Search Term: " Triggers "
4 magical herbs that can help you lose weight faster
April 26, 2019 01:34 PM
We're constantly met with over-the-counter supplements loaded with chemicals and preservatives that promote claims of being able to shrink your waistline, but what if there were more natural options? Consuming ginseng helps regulate your blood sugar levels, as well as boost your metabolism. Garlic is almost a magical herb in how it is able to help you fight off cravings due to your body being able to sustain levels of fullness for longer periods of time.
"Those 7 days or 1-month weight loss challenges cannot give you a long-term result."
Read more: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/heres-4-magical-herbs-that-can-help-you-lose-weight-faster/articleshow/68283825.cms
These natural fixes can prevent heartburn
February 08, 2019 08:23 AM
It’s estimated that 46% of people suffer regularly from heartburn. The good news is that heartburn can be treated through many natural remedies. One way to address heartburn is to improve digestion. The most basic way to do this is to chew your food properly. Quite simply, take smaller bites and chew for what seems like a long time. Also, avoid food triggers such as spicy foods, onions, mint, and carbonated drinks, all of which contribute to acid reflux. Finally, weight loss and decreasing your intake of alcohol and caffeine can also help to ease your heartburn woes.
"To reduce the need for over-the-counter medications, here are some tips on how to get rid of heartburn once and for all."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-20-these-natural-fixes-remedy-a-heartburn.html
The common causes of candida overgrowth
January 22, 2019 04:39 PM
Candida albicans is a form of yeast that is present in small colonies across the human body. Unfortunately, when these clusters grow to an abnormal size, the heightened populations can cause some serious health concerns such as mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, and even psychological symptoms. Researchers are now finding links between the overgrowth of Candida albicans and potential triggers such as: fermented foods like pickles, contraceptives, the overuse of antibiotics, and several other contributing factors.
"However, when candida populations swell into an overgrowth, you can develop severe health problems."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-25-the-common-causes-of-candida-overgrowth.html
The Cannabis Remedy: Simple Solution For Over 40 Million PeopleSuffering With Anxiety
November 24, 2018 11:13 AM
Anxiety is a very prevalent condition, both in the U.S. and worldwide. In fact the National Institutes of Health concur that as much as 33% of the world's population has suffered, or well suffer from some type of anxiety. Besides mentally specific symptoms, such as worry, fretting, inability to focus, nervousness and fearfulness, the condition can create physical symptoms as well, such as clenching, sweating, dizziness, accelerated breathing, pulse and raised blood pressure. At it's worst, anxiety can induce a full-blown panic attack, depersonalization and even a certainty that one is dying. Obviously anxiety is a potentially critical condition, with the ability to disrupt life, even in small ways. As it worsens, anxiety can make it difficult to impossible for sufferers to work or socialize effectively. Though triggers vary, most people are visited by anxiety due to one of three big concerns, namely fears that center around finances, safety, or health. One poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association concluded that keeping the family safe and bill-paying were huge anxiety triggers that resonated with more than 60% of respondents. The positive news is that many people can experience mitigation, if not complete surcease of these symptoms by using cannabis, which is expected to keep growing as an industry. THC which is the psychoactive component in cannabis, that which makes it illegal if it gets past .3%, is minimal to almost nil in hemp, which is related to, but not the same as marijuana. The THC amount will vary in cannabis products. There is hemp oil, hemp seed oil and CBD oil, which is made from the entire plant, flowers and all, so it may have a bit more THC. Oil products can be taken topically, or sublingually, even smoked. By acting on receptors in the central nervous symptom, the constituents of the oil act to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. Even beyond pain relief these products have been shown to have efficacy for symptoms of epilepsy, pain and impaired cognition.
"The good news is, there are ways to cope, even ways to alleviate anxiety and its symptoms using natural and drug-free solutions."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/cannabis-remedy-solution-people-suffering-with-anxiety/
11 natural ways to lower your cortisol levels
August 22, 2018 09:53 AM
We've all heard about how cortisol levels can increase fat around the abdomen, but how do we lower these levels that are dangerous to our overall health? Reducing your stress levels is one of the main ways that you can decrease the presence of cortisol in your body. You can do this by finding ways to regulate your thinking into a more stabilized fashion such as learning how to participate in deep breathing and other meditative practices.
"It’s important for helping your body deal with stressful situations, as your brain triggers its release in response to many different kinds of stress."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/11-natural-ways-to-lower-your-cortisol-levels/
Dr. Mercola: How and why too much protein triggers aging and cancer
July 06, 2017 12:14 PM
Dr. Ron Rosedale's theory several years ago that too much protein can be a bad thing is gradually becoming accepted through further research. He theorizes you should eat foods that help you burn fat and not sugar. Proteins burn sugar but diets high in fat do not and can actually be very healthy for people with diabetes and heart problems. Too much protein prevents removal of damaging cells that can lead to aging and cancer. The best diet is moderate protein, low carb and high in fat.
"In a nutshell, this hypothesis completely ignores the “calories in, calories out” dogma, and instead focuses on foods that support hormones and growth factors that make your body burn fat rather than sugar."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/how-and-why-too-much-protein-triggers-aging-and-cancer/
Emotional Eating and Weight Gain
May 28, 2017 09:14 AM
For huge numbers of us, it started when we were youngsters. We were given a treat to quiet us down, improve us feel, and as a reward for good conduct. We likewise eat when we sit in front of the TV, go to the motion pictures or when we are exhausted. Stress is one of the key reasons that individuals have for utilizing sustenance as a method for dealing with stress. The initial step to disposing of passionate eating is first to build up on the off chance that you are an enthusiastic eater.
"Stress is one of the key reasons that people have for using food as a coping mechanism."
Read more: http://www.weightlossforall.com/emotional-eating-x.htm
Fruit Often Mistaken as a Vegetable That Triggers Endorphin Rush and Targets Pain
May 03, 2017 08:44 AM
A self professed health nut writes in her blog about peppers, which she states are actually fruits that are mistakenly called vegetables. She describes the various types of peppers, such as bell, banana, and chili. Chili peppers are spicy, with the Mexican habaneros being the hottest. She states the hotness comes from capsaicin. She saids capsaicin can be helpful in reducing pain and even fighting breast cancer. The writer goes on to write how to grow both bell and chili peppers.
"There are many different types of peppers, from sweet to flaming hot, making more than one variety useful in a single dish, adding complexity to the flavors."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/fruit-often-mistaken-vegetable-triggers-endorphin-rush-targets-pain/
Liven Up Your Liver
April 03, 2017 10:44 AM
The liver provides vital functions in your body such as digestion/bile secretion, processing/manufacturing of everything you eat, and storage of vitamins and minerals. Some factors can severely stress a liver such as obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, heart problems, and other chronic conditions. A distressed liver can lead to serious complications like Sluggish Liver, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, and Gallstones. To prevent such conditions, some suggested remedies include avoiding triggers like toxins, ensuring a property diet, consuming liver supporting ingredients like antioxidants, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Read more: Liven Up Your Liver
Scientists discover potent trigger of inflammatory disease
February 25, 2017 12:59 PM
Scientists have discovered a potent trigger of inflammatory disease. The inflammatory molecule that is released by dying cells, Triggers inflammation during necroptosis. The discovery could actually lead to new and existing medicines that target the molecule being investigated as a way of treating inflammatory diseases. Psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease are two such diseases.
"Necroptosis is important for protecting us against infections, by sacrificing infected or diseased cells 'for the greater good'."
Each Meal You Eat Triggers An Immune System Response, Sets Off Inflammation
January 25, 2017 12:59 PM
The research, carried out at the University Hospital Basel, was published, Jan. 16, in the journal Nature Immunology, and addresses the series of reactions taking place in the human body, both for healthy and overweight people. When it comes to people who suffer from diabetes, this substance causes chronic inflammation, thus killing the cells responsible for the production of insulin. IL-1 and insulin increased the uptake of glucose into macrophages, and insulin reinforced a pro-inflammatory pattern via the insulin receptor, glucose metabolism, production of reactive oxygen species, and secretion of IL-1 mediated by the NLRP3 inflammasome, noted the research.
"However, this new research presents the positive aspects of this type of inflammation triggered by digestion, as it seems that healthy people only have a short-term inflammatory response, directed at leveling the sugar uptake and the immune system."
New class of hydrogen sulfide donor molecules
January 16, 2017 10:59 AM
One of the most destructive forces in our bodies is oxidative stress. This causes a breakdown of molecules within the body, which then leads to problems such as heart attacks, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Oregon has just released a study showing that they were able to design organic molecules that can be used to release hydrogen sulfide when oxidative stress Triggers it. This compound functions to restore molecular stability within the body. This is just the first step in producing new drugs for treating currently life-threatening conditions.
"Oxidative stress damages cells and is tied especially to heart disease and cancer, as well as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease."
How Vitamins Help Keep Calcium in the Bones
Your arteries and heart work full time. They require nutrients that would assist and maintain blood vessels firm and flexible. If you are worried about stroke or blood pressure, you want to read about the important vitamins which can create a great difference. Vitamins A, D3, and K2 are the most important vitamins for the cardiovascular system. These fat soluble vitamins make sure the heart and the sixty thousand miles of blood vessels perform at the optimum. Still most of the people do not understand how essential it is to obtain sufficient of these three. These three vitamins function as partners to avoid dangerous blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attacks, maintain calcium in the bones, assist keep arteries strong and flexible and decrease inflammatory Triggers in the bloodstream.
Calcium has some negative sides also. If not effectively used in the tissues and blood, it can accumulate in the body when we age, a method known as calcification. Few calcifications are not dangerous. Half of the female over 50 will reveal certain benign calcification in breast tissue at the time of mammogram. But this build up may be a sign of calcium accumulation in other parts of the body such as the heart and arteries. This makes arteries inflexible and stiff, resulting to higher risk of strokes, blood clots and heart attacks. The necessary thing to keep in mind is that the body does not avail nutrients such as calcium, separately. To ensure the body is availing calcium properly, you want to ensure you are also obtaining sufficiently of the vitamins which regulate calcium.
Vitamin K is available in two types, Vitamin K1 is responsible for making clots and avoiding extra bleeding if there is any wound. Vitamin K2 boosts proteins which assist transport calcium to the place where it is required. The lower you consume vitamin K2, the higher the danger of heart attack and heart disease. The sunshine vitamin is necessary to heart and bone health. But most of the people still do not receive sufficiently of it. Vitamin D is also utilized by several cells in the cardiovascular system like cells which line the blood vessels and heart muscle cells. Lower levels of this vitamin have been connected to a higher danger of dying from stroke or heart disease.
Vitamin D assist avoid calcium accumulation in the blood vessels. It raises the expression of the vitamin K based proteins that adjust calcium. Without these, calcium cannot be received by the bones, rather stores up in the artery walls and blood vessels. The right amount of vitamin D is needed to boost proteins. Researchers have proven that vitamin K and D function better when they are at good levels. Most of the people aware that vitamin A is vital for eyes. It also influences a variety of body processes like controlling different proteins that adjust the kinds of cells the body creates. This involves the cells which line blood vessels. This vitamin falls down when inflammation is seen, identifying its important part in fighting injury and disease.
Schools are filled with bacteria, causing crippling lung function in children
December 19, 2016 07:59 AM
Sure, when you send your kids to school you worry about a lot of things: Fitting in, bullying, learning but never did you think that you would have to worry about bacteria from mice and other rodents. Researchers have shown that bacteria in school has caused an increase in asthma in school age kids. This is increasing at such an alarming rate that it finally caught the attention of health officials even though the effects have been happening for years.
"Some 284 children from 37 inner-city public schools located throughout the Northeastern United States were evaluated as part of the research."
Is sunlight the health secret we all overlook?
December 07, 2016 06:59 AM
Are you getting enough sun? Sunlight is important for more than just a healthy tan. It can help with blood pressure, your immune system, even help ensure your long term mental health! There are many quick and easy ways to get more sunlight into your daily routine, and you owe it to yourself and your health to make sure you soak up some sun rays every day.
"Vitamin D is also important in activating the body's immune defences as it Triggers the cells that seek out and destroy any bacteria and viruses and arms the system, too."
How Much Should You Push Yourself with Depression?
November 23, 2016 12:59 PM
Depression is a reality that affects all too many. One of the toughest decisions is knowing when to push and when to cut yourself some slack. The key to making this decision above all is to know yourself. Find out what it is about yourself that can help you identify your Triggers for stress and learn to combat them with the perspective and experience of Therese J. Borchard.
"Do you typically push yourself too much or do you need to be pushed? That will help you know what to do when you get depressed. If you constantly beat yourself up for not doing everything perfectly in recovery, or in life, maybe you should throttle back to part-time (if you can afford it) and try to allow yourself to heal. If you typically need other people to inspire you to change, then maybe pushing yourself is the right thing to do."
How Can You Manage Migraines With Your Diet?
