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Personal Health: The Subtle Signs of a Thyroid Disorder
July 28, 2017 09:14 AM
There are many signs of a thyroid disorder that you should not ignore. Sadly, any people do ignore these signs, assuming they're no big deal or that it is just their mind playing tricks on them. The truth is, this is a real condition, and one that is very serious. A quick diagnosis can change things, however, so pay attention to even the most subtle of signs, like the little ones that you will find listed here.
"Thyroid disorders can affect a wide range of bodily functions and cause an array of confusing and often misdiagnosed symptoms."
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/well/live/the-subtle-signs-of-a-thyroid-disorder.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
If you get less than 7 hours of sleep, this is what can happen to your belly fat
July 21, 2017 12:14 PM
When adult don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (7-8 hours), the body is out of balance, especially with a proper eating schedule. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor nutritional habits (i.e. eating convenience food at any hour of the day). This can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Getting enough sleep allows the body to reset and can help ward off many diseases. There are many techniques, such as hypnosis shown in the video, or limited screen time before bed, to relax and aide in the sleeping process.
"Even willpower may not be enough to overcome lack of sleep’s not-so-subtle influence on your appetite, as sleep restriction is associated with activation of your endocannabinoid system — the same one activated by marijuana."
Vitamins that Help Balance Uric Acid in the Body
February 10, 2015 05:58 PM
What is a uric acid?
Uric acid is a waste product that can found in the body. It is a by-product of fructose metabolism. Therefore, a person with a diet rich in fructose will have a higher level of uric acid unless they can take certain measures to ensure that the levels are checked.
Effect of high uric acid
Very high levels of this waste product are associated with certain painful conditions. One of these conditions is gout. Gout is a type of very painful arthritis that will commonly affect the big toe. It is characterized by extreme pain and most people who have this condition are often on medication to regulate it for most of their lives. It is the most common disease associated with high uric levels, but not the only one.
People with High Blood pressure and obesity also exhibit higher levels of the acid in their systems. It is important to note however, that uric acid functions as both an anti-oxidant as well as a pro-oxidant. For this reason, you do not want to lower its levels too much, so as not to miss its anti-oxidation properties. You want to have optimal levels of the acid in your body and the following vitamins and natural spices can help you achieve this easily.
Vitamins to Regulate Uric Acid
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been recommended in many health advice articles as being especially useful to lowering the levels of uric acid in your body. However, it is important to be very careful when taking Vitamin C for this purpose since taking too much could have the opposite effect; that of increasing the levels of this acid in your body. Vitamin C can be found in many natural supplements but you are likely to get good results with the natural sources, which are fruits such as oranges and lemons as well as in vegetables.
Vitamin B5: This vitamin is very important in breaking down excess uric acid in the body. Also known as pantothenic acid, it is actually the necessary ingredient in the body for the excretion of this acid. Most people who have excess uric acid have a Vitamin B5 deficiency. Stress is a major cause of low levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin B9: Also known as folic acid, this vitamin has been used by many people suffering from gout to help lower the levels of uric acid in the cells. Although there are no real studies that show its efficiency, many people who take folic acid supplements have claimed a reduction in the intensity of gout symptoms.
Natural Herbs and Spices that can help, there are also a number of natural herbs and spices that can greatly help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. This is because certain herbs have been known to have higher anti-oxidation properties than even fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of the herbs and spices associated with uric acid control include; cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric. These four spices also have anti-inflammatory properties that can be very useful to those suffering from gout.
Mother Nature’s Best Secret is Grape Seed Extract
December 25, 2014 08:08 PM
Benefits of Grape Seed
Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant, the benefits resemble a type of fountain of youth that invigorated individuals and improved cardiovascular health and improved weakened collagen levels. Research indicated that individuals who resided in France and consumed red wine enjoyed a longer lifespan due to consuming wine that possessed a high content of a type of flavonoid called proanthocyanidin.
High blood sugar damages the heart and hardens it resulting in heart attacks and heart disease. Researches uncovered a secret of grape seed extract; it activated a blocker at the gene level stopping the body from heart hardening. Turning on this element at the cellular level deep inside of the mitochondrial DNA of a human being has assisted diabetic cardiomyopathy. French grape seed extract has an amazing impact on the body with blood sugar levels.
Germ managing elements have been identified inside of grape seed extract; it is a powerful anti-candida, reducing harmful bacteria keeping it in a healthy balance. People that are overweight who take the extract find that they reduce their calorie intake naturally. Persons who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, if they are given the extract improve and maintain a higher mental function. This extract is excellent for all parts of your body, boosting the immune function at all levels.
Why Should I Take Wheat Grass Liquid Concentrate?
December 10, 2014 11:03 PM
What is a wheat grass
Wheat grass benefits
Wheat grass concentrate
This liquid concentrate is packed with nutrients equivalent to five pounds of raw, green organic vegetables, all in just two ounces of juice. It is higher in vitamins A and C than what you would get in a serving of carrots or oranges, and has a full spectrum of B vitamins as well, and a balanced ratio of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus altogether. Wheat grass contains enzymes that detoxify the body, especially the blood and liver, neutralizing harmful pollutants like heavy metals and toxins that enter the body, which could be stored in tissues and organs, therefore cleansing the body from head to toe. This juice is also a resource of life-force energy that gives one renewed spiritual effects on his inner being. It battles premature aging and it keeps the hair from graying out making you look younger. Not only does it boosts the immune system by giving strength, vitality and endurance, but has wonderful effects on the body. It can cure acne and may help remove scars left if drank regularly for a few months. It acts, as a natural deodorizer hence can be a body deodorant. It can prevent tooth decay and even soothe toothaches and sore throat. It aids in skin problems like psoriasis or eczema. It helps in achieving regular bowel movement. It is gluten-free. Taking wheat grass liquid concentrate has no reported side effects or toxic in any amount given to either humans or animals, mainly because it is at its finest and most natural form, making it the ideal supplement to take nowadays.
What Are The Benefits Of Carob Powder?
September 20, 2014 02:50 AM
What is nourishment?
Nourishment is something that is inescapable for the supporting of life. Like air, water and asylum nourishment is likewise a fundamental necessity in our everyday life. In his occupied life, men have overlooked the criticalness of having solid nourishment. A man is approaching each part of his existence without any difficulty and has a state of mind that cares towards everything without exception. Engineering has progressed a great deal in the most recent decades, so do our dietary patterns. Bread has changed into burger; new chicken into KFC and god comprehends what else. There are wellbeing supplements, which help to keep up an adjusted eating methodology and stay solid.
What is Carob?
Have you ever become aware of carob? Then again, carob extricates. It is a nourishing supplement readied from carob plant and some different elements. It is a plant, which was first found in western Asia and the eastern piece of the Mediterranean area. Beetle bean gum is the name of the gum got from the carob seeds. They additionally find their application in natural pharmaceutical. The carob plants powdered units are dried and are then could be utilized as an element within natural solution.
Typically, carob is utilized as a thickener and is utilized in the production of sustenance, pharmaceuticals, beautifiers and a few pints. Because of its focal points carob has picked up much notoriety are late years. A percentage of the preferences of the carob that is the purpose behind its colossal prevalence are: they are low fat, low calorie and are a low perk option for chocolate. It is likewise utilized as the stimulant that we can discover in chocolates. Carob is acquired as carob powder and carob chips.
Some bad result about carob
There are a few myths about the carob, for example, carob contains cocaine and consequently it could be utilized as an option. The fact of the matter is the carob contains a few measures of the bromine not perk. The point of interest of carob is that it does not result in heart palpitations if expended in a little sum.
Benefits of carob
Dr. Subside D'adamo had formed carob Extract that has numerous profits. Carob concentrate could be utilized to keep glucose levels up. The carob concentrate is initially a mixture of 4 synergistic parts and it will help for keeping up solid intestinal vegetation and it will hinder dysbiotic bacterial over development.
Carob concentrate could be said as a low calorie, nutritious nourishment for everybody. It is assessed that the carob concentrate contains just 11 calorie for every teaspoon. Different elements contained in the carob concentrate are nectar and glycerin.
Here are 11 great profits of adding Carob to your eating methodology.
1- Contains Gallic Acid, which is utilized as an antibacterial, antiviral, against hypersensitive disinfectant.
2- Very high in Vitamin E
3- High in Calcium and Phosphorus
4- Caffeine substitute if utilized as an espresso substitute
5- Lowers Cholesterol
6- Non-Dairy substitute
7- High in Protein
8- Treats Diarrhea
9- High in Potassium
10- High in Calcium
11- Aids the Liver
Mending the Liver Using Carob
A considerable measure of the studies have been on the liver, and exactly how paramount they are to our bodies and great wellbeing. Our livers are in charge of so much that we completely must get to be more mindful of how to keep it solid. Our livers break down all our nourishments, scrubs the poisons in our bodies, forms the majority of our tangible data, and is our high temperature heater. It is the main organ in the body that can recover.
Our livers are greatly ill used in our public, and adding Carob to your eating methodology can assume a paramount part in serving to recuperate our livers. Having a solid liver is key to recuperating whatever remains of our bodies, I profoundly suggest any individual looking to mend themselves and have a healthier lifestyle, to first concentrate on mending their liver.
Now is the ideal time that we need to begin contemplating our nourishment propensities. In the event that you wish for a solid longer life, change your eating regimen. There are numerous nourishment things that are solid and wonderful in the meantime, so dear companion begins minding your well being, at last cash is not everything.
