Search Term: " Prevenive "
July 30, 2019 02:31 PM
I believe there’s an essential herb that everyone should be aware of, though not to many realize the powerful benefits of this near miracle botanical. This one nutrient has the ability to strengthen the immune system while also enhancing cardiovascular health, liver and kidney function, joint mobility, and much more. Recent studies have shown this herb to be three times more effective than milk thistle for liver health. And while I know there’s no miracle supplement, that can prevent all disease, there are a growing number of studies to show that this herb can promote overall health and well-being in a tremendous way.
This herb, which I respect and hold in high regard, is andrographis. I believe it’s the next up-and-coming superstar in botanical medicine, and for good reason. I am not yet at liberty to give you the full details on a recent study, but I can tell you the results are impressive. The study involved treating three different groups of animals that had cancerous tumors. One group of animals was treated with curcumin, the second group was treated with french grape seed extract, and the third group was treated with andrographis. And while all three herbs were beneficial in this study, andrographis proved to be the most effective in reducing the cancerous tumors in the animals. I can’t wait to share the study details when it’s published.
It’s no wonder that andrographis has been used in natural medicine for years, due to its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, cancer-preventive, neuroprotective, and immune-stimulating properties. In fact, andrographis is the subject of over 800 studies in the National Institute of Health’s PubMed online database, with more to come!
You’ll learn how this amazing herb:
And the benefits don’t stop there. Please take the time to read more at TerryTalksNutrition.com
In Good health,
Is celery the powerful anti-cancer weapon we have all been waitingfor?
April 27, 2019 09:53 AM
Celery is known for being a low calorie vegetable that is also a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. However, the biggest (and perhaps most overlooked) health benefit of celery lies in its cancer-fighting properties. Two important antioxidants found in celery - apigenin and luteolin - are the key. Among other benefits, Apigenin has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors, while Luteolin interferes with cancer cells' replication cycles. Whether you eat it raw or incorporate it into smoothies, soups or stews, celery doesn't just taste good, it can extend your life.
"Research has shown that celery contains two important antioxidants, called apigenin and luteolin, which have exhibited some potent chemopreventive effects."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-06-is-celery-the-powerful-anti-cancer-weapon-we-have-all-been-waiting-for.html
Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs butsuffers from NONE of the side effects
April 23, 2019 01:53 PM
According to over 12,000 peer-reviewed studies, the herb curcumin has over 800 preventive and therapeutic uses. It is estimated that the health-enhancing properties of this powerful herb can replace 14 pharmaceutical drugs with no negative side effects. Research published in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community shows that curcumin is up to 100,000 times more effective than the diabetes drug Metformin in activating AMPK, which is used to increase glucose uptake. In addition, a 2008 study revealed that curcumin is just as effective as Lipitor in decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. Research also shows that curcumin compares favorably to Prozac in treating depression without any of the side effects, such as suicidal ideation, tremors, and headaches.
"Researchers believe it works on depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that has been linked to depression when it’s present in high amounts in the brain. It also raises levels of calmness-inducing serotonin and dopamine."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-07-turmeric-is-just-as-effective-as-14-pharma-drugs.html
Honey is medicine: 4 Scientifically proven perks to using Nature'ssweetener
March 29, 2019 08:40 AM
Hey, honey. It should be included in your diet. Sure, it's delicious when used as a sweetner, but it's benefits are just as sweet as this concoction. There are many proven benefits offered to people who enjoy the all-natural sweetener we know as honey. Four of the benefits of using honey include cough and sore throat suppression, healing of scrapes and wounds, supports a healthy immune system, and aids in heart health. Yes, honey is important part of your iet.
"This potent superfood has a long history of being used as a natural remedy due to its health-boosting properties."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-26-honey-medicine-4-scientifically-proven-perks-to-using-natures-sweetener.html
Want to get enough vitamin D? Try supplements or sunshine
August 27, 2018 09:53 AM
If you are a person that lacks in Vitamin D, there are a couple supplements OR all natural ways to help. According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, Vitamin D supplements are ineffective in preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer. In fact, some supplements may take up to years to see a results. An easier way to help increase Vitamin D, is to simply lay in the sun. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that resides in our skin and is triggered by the sun's radiation.
"By the end of 2017, we’ll know who got vitamin D and who got the placebo, and whether the vitamin D group had lower rates of those health problems than the placebo group."
Read more: http://atozhealthguide.com/index.php/2018/08/22/want-to-get-enough-vitamin-d-try-supplements-or-sunshine/
CBD and MS: Can Marijuana Treat Multiple Sclerosis?
April 26, 2017 03:59 PM
Although cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, more states have been passing laws to make this miracle plant available to those in medical need (and some even recreational). Cannabis has been shown to greatly help people who are suffering with MS by treating some of the symptoms (inflammation, pain, sleep deprivation, and even depression). It has also been noticed to have a preventive factor when it comes to protecting the eyesight of the patient.
"As the many benefits of marijuana continue to be discovered across the country, more and more states are deciding to legalize the plant for both recreational and medicinal use. One of the disorders that is considered treatable by medical marijuana is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)."
Read more: http://www.marijuanaresources.com/cbd-and-ms-can-marijuana-treat-multiple-sclerosis/
Vitamins That Help Prevent the Common Cold
November 13, 2016 06:41 AM
It is that time of the year again and if you are prone to colds, it is the perfect time to start taking a few extra vitamins that help you ward those colds off. What are those essential vitamins that you need to prevent the common cold? All of the information you need is found here! No more sneezes!
"Always take care to use the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals and don’t “get creative” without seeking authoritative counsel with your doctor."
Kava Roots Helps Those Suffering From Anxiety
September 21, 2016 05:25 PM
Anxiety is a common mental disorder. Many treatment and preventive tips are available for these illnesses. For those who want to avoid prescription drugs, consider trying kava root as an alternative.
Kava Root has been used for:
Another common uses of kava root is for the improvement of sleep quality and pattern, and the relief of general body malaise, asthma attacks, insomnia and menopausal symptoms.
What Can I Take To Prevent Bladder Infections?
September 20, 2015 04:40 PM
Although occurring more frequently among women, bladder infection can also turn into a serious health condition among men when left untreated. Bladder infection is commonly caused by E.coli infection, although other factors like pregnancy and trauma can contribute to its development. Aside from proper personal hygiene and overall healthy lifestyle, taking natural supplements can also be helpful in preventing bladder infection.
Natural Supplements for Bladder Infection Prevention
While vitamins and minerals found in the food you eat everyday play an active role in strengthening your immune system, there are only a few nutrients which are specifically effective in preventing bladder infection. These include the following:
In recent years, cranberry supplements have been used to prevent Diabetes Mellitus and Cancer. Primarily, these types of supplements are used even in the olden times as a preventive measure for various urinary tract disorders like bladder infection.
Experts originally believe that cranberry supplements prevent bladder infection by making the urine acidic, thus, rendering the environment an unlikely place for bacterial growth. However, they discovered that cranberry supplements work by preventing bacteria from sticking into the lining of the bladder.
Cranberry supplements are proven effective in preventing but not treating bladder infections.
Compared to cranberry supplements, Lingonberry supplements are less popular as an effective measure to prevent bladder infection. The nutrients found in Lingonberry help prevent urinary tract infections and is also effective in treating gout and arthritis.
There are several theories on how these supplements prevent bladder infection but the most accepted scientific explanation is that the compounds found in Lingonberry are effective in killing the bacteria that causes infection in the urine.
Most cases of bladder infections are considered mild and can be treated with ordinary health remedies like increasing fluid intake. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, however, is necessary when symptoms become intense. Stop bladder infection before it happens. Use natural supplements to avoid bladder infection.
Can DGL Licorice Help Soothe The Stomach And Intestinal Tract?
April 11, 2014 09:41 AM
What is a locorice root
Licorice root, commonly known as DGL is a characteristic herb that is utilized within numerous requisitions. It is otherwise called Yashti-Madhu, sweet root, Spanish licorice and Glycyrrhiza glabra. All structures are accessible generally on and logged off. Licorice root is a common supplement with expectorant properties. This can help with the arrival of harmed mucous covering brought on by GERD which is the reason licorice root and indigestion illness are in some cases specified together. With a few properties of cortisone and estrogen, it likewise helps the body bargain with anxiety.
Benefits of licrorice
Stress has not been demonstrated to really cause indigestion, however it does normally increase the manifestations to a degree. Then again, studies have indicated that unwinding or anxiety alleviating pills, vitamins or minerals can essentially diminish the force of the side effects. By methodology, since licorice root helps us manage stress, it has a tendency to keep the body in a more loose state. This reduces the impacts of GERD.
Licorice root is synthetically known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL. The greater part of it is prepared in Greece, Turkey and Asia. It has been utilized for a long time as a society medication for some issue including indigestion ailment. Numerous clients say that it is charming to take as it has a commonly satisfying flavor. This makes DGL a most loved of numerous sufferes searching for alleviation from their manifestations.
Licorice root as an indigestion sickness cure is not utilized as a cure, however as an agony reliever. General dosing of licorice is said to reduce the agony of GERD manifestations throughout flare ups. So as a matter of course, it is a preventive measure also. Patients who use licorice root report that typically once a day is sufficient, however twice day by day could be called for in extreme cases. Licorice root is not ordinarily utilized as a part of situations where there is now extreme harm to the throat lining. It is all more generally utilized within sufferers with mellow side effects like acid reflux and heartburn.
The imperative thing to know here is that utilizing licorice root, with its regular properties, is a great approach to reduce the impacts of GERD before they happen. DGL appears to have some impact on gastric corrosive preparation too since it is generally utilized within the medication of a few sorts of stomach ulcers. In Japan, doctors have endorsed a man-made type of licorice to treat ulcer patients. While this medicine is not accessible in the USA, it has had some significant brings about Japan.
Study on licorice
A study was carried out on 100 patients that had not enhanced with ordinary medications. These patients were given the manufactured licorice for 6 weeks. Of these, 90 percent demonstrated a pointed change. In 22 cases, the ulcers vanished totally.
So even as a society cure or in a manufactured structure, DGL or licorice root is demonstrated to be powerful as an agony reliever for GERD manifestations, as a compelling preventive treatment and as a corrosive preparation reducer. These are hints of something better over the horizon for the GERD sufferer.
As dependably, you ought to counsel your doctor before beginning on a regimen of licorice establish in any structure. Some unfavorably susceptible responses have been accounted for. In this way, to be sheltered, converse with your specialist to see whether a licorice root - heartburn illness cure is ideal for you.
Benefits associated with Argan Oil
March 11, 2014 05:35 PM
Argan oil has become quite popular in Morocco and across the world owing to the numerous argan oil benefits equally in the field of beautification and nutrition. Argan oil may be taken internally by incorporating it as an ingredient in cooking meals and dishes and likewise it can also be applied externally upon the skin and other areas of the body. This type of oil is important in the maintenance of a vibrant and well-nourished skin. It is regarded as a better moisturizer than commercially-made ones mainly because it's all-natural and safe for anyone, even for youngsters and pregnant women.
Argan oil as moisturizer
The reason why argan oil really is a good moisturizer is mainly because it is rich in fats. It's a nice addition to the beauty regimen of pregnant women mainly because it's safe and it is effective of reducing the possible appearance of stretch scars on the skin. It also presents protection for the skin because it maintains the pH level of the skin keeping it shielded from the harmful radiation of the sun, smoke, dust and pollutants amongst others. One of the most efficient uses of this oil is its potential to maintain healthy skin when it is used on a regular basis.
Some benefits of argan oil
Just one of the many argan oil benefits is its power to actually prevent the incidence of acne and its potential to slow down the aging of the skin. The oil inhibits acne by regulating an oil made by the body called sebum, which when produced on an increased quantity can cause acne breakout. The oil can promote faster renewal of the skin, keeping it hydrated, moisturized and well-nourished. It is present in the beauty regimen of many women simply because it keeps their skin free from wrinkles and young-looking.