November 11, 2016 01:04 PM
You can help find relief for migraines two ways. One way is to eliminate your migraine Triggers such as coffee, soda and MSG. You can also eat a more low fat, low carb diet and add in more omega 3 fatty acids. Food high in Omega 3 are salmon, beef & flax seeds among others.
"t’s no secret that what we eat plays a large role in determining how our body behaves; eating fatty foods can cause obesity and heart disease while too many sweets could cause tooth decay. Research also indicates that certain foods may help prevent and manage headaches, while other foods may cause the onset of them."
It Is The Silent Killer
Chronic Inflammation is considered the silent killer, it can go on with absolutely zero symptoms. It is caused by Lifestyle choices, dietary choices, obesity, and uncontrolled stress.
Stress is the number one factor in creating chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation Triggers cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and most all other diseases related to age. It can weaken the immune system and cause cell damage that prevents cells from dying causing uncontrolled cell reproduction and cancer.
Taking anti inflammatory drugs can make it worse. Do not substitute NSAID drugs in hopes to reduce chronic inflammation, it wont work.
There is an herb that can help, Curcumin!
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory herb, an antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer plant. If you want to fight chronic inflammation, take curcumin.
Boswellia, How It Works And Its Health Benefits
December 02, 2013 07:30 AM
What is Boswellia?
Also known as Indian frankincense, boswellia is actually a natural herb that is commonly used in Ayurveda( a traditional medicine of India).The herb comes from the resin of boswellia tree which is actually rich in boswellic acid ( a substance that has anti-inflammatory effects)The herb is used to treat chronic inflammatory illnesses as well as other health conditions.
How it works.
Various studies indicate the boswellic acid can actually prevent the formation of leukotrienes in the human body. Studies also show that leukotrienes are the main cause of inflammation and can also Triggers asthma symptoms. The four acids in boswellia resin are the major contributor to the herbs anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Boswellia
A study that was conducted in 1998 showed that boswellia may help to relieve asthma. The result of the study indicated that 70% of the patient who took 300mg of boswellia 3 times daily for 6 weeks showed a great improvement in their symptoms as compared to 27% who did not took it. This is because the herb actually helps in reducing leukotrienes which causes the bronchial muscles to contract.
Studies shows that boswellic acid has the ability to prevent certain enzymes from affecting the DNA negatively thus helping to prevent cancer growth.
A study that was published in 2008 suggested that boswellia can help boost physical functioning and reduce pain to patient suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The study that was done using 30 patients who suffered from OA found out that those patients who used boswellia reported to have a decrease in knee pain .They also show some improvement on how far that could walk and flex their knee.
Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that actually result in chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. A study that was conducted in 2007 on 31 people suffering from colitis indicated that those patients who took 400mg of boswellia 3 times daily for 6 weeks were actually more likely to go into remission as compared to those who took placebo.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Quercetin?
April 18, 2013 07:37 AM
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in grains, leafy greens, vegetables and fruits, and has proven beneficial in the recent years. Plants often generate this flavonol to preserve vitamins and guard themselves against cell injury, bacteria and parasites. Onions, red wine, tea and apple skins are particularly rich in quercetin, which can render several health benefits. Most of these benefits can be attributed to the antioxidant properties of quercetin.
Here are the health benefits of quercetin.
Heart Disease: The antioxidant properties of quercetin can reduce the risks of plaque development in the arteries, which is also referred to as atherosclerosis. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties can also prevent damage associated with LDL cholesterol; one of the major causes of heart disease. Since this antioxidant is naturally found in fruits and vegetables, regular intake of quercetin will help in enhancing heart strength. Hypertension or blood pressure can also be controlled with adequate consumption of quercetin.
Protection against Allergies: The anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin have proven quite effective against many allergic reactions like allergic cough, hay fever, hives and asthma among others. It achieves this by inhibiting the production of histamine and other related inflammatory mediators. Therefore, it can reduce the risks of getting infected with various allergic conditions and help in speeding up recovery from these allergies.
Possible Cancer Protection: Just like most antioxidants, quercetin has cancer inhibiting properties. The antioxidant properties of quercetin shield the cells against free radicals by reducing their growth and neutralizing their negative effects in the body. Some in-vitro studies have proven that it can control cancer cells development and may reduce the chances of contracting prostate, colon, ovarian and breast cancer. It can also help people suffering from chronic interstitial and prostatitis cystitis because it acts as an effective mast cell inhibitor.
Cataracts: Quercetin can block the type of sugar which Triggers the development of cataracts on your eye. Smokers or those who expose their eyes to excessive UV rays without wearing protective glasses may consider quercetin intake to reduce the risks of cataract formation. Improve Arthritis: Just like most anti-inflammatory drugs, quercetin can help people suffering from arthritis. It is believed that quercetin can reduce the pain and swelling that affects joints due to arthritis. According to some studies, change of diet from the normal western diet to a diet that focuses on vegetables and fruits with high quercetin can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Athletic Ability: Some studies show that consumption of quercetin twice every day enhances oxygen capacity and endurance in active women and men. The athletic ability improvement is attributed to the positive effect of quercetin on the cell energy processors, mitochondria. This effect coupled with the antioxidant properties of quercetin can boost the immune system and might lead to general health improvement.
Other Heath Benefits: Some studies show that quercetin acts as a neutrotoxin hence can help in getting rid of neurological diseases. Since quercetin can help in free radicals control, it can also offer skin care benefits. It can also boost your immune system.
All-Natural Red Marine Algae An Effective Cold Sore Treatment
January 24, 2013 03:15 PM
Can Red Marine Algae Help With Cold Sores? Lets Find out!
While a permanent solution for cold sores is not currently known, it has been realized for some time now that red marine algae topical ointments and oral supplements can both help prevent and reduce the number of and severity of your outbreaks. This treatment ensures safety as a priority considering it is an all-natural proper food that is used in a variety of different items. It directly aids the body's first line of defense, or neutrophils, against those pesky cold sores.
The active components in red marine algae are sulfated polysaccharides, which help with immune system response and the increased production of lymphocytes within the thymus. T-cells and antibodies are stimulated, causing the launch of an attack against the virus.
There are two primary sulfated polysaccharides, fucoidan and carrageenan, that help stop the outbreak and replication of cold sores. Carrageenan is often used as a topical application, and fucoidan has a specific focus geared towards limiting replication of the virus.
The two strains of the algae that are effective in fighting against cold sores are Gigartina and Dumontacea, meaning not all red algae are the same when battling this virus. It is common knowledge that there are many Triggers that contribute to herpes outbreaks.
Cold Sore Triggers:
While you still should avoid as many Triggers as possible, red marine algae is a significant factor in reducing the effectiveness of particular Triggers. Some of these Triggers include chocolate, nuts, coffee, alcohol and more.
When learning about taking a new supplement, one of the main concerns you might have is the side effects. However, this all-natural algae supplement has absolutely no known side effects.
This helps put your mind at ease.
Did you know that this specific algae has also been used traditionally for dealing with urinary infections, asthma, boils, ulcers and more? With this supplement containing so many immune-supporting qualities, it is definitely a safe bet for formulating a much stronger plan against cold sores.
All about curamin
December 13, 2012 11:35 AM
For those who never really hard about it, they should know that Curamin contains is up to ten times strong than the regular curcumin products. It's actually one of the best ways through which individuals will be able to balance their body's natural inflammation response and many recent and past studies support its ability. Through the removal of pro inflammatory compounds which are generally present in this plant, the impact of boswellia is very much enhanced.
DLPA was showed in many studies to actually be very helpful with maximizing the effects of enkephalins and endorphins, which are natural and very powerful pain relievers produced by the human body. Nattokinase is rounding up the formula and for those who don't have any idea what it is, they should know it's actually an enzyme. It directly affects muscle pain through its ability to have the fibrinogen levels in the body balanced and at the same time it will also ensure people have a healthy blood circulation in the body. Many people are already aware of the fact that if they take ibuprofen and also aspiring for long periods of time, they will experience serious stomach bleeding and at the same time, if they take Tylenol and ibuprofen, the toxicity in their kidneys and liver will increase very much.
However, with the more safer and also more effective alternative of Curamin, who would ever want to consider the aforementioned medicines?
Curamin, this is a natural pain killer anyone can take. Its combination of dl-phenylalanine, boswellia, cuminoids and Curcumin make it a really effective pain reliever. The way it works is that it will help with stopping the Triggers that switch on pain pathways and at the same time it will also reduce the inflammation. More than ninety percent of people who have taken Curamin said that in just forty five minutes, they experienced great pain relief. At the same time, they also said there were no side effects to deal with, meaning their kidneys, stomach and intestines didn't suffer any damage. Curamin actually works in conjunction with the body's natural ability to stop inflammations which is the reason why individuals feel pain.
The president and founder of Europharma in the United States said that it is really a great and effective product which everyone who is dealing with inflammations should use. Because he trusts this product so much, millions of Americans have actually turned their attention to it and regard it now as one of the most efficient pain relievers on the market. In 2009 Curamin was awarded the prize for having the best formula so far, a formula which doesn't let people experience any side effects and at the same time, it makes their inflammations and pain go away really quickly. It seems that as time passes, Curamin is also getting better and more and more effective formulas appear. With that being said, everyone who will take Curamin in order relieve his pain or inflammation will feel great in less than an hour!
Raspberry Ketones can help you in losing Weight
February 07, 2012 02:14 PM
According to NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), more than two thirds of Americans are overweight and about one third are obese. Obesity is definitely a serious medical condition that not only reduces your stamina, but can also lead to various health complications such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, menstrual irregularities, atherosclerosis and many more.
Any attempt to lose weight can succeed only when it is multidimensional. In order to get the desirable results, you will have to bundle various weight loss techniques to get the desired results. In some instances, this can also lead to deleterious side effects. For example, stringent dietary restrictions may result in various nutritional disorders such as goiter, osteoporosis, scurvy and so on. Excessive exercises can also cause various maladies such as depression, fatigue, muscular injuries and insomnia. So What Are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry, which is an edible fruit, is quite rich in Vitamin B, antioxidants, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium potassium copper and manganese. Aside from these, it also has large amounts of ketones, referred to as “Raspberry Ketones”. Actually, ketones are phenolic compounds that help you in losing excess body weight without harming your body in any way.
How do Raspberry Ketones work?
Raspberry ketones, being natural substances work in an entirely different way. Unlike various other weight loss therapies, they work all alone and in the most effective way. They persuade the body to release norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone and affects that part of your brain, which controls responses and attention.
Along with norepinephrine, raspberry ketones trigger a increase in the heart rate, which increases the supply of oxygen to the brain. This also increases the blood flow to skeletal muscles. This results in increase in the energy requirements of the body. In order to get the desired energy, the stored body fat is broken down into much simpler products. Therefore, this lipolytic act of norepinephrine results in body losing considerable fat in an easy and healthy way.
Raspberry ketones have a molecular structure which is identical to the synephrine (orange peeols) and capsaicin (chili peppers). Both of these compounds active a enzyime known as lipase which Triggers rapid metabolism of body fats. Raspberry ketones ensure that the lipolysis process continues at a constant rate. This results in enhanced weight loss within a short time period.
Raspberry ketones also increase the production of T and B cells and thus play an important role in strengthening the immune system of the body. Aside from that, they also nourish the body with all essential micronutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, manganese and copper.
If you are interested in using raspberry ketones for losing excess weight, then you will find many exciting options on the market. Before buying a supplement or pills, you must ensure that it is made by a reputable manufacturer and comes at a reasonable price and has safe ingredients. Many sellers on the Internet offer exciting deals and you can easily order your requirements right from the comforts of your home.
Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help Lower Blood Sugar?
August 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Alpha lipoic acid is a nutritional supplement best known as an antioxidant. It is an organic compound that plays many important physiological functions at the cellular level. For one, it is widely regarded as a potent scavenger of free radicals. It also affects the rate of metabolism and the production of energy. In fact, it has become one of the most popular supplements available in the past few years.
Often abbreviated as ALA, alpha lipoic acid is a derivative of caprylic acid or octanoic acid. As its name suggests, caprylic acid is generally linked to goat milk, though it can be obtained from several other sources of food, such as vegetable oils. ALA has been the subject of studies in recent years. Apart from its role it in the prevention of oxidative stress, it also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar.
Modulates Insulin Function
Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream as measured by whole blood, plasma, or serum. Glucose is obtained from complex carbohydrates found in the human diet. It enters the circulatory system, travels through the bloodstream, and nourishes cells. It is the precursor of biochemical energy that supports the physiological functions of cells, tissues, and body organs.
There is good scientific evidence that alpha lipoic acid influences the uptake of glucose. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels as it instructs cells to take up glucose from the blood. It has been observed that alpha lipoic acid induces the activation of insulin receptors, raises the number of glucose transports in cell membranes, and enhances glucose uptake in the process.
