Search Term: " Uric "
Monolaurin The Most Beneficial Compound in Coconut Oil?
January 11, 2019 08:19 AM
We're constantly hearing about the benefits associated with coconut oil, but many of us are unaware of what actually causes coconut oil to be so healthy for our bodies. The main compound found in coconut oil that has positive health benefits is called monolaurin. Monolaurin derives from lauric acid, and it is able to kill off viruses and bacteria due to it being a natural antimicrobial. It can also help in preventing the phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance.
"In nature, lauric acid is a precursor to monolaurin, which is an even more powerful antimicrobial agent than lauric acid. When your body digests lauric acid, certain enzymes within the digestive tract form this beneficial monoglyceride known as monolaurin."
Read more: https://draxe.com/monolaurin/
Say Goodbye to Gout and High Uric Acid Levels With This Powerful Home Remedy | Natural Cures
August 27, 2017 12:14 PM
You can say goodbye to gout and also high Uric acid levels with one powerful home remedy. Uric acid is an acid that is produced by the body when food is broken down during the digestive process. To eliminate it, the cells dissolve it and carry it to the kidneys through the blood stream. The kidneys then expel it. The kidneys filter the blood and get rid of the residue through urine. When there is a build up of this acid, there is an imbalance in the tissue.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvdRDA6MKIU&rel=0
"Both artichoke and lemon help to control inflammation due to their diuretic and purefying properties that lower high Uric acid."
How To Reduce Inflammation and Improve Your Immune System With Coconut Oil
August 24, 2017 09:14 AM
Coconut oil is an incredible superfood that not only assists in keeping the body healthy and free from illness but also assists in healing the body from inflammation and pain. Inflammation can be both painful and debilitating. People who suffer from conditions like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and certain cancers all suffer from inflammation. The fatty acid known as lauric acid is used by the body to fight against inflammation. Lauric acid is found in coconut oil and imbues it with anti-inflammatory properties. Depending on what type of inflammation is being targeted, there are a variety of ways to take coconut oil to combat inflammation.
"adding coconut oil into your daily routine is an excellent way to boost your immune system"
Read more: http://www.tgdaily.com/health/how-to-reduce-inflammation-and-improve-your-immune-system-with-coconut-oil
Coconut oil and its Six benefits
July 17, 2017 09:14 AM
Coconut oil is not just a trendy product on the market, it's popularity stems from it's multitude of productive benefits. Whether you're looking for beauty enhancement such as skincare or haircare, or you're looking for something more detrimental like fighting heart disease, coconut oil could be your answer. Due to it's many beneficial properties such as anti-oxidents and lauric acid, coconut oil is sure to be able to assist you and your needs in one form or another.
"Coconut oil is the best moisturizers for all the skin including the dry skin as well."
Read more: http://reportshealthcare.com/coconut-oil-six-benefits/
Are the MCT Oil Nutrition and Health Claims Backed Up?
May 13, 2017 08:44 AM
Coconut oil has experienced a huge increase in sales and taken the media bystorm in recent years. coconut oil can be found not only in specialty health food stores, but at most local grocers as well. Diets high in MCTs (65% of coconut oil's makeup) have been shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat accumulation when compared to diets high in LCTs. MCFAs have also been shown to preserve insulin action in, and insulin resistance in rat studies. When compared with other fats, coconut oil contains 2.6% fewer calories. Keep in mind however that all high-fat foods and oils are calorically dense and simply adding in more calorically dense food to a diet already ample in calories is not likely to result in weight loss.According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, virgin coconut oil has potential antioxidant properties due to certain plant nutrients it contains called phenolic compounds.
"MCT oil is associated with a whole host of health claims including weight loss, decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, lowered abdominal fat, lowered inflammatory markers, decreased triglyceride levels, and the ability to raise HDL (good) cholesterol."
Read more: http://www.organicauthority.com/are-the-mct-oil-nutrition-and-health-claims-backed-up/
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Gout Relief?
April 16, 2017 12:44 PM
Apple cider vinegar is quickly gaining a reputation as a very healthy tonic that can address a wide variety of health concerns. It aids in detoxification, digestion, and has very potent antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar also can help people who suffer from gout because it cleanses the body and aids in healthy circulation of the blood which is vital in addressing gout. Read this article for more details on how apple cider vinegar provides gout relief.
"Apple cider vinegar also purifies the blood and promotes healthy blood circulation."
Read more: http://www.foods4betterhealth.com/use-apple-cider-vinegar-for-gout-relief-32648
Yeast brew trouble for inflammatory bowel disorders
March 19, 2017 06:44 PM
Yeast living in the intestines may worsen symptoms of Crohn's disease, reports a new study. If the fungus is stopped from causing problems in the intestines, patients could also feel relief from inflammatory bowel disorders. Anti-inflammatory medications are often used to treat IBDs, but it turns out that many patients with IBDs have an immune response to yeast. A study on mice found that high levels of yeast caused them to produce excess uric acid, and that their bowel disease could then be treated with medication to reduce the uric acid. The researchers are confident these results could be used on humans as well.
Read more: Yeast brew trouble for inflammatory bowel disorders
Coconut oil may be a good saturated fat alternative
March 14, 2017 11:59 AM
By now most of us know that saturated fats aren't healthy. Many restaurants have cut them out. It's not always easy to do this, especially if you don't know what to use instead, so this gives you good info. You can use coconut oil in many ways to replace saturated fats.
"A study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews in 2016 analyzed multiple studies and found no difference in the LDL cholesterol level between people who used coconut oil and people who used butter."
REMOVE THE DANGEROUS URIC ACID FROM YOUR JOINTS BY DOING THIS!!
February 10, 2017 10:19 AM
We will show you how to remove Uric acid that has been building in your joints through a simple yet effective natural juicing method. This method will not only improve the feeling in your joints but also detoxify the rest of your body. Twice a day for greater health!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeAdfkNhlI4
"Detox juices are an incredible way to boost your body and improve its health condition and functions of the organs."
Coconut Meat: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
January 30, 2017 02:59 PM
Coconut oil and milk are common choices for healthy fats in diets. But what about the rest of the fruit? Many don’t know that coconut meat is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is also very versatile, as it can be put in salads, desserts, smoothies, and sprinkled on baked goods. In addition to vitamins and minerals, coconut is also a great source of fiber. The nutritional content of the food gives it the benefits of helping with bowel health, blood sugar levels, supporting the immune system, and fighting off bacteria and parasites.
"Coconut contains the important saturated fatty acids, including laUric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. From these three, the monoglyceride of laUric acid called monolaurin has the most antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties."
7 Natural Home Remedies for Gout
January 27, 2017 07:54 AM
Gout is a form of proactive arthritis, a condition which affects the joints, caused by the build-up of Uric acid crystals. So what can be done to get rid of gout? Well there are some natural home remedies that can help. Soak 1 Tbsp fenugreek seed in half cup water overnight and drink that water in the morning and chew the soaked seeds. Swallow one pod of garlic and if you find it difficult then you can finely chop the garlic and then consume it.
"Gout is also caused due to the consumption of more proteins and curd, so to avoid that one should lessen the intake of pulses or any other sources of protein and curd in your diet.”"
Bulletproof coffee - coconut and butter does improve health
A cup of coffee is a common thing that most of people drink in the morning. However, since many people realized that coconut oil and butter are healthy fats (Axe, 2016), they started replacing cream with them. This coconut and/or butter coffee is known as bulletproof coffee and it is a new trend of healthy morning drink. It has been extremely popular all over the world.
Coconut oil has so many benefits for your body, such as:
· Increases your energy - its ingredient, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides), is absorbed by the body and metabolized as fuel more quickly (Tifanny, 2016).
· Improves your immune system - There is a lot of laUric acid in coconut oil that is effective to prevent and cure many viruses (WebMD in Tifanny, 2016).
· Improves brain function – Its fatty acid plays an important role in memory and brain functions (Axe, 2016).
· Promotes heart health – Coconut oil contains good cholesterol that is good for your heart (Axe, 2016).
· Acts as anti-inflammatory – Antioxidant content makes coconut an effective anti-inflammatory food that help reduce arthritis (Axe, 2016).
· Is good for hair and skin – It is able to smoothen and tighten the skin, as well as maintain healthy hair (Axe, 2016).
On the other hand, butter also offers many advantages for your health, such as:
· Prevents and treats many diseases - Omega 3 fatty acids in butter are essential for growth, as well as prevention and treatment of arthritis, coronary artery disease, cancer, inflammation, and high blood pressure (Leonard, 2016).
· Improves your brain, blood circulation, and hormonal system – It helps prevent neurodegenerative and heart diseases, increase energy expenditure, and act as anti-inflammatory (NN, 2014).
· Is good for bones and blood circulation – Butter contains vitamin K that plays an important role in blood clotting and keeping the bones strong (Leonard, 2016).
· Helps with weight loss – It makes you feel full for a longer period and its conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is an effective aid for losing weight (Leonard, 2016).
· Reduces caffeine sensitivity – Butter fat can protect the stomach from shakes and nausea caused by caffeine (Leonard, 2016).
· Boosts the energy – It provides more sustained energy for the body (Leonard, 2016).
· Accelerates metabolism and digestion – Vitamin A, D, and E contained in butter are easily absorbed by the body and stored in gastrointestinal tract (Axe, 2016).
Based on the facts above, coconut and butter coffee is a healthy drink. However, excessive consumption of this bulletproof coffee is not good. Healthy fats can only function effectively in the body if the amounts taken are mooderate, not more and not less. Moreover, drink this coffee as the replacement of your breakfast is not recommended since it does not have enough essential nutrients (Gunnars, 2016).
Stinging Nettle or more commonly known as nettle leaf acts like a diuretic
Nettle leaf can stimulate urination and act like a diuretic with out side effects. this wonderfully painful herb when touched can help the body cleanse the kidneys and remove excess Uric acid from the body.
Nettle is an excellent herb to fight gout. High levels of Uric acid is the main cause of gout and nettle leaf can help.
Nettle is rich in minerals. It contains more than ten times the calcium and magnesium of spinach, it is also high in silica. Silica is the building blocks of the body, used in hair, skin, nails, bones, and joint cartilage. Boosting silica levels in the body can improve overall health.
Nettle can also help those with allergies. It contains flavonoids quercetin, rutein and kaempfer-ol. Quercetin has been studied to help normalize histamine release. Studies have shown that nettle has anti-allergic activity.
Nettle leaf is an excellent herb for overall health and wellness. this is one herb everybody should be taking on a regular basis.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and its Protection of the Liver
SOD consists of enzymes that speed up the break-down or partition/dismutation of the superoxide (O2-) radical into its constituent molecular content Oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. Superoxide is harmful to cells and is produced as a by-product of oxygen metabolism; therefore it needs to be controlled or regulated. The resultant Hydrogen peroxide is also harmful but to a less extent, and it is further broken down by other enzymes like catalase, This sums up the crucial role played by Superoxide Dismutases (SOD) as an important antioxidant in almost all living organism exposed to oxygen.
SOD extracted or laboratory manufactured can be used as a medicine orally or taken as an injection. When taken orally it is believed to remove wrinkles, rebuilding tissue, and prolonging life; even though it is not proven that orally administered SOD is absorbed by the body. When injected it functions as a painkiller, treatment of inflammation caused by sports injuries, osteoarthritis, kidney condition known as interstitial cystitis, gout, cancer, lung problems in infants among others.
A critical role played by SOD IS the protection of the Liver; which is one of the most crucial organ in the body for it is engaged in high-level metabolism in its function of detoxifying chemicals, breakdown of drugs and conversion of certain food into necessary nutrients for the body. These processes entail the high use of oxygen needed by the liver cells in the effort to function optimally and thus the production of the harmful Superoxide as a by-product. SOD as an enzyme helps to break down this harmful by-product that is potentially harmful to the liver cells and consequently prevent tissue damage.
SOD also prevents oxidative tissue damage of the liver as the result of strenuous exercise. Exhausting exercise or running causes a significant surge in the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and xanthine oxidase (XO), and in addition to increased levels of thiobarbitUric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in liver tissue immediately after the activity. Scientific studies have revealed that effective protection of the liver against such oxidative damages requires increased dosage of the antioxidant SOD.
Vitamins that Help Balance Uric Acid in the Body
February 10, 2015 05:58 PM
What is a Uric acid?
Uric acid is a waste product that can found in the body. It is a by-product of fructose metabolism. Therefore, a person with a diet rich in fructose will have a higher level of Uric acid unless they can take certain measures to ensure that the levels are checked.
Effect of high Uric acid
Very high levels of this waste product are associated with certain painful conditions. One of these conditions is gout. Gout is a type of very painful arthritis that will commonly affect the big toe. It is characterized by extreme pain and most people who have this condition are often on medication to regulate it for most of their lives. It is the most common disease associated with high Uric levels, but not the only one.
People with High Blood pressure and obesity also exhibit higher levels of the acid in their systems. It is important to note however, that Uric acid functions as both an anti-oxidant as well as a pro-oxidant. For this reason, you do not want to lower its levels too much, so as not to miss its anti-oxidation properties. You want to have optimal levels of the acid in your body and the following vitamins and natural spices can help you achieve this easily.
Vitamins to Regulate Uric Acid
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been recommended in many health advice articles as being especially useful to lowering the levels of Uric acid in your body. However, it is important to be very careful when taking Vitamin C for this purpose since taking too much could have the opposite effect; that of increasing the levels of this acid in your body. Vitamin C can be found in many natural supplements but you are likely to get good results with the natural sources, which are fruits such as oranges and lemons as well as in vegetables.
Vitamin B5: This vitamin is very important in breaking down excess Uric acid in the body. Also known as pantothenic acid, it is actually the necessary ingredient in the body for the excretion of this acid. Most people who have excess Uric acid have a Vitamin B5 deficiency. Stress is a major cause of low levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin B9: Also known as folic acid, this vitamin has been used by many people suffering from gout to help lower the levels of Uric acid in the cells. Although there are no real studies that show its efficiency, many people who take folic acid supplements have claimed a reduction in the intensity of gout symptoms.
Natural Herbs and Spices that can help, there are also a number of natural herbs and spices that can greatly help to reduce the levels of Uric acid in the body. This is because certain herbs have been known to have higher anti-oxidation properties than even fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of the herbs and spices associated with Uric acid control include; cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric. These four spices also have anti-inflammatory properties that can be very useful to those suffering from gout.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health?
March 16, 2014 04:22 PM
Unfortunately our skin health will always deplete as we age and it is a normal thing to happen to anyone. There are various ways that one can improve his or her skin health. As much as there are several method for one to use, Hyaluronic acid cream has generated much hype in this particular topic.
