Search Term: " cravings "
4 magical herbs that can help you lose weight faster
April 26, 2019 01:34 PM
We're constantly met with over-the-counter supplements loaded with chemicals and preservatives that promote claims of being able to shrink your waistline, but what if there were more natural options? Consuming ginseng helps regulate your blood sugar levels, as well as boost your metabolism. Garlic is almost a magical herb in how it is able to help you fight off cravings due to your body being able to sustain levels of fullness for longer periods of time.
"Those 7 days or 1-month weight loss challenges cannot give you a long-term result."
Read more: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/heres-4-magical-herbs-that-can-help-you-lose-weight-faster/articleshow/68283825.cms
Honey: Its benefits for health and skin
March 10, 2019 05:56 PM
Most people are aware that honey is exceptionally good for your health with particular benefits for your skin. For example, it can remove acne scars and prevent more acne is used consistently. However, it has so many other health benefits as well. Honey can lower a person's cholesterol level if consumed on a regular basis. Honey is also a great weight loss tool in that it can relieve those pesky bouts of craving sugar. It also boosts your energy and increases your metabolic rate.
"Many studies have proved that honey can help control high cholesterol levels."
Read more: https://www.newsnation.in/lifestyle/food/honey-honey-bee-impressive-benefits-for-health-and-skin-article-203786.html
Diabetes: Cinnamon (Dalchini) May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
January 30, 2019 10:59 AM
For diabetic patients, food can often feel like the enemy. But what if spices are the answer? Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in patients that have type 2 diabetes from a fasting state as well as to possess anti oxidant traits. For the American diet, most people associate cinnamon with sweets, thus helping to reduce cravings for those food items from a psychological standpoint. And best of all, it only takes around five grams to also aid in digestive health, which is also important to stabilizing blood sugars.
"Various studies talk about cinnamon as a wonder spice that keeps a check on our blood sugar levels, especially when consumed after meals."
Read more: https://www.ndtv.com/food/diabetes-cinnamon-dalchini-may-help-control-blood-sugar-levels-1961593
Here's Why You Should Start Taking Vitamins
January 17, 2019 08:07 AM
Visit the nearest supplements store and purchase a few bottles of vitamins as quickly as you can if they're not already a part of your daily agenda. Taking vitamins is one way to keep your good health in check. They supply the body with the nutrients that it doesn't produce itself and supplements when you don't consume the right foods for adequate nutrition. It is time to get your good health in check and use vitamins each day!
"Multivitamins contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients, and are designed to boost your daily intake."
Read more: https://kaboutjie.com/health-safety/heres-why-you-should-start-taking-vitamins/
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
January 03, 2019 01:08 PM
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits throughout the body. One such system in the body where it has been shown to be of great benefit is the Endocrine system, particularly for people with diabetes. Not only can it lower blood sugar levels, but can help a person lose weight. it also helps lower bad cholesterol level in the blood and can provide almost instant relief from acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar also has hundreds of uses around the home.
"Apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity in recent years, with many people praising the liquid for its several health benefits."
Read more: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/
Overcoming adrenal fatigue naturally
July 22, 2018 11:53 AM
The human body has a well-developed system it uses to aid us when we experience stress. Firstly, the brain identifies the threat. Then the body releases hormones designed to do two things, rush blood to the muscles and heart to assist in fighting off the aggressive agent and dampening body processes that are not needed in the attack, such as digestive ones.
Were one fighting of a saber-tooth tiger, this would be of benefit. Today's stresses are far more nuanced, insidious and long-lasting. And when constant stress overworks the adrenals, which are the rabble-rousers in charge of turning off immunity and digestion until the tiger has turned tail, well then they get tired. This condition is called, aptly, adrenal fatigue. It can last for a short while, or a long time. It induces fatigue and it can lead to "brain fog." Other symptoms can include disturbances in mood, or sleep, food cravings and muscle and bone loss. To recuperate, it's necessary to convince the body the tiger has gone. Eat healthy, sleep healthy. Take vitamins and nourish yourself physically and psychically.
"One of the most important parts of restoring adrenal function is listening to your body and minding your stress levels."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/overcoming-adrenal-fatigue-naturally/
CBD may help smokers quit cigarettes, finds new study
June 20, 2018 04:44 PM
Humans have what is called a electrochemical system that can be directly impacted by substances referred to as endocannabinoids. One of these is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil was given to 30 participants in a 2013 study, and it showed that it helped them successfully reduce the amount of cigarettes that they smoked by 40%. More studies have to be done to determine a direct correlation, but this is good news for those who are continuously struggling to find natural ways to quit.
"In 2013, a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who were given a CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette consumption by around 40% compared to those given a placebo."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cbd-may-help-smokers-quit-cigarettes-finds-new-study/
9 Health Benefits of Whey Protein + How to Choose the Right Product
November 24, 2017 07:59 AM
Whey protein can do a lot for your body. This talks about the benefits. It can also help you choose the right kind. There are many types of whey protein. It can be hard to choose. There are powders you can add to food or to drinks. There are also ready mixed drinks. If you can choose a good product you'll be happy with the results. Proteins are the building blocks your body needs to make muscle and other things.
"There are many benefits of whey protein, including its ability to increase strength, build muscles, burn fat, reduce cravings, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve energy, boost glutathione levels and immunity, and extend your life span."
Read more: https://draxe.com/whey-protein/
Taking this Super Breakfast Helps Burn Fat Like Crazy
October 01, 2017 12:14 PM
Breakfast is an important meal. It can jump start your metabolism so you will lose more weight. Your body can burn calories faster when your metabolism is fast. This gives you a great breakfast for helping to achieve this. It can be considered a super breakfast. It is a good choice if you want to be healthier or if you're considering a diet. It is not full of fat or sugar the way lots of popular breakfast foods are.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hFEUavoW9s&rel=0
"The fat that is accumulating in the body can be the main cause of several diseases."
8 Herbs That Help You Lose Weight Naturally
August 24, 2017 12:14 PM
When paired with a health-minded diet and routine exercise, herbs can be used as a secret weapon in the battle to shed pounds and maintain physique. The herbs guggul, garlic, coriander, and ginseng all play various roles in increasing metabolism and burning off calories and fat. Peppermint and gurmar are both appetite suppressants and help to reduce cravings for sugary, processed foods. Oregano and dandelion both target bloating and water weight while flushing toxins out from the body.
"It goes without saying that you can't do without a good workout regime and a healthy and balanced diet but these herbs can give you an extra boost."
Read more: http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-herbs-that-help-you-lose-weight-naturally-1740034
9 Things You Should Be Eating If You Want to Lose Weight
August 18, 2017 12:14 PM
While different dieting fads forever come and go, there are certain staples of healthy eating that will always be relevant to a successful weight loss journey. For example, while it may sound counterintuitive at first, fats are an important part of a balanced diet—so long as they are healthy fats like the kind found in avocados. In place of carbohydrates, there are many creative substitutes available like zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash. Foods with few ingredients are also reliable safe bets for healthy eating.
"Low-cal condiments like salsa, hot sauce, and mustard are an easy way to add a kick to many dishes."
Read more: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g3141/what-to-eat-to-lose-weight/
Craving chocolate could mean you're suffering from a magnesium deficiency
July 10, 2017 09:14 AM
Everyone enjoys a nice piece of chocolate now and again, but if you are craving it more often than usual, it could signal a problem. New research indicates that a craving for the sweet stuff could also mean that you are magnesium deficient. You should know the signs and the steps to take if you suspect such a problem is ongoing in your life. Read this article to learn what you should know about chocolate cravings.
"‘Cravings for specific foods could be an indication of a deficiency in a micro or macro nutrient. In particular, a craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency,’ explains nutritionist Emily Whitehead."
