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The Cardiovascular Protection of Celery Seed Extract
September 27, 2022 04:20 PM
You may not think of celery as being particularly special, but this innocuous looking vegetable actually packs a powerful punch. Celery seed extract is loaded with bioactive compounds that offer a wide range of health benefits, including supporting vascular health.* Lets take a closer look at celery seed extract and all the ways it can support your health.
Celery Seed Extract and Vascular Health
One of the most well-known benefits of celery seed extract is its support for vascular health.* This is thanks to the presence of phthalides in celery seed extract, which help to relax the smooth muscles in your blood vessels.* This relaxation of the smooth muscles increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure.* Additionally, phthalides also help to increase levels of antioxidant enzymes in the body, which further helps to protect vascular health.*
Horse chestnut seed extract has also been shown to support healthy vascular function.* Hawthorn extract is another ingredient in this formula that has been traditionally used to support cardiovascular health.* Hawthorn extract works by helping to increase blood flow and strengthen heart muscle contractions.* It's also rich in antioxidants, making it an ideal addition to a formulation designed to support healthy vascular function.*
Celery Seed Extract and Brain Health
In addition to its effects on the cardiovascular system, celery seed extract has also been shown to offer neuroprotective effects.* This is due in part to the 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB) content of celery seed extract, which has been shown to help protect neurons from damage.* 3nB is also known to increase levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help to improve cognitive function.*
Celery seed extract is a powerful natural compound that offers a wide array of health benefits. From supporting healthy vascular function to protecting brain cells, celery seed extract is an incredibly versatile compound that can benefit many different systems in the body. If you're looking for a natural way to support your health, consider adding a supplement containing celery seed extract to your daily routine.
Curcumin Absorption: How CuraMed Beats Other Supplements
August 11, 2022 11:15 AM
If you're looking for a curcumin supplement that is highly absorbable by the body, look no further than CuraMed. With its patented BCM-95 turmeric essential oil process, CuraMed beats other supplements on the market when it comes to absorption. In fact, studies have shown that CuraMed is up to 10 times more absorbable than regular curcumin supplements! So if you're looking to get the most out of your curcumin supplement, make sure to choose CuraMed.
What is Curcumin and what are its benefits?
Curcumin is a yellow compound that is found in the spice turmeric. It has been used for centuries in Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. Curcumin has many potential health benefits, including reducing inflammation, boosting brain function, and fighting cancer. The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin have been studied extensively. Curcumin is known to block inflammatory molecules, which can play a role in conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The brain-boosting effects of curcumin are also well-documented. Curcumin has been shown to improve memory and increase levels of BDNF, a protein that helps to protect brain cells. Additionally, the potent antioxidant properties of curcumin may help to protect against the development of cancer. Although more research is needed, the potential health benefits of curcumin are very promising.
How is CuraMed different from other curcumin supplements?
CuraMed is a unique curcumin supplement that uses the patented BCM-95 process of manufacturing. This process increases the absorption of curcumin significantly and the turmeric essential oils extends the time at which the curcumin stays in the blood stream, making it more effective and longer lasting than other supplements on the market. In addition, CuraMed does not contain black pepper, which can cause stomach upset in some people. as a result, CuraMed is a more gentle and effective option for those looking to improve their health with curcumin. One can add bioperine which is standardized black pepper to increase absorption further.
How does the BCM-95 turmeric essential oil process increase absorbability?
BCM-95 is a patented process that significantly increases the absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin is notoriously difficult to absorb, so this process is a major breakthrough. BCM-95 uses the essential oils from the turmeric plant, which further increase absorption. This unique process results in a product that is absorbed up to 10 times better than standard curcumin supplements. In addition, BCM-95 maintains blood levels for up to 8 hours, while standard supplements only last for 2-3 hours. This makes BCM-95 the most effective turmeric supplement on the market today. If you're looking for a turmeric supplement that will give you maximum benefit, look for one that contains BCM-95.
CuraMed is a highly absorbable curcumin supplement that uses the patented BCM-95 process to increase absorption by up to 10 times. This patented curcumin BCM-95 formula also help to maintain blood levels of curcumin for up to 8 hours, making it the most effective turmeric supplement on the market today. If you're looking for a way to improve your health with curcumin, CuraMed is definitely worth considering.
The Amazing Ayurvedic Adaptogen Ashwagandha
October 01, 2020 02:49 PM
Adaptogenic herbs are special! They can help the body with stress, boost immunity, and promote fast recovery from exercise, to mention a few benefits. One of the world's most effective adaptogen is ashwagandha. This ayurvedic herb can:
Daily Energy is from Thyroid support
Ashwagandha helps the body feel more energized through normalized thyroid activity. This herb can boost thyroid hormones T3 and T4 by normalizing the thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) in as little as 8 weeks.
Bolster Stamina and Endurance
Keeping fit means getting as much out of a workout as one can. Ashwagandha can improve the performance in any workout setting. Cyclists in an 8 week study showed there maximum aerobic capacity the rate at which oxygen is taken up by red blood cells, and respiratory exchange, how much oxygen can be inhaled and carbon dioxide is exhaled. Cyclists found improvement compared to the placebo group studied.
Focus, sharpness, concentration, protect your mind
Adaptogens can help the body adapt to stress, improve energy, and assist the brain in staying more mentally focused. Ashwagandha can protect brain cells even when sleep deprived. It also increases glutathione levels a key antioxidant needed by the liver. One study showed that ashwagandha can slow the decline of memory and mental function in elderly people. An 8 week study showed that this herb can improve working memory and reaction time.
Looking to Improve Memory, Stamina, Endurance, concentration, and energy, give ashwagandha a try for 8 weeks and see the difference.
Omega-3s can improve blood flow in the brain and prevent aging,according to international study
April 23, 2019 03:23 PM
The inflammation of brain cells, often associated with a decrease in blood flow, can result in several troublesome cognitive symptoms such as not being able to retain memories. Omega-3s actually have the ability to protect cells against related damage, making them highly beneficial in sustaining optimal cognitive function. Not only can it help with brain health, but omega-3s also improve heart health by reducing triglyceride levels while regulating blood pressure. Both of these help contribute to a reduction in heart disease risk.
"A study published in the journal Nutrients showed how omega-3 supplementation is beneficial for memory decline caused by aging."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-28-omega-3s-can-improve-blood-flow-in-the-brain-and-prevent-aging-according-to-international-study.html
Herbal supplement gingko biloba found to prevent cell death in thebrain, improve recovery from stroke
March 19, 2019 02:48 PM
Dr. Yun Xu is the head of the neurological department at Nanjing University, and he has made a breakthrough in the data supporting the herb ginkgo biloba and its neurological advantages to those who have suffered from ischemic strokes. By pairing ginkgo biloba with regular doses of Aspirin, Dr. Xu was able to measure the levels of cognitive ability among a large group of patients dealing with post-stroke difficulties. The results showed that those who had ginkgo biloba administered with their dose had improved memory function, attention, language, and more.
"Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living species of a tree native to China. It is known to have been used in traditional medicine and as a source of food. The leaves and the nuts of the tree have a high nutrient content, and is best known for its positive effects on the brain and nervous system."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-03-herbal-supplement-gingko-biloba-found-to-prevent-cell-death-in-the-brain.html
Study: PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) may prevent and even reverseAlzheimer's
January 04, 2019 08:12 AM
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PPQ) is a microbe that is derived from plants, and it is showing to have neurological benefits that are associated with the prevention of Alzheimer's progression. This particular microbe is able to reduce inflammation in the brain, which can lead to several neurological conditions. It also helps patients in post-stroke recovery because it is able to reduce the area of the brain that is impacted by stroke activity. Most importantly, it helps in the prevention of Alzheimer's due to how it can neutralize levels of oxidative stress.
"Glutamate is an important chemical in the brain, but too much of it results in excitotoxicity, a risk factor in both stroke and neurodegenerative disease. PQQ protects the brain from overstimulation by glutamate and the resulting death of brain cells."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-15-ppq-can-prevent-alzheimers.html
Fermented turmeric prevents memory loss caused by oxidative stress and inflammation
July 16, 2018 09:54 AM
Even without Alzheimer's or dementia, the human brain is apt to experience memory loss over time. Neural cells can die, victims of disease, or inflammation. Simple oxidative stress can be at the bottom of significant loss of cognition.
Study has shown that by boosting a key neurotransmitter, a significant amount of natural damage can be avoided. One specific ingredient with the potential to make this happen has been tested on rodents.
Rodents were injected with an amnesia-creating medication. A percentage of them also received a dose of fermented turmeric, renowned for its anti-inflammatory activity. The mice given the turmeric were proven to be protected against the affects of the amnesia-producing drug.
"Turmeric contains curcumunoids like curcumin, a well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that shields neurons from damage."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-11-fermented-turmeric-prevents-memory-loss-caused-by-oxidative-stress-and-inflammation.html
Scientists study the neuroprotective effects of fermented Curcuma longa L. (turmeric)
July 04, 2018 05:54 PM
A recent Kristina University study suggests that fermented turmeric may help protect brain cells from being degraded by inflammation and oxidative stress. The same researchers found that fermented turmeric may also help protect against the impact of the amnesiac compound scopolamine. Researchers subjected scopolamine-treated mice to mazes and inflicted oxidative stress on rat brain cells to test whether fermented turmeric offered any protection. Preliminary results suggest that fermented turmeric could have value as an alternative or complementary treatment for neurodegenerative diseases symptoms.
"It could serve as an alternative or complementary therapy for age-induced neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-02-scientists-study-neuroprotective-effects-of-fermented-curcuma-longa-turmeric.html
Treating Autism With Cannabis Now Has Scientific Support
October 20, 2017 10:14 AM
Autism is a hard thing to diagnose and treat. There are different forms of it. There are also different levels of severity. Cannabis is one way some treat it even though it is controversial. Most cannabis uses are. There is scientific evidence that this may work. It is at least looking into if you can get past the stigma, though it might not work for everyone. Some don't react to it just like any other medication.
"Looking at the quality of the social interactions, we found that our autistic-like mice tended to dart away from a social interaction and huddle in the corner of their testing box."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/cannabidiol-treatment-for-autism-scientific-support/
10 Reasons You should Be Taking curamed daily!
September 05, 2017 12:21 PM
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Olive Oil Can Help Preserve Memory And Prevent Alzheimer's
June 24, 2017 12:14 PM
Alzheimer's disease affects nearly 44 million people worldwide. According to a study done by researchers at Temple University in Pennsylvania, olive oil can help preserve memory and essentially prevent Alzheimer's disease. Dominico Pratico, lead researcher of the study, stated that olive oil helps reduce inflammation and activates a process in the brain called autophagy. Autophagy is a way that the cells in the body break down and clean out unwanted debris in the body. Mice were given olive oil in the study, and the mice that received the olive oil showed signs that the olive oil made their memory improve and lessened the signs of Alzheimer's. The researchers from this study plan to continue researching the effects of olive oil and Alzheimer's in older mice to see if they can eradicate the disease in mice altogether.
"When the team studied the brain tissue from both groups of mice, they noticed "dramatic" differences in nerve cell appearance and function. As compared to the mice that didn't consume the oil, the brain cells of rodents in the oil group showed a dramatic increase in nerve cell autophagy activation."
Read more: http://doctor.ndtv.com/news/olive-oil-can-now-help-preserve-memory-and-prevent-alzheimers-1715610
CBD and Your Brain
June 14, 2017 12:14 PM
CBD is found in cannabis sativa otherwise known as marijuana and is useful in treating many neurological disorders such as depression, anxiety and even epilepsy. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. CBD has been found to protect brain cells from harm in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Best of all CBD has literally zero side effects! Research shows that CBD has opened many doors leading to a cure for depression and anxiety. CBD has been proven to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation caused by injury and arthritis even when applied topically. CBD may not be a medical cure all but it has been proven to be a very useful tool in the treatment of many medical conditions.
"When various brain injuries from animal models were examined, it was found out that CBD boosted a number of viable brain cells."
Read more: https://www.cashinbis.com/cbd-and-your-brain/
Phostphatidylyserine: Promotes Long Term Brain Health
June 13, 2017 11:14 AM
Phostphatidylyserine promotes long term brain health in people. It is a fatty compound heavily involved in the health of the cellular membranes. It keeps your brain cells healthy as you age. There are many benefits to it. It helps to lower stress as well. It can also help to boost your learning speed. It actually does this at an impressive rate. It is a really amazing thing and it can help out many people in the world.
Read more: Phostphatidylyserine: Promotes Long Term Brain Health
Marijuana for your memory? Study suggests wonder drug can reverse memory loss in older people
May 29, 2017 09:14 AM
Marijuana has been a hot topic for many years, but nothing like it is today. For years, people believed it caused addiction, destroyed brain cells, and many other nefarious results. Yet today, with legalization of this drug becoming ever more popular, many studies are looking into its efficacy for MS, pain, inflammation, anxiety and depression. A recent study indicated it might even help with the memories of elders. In Time we will learn its many benefits, but at the present, its used most for pain.