The value of argan oil when it comes to excellent nutrition and overall health is also highly noteworthy. It pretty much keeps the body's immune defense strong giving the body great protection against diseases. Not only that, argan oil can be applied as a preventive agent to defend the body from particular types of cancers such as prostate cancer. It can also stabilize the sugar level in the body, hence, it can be used by those who are suffering from diabetes. It also keeps the the circulation of blood going preventing heart attacks, strokes and also other heart problems and keeping the body healthy. It could also actually lower down cholestrerol levels in the body.
There are still numerous argan oil benefits which makes it a popular commodity among the folks of Morocco and the rest of the world. Many are still not educated on the many benefits this oil can deliver to the body but it has been tested by the people of Morocco and by researchers who have conducted a study on the benefits of this miracle oil.
How Do You Reduce Arthritis Naturally?
December 05, 2013 02:29 AM
What is Arthritis
Arthritis is a complex family of disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system of humans. It manifests in 100 different diseases or conditions and it affect two-thirds of people who are under the age of 65. It affects both the old and the young. The common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Juvenile Arthritis (JA). Exercise remains a valuable tool in the fight against the disease, especially when it’s combined with the appropriate diet and diet supplements. Other than the preventive tactics of avoiding joint injury, arthritis victims can still find help naturally by using glucosamine and hyaluronic acid in foods and plant extracts.
Symptoms of Arthritis
The main symptoms of the disease include difficulty in moving joints as well as swollen joints that may lead to severe problems when movement is forced. The disease also causes eye, skin and other organ disorders but not on all patients.
GlucosamineGlucosamine plays a key role in forming connective tissues. It helps people cope with discomfort and mobility problems that arise out of stiff joints. It works by fortifying the protective cushioning between bones. It does not directly improve the bone function, but it leads to better coping with old age and thus delays the onset of joint diseases like arthritis.
Benefits of Glucosamine
Glucosamine works closely with hyaluronic acid to rebuild and support tissues in joints. The hyaluronic acid hydrates and lubricates the joint tissues because of its excellent water trapping and retaining properties. This helps to enhance the body’s ability to absorb shock.
Natural way to deal with ArthritisA natural way to deal with this disease is to consume foods and extracts that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Some of these foods include methylsulfonylmethane, ginger, turmeric and boswellia. Unlike over the counter prescriptions, boswellia is able to impede inflammation and relieve discomfort by reducing the swelling of joints for those who have arthritis. The other foods like ginger and turmeric are also helpful because they have no serious side effects and they work just as well as boswellia.
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
December 04, 2013 06:43 AM
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
Majority of people consider evening primrose oil as one of the major miraculous discoveries within preventive care after Vitamin C. This oil consists a compound called phenylalanine that can assist with pain relief and has been applied increasingly with remedying headaches. Its therapeutic and preventive features are many hence making it a regular proposal from a big number of herbalists.
10 health benefits:1- GLA Deficiency
Evening primrose oil has a lot of fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is very crucial for general operation of the body.
2- Heart Health
Studies revealed that utilizing of evening primrose oil on daily basis can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and safeguard against the coronary artery disease thus minimizing the capability of heart attacks and diseases.
3- Menstrual Pain
The oil is normally used in relieving distress that is normally related with menstrual signs. Majority of women around the world get relief by applying evening primrose oil.
Diabetics occasionally get challenges in producing GLA hence evening primrose oil is an effective supplement to assist them. Studies revealed that this oil can also safeguard people from diabetic neuropathy which is a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
5- Skin Health
Evening primrose oil is considered as an effective remedy for eczema and other skin disorders due to GLA and other essential fatty acids that are vital for skin health.
6- Anti-Inflammatory & Discomfort Reliever
Evening primrose oil is referred to contain anti-inflammatory features and can assist to ease symptoms of chest discomfort and rheumatoid.
7- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Studies revealed that kids suffering from ADHD got relieved after taking evening primrose oil.
8- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Utilizing evening primrose oil with quality fish oil is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.
9- Helps to Counter Impotence & InfertilityEvening primrose oil can stimulate blood flow, thus it helps in solving one of the key causes of male impotence. When taken for some time, it assists in preventing blood vessels to become narrow as a result of cholesterol.
10- Helping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The GLA prompts the brain to make a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E that can operate to resist withdrawal symptoms.
Memory Loss - The Benefits of DHA to your Brain and Memory
November 09, 2013 06:34 PM
Benefits of DHA
As the human being grows older, he/she experiences physiological changes that may interrupt normal brain function. For instance, it may take him/her longer than usual to learn new information and retain it because the brain is not as quick as it used to be. As a matter of fact, the slowing down of mental processes is often mistaken as total memory loss. But in real sense, the brain can learn or retrieve information if it is given more time.The brain has the ability to produces new cells regardless of a person’s age. This simply means aging does not necessarily cause memory loss. It is your health habits, lifestyle and daily activities that affect the health of your brain. Everyone can avert memory loss, boost their cognitive skills and protect their grey matter, age notwithstanding.
How Does DHA Improve Memory?
DHA is an acronym for the words Docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that forms the main structural element of the testicles, sperm, the cerebral cortex and retina. The following foods are rich in DHA: herring, anchovies, fish roe or caviar, Bluefin, sardines, algae, swordfish, breast milk (instant milk formula as well). DHA is also manufactured from microalgae for commercial purposes.
A study was conducted to find out whether DHA supplements can boost brain function in individuals experiencing age-related cognitive decline. It was established that DHA is effective in improving memory and learning. In this study, the subjects were administered with either 900mg per day DHA or placebo for a period of six months. Learning and memory tests were conducted before and after the study. Those who were administered with DHA demonstrated significant improvements in both learning and memory after the study was complete. In another study, DHA was administered to patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but the patients did not record any significant change. It can therefore be concluded that DHA is most effective when used as a preventive measure. In the first study, subjects had mild cognitive disorders but showed remarkable improvement after being supplemented with DHA, unlike those in the second study.
Memory loss can have devastating effects on the patient and his family, but this can be avoided through proper nutrition and supplementation. DHA supplements ensure that there are sufficient amounts of this vital fat in our brain tissues to maintain normal brain function even as we age. A dose of 100mg everyday normalizes cell membrane stores of DHA over time.
What Are The Benefits Of Turmeric Extract?
June 04, 2013 01:53 PM
Turmeric extract, also known as Curcuma longa has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Reputable studies show that it may help control infections, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems and some cancers. Historically, it has been widely used in cooking Indian dishes and is much loved due to its curry flavor and yellow color.
Further, it's used to color butter and cheese and has been intensively applied in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat wounds and skin diseases.
According to research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric extract contains powerful ingredients that stimulate the production of bile and thus can be used to control indigestion.
Let us take a more straight forward look at its main benefits to human health.
Benefits of Turmeric Extract
* Fighting inflammation
Turmeric contains a special substance called curcumin which aside from destroying free radicals lowers the levels of some enzymes in the body that fuel inflammation. Clinical studies have suggested that turmeric's duo benefits (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) are an essential part of recovering from joint stiffness - useful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis.
As we mentioned earlier, turmeric can boost the production of bile. One double-blind study (done by The German Commission E) concluded that turmeric may help in improving the functioning of the digestive system by reducing bloating.
* Turmeric and ulcerative colitis
Although turmeric does not seem to help control stomach ulcers, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center confirm that can play a central role in people with ulcerative colitis by helping them stay in remission. Recent studies done on people with this disease (who consumed turmeric) showed a lower relapse rate than who took other treatment substances.
* Turmeric extract and cancer
Though most results are still early, there has been a great deal of findings that have painted turmeric in good light as far as treatment of various cancers is concerned. At the moment, scientists are keenly studying its effects on colon, skin, breast and prostate cancers. All the same, turmeric is known for its preventive effects which have something to do with its strong antioxidant properties.
* Turmeric=Good Heart Health
Some substances found in turmeric extract may help reduce incidences of atherosclerosis - a condition closely associated with the occurrence of stroke and/or heart attack. It, in a great way lowers cholesterol levels in blood vessels. Aside from that, it stops platelets from clumping together thus preventing blood clots from accumulating along blood vessels.
* Containing Viral and Bacterial Infections
Turmeric may to some extent kill viruses and bacteria. Some of its active ingredients are as well known to expel intestinal worms.
Turmeric has been for a long time been associated with good eye health. Well, researchers have recently made breakthrough findings that curcumin (turmeric's main active ingredient) may help treat chronic anterior uveitis. Its efficiency is believed to be at par with corticosteroids.
There are many other health benefits associated with turmeric extract. However, the few mentioned herein are the most important ones that you need to take note of.
What Exactly Does Diindolylmethane (DIM) Do For The Body?
May 20, 2013 01:52 PM
Diindolylmethane otherwise known as DIM is a natural compound that is essentially synthesised when the body breaks down indole-3-carbinol a compound that is primarily present in cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli. The curative properties of the said vegetables have been documented, dating to many centuries ago. Today we have the advantage of scientific and technological advancement, as such medicine has been able to research and identify some specific benefits of diindolylmethane.
Today DIM is sold as a supplement or rather in supplement form and is known to offer an array of health benefits. Although not all benefits have been confirmed most of them have been researched, confirmed and documented. It is thus agreeable by most experts that DIM has enormous health benefits for both women and men. Some of these benefits include
DIM supplements are known to enhance the effectiveness as well as the efficiency of the metabolic processing of this hormone. This enhancement has closely been linked to elevated levels of antioxidant protection of both the brain and the heart. The process is as well responsible for other documented benefits, including increase libido in women and men as well as dwindle the moodiness in ladies.
The enhanced levels of estrogen metabolism are known to stimulate other hormones including the testosterone. As such this aids the body to return the optimal levels and a state of hormonal balance. In essences the body becomes more responsive particularly to exercise and increases fat-burning metabolism, this not only help build the lean muscle much faster but also promote an overall healthier body.
DIM is in different aspects to play the role of preventive medicine. It is believed that it plays a key role in preventing certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, uterine cancer and breast cancer just to mention but a few. It has also been associated in helping prevent enlargement of prostates. Treatment Diindolylmethane especially the supplements have been used and are used to treat various ailments, such ailments include premenstrual syndrome, breast pain and endometriosis.
DIM has been known to mitigate risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Its desired effect on metabolism of estrogen makes it a common choice for mitigating the effects of environment estrogen exposure.
Diindolylmethane side effects
Very little is known of the safety or there lack of, of this compound supplements more specifically in the long term. Due to its ability to an effect on estrogen metabolism, it is postulated that taking DIM supplements could trigger hormone sensitive conditions such as endometriosis, hormone dependent cancers and uterine fibroids. As such it is advice that one seeks medical advice before using these supplements.
What are the sources of DIM?
As earlier mentioned this chemical compound is produced by digestion of indole -3-carbinol by the body. This compound is present in these vegetables; brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, kales and watercress. Where do you find these supplements? These supplements are available in most online vitamin stores as well as many food stores that specialize in dietary supplement.
Facts You Need To Know About Dandelion Root
February 20, 2013 03:59 PM
Among the different herbal treatments, dandelion root benefits are more valued in Europe. Dandelion roots are rich in vitamins, such as vitamin B complex, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals, such as zinc, iron and potassium. Due to this, dandelion roots offer several health benefits.
Health Benefits of Dandelion Roots
Detoxifies the Liver: Dandelion root is a rich in vitamins that are vital in assisting the liver to break down the unhealthy meals, such as alcohol and other hazardous toxins. It can also increase bile production which is vital in eliminating toxic substances from the liver. The root is also valuable in the prevention of gallstone formation, however, its benefits wanes if one already has gallstones.
Appetite Stimulant: Tea prepared from roasted dandelion roots is a very effective appetite stimulant. It is therefore essential in appetite revival for individuals under medical care for various ailments.
Controls blood glucose and cholesterol Levels: Research carried out on animals has demonstrated that dandelion roots can lower the levels of cholesterol and help regulate blood glucose levels; and therefore can control diabetes. Even though there is no documented proof of these effects in human beings, dandelion root is a valuable inclusion in a person's diet, and it would certainly give a positive outcome on blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Heals Skin Problems: Another notable benefit of dandelion root is its effectiveness in getting rid of body toxins that trigger skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne. When it's taken in tea form, it would help the body do away with various skin conditions.
