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What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol? Darrell Miller 3/24/12
Preventive Measures for Metabolic Syndrome/ Diabetes Darrell Miller 2/10/12
Grape Seed or Pine Bark Extract, Which Is Best? Darrell Miller 10/27/11
Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant? Darrell Miller 4/1/11
Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it Darrell Miller 2/25/10
Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus Darrell Miller 2/18/10
Thrombophlebitis Darrell Miller 4/15/09
Attentive Child Darrell Miller 4/5/09
Fight Infertility Darrell Miller 4/1/09
Fight Inflammation naturally Darrell Miller 3/19/09
Hay Fever Darrell Miller 2/19/09
Lower Blood Sugar Darrell Miller 10/16/08
Pine Bark Extract Boosts Nitric Oxide Production Darrell Miller 1/17/08
Natural Hormone Balance for Women Darrell Miller 12/25/07
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions Darrell Miller 11/2/07
<B>Pycnogenol: Heart, Blood Sugar and Cellular Health</B> Darrell Miller 11/3/06
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells Darrell Miller 12/20/05
Pomeratrol™ Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/19/05
GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection Darrell Miller 12/19/05
Nattokinase Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/8/05
Green Tea Extract Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH PYCNOGENOL Darrell Miller 7/13/05
PROPER DOSAGES OF PYCNOGENOL CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS Darrell Miller 7/13/05
HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS PYCNOGENOL? Darrell Miller 7/13/05
PYCNOGENOL - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS Darrell Miller 7/13/05
PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE PYCNOGENOL SO EXTRAORDINARY Darrell Miller 7/13/05
PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT Darrell Miller 7/13/05
WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL? Darrell Miller 7/13/05
THE TERM “PYCNOGENOL” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS Darrell Miller 7/13/05
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL Darrell Miller 7/13/05
THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF PYCNOGENOL Darrell Miller 7/13/05
WHAT EXACTLY IS PYCNOGENOL? Darrell Miller 7/13/05
PYCNOGENOL - MIRACLE ANTIOXIDANT Darrell Miller 7/13/05
How Does CLA Work? Darrell Miller 6/22/05
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Immunity - The Big Picture Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection Darrell Miller 6/4/05
PYCNOGENOL ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant Darrell Miller 6/4/05
Re: Its in the Blood Darrell Miller 5/9/05



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What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol?
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Date: March 24, 2012 07:51 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol?

What Are The Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is a name of a product which is prepared from a tree French Pine also known as French Maritime Pine. Pycnogenol is a trademark name sold as a nutritional supplement. This supplement is mainly used for asthma and a condition known as chronic venus insufficiency. It is a water extract of the bark of the French Pine found in the coastal south west of France. Pycnogenol contains unique flavonoid compounds in high concentration. These compounds at such high levels of concentration have proven to be useful and beneficial on inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, aging and healing of wounds.

History and Discovery of Pycnogenol:

Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant made from a combination of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients. Since it is biologically made it is technically a bioflavonoid. A French scientist by the name Professor Masquelier gave the name Pycnogenol which is a scientific name for the oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as other bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol is an extract from the French Maritime Pine and grape seed extract. Professor Masquelier along with a Swiss broker Horphag made attempts to commercialize Pycnogenol. Horphag without the consent of Masquelier registered the name Pycnogenol as a patent in the year 1990 which came under the ownership of Horphag in the United States. This caused severe legal disputes in the US. Horphag made huge profits from the intellectual property of Masquelier. This wonderful antioxidant was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1953. In his books Cartier mentioned about the benefits of pine and how it cured and healed chronic diseases. Professor Masquelier discovered Cartier's book and recognized the benefits of these medicines which were rich in bioflavonoids.

Health Benefits of Pycnogenol:

Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant which helps in regulating certain types of acids that gets absorbed in the human body through chemicals and free radicals. Antioxidants help in improving heart health and prevent cancer. Brain diseases like Alzheimer's can also be prevented with the use of Pycnogenol. It prevents the body from absorbing the toxic elements which are responsible for the development of brain diseases. It works as a good preventive tool. Pycnogenol also helps people who suffer from heart disease, which is a very common disease worldwide. It reduces swelling due to heart disease and helps in regulating the blood pressure. Pycnogenol also assists in reducing blood sugar levels in type ll diabetes, administered along with the anti-diabetes drugs.

Fight Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Pycnogenol are beneficial in treating asthma. It also improved the tolerance to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Pycnogenol works well as an anti aging product along with Vitamin E, and reduces wrinkles.

Pycnogenol is available in the market in different supplement formulas containing about 20mg to 100mg of Pycnogenol. It is the most extensively researched product and has also passed a number of safety tests. Tests have proved that consuming Pycnogenol at higher dosage for longer periods is safe though there are a few minor side effects. These side effects are gastro intestinal discomfort, nausea, dizziness and headaches. If consumed with certain drugs it can cause major side effects due to drug interactions. Pycnogenol is a great antioxidant supplement which helps in protecting and healing the body from harmful chemicals. Before taking Pycnogenol daily as a supplement it is recommended to consult physicians who can advice on the ideal dosages.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2616)


Preventive Measures for Metabolic Syndrome/ Diabetes
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Date: February 10, 2012 07:55 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Preventive Measures for Metabolic Syndrome/ Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome is a serious health problem associated with cluster of conditions like high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high sugar level and excessive fats in the abdomen. It increases risks of diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Having one of these conditions doesn't mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, frequent occurrence of any of these symptoms can increase risk.

Knowing your family's medical history can prevent metabolic syndrome that can lead to diabetes. If it runs in the family, consult your doctor to have your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checked.

Avoid high carb diet to prevent metabolic syndrome and diabetes. During digestion, carbohydrate rich foods are broken down into sugar or glucose. Glucose gives energy to the body while calorie is the measure of burned energy. When high amount of carbohydrate is digested, it increases sugar level in the blood. The brain prompts the pancreas release insulin to neutralize blood sugar level. Diabetes happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.

Replace high carb diet with more nutritious foods like oats, whole wheat, rye, red rice, sweet potatoes and buckwheat. They are energy giving food rich in dietary fibers. Fibers keep a healthy digestive system by improving digestion and eliminating body wastes. It maintains sexy abs by flushing out excess belly fats.

Stay physically active by engaging into sports and exercises. Inactive body does not use much energy. Unused energy is stored in the body in form of fats. Fat cells are resistant to insulin thus, increase blood sugar and cholesterol level. Fat cells slow down metabolism and increase weight gain. While lean muscles hastens metabolism even when the body is at rest. Lean muscle protects the body against insulin resistance.

Maintain a well balanced diet to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Raw fruits like oranges, berries, pineapple, grapes and other citrus fruits are good alternative for desserts like cakes. They are rich in Vitamin C that lowers cholesterol and burns fats. It is also rich in antioxidants that shield the body against harmful toxins.

Add green leafy vegetables to your diet to increase immunity from sickness like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin E that repairs and regenerates damaged cells.

Develop a healthy sleeping pattern. Sleep disturbances and staying up late at night prompt the pancreas to continually release insulin. This creates stress on the pancreas that leads to insufficient production of insulin. A well rested mind and body keep metabolic syndrome and diabetes away.

Try natural remedies like cinnamon, pine bark, and blueberry leaf extract. Cinnamon prevents diabetes and metabolic syndrome by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level. Pine bark, when extracted produces Pycnogenol that absorbs glucose in the blood. It also protects the eyes from blindness and blurred vision caused by diabetes. Blueberry leaf extract regulates blood sugar level by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin.

Health supplements like chromium and alpha lipoic acid have shown great results in preventing and managing diabetes. Chromium is a mineral that metabolizes carbohydrates to prevent weight gain. It stabilizes blood sugar and prevents hypertension.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2568)


Grape Seed or Pine Bark Extract, Which Is Best?
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Date: October 27, 2011 07:26 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Grape Seed or Pine Bark Extract, Which Is Best?

Pine Bark Vs Grape Seed Extract

Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are two well known products that are effectual in combating ADD. Pycnogenol however, is more expensive since it is a patented form of pine bark extract that is being sold in many health stores world-wide. The potent properties of both Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extract are their proanthocyanidins or flavan-3-ols contents that are normally found in fruits and vegetables. The reason why these chemicals are beneficial is their capacity in aiding vitamin C to work better for the brain. Vitamin C is essential for the production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine (neurotransmitters involved in ADD). Vitamin C is also useful in providing the body with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that are very injurious for your health and may lead to a dreadful disease such as cancer. In addition, another role of vitamin C in the body is its capacity to aid the body in chelating detrimental toxic heavy metals by flushing them out from the body.

Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract are also effective natural anti-histamines anti-inflammatory agents and immune boosters. Both extracts are also proven to be influential in terms of regulating enzymes that have significant effects in metabolism. Since the extracts are able to inhibit the breakdown of dopamine and norepinephrine, then it will also lead to a faster reuptake of dopamine.

Active Ingredients

Proanthocyanidins has been the subject of interest by many researchers in the scientific investigations that they have conducted because of its promising effects that could treat various venous conditions. The compound has been proven to be effectual in strengthening the walls of your capillaries, arteries and veins hence, is very useful in protecting you from ailments that involves the mentioned vital body parts.

The benefits of Pine Bark and Grape Seed are already published in many health magazines worldwide as well as in many TV shows like the 60 minutes. The antioxidant content of the extracts derived from Pine Bark and Grape Fruit contains liberal amounts of antioxidants that also acts as an antimugenic agent hence, could prevent DNA mutation. Since the extracts have such innate capability of inhibiting the mutation of DNA, it can be a cure to many chronic degenerative diseases that are caused by environmental mutagens.

Another benefit of OPCs is its relevant effects on peripheral venous insufficiency. This specific problem in the legs causes so much pain and discomfort which could also lead to disability. With OPC, relevant improvement in the condition could be noted as evidenced by a decrease in the pain felt, edema and cramps.

Comparing both extracts in terms of efficacy is so difficult to determine because Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract has similar components that are all beneficial to one’s health. The compounds that both extracts have are very useful to one’s health therefore comparing the two would be rootless considering all the health benefits that both extracts could offer.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2528)


Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant?
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Date: April 01, 2011 03:10 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant?

Pycnogenol And Your Health

Pycnogenol is the latest innovation in the antioxidant supplement industry. It makes use of oligomeric proanthocyanidins, select bioflavonoids, and organic acids that have been well investigated in a span of more than 30 years. As a trademarked product, it has been cited in more than 230 published works and systematic reviews that came into the conclusion that it is safe and effective. In fact, it is now an ingredient in over 300 health products.

Pinus pinaster is an indigenous plant species of western Mediterranean from which the patented Pycnogenol is extracted from. It is most populous in southwestern France, but it can also be found in large numbers in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Unlike new ingredients in some dietary supplements, Pycnogenol is all-natural and completely derived from the Maritime Pine, which may well be known in the now-obsolete scientific name Pinus maritima.

Neutralizes Reactive Oxygen Species Fast

Antioxidants work on the principle of replenishing the antioxidant reserves of each cell especially at times when our body is most susceptible to physical fatigue. Radical chemistry has taught us that reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism. There is nothing we can do to inhibit their releases, but our body does have a mechanism to neutralize them. Free radicals are one of the best known ROS and they are particularly reactive, causing a damaging chain reaction called oxidative stress.

What makes Pycnogenol different from other antioxidant supplements? It is the fastest-acting antioxidant out there with an absorption rate of only 20 minutes. In contrast with other known antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, Pycnogenol is believed to readily cross the blood-brain barrier, expanding its uses in the central nervous system. This is the reason why it has been suggested to be of value in treatment of known disorders of the nervous system. More importantly, it works up to a record-high 72 hours before it gets excreted by the body.

Fight Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease With Pycnogenol

Displays Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activities

There have been numerous citations that Pycnogenol is an effective inhibitor of inflammation intermediaries. It is postulated that it influences the productions and releases of eicosanoids that govern inflammatory responses. It has associated with the treatment of osteoarthritis, and preliminary results are encouraging. Also, it is believed that Pycnogenol interferes with the effects of histamine via its receptors, and acts on mast cells responsible for mediator release. This is the reason why it is widely accepted as a viable treatment option for asthma, multiple sclerosis, allergic rhinitis, acute dermatitis, atopic eczema, and other skin conditions.

Contributes to Overall Circulatory Health

Pycnogenol is one of the antioxidants under scrutiny for its medicinal potential in the prevention of major diseases that afflict the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. For one, it has been observed to significantly lower systolic blood pressure, making it an effective therapy for hypertension. It has shown to alleviate chronic venous insufficiency and remove varicose veins. Moreover, regular supplementation of Pycnogenol appears to improve performance in endurance athletes.

Pycnogenol is an excellent herb to add to anybodies diet. Give Pycnogenol a try today!

