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The Health Benefits of Berberine
September 12, 2022 04:22 PM
Berberine is a natural constituent of herbs such as goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry. Clinical studies have demonstrated that berberine helps to support already normal glucose and lipid metabolism.* Because berberine is known for its limited bioavailability, this product includes caprate (C10, a medium-chain triglyceride) to promote optimal absorption and maintenance of gastrointestinal comfort during berberine supplementation.*
Berberine has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for supporting already normal liver function and healthy digestion.* It is also one of the most well-studied botanicals for already normal glucose metabolism support, with research indicating it may work by activating an AMPK-dependent pathway.*
Berberine May Help To Support Normal Glucose Metabolism*
Berberine is a plant alkaloid with a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for promoting already normal liver function.* extraction process ensures a consistent level of berberine from batch to batch. In addition, this product provides 500 mg of berberine hydrochloride per vegetarian capsule.
Several clinical studies have demonstrated that berberine can help to support normal glucose metabolism in already healthy individuals when taken at dosages of 900 mg to 1,500 mg per day.* In a placebo-controlled human clinical trial involving subjects with prediabetes who were given 500 mg of berberine two times daily for 12 weeks, researchers observed improvements in already normal fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, and triglyceride levels (as well as increases in HDL-cholesterol) compared to placebo group.*
May Also Help To Support Lipid Metabolism*
In addition to its effects on already normal glucose metabolism, berberine has also been shown to help support lipid metabolism in already healthy individuals. In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial involving subjects with mild elevations in LDL cholesterol who were given 500 mg of berberine two times daily, researchers noted statistically significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels (along with increases in HDL cholesterol) compared to placebo group.*
Berberine is a potent botanical extract that has been traditionally used for supporting liver function and healthy digestion. Additionally, it is one of the most well studied botanicals for supporting already normal glucose metabolism. Numerous clinical trials show that it can help maintain already normal levels of fasting blood sugar as well as HbA1c and triglycerides. Furthermore, berberine has also been shown to promote already healthy lipid metabolism by supporting already normal levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. Therefore, if you are looking for an herbal supplement to support your overall health and well being, berberine is definitely worth considering.
Hintonia Latiflora Combined With Key Nutrients for Blood Sugar Control
August 31, 2020 12:36 PM
Type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. With certain life style changes, exercise, along with Sucontral D, one can reduce blood sugar.
Hintonia latiflora combined with key nutrients for blood sugar control can:
The CDC reports that 84 million Americans have pre diabetes which is higher than normal blood sugar levels but not yet considered type 2 diabetes. It is said there is an additional 30 million type 2 diabetes and roughly 24% do not know they have high blood sugar levels.
Hintonia has been clinically studied in Europe for decades, 60 years to be exact, clinically studied to help bot pre- and type 2 diabetes. By the end of these studies, participants in the studies experienced an average of 10.4% improvement in their A1C, and 23.3% improvement in their fasting glucose levels and 24.9% on their postprandial glucose levels. This is quite significant indeed.
In conclusion, the clinical studies proved Hintonia improved blood glucose levels. out of 114 patients 45 were able to reduce their medication and 10 were able to eliminate their medication all together.
New meta-analysis finds that proper vitamin D levels greatlyimprove the health of diabetics and heart patients
May 17, 2019 04:03 PM
Up to a billion people worldwide may not be getting enough vitamin D, and this is a real problem because vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of cancer, obesity and other health problems. Meta-analysis published by Current Pharmaceutical Design suggests that getting enough vitamin D can decrease fasting glucose and reduce insulin resistance. Vitamin D can also help moderate your bad cholesterol, as well as reducing your levels of C-reactive protein, which is a sign of inflammation.
"Three of the most significant risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, chronic inflammation, and insulin resistance. Researchers wanted to learn more about whether vitamin D supplementation is a way to lower the risk of heart disease or reduce complications in patients who already have it."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/vitamin-d-glycemic-control-2947.html
Bone Broth Diet Plan Benefits & How to Follow It
April 26, 2019 05:02 PM
The bone broth diet is something that has become increasingly popular. The diet was developed by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci and was detailed in her diet book on the same subject. The bone broth diet itself is used intermittently with the paleo diet, as an emphasis on consuming whole foods and low amounts of sugar and carbohydrates is necessary for its success. In order to follow the diet a user would consume only the paleo diet for five days and then fast on the other two days of the week.
"Proponents of the plan claim that the bone broth diet results in quick weight loss, better skin, improved gut health and decreased inflammation. Let’s take a look at a few of the potential ways that the diet can enhance overall health."
Read more: https://draxe.com/bone-broth-diet-plan-benefits/
How does poor gut health affect vitamin C and E in metabolicsyndrome? - Medical News Bulletin
April 16, 2019 10:53 AM
Metabolic syndrome involves a combination of at least three out of five conditions — hypertension, abdominal obesity, low “good cholesterol,” and excessively high fasting blood glucose and serum triglyceride scores. Metabolic syndrome is a major public health concern, given that more than a third of American adults have it. Recent studies suggest that eating too much saturated fat can imbalance the bacteria in the gut. This results over time in oxidative stress and inflammation that can deplete the body’s stockpiles of vitamins C and E, and also make it harder to absorb more vitamin C from food to replace what has been used up. Vitamins C and E play an important role in protecting against oxidative stress.
"Around 35% of the American adult population has metabolic syndrome, with a higher prevalence in older age groups."
Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/poor-gut-health-vitamin-c-e-metabolic-syndrome/
Can ginger, turmeric and lemon juice reduce blood sugar?
February 22, 2019 08:54 AM
There has now been a new recipe developed that has the ability to reduce blood glucose levels in those looking for a way to keep their sugar levels in balance. The recipe is quite simple, and the ingredients are likely already in your pantry ready for use. Just take one lemon, some ginger, and one full liter of water. Chop both the lemon and ginger into boiling water so that it can absorb all of the nutrients.
"If the analysis shows the 70-90 milligrams before meal - your blood sugar levels are normal."
Read more: https://www.legit.ng/1215271-can-ginger-turmeric-lemon-juice-reduce-blood-sugar.html
Another benefit of aloe vera: It reduces fasting blood glucose
February 04, 2019 09:52 AM
Blood sugar regulation is imperative for all individuals, but especially those who are living with conditions such as diabetes. While many patients opt for pharmaceutical interventions to help maintain their glucose levels, natural alternatives such as aloe vera are showing to have a positive impact on sugar regulation. Aloe vera through oral consumption was able to reduce the glucose levels of diabetic patients by 46.6 milligrams while fasting. These results show that aloe vera could be exceptionally beneficial to those dealing with endocrine issues.
"Researchers at David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California aimed to verify the effectiveness of oral consumption of aloe vera on reducing fasting blood sugar and HbA1c."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-23-aloe-vera-reduces-fasting-blood-glucose-2.html
Diabetes: Cinnamon (Dalchini) May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
January 30, 2019 10:59 AM
For diabetic patients, food can often feel like the enemy. But what if spices are the answer? Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in patients that have type 2 diabetes from a fasting state as well as to possess anti oxidant traits. For the American diet, most people associate cinnamon with sweets, thus helping to reduce cravings for those food items from a psychological standpoint. And best of all, it only takes around five grams to also aid in digestive health, which is also important to stabilizing blood sugars.
"Various studies talk about cinnamon as a wonder spice that keeps a check on our blood sugar levels, especially when consumed after meals."
Read more: https://www.ndtv.com/food/diabetes-cinnamon-dalchini-may-help-control-blood-sugar-levels-1961593
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
January 03, 2019 01:08 PM
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits throughout the body. One such system in the body where it has been shown to be of great benefit is the Endocrine system, particularly for people with diabetes. Not only can it lower blood sugar levels, but can help a person lose weight. it also helps lower bad cholesterol level in the blood and can provide almost instant relief from acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar also has hundreds of uses around the home.
"Apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity in recent years, with many people praising the liquid for its several health benefits."
Read more: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/
A form of vitamin E derived from annato can lessen your risk ofbone loss due to diabetes
December 19, 2018 04:39 PM
Tocotrienols, a chemical grouping that belongs to the vitamin E family, has been shown by research to have efficacy in reducing blood sugar levels and inhibiting bone loss. The most recent research came in the form of two studies, both of which made use of a tropical fruit, known as the annato. A pre-diabetic state and osteoporosis was induced in rodent subjects for both of the studies. One of the studies, conducted in Malaysia, showed that the rodent subjects had better parameters for a number of metabolic syndrome indicators, such as fasting blood glucose and triglycerides. In the case of the Malaysian study, the rodents either received a dose of tocotrienols commensurate with normal human supplementation or a diet stripped of tocotrienols. A Texas-based research study compared the tocotrienols with Metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetic medicine. Results showed that the tocotrienols in higher doses was better than the medicine in instituting bone growth. A third study, also in Malaysia, used human subjects with type 2 diabetes. Markers for the human subjects were also improved for the subjects that consumed tocotrienols.
