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Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism: How to Tell the Difference
February 20, 2019 01:17 PM
The thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck, receives TSH from the pituitary gland. This relationship, whether too active or not active enough, causes many adverse side effects. Too much TSH (hyperthyroidism) can cause: weight loss, cardiovascular irregularities, nervousness, and etc. Too little TSH (hypothyroidism) causes symptoms like: depression, impaired memory, hoarseness, fatigue, weight gain, etc. Currently, no cure exists for either of these conditions, other than individual specific diets targeted at raising or lower TSH levels. As always, one should consult a doctor and get proper blood work done before making any major life changes.
"Thyroid problems can affect anyone of any age from infancy to the latest years of life."
Read more: https://draxe.com/hyperthyroidism-vs-hypothyroidism/
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
January 03, 2019 01:08 PM
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits throughout the body. One such system in the body where it has been shown to be of great benefit is the Endocrine system, particularly for people with diabetes. Not only can it lower blood sugar levels, but can help a person lose weight. it also helps lower bad cholesterol level in the blood and can provide almost instant relief from acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar also has hundreds of uses around the home.
"Apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity in recent years, with many people praising the liquid for its several health benefits."
Read more: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/
Damiana: The Herb that Can Enhance Mood, Libido & More
August 13, 2018 12:53 PM
The damiana herb, used historically throughout Central and South America, has proven health benefits -- ranging from reducing depression to aiding in digestion to raising libido. A member of the plant family Turneraceae, Damiana is a small plant with yellow blossoms. It can be smoked or used to make herbal teas, and has been compared to cannabis in its effects. While safe and beneficial in small amounts, Damiana should not be taken in high dosages, as it could result in dangerous changes in blood sugar levels.
"Some people compare damiana to cannabis due to its relaxing and simultaneously stimulating effects."
Read more: https://draxe.com/damiana/
Foods That Fight Spring Allergies
July 07, 2017 05:14 AM
This medicin help people who suffer form allergys and most ingredients are found in common fruits and veggies. People who suffer from allergys can really be helped with this product. It's not really great for use in small children or any older adult over 50-65 but and should not be taken more then the recommended 5 days but, for anyone that needs some relief from allergys it would be great. There are many fruits and veggies that help as well and could reduce the affects of sinus allergys.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXSD8oWlBnQ&rel=0
"Even higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have made pollen more potent."
Sure You Did Not Know That This Root Helps You Lose Weight By Speeding Up Your Metabolism, Learn How
June 25, 2017 12:14 PM
There is actually a super food that will speed up your metabolism and increase weight loss. It is the root ginger. Ginger has a number of useful benefits including reduction of nausea and vomiting and is used by people with diabetes. The way that ginger works to help you loose weight is by increasing your metabolism through Raising your body temperature. Your body then burns calories trying to stay cool. Ginger can be eaten by boiling the root with lemon and drinking it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQUDs7jGu-s&rel=0
"That is why in this article we will teach you how to use ginger so you can lose weight naturally."
What Causes Water Retention and How to Avoid It!!
June 12, 2017 05:14 AM
There are certain things that cause water retention and there is a way to avoid it as well. Liquid retention is the over accumulation of water in the body. This is a common thing and it is easily explainable. Our body is always adjusting liquids. To avoid retention of liquids there are six things to avoid. It's important to your overall health. Consuming too much sodium is one thing that can cause problems for your bodies.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hf10DZlF5o&rel=0
"Raising legs several times a day will improve the appearance of swollen ankles."
Top 13 Benefits Of Vitamin A For Health And Skin
May 22, 2017 08:44 AM
Vitamin A, found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and proteins, plays an important part in our everyday lives. Many people know of Vitamin A's existence, but are unaware of its host of benefits. These benefits include improving the immune system (raising lymphocytic responses, maintains moisture of mucus membranes, and improving white blood cell activity), maintaining eye health (through regulating light changes and moisture), keeping skin soft, strengthen teeth and bones (by forming dentin), prevent urinary stones (due to calcium phosphate formation), inhibit muscular dystrophy, may prevent acne and certain cancer, treat measles and cold sores, lower cholesterol, and protect from infection. And, as an added bonus, it's also an anti-aging agent, because of its wrinkle reducing properties! Just be careful that you don't take too much Vitamin A, and speak to a doctor before starting on supplementation.
"One of the most amazing benefits of vitamin A which ought to be mentioned first is improving your immune system"
Read more: http://vkool.com/benefits-of-vitamin-a/
Link between dietary restriction, longevity examined
February 09, 2017 12:59 PM
The link between dietary restriction and longevity has been examined. Research has been done and shows that cutting back on calories can actually expand the life span of roundworms. This is important because it shows that we can enhance our health and not have to put huge dietary restrictions on ourselves.
"The life-prolonging effects of dietary restriction, or calorie restriction, occur in just about every animal tested."
Mushrooms 'can reduce dementia' by boosting nerves in the brain
January 31, 2017 10:59 AM
Dementia is a serious issue for the elderly. There isn't too much known about it. Here one option for possibly lessening the chances of it is mentioned. Mushrooms can help. They help the nerves in the brain. It's definitely work a look, especially if dementia runs in your family or if you are just concerned about it in general.
"Current drug therapy for neuro-degenerative diseases is ineffective with many side effects - and it only provides a short-term delay in progression."
Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk? - ProHealth
December 05, 2016 10:59 AM
The rate of illness and disease in the United States is much too high. Many health problems can be traced back to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. While it is quite easy to get the supplements we need from our diets, many people will not change what they eat until they are already experiencing symptoms of the deficiency. By then, it could be too late. According to a study, the most common deficiencies in the United States and UK are for vitamins D, E, A, C, magnesium, and calcium.
"When your diet is lacking in these anti-inflammatory omega-3s, you set the stage for health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, just to name a few."
Low vitamin D levels linked to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease
October 30, 2016 04:59 PM
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, & multiple sclerosis have become more prevalent over the years. Recent neurological studies are showing that these conditions can be prevented by supplementing more vitamin D in the diet. Many people just don’t get enough sunlight to provide the needed amount of vitamin D each day. It has been recommended to get at least 600 to 800 IU of the vitamin per day, but some are suggesting that we may need up to 8,000 IU per day in order to prevent disease, depending on our current health.
"Adequate vitamin D blood levels help to ensure protection and support of these crucial systems to prevent the onset and progression of these diseases."
Ribose is a type of sugar which is produced in the body and is of medicinal value. This organic compound is very essential in our day-to-day lives because it boosts our energy levels. Apart from energy boost, ribose is also used to relieve manifestations of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and coronary artery disease. It also prevents other symptoms like pain following a workout in individuals with a genetic condition known as myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MAD). This vital body chemical can help boost exercise ability in individuals with another inherited disorder known as McArdle's disease.
How Does D-ribose Work to Boost Energy in the Body?
The manner in which d-ribose works to deliver results is very simple and elaborate. It promotes the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the primary source of energy for the body's cells. Healthy, active cells constantly top up their supply of ATP to get adequate cellular energy. Through increasing levels of adenosine triphosphate, the supplement can help speed up energy recovery, increase energy reserves and
As you can see, your body needs to keep its production of (ATP) at its highest possible level for maximum energy production as well as physical performance. But sometimes the supply of actual ATP molecules may be reduced due to a number of factors including physical activity and health condition. This is where D-ribose, a natural ingredient for boosting ATP levels comes in.
The Dangers of Vegetable Oil
More often than not, when we see the words vegetable oil, we assume that it is good for us since vegetables are essentially beneficial for the body. The truth of the matter is that this kind of oil is mostly derived from seeds such as sunflower, soybean and corn, not from any kind of vegetable at all. Aside from this, their extraction requires a process that uses up a lot of energy and is not good for the environment.
Unsaturated fats, otherwise known as trans fats, are fats that are usually solid at room temperature but processed in such a way that they are not when they come in the form of oils derived from seeds. These contribute to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. The sad part is that although there are so many calls to action regarding minimizing the presence of trans fats in food; there is very little that has been done regarding their presence in vegetable oils. How trans fats were developed or discovered will show how scary it actually is. It was discovered while looking for an alternative to tallow which is an ingredient for candle wax. It was cheap and convenient to harness and use. The reason why it is widely used is because of its extended shelf life. It can also be reused several dozen times for frying without changing flavor or adding a rancid taste to the food fried in it.
The process of extracting the oils from their sources requires a lot of heating and, for some, even exposure to acids and metals which contribute to the "mutation" that these oils undergo. Hydrogenated vegetable oil confuses our bodies into thinking that they are good for us. This is mainly due to the processes that changes their form. HVO alters the structure of our cells, making them weak and lowering the good cholesterol as well as Raising the bad. Our bodies welcome these fats and do not treat them as a danger although their presence does, in fact, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Vegetable oils can also cause imbalances in the composition of our fatty acids. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are not produced by our bodies. Therefore, we need to supplement these from our diets and daily consumption in pretty much the same amounts to balance their presence in the body. Polyunsaturated fats from HVO that causes the mutation in our cell membranes can lead to oxidative chain reactions which are harmful to our cells. In essence, our cells are made weak and the chances of alterations to our DNA are increased. Omega 6 is abundant in HVO because it helps to slow the deterioration of the vegetable oil. It can cause an imbalance to the cell membrane causing inflammation in various parts of the body. One component of Omega 6 that is highly dangerous is linoleic acid. It has been linked to obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and even damage to the brain's hypothalamus.
These are just a few of the dangers that come with using so called vegetable oils. These dangers are kept under wraps because of the massive income that the food industry will lose if it changes the oils used for cooking and preparing food.
Why Should I Take Wheat Grass Liquid Concentrate?
December 10, 2014 11:03 PM
What is a wheat grass
Wheat grass benefits
Wheat grass concentrate
This liquid concentrate is packed with nutrients equivalent to five pounds of raw, green organic vegetables, all in just two ounces of juice. It is higher in vitamins A and C than what you would get in a serving of carrots or oranges, and has a full spectrum of B vitamins as well, and a balanced ratio of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus altogether. Wheat grass contains enzymes that detoxify the body, especially the blood and liver, neutralizing harmful pollutants like heavy metals and toxins that enter the body, which could be stored in tissues and organs, therefore cleansing the body from head to toe. This juice is also a resource of life-force energy that gives one renewed spiritual effects on his inner being. It battles premature aging and it keeps the hair from graying out making you look younger. Not only does it boosts the immune system by giving strength, vitality and endurance, but has wonderful effects on the body. It can cure acne and may help remove scars left if drank regularly for a few months. It acts, as a natural deodorizer hence can be a body deodorant. It can prevent tooth decay and even soothe toothaches and sore throat. It aids in skin problems like psoriasis or eczema. It helps in achieving regular bowel movement. It is gluten-free. Taking wheat grass liquid concentrate has no reported side effects or toxic in any amount given to either humans or animals, mainly because it is at its finest and most natural form, making it the ideal supplement to take nowadays.
Omega Oils-What Are They For?
January 02, 2014 09:22 PM
What is all the hype about with these omega fatty acids?
Curious why they have become a huge talk of the nation, and such an important part of our diets all of a sudden? Some omega oils are essential for the growth of human tissue and proper body function, but our body don't produce enough of them on its own.
What is the difference between Omega 3's-6's-8's-9's?
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is not produced by the body naturally. They're obtained from food sources, such as fatty fish, and flax-seed oil. They contain a number of health benefits for the body, such as reduced inflammation throughout the body, and have benefits for the heart. Studies have shown the reduced inflammation has a huge impact on heart health, and is highly recommended to incorporate into your daily diet.
Omega 6: is also an essential fatty acid that is not produced naturally by the body. These omega oils obtained from different types of vegetable oils, and through dietary supplements. Many claims made about Omega-6 fatty acids, however the only substantial proof is for heart health. They lower bad cholesterol levels, while Raising healthy cholesterol levels. While essential, they are not to be overused, or they start being unhelpful by adding too much fat to the diet.