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2264)


Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it
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Date: February 25, 2010 09:47 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it

Aloe Vera Sunblock SPF30 LILY OF THE DESERTSunburn is the result of excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The amount of exposure that is required to cause a burn is unique to each individual, the geographical location, the time, and the atmospheric conditions. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, which are designated as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB). Both types of ultraviolet rays are dangerous. UVB rays attack the skin’s outer layers, while UVA rays attack the underlying layers of the skin.

The majority of sunburns are first-degree burns that cause the skin to become red, warm, and tender to the touch. Depending on the severity of the burn and the individual’s skin type, the burn may subsequently “cool” into a suntan or thin layers of skin may peel off. More serious sunburn can be categorized as a second-degree burn. A second-degree burn consists of extreme reddening, swelling, pain, and even blisters. This is a sign that the burn has gone deeper than just the surface layer of the skin and has caused damage and the release of fluids from cells in the lower layers of the skin. The result of this is eruptions and breaks in the skin where bacteria and other infectious organisms can enter. In the most severe cases, a burn can be accompanied by chills, fever, nausea, and/or delirium. These types of sunburns are extremely painful and are extremely dangerous for children. Sunburn can often be accompanied by dehydration.

Those people who are fair-skinned are more prone to sunburn than those darker-skinned individuals. However, no matter what your skin color, you will burn if you get enough exposure. Symptoms do not always appear while you are in the sun, as they may begin from one hour to twenty-four hours after sun exposure and they usually reach their peak in two to three days. Natural Mineral Oil Free Sunblock SPF18 4 fl oz from ALBA BOTANICA

The effects of sun exposure are becoming an increasing concern today due to the decline in the earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is responsible for screening out the most harmful ultraviolet rays, but it is becoming increasingly thinner all over the world. Holes that fluctuate in size have even developed in various places. Additionally, the incidence of skin cancer is growing at an alarming rate. It has been found that having two or more bad episodes of sunburn as a child can make you much more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult.

The following nutrients are recommended for prevention and treatment of sunburn: coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMB, a free-form amino acid complex, L-cysteine, a multivitamin and mineral complex, potassium, Pycnogenol, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, an all-purpose bactericide spray, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, silica, a vitamin B complex, vitamin E oil, and zinc.

Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial in treating sunburn. Aloe vera gel has been noted to be remarkably effective in treating any kind of burn. It is responsible for relieving discomfort, speeding healing, and also helping to moisturize the skin and relieve dryness. A salve of calendula flowers and St. John’s wort can act as painkiller for burns and promote healing of skin wounds because these herbs have antiseptic properties.

Also, Lavender oil or chamomile oil used in a herbal bath can help to minimize the stinging and pain of sunburn. Comfrey and gotu kola tea can be made it to a compress for the affected area. Horsetail is good for tissue repair, while tea tree oil can help to heal sunburn and other skin irritation. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water is a great wash for sunburned areas.

To prevent sunburns, apply sunblock on any exposed skin before going out side to prevent skin damage before it starts.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2127)


Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus
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Date: February 18, 2010 04:26 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus

sinus CavitiesSinusitis occurs when the nasal sinuses become inflamed. There are sinuses that are located above the eyes (frontal sinuses), inside the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses), behind the bridge of the nose (sphenoid sinuses), and in the upper nose (ethmoid sinuses). Sinuses are air-filled pockets in the skull that are connected to the nose and throat by passages designed to drain away mucous. The sinuses are the first line of defense to protect the lungs from infection. The majority of sinusitis cases affect the frontal and/or maxillary sinuses. However, any or all of the sinuses may be involved, with each individual tending to have problems with a particular set of sinuses. If the sinuses are too small or happen to be poorly position to handle the volume of mucous produced, they can become clogged. This causes pressure in the sinuses to increase, which causes pain. Those sinuses that are clogged for a long time are extremely prone to infection.

Sinusitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract, like the common cold. Over 50 percent of all cases of sinusitis are caused by bacteria. Air travel can also lead to acute inflammation of the sinuses, due to the changes in air pressure. Chronic sinusitis problems, on the other hand, may be caused by small growths in the nose, injury of the nasal bones, air pollution, dental complications, emotional stress, smoking, and exposure to irritant fumes and smells. Allergic sinusitis may be the result of hay fever of food allergies, especially those allergies to milk and dairy products. People who have compromised immune systems are susceptible to fungal sinusitis, which is a potentially dangerous condition that requires aggressive treatment.

Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms such as fever which is usually low-grade but can be higher in some cases, cough, headache, earache, toothache, facial pain, cranial pressure, difficulty breathing through the nose, loss of the sense of smell, and tenderness over the forehead and cheekbones. If pain results from tapping the forehead just over the eyes, the cheekbones, or the area around the bridge of the nose, the sinuses may be infected. Sinusitis occasionally produces facial swelling which can be followed by a stuffy nose and a thick discharge of mucous. Those who suffer from sinusitis can have other unpleasant symptoms as a result of previous symptoms. Postnasal drip can cause a sore throat, nausea, and bad breath, while difficulty breathing can cause snoring and loss of sleep.Serrapeptase from Solaray

The following nutrients are considered to be helpful in dealing with and preventing sinusitis: acidophilus, bee pollen, flaxseed oil, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Quercetin, raw thymus glandular, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMSO, garlic, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, Pycnogenol, sea mussel, serrapeptase, and zinc lozenges.

Additionally, the following herbs may be helpful in preventing and treating sinusitis: anise, fenugreek, marshmallow, red clover, bayberry, bitter orange oil, cat’s claw, ginger root, goldenseal, horehound, mullein, nettle, olive leaf extract, and rose hips. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that is able to help keep sinus fluid thin and flowing properly. Serrapeptase also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce sinus inflammation which will ease pain and speed healing of the sinus cavity.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2126)


Thrombophlebitis
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Date: April 15, 2009 01:20 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis is when inflammation occurs in the veins due to the formation of a blood clot in that vein. This problem usually occurs in the extremities, especially the legs. Thrombophlebitis can be considered superficial if it affects the subsutaneous vein, which is one of the veins near the skin’s surface.

In superficial thrombophlebitis, the affected vein can be felt and may be seen as a reddish line under the skin. Additionally, swelling, pain, and tenderness to touch can occur. If widespread vein involvement is included, the lymphatic vessels may become inflamed. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a relatively common disorder that can be brought about by trauma infection, standing for long periods of time, lack of exercise, and intravenous drug use. The risk of superficial thrombophlebitis can be increased by pregnancy, varicose veins, obesity, and smoking. Thrombophlebitis can also be associated with environmental sensitivities to allergies. This condition is usually diagnosed according to physical findings and a medical history that indicates an increased risk.

Deep thrombophlebitis (DVT) affects the intramuscular veins farther below the skin’s surface. DVT is a much more serious condition than superficial thrombophlebitis because the veins affected are larger and located deep within the musculature of the leg. These veins are responsible for the transport of 90 percent of the blood that flows back to the heart from the legs. Symptoms of DVT may include pain, warmth, swelling, and bluish discoloration of the skin of the affected limb. These symptoms are often accompanied by fever and chills. The pain is typically felt as a deep soreness that is worse when standing or walking and gets better with rest, especially with elevation of the leg. The veins directly under the skin may become dilated and more visible. Inflammation situated in a vein in the pelvis is referred to as pelvic vein thrombophlebitis.

The reason or reasons for the formation of the clots in the veins are often unknown. However, in most cases, clots are probably the result of a minor injury to the inside lining of a blood vessel. If the vessel lining receives a microscopic tear, clotting is initiated. Platelets clump together to protect the injured area, and a series of biochemical events is initiated that results in the transformation of fibrinogen, a circulating blood protein, into strands of insoluble fibrin, which are deposited to form a net that traps blood cells, plasma, and yet more platelets. This results in a blood clot. Other possible causes of the formation of DVT include abnormal clotting tendencies; poor circulation; certain types of cancer; and Behcet’s syndrome, which is a condition that affects small blood vessels that predispose an individual to the formation of clots. The following factors increase the risk of DVT: recent childbirth, surgery, trauma, the use of birth control pills; and prolonged bed rest.

The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and treatment of thrombophlebitis: acetyl-l-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, flaxseed oil, garlic, l-cysteine, lecithin granules, l-histidine, magnesium, MSM, Pycnogenol, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, pau d’arco, red raspberry, rosemary, yarrow, butcher’s broom, cayenne, ginger, plantain, witch hazel, skullcap, valerian root, ginkgo biloba, goldenseal, hawthorn, and olive leaf extract.

Natural vitamins are a great way to help prevent conditions such as these. If you suspect that you have thrombophlebitis, consult your doctor before trying to take the problem into your own hands. Natural vitamins such as the ones listed above can be found at your local or internet health food store.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=1994)


Attentive Child
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Date: April 05, 2009 01:40 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Attentive Child

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the newest name that has been given to a group of disorders of the central nervous system. With the long list of names this disorder has been given over the years, it is often confusing as to which criteria are for a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children in the United States have ADHD, meaning that at least one child in a classroom of twenty-five to thirty children will have ADHD. There are three times as many boys diagnosed with ADHD, but the condition is increasingly being diagnosed in girls as well.

Although ADHD was primarily thought of as a childhood disorder, it can be found in adults as well. Experts have estimated that as many as 8 million adults may be affected, but 80 percent of them do not realize it. Some studies show that there is significant decline in ADHD symptoms as a person ages, while others estimate that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD will carry some symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is a more complex disorder in adults, but it manifests itself into a problem with self-regulation. Without this self-control, an adult’s ability to do tasks is impaired. This condition can lead to marital conflicts, substance abuse, and financial problems. Infidelity is common because ADHD adults easily become bored with things, including spouses.

Factors that have been linked to the development of ADHD include heredity, anxiety, allergies, smoking during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia, oxygen deprivation at birth, environmental stress or pollutants, artificial food additives, injury, infection, lead poisoning, and prenatal trauma. More emphasis has been placed on the role of diet in ADHD in recent years. Many people with these conditions react to certain preservatives, dyes, and salicylates in foods. These problems can cause the balance of chemistry in the brain to be thrown off, which produces undesirable changes in behavior. A low-protein diet may also be a contributing factor. Although a hotly debated topic for decades, studies have definitely shown that food additives do play a major role in hyperactivity.

Many researchers feel that ADHD is being over-diagnosed nowadays. It is difficult to accurately diagnose this condition because many of the symptoms appear in the normal, healthy children at many times during childhood. In fact, more than 60 percent of parents suspect that their child has ADHD at some point in their upbringing. What may merely be creativity or a high energy level can be diagnosed as ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a team of specialists who are experts in the disorder and it is wise to get a second opinion.

One should considered nutritional deficiencies and dietary measures for treating ADHD. The following nutrients are recommended: calcium, magnesium, GABA, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Omega-3 fish oil, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, SAMe, acetylcholine, DMAE, l-cysteine, phosphatidyl serine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, mullein oil, valerian root, catnip, chamomile, gotu kola, hops, kava kava, lemon balm, licorice, lobelia, oats, passionflower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, thyme, and wood betony.

Creating a nutritionally sound diet for children and adults can go a long way to controlling ADHD and ADD in general. Reducing sugar intake and adding good quality food that hasn’t been over processed which removes the needed vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we all need to live healthy lives. The above vitamins, minerals and herbs are suggested to be helpful for those suffering as well as those who aren’t, but always consult your health care provider before adding dietary supplements to ones diet while on prescription drugs. Quality vitamins can be found at your local or internet health food store.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

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Fight Infertility
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Date: April 01, 2009 05:35 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Infertility

Infertility is typically defined as a failure to conceive after a year or more of regular intimate activity during the time of ovulation. This term can also refer to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. About 6.1 million American couples are impaired when it comes to their ability to have children, with 2.1 million of these couples being infertile. The exact cause of the problem can be extremely difficult to pinpoint, as ovulation, fertilization, and the passage to the fertilized ovum through the fallopian tube and to the uterus are extremely complex processes. In order for pregnancy to occur, many events must work together perfectly.

In 40 percent of infertile couples, problems that affect the male partner are either partially or wholly the cause of infertility. Infertility in men is usually the result of a low sperm count or an anatomical abnormality. There are a variety of factors that can result in a low sperm count. Among these factors are alcohol consumption, endocrine disorders, exposure to toxins, radiation or excessive heat, recent acute illness or prolonged fever, testicular injury, and rarely, mumps-induced wasting of the testicles. An abnormal enlargement of veins that drain the testicles, referred to as varicoceles, can cause infertility in men. This is because the veins of the testes are no longer able to moderate the temperature of the testicles correctly, which can negatively affect sperm.

