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How effective is CBD really?
April 24, 2019 01:44 PM
The underlying health benefits of a chemical found in Cannabis known as Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, has potential to relieve pain, treat sleep irregularities, and even potentially treat mood disorders. While it is a cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive. Some of the health benefits include assisting in metabolizing serotonin to improve anxiety or depression, lowering blood pressure, improving quality of sleep, and there are even potential treatments using the compound to treat different kinds of seizures.
"CBD is totally opposite to THC; it is not psychoactive and can be valuable to you by providing various health benefits, including as pain relief and sleep regulation."
Read more: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-lifestyle-sc-health-byo-157353.html
Why a little sun makes us feel so good
April 23, 2019 02:39 PM
Who doesn't like basking in the rays of sunshine on a nice summer day? Since sunlight has the natural ability to raise serotonin levels, it naturally has the ability to regulate and improve your mood. Not getting enough exposure to sunlight on a regular basis can actually lead to the same harmful side effects that are associated with obesity and smoking. UV exposure is especially important for those who are impacted by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), even if it is received in an artificial setting.
"A recent study, found that underexposure to sun carried significant risks, similar to smoking, obesity, and being sedentary."
Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/5-reasons-sunshine-totally-good-health-102319967.html
4 benefits of using Himalayan salt
January 28, 2018 03:59 PM
Everyone needs salt in their diet, and almost all recipes call for added salt. However, there are many different types of salt, all of which have different characteristics. Himalayan salt is one kind which has gained attention recently, largely due to its unique benefits. Specifically, it can aid in weight loss, lead to easier sleep, support heart health, and help to avoid dehydration. One can reap these benefits by either consuming the salt or soaking in a bath made with this salt.
"Himalayan salt is totally different from the bleached and processed table salt that most people use daily; it contains 84 trace minerals, which makes it exponentially healthier than table salt that has been extensively processed, stripping it clean of its natural minerals."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-27-4-benefits-of-using-himalayan-salt.html
Scientists: Children need microbes, not antibiotics, to develop immunity
August 22, 2017 05:14 AM
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate… that is today’s question. You will not find a more polarizing discussion in today’s world. Not even Trump can compare to this question. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, etc pick one side and one side only. Have you ever tried having a simple educated conversation on this topic? Attacks and attacks only are the product of that debate not doubt. Check out this video for a very interesting point of view. It challenges the notion that immunity can be created by microbes. Think about that for a moment, a Totally new way for us to think about immunity.
"While we’ve known for decades that hand washing is important, for some reason, about a decade ago people started freaking out about dirt and started over sanitizing everything."
Burning Mouth Syndrome Symptoms + 9 Home Remedies
May 02, 2017 03:59 PM
Burning mouth syndrome can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. It's good to know the signs because you may have that or you could have something else like thrush where the treatment is totally different. This also gives home remedies for fixing it. These are easily obtained so you can treat it without a lot of hassle. You should soon start feeling better if that is what you have. if you suspect it's not that but something else a doctor can help you.
"Like many other chronic pain conditions, finding an effective burning mouth syndrome treatment can take time and persistence; no two people experience pain or relief in the same manner."
Read more: https://draxe.com/burning-mouth-syndrome/
Eat More Fat- it’s Good for You!
March 15, 2017 06:59 AM
Saturated fats are an essential part of your diet, you need saturated fats for cell function and to fight off infections as well as heart health. Eating fats doesn't make you fat, it keeps you full and is used for energy. Eating saturated fats in moderation while avoiding high amounts of sugar is the key to a healthy diet. Saturated fats can increase HDL or good cholesterol, it's also a source of heart and brain healthy fats.
"We’ve been trained to be afraid of fat, especially saturated fat."
How Soy Can Both Prevent Breast Cancer And Fuel Its Spread
March 13, 2017 01:59 PM
Soy is one of the most controversial food items in the modern diet. There is soy in almost every food in the world. While there are benefits to soy, there are also draw backs. Soy can help provide the nutrition need to fight breast cancer in women, but it can also cause it in men. This is why there is so much controversy around it, and it may be better off cutting it out of your diet totally.
"To eat soy or not: That’s the question many U.S. women have been asking."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-soy-can-both-prevent-breast-cancer-and-fuel-its-spread_us_5894b9eee4b040613136a214
6 surprising ways Christmas is actually good for your health
January 03, 2017 08:59 AM
It’s the Holiday season and with that comes family, friends, gifts, and more. This article provides six ways Christmas is good for your health. Are you a fan of cheese? This article is for you. Do you like board games? This article is for you. Check out the article for the rest of the benefits of the Christmas season
"Just like turkey, it seems to be only at Christmas that you really tuck into Brussels sprouts – we’re not sure why, because we’re Totally into our sprouts when we do eat them."
What is CBD? The Everyday Guide to Cannabidiol
January 01, 2017 11:19 PM
CBD, which is rapidly gaining popularity, is known for its immense healing properties that are just being discovered as scientific research into the cannabis plant expands. "CBD is quickly expanding beyond the medical marijuana community and into Totally new demographics. This rapid growth is certain to continue as more and more individuals discover how CBD can play a positive role in their own healthcare outcomes," said Patrick O'Malley, President of Good Life Colorado. Dr. Noel Palmer, Ph.D., The Chief Scientist at Mary's Medicinals, is equally enthusiastic the excitement around CBD, "CBD has amazing therapeutic efficacy for a large variety of conditions, but it doesn't get you stoned. For those who want a plant-derived medicine, CBD is an great option with very few negative side effects."
"As America's fastest growing industry, the legal cannabis industry is navigating unchartered territory by producing and selling products made from a versatile plant that has been in the shadows for the last 80 years."
The 3 biggest feeding mistakes you can make with your preschooler
December 19, 2016 12:59 PM
Feeding a preschooler can be a daunting task. It is difficult when all they want is unhealthy food, and shun any attempt at giving them something healthy. There are some mistakes which can be avoided. Do not let them drink till their full, or eat a constant stream of snacks. At a young age it is time to impress on the importance of healthy eating.
"Don’t be a short-order cook."
Oregano Plant Is the Most Potent Antimicrobial In The world
Along with its culinary usage, oregano shows antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and possess probable activity like an antispasmodic and in diabetes. But there is no clinical proof to facilitate the usage of oregano in any signs. Normal or wild oregano is a perennial plant grown in the Mediterranean region and Asia. It is also cultivated in the United States. The creeping rootstock of oregano makes a downy, square, purplish stem with reverse ovate leaves. The plant stem also grows about 76cm tall. Purple two lipped flowers develop in terminal groups from July to October.
Features of Oregano
This plant has been a normal ingredient in Italy, Spain and Italian dishes like a spice and flavouring compound for several years. Its basic purpose was like a cautious digestive and circulatory stimulant. This plant has been availed in perfumery for the volatile oil materials, particularly in scenting soaps. The antiseptic feature of medicinal and aromatic plants and the extracts have been identified since antiquity. It has been recommended that an infusion of the new herb is useful in treating a collapsed stomach and indigestion, colic, headache and nervous problems as well as for some respiratory ailments. A mixture of the flowers has been utilized to avoid seasickness.
Uses of Oregano
The oil of this plant has been availed externally in lotions and liniments and to ease toothache. Oregano has been utilized like an ant repellent. Oregano has ursolic and oleanolic acids, hydroquinones, flavonoids, rosmarinic, caffeic,tannins, lithospermic acid and phenolic glycosides. The compounds of phenolic represent seventy one percent of the full oil. The carvacrol and polar phenols thymol are accountable for several of the properties of the necessary oil as well as terpinene and P-cymene. Research has compared the impacts of oregano necessary oil, carvacrol and thymol on fungi. All three Totally reduced fungal development of aspergillus and penicillium species. The oil also seems to possess certain activity against Candida species, probably due to the reason of its carvacrol content.
The oregano volatile oil have explained in vitro antibacterial activity against different types of gram negative and gram positive microorganisms like pseudomonas, listeria, salmonella, proteus and clostridium species as well as certain methicillin resistant. There are different reports explaining antiparasitic activity of oregano. The origanum vulgare oil has been presented to remove normal parasites in pheasants and chickens. There are also some other Potent Antimicrobial seen in the world like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion, garlic, anise, sassafras, ginger. These all have certain amount of antimicrobial properties in it.
Ashwagandha - Herbal Way to Reduce Stress
Mankind has tried every possible way to overcome the issue of stress. Among these, the natural and healthy ones include family get-togethers, yoga, meditations, or rituals. Others might show the same unwanted result on your body which includes, consumption of drugs, think cocktails, or midnight ice cream bings. Ashwagandha has a special name and place in ayurvedic arrangement of medicine as it is a successful herb for reducing stress. It is an herb utilized since ancient times that assistance to cool your mind and keep you free from stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is a natural way to lessen stress. In today's fast moving life you may get a disease-free life by taking ashwagandha everyday. It will give you mental peace and will also enhance your working capacity. Ashwagandha serves to decrease stress as well as make your body disease-free. Ashwagandha has a property to decrease negative contemplations from your mind and deadheads in inspirational attitude. It gives you a new way of dealing with stress naturally. It supports your vitality and makes you solid from inside to face any more regrettable situation.
It feeds the weak cells in your body and help to give a superior performance. Ashwagandha brings peace in your life by balancing powers that act on mind, body and soul. Regular intake of this herbal stress reliever will give you great results within couple of days and you will start feeling better and see changes in the effectiveness of your work. Ashwagandha has a special property that relieves the mind and gives you a sound rest. Adequate rest is an important factor to diminish stress. Ashwagandha serves to induce natural rest. Many chemical medicines are available in the market that create a great deal of reactions and regular intake of such medicines make you habitual. You get to be subject to the medication and it delivers adverse impacts on different organs of the body. A herbal supplement, for example, ashwagandha is a natural answer for ease stress. It is Totally safe and does not create any adverse impacts.
A man under stress turns out to be aloof and may attempt to confer suicide. Ashwagandha serves to take away such contemplations from mind by nourishing the brain cells. It also gives sustenance to other body cells and supports up your vitality level to deal with any situation naturally. Ashwagandha is also useful in treating gloom and anxiety. It cultivates positive considerations in mind and makes you feel happy in each situation. It revitalizes your body cells and tissues to give you more vitality. It increases dopamine levels that assists in dealing with stress. Ashwagandha also serves to enhance memory skills. Ashwagandha is a complete tonic for your brain and sensory system and does not cause any adverse reactions.
June 30, 2014 09:54 PM
Can DGL Licorice Help Soothe The Stomach And Intestinal Tract?
April 11, 2014 09:41 AM
What is a locorice root
Licorice root, commonly known as DGL is a characteristic herb that is utilized within numerous requisitions. It is otherwise called Yashti-Madhu, sweet root, Spanish licorice and Glycyrrhiza glabra. All structures are accessible generally on and logged off. Licorice root is a common supplement with expectorant properties. This can help with the arrival of harmed mucous covering brought on by GERD which is the reason licorice root and indigestion illness are in some cases specified together. With a few properties of cortisone and estrogen, it likewise helps the body bargain with anxiety.
Benefits of licrorice
Stress has not been demonstrated to really cause indigestion, however it does normally increase the manifestations to a degree. Then again, studies have indicated that unwinding or anxiety alleviating pills, vitamins or minerals can essentially diminish the force of the side effects. By methodology, since licorice root helps us manage stress, it has a tendency to keep the body in a more loose state. This reduces the impacts of GERD.