Read more: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/life/health-fitness/magnesium-deficiency-520391
It’s Called “The Fat Burner” Because It Eliminates Abdominal Fat In Just 7 Days
July 07, 2017 12:14 PM
To the casual consumer, fat burners are scary and confusing. With good reason, too — 99% of them are admittedly total garbage. Whether it’s a product that uses ineffective ingredients, one that’s overly dangerous, or an online marketing scam, there is way too much noise out there. Google’s no help either — searching for best fat burner is spammed to the high heavens. But there’s good news: in that other 1% of products lay a hidden gold mine. There are a number of ingredients that work to help your body burn more fat than it normally would — and when they’re mixed responsibly and effectively, you can safely get a serious yet natural boost to your metabolism.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRWUC5ibxlg&rel=0
"In order to maintain healthy weight you will need to follow a strict healthy diet regime and exercise on regular basis. Fortunately, you can do a bit more in order to speed up that process, by implementing natural ingredients which prevent accumulation of fat in the tissues, and naturally accelerate the fat burning process and metabolism."
Eating This for Breakfast Every Morning HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT FASTER THAN YOU EXPECT!!
May 10, 2017 11:44 AM
Eating breakfast every day gives you energy and accelerates you metabolism for the day to come. A study done on men and women was done with some eating oatmeal, while others ate cornflakes or just drank water. Findings showed that eating oatmeal for breakfast have long lasting effects on cravings for more food and maintaining healthy, steady glucose levels resulting in taking in fewer calories during the day. Oats provide fiber which can keep you full, help digestion and lower your cholesterol. Oatmeal also fight heart diseases and various cancers, it's the best breakfast food you can eat.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yyqws8dTKGM&rel=0
"The most important meal of the day is undoubtedly the breakfast, so you should always make sure it is healthy and nutritious. This meal provides the needed energy for the day and accelerates the metabolism."
Why You May Want to Drink Water Before Coffee in the Morning
April 28, 2017 06:59 AM
Start your day off with a big glass of water. Beginning your day with hydration helps improve your body functions. Over fifty percent of your body is made of water. Adding a glass of water to your morning ritual help a energize your bodily functions. It helps jumpstart your metabolism, encourages bowel regularity, and eases digestion. It can also stave off hunger cravings and increase your alertness. Staying hydrated also helps with your energy levels. Keep a glass of water handy to increase your overall health.
Read more: Why You May Want to Drink Water Before Coffee in the Morning
How to stop sugar cravings this Easter
April 14, 2017 06:44 AM
Easter is a time when it is easy to be tempted by sugar. A craving for sugar is the body needed something that releases dopamine in the body. To avoid sugar cravings, there are a few tips you can take: 1. Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day; 2. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day; 3. Avoid processed foods; 4. Distract yourself from the cravings by doing something fund; 5. Avoid white carbohydrates and instead focus on eating wholegrains; and 6. Try a natural food supplement to curb your appetite and get rid of cravings.
Read more: How to stop sugar cravings this Easter
The Most Effective Way to Quit Eating Sugar That Nobody Ever Talks About
March 21, 2017 11:14 AM
There is a most effective way to stop eating sugar and nobody ever talks about it. It is interesting to understand that your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat as well as how much energy you burn. Junk food is designed with the intent for you to want more. Your mind has a strong influence on your food cravings.
"Your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat and the energy you burn."
How to start the new year with new eating habits
January 14, 2017 02:59 PM
One of the most popular New Years resolution is losing weight. Often times this can be easier said than done. One of the best way to lose weight and eat better is to understand how cravings actually work. This can make it possible to eat better and make healthier choices, making your resolution work.
"Where appearances are concerned, it’s very hard to lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off. There is the danger of yo-yo dieting. You can end up gaining more weight than you lost."
Your brain could sabotage your New Year's weight loss goals
January 14, 2017 12:59 PM
Have you already quit your New Year's diet? If so, it may not be your fault - it may be a matter of evolution. British researchers have discovered that our ancestors, because food was often scarce, became binge-eaters whenever a new source of food appeared. Unfortunately, in today's world where food is almost always available, we still have those primitive cravings. Gaining weight? Blame the cavemen.
"A new model suggests it's not a failure of willpower, or even of our conscious minds, but rather something much deeper in our evolutionary history."
I Tried To Quit Sugar, But Failed Without Realizing Why
January 07, 2017 02:59 PM
There's a right way and a wrong way to give up sugar in your diet. While giving up added sugars can have health benefits, doing so requires diligence. It's not enough to simply give up white sugar and corn syrup. Honey, maple syrup, and other sugars added to common foods such as ketchup can sabotage your plan to kick your sugar addiction. And coming off sugar -- like quitting any addiction -- requires a period of adjustment that can sometimes be uncomfortable. But starting with a plan and knowing what to expect can help you be successful in licking your sugar habit.
"I told myself I would stop eating refined sugar, which I loosely defined as corn syrup and the grainy, white stuff we add to cookies and cakes."
Is it okay to pair your morning coffee and workout routine?
December 14, 2016 02:59 PM
The views on caffeine are mostly negative. However, a recent study is giving the chemical a little positive light. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Science showed that people who drank some coffee before performing their exercise routine were happier and completed their tasks 4.2 seconds faster, on average. It is important to keep in mind that black coffee is preferred and you should always drink plenty of water during your routine also. This minimizes the amount of sugar you ingest and keeps you from getting dehydrated.
"Research has shown that downing a cup of coffee before you break a sweat can boost your performance significantly."
The Top 15 Natural Appetite Suppressants
December 07, 2016 10:59 AM
It is often difficult to control your appetite. We all wish there was a pill or supplements that would make it easy to control cravings. JetFuel Accelerator adds to our list as one of our top appetite suppressing supplements. Obesitrol placed on our list because of its impressive ingredients. Animal Cuts is designed and formulated by Universal Nutrition to create 9 different complexes earning itself a place on this list.
"These supremely healthy drinks, foods, and spices can curb your hunger, help you lose more weight, and stick to your diet plan."
Outsmart the food companies to become a savvier eater
December 06, 2016 06:59 AM
The key for businesses is finding the bliss point of food, or the product formulation you like most, according to Howard Moskowitz, an experimental psychologist who did pioneering work on bliss points and their role in product development when he was optimizing menus for soldiers in 1971. Bliss points have been discovered for many foods - even hummus and orange juice - to appeal to consumers sensory preferences.
"It's actually both: It's human nature for consumers to develop habits and seek out foods that satisfy our intense cravings. And so companies create products that meet people's sensory needs."
Looking to change your diet? Start by using these five tips to tackle the addiction
November 13, 2016 12:59 PM
By removing sugar from your diet you can positively affect your health and well-being. While it is hard to quit sugar, we have here a few ways to help you make the change as easily as possible. By committing to working hard, and with others, you may find it easier to go cold turkey and ditch the processed foods. Also, but increasing you intake of healthy fats, you can keep yourself full which in turns makes cravings easier to get past.
"Chances are you know someone else in your life who is also struggling with sugar. Tackling a dietary and lifestyle change like this is so much easier when you have support, encouragement and don’t feel all alone. Find a friend. Grab a buddy. Get an accountability partner."
Always Tired? Burnout and Adrenal Fatigue Solutions
Do you often feel run down and fatigued during the day? So tired you could sleep? Do you crave and use salty and sweet foods as well as caffeine to get you through the day?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions it is likely that you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue or "Burnout." It's a very common problem which often goes unnoticed. It affects significantly more women than men. The number of people suffering has rocketed since the recession - money worries and job worries causing major stress.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue is a term used to describe when the adrenal glands are exhausted. Adrenal fatigue is very commonly associated with stress levels. The adrenal glands release Cortisol in response to all stress, cortisol is your natural anti-inflammatory and reduces stress and inflammation levels when needed.
Your adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and are the size of walnuts. They have a very important function within the body, they secrete over 50 different hormones which your body needs to survive. As well as cortisol some of the other hormones that the adrenal glands secrete include testosterone, estrogen, epinephrine, and progesterone.
People can live with this all their life and think it is just normal. This fatigue cannot simply be relieved by a good night's sleep. An estimated 80% of people at some point experience some form of adrenal fatigue and the physical symptoms associated with stress.
