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Marijuana found to lower blood flow to the brain: Study authorssuggest this may increase risk of dementia, but this effect also makes itmedicinally useful for epileptics
May 10, 2019 02:17 PM
Scientific literature on how marijuana works on the body is rapidly expanding. Right now, there are a plethora of studies on how marijuana works on the human brain. Some studies have shown that it can be effective in treating disorders of the brain like epilepsy. Recent tests show that marijuana can increase the risk of dementia because it restricts the flow of blood to the brain. These brain areas are essential for memory development. The area most affected is the hippocampus which can result in Alzheimer’s if prolonged. The researchers for the study used single photo emission computed tomography (SPECT) to measure blood flow to the brain after taking marijuana and they reported that there were very low and abnormal blood flow levels observed. This is when compared with persons who did not take marijuana. 982 patients were selected from a wide variety of data sources that was available to the researchers concerning persons who previously used or were still using marijuana. The results of the study showed that persons taking marijuana were at a risk of dementia due to the low blood flow to their hippocampus.
"Users were analyzed using a brain SPECT and by conducting mental concentration tests against a sample of 100 people who had not used marijuana to determine whether there were significant differences that arose between users and non-users of cannabis."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-19-marijuana-lowers-blood-flow-to-the-brain-may-be-useful-for-epileptics.html
Antimicrobial properties of red ginseng make it a great naturalcure for acne
May 06, 2019 03:42 PM
Phytotherapy Research recently published new South Korean research indicating the effectiveness of red ginseng extract against acne symptoms. They studied red ginseng ethanol extract and found that it exhibits comparable anti-microbial properties to those of the most common antibiotic acne medications. Red ginseng has been prized throughout Asia for its medicinal properties for many years. It also has other effects that can help fight acne, including boosting the immune system and improving sleep quality and endocrine balance throughout the body.
"They found that red ginseng ethanol extract exhibited similar, if not even better, antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes compared to benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-21-red-ginseng-a-great-natural-cure-for-acne.html
Omega-3 fatty acids found to control non-alcoholic fatty liverdisease
January 16, 2019 12:13 PM
There are a lot of liver diseases that are a possibility for people who do not take care of their bodies. If you drink a lot of alcohol, or put other toxins into your body, you will find that your liver does not react very nicely. It is hard to put into words how important your liver is. Therefore, this new finding of Omega-3 acids being able to control certain liver diseases that do not relate to alcohol is very riveting.
"The researchers recommended that children with NAFLD be given a minimum of 250 milligrams of DHA each day, while adults should take no less than 3 grams of both EPA and DHA daily."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-15-omega-3-fatty-acids-control-non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease.html
Medical News Today: How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: 6 Useful Steps
December 07, 2016 08:59 AM
Type 2 diabetes is a dangerous disease that becoming alarmingly frequent. If you're over the age of 45, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or any of the other common risk factors, some easy lifestyle changes like a proper healthy diet and adequate exercise can help keep type 2 diabetes at bay.
"Insulin plays a crucial role in delivering glucose, or sugar, into the cells. This glucose is then used for energy."
How to Detoxify the Body
Free radicals are elements in the body that attacks healthy cells, resulting to cellular and tissue damage. When this happens, mild conditions such as weight gain to serious illnesses such as cancer may occur. The production of more and more free radicals intensifies due to several factors. Pollution, the food you eat, different kinds of chemicals found in the environment and the daily stress you go through are all factors that contribute to the increase of free radicals. Thus, detoxification should be a must for everybody.
Detox means cleansing the body of toxins and harmful elements. The importance of detoxification has intensified as years go by. The modern world has not only offered outstanding innovations but many deadly diseases. The many benefits of detox can help counter these unhealthy occurrences.
What are some of the Benefits of Detoxifying the Body?
This is among the exciting benefits one can get from detoxification. Just like a clean house or a clean car engine, you would feel a heightened vitality as harmful elements are flushed out of your system. This boosts in energy will help you accomplish daily tasks and even go to the gym after work.
Detoxification cleanses essential organs such as the liver, kidneys and colon. These organs are crucial in the body’s waste management system. Buildup of toxins in the body can slow down the work that they do. Overtime, when the stress is too much to bear, these organs may experience fatigue, disrupting their function. Diseases associated with abnormally functioning liver and kidneys can become serious medical conditions. Therefore, proper care and management is important.
Weight loss can just be a bonus when you choose to detox. Because you are choosing to live healthily, you can rid yourself of excessive calories, salt, sugar and other unhealthy foods that compromises your detoxification process. Also, as you continue with a good cleansing regimen, your organs will be able to function well, improving your metabolism.
How Can You Detoxify?
The “father of plants”, Alfalfa, is gaining popularity in the field of detox. Alfalfa has roots that can reach 20 to 30ft down the ground. For this unique characteristic, minerals and essential vitamins are rich in Alfalfa. Traditionally, the herb’s parts from its leaves to the seeds are used as medicine. It is a good source of minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorous and Zinc, as well as vitamins A, C and E.
Alfalfa, as early as the 6th century, has been beneficial for its role in treating many health issues such as kidney problems, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, digestive problems and auto-immune illnesses. Today, more and more health problems are being addressed by the use of Alfalfa. Detoxification using the herb also became popular due to its natural ability to eliminate excess fluid and toxins in the body. Aside from this, its vitamins and mineral properties are useful for people who are trying to lose weight.
Detoxification should be a healthy process. Make sure to make it as one by using the right detox ingredient.
What you may need to know about Vitamin B2
January 05, 2014 09:06 AM
What you may need to know about Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin or additive E101, is one of the eight (8) B vitamins that are necessary for maintaining proper human health. This nutrient serves several roles in the body. Most important of all, vitamin B2 helps in breaking down food components, including proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Secondly, it plays a critical role in maintaining the body’s energy supply. Thirdly, it is necessary for maintaining body tissues.
Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. On its part, vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin. Generally, these types of vitamins get absorbed fast into the bloodstream and any excess eliminated through urine. This means that regular replenishment is required.
As vitamin B2 is a vital nutrient, its deficiency may lead to several health complications. Some of the symptoms of the nutrient’s deficiency include sore throats, mouth ulcers, abnormally red lips, inflammation of the tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth (technically known as angular cheilitis), inflammation of the lining of the mouth, and iron-deficiency anemia.
Can Butcher's Broom Help Fight Varicose Veins?
January 11, 2013 12:36 PM
Varicose Veins are abnormally thick veins that are twisted and enlarged. This problem occurs mostly in the leg and thigh veins. The thickened and twisted veins are called varicose veins. They can occur anywhere, but they mostly form in the legs because the legs work against gravity. Standing all day can increase the pressure on leg veins and cause varicose veins.
The normal function of veins is to carry blood from the outer body parts to the heart and lungs. The veins are provided with one-way valves, which prevent the blood from flowing backward within the vein. Defective or damaged valves are the main reason for varicose veins, as they allow the blood to flow backward, when it should be actually flowing up towards the heart. As the muscles contract to empty the veins, pressure builds up and this causes in the flow of more blood in the wrong way. Thus the pressure on the veins is increased and this causes varicose veins.
Factors that Aggravate Varicose Veins
There are different types of treatments available to shrink varicose veins and to improve circulation, from simple home remedies to surgeries or medications for severe cases. Natural supplements like Butcher's broom are considered to be a very effective treatment for varicosities.
Butcher's broom is a small, clump-forming evergreen shrub with tiny green flowers. It is an aromatic, diuretic and mildly laxative herb that helps reduce inflammation, increase perspiration and constrict the veins. The whole plant, young shoots and roots are used medically. Young shoots can be eaten like asparagus. It grows commonly in woodlands and hedgerows, and also on coastal cliffs. It is widely grown from Iran to the Mediterranean and the United States.
Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus, but it is commonly known as butcher's broom because butcher's used the stiff twigs to clean their cutting boards. The herb has been used for nearly 2000 years, but its medicinal uses have become common only from the last century. Investigations conducted in the 1950s indicated that butcher's broom can induce vasoconstriction and thus might be useful in treating circulatory diseases.
How It Works?
The two primary chemicals in butcher's broom, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin, can cause the blood vessels to narrow or constrict. Their anti-inflammatory properties help improve blood circulation in legs by preventing pooling of blood and reduce swelling.
Butcher's broom is used internally to treat venous problems that vary from varicose veins to hemorrhoids. It is also used to strengthen the veins and capillaries. Butcher's broom may be the best natural solution for varicose vein treatment, because it helps with blood flow and circulation.
Can Fenugreek Seed Help Lower Blood Sugar?
May 17, 2012 08:47 AM
The cells essentially need glucose since it supplies them with energy, and it is the simple sugar traveling in the blood that provides the cell with glucose. Glucose moves from the blood into the cells with the help of the insulin hormone. At times, the body fails at producing insulin or starts reacting abnormally to the insulin in the blood. This way, the cells are not able to use the glucose, which causes the glucose to continue accumulating in the blood until the glucose levels in the blood become really high.
The severity of this condition can lead to diabetes. Fortunately, people can keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range by using fenugreek seeds, which is a herb this is capable of lowering blood sugar. Before consuming fenugreek, it is better if people consult their doctor and follow their doctor's advice.
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum, is a plant that is also known as Greek hayseed, and it bears seeds. For thousands of years, the Fenugreek seeds have bee used in Ayurveda or traditional Indian medicine. Fenugreek is generally recommended as a remedy for digestive problems, since constipation is relieved and lactation is promoted by the seeds of this herb. Even diabetes, high cholesterol and inflammation can be treated using these seeds. Several biologically active components are contained fenugreek, which lessen the amount of blood sugar, lowering blood sugar levels.
What are the Properties Fenugreek?
Natural chemicals known as saponins and alkaloids are contained in Fenugreek. The way in which carbohydrates are converted by the digestive system into glucose and way in which insulin is secreted and used by the body is affected by some of these compounds. The saponins cause lesser glucose to be absorbed from digested nutrients. The amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas and the number of insulin receptors on red blood cells are increased by the rest of the compounds. Abundant fiber is also contained in fenugreek seeds, as a result of which the absorption of the glucose derived from carbohydrate after a meal is slowed down.
Is There Any Evidence that Fenugreek Helps Lower Blood Sugar?
It has been suggested by several laboratory studies that fenugreek indeed keeps the blood sugar levels in control. The benefits of fenugreek and its seeds have also been suggested by several clinical studies with human subjects. While large trials have not yet been conducted, the present findings seem to be quite promising and definitely suggest that fenugreek effectively lower blood sugar levels.
Precautions and Recommendations
A variety of health food stores are currently selling fenugreek extract and fenugreek seeds. While there is no standard dosage of consuming the extract or the seeds, but it is better if about five grams of the seeds per day or one gram of the extract per day is consumed. Fenugreek might result in mild abdominal bloating or gastric upset, but overall it is regarded safe to use. Thus, consuming fenugreek seeds or extract can prove to be beneficial for the people who are suffering from high blood sugar levels or diabetes.
The Benefits of the Amazing Duo of CoQ10 and Red Yeast Rice
March 11, 2012 03:08 PM
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver that provides a number of benefits to the body. A problem occurs when the level of blood LDL or bad cholesterol goes beyond a normal level. High level of bad cholesterol in the body can inflict damage to the arteries during the process of oxidation which can lead to the heavy accumulation of stiffened fats and deposits in the walls of the arteries. This can constrict the arteries that eventually lead to a minimal flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and brain. Inadequate supply of blood to the heart and brain can trigger heart attack and stroke. When the kidney perceives an inadequacy in the supply of blood to the brain and heart, it produces substances that help in increasing the supply of blood to these organs. However, in effect, it also increases blood pressure.
Many serious health complications emanate from abnormally high levels of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the body. As people get older, their awareness about maintaining an optimum level of cholesterol should increase significantly. Undeniably, cardiovascular diseases that are triggered by high levels of cholesterol in the body have been one of the major causes of death worldwide.
Red Yeast Rice
Intake of red yeast rice is considered to be one of the most effective alternative ways to lower the level of cholesterol in the body. It is produced by fermenting a certain type of red yeast that is poured over the rice. Researchers believed that red yeast rice contains high levels of substance lovastatin that inhibits the production of enzyme HMG-CoA reductase which is responsible in regulating the production of cholesterol in the body. Red yeast rice actually contains sufficient amount of monacolin K and 8 more monacolin substances that are work like statin drugs in reducing the level of cholesterol. Basically, the substances prevent the liver from producing alarming level of bad cholesterol.
Lowering Effects of LDL
Red yeast rice is a great alternative choice for patients who are searching for non-prescription ways of lowering their cholesterol. A clinical study shows that red yeast rice can significantly lower the level of cholesterol in the body by as much as 20% without exposing the victim to the risk of suffering from muscle pain. Another study reveals that after taking 1800mg of RYR daily for 12 weeks, the users' bad cholesterol level have significantly drop by 27%.
Red yeast rice is actually an FDA-recognized dietary supplement. It is renowned for its capacity to work similar to a statin drug that effectively drives the body to achieve an optimum level of cholesterol. A number of scientific studies revealed that intake of red yeast rice can significantly lower the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Furthermore, studies show that continuous intake of red yeast rice can contribute a lot in improving the amount of total cholesterol.
Together with red yeast rice, CoQ10 make an amazing duo in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the body and promote overall cardiovascular health. Intake of CoQ10 is highly recommended to people who take red yeast rice because CoQ10 provides energy and strength to the heart when pumping blood to other organs. When used together, CoQ10 and red yeast rice can increase the transfer of oxygen and energy between the cells and the blood which leads to a significant reduction in the level of cholesterol produced.
What Supplements Are Useful In Combating Blood Clots?
October 04, 2011 03:14 PM
Vitamins And Your Health
As we know for a fact, one of the properties of blood is its ability to coagulate in order to stop bleeding. This coagulated blood is commonly known as a clot. Blood clot is important to the body to prevent excessive bleeding and serves as a vital part in the process of inflammation and wound healing. However, if a clot occurs abnormally it can cause significant danger to the body. A blood clot can cause obstruction in the circulation and may result to life - threatening health conditions such as heart attacks, cerebrovascular accident or strokes and pulmonary embolism. It can also cause poor tissue oxygenation and perfusion which can damage the affected cells and might cause disability or inability to function of certain organs or body part.
There are many traditional modalities in preventing and treating abnormal blood clot formation. One of the most commonly used is the medication called Aspirin in low – dosage. This conventional drug is popularly prescribed by doctors to decrease the clotting property of the blood. However, in emergency cases, a surgical procedure may be deemed important to remove the blood clot which significantly interrupts proper blood circulation.
Aside from medications, there are many supplements that have the capacity to decrease the risk of abnormal blood clotting. These include supplements high in:
1. FISH OILS. Fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acid which has the capacity to thin the blood. Therefore, if the blood is not viscous, the pressure inside the blood vessel is lesser as well. A high blood pressure can cause damage to the walls of the blood vessels, thus activating blood clot formation. Also, a non – viscous blood can also better circulate into smaller blood vessels than that of a viscous blood, therefore, enhancing tissue oxygenation. Clinical studies also revealed that omega – 3 fatty acids can effectively decrease Thromboxane A which is one of the clotting factors found among platelets.
