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Here's how you can improve digestion naturally!
April 25, 2019 04:57 PM
Due to the stresses of everyday life and unhealthy eating, more people than ever are experiencing digestive issues. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy and natural ways to avoid antacids, antibiotics, and other medicines that come with negative side effects. Ginger is one substance that has been used for generations for a whole host of digestive problems, including bloating and general discomfort. It works best if it's ingested before a meal. Peppercorns are another spice that can help improve overall digestion and boost the metabolism. Carrom seeds are commonly used in Indian dishes and are known for alleviating constipation and activating digestive enzymes. Finally, clove is great for flatulence and indigestion.
"Modern lifestyle comes with its own set of sorrows and poor metabolism and digestion are one of the primary signs of deteriorating health conditions."
Read more: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/heres-how-you-can-improve-digestion-naturally/articleshow/68303768.cms
Study shows lutein can boost heart health
March 27, 2019 02:24 PM
Many people consume lutein, either as a supplement in in vegetables containing lutein, because it can provide protection from diseases of the eye. A recent study has shown that lutein can protect the heart as well. Researchers found some correlation between higher levels of lutein in the bloodstream and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a medical term for a group of conditions including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Lutein, a carotenoid, is found in dark, leafy green vegetables.
"Dr. Elizabeth Leermakers decided to look into “lutein’s positive effects against inflammation and oxidative stresses in the eyes,” and together with a team of researchers, she searched for links between the presence of lutein (or a lack of the carotenoid) and diseases caused by stressors like heart attack, metabolic syndrome, and stroke."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-27-lutein-can-boost-heart-health.html
Overcoming adrenal fatigue naturally
July 22, 2018 11:53 AM
The human body has a well-developed system it uses to aid us when we experience stress. Firstly, the brain identifies the threat. Then the body releases hormones designed to do two things, rush blood to the muscles and heart to assist in fighting off the aggressive agent and dampening body processes that are not needed in the attack, such as digestive ones.
Were one fighting of a saber-tooth tiger, this would be of benefit. Today's stresses are far more nuanced, insidious and long-lasting. And when constant stress overworks the adrenals, which are the rabble-rousers in charge of turning off immunity and digestion until the tiger has turned tail, well then they get tired. This condition is called, aptly, adrenal fatigue. It can last for a short while, or a long time. It induces fatigue and it can lead to "brain fog." Other symptoms can include disturbances in mood, or sleep, food cravings and muscle and bone loss. To recuperate, it's necessary to convince the body the tiger has gone. Eat healthy, sleep healthy. Take vitamins and nourish yourself physically and psychically.
"One of the most important parts of restoring adrenal function is listening to your body and minding your stress levels."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/overcoming-adrenal-fatigue-naturally/
5 Best Foods And Teas For Healthy Lungs
June 27, 2018 09:54 AM
The breathe of life is an oft-used phrase. It can refer to inspiration, or sudden healing. But, it always indicates a transformation and something wonderful. The metaphor springs from the fact that breathe is intrinsic to life itself. Very few things cause despair, or a low quality of health like its lack. Yet, there are a variety of diseases that can take one's breathe away, including chronic pulmonary disease, asthma and much more. Moreover, in these times, when there is an unfortunately high level of air pollution and stress, a time when the genes we pass onto our children undoubtedly reflects the stresses of our environment, in these times we find ourselves more than ever prone to losing our breath.
Fortunately, there are foods and herbs that can assist us in fighting back against the problems that would steal breath from us. Many foods assist the body by killing microorganisms, flushing out toxins, reducing inflammation and mucus, and also by reducing stress. Some very potent, healing food options include, garlic, turmeric, olive oil and oregano.
"Breathing is so fundamental that we hardly need to think of it, but when it is impaired, it’s hard to think of anything else."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-best-foods-and-teas-for-healthy-lungs/
5 Trending Adaptogenic Herbs To Reduce Anxiety And Depression
May 30, 2018 09:16 AM
Adoptogenic herbs are herbs that help the body to achieve balance. There non-specific nature is actually their strength, as the herb works to alleviate stress, by boosting what's lacking and reining in what's excessive, from nose to toes, across the body. And since it's all about stress, the herb makes no distinction between physical or emotional stresses. Studies have shown that various psychological conditions, such as anxiety, chronic stress, acute stress and depression are impacted in a positive way by adoptogenic herbs, such as Astragalus, Holy basil, and Asian Ginger.
"Everyone in the health world wants a piece of the adaptogenic action, and it’s not without reason."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-trending-adaptogenic-herbs-to-reduce-anxiety-and-depression/
Can You Get Too Much Protein?
December 12, 2016 07:59 AM
Excessive protein can have a stimulating effect on an important biochemical pathway called the mammalian target of rapamycin. This pathway has an important and significant role in many cancers. When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps minimize your chances of cancer growth. Additionally, when you consume too much protein, your body must remove more nitrogen waste products from your blood, which stresses your kidneys. Chronic dehydration can result, as was found in a study involving endurance athletes.
"Protein has achieved a venerated status in the dietary world for everything from building muscle to preventing weight gain. But can you get too much of a good thing?"
Low vitamin D levels linked to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease
October 30, 2016 04:59 PM
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, & multiple sclerosis have become more prevalent over the years. Recent neurological studies are showing that these conditions can be prevented by supplementing more vitamin D in the diet. Many people just don’t get enough sunlight to provide the needed amount of vitamin D each day. It has been recommended to get at least 600 to 800 IU of the vitamin per day, but some are suggesting that we may need up to 8,000 IU per day in order to prevent disease, depending on our current health.
"Adequate vitamin D blood levels help to ensure protection and support of these crucial systems to prevent the onset and progression of these diseases."
Are Cashews A Healthy Choice For A Nut?
February 03, 2014 07:30 PM
Are cashew nuts healthy?
Providing you consume them crude or dry broiled – and unsalted – different types of nuts are bravo. There isn't one sort of nut you might as well dodge. (As opposed to prevalent thinking, cashews and macadamia nuts are extremely nutritious.) All nuts are a great wellspring of plant protein, hold no cholesterol and are low in immersed fat. Actually, most of the fat in nuts is unsaturated, a heart solid sort of fat.
The cashew nut might be seen uniquely in contrast to alternate sorts of nuts. Above all else, numerous individuals validate the way that this nut is much sweeter than alternate nuts we are utilized to. Cashews can additionally be consumed as snacks or could be utilized as a crude element as a part of the readiness of distinctive dishes, forsakes and even baked goods making them exceptionally adaptable.
When you consume cashew nuts
You ought not just savour them for the minute since they are surely delightful however you may as well additionally take the opportunity to acknowledge how solid they are. Some individuals are agonized over a lot of admission of nuts because of their reputed connectivity to weight issues and heart issues. The exceptional thing is that cashew nuts don't generally hold much cholesterol contrasted with different nuts. This can without a doubt delete the stresses identified with cholesterol in nuts, along these lines, making it an extraordinary part in dishes or as stand-alone snacks.
Benefits of cashew nuts
There are numerous points of interest to consuming these nuts. Above all else, they hold a ton of vitamins and minerals and that is one excuse for why we may as well guarantee expending these nuts consistently. Not just are cashews extremely flavorful and delicious, there are additionally known to be quite useful for the form and this due to the accompanying explanations:
They hold a high amount of potassium which, thusly, is a basic building piece of the blood. Potassium aides encourage the methodology of blood clotting, therefore helps us adapt effortlessly to wounds or cuts. Individuals who experience the ill effects of the condition haemophilia can additionally profit much from consuming cashew nuts on account of the high potassium content.
Cashew nuts are additionally known to be extraordinary wellsprings of filament. As we know, filament helps our digestive framework capacity well. Cashew nut filament permits us to process our sustenance better, in this way, helping simple defecation. When you have issues concerning customary and simple solid discharge, then it might be fitting to devour tree grown foods, vegetables and nuts that hold much filament. Iron is likewise held in cashew nuts. When you need press in your eating regimen, then you turn into an anaemic. Having anaemia is a condition wherein there are insufficient red platelets to convey oxygen all around your physique. Assuming that you are anaemic, then your different organs might be influenced and the level of vigor you have from regular can likewise be brought down. That is the reason legitimate oxygen measure ought to be guaranteed and that might be carried out by consuming foods grown from the ground, vegetables and nuts that can hold great measures of iron.
Cashew nuts likewise hold copper. The fundamental motivation behind this supplement is to support the figure in its press retention. As we have said, iron is one vital figure component and if brought with nourishment holding copper, then your physique can ingest the previous better.
Manganese and magnesium are different minerals found in cashew nuts. These two minerals help tissue and unit establishment. When you need your skin to look better or when you need your hair to develop well, then fitting cell and tissue development can help accomplish these objectives. Phosphorus and zinc, which are additionally vital for the working of our physique, can likewise be found in cashew nuts. Riboflavin and thiamine are additionally found in these delectable nuts and can help improve great vision, solid skin and likewise enhances our resistant framework.
Flaxseed oil benefits
July 09, 2012 08:32 AM
Flaxseed oil is extracted from the flax plant which is native to Europe. The flaxseed plant has the botanical name of Linum Usitsissimum and also goes by the name linseed plant. The flax plant is an annual plant which grows to a height of around 1.2 meters. It has glaucous green leaves and normally produces pale blue flowers with five petals. The seeds from this plant are normally brown in color and are contained in a round capsule, these seeds are the ones normally used to produce flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil has also very many health benefits associated with it.
Flaxseed oil extraction
Oil has to be first extracted from the flax plant before it can be used. The oil is usually obtained from the flax seed through a certain physical and chemical processes that are usually aimed at increasing its purity.
The normal procedure is usually to mechanically cold press the seeds so as to produce the oil. Solvent extraction usually follows up if the oil required is to have a high level of purity. The oil obtained is normally clear to yellowish color depending on the level of purity.
Components of flaxseed oil
Linseed oil or flaxseed oil is triglyceride in nature like many other types of essential oils. The main components of the oil include: Omega 3 fatty acid this acid is very essential to the body but has to be obtained from external sources since the body cannot make it. Omega 9 or oleic fatty acid, Omega 6 fatty acid or linoleic acid, Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant for the body system.
The combined effect of these compounds usually provides the body with a lot of health benefits. The health benefits associated with linseed oil have been known for thousands of years and there is documented cases of its use amongst the ancient Romans.
Some of the benefits associated with linseed oil include Cardiovascular well being.
This is one of the most important health benefits associated with the use of this kid of oil. Omega 3 or alpha-linoleic fatty acid is the compound which is attributed to a healthy heart and cardiovascular well being of an individual. This fatty acid acts as a lubricating cushion and hence helps to counteract the stresses the body might undergo. It also has anti inflammatory properties.
It is also important in maintaining the rigidity of cell membranes and also lowers the amount of harmful cholesterol within the body.
The omega 3 that is contained in flaxseed oil has got anti inflammatory properties that makes it an effective tool against arthritis as it reduces the inflammation of joints.
Reduces risk of cancer
Vitamin E contained within flaxseed oil has got anti-oxidant properties which make sit effective against the occurrence of cancer. Omega 3 has also got anticancer propertiesHealthy skin The compounds that make up flaxseed oil are very effective in the elimination of eczema and acne. Therefore, the use of cosmetic products which have linseed oil incorporated in them can go a long way in ensuring that an individual has a young and beautiful skin.
Increases calcium absorption
Research has shown that linseed oil increases calcium absorption within the body. This is very important for women who are in the post- menopausal period as their bone density normally drops during this period and they require increased calcium intake. Linseed oil has also instrumental in burning calories and also increases the body's metabolic rate. It is therefore recommended that an individual should incorporate this oil into h9is or her diet.
Melatonin spray: The Perfect Remedy for Insomnia
May 10, 2012 11:02 AM
Are you experiencing difficulty in sleeping or feel tired in the morning every day? Probably you are suffering from insomnia. Getting enough sleep is an aspect that you cannot just choose to overlook. Receiving the desired amount of sleep helps your body in a plethora of ways. Most people even get overstressed due to lack of sleep, an aspect that can even adversely affect their quality of life in the long term and short term both. Sleep helps to boost the immune system, repair damaged cells, boost your thinking capacity and also generally helps the body to deal with the daily stresses in life.
If at all you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, you most definitely have visited your local healthcare provider recently. If they prescribed some medication for you, do they really seem to work?
You might have gotten prescription of NyQuil and Tylenol. If these options do not work, there is only one way out that case, and that is the use of melatonin spray. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland that is located at the center of the brain. As experts state, this gland is normally inactive during the day but later during the night, it secretes melatonin into the blood stream. Melatonin is normally produced between nine at night till sunrise. The amount of melatonin produced by the body tends to reduce with age. Children produce more melatonin than adults. This explains why most cases of sleeping disorders are reported in the elderly rather than kids.
Melatonin is sold as a sleeping aid in many different forms. You most likely know about the capsules. Most of these pills do not work for many people unless they are taken for some time so that the system can get used to. Due to the limitations and lack of effectiveness witnessed in the use of capsules, companies manufacturing synthetic melatonin have now started producing melatonin spray. The melatonin spray has a higher absorption rate as compared to pills and thus more effective.
So how does melatonin spray work?
Well, this sleeping support spray helps melatonin to distribute and get absorbed evenly into the system without necessarily having to interfere with other minerals, supplements and food vitamins. If at all you are part of the population that is experiencing difficulty in sleeping, do not waste much of your time investing in less effective over the counter pills such as Tylenol PM. You can do your body a very big favor by adopting the use of melatonin spray.
This kind of spray works effectively to ensure that you regain back your sleep. It is also safer to use as compared to other sleeping aids. At least with this option, you do not have to keep worrying about side effects meaning that this is a much safer alternative. Even though the benefits you would gain from the use of melatonin spray are numerous, the safety of this alternative is still in question in various parts of the globe. It is therefore important for you to consult your doctor before you can start using this sleep aid. Working with your doctor is much recommended if at all you suffer from certain health conditions.
Support the Adrenal Glands with Natural Vitamins and Feel the Difference
October 05, 2011 03:50 PM
Your Adrenal Glands, Energy Levels, And How You feel
Our body is a very complex system that needs to be well taken care of through adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Living healthy and right will allow you to reap and experience a better and more comfortable life in the future.
The adrenal glands are one of the most important glands in the body. It can be found on top of your kidneys; however, these two glands that you have in your body are actually different from one another. The center of the gland also known as the adrenaline manufactures epinephrine and is governed by the autonomic nervous system. These vital glands perform special functions that are very essential for life and health. Any alteration in condition would surely have corresponding effects in the body.
For us to keep our adrenal glands healthy, it is very necessary to consume foods that are rich with the following:
B vitamins can help restore the adrenal glands when they are over worked from the stresses of life.
It is inevitable that vitamin C is one of the most useful vitamins for the body because of its capacity to strengthen the immune system hence, keeping you away from the threats of diseases and body disequilibrium. To be more specific, vitamin C is very crucial for adrenal function. The highest concentrations of vitamin C can be found in the brain tissues and in the adrenal glands because the secretion of the vitamin is at its peak during stress. To help your immune function, it is advisable that you will take 500 to 1000 mg of the said vitamin per day.
For optimal adrenal function, it is advisable to take about 100 to 150 mg of pantothenic acid daily because this vitamin B is noted to support and enhance adrenal function as well as correct adrenal deficiency.
Has the innate capacity to prevent adrenal hormones breakdown therefore maintaining optimal levels. Another vital function of licorice is its power to cure indigestion.
If you want to lessen the discomforts that you will feel during low blood sugar episodes, it is advisable for you to consume and take natural remedies and supplementation that are rich with chromium. The Adrenal Stress End has enough chromium content which is highly beneficial for the success of an enzymatic therapy. Experts would recommend taking one to two capsules per day for you to grasp its full effects.
To sum up everything, it is very important to take and engage in measures that could help us achieve optimum level of wellness because if not we will surely suffer from the consequences of being sick brought about by a disequilibrium in the body. Since we all know how important our adrenal glands are and the distinct function that it do for the body, we should do our very best to keep it healthy and well functioning. Vitamin C, licorice, Pantothenic acid, and chromium are just few of the important elements that you should provide your adrenal glands. Taking these would make you feel better and secured.
Ginseng, Its Good For The Body
October 05, 2009 11:35 AM
Ginseng, one of the oldest and most beneficial herbs in the world, is probably the most popular herb used in traditional medicine. It was rated the highest and most potent of herbs in Shen-Nung’’s Pharmacopoeia in AD 206-220. People in northern China began using ginseng thousands of years ago. Early herbalists recognized the shape of ginseng as resembling a human figure, feeling this was a sign that the root was important for healing the entire body. Often, ginseng is referred to as the “man root” and is often the subject of many legends and fold history. The Chinese revered the ginseng root so highly that they even fought wars over the land used for growing this herb.
There are many different types of the ginseng plant that are grown throughout the world and used for traditional medicine. All of the most common species of plants known as ginseng have similar reactions in the body. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogen herb, helping to normalize and adjust the body. This herb also restores and regulates natural immune response. Ginseng helps produce adjustments as needed in the body without side effects or harm. This herb has been used to help normalize blood pressure. This adaptogen helps to modify the effects of the environmental and internal stresses from various sources like chemical pollutants, radiation, some poisons, weather, temperature changes, poor diet and exercise, and emotional stress. Used for many ailments, ginseng is thought of as a universal cure-all, promoting longevity in general.