Licorice root is synthetically known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL. The greater part of it is prepared in Greece, Turkey and Asia. It has been utilized for a long time as a society medication for some issue including indigestion ailment. Numerous clients say that it is charming to take as it has a commonly satisfying flavor. This makes DGL a most loved of numerous sufferes searching for alleviation from their manifestations.
Licorice root as an indigestion sickness cure is not utilized as a cure, however as an agony reliever. General dosing of licorice is said to reduce the agony of GERD manifestations throughout flare ups. So as a matter of course, it is a preventive measure also. Patients who use licorice root report that typically once a day is sufficient, however twice day by day could be called for in extreme cases. Licorice root is not ordinarily utilized as a part of situations where there is now extreme harm to the throat lining. It is all more generally utilized within sufferers with mellow side effects like acid reflux and heartburn.
The imperative thing to know here is that utilizing licorice root, with its regular properties, is a great approach to reduce the impacts of GERD before they happen. DGL appears to have some impact on gastric corrosive preparation too since it is generally utilized within the medication of a few sorts of stomach ulcers. In Japan, doctors have endorsed a man-made type of licorice to treat ulcer patients. While this medicine is not accessible in the USA, it has had some significant brings about Japan.
Study on licorice
A study was carried out on 100 patients that had not enhanced with ordinary medications. These patients were given the manufactured licorice for 6 weeks. Of these, 90 percent demonstrated a pointed change. In 22 cases, the ulcers vanished Totally.
So even as a society cure or in a manufactured structure, DGL or licorice root is demonstrated to be powerful as an agony reliever for GERD manifestations, as a compelling preventive treatment and as a corrosive preparation reducer. These are hints of something better over the horizon for the GERD sufferer.
As dependably, you ought to counsel your doctor before beginning on a regimen of licorice establish in any structure. Some unfavorably susceptible responses have been accounted for. In this way, to be sheltered, converse with your specialist to see whether a licorice root - heartburn illness cure is ideal for you.
The Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil.
March 14, 2014 11:00 PM
What is flaxseed
Flaxseed and also flaxseed oil incorporate alpha-linolenic chemical p (ALA), a precursor to the primary omega-3 oily acid that to a certain degree and inefficiently turns in to DHA and EPA -- extra active omega-3s -- methods. While flaxseed hasn't yet been proven to improve heart disease risk, there's very good evidence that flaxseed and also flaxseed oil may reduced cholesterol degrees.
Benefits of flaxseed
Flaxseed oil may also be helpful with menopausal signs. Research has proven in which 40 grams daily may be a lot like hormone treatment for improving mild menopause signs, such as sizzling whizzes and nights sweats. Ground flaxseed may also ease constipation.
Flaxseed has additionally been shown to improve kidney function in people with lupus. If you have lupus or any other medical condition it’s crucial to talk together with your doctor about almost any supplements you receive.
Flaxseed oil, including sea food oil, has been studied for reducing triglycerides. Nevertheless, it is vital to ingest much flaxseed oil (38-60 grams) to have any noticeable consequences.
Flaxseed is being studied for several other conditions, between cancers to diabetes to assist osteoporosis. At this factor, there is too few evidence to assistance flaxseed for most of these conditions
Flaxseed oil in addition has become found to get beneficial if you happen to suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. Several studies have found it oil seems to be able to calm the inner lining to the inflamed intestines. Another benefit exists even as have an excessive written content of mucilage in flax this too is an efficient natural laxative.
Flaxseed oil is beneficial in helping to relieve high cholesterol. It’s important to make note of however, that this alone can't be Totally effective throughout conserving cholesterol degrees, an overhaul linked to overall diet should work jointly along with flaxseed oil.
The probability of heart illness will be leaner in people that take flaxseed petrol. Evidence indicates that those who eat lots associated using ALA are less in danger of suffer a critical heart attack and yes it reduces high leading to help tinnitus pressure.
Some men and women endure Sjogren’s syndrome, which is dryness with your sight. Flaxseed oil really helps to improve this concern.
Is Cocoa Butter Good For The Skin? Why?
March 06, 2014 03:27 PM
Doubtlessly, there are few preferred healthy skin items over cocoa butter and some few that likewise makes you feel great deductively notwithstanding feeling extraordinary because of the way your skin looks so great, but Cocoa butter is good solid skin reinforcement, and for additional data on characteristic healthy skin items with a great experimental foundation. Therefore it is good for the skin.
Reasons to why cocoa butter is good for your skin:
Powdered cocoa butter contains a lot of diverse antioxidants which behave synergistically presenting a massive bothersome resistant to the cost-free radicals which eliminate your skin layer cells along with lead to quick getting older. Therefore, therefore, is it doesn't suitable natural skin care solution.
Let's have a look at which record again. Precisely why your 'ideal' natural skin care solution? In order to solution which question, we need to have a look at precisely what antioxidants tend to be, along with precisely what hot cocoa butter can perform them, along with after that the reason why it is advisable than additional natural skin care merchandise on the market.
Totally free radicals tend to be small substances kinds in the body's fat burning capacity while vitality is generated coming from blood sugar in the mitochondria of each and every cell phone within your body. Fortunately they are shaped simply by experience of toxins including pesticides, along with particularly the several poisonous pieces of cigarette light up. Cigars along with water lines tend to be believe it or not harmful than tobacco, along with filtration system guidelines make not any difference towards the production connected with cost-free radicals.
What exactly that they do is always to eliminate cells, when they're pores and skin cells you continue to grow older. Your skin layer wrinkles along with dries up, and you begin to take on the style connected with an individual many years over the age of you're. These people try this by way of a procedure often known as oxidation, along with antioxidants can certainly keep the idea. These people reduce the effects of your cost-free radicals, and forestall your skin layer cells coming from getting ruined.
Contents of cocoa
Powdered cocoa butter contains several different antioxidants that can eliminate away from numerous diverse cost-free radicals along with superoxides, as well as hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin e is really a powerful antioxidant -- your strongest of all the so-called antioxidant vitamin supplements in fact, and will quickly eliminate away from hydrogen peroxide along with any oxidizing agent. Others tend to be vitamin supplements A new along with G, however they can not strategy the potency of vitamin E.
Furthermore, it contains phytochemicals (posh title pertaining to place chemicals) including flavanoids which might be also powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols are very effective in neutralizing cost-free radicals, and the hot chocolate mass polyphenols tend to be in particular successful. In fact, hot chocolate butter boasts a greater antioxidant awareness and then possibly blueberries as well as other so-called superfoods.
In order that hot cocoa butter to work, it will email numerous of the pores and skin cells as is possible, that involves do away with the idea properly directly into your skin layer. The epidermis is incredibly absorbent all of which will eliminate cost-free radicals in the reduced absolute depths of the pores and skin as soon as they're created, along with ahead of they are able to do injury.
It is clinically demonstrated which hot chocolate butter will certainly keep pores and skin degradation a result of the harmful consequences from the UV light in the rays of the sun -- UV rays builds cost-free radicals which are very effective in doing damage to pores and skin. Merely go through the influence connected with sunburn! However, there is additional in order to hot chocolate butter than which.
It contains a substantial percentage connected with vitamins as well as lime scale, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper along with metal, all of which come in a highly bioavailable style which make them far better which business vitamins. Not just that, though. Furthermore, it contains tryptophan, involved in the development connected with serotonin, your 'feel good' neurotransmitter, and also dopamine along with phenylethylamine, many beneficial materials. It is a mental faculties food as well as food to your pores and skin.
Health Benefits Of Fish Oil
November 01, 2013 10:44 AM
Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids that play a crucial role in performance and health throughout life. The omega-3 nutrients, containing EPA and DHA, are most frequently linked with heart health although they accomplish far much than that.
Some of the important health benefits of the omega-3 supplementation to the young, the old and everybody in between include:
1. Improved synthesis of proteins
The omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their consequences on heart health and inflammation even though they really have powerful effects on boosting protein synthesis. Out of the 2 most essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, it seems EPA has the more significant effects in the synthesis of proteins.
2. Reduced breakdown of proteins
Decreasing protein breakdown and/or increasing protein synthesis leads to muscle growth. The EPA plays 2 unique functions in the growth of muscles. It reduces protein breakdown and increases protein synthesis by acting on Totally different mechanisms in metabolism of muscles.
3. Improved immune function
It is a huge disappointment when a person gets sidelined from his or nutrition and training program because he or she is sick. Fish oil plays an important function in performance and fitness. This is because it supports the white blood cells (major cells in immunity) function.
4. Enhanced sensitivity of the insulin
Excessive adipose tissue (body fat) interrupts the ability of the body to maintain the sensitivity of insulin and control blood sugar level in fat tissue and muscle. The omega-3 fatty acids can improve insulin sensitivity if supplemented in the diet.
5. Enhanced delivery of nutrients to the cells
Increased intakes of omega-3 supplements actually alter the composition of cell membrane. Higher levels of omega-3 in cell membrane facilitates the passage of nutrients out and in of the cell.
The capacity of omega-3 fatty acids to enhance metabolism is less proven than theoretical. However, as the health of a cell improves during nutrient delivery, the rate of metabolic rate of the cell is also enhanced.
7. Decreased inflammation
The omega-3s are renowned for their benefits to heart health. When fish oil is consumed at effective amounts, they have positive effects on the inflammatory of the body.
8. Enhanced brain health
The DHA, component of omega-3 fatty acids, play an important function in brain health. It is transmitted from the expectant mother the unborn child, and is crucial for the developing brain.
9. Decreased Triglyceride levels
The EPA has been proven to support lower levels of Triglyceride.References
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
February 29, 2012 07:39 AM
Why Involving Lutein In Your Diet Is Important
The sense ofsight is very important because it allows us to see things and appreciate its beauty and we have our eyes to thank for that. Our eyes are being used every waking second of our lives so that we can see the world around us and be able to do things that we want to do. But the sad thing is that our eyes just like any other organ in our bodies get damaged if we do not take care of it properly. There are a lot of people who have regret their terrible sense of sight because of not taking care of it properly while others regret Totally losing their sight. There are plenty of ways to take care of your eyesight and one of the most important things to do is to eat food that has the nutrient lutein.
Where is lutein found?
Lutein is a carotenoid that is normally found in fruits, vegetables or anything that comes from plants. It is normally seen as a yellow discoloration but there are times when a vegetable has so much lutein that it ends up having the color orange. Xantophyll where lutein is found was first thought to be a side effect of plants not having enough chlorophyll but further studies suggests that xantophyll has its own purpose and it is used to protect plants from the harsh blue light that comes from the sun. The sun releases a spectrum of light and among this entire light spectrum, the blue light has the most energy and it can damage the plants and it is the job of the xantophyll to absorb the blue light to prevent damage.
What Does Lutein Do?
When lutein is taken is ingested by a person, the lutein makes its way to the macula lutea of the eye. This is the main reason why the color of the macula is yellowish. The job of the macula is to absorb the blue and ultraviolet light that comes from the sun to prevent eye damage. When there is a lack of lutein, the macula is not able to absorb as much blue light which allows the blue light to reach the retina. This leads to damage on the retina which can lead to having impaired vision.
Food Sources Of Lutein
Lutein can be found in the most common fruits and vegetables that you find in the market today. One of the best sources of lutein is carrots which can only that what your parents said about carrots being good for your eyes are true. Other vegetables where lutein can be found include spinach, squash, corn, broccoli and other green vegetables. In fruits, lutein can be found from the citrus family and this includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons and some fruits from different families like peaches and papaya. There is one animal source of lutein and they are found in egg yolks. The only down side of egg yolks is the fact that it contains a lot of cholesterol which is bad for the body. Make sure you have enough lutein to protect the condition of your eyes.
