in the formation of mitochondria membranes. Mitochondria are tiny structures in your cells that burn fats for energy. Consequently, sufficient carnitine is necessary for the movement of fat into the mitochondria where it is consumed. When not enough carnitine is present, the breakdown of long chain fatty acids slows down.

Said to improve the recovery rate for athletes (it may limit the production of lactic acid, a waste product in muscle tissue), carnitine can also lower cholesterol levels, boost levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease serum triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). Not bad for a nutrient that coaxes fat into those teeny, ceullular, mitochondrial furnaces.

Go for the Chrome

Chromium-based supplements work as lipotropic agents by aiding insulin use in the body. This essential trace mineral is required for normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. According to Dr. Michael Janson, author of The Vitamin Revolution in Healthcare and President of the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA), "Chromium is important for proper insulin activity. Insulin moves sugar into the muscle cells, where it is burned off as energy. Chromium improves the activity of insulin, and since insulin causes fat deposition, less of it means less fat deposition." Chromium has also been shown to build muscle tissue and to reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.

Although the body's minimum requirement is low, the American diet tends to be deficient in chromium, in part because the mineral can be difficult for the body to absorb. The fact that, in nature, chromium is most powerfully concentrated in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and liver-items most Americans rarely eat-probably hasn't helped either. Other natural sources of chromium include whole grains, molasses and beef. But it is estimated that 50% of Americans are chromium deficient. An early study found that overweight adults taking a chromium supplement lost an average of 22% body fat, while maintaining or gaining lean body mass. In another study, athletes consuming 200 mcg. of chromium a day showed an average loss of 7.5 lbs. of body fat after six weeks, without a corresponding loss of muscle tisue. Overall, although some studies question chromium's precise effects, many experts are optimistic about this substance because of its relationship to insulin in the body's metabolism.

Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)

Another possible addition to the dieter's arsenal is HCA. In nature, HCA appears chiefly in a fruit called garcinia cambogia (sometimes also called Malabar tamarind or brindall berry), a citrus Plant found primarily in Asia, where the rind is often used as a flavoring agent. HCA works by inhibiting the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis and acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. HCA is also said to have a role in reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.

Several animal studies have shown that HCA caused significant weight loss without a reduction in lean body mass. In other words, the pounds that came off came out of fat stores, and not out of energy or muscle reserves. This means that HCA takes off not just weight but body fat, making it a potentially effective tool against weight regain.

Dr. Elson Haas, director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA, and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, believes that HCA can be a helpful aid for dieters when used in combination with eating habit changes and exercise. He recommends an HCA and chromium blend for optimum appetite suppression. "This combination can keep the appetite down and reduce sugar cravings," he says.

Although human research data on HCA is still in the preliminary stages, the animal study results are positive, and the supplement seems to have minimal side effects in most people.

Some Overall Recommendations

You are likely to lose weight faster if you eat sensibly. This means avoiding foods high in fat or sugar (which are the most likely to add to stored body fat), but it doesn't mean starving yourself. A sensible balanced diet, along with moderate exercise, is still the best prescription for weight loss. As Dr. Haas puts it, "I'm a firm believer in diet and exercise. Using supplements responsibly can help you to lose weight provided they're combined with dietary changes and exercise. They won't work if you don't change anything." No one is suggesting that dietary supplements are a miracle cure for being overweight-as always in self-health care, there are no magic wands. But, used as directed and combined with a good diet and exercise Plan, you could find that these supplements might help you work your way to a slimmer you.

Mimi Facher is a freelance writer who has contributed to Prevention, Cosmopolitan and Self.



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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.



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    Clearing the Air
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    Date: June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Clearing the Air

    Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999

    One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.

    Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.

    Breathing Uneasy

    The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.

    In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.

    Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.

    Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

    Waging War on the Wheeze

    Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.

    Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.

    Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and Planning for relief.

    Triggers and Therapies

    Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.

    In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is expelled.

    "Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."

    According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.

    "When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.

    Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.

    "Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.

    Dilating on Nutrients

    Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment Plan with a trusted health care provider, that Plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.

    According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.

    "Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).

    Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.

    Defending the Lungs

    Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.

    Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:

    Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.

    Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).

    Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).

    Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).

    Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.

    A Bundle of Botanicals

    Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and myrrh for pulmonary problems.

    Today, the power of Plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)

    In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.

    Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.

    Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).

    Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.

    Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).

    Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).



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