Search Term: " Reproductive "
Walnuts can help improve sperm quality —Scientists
March 20, 2017 04:44 AM
Researchers have discovered the benefits of walnuts in the area of reproduction and a number of other health issues. In their study there was a noticeable correlation between the type and quality of fat in relation to sperm health. The fats in walnuts corroborate a previous study that walnuts improve Reproductive health. A higher ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is an indicator in a study of fertile and infertile men. More researchers is needed as to benefits of Omega 3. The study has shown walnuts improve health in the following: prostrate cancer, breast cancer, cognitive function and type 2 diabetes. According to the British Journal of Nutrition walnuts are also good for sustained mental reasoning. Information from Natural Health, March 16, 2017 by Sade Oguntola.
"A western-style diet has been blamed for lowering sperm function, especially motility, vitality and morphology in both humans and animals."
Even teethers labeled BPA-free may contain hormone-disruptors
December 26, 2016 12:59 PM
A recent report in the journal Environmental Science and Technology states that 59 different teething devices they tested all came up positive for BPA, which is a known endocrine-disrupting chemical. They also found other dangerous chemicals present in some, but this is one of the most concerning. These chemicals disrupt normal hormone function and can cause abnormal growth and development in children. The real problem is that all of the products were marked as BPA-free. Obviously, stronger measures need to be put in place to make sure companies are properly advertising their products.
"In lab tests for the current study, researchers found BPA as well as a range of different parabens and the antimicrobials triclosan and triclocarban in most of the teethers."
How to Boost the Female Egg Health with these Rich Vitamin Foods
November 25, 2016 12:59 PM
A healthy diet can heighten chances of conception. Alcohol and junk food can reduce fertility health, but healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can actually increase your chances. For example, avocados contain monounsaturated fat which produces healthier eggs. Beans and lentils contain iron (among other vitamins) which promotes ovulation. Even cinnamon can improve ovary function.
"A healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving by protecting your fertility."
Chemicals In Makeup That Lower Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is a steroid derived hormone that impacts the calcium levels in the body. It also is produced in the skin upon exposure to UV light.Vitamin D can be useful addition to a sunscreen product, and it is used to treat psoriasis.
It is lowered by the following chemicals in makeup:
Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are chemicals found in most of cosmetics, plastics, and food packaging may reduce vitamin D level. BPA,phthalates, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been linked to health and Reproductive problems.they appear to be risky for young children and pregnant women. But this is the first research to find a link between them and vitamin D levels in a large group of adults.
Avoid These chemicals:
Vitamin D is important for brain, bone, and heart health. Low levels of vitamin D in the blood have a whole host of problems including mental decline in older adults,chronic magraines in young people, and severe outcome in people diabetes and cancer.
If you wear makeup, check it for the above chemicals or switch to Mineral Makeup that is safe and natural. It Doesn't Hurt to take extra Vitamin D-3 as well.
Should I Be Taking DHEA?
Formally known as the 5-Dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA is actually a steroid hormone secreted by the human brain, gonads as well as the adrenal glands, the glands that sit just on top of any person's kidneys. Besides, being secreted by the gonads and also the human brain, DHEA is also beneficial in the formation of crucial Reproductive hormones, like testosterone along with estrogen.
Should I Be Taking DHEA?
DHEA was found in the mid 1930's yet really grew up in the 1950's when it had been found that maturing patients experienced decreased levels in their circulatory system. It had been thought before that DHEA supplement projects may help battle the maturing process. There's a reasonable bit of level headed discussion on the point in the matter of regardless of whether DHEA is helpful. One point is sure on the other hand, DHEA is a denied substance in for all intents and purposes of all games associations. Associations from baseball to the Olympics have established that DHEA is unworthy for the members.
Fundamentally, DHEA supplements are thought to effectively lessen weight. They typically measure in putting away fats in the body and keep those extra calories away. As a general rule, majority of "work out" supplements comprise of DHEA in their components. Apart from this, DHEA also advances the glucose to parts where it is required, thus bringing about a fitter and healthier body.
DHEA supplement is truly a sort of steroidal hormone, it's got a huge part in the body's safety. Boosting the invulnerable framework is another prize that you can get from DHEA dietary supplements as these are known not the human body's capacity to shape significantly more antibodies that may battle off disease and tumor bringing about cells
The huge expansion of optional medications cannot be compared to the extraordinary properties of DHEA. While it is genuinely made in the whole body. The maturing process is inevitable to the human body, however, DHEA slows down the aging process. This also helps in conditions in the heart, kidneys, and pancreas.
Given that DHEA is a steroidal hormone, it plays an important role in the body's susceptibility to antibodies. This improves the body's energy to fight contamination and malignancy in cells. Likewise, it has been watched how nutritional supplements containing a DHEA fixing could incredibly help people who may have high dangers of getting osteoporosis. This truly is as a consequence of straightforward reality that DHEA supplement could support the calcium levels inside of the bones.
What Is Paraben and Why We Should Avoid It?
February 10, 2014 01:53 PM
What is paraben
Parabens are artificial preservatives used in many domestic manufacturing industries especially for cosmetics, food and drugs industries. Most manufactures prefer Parabens because they are cost effective and are also efficient in protection against micro-organisms for long time.
Common types of paraben
The most common type of Parabens are methyl, propyl and butylParaben. There are many harmful effects of Parabens, some of the most notorious side effects are;
Disrupts Endocrine System
When absorbed into the body system, Parabens disrupts endocrine system by increasing production of hormone notably estrogen and at times they may act as estrogen. The body is triggered to produce excessive estrogen which has variety of adverse effects. For example, increased production of estrogen can lead to ovarian cysts, unstable emotions and mood swing.
The most notable effect of increased estrogen in the body resulting from use of Parabens is breast cancer. Research shows that Parabens accumulate in breast and are major contributors to breast cancer.
Leads to sudden weight gain.
Parabens are known to contribute to excessive weight, though actual gain depends on individual and the amount of Parabens in the body, they interfere with thyroid glands which leads to excessive weight gain since body cannot regulate the amount of Parabens in the body. Excessive weight may also be caused by high amount of estrogen produced.
Negative Affects to Reproductive Health
Parabens have negative effects to Reproductive health, for instance, they leads to low level of testosterone. This leads to low libido in men and in worst case it may cause infertility.
Although cosmetics aims at enhancing your beauty by making you look young, use of Parabens can actually hastens skin aging process. This alters your look and at times may completely change your skin complexion.
It is clear that Parabens are very dangerous to the body, though Food and Drug Administration has no illegalized use of this product for preservation, there is clear reason why they should be avoided.
Health Benefits of Vitex
December 20, 2013 09:04 AM
Health Benefits of Vitex
Taken from a mediterrenian tree, vitex has numerous health benefits in human life especially to women. Taken as alternative medicine, the herb can affect human body in various ways leading to diverse health benefits.
These benefits include;
What Is Vitamin B-2 Riboflavon Good For?
November 17, 2012 02:11 PM
Vitamin B-2 is one of the B-complex, water soluble vitamins that is required for the proper functioning of the human body. They can be found in different dietary sources including but not limited to eggs, dairy products, grains and cereals, green vegetables, mushrooms, oily fish and meat.
A B-2 Deficiency:
It is concluded that the deficiency in this vitamin can disrupt the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Symptoms of deficiency includes high sensitivity to light, inflammation the mouth, sore tongue, anemia, skin rash and fatigue, and it affects mostly malnourished people like alcoholics and the elderly.
Benefits of vitamin B-2 Riboflavin.
Apart from helping to increase the level of body metabolism, the vitamins is also useful in helping to prevent and treat diseases e.G. Riboflavin deficiency states and newborn jaundice. It can also help for the prevention of cataracts of the eyes and reduce migraine headaches intensity. Riboflavin plays a major role in the development of Reproductive organs. It also help to support the growth of body tissue like the skin, nervous system, mucous membranes and the connective tissue. vitamin B-2 helps to improve the body immunity by energizing the body's natural defense and disease suppressing systems. Known to be very helpful as a natural supplement in the treatment of nervous system conditions like Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Constant intake of vitamin B-2 will help in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and protein so that the body cells can derive more minerals and vitamins from them, for utilization. Absorption of other vitamins and minerals like folic acid, vitamin B1, Iron and vitamin B6 is also made very possible.
To have stress free digestion you'll need to have a digestive system with functioning mucus membranes. Riboflavin is helpful in making the mucus membrane in the digestive track work at optimum levels. Recent research also suggests that vitamin B-2 can help improve the body's response to iron therapy, which is a method used to boost red blood cell production in sickle cell anemia patients.
So my question to you is, are you getting enough B-2 in your daily diet?
What Are the Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
October 27, 2012 06:30 PM
Flex seed oil is highly beneficial for our general well-being. It features a high-volume of omega-3 fatty acids and offers untold curative and preventive health benefits. Several of the contained nutrients consist of carotene, vitamin E and unsaturated alpha linolenic acid.
Flax oil is highly beneficial for several different systems and areas of the body, from the cardiovascular system, immune system, Reproductive system to the nervous system and joints. Certain acids in the oil help with preventing the onset of artery clots and lowering the level of cholesterol. This oil is also appreciated for its ability to speed up the healing process from knocks or sprains, improves the metabolism, and helps with improving color perception and vision.
Here are some of the main benefits to taking a supplement of flax seed oil -
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Flax oil offers the ability to cut the chance of suffering from heart disease, mainly due to its effectiveness at reducing the possibility of the blood platelets sticking together. Flax is also efficient at promoting the health of the blood vessels. Lower blood pressure is achieved due to the active ingredient of Omeg-3 fatty acid.
Can Reduce the Risks of Certain Cancers
It has been reported the taking flax seed oil has the potential to reduce the development of certain cancers, such as breast cancer. Action ingredients, such as lignans (antioxidants) and omega-3 help with preventing cancer.
Helps to Prevent Dry Eyes
A supplement of flax seed is also highly effective at stopping itchy dry eyes. Dry eyes are often as a result of not having sufficient oil in the protective tear film. If a shortage of oil becomes noticeable, the chance of water evaporating from the eyes surface is greatly increased. Supplements containing omega-3 will help with reversing this effect, by ensuring the oil glands have sufficient oil to cover the eye.
Health benefits of triphala
August 07, 2012 08:22 AM
Owing to the unhealthy food habits that people follow, there is hardly anyone who does not suffer from stomach problems like acidity, constipation, pain in abdomen and loss in appetite. These ailments can lead to various other problems like fatigue, hypertension, poor eyesight, skin ailments and headache. If you have tried various antibiotics, medicines and diets without getting any desired relief, it is time you try out triphala. It is an Indian mixture of herbs which can bring about great positive changes. Triphala is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘three fruits'. Triphala contains Bibhitaki (Terminalia belliricia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). It is important for you to know the benefits that each of these ingredients offer.
Bibhitaki (Terminalia belliricia)Bibhitaki is an internal cleanser, which helps remove harmful toxins, and gets your body rid of excess fats. It purifies your blood and helps control hemorrhage.It strengthens the hair roots and also improves hair texture and color. It is anti bacterial and anti viral in nature. It improves eyesight and betters voice quality.
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)It is an antioxidant and helps your body get rid of harmful toxins.Amlaki is very rich in vitamin C which is helpful in building immunity. It nourishes and strengthens respiratory tract and lungs by removing mucous out of the lungs.It increases fertility in both females and males and also helps maintain a good Reproductive health by regulating menstrual cycle. It offers a healthy glow to the skin by working as detox, which helps in formation of fresh tissues.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)Haritaki has five rasas or tastes, which are salty, sour, bitter, pungent and sweet. It strengthens the sensory organs and stimulates the functioning of the digestive system.It is a great cure against anemia, piles, gallstone and diarrhea. It is helps fight cough, asthma, headache and fever. It helps regulate blood pressure and prevents heart diseases.
These three herbs when combined form a great drug, the benefits of which are mentioned below.
Benefits for heart
It helps maintain cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart problems. It limits the formation of low density lipoprotein in the body and helps in the formation of high density lipoprotein. It regularizes the heart rate and is thus beneficial for heart patients. It helps generate red blood cells and is thus helpful for anemia patients.
Benefits for stomach
It acts as a natural appetizer and helps in proper digestion thus benefiting the digestive systemIt helps evacuate the bowel and throws harmful toxins out of the body.It relives your body of harmful gases thus curing acidity,It is helpful in curing stomach ulcers. It acts as an internal cleanser for the body.
Benefits for skin and eyes
It controls the amount of external radicals in the blood, which helps reduce skin disorders and infections. It improves blood quality and thus benefits the skin.Its antioxidant property helps delay aging. It improves eyesight by strengthening the muscles around the eyes. It helps cure eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts and conjunctivitis.It can be used to wash eyes to get rid of redness.
For weight loss
Triphala is very helpful in treating obesity. Since it helps in proper functioning of the digestive system, it helps reduce body fat.It secretes bile juices which is beneficial for the liver and is needed for burning fats. By reducing excessive water content of tissues it helps in weight loss.It also cuts down hunger pangs.
Triphala has endless health benefits to offer, no wonder, more and more people are opting for the same.
Great Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
June 06, 2012 01:44 PM
Wheat germ is the very small part of the wheat kernel that is removed when wheat is being ground to flour. You can purchase it at the grocery stores or health food stores and can be obtained in grain form or in oil form. It is a very small part of the wheat seed but highly nutritious.
There are a number of health benefits associated with eating wheat germ. First of all it has powerful antioxidant and helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in our bodies. Cholesterol normally affects the arteries and the veins by clogging them leading to one developing cardiovascular problems. However, a perfect remedy to these problems would be this health food.
This health food also contains vitamin E complex as well as the natural antioxidants. Apart from helping an individual to prevent heart diseases, they also help in preventing other fatal diseases such as cancer. The antioxidants are also good in reducing or slowing down the aging process. The immune system of your body is also strengthened by these antioxidants. This way you will stay healthy and continue looking vibrant for long.
