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  Messages 1-32 from 32 matching the search criteria.
Okra is a gut-friendly vegetable you need to be eating more often VitaNet, LLC Staff 8/19/18
Eat fruits and vegetables of many colors for optimum health Darrell Miller 12/24/17
Green Gorilla's CBD Oil Line to Present at the International Congress of Orthomolecular Practice in ... Darrell Miller 7/14/17
Sugar and Your Brain Darrell Miller 5/25/17
How Much Protein Should You Eat? Darrell Miller 11/5/16
Agave Nectar Darrell Miller 4/8/10
Sweeteners Darrell Miller 4/8/10
Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS. Darrell Miller 4/8/10
Colostrum Darrell Miller 6/18/09
Hoodia Gordonii Darrell Miller 12/10/08
Hyper-immune Egg Vs Colostrum Darrell Miller 9/23/08
Dandelion Darrell Miller 6/20/08
Brown Rice Protein Darrell Miller 4/14/08
Chronic Illness and eating healthy Darrell Miller 11/9/07
Hemp Bliss (Hemp Milk) from Manitoba Harvest Darrell Miller 5/31/07
Lutein to fight age-related macular degeneration! Darrell Miller 2/27/06
Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest! Darrell Miller 2/12/06
Full Course Meal for your Bones Darrell Miller 12/30/05
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant Darrell Miller 12/7/05
Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition Darrell Miller 10/29/05
Re: Magnesium Darrell Miller 10/6/05
PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT Darrell Miller 7/13/05
Cinnamon may control sugar levels... Darrell Miller 7/8/05
Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels-Herbally Darrell Miller 7/5/05
Cancer and Echinacea Darrell Miller 6/24/05
America's Most Wanted Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Truth in Labeling Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Home on the Range Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Nutritional Calculator - hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest... Darrell Miller 6/12/05
Certified Foods Darrell Miller 6/12/05
Improove Memory ... Darrell Miller 6/9/05
Life Minerals - Why are Minerals So Important? Darrell Miller 6/2/05



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Okra is a gut-friendly vegetable you need to be eating more often
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Date: August 19, 2018 05:53 PM
Author: VitaNet, LLC Staff (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Okra is a gut-friendly vegetable you need to be eating more often





Okra is a gut-friendly vegetable you need to be eating more often

Okra is so good for you. Many people do not realize the benefits of vegetables and what they offer you. People need to have vegetables as part of their daily diet due to the nutrients that they provide. Overall, they are so healthy for the mind and for the physical body. They help speed up the metabolism and allow for fats to be released from the body. The more people eat things like okra, the better they will feel!

Key Takeaways:

  • Eat as many vegetables as you possibly can as they are so healthy!
  • Eating foods like this can really help speed up metabolism which can rid fat.
  • Okra is very healthy and is a vegetable that is often forgotten about.

"Multiple studies have also shown that the benefits of okra aren’t limited solely to improving overall digestive health. A study made by the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA indicated that okra, together with other vegetables like beets, asparagus, eggplants, and cauliflower, handled the binding of bile acids better than the reference drug cholestyramine."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-18-okra-is-a-gut-friendly-vegetable-you-need-to-be-taking-more-often.html

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5714)


Eat fruits and vegetables of many colors for optimum health
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Date: December 24, 2017 03:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Eat fruits and vegetables of many colors for optimum health





There is a saying that you should eat the rainbow. This saying does not refer to a Skittles campaign but the USDA campaign about eating more colors of vegetables. The modern diet is fairly gray and brown and this introduces these vegetables to your diet. These vegetables contain many of your required minerals like calcium in broccoli, or potassium in cabbage. These all contain phytonutrients which have been shown to lower cholesterol as well as inflammation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Improving the quality of food that you and your family eats is the most essential thing you can do for improved health.
  • Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables are crucial for having and maintaining optimal health.
  • One solution to improved health is to make fruit and vegetables more readily available.

"When it comes to improving your health and the health of your family, fruits and vegetables are pure superstars!"

Read more: http://spokesman-recorder.com/2017/12/20/eat-fruits-and-vegetables-of-many-colors-for-optimum-health/

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5452)


Green Gorilla's CBD Oil Line to Present at the International Congress of Orthomolecular Practice in ...
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Date: July 14, 2017 11:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Green Gorilla's CBD Oil Line to Present at the International Congress of Orthomolecular Practice in ...





Green gorilla will be at the international congress of orthomolecular practice in Brazil this summer. Green gorilla claims to be some of the purest cbd oil and hemp products available at 99.7% purity. Brazil has recently approved the use of CBD oil for many health issues ranging from ADD to PTSD and many things in between. Green Gorilla, which is USDA approved, is not only striving to have the purest form of CBD available but also the company is striving to keep high ethnically standards across the board in the international marketplace.

Read more: Green Gorilla's CBD Oil Line to Present at the International Congress of Orthomolecular Practice in ...

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4969)


Sugar and Your Brain
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Date: May 25, 2017 07:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Sugar and Your Brain





Sugar is found in 75 to 80 percent of our sustenance sources, and once it's changed over to glucose, it's the essential fuel hotspot for the whole body, including the cerebrum. Be that as it may, as vital as sugar is to the cerebrum, expending excessively can harm the mind. A characteristic reward is something that makes joy in the mind, which guarantees that the conduct is rehashed. The USDA expresses that you ought to devour close to 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons, of sugar every day.

Read more: Sugar and Your Brain

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4688)


How Much Protein Should You Eat?
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Date: November 05, 2016 01:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Protein is the major staples of a strong diet along with carbohydrates and fats. Eating them in the proper proportions will help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Despite what you may have heard, most people don't have a problem getting enough protein. The more important thing to focus on is eating the right protein.

So how much protein per day should you eat? The USDA, in their My Food Pyramid guidance system, suggests 0.8g - 1.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. So what the heck does that mean? To determine this for yourself, multiply your weight by 0.45, and that gets you your weight in kilograms. So an 180 lb. The male would weigh 81 kilograms. Multiply that by 0.8 - 1.2 and that person would need about 65g-100g of protein per day.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, one of the main building blocks in our body. They are even found in our DNA. Many are produced by the body (called non-essential amino acids), but others are only obtained from food called essential amino acids. You can get these necessary amino acids from supplements, but the best source is food.


Why are these amino acids so important in burning fat?

Amino acids combine to create structural proteins in the body. Without them, we wouldn't be able to repair and build muscle tissue, which helps keep our metabolism high and helps us burn fat - even resting. Amino acids come from protein sources. If you don't eat enough protein in your diet, you lack the amino acid combination's to keep your body functioning properly.

There are many sources of protein, but not all are good for you. Some protein-rich food also contains a lot of saturated fat. So, you need protein sources that are low in saturated fat but high in the proteins that the body needs to break down and retrieve the essential amino acids. 


Here are some examples of lean proteins:

- Red meat - Red meat is full of protein. Leaner cuts such as eye of the round will come with less fat. Grass-fed beef is the best when you can find it because it contains fewer hormones and other unhealthy byproducts.

-Fish - Certain fish and shrimp contain protein, as well as other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids (a member of the "good fats" category). They are good for heart health and overall well-being. Try salmon, mackerel, trout, or tuna.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3389)


Agave Nectar
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Date: April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar Light Certified Organic 17 oz from NOWComments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:

Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.

What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.

Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.

Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.Agave Nectar Amber Certified Organic 17 oz from NOW

As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?

Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.

The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.

The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel

By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN

And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava

The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Organic Blue Agave Nectar 16 Liq from FunFresh Foods Who is the author, Rami Nagel?

According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.

Who is Russ Bianchi?

The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.

Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.

Was anyone else interviewed for this article?

Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article. Organic Maple Agave Nectar 16 Liq from FunFresh Foods

It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.

What is agave nectar?

The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:

"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."

This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.

The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.

The Process

The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.

The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.

? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.

? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric

Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.

? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.

This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):

//www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodLabelingNutrition/ucm181491.htm

In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.

Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.

? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:

1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.

2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.

3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.

Sugars

People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.

Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of

use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.

The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.

Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.

? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."

Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.

Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.

Using Sugars

Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.

All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories

In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.

When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.

Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.

Impact of sugar on health and disease

? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:

• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.

• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.

• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.

• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.

• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.

• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.

Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet

We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.

Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.

Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.

Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.

So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.

Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.

Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.

Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.

Resources for this article:

Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.

Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009

Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009

Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2152)


Sweeteners
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Date: April 08, 2010 04:15 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Sweeteners

There are only 3 categories to choose from when sweetening: sugar sweeteners from plant sources, artificial sweeteners, and stevia.

Most people will not use artificial sweeteners and many will not use stevia. This only leaves the sugar sweeteners category, and among these, agave has some advantages and is a good choice.

All sweeteners in this category also have some similar characteristics and all add to the overall total consumption that can have an impact on health. Moderation in the overall consumption of sweeteners in ones diet is the important point.

People may not realize that sugars are essential to our body and are an important part of one’s diet. The problem being that affinity for sweets leads to overconsumption.

What is overconsumption?

It is based on caloric intake and includes all caloric foods and is also related to the level of physical activity. The USDA recommends an average diet consumption of 2000 calories. As a portion of this overall consumption, added sweeteners should constitute approx 10% of that intake, 200-250 calories daily.

Agave has 20 calories per teaspoon. The caloric value is similar to other sweeteners, but less agave is required to reach the same sweetness level, so relatively fewer calories are consumed per serving.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2150)


Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS.
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Date: April 08, 2010 04:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS.

Truth:

There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a non-GMO enzyme and the second is via thermal hydrolysis. Both process achieve the same goal which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.

Unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose from the starch found in milled Corn, Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar into Fructose and Glucose.

Our producers do not use any sort of chemicals in the process and no foreign material is being added such as HFCS. Filtration and evaporation of excess moisture are the rest of the process. The evaporation is done in a vacuum evaporator.

No research has pointed that Blue Agave contains Anodin and Dinordin, the steroid derivatives with contraceptive effects that could lead to a miscarriage. This is clearly a cruel scare tactic. The truth is that there are many types of saponins and they are in a lot of foods we eat. Most beans and legumes, soya beans, onions, paprika, alfalfa - these all contain various saponins. Saponins are phytosterol compounds that occur naturally in some plants. Saponins have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, along with anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties.

From the prehispanic times, the only sweet treat available to Indians in Mexico was the cooked leaves of the agave plant. They are still in markets all over Mexico. If there would be any kind of dangerous substance, this would be the absolute extreme case of exposure to it; not a single case of any problem has ever been reported, this goes back over 700 years.

Agave Nectar in its present form has been sold for over 12 years all over the world, including western Europe, Japan and the U.S.. The product has a proven record of safety and is deemed safe by the FDA and all regulatory bodies all over the world and there has never been a report of agave nectar linked to a miscarriage.

Madhava's Agave Nectar does not contain corn syrup, corn products, or any adulteration of any sort. Guaranteed. Our Agave Nectar is 100% pure from the agave plant with no additives whatsoever.

We package our agave nectar at our facility in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Madhava's Quality Control representatives routinely visit and inspect all our suppliers’ facilities in Mexico. The suppliers are Organically Certified and 3rd party audited or currently in the process. In addition our facility in Colorado is USDA Organic Certified and we are routinely audited.

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Colostrum
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Date: June 18, 2009 10:54 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Colostrum

After going through puberty, our bodies gradually decrease in the production of immune and growth factors that generally combat disease. After losing these vital components, we are much more susceptible to the aging process, which shortens our life expectancy. Colostrum and its other components have the ability to fight off bacterial and viral invaders as well as stimulate tissue repair, which is something that becomes increasingly vulnerable as we age by boosting the immune system. For all of these reasons, it is important for an adult to supplement with colostrum.

Colostrum should be collected during the first 24 hours after birth. Also, a colostrum supplement should be processed in a USDA licensed facility. This insures the consumer that USDA guidelines are being followed. Additionally, consumers should make sure that products labeled Colostrum are actually 100% colostrum, not colostrum or concentrates of milk whey. Lastly, colostrum that is mixed with other supplements or herbs and additives may have a diluted colostrum concentration, which means the benefits you could obtain from this supplement may be compromised.

Even though colostrum has no interactions with drugs, side effects may be experienced from a cleansing or healing crisis, which is a necessary but somewhat inconvenient and adverse result. Fortunately, once the healing crisis is complete, you will feel substantially better and in good terms of health. Mediations may need to be re-evaluated by your medical profession for dose and need.

Although colostrum is generally believed to be very safe for those mothers who are pregnant and nursing, one should probably ask their medical professional prior to taking colostrum or its specific agents while they are pregnant. Just like any other supplement or drug, it is better to be overly safe and check with a healthcare provider before jeopardizing a pregnancy.

Colostrum is recommended specifically for children who have not already received the mother’s breast milk, as breast milk would have already provided the benefits that would be obtained through colostrum supplementation. Those children with flu, colds, bacterial or viral infections, or children who have been on long or short-term antibiotics or other drugs are good candidates for colostrum supplementation. Therefore, colostrum supplementation is safe and may be recommended for these types of children.

Many people wonder if colostrum products can pass on mad cow disease. At this time, no case of mad cow disease has been reported in the United States. With awareness of the disease being so high, it is extremely unlikely that one would contract mad cow disease from a colostrum product.

The overall supplementation of colostrum and other products that contain derivatives of colostrum has been shown to extremely safe. Additionally, it has been shown that colostrum is equally effective, whether it be taken by injection or by mouth. It has also been shown that the long-term administration of colostrum preparation is very safe to the human body. Because infants and the elderly are the two main groups that are especially at risk for infections, many people may wonder just how safe colostrum products are for these two groups of people. Not only is oral administration safe, it is also very effective and easily accepted by both of these groups.

Colostrum is available in capsule of tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands like Kal and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Colostrum is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

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Hoodia Gordonii
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Date: December 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia Gordonii is a South African succulent plant of the family Apocynaceae. They are remarkable similar in appearance to cacti, although they are totally unrelated to them and grow predominantly in the region of Central Namibia in the south west of Africa, up to the southern regions of Angola. They are most commonly found in rocky ground and on the plains.

There are several species of hoodia, some of them grown domestically, and it is Hoodia gordonii that is used as an appetite suppressant in hoodia weight loss pills. Although the plant has historically found use in the treatment of infections and gastric problems, most interest is displayed in its use by the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert to suppress their appetite during long hunting trips when food and water are scarce.

The active ingredient was isolated in 1977, and given the name P57: the product is therefore often referred to as Hoodia P57. It was patented by its discoverers, the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and a license granted to UK company Phytopram, who worked together with Pfizer to isolate the active ingredients and manufacture them synthetically. This was found to be very difficult, if not impossible, since any synthetic form of the extract failed to display any hunger-suppressant properties.

Finally, the rights to the main ingredient were released by Pfizer in 2002, thus indicating that it was of no commercial benefit to them. The main problem they admitted with synthesizing P57 was not only the difficulty in doing so, but also that there were side effects of the extract on the liver caused by other components that could not be removed. No synthetic form of hoodia is therefore available, and only the natural plant is used in current Hoodia 57 preparations.