"The findings showed that marijuana clearly had a positive effect on mature and aging brains, though it has yet to be studied further in humans."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-15-marijuana-for-your-memory-study-suggests-wonder-drug-can-reverse-memory-loss.html
5 health benefits of taking cannabis
May 25, 2017 12:14 PM
Though a sensitive topic, science suggests that health benefits of taking cannabis can and should be considered. Some of the benefits of doing so include slowing the development of cancer cells, treating epilepsy, growing brain cells and helping those suffering from Alzheimer's. The reason for this is simple: our bodies are tailor-made to accept and help cannabinoids thrive in the body. Though not everyone reacts to cannabis in the same manner, it can't be ignored that this potent material does harbor benefits to those that engage in it.
"Cannabis is now prescribed as an alternative medicine for the treatment of epilepsy."
Read more: http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/community/blogs/vivek-gururani/5-health-benefits-of-taking-cannabis
Research Proving Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells Safely has been Suppressed Since 1974
March 15, 2017 08:59 AM
In 1974 the NIH working with the DEA sponsored research to prove that cannabis caused destruction of brain cells and suppresses the immune system. The research was cancelled and documents were destroyed when it was found it actually enhanced the immune system as well as destroyed cancer cells. Studies are now being sponsored overseas with promising results. Cannabis, when vapors instead of smoked kills cancer cells and city's off blood supply to the cells. There us even a case if a baby cured if brain cancer without surgery or radiation. Standard oncology treatments kill healthy cells as well as cancer while cannabis kills only cancer cells. The research should be allowed in the US with federal funding.
"After several attempts to get cannabis oil allowed through the court system with many testimonials from those who had been helped, Rick realized this important harsh reality: The cancer industry does not want a cure for cancer."
Scientists discover new mechanism of how brain networks form
January 15, 2017 12:59 PM
As long as neurological disorders have been diagnosed, scientists have tried to determine how the brain works in order to better treat them. One thing we do know about the brain is that it creates maps of experiences that help us learn. As we learn, these maps are altered to adapt to our surroundings. Excitatory neurons in the brain have been found to narrow their scope upon learning new information. Inhibitory neurons, conversely, have recently been found to get broader when learning. This new understanding of neurons will go far in efforts to repair brain tissue.
"Scientists have discovered that networks of inhibitory brain cells or neurons develop through a mechanism opposite to the one followed by excitatory networks."
Vitamins A and C help erase cell memory - Knowridge Science Report
December 09, 2016 07:59 AM
Vitamins A and C aren't just good for your health, they affect your DNA too. Researchers at the Babraham Institute and their international collaborators have discovered how vitamins A and C act to modify the epigenetic 'memory' held by cells; insight which is significant for regenerative medicine and our ability to reprogramme cells from one identity to another.
"Vitamins A and C aren’t just good for your health, they affect your DNA too."
Six reasons why walking is the best medicine for mental health
November 13, 2016 10:04 AM
Did you know walking can help you work better, help with addiction, make you happy and keep you young? Walking can make you more creative and give your confidence a boost in addition to creating new brain cells that can help with decision-making and learning. By releasing endorphins, walking can also make you feel happier and it can also help control addiction by increasing dopamine. Walking can even help you age by sharpening memory and by preventing cognitive decline.
"A lot of people take up walking in hopes of getting fit or losing a little bit of weight, but many people find that it becomes a surprisingly enjoyable habit once they get started."
MSG: Here is why you should stay far away from it.
September 20, 2016 03:15 PM
MSG is a neurotransmitter that stimulates nerves, which makes food that would normally be bland taste great. Because MSG is often used to compensate for low-sodium or low-fat contents, many food manufacturers try to downplay its toxicity in order to promote their products as healthy. As a result, people who believe they are buying healthy foods are actually putting their health at risk by consuming large amounts of MSG.
The following are the health risks of MSG:
MSG is widely used in the food industry, which makes finding MSG-free foods a challenge. It is often hidden on ingredient lists under different names to mislead consumers.
If you are experiencing inflammation issues, take Curcumin to eliminate all forms of inflammation.
Ashwagandha - Herbal Way to Reduce Stress
September 07, 2015 06:53 AM
Mankind has tried every possible way to overcome the issue of stress. Among these, the natural and healthy ones include family get-togethers, yoga, meditations, or rituals. Others might show the same unwanted result on your body which includes, consumption of drugs, think cocktails, or midnight ice cream bings. Ashwagandha has a special name and place in ayurvedic arrangement of medicine as it is a successful herb for reducing stress. It is an herb utilized since ancient times that assistance to cool your mind and keep you free from stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is a natural way to lessen stress. In today's fast moving life you may get a disease-free life by taking ashwagandha everyday. It will give you mental peace and will also enhance your working capacity. Ashwagandha serves to decrease stress as well as make your body disease-free. Ashwagandha has a property to decrease negative contemplations from your mind and deadheads in inspirational attitude. It gives you a new way of dealing with stress naturally. It supports your vitality and makes you solid from inside to face any more regrettable situation.
It feeds the weak cells in your body and help to give a superior performance. Ashwagandha brings peace in your life by balancing powers that act on mind, body and soul. Regular intake of this herbal stress reliever will give you great results within couple of days and you will start feeling better and see changes in the effectiveness of your work. Ashwagandha has a special property that relieves the mind and gives you a sound rest. Adequate rest is an important factor to diminish stress. Ashwagandha serves to induce natural rest. Many chemical medicines are available in the market that create a great deal of reactions and regular intake of such medicines make you habitual. You get to be subject to the medication and it delivers adverse impacts on different organs of the body. A herbal supplement, for example, ashwagandha is a natural answer for ease stress. It is totally safe and does not create any adverse impacts.
A man under stress turns out to be aloof and may attempt to confer suicide. Ashwagandha serves to take away such contemplations from mind by nourishing the brain cells. It also gives sustenance to other body cells and supports up your vitality level to deal with any situation naturally. Ashwagandha is also useful in treating gloom and anxiety. It cultivates positive considerations in mind and makes you feel happy in each situation. It revitalizes your body cells and tissues to give you more vitality. It increases dopamine levels that assists in dealing with stress. Ashwagandha also serves to enhance memory skills. Ashwagandha is a complete tonic for your brain and sensory system and does not cause any adverse reactions.
Benefits of Boswellic Acid To The Body
April 20, 2014 08:25 PM
Benefits of boswellia
Rarely do people bank on herbs for treatment. Chemically manufacture medicines have taken over. However, what makes Boswellia herb very important? This herb has been used for a very long time. It is extracted from the Boswellia serrate tree. This herb is popular among other pharmacological medicines because of its medicinal values of reducing the effect of inflammation and inflammation related diseases.
What is inflammation?
Our body goes through very complex biological processes to keep us healthy. Inflammation is one of them. Inflammation has been the response action that the body takes towards an intruder. The body does this by producing prostaglandins and leukotriene; they are otherwise called inflammation mediators. Most of the time, the intruder can be harmful stimuli or pathogens and damaged cells. The body responds by causing acute pain in places like toes and fingers. Besides the pain, heat, swelling, redness and loss of function are signs of inflammation. Note that inflammation is not an infection.
Examples of inflammatory disease
Examples of inflammatory diseases are bronchial asthma that leads to narrowing of the respiratory tract and makes breathing difficult. Diabetes, type 1 is an inflammatory disease that is caused by the inflammatory mediators. They eat up the pancreas until it is exhausted. Production of insulin to counter diabetes will be affected largely.
How boswellia works
Boswellia releases boswellic acid. This is the main ingredient that is used to fight and heal inflammation. It does this by suppressing the release of prostaglandins and leukotriene. Bowellic acid comes in many forms. Acetyl-11-keto-B is one example that when released, inhibits the synthesis of enzymes that will produce leukotriene hence lead to inflammation. Constant use of this herb heals and prevents the body from inflammation diseases.
Besides healing inflammation diseases, boswellia reduces the effects of brain cells tumor and colon cancer. The herb can be used to activate tumor suppression genes, a genes that will control and eventually reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Can Rhodhiola Help Improve Mood?
April 10, 2014 12:15 AM
Health benefits of rhodiola
Rhodiola, renowned for amazing health benefits is a safe herb that can increase the energy level of body. It is one of the best-used herbs for the treatment in wide range of health issues like fatigue. Stress, a main cause of many nervous disorders can be easily cured with the help of rhodiola. It relaxes nerve cells and improves blood flow in body. This function of rhodiola can prevent a wide range of health issues like depression, stress and anxiety.
Today, rhodiola is one of the top recommended herbal cures to improve mood level. As per research, fatigue is found to be as a common health issue in today's busy life. Uncontrolled fatigue may negatively influence the daily life activities of person. This condition can be minimized by including rhodiola in daily diet. It stimulates blood circulation in body and minimizes the risk of health issues. Low immunity health is a main cause of many health problems.
How to boost our immunity health naturally?
This is a common question heard from people. Today, there are many herbal products available online to improve our immunity health. Rhodiola extract is one of the best-used herbs to improve the immunity health of body. Boosting up the functioning of brain cell is a highlighting function of rhodiola extract. It stimulates the blood flow in brain and enhances your memory capacity.
Reducing body weight is another main advantage of using rhodiola extract. Uncontrolled obesity can lead way to several health issues in life like heart failure and stroke. This condition can be minimized by including rhodiola extract in daily diet. Today, rhodiola is one among the key ingredients used for the preparation of products that can enhance your energy level and mood level. If you are in search of a safe herbal remedy to improve mood level, then never hesitate to include rhodiola extract in daily diet.
Health Benefits Of Taking L-Carnitine
November 04, 2013 07:18 PM
What is L –Carnitine
L –Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. It is found in two different amino acids; methionine and lysine. Dietary sources of this amino acid include pork, beef and small amounts of milk, chicken and fish. This amino acid is highly required by the body and the following are the health benefits of Carnitine.
Important in the management of heart conditions
Carnitine is important in the management of a number of heart related conditions for example congestive heart failure, diphtheria, chronic chest pain, heart attack and high cholesterol. Studies show that Carnitine indeed is helpful in dealing with a number of heart related diseases.
Boosts overall brain function
A recent study shows that Carnitine aids in the recovery of stroke among animals. This clearly shows that this amino acid targets the brain cells. It contains nutrients that are highly required by the brain to function properly for example vitamins E, B-12 alpha-lipoic acid and folic acid.
Helps in burning body fat
Carnitine is a portent fat burner. It is needed in the transportation of fat into cells which will be used for the production of energy in the body. When the Carnitine levels are increased in the body, the body increases the fat burning process and then boosts energy levels in the body.
This amino acid can prevent diabetes and promotes cardio vascular health. With its antioxidant properties Carnitine eliminates free radicals and also reduces oxidative stress. This is very important in the improvement of your insulin health and also help in fat loss.
Improves male fertility
Studies show that adequate Carnitine levels in the body are necessary for male fertility. According to the study fertile males had adequate levels of this amino acid it was associated with healthier sperm. While the others who were considered infertile had compromised sperm health and lower Carnitine levels.
Coconut Oil for Memory Enhancement
December 27, 2012 12:53 PM
Coconut oil has been widely used for centuries for various purposes. Mainly, it is a cooking ingredient, used for frying and for adding flavor to meals. Aside from this, many nations have different ways of using it as treatment for various illnesses. Countries like Jamaica, Panama, and India believe that ingesting the oil helps prevent contracting any disease and helps in the speedy recovery when sick.
People from the Philippines and Thailand use the oil for massaging to provide relief from painful muscles and joints. Other topical uses are for moisturizing of the skin and for the healthy growth of hair.
Since 2008, new studies have been conducted to test the effects of coconut oil in enhancing the memory and to cure Alzheimer's disease.
MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Benefit:
The most astounding find is the presence of MCT or medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil in high concentration. This MCT creates a string of processes that ultimately helps in curing neurodegenerative diseases.
MCT against Amyloid-Beta
Amyloid-beta is a protein that forms into plaques in the brains. They decrease the efficient functioning of the nerve cells that then causes the decline in memory.
Most drugs prescribed to Alzheimer patients target these plaques, to dissolve them and consequently see an improvement. Studies done on dogs by incorporating MCT in their diets showed that the levels of amyloid-beta has declined, which is a very positive effect. Likewise, energy levels in the brain have gone up among the test subjects.
MCT to Promote Ketone
One cause of Alzheimer's disease is the inability of the brain to metabolize glucose and transform it to energy. As you all know, glucose is the main energy source of the body that provides it the energy it needs to function. This glucose comes from the carbohydrate that comes from food sources. Without this fuel, the brain cells could degenerate. Fortunately, glucose is not the only source of energy for the brain. It can also come from ketones, which are produced from fats in the liver.