It is unlikely that a doctor will immediately diagnose you with adrenal fatigue, in my research I read about a female sufferer of adrenal fatigue who saw 27 different doctors before having her problem identified as adrenal fatigue! This is an extreme case.
Symptoms and negatives effects of adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue can really wreck the life you live, in extreme cases, it can be so bad that you are only able to stay awake and move around for a couple of hours a day. Changes are made in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance is affected as well as your heart, cardiovascular system and sex drive as a result of adrenal fatigue.
The main symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
Does eating fat make you fat? This physician says no
November 09, 2016 04:54 PM
One big myth surrounding weight loss is that in order to lose weight, you must not eat any fat. However, that is not the case. Mark Hyman says that dietary fat, like those found in avocadoes, actually helps cut fat, and even goes to say that all calories are not the same. Healthy fats can also speed up metabolism and cut cravings. Hyman suggests consuming foods such as spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers along with up to six ounces of protein.
""The misinformation that has been pushed on our population by the food industry and our government, which is that all calories are the same - that's true in a laboratory, when you burn them," Hyman said. "It's not true when you eat them.""
Do Food Cravings Actually Mean Anything?
Food cravings are the surest way to ruin our best health intentions. Whether it be cravings for chocolate, cakes, fresh baked bread or other more exotic cravings, they impact nearly everyone that starts a new health program or diet. While cravings typically are at their worst in the first ten to fourteen days of a new, healthy lifestyle, don't be surprised to find them resurfacing any time you feel stressed, fatigued or anxious. Food is one of the quickest ways for the body to re-ground itself and the body will instinctively crave foods that through past habits have become associated with a pleasurable experience.Many people hold this opinion about food addiction and have heard it being spread around like wild fire. Giving in to the craving fills us with guilt and sometimes self hatred for not having the ability to overcome this craving. Our self-esteem lowers and we hear that little voice in our heads tell us what failures we are. This further lowers our self-esteem and so we satisfy our cravings because that food make us "feel better."
Ways to Deal with cravings
Alleviating Blood Sugar Levels with Chromium Picolinate
November 27, 2013 08:01 AM
What is Chromium Picolinate
Chromium picolinate is among the essential trace minerals that have received a lot of attention as dietary supplements. While it is know to be inhibit blood sugar levels, there are recurring debates that remain unsettled. However, there are recent studies that consistently revealed the augmenting effect of chromium to the actions of the hormone insulin. That then suggests the intake of the said mineral as it seconds the claims of it being an effective solution to control blood sugar or glucose levels of people intolerant to carbohydrates.In the uptake of carbohydrates, they are broken down into sugar, followed by absorption to the blood. The amount of blood sugar and insulin rising vary from one food to another. By slowing rate of sugar release to the bloodstream is the initial step towards controlling glucose levels, which is also a vital goal of any type of healthy diet.
Benefits of Chromium Picolinate
Keeping your blood sugar at a normal level does everything. May it be to gain or lose weight, reduce fat, curbing craving pangs and lowering appetites, as well as warding off numerous chronic diseases such as diaebetes and heart attack, a normal blood sugar level does it all. For that matter, chromium is really of the essence. And here are some of its major health benefits.
Blood Sugar ControlA study was once conducted where a loaf of bread was prepared with 400 micrograms chromium. After consuming the bread, there was a 23% blood sugar decline in the patient, which points out to chromium picolinate as an effective solution to lower glycemic indexes of meals.
Cholesterol Level ControlChromium also has an important role for fat metabolism. After further investigations, chromium's different effects on lipids were finally discerned. Some of the reports included how chromium reduced triglyceride levels, as well as total LDL cholesterol. These basically meant that the chemical compound can lower risks for different heart diseases.
Curbs Down Carb cravingsOne of the biggest reasons why many people suffer from diabetes is the indulgence to cravings, particularly to carb-rich and starchy foods. This is known to be an addiction with mechanisms in the pleasure/guilt portion of the brain similar to opiates. By taking 600 micrograms of the chromium compound for a span of 8 weeks, the subject can be withdrawn from the said sugar laden addiction.
Another thing worth noting is that this particular chromium compound fully remains intact within the gastric juice for several hours and does not cause any digestive drawbacks. Furthermore, a minimum of 200 to 300 micrograms supplementation is suggested for people with less severe cases to set out the stabilization of insulin production.
Fiber Cereals Help Prevent Colon cancer?
December 15, 2011 09:32 PM
Commercials about high fiber foods has been shown more often in television recently this is because of the many products being formulated such as high fiber cereals that can greatly help you achieve better health. High fiber cereals are not only tasty but most of all is jam-packed with essential fibers that can significantly propel your health to a more desirable state.
Most of the claims that you can hear and read with regards to high fiber cereals are true. The health benefits that are stated are no longer new because even long ago, experts were already able to discover the health benefits that fiber could contribute to the human body. Fiber when taken will just go through our system undigested hence will make you feel full for a longer period of time. Aside from that, another benefit of high fiber cereal is its capacity to regulate blood sugar level within normal boundaries because fiber carbohydrates are not the same with sugar carbohydrates since they will leave your blood sugar level stable. Since fiber could curb appetite, high fiber diet is highly recommended for individuals who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
High fiber cereals also minimize snacking in between meals. Aside from that, it also supplies you with enough energy to enable you to perform the tasks that you need to do. What makes high fiber cereals a great option is the fact that it can be conveniently prepared any time of the day may it be for a late time snack or just to curb your afternoon cravings.
However, among all the benefits of high fiber cereals, its capability of keeping your colon healthy is considered as the most essential. High fiber cereals can help you achieve better colon health. Since your colon is the dump site of the body’s waste products, it is very necessary to take some measures to cleanse it from time to time in order to stop the accumulation of highly toxic waste products of the body. High fiber cereals will serve as your weapon in combating toxic waste in your intestinal tract because fiber could wrap around the debris and will help evacuate wastes out to your system. Talking about colon health and all the wastes it entails may not be appealing to some but I’m pretty sure that it is worth considering.
At present, there are already various brands of high fiber cereals that you can choose from hence, it will no longer be a huge problem to choose which brand or product would be most suitable to your taste. The various high fiber cereals being sold these days comes in wide variety of flavor and texture and everything are worth to be tried because of the benefits it could provide your body. Be mindful of your health while you are still young because we can never predict the future. Engaging in healthy diet and lifestyle would really be of big help.
Some might want to avoid the calories that you can get by consuming cereal daily. This is where a fiber supplement is the key. Fiber supplements are calorie free. Make sure you get plenty of fiber daily to prevent colon cancer!
Coconut Oil Help Sugar Cravings?
October 05, 2011 01:00 PM
Craving for sugary foods is a form of refined sugar addiction. For you to totally end your addiction towards sugar, you need to eat healthy foods to keep you well nourished hence, you will no longer feel the necessity of the stimulating effect of refined sugar. Engaging in to various ways and means to cut your cravings for refined sugar is very necessary to protect yourself from various disease conditions that are associated with too much intake of glucose like diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is one condition that affects many people across the globe. Since this condition can lead to more serious health ailments there is a great need for us to stop the root cause of diabetes which is too much intake of sugar-rich foods. Here are some useful ways that you may consider that can help you put an end your cravings for foods that are excessively sweet hence, will make you more vigorous and healthy.
Fats that are considered healthy like unrefined coconut oil is very beneficial in helping you regulate your blood sugar levels. The essential fats that unrefined coconut oil contains can enhance vitamin and mineral absorption and at the same time decrease the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Several studies can already prove the capacity of unrefined coconut oil as a remedy for hypoglycemia and sugar addiction. Coconut oil is also vital for those people who often encounter problems with regards to fat digestion.
Eat as much fruit as you can
Eating fresh fruits as well as consuming fruit derivatives (dried fruits, smoothies, and fruit juices) on a regular basis is very helpful in keeping you healthy. Compared to refined sugar, fresh fruits contains abundant amount of vitamins and minerals that would guard your body from incurring diseases that will impede you from doing the things that you like to do. What makes fruit and natural fruit products even better is the fact that it does not contain any addictive properties that are present in refined sugar.