The rights of the San Bushmen to the plant were recognized by the CSIR in 2002, and not only do they receive a proportion of the profits of marketing hoodia, but also the plant is protected with wild-harvesting licenses provided to only certain individuals and companies. Due to the rising popularity of the hoodia weight loss industry, the plant has been named as an endangered species in the wild.

It is believed that the active ingredients are steroidal saponins that can fool the body into believing it is full. This theory is based upon the effect on appetite of glucose concentrations in the blood. Your appetite is controlled by the amount of unconverted glucose in your blood, and glycogen in the liver. When you eat carbohydrates, they are digested and converted into glucose which is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Under normal conditions your blood glucose levels increase to a level where a signal from hypothalamus stops you feeling hungry. Insulin is then secreted from the pancreas to prepare your cells to use that glucose in the mitochondria to create energy by means of the Kreb's Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle as it is also known. This reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood, and once it reaches a certain level the body begins to use its emergency energy supply, glycogen, that is stored in the liver.

A signal then informs the brain that more glucose is needed. You then feel hungry again, and this cycle is repeated several times a day in a normally healthy person. This cycle is controlled by certain hormones in the brain, specifically in the ventromedial center of the hypothalamus, where it is believed that the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability controls the release of the hormones involved.

ATP is the molecule of energy, and as the concentration of blood glucose and of glycogen drop, then the amount of ATP produced also drops and this is detected in the hypothalamus, which reacts by releasing ghrelin. Increased leptin increases the feeling of satiety and ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. Serotonin acts on the brain to increase the effect of leptin in the hypothalamus, and therefore make us feel less hungry, or more satiated.

It is believed that hoodia gordonii, or the Hoodia P57 component of it, fools the brain into believing that your blood glucose or glycogen levels have reached the point at which it should trigger a satiated response, so that you stop eating even though your ATP levels might be low. The steroidal saponins that it contains is believed to be ten thousand times more effective than glucose in stimulated the secretion of serotonin.

Hoodia has also been found to contain a number of glycosides, including pregnane glycosides that some studies have indicated to help control appetite of the subjects tested. Most of these tests have been carried out on animals, although Hoodia weight loss preparations are offered in a form standardized on both steroidal saponins and pregnane glycosides.

Hoodia gordonii is becoming so popular as a weight loss product that its export is being monitored by the South African government. It has become so endangered that, since 2005, only hoodia grown on commercial farms is permitted an export license, and exporters must obtain a license from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Importers also require a permit from the US department of Agriculture, and a CITES certificate is also needed to re-export the finished product.

Because of this, more hoodia weight loss pills are being sold than there is hoodia gordonii to produce them. It is not uncommon for cacti such as the prickly pear cactus from Mexico, to be used, or for low concentrations of hoodia to be bulked up with fillers. Neither of these is of any use as an appetite suppressant, the former having no active ingredients whatsoever and the latter containing only traces.

If you are purchasing hoodia, therefore, be aware of this. Request sight of the CITES certificate and USDA permit, and also the analysis results by an authorized laboratory to confirm that the product is what it purports to be. Otherwise, there is some evidence that Hoodia gordonii can help you reduce weight, although to date there are only four recognized analytical laboratories registered to analyze the active content of hoodia weight loss products.

Finally, check for the analysis certificates. All Hoodia weight loss products should be analyzed by each of three methods: Microscopy, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) - all there are needed. The four authorized laboratories are: the University of Mississippi, Chromadex labs in Irvine California, Alkemist Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Laboratories, Smithfield, NC.

No others will do, so if your Hoodia weight loss preparation has not been analyzed using the three methods by one of these laboratories, don't buy it, even if it can show the CITES and USDA documentation.



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Hyper-immune Egg Vs Colostrum
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Date: September 23, 2008 03:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hyper-immune Egg Vs Colostrum

When a hen lays her eggs she is virtually an antibody-producing factory, as she passively transfers her antibodies and immunoregulatory factors into the egg in order to protect her offspring. These eggs are made up of a concentrated source of antibodies and helpful immune-supporting biomolecules. However, there are significant differences in the way a cow passes immune protection to a calf and the way a mother hen passes protection to a chick.

A newborn calf will nurse for several months, acquiring immune support over the entire period of time. Since a mother hen cannot nurse her chick, it is essential for the egg to provide all the immune support a chick will need until its own immune system is functioning properly. Because of this, an egg is much more concentrated in antibodies and immunoregulatory molecules than is colostrums. This is an advantage for using hyperimmune egg over supplements that are made from bovine colostrums as an immune system support. It has been found that chickens produce almost twenty times more antibody per unit of weight than cows are able to secret in their milk. Additionally, certain egg antibodies are compared to milk antibodies, and it has been found that egg antibodies seem to be more effective in binding antigens.

In order to produce a hyperimmune egg supplement, the following procedure must be followed. First, eggs are collected from the specially designated chicken flocks after they are specifically stimulated. They are then washed and broken. The yoke of the egg white is then removed and dried to produce a find proteinous powder. There have been various processes developed to minimize the amount of heat damage to antibodies and immunoregualtory factors during the spray-drying procedure. The immune eggs are required to be processed under good manufacturing practices in USDA-inspected and monitored facilities. After processing occurs, the powders are combined with other vitamins, minerals, and possibly other ingredients in order to form a formula that possesses a high nutritive value.

Unlike the conventional methodologies, hyperimmune eggs seems to team up with our immune system instead of boosting or suppressing its function. The immune products in hyperimmune egg are a resource for the body. The body is then able to select those immune elements that it needs in order to up or down-regulate the autoimmune and inflammatory pathways.

Because our immune systems are under constant attack, immune disorders are increasing at an alarming rate. Recent research has found that immune malfunction is an important contributing factor to conditions including heart disease, arthritis, and auto immune disorders. By fine-turning and supporting our immune system in order to prevent disease, we can make one of the best investments possible for our health and longevity.

The potential value of using hyperimmune egg for various health conditions has been shown by new research. Some of the most well-known doctors using alternative and complementary health treatments have found that hyperimmune egg supplements are extremely helpful in reversing a wide array of health problems. As research continues and understanding of how hyperimmune egg works increases, the application of hyperimmune egg can be expected to increase. Impressive properties found in hyperimmune eggs make them an excellent supplement for immune support. When we have a balanced and well-functioning immune system, our lives will be much healthier and happier.



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Dandelion
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Date: June 20, 2008 02:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Dandelion

That common yard or roadside plant you see during the growing season can be your ally against sickness and disease. The common dandelion has many essential vitamins and minerals inherent in it that can be part of your health regimen. Dandelions are an all-natural way to promote good health when used wisely.

The dandelion root and leaves contain vitamins A, C and D, as well as the B-complexes. They also contain iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, choline, boron, calcium and silicon. Choline has shown to improve memory function. Dandelion has found use as a treatment for breast illnesses, bloating (water retention), aching joints, skin problems and gastrointestinal dandlndisorders. It is also as a gentle diuretic and a purifier for the bloodstream and liver.

This plant contains luteolin, which is an antioxidant and beneficial as an immune system enhancer. Luteolin helps inhibit the degradation and wearing down of the body's cells. What's great about dandelion and its antioxidant properties is the fact that there is no toxic effect on cells associated with it.

Dandelions are also a medicinal herb. They increase waste elimination in the body through the urine. Like green tea's effects, this excretion of water and waste can lead to weight-loss. Dandelion is available naturally, as well as in pill, liquid, tablets and tea form. The Puritans used it strictly as a vegetable, although some who eat it as a prepared dish consider it to have a bitter taste.

This plant has ranked high in many categories. It is one of the top six herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest. It is one of the top four green vegetables rated for overall nutritional value according to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews, 1984). It is food rich in fiber. This is important because fiber is an essential component of a complete weight-loss program. Fiber absorbs fat molecules and aids in their elimination from the body. This prevents fats from absorbing into the body.

The dandelion is part of the sunflower family. It is prevalent in temperate regions in Europe, Asia and North America. This plant finds itself a big part of culinary recipes. Taking the dandelion in this form is good for health, as it is in its most natural, unprocessed state. Some use dandelion as a tea to help in the fight against fever, insomnia and jaundice. Dandelion tea can also aid those who have rheumatism, eczema, constipation and even skin diseases.

It aids digestion by stimulating stomach secretions. However, it does increase the flow of bile in one's system, so you should not take dandelion if you have obstruction of the bile ducts. While generally safe, like anything else, you should consult a doctor when trying something new in your diet. This is to make sure it doesn't have harmful side effects or interact negatively with other herbs and medications.

For women, dandelion helps because of its diuretic capabilities. This means it helps eliminate excess water from a woman's system, which causes bloating.

dandrThose who experience premenstrual syndrome may find dandelion helps bring down their bloating and weight gain associated with water retention.

Another promising aspect of dandelion is the fact it contains lecithin. Lecithin is a lipid that contains choline primarily, along with inositol, phosphorous and linoleic acid. Lecithin elevates the brain's acetylcholine, which helps brain function. This, some researchers believe, may help slow down or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dandelion, again because of lecithin inherent in it, is beneficial for prevention of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease too.

Sometimes we need to look only in our own backyards and surrounding environments to find plentiful foods that are healthy. Dandelions are one of earth's products that have found use for centuries. Whether as a recipe ingredient, a tea or a pill, dandelion is versatile. When used with care, it can help with weight-loss and be a health enhancer at the same time.



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Brown Rice Protein
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Date: April 14, 2008 01:05 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Brown Rice Protein

Did you know that the world produces over 1.3 trillion pounds of rice annually? Brown rice grows in over 40,000 varieties, if you are one looking for the health benefits of rice, the type of rice you choose makes a huge difference.

The USDA recommends that more than half your daily grain diet should be from whole grains (less processed grains) which retain more of their natural nutrients.

Whole grains:

  • Help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol
  • Assist with weight management by increasing a feeling of fullness with out added calories
  • Improves bowel function and health by reducing constipation and diverticulitis
  • Helps keep blood sugar levels more stable and under control for diabetics

When brown rice is processed the outer shell is removed. Brown rice is milled and polished into white rice removing all the valuable nutrients giving the rice its health benefits and fiber. Processing destroys 67% of vitamin b3, 80% of vitamin b1, 90% of vitamin b6, 50% of magnesium and phosphorus, 60% of its iron, and all the fiber giving rice its colon health benefits. Processing destroys the essential fatty acids in rice as well.

One cup of brown rice supplies 88% of the daily recommended manganese, a mineral essential for energy production as well as supporting the nervous system and aids in the production of antioxidants and enzymes that improve over all health. The same cup of brown rice provides 27% of the daily needed selenium and other vital minerals to support a health immune system and thyroid function. Brown rice is an excellent source of B vitamins. One can obtain 14% of their daily fiber from one cup of brown rice, so what’s stopping you from adding it to your diet.



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Chronic Illness and eating healthy
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Date: November 09, 2007 12:43 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Chronic Illness and eating healthy

Chronic illness which exhibits itself as a recurring disease, with lingering and lasting symptoms is a growing pandemic amongst people today. The question is how much of this is due to neglect on the basics of healthy living? Today’s fast paced life style could be a factor for these reoccurring problems. For example, we pride ourselves on keeping five things in the air at the same time; this has caused us to slip from eating three healthy meals per day to drinking a slim fast or popping a diet pill to keep going. Moving away from proper diet and nutrition may be the reason our bodies are breaking down today resulting in chronic illnesses.

Whether you are free from or burdened by illness it is time to take charge of your health! The first thing one can do is basic research. Studies on dietary supplements in scientific and medical research are an ongoing process both in the United States and internationally. If you are interested in finding citations on a particular chronic illness or research that is available I recommend looking at government agencies such as (i) The Office of Dietary Supplements, (ii) The National Institutes of Health (NIH), (iii) The National Agricultural Library (NAL), and (iv) United States Department of agriculture (USDA). It is also possible to obtain research abstracts from different major databases such as MEDLINE for biomedical related articles and AGRICOLA for botanical and agricultural science. To find these different databases and governmental agencies, search google using the respective agency/database name.

Research shows that stress reduction can help to improve energy levels, improve sleep quality, and reduce high blood pressure. The following are some suggestions for reducing stress:

Reducing stress

Exercise

1. Weight lifting is not just about barbells and muscle-building but about stressing the body as a means for relieving stress.

2. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and bicycling.

3. Exercise is helpful by increasing blood flow to the brain, release of hormones, stimulates the nervous system and produces a feeling of well being.

Eating healthy including supplementation

1. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has the ability to boost the immune system. Vitamin C also helps to produce neurotransmitters by converting L-Tyrosine into dopamine. Along with dopamine, ascorbic acid also synthesizes norepinephrine and serotonin which have been found to be directly related to control anxiety and depression.

2. B-Vitamins are also the important for reducing stress. For example, Niacin (Vitamin B3) helps the body fight stress in three ways, (i) controls blood sugars, (ii) improves blood flow and (iii) regulates the release of energy from carbohydrates.

Stress is a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors which are an unavoidable effect of living. Stress has been linked to coronary heart disease, psychosomatic disorders and various other mental and physical problems. Reducing stress is essential and can be done through diet and exercise. Nutritional science studies the relationship between diet and states of health and disease. Nutritional science has found human nutrition is very complex and varies widely and proper nutrition cannot be obtained by simply eating three meals a day because quite simply the average person just does not eat well. If you eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily it is impossible to obtain all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. In order to seek assurance that you are getting all your body needs I suggest you take a good multiple vitamins which supplies at least 100 percent of the daily value for various vitamins and minerals. It is a good idea however to discuss with your doctor the best choices as he or she knows your history and specific health needs best.



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Hemp Bliss (Hemp Milk) from Manitoba Harvest
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Date: May 31, 2007 12:55 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Hemp Bliss (Hemp Milk) from Manitoba Harvest

Hemp Bliss (Hemp Milk)

Hemp pioneers launch organic hemp milk

The new Hemp Bliss organic hemp milk, by Manitoba Harvest, offers a nutritious alternative to dairy, soy, and grain based drinks. Offered in chocolate, vanilla, and original varieties, Hemp Bliss has a nutty undertone and naturally provides a boost of 1,200 mg Omega-3 and 5g or protein per serving. Made from fresh organic hemp seeds and organic ingredients, hemp bliss has a rich, creamy and smooth taste. A 32 oz tetra pack is discounted at VitaNet 25% OFF MSRP. Listed as lactose-free, soy-free, nut-free and cholesterol-free, Hemp Bliss is ideal for those with allergies or sensitivities to dairy, nut, grain and soy-based beverages. Currently a large and growing trend in the market place, hemp foods are becoming increasingly popular for their health benefits, their strong digestible protein profile and their abundance of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Manitoba Harvest process the raw hemp seed into USDA Certified Organic: hemp seed oil, shelled hemp seed, hemp seed butter, and hemp protein powder. You cereal lovers can now enjoy cereal again with Hemp Bliss.



