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Why you should NEVER hit the snooze button on your alarm clock - and always get 8 hours of sleep! Darrell Miller 9/20/17
Top 7 Foods That Boost Serotonin Darrell Miller 9/1/17
9 Things to Do This Morning to Make Your Whole Day More Productive Darrell Miller 6/20/17
Trilobites: Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays Darrell Miller 12/31/16
Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies Darrell Miller 12/11/16
For an energy boost, do this Darrell Miller 11/19/16
Feast on natural food for healthy eyes Darrell Miller 11/15/16
Daylight saving time could increase depression Darrell Miller 11/9/16
Does Melatonin Decline As We Age? Darrell Miller 9/22/15
Defination and Benefits of Rutin Darrell Miller 1/12/14
Increase energy levels with the help of iron Darrell Miller 12/25/13
Can Melatonin Be Used For Fibromyalgia? Darrell Miller 12/28/12
Melatonin Overdose Darrell Miller 12/27/12
Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep? Darrell Miller 12/20/12
How Does Melatonin Improve Sleep? Darrell Miller 4/6/12
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation? Darrell Miller 5/25/11
Potassium Iodide by Source Naturals And Thyroid Health! Darrell Miller 3/19/11
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid? Darrell Miller 7/18/08
Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements Darrell Miller 12/27/07
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth Darrell Miller 5/31/07
GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection Darrell Miller 12/19/05
Anti-Aging Nutrients Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues? Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Nutrients for Longevity Darrell Miller 6/10/05




Why you should NEVER hit the snooze button on your alarm clock - and always get 8 hours of sleep!
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Date: September 20, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Why you should NEVER hit the snooze button on your alarm clock - and always get 8 hours of sleep!





Getting enough sleep is important. That is when your body recharges. It is good for your physical and mental health to get enough. This will keep you from having to hit your snooze button a lot in the mornings as well, and this will help you get places on time. Not getting enough sleep can hurt your schooling or job since you can't get up and there on time. This is not good for you. You could even be fired over it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper amount of sleep is the most important element in maintaining good health, at least 7 hours a night
  • caffeine negatively affects the buildup of adenosine, especially with age, causing difficulty in falling asleep
  • Alarm clocks cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate and made worse by repeatedly hitting the snooze button.

"Professor Michael Irwin, a sleep scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, has performed landmark studies revealing just how quickly and comprehensively a brief dose of short sleep can affect cancer-fighting immune cells."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4874174/Why-never-hit-snooze-button.html

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Top 7 Foods That Boost Serotonin
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Date: September 01, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Top 7 Foods That Boost Serotonin





Serotonin helps regulate body temperature, mood, sleeping patterns and aids in digestion, among other benefits. It's common for those that have low levels of serotonin to experience depression and many antidepressant medications raise serotonin levels to combat depression. If you want to raise your serotonin levels naturally(or tryptophan a serotonin precursor), without the side effects involved with prescription medications, you may want to try adding these foods to your diet. They include frits, vegetable, eggs, meats and even chocolate

Key Takeaways:

  • Serotonin, also known as 5-HT, is a neurotransmitter released by the pineal gland of the brain.
  • Foods that boost serotonin include: kiwi, dark chocolate, seeds, nuts and vitamin D-rich foods
  • Some foods contain tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, but these are only effective when consumed with a high-carb, low-protein diet

"Serotonin plays an important role in controlling our circadian rhythms - our body’s internal clock."

Read more: https://www.healthambition.com/foods-boost-serotonin/

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9 Things to Do This Morning to Make Your Whole Day More Productive
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Date: June 20, 2017 12:14 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 9 Things to Do This Morning to Make Your Whole Day More Productive





There are 9 things to do this morning to make your entire day a lot more productive. Planning ahead is one of the most important things you need to do. It does not need to be a minute by minute plan. But, it does need to be a sound one. Another thing you need to do is resist the snooze. Giving yourself those few extra minutes may seem like a good thing, but you could be doing your body harm by snoozing.

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the most productive things you can do to start your day on the right foot should actually happen before you go to sleep the previous day,
  • Having trouble tuning worries out and turning your brain off? Try journaling or coloring
  • Want to make that early workout work even harder for you? Do it outside in the sun. Getting sunlight first thing in the morning tells your body clock it’s time to start the day

"Giving yourself a few extra minutes of slumber may seem like listening to your body, but in the long run you’re probably doing more harm than good."

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/9-things-do-morning-make-your-whole-day-more-productive-ncna772446?cid=public-rss_20170619

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4859)


Trilobites: Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays
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Date: December 31, 2016 10:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Trilobites: Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays





The study included 89,000 middle-aged men and women who were followed for up to 13 years. At study entry 68 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women were regular drinkers. The analysis was confided to the men because the number of female drinkers was so small. The investigators found that men who drank relatively heavily on most days of the week had a heightened risk of dying from any cause. In contrast, men who drank roughly the same amount alcohol each week, but drank less frequently, showed no increase in their mortality risk. The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology, give some credibility to the widespread social belief in Japan that a "liver holiday," a few days off from drinking each week helps counter the ill effects of alcohol.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you’re experiencing indigestion or your energy levels are low after too many holiday parties, your liver could be out of sync.
  • Over the holidays, many of us will drink, stay up past bedtime, eat an extra slice of pie and sleep in. Fun as they are, these activities can tamper with our circadian rhythms, the feedback loops that sync our body’s functions to our external environment.
  • Circadian rhythms are important for helping the liver anticipate the body’s demands throughout the day, like stockpiling energy after meals and releasing it when we sleep.