2. CHAMOMILE. This herb has an anti – platelet property. It has a mild to moderate effect in regulating clot formation.
3. GINGER. Ginger has many health benefits. One of its promising benefits is its mild anti – platelet property and its ability to dissolve fibrin. This herb is widely used as a supplement to enhance blood circulation all over the body.
4. CATECHIN AND QUERCETIN. These chemical compounds are classified as antioxidants. They can effectively reduce the adhesion property of platelets.
5. CURCUMIN. This chemical comes from the spice called turmeric. This is considered to be an anti – thrombotic, as well as a potent anti – inflammatory agent.
6. DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE (DHEA). This substance is primarily an anti – aging agent. However, studies reveal that it can significantly reduce the process of inflammation by preventing the substance that can generate inflammation within the veins, arteries and capillaries called Cytokines. With decreased production of cytokines, it will result to lesser coagulation and clumping of platelets and reduced movement of bad cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) into the walls of the blood vessels, thus decreasing the chance of clot formation and atherosclerosis.
7. VITAMINS C AND E. These vitamins are important for preventing abnormal collagen – induced platelet activation by inhibiting the production of hydrogen peroxide. Vitamins C and E are also important in many enzymatic actions that regulate blood cholesterol levels.
Natural Anxiety Remedies
November 11, 2010 05:44 PM
Anxiety disorder is a much more common problem than what was once thought. It often affects people in their teenage years through middle age and later. Anxiety disorder appears to affect twice as many women as men. However, there may not be that wide of a disparity between the sexes. Psychologists simply believe that men are far less prone to report or even acknowledge that they have a problem of this nature. Anxiety disorders can either be acute or chronic. Acute anxiety disorder manifests itself in episodes that are commonly known as panic attacks. A panic attack occurs when the body’s natural “fight or flight” reaction occurs at the wrong time. This is a complex response in which the body prepares itself to deal with an emergency situation. Stress can often cause the body to produce more adrenal hormones, especially adrenaline. The increased production of adrenaline causes the body to step up its metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to quickly produce energy for the body to use. Additionally, the muscles tense up and the heartbeat and breathing become more rapid.
When faced with an assault, accident, or a natural disaster, this type of reaction is perfectly normal. However, the symptoms that are caused by the surge in adrenaline can be distressing and frightening when they occur at the wrong time. A person having a panic attack is often overwhelmed by a sense of impending disaster or death, which makes it impossible to think clearly. Other feelings that can accompany a panic attack include shortness of breath, a smothering, claustrophobic sensation, heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, hot flashes or chills, trembling, numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities, sweating, nausea, a feeling of unreality, and a distorted perception of the passage of time. This disorder can eventually have other cumulative effects such as generalized aches and pains, muscular twitching and stiffness, depression, insomnia, nightmares and early waking, decreased libido, and abnormal feelings of tension with an accompanying inability to relax.
Panic attacks are usually abrupt and intense, occurring at any time of the day or night, and lasting from several seconds up to half an hour. To the panic sufferer, it often feels as though they are much longer. A person having a panic attack sometimes believes that he or she is experiencing a heart attack or stroke. The attacks themselves are very unpredictable, with some people experiencing one every few weeks, and others having several each day. Panic attacks are often triggered by stress or certain emotions, but they can also be a response to certain foods, drugs, or illness.
Many people with acute anxiety disorder become afraid of being alone and visiting public places because they fear having a panic attack. This only adds to the level of anxiety and leads to abnormally restricted lives. Psychologists often believe that at least in some cases, panic attacks are self-induced, meaning that the fear of the panic attack is the very thing that brings it on. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with anxiety disorders: calcium, magnesium, B1, B12, multivitamin and mineral complex, SAMe, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, chromium picolinate, DLPA, L-glutamine, coenzyme A, essential fatty acids, GABA, melatonin, bilberry, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle, catnip, chamomile, cramp bark, kava kava, hops, linden flower, motherwort, passionflower, skullcap, fennel, lemon balm, willow bark, feverfew, St. John’s wort, skullcap, valerian root, and mandarin oil.
Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at VitaNet ®, LLC Vitamin Store.
The Good and Bad of an iron supplement
April 25, 2010 06:04 PM
Iron holds a crucial role in the physiology of the body. It is a central part of the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules. Iron is indispensable to the body’s ability to transport gases into and out of the cell. It is necessary in many important enzymes that are involved in energy production, metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Some iron is lost when red blood cells are broken down and excreted in the bile. However, because of iron’s importance, the body is able to conserve iron at all costs, as the kidneys do not eliminate the metal.
The dark side of iron supplementation comes when iron is consumed in amounts that are excessive to the body’s needs. Although unbound iron is more likely to cause oxidative challenges through the generation of free radicals, excessive iron supplementation in any form can cause huge problems for the cell. The overload of iron can cause deterioration of the gut lining, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal and joint pain, liver damage, loss of weight, and intense fatigue. In children, acute doses as low as 3 grams can cause death.
About one out of every 250 North Americans suffer from haemochromatosis, which is a genetic defect that is common in a lot of those people of northern European descent. This disorder causes the body to accumulate and abnormally store high levels of iron. Those people with haemochromatosis store twice as much iron as others, which places them at increased risk for iron-related diseases. Symptoms of these diseases generally occur after fifty years of age and often include things ranging from fatigue, abdominal pain, achy joints, impotence, and symptoms that mimic diabetes.
Several studies have produced evidence which suggests that high levels of iron contribute to noticeable increases in the risk for cardiovascular disease. This is likely due to non-haeme iron’s aggressive pro-oxidant nature. Iron levels are one of the strongest biochemical markers for the progression of atherosclerosis, which results from increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A study in 1995 conducted on Finnish men found that those who had high body stores of iron also had a substantially increased risk of heart attack. Those men who posses the highest levels of stored iron often showed a levels of risk that was up to three times that of men who possessed the lowest levels of stored iron.
Disorders in iron accumulation contribute to a whole host of other disease states, all of which are degenerative in nature. Studies have shown that chronic iron overload contributes to increased infections, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and various congenitive dysfunctions. The only way to remove excess iron is through blood letting, unless you are a woman with regular menses. That is why, for men, iron overload can provide quite a problematic issue. Recent research has found that long-term supplementation with iron at doses less than 5 mg/day can lead to iron-overload toxicity. Because of this, it is recommended that the upper limit of iron intake be at 5 mg/day when considering a product’s rating. Any product that contains iron at a daily dose greater than this limit is penalized with this rating criterion.
But for those who need iron, it can easily be obtained through a vitamin supplement at your local or internet health food store. Men should avoid iron supplements and products containing iron, but women on the other hand due to monthly blood loss should supplement with iron regularly.
September 28, 2009 11:10 AM
Figwort is the common name for some members of the Scrophulariaceae family, which is comprised mainly of herbs and small shrubs. These plants are distributed widely over all continents, with the family including few types of climbing plants and some parasitic and saprophytic forms.
There are approximately 2800 species and 200 genera of Figword distributed worldwide. Many of these grow in the American Northwest. The name was derived from European species of Scrophularia, which is the common figwort. The plants are used to treat hemorrhoids, which were known as figs. Additionally, figworts were used to treat scrofula, which is a form of tuberculosis that is carried in the milk of infected cows.
Figwort finds the majority of its use in the treatment of skin problems. In a broad manner, it acts to help the body function well. This herb brings about a state of inner cleanliness. Figwort may be used for eczema, psoriasis, and any skin condition where there is itching and irritation. Part of the cleansing that comes from figwort is due to the purgative and diuretic actions that it possesses. The herb may be used as a mild laxative to treat constipation. It can also be used as a heart stimulant. For safety purposes, figwort should be avoided where there is any abnormally rapid heartbeat.