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HEMP BLISS,OG,ORIGINAL Case of 12 / 32 OZ from Manitoba Harvest HEMP BLISS,OG,VANILLA Case of 12 / 32 OZ from Manitoba Harvest HEMP BLISS,OG,CHOCOLATE Case of 12 / 32 OZ from Manitoba Harvest

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Lutein to fight age-related macular degeneration!
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Date: February 27, 2006 05:53 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Lutein to fight age-related macular degeneration!

Lutein: The Antiordinary Antioxidant

Lutein belongs to a class of compounds known as carotenoids. Carotenoids in general are yellow, orange, or red pigments responsible for many of the colors of the foods we consume each day. To date, over 600 carotenoids have been identified in nature, but are only produced by plants, algae and bacteria leaving humans and animals to consume carotenoids in the diet. Forty to fifty carotenoids are consumed in the typical US diet, but only 14 have been detected in the blood, indicating a selective use of specific carotenoids by the body. Lutein is one of these carotenoids found in the blood and has been increasingly associated with eye health over the last decade.

Lutein’s role in eye health

In the human eye, lutein is concentrated in the center of the retina in an area known as the macula. Lutein is deposited in the macula through the lutein we consume in out diet or through supplements. This area is responsible for human central vision and is colored intensely yellow due to high concentrations of lutein. Lutein is thought to be beneficial for eye health by reducing damage in the eye in two ways: 1) by absorbing blue light (blue light is thought to increase free radical formation in the eye) and 2) by acting as an antioxidant, reducing damage in the eye caused by free radicals. Leading carotenoid researchers believe these functions may lead to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the USA in those over 65. twenty-five and thirty million people are afflicted worldwide and currently there are no effective treatments for the disease. The disease has two forms known as dry and wet AMD.

Ninety percent of AMD cases diagnosed are the dry form. In dry AMD, also referred to as early AMD, debris deposits under the center of the retina (known as the macula) interfering with its normal function. Parts of the macula atrophy, causing the central vision to slowly become dimmer or more blurry. Wet age-related macular degeneration, also known as late AMD, often develops in areas where dry AMD exists. Abnormal blood vessels grow and leak blood and fluid under the macula, causing scarring, which leads to rapid loss of central vision.

Dr. Joanna Seddon published one of the first studies demonstrating a link between lutein intake and AMD risk in 1994 (1). This epidemiological study compared the risk of developing AMD to nutrient intake and showed a significant reduction in risk for developing AMD as lutein intake reached 6mg per day (57% reduction in risk). Since the Seddon study, researchers have shown that increasing dietary lutein intake raises blood levels of lutein as well as levels of lutein in the eye (2). Bone et al. demonstrated that eyes with higher levels of lutein were less likely to be afflicted with AMD (3).

The latest clinical trial that investigated lutein’s role in AMD is known as the lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (L.A.S.T) (4). This study evaluated the effects of lutein supplementation for one year in 90 veterans diagnosed with dry AMD. Supplementation with lutein in these subjects significantly increased the concentration of lutein in the macula. Improvements in visual function were also detected with lutein supplementation. Glare recovery, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity were all improved. This study continues to build on clinical evidence that the dry form of AMD may be responsive to changes in nutrition.

Cataracts

A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens, the area of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging. Currently in the US, cataracts are the second leading cause of blindness in the elderly behind AMD.

Lutein is the major carotenoid that has been identified in the human lens asn is thought to provide similar benefits to the leans that are seen in the retina. Two large epidemiological studies consisting of >70,000 women (age 45-71) and >30,000 men (age 45-75) compared the risk of cataract extraction to nutrient intake (5,6). Similar to AMD, a significant reduction in risk of cataract extraction was associated with lutein intakes of 6mg per day (20% reduction in risk). Besides cataract extraction, higher levels of lutein consumption have been associated with a decreased risk of cataract development and improvements in visual acuity and glare sensitivity in people with age-related cataracts.

Lutein consumption

The richest source of free lutein in the typical US diet are dark green leafy vegetables, with the highest concentration found in kale followed by spinach.

The average daily lutein intake is low, average between 1-2 mg/day. Currently there is no recommendations of the dietary guidelines for Americans 2005 (9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day) you would consume between 4 and 8 mg of lutein a day (7). Epidemiological evidence, animal models, and clinical data have indicated levels of 6-10 mg a day may be necessary to realize the health benefits associated with lutein consumption. By continuing to increase our intake of lutein, we begin to ensure the optimal health of our eyes.

References:

Seddon et al. (1994) dietary carotenoids, vitamin a, c, and e, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease case-control study group. JAMA. 272: 1413-20.

Bone et al. (2000) Lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes, serum and diet of human subjects. Exp. Eye Res. 71: 239-45.

Bone et al. (2001) Macular pigment in donor eyes with and without AMD: a case-control study. Invest. Ophthalmal. Vis Sci. 42: 235-40.

Richer et al. (2004) Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-relaged macular degeneration: the veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 75: 216-30.

Brown et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in the US men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 517-24.

Chasen-Taber et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid and vitamin A intakes and risk of cataract extraction in US women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 509-16

HHS/USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. //www.healthierus.Gov/dietaryguidelines/CDC. National health and nutrition examination survey data 2001-2002. //www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/nhanes01-02.html

Brandon lewis, Ph.D. is the applied research and Technical services manager at kemin health, L.C. in des moines, iowa. His responsibilities include the initiation and management of laboratory projects pertaining to the inclusion and analysis of kemin ingredients in vitamins and dietary supplements, as well as developing new applications and prototypes that include kemin ingredients. Prior to joining kemin, Brandon was enrolled at the university of Florida where he received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Science from the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.



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Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest!
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Date: February 12, 2006 01:38 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest!

Beneficial Antioxidant Protection*

Our body produces free radicals as a byproduct of many metabolic processes. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that have the potential of causing harm if not adequately neutralized by the body’s antioxidant system. While some free radical production is necessary for metabolism and detoxification, excessive amounts of free radicals may lead to compromised health.

Acai is a rich source of anthocyanins and other phenolics. Anthocyanins are compounds that have potent antioxidant activity, allowing for the neutralization of potentially harmful free radicals. By neutralizing these free radicals, anthocyanins from acai may serve to maintain the healthy function of numerous systems and organs. Some of the anthocyanins that have been found in acai include cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-glucoside-coumarate. Other phenolics include catechin and epi-catechin (the same compounds in green tea), quercetin derivatives and other flavonoids.1 It is likely that the synergistic effects of these compounds as present in acai fruit are responsible for its potent antioxidant activities.

OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder has undergone numerous assays to assess its in vitro antioxidant capacity. One of the assays considered to be a standard measure of antioxidant capacity is known as the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This test measures how much a particular food can inhibit free radical activity. Numerous foods have been tested using this assay by the USDA Agricultural Research Service to develop standard in vitro measures of antioxidant capacity. Of the foods USDA tested, the results show that cranberries had the highest ORAC values per gram. The units are given as Trolox Equivalents (TE). Trolox is a water-soluble analogue of vitamin E. When whole cranberries were tested, the results indicate that their ORAC value was 94 TE per gram. When OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder underwent ORAC testing, the results showed that it had the ORAC activity of 610 TE per gram, the highest of any fruit or vegetable. What is truly amazing is that these numbers represent the ORAC value of the unaltered freeze-dried fruit, as OptiAcai is pure freeze-dried acai. There are no added preservatives or antioxidants that would artificially inflate the ORAC value of this product. The process of freeze-drying helps to strongly preserve the antioxidant compounds in the fruit, contributing to its remarkable ORAC activity.2

Other assays performed on acai pulp include the in vitro TOSC (Total Oxidant Scavenging Capacity) assay. In a Brazilian study, eleven commercially available acai pulp samples were analyzed for antioxidant potential using this assay. It was found that all eleven of the samples performed very well for the ability to scavenge peroxyl and peroxynitrite radicals. The researchers also concluded that the activity of the anthocyanins alone could not account for the free radical scavenging actions of the acai fruit pulp. Other compounds, many of which are possibly yet to be identified, make significant contributions to the remarkable oxidant scavenging capacity seen with the fruit.3

Maintains Cellular Health*

Acai’s deep purple coloration makes it a rich source of beneficial polyphenols. While these compounds are potent antioxidants as outlined above, they also confer benefits beyond their free radical scavenging activity. A number of these phytochemicals are known to have beneficial effects on cellular health. Some mechanisms employed by polyphenols include the induction or inhibition of enzyme function and alteration of signal transduction, enhancing the ability of cells to communicate more effectively with each other. Many polyphenols are considered “biological response modifiers”, since they possess multiple effects, including the ability to decrease oxidative stress to cells. Since polyphenols are water soluble, they are also well-absorbed and assimilated, allowing them to efficiently promote cellular health.4

Safety

Because of the health benefits associated with a high intake of polyphenols it is crucial to get an adequate number of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Best Acai featuring OptiAcai™ freeze-dried acai fruit powder with its high polyphenol content can provide an invaluable supplemental source of these health-promoting compounds to a normal diet.

Scientific References

1. Del Pozo-Insfran D, Brenes CH, Talcott ST. Phytochemical composition and pigment stability of Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.). J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Mar 24;52(6):1539-45.

2. Schauss, Alexander G. Acai (Euterpe oleracea): The Nutritional and Antioxidant-rich Amazonian Palm Tree Fruit. Sound Concepts, 2005.

3. Lichtenthaler R, Rodrigues RB, Maia JG, Papagiannopoulos M, Fabricius H, Marx F. Total oxidant scavenging capacities of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Acai) fruits. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2005 Feb;56(1):53-64.

4. Ronzio, RA. "Naturally occurring antioxidants" The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Second edition. Ed. Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr. and Michael T. Murray. Churchill Livingstone, 1999. 831-846.



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Full Course Meal for your Bones
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Date: December 30, 2005 05:50 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Full Course Meal for your Bones

KAl offers Bone Meal Powder in a new size 16oz.

Kal's Bone meal powder is a tried and true flagship product. Mix q rounded teaspoon of powder with your favorite protein drink, juice, or, Yogurt. May also be blended into baked goods, hot cereal and casseroles.

  • Bovine Derived and USDA compliant to minimize the risk of BSE exposure
  • Convenient powder form
  • Contains the complex of all trace minerals naturally occuring in bones
  • 540mg phosphorus per serving
  • Intended to provide nutritive support for healthy bones, teeth, nerve and muscular function.
  • Provides 1620mg calcium per one heaping teaspoon

Supplement Facts
Serving size 1 teaspoon) (6)
Servings per container about 76

Calcium (from bone meal) - 1620mg
Phosphorus (from Bone Meal) - 540mg
Magnesium (from bone meal) - 18mg



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Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
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Date: December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant

Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant

By Nilesh Patel, NOW Quality Assurance, April 20, 2005 Why are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES important? “Diets rich in FRUITS AND VEGETABLES may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”- National Cancer Institute. OXYGEN AND ANTIOXIDANTS As we all know, “Oxygen is critical to life,” but is itself a double-edged sword. While oxygen is necessary to sustain life and for natural defense against microbes, too much oxygen in our cells can lead to the production of “free radicals” (mitochondrial respiratory chain) or ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Free radicals come in many forms - singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, superoxideperoxynitrite, to name a few - but all have one commonality. Each has an unpaired (unbalanced) electron, a situation it remedies by stealing an electron from a stable molecule. This sets off a domino effect of oxidation, a chain reaction that usually ends up damaging cellular integrity and compromising overall health. Nature has a defense system in place to protect these processes in the form of antioxidants. Whether endogenous (produced by the body, such as liver enzymes, SOD, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds) or exogenous (obtained through the diet, such as vitamins C & E, bioflavonoids, carotenes, etc.), antioxidants “quench” free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize a molecule, thus controling the chain reaction and stopping the oxidation “domino effect”. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS Research suggests that eating plenty of foods high in antioxidants helps to slow the processes associated with aging and protect against many chronic diseases. Maximizing one’s antioxidant power will enhance overall health. Fruit and vegetables contain both nutritive and non-nutritive factors that can affect oxidative damage and enzymatic defense and might contribute to redox (antioxidant and prooxidant) actions. A new “6-a-day” study looked into the effects of fruits and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers by The Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in Denmark. The study found that fruits and vegetables increase erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity and resistance of plasma lipoproteins to oxidation more efficiently than do the nutritive factors (vitamins and minerals) that the fruits and vegetables are also known to contain. Certain berries, such as blackberries, also contain salicylates, which are also linked to heart health and prevention of atherosclerosis. The protective effects of fruits and vegetables intake on both heart disease death and deaths in general have previously been demonstrated but researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. Quercetin is an anti-oxidizing flavonoid found in many berries (such as cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) and can prevent CVDs (coronary vascular diseases), according to a recent Finnish study. All these natural plant polyphenols are responsible for the colors of many red and purple berries, fruits, vegetables and flowers. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES The new federal guidelines released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, combined, than any other food group -- five cups or about 10 servings a day for most adults. The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended has increased for men and women of every age. “Fruits and vegetables are the "good news" story of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans for food-loving consumers, the industry and America's public health”, stated the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Eating a variety of colorful phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from individual component supplements. The Scottish government is promoting healthy eating through a scheme designed to increase purchasing of fruit and nutritional foods. Scottish health minister Andy Kerr said, "This initiative shows that healthy eating can be good for customers and good for business." Scottish women are said to have the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the world as well as the highest rates in Europe for coronary heart disease. They also have low consumption of fruits and vegetables, shown in studies to help protect against some cancers and benefit heart health. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) Free radicals and oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and Down syndrome. Oxidative stress is an important factor in the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes & is also linked to other host of degenerative health conditions. Fortunately, antioxidants are available to support the body’s defense and fight disease and aging. Examples of “Fast acting antioxidants” in the body (serum) are: uric acid (polyphenols), ascorbate, bilirubin, vitamin E (the later two are lipid soluble). Examples of “Slow acting antioxidants” are glucose, urea nitrogen etc. In short, free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are generated as by-products of normal cellular metabolism. Their deleterious effects are minimized in vivo (in the body) by the presence of antioxidant systems. How do Antioxidants work? Antioxidants are substances in plants that help maintain health. Antioxidants protect against damage to cells caused by too many “free oxygen radicals,” which form because of the effects of oxidation. Smoking, sunlight, heavy exercise, and pollution all increase oxidation in the body. Most people would benefit by eating more (five to nine or more servings) fruits and vegetables & colorful plant foods, such as purple, dark green, yellow, orange, blue, and red ones, each day. These have healthful pigments along with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. There are numerous ways in which these antioxidants affect, but can be explained in two groups: Alpha (a) Effects: This refers to the scavenging or neutralizing of free radicals. These effects do not change the way humans (or animals) feel. There are also no noticeable health, psychological or emotional benefits. While there are no obvious changes, increased total antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased tumor rates, prevention of heart attacks and increased longevity. Beta (ß) Effects: These are the changes on health, psychological or emotional state that you or others will notice. In this case, the antioxidant is affecting metabolic processes (enzymes) with consequent changes in the physical (improvement in joint movements, improved skin condition, tissue damage recovery), emotional (better ability to cope with stress) or psychological state (increased alertness). The ORAC value Because most of the active nutritional components in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, accurate measurement of antioxidant activity serves as a good indicator of potential health benefit. Scientific opinion runs high that ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) will eventually become a government standard of reference for overall daily fruits and vegetables intake. ORAC units are a measurement of the ability of food to stop oxidation. It is most generally expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent per gram (µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). POPULATION DATA A survey done by the National Research Council indicates that only 10% of the US population consumes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The equivalent to eating 5 mixed servings of fruits and vegetables per day is about 1,670 ORAC units. Based on scientific evidence it is suggested that daily antioxidant intake should be increased to between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units per day, per human subject, in order to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in blood plasma and other tissues. WHAT IS NOW DOING TO HELP? In accord with our mission, “To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives,” NOW® Foods is introducing an ALL-FRUIT-DERIVED antioxidant product called VitaBerry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant Vcaps (vegetarian capsules) (product number #3336). At time of manufacture this product provides an ORAC value of at least 2,500 units per serving from a full-spectrum antioxidant blend of fruits containing phytochemicals and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol , many organic acids, resveratrol and vitamin C. VitaBerry Plus +™ is formulated with VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend [a proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) & Grape seed extract, Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Prune (Prunus domestica), Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract & Strawberry (Fragaria virginia)], Hi-Active™ Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Pomegranate (Punica granatum) min. 40% ellagic acid fruit extract. One gram of VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend provides at least 6,000 ORAC units (i.e., µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). (Also watch for an upcoming antioxidant product from NOW called Enzogenol® (Pinus radiata bark extract from New Zealand) with Rutin (a flavonoid from South American fruit of Dimorphandra mollis) and Grapeseed extract. IS IT EFFECTIVE? Total ORAC value includes both lipophilic and hydrophilic components. VitaBerry Plus +™ contains only water/hydroethanol based extracts and concentrated (100:1 to 125:1) freeze-dried fresh fruit blends, so the lipophilic ORAC value is mere 2-4% of the total ORAC value. Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing enzyme that decreases cell death from brain injuries. It also acts as a critical first-line antioxidant defense on the airway (respiratory) epithelial surface against ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species. Genetics research has found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. Taking glutathione (GSH) itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells. So glutathione precursor dietary supplements (such as NAC and GliSODin), along with fruits and vegetables, are effective in boosting intracellular levels of GSH. The lungs have a defense system against the ROS oxidants consisting of low molecular weight antioxidants such as GSH and intracellular enzymes such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to protect against the toxic effects of oxidants generated within the cells. Some of the primary effects of VitaBerry Plus +™ against the common reactive free-radical species or ROS are as follows: - Superoxide dismutase-SOD (destroys Superoxide radicals),
- Catalase (neutralizes peroxides),
- Functions similar to reduced Glutathione (GSH),
- Glutathione peroxidase enzyme (detoxifies peroxides, using GSH as a reducing agent),
- Functions similar to Glutathione S-transferase (GST),
- Nullifies Superoxide-generating NADH/NADPH oxidase system In conclusion More concentrated than fresh berries, with over 6000 ORAC units per gram, VitaBerry Plus +™ provides consumers with the antioxidant power of almost 15 servings per day of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ina convenient vegetarian capsule form! VitaBerry™ PLUS +™ (# 3336) provides a powerful, convenient way to supplement diets that do not include sufficient fruit and vegetable antioxidants Selected References: USDA/HHS guidelines report at: etaryguidelines/dga2005/document/