Increases Glucose Utilization
Alpha lipoic acid is a dietary supplement popular among body builders largely owing to the fact that it increases glucose utilization. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the effects of ALA on overall metabolic rate, the reason why it has been marketed as a weight loss supplement for years. As a general rule, glucose utilization by cells increases as the rate of metabolism increases.
The synthesis of adenosine triphosphate requires the presence of glucose, which the human body uses as a source of cellular energy. Numerous studies have reported that alpha lipoic acid is capable of upregulating the production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Its presence Triggers cells to convert glucose to energy at a faster rate, effectively affecting and lowering blood sugar.
Alleviates Diabetes Mellitus
Alpha lipoic acid is especially helpful for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and its complications. In addition to its role in the management of blood sugar, it also protects the nervous system from cellular damage brought on by reactive oxygen species, as is the case with diabetic neuropathy. As a reputed free radical neutralizer, ALA not only alleviates diabetes but also prevents its complications.
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry
Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.
Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.
Promotes Purine Metabolism
Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of uric acid crystallizes and in the process Triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down uric acid and re-balance uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of uric acid.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
It is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.
Improves Sleep Disorders
Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.
Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?
February 19, 2011 11:42 AM
6 Ways Vitamin K Can Boost Your Health
Vitamin K is belongs to the group of vitamins that are soluble in fat. There are a lot of chemical compounds that display the activities of this essential nutrient inside the human body, but the best known form of this vitamin is phylloquinone, a naturally occurring substance in green leafy vegetables. Many different synthetic forms have also been proven to exhibit the same health benefits.
Helps against Blood Loss
Vitamin K was named so largely owing to the fact that it is directly involved in the coagulation of blood, which was the first of its benefits to be discovered. K stands for the first letter of its German name, Koagulationsvitamin. The process by which our body controls blood loss during bleeding, both external and internal, is called coagulation, which describes the ability of the blood to thicken and form a clot. Coagulation is central to the health of blood vessels as it stops bleeding and starts the healing process.
Promotes Vascular Health
Phylloquinone and other forms of Vitamin K have long been used as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. One form of calcification outside the bones occurs in the arterial linings, which wears down the elastic properties of vascular tissues. Arterial calcification in itself is a very serious medical condition and usually takes place in end-stage cardiovascular diseases. However, the absence of vitamin K in the body also brings on this disease.
Facilitates Calcium Absorption
There is strong evidence that vitamin K helps build strong bones, and is in fact utilized as treatment for osteoporosis. Vitamin K modulates the production of osteocalcin, which induces bone formation and reduces bone resorption by attracting calcium minerals inside the body. Premature calcification of bones negatively affects bone density, but the presence of vitamin K has been observed to avoid this.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The bone-building protein osteocalcin also acts as a hormone that Triggers the beta cells in the pancreas to release more insulin, which instruct cells in different tissues of the body to absorb glucose from the blood. Glucose is either converted into ATP, the primary source of energy that power cellular functions, or stored as glycogen inside the cells. Either way maintains healthy blood sugar.
Breaks down Body Fats
Osteocalcin is also involved in the burning of fats in adipose tissues, including the unwanted flab on the belly. By stimulating these fatty tissues to release a hormone called adiponectin, body fats are broken down into smaller particles and in the process release energy. In fact, the abundance of adiponectin in the bloodstream has been closely tied to low percentage of body fats in adults.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Vitamin K helps clear the body of ravaging free radicals that damage everything at the cellular level. It is particularly associated with protecting the nerve cells from premature death due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the reason why it is used in studies concerning Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. With all its health benefits, it is prudent to ensure consumption of Vitamin K.
Do you get enough Vitamin K Daily?
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.
These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.
A Powerful Herbal Blend
Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.
This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.
Immune Activating Mushroom
Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga Triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.
Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern latitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”
In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflamma
April 08, 2010 04:09 PM
Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity and more.
This is an unfounded scare tactic. Moderate use of Agave Nectar will not directly lead to the above mentioned consequences. The issue is overconsumption and poor dietary choices.
“Inaccurate information from ostensibly reliable sources and selective presentation of research under extreme experimental conditions, representing neither the human diet nor HFCS have misled the uninformed and created an atmosphere of distrust and avoidance for what, by all rights, should be considered a safe and innocuous sweetener.” – White, John S. The Journal of Nutrition. We believe this applies to agave as well.
Supporting data has been misused. The studies that have been conducted have measured metabolic upsets under extreme conditions. They have used pure 100% fructose versus pure glucose at very high concentrations. These conditions do not reflect the American diet or the composition of fructose containing sweeteners. The methods have been inappropriate for assessing the safety of these dietary macronutrients. Even pure water Triggers adverse health effects at these high repeat doses. The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.
Resveratrol, Longevity, and Aging
August 04, 2009 01:34 PM
Today growing older means more than settling into a comfortable armchair with the TV remote. Healthy aging means staying active and vigorous long into old age - not aging gracefully. An now intervention in the aging process - once regarded as fantasy - is within reach due to advances in nutritional science. One of the most exciting discoveries is resveratrol, a protective compound produced by grapes and other plants in response to environmental stress.
Stonger and more potent formulas are becoming available every day resveratrol included. One company Source Naturals has now produced a resveratrol product featuring 200 mg of pure resveratrol from traditional Chinese herb Hu Zhang (one of the richest sources) and from red wine extract.
A recent study at the Harvard Medical School reported that resveratrol Triggers genes in mice that support longevity and metabolic balance. By stimulating SIRT I genes, it mimics the healthy aging benefits of caloric restriction. Resveratrol addresses the metabolic inflammation so prevalent in today’s society by inhibiting NF kappa-B and COX-2 enzymes. And it provides antioxidant protection to the cardiovascular and immune system. In fact, of the dozens of SystemiCare metabolic systems indentified by Source Naturals as necessary for optimal health, resveratrol positively affects five: cells/DNA; inflammation response; antioxidant defense; circulation; and immunity.
Have you given resveratrol a try? Staying healthy and living longer is appealing to all individuals who are climbing the age ladder.
February 21, 2009 12:33 PM
Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that may or may not be accompanied by nausea, possibly with visual disturbances and other symptoms. Migraine incidences have increased by 50 percent within the last twenty years, with an estimated 25 to 30 million people suffering from them in the United States. Three out of four of these 25 to 30 million are women, with up to 24 percent of women experiencing at least one migraine in their lives and only 12 percent of men getting migraines. Migraine headaches are one of the most severe types of headache.
Research has described migraines as vascular headaches, as they involved excessive dilation or contraction of the brain’s blood vessels. Current research, however, gives other clues. The inflammation involved in migraines is most noticeable in the meninges, which surround the brain and the spinal cord. However, the inflammation of the meninges is not what leads to the pain of migraine, but instead abnormal nerve activity. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the head and face, Triggers the release of substances that are known as calcitonin gene-related peptides. These induce inflammation and send messages to pain receptors in the meninges. Some researches even liken migraines to meningitis in some ways, as the symptoms are very similar. However, meningitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection.
Migraines can occur anywhere from once a week to once or twice a year, often running in families. One factor that may contribute to the higher incidence of migraine in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen, as women typically get migraines around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low. Most often, migraines occur in people between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, seeming to decline with age. Children can also suffer from migraines, with pain tending to be more diffuse, rather than localized. Migraines can first show up in childhood as colic, periodic abdominal pain, vomiting, dizziness, and severe motion sickness, rather than as headaches.
There are typically five phases in a migraine. The first phase beings a day or so before the onset of a headache, as changes in mood, problems with memory, an alteration in one or all of the five senses, and speech problems occur. Secondly, some people will see flashes or patterns of light and experience numbness of the hands and mouth just before the headache. This is called an aura, and is a common sign of a classic migraine.
Those migraines that occur without auras are called common migraines. The third phase occurs when the headache starts with a severe, throbbing pain occurring on one or both sides of the head and can also move from side to side. Nausea can also set in this phase, along with tenderness in the neck and scalp, sensitivity to light, and possibly immobilization due to pain. The fourth phase occurs when the headache dissipates, although nausea may linger. During the fifth phase, the person may feel tired and lethargic, simply wanting to sleep.
A variety of things can trigger a migraine in an individual who is susceptible, including allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, hormonal changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Dental problems and low blood sugar can also be factors, while other underlying causes such as genetic factors, chemical imbalances in the brain, poor nutrition, and the overuse of painkillers can cause an individual to be susceptible to migraines. Block Migraines with vitamins and herbs.
The following nutrients are recommended for preventing and dealing with migraines: calcium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, DMG, DLPA, essential fatty acid complex, 5-HTP, a multivitamin and mineral complex, rutin, vitamin B complex, garlic, quercetin, taurine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, cordyceps, feverfew, ginkgo biloba, cayeene, chamomile, fumitory, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, valerian, willow bark, and wormwood.
If you are experiencing migraines, consult your doctor before starting vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplements are natural and feed the body to make it stronger and capable of fighting the diseases it may come up against, but medications prescribed by your doctor can conflict with certain vitamins and herbs and a doctors consultation is needed when taken with medications. A source of natural vitamins are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
November 25, 2008 12:08 PM
According to the 2006 National Health Survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, it is estimated that about 17.6 million adult Americans suffer from hay fever, with 6.8 children also suffering. Even more, physicians state that more than 11 million office visits are by patients seeking relief from hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of hay fever include itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion, and an endless amount of sneezing. All of these symptoms are caused by an overacting immune response to a variety of possible Triggers, which include pollen from plants, dust, dust mites, airborne pollutants, mold, and pet dander.
Hay fever is marked by inflammation of mucous membranes in the eyes, throat, ears, sinuses, nose, and lungs. Although the development of inflammation in allergies is complex, one of the most influential factors is immunoglobulin E (IgE), which responds to protein allergens. Although there is a genetic component to susceptibility to allergic response to certain Triggers, the focus of allergy relief is on the events that occur as a reaction.
Various natural products offer allergy relief by targeting the factors in allergy pathology. Similar to other areas of immune health, fruits and vegetables are suggested for the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that they provide. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant in the airway surface liquid of the lungs; therefore, it can severely impact allergies and asthma. Low levels of vitamin C have actually been associated with asthma in both adults and children. Also, low levels of vitamin E have been associated with asthma and other wheezing illnesses. Combining antioxidant ingredients also provides additional relief. Therefore, by combining vitamins C and E with the antioxidant NAC, pollen-induced airway inflammation is inhibited by blocking ragweed oxidases which cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the airways.
On its own, NAC reduces mucous viscosity and protects against lung tissue damage. According to scientists, lycopene may also be beneficial. As far as minerals are concerned, both magnesium and zinc have been proven to help. Quercetin has both antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it to inhibit the release of histamine in nasal mucosa of allergic patients. Glucomannan was shown in a study to suppress allergy symptoms, while CLA reduces allergy symptoms such as sneezing.
One of the best natural remedies for allergies is comprised of botanicals such as licorice root, skullcap, pine bark extract, and butterbur. Licorice root offers anti-inflammatory activities along with aide in fighting IgE allergic reactions, while skullcap can restrict inflammatory cytokine production. Pine bark extract blocks the release of allergy troublemakers in the body even better than a known pharmacological histamine inhibitor.
Similarly, butterbur has abilities in blocking histamine release by IgE-sensitized mast cells and relieving allergy symptoms as effectively as drugs without the drowsy side effects. Although allergies are widespread and disrupt the daily lives of many people, they strike one out of every four Americans, affecting six times more than cancer. The mechanisms of allergic reactions in the body, especially those in the upper respiratory system, are becoming more and more well-known.
Natural products are available that can help to address these mechanisms, along with the mediators that produce the inflammation and symptoms that allergies create. Natural vitamin supplements are available at your local or internet health food store.
August 18, 2008 12:01 PM
Whether coconut oil is good for weight loss or not, it is becoming an increasingly popular component of a weight loss diet. So how justified is this in view the fact that fats and oils are not normally regarded as being the best form of food to take if you want to lose weight?
Apart from any other considerations, fats are actually very important components of any diet. Consider, for example, how many vitamins are fat soluble: vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, and without fats in your diet vitamins would not be able to circulate and be taken to where they do most good. Fats are also essential building blocks for hormones and cell membranes. In short, you cannot survive without fats. Coconut oil is a fat.
In referring to coconut oil here, we are discussing virgin oil, not the refined form that is high in cholesterol. Refined, or processed coconut oils, is hydrogenated, which renders it more in nature to the longer chain fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are easily metabolized by your liver into energy.
The longer chain fatty acids, also called triglycerides, are not easily broken down into smaller components, and tend to be stored in the body as fat. This fat can be particularly dangerous if stored round the midriff, and so long chain fatty acids are dangerous to your health. This does not apply to MCFAs, and a possible mechanism for this is discussed later.
