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Curcumin Possesses ability to repair brain damage caused bystrokes
February 15, 2019 05:00 PM
Turmeric, a common spice, contains an active ingredient called curcumin. Recent findings are showing curcumin as being beneficial to patients with heart failure. Curcumin is believed to increase skeletal muscle strength, as well as increasing endurance capabilities to allow more exercise. Similar to ginger, another spice also shown to be beneficial, turmeric contains a high amount of antioxidants. Unfortunately, while curcumin is beneficial to heart failure patients, it simply is not a viable option due to the large amount of curcumin necessary to prove beneficial. That being said, turmeric, ginger, and many other high antioxidant substances are beneficial to humans, especially those with heart failure.
"For those who appreciate the unique spiciness of turmeric, it’s serendipitous to learn there are several layers of extraordinary health benefits included with the active ingredient known as curcumin."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/curcumin-possesses-ability-to-repair-brain-damage-caused-by-strokes/
Anxious Pets? Hereâ??s How Hemp Can Help
July 26, 2018 05:53 PM
Separation anxiety is a real concern for pets and their owners. When dogs, for example, are left alone and unhappy they can act out in a number of negative ways, which can include urinating and defecating, chewing and scratching and trying to escape. While behavior modification can at times ease the symptoms, owners are looking into a way to alleviate the sense of anxiety their pets fel with CBD oil, which is a compound available through the hemp plant. The oil affects the neurotransmitters in the brain, also boosting the feel-good hormone serotonin. In this way the dog's anxiety may be alleviated. And, it may be a good choice, as study has shown 75% of pet-owners using CBD felt that it was an effective choice for their pet. Because hemp-based products are low in THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, they are a better and usually legal choice. Regardless, it is always wise to seek out a veterinarian's advice.
"CBD is a compound found in both marijuana and its close cousin hemp. Unlike THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effect, CBD is not mind-altering or toxic."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/hemp-can-help-anxious-pets/
CBD oil: the cannabis supplement taking the wellness world by storm
June 22, 2018 08:10 AM
Cannabis oil, despite having proven medicinal properties, is currently illegal in many parts of the world, because it also has high levels of an intoxicating substance. The same cannot be said for cannabidiol oil, which unlike cannabis, which comes from the marijuana plant, is a derived from hemp.
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, affects neural receptors in a positive way, boosting brain chemicals, like serotonin, but without psychoactive elements. This makes the oil a boon for those suffering from various forms of anxiety, as well as PTSD and panic attacks. CBD oil is anti-inflammatory and it promotes REM sleep, which makes it invaluable for joint-pain relief and insomnia.
CBD oil is generally sold as both a capsule and an oil-specific product. It's recommended that users start with small doses, building up slowly. 6.4 mgs 3x a day is a good amount to enhance overall health. However, to address specific concerns, up to three times that amount many be needed. Again, one should only take such a high dose after taking the time to build up to it in increments.
"Cannabidiol (CBD) oil (derived from the stems and leaves of hemp plants) is currently flying off shelves at the moment due to its wide range of purported health benefits that include better sleep and the relief of joint pain, stress and anxiety."
Read more: https://www.getthegloss.com/news/cbd-oil-its-health-benefits-explained
Anxiety Relief Without The High? New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract
May 23, 2018 09:16 AM
Marijuana is historically known for its mind-altering impact on those who consume it, but this is primarily due to the THC that is present within the strand at use. CBD is a component that is also in all marijuana strands, but it does not promote the same psychological effects that THC does. CBD oil can be extracted out on its own so that patients can consume it for medical benefits without any concern for psychological symptoms. CBD has shown to be especially effective in treating inflammatory diseases, as well as anxiety symptoms.
"By one estimate, the CBD industry has doubled in size over the last two years, and is now worth $200 million. But with this popularity the hype may have gotten ahead of the science."
Read more: http://news.wfsu.org/post/anxiety-relief-without-high-new-studies-cbd-cannabis-extract
Natural cannabinoids from omega-3 fatty acids combat inflammation
July 24, 2017 12:14 PM
A medical news website reports that the body produces molecules that have the sane anti-inflammatory traits as marijuana. These molecules come from fatty acids found in meat and fish. These molecules are labeled as endocannabinoids, meaning they are naturally made within the body. An equation is included. The article explains how these molecules fight inflammation. They can also help with blood vessel issues. The article concludes with the hope that scientists can use this information to fight inflammation without using marijuana, which has mind altering qualities.
"Some cannabinoids, such as THC in marijuana or endocannabinoids can bind to these receptors and elicit anti-inflammatory and anti-pain action"
Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318528.php
Tackling autism by targeting gut bacteria
June 28, 2017 07:14 AM
The symptoms of autism may be targeted by altering bacteria in the stomach. People with autism tend to have a reoccurrence of gastrointestinal issues. This research, conducted by Dr. Qinrui Li, suggests that the root of GI issues may be a result of an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. It is suggested that if the gut can be reverted back to a healthier state, that some autism symptoms may be alleviated.
Read more: Tackling autism by targeting gut bacteria
Prebiotics reduce body fat in overweight children
June 09, 2017 12:14 PM
In the developed world today the most costly medical condition, for youth, is being overweight. This is a symptom arising from over nutrition. One such way to combat this epidemic may be to use probiotic, as part of a regular diet. A double blind test was preformed by the University of Calgary, in Canada. A controlled group of 42 participant age ranging from 7 to 12 years old participated. The participants added a powder mix to daily water intake and were monitored thereafter. The results showed that the group who supplemented with prebiotic lost more weight than those who took the placebo. Since prebiotic is inexpensive and non-invasive this area of weight loss techniques needs to be studied further.
"Prebiotics reduce body fat in children who are overweight or obese by altering their gut microbiota, according to new research. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients (such as fiber) that act as fertilizers to help stimulate the growth of good bacteria already in the gut, different from probiotics, which introduce new bacteria into the system."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170607123949.htm
Depressed? You may be at risk for this…
April 18, 2017 10:44 AM
Depression affects millions of people every single year. While more women are apt to experience depression, men are also at risk for the condition. When you are depressed, the condition causes a number of life altering affects and health consequences important to know. Here are a few of the things that might occur if you are depressed, giving you even more reason for you to get the help that you need as quickly as possible.
Read more: Depressed? You may be at risk for this…
Canine cannabis: Dogs with anxiety, arthritis and more benefiting from products derived from hemp ...
March 24, 2017 04:44 AM
If you've never heard of cannabis for canines, you are not alone. It is, however, turning into a growing trend. Pet owners across the United States are raving over hemp products that can treat a variety of conditions pets suffer from, and it's proving more effective than pet pharmaceuticals. Veterinarians are also recommending these products in greater numbers. Read on for more information about these products along with a story provided by one dog owner detailing how hemp biscuits greatly improved his dog's anxiety.
