Search Term: " Psyllium "
Does Fiber Lower High Blood Pressure? What to Eat to ReduceHypertension
November 21, 2018 09:57 AM
There are a lot of people out there that struggle with high blood pressure. It is a real problem that affects many people in the world and the people who do not have to worry about it are very lucky. Now, there have always been a couple of set ways to combat high blood pressure. However, now doctors are saying that fiber, and the intake of more of it, can be the key to reduce hypertension and high blood pressure.
"The best diet to reduce high blood pressure happens to contain plenty of foods high in fiber."
Read more: https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/does-fiber-lower-high-blood-pressure-what-to-eat-to-reduce-hypertension.html/
Keep your blood sugar levels in check with these naturalsupplements
September 13, 2018 05:52 PM
If you are focusing on keeping your blood sugar levels low, there may be natural supplements to help you. A active ingredient found in turmeric roots called curcumin has shown to reduce glucose levels and prevent pre-diabetes from developing. American ginseng has shown to be the best to decrease postprandial glucose levels. Berbine is a popular ingredient in some medicines already and can be found in the stems and roots of barberry, goldenseal, Organ grape and tree turmeric. Other natural remedies include fenugreek, psyllium, magnesium, cinnamon, white mulberry, milk thistle, inulin, and Vitamin D3.
"In fact, there are so many natural supplements that can help control blood sugar that it may be possible for countless people to avoid the need for medication or possibly even avoid developing diabetes in the first place."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-12-keep-your-blood-sugar-levels-in-check-with-these-natural-supplements.html
Nutritionist Reveals Five Prebiotic Foods That Can Feed Your Gut
August 15, 2017 09:14 AM
You could be doing your best to make sure that you are ingesting healthy probiotics, but without prebiotics, foods that fuel probiotics, you are not receiving the benefits you are expecting. A nutritionist shares the foods that you need to feed the good bacteria in your gut to maintain your gut and overall health. These foods are easily found in your local supermarkets and can be incorporated into your daily meal plans and beside being prebiotics, they have other health benefits as well.
"Prebiotics feed the good bacteria we already have in our digestive system,"
Read more: https://www.womenshealth.com.au/article/food/five-prebiotic-foods-you-need-for-good-gut-health
Psyllium Husk: Fiber for Well-Being
May 18, 2017 03:44 PM
Plantago Ovata, known as the Horse Flower, is found in East Asia and the Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries as an important herbal medicine ingredient. The psyllium seed coat can retain large amounts of water and the outer husk of the seed is high in fiber, making it a good digestive aid. It absorbs toxins and aids in elimination from the bowel by increasing stool's bulk and aids in softening it to ease elimination.
"Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries."
Read more: http://www.healthplusinc.com/blog/psyllium-husk-fiber-for-well-being
Fiber, Constipation, and colon health
Constipation occurs because of the lack of fluids in the stomach and intestinal tract. Dietary fiber helps the digested food retain water and aid in the movement of waste though the intestinal tract. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Both of these are available in high fiber foods such as whole meal bread and in dietary supplement form.
How it works
Since constipation is a dry hard stool clog in the upper small or large intestines, adding fiber and water will eliminate constipation completely.
This fiber does not dissolve even in the digestive juices. However, it is important in adding to the weight (bulk) of digestive waste. With this bulkiness, the fecal matter will retain more water and pass smoothly through the intestines.
Constipation is caused by inadequate fluids in the lumen. Both soluble and insoluble fiber helps in retaining as much fluids as possible into the fecal matter. With this, movements are easy due to the lubrication aspect of the stool.
If you suffer from constipation, add more fiber to your diet as well as drink an additional 6 x 12oz glasses of water each day. This will eliminate constipation.
Sources: www.everydayhealth.com, www.wemd.com
Why should you cleanse your body?
Cleansing your body has many benefits to your health. It is advisable to cleanse your body several times a year. Some of the benefits of cleansing include but not limited to the following.
Everybody should cleans their system at least 2 times a year.
Are Laxatives Safe For Your?
April 26, 2014 10:03 PM
Herbal laxatives could promote bowel activity with mild purgation. They are usually used when there is a blood toxicity, constipation, an infection that cleansing of people bowel is needed, insufficient fiber in diet, a skin condition which caused by insufficient elimination, gallstones or hypertension.
The most common laxative herbs used are senna, cascara sagrada, sesame, Psyllium and milkweed. Milkweed or Asclepias syriaca is an old home remedy for warts, and medicinally important in heart disease treatment. The seed of Psyllium contain copious amounts of the mucilage, which are able to treat constipation, diarrhea and act as an effective and safe weight loss aid.
Why Would You Use Laxatives?
For relief of constipation you might suppose to use laxatives. Constipation is a gastrointestinal disorder, which make result in fewer or difficult bowel movements. Low fluid or fiber intake is the common causes of constipation. You will discover that bulk-forming laxatives are usually recommended for first aid when you have a constipation problem that will draw fluid into your intestines. However, it is not recommended to use laxatives in long-term, because it could give you harmful side effect.
The Pros and Cons of Taking Laxatives
Laxatives were used for conditions like irregularity, painful elimination and hard stools. For temporary use laxatives are help to treat some chronic condition and invaluable. However, using laxatives for long-term use may give you several risks: cramping, bloating, nausea, gas and diarrhea. The most important risk you might want to know, is your body will be dependent on that herbs. It is an important option to consult to your doctor when having a risk of laxatives. Since there are some risks of using laxatives, you would like to try the alternatives of laxative when you are planning to use in a long term. Here are some valuable alternatives: Fiber rich food, drink plenty of water daily and exercise regularly.
Is Spirutein A Good Meal Replacement?
March 21, 2014 02:18 AM
What is spirutein
Spirutein protein shakes are dinner swaps and protein supplements intended to help you meet your nutritional needs. The shakes are accessible in different flavors extending from espresso to berry, and you can buy them in single-serving bundles, in substantial holders or as canned shakes. While protein shakes can supplement your eating methodology or supplant dinners to lessen calories for weight reduction, they ought not reinstate adhering to a good diet.
Spirutein provides "green nourishment" for the reason that a portion from the health supplement put into the actual shakes tend to be through spirulina and also the eco-friendly tone, chlorophyll, that is recognized to provide unequalled nutritional revenue. In addition, Spiru-tein proteins lives in a mixture of grain, pea as well as soy meats. Flavorings, mineral deposits, nutritional vitamins, Psyllium, guar chewing gum as well as oat feed may similarly appear within the smoothies, depending on the actual taste. The activity blend similarly provides house developed dietary supplements, for instance, Korean ginseng as well as ashwagandha. The actual combination of fixings can make Spiru-tein to some higher degree the supper than the health supplement. Presuming you don't put it to use in order to displace the banquet, you might notice that you'll placed on pounds instead of get healthy. Spiru-tein Activity provides 260 calories from fat for each 64-g details associated with proteins; eighty of these calories from fat tend to be through body fat.
If you're trying to reduce your own caloric entrance, the actual caloric high quality from the tremble provides sufficient calories from fat in order to displace the dinner. Be cautious associated with such as too much additional fixings, for instance, items from the dirt, crazy distribute or even yogurt, about the reasons these increment the actual calories from fat. The actual Blueberries as well as Lotion Spiru-tein provides 110 calories from fat with no body fat, therefore when you employ this in order to displace the dinner, you will have to consist of celery as well as grapefruits, yogurt or even whole milk in order to increase the actual caloric really worth. You can similarly choose to eat the vegetables as well as drink the actual healthy smoothie basic.
A Healthy Colon Requires Lots Of Fiber
December 16, 2010 02:34 PM
Psyllium Husk Fiber
Nowadays, because of the kind of lifestyle that people have, there is an evident rise of different medical condition which concerns the colon. What comprises our diet will surely affect our health. Hence, those who engage in a diet that contains very low amount of fiber and nutrients will eventually grasp health problems most especially in the digestive system. However, because of the new discoveries in this present world we live in, there is less need for us to fret because there are already a variety of remedy that promises you relief from such feared medical conditions.
Psyllium is one of the many agents being incorporated in many edible products nowadays. It can be found in almost all breakfast cereals mainly because of its unfathomable health benefits that help the individual to have a more effective digestive process. Psyllium came from a native plant in Iran known as Plantago Psyllium. Its seeds contains liberal amounts of glycosides and mucilages that is now being used in many food industries to give the products they are selling a texture that is more appealing to the majority of consumers.
Not only for its textural benefits, but most especially for the health faculties it contributes to the health of every consumer. Psyllium husk is an abundant source of water soluble fiber, similar to the kind of fiber present in oats and barley but in more abundant amounts. It has been found out that in every 100 grams of Psyllium could give the consumer 71 grams off essential soluble fiber that helps you to attain better metabolism and colon function.
It is definitely good and beneficial for our colon because it does not break down as it enter and passes through the gastrointestinal tract, it increases fecal mass and loosen stool hence (when adequate water is consumed along with it), you can achieve a cleaner colon free from constipation and other digestive problems as well. Psyllium’s health benefits are not only hearsays but are being acknowledge by Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America. FDA also affirmed that Psyllium fiber combined with a low-fat diet can help in maintaining blood cholesterol levels within normal values for it contains liberal amount of soluble fiber that prevents the absorption of blood cholesterol and bile acids from the intestinal tract.