Prevents Cancer: Research has demonstrated that dandelion root is able to prevent the development of cancerous cells that trigger skin and breast cancer. However, there is no scientific proof about these studies hence it can only be used as a preventive measure.
Are There Herbs And Vitamins For Pain?
December 29, 2012 10:17 AM
Everyone at one point or the other suffers some pain which could be of different kinds. We usually go for prescription drugs or at times, over-the-counter pain relievers. These drugs, however, have many side effects and do cause numerous health damages if used for a long period of time. Thus, it is much better to turn to natural pain relievers, such as herbs and vitamins.
Most herbs and vitamins for pain are used as food; therefore, do not have any side effects. This is however not the case in painkillers which are made from synthetic hormones, chemicals, and so on.
Herbal pain relievers.
Turmeric: Turmeric is popularly used in Southeast India for cooking. Turmeric has curcumin, a very powerful ingredient which aid to fight against chronic inflammatory ailments. Thus, turmeric is usually employed with some other herbs to relieve pain.
Ginger Root: Ginger root is a commonly used herbal remedy since it contains warming properties and helps to enhance blood circulation. It is essential in treating arthritis associated pains, backache and menstrual cramps. It's also used to treat sore throat. It is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Valerian Root: This is used for chronic pain relief and as a skeletal relaxant. It may be used also for the treatment of trauma, cramps, shingles, headaches, insomnia, neuralgia, and stress. It possesses antispasmodic properties and is also a sedative.
Arnica: This is a homeopathic pain reliever and is believed to be particularly essential in the treatment of bruising and soft tissue injuries. It helps to alleviate overall sprains and muscle pain. It may be applied externally as a preventive measure to avoid injury prior to racing or exercising. Thus, it is seen to be applied topically and care must be taken so as not to apply it on a broken or open skin.
Vitamins for Pain Relief
Vitamin D: This is a unique vitamin since its main source is being exposed to UV light. A deficiency in this nutrient is widespread and a popular cause of chronic pains. As a matter of fact, a vitamin D deficiency significantly raises the risk of common women's pains. In a study, vitamin D deficiency was shown to raise risk of chronic pain, particularly in women, by over 50%. Aside from sunlight, other sources of vitamin D are mushrooms, shellfish, fatty fish and fortified orange juice.
Vitamin E: This is a potent antioxidant which protects nerves and joints from damages which may cause pain. In a recent research, it was discovered that vitamin E supplements lower nerve pain. Vitamin E-rich diets are walnuts, peanuts, wheat germ, corn and kiwi.
B complex Vitamins: These include many water-soluble vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamine and folic acid. In a chronic pain animal model, it was discovered that high amounts of B-complex vitamins reduced pain significantly. B-complex vitamin supplements can be found in a number of supplement stores. Dietary sources are vegetables, whole grains, fortified cereals and fruits.
Vitamin C: This is an antioxidant just like vitamin E and protects nerve cells from damage. A scientist known as Paul E. Zollinger discovered that vitamin C supplements helped in reducing pain in wrist fractured patients. Foods rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, bananas, mangoes and oranges.
Korean Ginseng Root Extract
December 14, 2012 12:28 PM
Korean ginseng is a perennial herb that has been long renowned for its medicinal properties in curing various health disorders. Extracts of the root of this plant are made by dilution of one part of ginseng root with one part of water and alcohol.
The Korean ginseng root has been a staple ingredient in traditional Chinese medicines for more than 2000 years. This herb was considered a miracle drug by them, and the theory of its beneficial properties has been passed down through the ages. People still recognize the miraculous powers of this root, and use it as a natural antidote for various ailments. The ginseng root is generally, powdered only after six years of its growth and is made available in the form of extracts at stores all over the world. The Korean root is believed to comprise of various phytochemicals which are the main cause of all beneficial properties.
Benefits of Korean ginseng root extract
General health tonic
Ginseng is classified as an adaptogen, which acts as a complete health tonic. This extract can help the body rebound from fatigue, arising from various kinds of stress. It also aids in improving energy and physical endurance, thereby, contributing to the overall well-being of an individual.
Improves cardiovascular function
- This root extract can prevent organ and tissue prolapse, and improve blood circulation for improved cardiovascular function. It lowers the bad cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol in the human body.
Improves functioning of the nervous system
The plant nutrients found in the herb extract can enhance the cognitive abilities and act as memory boosters. They can cure problems related to poor concentration, memory, insomnia and anxiety.
The ginseng extract holds great promises for people with type-2 diabetes as it can result in greater glucose and insulin resistance.
Ginseng extract has also been proved to act as a preventive remedy for several kinds of cancer.
The extracts of this herb act as a stimulant for boosting the immunity and effectively prevent all kinds of flu and cold.
Korean ginseng root extract has worked miracles on improving the general well-being of a person. The numerous benefits of ginseng extract might seem compelling but it is advisable to exercise caution, as with other herbal supplements. Consult your physician before consuming ginseng to explore probable side-effects with existing medication.
What Are the Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
October 27, 2012 06:30 PM
Flex seed oil is highly beneficial for our general well-being. It features a high-volume of omega-3 fatty acids and offers untold curative and preventive health benefits. Several of the contained nutrients consist of carotene, vitamin E and unsaturated alpha linolenic acid.
Flax oil is highly beneficial for several different systems and areas of the body, from the cardiovascular system, immune system, reproductive system to the nervous system and joints. Certain acids in the oil help with preventing the onset of artery clots and lowering the level of cholesterol. This oil is also appreciated for its ability to speed up the healing process from knocks or sprains, improves the metabolism, and helps with improving color perception and vision.
Here are some of the main benefits to taking a supplement of flax seed oil -
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Flax oil offers the ability to cut the chance of suffering from heart disease, mainly due to its effectiveness at reducing the possibility of the blood platelets sticking together. Flax is also efficient at promoting the health of the blood vessels. Lower blood pressure is achieved due to the active ingredient of Omeg-3 fatty acid.
Can Reduce the Risks of Certain Cancers
It has been reported the taking flax seed oil has the potential to reduce the development of certain cancers, such as breast cancer. Action ingredients, such as lignans (antioxidants) and omega-3 help with preventing cancer.
Helps to Prevent Dry Eyes
A supplement of flax seed is also highly effective at stopping itchy dry eyes. Dry eyes are often as a result of not having sufficient oil in the protective tear film. If a shortage of oil becomes noticeable, the chance of water evaporating from the eyes surface is greatly increased. Supplements containing omega-3 will help with reversing this effect, by ensuring the oil glands have sufficient oil to cover the eye.
What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol?
March 24, 2012 07:51 AM
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a name of a product which is prepared from a tree French Pine also known as French Maritime Pine. Pycnogenol is a trademark name sold as a nutritional supplement. This supplement is mainly used for asthma and a condition known as chronic venus insufficiency. It is a water extract of the bark of the French Pine found in the coastal south west of France. Pycnogenol contains unique flavonoid compounds in high concentration. These compounds at such high levels of concentration have proven to be useful and beneficial on inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, aging and healing of wounds.
History and Discovery of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant made from a combination of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients. Since it is biologically made it is technically a bioflavonoid. A French scientist by the name Professor Masquelier gave the name Pycnogenol which is a scientific name for the oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as other bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol is an extract from the French Maritime Pine and grape seed extract. Professor Masquelier along with a Swiss broker Horphag made attempts to commercialize Pycnogenol. Horphag without the consent of Masquelier registered the name Pycnogenol as a patent in the year 1990 which came under the ownership of Horphag in the United States. This caused severe legal disputes in the US. Horphag made huge profits from the intellectual property of Masquelier. This wonderful antioxidant was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1953. In his books Cartier mentioned about the benefits of pine and how it cured and healed chronic diseases. Professor Masquelier discovered Cartier's book and recognized the benefits of these medicines which were rich in bioflavonoids.
Health Benefits of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant which helps in regulating certain types of acids that gets absorbed in the human body through chemicals and free radicals. Antioxidants help in improving heart health and prevent cancer. Brain diseases like Alzheimer's can also be prevented with the use of Pycnogenol. It prevents the body from absorbing the toxic elements which are responsible for the development of brain diseases. It works as a good preventive tool. Pycnogenol also helps people who suffer from heart disease, which is a very common disease worldwide. It reduces swelling due to heart disease and helps in regulating the blood pressure. Pycnogenol also assists in reducing blood sugar levels in type ll diabetes, administered along with the anti-diabetes drugs.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Pycnogenol are beneficial in treating asthma. It also improved the tolerance to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Pycnogenol works well as an anti aging product along with Vitamin E, and reduces wrinkles.
Pycnogenol is available in the market in different supplement formulas containing about 20mg to 100mg of Pycnogenol. It is the most extensively researched product and has also passed a number of safety tests. Tests have proved that consuming Pycnogenol at higher dosage for longer periods is safe though there are a few minor side effects. These side effects are gastro intestinal discomfort, nausea, dizziness and headaches. If consumed with certain drugs it can cause major side effects due to drug interactions. Pycnogenol is a great antioxidant supplement which helps in protecting and healing the body from harmful chemicals. Before taking Pycnogenol daily as a supplement it is recommended to consult physicians who can advice on the ideal dosages.
What Are The Organic Compounds That Provide Our Brains With Their Basic Fuels?
October 12, 2011 01:58 PM
Brain health and nutrition has shown vast growth in interest in terms of research the past years and correctly so because the brain is a very important part of the body. This is something in my point of view that could never be replaced. Other organs like the heart, liver or kidneys can be transplanted or who knows in the far and distant future that it may even be replaceable. Well, I guess that may be just the sci-fi geek in me talking but seriously though, with the complexity in which the brain is made I do not think there will be any possibility even in the wildest of imaginations that humanity will be able to figure out a way to replace the brain.
The irony in all of this though is with human beings pushing the boundaries of their minds and manifesting the results through technological advancements all the more are we needing to protect our brains because life has become more complex. Things that were supposed to make life easier for us now seems to do the exact opposite and each technological advancement causes more and more Americans to have less and less time to devote to making sure they get the right nutrition through the right food preparation so the brain will have all the nutrients it needs. So with this we should look at how we can help augment our efforts in trying to keep our brain functioning healthily in a natural way.
Brain Health and Organic Compounds
There is a wide variety of organic compounds out there and too many of them to mention in this article in fact. Basically, organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon however not all are considered organic but that is irrelevant to what we are trying to achieve right now. So for brain health, the first organic compound that has proven to be very important is the vitamin family of rich antioxidant properties like Vitamin C and E as a couple of examples. Increasing antioxidant levels in the body through these vitamins is a very good way to reduce the risk of diseases and allow better protection for our brain against oxidative stress.
Not only that, it will also allow better health for our nerves and neurons which plays a big role in brain functions. Another example of a potent antioxidant to promote brain health is DHA and ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid because it is able to get into the brain much easier compared to other antioxidants and fight free radicals there. Carnitine and choline are also essential contributors in modulating brain health as they are precursors to the production of acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter to aid in efficient neurological functions. And lastly but certainly not the least, ATP or adenosine triphosphate is also very important to brain function as this compound supplies energy to virtually all the cells in the body and any bodily processes that require energy to function efficiently needs ATP and that includes our entire nervous system.
Keeping your brain healthy is important especially since Alzheimer’s is an ever growing problem in the United States. Keeping your brain healthy with DHA, ALA, and vitamins is the right step for anybody who wants to take preventive measures and protect the brain.
What is the Difference between Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea?
July 06, 2011 10:32 AM
Echinacea Health Benefits
Echinacea is a group of plant species that belongs to the same family as dandelion, sunflower, and daisy. These flowering shrubs are best known as ornamental plants in gardens. Also, they are widely recognized as medicinal herbs in alternative medicine. Modern herbalists have attributed a diverse variety of healing properties to this herb, drawing on its traditional uses among the Native Americans.