September 17, 2014 05:25 PM
What is a Maca Root?
Maca Root is one of the roots and tuber harvests of higher protein content. Until late years, this nutritious base of the Andes was little or nothing known for the lion's share of the individuals thereof, Peru (aside from the tenants of the Andes) and obviously overlooked by whatever is left of the world.
Maca (otherwise called Peruvian Maca or Maca Andina) has an astonishing quality to develop to remarkable statures: from 3800 to 4800 meters high in the most cold Andes mountains, where temperatures are amazing, from exceptional hotness morning to ice on the night, frigid winds, snow and persevering high power of daylight. In this antagonistic region, where there is little oxygen, there is uncommon vegetation develop just potatoes and maca sharp. There are no trees, no plants, just a couple of centimeters tall.
This tuber, irrelevant part of the tuberous root size and state of a typical radish, is effectively dried under the sun and keeps up its nutritious qualities, with elevated amounts of iron, for a few years stockpiling. It is brilliant nourishment and Incas additionally utilized it for its richness improving activity and its impact on sexual conduct.
There have been various effective studies on the action manure Peruvian maca creatures and people. In 1980, researchers from Germany and North America who were doing investigations of the herbs in Peru, rekindled enthusiasm toward its momentum Maca, naming it "the lost products of the Incas."
A percentage of the elements that have been recognized: amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, follow components and auxiliary metabolites.
Maca - History:
Anthropological confirmation has been found in the development of maca in Peru since 1600 BC. The Incas considered Maca as a blessing from the divine beings. They additionally develop maca as nourishment, Lamac - developed in the Andes utilized for religious services and custom moves. Spanish accounts report that amid the victory of Peru, creatures brought from Spain not play ordinarily as of right now, the locals cautioned the vanquishers who nourished their creatures with maca, with what they got the levels of typical generation.
Concerning the stretcher, Father Cobo, amid the pilgrim time, he said: "Maca develops in the most rough and frosty of the good countries where there are chances to develop any plant sustenance."
Maca - Morphology and plant science
Maca is a biennial plant statures conduct, being pollinated toward oneself, cleistogamous, with a five-month conceptive stage and with a blossom that keeps going two roots.
Maca Root: Roots have shades extending from light yellow to dark through the tan, purple, and so on with sizes of 3-6 cm. transverse measurement of 4-7 cm. longitudinal, in the same way as a radish (reversed cone). The root is first in the improvement of items. There is no true distinction in taste or substance organization as the color of the root.
Stem: Short, subtle, in the same way as a carrot or radish.
Leaves: rosette, made with flanges sheath, petiole length with the top leveled. Limbo compound, has a length of 6 to 9 cm; the basal and cauline pinnatifid are somewhat lessened.
Inflorescence: group compound and infrequently basic. The blooms structure bunches, are helper bisexual, actinomorphic, green light and little, white pre-flowering calyx and corolla with 4 free petals somewhat bent at the peak.
Soil grown foods: units somewhat amagrinado. With a solitary seed in each one cell, ovoid, yellowish-red, 1-2 mm. wide.
Maca – Cultivation
Cultivola Maca is developed fundamentally for its tuberous root is naturally known as hipocolito (eg radish, turnip). The maca plant has the astonishing quality to develop to unprecedented statures (from 3800 to 4800 meters) in the unfriendly Puna Peruvian where temperatures are great: the serious high temperature of the morning to the sub zero frost of the night.
The puna is a pleasant yet great condition in this environmental locale is uncommon vegetation, just potatoes become astringent and maca. The air contains little oxygen, the sun is amazingly exceptional and extremely solid winds, it is consequently that no trees and plants have just a couple of centimeters tall.Maca planting is carried out from September to December. The seeds are scattered in the fields to be reaped in 6 to 8 months. After Recolta the roots to dry in the sun for 2 months, amid which they lose 75% of its unique weight. This moderate drying methodology causes the maca change of taste: an intense hot taste with a caramel flavor. The dried root could be put away for 4 years without losing its properties.
How Important Is It To Take A Trace Mineral Supplement And Why?
September 07, 2014 05:38 PM
What is Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are the essential minerals for proper functioning of our bodies. Trace minerals are zinc, calcium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, selenium, etc., the best way to get these minerals is through a diet rich in nutrients. The modern busy lifestyle prevents us from obtaining these minerals, also modern diets, have led to a deficiency in some of the most essential minerals. That is why a proper trace mineral supplementation is necessary for optimal health.
Most important trace minerals are:
Zinc is a mineral found in meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood. The recommended daily intake for adult males is 11 mg and 8 mg for female. Zinc deficiency leads to slow recovery of injuries, diarrhea in children, stunted growth; it may disrupt the thyroid functioning, low levels of testosterone. Zinc is necessary for the immune system, it cures the common cold faster, and it is used for Attention deficit disorder, Down syndrome, colitis and many other illnesses.
Copper is a mineral mostly found in meat, and many foods we already intake. The recommended daily intake of copper is only 2 mg. The National center for biotechnology information warns about recent studies who found copper deficiency. Copper deficiency leads to Menkes' syndrome, anemia, and neutropenia.
Iodine - 3. 40% of the world population is at risk of iodine deficiency. The use of iodine is at risk of extinction because of using iodine in salt. Many people do not have the proper nutrition to obtain the daily need of iodine. Iodine deficiency leads to hyperthyroidism, enlargement of the thyroid gland, miscarriages in pregnancy, preterm delivery of babies, and to permanent mental damage in babies. Iodine is found in meat, dairy products, soy, eggs, milk, and ice cream.
Manganese is a mineral responsible for blood clotting, sex hormones, and it forms the connective tissue. Manganese is found in the bones, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal, and pituitary glands. According to the University of Maryland, 37% of the Americans are at risk of manganese deficiency, and do not take the daily recommended intake of manganese. Manganese deficiency changes the fat metabolism; it causes bone deformities, skin rash, increases calcium in blood, and causes many other symptoms, which lead to serious medical problems. Manganese is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains.
Chromium is found in meat, whole grain, some fruits, but these foods provide a very small amount of chromium in the body. The recommended daily intake of chromium is 50-200 mg a day and food provides 2 mg per serving. The elder are at a higher risk of chromium deficiency. Research has found that chromium deficiency leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and increased chromium intake has fixed diabetes symptoms in patients.
Who is at risk of trace mineral deficiency?
Vegetarians are at a higher risk of mineral deficiency as most of the sources of these minerals are coming from meat. Vegetarians should consider taking trace mineral supplementation. We need a very small amount of minerals for proper functioning of our bodies, still we have a mineral deficiency which leads to many illnesses, improper functioning in the body. The mineral deficiency has led to lower life span in humans. Our ancestors lived longer because they ate home cooked food, rich in the most important nutrients. Daily trace mineral supplementation is essential for returning our health and immune system on the right track. That is why we all need proper trace mineral supplementation to compensate for the low levels of minerals.
Ginkgo Biloba A Modular Solution To Boosting Memory.
August 04, 2014 08:16 PM
Memory loss occurs when one loses the ability to remember information and events that you would normally be able to recall. It is usually distressing for the person affected and the family members.
Gingko Biloba Benefits
Ginkgo biloba is effective for memory aid as it improves blood flow to the brain. It can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It helps to prevent the progression of dementia symptoms. It also helps in the improvement in cognitive function. Taking ginkgo biloba leaf extract by mouth seems to improve thinking skills in elderly people with mild moderate age related memory loss or thinking problems. It improves short-term visual memory and speed of mental processing in non-demented people with age related memory loss and it can improve memory and speed of mental processing in people without memory loss.
Ingredients of Gingko Biloba
The active ingredients in ginkgo biloba are ginkgolides, bilobalides and flavonoids. It works by delaying the symptoms of dementia. Adding ginkgo biloba supplements may help battle cognitive impairments and memory loss associated with dementia since it encourages the growth and development of neural stem cells. It protects the neurons from oxidative damage by potentially preventing the progression of tissue generation in patients suffering from dementia. Ginkgo biloba extracts promotes growth in brain regions.
Due to its benefit of boosting memory, most doctors prescribe ginkgo biloba as the treatment choice for dementia and for age related memory dysfunction. It has been approved for symptomatic treatment of deficits in memory impairment, concentration difficulties and depression from organic brain disease. In conclusion, it is evident that ginkgo biloba extracts helps to stabilize and improve memory loss in several measures of social functioning and cognitive functioning in mixed or vascular dementia patients and Alzheimer's Disease. It might also improve memory and speed of mental processing in people without memory loss.
Dietary Protein Basics
July 21, 2014 05:07 PM
Dietary Protein Basics
You certainly stay an active life much like everybody else does today. When you are like many people, you could use some basic suggestions that are super easy to adhere to enhance your diet plan and nutrition. This short article contains some nutrients ideas that are easy to include in your every day routine.
The majority of people assume that ingesting fatty foods will result in bad health. In fact, your body needs fat to operate. Several food products, which can be rich in extra fat, for example cheese or avocado, are in reality quite healthful when ingested sparingly each day. So long as you consume in moderation and get away from unhealthy fats, you do not need to be concerned.
One thing many people believe is the fact diet is all about food. You should also consider how your body uses the food you eat. You desire to actually regularly physical exercise or even consume the right sorts of meals, your whole body will be grateful for this.