"Pet owners across the country are going crazy over a hemp product they claim helps improve the health of their dogs and cats. Veterinarians are now jumping on board and"
Read more: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/03/17/canine-cannabis-dogs-with-anxiety-arthritis-and-more-benefitin/21901956/
Effective Remedies For Joint Pain | Joint Pain best remedies
March 21, 2017 04:44 AM
Joint pain can make it hard to take care of the things important to you in life, and those that you enjoy. But, you don't have to be someone that succumbs to joint pain and its life-altering effects. There are many effective treatment methods for joint pain and using one or more of these techniques may provide you the relief that you are searching for. What remedies work best for treating the joint pain you are experiencing?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0yK3hMkJOk&rel=0
"There are many effective home remedies for joint pain you can use."
A New Marijuana To Relieve Pain Without The High
January 19, 2017 02:59 PM
The pure medical value of marijuana is apparently being isolated without getting the user high, LatinosHealth reports. The two main molecules in marijuana are THC (which contains the "high"), and CBD, which does not get the user high, but can relieve pain. Efforts are being made to isolate the CBD side of marijuana for pure medical use.
"Earlier researchers were of the opinion that CBD had no use in the human body while THC was used to treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems but that notion has changed as CBD has been used in the treatment of diseases like epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer."
Doctored marijuana gives relief to boy
January 17, 2017 07:59 AM
Many anti-marijuana advocates state that the drug is harmful. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who claim that it can help give relief to those with chronic conditions. It’s easy to state that, but what about a real-life case to back it up? Think about Jackson Leyden, who started having several seizures a day at the age of 8. He has tried almost all seizure therapies out there and nothing worked. Within just a few days of starting THC extract therapy, he had barely any seizures. He went from having 200 a month to about two per month.
"The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not."
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
December 20, 2013 09:14 AM
What is Citrimax
Citrimax is a global popular weight loss supplement drug which is believed to help in to burning of fats which are excess in the body since this fats are stored in the fat reserves. It is one of the plant extracts from the South Asian fruit known as the Garcina cambogia which contains naturally occurring deposits of hydroxyl citric acid. This has been proved to be the source of appetite suppressant which results to the blockage of deposits of the fats enhancing metabolism.
Benefits of Citrimax
The tablets are believed to have been formulated and proven to be effective and preferably safe in clinical tests which have been conducted so far. Results have shown that these tablets can greatly suppress the appetite and to a greater percentage inhibits the production of fat in the body without any adverse effects on the dieter’s nervous system.
The Citrimax are different from the rest of the body weight products because of the presence of the hydroxyl citric acid which normally fails to stimulate the central nervous system. Though there have cases associated with the nervous anxiety, Citrimax still remains to be a product with no risk at all since it does not cause drastic side effects. These tablets work by hindering the enzymes which breakdown carbohydrates into the stored fat in the body. It also promotes an increase in stored energy as to be in form of glycogen. It normally provides away of melting excess fats in the body.
The Citrimax tablets
Give an important impression in their usage since they work by altering the enzymes converting carbohydrates into fats since the carbohydrates stored as fats are used for energy and the body to store the same energy in form of glycogen which then is a channel of communication for the brain information which leads to turn off of hunger signals.
What Are Indoles?
January 03, 2013 03:59 PM
Indoles? What are these?
These are natural substances found in cruciferous vegetables when crushed or during cooking. Also referred to as indole-3-carbinol. Cruciferous vegetables include kales, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These plants contain a high level of glucosinolate glucobrassicin when broken down which is the main source of this substance. Indole is becoming increasingly popular since it is a powerful antioxidant and has been proved to help in relieving a number of ailments.
Benefits Of Indoles:
Some of the benefits of indole-3-carbinol is that is supports the liver's detoxification process which in extension assist the colon work effectively. Liver detoxification help in filtering out the unwanted impurities from our bodies and also when used as a colon supplement, help colon work properly to eliminate waste material from our bodies. Studies have shown that this supplement (I3C) is successive in treating a prostate cancer tumor and also preventing them in the first place.
Estrogen enhanced cancerous cells in the breast, cervix and endometrial can also be prevented if used as a dietary supplement. It works by altering estrogen metabolism and cellular activities. Especially for women, indoles are beneficial since it aids in the treatment of endometriosis which is a condition where the endometrial tissue form outside the uterus. This condition causes problems such as irregular periods, lower fertility and pelvic pain.
As a powerful antioxidant, indoles help in preventing cellular damage due to free radicals and maintains the hormonal balance of the body in both men and women. Studies have also proved that it helps reduce incidences of muscle soreness due to overexertion and menopausal symptoms, breast tenderness and cramping. Indoles have been known to cause no side effects to most people when used the same amounts as found in the diet hence is safe. It however causes skin rashes and an increase in liver enzymes in some people when not used appropriately.
Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Help With Weight Loss?
December 12, 2012 10:56 AM
Green coffee beans
Green coffee beans are the seeds of a coffee plant that have not been roasted and usually have a high content of chlorogenic acid, which play a critical role in metabolic reactions in the body. It helps to break down fats, promote carbohydrate absorption, control the levels of blood sugar and also act as an antioxidant. Coffee beans are usually soaked and then concentrated to be able to get the green coffee extract. Clinical studies have shown that daily intake of about 400 mg of the coffee bean extract before taking breakfast allow one to lose one pound every week without altering the diet. This is explained by the ability of chlorogenic acid to burn out fat. A certain research also showed that taking 700mg of these extracts once a day enables one to lose weight daily. These clinical studies have been backed up by reviews from people who have used the green coffee extract. Chlorogenic acid is a plant polyphenol with a variety of antimicrobial properties and ability to suppress the absorption of glucose leading to weight loss. Roasted coffee beans usually have a very low chlorogenic acid concentration which breaks down during roasting of the beans.
Researches have shown that this acid is a tumor inhibitor by nature, and it does this by preventing carcinogenic agents from integrating with DNA and resulting in cancer. It has been proven to prevent cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, and type II diabetes. Most supplements of green coffee have piperine and green tea, and other contents that focus on burning fats. When buying green coffee extract, establish all the contents and the effect. One should not drink much coffee. There is no need for coffee, one will get all the nutrients including a small amount of caffeine as an energy boost, so extra coffee might just amp you up to much.
Guggul, Cholesterol and Your Health!
February 11, 2012 07:53 AM
Guggul is a secretion substance, usually a yellowish rein, of the mukul myrrh tree botanically known as Commiphora mukul. It has been used for centuries now in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for conditions such as osteoarthritis, obesity as well as some skin conditions. Recent studies have also indicated that guggul can also be used to lower the levels of cholesterol mostly by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and accelerating the removal of the LDL and triglycerides cholesterol. Besides lowering cholesterol and blood fats, guggulipid extracts have been observed to raise the level of HDL cholesterol ,which are good cholesterols, and thus enhancing the health of your heart by shielding it against artherosclerosis vascular disease.