If you want a lot of fiber, then this is the health food to take. Wheat germ has a lot of fiber that will help you in the digestive system. This is essential in digestive cleansing as it would be easier for your body to pass the food through the digestive systems. This way you would never have petty stomach aches and unnecessary stomach complications.
Men who suffer form impotence need to take a lot of this health food. This is because it helps the Reproductive organs of both the female and male to function properly. You can greatly increase your fertility by consuming this food on a regular basis. This can be a good alternative for the many and expensive fertility pills.
This health food contains a lot of folic acid and other nutrients as well. Folic acid is of great importance in the human body. However most important is its ability to reduce the chances of a woman having a defective births.
Nowadays most people have hair that is unhealthy and not looking pleasant at all. The appearance of your hair tells a lot about your health. However when this health food is always on your diet, your hair will always look natural, beautiful and healthy. Thiamine contained in this food is responsible for this and it will ensure that your hair always looks glamorous. It doesn't go without saying that thiamine is also good for your bones and skin. Your bones will stay strong and your skin will always have that youthful glow.
Many are the times you have heard and seen advertisements on weight loss remedies. However, the easiest and perfect weight loss remedy is found in wheat germ. This food contains vitamin B6 and B5 which are responsible for higher metabolism rates and production of more energy respectively. They ensure that calories are always burnt down at a higher rate and thus less weight for you.
The Benefits of Phytoestrogen for Hot Flashes
April 16, 2012 07:38 AM
How Does Phytoestrogen Help With Hot Flash?
Phytoestrogen is a natural compound found in several plants. It has many benefits. Therefore, it sometimes is made into a supplement by deriving it from those plants. The compound consists of three categories; lignans, coumestans, and isoflavones.
Phytoestrogen can be used to prevent Alzheimer and breast cancer. A published journal called “Neurotoxicology and Teratology” found that a diet program with this compound can improve visual-spatial memory. And as for the breast cancer, it is because of the isoflavones and lignans which are effective in protecting the breast against the cancer cell development in adult.
Phytoestrogen: Reproductive System
On the other side, phytoestrogen has the similar structure with estrogen, a hormone found in a female body that influences the function of Reproductive system. Therefore, it can be used as a natural solution for female Reproductive system such as menopause symptoms.
The most common disturbing symptom in menopause is hot flash. Hot flash is a warm feeling that spreads all over the body. It usually starts from the area around the head and neck. It is cause by drastic hormonal changes that cause the body temperature to drop. To stabilize the body temperature, the brain sends a signal to the entire body to warm it all up. And then, the warmth is sent to all over the body through the blood vessel. When your whole body has warmed up, the blood will return its temperature to its regular level.
As mentioned above, phytoestrogen can be a natural solution to mend hot flashes in menopause. This theory has been proved by a research done by Mayo Clinic where the fifteen menopausal women are given a phytoestrogen diet while the other fifteen women were not. The result shows that the first fifteen women with the diet suffer from hot flashes 57% less than the women with no diet.
Besides hot flashes, another problem may occur to menopausal women is the loss of bone mineral density. This problem can also be avoided with the benefits of phytoestrogen. The compound can also decrease the cholesterol level of menopausal women. Consume 30-60 milligrams of this compound per day can be effective to lower the cholesterol during the menopause.
For those benefits, it is recommended for menopausal women to consume foods that are rich in phytoestrogen, such as;
The bean that contains most of this compound is soy. Soy contains the most phytoestrogen than any other food. It mainly contains isoflavones. Consuming 100 g of soybeans per day is enough for a menopausal remedy. Other beans are lentil, yellow peas, navy, fava beans, etc.
The vegetable that contains most this compound is flaxseed, alfalfa sprout and red clover. Flaxseed also contains omega-3 and fiber which are beneficial for body. Other vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.
The fruit that contains most of this compound is dried prunes. Other fruits are peaches, strawberries, and raspberries.
Many kinds of grains are rich in phytoestrogen, such as brown rice, wheat, oats, and barleys.
Consuming fresh foods as your menopausal diet is very healthy and low in risk. However, if it is difficult for you to eat them in a structured schedule, you can simply get the phytoestrogen supplements from a drug store.
Calcium D-Glucarate And Estrogen And Your Health
February 16, 2012 11:04 AM
Calcium D-Glucarate is a nutrient found in many vegetables and fruits. It is believed that it helps in eliminating the harmful substances from the body and it also helps in lowering the high levels of hormones which includes estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. These effects of the Calcium d-Glucarate protect the body from developing certain types of cancers. Calcium D-Glucarate is found in broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, oranges, apples and grapefruits. Small quantities of this nutrient are naturally made by the human body.
Human body carries many toxins that it absorbs from air, food and water. These harmful substances are flushed out of the body by the detoxification process, before it becomes harmful to the body. The body detoxifies itself by conjugation and glucuronidation. The Calcium D-Glucarate helps the body to eliminate toxins and this process is called conjugation. When the D-Glucarate comes in contact with the acidic environment in the stomach, it metabolizes to form an acid called D-glucaric acid and this further metabolizes in the digestive tract into other compounds. The detoxification that takes place with the help of Calcium D-Glucarate is called Glucuronidation. During this process the substance that binds with the toxin is called glucuronic acid.
These are processes which occur when the carcinogens, harmful toxins and used hormones are combined with water soluble substances in the liver which helps them to be removed easily from the body. Beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme, breaks the bond between the toxins and the used hormones and helps them to re-circulate into the blood. But Calcium D-Glucarate inhibits this beta-glucuronidase enzyme and supports the vital process of the liver in flushing out the used hormones and toxins. Thus Calcium D-Glucarate acts to block the re-absorption of estrogen and this makes this nutrient a useful estrogen buster.
Calcium D-Glucarate helps the body to flush out used hormones like estrogen, even before they can be reabsorbed into the blood. Higher levels of estrogen are the reason for many types of cancer, the major being breast cancer. D-Glucarate has a role in controlling cancers of the colon, breast and the Reproductive organs, as they detoxify carcinogens present in the lungs, breast, liver, colon and skin. It also helps in lowering of the lipid cholesterol levels; serum cholesterol is reduced by 12%, LDL-cholesterol by 28% and triglycerides by 43%.
The harmful toxic substances that the body is exposed to, can increase the level of circulating estrogen, in both men and women. This increased level of estrogen disrupts the hormonal balance of the body. So this excess estrogen is metabolized and broken down to be flushed out from the body. Excess of estrogen can cause a condition called 'estrogen dominance,' which causes hormone related disorders in the body. So it is necessary to reduce the estrogen level to save the body from the risk of Fibromyalgia, Uterine fibroid tumors, fibrocystic breasts, Endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome.
Estrogen is an essential hormone present in the body but too much of it can cause cellular disruptions. As it is difficult to avoid estrogenic chemicals found in the environment, it becomes necessary to improve the body's natural ability to flush out the excess hormones and harmful toxins. Calcium D-Glucarate helps in this natural removal of excess hormones and harmful toxins.
Omega-3 Oil- Learn Why it is So Important for Your Health
February 13, 2012 09:24 PM
Omega-3 fatty acids are good polyunsaturated fats that are so essential for maintaining excellent health and for our well-being, but unfortunately 8 out of 10 people do not get enough!
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA, and ALA. You can get ALA from walnuts and canola oil whereas other two are there in oily fish. Of these three, the best ones are only available from the oily fish. In case of ALA, you would need tons of it to get any desired benefits. Another thing to know about them is that they are essential fats that are not produced within the body, so they have to come from outside source.
Lets have a close look at various health benefits of Omega-3 fish oil for you and your family:
1. Cancer prevention-Many studies have revealed that adequate intake of Omega-3 can reduce instances of colon, testicular, ovarian and breast cancer.
2. About thirty percent of brain is actually DHA fat, and when Omega-3 is consumed on regular basis, one can see amazing improvement in concentration and memory.
3 Reverse Heart Disease-Omega-3 helps in reducing instances of plaque build up in arteries. People usually suffer strokes due to atherosclerosis (plaque build up), which get clogged over a period of time in the same way as drains get clogged due to their regular usage.
4. Boosts Immune System- The immune system of body is controlled by essential fatty acids in the regulatory system. Any shortage of Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to the breakdown of immune system. You can reduce various immune disorders by bringing about a balance in the intake of Omega-6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Fights Various Degenerative Diseases-In degenerative diseases, the structure or function of affected tissues deteriorate over a period of time. You can reduce this process by increasing the consumption of Omega-3 fish oil supplements. They are very beneficial for older people.
6. Increases Fertility-The main reason for infertility in females is the thickening of cervical mucus that impedes the movement of sperms. Aside from that, many vaginal secretions also act as spermicides. In both these cases, deficiency of fatty acids contributes to the problem.
Even in males, healthy Reproductive and sexual functioning of sex glands is possible only with good concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids in sex glands.
7. Promotes Healthy Skin-Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your skin health. Each skin cell is wrapped up in membrane that consists of substances derived from Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Where to get omega-3
You can get Omega-3 from fish oils. You will have to take at lest two servings of fatty fish for required quantities of Omega 3 fish oil. With issues such as toxin and mercury contamination in fish, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are better alternatives.
Why omega-3 fish oil supplements?
The best Omega-3 fish oil pills contain purified and concentrated oil without any risk of toxin or mercury contamination.
Many reputable manufacturers now provide fish oil capsules with high concentration of EPA and DHA fatty acids with low levels of mercury. You should definitely include Omega-3 fish oil caps in your daily diet to get all the health benefits that your body deserves.
Chaste Berry a Women Herb
February 08, 2012 11:51 AM
Other names of Chaste Berry- Monk's pepper, Chaste-tree Berry
Chaste Berry is the fruit found on Chaste tree which is botanically known as Vitex. Chaste tree is a decidous tree that grows in a well-drained, acidic soil in full sun. Vitus agnus castus or Chaste Berry is a native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia but now is grown throughout the world. The tree belongs to Verbanaceae family and can grow to a height of 22 feet. It was traditionally used by men in ancient Greece and Rome to reduce sexual desire, treat menstrual disorders and other hormonal problems and as an anti-microbial agent against infections. It is also known as 'Women's Herb' as it regulates hormonal imbalances and promotes women Reproductive health. Aside from its medicinal use, it was used as a peppery condiment. Some of the constituents included in Chaste Berry fruit are flavonoids (casticin, orientin, isovitexin, kaemferol), glycosides (aucubin and agnuside) and essential oils (linalol, sabinene, pinene and limonene). These phytohormone compounds help in regulating the female hormones production and normalising testosterone and progesterone activity.
Effects of Chaste Berry:
ChasteBerry controls and regulates overall female Reproductive system.
1. It helps to manage Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is associated with several uncomfortable symptoms, ranging from mood swings to fatigue and hot flushes. Chaste Berry is known to be rich in progesterone that helps to ease out the disturbing symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.
2. It helps to normalize menstrual irregulaties: Imbalance in prolactin levels in the body can lead to various complications in women such as amenorrhoea (absence of periods), breast tenderness and reduced milk production in lactating mothers. Chaste Berry balances natural production of prolactin hormone in the body and effectively treats menstrual irregularities and other symptoms such as tenderness of breast and reduced milk secretion.
3. It treats menopausal discomforts: Some women experience dicomfort and other menopausal symptoms that affect their daily routine life. The hormone regulating properties of Chaste Berry help in easing menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flushes and several other physical symptoms associated with hormone deficiency during menopause.
4. It improves overall female Reproductive health: Chasteberry has been found to be effective in treating fibroid cysts especially of smooth muscle. It also reduces heavy bleeding associated with perimenopause.
5. It helps in treating Hormonal acne: Hormonal acne are due to imbalance in androgen hormone levels. Increased androgen levels in the body leads to excessive sebum production that causes acne. This wonder herb regulates the androgen levels in the body and thereby helps in treating moderate and light acne. Another way in which this herb prevents acne formation is its anti-bacterial property. The bioactive essential oils present in Chasteberry have anti-bacterial properties that prevent the survival of bacteria. Chaste Berry contains linoleic fatty acid which is responsible for regulating sebum production.
Chaste berry modulates the hormone prolactin with the neurotransmitter dopamine. The active ingredients such as polyphenols in the herb indirectly affects hormones and neurotransmitters and regulate the hormones.
Chaste berry herb is a safe and natural treatment for many women related problems.
What Is The Effect Antibiotics Have On Babies And How Does Acidophilus Help?
October 11, 2011 12:21 PM
Normally, the human body has its own collection of microorganisms which help protect the body from harm microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and the like. The “friendly” or “good” bacteria in the body may be situated on the skin, mucous membranes, digestive tract, Reproductive tract and other parts of the body which need a normal flora of good bacteria for protection and enzyme production.
However, these normal floras of microorganisms may become depleted under certain condition such as extreme exposure to stress, poor diet and antibiotic therapy. When babies are infected with harmful microorganisms, antibiotics may be of great help to destroy the invading microorganisms. However, when a person is under antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are killed but also the good bacteria naturally inhabiting in the human body. The normal floras of the intestines, mouth, and vaginal tract and even on the skin are destroyed as well.
The intention of antibiotic therapy is good. However, it is inevitable that the good microorganisms which are normally residing in the body will be destroyed as well. Among babies, when antibiotics are given and the good bacteria of the body are destroyed, the body has an increased susceptibility to allow the overgrowth of yeast which can lead the baby to suffer from diarrhea and anal or oral thrushes.
