Search Term: " bacerial infecions "
Botanical study concludes the antioxidant potential of small nettle
March 22, 2019 03:54 PM
Researchers from the University of Sfax conducted a study on small nettle to determine it’s antioxidant potential. The small nettle plant can improve nutrition, livelihood, and overall health. It is also rich in flavonoids, fatty acids, and vitamins. Small nettle has already been in use for medicinal purposes as it can serve as a natural remedy for allergies, asthma, and bacterial infections. To conduct the study the researchers used extracts from small nettle leaves and watched for antimicrobial activity. They observed antioxidant activity along with high concentrations of flavonoids and shows that the plants are very important for health applications.
"A study conducted by researchers from the University of Sfax in Tunisia was the first to show not just the antioxidant potential of small nettle (Urtica urens) but its antimicrobial activity as well."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-19-botanical-study-concludes-the-antioxidant-potential-of-small-nettle.html
A little oregano oil can go a long way for your immune system
February 11, 2019 02:50 PM
Having a lower functioning immune system is never any fun. Have you ever wondered what you could do to give it a good boost on a regular time frame? In her new article, Emily Laurence focuses on adding a few drops of oregano oil into your daily routine could help ward off any bad bacteria that may enter your system. Make sure to read all warning labels and possibly consult your doctor, as she touches on, if you take enough of this you may end up with negative results.
"The active compound in oregano, carvacrol, is antimicrobial, meaning it kills bad bacteria, says certified health coach and director of food and beverage at Equinox Katzie Guy-Hamilton in an interview with Furthermore."
Read more: https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/oregano-oil-benefits/
Garlic the master medicine: Scientists find a compound in the herbthat can destroy resistant bacteria
December 14, 2018 09:05 AM
Garlic is something that is present in many different types of foods on a regular basis. It is very interesting to see how many people like garlic and use it for different things. However, now garlic is being used for something a little bit more new. Within the herb, scientists have found really promising compounds that could help ruin bacteria. This is revolutionary for people who suffer from a lot of bacteria and the results are continuing to come in.
"The researchers say that they believe their garlic drug could help treat patients whose outlook is otherwise poor. A biotech firm is developing the compound for use against bacterial infections, and human clinical trials are expected to be carried out soon."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-15-garlic-medicine-scientists-find-compound-destroy-resistant-bacteria.html
The essential oil of myrrh is a powerful natural medicine for woundmanagement
December 06, 2018 04:52 PM
Myrrh is a oil that is being used as a really powerful medicine for the managing of wounds. This oil is something that some people think is useless while others absolutely swear by it. Having something that has a natural use case is sometimes better than other medicines because there is nothing artificially placed within these oils. Obviously, it depends on the type of wound that you do have and how severe it is. Doctors are using these natural oils more and more.
"Most people know myrrh as an aromatic, but not so much as a natural medicinal treatment. A study in the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal, however, has proven that it does have remarkable medicinal benefits, among which are faster healing from wounds and protection from bacterial infections."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-20-essential-oil-of-myrrh-for-wound-management.html
7 Ways Inflammation Affects Your Body
April 23, 2017 11:44 AM
Inflammation is not a friend to your body. In fact, it probably affects you in several ways that you are unaware of at the time being. It is time to change that. It's always best to be informed. When you're informed, you'll know what to expect, and better understand the importance of visiting a doctor. Pay attention to these seven ways that inflammation affects your body, and learn what you can do to avoid these hassles.
"When your immune system detects any of these invaders, it fights back by triggering proteins that are meant to protect your cells and tissue."
Read more: http://www.health.com/pain/body-inflammation
Heavy intake of antibiotics linked to deadly bowel cancer
April 16, 2017 06:44 PM
Antibiotics are one of the best inventions that this planet has ever seen. Preventing millions of deaths from common bacterial infections is hard to argue with. However, recent research has shown that the continued use, and generally the overuse, of antibiotics can have some dire consequences. Among them is stomach cancer, an especially difficult form of cancer to treat. So while the pros of antibiotics far outweigh the cons, one needs to be careful not to overdue their useage.
Read more: Heavy intake of antibiotics linked to deadly bowel cancer
Bad bug, no drugs: The real end of antibiotics?
March 04, 2017 10:59 AM
One of the biggest problems we face as a race is the super bug. There are bacterial infections that have become immune to any antibiotics. There is a major rise in hospitals of people coming in with infections that cannot be cured with antibiotics. This is becoming a major problem in the world.
"The Klebsiella bacteria that killed her had a powerful enzyme that breaks down antibiotics, known as New Dehli metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), because it was first found in a patient who had travelled to that Indian city."
Why Americans remain vulnerable to infectious diseases
December 08, 2016 02:59 PM
There is uncertainty in the impact of vector-borne diseases in the US. The effect of changing climate may alter which geographic areas are at risk from vector-transmitted infections. Drug resistance is a growing problem and requires urgent action to tackle it. Antibiotics are a key weapon in the battle against bacterial infections, but we must use those tools carefully to make sure they stay effective.
"By analyzing trends in US mortality between 1980 and 2014, scientists found that infections were responsible for 5.4% of all deaths, with the majority caused by influenza and pneumonia."
Benefits of Chanca Piedra (phyllanthus niruri)
Chanca piedra also known as phyllanthus niruri and whose common names are stonebreaker, seed-under-leaf or gale of the wind is a tropical plant, indigenous to Amazon Rainforest in South America and India. It is a highly regarded plant, familiar to naturopaths. Read on to find why?
For centuries, the indigenous people of Amazon have used Chanca piedra to treat and remove kidney gallstones. In fact, the name Chanca piedra is a Peru word for “stone breaker”. In addition to curing gallstones, the plant has diuretic qualities which, is why over 300 studies have been done since the 1960s to ascertain its healing abilities.
From this research, the plant has been found to cure a number of diseases. These include;
Gallstones, and Kidney Stones – Chanca is believed to hold the most promising treatment for kidney stones, not only among the indigenous people but also, in the Ayurvedic medicine.
Preliminary studies indicate that the plant has the potential to protect the kidney from kidney stones by simply increasing the secretion of bile and reducing the formation of any obstructions in the kidneys and the gall bladders. The extra bile secreted enhances digestion and increase absorption fats, like fat soluble vitamins.
Chanca piedra and the Liver – the herb contains a protein which research has shown that it protects the tissues of the liver against oxidative stress by simply increasing antioxidative defense.
Antioxidant Activities – Chanca piedra has also been found to contain phenolic content which reflects antioxidant activities when tested. The antioxidants support optimal blood pressure levels in addition to supporting balanced blood sugar levels.
Defense against harmful organisms – water extracts from this herb have indicated toxic activities against several organisms that are harmful to human body. Additionally, Chanca piedra has been found to defend the body against;
Health Benefits of Aconitum Napellus.
June 28, 2014 05:41 AM
Apart from being a beautiful herb, Aconitum Nappellus has been used for centuries in treating a variety of ailments. The herb is mainly found in the United Kingdom, northeastern United States and Eastern Europe. Its common name is monkshood or wolfs bane.
Benefits of aconitum napellus
In ancient Europe, it was used to treat many ailments including flu, fevers, colds and nervous disorders. It was also used to relieve pain, and roots were used as anesthesia. In the modern world.
Aconitum is used to treat different ailments such as
Aconitum is used to treat constipation, vomiting and other stomach upsets. If you suffer stomach upsets, leaves and roots from Aconitum have been found to remedy stomach upsets.
Aconitum pills available in the market have been found to be very effective in treating headache including migraine headache. People who suffer frequent headache have found Aconitum pills to be very beneficial in alleviating headaches.
Treat fear and shock
When properly prepared, aconitum pills will alleviate fear, shock and anxiety. It has significant sedative, ant-neuralgic, analgesic properties and has been proved to alleviate panic attacks and shock.