Needless to say, Psyllium is indeed a gift to the human race. But it alone could not solve all the health problems that we have, hence it is advisable to engage in healthy lifestyle, coupled with proper diet, enough sleep and adequate exercise. Our health is very fragile that is why with all our might we should protect it. We only have one body and one lifetime to live. For us to savor it fully, we should engage in a lifestyle that could not bring any detrimental effect into our health. Let us learn how to identify the components of the food that we eat and make sure that Psyllium is one of those.
Keeping your colon clean with plenty of fiber can boost your health and wellness and help you live a long time.
What is stopping you from adding Psyllium husk fiber to your diet?
Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM
There was once a case of a young man who had felt sick for years. Although it was nothing intense, it was just enough to make him feel listless, tired, and depressed. His medical doctors prescribed him a list of medications, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, he went to a chiropractor who was also trained in nutrition. After a few urine tests and an examination of his diet, the chiropractor was able to diagnose the man’s problem as auto-intoxication. This meant that his body was actually being poisoned by his intestinal tract.
Auto-intoxication, also known as intestinal toxemia, is a condition that is brought on by eating the wrong types and amounts of food that certain bacteria can thrive upon and produce toxins from. These toxins permeate into the bloodstream and are carried into the rest of the body. Symptoms of auto-intoxication include fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases, headaches, endocrine and circulatory disturbances, and others.
The chiropractor placed the young man on a regime of low-protein, high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, with the main emphasis being on raw fruits and vegetables. The young man felt great within a month. His symptoms had gradually disappeared. He states that it was frustrating to suffer for so long when the answer to his problem was a change in diet. The diet changes were not hard for him. After so long being sick, he was willing to try almost anything. He claims that the relief he feels today has made the diet changes worthwhile. The toxins which are formed and sent into the bloodstream are sent to the liver first, where some, but not all, of them are filtered out. They are then sent back into the bloodstream where they poison various cells. Finally, they are excreted by the kidneys into urine, making their presence able to be detected through a urinalysis.
A lot of medical literature has been published that supports the link between illness and intestinal toxemia. The following are just a few examples of this literature. One doctor studied 472 cases of allergies, with allergies clearing up when intestinal toxemia was eliminated. After 23 years of observation, another doctor stated that toxemia is the underlying cause of asthma. About 50% of all cases of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly helped by removing the toxins that are formed in the intestine. Similarly, about 25% of all cases of irregular heartbeats seem to respond well to the elimination of toxemia. Several hundred cases of ear, nose, and throat diseases were from auto-intoxications. A high protein diet that is combined with intestinal stagnation has been shown to cause toxemia of pregnancy.
It was found that many cases of eye disease respond well when the intestinal toxins are eliminated from the picture. Both mental and physical nervous system diseases may result form auto-intoxication. One paper reported that 517 cases of mental symptoms that ranged from mental sluggishness to hallucinations were relieved by eliminating intestinal toxemia. Recent research has actually found that toxemia is related to schizophrenia.
The process of aging is even sped up by toxins in the body. Low back pain and sciatica can be caused by nerves that are irritated by intestinal toxins. One doctor reported that intestinal toxemia is an important causative factor in the production of a variety of skin diseases. Breast diseases have self-healed when auto-intoxication has been removed from the picture. It seems that the answer to many health problems is building up the immune system with a healthy diet that is high in complex-carbohydrates, low in fats, and contains an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Increasing fiber in the diet can help colon function and eliminate the compounds that cause auto-intoxication. Acidophilus can help restore the intestinal balance once the colon has been cleansed boosting digestion and immune health. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality colon support supplements.
October 08, 2009 01:20 PM
Plantain is one of the most commonly used plants found throughout the world. The herb is generally used for cooking and is lower in sugar content than general bananas. Plantain was known for its medicinal properties from England to the New World. Its popularity continues to grow to this day. The seeds of this herb are related to Psyllium seeds. They are often used for the same purposes.
The outer layer of the seeds of plantain contain mucilage. This is a product that swells up when moist. These seeds are responsible for helping to lower cholesterol. However, plantain is most known for its gastric benefits. This herb is responsible for both neutralizing stomach acids and normalizing stomach secretions. Fresh plantain juice has been used to treat mild stomach ulcers. This herb helps to absorb toxins from the bowels and promotes normal bowel function. Plantain is a bulk laxative and increases in mass when it is mixed with water. Research has determined the value of plantain as a mild laxative. The intestinal transit time was decreased in those subjects who were tested.
Along with intestinal use, plantain can help with bladder infections and kidney problems. It can also help with bed-wetting in children. This herb is great as an expectorant. Plantain ingested in tea-form clears the head and ears of congestion. The tea is also helpful in treating chronic lung problems in children.
Plantain is known for its ability to neutralize poisons in the body. Those patients who had poison ivy were treated topically with crushed plantain leaves. Itching was eliminated and the condition was prevented from spreading in those who were treated. Additionally, the leaves were able to stop hemorrhaging when they were applied to the bleeding surface. The astringent properties that are found in this herb are helpful in stopping bleeding and promoting the healing of wounds.
Plantain works as an anti-inflammatory to help with problems like edema and hemorrhoids. Other conditions that plantain has been included for include nerve problems, fevers, burns, eye pain, and jaundice.
The leaves and seeds of the plantain plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antivenomous, astringent, blood purifier, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, mucilant, parasiticide, gentle purgative, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, potassium, sulfur, trace minerals, and vitamins C, K, and T. Primarily, plantain is extremely beneficial in treating bed-wetting, snake bites, cystitis, diarrhea, intestinal problems, kidney problems, chronic lung disorders, neuralgia, blood poisoning, poison ivy, sores, ulcers, urinary incontinence, and wounds.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with insect bites, bronchitis, burns, high cholesterol, colitis, coughs, cuts, dysentery, edema, epilepsy, sore eyes, fevers, gas, external hemorrhages, hemorrhoids, infections, jaundice, leucorrhea, excessive menstruation, respiratory problems, primary tuberculosis, skin conditions, and stings. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medication. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by plantain, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Psyllium Husk Powder - Now Foods 24oz
September 28, 2009 02:43 PM
Psyllium Husk Powder - 24oz
Looking for a good way to break the ice with new or uncertain customers? Just ask them how their digestion is. It will tell you volumes about their overall health status, allowing you to more effectively assist them in choosing the products that are best for their unique needs. For those who are in need of digestive support, NOW® Psyllium Powder is a great place to start. It offers all the benefits that has made Psyllium the digestive staple it is today, in a form that allows for easy mixing or encapsulation.
Red Yeast Rice New Larger 240 Veg-Capsule Size
September 28, 2009 02:40 PM
Red Yeast Rice 600 mg - 240 Vcaps
When it comes to Red Yeast Rice, purity and potency are NOW’s top priorities. As part of our Genuine Whole Foods line, NOW® Red Yeast Rice is welltested and free of potentially harmful contaminants, such as citrinin, a fermentation byproduct. Our QA/QC experts are involved throughout all stages of manufacturing, from inspection and delivery of raw materials, to the final packaging process. Best of all, NOW continues to offer Red Yeast Rice at prices that are well below our competitors.
Looking for a good way to break the ice with new or uncertain customers? Just ask them how their digestion is. It will tell you volumes about their overall health status, allowing you to more effectively assist them in choosing the products that are best for their unique needs. For those who are in need of digestive support, NOW® Psyllium Powder is a great place to start. It offers all the benefits that has made Psyllium the digestive staple it is today, in a form that allows for easy mixing or encapsulation.
Psyllium Husk Fiber
September 23, 2009 11:08 AM
The Native Americans used Psyllium as an eye-wash. It was also used to treat sprains and abrasions. Additionally, it was and continues to be used as a laxative to help relieve constipation. This herb contains aucubine, enzymes, fats, glycosides, mucilage, and protein.
When Psyllium is taken internally it is an excellent remedy for a variety of problems in the digestive system. The herb can be used to help prevent autointoxication, if used over a period of time, from the re-absorption of toxins into the bloodstream by removing the toxins. Since Psyllium prevents toxic re-absorption, it allows for added protection to the colon. This helps the body to fight disease and illness. The herbal fiber also works as a lubricant on the intestinal tract. Additionally, it helps with diarrhea.
Research has determined that Psyllium is a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is considered to deal with an overly sensitive colon that responds to stress. This herb may help the colon by soothing, healing, and aiding in the elimination of toxins from the colon. Psyllium has also been recommended for diabetics. The herb produces copicous mucilage which soothes and heals the large intestines and cleans the colon. Psyllium does not irritate the delicate mucus membrane. Instead, it works to strengthen and restore the tissues. Jethro Kloss suggested the use of Psyllium in cases of colitis and anal ulcers.
This herb is considered to be a safe alternative to drug therapy for chronic constipation when it is used properly. The husks from Psyllium seeds are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber. They also serve as an intestinal cleanser and stool softener. Additionally, Psyllium is a hydrophilic bulking agent, which means that it is able to increase several times in size when it is combined with water. This occurs because of mucilage, one o the main components of Psyllium. Mucilage is a thickening and stabilizing agent that swells in water. When Psyllium swells in the intestines, it helps to increase the peristaltic activity of the bowel. This bulks up stool and promotes bowel movement. Because of this, it is crucial to drink plenty of water when one is taking Psyllium. Mucilage is also able to help soothe and heal inflamed tissue in the intestinal tract.