The guggul extract contain a compound that inhibits the functioning of a receptor in the cell known as FXR. This receptor is responsible for regulating the cholesterol in our body by varying the amount of the bile acids in our bodies. Usually, cholesterol in our body is either from synthesis in the liver or from diet. Cholesterol is contained in the bile acids which are made in the liver before being passed to the gall bladder and then to the small intestines. They help in the metabolism of fat in the small intestines before reprocessing and returning to the liver. By preventing the functioning of the FXR receptor implies that more cholesterol becomes excreted. In so doing 14 to 27 percent of LDL cholesterol and 22 to 30 percent of triglycerides cholesterol levels are reduced with use of guggul without need for exercise or diet.
Since guggul is instrumental in hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis) and maintaining gigh levels of HDL (High-density lipoprotein) it has been seen to be a remedy for male erectile dysfunction and impotence. Further, guggul enhances the function of thyroid gland which is responsible in production of hormones that regulate metabolism. This therefore aids in weight loss by altering the thyroid function to increase production of thyroxine metabolite, triiodothyroxine and T3 which enhances the general body metabolism and by extension enhance burning of fats.
The action of guggul thus creates a balance between low and high cholesterol which may be in our bodies owing to diet, chronic stress, genetic propensity and also lack of exercise. A number of studies have reported that it is a safe and effective remedy to improving and maintaining a ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterols. In addition to maintaining normal ranges of cholesterol levels, it shields you against heart disease and inflammation.
In research, guggul extracts has been observed to clash with CYP3A4 enzyme whose responsibility is to metabolise numerous chemicals in the body. CYP3A4 is also responsible for metabolism of medications and thus guggul use tends to reduce the effectiveness of a number of medications such as diltiazem, propanolol and birth control pills. However, it has been reported that it in fact increases the levels of certain drugs such as statins in the body resulting in an improved effectiveness. Another problem of guggul use is its ability to raise the effectiveness of blood thinners and hence blood clotting becomes a challenge and it results to excessive bleeding. Therefore guggul should be administered only in the event that one is not under medication or the interaction between guggul and the medication is in fact not detrimental.
Have your tried Guggul Today?
What can you get from Too Much Fiber?
October 11, 2011 12:57 PM
Dietary fibers are plant food particles which cannot be digested and absorbed by the body. Fiber only adds roughage or bulk to the stool making it easier to pass out. It cannot be broken down into simpler compounds then absorbed by the body for cellular consumption. Therefore, dietary fiber is generally intact inside and outside the body. However, despite this fact, certain fiber may be dissolved in certain kinds of solvent such as water.
Fiber is categorized into two, insoluble and soluble fiber. The former is a fiber which does not dissolve in water while the latter is a fiber which dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber significantly promotes the movement of digestive contents by increasing its bulk. This normal intestinal peristalsis then promotes regular bowel movement, thereby, lowering the risk of constipation or irregular bowel movement. Great sources of this kind of fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and leafy vegetables. On the other hand, soluble fiber dissolves in water but is not absorbed by the body. After being dissolved, the fiber forms into a gel – like substance which alters the absorption of cholesterol and excess sugar thus regulating the blood levels of cholesterol and glucose. Popular sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, apples, carrots, oranges and barley.
There are many great sources of dietary fiber. However, there are misconceptions on what fruit or vegetable contains rich amount of fiber. Among the commonly mistaken food items are lettuce, tomatoes and celery in the forms of fresh salads. Chemically, these fruit and vegetable contains little amount of fiber only. Another mistaken belief is that a food may be high in dietary fiber just because of its tag which states wheat, multi – grain, natural and enriched. Like for example, oat – bran doughnuts, cookies and grain chips are commonly low in oat bran fiber but instead high in fat and sugar. Therefore, be careful of commercial labels.
Great sources of dietary fiber mainly include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Dietary fiber is important to the body because it can significantly normalize the individual’s bowel movement. Aside from such primary purpose, fiber can also greatly help in lowering the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, fiber is beneficial and important to the body. However, many questions have come out whether consuming more fiber can be good or bad to the body.
Certain clinical studies have revealed that consuming greater than 35 grams of fiber everyday can significantly influence the digestion and absorption of several vitamins and minerals. This may be technically valid. However, that certain amount of fiber is rarely eaten since most people eat only a small amount of dietary fiber. Therefore, this is not a significant threat to the health of an individual. The benefits of dietary fiber far outweigh the little possibility of adversely altering nutrient absorption and assimilation.
Also, rarely in certain individuals, consumption of more than 50 grams per day of fiber may cause intestinal obstruction. However, this chance is only very little since in most individuals this amount of fiber can improve instead bargain the health of the intestines.
Can I Use Senna Leaves As A Laxative Daily?
September 27, 2011 12:52 PM
What Are Senna Leaves Good For?
Senna is a plant which belongs to the family of flowering plants known as Fabaceae. This plant can be abundantly found in tropical regions. This plant is considered to be a shrub. However, some seemingly looks like an herb or a small tree. Senna is one of the most commonly used herbal laxatives. Other names of Senna are Cassia Senna, Tinnevelly Senna, India Senna, Alexandrian Senna, and Khartoum Senna.
The active ingredients of Senna are called Anthraquinone and glycosides. As a laxative, the active chemical in Senna acts primarily on the large intestine, therefore, this herb has a promising effect in relieving constipation. Clinical studies have also reported that Senna can enhance peristaltic movement of the intestines. This is possible because of its irritating effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines.
To be specific, Senna is an effective laxative. It is categorized as a bowel stimulant or irritant. This type of laxative acts primarily on the mucosa of the intestines and stimulates the nerve plexus to influence water and nutrient absorption as well as reabsorption. This alteration will then lead to the stimulation of peristaltic activity of the bowel. Thus, digestive tract movement is increased and stool elimination is induced. However, this may not be safe under certain circumstances. For this reason, stimulant laxatives must be used cautiously and employed for a short period of time only. As a result, Senna can also be employed as one of the weight loss herbal agents.
Moreover, the leaf of Senna plant consists of essential oils which can potentially destroy harmful microorganisms that can cause skin irritations such as rashes, blisters and acne. In the traditional medicine, Senna leaves are prepared in the form of paste which is then applied on skin to treat ringworms and other skin infections.
In addition, another health benefit of Senna is its potent antioxidant property. According to chemical studies, Senna herb contains high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to the body because they help prevent diseases by way of eliminating harmful toxins from the body. One of these harmful chemicals is called free radicals. These kinds of substances occur naturally in the body as an end – product of biological reactions. Free radicals can cause interruption on cellular division by altering replication of DNA. Aside from that, it can also cause damage to healthy cells of the body, thus promoting illnesses and diseases.
With the several health benefits of Senna, it must not be employed as a substitute to prescribed medications. This herb is available in supplements. You can purchase this product in many health and drug stores or even Online. However, it must not be abused. More importantly, medical consultation must be done first so that adverse effects and untoward drug interactions will be avoided. Use Senna herbal supplement as labeled or prescribed. Like any other laxative, do not use this in large amount and for a longer period of time. This may cause dependence in which you cannot have a bowel movement without the use of such supplement or laxative.