Aconitum has been found to have antibacterial properties. When frequently used, it will strength your immune system and protects your body against bacterial infections. However, it is always good to use together with other antibacterial drugs.
It is also useful in the treatment of eye ailments. For example, if you suffer swollen, red and hard lids, or your eyes feel dry and hot, aconitum can treat such conditions.
Is used to treat Red, dry, numb, prickling, constricted, burning, stinging throat as well as swollen and dry tonsils.
If you suffer difficulties in urinating, tenesmus and urine retention, aconitum will remedy these conditions.
Aconitum Napellus is poisonous. Symptoms of Aconite poisoning include vomiting crawling skin, and coldness.
What Are the Benefits of Ylang Ylang Oil?
February 25, 2014 07:36 AM
Health benefits of ylang ylang
Ylang ylang oil has many health benefits. We can draw some of its benefits from its characteristics, like for instance hypertensive, sedative and antidepressant substance. Ylang ylang has gained worldwide recognition over the recent years due to the production of hundreds of cosmetic products that have this essential oil.
Thorough advertisements through the media have also contributed a lot to its growth. Today, almost every house hold in the world use ylang ylang oil. It is in fact the most preferable component for most aroma therapists.
Below are some of the benefits of ylang ylang oil.
An anti-depressant factor
This is actually the most common medicinal feature of ylang ylang oil which also has essential oil properties. Ylang ylang oil helps the body to fight depression and also has relaxing properties that aim at easing the body tension and the soul. It also can induce various beneficial feelings to the body like for instance hope and joy. These feelings replace negative emotions such as sadness and major stress.
It cures Antiseborrhoeic
Seborrhoeic Eczema is a very dreadful disease that arises as a result of sebaceous glands malfunctioning. This disorder may lead to irregular production of sebum. Ylang ylang oil can help to cure this disease by enhancing the production of sebum and treating the disease itself.
It acts as an antiseptic substance
Wounds such as burns and abrasions are susceptible to getting bacterial infections. Bacterial infections to wounds can cause a serious medical issue. However, the ylang ylang oil can prevent all that. This is because it can stop tetanus and sepsis by preventing microbial growth. It can also disinfect wounds.
This might sound hilarious but it is true- ylang ylang oil can enhance effective romance in couples and can improve sexual experiences. This can be good news to people who lack interest in sex due to factors such as depression and stress or people suffering the loss of libido.
Acerola and its health benefits
January 12, 2014 01:53 PM
Acerola cherries, also known as Malpighia emarginata is a small fruit bearing shrub native to central and southern America and West Indies. It is also grown in California and subtropical areas of Asia that is India and is an important source of nutrient for the people living in this area for over hundreds of years. It came into use in 1950 when some of the manufactures found that orange juices are too acidic for infants and could prove to be harmful for them. Acerola is rich in Vitamin C. A Mild portion of Acerola extract in orange juice would be less acidic and full of Vitamin C.
According to a scientific study done on mice suffering from lung tumours, Acerola helps in regulating the abnormal cell growth. According to researchers, the Anthocyanins present in the fruit are mainly responsible for the action.Therefore, various surveys and studies around the globe it has been found that antioxidants in acerola have disease-fighting agents and thus play a key role in preventing and managing health problems such as cancer, hypertension, bacterial infections, and diabetes. It has free-radicals and anti-fungal agents that prevents skin aging and helps in fighting cancer. Due to the high concentration of vitamin C and unique combination of antioxidants in it, acerola has proven to be an important health supplement. The vitamin C in it has much more anti oxidative power and is readily absorbed due to the presence of ingredients like vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, calcium, phosphorus, protein, and iron. They can be taken in the form of powder, tables, capsules, syrups, or juices and only moderate consumption of Acerola cherries are recommended as over-dosage could cause diarrhea.
Acerola is thus an amazing source of vitamin C. This is a water soluble vitamin and thus it leaves the human body quickly. This is the reason for the necessity of the regular consumption for the optimum health. In order to function properly, every gland and organ in human body needs the vitamin that plays a role in fighting infection and healing body.
Does your Health Depend On Colloidal Trace Minerals We Consume?
October 28, 2013 11:32 PM
Colloidal Trace of Minerals
Trace minerals refer to a type of mineral that the body requires for good health but not in large quantities. This type of minerals supports energy, metabolism, antioxidant protection and immune system function. Colloidal trace mineral supplements offer better absorption by the body due to their small size; they are 7,000 times smaller than one’s red blood cells. Colloidal minerals are specially-prepared so that the body can fully meet its nutritional needs. They are 98% absorbable by the body, unlike a number of mineral supplements, which are 8-12 percent absorbable. Since they carry a negative electrical charge, these minerals can pass through intestinal wall pores right into the bloodstream. Therefore, our health heavily depends on these minerals. Here are the major health benefits of colloidal trace minerals.
Supports Hair Re-growth
If you have hair loss due to mineral or vitamin deficiency, then it can be attributed to lack of colloidal minerals. Therefore daily intake of the supplement will help your hair to regrow within a couple of weeks. Remember that colloidal trace minerals are usually hard to absorb and so must be prepared well before the body can utilize them.
Colloidal trace minerals, such as silver, are effective in protecting the body against various bacterial infections. According to a study, even a 5 ppm solution can kill the bacteria that cause typhoid. It can also help to fight gonorrhea. Researchers put the number of pathogens that colloidal minerals can fight effectively at over 600.
The activity of colloidal silver against virus makes it the ideal option for fighting flu and colds for people who don’t like the conventional medications. Moreover, a 2005 study discovered that colloid silver can inhibit HIV from binding to host cells.
Colloidal minerals help to treat ringworms due to their antifungal properties. It can either be applied topically or taken internally for this purpose. It can also prove useful in treating candida.
What Are The Benefits Of Turmeric Extract?
June 04, 2013 01:53 PM
Turmeric extract, also known as Curcuma longa has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Reputable studies show that it may help control infections, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems and some cancers. Historically, it has been widely used in cooking Indian dishes and is much loved due to its curry flavor and yellow color.
Further, it's used to color butter and cheese and has been intensively applied in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat wounds and skin diseases.
According to research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric extract contains powerful ingredients that stimulate the production of bile and thus can be used to control indigestion.
Let us take a more straight forward look at its main benefits to human health.
Benefits of Turmeric Extract
* Fighting inflammation
Turmeric contains a special substance called curcumin which aside from destroying free radicals lowers the levels of some enzymes in the body that fuel inflammation. Clinical studies have suggested that turmeric's duo benefits (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) are an essential part of recovering from joint stiffness - useful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis.
As we mentioned earlier, turmeric can boost the production of bile. One double-blind study (done by The German Commission E) concluded that turmeric may help in improving the functioning of the digestive system by reducing bloating.
* Turmeric and ulcerative colitis
Although turmeric does not seem to help control stomach ulcers, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center confirm that can play a central role in people with ulcerative colitis by helping them stay in remission. Recent studies done on people with this disease (who consumed turmeric) showed a lower relapse rate than who took other treatment substances.
* Turmeric extract and cancer
Though most results are still early, there has been a great deal of findings that have painted turmeric in good light as far as treatment of various cancers is concerned. At the moment, scientists are keenly studying its effects on colon, skin, breast and prostate cancers. All the same, turmeric is known for its preventive effects which have something to do with its strong antioxidant properties.
* Turmeric=Good Heart Health
Some substances found in turmeric extract may help reduce incidences of atherosclerosis - a condition closely associated with the occurrence of stroke and/or heart attack. It, in a great way lowers cholesterol levels in blood vessels. Aside from that, it stops platelets from clumping together thus preventing blood clots from accumulating along blood vessels.