Studies have determined that Psyllium is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and strengthening the heart. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that dietary modifications such as Psyllium should be used to lower cholesterol levels before turning to drug therapy. By adding mucilage, like that found in Psyllium, to the diet, one can successfully reduce serum cholesterol levels. Recent studies on Psyllium and other forms of fiber have determined that mucilage in fiber is responsible for inhibiting cholesterol production. Not only does Psyllium reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it also increases levels of good cholesterol.
The externally use of Psyllium is helpful in dealing with skin inflammation and irritation. A poultice of crushed Psyllium seeds is very beneficial. Additionally, Psyllium is a great drawing agent. It is recommended for drawing the pus out of both boils and sores.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription drugs. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by Psyllium, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Soluble Fiber And Blood Sugar
July 10, 2009 12:02 PM
The first step to prevent the occurrence of hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugar and caffeine from your diet. Eliminating foods like candy, soda pop, doughnuts, sugary pastries, sugared cold cereals, and cookies. Substituting foods with whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and supplementation of B vitamins, vitamin C, and chromium is recommended. In order to avoid stressing the endocrine system, the cold hard facts concerning hypoglycemia are that diet and life style must be altered.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to break down in the body, unlike simple refined foods, which helps to keep normal blood sugar levels for longer periods of time. It should also be known that metabolizing whole grains requires more chemical reactions than processing a bowl of sugary cereal. Increased research has shown that whole grains are the superior foods and offers the body a balanced mix of fiber, nutrients, and others. Our bodies were made to thrive on whole foods, not the fragmented, altered, and highly refined foods that a lot of us eat on a routine basis in order to increase energy but lack sustainability.
Nothing can be achieved in nature through fragments if it is going to be worthwhile. Only parts of the B vitamins are synthetically replaced out of all the B-complex vitamins that are removed from whole grain cereals before they are milled. This is probably one of the worst things we could possibly do, as these B vitamin imbalances create an unhealthy environment in the body. Many of the trace minerals are also lost from the refining process. By adding white sugar and refined foods, you cut down severely on the vitamin B contents that are suppose to be found in your diet. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds have also been found to be rich in magnesium, zinc, and manganese. All of these are vital minerals for the prevention and treatment of hypoglycemia.
Many studies have found that diets that lack fiber can lead to diseases including hypoglycemia and diabetes. Dietary fiber includes components that make up the cell wall of plants that are not digestible. On the other hand, water soluble fiber seems to be the most beneficial for controlling blood sugar. This type of fiber includes mucilages, gums, hemicelluloses, and pectins, which are also found in a number of foods. This type of fiber slows down the absorption of sugar from the intestinal wall into the blood stream, helping to prevent wild insulin release (cause of low blood sugar). When this happens, the liver can take in more glucose at a more rapid pace, causing blood sugar levels to remain more normal. Water soluble fiber that is recommended for hypoglycemia is found in legumes, like beans, lentils, and split peas, oat bran; nuts, seeds; Psyllium hulls; pears; apples; and most vegetables as well as in supplement form.
A person's optimal fiber intake should be somewhere between 35 to 50 grams each day. Unfortunately, most of us rarely come close to this ideal. Fiber is also extremely important for controlling appetite and weight gain. Additionally, it is great for regularity, which is intrinsically linked to the health of the rest of our body systems. Fortunately, soluble fiber is available at your local health food store at reasonable prices. Fiber supplements can boost ones fiber intake to the needed 35 – 50 gram per day dose needed to maintain a healthier body.
Psyllium Husk Fiber
March 18, 2009 12:01 PM
Hemorrhoids occur when veins in the anus and in the rectum swell and may protrude from the anus. The word hemorrhoid comes from the word hemo which means blood and rrhoids which means discharging. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, which comes from the Latin word pila, meaning ball. Hemorrhoids are a lot like varicose veins, as they enlarge and lose their elasticity. This results in a saclike protrusion into the anal canal. Hemorrhoids are not tumors growths. Instead, they can be caused and aggravated by sitting or standing for prolonged periods, violent coughing, lifting heavy objects, and straining at bowel movements. This occurs especially when constipated.
However, bouts of diarrhea accompanied by involuntary spasms can further the problem. Other factors that contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids include obesity, lack of exercise, liver damage, food allergies, and insufficient consumption of dietary fiber. Hemorrhoids are extremely common during pregnancy and after childbirth, with hormonal changes and pressure exerted by the growing fetus are a huge being the main reason. About half of all Americans have had hemorrhoids by the age of fifty, with the incidence increasing with age until age seventy, and then decreasing again.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, burning, pain, inflammation, swelling, irritation, seepage, and bleeding. The bleeding can be startling or even frightening, as it is usually bright red during bowel movements. Although it does signal that something is slightly off in the digestive system, rectal bleeding is not necessarily an indication of a serious disease.
There are three different kinds of hemorrhoids, which are categorized depending on their location, severity, and the amount of pain, discomfort, or aggravation that they cause. These three types include external, internal, and prolapsed.
External hemorrhoids develop under the skin at the opening of the anal cavity. They may form a hard lump and cause painful swelling if a blood clot forms. When an external hemorrhoid swells, the tissue in the area becomes firm but sensitive and often turns blue or purple in color. Most often, this type of hemorrhoid affects younger people and can be extremely painful.
Internal hemorrhoids, which are located inside the rectum, are usually painless, especially if they are located above the anorectal line. This is because rectal tissues lack nerve fibers. However, internal hemorrhoids tend to bleed, with blood appearing to be bright red.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that collapse and protrude outside the anus. These are often accompanied by a mucous discharge and heavy bleeding. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often become thrombosed, forming clots within that prevent their receding. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can also be extremely painful.
To our knowledge, hemorrhoids are unique to human beings, with no other creature developing this problem. This can be taken as an indication that our dietary and nutritional habits play a greater role in this disorder than anything else. About 50 to 75 percent of this country’s population develops hemorrhoids at one time or another, with many people being unaware of them. Hemorrhoids can occur at any age, but they tend to become more common as people grow older. Those younger people, pregnant women, and women who have had children seem to be most susceptible, with heredity also playing a part in the tendency to develop hemorrhoids. Although hemorrhoids can be quite painful, they usually are not a serious threat to our health.
The following nutrients can help prevent and treat hemorrhoids: calcium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, coenzyme Q10, DMG, garlic, potassium, shark cartilage, vitamin A, and vitamin D3. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: aloe vera gel, bayberry, goldenseal root, myrrh, white oak, comfrey root, elderberry, yarrow, witch hazel, buckthorn bark, collinsonia root, parsley, red grape vine leaves, and stone root.
Looking at that list one might think wow that could be expensive. Fortunately, the single most important factor to prevent hemorrhoids is fiber. Adding dietary fiber to ones diet can eliminate constipation and all the complications that follow with bowel problems. Fiber supplements can be an easy solution to the lack of fiber on ones diet. Psyllium husk is a natural fiber that can be taken daily to help alleviate constipation and is relatively inexpensive. Fiber supplements are available at your local or internet health food store.
Raw Material Costs
September 27, 2008 01:20 PM
NOW has faced more tight supplies and substantial cost increases in 2008 than at any other time in memory. Currently, the entire Psyllium crop from India is in short supply and unusually high demand. As a result, raw material costs are substantially higher. We expect them to remain this way until the middle of 2009. The cost of organic, pure Maple Syrup has already increased about 30%, and this has forced us to increase our own prices in July of this year. Despite drastic cost increases on many individual nut products (from 10-40%), NOW is doing its best to lock current prices until our next wholesale catalog, in December. Both Vitamin C and Vitamin E, due to corn and soy costs, have skyrocketed. And as much as we dislike doing so, we will likely have to raise our Vitamin C prices soon.
These and many other ingredients are up substantially in cost, though we’re doing our best to maintain our excellent everyday values. The weak US dollar is a major contributing factor, as it has lost about 50% of its value vs. the Euro in recent years. Combined with many worldwide factors, our industry is facing price pressures that will lead to unavoidable higher prices. NOW is constantly working on innovative ways to keep our prices low without sacrificing our famous quality.
September 10, 2008 03:57 PM
A healthy colon is the basis for a healthy body, with most of not realizing exactly how important a healthy colon is for obtaining and maintaining optimal wellness. When searching for a healthy body, colon health should be a primary concern, as it is the source for a lot of diseases and health problems. A healthy body depends on the maintenance of a healthy digestive system and elimination. Since food is the primary source of fuel for the body, if the wrong foods are eaten, the body will not function as it should.
The nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids that are found in the foods we eat are what give us the energy and resources that keep us alive. Sadly, the foods we eat are also loaded with toxins and unnecessary substances that prevent our body from removing waste properly. A healthy colon means a healthy body, so learning natural methods to achieve colon health is extremely important. Nutritious eating habits, cleansing diets, fiber sources, herbal remedies, and nutritional substances can all contribute to the body’s well-being.
The food we eat ultimately determines how efficiently our entire body system works, with digestion being the body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders that cause disease. The digestive system is also responsible for supplying cells with the nutrients and compounds that they need. There are many factors that contribute to digestive disorder including overeating cooked food and not enough raw foods, constipation, wrong combination of food, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and sweets, white flour products, stress, any imbalance in the body, lack of hydrochloric acid and enzymes, Candida overgrowth, colon and liver congestion, allergies, hiatal hernia, gallbladder problems, ulcers, and heart problems.