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to Totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
What Causes Glycine Malabsorption?
September 09, 2011 04:33 PM
Glycine is known to be the smallest amino acid in the human body and it is present in both water and fatty based environments. This has been one of the most researched amino acid to date and most results indicate that it has an important role in normal bodily function maintenance. It has the ability to supply collagen to the human body as one of its main functions. Studies have also found that glycine is also used to build both fibrous and muscle tissues which is why it has been used as a treatment for degenerative diseases. Aside from this main function glycine also plays such a wide range of roles in other bodily functions as it is playing a part in numerous system processes, from aiding in blood sugar conversion to affecting the nervous system it truly has made itself essential to the body.
That is why any malabsorption or lowering of glycine levels in the body can cause harmful and detrimental effects in any person’s well being. Furthermore, it also has been proven in many studies that glycine has an antioxidant effect which aids in the body’s war against free radicals. In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of glycine, so much so that some food products have been fortified with it just to up their value in the consumer’s eyes as they know that America is getting more and more health conscious as the days go by. Since the body is capable of producing this substance it is considered as a non essential amino acid. It is seldom that the body will Totally run out of this substance however lowered levels due to various reasons are absolutely possible. Which brings me back to how is malabsorption of Glycine caused.
Glucose and Galactose Presence
Studies have been done to show how glycine absorption can be impaired and what they were able to find out is that there is a competition between forms of sugar like glucose and galactose and glycine for intestinal transport. The results show that there was a decrease in absorption of both substances whenever the other is present. For glycine the drop in absorption was over 50 percent and for the sugars there was also significant decrease in uptake and absorption. What this entails in the real world is that regions with high carbohydrate diets maybe affected and may have cases of Glycine absorption impairment more so than other regions with lower carbohydrate diets however this is not taking into account any gastrointestinal damage that may also affect glycine absorption.
In cases that a person has gone through surgery they may suffer from Glycine malabsorption, this is not something to be that worried about as anesthesia is not consistently present in the body and realistically very few individuals have surgery often and surgery that requires anesthesia I might add. Studies have shown that local anesthesia is the one that is more harmful to glycine absorption compared to general anesthesia.
If you have a glycine malabsorption problem, supplementing with the amino acid will help restore these low levels. Grab some glycine and feel the difference it can make in your energy.
Fight Anxiety Disorders Naturally
December 14, 2010 04:27 PM
Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?
Before considering how to test for anxiety disorders and discussing natural supplements that can help we should first discuss what anxiety disorders are - what the term means and if there are degrees of anxiety disorders as there are of depression and stress. First, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress and it is anxiety that makes you worry about the consequences of not studying for an exam - so you study. It focuses you on problems so that you will be more likely to solve them, and helps you to perform better whatever you are doing. However, it can get out of hand and these positive mental processes become negative anxiety disorders.
With some people, anxiety becomes a dread of situations that were once everyday occurrences and can make your life a misery. Here are some forms of anxiety disorder.
Typical Anxiety Disorders
General Anxiety Disorder
Its symptoms include excessive sweating, worry, headaches, irritability, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension in your muscles. It can lead to substance abuse and deep depression if left untreated.
These are three typical forms of anxiety, but how do you test for anxieties? Here are some tests that are used, beginning with the easiest - doing it yourself!
Testing for Anxiety Disorders
Many that believe they may have an anxiety disorder either tend to panic or go into a depression. It is far better to carry out a self-test. This anxiety test is very simple: simply tick which of the symptoms below you have experienced in the past six months:
I can't relax
I am always worried about something.
I get headaches for no apparent reason
I frequently sweat a lot and get hot flashes
I have no time for anybody and am easily annoyed
I find it hard to sleep and I often wake up during the night
My attention keeps wandering and I can't focus on anything
I sometimes get so worried I want to be sick or have a lump in my throat
If you have ticked more than three then perhaps you should pay your doctor a visit, or try some of the recommendations below.
b) Doctors' Tests
If you feel you might be suffering some form of anxiety disorder you should consult your doctor, particularly if you have tried the self test above and it indicates that you might be. Your doctor might carry out various tests for your general health, and if it is felt necessary you may be asked about your family history: is there any history of mental problems in the family, particularly with your mother or father.
Other questions may appertain to your own physical and mental background, such as have you been stressed for any reason lately, have you suffered anxiety or panic attacks in the past and what is your normal use of prescription and non-prescription medications and drugs. Do you smoke, drink or take any social drugs.
It is important that you are Totally honest: the doctor is not judging you, simply trying to find the cause of your problem. Under the terms of their oath they cannot divulge anything you tell them to anyone else, so be honest and let them help you. Among the tests you will be given will be to declare all your history of anxiety-related symptoms. To achieve that, you will be asked a series of questions while the doctor assesses your mental condition.
Finally, you may be referred to a psychiatrist who will be able to help you more than your doctor. Psychiatrists have a good record in resolving anxiety disorders, but once you are diagnosed positively, what then? Chemical drugs? Or perhaps you would prefer something more natural such as herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Here are the more commonly used of these:
Passion flower contains the active substances maltol and ethylmaltol that your body's biochemistry uses to increase the concentration of GABA (gamma-butyric acid) in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms you and helps you to relax and forget anything that is making you anxious. It relieves muscle tension, can lower your blood pressure and some equate its effect to that of Valium: although it is Totally different chemically it is similar in its effect. It offers a sedative effect and helps you sleep.
Kava Kava root
Kava kava. Generally just referred to as kava, comes from the Pacific and the kavalactones it contains increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in your vascular system, particularly serotonin, the feel-good substance. Its sedative effects have been likened to that of alcohol, and it can certainly give you a lift and certainly helps you worry less as it reduces the negative symptoms of stress and depression.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is a well-known anti-depressant and it can also help reduce the symptom of anxiety. The hyperforin the plant contains helps to improve the brain's content of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that make you feel good, and St. John's wort certainly washes away your anxiety. Not only that, but the napththodianthrone in another of its important components, hypericin, promotes a reduction in depression through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase, a pro-depressive enzyme.
An extract of valerian root can help you to relax and sleep well, and this can often be enough to prevent your anxiety attacks. A lot depends on their cause, but if the attacks are mild and don't require extensive medical or psychiatric intervention, then valerian can help, particularly in treating stress-related anxiety. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because valerian can be dangerous if taken to excess.
The four herbal remedies above should between them be all you need to treat your anxiety. One major problem is that, just like any chemical drugs, they only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause which is something you and your physician will have to work on yourselves.
However, until then, the above herbal remedies for anxiety disorders are generally safer to use than prescription drugs and each has a well proven effect, both on the symptoms of anxiety and on depression.
Turmeric, Curcumin, And Good Health
November 11, 2010 03:48 PM
Turmeric and its historyTurmeric is not just an ancient Asian spice but also an effective traditional alternative medicine used worldwide. Turmeric is a spice that originates in India and has been long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. This spice comes from the herb Curcuma longa L. which is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, a part of the ginger family of herbs called Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of this plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning and the main ingredient in curry powders. Ground Turmeric is also the source of Curcumin, an extracted potent substance also used as alternative medicine nowadays.
Turmeric, because of its Curcumin content, has many health benefits to humans. Firstly, Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, has been proven to help reduce inflammation. Decade to decade, Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammations of the skin and muscles. Experiments done by researchers also revealed that this herb has been effective in decreasing post-surgical inflammation. This important health benefit of Turmeric is considered to be a result of the herb’s ability to slow down, if not to Totally stop, Eicosanoid Biosynthesis, one of the processes the immune system undergoes during an inflammatory response.
Secondly, as a result of its anti-inflammatory characteristic, Turmeric also has an anti-arthritic property. It is widely used as an alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In addition, this herb also has a natural painkiller effect. Studies show that it has similar actions to the commonly used medications such as COX-2 inhibitor and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that Turmeric is also helpful in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood known as the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and in increasing the body’s good cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. An increased level of LDL promotes cholesterol plaque deposits to the walls of blood vessels, most commonly in the arteries of heart. These plaques narrow the arterial diameter hence resulting to high blood pressure and even circulation blockage. An arterial block may cause poor circulation and oxygenation to heart muscles leading to cardiac injury then infarction. This is oftentimes the cause of heart attacks. It has also been discovered that Turmeric can promote excretion of dietary fats. Thus, controlling the intestinal uptake of fats, especially cholesterol.
Turmeric - Powerful AntioxidantLastly, Turmeric is also widely used because of its anti-oxidant property. Studies demonstrate that Turmeric is effective in eliminating free radicals in the body. These free radicals are harmful. It may cause cell mutations which can lead to tumor formation and, worse, cancer.
This herbal plant can be prepared in the household by pounding and pressing its roots to be able to extract the juice out. It is then mixed with water and may be used topically or by nasal inhalation. The root can also be lightly cooked and eaten. Turmeric is also helpful in earaches and to clear clogged sinuses thus easing breathing. This herb can also be purchased in bulk powder or standardized forms to ensure its beneficial properties are intact.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is Totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
January 26, 2009 01:26 PM
When the immune system is compromised or nutrition is below standards, yeast organisms, including Candida Albicans, can invade the body and cause a whole variety of miserable symptoms. A yeast infection is a generally misunderstood condition which thrives in warm-blooded animals. With 900 species of yeast existing, the candida variety is the one that we have to deal with. Candida is similar to the type of yeast that is used to make bread. It is an oval-shaped microorganism that can reproduce rapidly by budding. Candida is unable to thrive on its own, with almost everyone having intestinal candida colonies. It is actually one of many organisms that thrive in our intestinal flora.
Normally, yeasts live in harmony with us thanks to a delicate balance of bacterial types. However, a yeast infection results when a certain set of physiological circumstances encourage the growth of more yeast. A lot of people experience a sensitivity to yeast in specific mucous membranes where the climate is moist and favorable such as the mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
It is unknown as to why exactly we have yeast in our bodies. After death, yeast organisms are responsible for initiating the work it takes to decompose our remains. When yeast organisms are able to flourish, a lot of systemic reactions take place, with some seeming unrelated, but together, making us feel downright lousy. The presence of yeast infections often suggests that our overall health may be somewhat weakened or our immune system may be compromised.
The human body possesses a variety of microorganisms that have to compete for nourishment. A health and properly maintained system causes these life forms to live in a harmonious balance with each other. Our skin and intestinal tracts provide the perfect home for these bacteria and fungi, as they release certain toxins and provide population control for each other. This biological balance can be easily offset when a number of factors exist. The development of yeast infection is often the first sign that we are not in overall good health.
Candida releases powerful poisons as it multiplies which circulate in the bloodstream and cause a variety of symptoms and disorders. The organisms can cause chemical reactions in the body and interfere with the body’s ability to destroy them. It can also produce a type of false estrogen that signals enough estrogen production, causing estrogen production to be inhibited. Candida Albicans is a very serious disease if it is allowed to thrive and is left untreated. Now as common as premenstrual syndrome, the two diseases even seem to go hand-in-hand, producing similar symptoms. Candida can invade a variety of body tissues and cause inflammation at the site. It typically attacks the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, prostate gland, skin, and finger or toenails.
The majority of the time we are Totally unaware that yeast colonies occupy our bodies. However, if we come down with a yeast infection we can be sure that there is something else going on that will encourage uncontrolled yeast production. Three out of every four adult females will experience at least one episode of Candida, with most of these suffering from a recurrent infection.
