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Shiitake mushrooms are a powerful medicinal superfood Darrell Miller 5/9/19
Why medicinal mushrooms should be considered a staple in every household across America Darrell Miller 10/30/17
Three Immune Boosting Mushrooms You Can't Ignore Darrell Miller 7/20/15
What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans Darrell Miller 12/22/14
Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions? Darrell Miller 8/8/14
What Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer? Darrell Miller 5/27/14
What Is Beta Glucan 1.3/1.6 And How Does It Improve Your Health? Darrell Miller 12/16/13
Vitamins and Herbs Darrell Miller 4/3/09
Re: Fight Mononucleosis By Boosting The Immune System With Herbs Darrell Miller 2/23/09
Beyond Bran Fiber Darrell Miller 12/25/07
Mushroom Glyconutrients Darrell Miller 9/15/07
N-acetylglucosamine Darrell Miller 3/8/07
Mannose Darrell Miller 3/8/07
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus Darrell Miller 2/6/07
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene Darrell Miller 5/27/06
HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT Darrell Miller 12/23/05
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells Darrell Miller 12/20/05
AHCC® Fact Sheet - from Now Foods. Darrell Miller 12/8/05
Immune Renew Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet Darrell Miller 12/7/05
PeakImmune4 Darrell Miller 11/23/05
The wellness Revolution - 90% Of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies. Darrell Miller 10/1/05
Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden. Darrell Miller 9/16/05
Nature's Cancer fighters ... Darrell Miller 7/7/05
Mushroom Miracales Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ... Darrell Miller 6/13/05
<b> Mushrooms </b> Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.</ Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Mushroom Immune Defense - Scientific Immunity Formula Darrell Miller 6/4/05
CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX - Health Secrets from the Rainforest Darrell Miller 6/1/05
Re: AHCC Complexe, Plus, and With Biopreine Darrell Miller 5/31/05
Re: Its in the Blood Darrell Miller 5/9/05



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Shiitake mushrooms are a powerful medicinal superfood
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Date: May 09, 2019 02:09 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Shiitake mushrooms are a powerful medicinal superfood





A new study has found that adding fermented shiitake mushroom to rice bran is effective in inhibiting the growth of Salmonella typhimurium. The study was conducted on mouse organs and it was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This formulation has been hailed as a new antimicrobial food-compatible formulation. The study was conducted on murine macrophage cells and in mice. Before this, it was known that the bioactive compounds in rice brans and in shiitake mushrooms have a lot of potential health benefits in mice, cells, and rodents. When the mycelia cells were compared against non-fermented ones, it was found that the bioactive compounds present in the fermented shiitake mushrooms could not be found in the ones that had not fermented. Further findings showed that the pathogen, Salmonella, was inhibited in infected macrophage cells and in organs in the mouse such as the cecum, mesenteric lymph node, spleen, and the liver. Another finding was that there was increased secretion of the bacteria in the feces in mouse. Overall, this findings show that fermented shiitake mushrooms with rice brans can be used as an antibiotic and antimicrobial food.

Key Takeaways:

  • To carry out the study a team of researchers from Korea and the US tried to understand the effect of shiitake mushroom with rice bran on macrophage cells.
  • The component produced in rice plants are bioactive rice brans and hulls while that produced by mushrooms are bioactive polysaccharides and other compounds.
  • When mushroom mycelia that was fermenting with rice bran cells were inspected it was found that they have bioactive compounds that are absent in the non-fermenting mycelia.

"A study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that a formulation of fermented shiitake mushroom with added rice bran can inhibit the growth of Salmonella typhimurium in infected mouse organs."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-16-shiitake-mushrooms-are-a-powerful-medicinal-superfood.html

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Why medicinal mushrooms should be considered a staple in every household across America
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Date: October 30, 2017 10:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Why medicinal mushrooms should be considered a staple in every household across America





In a time when stress among people is at an all time high, many are trying to find new ways to reduce it. Medicinal mushroooms are being shown to be a remarkable healing plant that possess a wide array of nutrients that can help improve your daily life. They come in a variety of forms and can be consumed many different ways, including as a pill or poweder or in your tea or a smoothie. They promote almost all of your bodies systems like the immune system and digestive system working in a healthy way. Be wary of some from unknown sources, such as China, which can have heavy metal contamination that could wipe out all the health benefits.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eating mushrooms like reishi, chaga, agaricus blazei, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, turkey tail, and lion’s mane.whether in powder, capsule, tincture format and in foods can improve your health.
  • Providing support for a healthy immune system,improves heart functions, support proper liver function, builds a healthy cardiovascular system and a healthy digestive system.
  • Buy ultra-clean, lab-tested mushrooms for of B-vitamins, minerals, beta-glucans, antioxidants, polysaccharides, calcium & more. Eat with fruits & veggies. And exercise.

"With unprecedented support for all the key functions of the body, it’s no surprise how medicinal mushrooms can have such an obvious impact"

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-23-why-medicinal-mushrooms-should-be-considered-a-staple-in-every-household-across-america.html

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Three Immune Boosting Mushrooms You Can't Ignore
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Date: July 20, 2015 01:32 AM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: Three Immune Boosting Mushrooms You Can't Ignore

Mushrooms are plants that belong to the fungi kingdom.  These plants are not classified as vegetables, they provide essential and vital nutrients to our bodies. It is a common knowledge that the key to building strong immune systems and getting enough minerals and vitamins in the diet is by supplementing a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, the more the color the better.  This knowledge has however left mushrooms, which offer a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants to our bodies, in the dark.  In many cases, foods are only considered to be nutritious if they are colored. However, this is not true for mushrooms.

Let's take a look at three most common mushrooms that positively impact the overall immune system and how they make it happen.

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms are common in Asian countries.  This mushroom subspecies has shown effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. They can also be used to treat some side effects that are commonly associated with various chemical treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer. It is also used in the other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, high cholesterol, hay fever, weight loss, diabetes, hypertension and infertility due to poly cystic ovary syndrome.

How it works

This species of mushroom contains chemicals that might stimulate the immune system and help fight tumors. There is also evidence that it can also be used as an effective regimen in efforts to lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, improve cholesterol levels. Studies have also shown that it is effective in weight loss management.

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are a type of fungi that some people describe as "woody" and "tough". The fruiting body of this plant and the filaments connecting a group of mushrooms has been used greatly as medicine. The plant is also used to boost the immune system, lung conditions including bronchitis and asthma, viral infections such as swine flu, influenza and avian flu, heart disease.

It is also effective in maintaining other contributing conditions such hypertension, high cholesterol, liver disease and cancer. Other conditions where Reishi mushrooms are used are insomnia, stomach ulcers, chronic fatigue, herpes pain and poisoning.  In combination with other forms of herbs, they are also used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

How it Works

Reishi mushrooms contain a wide variety of antioxidants and chemicals that have potential benefits and effects on the immune system and activity against tumors.

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake

An extract made from this mushroom is used as medicine. Although it is used widely as medicine, it is also consumed as food. Shiitake mushrooms are used to lower blood cholesterol levels, boost t-cells and as an anti-aging agent.

How it Works

This type of mushroom contains chemicals that help in lowering cholesterol levels. It contains chemicals that keep cancerous tumors from getting bigger.

References:

1. //www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php

2. //www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-560-maitake%20mushroom.aspx?activeingredientid=560&activeingredientname=maitake%20mushroom

3. //www.healthline.com/health/reishi-mushroom-key-to-immortality#2

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What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans
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Date: December 22, 2014 04:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans

mushroom beta-glucan

What are Beta-glucans?

Beta glucan is a biological response modifier that nutritionally activates the immune response through the Dendritic, Macrophage and other immune cells to produce various therapeutic effects.

Beta-glucans are sugars found in the cell walls of algae, fungi, lichens, bacteria, yeasts, and plants, such as oats and barley. They can be use as medicine.

Benefits of beta-glucan

Beta-glucans are use for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and high cholesterol. Beta-glucans are also use for boosting the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakens by emotional or physical stress, chronic fatigue syndrome or by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Beta-glucans are also used for ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, aging, H1N1 flu, Lyme disease, allergies, fibromyalgia, ear infections, rheumatoid, asthma and crohn's disease.

Beta-glucans is applied to the skin for wrinkles, dermatitis, burns, eczema, bedsores, radiation burns, wounds and diabetic ulcers.

Beta-glucans can be given by injection into the muscle or intravenously to boost the immune system in people with HIV/AIDS and related conditions and to treat cancer. Beta glucans are also given intravenously to prevent infection in people who have undergone surgery.

Beta-glucans can be given by subcutaneously for reducing the size of skin tumors or for treating them.

In the food industry, beta-glucans are used as an additive in products such as cheese spreads, frozen desserts, salad dressings and sour cream.

Adding beta-glucans to your diet either in form of foods that contain the compound or in form of food supplements plays a significant role in boosting your immune system to help your body fight diseases.

How does beta-glucans work?

When taken by mouth, Beta-glucans lower blood cholesterol by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol from food in the intestines and stomach. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system by increasing chemicals that prevent infections when given by injection.

Studies by leading scientists and medical experts have shown that Beta-glucans act as immunomodulator agents by triggering events that regulate and increase the efficiency of the immune system. Beta-glucans stimulate the activity of immune cells that attack and ingest invading pathogens.

Immune cells such as Macrophages release cytokines that are chemicals that enable immune cells to communicate with each other. In addition, Beta-glucans increase the activity of white blood cells that bind to viruses or tumors, and release chemicals to destroy it. Beta-glucan is a biological response modifier that nutritionally activates the immune response through the Dendritic, Macrophage and other immune cells to produce various therapeutic effects.

The potential side effects of Beta-glucan when taken by mouth are unknown. When used by injection, Beta-glucans can cause fever, pain at the injection site, chills, vomiting, headache, nausea, dizziness, rashes, diarrhea, back pain, joint pain and low blood pressure.

Where does Beta-glucan come from?

The body does not produce Beta-glucan naturally; you can only get it from outside sources such as Shiitake mushrooms, baker’s yeast and cereal grains such as wheat, oats, barley and rye.

The most potent form of beta glucan is extracted as a purified isolate from the yeast cell wall of Baker's yeast with harmful yeast proteins removed by a process that prevent clumping or reaggregation after exposure to water during digestion. Research has shown that Beta- glucan is a safe and potent immune potentiation isolate.


URL references

  1. //www.rxlist.com/beta_glucans/supplements.htm
  2. //www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=104429
  3. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17895634
  4. //www.healthline.com/health/beta-glucan-heart-healthy

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Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?
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Date: August 08, 2014 10:01 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?

human thyroidWhat is thyroid glands

Human thyroid glands are small glands with a very important function. The major function of thyroid glands is to regulate body metabolism.

There are two main hormones produced by thyroid glands; thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of these 2 hormones is based on the feedback mechanism of hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These hormones influence every body cells- they control the rate at which your body accumulates and uses fat, help to regulate body temperature and also heart rate. In addition, thyroid glands produce calcitonin, a very important hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. There are the major types of thyroid diseases, Thyroid cancer, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Benign disease. But what is the role of selenium in thyroid functions?

Selenium deficiency

Selenium deficiency is not common in healthy adults, but it is common in people with digestive disorders causing low absorption, or those with severe inflammation arising from chronic infection. Research shows that low selenium does not cause illness by itself, but due to its role in immune functions, it makes a body susceptible to biochemical, nutritional and infectious diseases.