Indeed, the normal flora of microorganism may be depleted due to antibiotic therapy. Good thing is that there are available supplements formulated to increase the population of these good bacteria inside the body. These are called probiotics. One most common and useful probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a good strain of bacteria which helps in improving intestinal health by enhancing the growth of intestinal flora. Babies are usually given with Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to help the baby’s body repopulate the normal flora of good microorganisms, thus helping in the prevention of yeast overgrowth and infections.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be acquired from fermented products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir. And with its great benefit to human health, Lactobacillus acidophilus is now made available in the form of supplements. You can purchase Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements in powder form for infants. The powder may be applied on the nipples of breastfeeding mothers before every nursing session. The baby will then consume the Lactobacillus acidophilus together with the breast milk. For working mothers who just leave breast milk at home or use formula milk for feeding, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be mixed with the expressed breast milk or formula milk making the probiotic available for the baby. Usually, one teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus powder is mixed into an 8 ounce of milk. For babies who can already eat solid foods, they may consume unflavored and unsweetened yogurt which is rich in live and active Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Doctors and many health experts highly recommend that it is practical to administer antibiotic medications one to two hours before giving the baby probiotic food or supplements. This is to avoid killing of the probiotics given and allowing the body to get the maximum benefit of the probiotic.
How Do I Use Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams For PMS?
September 22, 2011 11:04 AM
If you are a guy who had encountered women you probably would have heard about PMS. It is something that we as men are familiar with because often times, about once a month our female acquaintances would let us know that they should be allowed to act silly and have their way for the next few days all because they are experiencing PMS but is there truth to it? Let’s try to take a more scientific approach because my guess is, it is more serious than we know.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined by strong and consistent mood swings, tender breasts, fatigue, depressions, food cravings and irritability just to name some of the more common symptoms. Commonly this peaks around the late 20’s and early 30’s for females and it is a serious issue. It is not the kind of juvenile reason for tantrums that young female kids might lightly throw around. These symptoms can cause serious discomfort and many changes in the sufferer’s lives and at times in certain months it will be pretty intense and unnoticeable in some. It also happens in a predictable pattern which is one upside to allow the patient to prepare for it and can figure out certain ways to counter the effects so as to not allow PMS to take control of your life.
Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams
First off let look at some details about these substances. Phytoestrogen are chemicals that are derived from plants and have the primary property of having the ability to mimic estrogen in the human body which is the primary sex hormone in women. Estrogen on the other hand is the real thing and is a hormone manufactured primarily in the ovaries with an essential responsibility of initiating and maintaining proper menstrual cycles in women.
Although this hormone can also be found in the male’s body we produce it at a lesser degree. Studies have shown that estrogen is an important factor in women’s Reproductive cycles unlike men which does not really have much use for it and aims to keep the levels of this hormone down as it may cause more feminine bodily changes in men. With women however, supplementation with estrogen has been used to treat Reproductive cycle issues so it is no surprise that these hormones are being incorporated into cream products to aid in PMS relief and how you use it depends on your specific cycle.
Some common guidelines is to use of about 100 to 200mg a day and it terms of when, it shall depend on the length of a female’s cycle. As a general rule though it should be taken 14 days prior to ovulation if the specific ovulation date is not known as ovulation starts fourteen days before bleeding starts. If no ovulation happens or you don’t have a period, use a 28 day cycle as a guide and choose any day to start. It is important that this is done before ovulation so it does not interrupt the body’s natural process of ovulation and hormone production.
How to Remove Excess Estrogen Naturally From the Body?
August 30, 2011 10:00 AM
Estrogen is an important Reproductive hormone in the body that helps maintain female traits as well as Reproductive organs and functions. Estrogen is found in both men and women but is predominantly found on women and lesser in men. Although estrogen is natural, excess amounts prove to be problematic and frequently does have its negative effects on men as well as women.
Research shows that excess estrogen may be the reason of excess fat in our body. It seems that no matter what we do, it just won’t come off and seems to be resistant from diet and exercise. Stubborn fat, as what others call it. Excess estrogen leads to larger deposits of adipose tissue or fat tissues in the body. For men, the problematic areas are the chest and stomach, which also leads to formation of firm breast tissues, a condition called gynecomastia. The stomach, upper thighs, lower buttocks and the back of the upper arms are the problematic areas for women.
In women, excessive amount of estrogen seems to pose health concerns too. Most women complain of hot flashes and unpredictable bleeding during menstrual cycle, aside from the irrational feeling it creates. Increased level of the less favorable type of estrogen in the body are also believed to contribute to higher risk of certain types cancers such as breast cancer. Lifestyle and diet modification contribute greatly to lowering the excess level of estrogen in the body.
Proper diet significantly can help in restoring the estrogen level in one’s body back to normal. Adding more soy – based products in the diet or supplements of the like can effectively lower the amount of estrogen in the body. Phytoestrogens, predominantly genistein and daidzein are found in soy products which can help to naturally get rid of excess natural estrogen in the body. Also, add more fiber in your diet. Fiber helps in removing excess estrogen by binding, and thus removing excess hormones. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains pack a lot of fiber. Western diet also shows an imbalance of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids, in which omega-6 is predominantly abundant, which provides too much estrogen producing chemicals. So, increased intake of fish, which is high in omega-3, can help in reducing estrogen levels. Sugar also raises estrogen levels and also negatively affects your body in many other ways. So cut down on sugar. Also, reduce alcohol intake since breast cancer is higher in people who have higher intake of alcohol due to the increase of hormones it causes.
Regular and proper exercise can also help in lowering estrogen levels in the body. Regular exercise releases endorphins, a natural hormone which helps to regulate estrogen-to-testosterone-balance. Getting enough sleep is also another efficient way. Estrogen levels are also affected by one’s sleep cycle. The ability of your body to redress hormone levels in the body is greatly affected when you get enough sleep.
There is also a home test kit available that determines the level of estrogen in your body. A urine sample is required and then is sent to a medical laboratory. Customized supplements can be recommended if it is determined that your estrogen levels are too high.
Celery Seed Is A Herbal Diuretic, Antiinflammatory, Antioxidant, and Packed Full of Omegas
July 05, 2011 03:37 PM
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do For The Body
Celery plant is a member of the parsley family. This plant grows abundantly in humid and salty soil mostly in countries such as India and France. The plant can stand up to two to three feet in height with segmented leaves. It bears fruits and small white flowers. The flowers typically bloom during June to July. The seeds are found on its flowers which are very little in brown to dark brown in color. The seeds have a pungent smell and are commonly employed as nutritional supplement as well as herbal medicine. Celery seed has low amount of calories which make it suitable as a diet food.
Aside from being a recognized vegetable playing an important role in the culinary and diet food world, celery seed also has many significant health benefits. These include:
1. Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Celery seeds promote a normal blood pressure and help decrease cholesterol in the bloodstream. Studies reveal that daily consumption of celery seed helps maintain your blood pressure within normal limits and facilitates in getting rid of unnecessary cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol may deposit into arterial walls which may cause obstruction with the blood flow thus increasing the risk of heart attack.
2. Diuretic: Almost a century ago, celery seeds have been commonly used as a diuretic. The active ingredients in celery improve urination thus promoting elimination of toxins out from the body. One of the most important contribution of celery seed as a diuretic is its effect on uric acid crystals deposited in the joints. Celery seeds can effectively clear out uric acid crystals in the joints thus preventing or relieving the person from gouty and rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Anti - inflammatory Property: Celery seed is said to have potent anti – inflammatory actions by decreasing swelling thus reducing pain. This is another reason why celery seed is utilized as an adjunct treatment for gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Antioxidant Property: Like many other vegetables, celery seed is rich in antioxidant chemicals. Antioxidant is important to the body because these chemicals help neutralize free radicals inside the body. Free radicals are toxins which are harmful to the cells of the body by interfering with cellular division and tampering DNA replication.
5. Fatty Acid Source: Celery seed is found to contain high amounts of omega – 6 fatty acids. Together with the other essential fatty acid omega – 3, omega – 6 fatty acids is important in the functioning and health of the nervous system. These fatty acids are also significant for the normal growth and development of the body. These chemicals are also found to have the ability to improve the health of skin and hair, promotes strong bones, regulate metabolism and maintain Reproductive health.
Celery seeds can be eaten raw dipped in dressing of choice. It can also be consumed together with other vegetables in a certain dish or recipe. Other preparations of celery seed include decoction and tincture. To prepare a decoction, add one – half teaspoon of powdered seeds to one cup or 200 mL of water.
Celery seed is available in easy to swallow capsules. Grab some today and feel the difference!
Catuaba bark and its benefits
October 18, 2010 08:21 PM
Catuaba Bark (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a small tree that grows and produces yellow and orange flowers. Its shape is oval, yellow colored and looks like a small inedible fruit. In Brazil, the catuaba bark belongs to the family Erythroxylaceae and grows mostly northern part in Amazonas in and many other areas. Today, in the mid-forests of Brazil the trees are harvested in the form of catuaba and are sold all over the world.
There are two types of catuaba, one is Big Catuaba and the other is Small Catuaba. The Big Catuaba is also known as Trichilia catigua that grows up to 6-10 meters tall in the mahogany family in Brazil. It is cream colored and referred as catigua and angelim-rosa. The Small Catuaba, also known as Erythroxylum catuaba grows up to 2-4 meters tall in Brazil. The Tupi Indians an indigenous tribe of Brazil came to know first the various incredible benefits of catuaba. They learnt that it has sex-enhancing properties.
Later the Tupi Indians came to know about many other health benefits it provided like pain relieving, control of fatigue, reducing nervous and depression, sharpening memory. They were so impressed with the incredible and powerful action of catuaba that they spread the knowledge of its benefits to other Brazilian tribes and even praise the herb by singing songs. It is traditionally drunk by the Tupi Indians as a bark decoction by boiling it in water to make tea. This would improve sexual interest in people who lack sexual interest. Catuaba bark is a potent and a natural aphrodisiac. It remarkably enhances male's Reproductive system, although this herb is primarily used to improve erection in men, it was found to be effective as libido-enhancing element for both men and women. It prevents us from feeling agitated and also helps in combating forgetfulness and dementia.
People feel more relaxed and energetic after taking it. Many others reported benefits of catuaba that it relieves from insomnia, hypertension, restless sleeping patterns and memory loss. It is non toxic in nature and is equal to aromatic oils, tannins and alkaloids. Now-a-days this herb is available in all health food stores in the form of capsules with dosage of 500-1000 mg. You can also obtain the bark in tincture or powder. The significant feature is that it causes no side effects at all. Many researches conducted in Japan stated that the catuaba bark contains antibacterial and antiviral compounds as well. Many other studies also stated that it has relaxing effects and it tones the overall body functions.
Still various studies and research are going on Catuaba bark, since it also promises to prevent opportunistic HIV infections. If it is really does then it will be a great achievement to mankind.
Royal Jelly As An Anti-Aging Supplement
February 27, 2010 11:45 AM
Royal jelly is considered to be the treasure of the beehive. It has the ability to promote longevity by helping to maintain healthy, beauty, and youth. This natural food is extremely potent and highly nutritional. Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent white liquid. It is produced by the worker bees specifically for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. This fantastic material converts a common honeybee into a queen bee, extending the bee’s lifetime from six weeks to five years. This substance is full of natural hormones and B-vitamins. Additionally, it contains a variety of seventeen amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential. Royal jelly is particularly rich in cystine, lysine, and arginine and is also composed of 16.1 percent aspartic acid, which is crucial for proper tissue growth and regeneration.
Gelatin is another component of royal jelly and one of the primary precursors of collagen. It is a potent anti-aging compound that helps to keep the youthful, while supporting the organs, glands, and muscular systems. It contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential in order to properly transmit nerve impulses. It is also important for the proper functioning of the endocrine system. An insufficient amount of acetylcholine often leads to a susceptibility to a variety of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly has many properties. Among which include: antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic, tonic, nutritive, and anti-aging. It is very beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, Reproductive, cellular, skeletal, hepatic, and respiratory systems.
Although aging is inevitable, the process can be slowed significantly with supplements. Researchers in Argentina have been working to document the ability of royal jelly to both slow down tissue deterioration and even reverse it. For example, the story of Noel Johnson should be noted, as he experienced of rebirth of health at age eighty. In 1964, at age sixty-five he was refused life insurance because of a weak and damaged heart. At this point he was also cautioned to restrict his physical activity in order to prevent death. In 1989, at age ninety, Johnson discussed the book he wrote, The Living Proof… I Have Found the Fountain of Youth, which claims that his use of bee products, along with a solid nutritional program, is responsible for changing his life. Despite the additional exercise and diet changes, Johnson attributes most of his vitality to the bee products he used. He claims that he discovered bee’s gift at age seventy, as the foods restored his manhood, brought him to full vigor and sexual potency, and continue to nourish every cell in his body. Johnson claims to be improving in every way without spending any money on medicine.
Royal jelly has been found to help with many conditions. Some of these include menopause, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue, skin blemishes, wrinkles, immune system problems, viral and bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, hormonal balance, cardiovascular disease, weight control, inflammation, liver ailments, cancer, arthritis, memory, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, asthma, and mental exhaustion.
In order to obtain the best results when using this, or any bee product, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by royal jelly, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Always buy Name brands like Premier One Royal Jelly to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Ginseng, Its Good For The Body
October 05, 2009 11:35 AM
Ginseng, one of the oldest and most beneficial herbs in the world, is probably the most popular herb used in traditional medicine. It was rated the highest and most potent of herbs in Shen-Nung’’s Pharmacopoeia in AD 206-220. People in northern China began using ginseng thousands of years ago. Early herbalists recognized the shape of ginseng as resembling a human figure, feeling this was a sign that the root was important for healing the entire body. Often, ginseng is referred to as the “man root” and is often the subject of many legends and fold history. The Chinese revered the ginseng root so highly that they even fought wars over the land used for growing this herb.
There are many different types of the ginseng plant that are grown throughout the world and used for traditional medicine. All of the most common species of plants known as ginseng have similar reactions in the body. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogen herb, helping to normalize and adjust the body. This herb also restores and regulates natural immune response. Ginseng helps produce adjustments as needed in the body without side effects or harm. This herb has been used to help normalize blood pressure. This adaptogen helps to modify the effects of the environmental and internal stresses from various sources like chemical pollutants, radiation, some poisons, weather, temperature changes, poor diet and exercise, and emotional stress. Used for many ailments, ginseng is thought of as a universal cure-all, promoting longevity in general.