"Studies have shown that tocotrienols may help inhibit bone loss and regulate blood sugar levels. The tocotrienols used in the studies were derived from the red-orange tropical fruit known as annatto."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-30-vitamin-e-lessens-bone-loss-risk-due-to-diabetes.html
3 Ways to Boost Your Endocannabinoid System (Without Cannabis)
December 06, 2018 10:16 AM
endocannabinoid system includes mood, memory, pain, and more within the body. It is mainly found in CBD oil made from marijuana. This system's purpose is to keep every thing in check with one another from the circulatory system to the nervous system. There are other ways to help with regulation of the body. Not only CBS oil but CBC has been known for it's pain relief and anti-inflammatory qualities. To help your own endocannabinoid system, feed it, don't ignore it, and then nurture it.
"To reduce the impact of stress on the endocannabinoid system, experts suggest introducing healthy behaviors such as exercise, social interaction, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and even fasting, which Gersh notes can actually help increase natural endocannabinoids."
Read more: https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/3-ways-to-boost-your-endocannabinoid-system
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The potential antidiabetic benefits of moringa
November 19, 2018 10:56 AM
Estimates from the World Health Organization place the possible tally of worldwide diabetics at over 400 million. That figure was established almost 5 years ago. Truly, diabetes is on the rise and rightfully considered an epidemic. All of which explains why scientists around the world are always on the lookout for natural, effective, low-cost treatment modalities that afford minimal to no side effects for the user. This is especially crucial because diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and loss of limbs. The most prevalent form, type 2 diabetes, is manageable with diet and drugs, but many drugs come with the cost of potentially dangerous side effects. Moringa, a native of India and a popular Asian vegetable, is gaining buzz as a superfood. One Cambodian study used obese rodent subjects and garnered some compelling evidence that the superfood could be used to benefit diabetics. For example, the mice used, that were also moringa recipients, had lower fasting glucose levels. The moringa recipients also had lower triglyceride levels and lessened renal impairment. Study suggests that moringa protects the human body from oxidative stress, from inflammation, and even from arsenic. It also acts to reduce cholesterol.
"Researchers from different parts of the world are setting their sights on moringa (Moringa oleifera), a plant native to India and widely cultivated in different parts of Asia, and its potential health benefits, with many being focused on its antidiabetic effects."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-11-antidiabetic-benefits-of-moringa.html
Cinnamon has good-for-you properties along with wonderful aroma
October 13, 2018 11:52 AM
There are many good things that come from eating cinnamon. Not only does it taste really good, it has properties within it that are good for you. First and foremost, it helps unclog your system. If you are feeling a little bit stuffy or too down, then cinnamon can help clear all of that stuff up. Also, it has a really good aroma to it that indicates that it is good for the senses of a human.
"According to a 2018 analysis of studies of people with type 2 diabetes, taking between a half and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon daily reduced fasting blood sugar by 10% to 29%."
Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/life/food/2018/10/08/cinnamon-good-you-properties-along-wonderful-aroma/1491615002/
8 Ways To Slow Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Style
October 29, 2017 10:14 AM
Dietary and lifestyle changes may help prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms associated with chronic inflammation. Lifestyle changes suggested in the article "8 Ways To Slow Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Style" include getting enough sleep, exercise, and not smoking. For those who are not malnourished, intermittent fasting has proven to be helpful with inflammation. This practice has also shown to improve cognitive abilities and slow bone mineral density loss. Physiologically, fasting inhibits inflammatory reactions by reducing markers of oxidative stress.
"The overall inflammation burden was 27% lower for those with strong spousal support."
Read more: https://www.prevention.com/health/anti-inflammatory-diet
This Is The Best Way to Detox Your Body
August 28, 2017 09:14 AM
Many people think that the only way to cleanse or detox their body is by fasting. There is an easier and healthier way to get the benefit of detox and it is by eating certain foods, exercising, getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water. Eat more fiber rich foods and eat less red meat, sugar, processed and fatty foods to detox naturally.Try not to eat large meals but smaller ones more often. A few changes to your diet will keep everything working smoothly.
"it’s time to make over your notion of a cleanse"
Read more: http://www.health.com/weight-loss/how-to-detox
One-month sugar detox: A nutritionist explains how and why
June 13, 2017 12:14 PM
Lots of detox programs show up online. They can help you lose weight or just get unhealthy things out of your body. This talks about one which helps with sugar. Since lots of us consume way too much sugar this is helpful. An expert explains why this is a good idea and how to do it. Detoxing can actually be unhealthy if they're done incorrectly so it's good to get info from someone who knows a lot about the topic.
"The good news is that even if you're not a true sugar "addict," by eliminating sugar from your diet, you can quickly lose unwanted pounds, feel better and have a more radiant appearance."
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/sugar-detox-food-drayer/index.html
Keto Diet for Women: Benefits, Food List & Tips to Overcome Side Effects
June 06, 2017 09:14 AM
While existing somewhat below the radar, the ketogenic, or keto diet, has been around for almost a hundred years. In a nutshell, it requires the follower to get three fourths of their diet from healthy fat sources, a radical shift from the high carb diet prevalent today. Notable as a good way to shed pounds and avoid complications of aging, such as insulin resistance and neurological impairment, the diet’s statistical backup has so far centered mainly around rodents and male humans. Anecdotal evidence does suggest, however, that the diet is beneficial for women undergoing perimenopause and menopause. One practitioner, in particular, advocates combining a keto diet with an alkaline diet, to avoid some of the discomfort users have when undergoing the radical shift in intake. A more alkaline pH is good for the body. So, the combination is a win/win.
"Fasting is a key aspect of a healthy diet and has many anti-aging effects."
Read more: https://draxe.com/keto-diet-women/
Acid Reflux Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatments
May 10, 2017 03:44 PM
Acid reflux is a common condition that can cause a range of issues ranging from mild discomfort all the way up to causing cancer. The signs of acid reflux vary but are typically a discomfort burning feeling in the chest. Treatments can range from specialty diets to prescription drugs. Some foods to avoid are alcohol, fried foods and spicy foods. Foods high in healthy fats and enzymes tend to help reduce acid reflux. Probiotics and chamomile are two other natural options to help control reflux.
"Contrary to popular belief (and what many pharmaceutical companies say in advertisements), acid reflux symptoms are not caused by too much acid in the stomach."
Read more: https://draxe.com/acid-reflux-symptoms/
Can fasting help with weight loss?
May 04, 2017 11:29 AM
Lisa Rapaport discusses a U.S. study that investigated fasting as a planned way to lose weight. This fasting study involved people who fasted every other day. This method of weight loss has become increasingly popular as many have found methods such as calorie counting extremely difficult to follow. While the study did show that those who fasted on alternate days did lose more weight, the difference between the study group and control group was marginal. Ultimately, this suggests that the fasting may have had no difference at all.
Read more: Can fasting help with weight loss?
When A Colon Cleanse May be Right For You
April 06, 2017 09:15 AM
Colon cleanses are natural detoxification methods used to increase intestinal health and relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. Colon cleansing techniques include the use of laxatives, enemas, or colonic hydrotherapy. Laxatives are large doses of magnesium used to induce a bowel movement while an enema is the act of flushing the colon with water that is inserted through the rectum. Colonic hydrotherapy is a more powerful and professionally administered method of cleansing dehydrated waste from the colon using water.
"There are typically three approaches for performing a colon cleanse; taking laxatives, performing an enema, or undergoing colonics. These three methods all offer different benefits and advantages, though all are best done in conjunction with a gut-nourishing diet rich in healthy fats and bacteria."
Read more: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/373992435/when-a-colon-cleanse-may-be-right-for-you
WHY SHOULD YOU DRINK WATER ON AN EMPTY STOMACH? VERY FEW KNOW!
March 27, 2017 11:59 AM
Our bodies are mainly composed of water and we need it in order to stay focused and well hydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning can help with fighting diseases throughout the day. Water gives several benefits including helping relieve pains, regulates blood pressure as well as many others. We need to drink at least 2 liters of water per day to replace as much as we loose on a daily basis. Death can occur if you body if you bodies hydration drops to 10%.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zdtnJVOYM0&rel=0
"The human being is composed largely of water, so this element is indispensable for a correct function of the organism, as well as to keep us healthy and energized."