"To keep your liver’s clock consistent this holiday season, avoid extreme behaviors"



Reference:

//www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/health/your-liver-doesnt-know-its-the-holidays.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3722)


Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies
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Date: December 11, 2016 10:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies





The common cold is an infection of your nose and throat caused by viruses. We typically catch between two and four colds a year. There is some evidence suggesting that people with higher levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of catching the common cold. Astragalus root has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen immunity and prevent colds and flu. Studies have found that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, although there have been no clinical trials examining the effectiveness of astragalus against colds in humans.

Key Takeaways:

  • Like clockwork, the cold and flu season is nearly upon once again. Cooler fall weather, kids heading back to school and other factors all contribute to the spread of influenza.
  • The fact is humans have used natural cold remedies to relieve symptoms of cold and flu since the earliest of times.
  • Also, a Zulu cold treatment that is made from the South African geranium Pelargonium sidoide is now a best-selling cold remedy the world over, because it, too, is supported by clinical research.

"For instance, elderberries have been used as medicine since the Stone Age, according to Melanie Grimes, scholar, academic, author and homeopathic expert."



Reference:

//www.naturalnews.com/056193_flu_season_natural_remedies_Big_Pharma.html

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For an energy boost, do this
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Date: November 19, 2016 12:49 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: For an energy boost, do this





We have all felt the 2 o’ clock energy slump. What can we do to prevent it? Most people think that loading up on caffeine during the day to keep them awake is the answer. In reality, this can create a never-ending cycle that is bad for us. The best things we can do are eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and B vitamins and get the right amount and quality of sleep. Just eating healthier is not enough, however. It is also best to eat smaller, more frequent meals to keep us powered throughout the day.

Key Takeaways:

  • An energy-optimal meal or snack includes a mix of high-quality carbohydrates for energy with some lean protein and healthy fat for staying power.
  • Pick slow-digesting carbohydrates (“slow carbs”) like whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables or beans for a steadier supply of energy.
  • It’s not just what you eat, but how often you eat that matters. Eating every three to five hours also supports steady energy by encouraging gentle rises in blood sugar (the body’s energy source) instead of a few large spikes.

"An energy-optimal meal or snack includes a mix of high-quality carbohydrates for energy with some lean protein and healthy fat for staying power."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//gulfnews.com/leisure/health/for-an-energy-boost-do-this-1.1926151&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjVkYjY3ZDViNDdiNGM3ZTc6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNG4kMrRDZnLaR_ACFF7FdDYL-kKUA

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Feast on natural food for healthy eyes
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Date: November 15, 2016 05:04 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Feast on natural food for healthy eyes





There are lots of natural foods that may help keep your eyesight in tip top condition. Eggs, green leafy vegetables, some fruits, nuts and beans all contain antioxidants and components that fight disease and protect the eyes from damage as we age. Some meats, like pork. Oysters and some fish may also help with eye health.

Key Takeaways:

  • After 27 hours of surgery, twin boys Anias and Jadon McDonald began a new life apart on Friday
  • The round-the-clock operation at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx began Thursday morning and ended Friday
  • He was taken on an elevator to the pediatric intensive care unit on the 10th floor, where he was reunited with his parents

"So, there is more to eye nutrition beyond carrots."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//www.thestatesman.com/news/life-style/feast-on-natural-food-for-healthy-eyes/174508.html&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjVkYjY3ZDViNDdiNGM3ZTc6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFbEJhmBdsZOrGiBQ5YIh0rfH2ogg

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Daylight saving time could increase depression
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Date: November 09, 2016 02:49 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Daylight saving time could increase depression





Setting our clocks back every winter can have its benefits, like gaining an extra hour of sleep. However, a recent study has revealed that gaining an extra hour could also lead to depression due to it getting dark an hour earlier in the evening. Psychiatric hospitals in Denmark reported over a 17-year period, 11 percent of new cases decreased after the time change. Dr. Oexman has recommended that we decrease how much alcohol or caffeine we drink this weekend in order to keep our circadian rhythms in check.

Key Takeaways:

  • Depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time, the study says.
  • An analysis of 185,419 severe depression diagnoses from 1995 to 2012 showed an 11% increase during this time period. The cases dissipated gradually after 10 weeks.
  • Researchers from the departments of psychiatry and political science at the universities of Aarhus, Copenhagen and Stanford were well aware of the negative effects associated with daylight saving time, such as the increased heart attacks and stroke risk.

"Depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time, the study says."



Reference:

//www.cnn.com/2016/11/04/health/fall-back-time-transition-depression/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_health+%28RSS%3A+CNN+-+Health%29

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Does Melatonin Decline As We Age?
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Date: September 22, 2015 01:00 AM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: Does Melatonin Decline As We Age?

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal glands.  The circadian production of melatonin is tied to the day/night cycle. Light through the retina signals the pineal glands to suppress its production. Lack of light stimulation (at night) results to increased production of melatonin. The increased hormone production at night is associated with a good night’s sleep. According to a study, melatonin significantly reduces sleep latency and increases sleep efficiency. It has thus been used to treat insomnia.