The figwort family is characterized by irregular, bilaterally symmetrical flowers with four to five petal, joined to a calax and four to five petals, joined to a corolla. This forms a tube, with the petals flaring outward at the end. The lower ones form a down turned lip. The flowers are bisexual and are sometimes brightly colored. The leaves of the plant are alternate, opposite, and sometimes whorled. The fruit is typically a two-chambered capsule. Some common hemiparasites can be found in the figwort family. Among these are Indian paintbrush, owl’s clover, lousewort, and bird’s beak. These hemiparasites have green, photosynthetic leaves. A substantial portion of the parasite’s carbon comes from the host plant, which is parasitized from the roots.
Figwort is typically used as a skin medication for eczema, scabies, tumors, and rashes. The herb also provides hormone-like materials that are helpful in soothing the digestive organs. The herb has diuretic properties and can help to clean the kidneys. Figwort is sometimes used to treat circulatory disorders and may assist with the treatment of varicose veins. The herb is recommended for its ability to lower high blood pressure. Figwort can be used as poultice for ulcers, piles, scrofulous gland sin the neck, sores, wounds, and toothaches.
The leaves, stems, and roots of the figwort plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, bitter, demulcent, diuretic, purgative, parasiticide, and stimulant properties. Primarily, figwort is extremely beneficial in dealing with abrasions, athlete’s foot, cradle cap, fever, impetigo, indigestion, restlessness, and skin diseases. Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, burns, cuts, eczema, hemorrhoids, insomnia, kidney problems, and light flow in menstruation, nightmares, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by figwort, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
June 26, 2009 12:15 PM
Depression affects 22 percent of Americans between the ages of eighteen and older each year. It is one of the most common medical problems in the United States. Depression affects both young and old, and women twice as much as men. Depression is an illness of the whole body. It affects the nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. It also affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you react to and think about the people and things around you. Symptoms of depression can last for weeks, months, or years. There are various types of depression, which vary in the number of symptoms, the severity, and persistence.
People with depression generally withdraw and hide from society, losing interest in things around them and becoming incapable of experiencing pleasure. Symptoms of depression include chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, restlessness, irritability, quickness to anger, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies, and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Many people who are depressed think about death and consider suicide. Things appear bleak and time seems to pass slowly. Someone with depression can be chronically angry and irritable, sad and despairing, or display little or no emotion at all. Some people try to sleep off depression, while others do nothing but sit or lie around.
There are three main types of clinical depression: major depressive disorder, dysthmyic disorder, and bipolar depression. There are variations in the number of associated mental symptoms, severity, and persistence within these types. Dysthmic disorder is a chronic, but less severe type of depresses ion. It is characterized by milder, persistent symptoms that may last for years. It usually doesn’t interfere with everyday tasks. Bipolar disorders usually begin as depression but progress into alternating episodes of depression and mania, characterized by abnormally and persistently elevated mood, energy, restlessness, or irritability. Bipolar depression is commonly known as manic depression. It has other symptoms including inflated self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep, and increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, physical agitation, and excessive risk-taking.
The causes of depression are not fully understood. However, it is assumed that there are most likely many and they are varied. Depression may be triggered by tension, stress, a traumatic life event, a hyper-stimulated immune system, chemical imbalances in the brain, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, the consumption of sugar, mononucleosis, lack of exercise, endometriosis, any serious physical disorder, or even allergies. Whatever the factors that trigger it, depression starts with a disturbance in the part of the brain that governs moods. Most people can handle everyday stresses, with their bodies simply readjusting to these pressures. When stress is too great for a person and his or her adjustment mechanism is unresponsive, depression may be triggered.
The following vitamin nutrients are helpful for those who are suffering from depression: essential fatty acids, 5-HTP, L-tyrosine, SAMe, taurine, omega-3, vitamin B complex, zinc, choline, calcium, magnesium, chromium, GABA, lithium, NADH, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: lemon balm, ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root, oat straw, peppermint, Siberian ginseng, kava kava, and St. John’s wort.
Great vitamin supplements like the ones listed above are available at your local or internet health food store. When looking for natural vitamin supplements, always look for name brands to ensure that you receive a high quality and pure product.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
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.
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.
The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.
Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.
Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diterpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.
It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.
Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.
In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.
This indicates a reduction in glycogenolysis, by which glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from glycogen and carbohydrates.
However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.
Pomeratrol™ Fact Sheet
December 19, 2005 09:09 AM
Pomeratrol™ Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 9/28/04
USER: Those needing antioxidant protection; People with a family history of cell growth abnormalities; Anyone concerned with aging
KEY INGREDIENT(S): Pomegranate fruit standardized extract 200 mg. (Punica granatum) containing 80% total polyphenols, including 40% Ellagic acid, Resveratrol (100% trans-resveratrol) 20 mg. from a blend of Japanese knotweed root extract (Polygonum cuspidatum) and grape skin extract (Vitis vinifera)
POTENTIAL BENEFITS: Ellagic acid is a polyphenol compound found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and other fruit. It has been shown to normalize cell death of abnormal cells, a process called apoptosis. This enhances the body’s cell growth control system by providing an important plant substance. It may bind to DNA to prevent damage to this all-important genetic material. This is a key step in preventing cell damage that leads to signs of aging.
The American Cancer Society says that research in animal and laboratory models has found that ellagic acid inhibits the abnormal growth of certain cells. Research at Ohio State University indicates that berries typically contain a few milligrams per ounce of ellagic acid, the actual level varying quite a bit from variables such as species, variety and growing conditions.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant compound that is a phytoestrogen, or plant estrogen, which is protective of hormone-mediated cells in the body. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant if stabilized. If not stable, it may quickly metabolize out of the body. This compound is believed responsible for some of the beneficial effects of moderate red wine drinking on the cardiovascular system. Resveratrol is also considered to be beneficial to smokers’ lung tissue if it is stabilized to last long enough in the system to be transported there. Resveratrol is also an inhibitor of the COX-2 inflammatory enzyme and encourages cell death (apoptosis) of abnormally growing cells. In insect experiments resveratrol even repaired DNA, leading to a longer life for healthy cells even as it helped get rid of unhealthy cells. Again, this ability to protect cells and help the body rid itself of abnormal cells is a key factor in preventing signs of aging. One liter of red wine contains between 1.5 and 3 mg. of resveratrol.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Resveratrol is a difficult substance to stabilize. Because of the difference between resveratrol produced in the oxygen-poor environment in red wine and the form of resveratrol in unstabilized supplements, it has long been thought that resveratrol supplements were not very effective in comparison with wine. Knowing the importance of how a resveratrol supplement is metabolized, Now’s scientific staff has recently developed a special technique of stabilizing this compound in order to have an antioxidant effect closer to drinking a good glass of wine. While both trans and cis forms of resveratrol are naturally occurring, most of the recorded health benefits are attributed to the trans form. Now’s Pomeratrol provides trans-resveratrol.
DOSE: One capsule per day. Resveratrol has been used safely in studies at doses equivalent to 500 mg./day.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Other antioxidants and plant compounds: Vitamin C, pycnogenol, grape seed extract, and alpha lipoic acid.