A great variety of studies have been done in many countries to determine the effectiveness of ginseng. In some instances, incomplete results have occurred. However, there have been enough credible studies done to now determine that high-quality ginseng plants do contain active constituents that are very beneficial to the body. Research has even shown that the roots are effective against bronchitis and heart disease.
There has been a lot of interest in the alleged aphrodisiac effects of ginseng. Often marketed as a sexual stimulant, the results of most studies have been inconclusive. Ginseng does increase the sperm count. For thousands of years, ginseng has been used to strengthen the male Reproductive system. It is highly recommended alone or in combinations for both male and female health.
Ginseng contains at least thirteen known triterpenoid saponins, which are referred to as ginsenosides. These are thought to be the most important active constituents. Many other minor components have been isolated as well. The age, location, species, and curing method of each plant effects the composition. Some of the plants tend toward stimulating and warming effects, while others have relaxing and cooling effects.
The root of the ginseng plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, ginseng is extremely beneficial in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression, lack of endurance, fatigue, fevers, hemorrhage, hormone imbalance, sexual stimulation, and stress.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating aging, anemia, bleeding, blood diseases, bronchitis, and cancer, lack of concentration, gastric disorders, indigestion, inflammation, impotence, insomnia, liver disorders, and lung disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by ginseng, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 03, 2009 12:53 PM
Saw palmetto was used by Native American tribes in the South for sore eyes. The dried root was used to lower high blood pressure, and the crushed root was applied to sore breasts in women. An early American botanist, John Lloyd, noticed that animals eating the berries were fat and healthy. From 1910 to 1916, saw palmetto was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. It was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 to 1950 as a diuretic, sedative, expectorant, and an analgesic recommended for neuralgia. This herb has also been known in folk history as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant. Saw palmetto was used to treat urination problems, inflammation of the bladder, and prostate enlargement.
This herb has been used to treat conditions of the genitourinary system. Saw palmetto is also used as an antiseptic, for excessive mucus in the head and sinuses, and for both male and female Reproductive organs. This herb is known for its ability to help with male health. However, it also helps with thyroid function, regulating development of the Reproductive system, stimulating glandular function, removing excess mucus accumulation in the sinuses, and for colds, sore throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, and asthma. The berries of the saw palmetto plant are useful for improving digestion, increasing weight, and building strength. This herb has even been reported for its ability to increase the size of breast in women of child-bearing age. Often, this herb is found in herbal combinations for diabetes, thyroid function, digestion, nutrition, female Reproductive problems, and prostate difficulties.
Studies have determined that saw palmetto has diuretic properties. It is also very effective in treating an enlarged prostate and other prostate disorders. Great deals of men suffer from prostate problems which have an effect on sexual function and obstruct the bladder. Research published in the Animals of Urology studied a group of men with enlarged prostate glands. The group that was taking saw palmetto increased their urine flow rate by fifty percent. The herb also reduced the number of times they got up at night to urinate by forty-five percent. On the other hand, the group taking the placebo had a response increase of nine percent. Studies on laboratory animals have found that the hexane extract found in saw palmetto contain anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory activity. One study found that saw palmetto produces better results over a three-month period to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia than the common drug prescribed for this condition.
The fruit of the saw palmetto plant is used to provide alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrient found in this herb is vitamin A. Primarily, saw palmetto is extremely beneficial in treating gastric disorders, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, impotence, indigestion, prostate problems, and Reproductive organs. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, asthma, Bright’s disease, bronchitis, colds, diabetes, frigidity, infertility, kidney disorders, lung congestion, excessive mucus, nerve pain, neuralgia, obesity, sore throat, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saw palmetto, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Saw palmetto is available in capsule, tablet, and softgel forms at your local or internet health food store. always purchase name brands like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
June 08, 2009 10:39 AM
For thousands of years, blue vervain has been used as an herbal remedy. The Chinese used this herb to treat malaria, dysentery, and congestion. It was also used during the middle Ages to help cure plagues. Blue vervain was also used by Native Americans as a natural tranquilizer for treating nervous conditions, along with female problems. In Germany, modern research has been found to support the use of blue vervain for the nervous system and for pain relief.
Because of its bitter taste, vervain is used by herbalists to improve digestion. Additionally, this herb was used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract. Blue vervain was also used as a mild diaphoretic and for all manner of female Reproductive system problems that are associated with melancholy or anxiety. Physicians in the United States during the early 20th century believed that vervain may be helpful for mild digestive problems. This herb also had a reputation of being a traditional remedy for stimulating the production of breast milk. Although the active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated, it is believed that glycosides such as verbenalin and acucubin, as well as a volatile oil may be the key contributors to its activity.
Additional research shows that blue vervain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve respiratory inflammation. These properties are also calming for coughs. This herb works to fight mucus, especially for coughs that are associated with colds. Dr. Edward E. Shook, a herbalist, recommended using blue vervain to treat all diseases of the spleen and liver. This herb is also used to restore circulation and alleviate menstrual symptoms, epilepsy, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
A vervain tea made from leaves and flowers can be prepared by adding one to two teaspoons to a pint of hot water. This is then left to steep, covered for ten to fifteen minutes. Doctors typically recommend that a person takes three cups each day. Because the taste of the tea is somewhat disagreeable, the majority of people prefer to take this extract in a tincture or pill form. A tincture of one to two teaspoons, three times daily, is also suggested to consume this extract.
No adverse effects of vervain have been reported to this date. However, vervain should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though it was used traditionally during the last two weeks of pregnancy to facilitate labor, if it is used during pregnancy, one should only do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional that is experienced in herbal medicine.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in blue vervain include calcium, manganese, and vitamin C and E. Primarily, blue vervain is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colon problems, congestion, convulstions, coughs, fevers, flu, gastric disorders, indigestion, insomnia, liver disorders, lung congestion, nervous conditions, pneumonia, seizures, upset stomach, sore throat, uterine problems, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating catarrh, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, epilepsy, gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, malaria, menstrual symptoms, excessive mucus, pain, skin diseases, sores, and spleen ailments. For additional information on the many beneficial effects of blue vervain, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue vervain is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 27, 2009 01:56 PM
Menopause is the time at which a woman stops ovulating and menstruation ceases, which indicates the end of fertility. Menopause is not a disease, but rather a natural progression in life, similar to puberty. Many years before a woman stops ovulating, her ovaries will begin to slow their production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen and progesterone are often thought of as the Reproductive hormones.
Although estrogen is essential in reproduction, it is also extremely important in other non-Reproductive organs and systems in the body. Cells in the uterus, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver, and brain all contain estrogen receptors. These organs need this hormone in order to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function. Estrogen is needed to keep the skin smooth and moist and the body’s internal thermostat working properly. Estrogen is also essential for proper bone formation. Even though estrogen levels drop sharply after menopause, they do not disappear entirely. Other organs take over for the ovaries, continuing to produce a less potent form of estrogen. These organs, known as endocrine glands, secrete some hormones from fatty tissue in order to maintain bodily functions.
Progesterone works along with estrogen, stimulating changes in the lining of the uterus to complete the preparation for a fertilized egg during the second half of the menstrual cycle. If no egg is fertilized, the uterine lining is broken down and expelled, allowing the cycle to being again. Progesterone also has effects beyond the Reproductive system, as it calms the brain and also affects other aspects of nervous system function. Testosterone is most important for both men and women, with women producing about 80 percent less than men do. However, it is the driving force for maintaining a healthy life and proper functioning organs.
The period when a woman’s body is preparing for menopause is known as perimenopause. For the majority of women, hormone production beings to slow down then they reach their thirties, continuing to diminish with age. Many women will experience few if any symptoms at this time, but others may suffer from anxiety, dry skin, fatigue, feelings of bloating, headaches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, decreased interest in their significant other, loss of concentration, mood swings, night sweats, reduced stamina, urinary incontinence, uterine dryness and itching, weight gain, cold hands and feet, joint pain, hair loss, and/or skin changes.
Menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating altogether. At this point, most of the acute problems a woman may have experienced are actually over and a new balance between all hormones should be established. However, women become increasingly vulnerable to other, potentially serious health problems at this time. Over the long term, the diminished supply of estrogen increased the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and uterine atrophy. Osteoporosis especially is a major problem for women after menopause, with an estimated 80 percent of the hip fractures that occur in the United States every year being due to osteoporosis.
A proper diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise can help to minimize or eliminate most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with this stage of life: beta-1, cerasomal, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, essential fatty acids, lecithin granules, a multi-enzyme complex, soy protein, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E, boron, calcium, magnesium, quercetin, silica, zinc, l-arginine, multiglandular complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin C, aloe vera gel, slippery elm, damiana, amaranth, chickweed, dandelion greens, nettle, seaweed, watercress, anise, black cohosh, fennel, licorice, raspberry, sage, unicorn root, wild yam root, hops, valerian root, gotu kola, red clover, dong quai, St. John’s wort, and Siberian ginseng.
All these above listed vitamins and herbs are available in capsule, tablet, or powder forms. When looking for natural alternatives to help replace estrogen naturally, look to your local or internet health food store for name brand products that can help restore an imbalance over time.
September 22, 2008 09:48 AM
Panax is a type of perennial plant with fleshy roots, and grows in Eastern Asia. Ginsengs contain ginsenosides that are triterpene saponins, steroidal compounds that are found only in Panax ginseng. The effects of these saponins are difficult to establish, but they are believed to be behind the properties of ginseng.
Panax ginseng is found predominantly in Korea, China and Siberia, although a genus has also been found in Vietnam. Panax are adaptogenic herbs that help promote resistance to anxiety, fatigue and stress, and are said to adapt the body to resist a number of different stressors. It has been proposed that adaptogenic herbs can balance the endocrine hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis.
They also normalize the immune system, and increase the activity of phagocytes, the killer cells. Additionally, they not only help to maintain homeostasis, but are believed to go further and act as allostatic agents, adapting response to maintain system stability in a more dynamic fashion, by changing interactive functions as opposed to the individual adaption’s made in homeostasis.
Not all ginsengs are the same, and although Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, it is not a true ginseng. Its roots are woody rather than fleshy, and it contains eleutherosides as opposed to ginsenosides. These also are triterpenoid saponins, but of a different adaptogen. The herb is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus as opposed to Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, both true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng was misnamed as a marketing ploy.
American ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, sometimes referred to by the Chinese as Huaqishen. It, too, is an adaptogen and a true ginseng, containing ginsenosides. However, it contains much less ginsenonide Rg1 than panax. This ginsenonide appears to possess estrogen-like activity and improves spatial learning. The other forms of ginesonide found in panax ginseng are:
Ginsenoside Rb1: This appears in greatest concentration in American ginseng, and appears to have an effect on the Reproductive system. It not only has an effect on the testicles, but is believed to increase testosterone production through its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone. It also helps to rdeduce the incidence of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from old, and also a stage in the development of malignant tumors from dormant ones.
Ginsenoside Rc: this possesses sedative properties, and in a study on breast cancer was found to have an effect in inhibiting the growth of these particular cancer cells. Ginsenoside Rc might therefore have use in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that this ginsenoside could increase the motility of sperm: the motiliy of sperm was found to increase significantly in a solution of ginsenoside Rc.
Ginsenoside Rf: this is present only in panax ginseng, and studies have indicate that it has an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ neural channels in the brain, and so cokld have an analgesic effect. Studies have as yet failed to explain this effect that is seen in animal tests, but are continuing on this ginsenoside.
Ginsenoside Re: this ginsenoside has strong antioxidant effects and has a significant antidiabetic effect in that is reduces insulin resistance, which is likely why ginseng is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. Studies are ongoing into the properties of this ginsenoside, and also on the other 10 or more that are known to be present in Panax ginseng. The effects of ginseng are difficult to establish with certainity because they work through so many different pathways and it is difficult to isolate one. More than one ginsenoside, for example, affects the calcium channels in the brain, and it is difficult to determine which does what.
There are fewer ginsenosides in Panax quinquefoilius, and in the USA it is only the panax version that can be traded as simply ‘ginseng’. One of the main problems with all ginsengs is that although it is one of the most studied plants, the majority of the studies have been on animals, and due to this, and the difficulties caused by the multiple pathways described earlier, many of the postulations have not been proved in humans.
However, if the theory as it is know today is taken into consideration along with the traditional uses of ginseng in traditional Indian (ayurvedic), Chinese and Native American medicine, it would be fairly accurate to say that ginseng is useful in helping your body to recover after illness or surgery, and to help you to deal with stress. It has also been proved to lower your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and help in the treatment of Type II diabetes, as already mentioned. There is evidence that it helps to boost your mental performance, memory and might help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng can also give a boost to your energy levels, and it is genarally accepted that panax ginseng is more effective than the American version. In traditional medicine, Asian ginseng is said to be warming, and the American variery cooling. Thus Panax ginseng is useful for people recovering from illness and trying to recover their strength, acts as a tonic, stimulant and supports the immune system. In other words it helps the body to get whole again after being depleted.
It should not be used if you get very hot and red, such as with heat stroke, unless you use it in combination with the American version, because these are conditions of high yang and this type of ginseng will increase the yang even further.
American ginseng, on the other hand, is good for those with fevers, hypertension (high blood pressure), and suffereing the effcts of heat. It helps build the yin and reduce the yang, so if you always feel flushed and hot or are hyperactive then go for the American, and if you easily get chilled or find your hands and feet get cold very easily, reach for the Asian ginseng to increase your yang.
You often find ginseng as an ingredient in soft drinks, but the concentration is so low that it has no metabolic or pharmacological effect. The dose to be taken should be as stated on the pack, since there is no specific standardization. It has been noted that the effects can be lost if an excess of ginseng is taken, but generally the herb is safe and if you feel a bit down or lacking in energy, ginseng can work wonders for you.