The most common causes of infertility in women include an ovulatory failure or defect, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Additionally, some women are able to develop antibodies to their partners’ sperm, which causes the woman to almost be allergic to them. Chlamydia, a transmitted disease which affects 4 million Americans each year, also causes many cases of infertility. There are also psychological issues, such as stress or fear of parenthood, which can also contribute to infertility.

However, in most cases, stress is usually the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Sperm abnormalities account for about 41 percent of infertility cases. The following reasons are the most common to explain why couples cannot conceive: the woman has endometriosis; the man has abnormal sperm, a low sperm count, or erectile dysfunction; the woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked; ovulation takes place rarely or irregularly; the couple is unable to have complete intimate relations; the cervical mucous attacks and kills the sperm; the woman does not manufacture enough progesterone to carry a baby to term; the woman is over thirty-four; and/or one or both members of the couple eats a poor diet and experiences too much stress. The following nutrients are extremely beneficial in helping one or both partners deal with infertility: selenium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, DMG, octacosanol, phosphatidyl choline, essential fatty acids, l-arginine, manganese, proteolytic enzymes, Pycnogenol, raw orchic glandular, raw ovarian glandular, 7-keto DHEA, vitamin A, and vitamin B complex. Also, the following herbs have been shown to be beneficial in dealing with infertility: astragalus, damiana, ginseng, sarsaparilla, saw palmetto, yohimbe, dong quai, false unicorn root, gotu kola, licorice root, wild yam root, green oat, and yin-yang-huo. It should also be noted that heavy use of Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, and St. John’s wort may cause infertility in men, and should be avoided.

Infertility can be a complicated and mentally depressing due to lack of pregnancy by both men and women. Depression can lead to more stress and needs managed by a health care provider. Always consult your doctor when you think you are infertile. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands vitamins to ensure you receive quality supplements.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

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Fight Inflammation naturally
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Date: March 19, 2009 02:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Inflammation naturally

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that often affects many of the body’s organs. An autoimmune disease, it occurs when the immune mechanism forms antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. The majority of experts believe that lupus is caused by a virus that has yet to be identified. According to this theory, the immune system develops antibodies in response to the virus that proceed in attacking the body’s own organs and tissues. This causes inflammation of the skin, blood vessels, joints, and other tissues to result. Other possible contributing factors to the development of lupus include heredity and estrogen and testosterone hormones.

This disease was named lupus, which means wolf, due to the butterfly-shaped rash that many people get over their cheeks and nose, which gave them what many people considered to be a wolf-like appearance. However, the rashes may appear elsewhere on the body, including the chest, ears, hands, shoulders, and upper arms. At least 90 percent of those people who contract lupus are women, with women of Asian background appearing to be at greater risk for developing lupus than other women. Although lupus may occur at any age, it usually develops between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five.

There are two different types of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). SLE is a systemic disease that affects many different parts of the body and severity ranging from mild to life-threatening. The first symptoms in many cases of SLE seem to resemble those of arthritis, with swelling and pain in the fingers and other joints. The disease can also appear suddenly, with acute fever and the characteristic red rash appearing across the cheeks. Additionally, there may be red, scaling lesions elsewhere on the body, with sores possibly forming in the mouth.

Other symptoms of SLE include abdominal and chest pains, blood in the urine, fatigue, hair loss, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, nausea, poor circulation in the fingers and toes, shortness of breath, ulcers, vomiting, and weight loss. Many times, the lungs and kidneys are also involved, as about 50 percent of those with SLE develop nephritis, which is inflammation of the kidneys. The brain, lungs, spleen, and heart may also be affected in serious cases. Additionally, SLE can cause excessive bleeding and an increased susceptibility to infection. Amnesia, deep depression, headaches, mania, paralysis, paranoia, psychosis, seizures, and stroke may also be present if the central nervous system is involved.

DLE is a less serious disease, which primarily affects the skin. The butterfly rash forms over the nose and cheeks, with other possible lesions elsewhere, primarily on the scalp and ears. These lesions, which are small, yellowish lumps, can recur or persist for years. When they disappear, they often leave scars or permanent bald patches on the scalp. Although DLE is not necessarily dangerous to overall health, it is a chronic and disfiguring skin disease.

Both types of lupus follow a pattern of periodic flare-ups, with alternating periods of remission. These flare-ups can be caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, fatigue, pregnancy, childbirth, infection, some drugs, stress, unidentified viral infections, and chemicals.

In order for a diagnosis to be made, the following eight symptoms have to occur either separately or at the same time: abnormal cells in the urine; arthritis; butterfly rash on the cheeks; low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or hemolytic anemia; mouth sores; seizures of psychosis; sun sensitivity; and the presence of blood of a specific antibody that is found in 50 percent of people with lupus.

The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with lupus: calcium, magnesium, l-cysteine, proteolytic enzymes (Serrapeptase and nattokinase), essential fatty acids, glucosamine sulfate, garlic, raw thymus glandular, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, zinc, acidophilus, kelp, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Pycnogenol, vitamin A, vitamin E, alfalfa, goldenseal, burdock root, feverfew, pau d’arco, red clover, licorice root, milk thistle, and yucca.

Natural alternatives can help support the body in the fight against lupus, but one should always consult a physician before taking matters into their own hands regarding this disease. Natural supplements like the ones listed above can all be found at your local or internet health food store.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

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Hay Fever
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Date: February 19, 2009 05:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hay Fever

Hay fever, which is an allergy to proteins in the pollen of trees, grasses, some plants, or mold, affects the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and air passages. Symptoms of hay fever include itchy, red eyes; watery discharge from the nose and eyes; sneezing; fatigue; and nervous irritability. Many of the symptoms of hay fever can be confused with those symptoms of the common cold. However, allergies cause a distinctive clear, thin nasal discharge, whereas secretions that come from colds are usually thick and yellow-greenish as the illness progresses. Colds are also associated with mild fever and are usually gone within a week. On the other hand, allergy sufferers often feel wiped out for many weeks.

At least 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal sneezes, runny nose, and itchy eyes that come with hay fever. There happen to be three seasons of hay fever which are distinguished by the different pollen present at these different times of the year. Tree pollen appears first, usually between February and May, depending on the climate. When trees, weeds, grass pollens, and people are out at the same time, the biggest problems arise. This usually occurs later in spring and in summer. The fall is the season for ragweed pollen. Depending on which pollen or pollens an individual is allergic to, hay fever may be present at any or all of these times.

In more detail, the following is a summary of the types of plants according to the times of year they are most likely to cause problems. Alder, hazelnut, and elm trees cause the most problems in February through May, while birch, maple, and oak trees are problematic in March through June. Beech and spruce trees bring about issues in April through June, while horse chestnut trees are responsible for causing problems in April through August. In April through September, Asters, pine trees, plantain, sorrel, stinging nettle, and various grasses are responsible for bringing about allergies. Buttercups are problematic in May through July and Goosefoot is an issue in June through September. In July through September, mugwort seems to pose a problem.

Those people who suffer from hay fever also often suffer from other atopic disorders like asthma and dermatitis. Those people who suffer from hay fever symptoms throughout the year are said to have perennial rhinitis, which can be caused by animal hair, dust, feathers, fungus spores, molds, and/or some other environmental agent. It should be noted that a susceptibility to hay fever tends to be an inherited condition. Those people who are most prone to allergies are often aware of the time of year and conditions under which they are most sensitive. A RAST test can easily be done and provide reliable results for a definitive diagnosis.

The following nutrients are beneficial for hay fever: bromelain, coenzyme Q10, Quercetin, raw thymus, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, proteolytic enzymes, zinc, calcium, magnesium, garlic, kelp, manganese, Pycnogenol, SOD, and vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs have been noted to be helpful: alfalfa, chlorophyll, vitamin K, eucalyptus oil, eyebright, lady’s mantle, goldenseal extract, horehound, mullein leaf, stinging nettle, wild cherry bark, turmeric, nettle leaf, and noni juice.

In conclusion, discovering your allergic substance is the first step to recovery. When you can narrow down what is the cause then you can combat the problem with vitamins, herbs, and dietary changes. Your local or internet health food store has a large selection of herbal and homeopathic remedies for hay fever symptoms.



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Lower Blood Sugar
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Date: October 16, 2008 01:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Lower Blood Sugar



Many people struggle to control their weight. However, while they are going on and off various diets, they fail to realize that they are also struggling to control blood sugar. Actually, the cause of blood-sugar problems may be weight problems, as being overweight and having blood sugar problems tend to go hand in hand. Too many blood sugar swings during the day tend to increase hunger jags, snacking, and overeating. When you overeat, you’re much more likely to add on the pounds, setting the stage for obesity, pre-diabetes, and full blown diabetes.

Sadly, both pre-diabetes and overweight have become modern epidemics that are out of control, with two of every three Americans being overweight and over 100 million people having some signs of pre-diabetes. Both of these illnesses are nutritional disorders that result from eating too many unhealthful foods. However, there is good news: you can reverse pre-diabetes and control your weight.

One can self-diagnose pre-diabetes by looking for the most visible symptom: being chubby or fat around the waist. Other clues are cravings sweets and starchy foods, not being hungry at breakfast, and feeling tired or mentally fuzzy after lunch. Many physicians diagnose pre-diabetes when a patient’s fasting blood sugar falls between 100 and 124 mg/dl. There are several dietary factors that significantly increase the risk of overweight. Some of these being: too many calories, too many refined carbs, especially sugars, and too many unhealthful oils.

The average woman needs about 1,600 calories and the typical man needs about 2,000 calories daily, but the average American now consumes 3,900 calories each day, making it difficult to burn off all these calories and causing the accumulation of body fat. Because most excess calories take form of refined carbs and sugars, which are digested rapidly, rapid or extreme spikes in blood sugar levels, elevated insulin levels, and bouts of hunger result, which stimulate low blood sugar. Trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, interfere with the body’s processing of fats and often lead to weight gain. Most of these problematic calories are found in fast foods, microwave foods, and other types of convenience foods, which are all best if they are avoided.

Even though pre-diabetes can be scary, it’s actually an opportunity to improve your eating habits and regain your health. To improve your health you can emphasize quality protein, emphasize high-fiber vegetables and fruits, include grapefruit in your diet, use more vinegar, and add some cinnamon. Since protein stabilizes and safely lowers blood sugar levels, be sure to start each day with some protein with breakfast and eat a little protein with each meal.

Most veggies and fruits are rich in fiber, which helps to lower blood sugar, so opt for salads and steamed broccoli while avoiding crutons, potatoes, bananas, and pears. Despite the calories, eating fresh grapefruit can help in weight reduction. The acetic acid in vinegar can also help to improve blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce appetite, and help with weight loss. Adding cinnamon has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. There are also several supplements that have exceptional value in improving insulin function or lowering blood sugar levels. These include lipoic acid, chromium, silymarin, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, and Pycnogenol.

You can also enhance the benefits of diet and supplements by increasing your physical activity as it helps build muscle and burn blood sugar and fat. Tackling pre-diabetes can not only reduce your long-term risk for health problems, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but also can allow you to quickly gain more energy and feel less post-meal fatigue.



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Pine Bark Extract Boosts Nitric Oxide Production
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Date: January 17, 2008 03:24 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Pine Bark Extract Boosts Nitric Oxide Production

A recent study has found that Pycnogenol, which is an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, helps individuals by enhancing the production of nitric oxide (NO), which in turn leads to an increase in blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. Nitric oxide is a key cardiovascular chemical that is produced by the body. It increases blood flow which allows more nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to the muscles. This helps muscles to cope with increased physical activity. The study also suggests that taking Pycnogenol provides more NO in response to neurotransmitters which allows for better expansion of arteries, which can then carry more blood. This process meets the enhanced oxygen demand of muscles and helps to avoid anaerobic metabolism. The results of this study also lead researchers to believe that Pycnogenol can be a natural alternative therapy in diseases involving oxidative stress.

The study was held at the Hiroshima University Graduate School of Bio-medical Sciences in Japan. Each day for two weeks, healthy, young men were given either 180 mg of Pycnogenol or a placebo. In order to identify Pycnogenol's effect on the release of nitric oxide, patients were infused with an inhibitor of L-arginine, which restricts arteries from expanding in response to the neurotransmitter acytelcholine. After two weeks of supplementation, the results revealed that blood flow had increased by forty two percent. Additionally, the group receiving a placebo did not show a significant blood flow increase at all. NO causes the muscle surrounding the arteries to relax, resulting in an increase in the diameter of the blood vessel, while acetylcholine stimulates the cells of arteries to produce NO from L-arginine faster. When the subjects being tested had taken Pycnogenol, the arteries relaxed and blood flow increased by Fourty two percent, as compared to the placebo group.