A great variety of studies have been done in many countries to determine the effectiveness of ginseng. In some instances, incomplete results have occurred. However, there have been enough credible studies done to now determine that high-quality ginseng plants do contain active constituents that are very beneficial to the body. Research has even shown that the roots are effective against bronchitis and heart disease.
There has been a lot of interest in the alleged aphrodisiac effects of ginseng. Often marketed as a sexual stimulant, the results of most studies have been inconclusive. Ginseng does increase the sperm count. For thousands of years, ginseng has been used to strengthen the male reproductive system. It is highly recommended alone or in combinations for both male and female health.
Ginseng contains at least thirteen known triterpenoid saponins, which are referred to as ginsenosides. These are thought to be the most important active constituents. Many other minor components have been isolated as well. The age, location, species, and curing method of each plant effects the composition. Some of the plants tend toward stimulating and warming effects, while others have relaxing and cooling effects.
The root of the ginseng plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, ginseng is extremely beneficial in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression, lack of endurance, fatigue, fevers, hemorrhage, hormone imbalance, sexual stimulation, and stress.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating aging, anemia, bleeding, blood diseases, bronchitis, and cancer, lack of concentration, gastric disorders, indigestion, inflammation, impotence, insomnia, liver disorders, and lung disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by ginseng, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
June 26, 2009 12:15 PM
Depression affects 22 percent of Americans between the ages of eighteen and older each year. It is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. Depression affects both young and old, and women twice as much as men. Depression is an illness of the whole body. It affects the nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. It also affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you react to and think about the people and things around you. Symptoms of depression can last for weeks, months, or years. There are various types of depression, which vary in the number of symptoms, the severity, and persistence.
People with depression generally withdraw and hide from society, losing interest in things around them and becoming incapable of experiencing pleasure. Symptoms of depression include chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, restlessness, irritability, quickness to anger, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Many people who are depressed think about death and consider suicide. Things appear bleak and time seems to pass slowly. Someone with depression can be chronically angry and irritable, sad and despairing, or display little or no emotion at all. Some people try to sleep off depression, while others do nothing but sit or lie around.
There are three main types of clinical depression: major depressive disorder, dysthmyic disorder, and bipolar depression. There are variations in the number of associated mental symptoms, severity, and persistence within these types. Dysthmic disorder is a chronic, but less severe type of depresses ion. It is characterized by milder, persistent symptoms that may last for years. It usually doesn’t interfere with everyday tasks. Bipolar disorders usually begin as depression but progress into alternating episodes of depression and mania, characterized by abnormally and persistently elevated mood, energy, restlessness, or irritability. Bipolar depression is commonly known as manic depression. It has other symptoms including inflated self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep, and increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, physical agitation, and excessive risk-taking.
The causes of depression are not fully understood. However, it is assumed that there are most likely many and they are varied. Depression may be triggered by tension, stress, a traumatic life event, a hyper-stimulated immune system, chemical imbalances in the brain, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, the consumption of sugar, mononucleosis, lack of exercise, endometriosis, any serious physical disorder, or even allergies. Whatever the factors that trigger it, depression starts with a disturbance in the part of the brain that governs moods. Most people can handle everyday stresses, with their bodies simply readjusting to these pressures. When stress is too great for a person and his or her adjustment mechanism is unresponsive, depression may be triggered.
The following vitamin nutrients are helpful for those who are suffering from depression: essential fatty acids, 5-HTP, L-tyrosine, SAMe, taurine, omega-3, vitamin B complex, zinc, choline, calcium, magnesium, chromium, GABA, lithium, NADH, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: lemon balm, ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root, oat straw, peppermint, Siberian ginseng, kava kava, and St. John’s wort.
Great vitamin supplements like the ones listed above are available at your local or internet health food store. When looking for natural vitamin supplements, always look for name brands to ensure that you receive a high quality and pure product.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Protect The Liver with Glutathione And Cysteine
April 23, 2009 01:54 PM
The tripeptide L-glutathione is synthesized in the body from L. glutamic acid, L-cysteine and glycine, a reaction that can occur in any cell of the body although it is essential that it also occurs in the liver. Should glutathione concentrations drop, they can be increased by supplementing with cysteine or any other of the three amino acids that are used in the biosynthesis of this important if substance
The tripeptide exists in two forms: the reduced form (GSH) which contains a sulfhydryl (SH) functional group attached to the cysteinyl part of the molecule, and the oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). As electrons are lost from the reduced form, two molecules combine to create a dimer formed by a disulfide bridge, the process which can be reversed through reduction of the GSSG. Such electrons are lost during its reaction with free radicals, in which the free radicals are neutralized by the donation of an electron from the oxidized version of glutathione.
The definition of a free radical is a molecule that is lacking one electron from an electronic pair. Its prime purpose is then to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to it. In doing so, it can not only destroy that molecule, but also destroy body cells and lead, not only to premature aging, but also to some potentially fatal conditions.
It is an unusual peptide in that it involves a link between the cysteine amino grouping and the carboxyl functional group of the glutamic acid. It is a powerful antioxidant, acting as an effective free radical scavenger and protecting the body cells from the effects of free radical oxidation. However, it is on its detoxification effect in the liver that we shall focus here prior to discussing some other uses to which the body puts glutathione in its two manifestations.
Much of the detoxification is connected with the thiol group in the molecule. Take mercury for example. The thiol grouping forms a strong Hg-sulfydryl chemical bond within the liver, in the form of a glutathione-mercury chelate. In this form mercury is unable to exert any toxic effect on the body and can be excreted in the normal manner. The same reactive pathway is followed by other heavy metals that can bond to thiol groupings. In this way L-glutathione can protect the liver from the effects of a number of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and chromium.
This is an important property of the amino acid, particularly in industrial and urban environments where the population is more prone to exposure to heavy metals than their rural counterparts. However, the end result on the glutathione is that it is removed from the body, and, particularly with city dwellers, a supplement may be required to maintain a healthy concentration of this amino acid in the body and in particular in the liver. Therefore, although L-glutathione is not considered an essential amino acid, in that it is biosynthesized within the body, a supplement is sometimes required, particularly by those who live in large cities.
It is important to consider the form in which the glutathione supplement is administered. This is because of the presence of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase within the digestive system. This enzyme appears to destroy L-glutathione before it can be absorbed in the intestine so normal oral forms of supplementation are likely to be ineffective. Possible forms of effective administration include buccal (between the cheek and teeth) and hypodermically.
An alternative means of supplementation is to take substances such as selenium, methionine, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and glutamine that stimulate the biosynthesis of glutathione. Also, since the substance utilizes the raw materials of L-cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine in its intracellular production, supplementation with these amino acids should also help to produce L-glutathione.
That said, let's return to its antioxidant properties and its effect on the liver that contains the largest stocks of glutathione in the body. It is generally regarded as the most important antioxidant in the body. It protects cellular cytoplasm from oxidation by reducing disulfide groups and maintaining a highly reducing environment within the cytoplasm. It reacts with hydrogen peroxide and other oxidative agents, and is converted to the oxidized form GSSG. It is then reduced back to GSH through the combination of the reducing agent and an enzyme. The reducing agent is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), the enzyme being glutathione reductase.
The implications that this strong reducing effect has on the liver are significant. Reduced GSH L-glutathione levels have been found in patients suffering from HIV, hepatitis C and other liver diseases. Supplementation with GSH has been found to restore normal levels of glutathione to the liver, and it has been demonstrated that the treatment has improved such conditions significantly.
Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries caused by the deposition of plaques formed from oxidized low-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. The strong antioxidant effect of GSH prevents this from LDLs from being oxidized and deposited on the arterial wall. There are other results of glutathione supplementation that indicate the effectiveness of antioxidants in the treatment of serious liver conditions, and there are no doubts that combating the effects of free radicals and oxidizing agents within the liver has a positive effect on many potentially serious liver diseases.
Many of these are exacerbated by the generation of free radicals by relatively modern pollution sources such as pesticides, petrol and diesel emissions, tobacco fumes and various other chemical emissions. A strong antioxidant such as L-glutathione cannot be anything other than an effective means of reducing the biological effect of these oxidants. It protects not only the liver but also the lungs and cardiovascular system.
For all these reasons a supplement consisting of L-glutathione or its constituent parts, glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine, provide significant protection against the stresses and strains of modern living. Increased pollution levels and heightened oxidative stress levels within the body are playing havoc with our body defenses, and GSH is an important one of them that can easily be enhanced by supplementation. There are no known reactions to L-glutathione supplementation, but pregnant women and babies should receive expert medical advice prior to taking it.
June 03, 2008 01:11 PM
Mental disorders, including depression, affect more than 22 percent of adults in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The stressful way in which we live contributes to this percentage of unhappy people. People feel pressure on the job and are being rushed all the time. We eat fast food on the run due to time constraints and have less time to exercise. This combination of factors leads to moodiness and irritability. It also detracts from our overall happiness.
Whether you typically experience seasonal sadness or have been diagnosed with depression, there is help available. You don't have to accept feeling down as part of life. Nor do you have to deal with the unwanted side effects that come with taking a prescribed antidepressant or anxiety medication. All you need to take the edge off of life is natural albizzia flowers. This herb provides a natural way to reduce stress.
Albizzia Flowers as a Natural Remedy for Sadness
Albizzia flowers are herbs that have been used by the Chinese for more than 500 years to treat sadness. They also have been used by Korean and Japanese people as a natural remedy for life's stresses.
Taken from the silk tree, albizzia is often referred to as the happy tree. It can be used for a variety of emotional needs, from spiritual disorders to emotional imbalances. It is also known as the Mimosa tree.
Uses for Albizzia Flowers
Albizzia flowers can be used to treat the following:
In essence, this herbal flower provides a gentle calming effect. It works to relieve tension and bring a sense of peace over the body. The herb gives a sense of contentment and comfort, and relieves aches and pains associated with the symptoms above.
Albizzia is especially useful for those dealing with grief. Losing a loved one can feel devastating and overwhelming. Albizzia flowers help to relieve these feelings and can make coping with your loss a little easier.
Antidepressants vs. Natural Herbs to Relieve Depression
Using Albizzia flowers is much safer than taking a prescription antidepressant. Antidepressants are mind-altering drugs that have a list of unhealthy side effects. They can cause you to feel things like dry mouth to headaches. Drugs like Paxil can even increase the risk of suicide in some people. You can avoid these potentially dangerous side effects by using natural herbs to take the edge off of life.
Albizzia is a relaxant and a sedative that works to calm the liver, kidneys and heart. It works to ease and calm the mind and body without the effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Starting with a low dose of 10 drops two to three times per day is recommended. As your body adjusts, you can work your way up to 30-60 drops several times per day.
Though it isn't a miracle herb, Albizzia is a helpful herb that can relax the body and aid mood disorders. It can be used in conjunction with prescription drugs or in place of them to minimize the effects of a stressful lifestyle.
May 17, 2008 10:07 AM
Discovered by Phoebus Levene in 1905, D-ribose is a monosaccharide, and is a component of RNA that is needed for genetic transcription. It is a stereoisomer of ribose, and although not regarded as an essential nutrient since it is synthesized in the body, it is essential for life. It also takes part in human metabolism, helping to generate energy from food, and is a component of all living cells – animal or vegetable. It is contained in ATP and NADH and we could not live without it.
Because it is contained in all living organisms, D-ribose is a common component of the human diet, and required as a supplement only for specific needs. It for this reason that the human species developed and survived: the chemicals needed for life are either commonly found in nature or are manufactured by the body itself from other raw materials which themselves are common in our diet. The other stereoisomer is L-ribose, and this plays no part in human metabolism.
Energy is needed not only to enable us to walk and to run, but also to drive every part of human physiological activity, and all of the physical and chemical processes of life. Because of its nature energy cannot travel round the body in our bloodstream as if were a chemical entity, but must be released or generated where and when it is needed. For that reason every cell in our body contains an area called the mitochondria in which energy is generated. The molecule of energy, if there is such a thing, is called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate.
ATP controls the production of energy everywhere in the body, and allows muscles to contract and relax. This muscular activity is responsible for all movement, including the circulation of our blood through heart contractions, the diaphragm movement that creates the vacuum that allows us to breathe, and the operation of the digestive system by means of the peristaltic motion of the esophagus and the intestines. Each of the two ways in which ATP is generated involves D-ribose.
One is by means of D-ribose being used to produce new ATP, and the other is the recycling of used ATP. In the latter, D-ribose and ATP react to form ADP (adenosine diphosphate and D-ribose-5-phosphate with the release of energy. This diphosphate then reacts again with the ADP to produce new ATP and D-ribose. The reaction is catalyzed by an enzyme known as a ribokinase, a phosphotransferase that specifically catalyzes reactions involving phosphorus groups with an alcohol receptor group.
The heart muscle is operated by means of the calcium pump that depends upon both calcium and ATP for its operation. When ADP and phosphate are created by the effect of calcium and ATP coming together, then energy is provided to the muscle fibers of the heart. ADP then reacts with the phosphate and D-ribose in the presence of magnesium to reform the ATP. ATP is therefore essential for the continuation of the pumping action of the heart that maintains life in all mammals.
D-ribose is also part of the base of RNA and DNA, without which there could be no life. Because the cardiac muscle is easily depleted of ATP, the presence of D-ribose is of extreme importance and it has been proved that cardiac failure begins with the reduction in energy levels of the heart muscle that can be brought about by a lack of ATP in the muscle cells.
An important property of D-ribose is that it is unchanged by the liver, which is the chemical plant of your body in which a large part of the biochemistry needed for life takes place. This means that D-ribose can be taken in the diet and pass through the liver virtually unchanged, and then be transported in the bloodstream to where it is needed for the maintenance of ATP levels. That is why D-ribose is frequently given to treat heart attacks: because it can rapidly replace lost ATP and enable the calcium pump to get to work and keep the heart beating at its normal strength. Maintenance levels of this important sugar would not go amiss.
However, there are other uses to which the body can put this marvelous substance. Among these is the body’s ability to form Coenzyme A from it. This coenzyme is needed in the body for the breakdown of fatty acids, and many other chemical reactions, and also provides the raw material for many other necessary substances in human biochemistry.
Patients with low energy levels can frequently fail to be able to recover from illness. This is because that when illness stresses your body, your mitochondria become overwhelmed with work and begin to fail to produce sufficient ATP to keep the body going. Naturally, as your energy level drops, and your body cells are unable to respond to this, then the condition you are suffering from gets worse, and become stronger leading ultimately to possible death. Your immune system is put under a great deal of stress that uses up what little ATP you have left.
That is why when people start to get really ill, they tend to fade very rapidly: not because of the spread of the disease, but through a reduction in the ATP needed to provide the energy required for the body to fight the disease. Without an adequate supply of energy, your body would rapidly fade.
By taking a D-ribose supplement that passes unchanged right into your bloodstream and taken to where it is needed most, you body can rapidly generate sufficient ATP to keep up the fight against the agent that is making you ill. Your immune system is given a massive energy boost, and more importantly, your heart is kept beating. D-ribose is the answer to the prayer of many sick people, and also to athletes and bodybuilders needing quick bursts of energy. But what did they use before D-ribose was discovered to have the properties that it has?
At one time, it was adenosine monophosphate (that’s right, not ATP or ADP, but AMP) that was administered intravenously to those suffering from chronic fatigue, this substance being synthesized to ATP in the body over a period of time. However, it take a lot of time to be effective, and the injections had to be made daily into the muscle tissue, so it fell out of favor.
Then came an ATP supplement that could be taken orally, but the side effects were unpleasant, and that too went out of favor. However, towards the end of the 1990’s D-ribose was found to overcome all of these disadvantages, and not only be able to be taken orally, but also to work almost immediately by providing the mitochondria with a direct source of the sugar they need to generate energy.
It is now one of the most popular energy providing supplements on the market, and also a remedy for chronic fatigue that helps the patient to overcome energy-sapping medical conditions both directly and by providing the immune system with the energy needed to keep it operating effectively against masses of invading bacteria and viruses. There is nothing better than D-ribose for providing you with the energy boost that you need, whenever you require it, either to provide energy for your sport or to help you overcome illness.
Cherry Fruit Extract
April 28, 2008 02:45 PM
Cherry fruit extract contains organic compounds known as flavanoids, which is a form of phytochemical frequently found in highly colored fruits and vegetables. If you eat a fruit such as pomegranate, blueberry, blackberry or cherry, or if you eat red peppers, aubergines and broccoli, you are eating foods that are rich in flavanoids.
Such foods provide you with remarkable health benefits that your ancestors knew about but did not understand. They ate these highly colored foods because they knew they helped prevent certain medical conditions, and to help others get well faster. They knew nothing about phytochemicals – chemicals contained in plants – or flavanoids, but knew about the results of eating them.
In fact, flavanoids are very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and each of these require more detailed explanation since between them, oxidants and inflammation are responsible for most of the non-infectious common ailments of the human body. First, let’s have a look at antioxidants.
In chemical terms oxidation is the removal of an electron from an atom or molecule. There are species within your body known as free radicals whose sole purpose in their short life is to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to them. This is almost instantaneous, and most free radicals are very short lived. The concept of free radicals roaming your body and your bloodstream waiting to pounce on the first unwary molecule is a fairy tale. In fact the vast majority react as soon as they are formed.