Prevent blood sugar fluctuations
If you want to cut down your cravings for foods that have high sugar content, you should learn how to control your blood sugar levels within normal boundaries. When the blood sugar level of your body is too low (hypoglycemia) the body tends to compensate by increasing cravings for sugar. If you do not want to experience such feeling, then you have to make sure that you do not skip any meals. Small frequent meals are also very helpful so as regular exercise.
Try super foods
Super foods are foods that contain liberal amounts of vitamins and minerals that are all necessary in keeping your body lean and healthy. These kinds of foods are also necessary in controlling unreasonable cravings. Here is a list of the most common super foods that you can readily avail in the market today: mangosteen, wheatgrass juice, seaweed, and acai.
Controlling your cravings for unrefined sugar is very important to prevent yourself from developing disease conditions brought about by too much consumption of sugary foods. So live healthily and enjoy life to the fullest!
How Do I Use Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams For PMS?
September 22, 2011 11:04 AM
If you are a guy who had encountered women you probably would have heard about PMS. It is something that we as men are familiar with because often times, about once a month our female acquaintances would let us know that they should be allowed to act silly and have their way for the next few days all because they are experiencing PMS but is there truth to it? Let’s try to take a more scientific approach because my guess is, it is more serious than we know.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined by strong and consistent mood swings, tender breasts, fatigue, depressions, food cravings and irritability just to name some of the more common symptoms. Commonly this peaks around the late 20’s and early 30’s for females and it is a serious issue. It is not the kind of juvenile reason for tantrums that young female kids might lightly throw around. These symptoms can cause serious discomfort and many changes in the sufferer’s lives and at times in certain months it will be pretty intense and unnoticeable in some. It also happens in a predictable pattern which is one upside to allow the patient to prepare for it and can figure out certain ways to counter the effects so as to not allow PMS to take control of your life.
Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams
First off let look at some details about these substances. Phytoestrogen are chemicals that are derived from plants and have the primary property of having the ability to mimic estrogen in the human body which is the primary sex hormone in women. Estrogen on the other hand is the real thing and is a hormone manufactured primarily in the ovaries with an essential responsibility of initiating and maintaining proper menstrual cycles in women.
Although this hormone can also be found in the male’s body we produce it at a lesser degree. Studies have shown that estrogen is an important factor in women’s reproductive cycles unlike men which does not really have much use for it and aims to keep the levels of this hormone down as it may cause more feminine bodily changes in men. With women however, supplementation with estrogen has been used to treat reproductive cycle issues so it is no surprise that these hormones are being incorporated into cream products to aid in PMS relief and how you use it depends on your specific cycle.
Some common guidelines is to use of about 100 to 200mg a day and it terms of when, it shall depend on the length of a female’s cycle. As a general rule though it should be taken 14 days prior to ovulation if the specific ovulation date is not known as ovulation starts fourteen days before bleeding starts. If no ovulation happens or you don’t have a period, use a 28 day cycle as a guide and choose any day to start. It is important that this is done before ovulation so it does not interrupt the body’s natural process of ovulation and hormone production.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Work in the Body And Blood Sugar?
August 01, 2011 03:36 PM
Chromium, Blood Sugar, And More
Chromium picolinate is a form of trivalent chromium first developed to reverse chromium deficiency. It has been linked to many different health benefits over the past few decades. Inasmuch as chromium is an essential trace mineral required in minute quantities for the hormone activity of insulin, it is often marketed as a dietary supplement for the management of uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood.
Glucose tolerance is compromised in the absence of chromium in the human body for long periods of time, as is the case with chromium deficiency. Research has found out that chromium concentrations are decreased with high consumptions of simple sugars whereas regular intake of chromium has been noted to improve glucose tolerance. Also, several studies have supported its use for diabetes mellitus.
Improves Lipid Profile
It is a fact that trivalent chromium is necessary for the metabolism of lipids, which include fats, waxes, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins. It has long been postulated that chromium picolinate has an effect on the lipids found in the blood, the reason why proponents suggest its use for the improvement of blood cholesterol and serum lipids. It allegedly lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Aids Energy Production
Chromium picolinate has been marketed to athletes for years in that it aids energy production. As a trace mineral, chromium is involved in the metabolism of glucose, which is the biological precursor of chemical energy for use of each individual cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate. It appears to modulate the uptake of sugar from the blood and elevate the production of energy in the process.
Induces Weight Loss
In addition to its putative effects on energy production, chromium picolinate has been reported to curb sugar and fat cravings. Indeed healthy levels of chromium effectively controls metabolism. Moreover, scientific literature has noted its role in the utilization of adipose tissue that leads to the burning of body fat. For these reasons, it has become increasingly popular as a supplement for weight loss.
Promotes Muscle Growth
There have been numerous reports that chromium picolinate promotes the growth of lean mass and skeletal muscles. In fact, it is one of the earliest supplements that remain in use by body builders today. Some sources say that it provides the muscles a steady supply of energy even during intense physical exertion and it accelerates the process of muscle recovery in between physical activities.
Enhances Mood Disorders
Chromium picolinate has shown potential as an alternative remedy for mood disorders. In particular, it has been investigated in a study that involved patients diagnosed with a chronic mood disorder called atypical depression or dysthymia. It has been observed that regular intake of chromium picolinate exerts a positive effect on the appetite of patients and enhances mood disorders at the same time.
Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity.
April 08, 2010 04:10 PM
Fructose is a simple sugar found in many foods. Fructose recently has been mis-linked as a harmful sugar, but the issue really lies in general with consumption or overconsumption to be exact. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one's health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. Anti-sweetener advocates fail to realize the issue regarding fructose or really any sugar is the overconsumption. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to provide fuel for energy and to make other foods and beverages more palatable. While we respect the choice to not consume sweeteners and elect for an apple or piece of fruit for those sweet cravings you might have, the moderate use of Agave Nectar or really any natural sweetener will not create issues such as obesity, liver inflammation, etc. As always moderation and a balance diet are keys to one's health. It is a misconception that fructose sweeteners have given rise to increased consumption of total calories. The line graph below shows that total per capita energy intake increased 24% in the U.S. between 1970 and 2005. Over the same period of time, the graph also shows that flour/cereal products and fats increased 3-5% of total caloric intake, and caloric intake of added sugars, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat/eggs/nuts declined. The increase in total caloric intake in the U.S. was not caused by added sugars; rather, we are eating more of everything! - The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
Lower Blood Sugar
October 16, 2008 01:54 PM
Many people struggle to control their weight. However, while they are going on and off various diets, they fail to realize that they are also struggling to control blood sugar. Actually, the cause of blood-sugar problems may be weight problems, as being overweight and having blood sugar problems tend to go hand in hand. Too many blood sugar swings during the day tend to increase hunger jags, snacking, and overeating. When you overeat, you’re much more likely to add on the pounds, setting the stage for obesity, pre-diabetes, and full blown diabetes.
Sadly, both pre-diabetes and overweight have become modern epidemics that are out of control, with two of every three Americans being overweight and over 100 million people having some signs of pre-diabetes. Both of these illnesses are nutritional disorders that result from eating too many unhealthful foods. However, there is good news: you can reverse pre-diabetes and control your weight.
One can self-diagnose pre-diabetes by looking for the most visible symptom: being chubby or fat around the waist. Other clues are cravings sweets and starchy foods, not being hungry at breakfast, and feeling tired or mentally fuzzy after lunch. Many physicians diagnose pre-diabetes when a patient’s fasting blood sugar falls between 100 and 124 mg/dl. There are several dietary factors that significantly increase the risk of overweight. Some of these being: too many calories, too many refined carbs, especially sugars, and too many unhealthful oils.