* Containing Viral and Bacterial Infections
Turmeric may to some extent kill viruses and bacteria. Some of its active ingredients are as well known to expel intestinal worms.
Turmeric has been for a long time been associated with good eye health. Well, researchers have recently made breakthrough findings that curcumin (turmeric's main active ingredient) may help treat chronic anterior uveitis. Its efficiency is believed to be at par with corticosteroids.
There are many other health benefits associated with turmeric extract. However, the few mentioned herein are the most important ones that you need to take note of.
Grapefruit Pectin And Soluble Fiber Health Benefits?
January 26, 2013 11:28 AM
Do you want to know, what are the benefits you're likely to reap from consuming grapefruit pectin?
If yes, then this write up is for you. Scroll down to know more on this.
Typically consumed as for break-fast, grapefruits usually are a favorite for the dieters who are tirelessly working on the various tactics that can assist them in the fat burning process. Grapefruits are well known for their minerals and vitamins, but they are also very great sources of fiber. Grapefruit pectin which is unique form of the soluble fiber has got a number of the health benefits that it carries along. Let us now have a look at some of these benefits that it carries.
Benefits of Grapefruit Pectin
The following are some of the benefits of grapefruit pectin. They include;
Last but not the least; as you have seen, grapefruit pectin fiber has got very many benefits. However, before you include grapefruit to your diet, ensure that you consult an experienced dietitian or doctor to know whether it is ideal for your diet or not.
What Are The Health Benefits Of GrapeFruit Pectin?
January 16, 2013 01:46 PM
Benefits of Grapefruit Pectin
Grapefruit is a very nutritious fruit that is known to be rich in vitamin and mineral contents. But aside from that, grapefruit also contains grapefruit pectin which is a unique form of a soluble fiber. Pectin is actually a unique form of soluble fiber that can be found among fruits and vegetables. Pectin, as a supplement, is mainly extracted from apples and citrus peels such as that from grapefruits.
The following information will present some of the most significant health benefits of grapefruit. The water-soluble dietary fiber from grapefruit pectin is a type of natural fiber that can absorb water inside the stomach tract and all throughout the intestines. Water soluble fiber can soften stools and eventually induce defecation. Some common problems related to digestive system in which pectin can greatly help include constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel disorder and some other diverticulitis diseases.
Grapefruit pectin is also considered as an excellent anticancer. Several studies have shown that pectin can inhibit the synthesis of the protein called gelatin-3 since pectin can easily bind with this protein. Taking fish oil supplements along with pectin supplement can suppress the development of colon cancer. Cholesterol reduction is yet another significant health benefit of grapefruit pectin. Pectin reduces LDL levels or low-density lipoprotein which is considered as bad cholesterol.
Therefore, taking pectin supplements is a good complimentary treatment for hypercholesterolemia or simply the case of having high cholesterol levels inside the body. Grapefruit has powerful antibacterial properties as well. They prevent problems caused by bacterial infections, internal fungi and some other harmful parasites. Grapefruit pectin can also slow down carbohydrate and glucose absorption. This helps to maintain a physically fit body and normal blood sugar levels. Although grapefruit pectin is truly beneficial for the body, this supplement must be taken properly.
Pectin soluble fiber just might interfere with other drugs and eventually leads to toxicity. That is why it is very important to consider seeing a doctor first before taking this natural supplement. Some people who are most likely not allowed to take pectin supplements are those that also take medications for hypertension, depression and diabetes.
The Healing Properties Of Bee Propolis
December 27, 2012 10:11 AM
Bee propolis is a substance produced by bees to safeguard their hives from foreign matters. It consists of amino acids, raisins, waxes and fatty acids. It's basically a sticky resin and comes from the barks and buds of the conifer trees that bees can gather and then store within its special abdominal glands.
Does Bee Propolis Have Healing Properties?
Well, there are several health benefits associated with propolis.
Health Benefits of Bee Propolis Skin Infections:
Due to its anti-flammatory properties, propolis heals your skin from any minor scalds and burns. You can apply it on the affected part on the skin surface. Its antifungal and antibiotic effects help prevent any wound infections alongside other skin disorders.
Just as it protects your bee hive against fungi and bacteria, propolis is quite effective in the elimination of fungal and bacterial infections within the mouth area. Cold sores, dental caries and oral yeast infections are examples of such infections. It is sold in form of mouth rinse and lozenges in most countries.
Viral and bacterial infections:
Propolis' antibacterial properties guard your body against bacteria which cause gastrointestinal diseases and tuberculosis. It is also considered as an effective antiviral agent that could prevent the onset of flu, common colds and the H1N1 swine flu.
Propolis' potent antiviral properties can help in hindering the entry of herpes virus into your body. The virus, if allowed, will cause further infection in the body cells.
Propolis, based on clinical tests, was found to contain essential properties which could help to treat and prevent cancer. Trials show that this substance is able to inhibit tumor growth by blocking the supply of blood to the affected cell. Propolis also helps in boosting your immune system, offering you a great opportunity to fight off any devastating cancer effects on the body.
What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System?
March 25, 2012 03:11 PM
Herbs for Immunity
The immunity system comprises a network of organs, cells and tissues that are responsible for your overall wellness. The status of your immunity system mainly depends on your feeding habits. The foods you eat supply you with vital nutrients and minerals that help protect you from diseases. The white blood cells in your body are also endowed with the role of defending your body against diseases. There are herbs that help increase the number of white blood cells, while others produce immunity cells thus boosting your immunity system. The following are the best herbs that are good for boosting the immune system:
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that is locally known as Huang-Qi. The roots of this herb are used for a wide range of purposes, one of which is to boost the immune system. This is because of its ability to increase the number of T-cells and interferon.
Astragalus is also used to treat inflammatory conditions, liver problems, viral and bacterial infections, lack of appetite, short breath, stomach ulcers, flu, common cold, diabetes, stress, hypertension and body weakness. This herb also interferes with the growth of cancerous tumors, and has thus been used as a natural aid during chemotherapy treatments.
Echinacea is a group of herbs popular within the American market, which are also known as black susans, Indian head, American cone flower, or Kansas snake root. The popular species of Echinacea are E. pallid, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia.
These herbs have been used for ages as natural immune boosters because of their ability to increase the number of WBC as well as spleen cells in your body. They also increase the number of natural immune chemicals such as immuno globin, interferon and interleukin. When White Blood Cells increase, they give your body maximum protection against antigens that interfere with your overall wellness. The phenolic compounds found in the flowers, roots and leaves of Echinacea herbs are the ones that facilitate this immuno stimulating function.
They are also natural remedies for common colds, respiratory infections, skin complications and Urinary tract infections. These herbs can suppress your immunity if taken habitually. Therefore, it is recommended that you use the herb only when you suspect infection. It is also advisable for you to limit the intake of Echinacea to a week because overuse may generate unbearable symptoms.
This herb is also known as Ground Raspberry, Yellow Root, Orange Root, Wild Curcuma, Indian Dye, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root or Indian Plant. It is a medicinal herb that contains berberine, canadine and hydrastine alkanoids. Golden seal also contains vital vitamins and minerals that are needed for strong immunity system.
One of the benefits of Golden Seal is that it serves as an immuno stimulant, especially when blended with echinacea. It has also been used to treat various medical conditions such as inflammation, herpes and common cold. It also has tonic and antiseptic qualities. You can also use it externally to cure sores and itchy sensations.
So if you want an immune boost, give one of these herbs a try!
Fight Inflammation, Gastric Problems, and Arthritis with Boswellia
June 14, 2011 11:49 AM
How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation.