Several physiological conditions which make us susceptible to a yeast infection include faulty nutrition, antibiotic therapy, a compromised immune system, and hormonal changes of pregnancy and PMS. Fortunately, natural alternative yeast cleanse formulas are available to help reduce the occurrence of bad yeast all of which are available at your local or internet health food store.
December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are Totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.
There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.
The active ingredient was isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.
Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.
The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.
It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, glycogen, that is stored in the liver.
A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.
ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.
It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of serotonin.
Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.
Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.
Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.
If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.
Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.
No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but Totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
July 18, 2008 12:36 PM
You can be sure that a supplement has some remarkable therapeutic possibilities when it makes headlines on the five o’clock news. A recent experiment which showed the conditions of rats that had been fed a diet that was Totally deficient in vitamin E tested alpha lipoic acid, which caused the rats to return to full health even though no vitamin E was replenished. The results of this test are profound, as giving these rats an alpha lipoic acid caused existing stores of vitamin E that the body was previously unable to use to be regenerated.
Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that has been used in Europe for a long period of time. It has recently emerged as an extremely impressive therapeutic agent that scavenges free-radicals. Recent studies have suggested that it has the ability to stop some degenerative diseases, the oxidative process of aging, and restores the health of diseased organs. Additionally, it has the ability to make up deficits of vitamin E or C and could potentially be one of the best treatments that have emerged for diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is considered to be more potent than vitamins E and C, as well as coenzyme Q10. Unlike other antioxidants, ALA has properties that make it superior because it is able to replace certain nutritional supplements, while potentiating others, and inhibiting tissues from deterioration that is associated with diseases. This supplement is also both fat and water soluble, which allows it to protect lipid and aqueous cell structures.
Alpha lipoic acid is a compound that is synthesized in small amounts in the body, but can also be supplied from food or supplement sources. A vitamin-like substance, it contains sulfur and also plays a crucial role in energy reactions. It can be found in liver, yeast, spinach, organ meats, broccoli, red potatoes, and red meat. When it is orally ingested, alpha lipoic acid is not compromised in the GI tract or the liver.
Numerous studies have been conducted on ALA, all of which confirm its positive effect on metabolic processes, with recent clinical tests supporting its ability to enhance free-radical protection, slow the aging process, and guard against a variety of degenerative diseases. ALA was discovered in the 1930s, where it was originally classified as a vitamin, and later categorized as an essential coenzyme when scientists discovered that it was involved in the energy processes of cell mitochondria. It wasn’t until 1988 that scientists found that it also has powerful antioxidant effects.
Alpha lipoic acid is important because it protects us from free-radicals which are present in a body as a result of the number of toxic substances such as auto exhaust, tobacco smoke, pollution, preservatives, and additives that we are exposed to on a daily basis. These free radicals can actually accelerate the aging process, causing premature tissue breakdown to occur. Additionally, our environment will continue to surround us with these pollutants that create free radicals.
There are things we can do to minimize our health risks, which include exercising, eating nutritiously, and not smoking. However, these measures are rarely enough to decrease our risk for certain degenerative disease a substantial amount. ALA is beneficial because it scavenges oxidants that are left behind and helps to convert carbohydrates, fatty acids and protein to energy that is needed to drive muscle movements.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be Totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
May 06, 2008 05:14 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is regarded as being natural antibiotic that is effective against a broad range of bacterial infections. It has also been used to treat parasitic infections and a range of viral infections as well as having found uses for a wide variety of medical conditions.
So what is it about grapefruit seed that is so special? Most people are acquainted with grapefruit, which as a member of the citrus family of fruits, and not to be confused with grapes which are a Totally different type of plant. Grape seed extract is also a useful natural medication, but used for Totally different conditions.
Because of its efficacy against parasitic and viral infections, grapefruit seed extract is very useful in treating various forms of food poisoning. But, how was this remarkable property of the simple grapefruit seed noticed? The answer to that depends very much upon what version of the story of Einstein Laureate physicist and immunologist Dr. Jacob Harich you believe.
Dr. Harich was not only a scientist but a hobby gardener in Florida, and the two versions of his story tell either that he decided to investigate why grapefruit seeds tasted so bitter, or why the grapefruit seeds in his compost heap failed to compost, or rot. Whichever story is correct, and perhaps both are, the result was the discovery that grapefruit seeds appeared to be a very effective antibiotic.
In fact it has been shown to be effective against over 800 strains of bacteria and viruses and also effective against many fungi that lead to illness in humans. Because of this it is used in cased of food poisoning that involve bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact during the latter part of the 1980s, grapefruit seed extract was tested against a number of known antibiotics and found to be as effective as any of them. Similar results obtained in a number of tests in the USA and elsewhere in the world, and it appears that it is an excellent treatment for the symptoms of food poisoning.
Not only that, but it has been found effective in the treatment of some immunodeficiency diseases, presumably because its antimicrobial properties does much of the work that the immune system would normally do, and so relieves it of much of its hard work. This allows the immune system to concentrate on conditions which are exacerbated by deficiencies in its operation.
Bifidobacteria and Loactobacilli are bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive system. The measure of a good broad spectrum antibiotic is that it does not affect the beneficial bacteria, and grapefruit seed extract has no effect on the former and only a mildly inhibiting effect on the latter. It is also non toxic to humans, which is another measure of a good antibiotic. You would have to drink about two pints of the extract, around 4000 time the normal dose, for the treatment to be potentially fatal.
Among the many uses of the extract are not only in controlling gastrointestinal infections, but also general fungal conditions of the skin, vaginal infections and yeast infections, and also colds and sore throats. It is also believed to support the immune system, not only by its antimicrobial properties but through its effect on intestinal health upon which much of our immune system is dependent. It can also protect patients with symptoms of AIDs and other immunodeficiency conditions from infection.
Its effect on yeast infections around the nether regions of small children has been documented, and it has also been found to be very safe to young children. In fact many mothers have it as a permanent addition to their medicine cabinet.
It is not that long ago when doctors believed all diseases to be due to bacteria or viruses. It is now becoming clear that a large proportion is actually due to fungal infections and parasites. Many conditions such as allergies, circulatory disease and some forms of arthritis have been shown to be due to fungal infections that weaken the immune system. Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be effective in treating many types of fungal disease.
In using the extract in this way, and to treat bacterial infections, it is best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it. This is because when fungi and bacteria are destroyed they release toxins, and too high a dose could result in too much toxin being produced for your body to handle. If you take it gradually you will get the same result, but without the risk of the nausea and diarrhea which the toxins can cause.
Despite all of these benefits, grapefruit extract has not been given the credit it deserves, and much research has still to be done to establish the constituents of the seed that confer these properties. Among these are known to be proanthocyanadins, a class of flavanols with strong antioxidant properties, and a diphenol hydroxybenzene complex that destroys bacteria through the cytoplasmic membrane to prevent the uptake of amino acids and cause leakage of the cell contents. Other active components are Vitamins C and E, tocopherols, limonoids and sterols, in addition to a number of important minerals.
However, there is still much work to be done, although the extract will continue to be used by many devotees for the treatment, not only of food poisoning symptoms, but also of conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, gingivitis, cold sores, sinusitis and parasitic infections. It appears to be practically a cure-all.
There appear to be no drug interactions, although some medications do react with grapefruit juice, such as some treatments for high blood pressure. If your treatment advises you not to take grapefruit juice, then do not take grapefruit seed extract. Another factor to be aware of is that since the extract is an effective bactericide, then it could deplete the digestive tract of friendly bacteria essential for digestion. You are advised, therefore, to take a supplement of acidophilus, which is easily taken in the form of yoghurt type drinks specifically formulated or dietary supplement for the purpose.
Fat Controls our hunger centers in the brain!
April 04, 2008 11:28 AM
The main cause of any chronic disease of aging including Type II diabetes, CV disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer are all caused by miss communication between signals that tell your body how to turn energy into life and the brain. The two most important signals that we know of today are given by the hormones insulin and leptin.
Leptin is an extremely powerful and influential hormone that is produced by fat cells. It has Totally changed the way scientific researchers look at fat, nutrition, and metabolism in general. Before leptin’s discovery in 1994, fat was regarded as strictly an ugly energy store that most everyone was trying to get rid of. However, after it was discovered that leptin is actually produced by fat, fat became an endocrine organ similar to the ovaries, pancreas, and pituitary, as it influences the rest of the body, especially the brain.
Leptin is the most powerful regulator known to date of eating and reproduction. Your fat tells your brain whether you should be hungry or eat and make more fat, whether you should reproduce and make babies, or whether to maintain and repair yourself. It can then be stated that instead of your brain being in control of your body, your body, especially its fat and leptin, controls your brain.
Throughout history, it has been in ones best interest to store some fat to call upon during times of famine. However, it is also just as bad to be too fat. For most of our history, it was necessary to run, hunt, and avoid being prey. Therefore, fat storage had to be highly regulated and it still is. When a person typically tries to lose weight, the body tries to gain it back, resulting in what is commonly known as yo-yo dieting. Because of this, it has long been theorized that there is a “set point” and there must be a hormone that determines this.
Science now believes that leptin is that hormone. So in order to break the yo-yo cycle, one must control leptin. If a person is getting too fat, the extra fat produces more leptin that is suppose to tell the brain there is too much fat stored and the excess should be burned. Signals are then sent to the hypothalamus to stop being hungry, stop eating, stop storing fat, and start burning off some extra fat. Controlling hunger is a major way that leptin controls energy storage. Hunger is a very powerful drive that will make you do all you can to eat if it is stimulated long enough.
The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry and the only way to do this is to control the hormones that regulate hunger. The primary hormone that does this is leptin. It has recently been found that leptin not only changes brain chemistry, but can also rewire the neurons in areas of the brain that control hunger and metabolism to do its bidding. The inability of the body to hear leptin’s signals plays significant and even primary roles in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, cancer, and even the rate of aging itself.
In a process called glycation, glucose reacts with protein which results in sticky, sugar-damaged proteins called advanced glycated end products, or AGEs for short. When protein is damaged, it can’t function or communicate properly. AGEs promote excessive inflammation and free radical damage. AGEs and free radicals from oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms that cause damage which leads to aging. AGEs cause skin and the lining of arteries to wrinkle and inflame, which contributes to plaque and heart attacks. They can also promote the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration leading eventually to blindness.
The glycation process has also been connected with the destruction of proteins and nerve cells that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and a variety of neuropathies. Glycation and oxidation are two of the major molecular mechanisms where damage accrues, disease occurs, and death results. High blood sugar can suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection and cancer. Highly aggressive cancers outpace the availability of oxygen and therefore must use an anaerobic fuel, in the form of glucose. By consuming glucose (sugar), we feed cancer. Lastly, high blood levels of sugar form non-fiber carbohydrates and excess protein send leptin and insulin levels upward.
If there is a known marker for long life, it is low insulin levels. Insulin’s purpose is not only to regulate blood sugar, but to store excess energy for future times of need. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels as a side effect from storing it away, not regulating it. Today, high glucose is quite normal, as our insulin levels are typically much higher than they were among our ancestors. When you are constantly bombarding your cells with insulin, they become insulin resistant. This causes insulin levels to rise, creating a hormonal derangement that has a catastrophic effect on the metabolism.
High insulin contributes to making you fat because it tells your cells to store nutrients as fat rather than to burn it. Repeated high levels of insulin cause insulin resistance. The more fat the body accumulates the more leptin the body can produce so fat works against to slow down insulin production causing insulin resistance..