ls.com/proprietary/pdf/VitaberryBrochure.pdf g Kaplan M., Hayek T. , Raz A., Coleman R. and Aviram M. Pomegranate juice supplementation to apolipoprotein E deficient mice with extensive atherosclerosis reduces macrophages lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J. Nutr. 131: 2082-2089 (2001) Lars O Dragsted et. al., The 6-a-day study:effects if fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1060-1072, June 2004 Fuhrman B. and Aviram M. Polyphenols and flavaonoids protects LDL against atherogenic modifications.In: Handbook of Antioxidants Biochemical, Nutritional and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition. Cadenas E & Packer L (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, NY(Pub.). 16:303-336 (2001) Wood, Jacqueline, et al. Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry 77 (2002) 155-161 Aviram M. Pomegranate juice as a major source for polyphenolic flavonoids and it is most potent antioxidant against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis. Free Radical Research 36 (Supplement 1): 71-72 (2002) Jennifer Schraag, Antioxidants: Nature’s Way of Balancing Life. HSR Health Supplement Retailer, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24-27, February 2005 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58665 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58697

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Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition
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Date: October 29, 2005 01:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition

Feds Subsidized Poor Nutrition

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year issued a new food pyramid aimed at convincing Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins such as dairy, meat and beans. While the USDA publicizes its pyramid with much fanfare, the agency implements policies that subsidize the consumption of nutrition-poor, high fat and processed foods, while offering no incentive to farmers to grow healthful crops.

The Pyramid Versus Farm subsidies

A recent Associated Press (AP) article* contrasted the pyramid recommendations with a breakdown of this year’s $17 billion in direct subsidies to farmers.

  • Corn and feed grains constitute 43% of subsidies. Critics point out that subsidized corn oil used to fry fast food burgers; thickeners and starches for processed food; and corn feed for cattle—which is unsuited for the cow’s digestive system, resulting in illness and reliance on antibiotics.
  • The next most-subsidized food crop are soybeans and wheat (9% each). Soybeans are a source of hydrogenated oil that gives a flaky texture to commercial pastries, and of livestock feed, which further promotes meat consumption.
  • Wheat, while a healthful grain, has become so ubiquitous in our diet that many individuals have developed sensitivities to that staple.
  • Tobacco, with its well-known harmful effects, also receives 9% of farm subsidies.
  • Other food crops receive less than 1% each, and fruit and vegetables receive none.

    Overproduction Leads to Lower Prices

    U.S. farm policy leads to the overproduction of nutrition-poor, fat and starch-laden foods. As a result, the prices of these foods go down, while healthy food remains less affordable.

    A related AP story describes the barriers faced by poor families who would prefer a more nutrition’s diet but end up eating cheap, unhealthy food. Adam Drewnowski, director of the University of Washington’s Center of public Health Nutrition is quoted: “Energy-dense foods rich in starch, sugar or fat are the cheapest option. As long as the healthier lean meats, fish and fresh produce are more expensive, obesity will continue to be a problem for the working poor.”

    Food Policy and the wellness Revolution

    With obesity and related health problems at a crisis point, some consumer advocates are trying to change our government’s food policies. An effective response to the current dietary crisis requires political charge as well as education about healthy lifestyles. Meanwhile, it is a wise strategy for individuals to develop a personal, nutritional supplement regimen. The centerpiece of this program should be a scientifically advanced and comprehensive multiple such as Source Naturals Life Force.



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    TopPreviousNext

    Date: October 06, 2005 10:08 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)

    Magnesium is a dietary mineral with a wide array of biological activities in the body. Magnesium participates in numerous life-essential processes that occur both inside and outside cells. Magnesium deficiency impacts normal physiologic function on many levels. Adequate magnesium is a fundamental requirement for optimum function of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and skeletal muscle, as well as the uterus and GI tract. Magnesium deficiency can affect health of the heart, bones and blood vessels and alter blood sugar balance [1].

    Magnesium–Important for Everyone, Deficient in Many The average person living in a modern country today very likely consumes less than the optimum amount of magnesium [2]. An abundance of data collected over the last two decades shows a consistent pattern of low magnesium intake in the U.S. This pattern cuts a wide swath across various age-sex groups. The USDA’s Nationwide Food Consumption Survey found that a majority of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily magnesium intake [3]. Twelve age-sex groups were studied and this low magnesium intake was true for all groups except 0 to 5 year olds.

    An analysis of the nutrient content of the diets of 7,810 individuals age four and above included magnesium among several nutrients where the amounts supplied by the average diet "were not sufficient to meet recommended standards" [4]. The FDA’s Total Diet study examined the intakes of eleven minerals, including magnesium, among eight age-sex groups. Data was collected four times yearly from 1982 to 1984. Levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper were low for most age-sex groups [5]. Surveys conducted in Europe and in other parts of North America paint a similar picture. Loss of magnesium during food processing is one explanation for this global lack of adequate dietary magnesium [6].

    In particular, the elderly may be susceptible to magnesium deficiency for a variety of reasons, including inadequate magnesium intake, poor absorption due to impaired gastrointestinal function and use of drugs such as diuretics that deplete magnesium from the body [7]. It has recently been theorized that magnesium deficiency may contribute to accelerated aging, through effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as muscles and the kidneys [8].

    Women who take both synthetic estrogen and calcium supplements may be at risk for low blood levels of magnesium [9]. Estrogen promotes the transfer of magnesium from blood to soft–tissues. Low blood magnesium may result if the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake exceeds 4 to 1. Magnesium supplementation is thus advisable for women taking estrogen and calcium.

    Young adults are not immune to magnesium deficiency. The University of California’s Bogalusa Heart Study collected nutritional data from a cross-sectional sample of 504 young adults between age 19 and 28 [10]. The reported intake of magnesium, along with several other minerals and vitamins, was below the RDA.

    Glycine is a highly effective mineral chelator. This is because it is a low-molecular-weight amino acid, hence is easily transported across the intestinal membrane. A study conducted at Weber State University found this particular magnesium glycinate was absorbed up to four times more effectively than typical magnesium supplements.

    Magnesium-the Versatile Mineral

    The average adult body contains anywhere from about 21 to 28 grams of magnesium. Approximately 60 percent of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in bone. Soft tissue, such as skeletal muscle, contains 38%, leaving only about 1 to 2% of the total body magnesium content in blood plasma and red blood cells. Magnesium in the body may be bound either to proteins or "anions" (negatively charged substances.) About 55% of the body’s magnesium content is in the "ionic" form, which means it carries an electrical charge. Magnesium ions are "cations," ions that carry a positive charge. In its charged state, magnesium functions as one of the mineral "electrolytes."

    Magnesium works as a "co-factor" for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Metabolism uses a phosphate containing molecule called "ATP" as its energy source. Magnesium is required for all reactions involving ATP [11]. ATP supplies the energy for physical activity, by releasing energy stored in "phosphate bonds".

    Skeletal and heart muscle use up large amounts of ATP. The energy for muscle contraction is released when one of ATP’s phosphate bonds is broken, in a reaction that produces ADP. Phosphate is added back to ADP, re-forming ATP. ATP also powers the cellular "calcium pump" which allows muscle cells to relax. Because it participates in these ATP-controlled processes, magnesium is vitally important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By controlling the flow of sodium, potassium and calcium in and out of cells, magnesium regulates the function of nerves as well as muscles [12].

    Magnesium’s importance for heart health is widely recognized. The heart is the only muscle in the body that generates its own electrical impulses. Through its influence on the heart’s electrical conduction system, magnesium is essential for maintenance of a smooth, regular heartbeat [13]. Magnesium appears to help the heart resist the effects of systemic stress. Magnesium deficiency aggravates cardiac damage due to acute systemic stress (such as caused by infection or trauma), while magnesium supplementation protects the heart against stress [14]. This has been found true even in the absence of an actual magnesium deficit in the body.

    Evidence suggests that magnesium may help support mineral bone density in elderly women. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplements showed gains in bone density. A control group of 23 women who declined taking the supplements had decreases in bone density [15]. The dietary intakes of magnesium, potassium, fruit and vegetables are associated with increased bone density in elderly women and men [16]. In an interesting animal study, rats were fed diets with either high or low levels of magnesium. Compared to the high magnesium-fed rats, bone strength and magnesium content of bone decreased in the low-magnesium rats, even though these rats showed no visible signs of magnesium deficiency [17]. While this finding may or may not apply to humans, it raises the possibility that diets supplying low magnesium intakes may contribute to weakening of bone in the elderly.

    Maximizing Absorption––Chelated Minerals Explained Mineral absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine. Like any mineral, magnesium may be absorbed as an "ion," a mineral in its elemental state that carries an electric charge. Mineral ions cross the intestinal membrane either through "active transport" by a protein carrier imbedded in the cells lining the membrane inner wall, or by simple diffusion. The magnesium in mineral salts is absorbed in ionic form. However, absorption of ionic minerals can be compromised by any number of factors, including: 1) Low solubility of the starting salt, which inhibits release of the mineral ion, and 2) Binding of the released ion to naturally occurring dietary factors such as phytates, fats and other minerals that form indigestible mineral complexes [18].

    A second absorption mechanism has been discovered for minerals. Experiments have shown that minerals chemically bonded to amino acids (building blocks of protein) are absorbed differently from mineral ions. This has given rise to the introduction of "chelated" minerals as dietary supplements. Mineral amino acid chelates consist of a single atom of elemental mineral that is surrounded by two or more amino acid molecules in a stable, ring-like structure.

    Unlike mineral salts, which must be digested by stomach acid before the desired mineral portion can be released and absorbed, mineral chelates are not broken down in the stomach or intestines. Instead, chelates cross the intestinal wall intact, carrying the mineral tightly bound and hidden within the amino acid ring. The mineral is then released into the bloodstream for use by the body. Research by pioneers in the field of mineral chelation and human nutrition indicates that the best-absorbed chelates consist of one mineral atom chelated with two amino acids. This form of chelate is called a "di-peptide." Compared to other chelates, di-peptides have the ideal chemical attributes for optimum absorption [19]. Dipeptide chelates demonstrate superior absorption compared to mineral salts. For example, a magnesium di-peptide chelate was shown to be four times better absorbed than magnesium oxide [20].

    Consumer Alert! Not all "amino acid chelates" are true chelates. In order for a mineral supplement to qualify as a genuine chelate, it must be carefully processed to ensure the mineral is chemically bonded to the amino acids in a stable molecule with the right characteristics. The magnesium bis-glycinate/lysinate in High Absorption Magnesium is a genuine di-peptide chelate ("bis" means "two"). It has a molecular weight of 324 daltons, considerably lower than the upper limit of 800 daltons stated in the definition of "mineral amino acid chelates" adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in 1996 [21].

    Bioperine® For Enhanced Absorption Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that increases nutrient absorption.* Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine® [22].