You Don’t Need Another Juice Fast
December 21, 2016 12:59 PM
One of the most recent fads in dieting is juicing. While the diet usually starts out great, most people lose their steam after a few days and end right back where they started. Just like any other diet, it is hard to maintain. Not only that, but juicing can also be very expensive depending on what type of fruits and vegetables you include in the diet. The worst part of juicing to get yourself back on track is that you don’t learn how to watch your food and go back to the same bad habits as before.
"With juice fasting, not only are you NOT learning to eat the right combinations, quantities and types of food, but you’re confusing your entire system by literally drowning it in juice."
What Is the Malibu Miracle Weight Loss Program?
August 21, 2015 08:16 PM
If you want to shed some pounds quickly and easily, then Malibu Miracle weight loss program is what you need. The exotic berry Malibu Miracle formula produces amazing noticeable results that will get you slimming sooner than you thought. Malibu Miracle contains a blend of highly effective and concentrated blend of succulent fruits including Gogi, Noni, Mangosteen, Pomegranate and Acai. With this, you can have a wholesome nutrition that will support your body cleansing as well as experience an exhilarated state of well-being. Malibu Miracle juice is delicious and is charged with metabolism-supporting botanicals which include L-Carnitine, Super Citimax, Green Tea, Red wine, prebiotic fructooligosaccharides and Grape seed extract.
How Does The Malibu Miracle Weight Loss Program Work?
The Malibu Miracle formula contains oxygen-enhanced revitalized water that has vitality-enhancing, rehydrating and energizing properties that work naturally. That way, you can experience superior hydration, cellular health as well as an improved body health. However, when managing your weight, don’t expect miracles to happen from nowhere. It will take your hard work, determination, healthy diet and exercise program for you to realize the desired results. Malibu Miracle only serves as a supplement for a comprehensive diet and exercise program. Malibu Miracle’s line has cutting-edge formulas that will produce lightning-fast results for better living. It is amazing how you can be on your way to an improved body size and shape in as little as 48 hours. The products contain exotic natural ingredients that are combined with the latest advancements in weight nutrition. In addition to that, the Malibu Miracle juice is incredibly sweet so you have every reason to buy one for your weight loss program.
Where Malibu Miracle 48-hour juice didn’t do better, the Exotic Oxyjuice introduced Ultra Malibu Miracle. The breakthrough juice fast program comes in 6,000 mg each of real antioxidant-rich red super fruit juices ranging from Mangosteen, Noni, Goji, Pomegranate and Acai. These combination of juices kick-start the rapid weight loss in your body and also deliver nutrients which catalyze cascading full-body cleansing. On top of that, the Ultra Malibu Miracle contains Slendesta - a potato protein extract with ultimate appetite control properties- which helps you feel full and completely satisfied all day long.
All other competing juice fasting products can’t match Malibu Miracle and Ultra Malibu’s ability to deliver excellent results. These two products work great in suppressing appetite, providing anti-oxidant protection, supplying health-supporting nutrients and cutting weight within the shortest time. All that is contained in the lusciously delicious and mixed-berry juice concentrates.
Does Malibu Miracle Have Any Side Effects?
Malibu Miracle contains no artificial colors nor sweeteners. All the ingredients are naturally sourced and so you should expect minimal or no side effects while on your weight loss program. It is always advisable that during juice fasting diet, you abstain from food, alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Juice fasting is not recommended for pregnant women, lactating mothers or people with medical conditions or those that are on medication of any kind.
As with all diets, results might vary with each individual. It also depends on how much you exercise so you need to balance things out to get the desired results. However, it is important to remember that juice fasting for consecutive 48-hour periods is not recommended.
December 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Glucomannan is derived from the extracted mucilage of the konjac root. This plant is part of the same family as yams, but does not have the calories. Glucomannan is a 100 percent natural form of fiber. The principle use of this herb is as a bulking agent to promote the feeling of fullness.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. This nutrient is considered to be a dietary fiber. Often, glucomannan is a food additive that is used as both an emulsifier and thickener. Products that contain glucomannan are marketed under a variety of brand names, but are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris, and type II diabetes. Glucomannan can be found making up about forty percent by dry weight of the roots of the konjac plant. This nutrient is also a hemicellulose, which can be found in large amounts in wood of conifer plants and in smaller amounts in the wood of dicotyledons.
Glucomannan helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain regularity, and promote intestinal health. The herb also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, relieving stress on the pancreas, and discouraging blood sugar abnormalities such as hypoglycemia. Glucomannan also absorbs toxic substances that are produced during digestion and elimination. The herb binds toxic materials and eliminates them before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Research has determined that glucomannan and lecithin together reduce cholesterol levels. Lecithin is responsible for breaking down fat and cholesterol, and glucomannan eliminates those broken-down particles from the body. This herb expands to about fifty times its original volume when it is taken with a glass of water.
Diabetic patients have reported that they experienced benefits with glucomannan. One study, in which patients were given glucomannan daily for ninety days, found the mean fasting glucose levels to have fallen by 29 percent by the end of the ninety days. At the end of the period, the mean fasting glucose levels fell by 29 percent. Most participants in this study reduced their insulin requirements. Glucomannan may also help cholesterol levels. Animal studies have determined that there is a significant reduction in cholesterol levels when given this herb.
Before supplementing with glucomannan, it is important to speak with your health care provider. In the same sense, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices that you use. It is important to give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This ensures both coordinated and safe health care.
The root of the glucomannan plant is used to provide anorectic, antacid, cholagogue, digestive, nutritive, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, and zinc. Primarily, glucomannan is extremely helpful in treating blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol, constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and obesity. Additionally, the herb is very beneficial in dealing with atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric problems, hypoglycemia, and pancreatic problems.
May 15, 2009 01:08 PM
Basil is a common seasoning that can be found in many kitchens all over the world. This herb is often used to make pesto and to flavor soups, stews, and other foods. Additionally, basil has been used for a long amount of time throughout the world for medicinal purposes. This herb is especially used in Asia and Africa, along with India, where it is thought to be a sacred herb. Basil has been used to treat exhaustion, as it works as a stimulant to promote energy. This herb has antibacterial properties and may help to draw out poisons from stings and bites.
Basil is a low-growing herb that is prominently featured in Italian cuisine. This herb is also a huge part of Southeast Asian cuisines like those of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The plant has a similar taste to that of anise, but has a pungent and sweet smell. There are multiple varieties of basil, with the one most typically used in Italian food being sweet basil. Asia, on the other hand, uses Thai basil, lemon basil, and holy basil. Although most types of basil are considered to be annuals, some are perennial and grow in warm, tropical climates. These include the African Blue and Holy Thai basil. Originally native to Iran, India, and other tropical regions of Asia, basil has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.
The basil plant grows between 30-130 cm tall and has light green, silky leaves that are approximately 3-11 cm long and 1-6 cm broad. The flowers are very big and white in color. They arrange themselves along the plant in a spike shape. The basil plant is extremely sensitive to cold, as it grows best in hot, dry conditions. If there is any chance of frost, the plant will behave as an annual. This plant only grows well in Northern Europe, Canada, the northern states of the U.S., and the South Island of New Zealand if it is grown under glass in a pot, and planted outdoors in late spring or early summer, when there is little chance of a frost. The plant does its best in well-drained sunny places.
Basil is not only a flavoring, but a definite source of health benefits. One study done by the University of Baroda in India found basil to help to lower fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyercide levels significantly. Basil may also help non-insulin-dependent diabetics to control their diabetes. Additional research has found that basil can also be useful for killing intestinal parasites, treating acne, and stimulating the immune system.
The leaves of basil are used to provide anthelmintic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in basil are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, D, and B2. Primarily, basil is very beneficial in treating insect and snake bites, colds, headaches, indigestion, absence of lactation, and whooping cough. Additionally, basil can be extremely helpful in dealing with intestinal catarrh, constipation, stomach cramps, fevers, flu, kidney problems, nervous disorders, respiratory infections, rheumatism, urinary problems, vomiting, and worms. For more information on the many health benefits of basil, feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
February 18, 2009 03:15 PM
Most of the time, halitosis is caused by poor dental hygiene. However, there may be other factors involved such as gum disease, tooth decay, heavy metal buildup, infection of the respiratory tract, improper diet, constipation, smoking, fever, diabetes, foreign bacteria in the mouth, indigestion, inadequate protein digestion, liver or kidney malfunction, postnasal drip, stress, and too much unfriendly bacteria in the colon.
Additionally, halitosis can be caused by a buildup of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, salivary gland disorder, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, or diabetes. It is also true that dieting, alcohol abuse, or fasting can also cause bad breath. “Morning breath” is the product of dehydration and the reduction in the amount of saliva. This saliva is necessary for washing away bacteria in the mouth.