When they do react, they remove an electron from a stable molecule, render it unstable and thus destroy it. If that molecule is part of a cell, and enough of them are robbed of their electrons, then the cell is destroyed. One result in visible terms is wrinkling of your skin, as your skin cells become destroyed, and hence you age quicker. In terms that you are not immediately aware of, oxidation can lead to many unwanted changes in your body.
For example, the low density lipids, that carry the cholesterol in your blood to areas of the body where it is needed, are oxidized by free radicals which causes the LDL to deposit along with their cholesterol on the walls of your arteries as a layer of plaque. Eventually that will build up to constrict the artery and cause a condition known as atherosclerosis – the arteries become blocked, and you can suffer from heart attacks and strokes.
These free radicals are formed by the normal metabolism of the body when energy is created in the cell mitochondria, by pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, and by radiation such as excessive exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight.
Flavanoids, contained in cherry fruit extract, are antioxidants, which prevent this oxidation of body cells from taking place. They do so by being in the right place at the right time. If a flavanoid molecule is close to a free radical when it is generated, then the antioxidant will reduce the free radical and neutralize it.
If you eat a lot of cherries, or drink cherry fruit extract, you will be consuming a massive amount of flavanoids molecules that are ready and willing to destroy these free radicals. However, that is not all that flavanoids do. They are also, as has already been stated, anti-inflammatories.
The inflammatory response is the reaction of the body to a foreign presence such as bacteria. The tissues around the infected area receive an increased blood supply, and the cell walls produce gaps allowing the large immune system blood cells, or macrophages, to pass through. The temperature around the area increases due to the concentration of blood, and this itself is controlled by the body since bacteria die off after a certain body temperature has been reached, hence the reason for fever in the immune response.
The area swells up due to the concentration of fluid and protein, and becomes painful due to pressure on nerve endings. Anti-inflammatories, such as the flavanoids, work to relieve the symptoms of inflammation without interfering with the way the immune system deals with infection.
Many inflammatory conditions occur without any apparent reason, and while anti-inflammatories might not be used to suppress the immune system, it is used in such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis where the inflammation is a mis-firing of the immune system. Cherry fruit extract can be used to alleviate many similar conditions such as gout, and osteoarthritis where its use is well known and recorded.
It can also be used to help reduce the effects of atherosclerosis through its anti-oxidant properties, and cherries contain, not only a good supply of flavanoids, but also anthocyanins, another group of powerful antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C which is also a strong antioxidant.
Another property of flavanoids is their collagen strengthening properties, which they achieve by cross-linking the fibers to form a string fibrous network. That can be used to strengthen the walls of veins, and render them less liable to stretch or expand, thus providing them with the rigidity needed to prevent varicose veins caused by the puddling of blood below weak valves. They have the same effect on arteries, providing increased strength and a reduction in the blood pressure needed to pump blood round the body.
A good intake of cherry fruit in your diet will help to improve the condition of your cartilage and other connective tissue in addition to your veins and arteries, and is particularly appropriate for athletes who place great stresses on connective tissues such as the tendons that transfer muscular energy to the levers – the long bones.
In summary, then, cherry fruit extract and the flavanoids and anthocyanins it contains, posses properties to help relieve the symptoms of gout, and various forms of arthritis, to reduce the likelihood of cholesterol oxidation that leads to heart disease and strokes, to help strengthen the walls of veins and arteries and to improve the strength of connective tissue such as cartilage and tendons.
In other words, to improve the quality of life of the majority of the population that suffers from one or more of these conditions. After learning about the health benefits of cherries and all the mounting evidence in research, my question to you is why did the FDA make cherry farmers pull the health benefits of cherries from their websites with threats of legal action if not removed? Makes a person wonder who is on our side and who isn’t?
Support Healthy Joint Function With Discount Vitamins
November 22, 2007 11:05 AM
The joints are very important to your mobility and it is essential that you support health joint function with discount vitamins. The reason for discounted vitamins is that there is no need for you to pay more than you have to, and good healthy bones and joints need a good supply of several vitamins, minerals and other substances to remain healthy throughout your lifetime.
Vitamins C and D, and calcium and magnesium are the more common supplements that help to promote joint health, but glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatine also play a large part. Although the strength of the bone is important, it is disorders of the connective tissue that are mostly responsible for joint problems. Connective tissue holds the joint together and prevents excessive friction between bones.
Arthritis in both its forms – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – is characterized by a reduction in the cartilage tissue that provides a lining between the bones that make up the joint. As the cartilage becomes worn or its structure destroyed, the bones are exposed to each other and this causes the frictional damage that is osteoarthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, the connective tissue and cartilage are attacked by the body’s immune system, causing inflammation. The reason for this is still unknown, but the inflammation leads to swelling of the joint and severe pain.
Both of these conditions can be helped by the use of glucosamine, a natural substance produced by the body to form cartilage and stimulate the formation of connective tissue. Normally taken in the form of the sulfate, glucosamine reduces arthritic pain, and over time can start to rebuild the lost cartilage. It is best taken in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate which is a substance also contained in cartilage and connective tissue.
A discount vitamin supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin can help to avoid these conditions from occurring. Rheumatoid arthritis also responds well to anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Much of the damage to the joint tissues can be caused by the action of free radicals that are aggressively destructive molecules created by the effects of pollution such as smoking, pesticides, heavy metals, alcohol and they are also produced by many of the processes occurring inside our bodies. The immune system itself creates free radicals to use as a weapon against invaders.
A free radical is a molecule that has lost an electron, especially an oxygenated molecule. The objective of such a molecule is to get back its electron, and it will do that by oxidizing any molecules it comes across: oxidation is the removal of an electron from a substance. Oxidation can destroy cell molecules which is why the aging process occurs through the destruction of body cells through the effect of oxidation by free radicals. They can also destroy the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.
The molecules that can prevent this are caused antioxidants, and include some of the well known vitamins such as A, C and E, and also other substances such as Coenzyme Q10, fatty acids such as those in Omega 3 fish oils, beta carotene and the minerals zinc and copper are also effective at reducing the inflammation cause by free radical oxidation. These vitamins and minerals will not reduce the pain in your joints, but will relieve other symptoms such as the inflammation, and help the joint to recover.
Vitamin D is another that can help to cause arthritis and joint problems if you are deficient in it. Vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon, especially in those who live in northern climates where they do not get much sunlight. This vitamin helps to build cartilage and to maintain healthy bone density. Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs, but the majority of people suffer a deficiency, if only slight in many cases. Discount vitamin supplements containing all of these vitamins and minerals will help to maintain healthy joints. Vitamin A is available naturally from eggs yolks, oily fish and dairy products, and most people know that vitamin C is obtained from fresh fruit and vegetables, especially the highly colored foods that are also rich in other antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids.
Rich sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and wheat germ. Taking Omega 3 oil supplements will not prevent arthritis, but will help to relieve the inflammation and hence the pain. However, in spite of all of this, the only vitamin that has been extensively tested on patients suffering from osteoarthritis has been vitamin E. It has been established that significant improvements in the condition of patients were achieved by administering from 400-600 International Units (I.U.) of vitamin E daily for two weeks.
Another substance that is a component of connective tissue and that can be taken to help rebuild what is lost in joint disease is hyaluronic acid. This chemical is found all over the body, and involved in the structure of many types of connective tissue, including the joints, the vitreous humor of the eyes and heart valves. In the joints it is rich in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints, and also found in cartilage.
Although hyaluronic acid is contained in chicken soup, it is obtained mainly from rooster combs, then treated to reduce its molecular size so that it can be absorbed. Anybody allergic to chicken should seek their doctor’s advice on taking hyaluronic acid as a supplement.
It is highly recommended that a vitamin supplement be taken by anybody suffering from any form of arthritis or joint disease, but it is glucosamine that appears the best treatment for long term success. Glucosamine is a very large molecule, and it is difficult to get it to the site of the problem. To get to the joint, the molecule has to pass through the capillaries, and very few glucosamine molecules can actually achieve that.
That is why the doses are so large, so that even if only a small percentage gets to the joint then that is enough to help rebuild cartilage. The antioxidants help to destroy the root cause of many forms of joint disease: the free radicals and anti-inflammatories can help relieve pain. However glucosamine and chondroitin not only relieve the pain, but also continue to work over time to repair the joint tissues. As with most supplements the body can only absorb so much glucosamine, only consume 500mg at a time but take it two to three times each day for best results.
Glucosamine is often provided in conjunction with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) that is a natural form of dietary sulfur. Sulfur is believed to be essential for healthy soft connective tissues, tendons and so on. Calcium, too, is a useful supplement to take since it help to recover the bone density, but keep in mind that vitamin D is essential for the uptake of calcium, so a vitamin D supplement will be required along with the calcium. Although calcium will not in itself help joint disease, it will help to main a good bone density that is more capable of withstanding the stresses of a reducing cartilage density.
There is therefore quite a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other substances that can help to support healthy joint function, and also to help repair joint damage, and discount vitamins are the best way to tackle the problem of maintaining a good intake of those that are most effective, namely, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, vitamins A, C, D and E, and supplemental MSM, hyaluronic acid and calcium.
You do not need them all, but only testing will enable you to decide which work for you. You should also contact your physician before taking discount vitamin supplements if you have any other medical problems.
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be expelled by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
Adapt To The Stresses Of Life with Herbal Adaptogens
October 18, 2007 11:13 AM
Life today places a number of different types of stresses upon us. There are the normal stresses of living, of facing problems at work, financial worries and family stresses. Schedules are becoming busier as we try to pack more and more into each day, and relaxation time is cut to a minimum. For many of us, the stress starts when we waken and rush through breakfast, if we have time for one, to catch the bus or train to work, or to slip into the morning traffic rush that takes us an hour to travel 10 miles or less.
Once at work we have problems to deal with that continue throughout a rushed lunch period, and then back to the stress of trying to return home in the evening to open the bills and check if we have enough in the bank to pay them. However, that is not all.
Our environment is continually changing, and our bodies are subject to the stresses of pollution from the planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention the pesticides, preservatives plastics and harsh lighting. The noise of air conditioning and the continual musak of the stores and shopping malls and everything else that goes to completely stress us out, weekdays and weekends.
That is ignoring the smog, the disappearing ozone layer and increased UV radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, El Nino and everything else that causes worry or affects the delicate balance of the body’s biochemistry. Rather than adapting to our environment we are continually striving to adapt the environment to suit our needs. We should develop a flexibility of mind and body so that we can survive these modern-day stresses, and this is where the substances known as adaptogens are important.
Adaptogens help us to adapt to the environment and withstand the stresses of modern life. The term was first used by Russian N.V. Lazarev in 1947 who defined an adaptogen as a substance meeting three specific criteria: it should cause a minimal disruption to the normal physiological function of the body, it must work by means of a range of chemical, physical and biochemical factors rather than through one specific action and must have an overall effect of normalization, so that no condition is aggravated to improve another.
There are a large number of identified adaptogens, among them several forms of ginseng: Panax, American, Siberian and Japanese; licorice, schizandra berries, rhodiola and others. These adaptogens tend to work in the body by improving the body’s availability and use of energy, improving the efficiency of removal of the metabolic waste and by-products, supporting the adrenal function so that the effects of stress are reduced or countered, improving the utilization of oxygen and helping to build up body tissue. In general the body works more efficiently in generating and using energy, muscle tissue and counteracting the effects of modern day stress, both environmental and psychological.
Of the ginsengs, Panax is very expensive for regular use, although many people prefer it. However, studies have shown that Siberian, or eleuthero ginseng, is a stronger adaptogen that Panax which is also called Korean or Chinese ginseng. In fact the other forms, including American and Japanese, tend to over-stimulate the body, and can also cause unwanted side effects such as constipation and over-excitement. The Siberian ginseng tends not to show these symptoms.
Siberian ginseng contains seven active substances known as eleutherosides A – F which are not present in the other ginsengs. These substances appear to have several properties that have been clinically proven. For example, they relieve insomnia, one of the symptoms of stress, high and low blood pressure, bronchitis, various forms of neuroses and, it is claimed, also some types of cancer. Siberian ginseng also allows humans to withstand noise, heat and extra stresses caused by severe workloads. It improves athletic performance and allows people to improve their work output under a variety of stresses. Athletes can train harder and recover quicker.
Another adaptogen is schizandra berries (also called schizandra chinensis and magnolia vine). Chinese herbalists class medicinal herbs by the five different flavors, sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. Schizandra berries possess all five, and are therefore considered by the Chinese to balance all the systems of the body.
It is used in the West as a stress reducing adaptogen and is also included in sports and weight loss formulae. It helps insomnia and improves endurance and mental coordination. Schizandra is believed to be a good tonic for the liver and is often used in combination with Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and licorice. The latter is another popular herb in China that is said to be a good tonic for the spleen. Licorice itself is a known anti-inflammatory since it contains flavanoids and saponins that promote the immune system. Licorice is thought be a useful supplement for HIV patients due to its effect on the immune system. It also increases corticosteroid levels by inhibiting the liver’s ability to break down adrenal hormone. However, people with high blood pressure should be careful with licorice since it can cause sodium retention. Like any other medication, you should seek your physician’s advice if you have any existing conditions.
Rhodiola, also referred as roseroot, is used for improved memory and enhanced vitality and it can also be used as a mood modifier. It is used by athletes of all types for increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and muscle recovery time. The Russians call it ‘Golden Root’ and it is a safe and effective adaptogen.
More and more people are turning to adaptogens to help them cope with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, and they are becoming increasingly available from ordinary health stores. If you are finding it difficult to stay energetic and active then try them out. Not all work with every individual, but there is a large variety to choose from and most people are able to find an adaptogen that suits them and enables them to adapt to the stresses of daily life.
Supplements for Sexual health!
April 17, 2007 02:35 PM
Improving Sexual Performance Naturally
Sex. It’s everywhere. It’s on TV (a lot!). It’s in the books we read and the movies we watch. Even the radio seems a veritable hot bed of sex. (what would hard rock, soft jazz, or Motown classics be without songs about sex?) Magazines are full of sex and it’s not just the “naughty” ones with glossy centerfolds. From Sports Illustrated to Good Housekeeping, sex makes for titillating headlines and cover stories. In fact, 21st Century
No one really knows for sure how many of the 113 million married Americans are living as couples with DINS (dual income, no sex). Estimates range from 15 to 50 percent. Even couples who have sex fairly often feel like they’re not having enough sex or that it’s not as enjoyable as it was in the past, or both. And while women are stereotyped as the sex refusers and avoiders, surveys show that both women and men decline spousal advances fairly equally.
What’s really interesting about this lack of sexual activity in
As a medicine hunter, I have discovered effective plants and herbs al over the planet that really do improve orgasms in women and erections in men. Now it’s your turn. I’m going to teach you how to enhance your sexuality and introduce you to an entire arsenal of libido lifting plants to help make sex fun, vibrant, and satisfying for both you and your partner.
Q. These plants sound too good to be true. Do they really work?
A. Yes, they do. Part of their success is their ability to work with your body’s innate mechanisms for healthy sex. Good sex is much more than just stimulated body parts. But it’s a good place to start!
A man needs an erect penis that remains firm past foreplay and on into intercourse. He also needs to sustain that erection and experience forceful and pleasurable ejaculation when he and his partner are both ready for his orgasm. A woman needs to feel desire and feel desired for her nipples to be aroused, her clitoris stimulated, and her vagina lubricated – the basics leading to her orgasm.
Plants that enhance sex can help men and women obtain these bare necessities of sex. And unlike other supplements, you’ll know if the medicinal plant you’ve purchased is actually doing what it promised to do. You can’t really tell if the calcium supplement you take each day is making your bones stronger. But you will be able to tell pretty soon if Catuaba, for example, is increasing your sexual desire.
Q. Night after night, my husband falls asleep on the sofa. And the honest to goodness truth is that I’m too tired for sex, too. I love my husband and once upon a time I loved sex. But my job, the kids, those never-ending errands, and trying to keep up with the laundry are too exhausting. Is there a plant that can rev us up?
A. Many women are in the same sexless boat you’re sailing around in and they don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, women all over the world put their family’s needs before their own, leading to some very tired moms and wives.
Life’s demands can also impair sexual performance in men. Work stressors, family demands, and home maintenance result in fatigue and lack of energy. Men find that they have no energy left to devote to to sex at the end of the day.
But, over 80 percent of married couples in the world have at their disposal a health care system that integrates sex into their personal health and well being. For centuries, millennia actually, practitioners of traditional medicine have prescribed Maca and Rhodiola to reduce “sexual fatigue” in women and men who are just too tired to make love.
Q. Since I had a baby four months ago, I have no desire for sex. This is making my husband pretty frustrated and me too, actually. I’d love to want sex again.
A. A married woman with a baby and a toddler or two can feel that her body isn’t really hers. So much for feeling sexy! While this fact can be a source of great pride and joy, it can also drain desire.
As women enter perimenopause – those years when they are still menstruating despite fluctuating estrogen levels – they often have no desire for sex. Since estrogen is the engine that drives women’s reproductive function, when it starts to go, sex goes too. Women who have reached menopause may find their minds wandering during sex. Pondering the car’s need for an oil change or if the milk in the refrigerator has reached its expiration date makes for pretty blah sex. It also makes it nearly impossible to achieve orgasm.