Why Is The Amino Acid Tyrosine So Good for the Brain?
June 18, 2011 12:20 PM
Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as an immediate precursor to several organic compounds found in the brain and the central nervous system. It is one of the 20 amino acids utilized by cells in protein synthesis. As such, it is an important component of the human diet, albeit not classified as an essential nutrient. Mental infirmities not related to age has been linked to tyrosine deficiency.
There is no daily value for tyrosine, but it is an integral part of proteins obtained from both animals and plants. Also, supplementation of tyrosine has not shown any adverse effects. That being said, deficiency in tyrosine is not unheard of. In fact, there is a rare autosomal recessive disorder called phenylketonuria that interferes with the synthesis of tyrosine and leads to brain damage and seizures.
Prevents Brain Damage
Tyrosine is one of the amino acids necessary for the manufacture of neurotransmitters and proteins that display vital functions in the nervous system. In phenylketonuria, the synthesis of tyrosine from phenylalanine is impaired, causing the build-up of the latter. High concentrations of phenylalanine deprive the brain of other amino acids, such as tyrosine. This results in progressive mental retardation.
The presence of tyrosine in the central nervous system is very important in mental development. It works as nutrient for nerve cells that powers neuronal activities. Not surprisingly, regular intake of tyrosine has been observed to display cerebroprotective properties. It has also been linked to the prevention of headaches following an intense physical activity.
Improves Stress Tolerance
It has long been suggested that supplementation of tyrosine may improve stress tolerance, but studies that support this claim have surfaced only recently. High levels of tyrosine in the brain appear to improve physiological responses to stress in both animal and human studies. Many researchers believe that depleting levels of tyrosine in times of stress contribute to mental fatigue.
Tyrosine is a precursor to catecholamines, organic compounds that function as neurotransmitters and hormones. It is converted to epinephrine, or adrenaline, which is responsible for the activities in the peripheral nervous system during stress. It is also converted to norepinephrine, which sends signals to both sides of the brain and forms a neurotransmitter system within the brain and the spinal cord.
Promotes Mental Clarity
Tyrosine plays a role in sustaining mental clarity, the reason why it is thought to produce nootropic effects. For one, the availability of tyrosine in the brain improves mental function, especially under psychological stress. It is utilized by the brain in the manufacture of brain chemicals involved in cognitive function and even motor skills.
More importantly, tyrosine provides a ready pool of levodopa, which increases dopamine levels. Both tyrosine and dopamine levels have been observed to be low in individuals suffering from clinical depression, suggesting that tyrosine may provide mood-altering effects. Since there is no harm in regular intake of tyrosine, it has been promoted as an alternative to other mood enhancers.
July 14, 2009 02:23 PM
Kava kava has been traditionally in ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and relaxant used by many island communities in the Pacific such as Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Today it is still used to relax the body and mind and promote a restful sleep. Kava kava is now generally considered an important herb for insomnia and other nervous conditions, as well as a beneficial reliever of pain. Drinking 100 to 150 ml of kava tea is enough to put most people into a deep sleep within thirty minutes. Unlike alcohol and other sedatives, the use of kava does not actually result in any morning hangover. The kava drinker usually awakens having fully recovered normal physical and mental capacities. Those people who drink smaller amounts of kava kava have been shown to express a sense of tranquility, sociability, and contentment.
Kava kava has the ability to function as an anesthetic, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antifungal, and sleep inducer. Studies preformed on animals have shown that kava kava possesses anti-convulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. The key components of kava kava, kavalactones, seem to act primarily on the limbic system, an ancient part of the brain that affects all other brain activities and is the main contributor to emotions. Kava seems to promote sleep and relaxation by altering the way the limbic system influences emotional processes.
Due to its amazing abilities, kava kava is considered to be one of the most powerful of the herbal muscle relaxants. It is often recommended to treat rheumatism, insomnia, and to relax the body. Additionally, it possesses antiseptic properties that can help with bladder infections. Kava kava can also be applied directly to wounds.
A giant benefit of kava kava is that it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time, unlike other synthetic drugs that are often prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. Due to its ability to induce sleep, recent studies have showed kava kava to be a huge benefit for people that are suffering from anxiety. Another study looked into the effects of kava kava on women who are suffering from menopause. Forty women who had menopause-related symptoms were split into two groups of twenty women. These women were treated for eight weeks. One group was given kava kava three times daily, while the other group was given a placebo. After only one week into the study, the women who were taking kava kava demonstrated significant improvement. Stress and anxiety were reduces, along with the general mood of women being better and symptoms of menopause were much less notable. No side effects from this study were noted.
The beneficial effects of kava kava make it to be an excellent herb for the nervous system. In order to naturally promote a sense of well-being and contentment naturally, kava kava should be looked into. This ability is something that shouldn’t go unappreciated in the busy and stressful world that we live in today. In order to obtain more information on the beneficial effects of kava kava extract, try speaking with your local health food retailer.
December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.
Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.
Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.
The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.
Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.
Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.
Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.
Essential Fatty Acids
September 16, 2008 08:54 AM
A lot of people tend to shy away from anything that has the word fatty involved with it, thinking that it will cause them to gain unnecessary weight. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are good fats and bad fats. The beneficial ones actually can help decrease the desire for food and for harmful fats. Fats are essential to health, as they help to balance the body’s chemistry and provide padding for the vital organs in the body. Fats give a source of energy for body processes and also help with the transportation and absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are all fat soluble.
There are three main categories of fats: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and essential fats. Saturated fats are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. The carbon atoms from fatty acids hold together in a chain-like fashion and they can attach a hydrogen atom to them. When each potential place for a hydrogen atom has been filled and there is no more room for any more hydrogen atoms, these fats are considered saturated. The fat will be harder or thicker in consistancy the longer the chain.
These types of fatty acids are found in red meat, butter, cheese, sour cream, palm kernel, and coconut oils. When someone has a diet that is high in saturated fats, these fats clump together in the body and form deposits that lodge in cells, organs, and blood vessels and can lead to many health problems like obesity, heart disease, and breast and colon cancer.
Unsaturated fats are called this because at least two adjacent carbon atoms on a chain are not attached to hydrogen atoms. When at least two pairs of carbon atoms are empty, it is known as a polyunsaturated fatty acid. The more saturated the fat, the more easily it will stay hard at room temperature.
Essential fatty acids are crucial nutritional compounds that our bodies need in order to perform many functions. They can be found in the seeds of plants and in the oils of cold-water fish. Essential fatty acids can not be made in the body, so they must be found in a supplement or in the diet. Many factors, which include stress, allergies, disease, and diet high in fried foods, can increase the body’s need for essential fatty acids.
Fatty acids are the basic building blocks of all fats. A fatty acid is considered essential if the body is unable to synthesize it and the only way it can be obtained is through diet. Additionally, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause disease. A deficiency of fatty acids can cause poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough and dry skin, and slow growth.