Sleep

Aging and Insomnia

Insomnia is commonplace among the elderly. As we age, sleep problems which include difficulty in falling asleep and maintaining the sleep are so rampant. This is so because melatonin production declines with age. With age comes the disruption of the circadian rhythms associated with the production of melatonin. To this end, melatonin supplements come handy to the elderly in maintaining a good night’s sleep.


Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

There is more to this hormone than a good night’s sleep and normal aging. There are evidences that melatonin suppresses Alzheimer’s disease. AD is the leading cause of dementia among individuals older than 65 years. Lack of sleep is a common symptom among AD patients and feels bad but sundowning (worsening of symptoms during evening hours) is worse. According to Netherlands Institute of Brain Research, the declining production of melatonin among the elderly not only affects the circadian rhythms but also enhances the development of Alzheimer.


Melatonin as an Antioxidant

Melatonin production starts to decline at age 60. This is the onset of diseases like AD which leads to increased production of free radicals in the brain. According to a review paper written in 2000, there is a lot of pathological changes among AD patients’ autopsied brains as a result of free radical activity. Melatonin carries antioxidant properties which fight the free radicals and protect the brain neurons.


Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin is a powerful hormone. Its function in sustaining optimal human health is crucial. New discoveries are being made on this versatile hormone. The fact that its production starts to decline at 60 only means that you need to use supplements and not fret over the onset of AD or insomnia. It is clear that besides being harmless and natural in treating insomnia, Melatonin is the most effective way of averting deleterious aging effects.



References

www.life-enhancement.com/magazine/article/1025-melatonin-can-reset-your-biological-clock

www.quora.com/Why-do-we-sleep-less-as-we-age

www.biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/1/B21.full

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Defination and Benefits of Rutin
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Date: January 12, 2014 01:41 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Defination and Benefits of Rutin

What is Rutin

rutin vitamin cRutin is a kind of bioflavonoid found in many citrus fruits, black tea, and buckwheat bran and even apple skins. It is also obtainable as a complement in tablet or capsule form. Rutin aids the body use vitamin C and generate collagen (skin’s key building blocks), can be utilized to treat conditions like hypertension and haemorrhoids, and can similarly lower cholesterol levels. According to Nutritional-Health-Guide, the recommended dose of rutin per day is about 500-mg.

Benefits of Rutin

a. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Rutin prevents inflammation, making it helpful for different agonizing inflammatory conditions like arthritis. It has been demonstrated to help restrain the discharge of inflammatory histamine from cells, making it significant to suppress chronic inflammation in addition to allergic reactions.

b. Advance Chronic Venous Insufficiency

In this situation, your veins fails return blood from the legs to heart effectively, leading to leg clamps, ankle swelling and varicose veins. A research found that persons with chronic venous deficiency taking rutin together with vitamin E and additional natural supplements had a decrease in swelling and clamping after 30 days.

c. Improve the Absorption of Vitamin C

When taken together, rutin aids the body absorb and gain from the antioxidant features of Vitamin C.

d. Strengthen Blood Vessels

This makes it essential for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Rutin is famous to not only coagulate blood vessel walls, but also to enhance their permeability for improved nutrients absorption.

e. Anti-clocking properties that may thwart stroke and heart attack

Rutin consist of anti-thrombotic properties, which show it stops the action of a main protein concerned in the creation of blood clots. Study recommends rutin may assist prevent venous clots, heart attack and stroke that lead to pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis.

f. Heavy Metal Chelator

Lastly, rutin aid rid your body of destroying metals such as iron.

In conclusion

Rutin has been demonstrated to be useful in controlling not only the above body diseases, but also other similar related health issues. People are called upon to take rutin supplement daily. The reason is that it would strengthen their blood cells, prevents possible blood clotting and destroys certain metals in your body harmful to your health.

References:

  1. //www.livestrong.com/article/105946-benefits-rutin/
  2. https://wholehealthalerts.com/rutin-6-benefits-of-this-natural-miracle/
  3. //www.raysahelian.com/rutin.html

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Increase energy levels with the help of iron
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Date: December 25, 2013 04:17 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Increase energy levels with the help of iron

iron foodIron

If you feel tired around the clock or you find it very difficult to do any physical activity even if you are in proper shape, then it is very much possible that you are lacking iron in your body. Many people do not know that iron is the most important mineral that help you to get higher energy level and better healthy.

Iron Deficiency

Since iron is necessary for producing the energy from sugar or glucose that gives energy to body and brain both, so if you have iron deficiency then you may face low energy level. Other than this iron deficiency can also lead you to anemia, poor oxygen supply and lack of immunity system of your body. As a result of this problem, you may feel fatigue and you also remain vulnerable to all kind of illness as well.

So, if you are having any of these problems and you are not able to get enough iron from your food, then you can take iron supplement tablets or other solution to increase the iron mineral in your body. In a normal situation you don’t have to worry about the prescription and you can easily buy iron tablets from you local pharmacy store and you can consume it according to suggested guideline to get rid of iron deficiency and to increase the energy level of your body.

Precaution on Iron Intake

However, it is very important that if you are taking any other medicine or you are pregnant then you should not take it without having a proper diagnosis and consultation from your doctor. Other than this, it is also suggested that you should consume it according to specific guideline only so you can get the best result from your iron consumption and you can increase your energy level in a safe and effective manner.


