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Could inflammation be the core cause of all chronic disease?
December 14, 2018 09:05 AM
Chronic disease is something that is seen all over the place. Some people are aware of it while others are not. It is one of those things that if you are not affected by it, you pay no attention to it. In that, people wonder if inflammation is the real reason behind these chronic diseases. Many people suffer from large inflammation issues but there is a reason for that. People do not take care of themselves enough.
"A lot of blame is passed around when talking about illness. You’ve probably heard a lot of common beliefs about what causes disease – some true and some a bit misinformed."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-08-inflammation-the-core-cause-of-chronic-disease.html
4 health benefits of drinking Okra Water and how to make your ownat home
December 12, 2018 09:09 AM
Okra water is one of those things that is getting a lot of hype right now. People are talking about it and really feel as if it better than the typical water that you would get in the store. First and foremost, Okra water is rich in fiber. If you have a deficiency in this area, this kind of water can help solve that for you. Also, it is now possible for you to make your own Okra water at home.
"A 2015 study published in Nutrients found that, in combination with daily physical activity, adding okra to your diet can enable you to exercise longer without tiring as quickly and recover faster."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/4-health-benefits-of-drinking-okra-water-and-how-to-make-your-own-at-home/
AMAZING - This Smoothie Deflates Your Belly, Cleans The Colon And Will Make You Lose Weight!!
July 10, 2017 12:14 PM
This is a video about a smoothie that will deflate your stomach and help you lose weight. The video begins with a brief and simple explanation of the human digestive system and describes how food is broken down when consumed. The video then lists the ingredients and preparation method for the smoothie which includes oats, honey, papaya, and cinnamon mixed together in a blender and served cold. The video claims that this mixture will clean out the colon and help a person lose weight. It repeatedly uses the term "deflates the belly"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_o9IbOkrfQ&rel=0
"swollen belly's are do to the food we carry and because of our slow digestive system."
Osteoporosis: what it is and how you can fight back
June 02, 2017 11:14 AM
What is Osteoporosis? Well it is a bone disorder that affects one of five women who is past the age of fifty. There are steps you can take to prevent Osteoporosis. You can have a good healthy diet, exercises, know your risk factors, go get checked at the doctor's office, take steps to prevent bone fractures and lastly, get information about medications that can be most helpful to you. This is something you should consider talking to your doctor about.
Read more: Osteoporosis: what it is and how you can fight back
OPINION: How probiotics research is taking us to the next level of understanding
April 16, 2017 01:29 AM
Everyone has seen those commercials talking about yogurt and the feamle digestive sysyem, you know the ones that talk about probiotics? Well, now there is research that shows for sure that probiotics do, in fact, do plenty of good and very little harm. So, go out and buy those yogurts and do not feel guilty about spending a little bit more money than normal for them. They actually work and are very good for you!
Read more: OPINION: How probiotics research is taking us to the next level of understanding
I Lost 20 Pounds In 1 Month Just By Following The Candida Diet
March 25, 2017 06:44 AM
There is a new diet that has people talking, and it may be what you've been looking to find to finally get rid of those excess pounds. One user shares her story of this incredible new diet, known as the Candida diet, and how she lost 20 pounds in just one month's time using the diet. What you learn might inspire you and will certainly have you learning more about this one of a kind diet.
Read more: I Lost 20 Pounds In 1 Month Just By Following The Candida Diet
eye floaters review
March 23, 2017 04:44 AM
The book is not worth reading it promises to cure your eye floaters but does not live up to it at all, the video claims a "safe natural approach" that consists of talking about eating blueberries, even though that never fixed anyone's eyes, it is probably just better to spend you money on something that may help your eyes instead of getting a book that says to eat licorice and blueberries in capsules. you can eat whatever you want, if it isn't eye surgery, it's fraudulent.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0hT9LiZ8ho&rel=0
"How to finally rid of your stressful eye floaters, blocks of vision, the flashing lights – using a safe, natural and easy system."
Medical News Today: Cholesterol levels: What they mean and keeping them healthy
March 14, 2017 06:59 AM
Have you ever thought about what Cholesterol really is? Cholesterol is in our diets when we eat animal products. When we eat animal products our liver increases the production of Cholesterol. There are many terms we hear when talking about Cholesterol: LDL, HDL, VLDL and total cholesterol levels. Cholesterol impacts heart health.A simple blood test can show you what your levels are and as we get older it is important to talk to your doctor about your levels.
"Having the correct cholesterol levels helps the body to produce and maintain the right amounts of vitamin D and hormones, and helps with digestion."
10 Health Benefits of Drinking Dandelion Tea
February 22, 2017 10:59 AM
It may be the arch nemesis of a yard savvy homeowner, but dandelions aren’t without their redeeming qualities. As a matter of fact, these weeds are commonly used in folk medicine, and have been for quite some time. When people talk about dandelion tea, they are largely talking about one of two different beverages: an infusion made of the plant’s leaves, or one made of roasted dandelion roots. Both are considered safe and are used for a variety of purposes
"Dandelions are full of vitamins and minerals that are great for you as well."
Replacing carbs with protein? Don't overdo it
December 17, 2016 07:59 AM
Protein has become the dietary supplement that everyone is talking about. With benefits thought to range from building muscle to losing weight, protein powders and bars have become a staple in American society. Specialists are beginning to wonder if getting too much protein in the diet can lead to bad side effects. It is estimated that most American men consume double the daily recommended intake. There are concerns that high protein diets can lead to the development of diabetes and liver disease. They are cautioning people to keep their intake closer to the recommended dosage.
"A canned protein drink can contain almost as much protein as a 227g steak, and snack bars or a small bag of protein chips can pack more of the macro-nutrient than a three-egg omelette."
Why Everyone is Talking About Turmeric
December 16, 2016 06:59 AM
Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin. This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science and the next most popular studied herbs include garlic, cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.
"The bright yellow spice is not only an important antioxidant, but it is also an anti-inflammatory, soother of irritations and a skin brightener."
The Scoop About Healthy Poop
November 05, 2016 03:54 PM
Is your poop healthy? There are signs that indicate that it is healthy and those that indicate that it is not. Do you know what those signs are? It is a hard subject to talk about for some, but it is important that you have the scoop on poop! For the information important to know about your poop and signs that it is healthy, this article is written just for you.
"If an infection is in the lower intestines or colon, then the blood in your stool is going to be red. If you find black blood, then the blood has oxidized and is from higher up in your digestive tract"
Screen time, phone use linked to less sleep for teens
October 31, 2016 12:09 PM
As smartphones and computers permeate the world the effect they're having on teenagers grows. Studies found that young adults who spend more than two hours talking on a phone or playing video games will have less sleep than those who do not. They also report that they are sleepier during the day than those who play or talk less than two hours each day. Alternatively, these problems do not affect those who watch TV for the same amount of time. The lack of sleep some are getting can increase the risk of depression, attention problems, and cause weight gain.
"Researchers found that kids who used computers and videogames for more than two hours per day slept 17 and 11 minutes less, respectively, than youth who used screens for less time."
Phosphatidyl Serine is Good For Memory improvment
March 23, 2014 06:05 PM
In order to remember things in a proper order and to have sharp memory, brain uses a lot of chemicals for its functioning. Out of all these chemicals Phosphatidyl serine is one of the most important chemicals for better memory. Although body can make this chemical by itself, but it gets most of this chemical from food only.
Effects of Phosphatidyl serine
If we talk about the effect of Phosphatidyl serine on memory, doctors use this chemical to against Alzheimer disease. Also, doctors recommend the same chemical as a medicine for those old people that stay in confusion or lose their capability of remembering things for a longer time. Also, many experts believe that if people will use this chemical as a supplement then it can help them to get a better memory.
Talking about the base of these beliefs, many studies found that Phosphatidylserine is highly effective on memory enhancement and all the researches received only positive result from it. In these researches experts and researchers found that all those people or animal that used Phosphatidyl serine had great visible improvement in their memory.
In case you are wondering about the side effects of this chemical, then it is safe for everyone and researchers did not find any kind of side effect on people after its consumption. In order to make sure they get accurate results about its side effect, they did an extensive experiment study of six months and they found that it is safe to use for any person.
So, we can say that Phosphatidyl serine is highly effective in the improvement of memory and if you are planning to take this chemical for your memory improvement, you can easily take it. However, you need to make sure that you buy it from a manufacture that is known to provide high quality medicine and supplements and has a good reputation among all the experts of related field.
What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses
February 19, 2014 03:18 PM
What is juniper berry
With regards to Super foods, berries are right on top of the agenda on the grounds that they are packed with gainful cell reinforcements. One such berry that can help you a great arrangement is the juniper berry oil and through the years, experimental exploration has indicated what a wonder it is.
Organically talking, the juniper berry isn't a real tree grown foods yet the juniper's seed cone. It's viewed as a berry as a result of its scales. The juniper is an evergreen tree and there are obviously 6 types of this tree whose berries are palatable and utilized for a ton of useful purposes.
Juniper berries oil are widely utilized within European cooking, particularly meat based arrangements as it gives one of a kind quality. Gin significant others likewise may be amazed to discover that juniper berries are the essential element in gin. However the juniper berry is eminent for its notoriety as a home grown answer for an unimaginably long rundown of conditions and afflictions.
How it makes a difference
The juniper is truth be told a helpful tree as a large portion of its parts are utilized for a medicinal readiness or the other. In this way, the berries, leaves, bark and even oil determined from the berries and wood are utilized within different ways.
Benefits of juniper berry
Basically a severe berry, the juniper berry holds various unpredictable oils or key oils, strand, vitamin C, flavoring and entire parcel of dynamic fixings that makes it the achievement healer that it is. Note that juniper berries might be taken as teas and the squashed berries could be connected on the skin also for an assortment of sicknesses.
Here is a glance at a portion of the employments of the juniper berry and how it can help us lead healthier lives:
Juniper is recognized to be a herb with the most astounding consequences for kidneys. It is additionally used to cure different urinary tract contaminations and it can uproot uric harsh corrosive from the figure. Juniper makes the kidneys work rapidly and the form transforms more pee, making it a great diuretic additionally.
People confronting water maintenance issues can feel a great deal of alleviation with the juniper berry and its oil due to its diuretic lands.
Oil from the juniper berry has a disinfectant impact and it comes as an extraordinary easing to individuals experiencing urethritis and cystitis.
Suffering from digestive issues? The Berry may very well be your reply as it can help diminish tooting and colic and help processing. It additionally moves issues, for example, bloating, belching and acid reflux. As a digestive help, it is remarkable as it expands the longing, soothes gas and expansions the generation of gastric harsh corrosive.
Juniper berry oil additionally has calming qualities and it is of superb assistance to those experiencing joint inflammation, gout and different conditions, for example, ailment. These joint related ailments happen due to the liquid maintenance around these joints and the juniper berry with its diuretic activity assuages this weight extensively.
Skin afflictions, for example, dandruff, skin inflammation and contender's foot can additionally be treated with topical provision of the juniper berry.
Juniper helps in invigorating the muscle tone and discernibly decreasing the impacts of ageing for generally individuals.
Menstrual spasms are frequently a significant number of the most troublesome parts of a lady's life; however these can additionally be lessened fundamentally with the assistance of the juniper berry. Numerous cultivators even utilize the juniper to enhance the uterus tone and to help the individuals who have moderate or late beginning periods.
Concentrated oils of the juniper are utilized topically for lung clogging and hack while it is additionally pivotal in helping those experiencing respiratory contaminations. The unpredictable oils help in clearing up bronchial entries and disposing of bodily fluid.
It has a high convergence of insulin and aides in mending the pancreas.
Essential oils extricated from juniper berries can help in soothing toothache and making gums stronger. It can additionally be utilized to oversee hair fall.
Finally, the juniper berry is utilized by numerous to thin down and since it even scrubs the poisons from the form, it is an extraordinary general purifier also.
Juniper does have some noteworthy symptoms and its vital that you're attentive to them before you begin utilizing them as any type of medicine.
Avoid the juniper berry oil in the event that you have extreme kidney issues as it can disturb the issue and cause further harm.
If you utilize more than the endorsed sum, chances are that you could experience the ill effects of loose bowels, kidney torment, high circulatory strain, quick pulse and purplish pee.
When taken inside, it can affect the assimilation of iron and different minerals.
Open wounds are best not treated with juniper on the grounds that it can cause inconvenience and swelling.
Juniper causes uterine fits and could prompt brought down ripeness, so ladies who are endeavoring to get pregnant must escape juniper.
Pregnant ladies ought not to utilize juniper as it can cause uterine compressions and reason a premature birth.