Essential fatty acids are vital for many functions including: lowering triglyceride levels; helping to eradicate plaque from the walls of arteries; lowering blood pressure; altering the production of leukotrienes; constructing body membranes; helping strengthen cell and capillary structures; prolonging blood-clotting time, which helps wounds to heal; helping the body manufacture hemoglobin; assisting in the manufacture of cholesterol; preventing the growth of bacteria and viruses assisting in the functions of glands and hormones.
Essential fats nourish the skin, hair, and nails; increasing the rate at which the body burns fat; helping the body maintain proper temperature; assisting in the body’s production of electrical currents that are vital for a regular heartbeat; and acting as a precursor to the production of prostaglandins. It is essential that everybody obtain good fat in their diet to maintain health, if one can not eat the proper foods, supplement forms of essential fatty acids are available.
June 03, 2008 01:11 PM
Mental disorders, including depression, affect more than 22 percent of adults in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The stressful way in which we live contributes to this percentage of unhappy people. People feel pressure on the job and are being rushed all the time. We eat fast food on the run due to time constraints and have less time to exercise. This combination of factors leads to moodiness and irritability. It also detracts from our overall happiness.
Whether you typically experience seasonal sadness or have been diagnosed with depression, there is help available. You don't have to accept feeling down as part of life. Nor do you have to deal with the unwanted side effects that come with taking a prescribed antidepressant or anxiety medication. All you need to take the edge off of life is natural albizzia flowers. This herb provides a natural way to reduce stress.
Albizzia Flowers as a Natural Remedy for Sadness
Albizzia flowers are herbs that have been used by the Chinese for more than 500 years to treat sadness. They also have been used by Korean and Japanese people as a natural remedy for life's stresses.
Taken from the silk tree, albizzia is often referred to as the happy tree. It can be used for a variety of emotional needs, from spiritual disorders to emotional imbalances. It is also known as the Mimosa tree.
Uses for Albizzia Flowers
Albizzia flowers can be used to treat the following:
In essence, this herbal flower provides a gentle calming effect. It works to relieve tension and bring a sense of peace over the body. The herb gives a sense of contentment and comfort, and relieves aches and pains associated with the symptoms above.
Albizzia is especially useful for those dealing with grief. Losing a loved one can feel devastating and overwhelming. Albizzia flowers help to relieve these feelings and can make coping with your loss a little easier.
Antidepressants vs. Natural Herbs to Relieve Depression
Using Albizzia flowers is much safer than taking a prescription antidepressant. Antidepressants are mind-altering drugs that have a list of unhealthy side effects. They can cause you to feel things like dry mouth to headaches. Drugs like Paxil can even increase the risk of suicide in some people. You can avoid these potentially dangerous side effects by using natural herbs to take the edge off of life.
Albizzia is a relaxant and a sedative that works to calm the liver, kidneys and heart. It works to ease and calm the mind and body without the effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Starting with a low dose of 10 drops two to three times per day is recommended. As your body adjusts, you can work your way up to 30-60 drops several times per day.
Though it isn't a miracle herb, Albizzia is a helpful herb that can relax the body and aid mood disorders. It can be used in conjunction with prescription drugs or in place of them to minimize the effects of a stressful lifestyle.
D-Ribose Powder Benefits!
April 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Supports normal heart function*
A significant amount of in vitro, animal and human research suggests benefits of ribose on heart function.* Studies have shown that ribose supplementation can enhance cardiac energy levels and support cardiovascular metabolism.* Ribose has been shown in clinical trials to enhance the recovery of heart muscle ATP levels and improve myocardial function following exercise.
Studies suggest that ribose supplementation can increase the tolerability of the cardiovascular system to exercise-induced fatigue.1 In one study, twenty men underwent treadmill exercise tests on two consecutive days to confirm the onset of fatigue secondary to exercise. The participants were then randomized to the treatment group or a placebo group. The groups received either four doses of 15 grams of D-ribose (60 grams/day total) or the same amount of placebo each day. After three days of treatment, another treadmill test was performed. The time it took to reach the specified level of fatigue was significantly greater in the ribose group than in the placebo group.
Another study investigated the ability of ribose to support healthy heart function and quality of life.2 In a randomized, crossover design study, fifteen individuals were given 5 grams three times a day of either D-ribose or placebo. Each treatment period lasted three weeks. In patients receiving ribose, echocardiography demonstrated enhancement of heart function, reflecting a “more efficient relaxation phase of the heart”. Participants also had a significant improvement in their subjective quality of life scores compared to placebo.
Scientists suggest that suboptimal heart function is a result of the heart requiring more energy to function properly. Ribose supports the heart’s enhanced energy requirements, promoting optimal heart function. It does so by enhancing the stores of high-energy phosphates in heart tissue. These intermediates are necessary for the production and resynthesis of ATP. A double-blind crossover study in which 12 individuals were randomized to receive either ribose or dextrose (both administered as 5 grams three times daily for three weeks, followed by a 1-week washout period and crossover of treatments for three additional weeks) suggested significant enhancements in normal cardiac function during the period of ribose supplementation.3
Perhaps one of the more useful illustrations of the potential for ribose to support heart function comes from a study in which 20 rats received a continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours (control rats received an infusion of saline). The hearts were then explanted (as they would be for heart transplants) and placed in preservation solution that was enriched with ribose for 4 hours. ATP levels were measured from tissue biopsies and revealed that 10 of the ribose-treated hearts had ATP levels higher than 12.3 micromoles per gram whereas saline-treated hearts (controls) had lower ATP levels, with 20% showing levels below 10 micromoles per gram of tissue. This provides support for the hypothesis that ribose may enhance the preservation of ATP levels in cardiac tissue, promoting normal heart function.4
Further animal studies have shown that ribose significantly enhances heart function after experimentally induced cardiac depression. Rats were injected with isoproterenol (a drug that stimulates sympathetic nervous system function) and had their abdominal aorta constricted to induce depression of heart function and reduce cardiac ATP levels. The decrease in ATP was primarily responsible for the depression of heart function. Continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours replenished ATP concentrations to normal levels and normalized heart function in these animals.5
Ribose may strengthen and support the body’s crucial antioxidant defenses*
Ribose may support the body’s innate antioxidant mechanisms while promoting an antioxidant effect of its own. Intense exercise and other strenuous activity can induce the production of free radicals. Preliminary studies suggest that ribose can attenuate some of the effects of oxidation seen after performance of intensive exercise.
One small human study indicated that ribose administered at a dose of seven grams before and after a bout of cycling exercise may reduce free radical production.6 Seven volunteers ingested either ribose or placebo both before and after intense exercise. Markers of lipid peroxidation, including malondialdehyde, significantly decreased in the ribose-supplemented group, while increasing in the control group. The results of this study indicate a possible effect of ribose in supporting antioxidant activity.