Elk root, black samson echinacea, or narrow-leaved purple cornflower refers to Echinacea angustifolia. Its native range stretches from Manitoba in the north to Texas in the south. It is an herbaceous plant, as all species of echinacea are. It grows up to 28 inches in height, extending from a branched taproot. Its stems and leaves are hairy while other species are smooth. Its flowers resemble a cone in shape.
Echinacea angustifolia is so named in the vernacular due to the fact that elks knowingly consume the plant when sick or wounded. Elk root is an herb important to folk medicine practices of Plain Indians, such as the Cheyenne and Apache. It displays analgesic properties, and thus has been in use as a pain reliever for external wounds and internal inflammation, including allergies, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Research on elk root has been promising. It is one of the species of echinacea believed to enhance the immune system and improve immune responses. In particular, it is good for the respiratory system. It has been used in the treatment of the common cold, sore throat, and nasal congestion. In addition, it exhibits antimicrobial properties, which effectively wards off infections of the respiratory tract.
Eastern purple cornflower, or simply purple cornflower, refers to Echinacea purpurea. It enjoys a wide distribution in North America, though they thrive in large concentrations in the wild in regions close to the east coast. Unlike all other species of echinacea, it grows from a woody base with fibrous roots instead of a taproot. Its flowers are arranged in a cone, sitting atop a stem that grows up to 40 inches.
Echinacea purpurea is arguably the most extensively studied of all species of echinacea. Traditionally, it has been utilized by many different tribes in North America as a cure-all medicinal herb. Clinical trials have shown that juice extracts obtained from this plant species are useful for the short term treatment of cold infections, though contraindications in children and pregnant women were noted.
Echinacea purpurea displays chemopreventive potential. Laboratory studies have discovered that it contains alkamides, which bind to cannabinoid receptors and inhibit tumor growth and pain chemicals in the process. Also, it has been linked to immunotherapy largely owing to its properties that appear to increase the activity of immune cells. It shows promise as an adjunct treatment for cancer.
Either way, Echinacea can help boost the body so the body can fight back against disease. Make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet just in case you feel a cold coming on!
August 10, 2009 12:52 PM
The Cherokee tribe used scullcap as an emmenagogue. It was also used historically as an anti-convulsant. An Asian scullcap has been used by Chinese physicians as a tranquilizer, sedative, and to treat convulsion. The herb was used in the eighteenth century as a treatment for rabies by some physicians. Later, it was recommended by eclectic physicians for insomnia, nervousness, malaria, and convulsions. The herb was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947.
This herb is responsible for treating a variety of conditions. Among these include pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, and epilepsy. scullcap is well known for its ability to calm the nerves and also to help with all nervous system conditions. Additionally, it has been used to treat infertility, fatigue, inflamed tissues, digestion, coughs, and headaches. Some herbalists consider scullcap to be one of the best nervine herbs that is available. It has been used as a nerve tonic. It also can promote a feeling of well-being and promote relaxed sleep. Some people recommend scullcap for problems that are associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, as it may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Traditional uses of this herb have included infertility, regulation of sexual desire, and as a remedy for cramps and pain.
Research one in both Europe and Russia has proven the benefits of scullcap as a tranquilizer as well as a mild sedative. The herb is recommended for use in nervous conditions in order to induce sleep and relaxation. Some evidence has shown that Asian scullcap contains component which inhibit the enzyme sialidase. This enzyme is known to increase in certain disease states like cancer, infections, and inflammations. Another study done in vitro found an antibacterial and antifungal activity in scullcap. Some early evidence has also been found of scullcap’s ability to treat high blood pressure. The herb is used and prescribed widely in Europe. Studies using animals in Japan showed that scullcap has the ability to increase the levels of good cholesterol and prevent serum cholesterol levels from rising. This study was done on rabbits, as they were fed a high-cholesterol diet. These findings suggest that scullcap may also act as a heart disease and stroke preventive.
The entire scullcap herb is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, and zinc. Primarily, scullcap is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, high blood pressure, convulsions, epilepsy, infertility, insomnia, nerve problems, and restlessness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, poisonous bites, childhood diseases, chorea, poor circulation, coughing, delirium, drug withdrawal, fevers, hangover, headaches, hydrophobia, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insanity, neuralgia, pain, palsy, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, rheumatism, rickets, spasms, spinal meningitis, thyroid problems, tremors, and urinary problems. 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 scullcap, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
February 26, 2009 12:43 PM
Motion sickness is the result of motion causing the eyes, the sensory nerves, and the vestibular apparatus of the ear to send conflicting signals to the brain, causing a loss of equilibrium or a sense of vertigo. Most often, it is experienced in a car, airplane, train, boat, elevator, or swing. Contributing factors to this illness are anxiety, genetics, overeating, poor ventilation, and traveling immediately after eating. A susceptibility to things like offensive odors, sights, or sounds can often precede an attack of motion sickness. Typically, women are affected by this condition more frequently than men are. Elderly people and children under the age of two are usually not affected.
Those people who suffer from motion sickness experience symptoms including severe headaches, queasiness, nausea, and vomiting while flying, sailing, or traveling in automobiles or trains. Other symptoms of motion sickness include cold sweats, dizziness, excessive salivation and/or yawning, fatigue, loss of appetite, pallor, severe distress, sleepiness, weakness, and occasionally, breathing difficulties that make one feel as if they are suffocating. If motion sickness is severe, an attack can make a person feel completely uncoordinated, and sometimes and injury can occur from loss of balance. The motion sickness typically goes away once the stimulus is removed. However, it can also persist for hours or days. If a person suffers from motion sickness for a prolonged amount of time, they may experience depression, dehydration, or low blood pressure. Motion sickness can also worsen any other illnesses that a person already has.
Many natural remedies have been greatly successful in treating motion sickness. The prevention of motion sickness is the key, as it is far easier to prevent than it is to cure. Once excessive salivation and nausea set in, usually it is too late to do anything but wait for the trip to be over so that recovery can begin.
The following nutrients have been recommended to help prevent motion sickness. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.
Charcoal tablets can be used as a detoxifier. Five tablets should be taken one hour before travel. Magnesium, which acts as a nerve tonic, should be taken in dosages of 500 mg one hour before a trip. To help relieve nausea, 100 mg of vitamin B6 should be taken one hour before a trip, and then 100 mg should be taken again two hours later. Additionally, black horehound can help to reduce nausea. Butcher’s broom, kudzu, and motherwort are great for helping to relieve vertigo. Ginger is beneficial in suppressing nausea, making it an excellent treatment and preventive for nausea and upset stomach.
Lastly, peppermint tea sooths and calms the stomach. Also, a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue is a great way to provide relief from nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint can also be taken in a lozenge form. To learn more information about the above nutrients, contact your local or internet health food store.
Calcium D Glucarate
July 25, 2008 10:57 AM
Studies have found that D-glucarate has therapeutic actions; among these are cancer prevention and serum cholesterol reduction. However, its most impressive property could be its ability to quickly detoxify the body of both artificial and natural toxins which can be potentially harmful. These toxins can be neutralized in many ways, with glucuronidation being one those ways. The process of glucuronidation involves using the liver to neutralize chemical carcinogens and steroidal hormones including estrogen. Once a toxin has been glucuronidated in the liver, it goes to the bile and is eventually eliminated from the body in the stool.
Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme that is produced in the gut by unfriendly bacteria which can actually inhibit this process by chemically splitting a glucuronidated toxin before it is able to be eliminated in the stool. This unbound toxin can come into contact with the bowel lining where it can be reabsorbed and the whole process will be repeated. When a situation like this happens, cells are exposed, once again, to the chemical and the liver can become overworked. Thankfully, if D-glucarate is present, beta-glucuronidase is inhibited, resulting in a flawless glucuronidation in the body.
These findings suggest that taking D-glucarate orally as a supplement can provide us with the increased ability to efficiently and rapidly rid our bodies of toxins through problem-free glucuronidation. Additionally, D-glucarate does not work like an antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals, but instead actually forms a type of bond with harmful compounds to enhance their rapid removal from the body. Some of the organs that can be especially toxin-sensitive are the breast, prostate, liver, lung, and kidney, therefore, they can greatly benefit from this process. These organs can be most damaged by the continued exposure to poisons and carcinogens.
Because our generation, more than that of any other, is exposure to a great number of potentially harmful environmental pollutants, our contact with carcinogens increased exponentially. Just some of the cancer-causing agents include cigarette smoke, pesticides, radon, hormonally-fattened meats, diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays, gamma radiation, trans-fatty acids, alcohol, poor diets, xeno-estrogen, herbicides, smog, car exhaust, certain prescription drugs, ultra-violet light, rancid foods, saturated / hydrogenated fats, some food/water supplies, and food preservatives. Although a lot of us have taken necessary measures to protect ourselves from exposure to the substances listed, it is inevitable that we will consistently take chemicals that can prompt the growth of cancer into our bodies.
Additionally, our own hormones can be a threat if they are not efficiently metabolized and excreted from our body. One study found that Glucarate supplementation amplifies the process by which carcinogens and hormones are removed from the body, while D-glucarate can exert a positive effect on different stages of the carcinogenic process. It has been found that lower cancer rates in some populations could be attributed to their consumptions of foods that are rich in D-glucaric acid, self-medicated with D-glucarate, or combine D-glucarate supplementation with other chemopreventive agents.
Either way, the protective function of glucarate in the body’s natural cancer prevention mechanisms has been established for long periods of time, while other recent studies have indicated that the use of glucarate could potentially present a fifty percent decrease in tumor incidence.
Better Vision Through Bilberries
January 17, 2008 02:20 PM
"Eat your carrots! They're good for your eyes!" Isn't this what your mother always told you? Isn't that what you learned as a kid? Well, how about re-writing that phrase? How about making it into the phrase: "Eat your bilberries!"
What is a bilberry? A bilberry is a shrub just over a foot tall. The bilberry plant possesses a fruit, the cousin of the blueberry, that is indigenous to Northern Europe. These fruits contain bioflavonoids, an antioxidant with a variety of health benefits. A thousand years ago bilberries were used to relieve diarrhea and kidney stones. Today, the bilberry sees use as a treatment and preventive measure in a variety of situations. Some of the benefits seen in the modern age include possible prevention of heart disease and macular degeneration. In fact, bilberries may help strengthen the eyes when used by people regularly who aren't suffering from any ocular conditions.
The active ingredients in the fruit are tannins, which are an astringent and anti-inflammatory. The bilberry also contains anthocyanidins, which are compounds that strengthen capillaries and improve the flow of blood through the circulatory system. These anthocyanidins also increase the body’s production of rhodopsin, which is a pigment responsible for enhanced night vision and increased adaptability to changes in light by the eye. In fact, a jam made from the fruit was used by British Royal Air Force pilots in World War II who often reported that it improved their night vision, a crucial aid in an ace pilot's career.
The anthocyanidins in the bilberry fruit are a bioflavonoid. A bioflavonoid is a substance found in plants which helps strengthen the walls of capillaries. Many bioflavonoids support human health in various ways, such as naringenin which aids in cancer prevention. Others may be useful in treating liver conditions such as cirrhosis. The variety of bioflavonoid uses is a field that is still being developed.
Bioflavonoids have an extensive history. From the previously mentioned uses for bilberries to research after World War II into the connection between bioflavonoids and vitamin C, these biologically active wonder substances are an exciting branch of health supplements. They are available in various forms for your convenience.
Bilberry extract comes in a capsule form, usually meant to be taken three times daily. The manufacturer will have instructions in case of varying dosages. Bilberry extract contains the most potent dose of bioflavonoid that the bilberry has to offer. It is this potency that makes the extract the best choice for maximum ocular benefit. But it is not the only choice, in case you are looking for another way to enjoy receiving its unique health bonuses.
Bilberry tea is also made from the dried berries or the leaves of the plant. The berries are also eaten fresh or made into jam, just like the aforementioned British pilots did. The taste of a bilberry is very similar to that of a blueberry: slightly tart, slightly sweet. It has traditionally been baked in pies and it a special treat with syrup and ginger ice cream. That's a taste worthy of the fruit's pedigree!