References:

  1. //www.webmd.com
  2. //artofhealing.com.au
  3. //www.livestrong.com

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Can Melatonin Be Used For Fibromyalgia?
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Date: December 28, 2012 04:19 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanet.net)
Subject: Can Melatonin Be Used For Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that may be very frustrating and has no known cure currently. Due to its complexity and also the number of symptoms that occur during an infection with fibromyalgia, one may be moody, anxious, depressed or irritable. Melatonin, a natural hormone which controls sleep patterns, can help relieve some symptoms of fibromyalgia and promote one's feelings of well-being.

About Melatonin

Melatonin hormone is produced by the brain's pineal gland. It is majorly responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle; called the circadian rhythm. The secretion of melatonin is influenced by exposure to light. Whenever it gets dark, melatonin production rises. Conversely, during exposure to sunlight, the production of melatonin is lowered. Several people employ the use of melatonin supplements to promote symptoms of insomnia, since it can aid to reset one's body clock and even make it easier to fall and stay asleep.

How melanin treats Fibromyalgia

Disturbances of sleep and the frequent disruption of circadian rhythms occur during fibromyalgia. Melatonin has always been proven to synchronize the circadian rhythms and promote the quality of sleep. Excess damage by free-radicals is quite common in fibromyalgia patients. Melatonin as well as its metabolites have been discovered to be potent scavengers of free radicals and indirect antioxidants.

Elevated Nitric Oxide In Patients

Some studies have shown that synthesis of nitric oxide is elevated in fibromyalgia patients. Melatonin acts as a potent inhibitor of a rate-limiting enzyme in the production of nitric oxide. Depression is at times a symptom or maybe an overlapping fibromyalgia condition.

Melatonin As An Antidepressant:

Melatonin has also been proven to be an antidepressant. There is a component of melatonin that has been synthesized in the pharmaceutical industry and is now being enhanced as an antidepressant. Lyrica, antiepileptic drugs, have been proven to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Melatonin has been found to work as an antiepileptic too.

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Melatonin Overdose
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Date: December 27, 2012 01:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Melatonin Overdose

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant/hormone secreted by a small endocrine gland in the human brain. The hormone is responsible for sleep-wake cycle modulation and fine tuning of your body's "internal clock". In other words: when it gets dark, your pineal gland increases melatonin production, which induces drowsiness and makes you sleepy. When light conditions change (e.g. daytime), your body decreases melatonin production. If you expose yourself to an intense source of light during the night, or keep spending time in a dark environment during the day, you can confuse your body and disrupt melatonin production.

The hormone was also observed to affect the production and the discharge rate of female sex hormones.

As one gets older, his pineal gland produces less and less melatonin, which leads to a conclusion that melatonin is age dependent (children have the highest concentration of melatonin). The fact that our body produces melatonin to "sedate" itself when the sun goes down, implied that the hormone could be used to help people suffering from sleeping disorders, desynchronosis (jet lag) or similar conditions.

This served as a basis to study and use positive health effects of the hormone. Melatonin is not a miracle-cure, but it CAN improve the sleep quality of insomniacs, women in menopause, benzodiazepine (valium) withdrawal patients and people who suffer from ADHD. Melatonin also improves the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer treatments and increases the chance of survival in prostate cancer patients.

If you are a healthy middle-aged person, your body will produce between 5-25 micrograms of melatonin per night (80 times less than a single melatonin capsule). This is a good indicator of recommended dosage. In fact, you should start with 0.1 - 03 mg per night, an hour before bedtime. If that doesn't help, you may increase the dosage up to 10mg a day. However, do not exceed 10 mg per night before consulting your doctor, as that may cause an overdose.

Anything above 10 mg is risky without a professional guidance . If you consider the fact that you can overdose even with a sufficient amount of vitamins, melatonin is not an exception, and should be used with caution. Typical overdose symptoms include drowsiness, upset stomach, headache, confusion, lethargy, psychotic thinking, tremors, seizures and liver issues. If you experience multiple symptoms at the same time, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

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Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep?
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Date: December 20, 2012 12:22 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep?

What is melatonin?

Melatonin can be described as a hormone generated in the pineal gland found in the brain. It controls the body circadian rhythms such as sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in the blood increase before you fall asleep due to darkness (Lack of sunshine).

Where to find melatonin

Melatonin occurs naturally in humans and plants. Natural melatonin quantity produced decrease with age. Older people produce very little quantities of it.

Current Sources

It is a synthetic medication that is produced in the laboratories. It is available in pill or liquid forms. The pills can be put in the cheek, underneath the tongue or swallowed. This permits direct absorption in the body. Melatonin supplements are available in health food shops.

Food Sources

It is also found in foods, in small quantities, such as milk, chicken meat, turkey, and peanuts but in small quantities.

Melatonin and sleep

Melatonin does not work for every kind of insomnia or sleeping disorders. Your body needs to be ready for sleep for melatonin to be effective. It is safe to use melatonin supplements in low doses long term.

Melatonin treats insomnia, autism in children, and as a sleep reliever after withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs use. It is also very significant for changing sleep/wake patterns for people who work schedules changes regularly. It can also be used to calm individuals before anesthesia is administered for surgery purposes.

The body has an internal clock that regulates sleeping cycle and waking hours. The body clock regulates the amount of melatonin produced each day. Melatonin production is affected by light. 

For effective treatment of cycle sleep, make sure you take the supplements at the appropriate time of the day (Night time).

Use the right method and dosage for it to be helpful.