Can Hyaluronic Acid Cream Help Improve Skin Health? A question in everybody’s mind at the moment The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and here are reasons why this is so.
This is a naturally occurring acid that exists in our body. It is a component of the connective tissue that helps in strengthening various parts of our body, including blood vessels, cartilage, and definitely the skin. It helps the skin remain hydrated
Research shows that as we get older, the hyaluronic acid quantity in the skin diminishes, leading to a dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Cream
This is a skincare product that has been designed with the same properties as the natural hyaluronic acid that exists in our body. The cream, when applied will deeply penetrate your skin membrane helps the cells take in and retain moisture. This will eventually give your skin a supple and soft appearance that was wearing out.
All in all hyaluronic acid cream has proved to be an effective skin care product that will hydrate and plump drying and aging skin. Through research, this product is known to have been formulated with cosmetic-grade hyaluronic acid. Although to some people the name may paint a picture of a harsh erosive product that might do harm to ones skin, hyaluronic acid is tremendously gentle and nourishing to the skin. Apparently it proves to be so tender that it is even recommended for the sensitive skin.
Hyaluronic acid cream can help improve skin health.
Can Lime Oil Benefit Ones Health?
February 20, 2014 05:04 PM
What is lime
Lime, a green citrus fruit resembling lemons, is believed to have originated in Eastern Malaysia. While it is more popular as a citrusy, sweet, and oftentimes sour pulp and juice, lime oil can also be used to improve one's health.
Here are some of the health benefits of lime oil:
What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses
February 19, 2014 03:18 PM
What is juniper berry
With regards to Super foods, berries are right on top of the agenda on the grounds that they are packed with gainful cell reinforcements. One such berry that can help you a great arrangement is the juniper berry oil and through the years, experimental exploration has indicated what a wonder it is.
Organically talking, the juniper berry isn't a real tree grown foods yet the juniper's seed cone. It's viewed as a berry as a result of its scales. The juniper is an evergreen tree and there are obviously 6 types of this tree whose berries are palatable and utilized for a ton of useful purposes.
Juniper berries oil are widely utilized within European cooking, particularly meat based arrangements as it gives one of a kind quality. Gin significant others likewise may be amazed to discover that juniper berries are the essential element in gin. However the juniper berry is eminent for its notoriety as a home grown answer for an unimaginably long rundown of conditions and afflictions.
How it makes a difference
The juniper is truth be told a helpful tree as a large portion of its parts are utilized for a medicinal readiness or the other. In this way, the berries, leaves, bark and even oil determined from the berries and wood are utilized within different ways.
Benefits of juniper berry
Basically a severe berry, the juniper berry holds various unpredictable oils or key oils, strand, vitamin C, flavoring and entire parcel of dynamic fixings that makes it the achievement healer that it is. Note that juniper berries might be taken as teas and the squashed berries could be connected on the skin also for an assortment of sicknesses.
Here is a glance at a portion of the employments of the juniper berry and how it can help us lead healthier lives:
Juniper is recognized to be a herb with the most astounding consequences for kidneys. It is additionally used to cure different urinary tract contaminations and it can uproot Uric harsh corrosive from the figure. Juniper makes the kidneys work rapidly and the form transforms more pee, making it a great diuretic additionally.
People confronting water maintenance issues can feel a great deal of alleviation with the juniper berry and its oil due to its diuretic lands.
Oil from the juniper berry has a disinfectant impact and it comes as an extraordinary easing to individuals experiencing urethritis and cystitis.
Suffering from digestive issues? The Berry may very well be your reply as it can help diminish tooting and colic and help processing. It additionally moves issues, for example, bloating, belching and acid reflux. As a digestive help, it is remarkable as it expands the longing, soothes gas and expansions the generation of gastric harsh corrosive.
Juniper berry oil additionally has calming qualities and it is of superb assistance to those experiencing joint inflammation, gout and different conditions, for example, ailment. These joint related ailments happen due to the liquid maintenance around these joints and the juniper berry with its diuretic activity assuages this weight extensively.
Skin afflictions, for example, dandruff, skin inflammation and contender's foot can additionally be treated with topical provision of the juniper berry.
Juniper helps in invigorating the muscle tone and discernibly decreasing the impacts of ageing for generally individuals.
Menstrual spasms are frequently a significant number of the most troublesome parts of a lady's life; however these can additionally be lessened fundamentally with the assistance of the juniper berry. Numerous cultivators even utilize the juniper to enhance the uterus tone and to help the individuals who have moderate or late beginning periods.
Concentrated oils of the juniper are utilized topically for lung clogging and hack while it is additionally pivotal in helping those experiencing respiratory contaminations. The unpredictable oils help in clearing up bronchial entries and disposing of bodily fluid.
It has a high convergence of insulin and aides in mending the pancreas.
Essential oils extricated from juniper berries can help in soothing toothache and making gums stronger. It can additionally be utilized to oversee hair fall.
Finally, the juniper berry is utilized by numerous to thin down and since it even scrubs the poisons from the form, it is an extraordinary general purifier also.
Juniper does have some noteworthy symptoms and its vital that you're attentive to them before you begin utilizing them as any type of medicine.
Avoid the juniper berry oil in the event that you have extreme kidney issues as it can disturb the issue and cause further harm.
If you utilize more than the endorsed sum, chances are that you could experience the ill effects of loose bowels, kidney torment, high circulatory strain, quick pulse and purplish pee.
When taken inside, it can affect the assimilation of iron and different minerals.
Open wounds are best not treated with juniper on the grounds that it can cause inconvenience and swelling.
Juniper causes uterine fits and could prompt brought down ripeness, so ladies who are endeavoring to get pregnant must escape juniper.
Pregnant ladies ought not to utilize juniper as it can cause uterine compressions and reason a premature birth.
Diabetics must be cautious while utilizing juniper as it can raise the levels of glucose in the form.
Juniper when taken in prudent sums and with individuals, who don't have the shown issues as said above, could be a blessing as it furnishes them with a considerable measure of help.
How Does Tart Cherry Fight Gout?
November 01, 2013 07:44 PM
Tart cherry studies
The problem whether tart cherry is helpful for gout sufferers or not has been intensely discussed during the past few years and after several studies and clinical trials, the researchers discovered that taking tart cherry extract or juice represents an effective solution to treat this health issue and ease its symptoms.
What can tart cherry doHow can tart cherry be helpful in case of gout sufferers? In the first place, cherries have always been used in traditional medicine for promoting normal levels of Uric acid within the blood – given that high blood concentrations of this heterocyclic compound lead to gout, modulating them using cherries will automatically prevent this affection from occurring and reduce the pain and swelling it causes.
As mentioned above, there have been various studies targeting the effect of tart cherry on gout and according to the most recent one, consuming approximately 280 grams of cherries will decrease the Uric acid levels with approximately 14% and increase the excretion of Uric acid at the same time. Whether it is about regular tart cherry juice or medication, the effect will be mostly the same, reducing the pain caused by gout substantially.
What tart cherry contains
It should be noted that tart cherries contain approximately 10 milligrams of vitamin C in their composition, an organic (carbon-based) compound that can successfully ameliorate the inflammation and swelling produced by the gout and promote the Uric acid excretion. Vitamin C acts primarily as an antioxidant, determining the human organism to eliminate not only the toxins from the tissues, but also the Uric acid crystals that deposit in joints, tissues or tendons.
Whether we talk about tart cherry juice or supplements, this natural solution does not involve any potential health risk for gout sufferers, lowering the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (which is an indicator of chronic inflammation) significantly and helping the blood stabilize the normal Uric acid levels.
What is a Good Uric Acid Cleanse?
January 02, 2013 03:26 PM
Symptoms of Uric Acid:
High levels of Uric acid in your blood can lead to a variety of conditions, the most prominent being gout, a painful arthritis condition that results from excess Uric acid forming crystals that place pressure against joints, veins, and skin. These high levels of Uric acid an be a result of genetics, a poor diet with excess purine or fructose, rapid weight loss, and a reduced excretion by the kidneys.
A good Uric acid cleanse can reduce the levels of Uric acid in your blood which can treat and prevent gout as well as other conditions related to high levels of Uric acid. As well as trying these treatments you should restrict foods with high levels of purine like liver, anchovies, legumes, beer, and wine as well as foods high in fructose like carbonated beverages, fruits that grow on trees, processed and prepared meals, and some condiments.
Here are the top three treatments for cleansing the body of Uric acid.
Tart cherries, whether eaten as a whole fruit or in juice form offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. The consumption of tart cherries has shown evidence of reducing Uric acid levels. Studies have shown that eating tart cherries can reduce Uric acid levels by 15 percent by destroying the formed crystals that cause pain and inflammation as well as promote muscle recovery and improving oxidative stress resistance.
Celery Seed Extract
Celery seed has been used for centuries to treat and cure illnesses like the common cold, flu, different types of arthritis and pain associated with the liver and spleen. The most common use for celery seed extract is to promote healthy joints with its strong anti-inflammatory properties that reduces pain and swelling in the joints. Celery seed extract can also be used to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, aid digestion and has strong diuretic properties which allows you to excrete excess Uric acid through frequent urination.
Turmeric contains many active compounds with anti-inflammatory effects including curcumin which can reduce pain and swelling that is a result of excess Uric acid. It is recommended that you take at least one dose of turmeric daily if you are suffering from gout to relieve the symptoms. Turmeric is well researched and has been confirmed to treat symptoms of gout and is used in many traditional Indian and Chinese anti-inflammatory medications. Studies have shown that turmeric contains certain antioxidants that prevent certain types of cancer and can also help relieve symptoms associated with cancer.
If you want to cleanse your body of excess Uric acid then you should eliminate foods high in purine and fructose as well as add one of these supplements to your daily schedule.
Not only can these supplements provide a good Uric acid cleanse, but it can also help prevent high levels of Uric acid from building up as well as reduce or eliminate any symptoms associated with Uric acid buildup. They can also provide other benefits like promoting muscle recovery and high energy levels, reducing blood and cholesterol levels, and providing certain cancer-fighting antioxidants.
What Is Monolaurin And What Are Its Health Benefits?
December 29, 2012 10:38 AM
Get An Immune Boost:
Man has made a big leap as far as science and pharmacology are concerned, but there are still a lot of substances useful to human health that are waiting to be discovered. There are also those substances naturally occurring but whose pharmacological properties have not yet been explored. Monolaurin, for instance, is a naturally occurring substance whose use in human health has only been lately discovered.
Monolaurin, also called glycerol monolaurate and glyceryl laurate, is a 12-carbon fatty acid as well as a monoglyceride. Although it is a derivative of coconut oil, it is most commonly prepared as a laUric acid mono-ester. Aside from coconut milk, it is also present in human breast milk, which is known to function as an immune protection passed on from mother to child after childbirth. The potency of breast milk as an immune barrier is evidenced by the stunted growth and frequency of infections seen in infants deprived of breast milk. But, all this is old information.
What's new about monolaurin?
Known Uses of Monolaurin:
Before we get to new information, it's important to look into the discovery of monolaurin. Way back in the 1960's, then University of Detroit professor Jon Kabara made an important discovery - that the combination of laUric acid and glycerol can be used in fighting germs. First marketed as a dietary supplement called LaUricidin, it was soon marketed by other pharmaceutical companies, but LaUricidin remains its most potent and purest form.
Since its discovery, it has been used as symptomatic treatment (and prevention) for the common colds, flu, herpes, and many other infections.
Working similarly to breast milk, it helps protect the immune system from infections and other ailments. Some LaUricidin users also claim that the substance is useful against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and even autism. As for viruses, it has proven to be a useful supplement against HIV, Measles, Herpes Simplex, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Cytomegalovirus, to name a few.
Recent studies have shown its in vitro antibacterial and antimicrobial activity, at least as far as superficial skin infections are concerned. Carpo, Verallo-Rowell and Kabara (2007) demonstrated the effectiveness of monolaurin versus common antibiotics in battling both gram positive and gram negative infections such as Staphylococcus and Enterococcus. Older studies have explained Monolaurin's mechanism of action - it inserts itself into the cell membrane, disturbs the cell membrane integrity of Gram positive bacteria, and therefore blocks cell replication.
Aside from medicinal uses, it is also used for other purposes as well. It is a common ingredient in many deodorants, thanks to its antimicrobial activity; body odor, as you may know, is caused by the presence of certain bacteria. It is also present in other products such as shampoo, detergents, soap, and even in certain foods such as ice cream and margarine.
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
As far as side effects are concerned, there is still a lot to be known. Some users may experience the Herxheimer Reaction, a complicated term that indicates the presence of fatigue, body ache, irritability and fever that may worsen before the medication takes effect. Use during pregnancy and breast feeding is contraindicated, given that not enough is known about its potential effects during this period. Dosage ranges from 0.75 to 3 grams, 2 or 3 times a day, and is taken after meals.
Health benefits of Black Cherry Tonic
November 21, 2012 03:48 PM
The black cherry has for long been used for culinary purposes for instance addition of flavors into liqueurs, foods and many other beverages. However, studies are now showing that the cherry has even greater benefit to the health of man. A person consuming this plant in juice form will be greeted by the ‘bitter sweet' taste from the cherry. Nonetheless, behind this bitter taste, lie a whole lot of nutrients which are crucial for the body.
What is the benefit of black cherry juice ?
? Gout treatment
Gout is a disease that is caused by high Uric acid in the body. Health experts say that intake of black cherry tonic could go a long way in alleviating the problem. It is however advisable to consult a physician on this matter before making an adjustment to your daily diet
? Muscle improvement and recovery
Those who undertake sporting activities will find this supplement essential because it helps recover after strenuous exercises. This is due to the fact that it contains anti-oxidants which help replenish energy to the muscles faster.
? Better sleep
Fortunately for those who normally have sleepless nights, there are reports suggesting that intake of black cherry juice could boost your ability to sleep. It does contain a compound known as serotonin which has been known to induce sleep. Instead of taking sleeping pills, try this supplement which is natural unlike pills which could have side effects overtime on your body.
? Inflammation treatment
Inflammation is among the main symptoms of arthritis and its related infections. Luckily, cherries and their juices can help reduce inflammation. By doing this, the possibility of being affected by arthritic infections is reduced by a great margin.
? Nutritional advantage
Generally, the black cherry contains large amounts of Vitamins. Therefore, whenever your body lacks these vitamins, your physician will most probably recommend black cherries for you. In addition, these cherries are beneficial for Kidney support and joint health of the body.
Why Is Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil So Good For Your Health?
February 23, 2012 07:12 AM
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Why Is Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil So Good For Your Health?