Supports healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue*
After bouts of intense exercise, ATP levels have been shown to decrease by an average of 15 to 20%.7 The amount of ATP stored in the muscle is limited and so the body must have the potential to rebuild ATP stores. ATP is the fuel necessary for the integrity and function of a cell. In addition, several studies have found correlations between ATP content and heart function.1 Research that was also alluded to above suggests that ribose stimulates ATP synthesis and supports heart and muscle function by enhancing ATP levels in cardiac and muscle tissue. D-ribose is an essential building block for the synthesis of ATP through the pentose phosphate pathway.
The results of ribose supplementation enhancing ATP levels in muscle are evidenced by studies suggesting beneficial effects on anaerobic performance. In a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing the effects of acute ribose supplementation, participants receiving the ribose supplement had increases in mean power (a measure of average overall muscular strength output during the sprint) and peak power (a measure of the highest muscular strength output during the sprint) when undergoing a series of cycle sprints.8 While this effect was not noted in all of the six short cycling sprints that the participants underwent, the study does illustrate the potential benefits of ribose on ATP production and, secondarily, on enhancing exercise performance.
A second placebo-controlled trial investigated the effects of four weeks of ribose-supplementation (10 grams /day) on male bodybuilders. Of the 20 participants who were recruited, twelve completed the study. Each subject participated in a heavy-resistance training program designed to increase skeletal muscle mass. The effects of ribose on body composition (body weight, body fat, lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content) were also assessed. The results suggested that ribose increased total work capacity and bench press strength compared to placebo, without altering body composition.9
Supports energy recovery after exercise*
Animal studies have suggested that the administration of ribose after exercise increases the rate of adenine salvage by five to seven-fold in muscle tissue7, supporting energy recovery after exercise. When ATP is utilized by muscle tissue, the degradation products include adenine nucleotides (Adenine is one of two purine bases that is a component of DNA). Adenine is recycled to synthesize DNA, and the salvage of adenine within the muscle tissue is crucial to energy recovery. Studies have shown that the presence of adequate ribose concentrations is the rate-limiting step in the purine salvage pathway. Therefore, increased adenine salvage could potentially help in the recovery and regeneration of ATP after intense bouts of activity.
A study investigated the effect of oral intake of ribose on the synthesis of AMP, a precursor to ATP.10 Participants performed intense cycle training for seven days. They then received either ribose (at a concentration of 200 mg/kg body weight, which is equivalent to 14 grams per day for an average 70 kilogram male) or placebo three times a day for the following three days. Exercise tests were performed again on day 4. Muscle biopsy samples were taken before the first training session, immediately after, and again five hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours after the last training session. No differences were seen in exercise performance between the groups. The intense exercise caused the ATP levels in muscle to decrease in both groups. However, at 72 hours post-exercise, the ribose group exhibited a much higher ATP level than the placebo group. The muscle levels of critical building blocks for ATP, including total adenine nucleotides (TAN) and inosine 5’-monophosphate (IMP), were also significantly higher in the ribose group compared to the placebo group at 24 hours after exercise. Ribose-supplementation was shown to enhance the resynthesis of ATP after intense exercise.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Caution: Insulin-dependent diabetics and pregnant women should consult their physician before use.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 or 2 scoops mixed in water, juice or other beverage two times per day. May be taken with or without food.
1) Pliml, W., von Arnim, T., Stablein, A., Hofmann, H., Zimmer, H., Erdmann, E. Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. The Lancet. 1992;340:507-510.
2) Omran, H., Illien, S., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A., Luderitz, B. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. The European Journal of Heart Failure. 2003;5:615-619.
3) Illien, S., Omran, H., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A. Ribose improves myocardial function in congestive heart failure. FASEB Journal 2001;15(5): A1142
4) Muller C., Zimmer H., Gross M., Gresser U., Brotsack I., Wehling M., Pliml W. Effect of ribose on cardiac adenine nucleotides in a donor model for heart transplantation. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):554-8.
5) Zimmer H.G. Normalization of depressed heart function in rats by ribose. Science. 1983 Apr 1;220(4592):81-2.
6) Seifert, J.G., Subudhi, A., Fu, M., Riska, J.J. The effects of ribose ingestion on indices of free radical production during hypoxic exercise. Free Rad Biol Med 2002; 33(Suppl 1) S269.
7) Zarzeczny, R., Brault, J.J., Abraham, K.A., Hancock, C.R., Terjung, R. Influence of ribose on adenine salvage after intense muscle contractions. J Applied Physiology. 2001;91:1775-1781.
8) Berardi J.M., Ziegenfuss T.N. Effects of ribose supplementation on repeated sprint performance in men. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):47-52.
9) Van Gammeren, D.V., Falk, D., Antonio, J. The effects of four weeks of ribose supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in healthy, young, male recreational bodybuilders: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Current Ther Research. 2002;63(8):486-495.
10) Hellsten, Y., Skadhauge, L., Bangsbo, J. Effect of ribose supplementation on resynthesis of adenine nucleotides after intense intermittent training in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2004;286:R182-R188.
Buy Ribose at Vitanet at a Discount
Are there negative interactions with medicine?
February 27, 2007 09:25 AM
No, there are no known negative interactions with any medication. However, you should always consult with your physician prior to altering prescription drug therapy.
New foods double as medicines
October 18, 2005 10:53 AM
New foods double as medicines
As the American public becomes more health conscious, food companies are altering their approaches to match the public’s needs.
For instance, Benecol, a new line of margarines and salad dressings, doubles as a cholesterol- lowering medicine. The active ingredient in Benecol is a compound from pine tree pulp thought to have cholesterol-lowering abilities.
Researchers found that this compound reduced cholesterol by as much as 10 percent. While Benecol is not an alternative to healthy eating and lifestyle, it does mark a new age in food marketing and purpose. By using foods like Benecol in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, a person may have more success in managing their heart health than with prescriptions or diet alone. And Benecol’s success may prompt other companies to produce food items that double as medicinal products.
WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?
July 13, 2005 09:57 AM
WHAT IS A FREE RADICAL?
Free radicals are unstable, unpredictable structures that pose a potential threat to healthy molecules on a cellular level. In their atte mpt to become stable, they assault and randomly impact healthy molecules, altering their functions in the process.
TO COMPLETLEY ELIMINATE FREE RADICALS, YOU MUST STOP BREATHING
The very act of breathing oxygen activates these reactive chemical structures. To make matte rs wo rse, because our generation, more than any other, is exposed to a number of potentially harmful environmental substances, free radical formation can reach epidemic proportions. Some of the more dangerous of these include:
EVEN EXERCISE HAS ITS PERILS
Exercising, as beneficial as it is, can initiate the release of free radicals within our cellular systems. Aerobic exercising produces oxidation products. Many of these compounds are not neutralized by our internal safety mechanisms and an overload can occur. Supplementing the diet with efficient antioxidants is highly recommended for eve ryone, but especially for those who exercise on a regular basis.