Once more, traditional medicine has some answers:
Q. My husband has a desire for sex, but sometimes it’s not enough. Even if we’re both in the mood, he can’t maintain his erection very long. It’s very frustrating for us both.
A. For men it’s often their equipment that lets them down. As men age, they find they can’t get an erection hard enough or keep an erection long enough to satisfy their partners and themselves.
While women can fake an orgasm if they’re tired, men have to perform every single time they have sex. Luckily, Mother Nature can help:
Q. There are hundreds of supplements that claim to make men hard and women weak with desire. I’ve tried some of these, and they don’t do anything. When should I believe that the herbs and plan medicines you have discovered are nay better?
A. There are a lot of “snake oil” companies out there pitching products that promise to improve our sex lives but do absolutely nothing. One reason for this glut of useless supplements is simple demand. Men and women trying to make their sex lives better, are willing to give most products the benefit of the doubt and buy one or two. Sex sells – and even products that are purchased one time only will make big profits.
To get the most for your money, make sure the sexual supplement you are considering is from a well-respected manufacturer. Ask store staff, surf the Internet, and do some searching for the best nutraceutical companies. Make sure the herbs are standardized and that the extracts are concentrated fro optimal benefit.
Q. Are these sex-enhancing plants safe?
A. Despite years of use by practitioners of traditional medicine, significant adverse effects have not been reported for most sex-enhancing plants. However, men who have already been diagnosed with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, prostate problems, or other illnesses should use caution when selecting any health supplement. The same advice applies to women, especially women who are pregnant or nursing. And always remember to keep your doctor informed about the supplements you are using, especially if you are also taking prescription drugs. But the sex-enhancing plants have been traveling on planet Earth for a long, long time. And hopefully they’ll be here for lot longer, continuing to work effectively and go about their business of safely improving orgasms and erections and making sex great for men and women all over the world.
Q. OK, exactly how did early native healers figure out which plants improve sex? Was it just simple trial and error?
A. It does seem pretty remarkable that tribal peoples have discovered the right plants to treat diseases and improve health without modern day scientific advances.
From my many years as a “medicine hunter” in rainforests and grasslands and marshes and mountains, I’ve learned that healing plants exist for virtually every health need. It’s up to the medicine man or women to put the plant into practice. These healers have been able to do this successfully for thousands of people, by intensively studying and working with the plants. By putting themselves into the plant’s world, becoming part of the world around them, native healers have intuitively discovered which plant helps which disease. It wasn’t mere luck that brought all those plants and all those healers together. It was the natural and spiritual connection existing between the two.
Q. Are there other “natural” remedies we can use to improve our sex lives?
A. The easiest way to naturally enhance your sex life is to practice, practice, practice! Because if you don’t use it, you might lose it. Studies have shown that couples in the Amazon rainforest as well as couples in the concrete jungle of New York City have better sex lives if thy make sex a priority. All the sex-enhancing plants in the world are useless if the men and women taking them don’t put them to the test.
Men who smoke need to quit. Research has shown that cigarettes send men’s sex lives up in smoke. Men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes daily have a 60 percent higher risk of erectile dysfunction compared to men who never smoked. That’s because smoking decreases blood flow making it difficult for men to obtain an erection.
And finally, since sex is a visual and tactile endeavor, there are quite natural and creative ways to give it a boost. Visually stimulating images can arouse even the tiredest of the tired. Premiere Magazine recently compiled a list of the most erotic movie sex scenes ever. You don’t have to feel embarrassed when renting these movies (as you might with pornography) at the video store and they are guaranteed to light up your life:
2. Hilary Swank pleasuring Chloe Sevigny in BOYS DON’T CRY (1999)
3. Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani making love in MEET JOE BLACK (1998)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio drawing Kate Winslet in the nude in TITANIC (1997)
5. Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs while she is being interrogated in a room full of en in BASIC INSTINCT (1992)
6. Patrick Swazye and Demi Moore in the pottery secene early on in GHOST (1990)
7. Michael Douglas and Glenn Close having sex in an elevator in FATAL A TTRACTION (1987)
8. Mickey Rourke caressing Kim Basinger’s body with an ice cube in 9 1.2 WEEKS (1986)
9. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner having sex in BODY HET (1981)
10. Julie Christine and Donald Sutherland making love in DON’T LOOK NOW (1973)
11. Rita Hayworth flipping back her hair and singing “Put The Blame on Mame” in FILDA (1946)
One Important Last Point
Sex always has consequences. And improving your sex life does not eliminate the requirement to practice it responsibly. Sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS must be prevented, pregnancy must be considered and consent between partners must exist.
Sexual activity keeps us connected – both tangibly and spiritually to our heart’s desire. It helps us feel secure and well loved and adds to our self esteem. In other words, good sex is important to good life.
But all of us need a little help now and then. Sex-enhancing plants that have been used for thousands of years by millions of people provide that help. You can have actual sexual healing with effective sexual supplements and maybe find out what you’ve been missing.
After all, 80 percent of the world’s married couples can’t be wrong!
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Air Defense from Now Foods
October 03, 2006 01:36 PM
When it comes to good health, you are constantly on the frontline of defense against an Army of environmental invaders. Exhaust, smoke, airborne toxins and a flurry of other environmental antagonists can make it difficult for even the healthiest of individuals to keep their guard up. Factor this into today’s fast paced, on the go lifestyles, and the need for powerful immune supporting nutrition becomes all to real.
Introducing New Air Defense Immune Booster, from Now Foods. This optimally balanced immune system supplement was scientifically formulated to provide some of the industry’s most trusted cellular safeguards, in one convenient, easy to use formula. One of its most impressive compounds is Paractin – a patented extract of Andrographis Paniculata that has been shown in studies to significantly increase the immune system’s production of interferon gamma (IFNg). Interleukin-s (IL-2), and T-cells. Collectively, these infection-fighting cells make up the body’s primary line of defense against scores of everyday threats.*
Many experts agree that the upcoming flue season could potentially be one of the most devastating and widespread on record. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated Paractin’s ability to significantly increase cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in response to stresses, such as those commonly encountered during seasonal changes. By stimulating the body’s natural defense mechanisms, Paractin has been shown to increase the body’s production of cytokines – a key factor in healthy immune system response.*
Each serving delivers an impressive 1,000 mg of free radical quenching vitamin C along with an herbal complex of Astragalus, Elderberry, Echinacea, ImmunEnhancer AG (Arabinogalactan, from Larch Tree) and Olive Leaf. Our expert formulators have also included immune-supporting minerals, such as Zinc and Selenium. This advanced, one-of-a-kind formula unites some of the most trusted nutritional compounds available today, and was scientifically formulated to support healthy immune function during seasonal changes and year-around!
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
Spectral DNC for Hair Loss (Minoxidil 5%)
February 25, 2006 01:54 PM
Holy Basil Trinity Blend Brings back the sunshine!
January 27, 2006 01:24 PM
Holy Basil Trinity Blend Brings back the sunshine!
In this fast-paced, on-the-go world, it’s easy to let stress darken our spirits. Holy Basil Trinity Blend is the FIRST of its kind to combine three unique, standardized extracts of Holy Basil to help you handle stress in a natural, healthy manner.* All Three Holy Basil plant extracts are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, making this a truly stress-free formula.* Plus, the special Trinity Blend provides triple the potency of other competitive products – and it’s less expensive, which means big savings for you!
Holy Basil Trinity Blend:
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Astragalus Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:15 PM
Astragalus Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; Those lacking energy
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: A Chinese “tonic herb” used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for night sweats, diarrhea and lack of energy. Tonic herbs are often known as “adaptogens”, helping the body adapt to stresses and modulating immune system responses. Some reports credit Astragalus with shortening colds and strengthening the heart.Astragalus additionally contains triterpene glycosides, also known as astragalosides.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Vegetarian formula.May be useful to maintain the patient’s immunity in dialysis patients, those with liver problems and those who have suffered from strokes, according to Chinese studies (not as a treatment for those conditions!).
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one to five caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Immune Renew, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and other antioxidants.
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children 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, though there is some (not enough) evidence that Astragalus may balance immune function for at least one autoimmune disorder. 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. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
Organic Life Vitamins
October 13, 2005 11:09 AM
Peter Gillham has formulated a key nutritional step toward obtaining outstanding health and vitality—Organic Life Vitamins. This is a complete liquid multi-vitamin and mineral with some exciting pluses you won’t find elsewhere .
Liquids absorb better. Organic Life Vitamins has been designed for maximum absorption, thereby allowing your body to assimilate vital life-giving nutrients in just minutes!
Another benefit of this liquid formulation—with its delicious berry taste—is that you don’t have to purchase and take numerous pills and capsules in ord e r to give your body what it needs. And, unlike pills, Organic Life Vitamins contains no binders and fillers.
PUTTING AN END TO CONFUSION
Nutritional supplements range from A to Zinc with a lot of specialized products addressing specific conditions in between.
Our belief is that good health doesn’t have to be complicated or something for which you need five graduate degrees in various disciplines in order to understand.
Organic Life Vitamins is a power-packed premium formulation that supplies the body with the essential nutrients it requires—missing as a result of deficient diets and the stresses of today’s busy lifestyles. It’s that simple.
WHAT’S IN ORGANIC LIFE VITAMINS?
Organic Life Vitamins is a complete multi-vitamin— but it is more than that. Along with 16 key vitamins, Organic Life Vitamins supplies a full range of amino acids, vital minerals and 72 trace minerals (which work in combination with Natural Calm or our Cal- Mag products).
A word about trace minerals. These are crucial to good health, a high energy level and nutrient assimil ation. They also affect the functioning of hormones and enzymes and help protect against toxic reactions and heavy metal poisoning.
All of the premium nutrition in Organic Life Vitamins is combined in a base of organic Noni juice concentrate (a story in itself), and organic whole leaf Aloe Vera juice (a well-known immune booster and, like Noni juice, another nutritional “Swiss Army Knife” with many health benefits).
HOW YOU BENEFIT
Let’s take a closer look at the vitamins in Organic Life Vitamins and what they do: Vitamin A— p romotes good eyesight, healthy skin, shiny, healthy hair, a strong immune function and more.
Vitamin B complex—O rganic Life Vitamins contains 11 essential B vitamins! The B vitamins are necessary for everything from energy and sleep to a full head of hair!
Vitamin C—necessary for a strong immune system, strong bones and healthy skin. Vitamin D—necessary for the proper formation of bones and helps calcium to absorb properly.
Organic Life Vitamins
Formulated for your lifestyle
Vitamin E—necessary for supplying oxygen to the brain, creating hormones, healthy skin, proper muscular function and more .
Vitamin K—supports natural blood clotting.
Now let’s look at the minerals. O rganic Life Vitamins contains Selenium, Zinc, C h romium, MSM (organic sulfur), and a full spectru m of trace minerals. These minerals are essential for keeping off unwanted pounds, for a sharp mind, and for maintaining a strong immune system.
An exciting plus that comes as part of Organic Life Vitamins is the inclusion of amino acids. Amino acids are the “building blocks” of the body. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria and viruses; they are part of the enzyme and hormonal systems; they build nucleoproteins (RNA and DNA); they carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity.
Organic Life Vitamins is the only liquid multi-vitamin that contains 20 different amino acids to help bring you to a whole new level of health.
8 Steps for Relieving Back Pain
August 02, 2005 02:02 PM
1. POSTURE. Don’t sit in the same position too long. Distribute your weight between your feet when standing. Always align your shoulders and head with your torso. Carry weight mostly with your legs and keep any held objects close to the body.
2. HERBAL RUBS. For muscle spasms, rub a mix of lobelia, myrrh and cramp bark extracts with a touch of cayenne into your back. They will act as muscle relaxants and pain relievers. Rub into aching area as needed. This mixture stores for approximately two years.
3. DEEP BREATHING. When you experience pain, your breathing becomes shorter and your muscles are more tense. Breathing deeply allows more oxygen to arrive to the affected area, helping it heal more quickly. Lie on your back, close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out as deeply as you can. Visualize your body expanding and closing and the oxygen moving through your body to the muscles in pain. Continue this for 20–30 minutes.
4. MSM. MSM is a sulphur compound that can relieve pain associated with muscle cramps. It works by interrupting pain impulses heading to the brain. By taking 1,000 mg three times a day for one to six weeks, you should see marked improvement.
5. HEALTHY DIET. The food you eat affects every tissue cell in your body. Eat more fiber and drink more water. Limit your consumption of coffee, soda and other stimulants (they have an unnatural effect on the nervous system, which can lead to muscle disfunction). If you are overweight, you are adding extra strain on your back—a diet would be beneficial.
6. YOGA. Yoga is an excellent way to relieve muscle tension and promote strength and relaxation. Even trying two yoga poses daily should alleviate some back pain.
7. MAGNETS. A growing number of health professionals believe that magnets can help relieve back pain. Magnets reportedly encourage blood flow and reduce inflammation. In a recent study on the benefits of magnets on post-polio patients, magnets were found to reduce back pain by up to 75 percent.
8. MENTAL REFOCUSING. Often physical pain associated with the back is only part of the problem. Repressed emotions and stress, say some researchers, can trigger physical responses in the body. By focusing on the cause of your pain (i.e., daily stresses and problems, rather than the pain itself ), you can alleviate some of its symptoms.
Lowering cholesterol safely
July 27, 2005 04:10 PM
Lowering cholesterol safely.
By Kim Vanderlinden, N.D., D.T.C.M.
Atherosclerosis and its complications are major causes of death in the United States and have reached epidemic proportions throughout all of the Western world. Heart disease accounts for 36% of all deaths among Americans and ranks as the number-one killer; stroke; another complication of atherosclerosis; is the third most common cause of death.
Foremost in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that elevated cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of death due to heart disease. The first step in reducing risk for heart disease is keeping your total blood cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).
Not all cholesterol is bad; it serves many functions in the body, including the manufacture of sex hormones and bile acids. Without cholesterol, many body processed would not function properly.
Cholesterol is transported in the blood by molecules known as lipoproteins. Cholesterol bound to low density lipoprotein, or LDL, is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, while cholesterol bound to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is referred to as the “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure, while HDL cholesterol actually protects against heart disease.
LDL transports cholesterol to the tissues. HDL, on the other hand, transports cholesterol to the liver for metabolism and excretion from the body. Therefore, the HDL-to-LDL ratio largely determines whether cholesterol is being deposited into tissues or broken down and excreted. The risk for heart disease can be reduced dramatically by lowering LDL cholesterol while simultaneously raising HDL cholesterol levels. Research has shown that for every one percent increase in HDL levels, the risk for a heart attack drops three to four percent.
Dietary cholesterol is a major risk factor in developing atherosclerosis. The evidence is substantial. However, several studies have shown that a lower dietary cholesterol intake was associated with up to a 37% lower risk of death from any cause, or an increased life expectancy of roughly 3.4 years.
Although dietary cholesterol intake is an important contributor to atherosclerosis, most of the cholesterol in the body is actually manufactured in the liver. Reducing dietary cholesterol alone is not always sufficient to lower blood cholesterol levels.
In an attempt to reduce blood cholesterol levels, many physicians are ignoring the need to give dietary recommendations and are instead utilizing drugs as the primary treatment. Using drugs before diet is clearly not the best approach, in terms of both effectiveness and cost. In fact, the Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Cholesterol in Adults clearly states: “Dietary therapy is the primary cholesterol-lowering treatment.”
The drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), prevastin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor) are commonly used to lower blood cholesterol levels. The main side effect of these drugs is liver damage. In fact, due to the seriousness of the possible adverse effects on the liver, it is necessary to have periodic blood tests to determine if the drug is harming the liver. Other side effects include: muscle breakdown, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, flatus, abdominal pain, headache, and skin rash.
The most important first approach to lowering a high cholesterol level is to follow a healthful diet and lifestyle. The dietary changes are simple: Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol by reducing or eliminating the amounts of animal products in the diet; increase consumption of fiber-rich plant foods (fruits, grains, and legumes); and lose weight, if necessary. Lifestyle changes include; Regular aerobic exercise; stop smoking; and reduce or eliminate consumption of coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated).
Here are the six key recommendations of U.S. Surgeon General, American Heart Association, and the National Research Council’s Committee on Diet and Health:
When there is a need for additional support to the dietary and lifestyle practices that can lower cholesterol levels, it simply makes more sense to use safer and more effective natural alternatives. When evaluating overall effectiveness, both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels must be taken into consideration. When you look at the cost, safety, and effectiveness, it is clear that natural alternatives are substantially superior to standard drug therapy.
Keep in mind that the natural alternatives discussed are, just like the dugs, still best utilized in a comprehensive program that stresses a healthful diet and lifestyle.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, has long been used to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, niacin is recommended by the National CholesterolEducation Program as the first “drug” to use to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The safest form of niacin at present is known as inositol hexaniacinate. This form of niacin has long been used in Europe to lower cholesterol levels and also to improve blood flow. It yields slightly better results than standard niacin, but is much better tolerated, both in terms of flushing and, more importantm long term side effects.
Gugulipid is the standardized extract of the mukul myrrh tree that is native to India. Several clinical studies have confirmed that gugulipid has an ability to lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Typically, cholesterol levels will drop 14% to 27% in a four- to twelve-week period, while triglyceride levels will drop from 22% to 30%.