High insulin causes the retention of sodium, fluid retention, excretion of magnesium, elevated blood pressure, cognitive heart failure, blood clotting, and arterial plaque formation. Heart attacks are much more likely to happen after a meal that is high in carbohydrates than after one that is high in fat. This triggers a stress response which can cause arterial spasm, constriction of arteries, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and sudden death. Insulin resistance along with low magnesium keeps you from metabolizing important fatty acids that are vital to your heart health in general.
As critical as insulin is in your health, leptin may even be more so. Leptin plays a significant role in obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. But there are clues as to how to live a long and healthy life which brings us back to fat and leptin and our need to control it. One can control their insulin production and fat by dietary changes and blood sugar supplements.
Healthy Skin Needs Natural Mineral Makeup
March 25, 2008 11:47 AM
For those of you women who want healthy skin but can’t seem to go without a little blush and eye shadow, there’s makeup made from pure minerals that can present your face a natural alternative to the drugstore cosmetics. This mineral makeup opens up a world of makeup that is both natural and stylish. There are five main reasons to begin using mineral makeup immediately.
First of all, mineral makeup lets your skin breathe. Regular makeup can lead to ugly breakouts for a lot of women. This is because a woman’s skin can be very picky about what is put on it. Anything that is too heavy will block pores and potentially lead to pimple development. Mineral makeup is extremely light, which makes it a popular option among women with sensitive skin. This lightness also means that you can occasionally wear the makeup to bed without paying the price the following morning. However, it is not suggested that you wear the makeup to bed.
Mineral makeup feels better than regular makeup. Some makeup formulations can leave you feeling extremely oily. A lot of women who use mineral makeup are finding that the uncomfortable mask-like greasy feel of traditional makeup is not there. Without the mineral oils, talc, and other weighty ingredients that are found in traditional makeup products, mineral makeup is a lot more comfortable. If your complexion is oily to begin with, mineral-based products are especially helpful.
Thirdly, mineral makeup is better for your health. Although your skin is a great barrier to the outside world, it isn’t Totally immune from impurities. You can and do absorb a good amount of stuff through your skin, including the chemical ingredients that are found in regular makeup such as alcohol, dyes, fragrances, and fillers. Mineral makeup is made up of mostly finely pulverized minerals and natural coloring agents. Zinc is a common ingredient, as it soothes red, inflamed skin, and provides protection against the sun’s UV rays.
Mineral makeup also helps you to avoid infections. This is a lesser known, but definitely appealing fact. Regular makeup can become a Petri dish for microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and yeast. By nature, minerals are inorganic and therefore, are a lot less likely to breed these microorganisms. However, that assumes that you follow beauty hygiene basics like washing your hands before working on your face, using clean brushes, and maintaining a reasonably sanitary area to store your cosmetics.
Lastly, mineral makeup allows you to look your best. Most of you are probably thinking that it is nice that mineral makeup won’t ruin your skin, but will it really do what it’s suppose to do in the first place as a makeup. The answer is yes. Minerals refract light, which gives your face a glow while still making crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles less noticeable. Many brands also supply a complete line of products, which include blush, bronzer, concealer, eye color, and foundation. This allows you to achieve a full range of skin effects. To use mineral makeup, it is best to apply it in very sheer layers. To learn more about mineral makeup, contact your local health food store.
Big Pharma Plays God, Stealing and Altering Pant Compounds making Synthetic Drugs
January 02, 2008 02:24 PM
It has been claimed by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA) that the pharmaceutical companies are formulating their pharma drugs using natural plant-derived substances. This is not Totally groundbreaking news, of course, since the whole pharmaceutical industry was based on natural products such as aspirin, derived from willow bark, and antibiotics derived from the penicillin mold.
While there is nothing wrong with them doing this, there are signs of their increasing lobbying to limit the supply of supplements so that Big Pharma can monopolize the production and supply of all supplements and remedies, natural or synthetic. What is disturbing is that bills such as the Adverse Event Reporting Bill, passed by Congress in February 2007 as the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act, could conceivably place greater powers into the hands of the large pharmaceutical companies to restrict the sales of natural products that are not part of their ‘approved’ prescription range.
This Act requires users and distributors of over the counter and non-prescriptive natural remedies to report any adverse effects that they believe have been caused by the remedy they are using. What this does is to require untrained people to make medical decisions as to what is causing their adverse reaction.
A patient taking several prescription drugs and a vitamin supplement might naturally assume that it is the vitamin that is causing their reaction, since they will believe the drugs to be safe. Hence they will report the vitamin supplement as being the cause. Since the act does not oblige them to report reactions from prescription drugs, then this opens the door for Big Pharma to hijack plant compounds, and then alter them to make synthetic drugs.
The position of the FDA in all of this is dubious since that body has already made many decisions that favor the large pharma companies rather than the consumer, or producers of herbal remedies.
However, there is also the opposite view that the supplement industry is unregulated, and some degree of control is long overdue. While it is difficult to argue against this, it is the form of control that is in question and also the reasons behind it.
The pharmaceutical companies have long gained through America’s ill health, and it is to their advantage for Americans to become ill or suffer from the chronic diseases that come with a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of fast foods. The industry’s short-sighted approach has been to wait until people become ill and then treated them with expensive drug, rather than prevention that would ultimate lose them customers for their products.
A happy and healthy community, regularly taking supplements that keep them fit and well, is not to the advantage of pharmaceutical companies that prefer a depressed, unfit and sick American population to which they can sell their products. Hence the smear campaigns in the press regarding ‘uncontrolled’ natural remedies, untold bills in Congress, and what could end up as the ultimate revocation of our freedom to consume the natural products of our choice.
If we are taking two or three prescription drugs for a heart condition or to reduce the cholesterol levels in our body, and also an Omega-3 fatty acids capsule, we are urged to report the capsule if we have any side effects from the cocktail. Presumably on the basis that the drugs have been approved by the FDA, and so cannot possibly cause any side effects in us. A fish oil capsule is hardly likely to cause a heart attack, but many prescription drugs can if badly prescribed. However, it is the capsule that is likely to be fingered, banned and then included in a pharmaceutical product that is cleared by the FDA.
Those that take over the counter supplements, vitamins and herbal remedies are a threat and it is difficult not to become cynical about the intentions of such Acts of Congress and the people behind them. True, the supplement and herbal industry probably does require some form of regulation, but to phrase this in such a way as to require medically untrained people to report what they perceive as being the adverse effects of supplements rings of an intention to regulate by restriction or even banning.
When that occurs, Big Pharma will take these products and fashion them into expensive prescriptive drugs that are then approved for use by the FDA. What we were at one time able to purchase from our local health store we would now have to purchase at several times the price through prescription.
The health benefits of natural nutritional supplements are well documented, and the industry are now using methods to ensure standardization of the active ingredients where possible. However, this is not always possible with foodstuffs that do not always grow in standardized ways.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed by Congress in 1994 to protect and preserve our rights to healthy supplementation of our diets with natural products of our choice. The FDA has systematically failed to enforce this and prosecute synthetic manufacturers who have not kept to the law. The FDA does not need new powers, but the funding to implement those already in existence.
Lobbying in Congress by interested parties should not be allowed to undermine the rights of all Americans of the freedom to consume the products that will provide them with a healthier lifestyle. The DHSEA is all that is needed to preserve this and to protect consumers from Big Pharma and their need to create conditions conducive to an increasing need for their products.
Yes, the health supplements industry likely needs some form of regulation to ensure standardization of products as far as is possible, but the way to do this is not to place medical decisions into the hands of the untrained. Do not forget that these are natural products, available freely from nature in fruit, vegetable and animal products, and are not synthesized in a laboratory as many of today’s drugs are.
However, give them a free rein, and Big Pharma will hijack these natural products, change them and then sell them to us at highly inflated prices to do the job that already do for us: keep us healthy.
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.
The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.
Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can Totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.
Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diterpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.
It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.
Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.
In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.
This indicates a reduction in glycogenolysis, by which glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from glycogen and carbohydrates.
However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.
Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.
It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?
Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.
Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.
It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.
Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!
For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.
One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.
It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.
Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its sweetness.
It is Totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.
Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.
7-Keto, The Next Dhea With No Side Effects
November 10, 2007 12:24 PM
7-Keto is a natural derivative of DHEA that is claimed to be free from many of the side-effects of regular DHEA supplements. DHEA is dehydroepiandosterone, which is the most abundantly produced of the adrenal hormones. After production in and release into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands that are situated just over the kidneys, DHEA undergoes metabolism to the male androgen hormones, and the female estrogens.
As you age, the production DHEA declines, starting at about 30, with a 50% decline by time you reach 40 and almost 85% at 70. This is true of the levels of many hormones in the body, though some, like the steroidal aldosterone, remain constant throughout life. The general rate of metabolism also reduces with age resulting in an even lower conversion rate of DHEA to the male and female hormones.
At the same time as this occurs, there also occurs a significant reduction in the biosynthesis of protein in the body, which results in a loss of muscle mass as you age, and also in the regeneration of bone tissue that results in what is commonly termed age-related osteoporosis. Brain cells die at an increasing rate leading to many neurological conditions and the immune system is also affected negatively.
Due to the concurrence of these aging effects, many scientists have related the general hormonal decline with the other effects of aging. The have asserted that if these hormones were restored, than many of the effects of aging could be delayed. Osteoporosis would be delayed due to the body’ s increased ability to restore lost bone mass, the metabolic rate would improve and fat would be burned at a faster rate and continue to build muscle, the brain would lose its functionality at a significantly lower rate and the immune system would continue to protect the body against disease.
In other words we might be able to live longer, but if not that then at least the quality of life would be maintained longer as we aged. This is a very welcome and desirable situation, but the taking of hormones as supplements has long been regarded as fraught with danger due to the possibility of undesirable side effects, some of them potentially very serious. DHEA was considered as one of these hormones that could be used as a supplement to achieve positive results in reducing these age-related changes because it exhibited these effects in tests on animals.
However, in order that a specific substance can be declared responsible for any metabolic improvement that involves liver biochemistry, some form of receptor has to be identified, and this failed to materialize in DHEA. There appears to be no such DHEA receptor, although that does not necessarily imply that DHEA is not responsible in some way. It might very well be a DHEA metabolite that is responsible, and that has still to be identified. It is certainly true that DHEA administered to both animal and human subjects has resulted in an increase in the testosterone and estrogen levels of the subjects. Such an increase is not desirable due to a number of potential side effects as previously inferred.
These are particularly liable to occur with people who already have an adequate level of natural DHEA production within their body. The side effects include acne, irregularity in the menstrual cycle, itchy scalp, increased body odor and an excess of androgenic hormones can lead to hair loss, or male pattern baldness. Interruptions in the heart rhythm, or palpitations, are another very serious side effect of DHEA supplementation, and high doses over a long period introduce a theoretical risk of certain cancers.
However, the discovery of 7-Keto, a natural derivative of DHEA claimed to be free from many of these side effects, has altered the situation. 7-Keto is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up the metabolism of fat and helps to reduce body weight. It also helps to replace lost fat with muscle mass, though it must be stated that this effect is only valid after the natural production of DHEA has slowed down. It is not a body-building supplement.
It was Professor Henry Lardy, of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, who tested over 150 DHEA metabolites over 10 years and identified 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone as having the greatest biochemical effect without having any detectable side effects. This material was trademarked 7-KETO by the Humanetics Corporation, and one of its known effects is to burn fat quicker by stimulating thermogenesis. It had also been shown to strengthen the immune system and to improve the memory. All of this without any measurable increase in any of the sex hormones. It was released after a careful and intensive series of safety tests on both humans and animals found it safe for human consumption.