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. There are some indications that resveratrol is a mild anticoagulant ("blood thinner"), and it also may help keep blood vessels to remain open and flexible. Caution should be used by those on blood-thinning drugs. Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Natural Progesterone and Menopause
July 25, 2005 10:15 PM
Natural Progesterone and Menopause
During the thirties and forties of a woman’s lifetime, progesterone production can decrease resulting in shorter intervals between periods. For example, when the ovaries produce progesterone for only 9 days rather than the normal 14, menstruation may occur every 24 days rather than the usual 28 days. In addition, low levels of progesterone coupled with an estrogen dominance can cause the lining of the uterus to build up leading to abnormally heavy menstrual flows or even spotting between periods. Many women who are in perimenopause (the years just prior to the onset of menopause) experience these symptoms in combination with intensified PMS. Weight gain, bloating, headaches, irritability, depression, and anxiety are common complaints for women in their late thirties and throughout the forties. Frequently, these women had no cycle-related problems in their earlier years and suddenly become all to aware of a whole host of troubling symptoms. More often than not, a drop in progesterone and an estrogen overload are to blame.
Just because a woman no longer ovulates or has a menstrual cycle does not mean that she no longer needs to achieve a proper ratio of hormones. On the contrary, it is during these years that the right kind of hormonal supplementation needs to be implemented or menopausal symptoms and diseases like osteoporosis may develop. Today, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is recommended for many postmenopausal women with the assumption that it can help pre vent heart disease, osteoporosis and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately much controversy surrounds the prescription of synthetic hormones due to their potentially dangerous side effects. Ideally, a far better solution would be to supply the body with the proper natural biochemical building blocks to prompt the production of natural hormones. This is where phytoestrogens or plant-based compounds such as dioscorea (wild yam) can play a profoundly important role in managing menopausal disorders such as osteoporosis.
Smell Perception, Hearing and Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:00 PM
Smell Perception, Hearing and Ginkgo
Over 200,000 visits to the doctor annually are due to lack of smell or the diminished ability to smell properly. In addition, an abnormally heightened sense of smell can also be a problem.
Interestingly, these types of smell disorders are commonly seen in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Both of these disorders are the result of faulty bio-chemical reactions in the brain. Ginkgo is one of the supplements that has been re p o rted to help smell perception. Effective dosages would depend on the degree of severity and the current nutritional status of the person. Ginkgo as a Treatment for Tinnit us When circulation is improved, frequently hearing does as well.
Ginkgo helps to oxygenate tissues more effectively which can enhance nutrient transport to the nerves of the inner ear. As a result, conditions such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) may be alleviated. Tinnitus is a very difficult condition to effectively treat. If the tinnitus is the result of a circulatory deficiency, ginkgo may be effective. The role of ginkgo as a viable therapy for the disord e r remains somewhat controversial.
In terms of treating tinnitus with ginkgo, experimentation is the best approach. Tinnitus can be caused by a number of differe n t problems and the search for an effective treatment can only be made by the individual. In addition, treatment must be sustained for a long period of time before any judgement can be drawn. A minimum of two weeks is necessary. For more seve re cases of tinnitus, a longer period of therapy is required. German tests using ginkgo for sudden hearing loss suggested that in cases where hearing is lost for no apparent reason, ginkgo was effective in promoting a remission after one week of treatment. In some cases, hearing was also improved.11 One of the main advantages of using ginkgo over other drugs for hearing loss is that it is considered safe with minimal side effects.
Deafness Due to Compromised Blood Flow
In some cases of cochlear deafness, ginkgo has proven to be a valuable therapeutic agent. As in the case of tinnitus, treatment should be initiated and sustained.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND GARLIC THERAPY
June 25, 2005 10:01 AM
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND GARLIC THERAPY
Garlic has been used for generations in China and Japan for as a traditional medicine for hypertension. Even today, it continues to be a popular remedy for a disease that has become an epidemic in the western world. Taking a daily dose of garlic can result in a 12 to 30 mmHg reduction is systolic blood pressure and a 7 to 20 mmHg reduction in diastolic pressure in people who suffer from essential hypertension.12
One scientific study revealed that 40 out of 100 patients with high blood pressure experienced a reduction of 20 mmHg or more after a week of garlic treatment.13 Apparently, rabbits and humans who have been tested with garlic have demonstrated a rapid and continued decrease in blood pressure. One reason for this is that garlic seems to dilate blood vessel walls.14 It is the methyl allyl trisulfide contained in garlic which creates this action. Evidently, the effectiveness of using garlic for high blood pressure is dependent to some extent on the type of garlic used. Bulgarian studies suggested that aged Garlic extracts were more effective although this view has been subject to debate. Most practitioners who use garlic for their hypertensive patients recommended a high dosages initially.
In 1992, an article in Planta Medica, a German scientific journal, suggested that gamma-glutamyl-S-allyl-cysteine, a peptide found in Garlic, inhibits a certain enzyme which is involved in the conversion of certain hormones that actually regulate blood pressure. Angiotensin I does not raise blood pressure, however, Angiotensin II can. The peptide found in garlic inhibited the enzyme that changes Angiotensin I into Angiotensin II.15 Consequently, blood pressure levels dropped.
In addition to the actions discussed above, the ajoene compounds in garlic also help to prevent high blood pressure by inhibiting the tendency of blood cells to adhere together and create clots. Garlic oil can increase the breakdown of fibrin by over 100 percent in humans.16 When the blood is discouraged from clotting, blood flow is not restricted, therefore, blood pressure does not rise. Some people who have been on hypertensive drugs have gradually been able to wean themselves off using garlic. If you decide to use garlic for high blood pressure, make sure you check with your doctor and do not abruptly stop taking your medication. (Note: People who have abnormally low blood pressure need not avoid eating garlic. There is evidence to suggest that hypotension benefits from the therapeutic effects of garlic as well as hypertension.
Considering these findings, it would seem that garlic acts to normalize blood pressure whether it be high or low, an action which prescription drugs cannot accomplish.)
GPC (GlyceroPhosphoCholine) Versatile Life Support Nutrient ....
June 21, 2005 05:25 PM
Parris Kidd, Ph.D.
GPC or GlyceroPhosphoCholine (pronounced gli-sero-fos-fo-ko-lean) is a nutrient with many different roles in human health. It reaches extremely high concentrations within our cells, and its abundance in mother's milk suggests it is crucial to life processes. Clinically, GPC has been most intensively researched for its brain benefits. Biologically, it has great importance for the skeletal "voluntary" muscles, the autonomic nervous system, kidneys, liver, and reproductive organs. GPC goes beyond being a brain nutrient; it is a nutrient for vitality and long life.
As a dietary supplement, GPC's brain benefits are unique. It boosts mental performance in healthy young people, as shown by three double-blind trials. In trials on middle aged subjects, GPC improved several physiologic measures of mental performance: reaction time, visual evoked potential, and EEG delta slow waves. In the elderly, GPC improves mental performance and provides noticeable revitalisation. In 11 human trials with 1,799 patients, memory, attention, and other cognitive measures improved. So did mood (including irritability and emotional lability), and patients often developed renewed interest in relatives and friends. GPC was well tolerated, and generated no bad drug interactions. A large trial on elderly subjects with memory challenges published in 2003 concluded GPC had significant benefits for these individuals.
Circulatory deprivation or surgery can challenge healthy brain function. GPC can speed recovery and support improved quality of life. In four trials with GPC on 2,804 subjects who experienced difficulties under these circumstances, up to 95% showed good or excellent improvement. GPC consistently improved space-time orientation, degree of consciousness, language, motor capacity, and overall quality of life. The investigators concluded GPC offered marked benefits, with an excellent benefit-to-risk profile. Up to half of patients who survive bypass surgery experience problems with memory and other mental performance. A double-blind trial conducted with bypass survivors for six months determined that the GPC group had no remaining memory deterioration, while the placebo group failed to improve.