    Scientific References 1. Abbott, L.R., R., Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner electrolyte Metab, 1993. 19: p. 314-22. 2. Durlach, J., Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. Magnesium Research, 1989. 2(3): p. 195-202. 3. Morgan, K.e.a., Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1985. 4: p. 195-206. 4. Windham, C., Wyse, B., Hurst, R. Hansen, R., Consistency of nutrient consumption patterns in the United States. J AM Diet Assoc, 1981. 78(6): p. 587-95. 5. Pennington, J., Mineral content of foods and total diets: the Selected Minerals in Food Survey, 1982 to 1984. J AM Diet Assoc, 1986. 86(7): p. 876-91. 6. Marier, J., Magnesium Content of the Food Supply in the Modern- Day World. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 1-8. 7. Costello, R., Moser-Veillon, P., A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern? Magnesium Research, 1992. 5(1): p. 61-67. 8. Durlach, J., et al., Magnesium status and aging: An update. Magnesium Research, 1997. 11(1): p. 25-42. 9. Seelig, M., Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnesium Research, 1990. 3(3): p. 197-215. 10. Zive, M., et al., Marginal vitamin and mineral intakes of young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Adolesc, 1996. 19(1): p. 39-47. 11. McLean, R., Magnesium and its therapeutic uses: A review. American Journal of Medicine, 1994. 96: p. 63-76. 12. Graber, T., Role of magnesium in health and disease. Comprehensive Therapy, 1987. 13(1): p. 29-35. 13. Sueta, C., Patterson, J., Adams, K., Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: A critical review of new data. Magnesium Research, 1995. 8(4): p. 389- 401. 14. Classen, H.-G., Systemic stress, magnesium status and cardiovascular damage. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 105-110. 15. Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper, R., Leichter, I., Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis. Magnesium Research, 1993. 6(2): p. 155-63. 16. Tucker, K., et al., Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 69(4): p. 727-736. 17. Heroux, O., Peter, D., Tanner, A., Effect of a chronic suboptimal intake of magnesium on magnesium and calcium content of bone and bone strength of the rat. Can J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 1975. 53: p. 304-310. 18. Pineda, O., Ashmead, H.D., Effectiveness of treatment of irondeficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bisglycinate chelate. Nutrition, 2001. 17: p. 381-84. 19. Adibi, A., Intestinal transport of dipetides in man: Relative importance of hydrolysis and intact absorption. J Clin Invest, 1971. 50: p. 2266-75. 20. Ashmead, H.D., Graff, D., Ashmead, H., Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelates. 1985, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 21. NNFA definition of mineral amino acid chlelates, in NNFA Today. 1996. p. 15. 22. Bioperine-Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. 1996, Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, N.J.

    *This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    Doctor's Best•1120 Calle Cordillera•Suite 101, San Clemente, CA 92673



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    PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 13, 2005 10:01 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

    PYCNOGENOL AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

    While flavonoid concentrates were used in ancient times to treat a variety of human diseases, modern medicine has failed to utilize their enormous therapeutic potential. We assume RDA standards to provide us with all the vitamin C and bioflavonoids we need to be healthy. Even if these set quantities were accurate for maintaining optimal health, how many of us eat diets nutritious enough to maintain maximum health and protection? In other words, do we consume enough fruits and ve g etables to affo rd us adequate levels of vitamin C and bioflavonoids to provide the free radical protection we need?

    “The USDA conducted a study in which they collected dietary information over the course of the year for four independent days. In that study 20% of the adult women had no fruit or juice for four days, and about 45% had no citrus fruit or citrus fruit juice in four days.”6

    MALNUTRITION IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY?

    Only 9% of our population gets and eats enough fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis. Unquestionably, most of us are not getting enough vitamin C and flavonoid compounds from our diets.

    In addition, it’s important to remember that modern farming techniques, pre m a t u re harve sting of fruits and vegetables, indefinite cold storage, freezing, canning and cooking may denature food of its vitamin C and bioflavonoid content. Because we know that diseases are often nothing more than nutritional deficiencies, we must make adequate supplementation a priority if we want to enhance our longevity.

    As mentioned earlier, biofl avonoids must combine with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in order to be effective. Mother nature was well aware of this synergistic relationship, as most plant biof l avonoids accomp a ny vitamin C compounds. In addition, the best, most bio-active and bioavailable flavonols must be chosen for their antioxidant properties. An overwhelming consensus exists that Pycnogenol may be the ideal choice.

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    Cinnamon may control sugar levels...
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 08, 2005 10:48 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Cinnamon may control sugar levels...

    Best Cinnamon

  • Use as Part of Your Diet to Help Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level*
  • HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS
  • Cinnamon,
    a staple ingredient in apple pie, has remained one of the
    world's favorite spices throughout recorded history. The
    evergreen cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum), considered to be
    true cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka. Chinese cinnamon
    (Cinnamomum cassia or Cinnamomum aromaticum), the cinnamon most
    commonly sold in the U.S., goes by the name “Cassia.” Usage of
    cinnamon in Chinese medicine is said to date back over 4,000
    years. Mentioned in the Bible, cinnamon was imported to Egypt
    and Europe from the Far East by 500 B.C. In addition to its
    value as culinary spice, cinnamon has traditionally been
    utilized as a folk medicine for colds and minor digestive
    complaints. True cinnamon and cassia are very similar; cassia
    has a more pungent flavor. Cassia buds can be found in potpourri
    and used as a flavoring agent in sweets and
    beverages.1

    Recent research has revealed that constituents in
    cinnamon bark called procyanidin Type-A polymers help maintain
    the body's ability to metabolize glucose in a healthy way.* Best
    Cinnamon Extract is Cinnulin PF®, a patented, water extract of
    Cinnamon that contains Type-A polymers. Cinnulin PF® is a
    registered trademark of Integrity Nutraceuticals International
    and is manufactured under US Patent #
    6,200,569.

    Benefits

    Use as Part of Your Diet to Help
    Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level*

    In Vitro and Animal
    Studies

    Research has revealed that a number of herbs and
    spices have insulin-like activity.2 In a study by the U.S.
    Department of Agriculture (USDA), cinnamon demonstrated the
    greatest ability to stimulate cellular glucose metabolism among
    49 botanicals tested.3

    In a 2001 study, researchers at the
    USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center showed that bioactive
    compounds in cinnamon trigger an insulin-like response in fat
    cells.4 These compounds stimulated glucose uptake into cells and
    increased glycogen (stored glucose) production via activation of
    the enzyme, glycogen synthase.

    The bioactive compounds in
    cinnamon appear to potentiate insulin activity at the level of
    the cell receptor for insulin. It has been shown that insulin
    resistance involves down regulation of “insulin signaling”
    characterized by dephosphorylation of the receptor.5 Enzymes
    called “protein tyrosine kinases” (PTPases) are believed to
    decrease receptor phosphorylation, and increased PTPase activity
    has been observed in insulin resistant rats.6 Cinnamon compounds
    have demonstrated the in vitro ability to inhibit PTP-1 and
    increase autophosphorylation of the insulin receptor.7

    In a
    recent animal study, cinnamon (cassia) extract was administered
    to rats for three weeks. Following this, the rats were infused
    with insulin and glucose to assess their insulin response.
    Increased phosphorylation of the insulin receptor was observed
    in skeletal muscle of these rats, suggesting that cinnamon has
    the ability to potentiate insulin function by normalizing
    insulin signaling, leading to improved uptake of glucose into
    skeletal muscle.8

    Until recently, the precise molecular
    structure of the bioactive compounds in cinnamon had not been
    clearly defined. The USDA has now determined that the bioactive
    compounds in cinnamon are water-soluble procyanidin Type-A
    polymers of catechin and epicatechin. In a 2004 study, type-A
    polymers were isolated from cinnamon and characterized by
    nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Type-A
    polymers were found to increase in vitro insulin activity by a
    factor of 20. Type-A polymers also exhibited antioxidant
    activity, as measured by inhibition of free radical production
    in platelets. These results suggest that, in addition to
    regulating glucose metabolism, cinnamon may help protect cell
    membranes by controlling the lipid peroxidation associated with
    disruptions in insulin function.9

    HUMAN CLINICAL TRIALS

    The effect of cinnamon on glucose and blood lipids
    levels on people with type 2 diabetes was tested in a recent
    randomized, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 60 subjects
    were divided into six groups administered 1, 3, or 6 grams of
    cinnamon daily, in 500 mg capsules, or equal numbers of placebo
    capsules.

    The cinnamon or placebo capsules were consumed for
    two periods of 20 days each. Serum glucose, triglyceride,
    cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol were measured
    after 20 days, 40 days and again at the end of a 20-day wash-out
    period, during which neither cinnamon nor placebo was
    consumed.

    In all three cinnamon groups, statistically
    significant reductions in blood glucose levels occurred, with
    decreases ranging from 18 to 29 percent. Interestingly, glucose
    levels remained significantly lower after the 20-day wash-out
    period (60 days from the study start) only in the group that
    took the lowest cinnamon dose (1 gram daily). The placebo groups
    showed no significant changes.

    Decreases in triglyceride
    levels ranging from 23 to 30% were observed in all three
    cinnamon groups after 40 days. When the study ended at 60 days,
    triglyceride levels remained lower than at the study start in
    the 1 and 3 gram cinnamon groups, but not in the group taking 6
    grams daily. Cholesterol reductions also occurred with the three
    cinnamon doses, with decreases ranging from 13 to 25% that were
    maintained at the study end. For LDL, the 3 and 6 gram cinnamon
    groups showed significant reductions from 10 to 24%, while in
    the 1 gram cinnamon group, non-significant reductions occurred
    after 40 days; LDL levels continued to decrease, reaching
    statistical significance at 60 days. With respect to HDL,
    significant increases were seen only in the 3 gram cinnamon
    group after 20 days; non-significant changes occurred in the 1
    and 6 gram groups after 40 days.

    The overall results of this
    trial demonstrate that cinnamon exerts a beneficial effect on
    blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes,
    at daily intakes of 1 gram, and that this low dose is equally
    efficacious as are the higher doses of 3 and 6
    grams.10

    Safety

    The various species of cinnamon are
    classified as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) herbs.11 The
    Botanical Safety Handbook lists Cinnamomum cassia a “Class 2b”
    herb; not to be used during pregnancy.12 The water-soluble
    cinnamon extract is largely free of the lipid-soluble components
    of cinnamon most likely to be toxic at high dose of cinnamon and
    long-term consumption of the herb.9

    *This statement has not
    been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product
    is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any
    disease.

    Scientific References

    1. Manniche, L. An Ancient
    Egyptian Herbal. 1989, Austin , TX : University of Texas
    Press.

    2. Khan A, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Anderson RA.
    Insulin potentiating factor and chromium content of selected
    foods and spices. Biol Trace Elem Res 1990;24(3):183-8.

    3.
    Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Insulin-like biological
    activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in
    vitro. J Agric Food Chem 2000;48(3):849-52.

    4. Jarvill-Taylor
    KJ, Anderson RA, Graves DJ. A hydroxychalcone derived from
    cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1
    adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20(4):327-36.

    5. Nadiv O,
    Shinitzky M, Manu H, et al. Elevated protein tyrosine
    phosphatase activity and increased membrane viscosity are
    associated with impaired activation of the insulin receptor
    kinase in old rats. Biochem J. 1998;298(Pt 2):443-50.

    6.
    Begum N, Sussman KE, Draznin B. Differential effects of diabetes
    on adipocyte and liver phosphotyrosine and phsophoserine
    phosphatase activities. Diabetes 1991;40(12):1620-9.

    7.
    Imparl-Radosevich J, Deas S, Polansky MM, et al. Regulation of
    PTP-1 and insulin receptor kinase by fractions from cinnamon:
    implications for cinnamon regulation of insulin signalling. Horm
    Res 1998;50:177-182.

    8. Qin B, Nagasaki M, Ren M, et al.
    Cinnamon extract (traditional herb) potentiates in vivo
    insulin-regulated glucose utilization via enhanced insulin
    signaling in rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract
    2003;62(3):139-48.

    9. Anderson R, Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM,
    et al. Isolation and characterization of polyphenol type-A
    polymers from cinnamon with insulin-like biological activity. J
    Agric Food Chem 2004; 52(1):65-70.

    10. Khan A, Safdar S,
    Muzaffar M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of
    people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care
    2003;26(12):3215-18.

    11. Duke, JA. Handbook of Phytochemical
    Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. 1992. Boca
    Raton, FL: CRC Press.

    12. Botanical Safety Handbook. American
    Herbal Products Association. McGuffin M, et al., eds. 1997; Boca
    Raton , FL : CRC Press.

    Acting as a biochemical
    "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular
    mechanisms, as discussed below.



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    Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels-Herbally
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: July 05, 2005 10:18 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels-Herbally

  • Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels-Herbally
  • Ancient Spices for Modern health
  • Weight Loss & Lean Muscle Mass- An Important Key to Increased Insulin Sensitivity

  • Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels-Herbally

    The introduction of refined sugars into the modern diet has had tremendous negative health consequences on world health. For example, diabetes, especially insulin-independent diabetes (Type 2), is growing rapidly in the United States particularly among children. This type is partly due to the inability of insulin to effectively transport sugar to receptor sites and into cells, where the sugar can be metabolized. Instead of being "burned up," sugar builds in the blood, creating a potentially serious health problem. This inefficiency can occur for a number of reasons, including: insufficient insulin production due to pancreas dysfunction (though many Type 2 diabetics produce excess insulin); the inability of insulin to carry sugar to receptor sites; a defect in the insulin; or a defect in the receptor that does not allow for the sugar to be transported through the cell membrane. Even if one does not have diabetes, it is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels through proper diet, exercise, and weight management. This is especially important in children who were recently found to obtain 14% of their daily calories from sweet drinks (sodas), overtaking white bread as the primary source of total daily caloric intake. Regardless of the reason, a number of botanicals, in addition to key lifestyle recommendations, have been shown in modern research to support healthy blood sugar levels by enhance sugar metabolization. (Cinnamomum aromaticum syn. C. cassia*) is one botanical that has been shown to have a positive effect on potentiating the effects of insulin.

    *The study referrd to the material used as Cinnamomum cassia. The officially accepted botanical nomenclature has changed and is now Cinnamomum aromaticum.

    Ancient Spices for Modern health

    Spices have been used historically to increase metabolism, raise body heat (thermogenesis), improve digestion and assimilation, and potentiate the effects of other substances. For this reason, in many herbal traditions, small amounts of hot pungent spices were added to many traditional compounds. Regarding sugar metabolization, a study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) looked at the potential effects of 49 spices on insulin function (Broadhurst et al. 2000). These researchers found that cinnamon was the most bioactive in directly stimulating cellular glucose metablosim, i.e. the ability of cells to utilize sugar. The same researchers followed up with constituent studies and determined that it was water-soluble compunds in the extract that had this insulin-potentiating effect. This was followed by a clinical trial (60 subjects), also with involvement of the USDA, on the effects of cinnamon for potentiating insulin. The equivalent of 1, 3, and 6 grams (g) of cinnamon powder (approximately 1/4 to 1.5 teaspoons) reduced blood glucose levels 18-29% in 40 days (Khan et al. 2003).

    There was a significant increase in efficency between the 1 and 3 g doses, but an insignificant increase between the 3 and 6 g doses. One mechanism of action that has been postulated is that cinnamon increases the activity of PI-3 kinase, an enzyme that is critical in regulating the ability of glucose to be transported into the cell, where it can be utilized as energy. In addition to its ability to potentiate insulin, the cinnamon also supported healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels, both important health benefits in general.