Omega 7's: are monounsaturated fatty acids, palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid. Palmitoleic acids are commonly found in fat tissue of the human body, and in the liver. Animal oils, macadamia nut oil, vegetable oils, and marine oils are good sources of omega 7's. They're considered a beneficial fatty acid by increasing insulin sensitivity by lowering inflammation. They also aid in the destruction in of insulin beta cells in the pancreas. This action has been proven to reduce insulin levels, which have claims that omega 7's are helpful in weight loss. Other uses include support of healthy skin, and soothing the gastrointestinal tract.
Omega 9: fatty acids are not considered essential fatty acids since they're produced by the body. They're obtained from olive oil, and other monounsaturated fats. They contain the same heart healthy benefits as omega 3's and 6's helping lower cholesterol, our body makes them as needed.
Omega oils are important for our overall health, especially heart health. Omega 7s are important to control insulin levels, and may aid with weight loss. Supplementing omega 3, 6, and 7 can lead to better cholesterol levels, and healthier skin.
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?
December 10, 2013 02:30 AM
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?Cholesterol is a lipid, or a fat, which is produced by the liver. Though many know it not, cholesterol is essential for the normal function of the body. Amazingly, each and every cell of the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. This lipid serves several critical functions. Most importantly, cholesterol aids in building and maintaining cell membranes. The compound also determines which elements can pass through a cell membrane and which cannot; put differently, it determines cell permeability. The compound is also essential in the production of sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens.
LDL and HDL
Like most other chemical elements found in the body, cholesterol is only helpful if it is available in the right proportions. Low or high levels of cholesterol are harmful. However, high cholesterol levels can cause the most devastating effects on health. It is of great importance, to control cholesterol levels in the body. Failure to do this, you are at risk of developing several health complications. Some of these include atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become extremely narrow to allow proper circulation; heart attack, caused by clogged arteries; stroke, caused by blood clots that prevent arteries or veins from transporting blood to the brain; and angina, a condition that develops when the heart muscles do not get enough blood.
About Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels can always be brought to optimal levels by behavior and lifestyle change. This may include avoiding foods saturated in fats, quitting smoking and drinking, and exercising. There are also supplements that are quite effective in restoring cholesterol levels to the optimal levels. Some of the popular and effective supplements include red yeast rice, niacin, and guggul. Others are fish oil and green tea extracts. Though different from the outlook, all cholesterol supplements achieve their objective in a similar or closely related ways. Most importantly, the supplements are useful in Raising HDL (high density lipo-protein also called good cholesterol) levels while at the same time lowering triglycerides (another class of fats found in the blood stream).
How Does Melatonin Improve Sleep?
April 06, 2012 07:59 AM
Melatonin And Sleep
Sleep is a natural part of human life and an activity that any living human being has to indulge in. In fact, even the mentally ill who are believed to be able to go without sleep are brought down by it at one point or another. Contrary to what most people believe that sleep only has to take place at night, research has established that the cycle of sleep keeps alternating and does that sleep does not entirely have to take place at night. It can even occur successfully during the day. However, exposure to darkness and light regulates sleep in humans. It is said that exposure to light stimulates hormonal activity to make a person feel sleepy or awake.
The Brain And Sleep
In the brain, there is a nerve center called the Supra-Chiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) that works by starting signals to the other sections of the brain by controlling hormones, temperature of the body and other functions that also play numerous roles in making people to feel either sleepy or wide awake. The SCN works in the notion that once the body is exposed to first light every day, the clock starts to conduct various activities that will ensure that the person is awake like Raising the temperature of the body and also the release of certain hormones that help in stimulating the body such as Cortisol. The clock also delays production hormones such as Melatonin that is associated with the onset of sleep until that time when darkness shall arrive.
Melatonin Is A Hormone In The body
Melatonin is a hormone that is part of the sleep and wake cycle of humans. However, it has to be noted that taking too much of the pill does not make one to sleep faster or even stay asleep for a longer period of time. The first step that everyone having sleeping problems should take is to consult a doctor or a physician. This will help in making the person fully understand the reason for the sleeping problem rather than going for Melatonin straight away. Melatonin is natural hormone that is made by a gland in the body known as pineal gland. The gland is shaped like a pea and found in the brain. The gland is only active during sunset when it is dark. When active, it stirs the production of sleep and wake cycle hormone by the SCN. As a result of this, the blood Melatonin level sharply rises and one begins to feel less alert thus prompting sleep.
Conditions That Slow Down Melatonin Production
Bright light also inhibits formation of Melatonin. However, for the person to be able to fall asleep, they will have to get to a darker surrounding to enable the formation of Melatonin that is sufficient to cause sleep. The hormone is naturally contained in certain foods and the reason it is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. Taking a typical dose of Melatonin pill is able to elevate the blood melatonin levels up to 20 times normal. To be able to solve your sleep problem using melatonin, always use the correct dose at the right time of the day.
Why California Poppy is a Great Pain Reliever
March 31, 2012 07:49 AM
What Makes California Poppy So Good For Pain?
If you reside in California, chances are good that you are familiar with the California Poppy. Named as the state flower in 1903, the yellow poppy fields surround the bays as a sign that springtime is here. The botanical name is Eschscholtzia californica and this orange cup-shaped flower grows wild as an annual perennial in California and other southwestern states from April through August. It did not take long for settlers to realize that natural beauty was not all that the California Poppy had to offer.
The entire plant, from root and stem to leaves and seeds has been found to provide varying displays of physical and psychological healing properties. Although placed in the sub-opiate Papaver family, the yellow California Poppy is in no way an active source of opium as is its cousin, the red poppy. While the red poppy works to depress the central nervous system, the yellow poppy provides analgestic and antispasmodic chemical reactions that work on nerve and muscle pain.
For years, raw California Poppy root has been used as an immediate form of relief for toothache pain. By chopping off a segment of the root and applying directly to the source of the gum pain, instant relief is felt. This rare phenomenon is believed to be credited to the variety of benzophenanthridine alkaloids produced in the root. Many medical compounds such as morphine and codeine have been paralleled to this natural ingredient for the pain alterning state that is delivered. It is believed that only 20% of all plants contain this form of alkaloid that is known to relieve pain.
A Tincture for Pain
There are many organic sites that offer a tincture made from the roots and leaves of the yellow poppy. Fresh herbs that are compressed into concentrated form are found to be more effective than those that are dried. The active ingredients are mixed with an alcohol based liquid and used in a liquid or placed under the tongue. A measured amount can alleviate pain from menstrual cramping or intestinal discomfort. Anxiety or stress related headaches are also treated with tincture that reportedly gives relief within minutes. A tincture made with California Poppy has a shelf life of five years when stored in a cool, dark area.
Raising California Poppy
California Poppy is a wonderful way to add a splash of color around the outside of your house and also reap the benefits of the medicinal properties. The bright orange flowers love the sunshine and will stretch to find. You will be able to keep a natural pain reliever on hand for making tincture, extract or tobacco. Smoking California Poppy gives a relaxing way to end a hard day and relieve pressure and pain from sore muscles. Acting as a sedative, you will find yourself drifting off into a blissful sleep. California Poppy can also be used for restless leg syndrome and many have experience luck in treating ADD and other neurological problems.
Ever since the days of the native Indiana, California Poppy has helped to relieve pain occuring from different sources and remains a great healer to this day.
What Makes Ubiquinol The Best Form Of COQ10?
March 08, 2012 11:48 PM
Benefits of Ubiquinol
Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of CoQ10. It is pre-converted and ready-to-use diet supplement. Hence, it is easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Research studies show that ubiquinol has proved to be much more effective than ubiquinone and has all vital health benefits as CoQ10.
Ubiquinol is the next generation supplement which provides support for a healthy body and mind. It helps you to live a healthy life by Raising your CoQ10 plasma level. It also plays an important role in production of energy levels. Moreover, it protects the cells of the body from oxidative kind of stress which can eventually damage proteins, DNA, and lipids.
Benefits of Ubiquinol:
Cardiovascular health: Clinical studies show that ubiquinol improves the overall cardiovascular health. Cardiac patients who have been taking high dosages of statins like Lipitor, Zocor, etc for a long period of time have decreased levels of coenzyme Q10 as these statins inhibit the body's production level of coenzyme Q10. The low levels of CoQ10 in the body can result in cardiomyalgia, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, etc. Thus, if these patients take ubiquinol which is an antioxidant then it neutralizes the oxidation of LDL.
Cognitive Health: It helps to increase the stamina and energy and promotes general health and wellness.
Anti-aging support: Due to degeneration and advanced age, the aged people have less CoQ10 biosynthesis and body's conversion ability also diminishes in such subjects. A collaborated study carried out on middle aged people demonstrated that subjects who were given this supplement showed marked improvement in their physical and mental activities. Thus ubiquinol by and large promotes life extension and improves the overall mental health by compensating for the age-related conversion disability.
Power to other organs: Ubiquinol plays an important role in igniting energy levels within the cells of vital organs like heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Thus it naturally helps you to sustain your energy levels.
Protects Cells: Ubiquinol protect cells of vital organ like heart from further damage and from constant attack by free radicals.
Neuronal Health: Ubiquinol benefits the neurological system and promotes brain health. Studies carried out on patients who had Parkinson's disease have proved that it reduces the functional decline in these patients.
Oral Health: Ubiquinol impacts the oral health and significantly enhances the salivary coenzyme Q10 levels. It affects all aspects of mouth, teeth, lips, tongue, and salivary glands.
Renal Health: Studies show that Ubiquinol gives significant renal protection to patients who have chronic kidney disease.
Your body constantly produces powerful antioxidants daily when you are young. But as you age, your body can not sustain this natural production level forever. Hence ubiquinol supplementation is important to promote overall good health. Ubiquinol can be used as a dietary supplement. Its ready-to-use formula is eight times more effective as it can be readily absorbed by your body. Thus it is an ideal diet supplementation for current CoQ10 users.
At present there are no known side effects of ubiquinol, but if you are on multi-drug therapy or are already taking other supplementations, then please consult your doctor prior taking this diet supplementation Ubiquinol.
Health benefits of Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids
March 08, 2012 06:50 AM
What AreThe Benefits Of Omega-3-6-9?
In order to maintain the normal function of the body, it is important that our diet consists of the right amounts of various fatty acids. These are organic compounds made up of carbon chains of various lengths, with one end having an acid group and a hydrogen on the end all attached to the carbons in the chain. Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids are vital ingredients that play important roles in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are referred to as essential fatty acids because they cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from foods such as nuts, fish or plant oils such as canola and sunflower. These essential fatty acids exists in three types, alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid each with an important role to play in the body.
The alpha-linolenic acid help to reduce the high risks of stroke and heart disease by lowering cholesterol level and slowing down the production of harmful triglyceride in the liver while at the same time Raising the level of high-density lipoproteins, HDL or good cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the accumulation of harmful fat in the arteries and promote the elastic nature of the blood vessels.
Both eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids promote the development of the eye and brain, reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases, and may aid in preventing Alzheimer's disease. A study based on eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids conducted on a ten year period on individuals who had high risk of death from heart disease revealed a 40% decrease in cardiovascular disease and a dramatic reduction in mortality rate.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from chicken, eggs, dairy products and various plant oils such as corn oil, rice bran oil among others. In association with its derivative, the alpha-linoleic acid they aid in production of prostaglandin which plays a vital role in promoting the normal function of the brain, nerve and immune system.
They also help in reducing incidences of coronary artery disease by lowering the level of cholesterol in the arteries. By consuming the right amounts of essential fatty acids, a balance is achieved and both essential oils work synergistically to promote the overall health of the body by preventing various inflammatory disorders.