Consuming the sleep supplement at the inappropriate time of the day can lead to biological clock reset. It is essential to understand the right quantity, time of taking and its effectiveness. Taking 1-10mg of melatonin every day restores the pace in people experiencing insomnia synchronizing them to duration of 1day.

Melatonin helps enhance sleep.

It enhances sleepiness feeling and can intensify the duration of sleep. This supplement has been applied successfully for improving sleep in healthy people and also decreasing jet lag feeling during travels. Remember to consult a physician if you are experiencing sleep issues.  Give melatonin a try start with lower doses like 1 mg before bed time and gradually increase till it becomes effective.


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How Does Melatonin Improve Sleep?
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Date: April 06, 2012 07:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: How Does Melatonin Improve Sleep?

Melatonin And Sleep

Sleep is a natural part of human life and an activity that any living human being has to indulge in. In fact, even the mentally ill who are believed to be able to go without sleep are brought down by it at one point or another. Contrary to what most people believe that sleep only has to take place at night, research has established that the cycle of sleep keeps alternating and does that sleep does not entirely have to take place at night. It can even occur successfully during the day. However, exposure to darkness and light regulates sleep in humans. It is said that exposure to light stimulates hormonal activity to make a person feel sleepy or awake.

The Brain And Sleep

In the brain, there is a nerve center called the Supra-Chiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) that works by starting signals to the other sections of the brain by controlling hormones, temperature of the body and other functions that also play numerous roles in making people to feel either sleepy or wide awake. The SCN works in the notion that once the body is exposed to first light every day, the clock starts to conduct various activities that will ensure that the person is awake like raising the temperature of the body and also the release of certain hormones that help in stimulating the body such as Cortisol. The clock also delays production hormones such as Melatonin that is associated with the onset of sleep until that time when darkness shall arrive.

Melatonin Is A Hormone In The body

Melatonin is a hormone that is part of the sleep and wake cycle of humans. However, it has to be noted that taking too much of the pill does not make one to sleep faster or even stay asleep for a longer period of time. The first step that everyone having sleeping problems should take is to consult a doctor or a physician. This will help in making the person fully understand the reason for the sleeping problem rather than going for Melatonin straight away. Melatonin is natural hormone that is made by a gland in the body known as pineal gland. The gland is shaped like a pea and found in the brain. The gland is only active during sunset when it is dark. When active, it stirs the production of sleep and wake cycle hormone by the SCN. As a result of this, the blood Melatonin level sharply rises and one begins to feel less alert thus prompting sleep.

Conditions That Slow Down Melatonin Production

Bright light also inhibits formation of Melatonin. However, for the person to be able to fall asleep, they will have to get to a darker surrounding to enable the formation of Melatonin that is sufficient to cause sleep. The hormone is naturally contained in certain foods and the reason it is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. Taking a typical dose of Melatonin pill is able to elevate the blood melatonin levels up to 20 times normal. To be able to solve your sleep problem using melatonin, always use the correct dose at the right time of the day.

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How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
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Date: May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?

Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry

Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.

Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.

Counteracts Pain Chemicals

Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.

Promotes Purine Metabolism

Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of uric acid crystallizes and in the process triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down uric acid and re-balance uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of uric acid.

Accelerates Muscle Recovery

Solaray - Tart Cherry 90ct 425mgIt is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.

Improves Sleep Disorders

Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.

Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.

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Potassium Iodide by Source Naturals And Thyroid Health!
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Date: March 19, 2011 11:36 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Potassium Iodide by Source Naturals And Thyroid Health!

SOURCE NATURALS - Potassium Iodide 60 tabsPotassium iodide can help protect the Thyroid from nuclear fallout. Make sure you get some for you and your family.

the thyroid will use whatever iodine it can find to function properly, if you do not supply your body with adequate

The thyroid will use whatever iodine it can find to function properly, if you do not supply your body with adequate amounts of iodine then your body will pull it from the environment. Radioactive fallout contains some iodine that the thyroid will use if no other source is present. This is why potassium iodide is recommended as a treatment for nuclear fallout.

We have thousands of bottles of all sizes 60, 120, and 240’s coming in next week. We will be sending out orders ASAP working round the clock to get the orders out for customers.

Get your orders in, the sooner the better.

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What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?
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Date: July 18, 2008 12:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

You can be sure that a supplement has some remarkable therapeutic possibilities when it makes headlines on the five o’clock news. A recent experiment which showed the conditions of rats that had been fed a diet that was totally deficient in vitamin E tested alpha lipoic acid, which caused the rats to return to full health even though no vitamin E was replenished. The results of this test are profound, as giving these rats an alpha lipoic acid caused existing stores of vitamin E that the body was previously unable to use to be regenerated.

Alpha lipoic acid is a vitamin-like antioxidant that has been used in Europe for a long period of time. It has recently emerged as an extremely impressive therapeutic agent that scavenges free-radicals. Recent studies have suggested that it has the ability to stop some degenerative diseases, the oxidative process of aging, and restores the health of diseased organs. Additionally, it has the ability to make up deficits of vitamin E or C and could potentially be one of the best treatments that have emerged for diabetes. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is considered to be more potent than vitamins E and C, as well as coenzyme Q10. Unlike other antioxidants, ALA has properties that make it superior because it is able to replace certain nutritional supplements, while potentiating others, and inhibiting tissues from deterioration that is associated with diseases. This supplement is also both fat and water soluble, which allows it to protect lipid and aqueous cell structures.