Although more research is warranted, this breakthrough is especially encouraging to athletes since Pycnogenol seems to allow people to move faster when they are exercising. It does this by satisfying the enhanced muscle oxygen demand and also increases the blood flow to the active muscles. People who are performing heavy physical activity experience the release of acetylcholine by nerves to arteries that are supplying the active muscles. This acetylcholine makes them expand, while the whole process requires that there is an enhanced production of nitric oxide.

A great variety of studies about Pycnogenol and sports nutrition have been conducted over the past years. The most recent one occurred a year ago. In this study, Pycnogenol was found to improve blood circulation even in extended aerobic muscle activity. Pycnogenol also enhanced sports endurance be alleviating the cramping and muscular pain that occurs in the majority of athletes. To sum it up, Pycnogenol is not only effective for enhancing and prolonging the performance of muscles during support, but it also supports muscle adaptation to a higher workload and allows the body to recover from physical faster.

When shopping for a good Pycnogenol supplement, look for a standardized extract that guarantees that each capsule or tablet contains a specific amount of active ingredients per serving, otherwise you might be purchasing something that is ineffective.



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Pine Bark Extract available at Vitanet®, LLC

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Natural Hormone Balance for Women
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Date: December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Natural Hormone Balance for Women

The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.

There are many natural approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.

In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, Pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.

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Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
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Date: November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions

Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.

Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.

You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.

All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?

In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.

It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.

When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.

Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.

The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.

However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.

However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.

It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is Pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical Pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.

Chemically, Pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be Pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.

The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.

In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.



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Pycnogenol: Heart, Blood Sugar and Cellular Health
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Date: November 03, 2006 12:16 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Pycnogenol: Heart, Blood Sugar and Cellular Health

Pycnogenol (pronounced pic-nojen-all) is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol® consists of particularly bioactive flavonoid species and its purity is in strict accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia. Pycnogenol® was initially developed 35 years ago in Europe. During the past years it evolved as one of the most thoroughly researched nutritional supplements, with over 200 studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Seventy of these studies were clinical with in total more than 4,000 patients. Pycnogenol® taken in dosages from 25mg to 300mg is well tolerated and Pycnogenol® was attributed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA.

Pycnogenol® supports healthy capillaries

The “Career” of Pycnogenol® began in Europe, where it was first used to maintain vein and capillary health. Pycnogenol® has been shown to strengthen blood vessel walls, with 15 clinical trials showing fast relief from ankle and foot discomfort. A recent study with 200 passengers on long-haul flights showed that Pycnogenol® taken before departure and again during the flight supports foot comfort and healthy circulation. Travelers typically comment that with Pycnogenol® it is much easier to put shoes on again upon arrival. Clinicians in Germany discovered that Pycnogenol® also supports healthy capillaries in the eyes. Retinal capillaries may be affected by imbalanced blood sugar levels. In a multi-center field study with 1169 subjects Pycnogenol® supported healthy capillaries in the retina and improved visual acuity to some extent.

Pycnogenol® benefits the cardiovascular system

More detailed investigation of the interaction of Pycnogenol® with blood vessel walls at the University of Florida, Tampa led to an amazing discovery. Pycnogenol® stimulates an enzyme in blood vessel walls that is responsible for generating the most important vascular mediator, known as “nitric oxide” (NO). NO triggers relaxation of the arteries and supports clear blood flow. Hence, NO is the body’s mediator for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and circulation. NO plays such an important function for cardiovascular health that Dr. Louis Ignarro (UCLA) and his co-workers received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1987.

A number of factors, including aging, can interfere with the body’s efficient production of NO. Supplementation with Pycnogenol® for four weeks was shown to restore NO production and improve blood supply to the fingertips of elderly people in a Japanese study. Microscopic evaluation of blood vessel diameter at the root of fingernails showed an increased diameter of capillaries allowing better blood perfusion. Specific sensors applied to the legs showed increased oxygen and decreased carbon dioxide presence. Better blood, nutrient and oxygen supply with Pycnogenol® benefits everybody. Italian researchers were able to show that regular intake of Pycnogenol® helps defy muscle cramps and minor pain in athletes.

The relaxation of arteries has a favorable effect on blood pressure. In two clinical studies Pycnogenol® taken for at least eight weeks was found to significantly support normal blood pressure.

Pycnogenol® stimulated NO generation directly translates into clear blood flow. This was first demonstrated at the University of Arizona, Tucson in smokers. Pycnogenol® dose-dependently, starting at a single dose of 25mg, countered the typical effects of cigarette smoking on the blood. Also, Italian vascular specialists found that Pycnogenol® supported the circulation of individuals on flights between New York and London.

Pycnogenol® supports healthy blood sugar levels

Pycnogenol® can support normal glucose levels when taken as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle plan. A clinical investigation has confirmed the significant glucose-lowering effect of Pycnogenol®. It was noted that Pycnogenol® did not affect insulin levels. Pycnogenol® appears to facilitate previously insulin-resistant cells to uptake sugar from the blood stream by yet unknown mechanisms.

Pycnogenol® limits cellular irritation

Two clinical studies carried out in Germany this year with student volunteers demonstrated that Pycnogenol® has a potent effect in preventing cellular irritation. Pycnogenol® inhibits a molecular “main-switch” in immune cells that triggers the onset of cellular irritation in any part of the body. Moreover, Pycnogenol® was found to inhibit so-called COX enzymes, which are involved with minor pain-sensation related to cellular irritation.

Pycnogenol® sooths menstrual pain

Japanese gynecologists discovered in 1999 that regular supplementation with Pycnogenol® soothes the normal discomfort of menstrual pain, particularly during cramping. Another clinical investigation of 47 women in year 2004 confirmed the effect of Pycnogenol® in addressing menstrual pain. This year a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center field study with 116 women again confirmed these results. Pycnogenol® is not suitable for on-demand relief during menstruation. The studies show that Pycnogenol® reached highest efficacy when taken regularly for months.

Pycnogenol® helps to support respiratory health

Challenges to normal respiratory function may result from incidents the immune system perceives as harmful. Pycnogenol® offers valuable help in supporting respiration due to its immune-modulating effect and its ability to limit cellular irritation. A study at the University of Arizona found that Pycnogenol® supports clear breathing and lowers mediators of cellular irritation in the blood stream. More recently, a placebo-controlled clinical study at the University of California, Loma Linda described how Pycnogenol® supported healthy respiration in 60 children aged 6-18 years. Pycnogenol® needs to be taken continuously for prolonged periods of time for maximum benefit to the respiratory system.

Pycnogenol® is investigated in clinical trials all over the world. New findings are posted on the website www.Pycnogenol.com.

Frank Schonlau Ph.D. is a biochemist who has spent nine years in medical research at the University Clinic of Munster Germany. His area of expertise covers vascular disorders, inflammation and dermatology. He has published more than 20 studies and review articles in the medical literature. Since entering the dietary field in 1999 he was involved in numerous studies on Pycnogenol® and communication of new health discoveries.

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Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells
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Date: December 20, 2005 11:30 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells

Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells

The differences between aging and growing old are poles apart. Sure, they may sound similar in nature. But when you think about it, the two are as different as night and day. Growing old is about retirement and travel and enjoying what you’ve worked an entire life for. Aging, on the other hand, summons images of wrinkled skin, brittle joints, cloudy minds and medicine cabinets full of prescriptions. It’s safe to assume that the majority of us want to look, live, and feel better as we grow old. Not the opposite. Many of us are on the right track - committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. And yes, these do serve as a solid foundation for good health during our golden years. It is our cells, however, that ultimately determine who grows old, and who just ages.

Still, slowing the proverbial hands of time is not all about health clubs and organic produce. If you want to grow old gracefully, you must nurture the ten trillion cells that defi ne you physically. Why? Because these cells are constantly under attack by free radicals - unstable molecules that either lack, or have an unpaired number of electrons. They scour the body in search of stable cells, and do whatever they can to rob them of their electrons, a process more formally known as oxidation. Considering that it’s environmentally impossible to completely avoid contact with the billions of airborne toxins that cause free radicals, the only other option is to safeguard your healthy cells. Making the commitment to a healthy lifestyle is the fi rst step in the process, and can be accomplished by eating healthier foods, exercising on a regular basis, and paying close attention to what you are exposed to environmentally.

The next step is to nourish and protect your cells. The best way to do this is to consume foods that are rich in antioxidants and other cell-friendly nutrients. Unfortunately, this task is often much easier said than done. Today’s average adult is busier than ever, making it far more diffi cult to consume fresh, unprocessed meals 100% of the time. This does not, however, imply that all hope is lost. Over the years, the nutritional sciences have made stunning advances that afford you the opportunity to live your life while still safeguarding the integrity of your most basic building blocks. Here are a few of the best.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants work at the cellular level to paralyze the free radicals that cause oxidation throughout the body. Some of today’s most popular nutrients and dietary supplements fall into this category. They include vitamins A, E, and C, Selenium, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lycopene, Lutein, CoQ10, in addition to a host of others. And though similar in function, each of these free radical fi ghters has a unique role within the body.

Take CoQ10 for example. It’s present in every cell of the body, and is especially important for cardiovascular support. Lutein has been used extensively to prevent oxidation in the macular regions of the eyes. Zinc is a powerful immune system booster that has become extremely popular during cold and fl u season. Alpha Lipoic Acid is both fat and water soluble, and is commonly referred to as the “universal” antioxidant based on its ability to quench free radicals anywhere in the body.

Immune Boosting Herbs

Herbs such as Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Rhodiola, Echinacea, Panax Ginseng and Ashwaganda have been used for centuries to help support healthy cells and strong, responsive immune systems. They’ve also been shown to exhibit natural synergistic effects when used together. Today, they remain one of the most popular ways to naturally promote all-around wellbeing. When it comes to supporting healthy cells, NOW is pleased to offer one of the best selections of antioxidants, herbs and immune support formulas. Be sure to look for these and other great products at fi ne health food retailers, nationwide.*

OPCs

OPCs (proanthocyanidins) are high-powered polyphenol antioxidants that belong to the fl avonoid family. Grape seed extract, pine bark extracts such as Pycnogenol and enzogenol, bilberry, gingko biloba, resveratrol and others all fall into this category. Research continues to suggest that OPCs work in the same manner that traditional antioxidants do, however their ability to eradicate free radicals is much greater and more versatile. Equally appealing, OPCs can easily cross the blood barrier of the brain to help protect brain and neural tissues from the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Mushroom Extracts

Throughout history, many civilizations have relied on organic mushroom extracts to encourage wellness. What we know now is that mushrooms such as Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi and others are rich in 1,3 Beta-glucans - soluble fi ber compounds that help support both innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, the active compounds in some mushrooms have been shown to stimulate the production of microphages, T cells, and other natural killer cells. These biological warriors serve at the front line when it comes to responding to bacterial attacks. They are of immeasurable value to the immune system, though drastically lacking in today’s average diet. In just the past few years, more and more healthconscious individuals have learned fi rst-hand how benefi cial they can be in the preservation of healthy cells.



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Pomeratrol™ Fact Sheet
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Date: December 19, 2005 09:09 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Pomeratrol™ Fact Sheet

Pomeratrol™ Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 9/28/04

USER: Those needing antioxidant protection; People with a family history of cell growth abnormalities; Anyone concerned with aging

KEY INGREDIENT(S): Pomegranate fruit standardized extract 200 mg. (Punica granatum) containing 80% total polyphenols, including 40% Ellagic acid, Resveratrol (100% trans-resveratrol) 20 mg. from a blend of Japanese knotweed root extract (Polygonum cuspidatum) and grape skin extract (Vitis vinifera)

POTENTIAL BENEFITS: Ellagic acid is a polyphenol compound found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and other fruit. It has been shown to normalize cell death of abnormal cells, a process called apoptosis. This enhances the body’s cell growth control system by providing an important plant substance. It may bind to DNA to prevent damage to this all-important genetic material. This is a key step in preventing cell damage that leads to signs of aging.

The American Cancer Society says that research in animal and laboratory models has found that ellagic acid inhibits the abnormal growth of certain cells. Research at Ohio State University indicates that berries typically contain a few milligrams per ounce of ellagic acid, the actual level varying quite a bit from variables such as species, variety and growing conditions.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant compound that is a phytoestrogen, or plant estrogen, which is protective of hormone-mediated cells in the body. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant if stabilized. If not stable, it may quickly metabolize out of the body. This compound is believed responsible for some of the beneficial effects of moderate red wine drinking on the cardiovascular system. Resveratrol is also considered to be beneficial to smokers’ lung tissue if it is stabilized to last long enough in the system to be transported there. Resveratrol is also an inhibitor of the COX-2 inflammatory enzyme and encourages cell death (apoptosis) of abnormally growing cells. In insect experiments resveratrol even repaired DNA, leading to a longer life for healthy cells even as it helped get rid of unhealthy cells. Again, this ability to protect cells and help the body rid itself of abnormal cells is a key factor in preventing signs of aging. One liter of red wine contains between 1.5 and 3 mg. of resveratrol.