But this does not mean that selenium has no direct influence on thyroid functions. Adequate selenium supports the production of thyroid hormones, protects thyroid glands from the adverse effects of excess iodine in the body, and will also improve body metabolism.

selenium foodsImportance of selenium

Selenium is very important and it is always healthy to ensure your normal selenium level. For example, selenium supplements are used to treat autoimmune thyroid condition. Studies have found that selenium supplementation lowers thyroid inflammation. These findings are backed by the fact that selenium increases thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activity, and also lowers the toxic concentration of lipid hydro peroxides and hydrogen peroxides which results from the production of thyroid hormones.

Selenium prevents thyroid tissue damage. Selenium is very important because it lowers the level of thyroid peroxides in the blood. In addition, selenium is vital for conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormones. Low T3 causes hypothyroidism.

How to obtain selenium?

If you think your body is deficient of selenium, it is good to seek medical care immediately. Thyroid glands are very important for the body functions. Selenium supplement is a good solution to thyroid function. But long term use of selenium supplement would cause other complications such as white blotchy nails, hair loss, gastrointestinal upsets, fatigue, irritability, garlic breath odor, and mild nerve damage. In addition, very high selenium in the body may cause hyperthyroidism. In addition, clinical test for use of selenium supplements has found that it predisposes users to the risk of prostate cancer. Though this has not yet been proven. This makes selenium rich foods the best way to increase the level of selenium in the body. Some of the food rich in selenium includes; crimini mushrooms, shrimp, tuna, cod, scallops, chicken, halibut, salmon, Shiitake mushrooms, brazil nuts, lamb eggs, and turkey. Brazil nut is particularly very rich in selenium, taking one or two in a day will significantly improve the selenium level and also boost your immune system.

Is selenium important for thyroid function?

Yes, selenium level is very important and low selenium.

References

  1. //chriskresser.com/selenium-the-missing-link-for-treating-hypothyroidism
  2. //www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/seleniums_vital_role_in_thyroid_hormone_function/

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What Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer?
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Date: May 27, 2014 09:51 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer?

What is a mushroom?

edible mushroomMushrooms are commonly found on dead and decomposing plants. Over the years, human kind has used mushrooms for the purposes of boosting their immunity. Mushrooms are known to have the power to prevent illnesses and diseases. Today, there are some medical mushrooms that have been known to be the most potent immune boosters. Scientists have discovered that most potent mushrooms target the cancerous cells in your body while at the same time boosting the healthy cells. One of the most potent of them all is perhaps the Agaricus Blazei mushroom, commonly found in Brazil. The mushroom has been used as a major supplement for herbal manufacturers who credit it with the success in the treatment of major diseases around the world, such as cancer.

Benefits of mushroom

Shitake Mushroom

Another easy-to-find type of mushroom is the Shiitake mushrooms, which scientists have discovered that is contained essential mineral and vitamins which enhances immune functions. The minerals occur in chemical compound and ancient civilization used the mushroom for various purposes such as a health tonic. Currently, it is used in the prevention of growth of cancerous cells and development of tumors. It is also used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Besides improving the immune system, the Shiitake mushroom also lowers body cholesterol. This is important as it also helps to prevent high blood pressure, resisting viruses and even prevent heart conditions.

Maitake mushroom

The Maitake mushroom is another type of mushroom that most people consume on a daily basis in an effort to super-charge their immunity. Just as the maitake mushroom also reduces high blood pressure risks besides preventing against other illnesses such as diabetes as well as stroke. It has also been used in immunotherapy complementing radiotherapy, surgery as well as chemotherapy.

There are thousand of edible mushrooms that contain chemical compound essential in the treatment of various diseases. Some other common types of mushrooms that boost immunity include Reishi, Cordyceps Oglossoides, Coriolus Versicolor and even the Phellinus Linteus mushrooms.

Sources

  1. //blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/3-mushrooms-and-their-big-immunity-benefits
  2. //www.naturalnews.com/023633_cancer_mushrooms_health.html


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What Is Beta Glucan 1.3/1.6 And How Does It Improve Your Health?
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Date: December 16, 2013 11:58 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Is Beta Glucan 1.3/1.6 And How Does It Improve Your Health?

mushroomWhat is Beta Glucan

Beta glucan, precisely 1-3, 1-6-beta-glucan or Beta 1, 3/1, 6 Glucan is defined as sugar (glucose) or a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is extracted from bacteria, fungi, yeast and mushroom cell walls, the fiber of oats, rye, wheat as well as barley and cellulose from plants. It can well be described as an immunostimulant or immunomodulator agent which stimulates the body microphages to produce cytokines and fight disease causing pathogens in order to boost the immune system of the body.

Beta Gluan Source

Since beta glucan is got from natural food sources such as Shiitake mushrooms, it is a natural way to enhance the performance of the white blood cells in fighting diseases. It helps in the reduction of the cholesterol level from the body and it is the key to a Low Density Lipoprotein, which is essential in boosting the immune system of the body. For individuals whose immune systems have been greatly lowered by HIV/AIDS, stress or other conditions, this supplement is the way to go in restoration of their immune systems

In addition, beta glucan acts as an anti-carcinogenic substance which reduces the risk of suffering from the much dreaded cancer disease. It is also essential in keeping diabetes, hepatitis and cardiovascular diseases at bay. Beta glucan also inhibits tumor growth and proliferation and Lyme disease

What are some Benefits of Beta Glucan

Broadly speaking, beta glucan improves the overall ability of the body to resist various infections such as burns, common cold, asthma, allergies, ear infections and multiple sclerosis, to mention but a few. It is also an effective weight loss dietary supplement, and given that weight loss is the current health and fitness mantra, the use for beta glucan has is rampant in the contemporary world. To add color to the already good package, it is has mild or no side effects depending on the user.

References:

  1. www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/immune/the_immune_system.pdf.
  2. www.cancer.org/docroot/MED/content/MED_2_1x_Cancer_Deaths_Drop_for_Second_Consecutive_Year.asp.
  3. www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Shiitake_Mushroom.asp?sitearea=ETO.
  4. //www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/05-29-2008/0004822407&EDATE=.


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Vitamins and Herbs
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Date: April 03, 2009 02:52 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitamins and Herbs

The whole human body is made up of cells that contain their own genetic material. In a healthy body, these cells divide at a controlled rate, growing and repairing damaged tissues and replacing dying cells. This predetermined rate of cell division is what keeps our bodies healthy. If cells keep multiplying when new ones are not necessary, a mass of tissue, often known as a tumor, is formed. This tumor can be either benign or malignant.

Benign tumors are not cancerous and can occur anywhere in the body. Benign tumors do not cause a threat to health, do not metastasize, and do not grow back if removed. Malignant tumors are cancerous and are usually serious. Often times, they can be life-threatening. Malignant tumors grow uncontrollably, interfere with normal metabolic and organ functioning, and have the ability to metastasize and invade other tissues. If a portion of a cell’s DNA is damaged, the cell can become abnormal. When an abnormal cell divides, it forms new cells that are a photocopy of the damaged genetic material. This ongoing process occurs constantly within our bodies. The majority of the time our bodies have the ability to destroy these abnormal cells and maintain a sort of cellular equilibrium. If a crucial part of the DNA is destroyed and the abnormal cells cannot be controlled any longer, cancer forms. All cancer cells have two things in common: growing uncontrollably and having the ability to metastasize. The immune system does not recognize cancer cells as dangerous or foreign.

Although the exact cause for the cell damage that initiates the cancer process is unknown (theoretically free radical damage causes DNA damage), the chain of events that leads to cancer is very complex, and each individual body reacts differently. It is a combination of genetic, behavioral, environmental, and lifestyle factors that are thought to be involved in turning normal cells into abnormal cells, and abnormal cells into cancer.

There are also factors that are believed to slow the process, while other factors can speed up the process. Possible contributors to the development and growth of cancer can be divided into three categories: external, internal, and lifestyle. External factors include unhealthy workplace environments and exposure to air and water pollution, chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. Included in the internal factors include both genetics and infections. Lifestyle factors are those we personally can most readily control, such as diet, smoking, drinking, and sun exposure. External and lifestyle factors account for 80 percent of cancer deaths in the United States.

Just as each of us looks different, each of our bodies has its own unique composition. Some of us may react adversely to what some of us react well to. This is why some treatments prove to be successful for some, but not for others. This is why dietary wellness and prevention is so important. If we can keep our bodies healthy and avoid known cancer-causing agents, we have a good defense against cancer in the first place.

The following nutrients and supplements are designed for persons who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as for those who wish to enhance their chances of avoiding the disease: coenzyme Q10, colostrum, DMG, garlic, IP6, melatonin, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, selenium, 7-keto DHEA, shark cartilage, SOD, vitamin A, Shiitake extract, acidophilus, chromium picolinate, flaxseed oil, grape seed extract, kelp, l-carnitine, multienzyme complex, a multi-mineral complex, multivitamin complex, NAC, raw glandular complex, taurine, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: astragalus, birch, burdock root, cat’s claw, chaparral, chuchuhuasi, cranberry, dandelion, Echinacea, fennel, green tea, licorice root, macela, milk thistle, parsley, pau d’arco, red clover, suma, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, ragwort, wood sage, curcumin, essiac, noni, olive leaf extract, rosemary, and boswellia.

All of the above listed herbs and vitamins can help restore the body to good nutrition and help boost the immune system so the body can find and fight back against cancer. Natural vitamins and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing supplements, look for name brand vitamins like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure you receive quality and you get what you pay for.

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



--
Vitanet ®, LLC

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Date: February 23, 2009 11:54 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

Mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. More rarely, it can be caused by cytomegalovirus. Both of these viruses are members of the herpes family. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies in lymphocytes. Mono then affects the respiratory system, the lymphatic tissues, and glands in the neck, groin, armpits, bronchial tubes, spleen, and liver.

Symptoms of mono include depression, extreme fatigue, fever, generalized aching, headache, jaundice, and loss of appetite, sore throat, pain on the upper left side of the abdomen, puffy eyelids, swollen glands, and sometimes, a bumpy, red rash. Additionally, the spleen may become enlarged and liver function may be affected. Meningitis, encephalitis, and rupturing of the spleen are very rare complications that may develop as a result of mono.

The virus’s associated with mono are extremely contagious, often being transmitted from person to person by close contact such as kissing, which explains why mono is often referred to as the “kissing disease.” The disease can also be spread by sharing food or utensils, as well as through sexual contact or through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for mono is about ten days in children and thirty to fifty days in adults. A lot of mononucleosis cases occur in the military and in colleges, as living conditions are crowded and sleeping patterns are inadequate. High school students also have a high incidence of this disease. Mono is most common among children and adolescents, as about 90 percent of people over age thirty-five have mono antibodies in their blood, which means that they had the disease at some point in their lives, although many do not even know they had it.

The symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to those of influenza, which often results in mono often being mistaken for it. However, with mono, the symptoms tend to be more persistent, with acute symptoms usually lasting from two to four weeks, and fatigue persisting for three to eight weeks after the other symptoms disappear. The disease can even linger for a year or more in some individuals. It can also produce recurring, but successively milder, attacks. If the immune system has been compromised by an organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, or other viruses, the mono symptoms can be extremely serious and chronic.