The dosage of gugulipid is based on its guggulsterone content. Clinical studies have demonstrated that gugulipid extracts standardized to contain 25 mg of guggulsterone per tablet given three times per day is an effective treatment for elevated cholesterol levels, elevated triglyceride levels, or both.
Garlic and onions exert numerous beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood lipids and blood pressure. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both garlic and onions are effective in lowering LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides while simultaneously raising HDL-cholesterol levels.
Without question, the best approach to lowering cholesterol levels is through diet and lifestyle modifications. When additional support is require, there are safer and more effective natural alternatives to commonly prescribed drugs.
The goal of therapy, whether natural or synthetic, is to get blood lipid levels down into target ranges as quickly as possible. Once the target range has been achieved, begin reducing the amount of medicine by half, or take it every other day. Recheck your cholesterol levels in one month. If they have stabilized or continued to improve, you may no longer need the medication. If the levels begin to rise again, return to previous dosage.
If you are currently on a cholesterol-lowering drug, you must consult your doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Echinacea - Choosing The Ideal Immune Support
June 30, 2005 09:27 AM
Echinacea By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Echinacea, pronounced ek-i-NAY-see-a, is one herb that has become a “household” name in the 1990’s. Many refer to it as “Purple Cone Flower” because of its large purple daisy petals, which contain a hard and spiny center cone. These spines probably give the plant its name, since sea animals with spines are called “echinoderms”. Echinacea is indigenous to the U.S., and can be found both growing wild in many areas as well as in cultivated gardens. There are actually nine different species of the plant; two are most popular as remedies: Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea has a long history of use by Native Americans, who have utilized the herb for a wide variety of treatments ranging from stings, poisoning, toothaches and swollen glands to colds and sore throats. It has also been touted as an ideal natural remedy for snake bites. In particular, the benefit of Echinacea as a treatment for snake bites brought national attention to the herb in the last half of the 1800’s. Dr. H.F.C. Meyer of Pawnee City, Nebraska first tried to interest Eclectic Physicians (doctors who used natural medicines) to use Echinacea as an herbal remedy for snake bites by volunteering to be bitten by a rattlesnake to prove its effectiveness. Although his dramatic offer was rejected, his enthusiasm and concerted efforts led to renewed interest and investigative studies on Echinacea, resulting in the herb’s emergence as one of the most popular natural plant therapies by the turn of the century.
Extensive studies on Echinacea’s medicinal properties continue to mirror the earlier usages of the herb as experienced by indigenous people. In fact, Echinacea is part of the official materia medica listed in the German Commission E. Monographs, a universally recognized publication reputed to be the official information authority on herbal medicines. The Commission lists a number of medicinal applications for Echinacea as an ideal treatment for such conditions as colds, chronic infections of the respiratory tract and lower urinary tract ailments, as well as topically for chronic ulcerations and slow healing wounds.
Echinacea has been shown to be a potent immune system stimulant. Nature’s Answer® offers an outstanding Echinacea fluid herbal extract formula in a unique blend that contains both Echinacea angustifolia root and Echinacea purpurea whole plant. Fluid extracts that feature both whole plant and root parts in the formula insure that the highest levels of the whole herb’s active constituents are maintained. A further advantage to this kind of supplement lies in its delivery system– liquids are faster to absorb and easier to assimilate by the body than tablets or capsules. Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea formulas are available in either alcohol-free or organic alcohol forms. In addition, the alcohol-free supplements are also offered in a tasty grape or tangy orange flavor.
Two popular blends featuring Echinacea with other supportive herbs are Immune Boost™ and Re-Zist™. Immune Boost™ combines Echinacea with Wild Indigo and Maitake Mushroom. Re-Zist™ contains Echinacea, Goldenseal, Wild Indigo, Cayenne and Myrrh for potent support.
Echinacea is also recognized for its ability to enhance the resistance of cells to viruses, especially when used after cells have been exposed to colds and flus. As a preventative, formulas such as Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea/Goldenseal (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) are ideal. This is an excellent supplement for soothing sore throats and helping to shrink swollen glands. An added benefit to the formula is the presence to berberine, the active ingredient in Goldenseal, which provides further wellness enhancement.
Many studies have focused on Echinacea’s possible use for ailments such as psoriasis and early rheumatoid arthritis. The herb also acts as an overall anti-inflammatory tonic. Nature’s Answer®’s Blood Support™ (alcohol-free) combines Echinacea with Dandelion, Licorice and other herbs for an anti-inflammatory effect. Allertone™ (alcohol-free) blends Echinacea with Mullein Leaf to help support the respiratory and sinus areas.
Most herbal practitioners suggest using Echinacea for short-term periods. There has been evidence to suggest that the herb loses its effectiveness when used over longer periods of time. Also, in the case of autoimmune illnesses, some people believe Echinacea may OVER-stimulate the immune system, although there is no solid research to back this contention. Echinacea is probably most effective if used in frequent doses for 5-7 days at the early onset of symptoms. It may also serve as a preventative during periods after known exposure or during extra stress, taking it two to three times a day every other or every third day. The German Commission E lists no known drug interactions or side effects with Echinacea. It is indeed one of the safest and most effective herbs for natural immune support today.
Echinacea seems well suited to life in the 90’s with all the stresses upon our immune systems. Its importance and effectiveness as an immune stimulant is as true today as it was in 1927 when Dr. Liebstein stated:
“Nature has probably destined Echinacea to be used for remedial purposes only, as a sustainer of vitality, an organizer of the defensive powers of the system, to such an extent as to be justly crowned the greatest immunizing agent in the entire vegetable kingdom....” written in 1927 by Dr. A. M. Liebstein (Foster, 1991)
GINSENG and Stress
June 25, 2005 01:04 PM
Re s e a rchers became interested in studying the Siberian ginseng after finding beneficial activity in the Panax ginseng. It was first found to contain adaptogenic properties. One study conducted during the 1960s in the former Soviet Union consisted of 2,100 adults, some normal and some considered to be under high stress. No adverse side effects were found and the results were positive with improvement in the stressed individuals.25 Stress is a condition that causes a disturbance in the body, whether it is from a physical or mental source.
Asian ginseng helps to modify the effects of environmental and internal stresses from different forms such as chemical pollutants, toxins, radiation, weather, temperature changes, poor diet, physical trauma, exercise and emotional stress. Because of its adaptogenic properties, ginseng is able to adjust and balance the body functions when under stress.26 Ginseng can help to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by normalizing the metabolic systems in the body when stress occurs.27
June 25, 2005 01:02 PM
Research on the Panax ginseng was first done to determine the adaptogen properties. Siberian ginseng does possess adaptogenic qualities, but its action is thought to be milder than Asian ginseng. The American ginseng has not been well studied or documented as to its adaptogenic properties, but it is known to have adaptogenic activity. Each of the ginseng varieties are thought to work as a general tonic on the body, increase energy and increase mental and physical abilities. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogenic herb. When taken for extended periods of time, it helps the body adapt to stress and brings the body into balance.
It helps normalize and adjust the body’s restoring and regulating natural immune response.14 The word adaptogen is derived from the Greek work adapto, to adjust, and the suffix gen, producing. It helps to produce adjustments as needed in the body. This function is done without side effects or harm to the body.15 Ginseng, as an adaptogen, has been used to help normalize blood pressure whether high or low. It helps to increase or slow output to restore equilibrium. Adaptogens help to modify the effects of environmental and internal stresses from different forms such as chemical pollutants, radiation, weather, temperature changes, poor diet, exercise and emotional stress. It is used for many ailments in the body and even thought of as a universal cure-all.
Cancer and Echinacea
June 24, 2005 03:45 PM
Cancer and Echinacea
Some experts believe that over the last 40 years, science has lost its battle with cancer. Progress has been slow and cancer mortality rates continue to rise despite the enormous amount of money spent on research. While most of us are aware of potential carcinogens which surround us at every turn, most of us do not take a preventative approach.
In other words, even if we eat nutritiously and try to protect ourselves from toxin exposure, cancers still develop. The role of the immune system in cancer pre vention is significant to say the least. Why some people develop cancerous tumors and others do not may be linked to immune function.
We’re all aware of the new emphasis on antioxidants today. Likewise, stimulating and strengthening the immune system may also provide significant protection against certain types of malignancy. It’s time to concentrate on why some of us don’t get cancer instead of focusing all our attention on why some of us do.
In addition to boosting the immune system, echinacea has been shown to increase pro p e rdin levels in the body which may be responsible for its anti-cancer activity. By increasing the production and secretion of interferon, echinacea may help enable the body to neutralize carcinogens.15
USDA researchers have found that echinacea contains a tumor inhibiting compound. This compound is an oncolytic lipid-soluble hydrocarbon. This particular substance which is found in the essential oil of echinacea, has shown its ability to inhibit lymphocytic leukemia and other types of cancers.
One theory concerning this activity is that it probably does not involve creating a cytotoxic effect directly on cancer cells, but rather stimulates the action of anti-cancer cells such as natrual killer cells already present in the body.
The fact that echinacea inhibits the enzyme, hyaluronidase may also be a factor. The same type of mechanism that breaks down the protective barrier around cells so that disease microbes can enter is thought to occur in the initial stages of tumor formation. Because echinacea prevents the formation of hyaluronidase, it may play a role in preventing the development of certain types of cancer.16
Allergies and Echinacea
German research has demonstrated echinacea’s ability to treat certain allergic reactions.17 It may be the cortisone-like activity of echinacea which accounts for its anti-inflammatory action. In the case of allergic reactions, the immuno-suppressive action of echinacea kicks in.
An allergy occurs when the immune system becomes overly stimulated by the presence of an allergen. Each time that the allergen enters the body an allergic response is initiated. Echinacea can temper this cascade of symptoms by stabilizing mast cells, which are responsible for the histamine release which creates havoc with our bodies. This action results in a substantial reduction of allergy symptoms.
The fact that echinacea actually suppresses the immune system is nothing less than remarkable. This herb might be referred to as “the botanical with a brain.” In other words, it can either stimulate or inhibit immune response as determined by the status of the body. Synthetic drugs do not have this ability.
Healing Stimulation by Echinacea
Because echinacea has antiseptic pro p e rties, it can be used both internally and externally to heal conditions such as bed sores, boils, burns, ulcers and wounds of any kind. The inulin Echinacin B content of echinacea extracted from the rhizome gives echinacea its wound healing pro p e rties. It also accelerates the production of granulomatous tissue which is necessary for tissue healing in the body. 18
Russian studies have shown that echinacea also helps to stimulate healing in wounds and prevents blood clotting.19
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Echinacea
Because echinacea contains the polysaccharides inulin and echinacin it may be helpful in fighting stubborn viral infections such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Anytime the immune system becomes c o m p romised due to exhaustion, allergies, or depression, viral and bacterial invasion can occur. The chemical compounds contained in echinacea promote improved resistance to all septic or infectious conditions.20
Prostate Disorders and Echinacea
Echinacea is believed to be one of the best herbs in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands or other prostate disorders .21 Its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to help decrease swelling and irritation. Tests on mice have shown that using echinacea to control inflammatory responses has resulted in a decrease in edema or swelling.
Weight Loss and Echinacea
When combined with chickweed, echinacea has been used to promote weight loss.22 Scientifically, there is a lack of data to explain this particular effect.
Echinacea and Skin Damage
Any type of skin damage, whether caused by injury or infection can be treated with echinacea. One of the major actions of this herb is its ability to inhibit a specific enzyme that weakens connective tissue cells when they are exposed to certain microorganisms. This enzyme is called hyaluronidase .23 Whenever skin cells have been compromised by infectious organisms, echinacea can help prevent the spread of infection and speed the healing of the skin by preventing the break down of skin tissue at the cellular level. The anti-hyaluronidase action of echinacea, especially when applied as a poultice, can significantly prevent infection and enhance healing in burns, cuts, and abrasions.
In addition, topical applications of echinacea are valuable in treating snake and insect bites. German research suggests that echinacea extracts and salves can benefit a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including: psoriasis, eczema, and herpes.24
Yeast Inf ect ions and Echinacea
Yeast infections are caused by an fungus called Candida albicans. This particular organism has been the subject of intense interest, research and controversy over the last several years. Standard medical therapies for yeast infections usually involve the use of antibiotics and antifungal drugs which can, in themselves, compromise the immune system. In laboratory tests using control groups, subjects who received echinacea we re compared to those who took standard antifungal treatments. In these cases, better results we re obtained with the echinacea.25 It is the polysaccharides contained in echinacea which seem to enhance the resistance of the immune system against the Candida fungus. This finding again stresses that echinacea may have important therapeutic applications for anyone who is in a weakened state and susceptible to opportunistic infections.26 Echinacea in both external and internal forms can be used to treat yeast infections. It has been suggested that anyone who has recurring yeast infections should consider adding echinacea extract to their repertoire of health supplements.
Inflammation, Arthrit is and Echinacea
Some laboratory tests have demonstrated that echinacea has certain anti-inflammatory pro p e rties which can help prevent or decrease the inflammation and swelling typically found in arthritis sufferers. Unlike the inflammatory response of the body to infections, the chronic inflammation of joint diseases such as arthritis is not desireable. In these cases, echinacea can help to inhibit chronic inflammation. Its effect is considered equal to approximately half of that resulting from steroid drugs like cortisone in arthritic patients.27
Apparently, echinacea contains a specific factor which prevents inflammation and swelling when observed in certain laboratory tests. This particular tonic action may be quite helpful for people who suffer from chronic arthritis. Arthritis symptoms result from an immune response which creates inflammation in the joints. As is the case with allergies, when arthritis is present, echinacea inhibits the inflammatory action of the immune system.
It is interesting to note that another component of echinacea actually boosts the inflammatory response when it is appropriate. For this reason, wounds respond well to echinacea.
Steroids are commonly prescribed for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Because steroid drugs have so many negative side-effects, echinacea may prove to be an invaluable treatment for improper immune system reactions that cause conditions like arthritis.
HIV and Echinacea
At this writing, the possible role of echinacea on HIV has not been established. While some preliminary studies look promising, much more research is needed to determine whether or not echinacea’s stimulation of immune function will benefit AIDS patients.
Women and Depression!
June 13, 2005 07:48 PM
Women and Depression by Lisa James Energy Times, March 11, 2004
Just as fog veils a beautiful landscape, so depression veils life itself: rendering existence dark and dreary, narrowing the scope of one's dreams. And women are particularly prone to this lingering sadness.
The good news: Depression doesn't have to linger forever. With proper nutrition, lifestyle changes and a revived outlook, you can break through that fog into a sunnier emotional clime. Women are more likely than men to fall prey to depression throughout their lifetimes, with women being twice as likely as men to experience major depression.
While the greatest risk for both sexes falls at midlife, the gender difference appears early; one in ten teenage girls was found to suffer from major depression in one study (International Journal of Behavioral Development 2004; 28:16-25). What's more, childhood depression leaves a person more susceptible to mood problems in adulthood.
One reason for the gender difference in depression, according to researchers, is that women tend to dwell on depressed feelings to a greater degree than men. Some scientists believe a family history of depression carries greater weight for women. Others theorize that the inner fluctuations of a woman's monthly cycle can leave her susceptible to stresses emanating from the outer world. Studies indicate that almost three-quarters of all premenstrual women experience some level of mood difficulties (Summit on Women and Depression, APA, April 02), and a woman's hormonal ebb and flow may even make her more vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the kind of depression linked to a lack of natural light.
Warning Signs Not surprisingly, many depressed folks feel sad and lethargic, down on themselves and the world. But in some people, depression is marked by agitation and concentration difficulties, or is accompanied by anxiety. Sleep disturbances-either insomnia or excessive sleepiness-often ensue, and activities that used to provide pleasure lose their appeal.
Breaking depression's grip can do more than just lighten your mood-it may help safeguard your health. Studies suggest depression dampens the immune response and may increase the risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:1009-14; Circulation 2000; 102:1773; Diabetes Care 2004; 27:129-33).
Origins of Depression
The reasons some people are pulled down by depression's undertow while others are able to stay afloat emotionally are complex, but researchers believe common factors link them all.
One factor that can't be ignored is genetics. "If you are depressed, there is a 25% chance that a first-degree relative-a parent, child or sibling-is also depressed," says Hyla Cass, MD, author of St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster (Avery). Other factors are physical problems and medication side effects. That's why your first step should be a consultation with your health care practitioner (if your moods are especially dark, seek professional assistance as soon as possible).
Life's worries and cares also weigh more heavily on some people than on others. " [N]ot only will certain stressors [adverse events] cause depression as a direct response," notes Dr. Cass, "but they may predispose an individual to future episodes of depression." For example, the end of a relationship when you feel you've lost a lover and been humiliated (and been cheated on) raises your risk of depression (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:789-96).
The Depressed Brain
When depression hits, brain chemistry shifts. As a result, chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which relay messages between brain cells, go awry. For instance, a neurotransmitter called serotonin-critical to mood control-may decrease, leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, craving certain foods and unable to sleep.
Conversely, "high levels of serotonin are associated with emotional and social stability," according to Dr. Cass. She adds that, in addition, sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone "affect brain cells directly."