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Resveratrol is a difficult substance to stabilize. Because of the difference between resveratrol produced in the oxygen-poor environment in red wine and the form of resveratrol in unstabilized supplements, it has long been thought that resveratrol supplements were not very effective in comparison with wine. Knowing the importance of how a resveratrol supplement is metabolized, Now’s scientific staff has recently developed a special technique of stabilizing this compound in order to have an antioxidant effect closer to drinking a good glass of wine. While both trans and cis forms of resveratrol are naturally occurring, most of the recorded health benefits are attributed to the trans form. Now’s Pomeratrol provides trans-resveratrol.

DOSE: One capsule per day. Resveratrol has been used safely in studies at doses equivalent to 500 mg./day.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Other antioxidants and plant compounds: Vitamin C, Pycnogenol, grape seed extract, and alpha lipoic acid.

CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. There are some indications that resveratrol is a mild anticoagulant ("blood thinner"), and it also may help keep blood vessels to remain open and flexible. Caution should be used by those on blood-thinning drugs. Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
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Date: December 19, 2005 08:47 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection

GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection

  • Superior Anti-Aging Formula
  • Stimulates Natural Antioxidant Defenses
  • Helps Protect DNA
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress
  • Prevents Oxygen Related Cell Damage

In the time it takes you to finish reading this article, you, your body and your cells will have aged. Some, more than others. Nevertheless, every second that ticks away should serve as a reminder that our time here is temporary. How much time we actually end up with depends on many things. Diet. Lifestyle. Environment. Superoxide Dismutase? I’ll explain. What some of the healthiest individuals fail to realize is that our bodies age from the inside out. Aging is not the result of passing time, but rather the result of what we’re exposed to environmentally, physically and chemically. It is the integrity of our cells, not our clocks, that determine how smooth the aging process fares.

Each day, we’re subjected to millions of elements that affect us in ways seldom seen, felt or noticed. From the moment we’re born, we rely on our cells to work around the clock - producing energy, fighting infections and sustaining life. These same cells eventually determine the rate at which we show (or hide) our age.

Taking into consideration that our planet has no shortage of toxins & germs, the need to safeguard our cells becomes very real. Constant exposure to exhaust, secondhand smoke, heavy metals, lead, fluoride and uncountable other noxious compounds should ideally provide us with nothing more than a routine immune system workout. Unfortunately, over long periods they hinder our “resistance” abilities and become stepping stones to accelerated aging.

Antioxidants. We’ve all heard the term before, and may even have a general understanding of their role. But to better grasp just how vital they are, it helps to know what’s happening at the cellular level. Free radicals are unstable molecular thieves that often lack electrons. To compensate, they rob healthy cells - a process better known as oxidation. Antioxidants work with the immune system to prevent oxidation, and clean up the mess it leaves behind. Hence, the name.

There are two types. Exogenous antioxidants are derived from our diet and include vitamins A, E, and C along with others such as alpha lipoic acid, selenium, CoQ10, grape seed, Pycnogenol and zinc. To date, we’ve been limited to exogenous antioxidants as a way to increase the rate at which our body wards off oxidation. They are not, however, our first line of defense. At birth, each and every one of us is equipped with three primary endogenous enzymatic antioxidants; SOD (Superoxide Dismutase), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) and Catalase.

While both types of antioxidants are beneficial, we’ve become reliant on those from the diet to compensate for our inability to boost the effectiveness of our 3 primary antioxidants. For years, researchers have been examining ways to enhance the activity of our built-in bodyguards. One in particular, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has been of foremost interest. SOD targets what many researchers regard as one of our greatest health threats and aging accelerators - Superoxide radicals. These highly reactive, merciless molecules incite enormous amounts of oxidative stress and are capable of wreaking havoc on healthy cells. When cells are left unprotected by SOD, the results can be disastrous - respiratory problems, premature aging, memory loss, cardiovascular challenges, vision failure and joint structure damage, among others.

Until now, we’ve been at the mercy of our natural SOD reserves to fight superoxides. Researchers have been working feverishly to produce an effective oral SOD supplement, but have continually encountered a frustrating hurdle - exposure to gastric acid denatures SOD, rendering it useless. As a result, the only effective way to supplement SOD was through injections. These, however, only yielded short-term spikes. And then something remarkable happened that changed everything. Nutrition scientists in France determined that by combining Cucumus melo (a melon high in SOD) with a wheat gliadin stabilizer, it would be possible to prevent SOD from deteriorating in the digestive tract, while preserving it in the blood for extended periods. Not only is this the answer to a puzzle that has plagued researchers, it’s a breakthrough that will impact the life of anyone seeking longevity and vitality.

As the first proven oral SOD supplement ever introduced to the public, GliSODin® has taken antioxidant protection, immune support and antiaging science to an entirely new level. The primary function of GliSODin® is to scour the body for superoxide radicals and reduce them to less reactive ions that can be swept away; a process known as dismutation. In addition, GliSODin® reduces the oxidation vulnerability of healthy cells, protects mitochondrial activity and safeguards DNA structure.

What’s most remarkable is that GliSODin® has actually been shown to stimulate the body’s own natural production of all three enzymatic antioxidants, including SOD. For the first time in history, we will have the ability to enhance the effectiveness of our body’s primary defense mechanism.

New GliSODin® from NOW® represents the ultimate in antioxidant protection. By increasing one’s level of SOD while stimulating the natural production of Glutathione Peroxidase and Catalase, GliSODin® delivers antioxidant protection unlike any previously released dietary supplement. Remember, the aging process begins at a level that we simply can not see, the cellular level. Shielding your cells from superoxide damage is one of the smartest steps you can take against aging before your due time. GliSODin® has made this a reality.



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Nattokinase Fact Sheet
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Date: December 08, 2005 05:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Nattokinase Fact Sheet

Nattokinase Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/8/05

LIKELY USERS: People seeking to support heart health and healthy circulation.1-6

KEY INGREDIENTS: Nattokinase, an enzyme

STRUCTURE/FUNCTION USE: Nattokinase is an enzyme isolated from Natto, a traditional Japanese fermented soy food. Natto has been consumed safely for thousands of years for its numerous health benefits. More recently, both clinical and non-clinical studies have demonstrated that Nattokinase supports heart health and promotes healthy circulation. Each serving of NOWR Nattokinase provides 2,000 FU (Fibrinolytic Units) to help keep already healthy levels of blood clotting factors within a normal range. 1-6

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: An assay of 2,000 FU (Fibrinolytic Units) is equivalent to 160 IU on the Urokinase assay. The FU assay measures Nattokinase activity by using the fibrin plate method and measuring the absorption of released low-molecular weight substances.7 NOW Nattokinase is made from non-GE (non-genetically engineered) bacteria (Bacillus subtilis var. Natto) grown on non-GE soybeans and standardized on a base of non-GE, corn-derived maltodextrin.

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Take one vegetarian Vcap once or twice a day between meals (without protein).

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vein SupremeTM, Tru-E Bio ComplexTM, Pycnogenol®, garlic, and cayenne

CAUTIONS: None.

SPECIFIC: People with blood coagulation disorders or who take anticoagulant (“blood thinning”) medications (including aspirin) should consult a physician before use. Do not take if prone to bleeding. Unlike some other brands, NOWR Nattokinase contains no Vitamin K (K1 or K2), which would enhance clotting.

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.

REFERENCES:

1. Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, Fujii R, Kariya K, Nishimuro S (1995) Thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a chemically induced thrombosis model in rat. Biol Pharm Bull 18(10):1387-1391
2. Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H (1990) Enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase. Acta Haematol 84(3):139-143.
3. Suzuki Y, Kondo K, Ichise H, Tsukamoto Y, Urano T, Umemura K (2003) Dietary Supplementation With Fermented Soybeans Suppresses Intimal Thickening. Nutrition 19:261-264.
4. Suzuki Y, Kondo K, Matsumoto Y, Zhao B-Q, Otsuguro K, Maeda T, Tsukamoto Y, Urano T, Umemura K (2003) Dietary supplementation of fermented soybean, natto, suppresses intimal thickening and modulates the lysis of mural thrombi after endothelial injury in rat femoral artery. Life Sci 73:1289-1298.
5. Ito H, Suzuki T (2002) Effect of oral administration of nattokinase extract on blood mobility. Society of Analytical Bio-Sciences 25(4):1-5.
6. An Open Clinical Pilot Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Natural Super Kinase as an Add-On Oral Fibrinolytic Agent to Low Molecular Weight Heparin and Anti-Platelets in Acute Ischaemic Stroke. (no authors listed) (2004)
7. Method: J of Agri Food Chem, Vol 48 (2000) P3, 210-213, 216



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Green Tea Extract Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 10:23 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Green Tea Extract Fact Sheet

LIKELY USERS: People wanting antioxidant protection; Those trying to control cholesterol; People with high levels of inflammatory iron, including eaters of red meat; Those seeking to avoid caffeine, but wanting the benefits of green tea.

KEY INGREDIENT(S): Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis) 400 mg

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES:

Total EGCg content: 50% (200 mg.) (Epigallocatechin gallate, a Catechin) Total Catechins content: 80% (by HPLC method) (Catechins are a form of Polyphenol) Total Polyphenols content: 98% (by UV method) Polyphenols, especially catechins (including EGCg), are the main active ingredients in green tea, which act as antioxidants and bind iron, which may prevent some iron-dependent inflammation.

Less than 1% caffeine content, naturally occurring (versus one cup of green tea’s roughly 40 mg. of caffeine). There should be only around 3 mg. of caffeine, per capsule.

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES:

  • Highest dose in one capsule.
  • Vegetarian form.
  • One capsule contains as much EGCg as about three cups of green tea.
  • Green tea may correct cholesterol imbalances by raising HDL and lowering LDL cholesterol, while preventing LDL from oxidizing. Oxidized cholesterol is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Green tea may also be a mild anticoagulant, or “blood-thinner”.
  • Green tea has been shown to help maintain levels of desirable intestinal bacteria.

    AMOUNT TO USE: One or more Vcaps® a day, preferably with meals. Three to four capsules would provide about the same antioxidant benefits as ten cups of tea, an amount used successfully in some studies.

    COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Other antioxidants including Vitamins A, C and E, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, NAC, grape seed and skin extracts, Pycnogenol and pine extracts, pomegranate and various berries.

    CAUTIONS:Due to the lack of any substantial amount of caffeine in this formula, most of the usual tea cautions are not applicable. While the mild anticoagulant effects will not normally affect most people to any great degree, some caution should be used if taking blood-thinning drugs. Green tea may help the effects of chemotherapy drugs while preventing the normal tissue damage from these drugs. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs! Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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    SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH PYCNOGENOL
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 13, 2005 12:39 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH Pycnogenol

    SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH Pycnogenol

  • • It strengthens skin and promotes elasticity, which means it fights wrinkles and can soften facial lines.
  • • It protects capillaries from free radical damage, which helps to prevent phlebitis, varicose veins and bruising. Consequently, it has been recommened for anyone with history of blood clots.
  • • For joint pain and injuries, Pycnogenol acts as a natural anti-inflammatory without the negative side effects of overthe- counter or prescription drugs. It also helps to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis and other joint conditions. It has been recommended as a daily supplement for anyone who engages in continuous physical activity.
  • • It helps to control and prevent water retention or edema in the tissues by decreasing fluid leadage from the cells, which results in swelling. Anyone suffering from swollen ankles or fingers should look into its diuretic properties.
  • • P ycnogenol is an excellent supplement for any type of allergy, especially hay fe ver because it decreases the production of histamines which are responsible for all the miseries of allergy symptoms.
  • • It can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy and in some cases has decreased blood sugar levels. Diabetes and its complications seem especially responsive to the flavonoid compounds contained in Pycnogenol.
  • • Because it crosses the blood-brain barrier, it may be helpful in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Senile Dementia.
  • • Pycnogenol may guard against the formation of tumors or other cell mutations caused by free radicals and may help protect against degenerative diseases like cancer.
  • • Atherosclerosis and other circulatory diseases including strokes, can benefit from the vessel strengthening action of Pycnogenol.
  • • Prostate problems seem especially responsive to certain doses of Pycnogenol.

    A REMARKABLE PREDICTION

    The general consensus among many experts in the health field is that Pycnogenol is destined to become the most vital of all antioxidant compounds. As more scientific evidence presents itself, Pycnogenol may eventually sweep 21st century dietary supplementation.