An inability to distinguish between the different types of fats and oils in your diet is largely due to a lack of education in the chemistry of fats, and the lumping together of all fats and oils under the 'fatty' flag. Perhaps it is the use of the word 'fat' for the overweight condition and the fact that the triglycerides and other chemicals are known generically as 'fats' that Triggers a connection between the two, but although this is logical, and in some cases justified, it is not always the case. There are fats and fats, just as there are lubricating oils and greases, and edible cooking oils and greases.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are composed of relative small carbon chain lengths. Caprylic acid and capric acid contain 8 and 10 carbon atoms in the backbone compared to the 18 of the stearic acid that is commonly contained in animal fats. The longer the carbon chain in the molecule, the more difficult it is to break down, and the more likely it is to be stored in the body as a dense fatty deposit that places a strain on the heart.
Due to the shorter chain length the medium chain fatty acids hold less energy per unit weight. Apart from any other reasons then, coconut oil contains fewer calories than other fats and so if used as the bulk of your fat requirement, will be less liable to generate body fat. Not only that, but as inferred earlier, due to the smaller molecule these calories are more readily released as energy for use by your body rather than stored unused.
However, that is not the whole story on either count: coconut contains saturated fats, and also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, although in small quantities. These, however, are present in only small amounts, although would still be expected to undergo oxidation and produce the rancid taste commonly found in aged unsaturated oils and fats. However, even after a year this does not happen, which indicates that coconut oil possesses some form of antioxidant properties. This is confirmed by the fact that people eating a diet rich in coconut oil has less of a need for the strong oil-soluble antioxidant vitamin E.
In fact, the metabolism of fats is usually connected with the carnitine transport system in the mitochondria, although the shorter chain fatty acids do not need carnitine for their metabolism. What happens then is that because carnitine promotes oxidation during stress, and causes oxidative damage to body cells, its absence in metabolism of coconut oil fatty acids results in a reduction in the oxidation that degrades unsaturated fats. Hence the lack of rancidity.
Taking this further, then, this lack of oxidation infers that those that take a diet rich in coconut oil (for example using it for cooking rather than animal and vegetable oils containing longer chain fatty acids) should be partially protected against cell oxidation in general. Oxidative effects such as aging, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers should be reduced, and studies have shown this to be the case. Those consuming coconut oil rather than other oils tend to age more slowly, suffer less from heart disease and tend to experience fewer incidences of cancer.
With regard specifically to weight loss, it is believed that consumption of medium chain triglycerides, as opposed to longer chain triglycerides, results in a higher rate of thermogenesis, or the conversion of carbohydrates to energy (fats are also carbohydrates). The first step in this process requires the presence of Coenzyme A in the form of the enzyme acyl-CoA-dehydrogenase, and measurement of the activity of this enzyme has indicated that medium chain triglycerides exhibit much higher expenditure of energy than the metabolism of long chain triglycerides when being converted to fatty tissue. However, though the energy used up in this reaction, known as lipogenesis, was higher, the formation of fatty tissue was the same.
Hence, MCA uses more energy to produce the same amount of fat as LCA, and therefore, although more energy is used up, no new fat is generated by the liver. Since your dietary fat intake can ultimately have only three fates: burned as energy, stored as the emergency energy source glycogen, or deposited as fat, then it is logical that the more energy generated then the less fat will be stored.
In this way, coconut oil, with a high content of medium chain fatty acids, has a scientific explanation for causing weight reduction when used as a source of fat in the diet rather than animal or other vegetable fats or oils. It is converted to energy rather than fatty tissue, and if you exercise to use up that energy then your weight loss can be significant.
What this theory also states, however, is that coconut oil should be used as a replacement for other fats, and not in addition to it. If you take coconut oil in addition to your normal diet, do not expect to see results.
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.
Increase Absorption Of Your Discount Vitamins With Bioperine
November 02, 2007 04:54 PM
In order to understand how you increase absorption of your discount vitamins with Bioperine, it is necessary to understand the metabolic process of thermogenesis. First, however, let’s have a look at what Bioperine is and where it comes from.
Bioperine is obtained from the fruit of Piper nigrum L (black pepper) or Piper longum L (long pepper) of which it is a patented standardized extract. These peppers contain the alkaloid piperine, and the extract contains 95% piperine. The plants are grown in the ideal damp soil in regions of Southern India where the earth is rich in nutrients. The barriers are harvested just before ripening, and then dried in the hot sun before the extraction process is started. Piperine has many uses from flavoring to fly killer, but people have been using it for centuries to heal wounds though this is apparently unconnected with the use to which the extract is put.
It has recently been found to help increase the absorption of a number of discount vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B, beta-carotene, and selenium, by increasing the thermogenic activity of the body. Thermogenesis is one of the metabolic processes of the body that takes place within our cells whereby glucose is converted to energy, but at an accelerated metabolic rate. It is the rise in the metabolic rate that is referred to as thermogenesis.
When you eat food, or take supplements, the metabolism increases above the normal rate, the amount of increase depending upon the type on nutrient taken. Fats will increase your metabolism at a lower rate than proteins will, for example, since more energy is needed to break down proteins than for fats. Another substance that stimulates thermogenesis is piperine. It does so by utilizing the biochemistry of the body so that the chemicals needed for thermogenesis are made available.
Piperine Triggers the release of compounds known as catecholamines, hormones that in turn stimulate the thermogenetic process. However, this occurs over a short period of time, so the nutrients that are needed should be present in the gut as well since the window of absorption is very narrow. The substance also modifies the epithelial cell wall of the intestine to make it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and it also gives amino acids a kick to get moving to the cells in which they are required.
Bioperine, then, not only sets off the metabolic changes that demand vitamins and other nutrients and enzymes, but also improves the conditions in your intestines so that these nutrients can more easily get to where they are needed. Basically, what Bioperine does is to cause the intestinal wall to become more permeable to nutrients, so that vitamins and drugs are not degraded when passing through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream. This improves digestion and absorption of minerals and vitamins, in addition to protein supplements frequently used in weight loss diets.
Bioperine starts by generating a need for nutrition and then increase the bioavailability of the nutrients provided to meet that need. However, due to the short window of absorption that piperine generates, the vitamins and minerals you want absorbed should be co-administered with the Bioperine so that they are in place ready to be absorbed at exactly the right time.
There have been several studies carried on the efficiency with which piperine achieves this. The absorption of three different types of nutrients has been measured with and without Bioperine. These were beta-carotene, a fat soluble vitamin, vitamin B-6, a water soluble vitamin, and also a mineral, selenium which was provided as selenomethionine. The absorption of these by the digestive system was measured by detecting them before and after in the blood, and were found to increase considerably when taken along with Bioperine, but not so with the control group without it.
Measured increases were a 60% increase in beta-carotene, similar to that of vitamin B-6, and was 30% in selenium. The tests used a 5 mg dose of the Bioperine. Other studies have indicated an increase in the absorption of Coenzyme Q-10 of between 30% - 200%. This is the only piperine based product that has been patented for its effect in increasing the absorption of nutrients into the body, and also the only piperine based product to undergo such tests in the U.S. to substantiate its claims and prove its safety for use.
The black pepper itself is a common household spice, and has been used in India for its medicinal properties for centuries. It is mentioned in the practice of Ayurveda and its concentration on the function of the digestive tract in human health. Many of its formulas contain black pepper amongst their ingredients. The bioavailability of nutrients is a significant factor in the health of any specific population, and the exponents of Ayurveda overcame this problem, by chance or design, six millennia ago. It has been demonstrated time and time again that diet is not the factor of importance in nutrition, but how much of that diet is absorbed through the intestines.
This is yet another example of the medicines of our ancestors being shown to have a solid scientific basis, and perhaps we should pay more attention to those others that are disregarded by modern science. It could be that we have only scratched the surface of understanding human metabolism and biochemistry, and that there is much left to learn. Ancient wisdom should never be disregarded.
Bioperine is also available in many supplement mixtures so that it is taken at the same time as the relevant vitamins and minerals. The recommended dosage is from 1 mg – 5 mg from 2 – 3 times daily. It takes around 2 – 5 mg of Bioperine to provide sufficient enhancement of absorption of the nutrients that are taken with it. Keep in mind that the nutrients are best taken at the same time, and that taking the extract itself will simple increase the absorption of any nutrients that are in the intestine at that time. Bioperine can be purchased at your local or internet vitamin store.
Pycnogenol: Heart, Blood Sugar and Cellular Health
November 03, 2006 12:16 PM
Pycnogenol (pronounced pic-nojen-all) is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol® consists of particularly bioactive flavonoid species and its purity is in strict accordance with the United States Pharmacopoeia. Pycnogenol® was initially developed 35 years ago in Europe. During the past years it evolved as one of the most thoroughly researched nutritional supplements, with over 200 studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Seventy of these studies were clinical with in total more than 4,000 patients. Pycnogenol® taken in dosages from 25mg to 300mg is well tolerated and Pycnogenol® was attributed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA.
Pycnogenol® supports healthy capillaries
The “Career” of Pycnogenol® began in Europe, where it was first used to maintain vein and capillary health. Pycnogenol® has been shown to strengthen blood vessel walls, with 15 clinical trials showing fast relief from ankle and foot discomfort. A recent study with 200 passengers on long-haul flights showed that Pycnogenol® taken before departure and again during the flight supports foot comfort and healthy circulation. Travelers typically comment that with Pycnogenol® it is much easier to put shoes on again upon arrival. Clinicians in Germany discovered that Pycnogenol® also supports healthy capillaries in the eyes. Retinal capillaries may be affected by imbalanced blood sugar levels. In a multi-center field study with 1169 subjects Pycnogenol® supported healthy capillaries in the retina and improved visual acuity to some extent.
Pycnogenol® benefits the cardiovascular system
More detailed investigation of the interaction of Pycnogenol® with blood vessel walls at the University of Florida, Tampa led to an amazing discovery. Pycnogenol® stimulates an enzyme in blood vessel walls that is responsible for generating the most important vascular mediator, known as “nitric oxide” (NO). NO Triggers relaxation of the arteries and supports clear blood flow. Hence, NO is the body’s mediator for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and circulation. NO plays such an important function for cardiovascular health that Dr. Louis Ignarro (UCLA) and his co-workers received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1987.
A number of factors, including aging, can interfere with the body’s efficient production of NO. Supplementation with Pycnogenol® for four weeks was shown to restore NO production and improve blood supply to the fingertips of elderly people in a Japanese study. Microscopic evaluation of blood vessel diameter at the root of fingernails showed an increased diameter of capillaries allowing better blood perfusion. Specific sensors applied to the legs showed increased oxygen and decreased carbon dioxide presence. Better blood, nutrient and oxygen supply with Pycnogenol® benefits everybody. Italian researchers were able to show that regular intake of Pycnogenol® helps defy muscle cramps and minor pain in athletes.
The relaxation of arteries has a favorable effect on blood pressure. In two clinical studies Pycnogenol® taken for at least eight weeks was found to significantly support normal blood pressure.
Pycnogenol® stimulated NO generation directly translates into clear blood flow. This was first demonstrated at the University of Arizona, Tucson in smokers. Pycnogenol® dose-dependently, starting at a single dose of 25mg, countered the typical effects of cigarette smoking on the blood. Also, Italian vascular specialists found that Pycnogenol® supported the circulation of individuals on flights between New York and London.
Pycnogenol® supports healthy blood sugar levels
Pycnogenol® can support normal glucose levels when taken as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle plan. A clinical investigation has confirmed the significant glucose-lowering effect of Pycnogenol®. It was noted that Pycnogenol® did not affect insulin levels. Pycnogenol® appears to facilitate previously insulin-resistant cells to uptake sugar from the blood stream by yet unknown mechanisms.
Pycnogenol® limits cellular irritation
Two clinical studies carried out in Germany this year with student volunteers demonstrated that Pycnogenol® has a potent effect in preventing cellular irritation. Pycnogenol® inhibits a molecular “main-switch” in immune cells that Triggers the onset of cellular irritation in any part of the body. Moreover, Pycnogenol® was found to inhibit so-called COX enzymes, which are involved with minor pain-sensation related to cellular irritation.
Pycnogenol® sooths menstrual pain
Japanese gynecologists discovered in 1999 that regular supplementation with Pycnogenol® soothes the normal discomfort of menstrual pain, particularly during cramping. Another clinical investigation of 47 women in year 2004 confirmed the effect of Pycnogenol® in addressing menstrual pain. This year a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center field study with 116 women again confirmed these results. Pycnogenol® is not suitable for on-demand relief during menstruation. The studies show that Pycnogenol® reached highest efficacy when taken regularly for months.
Pycnogenol® helps to support respiratory health
Challenges to normal respiratory function may result from incidents the immune system perceives as harmful. Pycnogenol® offers valuable help in supporting respiration due to its immune-modulating effect and its ability to limit cellular irritation. A study at the University of Arizona found that Pycnogenol® supports clear breathing and lowers mediators of cellular irritation in the blood stream. More recently, a placebo-controlled clinical study at the University of California, Loma Linda described how Pycnogenol® supported healthy respiration in 60 children aged 6-18 years. Pycnogenol® needs to be taken continuously for prolonged periods of time for maximum benefit to the respiratory system.