Omega-9 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fats commonly found in animals fats and vegetables and are also called monosaturated fats or oleic acids. They are usually produced by the body unlike the essential fatty acids but can also be obtained from various plant oils such as sunflower, olive, canola as well as other mono-saturated fats. Research studies have revealed that the mono-saturated fatty acids may help in reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
This is because, they have been found to play an important role in increasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol and decreasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the unwanted plaque deposits in the arteries and this reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Despite the fact that Omega-3-6-9 individually play different roles in the body, it is clear that striking a balance of the essential fatty acids plus non-essential fatty acids is important for promoting the overall health of the body.
Prostate Prevention: Using Natural Means To Promote A healthy Prostate
October 12, 2011 11:51 AM
Overview of Prostate Health
Prostate health has been more of a concern for men in the recent decade, not really because it did not have any credence before but because now there is more effort in Raising awareness. It also helps that more and more men are able to talk about it more comfortably out in the open and rightfully so compared to when men are ashamed to talk about it because in some ways they see it as losing their manhood due to the ability of poor prostate health to affect erectile functions. And when issues like this are involved some prefer to go down with the disease quietly rather than ask for help and talk about it.
So the improvement in awareness this past years has been a very positive change, more and more men are aware including me as to how prostate health is as important as breast health for women. Furthermore, aside from just being aware of the need to look into prostate health a little bit more, many men are also realizing the need to have alternative ways aside from medication to promote good prostate health and avoid having prostate cancer in the future.
The Natural Way To Better Prostate Health
All natural is all well and good but one thing that we need to remember here is that the key is prevention not treatment. There are so many natural products out in the market today which could benefit prostate health and aside from just supplementing there are things you can do as well to maintain good prostate health. Some recent researches has shown that low glutathione has been linked to higher risks of prostate cancer and so it would be a good idea to ensure that glutathione levels in the body are good. There are also herbs that promote prostate health and one well known herb is saw palmetto which is a native of the Atlantic seaboard region and is by far the most well researched prostate herb.
It has been proven to be helpful because of its contents like beta sitosterol which is a powerful compound that inhibits DHT(Dihydrotestosterone – male sex hormone) conversion from testosterone. It also has been proven to have properties that aid in the relief of any prostate enlargement and its symptoms. The next herb would be red clover which is a member of the pea family and contains a hefty amount of antioxidants which we all know fights off free radicals that cause cancer. Aside from herbs, activities like regular ejaculation can also help in such a way that it acts like a cleansing method for our prostate and experts say that 3 times a week should be enough. Exercise and diet as well can most definitely be helpful on keeping your systems healthy and making sure the right nutrients are taken in. And speaking of nutrients, some vitamins and minerals that are considered important for prostate health are Vitamin B6 and working in conjunction with the mineral Zinc it aids in the prevention of prostate enlargement or swelling. Lastly but certainly not the least, lycopene simply has powerful antioxidants that will prevent cancerous cells from proliferating thereby reducing the chances of prostate cancer.
What is the Difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan And How Does It Help Sleep Patterns?
June 22, 2011 11:00 AM
5-Htp and Tryptophan to Sleep Better, Feel Better
5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an organic compound that naturally occurs in the human body. It is a metabolite of tryptophan, and as such it serves as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. It is sold over the counter in many countries primarily as a dietary supplement. In addition, it is used as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.
Tryptophan to 5-HTP
Tryptophan is best known as an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. Popular sources of this amino acid are eggs, cheese, pork, turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, and white flour. In one metabolic pathway, tryptophan is processed into vitamin B3, or niacin. In a completely different pathway, it is metabolized into serotonin and then melatonin, both of which are processed from 5-HTP.
Also known as oxitriptan, 5-HTP has been the subject of numerous studies in the past few decades. Being the immediate precursor of serotonin, regular intake has been observed to specifically increase the production of serotonin, the reason why it has been a very important amino acid widely utilized in the treatment of depression. On the other hand, tryptophan is utilized by the body in many ways.
5-HTP to Serotonin
Supplementation of tryptophan has also been used as a therapeutic treatment for depression. It is an alternative to antidepressants and stimulants, especially for patients deemed unresponsive to conventional treatments. Regular intake of this amino acid is recommended for the sole purpose of Raising the levels of serotonin. But in order to do so, tryptophan must be metabolized into 5-HTP first.
Serotonin is often referred to as the happiness hormone, inasmuch as this neurotransmitter is implicated in several chemical reactions that contribute to physical well-being. For example, the perception of hunger is triggered by low serotonin levels. Not surprisingly, serotonin is the target of many drugs, such as antidepressant, anxiolytic, antiemetic, anti-migraine, and antipsychotic drugs.
Serotonin to Melatonin
It is a widely accepted fact that serotonin produced and released outside the central nervous system does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus it does not have the effect of serotonin found in the brain. That being said, its precursors, tryptophan and 5-HTP, can. For this reason, tryptophan and 5-HTP makes a viable candidate in increasing the levels of serotonin in the central nervous system.
Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin by a short metabolic pathway that stems from the synthesis of 5-HTP. Proponents argue that 5-HTP supplements work better than tryptophan due to the fact that the former is the immediate precursor of the neurotransmitters of concern. Furthermore, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier whereas tryptophan is subject to different metabolic pathways.
5-HTP works as an appetite suppressant since it makes serotonin more available outside the nervous system, especially in the digestive tract. By so doing, it promotes the synthesis of melatonin, which induces sleep. It also makes a reliable antidepressant as it increases serotonin levels in the central nervous system.
Grab Some Tryptophan or 5-HTP today and feel better, sleep better right now!
How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
Glutathione a Body Detox
Glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and Raising cellular toxicity.
Glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. Glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
Glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. Glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.
How Does Nattokinase Help Improve Cardiovascular Health
April 29, 2011 04:01 PM
Nattokinase And Your Health
Nattokinase is an organic compound that occurs naturally in the Japanese food natto, or fermented soybeans. It is an enzyme that acts on fibrous proteins responsible for blood clothing, and as such has been commercially touted to work like thrombolytic medications to a certain degree. Its synthesis involves fermentation that results from adding the bacterium Bacillus subtilis to boiled soybeans.
Natto is a traditional dish in Japan. It has enjoyed long-standing popularity among the Japanese people since feudal times largely owing to its reinvigorating effects on the blood. In recent years, laboratory studies point to the presence of chemical compounds in fermented soybeans. The enzyme nattokinase appears to be the active ingredient, improving fibrinolytic activities in animal subjects.
Breaks Down Blood Proteins
Proteases are enzymes capable of reducing proteins into smaller peptide chains in the digestive system or anywhere in the body. A special kind of protease called plasmin is found in the blood. It is the primary enzyme that facilitates the catabolism of fibrin clot, or coagulated blood protein. Fibrinolysis is the process initiated by the enzyme plasmin to dissolve compacted red blood cells.
Thrombolytic drugs work on the principle of Raising the levels of plasmin in the blood. Streptokinase is one of these drugs. It is commonly administered in the treatment of myocardial infarction, or heart attack to avoid complications. Natto has been compared to streptokinase, and oral intake of nattokinase has been observed to stimulate productions of plasmin.
Prevents Blood Coagulation
Nattokinase has been extensively studied in Japan, though well designed large-scale randomized clinical trials are still needed to establish its purported benefits to human health. There is buzz around nattokinase in the pharmaceutical industry especially as early studies suggested that it may ameliorate complications of cardiovascular diseases, notably in the removal of platelet-fibrin emboli.
There have been numerous citations on the blood-thinning capacity of nattokinase. This enzyme is also believed to have an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation. Thrombocytes, or platelets, are necessary for containing excessive bleeding. However, aggregation of platelets may result in thrombosis in patients with history of atherosclerosis and other disorders of the blood vessels. Nattokinase is a blood thinner that affects both platelets and fibrins.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
In addition to its thrombolytic and anticoagulant properties, nattokinase has been reported to promote normal flow of blood. Natto has been linked to the alleviation of high blood pressure and has seen desirable outcomes in hypertensive patients. Recent studies have shown that nattokinase is responsible for producing antihypertensive and vasodilator effects when natto enters the systemic circulation. It is postulated that nattokinase inhibits angiotensin-induced vasoconstriction.
The Japanese have always believed that natto is good for the blood. Nattokinase remains under scrutiny, but clinical trials are well underway. A growing body of literature devoted on promoting its alleged health benefits draws so much on decades-long anecdotal evidence.
If you want to improve cardiovascular health, give Nattokinase a try!
Why is Maca Called the Peruvian Ginseng and What Does this Herb Do
April 28, 2011 03:17 PM
Maca: Stress, Energy, Libido, and More.
Maca is a root vegetable traditionally grown at high altitudes in Peru. It is related to radish and turnip, both of which it resembles in appearance, size, and proportion. Its historical uses denote its adaptogenic properties, the reason why it is often called the Peruvian ginseng today. It is the subject of numerous studies underway, and preliminary results point to its effects on the endocrine system.
Lepidium meyenii is a plant species that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which comprises over three thousand species of edible plants called cruciferous vegetables. Hence, maca is related to many green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, among others. Like these vegetables, maca contains an assortment of organic compounds that display bioactive properties.
Lepidium peruvianum refers to the same species. Modern herbalists argue that it is a more accurate scientific name for maca, though Lepidium meyenii remains in use in the scientific community. Until only recently, maca was exclusively cultivated in the Andes of Peru. Due to an increased interest in alternative forms of medicine in North America and Europe, it has enjoyed a sudden surge in popularity in the past few years.
Enhances Stress Resistance
Maca is marketed as an adaptogen, a natural remedy for stress. It has been compared to ginseng a number of times, earning itself the moniker Peruvian ginseng. Maca and ginseng do not interact with hormones in the body but rather contain phytochemicals that directly act on endocrine glands, including the hypothalamus, adrenals, and thyroid glands. These organs are pivotal to better management of stress. Several herbalists argue that maca is even more potent than ginseng in that it is believed to affect almost all endocrine glands and create a homeostatic effect on the chemical compounds that they secrete.
Modulates Energy Metabolism
The nutritional profile of maca has been described to be a combination of the nutrients found in whole grains and green leafy vegetables. It contains significant amounts of amino acids and dietary fiber. Its carbohydrate content accounts for 60 per cent of its dry weight, with emphasis on its low glycemic index. Its active constituents enable its carbohydrates to break down at a slow pace and release glucose into the bloodstream without Raising blood sugar levels. By so doing, it provides the energy needed to fuel physical activities and athletic performance for extended periods of time.
Improves Sexual Performance
Maca is a popular aphrodisiac. In the old days, Inca warriors consumed large quantities of maca roots for the sole purpose of achieving desired virility. In addition to its energy-boosting and stress-relieving effects, regular intake of maca impacts sexual health as it contains organic compounds that stimulate gonadal tissues, especially in men. Randomized clinical trials have observed that maca affects semen quality, increases sperm count, and improves sexual performance, making it an ideal choice of supplement for men.
Maca root is an excellent herb for men and women. You can gain energy as well as a boost in energy with Maca root. Try maca root and feel the difference it can make on your life!
Can a Lactase Enzyme Help with Milk Digestion
April 27, 2011 03:49 PM
Lactase enzyme is the compound necessary for the breakdown of lactose. As such, deficiency in this enzyme results in the impaired capacity to metabolize milk and other dairy products. This is quite common in Asian and African countries, where the majority of their populations do not rely on milk-based animal products. Consumptions of lactase supplements have been reported to aid milk digestion.
Human beings are believed to have lost the ability to process lactose in adulthood a few thousand years ago. The primary source of lactose of early human populations was breast milk, which is only provided by mothers during the early stages of childhood in general. This practice has continued in Asian and African communities, the reason why these groups are predominantly lactose intolerant.