Reduce your sea salt ingestion. Most junk foods act like junk foods in terms of sodium information. When you can decrease your sodium absorption in what you eat, you may realize that you easier observe its flavoring developing. Unhealthy food will instantly style too salty for your needs. You won't have as many desires on their behalf.
Protein needed in your body
The minimum daily protein requirements as set by WHO(world health organization) are 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, however individual protein needs are dependent on one's level of activity, overall health status, and age. People dealing with injury need additional health proteins pertaining to structure curing. Athlete’s education hard to get muscle mass or which could possibly be creating tiny accidental injuries also requires additional pertaining to progress along with restoration. Protein desires in youngsters change from infancy right through to delayed teenage years, along with considerable amounts connected with new health proteins structure being made while in quick progress spurts. The particular health proteins demands and then secure the moment early adulthood is reached.
BENEFITS OF RASPBERRY LEAVES TO WOMEN.
July 09, 2014 02:46 PM
Benefits of raspberry leaves to women
Health Benefits of Aconitum Napellus.
June 28, 2014 05:41 AM
Apart from being a beautiful herb, Aconitum Nappellus has been used for centuries in treating a variety of ailments. The herb is mainly found in the United Kingdom, northeastern United States and Eastern Europe. Its common name is monkshood or wolfs bane.
Benefits of aconitum napellus
In ancient Europe, it was used to treat many ailments including flu, fevers, colds and nervous disorders. It was also used to relieve pain, and roots were used as anesthesia. In the modern world.
Aconitum is used to treat different ailments such as
Aconitum is used to treat constipation, vomiting and other stomach upsets. If you suffer stomach upsets, leaves and roots from Aconitum have been found to remedy stomach upsets.
Aconitum pills available in the market have been found to be very effective in treating headache including migraine headache. People who suffer frequent headache have found Aconitum pills to be very beneficial in alleviating headaches.
Treat fear and shock
When properly prepared, aconitum pills will alleviate fear, shock and anxiety. It has significant sedative, ant-neuralgic, analgesic properties and has been proved to alleviate panic attacks and shock.
Aconitum has been found to have antibacterial properties. When frequently used, it will strength your immune system and protects your body against bacterial infections. However, it is always good to use together with other antibacterial drugs.
It is also useful in the treatment of eye ailments. For example, if you suffer swollen, red and hard lids, or your eyes feel dry and hot, aconitum can treat such conditions.
Is used to treat Red, dry, numb, prickling, constricted, burning, stinging throat as well as swollen and dry tonsils.
If you suffer difficulties in urinating, tenesmus and urine retention, aconitum will remedy these conditions.
Aconitum Napellus is poisonous. Symptoms of Aconite poisoning include vomiting crawling skin, and coldness.
Ferrum Phosphoricum and Your Health
June 26, 2014 10:59 PM
What is a Ferrum Phosphoricum?
Ferrum Phosphoricum or iron phosphate is a tissue salt used in Homeopathic medicine. It is derived from the combination of iron sulfate and phosphate. It also features prominently among the 12 Schuessler's Tissue Salts of Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler. It is made by mixing iron sulfate, sodium phosphate, and sodium acetate. Then, this combination is ground to a fine powder and the resulting product is Ferrum Phosphoricum, which no longer retains any traces of the original compounds.
Iron is well known as being an important mineral for growth in humans and animals since it is responsible for blood formation, e.g., hemoglobin, and for oxygenizing tissues.
Phosphorus serves its purpose by aiding in the development of bones and teeth and is considered to be a building block for certain B vitamins.
Ferrum Phosphoricum is most often used where there is a need to fortify the blood, particularly the cell walls which transport blood. It is most commonly indicated at the beginning of an influenza or if there are feverish symptoms, after a period of prolonged bleeding, or for general malaise (weakness) where it excels greatly.
People suffering from anemia and/or issues connected with deficient blood are said to benefit immensely by taking Ferrum Phosphoricum.
Other indications for the use of Ferrum Phosphoricum are the following:
• Sore throat
• Skin aliments
Generally speaking Ferrum Phosphoricum is beneficial for those individuals who have weekend or delicate immune systems, or who catch colds easily. It is most useful when given during the first stages of illnesses, particularly where there is heat, fever, or inflammation.
Part of the benefit of tissue salts and homeopathic remedies such as Ferrum Phosphoricum is that they are small, easily diluted and taste free. This makes them excellent for children and older individuals. Given the fact that they are quite inexpensive makes for all the more reason to give them a try.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Magnesium?
March 03, 2012 08:05 AM
Magnesium is of paramount importance for the overall health. It is required by the body in sufficient amount to facilitate certain metabolic processes. Unfortunately, most people are so focused on the need to supply the body with vitamins, iron and calcium that they forget about this important mineral. It is found in green vegetables, peas, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and whole grains. Its deficiency can result in serious effects like weak muscles, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea. The following are some health benefits of magnesium.
Magnesium benefits for the bones and muscles Magnesium is important for the formation of strong bones and teeth. However, it is not directly responsible but it helps the body to absorb calcium to keep the bones strong.Its supplements are used to treat back ache as it relieves muscle tension and stress also.It can be used by people with calcium deficiency although it should not replace calcium. The person should continue taking calcium even when taking magnesium.Magnesium is used in muscle contractions treatment as it helps the muscles to relax.Athletes and sportsmen are advised to consume lots of magnesium as it aids in blood circulation during physical exercises to ensure that muscles have enough oxygen.
Benefits of magnesium for heart health Magnesium is very important for health. It aids heart rates and also prevents the formation of blood clots which can cause stroke.In addition, to preventing heart diseases, it can aid in recovering from heart disease.It is also regulates breathing and thus is used in treatment of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.It regulates blood sugar levels to prevent high blood pressure.
Other benefits of magnesium Absorption: magnesium aids the absorption of potassium, phosphorus and sodium which are important for the general health of our bodies.Prevent diabetes: it regulates the production of insulin in the body to make sure the blood glucose levels are maintained at the right levels.
Pregnancy: in pregnant women it reduces safe delivery and reduces labor pain also. Not only that, it regulates blood sugar levels to ensure the health of the unborn baby and the mother.
Depression: by regulating blood pressure it relieves the symptoms of depression which include stress, anger and anxiety. Migraine: Magnesium is beneficial for people suffering from migraine as well as those with insomnia.Anti aging: It prevents the signs of aging such as wrinkles by nourishing the body cells. It is also effective in preventing degenerating diseases such as cancer.
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can result in diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Osteoporosis and nerve malfunctioning are other symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Osteoporosis is a bone disease which increases the risk of fractures and injury. Other symptoms are listed below. Asthma Depression Headache Leg cramps Migraine Loss of appetite Diarrhea.
The symptoms are always subtle but they should not be neglected because by addressing them early one can prevent complications such as heart disease.
The above listed health benefits of magnesium are a clear indication that people should include the mineral in the diet.
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyphosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
Fight Hypoglycemia With Fiber
July 17, 2009 03:46 PM
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can be very subtle and difficult to recognize. Many people with hypoglycemia have become so used to their symptoms that often, they don’t even recognize their own abnormality. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral changes.
There is a whole variety of symptoms that can be caused when the body cells are deprived of sugar or when blood sugar drops too quickly. The most common symptom of hypoglycemia is fatigue. When referring to fatigue, the normal kind of fatigue that occurs after hard work or exercise is not what is being discussed. Hypoglycemic fatigue affects the muscles and nerves and usually can’t be relieved with rest or sleep. The brain is extremely dependent on glucose for its energy source. Once blood sugar levels have dropped, hormones kick into action. The release of adrenaline can cause sweating, tremors, hunger, and weakness. It should also be kept in mind that if your blood sugar levels drop at a more gradual pace, the patient may not even recognize the symptoms as those of hypoglycemia. Those experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia may feel dizzy, confused, clouded, and emotionally unstable without any visible tremors. Symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks can become a part of hypoglycemic mood swings.
Other mental symptoms of hypoglycemia include melancholy, irritability, hostility, confusion, and paranoia.
Along with the above, there are many other symptoms that can result from hypoglycemia. These symptoms include amnesia, anxiety, antisocial behavior, breathing difficulties, confusion, constant worry, crying jags, depression, digestive disorders, drowsiness, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, heart palpitations, impatience, inability to cope, insomnia, intense hunger, internal trembling, irritability, lack of concentration, nervousness, dizziness, seizures, severe sweating, fainting, tingling, and tremors.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels are low at night time, causing insomnia. Eating a whole grain snack or small piece of cheese 30 minutes before going to bed can help to reduce occurrences of this scenario.
There are, unfortunately, hundreds of people that struggle with low-blood sugar symptoms and are unaware as to why. By simply switching for a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates to one that is comprised of protein and complex carbohydrates, one can bridge the gap between a dysfunctional life and a rich one. In order to determine whether you have hypoglycemia, you must first examine your eating habits. Simple facts like what and when you eat can directly affect how you feel. Anyone who has unexplained fatigue, depression, crying spells, anxiety, or apprehension should investigate low blood sugar levels as a potential culprit. You should also look into your family history, as hypoglycemia tends to run within families.
Those people who are chronically stressed and often find themselves on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of the day. These people have adrenals that are not functioning optimally, causing them to want sugar when they hit a real low point. Usually, in the mid-afternoon, adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. If you do, in fact, suffer from hypoglycemia, you will feel good right after you eat and then your mood and physical status will deteriorate from two to six hours after eating.