It should be stressed that 7-Keto is not a hormone, and is not chemically the same as DHEA: it is a different chemical altogether that is produce when DHEA degrades in the body. Because of this it can be promoted as a non-androgenic or estrogenic form of DHEA. It is thought that all of the conditions that decline as we age that can benefit from a supplement of DHEA, will also benefit from a supplement of 7-Keto. However supplementation is only required from the ages of 25 – 30, when the natural amount of DHEA and 7-Keto in the body start to decline.
It causes neither high blood pressure nor any form of cancer, and was submitted to the FDA prior to being made publicly available. It is important to stress that the substance is neither a steroid nor does it metabolize to steroidal hormones, and is also not a sex hormone. It also has no effect on the body’s sex hormones. The whole point of 7-Keto is that it has the effect of DHEA without having any connection whatsoever with steroidal hormones or any hormonal substances. It is Totally innocuous and safe to use, without the risk of heart palpitations, lost hair or any of the other side effects of DHEA.
Without a doubt, 7-Keto is a DHEA substitute that has none of the side effects of its precursor. So if you are over the age of 30 and feel the need for an energy boost, give 7-keto a try.
Are Inflammation, Immunity, And Allergic Reactions A Role For Supplements?
November 10, 2007 11:29 AM
Inflammation, immunity diseases and allergic reactions are all connected with your immune system, and the way the body reacts to what it considers to be foreign invaders that are a risk to your health. Although you may not understand that all three have the basic underlying cause, in fact they do, and here is why.
Inflammation manifests as pain and swelling in the inflamed area, and not only can the area also get hot, but it can also raise your temperature in general, commonly called a fever. Fever is the body’s way of raising temperature above that at which foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses can live, so any inflammatory condition that results in fever by definition must be an immune response through the body trying to eliminate foreign invaders.
If your body gets injured in any way, your immune system responds, and usually calms down again if decides that the injury is not serious. Your immune system is actually initiated by what are known as pro-inflammatory hormones, such as prostaglandins that stimulate the nerves to signal pain and swell the blood vessels close to the injury to make room for the large white blood cells when they arrive. That also allows blood and plasma to rush out and cause swelling at the site of the injury. Other prostaglandins act to quell the immune response, and get your body back to normal.
Another such hormone is a cytokine, which informs the brain of the intrusion. Some cytokines called leukocytes stop the immune system when necessary to prevent the destruction of healthy tissue, and also halt the inflammatory response. If the leukocytes are not working properly, the body can be severely damaged as the immune system becomes uncontrolled and starts to attack healthy tissue.
Then there are the histamines that allow you to expel the agents causing the problem by sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and scratching. They lead lymphatic fluid and blood to the site of the problem in order that the invasion can be attacked and destroyed.
It is the histamines that provide what is commonly referred to as an allergic reaction, which is really the immune system coming into action to remove invaders such as pollen, dust mites and any other agent that can cause an allergy. Immunity is caused by introducing small amounts of the agent into the blood, so that the immune system can develop a memory of them. Then, when the same invader returns at a later date, the system can immediately attack them with the antibodies that have been produced.
All of these: inflammation, immunity and allergies, are caused by the reaction of the immune system to what it perceives as an invader. Normally these are bacteria and viruses, but sometimes they react to other foreign bodies such as pollen. In some people this provokes no response at all, while in others it provokes the immune system to create antibodies against the pollen, and emit histamine to expel it.
Substances that cause allergies are referred to as allergens. Many allergens are environmental, such as dust, pollen and peanuts. Some people are allergic to certain animals, such as cats or dogs, and others to chemicals in the air such as hydrocarbon emissions, particularly when in particulate form.
The symptoms can be simple, such as a runny nose, a cough and hay fever or more complex such as hives, eczema and asthma. All of these are caused by the immune system reacting to an invader. There are also foods that cause internal inflammation, such as shellfish and whitefish, eggs and tomatoes. Many of these can be extreme, leading to serious illness and can even be fatal. So what can be done to treat people who are particularly prone to inflammation and allergic reactions?
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce inflammation, unlike their Omega-6 cousins that appear to increase it. Omega-3 oils contain chemicals known as eicosanoids, of which the prostaglandins are an example. While this might seem paradoxical, since prostaglandins are what set off the whole process, there are many types of these. Prostaglandin E2 is the type that leads to allergic immune reactions, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the concentration of these in the blood.
Those who eat little fish tend to suffer more from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other conditions indicating a lack of control of the immune system. On the other hand, processed foods contain more omega-6 fatty acids that can promote these conditions. The major components of omega-3 oils are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and also DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. These are all anti-inflammatories and have been shown to have very positive effects on inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and eczema. Each of these is a different type of inflammatory condition caused by inappropriate immune response.
However, it not just fish oils that can help resolve problems with our immune system. Quercetin is what is known as a flavonoid. It is a strong anti-oxidant and natural anti-histamine that combats histamine release and the swelling associated with the immune response to allergens. It also counters the inflammatory agents of arthritis and so helps to reduce the pain associated with many of these conditions. It appears to work better in conjunction with bromelain, a very powerful anti-inflammatory that also possesses anti-allergen response properties. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple stems.
Another natural product is a resin extract that is obtained from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been recommended for the treatment of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteo), Crohn’s disease and has been suggested as a treatment for asthma, though studies are still under way. However, world wide experience is that Boswellia is effective against gout, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis, to name another three Totally different inflammatory conditions.
What all of this indicates are two things. First that inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are connected conditions, and due to either poor control over or an over stimulated immune response to what the body perceives as being abnormal, in the way that hormones and other chemicals that are used to control our immunity detect it to be.
Secondly, there are many natural products that can be used as supplements to treat these effects caused by the immune system, and that their effectiveness has been proven, if not by scientific study, then by generations of traditional application as treatments of the symptoms of the conditions concerned.
However, although many have been proved by scientific study, others have not, and you should always refer to your physician before undergoing any treatment other than that prescribed. Also, there is incontrovertible evidence that the role for supplements in the treatment of inflammation, immunity and allergic reactions are beneficial. Many use nothing else.
Lutein - A plant pigment provides sun protection from the inside out.
July 09, 2007 01:21 PM
A plant pigment provides sun protection from the inside out.
Energy on earth begins with the sun’s rays, which spark the photosynthesis in plants that ultimately powers all life. (Petroleum is the residue of prehistoric plants crushed over eons into liquid form.) But the sun’s energy is not Totally benign for us humans; excess exposure can cause skin to wrinkle and eyesight to dim.
Enter lutein. This plant chemical, reddish-orange like the setting sun, has become a hot commodity over the past several years because of its ability to protect both eyes and skin against sun damage. A member of the carotenoid family of nutrients, lutein is generally paired with its partner, Zeaxanthin, in a wide variety of foods, including egg yolks, fruits, corn and leafy greens such as spinach (where its bright color is masked by the green of chlorophyll). That’s a good thing, since your body can’t make lutein and so needs to obtain it from your diet.
The sun produces a whole spectrum of light rays, from the visible (red through violet) to the invisible or ultraviolet (UV). UV rays—both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB)—are troublemakers. They attack collagen, the protein that gives skin its shape, which leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging. What’s worse, UV is also capable of damaging skin cell DNA, a process that can promote cancer development. And UV isn’t the only culprit: The sun’s visible blue rays are believed to help create harmful molecules called free radicals within the skin.
The clue to lutein’s importance in fending off skin damage lies in the fact that it is found throughout both the outer (epidermis) and inner (dermis) skin layers, where as an antioxidant it fights free radicals and as an orange pigment it soaks up blue light. In one study, using lutein both orally and topically produced improvements in skin hydration and suppleness (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 4/19/07). Lutein has also shown an ability to counter the inflammation and immune system suppression associated with excess UV exposure (Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2/04).
What is it? A red orange carotenoid found in a number of fruits and vegetables, generally with a similar compound called Zeaxanthin.
What does it do? This powerful antioxidant helps protect the eyes against both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD); it also appears to defend the skin against sun damage and has been associated with reduced arterial wall thickness, a measure of cardiovascular health.
The Eyes Have It
Your eyes, like your skin, are directly exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Such exposure can cloud the eye’s lens to create cataracts. It can also disrupt the retina at the back of the eye particularly the macula, the part of the retina responsible for clear central vision—which can result in age-related macular degeneration.
Not surprisingly, the eye is yet another one of the body’s lutein hot spots. This pigment is especially concentrated in the macula; in fact, of the 600 or so carotenoids that exist in nature, only lutein and Zeaxanthin are found within this all important structure. So it also isn’t surprising to learn that they Eye Disease Case Control Study, one of the first large-scale investigations into carotenoids and eye health, found a link between reduced AMD risk and high levels of lutein and Zeaxanthin. Current research has focused on the use of supplemental lutein in AMD patients, with promising results.
It isn’t only the outside of your body that may benefit from lutein. When oxidized by free radicals, LDL cholesterol settles into arterial walls. Lutein may help slow this process; in one study, people with the most lutein in their blood had 80% less vessel-wall thickening than those with the least (circulation 6/19/01).
So enjoy some fun in the sun. But respect the power of those golden rays, and let lutein help make playtime a safe time. –Lisa James.
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium
May 18, 2007 01:06 PM
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine,
The “Awesome Foursome” of Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium helps our hearts metabolize energy more efficiently and protects them from the stress of cardiovascular disease. This powerful combination of nutrients goes directly to the basic biochemistry of cellular energy metabolism. Now let’s take a closer look at how Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium work in synergy to promote cardiovascular health.
Energy Recycling through the Electron Transport Chain
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the mitochondrial membrane, mitochondrial DNA, and cell walls from free-radical attack. But its most important function in the body is its central role in energy metabolism.
Most – about 90 percent – of the ATP used by cells is recycled as food (fuel) and oxidized in the mitochondria. Fatty acids, carbohydrates, and, occasionally, proteins are carried across the mitochondrial membrane and enter the Krebs’ cycle, moving from step to step and spinning off electrons. These electrons are then handed off to the electron transport chain, where, in the presence of oxygen, the energy from the electrons is captured as a phosphate group is added to ADP to form ATP. This recycling of ATP is called oxidative phosphorylation, and the by-products of these pathways are CO2 and water.
In this fashion, Coenzyme Q10 acts as a gatekeeper of electrons, making sure they are carried to just the right place to pass on their life-giving energy.
What is critical, however, is the simple fact that without Coenzyme Q10 the electron transport chain would Totally break down. And since the electron transport chain is (by far!) the largest contributor to cellular energy turnover, its loss would be catastrophic. It is also important to know that there has to be an excess of Coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondria to be maximally effective. Having just enough isn’t sufficient to do the job properly, and having a deficiency seriously affects the mitochondria’s ability to supply the cell with energy.
Cellular stress can cause Coenzyme Q10 deficiency, which places a severe strain on Coenzyme Q10 availability. People with heart disease, hypertension, gingival disease, Parkinson’s disease, and the other disorders we’ve discussed are known to be deficient in Coenzyme Q10. Whether these deficiencies are the cause or the effect of these varied medical problems, the end result is that they sap the life out of their mitochondria and reduce their energy supplies. You see, Coenzyme Q10 cannot function properly if electrons are not coming out of the Krebs’ cycle, and the Krebs’ cycle won’t work without the fuel that’s transported into the mitochondria by L-Carnitine.