Pycnogenol® is investigated in clinical trials all over the world. New findings are posted on the website www.pycnogenol.com.
Frank Schonlau Ph.D. is a biochemist who has spent nine years in medical research at the University Clinic of Munster Germany. His area of expertise covers vascular disorders, inflammation and dermatology. He has published more than 20 studies and review articles in the medical literature. Since entering the dietary field in 1999 he was involved in numerous studies on Pycnogenol® and communication of new health discoveries.
Dr. Nugent’s Genetic Key Diet Notes Why is America Losing the Fat Battle?
September 19, 2006 05:48 PM
MSG Factor: increases appetite, Triggers something in your body that makes you want more. There are no genetically fat rats but they make them fat by giving them MSG. they have taken an animal that has no natural obese traits or genetics and “enhanced” them. MSG is a flavoring that makes you want to eat more. The phrase “Betch ya cant eat just one!” has true meaning! It is in highly processed foods under different labeling names so that we purposely don’t see the words MSG (Monosodium Glutamate.)
Most tenderizers are high in MSG, “accent” and “adolph’s” are among the list. your fast food restaurants’ are guilty as well. It’s what keeps you coming back and eating far more than you should need.
“Packages that say no MSG is because they are now putting tow preservatives that combine together to make MSG. Ascorbic Acid (preservative), and benzene salts combine to make MSG when heated. Soft drinks are stored in hot ware0houses, transported in hot trucks, and cans heat to over 100 degrees. Soft drinks do not have MSG added, but end up with it.”
Ascorbic acid and benzoate salt are preservatives that are combined in soft drinks and boxed fruit juices. When the drinks are exposed to heat and light the combination can stimulate the formation of benzene. We all know from reading Dr. Nugent’s Toxic Planet book that benzene is highly toxic in levels far below what the EPA states as safe. Considering that a lot of people live in warm, even hot states, the distribution centers and trucks are not kept cool, these drinks are heated in transport and storage. The soft drinks can end up with low levels of benzene. Your body doesn’t have the need, desire or tolerance for benzene at any level! If there ever was a good reason to get off soda and boxed drinks! Think about it.
Have you ever eaten to much at a nice restaurant, maybe a buffet and you must clean up your plate. The next day, you’re starving! Could be the MSG hangover.
Our brain needs 10 teaspoons of glucose each day for normal function. Because people have been warned about the problems with sugar we have added the pink, yellow & blue packets. Worse.
I stood in line behind a woman buying a small sack of prescriptions with a big price tag. She said its very expensive to be sick. (And she had a bottle of diet soda to go along with it.)
My husband said one time, “well, sooner or later we’re all going to get something and die.” I answered – “No-o-o, sooner or later we’re all going to die, but we don’t have to get sick.”
I used to subscribe to prevention magazine. After seeing so many advertisements for drugs, I dropped it. What is there in prevention that could cause me to take a drug?
Try Glyconutrients instead.
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to Triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress Triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “Triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress Triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
Folic Acid: Strengthening the Immune System in the Elderly
January 09, 2006 09:38 AM
Folic Acid: Strengthening the Immune System in the Elderly
By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, December 20, 2005, abstracted from “Dietary folate improves age-related decreases in lymphocyte function” in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry Recent research has elucidated health-promoting roles for folic acid beyond that of insuring normal development of the fetus. In addition to helping decrease neural tube defects,1 folic acid can also help treat inflammatory bowel disease 2 improve memory 3 and help decrease an amino acid in the body, homocysteine,4 that increases heart disease risk.5 Now a new study 6 has found another way that folic acid can help us age more gracefully: by helping strengthen our immune system. Recognizing the importance of nutrition in the overall health of the immune system 7 and knowing that certain types of immune system cells, called “T cells”, decrease with age,(8,9) researchers fed 11-month-old and 23-month-old male rats either a control diet or a diet fortified with 35.7 mg per kg of folic acid for three weeks. Researchers found “a significant” increase in immune system strength in the folic acid group, specifically that of increased T cell levels, other immune system proteins called IL-2, IL-4, and anti-cancer proteins called “tumor necrosis factor”. While the study reaffirmed the immune system’s weakening with increasing age, the researchers concluded that “supplementing…with additional folate improves [immune system function] and that dietary folate requirement may be higher in the older population than in the younger population to support immune functions.” Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at mailto:ChiroDocPSUalum@msn.com or visiting his website www.CompleteChiropracticHealthcare.com Reference:
Holy Basil - For Natural Stress Reduction and COX-2 Inhibition
June 29, 2005 01:02 PM
Skyrocketing stress is one of our nation’s most pervasive public health problems. Daily stress can cause imbalances in inflammatory COX-2 production and cortisol levels, which can influence blood sugar changes and, ultimately, result in challenges to our health. To regain balance, Source Naturals introduces HOLY BASIL, a legendary Ayurvedic herb that is making news for its ability to inhibit the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, balance cortisol levels and normalize blood sugar. HOLY BASIL is rich in beneficial compounds—such as rosmarinic acid and eugenol—which work together to reduce stress. This herb also typically contains ursolic acid, shown to inhibit COX-2 in in vitro research. As a result, HOLY BASIL has a positive effect on mental well-being, and can support minor pain relief from everyday activities. Source Naturals brings you this special herb, used daily in India by millions, in a high-potency, 450 mg extract tablet.
Stress, Blood Sugar and Nervous System Protection
For over five millennia, Tulsi (holy basil) has been used to improve digestion and restore imbalances of the body and mind. Now research has documented that HOLY BASIL may do this by decreasing levels of cortisol, a hormone produced and secreted by the adrenal glands. Nicknamed the “stress hormone,” cortisol production increases in response to chronic stress. Cortisol Triggers the body to make glucose from amino acids, which causes blood sugar to rise. Through normalizing cortisol levels in times of stress, holy basil may prevent not only the mood changes associated with stress, but also prevent the increases in blood sugar that researchers say can contribute to numerous health imbalances affecting more than half of all Americans. HOLY BASIL has also been found to normalize neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Researchers found in animal studies that HOLY BASIL counteracted stress-induced changes in neurotransmitters and enzymes. Stress leads to a positive increase in brain serotonin levels, increases in dopamine levels and increases in SDH (succinate dehydrogenase) levels, while holy basil may help people maintain normal levels of these brain chemicals in times of stress. Another study found that animals that received the extract showed significant normalization of epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, MAO, and SDH. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are used in coping with stress. The researchers suggest that when dopamine levels rise, these two neurotransmitters may be replenished since dopamine is a precursor for their synthesis. This may be the mechanism by which holy basil assists with stress adaptation.
A Powerful Adaptogen
HOLY BASIL is classified as a premier “adaptogen,” an herb that can normalize body processes and restore overall health by maintaining body systems. Adaptogens support our systemic response to stress and give us stamina. HOLY BASIL is not to be used if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant. Taking personal responsibility for your health and exploring safe natural alternatives to support prevention is the basis for the current revolution in health care. And health food outlets are the center of this wellness revolution. It is here that Source Naturals HOLY BASIL and hundreds of other advances in nutritional science and natural health can be found.
Progesterone Cream - Supports Hormonal Balance
June 28, 2005 09:40 AM
Recent medical reports have profoundly shaken popular beliefs about the safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women in menopause. You may be one of the six million women who are searching for alternatives. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM can help address normal menopausal discomforts, when used as part of a care for their own health needs. Source Naturals is committed to joining with your health food retailer to help insure that right.
Menopause and Hormonal Balance
Public confidence in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) suffered a major blow when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health halted a large clinical trial out of concern for the safety of participants. Women are looking for natural alternatives to risky HRT.
Source Naturals Progesterone CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM address the hormonal fluctuations that bring on the first disturbing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Used together or separately, these creams address declining levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone Cream from Woman-Friendly Soy
Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to most other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, estrogen and testosterone. Because it is the precursor to so many hormones, progesterone is crucial for overall hormone balance. Yet progesterone levels can drop to near zero during menopause. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM supplies natural progesterone from soy.
Unlike creams which don’t divulge their progesterone content, Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce! This pure white cream softens and smoothes skin. Along with natural progesterone, it contains aloe vera, wild yam extract, natural vitamin E, lecithin phospholipid, jojoba oil, and extracts of ginseng root and grapefruit seed. Natural rosemary oil is added as a fragrance. Available in both tubes and jars for your convenience.
Phyto-Estrogen Cream: Plant Compounds Renowned for Menopause Estrogen levels drop 40-60% at menopause. Phytoestrogens—estrogens from plants—have been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen, helping maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. When there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens substitute for the lack of human estrogen. Conversely, when estrogen levels are high (as in some women who experience PMS), phytoestrogens compete with human estrogen for binding to receptors and decrease overall estrogenic activity.
Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is an almond-colored cream that can be massaged into smooth skin areas to add oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM offers some of the finest phytoestrogens in the botanical world, including 60 mg of soy isoflavones per ounce. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM also contains pomegranate seed juice (a natural source of estrone), red clover tops extract, black cohosh root extract, and dong quai root extract, along with aloe vera gel, natural vitamin E, cocoa butter, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oil, and natural cherry almond fragrance.
Warning: Phyto-Estrogen Cream is not for use by women of childbearing age. DO NOT USE if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant.
Source Naturals offers you the first progesterone and phytoestrogen creams to utilize unique liposomal delivery of key ingredients. Liposomes are micro-penetrating lipid spheres made from lecithin, which pass through skin layers more easily than non-liposomal creams—for highest possible penetration of skin cells. Both creams are available in 2 and 4 oz jars. PROGESTERONE CREAM is also available in 2 and 4 oz tubes.
Lifestyle Tips for Menopause: A Strategy for Wellness
Eat Well: In certain cultures, hot flashes are practically unknown. It is generally true that women in these cultures eat foods rich in phytoestrogens. For example, in Southeast Asia, where soy proteins comprise 20% to 60% of daily protein intake, epidemiological studies suggest an association between a positive, trouble-free menopause and soy consumption.
Lignans—phytoestrogens found in flaxseed oil and unprocessed olive oil—may also have a protective effect. You should eat fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, cereals, beans, whole grains and small portions of fish or hormone-free chicken. Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods. Avoid fatty meats, sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and chemicals. Adequate calcium intake— 1,500 mg per day—is crucial.
Use Supplements: Source Naturals HOT FLASH is an excellent complement to PROGESTERONE and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAMS. A recent comprehensive scientific review of natural menopause products (Annals of Internal Medicine 11/19/02) singled out soy isoflavones and black cohosh for their benefits in addressing hot flashes. Unlike most products, HOT FLASH contains clinical potencies of both soy isoflavones and standardized black cohosh extract. In addition, HOT FLASH contains additional herbs, renowned for use in menopause: vitex, licorice root and dong quai. To be sure you are covering all your nutritional bases, take a good daily multiple like MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE, especially designed for women 40+ years old.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, while those who are thin or underweight are more susceptible to osteoporosis and hot flashes.
Rest and Relax: It is important to get adequate sleep, take naps if you feel tired, and avoid stress. Meditation and yoga can be helpful in reaching a state of calm. Take Care of Your Skin: A 1997 study of 3,875 postmenopausal women documented the relationship between low estrogen levels and skin dryness and loss of elasticity. Research has associated wrinkling with consumption of full-fat dairy products, butter, margarine, fatty meats and sugar. Drink lots of water—at least 1.5 liters daily. Water flushes out wastes, and acts as an internal moisturizer, keeping skin hydrated and supple. Spring water is beneficial since it contains trace minerals vital to healthy skin. For radiant skin, you should also try the Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL™ family of creams and serums. This advanced cosmetic system recharges and revitalizes all skin types. Keep Cool. Avoid Triggers such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, overheated rooms, hot beverages and stress. Wear layered clothing, and choose natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool.
Stay Active: Exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps regulate weight and contributes to overall well-being. Weight-bearing exercises are especially important for increasing bone mass. Kegel exercises (tightening and relaxing of the pelvic muscles) can improve bladder control, and may enhance sexual pleasure. Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): Alternative therapies— herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and much more—can help you cope with the physical and emotional changes of menopause.
Say Goodbye to Headaches
June 13, 2005 07:25 PM
Say Goodbye to Headaches by Susan Weiner Energy Times, December 8, 1999
What's in a name? A headache by any other name hurts just as much. But categorizing your headache can be as overwhelming as finding an obscure breakfast cereal at the supermarket. Medical folks pigeonhole headaches as tension headaches, allergy headaches, morning headaches and sinus headaches, plus the organic, migraine, cluster, trauma, TMJ, eyestrain, rebound, exertion, hormonal and muscle tension varieties. You may also suffer the self-induced hangover and toxicity headaches.