Mononucleosis is diagnosed through a blood test called a spot test. This test reveals the presence of specific viral antibodies and also confirms the presence of mono. Additionally, a liver function test can assist in the diagnosis.

The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with mononucleosis: acidophilus, proteolytic enzymes, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other nutrients that have proven to be both important and helpful include: DMG, a free-form amino acid complex, garlic, vitamin B complex, zinc lozenges, maitake extract, reishi extract, Shiitake extract, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and raw thymus glandular.

Astragalus and Echinacea are also beneficial in boosting the immune system, while cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties that act against viral infections. Dandelion and milk thistle are beneficial in protecting the liver. Goldenseal helps to fight infection, while olive leaf extract helps to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause mono. Pau d’arco balances the bacteria in the colon and spirulina contains phytonutrients that are helpful in boosting the immune system.

Whether you want to combat mono symptoms naturally or use prescription drugs, always consult your family physician before taking matters into your own hands. A correct diagnosis is important to how one might want to combat sickness in general. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your internet health food store.

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

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Beyond Bran Fiber
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Date: December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Beyond Bran Fiber

At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.

Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.

Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.

Flax seed and psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and Shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.

It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.



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Mushroom Glyconutrients
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Date: September 15, 2007 02:48 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mushroom Glyconutrients

For decades, researchers have known about the correlation between polysaccharides and immune system activity. Extensive research has shown that, once successfully absorbed by the bloodstream, these large polysaccharide molecules can potentially support the immune system by increasing the body’s natural production of cytokines—a group of specialized peptide proteins that serve as signaling mechanisms for cells and their target receptors.

Cytokines, such as lymphokines, monokines, interleukins, interferons, and TNF (tumor nectrosis factor) work within the body and encourage the activity of NK cells, T, cells, and B cells. Although specialized polysaccharides are derived from indigestible plant fibers, those same fibers may actually prevent them from entering the bloodstream, thereby minimizing their benefit to the immune system.

More recent scientific advances have determined that, by breaking these long polysaccharides into smaller components called hemicelluloses, these compounds could have a great effect on immune system support. Now Mushroom Glyconutrients was scientifically formulated to support optimal immune system function. It contains RBAC (Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound), a specialized type of glyconutrient that is formed when rice bran fibers are broken down using enzymes from select Shiitake mushrooms. RBAC has been clinically shown to support the body’s overall immune system.

For added support, NOW Mushroom Glyconutrients also contains a blend of Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms—an excellent source of innate and adaptive immune supporting 1,3 beta-glucans.



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N-acetylglucosamine
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Date: March 08, 2007 05:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: N-acetylglucosamine

Shiitake mushroom, shark cartilage, beef cartilage, and glucosamine sulphate

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Mannose
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Date: March 08, 2007 05:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mannose

Aloe vera (acemannan is a chain of mannose molecules), kelp, Shiitake mushroom, ground fenugreek, carob gum, guar gum, black currants, red currants, gooseberries, green beans, capsicum (cayenne pepper), cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, turnip, Cranberry

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Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
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Date: February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus

Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables

 

We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,

 

Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.

 

In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.

 

Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?

A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.

 

Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?

A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.

 

Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:

Color

Source

Nutrients

Benefits

Red

Tomatoes, Berries, Peppers, Radishes

Lycopene, Anthocyanins, Ellagic Acid, Bioflavonoids including Quercetin, and Hesperidin

Reduces risk of prostate cancer; lowers blood pressure; scavenges harmful free-radicals; reduces tumor growth; reduces LDL cholesterol levels and supports joint tissue in cases of rheumatoid arthritis

Orange/ Yellow

Carrots, Yams, Squash, Papaya

Beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin, Flavonoids, Lycopene, Vitamin C, Potassium

Reduces age-related macular degeneration; lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol; fights harmful free radicals; reduces risk of prostate cancer, lowers blood pressure; promotes collagen formation and healthy joints; encourages alkaline balance and works with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones

White

Mushrooms, White Tea, Flaxseed/ Pumpkin

Beta-glucan, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), SDG (secoisolariciresinol digulcoside), lignans

Provides powerful immune boosting activity; activates natural-killer cells, B-cells and T-cells; may reduce risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers; boosts immune-supporting T-cell activity; balances hormone levels and may reduce risk of hormone-related cancers

Green

Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Oat Grass, Kale, Spinach, Cabbage, Alfalfa Sprouts, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens

Chlorophyll, Fiber, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Calcium, Folate, Glucoraphanin, Vitamin C, Calcium, Beta-Carotene

Reduces cancer risks; lowers blood pressure; normalizes digestion time; supports retinal health and reduces risk of cataracts; builds and maintains bone matrix; fights harmful free-radicals; boosts immune system activity; supports vision and lowers LDL cholesterol levels

Purple/ Blue

Blueberries, Pomegranates, Grapes, Elderberries, Eggplant, Prunes

Anthocyanins, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Fiber, Flavonoids, ellagic acid, quercetin

May protect brain cells against Alzheimer’s and other oxidative-related diseases; supports retinal health; lowers LDL cholesterol and prevents LDL oxidation; boosts immune system activity and supports healthy collagen and joint tissue; supports healthy digestion; improves calcium and other mineral absorption; fights inflammation; reduces tumor growth; acts as an anticarcinogen in the digestive tract, limits the activity of cancer cells –depriving them of fuel; helps the body fight allergens

 

Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?

Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:

 

Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.

 

Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.

 

Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.

 

Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.

 

In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.

 

Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.

 

Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.

 

Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.

 

Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.

 

Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!

 

Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.

 

In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.

 

Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.

 

Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables. Oranges and other citrus are the most commonly associated with vitamin C, but it also is present in tomatoes, and to a lesser extent in berries and cherries.

 

Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.

 

Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.

 

This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.

 

Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.

 

Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.

 

Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.

 

Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.

 

Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.

 

As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.

 

SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.

 

The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.

 

This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.

 

In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.

 

Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.

 

In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.

 

Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and Shiitake.

 

The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.

 

This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.

 

In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.

 

In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.

 

And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, Shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.

 

While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.

 

Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.

 

Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):

Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.

 

Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?

ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.

 

Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”

 

I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.

The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.

 

Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.

 

More recently, the American Institute of Cancer Research discovered a reason many adults don’t eat their vegetables is – I’m not making this up – “a fear of flatulence.”

 

Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.

 

For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.

 

One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.

 

Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?

Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.

 

Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!

 

Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.

 

High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.

 

 



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Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
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Date: May 27, 2006 09:24 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing program has found cancer-causing benzene in soft drinks at levels averaging four times the standard for tap water. The brand names have not been released.

The test data were uncovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted the test results on the group’s website, www.ewg.org

Highly elevated Benzene Levels

Between 1995-2001 the RDA tested 24 samples of diet soda for benzene. The result: 79% tested at levels above the federal limit for benzene in tap water, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum benzene level detected was 55 ppb. In addition to the diet sodas, the FDA tested a number of other non-diet soft drinks. One cola was contaminated at 27 times the tap water limit, and fruit drink had a 95 ppb level.

“These results confirm our suspicions there are highly elevated benzene levels in some very popular drinks,” Richard Wiles, EWG’s senior vice president said in a press release.

Reaction Triggered by Preservatives

According to an article in beveragedaily.com, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in soft drinks can react together to form benzene. Sodium benzoate is a common preservative in soft drinks, and ascorbic acid is often added as an antioxidant to extend shelf life.

Negotiations between the FDA and the beverage industry in 1990 resulted in an agreement that the industry would voluntarily reformulate its soft drinks to prevent this combination. The recurrence of benzene contamination may be due to new soft drink manufacturers in the market who were not a part of, or aware of, the original negotiations.

Britain Pulls Soft Drinks from Shelves

In contrast to the U.S. situation, food safety campaigners in England were successful in having benzene –containing soft drinks removed from the supermarket shelves. The British Food Standards Agency pulled four soft drink brands which contained more than 1 ppb of benzene, and rushed out the results of tests on 149 drinks, including a range of fruit juice, iced tea, squash, fizzy and low-sugar drinks, according to The Times of London.

The Wellness Revolution and Contaminated Soft Drinks

The controversy over benzene in soft drinks is an example of how toxic exposure exists in our food and immediate environment. The constant exposure to toxics were-and especially our children—experience is a major cause of chronic illness.

In this situation, the organic products available for purchase in health food stores are especially vital. And since some exposure to toxics is unavoidable we must take advantage of the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium D-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and Shiitake mushrooms, and turmeric.

Sources: www.ewg.org www.beveragedaily.com 02/25/06. Associated Press 04/11/06. www.fda.org.

Public Pressure Forces Corporations to Curtail Most Soda Pop sales to schools

The Nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced may 3rd by the William J. Clinton Foundation.

The companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low fat milks to elementary and middle schools, according to a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.

The deal follows a wave of criticism by school districts and state legislatures amid reports of rising childhood obesity. Soda has been a particular target because of its caloric content and popularity among children.



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HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
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Date: December 23, 2005 12:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT

Nature’s Apothecary

"HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT AND DETOXIFICATION"

For years, Nature’s Apothecary’s reputation for producing high quality natural products, specifically multi-herb and single herb extracts and aromatherapy products, has been unparalleled. This family-owned, environmentally-conscious herbal extract company has laid deep roots on the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and in the natural products industry as well. NOW® is proud to continue their tradition of excellence in providing only the highest quality natural herbal extracts with the purchase of this premier liquid herbal extract supplier. We’re committed to using the same processes and procedures that have made the Nature’s Apothecary line one of quality and longevity.

Nature’s Apothecary herbal extracts are created with pure herbs grown on small organic farms, or herbs that have been ethically hand-harvested with respect for the earth, just as herbalists have done for thousands of years. While the various herbs used in these formulations offer a broad range of health benefits, two of the most important are immune system enhancement and detoxification. Herbs have a long history of usefulness in these categories. There is evidence of the use of herbs by Stone Age humans, who either cultivated or gathered hundreds of herbs and plants for a variety of uses. The histories of various cultures are filled with references to the use of herbs. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Europeans, and American Indians – all used herbs to heal and to nourish. Herbs that support the immune system and provide detoxification benefits were, and still are, very popular. Two of the most effective are Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a member of the legume family and is considered an adaptogenic herb in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been safely used for centuries. Native to central and western Asia, specifically China, Korea and Taiwan, Astragalus offers a unique benefit found in very few herbs - it seems to selectively support immune system function by stimulating certain immune functions and depressing others. One reason is that Astragalus has a high selenium content, a trace element with documented immune system benefits. It also contains polysaccharides and flavonoids, which support healthy immune system function as well as minimizing the effects of free radicals on various membranes. The mechanisms of action through which Astragalus supports immune system function are varied. It has shown promise as a means to stimulate “resting” immune system cells, increasing their activity. Research shows that Astragalus supports the body’s production of immunoglobulins, macrophages, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, the grunts of the immune system’s army. Astragalus has been shown to support healthy cardiovascular function by protecting membranes from oxidative stress as a result of free radical damage.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a culinary delight with some serious health benefits. The name Shiitake is from a combination of shiia, the Japanese word for a variety of chestnut tree, and take, the Japanese name for mushrooms.