Transporting the Cellular Energy Fuel
Fatty acids are the preferred energy fuel for hearts and most other cells in the body. L-Carnitine facilitates the beta oxidation of fatty acids as energy fuel. And since fatty acids are the preferred fuel for energy recycling in cells, this action is critical to cell and tissue function. Unfortunately, L-carnitine is deficient in people with heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, lipid metabolic disorders, mitochondrial disorders, and many other disease syndromes we reviewed earlier. This L-carnitine deficiency disrupts the normal metabolism of fatty acids, reducing available energy supplies and leading to the accumulation of toxic by-products of fatty acid metabolism. L-carnitine supplementation revives fatty acid metabolism and restore normal mitochondrial function. But even this powerful improvement in cellular energy metabolism cannot up for the energy drain that comes from the loss of energy substrates caused by low oxygen delivery to the tissue. Only D-Ribose can do that.
Rebuilding the Cellular Energy Pool
As long as cells and tissues have plenty of oxygen, the pool of energy substrates in the cell remains high. And as long as there is enough L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 available, the process of energy utilization and supply can proceed unimpeded. However, the cellular supply of oxygen can be restricted by acute or chronic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, any number of skeletal – or neuromuscular diseases, or even high-intensity exercise.
When cells are deprived of oxygen the mitochondrial energy turnover becomes inefficient. Remember, oxygen is required to let the oxidative pathway of energy recycling work properly. If the mitochondria are not able to recycle energy efficiently, cellular energy supply cannot keep pace with demand. But the cell has a continuing need for energy so it will use all its ATP stores and then break down the by-product, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), to pull the remaining energy out of this compound as well. What’s left is adenosine menophosphate (AMP). Since a growing concentration of AMP is incompatible with sustained cellular function it’s quickly broken apart and the by-products are washed out of the cell. The net result of this process is a depletion of the cellular pool of energy substrates. When the by-products of AMP catabolism are washed out of the cell, they are lost forever. It takes a long time to replace these lost energy substrates even if the cell is fully perfused with oxygen again.
Ribose is the only compound used by the body to refill this energy pool. Every cell in the body has the capacity to make ribose, but hearts, muscles, and most other tissues lack the metabolic machinery to make ribose quickly when the cells are stressed by oxygen depletion or metabolic insufficiency. Ribose is made naturally in the cells from glucose. In stressed cells, however, glucose is preferentially metabolized for the energy turnover and is not available for ribose synthesis. So when energy pools are drained from stressed cells, the cells must first wait for the slow process of ribose synthesis before they can begin to replace their lost energy stores.
Acute ischemia, like that which takes place during a heart attack, heart surgery, or angioplasty, drains the cell of energy. Even when oxygenated blood flow returns, refilling the energy pool may take ten or more days. But when oxygen deprivation is chronic, or when energy metabolism is disrupted by disease, there may be so much continual strain on the energy supply that the pool can ever refill without the assistance of supplemental ribose. Conditions like ischemic heart disease or congestive heart failure fall into this category. In these situations, supplementing the tissue with exogenous ribose is the only way the cell can keep up with the energy drain.
Switching on the Energy Enzymes
Magnesium is an essential mineral that's critical for energy requiring processes, in protein synthesis, membrane integrity, nervous tissue conduction, neuromuscular excitation, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, maintenance of vascular tone, and in intermediary metabolism. Deficiency may lead to changes in neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal function; Impaired energy metabolism; and reduced capacity for physical work. Magnesium deficiency is now considered to contribute to many diseases, and the role for magnesium as a therapeutic agent is expanding.
Magnesium deficiency reduces the activity of important enzymes used in energy metabolism. Unless we have adequate levels of magnesium in our cells, the cellular processes of energy metabolism cannot function. Small changes in magnesium levels can have a substantial effect on heart and blood vessel function. While magnesium is found in most foods - particularly vegetables - deficiencies are increasing. Softened water and a trend toward lower vegetable consumption are the culprits contributing to these rising deficiencies.
Supporting the Links in The Energy Cycle Chain – the Synergy
Clearly, each membrane of the “Awesome Foursome” is fundamental to cellular energy metabolism in its own right. Each plays a unique and vital role in supplying the heart with the energy it needs to preserve its contractile force. Each is independently effective in helping hearts work through the stress of disease. And while each contributes immeasurable to the energy health of the cell, in combination they are unbeatable. Allow me to reiterate the step-by-step, complicated cellular processes involved to be sure that you really understand the rationale for using these nutrients.
The cell needs a large, sustained, and healthy pool of energy to fuel all its metabolic functions. Contraction, relaxation, maintenance of cellular ion balance, and synthesis of macromolecules, like proteins, all require a high energy charge to carry their reactions to completion. The energy pool must be preserved, or these fundamental cellular functions will become inefficient or will cease to operate altogether. To keep the pool vibrant and healthy, the cell needs ribose. But even with supplemental ribose, the cell needs the efficient turnover of its energy stores to balance ongoing energy utilization with supply. That’s where CoQ10 and L-carnitine come into play.
The converse is also true. Even if the cell is fully charged with energy, cellular energy supply will not keep pace with demand if the mitochondria are not functioning properly. CoQ10 and L-carnitine work to keep mitochondrial operations running at peak efficiency, and one side cannot work effectively without the other. Even though CoQ10 and L-carnitine can make the energy turnover mechanisms work more efficiently, they cannot increase the cell’s chemical driving force, and their action will be only partially effective. Ribose on the other hand, can keep the energy pool supplied with substrate, but the value of energy pool repletion cannot be fully realized if the substrate cannot be maximally utilized and recycled. Ribose fills the tank; CoQ10 an L-carnitine help the engine run properly.
Magnesium is the glue that holds energy metabolism together. By turning on the enzymes that drive the metabolic reactions, magnesium allows it all to happen.
These four nutrients must be utilized by cardiologists and other physicians as they treat patients day-to-day. On my own journey, using Coenzymes Q10 for two decades, L-carnitine for more than ten years, D-Ribose for two years, and magnesium equally as long, I’ve seen this “Awesome Foursome” reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.
The future of nutrition in conventional medicine is very bright, although the integration of nutritional supplements has been a slow and, at times, lonely process.
L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. D-Ribose is emerging as a new player in the complex understanding of metabolic cardiology, and doctors are beginning to discuss the important role of magnesium deficiency in heart patients. As a practicing cardiologist for over thirty years, I see metabolic cardiology as the future for the treatment of heart disease and other complex disease conditions, as well.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Dietary Supplements are targeted while foods sicken millions.
November 09, 2006 11:54 AM
The FDA and our enemies in Congress want you to believe that non-causal Adverse Event Reporting (AER, as presented in the S.3546 bill in Senate and the HR.6168 now in the House of Representatives) for supplements should be implemented to protect our health. The latest nationwide E.coli outbreak casts a shadow of doubt on S.3546/HR.6168 supporters’ motives, however-because these bills are treating safe, natural supplements as dangerous threats while foods wreak havoc on our nation’s health.
By the time this issue went to press, 187 people had been sickened and as many as three people had died from toxic E.coli bacteria found in contaminated bags of spinach. Tragically, this is nothing new; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that food borne disease cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United Stages each year. More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through bad food.
Despite these staggering figures, there is no adverse event reporting system in place for foods. So if our enemies in Congress truly want to protect us, why are they pursuing non causal AER for safe, natural dietary supplements and not foods? The unfortunate answer is that non-causal AER supporters are either ignorant or in pursuit to non-disclosed political agendas. The latter is extremely disturbing especially when these self serving political agendas, promoted in the name of “protecting health,” will actually harm public health by taking away our supplements.
Not only are AER supporters barking up the wrong tree, but the AER bills that they have constructed are Totally destructive. S.3546/HR.6168 is based on association and not causation. That’s right—S.3546/HR.6168 disregard what actually caused an adverse event, and instead use “guilt by association.” These poorly constructed bills are impotent when it comes to protecting people, but nonetheless are poised to devastate the nutritional supplements industry. If passed, S.3546/HR.6168 will unleash a barrage of frivolous lawsuits that will make trial lawyers rich while bankrupting the entire nutritional supplement industry and taking away our vitamins forever.
It is hard to imagine why some elected officials, the FDA and certain nutritional supplement industry groups are channeling so much money and energy into AER for harmless supplements while potentially deadly pathogens are tainting our food supply and sickening millions. If our elected officials truly wish to help the American people and protect public health, they should leave safe, natural dietary supplements alone and focus their AER efforts on foods—but only if they take the time to draft an intelligent, functional AER bill that is based causality.
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Adverse events with supplements are practically nonexistent. Adverse events with food are abundant. Elected officials who support S.3546/HR.6168 and the non-causal AER they espouse are clearly misguided, with an imbecile’s grasp on prioritization. If you agree that non-causal AER for supplements is an unwarranted waste of time and will destroy the industry by guilt by association, then please voice your opinion, before it’s too late!
Please call and fax Joe Barton, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and other key AER players at the following numbers (fax numbers second): Barton at 202-225-2002, 202-225-3052; Chairman of the Judiciary Committee F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. at 202-225-5101,202-225-3190; House Majority Leader John Boehner at 202-225-6205, 202-225-0704; Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert at 202-225-2976,202-225-0697; and Congressman Nathan Deal a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, at 202-225-5211, 202-225-8272.
Don’t let self-serving political skullduggery take your vitamins and supplements away from you! Visit www.NHA2006.com and take advantage of online tools that allow you to easily send faxes to Congress. Please do not delay—without swift and decisive action, we may all lose our health freedom forever!
*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).
TriOxil the solution for your acne!
February 25, 2006 01:55 PM
OTHER BIOLOGIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL PROGESTERONE
July 25, 2005 09:58 PM
OTHER BIOLOGIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL PROGESTERONE
While natural progesterone has been referred to as a progestin because it maintains the lining of the uterus, it is technically separate and Totally different from synthetic progestins. In addition, natural progesterone provides a number of biological actions which progestins do not. Some additional benefits reported with the use of natural progesterone include:
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF NATURAL PROGESTERONE
Note: Using natural progesterone in cream, oil or other transdermal form is also very hydrating to the skin.
SIDE EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC PROGESTIN DRUGS
July 25, 2005 09:56 PM
SIDE EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC PROGESTIN DRUGS
Premarin and Provera are two of the most commonly prescribed progestin drugs and come with a wide variety of side effects and health risks. Over 30 negative side effects are listed for Provera alone. Taking Provera during early pregnancy may actually cause a miscarriage or deformity of the developing fetus. Premarin is comprised of two different types of estrogen called estrone and estradiol, which have been linked with the development of certain kinds of cancer.
The risks involved with taking these synthetic progestins is due to their chemical structures. For the most part, the compound resembles natural progesterone, therefore it binds to the same receptor sites as to natural progesterone. The altered portions of the molecule, however, convey a Totally different signal to the cells involved. It is this atomic manipulation which poses alarming health risks to the body. Health risks which are not associated with natural hormonal precursors. A few of the side effects associated with synthetic progestins include:
As is often the case, eventually the perils of synthetically derived plant analogues made health practitioners question their usage and the notion of using progesterone in its natural state has re-emerged. Unfortunately, its classification as a non-patentable simple substance relegates it to the status of an herbal supplement, which most doctors will not endorse. Synthetic drugs are more potent, usually easier to take, have a longer physiologic action and are patentable. For all of these reasons, natural phytomedicines have been shelved as relatively worthless in comparison. Chemically altered progesterone is considered technically superior when in reality, natural forms of progesterone may often be preferable.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to Totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
July 15, 2005 09:12 AM
THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS OF ST. JOHN’S WORT DEPRESSION—AN OVERVIEW
Depression is a disorder that affects millions of people, both Americans and worldwide. It takes many forms, but is usually marked by sadness, inactivity and heightened selfdepreciation. Hopelessness and pessimism are often common symptoms, as are lowered self-esteem, reduced energy and vitality, and loss of the overall capability to enjoy one’s existence.