Alpha lipoic acid is a compound that is synthesized in small amounts in the body, but can also be supplied from food or supplement sources. A vitamin-like substance, it contains sulfur and also plays a crucial role in energy reactions. It can be found in liver, yeast, spinach, organ meats, broccoli, red potatoes, and red meat. When it is orally ingested, alpha lipoic acid is not compromised in the GI tract or the liver.

Numerous studies have been conducted on ALA, all of which confirm its positive effect on metabolic processes, with recent clinical tests supporting its ability to enhance free-radical protection, slow the aging process, and guard against a variety of degenerative diseases. ALA was discovered in the 1930s, where it was originally classified as a vitamin, and later categorized as an essential coenzyme when scientists discovered that it was involved in the energy processes of cell mitochondria. It wasn’t until 1988 that scientists found that it also has powerful antioxidant effects.

Alpha lipoic acid is important because it protects us from free-radicals which are present in a body as a result of the number of toxic substances such as auto exhaust, tobacco smoke, pollution, preservatives, and additives that we are exposed to on a daily basis. These free radicals can actually accelerate the aging process, causing premature tissue breakdown to occur. Additionally, our environment will continue to surround us with these pollutants that create free radicals.

There are things we can do to minimize our health risks, which include exercising, eating nutritiously, and not smoking. However, these measures are rarely enough to decrease our risk for certain degenerative disease a substantial amount. ALA is beneficial because it scavenges oxidants that are left behind and helps to convert carbohydrates, fatty acids and protein to energy that is needed to drive muscle movements.

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Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements
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Date: December 27, 2007 02:03 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements

Over one-third of adults say that they have symptoms of insomnia over the course of any one year. Unfortunately, about 10-15 percent of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep can be traced back to too much stress, anxiety, caffeine, and discomfort from a medical problem, depression, work shift issues, or travel. For some people, insomnia presents itself as trouble falling asleep, while others have trouble staying asleep, and still others wake up too early. It all comes down to the same thing, people aren't getting enough restorative sleep, which leaves insomniacs feeling tired, irritable, and unfocused all day.

Before pharmaceutical sleeping pills were on the market, herbs were the treatment of choice to cure a restless night. As the list of adverse effects to sleeping pills grows longer and longer, herbal sleep aids are again becoming the option of choice. Valerian has been known to give insomniacs better sleep for more than 1,000 years as it eases stress and has been scientifically documented for its sedative effect. Even better, valerian is non-addictive and includes no morning hangover from using it. A study on valerian extract found that the time to fall asleep can be reduced to that of what prescription sedatives promise. Earlier in the year, a similar study found that the combination of valerian and hops shortened the time it takes to fall asleep in a group of twenty-seven insomniacs from what was almost an hour to just about twelve minutes. Chamomile tea has a soothing, sedative effect and is still a pleasant drink. Additionally, chamomile can be used for anxiety and to soothe intestinal upset such as indigestion and heartburn. Other mildly sedating herbs include lemon balm, catnip, passion flower, and skullcap. Still other herbs to consider include corydalis, which encourages feelings of relaxation, in turn helping people to fall asleep, and lavender oil, which acts as a great calming agent.

Green tea, which contains L-theanine, has a calming effect in the body and also strengthens immunity. When feelings of anxiety interfere with sleep, help can be found by taking L-theanine about an hour before one’s desired bedtime, as L-theanine interacts with the brain receptors that are associated with relaxation, therefore inducing a relaxed state of mind.

Serotonin also plays a huge role in sleep, while 5-HTP helps to make this chemical. Studies have proven that by taking 5-HTP, insomnia can be helped a great deal in terms of sleep quality and longer REM sleep periods. About 100-300 mg of 5-HTP should be taken before bedtime for most people. Since some people can feel a little nauseous when first taking 5-HTP, starting with 50 mg for the first few nights and building up to higher doses is advised. Some reports of vivid dreams and even nightmares have been reported fro taking large amounts of 5-HTP and those people who are taking anti-depressants should not take 5-HTP. L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin and has been proven to be a successful remedy for insomnia. Although this supplement was unavailable for several years, it is now back on the market.

Melatonin also plays an important role in regulating the body's clock as it is secreted for several hours each night. People with insomnia tend to have lower levels. Therefore, taking supplemental melatonin, especially in a time-release form, an hour or so before one’s desired bedtime can help to get back into a better sleep schedule. Lastly, magnesium can help resolve sleep issues, especially in those people who have sleep problems because of restless leg syndrome (RLS).

No matter what herbal supplement or mineral you decide to use, always consult your health care practitioner before adding vitamin supplements and herbs to ones diet while taking prescription medication. The above mentioned herbal supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.



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Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
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Date: May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth

Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth

 

Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.

 

Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.

Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.

These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.

This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.

 

Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?

A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.

The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.

 

Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?

A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in Japan for decades. It’s also an extremely popular supplement in France and other parts of Europe. FPP begins with fresh, ripe papayas that are slowly fermented by a natural process that takes several months to complete. The fermented papaya is then dried and ground into a fine powder. This phytonutrient-rich powder can then be sprinkled in the mouth, dissolved, and swallowed.

 

Q. How was FPP developed?

A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.

Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of Japan’s secrets to a long healthy life.

 

Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?

A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.

However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.

Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.

 

Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?

A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.

However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.

 

Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?

A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.

However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.

That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.

FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.

Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.

 

Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?