Immune Boost Herbs
September 17, 2008 11:16 AM
There have been numerous improvements to our quality of life over the last century with advancements in science and medicine. Most families in America have access to healthcare and tools which promise improved health and well being. Even with the benefits and comforts that living in the modern world provides, chronic and preventable illnesses continue to occur. The fast-paced and high-stress lifestyle that many Americans live impacts their health in a variety of ways.
We face more health challenges today than ever before, which makes it more crucial than ever to have a balanced immune system, something that many Americans lack. Although the US leads the world in quality of healthcare, an increasing number of people are suffering or dying from preventable health problems. The environment, lifestyle, genetics, age, and antibiotic resistance are just some of the factors that are to blame for this. Thankfully, boosting immune power can counteract the negative effects of these factors on health.
Most Americans do not sleep enough, do not eat right, and do not exercise like they should. Many of the most common health problems people suffer from today are a result of lifestyle. These problems include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and unbalanced immune function. Despite this fact, Americans continue to take part in poor health habits and then give up billions of dollars in prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and surgeries each year when they encounter an illness.
A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause for disease, as inactivity and obesity are both potential risks. Exercising as little as three times a week has been proven to enhance well-being and improve health. A lack of exercise can also contribute to stress, which we all experience. However, a healthy immune system can make our bodies more capable of withstanding the effects of stress. If immune systems can be balanced, Americans may be better able to withstand the potential health problems that living in the modern world brings.
We must take into account the fact that more health problems can arise as we age. Older individuals are much more susceptible to disordered immune systems, as the progressive immune system dysfunction that coincides with aging has been shown to influence an increasing number of age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and late-life lymphoma. With this knowledge, we should want to supplement and strengthen our immune systems, especially as they get older. We can work to avoid the occurrence of autoimmune disorders and cancers that so commonly occur as we age by keeping our immune systems strong and functioning at optimum levels. A lot of the potential health problems that we are facing today can be traced back to the environment. One environmental problem is the result of toxic chemicals, as the widespread use of pesticides and increase of benzene and other pollutants in the atmosphere are leading to cancer and other Reproductive health problems such as endometriosis and fertility issues.
The chemical pollutants in our air, food, and water have been linked to asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders and weakened immunity. Additionally, we are being exposed to increasing amounts of UV radiation, with occurrences of skin cancer continually rising. Researchers believe that one of the main reasons for the increasing number of melanomas may be due to people spending more time in the sun as well as artificial sources of UV radiation. There are many herbs available to help boost the immune system and detox the body to help one keep a strong immune system.
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and Reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and Reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
DIM For Estrogen Balance
July 10, 2008 03:26 PM
Diindolylmethane from broccoli can help with estrogen balance: There is plenty of evidence to suggest that, but before discussing the whys and wherefores, let's first have a look at the substance, where it comes from and why it should have any effect on estrogen or its balance.
Diindolylmethane is an indole contained in brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It is a dimer of indole-3-carbinol, which is itself formed by the autolytic degradation of glucosinolate glucobrassicin which is found in brassicas. Both this and the dimeric diindolylmethane are currently being tested for their antioxidant, anticancer and antiatherogenic properties, although this type of research has been mainly made on animals. When the cell walls of brassicas are ruptured, the enzyme myrosinase is released, that breaks down the glucobrassicin.
Because diindolylmethane is oil soluble it is more bioavailable to the body in the presence of vitamin E and other lipophilic substances, and these are normally included in oral supplements. However, back to estrogen and its effects upon human estrogen balance. Estrogen is the name for a group of steroids that function substantially as the female sex hormone. They have many effects on the body, including regulation of the menstrual cycle, breast development and promote the formation of secondary female characteristics such as reduced height and muscle mass.
Estrogen is also present in the male, where it regulates several factors pertaining to the Reproductive system. It does not, however, take part in the process that determines sexual desire. If all of these properties are considered it would seem logical to believe that estrogen levels could be used to control weight increase, although claims that it can be use to enhance sexual performance seem ill founded: based more on hope than on science!
What science appears to have found, however, is that estrogen dominance, due to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, can give rise to increased weight, and even obesity, in women. It can also lead to uterine, ovarian and breast cancers, and cervical dysplasia which, while not cancer, can give rise to cervical cancer if not treated. Estrogen imbalance, therefore, is not good news and something to be avoided if it possibly can. So what can be done to avoid it?
The answer is to find a hormonal balance, and this is where diindolylmethane (DIM) comes in. The substance has been found to have a positive effect on the balance between estrogen and progesterone, although eating broccoli will not be sufficient to do the job properly. Insufficient DIM is released by breaking the cell walls of broccoli through chewing to have much effect on the balance, about a kilo of broccoli a day being needed to have any noticeable effect. It is the diindolylmethane supplements that are able to have the desired effect in restoring the hormone balance and eliminating the undesirable effects of estrogen imbalance.
But why should estrogen imbalance occur? What are the factors that cause this dangerous condition, and if it is so common how did our ancestors manage without today's science? The answer to the second question lies in that to the first, but before we discuss that don't go thinking that your ancestors managed through thick and thin. Perhaps yours did, but your life expectancy is significantly greater than that of your parents when they were born. In fact, you don't have to go too far up your family tree to when you would be doing well if you hit forty! So the argument about your ancestors doesn't wash.
In fact, an estrogen imbalance can be caused by several factors: a slow estrogen metabolism that leads to an excess of estrogen because it is not broken down quickly enough is common, but far more common is the effect of pollutants such as pesticides, car exhaust fumes, emulsifiers, household cleaners and even some soaps. They contain chemicals known as xenoestrogens that our body believes to be real estrogens. They can stick to estrogen receptors on healthy cells, and can also prevent true estrogen from binding to the cell it should bind to. This results in an increase in free estrogen that cannot bind to the estrogen receptors that it should. Your ancestors did not have these problems with such 'estrogen mimics' and so managed just fine.
There is also the fact that estrogen can be broken down in the liver by means of two different routes: one leads to a form of estrogen that metabolizes to provide many benefits, such as strong bones and a reduction in heart disease, while the other has the opposite effect of causing cancers, depression, osteoporosis and problems with your immune system. That is by no means the full list: you don't want to see that, believe me!
You might think that if estrogen is dominant over progesterone, then taking progesterone would resolve the problem. It would seem to be a good cure. In fact, it is not a good idea since progesterone can be metabolized into yet more estrogen, making the problem even worse. The real answer is to take a supplement containing the substance that solves the problem by changing the estrogen metabolism pathways in the liver: diindolylmethane. More of the so-called "good" estrogen metabolites are formed, and less of the bad. The actual estrogen levels are not changed, but the way in which the excess estrogen causes harm is changed. That way, it doesn't matter what the imbalance is, the estrogen cannot do ham to your body.
DIM possesses many potential positive benefits when used as a supplement. It can reduce your chances of getting breast, cervical and ovarian cancers, and also acts as a strong antioxidant, and helps to strengthen your immune system. It might help you to lose weight, but more studies are needed before this can be claimed conclusively. However, there is evidence at the moment that it has a weight reducing effect.
Its effect on sexual health is largely unfounded, but the effect of a placebo in this area can be astounding: that indicates how much psychology has to do with sexual performance. Nevertheless, the known and projected benefits of diindolylmethane are so significant that taking a supplement would seem a reasonable thing to do, and although your mom was right about you eating your broccoli, brassicas alone are not a rich enough source for a significant effect.
May 22, 2008 11:45 AM
Damiana can be used by both men and women. It is known to have restorative effects on Reproductive organs in both sexes.
For men, Damiana is known to raise levels of testosterone. It is also helpful in treating premature ejaculation and impotence. For women, it helps to induce delayed menstrual periods and ease the symptoms of painful menstruation. It also treats the headaches women sometimes get due to menstruation.
This herb has been widely advertised and used in Mexico as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Mayans used it as a sexual stimulant and people in Central America still use it in this way today. This use is controversial due to lack of scientific evidence to support the claim.
One study found some of the plant's compounds to be similar to those found in progesterone. More than 150 herbs have been tested for their ability to bind with the progesterone and estrogen receptors found in breast cancer cells. Damiana was one of the highest progesterone-binding herbs tested.
The herbal properties of Damiana have a life enhancing and stimulating effect on the body and mind. The herb works well on nervous exhaustion and to restore the body after periods of high stress.
Damiana's stimulating action is considered very valuable to people who suffer from mild depression. Herbalists will typically recommend remedies that contain this herb. Damiana is very strong and aromatic, and has a slightly bitter taste. It can be found in different forms such as capsule, liquid extract and tea. Its leaves are used as a substitute for tea leaves in some countries. In other countries, it is used as flavoring in a variety of liqueurs.
Damiana acts as an antiseptic and tonic for the body. It is also a restorative agent for nervous system functions. Damiana is used for other conditions as well, although no scientific proof of its effectiveness exists. These conditions include:
* Asthma * Anxiety * Depression * Headache * Menstrual disorders
Damiana has been known to cause mild indigestion for some users. It also contains a compound called arbutin, which, in the urinary tract, converts into the chemical hydroquinone. Larger amounts can cause serious side effects such as:
* Convulsions * Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) * Nausea * Vomiting * Possible collapse and death
A maximum safe dosage of Damiana has not yet been determined. Also, the safety of using this herb has not been established in children or pregnant and nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should use extra caution because their ability to safely use this herb is unknown as well.
In people using higher doses of Damiana, it is believed that they experience a mild euphoric sensation. In some cases, consumption of Damiana leaves has been known to act as a mild laxative. The more leaves consumed, the more prominent the laxative effect.
Damiana is native to parts of southern California and the Gulf of Mexico. It can also be found growing wild in some areas of the northern Caribbean Islands and Namibia. It is widely cultivated in these areas. Its preferred habitat has a hot and humid climate. It flowers in the summer and this is when the leaves are harvested. The leaves of the Damiana plant are the only part used for cultivation.
The herb can be taken in the form of a tea. Some people even smoke it like tobacco. The herb will bring about a relaxed state of mind for the user. It is said to induce a subtle high if smoked.
Damiana possesses many properties that are useful to both men and women. Research continues in an attempt to either prove or disprove claims of its benefits to humans.
Are You At Risk And What Can You Do About It?
April 23, 2008 04:54 PM
Did you know there are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that can have an endocrine disrupting ability? Meaning, these chemicals can have an estrogen like and anti-androgen effect on the body, disrupting the normal function of our endocrine system which can cause all sorts of health issues.
Back in the industrial boom directly following world war II these chemicals were widely used in plastics, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning agents, clothing, household furnishings, and decorations, food and water, fertilizers, and pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals are being banned by the government but are not gone all together yet.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals are fat soluble which means when consumed they are stored by the body in our fat stores. This makes these chemicals a persistent pain in the butt for a very long time since fat soluble substances tend to be stored and slowly released; some claim the release can be years and years down the road.
These types of toxins can easily leach into water including juices and can vaporize into the air that we breathe in to our lungs. Once ingested, these chemicals can lead to Reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurological, endocrine, and immunologic adverse health effects that can last a lifetime.
Those men and women who want to have children may discover that one of both at have Reproductive impairments due to POPs. Symptoms of toxicity are male infertility, gynecological problems, and accelerated puberty, developmental abnormalities of the Reproductive tract, premature delivery, behavioral problems, abnormal thyroid function, cancer and heart disease. In cases of children, signs of toxicity are leukemia when fetal exposure is experienced.
The wide spread use of phthalates in industrial and consumer products has raised a lot of concerns. Phthalates are what keep plastics flexible. Dibutyl phthalate is used in PVC piping (in new homes the piping that supply water to faucets), various varnishes and lacquers, safety glass, nail polishes, paper coatings, dental materials, pharmaceuticals, children’s toys, and plastic food wrap. The heating of plastic containers either by microwave or a hot cup of tea can easily leach these phthalate’s in to food or drink exposing humans to high amounts of this toxin.
Also, Parabens are high on the watch list for those health minded. Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. The most common parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. These three are used as a bacteriocidal and fungicidal agent in many products we use every day. The FDA does not require approval of cosmetic ingredients before they reach the market place so cosmetic manufactures are free to use what ever they want in their products.
Parabens have been shown to have a mild estrogenic affect on the body, and are in practically all personal care products on the market today. If you are applying a name brand cosmetic onto your skin daily, take a look at the label to see if Parabens are used.
For those looking to stay away form all the above listed toxins look for products packaged in glass, PETE or HDPE bottles and containers. Look for packets lined with saran, and can linings made of polyolefins. Use biodegradable household cleaning agents and avoid sprays and insecticides. Cleaning supplies are not required to list ingredients so it is always buyer beware unless the label states it is free from PCBs, Parabens, and POPs.
Finally, when buying furniture avoid furniture that contains flame retardant PBDEs and limit children to the exposure of such furniture. Exposure to PBDEs can lead to some of the above listed symptoms and cause health problems. Staying healthy is a tough task with all the environmental toxins we face. By buying organic foods and avoid the above listed chemicals one can live longer and maintain better health over a lifetime.
Fat Controls our hunger centers in the brain!
April 04, 2008 11:28 AM
The main cause of any chronic disease of aging including Type II diabetes, CV disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer are all caused by miss communication between signals that tell your body how to turn energy into life and the brain. The two most important signals that we know of today are given by the hormones insulin and leptin.
Leptin is an extremely powerful and influential hormone that is produced by fat cells. It has totally changed the way scientific researchers look at fat, nutrition, and metabolism in general. Before leptin’s discovery in 1994, fat was regarded as strictly an ugly energy store that most everyone was trying to get rid of. However, after it was discovered that leptin is actually produced by fat, fat became an endocrine organ similar to the ovaries, pancreas, and pituitary, as it influences the rest of the body, especially the brain.
Leptin is the most powerful regulator known to date of eating and reproduction. Your fat tells your brain whether you should be hungry or eat and make more fat, whether you should reproduce and make babies, or whether to maintain and repair yourself. It can then be stated that instead of your brain being in control of your body, your body, especially its fat and leptin, controls your brain.