Keeping your glucose levels stable is important to maintaining good health. Snacking on complex carbohydrate foods can help regulate the amount of sugar that is released into your blood system. Consuming large quantities of fiber can also slow down the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and level out blood sugar.
Look for great advice and fiber supplements at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing products, always buy name brands to ensure quality and purity of the supplements you buy. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lycopene is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 22, 2008 11:45 AM
Damiana can be used by both men and women. It is known to have restorative effects on reproductive organs in both sexes.
For men, Damiana is known to raise levels of testosterone. It is also helpful in treating premature ejaculation and impotence. For women, it helps to induce delayed menstrual periods and ease the symptoms of painful menstruation. It also treats the headaches women sometimes get due to menstruation.
This herb has been widely advertised and used in Mexico as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Mayans used it as a sexual stimulant and people in Central America still use it in this way today. This use is controversial due to lack of scientific evidence to support the claim.
One study found some of the plant's compounds to be similar to those found in progesterone. More than 150 herbs have been tested for their ability to bind with the progesterone and estrogen receptors found in breast cancer cells. Damiana was one of the highest progesterone-binding herbs tested.
The herbal properties of Damiana have a life enhancing and stimulating effect on the body and mind. The herb works well on nervous exhaustion and to restore the body after periods of high stress.
Damiana's stimulating action is considered very valuable to people who suffer from mild depression. Herbalists will typically recommend remedies that contain this herb. Damiana is very strong and aromatic, and has a slightly bitter taste. It can be found in different forms such as capsule, liquid extract and tea. Its leaves are used as a substitute for tea leaves in some countries. In other countries, it is used as flavoring in a variety of liqueurs.
Damiana acts as an antiseptic and tonic for the body. It is also a restorative agent for nervous system functions. Damiana is used for other conditions as well, although no scientific proof of its effectiveness exists. These conditions include:
* Asthma * Anxiety * Depression * Headache * Menstrual disorders
Damiana has been known to cause mild indigestion for some users. It also contains a compound called arbutin, which, in the urinary tract, converts into the chemical hydroquinone. Larger amounts can cause serious side effects such as:
* Convulsions * Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) * Nausea * Vomiting * Possible collapse and death
A maximum safe dosage of Damiana has not yet been determined. Also, the safety of using this herb has not been established in children or pregnant and nursing women. People with liver or kidney disease should use extra caution because their ability to safely use this herb is unknown as well.
In people using higher doses of Damiana, it is believed that they experience a mild euphoric sensation. In some cases, consumption of Damiana leaves has been known to act as a mild laxative. The more leaves consumed, the more prominent the laxative effect.
Damiana is native to parts of southern California and the Gulf of Mexico. It can also be found growing wild in some areas of the northern Caribbean Islands and Namibia. It is widely cultivated in these areas. Its preferred habitat has a hot and humid climate. It flowers in the summer and this is when the leaves are harvested. The leaves of the Damiana plant are the only part used for cultivation.
The herb can be taken in the form of a tea. Some people even smoke it like tobacco. The herb will bring about a relaxed state of mind for the user. It is said to induce a subtle high if smoked.
Damiana possesses many properties that are useful to both men and women. Research continues in an attempt to either prove or disprove claims of its benefits to humans.
Depression and Vitamins
April 17, 2008 11:20 AM
Most men dealing with depression have stories that are very similar, waking with a heavy head even in the happiest of times. A bad day is described as one in which you can’t get out of bed and it feels as if there is a dark cloud hanging over your head. Today, as the NFL season moves towards playoffs, many athletes are living with depression related to multiple concussions. A study of over 2,500 retired NFL players concluded that three concussions triple the chance of experiencing depression. This is extremely important in a sport in which brain trauma is so often and easily dismissed.
Just like helmets cover the faces of men playing a violent game, the angry aggression that is so commonly associated with normal guy behavior may actually be a mask for depression and physical injury is not needed to suffer its effects. It has actually been discovered that depression is more common in men than anyone ever knew, as male depression has often been under-diagnosed because the standard diagnostic manual portrays the depression symptoms more commonly associated with women. About six million men will be diagnosed with depression in 2008, not counting the one million more that will go undiagnosed.
The sad weepiness that is commonly associated with depression is much more commonly found in women, while a man is more likely to be short-tempered, fatigued, and uninterested in sex, work, or hobbies. However, it is work that provides depressed men a distraction to their painful inner feelings. Men are more likely to try downing their pain in alcohol or drugs instead of getting treatment. Untreated depression explains why the male suicide rate is more than four times the rate of female suicide. Although there are hormonal differences in depression of the different genders, the common factor is stress.
Although some men are open to being told they are depressed, most only act out with more anger. An effective, but not exactly subtle approach to telling a man he may have depression is leaving and article or book around the house for him to pick up. Severe depression requires immediate attention by a trained practitioner, along with various medical interventions. Once the worst is over, it is important to try to maintain a depression-free lifestyle. This can be done by reduction stress and finding social support as well as dietary changes.
This is a difficult step for men who are used to conversations which revolve around scores and transactions, but good places to start are men’s groups at houses of worship (church) or those groups such as AA if substance abuse is part of the problem. By fortifying the brain with depression-fighting nutrients, including a B vitamin complex, one can maintain and promote normal mental functioning. Many depressed people are extremely deficient in folic acid as well as dietary essential fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build healthy brain cells, along with phosphatidyl serine. Other herbs, including eleuthero, rhodiola, and ginseng, can help the body to adapt to stress, while St. John’s wort and SAMe work as natural antidepressants.
The most severe mistake that can be made is to play down depression, which applies to raging men just as much as it does to weeping women. Both genders need to seek help if feeling this way. If you feel you are experiencing depression, seek professional help as well as look into dietary changes, exercise, and the support of family can be a good start to a healthier outlook on life.
Boost Skin And Joint Health With Natural Supplements
January 19, 2008 10:37 AM
A lot of health conscious adults are now attempting to keep a youthful appearance for as long as possible by exercising, taking growth hormone enhances, and using expensive cosmetics. However, studies have proven that the major signs of aging in the skin, joints, and eyes occur due to a progressive collagen and hyaluronic acid degradation in our tissues. Researchers believe that supplementation of these key nutrients can actually reverse sings of aging.
Normal functioning of the skin requires that there be normal physiological substances in and around the skin cells. Of the many substances that are required for normal functioning, collagen is one of the most important. Collagen provides structural support to skin, which helps to maintain skin tone, subtleness and elasticity. All of these give the skin its amazing beauty. Without enough collagen, our body would actually lose any connective properties and its ability to hold together, causing the sagging and wrinkles that are associated with age.
Hyaluronic acid is also a vital component of the skin's structure. HA is a big part of the space between living cells and is also present in both the dermis and epidermis, where it allows skin to retain moisture and acts as a lubricant between the collagen matrix of the skin. Younger looking skin typically has higher levels of HA, but it has been observed that hyaluronic acid content declines as we age, most dramatically after the age of 50. Most people after the age of 40 have already lost a lot of HA and may require supplementation. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate are able to reach the corium layers of the epidermis and provide cellar level nourishment to the skin. This then reveals a more vibrant and younger looking complexion.
Doctors believe that osteoarthritis affects more than 20 million Americans, with that number reaching 40 million by the year 2020. Some doctors believe we're headed for an epidemic of degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition marked by the erosion of the cartilage at the ends of the bones. Cartilage is the shock absorber of the joint, with regular wear and tear on the joints eventually softening, fraying, and thinning the substance. Other things that can cause cartilage degradation and osteoarthritis have recently been identified by scientists, including: weak quadriceps muscles, eroding cartilage, and changes in bone structure. Certain genes also play a role in predetermining cartilage status, and left untreated and unchecked, this can become extremely debilitating.
Since normal joint function requires healthy cartilage and bones, one of the most important substances required for the normal functioning of joints is collagen. As we age, it has been observed that there is a decrease in the production and concentration of collagen in the joints. The lack of this vital structure leads to joint pain and inflammation. Common treatments today include the prolonged use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors which temporarily relieve pain and cover up the symptoms while the disease moves further. More often, these treatments worsen the condition instead of helping it due to their harmful side effects. A natural supplement containing Collagen II can not only halt the progression of arthritis but can also improve the condition and provide relief to sufferers.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
December 10, 2005 03:14 PM
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS suffers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Trace Minerals and Migraines
November 16, 2005 12:02 PM
Trace Minerals and Migraines
An increasingly large amount of disease today may be attributable to deficiencies in the supply of trace minerals in our diets.1 How can this be the case when the availability of food in our country is unprecedented, with a supermarket on every corner? These deficiencies do not stem from a lack of quantity of food, rather they stem from the quality of food. Trace minerals can be found mainly in whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, the large majority of fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today are nutritionally devoid of these minerals, largely in part to the high-yield farming practices in this and other countries.