On the other hand, European communities have considered milk as an important source of food and nutrition since the introduction of the agricultural practices of Raising livestock. It is now postulated that the early inhabitants of Europe who relied so much in dairy products underwent a genetic mutation that enables them to continue the biosynthesis of the enzyme lactase into adulthood.
Whereas much of the global population is lactose intolerant, people with European ancestry are capable of digesting milk well into their adult years. That being said, people who are not lactose intolerant are not necessarily well equipped for the digestion of dairy products. In fact, many adults suffer from lactose maldigestion, which causes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and indigestion as well as allergies and sinus problems such as infections.
Lactose maldigestion has a higher incidence worldwide than lactose intolerance. It is a fact that the genetic expression for the enzyme lactase as produced and released in the digestive tract is down-regulated the human body with age. This may not result in lactose intolerance, but depleting levels of lactase will no longer be able to effectively digest into old age food products that contain lactose.
The absence of the enzyme lactase may result in a variety of digestive problems when milk is taken together with other foods. In some people, even the smallest amounts of lactose upset digestion and produce common symptoms of lactose intolerance such as indigestion, diarrhea and sinus inflammation. If you want to avoid these problems but still love dairy products, you may want to choose hydrolyzed lactose.
Lactase supplements have been documented to produce desirable results. Most nutraceutical companies make use of eukaryotic microorganisms that possess the genes needed to synthesize this enzyme, such as Kluyveromyces fragilis, Kluyveromyces lactis, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus oryzae, among others. These supplements are formulated for individuals with lactose intolerance, but also benefit those who are suffering from symptoms tied to lactose maldigestion.
The enzyme lactase works on the principle of breaking down lactose into smaller compounds, galactose and glucose, and supplementation of lactase does exactly that.
What is Myrrh and How Does it Boost My Health
April 25, 2011 04:22 PM
Myrrh And Your Health
Myrrh is one of the oldest herbal remedies in the East and the West. It had a strong presence in many religious traditions of the ancient world. It was even compared to gold in value at some time in history. Early physicians noted its antibacterial properties and added it to poultices and health tonics. Modern medicine has started to look into its medicinal potential in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
Inhibits Pain Chemicals
Myrrh is obtained from the plant species Commiphora myrrha, though there are other related species that produce the same resinous gum. It is native to the Levant and the surrounding regions. As its use were quite common during the ancient times, it spread to eastern countries, eventually reaching India and China, where it remains an important part of folk medicine practices to this day.
In addition to its pleasant aroma, myrrh was prized for its antiseptic and analgesic properties in the old days. It was one of the ingredients used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification of their dead. Throughout the centuries, myrrh has been used primarily as a perfume or wound salve. It has a soothing effect on lesions of body surfaces that seem to remove the perception of pain.
Improves Insulin Resistance
Earlier studies have noted the benefits of myrrh to patients suffering from diabetes, drawing on its uses in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. In India, physicians that practice both conventional and Ayurvedic medicine have ascribed certain species of myrrh with properties that remove disorders of the circulatory system, notably high blood sugar. Myrrh decoctions are the usual herbal preparations, but it is also available as liniments, balms, salves, tinctures, and incense.
In one laboratory study, myrrh extracts appear to lower serum glucose levels. It is postulated that it ameliorates symptoms of metabolic syndrome by enhancing the effects of the hormone insulin. It increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin, even promoting faster glucose metabolism. In the Middle East, it is one of the mainstays of treatment for diabetes type 2.
Reduces Total Lipid Levels
Myrrh has been the subject of decades-long research on its role in the management of cholesterol. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was discovered that low-density lipoproteins play a major role in many cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. The dichotomy of bad and good cholesterol hit the mainstream media to promote awareness of the lifestyle factors tied to cardiovascular diseases.
High-density lipoproteins are dubbed good cholesterol in contrast to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins are actually involved in the formation of plaques within the blood vessel walls that leads to many complications. It has been observed that myrrh reduces total lipid levels in the blood by Raising high-density lipoproteins and lowering low-density lipoproteins.
Give myrrh a try and experience its health beneficial properties for yourself!
What Makes Organic Raw Almonds so Good for My Health?
April 16, 2011 10:10 AM
Eat Organic Raw Almonds for Good Health.
Almonds are widely cultivated for its nuts, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Throughout history, almond nuts have enjoyed a significant presence in many cuisines from all over the world. In fact, they are one of the best known nuts, rivaled only by peanuts in popularity. In recent years, almond nuts have been tied to alkaline diet, which consists of healthy foods touted to be alkaline-forming.
Prunus dulcis, the scientific name of almonds, is believed to have been domesticated earlier than the ancient times, with earliest evidence dating back to more than 2000 years ago in what is now known as the Early Bronze Age. This species is one of the ancient fruit-bearing trees grown commercially that remains popular to this day largely owing to its capacity to easily grow and bear fruits without the aid of grafting.
Organic almonds are different from other almonds grown the conventional way in that, as the name suggests, they meet the standards for organic farming, a method of food production that does away with chemicals known for their potential threat to the human health. In addition to being the only nuts considered alkaline forming, it contains higher levels of bioactive compounds noted for their nutritional significance.
Decreases Acidic By-Products
Almond, the only alkalizing nut, works on the principle of rebalancing the body’s pH. Proponents of alkaline diet believe that foods that are identified to be alkaline-forming aid the body in maintaining homeostasis and restore pH imbalances in the human body. It follows that foods that are acid-forming gradually contribute to the formation of diseases. Organic almonds, guaranteed to contain none of the chemical compounds known to produce acidic by-products, help rebalance the overall pH of the body.
Enhances Mental Performance
Nuts have always been touted as foods for the brain. Organic almonds are different from other nuts because it is not even a nut in the first place. It is a drupe that contains a large seed, which is sold and consumed exactly like other nuts. These seeds contain an abundance of nutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and many others, all of which work hand in hand in increasing neuronal activities in the brain and the central nervous system, thereby enhancing mental performance.
Prevents Many Known Diseases
One cup of organic almonds is enough to meet the recommended daily intake for vitamin E and magnesium, two nutrients that have been the subject of extensive study in the past few years for their purported role in medicine. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is pervasive at the cellular level. Magnesium improves health by Raising the production of energy needed for cellular functions.
Organic almonds have been linked to the treatment of many different diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and digestive problems. More importantly, they are one of the sources of food consistently recommended by experts on the alkaline diet.
Most importantly, raw almonds are full of nutrients and phytonutrients. Have you had your raw almonds today?
How Does Passion Flower Help Me Relax ?
April 07, 2011 01:39 PM
Passion flower refers to a group of flowering plants that belongs to the genus Passiflora, comprising of up to 500 species. The commonly known plant species of Passiflora are climbing vines with a woody stem system although there are a few herbaceous shrubs. They are found across the globe with the exception of arctic and sub-Saharan regions and easily recognizable by their unique flower structure which often contains prominent styles and stamens. Passiflora incarnata, or more commonly known as Maypop in the vernacular, has a long association with folk medicine of American Indians, who use various parts of the plant as a relaxant.
Different species of Passiflora are called different names, but the trivial name passion flower pertains to the corona that resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Moreover, the Christians have ascribed many symbolisms for the intricate parts of the flower. For example, the ovary is believed to represent the Holy Grail. Early European settlers in the Americas discovered the calming effects of teas made from Passiflora species through the Indians, and popularized its use against anxiety soon after in Europe.
Produces Tranquilizing Effects
Several studies have investigated the effects of passion flower on human health, with a few comparing it to the drug exazepam. Its mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but scientists are convinced that its sedative effects are very similar to the herbs Valeriana officinalis and Piper methysticum. More often than not, it is used in combination with these two herbs. As a mild relaxant with a slow onset of action, Passiflora incarnata, or Maypop, have been documented to benefit individuals suffering from irritability, insomnia, and agitation. In conjunction with a drug called clonidine, it also appears to relieve muscle tremors.
Increases Inhibitory Brain Chemicals
It has long been postulated that passion flower works on the principle of Raising the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutryric acid, or GABA. Glutamic acid, the biological precursor of gamma-aminobutyric acid, has been linked to neuronal excitotoxicity that leads to many known diseases of the nervous system. By aiding the metabolic pathway responsible for converting glutamate into gamma-aminobutyric acid, passion flower not only increases the amounts of the chief inhibitory brain chemicals in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system, but also lowers the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters. This results in a drop in neuronal activities and a reduced risk of excitotoxicity, which translated into a more relaxed feeling.
Alleviates Physical Fatigue
Passion flower is known to counter the harmful effects of stress. In addition to alleviating psychiatric symptoms of anxiety, Passiflora incarnata has also been tied to the treatment of muscle weakness characteristic of fibromyalgia. It is one of the herbal nervines used in combination with other herbal adaptogens in combating physical fatigue due to long hours at work and the consequent sleep deprivation. Fortunately, passion flower is generally considered safe and nontoxic, with dosages equivalent to food proportions in general.
Passion flower can be taken with valerian and skull cap to help calm the mind and body when under intense stress. Give it a try and See for yourself!
Does Aloe Vera Juice Help with Digestive Problems?
March 28, 2011 02:01 PM
Aloe vera and your Colon
Aloe vera juice is one of the oldest herbal remedy for digestive problems that up to now remains in common use. It is extracted from the succulent plant aloe vera, which is known for its medicinal properties all over the world. Cultivation of this medicinal aloe predates written history, and its place of origin has eluded scholars for centuries. The fact that it is widely distributed across the globe today makes it a ready source of medicine in treatment of common digestive ailments. Also, large-scale production has contributed to its growing popularity worldwide.
You may have heard of aloe vera juice as a health tonic. Folk medicine practices in just every continent highly value this medicinal aloe for its cleansing properties, but the first recorded use for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract is in an Egyptian medical papyrus. In Greek and Roman antiquity aloe vera extracts in the form of juice were prescribed by physicians who practiced humorism to patients afflicted with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach cramps. Both De Materia Medica by Greek botanist and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides and Naturalis Historia by the Roman natural philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus made mentions of its medicinal powers known to cleanse not only the alimentary canal but also the blood.
Heals Ulcerations of the Gastrointestinal Tract
It is common knowledge that aloe vera promotes the healing of wounds and other skin lesions. Aloe vera juice works on the same principle when ingested. This medicinal plant contains phytochemicals that increases the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a growing body of literature devoted to the effects of this medicinal aloe on inflammatory intermediaries present in the processes that are implicated in lesion of body surfaces, including the inner walls of the alimentary canal.
Inhibits Growth of Harmful Strains of Bacteria
Aloe vera juice has long been postulated to have antibacterial properties, and scientific evidence in support of this claim has surfaced in the past few years. One of the reasons why aloe vera speeds up the recovery of wounds is the fact that it is both bacteriostatic and bactericidal in nature, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria and actively eliminates them at the same time. In addition, aloe vera contains polysaccharides that benefit probiotics, or friendly bacteria. By Raising the number of helpful strains of bacteria such as lactobacillus, populations of harmful bacteria are curbed.
Induces Peristaltic Movement of the Intestines
There is strong scientific evidence that aloe vera juice is particularly beneficial for individuals afflicted with constipation. For one, anthroquinone glycosides found in aloe vera have been noted to accelerate defecation by adding bulk to the impacted feces and attracting water to soften the stool. Furthermore, aloe vera stimulates the muscle cells within the intestinal walls, which consequently produce contractions. The resulting peristaltic movement moves the ball of food, leading to the evacuation of the bowels.
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy to take daily to maintain good intestinal health as well as skin health. Take your aloe daily!
Can N-Acetyl Cysteine Boost Liver Health And Function?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) And The Liver
N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC is an antidote for poisonous effects of paracetamol overdose. It targets the cells in the liver, Raising their capacity to deal with harmful metabolites. There are a number of researches well underway that scrutinizes a variety of medical conditions for which this compound could be of use. It is a known precursor of antioxidants and in itself a scavenger of peroxides and free radicals.