A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.

If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.

FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”

Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.

 

Q. What else does science say about FPP?

A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.

Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.

Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.

In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.

One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Of Southern California School Of Pharmacy, shows FPP to have natural iron chelating effects and prevents lipid peroxidation.

And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.

These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.

 

Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?

A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the Dominican Republic. Other notable oldsters include Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 121; Elena Slough, of Trenton New Jersey who lived for 114 years and 112-year old Mary Dorothy Christian who lived and died in San Pablo, California.

Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years. Japan also has more centenarians – people living to age 100 and beyond – than any other country as well. There is no reason why the rest of the world, the USA included, can’t achieve these average life expectancies and, hopefully, even surpass them.

 

Q. Is FPP safe?

A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in Japan and Europe have used FPP for many years as an anti-aging product without any side effects.

 

Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?

A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.

For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.

 

Conclusion

As America’s Baby Boomers turn 65, they are living proof that the milestone is no longer the herald of old age. It’s just one more stepping stone from where we’ve been – to where we are – and on to where we want to go. Using Fermented Papaya Preparation, we can feel younger, look younger and live younger – to a very old age.



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GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
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Date: December 19, 2005 08:47 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection

GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection

  • Superior Anti-Aging Formula
  • Stimulates Natural Antioxidant Defenses
  • Helps Protect DNA
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress
  • Prevents Oxygen Related Cell Damage

In the time it takes you to finish reading this article, you, your body and your cells will have aged. Some, more than others. Nevertheless, every second that ticks away should serve as a reminder that our time here is temporary. How much time we actually end up with depends on many things. Diet. Lifestyle. Environment. Superoxide Dismutase? I’ll explain. What some of the healthiest individuals fail to realize is that our bodies age from the inside out. Aging is not the result of passing time, but rather the result of what we’re exposed to environmentally, physically and chemically. It is the integrity of our cells, not our clocks, that determine how smooth the aging process fares.

Each day, we’re subjected to millions of elements that affect us in ways seldom seen, felt or noticed. From the moment we’re born, we rely on our cells to work around the clock - producing energy, fighting infections and sustaining life. These same cells eventually determine the rate at which we show (or hide) our age.

Taking into consideration that our planet has no shortage of toxins & germs, the need to safeguard our cells becomes very real. Constant exposure to exhaust, secondhand smoke, heavy metals, lead, fluoride and uncountable other noxious compounds should ideally provide us with nothing more than a routine immune system workout. Unfortunately, over long periods they hinder our “resistance” abilities and become stepping stones to accelerated aging.

Antioxidants. We’ve all heard the term before, and may even have a general understanding of their role. But to better grasp just how vital they are, it helps to know what’s happening at the cellular level. Free radicals are unstable molecular thieves that often lack electrons. To compensate, they rob healthy cells - a process better known as oxidation. Antioxidants work with the immune system to prevent oxidation, and clean up the mess it leaves behind. Hence, the name.

There are two types. Exogenous antioxidants are derived from our diet and include vitamins A, E, and C along with others such as alpha lipoic acid, selenium, CoQ10, grape seed, pycnogenol and zinc. To date, we’ve been limited to exogenous antioxidants as a way to increase the rate at which our body wards off oxidation. They are not, however, our first line of defense. At birth, each and every one of us is equipped with three primary endogenous enzymatic antioxidants; SOD (Superoxide Dismutase), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) and Catalase.

While both types of antioxidants are beneficial, we’ve become reliant on those from the diet to compensate for our inability to boost the effectiveness of our 3 primary antioxidants. For years, researchers have been examining ways to enhance the activity of our built-in bodyguards. One in particular, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has been of foremost interest. SOD targets what many researchers regard as one of our greatest health threats and aging accelerators - Superoxide radicals. These highly reactive, merciless molecules incite enormous amounts of oxidative stress and are capable of wreaking havoc on healthy cells. When cells are left unprotected by SOD, the results can be disastrous - respiratory problems, premature aging, memory loss, cardiovascular challenges, vision failure and joint structure damage, among others.

Until now, we’ve been at the mercy of our natural SOD reserves to fight superoxides. Researchers have been working feverishly to produce an effective oral SOD supplement, but have continually encountered a frustrating hurdle - exposure to gastric acid denatures SOD, rendering it useless. As a result, the only effective way to supplement SOD was through injections. These, however, only yielded short-term spikes. And then something remarkable happened that changed everything. Nutrition scientists in France determined that by combining Cucumus melo (a melon high in SOD) with a wheat gliadin stabilizer, it would be possible to prevent SOD from deteriorating in the digestive tract, while preserving it in the blood for extended periods. Not only is this the answer to a puzzle that has plagued researchers, it’s a breakthrough that will impact the life of anyone seeking longevity and vitality.

As the first proven oral SOD supplement ever introduced to the public, GliSODin® has taken antioxidant protection, immune support and antiaging science to an entirely new level. The primary function of GliSODin® is to scour the body for superoxide radicals and reduce them to less reactive ions that can be swept away; a process known as dismutation. In addition, GliSODin® reduces the oxidation vulnerability of healthy cells, protects mitochondrial activity and safeguards DNA structure.

What’s most remarkable is that GliSODin® has actually been shown to stimulate the body’s own natural production of all three enzymatic antioxidants, including SOD. For the first time in history, we will have the ability to enhance the effectiveness of our body’s primary defense mechanism.