Shiitake is also referred to as the Forest Mushroom and the Black Forest Mushroom. Indigenous to Eastern Asia, primarily Japan and China, Shiitake is Japan’s leading agricultural export, accounting for about eighty percent of the world’s Shiitake production. While it’s culinary reputation is well-known, Shiitake is also a medicinal herb with a long history of use. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Shiitake is well-regarded and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Modern research has shown that Shiitake supports healthy immune system function and cardiovascular health, primarily due to the naturally-occurring nutrients found in Shiitake. It contains an excellent B vitamin profile, as well as amino acids, protein, iron, and beta glucan, a major structural component in the cell walls of most fungi, including Shiitake. Beta glucan has been shown to support healthy immune system function by stimulating the activity of phagocytes, white blood cells and NK (natural killer) cells, vital components of the body’s immune system defenses. Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom are just a few of the immune supporting herbal extracts to be found in the Nature’s Apothecary line. With over 250 SKU’s, Nature’s Apothecary is your best source for high-quality, effective herbal extracts.

References:
1) Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription For Herbal Healing, Avery, Penguin Putnam, 2002
2) Astragalus membranaceus. (Monograph), Thorne Research Inc., The Gale Group, 2003
3) Halpern, Georges M. & Miller, Andrew H. Medicinal Mushrooms: Ancient Remedies for Modern Ailments, M. Evans and Company, Inc. 2002
4) Longe, J.L. Shiitake Mushroom, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2001



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

Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells

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

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

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

Antioxidants

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

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

Immune Boosting Herbs

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

OPCs

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

Mushroom Extracts

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



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AHCC® Fact Sheet - from Now Foods.
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Date: December 08, 2005 10:20 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: AHCC® Fact Sheet - from Now Foods.

AHCC® Fact Sheet

Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05

LIKELY USERS: People needing increased activity of their Natural Killer cells; People seeking improved immune system response; People with a need for tissue repair; People with oxidative challenges; People seeking to increase liver function People defying aging or with a need to improve cellular integrity.

KEY INGREDIENTS: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AHCC® is a proprietary extract produced from specially cultivated and hybridized mushrooms. According to extensive research in humans, as well as numerous non-clinical studies, AHCC®supports immune system function through its effects on macrophages and NK (Natural Killer) Cells. NK cells and the intercellular mediators they produce are critical for the maintenance of healthy cell cycle function. AHCCR® has also been shown possess antioxidant properties, and supports healthy liver function.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product.

AHCC® is a rich source of polysaccharides such as beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose produced by enzymatic modification of organic medicinal mushrooms, including Shiitake. It also has been shown to support normal levels of macrophages and cytokines, further strengthening the immune system.

This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in Vcaps.

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, take 2 Vcaps® 3 times daily, preferably on an empty stomach.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants, Astragalus, Colostrum, Dr. Verghese Liver Formula, Immune Renew, Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6),

CAUTIONS: None.

PRODUCT SPECIFIC: None

GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems. Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.

DISCLAIMER: Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional knowledge and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. The information in this review should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES:

Aviles H, Belay T, Fountain K, Vance M, Sun B, Sonnenfeld G. (2003) Active hexose correlated compound enhances resistance to Klebsiella pneumoniae infectin in mice in the hindlimb-unloading model of spaceflight conditions. J Appl Physiol 95:491-496.

Burikhanov RB, Wakame K, Igarashi Y, Wang S, Matsuzaki S (2000) Suppressive Effect of Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC®) on Thymic Apoptosis Induced by Dexamethasone in the Rat. Endocrine Regulations 34:181-188. Matsui Y, et al. (2002) Improved prognosis of postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma patients when treated with functional foods: a prospective cohort study. J Hepatol. 2002 Jul;37(1):78-86. PMID: 12076865 Matsushita K, et al. (1998) Combination therapy of active hexose correlated compound plus UFT significantly reduces the metastasis of rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Anti-Cancer Drugs 9:343-350. Sun B, Wakame K, Mukoda T, Toyoshima A. Kanazawa T, Kosuna K (1997) Preventive Effects of AHCC® on Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Liver Injury in Mice. Nat Med 51(4):310-315.

Ye SF, Ichimura K, Wakame K, Ohe M. Suppressive effects of Active Hexose Correlated Compound on the increased activity of hepatic and renal ornithine decarboxylase induced by oxidative stress. Life Sci. 2003 Dec 19;74(5):593-602. PMID: 14623030 Ye SF, Wakame K, Ichura K, Matsuzaki S (2004) Amelioration by active hexose correlated compound of endocrine disturbances induced by oxidative stress in the rat. Endocr Regul 38(1):7-13.



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Immune Renew Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 01:07 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Immune Renew Fact Sheet

Immune Renew Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05

LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; People on low carb diets or non-whole grain diets that are lacking dietary beta-glucans

KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg). Proprietary blend of 8 organically grown “medicinal mushrooms” (200 mg)

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Vegetarian formula. Polysaccharides in these US-grown mushrooms grown on organic brown rice include 1,3 Beta-glucans and terpenoids. Beta-glucans may stimulate the immune system in different ways. Triterpenoids may act as mild anticoagulants. Each mushroom may have a different effect; for example, one may stimulate T-cells and another Natural Killer cells, aiding in immune defense. Mushrooms have reported beneficial effects on liver health and promoting normal cell growth.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Some extracts from these kinds of mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China. The mushrooms include Turkey Tail, Sun Mushrooms, Maitake, Cordyceps, Phellinus, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Shiitake. The astragalus extract also contains naturally occurring astragalosides. Mushrooms may help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one or two caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C to break down beta-glucan structures for better absorption, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and antioxidants

CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease. Use with caution if using anticoagulants or blood pressure medication, as these mushrooms may have mildly synergistic effects to those drugs. Do not use if you have mold or mushroom allergies (or any sensitivities to mushrooms, cheese, etc.), which can potentially result in hives, rashes, breathing difficulties (including dry mouth or throat), stomach distress, diarrhea, or any other unusual side effect.

This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES:

1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995
2. Wasser SP, Weis AL. Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective. Crit Rev Immunol. 1999;19(1):65-96.
3. Wasser SP. Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Nov;60(3):258-74. Epub 2002 Sep 10.
4. Nanba H, Hamaguchi AM, Kuroda H. The chemical structure of an antitumor polysaccharide in fruit bodies of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1987;35:1162–8.
5. Yamada Y, Nanba H, Kuroda H. Antitumor effect of orally administered extracts from fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chemotherapy 1990;38:790–6.
6. Nanba H. Immunostimulant activity in vivo and anti-HIV activity in vitro of 3 branched b-1–6-glucans extracted from maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa). VIII International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992 [abstract].
7. Kubo K, Nanba H. Anti-hyperliposis effect of maitake fruit body (Grifola frondosa). I. Biol Pharm Bull 1997;20:781–5.
8. Adachi K, Nanba H, Otsuka M, Kuroda H. Blood pressure lowering activity present in the fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chem Pharm Bull 1988;36:1000–6.
9. Jones K. Shiitake: A major medicinal mushroom. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:53–9 [review].
10. Taguchi I. Clinical efficacy of lentinan on patients with stomach cancer: End point results of a four-year follow-up survey. Cancer Detect Prevent Suppl 1987;1:333–49.
11. Matsuoka H, Seo Y, Wakasugi H, et al. Lentinan potentiates immunity and prolongs survival time of some patients. Anticancer Res 1997;17:2751–6.
12. Guangwen Y, Jianbin Y, Dongqin L, et al. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic effects of lentinan in treating condyloma acuminata. CJIM 1999;5:190–2.
13. Jones K. Reishi mushroom: Ancient medicine in modern times. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:256–66 [review].
14. Kammatsuse K, Kajiware N, Hayashi K. Studies on Ganoderma lucidum: I. Efficacy against hypertension and side effects. Yakugaku Zasshi 1985;105:531–3.
15. Jin H, Zhang G, Cao X, et al. Treatment of hypertension by ling zhi combined with hypotensor and its effects on arterial, arteriolar and capillary pressure and microcirculation. In: Nimmi H, Xiu RJ, Sawada T, Zheng C. (eds). Microcirculatory Approach to Asian Traditional Medicine. New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, 131–8.
16. Suzuki H, et al. Immunopotentiating Substances in Lentinus edodes Mycelial Extract(LEM)-- Activation of Macrophage and Proliferation of Bone Marrow Cell. Nippon Shokakibyo Gakkai Zasshi. Jul1988;85(7): 1430.
17. Suzuki H, et al. Inhibition of the Infectivity and Cytopathic Effect of Human Immunodeficiency Virus by Water-soluble Lignin in an Extract of the Culture Medium of Lentinus edodes Mycelia (LEM). Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Apr1989;160(1):367-73.
18. Gordon M, et al. A Placebo-controlled Trial of the Immune Modulator, Lentinan, In HIV-positive Patients: A Phase I/II Trial. J Med. 1998;29(5-6):305-30.
19. Li JF, et al. Study on the Enhancing Effect of Polyporus Polysaccharide, Mycobacterium Polysaccharide and Lentinan on Lymphokine-activated Killer Cell Activity in vitro. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Apr1996;16(4):224-26.
20. Li KR, et al. Anti-atherosclerotic Properties of Higher Mushrooms (a Clinico-experimental Investigation. Vopr Pitan. Jan1989;1:16-19.
21. Shouji N, et al. Anticaries Effect of a Component From Shiitake (An Edible Mushroom). Caries Res. Feb2000;34(1):94-98.
22. Levy AM. Eosinophilia and Gastrointestinal Symptoms After Ingestion of Shiitake Mushrooms. J Allergy Clin Immunol. May1998;101(5):613-20.
23. Zjawiony JK. Biologically active compounds from Aphyllophorales (polypore) fungi. J Nat Prod. 2004 Feb;67(2):300-10.
24. Oliva D. Cellular and physiological effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi). Mini Rev Med Chem. 2004 Oct;4(8):873-9.
25. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
26. Borchers AT, Stern JS, Hackman RM, Keen CL, Gershwin ME. Mushrooms, tumors, and immunity. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1999 Sep;221(4):281-93.
27. Mau JL, Lin HC, Chen CC. Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6072-7.
28. Hirasawa M, Shouji N, Neta T, Fukushima K, Takada K. Three kinds of antibacterial substances from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (Shiitake, an edible mushroom). Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1999 Feb;11(2):151-7.
29. Rajewska J, Balasinska B. Biologically active compounds of edible mushrooms and their beneficial impact on health. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2004 Oct 5;58:352-7.
30. Chang R. Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutr Rev. 1996 Nov;54(11 Pt 2):S91-3.
31. Lin ZB, Zhang HN. Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Nov;25(11):1387-95. PMID: 15525457
32. Cheung NK, Modak S, Vickers A, Knuckles B. Orally administered beta-glucans enhance anti-tumor effects of monoclonal antibodies. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Nov;51(10):557-64. Epub 2002 Sep 20. PMID: 12384807
33. Shamtsyan M, Konusova V, Maksimova Y, Goloshchev A, Panchenko A, Simbirtsev A, Petrishchev N, Denisova N. Immunomodulating and anti-tumor action of extracts of several mushrooms. J Biotechnol. 2004 Sep 30;113(1-3):77-83. PMID: 15380649
34. Zhang YD, Shen JP, Zhu SH, Huang DK, Ding Y, Zhang XL. Effects of astragalus (ASI, SK) on experimental liver injury Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1992;27(6):401-6. Chinese. PMID: 1442065
35. Sheng BW, Chen XF, Zhao J, He DL, Nan XY. Astragalus membranaceus reduces free radical-mediated injury to renal tubules in rabbits receiving high-energy shock waves. Chin Med J (Engl). 2005 Jan;118(1):43-9. PMID: 15642225
36. Yesilada E, Bedir E, Calis I, Takaishi Y, Ohmoto Y. Effects of triterpene saponins from Astragalus species on in vitro cytokine release. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 4;96(1-2):71-7. PMID: 15588652
37. Li C, Cao L, Zeng Q. Astragalus prevents diabetic rats from developing cardiomyopathy by downregulating angiotensin II type2 receptors' expression. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2004;24(4):379-84. PMID: 15587404
38. Wang SH, Wang WJ, Wang XF, Chen W. [Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides and berberine on carbohydrate metabolism and cell differentiation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Oct;24(10):926-8. Chinese. PMID: 15553830
39. Shao BM, Dai H, Xu W, Lin ZB, Gao XM. Immune receptors for polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Oct 8;323(1):133-41. PMID: 15351712
40. Mao SP, Cheng KL, Zhou YF. [Modulatory effect of Astragalus membranaceus on Th1/Th2 cytokine in patients with herpes simplex keratitis]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Feb;24(2):121-3. Chinese. PMID: 15015443
41. Guo FC, Williams BA, Kwakkel RP, Li HS, Li XP, Luo JY, Li WK, Verstegen MW. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternatives for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens. Poult Sci. 2004 Feb;83(2):175-82.