One of the main reasons why this oil happens to be really good for your health is because it contains a pretty high percentage of laUric acid. According to certain resources, our bodies actually converts laUric acid into some sort of monolaurin, and it's said to help deal with the bacteria and viruses that causes various diseases. Studies have shown that laUric acid helps prevent diseases like HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, and influenza. The types of bacteria that this acid fights are heliobacter pylori and listeria monocytogenes. This oil also prevents certain harmful protoza's as well.
The Benefits Of Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
- Weight Loss
Virgin coconut oil is well known for eliminating all of the extra fats that your body has, and according to certain sources, the results can be very visible. Since this oil boosts your metabolism, you will be able to lose more weight than you normally would. The reason to why your metabolism fastens when you consume this oil is because it eliminates the stress on your pancreases, allowing your body to lose more weight than normal. This is basically the main reason why the people that live in tropical countries are fit and have less fat than those who don't, as coconut oil is very easy to get in those tropical countries.
- Hair Care
Virgin coconut oil also helps promote softer, smoother, and much healthier hair, as it is well known for being the best medicine for hair. This oil doesn't just promote healthier hair, but it also helps the hair grow faster, and the best part is that it also eliminates the dandruff in your hair. All you need to do is massage a bit of this oil on your scalp everyday, and in just a couple of days, you'll then notice your dandruff start to disappear.
- Skin Care
This oil is also a really excellent oil (massage) for the skin, as it acts as a natural moisturizer. If you have dry skin, this would make a really great moisturizer for your skin, and the nicest part is that it also helps treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. When you apply this oil on your skin, you will really be shocked on how fine and healthy your skin will become.
Organic Extra virgin coconut oil is also good for stress relief and kidney relief, and it can also maintain the cholesterol levels and increase your immunity. This oil has become very popular lately, and it's definitely going to benefit you in the long run.
Celery Seed Is A Herbal Diuretic, Antiinflammatory, Antioxidant, and Packed Full of Omegas
July 05, 2011 03:37 PM
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do For The Body
Celery plant is a member of the parsley family. This plant grows abundantly in humid and salty soil mostly in countries such as India and France. The plant can stand up to two to three feet in height with segmented leaves. It bears fruits and small white flowers. The flowers typically bloom during June to July. The seeds are found on its flowers which are very little in brown to dark brown in color. The seeds have a pungent smell and are commonly employed as nutritional supplement as well as herbal medicine. Celery seed has low amount of calories which make it suitable as a diet food.
Aside from being a recognized vegetable playing an important role in the culinary and diet food world, celery seed also has many significant health benefits. These include:
1. Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Celery seeds promote a normal blood pressure and help decrease cholesterol in the bloodstream. Studies reveal that daily consumption of celery seed helps maintain your blood pressure within normal limits and facilitates in getting rid of unnecessary cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol may deposit into arterial walls which may cause obstruction with the blood flow thus increasing the risk of heart attack.
2. Diuretic: Almost a century ago, celery seeds have been commonly used as a diuretic. The active ingredients in celery improve urination thus promoting elimination of toxins out from the body. One of the most important contribution of celery seed as a diuretic is its effect on Uric acid crystals deposited in the joints. Celery seeds can effectively clear out Uric acid crystals in the joints thus preventing or relieving the person from gouty and rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Anti - inflammatory Property: Celery seed is said to have potent anti – inflammatory actions by decreasing swelling thus reducing pain. This is another reason why celery seed is utilized as an adjunct treatment for gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Antioxidant Property: Like many other vegetables, celery seed is rich in antioxidant chemicals. Antioxidant is important to the body because these chemicals help neutralize free radicals inside the body. Free radicals are toxins which are harmful to the cells of the body by interfering with cellular division and tampering DNA replication.
5. Fatty Acid Source: Celery seed is found to contain high amounts of omega – 6 fatty acids. Together with the other essential fatty acid omega – 3, omega – 6 fatty acids is important in the functioning and health of the nervous system. These fatty acids are also significant for the normal growth and development of the body. These chemicals are also found to have the ability to improve the health of skin and hair, promotes strong bones, regulate metabolism and maintain reproductive health.
Celery seeds can be eaten raw dipped in dressing of choice. It can also be consumed together with other vegetables in a certain dish or recipe. Other preparations of celery seed include decoction and tincture. To prepare a decoction, add one – half teaspoon of powdered seeds to one cup or 200 mL of water.
Celery seed is available in easy to swallow capsules. Grab some today and feel the difference!
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry
Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.
Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.
Promotes Purine Metabolism
Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of Uric acid crystallizes and in the process triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of Uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down Uric acid and re-balance Uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of Uric acid.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
It is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.
Improves Sleep Disorders
Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.
Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.
How Does Cherry Fruit Extract Help with Gout?
March 07, 2011 04:39 PM
Cherry fruit extracts contain the micronutrients and phytochemicals found in cherries. They are available as supplements widely touted to display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries, the fruits, are in fact very high in anthocyanins, which have a long association with the prevention of inflammation, even including the type that results in most known cardiovascular diseases. Also, research on anthocyanins in connection with its chemopreventative potential has yielded the most reliable public data. Individuals suffering from gout will definitely benefit from cherry fruit extracts as supported by an abundance of reports and anecdotal evidence concerning its efficacy.
Stabilizes Metabolism of Purine Nucleotides
The development of gout is greatly attributable to an anomaly in the metabolism processes involving purine nucleotides. A class of organic compounds classified as purines is necessary for life and present in many chemical reactions. They are a major component of ATP, the primary energy of cells, and several nucleotide bases of DNA and RNA are purines. The problem lies in its final metabolic product, Uric acid, which at high levels condense into urate crystals that are deposited in tendons and ligaments, as is the case with gout and tophus. Cherry fruit extracts bring about twofold effects. First, they stabilize purine metabolites, notably Uric acid, and, second, they facilitate the effective excretion of Uric acid. If you consume a lot of foods high in purines such as animal products, especially beef, pork, and seafood, taking cherry fruit extracts will make sure that the Uric acid they produce gets out of your system.
Affects Releases of Inflammatory Mediators
While high levels of Uric acid is the causation of gout attacks, the painful inflammation that ensues is triggered by an entirely different group of endogenous compounds in the employ of the immune system. Eicosanoids have long been identified to precipitate pain not only during gout attacks, but in all inflammatory responses of the human body. These compounds are released locally by the cells around the joints containing urate deposits in an attempt to fight off the degenerative effects of Uric acid on the surrounding tissues. They deal with the joints the same way they get rid of pathogens during infections, bringing on the redness, swelling, and pain characteristic of gout. A group of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins that are known to interfere with the releases of eicosanoids are abundant in cherries, and intake of cherry fruit extracts deliver these flavonoids into the region of pain.
Normalizes Acidic Digestive Environments
Cherries belong to the group of foods that are alkaline forming. With gout thriving in an acidic setting, it is just prudent to carefully reassess your diet and cut down on foods high in purines. Not surprisingly, your doctor may tell you to minimize consumptions of meat products especially if you suffer from recurrent gout attacks. Cherry fruit extracts rebalances the pH level of your gastrointestinal tract, and supplementation will keep your body in an alkaline state in the long run, protecting you not only against gout but also against the aging process.
If you suffer from gout or other Uric acid buildup disease, give cherry fruit extract a try today!
Herbs And The Immune System
July 30, 2010 10:07 AM
When looking for an herb to help with the immune system, look for herbs containing sulphur, which helps to dissolve acids in the system. Additionally, sulphur acts as an antiseptic and strengthens the tissues and the body. The following herbs range in amounts of sulphur, but are all good for helping to protect the immune system.
Burdock root, one of the best blood purifiers, can reduce swelling and help to rid the body of calcification deposits. This is because it promotes kidneys function, helping to clear the blood of harmful acids. Burdock contains high amounts of vitamin C and iron. It also contains protein, carbohydrates, some vitamin A, P, and B-complex, vitamin E, PABA, and small amounts of sulphur, silicon, copper, iodine, and zinc.
Capsicum, which is also called as cayenne, is known to be the best for warding off diseases and equalizing blood circulation. It has been called a supreme and harmless internal disinfectant. This herb is extremely important for quick action against flu and colds. Capsicum is high in vitamins A, C, iron, and calcium. Additionally, it contains vitamin G, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, B-complex, and potassium.
Catnip helps in fatigue and improves circulation. It helps in aches and pain, upset stomach, and diarrhea that are associated with flu. Catnip is high in vitamins A, C, B-complex, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and a small trace of sulphur.
Chaparral, which has the ability to cleanse deep into the muscle and tissue walls, is a potent healer to the urethral tract and lymphatics. It tones up the system and rebuilds the tissues. One of the best herbal antibiotics, chaparral has been said to be able to rid the body of LSD residue. Chaparral is high in protein, potassium, and sodium, and contains silicon, tin, aluminum, sulphur, chlorine, and barium.
Comfrey is one of the most valuable herbs known to botanic medicine, as it has beneficial effects on all parts of the body. It is one of the finest healers for the respiratory system, being able to be used both internally and externally for the healing of fractures, wounds, sores, and ulcers. Echinacea, which stimulates the immune response, increases the body’s ability to resist infections. It improves lymphatic filtration and drainage and also helps to remove toxins from the blood. Fennel helps to stabilize the nervous system and moves waste material out of the body. This herb is known for improving digestion and possesses a diuretic effect.
Garlic, nature’s antibiotic, has a rejuvenative effect on all body functions, building health and preventing diseases, as well as dissolving cholesterol in the bloodstream. Garlic stimulates the lymphatic system to throw off waste materials. It is full of antibiotics like substances that are effective against bacteria.
Juniper berries are used in cases where Uric acid is being retained in the system. It is an excellent disease preventative, being high in natural insulin. Juniper has the ability to restore the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage and is excellent for infections.
Kelp, a good promoter of glandular health, has a beneficial effect on many disorders of the body. It is called a sustainer to the brain and nervous system, as it helps the brain to function normally. Kelp is essential during pregnancy.
Along with the above herbs, other beneficial herbs for the immune system are lobelia, mullein, plantain, parsley, sarsaparilla, shepherd’s purse, stinging nettle, and watercress. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality herbs to help boost the immune system.
Do you Need Uric Acid Cleanse?
July 28, 2010 12:49 PM
Uric acid is a problem when you have high levels in your blood. So what is this chemical that can cause you so much pain when it deposits as crystals in your joints and rips your joint tissues to shreds? Uric acid is the final metabolic by-product of purine metabolism. No, that doesn't help you much, but it does when you find out that meat products are high in purine and vegetable products very low in this nitrogenous heterocyclic compound that is the base behind several amino acids, and an essential component of DNA. The final end product of the metabolism of purine is Uric acid, and unless this is cleansed from the body it can precipitate as needle-like crystals in your connective tissues and cause damage. It is Uric acid crystals that cause the pain of gout where you movement will be not only be restricted, but damage can also be caused to the joint itself.
A Uric acid cleanse will reduce the concentration of the acid in your blood, and hence render it less likely to precipitate as crystals and cause problems such as gout.
September 04, 2009 12:17 PM
The juniper plant is a coniferous plant which is part of the genus Juniperus of the cypress family. There are approximately 50-67 different species of juniper, which are distributed widely throughout the northern hemisphere. Among these locations include the Artic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the mountains of Central America.
Juniper berries were used in ancient Greece as a diuretic. In Europe, the scent of juniper berries was used to help ward off the plaque. Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, recommended the use of juniper as an appetite stimulant. Native Americans used juniper berries as a survival food during the cold winter months. The berries were dried and ground and then made into cakes. Some tribes even roasted the berries, ground them, and then used them as a coffee substitute. The tea was recommended to be used by Jethro Kloss for kidney, prostate, and bladder disorders, and for dropsy and digestive diseases. The berries and oil of the juniper plant were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1873. They were also listed in the National Formulary until 1960.
Juniper berries contain a volatile oil that has traditionally been used to treat conditions of the urinary tract. The berries of the juniper plant are often used to increase the flow of urine. They are also beneficial for ridding the body of Uric acid, which may crystallize in the kidneys. They are also used to dissolve kidney stones and sediment in the prostate. Juniper berries are also recommended for treating digestive problems, indigestion, gas, and to cleanse the blood. The berries may even help to stimulate the appetite. This herb contains natural insulin which is responsible for helping to restore the pancreas when no permanent damage has occurred. Juniper may be applied directly to wounds as a poultice for healing and infection prevention.
One study that was done using animals found that juniper acts as an effective diuretic. The berries are believed to stimulate the flow of urine and the filtration process. The volatile oils, which are found in the juniper berries, are responsible for increasing the glomerular filtration rate of the kidneys. Juniper berries are often used for their diuretic properties. This herb is not recommended for use by pregnant women as it may increase uterine contractions.
The berries of the juniper plant are used to provide anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nephritic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in juniper are copper, sulfur, and vitamin C. Primarily, juniper is extremely beneficial in dealing with adrenal gland problems, bed-wetting, bleeding, colds, diabetes, edema, hypoglycemia, infection, kidney infections, kidney stones, pancreatic problems, Uric acid irritations, urinary problems, uterine problems, and water retention.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating acne, ague, hay fever, allergies, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, insect and snake bites, blood impurities, bursitis, catarrhal inflammation, colic, coughs, convulsions, uterine and stomach cramps, cystic fibrosis, fungus, gas, gonorrhea, gout, bleeding gums, irregular menstruation, excessive mucus, prostate problems, rheumatism, scurvy, sores, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, urinary incontinence, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by juniper, please feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
Freez Dried Nettle Leaf
August 15, 2009 02:07 PM
The nettle plant is native to Europe and can be found throughout the United States and into Canada. This herb was cultivated in Scotland for use in making a durable cloth. The nettle plant is so rich in chlorophyll that it was used by the English to make a green dye for camouflage paint. This camouflage paint was used during World War II.
Nettle is one of the most useful of all plants. It contains alkaloids that neutralize Uric acid. By decreasing Uric acid, one can help to reduce symptoms of conditions like gout and rheumatism. Additionally, the astringent activity of nettle helps to decrease bleeding. The nettle plant is rich in iron, which is extremely vital to good circulation. It helps to reduce high blood pressure. Tannins that are found in the nettle root have been used as part of an astringent enema. This is used to shrink hemorrhoids and reduce excess menstrual flow. This herb became popular because of its use in irritating the skin of an inflamed area and increasing the flow of blood to reduce inflammation. The stinging action of nettle can be attributed to the histamine reaction that is caused by the formic acid in the hairs. Nettle has a reputation for use in cases of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
The use of nettle root extract was recommended by German physicians for treating urinary retention that is caused by benign prostatic hypertrophy. This recommendation was based upon evidence from clinical studies. Additional studies have determined that nettle root can increase the excretion of chlorides and urea from the urine. The diuretic activity produced by nettle root ahs been confirmed in animal studies. The diuretic properties can be attributed to the high potassium content. However, this has not been verified. A study that was conducted at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon found evidence of nettle for treating hay fever. In this study, freeze-dried capsules of 300 mg were used. The results showed significant relief from hay fever symptoms in the participants.