WHY ARE FREE RADICALS SO DANGEROUS
A free radical can destroy a protein, an enzyme or even a complete cell. To make matte rs wo rse, free radicals can multiply through a chain reaction mechanism resulting in the release of thousands of cellular oxidants. When this happens, cells can become so badly damaged that DNA codes can be altered and immunity can be compromised.
Contact with a free radical or oxidant on this scale can create cellular deterioration, resulting in cancer and heart disease. Tissue breakdown from this oxidative stress can also occur which can contribute to aging, arthritis and whole host of other degenerative conditions. “Through free radical reactions in our body, it’s as though we’re being irradiated at low levels all the time. They grind us down.”3
PREMATURE AGING AND FREE RADICALS:
Frequently, the oxidative stress caused by free radicals results in what we refer to as the aging process. While aging is inevitable, many of us hasten its outcome by not protecting ourselves, hence, we age prematurely. The early onset of wrinkling, arthritis, circulatory disorders, diabetes, heart disease and hardening of the arteries can result from free radical damage that could have been minimized by consistently taking strong antioxidants like Pycnogenol. More and more research suggests that it is a lack of certain protective nutrients, like the bioflavonoid compounds contained in Pycnogenol, which increases our risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.4
WHY A NUTRITIOUS DIET DOES NOT AFFORD US ENOUGH PROTECTION
“They (antioxidants) may be much more important that doctors thought in warding off cancer, heart disease and the ravages of aging—and, no, you may not be getting enough of these nutrients in your diet.”5
Clearly, while diet modifications are invaluable, diet alone cannot provide the kind of physiological defense the body requires to inhibit free radicals before they cause biological harm. While there is no way to escape our exposure to free radicals, we can minimize potential cellular destruction by reducing their numbers.
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:29 PM
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
The body takes combinations of different triglycerides and makes fats from them to help in various processes. The basic building blocks of any fats are the fatty acids. Fatty acids are either essential or nonessential. A fatty acid is considered essential if 1) the body is unable to synthesize it and 2) the only way it can be obtained is through the diet. In addition, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause a disease. As far back as 1930 researchers discovered that if an animal did not get essential fatty acids in the diet, it could cause symptoms such as poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough, dry skin, and slow growth, among others. There are basically three essential fatty acids. They are linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. Linoleic acid is the most vital. Linolenic and arachidonic acids can be converted from linoleic acid, but linoleic acid must be obtained from the diet. Most people are unaware of the many vital functions of essential fatty acids. The list includes:
Cholesterol is synthesized throughout the body. It is manufactured by cells, glands, the small intestine and the liver. Cholesterol is constructed from dietary by-products of proteins, sugars and fats. If the diet contains excessive fats, especially the saturated types, the body will convert them into cholesterol. People who eat high sugar or fat diets may therefore experience elevated cholesterol levels.
Prostaglandins are found in almost all body cells, and act as catalysts for many physiological processes. They help prevent abnormal blood clotting and nerve inflammation. Prostaglandins also help promote blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels and improve immune system function. The most beneficial type of prostaglandin is called PGE-1. PGE-1 balances cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and stimulates the body’s production of T-lymphocytes which strengthen the immune capabilities. Each cell keeps tiny amounts of EFAs and produces prostaglandins from them as they are needed. The name prostaglandins was coined because these substances were originally found in high amounts in the prostate gland. To date, there have been discovered at least thirty-six different prostaglandins with a wide range of roles in the body.
Probiotics - Our Friendly Bacteria
June 16, 2005 10:51 AM
An estimated 10 quadrillion bacteria make their home in the average digestive system. Fortunately, less than one percent of the 400 different species found in the intestine are potentially harmful. The majority of intestinal flora are friendly bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. These probiotic bacteria support good health by limiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion and increasing resistance to infection.*1
Probiotic bacteria are completely non-toxic. In fact, friendly bacteria have been used safely and effectively for more than 8,000 years, proving their value to human health.*2 Most often, probiotics have been consumed as part of cultured foods, such as acidophilus milk, yogurt, soy tempeh, and idli (cultured wheat). The friendly bacteria in these foods, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, multiply in the warm, moist environment of the human body by feeding on the carbohydrates and protein in the digestive tract, then establish colonies along the intestinal wall.
Beneficial Roles of Probiotics
Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria play many important roles in maintaining good health.* According to experts, regular consumption of probiotics is the best way to maintain healthy intestinal flora.*3, 4 Lactobacilli species do not survive very long in the colon, so bacteria colonies need to be routinely replenished.*
In addition to producing numerous vitamins, probiotics support healthy digestion.* Part of the reason fermented foods are healthful is that some of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates are partially digested by the bacteria, which increases overall digestibility and nutritional value of the food.*5, 6
Lactose intolerant individuals may gain even more benefits from probiotics. Lactobacilli bacteria ferment as much as half of the lactose in milk—the part of milk that results in the symptoms of bloating, cramps and gas in lactose intolerant individuals—by converting it to lactic acid. Consequently, people with lactose intolerance report fewer digestive problems with cultured dairy foods compared to fresh milk.*5, 7
The nutritional profile of foods is improved after being cultured with probiotics. Levels of several B vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, niacin, folic acid and pantothenic acid are higher in fermented foods, such as yogurt, cheese, kefir and buttermilk.*5 Fermentation also boosts the digestibility of soy foods.*8
Inhibiting bacterial growth:
Probiotics act as natural antibiotics, slowing the growth of harmful bacteria.*5, 6 These friendly bacteria produce substances, including lactic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide and natural antibiotics, which limit the reproduction of certain disease-causing bacteria.*9
Another way that probiotic bacteria maintain a healthy digestive tract is by competing with harmful bacteria in the intestine. When the intestine is full of large colonies of beneficial bacteria, disease-causing bacteria are simply not able to multiply into harmful numbers because there are no available attachment sites on the intestinal wall.* This is one of the ways L. acidophilus inhibits the growth of Candida albicans, coliform (e. coli) bacteria and salmonella.*3, 4, 10, 11
Diarrhea can have many causes, but it always has the same result for the bacteria living in the intestine—it flushes them out, leaving the body vulnerable to the growth of opportunistic bacteria. It is important to replenish the body with probiotics during and after a bout of diarrhea.* Probiotic bacteria can also help keep the colon healthy when traveling.*4
Lactobacilli are one of the primary bacteria found in normal vaginal flora, and their presence is believed to inhibit the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Candida. Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are a popular folk remedy for vaginal health.*4, 10
Recolonization After Antibiotic Use:
Antibiotics, given to treat bacterial infections, ironically can contribute to unhealthy bacteria growth. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, the good along with the bad, leaving the intestine without its normal, healthful flora. In this compromised state, disease-causing bacteria can multiply unchecked by friendly bacteria.*12 When ingested during and following antibiotic usage, L. acidophilus rapidly restores normal flora, shortening the time that undesirable organisms remain in the gut.*3, 12 Bifidobacterium bifidum can also help normalize the intestinal flora after using antibiotics.*10
Producing the Best Probiotics
Fermenting foods with lactobacilli has been a time-honored method for both preserving and enhancing foods. Before refrigeration, fermentation was a valuable way to preserve food safety, and it remains in common usage today.