Depression is probably the most common psychiatric complaint offered to doctors, and has been described by physicians from at least the time of Hippocrates, who called it “melancholia.” The course the disorder runs varies widely from person to person. Depression may be short-term, or may occur repeatedly at short intervals. It may be somewhat permanent, mild or sever, acute or chronic. And who does depression most affect? Rates of incidence are higher among women than men (for varying reasons, some not Totally understood). And men are more at risk of suffering from depression as they age, while a woman’s peak age for experi-encing depression is usually between the ages of 35-45.
Depression is caused by many things—it could come about because of childhood traumas, or because of stressful life events—but more and more, doctors and scientists are pointing to biochemical processes as a main culprit in the onset of depression. Defective regulation of the release of one or more naturally occurring monoamines in the brain—particularly norepinephrine—leads to reduced quantities or reduced activity of these chemicals in the brain, bringing on the depressed mood for most sufferers. Accompanying the increase in depression cases and the emerging knowledge of its causes has been the rise of drug and other therapies in treating the disorder. The two most important are drug therapy and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy aims to resolve any underlying psychic conflicts that may be causing the depressed state, while giving emotional support to the patient. This usually involves seeing a psychiatrist and/or psychologist at regular intervals. This also may be accompanied by participation in support groups.
Antidepressant drugs, on the other hand, directly affect the chemistry of the brain and its chemicals, such as the monoamines that are thought to have the most effect on depressed emotional states and moods. The tricyclic antidepressant drugs are thought to work by inhibiting the body’s physiological inactivation of the monoamine transmitters. This results in the buildup or accumulation of these neurotransmitters in the brain and allows them to remain in contact with nerve cell receptors longer, thus aiding in elevating the mood of the patient. There are other drugs, called oxidase inhibitors, which interfere with the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme known to be involved in the breakdown of norepinephrine and serotonin.5
While drug therapy is something more favorable than continuing suffering from depression, for many persons who take these medications it brings on very undesirable side effects. Uncomfortable physical side effects are among the biggest complaints. Many drug users suffer from sensations of nausea, bloating, indigestion, abdominal cramping and diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomforts. Dizziness is often a common complaint, and there are many others. For decades, St. John’s wort has been utilized as a mood elevator, antidepressant and overall mental stimulant. As mentioned before, since times as far back as the Crusades do we have record of St. John’s wort being used in this and other capacities. Wounds were treated with the herb’s extracted oil, the insane were given the herb for its effect on both the nervous system and brain, and it was even used to cast out evil spirits (which often is linked to hallucinations and other mental instability).
More recent uses in “folk” or nonstandard medicine point to St. John’s wort’s effective use not only as an antidepressant and nervous system tonic, but also for neuralgia, wounds, kidney problems, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and of very recent interest, its use as an AIDS virus inhibitor. Michael Murray, in his book Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Drugs, points to St. John’s wort’s uses for the previously listed uses, and the results of several recent clinical studies. Rebecca Flynn and Mark Roest also outline very well the benefits of the herb as shown in medical and other tests.6 The information coming from both the folk medicine and the clinical medicine worlds indicates that St. John’s wort possesses effective and safe healing properties for several disorders and ailments, and potentially many more.
The 50 Year Service Check...
July 07, 2005 09:18 AM
Sad but true: Guys who wouldnt forget to give their cars an oil change will go years without having their own inner workings inspected. But a reluctance to have ones chassis checked at the practitioner's office can translate into serious body engine failure. While physical exams are always important, they become a nevessity with advancing age. We're not saying 50 is old, mind you--a couple at Energy Times staffers are starting the big five-oh right in the face--but it's a good time to start getting regular checkups if you haven't been in the habit. Here's some of the things to look for next time they pop your hood.
Get those choppers checked at least once a year--untreated gum disease can lead to the kind of low-level inflammation now thought to be a culprit in numerous illnesses, including heart disease.
Some experts recommend yearly testing for glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure within the eyeball can cause blindness if not treated. Presbyopia, the farsightedness that accompanies increasing age, generally starts in one's 40s; time to invest in a pair of reading glasses.
Have your blood pressure taken by a professional at least once a year. Checks for cholesterol and blood sugar are part of a metabolic panel (Standard blood work) to be done every three years; it should include total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats). Discuss testing for CRP (C-reative Protein), a marker of chronic inflammation, with your practitioner.
The American Thyroid Association suggests an initial check of your thyroid, a gland in your neck that serves as the body's energy transformer, at age 35 with retests every five years afterwards. If you can't seem to lose weight and/or are sonstantly tired, ask about having your thyroid hormone levels assessed.
Your liver won't send out distress signals until it's pretty banged up. Since the standard metabolic panel includes the liver-enzyme check be sure to have it done every three years; that frequency may need to increase if you have a history of heavy alcohol or workplace exposure to toxins.
Having a yearly digital rectal examination (DRE) is recommended. Blood testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is more contraversial.
Colonoscopy, in which a lighted tube is used to view the entire colon, is the gold standard (although doctors are working on a less invasive virtual colonoscopy); once every 10 years starting at age 50 is recommended. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) should be preformed every year, but keep in mind it can yeild false results, positive and negative.
Don't Forget to:
Screening frequencies are for healthy individuals with no known risk factors. If you have a pre-existing condition or are at risk for one, follow your practitioner's recommendations.
: Energy Times
STOMACH CANCER, GEOGRAPHY AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:17 AM
STOMACH CANCER, GEOGRAPHY AND GARLIC
Less than five years ago, the New York Times reported:
“Large differences in cancer rates were seen between regions of high and low consumption of these allium vegetables. Those living in high-consumption areas had less than half the risk of developing stomach cancer as people who lived where little or no garlic-type foods are eaten. And while fre quent consumption of other fresh vegetables and fruits was also linked to a reduced cancer risk, garlic seemed to multi ply the benefit, providing even more protection than would be expected from simply adding on its separate benefits.”42 No one Totally understands garlic’s anti-cancer properties. One possible explanation is that garlic has the ability to block nitrosamines which are considered powerful carcinogens in the digestive tract. Clinical studies have suggested that garlic extract is more effective than vitamin C in blocking nitrosamine formation not only in the laboratory, but in humans as well. Research has clearly shown that garlic can guard living tissue against carcinogens that cause cancer of the breast, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum.
The fact that garlic inhibits tumor growth, blocks the action of cancer- causing substances, and boosts the immune system makes it a valuable cancer preventative.
CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION WITH GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:14 AM
CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION WITH GARLIC
One of the most exciting aspects of the therapeutic value of garlic lies in its potential use as an anti-cancer agent. Several animal experiments have suggested that Garlic can inhibit or even reverse the growth of certain tumors.
One in three people will develop cancer at some time during their life and one in five will die from it. Cancer ranks second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death in the United States. Projections put cancer as the number one killer of Americans sometime after the year 2000. While cancer research has spent millions of dollars searching for the elusive cure, thousands continue to die from cancer. Garlic has finally caught the attention of cancer research and is currently under scrutiny for its anti-carcinogenic properties.
Several laboratory tests have found that certain enzymes contained in some cancers are Totally inhibited by alliinase and other compounds contained in garlic. Several Japanese experiments suggest that injecting garlic into rats with certain types of sarcoma blocked tumor cell reproduction and caused mutations in the cancer cells themselves.38
As is the case with other infectious diseases, garlic’s role in simulating the body’s immune defenses may also be linked to cancer control and prevention. Because garlic helps to mobilize the immune system, carcinogens which may initially begin tumor formation may be attacked and destroyed by heightened immune function. Because garlic enhances the action of the body’s natural killer cells, it boosts their ability to attack tumor cells before cancers can develop. In laboratory tests, the natural killer cells of garlic-eating subjects destroyed 159 percent more tumor cells than those who had not consumed garlic.39
“In animal studies by Weisberger and Pensky of Western Reserve University, as reported in Science, mice injected with cancer cells died within 16 days. When cancer cells were treated with Garlic extract and injected into the animals, no deaths occurred for a period of 6 months. In other studies, feeding fresh Garlic to female mice completely inhibited the development of mammary tumors.”40
Studies in cancer Research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveal that stomach cancer risk was significantly reduced with the consumption of allium vegetables including garlic and scallions. The high germanium content of garlic may also play a role in cancer treatment and prevention. At this writing, continuing research unfolds on garlic and its effect on cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute is planning a study of garlic’s role as a cancer-preventing agent. The study was planned after reports indicated that people who live in China and Italy and eat a lot of garlic seem to enjoy a certain degree of protection against stomach cancer.
Dr. William J. Blot of the Institute stated that these people eat a lot of garlic and related vegetable such as scallions and onions, a habit that correlates with a lower incidence of stomach cancer.41
GARLIC AND CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
June 25, 2005 10:00 AM
GARLIC AND CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Several controlled studies have conclusively proven Garlic’s ability to lower blood serum cholesterol levels.6 Dozens of these studies conducted throughout the world have compared high fat diets with garlic and without and their resulting cholesterol counts. When Garlic is consistently consumed, the lowest cholesterol levels are obtained.7
Apparently, the allicin compounds in garlic help to block the creation of cholesterol. Consequently, serum-triglycerides and betalipoprotein levels were lowered while HDL levels (good cholesterol) were raised. The way in which garlic accomplished this specific action is not Totally understood. What is known is that the presence of Garlic provides a simple restriction in the rise of blood cholesterol and lipid levels.
For anyone with a tendency to develop atherosclerosis, these findings are highly significant. When administered in therapeutic dosages, garlic protected the arteries against atherosclerotic lesions. The implications of studies such as this one are that ingesting garlic on a regular basis may have significant value for anyone suffering from heart disease due to hardening of the arteries. Garlic clearly suppresses cholesterol synthesis in the liver by lowering total serum cholesterol. It appears to accomplish this by inhibiting the synthesis of harmful LDL cholesterol which boosts the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol in the blood. An added bonus of garlic is that some of its chemical components also keep the liver from producing its own cholesterol.8 Laboratory rats whose diets were supple-mented with garlic not only had fewer lipids in their blood and tissue samples, but less cholesterol and triglycerides in their livers as well. Interestingly, the sugar factor plays a role in cholesterol production and garlic can also be of benefit here. Excess sugar is metabolized into materials which are required for the making of cholesterol and other fats. If the diet is high in sugar, triglycerides levels can rise.
Tests have shown that when diets high in fat and sugar were supplemented with garlic, the expected rise in blood lipids did not occur.9 Apparently, in some of these tests, aged Garlic extract was the most effective form. Interestingly, in some studies, blood lipids initially rose after taking garlic and then declined. It is believed that because garlic removed fats that were deposited in the tissues into the bloodstream, lipid levels rose temporarily, however, the garlic also helped to metabolize those fats and excrete them from the body.10 Extensive data strongly suggests that garlic is of great value in both the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease which is a result of arterial fatty deposits. Using garlic can decrease the phospholipid content of the blood even when the diet is high in saturated fat. This particular action is nothing less than extraordinary. Garlic’s ability to affect a significant reduction in cholesterol appears to be dose-dependent. In other words, the more garlic consumed, the greater the results. Epidemiological studies support this fact and have shown an inverse correlation between cardiovascular disease and garlic consumption in various populations worldwide.11
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are Totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: Cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)