The leaves and roots of the nettle plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, hemostatic, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorophyll, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, protein, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, D, E, F, and P, and zinc. Primarily, nettle is extremely beneficial in dealing with external and internal bleeding, blood impurities, bronchitis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, and diarrhea. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anemia, asthma, poor circulation, eczema, hay fever, hemorrhoids, hives, inflamed kidneys, excess menstruation, mouth sores, nosebleeds, skin disorders, and vaginitis.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by nettle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nettle 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.
July 31, 2009 12:03 PM
Sarsaparilla can be found natively growing in the Pacific regions of Mexico, along the coast to Peru. The root is commonly used to make root beer. The sarsaparilla plant is mostly a find. It can primarily be found in Mexico, Central America and South America. The root of the plant is the most valued portion. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, much like ginseng or licorice root. Sarsaparilla root is very bitter. Because of this, it was a common practice for pharmacists to distill the useful chemicals from this herb and mix them with sugar water. From this, a very popular beverage called sarsaparilla was born. This was years before other chemists would invent other medicinal drinks like the original Pepsi and 7-Up.
The sarsaparilla plant was most definitely used as a medicinal tonic, but it was often served as a sweetened beverage. Some formulas substituted sarsaparilla root with a combination of birch oil and sassafras, which is a treat that is found in the western United States. Some believe that the informal name of the drink, sasparilla, indicates the use of sassafras extract, while others say the name is a corruption of the original sarsaparilla. Unfortunately, the modern beverage is closer to a birch oil/sassafras mixture than the more bitter sarsaparilla extract. The roots of the sarsaparilla plant can be purchased in certain grocery or health food stores. The beverage called sarsaparilla is a little more difficult to find. Smaller bottling companies may produce a version for local consumption, but that national interest in root beer, sarsaparilla’s cousin, has made it much harder to come by.
Often, sarsaparilla is used in glandular balance formulas. This is because components in sarsaparilla help with the production of testosterone and progesterone. The herb also stimulates the metabolism, aids digestion, and improves the appetite. It has been used to help with gas and edema, along with other related conditions. Additionally, studies have shown that this herb contains diuretic activity and also increased the elimination of chlorides and Uric acid. Sarsaparilla is beneficial for many skin ailments. Among these are psoriasis, eczema, and leprosy. This has been found to be true in various studies. The herb also works as an anti-inflammatory by increasing circulation to rheumatic joints. It also helps to relieve arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. This herb also stimulates breathing when congestion occurs. It even helps to purify the blood.
The root of the sarsaparilla plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B-complex, and C, and zinc. Primarily, sarsaparilla is extremely beneficial in treating joint aches and pains, arthritis, blood impurities, eczema, gas, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, inflammation, psoriasis, skin diseases, and syphilis.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, cods, congestion, edema, sore eyes, fevers, gout, impotence, leprosy, menopausal symptoms, metabolism disorders, skin parasites, chronic rheumatism, ringworms, primary tuberculosis, and sores. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen to prevent prescription drug interaction. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sarsaparilla, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Sarsaparilla root is available in capsule and tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. It is recommended that you look for name brands like Solaray, Natures Way, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
July 28, 2009 11:32 AM
Saffron was used by the Greeks and Chinese as a royal dye because of its yellow color. Wealthy Romans used this herb to perfume their homes. In Europe, it was used medicinally between the fourth and eighteenth centuries. It was also being used in the kitchen to cook with.
In the book The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper recommended using saffron for the heart, brain, and lungs. The herb was also suggested for acute diseases like smallpox and measles. It was also recommended for hysteric depression. Dr. David Culbreth characterized the herb as a pain reliever and was said to promote perspiration and gas explosion and ease painful menstruation in the book Materia Medica and Pharmacology. Saffron was also said to relieve eye infections and encourage sore eruptions.
This herb is soothing to both the stomach and colon. It is responsible for acting as a blood purifier. Saffron helps stimulate circulation and regulate the spleen, heart, and liver. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation; treating arthritis, gout, bursitis, kidney stones, hypoglycemia, and chest congestion; improving circulation; and promoting energy. Small doses should be taken internally for coughs, gas, and colic and to stimulate appetite. The herb can also be applied externally in a salve for gout.
It has been shown that saffron may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. It neutralizes Uric acid buildup in the system. Recent research determined that rabbits, which were fed crocetin, which is a component of saffron, had a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Saffron is eaten daily in Valencia and Spain, resulting in little heart disease occurring among inhabitants. The evidence has shown that saffron increases oxygen diffusion from the red blood cells. Not only does it discourage Uric acid buildup, it also inhibits the accumulation of lactic acid. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Other research done on saffron suggests that the crocetin ingredient may have the potential to act as an anticancer agent in studies done both in vitro and in animals. On study that was done using saffron extract in vitro found that tumor colony cell growth was limited by inhibiting the cellular nucleic acid synthesis. Additional research on cancer has found that saffron that was given orally helped in increasing the life span of mice with variety of laboratory-induced cancers.
The flowers of the saffron plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, and stimulant. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, lactic acid, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and vitamins A and B12. Primarily, saffron is extremely beneficial in treating fevers, gout, indigestion, liver disorders, measles, excessive perspiration, phlegm, psoriasis, rheumatism, scarlet fever, and stomach acid. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, colds, conjunctivitis, coughs, fatigue, gas, headaches, heartburn, uterine hemorrhages, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, insomnia, jaundice, kidney stones, menstrual symptoms, skin disease, tuberculosis, ulcers, water retention, and whooping cough.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saffron, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Saffron is available at your local or internet health food store. Note: Saffron should not be consumed internally.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monophosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monophosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP), the diphosphate (ADP), the triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of Uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of Uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the Uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
August 03, 2008 07:49 AM
Feverfew is often used in the treatment of migraines and fever, but it has also long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is thought to be similar to aspirin in the way it reduces inflammation. Aspirin works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation in the body, among many other functions. Similar to aspiring and other anti-inflammatory drugs, feverfew works to inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which reduces inflammatory reactions that occur in the body. Not only may feverfew help with inflammation in cases of pain, but it also helps in cases of arthritis.
One of the oldest diseases known to man, arthritis involves one or more of the movable joints in the body. Arthritis is a general name for a variety of diseases that are characterized by joint pain and inflammation. Striking both the young and old, it is an extremely debilitating condition with symptoms ranging from mild aching to severe pain and deformity. Inflammation can often be found along with the pain, as well as morning stiffness, swelling, and tenderness being common in most cases. Arthritis has been shown to either appear suddenly, or come on slowly over an extended period of time. Diet has been found to be a primary factor in most cases, although some types of arthritis may be inherited or the result of a viral infection.
Conventional treatment of arthritis has involved the use of NSAIDs to help with inflammation and pain, but they do nothing to heal the problem. They may also inhibit the body’s own natural immune function as they temporarily eliminate symptoms. Some evidence has even shown that the use of anti-inflammatory medication for a long time may lead to further joint damage and serious side effects such as gastrointestinal, kidney, and liver problems. Because of this, many people are finding relief with natural healing. Although there are a variety of types of arthritis, the three most common forms are osteoarthritis, in which the joints wear out because of injury or normal wear and tear; rheumatoid arthritis, which is a condition that results from the immune system attacking the body tissue; and gout, which is painful inflammation that results because of excess Uric acid in the blood. Rheumatoid arthritis has been found to benefit the most from the use of feverfew. Feverfew may be useful due to its ability to inhibit the formation of inflammation-promoting compounds, with properties similar to NSAIDs but with less potential complications and side effects.
Along with the treatment of arthritis, feverfew has many other possible uses. Included in these uses are: fever, high blood pressure, insect repellent, psoriasis and eczema, menstrual cramps, allergies, digestion, as a sedative to relax and induce sleep, and for its antimicrobial properties to inhibit the growth of staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria.
Because the parthenolide content of feverfew plants vary dramatically depending on the soil and location of cultivation, it is necessary to buy commercial products from reputable companies who have high quality control measures in place. The best preparations are ones using as little heat as possible, since parthenolide is highly unstable when in contact with high heat, such as freeze-drying. Freeze-dried capsules are extremely easy to use and can easily be found in many health food stores.
June 13, 2008 12:18 PM
DL-Phenylalanine has been found to work in conjunction with the body’s natural ability to relieve pain. It helps to lengthen the lifespan of the chemicals in the brain that ease pain. It is especially effective in relieving pain from arthritis and aching muscles.
Some chronic pain can be treated with DL-phenylalanine through the stimulation of nerve pathways in the brain that control pain. Enhanced pain relief has been discovered when D-phenylalanine is used in conjunction with prescribed pain killers. This manufactured form of phenylalanine is used to block an enzyme in the nervous system that increases pain signals. The interruption of pain signals allows the healing mechanisms of the body to begin working faster.
DL-Phenylalanine is a chemical combination of half L-phenylalanine and half D-phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins all over the body. It is found in foods like beef, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds and certain soy products. D-Phenylalanine is a synthesized form of the chemical, which means it is produced in a laboratory.
Phenylalanine as an Amino Acid:
Amino acids perform various major functions in the body. They assist in fulfilling the body’s basic needs from minerals and vitamins. They can act as neurotransmitters, which carry signals to and from the brain. They also aid in other parts of the body for communication between nerve cells.
Phenylalanine is one of the essential amino acids found in protein. This means it is required for human health, but cannot be manufactured by the human body. Therefore it has to be supplied through food consumption. It can also be found and taken in the form of powder, capsule, tablet or a topical cream. In the body, phenylalanine is converted into tyrosine, which is another amino acid needed to make protein. It is also needed to make certain brain chemicals and thyroid hormones. Phenylalanine deficiency signs include:
A rare disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) happens in humans who are missing the enzyme required to metabolize phenylalanine. Symptoms of this disorder tend to appear between the ages of 3-6 months. These include:
If PKU is not treated within the first three weeks of life, it can cause severe and irreversible mental retardation. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking phenylalanine as a supplement in any form. DL-Phenylalanine may cause hyperactivity, jitteriness and anxiety in children.
Phenylalanine is the major ingredient in the artificial sweetener known as aspartame. Products containing this sweetener are required by law to carry warnings on their labels for phenylketonUrics. People who have PKU can be severely injured by ingesting the sweetener. Products containing this artificial sweetener include diet sodas, sugarless gums and some sugar substitutes. Some sugar-free versions of Jello, puddings, ice creams, candies and various other items also contain aspartame.
Other Phenylalanine Uses:
Some individuals have reported that taking DL-phenylalanine has improved their mood and aided in treating depression. This is the result of a higher rate of production of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals, when out of balance, cause depression, stress and frustration. Elevation of the levels of these chemicals have an anti-depressant effect in the body.
One study suggests that D-phenylalanine has been shown to improve some symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. These include: depression, rigidity, walking problems and speech problems.
The combination of L-phenylalanine and UVA radiation may be used to treat the symptoms of vitiligo. This condition involves de-pigmentation (white patches) of skin. The use of L-phenylalanine may help to re-pigment these patches, but further study is necessary.
DL-Phenylalanine has many uses and benefits if taken correctly. As with any new dietary supplement, consult your physician before beginning a new routine.
Activated Charcoal - Highly absorbent material to combat poisoning
April 24, 2008 02:44 PM
Activated charcoal has been treated by heat to open up millions of small spaces between the carbon atoms and turn it literally into an atomic sponge that adsorbs both organic and organic impurities.
This heat treatment is carried out in the absence of oxygen, so the charcoal cannot burn. Instead, what oxygen it did contain is driven off leaving behind all of these interstitial gaps that multiply the effective surface area by factors of ten. Since it is the surface area of the charcoal that determines its potency, then the greater this is the better.
Activated charcoal has a massive surface area, and just ten grams has the same surface area as nine American football pitches or 77 tennis courts. Ten grams is just marginally more than a third of an ounce. The term adsorb has a different meaning to absorb, and while a real sponge absorbs water by mopping it up through capillary action and suction, activation carbon adsorbs substances through a form of chemical attraction. You get rid of water from the sponge by squeezing it, but that doesn’t work with activated charcoal, since the substances are bound to it, not just physically constrained.
This huge surface area provides activated charcoal with innumerable bonding sites, and when chemicals that are attracted to carbon pass by they are attached to the surface. They cannot get free again, as water in a sponge can, but are bound to the surface of the carbon. Because the digestive system has no effect on charcoal then whatever is bound to it passes naturally through the body.
It is most effective at binding other carbon-based materials, and other substances with the right electronic arrangement, but others will just pass straight through. Because it is a chemical process, once all of the empty bonding sites have been taken up, the charcoal loses its effectiveness and has to be replaced. It is possible to regenerate it, but hardly worthwhile for you to do so because of the small quantities you use.
Because of the way it works, activated charcoal can help people to recover from some forms of food poisoning. It can adsorb gases in the intestine and help to relieve the pain of excessive gas in the gut. It has many additional uses that will be touched on later, but for now we will look at its effect on poisons because that is where activated charcoal is of greatest benefit to us.
It does not adsorb and neutralize all poisons, but is very effective with those that it can be sued for. Professor Touery proved a point when he drank a lethal dose of strychnine in front of colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine in 1831 and came through unscathed. He had mixed the strychnine with activated charcoal, and the fact that he lived after drinking a dose that would certainly have led to a very painful death within minutes testifies to the powerful effect of activated charcoal as an potential antidote for poisoning.
Ever medicine cabinet should have an emergency supply of activated carbon, especially those with young children in the household. However, this is not good news for the pharmaceutical companies who have reacted by refuting some of the claims made in its favor: they have claimed that it is not effective against arsenic. If that is so, then how did Michel Bertrand survive after swallowing 5 grams of arsenic trioxide – 150 times what is regarded as the lethal dose? He did this is 1813 after mixing it with activated charcoal, just as Professor Touery was to do 18 years later with ten times the lethal dose of strychnine.
It is true, however, that it does not have this degree of activity with all poisons, and it has no effect on cyanide, alcohols, antifreeze (glycols) and lithium. It also has no effect on corrosive poisons such as the strong alkalis used in oven clearers, or hydrocarbons such as kerosene. The way it works is adsorb the poison and prevent it being released into the body. For that to happen, the poison must have an affinity for carbon, and its adsorption site, and not all substances possess that property. Those that do however are permanently bound and therefore safe.