However, the liver does not continually produce this. The human body, being smart as it is, only produces ketones when the glucose level drops in order to compensate for the loss of energy source. This is why people who have cognitive disorders often go on a fat and protein diet to trigger the production of ketones, by lowering their intake of carbohydrates. Still, maintaining such a diet for long periods is hard. The good thing is studies have shown that ingesting MCT has increased the level of ketones in the body, regardless of the amount of glucose present in the system. It is believed that MCT is converted to ketone, thus, providing the brain the energy it needs.
MCT and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another study done on dogs showed an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids in their brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits to the body, including improvement of brain function. They support the effective transmission of energy from one neuron to another through the synapses. This consequently makes learning easier, promotes faster reactions, and heightens memory.
Unfortunately, this fatty acid is not produced in the body and people have to rely on food sources, such as fish and nuts. Studies have shown that MCT from coconut oil induces the production of omega-3 from fats that are already present in the body.
Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
July 02, 2012 07:53 AM
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid, popularly abbreviated as ALA, can also be referred to as thioctic acid. It is an antioxidant as well as a fatty acid occurring naturally in the body. Every single cell in your body has this compound, which can also be sourced from food staff such as broccoli, spinach, organ meats, peas, brussel sprouts and rice bran. The following is a comprehensive list of the health benefits of ALA.
Health benefits of ALA on the aging process
ALA is known to delay the aging process. It does this through its antioxidant properties that help reduce cell damage, a condition that contributes to early aging of cells. This function also helps protect you from chronic illnesses that are attributed to old age.
Health benefits of ALA on brain cells
ALA also protects your brain from the damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting you from dementia and memory related problems. Studies conducted on animals have shown that this acid helps boost memory. Free radicals are also associated with brain cancer, and so this antioxidant helps protect you from developing malignant tumors in your brain. It also protects you from diseases such as Alzheimer.
Health benefits of ALA on blood sugar
Lipoic acid has been found to help regulate blood sugar thus helping relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It helps relieve the numbness, tingling, pain and itchiness experienced by diabetes patients. This function makes ALA an effective remedy for diabetes-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Health benefits of ALA on the skin
ALA has been used to manufacture a wide range of beauty creams because of its ability to improve the skin texture. This acid also protects the skin against sun damage, thus reducing chances of developing sunburns. It reduces the size of your skin pores thus helping correct specific types of acne. Finally, ALA helps improve the radiance of your skin thus giving you a beautiful and glowing skin.
Other health benefits of ALA
ALA plays almost all the roles of antioxidants, since it also helps boost your immunity. This function helps protect you from diseases such as:
• Multiple sclerosis
One of the advantages that ALA has over other antioxidants is that it is both water soluble and fat soluble, unlike the other antioxidants that are soluble in either water or fat only. Therefore, its health benefits can be felt all over your body. In addition, ALA is found in all cells within your body and so deficiencies are rare.
Even though ALA is synthesized naturally within your body cells, their production goes down as you age. This is why alpha lipoic acid supplements are available. They are often presented in the form of capsules. There is no recommended daily dose of this supplement, but you need the guidance of a health physician in order to determine the right dosage for you. These supplements may cause serious reactions with specific drugs, and so your doctor will determine whether they are appropriate for you. Children are not allowed to take alpha llipoic acid supplements because their bodies are still in a position to release enough for their needs.
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Improve Your Health?
April 17, 2012 07:22 AM
Health Benefits Of Phosphatidyl Serine
Phosphatidyl serine is phospholipid that is vital to your brain functioning. The phospholipid are molecules containing both fatty acids and amino acids found in every cell in the body. Phodphatidyl Serine supplements are plant extracts that has been proven safe and effective therapeutic substance in remedying memory disorders as well as in enhancing higher brain functions. Clinical trials have shown that this vitamin supplement do strengthen your memory, increase mental acuity, increase concentration, boosts learning, enhances attention and vigilance. In addition, Phodphatidyl serine relieves depression while improving your mood and inhibits increases in cortisol induced by exercise and stress.
The supplement works by enabling your brain cells to metabolize glucose and releases it to bind with neurotransmitters which hence support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Phodphatidyl serine enhances the cells communication in the brain through increasing the number of membrane receptor sites. It is also important to note that this natural supplement modulates the fluidity of the cell membranes which are essential in supporting the ability of brain cells to send and receive chemical communications.
Another health benefit associated with Phodphatidyl serine is its ability to restore the supply and output of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is an essential transmitter to memory and is associated in reversing aging. Further, it increases the availability of endogenous chlorine used for de novo synthesis and production. Patients diagnosed with clinical depression that have ben put under the treatment of Phodphatidyl serine have registered a remarkable improvement with their symptoms. This follows from the fact that the supplement stimulates the production of dopamine by the brain. A deficit in dopamine in the brain has also been associated with attention deficit disorder and hence the natural supplement of Phodphatidyl serine has demonstrated to be an effective remedy for the disorder.
Research indicates that athletes involved in weight training, endurance running and cycling can reduce muscle soreness when they use Phodphatidyl serine. The athletes on this supplement have also been reported to undergo speed recovery during their rigorous training sessions. Other benefits of the supplement include; testicular function, formation of bone matrix, heart beat coordination, cell repair and removal by the immune system and secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
It is vital to note that phodphatidyl serine is present in almost every cell in our body and the membrane proteins it activates are important in all these cells. However, our bodies cannot produce enough amounts of it when under stress, when there is a deficit in necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors, and when aged. Stress increases the demands for phospatidylserine thus depleting the available levels in the cells. On the other hand, aging not only increases the brain's requirement for phosphatidylserine but also leads to inefficiency in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body. This makes it difficult for aged people to acquire enough of it from the diet and thus it is recommended that aged people should use phosphatidyl serine supplements.
Modern diets with low fat and low cholesterol levels have been shown to be lacking in phodphotidyl serine to levels of up to 150 mg per day. A vegetarian diet on the other hand may have a deficit of up to 250 mg per day. This deficit in supply of Phodphatidyl serine in the diet leads to impairment of your brain's ability to form, store, process and even remember. It is vital hence to consider taking vitamin supplements with phosphatidyl serine to cater for the deficit which may be detrimental to your health.
How Much Turmeric Should Be Taken For Alzheimer's?
October 05, 2011 02:08 PM
Turmeric is an herb which is a perennial plant included in the family of gingers. This plant is considered to be rhizomatous and has been found to be abundant in tropical countries such as South Asia. For its cultivation, this plant must grow in a climate with a temperature of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius and ample amount of yearly rain. In these kind of climates, this herb can grow healthy and abundantly. In some countries, an annual collection of rhizomes is done and then reproduced and grown the next season.
Turmeric is commonly used as a culinary spice or ingredient. It is dried in extreme temperatures of ovens and ground into a yellow to orange powder. This spice is common in many Asian dishes. Aside from its culinary use, it can also be helpful in maintaining the health of the human body. The known active ingredient of turmeric is Curcumin. This chemical substance has a unique slightly metallic taste and peppery in flavor. It also has a mustard–like aroma. Hence, it is considered to be an important condiment in many Middle Eastern recipes. In addition to Curcumin, turmeric consists of about 5 % of essential oils.
With its many health benefits, one of the most interesting is its effect on the brain in helping prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical studies and surveys reveal that people who consume large quantities of curry have a lesser risk and incidence of having Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, intensive studies are being conducted to test and prove its safety and effectiveness as a chemical substance which can greatly help in the prevention of the increasing number of Alzheimer’s disease cases. Other factors are also considered such as the individual’s diet, familial history, social and economic status as well as lifestyle.
Alzheimer’s disease has been closely related to the increasing damage of brain cells due to oxidation. This brain damage will significantly cause an effect to the person’s memory thus Alzheimer’s disease occur. Curcumin in the turmeric has the potent capacity to prevent this cellular damage thus slowing the development of such disease. Studies have also shown that Curcumin can significantly impede certain mechanisms that are involved in the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from its benefit in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric also has a potential anti – inflammatory property and can effectively regulate blood cholesterol levels.
The recommended dosage of turmeric has not yet been officially established. Therefore, if you are planning to supplement with turmeric, it would be best that you should consult your doctor. The dosage of this supplement varies from person to person in terms of age, weight, other health conditions and status of his/her Alzheimer’s disease.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
July 18, 2011 12:01 PM
The body needs various nutrients in order to make vital biological reactions possible. These bodily reactions are necessary for energy production, immune system enhancement and health improvement. These nutrients are classified into two, macro and micronutrients. In addition, these micronutrients are further divided into vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are needed by individuals to help the body grow normally. Vitamins can be supplied by the food we eat. However, the body can make certain vitamins such as vitamin D and K. Individuals who are in strict vegetable diet usually need vitamin B12 supplement. In this article, we will be focusing on Vitamin B 12 or also known as cyanocobalamin.
Vitamin B 12 is also a water– soluble vitamin. It is considered as essential because it is not produced by the body. Excellent sources of this vitamin include fish, shellfish, meat, milk and milk products. Vitamin B 12 is also available in supplements in combination with other vitamin B complex. Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B 12 is also necessary in maintaining healthy brain cells and in the normal production of red blood cells. Riboflavin is also a component of DNA which is the cells’ genetic material. Vitamin B 12 in the stomach combines with a substance called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Vitamin B 12 boosts mental alertness because it facilitates normal formation of body cells most especially the nerve cells. Vitamin B 12 is also an important component of the myelin sheath. Myelin sheath is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves. Myelin sheath functions by increasing the speed of the movement of the impulse. With the presence of myelin sheath, the impulse hops from one sheath to another instead of just moving continuously along the nerve fiber. This is the reason why vitamin B 12 is commonly employed for boosting mental alertness and concentration. In fact, it is also commonly employed for treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B 12 can also help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing the concentration of homocysteine in the blood stream. Studies show that high levels of homocysteine can greatly lead to atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of arterial walls. It can also increase the tendency of abnormal blood clotting thus increasing the risk of clotting – related disorders. These factors can precipitate heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents or commonly known as stroke.
Another function of vitamin B 12 is its involvement with energy metabolism in every cell of the body. Therefore, vitamin B 12 is not only good for enhancing mental alertness but also increasing energy levels. It is also required by the body so that other nutrients from the diet can be absorbed and readily utilized by the cells.
Vitamin B 12 is relatively safe. It usually comes in combination with other B vitamins in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid which can be bought over –the – counter.
Phosphatidyl choline, Aging, And Intelligence What You Must Know
May 24, 2011 10:52 AM
If you are aging and wish to maintain your intelligence, experts are turning to the belief that a supplement of phosphatidylcholine could enable you to do this. For a long time, lecithin supplements have been recommended to people seeking a way to maintain their faculties as they age, and in a number of cases it appears to have been effective. Now it is phosphatidylcholine that is being recommended, and it is certainly no coincidence that this phospholipid/choline combination constitutes the bulk of lecithin.
Nor is it any coincidence that the cell membranes of the brain and everywhere else in your body contains large quantities of phosphatidylcholine, or at least should do for maximum effectiveness. The membranes of the brain cells of a young infant consist of around 90% of this phospholipid, while those of the brain cells of a 60 -70 year old contain only around 10%. This figure will naturally vary with each person, and some individuals could have a considerably higher amount and others less, but that is a rough average.
It follows, then, and many experts agree, that by taking a supplement of phosphatidylcholine you can slow down the natural loss of cognitive ability, memory and overall brain function. If taken according to the recommended doses there are no significant side effects, so what do you have to lose? Certainly not your memory and your ability to make that decision because you are going to lose that in any case - unless these experts are correct in their thinking and you take their advice.
What is Vinpocetine and How Does it Help with Memory?
March 24, 2011 02:18 PM
Vinpocetine And Brain Health
Vinpocetine is a derivative of an organic compound found in the plant species Vinca minor, or common periwinkle. It is best known for its neuroprotective effects and used in Europe and Japan in treatment of age-related cognitive decline. More often than not, its activities inside the human body are described as vasodilator, which means it increases blood flow. It has also seen a growing presence in the North American market as a dietary supplement.
Vinpocetine is available as a prescription drug in certain European countries and Japan and has shown to be speed up prognosis of patients who suffered cerebrovascular accident, or CVA, which is commonly referred to as stroke. Most cases of cerebrovascular accident are brought on by ischemia, or very poor circulation of blood to certain parts of the brain. This is exactly what vinpocetine is beneficial for, and recommended dosages have so far yielded very encouraging results.
Improves Blood Circulation in the Brain
It has long been postulated that one of the mechanisms of action of vinpocetine is limiting the effects of Na+ channels that are sensitive to voltage. This creates a neuroprotective effect believed to contribute to mental clarity and sustained attention. Striatal nerve endings produce extracellular Ca+ ions that induce neuronal damage through a phenomenon called excitotocity. High levels of Ca+ ions are now alleged to be correlated with voltage-sensitive Na+ channels. Striatal nerve endings see a decline in Ca+ ions when Na+ channels are influenced by vinpocetine, and in the process lessen excitotoxicity.