Lifting the Fog
Because the causes of depression are so complex, leaving the darkness behind generally requires opening up several pathways. Part of feeling better simply lies in believing that you can. Researchers have found that depressed people who feel they have a sense of control over their troubles, do, in fact, have a better chance of recovery (General Hospital Psychiatry 2000; 22(4):242-50). Finding a community of like-minded folks bolsters your capacity to deal with mood problems. In some cases, time spent with a therapist can be a valuable aid in figuring out what's bothering you.
On the physical side, losing weight can lift your spirits. Among women with severe obesity-itself a depression risk factor-losing weight has led to depression relief (Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163:2058-65). Research also indicates that exercise helps brighten dark moods.
A change in diet, along with certain supplements, can also help dispel depression. The first step on the road to emotional recovery: eat a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and stay away from overly refined foods with high levels of sugar.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the kinds found in flax seed and fish, are essential to proper brain function. In several studies, people who took supplemental omega-3s found significant relief from depression.
Key amino acids-the basic units of which proteins are built-serve as starting points for the production of mood-lifting neurotransmitters. In one trial, people who took an amino-acid mix that included tyrosine enjoyed better moods and were happier than people who took amino acids without it (Psychopharmacology (Berlin) Sept 4 2003).
Along with amino acids, the body needs the right vitamins-especially members of the all-important B family-to create depression-fighting brain chemicals. In one study, people with depression who took vitamin B12 improved their chances of recovery (BMC Psychiatry 2003; 3:17).
Another interesting observation: Vitamin B12 and its partners vitamin B6 and folate are essential to keep a protein called homocysteine (known primarily as a cardiovascular hazard) from reaching excessive levels, and people with high homocysteine are twice as likely to be depressed. This has led some researchers to speculate that folate may help keep depression under control (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:618-26).
Herbs that may help beat back the blues include two that help the body deal with stress, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and schisandra (S. chinensis).
A new diet, a new outlook: With the help of the right nutrients and the right support, you can break the bonds of depression.
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
Health Movements - Joining mind and body with healthy movement generates harmony
June 12, 2005 05:49 PM
Health Movements by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, December 6, 2003
Mind/body exercises like yoga (especially the super-popular Bikram variety), tai chi and Pilates aren't just trendy, they're custom made to soothe the rough edges of modern life. So often does today's fast-paced world emphasize the mental and competitive aspects of existence that its inhabitants frequently neglect the necessity of gentle movement for the body. But these exercises are an antidote to the tendency to view the mind and body as separate entities.
Modern science is validating what traditional teachers have always known: The mind dwells in every cell. Joining mind and body with healthy movement generates harmony, lowers your chance of chronic illness and promotes emotional stability.
No one knows when yoga first appeared. Historians and archaeologists figure the practice was initiated in India somewhere between 3,000 and 1,500 BCE. But the father of the modern forms of yoga is considered to be a man named Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra around 200 CE.
The literal translation of the word yoga is "union." As Jennifer Schwamm Willis notes in her book The Joy of Yoga (Marlowe), this practice represents "the union of body, mind and spirit." The purpose of learning the fundamental movements of yoga is to connect with your body, release knots of tension and improve strength and flexibility. In that way, the physical balance during a yoga session translates into inner balance during times of crisis or distress. Schwamm points out that ancient yoga practitioners believed "the aim of yoga is to quiet the fluctuations of the mind, to create stillness in order to hear one's inner voice..."
Yoga is used by many for stress relief. But it has other important uses: In a study presented by Oregon Health & Science University at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April 2003, yoga was shown to benefit folks with multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that participants who regularly attended yoga class for six months suffered less fatigue and improved their quality of life.
A yoga class generally begins with warm-up postures, moves on to a core group of basic postures, and ends with poses meant to cool you down. An important aspect of yoga is breath work and control. Movement in and out of poses involves carefully orchestrated breath work. Inhalation and exhalation in timed sync with movement lies at the heart of yoga's benefits. Yoga beginners often feel stiff and inflexible. But with gentle, patient, regular practice, greater flexibility, strength and balance can be had. Experts say that a yoga session does not demand struggle; it asks for surrender. If one pose causes discomfort, try another.
One particular form of yoga, Bikram, is hot in terms of both popularity and room temperature: Not only is it one of the biggest trends in the fitness world, this demanding, aerobic take on yoga is conducted in heated rooms designed to maximize muscle relaxation and minimize injury risk. The heat also helps facilitate cleansing and detoxification. It was created by Bikram Choudhury, a four-time Indian yoga champ who founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills, California.
As in other types of yoga, Bikram uses asanas, or poses, handed down through generations of yoga teachers. In this case, though, 26 asanas are done in a prescribed order over a 90-minute period. Everyone, from novice to expert, works out together, the idea being that each individual is working to stretch his or her own limits by becoming stronger, more flexible and less prone to illness.
Bikram yoga stresses the tourniquet effect, in which blood floods through vessels after they've momentarily been squeezed shut. This pressurizing effect is supposed to flush out debris, quickening circulation and releasing stress. The tourniquet effect also helps cleanse the lymphatic system. Proponents say Bikram improves balance, concentration and posture; increases energy; and eases sleep.
Like any other exercise program, Bikram yoga requires diligence: one center says a minimum of 10 classes over 30 days is needed for maximum benefits. And while hydration is important during all fitness routines, consuming adequate water is crucial when you're exercising in a hot room.
Tai chi (also known as taiji or tai chi ch'uan) consists of a series of fluid movements that build endurance, increase flexibility and balance, and foster alertness of mind and spirit. Tai chi developed around the 13th century as a form of martial arts in China based on the power of flow and grace, rooting and yielding, flexibility and endurance. To the onlooker, a person practicing the movements of tai chi has the quality of someone swimming in air.
This gentle form of movement can be practiced by people of almost all ages and physical conditions. Tai chi does not require special equipment, props or a floor mat. As a non-impact form of exercise, tai chi delivers minimal stress to the joints. Tai chi emphasizes proper body alignment and uses the large muscles in the legs to relieve stress from the hips, back and shoulders. It strengthens joints, increases range of motion and improves circulation of all body fluids. Like many other forms of mind/body exercise, tai chi relieves stress.
Tricia Yu, author of Tai Chi: Mind and Body (DK), has been practicing tai chi for over 30 years. She believes that tai chi not only has benefits as a health exercise, but that it "can have a beneficial effect on your mental and emotional states, as well as help you to feel connected with your surroundings." Yu adds, "Like yoga, tai chi originated in a culture that views the mind and body not as separate but rather as different expressions or states of qi-vital energy or life force."
Current research has validated the health benefits of tai chi. One study found that the knee strength of elderly people practicing tai chi improves significantly (J Gerontol A Biol Med Sci 2003 August; 58:M763-6). Participants in this study, whose average age was 72 years, benefited significantly after five months of tai chi. For the elderly, this extra strength and control translates into fewer falls and injuries.
Tai chi may help immunity. In a study published in the September 2003 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers reported that elderly folks who participated in a tai chi class for a period of 15 weeks "saw an improvement in factors that suppress shingles [a painful viral condition] increase by 50%." They also showed an increased ability to move throughout the day and a significant improvement in their general health.
Joseph Pilates (1880-1968) was a sickly child afflicted with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Determined to recover his health, Pilates studied both Eastern and Western forms of exercise, incorporating moves from gymnastics, yoga and wrestling, along with controlled breathing. With his wife, Clara, Joseph Pilates developed the form of exercise known today as simply Pilates. In the 1920s, Joseph left his native Germany and came to New York City and began teaching his exercise style in dance studios.
Today, Pilates has gained acceptance both as an exercise style for fitness and as a system for physical rehabilitation. Because of its benefits, Pilates is practiced in hospitals, wellness centers, gyms and specialized Pilates studios. It is used by athletes, dancers and anyone looking to increase endurance and improve flexibility, balance and muscle tone.
The basic principle of Pilates focuses on increasing what is called core strength. Core muscle groups include the abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles. If these muscle groups are strong, then the body is balanced and strong. The Pilates method also encourages flexibility by building long, strong muscles without bulk.
The Stott method is one of the most popular forms of Pilates. This technique combines traditional Pilates exercises with movements updated to conform with modern knowledge about the biomechanics of the human body. By stabilizing muscles in the pelvis and shoulders, and keeping the spine and pelvis in safe, neutral positions, knowledgeable Pilates instructors minimize the chance of injury during these exercises.
Pilates exercises have been shown to help reduce back pain. Researchers report that "Pilates method can be useful for patients with chronic low back pain and deconditioning" (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002 May; 25/4:E3).
According to Ken Endelman, the founder of Balanced Body, maker of Pilates equipment, "Pilates is a full-body exercise. It focuses on flexibility and control, not adding bulk; bulk defeats flexibility. This flexibility is particularly important as we age. Staying flexible is key, and Pilates is good at those types of things."
A Pilates routine can be structured to fit your specific physical needs or goals. Instructors use specially designed equipment along with mat work to improve fitness. The human body was designed to move. Again and again, research shows that exercise maintains health, vitality, longevity, weight and quality of life. If you match your exercise with your physical needs and goals, and your personality, you are more likely to stay with that program whether it is aerobics, walking, Pilates or yoga. For real benefits, physical fitness has to be a lifetime endeavor.
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide
June 11, 2005 03:54 PM
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide by Joyce Dewon Energy Times, June 18, 2004
If you're hooked on exercise you're probably just as hooked on using top-notch equipment when you work out. Those who are serious about staying in shape buy the best running shoes, carefully pick out the best bikes and tread on durable treadmills. But do you pay just as much attention to your nutrition?
Scientists who have studied exercise have found that what you eat before, during and after workouts is crucial to maintaining your health, getting into shape and staying fit. To achieve your best athletic performance without getting injured or sick depends on optimum nutrition. When you carefully plan what to feed your exercised body, it rewards you by feeling and looking better.
Short 'n Sweet
If you thought long exercise sessions were the only ways to get decent exercise benefits, take notice: small doses of exercise during the week can go a long way. " The important thing, apparently, is just do it," says Howard D. Sesso, ScD, author of an American Heart Association study on exercise and heart disease. In his study, exercisers demonstrated that several short sessions of exercise were as good for the body as a single long session (Circ 8/00; 102:975-80). " Short sessions lasting 15 minutes long appear to be helpful,"Dr. Sesso explains. Even walking about three miles per week, which is a moderate level of exercise, lowers your risk of heart disease by 10%.
Some people glorify in working up a sweat; others curse the dampness. But putting in extra effort in even short bursts of activity pays off: experts have found that intense exercise burns more calories than more relaxed sessions, more effectively reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In addition, it stimulates production of human growth hormone, which offsets some of the effects of aging (Exp Biol Med 2004 Mar; 229(3):240-6).
But don't go crazy if you haven't worked out in a long time. The intensity of the workout should match your physical fitness. According to the American Heart Association, when people exercise at a comfortable pace, their heart rate and level of exertion stay within a safe range, but still high enough to benefit their health. Strenuous activities, for those who can handle them, produce the most physiological bang for the jog. But brisk walking within your own level of fitness still offers significant benefits.
Feeding Your Muscles
When you exercise, you work and develop your muscles, which are made primarily out of protein. Despite this fact, many exercise experts have advocated high-carb diets for athletes. But, as John Ivy, PhD, and Robert Portman, PhD, point out in their book The Performance Zone (Basic Health), "[While] there is no doubt that aerobic athletes require more carbohydrate than strength athletes...we are now discovering that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement offers significant benefits to aerobic athletes."
That is why researchers believe that consuming plenty of protein along with carbohydrates offers the best fitness benefits. Protein helps fuel activity more efficiently and aids in recovery after a session at the gym, allowing your body to repair muscle damage and build up muscle fibers.
During exercise, you break down muscle tissue. It is during recovery, after your exercise session ends, that muscles are rebuilt. At the same time, other cellular processes take place that adapt the body to working out.
According to Ivy and Portman, timing your intake of nutrients after exercise is crucial: "The ability of the muscle machinery to regenerate itself decreases very rapidly after a workout, so that the nutrients consumed more than 45 minutes after exercise will have far less impact in helping the muscles regenerate than nutrients consumed earlier."
Stresses and Tears
Engaging in athletics can cause microscopic muscle tears. These tears can cause a range of problems that, when you exercise excessively, can cause pain and injury.
Inflammation is the body's response to cellular damage. The damaged area can swell as the body sends white blood cells and other cells to repair the injured area. Unfortunately, the swelling can further damage the muscle cells.
Since inflammation can take 24 hours or more to cause the collection of cells in the injured area, it can be a day or two before the resulting muscle soreness reaches its peak painfulness and then starts to subside.
Cortisol, a hormone produced when you exercise strenuously, which can result in muscle fiber damage. Cortisol boosts protein breakdown, so it can be used to fuel muscle movement. But the more protein breaks down, the more potential exists for muscle fiber injury. Free radicals are caustic molecules that are created when the mitochondria (small structures in cells) create energy; these marauders can also cause microscopic shredding of muscle strands. As you increase your use of energy during exercise, you simultaneously increase the production of free radicals. This collection of free radicals can outstrip the body's antioxidant defenses, leading to extensive muscle damage and dampening of the immune system.
All of these cellular events can make you sore. They are also the reasons that athletes who overdo it day after day are liable to come down with nagging colds and a variety of infections.
Your muscles use different substances for fuel depending on what you ask them to do. Lift a heavy weight and muscles recruit two processes called the creatine phosphate system and glycolysis to generate a large amount of quick energy. These are known as anaerobic types of energy production.
But if you jog, swim, bike or perform any other aerobic activity, the cells use oxygen in what is called cellular respiration to supply energy to working muscles.
When you exercise aerobically for extended periods of time, the energy available is generally limited by how much oxygen your body is capable of taking in and supplying to the muscles, where it takes part in energy production. In athletic circles, this upper limit is known as your VO2max.
The carbohydrates your body burns for energy during aerobic activity are taken from blood sugar and carbohydrate reserves called glycogen. (The muscles store glycogen, as does the liver.) During a workout session, your glycogen supply is limited to what is stored with your muscles. But blood glucose can be boosted by carbohydrate drinks, energy gels or bars.
Most people who work out have enough glycogen and blood sugar to fuel moderate aerobic activity for about two hours. After that, the body turns mostly to fat and protein stores to fuel exercise.
Fat Into the Fire
In contrast to the body's quickly diminishing supply of glycogen and blood sugar, fat can last for hours and hours of exercise. According to Portman and Ivy, a 200-pound man with 15% body fat has, theoretically, enough fat energy to run from Washington DC down to Miami Beach-and still has enough energy left over to jump into the ocean.
But using fat for energy is complicated; fat is stored in fat tissue and not readily available to working muscles. Plus, to burn fat for energy, the body needs carbohydrate-it cannot burn fat all by itself. What's more, the conversion of fat into energy doesn't go as quickly as carb conversion.
Protein is also used for energy when carbs run low. But the more you use protein for energy, the more you risk soreness as muscle fibers break down.
Prepare to Energize
To maximize your energy during exercise and minimize soreness, Portman and Ivy recommend some simple nutritional steps:
Taking protein and carbs while working out can limit muscle damage and curtail soreness. Carbs apparently drop your cortisol levels, and thereby limit muscle injuries linked to this hormone. While the mechanism that helps protein limit muscle soreness is not completely understood, it is possible that taking in protein while working out keeps the body from shredding muscle tissue in search of fuel.
Supplements that contain antioxidants such as natural vitamin E and vitamin C (Portman and Ivy think you should take these during exercise) may limit free radical damage to muscle fibers.
Muscle Reconstruction Plan
If you want to help your exercise plan make you stronger, you should focus your after-exercise sports nutrition plan on these steps:
The protein part of the equation is vital: don't merely indulge in only carbs after exercising. A recent study found that while carbs could help muscles rebuild, adding protein can make a big difference in improving your fitness (J App Phys 2/04).
This combination of nutrients stimulates the pancreas so that it releases insulin. The release of insulin is the key, initial step that sets off a cascade of physiological events that speeds muscle recovery. Although many people think of insulin as an undesirable hormone-if you never exercise, too much insulin may help drive your blood sugar down and cause other problems-for exercisers, this hormone plays a crucial function in benefiting from exercise.
By eating carbohydrate and protein soon after working out and stimulating insulin, according to Ivy and Portman, you help your body boost its synthesis of protein by:
Drinking for Exercise The most obvious nutrient you lose during intensive exercise is water in your perspiration. However, that perspiration also contains an array of minerals known as electrolytes. So, for optimal performance and health, experts recommend you replace both the water and its minerals.
Merely drinking water-instead of electrolyte-filled sports drinks-during prolonged aerobic activity can be dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable to a condition called hyponatremia, which can occur when your blood levels of sodium and other electrolytes drop, but your blood volume stays steady or increases because you drink lots of water.
According to Edmund Burke, PhD, in his book Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery (Avery), one out of four athletes who seek medical attention after a long race are suffering hyponatremia.
" Typically," he says, "conscientious athletes get in trouble because they adhere too diligently to one recommendation: the need to drink lots of fluids. They tend to ignore another recommendation: The need to keep electrolytes up...for most endurance athletes the real problem is drinking too much water." Dr. Burke warns that you can possibly suffer hyponatremia even if you don't drink a lot of water.