Throughout history, it has been in ones best interest to store some fat to call upon during times of famine. However, it is also just as bad to be too fat. For most of our history, it was necessary to run, hunt, and avoid being prey. Therefore, fat storage had to be highly regulated and it still is. When a person typically tries to lose weight, the body tries to gain it back, resulting in what is commonly known as yo-yo dieting. Because of this, it has long been theorized that there is a “set point” and there must be a hormone that determines this.
Science now believes that leptin is that hormone. So in order to break the yo-yo cycle, one must control leptin. If a person is getting too fat, the extra fat produces more leptin that is suppose to tell the brain there is too much fat stored and the excess should be burned. Signals are then sent to the hypothalamus to stop being hungry, stop eating, stop storing fat, and start burning off some extra fat. Controlling hunger is a major way that leptin controls energy storage. Hunger is a very powerful drive that will make you do all you can to eat if it is stimulated long enough.
The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry and the only way to do this is to control the hormones that regulate hunger. The primary hormone that does this is leptin. It has recently been found that leptin not only changes brain chemistry, but can also rewire the neurons in areas of the brain that control hunger and metabolism to do its bidding. The inability of the body to hear leptin’s signals plays significant and even primary roles in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, Reproductive disorders, cancer, and even the rate of aging itself.
In a process called glycation, glucose reacts with protein which results in sticky, sugar-damaged proteins called advanced glycated end products, or AGEs for short. When protein is damaged, it can’t function or communicate properly. AGEs promote excessive inflammation and free radical damage. AGEs and free radicals from oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms that cause damage which leads to aging. AGEs cause skin and the lining of arteries to wrinkle and inflame, which contributes to plaque and heart attacks. They can also promote the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration leading eventually to blindness.
The glycation process has also been connected with the destruction of proteins and nerve cells that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and a variety of neuropathies. Glycation and oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms where damage accrues, disease occurs, and death results. High blood sugar can suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection and cancer. Highly aggressive cancers outpace the availability of oxygen and therefore must use an anaerobic fuel, in the form of glucose. By consuming glucose (sugar), we feed cancer. Lastly, high blood levels of sugar form non-fiber carbohydrates and excess protein send leptin and insulin levels upward.
If there is a known marker for long life, it is low insulin levels. Insulin’s purpose is not only to regulate blood sugar, but to store excess energy for future times of need. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels as a side effect from storing it away, not regulating it. Today, high glucose is quite normal, as our insulin levels are typically much higher than they were among our ancestors. When you are constantly bombarding your cells with insulin, they become insulin resistant. This causes insulin levels to rise, creating a hormonal derangement that has a catastrophic effect on the metabolism.
High insulin contributes to making you fat because it tells your cells to store nutrients as fat rather than to burn it. Repeated high levels of insulin cause insulin resistance. The more fat the body accumulates the more leptin the body can produce so fat works against to slow down insulin production causing insulin resistance..
High insulin causes the retention of sodium, fluid retention, excretion of magnesium, elevated blood pressure, cognitive heart failure, blood clotting, and arterial plaque formation. Heart attacks are much more likely to happen after a meal that is high in carbohydrates than after one that is high in fat. This triggers a stress response which can cause arterial spasm, constriction of arteries, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and sudden death. Insulin resistance along with low magnesium keeps you from metabolizing important fatty acids that are vital to your heart health in general.
As critical as insulin is in your health, leptin may even be more so. Leptin plays a significant role in obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. But there are clues as to how to live a long and healthy life which brings us back to fat and leptin and our need to control it. One can control their insulin production and fat by dietary changes and blood sugar supplements.
B Complex to Restore the Adrenal Glands from Stress
February 07, 2008 05:18 PM
The B vitamins comprise a range of water soluble vitamins that frequently work together to impart a number of general benefits to your body’s health. In general they support and maintain the metabolic rate, maintain the function of the nervous system, support the immune system, maintain healthy skin and muscles and help to promote cell growth and division. They work together to suppress the causes and symptoms of cardiovascular disease and stress and they are dispersed throughout the whole of the body by means of the circulation system of the blood.
In very general terms they collectively ensure that the body is provided with energy from the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose. They are also needed for the metabolism of fats and proteins, and also the maintenance and health of the nervous system in general.
There are many natural sources, including lentils, potatoes, liver, turkey, brewer’s yeast, and also, of course, dietary supplements.
Vitamin B Complex can help to restore the adrenal glands from stress, but to understand how it does so, it is first necessary to understand what these glands are, and the part that they can play in stress.
The adrenal glands are situated just above each kidney, and take the form of two small pieces of tissue in the shape of a pyramid that generate specific hormones and chemical messengers. You have likely heard of adrenaline, the hormone that make you respond to certain types of stress either through flight or by fighting: what is known as the fight or flight reaction. Well, in fact there are two of them, noredrenaline being the other. They are also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine respectively.
Both the adrenal glands are controlled by what is known as the HPA axis, short for the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis which is the stress center of the body. The adrenals are the main steroid-producing plants in the body, responsible not only for the adrenaline hormones, but also for cortisone and hydrocortisone, testosterone, estrogen, cholesterol, progesterone and a number of others. These are produced in the outer cortex of the adrenal glands, whereas adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced and secreted by the medulla.
Adrenaline and cortisol are responsible along with others for the balance of your body fluids, blood sugar and blood pressure and many of the other main metabolic functions of the body, and if the adrenaline is not working properly, it can disrupt the metabolism of your blood glucose into energy, giving you a weak run-down and listless feeling. This is not surprising since your energy is failing at the cellular level.
The main reason for adrenal fatigue is stress. Either emotional or physical stress or even poor nutrition can be responsible for reducing the functioning of the glands to such an extent that they no longer provide the steroid hormones in the proper balanced quantities needed to maintain the proper functioning of your metabolic processes. Unlike Addison’s disease, which a complete stoppage of the functioning of the adrenal glands, in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome the glands still function, but at a reduced capacity and the various products they are responsible for generating are secreted in reduced and imbalanced quantities.
However, fatigue is not normally the first reaction of the body to stress. As normal stress levels increase the bodies response is generally to secrete higher levels of adrenaline, and the cortex produces extra cortisol and other hormones. As stress continues beyond the intermittent stage and becomes more constant, the adrenals produce a more sustained high level of hormones, that generally raise blood pressure and also increase the level of sugar in the blood in order allow a sustained increase in energy levels. Corticosteroids are produced to maintain this higher level reaction to stress.
Finally, when the adrenals can sustain this high level of activity no longer, adrenal fatigue sets in which is when the worst symptoms of the stress are evident: exhaustion, both physically and mentally, excessive fear, guilt and worry, and under-activity of the HPA axis leads to depression, hopelessness and severe illness, often due to a weakened immune system.
So where does the B vitamin complex come into this? Vitamin B complex includes niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. As already stated, the complex is useful in supporting many of the critical functions of the body from healthy bones to healthy blood cells, and nervous systems. It also helps to maintain your Reproductive system and can be used in cases of nerve-related conditions such as sciatica and neurological conditions.
Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is particularly useful in dealing with stress in that it enhances the activity of the adrenal glands. It also increases your energy levels due to its effect on the Krebs Cycle through its action as a precursor of acetyl Coenzyme A and acetylcholine which is a primary neurotransmitter. This helps to reduce fatigue and the pain of headaches caused by excessive stress and consequent reduction in adrenal output. Pantothenic acid is also essential during the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and is important in the maintenance of healthy nerves, skin and glands.
In fact the whole of the vitamin B family work together to make sure that your whole nervous system and metabolism remain healthy. People with high stress jobs often take the vitamin B complex to help reduce that stress and also anger. Excessive stress and anger can lead to anxiety and overwork the adrenal glands, and B complex can help to restore these to their normal function.
If you are concerned about your adrenal health, you can have a simple test carried out on your saliva, blood or urine by a trained medical practitioner. Many doctors do not know to carry out this test since it is not a normal test as would be used to detect Addison’s Disease, or complete adrenal failure, but only adrenal fatigue, so ask specifically for an adrenal fatigue check.
A quick self-test is to shine a light into an eye using a flashlight while looking in a mirror. They pupil should contract and return to normal after about 30 seconds. If it fails to do so, or even dilates, then that is a sign of adrenal fatigue. However, you must have it confirmed by a proper test.
All in all, a B complex supplement is a good way to restore adrenal glands from stress, and it also helps your nervous system in general, in addition to aiding the metabolic processes of your body. However, make sure that your symptoms are what you think they are by seeking professional medical advice.
Gently Narrow Your "Estrogen Window" With Lignan's
January 25, 2008 12:23 PM
Although many people think that breast cancer is a genetically transferred disease, the truth is that it is rarely genetically transferred, as only one in every ten cases are linked to genes for this cancer. Strong evidence points to environmental causes being the main reason for breast cancer. By avoiding synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogens, a substantial fraction of these cancers can be prevented. These synthetic chemicals are called xenoestrogens. These xenoestrogens are manmade chemicals that either imitate or enhance the effects of estrogens in the body's cells and tell these cells to grow.
During puberty, this growth message is important to a woman's body and during pregnancy and the preparation for that. At this time period, estrogens are in full force, but if estrogen stimulation is increased by chemicals, cell growth is increased even more. Uncontrolled cell growth provides the foundation for cancer. As cells rapidly multiply, which is what happens when exposed to estrogens, the chance of DNA mutation is enhanced, which causes the creation of cancerous cells. A lot of women today also deal with increased estrogen stimulation over their lifetimes due to an early onset of menstruation, late menopause, and less time spent breastfeeding. The use of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives and post-menopausal hormone replacement also add to the estrogen burden, along with obesity and being overweight.
Estrogens affect cells by binding to receptor sites. However, there are tools that help to reduce the impact of areas that have a lot of receptor sites, such as the breasts. One of the main tools is lignans, which are a group or naturally occurring plant chemicals that are found in flaxseeds. Interest in lignans began with observational studies, which found a link between high intake and reduced risk of breast and colon cancers. Studies have reinforced those results, finding that lignans inhibit the growth of breast and colon cancer and also reduce the spread of skin cancer. The real benefit of lignans starts when they reach your intestines, where friendly bacteria convert them into phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are a gentler estrogen, which bind to the same receptors that other estrogens bind, but don't have the growth-accelerating effects. While they are occupying these receptors, the less kind and gentle estrogens are unable to bind to them, resulting in both an estrogenic and estrogen-blocking effect. This explains why lignans are effective both for fighting against breast cancer and reducing the effect of hot flashes other symptoms during menopause. When estrogens are low, lignans act as weak estrogens, but when they are high, lignans act as estrogen blockers.
The risk for breast cancer is strongly affected by a woman's "estrogen window", or overall estrogen exposure that has been experienced over her Reproductive years. The early onset of menstruation, no pregnancies, being pregnant after age 30, limited or no breastfeeding, short menstrual cycles, and late menopause all expand the estrogen window, increasing lifetime estrogen exposure along with the risk for breast cancer. By adding lignans to the diet, women can reduce the size of the estrogen window, and therefore, block the excess estrogen stimulation in estrogen-sensitive tissues like the breasts. Additionally, lignans are also believed to reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers. When they are delivered along with omega-3-rich flaxseed oil, they promote better cholesterol balance, heart health, joint health, better bone density, greater endurance, better blood sugar balance, and healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Natural Hormone Balance for Women
December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.
There are many natural approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.
In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of Reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.
Are Vegan Supplements Good For Strict Vegetarians?
December 05, 2007 11:20 PM
The question as to whether or not vegan supplements are good for strict vegetarians cannot be answered or understood without a complete understanding of the meaning of the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’.
Where eating meat is concerned, there are several different types of diet, one extreme being the Atkins Diet where devouring animal flesh and fats is positively encouraged. However, it is not that extreme we are concerned with here, but the opposite, where no meat is eaten. Is there anything in a vegan diet that there is not in a vegetarian diet, or are vegan supplements harmful to strict vegetarians? These are questions that we shall now look at from a scientific viewpoint, since emotions are not involved in the answer to the question.
It is certainly true that for many people, emotions are very much involved in the distinction between an omnivore and vegetarian, and also between a vegetarian and a vegan. Some of these have to do with the concept of eating ‘friendly furry animals’ and others to do with the ethics of breeding animal life for the sole purpose of eating it. While these concepts have nothing whatsoever to do with the scientific arguments, they have a lot to do with the various types of eating habit used throughout the world.
Some reasons for a vegetarian diet are imposed by local agricultural and husbandry conditions, where meat is simply not available to most people, others due to religious beliefs and yet others to personal feelings of disgust at the moral arguments involved in eating animals that have been bred specifically for that reason. If we take carnivores and omnivores out of the equation, including those that do not eat red meats, but eat chicken and fish, what do we have?
Vegetarians that eat dairy products and eggs are referred to officially as lacto-ovo-vegetarians. The reasons for the name are obvious. They eat eggs, cheese and yoghurt and also drink milk. The strict vegetarians, on the other hand, who are part of the subject of this article, eat vegetables and dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, but omit eggs. Then, finally, we have the vegans that eat only vegetable matter and no dairy products or animal based food at all. Each of these, you would think, would have a decreasing intake of nutrients essential for healthy and healthy growth.
A vegetarian diet, as opposed to that of a vegan, contains many nutritious foods that omnivores also eat, such as pulses (lentils, peas, beans), grains (wheat, oats), nuts, seeds and vegetable and fruits of any form. It can also include protein in the form of soy protein and tofu that can be formed into sausages, burgers and other meat-like products. Why vegetarians should want to make their foods look like meat is unknown, but that seems to what they prefer. The likely reason is that the majority of vegetarians and vegans became so after eating meat, and it helps them to stick to their diet by eating food in familiar forms.
Many have started their diets with what they know, and have substituted soy for minced beef in their spaghetti sauce, for example, and quorn for beef in their burgers. Together with a good piquant tomato sauce it is hard to tell the difference. Other than truly meaty dishes such as steaks, then, most meat dishes can be substituted for vegetarian alternatives or substitutes.