Boswellia fights inflammation through the action of a family of anti-inflammatory terpenes known as boswellic acids. Inflammation is a natural reaction of your immune system to tissue damage and infection, and is often associated with conditions such as arthritis, sports damage to bones and joints and bacterial infections caused by cuts and grazes. There are more serious inflammatory conditions of course, such as asthma, and boswellic acids act in the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) without their unwelcome side effects.
Among the causes of inflammation are inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes, the biosynthesis of which is blocked by boswellia. Another is the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme, also known as LOX-5, and again, the terpenoid anti-inflammatory boswellic acids block this so that the causes of inflammation in the above conditions are severely restricted. Boswellia extract is a good supplement to take for those suffering any form of arthritis, joint pain or even asthma.
Using Boswellia to treat Arthritis
Boswellia can be used to treat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, although rheumatoid arthritis is not always easy to control. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, in the case of osteoarthritis the inflammation being a natural response to joint damage and infection of the synovial fluid generally caused by wear and tear on the joint with aging, and also by sports injuries.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of immune disease caused by the body attacking its own joints, and while the terpenoid anti-oxidants known as boswellic acids can help to mediate the pain and other symptoms, it can do nothing to cure the condition.
If you are suffering pain through arthritis, and your joins are tender and swollen, a supplement consisting of an extract of boswellia or its terpenes can help to relieve these symptoms and to offer pain relief equivalent to that offered by synthetic NSAIDs such as aspirin and Ibuprofen.
Gastric Problems and Arthritis Pain? Perhaps Boswellia Can Help
Extracts and supplements based on the resins of the boswellia tree are commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions, and reduce the severe pain of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, ease the discomfort of colitis and also help ease the symptoms of those suffering asthma. Each of these is an inflammatory condition that would otherwise have been treated using NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
NSAIDs have a number of side effects, being particularly unsuitable for those with ulcers or any other gastric problem. The terpenoids contained in boswellia extract an effective alternative to these drugs that many try to avoid taking. Long-term use of boswellia appears a lot safer than long-term use of NSAIDs, since it doesn't promote the severe gastric problems of these synthetic drugs, such as irritation of the stomach lining or even ulcers. If you already have ulcers or other gastric problems then NSAIDs area define no-no for you, and boswellia is the ideal substitute.
Grab some boswellia today and experience relief for your self!
Cranberries And Good Bladder Function
September 09, 2010 02:53 PM
Cranberry JuiceDrinking cranberry juice is a good treatment for bladder infections, and while many believe it to be just an 'old wife's tale' it does have a scientific basis for its effectiveness with such infections. In fact, cranberry juice is an effective treatment not just for bladder infections, but for bacterial infections of the entire urinary tract such as cystitis.
The symptoms of such infections include a burning pain during urination, and they are caused by bacteria that make their way up the urethra into the bladder. They can be extremely painful, and can even lead to bleeding that can be seen in the urine. Cranberry juice is an effective treatment for those that are wary of, or allergic to antibiotics, and taking the berries themselves would offer a similarly effective treatment.
Cranberry Capsules an alternative
It must be the 100% juice that you take and not cocktails or drinks containing cranberry juice, and around a glass to a pint a day should be taken. Because of the sour taste that many people don't like, you can also take cranberry capsules that contain the concentrated fruit juice.
Solaray offers a product called cranactin, which is a standardized cranberry extract which can be taken instead of juice and just as effective.
Cranactin - Capsules - Once or Twice Per Day
Royal Jelly As An Anti-Aging Supplement
February 27, 2010 11:45 AM
Royal jelly is considered to be the treasure of the beehive. It has the ability to promote longevity by helping to maintain healthy, beauty, and youth. This natural food is extremely potent and highly nutritional. Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent white liquid. It is produced by the worker bees specifically for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. This fantastic material converts a common honeybee into a queen bee, extending the bee’s lifetime from six weeks to five years. This substance is full of natural hormones and B-vitamins. Additionally, it contains a variety of seventeen amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential. Royal jelly is particularly rich in cystine, lysine, and arginine and is also composed of 16.1 percent aspartic acid, which is crucial for proper tissue growth and regeneration.
Gelatin is another component of royal jelly and one of the primary precursors of collagen. It is a potent anti-aging compound that helps to keep the youthful, while supporting the organs, glands, and muscular systems. It contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential in order to properly transmit nerve impulses. It is also important for the proper functioning of the endocrine system. An insufficient amount of acetylcholine often leads to a susceptibility to a variety of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly has many properties. Among which include: antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic, tonic, nutritive, and anti-aging. It is very beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, reproductive, cellular, skeletal, hepatic, and respiratory systems.
Although aging is inevitable, the process can be slowed significantly with supplements. Researchers in Argentina have been working to document the ability of royal jelly to both slow down tissue deterioration and even reverse it. For example, the story of Noel Johnson should be noted, as he experienced of rebirth of health at age eighty. In 1964, at age sixty-five he was refused life insurance because of a weak and damaged heart. At this point he was also cautioned to restrict his physical activity in order to prevent death. In 1989, at age ninety, Johnson discussed the book he wrote, The Living Proof… I Have Found the Fountain of Youth, which claims that his use of bee products, along with a solid nutritional program, is responsible for changing his life. Despite the additional exercise and diet changes, Johnson attributes most of his vitality to the bee products he used. He claims that he discovered bee’s gift at age seventy, as the foods restored his manhood, brought him to full vigor and sexual potency, and continue to nourish every cell in his body. Johnson claims to be improving in every way without spending any money on medicine.
Royal jelly has been found to help with many conditions. Some of these include menopause, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue, skin blemishes, wrinkles, immune system problems, viral and bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, hormonal balance, cardiovascular disease, weight control, inflammation, liver ailments, cancer, arthritis, memory, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, asthma, and mental exhaustion.
In order to obtain the best results when using this, or any bee product, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by royal jelly, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Always buy Name brands like Premier One Royal Jelly to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 04, 2009 12:50 PM
The schizandra plant belongs to the family of the Magnoliaceae family. The herb is a creeping woody vine that is native to both China and Japan. The fruit of the schizandra plant has a sweet, salty, bitter, hot, and sour taste. This explains the Chinese name for it, wu wei zi, which means five taste fruit. The seeds of the schizandra plant are both bitter and pungent. Along with the phytochemicals, schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins, and essential oils. Schizandra fruit can be found growing wildly in northern China. There, it has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years. It is often prescribed by physicians in that region. The herb was listed in a book on pharmacy written in the sixteen century by Li Schizheng. Schizandra is used to increase energy; replenish and nourish the viscera, which are the internal abdominal organs; improve vision; boost muscular activity; and soothe both coughs and digestive upsets. In short, schizandra is an adaptogenic, Asian herb that is gaining popularity throughout the world.
This herb helps the body to heal itself. It can help increase energy in the cells of the brain, muscles, liver, kidney, glands, nerves, and the entire body. Schizandra good for adrenals and stimulates the immune system and protects against free-radical damage, radiation, and the effects of sugar, as well as boosting stamina, normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure, and protecting against infections. This herb has a tonic action on the immune system, as well as other body system. For this reason, it can be taken regularly. Schizandra is able to help protect the body from both viral and bacterial infections.
Scientific research has determined that schizandra is antibacterial, stimulant, and protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver can lead to immune disorders because of the buildup of toxins. This herb has also been found to help allergies, depression, and fatigue in mice. The herb has been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in laboratory mice. Additional studies have determined that this herb has a mild regenerative effect on the liver. The herb has been used effectively in China to treat infectious hepatitis. Schizandra seems to have a liver-protective effect that is similar to that of milk thistle extracts.
