Search Term: " Proanhocyanidins "
Cranberries offer an excellent way to boost your health, saynutrition researchers
May 02, 2019 12:05 PM
Cranberries are nutritious and full of antioxidants, which help the bodies that consume the cranberries to deal with oxidative stress. In fact, cranberries have been respected and used as a natural part of nature's pharmacy for centuries. For example, their use has been well-documented as part of the history of many Native American tribes. One aspect of cranberry's benefits long documented, both in anecdotal history and by scientific data is cranberry's special ability when it comes to dealing with urinary tract health. Urinary infections are a common and debilitating condition. Data now proves what our Native American forebears knew from experience, that compounds intrinsic to cranberries can help.prevent and heal a urinary tract infection. We now know that the compounds in cranberries succeed at this by creating conditions in the bladder which make it impossible for bacteria to adhere to the walls of the organ. Not only is the use of cranberries as a specific for treating bladder ailments safe, it prevents the overuse of antibiotics. As a preventative measure, cranberries can be taken in as a sauce, a drink or a supplement.
"Their study showed that polyphenols stopped bacteria from attaching themselves to the walls of the urinary tract."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-11-cranberries-excellent-way-to-boost-your-health.html
6 surprising benefits of Lychee fruit for skin, hair and health
June 24, 2018 09:54 AM
The lychee is a juicy and delicious summer fruit with a wide array of health benefits. Lychees are rich in a variety of phenols and polyphenol compounds, as well as proanthocyanidins, all of which are potent free radical-fighting antioxidants and help protect your body from both free radicals and a variety of infections and other maladies. They may even help to prevent cancer. Lychee juice can also be good for your skin, while the bountiful fiber in Lychee can help digestive health.
"There are numerous beauty and health benefits of lychee, from aiding weight loss and digestion to treating influenza and reducing the signs of aging."
Read more: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/lifestyle/6-surprising-benefits-of-lychee-fruit-for-skin-hair-and-health/
Cranberry The Best Solution For Bladder And Urinary Tract Problems
October 26, 2013 11:28 PM
What is cranberry
Cranberries are among the healthiest and most nutritious fruits in the world today. They are small red berries commonly grown in Canada, Europe and the United States of America because of the nature of the climate in these regions that support the cultivation of these berries. Cranberry is loaded is rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients required by the body. The following are the many health benefits of cranberries.
Helps in the treatment of urinary tract diseases
Cranberry juice is known for its healing properties as far as urinary tract and bladder infections are concerned. This juice contains proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the uterine walls and the walls of the bladder. For effectiveness you are advised to drink a single glass of this juice on a daily basis.
Effective in dealing with kidney and bladder problems
Cranberry is rich in citric acid among other nutrients that can help in preventing kidney stones the cause of many kidney problems including kidney failure. It is also helpful in treating bladder problems.
Boosts your immune system
Cranberries are very rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that are responsible for boosting your immune system. Antioxidants are very essential in the removal of harmful toxins from the body. This means that you will have a very strong immune system that will help in fighting of other diseases.
Enhances mental health
Studies show that cranberries are also important when it comes to mental health. This is because they have the ability to boost your moods, suppress anxiety and deal with depression. On top of that cranberry juice helps in improving your memory. It is therefore recommended that you include a glass of this juice in your diet.
Helps in fighting cancer
A recent study shows that cranberry extracts can help in fighting breast cancer by preventing the cancer cells from spreading or the growth of tumors. For a healthy body you are encouraged to drink a glass or two of the juice made from cranberry.
In summary, if you have bladder infections or urinary tract problems simply drink a glass of cranberry juice or simply eat the fruits and you will no longer experience these problems.
Herbs that Support Healthy Vision
May 21, 2012 08:02 AM
The overall health of the eyes is essential to help retain a healthy vision and vision is considered to be one of the greatest assets of the total body health. Healthy vision is important to lead a good life. As the whole body needs exercise, eyes also need exercise regularly. To maintain optimum vision health it is necessary to provide proper nutrients to the eyes. Natural herbs help prevent vision loss and antioxidants are good for aging eyes.
Here are a few herbs that support a healthy vision:
Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis)
Eyebright grows wild throughout Bulgaria, Hungary and the Balkans. This herb is grown in Europe for commercial purposes. Eyebright is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, iridoid glycosides, flavonoids and tannins. This herb is used to fro relieving eye problems such as eye strain, pink eye and inflamed, sore and irritated eyes. The common name, "Eyebright," is derived from its use as a nutritional support to the eyes. Eyebright is used in making external poultices, teas, tinctures, fluid extracts and the whole herb is used for dietary use.
Bilberry is a close cousin to blueberry and has been widely used in Europe for eye health. Bilberry is the world's most famous herb that supports healthy vision. Bilberry helps blood to flow easily to the eye nerves. It has an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which protects the delicate eye tissues and protects the eye from the harmful UV rays from the sun. The other nutrients present in bilberry nourish the eye for a clear vision and light adjustment.
Goji berries contain anthocyanins, the antioxidants which help prevent age related damage and improves blood flow in the eyes.
Wolfberry is a Chinese herb with potent medicinal properties to strengthen the eyesight. Wolfberry has been in use in China, for centuries, to protect the eye and to promote good vision.
Red Raspberry is a native European herb that is used to treat sore eyes. Their leaves are rich in vitamin C and are high in tannin content. This herb is used as eyewash for discharge.
Grape seed is an important source of nature's most potent antioxidants - proanthocyanidins that are anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and antiallergenic, and they also act as free radical scavengers. Grape seeds helps vitamin C enter the body cells.
Chrysanthemum flowers help reduce pressure build-up in the eye. Steep chrysanthemum flowers in hot water, drink the beverage or use it to wash eyes in eye-wash cups.
Peppermint is an antioxidant which can clear vision.
Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow in the eyes. People with diabetes will have blood circulation problems and increased blood clotting tendencies. The small clots in the retinal area of the eye leads to poor vision. Ginkgo Biloba reduces the blood clots, increases blood flow and makes the red blood cells more flexible. The flexible red blood cells squeeze through the tiny blood vessels and help to carry more oxygen to tissues and cells.
Herbal treatment for a healthy vision is the best natural way to improve eyesight.
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 Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea?
February 26, 2012 07:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea is medicinal herb that has many beneficial health effects on humans. It grows in the cold regions of the world like Europe, Central Asia and Arctic region. The phytochemicals present in this medicinal plant are good antioxidants and they are quercetin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and proanthocyanidins. It also consists of essential polyphenols namely rosiridin, rhodioniside and rhodiolin in the extracts of Rhodiola. These substances are the active ingredients of this herb and helps in improving the overall health of the body. The extracts of this plant can be taken in the form of tea, pills or liquid form and must be taken after prescription by medicinal health expert.
Some of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea plant are explained as follows
Stabilize the Nervous system: This nature gifted herb is very helpful to stabilize the levels of neurotransmitters in our brain and thereby increase the levels of tryptophan, dopamine and norenephrine in our body naturally. Thereby, improve the neuro-chemical reactions inside the body.A Good Anti-oxidant: It acts as a good antioxidant and also protects our nervous system. It helps to overcome the damage caused to nervous system by eliminating the free radicals present in our body.
Treat Depression: It is known though a scientific research that Rhodiola rosea gave good results to treat mild and moderate depression on people of age group from 18 years to 70 years. The prescribed dosage to get the complete health benefit is 340 mg to 680 mg per day. SHR-5, the extract of this plant enhances the mental performance and also helps the person to concentrate on healthier subjects. This medicinal herb can also be used along with other anti-depressant drugs as it has the synergistic effect. Regular intake of the plant's extract according to the prescribed dosage by expert doctor reduced the symptoms of fatigue and helped them improve their concentration power. This herb is being used in cold counties like Scandinavia and Russia to overcome the stressful life and chill climate. Improves the Overall Health: This medicinal herb is known to enhance the immune system of a person and also improve the overall health. It helps in preventing the side-effects of stress and improve the physical activity, enhance the mood, appetite, estrus cycle, reduce fatigue etc.
It also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, anemia, hormonal imbalance cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders of a person. It is also known to decrease the time needed for recovery after any strenuous muscular activity.
Treat Insomnia: It is also being used to treat Insomnia and has given good results. Sleeplessness can be cured effectively with this herb without any side effects. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medicinal herb as it has some side effects on them.
Always consult your medicinal health expert before taking the extracts of this herb and take the correct dosage.It is known to maintain creatine phosphate at high levels and this is especially useful for athletes to maintain their stamina levels. Rhodiola rosea is also used to overcome the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Grape Seed or Pine Bark Extract, Which Is Best?
October 27, 2011 07:26 AM
Pine Bark Vs Grape Seed Extract
Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are two well known products that are effectual in combating ADD. Pycnogenol however, is more expensive since it is a patented form of pine bark extract that is being sold in many health stores world-wide. The potent properties of both Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extract are their proanthocyanidins or flavan-3-ols contents that are normally found in fruits and vegetables. The reason why these chemicals are beneficial is their capacity in aiding vitamin C to work better for the brain. Vitamin C is essential for the production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine (neurotransmitters involved in ADD). Vitamin C is also useful in providing the body with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that are very injurious for your health and may lead to a dreadful disease such as cancer. In addition, another role of vitamin C in the body is its capacity to aid the body in chelating detrimental toxic heavy metals by flushing them out from the body.
Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are also effective natural anti-histamines anti-inflammatory agents and immune boosters. Both extracts are also proven to be influential in terms of regulating enzymes that have significant effects in metabolism. Since the extracts are able to inhibit the breakdown of dopamine and norepinephrine, then it will also lead to a faster reuptake of dopamine.
Proanthocyanidins has been the subject of interest by many researchers in the scientific investigations that they have conducted because of its promising effects that could treat various venous conditions. The compound has been proven to be effectual in strengthening the walls of your capillaries, arteries and veins hence, is very useful in protecting you from ailments that involves the mentioned vital body parts.
The benefits of Pine Bark and Grape Seed are already published in many health magazines worldwide as well as in many TV shows like the 60 minutes. The antioxidant content of the extracts derived from Pine Bark and Grape Fruit contains liberal amounts of antioxidants that also acts as an antimugenic agent hence, could prevent DNA mutation. Since the extracts have such innate capability of inhibiting the mutation of DNA, it can be a cure to many chronic degenerative diseases that are caused by environmental mutagens.
Another benefit of OPCs is its relevant effects on peripheral venous insufficiency. This specific problem in the legs causes so much pain and discomfort which could also lead to disability. With OPC, relevant improvement in the condition could be noted as evidenced by a decrease in the pain felt, edema and cramps.
Comparing both extracts in terms of efficacy is so difficult to determine because Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract has similar components that are all beneficial to one’s health. The compounds that both extracts have are very useful to one’s health therefore comparing the two would be rootless considering all the health benefits that both extracts could offer.
Is There Any Benefit to Taking Grape Seed Extract?
April 15, 2011 02:12 PM
Grape Seed Extract And Your Health!Grape seed extract has been linked to many health benefits. It is entirely derived from grape products, but contains higher concentrations of organic compounds naturally occurring in grape seeds. It has long been known that grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds while grape seeds have more phytochemicals. In addition to their long list of all-natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, grape seed extracts contain the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, the reason why they are exceptionally good for the skin.
Accelerates Wound Healing
The circulatory system is the best venue for nutrient distribution throughout the body. The tissues that have direct access to the blood vessels are more likely to receive nourishment and heal faster in the process. Grape seed extracts induce the productions of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of healthy blood vessels, thereby accelerating wound healing in any part of the body.
Improves Bone Density
Grape seed extracts have been noted to increase bone mass and strength. The bones are the primary storage of inorganic minerals in the human body, like elemental calcium. As such, they undergo a lifetime cycle of resorption and reabsorption to respond to the mineral needs of other body parts. Any imbalance in the process may result in bone porosity. It is postulated that the phytochemical content of grape seed extracts inhibits bone resorption.
Promotes Integumentary Health
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, are of special note for their unique antioxidant activities. They are capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. At the same time, they protect the skin, the scalp, and the rest of the integumentary system from the harmful oxidative effects of ultraviolet rays. Grape seed extracts are particularly rich in OPCs, which have been tied to impede skin tumor growth.