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    PROPER DOSAGES OF PYCNOGENOL CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS
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    Date: July 13, 2005 12:35 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: PROPER DOSAGES OF Pycnogenol CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS

    PROPER DOSAGES OF Pycnogenol CAN DETERMINE ITS EFFECTIVENESS

    Some doctors who have used Pycnogenol recommend a dose of 20 mg. for every 20 lbs. of body weight to obtain optimal results. This usually averages to approximately 150-200 mg. per person, per day. For therapeutic doses, a saturation level can be obtained by taking an increased amount of Pycnogenol initially and then tapering off to optimal body weight dosages.

    Pycnogenol: LIFE-CHANGING COMPOUND

    Supplementing the diet with nature’s most powerful antioxidants is certainly paramount in protecting ourselves and our families from the ravages of disease. Studies suggest the earlier we sta rt using Pycnogenol, the better for our biocellular health. While we anxiously await for the cure for cancer and other devastating diseases, we can arm our bodies with the most powerful protective nutrients available. Pycnogenol is the compound of choice.

    A WORD CONCERNING TESTIMONIALS

    Frequently, sensational claims emerge when new health supplements are introduced. Concerning Pycnogenol, accounts vary from anecdotal to scientific. Unquestionably, when it comes to vision problems, capillary weakness, prostate problems or any type of inflammatory problem, Pycnogenol has already compiled an impressive track record.

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    HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS PYCNOGENOL?
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    Date: July 13, 2005 12:30 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS Pycnogenol?

    HOW BIOAVAILABLE IS Pycnogenol?

    The results of isotopic testing confirmed that grape seed proanthocyanidins had a specific affinity for collagen, and demonstrated how long the bioflavonoid complex adhered to living tissue. Because this testing was not possible on pine bark sources of proanthocyanidins, data collected from grape seed testing has been extrapolated or applied to pine bark. Pycnogenol is rapidly absorbed and transported throughout the cellular system due to the high water solubility of the proanthocyanidins. Within one hour of ingesting this bioflavonoid complex, proanthocyanidins can be detectedin human saliva. Pycnogenol uptake in the body is rapid and is quickly distributed.

    The bot tom line is that Pycnogenol is a water-soluble bioflavonoid which is quickly assimilated after ingestion into the bloodstream. There, it acts to scavenge free radicals and to strengthen connective tissue. The proanthocyanidins found in Pycnogenol can not only scavenge and remove free radicals, but inhibit their propagation as well.

    THE TOLERABILITY AND SAFETY OF Pycnogenol

    It would certainly be pointless to find a substance that while seemingly beneficial, was not safe or could not be well tolerated by its users. Studies have shown that pure sources of Pycnogenol are practically devoid of any oral toxicity. Even extremely high dosages administered over sustained periods of time showed no toxicity or side-effects.14 Virtually no actual or potential risks were found with this compound. Pycnogenol has been shown to be safe for conception, pregnant women, and the unborn fetus. It is devoid of any perior postnatal toxicity. On the contrary, the compounds were found to not only benefit targeted disorders, but a variety of other conditions improved as well.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=609)


    PYCNOGENOL - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS
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    Date: July 13, 2005 12:26 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pycnogenol - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS

    Pycnogenol - ITS REMARKABLE BENEFITS

    New to North America but not to Europe, this natural product is considered safe and effective in the treatment of various diseases and for the maintenance of optimal health. This family of bioflavonoids is non-toxic, water soluble and highly bioavailable. Because proanthocyanidins scavenge free radicals so effectively, they have shown remarkable curative effects. Extensive research demonst rates that proanthocyanidins are such potent antioxidants, they find and neutralize free radicals with great rapidity, allowing cells to regenerate rather than deteriorate. Specific actions associated with Pycnogenol include:

  • • Binds with Collagen Fibers and helps restore skin elasticity
  • • Helps prevent excess wrinkling
  • • Protects capillaries from free radical damage which helps prevent phlebitis, varicose veins and bruising
  • • Treats Joint Pain and Injuries as a natural antiinflammatory
  • • Helps control and prevent edema
  • • Decreases the production of histamines in allergic reactions such as Hay Fever
  • • Reduces the risk of and treats diabetic retinopathy

    Pycnogenol SPECIFICALLY TARGETS: SKIN AND ELASTICITY

    Testing has suggested that Pycnogenol flavonoids exhibited an anti-enzyme effect which prevented the break down of collagen and elastin, the very compounds which keep skin firm and inhibit the formation of wrinkles.7

    TUMOR RELATED DISEASES

    Unquestionably, studies have shown that Pycnogenol has the ability to inhibit cellular mutations.8 The implications of this finding for anyone suffering from tumor related disease which originates from cellular malfunctions should not be underestimated.

    CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONS

    The potential of Pycnogenol to pr e vent cellular deterioration or uncontrolled growth is profound to say the least. Several investigations have shown that if it is taken on a daily basis, Pycnogenol benefits people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and breast tumors.9 In addition, double blind placebo controlled studies have indicated that patients suffering from circulatory insufficiencies and diseases of the lymph system showed significant improvement in pain control and vessel elasticity after taking these flavonoids.10

    VISION

    Subsequent experiments concluded that the family of bioflavonoids contained in Pycnogenol is capable of improving night vision and initialing “a rapid and marked improvement of visual performances after glare in comparison with control group.”11

    WATER RETENTION AND EDEMA

    Pycnogenol is particularly valuable for anyone who suffers from water retention and edema. Studies at the Institute of Physiology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences confirm that this biofl avonoid compound stabilized capillary walls, which decreased fluid leakage into tissues which causes swelling and pressure.12

    WHAT PATHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS RESPOND TO Pycnogenol?

    The bioflavonoids found in Pycnogenol have been clinically indicated in the following pathological conditions:

  • • circulatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • • varicose veins
  • • edema
  • • bruising
  • • capillary fragility (commonly seen in diabetes can cause retina damage and decrease sight)
  • • visual disturbances
  • • aging of skin
  • • diabetes
  • • stroke
  • • prostate disease
  • • wrinkles
  • • stress

    Pycnogenol HAS THERAPEUTIC VALUE FOR THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

  • • BELL’S PALSY
  • • ULCERS
  • • EYESIGHT: INCREASES VISUAL ACUITY
  • • CANCERS: INHIBITS TUMOR GROWTH
  • • HEART DISEASE
  • • ATHEROSCLEROSIS
  • • MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
  • • COLDS AND FLU
  • • PROSTRATE PROBLEMS
  • • LUPUS
  • • ARTHRITIS
  • • MEMORY/ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, SENILE DEMENTIA
  • • STROKE
  • • PARKINSON’S DISEASE
  • • PSORIASIS
  • • BURSITIS
  • • GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
  • • INSOMNIA
  • • IT CAN ALSO HELP TO INCREASE LONGEVITY AND OVERALL HEALTH

    Pycnogenol CAN CROSS THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER

    One of the most significant advantages of this flavonoid compound is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, it acts as an invaluable therapeutic agent in treating depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia or loss of memory.

    ANTI-ULCER FORMING PROPERTIES

    Other scientific tests have indicated that proanthocyanidins also posses anti-ulcer properties and may work to prevent the formation of undesirable chemicals in the stomach.13

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=608)


    PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE PYCNOGENOL SO EXTRAORDINARY
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    Date: July 13, 2005 12:09 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE Pycnogenol SO EXTRAORDINARY

    PROANTHOCYANIDINS MAKE Pycnogenol SO EXTRAORDINARY

    Recently, the very profound effect of the proanthocyanidins found in Pycnogenol has been investigated for its remarkable antioxidant action. These bioflavonoid compounds have been found to significantly surpass other known antioxidants in their ability to scavenge free radicals. Pycnogenol is 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 time more so than vitamin C. In addition, it is one of the few compounds that can cross the blood- brain barrier making it therapeutically effective for a number of neurological disorders.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=607)


    PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT
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    Date: July 13, 2005 10:01 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pycnogenol AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

    Pycnogenol AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

    While flavonoid concentrates were used in ancient times to treat a variety of human diseases, modern medicine has failed to utilize their enormous therapeutic potential. We assume RDA standards to provide us with all the vitamin C and bioflavonoids we need to be healthy. Even if these set quantities were accurate for maintaining optimal health, how many of us eat diets nutritious enough to maintain maximum health and protection? In other words, do we consume enough fruits and ve g etables to affo rd us adequate levels of vitamin C and bioflavonoids to provide the free radical protection we need?

    “The USDA conducted a study in which they collected dietary information over the course of the year for four independent days. In that study 20% of the adult women had no fruit or juice for four days, and about 45% had no citrus fruit or citrus fruit juice in four days.”6

    MALNUTRITION IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY?

    Only 9% of our population gets and eats enough fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis. Unquestionably, most of us are not getting enough vitamin C and flavonoid compounds from our diets.

    In addition, it’s important to remember that modern farming techniques, pre m a t u re harve sting of fruits and vegetables, indefinite cold storage, freezing, canning and cooking may denature food of its vitamin C and bioflavonoid content. Because we know that diseases are often nothing more than nutritional deficiencies, we must make adequate supplementation a priority if we want to enhance our longevity.

    As mentioned earlier, biofl avonoids must combine with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in order to be effective. Mother nature was well aware of this synergistic relationship, as most plant biof l avonoids accomp a ny vitamin C compounds. In addition, the best, most bio-active and bioavailable flavonols must be chosen for their antioxidant properties. An overwhelming consensus exists that Pycnogenol may be the ideal choice.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=606)


    WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:57 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?

    WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?

    Free radicals are unstable, unpredictable structures that pose a potential threat to healthy molecules on a cellular level. In their atte mpt to become stable, they assault and randomly impact healthy molecules, altering their functions in the process.

    TO COMPLETLEY ELIMINATE FREE RADICALS, YOU MUST STOP BREATHING

    The very act of breathing oxygen activates these reactive chemical structures. To make matte rs wo rse, because our generation, more than any other, is exposed to a number of potentially harmful environmental substances, free radical formation can reach epidemic proportions. Some of the more dangerous of these include:

  • • cigarette smoke
  • • herbicides
  • • pesticides
  • • smog
  • • car exhaust
  • • certain prescription drugs
  • • diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays
  • • ultra-violet light
  • • gamma radiation
  • • rancid foods
  • • certain fats
  • • alcohol
  • • some of our food and water supplies
  • • stress
  • • poor diets

    EVEN EXERCISE HAS ITS PERILS

    Exercising, as beneficial as it is, can initiate the release of free radicals within our cellular systems. Aerobic exercising produces oxidation products. Many of these compounds are not neutralized by our internal safety mechanisms and an overload can occur. Supplementing the diet with efficient antioxidants is highly recommended for eve ryone, but especially for those who exercise on a regular basis.

    WHY ARE FREE RADICALS SO DANGEROUS

    A free radical can destroy a protein, an enzyme or even a complete cell. To make matte rs wo rse, free radicals can multiply through a chain reaction mechanism resulting in the release of thousands of cellular oxidants. When this happens, cells can become so badly damaged that DNA codes can be altered and immunity can be compromised.

    Contact with a free radical or oxidant on this scale can create cellular deterioration, resulting in cancer and heart disease. Tissue breakdown from this oxidative stress can also occur which can contribute to aging, arthritis and whole host of other degenerative conditions. “Through free radical reactions in our body, it’s as though we’re being irradiated at low levels all the time. They grind us down.”3

    PREMATURE AGING AND FREE RADICALS:

    Frequently, the oxidative stress caused by free radicals results in what we refer to as the aging process. While aging is inevitable, many of us hasten its outcome by not protecting ourselves, hence, we age prematurely. The early onset of wrinkling, arthritis, circulatory disorders, diabetes, heart disease and hardening of the arteries can result from free radical damage that could have been minimized by consistently taking strong antioxidants like Pycnogenol. More and more research suggests that it is a lack of certain protective nutrients, like the bioflavonoid compounds contained in Pycnogenol, which increases our risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.4

    WHY A NUTRITIOUS DIET DOES NOT AFFORD US ENOUGH PROTECTION

    “They (antioxidants) may be much more important that doctors thought in warding off cancer, heart disease and the ravages of aging—and, no, you may not be getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.”5

    Clearly, while diet modifications are invaluable, diet alone cannot provide the kind of physiological defense the body requires to inhibit free radicals before they cause biological harm. While there is no way to escape our exposure to free radicals, we can minimize potential cellular destruction by reducing their numbers.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=605)


    THE TERM “PYCNOGENOL” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:51 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: THE TERM “Pycnogenol” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS

    THE TERM “Pycnogenol” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS

    Be aware that the word Pycnogenol is used by some companies as a trade name. Technically it is a generic term for proanthocyanidins in France as intended by Dr. Masquelier. Proanthocyanidins refer to the flavonol class of the bioflavonoid family. Both pine bark and grape seed are viable sources for the compound. Think of it this way: vitamin C can be extracted from a number of sources, likewise proanthocyanidins or Pycnogenol can come from pine bark or grape seed.