In short, the berries of the schizandra plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamin C. Primarily, schizandra is extremely beneficial in treating diabetes, lack of energy, fatigue, impotence, lack of mental alertness, nervous disorders, and stress. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with aging, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, asthma, high blood pressure, coughs, diarrhea, edema, gastritis, heart palpitations, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, insomnia, kidney disorders, lung disorders, motion sickness, effects of radiation, uterine problems, and poor vision.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by schizandra, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Schizandra is available at your local or internet health food store in capsule or tablet forms. Always look for name brands of schizandra to ensure that you purchase a product that is high quality and pure.
BoneSet For Fevers
June 09, 2009 12:15 PM
Boneset was used by Native Americans for a valuable remedy against colds, flu, and fevers. Other common names that boneset is identified by include: thoroughwort, vegetable antimony, feverwort, agueweed, Indian sage, sweating plant, eupatorium, crossword, thoroughstem, thoroughwax, and wild Isaac. In most cases, boneset has been used primarily to treat fevers. They introduced boneset to the settlers in the New World. From 1820 through 1916, boneset was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. This herb was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 through 1950. Boneset has been used to restore strength in the stomach and spleen. It has also been used as a tonic for acute and chronic fevers. Dr. Edward E. Shook actually felt that boneset was beneficial for every kind of fever humans are subjected to. He also believed that it had never failed in overcoming influenza.
Recent research has found that boneset contains antiseptic properties that help to promote sweating. These properties also help in cases of colds and flu. Boneset has also been shown to contain antiviral properties and strengthen the immune system by enhancing the secretion of interferon. Additional studies have found that boneset is effective against minor viral and bacterial infections by stimulating white blood cells. Additionally, this herb has been used to treat indigestion and pain and may also contain some mild anti-inflammatory agents to help with conditions like arthritis.
Boneset is a perennial herb that has an erect stout and a hairy stem. It grows from two to four feet high, with branches at the top. The leaves of the boneset plant are large, opposite, united at the base, and lance-shaped. They grow anywhere between four to eight inches in length and taper into a sharp point. The edges of these leaves are finely toothed, with prominent veins. These leaves help to distinguish this plant species at first glance. The flower heads of the boneset plant are terminal and numerous, being large, and having anywhere from ten to twenty white florets. The plant possesses an aromatic odor, with an astringent and strongly bitter taste. This plant species varies considerably in size, hairiness, form of leaves, and inflorescence. It can typically be found flowering from July to September.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflamamtory, antiperiodic, antiviral, diaphoretic, emetic, febrifuge, purgative, nervine, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in boneset include calcium, magnesium, PABA, potassium, and vitamins C and B-complex. Primarily, boneset has been shown to be extremely helpful in dealing with chills, colds, coughs, fever, flu, malaria, pain, rheumatism, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, catarrh, jaundice, liver disorders, measles, mumps, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, scarlet fever, sore throat, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by boneset, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Although there is no recent clinical evidence that guides the dosage of boneset, traditional use of the herb suggests that a dose be about two grams of leaves and flowers. The internal use of this herb should be tempered by the occurrence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in this plant. For those women who are pregnant or lactating, this herb should not be used, as there have been documented adverse effects on those women who are pregnant and/or lactating.
Boneset is available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
September 03, 2008 09:17 AM
Over the past several decades there have been many shifts in the research that concerns the immune system of the body. Recent discoveries have found that colostrum carries agents that can positively affect immune function in humans.
An impressive body of research has found that colostrum is responsible for the first transmission of immune signals in a newborn, which are valuable in shaping the knowledge of the newborn’s defense systems. When an infant is born, the immune system is somewhat naive to the various invaders that try to break down its defense systems and take over the body.
Since colostrum is the first food that the body traditionally takes in, the information that the mother has collected over her life of how to fight microbial invaders, cancerous cells, and other toxins effectively is immediately transferred to her newborn. At a time when the infant is vulnerable to thousands of invaders, nature provides a way to help the infant in the process of building his or her immune system in a quick and effective way. Colostrum is an essential part to this complex and timely process.
As soon as an infant is born, it is generally fed, with the first portion of fluid that comes from the mother being colostrum. It was thought by experts for decades that colostrum contained only vital nutrients in a nutritional sense, but many now believe that breast-feeding a child is much more beneficial than simply bottle-feeding a child with formula. It has now been discovered that colostrum is much more than a nutrient-rich fluid, it is a combination of immune agents.
This mix of nutrients contains agents that are not species-specific in their function, so they do not produce an allergic reaction when introduced to a foreign species. Some of the more prominent and devastating conditions that could be effectively prevented by the use of colostrum and its properties include viral and bacterial infections, parasitic infections, autoimmune disorders, neurological conditions, fungal infections, tissue damage, as well as many others.
The body uses an assortment of processes, mechanisms, and agents in order to defend itself. All of these make up what is known as the immune system. The body uses three interrelated functions making its defense mechanism effective. First, it recognizes foreign agents within the body, followed by enlisting a variety of cells and molecules to eliminate or neutralize the invader. Last, the body is able to remember the exact foreign substance so that next time it comes around; it can deal with it quickly and effectively.
If the invading organism is able to get through the physical barriers of the skin and mucous membranes in the nose and throat, there are several immune barriers that are ready to defend the body including the body’s temperature, hydrochloric acid found in the stomach, and interferon. Hydrochloric acid, along with the low pH of the stomach, defeats a large majority of viruses that make it past the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
Interferon is derived from the virus of infected cells and binds and neutralizes nearby virus cells. If there is enough interferons present, this substance can neutralize large quantities of invading viruses. Colostrum helps the body manufacture interferons that can fight viruses and protect the body for a lifetime.
August 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Acidophilus is correctly named Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is one species of Lacobacillus used commercially in the preparation of certain types of yoghurt. The name refers to the fact it is found in milk (lacto), is rod-like in shape like many bacteria (bacillus) and it likes acidic conditions (acidophilus). It not only likes them, but creates them.
In fact, acidophilus thrives at a pH of 4-5 or less, and occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, and also the mouth and vagina. It ferments milk to lactic acid, and dies in the presence of sunlight, excessive moisture and at high temperatures. Some, but not all, strains are probiotic, or ‘friendly’ bacteria that aid digestion and help to protect against harmful bacteria and their toxic emissions.
The fermentation of nutrients by friendly bacteria produce acids, such as the lactic acid previously referred to, hydrogen peroxide and other substances hostile to harmful organisms, and also reduces the population of harmful bacteria by competing for their food. There are additional health benefits that shall be discussed later, but first some comments about the stability of acidophilus to heat.
The growth rate of acidophilus reaches an optimum at around 36-37F (2.2C), and it tends to die off at temperatures much above this over a period of time. It also tends to be sensitive to oxygen and moisture, and if exposed to heat, moisture and oxygen, a supplement will lose its potency over time. This is true of all such supplements, and after purchase must be quickly refrigerated. It is possible, however, to purchase stabilized forms of acidophilus that die off slower than normal. This extra resistance is built in during the manufacturing process, and many forms of acidophilus claim to be stable. Although there will never be a truly stable form of the probiotic, these stabilized versions do last longer than those not claimed to be so.
During manufacture, the bacteria are first concentrated by removing the excess liquid by means of sedimentation, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifuging. A substance is then added to protect the bacteria from the shock of freezing and the acidophilus freeze dried. A stabilizer is then added to maintain its properties between freezing and consumption.
It has also been found that bacteria grown at higher pH levels last longer than those at lower pH. The packaging is also important, and since the bacteria are sensitive to oxygen, nitrogen flushing the bottles will improve the stability of the product. Glass bottles are less porous than plastic, and so is the preferred packaging material for maximum stability and life. Another factor is refrigeration. If you keep the bottle in the fridge it was last a lot longer than at room temperature, but take care not to freeze it since acidophilus does not freeze well. If it is not refrigerated then it will quickly lose its potency.