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Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet
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Date: December 07, 2005 12:16 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet

Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05

LIKELY USERS: People with exposure to toxins that stimulate liver activity; People with exposure to infections that may have damaged liver tissue

KEY INGREDIENT (S): Milk Thistle extract (Silymarin), Glutathione, NAC, Bupleurum extract, Grape Seed Extract, Dandelion Root extract, Artichoke Leaf, Schisandra and about a dozen additional herbs, along with synergistic ingredients

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: This formula was developed by a physician based on his clinical experience.

Artichoke leaf has antioxidant properties and restores healthy growth to liver cells.

Bupleurum may promote normal cell growth, immune function and is a staple of Chinese liver formulas. Dandelion Root may serve as a natural down-regulator of inflammatory chemicals in the body. NAC supports liver Glutathionestores (antioxidant, detoxifier, heavy metal chelator). Schisandra protects liver cells from toxins and may help to regenerate damaged cells. Milk thistle’s antioxidant Silymarin improves liver function tests and protects liver cells against oxidative damage. It also protects liver cells by blocking and removing toxins from the liver. Silymarin aids in regenerating injured liver cells and blocks fibrosis.

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Samuel Verghese, M.D. (AM), Ph.D., BCIA-EEG, DAAPM, holds a degree in Alternative Medicine and specializes in Nutritional, Ayurvedic and other Alternative Health Solutions. He is certified as a BCIA-EEG Associate Fellow.

AMOUNT TO USE: Three or more capsules a day, preferably with meals.

COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants (supports liver detoxification), Alpha Lipoic Acid, EGCg Green Tea Extract, Astragalus, medicinal mushrooms (Shiitake, reishi), SAM-e (may improve bile flow and promotes methylation to detoxify chemicals), TMG, lecithin, thymus glandular extract, Cordyceps.

AVOID: acetaminophen, alcohol, iron supplements (also red meat, fortified flour)

CAUTIONS: This formula should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers children or those with liver problems unless recommended under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs! Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

REFERENCES:

1. Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional and morphological alterations of the liver. A double-blind controlled study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17:517–21.
2. Feher J, Deak G, Muzes G, et al. Liver-protective action of silymarin therapy in chronic alcoholic liver diseases. Orv Hetil 1989;130:2723–7 [in Hungarian].
3. Muzes G, Deak G, Lang I, et al. Effect of silymarin (Legalon) therapy on the antioxidant defense mechanism and lipid peroxidation in alcoholic liver disease (double blind protocol.) Orv Hetil 1990:131:863–6 [in Hungarian].
4. Velussi M, Cernigoi AM, De Monte A, et al. Long-term (12 months) treatment with an anti-oxidant drug (silymarin) is effective on hyperinsulinemia, exogenous insulin need and malondialdehyde levels in cirrhotic diabetic patients. J Hepatol 1997;26:871–9.
5. Lieber CS. Nutrition in liver disorders. In: Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC (eds). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins, 1999, 1179–80.
6. Rodriguez-Moreno F, Gonzalez-Reimers E, Santolaria-Fernandez F, et al. Zinc, copper, manganese, and iron in chronic alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol 1997;14:39–44.
7. Gibbs K, Walshe JM. Studies with radioactive copper (64 Cu and 67 Cu); the incorporation of radioactive copper into caeruloplasmin in Wilson’s disease and in primary biliary cirrhosis. Clin Sci 1971;41:189–202.
8. Lieber CS. Nutrition in liver disorders. In: Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC (eds). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins, 1999:1179–80.
9. Halsted CH. Alcohol: medical and nutritional effects. In Ziegler EE, Filer LJ (eds). Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 7th ed. ILSI Press, Washington, DC, 1996, 553.
10. Blum AL, Doelle W, Kortum K, et al. Treatment of acute viral hepatitis with (+)-cyanidanol-3. Lancet 1977;2:1153–5.
11. Suzuki H, Yamamoto S, Hirayama C, et al. Cianidanol therapy for HBs-antigen-positive chronic hepatitis: a multicentre, double-blind study. Liver 1986;6:35–44.
12. Tang W, Eisenbrand G. Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1992. (Astragalus)
13. Hobbs, C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 96–107.
14. Harada T, Kanetaka T, Suzuki H, Suzuki K. Therapeutic effect of LEM (extract of cultured Lentinus edodes mycelia) against HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B. Gastroenterol Int 1988;1(suppl 1):abstract 719. 15. Kelly GS. Clinical applications of N-acetylcysteine. Altern Med Rev. Apr1998;3(2):114-27.
16. Montanini S, et al. Use of acetylcysteine as the life-saving antidote in Amanita phalloides (death cap) poisoning. Case report on 11 patients. Arzneimittelforschung. Dec1999;49(12):1044-7.
17. Buckley NA, et al. Oral or intravenous N-acetylcysteine: which is the treatment of choice for acetaminophen (paracetamol) poisoning? J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1999;37(6):759-67. 18. Girardi G, Elias MM. Effectiveness of N-acetylcysteine in protecting against mercuric chloride-induced nephrotoxicity. Toxicology. Apr1991;67(2):155-64.
19. Berkson MB. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Thioctic Acid): My Experience With This Outstanding Therapeutic Agent. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 1998;13(1):44-48.
20. Breithaupt-Grogler K, et al. Dose-proportionality of oral thioctic acid--coincidence of assessments via pooled plasma and individual data. Eur J Pharm Sci. Apr1999;8(1):57-65.
21. Gebhardt R. Antioxidative and Protective Properties of Extracts from Leaves of the Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) Against Hydroperoxide-induced Oxidative Stress in Cultured Rat Hepatocytes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. Jun1997;144(2):279-86.
22. Adzet T, et al. Hepatoprotective Activity of Polyphenolic Compounds From Cynara scolymus Against CCl4 Toxicity in Isolated Rat Hepatocytes. J Nat Prod. Jul1987;50(4):612-17.
23. Gebhardt R. Antioxidative and protective properties of extracts from leaves of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) against hydroperoxide-induced oxidative stress in cultured rat hepatocytes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. Jun1997;144(2):279-86.
24. Khadzhai I, et al. Effect of Artichoke Extracts on the Liver. Farmakol Toksikol. Nov1971;34(6):685-87.
25. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. Cambridge: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996:36-37.
27. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.
28. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium. Vol.1. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association;1992:73-74.
29. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:96-97.



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PeakImmune4
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Date: November 23, 2005 06:15 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: PeakImmune4

New from:

Daiwa Health Developement

PeakImmune4™

Clinically Shown to Triple Natural Killer (NK) Cell Activity

  • A dietary supplement containing the same immune complex previously sold to a veryloyal customer base.

  • May help safely and naturally to modulate your immune system to perform its roleagainst foreign invaders.

  • Based on a patented and proprietary Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound, clinicallyshown to triple the activity of Natural Killer cells—white blood cells that are consid-ered the body’s first line of defense.

  • Also doubles immune system T cell count, increases B cell count, and boosts chemi-cal messengers critical to intercellular communication for fighting pathogens.

  • An immune modulator, which does not result in hyporesponsiveness or hyperrespon-siveness of the immune system; it therefore does not lose effectiveness over time, norcause the immune system to attack itself.

  • No need to cycle on or off of PeakImmune4 as with some other immune products.

  • Efficacy and safety shown in clinical studies and in practice by tens of thousands ofusers worldwide.

    4 capsules contain:

    Proprietary RBAC* Blend1000 mg
    Rice BranHyphomycetes Mycelia Extract (from Shiitake Mushroom)

    *RBAC (Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound)

    Suggested use: As a dietary supplement, take four (4) capsules before or after a meal. Forthe best results, the following two-step program is recommended:

    1st step:Take 4 capsules 3 times per day for 4 weeks.

    2nd step:After 4 weeks, reduce dosage to the maintenance level of 4 capsules daily.

    PeakImmune4 is a trademark of Daiwa Health Development, Inc.



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    The wellness Revolution - 90% Of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies.
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    Date: October 01, 2005 01:22 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: The wellness Revolution - 90% Of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies.

    The Wellness Revolution

    90% of Americans Carry Chemical Stew in their Bodies

    The third national report on human exposure to Environmental Chemicals, issued this summer, shows that most people in the U.S., and especially children, carry a dangerous mixture of chemicals in their bodies. Nevertheless, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), authors of the report, issued a press release focusing on progress made in a few areas—and most media looked no further than the optimistic press release.

    The CDC sampled the blood and urine of thousands of subjects across the country for 148 environmental chemicals. This study found a significant decline since previous reports in exposure to secondhand smoke and in lead levels in children’s blood.

    Despite the positive headlines, however, the study documented the presence in human bodies of dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products. Among the findings:

  • About 1 – 18 women of child-bearing age have levels of mercury at or above the safe level set by the environmental protection agency (EPA).
  • More than 1 in 20 Americans carry dangerous levels of cadmium, primarily from exposure to tobacoo smoke. Recent studies link cadmium to kidney injury and low bone mineral density.
  • Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that damages the nervous system, we found in more than half the samples, and was more highly concentrated in children ages 6 to 11. Primary exposure occurs through food.
  • Phthalates—chemicals found in cosmetics and soft plastics, which affect hormonal and genital development in fetuses and infants—were concentrated more highly in children’s bodies. They were found at four times the EPA’s safe levels.
  • Organochlorides such as DDT, which have been banned for decades, were found in the blood of subjects. These pesticides can be passed from mother to child in the womb and through breastfeeding.

    Body Burden and the wellness Revolution

    This Study—the latest indication that all of us carry a “body burden” caused by widespread chemical use in our society—shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. The constant exposure to toxics we experience today is a major cause of chronic illness, including cancer, birth defects or abnormal development, brain or nervous system damage, hormonal and reproductive imbalances, and impaired immunity, to name just a few.

    Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium d-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and Shiitake mushroom, and turmeric. A healthy lifestyle and appropriate supplementation can offer some protection from societal pollution.

    Sources: Third National Report on Human Exposure to environmental Chemicals, 2005, available at www.cdc.gov. Los Angeles Times, 7/22/05. A Brief Companion to CDC’s 2005 National Exposure Report, Physicians for Social Responsibility, www.psr.org. Pesticide action network, www.panna.org.



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    Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.
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    Date: September 16, 2005 10:50 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pesticide Report Shows Widespread Body Burden.

    Women and Children Especially Vulnerable

    Most Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies, according to a recent report. Often, the so called “body Burden” of these chemicals is well above government-defined safety levels. Included are pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, declining sperm counts, and infertility.

    Chemical Trespass, by the Pesticide Action Network, analyzes data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from blood and urine analyses of 9,282 people. Among the findings:

    Pesticides residues and metabolites were found in every subject. The average person had 13 pesticides in his or her body. The Average 6 to 11 year old was exposed to certain organophosphorus (OP) pesticides at four times the levels deemed acceptable by the environmental protection agency. Children are especially susceptible to dietary pesticides since they eat more food on a body weight basis than adults.

    Organochlorine (OC) pesticides were found as significantly higher levels in women. This probably reflects women’s higher body fat content; OC pesticides are stored in fatty tissue.

    Mexican-Americans showed the highest pesticides exposure, probably due to their disproportionate employment in agriculture. However, the statistics did not include occupational information.

    Many pesticides used widely in the past, such as DDT and chlordane, are still found in our bodies, even in children born years after they were banned.

    Cause for Alarm?

    The CDC, which tested for 116 environmental chemicals, stressed that presence of these chemicals in the body does not necessarily indicate disease and called for more study of the dosages that should cause concern. The Pesticide Action Network sharply criticized this approach as a “Failure to protect public health.” Much evidence links long-term, low-level exposure to chronic illnesses, the group said, and the problem is more acute when one considers the additive effects of combining chemicals.

    Pesticides and the wellness Revolution

    This study shows the need for a system that relies on organic agriculture and alternative pest controls. Meanwhile, individuals should take advantage of the organic products available in health food stores, and the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and immunity—for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, Reishi and Shiitake mushroom, turmeric, and much more.

    Sources: Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Center for Disease Control, available online at www.cdc.gov.exposurereport Chemical Trespass, Pesticide action network, available online at www.panna.org

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    Nature's Cancer fighters ...
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    Date: July 07, 2005 12:36 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Nature's Cancer fighters ...

    Cancer has always been a word no one wants to hear from a doctor's lips. But as a fatal disease, cancer has gone from dread to worse, passing heart disease as the number-one killer of Americans under the age of 85 (a category that includes the overwhelming majority of us). While death rates for both illnesses has dropped over the past few years, the improvement has been much more pronounced for cardiovascular disorders.

    According to the American Cancer Society, 476,009 people died of cancer in 2002 (the last year for which statistics are available). Behind every one of those numbers is a web of lives tangled by cancer's relentless onslaught: A child who misses a mother's comforting arms, a bride without a father to walk her down the aisle, a spouse coming home to a dark, cold house every night. And for those fortunate enough to survive a cancer encounter, there's always the dark worry of recurrence that surfaces with every ache or twinge.

    Many people think of cancer as either a random calamity of a genetically driven inevitability, but it ain't necessarily so. Diet is coming up big as a major cancer-risk player: For example, eating a lot of red meat, especially highly processed meats such as bacon, has been linked to high colorectal cancer risk in an investigation published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. On the positive side, a number of nutrients have shown cancer-fighting power, such as the recently discovered link between the B vitamin folate and reduced risk of colon and other cancers (see page 57). Other useful nutrients appear on the chart that follows.

    Of course, risk always varies from person to person, and there are some lifestyle issues, like not smoking, that are no-brainers when it comes to cancer deterrence. But isn't it nice to know that protection from such a terrible disease might be as close as the end of your fork?

    Nature's Cancer fighters

    Berries

  • Description: Black or blue, rasp or straw, these tiny fruits pack a huge health punch; notable phytonutrients include anthocyanadins, ellagic acid and quercetin, along with vitamins and fiber.
  • Function: Among the plant world's most powerful antioxidants; have shown the ability to inhibit cancer cell growth.
  • Citrus Bioflavonoids

  • Description: These substances, found in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, include hesperidin and limonene.
  • Function: Have shown promising anti-cancer effects in early studies; grapefruit compounds may be praticularly helpful in fighting lung cancer among smokers and colon cancer.
  • Curcumin

  • Description: A reddish yellow compound found in the spice turmeric, a staple in indian cookery.
  • Function: Interfers with cancer cell proliferation and with tumor blood-supply developement. Cooking use thought to be responsible for lower childhood cancer rates in asia.
  • EPA

  • Description: An Omega-3 acid found in such fatty fish as salmon and sardines; complete name: eiscosapentaenoic acid.
  • Function: Increased intake linked to reduced rates of several types of cancer, including those of the breast, colon, lung and prostate. May help make standard chemotherapy more effective (Consult your physician first).

    Green Tea

  • Description: Leaves of the Camilla sinensis plant, which is extensively cultivated in China, India and Japan; One of the world's most popular beverages that's also available in extract form.
  • Function: Contains potent antioxidants; has been associated with lower cancer rates in large population studies. Extract may make it more difficult for cancer cells to invade healthy tissues.
  • Lycopene

  • Description: Best known for putting the red in tomatoes, this phytonutrient is also found in apricots, pink grapefruit and watermelon.
  • Function: Associated with reduced risk of, and slower growth rates in, prostate cancer; recent research also links lycopene to lower pancreatic cancer risk. Reduces DNA damage in white blood cells.
  • Mushroom Polysaccarides

  • Description: Complex sugar compounds found in a variety of mushrooms, include Shiitake, maitake, and reishi.
  • Function: Different polysaccarides have shown different anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies: Some fight tumor formation, others induce apoptosis. In Japan, mushroom eaters have lower cancer death rates.
  • Selenium

  • Description: Trace mineral found in grains, meats, seafood and some nuts, most notably brazil nuts. If using supplements, follow package directions.
  • Function: Supports production of glutathione, a natural antioxidant. Has reduced prostate cancer risk in men with low blood selenium levels. May lower colon cancer risk.
  • Soy

  • Description: Soy foods include soy milk, tempeh, edamame (Vegetable green soybeans) and tofu; also available as soy protein extract.
  • Function: Populations that consume high amounts of soy foods have lower breast and prostate cancer rates.
  • Vitamin C

  • Description: Found in citrus fruit, cabbage and related vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts,cauliflower), Potatoes, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and tomato juice.
  • Function: The body's primary water-based antioxidant; has neutralized toxic byproducts of normal fat metabolism in some studies. Recharges its partner, Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin D

  • Description: While vitamin D is found in egg yolks, butter and cod liver oil, the main source is sun-exposed skin.
  • Function: Regular sun exposure is linked with lower overall cancer death rates, while rates for breast, colon and prostate cancers are all higher in northern parts of the US.
  • Vitamin E, Natural

  • Description: Found in almonds, fruit, peanuts, vegetable oils, whole grains (including brown rice).
  • Function: The body's primary fat-based antioxidant; may retard prostate cancer developement.
  • Glossary

  • Apoptosis - process by which cell normally die and are replaced; becomes disabled in cancer cells.
  • Antioxidant - counters harmful molecules called free radicals that can damage DNA, which can lead to cancer.
  • Phyonutrient - Substances found in plant foods that promote good health in humans.
  • Proliferation - unregulated growth and reproduction that characterizes cancer cells.
  • Tumor
  • - Solid mass formed by some cancers; capable of developing its own blood-vessel network.



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    Mushroom Miracales
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    Date: June 18, 2005 09:11 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Mushroom Miracales

    Mushroom Miracles by Bert Hoffman Energy Times, April 12, 2004

    Mention mushrooms and few people immediately recognize these humble fungi as important tools that can be used to boost well-being. More often, folks identify mushrooms as food with a peculiar appeal. But mushrooms' potential impact on health far surpasses their culinary reputation.

    You don't have to stretch your imagination too far to understand why mushrooms have been much neglected in the modern, Western medical search for plants that can boost health.

    Unable to make chlorophyll, often dependent on the kindness of other nutrient-producing organisms for their survival, these humble fungal denizens of dark, damp spaces seem to prefer an anonymous existence that is out of sight and out of the consciousness of the scientific mind.

    However, mushrooms have now assumed a spot in the center of the research spotlight. Because of their potent content of natural chemicals that appear to have a strong influence on human health and well-being, during the past decade mushrooms have been the subjects of intensive studies on how they can be used to reduce the risk of cancer and to treat these diseases.

    Appropriately, this recent round of research began in a place that has long revered these diminutive organisms: Japan. Japan and other Oriental countries have traditionally recognized the immense value of mushrooms as both food and medicine.

    Food and Medicine

    As an ancient Chinese saying notes, "food and medicine share a common origin." And one of the very earliest Chinese medical books, Shen Noug's Herbal (Shen Noug Pen Ts'ao Jing), first noted the extraordinary beneficial effects of eating mushrooms 2,000 years ago, back in the first century.

    More recently, but still well ahead of Western medical experts, in 1575, Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu (a Chinese compendium of medicinal therapies), written by Li Shi Zhen, outlined the medical benefits of about 20 mushrooms.

    Nowadays, modern researchers believe mushrooms' usefulness stems from the fact they contain a wealth of antioxidants. But these aren't just any antioxidants. Scientists think that some of these chemicals can potentially drop your risk of cancer, significantly lower blood pressure, help the body fight diabetes, offer protection for the liver, alleviate some of the ill effects of inflammation, lessen the chance of blood clots and help the body's immune system fend off viruses and other microbes. Quite a collection of benefits for these lowly beings!

    The 10,000-Year Mushroom

    Through the ages, the reishi mushroom (also known variously as the Mannetake, or 10,000-year mushroom, and the Immortality Mushroom) has been the most popular mushroom in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures. The reishi mushroom is frequently depicted in a wide variety of traditional Oriental artwork and even puts in an appearance in Chinese royal tapestries.

    To some, reishi's power goes beyond the natural and include the supernatural. Originally grown on aging plum trees, reishi is also sufficiently well regarded to be employed by the Japanese as a good luck charm. But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to be superbly impressed with reishi. The beneficial natural substances in reishi include steroids, lactones, alkaloids, triterpenes and polysaccharides.

    Large Molecules

    Of these chemicals, polysaccharides (complex chains of sugars) in particular have intrigued researchers looking into the way mushrooms help health. These polysaccharide macromolecules are very large (for molecules) and complex, a complexity that leads researchers to believe they are capable of conveying a huge amount of biological information that help the immune system stop cancer in its early stages. The differences in the benefits of various polysaccharides stems from their intriguing geometrical shapes.

    Distinctive Differences

    Even though two distinctive polysaccharides may contain the same number of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, their three-dimensional differences-the way they are structured and branch off in different directions-can endow them with very different health benefits.