In the world of health supplements, the unique properties and advantages this fruit, particularly bilberry extract, make it a worthy addition to anyone's daily regimen. Maybe there's a toddler in the house who won't eat his carrots. He will get similar eye benefits by eating the sweet fruit of the bilberry plant. Perhaps a tasty dessert that packs its own reward would be a welcome addition to the dinner table. The possibilities are limitless. Try some of the fruit or extract and invest in a healthier future.
Vitamin C - Cancer-Preventive nutrient shows new promise for treatment
May 28, 2007 11:45 AM
Appearing in pills, capsules, liquids, lozenges, tangy chewables and scoopable crystals, vitamin C is the ubiquitous superstar nutrient with health benefits that far exceed its renown as immune booster. Widely recognized as a powerful antioxidant that may be an important preventive measure against cancer, vitamin C’s potential as a cancer treatment—once dismissed by western medicine—is now being re-evaluated with well deserved research.
For Better Heart Health ...
February 06, 2007 12:57 PM
Nutrients Every Heart Needs
High blood pressure. High cholesterol levels. Ever increasing stress. All are factors related to the development of heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, 1 in 2 women in the
Fortunately, heart disease is a problem you can do something about. Proven ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of heart disease include taking targeted nutritional supplements, making changes in the foods we eat, exercising most days of the week, drinking in moderation, eliminating tobacco use and adapting a positive attitude. Research shows that those of us who are often angry and depressed have more heart disease than people that live their lives with a more positive outlook.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific nutritional supplements that are heart healthy, whether your goal is to prevent heart disease or reduce the effects of heart disease if you currently have it.
Q. I am trying hard to live a healthier life. But it all seems so overwhelming. How do I start?
A. It may help to know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Lots of people feel this way. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association are both urging people to prevent heart disease by identifying their individual health risk factors.
A risk factor is an indicator of whether or not you may develop a certain health condition. In heart disease prevention, there are two kinds of risk factors. There are risk factor you can control – such as diet, exercise, and the supplements you take. There are also risk factors you can’t change or control –your age, race, and gender, as well as your family’s history of heart disease.
Examples can be really helpful. Let’s follow three adults – Fred, Jane, and Earl – and determine their risk factors.
Fred is 32, single, has a job he loves, has an optimistic attitude about his life, and works out 5 days a week. Most days Fred’s diet is fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat. Occasionally Fred will eat a cheeseburger and fries when he watches the game with his buddies. Fred’s risk factors are his male gender and the occasional high fat content in his diet.
Jane is 55, a lawyer, married, and has a very stressful job. Jane eats lots of salads, fruits, and whole grains. However, her job requires her to work long hours which leaves little time to exercise. Jane is for the most part happy with her life, but her work stress had led to times of negativity. Her father had a heart attack when he was 56. Jane’s risk factors include her age (greater than 50), negativity from job stress, lack of regular exercise, and a family history of heart disease.
Earl is 65, married, and has just retired from a job he hated. He spends most of his day watching TV and eating potato chips and other high fat, salty snacks. Earl has told his friends and family since he worked so hard for so long, he is sure to drop dead soon after retiring. He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Earl’s father had a heart attack and died when he was 73. Earl’s risk is his male gender, age (greater than 50), sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, negative outlook on life, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and a family history of heart disease.
Q. OK, it’s pretty easy to see that Fred needs to watch his diet, Jane needs to exercise more, and Earl needs lots of help. But, which supplements should they take?
A. The Whole Heart Nutrition chart is an easy way to determine the supplements each risk level needs. As you can see, everyone wanting to prevent heart disease – Fred, Jane, Earl, you, and I – need to take quality heart formula multivitamin, garlic, and a fish oil supplement providing Omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is also a smart choice for complete heart heath support.
Q. Why do we all need to take a “heart multivitamin”? Why can’t we take a regular multivitamin to prevent heart disease?
A. Since the human heart simply cannot function without adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, it seems logical that a multivitamin would be the foundation of good nutrition for your heart. Heart-health formulated multivitamins provide the exact nutrients needed to prevent heart disease.
That’s why we need to take a specially formulated heart-focused multi-vitamin. The cells and the tissues that make up the heart must have vitamins C, A, and E, as well as B1, B6, and B12 to function. Folic acid, the little B vitamin that is so crucial in preventing spina bifida (a birth defect), breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease is also needed to keep heart muscles strong. The B vitamins and folic acid are very important to heart health because they help lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a potential and emerging cardiac risk factor,
Magnesium is a mighty mineral and healthy hearts need it every day. Aloha lipoic acid, a fatty acid, provides protection against heart cholesterol and high blood pressure. Lutein and lycopene are all-natural nutrients and keep our arteries free from the buildup of plaque, a condition linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Multivitamins formulated with these exact vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will work with medications often prescribed to treat heart disease and provide the nutrition our hearts need.
Q. Don’t all multivitamins work with medications prescribed to treat heart disease?
A. Many multivitamin formulas contain herbs and other nutrients that can interfere with prescription medications, especially mediations prescribed to treat heart disease. One multivitamin does not fit all.
The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.
Q. What can garlic supplements do for Fred, Jane and Earl or other people with low to high risk factors?
A. Garlic supplements have a very long and very successful history of preventing premature death from heart attacks. Lately, however, there have been some conflicting news stories about supplemental garlic’s ability to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure – the causes of heart disease and death. That’s because many different garlic supplements have been used in these studies – garlic oil, garlic powder, aged garlic extract, and supplements made from fresh garlic. They have all been studied clinically for their effects in heart disease.
The best garlic supplements (and the ones that showed the best effects in garlic studies) contain alliin, which is then converted to allicin. Allicin is the compound that lowers harmfully high cholesterol levels and dangerous blood pressure readings. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor. Because alliin is very stable when dry, properly prepared and enteric coated fresh garlic preparations preserve the allicin-producing action until the garlic mixes with the fluids of the intestinal tract. Fresh garlic extract’s enteric coating also prevents garlic breath. In contrast, aged garlic contains absolutely no allicin or allicin potential. This fact is probably responsible for the poor results noted in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure from aged garlic preparations.
The most effective garlic supplements are made from fresh garlic, enteric coated, and provide a daily dose of at least 10 milligrams (mg) alliin or a total allicin potential of 4,000 micrograms (mcg). Taking a once-daily garlic supplement that delivers 4,000 mcg of allicin will lower Jane’s and Earl’s high blood pressure and Earl’s high cholesterol, naturally and effectively.
Whole Heart Nutrition
Each additional risk factor requires additional supplements or increased doses for protection from heart disease.
Q. What about fish oil supplements? I know they can prevent heart disease but I’ve also heard they contain harmful substances, too.
A. You’re right on both counts. But, there are excellent fish oil supplements naturally loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, powerful nutrients that prevent heart disease, that are also certified free of harmful contaminants.
In the 1980s, researchers first began noticing the native Inuit (Eskimo) populations of Greenland and
Research has shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements can:
-Reduce the risk of arrhythmias, lethal heartbeat rhythms that cause sudden death.
-Lower the levels of triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase a person’s
risk of dying from a heart attack, even if a person’s cholesterol levels are normal.
-Slow atherosclerosis – the growth of harmful plaque on artery walls.
Atherosclerosis develops over many years. If the plaque growth is slow and
stable, chances are low that a heart attack will result. However, rapidly growing
or unstable plaques can rupture. The body responds with inflammation, which
causes blood clots to form. These blood clots block the artery and cause a heart
-Keep blood pressure levels low. Many people have high blood pressure for years
without knowing it. That’s because it has no symptoms. Uncontrolled high
blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.
While 25% of Americans have high blood pressure, nearly one-third of these
people don’t know they have it. This is why high blood pressure is often called
the “silent killer.”
You can get all of this heart disease preventive protection from just 600-1800 mg of fish oil. It’s pretty simple to see why Fred, Jane, Earl, and you and I need to take fish oil supplements every day.
However, it is absolutely critical that the fish oil supplement you take is free of contaminants and guaranteed fresh! Make sure that the manufacturer of the fish oil supplement you buy is able to provide documentation of purity in their product. Supplements should contain no detectable dioxin (a widely used toxic preservative), DDT (a toxic insecticide), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) or heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
Before you buy any fish oil supplement, ask the clerk if you can open the bottle or jar and smell the contents. A fishy smelling fish oil supplementation means it is rancid. Rancid fish oil is not going to help your heart at all and may actually hurt it.
Q. That leaves CoQ10. Why is it important for Jane and Earl?
A. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is the premier heart supplement! CoQ10 is part of our energy producing system. It works directly in the mitochondria of each cell. Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as powerhouses. These tiny energy producers generate 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. The heart has very important functions and requires a vast amount of energy. Thus, the heart has a lot of mitochondria or little powerhouses.
CoQ10 is incredibly crucial to the health of our hearts. Especially to hearts that are pumping blood with too much cholesterol. But, in a dangerous paradox, CoQ10 levels can become dangerously depleted when physicians treat high cholesterol in their patients with certain medications. The so-called “statin” drugs (Mevacor/lovastatin and Crestor/rosubastatin are two examples) are powerful and medications prescribed to lower harmful cholesterol levels. However, one very harmful side effect they share is that they deprive cells of CoQ10. While some physicians are aware of this serious side effect and tell their patients to take at least 400 mg of CoQ10 each day, most are not. The result? Any good the statin drugs may be doing is actually negated by their depletion of CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 actually work? Has it been studied in heart disease?
A. Yes, it has! CoQ10 has been extensively studied in heart disease. This natural nutrient is present in every nucleated cell in our body (the only cells that don’t contain CoQ10 are red blood cells). Heart cells, however, are absolutely loaded with CoQ10. Its job is fairly simply – CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound our body uses for 95% of its energy needs.
In 1998, 144 patients who had been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack, participated in a CoQ10 study. Half of the patients received 120 mg of CoQ10 a day in addition to the usual treatments given to heart attack patients. The other half, the control group, received the usual treatments and a placebo, but no CoQ10.
The results showed that the group taking CoQ10 had less irregular heartbeat, experienced less angina (a type of heart pain), and had much better function in the left ventricle (the most essential chamber of the heart), compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden heart failure or another heart attack were also reduced in the CoQ10 group.
Q. What if I have already been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure? Will CoQ10 still help me?
A. CoQ10 has been proven in study after study to help slow down the destruction that occurs in congestive heart failure (CHF), a serious heart disease, and heal the heart muscles damaged by heart attacks. In fact, heart attacks often occur when the body’s CoQ10 levels are low.
In a CHF study, patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the researchers introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of the patients’ hearts to determine the degree of muscle damage CHF had caused. In the group who took CoQ10, the pumping ability of the heart improved significantly. The placebo group’s hearts did not. The researchers conducting the study recommended that people with CHF add CoQ10 to the other medications they need to take to stay alive and well.
Q. Are some types of CoQ10 better than others?
A. Indeed they are. CoQ10 products are not created equally. The key to this natural medicine is the quality of the manufacturing. Take a CoQ10 supplement that’s been used in research conducted by prestigious universities (it will tell you this right on the label). Researchers want the best CoQ10 for their studies. You want the best CoQ10 for yourself and your loved ones.
The best CoQ10 has to meet the following criteria:
1. Must be easily absorbed during the digestion process so that it can get into the
2. Must reach the mitochondria in the cell.
3. Must be proven effective in studies.
4. Must be safe and free of impurities.
Q. It sounds as if CoQ10 is only for people with moderate or high risk factors. Can others benefit from this supplement?
A. Many people, including those like Fred with low risk factors or no risk of heart disease take CoQ10 every day. CoQ10 supplements may reduce your risk of cancer, prevent gum disease, and help certain nerve cells work more effectively.
Understanding your personal risk factors, making it better lifestyle choices, taking a multivitamin formulated for your heart, an enteric-coated fresh garlic supplement, fish oil supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 – the heart’s super-nutrient – can help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Helen Keller, the famous lecturer and author, who was both blind and deaf wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot e seen or even touched. They must be felt with the human heart.”