Diabetics must be cautious while utilizing juniper as it can raise the levels of glucose in the form.
Juniper when taken in prudent sums and with individuals, who don't have the shown issues as said above, could be a blessing as it furnishes them with a considerable measure of help.
Why Is Agave Nectar A Better Sweetener Than Sugar?
February 06, 2014 08:49 PM
What is agave nectar
Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is sweet liquid that tastes similar to honey, but has unique properties that make it a better sweetener than regular sugar. Agave plant is native to the Mexico region, and the locals have been using it for centuries to produce fermented alcoholic beverages, and incorporate it into various recipes. Agave nectar is less viscous when compared to honey, although it has the same level of sweetness. If compared to sugar, the benefits of Agave nectar are obvious since it has a lower glycemic index.
Some useful information about Vitamin E
January 13, 2014 05:10 PM
Vitamin E is a group of eight different fat soluble compounds that comes from plants. This vitamin was the fifth discovered vitamin and it was discovered by Katherine S. Bishop and Herbert McLean Evans in year 1922.
Types of Vitamin E
If we talk about all the components of Vitamin E it include eight different type of homologues molecules that get synthesized by plants in a natural manner. These eight homologues are also differentiated in two different groups known as tocopherols and tocotrienols. Both the groups have four different homologues named as alpha, beta gamma & delta. In these two group tocopherols homologues are natural saturated substances while tocotrienols are unsaturated and collectively all these substance form Vitamin E.
Health Benefits of Vitamin E
Talking about all the health benefits of Vitamin E, it is the one of the best antioxidant that can help you to reduce your aging process and it can also help you to stay energetic. Other than this, it s also very helpful in protecting your body from free radicals that can cause many cardiovascular diseases and different type of cancer. Also, it is known to improve the immunity system of the body and that’s why doctors prescribe the vitamin C to those people that have poor immunity system.
However, it is very important that you should consume only the mixed for vitamin E that is completely obtained from natural substance. Doctors recommend natural form of mixed Vitamin E because if it is not balanced then it can create some problem to your body as well.
So, in conclusion it is suggested that if you are having any immunity deficiency or you just want to get some good antioxidants, you can take Vitamin E for that. However, you need to make sure that you take only naturally obtained Vitamin E so you can stay away from all kind of health problem.
Difference Between D-2 And D-3 and benefits of Vitamin D
January 13, 2014 04:19 PM
Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for body and best thing about this Vitamin is that your body can easily make with the help of sunlight and food, but you need to get out in the sunlight for that. Talking about the health benefit of this vitamin it can help your body to absorb the calcium from food and it can help you to get stronger bone. It also helps the cell to cell communication that allows your body to have a better immunity system. In addition to this can also help you in several other problems including reduced heart attack risk, protection from arthritis and lot more.
Types of Vitamin D
Talking more about it, five different type of Vitamin D are available there out of them vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are the most essential D vitamins for body. Out of these two vitamins Vitamin D2 is also known as ergocalciferol because only invertebrate animals, fungus and animals can make it with the help of sunlight. Many scientists also believe that Vitamin D2 can act as a sun protector as well for many organisms and it can protect them from harmful UV rays of sunlight.
At the same time Vitamin D3 is the vitamin that your body can make by itself using sunlight and your food substances. However, it is very important that your body need to get exposure of sunlight and exposure of UV should be higher than UV 3 for synthesizing of Vitamin D.
Since, now a day’s it is very difficult to stay in sunlight due to work requirement and when people go out, they prefer to use some UV protection that can reduce the chances for Vitamin D synthesizing. Therefore, it is suggested that you should take it as a dietary supplement and you should consume it on a daily basis you can get a healthy and strong bone structure along with a fully functional cellular system so you can have a great immunity system as well
Various health Benefits of lecithin
December 22, 2013 04:45 PM
What is Lecithin
When we talk about fat, most of us presume that this is not good for health and we should avoid all kind of fat to heave a healthy life. However, this is not true because fat substances are essential for healthy body and Lecithin is one of those important fat substances that make sure your body remains healthy and protected from a variety of problems.
Talking about the Lecithin it is a specific fat that is commonly known phospholipids that is available in every cell of human body. This phospholipid is responsible for maintenance of cell membrane structure and if Lecithin goes below the required amount, then cell membrane may not perform properly and it may not protect or nourish the cell.
Benefits of Lecithin
If we talk about all the benefits of Lecithin, we can make a long list of all the benefits of this particular fat substance. However, improvement in brain function, healthy weight loss, reducing of cholesterol level, increasing of liver health, and prevention of various diseases are few of the most important benefits of Lecithin.
In order to improve the function of brain Lecithin break down the phosphatidylcholine into choline that is well known for prevention of memory loss. Talking about the weight loss effect, it emulsifies the fat in a very natural way that makes it a healthy weight loss solution as well. Other than this it also help the blood stream to absorb the nutrients from body that give extra energy to body and a person can do more exercise so he can reduce the weight and can get into shape.In addition to this it can detoxify all the harmful elements as well from your body that give extra strength to your liver and you get a better and healthy body along with a strong and healthy liver.
Boswellia Can Help you to Reduce all type of Inflammation Pain
November 06, 2013 09:15 PM
What is Boswellia
There are so many natural medicines that can help you to fight against pain and boswellia is one of them. This is one of those herbs that are being used by various cultures as an effective pain killer since a long time. Other than this, this herb is also known to the world as Indian Frankincense and it can help you in inflammation as well as circulation of joints and stiffness of muscles.
Benefits of Boswellia
Talking about the effect of boswellia on pain, many modern researches also proved that it works great as an anti inflammatory medicine. These researches proved that boswellia contain a triterpenoids that is commonly known as boswellic acids and this is responsible for relief in pain. These researches also proved that t boswellic acids are highly beneficial in pain and it has very few toxic or harmful content compared to any other popular anti inflammatory product.
Effect of Boswellia
Other than this, researchers did some blind study in which they included 30 people that had problem of osteoarthritis of knee and researched compared the effect of boswellia against placebo that is another good anti inflammatory product. In this study participants either received boswellia as an anti inflammatory product or they got placebo for initial 8 weeks. After that researchers switched the medicines for next 8 weeks and patients found that they received much better result in pain with boswellia compared placebo. Additionally they also found great improvement in knee mobility, walking and reduction of knee pain while consuming boswellia.
On the basis of these researches and its history we can easily say that boswellia can easily help you to fight against any kind of pain it gives great result in case of muscles stiffness or joint pain. Other than this, its anti inflammatory property can help you in variety of other pain including sprain, fatigue or hurting.
The Differences and Benefits
December 27, 2012 10:23 AM
There are different sources of healthy foods and ingredients that people can consume to boost their health and performance. Honey is one substance that is considered natural and has great various health benefits to prevent serious ailments, increase stamina, and improve the health of the skin and the overall body system. When talking about natural products related to honey and bee activities, people can also enjoy great benefits from royal jelly, bee pollen, and Propolis.
Value of Royal Jelly:
Although they are made through the same bee activities, the source of their existence is different; thus, leading to different health benefits and usages.
For a starter, let's talk about royal jelly first. Royal jelly is a substance that is milky or white in trait. The substance is produced by worker bees' gland in order to feed the queen bee. Although the royal jelly is also given to the larvae, it is the staple food for the queen bee. Queen bee gets to consume the jelly for life, while the larvae can only consume it for three days. The jelly is believed to contain healthy substances that make the queen bee survive for about four to five years.
The reason for the health benefit of the royal jelly is the pantothenic acid and acetylcholine levels which are quite high. They are responsible in delivering nerve message between cells, in order to make sure that the body system works perfectly. The acetylcholine is believed to be responsible for Alzheimer disease. When the acetylcholine level is low, the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer is increasing. On the contrary, when the acetylcholine level is high, people can prevent the ailment.
The bee pollen is gained from plants' pollen. When the worker bees collect the pollen and they mix it up with their saliva and the nectar, they create small pellets that are then used to feed the male bees. The drones (the male bees) are usually residing within the beehive.
Nutritive value of bee pollen:
The bee pollen itself is believed to have great health benefits since it is rich in nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Since the pollens are rich in antioxidants, protein, carbs, amino acids, and coenzymes, the benefits people can get from consuming the pollens are:
Propolis is another product from the bee. Known as the bee glue, the resinous and sticky substance is mainly used by bees to seal off the cracks in their hive. They collect it from tree buds, so the composition, colors, and odor are different - depending on the resin source.
When Propolis is produced as cream, it is said to treat minor burns, help opening the genital herpes lesions, and heal cervix inflammation. When used as nasal spray, it can treat running nose or throat infection. When used as mouthwash, it can reduce the plaque formation, help treating gum inflammation, and reduce the numbers of bacteria.
Basically, each of these products is beneficial for people as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrition. People only need to choose which product suits their needs the most.
But to answer the question, royal jelly is believed to be the most beneficial!
When Is the Best Time To Take Saw Palmetto For Prostate Health?
December 20, 2011 07:26 PM
Saw Palmetto And The Prostate.
Men are well known to always have one basic flaw, their egos, I mean there is one thing that you can always bet on that could get in the way for a male individual to do what is supposed to be done and done right and that is their egos. If you notice especially if you are a female reader, almost anything that is a part of any man’s life is about ego, sports, cars, money and women all can be traced back or linked to what type of ego they have. So you can also expect the same thing when it comes to men and their diseases.
Take for example women, a disease that is exclusive to them, breast cancer. Well, they would openly talk about it, they would find out about it, they would talk to friends about it although it may not have been always the same way but the resistance was not as strong as those of the male population talking about a disease which is exclusive to them like prostate cancer. I guess the machismo trait in males is the main culprit for that however machismo or not we really need to know more about this disease and how we can possibly prevent it and in this specific article how we can help prevent it naturally.
Prostate and Prostate Health
It is estimated that ninety percent of male patients that have this disease is not willing to talk about it or even admit it. I have even known some people that would not want procedures to be done to save their lives because they feel like they will be less of a man when it is all said and done. So for those that are not like that though and hopefully for those that are like that as well, the prostate has 2 main functions and that is a being a muscle that helps transport urine and as a sex gland that helps transport sperm. Regardless of age although commonly affected are males over 50 years of age, we need to keep the prostate healthy to keep a healthy urine flow and sex drive.
Saw Palmetto and Prostate Health
Saw palmetto is an herb and has a long history of many health benefits. It is also known by different names like in Europe, it known more as sabal. In the US it grows naturally in the southeast regions such as Georgia, Mississippi and Florida. Its main function through medical history is to alleviate any urinary symptoms and as such, modern medicine took an interest and found through various studies that it could be a potent defence against prostate enlargement. It has been shown in these studies that it is able to promote prostate health and increase urinary and prostate vitality. In these researches as well, they were able to conclude that the best way to take saw palmetto is twice a day, one in the morning and one at night and with food. Have you had your saw palmetto today?
Fiber Cereals Help Prevent Colon cancer?
December 15, 2011 09:32 PM
Commercials about high fiber foods has been shown more often in television recently this is because of the many products being formulated such as high fiber cereals that can greatly help you achieve better health. High fiber cereals are not only tasty but most of all is jam-packed with essential fibers that can significantly propel your health to a more desirable state.
Most of the claims that you can hear and read with regards to high fiber cereals are true. The health benefits that are stated are no longer new because even long ago, experts were already able to discover the health benefits that fiber could contribute to the human body. Fiber when taken will just go through our system undigested hence will make you feel full for a longer period of time. Aside from that, another benefit of high fiber cereal is its capacity to regulate blood sugar level within normal boundaries because fiber carbohydrates are not the same with sugar carbohydrates since they will leave your blood sugar level stable. Since fiber could curb appetite, high fiber diet is highly recommended for individuals who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
High fiber cereals also minimize snacking in between meals. Aside from that, it also supplies you with enough energy to enable you to perform the tasks that you need to do. What makes high fiber cereals a great option is the fact that it can be conveniently prepared any time of the day may it be for a late time snack or just to curb your afternoon cravings.
However, among all the benefits of high fiber cereals, its capability of keeping your colon healthy is considered as the most essential. High fiber cereals can help you achieve better colon health. Since your colon is the dump site of the body’s waste products, it is very necessary to take some measures to cleanse it from time to time in order to stop the accumulation of highly toxic waste products of the body. High fiber cereals will serve as your weapon in combating toxic waste in your intestinal tract because fiber could wrap around the debris and will help evacuate wastes out to your system. Talking about colon health and all the wastes it entails may not be appealing to some but I’m pretty sure that it is worth considering.