Attenuates Ischemic Neuronal Damage
In addition to limiting neuronal damage induced by excitotoxicity, which in turn results from cerebral ischemia, vinpocetine plays an active role in the upkeep of brain cells after being subjected to ischemic damage. As a vasodilator, it not only counters the effects of ischemia but also significantly increases the brain’s access to bioactive molecules like oxygen and other nutrients exclusively distributed by the circulatory system.
It also inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which is specialized for the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, or cAMP, and cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP. By so doing, vinpocetine contributes to glucose metabolism and energy production in the brain, and at the same time, improves the distribution of bioactive compounds in the central nervous system.
Displays Neuroprotective Activities
Vinpocetine and its precursor belong to a group of indole alkaloids known as tryptomines, which are present in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system in minute quantities. These organic compounds make up several psychoactive drugs and in the human body act as neuromodulators and neurotransmitters in the form of melatonin and serotonin.
Vinpocetine in particular displays activities that are primarily anti-inflammatory in nature. Several studies point to its effects on the enzyme complex called IkB kinase, which regulates cellular responses to inflammation, by preventing the translocation of a protein complex called responsible for the process of inflammation within cells.
In a Nutshell, vinpocetine can help you think clearer and protect the brain from inflammation and free radical damage. Give vinpocetine a try today!
stroke, what is it?
September 28, 2010 03:05 PM
A stroke occurs when a clot forms inside an artery that blocks the flow of blood to the brain. This is also called a thrombus. Embolism, which is a wandering clot, is carried in the bloodstream until it wedges in one of the arteries that lead to the brain. Aneurysms are blood-filled pouches that balloon out from weak spots in the artery wall and burst. A hemorrhage results when a defective artery in the brain that bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood.
A mild attack can lead to temporary confusion and light-headedness, along with difficulty in speaking clearly, weakness on one side of the body, visual dimness and confusion, severe speech difficulties, and/or sudden or gradual loss or blurring of consciousness. Additionally, amnesia can occur, but it is not typically permanent. A coma can even result for short or long periods.
It is important to watch for early warnings of stroke. Although they may only last a few moments, early warnings include fainting, stumbling, numbness or paralysis of the fingers of one hand, blurring of vision, seeing bright lights, and loss of speech or memory. It is much wiser and significantly less expensive to start improving health in order to prevent this disease. Some doctors who have treated thousands of people suffering from stroke believe that most strokes can typically be prevented.
The Chinese often view strokes as being caused by blood stasis and stagnation of the liver. Chinese medical practitioners attempt to prevent strokes and treat them by treating constipation. Constipation causes a poisoned bloodstream, setting the stage for a possible stroke. Poisoned blood flows through thousands of miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries. The walls of the arteries are made up for cells, which are subject to the same injury from toxins as the cells in the kidneys. The kidneys degenerate at the same time that the arteries do and even from the same causes. When the walls thicken and harden, degeneration results. As they harden they become more brittle, causing them to burst more easily under pressure. Pressure increases as the hole through the arteries grows smaller. AS the walls become more brittle, the extra pressure causes the blood pressure to rupture. This, in turn, causes a stroke. The brain cells rely primarily on oxygen-rich blood in order to get nourishment. If they don’t receive this nourishment, the brain cells will die. Other causes of this are poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking.
Emotional health is an essential part to any healing. Strokes are often associated with resistance to change, giving up on life, and getting tired of doing all the same things over and over. It is important that we learn to accept changes and are able to go with the flow of life. Life can be exciting. Changes provide us with a new perspective on living.
Some herbs and supplements have been used to help as a preventative. These include vitamin E, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, garlic, evening primrose oil, lecithin, chlorophyll, flaxseed oil, and germanium. For additional information on any of these, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
DHEA and Your Health
March 16, 2010 12:27 PM
DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced within the adrenal glands. The most abundant hormone found in the body, it is sometimes referred to as the “mother hormone.” When hormone levels are too low or out of sync, the body is unable to function as intended. DHEA levels reach their peak in the body around age twenty-one. After that, the levels tend to decline over the years. This substance is a precursor hormone that can be metabolized into other adrenal hormones and act with other hormones.
When DHEA levels are normal, it aids the immune system in maintaining balance and fighting diseases and infection. This, in turn, protects the body form a variety of serious problems that can occur, including cancer. Although the full extent of DHEA's benefits is not entirely known, there is a great deal of evidence that links low levels of DHEA to conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fertility problems, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, allergies, PMS, and even weight problems. Many people even believe that this hormone is the single most important factor in maintaining health.
Scientific studies have determined that individuals with cancer seem to have lower levels of DHEA than those individuals who are healthy. It has been found that DHEA has the ability to inhibit one of the most important enzymes that is responsible for the feeding of cancer cells. Research has also concluded that DHEA can help in a variety of types of cancer, including colon, lung, skin, breast, lymphatic, gastric, prostate, and ovarian. It is believed that DHEA aids in slowing the growth of cancer. This hormone also blocks some of the enzymes that are responsible for cancer proliferation, which helps to prevent the activity of cancer and stops damage from occurring.
Alzheimer's condition is extremely frightening, as it deals with the loss of memory and senility. It has been found that levels of DHEA in Alzheimer's patients are forty-eight percent lower than the normal, healthy level established by the control group. DHEA is responsible for protecting the brain cells from damage and deterioration. Also, it is useful with other degenerative conditions that deal with senility. In healthy individuals, DHEA can be found abundantly in brain tissue, which protects against aging and damage.
DHEA is a precursor for cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are stress hormones. DHEA can become depleted when the body is under stress due to the effect on the adrenal glands. Because of this, chronic stress can lead to lower levels of DHEA, which can be detrimental to one's health. It has been found the prolonged stress can lead to cases of depression, with depression being helped by the addition of DHEA. Individuals with depression have found favorable results when using DHEA.
It has been shown that DHEA therapy is free of side effects when taken in proper amounts. Some problems that occur when excess amounts of DHEA are supplemented include acne, rapid heartbeat, irritability, and headaches. The majority of people solve these problems by lowering the amount they are taking. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by DHEA, please feel free to contact a representative from your local or internet health food store.
Dhea is a hormone naturally found in the body now available over the counter at your local health food store.
October 01, 2009 11:57 AM
In the past decade, ginkgo has received much attention. It has been revered throughout China and other areas of Asia for thousands of years. However, its popularity increased in Western countries. An increase in sales can be attributed to interest in the benefits of ginkgo on conditions that are associated with aging like Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia, and circulatory disorders. Often, gingko is used to increase the blood flow to the brain, which improves memory problems like Alzheimer’s, to prevent strokes, and to increase blood circulation through vasodialation. The improved circulation is also thought to improve ear conditions, help blood flow to the retina, aid in preventing muscular degeneration, reduce frequency of asthma attacks, and help transplant recipients avoid rejection.
The ability of ginkgo to boost brain function has been studied extensively. Most importantly, ginkgo increases oxygen supply to brain cells, as the brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, ginkgo has been used to improve electrical transmission in nerves and supply more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. The effect that ginkgo has on the brain and circulatory system disorders seems to be extremely promising for a variety of conditions. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective in treating migraine headaches. In one study that took place in 1975, ginkgo extract was given to individuals who were suffering from migraines. Results concluded that eighty percent of the patients showed improvement or were cured of the condition.
Ginkgo extract has also helped dementia that results from poor blood flow to the brain. Senile dementia is often recognized by depression, unusual fatigue, and memory problems. Ginkgo has the ability to help improve circulation to the brain tissue, which in turn improves brain function.
Blood platelet aggregation, or clotting, can cause serious problems in the body. Among these are strokes, heart attacks, and coronary thrombosis. It has been found that ginkgo can reduce the tendency for platelets to stick together and prevent them from forming clots in the arteries and veins.
The brain and nervous system are extremely sensitive to free-radical damage because of the high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. It has been found that ginkgo’s antioxidant activity is particularly powerful in these areas, along with the eye and retina. This is extremely helpful in conditions like retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration. The central nervous system possesses fat lipids in the cell membranes that are typically attracted by free radicals. Ginkgo can help protect these cell membranes and prevent condition which can occur in the brain and nervous system that are often associated with aging, like memory loss.
The leaves of the ginkgo plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antioxidant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. Primarily, ginkgo is extremely helpful in treating ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of attention span, blood clots, cardiovascular disorders, poor circulation, dementia, dizziness, edema, impotence, inflammation, ischemia, memory loss, lack of mental clarity, multiple sclerosis, muscular degeneration, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, senility, stress, stroke, and tinnitus.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, coughs, depression, lack of equilibrium, eye problems, hearing problems, hemorrhoids, lung disorders, migraines, mood swings, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, varicose veins, vascular problems, and vertigo.
Detoxify With L-Citrulline
April 13, 2009 03:51 PM
L-citrulline is an alpha-amino acid, first isolated from the watermelon in 1930: hence the name, citrullis being Latin for that fruit, the skin of which is rich in the substance. It is used to enhance performance in sports, particularly through aiding recovery after exercise, and also helps the liver to detoxify the blood.
It is not an essential amino acid in that it is produced by the body and need not be part of your diet. It is a precursor to arginine, which involves the sustained release of nitric oxide in the endothelium that promotes increased flow of blood and the blood vessels as described further below. One of the biochemical pathways for its biosynthesis involves the urea cycle, whereby the toxic ammonia is detoxified into an easily excreted form through its conversion to urea.
The urea cycle consists of five reactions, and citrulline is formed in the second of these. In the first of these, ammonia reacts with bicarbonate to form carbamoyl phosphate, the phosphate coming from the two molecule of ATP used to energize the reaction. These are converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and the carbamoyl phosphate then reacts with ornithine to form citrulline, which takes part in step three that eventually leads to the formation of urea.
The second way in which L-citrulline can be biosynthesized is from the oxidation of arginine, a natural amino acid. Arginine is oxidized into N-hydroxyarginine, and then into L-citrulline with the release of nitric oxide.
So that's how it is produced in the body, but how does it help sportsmen, and what part does it play in detoxification? Its effect on recovery after exercise is connected with blood flow. Energy is created in the mitochondria that are contained in every cell off the body. Among the raw materials needed for the production of energy are glucose and oxygen: glucose obtained from the carbohydrates in your diet, and oxygen transported by the hemoglobin or red blood cells.
Both of these rely on blood flow: greater the volume of blood transported to the cells then the greater the ability of these cells to produce energy. During periods of exercise, a good supply of blood is required to provide the raw materials needed for the energy demand of the muscles involved in the exercise. Not only that however, but recovery after exercise involves the replacement of electrolytes, the glycogen used in extensive aerobic and anaerobic exercise and protein replacement, particularly where catabolism has occurred.
In order to supply these raw materials at an adequate rate, it is necessary for the flow of blood to the appropriate muscles to be sufficient. A major restriction to increase blood flow is elasticity of the blood vessels and cells. Although a healthy heart is capable of providing the necessary quantities of blood, and hence of nutrients, any restriction to the flow could cause dangerously high blood pressure.
Nitric oxide plays a signaling role in enlarging blood vessels to allow an increased blood flow when it is needed by the body. It can provide more blood to the stomach during digestion and to the muscles during exercise and recovery.
During hard exercise, nitric oxide can act as a pump that provides blood during exercise and also during recovery. It can therefore provide more rapid gains in lean mass, increased endurance and faster muscle recovery. The way it does this is to send a signal to the smooth muscles to relax; smooth muscles such as those found in veins and arteries, so resulting in vasodilation therefore allowing increased blood flow.
It is the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which uses the nitric oxide to provide the relaxation signal to the smooth muscles surrounding it. In fact, it is the effect of nitric oxide that enables those living at high altitudes to develop increased stamina and speed over those at lower altitudes, and find more world records seem to be broken during athletics meetings, such as Olympic Games, held at high altitudes. This is because the production of nitric acid is increased at higher altitudes with slightly lower oxygen levels. This is the same effect that is used by vasodilators such as amyl nitrite and Viagra that work by increasing nitric oxide levels in the smooth muscle wall of the blood vessels.
It should not be surprising therefore, that L-citrulline should work in a similar way, since it is intimately involved in the production of nitric oxide. Although this is now generally understood, what part does supplemental citrulline play in the body if it is a non-essential amino acid?
Supplemental L-citrulline is useful in supporting the detoxification of ammonia in the liver when supplies of ornithine carbamoyl transferase is naturally in short supply. This is the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between ornithine and carbamoyl phosphate to form citrulline. Supplements can then help in the removal of ammonia from the blood, and also provide material for the continued production of nitric oxide support muscular activity and its recovery after exercise.
Ammonia itself is a by-product of intensive exercise, and without the urea cycle the body would rapidly become polluted. It is a very toxic product, and causes the death of thousands of people each year. This is generally in people who suffer liver and kidney disease, and the ammonia can be broken down and excreted.