Healthy hearts have the most opportunities to “feel” the best and are the most beautiful thing our world has to offer.
May 20, 2006 12:15 PM
Today’s scientists might be less poetic that tea’s ancient admirers. But they are no less impressed by the fragrant beverage’s lengthy list of health-boosting compounds, including a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that may interfere with potentially harmful genetic changes. Researchers at the University of Rochester (New York) Medical Center have found that EGCG binds to a protein called HSP90, jamming an important gene-damaging mechanism (biochemistry 4/5/05). Tea may also help stymie cancer development by interacting with toxin-neutralizing enzymes in the liver and by encouraging apoptosis, a process that causes cells to die when their useful life is over.
Studies of actual tea-drinking humans have had mixed results; some show a cancer-preventive effect, others don’t. The most promising research comes from China, where green tea is the beverage of choice. Among more than 18,000 men, those who drank tea were half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or esophagus (which leads from the mouth to the stomach) as non-imbibers (Carcinogenesis 9/02).
Americans have traditionally favored black tea, which has different chemical properties. A 2005 American Institute for Cancer Research survey showed that only 15% of the US population drinks green tea on any given day and less than 1% matches the per-person consumption seen in Asia (although green tea sales have climbed considerably in recent years).
Meanwhile, the good news continues to pour in. in February, an investigation published in the Journal Carcinogenesis found a 22% drop in breast cancer risk among women who quaffed five cups a day. And in two preliminary studies, green tea extract, which provides tea compounds in an easy-to-take, form, has been linked to reduced risk of cancer in men with precancerous prostate changes and has benefited people with leukemia.
Industry Groups Warn against Marketing Avian Flue Remedies.
January 17, 2006 04:52 PM
Industry Groups Warn against Marketing Avian Flue Remedies.
Washington—Jointly, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and National Nutritional foods association (NNFA) issued a statement in November reaffirming and calling for responsible use and marketing of dietary supplements, and encouraged consumers and retailers to avoid supplements purporting to prevent or treat the avian flu.
“The dietary supplement industry is keenly aware of public concern regarding avian flu and of the desire of the public to protect itself against this recent health epidemic, which can cause serious illness and, ultimately, death,” the statement read. “We do not believe any dietary supplements have been specifically shown to prevent or treat avian flu.”
The trade coalition futher issued the following unified guidance for marketers, retailers and consumers:
“Millions of Americans value dietary supplements because they can enhance general immune function and disease resistance,” they noted. “however, therapies for prevention or treatment of avian flu should only be recommended by a qualified health care professionals or public health authorities.”
The Free Radical Theory
December 14, 2005 12:11 PM
The popular theory has been the subject of a great deal of research. Developed by Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Nebraska in 1956, the free radical theory proposes that unstable molecules known as free radicals are responsible for inflicting extensive cellular damage, which causes cell death and dysfunction and eventually, disease. The most common type of free radicals are oxygen derived, and free radical damage is often referred to as oxidation.
Environmental sources of free radicals include radiation (I.E., sun exposure, X-rays), ozone and nitrous oxide, heavy metals (i.e., mercury, cadmium, lead), smoke, alcohol, saturated fat, and other chemicals and pollutants. The body itself generates free radicals in performing essential bodily functions including energy production and immune activities. Fortunately, the body also has the ability to create antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals and prevent extensive cellular damage. When free radicals are not neutralized by antioxidants, they inflict large-scale cellular damage which can cascade and lead to age-related degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and age –relaged macular degeneration. For example, free radical damage to joint cells may cause the cartilage to become rough or break down, and can lead to the development of osteoarthritis. Antioxidants are needed to comb at free radicals and prevent this cellular damage. “Oxidative stress can lead to DNA mutations, cell death, and disease, all of which contribute to aging,” said Gerald R. Cysewski, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Cyanotech corp. “Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body to combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Increasing the amount of antioxidants in one’s system by consumption of supplements can provide further protection from the damaging effects of free radicals.”
Because the body is continually assaulted by free radicals, antioxidant supplementation is often necessary. “by taking certain nutrients that our bodies stop producing over time, supplements help us to maintain a youthful look and health, which in turn enhances the quality of life,” Alkayali said. “Furthermore, supplements can help decrease oxidative stress that may otherwise accompany age-related illness and disease.”
Many Substances are known antioxidants including certain enzymes, vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals, and include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Carotenoids, Selenium, superoxide dismutase, melatonin, quercetin, catechins, and zinc.
Consuming a diet high in plant sources of powerful antioxidants is an important step to deter ageing, because nutrients from foods are often highly bioavailable and can act synergistically to increase their health benefits. Garlic contains several antioxidant phytochemicals and minerals including allicin, beta-carotene, quercetin, selenium and zinc, and may have a protective effect against stomach and colorectal cancers.
Catechins are potent antioxidants flavonoids, with the best known source being green tea; they include gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin (EC) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These antioxidants are being studied for their powerful abilities to combat free radical damage. In particular, EGCG has been researched for its reported protection against certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Green Foods such as seaweed, sea vegetables, young grain grasses and shoots, broccoli, cabbage and other green leafy vegetables pack a nutritional punch due to their concentratged amounts of antioxidant carotenoids, vitamins and the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is produced by the body and neutralizes free radicals known as superoxide radicals, which cause damaging fat oxidation. GliSODin is a patented form of SOD derived from cantaloupe and bound to a wheat protein for superior bioavailability. “GliSODin promotes the body’s production of its own endogenous antioxidants, including SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, in virtually every cell,” said Eric Anderson, brand manager at P.L. Thomas. “This activation of the cellular antioxidant defenses across the whole body creates a state of alertness against any shock of oxidative stress, including sun rays, to which our body may be exposed.”
Pomegranates contain two powerful antioxidants—ellagic acid, derived from fruit’s seeds, and punicaligans, found in the juice. “Research has shown that the juice from the pomegranate, rich in polyphenols, reduces oxidative stress by helping to produce enzymes to fight free radicals,” Alkayali said. NeoCell Corp. manufactures of ellagic-acid based Pomegranate Power, while P.L. Thomas supplies POM40p, a kosher-free pomegranate juice extract standardized to 40-precent punicocides, polyphenols belong to the punicalagin family.
Consumer demand is on the rise for products that address degenerative health conditions, including supplements that support function of the bones, joints, eyes. According to a June 2005 report by the freedonia group, “Bone and joint care products will continue to dominate the health maintenance segment, spurred by a growing customer base and a plethora of new and improved products expected to soon enter the marketplace.” The report also projected rapid gains for vision care. “Demand for vision care products will be propelled by aging baby boomers who are becoming aware of debilitating eye conditions and seeking both preventive measures and ameliorative treatments.” Dietary Supplements can help prevent and ease symptoms of age-related diseases affecting the joints, bones and eyes, including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Super Cortisol Support Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 07:04 PM
Super Cortisol Support Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 10/1/05
LIKELY USERS: People under a lot of stress; People who suffer from stress-related eating; People who may have metabolic syndrome (Syndrome X);
KEY INGREDIENTS: Relora®13, Rhodiola14-20, Reishi 21-24, Green Tea Extract25-32, Holy Basil, Ashwaganda, Banaba, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium Ascorbate, Magnesium, Lecithin, Chromium
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: NOW® Super Cortisol Support is an herbal and nutritional formula designed to support healthy adrenal function and maintain healthy cortisol levels. The adrenal glands help the body respond and adjust to stress generated from both internal and external forces. Under chronic stress, cortisol can be overproduced, resulting in weight gain and difficulty in managing healthy blood sugar levels. Super Cortisol Support combines adaptogenic herbs with Chromium, Corosolic Acid and Relora® to help the body manage the negative effects of stress such as abdominal obesity, overeating and low energy levels.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES:
Reishi, Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, and Holy Basil support healthy energy levels throughout the day1-6. Reishi, Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, and Holy Basil support healthy immunity1-9. Along with Chromium, and Corosolic Acid, these herbs also help to support healthy serum glucose levels1-12. Relora® has been included in this formula to alleviate symptoms associated with stress such as irritability and nervous tension13.
This formula is recommended by Hyla Cass, MD.
This is the first Cortisol formula to use Relora®, a natural proprietary blend of a patented (U.S. Patent No. US 6,582,735) extract of Magnolia officinalis and a patent-pending extract from Phellodendron amurense. Relora® was developed as an ingredient for dietary supplements and functional foods that could be used in stress management and for stress-related appetite control. This patented blend of plant extracts is the result of screening more than fifty plant fractions from traditional plant medicines used around the world. Relora® has excellent stress management properties without causing sedation. Overweight adults may have excessive abdominal fat due to stress-related overeating. Relora® appears to maintain healthy hormone levels in stressed individuals and act as an aid in controlling weight and stress-related eating.33
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One capsule, two to three times a day.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Holy Basil, Green Tea, L-Theanine, Licorice Root, Vitamin C, Eleuthero Root, Pantothenic acid
SPECIFIC: Some of these ingredients may support the body’s blood sugar controls, so people taking blood sugar medications should inform their physician before using Super Cortisol Support, and their glucose should be monitored when taking this formula so their medication strength can be modulated appropriately to avoid an overdose of medication. No side effects have been noted for this dosage of Relora®.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This document has not been reviewed by the FDA or by the company posting it. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, Mironova IA, Neumoin VV (2000) Phytomedicine 7(2):85-89.
December 08, 2005 03:33 PM
Carnitine CreatinateNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: Athletes, Bodybuilders, Dieters, People who consume a lot of fat, People needing cardiovascular support (energy for the heart), People who need quick energy, especially for fast muscle response, People with muscle wasting problems (including the elderly), Weightlifters
KEY INGREDIENTS: L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate is a specialized form of Creatine bonded to L-Carnitine. Creatine is a compound natural to the human body that aids in the regeneration of ATP, the chemical energy used by muscle tissue. During exercise, large quantities of creatine are irreversibly consumed. Clinical studies have shown that oral supplementation with Creatine can increase the amount of Creatine available in muscles for ATP production. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is necessary for the transfer of fatty acids into the fat-burning parts of the cell, facilitating energy production from fat. The combination of these two compounds can produce a synergistic effect, making NOW® Carnitine Creatinate an ideal energy supplement.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: Carnitine and Creatinate Monohydrate is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product. Protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,994,581 (L-Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate).
Look at the price: this is a better way to buy both supplements than purchasing them separately.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in both tablet and powder forms.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every two tablets provide 1,000 mg. (one gram) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Or one teaspoon provides 1,150 mg.) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Take one or more servings per day with a carbohydrate source, such as fruit juice or sports drinks.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: CoQ10, carbohydrates, B-Complex vitamins, chromium, vanadium, Hawthorn leaf and flower extract, protein supplements. Adaptogenic herbs: ginsengs, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, licorice root
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: This product is very sensitive to moisture. Please keep in the original packaging or in a moisture resistant container. Do not take more than 20 grams per day. Discontinue use if cramps of stomach upset occur, especially if taking large doses. Do not take if kidney disease is present. Do not use large doses of caffeine with creatine, as it may increase the possibility of muscle cramping.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Fang S-M (1998) Carnitine Creatinate. U.S. Patent 5,994,581.
Beers MH, Berkow R (eds). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck and Co., Inc, 1999, 881-3.
Broquist HP (1994) Carnitine, in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed., Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 459-465. Casey A, Greenhoff PL (2000) Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance? Am J Clin Nutr 72(suppl):607S-17S. Columbani P, Wenk C, Kunz I, et al. Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on physical performance and energy metabolism of endurance-trained athletes: a double blind crossover field study. Eur J Appl Physiol 1996;73:434-9.
Dal Negro R, Pomari G, Zoccatelli O, Turco P. L-carnitine and rehabilitative respiratory physiokinesitherapy: metabolic and ventilatory response in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:453-6.
Dal Negro R, Turco P, Pomari C, De Conti F. Effects of L-carnitine on physical performance in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1988;26:269-72.
Del Favero A. Carnitine and gangliosides. Lancet 1988;2:337 [letter].
Dipalma JR. Carnitine deficiency. Am Fam Physician 1988;38:243–51.