Dieters and people who are fasting may often experience bad breath. This is because the lack of food causes the body to break down stored fat and protein for fuel. The metabolic wastes that are a result of this process have an unpleasant odor as they are exhaled from the lungs.
The following nutrients are beneficial for dealing with and preventing bad breath. One tablespoon of chlorophyll can be taken in juice twice daily, as green drinks are one of the best ways to combat bad breath. 2,000 to 6,000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids should be taken daily. Vitamin C is important in healing mouth and gum disease and preventing bleeding gums. This nutrient also rids the body of excess mucus and toxins that cause bad breath. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label. It is needed to replenish the friendly bacteria in the colon. Insufficient friendly bacteria and an overabundance of harmful bacteria can often cause bad breath.
Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic by destroying foreign bacteria in both the mouth and the colon. It is recommended that you take 2 capsules of the odorless form 4 times daily, with meals and at bedtime. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily as it has an antibacterial effect and neutralizes sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds are a common cause of mouth odor. Bee propolis should be taken as directed on the label. It is helpful in healing the gums, aiding control of infection in the body, and also has an antibacterial effect. 15,000 IU of vitamin A should be taken daily; it is needed for control of infection and also in healing of the mouth. Additionally, 100 mg of vitamin B complex is needed for proper digestion.
The following herbs are also beneficial for dealing with halitosis. Alfalfa supplies chlorophyll, which cleanses the bloodstream and colon, where bad breath often begins. Gum disease, which is a major factor of bad breath, can be treated with goldenseal extract. This extract can heal the infected parts. Myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, and sage should be used to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth. Chewing a sprig of parsley after meals is an excellent treatment for bad breath. This nutrient is rich in chlorophyll, which happens to be a popular ingredient in breath mints. Other herbs that can be beneficial include anise, cloves, and fennel.
Whether you want to take it into your own hands to heal your gums from disease, a gum disease can be a sign of a more significant health problem that should be looked at by our health care provider. In either case, vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural Toothpaste is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Holy Basil Extract
November 28, 2008 10:04 AM
It has been proposed that holy basil extract can help you cope with stress, and an investigation into the active components of the plant does indicate that there could be a scientific basis behind this use of it. This is in line with most traditional Ayurvedic medicines, whose benefits have been supported by modern scientific evidence.
Holy basil, otherwise known as Tulsi or Tulasi in Sanskrit and Hindi, is correctly Ocimum tenuiflorum, an aromatic member of the Lamiaceae family just as the more common form of basil is (Ocimum basilicum). Holy basil is cultivated for several reasons, the major ones being for its essential oils, for culinary use, religious use and for its medicinal properties. It is grown right across South Asia. Thai holy basil is used in Thai cookery while other forms play an important role within some of the traditions of Hinduism and is found profusively around Hindu temples.
Holy basil extract has been used for thousands of years for its healing and medicinal properties, and is mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita. It is written that it is used to balance a number of bodily processes and believed to be involved in promoting longevity. It is considered to be able to allow the body to adapt to stress and is also used to treat a large number of different medical conditions, from headaches to malaria and heart disease.
Most modern medical studies, however, have been carried out on animals rather than human subjects, so definitive evidence is lacking, and while there is evidence that tulsi extract might be an effective antioxidant and help in the control of blood sugar, there is also compelling evidence that it might be able to counteract the effects of stress. First, let's have a look at the active ingredients of holy basil extract, and how they fit in with the beneficial medical properties claimed.
One of the more important components of tulsi is eugenol, or 1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene. Eugenol is a phenylpropanoid, also found in clove oil, and is a COX-2 inhibitor that is used in medicine as a local anesthetic. Two others are the triterpenes oleanolic and ursolic acids, which possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. The pentacyclic ursolic acid can inhibit the development of various forms of cancers through the inhibition of the STAT3 pathway that is responsible for several types of human cancer that have poor prognosis.
Also present in holy basil extract is the polyphenol Rosmarinic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that is also present in herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme. Rosmarinic acid will also contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil, and many of the antibacterial properties it is said to possess could be due to carvacrol, a terpene that damages bacterial cell membranes and inhibits the growth of a number of bacterial strains.
Another component of Tulsi is the sesquiterpene B-caryophyllene, also contained in clove oil, and also possessing anti-inflammatory properties in mice. It is unknown whether or not these properties are transferred to humans, but the evidence of the use of the plant is that they are. Beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive, and as such, a dietary cannabinoid. Apegenin, also present in tulsi, is a flavanoid and another strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
With all of these ingredients that have proven health benefits, it is little wonder that holy basil is claimed to have the health benefits that it has. But what about its effects on blood sugar that it is said to control? It's probably not a coincidence that many other herbs that contain eugenol, such as cloves, are also claimed to have the same moderating effect on blood sugar levels. Not only that, but since diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it is not surprising that holy basil extract, that is rich in ant-inflammatories, should possess this property.
The main theory is that many of the components of holy basil can help support the beta cell function of the pancreas, and so enhance the secretion of insulin. In one of the few controlled human tests, a group of 40 people with Type 2 diabetes stopped taking their normal medication seven days before the test. They were then given holy basil leaves for an initial period of 5 days. Half were then given 2.5g powder holy basil leaf and the other half a placebo for 4 weeks. The two groups then switched over for 4 weeks - the first being on the placebo, and the second taking the holy basil.
With the first group, the average fasting glucose level dropped by 25.9%, from 234.5 mg/dl to 99.7. After switching to the placebo for 4 weeks it increased to 115.6 mg/dl (15.9% increase). The fasting blood glucose of the second group dropped from an average of 132.4 to 123.2 (6.9%), and then when on the holy basil leaf, dropped further to 97.2 mg/dl (21.1%).
This demonstrates clearly that holy basil leaf reduces blood sugar significantly faster than fasting, and so is beneficial to Type 2 diabetics. Perhaps more such studies should be carried out to confirm these important results, which appear to conform to the theory that the components of the plant should have this type of effect on blood sugar levels.
How about stress? Tulsi is said to particularly useful to people suffering from stress. The human stress response is an inflammatory cascade in which the immune system reacts by attempting to repair the stressed areas. If this response gets out of hand the stress can be exacerbated, and it is important that the stress response is carried put at an appropriate level.
A COX-2 modulator can prevent the inflammatory cascade by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme that causes it. Since eugenol is a COX-2 inhibitor, it can help to keep the body healthy and prevent the stress reaction. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of many of the components of holy basil extract can help to prevent the body being stressed by antioxidants and by today's environmental pollution and it also possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties to help reduce illness.
It is also an adaptogen, which enhances your natural response to emotional stress and helps your body functional normally when stressed. Studies have indicated that holy basil extracts can reduce the levels of corticosterone, a hormone responsible for stress, and improve your mood and mental clarity. Longer term effects can include memory improvement and a reduction in the risk of age-related mental conditions.
The active factors involved in the reduction of mental stress, and an increase in mental clarity, are the essential oils that tulsi contains, and their chemical components: particularly eugenol and caryophyllene. Studies have shown these to elevate the spirit and the mood, while the terpene acids, such as ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, can help to improve your body's response to stress.
There are very few doubts of the effect of holy basil extract (or tulsi extract and leaf) in improving mood, mental clarity and reducing the effects of stress, or of its other extensive beneficial medical effects. More studies might be needed to prove them to the medical community, but even now people suffering from diabetes mellitus are benefiting from its moderating effect on blood sugar levels, and once again the application of Ayurvedic medicine is being proved as effective in the modern era as it was in the ancient world.
Lower Blood Sugar
October 16, 2008 01:54 PM
Many people struggle to control their weight. However, while they are going on and off various diets, they fail to realize that they are also struggling to control blood sugar. Actually, the cause of blood-sugar problems may be weight problems, as being overweight and having blood sugar problems tend to go hand in hand. Too many blood sugar swings during the day tend to increase hunger jags, snacking, and overeating. When you overeat, you’re much more likely to add on the pounds, setting the stage for obesity, pre-diabetes, and full blown diabetes.
Sadly, both pre-diabetes and overweight have become modern epidemics that are out of control, with two of every three Americans being overweight and over 100 million people having some signs of pre-diabetes. Both of these illnesses are nutritional disorders that result from eating too many unhealthful foods. However, there is good news: you can reverse pre-diabetes and control your weight.
One can self-diagnose pre-diabetes by looking for the most visible symptom: being chubby or fat around the waist. Other clues are cravings sweets and starchy foods, not being hungry at breakfast, and feeling tired or mentally fuzzy after lunch. Many physicians diagnose pre-diabetes when a patient’s fasting blood sugar falls between 100 and 124 mg/dl. There are several dietary factors that significantly increase the risk of overweight. Some of these being: too many calories, too many refined carbs, especially sugars, and too many unhealthful oils.