Shows Cardioprotective Effects
Grape seed extracts contain an abundance of organic compounds that promote cardiovascular health. First, it has shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. Second, its antioxidant properties prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which results in the formation of arterial plaques if subjected to oxidative stress. Third, grape seed extracts reduce complications of preexisting cardiovascular disorders.
Eases Digestive Problems
Grapes have long been reputed as a digestive in many cultures. Grape seed extracts, having flavonoids with bioactive properties, serve as a cleanser of the alimentary canal. They aid digestion and modulate the effects of enzymes on food. The same organic compounds limit the growth of microorganisms that populate the colon, which is the cause of many disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Grape seed extracts contain phenolics that interfere with the metabolism of sugars in the oral cavity. The bacteria that take up residence in the mouth rely on the availability of saccharine compounds, and they thrive well in the presence of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Dental carries result from an abundance of these sugars and a growing bacterial population. Grape seed extracts impact both.
As you can see, grape seed extract has many health benefits. All who want to keep their body’s working in tip top shape should be taking grape seed extract daily!
Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant?
April 01, 2011 03:10 PM
Pycnogenol And Your Health
Pycnogenol is the latest innovation in the antioxidant supplement industry. It makes use of oligomeric proanthocyanidins, select bioflavonoids, and organic acids that have been well investigated in a span of more than 30 years. As a trademarked product, it has been cited in more than 230 published works and systematic reviews that came into the conclusion that it is safe and effective. In fact, it is now an ingredient in over 300 health products.
Pinus pinaster is an indigenous plant species of western Mediterranean from which the patented pycnogenol is extracted from. It is most populous in southwestern France, but it can also be found in large numbers in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Unlike new ingredients in some dietary supplements, pycnogenol is all-natural and completely derived from the Maritime Pine, which may well be known in the now-obsolete scientific name Pinus maritima.
Neutralizes Reactive Oxygen Species Fast
Antioxidants work on the principle of replenishing the antioxidant reserves of each cell especially at times when our body is most susceptible to physical fatigue. Radical chemistry has taught us that reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism. There is nothing we can do to inhibit their releases, but our body does have a mechanism to neutralize them. Free radicals are one of the best known ROS and they are particularly reactive, causing a damaging chain reaction called oxidative stress.
What makes pycnogenol different from other antioxidant supplements? It is the fastest-acting antioxidant out there with an absorption rate of only 20 minutes. In contrast with other known antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, pycnogenol is believed to readily cross the blood-brain barrier, expanding its uses in the central nervous system. This is the reason why it has been suggested to be of value in treatment of known disorders of the nervous system. More importantly, it works up to a record-high 72 hours before it gets excreted by the body.
Fight Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease With Pycnogenol
Displays Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activities
There have been numerous citations that pycnogenol is an effective inhibitor of inflammation intermediaries. It is postulated that it influences the productions and releases of eicosanoids that govern inflammatory responses. It has associated with the treatment of osteoarthritis, and preliminary results are encouraging. Also, it is believed that pycnogenol interferes with the effects of histamine via its receptors, and acts on mast cells responsible for mediator release. This is the reason why it is widely accepted as a viable treatment option for asthma, multiple sclerosis, allergic rhinitis, acute dermatitis, atopic eczema, and other skin conditions.
Contributes to Overall Circulatory Health
Pycnogenol is one of the antioxidants under scrutiny for its medicinal potential in the prevention of major diseases that afflict the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. For one, it has been observed to significantly lower systolic blood pressure, making it an effective therapy for hypertension. It has shown to alleviate chronic venous insufficiency and remove varicose veins. Moreover, regular supplementation of pycnogenol appears to improve performance in endurance athletes.
Pycnogenol is an excellent herb to add to anybodies diet. Give Pycnogenol a try today!
(OPC) Grape Seed Extract
May 03, 2008 12:49 PM
Back in the early 1930’s scientists discovered that proanthocyanidins found in grape seeds, green tea, and several other foods are powerful antioxidants that can help the body fight free radicals. Over the year’s research continued to mount on the benefits of proanthocyanidins and in the 1990’s grape seed took the spot light.
Research studies suggested in the 1990’s that moderate use of red wine daily has significant health benefits and mainstream press popularized this notion. Supplement manufactures jumped on the bandwagon and produced a product that was alcohol free with the same benefits of drinking red wine. This was good news for those who don’t want to drink on a regular basis but the manufactures didn’t back up their product with any research at that time.
Proanthocyanidins are a group or class of flavonoids found in many plants as discussed above. Scientists discovered polymecric and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), but the oligomeric has a smaller molecular weight and can pass through the intestinal walls easier than the polymecric proanthocyanidins (PPC). This means that if you are not consuming the OPC extract for of grape seed then you are probably getting very little benefit from the supplement.
If you are taking a grape seed extract supplement and there is no OPC listed on the label, the manufacture is most likely just tableting or encapsulating crushed grape seeds that aren’t standardized to the most active form OPC. This will dramatically reduce the cost of grape seed extract, so if you see a low prices grape seed extract at your health food store, be weary of the product if it doesn’t say OPC.
When one consumes true OPC grape seed extract, one can experience many health benefits including cardiovascular benefits. Have you had your OPC Grape seed extract lately?
Pine Bark Extract 150mg - 95% Procyanidolic Value
December 18, 2007 04:49 PM
New Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract
150 mg Extract Standardized to 95% Procyanidolic Value
UPC: 021078020820 SN2082
Pine bark is a powerful antioxidant that can help strengthen blood vessels and boost overall health and wellness in individuals taking the supplement. We as individuals age by oxidation and destruction of cells in the body. Slow the aging process with antioxidants daily and look younger longer.
I recommend a good herbal tea loaded with antioxidants such as yerbamate royal by wisdom of the ancients in conjunction with a pine bark extract like this new Source Naturals supplement.
Cranberry May Have More Uses Than Just Bladder Infections
November 03, 2007 01:04 PM
The effects of cranberry on bladder and other urinary tract infections are well known. The infections are caused by a bacterium, Escherichia coli, known to most people as E. coli that attaches to the wall of the bladder or the urinary tract, and is very difficult to dislodge with antibiotics once it is there.
Cranberry contains a glycoprotein that prevents the E. coli from doing this, and so acts by preventing, not the invasion of the bacterium itself, but the mechanism by which it causes the disease. Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can prevent cystitis occurring in women, or at least reduce the frequency of incidences.
Now, however, there is a growing body of evidence that cranberry may have more uses than just for bladder infections. It is known to help prevent gum disease by the same mechanism: the bacteria are prevented from sticking to the teeth and gums by means of the same glycoprotein that is effective with E. coli and urinary tract infections
There is also evidence that cranberry juice can be helpful in resolving ear and respiratory infections. A study of a group of children in 2002 has indicated that cranberry juice can inhibit the adhesion to red blood cells of certain strains of the bacterium Haemophilus influenza that might cause a large proportion of middle ear infections. It seems to have an effect on the hair-like pili, by which bacteria stick to surfaces. This has been supported by results that indicated no effect on the bacteria strains that lack these pili.
These tests, however, were carried out experimentally in test tubes, but it is worth keeping in mind that such studies are under way, and that the results are looking very promising. However, they have not yet reached the stage where they can be stated to have been proved, though there is no reason why you should not try cranberry juice if any of your family is prone to such infections, especially of the middle ear.
Yet another study has established that cranberry might be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of blood cholesterol that makes it very sticky. There are two type of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol that carried the cholesterol from the liver through the blood to areas of your arteries that need repair. Your blood also contains high density lipoproteins (HDL) that carry excess cholesterol back to the liver for destruction and ejection from the body – that is the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol.
The LDL cholesterol works much like putty, covering the cracks in arterial walls, and without it you could have even more severe problems than with high levels of LDL cholesterol. However, when the LDL cholesterol gets oxidized by, for example, free radicals in the blood, then it becomes sticky and too much of it gets laid down on the artery walls.
Free radicals are produced through many agents, but the most common are smoking, environmental pollution and pesticides. These sticky coatings tend to build up after a time and lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis whereby the build up of coating can severely restrict the artery. This causes high blood pressure and can even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked. This can lead to serious heart problems and, if the artery is in the brain, even strokes.
In the study, a group taking one, two then three glasses of 27% cranberry juice daily for a month at a time were found have a 40% reduced risk of heart disease at the end on month three due to a 10% increase in the good HDL cholesterol. This was due to the antioxidant effect of the cranberry juice preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol which causes the problems. Antioxidants mop up free radicals before they can do any damage.
Cranberries contain a high polyphenol content, and it is believed that it is these antioxidants that are responsible, though this has still to be proved. This antioxidant effect can also reduce the risk of cancer, render you less liable to inflammatory conditions and also give your immune system a boost by helping to clear up the free radicals that are one of your body’s worst enemies. However, that is not all that cranberries can do. There are even more exciting new developments that could have an impact on women suffering from ovarian cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that ovarian cancer is the 7th most common type of cancer in the USA, and the 5th most common cause of cancer deaths amongst women. The general treatment for ovarian cancer is by chemotherapy using the platinum drugs Paraplatin and Cisplatin. The problem with these drugs is that cancer cells can become resistant to them, and if higher doses are used it can lead to side effects including renal failure and nerve damage.
Tests were carried out using ovarian cancer cells and a 27% solution of cranberry juice, a common commercially available concentration. The cells were then treated with Paraplatin. It was found that the Paraplatin was six times more effective at killing the ovarian cancer cells than when the cells had not come into contact with the cranberry juice. This is a considerable difference. The rate of spread and growth of some of the other cancer cells were also reduced.
The reason that the cranberry was used was due to its wide range of potential health benefits in fighting stomach ulcers, cystitis and some other cancers. It is believed that the effect is due to very powerful antioxidants known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which are found only in cranberries. Other studies have found this chemical to have had an effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in lung cancer, colon cancer and leukemia, all involving different types of cancer cell. Other antioxidants such as flavenoids and querticin in cranberry juice might also contribute, but the proanthocyanadin is believed to be the principal active agent due it being found only in cranberries.
The researchers temper their results with the caution that these are tests only, but that theoretically a cranberry supplement could be used as a part of a chemotherapy course. Animal studies are commencing shortly though it will be some time before a new therapy has been developed. It is possible; however, that the therapy could consist of a simple oral dose of cranberry juice taken during the course, but you should consult your physician for the most appropriate treatment for you.
However, what is certain is that cranberry may have more uses than just bladder infections.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
March 30, 2007 12:09 PM
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
One of the biggest challenged in healthcare today is the problem of pain. There are simply too many people living each and every day with ongoing, unremitting chronic pain. And there are far too many healthcare providers who – for a variety of reasons – are failing to adequately address this serious problem.
Recently, 368 doctors who routinely care for patients with chronic pain agreed to take part in a unique study. The doctors were surveyed about the pain medicines hey prescribe, what kind of treatment goals they hope to achieve, and how they felt about their ability to help their patients. They were also presented with four chronic pain vignettes or mock case studies and asked to select the best treatment for each scenario from multiple choice answers.
Sadly, many doctors chose the worst treatment options in the case studies. The medications they reported using in their practices did not reflect current pain treatment standards. They tended to set low treatment goals 0 instead of aiming for a least a 75% reduction of pain for their patients, they settled for 10% to 20% reductions. And many of the doctors admitted they lacked confidence in their ability to relieve their patients’ pain and suffering.
Adding to the challenge are the almost daily news announcements about dangerous side effects in certain pain medications. Synthetic prescription COX-2 inhibitors, once hailed as the safest of drugs, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and intestinal bleeding. The over-the counter (OTC) drugs aspirin and ibuprofen kill over 16,000 people each year. And acetaminophen, the most widely used pain reducer in the
As a doctor specializing in chronic pain disorders, I know that optimal pain management can be a real challenge. However, I also know:
-You do not have to live in chronic pain.
-Your chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be reduced, and usually
-Chronic pain can be relived both effectively and safely with powerful all-natural
Q. What is chronic pain?
A. Sudden, or acute, pain occurs when pain signals immediately fire in your nervous system alerting you to an injury, like a broken ankle, or an illness, such as appendicitis. Once the injury heals or the illness is cured, the transmission of pain signals stop.