    Though they all share a basic structure (usually, these molecules consist of a main chain of atoms with various side chains), the slight variations of the side chains changes their effects.

    By deciphering the microscopic structures of these molecules, scientists think they are beginning to uncover which ones are most effective against cancer. For instance, in isolating a particularly useful polysaccharide called beta-D-glucan from reishi, researchers have found that this substance fights tumors in lab experiments (Chem Pharm Bull 1981; 29: 3611).

    Maitake Benefits

    Meanwhile, beta-D-glucan and other extracts taken from the maitake mushroom have also been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer effects in lab experiments (Immunopharm Immunotox; 19:175).

    In one instance, researchers in the laboratory who were trying out various substances on prostate cancer cells found that applying extracts of maitake results in a kind of programmed self-destruction (apoptosis) of these undesirable cancer cells (Molec Urol; 4:7). In addition, another substance known as maitake d-fraction has been shown to strongly fight cancer in lab animals-in one study, their liver cancer growths were reduced by up to 90% (Ann NY Acad of Sci; 833:204).

    At the same time, research in China on people has demonstrated that maitake may help reduce tumors and alleviate the effects of leukemia (Alter Comp Ther 12/98; 420).

    According to A.S. Daba and O.U. Ezeronye (Afr Jrnl Bio 12/03; 672), "Mushroom polysaccharides offer a lot of hope for cancer patients and sufferers of many devastating diseases.

    " [These substances support]...a fundamental principle in Oriental medicine...[they help] regulate homeostasis of the whole body and... bring the diseased person [back] to his or her normal state."

    The Activity of Active Hexose Correlated Compound Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), an extract taken from Shiitake and other mushrooms, is a relatively new substance that is also being researched for its anti-cancer benefits.

    Studies on AHCC began in Japan in the 1990s when scientists looked at how it could potentially help people recovering from liver cancer. In those tests, researchers found that giving people AHCC apparently helped them survive longer.

    In the future, scientists feel certain that they will uncover even more anticancer uses for mushrooms and the chemicals they contain. A key advantage to these natural substances is their lack of side effects. For instance, in research on an anti-cancer chemical called lentinan, taken from Shiitakes, investigators have found that less than one percent of people experience the kind of discomfort that make them discontinue treatment. (This chemical has been used to treat stomach cancer.)

    But a long list of beneficial mushroom substances are probably still waiting to be discovered. More evidence of mushrooms' benefits: A study of mushroom workers in a part of Japan called the Nagano Prefecture found that these farmers enjoyed a significantly lower cancer rate than other inhabitants of that part of the country.

    In the rest of Japan, about one in six hundred people dies of cancer. But that rate death rate drops to about one in a thousand for mushroom raisers who eat a diet heavy in mushrooms.

    John Smith, PhD, from the University of Strath-Clyde, notes that "...increasing evidence [shows] mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists." Mushrooms offer the best of both worlds: good health that tastes great.



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    Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
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    Date: June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...

    Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999

    The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.

    Research Expands

    Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.

    Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.

    Mushroom with Potential

    The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as Shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.

    Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.

    Maitake Magic

    Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.

    In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.

    Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."

    From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.

    Stoking The Immune Engine

    Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.

    The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).

    What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).

    Effective And Safe

    In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.

    Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.

    Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."

    More Bodily Benefits

    Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).

    With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.

    This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.

    Tea Time

    It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.

    In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.

    Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.

    Lung Help

    And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).

    Tea Research

    So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.

    Astragalus Against Tumors

    Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).

    Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).

    A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).

    Garlic Benefits

    Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).

    Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).

    Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).

    DNA Protection

    DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.

    In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).

    In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.

    Future Promise

    What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.

    Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.

    As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.



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    Mushrooms
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    Date: June 10, 2005 10:16 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Mushrooms

    Mushrooms by Frank Sturges Energy Times, December 7, 1999

    The interest in mushrooms as health enhancers has... mushroomed. Mushrooms, researchers have found, are filled with a long list of substances that may help us fight disease. Some of these natural chemicals boost immunity. Others may be effective against cancer and heart disease.

    One of the most remarkable aspects of the research into mushrooms stems from the vast number of mushrooms that dot the landscape. At least 1.5 million types of fungi populate forests, fields, nooks and crannies, but studies have detailed the properties of less than 3,000.

    Compound Interest

    Mushrooms produce so many beneficial compounds because they constantly fight off other fungi and microbes to survive. These substances, which mushrooms utilize for defense, can apparently help humans.

    One of the most important of these classes of compounds are the polysaccharides. Scientists believe these long starch molecules spark immune action that can protect us against invading germs or cancer. They may do this by persuading the body to create what are called killer T-cells. These immune warriors destroy microscopic invaders and may help stop tumors.

    According to Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Ten Speed), use of polysaccharides... "will synergistically, in combination with the individual's immune system, result in dramatic recoveries...Right now we don't clearly understand all the elements in those formulas to be able to predict downstream what will happen. But clearly with some people, it is tremendously effective" (Townsend Ltr, 6/98).

    In addition, mushrooms also make biologically active chemicals called steroids and terpenes, says Christopher Hobbs, author of Medicinal Mushrooms (Interweave). These substances are thought to help fight off the formation of cancerous tumors.

    Maitake: Useful Fungus

    Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms, also known as "Hen of the woods," contain chemicals called beta glucans that can enhance immunity. Scientists are particularly fascinated by substances called the "D-fraction." Studies show these can spur immunity (Biol. Pharm. Bull. 17(12), Dec. 1994: 1554-60).

    Researchers are also looking into the possibility that Maitake can help people with AIDS regain weight. And scientists are examining their effect on high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Reishi's Effects

    In Tibet, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been used to battle altitude sickness in the Himalayan mountains. Reishi is also reputed to soothe frayed nerves.

    Scientific studies have supported these traditional uses, finding that people who consumed Reishi functioned better in low oxygen (Proceedings Contrib Symp 59 AB, 5th Intl Cong, 8/14-21, 101-104). Other research finds Reishi may help ease arthritis (Proc 1st Intl Symp on Ganoderma l. 11/17-18, 99-103, Tokyo).

    Lion's Mane

    Lion's Mane (Heri-cium erinaceus), also called "Monkey's head," has traditionally been a treatment for stomach problems in China. But researchers have found that chemicals in this mushroom help fight tumors (Biosci Biotech Biochem 56(2), Feb. 1992: 347-8).

    During the past few years, scientific investigators have also begun to extract chemicals called erinacines from lion's mane. These substances, (known as Nerve Growth Stimulant factor) appear to encourage neuron regeneration. The potential uses: boosting nerve performance, fixing neurological damage and treating Alzheimer's disease (Tetrahedron Ltrs 35(10), 1994: 1569-1572).

    Divine Fungus

    Known as Cogmelo de Deus (Mushroom of God) in Brazil, the Royal Agaricus (Agaricus blazei) has been grown in Japan since the '70s where it enjoys widespread popularity. Researchers find that it provokes powerful anti-tumor effects. This fungus harbors more beta-glucans, immunity enhancers, than other mushrooms.

    Mushroom Performance

    Can a fungus make athletes faster? A few researchers think so, pointing to Chinese Olympians who use Cordyceps sinensis. This fungus, traditionally grown on caterpillars, is another native of the Himalayas.

    Traditionally, Cordyceps has been used to foster stamina, better breathing and immunity.

    At least one study shows this fungus may help blood vessels dilate during exercise. By supplying extra blood to working muscles, Cordyceps may help fight off fatigue and boost performance (Abstracts from 5th Mycological Cong, Vancouver, 8/14-21).

    Research Extravaganza

    The mushroom called Shiitake has been the subject of an extravagant amount of research since the '60s. Called the "elixir of life," it boosts immunity. Stamets reports that people with cancer who take Shiitake do significantly better in coping with their disease (Abstract 2nd Meeting Soc of Natl Immunity, Italy, 5/25/94).

    Another characteristic of Shiitake mushrooms: a celebrated taste. The tongue and the palate take great pleasure in this health enhancer!



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    Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
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    Date: June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.

    Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999

    Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"

    But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.

    But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.

    Yuppie Flu?

    Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.

    In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.

    Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.

    According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.

    Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.

    Nutrient News

    Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.

    A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.

    Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.

    According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.

    Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.

    Vitamin Power

    In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:

    Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.

    Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 [4], Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.

    Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.

    Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.

    Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.

    Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.

    Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.

    Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.

    Herbal Helpers

    In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

    Eating For Energy

    Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.

    But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.

    "You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."

    Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.

    "In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add astragalus and Shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."

    The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.

    "You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.

    "It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."

    Fabulous Fiber

    Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:

    Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.

    Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.

    Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.

    Corn-excellent fiber source.

    Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.

    Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.

    Popcorn-an excellent snack.

    Citrus for More Energy

    If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:

    Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.

    Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).

    Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)

    Don't Avoid Avocados

    For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.

    Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.

    In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.

    Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

    Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and massage and aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.



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    Mushroom Immune Defense - Scientific Immunity Formula
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 04, 2005 10:08 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Mushroom Immune Defense - Scientific Immunity Formula

    Mushroom

    The immune system is a fascinating and complex group of cells and biochemical processes. Its many components work to protect you from environmental threats—but your immune system requires nutritional support to function optimally. Scientific research is proving that some of the most powerful immune-supportive nutrients are found in mushrooms. People who realize the critical importance of optimizing immune function should seriously consider adding an advanced mushroom complex to their daily regimen. No other mushroom formula offers the high-potency, broad-spectrum benefits of Source Naturals MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE. MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE features 16 of the best-studied species of health-supportive mushrooms, including Shiitake, reishi, and maitake. These mushrooms contain compounds, including beta-glucans, glycoproteins and polysaccharides, that support a wide range of immune defenses: natural killer cell, T-cell and macrophage activity, and cytokine production. By combining a wide variety of mushrooms and fortifying them with extracts to ensure high potency, MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE offers a biochemically diverse formula that provides optimum immune assistance.

    How Do Mushrooms Work?

    Mushrooms are a treasure trove of bioactive compounds, but most of their immunomodulating activities have been attributed to polysaccharides (long-chain, simple sugars) and glycoproteins (polysaccharides naturally associated with proteins). These compounds activate a variety of immune responses.

    Broad-Range Protection

    MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE contains mycelia (networks of fibrous filaments) and extracts from the widest variety of mushroom species available. Included are the following mushrooms, which have demonstrated the most evidence for immune defense. Shiitake (Lentinula edodes): Lentinan, the beta glucan from Shiitake, has been studied more extensively than similar substances and may be one of the most effective immunomodulators. Numerous studies have shown its ability to stimulate natural killer cell, T-cell, and macrophage-dependent responses.

    Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum): Reishi’s polysaccharides may stimulate macrophages and enhance T-cell proliferation, according to in vitro studies.

    Maitake (Grifola frondosa): Maitake enhances the activities of natural killer cells, T-cells and macrophages, according to animal studies. MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE contains MaitakeGold 404™, a highly specialized maitake product, rich in beta-glucans, which is the only maitake betaglucan fraction endorsed by the world’s premier maitake researcher, Dr. Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D. Turkey Tails (Trametes versicolor): These mushrooms have a long history of traditional use in Asia. One in vitro study suggests that its polysaccharides stimulate macrophages.

    Almond portabella (Agaricus blazei): This mushroom may stimulate the immune system by increasing T-cell activity, according to animal studies.

    Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis): Cordyceps came to international attention during National Games in China when, in one week, three women’s track and field world records were broken. The coach partially credited a cordyceps elixir. Cordyceps was found to augment antibody and other immune responses in one animal study, and a cordyceps polysaccharide was found to elevate cytokines in vitro.

    MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE contains 10 additional mushrooms, including enoke, oyster, Polyporus umbellatus, and Poria cocos. Vitamin C is added to enhance absorption and activity.

    Unparalleled Immune Support

    A focus on immune support can pay tremendous dividends for your entire life. If you are dedicated to good health, you want a powerful formula on your side. Source Naturals is proud to join forces with your natural foods retailer to bring you an unparalleled immune formula: MUSHROOM IMMUNE DEFENSE.

    References
    Kurashige S, et al. 1997. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 1997 19(2):175-83. Wang S. Y. et al. 1994. Program and Abstracts of the ’94 International Symposium on Ganoderma Research. Beijing: Beijing Medical University. Wasser S. P. and Weis A. L. 1999a. Crit Rev Immunol, 19, 65-96.



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    CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX - Health Secrets from the Rainforest
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    Date: June 01, 2005 09:59 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX - Health Secrets from the Rainforest

    CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX

    Standard pharmaceutical drugs came into common use only around the turn of the century. Before that, herbal preparations were administered for health concerns. Today, in nearly every country in the world, herbs are used by health care practitioners as the focal point of health care. Only in the United States is the otherwise widespread use of herbs missing in mainstream culture. But now modern scientific investigation is confirming the benefits of herbal supplementation, which is paving the way for us to reclaim and implement herbs into our everyday lives.

    The primary need for preserving the rainforests

    Rain Forest Herbs

    Scientists’ knowledge of the varied rain forest flora is far from complete. The plants which have been thus far identified are so elaborate in molecular structure that it’s difficult to understand how these molecules function, let alone how to reproduce them. What is known is that the biodiversity of the rain forest yields numerous biologically active plant constituents which can have a profound influence on supporting the body through times of imbalance. Preserving the rain forest means preserving these precious herbs and the unique constituents contained within them.

    Cat’s Claw Defense Complex contains powerful rainforest herbs

    A Synergistic Blend

    Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX harnesses the power of some of the most complex botanicals on earth into a synergistic blend of defense-enhancing herbs, each with a unique set of compounds which complement the body’s natural physiology. Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX is the first step in the rediscovery of a long-standing herbal tradition. Source Naturals was the first full-line supplement company to introduce the herbal superstar, Cat’s Claw, and the first to offer it in a combination formula. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX provides 2000 mg of Cat’s Claw per four tablets – more than many companies’ single ingredient Cat’s Claw products! It combines powerful rain forest herbs like Pau D’Arco and Western herbs such as Aloe Vera and St. John’s Wort with legendary Chinese herbs (Reishi Mushroom and Astragalus). Source Naturals Cat’s Claw Defense Complex also includes two categories of antioxidants for broad spectrum support.

    How we ensure quality and potency

    Cat’s Claw & Pau D’Arco – Peruvian Jungle Discoveries

    Cat’s Claw was discovered in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon jungle. Researchers have discovered that components extracted from the herb can bolster the body’s innate defenses, address discomforts associated with stress, and support intestinal health. Source Naturals uses only the highest quality Cat’s Claw inner bark – which is at least twenty years old, the amount of time it takes the bark to reach its peak biological activity– and uses a careful process to insure that harvesting the bark doesn’t weaken or destroy the plant. Like all of our herbs, each shipment of Cat’s Claw is also routinely inspected and tested by a trained herbalist to ensure maximum quality and potency. Pau D’Arco is also native to the South American rain forest and, like Cat’s Claw, has a high concentration of active constituents – a combination of anthraquinones and naphthoquinones, primarily lapachol – in the bark of the plant. Each daily dosage of CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX contains 100 mg of Pau D’Arco bark and 100 mg of concentrated Pau D’Arco bark extract for broad spectrum support.

    Herbs — Adaptogens for Balance

    Of the Chinese herbs, Siberian Ginseng is one of the best known adaptogens. Adaptogens have a balancing effect, helping us adapt to increased stress levels and other changes, like different altitudes or time zones. Thus, supplementation with Siberian Ginseng can help prevent stress-related health concerns. Schizandra, a small creeping vine with red berries, is a Chinese adaptogen which helps regulate the body’s functions and cleanse it of toxins.

    Herbs that energize the body and build resistance to impaired bodily function

    The trio of Chinese mushrooms – Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake – has been used by Chinese herbalists for centuries, and provides the highest quality natural support for the body’s defenses. Modern science has revealed the true power behind Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake: high levels of polysaccharides – long chain sugar macromolecules which are known for their protective and cleansing abilities. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX utilizes only the mycelia biomass of Reishi (200 mg), Shiitake (200 mg), and Maitake (150 mg) to ensure the highest level of activity. Astragalus is the premier tonic – or internal strengthener – of Chinese herbalism. In addition to helping energize the body, Astragalus also builds resistance to weakness and to impaired bodily function. Isatis is a cooling herb which has been shown to have a broad spectrum inhibitory action in in-vitro studies, and helps support normal liver function. Used for thousands of years, the aloe plant has been treasured for its varied uses both externally and internally. Aloe Vera juice is high in mucopolysaccharides, which have been found to have powerful protective capabilities. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX provides 200 mg of aloe (200:1 concentration) extracted from the whole leaf of the plant.

    Why St. John’s Wort is powerful and useful

    It is generally agreed that hypericin and pseudohypericin, two bioflavonoids which are the active constituents in St. John’s Wort, probably act as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which current research has shown are powerful as internal cleansing agents. St. John’s Wort is particularly useful because of its ability to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, through which many elements are unable to pass.

    The liver’s health is essential because of its responsibility for over 500 different functions

    Antioxidants and Plantioxidants – Supporting Complete Health

    Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX includes key liver-supporting antioxidants like Zinc, Beta Carotene, and Vitamin C – nutrients that help protect the liver from stress and pollution induced free radical damage. These three nutrients are also wellknown for their ability to help strengthen the body’s resistance and move through imbalances quickly. The liver is responsible for over 500 functions, including converting vitamins to their active forms, and processing and eliminating waste products from the body; therefore its health is vital. Plantioxidants™ is Source Naturals’ term for Plant-Derived Antioxidant Bioflavonoids. Though most people are only aware of the vitamin and mineral antioxidants, the latest scientific research has indicated that the plant kingdom may provide the most potent antioxidants in the world. Plants, trees, and citrus fruits all contain bioflavonoids (also called polyphenols) – a large group of restorative compounds with similar chemical structures which help protect the body from the ravages of oxidative damage due to free radicals. Some of the Plantioxidants included in CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX are: Quercetin, which helps inhibit the body’s sensitivity to dangerous particles in the air; Proanthodyn, which promotes tissue repair by helping to strengthen collagen and elastin, the two primary structural components in cartilage; Silymarin, which promotes liver-tissue regeneration and optimizes liver-cell function; Green Tea, a remarkably potent antioxidant; and Ginkgo, which is renowned for helping transport oxygen to the brain.

    The way to naturally bolster the body’s defenses

    A Holistic Natural Answer

    The natural world provides us with a seemingly endless supply of complex herbal compounds with unreplicable and unique constituents so varied and numerous that most doctors aren’t even aware of their existence. Source Naturals would like to change that with CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX – the natural way to bolster the body’s innate defenses. All the ingredients included are at optimal potencies, and in the forms best absorbed by the body. The result? The most powerful, holistic product available to help maintain the structure and function of the natural defenses – Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX.



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    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 31, 2005 04:27 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    AHCC

    The human immune system is the extraordinary biochemical network responsible for keeping us well. As our molecular interface with the environment, it has evolved complex interactions with the plant world. Mushrooms, which form one of the most primitive plant groups, have been valued for decades by progressive medical practitioners as immunopotentiators. Only recently, however, has science identified and tested the specific mushroom nutrients that augment natural defenses. AHCC® (active hexose correlated compound) is a proprietary mushroom compound. It is wellresearched in Japan for its immune-supportive properties, in particular the ability to increase natural killer cell and macrophage activity. Hundreds of Japanese hospitals and clinics recommend AHCC as part of an immune maintenance regimen, and its potent effects are so highly regarded that sales exceed $200 million dollars per year.

    AHCC ®: A Unique Compound

    AHCC, or “active hexose correlated compound,” is a rich source of polysaccharides (beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose) and glycoproteins, plus amino acids and minerals. It is produced by enzymatic modification of several types of medicinal mushrooms, including Shiitake. AHCC is derived from organically cultivated mushroom mycelia (the rich pre-mushroom stage, a network of fibrous filaments plus the medium it lives on and uses for fuel). The low molecular weight of AHCC makes it easier to absorb.

    Natural Killer Cell and Macrophage Activity

    Your trillions of cells are susceptible to damage by free radicals and toxins, so a healthy immune system uses its first line of defense—natural killer (NK) cells—to quickly identify and destroy threatening particles. The effectiveness of NK cells depends on their activity level, so boosting NK activity is a smart strategy for those committed to maintaining vibrant health and longevity. AHCC is a potent biological response modifier that may significantly increase activity of NK cells and macrophages, according to human and animal studies. Literally “large things that devour,” macrophages are white blood cells that engulf and aid in the removal of foreign particles.

    Cytokine Production

    Studies show AHCC also enhances production of cytokines, including interferons and interleukins. These intercellular chemical messengers trigger white blood cell production and activity. In one recent study, AHCC was shown to support normal basal levels of two cytokines, as well as NK activity. It is rare for a natural compound to have such a profound impact on strengthening the immune system.

    Liver Support

    Your liver is your body’s chemical manufacturing and detoxification factory. It must handle the full brunt of assault from environmental contaminants and pharmaceuticals. Stress further burdens this overworked organ. Human studies suggest AHCC supports healthy liver function.

    Your Source for Scientifically Advanced Nutrition

    Source Naturals AHCC is the original proprietary compound that is attracting worldwide attention. And with no adverse side effects reported in dozens of studies and abstracts, it is certainly a nutritional approach worth considering. At a time when our systems are challenged by an unprecedented array of toxins, research into the remarkable immune-supportive properties of the plant world is critical. Source Naturals is your connection to this research, dedicated to quickly bringing you the benefts of the latest emerging wellness strategies.
    © 2003 Source Naturals, Inc., P.O. Box 2118, Santa Cruz, CA 95063 Strategies for Wellnesss

  • The above information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  • References Uno, K. et al. Biother 2000 14(3) 303-309. Matsiu, Y. et al. J Hepatol 37 (2002) 78-86.

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    TopPreviousNext

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

    It's in the Blood

    Natural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny

    The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.

    “The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.

    “Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”

    At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.

    While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”

    Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”

    And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”

    Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”

    King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”

    Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.

    "Blur of Products"

    With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”

    To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:

    Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.

    Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.

    Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”

    “The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”

    On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.

    Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.

    Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.

    Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.

    Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.

    Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”

    Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.

    “Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.

    Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.

    Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.

    “The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, Shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.

    For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”

    Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.

    Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.

    Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.

    Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.

    Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.

    “In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”

    Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”

    Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.

    However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”

    Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”

    Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.

    Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”

    New Weapons

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

    With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”

    Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.

    “Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR

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