Americans usually cause the most harm to themselves because of the types and amounts of food that they eat. In order to break down food, the body uses hydrochloric acid that is found in the stomach. This acid is actually strong enough to dissolve metal and is used in the stomach to neutralize the inappropriate substances, toxins, and bacteria that enter the body through the food that we eat daily. On occasion, the stomach and the acid inside breaks down and digestive malfunctions result.
There are many nutrients that are recommended to assist in proper digestion. Digestive enzymes are critical for digestion of any food, with acidophilus being important for proper bowel function. Hydrochloric acid is crucial for the assimilation of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and calcium. B-complex vitamins promote a healthy digestive tract and assist enzymes in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Sodium, which is stored in the stomach wall and joints, neutralizes the acidity in the body and is needed when there is a deficiency of hydrochloric acid.
With out hydrochloric acid in the stomach, calcium, an essential mineral can not break down and is not properly absorbed in the stomach. Fiber, essential for proper digestion and elimination of food, reduces the absorption of fat, inhibits bad estrogens from absorbing into the bloodstream, and helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Additionally herbal aids such as capsicum, garlic, gentian, ginger, goldenseal, licorice, papaya, and Psyllium powder are great for assisting with digestion. Taking a good digestive enzyme is the first step to promoting a healthy digestive system and properly function colon. As we age, digestive functions will decline which causes disorders such as fatigue due to mal-absorption. Those over 50 should take a digestive aid on their heaviest meal to ensure that proper digestion is happening and good health will continued free form disease.
What Is Fiber?
July 21, 2008 02:56 PM
Fiber often has been called roughage, as it technically is a food component that is undigested and processed through the gastrointestinal tract. Since it readily absorbs water, it helps to add to the bulk that is required in order to form a good bowel movement. Fiber is often described as a complex carbohydrate, which consists of the polysaccharide and lignin substance that often gives structure to the cell of a plant and is the portion of plant food that is not digested.
Fiber which is insoluble has the capability of passing through the intestines intact and unchanged. Unlike fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, fiber does not give the body nutrients or fuel for energy, and has no caloric value. Dietary fiber can only be found in plant components including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Primarily, there are only two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, with some foods containing both types.
Soluble fiber is eventually digested in the large intestine, causing it to have limited bulking power. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and have often been linked to helping prevent blood sugar highs and lows, helping to lower blood cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping to control high blood pressure, and encouraging friendly bacteria growth. Soluble fiber can be found in pectin, lignin, gums, mucilages, and other sources such as Psyllium, beans, apples, pears, and oat bran.
Soluble fiber doesn’t usually seem like fiber. It is digestible and, when broken down, it creates a gel as it absorbs water in the intestinal tract. It does not bulk the stool to the extent of insoluble fiber, but it does slow down the rate at which food is digested. Soluble fiber is found in vegetables, particularly onions, bulbs, leeks, and asparagus, and also fruits, including dried varieties.
Insoluble fiber remains undigested for the most part and promotes a faster stool transit time. Insoluble fiber can keep the bowel clean and operative and also help to bind dangerous toxins and hormones in order to promote better excretion. Insoluble fiber also fosters regularity in the body, contributes to better digestion, prevents constipation, and helps to lower the risk of bowel disease.
Insoluble fiber is primarily composed of cellulose and hemicelulose. Cellulose is a non-digestible form of fiber, found in outer portions of vegetables and fruits. Bran or seed covering of whole grains is another type of insoluble fiber. Hemicellulose fibers remain unchanged and absorb water as they travel the digestive tract. They increase stool bulk and transit time, preventing constipation and conditions like hemorrhoids. Stalks, stems, peels, and fruit and vegetable skins are all made up of insoluble fiber. However, the insoluble fiber content of fruits is actually found in its flesh and stringy membranes, rather than its peelings.
The average person needs a good variety of foods that contribute to at least 35 grams of dietary fiber in our diet daily. Most foods contain both types of fiber, but the ones that are most fiber rich are not usually the ones that we commonly eat. Whole grain cereal, raw fruits and vegetables, split peas, beans, lentils, millet, and barley are the best sources of fiber. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that most of us only get 9 grams of fiber each day, if we are lucky.
Finally, fiber has the ability to increase fecal bulk by retaining water, decrease stool transit time, keep blood sugar levels more stable, lower blood serum and liver cholesterol, help prevent weight gain by slowing the rate of digestion and absorption and controlling hunger, expediting the removal of dangerous toxins, binding with bile salts to help decrease the risk of gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer, and creating the presence of healthier intestinal bacteria.
Beyond Bran Fiber
December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.
Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.
Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, Psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.
Flax seed and Psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.
It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
The Stomach And Intestinal Tract Go Hand In Hand For A Healthy Life
October 22, 2007 02:27 PM
Are you plagued with stomach cramps, pain in your abdomen, reoccurring heart burn, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation? I certainly have experienced each one of these through my own life and I am sure you may have too. These symptoms plague everyone at one point or another in their lifetime and are related to good digestion. Good digestion includes both the stomach and our gastrointestinal tract (GIT).
Our GIT is over 30 feet in length which processes food and nutrients, including the vitamin supplement regimen you take on a daily basis. As you grow older your digestive system begins to work less efficiently. Most people in their middle and later years can benefit from taking some form of digestive enzyme.
Our bodies react differently to different foods, for example, our bodies react to some foods by producing gas. If you have a problem with gas, it may be because your body is having trouble digesting these foods we eat. The following list may be some source foods to try avoiding.
However, if you can’t live without your favourite fruit (apples) or corn and dairy products, try taking two Plant enzyme capsules at the beginning of each meal. A more serious GIT problem can lead to what is called irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that is characterized by abdominal pain, intestinal gas and diarrhoea, constipation or both. The watch list of foods to stay away from includes the list above as well as eliminating wheat, coffee, tea, citrus fruits, potatoes, additives, preservatives and white sugar. Though you may find yourself having to deal with a gastro irritation it is important to consider (i) what you eat (i.e. the food combinations one employs) and (ii) supplementing your diet to help your body digest food (i.e. taking two Super Enzyme capsules before each meal).
Constipation can become a chronic problem if it is not taken seriously. Steps should be taken as soon as possible correct constipation. Constipation is toxic, and according to the Harvard Health Letter, constipation is responsible for 2.5 million visits to the doctor and gives reason for the $400 million dollars spent on laxatives each year. To begin finding relief and recovery from constipation problems, start by watching your diet and its relation to the pattern of consistency in your stool and the ease of evacuation (ease of bowel movement). To help facilitate a consistent and frequent bowel movement try taking before bedtime one tablespoon of apple Psyllium powder mixed with one packet of Effer-C dissolved in a large glass of water. Also, a lack of water in the diet can cause constipation. If a lack of water is the problem, drinking 1 gallon of water each day can help. Some may think that it is impossible to drink 1 gallon of water each day, but in fact it is relatively easy to do so. Keep a glass of water by your desk all day long at work taking sips every 15 – 30 minutes can help you get the needed water your body needs to cleanse its self effectively.
Digestive enzymes contain nutrients that feed friendly bacteria which are involved in cholesterol production, regulating energy, activating immunity, repairing cell damage, and elevating constipation. Therefore, it is imperative to stimulate the growth of these friendly micro-organisms. Adding a good probiotic to promote a healthy balance of intestinal flora, and regulate various digestive processes that are going on in your body can improve digestion and assimilation and restore the balance of normal intestinal function.
March 08, 2007 05:07 PM
Kelp, ground Psyllium seeds, guava, pears, blackberries, loganberries, raspberries, aloe vera, echinacea, boswellia, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, peas, green beans, okra, cabbage, and corn.
The Benefits of Colon Cleanse
December 01, 2006 04:29 PM
There are many substances that can wreak havoc on your body. A healthy body has the natural ability to eliminate toxins that we are exposed to everyday—and the colon is one of the primary organs involved in the body’s detoxification process.
But when this internal detoxification process breaks down, toxins circulate into your bloodstream instead of being eliminated through the colon. This can lead to a range of health challenges. Colon cleansing then becomes one of the most important steps you can take.
The Benefits of Colon Cleanse
Health Plus Colon Cleanse is an excellent source of soluble fiber from Psyllium husk. Fiber is essential for intestinal health and keeping the body functioning properly. It takes the digestive tract from being clogged up with waste and toxins and keeps the colon clean. It also helps to support healthy flora in the intestine.
The soluble fiber in Colon Cleanse can also help to support cholesterol levels already in the normal range. Cholesterol attaches itself to fiber and is carried out of the body with solid waste matter. A serving of colon cleanse supplies 5 grams of the 7 grams of soluble fiber necessary per day to have this effect.
Health Plus Colon Cleans is on sale today. Stock up now!
Spring Cleaning with these botanical cleansers
February 27, 2006 03:20 PM
Botanical Cleansers for Spring
The use of botanical cleansers and purifiers in spring has long been a cornerstone of natural health care. This seasonal cleansing helped clear the body of the toxins thought to accumulate over the long winter.
Herbal cleansing is still a vital aspect of a natural health care program. Planetary herbals this month features four key products for herbal cleansing.