The average woman needs about 1,600 calories and the typical man needs about 2,000 calories daily, but the average American now consumes 3,900 calories each day, making it difficult to burn off all these calories and causing the accumulation of body fat. Because most excess calories take form of refined carbs and sugars, which are digested rapidly, rapid or extreme spikes in blood sugar levels, elevated insulin levels, and bouts of hunger result, which stimulate low blood sugar. Trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, interfere with the body’s processing of fats and often lead to weight gain. Most of these problematic calories are found in fast foods, microwave foods, and other types of convenience foods, which are all best if they are avoided.
Even though pre-diabetes can be scary, it’s actually an opportunity to improve your eating habits and regain your health. To improve your health you can emphasize quality protein, emphasize high-fiber vegetables and fruits, include grapefruit in your diet, use more vinegar, and add some cinnamon. Since protein stabilizes and safely lowers blood sugar levels, be sure to start each day with some protein with breakfast and eat a little protein with each meal.
Most veggies and fruits are rich in fiber, which helps to lower blood sugar, so opt for salads and steamed broccoli while avoiding crutons, potatoes, bananas, and pears. Despite the calories, eating fresh grapefruit can help in weight reduction. The acetic acid in vinegar can also help to improve blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce appetite, and help with weight loss. Adding cinnamon has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. There are also several supplements that have exceptional value in improving insulin function or lowering blood sugar levels. These include lipoic acid, chromium, silymarin, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, and Pycnogenol.
You can also enhance the benefits of diet and supplements by increasing your physical activity as it helps build muscle and burn blood sugar and fat. Tackling pre-diabetes can not only reduce your long-term risk for health problems, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but also can allow you to quickly gain more energy and feel less post-meal fatigue.
July 03, 2008 08:58 AM
Serotonin has not only been shown to regulate sleep, but it also is responsible for controlling mood, including feelings of optimism, relaxation, general sense of well-being, and the ability to focus and concentrate. When serotonin levels drop, it can lead to a lowered mood, which is what people experience with seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and general stress. People who experience these conditions also have been shown to experience decreased levels of tryptophan, which is responsible for the decrease in production of serotonin. Tryptophan depletion has been associated with a lowering in mood of normal healthy men. In one study, women who had recovered from major depression and ended drug treatment experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms after tryptophan depletion. In many studies that were performed in the 1970s, indications of trytophan’s ability to relieve lowered mood were found.
When shorter days begin in the fall and winter, negative effects on a significant percent of the U.S. population result. Some experience sadness, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and a loss of libido, which is what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A key contributor to this is the increased synthesis of melatonin that occurs during the winter months. Daylight normally inhibits the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Since the period of nighttime is longer in the winter versus the summer, there is a longer period of melatonin secretion. Increased synthesis of melatonin depletes serotonin levels, which, in turn, increase the symptoms of SAD. Those patients who experience SAD tend to crave starchy foods and sweets more, which happens when brain serotonin levels are low.
Tryptophan treatment may offer a substantial amount of help for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD patients who were treated with either light therapy or with tryptophan proved that patients with light therapy relapsed more quickly after the discontinued use, as apposed to those who were treated with tryptophan. Studies have also shown that SAD patients often feel better after being treated with tryptophan.
Serotonin also plays an important role in behavioral inhibition. Many studies have found that there is a decrease in aggressive behavior when serotonin is increased, while decreasing serotonin leads to impulsive aggressive behavior. Another study proves that healthy men who are depleted of tryptophan show more aggressiveness. When tryptophan supplementation was studied, participants who received the tryptophan significantly decreased their quarrelsome behavior and increased in sociable and agreeable behavior. Additionally, those patients’ perceptions of other participants’ agreeableness also increased.
Symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome include depression, cravings for foods that a rich in carbohydrates, insomnia, irritability, and hostility. More so, women with premenstrual syndrome dysphoria, which is a more severe premenstrual syndrome, have shown decreased levels of brain serotonin. This suggests that tryptophan may be involved, as premenstrual women who had tryptophan depletion have shown increased aggressive behavior. When tryptophan supplementation was studied on women who experienced premenstrual dysphoric disorder, mood swings, tension, and irritability, results showed that there were significantly greater improvements with l-tryptophan supplementation than with a placebo.
June 17, 2008 10:47 AM
Chromium picolinate, broken down, is chromium that is bonded to an amino acid. The chromium portion of the compound is not well absorbed by the body. Therefore, the amino acid picolinate is added to aid in absorption.
Studies have shown that 90 percent of the adult population in the United States has a chromium deficiency in their diet. The best source of chromium is true brewer’s yeast, but it is found in grains and cereals in smaller amounts. Refined forms of these foods are likely to be lacking in sufficient chromium levels. Strenuous physical activity requires a larger intake of chromium in the diet.
Chromium picolinate, a chromium supplement, has profound effects on the body’s overall nutrition and health. It has increased in popularity in recent years because it helps to reduce body fat and increase lean body mass. Research has proven that it can aid in treating:
* High blood sugar
In the late 1950s, chromium picolinate was discovered to be essential for proper blood sugar control. It is a key part of desensitizing the body to insulin. Without chromium, blood sugar levels are elevated because insulin is blocked from doing its job. Chromium is one of the essential trace minerals. Its most important function is to work with insulin, which is a hormone. Insulin is responsible for the body’s ability to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats naturally. Your metabolism affects every cell in your body. All bodily functions are dependent on the proper use and breakdown of these chemicals.
A deficiency of chromium in your diet will lead to an impairment of insulin activity. This insulin resistance allows more glucose to remain in your body, resulting in weight gain and loss of energy.
Insulin is the most important hormone involved in metabolism. Everyone’s body requires proper insulin function to be healthy. Insulin is secreted whenever you eat. It then binds to cells to activate sugar absorption from your bloodstream. The body’s sugar (glucose) is its strongest energy source. The cells use it to fuel the body’s essential functions like metabolism and building muscles.
Because of these needs, chromium picolinate can be used as a supplement to promote weight loss and treat high cholesterol and diabetes. It is an essential supplement for healthy metabolism, especially in older people. People who lack enough chromium picolinate in their diets usually have trouble keeping weight off and feel run down regularly.
Chromium Picolinate and Weight Loss:
Chromium picolinate is not a viable quick fix for permanent weight loss. It is, however, a valuable addition to a healthy and well-designed weight loss program. People who are overweight are generally insulin resistant. For this reason, additional chromium supplementation aids in healthier metabolism and more productive use of insulin. The result is increased weight loss when used in conjunction with proper exercise and a well-balanced diet.
Dietary Interactions and Safety:
Chromium picolinate has been shown in studies to be safe for use with most medications. However, as with any dietary supplement, it is important to discuss your use of this supplement with your physician before planning any dietary changes.
Chromium picolinate was safe in studies in which it was used in amounts exceeding 500 times the recommended daily dosage. The production of this dietary supplement is under the highest quality and safety conditions available. No side effects have been reported since chromium picolinate has been available on the market.
Most daily multiple vitamins contain the recommended daily allowance of chromium picolinate. However, since it is so difficult for the body to absorb effectively, most people need more supplementation than is generally recommended.
Coconut Oil May Help Promote Healthy Thyroid and Digestive Function
November 01, 2007 09:49 AM
Coconut is extracted from coconuts, the coconut palm often being called the tree of life and for good reason. However, its benefits were lost to America for many years due to the politics of the vegetable oil industry claiming that all saturated fats are bad. This is not based on scientific or medical fact, and coconut oil was recently rediscovered in the USA, and the health benefits enjoyed by the rest of the world are once again available to Americans.
Coconut palms grow in most tropical climates such as Southern California and Florida, the Philippines and the Caribbean. Refined coconuts oils are mass produced and much of the beneficial nutrients are lost by the refining process. Virgin coconut oil is by far the better form, though is a slower process. It is generally obtained by shredding and dry milling the meat, and then cold pressing to produce the milk. The milk is fermented for a day or so and the separated oil collected.