Your brain cells are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and as levels increase the effect progressively ranges from drowsiness thru tremors to coma and eventual death. Any condition, therefore, that reduces the body's capability of metabolizing ammonia is potentially very serious, and any supplement that can help prevent this is valuable.
L-citrulline is believed to help in such situations, although any condition affecting the efficiency of the kidneys or liver and that can cause toxicity due to ammonia or any other toxic substance, should be referred to your physician. It is for its effect in increasing blood flow to provide sufficient raw material, for both the energy needed for high levels of exercise and for muscle recovery, that citrulline is predominantly used as a supplement.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
December 11, 2008 11:19 AM
Alpha lipoic acid is the ideal antioxidant for five main reasons. It can scavenge free radicals of all kinds of both fat and water-based cell structures. It rapidly assimilates and absorbs into cells. Alpha lipoic acid boosts the action of other protective compounds. It chelates free meal ions and it also promotes normal cell replication.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is both fat and water soluble, which makes it a superior free-radical scavenger because it can protect lipid (fat) and aqueous (water) cell parts from free-radical damage. This ability allows ALA to offer excellent cellular protection because it can easily transport across cell membranes and give oxidant protection outside and inside cell structures. ALA has the ability to freely move throughout all cell parts, scavenging for free radicals in a way that is definitely more effective than other antioxidant compounds. Vitamin C, for example, is a good antioxidant but is strictly water soluble and only affects the interior of cells. On the other hand, vitamin E is only fat soluble, meaning that it affects only the lipid portion of cell structures or the membrane, which leaves other areas unprotected.
Cellular glutathione, which is produced in the body and works to neutralize free radicals, is very difficult to artificially boost. Although oral glutathione supplements are available, they have to go through the GI route before they enter the blood stream, leaving little glutathione which actually survives this process. Because of this, cellular levels are not significantly increase by oral supplementation. ALA has been found to help regenerate glutathione by providing extra cellular protection.
If the body becomes deficient in ALA, other antioxidant compounds may not work well. ALA plays an important role in boosting the activity of protective compounds such as vitamin E. ALA dramatically extends the life and effectiveness of other vital compounds.
ALA has been used for decades to treat diabetic conditions and complications including diabetic neuropathy, with ALA actually having the ability to initiate a reverse in the condition in some cases. Additionally, ALA helps to boost glucose uptake and results in less insulin dependency in some cases. Among its other properties, ALA can protect brain tissue on a cellular level, as well as protect brain cells from certain hazardous chemicals.
Research has shown that ALA may even play a role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease. As we are all aware, LDL cholesterol has a huge role in the development of cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol, which is particularly susceptible to free-radical damage, can be protected by ALA from free radical damage itself. Along with the above properties, ALA has been shown to help in strokes, cancer, cataracts, HIV, liver regeneration, and detoxification.
ALA can be purchased in tablet and capsule form and works well when it is orally ingested so that it can be easily assimilated through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. Taking between 40 to 50 mg of ALA is recommended for best results. The primary applications of alpha lipoic acid are aging, aids, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, bell’s palsy, cataracts, cancer, cirrhosis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, radiation sickness or exposure, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, stroke, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heavy-metal poisoning. Have you had your alpha lipoic acid today?
Horny Goat Weed
December 06, 2008 10:05 AM
Horny Goat weed, correctly named Epimedium, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is one of over 60 herbaceous plants of the Berberdaceae family. It grows naturally in Southern China, and also in Korea, Southeast Asia and some parts of Europe. Other names given to include Fairy Wings and Bishop's Hat.
Horny goat weed has been viewed as a natural alternative to Viagra, and many species of Epimedium are said to possess aphrodisiac properties, and is said to have got its name from a Chinese goat herder who notice that his goats became more 'frisky' with the lady goats after eating the plant. In fact studies have indicated to increase vitality, particularly the libido and male sexual vitality, although it also possesses some other health benefits in its effect on dementia and osteoporosis.
The term 'horny' is used in the colloquial sense, and has nothing to do with the shape of the plant, the flowers of which are star-shaped. In fact the Chinese name for it means 'licentious goat weed', making the English translation quite clear.
The main ingredient in horney goat weed is icariin, a flavonoid glycoside that acts as a PDE5 inhibitor. Others include the similarly named, but totally different chemical, icaritin, and also many other that will be discussed later. It is icariin on which we shall focus for the time being. Since this is central to its effect on erectile dysfunction, some time will be spent on explaining what PDE5 inhibitors do.
cGMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate) is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the vascular smooth muscles in blood vessels. This can lead to the dilation, or increase in size, of blood vessels and increased blood flow. The corpus cavernosum of the penis is a spongy area that runs the full length of the penis, and contains many blood vessels that can be dilated through the action of cGMP and allow the increased blood flow to create an erection.
PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) is an enzyme that can degrade cGMP and prevent the relaxation of these blood vessels, and so prevent them from dilating. A PDE5 inhibitor, such as icariin, prevents the PDE5 from degrading cGMP, and so allow a normal erection. Sidenafil, commonly known as Viagra, is a similar PDE5 inhibitor and works in the same way as icariin. Hence, the effect of Viagra is not to create an unnatural erection, but in fact to allow the cGMP to do its natural work by preventing the phosphodiesterase from stopping it doing so.
This is just one of the effects of horny goat weed: it is a more natural PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra is. It is also more specific than Sidenfil, and does not interfere with any of the other phosphodiesterases that are essential for other purposes. However, its effects do not stop there, because icariin possesses other properties, and is also only one of the many components of epimedium that can increase vitality.
Among these are a number of flavonoids in addition to icariin, sterols and the isoquinoline alkaloid magnaflorine, that possesses antioxidant properties and reduces LDL cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which horny goat weed works to increase sexual desire is unknown, but it is believed that it inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinetsrase (AChE). Cholinergic synapses are the spaces between brain cells that allow electrical impulses to be transmitted, and are an essential component of neuromuscular system response to stimulation.
AChE can stop these from working properly, and prevent neurotransmitters from effectively allowing sexual arousal. Horny goat weed can inhibit the activity of this enzyme and allow the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to do their proper job in allowing sexual arousal to occur. This, again, is a natural and not a chemical solution. It has also been found to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress which also reduces sexual desire.
The effect of Epimedium on smooth muscles can also aid those suffering from pulmonary hypertension, in which the small blood vessels in the lungs become too narrow to be effective in allowing the transfer between oxygen and carbon dioxide. PDE5 inhibitors can help these blood vessels to relax and so be more easily dilated in the same way as those in the corpus cavernosum. Once dilated, they are able to carry more blood to and from the lungs and allow the reoxygenation process to continue smoothly.
Research has also discovered the possibility of horny goat weed possessing monoamine-oxidase inhibition properties. Monoamine oxidase enzymes can deaminate hormones such as dopamine, and can significantly reduce the production of testosterone. The inhibitor prevents this happening, and leads to elevated levels of dopamine, and also of serotonin and noradrenaline. Dopamine encourages the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone that in turn promotes the production of testosterone by the testes.
Another property of horny goat weed is that it can protect against the toxin beta-Amyloid, a protein that damages DNA in the brain, causing the death of brain cells and the accumulation of dead cells in your brain. This in turn leads to dementia and potentially Alzheimer's disease. The use of Horny goat weed is being studied closely in relation to this property. The active ingredient here is icaritin (not to be confused with icariin)
Epimedium also has implications in the treatment of the cartilage and bone damage that occurs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It is possible that this is connected with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of magnaflorine, and icariin has been found to have bone-healing properties. It is known that damaged cartilage treated with horney goat weed displayed signs of growth and regeneration when compared to a placebo.
However, the most popular use of horny goat weed is in its effect on the libido and erectile dysfunction. The effect on the libido and sexual desire works equally well for men and women, and it is a preferred natural remedy to synthetic equivalents such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The added benefits of the natural product render epimedium the preferred and safest solution for many people.
Huperzine And Memory
December 04, 2008 01:20 PM
Chinese club moss goes by the name Huperzia serrata, and gives its name to the sesquiterpene alkaloid it contains: huperzine A. This alkaloid has been found to be a superstar in the arena of brain-saving treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer's and age-related senility. Studies in China have found up to 60% improvements in the cognitive functions of such patients, and its potential has been recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is no mere folk remedy, and is the subject of serious study.
Known as Qian Ceng Ta, Chinese club moss has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for the treatment of fever and inflammation, which is not surprising considering that most plants contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. However, what is unusual is the fact that it has also been found effective in treating some forms of dementia and depression, and also helps to reduce the incidence of panic attacks in those susceptible to them.
Not only that, but the plant has been found to possess diuretic properties, and a reduction in the swelling associated with water retention could also help to reduce the pain and other effects of swelling and inflammation. However, for now it is its effect on the brain that we are concerned, and research has indicated the likely mechanism by which huperzine A works.
Huperzine is an enzyme inhibitor - specifically inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in the processes of memory, learning and mood. Outside the brain, it is involved in the movement of skeletal muscle tissue as well as in the regulation of cardiac and other smooth muscles such as those of the blood vessels.
When acetylcholinesterase (AChE) attacks acetylcholine (ACh), the latter attaches to a chemical site on the enzyme where it is then destroyed. It is a deliberate function of the body, designed to terminate a synaptic transmission. The purpose of a neurotransmitter is to allow the transmission of an electrical impulse form one nerve cell to another over a gap between them known as a synapse. Once the transmission has been completed, the enzyme can destroy the neurotransmitter, and then another takes its place. In fact one molecule of AChE can destroy around 5,000 molecules of ACh.
However, with age and for other reasons, these neurotransmitters can become depleted so that it becomes increasingly more difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other, and their destruction becomes undesirable. There are drugs available to help prevent this happening (e.g. donepezil, galantamine and tacrine), and so help to improve the memory and mental function of people as they grow older or contract conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Huperzine A has been found to take up the site in the acetylcholinesterase molecule that would normally have been used by the acetylcholine, and so save it from destruction. The more Huperzine A molecules present, the more acetylcholine available to pass messages between brain cells, and the stronger the cognitive function of the subject or patient. The pharmaceutical drugs mentioned in the previous paragraph work in exactly the same way.
This is a very specific reaction, one molecule adopting exactly the same space as the other, and has been proved scientifically by comparing the physical shapes of the two molecules. It's just like a jigsaw puzzle, where only one piece can fit into each position. Except here there are two: Huperzine A and acetylcholine both fit into the exact same place in the chemical structure of the acetylcholinesterase molecule.
The biochemistry of the reactions involved is very complex, and shall not be discussed here, but the upshot is that Huperzine A can do exactly the same job as modern drugs to avoid this hydroxylation of the ACh needed for the proper functioning of your brain.
In fact, clinical trials have indicated Huperzine A not only to be comparable in effect to the drugs current used, but also likely safer with respect to the possible side effects. This has still to be confirmed, but the National Institute on Aging is currently carrying out a trial to evaluate this claim in tandem with its effect on Alzheimer's disease. It has also been examined at Harvard University for its effect on epilepsy on patients with whom alternative pharmaceutical treatments have been unsuccessful.
Another suggested benefit of Huperzine A is that it is an NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor antagonist that provides protection against damage to the brain by an excess of glutamates, and that it can also help to protect nerve cells from damage. Since NDMA is responsible for the transmission of some types of pain, the antagonist can also act as an analgesic.
There are other benefits that Chinese club moss can provide, and myasthenia gravis is one of them. Although relatively rare, this is a serious condition in which acetylcholine receptors are deactivated on muscle cells. This is achieved through the autoimmune system malfunctioning and creating antibodies against the receptors, and the end result is paralysis and respiratory failure.
Huperzine A reduces the AChE available and so might possibly enable the acetylcholine to work more effectively and delay or even stop the deterioration of muscle function. When people hear of muscle paralysis they frequently forget that breathing requires muscle function, as indeed does your heartbeat. This is currently surmise, and studies are being carried out to determine whether or not this usage of Huperzine A is viable.
Another promising application of Chinese club moss extract is in preventing organophosphate poisoning. These pesticides permanently suppress acetylcholine. This results in seizures due to a lack of interruption of the signals from nerves to muscles. The seizures can result in rapid death from uncontrollable seizures, or from permanent contraction of the diaphragm muscle that allows breathing. Although no human studies have yet been carried out, animals given Huperzine A prior to organophosphate exposure have survived without seizures.
There are no doubts that Chinese club moss and the Huperzine A extracted from it are effective in preventing the suppression of acetylcholine, and in permitting the proper activity of this important neurotransmitter. It is finding an increasing number of potential uses beneficial to the human body, not the least of which would be a partial remedy for some of the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
DHA for Attention and Focus
September 29, 2008 05:33 PM
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder emerged in scientific research at the turn of the 20th century when Dr. George Still was introduced to a disobedient, troubled, nine year-old boy. Today, research still just touches the edge of this serious disorder, but our understanding has steadily grown throughout the 20th century. Dr. Still believed that ADHD is not just the result of bad parenting, but also of some sort of condition in the brain. The symptoms that comprised ADHD were considered minimal brain dysfunction or minimal brain damage in the 1940s or 1950s, while others called it hyperactivity. By 1987, scientists were referring to the condition as ADHD.