A Comprehensive Approach to Seasonal Cleansing
Together, these formulas provide a comprehensive approach for a seasonal internal cleansing program.
Rx-Fiberific formulas from Natures Plus
December 28, 2005 12:51 PM
Psyllium Husk Fiber Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:28 PM
Psyllium Husk Fiber Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/1/05
LIKELY USERS: People with cholesterol or cardiovascular concerns.1-2 People wanting to increase fiber in their diet3-9
KEY INGREDIENTS: Psyllium Husk Powder, natural flavor
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Psyllium is a true dietary fiber, even though it is classified by some as a laxative or mucilaginous fiber, and is a convenient way to increase intake of dietary fiber because of its high mucilage content. This bulking agent swells considerably when added to liquid, which can help to increase gastrointestinal transit time. This bulking action and increased transit time can play an important role in maintaining healthy gastrointestinal function.3-9 The FDA allows a health claim for products like Psyllium husk that provide significant amounts of soluble fiber: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 1.7 grams of soluble fiber per day from Psyllium husk may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of NOW Psyllium Husk Fiber - Orange Flavored provides 2 grams of this soluble fiber.1-2
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: This product has been tested by an independent laboratory to assay the fiber content. This is a vegetarian/vegan product.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, mix 1 heaping teaspoon into at least 12 oz. of water or juice and consume immediately. Be sure to drink plenty of additional fluids throughout the day. Start with smaller amounts and gradually increase over several weeks.
For GI tract: Triphala, Detox Support, Probiotics, FOS, and healthy oils (fish, flax, olive, virgin coconut, virgin macadamia)
For cardiovascular health: Hawthorn extract, Tru-E Bio Complex (new September 2005), Heart Support, Heart Renew, Cholesterol Support, Cholestatin, Policosanol. Red Yeast Rice CAUTIONS: None.
SPECIFIC: Do not use if you have a bowel obstruction or an ulcer. If you have chronic constipation, diabetes or are obese a physician should monitor the use of this dietary supplement. Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. This dietary supplement may cause gastrointestinal pain, flatulence and abdominal pain. Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.
NOTICE: This food should be eaten with at least a full glass of liquid. Eating this product without enough liquid may cause choking. Do not eat this product if your have difficulty in swallowing.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. [Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 21, Volume 2] [Revised as of April 1, 2002]
Triphala Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:09 PM
Triphala Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USES: Antioxidant Colon Cleansing, Detoxifying, Digestive, Liver and bile health
KEY INGREDIENTS: Triphala 500 mg, in a combination of fruit powders and extracts
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Triphala is a combination of three fruits (Harada, Amla, and Behada) that has been used in Ayurvedic herbalism for thousands of years. Triphala's historical use as a digestive cleanser and tonifier has been backed up with numerous modern scientific studies demonstrating the positive effects of its component herbs on the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, Triphala has been shown to be a potent antioxidant, protecting cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. May help to dispel worms. Mild-acting internal cleansing; supports liver and gastrointestinal function
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOW offers the first - and only - Triphala supplement to combine the fruit powders (400 mg) with the extracts (100 mg) of the fruits (doses given per tablet, there are three tablets per serving). Authorities like Dr. Andrew Weil consider Triphala to be a superior bowel tonic, rather than a laxative, with its benefits increasing over time. Laxatives typically are habit-forming and do not enhance normal body elimination of wastes; this is not the case with (moderate doses of) Triphala. This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in tablet form.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every three tablets provide 1,200 mg. (1.2 gram) Triphala powder and 300 mg. (0.30 gram) Triphala extract. Both the powder and the extract provide the three fruits in equal ratios, by weight. Take one to three servings per day, between meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Fiber sources (Psyllium, pectin, etc.), Detox Support, Plant Enzymes, Virgin Coconut Oil, Dr. Verghese Liver Formula, Bentonite Powder, Probiotics (GR-8 Dophilus, 4x6 Acidophilus, etc.), Electrolytes (minerals) CAUTIONS: none
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: Contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation; avoid during menstruation; not appropriate for the very young or very old or the convalescent.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
REFERENCES: Abraham S, Kumar MS, Sehgal PK, Nitish S, Jayakumar ND. Evaluation of the inhibitory effect of triphala on PMN-type matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9). J Periodontol. 2005 Apr;76(4):497-502. PMID: 15857087 Al-Rehaily AJ, Al-Howiriny TA, Al-sohaiani MO, Rafatullah S. (2002) Gastroprotective effects of 'Amla" Emblica officinalis on in vivo test models in rats. Phytomedicine 9(6):515-522.
Arora S, Kaur K, Kaur S. Indian medicinal plants as a reservoir of protective phytochemicals. Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 2003;Suppl 1:295-300. PMID: 12616620 Jagetia GC, Baliga MS, Malagi KJ, Sethukumar Kamath M. The evaluation of the radioprotective effect of Triphala (an ayurvedic rejuvenating drug) in the mice exposed to gamma-radiation. Phytomedicine. 2002 Mar;9(2):99-108. PMID: 11995956 Jagetia GC, Malagi KJ, Baliga MS, Venkatesh P, Veruva RR (2003) Triphala, an Ayurvedic Rasayana Drug, Protects Mice Against Radiation-Induced Lethality by Free-Radical Scavenging. J Alt Complement Med 10(6):971-978. Jagetia GC, Rao Sk,, Baliga MS, Babu K (2004) The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain herbal formulations in vitro: a preliminary study. Phytother Res 18(7):561-565.
Kaur S, Michael H, Arora S, Harkonen PL, Kumar S. The in vitro cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of Triphala--an Indian herbal drug. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 10;97(1):15-20. Epub 2004 Dec 25. PMID: 15652269 Kaur S, Arora S, Kaur K, Kumar S. The in vitro antimutagenic activity of Triphala--an Indian herbal drug. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Apr;40(4):527-34. PMID: 11893411 Sabu MC, Kuttan R (2002) Anti-diabetic activity of medicinal plants and its relationship with their antioxidant property. J Ethnopharmacol 81:155-160. Sairam K, Rao CV, Dora M, Babu K, Kumar V, Agrawal VK, Goel RK (2002) Antiulcerogenic effect of methanolic extract of Emblica Officinals: an experimental study. J Ethnopharmacol 82:1-9. Sandhya T, Lathika KM, Pandey BN, Mishra KP. Potential of traditional ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, as a novel anticancer drug. Cancer Lett. 2005 May 14; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 15899544 Tamhane MD, Thorat SP, Rege NN, Dahanukar SA (1997) Effect of oral administration of Terminalia chebula on gastric emptying: an Experimental study. J Postgrad Med 43(1):12-13. Vani T, Rajani M, Sarkar S, and Shishoo CJ. Antioxidant Properties of the Ayurvedic Formulation Triphala and its Constituents. International Journal of Pharmacognosy Vol 35, No. 5, 1997:313-3
July 12, 2005 09:48 AM
NOTE: Most health food stores stock this herb under the name of Milk Thistle, however, it may also be found as Thisilyn, Silymarin or Silybum
STORAGE: Keep in a dark container in a cool, dry environment.
RECOMMENDED USAGE: Because Silymarin is not very water soluble, decoctions are not as effective as extracts and powder forms of Milk Thistle. The advantages of bound silymarin should be investigated. Obtaining the best results with Milk Thistle depends on taking higher dosages three times daily before meals. For bound silymarin, dosages are less. In cases where poisoning or alcoholism is severe, dosages may be increased without toxicity, side effects or allergic reactions. Alcohol based extracts are not recommended. The best forms of Milk Thistle are guaranteed to contain 80% silymarin.
NOTE: A new form of silymarin has recently become available, which may be even more absorbable than other types. It is silymarin that has been bound to phosphatidycholine. Apparently this binding makes silymarin compounds more clinically effective in the body.
SAFETY: No contraindications are associated with this herb even in substantial dosages. Milk Thistle has been extensively used in Europe and numerous studies have shown very little if no toxicity. Taking silymarin can p roduce looser stools, although the effect is not that common. At high dosages, it may be desireable to add a source of fiber to the diet to prevent loose stools or digestive tract irritation. Suggested fibers include: Psyllium, oat bran or pectin. Long term use of Milk Thistle poses no problem because of its non-toxicity. The long-term safety and advisability of the use of Milk Thistle extracts in pregnant or nursing women has not been established.
Digest Active - For Occasional Indigestion
June 29, 2005 02:39 PM
It feels great when you’ve eaten well and your body has been energized with nutrients. But with your busy schedule, you might not always be able to eat well, and your body might not have the time or energy to properly digest your meals. The result: occasional indigestion and low energy because your food doesn’t get broken down enough to release the energizing nutrients you need. And poor digestion can lead to long-term health imbalances. To reclaim the energy from your nutrients, Source Naturals, the science company, introduces DIGESTACTIV, a Bio-Aligned Formula™ designed to work with your body to stimulate optimal digestion. DIGESTACTIV contains the high potency, broad-spectrum blend of digestive enzymes found in our best-selling ESSENTIAL ENZYMES™, plus digestion-stimulating ingredients such as bromelain, papain and ginger. When you want digestive stimulation along with the nutrient releasing power of ESSENTIAL ENZYMES for occasional indigestion, take DIGESTACTIVE.