GPC supports human health through a variety of mechanisms:
1. It helps keep choline and acetylcholine available to the tissues. Choline is an essential nutrient and GPC appears to be the body's main choline reservoir. GPC in mother's milk represents the baby's main source of dietary choline. Acetylcholine (ACh) is an important substance employed extensively throughout the body. ACh is a major brain transmitter; the motor nerves use ACh to drive the skeletal ("voluntary") muscles; the autonomic nervous system uses it to pace all the organs. ACh is also central to mental and physical endurance, and mind-body coordination.
2. GPC is a major cell-level protectant, not as another antioxidant but in pivotal roles of osmotic pressure regulator and metabolic antitoxin. GPC for osmotic regulation can reach very high concentrations in the kidney, bladder, liver, brain, and other organs. As metabolic protectant, GPC shields proteins against urea buildup.
3. GPC is a major reservoir for cell membrane omega-3 phospholipids. These substances are the major building blocks for cell membranes. Enzymes couple GPC with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, to make the phospholipid PC-DHA. This makes membranes especially fluid, enabling membrane proteins to perform with better efficiency. GPC produces PC-DHA in the skeletal muscles, wherein fluidity is essential for contraction. Muscles that function abnormally can show GPC deficiency.
4. GPC contributes to both male and female in reproduction. As spermatozoa mature, GPC is used to make PC-DHA that makes their membranes fluid to enable motility. With men, the lower their semen GPC the greater the likelihood of poor sperm motility and with it, infertility. Once semen is inserted into the female, an enzyme in uterine secretions breaks down the semen's GPC into substances that energize the sperm to achieve fertilization.
Oral intake of GPC in the clinical trials was usually 1,200 milligrams (mg) per day, taken early in the day on an empty stomach. A reasonable dietary supplementation regimen is 1200 mg/day, taken in divided doses (AM and PM) between meals for 15-30 days, and thereafter 600 mg/day for maintenance. Symptomatic subjects can take 1200 mg/day until adequate improvement is achieved. Young, healthy subjects may experience benefit from daily intakes as low as 300 milligrams. GPC is very safe, being compatible with vitamins and nutrients and with pharmaceuticals. In clinical trial comparisons, GPC's benefits surpassed the nutrients acetylcarnitine and CDP-choline.
GPC is unmatched for its support of active living and healthy aging. In some 23 clinical trials GPC improved mental performance in all functional categories. GPC can revitalize the aging brain, facilitating growth hormone (GH) release and boosting nerve growth factor actions. GPC's ample presence in human mother's milk suggests it could be conditionally essential. By supporting mental integrity, mind-body integration, the autonomic system, and the body's other organs, GPC enhances the active lifestyle. GPC is remarkable nutritional support for optimal health at any age.
Parris M. Kidd, PhD is a cell biologist trained at the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco. Since entering the dietary supplement field in 1983, he has published many in-depth reviews of integrative medicine in the journal Alternative Medicine Reviews, and is science columnist for totalhealth magazine. Dr. Kidd is internationally recognized for his accomplishments in dietary supplement product development, documentation and quality control.
Disclaimer: the above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider.
The Science of Healthy Hair
June 10, 2005 03:44 PM
The Science of Healthy Hair
by Susan Weiner Energy Times, January 5, 2002
From the strength-giving mane of Sampson to the magically long locks of Rapunzel, hair has had the power to captivate since biblical times. Today, its lure is just as compelling and hair remains an important form of self-expression and self-image. A healthy head of hair is more than an asset to your appearance. A hairstyle can reflect a mood, an attitude or a personal style, while unkempt hair may reveal the status of one's emotional or physical health. Even a "good" hair day vs. a "bad" hair day can significantly determine how your frame of mind takes shape. We can't always control the frizz factor or the humid weather that makes our curls fall flat, but many natural approaches are available to allow us to put our best looking follicle forward. Whether your hair is sleek and stylish, long and slinky, spiky punk rock-hip or wash-and-wear, botanical-based products and proper nutrition can bring out the very best in your locks.
Don't Fool Mother Nature
No matter how often you cut, dye, perm or blow-dry your hair, Mother Nature, with the help of your DNA, has blessed you with a quite specific quality and quantity of hair. Styling may work to change the appearance of your hair, but nothing can change your genetics. Every hair on your body, from the soft down on your arms to the coarser, longer hairs on your head, grows from a cell-lined indentation called a follicle. The hair follicle consists of three cylinders; the central cylinder determines whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly. Each hair shaft alternately grows or goes into a dormant phase. "At any one time, approximately fifteen percent of the one hundred thousand or so hairs on the head are resting, while the rest are growing or lengthening," say Arthur Balin, MD, PhD, and Loretta Pratt Balin, MD (The Life of the Skin: What It Hides, What It Reveals, and How It Communicates, Bantam). Hair constantly comes and goes, falling out consistently even when it is healthy. Consequently, a normal head can shed up to one hundred resting-phase hairs a day. When hair is subjected to harsh chemicals and treatment, even more may fall out. If you're concerned with hair loss, gently pull on a small section of hair; if fewer than five hairs come out, hair loss is within normal range.
What's Your Type?
Normal hair is an elusive commodity in these stressed-out days of over-washed, over-dried and chemically treated hair. If your tresses look frizzy, tangle easily or generally lack moisture, they're probably dry. Dry hair lacks the proper oil content to maintain an ample sheen and is usually dull-looking. To gain back a natural shine, cut back on shampooing and use a natural conditioner formulated for dry hair. Look for essential oils such as jojoba, evening primrose, blue chamomile, and white camellia, and B vitamins (such as panthenol) and aloe vera, suggests Aubrey Hampton, founder of Aubrey Organics. Drinking plenty of water, eating a diet that's not ultra-low in fats and using a humidifier may also help improve dull-looking dry hair, points out David E. Bank, MD (Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, Adams Media). (Excessively dry hair may be a significant sign of metabolic disease. If you don't notice a marked improvement in your scalp after taking measures to improve dry hair, or your hair is abnormally dry, consult your health practitioner to see if stronger cures should be implemented.)
Too Much Oil
Hair that appears greasy within 24 hours after shampooing is oily. In that case, try gentle shampoos and herbal rinses with essential oils including quillaya bark, amino acids mixed with saponins, non-coloring henna and peppermint. For an oily scalp and dry ends, condition only the ends. Styling products should be oil-free. For thin or flyaway hair, products with natural thickening agents such as panthenol can help pump up the volume. Color treated and damaged hair can benefit from sulfur-containing amino acids; check your natural foods store for hair care products that contain horsetail, coltsfoot and cysteine. Tea tree oil products are effective when you are trying to control dandruff and a problem scalp.
If the label lists sodium lauryl sulfate, steer clear, warns Hampton. And, says Dr. Bank, sodium C-14-16 olefin sulfonate, a harsh chemical found in cheap shampoos, is the worst of the worst when it comes to offensive hair care ingredients. "You also need to watch out for sodium chloride-table salt-in the ingredient list. It's a cheap ingredient to thicken shampoo and strips the hair of oils."
Feed Your Head
To optimize shine and fullness, improve your nutrition, says Bruce Miller, MD, author of The Nutrition Guarantee (Summit Publishing Group). "Good nutrition is as essential to healthy, attractive hair as it is to clear, glowing skin," notes Dr. Miller. "Your hair directly reflects your care and feeding of it." Your hair consists of about 97% protein, containing nineteen of the twenty-two amino acids that form protein, explains Dr. Miller. If you skimp on quality protein, your hair may reflect this amino acid imbalance by breaking, cracking and splitting. Hair follicles pass on the nutrients you consume, nourishing the new cells that form the growing hair shaft. As the hair gradually pushes upward, the shaft is continually lubricated by the busy sebaceous glands. For a smoother transition through the shaft and undamaged hair, lecithin provides a welcome dose of lubrication, as well as the important B vitamins choline and inositol, vital to healthy hair. In fact, the B vitamins are crucial to the growth of full bodied, healthy hair. The B complex strengthens, forms and smoothes the hair shafts, and helps maintain an even hair color, even warding off the beginning of gray hair. For thick and shiny hair, vitamin A works in conjunction with the B vitamins. Zinc can strengthen the hair shafts by thickening them. Thicker and stronger hair shafts increase your chances of holding on to your hair and suffering fewer lost hairs. When it comes to hair retention, genetics count. The more hair your parents retained, the greater your chance of keeping yours.