Nature’s Life uses the same basic principles developed and perfected by prehistoric nomadic peoples to produce Lactobacillus acidophilus products; with the exception that we use modern, high-volume equipment. These improvements, along with trained personnel, scientific methods and quality assurance practices, ensures that every batch meets our high standards of quality.
Our lactobacilli are cultured on nutrient-dense food concentrates, such as soy protein, green peas or non-fat milk. We add natural apple juice, pasteurized clover honey, strawberries, carrot juice or maltodextrin for flavor and to provide carbohydrates for the micro-organisms, plus we use only pasteurized water.
Our growth medium has a broad range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, organic acids and naturally occurring plant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids with beneficial antioxidant properties. The temperature and moisture are carefully controlled during the several days needed for the bacteria to multiply to peak potency.
At the peak of potency, Nature’s Life Liquid Acidophilus culture is poured directly into sanitized 16 oz. glass bottles and immediately refrigerated at 36°F to maintain peak potency. These liquid products are the most bioactive of all forms of acidophilus because they are dormant, rather than frozen.
For our freeze-dried powders and capsules, the warm liquid culture is immediately poured into containers, sealed and refrigerated. After cooling, the liquid is poured into trays and instantly freeze-dried. The frozen lactobacillus is then processed through a vacuum freezer to lower the moisture level to an absolute minimum. This freeze-dried product is packaged as either powder or capsules. When swallowed, the microorganisms will rehydrate and begin colonizing the gastrointestinal tract with friendly bacteria.
Nature’s Life acidophilus is not filtered, centrifuged or otherwise concentrated or separated from its growth medium to artificially obtain higher concentrations of bacteria per gram or capsule. Centrifuging may damage the lactobacillus by altering the natural clumping, chaining and branching of bacteria cells.*
Nature’s Life probiotic products retain all the benefits of the nutrient-rich growth medium. All the valuable by-products of the bacteria’s metabolism remain in the final product, including B-vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, antibodies and even naturally occurring antibiotics. The conclusion of experts is that products which are centrifuged or filtered are incomplete.13 14
Quality You Can Trust
Nature’s Life invests significant resources in perfecting the production of high quality Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. You benefit from our knowledge and experience every time you choose our supplements.
Nature’s Life lactobacillus cultures are manufactured with rigorous specifications using state-of-the-art equipment. All equipment and containers are sanitized to ensure that no contaminants or unfriendly pathogenic bacteria corrupt the quality of the L. acidophilus. The large capacity fermentation tanks and freeze dryers maintain consistency in each batch.
Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus meets or exceeds all standards developed by industry associations and government regulations. These standards, established to determine the quality of the finished product, are:
All of Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus products meet the acid test for effectiveness:
Using Nature’s Life Probiotics
Nature’s Life probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, can survive in the stomach for at least an hour.*15 Nature’s Life recommends taking probiotics either on an empty stomach or with food, however the presence of food can help the organisms stay alive longer.16
Liquid acidophilus should be treated as a perishable product, since it contains live, active organisms. Like yogurt or milk, acidophilus should be refrigerated and used within a short period of time. Contact Nature’s Life for a recipe on how to make your own soy-based, milk-free yogurt.
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: Cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)
Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?
June 13, 2005 09:49 AM
Don't Be Blue by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 10, 2003
Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.
Although the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers believe the pineal gland plays an important role in this disorder. This gland, located beneath the brain, makes melatonin in response to the amount of light that enters your eyes. Melatonin hormone is only produced in darkness. The darker your bedroom, the greater your melatonin production.
Conversely, melatonin production usually stops in the morning when you open your eyes to the day's new light. But research shows that the production of melatonin climbs too high in folks who suffer from SAD. That excessive amount of the hormone results in a sedative effect upon the body.
Many people with SAD suffer muscular aches and pains, along with headaches and a faltering immune system. Consequently, they often feel like they have the flu all winter long.
More women than men suffer from SAD (and, apparently, depression in general), though the reason is unclear.
According to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press), "about 6% of the US population may suffer from SAD, with an additional 14% suffering from subsyndromal [less severe] SAD." Because less sunlight reaches the northern latitudes, folks in Washington state and Alaska suffer the highest rates of SAD. People in sun-soaked Florida suffer the least.
How do you escape SAD? If a winter vacation to the sunny South is out of the question for you, a natural program can brighten the wintry gray days and provide relief.
Turn on the Light
The most common treatment for SAD is light (also called phototherapy), which cuts back the body's manufacture of melatonin. Sitting in front of a special light box for about 30 minutes each morning during the winter months can often offset SAD. But the effects of this treatment vary from individual to individual, and some may be more sensitive to the light therapy than others.
For artificial light treatment, consult an appropriately trained healthcare professional who can design a plan that finds the optimal intensity, length and time of day for the treatment that best works for you. Researchers at Columbia University have found that timing the light therapy with the nuances of a person's biological clock doubles its effectiveness (Archives of General Psychiatry 1/15/01).
On the other hand, walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.
Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.
Research now shows that light on the skin alters the hemoglobin in the blood. "This research suggests that SAD might be a disorder of the blood rather than a brain disorder," says Dan A. Oren, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine (Science 1/12/98).
Vitamin D Need
If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D).
Twenty minutes of daily sunlight exposure on the hands, arms and face can give adequate amounts of vitamin D to light-skinned people. Dark-skinned people may need longer exposure. Supplements can help: In one study, researchers found that people who took vitamin D had significant improvement in depression scale scores (Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7).
As far as vitamin D production goes, you can never receive too much sunlight (although overexposure resulting in a burn is never a good idea). The body absorbs vitamin D from the skin as needed and never accepts more than is required. (If you take supplements, follow package directions so you don't get too much of a good thing.) Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, salmon and other fish.
Walk Away the Blues
Research also shows that exercise can chase the winter blues and that a little bit of exertion goes a long way. Exercise physiologists at Duke University found that little as eight minutes of physical activity can improve your mood.
Exercise stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, feel-good hormones that help reduce pain and depression. Physical activity can also increase serotonin levels, those neurotransmitters that brighten emotions. These two hormones work together to make you feel better: Serotonin improves the functioning of your mind while endorphins produce beneficial effects on your body. In one study, researchers reported that exercise increased vitality and improved mood even in cases of prolonged depression (Psychological Medicine 1998 Nov; 28(6):1359-64).
To banish SAD, engage in an outdoor activity in natural light, or get active indoors under bright lights.
As you can see, much of the research into low, wintry moods suggests that sun worshippers may have been right all along: Exposure in winter to our friendly, local neighborhood star offers impressive mood benefits.