    There is an additional benefit of using cinnamon for many Americans; like many spices it is a potent thermogenic agent. This means it can be used as a healthy adjunct to a weight loss program that includes dietary modification and proper exercise. The excessive consumption of simple sugars in conjunction with poor diet and sedentary lifestyles can cause unhealthy blood sugar levels while providing themogenic support can have long-lasting health benefits.

    There have been a number of popular articles on the recent studies. This had led some to ask if crude cinnamon powder can be used with the same effect and safety. This has not been tested. As with all spices, cinnamon is rich in essential oils. Essential oils have beneficial effects, but the insulin-potentiating effect was found to occur in the water extract. This would suggest that many of the oil soluble compunds were lost in the processing. Also, essential oils can be stimulating and irritating, one of the reasons they are generally used in small amounts as flavoring agents. Therefore, it would be best to look for products that contain the water extract to ensure you are delivering the preparation that most closely reflects the preparation used in the studies.

    Weight Loss & Lean Muscle Mass- An Important Key to Increased Insulin Sensitivity

    Maintaining healthy weight and increasing lean body mass are key components in the supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Recently it was reported that only two days of inactivity resulted in a decreased level of insulin sensitivity. Therefore, supporting healthy blood sugar levels is extremely important for those wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In obesity, or in those with a significantly higher percentage of body fat over lean muscle (body mass index greater that 25), it is very difficult for insulin to do its job effectively. The reason is quite simple: fat cells can prevent insulin from actually reaching insulin receptor sites; the fat physically blocks the receptor, and the sugar that should have been burned off through cellular function remains in the blood. It is important to know that, in such cases, there is often nothing at all wrong with the pancreas (the insulin-producing organ), the insulin, or the receptor sites. The fat simply prevents insulin and sugar from reaching their target. In many cases, people are over-producing insulin in an attempt to get more sugar to the receptor sites. After awhile, the pancreas can become exhausted and no longer produce adequate amounts of insulin. Therefore, a primary therapy for supporting healthy blood sugar levels is proper weight management through diet and exercise.

    References

    Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. 2000. Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant extracts in vitro. J agric Good Chem. 48(3):849-852. Khan A, Safdar M, Khan M, Khan K, Anderson R. 2003. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 26912):3215-3218.

    Roy Upton is trained in Western and traditional Chinese herbalism, and has been a professional herbalist for 18 years. He is past president and current vice-president of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) and is also executive director and editor of the American Herbal Pharnacopoeia. an organization dedicated to the development of authoritative monographs on botanicals used in supplements and medicines. Roy is general manager of Planetary Formulas and a memeber of the Standards Committee of the American Herbal Products Association. He is the author of several books, including St. John's Wort and Echinacea in the Keats Publishing Good Herb Series and co-author of the Botancial Safety Handbook, published by CRC Press. Roy lectures and writes extensively.

    Disclaimer: The above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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    Cancer and Echinacea
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 24, 2005 03:45 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Cancer and Echinacea

    Cancer and Echinacea

    Some experts believe that over the last 40 years, science has lost its battle with cancer. Progress has been slow and cancer mortality rates continue to rise despite the enormous amount of money spent on research. While most of us are aware of potential carcinogens which surround us at every turn, most of us do not take a preventative approach.

    In other words, even if we eat nutritiously and try to protect ourselves from toxin exposure, cancers still develop. The role of the immune system in cancer pre vention is significant to say the least. Why some people develop cancerous tumors and others do not may be linked to immune function.

    We’re all aware of the new emphasis on antioxidants today. Likewise, stimulating and strengthening the immune system may also provide significant protection against certain types of malignancy. It’s time to concentrate on why some of us don’t get cancer instead of focusing all our attention on why some of us do.

    In addition to boosting the immune system, echinacea has been shown to increase pro p e rdin levels in the body which may be responsible for its anti-cancer activity. By increasing the production and secretion of interferon, echinacea may help enable the body to neutralize carcinogens.15

    USDA researchers have found that echinacea contains a tumor inhibiting compound. This compound is an oncolytic lipid-soluble hydrocarbon. This particular substance which is found in the essential oil of echinacea, has shown its ability to inhibit lymphocytic leukemia and other types of cancers.

    One theory concerning this activity is that it probably does not involve creating a cytotoxic effect directly on cancer cells, but rather stimulates the action of anti-cancer cells such as natrual killer cells already present in the body.

    The fact that echinacea inhibits the enzyme, hyaluronidase may also be a factor. The same type of mechanism that breaks down the protective barrier around cells so that disease microbes can enter is thought to occur in the initial stages of tumor formation. Because echinacea prevents the formation of hyaluronidase, it may play a role in preventing the development of certain types of cancer.16

    Allergies and Echinacea

    German research has demonstrated echinacea’s ability to treat certain allergic reactions.17 It may be the cortisone-like activity of echinacea which accounts for its anti-inflammatory action. In the case of allergic reactions, the immuno-suppressive action of echinacea kicks in.

    An allergy occurs when the immune system becomes overly stimulated by the presence of an allergen. Each time that the allergen enters the body an allergic response is initiated. Echinacea can temper this cascade of symptoms by stabilizing mast cells, which are responsible for the histamine release which creates havoc with our bodies. This action results in a substantial reduction of allergy symptoms.

    The fact that echinacea actually suppresses the immune system is nothing less than remarkable. This herb might be referred to as “the botanical with a brain.” In other words, it can either stimulate or inhibit immune response as determined by the status of the body. Synthetic drugs do not have this ability.

    Healing Stimulation by Echinacea

    Because echinacea has antiseptic pro p e rties, it can be used both internally and externally to heal conditions such as bed sores, boils, burns, ulcers and wounds of any kind. The inulin Echinacin B content of echinacea extracted from the rhizome gives echinacea its wound healing pro p e rties. It also accelerates the production of granulomatous tissue which is necessary for tissue healing in the body. 18

    Russian studies have shown that echinacea also helps to stimulate healing in wounds and prevents blood clotting.19

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Echinacea

    Because echinacea contains the polysaccharides inulin and echinacin it may be helpful in fighting stubborn viral infections such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Anytime the immune system becomes c o m p romised due to exhaustion, allergies, or depression, viral and bacterial invasion can occur. The chemical compounds contained in echinacea promote improved resistance to all septic or infectious conditions.20

    Prostate Disorders and Echinacea

    Echinacea is believed to be one of the best herbs in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands or other prostate disorders .21 Its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to help decrease swelling and irritation. Tests on mice have shown that using echinacea to control inflammatory responses has resulted in a decrease in edema or swelling.

    Weight Loss and Echinacea

    When combined with chickweed, echinacea has been used to promote weight loss.22 Scientifically, there is a lack of data to explain this particular effect.

    Echinacea and Skin Damage

    Any type of skin damage, whether caused by injury or infection can be treated with echinacea. One of the major actions of this herb is its ability to inhibit a specific enzyme that weakens connective tissue cells when they are exposed to certain microorganisms. This enzyme is called hyaluronidase .23 Whenever skin cells have been compromised by infectious organisms, echinacea can help prevent the spread of infection and speed the healing of the skin by preventing the break down of skin tissue at the cellular level. The anti-hyaluronidase action of echinacea, especially when applied as a poultice, can significantly prevent infection and enhance healing in burns, cuts, and abrasions.

    In addition, topical applications of echinacea are valuable in treating snake and insect bites. German research suggests that echinacea extracts and salves can benefit a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including: psoriasis, eczema, and herpes.24

    Yeast Inf ect ions and Echinacea

    Yeast infections are caused by an fungus called Candida albicans. This particular organism has been the subject of intense interest, research and controversy over the last several years. Standard medical therapies for yeast infections usually involve the use of antibiotics and antifungal drugs which can, in themselves, compromise the immune system. In laboratory tests using control groups, subjects who received echinacea we re compared to those who took standard antifungal treatments. In these cases, better results we re obtained with the echinacea.25 It is the polysaccharides contained in echinacea which seem to enhance the resistance of the immune system against the Candida fungus. This finding again stresses that echinacea may have important therapeutic applications for anyone who is in a weakened state and susceptible to opportunistic infections.26 Echinacea in both external and internal forms can be used to treat yeast infections. It has been suggested that anyone who has recurring yeast infections should consider adding echinacea extract to their repertoire of health supplements.

    Inflammation, Arthrit is and Echinacea

    Some laboratory tests have demonstrated that echinacea has certain anti-inflammatory pro p e rties which can help prevent or decrease the inflammation and swelling typically found in arthritis sufferers. Unlike the inflammatory response of the body to infections, the chronic inflammation of joint diseases such as arthritis is not desireable. In these cases, echinacea can help to inhibit chronic inflammation. Its effect is considered equal to approximately half of that resulting from steroid drugs like cortisone in arthritic patients.27

    Apparently, echinacea contains a specific factor which prevents inflammation and swelling when observed in certain laboratory tests. This particular tonic action may be quite helpful for people who suffer from chronic arthritis. Arthritis symptoms result from an immune response which creates inflammation in the joints. As is the case with allergies, when arthritis is present, echinacea inhibits the inflammatory action of the immune system.

    It is interesting to note that another component of echinacea actually boosts the inflammatory response when it is appropriate. For this reason, wounds respond well to echinacea.

    Steroids are commonly prescribed for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Because steroid drugs have so many negative side-effects, echinacea may prove to be an invaluable treatment for improper immune system reactions that cause conditions like arthritis.

    HIV and Echinacea

    At this writing, the possible role of echinacea on HIV has not been established. While some preliminary studies look promising, much more research is needed to determine whether or not echinacea’s stimulation of immune function will benefit AIDS patients.

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    America's Most Wanted
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: America's Most Wanted

    America's Most Wanted

    by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000

    The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.

    Crucial Calcium

    The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.

    Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.

    The D Factor

    Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.

    The Facts About Fats

    The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.

    Be Sure About B12

    Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.

    Folic Acid Benefits

    Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)

    A Team Player

    Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.

    Compelling Evidence

    Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.

    The Best Sources

    Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.

    Focus on Fiber

    The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.

    Iron Problem

    Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.

    Ante Up the Antioxidants

    Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.

    Sprouts: Nutritional

    Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.

    Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab

    Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.

    Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina

    The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.



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    Truth in Labeling
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    Date: June 14, 2005 10:44 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Truth in Labeling

    Truth in Labeling by Diane Stanton Energy Times, June 14, 2004

    Do you or don't you read food labels when you shop? If you don't, you're missing out on a prime source of information about your meals. If you want control of your health, focus on package labels and pick your foods carefully.

    The large print on food labels focus on what are called macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Some of the smaller categories convey information about vitamins, fiber, and minerals, as well as the totals of fat and saturated fat contained in food. So, you have no excuse for claiming ignorance about your diet: the truth is in the labels.

    Food labels can be confusing to the uninitiated. Go into a big food store and you can be faced with what seems to be a forest of food information: more than 15,000 labels. Add to that fact that every year more than 30,000 new food products can be introduced to the marketplace, and what you're faced with is a jungle of food labels.

    That overwhelming wealth of food label information doesn't mean you should throw up your hands in dismay and give up reading and deciphering labels. You should arm yourself against that sea of labels with knowledge and, by understanding them, end your confusion and build your health.

    Label History

    A hundred years or so ago, food labels were only required to list the name of the food contained inside the package. The contents, quality and processes used to make the food were often a mystery. Little or no disclosure to consumers was made about how their food was created.

    By the early 1920s, the federal government, via the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), began requiring food companies to list the net weight of food on labels as well as the names and addresses of food processors and distributors. Finally, by the 1970s, listing basic nutritional information was mandated in a uniform way so that shoppers could have some basis for comparing foods. Then, in 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act made major alterations to the kinds of labels that had to be included on food packages.

    The FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) required significant changes to food labels that were supposed to make it easier for consumers to eat healthier diets. The labels requirements of 1994 included five major changes:

  • • The nutrition information on the label had to be printed in larger, more legible type.
  • • This condensed information had to be on the back or side of food packaging and titled as "Nutrition Facts." This type of information is also shown in grocery stores near the fresh food displays of fish, fruits and vegetables.
  • • The label had to include a column of information tagged as the "% Daily Value," designed to help consumers understand how the food could fit into a healthy diet.
  • • Each label had to include information about fat, cholesterol, fiber, sugar, calories from fat, and other information relevant to designing a healthy diet.
  • • The computed serving sizes were supposed to be more realistic and reflect the amount of food people actually eat at one sitting.

    Label Questions

    Consumer questions regarding food labels have led researchers to look into ways to help shoppers comprehend what food labels tell them. These studies are designed to help consumers match up their nutrition requirements with the foods they buy.

    For instance, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, scientists have devised a label tool called See It, Do It, Teach It to help people improve their diets through comprehension of food label information. " One of the goals of the project was to help...teenaged girls and menopausal women understand how they can get the daily requirement for calcium into their diet in order to help prevent osteoporosis," says Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD, associate professor and nutritionist in the school's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

    According to the See It, Do It, Teach It program, you should think of food labels as consisting of two sections:

  • • Food items you should limit: total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and, if you're eating a low-carb diet, total carbohydrates
  • • What you may need to increase: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron

    " Much more attention has been paid to what people should limit rather than the nutrients needed. The average consumer doesn't know, for instance, how much vitamin A 10% of the Daily Value is, or how much calcium 25% of the Daily Value is," Dr. Chapman-Novakofski says.

    Upping Calcium Intake

    In their eight-week study of people's calcium consumption (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 4/04), the University of Illinois research team found that people didn't know how much calcium was in the food they ate.

    After the initial part of the study, in which participants were shown how to look for calcium on labels, "the post-test revealed that the participants significantly increased their calcium intake to 821 mg per day, up from 372 mg per day," notes Dr. Chapman-Novakofski.

    " That's a lot closer to the daily requirements of 1,200 mg per day for men and women over 50, 1,000 mg for men and women aged 19 through 50 and 1,300 mg per day for [youths aged] 9 to [18] years," she adds.

    Parts of the Label

    The first item at the top of a nutrition food label tells you the portion size that the label measures. An important point to remember: these sizes are determined individually by each manufacturer. Consequently, all of the other values on the label are measured per portion.

    So, if you are comparing foods made by two different companies that employ very different portion sizes in their nutritional calculations, your label comparisons may be complicated.

    Another fact to be aware of: the listed portion size may be an odd division of the food within the container and not reflect a common-sense division. For instance, some food packages are labeled as containing 2.5 portions.

    And, to make things even more interesting, small boxes of candy that you might think contain barely enough for one helping may be labeled by the manufacturer as having two or more portions. As a result, if you eat the whole box, you often have to at least double the number of indicated calories, etc. to figure out the nutrients and calories you are consuming.

    The section of the label that notes calories, calories from fat and percent daily values is listed under the portion size. Here you are told how many calories you consume when you devour one portion and how many of those calories are derived from fat.