Hepatocytes are the cells that take on most of the functions of the liver and account for more than 70 per cent of the liver’s total mass. These cells are responsible for the presystematic metabolism of drugs, also known as the first-pass effect, rendering most drugs innocuous before they are released into the bloodstream. The total amounts of bioactive substances that are distributed to the rest of the body are also largely regulated by hepatocytes, notably carbohydrates. In addition, they are involved in the biosynthesis of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids, and bile salts as well as the functional reserves for protein.
Hepatocytes and Toxins
Certain drugs produce toxins when broken down by hepatocytes. A classic example is the metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound, a probable carcinogen, and an air pollutant emitted by combustion of cars and tobacco smoking. While hepatocytes are known for their detoxifying responses to toxic substances entering the body, the metabolism of toxins actually takes up a great deal of time, resulting in certain toxins getting released into the bloodstream prior to first-pass effect.
That being said, continued exposure to toxins wears down hepatocytes, and high concentrations of what we refer to as poisons is certain to bring damage to the liver. This is what happens during overdose of paracetamol, or acetaminophen. In an effort to metabolized excessive amounts of the drug, the liver cells produce by-products that are essentially poisons, which under normal circumstances can be contained well.
NAC and Glutathione Production
The major antioxidant synthesized by the human body called glutathione comes to the liver’s defense when toxic by-products are produced. Hepatocytes in particular are so dependent on glutathione in the quenching of toxins that it has been observed that any challenge to the manufacture of this endogenous antioxidant will ultimately result in liver failure.
Glutathione is released by hepatocytes in large amounts especially during the metabolism of alcohol and drugs, but during overdose the ravaging activities of ethanol or drug metabolites overwhelm the detoxifying effects of antioxidant reserves in the body. Simply put, the defense mechanisms in the employ of the body have limits. NAC resolves this problem.
The presence of NAC in the body augments the liver’s ability to produce the needed amounts of glutathione to effectively counter the harmful properties of invasive substances. In fact, the liver completely recuperates in a matter of weeks even after life-threatening conditions given that NAC is introduced in the human body in time to avoid subsequent damages to other vital organs. Indeed its application has proven to save lives in fatal cases of paracetamol poisoning.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is available at your local or internet vitamin store in capsule or tablet forms. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy for better liver health.
Have you had your NAC today?
How does Malic Acid help with Fibromyalgia?
February 09, 2011 01:18 PM
Malic Acid And Fibromyalgia
If you feel sensitized to pain by otherwise harmless stimuli, then you may be experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, which has been recorded to affect up to 4 per cent of the population worldwide. It is characterized by a feeling of weakness in the muscles of the limbs, conscious awareness of abnormal heartbeat, problems concerning bowel movement, and disturbances to sleep patterns. All of these are complaints reported to have been addressed by supplementation of malic acid.
The medical community remains inconclusive as to what causes fibromyalgia, some claiming it’s not a disease at all. While symptoms may not be necessarily medical signs, there are innumerable cases that describe complaints we collectively refer to as fibromyalgia. Throughout the past few decades, medical professionals around the world have considered these symptoms as one musculoskeletal disease whereas most neurologists have contended that fibromyalgia is attributable to the abnormalities within the nervous system. Today the American College of Rheumatology has charted nine paired tender points in an effort to describe the symptoms for this condition better.
Known Causes in Scrutiny
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia more often than not appear simultaneously with stress-induced medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety disorders, and depression, but they are known to develop independently. A tissue in the brain responsible for long-term memory and spatial navigation called hippocampus have shown abnormalities among patients of fibromyalgia, thereby affecting sleep patterns, perception of pain, and related cognitive functions.
In the latter half of the 20th century it is postulated that serotonin leads to fibromyalgia. Serotonin being a neurotransmitter that governs mood, attention, and pain were found to be significantly decreased in the blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid among patients who reported to experience this condition. That being said, the introduction of serotonin inhibitors used in treatment of depression has also shown alleviations of pain-related symptoms across the tender point index.
Malic Acid and Prognosis
Malic acid was discovered as a constituent of apple juice as early as the 18th century. Reduced levels of malic acid contribute to the maturity of fruits. In human beings it plays a fundamental role as an intermediate in a metabolic pathway that influences the chemical conversion of bioactive compounds like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into carbon dioxide and water, which in turn convert the molecules contained in the cytoplasmic fluid of cells into energy generated in the mitochondria.
The availability of malic acid inside the human body modulates functional activities at the cellular level by speeding up the metabolism of bioactive compounds and consequently the production of energy in use by the cells. That being said, malic acid provides vitality to muscle cells, Raising their endurance against stress. In addition, there have been reports that intake of malic acid help elevate levels of serotonin, leading to improved response to pain and better management of fibromyalgia.
For now, the tender point index is the primary diagnostic tool for evaluating fibromyalgia, and the use of malic acid has been recorded to reduce pain in these points.
Have you had your Malic Acid today?
Vitamin B Complex
November 24, 2008 04:45 PM
The connection between B vitamin complex and stress is well known; although why a good B vitamin complex can reduce stress is less well known. Before discussing the reason why a Vitamin B formula can reduce stress, we shall first have a look at stress and what causes it. The term means different things to different people, and a stressful situation to one person might not be such to another.
The biochemistry of stress is fairly complex, although involves the production and release of hormones into your bloodstream. When an event occurs that causes stress, the hypothalamus portion of your brain becomes involved. It releases cotocotropin releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that protects you from stress by Raising your spirits. CRF sends signals to the pituitary gland causing the release of ACHT (Adrenocorticotropic hormone corticotropin) that causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. Cortisol speeds up the metabolism.
Coincidentally, the cells of the brain stem and spinal cord send a message that stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine that increases the heart rate, breathing and alertness, ready for fight or flight. Both of these mechanisms then lead back to the pituitary gland and your new stress level can repeat the process or stop it, should your stress be reduced. If this cycle continues over an extended period of time it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health.
The B vitamins can help to regulate this biochemical function, and in doing so can reduce stress, and with it the associated anxiety and depression. In fact many of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are those that are also associated with stress: anxiety, nervousness, depression irritability and so on. There is no one specific form of Vitamin B that helps with stress, and there are eight in total. However, in saying that, the three members of the B vitamin complex that have most effect on stress are vitamins B 3, 6 and 12.
Every one of the B vitamins is involved in cell metabolism. Because they are soluble in water, they are quickly leached from the body so have to be replaced on a regular basis. The various B vitamins are needed by your body for specific purposes, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for the correct function of your nerves, brain and muscles. Although others have their own particular areas of responsibility, they are generally lumped together, not only because they are all soluble in water, but also because they each have a profound effect on the metabolism of your body.
Those mostly connected with the nervous system are Vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps to maintain the proper health of your digestive system, skin and nerves, and B12 (cobalamin) is also needed for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with vitamin B12 are the two principal members of the B complex that have an effect on stress, and a deficiency of these can make you more prone to this frequently debilitating condition. In fact many people that are suffering from a general Vitamin B deficiency have various forms of mental problems.
Because Vitamin B12 is available only from animal sources, deficiencies are common in vegetarians, and even more common in vegans who are advised to take a Vitamin B12 supplement. However, in general you are best to take a Vitamin B complex as opposed to a supplement of any specific member of the B family. This is because a surplus of any one could lead to a depletion of others.
It is thought that much of today's stress is caused by an inadequate diet, and a diet deficient in various forms of Vitamin B is believed to render the subject particularly prone to stress and anxiety. People that have been suffering undue levels of stress over a protracted period of time can be helped by a regular treatment of B vitamins. In taking such supplements, however, you should also be aware of the various possible effects on your body that the causes of your stress can have. These are frequently neither understood nor recognized when they occur.
For example, if you are under stress due to a poor diet, or conversely, are eating a poor diet due to your high stress levels, you might be building up fatty deposits in your liver. Because of this your general health could be at serious risk in addition to your mental health. It is important, therefore, that you don't just restrict yourself to a B vitamin complex, but also take a supplement containing inositol and choline bitartrate.
These can reduce the fatty deposit that a poor diet can cause to build up in your liver with consequent risk to life. Such deposits affect the ability of your liver to destroy the environmental toxins to which become exposed as part of your daily life, and which can be directly related to your ability to counter high stress levels.
In general, however, if you are prone to stress and get nervous and worried about the slightest thing that doesn't go to plan, a B vitamin complex can help: vitamin B can reduce stress, although if your stress is sever you would be better advised consulting a physician than a health store.
Stress is a serious condition, and not one that should be treated lightly. It is possible to treat some stress conditions by using a good B vitamin complex, although should the stress be serious then you should consult your physician. Frequently the stress is not diet related, but due to personal circumstances that cannot be cured by any form of supplement.
However, there are few doubts that a course of Vitamin B supplements can help to overcome many of the metabolic causes of stress, and make up for any deficiency in these vitamins that leave your body almost as quickly as they enter it. Vitamin B can reduce stress, but only if your stress is due to a deficiency: and this is more common that most people are aware.
September 01, 2008 01:04 PM
Garlic is a member of the lily family, related to onions and chives, and offers many health benefits other than deterring vampires. There is now ample scientific evidence and proof of its beneficial effect on both a healthy immune system and the circulatory system.
The active ingredients in garlic are thiosulfinates, of which the predominant one is allicin, sulfoxides such as alliin and dithiins, of which ajoene is the most widely researched. These compounds are not only responsible for the pungent odor of garlic, but also for its benefits to your health. Among the other components of garlic are selenium, manganese and vitamins B6 and C.
Before considering the other effects of garlic on your health, we shall first consider how it benefits the immune system. The immune system is an essential part of human biology, and protects your body from invasion by pathogenic organisms. Without the immune system your body would rapidly be overcome by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other foreign bodies, and your body would rapidly fail to function.
The immune system consists of several components that can act in concert to protect you from these foreign invaders. It is too large a subject to be discusses in this article, although its major components are the thymus, the spleen, the lymphatic system, bone marrow, antibodies, and white blood cells of various types. Without it your body would rapidly be broken down to nothing, and would revert to a skeleton in a few weeks.
It is your immune system that causes inflammation, fevers, boils and pus. These are all examples of the immune system at work to protect your body, and even a fever is the immune system Raising your body temperature to one that is unfavorable to invaders. Arthritis and hay fever are other examples of how your immune system reacts to invaders, in one case mistaking damaged joint tissue as being foreign and responding by causing inflammation to protect the joint, and in the other a reaction to invading bodies such as pollen.
So what does garlic do to help your immune system? Let's first have a look at the inflammatory reaction of the immune system, a prime example of which is rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation is caused by compounds known as prostaglandins and thromboxanes, the biosynthesis in your body of which requires the enzymes lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (LOX and COX). If these enzymes can be inhibited, then the inflammatory response can be modulated, and LOX and COX inhibition is one of the studies currently being carried out into the treatment of some forms of cancers.
However, where garlic comes in here is that two effective non-reversible inhibitors of LOX and COX are the chemicals Di(1-propenyl) sulfide and ajoene, and both of these are components of garlic. Garlic can therefore be used, not to stop the inflammatory response altogether since it is an essential part of the immune system for certain infections, but to modulate it and protect you from the more severe effects of conditions such as arthritis - both osteo and rheumatoid - and asthma, which is also an immune response.
Allicin has been shown to work with vitamin C to kill certain types of bacteria and viruses, and can help the immune system to protect you from colds and flu, Candida and some gastroenteric viruses. It can also be effective against some of the more powerful pathogens such as tuberculosis. It should be stressed that garlic will not cure these conditions, but help the immune system to deal with them. In fact with respect to the common cold, a study at Munich University has shown that garlic significantly reduces the activity of kappa-B, which is a nuclear transcription factor that mediates the inflammatory response. In other words, the cold symptoms are greatly reduced.