The average woman needs about 1,600 calories and the typical man needs about 2,000 calories daily, but the average American now consumes 3,900 calories each day, making it difficult to burn off all these calories and causing the accumulation of body fat. Because most excess calories take form of refined carbs and sugars, which are digested rapidly, rapid or extreme spikes in blood sugar levels, elevated insulin levels, and bouts of hunger result, which stimulate low blood sugar. Trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, interfere with the body’s processing of fats and often lead to weight gain. Most of these problematic calories are found in fast foods, microwave foods, and other types of convenience foods, which are all best if they are avoided.
Even though pre-diabetes can be scary, it’s actually an opportunity to improve your eating habits and regain your health. To improve your health you can emphasize quality protein, emphasize high-fiber vegetables and fruits, include grapefruit in your diet, use more vinegar, and add some cinnamon. Since protein stabilizes and safely lowers blood sugar levels, be sure to start each day with some protein with breakfast and eat a little protein with each meal.
Most veggies and fruits are rich in fiber, which helps to lower blood sugar, so opt for salads and steamed broccoli while avoiding crutons, potatoes, bananas, and pears. Despite the calories, eating fresh grapefruit can help in weight reduction. The acetic acid in vinegar can also help to improve blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce appetite, and help with weight loss. Adding cinnamon has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. There are also several supplements that have exceptional value in improving insulin function or lowering blood sugar levels. These include lipoic acid, chromium, silymarin, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, and Pycnogenol.
You can also enhance the benefits of diet and supplements by increasing your physical activity as it helps build muscle and burn blood sugar and fat. Tackling pre-diabetes can not only reduce your long-term risk for health problems, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but also can allow you to quickly gain more energy and feel less post-meal fatigue.
September 12, 2008 09:43 AM
The ileocecal valve, which is made up of sphincter muscles that close the ileum, prevents toxins and other materials that are released by the appendix from entering into the small intestine. Additionally, the ileocecal valve helps to keep digested material in the small intestine until all of the nutrients have been absorbed. When the food residue is ready for elimination, the small intestine mixes bile, mucus, and other excretions with the food residue and releases it systematically through the ileocecal valve into the large intestine. This process prevents an overload of material in the intestine for the body to eliminate.
When the toxic material of the colon is able to enter back into the intestine, where it becomes rapidly reabsorbed, ileocecal valve syndrome occurs, which can lead to infection and disease. Symptoms of ileocecal valve syndrome include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, irregular bowel movements, lower right bowel tenderness, acne, immune weakness, migraines, and duodenal ulcers.
To avoid ileocecal valve syndrome one should eat a diet that is high in fiber and includes whole grains. These whole grains should be soaked and cooked in order to avoid irritating the valve. Foods that cause constipation such as diary products, meat, and bananas should be avoided. Raisins, figs, and stewed prunes should be eaten for breakfast. More fresh fruits and vegetables should be added to the diet. Softer raw vegetables such as leaf lettuce, spinach, avocados, sprouts, and tomatoes should be used first.
Additionally, one should reduce the amount of meat that they eat and take a fiber supplement in order to avoid constipation. Fasting on juices two or three days a week will help to speed the healing process of the digestive tracts. Grains that are thermos-cooked are healing on the digestive tract and rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and protein. The slow cooking process protects the body from destruction of vital enzymes. Milet, buckwheat, and basmati brown rice can also be eaten for breakfast, as they are easy for the body to digest and extremely nourishing. Raw vegetables and fruits, steamed vegetables, yams, and avocados are all also extremely helpful in healing the digestive tract, so they are recommended.
Nutritional supplements that can assist with ileocecal valve syndrome include antioxidants, vitamin A, B-complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, blue-green algae, acidophilus, and plant digestive enzymes. Also, aloe vera juice, cat’s claw, grape seed extract, pau d’arco, licorice, goldenseal, slippery elm, and comfrey are great herbal aids for helping for ileocecal valve syndrome.
Colon health is a lot more important than most people realize, as the digestive process is directly related to the health of the body, immune system function, and overall longevity. When any disease occurs, the colon should be the first thing looked to for treatment. By understanding what it means to have a healthy colon, adding fiber, nutritional supplements, herbal aids, and a change in diet, one can promote overall colon health. Eating habits should be changed slowly and unhealthy, nutrition robbing foods should be eliminated from the diet and replaced with whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables.
August 13, 2008 12:44 PM
A lot of people are eating healthier nowadays, as empty processed diets are being restored to more wholesome foods, causing a more conscious society to be emerging. It is important now more than ever to understand how natural foods can help us to lose weight and create a better life. Spirulina is a small spiral-coiled organism that is one of the oldest living things on earth. Spirulina also called blue-green algae is a nutritional powerhouse and supplies numerous benefits. For centuries it has been nourishing people and is becoming an increasingly popular option among dieters and health seekers.
Spirulina thrives in hot climates where it grows in ponds and lakes, producing twenty times more protein than soybeans that grow on an equal-sized amount of land. It actually has the richest known protein content at 60 to 70 percent. This vegetable is easy to digest and allows dieters to meet their needs for this nutrient while fighting off the craving for meat, unwanted fat, and cholesterol. The concentrated protein found in spirulina can encourage natural body weight by eliminating the highs and lows in blood sugar that come along with a high-carbohydrate diet. This effect of stabilizing blood sugar helps people with hypoglycemia.
Spirulina was originally used for food by African villagers before the Aztecs recorded consuming spirulina in what is now Mexico over five centuries ago. In India, small amounts of spirulina were used to help improve the general well-being, by enabling vegetarian villagers to maintain a healthy weight without eating meat. Spirulina was rated a better food than most other protein sources by researchers at the Toronto’s McGill University when studying severely malnourished children. If you aren’t consuming the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, just one spirulina serving can give you ten times more beta carotene than carrots.
In a study at McGill University, spirulina was given to thirty men with mild hypertension and high cholesterol; results were shown to reduce cholesterol levels in all participants. The total cholesterol levels dropped significantly, but returned to baseline when the spirulina was stopped. Spirulina contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is the same nutrient that is found in mother’s milk. When it is taken in large quantities, GLA has been shown to contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and hormone regulation.
Scientists at UC Davis School of Medicine found that spirulina increases the production of cytokines, which provide a major defense against viruses and cancer cells. Cytokines are good for the body because they stimulate the cells that target cells which target certain pathogens. The more of these cells that you have available, the more attack forces you have to fight the cells.
The chlorophyll which is found in spirulina makes it a natural cleanser, as well as a natural appetite suppressant; making it favorable for dieters. This is extremely useful for people who are trying to lose weight or are fasting. Because spirulina is so rich in vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium, it is great for men, women, children, and vegetarians who are prone to deficiencies in these nutrients.
In conclusion, today’s spirulina is grown using modern methods and available in tablets, capsules, and powders. Spirulina is a great addition to one’s diet whether they are trying to boost overall health or manage weight. Stop in to your local health food store and ask about spirulina and how it can help boost your health.
Detox with ParaPhyte from Source Naturals
April 16, 2007 04:10 PM
ParaPhyte™ Intestinal Detoxifier
• Clears and detoxifies the GI tract
• Promotes a healthy immune system
• Aids the development of natural, healthy gastrointestinal flora ParaPhyte™ contains potent, traditional herbal ingredients that support and defend the body’s healthy gastrointestinal flora. Additional herbal ingredients soothe the gastrointestinal tract and maintain digestive balance.
2 tablets contain:
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane [OptiMSM™]....300 mg (2.5% cynarins)
Garlic Clove..................................................... 250 mg
Butternut Bark Extract (4:1)........................... 250 mg Slippery Elm Bark.............................100 mg
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Citricidex™)............. 150 mg Quassia Wood Extract (4:1)................50 mg
(49% polyphenolic compounds) Fennel Seed.........................................50 mg
Sweet Wormwood Aerial Parts Extract (8:1) 125 mg Gentian Root Extract (5:1)..................25 mg
Clove Fruit....................................................... 100 mg Marshmallow Root Extract (4:1)........25 mg
Suggested Use: 1 to 2 tablets, twice daily between meals with 8 ounces of water. Fasting or eating lightly is recommended during the first day or two. During this time it is important to drink plenty of fluids and juices to maintain electrolyte balance and hydration.
To Order Call 1-800
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Best Sugar Balance Svetol (green coffee extract)
May 05, 2006 06:30 PM
Best Sugar Balance featuring Svetol® Svetol® is an extract of green coffee obtained by the use of a traditional patented extraction process from the beans of the species Coffea canephora robusta Pierre. This species is particularly rich in the constituent known as chlorogenic acid. Svetol® green coffee extract contains less than 2% caffeine. The extract is standardized to contain between 45-50% chlorogenic acids.