New GliSODin® from NOW® represents the ultimate in antioxidant protection. By increasing one’s level of SOD while stimulating the natural production of Glutathione Peroxidase and Catalase, GliSODin® delivers antioxidant protection unlike any previously released dietary supplement. Remember, the aging process begins at a level that we simply can not see, the cellular level. Shielding your cells from superoxide damage is one of the smartest steps you can take against aging before your due time. GliSODin® has made this a reality.



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Anti-Aging Nutrients
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Date: June 18, 2005 09:07 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Anti-Aging Nutrients

Anti-Aging Nutrients by Edward C. Wallace, DC, ND Energy Times, February 3, 2000

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful, easy feeling.

How Do We Age?

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain. On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents.

Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution. Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do?

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.) Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725). Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460).

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184). In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging. Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls. In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs.Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems.

In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less.

And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119[1], Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs. For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68). As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit. In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of longer life. And by staying healthier, your old age will be more enjoyable, too.



--
Vitanet ®

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Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?
TopPreviousNext

Date: June 13, 2005 09:49 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?

Don't Be Blue by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 10, 2003

Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.

Although the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers believe the pineal gland plays an important role in this disorder. This gland, located beneath the brain, makes melatonin in response to the amount of light that enters your eyes. Melatonin hormone is only produced in darkness. The darker your bedroom, the greater your melatonin production.

Conversely, melatonin production usually stops in the morning when you open your eyes to the day's new light. But research shows that the production of melatonin climbs too high in folks who suffer from SAD. That excessive amount of the hormone results in a sedative effect upon the body.

Many people with SAD suffer muscular aches and pains, along with headaches and a faltering immune system. Consequently, they often feel like they have the flu all winter long.

Blue Lady

More women than men suffer from SAD (and, apparently, depression in general), though the reason is unclear.

According to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press), "about 6% of the US population may suffer from SAD, with an additional 14% suffering from subsyndromal [less severe] SAD." Because less sunlight reaches the northern latitudes, folks in Washington state and Alaska suffer the highest rates of SAD. People in sun-soaked Florida suffer the least.

How do you escape SAD? If a winter vacation to the sunny South is out of the question for you, a natural program can brighten the wintry gray days and provide relief.

Turn on the Light

The most common treatment for SAD is light (also called phototherapy), which cuts back the body's manufacture of melatonin. Sitting in front of a special light box for about 30 minutes each morning during the winter months can often offset SAD. But the effects of this treatment vary from individual to individual, and some may be more sensitive to the light therapy than others.

For artificial light treatment, consult an appropriately trained healthcare professional who can design a plan that finds the optimal intensity, length and time of day for the treatment that best works for you. Researchers at Columbia University have found that timing the light therapy with the nuances of a person's biological clock doubles its effectiveness (Archives of General Psychiatry 1/15/01).

On the other hand, walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.

Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.

Research now shows that light on the skin alters the hemoglobin in the blood. "This research suggests that SAD might be a disorder of the blood rather than a brain disorder," says Dan A. Oren, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine (Science 1/12/98).

Vitamin D Need

If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D).

Twenty minutes of daily sunlight exposure on the hands, arms and face can give adequate amounts of vitamin D to light-skinned people. Dark-skinned people may need longer exposure. Supplements can help: In one study, researchers found that people who took vitamin D had significant improvement in depression scale scores (Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7).

As far as vitamin D production goes, you can never receive too much sunlight (although overexposure resulting in a burn is never a good idea). The body absorbs vitamin D from the skin as needed and never accepts more than is required. (If you take supplements, follow package directions so you don't get too much of a good thing.) Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, salmon and other fish.

Walk Away the Blues

Research also shows that exercise can chase the winter blues and that a little bit of exertion goes a long way. Exercise physiologists at Duke University found that little as eight minutes of physical activity can improve your mood.

Exercise stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, feel-good hormones that help reduce pain and depression. Physical activity can also increase serotonin levels, those neurotransmitters that brighten emotions. These two hormones work together to make you feel better: Serotonin improves the functioning of your mind while endorphins produce beneficial effects on your body. In one study, researchers reported that exercise increased vitality and improved mood even in cases of prolonged depression (Psychological Medicine 1998 Nov; 28(6):1359-64).

To banish SAD, engage in an outdoor activity in natural light, or get active indoors under bright lights.

As you can see, much of the research into low, wintry moods suggests that sun worshippers may have been right all along: Exposure in winter to our friendly, local neighborhood star offers impressive mood benefits.



--
Vitanet ®

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Nutrients for Longevity
TopPreviousNext

Date: June 10, 2005 09:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Nutrients for Longevity

Nutrients for Longevity by Edward C. Wallace, ND, DC Energy Times, September 1, 1999

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful easy feeling.

How Do We Age

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain.

On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents. Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution.

Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.)

Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725).

Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460)

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers. (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects. (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise:

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184).

In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying. (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging.

Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls.

In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs. Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems. In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less. And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119(1), Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs.

For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68).

As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit.

In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of living longer. An added benefit: By staying healthier, your old age won't only be longer, it will be more enjoyable, too.

And, who knows, if you hang around long enough, taking your nutrients and getting a comfortable amount of consistent exercise, while meditating and refusing to succumb to stress, that magic bullet that will keep you alive for centuries may be discovered. Some day a new antioxidant or other substance may finally prove to provide the elusive fountain of youth. Stay tuned.



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