Americans are no strangers to self-medication, and as a society we battle these headaches by consuming nearly 80 billion tablets of aspirin each year, about 20 million aspirins a day, according to Burton Goldberg, co-author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches (Future Medicine Publishing). And while we drown ourselves in over-the-counter and powerful prescription products, our tolerance, just like a drug addict's, grows. So what begins as a twodose headache slowly evolves into three, four or five doses, until you realize that no dosage can make your headache go away.
Unless you're fond of medieval practices such as ritualistic healings and bloodletting, drugs seem the only answer to headache misery. But even modern medicine has been unable to solve headaches. Rather than a cure, medications provide only temporary relief, and even that isn't guaranteed. Additionally, over-reliance on medications can lead to chronic head pain. According to Goldberg, rebound headaches often result from the consumption and withdrawal of drugs.
Halt Your Headaches
Rather than strive to simply eliminate headache pain, why not identify the underlying cause and prevent the headache? Almost always, every type of headache results from a health or lifestyle-related activity. In an ideal world, the best approach would be to eliminate the tensions, stress, frustrations, anger, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking and poor diet that contribute to your headaches. For better or for worse, however, you can't always: a. quit your job; b. ask your spouse to leave; c. sit on the beach all day; or d. all of the above. But you can make appropriate lifestyle changes and learn to express suppressed feelings.
This approach, lifestyle modification, is a treatment program based on a Loma Linda University study, originally published in Medical Hypothesis and the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine and later explained in No More Headaches, No More Migraines: A Proven Approach to Preventing Headaches and Migraines by Zuzana Bic, DrPH and L. Francis Bic, PhD (Avery). The program, conducted on a group diagnosed with chronic migraines, dramatically decreased the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches in nine of 10 headache sufferers. Rather than demand radical life changes, the lifestyle modification program introduces gradual changes in three specific areas: nutrition, exercise and understanding stress. The study doesn't expect you to change your entire diet, join a gym and eliminate everything that Triggers stress, but teaches techniques to make subtle lifestyle changes and reduce the impact of daily stress. These same techniques can also improve sleep patterns, a factor known to affect headaches. The lifestyle modification approach clarifies that while very few headaches directly result from existing acute conditions, recurring headaches often derive from a larger lifestyle factor. If these issues are ignored, the body's natural defense mechanisms may kick into overdrive and become exhausted, leaving you susceptible to other chronic diseases. By finding and eliminating the cause of your headaches, you may be saving yourself from other eventual illnesses.
Willing to make some lifestyle changes and step away from medications? Try these remedies, courtesy of Nature's Pharmacy by Lynn Paige Walker, PharmD and Ellen Hodgson Brown, JD (Prentice-Hall).
For simple headaches, start with relaxation and neck stretches. Or try rubbing your forehead with peppermint oil, a natural antispasmodic and diuretic shown in German research to be as effective as acetaminophen in easing tension headaches.
Never underestimate the old-fashioned ice pack to the forehead as an effective treatment that works by constricting the swollen blood vessels that cause your head to ache. If the ice pack isn't enough, try putting your arms in icy water up to your elbows to constrict additional blood vessels. But if it's a sinus headache you're fighting, take the opposite approach and try hot compresses.
The herbal, and original, form of aspirin is white willow bark. Used by Chinese practitioners 2,500 years ago, it contains salicin, nearly the same pain reliever found in aspirin. Other herbal aspirins include meadowsweet tea, just as effective as aspirin with few side effects. For migraines, Walker and Brown recommend feverfew and magnesium supplements, which reduce nerve excitability and migraine susceptibility. In fact, individuals with frequent headaches have been found to have low brain and tissue magnesium, says Julian Whitaker, MD, author of Julian Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing (Prima). For all headaches, Goldberg suggests essential fatty acid supplementation with evening primrose oil (EPO), which improves circulation, helps regulate inflammation and relieves pain.
The Curse of the Migraine
Migraines, a debilitating headache distinguished by a throbbing pain, may be humanity's oldest malady. The name is derived from the word the Greek physician Galen used to describe the disorder in 200 A.D. Six-thousand-year-old Sumerian writings refer to the ravages of migraines, and prehistoric skeletons bear testimony to a crude form of trephination-holes chiseled in skulls to allow the escape of pain-creating demons, according to Lifetime Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by Myra Cameron (Parker Publishing).
In the common migraine, throbbing pain develops gradually from distended veins around the brain and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. These miseries can be preceded by 15 to 90 minutes of an "aura," which includes visual disturbances, distorted perception, hallucinations, flashes of light and temporary loss of sight or hearing. In fact, skeptical historians attribute some of the religious visions of the Middle Ages to the visual effects of migraine aura, according to Cameron.
Snacking on high fiber foods between three light meals each day helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent migraines. And while some doctors summarily attribute migraines to diet, other experts attribute at least half of all migraines to food sensitivities. The most common edible villains are aged cheeses, yeast breads, chocolate, cured meats, citrus fruits, eggs, fermented foods, wheat, milk, milk products, alcoholic drinks and food additives, including nitrates and MSG.
Suggested daily supplements for migraine-susceptible individuals include a multivitamin, one capsule of B complex to help maintain normal vascular control, 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams in divided doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to assist the production of anti-stress hormones, and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium to reduce nerve excitability and pain. At the onset of a migraine, says Cameron, try homeopathic remedies, dilutions of natural substances from plants, minerals and animals. For throbbing pain, take natrum muriaticum according to package directions. Other homeopathic options to explore include iris versicolar, lac defloratum and sanguinaria.
Take Charge of Your Headaches
Headache management involves managing your life. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Calmly discuss your feelings. Take a leisurely stroll at lunch. Walk your dog, or a neighbor's dog, after dinner. Keep a food diary. Sit and stand tall. Skip the fast food tonight. Join a yoga class. Take vitamins and supplements. Get a two-hour massage. Turn the television off earlier and sleep in a little later.
Taking the time to care may take effort, but it will soon become second nature. Invest in yourself. It's your most precious possession.
Clearing the Air
June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999
One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.
Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.
The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.
Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.
Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Waging War on the Wheeze
Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.
Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.
Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and planning for relief.
Triggers and Therapies
Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.
In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is expelled.
"Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."
According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.
"When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.
Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.
"Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.
Dilating on Nutrients
Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment plan with a trusted health care provider, that plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.
According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.
"Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).
Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.
Defending the Lungs
Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.
Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:
Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.
Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).
Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).
Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).
Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.
A Bundle of Botanicals
Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and myrrh for pulmonary problems.
Today, the power of plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)
In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.
Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.
Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).
Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.
Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).
Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it Triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system Triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy Triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy Triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
AMINO ACIDS AND PROTEIN
June 09, 2005 09:48 AM
AMINO ACIDS AND PROTEIN
Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in the human body. Complex mega-molecules of protein are the structural building blocks of tissue. The thousands of different proteins in our bodies are composed of 20 molecules called amino acids. In the last 20 years, research has shown the benefits of amino acid supplementation to such diverse areas of human biochemistry as metabolism, enzyme and neurotransmitter production and antioxidant protection. Source Naturals utilizes the latest-breaking research to bring you a highly comprehensive line of amino acid supplements.
DNA provides the instruction manual for life, RNA reads the manual and the genetic information is expressed by proteins. Proteins are the most abundant macromolecules in living cells constituting 50% or more of their dry weight. They create the structure of our cells and tissues, and play an essential role in virtually all of the biochemical events that animate those tissues.
The term "protein" refers to a set of macromolecules that encompasses an extensive variety of structure and function&endash;from helical rods with the tensile strength of steel to elastic sheets to huge molecular machines with hinged jaws that snap closed to hold other molecules in place. Amazingly, all proteins, in their remarkable variety, are built out of a set of 20 simple molecules called amino acids.
Amino acids are one of the four types of small molecules out of which all life is constructed. The other three are: palmitic acid (see "Essential Fatty Acids," page #), adenine and glucose. All amino acids share a common chemical "backbone" which consists of an a -carbon atom to which four substituent groups are bonded: a nitrogen-containing amino group (H2N), a carboxyl group (COOH), a hydrogen atom and an "R" group. The "R" group or side chain (figure #) varies in electric charge, size, structure and solubility in water, giving each amino acid its distinct chemical properties. Since all amino acids (except glycine) contain at least one asymmetrical carbon atom, each one exists in at least two forms: the l form and its mirror image or stereoisomer, the d form. While both forms are found in biological systems, only the l form is present in proteins.
Amino acids are linked together like beads on a string to form proteins, sometimes called peptides because of the peptide bonds that link the amino acids together. They range in size from simple two-amino-acid dipeptides to polypeptides which contain more than 1800 connected amino acids. The chemical backbone of the amino acids and their sequence constitutes the primary structure of a protein. Polypeptide chains then fold into specific 2 and 3-dimensional configurations that are unique for each type of protein. The pattern of folds, along with the chemical nature of the amino acid side chains contained in it, give a protein its characteristic biological activity. For example, the connective tissue proteins collagen and elastin give structure to cellular organelles and tissues, while proteins called enzymes catalyze and facilitate metabolic chemical reactions.
Nine of the 20 amino acids involved in protein synthesis are considered "essential";they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food sources. The term "non-essential" is sometimes used to classify the other eleven amino acids. However, this word is perhaps a misnomer; a better term might be synthesizable. These amino acids are just as vital to human metabolism as the "essential" amino acids; so vital that the body can synthesize them. They are, however, more available, more versatile, and more interchangeable.
When the presence or absence of a particular amino acid will determine whether a protein can be created or not, that amino acid is called a rate-limiting factor for that protein. For example, the tripeptide glutathione, a compound that forms an important part of the body's protective mechanisms, is made of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine and cysteine. Glutamic acid and glycine tend to be plentiful in the diet, and can be easily interconverted. Cysteine is the rate-limiting factor for glutathione; the amount of cysteine in the diet will determine the amount of glutathione that can be manufactured by the body.
Amino acids have a special role to play in brain nutrition, because all neurotransmitters are derived from amino acids or related compounds such as choline. Brain neurotransmitters, specifically, are biochemical keys to the workings of the mind. They are substances that perform chemical transmission of nerve impulses between neurons or between neurons and other cell types such as muscle. They work in the following way: an electric current (or action potential) travels down the length of a neuron, or nerve cell, until it reaches the synapse - a narrow gap between two cells. The incoming nerve impulse Triggers the release of neurotransmitter (NT) molecules, which diffuse across the synaptic gap. The neurotransmitter molecules bind with receptor proteins embedded in the membrane of the post synaptic neuron and activate a physiological response. Excitatory neurotransmitters propagate a new action potential while inhibitory NT's inhibit the development of new action potentials.
The amino acid precursors of neurotransmitters are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, a structural feature of brain anatomy that prevents many substances from contacting brain tissue. Thus, it is possible to influence brain metabolism (and therefore emotional states) through the mechanism of neurotransmitter synthesis. The enhancement of neurotransmitter production is one of the most exciting advancements to occur in the field of nutrition in modern times.
A major portion of the amino acid requirement in humans is derived from the proteins in food. Successive proteolytic enzymes attack the peptide bonds, cleaving one amino acid at a time from the polypeptide chain. Ultimately, free amino acids as well as small peptides (especially dipeptides) are absorbed through the mucosal cells of the small intestine. The small peptides are then further hydrolyzed so that only free amino acids enter the liver and portal vein. This sounds like a fairly straightforward process. However, the presence of a particular amino acid profile in a certain food does not guarantee the assimilation of those amino acids when the food is ingested. There are three types of amino acids: acidic, basic and neutral; each of these classes has a different transport mediator. Therefore, there is competition for the carrier between any two amino acids in a certain class, both in the digestive tract and at the blood-brain barrier. Thus, the isolation of "free-form" amino acids is an important aid to nutritional engineering. In many cases, the consumption of high potencies of a particular amino acid allows that nutrient to overwhelm the competition for absorption. The resulting increase in blood and tissue levels will yield the benefits conferred by that nutrient.
The isolation of free-form amino acids is an important advancement in the field of nutrition science. Amino acid supplements offer a broad range of choices to complement your nutritional program.
PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE (PS) - Maintain healthy cells ...