However, what does this do to the vegetarian’s nutrition? How does the vegetarian maintain a sufficient intake of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients by eliminating meat from their diet? Let’s have a look at some of the nutritional content of fish and meat that vegetarians are apparently not getting.
The first is protein, the main source for most people being from the flesh of meat and fish. Protein is essential for the maintenance of healthy muscles, vital organs, skin, and believe it or not, bones. A vegetarian eating eggs has no problems with protein, since eggs and cheese are full of it. There is also the protein in soy based foods and in quorn, a mycoprotein derivative of fungi. Nuts, peas, beans, cereal grains and seeds are all rich in proteins and the vegetarian does not have a problem in consuming an adequate supply of protein.
If we come to minerals, the most important for the health of your blood is iron. Green vegetables and whole grains are good sources of iron, as are pulses and some fruits. However, it is animal sources of iron that the body most easily absorbs, and in order for it to make use of vegetable sources, you should consume a good intake of vitamin C by eating plenty of fruits and green vegetables. You must take these at the same time as the vegetables that contain iron, or the iron will not be absorbed into the body. Otherwise, the vegetarian has a sufficient iron intake to maintain the health of their red blood cells.
The other critical mineral is calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth. Many dark green vegetables are good sources of calcium, as are turnips, swedes and fortified soy milk. Zinc, too, is essential and without it many enzymes could not be synthesized by your biochemistry, and it is also necessary in the male Reproductive system. Zinc, too, has many vegetarian sources, such as nuts, wheat germ and whole grains, and is also contained in soy.
So far in this evaluation neither vegetarians nor vegans have been seriously compromised by their diet, although there are arguments that a vegetarian diet can harm young children since there is insufficient protein available to allow normal growth and development. This is currently under debate, and it is a matter for parents to consider whether or not their children should be raised on a purely vegetarian diet.
However, when it comes to a vital vitamin that is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia, vegans become unstuck. Vitamin B-12 is found predominantly in dairy products and other animal products. It is claimed that cereals enriched with B-12 and fortified soy products provide this vitamin to vegans, but what are the sources of the vitamin that is used as a supplement?
It is generally accepted that vegans require vitamin B-12 supplements, and also others such as calcium that they might be deficient in due to their diet. It is possible that the only real supplement needed is vitamin B-12, although many nutritionists claim that both vegetarians and vegans should take supplements to boost intake of those nutrients of which the normal route to the body is through eating foods of animal origin.
There are many nutrients obtainable from animal sources that are classed as neither vitamins nor minerals, and for which there are adequate supplements to suit the needs of vegans and vegetarians alike. Further evidence is needed, however, that vegans are deficient in these since many of them have alternatives of vegetable origin that might annul their necessity.
One thing, however, is absolutely certain, and that is the answer to the original question. It is absolutely true that vegan supplements are good for strict vegetarians. The reason for this is that vegan supplements are designed to replace not only nutrients that the body might be deficient in due to a strict vegetarian diet, but also those missing by the absence of dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Vegetarians will also benefit from such supplements, and it could be important to their health that both vegetarians and vegans take them.
An Ancient Herb And Its Application In Prostate Health
December 02, 2007 05:55 PM
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer as well as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has been shown to detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages. Even though cancer screenings are very important they are just one health concern when it comes to the prostate. As men get older, the prostate may become a source for many other problems that can, but not necessarily always, include cancer. Since the symptoms of some prostate conditions often mimic cancer, many men who learn they have a problem often immediately assume the worst. Therefore, it is important to understand the prostate and how potential changes might affect your health. Additionally, it is good to know what natural supplements you can take to ensure your prostate ages healthfully.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland found only in men just below the bladder and around the urethra, which functions as part of the male Reproductive system. Throughout life the prostate continues to grow larger, but only after it becomes too large do problems begin to occur. The most common problem for men under fifty is prostatitis (inflamed prostate). This can cause a burning feeling during urination as well as frequent urination. It may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection, which can usually be treated with the use of an antibiotic. Nonbacterial prostatitis, on the other hand, does not respond to antibiotics and requires other forms of treatment. Men over fifty suffer most frequently from prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although older men are more at risk for prostate cancer, BPH is much more common. This issue occurs when the prostate becomes so enlarged that it squeezes the urethra, causing problems in urination, urinary tract infections, and in worse case scenarios kidney damage. However, prostate cancer will affect one out of ever six men over the course of their lifetimes, making it the most serious prostate problem, causing 27,00 deaths this year alone.
Prostate problems such as BPH are usually treated with prescription drugs, which often lead to unpleasant side effects such as mild dizziness, sleep problems, decreased sex drive, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fainting. For those people who don’t want to experience these side effects, there is a natural safe alternative available: saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is the best known of prostate-supportive herbs coming from palm tree berries. However, it does not work for all men or those with extreme cases of BPH. The prostate gland also needs zinc, which is hard to find in a typical diet. By adding zinc supplements to your daily regimen, you can easily stabilize hormones and possibly prevent prostate problems.
A great natural solution that comes risk-free and can help with a large range of prostate health issues is epilobium, which contains properties that have supported prostate health for centuries. Epilobium is a small willow herb used in traditional medicine for the treatment of prostate disorders and valued for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Because traditional use and modern research have proven that epilobium may help with BPH and prostatitis and has shown promising results for inhibiting cancer cell growth, it’s a great choice for prostate health.
Man’s best friend may have to step a side, new research on Pomegranate released.
November 08, 2007 12:24 PM
Recently, two UCLA investigations suggest that pomegranate might do wonders for man’s Reproductive tract. Scientists found the pomegranate phytonutrient ellagitannins were able to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory experiment. A recent carefully controlled pilot study discovered that 47% of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) experienced improvement when they drank pomegranate juice regularly. Researchers attributed this to pomegranates antioxidant activity. J Agricultural & Food Chemistry 08/2007; Int’l J Impotence Research 06/14/2007.
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
Prostate Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
Years of research have discovered that the foods a man chooses to eat (or doesn’t eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of cancer (after smoking-related lung cancers).
Recently, there has been an incredible amount of research and investigation of prostate cancer. Many of these studies have explored the use of certain nutrients to prevent and actually treat prostate cancer. These nutrients, calcium D-glucarate selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene are powerful prostate cancer fighters. All are available as nutritional supplements that men can take every day as an important part of a healthy diet.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss prostate cancer and how men can actually prevent it with the use of these six nutrients. Plus, if men already have prostate cancer, these nutrients can be an important part of their treatment regimen in fighting their disease.
Q. What does the prostate gland do?
A. The prostate is a gland in a man’s Reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal fluid, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released to form part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate actually wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder through the penis.
Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
A. Early prostate cancer often does not cause any symptoms. However, many symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other problems with the prostate, such as an infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a prostate enlargement associated with age-related changes.
A man who has any of these symptoms should see his health care practitioner for evaluation:
-A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
-Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
-Inability to urinate
-Painful or burning urination
-Difficulty in having an erection
-Blood in urine or semen
-Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Q. Are certain men more prone to get prostate cancer?
A. Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers occur in men over 65 years of age. A man’s risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease. African-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. Mechanics, farmers, sheet metal workers, and workers exposed to cadmium have also had high rates of prostate cancer.
Q. How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
A. A man who has any of these risk factors may want to ask his health care professional whether to begin screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them.
The usual prostate tests include: Digital rectal exam: the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for hard or lumpy areas.
Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), or an infection in the prostate.
These tests will only determine if there is a problem with a man’s prostate gland. They cannot determine if the problem is cancer. Only a biopsy of a sample of prostate tissue can reveal the presence of actual prostate cancer.
Q. What nutrients help prevent or treat prostate cancer?
A. The prostate health nutrients, calcium D-glucarate, selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene, each work in unique ways. Some help men’s bodies’ work more effectively some keep cancer cells from growing, while others actually kill prostate cancer cells. Let’s discuss each nutrient and how it works.
It is a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe. There are also “natural” toxins that are produced in our bodies. Excess hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can cause cancer when they are no longer needed. Cancer causing chemicals not only initiate cancer, but exposure to them can also cause existing cancers to grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly.
Our bodies do a fairly good job of eliminating some of these toxins before they can cause us harm. In the liver, the toxin is bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool. However, yet another chemical, an enzyme called glucoronidase, can break this bond between the toxin and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released back into our bodies, capable of causing us harm once more. The longer the toxins and excess hormones are in our bodies, the greater the chances they can make us seriously sick. Scientists have discovered that increased glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that a natural substance found in foods, calcium D-glucarate, can greatly reduce the activity of glucuronidase. Calcium D-glucarate helps our bodies keep the harmful toxins and chemicals bound to glucuronic acid. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase. CDG has been shown in many experimental studies to significantly stop prostate cancer growth. Studies have shown that by taking calcium D-glucarate, our bodies and get rid of the toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate cancer formation.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral fund in the soil. Both plant foods like oatmeal and meats that we eat, such as chicken and beef, contain selenium. How much selenium, however, is difficult to determine. This is because the amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Animals, too, will have varying levels of selenium in their muscle, depending on the amount of selenium in their feed. The actual selenium level in the grasses and grains that make up animal feed reflect the amount of the selenium in the soil where they grew.
A major antioxidant, selenium slows down aging, keeps our skin supple, and helps prevent dandruff. Selenium also keeps our blood vessels healthy and protects us from heart disease. However, some of selenium’s most powerful effects are on the prostate gland.
In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. Half of the men were given selenium supplements and half were given a placebo. Researchers, who did know which group got the placebo, watched and recorded the men’s progress. The researchers were amazed to learn that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
The results of this study were so impressive that it has led to many other studies of selenium and prostate cancer. In fact, researchers at the
Scientists have observed over for a long period of time, that men who eat lots of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. It seems that sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli, is the secret ingredient responsible for this connection. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body, called phase 2 enzymes, which deactivate cancer-causing chemicals. In lab experiments, prostate cancer cells that were exposed to sulforaphane, the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent.
There is a potent plant substance in green tea that is a very effective killer of prostate cancer cells. A recent study tested four common components of green tea and determined that one of these compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells. Scientists discovered that EGCG can stop the growth of prostate cancer dead in its tracks. The chemical structure of EGCG is very similar to substances in red wine and cruciferous vegetables, known cancer killers.
For many years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
A recent study at
Some of the most exciting nutritional news in relation to prostate health involves lycopene. This carotenoid is found primarily in tomatoes, and men who eat lots of cooked tomatoes have very low rates of prostate cancer. Because promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer studies.
In one of these studies, 32 prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato sauce every day for three weeks. Results showed their PSA levels dropped two points. Even signs of DNA damage dropped sharply. The ability of lycopene to drop these levels in just three weeks has impressed researchers and scientists worldwide.
Q. Do I have to take each nutrient separately?
A. While you can purchase each one of these nutrients and take them separately, all of these nutrients are available in prostate health formulas. Make sure the formula you buy contains calcium d-glucarate, lycopene, and selenium, broccoli standardized to contain a minimum of 125 mcg sulforaphane, green tea, and maitake mushroom extract. Standardized ingredients provide consistently effective nutrients.
Q. What else can men do to prevent prostate cancer?
A. Adopting a healthy diet, including eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eating several servings of whole grain cereals and bread, and reducing red meat consumption to 2 or 3 servings per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all kinds of cancer. In addition, the recent lycopene studies suggest that a diet that regularly includes tomato-based foods may help protect men from prostate cancer.
Men 50 years and older should have a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA test each year. African-Americans and those at higher risk should begin at age 40. Talk with your health care professional to determine how frequently the test should be done.
This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the
More cancers are caught early and new treatments might help make it possible for men to live long and healthy lives following their diagnosis. By taking a few simple steps, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can take charge of their lives and overcome much of the fear and anxiety that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
Supplements for Sexual health!
April 17, 2007 02:35 PM
Improving Sexual Performance Naturally
Sex. It’s everywhere. It’s on TV (a lot!). It’s in the books we read and the movies we watch. Even the radio seems a veritable hot bed of sex. (what would hard rock, soft jazz, or Motown classics be without songs about sex?) Magazines are full of sex and it’s not just the “naughty” ones with glossy centerfolds. From Sports Illustrated to Good Housekeeping, sex makes for titillating headlines and cover stories. In fact, 21st Century
No one really knows for sure how many of the 113 million married Americans are living as couples with DINS (dual income, no sex). Estimates range from 15 to 50 percent. Even couples who have sex fairly often feel like they’re not having enough sex or that it’s not as enjoyable as it was in the past, or both. And while women are stereotyped as the sex refusers and avoiders, surveys show that both women and men decline spousal advances fairly equally.
What’s really interesting about this lack of sexual activity in
As a medicine hunter, I have discovered effective plants and herbs al over the planet that really do improve orgasms in women and erections in men. Now it’s your turn. I’m going to teach you how to enhance your sexuality and introduce you to an entire arsenal of libido lifting plants to help make sex fun, vibrant, and satisfying for both you and your partner.
Q. These plants sound too good to be true. Do they really work?
A. Yes, they do. Part of their success is their ability to work with your body’s innate mechanisms for healthy sex. Good sex is much more than just stimulated body parts. But it’s a good place to start!
A man needs an erect penis that remains firm past foreplay and on into intercourse. He also needs to sustain that erection and experience forceful and pleasurable ejaculation when he and his partner are both ready for his orgasm. A woman needs to feel desire and feel desired for her nipples to be aroused, her clitoris stimulated, and her vagina lubricated – the basics leading to her orgasm.
Plants that enhance sex can help men and women obtain these bare necessities of sex. And unlike other supplements, you’ll know if the medicinal plant you’ve purchased is actually doing what it promised to do. You can’t really tell if the calcium supplement you take each day is making your bones stronger. But you will be able to tell pretty soon if Catuaba, for example, is increasing your sexual desire.
Q. Night after night, my husband falls asleep on the sofa. And the honest to goodness truth is that I’m too tired for sex, too. I love my husband and once upon a time I loved sex. But my job, the kids, those never-ending errands, and trying to keep up with the laundry are too exhausting. Is there a plant that can rev us up?