Digiesi V, Palchetti R, Cantini F. The benefits of L-carnitine in essential arterial hypertension. Minerva Med 1989;80:227-31.
Giamberardino MA, Dragani L, Valente R, et al. Effects of prolonged L-carnitine administration on delayed muscle pain and CK release after eccentric effort. Int J Sports Med 1996;17:320-4.
Green RE, Levine AM, Gunning MJ. The effect of L-carnitine supplementation on lean body mass in male amateur body builders. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;(suppl):A-72.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E (1992) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 83(3):367-374.
Kendler BS. Carnitine: an overview of its role in preventive medicine. Prev Med 1986;15:373–90.
Kobayashi A, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N. L-carnitine treatment for congestive heart failure—experimental and clinical study. Jpn Circ J 1992;56:86–94.
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Tamamogullari N, Silig Y, Icagasioglu S, Atalay A. Carnitine deficiency in diabetes mellitus complications. J Diabetes Complications 1999;13:251–3.
Yesilipek MA, Hazar V, Yegin O. L-Carnitine treatment in beta thalassemia major. Acta Haematol 1998;100:162-3. CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Almada A, Mitchell T, Earnest C. Impact of chronic creatine supplementation on serum enzyme concentrations. FASEB J 1996;10:4567.
Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:654-8.
Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, et al. Creatine supplementation favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal intensity exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E31-E7.
Earnest CP, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. High-performance capillary electrophoresis-pure creatine monohydrate reduces blood lipids in men and women. Clin Sci 1996;91:113-8.
Earnest C, Almada A, Mitchell T. Influence of chronic creatine supplementation on hepatorenal function. FASEB J 1996;10:4588.
Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, et al. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand 1995;153:207-9.
Felber S, Skladal D, Wyss M, et al. Oral creatine supplementation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a clinical and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neurol Res 2000;22:145-50.
Feldman EB. Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutr Rev 1999;57:45–50.
Green AL, Hultman E, Macdonald IA, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in man. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E821–6.
Green AL, Simpson EJ, Littlewood JJ, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 1996;158:195-202.
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Greenhaff PL, Bodin K, Soderlund K, et al. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. Am J Physiol 1994;266:E725-30.
Greenhaff PL, Casey A, Short AH, et al. Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal voluntary exercise in man. Clin Sci 1993;84:565-71.
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Hultman E, Soderlund K, Timmons J, et al. Muscle creatine loading in man. J Appl Physiol 1996;81:232–7.
Juhn MS, O’Kane JW, Vinci DM. Oral creatine supplementation in male collegiate athletes: a survey of dosing habits and side effects. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:593–5.
Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:73-82.
Poortmans JR, Auquier H. Renaut V, et al. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal responses in men. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1997;76:566–7.
Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999;31:1108–10.
Pritchard NR, Kaira PA. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet 1998;351:1252–3 [letter].
Sewell DA, Robinson TM, Casey A, et al. The effect of acute dietary creatine supplementation upon indices of renal, hepatic and haematological function in human subjects. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:17A.
Silber ML. Scientific facts behind creatine monohydrate as a sports nutrition supplement. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999;39:179–88 [review].
Sipila I, Rapola J, Simell O, et al. Supplementary creatine as a treatment for gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina. N Engl J Med 1981;304:867-70.
Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5-weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
Stout JR, Eckerson J, Noonan D, et al. The effects of a supplement designed to augment creatine uptake on exercise performance and fat-free mass in football players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:S251.
Tarnopolsky MA. Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2000;3:497-502 [review].
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Tarnopolsky MA, Roy BD, MacDonald JR. A randomized, controlled trial of creatine monohydrate in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1502-9.
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Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, et al. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. J Appl Physiol 1997;83:2055-63.
Walter MC, Lochmuller H, Reilich P, Klopstock T, Huber R, Hartard M, Hennig M, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in muscular dystrophies: A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Neurology. 2000 May 9;54(9):1848-50. PMID: 10802796
Walter MC, Reilich P, Lochmuller H, Kohnen R, Schlotter B, Hautmann H, Dunkl E, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in myotonic dystrophy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. J Neurol. 2002 Dec;249(12):1717-22. PMID: 12529796
AHCC® Fact Sheet - from Now Foods.
December 08, 2005 10:20 AM
AHCC® Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: People needing increased activity of their Natural Killer cells; People seeking improved immune system response; People with a need for tissue repair; People with oxidative challenges; People seeking to increase liver function People defying aging or with a need to improve cellular integrity.
KEY INGREDIENTS: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AHCC® is a proprietary extract produced from specially cultivated and hybridized mushrooms. According to extensive research in humans, as well as numerous non-clinical studies, AHCC®supports immune system function through its effects on macrophages and NK (Natural Killer) Cells. NK cells and the intercellular mediators they produce are critical for the maintenance of healthy cell cycle function. AHCCR® has also been shown possess antioxidant properties, and supports healthy liver function.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product.
AHCC® is a rich source of polysaccharides such as beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose produced by enzymatic modification of organic medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake. It also has been shown to support normal levels of macrophages and cytokines, further strengthening the immune system.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in Vcaps.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, take 2 Vcaps® 3 times daily, preferably on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants, Astragalus, Colostrum, Dr. Verghese Liver Formula, Immune Renew, Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6),
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: None
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems. Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
DISCLAIMER: Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional knowledge and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. The information in this review should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Aviles H, Belay T, Fountain K, Vance M, Sun B, Sonnenfeld G. (2003) Active hexose correlated compound enhances resistance to Klebsiella pneumoniae infectin in mice in the hindlimb-unloading model of spaceflight conditions. J Appl Physiol 95:491-496.
Burikhanov RB, Wakame K, Igarashi Y, Wang S, Matsuzaki S (2000) Suppressive Effect of Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC®) on Thymic Apoptosis Induced by Dexamethasone in the Rat. Endocrine Regulations 34:181-188. Matsui Y, et al. (2002) Improved prognosis of postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma patients when treated with functional foods: a prospective cohort study. J Hepatol. 2002 Jul;37(1):78-86. PMID: 12076865 Matsushita K, et al. (1998) Combination therapy of active hexose correlated compound plus UFT significantly reduces the metastasis of rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Anti-Cancer Drugs 9:343-350. Sun B, Wakame K, Mukoda T, Toyoshima A. Kanazawa T, Kosuna K (1997) Preventive Effects of AHCC® on Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Liver Injury in Mice. Nat Med 51(4):310-315.
Ye SF, Ichimura K, Wakame K, Ohe M. Suppressive effects of Active Hexose Correlated Compound on the increased activity of hepatic and renal ornithine decarboxylase induced by oxidative stress. Life Sci. 2003 Dec 19;74(5):593-602. PMID: 14623030 Ye SF, Wakame K, Ichura K, Matsuzaki S (2004) Amelioration by active hexose correlated compound of endocrine disturbances induced by oxidative stress in the rat. Endocr Regul 38(1):7-13.
Benefits of Green Tea
November 05, 2005 03:30 PM
1. Cancer Prevention: The majority of research to date on Green tea focuses on cancer prevention. Population studies in Asia have found lower rates of cancer among those who consume large amounts of Green tea. (10) a Study of Japanese men and women with a 13 year follow up revealed that increased consumption of Green tea was associated with a delay of diagnosis of cancer.(1) Mean age at cancer onset among men and women who consumed over 10 cups of Green tea a day was 7.6 years later than those consuming less than three cups. It was noted that the delay in cancer was only relevant to those below the age of 79. Animal, human and test tube studies have shown that Green tea may reduce the risk of prostate, breast, esophageal, lung, skin, pancreatic and bladder cancers.(2) Of the hundreds of studies done on Green tea, only about 10% have involved humans.(10) While the data is promising, it is still limited. The good news is that this data is providing insight and direction for further studies to be done on the chemopreventive effects of Green tea.
2. Protecting the heart: There is early evidence, though not conclusive, that regular intake of Green tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Several well designed studies have demonstrated significant risk reduction in people who drink Green tea regularly.
3. Exercise Endurance: People have long used Green tea for energy. A new study might shed light on Green tea as a tool for endurance. Published by American Physiological Society, the study demonstrated that Green tea extract markedly improved endurance capacity in mice.(5) Swimming time to exhaustion was evaluated in mice fed Green tea extract. The mice that were fed Green tea extract had prolonged endurance capacity by 8-24% and the effect was accompanied by a stimulation of lipid metabolism. It is also noted that the effects were dose dependent. Although not yet confirmed in human studies, these results suggest Green tea might be a useful tool for athletes.
4. Weight Loss: The newest research on Green tea has been in the area of weight loss. Research suggests Green tea promotes weight loss by favorably affecting lipid metabolism in the blood, and through the stimulation of thermogenesis (Fat-Burning).(4)(12) Regarding Green tea and thermogenesis, a study examining the benefits of functional foods for weight control showed that Green tea increased energy expenditure over a 24-hour period. This is probably due to the combination of catechins and caffeine naturally occurring in Green tea.(4) Green tea extract looks to be a promising new tool for weight loss.
Preventing Chronic Health Problems with AHCC
October 26, 2005 05:57 PM
Preventing Chronic Health Problems with AHCC
In a country supposedly as healthy as ours, an estimated 175 million people suffer from one form of chronic imbalance or another. This can take the form of obesity, which is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking; challenges to heart health, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, joint and cell health ,to name just a few.
In fact ,treating chronic health problems is what modern medicine has become .Sure, there are still many acute illnesses treated by modern medicine; but for the most part, we are fortunate enough to have long life spans and the health issues that go along with it. Therefore it is important to make sure that out immune systems are up to the task. That is where AHCC should become part of our daily lives.
AHCC is an nutritional supplement that was developed and is manufactured solely in Japan under strict practices. It is a hybridized extract of medicinal mushrooms where the active ingredient is an oligosaccharide made from the mycelia of several species of mushrooms, grown in rice bran.
AHCC and Cell Senescence
Every few years, a new buzz word comes along in medical circles. The latest one to be used both in a positive and negative fashion is senescence. For example, if an unhealthy cell can be artificially made to senesce, or grow old, then it will die sooner. If senescence of healthy cells can be delayed, that is an amazing achievement.
AHCC is the first nutritional supplement that shows principles of being able to promote certain cells in the immune system that keep us young and healthy, thus delaying immunosenesnscence.
AHCC and the Immune System
In order to get a full appreciation of how important taking AHCC on a daily bases is, one needs to understand the intimate role the immune system plays in our daily lives. It is responsible for riding our bodies of the unhealthy cells that are produced every day. The immune system protects us from the polluted air we breathe, the chemicaalized foods we eat, and most importantly, from the stress we bring upon ourselves just by the very nature of the way we live our lives. Our bodies were made for flight or fight capability; but never in history have we been in that mode on a daily basis. Our immune systems are under constant assault and it is up to you to take care of it even though you may not even be aware that it is there. We tend to only to think of our immune system when it is not working-when suffer mild or severe health challenges.
Without getting into too much detail, our immune system is a complex series of cells that all communicate with each other and must be balanced correctly in order for us to stay healthy. AHCC is able to encourage the helpful cells such as the natural killer (NK) cells while suppressing the ones that foster problems.
I am in clinical practice on a daily basis and use AHCC in almost every one of my patients. It is very versatile because of its effects on the immune system.
A Company Committed to Excellence
If everything I just told you wasn’t enough to convince you that AHCC should become part of your daily armamentarium, then here’s more fuel. AHCC is produced by a chemical company that is committed to excellence in manufacturing and most importantly in research. They have supported research at hospitals around the world, including local ones such as Columbia University, Harvard University and the University of California.
In fact, I just returned from a trip to Sapporo, Japan where the product is made and where each year, a team of scientists and medical professionals gather to discuss the latest research on AHCC, GCP, and oliganol-all products made by the same company. This was the 13th annual symposium and was attended by close to 1000 professionals.
It is remarkable to me that this company is able to produce such well-documented research while still being a nutritional supplement company, which shows it can be done. To me, this is the sign of a nutritional supplement worth recommending. If it does what it says it is supposed to do and has research to support those claims, than that is something you want in your daily diet.