At present, there are already various brands of high fiber cereals that you can choose from hence, it will no longer be a huge problem to choose which brand or product would be most suitable to your taste. The various high fiber cereals being sold these days comes in wide variety of flavor and texture and everything are worth to be tried because of the benefits it could provide your body. Be mindful of your health while you are still young because we can never predict the future. Engaging in healthy diet and lifestyle would really be of big help.
Some might want to avoid the calories that you can get by consuming cereal daily. This is where a fiber supplement is the key. Fiber supplements are calorie free. Make sure you get plenty of fiber daily to prevent colon cancer!
What Are The Organic Compounds That Provide Our Brains With Their Basic Fuels?
October 12, 2011 01:58 PM
Brain health and nutrition has shown vast growth in interest in terms of research the past years and correctly so because the brain is a very important part of the body. This is something in my point of view that could never be replaced. Other organs like the heart, liver or kidneys can be transplanted or who knows in the far and distant future that it may even be replaceable. Well, I guess that may be just the sci-fi geek in me talking but seriously though, with the complexity in which the brain is made I do not think there will be any possibility even in the wildest of imaginations that humanity will be able to figure out a way to replace the brain.
The irony in all of this though is with human beings pushing the boundaries of their minds and manifesting the results through technological advancements all the more are we needing to protect our brains because life has become more complex. Things that were supposed to make life easier for us now seems to do the exact opposite and each technological advancement causes more and more Americans to have less and less time to devote to making sure they get the right nutrition through the right food preparation so the brain will have all the nutrients it needs. So with this we should look at how we can help augment our efforts in trying to keep our brain functioning healthily in a natural way.
Brain Health and Organic Compounds
There is a wide variety of organic compounds out there and too many of them to mention in this article in fact. Basically, organic compounds are compounds that contain carbon however not all are considered organic but that is irrelevant to what we are trying to achieve right now. So for brain health, the first organic compound that has proven to be very important is the vitamin family of rich antioxidant properties like Vitamin C and E as a couple of examples. Increasing antioxidant levels in the body through these vitamins is a very good way to reduce the risk of diseases and allow better protection for our brain against oxidative stress.
Not only that, it will also allow better health for our nerves and neurons which plays a big role in brain functions. Another example of a potent antioxidant to promote brain health is DHA and ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid because it is able to get into the brain much easier compared to other antioxidants and fight free radicals there. Carnitine and choline are also essential contributors in modulating brain health as they are precursors to the production of acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter to aid in efficient neurological functions. And lastly but certainly not the least, ATP or adenosine triphosphate is also very important to brain function as this compound supplies energy to virtually all the cells in the body and any bodily processes that require energy to function efficiently needs ATP and that includes our entire nervous system.
Keeping your brain healthy is important especially since Alzheimer’s is an ever growing problem in the United States. Keeping your brain healthy with DHA, ALA, and vitamins is the right step for anybody who wants to take preventive measures and protect the brain.
Can Royal Jelly boost Metabolism?
September 21, 2011 12:08 PM
The metabolism is becoming more and more well known in any community all across America as something to look at when we are talking about health and wellness as this is the source of all calorie burning and at the end of the day will help you lose weight. This is, in so many ways the bottom line, losing weight will make you and keep you healthy. In these times of a fast paced life where anyone and everyone is so busy to even worry about how much calories they eat versus how much they need, a need for alternative solutions aside from just working out and making sure that more calories are burnt than eaten is needed and the scientific community acknowledges that need as proven by the tons of research done regarding weight loss and embraced by the manufacturers as they are more than willing to provide us with what we need. So through all these studies, the logic of looking at the metabolism and how to boost it all seems natural and this is why.
The word metabolism is taken from the greek language and basically means change or transformation. In simple terms metabolism is defined as the amount of energy or calories your body burns at a given period of time. Whatever we are doing, no matter if we are active or at rest we are burning energy and if compared to a car, it’s like burning fuel and the car can be turned off but us on the other hand could not. Even when sleeping we are still essentially burning up fuel, just the very fact our brain still works and we are breathing while we are asleep is already a sign that we are burning energy.
Now where it will interest us in terms of energy and overall strength is that metabolism is based on a person’s body composition and fat tends to need less energy to maintain itself as it is not an active tissue compared to having lean muscle because it continually needs more and more calories to maintain itself therefore more muscle means faster metabolic rate. Now this is where we go back to the fact that we need help when it comes boosting metabolism aside from just increasing muscle, because that is so much harder than supplementing with something all natural like Royal Jelly.
Royal Jelly and Energy Boost
Royal jelly is an animal product and derived solely from honey bees secretions. Its main function in terms of affecting the metabolism comes from its unique combination of compounds that will aid the enhancement of energy production in the cells. This combination is composed of amino acids, trace minerals, monosaccharides and enzymes that have bioactive properties. Among the vitamins that it will provide naturally is the vitamin b-complex. This family of vitamins is well known for its muscle tissue building and energy boosting attributes. Another way that researches feel is a way it increases energy is through promoting overall well being since royal jelly has been related to increased production of several neurotransmitters in the body like serotonin and dopamine.
What Is the best Free Form Amino Acid to Take?
September 19, 2011 02:43 PM
These days many of us are more and more conscious about our health and we also are able to figure out that if we would like to move further towards a healthier condition we also need to build muscle. That may not be what your trainer says but a good one will do so because healthier means less fat and more muscle. Leaner muscle will be able to give us more energy thus more vitality, in general we simply will be able to get more out of life than if we had plenty of fat to carry around. However please do note that I am not talking about being a body builder and build bulks and bulks of muscle. That part really depends on you and what I mean is it depends on your weight, your height, your current health and a lot of other factors which are unique to you. So now you may ask, what does this have to do with free form amino acids? Well lean muscle could not be built without amino acids because they are the building blocks of muscle tissues so for us to understand the purpose of free form amino acids and what it can do for us let’s look at more details and thereafter we will be able to figure out as well what may be the best free form amino acid to take.
Free Amino Acids
Free form Amino Acids are basically single amino acids which are ready for use in other words it does need to be digested by the body. This is the reason why it is known more as “pre-digested”. You see, if we get all our amino acids from food what happens is all the protein that is supposed to be derived from it will not be entirely assimilated and a lot of partial proteins will be left undigested and this is what is known as peptides. In this form, it can cause problems for the body as it is useless and in this case will cause imbalances in different areas of your body and may cause allergic reactions. On the other hand free form amino acid will skip all of that because it will be readily available to make all the enzymes and hormones that the body needs and eventually create healthy muscle tissue and nervous tissue.
The Best Free form Amino Acid
I really can’t pinpoint just one awesome product that is out there as the best but what I can do is tell you what to look for to possibly have the best wherever you may be. First off is to find a well balanced formula of essential amino acids because they stop working for a certain period of time if it is not well balanced in the body. Then make sure that it has a lot of essential amino acids so that your body will be able to produce a wider range of non-essential amino acids for more health benefits. Second is that you need to look for high quality crystalline free form amino acids because reduced soy or milk proteins still have peptides which may cause allergic reactions. Lastly, check for good sulfur and molybdenum content to aid strengthen the liver as it is responsible for all protein processing and cleansing of toxins.
What Are Probiotics And How Can They Improve Colon Health?
September 18, 2011 12:50 AM
Sometimes when you turn on the television set when you get home you will see some commercials about some product talking about the benefits of probiotics and that some food products are fortified with it and some are about over the counter supplements. They probably will be talking about colon health and some other benefits and that would make you wonder what it truly is and if it will also help you. Well what I can tell you is, it should because it benefits anyone or anything that has a colon but I guess like most things it still depends on your unique body chemistry as to whether or not it will be as effective as people say it will be on those ads. In general though, it definitely is something that helps strengthen and maintain colon health so let us look at probiotics in detail and we should be able to know if it is something which may be suitable for us.
Simply put, it is bacteria. At first glance you may think, why would I want to put bacteria in my body when all I am trying to do every day is to stay away from bacteria? However probiotics is defined as any form of bacteria that is used medically for treatments in other words it may be bacteria but it is used in such a way that it will give positive health benefits to the body because there is such a thing as good and bad bacteria and probiotics is part of the good side of the bacteria family.
Just to give you an idea of how bacteria coexists within our body and even does good things, in our digestive system alone there are hundreds of different species of bacteria residing in there and most of them plays a role in a number of essential bodily functions like affecting nutrient absorption, food processing and cleansing of the colon. So yes, we are able to benefit from having certain species of bacteria in our body.
Probiotics and Colon Health
Colon health has long been shown to be directly proportional to the level of probiotics in the body. Many gastrointestinal diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, intestinal bowel disorders or IBD and Crohn’s disease are found to occur in patients with low probiotic levels in the stomach and subsequently when supplemented with bifidobacteria or lactobacilli which are specific examples of probiotics so as to help increase levels, the symptoms of these diseases goes down. In the modern American diet today, it does seem that there is a lack of consumption for foods that contain good levels of probiotics.
Although I do agree with increasing foods with good levels of probiotics it is not enough to correct years of imbalance and the only way is to include supplementation as part of your diet. It will allow for a good cleanse of the colon as proper levels will allow regular stool passage and when that happens it will also flush away good bacteria so maintenance is needed and with supplementation, you will be able to do that.
Digestive Enzymes, Acid Reflux, Cholesterol, Heartburn, IBS, Diabetes, And Blood Pressure
June 13, 2011 02:24 PM
Digestive Enzymes - Can Enzymes Help Me Feel Better?
Irregular bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease many people suffer from and basically causes your bowels to move irregularly leaving you bloated and in pain. This is mainly due to the average diet of today (too little fiber) but is also caused by genetic reasons and an unhealthy diet. A great way to treat this problem healthily is by taking digestive enzymes supplements.
The first question we should probably ask is what are digestive enzymes? Shortly put – digestive enzymes are live proteins present in all living organisms. Digestive enzymes are secreted along your digestive track and it extracts nutrients from the food and your body passes the rest as waste. The reason why some foods are hard on your digestive system is because we eat most of our food cooked and this process of cooking kills all the live enzymes in the food, leaving it to your digestive system to digest the whole portion, whilst uncooked food breaks 40% – 60% down itself.
Your body isn’t designed to digest mostly cooked food, and this causes almost every digestive problem you might have. A great way to get rid of this problem is drinking digestive enzymes supplements. Before your food moves from your stomach to the next process of digesting the extra digestive enzymes can help to completely digest all the food as so making it much easier on your body to break down.
Making sure your body has enough digestive enzymes is crucial – not only for your digestive health. If your body produces less digestive enzymes than it uses, it may cause damage to your pancreas because you’re overworking it. Remember that it is the pancreas that produces your body’s digestive enzymes. Eventually damage to your pancreas will also lower your immune system and also lower metabolic enzymes and having a constantly depleted level of digestive enzymes will eventually catch up with you. So get yourself some supplements – even if you are a vegetarian Yogi!
Not having enough digestive enzymes, your body can be in deathly dangers. Some of the problems due to a lack of enzymes include acid reflux, high cholesterol, heartburn, IBS, diabetes, high blood pressure and circulatory problems. If you are prone to any of these problems you should consider talking to your doctor about taking some digestive enzymes, they are readily available, not too expensive and they may lengthen your life another decade or two.
To avoid any of these health problems you should look after your body because, evidently, it will make you feel better for longer. Exercise regularly, eat as much raw food as possible, and try to drink digestive enzymes supplements when you eat cooked food and to visit your doctor for a check-up once a year. With the right balance, diet and digestive enzymes you can go a long way to assure yourself a long, healthy life.
Glucosamine and Joing Pain
April 05, 2010 04:34 PM
Glucosamine is formed in the body from glucose. This compound is found naturally occurring in the joints of the body. It is important as a precursor and stimulant of the construction of proteoglycan synthesis, which forms the basis of cartilage. Also, glucosamine is important for the synthesis of substances that compose tendons, ligaments, the respiratory system, and the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts.
A decline in the amount of glucosamine production occurs along with the normal aging process. This compound is involved in the natural cushioning of the joints, which means that damage and pain can result from a lack of glucosamine. When the natural cushion is gone, the bone and cartilage may rest against each other, which in turn causes deterioration. Not only can this occur in the joints, but it can also occur in the spinal column.
Glucosamine sulfate has proven to be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. In fact, some have found that this treatment works better than conventional therapies. This is because it does more than just mask the pain. Rather, it actually aids in rebuilding and stimulating joint repair. Also, glucosamine sulfate therapy helps to prevent joint destruction. Glucosamine sulfate is responsible for helping to heal, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve damage to joint tissue, without causing the side effects that are often associated with drug therapy.