This is significant, since increased kappa-B levels can be triggered off by any pathogen that causes an inflammatory response by the immune system (e.g. infection, allergens, physical trauma). The study showed that unfertilized garlic provided a reduction of 25% in kappa-B activity, while garlic fertilized with sulfur reduced it by 41%.
There have been other studies carried out that demonstrated that Helicobacter pylori, the organism responsible for gastritis and peptic ulcers, was less active in those that took a regular amount of garlic in their diet. This was shown by measuring the antibody concentration, and while H.pylori was found in both sets (with and without garlic in the diet), the antibody count in the garlic-eating set was much lower indicating a significantly lower population of the bacterium.
Another unexpected result was that a group taking both cooked and uncooked garlic had a lower antibody count than those taking either cooked or uncooked. This appears to indicate that cooking changes the chemical nature of garlic, so that both forms work together to provide a more potent effect that cooked and uncooked separately.
What has also been established is that odorless garlic has less of an effect on the immune system that natural garlic, so while the odorless type is more socially acceptable, it is not so good at supporting your immune system. The allicin levels in odorless garlic are very much lower than in the natural bulb.
Garlic has also been found to be able to help with certain types of cancer. Two servings weekly have been found effective in protecting from colon cancer. Allicin has been found to protect colon cells from the toxic effect of various chemicals, and also reduce the growth rate of any cancerous cells that develop. People in Southern Europe consuming large quantities of garlic have been shown to be 39% less liable to contract cancer of the mouth and pharynx, and 57% less liable to contract cancer of the esophagus. It also had an effect on other cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. However, the effect of onions on such cancers is even greater.
Most people are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, and it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and serum triglyceride levels, thus protecting against the harmful condition of atherosclerosis and also of diabetic heart disease. Reduced atherosclerosis means a reduced chance of heart attacks or strokes. It also appears to possess antioxidant properties.
There is no doubt that garlic helps to promote a healthy immune system, although the odorless form appear to be less effective in this respect as natural garlic, and there is evidence that a diet containing uncooked and cooked garlic can be more effective than either of these alone.
August 05, 2008 01:13 PM
Unlike macro-minerals such as calcium, which the body needs in gram amounts, trace minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, silicon, chromium, sulfur, and copper are only needed in milligram or micrograms. However, these small quantities do not reflect the importance of trace minerals, as inadequate intake can have huge effects on the body. Lets discuss a few of these trace minerals.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, with 20 to 50 percent of people affected. The average body contains only one teaspoon of iron, but this mineral is crucial in oxygen transportation throughout the bloodstream and into cells. A lack of iron will starve the body of oxygen and energy, which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency to be fatigue, foggy thinking, irritability, headaches, and lethargy.
A lot of athletes have inadequate iron intake, impairing their exercise performance as it decreases hemoglobin levels and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles while it increases the time that is needed to recover from exercise. Iron is also important in immunity, with optimal iron intake strengthening the immune system and building resistance to colds, infections, and diseases. Even though inadequate intake is a common concern, too much can also cause health problems including stomach and intestinal cramps, nausea, and constipation.
The most important function of selenium is its antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is invaluable in protecting red blood cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. Selenium works closely with vitamin E, sometimes replacing it in certain situations. Selenium holds an important role in maintaining the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of many health problems which include several types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain birth defects.
Zinc is a valuable antioxidant that supports many aspects of the immune system. Zinc works in the eyes to protect them against sunlight-related free radicals. Zinc supplements have been found to slow the progression of macular degeneration, but high intakes of zinc and other antioxidants have been shown to lower the risk of developing this eye disease in the first place. This mineral can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold when in lozenge form, if started within 24 hours of the first cold symptom and taken every couple of hours. Taking 50mg of zinc daily or higher amounts for short periods of time is a good idea, but amounts over 150mg daily could cause metallic taste, stomach upset, or impair immune function.
Many modern diets contain extremely low amounts of silicon, especially since food processing removes much of the silicon. Silicon improves the elasticity and suppleness to skin that has been damaged by excessive skin exposure. Silicon is also important in natural bone formation, since deficiencies in silicon lead to bone weakness and sluggish wound health. Bone mineral density can be improved in people with osteoporosis by Raising the intake of silicon.
Chromium is important in maintaining blood sugar levels, as well as many other roles in the body. Chromium deficiency impairs the blood sugar-insulin relationship, while chromium supplementation improves insulin response. Studies have shown that supplementing with chromium picolinate improves diabetes management by lowering blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels and reducing the reliance on blood sugar medications. This mineral is also important in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
Finally, Sulfur is needed in the joints to keep the connective tissues within them strong and stable. One source of sulfur, MSM, has been shown to significantly relieve pain and improve use of knee joints in studies. Through all of the above, one can see that trace minerals are extremely important contributors to health, even in small amounts.
Rescue From High Cholesterol
July 01, 2008 05:22 PM
Cholesterol is an unsaturated waxy solid that is manufactured in the body and has important functions relative to cell membrane management. It is also known to help produce bile to digest fats and can help in metabolizing fat-soluble vitamins. Cholesterol is both made in tissue membranes and derived through the diet. This is where the basis of good and bad cholesterol comes into play. Cholesterol that is made in tissue membranes is transported by high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which delivers the cholesterol to the liver. HDL is thought to remove cholesterol from arteries and delivers it back to the liver for processing. Increased levels of HDL have also been deemed as protective against heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), on the other hand, is dietary cholesterol that is transported and carries cholesterol from the liver to tissue membranes.
This factor is not what makes LDL cholesterol bad, instead it is the amount of cholesterol in the wrong place at the wrong time. Large amounts of cholesterol and LDL in the arteries can lead to plaques that gradually damage arteries over time, which leads to heart attack, stroke, or some other type of heart and vascular diseases. Because of these reasons, cholesterol management for heart and vascular health focuses on lowering LDL cholesterol. What is often overlooked is the value of Raising HDL cholesterol levels, which can improve removal of cholesterol from dangerous locations in the arteries.
The diet greatly influences health, and by addressing macro and micro nutrients, cholesterol health can be greatly reduced. Macro nutrients that affect cholesterol include fiber, protein, and fats. Micro nutrients are things such as vitamins and minerals, especially those that have potent antioxidant mechanisms, which can affect lipid peroxidation. Fiber, which has long been recommended by the American Heart association (AHA), lowers total and LDL cholesterol levels, while Raising HDL levels. Although fiber is straightforward, the trick with protein is to always find a good source that does not have saturated fat and cholesterol that can negate its benefits. Although whey protein is animal-based, it has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. However, many people have looked to soy to provide cholesterol-managing protein.
When it comes to natural products, there are a few key nutrients that can help with cholesterol management. Among these are DHA, EPA, Omega-3s and 6s, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, and Niacin. Limiting oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation are also important components of cholesterol management. Although micro nutrients give a good level of protection from oxidation, a large amount of antioxidant fighters comes from botanicals, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Some flavonoids that can help with cholesterol care include cocoa, tea, and fruit.
Citrus bioflavonoids also help with antioxidant management, especially when they are combined with vitamin E. Fruits such as pomegranate and grape seed extract help to limit LDL oxidation. Botanicals such as garlic, which contain antioxidant constituents help to lower total and LDL cholesterol while still maintaining HDL levels. Other suggestions to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels include pine bark extract as well as some types of algae.
Whether you’re attempting to use just one or many of these approaches to battle cholesterol levels, there are many well-researched ways to both lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol.
Are Inflammation, Immunity, And Allergic Reactions A Role For Supplements?
November 10, 2007 11:29 AM
Inflammation, immunity diseases and allergic reactions are all connected with your immune system, and the way the body reacts to what it considers to be foreign invaders that are a risk to your health. Although you may not understand that all three have the basic underlying cause, in fact they do, and here is why.
Inflammation manifests as pain and swelling in the inflamed area, and not only can the area also get hot, but it can also raise your temperature in general, commonly called a fever. Fever is the body’s way of Raising temperature above that at which foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses can live, so any inflammatory condition that results in fever by definition must be an immune response through the body trying to eliminate foreign invaders.
If your body gets injured in any way, your immune system responds, and usually calms down again if decides that the injury is not serious. Your immune system is actually initiated by what are known as pro-inflammatory hormones, such as prostaglandins that stimulate the nerves to signal pain and swell the blood vessels close to the injury to make room for the large white blood cells when they arrive. That also allows blood and plasma to rush out and cause swelling at the site of the injury. Other prostaglandins act to quell the immune response, and get your body back to normal.
Another such hormone is a cytokine, which informs the brain of the intrusion. Some cytokines called leukocytes stop the immune system when necessary to prevent the destruction of healthy tissue, and also halt the inflammatory response. If the leukocytes are not working properly, the body can be severely damaged as the immune system becomes uncontrolled and starts to attack healthy tissue.
Then there are the histamines that allow you to expel the agents causing the problem by sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and scratching. They lead lymphatic fluid and blood to the site of the problem in order that the invasion can be attacked and destroyed.
It is the histamines that provide what is commonly referred to as an allergic reaction, which is really the immune system coming into action to remove invaders such as pollen, dust mites and any other agent that can cause an allergy. Immunity is caused by introducing small amounts of the agent into the blood, so that the immune system can develop a memory of them. Then, when the same invader returns at a later date, the system can immediately attack them with the antibodies that have been produced.
All of these: inflammation, immunity and allergies, are caused by the reaction of the immune system to what it perceives as an invader. Normally these are bacteria and viruses, but sometimes they react to other foreign bodies such as pollen. In some people this provokes no response at all, while in others it provokes the immune system to create antibodies against the pollen, and emit histamine to expel it.
Substances that cause allergies are referred to as allergens. Many allergens are environmental, such as dust, pollen and peanuts. Some people are allergic to certain animals, such as cats or dogs, and others to chemicals in the air such as hydrocarbon emissions, particularly when in particulate form.
The symptoms can be simple, such as a runny nose, a cough and hay fever or more complex such as hives, eczema and asthma. All of these are caused by the immune system reacting to an invader. There are also foods that cause internal inflammation, such as shellfish and whitefish, eggs and tomatoes. Many of these can be extreme, leading to serious illness and can even be fatal. So what can be done to treat people who are particularly prone to inflammation and allergic reactions?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, unlike their Omega-6 cousins that appear to increase it. Omega-3 oils contain chemicals known as eicosanoids, of which the prostaglandins are an example. While this might seem paradoxical, since prostaglandins are what set off the whole process, there are many types of these. Prostaglandin E2 is the type that leads to allergic immune reactions, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the concentration of these in the blood.
Those who eat little fish tend to suffer more from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other conditions indicating a lack of control of the immune system. On the other hand, processed foods contain more omega-6 fatty acids that can promote these conditions. The major components of omega-3 oils are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. These are all anti-inflammatories and have been shown to have very positive effects on inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and eczema. Each of these is a different type of inflammatory condition caused by inappropriate immune response.
However, it not just fish oils that can help resolve problems with our immune system. Quercetin is what is known as a flavonoid. It is a strong anti-oxidant and natural anti-histamine that combats histamine release and the swelling associated with the immune response to allergens. It also counters the inflammatory agents of arthritis and so helps to reduce the pain associated with many of these conditions. It appears to work better in conjunction with bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory that also possesses anti-allergen response properties. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple stems.
Another natural product is a resin extract that is obtained from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been recommended for the treatment of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo), Crohn’s disease and has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, though studies are still under way. However, world wide experience is that Boswellia is effective against gout, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis, to name another three totally different inflammatory conditions.
What all of this indicates are two things. First that inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are connected conditions, and due to either poor control over or an over stimulated immune response to what the body perceives as being abnormal, in the way that hormones and other chemicals that are used to control our immunity detect it to be.