A. Many women are in the same sexless boat you’re sailing around in and they don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, women all over the world put their family’s needs before their own, leading to some very tired moms and wives.
Life’s demands can also impair sexual performance in men. Work stressors, family demands, and home maintenance result in fatigue and lack of energy. Men find that they have no energy left to devote to to sex at the end of the day.
But, over 80 percent of married couples in the world have at their disposal a health care system that integrates sex into their personal health and well being. For centuries, millennia actually, practitioners of traditional medicine have prescribed Maca and Rhodiola to reduce “sexual fatigue” in women and men who are just too tired to make love.
Q. Since I had a baby four months ago, I have no desire for sex. This is making my husband pretty frustrated and me too, actually. I’d love to want sex again.
A. A married woman with a baby and a toddler or two can feel that her body isn’t really hers. So much for feeling sexy! While this fact can be a source of great pride and joy, it can also drain desire.
As women enter perimenopause – those years when they are still menstruating despite fluctuating estrogen levels – they often have no desire for sex. Since estrogen is the engine that drives women’s Reproductive function, when it starts to go, sex goes too. Women who have reached menopause may find their minds wandering during sex. Pondering the car’s need for an oil change or if the milk in the refrigerator has reached its expiration date makes for pretty blah sex. It also makes it nearly impossible to achieve orgasm.
Once more, traditional medicine has some answers:
Q. My husband has a desire for sex, but sometimes it’s not enough. Even if we’re both in the mood, he can’t maintain his erection very long. It’s very frustrating for us both.
A. For men it’s often their equipment that lets them down. As men age, they find they can’t get an erection hard enough or keep an erection long enough to satisfy their partners and themselves.
While women can fake an orgasm if they’re tired, men have to perform every single time they have sex. Luckily, Mother Nature can help:
Q. There are hundreds of supplements that claim to make men hard and women weak with desire. I’ve tried some of these, and they don’t do anything. When should I believe that the herbs and plan medicines you have discovered are nay better?
A. There are a lot of “snake oil” companies out there pitching products that promise to improve our sex lives but do absolutely nothing. One reason for this glut of useless supplements is simple demand. Men and women trying to make their sex lives better, are willing to give most products the benefit of the doubt and buy one or two. Sex sells – and even products that are purchased one time only will make big profits.
To get the most for your money, make sure the sexual supplement you are considering is from a well-respected manufacturer. Ask store staff, surf the Internet, and do some searching for the best nutraceutical companies. Make sure the herbs are standardized and that the extracts are concentrated fro optimal benefit.
Q. Are these sex-enhancing plants safe?
A. Despite years of use by practitioners of traditional medicine, significant adverse effects have not been reported for most sex-enhancing plants. However, men who have already been diagnosed with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, prostate problems, or other illnesses should use caution when selecting any health supplement. The same advice applies to women, especially women who are pregnant or nursing. And always remember to keep your doctor informed about the supplements you are using, especially if you are also taking prescription drugs. But the sex-enhancing plants have been traveling on planet Earth for a long, long time. And hopefully they’ll be here for lot longer, continuing to work effectively and go about their business of safely improving orgasms and erections and making sex great for men and women all over the world.
Q. OK, exactly how did early native healers figure out which plants improve sex? Was it just simple trial and error?
A. It does seem pretty remarkable that tribal peoples have discovered the right plants to treat diseases and improve health without modern day scientific advances.
From my many years as a “medicine hunter” in rainforests and grasslands and marshes and mountains, I’ve learned that healing plants exist for virtually every health need. It’s up to the medicine man or women to put the plant into practice. These healers have been able to do this successfully for thousands of people, by intensively studying and working with the plants. By putting themselves into the plant’s world, becoming part of the world around them, native healers have intuitively discovered which plant helps which disease. It wasn’t mere luck that brought all those plants and all those healers together. It was the natural and spiritual connection existing between the two.
Q. Are there other “natural” remedies we can use to improve our sex lives?
A. The easiest way to naturally enhance your sex life is to practice, practice, practice! Because if you don’t use it, you might lose it. Studies have shown that couples in the Amazon rainforest as well as couples in the concrete jungle of New York City have better sex lives if thy make sex a priority. All the sex-enhancing plants in the world are useless if the men and women taking them don’t put them to the test.
Men who smoke need to quit. Research has shown that cigarettes send men’s sex lives up in smoke. Men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes daily have a 60 percent higher risk of erectile dysfunction compared to men who never smoked. That’s because smoking decreases blood flow making it difficult for men to obtain an erection.
And finally, since sex is a visual and tactile endeavor, there are quite natural and creative ways to give it a boost. Visually stimulating images can arouse even the tiredest of the tired. Premiere Magazine recently compiled a list of the most erotic movie sex scenes ever. You don’t have to feel embarrassed when renting these movies (as you might with pornography) at the video store and they are guaranteed to light up your life:
2. Hilary Swank pleasuring Chloe Sevigny in BOYS DON’T CRY (1999)
3. Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani making love in MEET JOE BLACK (1998)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio drawing Kate Winslet in the nude in TITANIC (1997)
5. Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs while she is being interrogated in a room full of en in BASIC INSTINCT (1992)
6. Patrick Swazye and Demi Moore in the pottery secene early on in GHOST (1990)
7. Michael Douglas and Glenn Close having sex in an elevator in FATAL A TTRACTION (1987)
8. Mickey Rourke caressing Kim Basinger’s body with an ice cube in 9 1.2 WEEKS (1986)
9. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner having sex in BODY HET (1981)
10. Julie Christine and Donald Sutherland making love in DON’T LOOK NOW (1973)
11. Rita Hayworth flipping back her hair and singing “Put The Blame on Mame” in FILDA (1946)
One Important Last Point
Sex always has consequences. And improving your sex life does not eliminate the requirement to practice it responsibly. Sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS must be prevented, pregnancy must be considered and consent between partners must exist.
Sexual activity keeps us connected – both tangibly and spiritually to our heart’s desire. It helps us feel secure and well loved and adds to our self esteem. In other words, good sex is important to good life.
But all of us need a little help now and then. Sex-enhancing plants that have been used for thousands of years by millions of people provide that help. You can have actual sexual healing with effective sexual supplements and maybe find out what you’ve been missing.
After all, 80 percent of the world’s married couples can’t be wrong!
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy Reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
Mother's Calming Embrace - New Motherwort from Solaray
August 07, 2006 12:12 PM
July 06, 2006 02:15 PM
Every muscle, organ, bone and tissue in the body is dependent on the kidneys. Each 30 minutes, the kidneys filter the blood, removing about two quarts of waste products and excess water a day, which become urine.
In addition to removing wastes, the kidneys release three important hormones that stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells, regulate blood pressure and help maintain calcium for bones and normal chemical balance in the body.
The kidneys regulate the body’s level of many substances necessary for life. Healthy kidneys return the right amount of chemicals such as sodium, phosphorus and potassium back to the bloodstream fro use by the body.
Because of their vital role, it is important that one’s kidneys be in good health and not stressed or impeded in their function by a buildup of toxins. Low-back pain, joint stiffness and painful menstrual cramps may all be symptoms of poor kidney health.
Kidney Rejuvenator is a proprietary blend of powerful herbs that support the kidneys’ vital functions. These herbs include:
Cinnamon Bark – reinforces circulation in the kidneys, liver spleen and stomach, and increases blood circulation and immunity. Excellent for poor kidney function. Helps balance the menstrual cycle.
Litchi fruit – contributes to healthy kidneys and liver by promoting regeneration of cells. Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Excellent for a week sex drive, strengthens weak knees and joints, and improves vision.
Borage leaves – helps to heal and regenerate damaged adrenal glands and kidneys. Excellent for cardiovascular function. Contribute to healthy skin and nails. Soothe sore joints and strengthen the liver.
Damiana leaf – balance both male and female hormones, which increases energy as well as oxygenating the Reproductive organs.
Cedar leaves – boost the immune system and increase blood flow; also cleanse the lymphatic system and urinary tract.
Red Raspberry leaf – support kidneys, liver, spleen, Reproductive system and bladder, and promotes healthy skin.
Wild Rose Root – excellent for bladder problems, soothes the liver, strengthens the immune system and reduces pain.
Fenugreek – energizes the kidneys and of all herbs; good for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, stomach and spleen.
Benefits reported for users
Here are some of the benefits reported by users of Kidney Rejuvenator: reduction of period cramps, reduction of muscle soreness and stiffness, improved kidney / bladder function, fewer general aches and pains, greater flexibility, less joint discomfort, diminished swelling in joints, sense of well-being, and increased energy.
Barleans – Organic Evening Primrose Oil
June 02, 2006 03:16 PM
Evening Primrose Oil has long been revered for providing relief from symptoms associated with PMS and menopause such as cramps, hot flashes, breast tenderness and moodiness*. Now, for the first time you can enjoy the benefits of EPO from a pure, pristine and organic source.
Barlean’s … You deserve nothing less.
Evening Primrose Oil provides your body with a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and omega 6 fatty acid that supports the body’s cardiovascular, nervous, immune and Reproductive systems. The GLA contained in Evening Primrose Oil is a nutrient used by the body to maintain healthy cells and vital body functions.
Evening Primrose Oil enhances the health and strength of cell membranes throughout the body, and promotes a proper inflammation response. Evening Primrose Oil is also used by the body to maintain healthy hormone levels.
Suggested use: 2 Capsules per day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ingredients: Each Light-resistant carob coated gelatin capsule contains: 100% organic, unrefined, evening primrose oil.
Serving size 2 Capsules 2.6g
Amount per serving:
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) and Progesterone Cream Warnings
February 17, 2006 06:29 PM
Scientific Safety Information on Progesterone
California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) and Progesterone Cream Warnings Amy Kosowski, M.S., LDN
Prop 65: What is it?
Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 , was enacted as a ballot initiative in the state of California in November of 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other Reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals 1.
Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals “known to the state to cause cancer or Reproductive toxicity .” Progesterone, as well as other human hormones, appear on this list 1. Set forth below is the information that formed the bases for the addition of progesterone to the Prop 65 list by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”).
Prop 65 and Progesterone - Perspective
In August of 2004, OEHHA published a document stating the rationale for the addition of Progesterone to the Prop 65 list 2. This document is a review of human, animal, and in vitro studies that used progesterone, synthetic progestins, and other progestagens (progesterone-like compounds). Experimental data from the use of all of these compounds were mixed together, along with data from studies using other steroid hormone derivatives (mainly synthetic estrogens) and many different methods of administration.
Although this review covered the existing scientific literature on progesterone and its many derivative compounds, there are many problems with the type of data analysis that was employed.
First, progesterone is endogenous to humans and necessary for bone and Reproductive health while progestins and other synthetic progestagens are not. Progestins and progestagens are similar in molecular structure to progesterone, but when they bind to progesterone receptors, their effects are usually much stronger and more likely to cause abnormal physiologic responses 3, 4. Furthermore, the majority of the studies concerning the health effects of these progesterone derivatives involved combinations with synthetic estrogens 2-4.
There were very few studies mentioned in the 2004 document that used exclusively bio-identical progesterone (the kind found normally produced by humans as well as that used in progesterone creams), and those studies that did were at supra-physiologic doses (very high). The doses of progesterone ranged from 10-1000 times the dose usually recommended by manufacturers of progesterone creams 2, although in a few cases, the doses were closer to the recommended dosages.
The route of administration of progesterone is also at issue. All of the studies cited in the OEHHA document used either oral, injected, or suppository forms of hormones; none was conducted using transdermal creams. This is an important consideration because hormones absorbed through the skin are metabolized differently than hormones that are administered via other routes 5, 6.
Putting it Together
While the OEHHA Prop 65 reference document on progesterone 2 is a broad survey of the published scientific literature examining the potential effects of the pharmaceutical use of progesterone and its synthetic derivatives, it is not clear at all that these effects would be seen with the use of low-dose progesterone creams.
The OEHHA Prop 65 progesterone document evaluates a broad range of information regarding progesterone and synthetic materials that are not natural progesterone. The conclusion reached was not challenged, and it is on that basis that progesterone creams now carry the Prop 65 warning.
1 California OEHHA Web Site: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/p65faq.html .
2 Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Section, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency (2004) Evidence on the developmental and Reproductive Toxicity of Progesterone.
3 Campagnoli C, Abba C, Ambroggio S, Peris C (2005) Pregnancy, progesterone and progestin in relation to breast cancer risk. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 97(5):441-450.
4 Campagnoli C , Clavel-Chapelon F , Kaaks R , Peris C , Berrino F (2005) Progestins and progesterone in hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer. Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005 96(2):95-108.
5 de Lignieres B, Dennerstein L, Backstrom T (1995) Influence of route of administration on progesterone metabolism. Maturitas 21:251-257.
6 Gompel A, et al. (2000) Progestins were also proapoptotic in normal as well as in hormone-dependent breast cancer cells. Steroids 65(10-11):593-598.
7 Bu SZ ( 1997) Progesterone induces apoptosis and up-regulation of p53 expression in human ovarian carcinoma cell lines. Cancer 79(10):1944-50.
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December 30, 2005 05:33 PM
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December 19, 2005 09:24 AM
Indole-3-Carbinol - Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a naturally occurring phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale. NOW® I3C provides powerful antioxidant protection capable of safeguarding cells from harmful oxidation. In addition, I3C can help to maintain healthy hormonal balance in both men and women which in turn helps support the health of the breast, prostate, and other Reproductive organs. I3C is also rich in flax lignans, and thus capable of supporting the liver’s detoxification processes.*
Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
December 10, 2005 03:19 PM
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study (of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’.
An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for the pain, sleep disturbances’ digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tend to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS? FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients Vitamin A: Essentail for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone grown and healthy Reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-catotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter.
Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutrophils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophil activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora. All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B^, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. IT is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough for CFS/FMS needs.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.