Scientific evidence shows that glucosamine metabolism is altered when osteoarthritis is present within the body. It has been found that glucosamine supplements provide an effective treatment for this condition. Studies, up to this point, have found substantial improvement in those individuals who are treated with glucosamine.
There is little risk, if any, involved in the use of glucosamine for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that this compound is very safe and does not possess any known precautions or risks. One study even determined that glucosamine sulfate has the ability to help stimulate the defense mechanisms that are present within the stomach lining. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications, on the other hand, often cause stomach problems such as ulcers.
Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to be an essential part in treating osteoarthritis. Scientific results showed significant improvement in swelling, pain, and degeneration of joints with the use of glucosamine sulfate. Not only is this compound important for reducing the symptoms that are involved with osteoarthritis, but the supplement has been found to actually reverse the degenerative process and induce healing. This compound should be considered to be a form of treatment for osteoarthritis.
It should be noted that when taking this, or any other supplement, one should consult their health care provider before beginning any type of supplementation. Glucosamine may not be recommended in some situations. Do not take glucosamine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Similarly, be sure to consult your doctor first if you are breast feeding a baby. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by glucosamine, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
Urinary Incontinence and Overactive Bladder: The Silent Conditions
February 07, 2008 05:56 PM
Even though we are all comfortable talking about cardiovascular issues, mind and brain function, and digestive wellness, the topic of bladder health is rarely discussed. Whether it is vaguely touched upon or completely ignored, bladder issues including urinary incontinence and overactive bladder get a low amount of coverage considering their prevalence throughout the world. Research has shown that 17 million Americans can be diagnosed with urinary incontinence and 33 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder. So with these figures, why is it that we rarely hear about these issues? Firstly, urinary incontinence and overactive bladder have been marked as taboo topics, as sufferers are not eager to openly talk about their experiences since they can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to discuss. Due to the social stigma that is associated with urinary incontinence, it is extremely under-diagnosed and under-reported. Another reason why people aren’t talking about bladder issues is because the market has only recently become recognized as financially viable as the market for urinary incontinence treatment reached more than $7 billion by the end of 2006, as compared to $276 million in 2000. With the new baby boomer population turning 60 in a few years, it is anticipated that urinary incontinence and overactive bladder treatment will soar much higher.
No matter the reason, these are serious health issues that affect people deeply. Both physiological and psychological aspects take their toll on a person. Studies have shown that people with these illnesses have a poorer quality of life, causing sufferers to become reclusive and isolated as they are too embarrassed to talk about their bladder issues.
However, there are a variety of ways that bladder health can be addressed, including pharmaceutical, behavioral, and natural approaches. Various drug therapies have been found to improve bladder control. However, most drug therapies also have unpleasant side effects such as dry mouth, dry eyes, blurred vision, and memory loss. Some drugs can even produce harmful long-term side effects. National continence groups also have recommendations as to behavioral interventions and exercises that can be taken to deal with bladder issues. Bladder control training, which involves teaching the bladder to completely fill and empty, is important to adequate fluids and avoid going to the toilet just in case. Kegal exercises can also be done to help strengthen the muscles that contract if you are urinating.
There are also natural herbal and nutrient options that are worth considering. These include Horsetail and Crateva nurvala, which both are means of improving bladder tone and control. Horsetail, which is high in silica, is known as a urinary astringent and antispasmodic. It relieves involuntary muscle spasms. Crateva has been shown to improve bladder tone and total bladder capacity. It improves urine flow, which helps the bladder to empty completely.
Since bladder health is a concern for many Americans, as it impacts what we do, where we go, our confidence levels, and sense of freedom, we need to start openly discussing bladder health and become more informed about the options that are available to us. Even though sufferers have learned to live with poor bladder health, recent research is making natural dietary ingredients an alternative for those who are looking for support to their bladder health.
Artichoke Promotes Healthy Fat Digestion and Metabolism
January 30, 2008 10:37 PM
In discussing the health benefits of the artichoke, and the way it promotes healthy fat digestion and metabolism, we are talking here about the true artichoke: the globe artichoke. The alternative Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, but a member of the sunflower family. The globe artichoke is a type of thistle.
It is in fact a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean area and is now cultivated world wide. The edible portions are the lower parts of the bracts and the base of the buds, known as the heart while the inedible portion in the center of the bud is known as the ‘choke’. Globe artichokes were introduced to the USA in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants who settled in Louisiana and California respectively. Contrary to popular opinion its name did not come from the ‘heart’ and the ‘choke’, but from the Arabic for ground thorn: ‘ardi shauki’.
In today’s world of fast foods, a high consumption of fats and red meat and excessive alcohol consumption, your liver is put under a great strain. Its main function is as a chemical factory, to produce the chemicals, such as enzymes and other proteins, needed to maintain life and also to metabolise the nutrients we need from the food we eat. If you overtax your liver it will not work as it should, which results in poor digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food and an increase in the toxins in your blood.
You will feel tired and run down, with digestion problems and many other health complaints. Liver abuse can result in malnutrition, which also results in cirrhosis which is not curable. You should seriously appraise your diet, and identify the eating and drinking habits that are causing the problem, and give your liver a rest. Artichoke extract is a great liver tonic, and your liver will respond well to a break from alcohol and fatty foods, and a course of artichoke leaves and extract.
The main active ingredient of the artichoke is cynarine (1,5-dicaffeylquinic acid), a substance that stimulates the production of bile, and hence renders the artichoke an excellent starter for any meal. This is yet another example of science finding a logical reason for people eating artichokes for centuries in order to promote the health of their liver and digestive system. It is not only for its cynarine content that the globe artichoke is useful, however, but also the luteolin and chlorogenic acids that it contains.
The stimulation of bile production by the cynarine is one the more important of the effects of artichoke on your well being. Bile emulsifies fats and renders them into an easily digested form. Most of the digestive chemicals are water soluble, and without this emulsification of the fat with water then most of the fats we consume would pass through the body unchanged. We would the vats majority of the fat soluble nutrients in our food, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
Bile enables us to digest fats and to absorb vitamins from our food, and also promotes the general health of our digestive system. It is biosynthesized in the liver from various enzymes and triglycerides and then stored in the gall bladder until needed. Its use is prompted by the presence of fats in the system, and this is stimulated by the cynarine in the artichoke leaves.
Its ability to improve bile flow has been recognized by scientist’s world wide, and artichoke juice has been used by the French for many years as a liver tonic. However, it is not just for the liver and the digestive system that artichokes are useful in maintaining good health. They also have an effect on the cholesterol levels in your blood. This is believed to be due to the inhibition of the activity of enzyme HMG CoA Reductase that helps the liver to generate cholesterol. Inhibiting the activity of this enzyme reduces the amount of cholesterol produced.
This can have the effect of reduced the possibility of you developing atherosclerosis, a condition caused by deposition of low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol through the effect of free radical oxidation of the lipid. The less cholesterol to be transported by your blood, then the lower levels of the low density lipid needed to do this. This effect is also possibly due to the fact that bile is formed from cholesterol and triglycerides, and so stimulated bile production would possibly leave less cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Artichoke also possesses antioxidant properties that would contribute even further to this effect by preventing the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. These free radicals, formed in the body both naturally and by the effects of pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, are destroyed by antioxidants. In atherosclerosis the LDL lipids are oxidised and deposited under the surface cells of the blood vessels, and are then digested by certain blood cells forming a hard fatty deposit that can eventually block the arteries affected.
The result can be a heart attack or a stroke, depending on where in the body the blood vessels are affected, and if the cholesterol levels in the body are decreased through it being used to produce bile, then the concentration of LDL lipids used to transport it will also be reduced and the condition will be less likely to occur..
Apart from the liver, the gall bladder is also given a boost by artichoke because that is where bile is stored, and a regular flow to and from the gall bladder maintains its health. The only thing you should be aware of if is that if you are prone to gallstones then the increase in bile flow could cause the stones to be stuck in the bile duct. You should therefore refer to your physician before embarking on a course of artichoke extract if you have a propensity to develop gallstones.
Apart from the phytonutrients already discussed, the globe artichoke also contains a good supply of fiber and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus, and also some trace elements that your body needs. It is therefore more than just a bile stimulant, but provides a wide range off essential nutrition to your body. It is know to aid conditions such as gout, high blood sugar, and digestive complaints such as flatulence, bloating and abdominal cramps.
Apart from cooking and eating the tender parts of the leaves, or bracts, you can make an infusion of the parts that you don’t eat. Chop up the tougher leaves and pour boiling water over them as if making tea. Leave it to infuse for a few minutes and then drink. Honey can be used to take away the bitter taste; honey rather than sugar due to its greater nutritional content.
The Power Plant of the Amazon
March 02, 2007 11:34 AM
It may surprise most Americans to know that rainforest plants are the original source for one-fourth of the chemotherapy medications used today. Plants offer a plethora of beneficial compounds, and rainforests contain a superabundance of beneficial plants.
In fact, plant medicines are the most widely used medicines of all types in the world. Over eighty-five percent of the world’s population uses plant and herbal medicines as their primary medicines. That’s 5.1 billion (5,100,000,000) people worldwide! While Americans overwhelmingly use synthetically manufactured pharmaceuticals to cure their ills, the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants use healing plant medicines instead.
One of the most powerful healing rainforest plant medicines is cat’s claw, or Uncaria tomentosa. This high climbing woody vine grows at the base of tall trees in the Peruvian rainforest. The plant’s claw-shaped thorns latch onto the trees and spiral further upward, nourished by the lush rainforest environment. For over 2,000 years, the Ashaninka, a tribal people of the Peruvian rainforest, have used the root of U. tomentosa to treat illnesses in the tribe, including asthma, bladder infections, infected wounds, arthritis, bone pain, bowel inflammation, and cancer.
Q. I’ve heard about cat’s claw, but what does it do and how do I know which one is right for me?
Cat’s claw might be one of the most confusing (and most effective!) nutritional supplements available in health food stores today. One reason that it’s so confusing is there are so many kinds of cat’s claw supplements-there are cat’s claw leaves, cat’s claw bark, and even cat’s claw twigs. While each of these supplements claim to help the immune system, it is the root of Uncaria tomentosa that is proven to impart the true cat’s claw health benefits.
Scientists, who have extensively studied every part of the plant, discovered that extracts made from selected cat’s claw roots possess the healing power to treat and prevent diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and degenerative diseases. In addition, it demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial benefits.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that not all Uncaria tomentosa roots actually contain healing properties.
Healers in the Ashaninka tribe attribute the healing properties in cat’s claw to the “good spirits” that live in the plant’s roots. The Ashaninka healers, or sancoshi, are able to actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root of the plant before they harvest them.
Some cat’s claw plant roots have the good spirits. Some don’t. If the good spirits are mixed with any cat’s claw root without good spirits, the healing power is lost. While there are no apparent differences in the plants or the roots to the untrained eye, only certain cat’s claw roots possess the power to heal. And, for a very long time, only the Ashaninka tribal healer seemed to be able to identify them. They call the good spirit cat’s claw Saventaro, or “powerful plant”.
However, scientists who were given cat’s claw roots by the Ashaninka to study in the laboratory discovered that they could “see” the good spirits, too! Using high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, a laboratory process that identifies various chemical compounds, the good spirits of cat’s claw roots were revealed to be important medicinal compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). Research has learned that POAs provide powerful benefits for the human immune response.
Q. Why are good spirits, or POA’s, good for the immune system?
Cat’s claw POAs work to keep us healthy by directly interacting with white blood cells, the backbone of our immune system. Our white blood cells are the disease fighting cells of the human body. These highly specialized cells fight diseases we catch, such as colds and flu, as well as diseases that start within our own cells, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many kinds of white blood cells; each has a specific job to do in fighting diseases.
Certain POAs help white blood cells called macrophages work faster. The macrophages’ job is to engulf and digest foreign material. This means that macrophages can ingest m ore bacteria and disease causing microbes when they are exposed to POAs. The scientists also discovered that POA cat’s claw extract increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that is secreted by macrophages. This macrophage-secreted interleukin (IL-1) has important immune enhancing properties. IL-1 alerts resting white blood cells and spurs them into action. It also helps make other biochemicals that are essential to an activated immune system.
POAs also help B cells. B cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that kill germs. Each B cell is programmed to make one specific antibody that is effective against one specific germ (such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus). When scientists looked at the number of B cells after they were exposed to POA cat’s claw root extract, they found that the B cells had increased significantly, resulting in an increased supply of antibodies. And perhaps most importantly as they relate to cancer, the POAs in cat’s claw root extract help increase the number of T cells, the true soldiers of the immune system. There are many different kinds of these white blood cells, including Helper T cells, Suppressor T cells, and Killer T cells. Increased Helper, Suppressor, and Killer T-cells can more effectively destroy cancer cells. Increasing the number of circulating T-cells is very important in a disease like AIDS as well.