So, even though you may never have given your immune system a second thought, you really should; and the best way to help it out is by taking AHCC on a daily basis, just like I do. I recommend 500 mg per day in the summer months and 1500 per day in the winter months as a simple preventive. Stay healthy!
About the Author
Fred Pescator, M.D., a traditionally trained physician practicing nutritional medicine, is President of the AHCC Research Association. He is the author of The Hamptons’ Diet, Thin For Good and Feed Your Kids Well. Dr.Pescator lectures around the world, and has been featured on such shows as The View, The Today Show, Deborah Norville, The O’ Reilly Factor, and Extra. Recent interviews include Woman’s Health and Fitness, Let’s Live, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and more. He is also the author of numerous papers and magazine articals. Dr.Pescator is actively involved in clinical research , and is instrumental in developing and clinically testing many of the leading nutritional products. He is the President-Elect of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and a member of the National Association of Physician Broadcasters.
The above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
5-HTP - The Science of Sleep
June 29, 2005 02:22 PM
Sleep is especially important in today’s world. It’s the time when your body repairs, rebuilds and replenishes the tissues and compounds that have been damaged or depleted by the demands of your life. But when there is too much stress, imbalances occur that can keep you from getting enough sleep.
Source Naturals, the science company, introduces 5-HTP to help promote healthy sleep cycles. 5-HTP, or L-5-Hydroxytryptophan, is created when the tryptophan in your body is converted into serotonin. 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier and is associated with increasing active serotonin levels as well as serotonin production. And those increased serotonin levels are associated with healthy sleep regulation, increased melatonin production for 24-hour sleep cycle regulation, mood regulation, and appetite control. Source Natural’s 5-HTP capsules are safely and naturally derived from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds.
How 5-HTP Works
5-HTP works because it supports your body’s balanced production of two important sleep regulating hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, moods and appetite. But you need adequate serotonin levels to maintain this balance. 5-HTP is the serotonin precursor that is formed when tryptophan is converted into serotonin in your body. In clinical research, 5-HTP increased the amount and availability of serotonin produced by the body. It is able to cross the blood brain–barrier to increase both serotonin levels and serotonin production in your brain so you can regain a healthy balance when you are sleeping, feeling emotions, or eating.
Eventually, the serotonin in your body is converted into melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate healthy 24-hour sleep cycles known as circadian rhythms. Aging and various forms of physical or emotional stress can decrease your melatonin levels and disrupt your sleep cycle. Fortunately, that balance can be regained. When 5-HTP increases serotonin production, melatonin production is also increased, which can help you regain a healthy circadian rhythm.
Naturally Promoting Healthy Sleep
Source Naturals 5-HTP is safely derived from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds and is available in 50 and 100 mg potencies. Innovative natural products, such as 5-HTP, are part of a new paradigm in health care. You can join this revolution in preventive wellness, long before it becomes mainstream, by taking charge of your health with products that are only available at natural food and nutrition outlets. Support your healthy moods, eating habits and sleep cycles with the science of Source Naturals 5-HTP today.
Three Tips for a Healthy Sleep Cycle
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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GINSENG and Cancer
June 25, 2005 01:06 PM
Even with many advances in the medical field, cancer rates continue to rise. One study found that ginseng may help reduce the risk of cancer. Researchers studied 905 pairs of cases and controls admitted to the Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul. They were compared according to age, sex and date of admission. Individuals who consumed ginseng regularly had significantly lower risk for developing cancer. The extract and powder seemed to possess the most beneficial effects. The more ginseng consumed, the better the preventive effects.35
GARLIC AS AN ANTIOXIDANT
June 25, 2005 10:20 AM
GARLIC AS AN ANTIOXIDANT
The term “antioxidant” has become a buzz word over the last decade. Defending ourselves against a wide array of chemicals, heavy metals, pollutants, radiation and poor nutrition has become a vital area of scientific focus and research. Oxidizing agents or free radicals attack our bodies constantly and have the potential to damage our cells, which compresses human tissue.
Substances which have been found to help protect us from the cellular damage caused by free radicals include vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene and selenium to name a few. Garlic is not usually found on standard antioxidant lists and probably should be.
Garlic has an abundance of sulfhydryl which is an excellent antioxidant. It’s important to know that raw garlic did not demonstrate this ability. In fact, raw garlic actually has some oxidant action, which is not desireable. Garlic can also help to lessen free radical damage because it has the ability to protect against radiation. In this regard, it may significantly decrease our risk of developing certain degenerative diseases such as cancer and premature aging. In addition, anyone undergoing radiation or chemotherapy should supplement their diet with garlic. “Based on a number of studies conducted by research teams from throughout the world, scientists have concluded that part of the preventive effect of garlic against cancer is due to protection against free radical damage. But that protection extended beyond the mere ability to protect against disease. The ability of garlic to protect against free radical damage may have yet another important benefit to cancer victims: it can, according to several published articles, protect against the damage that results from radiation treatment and chemotherapy commonly given to many cancer patients.” 44 Garlic also contains a number of amino acids which are required for the formation of an enzymatic antidote to free radical pathology which is created by cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Cysteine, glutamine, isoleucine and methionine found in garlic help to protect the cells from free radical damage.
Garlic works as an antioxidant the same way that onions, and green chilies do. In his book The Miracle of Garlic, Paavo Airola states:
“An Indian study showed that garlic exhibited a high antiox idant property as determined by the peroxide values of the products by the swift stability test. Garlic restrained the development of all characteristic indexes of rancidity (acids, peroxides, iodine no. etc.). Garlic retained its antioxidant property for a half year after harvesting.”45
Because our food, air, water and environments are heavily contaminated with pollutants of all kind including food additives, preservatives, artificial colorings, flavorings, sweeteners, chemical fertilizers, etc., garlic should become a permanent addition to our nutritional array of supplements.
Artichoke Extract - Source Naturals
June 24, 2005 05:38 PM
With today’s hectic lifestyles, many of us struggle to eat nutritious fruits and vegetables every day. It can be easy to forget that these natural foods can provide many powerful health benefits such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other valuable compounds. Artichokes are a great example of a nutritious plant that has benefits for many of your different body systems. For thousands of years, people have been using artichoke leaf extract to promote liver and digestive health. And now there is clinical research to support the benefits of this powerful extract. Source Naturals, the science company, introduces Artichoke Extract 500™, a natural compound to support healthy fat digestion, cardiovascular function, liver health and digestive comfort.
Artichoke Extract for Your Better Health
Traditionally, artichoke globes and their leaf extracts have been used to promote digestive health. But it is the leaves that contain the highest concentration of beneficial antioxidant polyphenolic compounds such as cynarin, luteolin and chlorogenic acids. Cynarin gives artichokes their pleasant bitter taste and was originally believed to be the only active component of artichoke extracts. However, researchers have discovered that the dried extract of the complete leaf is more potent than cynarin alone. Source Naturals ARTICHOKE EXTRACT 500™ contains 500 mg of artichoke leaf extract, standardized to 5% cynarin and 15% chlorogenic acids, to insure maximum potency.
Digestive Health, Fat Digestion and Fat Metabolism
The polyphenols in artichoke leaf extract stimulate increased bile production in your body. Bile is one of the most important compounds your body makes to keep you healthy. Bile is made in the liver from cholesterol and triglycerides and stored in the gallbladder. It mixes with and emulsifies fats to support fat digestion and fat metabolism. By supporting fat digestion it also supports absorption of fatsoluble vitamins, overall digestive health and relieves occasional indigestion.
Liver Health and Cholesterol Wellness
In addition to having digestive benefits, artichoke extract also helps to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. Medical experts theorize this is because artichoke extract inhibits the activity of the enzyme HMG CoA Reductase to decrease the amount of cholesterol made by your liver. Also, since cholesterol and triglycerides are used to make bile, the bile stimulating activity of artichoke extract may also help to remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, which promotes your cardiovascular health. The antioxidants and bile stimulating effects of artichoke extract also help promote healthy liver function.
Promote Your Wellness
Source Naturals ARTICHOKE EXTRACT 500™ is a powerful health aid that can support many of your body systems. There is a wealth of research supporting the benefits of this potent extract. And you can benefit from this clinical research today, instead of waiting for it to become mainstream. Join your local natural health food stores and outlets in the Wellness Revolution of preventive health by taking Source Naturals ARTICHOKE EXTRACT 500™ today.
Fritsche J et al. (2002). Isolation, characterization and determination of minor artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) leaf extract compounds. Eur Food Res Tech. 212(2):149-157. Kraft K. (1997). Artichoke leaf extract—Recent findings reflecting effects on lipid metabolism, liver and gastrointestinal tracts. Phytomed. 4(4):369-378. Marakis G et al. (2002). Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study. Phytomed. 9:694-699.
Capsicum, Infection and Immune Power
June 23, 2005 11:29 AM
Capsicum, Infection and Immune Power
Capsicum not only stimulates organ secretion and circulation, it has a tonic effect on the immune system, making the body less vulnerable to microorganism invaders. Dr. John R. Christopher writes of an artist who observed that natives of Coyoacan, Mexico seemed to be particularly resistant to intestinal infection. He writes: “He [the artist] observed that the natives had a remarkable immunity to amoebic dysentery due to their fondness of raw chile peppers which they ingested in tremendous quantities as part of their normal diet.”69 In addition to intestinal infections, Capsicum has significant value for upper respiratory ailments including colds, influenza, s o re throats etc. Because it can increase blood flow to peripheral tissues, it insures the better deliver and assimilation of nutrients which are required by infected areas in order to heal quickly. This same action enhances the re m oval of waste material and tox i n s from inflamed areas thereby facilitating faster recovery. Whatever area of the body is afflicted, it is imperative that blood supply is adequately infused over the region. The constituents of the immune system which include macrophages, T-cells, etc., are blood-borne, there fore the better capillary delive ry of blood, the faster the healing process can occur.
A study published in 1994 found that Capsicum even had the ability to exe rt an anti-giardia effect in vitro.7 0 The effect of Capsicum was so impressive that a notation was made that its performance was considered superior to tinidazol (the pharmaceutical drug used to treat Giardia).71
The Preventive Power of Capsicum
Taking daily doses of Capsicum can help to protect the body f rom colds, flu, sore throats, other bacterial or viral infections, h e a rt disease, indigestion and fatigue.72 Capsicum is frequently combined with Garlic to create a potent immune system fortifier. Capsicum for Fatigue and Depression The natural stimulatory action of capsicum can provide better performance under conditions of stress. Laboratory studies involving animals which were stressed under a variety of conditions, performed better if Capsicum was added to their diet the day before testing.73 In addition, this study discovered that Capsicum was not as effective if taken two to three days prior to evaluation, indicating that its results were short-lived.74
Other studies found that the ability of Capsicum to stimulate circulation and respiratory reflexes may help to enhance physiologic performance under periods of stress or fatigue.7 5 Scientists in France have accrued additional evidence that taking Capsicum does indeed help to counteract fatigue.76 In addition to physical stress, mental disorders like depression may also respond to the stimulating effect of Capsicum. Ma n y health practitioners look upon depression as a “slowing down” of brain impulses and neurochemical reactions. Because Capsicum can increase peripheral blood flow and promote cellular function, its usage for mental disorders like depression should be further evaluated. Traditionally, pungent aromatics like clove have been utilized through aroma therapy to uplift the spirits and invigorate the mind. Capsicum works much in the same way. “Cayenne or Capsicum helps to stimulate circulation and has an energizing effect on the system. It has traditionally been used for ove rcoming fatigue and restoring stamina and vigor. It is considers a natural stimulant without the side effects of most stimulating agents.”77
June 18, 2005 09:07 AM
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  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."
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.
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.
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, 1992: 389-391).
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, 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, 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, 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 , 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.
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, 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, 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, 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.
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).
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, 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 , 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, 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 , 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.
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
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.
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.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
Acupuncture nutrient Connection
June 12, 2005 05:53 PM
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.
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.
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."
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.
"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."
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.
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.