The form in which you take the supplement is immaterial regarding the potency: at least initially. However, through time the powder will become less potent quicker, because it will adsorb oxygen and moisture. Otherwise the form in which it used is immaterial. So, yes, acidophilus can be stabilized, but only for a while, and if allowed to warm up to room temperature in the presence of oxygen will quickly degrade, although this takes more than just a day or two.
Many health benefits are claimed for Lactobacillus acidophilus, although your daily consumption to achieve these should be at least 2 billion CFU, and preferably 5 billion. You can also fortify the bacteria with a prebiotic of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These provide nutrition for the acidophilus and accelerate its growth.
One thing to be careful of is assuming that yoghurt contains acidophilus. It does not contain sufficient to be of benefit to you. Commercial yoghurt acidifies over time and kills off the bacteria, so commercial yoghurt sitting on a supermarket shelf has very little beneficial bacterial content. Natural yoghurt is better, and certainly contains beneficial bacteria, but not enough to make a significant difference. A supplement is therefore needed if you are to keep your intestinal tract sufficiently healthy. If you cannot take dairy products, acidophilus is available in non-dairy form. The major health benefits they impart are:
1. Digestive Problems.
Acidophilus can control many types of digestive disorder, particularly traveler’s diarrhea. In fact if you are traveling to countries where drinking water might be a problem, also take some acidophilus and this will tend to prevent you from becoming ill. Even if you drink bottled water, there are still washed salads, beverages made with local water and showers and the like whereby you could ingest some dodgy water.
Acidophilus, especially when supported by FOS, helps both to hydrate the feces, and improve their transport through the colon, an also to improve the general health and well-being of your entire intestinal system.
3. Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
Acidophilus possess antifungal properties that kill off yeasts, particularly Candida albicans found in the vagina. This is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria, and there is evidence that gastrointestinal yeasts are affected in the same way by the oral probiotic. Furthermore, when bacteria and yeasts are killed off by medication, including friendly bacteria, the sites they occupied on the intestinal walls become free and acidophilus should be present to take these up and prevent any more yeast or bacterial infections. That is one reason why probiotics should be taken immediately after a course of antibiotic treatment.
4. Immune System Support
Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to modify the balance of microbes in the intestine so as to lead to an enhanced production of antibodies, and white blood cells with increased phagocytic activity. The bacteria also appear to have some reducing properties, which can also give support to the immune system through the resultant antioxidant properties.
However, by far the most important property of probiotics are their properties in acidifying the intestinal tract, and so rendering them less attractive to harmful pathogens, and in producing hydrogen peroxide which has a similar effect. They also produce natural antibiotics, and there is now doubt that a supplement of acidophilus will provide you with several health benefits and also make you feel fitter and more alert.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
May 06, 2008 05:14 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is regarded as being natural antibiotic that is effective against a broad range of bacterial infections. It has also been used to treat parasitic infections and a range of viral infections as well as having found uses for a wide variety of medical conditions.
So what is it about grapefruit seed that is so special? Most people are acquainted with grapefruit, which as a member of the citrus family of fruits, and not to be confused with grapes which are a totally different type of plant. Grape seed extract is also a useful natural medication, but used for totally different conditions.
Because of its efficacy against parasitic and viral infections, grapefruit seed extract is very useful in treating various forms of food poisoning. But, how was this remarkable property of the simple grapefruit seed noticed? The answer to that depends very much upon what version of the story of Einstein Laureate physicist and immunologist Dr. Jacob Harich you believe.
Dr. Harich was not only a scientist but a hobby gardener in Florida, and the two versions of his story tell either that he decided to investigate why grapefruit seeds tasted so bitter, or why the grapefruit seeds in his compost heap failed to compost, or rot. Whichever story is correct, and perhaps both are, the result was the discovery that grapefruit seeds appeared to be a very effective antibiotic.
In fact it has been shown to be effective against over 800 strains of bacteria and viruses and also effective against many fungi that lead to illness in humans. Because of this it is used in cased of food poisoning that involve bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact during the latter part of the 1980s, grapefruit seed extract was tested against a number of known antibiotics and found to be as effective as any of them. Similar results obtained in a number of tests in the USA and elsewhere in the world, and it appears that it is an excellent treatment for the symptoms of food poisoning.
Not only that, but it has been found effective in the treatment of some immunodeficiency diseases, presumably because its antimicrobial properties does much of the work that the immune system would normally do, and so relieves it of much of its hard work. This allows the immune system to concentrate on conditions which are exacerbated by deficiencies in its operation.
Bifidobacteria and Loactobacilli are bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive system. The measure of a good broad spectrum antibiotic is that it does not affect the beneficial bacteria, and grapefruit seed extract has no effect on the former and only a mildly inhibiting effect on the latter. It is also non toxic to humans, which is another measure of a good antibiotic. You would have to drink about two pints of the extract, around 4000 time the normal dose, for the treatment to be potentially fatal.
Among the many uses of the extract are not only in controlling gastrointestinal infections, but also general fungal conditions of the skin, vaginal infections and yeast infections, and also colds and sore throats. It is also believed to support the immune system, not only by its antimicrobial properties but through its effect on intestinal health upon which much of our immune system is dependent. It can also protect patients with symptoms of AIDs and other immunodeficiency conditions from infection.
Its effect on yeast infections around the nether regions of small children has been documented, and it has also been found to be very safe to young children. In fact many mothers have it as a permanent addition to their medicine cabinet.
It is not that long ago when doctors believed all diseases to be due to bacteria or viruses. It is now becoming clear that a large proportion is actually due to fungal infections and parasites. Many conditions such as allergies, circulatory disease and some forms of arthritis have been shown to be due to fungal infections that weaken the immune system. Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be effective in treating many types of fungal disease.
In using the extract in this way, and to treat bacterial infections, it is best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it. This is because when fungi and bacteria are destroyed they release toxins, and too high a dose could result in too much toxin being produced for your body to handle. If you take it gradually you will get the same result, but without the risk of the nausea and diarrhea which the toxins can cause.
Despite all of these benefits, grapefruit extract has not been given the credit it deserves, and much research has still to be done to establish the constituents of the seed that confer these properties. Among these are known to be proanthocyanadins, a class of flavanols with strong antioxidant properties, and a diphenol hydroxybenzene complex that destroys bacteria through the cytoplasmic membrane to prevent the uptake of amino acids and cause leakage of the cell contents. Other active components are Vitamins C and E, tocopherols, limonoids and sterols, in addition to a number of important minerals.
However, there is still much work to be done, although the extract will continue to be used by many devotees for the treatment, not only of food poisoning symptoms, but also of conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, gingivitis, cold sores, sinusitis and parasitic infections. It appears to be practically a cure-all.
There appear to be no drug interactions, although some medications do react with grapefruit juice, such as some treatments for high blood pressure. If your treatment advises you not to take grapefruit juice, then do not take grapefruit seed extract. Another factor to be aware of is that since the extract is an effective bactericide, then it could deplete the digestive tract of friendly bacteria essential for digestion. You are advised, therefore, to take a supplement of acidophilus, which is easily taken in the form of yoghurt type drinks specifically formulated or dietary supplement for the purpose.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
December 10, 2005 03:14 PM
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS suffers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:12 AM
INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
With the advent of modern antibiotic drugs, garlic lost its status as an effective infection fighter. Unfortunately, Garlic’s past track record was diminished by the arrival of new and potent antibiotics like penicillin. Ironically, several years ago, garlic was reported to be more valuable than penicillin when treating throat infections.26
One reason for this may be that the allicin component of garlic is effective against the streptococci bacteria. Traditional Oriental medicine utilized garlic in a variety of forms to treat all kinds of infections: garlic juice for typhoid, and meningitis, garlic vapors for whooping cough, garlic suppositories for yeast infections and garlic soup for pneumonia.27 According to studies in the Journal of the National Medical Association, Garlic has proved its ability to act as a potent antibiotic against various gram-negative, gram-positive and acid fast bacteria.