Secondly, there are many natural products that can be used as supplements to treat these effects caused by the immune system, and that their effectiveness has been proven, if not by scientific study, then by generations of traditional application as treatments of the symptoms of the conditions concerned.
However, although many have been proved by scientific study, others have not, and you should always refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment other than that prescribed. Also, there is incontrovertible evidence that the role for supplements in the treatment of inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are beneficial. Many use nothing else.
Lower Cholesterol Naturally!
October 06, 2006 09:41 AM
Because of organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA), we’ve learned a lot about cholesterol and how it affects our health. Thanks to these educational organizations, we know that high cholesterol levels can increase our risk for heart attacks and strokes and, by lowering these levels, we reduce these risks as well as keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy. We also know that our cholesterol levels can be improved through exercise, diet, and weight loss.
Although we’ve learned a lot through these educational organizations, there are still a few misconceptions about cholesterol. One of these being that not all cholesterol is harmful. There are both “good” and “bad” forms of cholesterol and a good balance between the two is what is needed for a healthy heart. Because so much emphasis is placed on lowering “bad” cholesterol levels, not enough attention is paid to the benefit of Raising “good” cholesterol levels (HDL). Research states that Raising HDL levels can provide even greater protection against cardiovascular disease than just simply lowering “bad” cholesterol levels. By Raising HDL levels by simply 1%, the risk of heart disease can be lowered by 2% in men and 3% in women. Many studies have shown that low HDL cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor in heart disease. This is extremely important because we’ve learned that despite efforts to change a person’s diet and exercise habits, some people’s cholesterol levels are still unhealthy.
Prescription drugs to lower cholesterol are now available and have been proven by multiple studies to be very successful. The statins’ effectiveness in reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol has produced highly significant reductions in heart attacks and strokes. Although these medications do lower cholesterol levels, their side effects must be considered. Statin drugs can cause liver irritation, reduce CoQ10 levels in the body, are associated with myopathy, and are even linked to a rare and sometimes fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. These drugs also have a relatively small effect on good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Thankfully, there are safe and effective solutions available that can help you manage your cholesterol levels naturally. However, first we must review what we know about cholesterol and heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance needed to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, make hormones and insulate nerves. Although it is found in every cell of the body, cholesterol is mainly made in the liver, as well as cells lining the small intestine. Even though our bodies make all the cholesterol we need, we also get cholesterol from the foods we eat, such as egg yolks and organ meats. All foods from animal sources contain cholesterol, while plant derived food, including peanut butter and avocado, contains no cholesterol at all.
Cholesterol is important to many functions of the body. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream is extremely dangerous. After blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on the artery walls, and thus increasing the risk for blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. If the cholesterol clogs any of the coronary arteries, the heart’s supply of oxygen and nutrients will diminish, resulting in coronary heart disease, angina, or even heart attack.
Because cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood and thereby can’t travel on their own, they have to be transported to and from the cells by lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (HDL or “good cholesterol”) LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells and cause artherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with fat. On the other hand, HDL prevents the fat buildup by carrying it away from the arteries and to the liver where it can be eliminated. Although high levels of LDL are associated with cardiovascular disease, high HDL can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease. As a result, the AHA has established three guidelines to keep your heart healthy: HDL levels about 40 for men and above 50 for women, LDL levels between 100 and 159, and a total cholesterol (HDL and LDL) of under 200.
Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and a source for metabolism. These levels can fluctuate easily but increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. High amounts of triglycerides make the blood less capable of transporting oxygen and are another factor for cardiovascular disease. Thankfully, the HDL and LDL blend mentioned earlier can safely and effectively lower triglyceride levels.
It has been shown that high levels of HDL cholesterol are inversely related to coronary artery disease risk. However, what people do not know is that there are different subtypes of HDl, including HDL-2 and HDL-3. HDL-3 is produced by the liver and intestines and is responsible for scooping up free cholesterol from the blood vessel walls. The cholesterol carried by HDL-3 is chemically modified, forming a larger-sized subtype, known as HDL-2, or “mature HDL.” HDL-2 transports cholesterol to the liver for processing and elimination, and its molecules are then recirculated in the blood stream. Research has shown that HDL-2 provides more heart-protection because it moves the cholesterol away from arterial walls, and holds a greater number of receptor sites which allows it to carry a larger amount of cholesterol to the liver.
Although many prescription medications have been developed to lower bad cholesterol, there are very few medications that target good cholesterol. Therefore, patients with naturally low HDL cholesterol, who can not alter these levels through diet and exercise, have limited medical options to reduce their risk of heart disease. Multiple nutrients have been clinically shown to favorably alter good cholesterol levels including: vitamins C, E, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, magnesium and selenium, with protein-building amino acids, powerful antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyle cysteine, and policosanol, and extracts of hawthorn, garlic, grape seed, and soy isoflavones. Although this HDL-boosting combination does not result in a significant reduction in LDL, antioxidants found in this formulation can help stabilize LDL and prevent build up in the arterial wall.
This formula combines essential vitamins and minerals, at levels recommended by the American Heart Association. It contains amino acids, antioxidants, and botanicals that have all been used safely for years. No serious adverse effects have been found following supplementation and the combination is safe to use with statin drugs.
Plant sterols, found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to block its absorption. Each day the liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol from intestinal absorption through receptor sites. After entering these channels, the cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Since plant sterols look similar to cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these receptor sites and block the absorption, which allows the cholesterol to remain in our intestines where it can eventually be excreted. A large amount of plant sterols reduces the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver. This cholesterol reduction causes a decrease in LDL levels.
Even if a person does not have high cholesterol levels, reducing bad and Raising good cholesterol greatly reduces their risk for ever developing chronic heart disease. Due to side effects, physicians do not normally prescribe statin drugs to people without actual heart disease of high LDL cholesterol levels. Instead, they recommend dietary changes. The HDL-boosting combination and LDL-lowering pantethine and plant sterols blend can effectively help people with heart disease, uncontrolled cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, or people who just want to improve their heart health.
7-Syndrom Healing and 5-HTP
June 07, 2006 03:49 PM
Boomer Breakthrough – Keeping in the Game
If there is not thing boomers need to manage, its chronic stress. That’s because of its deleterious effects, which include accelerated aging and altered brain function. This month boomer breakthroughs will focus on 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-htp, one of the most versatile and powerful anti-aging remedies. For starters, 5-htp is a more powerful antioxidant than either vitamin C or melatonin. This it deserves a place in ones daily vitamin regimen based on this fact alone. However, the better-known attribute of 5-htp is its stabilizing effects on the brain and nerves.
Mood, Anxiety and Depression
Chronic stress can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression, poor memory, and reduced cognitive functions. Last month we recommended the Adaptogenic herbs Ashwagandha and Rhodiola as therapy for smoothing out periods of intense stress such as looming deadlines. For longer term stress supplementation with 5-htp is a better choice. That’s because extended periods of stress reduce brain levels of serotonin. Supplemental 5-htp is produced from the African plant Griffonia Simplicifolia and has over 30 years of safety and effectiveness in clinical use.
How do you know if you have low levels of serotonin? Persistent anxiety is one key and insomnia is another. 5-htp, an intermediary metabolite of serotonin, has proven to be clinically effective in reducing these disorders. Weight gain and eating disorders also appear to be associated with low serotonin levels.
Serotonin the Antiaging Neurotransmitter
Serotonin, one of three major neurotransmitters, has a calming effect and helps keep emotions in check. It has been extremely helpful in lessening panic attacks, various phobias, suppressing appetite, and reducing aggression, anxiety, and pain sensation. And, it may be more effective in relieving mild depression than antidepressants. In a 1991 Swiss study, the effectiveness of 5-htp in alleviating depression was compared to a conventional antidepressant, fluvoxamine (Luvox). Patients were divided into two groups and given either 100mg 5-htp or 150mg of fluvoxamine three times a day for six weeks. At the end of the test period, the 36 5-htp patients showed a greater percentage of improvement than the 33 fluvoxamine patients.
Other studies have compared 5-htp with antidepressants such as chloripramine and imipramine. 5-htp was at least as effective if not more so than the conventional drugs. Moreover, 5-htp has no reported side effects, although some patients have experienced mild nausea when they first take 5-htp. If this happens, merely back off and reduce the daily dose to 50mg and gradually increase it over a four-day period.
5-htp has an advantage over its precursor amino acid L-Tryptophan (LT). it is more readily absorbed than LT and is immune to meals without reducing its effectiveness. 5-htp, unlike LT, is not shunted into niacin, melatonin, picolonic acid and other amino acids. Seventy percent of oral 5-htp ends up in the bloodstream, crosses into the brain and is directly converted into serotonin.
It’s best not to combine 5-htp with antidepressant medications, although there have been no reports of adverse events. Suggested doses is 100mg 3 times a day or 200 to 200 mg taken at bedtime for insomnia.
Pain, Per-menopause and PMS
5-htp has additional benefits for boomers. It reduces hot flashes and is an effective anti-pain remedy. The concern over use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has led to interest in safe and effective methods of reducing hot flashes. Come anti-depressants (Prozac, ect.) have been effective in alleviating hot flashes in women with breast cancer or at risk of the disease. Increasing serotonin is the proposed mechanism by which this occurs. Serotonin in turn resets the brain’s heat regulating system. 5-htp is effective at Raising serotonin levels, is free of side effects, and is an effective substitute for anti-depressants.
Additionally, 5-htp has been clinically useful in reducing premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, self-deprecation, tension, anxiety, emotional instability, tearfulness, anger and irritability.
Migraine and fibromyalgia share a common root in serotonin and adrenal hormone (Cortisol) receptor function. Serotonin plays a role in maintaining pain thresholds, vascular constriction/dilation and maintenance of restorative sleep. It is also thought to disrupt pain signals and induce the activity of endorphins, the brains natural painkiller.
Italian researchers report in two clinical trials involving patients with fibromyalgia, that 5-htp (100mg 3X/day) significantly reduced fibromyalgia symptoms. These include a number of tender points, subjective pain severity, morning stiffness, sleep patterns, and anxiety.
Now offers 5-htp in three convenient doses; 50mg for starters, 100mg for maintenance, and 200mg plus 250mg tyrosine, Niacinamide and vitamin B-6 to stabilize adrenal function and help control minor pain.
Adapted from 7-syndrome healing: Supplement essentials for Body and Mind by Marcia Zimmerman and Jayson Kroner, 2006, Nutrition Solution Publications.
Best Sugar Balance Svetol (green coffee extract)
May 05, 2006 06:30 PM
Best Sugar Balance featuring Svetol® Svetol® is an extract of green coffee obtained by the use of a traditional patented extraction process from the beans of the species Coffea canephora robusta Pierre. This species is particularly rich in the constituent known as chlorogenic acid. Svetol® green coffee extract contains less than 2% caffeine. The extract is standardized to contain between 45-50% chlorogenic acids.