June 04, 2005 11:08 AM
All we have ever known or will ever feel, begins and ends with the hundreds of billions of nerve cells that form our brain. Without them, there can be no experience; for us, nothing would exist. Our mind and personality, the sense of who we are, emanate from this immensely intricate system of nerves. The brain’s remarkable ability to perceive and perform, remember and learn, is severely challenged by today’s social and physical environment. These environmental factors accelerate the decline in nerve cell activity that normally occurs with age. Recent clinical research is revealing how previously unrecognized nutrients can strengthen the body’s natural defenses against age-related cognitive decline. Source Naturals is proud to present the latest breakthrough in nutritional support for the brain: PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a phospholipid which forms an essential part of every human cell, but it’s particularly concentrated in the membranes of nerve cells. Since the electronic messages that communicate and regulate every aspect of our lives travel along nerve cell membranes, the structural integrity of these membranes is imperative to our health. The nerve cell membrane is the site where molecules of sodium and potassium exchange electrons, causing the electrical impulse to be generated. This bio-electric current then travels along the membrane to trigger the release of neurotransmitters. These are the chemical messengers that cross synapses (gaps between nerve cells) to relay information to neighboring nerve cells. This sets other electrical currents in motion– along thousands of other nerve cells. This happens billions of times each second, and is how the brain and nerves coordinate and communicate with the rest of the body. PS has a very important function in the nerve cell membrane. As a key bio-structural molecule, PS provides vital support for the membrane proteins that enable nerve cells to communicate and grow.
Regulating the Flow
Unlike other cells in the body, nerve cells do not reproduce. Instead, they repair and rebuild themselves, using proteins called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Experiments verify that PS enhances the synthesis and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.1 PS supplements enhance the cerebral cortex’s output of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with our ability to think, reason, and concentrate. PS also stimulates the synthesis and release of dopamine, related to heightened states of attention.2 The brain’s response to stress also appears to be related to PS. When healthy young men were subjected to exercise-induced stress, those taking PS had a lowered stress response. This was measured by blood levels of ACTH, the pituitary hormone that Triggers the adrenals to secrete the stress hormone cortisol.3
Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism and scored higher on cognitive tests.4 Behavioral factors were also measured in elderly subjects; PS positively affected their mood states.5 Over 23 clinical trials have investigated the effect of PS supplements on more than 1200 human subjects, ages 40-93. Consistent and statistically significant results suggest that PS supports brain functions that tend to diminish with age.
Nutritional research continually reveals new potentials for wellness. Source Naturals is committed to helping people achieve a fulfilling life, and a fully functioning nervous system is central to this aim. Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE can help support your body’s natural regenerative processes, keeping your brain healthy and vital for a long, long time. Experience the difference with Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
Cholestrex - Lower Cholesterol with Source Naturals Supplements
June 01, 2005 10:41 AM
Our lives depend on an uninterrupted flow of blood throughout the 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries that bring vital nourishment to our cells. Our bodies have complex chemical strategies to maintain and repair blood vessel walls. Cholesterol is an important part of the process. However, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can have serious consequences for our well-being. By understanding how nutrition affects blood cholesterol, we can gain valuable control of our health. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX has been formulated to provide the nutritional support that we need to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
SINCE DOCTORS FIRST DISCOVERED that cholesterol was the primary ingredient in the sticky deposits that clogged their patients’ arteries, scientists have gained a thorough understanding of cholesterol’s role in our health. Essential to human and animal life, cholesterol is part of every cell in the body. Because cholesterol is so important, the liver synthesizes from 1 to 2 grams of it each day. In addition, we get about another 500 mg from the foods we eat. Problems occur when too much cholesterol gets into the bloodstream. Today, it’s estimated that over 50 million adults in the United States have cholesterol levels that are too high. The body’s processes to manage excess cholesterol depend upon a lifestyle that includes exercise, stress reduction and proper nutrition. Source Naturals Cholestrex is designed to deliver a comprehensive combination of nutrients known to support a healthy blood vessel system – and keep the life stream flowing.
The nutrients in CHOLESTREX are known to support a healthy blood vessel system
Cholesterol: What It Is Cholesterol is a solid waxy substance, technically classed as a “sterol.” Cholesterol enables our cell membranes to maintain their integrity. It is the basic raw material from which the body makes steroid hormones, which include the sex hormones. Cholesterol is the primary component of bile salts that the liver creates to help us assimilate fats, fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. The liver also uses bile to rid itself of stored toxins. Our skin contains large amounts of cholesterol, making it resistant to the absorption of water-soluble toxins. Even the brain is 7% cholesterol (dry weight).
Blood vessel walls cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure
Cholesterol in the Blood
Because it’s not water-soluble, cholesterol must be attached to a carrier molecule in order to be transported in the bloodstream. The liver manufactures two types of carrier molecules for cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL (low density lipoprotein) molecules carry cholesterol from the liver out to cells of the body. One of its functions is to repair damaged cells, including those of the artery walls. LDL is primarily made up of saturated fats, (meat fats, butter, etc.). HDL (high density lipoprotein) molecules transport cholesterol and fatty acids from body tissues back to the liver for disposal. HDL helps remove excess fat and cholesterol from the bloodstream. HDL is composed of liquid fats (most vegetable oils). It’s crucial to have a proper balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol. High LDL – a sign that the body has too much fat – is a threat to the health of blood vessels, because excess LDL cholesterol may accumulate in damaged areas of vessel walls. These “fatty streaks” are the beginning stage of artery blockage.
The oxidation of LDL cholestrol is at the heart of the problem
Cholesterol and Artery Damage
The walls of the blood vessels cover a surface area of half an acre and are under constant pressure. Of all the blood vessels in the body, the coronary arteries are under the greatest stress. Named for the Latin word for crown (corona), they sit directly on the heart muscle and must continually expand and contract with every heartbeat. That’s 100,000 times each day. This constant squeezing can cause small lesions in the artery wall. This Triggers a repair process where LDL cholesterol comes in to patch up the damage. Recent research has found that the crux of the problem is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Rich in fatty acids, the LDL molecule becomes permanently altered when oxidized by free radicals (overreactive molecules that steal electrons from other molecules). These rancid, oxidized LDL molecules are no longer recognized by the body, so they’re attacked by immune system cells. These immune cells become bloated with the oxidized lipids, accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels. Why is LDL cholesterol being oxidized? First of all, there’s too much of it in the blood, while not enough HDL. Secondly, the blood doesn’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. The ingredients in Source Naturals Cholestrex address these specific problems in several ways. Cholestrex also provides nutrients that protect and strengthen blood vessel walls.
In the typical American diet, 95% of the cholesterol meant for removal is reabsorbed
Cholestrex Has It All
Vitamin C helps maintain the health of artery walls because it’s the key building block for collagen and elastin, the primary constituents of blood vessels. Copper is required by the enzyme that weaves together the fibers of collagen and elastin into the matrix that makes vessel walls both tough and flexible. As an antioxidant, vitamin C scavenges free radicals in the blood plasma and also regenerates vitamin E within the LDL molecule. Vitamin E has a critical role as the primary protector of LDL, preventing its oxidation. One molecule of vitamin E can protect 200 molecules of polyunsaturated fatty acids from free radical damage. GTF Chromium is involved in insulin activity and the normalization of blood sugar. Excess simple sugars are converted to triglycerides, the blood fats which can accumulate in artery walls. Lecithin is a component of HDL that emulsifies excess blood fat so it can be more readily transported in the bloodstream to the liver, where it’s metabolized. Vitamin B3 (niacin) assists in the metabolism of fats, and puts an electric charge on red blood cells so they repel each other, which prevents blood clumping. The amino acid, L-Arginine, works to lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting fat absorption.
Beta sitosterol neutralizes incoming dietary cholesterol
The Body’s Cholesterol Removal System
HDL molecules carry cholesterol from tissues throughout the body back to the liver, where it is incorporated into bile salts. These bile salts are sent to the intestines, where they combine with fiber for excretion. One problem with the typical American low fiber diet is that 95% of the bile-bound cholesterol is reabsorbed. Since this is the body’s primary pathway for ridding itself of excess cholesterol, another strategy incorporated into Cholestrex is to maximize the production of bile salts and minimize their reabsorption by increasing levels of fiber. Fiber is a key element of Cholestrex. Its four types of soluble fiber bind with bile salts that are laden with cholesterol to ensure their excretion from the body. Oat Bran & Fiber, Grapefruit Pectin, Psyllium Seed Husks and Alfalfa Seeds also absorb cholesterol from our food, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol. Alfalfa seeds are considered a blood purifier. Beta sitosterol, a plant equivalent of cholesterol, binds to sites in the intestines that would otherwise absorb cholesterol. Cholestrex provides a daily total of 300 mg of beta sitosterol which may, by itself, neutralize 200 to 300 mg of incoming dietary cholesterol by preventing its absorption. Vitamin C, among its many other vital roles, is the key factor in activating an enzyme that will increase the liver’s conversion of cholesterol into bile salts. CHOLESTREX uses bioactive mineral ascorbate forms of vitamin C that will not irritate the digestive system. Working in conjunction with the fiber in CHOLESTREX, Calcium increases HDL, while lowering total serum cholesterol.
Cholestrex–Intelligent Nutritional Support
Our generation is fortunate to witness the remarkable progress made by modern science in understanding the body’s complex biochemical processes. As we realize the vital connection between nutrition and cholesterol levels, we are empowered to improve our health and vitality beyond previous standards of wellness. Source Naturals CHOLESTREX. For you and the ones you love.
Beta Glucan 1,3/1,6 - Stimulates Immune Function!
May 31, 2005 05:18 PM
Today’s environment is filled with toxic challenges. A strong immune system is critical to protect you from this onslaught. There is perhaps no single compound more valuable for the immune system than BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6. This complex polysaccharide is found in cereals, yeast, mushrooms and other sources. Now Source Naturals offers you the only yeast beta glucan shown in numerous studies to stimulate your immune system. Only Source Naturals offers beta glucan in the form and potency that can fulfill its immense potential. Unlike products that consist of crude baker’s yeast, BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is purified: the outer cell wall layer and other residues that reduce effectiveness are removed. The few other purified beta glucans on the market range from 5 to 20 mg per tablet—at very high prices. The purity and 250 mg potency of Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 make this the only product that can deliver the immune-supportive power of beta glucan.
Beta Glucan & the Immune System
Beta glucans are non-digestible polysaccharides, which we obtain in our diet from oats, barley, yeast, and mushrooms. Beta glucan supplements are taken to support immune function in individuals whose systems are compromised by physiological and emotional stress. Beta glucan has been found in numerous studies to:
Beta Glucan & Cholesterol
Beta glucan has also been found to help maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range, possibly by forming a layer adjacent to intestinal mucosa that prevents cholesterol absorption. Beta glucan may also promote bile acid excretion, an important method for eliminating excess cholesterol.
Highly Purified Beta Glucan Yeast is one of the most concentrated sources of beta glucans—and Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is highly purified beta glucan from baker’s yeast. Beta glucans are derived from yeast cell walls, which consist of an outer shell coated with compounds called mannoproteins.
In addition, the cell wall contains a plasma membrane and a layer of small fibers. If these layers are not removed, they may interfere with recognition of beta glucan by receptors on white blood cells. It’s not easy to remove the compounds that interfere with beta glucan’s immune-supportive activity. As a result, many products contain beta glucan that is not properly purified— and cannot match the activity of BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6.
Of the numerous nutrients that support immune function, beta glucan is perhaps the most potent and efficacious. It is the central component for those who wisely embark on an immune enhancement regimen. Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is available in 250 mg tablets, making it one of the most potent products on the market.
Your Source for Advanced Nutrition
The development of BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 represents Source Naturals’ commitment to manufacturing supplements on the cutting edge of nutritional science. We are proud to partner with your local health food store in bringing you nutritional resources that help you take charge of your health.
Abel, G. and J. Czop. 1992. Int J Immunopharmac 14(8): 1363-1373. Czop, J. 1986. Pathol Immunopathol 5:286-296. Nicolosi, R. et al. 1999. Amer J Clin Nutri 39(2): 189-202.
May 09, 2005 06:10 PM
It's in the BloodNatural alternatives abound for managing cholesterol levels, backed by a growing body of research ©VR By Paul Bubny
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) last July lowered the threshold for considering the use of statin drugs—a move which some say was motivated more by profits than scientific evidence. For example, the Center for Science in the Public Interest pointed out that eight of the nine authors behind the new recommendations had financial ties to statin manufacturers, which stand to reap billions of dollars more from a category that grossed $14 billion in the U.S. last year. And though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January decided against authorizing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of statin drugs, drug companies would still like to see this happen.
“The medical establishment’s pushing of these drugs to becoming the number one category of prescribed drugs in the world has led them to keep lowering the total cholesterol number that Triggers the drug recommendation,” said Neil E. Levin, C.C.N., D.A.N.L.A., nutrition educator, product formulator, and “Truth Advocate” for NOW Foods (Bloomingdale, IL), which produces a number of supplements for addressing cholesterol. “This is despite the lack of evidence that total cholesterol means much as regards cardiovascular risks.