    This label focus on fat originated when consumers and dietitians were very concerned about Americans' fat consumption and hadn't yet switched their focus to carbohydrate consumption as a prevalent dietary health priority.

    Also included on the label: the daily value percentages aimed at showing you how much out of a total day's intake of various nutrients a portion bestows upon you.

    These percentage numbers are based on a theoretical analysis of a diet that contains 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. (A notation at the bottom of the label tells you whether the calculation is based on 2,000 or 2,500.)

    Carb Facts

    If you've been eating a low-carb diet (or are planning this type of diet), the section of the label that lists carbohydrates may be especially useful. Under this heading, the label lists the totals for fiber and sugar.

    No matter what diet you are on, dietary fiber is desirable, since it represents indigestible carbohydrates that both pass through you without conveying any calories and keep beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract healthy.

    Most people want to limit their sugar totals, however, since this nutrient may raise your risk of being overweight and, when you eat a lot of it, may contribute to immune problems.

    Interestingly enough, when food chemists compute what is in food, they perform lab tests known as assays to distinguish its ingredients. (The manner in which these tests are performed are very strictly regulated by the FDA.)

    In fact, just about every nutrient listed on a food label is determined by laboratory test except for the carbohydrate content: the amount of water, fat, crude protein and ash are determined this way. But the total carbs are computed by simply subtracting the total of the other ingredients from the total amount of food, a kind of process of elimination.

    So while fat and protein are measured with precise lab tests, carbohydrate totals are figured by the leftovers. (The water and ash, by the way, are not usually listed on food labels.)

    Within the general carbohydrate group, are several categories of carbohydrates that produce very different effects in your body. These categories can be divided into sugar, sugar alcohols, dietary fiber and a collection of various chemicals that include organic acids, flavonoids, gums, lignans and others.

    According to the FDA, the food label only has to list the total carbs, sugar and dietary fiber. But some food companies now list things like sugar alcohols.

    Blood Sugar Effects

    Not all of these types of carbohydrates behave the same way in your body. For example, when your body digests table sugar, it turns immediately into blood sugar. So sugar and most other carbohydrate is what we call "digestible carbohydrate." Other carbs, such as sugar alcohol or glycerine, can be digested but do not turn to blood sugar. Still others, such as dietary fiber, are indigestible and pass through your body without impacting your blood sugar level.

    To date, the FDA has not focused on these important biochemical differences and treats all carbohydrates alike. This means that when you look at a food label, you do not see a number for the carbs that impact your blood sugar level. To do so, simply subtract the number of grams of fiber from the total number of carbohydrate grams.

    Net Carbs

    Recently, the phrases "low carb," "net carb" and "impact carbs" have begun to appear on food labels. These are not defined by the FDA; they were put on labels by by companies to help consumers pick out foods that are acceptable on low-carb diets. To arrive at the total of net carbs, food companies subtract the total amount of fiber and sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrates.

    Fiber Calculations

    Since the body cannot digest fiber, this nutrient (which is still important for good health) is not calculated into the total amount of carbohydrates. As for sugar alcohols, while-technically speaking-these are carbs and they do have calories, they have little effect on blood sugar and usually are not counted in total carbohydrates.

    According to the American Dietetic Association, people with diabetes who are managing their blood sugars using the carbohydrate counting method should "count half of the grams of sugar alcohol as carbohydrates since half of the sugar alcohol on average is digested.

    " Fiber is not digested, however. If the serving of food has more then 5 grams of fiber one should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate grams." As you can see, when it comes to food, as in most things, knowledge is power. If you want power over your health, you need power over the food you eat. The road to that power is by reading food labels. What's in the food you're eating every day may surprise you.



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    Home on the Range
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    Date: June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Home on the Range

    Home on the Range

    by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999

    Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.

    But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.

    The Alternative Chicken

    Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.

    These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.

    Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.

    Antibiotics Stimulate Growth

    Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.

    This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.

    This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.

    "Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.

    A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.

    Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.

    "Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.

    Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.

    And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.

    "There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.

    The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.

    Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.

    Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.

    "Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.

    In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!

    To fight cruel treatment of poultry:

    • Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP

    • Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.



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    Nutritional Calculator - hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest...
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    Date: June 12, 2005 05:45 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Nutritional Calculator - hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest...

    Nutritional Calculator by Thomas Barclay Energy Times, December 5, 2003

    For years, some folks have dreamed of having a hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest pocket. Then, at every meal, you could whip out your little machine, hit a few buttons, do some nutritional calculatin' and eat only the best-and leave the rest. Fortunately, we have the next best thing: Internet nutritional calculators as well as books and nutrition nudges that can prod and educate you into consuming a healthier diet. (And if you have a PDA, that vest-pocket calculator is actually within reach.)

    When you apply nutritional calculation, you reap instant benefits, giving your body top-notch foods to stay healthy and avoid disease.

    For instance, when you log onto a nutritional calculation website like www.daysworth.com (more about these nutritional calculators in a moment), one of the first things you should let it calculate is your saturated fat intake: figuring ways to bring it down could possibly save your life.

    Fat Calculations

    All that saturated fat that you may be eating in ice cream, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, etc., leads to a cascade of physiological events that raise the risk of cancer. Consume a cheeseburger, with its 562.83 calories, 15.04 grams of saturated fat and 87.6 grams of cholesterol, and you lead your body to produce too much lithocholic acid, a substance that plays a key role in colon cancer.

    "Lithocholic acid is highly toxic, and it builds up in a high-fat diet," notes David Mangelsdorf, PhD, professor of pharmacology at Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern. "We don't know how it causes cancer; but it is known to cause cancer in mice, and people with colon cancer have high concentrations of it." The problem with cheeseburgers and their fatty contents is that when the liver breaks down that supersized clump of cholesterol, the process ends with an oversupply of lithocholic acid, a bile acid that ends up in the intestines. There it can stimulate the process that leads to cancer cell formation (Science 5/16/02).

    "The rate of colorectal cancer is much higher in the United States... than in Japan, where people don't eat a lot of fat and colorectal cancer is almost nonexistent," notes Dr. Mangelsdorf.

    "Our bodies can handle slight changes in lithocholic acid that come from a normal diet, but not a high-fat diet," he says. "The current American diet can provide more fat on a daily basis than a human being was ever meant to handle."

    Teasing out where your dietary saturated fat is coming from is easy on a website like www.daysworth.com. By simply entering the foods you eat during the day into the calculator on this site, you can analyze your daily intake of calories, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and protein.

    For instance, suppose on Monday you eat:

    Breakfast: scrambled eggs and sausage with hash browns, toast and butter, orange juice, coffee and non-dairy creamer.

    Lunch: cheeseburger, regular fries, chocolate milkshake.

    Snack: Milky Way candy bar, can of cola.

    Dinner: fried chicken, mashed potatoes with butter, iceberg lettuce, string beans, glass of root beer and chocolate pudding for dessert.

    Snack: potato chips and water.

    Enter all of those foods into daysworth.com and you find that your daily calories are about 4,000, your salt (4,700 mg) is too high, your vitamin E (8 units) intake is low and you're missing out on potassium-rich foods and fiber. Other potential nutritional difficulties in those meals include a heavy dose of saturated fat (56 grams) and cholesterol (topping 650 mg).

    The calculator will lead you to better sources of vitamin E (like almonds), potassium (almost any fruit) and fiber (whole-wheat breakfast cereals with fruits and nuts).

    The latest technological twist: If you have a PDA, you can download the USDA nutritional database. Visit www.nal.USDA.gov/fnic/foodcomp.

    Figuring It Out

    A host of other sites can help your calorie and nutritional calculation.

    For calculating the amount of calories you need during the day you can consult www.wvda.org/calcs, a website run by the West Virginia Dietetic Association.

    Nutritional Analysis Tools and System (NATS), which resides at nat.crgq.com/mainnat.html, can help you find foods that will aid your nutrition program. And over at gnutrition.sourceforge.net, you can download nutrition analysis software called Gnutrition. It contains data on 81 nutrients for over 5,000 foods.

    Aside from websites, books like The Nutrition Desk Reference (Keats) by Robert Garrison, Jr., MA, RPH and Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, or Food-Your Miracle Medicine (HarperPerennial) can also help you calculate a more healthful diet.

    A pleasant surprise as you navigate your way through these calculators: Healthy food tastes good, too! You don't have to sacrifice food to get the nutrients you need. Just calculate, calculate, calculate!



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    Certified Foods
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    Date: June 12, 2005 01:59 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Certified Foods

    Certified Foods by Glenda Olsen Energy Times, July 13, 2003

    What's in your food, and where does it come from? To most American consumers, that question may seem unimportant. But the answers might surprise you. Your food's origin and processing can make a big difference in its nutritional value, for better and for worse. Increasingly, concern over the quality of food and its influence on health are persuading shoppers to take a greater interest in their food. The result: More visits to natural food stores and more sales of organic food.

    Once upon a time, food used to be just food. Crops were grown on family farms, and animals were raised in barnyards. But today, corporations have conquered food production in a big way. Agribusiness is just that-a big business in which animals and plants are treated like assembly-line items and raised on factory farms.

    Organic Regulation

    While the term "organic" gets tossed around endlessly in the media, the term is often misconstrued. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones."

    In addition, organic farmers generally do not use pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. This type of food is also produced without genetically modified organisms and is not subject to radiation used to zap the bugs on food. Today, USDA-approved certifying agents inspect the farms where organic food is raised to ensure organic standards are followed. In addition, the companies that process food and handle organic food have to be USDA-certified. Meeting these standards allows companies to use the USDA's organic label on foods that are at least 95% organic in origin. Labels for foods that contain between 70% and 95% organic content can use the words "Made With Organic Ingredients," but cannot use the seal.

    Solid Nutrition

    While the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food has raged for decades, recent research is beginning to turn up evidence that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain extra helpings of vitamins and other nutrients. A study at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, found that organically grown oranges contain more vitamin C than conventional supermarket oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 6/02).

    Theo Clark, PhD, the Truman State professor who investigated the organic oranges, says that when he and his students began their research, "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges" because they are larger than organic oranges. To his surprise, chemical isolation combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the organically grown oranges contained up to 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they were only about half the size. "We speculate that with conventional oranges, (farmers) use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and doesn't have as much nutritional value," Dr. Clark says. "However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration."

    Dodging Pesticides

    If you want to avoid pesticide residues in your food, research shows that going organic can make it much less likely that you or your family consumes these unwanted chemicals. Research, for instance, into the diets of children (Enviro Hlth Persp 3/03) shows that dining on organic fruits and vegetables, and organic juice, can lower kids' intake of pesticides.

    These scientists took a look at the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide breakdown products in the blood of kids ages two to five who ate conventional supermarket produce and compared it with the OP found in organic kids.

    The children on the organic diet had less OP in their blood than the other kids. As a matter of fact, the children on the conventional diet had six times the dimethyl metabolites, dimethyl being a pesticide suspected of affecting nerve function and growth. "Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides," note the researchers. "Organic foods have been growing in popularity over the last several years," says Jim Burkhart, PhD, science editor for the journal that published the study. "These scientists studied one potential area of difference from the use of organic foods, and the findings are compelling."

    GMO Development

    On the way to tonight's dinner, researchers have created genetically modified organisms (GMO), plants and animals that have been transgenically engineered. In the food world, that means organisms containing genes inserted from another species. Chances are if you eat food purchased at the typical supermarket, those comestibles contain GMO ingredients. In the United States, food companies are not required to label for GMO content.

    A growing number of American consumers are upset about not being told about the GMO products in their food. But industry scientists, worried that informed consumers may someday turn their back on GMO foods, consider consumer ignorance to be an acceptable state of affairs.

    For instance, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is fighting regulations that would require GMO labeling. According to ASPB President Daniel Bush, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana, "The language...(in these types of regulations) is based on a system of beliefs of what is 'natural,' rather than a scientifically defined set of criteria focused on content and nutritional value. This is a radical departure from food labeling up to now, which is designed to maximize useful information for consumers concerning what is in the food they are buying."

    Dr. Bush continues, "There are, of course, examples of voluntary labeling standards in the food industry that reflect how foods are processed, such as organic foods. The voluntary organic labeling standards were sought by the organic food industry. Kosher foods are also labeled as having been produced in accordance with specific beliefs. However, mandatory labeling of targeted production methods has never before been required and we believe would obscure rather than clarify important issues of food safety."

    In other words, Dr. Bush opposes GMO labeling because he feels it would unnecessarily stigmatize GMO food items. Others are not so sanguine about the safety of GMO foods.

    GMO Objections

    The arguments against GMO foods include:

  • * The genes from GMO plants may end up in weeds and other unintended species, creating superweeds that will be difficult to eradicate. Animals, such as fish on fish farms, may interbreed with animals in the wild and cause harmful changes.

  • * People may grow ill or die from unexpected allergies to GMO foods (NEJM 1996; 334(11):688-92).

  • * GMO plants may harm other wildlife, such as butterflies, that depends on pollen from these plants (Nature May 1999; 399(6733):214).

    These types of risks have motivated industry groups to urge more regulation of GMO crops. The Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association, plus seven other food groups, are worried that GMO plants grown to produce pharmaceutical drugs could contaminate the food supply and destroy consumer trust in food.

    Mary Sophos, a vice president of GMA, warns, "To minimize the possible risks, a clear system of regulatory enforcement and liability needs to be in place. Until then, no permits for new field trials or for commercialization should be issued because there is no room for trial and error."

    These food industry groups have voiced their concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. Last year, the USDA forced ProdiGene Inc., a biotech firm, to dispose of 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with a drug meant to treat diabetes. What are the chances of more GMO accidents? No one knows. But if you buy and eat organic, you minimize your risk and maximize your chances of dining on safer food.



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    Improove Memory ...
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    Date: June 09, 2005 05:49 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Improove Memory ...

    Mesmerizing Memory by Cal Orey Energy Times, January 1, 1999

    In the 60s, the same rock 'n' rollers who belted out "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small," often espoused the belief that certain pills could expand the mind. While counter-culture pill purveyors were pilloried for their pill-popping claims, 90s nutritional research has uncovered a stash of supplements that may amplify mental improvement.

    Like a blues singer bending a high note, researchers are now humming with dramatic assertions that certain nutritional supplements can sustain and enhance concentration and memory function. For instance, studies reveal possible benefits for cognitive powers from vitamin C, magnesium and Ginkgo biloba. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 278:1327-1332) said that an extract of Ginkgo biloba "can stabilize and, in some cases, improve the cognitive function and social behavior of demented patients."

    A researcher in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences noted that a daily dose of vitamin E may "help protect the brain and its memories from the ravages of time." And the beat goes on: other evidence indicates that zinc, iron and boron may pump up short-term memory attention span and cut the time it takes to perform mental tasks.

    Neuronutrients
    Neuronutrients-mentally helpful vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and trace elements-offer an exciting key to keeping mental functions from succumbing to the degenerations of aging and disease. According to Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, author of Brain Longevity (Warner Books) and an energetic campaigner for mental fitness through nutrition and exercise, vitamin E "can not only prevent deterioration of the brain, but actually reverse an important element of deterioration." Dr. Khalsa describes vitamin E as one of the most potent antioxidants, a fighter of the electrically charged free radicals that attack and break down cell membranes and nerve endings.