Such oils are analyzed to contain over 50% lauric acid and high levels of phenolic antioxidants. Much higher than from refined oils. It is said to be the healthiest oil on earth. So why did the American authorities legislate against its use? It is because of the bad press received by saturated fats and oils.
You can have saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The majority of the fats and oils in our diet are composed of long chain fats and oils. The chain length refers to the length of the hydrocarbon chain, whether saturated or unsaturated. It is long chain saturated acids that are bad for your cardiovascular system, and that should be avoided. However, there are also short chain and medium chain fatty acids that are more easily metabolized by the body. Coconut oil consists predominantly of medium chain fatty acids that help to protect against heart disease and cholesterol rather than promote it.
The highest levels of medium chain fatty acids are found in coconut oils and palm kernel oils, and these are far more nutritious than the saturated long chain fatty acids found in animal fats and just about all vegetable fats. The main MCFA in coconut oil is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is generally regarded as being responsible for the vast majority of the health benefits of coconut oil. The only other source of this fatty acid other than coconut oil is in human breast milk. After absorption, lauric acid is metabolized into monolaurin that is the monoglyceride used by the human body to destroy viruses and microbes, and attack the fat coated viruses that cause such diseases as HIV. It destroys flu viruses, a number of dangerous bacteria and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
However, let’s have a look at some of the lesser known effects of coconut oil, such as its effects on the thyroid. Anything that blocks the efficient operation of the thyroid and secretion of the thyroid hormones can lead to excess estrogen in the body that can contribute to excessive blood cholesterol. There is a body of evidence that polyunsaturated fats and oils, such as soy, can have this effect is many people. When coconut oil is used instead, the medium chain fatty acids do not have the same effect, and those that are affected frequently find that their thyroid problem is cured and their blood cholesterol reduces.
This is not to infer that all hypothyroidism can be cured through the use of coconut oil, only those cases caused by consumption of excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Although this is refuted by some medical practitioners that are against the use of supplements in general, it has been supported by medical evidence.
Coconut oil is also good for the digestion, and helps the cure of many digestive problems including Crohn’s Disease. It helps to build lipoproteins, fats and bile in the liver, the latter being essential for digestion. It helps to create a much healthier digestive tract that makes for generally better digestion and more efficient use of the foods you eat. Absorption of the nutrients is maximized and you feel altogether better in yourself when you take a small amount of coconut oil daily.
You can have sugar cravings for a number of reasons, and taking coconut oil can reduce these quickly and effectively, irrespective of their cause. The medium chain fatty acid breaks down and is rapidly metabolized to glucose thus providing a source of the energy your craving is telling you that you lack. It is very useful in reducing sugar cravings without you having to eat excess sugar that can create yeast problems.
If you replace the fats you are currently eating with coconut oil, it will not only act as an appetite suppressant but can also help you to lose weight. The fatty acids in coconut are absorbed immediately and converted to energy thus reducing your immediate need for food and hence your appetite. If you eat the saturated fat in coconut oil rather than the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, then you can lose weight.
Many of the benefits of coconut oil are due to the speed with which the lauric acid is absorbed and metabolized in comparison to the long chain polyunsaturated fats. It is the chain length of the hydrocarbon tail that is important here rather than the number of double bonds in that chain that determines the degree of unsaturation.
Make sure that it is virgin coconut that you use since that is the most nutritious form. Do not be misled by labels claiming the contents to be extra virgin oil, since that is a term borrowed from the olive oil industry, and there is no such thing as extra virgin in relation to coconut oil. Never use refined coconut oil since that will just as bad for you as other saturated oils. Not even ‘Extra Virgin Refined Coconut Oil’ in the mistaken belief that such a label must indicate that the oil is extra good. It does not – it simply indicates that the supplier is a charlatan deliberately trying to mislead you into paying a premium price for a useless product.
Coconut oil may promote a healthy thyroid and digestive function, and all the medical tests indicate that it does. People that use it regularly swear by it and if you have a problem that virgin coconut oil might help, then one thing is sure: it will certainly do you no harm, and all indications are that it will do you a lot of good.
Doctor’s Corner - Relora: Minimizes Stress-Induced Eating
August 09, 2006 01:56 PM
Relora is a proprietary all-natural botanical product developed by Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. it contains ingredients extracted from two plant species that have been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for over 1500 years. These are patented extract from Magnolia officinalis (US Patent No: US 6,582,735) and a patent-pending extract from Phellodendron amurense.
Relora helps relieve stress, anxiety and minimize stress-induced eating, which in turn may help to produce weight loss when used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan. The research and development of Relora involved sophisticated testing and screening for ingredients that have anti-anxiety properties, but no daytime sedative effects. Initially, investigators tested the Magnoliaceae plant family as a lead source of new anti-anxiety products. Scientists first focused on two phytochemicals on constituents in the plant that have “bio-activity” (work positively on the body)—magnolol and honokiol. Through a series of studies, it became clear that Relora was a safe and effective formulation.
Relora works with the body’s natural chemistry to maintain normal levels of stress hormones. These hormones not only affect emotional well-being, but can also have a major impact on appetite and how the body stores and metabolizes fat. By working to re-establish a stable balance of these hormones, relora can help break the stress/weight cycle and restore optimum health to the mind and body.
In addition to normalizing stress hormones, Relora has been shown to control anxiety and the symptoms associated with it: irritability, emotional ups and downs, restlessness, tense muscles, poor sleep, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Daytime sedation often occurs with products that induce relaxation. Not with Relora! This breakthrough botanical provides all the anti-anxiety benefits without inducing daytime sedation. In central nervous system receptor binding assays, the plant extracts in Relora bind to several important targets associated with anxiety. Also if interested, the bark of magnolia officinalis has been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for centuries for stress induced muscular tension.
Relora, Stress and Weight Loss
Stress is reported to play a significant role in a wide variety of health conditions. Recent work with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other major research centers has demonstrated that stress is a significant contributor to immune dysfunction, cardiovascular challenges, other age-related imbalances, and excess body fat. This type of fat is related to stress-induced hormone imbalances, especially imbalances of the hormones cortisol and DHEA. Until now, the only course of action for losing this fat has been stress reduction with exercise and diet, and anyone who has attempted diet and exercise alone often encounters a long, troublesome road. Relora may help the body normalize cortisol and DHEA levels in stressed individuals while inducing relaxation, and act as an aid in controlling weight and stress-related eating.
The increase in cortisol levels signals the brain that the body is in stress, causing food cravings, especially for high-fat, high-sugar foods. These foods, in turn, cause additional stress, thereby fueling the stress-cortisol cycle. Eventually, more fat is stored than the body needs unless sufficient exercise is in place to compensate, or the stress is reduced.
The ingredients in Relora are key supplements that help the adrenal glands to “come back to life” by reducing the excessive stress hormone response in the body and reducing carbohydrate craving behavior.
Results from Human Trials with Relora
Relora was tested at the Living Longer Institute in Cincinnati, OH and found to be safe, effective, rapid acting, non-sedating dietary supplement that helps control occasional mild anxiety. Three hundred forty five female subjects were administered Relora for 2 weeks. The dosage was 200mg of Relora three times daily. Eighty nine percent of the subjects reported that Relora helped them relax, while 78% found Relora to help prevent stress-related eating.
A second trial was undertaken at the Living Longer Institute to measure cortisol and DHEA levels in patients with mild to moderate stress. Elevated cortisol levels and depressed DHEA levels are associated with chronic stress. A two week regimen of Relora produced a significant increase in salivary DHEA (227%) and a significant decrease in morning salivary cortisol levels (37%). These findings support Relora’s ability to relieve stress and its potential role in weight control and stress-related eating behavior.
A third study was completed in late 2002 that evaluated Relora on its ability to improve snacking habits in people who snack on sweets or eat salty snacks when they are under excessive stress. Forty nine subjects were evaluated and it was found that Relora cur sweet snacking in the sweet cravers by 75%! It cut snacking on salty snacks by 50%. Seventy three percent of all individuals in the study reported feeling less stressed while taking Relora.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study was completed in January, 2004. forty premenopausal women were evaluated for stress, anxiety, food intake and weight management. Relora significantly reduced anxiety and prevented weight gain. A significant weight gain occurred in the placebo group while either now weight gain or weight loss occurred in the Relora group.