In vitro (test tube) and in vivo research suggests that chlorogenic acids present in coffee may have the ability to regulate blood sugar concentrations after meals by acting on the intestinal absorption of glucose and improving the body's glucose tolerance. Clinical evidence also suggests that Svetol® green coffee extract may help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level when used as a part of the diet.*
Maintains healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet*
Chlorogenic acid is the major polyphenol compound found in Svetol® green coffee bean extract. In vitro and animal studies have been conducted to determine the potential actions of this polyphenol. Studies report that chlorogenic acid and related compounds have significant antioxidant potential and are responsible for the high reported antioxidant benefit of green coffee. Several studies suggest that consumption of coffee in the diet is one factor that is correlated to the maintenance of healthy neural function and healthy aging. Coffee has also been shown in vitro to suppress the production of various free radicals. The chlorogenic acid content of coffee has been determined to be a major factor in the free radical quenching properties of coffee. A study was conducted to assess the activity of coffee extracts against the production of hydroxyl radicals in an in vitro system. It was found that coffee extracts possessed significant suppressive activity against hydroxyl radicals. Of the compounds assumed to be responsible for this effect, the researchers concluded that the chlorogenic acids played a major role with some contributions from other compounds found in the extract. This compound may also strongly contribute to any potential neuroprotective effects seen with coffee consumption.1
Two further studies highlight a possible mechanism by which chlorogenic acid mediates its antioxidant activity. In one study, the FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) assay was used to measure and compare the iron-reducing capacity of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. It was shown that the chlorogenic acid content of the samples tested was highly correlated with iron-reducing activity in this assay. Moreover, lighter roasted coffee samples (closer in nature to green coffee) had the highest iron-reducing activity. Caffeine did not influence the iron-reducing activity of the coffee samples.2 Iron compounds are known to mediate the production of radicals and often serve as catalysts for their production in the body. A second study shows that chlorogenic acid can bind to and Chelate certain iron compounds, preventing them from catalyzing radical-producing reactions. In this way, chlorogenic acid acts as a powerful antioxidant.3
Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year. The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee Chlorogenic acid and related compounds have a dual effect on the production and suppression of free radicals. In the case of the hydroxyl radical, studies outlined previously suggest that chlorogenic acid suppresses the production of the radical due to its ability to chelate iron compounds, while other studies suggest that chlorogenic acid has direct scavenging effects on the hydroxyl radical.4 Dietary intake of this potent polyphenol may confer multiple benefits to human health.
Several studies further suggest that chlorogenic acid in coffee can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as a part of the diet. A recent study assessed the effects of coffee and tea consumption on glucose tolerance in middle-aged Japanese men. In this study, the relationship between daily intakes of green tea or coffee and glucose tolerance status was measured by the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
More than 3,400 men participated in the study in which fasting glucose was measured before and 2 hours after administration of an oral glucose load. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish daily levels of dietary coffee and green tea consumption over the past year.
The results showed that those individuals who consumed the highest levels of coffee per day had lower fasting glucose levels (by 1.5%) and lower post-test glucose concentrations (4.3% lower) than those who did not consume coffee on a daily basis. In this study, green tea consumption was not associated with any benefits on glucose concentrations.5
It is likely that the chlorogenic acid found in coffee plays a role in supporting healthy glucose metabolism, whereas the role of caffeine is not clear, with some reports suggesting an adverse effect on sugar metabolism.
A second study further confirms an effect of chlorogenic acid at inhibiting the absorption of glucose from the diet. This effect occurs in the small intestine. In this study, nine healthy fasted volunteers consumed 25 grams of glucose in 400 ml of water (the control group), caffeinated coffee, or decaffeinated coffee. Frequent blood samples were taken over the next 3 hours. It was found that glucose and insulin concentrations were higher 30 minutes after the consumption of caffeinated coffee than with either decaffeinated coffee or control (water).While caffeine has specific biological effects on raising glucose levels and impacting insulin profiles, chlorogenic acid was shown to have an antagonistic effect on glucose transport. Previous studies have also shown that chlorogenic acid significantly delays glucose uptake from the small intestine.6
RESEARCH ON SVETOL®
Svetol® is a unique extract of Coffea canephora robusta green coffee beans containing between 45 and 50% chlorogenic acids with less than 2% total caffeine concentration. As outlined above, many studies highlight the potential benefits of coffee compounds, including chlorogenic acid, for providing protection against free radicals and promoting healthy glucose metabolism. A number of other potential benefits have been discovered for these compounds. Svetol® has also been the subject of preliminary clinical studies that have shown exciting results.
In a pilot study, the effect of Svetol® on sugar concentrations after meals was evaluated in 15 individuals. In the same trial, the longer-term effects of Svetol® on weight management were also evaluated. Blood sugar concentrations were measured on two separate occasions. Patients were administered an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in which they consumed a standard amount of sugar and had their blood sugar levels measured 1 hour after sugar intake. The first measurement was made on day 1 prior to taking Svetol® and the second OGTT was performed on day 2, after beginning the Svetol® regimen in which one tablet (200 mg per tablet) was administered 3 times during the day. Patients were fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the testing. The results showed that Svetol® was able to reduce blood sugar concentrations in 60% of the subjects. The mean reduction of blood sugar concentration in these individuals was 50%. The treatment was continued following the same regimen for 6 weeks to assess the impact of Svetol® on weight. The average weight loss of the participants was 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) over the treatment period. 7
Based on the studies mentioned above and other related research on the ingredients in Svetol®, scientists have proposed two mechanisms of action whereby Svetol® may influence the metabolism and processing of glucose. The first mechanism seems to be an inhibitory action on glucose absorption from the diet. Svetol® may affect the uptake of glucose in the small intestine by modulating factors needed for sugar absorption.
The second mechanism relates to possible effects of Svetol® in the liver's ability to produce glucose. Chlorogenic acids have been shown in vitro and in animal studies to modulate the effects of certain enzymes in the liver that catalyze the production of glucose. By having this dual effect on sugar absorption and sugar production, Svetol® is an effective product for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels when used as a part of the diet.*
Svetol® is a natural food extract from green coffee beans containing a standardized amount of chlorogenic acid. Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid (up to 500 mg/kg/day) given to pregnant rats from the 5th through 12th day of gestation caused no maternal or fetal mortality and no adverse effects on the nervous system. Chlorogenic acids have also been shown to be non-mutagenic in tests on bacteria such as the Ames test. The LD50 of chlorogenic acids has been determined to be higher than 2500 mg/kg body weight. Svetol® is also extremely low in caffeine, with less than 2% caffeine contained in the extract, and is not expected to have any of caffeine's stimulant effects. Svetol® is extremely safe with no adverse effects having been reported while taking Svetol® at the recommended dosage.7
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1) Daglia M, Racchi M, Papetti A, Lanni C, Govoni S,Gazzani G. In vitro and ex vivo antihydroxyl radical activity of green and roasted coffee. J Agric Food Chem.2004 Mar 24;52(6):1700-4.
2) Moreira DP, Monteiro MC, Ribeiro-Alves M, Donangelo CM, Trugo LC. Contribution of chlorogenic acids to the iron-reducing activity of coffee beverages. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 9;53(5):1399-402.
3) Kono Y, Kashine S,Yoneyama T, Sakamoto Y, Matsui Y, Shibata H. Iron chelation by chlorogenic acid as a natural antioxidant. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1998 Jan;62(1):22-7.
4) Zang LY, Cosma G, Gardner H, Castranova V, Vallyathan V. Effect of chlorogenic acid on hydroxyl radical. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 May;247(1-2):205-10.
5) Yamaji T, Mizoue T, Tabata S, Ogawa S, Yamaguchi K, Shimizu E, Mineshita M, Kono S. Coffee consumption and glucose tolerance status in middle-aged Japanese men.Diabetologia. 2004 Dec;47(12):2145-51. Epub 2004 Dec 15.
6) Johnston KL, Clifford MN, Morgan LM. Coffee acutely modifies gastrointestinal hormone secretion and glucose tolerance in humans: glycemic effects of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):728-33.
7) Berkem.Text on Svetol®.Gardonne, France: November 2005.
February 11, 2006 09:30 AM
Scientific References 1. Toyoda-Ono Y, Maeda M, Nakao M, Yoshimura M, Sugiura-Tomimori N, Fukami H. 2-O-(beta-D-Glucopyranosyl)ascorbic acid, a novel ascorbic acid analogue isolated from Lycium fruit. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Apr 7;52(7):2092-6.
2. Breithaupt DE, Weller P, Wolters M, Hahn A. Comparison of plasma responses in human subjects after the ingestion of 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin dipalmitate from wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) and non-esterified 3R,3R'-zeaxanthin using chiral high-performance liquid chromatography. Br J Nutr. 2004 May;91(5):707-13.
3. Cheng CY, Chung WY, Szeto YT, Benzie IF. Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial. Br J Nutr. 2005 Jan;93(1):123-30.
4. Wu SJ, Ng LT, Lin CC. Antioxidant activities of some common ingredients of traditional chinese medicine, Angelica sinensis, Lycium barbarum and Poria cocos. Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1008-12.
5. Zhao H, Alexeev A, Chang E, Greenburg G, Bojanowski K. Lycium barbarum glycoconjugates: effect on human skin and cultured dermal fibroblasts. Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):131-7.
6. Gan L, Zhang SH, Liu Q, Xu HB. A polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum upregulates cytokine expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Jun 27;471(3):217-22.
7. Gan L, Hua Zhang S, Liang Yang X, Bi Xu H. Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Apr;4(4):563-9.
Potent Antioxidant Protection *
February 11, 2006 09:28 AM
Goji berry possesses a unique combination of flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides that are thought to be responsible for the antioxidant and anti-aging properties attributed to Goji. Studies have been conducted which characterize some of these antioxidant nutrients and show possible beneficial effects of the berry and its extracts on various systems and organs.
In a study published in 2004, scientists undertook an experiment to assess whether Goji berries contained compounds that would be known to exert potential beneficial effects on skin complexion and anti-aging properties. After analyzing the berry, leaf and roots of the Goji plant, they found that the Goji berry contained a unique analog of vitamin C known as 2-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl) ascorbic acid. They determined that this compound was unique to the berry and not found in the other parts of the plant. Furthermore, the vitamin C compound was present in levels equivalent to those found in citrus fruits such as lemons. However, the question remained as to whether this vitamin C analog served as a precursor to vitamin C when ingested in the body. A further experiment in rats was performed to determine the intestinal absorption and tissue uptake of this vitamin C analog. The results showed that some of the compound was indeed metabolized into vitamin C in the blood, while the rest was absorbed intact. These studies suggested that the compound was easily transported from the blood into cells and tissues, where it is activated to active vitamin C. Therefore, the vitamin C from Goji berries seems to be highly absorbable and targeted for delivery to the cells that utilize it.1
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that is widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and, along with lutein, is present in significant amounts in the macula of the human eye. Studies suggest that the presence of zeaxanthin is highly desirable for healthy visual function. Goji berries are used in traditional Chinese herbalism to support eye health and are also known to contain a high level of zeaxanthin dipalmitate. Researchers compared the bioavailability of this naturally esterified zeaxanthin to that of an unesterified form in 12 individuals who underwent a 23-day study in which they received one form or the other, and then switched. Administration was done on day one followed by a three-week washout period. The individuals were then crossed over to get the other form on day 23 in a single administration. Analysis revealed that the esterified zeaxanthin from Goji berry caused a higher increase in plasma levels than the non-esterified form, indicating higher bioavailability.2
A second study confirmed these findings. In this study, fourteen individuals consumed 15 grams of whole Goji berries daily for 28 days. These individuals were compared to thirteen age and sex-matched controls who did not consume the berries. Fasting blood samples were taken for all individuals before and after the 28-day period. Results indicated that zeaxanthin plasma levels increased 2.5-fold in the group who consumed the berries daily, suggesting the high bioavailability of zeaxanthin from the berries.3
Goji berry was also studied on various measures of antioxidant activity. Researchers subjected three Chinese herbs, one of which was Goji berry, to various assays of reactive oxygen scavenging potential. The results indicated that all of the herbs had significant free radical scavenging properties; however, Goji berries showed the most potent scavenging effect in the assays. Goji berry was especially strong at inhibiting the formation of superoxide anion and scavenging free radicals. The researchers concluded that among these herbs, Goji could be considered the best antioxidant to promote healthy aging.4
An interesting study was performed in human skin cultures to determine the mechanism of the potentially protective effect of Goji berry extracts. Researchers found that bathing human skin cultures with an extract from Goji berry impacted the function of several enzymes that promote skin aging. This provides evidence of an anti-aging and antioxidant effect of Goji berry extract in these human skin cultures. Researchers also noted that when these skin cultures were subjected to suboptimal growth conditions (lack of adequate nutrients), supplementing the medium with this Goji berry extract allowed the skin to maintain normal metabolic functions.5 Goji berry extract contains numerous compounds that confer potent antioxidant protection to various tissues.*
TMG Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 02:13 PM
TMG Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/07/05
LIKELY USERS: People with high homocysteine levels; People with risks of developing Alzheimer’s Disease; People needing greater metabolism of fats; People with liver detoxification challenges; People consuming alcohol KEY INGREDIENTS: TMG is composed of three methyl groups attached to a glycine atom. It can “donate” methyl groups.
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: TMG is a metabolite of the B vitamin family product called Choline. Choline has 4 methyl groups, TMG has 3 and DMG has 2. These substances plus Folic acid, Vitamin B-12 and SAM-e are all methyl donors. Methyl donors can contribute methyl groups to biological processes such as liver function, detoxification and cellular replication (production of new cells). Methylation protects the kidneys and stimulates production of the fat-transporting molecule l-carnitine.
TMG helps the liver metabolize fats, preventing the accumulation of fats in the liver. It also helps to detoxify chemicals in the liver, while protecting the liver from being damaged by those chemicals.
Methylation with TMG helps to convert the dangerous, inflammatory chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. TMG may lower homocysteine when B-6, B-12 and folic acid cannot.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: TMG is also known as Betaine and is a component of Betaine hydrochloride (Betaine HCl), a stomach acid supplement that is very acidic. But Betaine HCl is not used in the same way as TMG. TMG is not highly acidic and will not supplement low stomach acid.
TMG may be useful for autistic children, along with B-6 and magnesium. It may also be useful in strengthening the body’s immune response against pathogenic bacteria. There is very preliminary evidence that TMG and methyl donors may help against some forms of seizures.
DMG has been used as a sports supplement. TMG is 50% more effective than DMG in any application where the methyl groups are useful. Otherwise, they can used interchangeably.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One serving per day, or up to 6,000 mg., as needed.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: SAM-e, Milk Thistle (Silymarin), Dr. Verghese’s Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator, Antioxidants, NAC, Homocysteine Regulators, D-Flame, Detox Support
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement.
People with Parkinson’s or taking L-dopa should not use methyl donors like TMG without a physician’s specific approval and supervision. There are no other known drug interactions with TMG.
This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This is not an official publication by any company, nor has this information been screened or approved by the FDA or any private company.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REFERENCES:
Craig SA. Betaine in human nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):539-49. Review. PMID: 15321791
Barak AJ, Tuma DJ. Betaine, metabolic by-product or vital methylating agent? Life Sci 1983;32:771-4 [review].
Benson R, Crowell B, Hill B, et al. The effects of L-dopa on the activity of methionine adenosyltransferase: relevance to L-dopa therapy and tolerance. Neurochem Res 1993;18:325–30.
Chambers ST. Betaines: their significance for bacteria and the renal tract. Clin Sci 1995;88:25-7 [review].
Charlton CG, Crowell B Jr. Parkinson’s disease-like effects of S-adenosyl-L-methionine: effects of L-dopa. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1992;43:423–31.
Charlton CG, Mack J. Substantia nigra degeneration and tyrosine hydroxylase depletion caused by excess S-adenosylmethionine in the rat brain. Support for an excess methylation hypothesis for parkinsonism. Mol Neurobiol 1994;9:149–61.
Cheng H, Gomes-Trolin C, Aquilonius SM, et al. Levels of L-methionine S-adenosyltransferase activity in erythrocytes and concentrations of S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine in whole blood of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Exp Neurol 1997;145:580–5.
Crowell BG Jr, Benson R, Shockley D, Charlton CG. S-adenosyl-L-methionine decreases motor activity in the rat: similarity to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms. Behav Neural Biol 1993;59:186–93.
Selhub J. Homocysteine metabolism. Annu Rev Nutr 1999;19:217-46 [review].
Brosnan JT, Jacobs RL, Stead LM, Brosnan ME. Methylation demand: a key determinant of homocysteine metabolism. Acta Biochim Pol. 2004;51(2):405-13. Review. PMID: 15218538 Gahl WA, Bernardini I, Chen S, et al. The effect of oral betaine on vertebral body bone density in pyridoxine-non-responsive homocystinuria. J Inherit Metab Dis 1988;11:291-8.