For charcoal to be effective in neutralizing a poison, it must be swallowed within an hour of taking the poison, or the poison will be too far advanced ion the digestive process for the charcoal to do any good. Keep in mind, though, that it is not selective, and activated charcoal can adsorb nutrients and other beneficial constituents of your body’s chemistry. It is important therefore that you take in only when necessary: you might need several doses if the poison was severe, but once it has done its job it is not meant to be used as a maintenance material to take ‘just in case’. Used like that, it can do harm.
If charcoal can adsorb poisons then it makes sense to believe that it can also adsorb some of the harmful agents that cause food poisoning. Not all food poisoning of course, but certainly those organisms that emit toxins that are attracted to carbon. And this is, in fact, the case. Food poisoning is caused by bacteria rather than viruses, and is not the presence of the bacteria that make you vomit and feel very ill.
As bacteria grow in your body they release toxins, or poisons, into your digestive system. These poisons are what make you ill. They can seriously affect the complete gastro-intestinal tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation and swelling of the small and large intestine. The latter can cause abdominal cramps and severe colic, and the severity of the symptoms depends very much upon the type of bacteria and the number of them in your body.
Many of these toxins are attracted to carbon since they are frequently organic based, and activated charcoal can be used to adsorb them. Once adsorbed they lose their potency, and since carbon is not digested by the body, they are passed harmlessly through the colon and eliminated in the faeces. It can also be used to eliminate many other foreign bodies from your gut, including viruses and fungi and might possibly reduce the concentration of Uric acid, which can bring relief to gout sufferers.
Activated charcoal has many uses, and is normally available in capsule form. It can be dangerous to take too much, particularly if you suffer from intestinal problems that cause constipation, because the charcoal itself can have that effect. However, there is no better emergency treatment for accidental poisoning in the home, although, since it is not suitable for all poisons, you must still regard poisoning as an emergency and contact the emergency services.
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon as it is sometimes called, is also a good emergency treatment for vomiting and the other unpleasant effects of food poisoning. It deals with bacterial toxins in the same way as any other, though once again you must refer to your physician before or after using it – preferably the former.
Alfalfa Is One of Nature’s Most Nutrient-Rich Foods
February 14, 2008 12:29 PM
Most people have likely heard of alfalfa in relation to its use as an important animal feedstuff without understanding that it is one of nature’s most nutrient-rich foods. It appears to be a trait with most people, that what is used for animal feed cannot possibly be healthy to humans.
This completely ignores the fact that humans are themselves mammals, and what is good for the biochemistry of one mammal is likely (though not necessarily) good for most. A look at alfalfa and why it has been used to feed livestock is a good place to start a discussion on its merits as a nutritional supplement for human beings.
Alfalfa is a legume, or member of the pea and bean family, that has long been used as animal food and has been given the nickname “Queen of Forages”. It is behind only corn, wheat and soybeans as the fourth largest crop grown in the USA, and the vast majority is for animal forage. In fact there is twice as much alfalfa grown in the USA as cotton. Its nutritional value is not only from its high protein content of around 20%, but also from its exceptional vitamin and mineral content.
Although grown predominantly for animals, humans also eat alfalfa sprouts, although by far its greatest nutritional use is in supplement form. Before discussing specific claimed benefits such as its use in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol, alleviating the symptoms of arthritis and helping with digestive problems among only dozens of other traditional uses, it would be useful to review the nutritional content of the legume in terms of vitamins, minerals and any other biochemical content that could provide more general health benefits.
The vitamin and mineral content is not disputed, being determined by chemical analysis. It is not so much what is present in terms of variety that is impressive, but how much of each that alfalfa contains. Natural protein that is easily assimilated by the body has already been touched on, ranging from around 15% to over 20%. Many people also stress the rich chlorophyll content, but apart from the magnesium, chlorophyll has no nutritional benefit to humans. However, now for the impressive facts:
Alfalfa contains a high concentration of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E and K and also Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin and Folic Acid. It is also rich in the following minerals: Boron, Calcium, Chlorine, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur and also some trace minerals. When you purchase alfalfa supplements you also get eight essential amino acids, necessary for the biosynthesis of proteins, enzymes and DNA.
Little wonder then that alfalfa has a long history of medicinal uses, and is also used as a feed for animals, providing practically all of their protein, vitamin and mineral dietary needs. The same could also be said of humans, and alfalfa is not classed as a ‘superfood’ without good reason.
However, it is easy to determine the fact that this plant is of high nutritional value, but when or why should you take alfalfa supplements, especially if you have a good dietary regime? In fact several facts are known through studies of the plant and also by traditional and established usage for certain ailments. Although not all claims can be scientifically verified beyond all doubt, it has been generally agreed that alfalfa is instrumental in reducing the Uric acid content of your system, and is hence useful in the treatment of certain types of arthritis, and also perhaps gout.
Although the latter has not been unconditionally proven it has been traditionally used to treat gout that is caused by deposition of Uric acid crystals in the joints, and further, alfalfa also contains many of the minerals recommended for its treatment. It is not, therefore, an unreasonable assumption that it should be an effective treatment. There are a few medical applications of alfalfa that have been carried out under controlled conditions, and while the official line is that more testing is required to firmly establish any benefits gained by taking the supplement, many people claim that it has been effective in the treatment of their own medical conditions.
Atherosclerosis, which is caused by excessive deposition of cholesterol in the arteries, has been reported to be reduced in animal studies, and while many people also claim that their condition has improved, more evidence is necessary before their claims can be scientifically supported. This, however, could be connected with the greater body of evidence suggesting that alfalfa supplements can help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
It is free radical oxidation of low density lipoproteins that render the cholesterol attached to them more liable to be deposited excessively in your arteries, thereby causing the aforementioned atherosclerosis. The evidence of the effect of alfalfa in reducing LDL cholesterol is very promising, and if substantiated could well provide the proof needed that the supplement does indeed reduce the incidences of cholesterol plaques inside your arteries.
The same is true with regard to the reduction in blood glucose claimed to occur after taking an alfalfa supplement. Recorded human data is scarce, although once again some people claim that the supplement has improved their condition. However, in this case it is clear that more evidence is required before any claims can be made with any degree of confidence.
It is probably wise not to regard alfalfa as being a panacea for any of the above conditions, but it is also fair to regard it as being very rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. Perhaps this is why it is believed to help with some common digestive complaints, and also help to control high blood pressure and improve your mental function. Whatever your belief in the health benefits of alfalfa supplements, you should consult a physician before relying on it as a definitive treatment for any condition. This is particularly true if you are also being treated for another condition.
Alfalfa might not specifically interact with any other drug, but you should always check up with your doctor when using any natural remedy in association with a prescription medicine. It contains a number of other vitamins which might interact with specific medications. Vitamin K, for example, can interfere with the action of blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin. This is not specific to alfalfa, and any foodstuff rich in a specific nutrient could equally interact with prescription medicines.
However, widespread homeopathic use over a long period of time has indicated that alfalfa has few if any side effects. It is effectively used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of kidney problems and its name is derived from the Arabic for ‘father of all foods’. With over 300 nutrients and phytochemicals, alfalfa is one of nature’s most nutrient-rich foods, and its saponin and isoflavone content alone is sufficient to warrant many of the health claims made for it.
Coconut Oil May Help Promote Healthy Thyroid and Digestive Function
November 01, 2007 09:49 AM
Coconut is extracted from coconuts, the coconut palm often being called the tree of life and for good reason. However, its benefits were lost to America for many years due to the politics of the vegetable oil industry claiming that all saturated fats are bad. This is not based on scientific or medical fact, and coconut oil was recently rediscovered in the USA, and the health benefits enjoyed by the rest of the world are once again available to Americans.
Coconut palms grow in most tropical climates such as Southern California and Florida, the Philippines and the Caribbean. Refined coconuts oils are mass produced and much of the beneficial nutrients are lost by the refining process. Virgin coconut oil is by far the better form, though is a slower process. It is generally obtained by shredding and dry milling the meat, and then cold pressing to produce the milk. The milk is fermented for a day or so and the separated oil collected.
Such oils are analyzed to contain over 50% laUric acid and high levels of phenolic antioxidants. Much higher than from refined oils. It is said to be the healthiest oil on earth. So why did the American authorities legislate against its use? It is because of the bad press received by saturated fats and oils.
You can have saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The majority of the fats and oils in our diet are composed of long chain fats and oils. The chain length refers to the length of the hydrocarbon chain, whether saturated or unsaturated. It is long chain saturated acids that are bad for your cardiovascular system, and that should be avoided. However, there are also short chain and medium chain fatty acids that are more easily metabolized by the body. Coconut oil consists predominantly of medium chain fatty acids that help to protect against heart disease and cholesterol rather than promote it.
The highest levels of medium chain fatty acids are found in coconut oils and palm kernel oils, and these are far more nutritious than the saturated long chain fatty acids found in animal fats and just about all vegetable fats. The main MCFA in coconut oil is laUric acid.
LaUric acid is generally regarded as being responsible for the vast majority of the health benefits of coconut oil. The only other source of this fatty acid other than coconut oil is in human breast milk. After absorption, laUric acid is metabolized into monolaurin that is the monoglyceride used by the human body to destroy viruses and microbes, and attack the fat coated viruses that cause such diseases as HIV. It destroys flu viruses, a number of dangerous bacteria and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
However, let’s have a look at some of the lesser known effects of coconut oil, such as its effects on the thyroid. Anything that blocks the efficient operation of the thyroid and secretion of the thyroid hormones can lead to excess estrogen in the body that can contribute to excessive blood cholesterol. There is a body of evidence that polyunsaturated fats and oils, such as soy, can have this effect is many people. When coconut oil is used instead, the medium chain fatty acids do not have the same effect, and those that are affected frequently find that their thyroid problem is cured and their blood cholesterol reduces.
This is not to infer that all hypothyroidism can be cured through the use of coconut oil, only those cases caused by consumption of excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Although this is refuted by some medical practitioners that are against the use of supplements in general, it has been supported by medical evidence.
Coconut oil is also good for the digestion, and helps the cure of many digestive problems including Crohn’s Disease. It helps to build lipoproteins, fats and bile in the liver, the latter being essential for digestion. It helps to create a much healthier digestive tract that makes for generally better digestion and more efficient use of the foods you eat. Absorption of the nutrients is maximized and you feel altogether better in yourself when you take a small amount of coconut oil daily.
You can have sugar cravings for a number of reasons, and taking coconut oil can reduce these quickly and effectively, irrespective of their cause. The medium chain fatty acid breaks down and is rapidly metabolized to glucose thus providing a source of the energy your craving is telling you that you lack. It is very useful in reducing sugar cravings without you having to eat excess sugar that can create yeast problems.
If you replace the fats you are currently eating with coconut oil, it will not only act as an appetite suppressant but can also help you to lose weight. The fatty acids in coconut are absorbed immediately and converted to energy thus reducing your immediate need for food and hence your appetite. If you eat the saturated fat in coconut oil rather than the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, then you can lose weight.
Many of the benefits of coconut oil are due to the speed with which the laUric acid is absorbed and metabolized in comparison to the long chain polyunsaturated fats. It is the chain length of the hydrocarbon tail that is important here rather than the number of double bonds in that chain that determines the degree of unsaturation.
Make sure that it is virgin coconut that you use since that is the most nutritious form. Do not be misled by labels claiming the contents to be extra virgin oil, since that is a term borrowed from the olive oil industry, and there is no such thing as extra virgin in relation to coconut oil. Never use refined coconut oil since that will just as bad for you as other saturated oils. Not even ‘Extra Virgin Refined Coconut Oil’ in the mistaken belief that such a label must indicate that the oil is extra good. It does not – it simply indicates that the supplier is a charlatan deliberately trying to mislead you into paying a premium price for a useless product.
Coconut oil may promote a healthy thyroid and digestive function, and all the medical tests indicate that it does. People that use it regularly swear by it and if you have a problem that virgin coconut oil might help, then one thing is sure: it will certainly do you no harm, and all indications are that it will do you a lot of good.
Natural Vitamin and Herbal Alternatives For Joint Health
October 18, 2007 03:58 PM
Joint tissue breaks down and arthritis sets in for a number of reasons, and there are several natural alternatives for joint health that can be use to prevent this and to treat affected joints.
Thyroid problems can slow down the production of adrenal hormones that are responsible for the production of cortisone and cosrtisol. These are anti-inflammatories, that when unavailable or in low supply can result in joint inflammation. If you suffer joint pain in the mornings that tends to improve as the day goes on, then it is likely that is the cause since adrenal activity can improve as the day progresses.
One of the main reasons for joint tissue breakdown is osteoarthritis whereby the cartilage wears down until it fails to provide the necessary protection against impact between the bones in a joint, or against the friction generated when two bones rub together. Injuries to joints can have the same effect, whereby an injury to a hip or knee can appear to clear up and then later the cartilage wears out sooner than expected. This can take several months or many years, depending on the severity and nature of the injury concerned.
Continual wear and tear can also cause joint tissue to break down. Athletes and other sportspersons often suffer twenty years or more after retirement from their sport due to the gradual wearing down of cartilage while they were active. Once they stop, this continues to a lesser extent until the cartilage is eventually worn away sufficiently for it to stop protecting the joint.
Problems with the auto-immune system can lead to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the joints. This weakens them and can eventually completely destroy the tissue. In such cases the tissues in the joint tend to swell and become extremely painful. Gout can also damage joints, especially in the big toe. This is caused through a built up of needle sharp Uric acid crystals. Another cause is a deficiency in sodium and potassium in the diet that are needed to help maintain calcium in solution. When these metals are in deficiency due, for example, to an adrenal problem or some other reason, calcium can deposit right in the joints, causing undue pain.
Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are commonly associated with arthritis sufferers, and protein deficiencies are also believed to be a contributing factor of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is also true that degenerative arthritis can accompany rheumatoid arthritis. This occurs in almost 40% of cases, and diet and nutrition are now being recognized as a major cause of both types. Deficiencies in folic acid or its natural form of folate, vitamin E, zinc and selenium have all been associated with degeneration of joint tissue, so it makes sense that a supplement of these substances can help to avoid these conditions.
Standard medical treatment, however, is for the relief of pain and reduction of inflammation through the prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Typical NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Although it relieves pain, paracetamol is not an anti-iflammatory. An alternative to blocking the inflammatory reponse is to help to regenerate the damaged joint tissue.
