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NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha A Coffee Alternative
November 02, 2022 05:16 PM
Matcha is a highly concentrated, culinary grade, pure powder that's made without any other ingredients or additives. Traditionally the highlight of Japanese tea ceremonies - it's great just mixed with water or try it with your favorite milk or non-dairy beverage and natural sweetener to make a latte. It's the perfect alternative to coffee with its strong flavor and energy-boosting capabilities and makes an invigorating add-on to smoothies.
Matcha is quickly becoming popular in the western world as people are looking for alternatives to coffee that are just as energizing but don't come with the drawbacks (like jitters and crash). If you're looking to jump on the matcha bandwagon, look no further than NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing product!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown and produced in Japan. The leaves are shade-grown for the last few weeks before harvest which creates a higher chlorophyll content and gives matcha its beautiful green color. Once harvested, the leaves are quickly steamed and dried to prevent fermentation. The stems and veins are then removed before the leaves are stone ground into a fine powder. This powder is what we call matcha.
The Difference between Culinary Grade and Ceremonial Grade Matcha
NOW Real Tea® only sources culinary grade matcha for our products. Culinary grade matchas are less expensive than ceremonial grade because they don't have to meet as many criteria (like particle size). This makes them more accessible so people can experiment with using matcha in cooking and baking without having to spend a lot of money.
Culinary grade matchas can also be used for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies - it's all about personal preference! Some people prefer the taste of ceremonial grade matchas while others find them too bitter. If you're new to matcha, we recommend starting with a culinary grade powder like NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha.
We hope this article has wet your whistle when it comes to matcha! If you're looking to try out this amazing powder for yourself, head over to our website and check out our organic culinary grade matcha. We think you'll love it as much as we do!
Omega-3s are a potent way to treat depression without resorting todangerous prescription medications
May 17, 2019 04:01 PM
One can treat poor mood and depression without using pharmaceutical drugs. One of these approaches involves using omega-3 fatty acid. Foods rich in this fatty acid can help. It has been shown by many scientific studies that the risk of having depression is reduced when one takes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid. Some of the means that have been identified as the pathways in which omega-3 fatty acids work is that they can make the CNS to release more serotonin, they can reduce the risk of an inflammation and also its severity, and they can stop phosphatidyl-inositol from releasing hormones that make a person to have depressive moods. The way omega-3 fatty acids do this has been found to be similar to the way anti-depressant drugs work. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to counter the release of serotonin in the brain that trigger depressive moods and they also have effect on the release of cytokines in the heart that relates to lowering the risk of one having coronary heart disease. And fortunately, heart disease is linked to major depressive moods. So, omega-3 fatty acid is a powerful compound that can be used to treat both problems. But what researchers have not agreed upon though is the required dosage of omega-3 fatty acid that a person should take each day to reap these benefits.
"The fatty acids achieve their natural antidepressant effects through several means. Omega-3s can raise the activity of CNS seratonin, reduce the risk and severity of inflammation, and stop phosphatidyl-inositol from sending signals that bring about depressive moods."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-15-omega-3s-are-a-potent-way-to-treat-depression.html
8 Ways Rosehip Oil Benefits Your Skin, According to Dermatologists
January 16, 2019 07:55 AM
The things that you put on your skin enter the bloodstream, so it is important to carefully think about the things that you'll use in your skin care regimen. One oil that can be applied to the skin that will benefit you when it is absorbed is rosehip. The powerful oil can enhance your skin in a plethora of ways and dermatologists agree that it is a product that people of all ages should use to keep their skin smooth, wrinkle-free, and looking great.
"Here, exactly how rosehip oil benefits your skin and the easiest way to add it to your beauty routine."
Read more: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/a25596857/rosehip-oil-benefits/
Prevent the number one cause of premature death by simply takingvitamin C
November 16, 2018 09:51 AM
According to the data, it's been estimated that as many as half of all premature deaths are preventable, moreover that poor nutritional intake is at the core of the problem. One such nutritional deficit that could lower the number of premature deaths is the deficit of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster. However, it also has an important role to fulfill when it comes to cardiovascular health. The journal of the American College of Nutrition recently attests to this fact. The journal reported findings that agreed that the use of vitamin C reduced the incidence of cardiac disease. The findings were based on a study of over 100 men, many of whom were smokers. Those given the highest dosage of vitamin C slashed their risk for cardiac complications by more than half. Danish research further augments this aspect of vitamin C. Data pools acquired from 100,000+ Danes showed high vitamin C concentrations among those who regularly consumed a large array of fruits and vegetables. This higher level was auspiciously linked with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
"The reality is that an inexpensive vitamin supplement could reduce the rate of coronary heart disease but mainstream medicine is so deeply entrenched in pharmaceutical dogma, the idea that nutrients can prevent disease is downright blasphemous."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-12-prevent-number-one-cause-of-premature-death-vitamin-c.html
Boy Who Suffered 100 Seizures A Day Has Zero in 300 Days After Being Prescribed Cannabis Oil
September 11, 2017 09:14 AM
Billy, an 11 year old living in Northern Ireland, will be the first person to receive a medical marijuana prescription in the United Kingdom. Billy suffers from severe epilepsy, which prevented more traditional medical treatments. His doctor agreed to prescribe it in the wake of overwhelming evidence of the success of Cannabidiol in treating his condition. Where previously Billy would experience up to 100 seizures a days - Billy has not experienced a seizure since starting his treatment 300 days ago in the United States. His mother also notes that it has helped with Billy's Autism - making better eye contact when he plays and communicates. To celebrate this largely important decision, the family is hosting an event, that already has 600 RSVP's, in support of Billy.
"Before taking the CBD oil, Billy suffered from up to 100 seizures a day, which was severely damaging to his health, because one seizure could kill him."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/boy-who-suffered-100-seizures-a-day-completely-cured-with-cannabis-oil/
Cross Your Fingers—Weed Might Lower Blood Pressure
September 04, 2017 04:14 PM
The effects of CBD (Cannabidiol) are proving to be effective in lowering blood pressure in early testing. CBD is one of the main active chemicals in marijuana, but the effect in this case is not to get high, but to get calm. A company called PotBotics is using the measurement of EEGs to potentially come to a finding that it truly does reduce blood pressure. The magazine Popular Science published some recent results that in initial dosing, blood pressure DID come down.
"While the familiar high most people use weed for comes from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), most researchers agree that CBD provides weed’s mellowing effect. It doesn’t intoxicate users, but it does calm them down."
Read more: http://observer.com/2017/08/marijuana-cbd-blood-pressure/
Mediterranean Diet found to slash risk of dementia by 35%
July 22, 2017 09:14 AM
According to a study by the University of California following a Mediterranean diet could significantly reduce the risk of dementia. Other studies seem to agree that a diet low in meat and dairy but is rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts, and healthy fats significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline. There are some studies showing that there is marked improvement in cognition when a person strictly adhered to the diet as well as decreasing inflammation, reducing obesity, healthier lipid panels and such.
"The Mediterranean diet, which includes mostly oily fish, vegetables and nuts, has long been touted as a highly effective diet scheme against a plethora of diseases."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-19-mediterranean-diet-found-to-slash-risk-of-dementia-by-35.html
Marijuana Extract a 'Game-Changing Medication'
June 10, 2017 11:14 AM
Cannabidol, or CBD is a compound found in marijuana that researchers have indicated can aid in the treatment of epilepsy. Children that were part of a study who were given the CBD compound were found to have their seizures cut in half. Parents agree that even though there are side effects to the CBD compound, the benefits of taking it far outweighs them. The researchers believe that the idea of marijuana being a schedule 1 controlled drug substance with no medical benefits is ridiculous.
Read more: Marijuana Extract a 'Game-Changing Medication'
What Is Taurine? Separating Myth from Reality
June 03, 2017 09:14 AM
Taurine is is an amino acid naturally found in meats and dairy products. If a person consumes a normal balanced diet, they are probably meeting their daily taurine requirements. It is regarded as safe to consume, as long as it is used responsibly in moderation.
It does have numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, sedative effects for those afflicted with neurological disorders, lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure, combating gum disease, and improvement of athletic performance (although there seems to be some disagreement on this point).
A growing source of Taurine is in energy drinks. While usage of energy drinks has resulted in a rise in emergency room visits, the amount of taurine used within should pose no health risk and is not considered a contributing factor.
It should be noted that taurine is not completely understood at this time. Its effects on pregnant/breast-feeding women are unknown at this time, and the safe decision would be to avoid usage. It is also theorized that taurine may be detrimental to those battling bipolar disorders. Only further scientific studies will clarify the benefits/risks associated with taurine.
"The only amino acid with its own zodiac sign, it’s falsely been associated with the myth of coming from bull urine or bull semen, probably because its name stems from taurus, meaning bull."
Read more: https://draxe.com/what-is-taurine/
House passes cannabis decriminalisation
May 26, 2017 07:14 AM
Decriminalization is not quite the same as legalization but it means the police won't really bother with it. This talks about cannabis being decriminalized. This debate has raged for a long time. Many believe this plant has medical benefits. They say it can help with everything from anxiety to cancer. Others want cannabis to be illegal because it is bad for the lungs and alters mood. No one seems to agree on whether it helps or harms.