The mineral content of food is mainly dependent on the amount of minerals found in the soil in which it is grown. Current farming practices leave soils with less than optimal amounts of these minerals, especially the less common trace minerals. As a result of this, our food supplies leave us at risk for deficiencies of these very important substances. Because of this situation, it is essential that every person now supplement their diet with trace minerals in order to avoid the many diseases that are attributable to this scarcity. A lack of vital nutrients leaves the body unable to function fully, leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Trace minerals have numerous roles. Oftentimes, because these minerals are found in such small quantities in the body, scientists and physicians have paid little attention to their importance in health and disease prevention. However, with the advent of improved science and the recognition of the efficacy of natural medicine, we are beginning to understand how vital these elements are to our health. Trace minerals, in a sense, are akin to the numerous tiny nails, nuts, and bolts that hold a house together. At first glance, a home is made of much more than these items. However, if they are slowly removed and never replaced, the house will continue to sag and finally fall apart. So it is the same with the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Trace minerals are important in the proper functioning of enzyme systems, nerve conduction and muscle function, assisting with transfer of nourishment into cells, providing the framework for tissues, and regulation of organ functions. These ‘behind the scenes’ functions are not possible without a constant, adequate supply of minerals. Even with the many multivitamin and mineral supplements available, most of these products fall short because they do not contain large enough amounts of the trace minerals that are so important to health.
Physicians that specialize in natural medicine are some of the biggest proponents of trace mineral supplementation. This type of physician is attuned to the many subtleties of the functions of the human body, and oftentimes addresses health issues with nutritional therapeutics in an attempt to bring the body’s health back into balance. This process of balance, also known as homeostasis, occurs quite wonderfully all by itself, as long as the body has the proper fuel and building materials. Unfortunately, physicians are seeing more and more diseases, which can be attributed to the body’s inability to achieve this balance. This trend towards ill health is directly related to the dearth of nutritional value in our diets today.
However, practitioners of natural medicine are very excited with the many dramatic turn-arounds toward health that many of their patients have experienced with the use of mineral supplementation. A common example of this is the treatment of migraine headaches with magnesium. Recent statistics suggest that 18 percent of women and six percent of men suffer from migraine and those numbers are increasing.2 The Centers for Disease Control reported a 60-percent increase in the disease from 1980 to 1989.3 Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain spasm and constrict. Soon after this constriction occurs, the blood vessels then reflexively open, or dilate. When the vessels become dilated, they occupy more space in the brain, activating nearby pain receptors. It is speculated that an imbalance of mineral stores in the body can lead to this spasm of the blood vessels. Many researchers have suggested magnesium plays an important role in migraine attacks. The activities of magnesium in the body include preventing blood vessel spasm, inhibiting blood clotting, and stabilizing cell membranes, all of which are involved in migraine develoment4. Magnesium concentration exerts an effect on neurotransmitter production and receptors, pro-inflammatory molecules, and other migraine-related chemicals in the brain.5 Recent evidence suggests up to 50 percent of migraine patients have lowered levels of tissue magnesium during an acute migraine attack.6 Another study discovered brain magnesium concentrations were 19 percent lower in patients during migraine attack compared to healthy controls.7 Because recent research strongly indicates a magnesium deficiency in migraine headaches, natural medicine practitioners prescribe magnesium along with other trace minerals as a primary treatment for this condition with great success.
Because of their widespread distribution throughout the metabolic workings of the human body, trace minerals are integral to the functioning of one of the body’s largest organ systems, the muscles. Mainly, magnesium plays a large role in the relaxation of muscles following their contraction. Without this vital nutrient, it would be impossible for the muscles of the human body to function. Muscle cramps are prevalent in western society due to lack of intake of an appropriate amount of minerals. One easy, straightforward cure for muscle cramping is supplementation with magnesium and other trace minerals, as they allow the muscles to function smoothly and correctly. The role of magnesium in relieving cramped muscles also makes it a highly appropriate therapy for the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition that is often treated successfully by practitioners of natural medicine. These practitioners often use high doses of magnesium and other trace mineral combinations to reduce the painful and tender muscles that are so common in fibromyalgia patients.
Another condition that is successfully treated with magnesium and trace minerals is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with this condition often experience profound muscle aches and weakness. It has been shown that in order for proper muscle contraction and relaxation to occur, magnesium and calcium need to be present in proper amounts in the body, which can be difficult to achieve even on a standard healthy diet. Additionally, magnesium and mineral supplementation may decrease the pain involved with sports-related injuries and excessive physical activity. As we use our muscular system, it is slowly depleted of these minerals, making replacement a top priority. Others signs of magnesium deficiency include disorientation, depression, tingling, numbness, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms in addition to muscle spasms and cramps.8,9
A minimum of at least 60 trace minerals has been demonstrated to be vital to health and well-being.10 This article has covered only a small fraction of the multitudes of health benefits of trace minerals. As science and natural medicine continues to uncover the many roles for all of these trace minerals, doctors are finding exciting solutions to several maladies that may be successfully treated by replacing these nutrients in the body. Unless we begin replacing these minerals early on in life, we put ourselves at risk for the many diseases of mineral deficiency that are becoming more and more prevalent in society today.
1 Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni-Press, 1997. Pps. 103-107
2 Stewart WF, Lipton RB, Celentano DD, et al. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992;267:64-69.
3 Rappaport AM, Scheftell FD. Headache Disorders: A Management Guide for Practitioners. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co.;1996:4.
4 McCarty MF. Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Med Hypotheses 1996;47:461-466.
5Sinclair, S. Migraine Headaches: Nutritional, Botanical And Other Alternative Approaches. Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 4, Number 2, April 1999.
6 Mauskop A, Altura BM. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Clin Neurosci 1998;5:24-27.
7 Ramadan NM, Halvorson H, Vande-Linde A, et al. Low brain magnesium in migraine. Headache 1989;29:590-593. 8 Rude RK. Magnesium deficiency: A cause of heterogeneous disease in humans. J Bone Miner Res 1998;13:749-58.
9 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. National Academy Press. Washington, DC, 1999.
10 Kelly, GS. Sports Nutrition: A Review of Selected Nutritional Supplements For Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes-Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 2, Number 3, May 1997
DO WE NEED EXTRA LIVER PROTECTION?
July 12, 2005 10:15 AM
DO WE NEED EXTRA LIVER PROTECTION?
Even if you don’t suffer from any liver disease or don’t abuse alcohol, you may still require the therapeutic effects of Milk Thistle. Everything that enters the liver through the portal vein must be de-toxified and neutralized. Many of us eat diets that are too high in protein, take overthe- counter or prescription drugs, and routinely expose ourselves to radiation and other pollutants. Everything we breath, eat and absorb through our skin is purified and refined in the liver. Some of the more detrimental compounds we ingest that increase the liver’ s work load include:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine says, “High protein diets impose a considerable work load on the digestive system and may contribute to feelings of fatigue and lack of energy.” The problem with protein is that the liver has to work harder to detoxify the body from the nitrogen waste which results when it is metabolized. This compound called ure a has to eventually be eliminated from the body through the kidneys.
Most of us are routinely exposed to nicotine, toxins of various kinds and a whole host of synthetic drugs fro m ibuprofen to steroids. Most of us overeat the wrong things and pass up what’s really good for us. High fat, high sugar, high protein diets stress the liver. Overeating, especially overcooked, fatty foods puts added strain on the liver. In addition, lack of exercise has an indirect effect on the liver. When we don’t exercise, an excess of toxins can build up and has to be transformed by the liver.
Typically, when we are exposed to chemicals which can injure the liver, the amount of glutathione in the liver d e c reases. When this substance is reduced, the liver becomes susceptible to damage. The Silymarin content of Milk Thistle keeps concentrations of glutathione in the liver elevated by up to 35%.19 The ability of the liver to detoxify the system is largely dependent on the present of glutathione.
According to the American Liver Foundation, liver diseases are the fourth leading cause of death up to the age of 65. It is not commonly known that a significant incidence of liver disease exists in this country. In the past, liver disease was only associated with chronic alcoholics. Now, however, liver disease strikes obese people, social drinkers and people who eat poorly. Milk Thistle can help prevent the subtle kind of liver damage any of us may be susceptible to.
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."
Say Goodbye to Headaches
June 13, 2005 07:25 PM
Say Goodbye to Headaches by Susan Weiner Energy Times, December 8, 1999
What's in a name? A headache by any other name hurts just as much. But categorizing your headache can be as overwhelming as finding an obscure breakfast cereal at the supermarket. Medical folks pigeonhole headaches as tension headaches, allergy headaches, morning headaches and sinus headaches, plus the organic, migraine, cluster, trauma, TMJ, eyestrain, rebound, exertion, hormonal and muscle tension varieties. You may also suffer the self-induced hangover and toxicity headaches.
Americans are no strangers to self-medication, and as a society we battle these headaches by consuming nearly 80 billion tablets of aspirin each year, about 20 million aspirins a day, according to Burton Goldberg, co-author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches (Future Medicine Publishing). And while we drown ourselves in over-the-counter and powerful prescription products, our tolerance, just like a drug addict's, grows. So what begins as a twodose headache slowly evolves into three, four or five doses, until you realize that no dosage can make your headache go away.
Unless you're fond of medieval practices such as ritualistic healings and bloodletting, drugs seem the only answer to headache misery. But even modern medicine has been unable to solve headaches. Rather than a cure, medications provide only temporary relief, and even that isn't guaranteed. Additionally, over-reliance on medications can lead to chronic head pain. According to Goldberg, rebound headaches often result from the consumption and withdrawal of drugs.
Halt Your Headaches
Rather than strive to simply eliminate headache pain, why not identify the underlying cause and prevent the headache? Almost always, every type of headache results from a health or lifestyle-related activity. In an ideal world, the best approach would be to eliminate the tensions, stress, frustrations, anger, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking and poor diet that contribute to your headaches. For better or for worse, however, you can't always: a. quit your job; b. ask your spouse to leave; c. sit on the beach all day; or d. all of the above. But you can make appropriate lifestyle changes and learn to express suppressed feelings.
This approach, lifestyle modification, is a treatment program based on a Loma Linda University study, originally published in Medical Hypothesis and the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine and later explained in No More Headaches, No More Migraines: A Proven Approach to Preventing Headaches and Migraines by Zuzana Bic, DrPH and L. Francis Bic, PhD (Avery). The program, conducted on a group diagnosed with chronic migraines, dramatically decreased the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches in nine of 10 headache sufferers. Rather than demand radical life changes, the lifestyle modification program introduces gradual changes in three specific areas: nutrition, exercise and understanding stress. The study doesn't expect you to change your entire diet, join a gym and eliminate everything that triggers stress, but teaches techniques to make subtle lifestyle changes and reduce the impact of daily stress. These same techniques can also improve sleep patterns, a factor known to affect headaches. The lifestyle modification approach clarifies that while very few headaches directly result from existing acute conditions, recurring headaches often derive from a larger lifestyle factor. If these issues are ignored, the body's natural defense mechanisms may kick into overdrive and become exhausted, leaving you susceptible to other chronic diseases. By finding and eliminating the cause of your headaches, you may be saving yourself from other eventual illnesses.
Willing to make some lifestyle changes and step away from medications? Try these remedies, courtesy of Nature's Pharmacy by Lynn Paige Walker, PharmD and Ellen Hodgson Brown, JD (Prentice-Hall).
For simple headaches, start with relaxation and neck stretches. Or try rubbing your forehead with peppermint oil, a natural antispasmodic and diuretic shown in German research to be as effective as acetaminophen in easing tension headaches.
Never underestimate the old-fashioned ice pack to the forehead as an effective treatment that works by constricting the swollen blood vessels that cause your head to ache. If the ice pack isn't enough, try putting your arms in icy water up to your elbows to constrict additional blood vessels. But if it's a sinus headache you're fighting, take the opposite approach and try hot compresses.
The herbal, and original, form of aspirin is white willow bark. Used by Chinese practitioners 2,500 years ago, it contains salicin, nearly the same pain reliever found in aspirin. Other herbal aspirins include meadowsweet tea, just as effective as aspirin with few side effects. For migraines, Walker and Brown recommend feverfew and magnesium supplements, which reduce nerve excitability and migraine susceptibility. In fact, individuals with frequent headaches have been found to have low brain and tissue magnesium, says Julian Whitaker, MD, author of Julian Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing (Prima). For all headaches, Goldberg suggests essential fatty acid supplementation with evening primrose oil (EPO), which improves circulation, helps regulate inflammation and relieves pain.
The Curse of the Migraine
Migraines, a debilitating headache distinguished by a throbbing pain, may be humanity's oldest malady. The name is derived from the word the Greek physician Galen used to describe the disorder in 200 A.D. Six-thousand-year-old Sumerian writings refer to the ravages of migraines, and prehistoric skeletons bear testimony to a crude form of trephination-holes chiseled in skulls to allow the escape of pain-creating demons, according to Lifetime Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by Myra Cameron (Parker Publishing).
In the common migraine, throbbing pain develops gradually from distended veins around the brain and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. These miseries can be preceded by 15 to 90 minutes of an "aura," which includes visual disturbances, distorted perception, hallucinations, flashes of light and temporary loss of sight or hearing. In fact, skeptical historians attribute some of the religious visions of the Middle Ages to the visual effects of migraine aura, according to Cameron.
Snacking on high fiber foods between three light meals each day helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent migraines. And while some doctors summarily attribute migraines to diet, other experts attribute at least half of all migraines to food sensitivities. The most common edible villains are aged cheeses, yeast breads, chocolate, cured meats, citrus fruits, eggs, fermented foods, wheat, milk, milk products, alcoholic drinks and food additives, including nitrates and MSG.
Suggested daily supplements for migraine-susceptible individuals include a multivitamin, one capsule of B complex to help maintain normal vascular control, 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams in divided doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to assist the production of anti-stress hormones, and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium to reduce nerve excitability and pain. At the onset of a migraine, says Cameron, try homeopathic remedies, dilutions of natural substances from plants, minerals and animals. For throbbing pain, take natrum muriaticum according to package directions. Other homeopathic options to explore include iris versicolar, lac defloratum and sanguinaria.
Take Charge of Your Headaches
Headache management involves managing your life. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Calmly discuss your feelings. Take a leisurely stroll at lunch. Walk your dog, or a neighbor's dog, after dinner. Keep a food diary. Sit and stand tall. Skip the fast food tonight. Join a yoga class. Take vitamins and supplements. Get a two-hour massage. Turn the television off earlier and sleep in a little later.
Taking the time to care may take effort, but it will soon become second nature. Invest in yourself. It's your most precious possession.
Centering Your Heart
June 13, 2005 10:15 AM
Centering Your Heart by Lisa James Energy Times, January 4, 2004
The romantic view of the human heart conjures up vivid images: The gallant lover, the committed enthusiast, the wise sage. When the romantic philosophy speaks of the heart, it speaks of things that lie at the very center of what it means to be human.
Western medical science, though, views the heart as a biomechanical pump-marvelously engineered to be sure, but a physical device amenable to surgical and pharmaceutical tinkering.
Between romance and technology lies the Eastern path. Eastern medical traditions, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and India's Ayurveda, see the heart as a seat of energy that must be kept in right relationship with the rest of the body.
TCM: Yin, Yang and Qi
The two great polarities of yin and yang are always shifting and rebalancing, according to Chinese philosophy, in our bodies as in everything else. Yin is dark, inward, cold, passive and downward; yang is light, outward, warm, active and upward.
The energy that keeps us alive is called qi, or life force. Organs, including the heart, are seen as places where qi resides. Organs supply and restrain each other's qi, which flows along carefully mapped meridians, or channels. Disease occurs when disturbances in qi interrupt the flow of energy so that an organ experiences either a deficiency or excess of yin/yang.
According to Chinese precepts, disturbances in the heart affect the whole body. "The movement of the blood throughout the body, TCM circulation, is managed by multiple organs, which in turn interact with one another. A failure in any one part of this system can result in pathology," says Jonathan Simon, LAc, an acupuncture expert in private practice and at the Mind-Body Digestive Center, in New York.
"If there's a circulation issue, all the organ systems are going to be deprived of the nourishment supplied by the blood. The heart seems to have a dramatic effect on everything else in the body," says Ross Rosen, JD, LAc, CA, MSTOM, Dipl AC & CH (NCCAOM), of The Center for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine P.A. in Westfield, New Jersey.
Connecting the Dots
While Western medicine probes the heart's physical functioning, TCM searches for energy imbalances by looking for patterns in a person's complaints.
"The wrong approach, in my opinion, is to try to relieve a Western ailment before you have established the proper pattern," Simon notes. "For example, I once had a 20-year-old, slim patient who came to me complaining of hypertension. She had seen several other acupuncturists before she got to my clinic, all of whom had prescribed the number-one formula for hypertension in TCM. When I interviewed her, I discerned a very different pattern from the classic one for hypertension. I gave her the formula associated with her pattern, not her symptom, and she had great relief over the next three weeks. After consultation with her Western physician, she began to cut back on her medication, and is now off of her meds."
TCM emphasizes taking a thorough medical history and using a sophisticated pulse-taking technique called the shen hammer method. Rosen calls pulse "the blueprint of one's health."
As in conventional Western medicine, TCM sees diet as a major culprit in heart disease. "Poor diet will cause problems depending upon on the constitution of the person," explains Simon. "For example, if one eats an excess of greasy and spicy food, that may build up and generate excess heat in the body. That may manifest itself as someone with a quick temper, red face and high blood pressure. On the other hand, a vegetarian who eats only salads may have low energy, a sallow complexion and low blood pressure. I try to tell my patients to keep balance in their diets, but to avoid cold, raw and greasy foods."
TCM also sees unsettled emotions as a source of illness. Stress "creates stagnation in qi and in the blood, eventually," Rosen says. "When stagnation is long or severe, heat starts being produced. We say that heat goes into the blood and steams the body, and heat starts to dry out the vessels. This process winds up turning into atherosclerosis-it kind of vulcanizes the vessel wall. It deprives the vessel of its moisture, which deprives it of its elasticity. Blood pressure starts to increase."
Managing one's emotions and not overworking body or mind is key, says Rosen: "The heart houses the spirit, the shen. When we see people with imbalances in emotion, the spirit starts to become agitated; once the spirit becomes agitated, the whole heart system goes out of balance."
Signs of agitation include insomnia, anxiety and an inability to feel joy, along with chest pain and heart palpitations. TCM uses nutrition, herbs and acupuncture to bring the body back into balance.
Ayurveda: Constitutional Energies
Like TCM, Ayurveda sees health as a matter of balancing the subtle energies that power our bodies. In Ayurveda, these energies exist as three doshas, or basic constitutions:
* Vata is cold, dry, light, clear and astringent. The skin of vata individuals is generally dry, thin, dark and cool, with hair that's curly, dark and coarse. Vatas change their minds readily and crave warmth.
* Pitta is sharp, light, hot, oily and pungent. Pitta people tend to have skin that's soft, fair, warm and freckled, along with fine, fair hair. Quick-witted, pittas hold strong convictions. They prefer coolness, since they tend to perspire profusely.
* Kapha is cold, heavy, oily, slow and soft. Kapha skin is pale, cold and thick, and kapha hair, which is usually brown, is thick and lustrous. Stable and compassionate, kaphas don't like the cold.
Few people are one, pure dosha. Most contain varying levels of vata, pitta and kapha (abbreviated VPK), generally with one predominating.
Ayurveda views the heart as "governing emotions and circulating blood," according to Sophia Simon, MS, LAc, of the Karma Healing Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania. In Ayurveda "heart problems arise mainly due to improper diet and stressful lifestyles," which causes a "derangement of vata dosha. This leads to thickening of the arteries, resulting in angio-obstruction."
"Stress reduction is very important in heart disease," says Simon. "Meditation helps a lot with stress reduction, especially simple breathing exercises, yoga, etc." Some of Simon's recommendations have a familiar ring: Don't smoke, do exercise, eat a plant-based, low-fat diet. In addition, she says you should:
* Avoid coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine.
* Be loving and compassionate to all mankind.
* Do things in a casual way. Speak softly. Avoid anger, especially holding anger for a long time.
* Indulge in healthy, whole-hearted laughter.
In addition, Simon notes that garlic is an Ayurvedic herb "most useful for heart problems.
Keep your balance: In the great Eastern healing traditions, it is the key to keeping your heart healthy.
June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002
Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo
But aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.
The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.
How it Works
For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of aromatherapy.
Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.
When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.
Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.
The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:
Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.
Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle relaxant for aches and pains.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.
Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.
Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.
Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.
Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.
Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.
Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.
Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.
The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.
One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.
The Healing Garden offers a full line of aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.
Simply Be Well products take traditional aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.
The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.
Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.
"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:
Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.
Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.
Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.
Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.
Wicks and Sticks
Perhaps the easiest way to get your aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.
The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.
Improove Memory ...
June 09, 2005 05:49 PM
Mesmerizing Memory by Cal Orey Energy Times, January 1, 1999
In the 60s, the same rock 'n' rollers who belted out "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small," often espoused the belief that certain pills could expand the mind. While counter-culture pill purveyors were pilloried for their pill-popping claims, 90s nutritional research has uncovered a stash of supplements that may amplify mental improvement.
Like a blues singer bending a high note, researchers are now humming with dramatic assertions that certain nutritional supplements can sustain and enhance concentration and memory function. For instance, studies reveal possible benefits for cognitive powers from vitamin C, magnesium and Ginkgo biloba. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 278:1327-1332) said that an extract of Ginkgo biloba "can stabilize and, in some cases, improve the cognitive function and social behavior of demented patients."
A researcher in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that a daily dose of vitamin E may "help protect the brain and its memories from the ravages of time." And the beat goes on: other evidence indicates that zinc, iron and boron may pump up short-term memory attention span and cut the time it takes to perform mental tasks.
Lester Packer, PhD, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, told a joint 1996 United Nations-World Health Organization conference on Aging that "there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the free radical theory of aging and aging-related disease is valid," and that dietary and supplemental antioxidants can help fight illness and mental deterioration.
Vitamin E and other memory aids are believed to protect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, "the ferrymen of the brain's communication system," that influence concentration and memory. Experts say that sustaining the level of these nerve chemicals in the brain can potentially improve all mental processes.
Too much alcohol, for example, commonly causes progressive mental decline, according to Secrets of the Superyoung (Villard) by David Weeks and Jamie James. The authors also point out that "the memory tends to worsen noticeably after 15 years of alcohol drinking, and much sooner in people who go on massive binges."
"The effects of cigarette smoke are subtler because the poisonous effects of carbon monoxide in each puff are temporarily offset by the alerting effects of the nicotine," they add. Can't remember the name of that singer cavorting in a music video? Tests have shown that smokers are worse at connecting peoples' names to their faces than nonsmokers.
n Learn something new: A second language, musical instrument, or unique puzzles and games keep neurons working like new.
n Turn off the TV: Read. Studies show that passively watching TV requires less concentration than eating cereal. Mental rejuvenation also requires physical activity. Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, which supports memory, concentration and cognition. One study has shown that exercise significantly brightened the moods of middle-aged and older women, regardless of whether they were pre- or post-menopausal, with or without hormone replacement therapy.
Supplemental Brain Help
Antioxidants, including the previously mentioned vitamin E (You haven't forgotten vitamin E already, have you?), provide crucial help for vigorous cerebral function. The free radicals created by tobacco smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light and certain carcinogenic chemicals deconstruct cell membranes and may foster microscopic brain cell havoc. Antioxidant enzymes convert free radicals to more neutral, benign substances and nutritional antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by linking up with them.
Vitamin C, a brainy antioxidant all star, performs so well that, according to Dr. Khalsa, its levels in the brain are almost 15 times higher than in other parts of the body. This nutrient, he asserts, aids mental and physical longevity. In a UCLA study, people who ingested at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lived more than six years longer than those who ingested less.
Added to this mix, magnesium also scavenges free-radicals, according to Dr. Khalsa. Plus, experts recommend grape seed extract (phytochemicals that protect a wide range of cellular structures) to safeguard nerve cells and mental capacity.
B Vitamins for the Mind
Boron plays a crucial part in mental function. Scientists at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center have linked boron deficiencies to chronic lethargy and fatigue. In brain studies, they found that the electrical activity of the gray matter in the boron deficient indicated increased drowsiness and mental sluggishness.
HupA basically protects the brain from free radical damage (due to low levels of antioxidant defenses) and maintains or enhances crucial neurotransmitter action. More specifically, HupA helps reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, the vital neurotransmitter, and makes this substance more bioavailable. In addition, HupA helps make choline accessible to the brain for the synthesis of acetylcholine, according to a study in Neuropharmacology (30, 1991: 763-768).
Normally, the brain manufactures sufficient levels of the chemical phosphatidylserine, a lecithin-derivative that helps boost neurotransmitter release, but deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid, or of essential fatty acids, may retard that production. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are related to impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Scientists reporting in Aging (5, 1993; 123-33) describe "good results" using phosphatidylserine in the treatment of age-related cognitive ills.
Ginkgo Brain Power
Another ingredient in what seems like an alphabet-soup of brain nourishment is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fat essential for normal brain function. Researchers met recently at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center's Nutrition Information Center to discuss "Keeping Your Brain in Shape: New Insights into DHA." Their findings revealed links between low levels of DHA and Alzheimer's, depression, memory loss, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain behavioral traits including aggression and hostility.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health point out, however, that fish is an excellent dietary source of DHA. In their studies, they discovered that depression rates in Japan and Taiwan, where fish ranks a top spot on the menu, are significantly lower than in North America and Europe.
DHA also is crucial to the neurological development of children, according to findings published in Pediatrics (vol. 101, no. 1, January 1998). Researchers suggest that DHA-rich breast milk should be the model for infant formulas that enhance babies' neurological development. Scientists also have correlated some behavioral problems in children-ADHD, for example-to DHA deficiencies.
If you are a vegetarian, or have other cause for concern about a potential lack of DHA in your diet, you can rely on dietary supplementation of DHA. Bruce J. Holub, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Canada provided vegetarians in his research project with DHA supplements over a 42-day period and substantially increased their DHA blood levels.
The bottom line to enhanced mental performance is to take a balanced approach, says Robert Snider, MD, who specializes in preventive medicine in Massena, New York. "Maintaining brain power includes exercise, stress reduction and good nutrition." The message to keep in mind: Don't lose your nutritional balance or you could lose a piece of your peace of mind.
Recommended Reading: & Brain Builders (Reward Books, 1995), by Richard Leviton.
Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.
Omega 3 Oils to Improve Mental Health, Fight Degenerative Diseases and Extend Life (Avery, 1996), by Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix.
Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998), by John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.
Essential Fatty Acids - Lipids, Cell Memgranes & Eicosanoids
June 09, 2005 09:35 AM
Essential Fatty Acids and Phospholipids
Essential fatty acids & phospholipids are primary constituents of cell membranes, and as such they are vital to the makeup of the human body. Essential fatty acids are used to generate certain intra-cellular hormone-like substances, including prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are responsible for regulating key bodily processes. Source Naturals essential fatty acid supplements are potent, effective and chemical-free.
LIPIDS, CELL MEMBRANES & EICOSANOIDS
Almost by definition, life is composed of cells, and cells are defined by membranes. One theory suggests that, around four billion years ago, self-replicating molecules, similar to the ribonucleic acid or RNA in our own cells, were synthesized from organic molecules. These self-replicating molecules adapted to changes in their environment to increase their potential for survival. Thus began the process of evolution that has led, over the eons, to us. One turning point was when these molecules developed membranes - envelopes which could help concentrate chemicals needed for the cell's survival. There existed in the "primordial soup" substances uniquely suited to this purpose: a class of organic compounds we call lipids . Lipids are more commonly called fats, and in this health and image-conscious age people often think of them as something to be avoided. However, the word fat refers to a variety of substances with a diverse range of chemical properties, which are essential for survival and well-being . The simplest lipids, fatty acids such as palmitic acid, consist of a hydrocarbon "tail" connected to a carboxyl group (COOH). The majority of lipids in food and in the human body occur in the form of triglycerides - a molecular configuration in which three fatty acid chains are attached to a 'backbone' of glycerol (an organic alcohol composed of a 3-carbon chain with an alcohol group attached to each carbon). The major roles of lipids can be described as energy and storage, structural, and metabolic.
Energy and Storage
Molecules can contain more or less chemical energy. In living systems most of the energy needed to drive chemical reactions is derived from oxidation. Oxygen, the ultimate electron acceptor, is a strong oxidant: it has a marked tendency to attract electrons, becoming reduced in the process. When a molecule undergoes a chemical reaction from a high-energy reduced state to a low-energy oxidized state, energy is released. This is what happens in a fire: the high-energy carbohydrates in wood, such as glucose, react with oxygen, releasing heat and the low-energy molecules of carbon dioxide and water. This is similar to what happens in metabolism.
Most of the carbon in a fatty acid chain is highly reduced, which makes fats more energy-rich than the other organic molecules that can be burned as food. This is what we mean when we say fats are high in calories - a measure of the amount of energy released when a substance is oxidized. Fats contain more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates. This makes fats an important storage fuel for most of the body.
Another important class of lipids in the human body consists of the phospholipids. Like triglycerides, phospholipids contain fatty acid chains- in this case two, one saturated and one unsaturated, attached to a glycerol backbone. Unlike triglycerides, in phospholipids the third carbon of the glycerol molecule is attached to a phosphate (a molecular group that contains phosphorus and oxygen), which is in turn attached to either an amino acid or, in the case of phosphatidyl choline, a molecule of the B-vitamin - like substance, choline.
Their unique molecular structure makes phospholipids amphipathic, which means 'likes both':
Fats, being hydrophobic, tend to separate out from water. When fat is mixed with phospholipids in the presence of water, the phospholipid molecules attach themselves to the molecules of fat and bring them into the water solution, enabling the fats to dissolve in water.
Phospholipids form a structure called a lipid bilayer, a two-ply sheet of phospholipid molecules in which the hydrophilic head groups face outward and are in contact with the water, and the hydrophobic tails face each other on the inside of the bilayer. This structure is one of the key constituents of the cell membranes that surround every living cell.
The lipid bilayer of cell membranes is a fluid in which membrane-embedded proteins "float." These proteins serve a wide variety of different functions. Some are enzymes, serving to carry out chemical reactions in the adjacent solution. Some are involved in signaling, in which a biochemical action in a cell is 'commanded' by means of a hormone or some such other signaling molecule. Still others are involved in transporting substances across the membrane, into or out of the cell.
The functions of membrane-embedded proteins are dependent on a very precise balance of phospholipids for their function. Phosphatidyl serine, for instance, has a negatively-charged head group that associates preferentially with a class of membrane-bound proteins called ATPases. ATPases regulate, among other things, the balance of sodium and potassium in intra- and extracellular fluids, a balance that is necessary for the integrity of our cells and also for the electrochemical impulses that make up our thoughts and feelings. Without phosphatidyl serine, these vitally important membrane-embedded proteins could not function.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential to the structure of cell membranes, which depend for their function on a delicate balance between fluidity and solidity. Cholesterol provides a semifluid matrix, as well as enhancing membrane fluidity. About 80% of the cholesterol the body uses is manufactured by the liver; the other 20% is consumed in food. Elevated blood cholesterol levels are associated with heart disease. Saturated fats are converted into cholesterol more readily than unsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats usually depress blood cholesterol concentration to some degree. Researchers have thus recommended that people lower their consumption of saturated fats and increase their consumption of polyunsaturated fats. A process called hydrogenation , in which hydrogen molecules are added, is used to harden these unsaturated fats to create solid spreads, such as margarine. This process causes formation of altered fats called trans fatty acids. Although the results are not conclusive, human and animal studies have pointed to possible deleterious effects from consumption of trans - fatty acids, which are estimated to account for 5.5% of all fats consumed by Americans. These studies include one in men and women that showed harmful effects of trans - fatty acids on blood cholesterol ratios.
When each link of a fatty acid chain contains an atom of hydrogen, as in palmitic acid, that fatty acid is said to be saturated . If two carbon links are double bonded to each other, each has one less hydrogen atom, and the fatty acid chain is said to be unsaturated. If a fatty acid contains one double bond, it is said to be monounsaturated, and if it has two or more double bonds it is said to be polyunsaturated . Certain polyunsaturated fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body and must be obtained from the diet. These nutrients are called essential fatty acids and are necessary for the normal function of all tissues. The essential fatty acids fall into two categories:
In addition to being phospholipid precursors, essential fatty acids can be converted to a class of hormone like intracellular messengers called eicosanoids. The physiologic effects of eicosanoids are potent in minute quantities. Their effects are so powerful that they need to be produced near the site of their action and are quickly inactivated. The important eicosanoids include the thromboxanes, leukotrienes and prostaglandins (PGs ). Prostaglandin molecules consist of a five-carbon ring with two side chains. They can be distinguished from each other by numbers that refer to the number of double bonds in their molecular side chains: 1-series PGs have one double bond, 2-series have two double bonds, and so on. Prostaglandins mediate a variety of bodily processes, including inflammatory reactions, blood vessel contraction and dilation, and platelet aggregation. The different PGs have different effects on the body, and different essential fatty acids act as precursors for different PGs.
Important essential fatty acids in humans are the omega-6 fatty acids, which include linoleic acid (LA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). 1-series PGs are derived from GLA and tend to cause blood vessels to dilate and reduce the stickiness of platelets (cell fragments in the blood that help initiate blood clotting). 2-series PGs are derived from arachidonic acid and tend to increase platelet stickiness and cause blood vessels to constrict. Meat and dairy products are dietary sources of the PG2 precursor, arachidonic acid; American diets tend to be rich in these foods. The rate-limiting step for production of GLA in the human body is an enzyme called delta-6-desaturase (D6D). The action of this important enzyme can be blocked by a number of different lifestyle factors, including a diet high in saturated or trans- fatty acids and chronic alcohol consumption. A modest increase in consumption of GLA will significantly increase the ratio of GLA to AA in the tissues, which may have a beneficial effect on the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil or fish oil, is beneficial for similar reasons. Omega-3 fatty acids are precursors for 3-series PGs, which reduce platelet stickiness. Series-3 PGs also tend to inhibit conversion of AA into its metabolites, the 2-series PGs.
The lipid composition of our diets has changed radically in the 20th century. Our intake of saturated fats has increased dramatically, and trans fatty acids, which did not exist before the advent of modern food processing technology, now form a major part of our diets. We eat less fish and green leafy vegetables, important sources of omega-3 fatty acids, than our ancestors did. Far from being an inert, homogeneous substance, fat is dynamic and varied - a subtle and interactive matrix for many of the biological processes taking place in our bodies, minute by minute.
Genistein 1000mg Eternal Woman - Soy Supplement ...
June 02, 2005 10:30 AM
For most of human history, we existed in a world that was very different from the one today. Our endocrine systems evolved in an environment without synthetic chemicals. Unfortunately, today we’re surrounded by artificial hormone-mimicking compounds that disrupt the subtle biological processes that determine growth and reproduction. Receptors on our cells meant to receive natural bodily hormones can also accept molecules other than the ones they were intended to receive, placing our endocrine systems under considerable duress. Fortunately, certain plants contain estrogen-like compounds that are also accepted by hormone receptors in the human body – but with beneficial effects. Soybeans, which contain the isoflavone Genistein, can help regulate and maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. Source Naturals GENISTEIN is a concentrated form of the essence of the soybean.
The Secret of Soy
Not surprisingly, it was Ben Franklin who first introduced America to soybeans. Always on the lookout for beneficial imports, he was intrigued by the soybean cheese he saw in England. Today, tofu and other soy products are gaining popularity here in the West, in good part due to the reported benefits to populations that consume a considerable amount of soy products.
Some researchers have postulated that the high intake of soy foods by Asians may be a key factor in their low incidence of certain health problems that are common in the West. For example, epidemiological studies show that women in Asia have a higher occurrence of normal trouble-free menopause. There is no Japanese word for hot flashes. Soy foods contain high concentrations of phytonutrients including phytosterols and isoflavones. Isoflavones are an important class of bioflavonoids whose properties have been well researched. Of the seven isoflavones contained in soybeans, the most active are genistein and daidzein. Source Naturals GENISTEIN contains over 11 mg of genistein, 42 mg of daidzein, and 86 mg of total isoflavones per four 1000 mg tablets.
Genistein and Estrogen
The subject of scientific studies since 1966, genistein research has been published in many journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Annals of the New York Academy of Science. Genistein has been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen. This helps to maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. By competing for human estrogen receptors, genistein causes excess estrogen to be sent to the liver for elimination. Conversely, when there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens – genistein and daidzein – substitute for the lack of human estrogen, mitigating the effects of its absence.
Genistein and Cell Growth
One of genistein’s most promising functions is its ability to inhibit capillary proliferation. By neutralizing a growth factor called vascular endothelial (vegF), genistein protects cells. Genistein also shows pronounced inhibition of tyrosine kinase, the enzyme that interferes with normal cell growth. Soybeans are the only significant dietary source of genistein; however, the amount of soy foods necessary to meet the body’s needs can be difficult to incorporate into today’s diet. In Asia, the daily intake can be up to 20 times that of a Western diet. Source Naturals GENISTEIN is made from the germ of isoflavone-rich soybeans, using a chemical- free process that yields a consistent standardized isoflavone content. It requires approximately 400 pounds of soybeans to yield just one pound of finished product. With GENISTEIN, Source Naturals brings the remarkable properties of a time-honored food plant into your wellness program today.