Today, no one has yet to pinpoint the exact cause of ADHD, but there has been some interesting research that has lead to the discovery of many different facts. Identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins to both suffer from ADHD, as identical twins share genetic material, causing researchers to believe that ADHD may have a genetic component. A study of adults with ADHD showed that ADHD brain cells were less active by eight percent and used glucose less effectively in the areas of the brain that involved attention control. About seventy percent of ADHD children continue having ADHD when they become adults. Additionally, a study found that fifty-seven boys with ADHD suffered from a slight structural abnormality in the brain, with the prefrontal cortex, caudate, nucleus, and globus pallidus being slightly smaller on the right side than in fifty-five boys who didn’t suffer from this disease. All of these areas are parts of the brain that are believed to inhibit our actions.
The American Psychiatric Association says that children can have ADHD if they have six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention for six months or longer. Other possible symptoms include: frequently not paying close attention to details; frequently having trouble staying focused on tasks; frequently not following through on instructions; frequently having difficulty organizing duties and activities; frequently failing to listen when directly spoken to; frequently avoiding or hesitating to be involved in tasks requiring continued mental effort; frequently losing objects needed for duties or activities; frequently distracted by external stimuli; and frequently forgetting daily activities.
Other symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity would include: frequently fidgets with hands or feet; frequently squirming while sitting down; frequently leaves seat in places where remaining seated is the accepted norm; frequently running around or climbing in places that are inappropriate; frequently having difficult playing quietly; frequently appearing on the go; frequently speaking excessively; frequently blurting out answers before questions are completed; frequently having trouble waiting his turn; and frequently interrupting conversations or games with others.
The most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD is medication, often being Ritalin, which is a stimulant that helps to enhance the effect of the brain chemicals that help nerve and brain cells to receive messages from each other. Ritalin can help ease the suffering of a child with ADHD, making them more attentive and less aggressive. However, there are many drawbacks to the use of Ritalin, which include it being a form of amphetamine, becoming a popular drug to abuse, having many significant side affects, and being psychologically addictive. Natural alternatives are available such as Dha or essential fatty acids which are suppose to promote proper brain function.
Ginkgo Biloba Extract
September 19, 2008 09:25 AM
Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, grows naturally in two small areas of Eastern China. It is believed that even these sources are artificial, and planted and maintained by monks over many centuries, and that there are no true natural sources of the tree left. Other than these, all living ginkgo trees are now artificially farmed.
The ginkgo seeds contain nuts that are a traditional food in China, served at Chinese New Year, and on other special occasions such as weddings, and is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. The seeds have been used in the treatment of coughs and asthma, and during the late 1970s and 80s, the uses of ginkgo biloba in medicine was extensively investigated with a view to determine the range of conditions that the tree could be used to treat. Given that many ancient Chinese remedies have found to be effective, and with a relevant scientific basis, this was a logical step.
It has been established that ginkgo biloba could have three possible effects on the body. These are:
* Improvement in circulation including that in the small capillaries.
The last of these has been responsible for many cardiovascular conditions, and disorders of the kidneys, lungs and central nervous system, and is due to the effect of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) that ginkgo appears to inhibit.
Before delving deeper into the possible beneficial effects of Ginkgo, let us first examine the active ingredients believed to be involved in the perceived beneficial effects.
Ginkgo leaf extract contains terpenoids (bilobalides and ginkgolides) and flavonoid glycosides. Flavones can reduce the fragility of capillaries, and protect the body from blood loss through damaged capillaries, particularly in the brain. The Ginkgolides, particularly ginkgolide B, inhibit the platelet-activating factor and so increase the fluidity of the blood that improves circulation, again particularly in the micro-capillaries of the brain. This is also why it is believed to reduce the incidence of cerebral thrombosis and resultant strokes.
The antioxidant effect of ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) has been widely studied, and by scavenging free radicals the extract can help to prevent cell membrane damage, and so prevent cells from being destroyed. It has been established that pretreatment of cells with GBE can prevent such damage in rats.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo biloba, as seen in some asthma patients for example, is thought to be due to the inhibition of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) by ginkgolide B, PAF playing a significant part in the inflammatory response to allergens, and PAF is now believed to be responsible for conditions such as asthma, renal diseases, central nervous system disorders and ischemia, a restriction in the blood supply, particularly to the brain.
It follows, therefore, that the effect of GBE on these conditions is likely to be due to PAF inhibition, and a reduction in the inflammatory response to a number of conditions. What evidence is there for this? In fact, results of the trials carried out have been inconclusive one way or the other.
Hence, a trial published by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported no effects after a 6 week trial of Ginkgo on Alzheimer’s and memory disorders. However, other trials have indicated positive effects after 6 weeks, and it could be that the GBE has to be taken for more than 6 weeks for any effects to be noticed. It is certainly believed to be a longer term treatment rather than have instant results, although some tests have shown improvement in concentration for up to 2.5 hours after treatment. The bulk of the evidence is favorable on the effect of GBE on memory disorders.
Test on rats, in which the blood flow to the brain was mechanically blocked by carotid compression, indicated that ginkgo biloba promoted an increase in the glucose and ATP levels in the brain neurons. Other trials have indicated that neurological damage in mice subjected to neurotoxins was reduced by the administration of GBE, and while not conclusive with respect to humans, the effect of GBE on the brain appears to be more than just opinion.
To sum up, ginkgo biloba is believed to be effective in treating the following disorders by virtue of its effect in improving the fluidity of the blood, protecting fragile capillaries from damage, exerting an antioxidant effect on free radices, and so prevent damage to cell membranes, and its inhibiting effect on platelet-activating factor:
Circulation problems in the arteries can lead to blood clots that in turn cause strokes and cardiac problems. By preventing blood clots through the inhibition of PAF, ginkgolide B can help to maintain a healthy circulation system that also help to maintain circulation in the very small capillaries that feed the brain.
This is caused by hardening and blockage of the arteries, and one of the effects of ginkgo biloba is to soften the arteries, help to unblock them and to prevent plaque formation by its antioxidant effect on the free radicals that cause the plaque by oxidation of LDL lipids. This is particularly true of the cerebral arteries.
The increased blood flow to the brain that GBE promotes can help to improve memory, although test are indicating that treatment has to continue for 6 weeks or more for it to be effective. Reduced blood flow to the brain is a common cause of memory impairment.
Ginkgo biloba has been used in the treatment of the symptoms of this condition, although it cannot be cured. It is thought that the improved circulation in the brain makes best use of the unaffected brain cells, improving memory and cognitive thought.
This is a condition where the extremities fail to warm up after being exposed to cold, and is caused by poor circulation in the small capillaries in which the blood pressure is very low. They symptoms are numbness and pins and needles, and GBE helps to overcome this condition due to improvement in the circulation and protection of the capillaries by rendering them less fragile.
GBE can help to reduce the symptoms of vertigo such as nausea and dizziness. This is believed, once again, to be due to an improvement in blood circulation.
There are few doubts that ginkgo biloba extract improves the circulation, particularly in the micro-capillaries in the brain and extremities of the body, and also possesses antioxidant properties, both of which help to maintain and improve the memory, and that combined with its effect on the platelet-activating factor, most of the properties of GBE is due to its capacity to maintain and improve circulation, particularly through those blood vessels closest to the blood-brain barrier.
August 26, 2008 04:58 PM
GABA is gama amino butyric acid, and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is essential for the proper function of your brain and the central nervous system, and has the effect of reducing excessive brain activity and promoting a state of calm.
For many people, the rush of daily life, with its problems, worries and external stimuli, can over-stimulate the brain to the extent that it can all seem too much for them. They feel anxious and overwhelmed, and wish that they could just go into a quiet corner to get away from it all. Most people have felt like that at some time, but the demands of life do not allow them that luxury. They just have to bear it and get on with life.
That is where GABA can come in. It can be used to bring your nervous system back to base, and make you feel more relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that life often throws at you. When you feel that you just can’t relax or concentrate on what you are doing, GABA can help you. If you look around you and everybody else seems OK, without apparently feeling the stress and irritability that you feel, and then perhaps your problem is due to a GABA deficiency. GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, and a deficiency would certainly give you the symptoms that you are feeling. Let me explain why.
As your brain becomes excited, it can run out of control and needs some form of modification or inhibition to keep it acting as normal. Without this you would become increasingly more restless and irritable, and ultimately have seizures. GABA is not only the main inhibitor in your brain, but also helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense of well being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins are produced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, is commonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’.
GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area, and is present in up to 40% of all synapses, the small gaps between neurons across which brain cells can communicate with each other.
It is produced during the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle that is responsible for cell respiration or the production of energy from carbohydrates. It is synthesized from alpha-keto glutarate, which is produced just before the Succinyl Co-A stage of the Krebs Cycle in the brain. Vitamin B6 in involved in its metabolism, and a Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in GABA that might result in seizures.
Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ion to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. Bezodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ion to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits this property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant.
Alcohol has a similar effect to the benzodiazepines, increasing the release of chloride into the neurons, and is the major way in which alcohol affects the brain. In fact, tolerance to drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be explained by the receptors adapting to the drug. They may increase in number, which means that more of the drug is needed to work on them, and they can become hypoactive in the event of the drug being withdrawn, that enhances the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.
So basically, that is the way that GABA works. In simple terms it increases the flow of chloride electrolyte to the brain, and in so doing affects our mood. This effect is enhanced by prescription drugs such as Valium and Ativan, which are used by those that suffer the effects of a GABA deficiency. However, these drugs have side effects, not the least of which is dependency due to the GABA receptors becoming modified to suit the drug. There is a more natural way to overcome many stress problems and symptoms of mood swings.
Knowing what causes these symptoms, it makes sense to eat foods that stimulate the creation of neurotransmitters to replace those that are deficient. Since GABA is produced in the Krebs Cycle and complex carbohydrates produce glutamine that is an important part of that Cycle, and is also the precursor to GABA, then the consumption of such foods should in theory produce more GABA. In this case the theory works, and you should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oats as part of your diet.
Other foods that are high in glutamine or its precursors, glutamic acid and glutamate, include citrus fruits, beef liver, broccoli, halibut and lentils. A useful supplement to take is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, and available in supplement form. L-theanine can calm your nerves while maintaining clarity of thought. In other words it calms you down, but doesn’t make you drowsy and allows you to enjoy your day with anxiety.
Your doctor can determine whether or not you have a neurotransmitter deficiency through a simple urine test, and might also test your saliva for hormone content. A GABA supplement might be indicated, and if so it other beneficial effects on your body other than its effect on your brain cells.
It improves your sleep cycles and promotes vivid dreaming, and can also have a positive effect on your blood pressure. It is also an effective pain killer, and can provide relief from such conditions as back pain and arthritis. Its stimulating effect on the anterior pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone might also be regarded as a benefit by many. Increasing the level of HGH in your blood can lead to fat loss and improved anabolic activity (increase in muscle tissue). This can be of benefit to older people whose level of HGH secretion has dropped off, and who find it more difficult to lose fat.
GABA is a substance that has many known benefits and no known side effects other than a slight tingling and increase in heart rate when the supplement is first used. It has a definite benefit for people to whom the world seems too hectic and overwhelming.
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
Depression and Vitamins
April 17, 2008 11:20 AM
Most men dealing with depression have stories that are very similar, waking with a heavy head even in the happiest of times. A bad day is described as one in which you can’t get out of bed and it feels as if there is a dark cloud hanging over your head. Today, as the NFL season moves towards playoffs, many athletes are living with depression related to multiple concussions. A study of over 2,500 retired NFL players concluded that three concussions triple the chance of experiencing depression. This is extremely important in a sport in which brain trauma is so often and easily dismissed.
Just like helmets cover the faces of men playing a violent game, the angry aggression that is so commonly associated with normal guy behavior may actually be a mask for depression and physical injury is not needed to suffer its effects. It has actually been discovered that depression is more common in men than anyone ever knew, as male depression has often been under-diagnosed because the standard diagnostic manual portrays the depression symptoms more commonly associated with women. About six million men will be diagnosed with depression in 2008, not counting the one million more that will go undiagnosed.
The sad weepiness that is commonly associated with depression is much more commonly found in women, while a man is more likely to be short-tempered, fatigued, and uninterested in sex, work, or hobbies. However, it is work that provides depressed men a distraction to their painful inner feelings. Men are more likely to try downing their pain in alcohol or drugs instead of getting treatment. Untreated depression explains why the male suicide rate is more than four times the rate of female suicide. Although there are hormonal differences in depression of the different genders, the common factor is stress.
Although some men are open to being told they are depressed, most only act out with more anger. An effective, but not exactly subtle approach to telling a man he may have depression is leaving and article or book around the house for him to pick up. Severe depression requires immediate attention by a trained practitioner, along with various medical interventions. Once the worst is over, it is important to try to maintain a depression-free lifestyle. This can be done by reduction stress and finding social support as well as dietary changes.