Read more: House passes cannabis decriminalisation
Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
April 27, 2017 10:44 AM
Diet sodas are not a healthy choice for those dieting. New studies have shown that people who drink them are not experiencing health benefits and are at a three times higher risk of experiencing dementia and stroke. The study did not discern which artificial sweeteners were consumed. People that drink sugary beverages did not have the same risk factors but those who drank sugary risks had a higher risk of memory loss and accelerated brain aging. Experts agree drinking water and coffee are healthier alternatives.
Read more: Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
THE CANCER WILL DISAPPEAR IF YOU DRINK THIS WATER EVERY DAY!
April 21, 2017 11:44 AM
It's known to the medical community that changing your body chemistry from acidic to alkaline eliminates cancer. Diet in the west causes increased acidity and adds to many health risks. By drinking water with a higher, more alkaline pH you can bring your body into a more alkaline state. A mixture of lemon and salt dissolved in the water creates a more beneficial pH than water alone. This can be done easily at home as shown in the video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0vOKsg1zmg&rel=0
"The medical community has agreed on the fact that cancer thrives in an acidic environment, and creating an alkaline environment within your body with a pH value of 7.36 or more will eliminate it. Unfortunately, the western diet makes our bodies highly acidic and increases the risk of cancer and other diseases."
Drug testing and CBD: Can a cannabidiol user test positive for marijuana?
March 23, 2017 01:44 PM
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is known to have a myriad of health benefits and is becoming increasingly used to treat a variety of health conditions. It's even being used to treat pets for a growing number of conditions. It's also not intoxicating like many products with marijuana. For the many people who are wondering if CBD products will show up on a drug test, this article consults with a drug expert to find answers to this common question.
"Both experts agree: As long as there is no THC in the CBD products, then a urine test would not yield a positive result for THC metabolites."
Read more: http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/03/10/marijuana-drug-test-cbd-cannabidiol-positive/74014/
Fish Oil Supplements: Are They Good for Cardiovascular Health?
March 23, 2017 08:44 AM
Conventional wisdom has long been that fish oil supplements are very beneficial for heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends fish oil for heart patients. However, there is some disagreement about the effectiveness and safety of fish oil. Read this article and discover 3 reasons why some data may be flawed regarding this supplement along with concerns regarding safety of some fish oil. In the end, eating fish may be more heart-healthy.
"Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which, when consumed by eating fatty fish, can cause blood vessel relaxation, reduced blood clotting, reduced inflammation and possibly stabilization of heart rhythm."
Read more: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/03/fish-oil-supplements-good-cardiovascular-health/
Marijuana Research Supports Its Safety and Benefits
March 17, 2017 11:44 AM
The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in 23 states and, as of this writing, 9 states have pending legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana. Estimates are that between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of marijuana.
"Estimates are that between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of marijuana."
Top natural sweeteners that can replace sugar
March 09, 2017 03:59 AM
Most nutritionists are in agreement that sugar is very detrimental to your health and should be removed as much as possible from your diet. However, if you absolutely need something sweet in your meals then read on for information about five natural sweeteners that can replace sugar and you won't even know the difference. They are just as sweet as sugar and are easy to obtain. However, beware that overindulging in them can still be bad for your health.
"But if you can't survive without your dose of sweetness, we bring you some natural sweeteners that are way better than your white sugar."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Flife-style%2Fhealth-fitness%2Fdiet%2Ftop-natural-sweeteners-that-can-replace-sugar%2Farticleshow%2F57461964.cms&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjBhMmIxOTgxN2IyMDM3NjI6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFZDJmCAudce3Vn5aD1lwvEZtQOBg
Why You Shouldn't Take Sleeping Pills for Insomnia
February 04, 2017 04:59 PM
Insomnia can affect your health in a negative way. Sleep is so important for many reasons. If you talk to a doctor about it they'll agree about that but not necessarily about what to do to treat it. They may give you sleeping pills to help with it. Taking them might not be the best idea, though, and this explains why.
Vitamin deficiencies are now commonplace across all ages, research finds
January 18, 2017 12:59 PM
The modern diet does not give enough vitamins to anyone. New research shows that most people in almost every age group are deficient in some sort of vitamins. This can be bad as it can lead to sickness or some sort of health disorder. Supplementation will be needed to fix these problems.
"The Department of Health doesn’t want people to view vitamin and mineral supplements as a substitute for a healthy diet, and everyone would agree with that."
5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible
December 31, 2016 11:59 AM
On December 14, 2016, in the Federal Register, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg made cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance by making it illegal to use. People suffering from medical issues often use cannabis (CBD) and CBD oil in their treatment. Opponents to the new classification argue that cannabis should not be included in Schedule 1 drugs. For starters, they say it’s not psychoactive, addictive, or dangerous. Also, the US government has conducted research on the drug and concluded that it has medical benefits. In addition, it has been helpful in treating other coditions, like seizures and schizophrenia.
"While it’s possible to abuse marijuana (along with anything else), dependence and addiction are rare."
Improve your digestion with these healthy food choices
December 23, 2016 02:59 PM
We all love food, but when it comes to our digestive health, we should be careful of what we eat. Certain foods can have a negative effect on the digestive system, causing problems like indigestion. There are certain foods that we should eat to help us take care of digestive system. These foods include liver, foods rich in fiber (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), probiotic foods like yogurt, and lean meats. Drinking plenty of water also helps your digestive system.
"To help multiply probiotics in your digestive system, eat fermented foods such as yogurt and fermented vegetables like kimchi. - See more at: //www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/592741/lifestyle/food/improve-your-digestion-with-these-healthy-food-choices#sthash.HZDBRaJt.dpuf"
10 foods to boost male fertility
December 11, 2016 12:59 PM
Male fertility has been under scrutiny in recent years, and much research has been done to improve sperm quality in men. There is no agreement on the cause of the decline in male fertility, but many specialists have suggestions on simple changes that can have a positive impact. The diet is the first thing that many are encouraged to alter in an effort to increase sperm function. Zinc and fructose are essential to the production of sperm. Therefore, men should make sure their diet includes these supplements. Alcohol, diet, and soft drinks should be avoided, as well as adrenaline.
"Women also need zinc at this time for many regulatory processes to happen. Zinc is involved in blood glucose control and keeping a healthy insulin response."
At least one major company has admitted to adding flavoring chemicals to its farmed fish to make it taste more like the wild-caught varieties that consumers prefer
December 11, 2016 07:59 AM
An aquaculture company has used artificial flavorings to give its farmed fish the taste of wild-caught pollock. HQSM has signed a joint development agreement with the Beijing division of Newly Weds Foods Inc. to market the "sea flavor" tilapia, which is processed to give it both the texture and flavor of wild-caught Alaska pollock, a northern Pacific whitefish that is the favored ingredient in fish sticks, fish fillets and similar products, as well as imitation crab meat.
"Company officials have admitted, however, that TiLoveYa tilapia contains flavoring chemicals designed to make it taste more like wild-caught fish. It's unclear how that makes the fish in any way "natural.""
How Glutathione Reduces Effects Of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease is an incurable chronic and movement disorder that results from the death of neuron cells of the substantia nigra area of the brain. The symptoms associated with this disease worsen as one ages.When the neurons die, they release a chemical called dopamine that is a neurotransmitter that relays messages to movement and coordination centers of the brain. As one ages, the dopamine level produced decreases making it hard for transmission of messages to this part of the brain responsible for movement and coordination. This makes the patient unable to control movement of body parts.
Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease:
How To Reduce Effects Of Parkinson's Disease:
PD currently has no cure. However, doctors do surgeries and other medical procedures on affected parts of the brain to reduce effects of this disease. Researchers worldwide agree that there could be a breakthrough in the treatment of this chronic disease with the administration of glutathione (GSH) to patients. The supplement works in the following ways:
Our bodies naturally produce glutathione which is an antioxidant. Its production however reduces progressively as one ages. Its main role is to fight free radicals which may build up to cause oxidative stress. Patients should thus take the glutathione supplement daily to help them fight this oxidative stress which causes PD.
Glutathione also supports mitochondria. This ensures consistent energy production in mitochondria. This energy is useful in the fight of PD. Glutathione makes the brain effectively use dopamine and detoxifies the body. This ensures that heavy metals which may attack the brain are regularly removed from the body. Numerous studies are however still underway to determine how this supplement can be used effectively. Glutathione should not be taken orally as it is broken down in the gut before it can be used in the brain cells.
How to stop sugar from sneaking into your child's diet
November 12, 2016 06:59 AM
No matter how careful you are, sugary can easily slip into your child's diet, resulting in added weight, cavities, and other health concerns. But, you can stop this from happening but you must take charge now to make a difference. Take a look at this article and learn what you can do to stop sugar from sneaking in.
""Sugar doesn't cause disease just because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it's sugar," Lustig said. "Thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, too. Obesity increases the risk, but sugar is an independent risk factor apart from calories or obesity.""
Thyroid Health and Selenium
Selenium is nature’s best secret. It is a nutrient that when used in the correct amounts in your food, can make huge and exciting changes. However, the body only needs small amounts of this mineral, but it has huge benefits on one’s health. It protects us against many health problems that are associated with the aging process such as osteoarthritis and cancer. A certain amount of this mineral is required in order to protect the body from deadly viruses and also to aid in healthy thyroid functioning.
Selenium deficiency frequently goes untreated simply because it does not show any noticeable symptoms. If the levels of selenium are low, the thyroid will have to work extra hard to manufacture its hormones and the body will have a tough job converting those hormones to a form the cells can use. This is because selenium is a chief ingredient of the molecules necessary for the body to be able to create and use seleno-proteins (thyroid hormones).