Q. Can cat’s claw and other plants in the rainforest really cure diseases? Isn’t that just folklore?
It’s folk use and modern science combined-plants have long been known for their ability to kill cancer cells. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has identified over 3000 plant extracts that can kill cancer cells. More than 70 percent of these plants are found only in the rainforest.
Q. What is it about the rainforest that gives plants like cat’s claw these cancer killing compounds?
Most of the time when we talk about rainforests, we’re talking about the tropical rainforests. While other forests, like the old-growth temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest, also have high rainfalls and tall trees, the tropical rainforests located near the equator are where most plant medicines come from.
The Amazon rainforest in South America is the world’s largest, covering an area about two-thirds the size of the continental United States. Depending on the elevation and distance to the equator the Amazon rainforest receives between 160 and 400 inches of rain per year. The rain is spread pretty evenly from January to December-it’s always the rainy season-and the temperatures remain between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit all year.
This fertile environment continually recycles itself. When leaves fall from the trees, flowers wilt, and animals die in the rainforest-all of the nutrients are recycled back into the roots of the trees and plants. Because the rainforest reuses almost everything that falls to the ground, the plant growth is amazingly rich in alkaloids and other medicinal compounds. Researchers think these compounds and alkaloids, like POAs, protect the plants from illness and insect attacks. These are the very same compounds that protect us from disease.
Q. When the Ashaninka harvest the cat’s claw roots, does it impact the rest of the plant?
No. The Ashaninka work intelligently to keep rainforest cat’s claw plants perpetually healthy. The Ashaninka employ responsible and innovative harvesting techniques to keep the plants alive and tribal members healthy. Individual cat’s claw plants are never completely harvested. Only one third of the lateral roots are collected at any one time to allow re-growth by the remaining root. Once a plant’s lateral roots have been partially harvested, that plant is left to regenerate, and no more root is harvested from it for 10 years.
Q. Why are the Ashaninka willing to share their cat’s claw?
They are generous people. The Ashaninka see no benefit in hoarding cat’s claw for themselves alone. They also want to make sure that the plant’s healing properties continue on. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing. There were an estimated ten million tribal and indigenous peoples living in the Amazonian Rainforest in 1510. Today there are less than 200,000.
Since the 1900’s more than 90 indigenous tribes have died out and disappeared. Each time a rainforest medicine man or woman dies without passing their arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants. With them, centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species have been lost.
A good example of the impact of this loss can be seen in cat’s claw. When European explorers began venturing into the Amazon River basin, t hey were skeptical of the stories the Ashaninka people told them of U. tomentosa’s amazing healing powers. But when the explorers became sick with colds, flu, or other illnesses, they harvested cat’s claw root for themselves and gave the plant a try. Sometimes the explorers got better when they used the cat’s claw root, sometimes they stayed the same.
Q. Why didn’t the cat’s claw root help all the explorers?
Because some cat’s claw plant roots have good spirits-POAs-and some cat’s claw plant roots have tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, or TOAs. While the POAs have very powerful effects in the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none of which help the immune system cells at all. All U. tomentosa plants look virtually identical, so it’s hard to tell if they have the healing POAs or non-helpful TOAs.
What makes cat’s claw identification even more challenging is the fact that plants with POAs one year will have TOAs the next. Cat’s claw plants seem to change their alkaloid chemotypes at will, an incredibly powerful accomplishment for a plant to possess. Harvesting of cat’s claw roots that contain POAs is very tricky. Unless the person gathering the root extract is an Ashaninka sancoshi. These medicine men know which cat’s claw to use; they can actually “see” the good spirits hidden inside the root. When scientists studying cat’s claw discovered they could “see” presence of TOAs using HPLC technology, they were able to harvest cat’s claw root extracts with POAs that consistently helps people get and stay healthy.
Q. Do some cat’s claw root extract supplements contain TOAs?
Yes they do. And buying those products will only benefit the cat’s claw distributor; they won’t help you stay healthy. When cat’s claw root is harvested from the rainforest, responsible supplement maker examine the root with HPLC to make sure that only POA roots are collected. But, this identification of the chemotypes takes significant time and costs money. For these reasons, many cat’s claw distributors don’t include this important process in their harvesting. The POAs and TOAs are simply just mixed together and sold as a cat’s claw product with no mention of any alkaloid content on the label.
Q. Why should I avoid TOAs?
While the POAs in cat’s claw root extracts have numerous benefits to the immune system, the TOAs have different effects in the body, none helping the immune system cells. Most importantly, however, when POAs and TOAs are mixed together, the TOAs actually work against the POAs. TOAs reduce the capacity of POAs to beneficially modulate the immune system.
Q. How can I be sure the cat’s claw I buy is POA cat’s claw?
Read the label of the cat’s claw root extract product you are considering buying. If it does not clearly state that it is the high POA cat’s claw, then chances are that it’s not.
Q. What do the Ashaninka receive in return for the cat’s claw harvesting?
The Ashaninka and reputable distributors of cat’s claw root extract have established a mutual and ethical relationship. Both groups benefit from the sale of the plant material. Maintaining this relationship is important for both the tribe and the distributors.
The distributors are paying a fair price for the raw material directly to the tribe. No intermediary is involved. This payment covers the raw material itself, a license-fee for the k knowledge of the plant, and a guarantee (from both sides) of a lasting relationship. Payment is also made for the protection of the rainforest. No deforestation is allowed. The area where the cat’s claw materials are processed is also leased and payment is made for this, as well.
This arrangement allows the Ashaninka to make independent decisions in how to spend this income from sale of their cat’s claw plants. They have been able to make improvements in the tribe’s water supply and in their living areas. They are also able to obtain outside medical aid as needed and provide for education of their children.
The partnership with cat’s claw distributors has created a sustainable resource for the Ashaninka. The tribe has been able to not only preserve their rainforest, but also compete financially with unsustainable income sources offered by timber and agricultural firms.
Q. Why is it important to preserve the rainforest?
The most amazing fact about these impressive medicinal plants is the vast number that5 has yet to be discovered. In fact, the rainforest’s abundance is one reason it is home to so many healing plants. Within a four square mile patch of rainforest, you could see 1500 species of flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 reptile species, 60 amphibian species, and 150 different species of butterflies.
Unfortunately, not everyone looks to the rainforest for the same reasons. Many consider its real value in board feet and cultivated acreage. The forces pushing industrial development move quickly; experts estimate that we’re losing over 130 plant, animal, and insect species every day/ That amount to almost 50,000 species a year.
A combination of logging, petroleum interests, cattle grazing operations, and, of course, our own consumer appetites are putting pressure on rainforest resources. The consequences are sobering:
By leaving the rainforest intact, however, and harvesting its many nuts, fruits, oil-producing, and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more economic value than if it was cut down for timber or to make grazing land for cattle. If managed properly, the rainforest can provide the world’s need for sustainably harvested natural resources on a perpetual basis. That’s what the Ashaninka are doing with their cat’s claw harvesting.
The discovery of medicinal plants is dependent upon healthy rainforests. When an acre of tropical rainforest is lost due to deforestation, the impact on the number of plant and animal species lost and their possible uses is staggering.
We can all help the development of sustainable rainforest industries. By purchasing renewable and sustainable rainforest products, like POA type cat’s claw root extract, we are keeping rainforests alive and well. By benefiting from the innate wisdom of the Ashaninka people we are keeping ourselves just as alive and well. By honoring the science and the sacred of the world’s rainforests, like my friend the oncology nurse, the massive wealth and diversity will be there for generations to come.
Educator in Glyconutrient Technology and Cellular Restoration
September 19, 2006 05:43 PM
Come along and share some thoughts with me about how we can prevent a lot of misery from illness and disease. Not everyone cares about this, but I hope you do.
When a doctor says “we got it all”, it usually comes after cancer surgery. Why then do we have to go through chemo therapy, radiation and drugs to prevent it from coming back? What caused it to ever have happened in the first place? When my mom got breast cancer, she dutifully took Tamoxifen for 12 years and died of liver cancer. She blamed the drug, but what was missing before she got cancer? Science has discovered a new technology that will change the world of health. It’s called glyconutrients and is the missing link in our diets today. This is not just another food supplement, it is a vital food!
Glyconutrients do not heal cancer. If you have a strong immune system though, you can avoid or repair disease. The body wants to be well and does everything with what it has to keep you well. These 8 sugars are so vital to keep your cells communicating and building strong stem cells. Adult stem cells were harvested from approximately one half pint of a patients’ own blood to treat several heart conditions. Treatable heart conditions are: coronary artery disease – Cardiomyopathy- heart failure – severe angina pectoris. We are talking about an adult stem cell transplant! My body is producing new adult stem cells every day and is restoring, defending, protecting and repairing my health from all kinds of ailments.
Researchers who study this cellular communication proclaim it to be the most important discovery in the history of medicine… the key to a long, healthy life!
Guys should forget the six-pack abs and just lose the beer belly.
September 24, 2005 12:00 PM
Time for a Gut Check
Guys should forget the six-pack abs and just lose the beer belly.
When a woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale and sucking in his stomach, she said, “I don’t think that’s going to help.” “Sure it will,” he responded. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”
Funny line, sure. But whether you’re talking about “love handles,” a “spare tire” or the proverbial “beer belly,” having a tummy that hangs over your belt buckle is no laughing matter. It’s not even a matter of the quest for “six-pack abs” or a “washboard stomach.” It’s a matter of health.
Consider this: A recent study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a man’s waist size can be a good predictor for the development of type 2 diabetes. A Harvard Health Professionals team, led by Dr. Youfa Wang, an assistant professor at the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, analyzed data from more than 27,000 men who were tracked for more than 13 years. The team found that men with larger waists or a higher body mass index (BMI) were both at greater risk for type 2 diabetes than slimmer men. (You find your body mass index by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. If your waist size is 40 inches or less, a BMI of 25 or over means you’re overweight.)
“Abdominal fat measured by waist circumference can indicate a strong diabetes risk, whether or not a man is considered overweight or obese according to his BMI,” says Wang. The Harvard team found that men with waist sizes of 40 to 62 inches were 12 times more likely to develop diabetes and suggested that the current recommended waistline of 40 inches or below for men may need to be lowered.
Okay, now that we’ve scared the bejeezes out of all you guys under 6-foot-4 who by your pants in the big-man store, let’s talk about what you have to do to shop anywhere in the mall. Again, this is not about looking like a Greek ab god. This is about diminishing your risk for a myriad of health problems and being able to comfortably bend over for a ground ball during the pickup softball game. And there are no shortcuts, so forget about liposuctioning those years of accumulated lard. Despite what all those TV makeover shows say, liposuction can only really enhance your body aesthetic if you lose a large chunk of the surface fat first.
“Those makeover shows have it all backwards,” says Dr. Bruce Nadler, a fitness trainer who also happens to be a plastic surgeon. “They do surgery on someone’s midsection and then have them doing intense workouts when they are supposed to be recuperating from surgery. I wouldn’t do liposuction until you see what diet and exercise can accomplish. When you have all the weight in the midsection the dangerous fat is deep within the body. So liposuction may make you look better but it won’t necessarily improve your health.”
The Gut Check Plan
Talk to any exercise expert worth their weight in body fat, including Nadler, and they will tell you that on of the biggest fitness fallacies is the notion that intense abdominal workouts and use of abdominal machines (like those sold through those interminable infomercials) are the keys to getting a flatter and more “ripped” midsection. In fact, for many people it’s not physiologically possible to achieve a flat tummy because abdominals are not designed to be flat. And the idea of “spot reduction,” exercising the area where you want to lose the fat, is now considered a myth. Research has shown that fat is lost all over your body, not just in the area that you work.
It’s not that you can’t benefit from doing abdominal exercises. Crunches, situps and leg raises, when done properly, are great for muscle tone and endurance (and you do burn calories), but the real key to achieving a wonderful waist size is losing body fat. How do you do that?
“Dropping a few inches from your midsection,” says Nadler, “depends on four things- calorie reduction through proper diet (eating very little fat, consuming complex carbohydrates and doing it all in smaller portions), stepping up aerobic activity (such as running an bicycling, which burns excess calories quickly and safely), and resistance weight training (which not only increases metabolism and helps burn more excess calories, but also builds and strengthens the abdominal wall).” Then, adds Nadler, when you’ve just about reached your waist=reduction goal, but genetics still won’t give you a flatter stomach, “that’s where plastic surgery may come in as icing on the cake.”