Bio-Aligned™ Digestive Support
DIGESTACTIV™ is scientifically formulated to support the body systems involved in healthy digestion. There are herbs and other ingredients to promote the digestive stimulant system and enzymes to promote the digestive systems for releasing nutrients from food. These ingredients work together to optimize the amount of energizing nutrients you can assimilate from your meals and to relieve occasional indigestion, occasional constipation, sour stomach, bloating and gas.
Digestive Stimulant System
DIGESTACTIV contains many ingredients that help stimulate your digestive process to promote healthy nutrient accessibility. Betaine HCl (hydrochloric acid) supports the acidic environment needed in your stomach to digest food. The bitter herbs gentian, ginger, peppermint and quassia all stimulate the appetite and the gastric juices needed for digestion. Bioperine® is a pepper extract that increases thermogenic, or heat generating reactions in the gastro-intestinal tract, which facilitates enhanced bioavailability of nutrients.
Nutrient Digestion Systems
DIGESTACTIV also contains enzymes that work throughout the varying sections and pH (or acidity) levels of your digestive system. For the carbohydrate digestive system, there are amylase, amyloglucosidase and lactase. Amylase and amyloglucosidase convert starch into smaller, simpler sugars. Lactase breaks down the milk sugar lactose, which many adults are unable to digest. For the protein digestive system, there are acid stable protease and vegetarian pancreatin to promote protein digestion in a wide range of pH levels. Additional protein digestion support comes from the pineapple enzyme bromelain, the papaya enzyme papain, and betaine HCl, which promotes the acidity level needed to denature proteins for digestion of their building blocks, amino acids. For the fat digestive system, there is lipase to promote the healthy breakdown of fats, or triglycerides, into their nutrient building blocks, fatty acids and glycerol.
For the fiber digestive system, there are cellulase and hemicellulase to break down the sturdy cell walls in fibrous plants, thereby releasing more nutrients for digestion.
DIGESTACTIV contains all the key ingredients found in the best-selling ESSENTIAL ENZYMES™. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES is a popular product because it addresses body systems in addition to symptoms* of digestive imbalance. And it works. Increasing the breakdown of nutrients in the digestive system results in fewer digestive symptoms* as well as better nutrient availability. And DIGESTACTIV has added enzymes and herbs to promote digestive stimulation for relief of occasional indigestion. Source Naturals is pleased to partner with your local health food store to bring you the unique health benefits of DIGESTACTIV. There is a revolution underway in how we think about and maintain our health, and natural food stores and outlets are at the forefront. You can benefit right now—long before word spreads to the general public—with the innovative nutrition of Source Naturals DIGESTACTIVE.
Health Strategies for Digestive Wellness
DigestActiv™ is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ Multi-System Support for Occasional Indigestion
Carbohydrate Digestive System: Amylase, Amyloglucosidase, Lactase
Protein Digestive System: Vegetal Analog of Pancreatin, Acid Stable Protease, Bromelain, Papain, Betaine HCl
Fat Digestive System: Lipase
Digestive Stimulant System: Betaine HCl, Bioperine®, Gentian Root, Ginger, Peppermint, Quassia
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
June 25, 2005 08:10 PM
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1 . Chit osan Provides a Realist ic Approach t o Fat and Fiber Int ake.
Low-fat, high-fiber advocates have recommended a diet that is calorically fueled between 10 and 20 percent fat and includes 35 to 45 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, most of us, no matter how good our intentions are, will not be able to sustain this type of diet. Therefore, if we are going to face facts, a diet that reduces fat to 20-30 percent of the total caloric value and increases fiber to 20-30 grams/day is much more realistic and will help significantly in controlling weight, avoiding artery disease and promoting good colon health. Taking Chitosan prior to eating a meal can make dietary fat goals much more attainable while promoting a number of desirable health benefits. Because obesity ranks among the top ten diseases (which, by the way, are almost all related to obesity), the availability of a safe, health-promoting fat binder is desirable.
Weight control needs to be realistic and effective. Workable weight loss programs are few and far between and usually involve a life style that many of us can never incorporate. While Chitosan is not a panacea for maintaining our youthful figures, it could be a very powerful dietary complement, facilitating what might otherwise be unattainable. Lowering the amount of dietary fats we eat, exercising more, and making sure we get enough fiber seems to be the winning combination for health and longevity. Chitosan is a valuable tool to use in attaining optimal nutrition and robust health.
2 . Chitosan Is an Effective Fat Binder.
While all the previously mentioned properties of Chitosan are notable, its extraordinary ability to bind fats promises to be its most valuable asset. To reiterate, getting rid of fat after it has been stored as adipose tissue is much more difficult than neutralizing its effects before it enters the blood stream. Chitosan accomplishes this formidable task by converting fat into a form that the body does not absorb and subsequently expels.
Any of us who occasionally eat southern fried chicken, a Big Mac, or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while can profoundly benefit from the fat binding action of Chitosan. As a fat binder, Chitosan can significantly reduce the amount of fat that enters our blood stream. Consider the possibilities. The foods mentioned above are full of excess fat grams. If you take four capsules (1 gram) of Chitosan with ascorbic acid, which is generally recommended, the fat content of that food is dramatically lowered.
Remember the discussion on how the liver has to deal with excess fat?
Chitosan decreases the liver’s work load which lightens the stress put on other body organs by the presence of excess fat. In other words, Chitosan eases the metabolic processes that kick in after we eat excess fat. As far as our metabolic processes know, those fat grams may as well never have existed. 4 . Why Chit osan Is Called t he Fiber of t he Fut ure. After years of fiber “hyping” most of us are well aware of the profound benefits that fiber has for human health and longevity. Fiber is considered a dieter’s best friend. It has also been linked to slower rises in blood glucose which also profoundly affects how we store excess calories and when we feel hungry. Most fibers are hydrophilic which means they repel fat and attract water. Psyllium, for example, is used for its bulk forming action. This type of fiber absorbs water and is easily passed through the intestine, helping to maintain a normal bowel function.
Chitosan is different. While it possesses many of the same benefits as plant fibers like Psyllium, Chitosan is “lipophilic” meaning that it “loves fat” It is a positively charged fiber that binds to negatively charged fatty acids. A fiber that attracts fat is unique to say the least.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of Psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
Thanks for the Memory
June 11, 2005 03:49 PM
Thanks for the Memory by Estelle Sobel , February 6, 2002
Thanks for the Memory By Estelle Sobel
"I feel like every day, I lose my memory more and more. It started when I couldn't find my car keys, sometimes I forget directions. My mother has Alzheimer's so I'm concerned," says Jerry Solowitz, a 63 year old man.
Ellen Lerner, 37, sometimes worries that she can't keep track of everything in her job as a public relations executive. "I feel like stress can get to me easily, and I worry because I forget simple things like where I put a file."
Should these people be concerned?
"Yes," says Lynda Toth, Ph.D., co-author with Pavel Yutsis, M.D., of Why Can't I Remember? Reversing Memory Loss (Avery, 1999).
Jerry should start a specific program with a health practitioner who specializes in memory loss, due to lots of unsuspected new causes for memory dysfunction. Ellen needs to make lifestyle changes, as stress can definitely lead to memory loss.
"Cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones, can be harmful because it keeps calcium in the memory pathway too long and destroys the neurons, which is very damaging to the brain," notes Toth.
Why Does Memory Fail?
Memory fails for several reasons, says Augustine DiGiovanna, M.D., author of Human Aging: Biological Perspectives, (McGraw-Hill 2000), and Professor of Biology at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, MD.
Normal Aging: Much of diminished memory as we age is due to reduced blood flow to the brain from atherosclerosis, which is hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Decreased blood flow causes neurons to shrink and function less effectively.
Also, as we age we lose neurons and neuron connections that can lead to memory loss. So the way people think, how much they remember, and the mental activities they do determine how many brain cells survive through the years.
Finally, as people live longer, the chance is greater that the body's immune system and other defense mechanisms won't be able to protect against certain diseases that affect the brain and memory (Parkinson's, strokes, Alzheimers, atherosclerosis).
A Starving Brain: The brain is not getting fed the nutrients it needs (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose). Without the right "food" the brain's energy levels become lowered and stop powering the memory cells. Then, free radicals can do more dirty work and continue to rust memory cells.
Drink And Sink: Alcohol passes through the blood-brain barrier and slows down the processing of information between memory neurons. Memory loss increases over time, as memory tissues shrink.
Sad Stories: Depression can imbalance the neurotransmitters and electrical charges of neurons.
Tense and Tight: High blood pressure can constrict and narrow blood vessels, limiting blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
One way to boost brain power is to take the right supplements.
Ginkgo biloba: The powerful medicinal herb ginkgo biloba increases blood flow and circulation to the head by dilating blood vessels in the brain, allowing more oxygenated blood to get to the neurons. It also protects against free radical damage.
Research: Ginkgo biloba extract displayed a significant effect on helping the mental abilities of people 50-59 years old (Phytotherapy Research 13, 1999: 408-415).
Pregnenolone: This powerful hormone regulates the balance between excitation and inhibition in the nervous system and helps enhance memory and brain function, possibly by repairing a fatty substance that is part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells. Research: A St. Louis University School of Medicine study on mice showed that pregnenolone enhanced memory and helped mice to navigate mazes better.
Huperzine A: This herbal supplement is derived from club moss found in China; in purified form it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that you need for memory.