The initial stages of low selenium levels will reduce the optimal production of the thyroid hormone in the glands. If this continues the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. Eventually, this is what leads to thyroid autoimmune problems
Problems that come with low selenium levels can be more serious when the levels of mineral, iodine, is low. Iodine is well known for its key role in thyroid health. Selenium is also important in aiding your body to recycle iodine. Low selenium levels coupled with low iodine levels can lead to thyroid imbalance
An enlarged thyroid is known as goiter. This is one of the serious forms of thyroid imbalance. Most individuals diagnosed with goiter usually have low iodine levels, however research has also shown that the patient also have low levels of selenium. Therefore, it is very important to treat both deficits so as to re-establish thyroid stability
Doctors readily admit that there is no any specified dose of selenium required for better functioning of the thyroid. The one thing they agree on is that optimizing selenium intake aids in general health.
Why Should Children Be Taking A Multiple vitamin Daily?
January 17, 2014 07:52 AM
Childrens vitamin are essential for the development of any child.
Whether to multi or not is one question that many parents ask. Never the less there is little consensus on a daily multivitamin for children. Given the reality of today busy parents, it is of the essence to understand that such well-prepared meals at home fail to meet the needed quantity of vitamin that a child require. Some children may have bad eating behavior another cause for childrens vitamin deficiency.
What Should Children Eat?
Children diet should consist of a wide variety of whole, fresh fruits, milk and dairy products and proteins as much as possible. Given the delicate nature of children’s growth, it is important to ensure that childrens vitamin needs be attained at all cost. Ideally, it is believed that children are supposed to get their vitamins from a balanced, healthy diet that they take daily. However, this does not mean that children are not getting enough childrens vitamin from food that they take at home.
While it is agreed that those children with good diets do not need to take a multivitamin, well there is no harm in them taking childrens vitamin since it will provide in any case the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of the needed key ingredients. Other benefits of taking a multiple vitamin include normal growth and development, healthy circulatory as well as nervous systems, proper bone and tooth formation, strengthen the immune system against infectivity, improve brain function among other benefits.
One question that lingers the mind of many experts and concerned d parents is whether their children are getting the right quantity of vitamins from the food that they take on a daily basis. A nutritional deficiency is something that any parent would not want for their kids thus the reason for multivitamin supplementation. It is advisable for all parents to seek nutritionist advise and ensure that they give their children formulated childrens vitamin purposely for their development.
What Exactly Does Diindolylmethane (DIM) Do For The Body?
May 20, 2013 01:52 PM
Diindolylmethane otherwise known as DIM is a natural compound that is essentially synthesised when the body breaks down indole-3-carbinol a compound that is primarily present in cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli. The curative properties of the said vegetables have been documented, dating to many centuries ago. Today we have the advantage of scientific and technological advancement, as such medicine has been able to research and identify some specific benefits of diindolylmethane.
Today DIM is sold as a supplement or rather in supplement form and is known to offer an array of health benefits. Although not all benefits have been confirmed most of them have been researched, confirmed and documented. It is thus agreeable by most experts that DIM has enormous health benefits for both women and men. Some of these benefits include
DIM supplements are known to enhance the effectiveness as well as the efficiency of the metabolic processing of this hormone. This enhancement has closely been linked to elevated levels of antioxidant protection of both the brain and the heart. The process is as well responsible for other documented benefits, including increase libido in women and men as well as dwindle the moodiness in ladies.
The enhanced levels of estrogen metabolism are known to stimulate other hormones including the testosterone. As such this aids the body to return the optimal levels and a state of hormonal balance. In essences the body becomes more responsive particularly to exercise and increases fat-burning metabolism, this not only help build the lean muscle much faster but also promote an overall healthier body.
DIM is in different aspects to play the role of preventive medicine. It is believed that it plays a key role in preventing certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, uterine cancer and breast cancer just to mention but a few. It has also been associated in helping prevent enlargement of prostates. Treatment Diindolylmethane especially the supplements have been used and are used to treat various ailments, such ailments include premenstrual syndrome, breast pain and endometriosis.
DIM has been known to mitigate risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Its desired effect on metabolism of estrogen makes it a common choice for mitigating the effects of environment estrogen exposure.
Diindolylmethane side effects
Very little is known of the safety or there lack of, of this compound supplements more specifically in the long term. Due to its ability to an effect on estrogen metabolism, it is postulated that taking DIM supplements could trigger hormone sensitive conditions such as endometriosis, hormone dependent cancers and uterine fibroids. As such it is advice that one seeks medical advice before using these supplements.
What are the sources of DIM?
As earlier mentioned this chemical compound is produced by digestion of indole -3-carbinol by the body. This compound is present in these vegetables; brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, kales and watercress. Where do you find these supplements? These supplements are available in most online vitamin stores as well as many food stores that specialize in dietary supplement.
The Benefits of Stevia for Diabetics
February 05, 2012 08:38 PM
No herbal sweetener in the world packs the punch that stevia does. Derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiania, ground stevia leaves have ten to fifteen times the sweetness of sugar, and purified stevia extract has 200-300 times the sweetness of sugar.
Stevia is very popular in many countries, especially among diabetics. Diabetics love stevia for a variety of reasons: its safety, its lack of any effect on blood sugar, the fact that stevia has almost zero calories, the wide variety of products it is included in, and its unique ability to enhance citrus flavors and ice cream.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia is perfectly safe. Stevia has been used in Japan for decades, and the Japanese have very strict standards governing the use of dietary supplements. They have conducted numerous studies on stevia, and no study to date has ever uncovered any harmful effects. Research conducted in the United States and other countries has also failed to find anything hazardous about stevia. In addition, stevia has been consumed for thousands of years in Brazil and Paraguay with no reported negative effects.
Stevia has zero effect on blood sugar. It does not effect insulin secretion in any way, and no diabetic has ever experienced difficulties with stevia. Contrast this with the effects of table sugar and it is clear that stevia is a clear winner.
Unlike table sugar--which is notorious for being calorie laden--stevia contains virtually no calories, which means that no one on a diet has to worry about consuming too much stevia.
There are a wide variety of products available for dieters interested in consuming stevia. Liquid stevia extract is quite popular and can be found in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, peppermint, and more. It is relatively inexpensive, because a little stevia goes a very, very long way.
If you are a diabetic worried about artificial sweeteners but not yet willing to give up diet soda, stevia is the solution to your problem. While usually only available at health food stores and a few supermarket chains, stevia soft drinks exist. If you can find them, you should give them a try, and if you like them, then you can easily subsitute them for the less healthy aspartame diet drinks.
For those interested in ice cream, stevia makes wonderful ice cream. Unlike granulated sugar, which adds a grainy texture to ice cream, stevia adds no irritating textures and leaves ice cream perfectly smooth. If you make your own stevia ice cream you are going to be in for quite a treat, and even more so if you decide to make citrus flavored stevia ice cream.
No one yet understands why stevia enhances citrus flavors, but it undoubtedly does. It is difficult to describe, but stevia has a way of intensifying flavors like lime and lemon in a way that makes those flavors more delicious. Of course, individual tastes vary, but it is generally agreed that stevia lemon sorbet is a treat par excellence.
Don't hesitate to give stevia a try. This ancient herb is the perfect modern solution for diabetics with a sweet tooth.
Why Is Capsicum Cayenne Good For The Heart?
December 27, 2011 07:48 AM
Cayenne and Heart Health
The heart is something that is vital to any one of us and that is a fact. Recent numbers have revealed that over a million Americans die each year of a heart attack. So all the more reason for us to be careful with our hearts, make sure we keep it in good health and make sure we do everything we can to keep it working like it should because I am pretty sure that you do not want to be part of that next million next year.
Our heart is one of those organs in the body that truly plays an integral role and the none functioning of it will cause your expiration in just a matter of minutes unlike other organs when damaged there is still a possibility for you to survive it, but no, not the heart, once you are done, you are done and that is why its health should be one of our main concerns. The heart’s main function is to supply blood to other parts of the body and it is literally our pumping station. It does not stop at any time in our entire life, I am sure no one will contend with that. So I feel that it is our obligation to find out how we can keep the heart healthy. Well, the usual will always be there like exercise and proper diet but if you want to look at other ways aside from that and aside from medication then the way to go is the natural way and what can be more natural than supplementing with something which is derived from an everyday vegetable like peppers.
This refers to the wide variety of tropical pepper plants and as such is also known by other names like cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, red pepper, paprika, Hungarian pepper and Mexican pepper. It is unclear as to what exactly is its geographical origin but it is commonly agreed upon that it is a native of tropical regions such as China, Philippines, Tonga, Samoa, Iraq, Haiti, Hawaii and Mexico. One of its benefits is its ability to regulate blood circulation and alter temperature regulation because of the substance found in it which is known as capsaicin. Its seed has been proven in various studies to have antibiotic properties and if applied topically can even desensitize nerves and can be used as an anesthetic. When used as a liniment it is able to help with the stimulation of circulation as well and aid in the removal of waste (detox) products therefore allowing an increase in nutrient flow to the different tissues in the body which is why it is effective in relieving muscle spasms, bursitis and shingles.
Good for the Heart
One of the reasons why it is good for the heart is because it has the ability to stimulate blood vessels dilation and help relieve chronic congestions which in turn will improve blood circulation. It also has the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and increase metabolism which are both vital to maintaining heart health.