    Lester Packer, PhD, professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, told a joint 1996 United Nations-World Health Organization conference on Aging that "there is a growing body of evidence indicating that the free radical theory of aging and aging-related disease is valid," and that dietary and supplemental antioxidants can help fight illness and mental deterioration.

    Vitamin E and other memory aids are believed to protect brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, "the ferrymen of the brain's communication system," that influence concentration and memory. Experts say that sustaining the level of these nerve chemicals in the brain can potentially improve all mental processes.

    Brain Well-Being
    "Your brain is intricately bound up with your physical state of well-being and is, therefore, vulnerable to any kind of physical abuse, especially that of chemical or substance abuse," report Thomas H. Crook III, PhD, and Brenda Adderly, MHA, co-authors of The Memory Cure (Pocket Books).

    Too much alcohol, for example, commonly causes progressive mental decline, according to Secrets of the Superyoung (Villard) by David Weeks and Jamie James. The authors also point out that "the memory tends to worsen noticeably after 15 years of alcohol drinking, and much sooner in people who go on massive binges."

    "The effects of cigarette smoke are subtler because the poisonous effects of carbon monoxide in each puff are temporarily offset by the alerting effects of the nicotine," they add. Can't remember the name of that singer cavorting in a music video? Tests have shown that smokers are worse at connecting peoples' names to their faces than nonsmokers.

    Cognition Ignition
    A first step in beginning your brain-boosting regimen consists of intensified intellectual activity, insists Rebecca Rupp, writer of Committed to Memory: How We Remember and Why We Forget (Crown): n Keep working: The mental challenges and social interactions of a job prevents lapses in the brain's synapses.

    n Learn something new: A second language, musical instrument, or unique puzzles and games keep neurons working like new.

    n Turn off the TV: Read. Studies show that passively watching TV requires less concentration than eating cereal. Mental rejuvenation also requires physical activity. Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, which supports memory, concentration and cognition. One study has shown that exercise significantly brightened the moods of middle-aged and older women, regardless of whether they were pre- or post-menopausal, with or without hormone replacement therapy.

    Supplemental Brain Help
    As you provide for your physical and mental vitality through healthy exercise and diet, you can augment your regimens with other supplements that research has shown to boost brain power.

    Antioxidants, including the previously mentioned vitamin E (You haven't forgotten vitamin E already, have you?), provide crucial help for vigorous cerebral function. The free radicals created by tobacco smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light and certain carcinogenic chemicals deconstruct cell membranes and may foster microscopic brain cell havoc. Antioxidant enzymes convert free radicals to more neutral, benign substances and nutritional antioxidants can neutralize free radicals by linking up with them.

    Vitamin C, a brainy antioxidant all star, performs so well that, according to Dr. Khalsa, its levels in the brain are almost 15 times higher than in other parts of the body. This nutrient, he asserts, aids mental and physical longevity. In a UCLA study, people who ingested at least 300 mg of vitamin C daily lived more than six years longer than those who ingested less.

    Mental Fat
    As a brain protector, selenium ranks high. Your brain consists of about 60% fat and selenium is a master at restricting detrimental fat oxidation. At the same time, zinc takes part in antioxidant processes that quell free radicals and strengthens neuronal cell membranes, protecting nerves from damage.

    Added to this mix, magnesium also scavenges free-radicals, according to Dr. Khalsa. Plus, experts recommend grape seed extract (phytochemicals that protect a wide range of cellular structures) to safeguard nerve cells and mental capacity.

    B Vitamins for the Mind
    John W. Rowe, MD, president of Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine in New York and author of Successful Aging (Pantheon) states that "there is a significant relationship between blood levels of folic acid and vitamins B12 and cognitive decline." In other words, these vitamins seem to be necessary to eliminate a protein called homocysteine, which has been implicated in the development of coronary heart disease and cognitive problems. (Support for Dr. Rowe's conclusion appeared in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition 63-306.)

    Iron Mind
    Iron also may strengthen memory. Since iron is involved in distributing oxygen to brain cells (and every other cell in the body), when you lack this mineral you may find it hard to concentrate. In the early 1990s, Harold Sandstead, MD, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Texas, discovered that women whose diets lack zinc and iron experienced more difficulties on standard exams than women with an adequate dietary supply. In his study of women aged 18 to 40, Sandstead found that giving these women more zinc and iron raised their scores on memory tests and average of 20%.

    Boron plays a crucial part in mental function. Scientists at the USDA's Human Nutrition Research Center have linked boron deficiencies to chronic lethargy and fatigue. In brain studies, they found that the electrical activity of the gray matter in the boron deficient indicated increased drowsiness and mental sluggishness.

    Huperzine Boost
    Borrowed from Chinese folk medicine, Huperzine A (HupA) recently has attracted attention from researchers who credit it with enhancing cognitive function and helping folks suffering from disease-related dementia. HupA is an extract of the club moss Huperzia serrata and has been used for centuries in China to treat fever, inflammation and, most recently, dementia. Dr. Alan Kozikowski, professor of chemistry in the neurology department at Georgetown University's Drug Discovery Program, a researcher who first synthesized HupA and studied it extensively, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 277 (10):776-March 1997), that HupA is safe, having been used to treat 100,000 people in China.

    HupA basically protects the brain from free radical damage (due to low levels of antioxidant defenses) and maintains or enhances crucial neurotransmitter action. More specifically, HupA helps reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, the vital neurotransmitter, and makes this substance more bioavailable. In addition, HupA helps make choline accessible to the brain for the synthesis of acetylcholine, according to a study in Neuropharmacology (30, 1991: 763-768).

    Normally, the brain manufactures sufficient levels of the chemical phosphatidylserine, a lecithin-derivative that helps boost neurotransmitter release, but deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid, or of essential fatty acids, may retard that production. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are related to impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Scientists reporting in Aging (5, 1993; 123-33) describe "good results" using phosphatidylserine in the treatment of age-related cognitive ills.

    Ginkgo Brain Power
    Researchers also have demonstrated that Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) increases brain function mostly by boosting acetylcholine receptors and the transmission of nerve impulses, with no significant adverse reactions. GBE is effective not only for folks with Alzheimer's; it also helps when mental function is impaired by vascular deficiencies or depression. Keep in mind that experts believe that GBE requires about 12 weeks of supplementation to reach optimal effectiveness.

    Another ingredient in what seems like an alphabet-soup of brain nourishment is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fat essential for normal brain function. Researchers met recently at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center's Nutrition Information Center to discuss "Keeping Your Brain in Shape: New Insights into DHA." Their findings revealed links between low levels of DHA and Alzheimer's, depression, memory loss, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain behavioral traits including aggression and hostility.

    Mostly Fat
    Since so much of the brain is fat, material like DHA forms the building block of brain tissue and the primary structural fatty acid in its gray matter. Although it is critical for mental and visual well being, the average American's consumption of DHA has declined since we're eating less of DHA's dietary sources: animal organ meats and eggs.

    Researchers from the National Institutes of Health point out, however, that fish is an excellent dietary source of DHA. In their studies, they discovered that depression rates in Japan and Taiwan, where fish ranks a top spot on the menu, are significantly lower than in North America and Europe.

    DHA also is crucial to the neurological development of children, according to findings published in Pediatrics (vol. 101, no. 1, January 1998). Researchers suggest that DHA-rich breast milk should be the model for infant formulas that enhance babies' neurological development. Scientists also have correlated some behavioral problems in children-ADHD, for example-to DHA deficiencies.

    If you are a vegetarian, or have other cause for concern about a potential lack of DHA in your diet, you can rely on dietary supplementation of DHA. Bruce J. Holub, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Canada provided vegetarians in his research project with DHA supplements over a 42-day period and substantially increased their DHA blood levels.

    The bottom line to enhanced mental performance is to take a balanced approach, says Robert Snider, MD, who specializes in preventive medicine in Massena, New York. "Maintaining brain power includes exercise, stress reduction and good nutrition." The message to keep in mind: Don't lose your nutritional balance or you could lose a piece of your peace of mind.

    Recommended Reading: & Brain Builders (Reward Books, 1995), by Richard Leviton.

    Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD.

    Omega 3 Oils to Improve Mental Health, Fight Degenerative Diseases and Extend Life (Avery, 1996), by Donald Rudin, MD, and Clara Felix.

    Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998), by John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.



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    Life Minerals - Why are Minerals So Important?
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    Date: June 02, 2005 01:14 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Life Minerals - Why are Minerals So Important?

    Why Are Minerals So Important?

    The value of adequate mineral intake for overall health cannot be overstated. Their effects are vast and broad; their deficiencies devastating. Minerals are components of body tissues and fluids that work in combination with enzymes, hormones, vitamins and transport substances. Minerals participate in nerve transmission, muscle contraction, cell permeability, tissue structure, blood formation, acid-base balance, fluid regulation, blood pressure control, protein metabolism and energy production. The human body requires large amounts of some minerals, and trace amounts of others, while some minerals – such as Lead, Mercury and Aluminum – are toxic to the body. Those minerals that are essential to health in relatively high amounts – Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulphur, Sodium, Chlorine, and Magnesium – are called macrominerals. Trace minerals – Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Chromium, Selenium, Iodine and Molybdenum, to name a few – are those which are present in the body in minute amounts, but are just as essential to health as the major minerals. One of the main functions of minerals in the body is to activate enzymes. Magnesium, for example, activates over 300 different enzymes, while Zinc “turns on” over 100. Enzymes are catalysts, functioning in the cells to accelerate chemical reactions. All of these chemical reactions collectively are referred to as “metabolism”, which is the very basis of life.

    Why Do We Need Minerals Now More Than Ever?


    I. The Decreasing Levels of Minerals in Today’s Foods Unlike the compost fertilizers of the past, today’s “high-tech” fertilizers do not replace many of the nutrients essential to both the natural growth of crop plants and to human beings, who depend on them for adequate nutrition. As a result, even a “good” diet may provide less nutrition than is generally required. In addition, many modern food additives bind minerals so tightly in food that they can no longer be absorbed or utilized by the body. A moderate intake of one such additive, EDTA (estimated American daily intake is 50-100 mg), was found in a scientific study to reduce iron absorption by 50%! Dietary studies have shown that mineral deficiencies are so prevalent, it’s rare that anyone gets even the minimum RDA levels of them all. The following are examples of the unfortunate findings:

  • • A study by the USDA in the mid-1980s on Chromium status in adults found that NONE of the people tested consumed even the lower level of the Chromium “Safe & Adequate Intake” range of 50 to 200 mcg.
  • • It is estimated that up to 90% of all Americans may be Magnesium-deficient, even by RDA standards (considered by many Magnesium experts to be already too low).
  • • A study published in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in the late 1970s found 70% of Americans getting less than the 15 mg RDA for Zinc, with most getting only 8- 11 mg per day.
  • • Among Americans who do not eat a high-dairy diet or take Calcium supplements/antacids regularly, virtually no one will achieve the current 1000 mg per day RDA for Calcium.
  • • According to nutritionists, women not taking Iron supplements would need to consume a 3000 calorie diet daily(!) to regularly achieve the U.S.RDA for Iron of 18 mg. Yet most women, especially those who are weight-conscious, consume less than 2000 calories a day, many as little as 1200-1500 calories!


    II. The Increasing Need for Minerals in Today’s Environment and Lifestyle Various aspects of the modern environment and lifestyle — some of which are discussed here — severely affect mineral nutrition in the body.

  • • The results of studies conducted in Michigan and Maryland medical facilities show that physical and psychological stress in healthy adults produces acute deficiencies of trace minerals despite otherwise adequate dietary intake. Given the fact that many adults in America are not healthy by medical standards, the loss of minerals with stress is possibly even greater than has been measured.
  • • In addition, many of the prescription drugs that Americans commonly take chelate, or bind, with one or more minerals, making those minerals unavailable to the body. For example, diuretics flush Potassium out of the body and deplete Magnesium, and sedatives can lower blood levels of Calcium and Magnesium.
  • • Heavy metal toxicity is also a major problem in modern America. Cadmium, Mercury and Lead, for example, are cumulative poisons, toxic even in low doses, and are increasingly prevalent in our environment because of their industrial uses. In the 1960s alone, over 200 million pounds of lead per year were released into the environment from the use of leaded gasoline. Data, published in 1987, indicates that people who have a good supply of the minerals Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Selenium, Copper, Chromium, and Manganese in their diets are largely protected against heavy metal poisoning. Conversely, if these minerals are deficient in the diet, there is a much greater danger of heavy metal toxicity.
  • • Poor diet, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and the heating and spoiling of polyunsaturated fats all deplete mineral levels and produce damaging free radicals in the body. Minerals such as Selenium, Iron, Copper and Manganese, and Vitamins, such as C, work in the body to neutralize free radicals and thus diminish their harmful effects.

    What Is The Krebs’ Cycle? And What Are “Krebs’ Cycle Minerals”?

    The Krebs’ Cycle is the energetic root of life, taking place in every cell of the body. It produces 90% of the body’s total energy in the form of ATP. Krebs’ Cycle Minerals are those which are bound to the organic acids used in the Krebs’ Cycle. Such mineral complexes are increasingly becoming the standard in mineralinclusive supplements because they’re so good at what they do: Transport. They are especially effective at penetrating various cell membranes and organelle membranes, thus carrying their mineral partners inside the cell. Many of these organelles have membranes to keep out biochemical invaders; therefore, not just any substance can penetrate cells and their organelles.

    Source Naturals’ Life Minerals™: Optimal Mineral Supplementation

    All this technical and scientific information has been brought together by the experts at Source Naturals into one comprehensive multi-mineral formula: Life Minerals™. Many of the minerals in Life Minerals™ — Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese and Iron — are bound to some of the best known transport agents in the body, the Krebs’ Cycle organic compounds. In addition, there are minerals not usually found in other mineral supplements, such as Silicon, Boron, Copper, and Molybdenum. Plus there are the Vitamins B6, C and D3, which have been shown to significantly enhance mineral absorption and utilization. In addition to the Krebs’ Cycle minerals, Life Minerals™ also uses superior forms of other minerals. The Zinc is OptiZinc™ Zinc Monomethionine, shown in scientific studies to be highly bioavailable, offering increased absorption. The Chromium is ChromeMate®, the non-yeast Glucose Tolerance Factor Chromium, believed by many to be the most superior form of Chromium. Copper Sebacate, a more bioavailable form of Copper, is also included. Minerals are crucial to both the structure and function of the body in hundreds of ways. But what good are mineral supplements if your body cannot utilize them to their fullest advantage? Supplementing your diet with Life Minerals™ is an important aid against deficiencies that may be more significant than suspected. By providing minerals with the highest bioavailability, and including significant potencies of each, Source Naturals’ Life Minerals is your best chance of reaping all the benefits that minerals have to offer.



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