Research: Studies conducted by Alan Mazurek, M.D., found that huperzine A in purified form improves memory, enhances focus and concentration and has been used to improve memory loss in Alzheimer's patients (Alt. Ther. in Health Med. 5 , March 1999: 97-98).
Another study in The Journal of Neuroscience Research showed that huperzine A is a potent inhibitor of cholinesterase, which penetrates the brain and produces a dose-dependent increase of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine in rat cortex (41, 1995: 828-835).
Phosphatidylserine (PS): This substance, which occurs naturally in nerve cell membranes, helps keep fatty substances soluble and cell membranes fluid and helps reduce levels of cortisone which are damaging to tissues.
Research: Phosphatidylserine encourages a sense of calm by raising the levels of alpha brain waves and increasing the production of acetylcholine (Neuropsychobiology 24, 1990-1991: 42-48).
Vitamin E: This potent antioxidant attaches to bad cholesterol and helps prevent free radical damage to cells.
Research: Age-related processes like memory function and problem solving can be affected by free radical damage. Several studies show that vitamin E might slow the effects of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (JAMA 282, August 18, 1999: 621). Acetyl-l-carnitine: Increases cognitive performance because it rejuvenates cellular membranes of mitochondria, the storehouses of energy contained in every living cell.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Preserves memory tissue by increasing glutathione levels, which protect fat stores in neurons from being damaged.
Nine Ways to Remember
Dr. Lynda Toth suggests the following ways to make the most of what you've now got.
1) Power Up Your Smile. Remove dental fillings and replace them with porcelain or ceramic ones. The mercury in metal fillings may be harmful (some believe) and can affect the brain and nervous system, inflaming memory tissue and preventing the entry of nutrients into the cells.
2) Don't Be a Tin Man/Woman Avoid exposure to aluminum. Don't use aluminum pots to cook in. Aluminum accumulates in memory tissue, damaging cells. In fact, autopsies of Alzheimers patients show they have unusually huge amounts of aluminum in the brain. But no one knows where this aluminum comes from.
3) Eat Right. Eat organic and pesticide-free foods. Pesticides get into the cells and can damage DNA.
4) A Matter of Taste. Avoid foods with artificial coloring, monosodium glutamate (MSG, often called "natural flavors" or "natural seasoning"). Also avoid processed foods with taste enhancers called exito toxins such as l-cysteine and aspartic acid.
5) In the Raw. Make sure that your diet consists of enzyme-rich 50% raw foods (fruits and vegetables) to feed the brain. Eat less animal fats.
* Drink green juices to support levels of the brain's clean-up enzymes.
*Eat lots of fiber, which helps remove toxins from the body. Pick up Psyllium fiber.
*Limit intake of processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol to lessen the load on the liver and pancreas.
6) Cut Bait. Watch the fish that you eat. Lots of ocean and inland-caught fish are contaminated with mercury. Go for deep, cold water fish such as cod. Avoid shark and swordfish.
7). Oil Up. Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, such as cod liver oil or flaxseed oil. These fats lubricate memory cells.
8) Work That Body. Stay fit and exercise. Exercise helps oxygenate the body, reduces cholesterol, and builds and energizes new memory cells which reduces wear and tear on the brain function.
9) Do Mind Games. Read, listen to music. Tune into different radio stations than the ones you normally listen to. Do crossword puzzles and a wide selection of word games which can stretch your brain and give it a tough workout.
Student of Life
You need to keep learning your whole life to keep your brain and memory in tip top shape. The brain is adaptable, and you are always building new neurons, says Dr. Toth, which means that there is no limit to how long it can develop. Anything that stimulates the brain will help it to grow. That's why as you get older it's even more important to take classes, start a new hobby, travel. In fact, the challenge of learning and doing new things (without stopping in a fit of frustration) causes your brain to grow, says Dr. Mazurek.
The Good News
As people get older, their brains may actually improve and repair themselves through a complicated process that is designed to eliminate faulty neurons that are prone to making mistakes. At the same time, brain activity goes on that results in the development of new and improved connections with neighboring neurons.
Research also shows that memory improves if you train people to have faith in themselves. (The brain helps those who help themselves.) Apparently, a confident perspective can encourage the brain to actually improve to the point where its new-found abilities may increase to the point where it fulfills expectations.
So keep your chin up and stay away from the artery-clogging saturated fat that can cut off the brain's blood supply. It's all in the attitude, says Dr. DiGiovanna. And, of course, the key to a long and happy life with your brain is also on the end of your fork and in that bottle of supplements.
Estelle Sobel, is the co-author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age (Adams Media, May 2000).
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.
Gluco Sciense - Take Control of your Blood Sugar ...
June 02, 2005 10:51 AM
Sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and sugar-rich diets are prevalent in our society. The result: challenges to your multiple, interdependent body systems involved with blood sugar levels and insulin activity. Now is the time to learn how a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. For further support, Source Naturals offers you GLUCO-SCIENCE™, a breakthrough formula. GLUCO-SCIENCE is uniquely effective because it is a Bio-Aligned Formula™. Source Naturals evaluates the underlying causes of system imbalances. Then we design formulas that provide targeted nutrition to bring your interrelated body systems back into balance. GLUCO-SCIENCE can help bring your body’s systems for carbohydrate metabolism back into alignment.
A Bio-Aligned Formula™
GLUCO-SCIENCE is a comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula, based on the newest clinical research into key herbs and special ingredients. Source Naturals studied the scientific research, and then designed GLUCO-SCIENCE. This Bio- Aligned Formula provides targeted nutrition to five different body systems involved with healthy blood sugar levels and insulin activity.
GLUCO-SCIENCE supports glucose/carbohydrate metabolism with a range of nutrients. B-vitamins are required for glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, the metabolic pathways by which the body converts glucose into cellular energy. Chromium is believed to work closely with insulin to facilitate the uptake of glucose into cells. Manganese is also involved in glucose uptake. The formula also features herbs from several traditions, such as Gymnema sylvestre.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels after meals. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells to provide fuel for cellular energy. Certain nutrients (see chart) support these vital metabolic processes, including mediation of insulin release and activity, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. N-acetyl cysteine protects pancreatic beta cells from oxidative damage in animal studies. In addition, vanadium, zinc, and selenium are notable for their insulin-like actions.
Heart and Circulatory System
Vitamin E supports a healthy lipid status, while myricetin has been shown in animal studies to influence triglyceride levels. Gymnema sylvestre and vitamin C are involved with lipid metabolism. Additional heart-healthy ingredients include CoQ10, garlic, fenugreek, and hawthorn.
Antioxidants are important for a healthy nervous system. Lipoic acid helps prevent lipid peroxidation, which can impact nerve function. Many B-vitamins are vital to the metabolic processes of the nerves or are present in the phospholipids of cell membranes. Methylcobalamin, an active form of vitamin B-12, supports the central nervous system. Other supportive ingredients are included (see chart).
GLUCO-SCIENCE provides antioxidants, nutrients and herbs with an affinity for eyes and the physiological processes involved in sight. Alpha-lipoic acid, quercetin, and vitamin C support healthy lens function. Bilberry, shown to support microcirculation in animal studies, is widely recognized for supporting vision.
Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels: A Strategy for WellnessSM
Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar levels with Gluco-sciense.
Glucose/Carbohydrate Metabolism American Ginseng, Bitter Melon, Blueberry, Fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre, Maitake, Myricetin, Pterocarpus marsupium, Chromium, Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6 & B-12, Biotin, Inositol, Niacinamide Insulin/Pancreatic Activity alpha-Lipoic Acid, Bitter Melon, Gymnema sylvestre, Maitake Fruit Body, Myricetin, N-acetyl-L-Cysteine, Pterocarpus marsupium, Taurine, Chromium, Manganese, Selenium, Vanadium, Zinc Heart and Circulatory System Bilberry, Blueberry, CoQ10, Fenugreek, Garlic, Grape Seed, Gymnema sylvestre, Hawthorn, Myricetin, Taurine, Siberian Ginseng, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamins B-6, C & E, Folic Acid, Niacinamide Nervous System alpha-Lipoic acid, Glutamine, Magnesium, Taurine, Vitamins B-1 & B-6, Biotin, Choline, Inositol, Methylcobalamin Vision alpha-Lipoic Acid, Bilberry, Quercetin, Taurine, Zinc, Vitamins B-6, C & E
Essential Enzymes - to support the digestive tract...
June 02, 2005 09:26 AM
ESSENTIAL ENZYMES™ is one of Source Naturals’ most popular formulas—customers buy it again and again. Why? ESSENTIAL ENZYMES is uniquely effective because it addresses systems, not just symptoms*. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that goes deep to the root cause of digestive imbalances and assists you in getting more of the nutritional value of the food you eat. It is expertly designed to support your systems for digestion of multiple food groups: carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber. Also available in vegetarian capsules.
A Bio-Aligned Formula™
ESSENTIAL ENZYMES is designed to bring alignment to the multiple, interconnected systems that influence digestion. The formula includes food grade enzymes that function in a range of different pH (acidity) levels found in the digestive tract. As a result, different enzymes are available to break down food molecules in the various stages of digestion.
Carbohydrate Digestive System
The first step in digestion occurs in the mouth, where the digestion of carbohydrates is initiated. Amylase, the enzyme contained in saliva, converts starch (a form of carbohydrate) into simpler sugars. This process is completed when the pancreas secretes more amylase into the small intestine. Lactase supports the breakdown of lactose (sugar from milk) that many populations are unable to digest. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES supports carbohydrate digestion with lactase, to break down milk sugar, and amylase and amyloglucosidase to break down starch.