In view of the fact that garlic has even been shown to be effective against some antibiotic-resistent organisms, it should be utilized more in standard medical treatments. Several medical practitioners have discovered that like throat infections, ear infections also respond nicely to garlic. The great advantage of using garlic over antibiotics is that Garlic will not kill friendly intestinal bacteria or make one more susceptible to future infections. Antibiotics will. In cases where antibiotics are deemed necessary, they should at the very least be supplemented with garlic.
Current research supports the fact that garlic does indeed inhibit bacterial growth.28 Several strains of Mycobacterium are suppressed by the presence of garlic. For anyone who fights chronic bladder infections, garlic may prove invaluable. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of several organisms associated with urinary tract infections.29
Evidence suggests that garlic can effectively treat bacterial ear infections, sore throats, and infected wounds. Several reports have shown that aged garlic extract is particularly effective for the kind of ear infections that children are prone to develop. (Note: Ingesting raw garlic is not a practical way to utilize its allicin compounds as an effective antibiotic. Too much raw garlic would be required to be effective.)
It is common knowledge that as of now, viruses do not respond to antibiotics and are extremely resistent to other forms of treatment. A virus usually has to run its course, as those of us who suffer periodically from colds and flu know all too well. Because viruses are so hardy, it is important to know that garlic possesses antiviral as well as antibacterial properties. Dr. Andrew Weil M.D. states that the best home remedy he has found for the treatment of colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first indication that a cold is developing.30 Several laboratory tests have shown that garlic is an effectual treatment for both the influenza B virus and herpes simplex virus.31
Two independent researchers in Japan and Romania have found that garlic is able to protect living organisms form the influenza virus.32 Chinese scientists have studies the effect of garlic on viral encephalitis for almost 30 years.
Clarissa McCord of Cloverdale, British Columbia used garlic extract to treat a stubborn virus that attacks horses. She relates:
“A bottle of liquid garlic administered on two successive days to each animal does the job of curing. One of my race hors es developed the virus symptoms and was to be scratched from the racing program scheduled for the following day. I gave one bottle of liquid garlic to the animal and he improved sufficiently to enter the race. He hit the board first, second and third.”33
In relation to human beings, it would seem that Garlic is especially effective in cases of influenza as both a treatment to shorten the duration of the disease and as a preventative. Again, garlic’s ability to stimulate the immune system seems intrinsically linked to its anti-viral action. Whether the infection is bacterial or viral, garlic mobilizes immune function, thereby potentiating the body’s ability to defend itself against infectious organisms.
Garlic in certain forms is considered a potent antibiotic and can be particularly effective against certain fungal infections. Like viruses, fungal infections are particularly difficult to treat . Traditional medical treatments for fungal infections are usually toxic and can be ineffectual over the long term. To the contrary, garlic has proven itself as an effective anti-fungal agent against candida, aspergillus and cryptococci.
A report from a Chinese medical journal delineates the use of intravenous garlic to treat a potentially fatal and rare fungal infection of the brain called cryptococcal meningitis. In the report, the Chinese compared the effectiveness of the garlic with standard medical treatment which involved a very toxic antibiotic called Amphotericin-B. The study revealed that intravenous garlic was more effective than the drug and was not toxic regardless of its dosage.34
One study using liquid garlic extract found that candida colonies were substantially reduced in mice that had been treated with the garlic. This same study also revealed that garlic stimulated phagocytic activity. This implies that infections such as candida may be controlled because garlic stimulates the body’s own defenses. Applied externally, garlic oil can be used to treat ringworm, skin parasites and warts. Lesions that were caused by skin fungi in rabbits and guinea pigs were treated with external applications of garlic extract and began to heal after seven days.35
Allicin is primarily a fungistatic substance which can slow or completely stop the proliferation of the microorganisms. As an external treatment, garlic has also been found to effectively treat acne and thrush.
What Infections Respond to Echinacea?
June 24, 2005 01:31 PM
What Infections Respond to Echinacea?
Echinacea extracts are excellent when used for various kinds of acute infections. Colds and throat infections seem particularly vulnerable to the immunostimulant action of echinacea. Infections such as influenza and strep are also affected by the herb. Again, taking echinacea on a regular basis does not guarantee that the body will not develop an infection, howe ve r, the duration and seriousness of the infection should be decreased.
Antibacterial Action of Echinacea: It is interesting to note that echinacea renders a mild effect on bacteria. It must be remembered, however, that the ability of echinacea to stimulate the immune system may explain its long historical use for bacterial infections. The echinacoside and caffeic acid content of echinacea have been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Corynebacterium diphtheria and Proteus vulgaris. 13
Viral Infections and Echinacea : Viral infections are notoriously difficult to treat. Even with all the strides that medical technology has made, finding a cure for viral disease has remained elusive. Echinacea stands out as one of the more effective antiviral herbals. The plant has undergone several studies to determine what exactly makes it an effective virus fighter. Se veral studies have confirmed that when certain laboratory samples were pre-treated with echinacea compounds, they became protected against exposure to several viruses including: influenza, herpes and vesicular stomatitis (canker sores).
Scientists believe that the polysaccharides contained in echinacea called inulin are primarily responsible for the immuno-stimulant effect of this herb. The following listed actions make echinacea especially effective in fighting viral infections and cancero u s conditions.
•. Promotes macrophage activity
It is echinacea’s ability to stimulate T-cell activity, that subsequently produces interf e ron which may be responsible for its anti-viral effect. While this theory has been disputed, ingesting certain forms of echinacea has resulted in some degree of protection against viral infection. Fresh echinacea juice appears to be the most effective form of the herb.
In any case, research strongly suggests than anyone who consumes echinacea regularly can expect protection against some viral infections to a certain degree.
Respiratory System Infections and Echinacea: Echinacea has become well known for its ability to treat respiratory infections including: influenza, tonsillitis, whooping cough, and colds. In addition, bronchial and ear infections respond well to echinacea therapy. The majority of research that supports this action of echinacea was done in Europe with injectable forms of echinacea which are not legal here.
Using whole, powd e red, capsulized echinacea on a daily basis during the winter months may also provide significant protection against these respiratory diseases. Concentrated liquid extract is also recommended.
June 24, 2005 01:19 PM
Echinacea increases the body’s ability to resist and fight infection, clears the blood of impurities and has been used for fevers, venereal diseases, hemorrhoids and as an aphrodisiac. Unquestionably, its most important function as a botanical is as an immune system booster and blood purifier. For this reason, it has recently been considered for AIDS therapy.
Echinacea is one of the most useful herbs available to practitioners because it functions to simultaneously stimulate the immune system, while it expedites the removal of toxins from the body.
Echinacea is recommended for common infections and can be tried in lieu of or in combination with conventional antibiotics.4 It is better to take the herb for two weeks at a time alternating with two weeks off to ensure its efficacy.
It is an effective therapeutic agent for healing wounds, treating abscesses, carbuncles, eczema, burns, psoriasis, herpes, canker sores, typhoid fever, viral and bacterial infections and tumors.
Echinacea is considered one of the best blood purifiers found in nature. It has been scientifically researched for its chemical ability to neutralize harmful venom from poisonous snakes, scorpions, insects and other toxic substances. Laboratory tests have found that certain complex chemicals found in echinacea have the ability to rearrange and recognize enzyme patterns in the body.5 It also improve s lymphatic filtration and drainage and assists in clearing the blood f rom damaging toxins. It has traditionally been referred to as the King of the Blood Purifiers. Any condition which is believed to be caused by an accumulation of toxins in the body can benefit from echinacea.