Nadler also advises men not to panic if they don’t notice a substantial weight reduction during a training program. “When people are doing weight and resistance training they are too hung up on the scale,” insists Nadler. “Muscle weighs more than fat so don’t judge your progress by what you weigh, but on what your percentage of body fat is. That’s the number you want to see going down.”
So how long does it take for men with an oversized gut to lose the excess? “Depending on how much they have to lose,” Nadler says, “it takes anywhere from three to six months.” By the way, for men in their 30s and up, there are also two important side benefits to decreasing the waist size and firming up the gut: better overall posture and diminishing the potential for chronic back pain. So get to work guys; suck it up so you can stop sucking it in. -Stephen Hanks
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
August 02, 2005 10:03 AM
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
Stress, illness and even our everyday routines can all affect our energy levels and our ability to do daily tasks. Perpetual fatigue not only keeps us from doing what we would like to do but also what we have to do. Below are some tips for easy ways to boost your energy and increase your enjoyment of life: FIGHT AND WIN THE Allergy WAR
DECREASE YOUR INTAKE of white flour and sugar, processed foods, red meat and fatty foods. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and soy products.
ENERGY LEVELS CAN be affected by digestive problems, such as sluggish bowel. Try a juice fast followed by a diet of whole, raw foods to help cleanse your body and recharge your immunity.
INSTEAD OF RELYING ON caffeinated soft drinks to get you through the day, try an iced ginseng or peppermint herbal tea. Ginseng is a particularly energizing herb that is good with honey.
FATIGUE CAN ALSO BE a result of a vitamin deficiency. B vitamins in particular are important for our energy levels and our ability to handle stress. Consider getting a B12 shot.
IF YOU ALWAYS feel tired and rarely sleep well, consider taking L-tryptophan supplements. With the right dosage, you should feel a big difference in your anxiety levels and how rested you feel.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from hidden food allergies, you are overworking your immune system. This situation can cause fatigue. Keep a food diary to help you eliminate the guilty foods.
CONSIDER A FISH, flaxseed or evening primrose oil supplement for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, which affect every body system.
Get energized—try these natural energy-enhancing tips
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY or sleeping too much can also lead to a general lack of energy. Even if a gym is not for you, walking or stretching for 45 minutes, three times a week is suggested.
SOMETIMES FATIGUE IS DUE to a problem with the thyroid gland, especially if you are pregnant. Consider talking to your health-care professional about thyroid testing. Adding kelp to your diet is also helpful because of its iodine content—an iodine deficiency is sometimes responsible for thyroid disorders.
DEPRESSION, NERVOUS TENSION AND emotional or physical stress can tax the body, and if experienced daily, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy. Research suggests that daily journal writing is effective for dealing with depression and stress. Daily meditation is also helpful.
MAKE AN HERBAL JUICE by mixing sage, rosemary and oat juice (from the green plant), and take 1 tablespoon each day. This juice will help counteract nervous tension and irritability, as well as exhaustion. It is also good for insomnia if taken before bed.
COENZYME Q10 IS A useful supplement that increases the supply of oxygen to your body tissues, thereby boosting your energy and performance levels. This supplement should be easy to find at any pharmacy or health store.
LONG-TERM FATIGUE can be a symptom of low blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, cancer or liver problems. If you are concerned, see your health care professional.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED FOR weak adrenals or low iron in the blood. If you are suffering from either of these problems, you are likely to feel a general lack of energy. DHEA, a precursor hormone, can help with adrenal problems, and low iron can be remedied with a simple mineral supplement fortified with iron.
MAKE AN EFFORT to unwind before bedtime. By reading, going for a short walk or taking a bath before you go to sleep, you have a chance to release tension and stress that will affect how well you sleep each night. Also, try not to eat right before retiring to bed.
CONSIDER ADDING TWO OR MORE yoga positions to your daily routine. There are a number of books on how yoga increases well-being and fights fatigue.
THE PRESENCE OF A yeast infection in the body can also decrease energy levels by overtaxing the immune system. These infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control and environmental stress. Acidophilus and a cleansing diet are helpful for dealing with yeast infections. Serious infections may require medication.
THE PRESENCE OF PARASITES in the body can also compromise your immune system and lead to chronic fatigue or lack of energy. Goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, zinc and vitamin C can all help fight microbes and support healthy immune function.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE spring and summer months, when the weather is getting warmer, you should be drinking plenty of water. Also, consider trying this energy booster: 3 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts and 10 almonds, all blended until smooth.
ONE OF THE MOST substantial problems of the typical American diet is a lack of fiber. Aim for 25–35 grams of dietary fiber each day by including beans, fruits (like apples, skin included) and whole grains to the diet. Fiber is essential for proper digestion and elimination, both of which affect all other body systems.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is especially important for enhancing your energy levels, especially if you have been ill. Consider adding vitamin C, bee products and green foods to your daily diet to fight infection and fatigue.
Energizing Intimacy - The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication
July 27, 2005 04:17 PM
The foundation of a loving relationship is built on communication.
Mars/Venus. He said/she said. Action movies/chick flicks. However you choose to characterize differences between the sexes, one this is clear: We tend to see men and women as irreconcilable opposites, people who need each other deeply yet who often don’t know how to live with one another. The stress that ensues when the love connection breaks down aches not only our hearts but the rest of our bodies as well…to say nothing of what it teaches our children about the nature of relationships.
This issue of Energy Times is primarily devoted to offering advice and guidance on how to rebuild that love connection; how committed, loving couples can energize intimacy in their relationships. You can find valuable information in stories on the incredible herbs around the world that aid and enhance libido; tips on how women can use natural cosmetics to rev up a partner’s sexual engine; and how couples can create passion in the kitchen, through mutual back massage and after menopause.
But those articles offer little help if the foundation of your relationship is not primarily built on communicating your needs and desires- whether inside or outside of the bedroom- and listening, really listening, to the other person in your life. Communication is the holistic way to view sexual health and healing because having a clear understanding with your partner about love and life is the way your relationship can truly be whole.
With our national divorce rate hovering around the 50% mark, it is clear that American adults still have an immense learning curve when it comes to talking about sex and intimacy. Sensual images and situations bombard us from books, television, films and Internet sites, yet we seem to be as clueless as ever, not knowing how to talk intelligently about intimate relationships to each other or to our children.
Part of the problem stems from the constant barrage of verbal and visual messages- whether from our parents, friends or corporate advertising- that make us incredibly self-conscious about sensuality and our bodies. Many women fight to come to terms with self-images of their bodies as not thin or beautiful enough, while a lot of men struggle to overcome fear and insecurity over their sexual prowess. Carrying such baggage around can’t help but negatively affect the way people relate in a relationship. After all, before you can share love with your partner, you must learn to love yourself.
We also have to overcome the energy flows that start getting blocked during childhood, when we learn to restrain our emotional energy for the sake of fitting in. Like water behind a crumbling dam, though, repressed energy leaks out in all sorts of extremely unhealthy ways: Anger, depression, irritability, stress- and sexual dysfunction.
Learning to Talk
According to Chris Frey, a Missouri-based psychotherapist and pet who has studies sexual relationships, our culture does a great job reaching people about the mechanics and “how-to” of intimacy and the dangers of unprotected sex, but few families or institutions talk about healthy sexuality with a partner.
“Culturally, the prevalent myth still is that loves means intuitively knowing what my partner wants,” Frey said in an interview posted on the website of the Missouri Lawyer Assistance Program (MOLAP). “People think if they have to talk, or worse yet, ask about it, then there must be something wrong with them. That’s incorrect. Instead of open communication, people often turn to innuendo, humor and guesswork. When couples break through that, the sensitivity and intimacy built as two uncertain people begin to communicate about sex builds an amazing amount of trust, and most likely, a much more pleasurable relationship.”
In fact, trust is a key part of a model of healthy sexuality developed by social worker, marriage and family therapist and author Wendy Maltz. Called CERTS, Maltz’s model requires that five basic conditions be met for a healthy sexual relationship: Consent, Equality, Respect, Trust and Safety.
-Steven Hanks and Lisa James
PYCNOGENOL - MIRACLE ANTIOXIDANT
July 13, 2005 09:36 AM
Virtually each and every day, most of us are exposed to a number of toxic substances. Au to Exhaust, tobacco smoke , pollution, preservatives, and additives continually assault our bio-cellular systems. As a result, our risk of getting a degenerative disease is significantly increased. In addition, the aging process itself is accelerated by the p resence of free radicals. Consequently, premature tissue breakdown can occur. Inevitably, despite our best efforts, our environment will continue to surround us with potentially harmful pollutants. Certainly, there are several things we can do to minimize our health risks, including exercising, eating nutritiously and not smoking. Unfortunately, these measures are rarely enough to substantially decrease our risk of contracting certain degenerative diseases or of getting old before our time. While supplementing our diets with vitamins and minerals is st rongly recommended, certain remarkable, natural substances exist which have recently come to the forefront of scientific research. The most promising of these may be a compound called Pycnogenol, and everyone seems to be talking about it.
Pycnogenol has been associated with:
CLA and the Catabolic Cascade
June 22, 2005 09:49 PM
CLA and the Catabolic Cascade
Next fall, when you or a friend goes to the doctor to get a flu shot, notice how a low-grade fever starts. Notice how rundown you or your friend begin to feel for a day or so after the shot. It is as if you are dealing with a small portion of the disease. In some respects you are, but, in reality, the icky, yucky feelings we associate with sickness come from our body’s own response to an invasion. When the immune system goes on the o f f e n s i ve, it puts out hormones called cytokines. T h o s e cytokines cause fever and pain.
Doctors call this process the catabolic cascade. It is our body that produces it. An extreme example might have been when Jim Henson, the wonderful creator of Kermit the Frog, got an extreme bacterial infection. He died within about 12 hours. Although the bacteria caused some severe reactions, it was his body’s intense catabolic response that may have been the direct cause of death.
Cytokines are involved in more than just stimulating the immune system, they are involved in how the body accumulates fat, in how veins accumulate deposits and in how our body during disease can sometimes cause dangerous, rapid weight loss. CLA changes how cytokines work, but how it does it is not certain.
Here’s an example of why this is important: When young animals get sick, their immune systems kick into action. Besides contracting a feve r, the animals’ growth slow s . Furthermore, weight and muscle mass can be lost, not just because of loss of appetite, but because of degradation of muscle tissue. For a poultry farmer, this can be significant. In organized farms, bacteria can abound and young chicks often face sickness. Because their immune systems are firing, the cytokines can stunt growth and, accordingly, stunt the farmer’s profits.
Dr. Mark Cook was working on this dilemma in 1990 and jogging at the campus of the Un i versity of Wi s c o n s i n - Madison. During one of his regular exercise sessions, he began chatting with Dr. Pariza. As researchers do, they began talking about their work. They decided to collaborate, seeing if CLA had an effect on this problem.
In 1993, the scientists at the University of Wisconsin-- Madison injected rat pups with endotoxin, the substances bacteria produce to do their damage.40 This injection activated their immune systems. They also did the same thing in two studies using chicks. In all three studies, the weight-loss was about half what it was during the other studies.
In a study published in 1994, re s e a rchers also injected endot oxin into mice. To some, they gave CLA, to others they didn’t After three days, the scientists weighed the mice and discove re d that those who also re c e i ved CLA in their diets lost much less weight. Indeed, after three days they weighed as much as the c o n t rol gro u p, which re c e i ved no endotoxin at all. The CLA - f e d g roup also had a much better appetite than those that re c e i ve d no CLA with endotoxin. They also had a higher muscle mass.41 Let’s repeat that. CLA gives a higher muscle mass in rats. Stop and think about the implications. Other studies have shown, and, we will get to them, that CLA also cuts the amount of food converted to fat. In an era of increasing battles with the bulge, CLA seems to show great promise. (That weight gain seems to be involved somehow with the immune system and cytokines indicates that working with cytokines may be how CLA affects body fat accumulation.) Yes, CLA can help cut the effects of immune stimulation, but does it do that at the expense of making our immune systems less effective? Does CLA affect how the body battles disease? Not from any evidence in any study. The 1993 studies measured several immune functions, and, if anything, the immune system worked better.42
Again, these are animal studies, not necessarily involved with how humans work. However, these studies involve more than one kind of animal, making it, again, more likely to be useful in humans.