    It was Dr, Masquelier who named this family of bioflavonoids and actually discove red “Pycnogenol.” He intended the term to refer to this unique and specific category of bioflavonoids. Despite his intent, the word “Pycnogenol” has been trademarked by a variety of companies around the world. It is only in France, where Dr. Masquelier still controls the term, that it is used generically.

    FREE RADICALS, CELLULAR CULPRITS AND Pycnogenol

    It is a scientific fact that most of us will not live out our potential maximum life span. Unfortunately, because of the damage free radical cause within our cellular structures, many of us will die prematurely from one of a wide variety of degenerative diseases. Free radical damage has been associated with over 60 known diseases and disorders.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=604)


    THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:48 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: THE ORIGINS OF Pycnogenol

    THE ORIGINS OF Pycnogenol

    For generations, certain tribes of North American Indians used bioflavonoids extracted from the bark of pine trees for a variety of disorders. Because of its marvelous healing properties, they called this pine the Annedda, or “tree of life.”

    PINE BARK: GIVER OF LIFE

    These native Americans, who routinely ate deer as their primary source of nutrition, when confronted with a scarcity of meat asked themselves ... where does the deer get its strength? They discovered that deer stripped away pine tree bark and we re able to derive life-giving nutrients from its organic composition. It was also observed that devastating diseases such as scurvy did not afflict those who ate the bark, leaves or needles of this pine tree.

    CARTIER’S ENCOUNTER WITH ANNEDDA TEA

    In 1535, Jacques Cartier learned of the medicinal value of the bark, which remained relatively unknown until 20 or 30 years ago, when scientists reviewed his notes and commenced research. Cartier became caught in the bitter snows of Quebec, while attempting to navigate the St. Lawrence River. Cartier and his crew subsisted on hard biscuits and cured meat and eventually came down with what was believed to be scurvy. Scurvy is an abhorrent disease which causes a very slow and agonizing death. Several of Cartier’s men died before they were approached by the Quebec Indians who prepared a tea they called “Annedda” from the bark of a certain native pine tree. The men took the tea and used its leaves as poultices. Their recovery was almost immediate. What must have seemed like a miraculous substance was technically, nothing more than vitamin C with bioflavonoids naturally inherent to the pine tree.

    MASQUELIER’S SUBSEQUENT DISCOVERY OF Pycnogenol

    Cartier was resourceful enough to document the incident. Over 400 years later, a French professor, Jacques Masquelier, assigned to the University of Quebec discove red Cartier’s account. Because he was already involved in bioflavonoid research, he became greatly intrigued by pine tree extract. Dr. Masquelier isolated a bio-active substance known as proanthocyanidin.

    THE EMERGENCE OF PROANTHOCYANIDIN

    After returning to France, Professor Masquelier found that this compound could be extracted from the bark of the French Maritime Pine pinus maritima found in abundance in southern France. Intensive research by Dr. Masquelier led to the discovery of Pycnogenol, which is another name for the group of bioflavonoids known as the proanthocyanidins. Subsequent in-depth testing revealed that these compounds are a nutrient treasure far more valuable that anyone originally thought. In time, the grape seed was found to contain the same compound and today, is considered an excellent source of Pycnogenol in France.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=603)


    THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF PYCNOGENOL
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 13, 2005 09:44 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF Pycnogenol

    THE THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF Pycnogenol

    Pycnogenol provides extraordinary therapeutic benefits for a number of physiological conditions and has even contributed to the reversal of some disease states. The active compound found in Pycnogenol acts as a highly potent free radical scavenger, and can not only improve overall health, but protect it as well.

    The proanthocyanidins contained in Pycnogenol may well become the most important nutritional breakthrough of the 21st century. They may prove to be the most potent and effective compounds which act to protect against the cellular damage caused by free radicals discovered to date.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=602)


    WHAT EXACTLY IS PYCNOGENOL?
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:42 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: WHAT EXACTLY IS Pycnogenol?

    WHAT EXACTLY IS Pycnogenol?

    Pycnogenol is a super antioxidant which consists of a highly bioavailable flavonoid called proanthocyanidin. This compound can be extracted from either pine bark or grape seed, and both sources are virtually identical. Biochemists will confirm that as a class, the proanthocyanidin bioflavonoids, regardless of their source, possess the same biochemical activity with very slight exceptions.

    The differences lie in the varying concentrations of the flavonoid and its purity. Extraction processes for each source d i ffer and may contribute to the cost of the type of Pycnogenol in question. Regardless of its source, Pycnogenol has demonstrated extraordinary antioxidant capabilities.

    NATURE’S BEST DEFENSE AGAINST FREE RADICALS: ANTIOXIDANTS

    Potent substances called antioxidants, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals, afford us the best prospect for disease prevention, toxin protection and sustained longevity and vigor. According to many experts, making sure we arm our cellular systems with adequate supplies of antioxidants should be our first health priority. “It has now been established that more than 60 human diseases involve free-radical damage, including cancer, heart disease and the acceleration of the aging process. All that you really need to know is that your body is under constant free - radical atta ck, and that you need to keep your antioxidant defenses strong.”1 The role of Pycnogenol as an exc e ptional free radical scavenger is just beginning to emerge, and the protective potential of Pycnogenol is impressive, to say the least. It’s only a matter of time before scientific data supports the fact that this family of nutrients is far more effective in its antioxidant capacity than previously assumed.

    OTHER ANTIOXIDANTS

    Some of the most common of free radical scavengers or antioxidants include:

  • • Vitamin E
  • • Vitamin C
  • • Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
  • • Coenzyme Q-10
  • • Selenium

    While all of these are excellent cellular protectants, the compound missing from the above list may be the most remarkable of all.

    Pycnogenol: THE HERCULES OF ANTIOXIDANTS

    Pycnogenol provides some of the most potent compounds known to nutritionally support and potentiate the body’s defense system against oxidants. Continually emerging research supports the fact that Pycnogenol may be the best antioxidant nature has to offer. In this regard, it is 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more so than vitamin C.2 Pycnogenol is considered by some health experts to be the greatest nutritional breakthrough of our century.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=601)


    PYCNOGENOL - MIRACLE ANTIOXIDANT
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:36 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pycnogenol - MIRACLE ANTIOXIDANT

    Virtually each and every day, most of us are exposed to a number of toxic substances. Au to Exhaust, tobacco smoke , pollution, preservatives, and additives continually assault our bio-cellular systems. As a result, our risk of getting a degenerative disease is significantly increased. In addition, the aging process itself is accelerated by the p resence of free radicals. Consequently, premature tissue breakdown can occur. Inevitably, despite our best efforts, our environment will continue to surround us with potentially harmful pollutants. Certainly, there are several things we can do to minimize our health risks, including exercising, eating nutritiously and not smoking. Unfortunately, these measures are rarely enough to substantially decrease our risk of contracting certain degenerative diseases or of getting old before our time. While supplementing our diets with vitamins and minerals is st rongly recommended, certain remarkable, natural substances exist which have recently come to the forefront of scientific research. The most promising of these may be a compound called Pycnogenol, and everyone seems to be talking about it.

    Pycnogenol has been associated with:

  • • Reducing the Risk of Cancer
  • • Affording Superior Protection against Toxins and Pollutants
  • • Strengthening the Immune System to Fight Off New Viral Strains
  • • The Prevention of Premature Aging and Degenerative Diseases

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=600)


    How Does CLA Work?
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    Date: June 22, 2005 09:46 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: How Does CLA Work?

    How Does CLA Work?

    How could CLA hinder the growth and development of certain cancers in animals? Scientists have developed some intriguing possibilities, and many of them are related to the theory of antioxidants.

    WHAT IS AN ANTIOXIDANT?

    Well, one of the ironies of life is that oxygen, so essential to human life, also causes decay. Look at the parts of your car where paint may have pealed away, and you will notice rust, what scientists call oxidation. Molecules of oxygen combine with the iron or chromium on your car and change its chemical alignment to iron oxide or chromium oxide—rust. In a very real sense, the same thing happens to you as you age. Inside your cells, thousands of chemical reactions take place each moment. These reactions break apart the long chains of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that make up body tissues and combines them in new ways. Some of those combinations cause decay. One example is when a free radical—a single atom of roaming oxygen—attaches itself to something useful, rendering it useless or even dangerous. If a free radical were to change DNA, for example, that could mutate a cell. This free radical process is one way this oxidation occurs, and antioxidants, often called free radical scavengers, attach themselves to the free radicals, blocking their damage. This can help improve life and help to cut the problems of oxidation. Indeed, many see antioxidants as a way of lessening the risks of cancer.

    Many people know about important antioxidants, such as ascorbigen (vitamin C), selenium or alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), but nature provides numerous antioxidants. Many exciting ones are emerging, such as proanthocyanidins (often known as Pycnogenol), quercetin (common in many fruits) and selenium (a mineral). C LA may be another antioxidant emerging from the research. Dr. Pariza and others found in a 1991 experiment that in the test tube, CLA was effective in battling free radicals. 28 It helped prevent damage to the DNA inside the cells. Pariza says in another paper, “Our hypothesis is that the antioxidant activity of CLA may at least in part explain its anticarcinogenic effect.”29 That would mean that one way CLA prevents cancer is because it blocks these dangerous free radicals. (Other theories about how it fights cancer include breaking down the chemicals that cause cancer into others that don’t .30 All the theories may be true in specific situations, and none might.) But like many other emerging, exciting areas of scientific inquiry, this idea that CLA is an antioxidant has doubters. Researchers J.J. van den Berg, N.E. Cook and D.L. Tribble wanted to see if CLA protected fatty membranes comprised of a substance called palmitoyl-2-linoleoyl phosphatidylcholine (PLPC) from the damage of biologic oxidation. In research published in 1995, they compared CLA’s effect to the wellknown antioxidant vitamin E. While vitamin E protected well, CLA did relatively little. They also found that CLA did not become a mineral chelator, an agent that helps natural minerals become available biologically. They bluntly said, “On the basis of our observations, a role for CLA as an antioxidant does not seem plausible.”31

    Another study in 1995, however, showed that CLA can break down into other substances, called feran derivatives, that do act as antioxidants.32 As in all emerging sciences, debates ensue among honest, dedicated researchers. CLA may not, itself, be a antioxidant. Perhaps it acts as antioxidant in only certain situations. Perhaps things that come from CLA act like antioxidants. That is the state of the research today. (Indeed, Dr. Pariza says such debates are common in the field of antioxidants. 33)

    What is important to remember is that in numerous animal models, CLA protected against the dangers of many different kinds of cancer in animals, and that, according to scientists, it is one of the most potent cancer-preventing substances of its kind known to science. Whether the cause of this effect was because of CLA or because of some other reason really isn’t that important.

    Another thing to remember is that CLA is not a cancer drug. It is something that would be useful in addition to other cancer treatments. It is something to consider to lower your risks and, perhaps, lessen the effects of treatment. It should not be considered a treatment option on its own.

    (https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=394)


    Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
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    Date: June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart

    Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004

    From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.

    And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.

    Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.

    And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.

    Your Heart Disease Chances

    Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.

    While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.

    The most important factors you can do something about include:

    * Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells

    * Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries

    * Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries

    * Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process

    * High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure

    * Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems

    Heart Attack Signs

    Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.

    "The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.

    Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.

    "Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."

    However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.

    Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."

    Signs of a possible heart attack include:

    * Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.

    * Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

    * Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.

    * Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.

    A Woman's Sleep Signs

    If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.

    In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)

    They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.

    More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).

    "Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.

    Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.

    Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.

    "Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.

    Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.

    "Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."

    Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease

    Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.

    Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.

    The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).

    "We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

    To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.

    Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).

    In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.

    "Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."

    Free Radical Blues

    Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.

    In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.

    In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.

    Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.

    No Smoking!

    Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.

    But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.

    This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).

    This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.

    Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.

    In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.

    In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).

    The Female Version of Heart Disease

  • Medical experts who have examined heart disease in men and women have found some striking differences.
  • For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.

    The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.

    Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).

    "This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.

    Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.

    Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).

    Working Out

    As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.

    A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).

    "The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.

    Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.

    In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.

    Exercise Is Essential

    "Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.

    "This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.

    According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.

    Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).

    In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.

    "We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.

    "It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."

    Playful Workouts

    On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."

    Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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    Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection
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    Date: June 04, 2005 02:14 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection

    Pycnogenol Complex

    If there’s one factor that has the greatest negative impact on our health, it is the damage done to our cells by free radicals. These highly unstable molecules disrupt the biochemical processes that regulate life. Although a natural product of oxygen metabolism in the body, free radicals are also produced in vast quantities by modern technology. Our bodies’ natural defenses simply have not been able to keep up with the onslaught of these dangerous products of civilization. On the other hand, technology has offered help by identifying some of nature’s most powerful weapons against free radical attack. Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX is an unprecedented combination of these extremely potent plantbased antioxidants, or Plantioxidants™. Consider them your antidote to the industrial revolution.