Signs of hyponatremia can be similar to those of heat exhaustion. But, while resting and cooling down can help alleviate heat exhaustion, that doesn't help hyponatremia. " To protect yourself against hyponatremia, start by paying attention to how much you sweat," Dr. Burke says. If your sweat seems very salty, burns your eyes or leaves an evident, white residue on your skin, you may be losing a great deal of sodium and should be diligent about eating salty foods. " You can also make sure you're getting enough sodium by drinking sports drinks instead of plain water during long (exercise) events," Dr. Burke notes.
Of course, no matter what you decide to eat or drink while exercising, the most important factor for your well-being is to get out to the gym, onto the track, or just on to the sidewalk, and do something, even if you only want to go out for a walk. No matter how old you are or what kind of shape you're in, you'll benefit from exercise.
" It's solid evidence that across-the-board declines occur when people stop exercising," says Charles Emery, PhD, professor of psychology at Ohio State University (Health Psychology 3/04).
Don't decline or remain supine. Let your fitness climb.
Immunity - The Big Picture
June 10, 2005 09:51 PM
Immunity: The Big Picture by Brian Amherst Energy Times, August 3, 1999
Your body wants to be well. Outfitted with a battalion of defenses for strategic deployment, your immune system explodes with resistant force at the first sign of infective invasion.
Think of the time a tiny splinter embedded itself in your thumb. By bedtime, the spot rose and reddened; by morning, white blood cells had launched their campaign, building a hot, throbbing fortification. By day's end, the bit of wood was propelled to the surface and ejected by the immune system warriors. Once again, a foreign assailant was summarily ousted.
The Protective Force
"Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health is critical to supporting the immune system." So write naturopathic doctors Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima).
Maintaining the immune system requires a comprehensive program of wholesome diet, resilient attitude, fitness enhancing activity and nutrients keyed to the clear and specific needs of this energetic machine.
The all-star lineup for immune sustenance: a high-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula, vitamins C and A, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, zinc and selenium, antioxidants like ActiVin (grape seed extract) and pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark), as well as the botanicals echinacea and astragalus.
But optimal partnering with your immune system also benefits from understanding its workings.
Lymph, a milky fluid consisting of water protein and immune cells, is the essence of the immune system. Powered by muscle movement (an important reason why exercise boosts immunity), the lymphatic system collects and transports lymph to the lymph nodes. These nodes contain certain immune cells and filter out invading antigens, as well as produce antibodies, before siphoning the lymph out into the bloodstream.
If you've ever had "swollen glands," that means your lymph nodes have been in overdrive.
Macrophages are the immune cells that filter lymph, consuming bacteria and cellular debris while protecting the lymph system from invasion and damage.
The White Blood Cell Album
In Monocytes collect cellular trash after infections and can trigger immune responses; eosinophils can eliminate foreign particles and, with basophils, are involved in immune response.
In Lymphocytes include varieties of T cells, which work with other white blood cells or attack and destroy foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cells; B cells that produce antibodies that bind to bacteria, viruses or tumors; and natural killer cells (NKCs) that destroy cancerous or virally-infected cells.
(Based on information in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine; The Road to Immunity: How to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) by Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin; and the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (Harper Resource).
Keep the System Sound
"But you must always be sure to maintain the mind-body-spirit link," he told Energy Times. "For the mind, it could be exercise, yoga or meditation. Evidence shows improved immune system responses from these therapies. And in any case, you never read in the headlines that somebody has been admitted to the emergency room overdosing on meditation.
"Intentionality also is an important part of the mind link: believing you are going to fare well. For your spirit, you must ask yourself such questions as, Do I feel connected to others?
"For the body, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Much depends on your community: I live on Long Island, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, so I would recommend green tea and isoflavones from soy products for women."
Dr. Benjamin stresses moderation in the use of immune-intensifying supplements, among which he cites mixed carotenoids, zinc and vitamin E.
The Soy Solution
In a study conducted by the University of Southern California at Norris and published in the March 4, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that genistein, an active component of soy products, short-circuits the ability of tumor cells to elude destruction by the immune system due to an excess of defensive stress proteins.
Genistein seems to make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune response. Researchers at Wake Forest University told participants at the January 1999 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that dietary or supplemental soy fed to monkeys counteracted cell proliferation that is a cancer precursor.
That Championship C
Immune cells are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York now understand how that happens: Proteins called growth factors (which control growth and production of immune cells) also increase those cells' ability to take up vitamin C.
These researchers, reporting in the April 1998 issue of the journal Blood, explain that the additional glucose that the growth factors pump into immune cells (for enhanced energy), plus extra vitamin C, intensify immune response.
And folks with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum experience less cell damage from free radicals that leads to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo (addressing the June 13, 1997 meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research) deduced from studying population groups that high levels of vitamin C are associated with low oxidative stress and lower risk of cell damage.
From A to Zinc
In Colostrum, the pre-milk liquid produced by mammals during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, took the spotlight recently as a supplement imbued with multiple immune factors and natural antibiotics that augment body's immune response. A 1992 study showed that bovine colostrum might be able to reduce and prevente infections in immune deficient folks, especially those with AIDS.
In University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers found for the first time (on laboratory animals) that vitamin D appreciably inhibits widespread prostate cancer by binding to cancer cells and triggering cell death or their transformation to benign cells.
In Vitamin E exerts formidable immune-enhancing influence on both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. One fundamental study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (245, 1981: 53-58) established conclusively that vitamin E deficiency results in significant impairment of immune function. Later studies demonstrated that it reduces prostate cancer by up to one-third.
In Coenzyme A, described as a metabolic enzyme, takes part in starting numerous body processes that provide energy for the immune system. If you ever run short of this enzyme, fat processing within your body would grind to a halt.
in Researchers looking at a substance with the tongue twisting name 3-acetyl-7-oxo-Dehydroepiandro-sterone, believe it aids immunity by quelling stress hormones.
in Mushrooms contain natural substances called polysaccharides, believed to enhance immunity. In particular, maitake mushroom, which conveys the immune booster beta-D-glucans, is reputed to help fight infections and drop blood pressure.
in Men and women taking selenium supplements for 10 years had 41% less total cancer than those taking a dummy, according to a January 1997 study by Cornell University and the University of Arizona. Other studies have shown it to reduce the risk for colon cancer by about 60%. n Zinc may provide immediate protection against the all too common cold. Scientists at the University of Florida were the first to apply genetic fingerprinting methods like those used in criminal and paternity investigations to understand how nutrients directly affect human immune cells.
The study, in the April 1998 Journal of Nutrition, demonstrates that zinc signals cells to make the protein metallothionein, which protects against infections, toxins and other stressors.
Phytochemicals a la Carte
n Isoflavones from soy, fight angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form to supply nutrients to cancerous growths. n Sulforaphane in broccoli, kale and cabbage activates anticancer enzymes.
n Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish block the synthesis of prostaglandins, natural compounds in the body that promote tumor growth.
n Ginger contains antioxidant compounds, each more potent than vitamin E. Recent studies on mice show ginger can prevent skin tumors. n Rosemary contains carnosol which deactivates carcinogens and helps limit the effects of prostaglandins.
Sometimes the world can look like a dangerous place, especially when you're sick and tired much of the time. But in the search for immunity, menus of health help like this ensure that no matter what your immunity needs, a boost can be yours with the proper nutrient selection.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
Multiple - Why take them?
June 09, 2005 08:52 AM
When designing supplements to provide the foundation of a complete nutritional program, Source Naturals devoted extensive research to making sure you get the most out of the nutrients you consume. We took into account a key factor other such products have overlooked: the fact that our bodies are challenged by living in the modern world.
We are constantly exposed to stresses our evolutionary ancestors never faced: a daily barrage of pollutants in our air, our water, even our food supply. In recognition of this fact, Source Naturals has created products that not only supply essential nutrients, but also support our key organ of detoxification: the liver.
Why Take A Multiple?
The advantage of taking a high-quality multiple, rather than taking individual nutrients, is that nutrients often enhance the absorption and/or function of other nutrients. In other words, nutrients work together. The list of nutrient interactions in the body is seemingly endless. For example, vitamin C dramatically enhances the absorption of iron. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption and reduces excretion of calcium by the kidneys. Magnesium and calcium have complementary actions, with both playing a role in neuromuscular transmission and activity as well as bone metabolism. Vitamin B-5 is crucial in metabolizing amino acids and plays a role in converting the amino acid tyrosine into the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. And the list goes on. Many antioxidant nutrients in the body have synergistic relationships as well. For example, the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine and vitamin B-2 work together. N-acetyl cysteine is an acetylated amino acid that is an antioxidant in its own right and also a precursor to another potent antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione is a key player in redox reactions in the body?a repeating loop of chemical reactions in which glutathione is shuttled back and forth between its oxidized and reduced states. In its reduced form (GSH), glutathione is a potent antioxidant. After scavenging free radicals, glutathione becomes oxidized (GSSG). But, by using a coenzyme form of vitamin B-2 called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), the body can convert glutathione back into its reduced state so it can continue to scavenge free radicals.
In a similar fashion, alpha-lipoic acid recycles the antioxidant vitamins C and E. And the mineral selenium performs similar functions in the body as vitamin E, as well as regenerating oxidized vitamin E.
Prosta Response - Supports Prostate Function and Healthy Urine Flow
June 04, 2005 01:56 PM
Bookstores are filled with it, news magazines are reporting on it. From the revelations of politicians to disturbing statistical reports, prostate health issues that formerly received little notice are now in the headlines. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located under the bladder and surrounding the urinary tract in men. Many factors affect prostate wellness, including aging and individual genetic history, but today’s chemicalized environment poses unprecedented challenges to the health of the prostate gland. Source Naturals is helping to meet this challenge with PROSTA-RESPONSE, a Bio-Aligned Formula™ designed to support multiple, interdependent body systems. It is the only prostate formula that addresses six body systems involved with healthy prostate function.
More than Symptoms*, Systems PROSTA-RESPONSE is a unique formula that combines clinically tested potencies of saw palmetto extract and beta sitosterol with standardized Swedish flower pollen extract, quercetin, lyopene, soy and additional herbs and nutrients. PROSTA-RESPONSE goes beyond formulas that simply address nutritional symptoms and instead deals with underlying causes. PROSTARESPONSE supports healthy prostate function and urine flow by addressing the following body systems:
1. Hormone regulation: Hormones have a direct role in prostate functioning and have been closely linked to prostate health. PROSTA-RESPONSE contains specific plant extracts and nutrients shown in research to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and the subsequent binding to receptors within the prostate.
2. Prostate cell regeneration: Swedish flower pollen extract, used extensively in Europe and Asia for more than 40 years, has demonstrated significant effects in maintaining proper prostate cell regeneration.
3. Soothing mechanisms: Certain plant compounds, such as flavonoids from soy and sterols from pollen extract, inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid. This in turn influences prostaglandin synthesis, which may be associated with comfort levels.
4. Bladder and urinary tract health: A healthy environment within the bladder and urinary tract is vital for prostate health and normal urine flow. PROSTARESPONSE contains botanicals that support the bladder and urinary tract health.
5. Prostate health: Studies show that dietary factors influence the overall health of the prostate. The body naturally concentrates certain compounds in higher amounts in the prostate. These include zinc, vitamin E and soy isoflavones.
6. Antioxidant defense: Antioxidants play an important role in maintaining prostate function and cell membrane integrity. Oxidative stress, or the action of free radicals, is confirmed as a significant factor that can trigger a host of destructive processes.
Developing a Prostate-Friendly Lifestyle
Supplementation is only one part of an individual’s Strategy for WellnessSM. That’s why Source Naturals® is committed to providing public education about the many aspects of a prostate-healthy lifestyle.
Less Fat, More Fiber, Lots of Veggies
Studies suggest a direct relationship between dietary fat and prostate health, with men whose diets consist of 30%-40% or more fat at highest risk. Saturated fats, especially from animal sources, are most problematic. Some research has attributed this relationship to the effect animal fats have on excess levels of circulating sex hormones. Prostate health is also associated with high fiber intake. This may be because dietary fiber binds testosterone, estradiol and other sex steroids and helps eliminate excess hormones, Five to nine servings of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains (35 g) are recommended daily for prostate health. Tomato-based foods are rich in the carotenoid, lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant, helping to protect our cells and fatty tissues from free radical damage. A long-term study at Harvard School of Medicine found beneficial effects from 10 servings of tomato products weekly, while recent clinical research points to an intake of 15 mg of lycopene twice per day. Also helpful are green and yellow-orange vegetables, which contain compounds that are converted to vitamin A; citrus fruits that contain vitamin C; nuts and seeds that contain vitamin E; zinc-containing seafood, legumes and eggs; and selenium-rich whole grains, seafood and organ meats. Studies show a correlation between prostate health and diets that contain large amounts of soy. Soybeans contain prostate-healthy phytoestrogens, including the isoflavone, genistein. Some experts suggest eating seven servings of soy protein per week (providing 10 g of soy protein and 20 mg of isoflavones daily) for general good health, and three times that amount for more targeted protection.
Dehydration stresses the prostate gland. It is important to consume plenty of water—about eight glasses per day. Plain water is best, but you can also drink highly diluted fruit juice, herbal tea or lightly flavored sparkling water. Green tea is beneficial for prostate health, due to certain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. You can reduce the frequency of nighttime trips to the bathroom by eliminating fluids a few hours before you go to sleep. You may find it more comfortable to spread out your intake, taking small sips of fluids over the course of the day.
Good circulation is important for prostate health. Regular walking is excellent in this regard. “Kegel” exercises— a series of contractions of the muscles around the prostate—are helpful for improving circulation and tonicity of the genital area.
Supplementation tailored to prostate wellness would focus on the vitamins and minerals described above—in addition to nourishing our body systems, many are also antioxidants, helping to counter the free radical damage that is rampant in our chemicalized environment. The program would also include specific herbs found to support prostate function, especially saw palmetto, pygeum, and pumpkin seeds.
First Bio-Aligned Formula for the Prostate Gland!
PROSTA-RESPONSE is the first prostate support formula designed to work holistically, by addressing the multiple systems that affect prostate higher amounts in the prostate. health. Try Source Naturals PROSTA-RESPONSE, available in bottles of 45 and 90 tablets.
PROSTA-RESPONSE™: A Bio-Aligned Formula™ Multi-System Support for the Prostate Gland
Hormonal Regulation: Nettle, Pygeum, Red Clover, Saw Palmetto, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Zinc, Vitamin D-3
Prostate Cellular Regeneration: Lycopene, Nettle, Quercetin, Red Clover, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Vitamin D-3
Soothing Mechanisms: Prostaglandin Synthesis Beta Sitosterol, Pygeum, Quercetin, Red Clover Saw Palmetto, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract
Bladder & Urinary Tract Health: Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Goldenseal, Gravel Root, Marshmallow Root, Pumpkin Seed, Pygeum, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Uva Ursi
Prostate Health: Red Clover, Soy, Zinc, Vitamin E
Antioxidant Defense: Ginkgo Biloba, Grape Seed, Green Tea, Lycopene, Pygeum, Quercetin, Red Clover, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin E
Positive Thought - Balance Emotions and Mood...
June 04, 2005 01:34 PM
As modern life becomes increasingly stressful, people are seeking out natural products that promote calmness and relaxation. But unless your supplement addresses multiple body systems, a healthy positive outlook may be out of reach. POSITIVE THOUGHTS Bio-Aligned Formula supports the interrelated systems and functions involved with emotional balance: inhibitory, stimulating and balancing neurotransmitters, and energy metabolism. This comprehensive herbal-nutrient blend features St. John’s wort, which has been clinically shown to support a good mood.
A Bio-Aligned Formula™
POSITIVE THOUGHTS is designed to bring alignment to the multiple, interconnected systems that influence a positive mood. Here’s how:
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that aid in the process of nerve cell communication. Inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as GABA, reduce brain stimulation, helping to support a sense of relaxation and calm. The nerve cell membrane- stabilizing properties of taurine also support relaxation, as do the included herbs. In addition to supplying GABA and taurine, POSITIVE THOUGHTS supports inhibitory neuro-modulation with kava, lemon balm, valerian, and vitamin B-6.
Stimulating neurotransmitters help promote drive, ambition, alert mental functioning, and memory. They support a positive mental outlook by providing a feeling of energy and vitality. POSITIVE THOUGHTS supports stimulating neuromodulation with DMAE, L-phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, and vitamins B-5 and B-6.
In our high-powered, stress-filled world, the balancing properties of St. John’s wort can help maintain a positive outlook and a sense of well-being. Studies have shown that St. John’s wort can help support a positive mood.
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain. It is vital for memory, cognitive function, focus, concentration, and muscle movement. POSITIVE THOUGHTS contains DMAE, vitamins B-1, B-5 and B-12, and pantothenic acid to support acetylcholine production.
The brain’s energy supports the vast electric, chemical, and structural processes that are the basis of a positive outlook. The brain uses 60% of the glucose used by the body at rest. Nutrients help convert glucose to the energy that the brain requires. They are also a component of many coenzymes needed for the synthesis of key neurotransmitters. POSITIVE THOUGHTS addresses energy metabolism with these nutrients: magnesium, manganese, zinc, vitamins B-1, B-2, B- 3, B-5, B-6, B-12 and C, biotin, and folic acid.
Strategies for WellnessSM: A Healthy Mood Plan
Lifestyle choices can help you maintain a positive attitude in response to the normal stresses of everyday life.