In vitro (test tube) and in vivo research suggests that chlorogenic acids present in coffee may have the ability to regulate blood sugar concentrations after meals by acting on the intestinal absorption of glucose and improving the body's glucose tolerance. Clinical evidence also suggests that Svetol® green coffee extract may help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level when used as a part of the diet.*
Maintains healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet*
Chlorogenic acid is the major polyphenol compound found in Svetol® green coffee bean extract. In vitro and animal studies have been conducted to determine the potential actions of this polyphenol. Studies report that chlorogenic acid and related compounds have significant antioxidant potential and are responsible for the high reported antioxidant benefit of green coffee. Several studies suggest that consumption of coffee in the diet is one factor that is correlated to the maintenance of healthy neural function and healthy aging. Coffee has also been shown in vitro to suppress the production of various free radicals. The chlorogenic acid content of coffee has been determined to be a major factor in the free radical quenching properties of coffee. A study was conducted to assess the activity of coffee extracts against the production of hydroxyl radicals in an in vitro system. It was found that coffee extracts possessed significant suppressive activity against hydroxyl radicals. Of the compounds assumed to be responsible for this effect, the researchers concluded that the chlorogenic acids played a major role with some contributions from other compounds found in the extract. This compound may also strongly contribute to any potential neuroprotective effects seen with coffee consumption.1
Two further studies highlight a possible mechanism by which chlorogenic acid mediates its antioxidant activity. In one study, the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) assay was used to measure and compare the iron-reducing capacity of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. It was shown that the chlorogenic acid content of the samples tested was highly correlated with iron-reducing activity in this assay. Moreover, lighter roasted coffee samples (closer in nature to green coffee) had the highest iron-reducing activity. Caffeine did not influence the iron-reducing activity of the coffee samples.2 Iron compounds are known to mediate the production of radicals and often serve as catalysts for their production in the body. A second study shows that chlorogenic acid can bind to and Chelate certain iron compounds, preventing them from catalyzing radical-producing reactions. In this way, chlorogenic acid acts as a powerful antioxidant.3
Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year. The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year.
The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee on a daily basis. In this study, green tea consumption was not associated with any benefits on glucose concentrations.5
It is likely that the chlorogenic acid found in coffee plays a role in supporting healthy glucose metabolism, whereas the role of caffeine is not clear, with some reports suggesting an adverse effect on sugar metabolism.
A second study further confirms an effect of chlorogenic acid at inhibiting the absorption of glucose from the diet. This effect occurs in the small intestine. In this study, nine healthy fasted volunteers consumed 25 grams of glucose in 400 ml of water (the control group), caffeinated coffee, or decaffeinated coffee. Frequent blood samples were taken over the next 3 hours. It was found that glucose and insulin concentrations were higher 30 minutes after the consumption of caffeinated coffee than with either decaffeinated coffee or control (water).While caffeine has specific biological effects on Raising glucose levels and impacting insulin profiles, chlorogenic acid was shown to have an antagonistic effect on glucose transport. Previous studies have also shown that chlorogenic acid significantly delays glucose uptake from the small intestine.6
RESEARCH ON SVETOL®
Svetol® is a unique extract of Coffea canephora robusta green coffee beans containing between 45 and 50% chlorogenic acids with less than 2% total caffeine concentration. As outlined above, many studies highlight the potential benefits of coffee compounds, including chlorogenic acid, for providing protection against free radicals and promoting healthy glucose metabolism. A number of other potential benefits have been discovered for these compounds. Svetol® has also been the subject of preliminary clinical studies that have shown exciting results.
In a pilot study, the effect of Svetol® on sugar concentrations after meals was evaluated in 15 individuals. In the same trial, the longer-term effects of Svetol® on weight management were also evaluated. Blood sugar concentrations were measured on two separate occasions. Patients were administered an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in which they consumed a standard amount of sugar and had their blood sugar levels measured 1 hour after sugar intake. The first measurement was made on day 1 prior to taking Svetol® and the second OGTT was performed on day 2, after beginning the Svetol® regimen in which one tablet (200 mg per tablet) was administered 3 times during the day. Patients were fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the testing. The results showed that Svetol® was able to reduce blood sugar concentrations in 60% of the subjects. The mean reduction of blood sugar concentration in these individuals was 50%. The treatment was continued following the same regimen for 6 weeks to assess the impact of Svetol® on weight. The average weight loss of the participants was 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) over the treatment period. 7
Based on the studies mentioned above and other related research on the ingredients in Svetol®, scientists have proposed two mechanisms of action whereby Svetol® may influence the metabolism and processing of glucose. The first mechanism seems to be an inhibitory action on glucose absorption from the diet. Svetol® may affect the uptake of glucose in the small intestine by modulating factors needed for sugar absorption.
The second mechanism relates to possible effects of Svetol® in the liver's ability to produce glucose. Chlorogenic acids have been shown in vitro and in animal studies to modulate the effects of certain enzymes in the liver that catalyze the production of glucose. By having this dual effect on sugar absorption and sugar production, Svetol® is an effective product for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet.*
Svetol® is a natural food extract from green coffee beans containing a standardized amount of chlorogenic acid. Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid (up to 500 mg/kg/day) given to pregnant rats from the 5th through 12th day of gestation caused no maternal or fetal mortality and no adverse effects on the nervous system. Chlorogenic acids have also been shown to be non-mutagenic in tests on bacteria such as the Ames test. The LD50 of chlorogenic acids has been determined to be higher than 2500 mg/kg body weight. Svetol® is also extremely low in caffeine, with less than 2% caffeine contained in the extract, and is not expected to have any of caffeine's stimulant effects. Svetol® is extremely safe with no adverse effects having been reported while taking Svetol® at the recommended dosage.7
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1) Daglia M, Racchi M, Papetti A, Lanni C, Govoni S,Gazzani G. In vitro and ex vivo antihydroxyl radical activity of green and roasted coffee. J Agric Food Chem.2004 Mar 24;52(6):1700-4.
2) Moreira DP, Monteiro MC, Ribeiro-Alves M, Donangelo CM, Trugo LC. Contribution of chlorogenic acids to the iron-reducing activity of coffee beverages. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 9;53(5):1399-402.
3) Kono Y, Kashine S,Yoneyama T, Sakamoto Y, Matsui Y, Shibata H. Iron chelation by chlorogenic acid as a natural antioxidant. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1998 Jan;62(1):22-7.
4) Zang LY, Cosma G, Gardner H, Castranova V, Vallyathan V. Effect of chlorogenic acid on hydroxyl radical. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 May;247(1-2):205-10.
5) Yamaji T, Mizoue T, Tabata S, Ogawa S, Yamaguchi K, Shimizu E, Mineshita M, Kono S. Coffee consumption and glucose tolerance status in middle-aged Japanese men.Diabetologia. 2004 Dec;47(12):2145-51. Epub 2004 Dec 15.
6) Johnston KL, Clifford MN, Morgan LM. Coffee acutely modifies gastrointestinal hormone secretion and glucose tolerance in humans: glycemic effects of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):728-33.
7) Berkem.Text on Svetol®.Gardonne, France: November 2005.
Green Tea Extract Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 10:23 AM
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:
Down-regulates the Body’s Response to Environmental Challenges Quercetin is a member of the flavonoid family, a diverse group of low molecular-weight compounds found throughout the plant kingdom. Flavonoids exhibit numerous biological activities, many of which are directly beneficial to human health. Quercetin, which belongs to the “flavonol” subgroup, is one of the most versatile and important flavonoids. Quercetin has a broad range of activity, much of which stems from its interaction with calmodulin, a calcium-regulatory protein.1 Calmodulin transports calcium ions across cellular membranes, initiating numerous cellular processes. Quercetin appears to act as a calmodulin antagonist.1 Through this mechanism, quercetin functions at the cell-membrane level with a membrane-stabilizing action.2 Quercetin inhibits calmodulin-dependent enzymes present at cell membranes such as ATPases and phospholipase, thereby influencing membrane permeability.3 Quercetin affects other calmodulin-dependent enzymes that control various cellular functions, including the secretion of histamine from mast cells.4 A number of investigations have corroborated quercetin’s ability to reduce histamine secretion from mast cells in various tissues, and also from basophils.5,6,7,8,9,10
Quercetin modifies the body’s response to antigenic substances.* Suppression of histamine secretion from mast cells is one of quercetin’s most clinically important effects. Quercetin acts on ATPase at the membranes of histamine-containing granules in mast cells.3 Mast-cell degranulation and subsequent release of histamine into the bloodstream is an integral part of the body’s response to environmental challenges.
Quercetin’s enzyme-inhibiting action extends to enzymes such as phospholipase, which catalyzes the release of arachidonic acid from phospholipids stored in cell membranes.4,10 Arachidonic acid serves as the key substrate for substances such as thromboxanes, inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. In addition, quercetin inhibits the enzymes cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, which catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into its metabolites.4,10,11,12 Reducing levels of these metabolites, as well as histamine levels, is beneficial in maintaining the normal comfort level of body tissues and structures.
Quercetin has also been shown to limit the function of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells.13 Adhesion molecules are involved in physiologic processes that influence tissue comfort.13
Bromelain is a complex substance derived from the pineapple stem largely composed of proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes. Bromelain acts by a variety of mechanisms to help maintain tissues in a normal state of comfort.14,15 Several investigators, including Taussig16 and Ako, et. al.,17 have presented evidence that bromelain is a fibrinolytic agent, i.e., it induces the breakdown of fibrin, a plasma protein that blocks tissue drainage. The generally accepted mechanisms involve direct proteolysis of fibrin by bromelain and activation of plasmin, a serum protease.16 Plasmin acts on fibrinogen (the precursor to fibrin), forming peptides which stimulate PGE1, a prostaglandin that helps maintain tissue comfort.16
Helps Maintain Health of Blood Vessels by Modifying Oxidation of LDL Cholesterol* — Quercetin’s Antioxidant Action Quercetin is a versatile and effective antioxidant that scavenges a variety of free-radicals such as hydroxyl and lipid peroxy radicals.18 Quercetin also chelates ions of transition metals such as iron, which can initiate formation of oxygen free radicals.18 LDL cholesterol is vulnerable to oxidation by lipid peroxides. Oxidized LDL is absorbed by macrophages and arterial endothelial cells, leading to the formation of “foam cells,” and eventually plaque deposits, in arterial walls. Quercetin has been shown to protect LDL from oxidation, both by lipid peroxides and transition metal ions.19
Quercetin inhibits blood platelet aggregation (clumping), by potentiating PGI2, an anti-aggregatory prostaglandin, and by Raising platelet cyclic AMP levels.20 Human studies have revealed that bromelain also reduces platelet aggregation.21 These properties qualify both quercetin and bromelain as valuable dietary ingredients for maintaining cardiovascular health.*
In addition to the actions described above that support the effects of quercetin, bromelain may also assist the absorption of quercetin in the G.I. tract. (Quercetin is generally believed to be poorly absorbed, although a recent study by Hollman et. al.,22 which concluded that humans do in fact absorb appreciable amounts of quercetin, contradicts this assumption.) Studies have shown that bromelain enhances absorption of antibiotics, presumably by increasing permeability of the gut wall.23, 24 Given that quercetin is a low molecular-weight compound, it is plausible that simultaneously ingested bromelain likewise enhances quercetin absorption.
HDL and LDL Cholesterol
June 25, 2005 07:42 PM
HDL and LDL Cholesterol
There are both “good” and “bad” forms of cholesterol. The “good” form of cholesterol is found in the form of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). The ‘bad” forms of cholesterol are the low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). The types of fats we eat influence how much and what type of cholesterol we make. Saturated fats are particularly good at Raising low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol. The more of this type of cholesterol we have floating around in our bloodstream, the greater our risk of developing atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. The more HDL cholesterol we have (high-density lipoproteins) the lower our risk of coronary heart disease.
The liver is constantly trying to clear out the bad cholesterol by dumping it into the intestines. If we have sufficient amounts of the right kinds of fiber in our diet, our bodies dispose of cholesterol waste rather than reabsorbing it back into the blood stream. If we don’t eat sufficient amounts of the right kinds of fiber, the cholesterol waste is reabsorbed and adds to the toxic stress on the body—especially the liver.
The obesity factor is emerging as much more important than previously thought.23, 24 New findings strongly suggest that even a relatively small amount of excess weight (between 10 and 20 pounds) can predispose one to the development of heart disease.25
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:31 AM
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
The following are specific actions associated with capsicum and the conditions it can help relieve.
Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.
" We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."
Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.
" The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.
Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."
Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).
Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.
To combat hair-Raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."
" Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."
Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.
Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."
Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.
Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."
" Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.
When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.
To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.
For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.
If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.
To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.
Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."