Suggested Use and Safety
Relora is designed for adults. The suggested daily dose is 1 capsule (250mg) 2 – 3 times per day. Relora is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. if you are pregnant, nursing or taking a prescription drug, consult a health practitioner prior to use.
Dr. James B. LaValle, R.Ph., N.M.D., C.C.N. is a licensed pharmacist (University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy), certified clinical nutritionist (International & American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists), and doctor of naturopathic medicine (Central States College of Health Sciences, IAACN), with more than 18 years clinical practice experience in the field of natural therapeutics and functional medicine. Dr. LaValle is in clinical practice at the Living Longer Institute, a comprehensive wellness, prevention, and early detection program he co-founded. He sits on various scientific advisory boards within the dietary supplement industry. LaValle is also an adjunct professor in the college of pharmacy at The University of Cincinnati and serves as a preceptor in the Department of family Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Depressed? Try these “super 5” supplements
August 09, 2005 03:25 PM
Depressed? Try these “super 5” supplements
While we must first address basic health issues and tackle them individually, nature has provided us with a number of compounds capable of treatment depression by safely raising serotonin levels and by boosting oxygen supplies to brain cells.
1. 5-HTP, a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan, has the ability to boost serotonin production without the negative side effects of drugs like Prozac. It has been successfully used in clinical trials with people suffering from depression that were resistant to traditional therapies. Because it can boost serotonin without the negative side effects of antidepressant drugs, it is one of nature’s best choices as a natural remedy for depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.
2. St. John’s worth as received considerable attention for its ability to successfully treat mild to moderate depression. Numerous studies have concluded that many patients respond as well or better to St. John’s wort than standard drugs. Not surprisingly, German doctors prescribe St. John’s wort four times as often as Prozac for depression.
3. Ginkgo has enjoyed tremendous popularity as an herb capable of boosting memory function. Because depression is viewed by some experts as a condition of brain under-stimulation, ginkgo may be valuable in that it can boost brain cell oxygenation by enhancing blood flow. A French study found that 166 patients with mental disorders significantly improved with ginkgo therapy.
4. Phenylalanine and Tyr osine are two amino acids which elevate serotonin levels and curb excess carbohydrate cravings. Dr. Oscar Janifer, M.D. in his book A Different Kind of Healing, comments: “I’ve had great results with tyrosine. It’s like a natural antidepressant and is a precursor to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.” Phenylalanine acts as precursor to the amines that comprise neurotransmitters (serotonin) in the brain.
5 . NADH, a form of niacin, plays a vital role in the energy production of all cells and is thought to boost brain cell metabolism. It is currently used for Alzheimer’s disease and seems well suited to older individuals suffering fro m depression. NADH levels significantly decline with age.
Virtually any physical stressor can disrupt delicate chemical balances in the brain causing us to feel unexplainably sad for prolonged periods of time. Take a moment to evaluate your life, and look into natural means for assistance.
THE CONNECTION OF PROGESTERONE TO WEIGHT LOSS
July 25, 2005 10:23 PM
THE CONNECTION OF PROGESTERONE TO WEIGHT LOSS
Interestingly estrogen promotes the storing of fat and is responsible for the female contouring of the body, whereas progesterone enhances thermogenesis or fat burning. In addition, using natural progesterone to balance out hormones can help to decrease carbohydrate cravings which are hormonally related. The hormonal flux typical of most female cycles usually produces a premenstrual craving for sweets which is linked to fluctuating blood sugar and serotonin levels in the brain. Many women have found that taking natural progesterone has resulted in a marked decrease of “hormonal eating” which can result in unwanted weight gain. The desire to continually eat during periods of hormonal flux month after month certainly plays a significant role in female obesity.
Excessive hormonal appetite stimulation is not normal, neither is it healthy. Of additional interest is the fact that the more fat stores a woman carries, the more estrogen she makes, further compounding the problem. Fat cells contribute to estrogen dominance which in turn makes it harder to burn fat—a perfectly vicious little cycle. The estrogen factor for any overweight woman must be considered, however, it is rarely addressed. Clearing excess estrogen from the body is absolutely essential for effective weight loss. Again, supplementing the body with natural progesterone can help to accomplish this.
SYMPTOMS OF AN ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
July 25, 2005 09:47 PM
SYMPTOMS OF AN ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
Aside from having your blood or saliva tested, it is relatively easy to assess whether or not you may be suffering from an estrogen dominance. The following symptoms are typical of excess estrogen and progesterone depletion: breast enlargement and tenderness, water retention, heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain (fat on hips and thighs), fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, loss of libido, PMS, mood swings/depression, and certain types of acne.
PRIMARY APPLICATIONS OF STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:55 PM
PRIMARY APPLICATIONS OF STEVIA
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
OBESITY AND POOR LIVER FUNCTION
July 12, 2005 10:26 AM
OBESITY AND POOR LIVER FUNCTION
Unfortunately, the liver’s role in weight reduction is rarely addressed. Boosting liver function is badly neglected in virtually all weight loss programs. The liver is the primary organ involved in purifying the blood of impurities and in metabolizing fat. Liver support should be an integral part of any weight reduction strategy. Milk Thistle can help to expedite the removal of fat from the liver. Poor liver function is usually not implicated as a causal factor for obesity in the first place. O. Nomura and Y. Satomura in the 1986 edition of Int. J. Obesity stated, “Liver function is disturbed in a large percentage of overweight individuals.” The liver also plays a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which can contribute to food cravings and appetite surges.
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! by Mimi Facher Energy Times, June 1, 1997
So you're feeling a little blah, a little overweight, and you're looking to drop a few of those winter pounds gained during the colder months. Maybe you've dabbled with diets and jogged around the neighborhood a few times but you're still packing unsightly bulges. If so, you may be considering the idea of turning to supplements to help you drop those pounds. Well, two types of diet supplements now generally available, combined with a diet and exercise program, may be able to help you trim those stubborn pounds.
The first type of supplement, called metabolic optimizers, which include ephedra, caffeine and salicin (derived from willow bark), boost your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster. The second class, lipotropic substances, aid the body in fat mobilization, causing greater utilization of stored fat. These products include chromium, carnitine and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Both classes of supplements have been around in various forms for quite a while but are now enjoying greater popularity among dieters.
Trying to cope with a weight problem is a dilemma expanding throughout modern society. According to a 1995 Harris poll, nearly 75% of Americans are overweight. Although it's well known that the way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you take in, supplements may be able to help you burn off extra calories.
Thermogenesis and You
Metabolic optimizers are supposed to aid weight loss through a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a natural process in which fat is burned to produce body heat. Fat that isn't burned is stored on the hips, thighs, stomach, etc. Thermogenic agents are designed to counteract your body's fat storage mechanisms by causing your body to maintain a higher metabolic rate-turning your internal thermostat up to burn fat faster. The thermogenic process can be jump-started by a number of factors including cold, exercise, certain dietary nutrients and metabolic optimizers.
The ephedra herb, also known as ma huang is one of nature's earliest medicines, known for over 5000 years to the Chinese, who used it to relieve allergies, coughing, wheezing and cold and flu symptoms. In the US, ephedra has been available since the 1800s.
The ingredients in ephedra include the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norephedrine. Concentrated forms of these substances are used in today's over-the-counter cold, allergy and asthma relief formulas.
Ma huang's effectiveness as a weight loss aid is tied to its appetite suppressant and stimulant properties. By speeding up action of the thyroid gland, the ephedrine found in the herb acts a thermogenic agent, boosting the rate at which the body metabolizes fat and promoting weight loss. According to Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "When used as part of a total package that includes diet modification and exercise, ma huang can be highly effective in the short run because it increases the speed of the body's metabolism and suppresses appetite."