Let’s speculate for a minute. When CLA cuts the catabolic cascade, doesn’t it make sense that the body would feel better, if only because the appetite is better? When CLA cuts weight loss, couldn’t that have immense benefits for patients suffering from long-term illnesses—including those illnesses that affect the immune system—who grow weak from a loss of muscle tone and from a loss of weight?
For the animal industry, of course, this nutrient clearly means better production methods and healthier animals. For those same animals, it seems possible to speculate that CLA may actually work as a growth factor for their young.43 For humans, this nutrient could mean feeling better and feeling stronger while the body fights off disease.
At the beginning of this booklet, we learned that CLA may be one of the most important nutrients discovered in recent years. The support for that statement should be clear. CLA, if the human studies hold true, could cut your risk for cancer, could lower your risk of heart disease, could help you feel better when you are ill, and improve muscle tone while decreasing body fat.
This research has one other interesting side effect. Cook says that during much of the research, graduate students helping in the work would continually report that animals were eating less. Indeed, the animals ate up to 30 percent less while gaining weight or helping the immune system.
If all animals in the world were fed CLA, and it cut feed intake by 30 percent, this would have strong implications on world starvation and feed efficiency. Especially in a world w h e re meat consumption may be growing. Cutting the amount of animal feed necessary to produce the same number of animals is vital. This, too, is a possible result of CLA.44
Marilu Henner: Energy Personified!
June 14, 2005 11:50 AM
Marilu Henner: Energy Personified! by Stephen Hanks Energy Times, January 3, 2005
Marilu Henner is an actress, dancer and author, a health, fitness and cooking guru and a devoted mom. Now she's also an advocate for nutritional supplements. In this revealing interview, she offers her thoughts on the battle to support consumer rights and to create a better health care system in America.
"So, you want to know what my schedule is after I finish talking with you?" Marilu Henner says, in an almost breathless voice. "Today's Tuesday, right? Tomorrow morning I leave Los Angeles [where she lives] for New York City so I can do the Tony Danza Show first thing Thursday morning, Then, I take a 9 am flight back to LA because my son has a sleepover birthday party. I have a 7 am flight to New Jersey the next morning because I'm speaking about mental health at a conference at a big country club. The next morning, I catch a 7 am flight back to LA for my son's soccer games, one at noon and the other at 2. Whew!"
Trying to keep up with Marilu Henner would make anybody feel out of breath because the woman is energy personified. At 52, her schedule includes acting in movies, on television and in the occasional Broadway show, writing books (she's authored seven, including Total Health Makeover and Healthy Life Kitchen), teaching online diet and exercise classes through her website (marilu.com), taking Pilates classes three times a week and raising two sons, Nicholas (10) and Joseph (8).
But now, on top of all that, the former star of the TV show Taxi has become a health and nutrition activist, speaking out in favor of the use of dietary supplements whenever she can. This past September, Henner testified at a hearing of the House Subcommittee for Human Rights and Wellness to advocate increased funding for research and full implementation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). During her testimony, Marilu described why she believes consumers should have access to more information about supplements and why the products should be made more accessible through both government initiatives and private health plans. "I believe that dietary supplements should be part of a campaign to improve our nation's health," Henner testified.
Energy Times recently caught up with Marilu at her Los Angeles home for a freewheeling conversation. Here, this vibrant yet down-to-earth celebrity displays her passion for health, nutrition and consumer issues.
Energy Times: You've become one of the most high profile celebrities to advocate a consumer's use of dietary supplements. What was your motivation to get involved in such a public way?
Marilu Henner: As a teenager, I had been a yo-yo dieter. I could be around 135 pounds and balloon up to 174. I knew I needed a different way of looking at my life. I couldn't concentrate on those stupid diets where I could lose 20 pounds in a week and then gain it all back over a weekend. But after my mom died at 58 in 1978, I said to myself, "It's not really about my body anymore, it's really about my health." I just became obsessed with health. I read everything I could get my hands on. I starting taking human anatomy classes, going to medical libraries and seeing nutritionists and doctors. And I started experimenting on myself, turning myself into my own guinea pig. It took me about eight years to put together a program. I always say that my health birthday was 1979, but it wasn't until 1987 that I could say I was living a completely healthy lifestyle.
ET: Were you ever really heavy when you were performing in a show? MH: Sure. When I first performed the role of Marty in "Grease" more than 30 years ago I weighed about 175 pounds. But I hid it well. When you wear those 1950s clothes you can get away with it.
ET: When did you start incorporating supplements into your health program? MH: Before I became pregnant with my first son in 1993, I had never been a supplement taker. But I started taking prenatal vitamins and dietary supplements when I was breastfeeding and they made me feel really good. After the pregnancy, I just kept taking them because I was getting the essential nutrients that I couldn't get from food alone. I was getting great stuff from my food, but with all the travel I do-you know, the eating on planes and in restaurants-I couldn't always shop for organic food. I had a doctor who understood the value of dietary supplements and encouraged me to use them. I've taken them ever since and I recommend them to my family and friends, as well as to people through my books and classes.
ET: What supplements other than vitamins do you find helpful in your total nutrition program? MH: I take vitamin E, omega-3 fish oils, antioxidants, garlic, coral calcium and echinacea supplements.
ET: So let's get back to why you decided to testify before Congress in support of supplement use. MH: I know that as soon as you put a celebrity face on an issue, people tend to pay a little more attention. When I was in Washington, I was able to tell Congress the personal stories I've heard about people who turned their lives around-from debilitating illness to vibrant health-when they got the information they need to make good choices. By good choices, I mean rejecting the manufactured foods of our society, with their over-reliance on sugar, meat and dairy, and the chemicals, hormones and steroids that usually accompany these products. Instead, we should be moving towards an organic, vegan diet that produces a sense of physical health. I also believe that a healthy diet includes the use of appropriate dietary supplements.
ET: Do you think that government is moving fast enough to reduce the restrictions on safe supplements? MH: Things could always move faster. But I remember years ago writing letters on behalf of people who wanted supplements without needing a prescription. When I would tell people about the benefits of soy products or supplements, they'd think I was nuts. Now those ideas are mainstream. The floodgates are open and people want to know more. You can't even keep up with all the information. I think that the government knows they're not going to get away with making people have a prescription to take their vitamins.
ET: What is the citizen's responsibility in all this? MH: We're in a real transitional phase and people should take responsibility to educate themselves. You have to question your doctors and recognize when something is or isn't working. You have to find a health practitioner who really knows their stuff.
ET: As you said, there's so much information out there, how do you decipher it all? How can someone be an educated information consumer?
MH: I know it's very difficult because there are so many options. Believe me, I've been doing this a long time and I'm glad I did the research. I think you have to read everything. You have to find a nutritionist/herbalist/doctor who's the real deal and knows what they're talking about. You have to recognize the symptoms in your own body and try to figure it out. I think if you start out with a good multivitamin, a calcium supplement, fish oils and vitamin E, that can be your base and you can't go wrong.
ET: Isn't a diet built on buying organic foods much more expensive? MH: Sure, it's a little more expensive. But there's nothing more expensive than bad health. There's nothing more expensive than food being thrown away because it doesn't taste right. Organic fruit tastes so much better than the perfect-looking fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides.
ET: What's your advice to people who want to start a workout and weight-loss program? MH: I'm always saying to people, "Look, you walk your dog, your cat stretches, your hamster runs on a hamster wheel. You're an animal, too, so go move, go do something." I know a lot of people believe that when you want to lose weight you have to go on these 1,200-calorie-per-day diets.
Well, my weight is always between 120-124 pounds and I eat close to 2,000 calories a day, but everything I eat is of quality. And I burn a lot of calories because I wear comfortable shoes and I move around in my life. I'm always strong, I never get sick and I feel like an animal.
ET: How do you view the future of healthcare policy in this country and where do you think nutritional supplements fit in? MH: I strongly believe that the general public needs more access to dietary supplements to maintain essential good health. American research and development has come up with really great products, but the American Medical Association and the drug companies have stigmatized supplements. So what's the result? Most Americans don't have access to safe supplements because they are not covered by their health plans, nor recognized as effective by the federal government. This really needs to be changed.
I think we should take 90% of what we're spending on drugs that barely keep people alive and start spending it on prevention, nutrition and changing lifestyle habits. In this country we're all about curing the disease rather than curing the patient. We don't look at the patient holistically and try to find out how the disease developed. Your doctor should be in charge of keeping you well, not keeping you in that strange state of, what I call, "dis-ease." It's like the medical and pharmaceutical establishment wants to keep you just sick enough so you'll continue to be a paying customer. They've convinced people to think they've got to take a pill to cure themselves rather than use their own bodies.
ET: Do you think medical schools will start training doctors to treat patients holistically and focus more on preventative medicine?
MH: I think we're seeing a lot more nutrition and alternative medicine specialists these days. And the general public is becoming more aware of health and nutrition issues then they were years ago. There's this groundswell of people saying "Wait, I need more information. Wait, my doctor's no longer God. I can't just keep taking these pills and trying to figure out all these warning labels and side effects."
ET: Do you plan on becoming more politically active on these issues? MH: Absolutely, I want to work with any organization that wants to improve school lunch programs, improve the healthcare system and get people more involved in understanding nutrition and disease prevention.
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
Hidden In Plain Sight - The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
June 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Hidden In Plain Sight by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 7, 2003
Today, a devastating disease is striking millions of Americans. Sixteen million Americans already have this disease, and every day another 2,200 Americans learn they have it. The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
The potential ramifications: Millions of people more susceptible to heart disease, dementia, infections, amputations and blindness. Lowering your risk for diabetes is relatively simple and terribly important. Because dealing with some of its effects once you are its victim can be much more complicated.
Signs of Trouble
"Approximately one in four individuals over the age of 60 has type 2 diabetes, which is a remarkable statistic," says Gerald Shulman, MD, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. "And, if you add impaired glucose tolerance [a condition that often leads to diabetes], you're talking about 40% of the population."
The economic burden of this epidemic is staggering, estimated at about $100 billion a year and growing.
If you never exercise, carry around a substantial amount of stomach fat and have seen your weight climb significantly over the years, you are among the people at higher risk for diabetes.
These lifestyle habits eventually render your body unable to efficiently process blood sugar. In technical terms, researchers investigating how the body uses and misuses blood sugar have identified what they have called "syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome," a condition that puts you at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease.
If you have three or more of the following signs, you now have metabolic syndrome and, unless you change the way you live, may eventually suffer diabetes (Circulation 7/14/03):
* Fat around your middle
* High blood pressure
* High triglycerides (blood fats)
* Low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)
* High fasting blood sugar
In a study of more than 6,000 men in Scotland, having three of these metabolic problems almost doubled the risk of heart disease and more than tripled the risk of diabetes. If you have four of these risk factors, your risk of heart disease just about quadruples, and your diabetes risk skyrockets almost 25 times.
The cells in your body get the energy they need to survive when they take sugar out of your blood and oxidize it along with fatty acids. Normally, insulin, a hormone-like substance released by the pancreas, speeds the absorption of blood sugar by the cells. When your pancreas cannot make insulin at all or makes too little, you suffer what is called type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This condition is usually treated by taking insulin.
But if your pancreas secretes what should be enough insulin for glucose absorption, and your cells are still unable to take sufficient sugar from your blood, you have what is called type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.
Understanding exactly why cells develop difficulties in taking sugar out of the blood and using it for energy has long troubled medical investigators. This condition, before it develops into full-blown diabetes, is called insulin resistance. Researchers have now linked it to malfunctioning mitochondria, the little structures in cells that make the energy that keeps cells functioning.
Scientists have long known that, as you age, you become more susceptible to diabetes. And when researchers compare the mitochondria in young people with those found in the cells of the elderly, they find that older mitochondria are more sluggish.
The mitochondria within the cells oxidize glucose and fatty acids to make energy. (They accomplish this in a complicated metabolic action called the Krebs cycle.) Difficulty with this process, or insulin resistance, can occur when fat and fatty acid waste products accumulate in your liver and muscle tissue.
"We hypothesized that there were two routes to this type of fat accumulation," says Dr. Shulman. "One is that the fat cells might release more fatty acids to be delivered to muscles and/or defects in mitochondrial oxidation might then lead to the accumulation of these fatty acids."
Research confirms that fatty molecules probably collect in muscle cells because the mitochondria's ability to burn fat breaks down over the years. On average, mitochondrial activity dips about 40% in older people.