“Other tests are much more important in terms of predicting risks, including CRP (C-reactive protein), the balance of different cholesterol fractions, and homocysteine,” he continued. “Add adult-onset diabetes to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
At the same time, the allegation that enormous sales potential lay behind the lower threshold for prescribing statin drugs illustrates how widespread the problem of hypercholesterolemia (elevated total cholesterol) is. More than 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol (total cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl and higher), and of these, more than a third have high cholesterol (levels of 240 mg/dl and higher), according to the American Heart Association. Those numbers have unfavorable implications for the incidence of CVD, as high cholesterol is considered a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
While statin drugs haven’t garnered the same degree of negative publicity that COX-2 inhibitors have suffered lately, safety concerns have arisen nonetheless. For one thing, these drugs lower the liver’s production of coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) along with its production of cholesterol. “CoQ10 is related to energy production and immune functions, is an antioxidant, and [is] an important cardiovascular nutrient,” Levin said. “It is not good to lower one’s coQ10 levels by half!”
Moreover, said Levin, statins increase the tendency of muscle tissues to break down. “Combined with inactivity or certain drugs, this can stimulate muscle wasting,” he said. “Muscle is where a good deal of calories are burned, so a loss of muscle could affect mobility and energy production, potentially adding to obesity problems. These muscle changes occurred in patients and persisted for years after treatment was discontinued, as shown by muscle biopsies, even if no obvious muscle problems were observed by the patients.”
And the last word on the subject may not have been spoken. Predicted Dr. Frank King, Jr. president of King Bio Natural Medicine (Asheville, NC), “Once the appropriate studies are finished, these drugs, along with hypertensives, will hit the fan bigger than the COX-2 inhibitors.”
Also looking toward the future, Levin said that of the 20 million Americans who will be “targeted” for statin drug prescriptions under the new NCEP guidelines, “Some of these will want to try natural methods first. Others will rebel at the side effects of the drugs and experiment with alternative products.”
King and Levin both saw opportunity for natural products in the fallout from drug safety concerns, with King projecting that sales of his company’s cholesterol-related homeopathic remedies will double in 2005. “The reports of deaths from drugs will always overshadow the trumped-up studies and news reports blasting dietary supplements,” said Levin. “Vioxx knocked vitamin E off the media’s radar screens pretty rapidly, though we still see ignorant reporters citing that [Johns Hopkins] vitamin E analysis as if it were true. But the comparable safety of supplements means that open-minded people will want to at least try natural therapies before signing in to a lifetime of drug therapies. Meanwhile, the studies on natural products will continue to build our credibility.”
Those studies keep coming in, with at least four major findings published in the past few months, plus a heart-health claim on walnuts authorized by FDA. They join a raft of earlier findings that link natural products—branded and otherwise—to healthy cholesterol levels.
"Blur of Products"
With so many natural alternatives to cholesterol drugs available, it can be hard to keep track. “As with any other category, the blur of products as they cascade over several shelves means that the retailer needs to have a good sense of what works and what they want to recommend to their customers,” Levin said. “Really, each person needs a protocol that would include antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, herbs, and oils. The pre-mixed cholesterol support formulas are a good starting place.”
To help retailers get a sense of “what works,” here is an alphabetical discussion of several nutrients that have demonstrated benefits in serum cholesterol levels. They include the following:
Barley may help lower cholesterol, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004, vol.80, no.5: 1185-1193). Twenty-five adults with mild hypercholesterolemia consumed a controlled diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol for 19 weeks. They then added whole-grain products containing barley to their diets that contained low (0 g), medium (3 g), or high (6 g) amount of beta-glucan per day for five weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 4 percent 9 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. The diet with the highest amount of beta-glucan led to a decrease in LDL cholesterol of 17 percent.
Chromium. There’s evidence, Levin said, that chromium in doses of 500 mg a day may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol while raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). At the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition last October, a poster presentation on the safety of Benicia, CA-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals’ ChromeMate niacin-bound chromium won first prize; among other things, the presentation cited chromium’s role in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels.
Fatty Acids. The latest in a long line of studies demonstrating the benefits of fatty acids in heart health is a study published in The International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in December 2004. It showed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, can restore normal blood vessel function in children with inherited high cholesterol. The study, which used Martek DHA produced from microalgae, concluded that restoration of normal blood vessel function has the “potential for preventing the progression of early coronary heart disease in high-risk children.”
“The evidence continues to accumulate on the cardiovascular benefits of DHA for people of all ages,” said Henry “Pete” Linsert, Jr., chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences, an ingredient supplier based in Columbia, MD. “This study clearly indicates that DHA played an important role in healthy blood vessel function in the children in this study.”
On the Omega-Research.com Website maintained by fish oil manufacturer Nordic Naturals (Watsonville, CA) can be found summaries of several earlier studies linking omega-3 fatty acids to maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, as well as related benefits such as elasticity of the arteries. In a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that women receiving a mixture of 4 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA along with 2 g of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) had lower levels of LDL cholesterol after 28 days compared to those who received either the EPA/DHA supplements without DHA, EPA/DHA with a smaller dose of GLA, or GLA alone.
Flax is another source of omega-3s, and Arkopharma/Health From The Sun (Bedford, MA) offers FiProFLAX in a variety of forms. Marketing director Hugues P. Mas said the flax is “QAI [Quality Assurance International] certified organic and guaranteed GMO [genetically modified organism]-free.” On its Website, the company offers a cholesterol quiz geared to consumers, discussing the importance of omega-3s as well as other nutrients.
Garlic. Adding to an already considerable body of research demonstrating that garlic can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol, researchers at UCLA in 2003 reported that Kyolic aged garlic extract reduced or inhibited plaque formation in the arteries of 19 cardiac patients taking statin drugs.
Lead researcher Matthew Budoff, Ph.D. commented at the time that the study “suggests that aged garlic extract may be a useful and beneficial dietary addition for the people who have high cardiovascular risk or who have undergone heart surgery.” Budoff has since presented several trade show seminars sponsored by Los Angeles-based Wakunaga of America, the makers of Kyolic.
Guggul. In use for centuries as a component of Ayurvedic medicine, guggul—a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India—has been studied since the early 1960s for its hypolidemic (blood-lipid lowering) properties. Sabinsa Corp. (Piscataway, NJ), an ingredient supplier which produces a standardized extract under the brand name Gugulipid, says the studies on guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity can be attributed to more than one mechanism of action.
Among the possible mechanisms are: inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol, promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol, thyroid stimulation, alteration of biogenic amines, and “high affinity binding and anion exchange.”
Homeopathy. “Homeopathy activates the body’s own control system to work properly,” said King. “This is the safest and most curative approach to take.
“Forcing the body into biochemical change even naturally doesn’t actually have the curative action of homeopathy,” King continued. “Homeopathy can even correct the genetic predispositions to disease we may have inherited from as deep as a thousand years into our family chain.” King Bio makes Artery/Cholesterol/BP, a homeopathic formula intended to help tone heart muscles and blood vessels.
Low glycemic index foods. In a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high glycemic load is negatively correlated to serum levels of HDL cholesterol. Assessing the relationship between blood levels of lipids and diet in a test population of 32 healthy males and females ages 11 to 25, the researchers found that glycemic load accounted for 21.1 percent of the variation in HDL cholesterol. They concluded that glycemic load appears to be an important independent predictor of HDL cholesterol in youth and noted that dietary restrictions without attention to glycemic load could unfavorably influence blood lipids.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Although its product SX-Fraction is intended primarily to address high blood sugar, Maitake Products, Inc. (MPI, Ridgefield Park, NJ) found in a clinical study that LDL cholesterol in diabetic patients declined modestly (from 142 mg/dl to 133 mg/dl) over a two-month period. Those taking SX-Fraction also lost about 7 lbs. in the same time period.
“The more impressive lowering of cholesterol, however, comes from the dietary fiber that is found in all medicinal mushrooms,” said Ellen Shnidman, manager of scientific affairs at MPI. She cited animal studies which documented the cholesterol-lowering properties of four different mushrooms: maitake, shiitake, agaricus, and enokitake.
For example, a study reported in the September 1996 issue of Alternative Therapies showed “a 44 percent reduction in total cholesterol in rats consuming maitake mushroom in their diet,” said Shnidman. “This cholesterol reduction is accompanied by weight loss, relative to rats eating a similar high-choelsterol diet without mushrooms. Apparently, cholesterol is excreted by the rats in sufficient quantity to aid in weight loss.”
Oat bran. A 2004 consumer study conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, Harleysville, PA) for Nurture, Inc. (Devon, PA), which produces the ingredient OatVantage, found that 63 percent of consumers managing their cholesterol levels prefer oat-based ingredients.
Oat bran is the subject of a health claim authorized by FDA in 1999, and NMI research found that 69 percent of respondents preferred the FDA-permitted health claim, “Helps Lower Cholesterol,” over the model structure-function claim, “Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels.” “This is significant for food, beverage, and dietary supplement manufacturers who want to increase sales by using a more consumer-desired claim on the product label,” said Griff Parker, Nurture CEO.
Plant sterols. Also the subject of an FDA-approved claim for heart health, plant sterols (structurally similar to cholesterol in humans) can block the absorption of cholesterol, according to a number of studies. In an “Ask the Doctor” publication (available online at www.atdonline.org), Decker Weiss, N.M.D. noted that sterols enter the same receptor sites that cholesterol enters on its way to the bloodstream. “The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted,” Weiss wrote. General Mills has just introduced Yoplait Healthy Heart, a yogurt high in plant sterols.
Policosanol. A mixture of fatty alcohols derived from sugar cane or beeswax, policosanol has been favorably compared in clinical studies to several types of prescription drugs for managing cholesterol. On its own, policosanol was found in a 1999 study to reduce LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL cholesterol.
Probiotics. “Several studies have indicated that consumption of certain cultured dairy products resulted in reduction of serum cholesterol, as well as triglycerides,” wrote Dr. S.K. Dash, president of probiotic manufacturer UAS Laboratories (Eden Prairie, MN), in his Consumer Guide to Probiotics. Among other studies, Dash cited two controlled clinical studies from the VA Medical Center at the University of Kentucky.
“In the first study, fermented milk containing [Lactobacillus] acidophilus was accompanied by a 2.4 percent reduction of serum cholesterol concentration,” he wrote. “In the second study, a different L. acidophilus strain reduced serum cholesterol concentration by 3.2 percent. Since every 1 percent reduction in serum cholesterol concentration is associated with an estimated 2 to 3 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease [CHD], regular intake of fermented milk containing an appropriate strain of L. acidophilus has the potential of reducing risk for [CHD] by 6 to 10 percent.”
Dash said his company’s DDS Probiotics contain DDS-1 L. acidophilus, “which has been researched and demonstrated to show cholesterol-lowering effect.”
Psyllium. “Internal cleansing is very important” in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, “especially if you do it with a lot of fiber,” said Sunil Kohli, vice president of Chino, CA-based Health Plus, Inc. The cholesterol-managing ability of fiber in general and psyllium in particular is “very well-established,” he said.
However, Kohli said, “It will probably do you no good if it’s random. It should be done on a regular basis, and it should be supervised. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist is important.”
Soy. The protein in soy “has evidence of lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, based on reviews of studies using over 20 g of soy protein per day,” said Levin. “Soy isoflavones are considered only partly responsible for this effect.”
Sytrinol. A patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts and containing citrus polymethoxylated flavones and palm tocotrienols, Sytrinol has been shown in clinical trials to improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides by up to 30 percent, 27 percent, and 33 percent, respectively. Having just wrapped up Phase III of a long-term trial of Sytrinol, Chicago-based SourceOne Global Partners, which owns the exclusive worldwide license for intellectual property associated with the ingredient, is commencing a study that combines Sytrinol with plant sterols.
Tocotrienols. On its Website discussing the science and benefits of tocotrienols (www.tocotrienol.org), ingredient supplier Carotech Inc. (Edison, NJ) identifies several benefits for blood lipid levels. Tocotrienols, according to the Website, have been shown to “inhibit cholesterol production in the liver, thereby lowering total blood cholesterol;” “[suppress] hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity [and result in] the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels;” and “inhibit cholesterogenesis by suppressing HMG-CoA reductase.”
With all of this, Levin said, it’s important for retailers to remember that “they are not allowed to discuss diseases and remedies unless there is an approved FDA health claim allowed on the label, as with soy protein and plant sterols. What is allowed are structure-function claims such as ‘cholesterol support,’ ‘promoting normal, healthy circulation,’ ‘homocysteine regulators,’ etc.”
Supplementation is only one tool for managing cholesterol levels, manufacturers pointed out. “Besides nutrition, lifestyle is a key to controlling cholesterol,” Levin said. “Eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods will prevent the liver from churning out cholesterol as a ‘cheap’ antioxidant. The body uses oxidized cholesterol to patch leaky and damaged blood vessels, so the ability to build healthy collagen is a must, using nutrients like vitamin C, Pycnogenol, rutin, hyaluronic acid, and MSM.
“Don’t forget exercise and stress reduction,” he added. “Stress results in high cortisol levels—usually accompanied by poor blood lipid levels—and a lack of good sleep to produce unhealthy people.” VR
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