Ongoing – or chronic pain – is much different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury, such as sprained back muscles, or an initial illness, such as a serious infection. There might be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also occurs without any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The most common kinds of chronic pain are headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves or to the nervous system itself). While chronic pain differs in its origin and where it occurs, it is generally your body’s way of saying that something urgently needs attention, and will not o away unless its underlying causes are addressed.
These causes can usually be determined if you remember the acronym “SHIN”. This stands for Sleep, Hormonal deficiencies, Infections/Inflammation/Impingement, and Nutritional deficiencies. When these are treated, pain often resolves.
Q. Why is it so hard to effectively reduce chronic pain?
A. Unfortunately, many physicians’ entire education in pain management consists of “giving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced en-sayds), COX-2 inhibitors, or acetaminophen and considering narcotics if the patient has cancer.
Some NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are available over-the-counter, while others, like the synthetic COX-2 inhibitors are only available with a doctor’s prescription. These mediations are usually inadequate and often toxic when used for chronic pain. And they do not address the problem(s) that the pain is trying to alert you to.
Q. What exactly are COX-2 inhibitors?
A. COX-2 inhibitors do pretty much what their name implies – they inhibit a natural enzyme in our body called the clclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, enzyme. There are two COX enzymes – COX-1 and COX-2 and both complete several actions in our bodies. One very important action that both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes share is the speeding up of our body’s production of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances are made by the cells of the body and have several important functions.
Some of the most powerful prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain, and fever when we are sick or injured. Prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid. Other prostaglandins make sure our platelets (important blood cells) make blood clots when needed. Still others help our kidneys get rid of unwanted salt and water. And researchers have just recently recognized the importance of still another prostaglandin that protects our heart and blood vessels.
The NSAIDs reduce pain by reducing prostaglandin production by blocking or inhibiting the COX enzymes. In theory – less prostaglandins, less pain and welling seems reasonable. But if you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why this method of pain relief might result in significant consequences.
Pain and inflammation are often needed for healing. And just as needed is the protection of our stomach lining, blood clotting ability, assisting kidney function, and keeping our blood vessels healthy. And scientists are beginning to understand if you interfere with one natural response, you may be disrupting the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
That’s why using aspirin and ibuprofen can result in stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and internal bleeding. And that’s why using synthetic COX-2 inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Q. Why are we just now learning about the dangers of COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs?
A. That’s a good question!
Many people over the age of 65 have chronic pain conditions and are frequent users of OTC and prescription NSAIDs. This age group also experiences heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. So, if a 70 year old woman who’s been using Celebrex for the past two years for arthritis in her knees suddenly has a heart attack one morning, it would not be entirely unexpected.
For the past five or six years, researchers have been studying the possibility that NSAIDs may prevent certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health problems. The ongoing, close scrutiny of large group of people taking these medications by scientists who were conducting these studies has resulted in the discovery of these dangers.
Q. What kind of natural compounds relieve chronic pain?
A. There are many – glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins – the list goes on and on. Instead of disrupting normal bodily responses, these natural compounds work in harmony with our body to eliminate chronic pain. Three very powerful and very effective all natural plant compound pain and inflammation relievers are Sweet Cherry, Boswellia serrata, and White Willow Bark.
For many years there have been anecdotal or personal reports that claimed eating Sweet Cherries, specifically Prunus avium, wipes out back pain, arthritis, and gout. While anecdotal reports generally don’t account for much in the world of science, he sheer numbers of testimonials proclaiming the Sweet Cherry’s amazing ability to reduce pain made researchers sit up and take notice.
When Sweet Cherries were examined in the lab, it was easy for scientists to understand how this natural fruit is able to relieve pain. It seems Sweet Cherry’s bright red color is the key. Like many deeply colored fruits, Sweet Cherries are full of flavonoids called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
These powerful plant compounds scavenge and destroy altered oxygen compounds called free radicals. Many degenerative, chronic diseases have been associated with the tissue damage caused by free radicals, including arthritis, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Cherry fruit extract is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, making it an excellent treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and inflammation diseases.
A pain relieving plant compound that comes from the bark of a tree, Boswellia serrata has been used by Indian healers for hundreds of years to reduce painful inflammation. When 20th century researchers looked at extracts of Boswellia Gum Resin in the laboratory they discovered the presence of powerful plant compounds, called boswellic acids.
Researchers found Boswellic Acids reduce inflammation in several ways. They open constricted blood vessels, improving blood flow to joints. They balance levels of leukotrienes – specific chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. And Boswellic Acids block two inflammatory chemicals that increase in asthma and inflammation of the colon. In addition to being helpful in treating these 2 illnesses, Boswellia has also been clinically studied and found to be quite effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis without any evidence of ulcers or stomach irritation.
Another bark extract, White Willow Bark is one of the oldest and most effective pain relievers. For over 2,000 years extracts from the bark of the White Willow tree have been used to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. It is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire plant medicine, White Willow Bark is much safer than aspirin and quite effective.
White Willow Bark’s active ingredient is salicin and the combination of other compounds in the bark significantly enhances its pain killing power. In two large clinical trials of patients with chronic low back pain. White Willow Bark was found to be not only safer and much more effective than standard prescription therapies, it was also 40 percent more cost effective.
Salicylic acid from White Willow Bark lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, easing both acute and chronic pain. White Willow Bark reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. But, unlike aspirin, it doesn’t cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.
Q. Do Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White
A. They do indeed. Because they reduce both pain and inflammation by a broad combination of actions, these natural extracts have been proven to be excellent against arthritis, back pain, and pain from inflammatory intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and would be expected to be helpful in most kinds of pain.
Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark relieve inflammation without causing stomach irritation, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. That’s because these natural pain killers don’t disrupt the balance of enzymes or interfere with the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
However, as with any pain therapy, Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark work best when they are used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve the most common underlying causes of chronic pain or SHIN.
In addition, although these excellent natural remedies can often offer quick pain relief, natural remedies for severe chronic pains work best when they are given at maximum allowed doses and given 6 weeks to show their full effectiveness in combination with treating the pain’s underlying causes. The best chronic pain relief results when doctors and patients work together to meet the goals of treatment.
Some important last notes: Many causes of chronic pain are serious and life threatening. Everyone who is living with chronic pain must consult their doctor or other healthcare practitioner to determine the reason for their ongoing discomfort. In other words – make sure you know why you are having chronic pain and what’s causing the pain you want to relieve.
There are some types of chronic pain that only respond to opioids, or narcotic pain relievers. Morphine sulfate is an excellent pain medication and is used to relieve surgical pain, the pain of heart attacks, and pain from serious injuries. Morphine is also the very best drug for chronic cancer pain and non-malignant chronic pain. While many people fear opioids, these powerful pain killers can dramatically improve quality of life. If you are suffering with chronic cancer pain and you are hesitant to use morphine or another opioid, I urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor other healthcare provider. No one with cancer should live with untreated or under-treated pain.
Even chronic pain can often be eliminated when SHIN is in combination with powerfully effective natural pain relievers. But, because some people may need to take pain relievers the rest of their lives, the medications they use must be safe as well as effective. The very safest come from natural plant compounds that have been studied for their ability to relieve chronic pain. You can become pain free and Sweet Cherries, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark can help.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells
December 20, 2005 11:30 AM
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells
The differences between aging and growing old are poles apart. Sure, they may sound similar in nature. But when you think about it, the two are as different as night and day. Growing old is about retirement and travel and enjoying what you’ve worked an entire life for. Aging, on the other hand, summons images of wrinkled skin, brittle joints, cloudy minds and medicine cabinets full of prescriptions. It’s safe to assume that the majority of us want to look, live, and feel better as we grow old. Not the opposite. Many of us are on the right track - committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. And yes, these do serve as a solid foundation for good health during our golden years. It is our cells, however, that ultimately determine who grows old, and who just ages.
Still, slowing the proverbial hands of time is not all about health clubs and organic produce. If you want to grow old gracefully, you must nurture the ten trillion cells that defi ne you physically. Why? Because these cells are constantly under attack by free radicals - unstable molecules that either lack, or have an unpaired number of electrons. They scour the body in search of stable cells, and do whatever they can to rob them of their electrons, a process more formally known as oxidation. Considering that it’s environmentally impossible to completely avoid contact with the billions of airborne toxins that cause free radicals, the only other option is to safeguard your healthy cells. Making the commitment to a healthy lifestyle is the fi rst step in the process, and can be accomplished by eating healthier foods, exercising on a regular basis, and paying close attention to what you are exposed to environmentally.
The next step is to nourish and protect your cells. The best way to do this is to consume foods that are rich in antioxidants and other cell-friendly nutrients. Unfortunately, this task is often much easier said than done. Today’s average adult is busier than ever, making it far more diffi cult to consume fresh, unprocessed meals 100% of the time. This does not, however, imply that all hope is lost. Over the years, the nutritional sciences have made stunning advances that afford you the opportunity to live your life while still safeguarding the integrity of your most basic building blocks. Here are a few of the best.
Antioxidants work at the cellular level to paralyze the free radicals that cause oxidation throughout the body. Some of today’s most popular nutrients and dietary supplements fall into this category. They include vitamins A, E, and C, Selenium, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lycopene, Lutein, CoQ10, in addition to a host of others. And though similar in function, each of these free radical fi ghters has a unique role within the body.
Take CoQ10 for example. It’s present in every cell of the body, and is especially important for cardiovascular support. Lutein has been used extensively to prevent oxidation in the macular regions of the eyes. Zinc is a powerful immune system booster that has become extremely popular during cold and fl u season. Alpha Lipoic Acid is both fat and water soluble, and is commonly referred to as the “universal” antioxidant based on its ability to quench free radicals anywhere in the body.
Immune Boosting Herbs
Herbs such as Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Rhodiola, Echinacea, Panax Ginseng and Ashwaganda have been used for centuries to help support healthy cells and strong, responsive immune systems. They’ve also been shown to exhibit natural synergistic effects when used together. Today, they remain one of the most popular ways to naturally promote all-around wellbeing. When it comes to supporting healthy cells, NOW is pleased to offer one of the best selections of antioxidants, herbs and immune support formulas. Be sure to look for these and other great products at fi ne health food retailers, nationwide.*
OPCs (proanthocyanidins) are high-powered polyphenol antioxidants that belong to the fl avonoid family. Grape seed extract, pine bark extracts such as pycnogenol and enzogenol, bilberry, gingko biloba, resveratrol and others all fall into this category. Research continues to suggest that OPCs work in the same manner that traditional antioxidants do, however their ability to eradicate free radicals is much greater and more versatile. Equally appealing, OPCs can easily cross the blood barrier of the brain to help protect brain and neural tissues from the damage caused by oxidative stress.
Throughout history, many civilizations have relied on organic mushroom extracts to encourage wellness. What we know now is that mushrooms such as Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi and others are rich in 1,3 Beta-glucans - soluble fi ber compounds that help support both innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, the active compounds in some mushrooms have been shown to stimulate the production of microphages, T cells, and other natural killer cells. These biological warriors serve at the front line when it comes to responding to bacterial attacks. They are of immeasurable value to the immune system, though drastically lacking in today’s average diet. In just the past few years, more and more healthconscious individuals have learned fi rst-hand how benefi cial they can be in the preservation of healthy cells.
Grape Seed Extract - to fight prostate cancer...
October 10, 2005 10:37 AM
Grape Seed Extract – contains proanthocyanidins, potent antioxidants that may lower the risk of cancer. In a recent study, grape seed extract was used to inhibit cell growth in human cancerous prostate cells. The results suggest that grape seed antioxidant proanthocyanidins may exert a strong anticarcinogenic effect against prostate cancer by inhibiting abnormal cell growth and promoting tumor cell death.
HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS PYCNOGENOL?
July 13, 2005 12:30 PM
HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS PYCNOGENOL?