Immune System Booster
In 1885, Rudolf Weiss recorded, “It (Echinacea) has proved a useful drug in improving the body’s own resistance in infectious conditions of all kind.”6 Clearly, echinacea has potent immune system actions and impacts the thymus gland, the activation of Tcells, and the promotion of interf e ron production and secretion . Because of these attributes, it is an important herb in combating infections, especially viral ones like AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The major component of echinacea called inulin is responsible for activating pathways in the body, which help neutralize viruses and bacteria, and boost the migration of white blood cells to infection sites. The natural polysaccharides, fatty acids and glycosides in this botanical all strengthen and nourish the immune system. Echinacea is considered an immuno-tonic, which supplies the immune system with specific nutrients.
Echinacea has the capability to stimulate the immune response which results in an increased ability to resist infections. It is the most widely used herb for the enhancement of the immune system and is valuable for treating virtually all infectious diseases. Studies have shown that echinacea has impressive immune system boosting properties, many of which are produced in the thymus gland.7 One way in which echinacea helps the body combat infection is by enhancing the immune function of white blood cells. In order for white blood cells to effectively fight bacterial or viral invasion, nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc are necessary.
Adding echinacea potentiates any nutrient mix, which helps facilitate the production of white blood cells. White blood cells surround and destroy bacterial and viral invaders. Technically, they digest disease organisms; a process called phagocytosis. Echinacea makes phagocytosis more efficient. The white blood cells which participate in phagocytosis are called macrophages. In several laboratory studies, echinacea has repeatedly stimulated the bactericide activity of macrophages. In other words, it potentiates their ability to destroy invading organisms.
Nothing to Sneeze At
June 18, 2005 08:41 AM
Nothing to Sneeze At by Carole Poole Energy Times, August 14, 2004
To many, nothing is more annoying than a persistent allergy. Runny nose, itchy eyes, hives, sneezing, coughing...Frequently, allergies seem to represent suffering with no end.
When you are sensitive to something in your environment, often your only hope for relief appears to be to flee to an elsewhere that eludes the problematic, trouble-making allergen.
Complementary measures are available that can lower your risk of allergic reactions. Heading off allergic reactions before they strike can help you enter a comfort zone that leaves nothing to sneeze at.
Limit Your Antibiotics
While people have always suffered allergies, today, many experts agree, allergies are on the rise. One possible explanation: antibiotics. For instance, research at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit demonstrates that kids who get antibiotics within six months of being born run an increased risk of being allergic to dust mites, ragweed, grass and animals. At the same time, if two or more cats or dogs live with them, they reduce their chances of allergies (Eur Respir Soc ann conf, 2003).
" I'm not suggesting children shouldn't receive antibiotics. But I believe we need to be more prudent in prescribing them for children at such an early age," Christine Cole Johnson, PhD, says. "In the past, many of them were prescribed unnecessarily, especially for viral infections like colds and the flu when they would have no effect anyway."
Dr. Cole's investigators found that by age 7, kids who got one or more rounds of antibiotics were:
When antibiotics are necessary, they are crucial to quelling bacterial infections. However, if you or your children suffer colds or flus, diseases caused by viruses, antibiotics have no effect on your illness but could increase your chance of developing allergies.
" Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, which correlates with widespread use of antibiotics and alterations in gastrointestinal (GI) microflora," says Mairi Noverr, a researcher on a study linking allergies to antibiotic use (104th Gen Meet Amer Soc Microbiol, 2004). "We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long-term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora." While a lot of research needs to be done, it may help to fortify the probiotic, or good, microbes in your intestines with probiotic supplements. One study has shown that giving probiotics to pregnant women helped their children avoid allergic eczema, a skin condition (Lancet 2001; 357:1076-9).
Green Tea Relief
Research has demonstrated that various types of tea can produce a range of health benefits. Tea drinkers can add allergy relief to that list.
Research in Japan demonstrates that for the allergy-oppressed, green tea may help them have nothing to sneeze at. In laboratory tests, scientist found that green tea contains a substance that blocks one of the immune cell receptors which is often a part of the allergic response. The substance, methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is believed to have a similar effect in the real world (J Agr Food Chem 10/9/02).
" Green tea appears to be a promising source for effective anti-allergenic agents," notes Hirofumi Tachibana, PhD, the study's chief investigator and an associate professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka. "If you have allergies, you should consider drinking it." Traditionally, many people have consumed tea as part of their effort to suppress sneezes, coughs and itchy eyes caused by allergies. This experiment supports the evidence that green tea, in particular, has a reliable effect.
According to Dr. Tachibana, green tea's anti-allergenic benefits have not been completely established, but tea apparently has the potential to be effective against allergens like dust, chemicals, pet dander and pollen.
EGCG has also been shown to be a very active antioxidant, helping to quell the destructive effects of the caustic molecules known as free radicals. Green tea is richer in EGCG than black tea or oolong tea (a type that falls between black and green).
Although other research has demonstrated that EGCG offsets allergic responses in lab animals fed this substance, scientists don't completely understand why it works for allergies. Researchers theorize that EGCG restricts the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), two substances secreted in the body as part of the chain of chemical reactions that lead to an allergic reaction, says Dr. Tachibana.
This study shows, for the first time, that a methylated form of EGCG can block the IgE receptor, which is a key receptor involved in an allergic response. The effect was demonstrated using human basophils, which are blood cells that release histamine. As of now, nobody knows how much green tea you need to guzzle to have the best protection against allergies and, of the several varieties available, nobody knows which green tea is best.
Outside of the US, green tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, right behind water. In the US, however, black tea is more popular than green. But the allergy sensitive should think and drink green.
Stay Away from Diesels
Those who are allergic to ragweed or pet dander usually know they should avoid the source of their allergies. But now scientists have found that, for many allergy sufferers, diesel exhaust can also worsen sneezes and wheezes.
Scientists at two southern California schools have shown that about half of us have inherited a sensitivity to diesel pollution that can make our allergies significantly worse (Lancet 1/10/04). "[T]his study suggests a direct way that pollution could be triggering allergies and asthma in a large number of susceptible individuals...," says Frank D. Gilliland, MD, PhD, the study's lead author. Diesel exhaust particles are thought to act as destructive free radicals in the lungs, forming caustic molecules that damage lung tissue. This irritation can cause your immune system to create larger amounts of compounds that make you sneeze and wheeze more.
The Antioxidant Advantage
Antioxidants, scientists believe, can help defuse this damage and ease the body's allergic responses. The California scientists looked at two antioxidant enzymes the body makes to protect the lungs called glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1). Only about five of ten people's immune systems can make all the effective forms of these enzymes. The rest of us lack this protection to some degree, and the immune system in about one in five people can't make any effective form of these enzymes.
The research team found that people allergic to ragweed who lacked these antioxidant enzymes suffered more when they took in both ragweed pollen and particles from diesel pollution.
Breathe Easier With C
This research may help explain why many health practitioners recommend vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, to allergy sufferers. Vitamin C "prevents the secretion of histamine by the white blood cells, increases the detoxification of histamine and lowers the blood-histamine levels," says Sylvia Goldfarb, PhD, author of Allergy Relief (Avery/Penguin).
Scientists continue to study the allergy conundrum. Meanwhile, sip a cup of green tea and shut the window before the next truck comes by.
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.
Home on the Range
June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
Home on the Range
by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999
Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.
But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.
The Alternative Chicken
Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.
These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.
Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.
Antibiotics Stimulate Growth
Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.
This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.
This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.
"Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.
A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.
Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.
"Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.
Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.
And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.
"There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.
The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.
Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.
Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.
"Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.
In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!
To fight cruel treatment of poultry:
• Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP
• Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.