Your Diet May Be What's Causing Your Acne
September 19, 2011 06:05 PM
Although dieticians and physicians maintain that diet does not cause acne, this is not strictly true. Even dermatologists argue the point, but while it is generally agreed that eating fatty foods or excessive quantities of chocolate will not in itself lead to acne, there are certain valid arguments that diet has a role to play. Recent research has shed new light on dietary factors that can help to promote acne symptoms, if not being the sole cause of them.
Before discussing that, it is important to understand why acne gives rise to the symptoms that it does: lesions in the form of whiteheads and blackheads, pustules and cysts. While not necessary to discuss the biochemical details, the part that your diet has to play will not be understood without considering the effect of hormones on acne.
The reason that teenagers in particular appear to be more prone to acne is that an increased production of hormones has an effect on the condition that causes the symptoms of acne. Fundamentally, acne is characterized by the infection and inflammation of a mass of oil and dead skin cells within the pores of the skin, particularly on the face, neck, chest buttocks and back. If we discuss each of these elements first, and how they are created, then the relationship between diet and acne will become clear.
At a certain time in their lives, people experience a spurt of growth and develop sexually. This is initiated by the secretion of hormones, particularly of male sex hormones collectively known as androgens, and by various hormonal 'Growth Factors'. This stage of human development is known as puberty, although there is also an increase in androgen secretion by the adrenal glands just before menstruation and during pregnancy and menopause. Androgens such as testosterone are reserved not only for the male of the species!
An effect of androgens is to increase the rate of secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands in the skin. The reason for this is unknown, though it has been hypothesized that its purpose is to waterproof the additional hair that is grown on the body at this time. Another suggested reason is as an olfactory warning to others to deter from sexual activity, in teenagers until their sexual development is complete, and in pre-menstrual, pregnant and menopausal women for obvious reasons. There is no substantial proof for any of these hypotheses, though the latter appears to make more sense than the former.
Irrespective of this, androgens also interfere with desquamation, and the dead skin cells within the pores tend to fall off irregularly and in clumps. This mix of dead skin cells and excess sebum clogs up the pores of the sebaceous follicles. Once this plug becomes infected with bacteria, the immune system is activated, inflammation occurs, and leukocyte action leads to pus formation. That is what is known as acne.
In order to determine how diet and acne are connected, it would be necessary to determine what components of our diet can either stimulate sebum production, or stimulate androgen secretion. If no such link could be found, then it would be fair to descry any connection between acne and the food you eat. However, there is a connection, and it is a positive one.
In addition to their main function, insulin and a hormone known as IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 that helps promote growth in children) promote the secretion of testosterone, a male hormone or androgen. Knowing, as we now do, that androgens promote the secretion of sebum, then anything that increases the levels of insulin or IGF-1 within the body will also lead to sebum production and hence to acne. What that infers is that any foodstuffs that increase the insulin levels in the blood can also lead to acne.
This inference is supported in many ways. For example, it has been found that while drinking milk promotes a greater risk of acne, eating yoghurt does not. Why is this? It is known that milk can increase insulin levels because of its high sugar content. The effect of bacterial activity to produce yoghurt reduces the amount of sugars in the milk it is made from because the bacteria live on the lactose. The same argument applies to cheese, which promotes lower insulin levels than milk, if not as low as yoghurt.
This being the case, then a diet low in sugars and carbohydrates should reduce the incidence of acne generally. Recent research has indicated that a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar increases both IGF-1 and insulin levels in the blood. This then creates a surge in male hormones which in turn leads to excessive sebum secretion and intermittent shedding of skin cells and so on to the growth of bacteria and acne. It is a logical progression, supported both by theory and by observation.
So how should a person with a propensity for acne change their diet? Switch to fruits, vegetables and grains. Non-fatty meats are also acceptable, and .lots of fish and other seafood. Studies have concluded that diets rich in seafood lead to very low acne rates. The Japanese and coastal Chinese suffer very little acne in comparison with those taking a Western diet, particularly an American diet.
One of the reasons for this is that omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce both inflammation and sebum production. The same is true of green tea that contains antioxidants that reduce the blood levels of dihydotetosterone and hence of sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands. We could go on, and list supplement after supplement that contain antioxidants and other substances that can reduce the production of sebum and hence of the symptoms of acne.
Vegetable oils, on the other hand, with their high omega-6 fatty acid content, can drive up sebum production and the activity of the immune system and the inflammatory response. There are few doubts left that, while acne is not specifically caused by what you eat, diet can contribute to it and that acne and its severity can be eased by eating a diet low in carbohydrates and other sugar-promoting foods.
What Are Probiotics And How Can They Improve Colon Health?
September 18, 2011 12:50 AM
Sometimes when you turn on the television set when you get home you will see some commercials about some product talking about the benefits of probiotics and that some food products are fortified with it and some are about over the counter supplements. They probably will be talking about colon health and some other benefits and that would make you wonder what it truly is and if it will also help you. Well what I can tell you is, it should because it benefits anyone or anything that has a colon but I guess like most things it still depends on your unique body chemistry as to whether or not it will be as effective as people say it will be on those ads. In general though, it definitely is something that helps strengthen and maintain colon health so let us look at probiotics in detail and we should be able to know if it is something which may be suitable for us.
Simply put, it is bacteria. At first glance you may think, why would I want to put bacteria in my body when all I am trying to do every day is to stay away from bacteria? However probiotics is defined as any form of bacteria that is used medically for treatments in other words it may be bacteria but it is used in such a way that it will give positive health benefits to the body because there is such a thing as good and bad bacteria and probiotics is part of the good side of the bacteria family.
Just to give you an idea of how bacteria coexists within our body and even does good things, in our digestive system alone there are hundreds of different species of bacteria residing in there and most of them plays a role in a number of essential bodily functions like affecting nutrient absorption, food processing and cleansing of the colon. So yes, we are able to benefit from having certain species of bacteria in our body.
Probiotics and Colon Health
Colon health has long been shown to be directly proportional to the level of probiotics in the body. Many gastrointestinal diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, intestinal bowel disorders or IBD and Crohn’s disease are found to occur in patients with low probiotic levels in the stomach and subsequently when supplemented with bifidobacteria or lactobacilli which are specific examples of probiotics so as to help increase levels, the symptoms of these diseases goes down. In the modern American diet today, it does seem that there is a lack of consumption for foods that contain good levels of probiotics.
Although I do agree with increasing foods with good levels of probiotics it is not enough to correct years of imbalance and the only way is to include supplementation as part of your diet. It will allow for a good cleanse of the colon as proper levels will allow regular stool passage and when that happens it will also flush away good bacteria so maintenance is needed and with supplementation, you will be able to do that.
Can Aloe Vera Be Used For Intestinal Problems?
September 12, 2011 03:42 PM
Stomach aches are commonly not known as something that will cause a great deal of problems. More often than not we just pass it off as something that will go away. And most of the time it does and most of the time it is indeed not serious but sometimes when little things happen all the time it could be considered as somewhat of a chronic illness and for us who may not be experiencing it, it would be hard to understand why someone would pay much attention to it. The thing we need to remember though is that simple stomach aches maybe a symptom of something greater and when that happens, it means it usually has something to do with a part of our digestive system or something close to it. One example would be intestinal problems.
Problems with the intestines are almost the same as saying you have problems with the digestive system because the intestines are more than half of your digestive system. It has many manifestations and symptoms but usually the most common are cramping, gas, bloating, constipation and most especially diarrhea. I mean we could dismiss all the others I mentioned and not even consider it a problem but when diarrhea hits, it’s a different story. Now those are just symptoms. In terms of actual disease there is a wide variety of them and just to name a few, we have IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and acid reflux. These are not even the more serious conditions yet. So to make sure that we will not get to the more serious ones most people tend to find different ways and other alternatives aside from medicine to help them keep their intestines healthy or provide some relief when the problem is already there. One of the alternative treatments that have been visited by researchers is aloe vera.
This plant has long been known for its healing benefits and many in the health industry agree that the number of health benefits it can be responsible for is astonishing in some respects. It has a wide range of applications in the medical world but how will it be able to help with intestinal problems. First we need to know that aloe will not solve all our problems especially since the intestines are highly complex and is an organ with multiple uses. The key of how aloe could be important in intestinal health is with glutamine being available in aloe vera because the cells of the intestines is fast moving and the body needs hormones that will help with cell regeneration. Damaged intestines because of poor cell regeneration will cause various and serious problems.
So that is what aloe will help us avoid. Another ingredient from aloe that can help is the long chain polysaccharides that will be able to repair holes in the intestines if it already exists. Another benefit that will ease any abdominal pain that might stem from any intestinal problem is the anti-inflammatory effect that aloe has.
What Can Chromium Picolinate Do In The Body?
July 23, 2011 03:15 PM
It is inevitable that health awareness and protection are very vital. It is also very crucial for us to take necessary measures and precautions to boost our guards from elements that could pose harm and threat to our very delicate body. If we just take these things for granted, for sure, we will be paying for the consequences of our own actions. Fortunately, we are living in this generation where in many have already been discovered that we could utilize to help us achieve a health state that we have always wanted. Chromium Picolinate is one useful element that could help us control the blood sugar levels in our body. Therefore, it is deemed necessary especially for those that are suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Many experts would claim that Chromium is beneficial in reducing body fat as well as in improving muscle tone. With the array of benefits it is capable of offering the human body; its discovery could be considered as a miracle breakthrough in the field of medical science. However, there are still questions that lurk in the minds of many about chromium. Questions like “could chromium be the answer of our predicament with the very common diabetes mellitus?” Such question is surely expected because not all are fully aware about its importance therefore; its discovery is not yet wholly appreciated. Because of this, there is a great need to educate the populace about its benefits.