Because of their strong stimulant effect, ephedra and its derivatives have engendered some controversy. However, in its long history, billions of doses of ephedra have been consumed without problem. But ephedra supplements should only be used as directed on product labels. People with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, thyroid or prostate dysfunction, high blood pressure and those taking MAO inhibitors, pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb.
Salicin Burns Fat
Salicin, a substance derived from willow bark-which is also the original source for aspirin, a related compound-can boost the burning of fat when combined with ephedra. An animal study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that while ephedra boosted calorie burning by almost 10%, when ephedra was combined with aspirin, extra calorie burning just about doubled. Another study in the Internatioanl Journal of Obesity showed that when overweight women took aspirin and ephedrine during a meal, their bodies burned off more calories than normal. (Eating a meal produces a thermogenic effect as your body expends energy in digestion. That's why dieters are told not to skip meals. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate, decreasing your calorie expenditure.)
Similar studies also show that caffeine, the stimulant that gives coffee its eye-opening kick, can also boost ephedra's thermogenic properties. But before using these combinations check with a health practitioner knowledgeable about nutrition. Aspirin or salicin may cause stomach upset in some people (although salicin is generally tolerated well.)
Carnitine: Lipotropic Amino Acid
To get carnitine into your system, you don't have to take it as a supplement. Your body already makes this vitamin-like substance. However, your body doesn't make that much. And it is said to be especially low in people with heart disease.
This non-essential amino acid (said to be non-essential because human bodies produce it) is a key ingredient in the formation of mitochondria membranes. Mitochondria are tiny structures in your cells that burn fats for energy. Consequently, sufficient carnitine is necessary for the movement of fat into the mitochondria where it is consumed. When not enough carnitine is present, the breakdown of long chain fatty acids slows down.
Said to improve the recovery rate for athletes (it may limit the production of lactic acid, a waste product in muscle tissue), carnitine can also lower cholesterol levels, boost levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease serum triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). Not bad for a nutrient that coaxes fat into those teeny, ceullular, mitochondrial furnaces.
Go for the Chrome
Chromium-based supplements work as lipotropic agents by aiding insulin use in the body. This essential trace mineral is required for normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. According to Dr. Michael Janson, author of The Vitamin Revolution in Healthcare and President of the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA), "Chromium is important for proper insulin activity. Insulin moves sugar into the muscle cells, where it is burned off as energy. Chromium improves the activity of insulin, and since insulin causes fat deposition, less of it means less fat deposition." Chromium has also been shown to build muscle tissue and to reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.
Although the body's minimum requirement is low, the American diet tends to be deficient in chromium, in part because the mineral can be difficult for the body to absorb. The fact that, in nature, chromium is most powerfully concentrated in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and liver-items most Americans rarely eat-probably hasn't helped either. Other natural sources of chromium include whole grains, molasses and beef. But it is estimated that 50% of Americans are chromium deficient. An early study found that overweight adults taking a chromium supplement lost an average of 22% body fat, while maintaining or gaining lean body mass. In another study, athletes consuming 200 mcg. of chromium a day showed an average loss of 7.5 lbs. of body fat after six weeks, without a corresponding loss of muscle tisue. Overall, although some studies question chromium's precise effects, many experts are optimistic about this substance because of its relationship to insulin in the body's metabolism.
Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)
Another possible addition to the dieter's arsenal is HCA. In nature, HCA appears chiefly in a fruit called garcinia cambogia (sometimes also called Malabar tamarind or brindall berry), a citrus plant found primarily in Asia, where the rind is often used as a flavoring agent. HCA works by inhibiting the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis and acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. HCA is also said to have a role in reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.
Several animal studies have shown that HCA caused significant weight loss without a reduction in lean body mass. In other words, the pounds that came off came out of fat stores, and not out of energy or muscle reserves. This means that HCA takes off not just weight but body fat, making it a potentially effective tool against weight regain.
Dr. Elson Haas, director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA, and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, believes that HCA can be a helpful aid for dieters when used in combination with eating habit changes and exercise. He recommends an HCA and chromium blend for optimum appetite suppression. "This combination can keep the appetite down and reduce sugar cravings," he says.
Although human research data on HCA is still in the preliminary stages, the animal study results are positive, and the supplement seems to have minimal side effects in most people.
Some Overall Recommendations
You are likely to lose weight faster if you eat sensibly. This means avoiding foods high in fat or sugar (which are the most likely to add to stored body fat), but it doesn't mean starving yourself. A sensible balanced diet, along with moderate exercise, is still the best prescription for weight loss. As Dr. Haas puts it, "I'm a firm believer in diet and exercise. Using supplements responsibly can help you to lose weight provided they're combined with dietary changes and exercise. They won't work if you don't change anything." No one is suggesting that dietary supplements are a miracle cure for being overweight-as always in self-health care, there are no magic wands. But, used as directed and combined with a good diet and exercise plan, you could find that these supplements might help you work your way to a slimmer you.
Mimi Facher is a freelance writer who has contributed to Prevention, Cosmopolitan and Self.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
Stevia Sweetleaf with FOS - A Healthy Choice for Balanced Blood Sugar Levels
June 06, 2005 09:08 AM
Since the first sugar cane was brought from exotic South Pacific and Caribbean islands generations ago, Americans have had a love affair with foods that are super sweet but lack true nourishment. This has led to the development of literally thousands of good tasting but nutritionless foods that have contributed to childhood and adult obesity, energy depletion, mood swings, decreased brain function, and countless other negative effects on human health. Nature has also provided help in the form of an amazing herb from Paraguay, Stevia rebaudiana. Now Planetary Formulas brings you this beneficial herb with its introduction of STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS.
STEVIA SWEETLEAF contains a concentrated extract of stevia leaves and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) derived from the roots of the Chicory plant (Cichorium intiba). Stevia leaves have been used as a staple in the diet of the Gaurani Indians for more than 1500 years. One of stevia’s greatest attributes is that it contains no calories and no fat. Traditionally, it was used in foods and as a digestive tonic. Modern research has shown that stevia can help to balance blood sugar levels through an enhancement of insulin production. Balanced blood sugar levels in turn can help maintain stable energy levels, proper brain function, and emotional stability, while also reducing sugar cravings.
Planetary Formulas STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS contains a highly potent stevia extract containing 90% steviosides, the primary active components of stevia. Stevia has been used historically to improve digestion and gastrointestinal function. A healthy gastrointestinal tract is important for digestion, assimilation, the efficient burning of calories, the elimination of toxins, and healthy immune functions. The steviosides in stevia pass through the digestive process without chemically breaking down, so the body obtains no calories from it and it does not contribute to swings in blood sugar levels in the way that consumption of simple sugars do. Modern research suggests stevia has a positive effect on the pancreas, the primary sugar regulating organ of the body.
Unlike many stevia extracts, which are made with toxic extracting solvents, Planetary Formulas uses a water extraction process to avoid the presence of potentially toxic compounds. This is also more ecologically sound: a perfect supplement for people and planet.
FOS is a delicious, fiber-rich group of compounds that also serve as an herbal intestinal prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that promote the body's natural production of friendly flora, most specifically, lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The magic of FOS is that–like the steviosides–it passes through the stomach and small intestine undigested. Once in the colon, it helps to create a healthy bacterial environment. Part of its action in the colon is its ability to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have beneficial effects on fat metabolism that are similar to fiber. The results are improvements in gastrointestinal function, bowel regularity, fat metabolism, and a cleansed colon--all of which are integral to health overall.
This combination of delicious flavor, fiber, blood sugar-balancing, and prebiotic activity makes STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS an ideal dietary supplement for healthy blood sugar levels, digestion, and colon health and as part of a healthy weight management program.
PLANETARY FORMULAS—YOUR SOURCE FOR ADVANCED HERBAL NUTRITION
Planetary Formulas is dedicated to bringing you the finest herbal supplement modern research has to offer. And now compelling research shows how the ingredients in STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and a healthier lifestyle. Available in 2 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.