    How free radicals are formed and their effect on the body

    Oxygen both makes life, and takes life. The energy that animates us comes from the biochemical reactions that burn oxygen within our cells. And though carefully regulated by the body, this biological combustion, over time, inevitably leads to cellular damage. If oxidation is not carefully controlled, tissues are damaged faster than the body can repair them. This is caused by an excess of over-reactive, electron hungry molecules called oxidants or “free radicals,” which tend to disrupt normal cellular activity. Free radicals attack a cell’s membrane and can even damage its hereditary blueprint (DNA). Since free radicals are a natural result of certain metabolic reactions, the body synthesizes several types of antioxidant enzymes to neutralize them. In addition, we get essential antioxidants from the foods we eat. Vitamins C, E and beta carotene are the ones found most often in our diet. During this century, our environment has become a perpetual source of free radical contamination, primarily from radiation and the chemical pollution in our air, water and food. Today, we are literally overwhelmed with more free radicals than our bodies are accustomed to handling. Fortunately, science has found that certain plants contain special antioxidants that are far more powerful than the vitamins we typically get in our diet. With this knowledge, Source Naturals formulated Pycnogenol® COMPLEX, the most advanced combination of Plantioxidants available today in one product. Pycnogenol® is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima.

    Natural protection against free radicals

    Pycnogenol® Complex – A Cornucopia of Health Our knowledge of pine bark goes back nearly 500 years, to when the French explorer, Jacques Cartier, reported that a tea made from pine tree bark by Native Americans saved the lives of his crew who were dying of scurvy. Nutrition scientists have since isolated the extraordinary antioxidant compounds of pine bark. They have also discovered many other unique antioxidants throughout the plant kingdom. Plants have evolved bioflavonoids to protect themselves from free radical damage. One of the most abundant compounds in the plant kingdom, bioflavonoids are found in the pigments of bark, rinds, seeds, leaves and flowers.

    Natural antioxidants in Pycnogenol® Complex

    The active ingredients of Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX are derived from a diverse range of nature’s plenty: pine bark, green tea, turmeric spice, rosemary, grape seeds, milk thistle seeds, bilberries, hawthorn berries and ginkgo leaves. Each of these Plantioxidants is an exceptional free radical scavenger, and each has a tendency to concentrate in a different organ of the body, thus providing targeted protection. And since their primary function is to capture free radicals, these Plantioxidants free up vitamin C, so it can perform its many other vital functions.

    Defense Plants The two headliners of Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX are the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®, and an extract from grape seeds, Proanthodyn™. Their unsurpassed antioxidant activity – up to 20 times that of Vitamin C and up to 50 times that of Vitamin E – comes from a high concentration of proanthocyanidins.

    Why Pycnogenol® Complex is formulated with extracts of pine bark and grape seed

    These highly bioavailable flavonoids are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and can stay in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours. Few other nutritional antioxidants cross this barrier, and none do it as well. Proanthocyanidins therefore offer the brain and central nervous system unparalleled antioxidant protection. In particular, proanthocyanidins may help reduce the formation of lipofuscin, a brown waste material made of free radical-damaged proteins and fats. Over time, lipofuscin deposits form in the brain, heart, and skin. The “age” or “liver” spots that develop on the backs of some elderly peoples’ hands are made of lipofuscin. Because they’re rich in unsaturated fatty acids, cell membranes are the primary site of free radical attack. Proanthocyanidins are able to protect against both water- and fat-soluble free radicals. Also, their chemical structure is incorporated within cell membranes, making proanthocyanidins very effective in preventing damage to the cell’s interior. This is vital, because if a cell’s DNA is disrupted, it could lead to the abnormal reproduction of that cell. For many years now, Europeans have used pine bark and grape seed extracts to maintain vein and capillary health. Proanthocyanidins support the circulatory system by helping to keep collagen and elastin, the essential constituents of vessel walls, from breaking down during times of imbalance. And most importantly, proanthocyanidins can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Scientists now recognize that it’s not cholesterol itself, but the oxidation of cholesterol that can be problematic.

    How Plantioxidants benefit different organs in the body

    The Power of Diversity

    In addition to the broad protection offered by Pycnogenol® and Proanthodyn, Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX offers an outstanding array of other Plantioxidants. Each has unique abilities to protect the body from oxidants. For several thousand years, Green Tea has been enjoyed in the Orient, not only for its taste, but also as a health tonic. Upon analysis, it contains several strong antioxidants, called Polyphenols, with exceptional free radical scavenging abilities. Polyphenols have been shown to be over 200 times more effective than vitamin E in preventing oxidative damage to brain cells. Source Naturals uses a potent extract of green tea that concentrates 2,000 pounds of fresh green tea leaves into one pound of finished product. This extract has been awarded 30 patents for its protective effects. The ancient Ginkgo Biloba tree has long been prized for its beneficial qualities. Like proanthocyanidins, ginkgo’s compounds are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and support cell membrane and capillary integrity. Its particular antioxidant constituents have been associated with superior oxygen transport to the brain. This is important because the brain uses 20% of all inhaled oxygen. Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX uses a superior 50 to 1 extract, providing 24% Ginkgoflavoneglycosides and 6% Terpenoids. Bilberries were first studied for their capacity to heighten visual acuity in normal subjects under poor light conditions. In fact, to increase their night vision, RAF pilots ate bilberry jam during WW II. Its antioxidant compounds, Anthocyanosides, have an affinity for delicate eye tissues, where it quenches free radicals and supports capillary strength. Source Naturals utilizes a standardized bilberry extract with 25% anthocyanosides, 80 times more potent than regular bilberry.

    The wide range of natural antioxidants in Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX

    Milk Thistle Seed Extract has been researched and used for over 20 years in Europe. Its antioxidant compound, called Silymarin, has a special preference for the liver. It’s one of the few nutrients that can support the liver’s natural regenerative processes. By enhancing DNA activity, liver cells can regenerate up to five times faster. Turmeric Extract contains 95% Curcumin, the active ingredient of this traditional East Indian spice. Curcumin promotes the body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase, an important protector of the liver. Curcumin also increases the production and secretion of bile, which is used to remove cholesterol from the body. Quercetin has been well-researched for its free radical scavenging activity. Because of its ability to stabilize cell membranes, quercetin helps prevent damage and discomfort from reactionary (histamine- and leukotriene-related) processes in the body. Source Naturals quercetin has been isolated from plant sources. Rosemary and Hawthorn Berries both contain bioflavonoid antioxidants that have the unique ability to neutralize the hydroxyl radical, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. Hydroxyls are produced by exposure to excessive radiation and pollution from burned fossil fuels. The body has no innate defense system against it. Vitamin C is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants in the body, so it must be frequently replenished. Since it works in conjunction with bioflavonoids, each tablet of Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX contains 500 mg of vitamin C, bound to Magnesium for increased bioavailability.

    A World of Help

    As we better understand how free radicals affect our health and well being, it’s important that we take advantage of the wonderful protective qualities found in certain plants. These Plantioxidants provide the appropriate means to counteract the destructive effects of excessive free radicals, which have become part and parcel of modern life. Source Naturals Pycnogenol® COMPLEX brings the diverse and concentrated power of the plant world into your world of wellness.

    References
    • Masquelier, J. Natural Products as Medicinal Agents . Stutgart, Germany: Hippokrates Verlag, 1981. • Middleton, E. Jrnl. of Immunology 127 (1981): 546-50. • Muzes, G., et al. Acta-Physiologica-Hungary, 78.1 (1991): 3-9. • Oguni, I., et al. Orig. Res., Univ. of Shizuoka, Japan, 1990. Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research, Ltd. Protected by U.S. Patent No. 4,698,360.



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    PYCNOGENOL ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant
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    Date: June 04, 2005 02:04 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pycnogenol ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant

    Pycnogenol

    Pycnogenol® is a breakthrough in antioxidant protection that demonstrates how important natural nutrition can be for your health. Antioxidants are a class of biological molecules that function to scavenge and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that cause damage at the cellular level, and which unfortunately are unavoidable. Antioxidants – the most famous of which thus far have been Vitamin C and Vitamin E – work to protect living tissue by neutralizing free radicals, thereby interrupting many of their harmful activities. Pycnogenol®, one of the most powerful antioxidants yet discovered, is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima. It is 20 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamin C, and 50 times more so than Vitamin E.

    Free radicals are a real threat

    Uniquely vulnerable targets of free radical attack that require a regular supply of antioxidants just to maintain a basic level of function include fatty acids – especially those in cell membranes – and sulfhydral proteins, which form one of the most common types of chemical bonds found in biological organisms. The importance of these substances for overall health cannot be overstated, as they are critical components not only of tissues throughout the body, but most importantly, of the principal regulatory organs – the brain and liver – and every blood vessel. Free radical attack on fatty acids – known as lipid peroxidation – and related destruction of sulfhydral proteins can lead to diminished function of cell membranes and whole organs. This, in turn, can contribute significantly to decreases in quality of life.

    Free radicals are believed to be active in the development of cumulative damage to the system, as well as in many of the undesirable effects of aging. Free radicals are constantly being produced due to the natural intake of oxygen and generation of energy by the body’s cells. However, their production is heightened by pollutants such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, solvents, and oxidized cholesterol from foods. Therefore, health scientists suggest we may need to increase our intake of antioxidants either from foods or from supplements – such as Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Cysteine, and now, Pycnogenol®.

    Potent antioxidant protection from nature - Pycnogenol®

    Originally discovered by renowned scientist Jacques Masquelier, Pycnogenol® is a natural 85% to 95% concentrate of proanthocyanidins extracted from the bark of the Maritime Pine. Proanthocyanidins are a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids with unparalleled free radical scavenging activity. They readily cross the Blood-Brain Barrier to provide antioxidant protection to the central nervous system, and stay in the bloodstream for approximately 72 hours. Thirty years of sound European research shows that proanthocyanidins from Pycnogenol® are highly beneficial with no evidence of adverse effects, even after more than ten years of use. They also show no loss in potency after 12 years of storage.

    Better health for an active life

    As a potent antioxidant, Pycnogenol® is valuable for protecting the liver from free radical attack. Since the liver is the main detoxifying, nutrient-assimilating, and energy-generating organ of the body, this may mean more potential for activity in your life. Pycnogenol® may also aid recovery for athletes on strenuous workout regimes and in competition.

    Healthy capillaries through healthy collagen

    A major beneficiary of the protective actions of Pycnogenol® is collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the integrity of “ground substance,” the basic material in functional fluids, mucus linings, and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and most importantly, blood vessels linings. It is highly vulnerable to free radical attack, and a number of discomforting and depreciating processes are associated with its destruction. There is evidence showing that Pycnogenol® can provide remarkable support for the prevention of collagen destruction, and it has received much attention for its special affinity for capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. Pycnogenol® helps strengthen capillary linings in three key ways. First, Pycnogenol® functions to scavenge the free radicals that may compromise the integrity of collagen. Second, Pycnogenol® contains catechin, which is thought to stabilize collagen by forming hydrogen bonds and cross-linking collagen. Third, Pycnogenol® is Vitamin C-sparing, meaning it can fill in for C in a number of functions; this frees some Vitamin C – required for the synthesis of hydroxproline, a major structural amino acid of collagen – for use in building collagen. People who smoke and women who take oral contraceptives can reduce their heightened risk of Vitamin C depletion by taking advantage of Pycnogenol®’s Vitamin C-sparing activity.

    Look to Source Naturals® for 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, & 100 mg tablets of this natural wonder!

    References

  • • Hagerman, A. and L. Butler. “The specificity of proanthocyanidin-protein interactions.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 256 (1981): 4494-97.
  • • Kuttan, R., et al. “Collagen treated with catechin becomes resistant to the action of mammalian collagenase.” Experienta. 37 (1981): 221-23.
  • • Masquelier, J. Natural Products as Medicinal Agents “Pycnogenol®s: Recent Advances in the Therapeutical Activity of Proanthocyanidins” (pp. 243-65). Stutgart, Germany: Hippokrates Verlag, 1981.
  • • Maunier, M.T., E. Duroux, and P. Bastide. “Free-radical scavenger activity of procyanidolic oligomers and anthocyanosides with respect to superoxide anion and lipid peroxidation.” Plantes Medicinales et Phytotherapie, 23.4 (1989): 267-74.



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    Date: May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    It's in the Blood

    Natural 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.”

    New Weapons

    There are also nutrients that are emerging as potential weapons in the fight against cholesterol. Levin cited rice bran oil, resveratrol, pantethine, l-carnitine, and niacin as showing promise.

    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

    Vitamin Retailer Magazine, Inc., 431 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 //www.oprmagazine.com/

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