This is a difficult step for men who are used to conversations which revolve around scores and transactions, but good places to start are men’s groups at houses of worship (church) or those groups such as AA if substance abuse is part of the problem. By fortifying the brain with depression-fighting nutrients, including a B vitamin complex, one can maintain and promote normal mental functioning. Many depressed people are extremely deficient in folic acid as well as dietary essential fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build healthy brain cells, along with phosphatidyl serine. Other herbs, including eleuthero, rhodiola, and ginseng, can help the body to adapt to stress, while St. John’s wort and SAMe work as natural antidepressants.
The most severe mistake that can be made is to play down depression, which applies to raging men just as much as it does to weeping women. Both genders need to seek help if feeling this way. If you feel you are experiencing depression, seek professional help as well as look into dietary changes, exercise, and the support of family can be a good start to a healthier outlook on life.
Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly
April 11, 2008 11:24 AM
In the USA it is harvested in Oregon, in the upper regions of the Upper Klamath Lake, although it is also available in many other parts of the world. Blue green algae are about the best source of vegetable protein and amino acids available to the human diet, although are now generally used as a supplement rather than as a primary food source.
However, in spite of its name, it is not an alga at all: it is a bacterium: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), known as cyanobacteria, after the Greek for blue. Nevertheless, bacteria or not, blue green algae offer exceptional nutritional benefits and also health benefits to people suffering from certain conditions. Here are the best of its benefits:
1. It is natural and therefore easily assimilated and digested. You get a very high useful yield from its nutrient content, unlike other foods where a large proportion can be passed through the gut unchanged. In fact a large proportion of the food you eat passes through your body unchanged, although that is mainly due to a lack of chewing!
2. It is very high in protein, and helps to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. If you are on a vegetation diet this is an ideal source of non-animal protein (unless you class bacteria as animals!). If you want numbers, at least 60% of the solid content of this material is vegetable protein human-ready for use.
3. It is packed full of enzymes that aid digestion, and so ensures that not only is it itself fully digested, but also that you get the most nutritional benefit from any other foods you eat. A lack of enzymes is very common in the western diet, especially the North American diet, and if you take a regular supply of blue green algae, then you need not also take enzyme capsules.
4. It possesses cleansing and detoxifying properties, and so helps to reduce the incidence of headaches and allow you better and more restful sleep. Toxins can act on your body to cause pain, and is associated with the free radicals discussed below.
5. It is very high in antioxidants that destroy the free radicals in your blood and tissues. Free radicals destroy body cells and can seriously damage your health. Among the health benefits that blue green algae provide due to its antioxidant properties are:
a) It supports the immune system and helps to prevent inflammation in your joints. It also enables you to fight off bacterial and viral infections quicker. b) It maintains the integrity of your body and skin cells, and reduces cell damage by free radicals. This has an anti-aging effect and preserves the youthful appearance of your skin, resisting wrinkling and maintaining its firmness. c) Blue green algae help to prevent the free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that transport cholesterol that cause the atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
6. It provides you with energy through its effect on your body’s metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy within the mitochondria. This is partially due to its antioxidant effect and partially to the nutritional content of the bacteria. The bacteria are also a rich source of glycogen that is your body’s store of emergency energy. Your liver can use the bacteria to biosynthesize its own store of glycogen that your body can use if called upon for a sudden burst of energy.
7. The amino acids it contains are of low molecular size, and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It provides nutrition to the brain, and its high chlorophyll content helps to purify the blood. Its high content of trace minerals and naturally chelated minerals renders them extremely bioavailable, and able to provide a high degree of nutrition to the brain and other organs of the body. Blue green algae contain rhamnose that helps nutrients to cross from the blood to the brain, and then to the brain cells that need it.
8. Blue green algae have been shown to help memory and mood. This is likely due at least in part to its fatty acid content, and its effect on serotonin levels.
These eight benefits are more than any other individual food source can provide, and in themselves justify the claim that blue green algae is the best individual food source there is. However, when we have a look at the active ingredients, and nutritional content of the bacteria, then it seems even more impressive. There is more to blue green algae than just a few vitamins and minerals. You can get these in any multivitamin supplement: this stuff is completely natural and all of its ingredients are completely compatible with the human digestive system.
Many of the synthetic vitamins you find in boxes and tubs are only partially absorbed due to the form they are in. Either that or they need the presence of other substances before they can be assimilated. An example is calcium, which is next to useless without magnesium and vitamin C also being present to allow it to be incorporated in the structure of the bones and teeth. With blue green algae, every combination of substances that nature needs for them to work properly is there. Everything gets used and everything has a role to play.
The amino acids and proteins have already been mentioned, and these unusual bacteria contain all of the trace minerals that are necessary for the amino acids and proteins to be properly used. It also contains a large quantity of beta-carotene (a natural Vitamin A precursor and strong anti-oxidant), and is also rich in Vitamin B-12 that most vegetarians are deficient in. It is therefore the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans.
If you understand the health benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which blue green algae are also rich in, then you will understand how a foodstuff containing these fatty acids and all of the other nutritional substances listed above could be regarded as a ‘Superfood’.
Blue green algae is probably the richest food available commercially to humans, but before you use it you should ensure that the content of blue algae in the supplement you purchase is clear and that you are purchasing a standardized amount in what you are purchasing.
Otherwise, it is difficult to see how anybody could go wrong with blue green algae, since it is indisputably an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and much, much more.
Leci-PS - Boost Brain Power
April 10, 2008 06:03 PM
Phosphatidyl serine (PS) is an important phospholipid that is present in every biological human membrane, and therefore vital in the support of all the body’s major systems. While it plays an important role throughout the body, it is of considerable importance to the human brain. PS is actively involved in billions of neurotransmissions taking place every second within the body. its unique size and structure allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier to transfer supporting nutrients and remove waste. The brain, like every other organ, needs nutrients to function properly. PS makes it possible for these nutrients to reach their destination, by improving the quality of transmission, clearing the paths upon which they travel, and protecting brain cells from free radical corruption. Unfortunately, as the body ages, its natural production of PS steadily declines.
Phosphatidyl serine’s cognitive health benefits have also been recognized by the FDA, as evidenced by a qualified health claim stating that, “consumption of phosphatidyl serine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidyl serine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.”*
Considering the vast importance of this important biological multi-tasking phospholipid, NOW is devout in using only the finest phosphatidyl serine raw materials when formulating their products. Leci-PS®, a product of Cargill Incorporated, has established itself as the absolute highest grade available. Leci-PS® contains 90% phosphatidyl serine thus offering the highest concentration PS available anywhere within the natural product industry. It has been named GRAS (Generally recognized as safe) by the US Food And Drug Administration, and is manufactured in Cargill’s state-of-the-art GMP-Certified facility.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a Powerful Antioxidant
February 15, 2008 02:55 PM
The discovery of alpha lipoic acid at the University Of Texas Chemistry Department in 1951 was not heralded with trumpets of joy at the revelation of such a powerful antioxidant, but was instead largely ignored. This is largely due to the biochemistry involved not being fully understood at that time, but by the 1980s it was a commonly used supplement, recommended for several medical conditions.
Chemically, the substance is a 5-membered cyclic disulphide with a carboxylic acid grouping. Biochemically, it’s extremely powerful antioxidant properties are largely due to the fact that it one of those rare active molecules that are soluble in both water and fats, and in fact is the only such antioxidant currently know. One of the properties that this ability enables it to possess is to cross the blood-brain barrier, and apply antioxidant propertied to the brain.
Antioxidants are essential to human life in that they destroy free radicals. These are compounds with free unpaired electrons that destroy human body cells in their hunt for electrons to pair with. Electrons come in pairs in organic animal tissue, just as they do in organic compounds. However, under certain circumstances this pairing can become destroyed, leaving a molecule with one of its electrons without a partner.
The factors that lead to this situation are many and varied, and our own biochemistry can produce free radicals during the normal chemical processes of life. However, pollution can also lead to the oxidation processes that create free radicals, common such pollutants being cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust fumes, pesticides and the like. Excessive exposure to the UV content of sunlight can also create free radicals as can eating barbecued and smoked foods, and exposure to carbon monoxide and peroxides. Even the biochemical conversion of glucose to energy in our bodies creates free radicals.
These free radicals can destroy body cells, including DNA, and can create conditions such as premature aging due to destruction of skin cells, destruction of brain cells, strokes, cancers, diabetes, atherosclerosis due to oxidation of LDL cholesterol that deposits in the main arteries of the body, stiffening of the joints and many other undesirable conditions.
Free radicals are destroyed rapidly by antioxidants: the reaction is very rapid and most are destroyed immediately they are formed before they can do harm. Fortunately, if your diet is well maintained, the body possesses many antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, and other substances such as Coenzyme Q10, flavanoids, xanthenes, polyphenols and carotenoids. Many of these are found in highly colored foods, and if your food is brightly colored, it should contain a good supply of antioxidants.
However, the problem with all of these is that they are either fat and oil soluble or water soluble, which means that they can either be freely carried round the body by the blood or have to be emulsified by the bile and transported via the lymphatic system that places restrictions on their effectiveness in certain organs of the body. The fact that alpha lipoic acid is soluble in both water and fats enables it to be carried to all parts of the body and to every organ, and can cross water/fat barriers that other antioxidants cannot do.
It can therefore be carried via the blood to the brain and carry out an essential antioxidant function within our brains. It took a long time for this property of ALA to be recognized and its consequent health benefits understood. It is, in fact, the ideal antioxidant. The substance provides many known benefits to the body due to its antioxidant properties and also helps the body to generate the maximum possible amount of energy from the blood glucose and thus improve the energy balance of your body.
However, it is with its antioxidant properties that we are most concerned here. One of the benefits of these properties is its effect in holding back the visible effects of aging on your body. Because it is both water and fat soluble, alpha lipoic acid can help destroy free radicals in every part of your skin; the areas served by the blood and the fatty and oily secretions are protected simultaneously by the same strong antioxidant. The end result is a reduction in the destruction of the cells through the dermis and epidermis and a reduction in the degree of wrinkling with age.
Its antioxidant effect in the brain renders ALA in great demand for reducing cognitive impairment with age. In fact studies have indicated that alpha lipoic acid can improve memory and brain function in the aging and the elderly. This effect appears to be increased by the synergistic combination of alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine that work together to prevent cognitive decline in the brain through the effect of free radicals.
There is evidence that during a stroke, ALA works synergistically with vitamin E to reduce the effect of free radical damage on the vulnerable brain cells, and so reduce the longer term effects of the stroke. Together with ALC, it also reduces oxidative stress on the mitochondria of cells and in so doing helps once again to reduce the effects of aging, and maintain the body’s capacity to generate energy from blood glucose.
Cardiovascular disease is the main killer of the western world, largely due to our diets, and this is especially true of the USA. Although Americans appear unable to change their unhealthy diet, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine can be used to offset much of the damage done. ALA reduces the development of atherosclerosis through its antioxidant properties and the reduction of the adhesion of monocytes to the artery walls.
LDL trapped in the wall of the artery can be oxidized and enable monocytes to also enter under the surface of the arterial wall, where it changes into macrophages and ingests the oxidised LDL, causing the plaque that forms atherosclerosis. As the plaque thickens, the artery becomes increasingly restricted until the blood flow is significantly reduced or even stopped, causing cardiac failure or a stroke.
Alpha lipoic acid can prevent this free radical oxidation from occurring by destroying them before they act on the low density lipoprotein (LDL). Acetyl-L-carnitine works with the ALA to achieve this, as does another substance known as carnosine. Between them, these three musketeers work to keep your arteries clear and your brain functioning as it should, though it is the ALA that is most powerful due to its oil and water solubility properties.
Although alpha lipoic acid is available as a supplement, either alone or in combination with acetyl-l-carnitine, it is also available from natural food sources. It is particularly rich in offal such as heart and kidney, and also in broccoli, spinach and brewer’s yeast. It is also available in beef, and it is here that burgers can perhaps repay some of the damage that it causes. However, it is not a recommended source since burgers still cause more damage to your health than any of their constituent nutrients can allay.
Like any other supplement, you should seek medical advice before taking any substance if you have a health condition. Nevertheless, the benefits of alpha lipoic acid are such that it is difficult to see it doing anything but good. However, please consult your physician if are taking other drugs.
Acai: The Super Antioxidant From Brazil
February 03, 2008 02:07 PM
Acai is an Amazonian palm tree, and possesses small purple fruits that the Amazonian natives of Brazil have used since time immemorial as food and as a remedy for certain health conditions that are now known to be associated with the activity on free radicals on body cells.