Chromium is an important trace mineral that is useful in the metabolism of carbohydrates hence; it could play a vital role in the regulation and metabolism of blood sugar. Other benefits of chromium would also include management of cholesterol, and hypertension. Chromium can be grasped from many food sources. But it is most abundant in true brewer’s yeast. The more common nutritional yeast though has chromium content but is not as high compared to that of a true brewer’s yeast. Chromium can also be found in grains and cereals. However, at the course of the refining process, most of the said mineral is depleted and lost. Beers also contain small amounts of chromium.
Many individuals who have good knowledge about chromium would really agree about the above mentioned benefits. As a matter of fact, a lot of dieters and health conscious individuals could really testify about the benefits of chromium picolanate especially in improving muscle tone, fat metabolism, and blood glucose level control. At present, there are a growing number of people who are already enticed to take chromium picolinate because of the irrefutable benefits it offers. Needless to say, we are the culprits of our own actions. Whatever health state we would grasp is surely the result of the things that we have sow and invested for our health. If you do not want to suffer from dreadful consequences of your own doing then you have to give yourself the protection that you truly deserve.
Grab Some Chromium and fee the difference!
Phosphatidyl choline, Aging, And Intelligence What You Must Know
May 24, 2011 10:52 AM
If you are aging and wish to maintain your intelligence, experts are turning to the belief that a supplement of phosphatidylcholine could enable you to do this. For a long time, lecithin supplements have been recommended to people seeking a way to maintain their faculties as they age, and in a number of cases it appears to have been effective. Now it is phosphatidylcholine that is being recommended, and it is certainly no coincidence that this phospholipid/choline combination constitutes the bulk of lecithin.
Nor is it any coincidence that the cell membranes of the brain and everywhere else in your body contains large quantities of phosphatidylcholine, or at least should do for maximum effectiveness. The membranes of the brain cells of a young infant consist of around 90% of this phospholipid, while those of the brain cells of a 60 -70 year old contain only around 10%. This figure will naturally vary with each person, and some individuals could have a considerably higher amount and others less, but that is a rough average.
It follows, then, and many experts agree, that by taking a supplement of phosphatidylcholine you can slow down the natural loss of cognitive ability, memory and overall brain function. If taken according to the recommended doses there are no significant side effects, so what do you have to lose? Certainly not your memory and your ability to make that decision because you are going to lose that in any case - unless these experts are correct in their thinking and you take their advice.
How Does Holy Basil Extract Help with Pain
May 19, 2011 01:52 PM
Holy Basil And Pain Management.
Holy basil extract is an herbal remedy that originated from India. It is best known as an adaptogen, and as such has become an increasingly popular herbal supplement in the past few years. It is effective in the management of stress, and anecdotal evidence is very positive. More importantly, recent studies have compared its analgesic properties to commonly used pain relievers in the market.
Many different factors are involved in the perception of pain, but most painful conditions are tied to the process of inflammation. Pain is in fact a mechanism of the human body in response to situations that are potentially harmful or even life-threatening. For example, signals are sent to the brain from the body part exposed to extreme temperatures, allowing us to move away from the harmful stimulus.
Pain is of course an undesirable condition, though it is helpful in certain situations. The thought of pain alone brings about disagreeable feelings, such as fear. No wonder people are always seeking for remedies for physical pain, which can be caused by open wounds or physical trauma. More often than not, it is linked to routine activities, such as bad sleeping positions and sitting for long periods of time.
Modern lifestyle renders the human body more susceptible to pain, brought on by injuries and wounds as well as physical inactivity. There are countless working conditions that doctors and medical professionals have pointed out to be real occupational hazards. We often do not care so much about the way we work because the repercussions are not immediately felt, not while we are young. Two major factors lead to chronic pain later in life: wear and tear of tissues and limited physical exertion.
We become increasingly sensitive to pain as we age. We keep a wrong position during sleep sometimes, and the next morning we feel all sorts of muscle pain, such as neck pain. Similar pains take place every time we lean into our computer at work. In general, these kinds of pain are due to poor posture, which can easily be remedied. However, this can take a turn for the worse in the next couple of years as we continually subject our body to muscle strain and physical immobility.
This is when natural remedies can help us. Holy basil has an age-old association with the relief of pain due to muscle strain. The chemical compounds that occur naturally in the plant species Ocimum tenuiflorum have been discovered to interact with mediators of inflammation. Researchers have learned that holy basil extracts are not only relieves pain but also contributes to holistic health.
More importantly, holy basil extracts appear to inhibit an enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the biosynthesis of pain chemicals. Its role is to get our attention and tell us that there is something wrong with our body. This enzyme is responsible for the sensitizing arthritic joints to pain. It is also implicated in severe headaches, migraine attacks, muscle cramps, and related symptoms.
If you experience chronic pain, give holy basil a try!
Herbs For Depression
December 13, 2010 12:34 PM
Fight Depression with Natural Herbs
Before discussing treating depression with natural herbs we should first consider depression itself: what is it and what causes people to become depressed? Psychiatrists and psychologists will suggest a number of definitions although most experts agree that there are two forms of depression.
Causes of Depression
Exogenous depression comes about as a result of external factors such as bereavement, heavy debt, job loss, etc, while endogenous depression comes from within and is believed to be due to biochemical problems, including food allergies, hormonal changes, thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, particularly Vitamin B deficiency, and addictions. There are many other reasons for people becoming depressed, some of which can be established by the particular symptoms of the individual.
In many cases of depression the external factors are often easier to treat than those due to internal factors. Many exogenous causes of depression such as bereavement are alleviated through time, while causes such as job loss and debt can be resolved once the cause has been rectified: thus, if the patient is no longer in debt or is re-employed, the depression tends to disappear with the cause.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is not diagnosed from a single symptom, but from a number of symptoms that can point to a person being clinically depressed and requiring treatment. Among the symptoms of depression are:
Prolonged periods of sadness or despair
Forms of Depression
Many normal people can suffer one or two of the above systems, and would not be diagnosed as depressed because of it. We can all get mood swings, feel a bit worthless now and again or be unable to concentrate or focus at times, but that does not mean we are clinically depressed.
Depression would not be diagnosed in a patient with just one of these symptoms but five or more likely would be. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders deem the patient suffering clinical depression if displaying 5 or more of the bottom 8 symptoms above for a month or more. This is believed to be the case with around 17 million Americans so it is a significant problem.
Manic depression is otherwise known as bipolar disorder, where patients have large mood swings from high and extreme hyperactivity and excitability to very low deeply depressive moods and is a clinical condition generally treated using drugs.
Treatment of Depression With Natural Herbs
The usual treatments are drugs that often have undesirable side effects; so many people are trying natural remedies instead. There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat depression, one of the most familiar being St. John's Wort. However, there are others, and here is a synopsis of each.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort (hypericum perforatum) is likely the best known herbal treatment for depression. In fact, in Germany it is prescribed by doctors to children and adolescents for the treatment of mild depression and is available over the counter in many countries.
However, it can also be used in cases of severe depression, and a report in the Cochrane Database Review[8(4)] by K. Linde, M.M. Berner and L. Kriston in 2008 stated that of 29 separate tests carried out on a total of over 5,000 patients, the conclusion was that St. John's wort extracts were at least as good in treating severe depression with 5 times lower side-effects as tricyclic antidepressants and twice lower than the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
It should be stated, however, that one trial on 340 subjects indicated no improvement over a placebo. However, the anti-depressive drug sertraline (Zoloft) was also shown to be no better than the placebo in this test, so some doubts must lie regarding its accuracy. Of all the herbal treatments, St. John's wort has had most testing carried out and it seems to be effective in treating mild to severe depression although not all experts are yet agreed.
Kava Kava Root
Kava kava can be used to treat depression and anxiety, largely due its content of kavalactones that are believed to increase the amount of a number of neurotransmitters in the blood, including the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Kava kava root is mildly intoxicating, having much the same effect as alcohol, and can also reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, it is doubtful if its effects are permanent and so it may be less of a depression cure as a short-medium term treatment. Its effects are also variable on different people, some describing it as making them feel relaxed and 'dreamy', while others find it therapeutic and making them feel better in themselves.
Kava kava should not be taken without your doctor knowing about because there have been concerns about its effect on the liver if taken in excess. A European-wide ban was lifted about two years ago after testing found the risks of taking it to be very low. It has been used for centuries as an intoxicating drink on islands such as Fiji.
Passion flower has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, stress and depression, its active ingredients believed to be maltol and ethylmaltol that help to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is one of the brain's key neurotransmitters and has been described by some as the brain's own 'Valium' supply.
Through the intervention of GABA, passion flower extract helps in reducing anxiety levels and makes you feel a lot calmer. If you suffer forms of depression that make you hyper or excitable, passion flower will help to reduce this and also helps to cure insomnia. It is a component of many natural sleeping pills.
These are just three natural substances that can be used to treat depression. However, you must inform your doctor or physician if you decide to take them since they may interfere with or change the effect of any antidepressant drug you are currently taking.