If you're interested in optimal hair health, think nutrition. Eating for the sake of your curls is a lot like eating for overall health: plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and lean sources of protein, including tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs. To support healthy hair, some experts advocate foods high in biotin, including brown rice, brewer's yeast, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. The natural phytochemicals in green tea may aid hair, while ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the scalp. Don't forget your daily vitamins and be sure to take an iron and B12 supplement.
Herbs from China show great promise for helping hair. He Shou Wu, made from Polygoni multiflori (the eastern wild rose), is reputed by devotees to restore color, slow hair loss, and help hair grow back. In Chinese medicine, this botanical has been used as an adaptogen to boost overall health and longevity. Within the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), He Shou Wu is supposed to strengthen the liver and kidney meridians and support healthy blood. Many Asians use the herb to promote higher levels of qi, the TCM concept that encompasses your life's overall energy.
Show a Little Tenderness
Long-term exposure to sunlight and seawater can damage hair, as can combing or brushing wet hair. Treat your hair with kid gloves, use natural products that are gentle on hair, and avoid chemical treatments. If you're looking to lose weight, avoid crash diets; a sudden drop in nutrition can cause deficiencies and lead to hair damage and loss. Keeping a wonderful head of hair means staying ahead of the curve with proper nutrition, the right supplements and a continuous program of TLC. In that way, you can maintain the crowning head of hair you've always coveted.
Heart Science - A Five-Tiered Approach to Heart Health ...
June 02, 2005 12:07 PM
Your heart is crucial to every function of your body. It is the sole organ which pumps oxygen-rich blood through the entire circulatory system, feeding your cells and making life possible. Only recently are Americans realizing the importance of a proper low-fat diet, regular exercise, giving up cigarette smoking, and cutting down alcohol consumption to maintaining a healthy heart. Unfortunately, there has been a huge gap in the number of nutritional supplements which provide nutrients and herbs to support normal heart function. That’s where Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE comes in. Two years in the making, and backed by numerous scientific studies, the nutrients in HEART SCIENCE are some of the most soundly researched of all. Combining high potencies of these super-nutrients, HEART SCIENCE is the most comprehensive, cutting edge nutritional approach to proper heart care available.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE— The Five Tiered Approach to Heart Health
Your heart never rests. Even while you sleep, your heart must keep working, relying on the constant generation of energy by the body for its very survival. If this vital organ stops beating for even a short amount of time, all bodily functions cease and life ends. Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE helps support heart function on the chemical, cellular, structural, and energetic levels. This broad spectrum formula includes ingredients specifically geared for
Energy Generators for An Energetic Organ
Every day, the human heart beats about 104,000 times, pumping over 8,000 liters of blood through the body! Because it requires so much energy to perform efficiently, the experts at Source Naturals included specialty nutrients in HEART SCIENCE such as Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine — integral factors in the body’s energy production cycles — to enhance the body’s energy supply.
There are three main interconnected energy generating cycles in our cells — the Glycolytic (sugar-burning) cycle, the Krebs’ (citric acid) cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain. Together they supply about 90 to 95% of our body’s entire energy supply, using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the non-vitamin nutrients needed to maximally convert food into ATP (the energy producing molecule). It is the vital connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport Chain, the next step in energy generation after the Krebs’ cycle. Using the raw materials generated by the Krebs’ cycle, the Electron Transport Chain produces most of the body’s total energy! The heart is one of the bodily organs which contains the highest levels of CoQ10, precisely because it needs so much energy to function efficiently.
CoQ10 is one of the most promising nutrients for the heart under investigation today. It has been postulated that as a result of its participation in energy production, CoQ10 improves heart muscle metabolism and the electrical functioning of the heart by enhancing its pumping capacity.8 Many factors such as a high fat diet, lack of exercise, and cigarette smoking can lead to suboptimal functioning of the heart, and therefore failure of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood. Interestingly, people whose lifestyles reflect the above factors also tend to have depleted levels of CoQ10 in the heart muscle.10
Researchers suggest taking between 10-100 mg per day of CoQ10;18,29 HEART SCIENCE provides an impressive 60 mg of CoQ10 per 6 tablets. Similar to CoQ10, L-Carnitine is important for energy production in heart cells. It is a natural amino acid-like substance which plays a key role in transporting fatty acids, the heart’s main source of energy, to the mitochondria, the “power plants” of each cell, where they are utilized for the production of ATP. Heart and skeletal muscles are particularly vulnerable to L-Carnitine deficiency. Studies have shown that supplementation with LCarnitine improves exercise tolerance in individuals with suboptimal heart and circulatory function, and seems to lower blood lipid status and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.16, 22 Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE contains 500 mg of this extremely important compound.
Like CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, B Vitamins help improve the ability of the heart muscle to function optimally. Each B Vitamin, after being converted to its active coenzyme form, acts as a catalytic “spark plug” for the body’s production of energy. Vitamin B-1, for example, is converted to Cocarboxylase, which serves as a critical link between the Glycolytic and Krebs’ Cycles, and also participates in the conversion of amino acids into energy. A deficiency of B coenzymes within contracting muscle cells can lead to a weakened pumping of the heart.21
HEART SCIENCE is formulated with high quantities of the most absorbable forms of B Vitamins providing maximum nutrition for the high energy demands of heart cells.
B Vitamins also play a crucial role in the conversion of homocysteine, a group of potentially harmful amino acids produced by the body, to methionine, another more beneficial amino acid. While it is normal for the body to produce some homocysteine, even a small elevation in homocysteine levels can have negative implications. It is well documented that individuals who are genetically predisposed to having elevated homocysteine levels (homocysteinemics) tend to have excessive plaque accumulation in the arteries and premature damage to endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels and heart).26 Researchers have found that even those without this genetic abnormality, whose homocysteine levels are much lower than those of homocysteinemics, still have an increased risk for premature endothelial damage and the development of plaque in the arteries.24, 26 One study conducted among normal men and women found that those with the highest levels of homocysteine were twice as likely to have clogged arteries as were those with the lowest levels.24 Furthermore, it was found that the lower the research subjects’ blood levels of folate and B-6, the higher their homocysteine levels.24 Another study found that Folic Acid administered to normal men and women who were not even deficient in folate caused a significant reduction in plasma concentrations of homocysteine!3 In order to regulate homocysteine levels, it is critical to provide the body with sufficient amounts of B-6, B-12, and Folate, whether through the diet or through supplementation. HEART SCIENCE includes high levels of these three nutrients, providing B-6 in the regular and coenzyme form for maximum utilization.
The Dangers of Oxidized LDL Cholesterol
While many people have heard that high cholesterol levels may negatively affect normal heart function, few people understand exactly what cholesterol is, or how it can become harmful. Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance produced in the liver by all animals, and used for a variety of necessary activities in the body. Your liver also manufactures two main kinds of carrier molecules which transport cholesterol throughout the system: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Cholesterol is either carried out by LDL from the liver to all tissues in the body where it is deposited, or carried back by HDLs which remove cholesterol deposits from the arteries and carry them to the liver for disposal. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is considered damaging, while HDL is considered protective. Problems occur when there is too much LDL cholesterol in the body and not enough HDL.