The active constituents of acai are powerful polyphenols and anthocyanin antioxidants that protect your body cells from oxidation by free radicals. In fact the plant has been referred to as ‘the super antioxidant from Brazil’ by many medical writers who have recognized its right to be termed as such. To understand that, you first have to understand what an antioxidant is and how it works. The chemical names of the active substances it contains will be meaningless without that background knowledge.
Oxidation occurs in your body even before you are born. What is does in general terms is to destroy your body cells, and the more it progresses the more your body is prone to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and the more visible becomes the aging process. Chemically, oxidation is the loss of one or more electrons by an atom or molecule. Oxidation within your body is highly associated with what are known as free radicals. To explain these we have to consider the chemistry of electron pairs and free radicals, though this is not too technical so read on.
Normally electrons exist in pairs of opposite spin: in simple terms each pair makes up a single negative charge. Take hydrogen: its atomic structure contains one proton and one electron. However, the hydrogen atom cannot exist by itself since the most stable configuration is that electrons exist in pairs with a net zero spin, so the hydrogen molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms with their own protons sharing an electron pair. This is true of all covalently bonded molecules.
However, certain influences, such as pollution through tobacco smoke, pesticides, engine exhausts and the excess UV radiation of sunlight can cause a molecule to lose an electron. This creates what is known as a free radical: a molecule without an electrical charge but with an unpaired electron. Since the most stable configuration for it is to have a paired electron, the molecule will steal an electron from the most suitable candidate it finds.
In practise this will be a body cell, and the cell that loses the electron gets destroyed causing aging of the skin and many other undesirable effects, including cancers. This stealing of an electron is chemically referred to as oxidation. Antioxidants prevent this occurring to your body cells by being reactive themselves and preferentially mopping up these free electrons.
Polyphenols and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and that is why the people of the Amazon rainforests have used acai not only as a food, but also for their health. It is only relatively recently that, as with many of the ancient health remedies, the scientific basis behind its use has been proved. The early Brazilian natives may not have understood biochemistry or what free radicals were, but they sure knew what was good for them.
As with many other foodstuffs containing powerful antioxidants, it is likely that it was the highly colored berries that first attracted them. That does not suggest that all brightly colored foods are good for you, but the brightly colored pigments and dyestuffs contained within them also tend to act as antioxidants due the same electron configuration that provides them with their color. Many of these chemicals are also use as food dyes, and have been used so since before their chemistry and antioxidant effects were known. The color comes from the same electron activity that makes them destroy free radicals. That is why most highly colored foods contain significant quantities of phytochemicals.
The deep purple color of the acai fruit led chemists to determine its content of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, that are common in other highly colored foods such blueberries, peppers and aubergines. High concentrations of anthocyanins such as cyandin-3-glucoside and the rutinoside analogue were found, together with flavonoids such as orientin, deoxyhexose and scoparin. A total of twelve flavonoids were discovered that explains the highly antioxidant properties of the fruits. Laboratory and other tests have indicated that over 80% of the antioxidant effect of acai is due to polyphenols other than the anthocyanins. It is likely that these are the twelve flavonoids identified to date and any others that have still to be detected.
However, it is not only for its antioxidant properties that acai is such a healthy fruit, since it contains many other nutritional components. It contains fatty acids, including linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid and also beta-sitosterol that are believed to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The fruit also contains a high level of amino acids, essential for the synthesis of proteins and DNA.
So what exactly does this mean for you in real terms? Antioxidants can do different things for different people, and the acai berry is said to have more than thirty times the antioxidant power of red wine. When you consider that many doctors believe one glass of red wine to provide sufficient antioxidant for the average person, you are getting a very high dose with acai berries, so what does it do for you?
Due its effect in destroying the free radicals caused by pollution, acai and similar powerful sources of antioxidants are becoming increasingly important to our diets. What was a sufficient antioxidant intake even twenty years ago is not longer sufficient. Acai can help to combat early aging by reducing the rate at which your body cells are destroyed by free radicals. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the associated high risk of strokes or heart attacks.
Acai juice itself has an unusually high fiber content, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system. An associated benefit of this is that you are less liable to contract colon cancer than if you did not consume it. Due to a reduction in the rate of destruction of body cells, including brain cells, elderly people benefit through maintenance of their brain function, and a lower likelihood of degenerating cognitive ability. It helps you to maintain concentration and memory, and can also reduce the risk of you getting cataracts.
Antioxidants are also known to help maintain the immune system, and act as anti-inflammatories, and it is believed that acai juice can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. If you use acai berries as part of a daily diet, you should receive the benefits that it provides, although a more measured dosage in the form of a supplement will enable you to control your intake of acai, and if one thing is certain it is that you will be far healthy with a regular dose of the superantioxidant from Brazil than without.
Bioflavonoids: Boost Your Brain and Circulatory Health
January 17, 2008 01:16 PM
Bioflavonoids are most commonly praised for their antioxidant properties. They were first identified in the 1930’s by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., a Nobel laureate. They are thought to prevent the breakdown of vitamin C in the body, and they also boast their own antioxidant capabilities. Over 5000 different bioflavonoids have been identified in nature. They are classified into categories including flavones, anthocyanidins, flavones, flavonols, isoflavones and flavans. Science is still discovering new types and their healing properties every day. The best part about them is that they are all natural and very powerful.
For example, scientists have been promoting the amazing benefits of the antioxidant found in dark chocolate. It is called epicatechin, and it is an excellent bioflavonoid for heart health. Studies show that it helps maintain healthy blood vessels. Antioxidants in dark chocolate are also believed to lower high blood pressure, according to a study published in the Aug. 27, 2003 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Rutin and quecertin, both found in red grapes, are also linked with a healthier circulatory system. A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1995 found that “the antioxidant and platelet inhibitory properties of other naturally occurring compounds in the wine the consumption of flavonoid-containing foods and beverages may retard atherogenesis and prevent thrombosis on a daily basis.” Translated into common terms, the researchers concluded that bioflavonoid may slow artery and vein degeneration and prevent blood clotting.
The American Heart Association feels that this area of research is very promising. Their website states, “Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants. Plant sterols, flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds are three classes of micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables. These compounds may be important in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls.”
As far as healthy brain function is concerned, bioflavonoid is thought to help with microcirculation in small vessels throughout the body. You might recall seeing ginkgo biloba in the news. It has been shown to improve memory with its powerful bioflavonoid in numerous studies. What makes ginkgo especially significant is that its bioflavonoids have a stronger potency than many other bioflavonoids, and it seems to have specific benefits in the capillary beds of the brain.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently reported the following on their website: “Flavonoids were shown to activate key enzymes in mitochondrial respiration and to protect neuronal cells by acting as antioxidants, thus breaking the vicious cycle of oxidative stress and tissue damage. Furthermore, recent data indicate a favorable effect of flavonoids on neuro-inflammatory events.” In other words, bioflavonoid is thought to help protect your brain cells from degeneration, and recent data shows that they may also reduce swelling.
Researchers are eager to discover all the healing properties bioflavonoids possess. Modern medicine is now faced with an all natural group of chemicals found in plant pigments that may prove to be effective in preserving brain function and promoting cardiovascular health. This is fantastic news for people that prefer natural supplements over expensive prescription pills. Current research shows that these chemicals have significant powers for enhancing overall health. In fact, many researchers advocate including bioflavonoid supplements in your daily health maintenance plan.
Natural Supplements Like Fish Oils And Phosphatidylserine Can Boost Memory
January 14, 2008 03:24 PM
We often think of our brain as being different from other organs, but the brain undergoes changes over time, just like the heart. Up until recently, brain aging and everything that goes along with it was associated with neuron failure. Actually, brain neurons do not undergo massive die-off with age. Although some neurons are lost, the brain continues to grow new ones, though at a slower pace. Decreasing cognitive function is now believed to start as early as one's late thirties, which is the result of a lowered vascular function for oxygen and nutrient supply, increased oxidative stress, and decreased production of neurotransmitters. Other issues impact memory too such as normal aging, emotional trauma, alcoholism, depression, seizures, dementias, stroke, neurodegenerative illnesses, and obesity. All of these can lead to devastating changes in mood and memory. Additionally, it is widely known that the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs can severely impact skills that involve brain functions.
A Periwinkle Extract Vinpocetine May Promote Cerebral Blood Flow
December 01, 2007 09:05 AM
Periwinkles form the plant genus Vinca, of which the lesser periwinkle and the greater periwinkle are the two members. They are also a form of dogbane, known for its alkaloid properties. Periwinkles are of interest to the medical profession due to their biosynthesis of a number of alkaloids that are used to protect themselves from bacteria and are also toxic to the herbivores that would otherwise eat them.
Many other plants produce alkaloids, perhaps the best known being poppy, that produces the alkaloid opium that is the precursor to heroin. The alkaloids of the periwinkle, however, have a much more beneficial use for mankind in their action on certain types of cancer such as Hodgkin’s disease, and also on the flow of blood to the brain.
The components of the periwinkle include vinblastine, which is used in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and it is the only plant known to produce the alkaloid, although only in very small quantities after synthetic seeding. This involves introducing modified tryptamines to the plant so that they produce the desired alkaloid, although only in quantities of 0.002% of the weight of the plant. Although small, this is still less expensive that synthesizing the alkaloid in a chemical plant rather than a biological one!
Chemists are now seeking more readily synthesizable alternative forms of the alkaloid that have the same effect, again using the periwinkle as a botanical chemical factory to provide them with a lead as to possible synthetic routes. However, it is for the application of another alkaloid of this amazing little plant that we are more concerned with here.
In addition to vinblastine, the periwinkle produces the alkaloid vincamine, a type of tryptamine that can be extracted from the leaves of the lesser periwinkle, the Vinca minor. This periwinkle has been used through the ages as an invigorating tonic and as an astringent to treat bleeding gums and sores in the mouth. Vincamine promotes the aerobic glycolysis that is essential to cerebral health.
Normal glycolysis, or the conversion of glucose to energy in the mitochondria of the cells of the body, occurs best in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis). However, the brain produces up to and over 90% more energy through aerobic glycolysis in the presence of oxygen than through anaerobic. Hence one of the needs for such a rich supply of oxygenated blood being needed by the brain. As people grow older, or their brain tissue becomes damaged, then the supply of blood can be reduced and more and more anaerobic glycolysis is switched on. This results in an increasing loss of brain energy and hence brain function. Vincamine can reverse this effect, or at least maintain the status quo, and so enable people to maintain their brain function for longer.
It is also what is known as a vasodilator, and dilates the blood vessels in the brain allowing a greater blood flow. It is known to be beneficial in relation to tasks requiring focused concentration such as mathematical problem solving, and has also been found effective in the treatment of people with poor memory.
Vinpocetine (ethyl apovincaminate) is a derivative of vincamine, obtained by slightly modifying the molecule to produce a commercial form of the alkaloid. This possesses all of the beneficial effects of its precursor, including its positive effects on memory, believed to be due to the stimulation of serotonin production that improves the rate at which the brain can process information. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears that has severely reduced the quality of life of so many people, can also be treated with vinpotecine.
Its vascodilation effect is thought to be through its action as a phosphodeaterase 1 (PDE1) inhibitor that results in an improvement in the plasticity of neurons. The mechanism is complex, but the end result is an improvement in the cognitive abilities of the subject. This is supplemented by the effect of vinpocetine on the calcium levels in the blood vessels. This renders them more plastic in much the same way that some anti-hypertension treatments work to reduce blood pressure by increasing the plasticity of the blood vessels by modification of their calcium levels. It can also reduce the viscosity of the blood through its action on the “stickiness” of leucocytes and so allow the blood to run more freely through the capillaries of the brain.
These effects have been demonstrated through double blind studies, and there is little doubt that vinpocetine helps to maintain a healthy cerebral circulation. So let’s have a recap on its various effects, and then finish with a summary of the conditions that the alkaloid can be used to treat or improve. The theory and biochemistry behind these effects is known, but is complex, but here are the major actions:
a) It improves blood flow by modifying the calcium content of the blood vessels and so improves their elasticity, hence allowing a freer movement of blood. In effect it helps the blood vessels to dilate easier.
b) It inhibits the enzyme PDE1 and by doing so helps to restore the elasticity of neurons in aging brain cells, allowing them to relax more and operate more effectively.
c) It promotes aerobic glycolysis, and so the rate at which the mitochondria of brain cells produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that is the chemical manifestation of energy.
d) It helps to maintain a good supply of glucose and oxygen in the brain to allow (c) to occur.
Not all of these may be separate effects, but the outcome is an improvement in conditions such as short term memory loss, dementia and other conditions associated with a reduction in the blood supply to the brain including Menière’s syndrome and vertigo. There is also evidence that it helps with hearing problems, macular degeneration of the eye, and fatigue.
It is a supplement that should be taken by the elderly to help with age-related memory problems, but has also been found to be beneficial in normal healthy people. The periwinkle extract Vinpocetine has been shown to have benefits, largely through an increase in the blood flow to the brain, and will be of use to anybody suffering from conditions that can be related to a deficiency in their cerebral blood supply.