Call today for natural remedies for depression
Natural Remedies To Control Blood Sugar
June 17, 2010 01:32 PM
Diabetes has now been found to be the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. It is a chronic disorder of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. The disease starts off as a variety of metabolic changes that are associated with hyperinsulinemenia and hyperglycemia. When this happens, Insulin Resistance Syndrome results, which is a precursor to actual, full-blown, diabetes. If left untreated, insulin resistance will develop into full-blown diabetes, which includes greatly magnified risks of heart disease, stroke, eye and kidney disease, and loss of nerve function. It should be noted that diabetes is the principal cause of adult blindness and limb amputation.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is crucial for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. The body breaks down all of the sugars and starches that you consume into glucose, while insulin takes the glucose from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, the cells may be starved for energy immediately, and high blood sugar glucose levels over time can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. Diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, with some groups having a higher risk for developing it than others. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as the older aged population.
Non-insulin-dependent diabetes, also known as type 2 diabetes, is a disease that is strongly associated with a sedentary lifestyle and the modern western diet. Inadequate physical activity, along with a diet that is high in refined sugars, saturated fats, and proteins, and simultaneously low in dietary fiber has resulted in an obesity epidemic throughout the United States and Canada. With this epidemic has risen the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is a main factor in type 2 diabetes, with almost 90% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes being obese at the time of diagnosis. Although there is still a disagreement as to whether obesity actually causes type 2 diabetes or whether diabetes causes obesity, there is one thing that is clear: the disease involves a huge disturbance to the metabolic balance of the body and weight is a major factor in blood sugar management. This disturbance leads to dramatic consequences for the individual.
In order to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, it is crucial that one prevents the onset of insulin resistance. Unfortunately, millions of North Americans unknowingly suffer from this syndrome. This places them at an increased risk for cardiovascular and neurological dysfunctions. Research has shown that complications that are associated with the development of insulin resistance may be mitigated effectively by conscientious dietary and lifestyle changes along with weight loss.
Vitamins B3, B6, B12, C, E, biotin, coenzyme Q10, and the trace elements chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc are all crucial for proper blood sugar defense and metabolic support, as well as the regulation of glucose metabolism. Supplementation with these nutrients at levels that are determined to be suitable for optimal nutritional health by cited nutritional authorities is an important part of product-rating criteria. Nutritional experts ask themselves whether the product in question contains vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, coenzyme Q10, chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc at potencies that are up to 100% of the potencies for these nutrients in the Blended Standard.
Excess weight seems to be a key factor in type 2 diabetes so it seems to reason that reducing body fat can help one improve insulin sensitivity. Losing weight is no easy task but is possible with consistent work. Fortunately, heath food stores have vitamin formulas that may help improve insulin sensitivity, but this is no substitute for good clean eating and exercise. For additional information on these supplements, please contact your local health food retailer.
June 08, 2009 10:39 AM
For thousands of years, blue vervain has been used as an herbal remedy. The Chinese used this herb to treat malaria, dysentery, and congestion. It was also used during the middle Ages to help cure plagues. Blue vervain was also used by Native Americans as a natural tranquilizer for treating nervous conditions, along with female problems. In Germany, modern research has been found to support the use of blue vervain for the nervous system and for pain relief.
Because of its bitter taste, vervain is used by herbalists to improve digestion. Additionally, this herb was used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract. Blue vervain was also used as a mild diaphoretic and for all manner of female reproductive system problems that are associated with melancholy or anxiety. Physicians in the United States during the early 20th century believed that vervain may be helpful for mild digestive problems. This herb also had a reputation of being a traditional remedy for stimulating the production of breast milk. Although the active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated, it is believed that glycosides such as verbenalin and acucubin, as well as a volatile oil may be the key contributors to its activity.
Additional research shows that blue vervain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve respiratory inflammation. These properties are also calming for coughs. This herb works to fight mucus, especially for coughs that are associated with colds. Dr. Edward E. Shook, a herbalist, recommended using blue vervain to treat all diseases of the spleen and liver. This herb is also used to restore circulation and alleviate menstrual symptoms, epilepsy, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
A vervain tea made from leaves and flowers can be prepared by adding one to two teaspoons to a pint of hot water. This is then left to steep, covered for ten to fifteen minutes. Doctors typically recommend that a person takes three cups each day. Because the taste of the tea is somewhat disagreeable, the majority of people prefer to take this extract in a tincture or pill form. A tincture of one to two teaspoons, three times daily, is also suggested to consume this extract.
No adverse effects of vervain have been reported to this date. However, vervain should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though it was used traditionally during the last two weeks of pregnancy to facilitate labor, if it is used during pregnancy, one should only do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional that is experienced in herbal medicine.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in blue vervain include calcium, manganese, and vitamin C and E. Primarily, blue vervain is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colon problems, congestion, convulstions, coughs, fevers, flu, gastric disorders, indigestion, insomnia, liver disorders, lung congestion, nervous conditions, pneumonia, seizures, upset stomach, sore throat, uterine problems, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating catarrh, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, epilepsy, gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, malaria, menstrual symptoms, excessive mucus, pain, skin diseases, sores, and spleen ailments. For additional information on the many beneficial effects of blue vervain, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue vervain 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.
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
November 25, 2008 09:35 AM
The lack of sunshine during winter may diminish vitamin D levels in the body and harm cardiovascular health, U.S. researchers say. Scientists at Loyola University in Chicago reviewed studies that linked vitamin D deficiency to heart disease. The studies said rates of severe heart disease or death may be 30 percent to 50 percent higher in sun-deprived heart disease patients. Diet alone is not sufficient to manage vitamin D levels, the researchers concluded. Treatment options, such as vitamin D2 or D3, may decrease the risk of severe heart disease or death. "Most physicians do not routinely test for vitamin D deficiency. However, most experts would agree that adults at risk for heart disease and others who experience fatigue, joint pain, or depression should have their vitamin D levels measured," the report stated. (Circulation, vol. 118, pp. 1476 1485)
November 06, 2008 10:09 AM
Anxiety responses were needed in previous years to trigger the nervous system into a series of chemical reactions that would initiate action. For our ancestors, this fight or flight impulse often meant the difference between death and survival for another day. Experts warn us that the never-ending stressors that we are constantly encountering can lead to health problems including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. In contrast to the ancient forms of stress, such as the stress of a hungry bear approaching a cave, modern-day stress sources are more frequently of the chronic variety such as meeting increasing demands at work, studying for an exam, quitting smoking, and worrying about money and relationships.
Anxiety can wreak havoc on the overall health of children, with school work, exams, peer pressure, video games, and other challenges tending to trigger the same self-protective response that adults experience. However, in children, the result is often poor sleep. As a society, it is definitely evident that we need to unwind. The National Sleep Foundation reported that almost 74% of all Americans don’t sleep enough with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claiming that 50 to 70 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Americans actually filled 35 million prescriptions for sleeping pills in 2004 costing $2.1 billion.
All of these previously listed signs indicate how easy it is for us to forget the importance of good rest. Thankfully, there is a solution: Lactium, which is a milk-derived protein that presents a natural alternative for those who suffer from the modern ills that are associated with stress. Lactium is clinically proven to aid with relaxation and stress reduction. It first attracted attention after researchers found the bliss of an infant after drinking milk. The question to ask is why milk does not produce the same blissful state in adults.
A decade of research has led to the conclusion that there is a peptide with relaxing properties within a milk protein called hydroslysate. Following studies confirmed this link between Lactium and the reduction of stress symptoms. Scientists also found that adults do not experience the same calming effects of milk that infants do is because adults do not have the same enzymes that are found in a newborn which allow for the release of this relaxing peptide. Lactium supplements overcome this problem, as Lactium was proven to reduce stress reactivity in healthy women who took it for thirty consecutive days.
Following these results, a multinational team of researchers investigated the effects of Lactium on women who exhibit at least one symptom of stress. The team concluded that a 150 milligram dose of Lactium per day was especially helpful for those people who had exhibited the highest of stress intensities. These women also experienced improved digestive, cardiovascular, intellectual, emotional, and social functioning.
Most experts agree that the best cure to stress is exercise and a healthy diet. However, many people under stress need a little extra help now and then. Lactium presents a safe, non-toxic, and 100% natural option for those people who want to maximize the quality of their sleep and relaxation. Lactium can help you find some of that sleep that nourishes your life and gives you the energy to take on another day. It is available at your local or internet vitamin store.
July 31, 2008 02:46 PM
Feverfew is most commonly used in the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. Migraines are extremely common and can be very difficult to treat. Other methods of relieving pain have been explored because, for many migraine sufferers, conventional treatments have not been successful. Feverfew is one of the most successful forms of alternative treatments that have been found for treating migraines. Many studies have been conducted which have validated the already existing knowledge of many herbalists: feverfew is a great tool for helping to prevent migraines in many cases.
Although feverfew had long been used for treating headaches, its popularity declined with the advent of modern medicine. The herb has resurged into medical interest after the wife of a doctor who worked for the British National Coal Board had been suffering from migraines and was told by a coal miner to trey chewing on two feverfew leaves a day. After trying the herb, the woman noticed improvement, with fewer and less severe migraines. Her husband then urged a migraine specialist in London, Dr. E. Stewart Johnson, to test feverfew, with the results of several studies now showing it to be effective.
Dr. Johnson agreed to try the herb because he had many patients who had been suffering from migraine pain for years and had yet to find a successful treatment. Originally, he tried the herbal remedy on only ten of his patients. The results of this trial were so promising that it led to a study of another 270 of his patients, with seventy percent reporting that they received significant improvement when receiving feverfew for their headache pain.