When the body becomes overloaded with fat, an over-abundance of LDL particles are manufactured to process it, and they in turn become elevated in the body to a degree that the liver cannot handle. Rich in fatty acids and cholesterol, these particles are highly susceptible to free radical attack (oxidation). Once oxidized, LDL particles are no longer recognized by the body, which attacks them with immune cells. Immune cells which are bloated by oxidized lipids (called foam cells) are a key factor in the development of “fatty streaks” — the first sign of excess arterial fat accumulation. The bloated immune cells accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels, leading to obstruction and constriction of the vessels. Plus, these lodged foam cells continue to secrete free radicals into the bloodstream, making the problem worse.
The development of lesions in the arteries is not an uncommon problem. Arterial (and all blood vessel) walls are composed of a chemical matrix which holds the endothelial cells in place. That endothelial layer is the first and most important line of defense in preventing large molecules, such as cholesterol and fat, from entering the vessel wall. This matrix is composed of proteins, collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (amino sugars). Arterial lesions can be caused by suboptimal collagen and elastin synthesis due to three factors: 1. Vitamin C deficiency (since Vitamin C is a key building block for collagen and elastin); 2. excessive consumption of rancid fats, or heavy usage of alcohol or cigarettes; and 3. free radical damage. Once these lesions are created, the body attempts to repair them by depositing LDL cholesterol — similar to the way one would patch a tire. If that cholesterol is not oxidized, i.e. chemically changed to a harmful, unstable molecule, then this process does not create a problem. But when arterial lesions are “patched” with foam cells, arterial walls suffer page 3 page 4 even more damage, because those foam cells release free radicals which can further damage cell membranes.
Unfortunately, most people have a lot of oxidized cholesterol floating through the bloodstream. The typical American diet, with its low antioxidant intake and overconsumption of fried and overcooked foods, contributes to the overall levels of harmful oxidized cholesterol. In fact, the average American intake of antioxidants is low even by USRDA standards, making Americans particularly prone to having high levels of oxidized cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, and its subsequent ill effects on health. In addition to cutting out high-cholesterol and fatty foods, supplementation can protect existing cholesterol and all tissue cells — from oxidation. Antioxidants, substances which scavenge and neutralize free radicals, protect the cardiovascular system by halting the oxidation of cholesterol, and helping to prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries and the continual secretion of free radicals by foam cells. Supplementing the diet with high amounts of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant, also encourages a more healthy “patching” of existing lesions by using collagen (made from Vitamin C) instead of cholesterol. HEART SCIENCE contains generous amounts of the following antioxidants for their protective benefits:
The Regulating Trio
Three nutrients — Magnesium, Potassium, and Taurine — work closely together in the body to help maintain the normal electrical rhythm of the heart, promote proper fluid balance, and prevent excessive Calcium levels from building up in the heart and artery linings.
Artery Lining Protectors
Your arteries form an integral part of your cardiovascular system, carrying blood away from the heart to nourish other parts of the body. In a healthy heart, blood surges through the arteries with every beat of the heart. The arteries expand with each pulse to accommodate the flow of blood. When arteries become hardened and narrowed by the build-up of plaque, they can’t expand and are not able to transport blood efficiently throughout the body. This inability to open up increases blood pressure, putting a strain on the heart as well as the arteries. HEART SCIENCE includes ingredients specifically geared to protect against plaque formation within arteries and maintain the flexibility of these vital blood vessels. N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) is a key amino sugar which forms the building blocks of mucopolysaccharides. Mucopolysaccharides, which are long chain sugars, are an integral component of connective tissue. They combine to form gel-like matrixes which are present throughout tissues in the body, helping to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels which must continually adapt to the changing pressures of blood flow. Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE provides 500 mg — a substantial amount — of this vital tissue building block. There is evidence indicating that Silicon, a natural mineral, may protect against plaque formation in the arteries. Silicon is found mainly in connective tissues, where it helps bind the body’s chemical matrix. Bound Silicon is found in high amounts in arterial walls. Researchers have found that there is a steady decline in the Silicon content of the aorta and other arteries as we age. This may be due to the low fiber content of the typical American diet, since fiber is a key dietary source of Silicon.23 HEART SCIENCE includes 400 mg of Horsetail herb extract, a natural source of Silicon. Hawthorn Berry is without question the herb most widely used to encourage normal heart function. The beneficial actions of Hawthorn Berry on cardiac function have been repeatedly demonstrated in experimental studies. Supplementation with Hawthorn Berry has been shown to improve both the blood supply to the heart by dilating coronary vessels, and the metabolic processes in the heart, resulting in normal, strong contractions of the heart muscle.34 Also, Hawthorn may inhibit the angiotensen converting enzyme, which is responsible for converting angiotensen I to angiotensen II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels.34 Bromelain, a natural enzyme derived from pineapples, has become well-known for its neuromuscular relaxing properties. Researchers have reported favorable results when using Bromelain for soothing vascular linings. Initial research also indicates that Bromelain may break down fibrin, the glue which holds platelets together to form blood clots.6
Capillaries are the smallest, yet some of the most important, blood vessels. If you think of your cardiovascular system as a series of roads which transport blood and oxygen, then your arteries are akin to interstate highways, your arterioles are the main city boulevards, and your capillaries are local residential streets. Capillaries are so small, in fact, that single red blood cells actually have to fold up to fit through them. Because of their tiny size and the intricate nature of their network throughout the body, capillaries are responsible for actually nourishing each individual tissue cell! Along the length of the capillaries are small openings called slit pores through which oxygen, glucose, and nutrients leave the capillaries and enter the surrounding interstitial fluid. From there, they cross cell membranes and nourish the cells. Similarly, the waste products of cells enter the fluid and cross over into the capillaries, where they are then transported to the liver and kidneys for disposal. If the capillary slit pores are torn or have lesions, then blood proteins and Sodium will leak out and cause the interstitial fluid to take on a more gel-like nature. This makes the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the cells more difficult, as well as the disposal of cell waste products, turning the fluid into a stagnant swamp instead of a flowing river. In addition to its powerful antioxidant actions, Proanthodyn also helps protect collagen and elastin, the main constituents of tissue in the capillaries, and throughout the body. It is absolutely essential for capillary walls — which are only one cell thick — to be strong and stable, so that they do not allow blood proteins to leak into the interstitial fluid. Once the interstitial fluid takes on a gel-like consistency, the surrounding cells literally become starved from lack of nutrition. The exciting news is that the proanthocyanidins contained in Proanthodyn are among the few substances yet discovered which can help strengthen capillary walls, ensuring the liquid nature of the interstitial fluid.2 Plus, proanthocyanidins help keep capillary and artery walls flexible, allowing for proper blood flow to the heart.
The 1990’s mark a decade of increased awareness among Americans of important health issues. Much of the discussion has revolved around protecting that precious center of life we call the heart. Simple lifestyle change is one of the most effective ways to maintain and protect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. In order to take a holistic approach to heart care, make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (organic, if possible) in your diet, and cut down on fatty and cholesterol-forming foods. Reduce your salt and alcohol intake to a minimum. Try to get regular, sustained aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Don’t smoke – or if you do smoke, try to eat even more fresh fruits and antioxidant-rich vegetables to counter the amount of free radicals being produced in your body. Lastly, consider adding Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE to your health regimen. HEART SCIENCE, the most comprehensive formula of its kind, provides targeted protection to the entire cardiovascular system. By approaching the promotion of normal heart function on five different levels — through the inclusion of ingredients which supply energy, decrease harmful homocysteine levels, fight cholesterol build-up, help regulate electrical rhythm, and protect artery and capillary linings — HEART SCIENCE is the perfect addition to a holistic approach to heart care.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE™