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Cannabinoid-Pharmaceutical Interactions: What You Need to Know Darrell Miller 2/17/18
CBD for Fibromyalgia and Opioid Withdrawal Darrell Miller 11/12/17
HOW TO FIX ALL YOUR SLEEP PROBLEMS WITH THIS TWO NATURAL INGREDIENTS!! Darrell Miller 9/2/17
Is the water you're drinking linked to causing heart attacks and cancer? Darrell Miller 2/28/17
Herbal medicine: It goes far beyond just replacing drugs Darrell Miller 2/4/17
5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible Darrell Miller 12/31/16
Can Cannabis Help with Inflammation for Athletes? Darrell Miller 12/24/16
Can I Use Senna Leaves As A Laxative Daily? Darrell Miller 9/27/11
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals Darrell Miller 6/2/10
Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination Darrell Miller 3/22/10
Caffeine Addiction Darrell Miller 12/20/08
EFA's - Essential Fatty Acids Darrell Miller 9/15/08
Active Coenzyme Q10 Darrell Miller 7/7/07
Memory And Focus Darrell Miller 5/8/07
Learn about Bone Health! Darrell Miller 4/20/07
CoQ10 for Heart Health Darrell Miller 3/28/07
Neurological Health and CoQ10 Darrell Miller 2/25/07
Night Health: A new approach to improving sleep. Darrell Miller 5/12/06
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine Darrell Miller 11/8/05
THE FDA AND STEVIA Darrell Miller 7/15/05
Pain - Post Op and Relaxation Darrell Miller 7/13/05
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia) Darrell Miller 7/11/05
Vision Quest - help fight eye problems. Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Iron: The Body's LifeBlood Darrell Miller 6/10/05
KudZu, Treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse Darrell Miller 5/19/05
Multidophilus 180ct ... Darrell Miller 5/18/05



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Cannabinoid-Pharmaceutical Interactions: What You Need to Know
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Date: February 17, 2018 03:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Cannabinoid-Pharmaceutical Interactions: What You Need to Know





With the regulatory environment shifting seemingly by the day across much of the U.S., many consumers are getting their first opportunities to consider the benefits of cannabinoids as a means of treating what ails them. However, like any medicines, there are interactions with other pharmaceuticals that need to be taken into consideration. Specifically, they can inhibit the reception and mechanisms of action of many common prescription drugs, including common opiate painkillers. In order to check side effects, it's best to keep a close eye on the literature and carefully research any possible interactions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cytochrome P450 is the key to metabolizing both these drugs and what interacts in our body with it.
  • Cannabinoids may be the key to opiod addiction due to their poor ability for long term dependence and physical addiction
  • You will need to monitor what you take since other drugs can interact poorly with cannabinoids.

"Cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in treating pain, and some phytocannabinoids have been suggested for various metabolic conditions."

Read more: https://www.projectcbd.org/about/cannabis-pharmacology/cannabinoid-pharmaceutical-interactions-what-you-need-know

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5532)


CBD for Fibromyalgia and Opioid Withdrawal
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Date: November 12, 2017 07:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CBD for Fibromyalgia and Opioid Withdrawal





CBD is an alternative to the THC seen in marijuana plants, coming with all of the pain relief but with none of the psychoactive properties. It has been shown that this can help with opioid withdrawal. The author is a 70+ woman who used it daily as a tincture in olive oil to combat her dependence on opioids. It allowed her to kick that habit and develop healthier habits through the use of CBD and her pain management techniques.

Key Takeaways:

  • CBD is being debated for its medical uses in some settings too. It can be used to aid in the treatment of fibromyalgia over time.
  • Even opioid withdrawal could be minimized if the patient opts to use CBD. That is drawing attention towards the utility of CBD for medical reasons.
  • Doctors and other personnel are waiting to evaluate the true effects of CBD. Some research is hinting at its uses and may help get it approved.

"I hope the efficacy of CBD in aiding opiate withdrawal becomes more commonly known. It’s truly incredible."

Read more: https://www.projectcbd.org/science/patient-experience-surveys/cbd-fibromyalgia-and-opioid-withdrawal

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5392)


HOW TO FIX ALL YOUR SLEEP PROBLEMS WITH THIS TWO NATURAL INGREDIENTS!!
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Date: September 02, 2017 05:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: HOW TO FIX ALL YOUR SLEEP PROBLEMS WITH THIS TWO NATURAL INGREDIENTS!!





This was an informational video about solutions for sleep problems. It is recommended that adults get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, but many people have sleep difficulties. Medications are often prescribed, but the video does not recommend using those, as they can be addictive. The video explained what happens to our brains and bodies during different phases of sleep. At the end of the video, there was a provided recipe (all-natural) that you can try for your sleep issues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8nqiUjLYY0&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • Sleep remedies are usually addictive and cause dependence. Sleep without these remedies is usually impossible,
  • Humans have two sleep phases. The physical and dormant phases.
  • Cinnamon and banana potion will help you sleep better without causing dependance.

"Lack of magnesium in the body can cause insomnia and lack of required amount of potassium can remove the ability to sleep consistently throughout the night."

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=5206)


Is the water you're drinking linked to causing heart attacks and cancer?
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Date: February 28, 2017 12:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Is the water you're drinking linked to causing heart attacks and cancer?





Water chlorination has been the cheapest method of disinfection for over a century. Chlorine efficiently disinfects large quantities of water. It is generally used to prevent outbreaks such as salmonella, and can even inactivate the human norovirus. For these reasons, the EPA classifies chlorine as a pesticide. Even though chlorine is an effective pesticide, on a grand scale, it is hard to measure how quickly microorganisms learn to evolve and resist the persistent use of this chemical. Could widespread dependence on chlorine contribute to accelerated microbial resistance?

Key Takeaways:

  • Chlorinated water may be causing health problems, such as cancer and hardened arteries.
  • Chlorine combines with other compounds in water and create trihalomethanes, which cause cellular damage in the body.
  • Filtering water can remove chlorine and reduce damage to people's health.

"Could widespread dependence on chlorine contribute to accelerated microbial resistance?"



Reference:

//www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-17-is-the-water-youre-drinking-linked-to-causing-heart-attacks-and-cancer.html

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=4044)


Herbal medicine: It goes far beyond just replacing drugs
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Date: February 04, 2017 07:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Herbal medicine: It goes far beyond just replacing drugs





When we are sick we go to the doctor, right? Have you ever thought of seeking advice and guidance somewhere else? In America, the use of herbs is significantly overshadowed by dependence on modern medicine. Big Pharma and pill-pushing doctors have made us believe we need those drugs to cure our symptoms and diseases.

Key Takeaways:

  • Herbal medicine: It goes far beyond just replacing drugs.
  • In America, the use of herbs is significantly overshadowed by dependence on modern medicine.
  • While most Americans blindly follow the white coat, know that 75 percent of the global population still use traditional, herbal healing practices to get better.

"As reported by the American Herbalists Guild, in 1987 about 85 percent of modern drugs were derived from plants. Today, only 15 percent has a plant origin. Herbal medicines are prepared from plants or plant parts which contain hundreds to thousands of other compounds."



Reference:

//www.naturalnews.com/2017-01-26-herbal-medicine-the-solution-that-goes-far-beyond-just-replacing-drugs.html

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3879)


5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible
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Date: December 31, 2016 11:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible





On December 14, 2016, in the Federal Register, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg made cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance by making it illegal to use. People suffering from medical issues often use cannabis (CBD) and CBD oil in their treatment. Opponents to the new classification argue that cannabis should not be included in Schedule 1 drugs. For starters, they say it’s not psychoactive, addictive, or dangerous. Also, the US government has conducted research on the drug and concluded that it has medical benefits. In addition, it has been helpful in treating other coditions, like seizures and schizophrenia.

Key Takeaways:

  • That last bit about treaty provisions? That’s the justification for the move. It’s meant to make the United States more compliant with treaties and agreements involving drug and narcotics control.
  • It’s an extract that has promising medical value, and by placing it under the Schedule I umbrella, the DEA is doing more harm than good.
  • They’re basically taking medicine from sick people with this move. It’s really hard to justify. Maybe even an indefensible move.

"While it’s possible to abuse marijuana (along with anything else), dependence and addiction are rare."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//www.cheatsheet.com/culture/reasons-the-dea-marijuana-ruling-is-absurd-and-indefensible.html/%3Fa%3Dviewall&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmM2M2RhZjlmZTVmZDZjMmU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNH3OlhWCT6Ee4sJs2zpnyWswy_1eQ

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3723)


Can Cannabis Help with Inflammation for Athletes?
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Date: December 24, 2016 07:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Cannabis Help with Inflammation for Athletes?





With opioid dependence and overdose deaths reaching epidemic levels, athletes suffering from injuries need alternatives to widely prescribed painkillers. Research suggests that components of the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, and terpenes can play a role in reducing pain and inflammation. Although it is not as powerful a painkiller as opioids, cannabis could be used to help wean athletes off of opioid medication, as well as manage long-term chronic pain.

Key Takeaways:

  • Athletes today are bigger, stronger, and faster than they were just a decade or so ago.
  • Men and women are becoming more competitive thanks in part to technological advancements designed to improve workouts and recovery time.
  • With these innovations, however, come drawbacks.

"One possible alternative to prescription painkillers may come from certain components of the cannabis plant. Recent studies have found that cannabis could possibly reduce inflammation, acting almost like Tylenol."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.leafly.com/news/health/can-cannabis-help-athletes-inflammation&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmZmMDFkMTU2YWMzMmQ5OTU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNHAJ2F2qAtwCOfBQJ3oxDpQe1n_4g

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3693)


Can I Use Senna Leaves As A Laxative Daily?
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Date: September 27, 2011 12:52 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can I Use Senna Leaves As A Laxative Daily?

What Are Senna Leaves Good For?

Senna is a plant which belongs to the family of flowering plants known as Fabaceae. This plant can be abundantly found in tropical regions. This plant is considered to be a shrub. However, some seemingly looks like an herb or a small tree. Senna is one of the most commonly used herbal laxatives. Other names of Senna are Cassia Senna, Tinnevelly Senna, India Senna, Alexandrian Senna, and Khartoum Senna.

The active ingredients of Senna are called Anthraquinone and glycosides. As a laxative, the active chemical in Senna acts primarily on the large intestine, therefore, this herb has a promising effect in relieving constipation. Clinical studies have also reported that Senna can enhance peristaltic movement of the intestines. This is possible because of its irritating effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines.

To be specific, Senna is an effective laxative. It is categorized as a bowel stimulant or irritant. This type of laxative acts primarily on the mucosa of the intestines and stimulates the nerve plexus to influence water and nutrient absorption as well as reabsorption. This alteration will then lead to the stimulation of peristaltic activity of the bowel. Thus, digestive tract movement is increased and stool elimination is induced. However, this may not be safe under certain circumstances. For this reason, stimulant laxatives must be used cautiously and employed for a short period of time only. As a result, Senna can also be employed as one of the weight loss herbal agents.

Moreover, the leaf of Senna plant consists of essential oils which can potentially destroy harmful microorganisms that can cause skin irritations such as rashes, blisters and acne. In the traditional medicine, Senna leaves are prepared in the form of paste which is then applied on skin to treat ringworms and other skin infections.

In addition, another health benefit of Senna is its potent antioxidant property. According to chemical studies, Senna herb contains high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to the body because they help prevent diseases by way of eliminating harmful toxins from the body. One of these harmful chemicals is called free radicals. These kinds of substances occur naturally in the body as an end – product of biological reactions. Free radicals can cause interruption on cellular division by altering replication of DNA. Aside from that, it can also cause damage to healthy cells of the body, thus promoting illnesses and diseases.

With the several health benefits of Senna, it must not be employed as a substitute to prescribed medications. This herb is available in supplements. You can purchase this product in many health and drug stores or even Online. However, it must not be abused. More importantly, medical consultation must be done first so that adverse effects and untoward drug interactions will be avoided. Use Senna herbal supplement as labeled or prescribed. Like any other laxative, do not use this in large amount and for a longer period of time. This may cause dependence in which you cannot have a bowel movement without the use of such supplement or laxative.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2463)


Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
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Date: June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals

Inflama-Care 60 tabs from PLANETARY HERBALSOur modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.

These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.

A Powerful Herbal Blend

Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.

This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.

Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.

Immune Activating Mushroom

Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.

Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern Chaga Full Spectrum 60 tabs from PLANETARY HERBALSlatitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”

In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.

The PhytoDynamic Difference

Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2165)


Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination
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Date: March 22, 2010 09:07 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination

turmeric root sample for articleTurmeric / Boswellia Complex

Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as great challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient-imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health. These unhealthy lifestyles and environmental changes have set our immune system on overdrive, a state call metabolic inflammation. Planetary Herbals Inflama-Care is a potent, herbal response to these modern challenges.

The Inflammation Cycle

As toxins and stress begin to alter our body chemistry and change the function of vital tissues, our body reacts with metabolic inflammation just as if it were being attacked. This reaction may result in a perpetual cycle of chemical imbalances and suboptimal health. Yet metabolic inflammation is often below the threshold of perception, not noticed or felt for years after its starts. It is only much later that the altered biochemistry and the system imbalances that it generates are noticed.