Neuro-Modulation—Inhibitory: GABA, Kava Kava, Lemon Balm, Taurine, Valerian, Vitamin B-6
Neuro-Modulation—Stimulating: DMAE, L-Phenylalanine, LTyrosine, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Vitamins B-5 & B-6
Neuro-Modulation—Balancing: St. John’s Wort
Acetylcholine Production: DMAE, Vitamins B-1, B-5 & B-12, Pantothenic Acid
Energy Metabolism: Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-12 & C, Biotin, Folic Acid
Mental Edge - Support proper Brain Function...
June 03, 2005 06:07 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MENTAL EDGE® is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that supports the interdependent body systems involved with healthy brain function. These include neurotransmitter production, myelin sheath generation, stress response, energy metabolism, and antioxidant defense.
Mental Edge®: A Bio-Aligned Formula™
Many scientists believe that only a small portion of the brain is fully utilized. MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. This comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula optimizes brain function by addressing the multiple body systems involved with cognitive health.
Neurons (nerve cells) communicate with each other when neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) cross a small gap called a synapse to convey a message from one neuron to the next. Second messengers help transmit the message from the membrane of a receiving neuron to its inner environment. MENTAL EDGE supports neurotransmitter production with L-glutamine, L-phenylalanine, L-pyroglutamic acid, taurine, L-tyrosine, manganese, vitamins B-1 and B-6, and inositol.
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters. It is vital for memory and muscle movement. The ingredients DMAE, phosphatidylcholine, L-pyroglutamic acid, vitamin B-5 and choline are precursors to acetylcholine. DMAE is particularly important because it crosses the protective blood-brain barrier more easily than the others. DMAE also enhances mental concentration.
Adaptogenic herbs help provide the brain with the support and energy it needs to deal with the physical and mental stresses of an ever-changing environment. MENTAL EDGE supports stress response with the botanicals gotu kola, schizandra, and Siberian ginseng, and with the nutrients taurine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B-5 and C, and inositol.
Just as every cell needs the proper nutrients to survive, so do neurons. The brain accounts for 2% of our body weight, yet uses 15% of our total energy supply. Adequate levels of energy-generating nutrients are vital to the high-powered functioning of this organ. MENTAL EDGE supports energy generation with ginkgo biloba, L-glutamine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
Myelin Sheath Generation
Myelin, composed of fat and protein, makes up the myelin sheath that forms a protective insulating covering around certain nerve fibers. Properly formed myelin increases nerve impulse conduction. MENTAL EDGE contains vitamins B-5 and B-12, which are needed for myelin sheath generation.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive
Health: A Strategy for WellnessSM Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a highfat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Long-term anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
Neurotransmitter Production: L-Glutamine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6, Inositol
Acetylcholine Production: DMAE, Phosphatidylcholine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5, Choline
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, Vitamin C
Stress Response Gotu Kola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, Taurine, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B-5 & C, Inositol
Energy Metabolism: Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, & B-12, Biotin, Folic Acid
Myelin Sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 and B-12
Calm Thoughts Kava - from Source Naturals
June 01, 2005 09:31 AM
Stress: it disturbs your serenity. Ultimately it takes a physical toll on your health. And it seems to be an unavoidable part of the hectic modern lifestyle. Source Naturals CALM THOUGHTS KAVA is a comprehensive formula designed to help you stay calm in the face of stress and anxiety—without sacrificing the clarity and focus you need to function effectively. CALM THOUGHTS is centered around a standardized extract of kava kava, the relaxing herb of choice for generations of South Pacific Islanders. But CALM THOUGHTS goes further, with soothing herbs and nutrients, rejuvenating ingredients and neurotransmitter support.
CALM THOUGHTS is centered around the renowned calmative kava kava. Used for generations by South Pacific Islanders, kava is known traditionally for its ability to help a person achieve a tranquil, meditative, yet focused state. Kava is an integral part of the spiritual and social fabric of Pacific Islanders’ life, used to help people relax and socialize. In Europe, where kava has been the subject of a number of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, science has confirmed its beneficial effects, and made kava a popular alternative for reducing stress. Those studies found reduced anxiety levels in individuals given standardized kava extracts. CALM THOUGHTS enhances kava’s calming properties with a number of supporting herbs. One of these is bacopa, known commonly as Brahmi in Indian herbalism and used extensively as a nervous system tonic. The formula also includes St. John’s wort, the most extensively studied herb in the market today, and the well-known calmatives lemon balm and valerian.
Several of the botanicals in CALM THOUGHTS are tonic herbs, helping to promote overall well-being. These include the adaptogens schizandra, ashwagandha and Siberian ginseng, all of which help the body deal with external stresses. Also featured are warming ginger, energizing licorice, and Ginkgo biloba, to promote circulation.
CALM THOUGHTS includes ingredients which influence brain neurotransmitters involved in the body’s reactions to stress. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which may have regulatory effects on the nervous system. Tyrosine is a precursor to the catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine, which play an important role in mood balance and may have a role in emotional feelings and behavior. Dopamine is a precursor to norepinephrine, an “activating” type neurotransmitter which is involved with attention, arousal, the sleep-wake cycle, and appetite regulation.
CALM THOUGHTS contains a range of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Calcium is essential for the healthy functioning of nerves and muscles. Magnesium is mildly relaxing to the muscles, while taurine modulates certain nerve impulses. Vitamins C and B-5 are important for healthy functioning of the adrenal glands and help in the body’s response to stress. Vitamin B-6 is important for healthy functioning of nerves and aids in the metabolism of tyrosine and taurine. For calmness with clarity and focus, choose Source Naturals CALM THOUGHTS KAVA. This groundbreaking formula is available in 45 and 90-tablet bottles.
Prosta Response - 45ct, 90ct, and 180ct --
May 20, 2005 07:36 PM
ookstores are filled with it, news magazines are reporting on it. From the revelations of politicians to disturbing statistical reports, prostate health issues that formerly received little notice are now in the headlines. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located under the bladder and surrounding the urinary tract in men. Many factors affect prostate wellness, including aging and individual genetic history, but today’s chemicalized environment poses unprecedented challenges to the health of the prostate gland. Source Naturals is helping to meet this challenge with PRO STA RESPONSE, a Bio-Aligned Formula™ designed to support multiple, interdependent body systems. It is the only prostate formula that addresses six body systems involved with healthy prostate function.
More than Symptoms*, Systems PRO STA-RE SPONSE is a unique formula that combines clinically tested potencies of saw palmetto extract and beta sitosterol with standardized Swedish flower pollen extract, quercetin, lyopene, soy and additional herbs and nutrients. PRO-STA- RESPONSE goes beyond formulas that simply address nutritional symptoms and instead deals with underlying causes. PROSTARESPONSE supports healthy prostate function and urine flow by addressing the following body systems: 1. Hormone regulation: Hormones have a direct role in prostate functioning and have been closely linked to prostate health. PRO STA RESP ONSE contains specific plant extracts and nutrients shown in research to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and the subsequent binding to receptors within the prostate. 2. Prostate cell regeneration: Swedish flower pollen extract, used extensively in Europe and Asia for more than 40 years, has demonstrated significant effects in maintaining proper prostate cell regeneration. 3. Soothing mechanisms: Certain plant compounds, such as flavonoids from soy and sterols from pollen extract, inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid. This in turn influences prostaglandin synthesis, which may be associated with comfort levels. 4. Bladder and urinary tract health: A healthy environment within the bladder and urinary tract is vital for prostate health and normal urine flow. PROSTARESPONSE contains botanicals that support the bladder and urinary tract health. 5. Prostate health: Studies show that dietary factors influence the overall health of the prostate. The body naturally concentrates certain compounds in higher amounts in the prostate. These include zinc, vitamin E and soy isoflavones. 6. Antioxidant defense: Antioxidants play an important role in maintaining prostate function and cell membrane integrity. Oxidative stress, or the action of free radicals, is confirmed as a significant factor that can trigger a host of destructive processes. Developing a Prostate-Friendly Lifestyle Supplementation is only one part of an individual’s Strategy for WellnessSM. That’s why Source Naturals® is committed to providing public education about the many aspects of a prostate-healthy lifestyle. Less Fat, More Fiber, Lots of Veggies Studies suggest a direct relationship between dietary fat and prostate health, with men whose diets consist of 30%-40% or more fat at highest risk. Saturated fats, especially from animal sources, are most problematic. Some research has attributed this relationship to the effect animal fats have on excess levels of circulating sex hormones. Prostate health is also associated with high fiber intake. This may be because dietary fiber binds testosterone, estradiol and other sex steroids and helps eliminate excess hormones,
Five to nine servings of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains (35 g) are recommended daily for prostate health. Tomato-based foods are rich in the carotenoid, lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant, helping to protect our cells and fatty tissues from free radical damage. A long-term study at Harvard School of Medicine found beneficial effects from 10 servings of tomato products weekly, while recent clinical research points to an intake of 15 mg of lycopene twice per day. Also helpful are green and yellow-orange vegetables, which contain compounds that are converted to vitamin A; citrus fruits that contain vitamin C; nuts and seeds that contain vitamin E; zinc-containing seafood, legumes and eggs; and selenium-rich whole grains, seafood and organ meats. Studies show a correlation between prostate health and diets that contain large amounts of soy. Soybeans contain prostate-healthy phytoestrogens, including the isoflavone, genistein. Some experts suggest eating seven servings of soy protein per week (providing 10 g of soy protein and 20 mg of isoflavones daily) for general good health, and three times that amount for more targeted protection. Drink Healthy Dehydration stresses the prostate gland. It is important to consume plenty of water—about eight glasses per day. Plain water is best, but you can also drink highly diluted fruit juice, herbal tea or lightly flavored sparkling water. Green tea is beneficial for prostate health, due to certain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.
You can reduce the frequency of nighttime trips to the bathroom by eliminating fluids a few hours before you go to sleep. You may find it more comfortable to spread out your intake, taking small sips of fluids over the course of the day. Exercise Good circulation is important for prostate health. Regular walking is excellent in this regard. “Kegel” exercises— a series of contractions of the muscles around the prostate—are helpful for improving circulation and tonicity of the genital area. Supplementation Supplementation tailored to prostate wellness would focus on the vitamins and minerals described above—in addition to nourishing our body systems, many are also antioxidants, helping to counter the free radical damage that is rampant in our chemicalized environment. The program would also include specific herbs found to support prostate function, especially saw palmetto, pygeum, and pumpkin seeds. First Bio-Aligned Formula for the Prostate Gland! PROSTA-RESPONSE is the first prostate support formula designed to work holistically, by addressing the multiple systems that affect prostate higher amounts in the prostate. health.
Try Source Naturals PRO STA-RE SPONSE, available in bottles of 45 and 90 tablets.
Hormonal Regulation Freeze Dried stinging Nettle, Pygeum, Red Clover, Saw Palmetto, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Zinc, Vitamin D-3 Prostate Cellular Regeneration Lycopene, Nettle, Quercetin, Red Clover, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Vitamin D-3 Soothing Mechanisms: Prostaglandin Synthesis Beta Sitosterol, Pygeum, Quercetin, Red Clover Saw Palmetto, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract Bladder & Urinary Tract Health Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Goldenseal, Gravel Root, Marshmallow Root, Pumpkin Seed, Pygeum, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Uva Ursi Prostate Health Red Clover, Soy, Zinc, Vitamin E Antioxidant Defense Ginkgo Biloba, Grape Seed, Green Tea, Lycopene, Pygeum, Quercetin, Red Clover, Soy, Swedish Flower Pollen Extract, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin E PROSTA-RESPONSE™: A Bio-Aligned Formula™ Multi-System Support for the Prostate Gland References Buck, A.C. 1996. Phytotherapy for the prostate. Brit J Urol 78:325-336. Morton, M.S. et al. Lignans and isoflavonoids in plasma and prostatic fluid in men: samples from Portugal, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Prostate 32:122-128. Morton, M.S. et al. 1996. The preventative role of diet in prostatic…Brit J Urol 77:481-493. Wilt, T.J. et al. 1998. Saw palmetto extracts…a systematic review. JAMA 280:1604-1609 Yasumoto, M.D. et al. Jan-Feb 1995. Clinical evaluation of long-term treatment using …pollen extract…Clin Ther 17(1):82-87. *The term symptom as used in this literature refers to the effects of nutrient imbalances and shortages, and is not related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.
Prosta Response 45ct
Prosta Response 90ct
Prosta Response 180ct
VitaNet® VitaNet ® Staff
May 09, 2005 10:08 AM
Calm Child is a clinically derived herbal formula, specifically designed to support many body systems that are critical to the health and well-being of children. It is truly a multi-purpose herbal treasure, useful for supporting the health of the immune system in winter, enhancing digestive processes, and promoting restful sleep issues commonly experienced by most children. It also helps defend the system against the negative effects of stress, eases occasional restlessness, and promotes calm focused attention.
The Challenged Child
Difficulty in focusing and concentrating is one of the fastest growing problems for children today. This is a "new" problem, recognized as such over the last thirty years of the twentieth century. In the nineties, up to 5 percent or more of all school-age children were identified as having issues with focus (greater than 5 million children in 1995, over 25% higher than in 1985!). Since then, this number has continued to grow. Signs of the problem include the following and must be present for at least six months in more than one setting (home, school, etc.) especially before the age of seven: distractibility (inattention); inability to concentrate or focus; impulsivity (poor self-control); and excessive activity. Of course, measures of all of these are very subjective and are a part of the development of almost every child. Additionally, situations such as premature separation from parents, or unresolved emotional issues, or a family crisis, can cause children to withdraw or, conversely, act out due to an inability to appropriately express their feelings. Further, excessive and violent TV and computer games, lack of physical exercise, and poor diets can cause over-stimulation, internally and externally. Determining when such behavior is a problem is subject to interpretation. Too often, children are provided with a diagnosis before they are out of pre-school and are far too often prescribed pharmacological interventions such as amphetamines (Ritalin).
The Birth of Calm Child
My husband, Michael Tierra, originally formulated Calm Child for our own child, Chetan, then one year old, to address a wide array of potential childhood issues. His underlying intention was to use Calm Child for all children, based on his belief that most childhood emotional complaints are due to the unconscious pain of separation from the security and comfort of the womb. It was also based on the fact that historically, botanicals have been widely used to support the development of healthy children. Chamomile and lemon balm are perfectly suited for this purpose. Both are incredibly gentle-acting and deliciously fragrant botanicals that promote relaxation and calmness. Both also address underlying digestive imbalances that can give rise to occasional irritability and restlessness.
The Calm Child Formula
The herbs in Calm Child have a long history of use for calm focused attention in children: Lemon Balm: In his herbal of 1640, the renowned English medical botanist John Parkinson quoted Serapion the Younger (802-849) who said lemon balm is used "to cause the mind and heart to become merry...to strengthen the weakness of the spirits and heart, and to comfort them..." This belief in the comforting effects of lemon balm persisted and was repeated by Avicenna, who stated "it makes the heart merry and strengthens the vital spirit." In the 16th century, the renowned herbalist Nicholas Culpeper reported on the use of lemon balm for melancholy and sadness. Herbalists and midwives today continue to use lemon balm for the same purposes. Chamomile: Well-known in the nineteenth century, chamomile was used for crying, weepy children and to support calm digestion. Herbalists have long recognized a relationship between upset stomachs and restless children. Today, it is still widely used in homeopathy for babies' teething and children's clinginess. Other complementary ingredients in Calm Child include: jujube seeds (zizyphus), one of the most nourishing and relaxing nerve tonics used in Chinese herbalism; the incredibly nourishing berries of hawthorn and amla; the calming, aromatic, and digestive promoting effects of catnip, anise, clove, and long pepper; the legendary gotu kola for promoting mental well-being and attention; and the minerals magnesium (taurinate) and calcium (citrate), both necessary for normal nerve and muscular function.
Works in Three Important Ways
Together these botanicals work in three important ways to promote calm focused attention in children. They: 1) promote a calm relaxed nervous system; 2) provide added nourishment which is essential for normal brain function; and 3) support a calm and healthy digestive system which is often an underlying cause of childhood restlessness.
Calm Child was developed more than 20 years ago and has been used by literally tens of thousands of children worldwide. In my own clinical practice, I have found Calm Child to have a wide range of uses. It is great as a wintertime supplement, to support normal digestion, promote relaxation and sleep, and perhaps most important, to cultivate a strong, centered, focused sense of mental and emotional well-being, specifically in children though many parents of active children have benefited from it as well. When it is given in conjunction with a diet that is low in refined sugars and food colorings and additives, parents report tremendous success in dealing with teething, occasional headaches and digestive imbalances, increasing attention in school, or helping their children cope with the stresses of day care.
For best results, herbs are always given in conjunction with diet and lifestyle recommendations. When using Calm Child, make sure the child is eating sufficient protein for his/her needs along with lots of cooked vegetables and some whole grains. Include some fruit, but keep fruit juices to a minimum as they contain too much simple sugar for children. Eliminate sugar, white flour products, foods with colors and preservatives, and caffeinated products as much as possible. Be sure to give plenty of water (many children never drink water but depend on juices or sodas instead!). Also, children inherently have much more energy than their parent and teacher handlers who try to make them sit still and focus on something that has little meaning to them. Make sure they get plenty of physical exercise to burn off some of the energy that teachers and parents have difficulty harnessing.