However, reducing the inflammatory response to tissue damage does not address the underlying problem, but masks it. Not only that, but there are side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs. Excessive doses can create serious gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, ulcer perforation and even death is possible in severe cases. Anti-inflammatories cause gastric problems in up to 20% of cases
The newer Cox-2 inhibitors act on the enzyme that causes the inflammation within the joint, and while these can be very effective, they are still masking the underlying problem. Incidentally, the Cox-2 inhibitors should not be used with NSAIDs, and both increase the possibility of a myocardial infarction or heart attack. Also, if you are taking aspirin to reduce the risk of heart problems, you should be careful not to use other NSAIDs since they can interfere with the effects of the aspirin.
More effective in the long run is to treat the conditions with substances that deal with the cause of the problem. Vitamin C, for example, improves the lubrication effect of the synovial fluid in the joints, and vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can help to repair damaged tissue and improve the circulation within the joints. Joints have very low blood circulation levels, which is a problem when trying to direct drugs to the joint tissues. Vitamin C is also good for improving the integrity of connective tissue. Zinc, manganese and copper are also instrumental in developing strong connective tissue and helping to repair the damage done to the joints.
Horsetail is a commonly used herbal remedy that can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. It is the richest natural herbal source of silicon, which is used by the body to form connective tissue and collagen. Damaged connective tissue is rapidly repaired by horsetail, and its strength and elasticity significantly improved. It is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cat’s Claw is used for its beneficial effect on the immune system, and frequently used successfully to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, this treatment is used more to help reduce the inflammatory effects of the condition than to effect a long lasting cure. Gotu Kola, also called Indian pennywort, is traditionally used for treating arthritis. The fresh leaves are effective in reducing the inflammation and pain, and help to improve the quality of life of arthritis sufferers. In Australia, it is referred to as ‘the arthritis herb’ and two leaves a day are said to be effective.
Another popular remedy is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), although it is claimed to provide pain relief rather than a cure. Amino acids also seem to help, and L-cysteine helps promote collagen and connective tissue. It appears to work best when taken in combination with vitamin E and selenium that are powerful antioxidants. L-arginine has a similar effect in the reconstruction of joint tissue, again helping to repair damaged connective tissues.
There are therefore two approaches to treating both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, one providing pain relief and reducing inflammation, and the other repairing the damage done to the joint tissues. Vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and herbal remedies are used in both, though it is better to use a combination that provides pain relief and also helps to regenerate strong connective tissues in the joints.
When using combinations of remedies it is important that possible interactions are understood, and you should always seek the advice of your physician when using non-prescription remedies of any kind.
Organic Cherry Fruit Extract
July 06, 2007 02:06 PM
#1 selling Cherry fruit supplement
Better than Juice
Helps reduce Uric acid levels*1
1 Jacob RA. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr. 2003 Jun; 133(6): 1826-9.
Enjoy Some Nuts Every Day
November 03, 2006 04:00 PM
Although high in fat, nuts contain oils that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts also contain potentially cardio protective components including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts were all found to be good sources of these compounds. Diets that included one or two servings of macadamia nuts a day have been shown in studies done in Brisbane Australia and Honolulu Hawaii to improve blood lipid profiles as effectively as low-fat, complex carbohydrate diets. Furthermore, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating nuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of type II diabetes in women. The researchers suggest that nuts might replace refined grain products, and red or processed meats as a way to limit caloric intake.
The Lowly Goober Gets New Respect
Americans eat more peanuts and peanut butter than all other nuts combined. A Pennsylvania State University study of 13,000 men, women and children revealed that peanut eaters have higher intakes of several hard-to-get nutrients compared to those who did not consume peanuts. Peanut butter and peanut eaters have increased levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, Calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phytonutrients resveratrol, beta sitosterol and p-courmaric acid. What’s more, peanut eaters also had leaner bodies than non peanut eaters. This study helps to dispel the myth that higher-fat foods automatically lead to weight gain.
The peanut Butter Diet evolved from studies such as this that showed the benefits of eating peanuts and peanut butter, particularly their high satiety factor. In one small study, ten health workers aged fifty-plus, consumed 1500 calories healthy and moderate fat (35%) diet that included two tablespoons of peanut butter eaten twice a day. The woman had at least one cardiovascular risk factor – high blood pressure, altered blood lipids or diabetes. Peanut butter was chosen because previous studies at Harvard/Brigham Women’s hospital had shown that over an eighteen-month period, three times as many women stuck with a diet that included peanut butter or peanuts, because of a hunger curbing effects.
Peanuts contain about 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon and when spread on two slices of whole-wheat bread, deliver six grams of fiber. Peanut butter makes some yummy sauces. The barbecued ribs a group of scientists and I prepared during a recent weekend at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California’s Napa Valley where the best I have ever eaten.
The term refers to coconut, palm kernel and palm oils. These oils contain a variety of fatty acids, but unlike olive, macadamia and peanut oils, which contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature; tropical oils have high levels of saturated fats and are solid at room temperature. They are gaining popularity as food manufacturers push to replace hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats. The latest hoopla over coconut oil has been its inclusion in weight loss regimens. Two books featuring coconut products have hit bestseller lists. Moderate increase of tropical oils including coconut and palm appear to improve blood lipid profiles largely because of their high laUric acid content.
The health benefits of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as caprylic and laUric have been known for some time. LaUric acid has been found to improve blood lipids and red palm oil is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and tocotrienols, the vitamin E active constituent. However, there is concern among some experts that eating to many saturated fats, including the tropical oils used to make trans fat free margarine and shortening, can have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health.
In addition, there are differences in processing palm and palm kernel oils that make some choices unhealthy. According to Dr. Andrew Weil palm oil is a better choice than palm kernel oil because chemical solvents are needed to extract palm kernel oil while none are required to press the oil from palm fruit. Fractionation is used to process palm and palm kernel oil and eliminates many of their natural antioxidants, which makes them the least desirable of the tropical oils. It seems prudent to check ingredient labels for fractionated palm kernel oil and avoid it. Best of all, look for Now Organic Coconut Oil that has an impressive resume for boosting immunity. It also has a distinctive flavor to foods prepared with an eastern Indian theme.
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit AntioxidantBy 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
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:16 PM
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: People with exposure to toxins that stimulate liver activity; People with exposure to infections that may have damaged liver tissue
KEY INGREDIENT (S): Milk Thistle extract (Silymarin), Glutathione, NAC, Bupleurum extract, Grape Seed Extract, Dandelion Root extract, Artichoke Leaf, Schisandra and about a dozen additional herbs, along with synergistic ingredients
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: This formula was developed by a physician based on his clinical experience.
Artichoke leaf has antioxidant properties and restores healthy growth to liver cells.
Bupleurum may promote normal cell growth, immune function and is a staple of Chinese liver formulas. Dandelion Root may serve as a natural down-regulator of inflammatory chemicals in the body. NAC supports liver Glutathionestores (antioxidant, detoxifier, heavy metal chelator). Schisandra protects liver cells from toxins and may help to regenerate damaged cells. Milk thistle’s antioxidant Silymarin improves liver function tests and protects liver cells against oxidative damage. It also protects liver cells by blocking and removing toxins from the liver. Silymarin aids in regenerating injured liver cells and blocks fibrosis.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Samuel Verghese, M.D. (AM), Ph.D., BCIA-EEG, DAAPM, holds a degree in Alternative Medicine and specializes in Nutritional, Ayurvedic and other Alternative Health Solutions. He is certified as a BCIA-EEG Associate Fellow.
AMOUNT TO USE: Three or more capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants (supports liver detoxification), Alpha Lipoic Acid, EGCg Green Tea Extract, Astragalus, medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, reishi), SAM-e (may improve bile flow and promotes methylation to detoxify chemicals), TMG, lecithin, thymus glandular extract, Cordyceps.
AVOID: acetaminophen, alcohol, iron supplements (also red meat, fortified flour)
CAUTIONS: This formula should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers children or those with liver problems unless recommended under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs! Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional and morphological alterations of the liver. A double-blind controlled study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17:517–21.
December 06, 2005 06:32 PM
Native to the humid and tropical regions of both north and south America, fruit from the graviola tree has been consumed throughout the ages to help encourage healthy, normal cellular activity. New Graviola Caps from NOW contain 500mg of soursop (Annona MUricata) – the natural extracts that provide biologically active compounds known as acetogenins.
In addition to the role it has been shown to play in supporting healthy cells, graviola is also ideal for any individual concerned with immune and digestive health, and mood. With winter just around the corner , December is a great time to stock up on new Graviola from NOW.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
October 13, 2005 04:32 PM
Helps maintain a healthy prostate gland.
Supports normal urinary function.
Comprehensive Prostate Formula-the Clinical Studies
Saw palmetto extract is one of the world's leading herbal products for prostate support. Widely-cited clinical studies conducted over the last fifteen years suggest Saw palmetto extract can produce major improvements in prostate-related urinary function. In clinical studies, Saw palmetto extract has produced measurable improvements in urinary functions and prostate size. Quality of life scores have also improved. The results with Saw palmetto extract have been duplicated in open trials and controlled, double-blind studies.11,12,13 For example, in a large open trial, 505 men took 320 mg of Saw palmetto extract daily for three months.1 The results were evaluated with various measurements such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size. After 45 days these parameters improved significantly. After 90 days of treatment nearly ninety percent of both the doctors and patients regarded Saw palmetto extract as effective as therapy for the prostate.
The changes in prostate health that accompany middle age are related to the hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a metabolite of testosterone. DHT levels rise, and DHT binds to prostate cells, accelerating growth of prostate tissue. Saw palmetto extract has been shown to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme that controls conversion of testosterone to DHT.14 Experimental evidence suggests Saw palmetto extract blocks the binding of DHT to prostate cells.15 The fatty acids and sterols in Saw palmetto are believed to be responsible for these actions.14,16 These include oleic acid, laUric acid, campasterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and others. Clinical studies have used extracts containing 85 to 90 percent fatty acids and sterols.
Like Saw palmetto, Pygeum contains natural sterols and fatty acids.2 Although the mechanisms for its effect have not been clearly established, animal experiments suggest Pygeum may work by inhibiting prostate cell proliferation and reducing inflammation.17,18 In several European trials, Pygeum has successfully improved urinary function. In a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 263 men were given 100 mg of Pygeum extract a day for 60 days. Urination improved in 66 percent of the men taking Pygeum, compared with 31 percent on placebo, based on subjective and objective tests.19
Nettles are approved by the German Commission E as effective for relieving inflammation in the urinary tract.20 As far back as 1950, German investigators have observed favorable effects on the prostate with the use of Nettle root. These initial findings have been confirmed through case studies, as well as double-blind studies, published mainly in German medical journals. In a recent double blind study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics, 134 men took a combination of Nettle root extract and Pygeum extract over a period of 56 days.3 Urination was significantly improved.
As noted above, Drs. Feinblatt and Gant discovered that a combination of the amino acids L-alanine, glutamic acid and glycine has a positive effect on prostate-related urinary function.5 A controlled study of 45 men was conducted to follow up on these initial observations.21 The majority of subjects experienced complete or partial relief in urinary complaints such as nighttime urination and urgency.
2. Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Pygeum. Jan 1998. Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis, MO.
3. Combined extracts of Urtica dioica and Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: double-blind comparison of two doses Clinical Therapeutics 1993; 15(6):1011-19.
4. Wagner, H., Willer, F., Samtleben, R., Boos, G. Search for the antiprostatic principle of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) roots Phytomedicine 1994; 1:213-224.
5. Feinblatt, H.M., Gant, J.D. Palliative treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Journal of the Maine Medical Association, March 1958:99-124.
6. Giovanni, E., et. al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995;87(23):1767-76.
7. Wallace, A.M., Grant, J.K. Effect of zinc on androgen metabolism in the human hyperplastic prostate. Biochemical Society Transactions 1975; 3(3):540-42
8. Badmaev, V., Majeed, M., Passwater, R. Selenium: A quest for better understanding. Alternative Therapies 1996; 2(4):59-67.
9. Fouhad, M.T. Selenium and cancer, chromium and diabetes: two trace elements that have merits as dietary supplements in human nutrition. Journal of Applied Nutrition 1979:31(1&2):14-17.
10. Vescovi, P.P., et. al. Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) decreases opoids-induced hyperprolactinemia. Horm. metabol. Res. 1985; 17:46-47.
11. Tasca, A., et. al. Treatment of obstructive symptomatology caused by prostatic adenoma with an extract of Serenoa repens. Double-blind clinical study vs. placebo. Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 1985; 37:87-91.
12. Champault, G., Bonnard, A.M., Cauquil, J., Patel, J.C. Medical treatment of prostatic adenoma. A controlled test of PA 109 vs. placebo in 110 patients. Ann. Urol. 1984; 18(6):407-410.
13. Crimi, A., Russo, A. The use of Serenoa repens extract in the treatment of functional disturbances caused by prostate hypertrophy. Med. Praxis 1983; 4:47-51.
14. NiederprŸm, H.J., Schweikert. H.U., ZŠnker, K.S. Testosterone 5 alpha-reductase inhibition by free fatty acids from Sabal serrulata fruits. Phytomedicine 1994; 1:127-133.
15. Sultan, C., et. al. Inhibition of androgen metabolism and binding of liposterolic extract of Serenoa repens B in human foreskin fibroblasts. J. Steroid Biochem. 1984; 20(1):515-519.
16. Weissner, H., et. al. Effects of the Sabal serrulata extract IDS 9 and its subfractions on 5 alpha-reductase activity in human benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Prostate 1996;28:300-06.
17. Yablonsky, F. Nicolas, V., Riffaud, J.P., Bellamy, F. Antiproliferative effect of Pygeum africanum on rat prostatic fibroblasts. J. of Urology 1997; 157:2381-87.
18. Marconi, M. et. al. Anti-inflammatory action of Pygeum extract in the rat. Farmaci. & Terapia. 1986; 3:135.
19. Barlet, A, et. al. Efficacy of Pygeum africanum extract in the treatment of micturational disorders due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Evaluation of objective and subjective parameters. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial. Wien. Klin. Wocheschr. 1990; 22:667-73.
20. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. 1998, Blumenthal, M., ed., (p.216) Austin, TX: American Botanical Council.
21. Damrau, F. Benign prostatic hypertrophy: amino acid therapy for symptomatic relief. American Journal of Geriatrics 1962; 10:426-30.
HERBS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
July 14, 2005 04:07 PM
HERBS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
The skin is actually the largest organ of he body and the largest channel of elimination. The health of the skin is dependent on the health of the other organs in the body. If they are running efficiently, the skin will be healthy. When the body is overloaded with toxins the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system cannot process and eliminate them fast enough. This puts excess burden on the skin which may lead to conditions such as acne, psoriasis, boils or rashes.
Red clover is a great blood detoxifier allowing for healthy skin. It is often recommended for cleansing programs.
Yellow dock has been found to be a good alterative, especially for chronic skin problems. It is useful for leprosy, psoriasis and cancer. Modern herbalists recommend yellow dock for anemia, as a blood purifier, liver congestion, and skin problems. It is also considered beneficial for toxemia, infections, lymph congestion, ulcers and wounds. It is considered one of the best blood builders in the herbal kingdom.
Burdock is valued highly in the plant kingdom. It is used to purify the blood and strengthen the liver, kidneys, stomach and lungs. It contains volatile oils which are known to help clear the kidneys of excess wastes and Uric acid, and burdock is used as a diuretic. It is used for skin problems such as acne, boils, psoriasis, and canker sores.
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
July 13, 2005 09:17 AM
Natural Health for a Healthy Heart
Cardiovascular disease is on the rise. Heart disease, stroke, and related disorders kill more Americans than any other ailments combined. In 1990 approximately one million Americans died form cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Fat and cholesterol accumulate around the heart and inner walls of the arteries. This causes blood flow to slow and blood pressure to rise. Blood clotting is also a problem when the arteries are clogged which, if a clot breaks loose, can cause strokes or heart attacks according to where they end up. Heart disease is usually advanced before a problem arises. Prevention should be the first goal.
Heart disease is much less common in “primitive” societies. This is due in part to the lifestyle and diet choices of Americans. Diet is viewed as the most important factor in heart related disorders. An increased intake of sugar, refined flour and simple carbohydrates may also be contributing factors. Other risk factors include a family history of heart disease, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, type A personality, stress, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and coronary artery disease. Changes must be made in diet and life-style in order to prevent heart disease.
Following a diet low in animal fat and refined sugars but high in fiber is highly recommended. Whole grains, almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of legumes, skinless turkey, chicken and fish should be the main dietary elements. Brown rice, garlic, onions, olive oil, raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, asparagus, apples, bananas, beans, buckwheat, seeds, whey powder, and yogurt are especially good for the heart. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and white flour. Limit intake of dairy products which contain high amounts of fat. Homogenized dairy products contain an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is believed to cause artery damage and could lead to arteriosclerosis. Use olive oil and canola oil when using fat. Avoid palm oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil.
Choline, inositol and lecithin: These act as fat emulsifiers in the bloodstream and can help prevent plaque buildup.
Chromium: Chromium is known for recent studies linking it to a reduced risk of heart disease. It may help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. Low levels of chromium are thought to be a risk factor for developing heart disease. It also may help increase the beneficial HDL cholesterol and aid in lowering the LDL cholesterol.
Coenzyme Q10: This can help oxygenate the heart muscle helping to prevent additional heart damage. Coenzyme Q10 can help the body break down fatty acids converting them to energy. This is often lacking in individuals with heart problems. Essential Fatty Acids: These can help prevent hardening of the arteries by preventing the blood cells from clumping together and forming clots. They also help with the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.
Germanium: Germanium has been found to lower high blood pressure and improve circulation in the body. Calcium and Magnesium: Both of these minerals contribute to the muscular contraction and relaxation of the heart. They are essential for the proper function of the heart muscle and maintaining normal heart rhythm and blood pressure. Low levels of calcium have been linked to high blood pressure.
L-Carnitine: This is an amino acid that can help the heart by reducing fat levels in the blood. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Vitamin C helps prevent blood clots and strengthens the capillary and blood vessel walls. It may help prevent high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, lower cholesterol, repair arterial walls, and contribute to reversing heart disease.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is well known for its beneficial effect on the heart. Selenium: Low levels of selenium have been associated with heart disease.
Hawthorn: This herb is great for cardiovascular health. Garlic: Garlic is one of the most studied herbs for cardiovascular health. Several recent studies link garlic to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Cayenne: This is also known as capsicum and is beneficial on circulation and cleaning and nourishing the blood vessels.
Ginkgo: Ginkgo relaxes the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood even in constricted arteries. Rosemary Tea: This is a traditional heart tonic that helps to promote circulation and lower blood pressure. Chinese Mushroom (aUricularia polytricha): This is a natural blood thinner.
It is important to include exercise in the daily routine. Aerobic exercise is known to help improve the heart1s pumping ability, reduce serum cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure as well as many other ailments. Exercising an average of three to five days a week for thirty minutes will benefit the body. Actually any amount of exercise is beneficial for the body, so try and do something each day.
Include relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Stress can increase the risk of heart disease. Stress releases adrenaline which causes the heart to work harder. If you feel resentment, fear or anger, find ways to deal with these in a positive way. Pursuit serenity and peace in life. Exercise, self hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, yoga and prayer can all help develop inner peace.
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
1 a. The Surgeon General’s “Nutrition and Health Report.” b. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES III)” c. The National Academy of Science’s. Diet and Health Report: Health Promotion and Disease Objectives (DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 91-50213, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1990). e. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2 Rolls BJ. Carbohydrates, fats, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 61(4 Suppl):960S-967S. 3 McDowell MA, Briefel RR, Alaimo K, et al. Energy and macronutrient intakes of persons ages 2 months and over in the United States: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Phase 1:1988-91. Advance data from vital and health statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; No. 255. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics; 1994. 4 Center for Science in the Public Interest and McDonald’s Nutrition and You—A guide to Healthy Eating at McDonald’s: McDonald’s Corp,1991. 5 Bray GA. Appetite Control in Adults. In: Fernstrom JD, Miller GD eds. Appetite and Body Weight Regulation. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1994:1-92. 6 Michnovicz JJ. How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer. New York: Warner Book Inc. 1994:54. 7 Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens in the Human Diet. National Research Council Report, National Academy of Sciences, 15 Feb. 1996. 8 Van Tallie TB. Obesity: adverse effects on health and longevity. Am J Clin Nutr 1979:32: 2723-33. 9 Somer E, M.A. R.D. Nutrition for Women. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1993:273. 10 Swaneck GE, Fishman J. Covalent binding of the endogenous estrogen 16A-hydroxyestrone to estradiol in human breast concer cells: characterization and intranuclear localization. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1988:85;7831-5. 11 Colditz GA. Epidemiology of breast cancer. Findings from the nurses’ health study. Cancer1993;714:1480-9. 12 Hennen WJ. Breast Cancer Risk Reduction. The effects of supplementation with dietary indoles. Unpublished report 1992. 13 Deslypere BJ. Obesity and cancer. Metabolism 1995;44(93):24-7. 14 Somer E, M.A. R.D. Nutrition for Women. New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1993:281. 15 Whittemore AS, Kolonel LN, John M. Prostate cancer in relation to diet, physical activity, and body size in blacks, whites, and Asians in the United States and Canada. J Natl Cancer Inst 1995;87(9):629-31. 16 Key T. Risk factors for prostate cancer. Cancer Survivor 1995;23:63- 77. 17 Kondo Y, Homma Y, Aso Y, Kakizoe T. Promotional effects of twogeneration exposure to a high-fat diet on prostate carcinogenisis in ACI/Seg mice. Cancer Res 1994;54(23):6129-32. 18 Wang Y, Corr JG, Taler HT, Tao Y, Fair WR, Heston WD. Decreased growth of established human prostate LNCaP tumors in nude mice fed a low-fat diet. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(19):1456-62. 19 Nixon DW. Cancer prevention clinical trials. In-Vivo 1994;8(5):713-6. 20 Key T. Micronutrients and cancer aetiology: the epidmiological evidence. Proceed Nutr Soc 1994;53(3):605-14. 21 Gorbach SL, Goldin BR. The intestinal microflora and the colon cancer connection. Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1990;12(Suppl 2):S252-61. 22 Shrapnel WS, Calvert GD, Nestel PJ, Truswell AS. Diet and coronary heart disease. The National Heart Foundation of Australia. Med J Australia. 1995;156(Suppl):S9-S16. 23 Ellis JL, Campos-Outcalt D. Cardiovascular disease risk factors in native Americans: a literature review. Am. J. Preventive Med 1994;10(5):295-307. 24 DiBianco R. The changing syndrome of heart failure: an annotated review as we approach the 21st century. J. Hypertension 1994; 12(4 Suppl):S73- S87. 25 Van Itallie TB. Obesity: adverse effects on health and longevity. Am J Clin Nutr 1979;32(suppl):2723-33. 26 Kestin M, Moss R, Clifton PM, Nestel PJ. Comparative effects of three cereal brans on plasma lipids, blood pressure and glucose metabolism in mildly hyper-cholesterolemic men. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;52(4):661-6. 27 Story JA. Dietary fiber and lipid metabolism. In: Spiller GA, Kay RM. eds. Medical Aspects of Dietary Fiber. Penun Medical; New York, 1980, p.138. 28 Stein PP, Black HR. The role of diet in the genesis and treatment of hypertension. Med. Clin. North America. 1993;77(4):831-47. 29 Olin JW. Antihypertensive treatment in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Cleve. Clin. J. Medicine. 1994;61(5):337-44. 30 Tinker LF. Diabetes Mellitus—a priority health care issue for women. J. Am. Dietetic Association. 1994;94(9):976-85. 31 Gaspard UJ, Gottal JM, van den Brule FA. Postmenopausal changes of lipid and glucose metabolism: a review of their main aspects. Maturitas. 1995;21(3):71-8. 32 Coordt MC, Ruhe RC, McDonald RB. Aging and insulin secretion. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biology and Medicine. 1995;209(3):213-22. 33 Felber JP. From Obesity to Diabetes. Pathophysiological Considerations. Int. Journal of Obesity 1992;16:937-952. 34 Gillum RF. The association of body fat distribution with hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors in men and women age 18-79. J Chronic Diseases 1987;40:421-8. 35 Haffner SM, Stern MP, Hazuda HP, et al. Role of obesity and fat distribution in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellits in Mexican Americans and non- Hispanic whites. Diabetes Care 1986;9:153-61. 36 Bonadonna RC, deFronzo RA. Glucose metabolism in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and Metabolism. 1991;17(1 Pt. 2):12-35. 37 Shoemaker JK, Bonen A. Vascular actions of insulin in health and disease. Canadian J. of Applied Physiology. 1995;20(2):127-54. 38 Resnick LM. Ionic Basis of Hypertension, Insulin Resistaince, Vascular Disease, and Related Disorders. The Mechanism of ‘Syndrome X’. Am. J. Hypertension. 1993;6(suppl):123S-134S. 39 Trautwein EA. Dietetic influences on the formation and prevention of cholesterol gallstones. Z. Ernahrugswiss. 1994;33(1):2-15. 40 Cicuttini FM, Spector TD. Osteoarthritis in the aged. Epidemiological issues and optimal management. Drugs and Aging. 1995;6(5):409-20. 41 Melnyk MG, Wienstein E. Preventing obesity in black women by targeting adolescents: a literature review. J Am. Diet. Association. 1994;94(4):536-40. 42 Robinson BE, Gjerdingen Dk, Houge DR. Obesity: a move from traditional to more patient-oriented management. J. Am. Board of Family Practice. 1995;8(2):99-108. 43 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. Reversal of Obesity in the Genetically Obese fa/fa Zucker Rat with an Ehpedrine/Methylxanthines Thermogenic Mixture. J. Nutrition. 1987;117:383-9. 44 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of ephedrin/methylxanthine mixtures: animal studies. Am J Clinical Nutr. 1986;43:388-394. 45 Richelsen B. Health risks of obesity. Significance of the regional distri-bution of adipose tissue. Ugeskr. Laeger. 1991;153(13):908-13. 46 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. Dietary fat and obesity: Evidence from epidemiology. European J. Clinical Nutrition. 1995;49(2):79-90. 47 Lissner L, Heitmann BL. The dietary fat: Carbohydrate ratio in relation to body weight, Current Opinion in Lipidology. 1995;6(1):8-13. 48 Ravussin E. Energy metabolism in obesity. Studies in the Pima Indians. Diabetes Care. 1993;16(1):232-8. 49 O’Dea K. Westernisation, insulin resistance and diabetes in Australian aborigines. Med J. Australia. 1991;155(4):258-64. 50 Bailey C. Fit or Fat . Houghton Mifflen, Boston, 1991. 51 McCarty MF. Optimizing Exercise for Fat Loss. Unpublished report. 52 Weinsier RL, Schutz Y, Bracco D. Reexamination of the relationship of resting metabolic rate and fat-free mass and the the metabolically active components of fat-free mass in humans. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition. 1992;55(4):790-4. 53 Evans WJ. Exercise, nutrition and aging. J. Nutrition. 1992;122(3 suppl):796-801. 54 Schlicker SA, Borra ST, Regan C. The weight and fitness status of United States children. Nutrition Reviews. 1994;52(1):11-7. 55 Raben A, Jensen ND, Marckmann P, Sandstrom B and Astrup A. Spontaeous weight loss during 11 weeks’ ad libitum intake of a low fat/high fiber diet in young, normal weight subjects. Stockholm Press. 1995;916-23. 56 Blundell JE, Cotton JR, Delargy H, Green S, Greenough A, King NA, Lawton, CL. The fat paradox: fat-induced satiety signals versus high fat overconsumption. Short Communication 1995:832-835. 57 Reinhold RB. Late results of gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity. J Am Coll Nutr 1994;13(4):307-8. 58 McCredie M, Coates M Grulich A. Cancer incidence in migrants to New South Wales (Australia) from the Middle East, 1972-1991. Cancer Causes Control 1994:5(5):414-21. 59 Schiff ER, Dietschy JM. Steatorrhea Associated with Disordered Bile Acid Metabolism. Am. J. Digestive Diseases. 1969;14(6) 60 Nauss JL , Thompson JL and Nagyvary J. The binding of micellar lipids to Chitosan. Lipids. 1983;18(10):714-19. 61 Braconnot H, Sue la natrue ces champignons. Ann Chim Phys 1811;79:265. 62 Odier A. Memoire sur la composition chemique des parties cornees des insectes. Mem Soc Hist Nat Paris 1823;1:29. 63 Johnson EL, Peniston QP. Utilization of shellfish waste for chitin and Chitosan production. Chp 19 In: Chemistry and Biochemistry of Marine Food Products. Martin RE, Flick GJ, Hebard CE and Ward DR (eds.) 1982. p.415-. AVI Publishing Co., Westport, CT. 64 Shahram H. Seafood waste: the potential for industrial use. Kem Kemi 1992;19(3),256-8. 65 Rouget C. Des substances amylacees dans le tissue des animux, specialement les Articules (Chitine). Compt Rend 1859;48:792. Commission on Natural Health Products. 1995 67 Peniston QP and Johnson EL. Method for Treating an Aqueous Medium with Chitosan and Derivatives of Chitin to Remove an Impurity. US Patent 3,533,940. Oct. 30:1970. 68 Poly-D-Glucosamine (Chitosan); Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance. Federal Register. 1995;60(75):19523-4. Rules and Regulations. Environmental Protection Agency 40 CFR Part 180. April, 19, 1995. 69 Arul J. “Use of Chitosan films to retard post-harvest spoilage of fruits and vegetables,” Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 70 Karlsen J, Skaugrud O. “Excipient properties of Chitosan,” Manufacturing Chemist. 1991;62:18-9. 71 Winterowd JG, Sandford PA. Chitin and Chitosan. In: Food Polysaccharides and their Applications. Ed: Stephen AM. Marcel Dekker 1995. 72 Chitin Workshop. ICNHP, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 73 Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 74 Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 75 Zikakis, JP. Chitin, Chitosan and Related Enzymes. Academic Press, Inc. 1984. 76 Abelin J and Lassus A. Fat binder as a weight reducer in patients with moderate obesity. ARS Medicina, Helsinki, Aug- October, 1994. 77 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Increasing effect of a Chitosan and ascorbic acid mixture on fecal dietary fat excretion. Biosci Biotech Biochem 1994;58(9):1617-20. 78 Maezaki Y, Tsuji K, Nakagawa Y, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of Chitosan in adult males. Biosci Biotchnol Biochem1993;57(9):1439-44. 79 Kobayashi T, Otsuka S, Yugari Y. Effect of Chitosan on serum and liver cholesterol levels in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutritional Rep. Int., 1979;19(3):327-34. 80 Sugano M, Fujikawa T, Hiratsuji Y, Hasegawa Y. Hypocholesterolemic effects of Chitosan in cholesterol-fed rats. Nutr Rep. Int. 1978;18(5):531-7. 81 Vahouny G, Satchanandam S, Cassidy M, Lightfoot F, Furda I. Comparative effects of Chitosan and cholestryramine on lymphatic absorption of lipids in the rat. Am J Clin Nutr, 1983;38(2):278-84 82 Suzuki S, Suzuki M, Katayama H. Chitin and Chitosan oligomers as hypolipemics and formulations containing them. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 63 41,422 [88,422] 22 Feb1988. 83 Ikeda I, Tomari Y, Sugano M. Interrelated effects of dietary fiber on lymphatic cholesterol and triglyceride absorption in rats. J Nutr 1989;119(10):1383- 7. 84 LeHoux JG and Grondin F. Some effects of Chitosan on liver function in the rat. Endocrinology. 1993;132(3):1078-84. 85 Fradet G, Brister S, Mulder D, Lough J, Averbach BL. “Evaluation of Chitosan as a New Hemostatic Agent: In Vitro and In Vivo Experiments In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 86 Malette W, Quigley H, Gaines R, Johnson N, Rainer WG. Chitosan A New Hemostatic. Annals of Thorasic Surgery. 1983;36:55. 87 Malette W, Quigley H, Adickes ED. Chitosan effect in Vascular Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday, Eds: Chitin in Nature and Technology. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 88 Okamoto Y, Tomita T, Minami S, et al. Effects of Chitosan on experimental abscess with Staphylococcus aureus in dogs. J. Vet. Med., 1995;57(4):765-7. 89 Klokkevold PR, Lew DS, Ellis DG, Bertolami CN. Effect of Chitosan on lingual hemostasis in rabbits. Journal of Oral-Maxillofac-Surg, 1991;Aug. 49(8):858-63. 89 Surgery, Tissue Culture and Tissue Regeneration. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 90 Hiroshi S, Makoto K, Shoji A, Yoshikazu S. Antibacterial fiber blended with Chitosan. Sixth International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan. Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia, Poland. August 1994;16-19. 91 Shimai Y, Tsukuda K, Seino H. Antiacne preparations containing chitin, Chitosan or their partial degradation products. Jpn. Kikai Tokkyo Koho JP 04,288,017 [92,288,017] 13 Oct 1992. 92 Suzuki K, Okawa Y, Suzuki S, Suzuki M. Candidacidal effect of peritoneal exudate cells in mice administered with chitin or Chitosan: the role of serine protease in the mechanism of oxygen-independent candidacidal effect. Microbiol Immunol. 1987;31(4):375-9. 93 Sawada G, Akaha Y, Naito H, Fujita M. Synergistic food preservatives containing organic acids, Chitosan and citrus seed extracts. Jpn, Kokai Kokkyo Koho JP 04 27,373 [92 27,373] 30 Jan 1992. 94 Min H-K, Hatai K, Bai S. Some inhibitory effects of Chitosan on fishpathogenic oomycete, Saprolegnia parasitic. Gyobyo Kenkyu, 1994;29(2):73-4. 95 Nelson JL, Alexander JW, Gianotti L, Chalk CL, Pyles T. The influence of dietary fiber on microbial growth in vitro and bacterial translocation after burn injury in mice. Nutr 1994;10(1):32-6. 96 Ochiai Y, Kanazawa Y. Chitosan as virucide. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 79 41,326. 97 Hillyard IW, Doczi J, Kiernan. Antacid and antiulcer properties of the polysaccharide Chitosan in the rat. Proc Soc Expl Biol Med 1964; 115:1108-1112. 98 Shibasaki K, Sano H, MatsukuboT, Takaesu Y. pH response of human dental plaque to chewing gum supplemented with low molecular Chitosan. Bull- Tokyo-Dent-Coll, 1994:35(2): 61-6. 99 Kato H, Okuda H. Chitosan as antihypertensive. Jpn. Kikoi Tokyo Koho JP 06 56,674 [94 56,674] 100 Kato H, Taguchi T. Mechanism of the rise in blood pressure by sodium chloride and decrease effect of Chitosan on blood pressure. Baiosaiensu to Indasutori 1993;51(12):987-8. 101 Muzzarelli R, Biagini G, Pugnaoni A, Filippini O, Baldassarre V, Castaldini C, and Rizzoli C. Reconstruction of Periodontal Tissue with Chitosan. Biomaterials. 1989;10:598-603. 102 Sapelli P, Baldassarre V, Muzzarelli R, Emanuelli M. Chitosan in Dentistry. In Chitin in Nature and Technology. Eds: R Muzzarelli, C Jeuniaux, GW Gooday. Plenum Press, New York. 1986. 103 Borah G, Scott G, Wortham K. Bone induction by Chitosan in endochrondral bones of the extremities. In Advances in Chitin and Chitosan. Eds: CJ Brine, PA Sandford, JP Zikakis. Elsevier Applied Science. London. 1992. 104 Ito F. Role of Chitosan as a supplementary food for osteoporosis. Gekkan Fudo Kemikaru, 1995;11(2):39-44. 105 Nakamura S, Yoshioka T, hamada S, Kimura I. Chitosan for enhancement of bioavailability of calcium. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 07 194,316 [95 194,316] 01 Aug 1995. 106 Maekawa A, Wada M. Food Containing chitin or its derivatives for reduction of blood and urine Uric acid. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho JP 03 280,852 [91 280,852], 11 Dec 1991. 107 Weisberg M, Gubner R. Compositions for oral administration comprising Chitosan and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Antacid preparations for alleviating gastric hyperacidity. U.S. patent 3257275 108 Kanauchi O, Deuchi K, Imasato Y, Shizukuishi M, Kobayashi E. Mechanism for the inhibition of fat digestion by Chitosan and for the synergistic effect of ascorbate. Biosci Biotech Biochem1995;59(5):786-90. 109 McCausland CW. Fat Binding Properties of Chitosan as Compared to Other Dietary Fibers. Private communication. 24 Jan1995. 110 Deuchi K, Kanauchi O, Imasato Y, Kobayashi E. Biosci Biotech Biochem. 1994:58,1613-6. 111 Ebihara K, Schneeman BO. Interaction of bile acids, phospholipids, cholesterol and triglyceride with dietary fibers in the small intestine of rats. J Nutr 1989;119(8):1100-6. 112 Weil A, M.D. Natural Health Natural Medicine: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990:182. 113 Chen Y-H, Riby Y, Srivastava P, Bartholomew J, Denison M, Bjeldanes L. Regualtion of CYP1A1 by indolo[3,2-b]carbazole in murine hepatoma cells. J Biol Chem 1995;270(38):22548-55. 114 Intestinal Absorption of metal ions and chelates. Ashmead HD, Graff DJ, Ashmead HH. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL 1985. 115 Nutrient Interactions. Bodwell CE, Erdman JW Jr. Marcel Dekker New York 1988. 116 Heleniak EP, Aston B. Prostaglandins, Brown Fat and Weight Loss. Medical Hypotheses 1989;28:13-33. 117 Connor WE, DeFrancesco CA, Connor SL. N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients. Ann NY Acad Sci 1993;683:16-34. 118 Conte AA. A non-prescription alternative in weight reduction therapy. The Bariatrician Summer 1993:17-19. 119 McCarty MF. Inhibition of citrate lyase may aid aerobic endurance. Unpublished manuscript. 120 Bray GA. Weight homeostasis. Annual Rev Med 1991;42:205-216. 121 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of Ephedrin/Methylxanthine mixtures: Human studies. Intl J Obesity 986;10:467-481. 122 Arai K, Kinumaki T, Fujita, T. Bulletin Tokai Regional Fisheries Res Lab. 1968;No. 56. 123 Bough WA. Private communication. 124 Freidrich EJ, Gehan, EA, Rall DP, Schmidt LH, Skipper HE. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1966;50(4):219-244. 125 A Drovanti, AA Bignamini, AL Rovati. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clinical Therapeutics 1980;3(4):260-272. 126 K Deuchi, O Kanauchi, M Shizukuishi, E Kobayashi. Continuous and massive intake of Chitosan affects mineral and fat-soluble vitamin status in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci. Biotech. Biochemistry. 1995;59(7):1211-6. 127 . BesChitin W in Chitin Wound Healing (video), Unitika Corporation, April 1992.
CHITOSAN: The Fiber that Binds Fat
June 25, 2005 07:55 PM
Chitosan is a natural product that inhibits fat absorption. It has the potential to revolutionize the process of losing weight and by so doing, reduce the incidence of some of the most devastating Western diseases we face today. Chitosan is indigestable and non-absorbable. Fats bound to chitosan become nonabsorbable thereby negating their caloric value. Chitosan-bound fat leaves the intestinal tract having never entered the bloodstream. Chitosan is remarkable in that it has the abilty to absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in fat.60
The same features that allow chitosan to bind fats endow it with many other valuable properties that work to promote health and prevent disease. Chitosan is a remarkable substance whose time has come.
Chitin, the precursor to Chitosan, was first discovered in mushrooms by the French professor Henri Braconnot in 1811.61 In the 1820’s chitin was also isolated from insects.62 Chitin is an extremely long chain of N-acetyl-D-glucoseamine
glucoseamine units. Chitin is the most abundant natural fiber next to cellulose and is similar to cellulose in many respects. The most abundant source of chitin is in the shells of shellfish such as crab and shrimp. The worldwide shellfish harvest is estimated to be able to supply 50,000 tons of chitin annually.63 The harvest in the United States alone could produce over 15,000 tons of chitin each year.64
Chitin has a wide range of uses but that is the subject of another book. Chitosan was discovered in 1859 by Professor C. Rouget.65 It is made by cooking chitin in alkali, much like the process for making natural soaps. After it
is cooked the links of the chitosan chain are made up of glucosamine units. Each glucosamine unit contains a free amino group. These groups can take on a positive charge which gives chitosan its amazing properties. The stucture of chitosan is represented schematically in Figure 2. Research on the uses of chitin and Chitosan flourished in the 1930s and early 1940s but the rise of synthetic fibers, like the rise of synthetic medicines, overshadowed the interest in natural products. Interest in natural products, including chitin and chitosan, gained a resurgence in the 1970s and has continued to expand ever since. Uses of Chit osan Some of Chitosan's major uses—both Industrial and Health and Nutritional—are listed in Tables 5 and 6.
Chitosan has been used for about three decades in water purification processes. 67 When chitosan is spread over oil spills it holds the oil mass together making it easier to clean up the spill. Water purification plants throughout the world use chitosan to remove oils, grease, heavy metals, and fine particulate matter that cause turbidity in waste water streams.
Fat Binding/ Weight Loss
Like some plant fibers, chitosan is not digestible; therefore it has no caloric value. No matter how much chitosan you ingest, its calorie count remains at
fibers, chitosan’s unique properties give it the ability to significantly bind fat, acting like a “fat sponge” in the digestive tract. Table 7 shows a comparison of chitosan and other natural fibers and their ability to inhibit fat absorption. Under optimal conditions, Chitosan can bind an average of 4 to 5 times its weight with all the lipid aggregates tested.60 (NOTE: This assessment was made without the addition of ascorbic acid which potentiates this action even further.77 Studies in Helsinki have shown that individuals taking chitosan lost an average of 8 percent of their body weight in a 4-week period.76 Chitosan has increased oil-holding capacity over other fibers.108 Among the abundant natural fibers, chitosan is unique. This uniqueness is a result of chitosan’s amino groups which make it an acid absorbing (basic) fiber. Most natural fibers are neutral or acidic. Table 7 summarizes the in vivo effects in animals of various fibers on fecal lipid excretion. As can be seen from the results listed, ingestion of chitosan resulted in 5-10 times more fat excretion than any other fiber tested. D-Glucosamine, the building block of chitosan, is not able to increase fecal fat excretion. This is due to the fact that glucosamine is about 97 percent absorbed while chitosan is nonabsorbable. Fats bound to glucosamine would likely be readily absorbed along with the glucosamine. Chitosan, on the other hand, is not absorbed and therefore fats bound to chitosan can not be absorbed.
Chitosan has the very unique ability to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while boosting HDL cholesterol (the good kind).78 Laboratory tests performed on rats showed that “chitosan depresses serum and liver cholesterol levels in cholesterol- fed rats without affecting performance, organ weight or the nature of the feces.”79 Japanese researchers have concluded that Chitosan “appears to be an effective hypocholesterolemic agent.”80 In other words, it can effectively lower blood serum cholesterol levels with no apparent side effects. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Chitosan is as effective in mammals as cholestryramine (a cholesterol lowering drug) in controlling blood serum cholesterol without the deleterious side effects typical of cholestryramine. 81 Chitosan decreased blood cholesterol levels by 66.2 percent.82 It effectively lowered cholesterol absorption more than guar gum or cellulose.83 Laboratory test results indicated that a 7.5% chitosan formula maintained adequate cholesterol levels in rats, despite a dramatic increase in the intake of cholesterol. 84
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.