A Powerful Herbal Blend boswellia sample for article Inflama-Care helps support the body’s natural response to metabolic inflammation. The main component of the formula is the rhizome of the curcuma species, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (Curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines—inflammation messengers. This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits proinflammatory enzymes, and ginger, an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skull cap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.

The PhytoDynamic Difference

Planetary Herbals presents inflama-Care to help maintain the body’s biochemical balance and integrity. Inflama-care was formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. Thie result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Inflama-Care 60 tabs from PLANETARY HERBALS

Amount %DV
Calories 5
Calcium (naturally occurring and dibasic calcium phosphate) 57 mg 6%
Sodium (naturally occurring) 5 mg <1%
Turmeric Rhizome Extract (95% curcumin) 900 mg
Boswellia serrata Gum Resin Extract (85% boswellic acid) 400 mg
Ginger Root Extract (5% gingerol) 250 mg
Willow Bark Extract (15% salicin) 100 mg
Chinese Skullcap Root Ext. (30% flavones) 100 mg
Bromelain 100 mg
Papain 100 mg
Hops Flower Extract (Perluxan™) yielding 30 mg Humulex™ alpha-acids 50 mg
Corydalis yanhusuo Tuber 50 mg
Holy Basil Leaf Extract (2% ursolic acid) 50 mg
Quercetin 50 mg
Rosemary Leaf Extract (20% diterpenes) 50 mg
trans-Resveratrols (from Polygonum cuspidatum root extract) 25 mg
Masson Pine Bark Ext. (95% procyanidolic value) 25 mg
Grape Seed Extract (95% procyanidins) 25 mg
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) (from decaffeinated green tea leaf extract) 25 mg
Lecithin 25 mg
Black Pepper Fruit Extract (Bioperine®) 5 mg

~video~

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=2132)


Caffeine Addiction
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Date: December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Caffeine Addiction

If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.

Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.

Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.

The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.

Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.

Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.

Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=1952)


EFA's - Essential Fatty Acids
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Date: September 15, 2008 09:42 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: EFA's - Essential Fatty Acids

Many recent studies have found that EFAs may be extremely helpful for many chronic, stubborn conditions. Their continuously growing range of applications includes overcoming diseases such as alcoholism, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease; strengthening the immune system; helping eliminate yeast infection; reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; minimizing inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis; and assisting in the proper management of weight.

Alcohol dependence is an extremely serious condition that often results in decreased life expectancy, suicide, degeneration of the brain and liver, osteoporosis, and many other conditions. For each person, the rate at which alcohol is metabolized in the body is different, as a lot of it has to do with the person's nutritional status, the concentration and activity of liver enzymes, and the rate at which alcohol is consumed.

Alcoholics tend not to eat because the calories from alcohol, although nutrient-poor, diminish the appetite, causing many alcoholics to become extremely malnourished. An overall nutritional program should be employed to those people who are dependant on alcohol, which should include vitamins A, C, and B, complex, along with zinc, magnesium, selenium, amino acids, milk thistle, acidophilus, antioxidants, L-carnitine, and essential fatty acids. EFAs, especially those that are high in GLA, keep blood lipid levels from going out of control.

The body's immune system has a vital role in protecting us against cancer, as it recognizes and annihilates any abnormal cells before they have the chance to multiply and do damage. When the immune system is overwhelmed or not functioning properly, abnormal cells will reproduce without having anything to stop them. Because of the rapidly growing tumors which have a huge appetite for nutrition to keep them going, cancer patients often become malnourished and lose weight. A diet that is rich in cruciferous vegetables, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, minerals, and essential fatty acids can help prevent breast cancer. Research shows that EFAs, especially GLA, have anti-tumor properties.

All of the cells in the body have a dependence on nutrients that are transported through the circulatory network. When blood vessels become clogged with fats and cholesterol, nutrition distribution is hindered and blood flow can be stopped in some areas, causing the heart to die. Exercise is a good for increasing circulation and keeping the blood from getting stuck. A diet that is high fruits, vegetables, natural fiber, and low in saturated fats, meats, and homogenized dairy products is also a good idea. Additionally, antioxidants, hawthorn berry, ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, Co Q-10, L-carnitine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and EFAs will also be of benefit to the cardiovascular system.

Essential fatty acids have been shown to stop the growth of yeast organisms in the body. They do so by helping the oxygen to flow to cells. Since yeast is anaerobic, it cannot thrive in the presence of oxygen. Yeast overgrowth can cause a variety of symptoms that are often diagnosed as another condition, ranging from joint swelling to memory loss.

PMS is a collection of symptoms that occurs one to two weeks before menstruation, affects about one-third of women who are younger than forty. It is caused by hormone imbalances, which result in anxiety, irritability, and mental sluggishness. Research has found that women with PMS usually eat more refined carbohydrates, dairy products, and sodium, and less iron and other minerals than those women who do not experience this condition. Vitamin B complex, beta carotene, vitamin E, magnesium, milk thistle, acidophilus, and essential fatty acids are very helpful for PMS. Essential fatty acids, especially GLA, are helpful in balancing the body's hormone levels.

Reducing symptoms of disease like arthritis or PMS is important to all those who suffer from them. EFA's can help reduce the symptoms of these diseases. American diets are low in EFA's and one should consume them either in the foods they eat or supplement form to help the body strengthen its self and fight off disease.



--
Buy EFA's At Vitanet ®, LLC

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Active Coenzyme Q10
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Date: July 07, 2007 01:30 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Active Coenzyme Q10

Active CoQ10

 

The benefits of Coenzyme Q10 have become increasingly well-known. This important nutrient has been shown in clinical trials to improve heart function, reduce the side effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer, and slow the progression of serious brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Now research has opened a new chapter in the CoQ10 story, highlighting the benefits of ubiquinol, the active form of CoQ10, to increase energy and stamina, and reduce some of he physical signs of aging.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor we will review the benefits of Coenzyme Q10, and discuss the differences between CoQ10 and its active form –ubiquinol.

 

Q. What is CoQ10?

A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone. That’s because CoQ10 is ubiquitious and exists everywhere there is life. CoQ10 is vital to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all processes requiring energy in the body. Although CoQ10 is produced by the body and exists in some limited dietary sources, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. Also, some drugs, especially a group of cholesterol lowering prescription drugs known as “statins,” (Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.) significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.

 

Q. What is ubiquinol? Is it the same or different from CoQ10?

A. Ubiquinol and CoQ10 are very closely related. Ubiquinone, or CoQ10, is the oxidized form of the molecule. This means it has to be converted to a non-oxidized form before it can perform its work. Ubiquinol is the active form of this nutrient. Our bodies convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol – which is the form needed to produce cellular energy. Until recently, it was not possible to use ubiquinol as a supplement because it is very unstable outside the human body. But research has now found a way to keep this molecule stable so it can be successfully taken in supplement form.

 

Q. If CoQ10 gets converted to ubiquinol anyway, can’t I just take CoQ10?

A. While it is true that our bodies can convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol, it isn’t true that we all do this equally well. In fact, as we age, our ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol declines. And some people even have a gene that makes them less effective at this conversion than the majority of the population. IN fact, several common health issues have been associated with less than optimal ratios of CoQ10 to QH. For healthy people the ideal ratio is approximately 97% Ubiquinol to 3% CoQ10. But in people with diabetes, for example, the ratios have been found to range from 43% ubiquinol to 47% CoQ10 in mild diabetes, to only 24% ubiquinol to 76% CoQ10 in severe diabetes. These numbers are for men; the numbers for women vary by 2 to 5 percentage points.

So for older folks, the 30-50% of people who have the gene that impairs CoQ10 conversion, or for people who have serious health concerns, supplementing with ubiquinol instead of CoQ10 might be the smart choice.

 

Q. What are the health benefits of CoQ10 and Ubiquinol?

A. There have been many studies showing that CoQ10 is beneficial in treating and preventing heart disease and conditions such as high blood pressure atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina, and congestive heart failure (CHF). It’s been shown that heart attacks tend to occur when CoQ10 levels are low in the body. Exciting new research has found that CoQ10 in a unique delivery system supplementation may slow the progression of symptoms associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, CoQ10 is beneficial for diabetes, immune dysfunction, cancer, periodontal disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disease. While the research on ubiquinol is still very new, it is reasonable to expect that its benefits will be equal to or perhaps even better than CoQ10, because it is the more active form.

 

Q. Why is CoQ10 especially important for preventing and treating heart disease, and for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease?

A. The heart and brain are some of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. Both require large amounts of uninterrupted energy, which means these tissues also need increased amounts of ubiquinol. Research has shown that many people with heart of brain diseases have serum CoQ10 levels that are lower than those of healthy people. Correcting such deficiencies often can produce significant results. However, these diseases become more common as we age – right at the time our ability to convert CoQ10 to its active form, ubiquinol, declines.

 

Q. How might ubiquinol be important for the heart?

A. Heart Health: A study on patients admitted to the hospital with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) found that CoQ10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with a heart attack if administered within three days of the onset of symptoms. Seventy-three patients received CoQ10 (120 mg/d). The study’s control group consisted of 71 similarly matched patients with acute AMI. After treatment, angina pectoris (severe chest pain signifying interrupted blood flow to the heart), total arrhythmias (dangerously irregular heartbeats), and poor function in the left ventricle (the essential chamber of the heart) were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden cardiac failure and nonfatal heart attacks also were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group.

In another study, CoQ10 was studied in 109 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The patients were given varying doses of supplemental CoQ10 with the goal of attaining a certain blood level (greater than 2.0 mcg/l). Most patients were on medications to treat hypertension. Half the patients were able to stop taking some or all of their prescription drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10. The 9.4% of patients who had echocardiograms, performed both before and during treatment, experienced a highly significant improvement in heart wall thickness and function. This improvement was directly attributed to CoQ10 supplementation.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a debilitating disease that affects 5 million people in the U.S. It causes edema, difficult breathing, and impaired circulation. In another study, CoQ10 restored healthy heart function in CHF patients. Patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the investigators introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of patients’ hearts to determine the degree of CHF damage to the heart muscle. The patients’ heart muscles at rest and work improved significantly. The researchers concluded CHF patients would greatly benefit from adjunctive CoQ10 treatment. Since ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, it may be able to overcome the hurdles to providing maximum impact, most importantly, age and genetic related inefficiencies in converting CoQ10 to active CoQ10 (Ubiquinol).

 

And Neurological Health?: A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health showed that supplementing with CoQ10 in a unique delivery system was associated with a slowing of the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Participants were divided into 4 groups and their physical skills (coordination, walking, etc) and mental skills were evaluated. Each group then received 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of a special form of chewable CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers evaluated the participants after 1, 4,8, 12, and 16 months of treatment. Each participant was again scored on motor, mental, and activities of daily living skills.

The results of the study showed that the people who took the highest dosage of CoQ10-1200 mg-experienced the least decline in their physical abilities. The results were so encouraging that the researchers will be continuing with new studies, suing higher dosages to see if the results can get even better.

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating and degenerative inherited disease that is always fatal. In fact, no other medication, drug, or nutritional supplement has ever been shown to cause a decline in the progression of this terrible disease. A study compared CoQ10 against remacemide (an investigational HD drug made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals), in 347 HD patients who were in the early stages of the disease. Remacemide blocks glutamate, the neurotransmitter scientists think may cause the death of brain cells that occurs in Huntington’s disease. While remacemide had no effect on the progression of HD, CoQ10 showed a trend toward slowing the disease by an average of 15%. This meant the HD group taking CoQ10 was able to handle every day activities of life a little longer than the patients taking remacemide or a placebo. They also were able to focus their attention better, were less depressed, and less irritable.

The 15% slowing of decline can result in about one more year of independence of HD patients. Needless to say, the gift of an additional year of health in the lives of HD patients is incredibly significant.

Because of these impressive results, researchers are hopeful that supplemental CoQ10 will have beneficial effects for people with other neurological diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease, too. Studies are under way to confirm these effects.

Using the active form of CoQ10 helps to assure that, regardless of age or illness, the CoQ10 can have the greatest impact.

 

Q. What have been the results of research studies with Ubiquinol?

A. One of the most interesting effects of Ubiquinol that has been reported so far is its ability to slow the physical signs of aging. In laboratory studies, administration of stable ubiquinol to mice forestalled the changes associated with aging – rounded spine, patchy fur and irritated eyes. While the mice who received ubiquinol did not necessarily live longer than the mice that didn’t, they lived better. But it is important to note that these mice were bred to die at a young age. Human studies are needed to determined true impact on longevity.

Additionally, supplemental, stable ubiquinol has been shown to increase physical energy and stamina. In an animal study, the length of time rats were able to run on a treadmill before getting tired was measured. The same rats were then given ubiquinol and the treadmill test was repeated. The length of time the rats were able to run before tiring increased 150 times.

 

Q. How can one supplement have applications for neurological diseases, heart health, and even the immune system?

A. Supplements often have more than one function, especially when it’s a substance like CoQ10, which is present in all parts of the body. All nucleated cells (most cells other than red blood cells) have mitochondria and all cells require energy to function. CoQ10 is vital to ATP production. Thus, CoQ10 has applications not only in neurological (neurons or nervous system cells) and cardiac health (myocardium or heart tissue), but also for the immune system.

 

Q. Should I take CoQ10 or ubiquinol? How much should I take?

A. While everyone can benefit from CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplementation, it appears that ubiquinol should be the first choice for older adults, people with known genetic inefficiencies in converting CoQ10 to ubiquinol, and for people with serious heart disease or neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, who are otherwise supplementing with high levels of CoQ10. For people in overall good health, a high quality CoQ10 supplement with proven absorption is a good choice.

Take 200 to 300 mg of CoQ10 or 100 mg ubiquinol daily, depending on your health history. The safety of both forms has been tested, and no significant side effects reported. Occasional mild stomach upset may occur. Taking your CoQ10 or ubiquinol with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.

 

Conclusion
CoQ10 is not the only answer to the complex issues of heart disease, neurological diseases, or immune dysfunction; however, research indicates that it’s a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagines. The more we study this naturally occurring compound, the more benefits we find. And with this new ability to provide CoQ10 in its active form, ubiquinol, for the first time, even greater benefits may be derived.

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Memory And Focus
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Date: May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Memory And Focus

Memory & Focus

 

Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.

This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.

The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.

In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important co-enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.

 

Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?

A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.

While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.

After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.

Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.

While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.

 

Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?

A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.

Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.

A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.

 

Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?

A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..

Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.

 

Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?

A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.

One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.

Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.

In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.

 

Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?

A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in India and has a long history as a natural medicine. In a recent study, bacopa was compared to a placebo in its effect on memory. Adults between the ages of 40 and 65 were divided into 2 groups. Half got the bacopa and half got a placebo. Researchers, who didn’t k now which patients got the bacopa, tested both groups’ memory before the study, at three months, and when the study ended six weeks later. The results showed the group taking the bacopa extract was able to remember new information much better than the group taking the placebo.

 

Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?

A. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like coenzyme that prevents memory and focus problems we might have later on. ALA is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that works especially well with other antioxidants. An antioxidant’s job is to disarm damaging free radicals, those naturally occurring molecules that damage cells and cause disease. ALA has potent antioxidant action in almost all the tissues of the body, helps generate energy from food an oxygen, can get directly to the nerves, and plays an important role in the “antioxidant network”.

Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly, ALA’s effect in the illness has been studied extensively. Researchers have learned that ALA not only prevents free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease, but also regulates protective chemicals in the brain that help improve symptoms.

In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given ALA supplements for an average of 11 months. At the end of the study, the participants were tested again. The results showed that every person had higher scores on the thought and memory tests than they had at the beginning.

ALA is unique among antioxidants, as it can neutralize free radicals in both the fat and the water of cells. In contrast, the well known vitamin C is only water-soluble, while the popular antioxidant vitamin E is only soluble in fat. Because ALA is easily absorbed, enters cells and tissues in a highly usable form, performs a variety of antioxidant actions (including rejuvenation of other antioxidants), and is both fat and water soluble, many researchers label ALA an “ideal antioxidant”.

 

Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?

A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.

Like ALA, vitamins B6 and B12 help prevent memory and focus problems further on down the road. One important recent discovery is the role of homocysteine in brain diseases. These important B vitamins can reduce homocysteine, an amino acid (the building blocks of protein) that is produced in the human body. Homocysteine irritate s blood vessels, makes it easier for blood to clot, and can cause cholesterol to become more harmful.

Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.

Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.

 

Q. What about folic acid?

A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.

An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.

Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.

 

Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.

Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.

It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Conclusion

Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of America gets older, dementia is continuing to affect a larger proportion of society. Prevention of these devastating diseases has become increasingly important.

In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and ALA can improve age-related memory loss and potentially prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as we age.



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Improve Memory and Focus at Vitanet Vitamin Store

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Learn about Bone Health!
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Date: April 20, 2007 12:43 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Learn about Bone Health!

Bone Health

Approximately 44 million American women and men aged 50 and older have osteoporosis (severe bone loss) or osteopenia (mild bone loss), with women being affected about twice as often as men. At least 1.5 million fractures of the hip, vertebra (back or neck), or wrist occur each year in the United States as a result of osteoporosis, and the annual cost of treating this disorder is nearly $14 billion and rising. Unfortunately, the toll in human suffering and loss of independence is even greater.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss the risk factors for osteoporosis and some key nutrients you can add to your diet that can minimize bone loss and reduce your chances of developing this disease.

Q. What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

A. Small body frame, underweight, Caucasian or Asian race, a sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake, high intake of carbonated beverages (especially colas), and having other family members with osteoporosis all increase personal risk of developing the disease. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, celiac disease, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive lung disease, hyperadrenalism, and hyperparathyroidism, are all associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Some medications increase the rate at which bone is lost; these include drugs prescribed for the treatment of seizures, drugs used for blood thinning, steroids such as prednisone, aluminum-containing antacids, and loop diuretics (furosemide {Lasix}).

Q. Isn’t bone loss just a normal consequence of aging?

A. Although bone mass normally declines after the age of 35, bone loss severe enough to cause fractures after just minor trauma (such as bump or fall) seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. Osteoporosis was rare in the late 19th century, and it was not until around 1920 that the condition began to attract attention among doctors. Since that time, the percentage of people who develop osteoporosis has continued to increase. For example, the age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis in England and Sweden double between 1950 and 1980. In addition, the percentage of elderly people with osteoporosis in some developing countries is lower than that of elderly Americans, despite lower calcium intakes in the developing countries, further suggesting that osteoporosis is a disease of modern civilization.

Q. Can osteoporosis be prevented?

A. Engaging in regular weight bearing exercise, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and quitting smoking will slow the rate of bone loss. Eating adequate, but not excessive, amounts of protein also enhances bone health. In addition, a growing body of research has shown that supplementing with various vitamins and minerals may not only help prevent, but in some cases actually reverse, bone loss. At least 15 different nutrients have been found to play a role in bone health.

Q. What type of calcium is best?

A. For most people, calcium salts are absorbed about the same, between 30% and 40% of the administered dose. People who low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) should not use calcium carbonate, because that form of calcium is absorbed poorly in the absence of stomach acid. Calcium phosphate may be preferable for many older people, because phosphorus is necessary for normal bone formation, the phosphorus intake of older people is often low, and calcium supplements inhibit the absorption of phosphorus.

Also, calcium bound to phosphorus is the form in which calcium in the bone is stored, and it has a much greater bone activity than other forms.

Q. How much vitamin D is needed to promote strong bones?

A. Because vitamin D is produced when the ultraviolet rays from the sun hit skin, people who stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen, or live in a northern latitude (such as Boston or Seattle) where less ultraviolet light reaches the skin, are at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. In addition, aging decreases a person’s ability to synthesize vitamin D in the skin. Results from five research trials on vitamin D found that supplementation with 700-800 IU of vitamin D per day decreased the number of hip fractures by 26%, but 400 IU per day was ineffective. In addition to enhancing bone health, vitamin D improves nerve and muscle function in older people, thereby reducing their chances of falling down. Supplementation of elderly women with 800 IU of vitamin D per day has been shown to decrease the number of falls by about 50%.

Q. Is that much vitamin D safe?

A. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine established a “safe upper limit” of 2,000 IU per day in 1997. More recent research suggests that up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day is safe for the average person. However, you likely don’t need nearly this much to address most bone issues.

Q. Why would nutrients besides calcium and vitamin D is important?

A. Bone is living tissue, constantly remodeling itself and engaging in numerous biological functions. Like other tissues in the body, bone has a wide range of nutritional needs. The typical refined and processed American diet has been depleted of many different vitamins and minerals, some of which play a key role in promoting bone health. Not getting enough of one or more of these micronutrients may be and important contributing factor to the modern epidemic of osteoporosis. In addition, supplementing with calcium may cause a loss of magnesium, zinc, silicon, manganese, and phosphorus, unless these nutrients are also provided.

Q. What nutrients besides calcium and vitamin D promote healthy bones?

A. Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin K, boron, strontium, silicon, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and vitamin C have all been shown to play a role in bone health. Following is a brief description of the role that each of these 15 nutrients play in building healthy bones.

Calcium: A component of the mineral crystals that make up bone.

Vitamin D: Enhances calcium absorption, prevents falls by improving nerve and muscle function.

Magnesium: Important for bone mineralization (accumulation of minerals which form bones). Magnesium deficiency is associated with abnormal bone mineral crystals in humans. In an open clinical trial, magnesium supplementation increased bone mineral density by an average 5% after 1-2 years in postmenopausal women.

Copper: Laboratory research has found that copper promotes bone mineralization and decreases bone loss, and that osteoporosis can develop if the diet is deficient in copper. Western diets often contain less copper than the amount recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. In a 2-year double-blind trail, copper supplementation reduced bone loss by 90% in middle-aged women, compared with a placebo.

Zinc: Like magnesium, zinc is important for bone mineralization, and also has been shown to decrease bone loss. Low dietary zinc intake was associated with increased fracture risk in a study of middle-aged and elderly men. The zinc content of the diet is frequently low; a study of elderly low-income people found they were consuming only half the Recommended Dietary Allowance for this mineral.

Manganese: Plays a role in the creation of the connective-tissue components of bone. Manganese deficiency in laboratory tests resulted in low bone mineral density and weak bones. Manganese deficiency may be associated with the development of osteoporosis.

Boron: Supports creation of bone-protecting hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and DHEA. Boron supplementation prevented bone loss in experimental studies. In human volunteers consuming a low-boron diet, boron supplementation decreased urinary calcium excretion by 25-33%, a change that may indicate reduced bone loss.

Silicon: Plays a role in the synthesis of the connective-tissue components of bone. Silicon deficiency has been associated with bone abnormalities. In an observational study, higher dietary silicon intake correlated with higher bone mineral density. In a clinical trial, administration of an organic silicon compound increased bone mineral density of the femur (or thigh bone) in postmenopausal women.

B vitamins (folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12): These three B vitamins have been shown to lower blood levels of homocysteine, a breakdown product of the amino acid methionine. An elevated homocysteine concentration is a strong and independent risk factor for fractures in older men and women. Homocysteine levels increase around the time of menopause, which may explain in part why bone loss accelerates at that time. In a 2-year double-blind trial, supplementation of elderly stroke patients with folic acid and vitamin B12 reduced the number of hip fractures by 78%, compared with a placebo.

Strontium: This trace mineral is incorporated into bone and appears to increase bone strength. It also stimulates bone formation and inhibits bone breakdown. Controlled trials have demonstrated that strontium supplementation of postmenopausal women increases bone mineral density and decreases fracture risk.

Vitamin K: Best known for its effect on blood clotting, vitamin K is also required for the creation of osteocalcin, a unique protein found in bone that participates in the mineralization process. The amount of vitamin K needed for optimal bone health appears to be greater than the amount needed to prevent bleeding. Vitamin K levels tend to be low in people with osteoporosis. In randomized clinical trials, supplementation of postmenopausal women with vitamin K prevented bone loss and reduced the incidence of fractures.

Q. Which form of vitamin K is best?

A. Two forms of vitamin K compounds are present in food: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 (also called phylloquinone) is present in leafy green vegetables and some vegetable oils, and vitamin K2 is found in much smaller amounts in meat, cheese, eggs, and natto (fermented soybeans).

To make things a little more complicated, Vitamin K2 itself can occur in more than one form. The two most important to this discussion are menaquinine-4 (MK-4, also called menatetrenone), which is licensed as a prescription drug in Japan, and menaquinone-7 (MK-7), which is extracted from natto.

Research suggests that MK-7 from natto may be an ideal form of vitamin K. The biological activity of MK-7 in laboratory studies was 17 times higher than that of vitamin K1 and 130 times higher than that of MK-4. After oral administration, MK-7 was better absorbed and persisted in the body longer, compared with MK-4 and vitamin K1. Although both have shown ability to prevent osteoporosis in laboratory research, a much lower dosage (600 times lower) of MK-7 is required, compared to MK-4, to obtain beneficial effects.

Thus, MK-7 has greater biological activity, greater bioavailability, and possibly more potent effects on bone, compared with other forms of vitamin K. The potential value of MK-7 for bone health is supported by an observational study from Japan, in which increasing natto consumption was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture. While additional research needs to be done, the available evidence suggests that the best forms of vitamin K for long-term use at physiological doses are MK-7 and vitamin K1.

Q. Why is strontium so important in building strong bones?

A. Strontium is of great interest to bone health researchers and has been studied in very high doses. Surprisingly, lower doses are not only safer for long-term supplementation, but may in fact have a greater impact on bone health than very high doses. Too little, and bone density is impaired; too much and health may be impaired. This is a case where dosing needs to be just right for optimal impact. Therefore, until more is known, it is wise to keep supplemental strontium at less than 6 mg per day.

Q. Can people taking osteoporosis medications also take bone-building nutrients?

A. Because nutrients work by a different mechanism than osteoporosis drugs, nutritional supplements are likely to enhance the beneficial effect of these medications. Calcium or other minerals may interfere with the absorption of biphophonates such as alendronate (Fosamax) or etidronate (Didronel). For that reason, calcium and other minerals should be taken at least two hours before or two hours after these medications. Also, it is always best to discuss the supplements you are using with your healthcare practitioner to create an integrated health plan.

Final thoughts…

Bone health ramifications extend beyond osteoporosis and fractures. Bone health is essential for freedom of movement, safety, comfort, independence and longevity. Weak bones do not heal well – sometimes they never heal at all. Osteoporosis-related fractures rob us of our mobility and consign thousands of Americans to walkers and wheelchairs every year. In fact, 40% of people are unable to walk independently after a hip fracture, and 60% still require assistance a year later. The most terrible consequence of fractures related to osteoporosis is mortality. The impairment of the ability to move around freely can cause pneumonia and skin damage leading to serious infections. It is estimated that suffering a hip fracture increases the risk of dying almost 25%. Making bone health a priority now will allow you to reap health dividends for many years to come.



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CoQ10 for Heart Health
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Date: March 28, 2007 12:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CoQ10 for Heart Health

CoQ10 for Heart Health

 

More than 40% of all deaths in the U.S. are from cardiovascular disease (CVD). You have a greater chance of dying from heart disease than from cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and accidents combined. More than 2,600 Americans die each day of CVD – an average of 1 death every 33 seconds. One in 5 men and women have some form of CVD. If all forms of major CVD were eliminated, life expectancy would rise by almost 7 years.

One of the most – if not the most – important things people can do to improve their overall health and life expectancy is to improve their heart health. Diet, exercise, and the wise use of dietary supplements can improve heart health dramatically. One dietary supplement that’s extremely beneficial to heart health is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

 

Q. What is CoQ10?

A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone. That’s because CoQ10 is ubiquitous and exists everywhere there is life. CoQ10 is vital to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body. Although COQ10 is produced by the body and exists in some dietary sources, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. Also, some drugs, especially a group of cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs known as “statin,” (Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.) significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.

 

Q. For what health conditions is CoQ10 used?

A. CoQ10 is beneficial in treating and preventing CVD and conditions such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina, and congestive heart failure (CHF). It’s been shown that heart attacks tend to occur when CoQ10 levels are low in the body. In addition, CoQ10 is beneficial for diabetes, immune dysfunction, cancer, periodontal disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disease.

 

Q. Why is CoQ10 especially important to heart health?

A. The heart is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. In the average person, the heart propels 2,000 gallons of blood through 65,000 miles of blood vessls by beating 100,000 times each day. Thus, it requires large amounts of uninterrupted energy. Heart cells have a greater number of mitochondria, and subsequently, more CoQ10 than any other type of cell. Each heart cell can have thousands of mitochondria to meet these energy demands.

 

Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as cell powerhouses. These tiny energy-produces produce 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. A cell’s ATP production is dependent on adequate amounts of CoQ10.

 

Heart disease patients are commonly CoQ10 deficient. Correcting such deficiencies often can produce amazing results. The presence of supplemental CoQ10 is a key to the heart’s optimum performance.

In people who have had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), CoQ10 assists in repairing the heart muscle and restoring heart function. This is due to increased ATP production.

 

Q. What studies support this fact?

A. A 1998 study found CoQ10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with a heart attack if administered within three days of the onset of symptoms. The study focused on patients admitted to the hospital with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis. Seventy-three patients received CoQ10 (120 mg/d). The study’s control group consisted of 71 similarly matched patients with acute AMI. After treatment, angina pectoris (severe chest pain signifying interrupted blood flow to the heart), total arrhythmias (dangerously irregular heartbeats), and poor function in the left ventricle (the essential chamber of the heart) were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden cardiac failure and nonfatal heart attacks also were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group.

 

In another study, CoQ10 was studied in 109 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The patients were given varying doses of supplemental CoQ10 with the goal of attaining a certain blood level (greater than 2.0 mcg/l). Most patients were on medications to treat hypertension. Half the patients were able to stop taking one to three antihypertensive drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10. Only 3% of patients required the addition of one antihypertensive drug. The 9.4% of patients who have echo cardiograms, performed both before and during treatment, experienced a highly significant improvement in heart wall thickness and function. This improvement was directly attributed to CoQ10 supplementation.

 

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a debilitating disease that affects 5 million people in the U.s. It causes edema, difficult breathing, and impaired circulation. In another study, CoQ10 restored healthy heart function in CHF patients. Patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the investigators introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of patients’ hearts to determine the degree of CHF damage to the heart muscle. The patients’ heart muscles at rest and work improved significantly. The researchers concluded CHF patients would greatly benefit from adjunctive CoQ10 treatment.

 

Q. I’ve heard that CoQ10 can also help people who have neurological diseases. Is this true?

A. Yes, it is. CoQ10 has been studied for its ability to improve the health of individuals with amotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. A recently completed study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health showed that CoQ10 caused a slowing of the progression of Huntington’s disease, a devastating and degenerative disease that is always fatal. In fact, no other medication, drug, or nutritional supplemental has ever been shown to cause a decline in the progression of this terrible disease.

 

The study compared CoQ10 against remacemide (an investigational HD drug made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals), in 347 HD patients who were in the early stages of the disease. Remacemide blocks glutamate, the neurotransmitter scientists think may cause the death of brain cells that occurs in Huntington’s disease. While remacemide had no effect on the progression of HD, CoQ10 showed a trend toward slowing the disease by an average of 15%. This meant the HD group taking CoQ10 was able to handle every day activities of life a little longer than the patients taking remacemide or a placebo. They also were able to focus their attention better, were less depressed, and less irritable. The 15% slowing of decline means that CoQ10 can result in about one more year of independence for HD patients. Needless to say, the gift of an additional year of health in the lives of HD patients is incredibly significant.

 

Because of these impressive results with HD, researchers are hopeful that the studies of CoQ10 in those with ALS and Parkinson’s disease will similarly have a positive effect on the symptoms and/or progression of these neurological disorders, too.

 

Q. Why is it crucial for a CoQ10 supplement to cross the blood-brain barrier?

A. The brains’ blood vessels are composed of cells with extremely tight junctions. These junctions form the blood-brain barrier, which restricts what can pass from the bloodstream into the brain. While this barrier protects the brain, it can be a significant obstacle to central nervous system therapy. To leave the bloodstream and reach the brain cells, a substance must pass through the tightly connected cells of the capillary walls. Only substances with unique solubilities or those with a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree. As a result, crossing the blood-brain barrier presents a significant challenge to supporting neurological health.

 

While most CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream and increase blood serum levels, only special forms of CoQ10 have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. For CoQ10 to enter the mitochondria within the brain, CoQ10 must first cross the blood-brain barrier to produce significant neurosupportive clinical results.

 

Q. How can one supplement have applications for neurological diseases, heart health, and even the immune system?

A. Supplements often have more than one function, especially when it’s a substance like CoQ10, which is present in all parts of the body. All nucleated cells (most cells other than red blood cells) have mitochondria and all cells require energy to function. CoQ10 is vital to ATP production. Thus, CoQ10 has applications not only in neurological (neurons or nervous system cells) and cardiac health (myocardium or heart tissue), but also for the immune system.

 

Q. Are all CoQ10 supplements created equal? Doesn’t CoQ10 just have to get into the bloodstream to be effective?

A. There are some important distinctions among CoQ10 products, as they vary greatly in quality and absorbability. It’s crucial to find a CoQ10 product that’s:

 

1. Scientifically shown to absorb through the digestive tract, cross cellular membranes, and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. Chewable forms of CoQ10 provide rapid bioavailability and absorption. Serum level determination of CoQ10 in the bloodstream is not necessarily the most important measure of efficacy. For a CoQ10 supplement to be fully effective, it must cross the cellular barrier and raise intracellular CoQ10 levels. A key indicator of effective CoQ10 supplementation is its presence in cell mitochondria.

 

2. The natural form of CoQ10. The natural process uses living organisms. CoQ10 also can be synthesized by a chemical process, which produces a distinctly different product that contains chemical compounds not found in the natural form.

 

3. Formulated with ingredients that provide the transport system CoQ10 needs to cross cellular membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Not all forms of CoQ10 have been scientifically proven to cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Some prestigious groups that have investigated this issue include researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

 

4. Studied by respected organizations, with research published in peer-reviewed journals by reputable scientists.

 

Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?

A. Take 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily, depending on your family history of heart disease and personal heart disease experience.

 

CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. Dosages in studies have ranged from 100 mg to 1,200 mg per day. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Occasional mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.

 

Q. What are some other heart-friendly supplements?

A. CoQ10 is an excellent supplement for overall cardiovascular health, as in L-carnitine. L-carnitine is the naturally occurring form of carnitine that’s found in food and synthesized in the body. Much of the body’s L-carnitine is found in the heart and skeletal muscle, tissues that rely on fatty acid oxidation for most of their energy. Nearly 70% of the energy needed for heart function is derived from fatty acid breakdown. Proper L-carnitine supplementation transports fatty acids into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy. L-carnitine is an excellent addition to CoQ10, especially for people with heart disease, and has been shown to improve many symptoms associated with CVD. In one study, people who had experienced one heart attack received either L-carnitine or placebo. The L-carnitine group had a statistically significant reduction in second heart attacks, and improved overall survival.

 

Q. What supplements support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol?

A. In addition to maintaining overall cardiovascular health, it’s also important to address your essential fats/lipids levels and healthy circulation/blood pressure. Fish oil supplements can significantly reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and homocysteine levels. Choose a supplement that’s a rich source of EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids naturally obtainable in fish oil. Find a product that’s been clinically studied and purified to ensure it contains the beneficial active constituents of the whole oil, while removing any dioxins, DDT, PCBs, or heavy metals, toxins present in some commercial fish oil preparations. An enteric-coated garlic product that provides a minimum of 5,000 mcg of beneficial allicin supports healthy blood pressure and circulation. And magnesium, niacin, vitamin E, folic acid, hawthorn extract, and L-cysteine provide overall nutritional support to the heart and vascular system.

 

Conclusion

CoQ10 is not the only answer to the complex issues of heart disease, neurological disease, or immune dysfunction; however, research indicates that it’s a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. The more we study this naturally occurring compound, the more benefits we find.

The key to this supplement is the manufacturing quality. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that’s supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions. Choose tested products from a well-respected company to increase your potential to achieve and maintain heart and blood vessel health.

Supplementation with clinically studied products can have a major impact on your heart’s health and strength. However, no supplement replaces the need to eat a healthful diet low in refined foods (especially sugar), and saturated fats, and to exercise your most important muscle – your heart – on a regular basis.

 

 



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Neurological Health and CoQ10
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Date: February 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Neurological Health and CoQ10

Between 1946 and 1965, 78 million Americans were born, creating the largest number of children in U.S. history. This Baby Boom generation has greatly influenced the makeup of American society and undoubtedly w ill continue to do so. Thanks to good nutrition and health care, Baby Boomers are aging well and have an excellent life expectancy. For the first time in history, we have more people turning 60 every day, and record numbers of adults reaching their seventh decade. As a result, neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s disease, are becoming major health care concerns. The good news is CoQ10 has applications for neurological diseases, in addition to its better known use for cardiovascular diseases.

Q. What is CoQ10?

A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone (existing everywhere there is human life). CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body.

Q. Isn’t CoQ10 a supplement for heart health?

A. Yes, it is. Because the heart requires lots of ATP to meet its high energy needs, CoQ10’s function in heart health is well understood. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that when individuals with heart disease take CoQ10, their symptoms improve, sometimes quite dramatically. Supplemental CoQ10 improves the heart’s pumping ability, improves blood circulation, increases tolerance to exercise, and improves the heart’s muscle tone. CoQ10 also is a powerful antioxidant and protects heart tissue from free-radical damage.

Q. How does CoQ10 affect brain health?

A. CoQ10 works in the brain the same way it works elsewhere in the body: it’s essential to ATP production. Nearly all human cells contain tiny structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are referred to as cell powerhouses because they produce cellular energy. Depending on what each cell’s job is. There can be several thousand mitochondria in one cell. If a cell needs a lot of energy, it will have more mitochondria. This explains why heart cells contain so many mitochondria; the continual pumping of blood requires continual ATP production.

The brain also requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy to regulate, integrate, and coordinate ongoing nervous system transmissions. To meet this need, ATP production within the mitochondria of brain cells is vital. Since CoQ10 exerts such a powerful influence on heart cells in ATP production, it was a natural progression for scientists to wonder how it affects brain cells. Brain and nervous system research led to the conclusion that the same intracellular principles apply. CoQ10 is produced in the body to assist in ATP production. Without it, ATP cannot be produced.

The most important discovery regarding CoQ10 and the brain is that CoQ10, when formulated with certain ingredients, can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain’s mitochondria. If large amounts of CoQ10 can get into the brain cell’s mitochondria, its ability to make ATP is greatly enhanced.

Q. What is the blood-brain barrier and why is it important?

A. The blood-brain barrier is a unique anatomical structure. The cells that make up the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain are extremely close together. This greatly restricts what can leave the bloodstream and enter the brain. While the blood-brain barrier protects the brain and spinal cord from potentially toxic substances, it also can be a significant obstacle to therapy of central nervous system disorders. Only substances with certain solubilities or those that have a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree.

Obtaining optimal absorption of CoQ10 is difficult. The CoQ10 molecule is large and inflexible. The easiest and least expensive way to increase absorption levels is with the use of harsh solvents such as propylene glycol. However, at higher doses, these types of chemicals are considered dangerous (neurotoxic) to the person with a serious neurodegenerative disease. It is more difficult, as well as more expensive (considering raw materials, research, and proper manufacturing methods) to promote absorption with less harmful alternatives. However, reputable companies ensure that their products are safe for all their customers. Look for CoQ10 products formulated with vitamin E and other safe ingredients such as Micosolle.

Nearly all CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream. But, only CoQ10 supplements with special formulations have been scientifically shown to enter the mitochondria and cross the blood-brain barrier.

Q. If CoQ10 is made in the body, why take supplements?

A. While CoQ10 is synthesized in the body, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Researchers have discovered CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. They also have determined some medications significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.

Although CoQ10 exists in some dietary sources, it may not be realistic to obtain CoQ10 through food alone. For example, it would take approximately 3 pounds of sardines, 7 pounds of beef, or 8 pounds of peanuts to equal 100 mg of supplemental CoQ10.

Q. How does CoQ10 help people with Parkinson’s disease?

A. CoQ10 seems to have several beneficial actions in the illness. Researchers have looked at mitochondria in brain cells and determined people with Parkinson’s disease have reduced activity of Complex I in the electron transport chain. Recent research has proposed the reduced activity of Complex I interferes with the brain-signaling chemical dopamine. Stored and newly synthesized dopamine is depleted. The dopamine depletion causes nerve cell degeneration.

A recent clinical study involved 80 patients with Parkinson’s disease (both men and women). The researchers first evaluated all the participants to establish scores for basic motor skills (measuring the ability to control physical movements such as walking), mental status (whether the person was depressed or experiencing memory loss) and the activities of daily living (whether the person was experiencing difficulty with handwriting, dressing themselves, using utensils such as knives and forks, and so on). This scale is known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). This process is known as establishing “baseline values,” that is, the condition of the patient before receiving any treatment.

Participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group received either 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of the special form of CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers observed the participants for 16 months.

The results of the study showed that all the participants who received CoQ10 had smaller declines in function compared to the placebo group, but the smallest decline was experienced by the group taking the highest amount of the special form of CoQ10.

The most significant results were noted specifically in the activities of daily living scores by the people taking 1200 mg of CoQ10 daily. These people retained better ability to feed and dress themselves, speak, walk, and bathe or shower by themselves. They maintained greater independence for a longer time. Parkinson’s disease, as with other neurodegenerative diseases, robs the sufferer of their ability to control the movements of their own body and care for themselves. Supplementation with CoQ10, while not a cure, is the first intervention that showed a slowing in the progressive deterioration of the function associated with this disease.

Q. What were the results of clinical research on Huntington’s Disease?

A. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study respected type of study, was conducted at the University of Rochester. All of the 347 Huntington’s disease (HD) patients were experiencing some HD symptoms, but were still in the early stages of the disease. The patients (who did not know which drug they were receiving) were randomly assigned to four different treatment groups: 25 percent received Remacemide, 25 percent received CoQ10, 25 percent received both, and 25 percent received a placebo, or sugar pill. The researchers, who also did not know which patients got which drug, watched and recorded their progress for two and one-half years. Remacemide is a new drug made by Astra Seneca that blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, that has long been suspected of contributing to the death of brain cells in Huntington’s disease.

Unfortunately, in the CARE-HD study, Remacemide had no effect on the progression of the disease in patients in the early stages. However, the individuals who received 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced some slowing of the disease progression. They were able to manage daily activities, such as meal preparation, housekeeping tasks, and personal care longer than those not on CoQ10. They were also able to focus their attention better and were less depressed and irritable. The portion of the studied patients receiving 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD. According to the researchers conducting the study, a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD would roughly translate into approximately one more year of independence for patients. This is the very first study from more than a dozen Huntington’s disease patient trails that showed any modification of the course of the illness.

Of note, the effects of the CoQ10 had not abated at the end of the research study. That is, the benefit of using CoQ10, 600 mg per day, was still increasing; this suggests that the longer a patient supplements with CoQ10, the greater the decline in the progression of HD. The next phase of the CARE-HD research will test a higher dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg or more per day), with more patients (over 1000), for a longer period of time (approximately 5 years). This study should improve our understanding of the optimal dose and the total achievable decline in the progression of HD. The CoQ10 product used in the CARE-HD study was designated an Orphan Drug by the FDA. The product utilizes a proprietary, patent-pending delivery mechanism, which is proven to be safe and tolerable at high doses for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, substantially improving brain tissue levels of CoQ10.

Q. What other diseases could benefit from CoQ10 supplementation?

A. Studies show CoQ10 levels are greatly reduced in Alzheimer’s patients. Mitochondrial abnormalities also are noted; however, research has yet to determine how or why this occurs. Some scientists believe damage to mitochondria is an early feature of the disease. Free-radical damage also is a feature of Alzheimer’s.

In a study of 27 Alzheimer’s patients, subjects were given 60 mg of CoQ10, 150 mg of iron, and 180 mg of vitamin B6 daily. Each patient’s mitochondria activity was effectively activated. All patients continued to experience gradual decline. However, researchers believed that with this combination, the progression was much slower and allowed the patients to experience 1 to 2 years of extended good health.

ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive, fatal, neurological disease. It occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that control voluntary movement gradually degenerate. Investigation of CoQ10 in individuals with ALS is just beginning. Researchers at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center at Columbia University recently conducted a small clinical pilot trial of CoQ10 in ALS. The study was an open label study, which meant that everyone enrolled received CoQ10, 400 mg three times per day. Of the 16 patients originally enrolled, nine patients completed the study. Six of these nine patients experienced some benefits. The patients declined from 0 – 25 percent in functional scores, 6 percent in strength, and 10 percent in breathing ability. These scores reflect a positive trend compared to the 50 percent decline that is seen in the natural history of ALS over the same period of time (5 to 9 months). Citing the need to conduct more studies of the effectiveness of CoQ10 for people with ALS is rapidly and efficiently as possible to get answers to patients and clinicians, another clinical trial is currently underway at the Gehrig ALS Center. This is a pilot study to determine if CoQ10 has short-term effects on motor nerves in the brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The researchers are going to try to “see” if CoQ10 can change the chemical sin the brain’s upper motor nerves of people with ALS, an important next step of the investigation.

Q. Can taking CoQ10 prevent neurodegenerative disease?

A. To date, there have been no studies or research examining whether CoQ10 can prevent these diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease prevention is being clinically investigated. Researchers have determined that people who take certain anti-inflammatory medications seem less likely to develop the illness. A large, multi-centered trial is studying this connection.

Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?

A. Depending on your family history of neurological disease and your disease experience, studies show benefits at doses of 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. Some studies used doses of up to 1,200 mg per day.

CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.

Q. What should I look for in a CoQ10 supplement?

A. Use products which have a strong clinical research track record, supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions, and have been proven to be safe, tolerable and effective in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The CoQ10 product you choose should be proven to: be absorbed, enter the blood stream, cross the blood brain barrier and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. If the product you are considering does not have evidence to support these points, keep looking. Once you have found a candidate, examine the product’s safety and efficacy record for neurodegenerative diseases- if the product has not been proven to be safe and effective, keep looking. Good products exist; however, caveat emptor.

Conclusion

CoQ10 supplementation for people with neurodegenerative diseases is supported by contemporary clinical research. CoQ10 is certainly not the only answer to the complex issues of management and treatment of these types of diseases. However, research indicates that it is a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. As we continue to study this naturally occurring compound, we are finding more and more benefits to the body.

All CoQ10 is not created equal. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that is supported by product-specific research from reputable institution, which is proven to be safe, tolerable and effective at high doses; deviating from this set of criteria may do more harm than good for people with these serious illnesses. Choose clinically tested products from a well-respected company and increase the potential to achieve and maintain brain and neurological health.



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Night Health: A new approach to improving sleep.
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Date: May 12, 2006 05:41 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Night Health: A new approach to improving sleep.

Our night health, including the quality of our sleep and dreams, may be the most critical overlooked factor contributing to both emotional and physical illness in modern times. For millions, night is a time of growing frustration and deepening struggle with insomnia as well as compromised and insufficient sleep. Mounting data has confirmed that sleep problems are strongly associated with virtually all major illnesses ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes, infections and cancer, and obesity to depression.

Night health refers to a new approach to sleep and dreams that integrates complementary and alternative medicine with effective conventional perspectives. It is essentially a comprehensive body-mind approach to sleep. The first in a series of articles introducing the concept of night health, this article begins with a closer look at the limitations of the simulated sleep offered by sleeping pills. It then examines the basic alternative of supplemented sleep: the place of natural sleep-supporting supplements. Finally, it offers suggestions for increasing the utilization of such alternatives by supplementing supplements with essential information, education and guidance offered by a new and unique software program and the first book about integrative sleep health.

Simulated Sleep

As the public becomes increasingly aware of the health ramifications of sleep disturbances, more and more people are turning to sleeping pills. In fact, according to the IMS Health research, about 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled last year in the U.S. This represents a nearly 60 percent increase over the past five years alone. Some projections anticipate that the current $2.7 billion in annual sleeping pill sales will more than triple by 2010.

But instead of solving the problem, sleeping pills often make sleep problems worse. Sleeping pills commonly result in dependence. They can alter normal sleep architecture, cause amnesia and residual daytime “hangovers,” and they often result in rebound insomnias when discontinued. Some sleep specialists argue that sleeping pill use is further associated with significant increases in mortality. Given the sense of desperation that can accompany insomnia, even such very serious concerns have not prevented sales of sleeping pills from skyrocketing in recent years.

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented advertising campaign on the part of the pharmaceutical industry designed to convince the public that sleep medications are indeed a safe and effective strategy for addressing sleep problems. Despite clever and seductive advertising, however, it remains highly questionable whether sleeping pills can truly offer us sleep. I believe it is more accurate to say that they result in a kind of artificial or simulated sleep. Compared to natural slumber, sleeping pills cause a chemical knockout. Unfortunately, so many people have slept poorly for so long, they have forgotten what it is like to experience truly restorative, deep and refreshing natural slumber. Instead, many people now hold a naïve, limited sense of healthful sleep, confusing it with being knocked out. And sleeping pills satisfy that very naïve notion of sleep.

Supplementing sleep

Rather than artificially simulating sleep with chemical knockouts, sleep-promoting supplements such as melatonin, valerian, and other botanicals support that body’s own sleep-facilitating mechanisms more naturally. Such products work in greater harmony with nature and, unlike conventional drugs, they do not stimulate sleep, they supplement sleep. I think of natural supplements inviting us to sleep. The very potency of many natural products lies in their very gentleness, which works cooperatively with both body and mind to induce healthful sleep.

I believe that the potential benefits and markets for such supplements remain largely untapped. Consumers’ expectations that sleep aids should knock them out rather than gently assist them in letting go into sleep must be addressed through targeted education and information campaigns. Consumers also need to learn how to use alternative sleep supplements in the context of a healthy sleep lifestyle or positive night health.

Supplementing supplements

As helpful as they can be in promoting night health, sleep supplements alone will not do the trick. In fact, I believe many people get discouraged and discount the potentially positive benefits of sleep supplements after using them without proper guidance and understanding. Sleep supplements work best when they are geared to work synergistically as a part of a larger night health promotion program.

The availability of a wide range of over-the-counter health supplements offers an important freedom in healthcare choices. But with increased freedom comes increased responsibility. Consumers need to become significantly more informed. Particularly with regard to night health, such supplements need to be personalized and prescriptive. When it comes to sleep health, one size does not fit all. Whether we choose melatonin or valerian or a specific blend depends upon who we are and exactly what we need. By prescriptive I do not mean ordered by a physician, but specifically tailored to the needs of the individual.

Because of a significant shortage of health care professionals knowledgeable about sleep and the alarming trend towards increased use of sleeping pills, I have assisted in the development of a unique software program that provides sleep solutions that are both personalized and prescriptive. After more than a decade in development, the sleep advisor—an expert software system that thoroughly evaluates and provides personalized comprehensive recommendations for improving sleep—is now available.

More recently, I completed the first truly integrative book on night health. Healing night: the science and spirit of sleeping, dreaming, and awakening offers a new, comprehensive perspective on night health that complements the sleep advisors high pragmatic approach. Together, healing night and the sleep advisor offers essential supplements to sleep supplements.

Rubin R Naiman is a psychologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the university of Arizona’s health sciences center. He is also the sleep and dream specialist for dr. Andrew weil;s world renowned program in integrative medicine. Currently he serves as the sleep specialist at Miraval Resort, and is in private practice in Tuscon, AZ.

The above article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat a particular illness. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of a holistically competent licensed professional health care provider. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Rubin R. Naiman, PhD
Integrative Sleep and Dream Psychology
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program in Integrative Medicine
University of Arizona
Sleep and Dream Specialist
Miraval Resort
Tucson, Arizona
520-770-1003
rrnaiman@cox.net
www.drnaiman.com
www.thesleepadvisor.com



--
Sleep better at Vitanet

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Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine
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Date: November 08, 2005 06:29 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine

Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine by D. Paul Barney, M.D.

1. Infertility (Damiana Ginseng Blend) (SP-1) – Impotency, Hot flashes, hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems.

2. Arthritis (Devil’s Claw Yucca Blend) (SP-2) – Rheumatism, Bursitis, Gout.

3. Respiratory Distress (Pleurisy Root Blend) (SP-3) – Bronchitis, Asthma, Pneumonia, T.B. Cough, Sore Throat, Colds, Hay fever.

4. Skin Disorders (Herbal Skin Blend) (SP-4) – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rash.

5. Diabetes (Uva Ursi Dandelion Blend) (SP-5) – High Blood Sugar.

6. Water Rentention (Cornsilk Blend) (SP-6) – Edema, Cystitis, Gout.

7-A. Yeast Infection (Goldenseal-witch Hazel Blend) (SP-7A) – Vaginitis.

7-B. Heavy Mentral Flow (Cranesbill Blend) (SP-7B) – Menorrhagia, Menorrhea.

8. Heart Trouble (Hawthorn Motherwort Blend) (SP-8) – Weak heart muscle, Arrythmia, Angina, Short of Breath, Palpitations.

9. High Blood Pressure (Garlic Valerian Blend) (SP-9) – High cholesterol, blood pressure.

10. Pain (White Willow Blend) (SP-10) – Headache, Migraine, Pain for Backache, Inflammation, Spasms, fever.

11-A. Blood Health (Dandelion Yellow Dock Blend) (SP-11A) – Infections, Acne, Gout, Exposure to Toxins.

11-B. Poor Circulation (Cayenne Blend) (SP-11B) – Phlitis, Cold Extremities, Varicose Veins, Diabetes.

12. Constipation (Butternut Cascara Blend) (SP-12) – Constipation.

13. Liver (Dandelion Milk Thistle Blend) (SP-13) – Hepatitis, Jaundice, Alcohol Cirrhosis, Sluggish Bile Flow, Gallstones, Psoriasis.

14. Nervous Tension (Valerian Blend) (SP-14) – Anxiety, Emotional, Fear, Hysteria, Restlessness.

15. Low Energy – Fatigue (Cayenne Ginseng Blend) (SP-15) – Boost Energy, Reduce Fatigue.

15-B. Male Stamina Blend (SP-15b) - Boost Libido.

16. Prostate (Saw Palmetto Blend) (SP-16) – Prostate cancer, Slow Urination.

17. Insomnia (Valerian Hops Blend) (SP-17) – Improve Sleep.

18. Obesity (Chickweed Celery Blend) (SP-18) – Reduce Weight.

19. Glandular & Nervous System Tonic (Goldenseal Gentian Blend) (SP-19) – Support Proper Glandular function and strengthen the nervous system.

20. Gastrointestinal (GI Blend) (SP-20) – Ulcers, Flatulence, Upset Stomach, Colic, Diverticulitis, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

20-B. Stomach Blend (Mastic gum, Marshmellow) (SP-20b) - Aids in digestion, stomach problems.

21. Infections (Echinacea Goldenseal Blend) (SP-21) – General infections, Flu, Fever, Sore Throat.

22. Caugh & Sore Throat (Bayberry Horehound Blend) (SP-22) – Colds, Bronchial Congestion, Inflammation.

23. Eyes (Eyebright Blend) (SP-23) – Eyestrain, Infection, Conjunctiuits, Dry/Inflamed.

24. Parasites – Worms (Garlic Black Walnut Blend) (SP-24) – Reduce Worms in colon.

25. Environmental (Algin Blend) (SP-25) – Pollution, Heavy metal, Recovery from illness.

26. Thyroid (Kelp Blend) (SP-26) – High, Low, Goiter.

27. Digestion (Papaya Peppermint Blend) (SP-27) – Dyspepsia, Colic, Gas, Heartburn, Antibiotic use, Pancreatic Insufficiency, dependence on Laxatives.

28. Health & Body Tonic (Sarsaparilla Ginseng Blend) (SP-28) – Stress, Malaise, Fatigue, System Imbalances, Debilities.

29. Degenerative Disorder (Red Clover Blend) (SP-29) – Cancer, Addisons, Skin, Rheumatism.

30. Mental Stamina (Peppermint Ginseng Blend) (SP-30) – Memory Loss, Dementia, Poor Concentration.

31. High Cholesterol (Apple Pectin & Herbs Blend) (SP-31) – Control Cholesterol.

32. Hemorrhoids (Aloe witch Hazel Blend) (SP-32) – Phlebitis, Periodontal Swelling.

33. Allergy (Clay &Herbs Blend) (SP-33) – Hay Fever, Allergies.

34. Healing (Horsetail-Plantain Blend) (SP-34) – Ulcers, Broken Bones, Cuts, Wounds, Lacerations.

35. Low Blood Sugar (Licorice Gota Kola Blend) (SP-35) – Hypoglycemia.

36. Motion Sickness (Ginger Blend) (SP-36) – Nausea, Upset Stomach, Poor Digestion, Morning Sickness.

37. Antioxidants (Antioxidant Herb Blend) (SP-37) – Scavenge free radicals.

38. Hair (Herbal Hair Nutrients Blend) (SP-38) – Feed your Hair.

39. Depression (St. John’s Wort Blend) (SP-39) – Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Mononucleosis.

40. Immune Deficiency (Astragalus Blend) (SP-40) – Weakness, Chronic Disease, AIDS.



--
Solaray SP Blends at Vitanet ®

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THE FDA AND STEVIA
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Date: July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: THE FDA AND STEVIA

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

  • “stretch”
  • sweetening power, our risk for developing blood sugar disorders like diabetes and hypoglycemia could dramatically decrease.

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    Pain - Post Op and Relaxation
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    Date: July 13, 2005 09:24 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Pain - Post Op and Relaxation

    Relaxation, Music Reduce Post-Op Pain. New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of the journal Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone. Led by Marion Good, PhD, RN, of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, the study is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), at the National Institutes of Health. "This is important news for the millions of Americans who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain each year," said Dr. Patricia A. Grady, director of the NINR.

    "Better pain management can reduce hospital stays and speed recovery, ultimately improving patients' quality of life." Dr. Good and her research team studied three groups of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. In addition to the usual pain medication, one group used a jaw relaxation technique, another group listened to music, and a third group received a combination of relaxation and music.

    Findings revealed that, after surgery, the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group, which received only pain medication. "Both medication and self-care methods which involve patient participation are needed for relief," said Dr. Good.

    "These relaxation and music self-care methods provide more complete relief without the undesired side effects of some pain medications." The findings have important implications for the 23 million people who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain annually in the United States. Pain can hamper recovery by heightening the body's response to the stress of surgery and increasing tissue breakdown, coagulation and fluid retention. Pain also interferes with appetite and sleep and can lead to complications that prolong hospitalization.

    Dr. Good and her research staff worked with 500 patients aged 18-70, who were undergoing gynecological, gastrointestinal, exploratory or urinary surgery. Prior to surgery, those in the music, relaxation or combination groups practiced the techniques. The relaxation technique consisted of letting the lower jaw drop slightly, softening the lips, resting the tongue in the bottom of the mouth, and breathing slowly and rhythmically with a three-rhythm pattern of inhale, exhale and rest. Patients in the music group chose one of five kinds of soothing music--harp, piano, synthesizer, orchestral or slow jazz.

    On the first and second days after surgery, all patients received morphine or Demerol for pain relief by pressing a button connected to their intravenous patient controlled analgesia pumps. The groups receiving the additional intervention used earphones to listen to music and relaxation tapes during walking and rest, while the control group did not. The research team measured the patients' pain before and after 15 minutes of bed rest and four times during walking to see if the sensation and distress of pain changed.

    Dr. Good found that during these two days postsurgery the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group during both walking and rest. "Patients can take more control of their postoperative pain using these self-care methods," says Dr. Good. "Nurses and physicians preparing patients for surgery and caring for them afterwards should encourage patients to use relaxation and music to enhance the effectiveness of pain medication and hasten recovery."

    Dr. Good's findings have implications for future research into the effectiveness of self-care methods on other types of pain, including chronic pain, cancer pain, and pain of the critically ill.

    -----------------------------

    Vitamin D Lack Linked to Hip Fracture. Vitamin D deficiency in post-menopausal women is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. In a group of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fracture, 50 percent were found to have a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency. In the control group, women who had not suffered a hip fracture but who were hospitalized for an elective hip replacement, only a very small percentage had vitamin D deficiency, although one-fourth of those women also had osteoporosis. These findings were reported in the April 28, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    The study, conducted by Meryl S. LeBoff, MD; Lynn Kohlmeier, MD; Shelley Hurwitz, PhD; Jennifer Franklin, BA; John Wright, MD; and Julie Glowacki, PhD; of the Endocrine Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR. These investigators studied women admitted to either Brigham and Women's Hospital or the New England Baptist Hospital, both in Boston, between January 1995 and June 1998.

    A group of 98 postmenopausal women who normally reside in their own homes were chosen for the study. Women with bone deterioration from other causes were excluded from the study.

    There were 30 women with hip fractures caused by osteoporosis and 68 hospitalized for elective joint replacement. Of these 68, 17 women also had osteoporosis as determined by the World Health Organization bone density criteria. All the participants answered questions regarding their lifestyle, reproductive history, calcium in their diet, and physical activity.

    Bone mineral density of the spine, hip, and total body were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technique, as was body composition. Blood chemistry and urinary calcium levels were analyzed. The two groups of women with osteoporosis did not differ significantly in either time since menopause or bone density in the spine or hip. They did, however, differ in total bone density.

    The women admitted for a hip fracture had fewer hours of exercise than the control group. Fifty percent of the women with hip fractures were deficient in vitamin D, 36.7 percent had elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels (a hormone which can stimulate loss of calcium from bone), and 81.8 percent had calcium in their urine, suggesting inappropriate calcium loss. Blood levels of calcium were lower in the women with hip fractures than in either elective group.

    These researchers propose that vitamin D supplementation at the time of fracture may speed up recovery and reduce risk of fracture in the future. Current Dietary Reference Intake Guidelines contain a daily recommendation of 400 IU of vitamin D for people aged 51 through 70 and 600 IU for those over age 70.

    "We know that a calcium-rich diet and regular weight-bearing exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. This new research suggests that an adequate intake of vitamin D, which the body uses to help absorb calcium, may help women to reduce their risk of hip fracture, even when osteoporosis is present," observed Dr. Evan C. Hadley, NIA Associate Director for geriatrics research.

    "Osteoporosis leads to more than 300,000 hip fractures each year, causing pain, frequent disability, and costly hospitalizations or long-term care. "Prevention of such fractures would greatly improve the quality of life for many older women and men, as well as significantly reduce medical costs." The bones in the body often undergo rebuilding. Some cells, osteoclasts, dissolve older parts of the bones. Then, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts create new bone using calcium and phosphorus.

    As people age, if osteoporosis develops, more bone is dissolved than is rebuilt, and the bones weaken and become prone to fracture. Also in many older persons, levels of vitamin D in the blood are low because they eat less or spend less time in the sun, which stimulates the body's own production of vitamin D.

    Experts do not understand fully the causes of osteoporosis. However, they do know that lack of estrogen which accompanies menopause, diets low in calcium, and lack of exercise contribute to the problem. Eighty percent of older Americans who face the possibility of pain and debilitation from an osteoporosis-related fracture are women. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have such a fracture sometime in the future. These fractures usually occur in the hip, wrist, and spine.

    -----------------------------

    Sleep Apnea, Diabetes Link Found. Adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are three times more likely to also have diabetes and more likely to suffer a stroke in the future, according to a new UCLA School of Dentistry/Department of Veterans Affairs study published today in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sleep apnea, a serious condition marked by loud snoring, irregular breathing and interrupted oxygen intake, affects an estimated nine million Americans. The culprit? Carrying too many extra pounds.

    "The blame falls squarely on excess weight gain," said Dr. Arthur H. Friedlander, associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry and associate chief of staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles. Surplus weight interferes with insulin's ability to propel sugars from digested food across the cell membrane, robbing the cells of needed carbohydrates. Diabetes results when glucose builds up in the bloodstream and can't be utilized by the body. Being overweight can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea, according to Friedlander.

    "When people gain too much weight, fatty deposits build up along the throat and line the breathing passages," he explained. "The muscles in this region slacken during sleep, forcing the airway to narrow and often close altogether." Reclining on one's back magnifies the situation. "When an overweight person lies down and goes to sleep," Friedlander said, "gravity shoves the fat in the neck backwards. This blocks the airway and can bring breathing to a halt."

    Friedlander tested the blood sugar of 54 randomly selected male veterans whom doctors had previously diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. He discovered that 17 of the 54 patients, or 31 percent, unknowingly suffered from adult-onset diabetes. Using the same sample, Friedlander also took panoramic X-rays of the men's necks and jaws. The X-rays indicated that 12 of the 54 patients, or 22 percent, revealed calcified plaques in the carotid artery leading to the brain.

    These plaques block blood flow, significantly increasing patients' risk for stroke. Seven of the 12, or 58 percent, were also diagnosed with diabetes. In dramatic comparison, the 17 patients diagnosed with diabetes showed nearly twice the incidence of blockage. Seven of the 17 men, or 41 percent, had carotid plaques. Only five of the 54 patients who displayed plaques did not have also diabetes. If he conducted this study today, Friedlander notes, he would likely find a higher number of diabetic patients. After he completed the study in 1997, the American Diabetes Association lowered its definition for diabetes from 140 to 126 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood.

    "This is the first time that science has uncovered a link between sleep apnea and diabetes," said Friedlander. "The data suggest that someone afflicted with both diabetes and sleep apnea is more likely to suffer a stroke in the future." "Persons going to the doctor for a sleep-apnea exam should request that their blood be screened for diabetes, especially if they are overweight," he cautioned. More than half of the individuals who develop diabetes as adults will need to modify their diet and take daily insulin in order to control the disease, he added.

    ------------------------------

    Stress, Surgery May Increase CA Tumors. Stress and surgery may increase the growth of cancerous tumors by suppressing natural killer cell activity, says a Johns Hopkins researcher.

    Malignancies and viral infections are in part controlled by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells, a sub-population of white blood cells that seek out and kill certain tumor and virally infected cells. In a study using animal models, natural killer cell activity was suppressed by physical stress or surgery, resulting in a significant increase in tumor development.

    These findings suggest that protective measures should be considered to prevent metastasis for patients undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, according to Gayle Page, D.N.Sc., R.N., associate professor and Independence Foundation chair at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. "Human studies have already found a connection between the level of NK activity and susceptibility to several different types of cancer," says Page, an author of the study.

    "We sought to determine the importance of stress-induced suppression of NK activity and thus learn the effects of stress and surgery on tumor development. "Many patients undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors that have the potential to spread. If our findings in rats can be generalized to such clinical settings, then these circumstances could increase tumor growth during or shortly after surgery." The research was conducted at Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where Page held previous positions, and at Tel Aviv University.

    Results of the study are published in the March issue of the International Journal of Cancer. In laboratory studies, Page and her colleagues subjected rats to either abdominal surgery or physical stress, and then inoculated them with cancer cells. In the rats that had undergone surgery, the researchers observed a 200 to 500 percent increase in the incidence of lung tumor cells, an early indicator of metastasis, compared with rats that had not received surgery.

    The experiment also showed that stress increased lung tumor incidence and significantly increased the mortality in the animals inoculated with cancer cells. "Our results show that, under specific circumstances, resistance to tumor development is compromised by physical stress and surgical intervention," says Page.

    "Because surgical procedures are life-saving and cannot be withheld, protective measures should be considered that will prevent suppression of the natural killer cell activity and additional tumor development. "Researchers do not yet know how to prevent surgery-induced immune suppression, but early animal studies have shown increased use of analgesia reduces the risk."

    The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Lead author was Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D., and other authors were Raz Yirmiya, Ph.D., and Guy Shakhar.

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    HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
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    Date: July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)

    INTRODUCTION

    In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:

  • • protect ourselves f rom toxins and pollut ants
  • • prevent t he premature onset of age-related diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and stroke
  • • boost our immune defenses to protect ourselves from new viral and bacterial strains that have become antibiotic-resist ant
  • • reduce our risk of developing cancer
  • • better digest our food for proper assimilation and purge the intestinal system wit hout the dangerous side effects of harsh drugs. Its actions are multifaceted and must be considered when assessing natural treatment s for disease or injury. It s impressive and widespread use among various native cult ures of t ropical island regions supports the notion that it does indeed possess valuable, therapeutic compounds.

    Genus Rubiaceae

    Common Names

    Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.

    Parts Used

    The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.

    Physical Description

    Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.

    Chemical Constituents

    Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.

  • • amino acids (which include alanine, arginine, asparticacids, cysteine, cystine, glycine, glutamic acid, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan tyrosine, and valine)
  • • anthraquinones
  • • glycosides
  • • phenolic compounds
  • • resins
  • • B-sitosterol
  • • ursolic acid

    FLOWER

  • • acacet in 7-0-D (+) -glucophyranoside
  • • 5,7,-dimet hylapigenin-4-0-8-D(+) -galactophyranoside
  • • 6,8,-dimet hoxy-3-methyl anthroquinone-1-0-8-rhamnosyl glucophyranoside

    FRUIT

  • • antioxidant
  • • alizarin
  • • anthraquinones
  • • caproic and caprylic acids

    discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.

    ROOT AND ROOT BARK

  • • carbonate
  • • chlorubin
  • • rubicholric acid
  • • soranjidol
  • • chrysophanol
  • • phosphate
  • • magnesium
  • • ferric iron
  • • sodium
  • • glycosides
  • • morinadadiol
  • • morindine
  • • resins
  • • rubiadin
  • • sterols4

    Pharmacology

    Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.

    Body Systems Targeted

    The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.

    Satety

    Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.

    Suggested Uses

    Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .

    NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY

    Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .

    Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers

    Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.

    Noni’s Medical Reputation

    Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.

    A Timely Reemer gence

    Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.

    TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI

    Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15

    decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.

  • • Noni was frequently utilized for its antiparasitic activity.
  • • Respiratory ailments, coughs, and colds were treated with noni.
  • • A juice made from pounding noni leaves, roots and fruit mixed with water was administered for diarrhea.
  • • Dried and powdered forms of the bark mixed with water and administ ered with a spoon treated infant diarrhea.
  • • Small pieces of fruit and root infused with water were given to kill intestinal parasites.
  • • Boiled bark decoctions were given as a drink for stomach ailments.
  • • Coughs were treated with grated bark.
  • • Charred unripe fruit was used with salt on diseased gums.
  • • Pounded fruit combined with kava and sugar cane was used to treat tuberculosis.
  • • Babies were rubbed with fresh, crushed leaves for serious chest colds accompanied by fever.
  • • Eye washes were made from decoctions for eye complaint s from flower extracts.
  • • Leaf infusions were traditionally taken to treat adult fevers.
  • • A mouthwash consisting of crushed ripe fruit and juice was used for inflamed gums in young boys.
  • • Pounded leaf juice was used for adult gingivitis.
  • • Sore throats were treated by chewing the leaves and swallowing the juice.
  • • Skin abscesses and boils were covered with leaf poultices.
  • • Swelling was controlled with leaf macerations.
  • • Heated leaves were often used for arthritic joins and for ringworm.16

    XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?

    One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .

    Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18

    NONI PROCESSING

    How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.

    MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI

    Overview

    Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.

    Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.

    xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.

    Cancer

    A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21

    In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.

    Arthritis

    with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.

    Immune System

    The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.

    The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.

    Antioxidant

    The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.

    Diabetes

    While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.

    Pain Killer

    A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29

    Skin Healing Agent

    One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.

    burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30

    Drug Addiction

    The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.

    Complementary Agents of Noni

  • cat’s claw papaya
  • kava kava
  • pau d’arco
  • bioflavonoids
  • selenium
  • germanium
  • grapeseed extract
  • echinacea
  • proteolytic enzymes
  • aloe vera
  • glucosamine
  • shark
  • cartilage

    PrimaryApplications of Noni

  • abrasions
  • arthritis
  • atherosclerosis
  • bladder infections
  • boils bowel disorders
  • burns cancer
  • chronicfatigue syndrome
  • circulatory weakness
  • colds congest ion
  • cold sores constipation
  • depression diabetes
  • eye inf lammations fever
  • fract ures gastric ulcers
  • gingivit is headaches
  • high blood pressure immune
  • weakness
  • indigestion intestinal parasites
  • kidney disease menstrual



    --
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    Vision Quest - help fight eye problems.
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 18, 2005 08:34 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Vision Quest - help fight eye problems.

    Vision Quest by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, February 11, 2004

    Since your eyes are in constant use every day, exposed to the damaging energy of sunlight and pollutants that waft through the air, these delicate orbs are often in danger of wearing out.

    To keep this vital part of your anatomy functioning as you age, you have to feed and care for your eyes properly. Otherwise, you are in real danger of losing your vision and independence.

    Your vision may be in danger. Experts estimate that 8 million Americans over the age of 55 are at serious risk of blindness linked to a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD can wipe out your central vision and is the primary cause of blindness in Western society.

    While AMD causes no pain, it blurs the sharp, central vision necessary for driving, reading and other activities where you need to see either up close or straight ahead. During AMD, the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to pick out fine detail, is destroyed. The macula sits at the center of your retina, the nerve center at the back of your eye that senses light and sends optic signals to the brain.

    Age is not the only risk factor for AMD. Scientists have isolated a genetic defect that can lead to some forms of macular degeneration (Nature Genetics 2001; 27:89-93). Smoking and excessive exposure to sunlight are other hazards best avoided if you want to save your sight.

    In many cases, AMD progresses so slowly that victims of this condition don't even notice that their vision is deteriorating until much of it is irrevocably gone.

    Dry and Wet AMD

    Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels in back of the retina start to overgrow and leak blood. As this occurs, blood and other fluids push on the macula and quickly damage its sensitive nerve endings. When wet AMD occurs, you lose your central vision rapidly. If straight lines appear wavy to you, you may be suffering from wet AMD. If you notice this or other unusual vision changes, contact an eye care specialist as soon as possible. You need what is called a comprehensive dilated eye exam that can uncover signs of AMD.

    Dry AMD strikes the eye when light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly deteriorate, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD progresses, a blurry spot in the center of your vision may appear. Eventually, as more of the macula becomes dysfunctional, the central vision in the eye can gradually disappear.

    The most common sign of dry AMD is slightly blurry vision. This can make it hard to recognize faces and also make it harder to read without very bright light. Dry AMD generally attacks both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye stays normal. In the early stages of dry AMD, drusen, yellow deposits that gather under the retina, may form. Dry AMD progresses in three stages:

  • • Early AMD: Small drusen form but vision is unaffected.
  • • Intermediate AMD: Many medium drusen appear or, alternately, one large drusen occurs. Center vision is often blurred and reading requires bright lights.
  • • Advanced Dry AMD: Drusen formation is accompanied by deterioration of tissue in the macula. Blurs in central vision expand, eventually destroying most vision. Note: Because of the fast destruction it causes, wet AMD is an advanced form of this disorder that is considered more severe than the dry version.

    Vitamins and Minerals for AMD

    Fortunately, scientists have found ways to combat AMD: An analysis of a study called the national Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) shows that more than 300,000 Americans could avoid losing their sight to AMD if they took daily supplements of antioxidant nutrients and zinc.

    This conclusion, reached by scientists at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute, is based on research involving more than 4,500 adults suffering various stages of AMD. The study demonstrated that people who already had some AMD could lower their risk of the more advanced form of this condition by 25% when they took vitamin C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene along with zinc. Those suffering from advanced AMD lowered their chances of losing vision by about 19%. (Supplements did not affect the risk of cataracts or the chances of some vision loss for people in the early stages of AMD.)

    " Without treatment to reduce their risk, we estimate that 1.3 million adults would develop the advanced stage of AMD," says Neil M. Bressler, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins and author of the current study, published in Archives of Ophthalmology (11/03).

    According to Dr. Bressler and the other researchers, people who now have intermediate AMD (some vision loss) in one eye have about a 1 in 16 chance of having their vision deteriorate until they have advanced AMD. They also calculate that about 1 in 4 of those with intermediate AMD in both eyes and 43% of those with advanced AMD in one eye will develop advanced AMD in five years without treatment.

    In their view, older people at risk of AMD blindness should take daily supplements of 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 milligrams of natural vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta carotene, 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide and 2 milligrams of copper as cupric oxide. Evidence also exists that a diet which is high in fat can cause AMD to progress to an advanced stage. The exceptions: The healthy fats found in fish and nuts (Archives of Ophthalmology 2003; 121:1728-37).

    Lutein Protection

    Oddly enough, some of the same pigments that color vegetables and other foods also color your eyes. And scientists believe that those pigments, which are classified as carotenoids, help protect the eyes by helping them fight off the negative effects of caustic molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are formed when the energy from sunlight strikes the eyes and disrupts the composition of natural chemicals found there.

    When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid pigments contained in egg yolk, spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.

    " This research is a major step toward large-scale clinical studies to prove the extent to which lutein and zeaxanthin protect against age-related macular degeneration," says Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, at the University of Utah School of Medicine at Salt Lake. "We know that these carotenoids are specifically concentrated in the macula of the human eye."

    Dr. Bernstein adds that, as you age, taking supplements containing lutein and other antioxidants may lower your AMD risk. In his investigation, people with AMD who did not take lutein had one-third less lutein in their eyes than older people whose vision was normal.

    Avoiding Cataracts

    Another eyesight hazard is cataracts, in which the eye's lens-the part that focuses incoming light onto the retina-becomes cloudy. Cataracts form when the proteins found in the normally clear lens become damaged; signs include progressively blurred vision (especially outdoors), focusing problems, seeing streaks of light from headlights and stoplights, and colors that look faded.

    Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. One of every six Americans 40 and older suffers from some degree of cataract; it affects half of all Americans who reach age 80. Nuclear cataracts, the most common form of this disorder, develop in the center of the lens and tend to grow slowly. Cataracts may also develop at the back of the lens; this form is linked to eye trauma and long-term use of certain medications, including steroids.

    Like AMD, cataracts become more common as people age. Up to 40% of individuals between the ages of 75 and 85 have them, compared with only 5% to 10% of those folks under the age of 65. And like AMD, sunlight exposure and smoking increase the risk of developing cataracts, as does the presence of diabetes.

    Lutein and zeaxanthin, the carotenoids that are so plentiful in the macula, are also found in the lens (although in lower concentrations), leading many researchers to believe that these nutrients may help drop your risk of cataract development. Early studies indicate that an increased intake of lutein and zeaxanthin reduces one's chances of needing cataract surgery, the most common surgery in the United States (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 70(4):509-16; 517-24).

    Antioxidants and the Lens

    Scientists believe that free-radical damage is a leading cause of cataracts, and so it isn't surprising that antioxidants have proved useful in preventing this problem.

    Almost 500 women filled out diet questionnaires as part of a very large research effort called the Nurses' Health Study; those who had taken vitamin C supplements for 10 years or longer enjoyed the lowest rates of nuclear cataracts (Archives of Ophthalmology 2001; 119:1009-19).

    So the answer to lowering your risk of eye problems is clear, whether you are already in your mature years or plan to be someday: Lead a healthy, eye-friendly lifestyle, eating a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. Take frequent walks and jogs around the block.

    And yes, when you kick back and take your just-as-frequent doses of antioxidant supplements, you're allowed to take your sunglasses off and see the world clearly.



    --
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    Iron: The Body's LifeBlood
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: June 10, 2005 10:29 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Iron: The Body's LifeBlood

    Iron: The Body's LifeBlood by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 16, 2004

    Two billion people, including one in 10 American women, are lacking iron. Here's how veggies and other foods can supply you with enough of this vital mineral.

    Back in the days of black and white television, a popular commercial cautioned viewers about the dangers of iron-poor blood. While those ads trumpeting the debilitating fatigue of iron deficiency have disappeared from our colorized video world, medical researchers now recognize that many of us, in fact, are hampered by an iron shortage. What those old ads missed: a lack of iron can slow you down mentally and physically even before it shows up in your blood.

    A Woman's Dilemma: Hidden Deficiencies Experts estimate that one in 10 American women are low in iron but many haven't become so deficient that they are aware of their shortage. In other countries, up to eight in 10 women run short on iron. While researchers once believed that iron deficiency was only serious if it was drastic enough to cause anemia (what used to be called "tired blood"), studies now show that even mild deficiencies can compromise health.

    Worldwide, public health experts believe that the lives of about 2 billion people are affected by iron deficiency. Most of these people are women, who lose blood on a monthly basis during their childbearing years. Men are generally not low in iron. Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells-particularly the creation of hemoglobin, the reddish pigment in these cells that enables them to deliver oxygen to muscles and other bodily tissues. If you are very low in iron, the resulting anemia leaves you feeling fatigued.

    Your body stashes iron not only in your blood cells, but in your liver and other tissues as well. When you don't consume enough iron, first your liver stores decrease, then your tissue supplies disappear and, finally, your blood runs low and you develop anemia. Early on in the iron-depletion process, a low iron count won't make your daily activities more difficult. Cornell University researchers found, in experiments on women who were mildly depleted, that taking or not taking iron supplements had no effect on how these women felt while exercising.

    " Supplementation makes no difference in exercise-training improvements in women with low iron storage who are not yet tissue-iron deficient or anemic," says Thomas Brownlie, one of the Cornell researchers.

    Supplementing Your Supply

    Even in the beginning stages of iron deficiency, however, experts still believe you should take supplements: an uncorrected iron shortage can mean serious problems lurk ahead (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 5/04). For that reason, the next time you visit your healthcare practitioner you should request a serum transferrin receptor concentration test, which can detect an early iron shortage. (Don't start taking iron supplements without consulting a knowledgeable medical professional.)

    " It would be useful for women who test low for iron but who are not yet anemic to have this test," notes Cornell's Brownlie. "Women found to be tissue-iron deficient will find exercise exceedingly difficult without improving their iron status-which could be achieved by increasing consumption of iron-rich foods or iron supplementation."

    Iron-Poor Blood

    If you let your iron levels run down so low that it shows up as anemia, not only will you be tired but your thinking may be fogged as well. " Millions of women who are mildly iron deficient must work harder than necessary when exercising or working physically, and they can't reap the benefits of endurance training very easily," says Jere Haas, PhD, one of the researchers involved in these studies and a nutrition professor at Cornell. "As a result, exercise is more difficult so these women are more apt to lose their motivation to exercise."

    Meanwhile, researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina report that, as you age, anemia can make you more vulnerable to disabilities while weakening your muscles and draining your strength (Journal of the American Geriatric Society 5/04). That type of anemia may be linked to shortages of both iron and vitamin B12.

    " Our results suggest that anemia is a risk factor for disability, poor physical function and low muscle strength-all which can threaten the independence of older adults," says Brenda Penninx, PhD, lead researcher. If you are a woman who exercises frequently, cuts calories to lose weight or eats a mostly vegetarian diet, watch out-you may be at high risk for iron depletion.

    To steer clear of iron shortages, the Cornell researchers recommend eating lean red meat. If you are a vegetarian, taking vitamin C with meals improves your iron absorption from iron-rich foods like peanuts, whole wheat, brown rice and leafy green vegetables, as does using iron cookware.

    Chelated Minerals

    When it comes to absorbing supplemental minerals like iron, not all minerals may be created equal. In particular, minerals that are in chelated form are generally believed to be absorbed more efficiently in your digestive system. The word "chelate" comes from the Greek word for claw. Chelated minerals are chemically implanted into proteins known as peptides. This bound molecular structure mirrors the way minerals are contained in natural whole foods, which have been found to contain their own natural chelates.

    Chelated minerals are more well-suited to your digestive tract. A key advantage of chelated formulations is their stability after you swallow them. Many other forms of supplemental minerals-which are often combined with inorganic salts or organic acids-may be broken down prematurely in the digestive tract, leading to poor absorption and a stomachache.

    Chelates, however, maintain their structure sufficiently to reach the spot in the digestive tract where they are most efficiently taken into the bloodstream. Once there, the body's digestive enzymes dismember the proteins and convert the minerals into absorbable form.

    Getting enough iron and other minerals is not that difficult a task-it's just one that is too often overlooked. But if you pride yourself on your iron will or iron constitution, or just seek to iron out a few of the kinks in your health, you may need to significantly pump up your iron.



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    KudZu, Treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 19, 2005 09:29 AM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: KudZu, Treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse

    For millennia, folk medicines have been used to treat ‘‘alcohol addiction’’ in China. A thorough literature search of the ancient Chinese pharmacopoeias revealed a long list of traditional remedies, including the 16 ‘‘stop-drinking’’ formulae of Sun Simiao (ca. 600 AD) and the ‘‘anti-alcohol addiction’’ formula of Li Dongyuan (ca. 1200 AD), 2 of the most reputed ‘‘medical doctors’’ in the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, like those discovered by the ancient Romans,11 most of the ancient Chinese remedies for ‘‘alcohol addiction’’ were based on psychological aversion: to deter patients from further drinking by associating alcohol drinking with an unpleasant experience. Interestingly, as time went by, treatments based solely on psychological aversion were gradually eliminated from the ancient Chinese pharmacopoeias, presumably because of their ineffectiveness and/or undesirable side effects. The only remedies that have survived this historical trial-anderror scrutiny are those consisting the root (Radix puerariae, RP) or flower (Flos puerariae, FP) of Pueraria lobata (a medicinal plant known to the West as kudzu). It was on the basis of this historical backdrop, we initiated the search of safe and efficacious anti-dipsotropic (alcohol intake suppressive) agents from RP. This approach has led to the discovery of daidzin,12 an isoflavone that has since been shown to reduce alcohol drinking in all alcohol preferring animal models tested to date.

    Alcohol abuse

    Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence (i.e., alcoholism) are serious public health problems of modern society. In the United States alone, an estimated 13 million adults exhibit symptoms of alcohol dependence due to excessive alcohol intake, and an additional 7 million abuse alcohol without showing symptoms of dependence according to U.S. Government projections from studies conducted in the mid-1980s. Alcohol dependence and abuse are very expensive: in economic and medical terms, it will cost the U.S. well over $200 billion in 1991 with no prospect of falling or leveling off. The social and psychological damages inflicted on individuals as a consequence of alcohol abuse, e.g., children born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and victims of alcohol-related accidental death, homicide, suicide, etc., are immense.

    While it is generally accepted that alcoholism and alcohol abuse are afflictions with staggering international economic, social, medical, and psychological repercussions, success in preventing or otherwise ameliorating the consequences of these problems has been an elusive goal. Only very recently the public view that alcoholism and alcohol abuse are remediable solely by moral imperatives has been changed to include an awareness of alcoholism and alcohol abuse as physiological aberrations whose etiology may be understood and for which therapy may be found through scientific pursuits. Both alcohol abuse and dependence arise as a result of different, complex, and as yet incompletely understood processes. At present, alcohol research is in the mainstream of scientific efforts.

    Our studies on alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) have been based on the hypothesis that its abuse can ultimately be understood and dealt with at the molecular level. Such a molecular understanding, if achieved, would provide a basis for the identification and development of appropriate therapeutic agents. Our view hypothesizes that the clinical manifestations of alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the consequence of aberrations or defects within one or more metabolic pathways, affected by the presence of ethyl alcohol. In order to test this hypothesis, our initial studies focused on physical, chemical, and enzymatic properties of human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme that catalyzes alcohol oxidation according to the following reaction formula:

    CH.sub.3 CH.sub.2 OH+NAD.sup.+ .fwdarw.CH.sub.3 CHO+NADH

    In addition, our studies more recently have focused on the aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH) which catalyze the subsequent step in the major pathway of ethanol metabolism according to the following reaction formula:

    CH.sub.3 CHO+NAD.sup.+ .fwdarw.CH.sub.3 COOH+NADH

    Prior to our research (for example, see Blair and Vallee, 1966, Biochemistry 5:2026-2034), ADH in man was thought to exist in but one or two forms, primarily in the liver, where it was considered the exclusive enzyme for the metabolism of ethanol. Currently, four different classes of ADH encompassing over twenty ADH isozymes have been identified and isolated from human tissues. There is no reason to believe that all of these ADH isozymes are necessary to catalyze the metabolism of a single molecule, ethanol, even though all of them can interact with it. We have proposed that the normal function of these isozymes is to metabolize other types of alcohols that participate in critical, physiologically important processes, and that ethanol interferes with their function (Vallee, 1966, Therapeutic Notes 14:71-74). Further, we predicted that individual differences in alcohol tolerance might well be based on both qualitative and quantitative differences in isozyme endowment (Vallee, 1966, supra).

    Our research has established the structures, properties, tissue distribution, and developmental changes for most of the ADH isozymes, which while structurally quite similar, and presumed to have evolved from a common precursor, are functionally remarkably varied. Of the more than 120 publications from our laboratory that relate to the above subjects, the following, arranged in six categories, are especially useful for instruction in the prior art.

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  • Recover from stress, lessen desire for alcohol, primary cleansing, and liver support


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    Multidophilus 180ct ...
    TopPreviousNext

    Date: May 18, 2005 05:30 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Multidophilus 180ct ...

    There is no doubt that antibiotics have saved numerous lives since their development. But many health care providers in the past have seen them as a panacea for all ailments including viral infections that are not affected by antibiotic therapy. They have been overused and with disastrous results. Antibiotics are used to help the body in fighting infection, but unfortunately, they also may encourage recurrent infections caused by a destruction of the good as well as the bad bacteria lowering the immune function and leading to a dependence on antibiotics. Because of an overuse and misuse of antibiotics, some forms of bacteria are now resistant to them. Diseases which were aided with antibiotic therapy are now resistant to the treatment. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed by physicians even when they are not appropriate.4

    Medical professionals almost felt guilty a few years ago when not prescribing some form of antibiotic when patients visited the office. After all, what good is a doctor if the patient does not leave with a cure. Fortunately, most doctors now know the detrimental affects that can follow excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Most doctors now will be honest and up front with their patients when there is not a cure-all answer to their problem. An investigative reporter a few years ago visited a number of physicians around the country asking for antibiotics. It was interesting to note

    that almost all of the physicians agreed to prescribing antibiotics upon the patients request even when it wasn’t warranted. In being confronted after, most replied that they had to do what the patient asked in order to keep their practice flourishing. No wonder antibiotic overuse has resulted in drug-resistant strains of bacteria. The negative affects of antibiotics are well known. Antibiotics interfere with the growth of bacteria, both good and bad. But they are crafty creatures and have the ability of changing their chemistry and genes to avoid destruction by antibiotics. They want to survive and thrive. They grow at a very rapid rate allowing for a whole generation of drug resistant strains to develop in just a relatively short period of time. Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned of the problem that could occur with resistant strains if antibiotics were overused.5 The weaker bacteria may be killed while the stronger endure. This causes the strong, resistant bacteria to invade and take hold in the body. Mitchell L. Cohen, a researcher with the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, issued this warning about antibiotics in 1992: “Unless currently effective antimicro b i a l agents can be successfully preserved and the transmission of drug-resistant organisms curtailed, the postantimicrobial era may be rapidly approaching in which infectious disease ward housing untreatable conditions will again be seen.” Patients, doctors, scientists and Acidophilus

    public health officials must all play their part in finding ways to reduce reliance upon antibiotics.6 Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the most essential bacteria found in the intestinal tract. It helps to keep the disease causing organisms under contro l . Antibiotics can reduce the quantities of good and bad bacteria often allowing negative organisms to flourish. Broad spectrum antibiotics are the worst offenders often making way for an overgrowth of yeast which can affect the entire body. The broad spectrum antibiotics work just as they are called, broadly throughout the body, to kill just about all the bacteria around. If an antibiotic is warranted, the most specific type for the condition should be tried first in order to protect as much of the normal intestinal flora as possible. When taking antibiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus can be taken by mouth to help restore normal intestinal flora. Acidophilus will not interfere with the effectiveness of the antibiotics but protect and aid in the healing process. Antibiotic use should be minimized; used only when essential to health and survival. The beneficial bacteria are the first to be destroyed from the antibiotic therapy. Lactobacillus acidophilus can also help to fight the bad bacteria and organisms that invade the body.

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