The results of isotopic testing confirmed that grape seed proanthocyanidins had a specific affinity for collagen, and demonstrated how long the bioflavonoid complex adhered to living tissue. Because this testing was not possible on pine bark sources of proanthocyanidins, data collected from grape seed testing has been extrapolated or applied to pine bark. Pycnogenol is rapidly absorbed and transported throughout the cellular system due to the high water solubility of the proanthocyanidins. Within one hour of ingesting this bioflavonoid complex, proanthocyanidins can be detectedin human saliva. Pycnogenol uptake in the body is rapid and is quickly distributed.
The bot tom line is that Pycnogenol is a water-soluble bioflavonoid which is quickly assimilated after ingestion into the bloodstream. There, it acts to scavenge free radicals and to strengthen connective tissue. The proanthocyanidins found in Pycnogenol can not only scavenge and remove free radicals, but inhibit their propagation as well.
THE TOLERABILITY AND SAFETY OF PYCNOGENOL
It would certainly be pointless to find a substance that while seemingly beneficial, was not safe or could not be well tolerated by its users. Studies have shown that pure sources of Pycnogenol are practically devoid of any oral toxicity. Even extremely high dosages administered over sustained periods of time showed no toxicity or side-effects.14 Virtually no actual or potential risks were found with this compound. Pycnogenol has been shown to be safe for conception, pregnant women, and the unborn fetus. It is devoid of any perior postnatal toxicity. On the contrary, the compounds were found to not only benefit targeted disorders, but a variety of other conditions improved as well.
PYCNOGENOL - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS
July 13, 2005 12:26 PM
PYCNOGENOL - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS
New to North America but not to Europe, this natural product is considered safe and effective in the treatment of various diseases and for the maintenance of optimal health. This family of bioflavonoids is non-toxic, water soluble and highly bioavailable. Because proanthocyanidins scavenge free radicals so effectively, they have shown remarkable curative effects. Extensive research demonst rates that proanthocyanidins are such potent antioxidants, they find and neutralize free radicals with great rapidity, allowing cells to regenerate rather than deteriorate. Specific actions associated with Pycnogenol include:
PYCNOGENOL SPECIFICALLY TARGETS: SKIN AND ELASTICITY
Testing has suggested that Pycnogenol flavonoids exhibited an anti-enzyme effect which prevented the break down of collagen and elastin, the very compounds which keep skin firm and inhibit the formation of wrinkles.7
TUMOR RELATED DISEASES
Unquestionably, studies have shown that Pycnogenol has the ability to inhibit cellular mutations.8 The implications of this finding for anyone suffering from tumor related disease which originates from cellular malfunctions should not be underestimated.
The potential of Pycnogenol to pr e vent cellular deterioration or uncontrolled growth is profound to say the least. Several investigations have shown that if it is taken on a daily basis, Pycnogenol benefits people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and breast tumors.9 In addition, double blind placebo controlled studies have indicated that patients suffering from circulatory insufficiencies and diseases of the lymph system showed significant improvement in pain control and vessel elasticity after taking these flavonoids.10
Subsequent experiments concluded that the family of bioflavonoids contained in Pycnogenol is capable of improving night vision and initialing “a rapid and marked improvement of visual performances after glare in comparison with control group.”11
WATER RETENTION AND EDEMA
Pycnogenol is particularly valuable for anyone who suffers from water retention and edema. Studies at the Institute of Physiology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences confirm that this biofl avonoid compound stabilized capillary walls, which decreased fluid leakage into tissues which causes swelling and pressure.12
WHAT PATHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS RESPOND TO PYCNOGENOL?
The bioflavonoids found in Pycnogenol have been clinically indicated in the following pathological conditions:
PYCNOGENOL HAS THERAPEUTIC VALUE FOR THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
PYCNOGENOL CAN CROSS THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER
One of the most significant advantages of this flavonoid compound is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, it acts as an invaluable therapeutic agent in treating depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia or loss of memory.
ANTI-ULCER FORMING PROPERTIES
Other scientific tests have indicated that proanthocyanidins also posses anti-ulcer properties and may work to prevent the formation of undesirable chemicals in the stomach.13
PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE PYCNOGENOL SO EXTRAORDINARY
July 13, 2005 12:09 PM
PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE PYCNOGENOL SO EXTRAORDINARY
Recently, the very profound effect of the proanthocyanidins found in Pycnogenol has been investigated for its remarkable antioxidant action. These bioflavonoid compounds have been found to significantly surpass other known antioxidants in their ability to scavenge free radicals. Pycnogenol is 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 time more so than vitamin C. In addition, it is one of the few compounds that can cross the blood- brain barrier making it therapeutically effective for a number of neurological disorders.
THE TERM “PYCNOGENOL” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS
July 13, 2005 09:51 AM
THE TERM “PYCNOGENOL” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS
Be aware that the word Pycnogenol is used by some companies as a trade name. Technically it is a generic term for proanthocyanidins in France as intended by Dr. Masquelier. Proanthocyanidins refer to the flavonol class of the bioflavonoid family. Both pine bark and grape seed are viable sources for the compound. Think of it this way: vitamin C can be extracted from a number of sources, likewise proanthocyanidins or Pycnogenol can come from pine bark or grape seed.
It was Dr, Masquelier who named this family of bioflavonoids and actually discove red “Pycnogenol.” He intended the term to refer to this unique and specific category of bioflavonoids. Despite his intent, the word “Pycnogenol” has been trademarked by a variety of companies around the world. It is only in France, where Dr. Masquelier still controls the term, that it is used generically.
FREE RADICALS, CELLULAR CULPRITS AND PYCNOGENOL
It is a scientific fact that most of us will not live out our potential maximum life span. Unfortunately, because of the damage free radical cause within our cellular structures, many of us will die prematurely from one of a wide variety of degenerative diseases. Free radical damage has been associated with over 60 known diseases and disorders.
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
July 13, 2005 09:48 AM
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
For generations, certain tribes of North American Indians used bioflavonoids extracted from the bark of pine trees for a variety of disorders. Because of its marvelous healing properties, they called this pine the Annedda, or “tree of life.”
PINE BARK: GIVER OF LIFE
These native Americans, who routinely ate deer as their primary source of nutrition, when confronted with a scarcity of meat asked themselves ... where does the deer get its strength? They discovered that deer stripped away pine tree bark and we re able to derive life-giving nutrients from its organic composition. It was also observed that devastating diseases such as scurvy did not afflict those who ate the bark, leaves or needles of this pine tree.
CARTIER’S ENCOUNTER WITH ANNEDDA TEA
In 1535, Jacques Cartier learned of the medicinal value of the bark, which remained relatively unknown until 20 or 30 years ago, when scientists reviewed his notes and commenced research. Cartier became caught in the bitter snows of Quebec, while attempting to navigate the St. Lawrence River. Cartier and his crew subsisted on hard biscuits and cured meat and eventually came down with what was believed to be scurvy. Scurvy is an abhorrent disease which causes a very slow and agonizing death. Several of Cartier’s men died before they were approached by the Quebec Indians who prepared a tea they called “Annedda” from the bark of a certain native pine tree. The men took the tea and used its leaves as poultices. Their recovery was almost immediate. What must have seemed like a miraculous substance was technically, nothing more than vitamin C with bioflavonoids naturally inherent to the pine tree.
MASQUELIER’S SUBSEQUENT DISCOVERY OF PYCNOGENOL
Cartier was resourceful enough to document the incident. Over 400 years later, a French professor, Jacques Masquelier, assigned to the University of Quebec discove red Cartier’s account. Because he was already involved in bioflavonoid research, he became greatly intrigued by pine tree extract. Dr. Masquelier isolated a bio-active substance known as proanthocyanidin.
THE EMERGENCE OF PROANTHOCYANIDIN
After returning to France, Professor Masquelier found that this compound could be extracted from the bark of the French Maritime Pine pinus maritima found in abundance in southern France. Intensive research by Dr. Masquelier led to the discovery of Pycnogenol, which is another name for the group of bioflavonoids known as the proanthocyanidins. Subsequent in-depth testing revealed that these compounds are a nutrient treasure far more valuable that anyone originally thought. In time, the grape seed was found to contain the same compound and today, is considered an excellent source of Pycnogenol in France.
THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF PYCNOGENOL
July 13, 2005 09:44 AM
THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF PYCNOGENOL
Pycnogenol provides extraordinary therapeutic benefits for a number of physiological conditions and has even contributed to the reversal of some disease states. The active compound found in Pycnogenol acts as a highly potent free radical scavenger, and can not only improve overall health, but protect it as well.
The proanthocyanidins contained in Pycnogenol may well become the most important nutritional breakthrough of the 21st century. They may prove to be the most potent and effective compounds which act to protect against the cellular damage caused by free radicals discovered to date.
GINKGO BILOBA - (Ginkgo biloba)
June 25, 2005 10:43 AM
GINKGO BILOBA (Ginkgo biloba)
Common Names: maidenhair tree
Plant Parts: leaves
Active Compounds: flavonoid glycosides, diterpenes (including terpene compounds called ginkgolides), bioflavones, quercitin, isorhamnetine kaempferol, proanthocyanidins, sitosterols, lactones, anthocyanin
Pharmacology: The flavoglycosides contained inginkgo are its most active compounds and have exhibited remarkable pharmacological capabilities. These chemical constituents have free radical properties and function as antioxidants. These flavonoids include quercitin, kaempferol and isorhamnetine. The terpene content ofginkgo, which includes the ginkgolides and the bilobalides help to lessen inflammation by inhibiting PAF (Platelet Activating Factor) in the blood. This action helps to boost circulation. PAF plays a role in diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, heart attacks and strokes.
Vitamin and Mineral Content: Ginkgo is rich in bioflavonoids which makes it an effective antioxidant.
Character: astringent, adaptogen, antioxidant, antiseptic, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator and tonic.
Body Systems Targeted: circulatory, cardiovascular, and nervous (brain)
How Does CLA Work?
June 22, 2005 09:46 PM
How Does CLA Work?
How could CLA hinder the growth and development of certain cancers in animals? Scientists have developed some intriguing possibilities, and many of them are related to the theory of antioxidants.
WHAT IS AN ANTIOXIDANT?
Well, one of the ironies of life is that oxygen, so essential to human life, also causes decay. Look at the parts of your car where paint may have pealed away, and you will notice rust, what scientists call oxidation. Molecules of oxygen combine with the iron or chromium on your car and change its chemical alignment to iron oxide or chromium oxide—rust. In a very real sense, the same thing happens to you as you age. Inside your cells, thousands of chemical reactions take place each moment. These reactions break apart the long chains of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that make up body tissues and combines them in new ways. Some of those combinations cause decay. One example is when a free radical—a single atom of roaming oxygen—attaches itself to something useful, rendering it useless or even dangerous. If a free radical were to change DNA, for example, that could mutate a cell. This free radical process is one way this oxidation occurs, and antioxidants, often called free radical scavengers, attach themselves to the free radicals, blocking their damage. This can help improve life and help to cut the problems of oxidation. Indeed, many see antioxidants as a way of lessening the risks of cancer.
Many people know about important antioxidants, such as ascorbigen (vitamin C), selenium or alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), but nature provides numerous antioxidants. Many exciting ones are emerging, such as proanthocyanidins (often known as pycnogenol), quercetin (common in many fruits) and selenium (a mineral). C LA may be another antioxidant emerging from the research. Dr. Pariza and others found in a 1991 experiment that in the test tube, CLA was effective in battling free radicals. 28 It helped prevent damage to the DNA inside the cells. Pariza says in another paper, “Our hypothesis is that the antioxidant activity of CLA may at least in part explain its anticarcinogenic effect.”29 That would mean that one way CLA prevents cancer is because it blocks these dangerous free radicals. (Other theories about how it fights cancer include breaking down the chemicals that cause cancer into others that don’t .30 All the theories may be true in specific situations, and none might.) But like many other emerging, exciting areas of scientific inquiry, this idea that CLA is an antioxidant has doubters. Researchers J.J. van den Berg, N.E. Cook and D.L. Tribble wanted to see if CLA protected fatty membranes comprised of a substance called palmitoyl-2-linoleoyl phosphatidylcholine (PLPC) from the damage of biologic oxidation. In research published in 1995, they compared CLA’s effect to the wellknown antioxidant vitamin E. While vitamin E protected well, CLA did relatively little. They also found that CLA did not become a mineral chelator, an agent that helps natural minerals become available biologically. They bluntly said, “On the basis of our observations, a role for CLA as an antioxidant does not seem plausible.”31
Another study in 1995, however, showed that CLA can break down into other substances, called feran derivatives, that do act as antioxidants.32 As in all emerging sciences, debates ensue among honest, dedicated researchers. CLA may not, itself, be a antioxidant. Perhaps it acts as antioxidant in only certain situations. Perhaps things that come from CLA act like antioxidants. That is the state of the research today. (Indeed, Dr. Pariza says such debates are common in the field of antioxidants. 33)
What is important to remember is that in numerous animal models, CLA protected against the dangers of many different kinds of cancer in animals, and that, according to scientists, it is one of the most potent cancer-preventing substances of its kind known to science. Whether the cause of this effect was because of CLA or because of some other reason really isn’t that important.
Another thing to remember is that CLA is not a cancer drug. It is something that would be useful in addition to other cancer treatments. It is something to consider to lower your risks and, perhaps, lessen the effects of treatment. It should not be considered a treatment option on its own.
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999
The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.
Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.
Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.
Mushroom with Potential
The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.
Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.
Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.
In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.
Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."
From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.
Stoking The Immune Engine
Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.
The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).
What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).
Effective And Safe
In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.
Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.
Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."
More Bodily Benefits
Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).
With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.
This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.
It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.
In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.
Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.
And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).
So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.
Astragalus Against Tumors
Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).
Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).
A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).
Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).
Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).
Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).
DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.
In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).
In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.
What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.
Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.
As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.
June 10, 2005 04:01 PM
Real Solutions by Susan Risoli Energy Times, November 1, 1997
The alarm sounds, you stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom. Suddenly, a burning sting wakes you with a jolt as you begin to urinate. One doctor visit later, you're on a strict antibiotic regimen to treat your urinary problem.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect 8 million to 10 million Americans, mostly women, each year. The culprit: the bacteria E. coli. Neglect may allow a UTI to spread to the bladder (where it causes cystitis), or kidneys: possibly life-threatening.
The good news: medical experts recognize that a diet change and avoiding certain risk factors may help fight off UTIs.
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, about 20% of women experience UTI at least once, and many suffer recurrences. Sexually active women tend to incur more UTIs because of anatomical vagaries: the bladder sits just above the vagina, while the urethra, a structure from the bladder to the outside, protrudes in a tubelike ridge down the top part of the vagina to just above the vaginal opening. This structure allows sexual intercourse to push infecting bacteria into the urethra. Women's vulnerability to UTI also derives from their short urethras which are located near the rectum, a main source of UTI germs. These tubes provide an easy path to a bacterial home in the bladder.
Another risk booster: pelvic exams which may increase chances of UTI. A 1996 study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago and reported in the Archives of Family Medicine (1996;5:357-360) found that 43% of women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the two months preceding infection. Only 16% of the uninfected had been examined.
Bladder infections can occur frequently in postmenopausal women due to thinning and drying of the vaginal lining. And mid-life women are not immune. "With the loss of estrogen support, the urethra becomes less flexible and elastic and, like the vagina, it can become easily irritated after sexual intercourse and, thus, much more prone to infection," reports Susan Lark, MD, in her book, Women's Health Companion: Self Help Nutrition Guide and Cookbook (Celestial Arts). "As women age, the lower urinary tract also stops manufacturing anti-adherence factors, which help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall."
Every woman should keep her own "female" botanicals on hand to help boost her immune system when she is at high risk of developing a bladder infection. These include:
Cranberry: This immune-boosting, vitamin C-rich berry prevents germs from invading the lining of the urinary tract. A 1994 study of 153 elderly women conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1994:271: 751-4) showed that cranberry juice may keep harmful bacteria at reduced levels. More recently, a study by Amy B. Howell, PhD, and a team at Rutgers University found that cranberries contain a type of condensed tannin, a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins, that seemed to stunt the growth of E. coli, preventing it from adhering to the walls of the bladder and kidneys.
"However, once you have an infection, cranberry juice cannot eradicate the bacteria. So drinking cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing an infection, but not in treating an existing one," according to Larrian Gillespie, MD, in her book You Don't have to Live with Cystitis (Avon Books).
Drinking two glasses of juice a day can help if you're UTI-prone. To avoid the sugar added to cranberry juice, concentrated cranberries are available in a gel-cap form.
Echinacea: This North American herb bolsters immune function and is believed to possess antiseptic and antiviral properties which may rev up the white blood cells that fight infection, reports John Cammarta, MD, in his book A Physician's Guide To Herbal Wellness (Chicago Review Press).
While cranberry is most commonly recommended for prevention, other herbs can also kill bacteria and are diuretic. These include:
Barberry: "The chemical berberine found in this herb is an impressive infection fighter. Studies show it kills the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections," says author Jim O'Brien in his book Herbal Cures for Common Ailments (Globe).
O'Brien recommends making a tea with one half teaspoon of powdered root bark, then put it on low boil for 30 minutes. "The taste is unpleasant, so you may wish to add natural sweeteners and flavorings."
Uva-ursi: contains the ingredient arbutin, which fights germs in the urinary tract. "In addition," adds O'Brien, "the herb contains several diuretics that help flush the urinary tract, leading to faster healing. It also has several tannins, which act as powerful astringents drying out swollen, infected tissue. A third property of uva-ursi is allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells."
"For this herb to be effective you must not eat or drink anything of acidic nature, such as citrus fruits or juices. Don't even take vitamin C supplements while using it," cautions O'Brien.
Coping With Pain
In her book Herbal Remedies for Women (Prima), medical herbalist Amanda McQuade Crawford offers an herbal recipe to help restore the urinary tract's normal pH. Herbal Formula I calls for 4 ounces of uva-ursi leaf, three ounces of marshmallow leaf, two ounces of yarrow flower (omit during pregnancy) and one ounce (or to taste) cinnamon bark. Steep the herbs for 10 to 20 minutes, then strain through bamboo or wire mesh. Drink 2 to 5 cups daily for 10 days. Crawford advocates drinking one to two cups per day for a week to 10 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Urologist Gillespie has found that women with cystitis may notice certain foods and beverages (such as alcohol and acidic foods) exacerbate problems of pain and burning. Gillespie recommends cystitis sufferers avoid foods like apple juice, apples, apricots, melon, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, citrus fruits, coffee, ginger, grapes, guava, lemon juice, peaches, pineapple, plums, rhubarb, strawberries, tea, tomatoes and vinegar.
Limit refined sugar: this nutrient may stunt immune reactions. Most importantly, you can lower the risk of UTIs by drinking liquids. Water helps flush bacteria from the body so drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of filtered water daily.
Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection
June 04, 2005 02:14 PM
If there’s one factor that has the greatest negative impact on our health, it is the damage done to our cells by free radicals. These highly unstable molecules disrupt the biochemical processes that regulate life. Although a natural product of oxygen metabolism in the body, free radicals are also produced in vast quantities by modern technology. Our bodies’ natural defenses simply have not been able to keep up with the onslaught of these dangerous products of civilization. On the other hand, technology has offered help by identifying some of nature’s most powerful weapons against free radical attack. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX is an unprecedented combination of these extremely potent plantbased antioxidants, or Plantioxidants™. Consider them your antidote to the industrial revolution.
How free radicals are formed and their effect on the body
Oxygen both makes life, and takes life. The energy that animates us comes from the biochemical reactions that burn oxygen within our cells. And though carefully regulated by the body, this biological combustion, over time, inevitably leads to cellular damage. If oxidation is not carefully controlled, tissues are damaged faster than the body can repair them. This is caused by an excess of over-reactive, electron hungry molecules called oxidants or “free radicals,” which tend to disrupt normal cellular activity. Free radicals attack a cell’s membrane and can even damage its hereditary blueprint (DNA). Since free radicals are a natural result of certain metabolic reactions, the body synthesizes several types of antioxidant enzymes to neutralize them. In addition, we get essential antioxidants from the foods we eat. Vitamins C, E and beta carotene are the ones found most often in our diet. During this century, our environment has become a perpetual source of free radical contamination, primarily from radiation and the chemical pollution in our air, water and food. Today, we are literally overwhelmed with more free radicals than our bodies are accustomed to handling. Fortunately, science has found that certain plants contain special antioxidants that are far more powerful than the vitamins we typically get in our diet. With this knowledge, Source Naturals formulated PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX, the most advanced combination of Plantioxidants available today in one product. Pycnogenol® is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima.
Natural protection against free radicals
Pycnogenol® Complex – A Cornucopia of Health Our knowledge of pine bark goes back nearly 500 years, to when the French explorer, Jacques Cartier, reported that a tea made from pine tree bark by Native Americans saved the lives of his crew who were dying of scurvy. Nutrition scientists have since isolated the extraordinary antioxidant compounds of pine bark. They have also discovered many other unique antioxidants throughout the plant kingdom. Plants have evolved bioflavonoids to protect themselves from free radical damage. One of the most abundant compounds in the plant kingdom, bioflavonoids are found in the pigments of bark, rinds, seeds, leaves and flowers.
Natural antioxidants in Pycnogenol® Complex
The active ingredients of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are derived from a diverse range of nature’s plenty: pine bark, green tea, turmeric spice, rosemary, grape seeds, milk thistle seeds, bilberries, hawthorn berries and ginkgo leaves. Each of these Plantioxidants is an exceptional free radical scavenger, and each has a tendency to concentrate in a different organ of the body, thus providing targeted protection. And since their primary function is to capture free radicals, these Plantioxidants free up vitamin C, so it can perform its many other vital functions.
Defense Plants The two headliners of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®, and an extract from grape seeds, Proanthodyn™. Their unsurpassed antioxidant activity – up to 20 times that of Vitamin C and up to 50 times that of Vitamin E – comes from a high concentration of proanthocyanidins.
Why Pycnogenol® Complex is formulated with extracts of pine bark and grape seed
These highly bioavailable flavonoids are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and can stay in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours. Few other nutritional antioxidants cross this barrier, and none do it as well. Proanthocyanidins therefore offer the brain and central nervous system unparalleled antioxidant protection. In particular, proanthocyanidins may help reduce the formation of lipofuscin, a brown waste material made of free radical-damaged proteins and fats. Over time, lipofuscin deposits form in the brain, heart, and skin. The “age” or “liver” spots that develop on the backs of some elderly peoples’ hands are made of lipofuscin. Because they’re rich in unsaturated fatty acids, cell membranes are the primary site of free radical attack. Proanthocyanidins are able to protect against both water- and fat-soluble free radicals. Also, their chemical structure is incorporated within cell membranes, making proanthocyanidins very effective in preventing damage to the cell’s interior. This is vital, because if a cell’s DNA is disrupted, it could lead to the abnormal reproduction of that cell. For many years now, Europeans have used pine bark and grape seed extracts to maintain vein and capillary health. Proanthocyanidins support the circulatory system by helping to keep collagen and elastin, the essential constituents of vessel walls, from breaking down during times of imbalance. And most importantly, proanthocyanidins can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Scientists now recognize that it’s not cholesterol itself, but the oxidation of cholesterol that can be problematic.
How Plantioxidants benefit different organs in the body
The Power of Diversity
In addition to the broad protection offered by Pycnogenol® and Proanthodyn, Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX offers an outstanding array of other Plantioxidants. Each has unique abilities to protect the body from oxidants. For several thousand years, Green Tea has been enjoyed in the Orient, not only for its taste, but also as a health tonic. Upon analysis, it contains several strong antioxidants, called Polyphenols, with exceptional free radical scavenging abilities. Polyphenols have been shown to be over 200 times more effective than vitamin E in preventing oxidative damage to brain cells. Source Naturals uses a potent extract of green tea that concentrates 2,000 pounds of fresh green tea leaves into one pound of finished product. This extract has been awarded 30 patents for its protective effects. The ancient Ginkgo Biloba tree has long been prized for its beneficial qualities. Like proanthocyanidins, ginkgo’s compounds are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and support cell membrane and capillary integrity. Its particular antioxidant constituents have been associated with superior oxygen transport to the brain. This is important because the brain uses 20% of all inhaled oxygen. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX uses a superior 50 to 1 extract, providing 24% Ginkgoflavoneglycosides and 6% Terpenoids. Bilberries were first studied for their capacity to heighten visual acuity in normal subjects under poor light conditions. In fact, to increase their night vision, RAF pilots ate bilberry jam during WW II. Its antioxidant compounds, Anthocyanosides, have an affinity for delicate eye tissues, where it quenches free radicals and supports capillary strength. Source Naturals utilizes a standardized bilberry extract with 25% anthocyanosides, 80 times more potent than regular bilberry.
The wide range of natural antioxidants in Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX
Milk Thistle Seed Extract has been researched and used for over 20 years in Europe. Its antioxidant compound, called Silymarin, has a special preference for the liver. It’s one of the few nutrients that can support the liver’s natural regenerative processes. By enhancing DNA activity, liver cells can regenerate up to five times faster. Turmeric Extract contains 95% Curcumin, the active ingredient of this traditional East Indian spice. Curcumin promotes the body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase, an important protector of the liver. Curcumin also increases the production and secretion of bile, which is used to remove cholesterol from the body. Quercetin has been well-researched for its free radical scavenging activity. Because of its ability to stabilize cell membranes, quercetin helps prevent damage and discomfort from reactionary (histamine- and leukotriene-related) processes in the body. Source Naturals quercetin has been isolated from plant sources. Rosemary and Hawthorn Berries both contain bioflavonoid antioxidants that have the unique ability to neutralize the hydroxyl radical, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. Hydroxyls are produced by exposure to excessive radiation and pollution from burned fossil fuels. The body has no innate defense system against it. Vitamin C is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants in the body, so it must be frequently replenished. Since it works in conjunction with bioflavonoids, each tablet of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX contains 500 mg of vitamin C, bound to Magnesium for increased bioavailability.
A World of Help
As we better understand how free radicals affect our health and well being, it’s important that we take advantage of the wonderful protective qualities found in certain plants. These Plantioxidants provide the appropriate means to counteract the destructive effects of excessive free radicals, which have become part and parcel of modern life. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX brings the diverse and concentrated power of the plant world into your world of wellness.
PYCNOGENOL ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant
June 04, 2005 02:04 PM
Pycnogenol® is a breakthrough in antioxidant protection that demonstrates how important natural nutrition can be for your health. Antioxidants are a class of biological molecules that function to scavenge and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that cause damage at the cellular level, and which unfortunately are unavoidable. Antioxidants – the most famous of which thus far have been Vitamin C and Vitamin E – work to protect living tissue by neutralizing free radicals, thereby interrupting many of their harmful activities. Pycnogenol®, one of the most powerful antioxidants yet discovered, is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima. It is 20 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamin C, and 50 times more so than Vitamin E.
Free radicals are a real threat
Uniquely vulnerable targets of free radical attack that require a regular supply of antioxidants just to maintain a basic level of function include fatty acids – especially those in cell membranes – and sulfhydral proteins, which form one of the most common types of chemical bonds found in biological organisms. The importance of these substances for overall health cannot be overstated, as they are critical components not only of tissues throughout the body, but most importantly, of the principal regulatory organs – the brain and liver – and every blood vessel. Free radical attack on fatty acids – known as lipid peroxidation – and related destruction of sulfhydral proteins can lead to diminished function of cell membranes and whole organs. This, in turn, can contribute significantly to decreases in quality of life.
Free radicals are believed to be active in the development of cumulative damage to the system, as well as in many of the undesirable effects of aging. Free radicals are constantly being produced due to the natural intake of oxygen and generation of energy by the body’s cells. However, their production is heightened by pollutants such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, solvents, and oxidized cholesterol from foods. Therefore, health scientists suggest we may need to increase our intake of antioxidants either from foods or from supplements – such as Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Cysteine, and now, Pycnogenol®.
Potent antioxidant protection from nature - Pycnogenol®
Originally discovered by renowned scientist Jacques Masquelier, Pycnogenol® is a natural 85% to 95% concentrate of proanthocyanidins extracted from the bark of the Maritime Pine. Proanthocyanidins are a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids with unparalleled free radical scavenging activity. They readily cross the Blood-Brain Barrier to provide antioxidant protection to the central nervous system, and stay in the bloodstream for approximately 72 hours. Thirty years of sound European research shows that proanthocyanidins from Pycnogenol® are highly beneficial with no evidence of adverse effects, even after more than ten years of use. They also show no loss in potency after 12 years of storage.
Better health for an active life
As a potent antioxidant, Pycnogenol® is valuable for protecting the liver from free radical attack. Since the liver is the main detoxifying, nutrient-assimilating, and energy-generating organ of the body, this may mean more potential for activity in your life. Pycnogenol® may also aid recovery for athletes on strenuous workout regimes and in competition.
Healthy capillaries through healthy collagen
A major beneficiary of the protective actions of Pycnogenol® is collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the integrity of “ground substance,” the basic material in functional fluids, mucus linings, and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and most importantly, blood vessels linings. It is highly vulnerable to free radical attack, and a number of discomforting and depreciating processes are associated with its destruction. There is evidence showing that Pycnogenol® can provide remarkable support for the prevention of collagen destruction, and it has received much attention for its special affinity for capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. Pycnogenol® helps strengthen capillary linings in three key ways. First, Pycnogenol® functions to scavenge the free radicals that may compromise the integrity of collagen. Second, Pycnogenol® contains catechin, which is thought to stabilize collagen by forming hydrogen bonds and cross-linking collagen. Third, Pycnogenol® is Vitamin C-sparing, meaning it can fill in for C in a number of functions; this frees some Vitamin C – required for the synthesis of hydroxproline, a major structural amino acid of collagen – for use in building collagen. People who smoke and women who take oral contraceptives can reduce their heightened risk of Vitamin C depletion by taking advantage of Pycnogenol®’s Vitamin C-sparing activity.
Look to Source Naturals® for 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, & 100 mg tablets of this natural wonder!
NutraSpray in Melatonin, Proanthodyn, and St. John's wort
June 03, 2005 05:35 PM
NUTRASPRAY represents a quantum leap in the evolution of supplementation, an elegant combination of convenience, fast action, bioavailability, and sustained release delivery. Source Naturals has long championed the sublingual delivery system, and our Super Sublingual™ is the latest step in the science of nutrition. A quick spritz of NUTRASPRAY under the tongue delivers thousands of microscopic lipid spheres, each full of nutrients. These lipospheres are readily absorbed and retained by the mucosal tissue of the mouth. Here they release their nutrients quickly, but steadily, into the bloodstream – creating a Super Sublingual, the most bioavailable supplement today.
Nutrient delivery systems include tablets, capsules, softgels, and liquid extracts. Their purpose is to ensure the cells in your body get the nutrients they need from the supplements you take. Sublinguals bypass the digestive system – and its potentially destructive juices – by dissolving under the tongue to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. Tests show that the NUTRASPRAY liposome sublingual delivery system is more efficient than traditional sublinguals.
The First Timed Release Sublingual
Due to the multi-layered structure of the tiny lipospheres, nutrients are gradually released for extended periods of time, maintaining optimal dosage throughout the day or night. This combined with a faster onset of the active ingredients – usually within 15 minutes – makes NUTRASPRAY the most bioavailable delivery system for nutritional supplements today, and the first truly timed release sublingual.
NUTRASPRAY incorporates a simple, non-aerosol spray pump that’s easily carried in purse or pocket. Its modern functional design is a perfect complement to today’s active lifestyle. It’s easy to regulate nutrient amount, because the convenient pump delivers a specific amount of nutrient-rich liposomes with every spray, and each 2 fl. oz. recyclable plastic bottle can deliver 80 full sprays. Stevia is added as an ingredient in each NUTRASPRAY product.
The lipid micro-encapsulation process is based on years of research in liposomal technology. The result is NUTRASPRAY, a proprietary system to deliver nutrients in the most efficient manner. This sublingual oral spray is a liquid suspension of liposomes, which are nutrients encased in very complex microscopic lipid spheres, 1/50th the diameter of a human hair. A highly purified natural lecithin forms the membrane of these lipid spheres, which are able to move easily through the lipid environment surrounding the capillaries in the mouth. Lipospheres then gradually release their nutrients into bloodstream.
Nutrients That Go To Your Head
The Source Naturals NUTRASPRAY line includes natural supplements that are particularly well-suited to this Super Sublingual delivery system, such as Melatonin, Ginkgo Biloba, Coenzyme Q10, Grape Seed extract, and Kava. That’s because these nutrients need to reach the brain for maximum benefit. Also, they’re usually taken for reasons that the fast-acting quality of NUTRASPRAY satisfies. Another unique reason NUTRASPRAY is so bioavailable is that its nutrients bypass the liver on their first pass through the circulatory system. This ensures the nutrient is available to the brain for maximum potency. Source Naturals NUTRASPRAY MELATONIN delivers 1.5 mg of the finest quality Melatonin with each full spray, easily allowing customers to control their intake. Melatonin is ideally suited to the fast-acting nature of NUTRASPRAY, which maintains a more balanced release of Melatonin throughout the night. Source Naturals NutraSpray GINKGO-24™ provides 60 mg of Ginkgo Biloba per full spray. This makes Ginkgo’s beneficial constituents readily available to the capillaries in the blood-brain barrier, facilitating oxygen flow to the brain. CoQ10 is fat soluble; therefore encapsulating it in a lipid is the perfect way to ensure its bioavailability. Each full spray of Source Naturals NUTRASPRAY™ COQ10 yields 30 mg of CoQ10. Furthermore, this popular metabolic enhancer is very experiential with the NUTRASPRAY delivery system. NUTRASPRAY GRAPE SEED extract delivers 50 mg per spray of proanthocyanidins standardized to 95%. These highly bioavailable flavonoids are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, offering potent antioxidant protection to precious neurons. NUTRASPRAY KAVA KAVA is a potent extract standardized to a potent 40% kavalactones, the active constituents of this traditional root from the Polynesian cultures of the South Pacific. The relaxing action of Kava works through the brain’s limbic system, which regulates emotions related to survival issues, including the “fight or flight” response. Each spray yields 60 mg of Kava. Look for other fine products soon to come out in the Source Naturals line of NUTRASPRAYS. Source Naturals built its reputation on bringing the latest nutritional research to market, using the finest ingredients in substantial quantities – for an experience of wellness and vitality you can feel. Source Naturals NUTRASPRAY is a major step toward empowering people to achieve optimal health in a challenging world.
Heart Science - A Five-Tiered Approach to Heart Health ...
June 02, 2005 12:07 PM
Your heart is crucial to every function of your body. It is the sole organ which pumps oxygen-rich blood through the entire circulatory system, feeding your cells and making life possible. Only recently are Americans realizing the importance of a proper low-fat diet, regular exercise, giving up cigarette smoking, and cutting down alcohol consumption to maintaining a healthy heart. Unfortunately, there has been a huge gap in the number of nutritional supplements which provide nutrients and herbs to support normal heart function. That’s where Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE comes in. Two years in the making, and backed by numerous scientific studies, the nutrients in HEART SCIENCE are some of the most soundly researched of all. Combining high potencies of these super-nutrients, HEART SCIENCE is the most comprehensive, cutting edge nutritional approach to proper heart care available.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE— The Five Tiered Approach to Heart Health
Your heart never rests. Even while you sleep, your heart must keep working, relying on the constant generation of energy by the body for its very survival. If this vital organ stops beating for even a short amount of time, all bodily functions cease and life ends. Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE helps support heart function on the chemical, cellular, structural, and energetic levels. This broad spectrum formula includes ingredients specifically geared for
Energy Generators for An Energetic Organ
Every day, the human heart beats about 104,000 times, pumping over 8,000 liters of blood through the body! Because it requires so much energy to perform efficiently, the experts at Source Naturals included specialty nutrients in HEART SCIENCE such as Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine — integral factors in the body’s energy production cycles — to enhance the body’s energy supply.
There are three main interconnected energy generating cycles in our cells — the Glycolytic (sugar-burning) cycle, the Krebs’ (citric acid) cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain. Together they supply about 90 to 95% of our body’s entire energy supply, using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the non-vitamin nutrients needed to maximally convert food into ATP (the energy producing molecule). It is the vital connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport Chain, the next step in energy generation after the Krebs’ cycle. Using the raw materials generated by the Krebs’ cycle, the Electron Transport Chain produces most of the body’s total energy! The heart is one of the bodily organs which contains the highest levels of CoQ10, precisely because it needs so much energy to function efficiently.
CoQ10 is one of the most promising nutrients for the heart under investigation today. It has been postulated that as a result of its participation in energy production, CoQ10 improves heart muscle metabolism and the electrical functioning of the heart by enhancing its pumping capacity.8 Many factors such as a high fat diet, lack of exercise, and cigarette smoking can lead to suboptimal functioning of the heart, and therefore failure of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood. Interestingly, people whose lifestyles reflect the above factors also tend to have depleted levels of CoQ10 in the heart muscle.10
Researchers suggest taking between 10-100 mg per day of CoQ10;18,29 HEART SCIENCE provides an impressive 60 mg of CoQ10 per 6 tablets. Similar to CoQ10, L-Carnitine is important for energy production in heart cells. It is a natural amino acid-like substance which plays a key role in transporting fatty acids, the heart’s main source of energy, to the mitochondria, the “power plants” of each cell, where they are utilized for the production of ATP. Heart and skeletal muscles are particularly vulnerable to L-Carnitine deficiency. Studies have shown that supplementation with LCarnitine improves exercise tolerance in individuals with suboptimal heart and circulatory function, and seems to lower blood lipid status and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.16, 22 Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE contains 500 mg of this extremely important compound.
Like CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, B Vitamins help improve the ability of the heart muscle to function optimally. Each B Vitamin, after being converted to its active coenzyme form, acts as a catalytic “spark plug” for the body’s production of energy. Vitamin B-1, for example, is converted to Cocarboxylase, which serves as a critical link between the Glycolytic and Krebs’ Cycles, and also participates in the conversion of amino acids into energy. A deficiency of B coenzymes within contracting muscle cells can lead to a weakened pumping of the heart.21
HEART SCIENCE is formulated with high quantities of the most absorbable forms of B Vitamins providing maximum nutrition for the high energy demands of heart cells.
B Vitamins also play a crucial role in the conversion of homocysteine, a group of potentially harmful amino acids produced by the body, to methionine, another more beneficial amino acid. While it is normal for the body to produce some homocysteine, even a small elevation in homocysteine levels can have negative implications. It is well documented that individuals who are genetically predisposed to having elevated homocysteine levels (homocysteinemics) tend to have excessive plaque accumulation in the arteries and premature damage to endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels and heart).26 Researchers have found that even those without this genetic abnormality, whose homocysteine levels are much lower than those of homocysteinemics, still have an increased risk for premature endothelial damage and the development of plaque in the arteries.24, 26 One study conducted among normal men and women found that those with the highest levels of homocysteine were twice as likely to have clogged arteries as were those with the lowest levels.24 Furthermore, it was found that the lower the research subjects’ blood levels of folate and B-6, the higher their homocysteine levels.24 Another study found that Folic Acid administered to normal men and women who were not even deficient in folate caused a significant reduction in plasma concentrations of homocysteine!3 In order to regulate homocysteine levels, it is critical to provide the body with sufficient amounts of B-6, B-12, and Folate, whether through the diet or through supplementation. HEART SCIENCE includes high levels of these three nutrients, providing B-6 in the regular and coenzyme form for maximum utilization.
The Dangers of Oxidized LDL Cholesterol
While many people have heard that high cholesterol levels may negatively affect normal heart function, few people understand exactly what cholesterol is, or how it can become harmful. Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance produced in the liver by all animals, and used for a variety of necessary activities in the body. Your liver also manufactures two main kinds of carrier molecules which transport cholesterol throughout the system: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Cholesterol is either carried out by LDL from the liver to all tissues in the body where it is deposited, or carried back by HDLs which remove cholesterol deposits from the arteries and carry them to the liver for disposal. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is considered damaging, while HDL is considered protective. Problems occur when there is too much LDL cholesterol in the body and not enough HDL.
When the body becomes overloaded with fat, an over-abundance of LDL particles are manufactured to process it, and they in turn become elevated in the body to a degree that the liver cannot handle. Rich in fatty acids and cholesterol, these particles are highly susceptible to free radical attack (oxidation). Once oxidized, LDL particles are no longer recognized by the body, which attacks them with immune cells. Immune cells which are bloated by oxidized lipids (called foam cells) are a key factor in the development of “fatty streaks” — the first sign of excess arterial fat accumulation. The bloated immune cells accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels, leading to obstruction and constriction of the vessels. Plus, these lodged foam cells continue to secrete free radicals into the bloodstream, making the problem worse.
The development of lesions in the arteries is not an uncommon problem. Arterial (and all blood vessel) walls are composed of a chemical matrix which holds the endothelial cells in place. That endothelial layer is the first and most important line of defense in preventing large molecules, such as cholesterol and fat, from entering the vessel wall. This matrix is composed of proteins, collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (amino sugars). Arterial lesions can be caused by suboptimal collagen and elastin synthesis due to three factors: 1. Vitamin C deficiency (since Vitamin C is a key building block for collagen and elastin); 2. excessive consumption of rancid fats, or heavy usage of alcohol or cigarettes; and 3. free radical damage. Once these lesions are created, the body attempts to repair them by depositing LDL cholesterol — similar to the way one would patch a tire. If that cholesterol is not oxidized, i.e. chemically changed to a harmful, unstable molecule, then this process does not create a problem. But when arterial lesions are “patched” with foam cells, arterial walls suffer page 3 page 4 even more damage, because those foam cells release free radicals which can further damage cell membranes.
Unfortunately, most people have a lot of oxidized cholesterol floating through the bloodstream. The typical American diet, with its low antioxidant intake and overconsumption of fried and overcooked foods, contributes to the overall levels of harmful oxidized cholesterol. In fact, the average American intake of antioxidants is low even by USRDA standards, making Americans particularly prone to having high levels of oxidized cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, and its subsequent ill effects on health. In addition to cutting out high-cholesterol and fatty foods, supplementation can protect existing cholesterol and all tissue cells — from oxidation. Antioxidants, substances which scavenge and neutralize free radicals, protect the cardiovascular system by halting the oxidation of cholesterol, and helping to prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries and the continual secretion of free radicals by foam cells. Supplementing the diet with high amounts of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant, also encourages a more healthy “patching” of existing lesions by using collagen (made from Vitamin C) instead of cholesterol. HEART SCIENCE contains generous amounts of the following antioxidants for their protective benefits:
The Regulating Trio
Three nutrients — Magnesium, Potassium, and Taurine — work closely together in the body to help maintain the normal electrical rhythm of the heart, promote proper fluid balance, and prevent excessive Calcium levels from building up in the heart and artery linings.
Artery Lining Protectors
Your arteries form an integral part of your cardiovascular system, carrying blood away from the heart to nourish other parts of the body. In a healthy heart, blood surges through the arteries with every beat of the heart. The arteries expand with each pulse to accommodate the flow of blood. When arteries become hardened and narrowed by the build-up of plaque, they can’t expand and are not able to transport blood efficiently throughout the body. This inability to open up increases blood pressure, putting a strain on the heart as well as the arteries. HEART SCIENCE includes ingredients specifically geared to protect against plaque formation within arteries and maintain the flexibility of these vital blood vessels. N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) is a key amino sugar which forms the building blocks of mucopolysaccharides. Mucopolysaccharides, which are long chain sugars, are an integral component of connective tissue. They combine to form gel-like matrixes which are present throughout tissues in the body, helping to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels which must continually adapt to the changing pressures of blood flow. Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE provides 500 mg — a substantial amount — of this vital tissue building block. There is evidence indicating that Silicon, a natural mineral, may protect against plaque formation in the arteries. Silicon is found mainly in connective tissues, where it helps bind the body’s chemical matrix. Bound Silicon is found in high amounts in arterial walls. Researchers have found that there is a steady decline in the Silicon content of the aorta and other arteries as we age. This may be due to the low fiber content of the typical American diet, since fiber is a key dietary source of Silicon.23 HEART SCIENCE includes 400 mg of Horsetail herb extract, a natural source of Silicon. Hawthorn Berry is without question the herb most widely used to encourage normal heart function. The beneficial actions of Hawthorn Berry on cardiac function have been repeatedly demonstrated in experimental studies. Supplementation with Hawthorn Berry has been shown to improve both the blood supply to the heart by dilating coronary vessels, and the metabolic processes in the heart, resulting in normal, strong contractions of the heart muscle.34 Also, Hawthorn may inhibit the angiotensen converting enzyme, which is responsible for converting angiotensen I to angiotensen II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels.34 Bromelain, a natural enzyme derived from pineapples, has become well-known for its neuromuscular relaxing properties. Researchers have reported favorable results when using Bromelain for soothing vascular linings. Initial research also indicates that Bromelain may break down fibrin, the glue which holds platelets together to form blood clots.6
Capillaries are the smallest, yet some of the most important, blood vessels. If you think of your cardiovascular system as a series of roads which transport blood and oxygen, then your arteries are akin to interstate highways, your arterioles are the main city boulevards, and your capillaries are local residential streets. Capillaries are so small, in fact, that single red blood cells actually have to fold up to fit through them. Because of their tiny size and the intricate nature of their network throughout the body, capillaries are responsible for actually nourishing each individual tissue cell! Along the length of the capillaries are small openings called slit pores through which oxygen, glucose, and nutrients leave the capillaries and enter the surrounding interstitial fluid. From there, they cross cell membranes and nourish the cells. Similarly, the waste products of cells enter the fluid and cross over into the capillaries, where they are then transported to the liver and kidneys for disposal. If the capillary slit pores are torn or have lesions, then blood proteins and Sodium will leak out and cause the interstitial fluid to take on a more gel-like nature. This makes the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the cells more difficult, as well as the disposal of cell waste products, turning the fluid into a stagnant swamp instead of a flowing river. In addition to its powerful antioxidant actions, Proanthodyn also helps protect collagen and elastin, the main constituents of tissue in the capillaries, and throughout the body. It is absolutely essential for capillary walls — which are only one cell thick — to be strong and stable, so that they do not allow blood proteins to leak into the interstitial fluid. Once the interstitial fluid takes on a gel-like consistency, the surrounding cells literally become starved from lack of nutrition. The exciting news is that the proanthocyanidins contained in Proanthodyn are among the few substances yet discovered which can help strengthen capillary walls, ensuring the liquid nature of the interstitial fluid.2 Plus, proanthocyanidins help keep capillary and artery walls flexible, allowing for proper blood flow to the heart.
The 1990’s mark a decade of increased awareness among Americans of important health issues. Much of the discussion has revolved around protecting that precious center of life we call the heart. Simple lifestyle change is one of the most effective ways to maintain and protect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. In order to take a holistic approach to heart care, make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (organic, if possible) in your diet, and cut down on fatty and cholesterol-forming foods. Reduce your salt and alcohol intake to a minimum. Try to get regular, sustained aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Don’t smoke – or if you do smoke, try to eat even more fresh fruits and antioxidant-rich vegetables to counter the amount of free radicals being produced in your body. Lastly, consider adding Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE to your health regimen. HEART SCIENCE, the most comprehensive formula of its kind, provides targeted protection to the entire cardiovascular system. By approaching the promotion of normal heart function on five different levels — through the inclusion of ingredients which supply energy, decrease harmful homocysteine levels, fight cholesterol build-up, help regulate electrical rhythm, and protect artery and capillary linings — HEART SCIENCE is the perfect addition to a holistic approach to heart care.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE™
Full Spectrum Arjuna & Arjuna CardioComfort
June 02, 2005 10:12 AM
Arjuna bark has been used in Ayurvedic herbalism for more than three centuries to support a healthy heart. Today, scientific research is confirming arjuna’s benefits and providing the knowledge that enables development of highly effective arjuna formulations. Planetary Formulas offers you two premier arjuna products, unsurpassed for dependability and efficacy. FULL SPECTRUM ARJUNA combines arjuna bark with arjuna bark extract, for a broad spectrum of beneficial constituents. ARJUNA CARDIOCOMFORT combines arjuna with additional botanicals renowned for supporting cardiovascular health. Both reflect Planetary Formulas’ commitment to herbalism at its best—uniting traditional herbal wisdom with the findings of modern clinical and pharmacological research.
FULL SPECTRUM™ ARJUNA
The arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna) grows to heights of 60-90 feet throughout India. Its thick, white-to-pinkish gray bark has been used in traditional Ayurvedic herbalism for generations, primarily as a cardiac tonic. Arjuna has been found to help support heart health, to have antioxidant properties similar to vitamin E, and to help maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range, according to preliminary clinical studies. It has also been found to help maintain healthy phospholipid and triglyceride levels, according to animal research. Arjuna may work by supporting healthy cardiac muscle function and pumping of the heart. These effects are associated with its saponin glycosides, while its flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidins are associated with antioxidant activity and vascular support.
This broad-range formula combines arjuna bark with additional botanicals, including salvia, hawthorn and guggul. Salvia is the most widely used herb in China for supporting healthy circulation. Hawthorn is the most widely used herb in North America and Europe for supporting a healthy heart. Research suggests that hawthorn increases coronary blood flow, displays antioxidant activity and supports normal heart contraction. Guggul is a traditional Ayurvedic botanical, shown in modern research to support cholesterol levels already in the normal range. Together these botanicals provide a comprehensive herbal approach for supporting a healthy heart.
CLINICALLY DERIVED FORMULAS
FULL SPECTRUM™ ARJUNA and ARJUNA CARDIOCOMFORT were developed by Planetary Formulas’ primary formulator, renowned herbalist and clinician, Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., and are used on a daily basis in his clinical practice. This means your customers can be assured of obtaining the benefits they are seeking from an herbal product.
Developed exclusively for Planetary Formulas by world renowned herbalist, acupuncturist, and author Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., who has more than 30 years of clinical experience.
Elan Vital - The Vital Essence of Life - Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement
June 01, 2005 01:13 PM
What makes ÉLAN VITÀL unique is its unprecedented range of nutriments in high potencies and superior forms. Quite simply, it stands alone among multiples: a quantum leap beyond maintenance...into excellence. Not only does it offer unparalleled antioxidant nutrition and a full-spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals, ÉLAN VITÀL is also formulated with specific nutrients that support:
Today’s inflated levels of stress and pollution give rise to harmful free radicals – unpaired electrons that can damage living cells and compromise the proper function of tissues and organs. Antioxidants serve to protect the body by neutralizing free radicals; in fact, many scientists believe that high levels of antioxidants may prolong the effective working life span of the body’s cells. The primary strategy of ÉLAN VITÀL is to provide a wide range of antioxidants at exceptional levels, from both botanical and biochemical sources.
ÉLAN VITÀL has the powerful advantage of Plantioxidants™, standardized botanical extracts with unparalleled free radical-scavenging properties. Plantioxidants have the unique quality of providing targeted protection because they tend to be attracted to different organs in the body. Grape Seed extract is rich in potent proanthocyanidins, a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids that have the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where they support the health of brain cells. Proanthocyanidins have been shown to efficiently scavenge oxygen radicals, as well as optimize the transport of vitamin C. They also have an affinity for collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that are abundant in vessel linings and other connective tissue. ÉLAN VITÀL contains the most concentrated extract of Bilberry available, with at least 25% anthocyanosides – compounds which are similar to proanthocyanidins but with an unusually strong attraction to optical tissue. They have been shown to protect cellular integrity in the delicate structures of the eyes. Ginkgo biloba extract is a standardized concentration of prime quality ginkgo leaves, yielding 24% ginkgoflavoneglycosides. These active compounds are potent antioxidants that have been associated with superior oxygen transport throughout the body with a special affinity for brain capillaries. Silymarin is the name given to a complex of three bioflavonoid-like compounds — silybum, silycristin, and silymarin — extracted and concentrated from milk thistle seeds. Silymarin functions in the body as an antioxidant with a special attraction for the liver. It has been researched and used extensively in Europe, where it is prized for its unique ability to nourish the liver and support its natural regeneration process by speeding up DNA synthesis in liver cells. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid present in some foods, such as onions and blue-green algae. A cousin of rutin, quercetin has been shown to stabilize cell membranes and help prevent free radical damage to this vital but vulnerable part of cells. Bioflavonoids and related compounds do their best antioxidant work when in the presence of Vitamin C, the nutrient they are most often paired with in nature. The vitamin C provided in ÉLAN VITÀL is both water- and fat-soluble. This combination is crucial because the tissues and membranes richest in fatty acids are most at risk to free radical attack. Fat-soluble vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl palmitate has an affinity for these highly vulnerable structures.
ÉLAN VITÀL not only provides botanical defense plants to combat free radicals, but also contains tried-and-true antioxidant nutrients: Biochemicals known as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids work together for maximum protection to all the body’s cells. The amino acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine, is a powerful and highly versatile antioxidant that doubles as a precursor to glutathione and glutathione peroxidase, two of the most formidable cell-protective compounds manufactured by the body. Studies have shown that supplemental N-acetyl cysteine enhances internal levels of glutathione far better than supplements of glutathione itself. Methionine also contributes to the synthesis of glutathione, and is an efficient transporter of certain antioxidant minerals, magnifying their activity. Vitamin A is included in both its fat-soluble palmitate form and in its provitamin form, Beta Carotene. While preformed A has long been known to play a role in the body’s defenses, beta carotene itself has recently been shown to possess a powerful ability to scavenge free radicals and contribute to the youthful function of some tissues. Vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidant compounds in nature. It works to prevent harmful oxidation within each cell and is vital in the protection of red blood cells from free radical-induced rupture. Selenium is an extremely powerful antioxidant shown in studies to work synergistically with Vitamins A, C, and E. In combination with cysteine, selenium helps build the glutathione peroxidase molecule. ÉLAN VITÀL offers a 50/50 blend of the two most scientifically supported forms of selenium: L-selenomethionine and sodium selenite. In addition to being an antioxidant itself, Zinc works closely with fat-soluble vitamin A by facilitating its release from the liver to the rest of the body. In ÉLAN VITÀL, Zinc is synergistically bound to methionine for optimal bioavailability. Copper sebacate is a natural compound that can function as the copper-SOD antioxidant system in the body, one of the first lines of defense against free radical attack. Copper sebacate is a highly absorbable form that possesses significant free radical scavenging activity.
Supporting Structural Integrity
An important adjunct to antioxidant nutrition is the amino sugar N-Acetyl Glucosamine, or N-A-G™. Amino sugars are essential components of cell membranes and their surface structures, as well as of the “ground substance” that holds body tissues together. They are also a key constituent of the synovial fluid in the joints. Recent research has revealed that amino sugars play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the connective and structural tissues of the body, a property that complements perfectly the actions of antioxidants: where antioxidants may prevent damage from occurring, amino sugars may help the body repair and regenerate damaged tissue. N-A-G’s activity is supported in ÉLAN VITÀL by other nutrients helpful to structural tissue. The mineral Manganese is required for building amino sugars into mucopolysaccharides, the large molecules that make up the ground substance that holds cells together. Choline and Inositol are both components of phospholipids, principal constituents in cell membranes. Two B vitamins, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12, are important to cell regeneration and to the development of healthy red blood cells.
Enhanced Energy to Maximize Metabolism
ÉLAN VITÀL is a potent source of coenzymes, metalloenzymes, and metabolites involved in energy production in the body. There are two main energy production cycles in the cells: the glycolytic cycle and the Krebs’ cycle. Together, they generate about 90-95% of the body’s entire energy supply – using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel, with enzymes as facilitators. The enzymes which catalyze energy production function in combination with coenzymes made from vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5 and Biotin, plus metalloenzymes made from minerals, including Magnesium, Manganese, and Copper. Biotin, an often overlooked nutrient, may function to help the body maintain a youthful metabolism. The mineral Magnesium aids in energy production, not only by acting as a cofactor to some enzymes, but also as a stabilizer of ATP, the body’s primary energy molecule. Some of the key connecting enzymes in the energy production process require two additional non-vitamin coenzyme nutrients to maximally convert food into energy: Lipoic Acid and Coenzyme Q10. Lipoic acid helps convert the end-product of the glycolytic cycle, pyruvate, into acetyl-CoA, a principal fuel for the higher energy Krebs’ cycle. Coenzyme Q10. is the connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport System, an off-shoot of the Krebs’ cycle, where ATP molecules are “cashed in” for energy. The muscle-supporting electrolyte mineral Potassium is in the form of Alpha- Ketoglutarate, a critical Krebs’ cycle metabolite that has additional benefits. It has long been used to improve the efficiency of ammonia-clearance from the body, an indispensable function, as ammonia is both exceedingly harmful and constantly produced through the natural metabolism of proteins. Because alpha-ketoglutarate is an organic compound well-recognized by the cells, it is an excellent transporter of potassium into the cells. Succinic Acid, or succinate, is also a metabolite in the Krebs’ cycle. It not only boosts production of ATP energy potential, but also increases the muscle cells’ production of creatine phosphate, another high energy biochemical. Chromium is the essential mineral component of glucose tolerance factor, or GTF, which functions to help insulin (one of the two main blood sugar-controlling hormones in the body) draw sugar molecules from the bloodstream into the cells.
ÉLAN VITÀL contains natural substances that sharpen performance beyond just the physical. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is a highly stable and absorbable form of the conditionally essential amino acid L-tyrosine, a precursor to the major excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. DMAE is a precursor to one of the body’s main neurotransmitters, acetylcholine. From the Plantioxidants comes standardized Ginkgo biloba extract, whose compounds readily cross the blood-brain barrier where they support the integrity of the capillaries in the brain.
Guarding the Liver
ÉLAN VITÀL provides several nutrients which collectively support optimal liver function. This is an essential aspect of a multiple, because the liver is responsible for converting nutrients – from food as well as from supplements – into their usable forms. If liver function is compromised in any way, nutrient supplements may be rendered inert in the body. The liver is especially at risk because it must filter out ingested toxins and is continually exposed to chemicals that generate free radicals. N-Acetyl Cysteine and Silymarin have both demonstrated a strong affinity for the liver. Nacetyl cysteine contributes to increased levels of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase, both of which the liver uses in its natural cleansing function. Silymarin provides unparalleled support to the liver’s natural regeneration process. Because of its many vital functions, the liver uses as much as 12% of the body’s energy supply, even though it represents only 3% of body weight. The liver therefore uses a greater proportion of energy nutrients, especially Coenzyme Q10 and Lipoic Acid. Both are highly concentrated in the liver; and lipoic acid in particular has been researched and used heavily in Europe where it is prized for its special protective actions in the liver. Ascorbyl Palmitate is a fat-soluble form of Vitamin C, meaning it can provide antioxidant protection for fatty tissue. This is especially valuable to the liver, which tends to develop fatty streaks that are most vulnerable to damage. Vitamin E has been researched extensively for its antioxidant properties with regard to the liver.
The Multiple for the 21st Century
ÉLAN VITÀL is truly a one-of-a-kind multinutrient supplement: one that leaves no nutritional stone unturned. Based on the biochemical principles of nutrition and metabolism – in context of today’s challenges to our health – ÉLAN VITÀL approaches optimal nutrition from several directions...all leading to a lifetime of health and vitality.
Bioflavonoid Complex - Botanical Antioxidant Protection
June 01, 2005 09:15 AM
Bioflavonoids occur as pigments in plants, where they are found in close association with vitamin C. Together, bioflavonoids and C provide antioxidant protection, helping plants withstand harsh environmental conditions. BIOFLAVONOID COMPLEX features potent botanical extracts, many of them standardized to specific beneficial constituents. Included are bilberry, ginkgo biloba, grape seed, green tea, hawthorn berry, quercetin, and silymarin. The formula is enhanced by the addition of vitamin C as highly bioavailable magnesium ascorbate.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
May 19, 2005 10:34 AM
VitaNet ® Staff