Following this, a group of researchers in the City of London Migraine Clinic were led by Dr. Johnson to conduct a study, which was reported in the British Medical Journal, investigating seventeen patients who had already been using feverfew for at least three months. All were asked to discontinue use of their original method of treating with feverfew. Eight patients were given a capsule of feverfew, while the other nine were given a placebo.
Those that were given a placebo had an increase in frequency and severity of headaches, nausea, and vomiting, while those that were given feverfew capsules had no increase in frequency or severity of their migraines. This research has led to the belief that feverfew is advantageous in the prevention of migraines. Many other studies have been done to further test the effects of feverfew. It has been concluded that feverfew treatment is effective and there were always definite improvements in the group that used feverfew. Additionally, there were no serious side-effects that appeared to exist.
Feverfew seems to have similar properties as NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Also, the parthenolide that is found in feverfew is the main inhibitor for the formation of compounds that promote inflammation. Parthenolide reduces the secretory activity of blood platelets and white blood cells. This is important because migraines are thought to be associated with abnormal platelet behavior, as they are responsible for the release of serotonin, which constricts blood vessels and leads to migraine pain.
Feverfew is now recognized by the British and Canadian governments as a migraine treatment and is often prescribed by doctors. Many physicians and pharmacists have recent began to take more interest in the use of herbal remedies, especially since patients are beginning to become more interested in natural methods of healing.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
July 03, 2008 08:58 AM
Serotonin has not only been shown to regulate sleep, but it also is responsible for controlling mood, including feelings of optimism, relaxation, general sense of well-being, and the ability to focus and concentrate. When serotonin levels drop, it can lead to a lowered mood, which is what people experience with seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and general stress. People who experience these conditions also have been shown to experience decreased levels of tryptophan, which is responsible for the decrease in production of serotonin. Tryptophan depletion has been associated with a lowering in mood of normal healthy men. In one study, women who had recovered from major depression and ended drug treatment experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms after tryptophan depletion. In many studies that were performed in the 1970s, indications of trytophan’s ability to relieve lowered mood were found.
When shorter days begin in the fall and winter, negative effects on a significant percent of the U.S. population result. Some experience sadness, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and a loss of libido, which is what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A key contributor to this is the increased synthesis of melatonin that occurs during the winter months. Daylight normally inhibits the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Since the period of nighttime is longer in the winter versus the summer, there is a longer period of melatonin secretion. Increased synthesis of melatonin depletes serotonin levels, which, in turn, increase the symptoms of SAD. Those patients who experience SAD tend to crave starchy foods and sweets more, which happens when brain serotonin levels are low.
Tryptophan treatment may offer a substantial amount of help for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD patients who were treated with either light therapy or with tryptophan proved that patients with light therapy relapsed more quickly after the discontinued use, as apposed to those who were treated with tryptophan. Studies have also shown that SAD patients often feel better after being treated with tryptophan.
Serotonin also plays an important role in behavioral inhibition. Many studies have found that there is a decrease in aggressive behavior when serotonin is increased, while decreasing serotonin leads to impulsive aggressive behavior. Another study proves that healthy men who are depleted of tryptophan show more aggressiveness. When tryptophan supplementation was studied, participants who received the tryptophan significantly decreased their quarrelsome behavior and increased in sociable and agreeable behavior. Additionally, those patients’ perceptions of other participants’ agreeableness also increased.
Symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome include depression, cravings for foods that a rich in carbohydrates, insomnia, irritability, and hostility. More so, women with premenstrual syndrome dysphoria, which is a more severe premenstrual syndrome, have shown decreased levels of brain serotonin. This suggests that tryptophan may be involved, as premenstrual women who had tryptophan depletion have shown increased aggressive behavior. When tryptophan supplementation was studied on women who experienced premenstrual dysphoric disorder, mood swings, tension, and irritability, results showed that there were significantly greater improvements with l-tryptophan supplementation than with a placebo.
May 09, 2008 11:09 AM
Colloidal trace minerals are just as important to our health and well being as vitamins. Practically since birth we have had it pounded into us that we must eat our vitamins if we are to be healthy. The fact is that vitamins are of little use to you without minerals which are as essential for your metabolism as any vitamin is.
The essential minerals are the inorganic equivalents of the essential organic vitamins. They work together to maintain the biochemistry that keeps you alive. Take calcium, for example. That is a mineral needed for healthy teeth and bones, among many other things, but it is no good without vitamin D. Magnesium and potassium are also needed for healthy bones. Take blood clotting: vitamin K is the blood clotting vitamin, but blood will not clot without calcium.
How is energy generated in your body from the carbohydrates and sugars that you eat? They are converted to glucose that is converted to energy in every cell in your body and used in-situ. Your heart gets the energy to beat from cells in the heart – energy does not float around the blood waiting to be used. It is generated by means of the production of a substance known as ATP – adenosine triphosphate of which phosphorus is an essential component. Without the mineral phosphate none of us would be alive – nor would any form of life for that matter. ATP is the universal molecule of life.
So far we have discussed some of the seven major minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and chlorine. There are many more that your body needs, and estimates vary from 45 to 70 trace minerals, without which you would find it difficult to function properly. Although your body can make many of the organic substances needed for life from vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and proteins, it cannot make minerals which have to be taken in as part of your diet. They must be taken in your regular diet or as a supplement.
In the USA a major mineral is one that is needed in amounts greater than 100 mg (0.1g) a day, and trace minerals are required at less than 100 mg a day. So one that is needed at 100.1 is major, and one at 99.9 mg is trace. Is there a difference in the source of trace minerals, or would any source be good enough? The answer lies in the construction of the human body, and the way in which it absorbs minerals.
Your body is not designed to absorb metallic minerals. The way that such minerals are available in your diet is as part of larger organic molecules, and this is the way they must be taken as a supplement. Thus, you can’t just drink a soluble metal salt because it will pass straight through you with only around 5% absorption, if it doesn’t poison you first. For supplement purpose, metallic minerals are chelated, or combined with larger organic molecules such as proteins and amino acids, and this increases absorption to as high as 50%.
The necessity of trace minerals in the human diet was not discovered, as much as the result of a number of studies on various societies and remedies that appeared to have no basis for their effects. The Hunzas and Azerbaijanis, for example, are known to live very long lives, and investigations into this showed their diet was very rich in colloidal trace minerals from glacial water and food grown in soil enriched by that water.
It was through studies such as this and also investigation into the metabolites obtained from liver extracts that indicated the importance of many trace minerals. Take arsenic, for example. A known poison in larger quantities, trace quantities have been found to be metabolized by the liver, and while no studies have been carried out on the use of arsenic as a trace element in human biochemistry, studies on rats and human liver extracts have indicated that it could have a part to play in normal growth and reproduction.
Trace minerals take part in many enzyme reactions, and physicians now agree that many health conditions could be enzymic in origin. It follows, then, that trace elements are important in maintaining good health. It is certainly true that we cannot live without any of the seven major minerals. And it is just as certain that many of the trace minerals are just as import to human biochemistry as the major ones. It is certainly true of vegetables, which are less complex biological entities than humans, and if tomatoes need at least eight known minerals for good growth then it is certain that we will need a lot more. No studies are needed to convince us of that.
Take zinc, for example. Zinc is essential for proper liver function, wound healing and reproduction: spermatogenesis, the proper development of the primary and secondary male sex organs, and all area of the female reproduction process. Zinc is classed as a trace element, as is selenium, a deficiency of which can lead to heart disease, mental retardation and impaired function of the thyroid. Selenium deficiency is not common in the West but is in China where many areas are depleted of selenium. However, if zinc and selenium are known to be essential, how many of the other seventy or so trace minerals are also essential to human health?
The trace minerals in general are believed to protect us from some degenerative conditions, the effects of environmental pollution and help to protect us from the effects of an excessive intake of toxic minerals. Although there have been insufficient studies carried out on most trace minerals, it is known that they should be taken in chelated form, metallic in nature or not.
It is also known that such minerals should be taken as a balanced mixture as found in nature. A bullet approach, using an individual mineral to treat a certain condition, could lead to an imbalance in the body, and severe side effects, some of which might not yet be known. What is known is that certain minerals are tolerated by each other in specific relative concentrations, but if this balance is upset then they can inter-react and produce unpleasant side effects on, for example, the delicate balance of minerals in the blood.
It is becoming increasingly clear that modern farming methods have resulted in mineral depletion of the soil, and that our normal diet now only contains a small number of the minerals that our forefathers were taking. Plants draw up minerals from the soil when they grow, and we take in these when we consume them or the animals that live on them. Saturation of the soil year in year out by chemical fertilizers low in or devoid of trace minerals has resulted in a sterile environment for our feedstock, and has made colloidal trace mineral supplements almost mandatory for good health.
Today’s plants can contain fewer than 20 minerals, compared to the 70 plus of our ancestors. Life expectancy is increasing in spite of our increasingly poor diet rather than because of it, and is due more to medical advances than to advances in agriculture. A mineral supplement does seem necessary, but when you take one it should be balanced so that no one mineral is in excess at the expense of another.
This helps to reduce the possibility of overdosing on an individual substance while maintaining a natural balance of minerals in your body to make sure that your normal biochemistry is not interrupted by some deficiency or excess that has yet to be discovered. While this might seem a spurious argument, you can be certain that those in the past that used cadmium and lead as cosmetics would rather have known the effects of these toxic substances that eventually killed them.
So use chelated trace mineral by all means, but make sure that they are balanced and tested so that nothing is present that can upset the normal balance of minerals in your body. If they work for tomatoes they should work for you!