Protein Digestive System
In the stomach, food is broken down further by churning and by the action of the gastric juice, which contains pepsin and hydrochloric acid. Pepsin, a protease enzyme that depends on the highly acidic (pH 1.5 to 2.5) environment of the stomach for functioning, begins the process of breaking down protein into peptides and amino acids. The food, at this stage called “chyme,” then continues on to the alkaline (pH 7.0 to 8.0) environment of the small intestine, where the intestinal and pancreatic proteases complete protein digestion. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES supports protein digestion with two forms of protease enzymes, acid-stable protease and vegetal analog of pancreatin.
Fat Digestive System
Fat digestion occurs in the initial section of the small intestine. The liver produces bile salts and acids, and stores them in the gall bladder. Bile emulsifies fats, breaking them apart into droplets. In this form they can be attacked by the pancreatic enzyme called lipase that helps break down fat into glycerides and fatty acids. Bile and pancreatic fluid together neutralize stomach acid, which is essential because the intestinal enzymes function only at a pH of 7 to 8. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES supports fat digestion with the enzyme lipase.
Fiber Digestive System
Fiber—found in foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables—provides bulk to enable the large intestine to work effectively. It also helps regulate the nutrient absorption in the small intestine. The breakdown of certain fibers may add further benefit. Cellulase and hemicellulase break down plant cell walls in fibrous foods, thereby making available nutrients within these cells. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES supports fiber digestion with the enzymes cellulase and hemicellulase.
Strategies for Wellness (SM)
Healthy Digestion Plan Simple nutritional choices and lifestyle patterns are important to your strategy for digestive health.
Essential Enzymes is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ Multi-System Support for Digestion Carbohydrate Digestive System Amylase, Amyloglucosidase, Lactase Protein Digestive System Acid Stable Protease, Vegetal Analog of Pancreatin (Protease) Fat Digestive System Lipase Fiber Digestive System Cellulase, Hemicellulase
Cholestrex - Lower Cholesterol with Source Naturals Supplements
June 01, 2005 10:41 AM
Our lives depend on an uninterrupted flow of blood throughout the 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries that bring vital nourishment to our cells. Our bodies have complex chemical strategies to maintain and repair blood vessel walls. Cholesterol is an important part of the process. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can have serious consequences for our well-being. By understanding how nutrition affects blood cholesterol, we can gain valuable control of our health. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX has been formulated to provide the nutritional support that we need to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
SINCE DOCTORS FIRST DISCOVERED that cholesterol was the primary ingredient in the sticky deposits that clogged their patients’ arteries, scientists have gained a thorough understanding of cholesterol’s role in our health. Essential to human and animal life, cholesterol is part of every cell in the body. Because cholesterol is so important, the liver synthesizes from 1 to 2 grams of it each day. In addition, we get about another 500 mg from the foods we eat. Problems occur when too much cholesterol gets into the bloodstream. Today, it’s estimated that over 50 million adults in the United States have cholesterol levels that are too high. The body’s processes to manage excess cholesterol depend upon a lifestyle that includes exercise, stress reduction and proper nutrition. Source Naturals Cholestrex is designed to deliver a comprehensive combination of nutrients known to support a healthy blood vessel system – and keep the life stream flowing.
The nutrients in CHOLESTREX are known to support a healthy blood vessel system
Cholesterol: What It Is Cholesterol is a solid waxy substance, technically classed as a “sterol.” Cholesterol enables our cell membranes to maintain their integrity. It is the basic raw material from which the body makes steroid hormones, which include the sex hormones. Cholesterol is the primary component of bile salts that the liver creates to help us assimilate fats, fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. The liver also uses bile to rid itself of stored toxins. Our skin contains large amounts of cholesterol, making it resistant to the absorption of water-soluble toxins. Even the brain is 7% cholesterol (dry weight).
Blood vessel walls cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure
Cholesterol in the Blood
Because it’s not water-soluble, cholesterol must be attached to a carrier molecule in order to be transported in the bloodstream. The liver manufactures two types of carrier molecules for cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL (low density lipoprotein) molecules carry cholesterol from the liver out to cells of the body. One of its functions is to repair damaged cells, including those of the artery walls. LDL is primarily made up of saturated fats, (meat fats, butter, etc.). HDL (high density lipoprotein) molecules transport cholesterol and fatty acids from body tissues back to the liver for disposal. HDL helps remove excess fat and cholesterol from the bloodstream. HDL is composed of liquid fats (most vegetable oils). It’s crucial to have a proper balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol. High LDL – a sign that the body has too much fat – is a threat to the health of blood vessels, because excess LDL cholesterol may accumulate in damaged areas of vessel walls. These “fatty streaks” are the beginning stage of artery blockage.
The oxidation of LDL cholestrol is at the heart of the problem
Cholesterol and Artery Damage
The walls of the blood vessels cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure. Of all the blood vessels in the body, the coronary arteries are under the greatest stress. Named for the Latin word for crown (corona), they sit directly on the heart muscle and must continually expand and contract with every heartbeat. That’s 100,000 times each day. This constant squeezing can cause small lesions in the artery wall. This triggers a repair process where LDL cholesterol comes in to patch up the damage. Recent research has found that the crux of the problem is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Rich in fatty acids, the LDL molecule becomes permanently altered when oxidized by free radicals (overreactive molecules that steal electrons from other molecules). These rancid, oxidized LDL molecules are no longer recognized by the body, so they’re attacked by immune system cells. These immune cells become bloated with the oxidized lipids, accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels. Why is LDL cholesterol being oxidized? First of all, there’s too much of it in the blood, while not enough HDL. Secondly, the blood doesn’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. The ingredients in Source Naturals Cholestrex address these specific problems in several ways. Cholestrex also provides nutrients that protect and strengthen blood vessel walls.
In the typical American diet, 95% of the cholesterol meant for removal is reabsorbed
Cholestrex Has It All
Vitamin C helps maintain the health of artery walls because it’s the key building block for collagen and elastin, the primary constituents of blood vessels. Copper is required by the enzyme that weaves together the fibers of collagen and elastin into the matrix that makes vessel walls both tough and flexible. As an antioxidant, vitamin C scavenges free radicals in the blood plasma and also regenerates vitamin E within the LDL molecule. Vitamin E has a critical role as the primary protector of LDL, preventing its oxidation. One molecule of vitamin E can protect 200 molecules of polyunsaturated fatty acids from free radical damage. GTF Chromium is involved in insulin activity and the normalization of blood sugar. Excess simple sugars are converted to triglycerides, the blood fats which can accumulate in artery walls. Lecithin is a component of HDL that emulsifies excess blood fat so it can be more readily transported in the bloodstream to the liver, where it’s metabolized. Vitamin B3 (niacin) assists in the metabolism of fats, and puts an electric charge on red blood cells so they repel each other, which prevents blood clumping. The amino acid, L-Arginine, works to lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting fat absorption.
Beta sitosterol neutralizes incoming dietary cholesterol
The Body’s Cholesterol Removal System
HDL molecules carry cholesterol from tissues throughout the body back to the liver, where it is incorporated into bile salts. These bile salts are sent to the intestines, where they combine with fiber for excretion. One problem with the typical American low fiber diet is that 95% of the bile-bound cholesterol is reabsorbed. Since this is the body’s primary pathway for ridding itself of excess cholesterol, another strategy incorporated into Cholestrex is to maximize the production of bile salts and minimize their reabsorption by increasing levels of fiber. Fiber is a key element of Cholestrex. Its four types of soluble fiber bind with bile salts that are laden with cholesterol to ensure their excretion from the body. Oat Bran & Fiber, Grapefruit Pectin, Psyllium Seed Husks and Alfalfa Seeds also absorb cholesterol from our food, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol. Alfalfa seeds are considered a blood purifier. Beta sitosterol, a plant equivalent of cholesterol, binds to sites in the intestines that would otherwise absorb cholesterol. Cholestrex provides a daily total of 300 mg of beta sitosterol which may, by itself, neutralize 200 to 300 mg of incoming dietary cholesterol by preventing its absorption. Vitamin C, among its many other vital roles, is the key factor in activating an enzyme that will increase the liver’s conversion of cholesterol into bile salts. CHOLESTREX uses bioactive mineral ascorbate forms of vitamin C that will not irritate the digestive system. Working in conjunction with the fiber in CHOLESTREX, Calcium increases HDL, while lowering total serum cholesterol.
Cholestrex–Intelligent Nutritional Support
Our generation is fortunate to witness the remarkable progress made by modern science in understanding the body’s complex biochemical processes. As we realize the vital connection between nutrition and cholesterol levels, we are empowered to improve our health and vitality beyond previous standards of wellness. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX. For you and the ones you love.
May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
It's in the BloodNatural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.
“The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.
“Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”
Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”
And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”
Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”
King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”
Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.
"Blur of Products"
With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”
To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:
Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.
Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.
Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”
“The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”
On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.
Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.
Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.
Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.
Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.
Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”
Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.
“Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.
Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.
“The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.
For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”
Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.
Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.
Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.
Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.
Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.
“In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”
Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”
Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and Psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.
However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”
Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”
Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.
Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”
With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”
Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.
“Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR
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