Dr. Shulman thinks that the final coup de grace in the development of diabetes from insulin resistance takes place when the mitochondria malfunction in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Although Dr. Shulman says that more research is needed to understand why mitochondrial function slips with age, he recommends keeping your mitochondria from slacking off by exercising. Studies now show that regular physical activity can probably increase the mitochondria in your muscles by activating release of an enzyme called AMP kinase. "...an encouraging note in this study is that-since we've shown that exercise leads to more mitochondria by activation of [the enzyme] AMP kinase-by staying active, the elderly might...maintain mitochondrial content and head off such health problems," says Dr. Shulman. "This is yet another reason for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle," he adds.
Maitake for Metabolic Syndrome
Another natural way to fight the metabolic syndrome is with an extract of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). The extract, called sx-fraction, is attracting research investigating its ability to help the body manage blood sugar more efficiently. In one study, five people with diabetes improved their blood sugar levels with sx-fraction (Diab Med 2001; 18).
This research found that taking maitake sx-fraction is often accompanied by drops in blood glucose levels ranging from 30% to 63%. According to Mark Kaylor, PhD and Ken Babal, CN, in Syndrome X and SX-Fraction (Woodland), "...Studies have demonstrated that whole maitake or its fractions are potent agents for improving 'diabetic conditions.'"
Take the Whole Grains Home
Eating a daily dish of whole grains, like whole wheat and brown rice, can also reduce your risk of diabetes (AJCN 8/22/03). In a twelve-year study of more than 40,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers found that those who ate three servings of whole grains a day cut their risk in half.
The researchers found that even overweight people lowered their chances of diabetes by eating whole grains and exercising.
Consuming more magnesium also helped; whole grains contain amounts of this mineral missing in refined-grain foodstuffs. Magnesium improves insulin response.
In an age of junk food, our simple taste for sugar and refined grains may threaten our health. Yet, your defense against this scourge is no further away than simply eating more fibrous foods and going for a simple, everyday walk.
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.
June 10, 2005 04:05 PM
by John Olan Energy Times, January 7, 2002
Water keeps you alive. About 50% to 70% of your cells are made of water. So when you talk about drinks, you're talking about water plus... But, oh, what a plus!
While water is crucial for survival, those pluses can add a waterfall of desirable ingredients to your diet, health and beverage indulgence. Even though water is the basic ingredient when you need a drink, healthy drinking has come to mean much more than H2O. The drink scene has bubbled up to include a new universe of usual and unusual liquids. When your thirst bursts upon the scene, you now have a tremendous choice of ways to quench.
The soy revolution in American nutrition has convincingly attacked the drink world. No matter what your age, nutritional requirements or taste preferences, it seems as though someone, somewhere, has designed a soy drink with you in mind. The most convincing health benefit of soy and soy drinks is its boost to heart health. Since 1999, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed soy drinks (and other soy products) to list soy's heart benefits. In so doing, the FDA reviewed 27 studies that demonstrated soy protein could help lower total cholesterol and LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol that can significantly raise heart disease risk. To be allowed the heart disease benefit on their labels, drinks, or other foods, must contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving, contain less than 3 grams of fat, less than a gram of saturated fat, less than 20 mg of cholesterol and not much salt. According to the FDA, if you consume four daily servings of soy, you can drop your LDL by up to 10%. That's great for heart health: each 1% reduction in total cholesterol can mean about a 2% drop in your risk of heart disease. The key research the FDA looked at included a two month study at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center that showed soy can help reduce your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol without lowering your HDL. HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol, protects heart health and keeps your heart disease risk down (Arch Int Med, 9/27/99). Meanwhile, another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (8/3/95) found that soy produces "significant reductions" in cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, blood fats that can otherwise put your cardiovascular sysem at risk. Isoflavones, natural chemicals found in soy, are phytoestrogens, a weak form of estrogen that is believed by many researchers to produce health benefits. Some studies show that by producing what's called a "weak estrogenic effect," these chemicals may prevent the body's own estrogen from initiating cancer. While studies exist supporting these effects, this claim for cancer prevention is still controversial. A study of Asian women who moved to the United States found that the more soy they ate, the less their risk of breast cancer (Second Intl Symp on Soy and Tr Chron Dis 9/15/96). In any case, soy protein provides complete protein: all the amino acids, or protein building blocks, that the body needs to form its own proteins are found in soy. All of this good soy news has sent sales of soy drinks and other soy foods soaring. While sales of soy foods reached a little more $850 million in 1992, by next year they are expected to climb to well over $3.7 billion. Multivitamin Water For vitamin takers on the run, water is now available fortified with a wide collection of micronutrients. The key benefit: possible health enhancement by supplying vitamins your diet may omit. As Walter Willet, MD, points out in Eat, Drink and Be Healthy (Simon & Schuster), "research is pointing ever more strongly to the fact that several ingredients in a standard multivitamin.... are essential players in preventing heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and other chronic disease... It's the best nutritional bang for your buck." In a Russian study, a group of children, aged four to 14, with gastrointestinal diseases were fed multivitamin-infused drinks and beta carotene. The children experienced vast improvements, leading researchers to suggest fortifying the diets of folks suffering from gastrointestinal diseases with vitamin-containing drinks.
Green with Health
Everyone from mom to the US surgeon general tells you to eat dark green vegetables every day. The truth is, many of us just don't do it. Spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass and chlorella are often referred to as "green foods." Spirulina, a popular food supplement in Japan, is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse available in the US in powder and ready-to-drink shakes. Rich in protein, spirulina contains chlorophyll, carotenoids, minerals, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and unique pigments called phycobilins (PDR For Nutritional Supplements, Medical Economics). It's these same healthful pigments that give spirulina its blue/green color. In studies, spirulina has been shown to possess antiviral, antioxidant, anti-allergic and immune-boosting properties (Free Rad Biol Med. 2000; 28:1051-1055; Biochem Pharmacol 1998; 55:1071-1076; Inflamm Res 1998; 47:36-41; Spirulina platensis 1996; 59:83-87). Evidence exists that spirulina may favorably affect immune functions, inhibit some allergic reactions and lower cholesterol. Blended into shakes and drinks, spirulina can add a healthful boost to your day. Now, when Aunt May asks if you've had your green vegetables, just lift your glass, look her in the eye, tell her yes and mean it.
Positive Thought - Balance Emotions and Mood...
June 04, 2005 01:34 PM
As modern life becomes increasingly stressful, people are seeking out natural products that promote calmness and relaxation. But unless your supplement addresses multiple body systems, a healthy positive outlook may be out of reach. POSITIVE THOUGHTS Bio-Aligned Formula supports the interrelated systems and functions involved with emotional balance: inhibitory, stimulating and balancing neurotransmitters, and energy metabolism. This comprehensive herbal-nutrient blend features St. John’s wort, which has been clinically shown to support a good mood.
A Bio-Aligned Formula™
POSITIVE THOUGHTS is designed to bring alignment to the multiple, interconnected systems that influence a positive mood. Here’s how:
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that aid in the process of nerve cell communication. Inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as GABA, reduce brain stimulation, helping to support a sense of relaxation and calm. The nerve cell membrane- stabilizing properties of taurine also support relaxation, as do the included herbs. In addition to supplying GABA and taurine, POSITIVE THOUGHTS supports inhibitory neuro-modulation with kava, lemon balm, valerian, and vitamin B-6.
Stimulating neurotransmitters help promote drive, ambition, alert mental functioning, and memory. They support a positive mental outlook by providing a feeling of energy and vitality. POSITIVE THOUGHTS supports stimulating neuromodulation with DMAE, L-phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, and vitamins B-5 and B-6.
In our high-powered, stress-filled world, the balancing properties of St. John’s wort can help maintain a positive outlook and a sense of well-being. Studies have shown that St. John’s wort can help support a positive mood.
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain. It is vital for memory, cognitive function, focus, concentration, and muscle movement. POSITIVE THOUGHTS contains DMAE, vitamins B-1, B-5 and B-12, and pantothenic acid to support acetylcholine production.
The brain’s energy supports the vast electric, chemical, and structural processes that are the basis of a positive outlook. The brain uses 60% of the glucose used by the body at rest. Nutrients help convert glucose to the energy that the brain requires. They are also a component of many coenzymes needed for the synthesis of key neurotransmitters. POSITIVE THOUGHTS addresses energy metabolism with these nutrients: magnesium, manganese, zinc, vitamins B-1, B-2, B- 3, B-5, B-6, B-12 and C, biotin, and folic acid.
Strategies for WellnessSM: A Healthy Mood Plan
Lifestyle choices can help you maintain a positive attitude in response to the normal stresses of everyday life.
Neuro-Modulation—Inhibitory: GABA, Kava Kava, Lemon Balm, Taurine, Valerian, Vitamin B-6
Neuro-Modulation—Stimulating: DMAE, L-Phenylalanine, LTyrosine, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Vitamins B-5 & B-6
Neuro-Modulation—Balancing: St. John’s Wort
Acetylcholine Production: DMAE, Vitamins B-1, B-5 & B-12, Pantothenic Acid
Energy Metabolism: Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-12 & C, Biotin, Folic Acid
Gluco Sciense - Take Control of your Blood Sugar ...
June 02, 2005 10:51 AM
Sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and sugar-rich diets are prevalent in our society. The result: challenges to your multiple, interdependent body systems involved with blood sugar levels and insulin activity. Now is the time to learn how a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. For further support, Source Naturals offers you GLUCO-SCIENCE™, a breakthrough formula. GLUCO-SCIENCE is uniquely effective because it is a Bio-Aligned Formula™. Source Naturals evaluates the underlying causes of system imbalances. Then we design formulas that provide targeted nutrition to bring your interrelated body systems back into balance. GLUCO-SCIENCE can help bring your body’s systems for carbohydrate metabolism back into alignment.
A Bio-Aligned Formula™
GLUCO-SCIENCE is a comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula, based on the newest clinical research into key herbs and special ingredients. Source Naturals studied the scientific research, and then designed GLUCO-SCIENCE. This Bio- Aligned Formula provides targeted nutrition to five different body systems involved with healthy blood sugar levels and insulin activity.
GLUCO-SCIENCE supports glucose/carbohydrate metabolism with a range of nutrients. B-vitamins are required for glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, the metabolic pathways by which the body converts glucose into cellular energy. Chromium is believed to work closely with insulin to facilitate the uptake of glucose into cells. Manganese is also involved in glucose uptake. The formula also features herbs from several traditions, such as Gymnema sylvestre.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels after meals. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells to provide fuel for cellular energy. Certain nutrients (see chart) support these vital metabolic processes, including mediation of insulin release and activity, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. N-acetyl cysteine protects pancreatic beta cells from oxidative damage in animal studies. In addition, vanadium, zinc, and selenium are notable for their insulin-like actions.
Heart and Circulatory System
Vitamin E supports a healthy lipid status, while myricetin has been shown in animal studies to influence triglyceride levels. Gymnema sylvestre and vitamin C are involved with lipid metabolism. Additional heart-healthy ingredients include CoQ10, garlic, fenugreek, and hawthorn.
Antioxidants are important for a healthy nervous system. Lipoic acid helps prevent lipid peroxidation, which can impact nerve function. Many B-vitamins are vital to the metabolic processes of the nerves or are present in the phospholipids of cell membranes. Methylcobalamin, an active form of vitamin B-12, supports the central nervous system. Other supportive ingredients are included (see chart).
GLUCO-SCIENCE provides antioxidants, nutrients and herbs with an affinity for eyes and the physiological processes involved in sight. Alpha-lipoic acid, quercetin, and vitamin C support healthy lens function. Bilberry, shown to support microcirculation in animal studies, is widely recognized for supporting vision.
Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels: A Strategy for WellnessSM
Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar levels with Gluco-sciense.
Glucose/Carbohydrate Metabolism American Ginseng, Bitter Melon, Blueberry, Fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre, Maitake, Myricetin, Pterocarpus marsupium, Chromium, Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6 & B-12, Biotin, Inositol, Niacinamide Insulin/Pancreatic Activity alpha-Lipoic Acid, Bitter Melon, Gymnema sylvestre, Maitake Fruit Body, Myricetin, N-acetyl-L-Cysteine, Pterocarpus marsupium, Taurine, Chromium, Manganese, Selenium, Vanadium, Zinc Heart and Circulatory System Bilberry, Blueberry, CoQ10, Fenugreek, Garlic, Grape Seed, Gymnema sylvestre, Hawthorn, Myricetin, Taurine, Siberian Ginseng, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamins B-6, C & E, Folic Acid, Niacinamide Nervous System alpha-Lipoic acid, Glutamine, Magnesium, Taurine, Vitamins B-1 & B-6, Biotin, Choline, Inositol, Methylcobalamin Vision alpha-Lipoic Acid, Bilberry, Quercetin, Taurine, Zinc, Vitamins B-6, C & E