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.
Loose Weight By Cutting Dietary Fat Absorption
December 08, 2007 06:24 PM
You can lose weight by cutting dietary fat absorption, although in order to understand the need for this you have to appreciate the effect that fat has on your weight. Not only fat, but any form of calories.
The word ‘calorie’ appears to have a bad press, and there have been a lot of ill informed comments made about calories and whether calorie controlled diets are effective or not. Quite frankly, it is all said in ignorance. Whether you agree or not, the calorie is a measurement of energy and the calorie content of foods is what is calculated to be the energy value of these foods.
Once inside your body, that energy is either used up or converted to body mass. It is not necessarily converted to fat, since that extra weight could be in the form of muscle tissue. However, it is converted to body mass and so you can put on weight. The basic equation is that if you take in more energy than you use, then you add weight, and if you use more energy than you take in, then you lose weight. It is slightly more complex than that, but it is basically true.
That does not mean that if you eat a pound of dripping (the fat that drips off cooking meat) you will add a pound of weight. It is the calorific value of the dripping in terms of energy, whether measured in calories or in joules, that is the relevant factor, and if that is 4000 calories, which is about average for various types of dripping, then if you use up 4001 calories in exercise, you can safely spread your pound of lard on toast and eat it without putting on weight (you will have also to use up the calories in the toast).
It is the calorie equation that is important, and if this is negative then you will lose weight. You have to: it is a law of science! Whether your calories are in the form of cookies, candies, avocados (loads of them) or dripping, it is all the same. A meat calorie is the same as a vegetarian or vegan calorie. If you eat more than you use you put on weight.
Different foods contain different quantities of energy, or calories. If you buy a Big Mac you eat 570 calories, and 5 from your Super Pepsi. If the guy next to you has an English Muffin, he will have 140 calories. However, if he then goes home and slouches on the sofa watching TV and you go to the gym for a serious workout, he is liable to put on weight and you lose it. It’s all in the equation!
However, you don’t just use calories in exercise. Your metabolism is also important. In fact 65% - 75% of the calories you use in a day are used up by the body at rest: the metabolism that takes place 24/7 to keep you alive. The heartbeat, breathing and brain activity for example, all use up energy. So not all is doom and gloom, and you can burn up these calories even while you are sleeping.
However, there is another way to prevent the fat you eat from turning into weight. (Incidentally, if you exercise a lot, that weight will likely be in muscle mass, but if not then it will certainly be fat). You have a clue to the way that can be done in the first sentence of this article: ‘dietary fat absorption’.
If the fat is not absorbed into the body, then it is not available to be metabolized into body fat. It will pass through the body unchanged. It is not the fat you consume that makes you gain weight, but the amount of that fat absorbed through your intestines. But how is it possible to selectively prevent the fat in your diet from being emulsified by the bile and absorbed through the intestinal wall?
By means of chitosan. This is a fiber that absorbs part of the fat from the food you have eaten and hides it away from your digestive system. It cannot be broken down into sugars and then into fat to add to your unwanted weight. However, because it works after your meal, you get to eat what you want – that ‘finger lickin’ good’ stuff you love, but don’t suffer the consequences of failing to exercise to work it off. It’s like you just ate lettuce without the fried chicken with the crispy fatty skin.
So what is this miracle substance, chitosan? Biologists would recognize the name as being associated with chitin, the acetyl-glucosamine polymer that forms the carapaces, or shells, of crabs, lobsters and other marine shellfish. Chitosan is formed by deacetylating the chitin and is mainly used to enhance the growth of plants, and also as a filtration aid. So what does it do to help to remove some of the fat from your diet after you have eaten it?
The mechanism by which it does this is not fully understood, and in fact is still disputed in some quarters. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it appears to act according to the claims. There are two possible mechanisms, one of which is connected with the deacetylation of the chitin molecule. Because of this, the resultant chitosan molecule has cationic groups on the polymer chain. Cations are positively charged, and can react with acids, not the least of which are the bile acids that break down lipids (fats) to render them into a form suitable for absorption.
It is possible for the chitosan to react with the bile acids and prevent them from breaking down the fats into a condition that enables them to be passed through the intestinal wall. However, it has also been proposed that dietary fibers work by increasing the thickness of the boundary layer of the intestine through which the fats would have to pass. This would have the effect of reducing the lipid uptake.
It is also possible that since chitosan is a fibrous substance, it attracts the fats through its charge and absorbs them into a swelling ball of fats and fiber that is not only impermeable by the bile acids, but also passes through the intestinal tract unchanged and eventually excreted. In fact, there is not proof for any of these projected mechanisms, and all are theoretically possible. The fact is that it appears to work, but must be taken for several weeks for the effects to be noticeable.
It is possible to lose weight by dietary fat absorption, and whatever mechanism is used by chitosan, it is well worth trying if you like your fatty foods but also want to lose weight. Combine chitosan with a good exercise regime and you might find that you can control your weight whatever you eat. Chitosan is available over the counter at any health food store.
Is Drugging Our Children The Answer Or Could A Natural Supplement Magnesium Help?
December 05, 2007 11:02 AM
ttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a commonly diagnosed illness occurring in children since the 1980s. Many people argue that ADHD should not be categorized as a disorder, but rather a set of problems that are normal to childhood. Either way, ADHD’s symptoms consist of wandering attention, nervousness, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can be extremely troubling for the parents and teachers that have to work with children suffering from ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin have been promoted ADHD treatments for many years, but have been found to have highly dangerous side effects and not be a solution to everything. Meanwhile, many nutritionists have discovered that many of the answers to ADHD can be found in a child’s diet in the form of food additives, sugar, and the missing essential nutrients.
One child who was horribly hyperactive, out of control, and diagnosed with ADHD by a school psychologist was taken off any foods that contained a particular red dye. Almost immediately, the child’s hyperactivity ceased and he began paying attention and living the life of a normal child. A study recently completed at Yale University School of Medicine supported this result, showing a direct connection between food additives and hyperactivity. This study consisted of 297 children who were given drinks that contained common artificial food colorings and additives that are usually found in food and candy. Meanwhile, a control group was given drinks without additives. The children who drank the additive-enhanced drinks showed a significantly greater amount of hyperactivity and had shorter attention spans.
Another common cause of ADHD symptoms in children is overdosing of sugar. With all the snack-like breakfast cereals available and the high sugar-constant treats, hyperactivity should be expected. Once a child consumes a large quantity of sugar, he will hit a high of out-of-control hyperactivity and then quickly become grouchy and prone to tantrums. This is often called a “sugar rush” and can easily be solved by taking children off sugar.
After removing chemical additives and processed sugar from the diet, ADHD symptoms have also been traced to a lack of mineral magnesium. This nutrient is essential and often missing from most diets today. Kids who drink a lot of soda or fruit juices are getting high amounts of sugar but not magnesium. Those children without magnesium often suffer from irritability, insomnia, and constipation. These symptoms, which are commonly diagnosed as ADHD, can be cleared up quickly by putting your child on a magnesium supplement. Most nutritionists agree, believing that many ADHD symptoms come from a high sugar diet and a magnesium deficiency. Sugar and over-stimulation, such as stress, actually exhausts a child’s nervous system. This can be cured with a magnesium supplement which allows the nervous system to rebuild. In addition, this supplement will assist the child in relaxing. Since children are the future for our society, helping them to survive in the best way possible, naturally, is something each and every one of us should take much more responsibility for.
Maca is an Adaptogen used for Centuries
November 10, 2007 02:35 PM
Maca has been used for centuries in South American and studied for years by a Dr. Hans Seyle, a Nobel Prize winner on General Adaptation syndrome. The highlanders who live in the Andes Mountains use maca to help them survive and thrive at 14000 to 18000 feet above sea level. Oxygen levels are low at this altitude and maca helps oxygenate the blood. Maca has over 60 phytonutrients to help the body adapt to stress. The unique alkaloids increase the body’s endocrine and immune function.
Maca contains biological active components that spur an aphrodisiac and libido enhancing effect on the body for both men and women. Today’s herbalists suggest maca for a wide range of usages such as hormonal imbalances, PMS, hot flashes, depression and night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Some herbalists recommend maca for chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal dysfunction, anemia, tuberculosis, and stomach cancer. All would agree that maca extract can be used as an endocrine balancer and aid in mental clarity.
With all the benefits of maca being discovered, why not give maca a try for your self?
Supreme Court Refused Ephedra Appeal…
May 17, 2007 01:39 PM
Supreme Court Refused Ephedra Appeal…The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by Nutraceutical International Corporation, which sought to overturn a federal ban on the dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids. The court’s decision, issued without comment, lets stand a 2005 ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2004 ban. David Seckman, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association commented on the refusal. “Obviously we were concerned about the consequences of the circuit court’s ruling on the risk benefit standard the FDA used in removing ephedra from the market, which is why we filed our amicus brief. As we clearly stated in the brief, we believe congress did not intend for such a standard to be used. But, since the Supreme Court decides to take up only between five and ten percent of cases brought to it, it is not a shock that they’ve decided not to hear it. We should note, however, that the denial of the Nutraceutical petition is not an affirmation by the Supreme Court that they agree with the lower court’s decision,” Seckman said. In April, the Natural Products Association had filed a “friend of the court” or amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that challenged the lower court ruling on the standard used by the FDA to impose a 2004 ban on ephedrine alkaloids in dietary supplements.
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