Olthof MR, van Vliet T, Boelsma E, Verhoef P. Low dose betaine supplementation leads to immediate and long term lowering of plasma homocysteine in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2003 Dec;133(12):4135-8. PMID: 14652361
Olthof MR, Verhoef P. Effects of betaine intake on plasma homocysteine concentrations and consequences for health. Curr Drug Metab. 2005 Feb;6(1):15-22. PMID: 15720203
Schwab U, Torronen A, Toppinen L, Alfthan G, Saarinen M, Aro A, Uusitupa M. Betaine supplementation decreases plasma homocysteine concentrations but does not affect body weight, body composition, or resting energy expenditure in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):961-7. PMID: 12399266
Selhub J. Homocysteine metabolism. Annu Rev Nutr 1999;19:217-46 [review].
van Guldener C, Janssen MJ, de Meer K, et al. Effect of folic acid and betaine on fasting and postmethionine-loading plasma homocysteine and methionine levels in chronic haemodialysis patients. J Intern Med 1999;245:175-83.
Wendel U, Bremer HJ. Betaine in the treatment of homocystinuria due to 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency. Eur J Pediatr 1984;142:147-50.
Wilcken DE, Wilcken B, Dudman NP, Tyrrell PA. Homocystinuria—the effects of betaine in the treatment of patients not responsive to pyridoxine. N Engl J Med 1983;309:448-53.
Wilcken DE, Dudman NP, Tyrrell PA. Homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency--the effects of betaine treatment in pyridoxine-responsive patients. Metabolism. 1985 Dec;34(12):1115-21. PMID: 3934499
Babucke G, Sarre B. Clinical experience with betain citrate. Med Klin 1973;68:1109-13 [in German].
Barak AJ, Beckenhauer HC, Badakhsh S, Tuma DJ. The effect of betaine in reversing alcoholic steatosis. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1997;21:1100-2.
Barak AJ, Beckenhauer HC, Matti J, Tuma DJ. Dietary betaine promotes generation of hepatic S-adenosylmethioine and protects the liver from ethanol-induced fatty infiltration. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1993;17:552-5.
Barak AJ, Beckenhauer HC, Tuma DJ. Betaine, ethanol, and the liver: a review. Alcohol 1996;13:395-8 [review]. PMID: 8836329
Freed WJ. Prevention of strychnine-induced seizures and death by the N-methylated glycine derivatives betaine, dimethylglycine and sarcosine. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1985 Apr;22(4):641-3. PMID: 2581277
Junnila M, Barak AJ, Beckenhauer HC, Rahko T. Betaine reduces hepatic lipidosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in Sprague-Dawley rats. Vet Hum Toxicol 1998;40:263-6.
Ji C, Kaplowitz N. Betaine decreases hyperhomocysteinemia, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and liver injury in alcohol-fed mice. Gastroenterology. 2003 May;124(5):1488-99. PMID: 12730887
Kettunen H, Tiihonen K, Peuranen S, Saarinen MT, Remus JC. Dietary betaine accumulates in the liver and intestinal tissue and stabilizes the intestinal epithelial structure in healthy and coccidia-infected broiler chicks. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2001 Nov;130(4):759-69. PMID: 11691612
Kim SK, Kim YC, Kim YC. Effects of singly administered betaine on hepatotoxicity of chloroform in mice. Food Chem Toxicol 1998;36:655-61.
McCarty MF. Co-administration of equimolar doses of betaine may alleviate the hepatotoxic risk associated with niacin therapy. Med Hypotheses. 2000 Sep;55(3):189-94. PMID: 10985907
Murakami T, Nagamura Y, Hirano K. The recovering effect of betaine on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 1998;44:249-55.
Poschl G, Stickel F, Wang XD, Seitz HK. Alcohol and cancer: genetic and nutritional aspects. Proc Nutr Soc. 2004 Feb;63(1):65-71. Review. PMID: 15070439
Semmler F. Treatment of liver diseases, especially of fatty liver with betaine citrate. Ther Ggw 1977;116:2113-24 [in German].
Zapadniuk VI, Panteleimonova TN. [Cholagogic effect of trimethylglycine in normal animals of different ages and in experimental atherosclerosis] Biull Eksp Biol Med. 1987 Jul;104(7):30-2. Russian. PMID: 3620644
Autism & Seizures:
Rimland B. Seizures, Vitamin B6, DMG, and Sudden Speech. Autism Research Review International. 1996;10(2):1.
Roach ES, Carlin L. N,N-dimethylglycine for epilepsy. N Engl J Med. 1982;307:1081-82.
Vitamin B6/DMG. Letters to the Editor, Autism Research Interview International. 1994;8(2):6.
Reap EA, Lawson JW. Stimulation of the immune response by dimethylglycine, a nontoxic metabolite. J Lab Clin Med. Apr1990;115(4):481-6.
Hoorn AJ. Dimethylglycine and chemically related amines tested for mutagenicity under potential nitrosation conditions. Mutat Res. 1989 Apr;222(4):343-50. PMID: 2468082
Allibiotic CF Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:37 PM
Allibiotic CF Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/09/05
LIKELY USERS: People seeking support of the immune system and intestinal flora
KEY INGREDIENTS: Allicin (“AlliSure” patented, stabilized allicin from fresh garlic); Olive Leaf Extract (Olea Europaea with 18% minimum Oleuropein content); Elderberry extract, from fruit/berry, 60:1 concentrate (equivalent to 2,500 mg. of fresh berries of Sambucus nigra); Oil of Oregano (wild oregano from Origanum vulgare) ImmunEnhancer AG (trademarked Arabinogalactan from Larch Tree, Larix occidentalis)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AlliSure is the clinically tested, patented and stable form of allicin. Not allicin potential, but actual allicin. Allicin represents the immune supporting nutrients of raw garlic, and is chemically similar to penicillin, though with different physical properties. AlliSure shares garlic’s abilities to help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and also has been shown to raise levels of a key T cell to enhance immune system function. Like raw garlic, AlliSure has antimicrobial properties linked to its ability to react with sulfur-containing metabolic enzymes. Allicin is also shown in studies to play a role in controlling blood sugar and abnormal cell growth.
Black Elderberries have strong antioxidant properties, containing flavonoids like anthocyanidins. They have been studied in relation to inhibition of viral replication and of minor inflammations.
Olive Leaf has been used as an antioxidant, cholesterol and blood viscosity regulator, and vasodilator. But its most important use has been as a way to help the body deal with undesirable organisms in the vital respiratory and intestinal areas.
Oil of Oregano (wild oregano, wild marjoram) contains carvacrol and thymol, which are responsible for much of its antimicrobial activities. It also has some anti-inflammatory effects.
Arabinogalactan from Larch tree bark (ImmunEnhancer AG) can help speed the immune system’s response to undesirable organisms and is often compared to Echinacea. It has also been shown to promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Patented and trademarked ingredients enhance quality controls and have clinical research. Rosemary Oil provides antioxidant protection for the capsule contents. Enteric coating protects the capsule from stomach acid to deliver its contents past the stomach. This helps to assure full potency and reduces the possibility of the oils repeating.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One softgel twice daily, preferably with meals. Try one before using the full dose.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Probiotics, Antioxidants, D-Flame
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Discontinue use if any uncomfortable side effects occur. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):189-93. (AlliSure was used in this study.)
Abramovitz D, Gavri S, Harats D, Levkovitz H, Mirelman D, Miron T, Eilat-Adar S, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Eldar M, Vered Z. Allicin-induced decrease in formation of fatty streaks (atherosclerosis) in mice fed a cholesterol-rich diet. Coron Artery Dis. 1999 Oct;10(7):515-9. PMID: 10562920
Ankri S, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D. Allicin from garlic strongly inhibits cysteine proteinases and cytopathic effects of Entamoeba histolytica. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1997 Oct;41(10):2286-8. PMID: 9333064
Cellini L, Di Campli E, Masulli M, Di Bartolomeo S, Allocati N. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by garlic extract (Allium sativum). FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1996 Apr;13(4):273-7. PMID: 8739190
Chowdhury AK, Ahsan M, Islam SN, Ahmed ZU. Efficacy of aqueous extract of garlic & allicin in experimental shigellosis in rabbits. Indian J Med Res. 1991 Jan;93:33-6.
Eilat S, Oestraicher Y, Rabinkov A, Ohad D, Mirelman D, Battler A, Eldar M, Vered Z. Alteration of lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rabbits by allicin, an active constituent of garlic. Coron Artery Dis. 1995 Dec;6(12):985-90. PMID: 8723021
Elkayam A, Mirelman D, Peleg E, Wilchek M, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Oron-Herman M, Rosenthal T. The effects of allicin on weight in fructose-induced hyperinsulinemic, hyperlipidemic, hypertensive rats. Am J Hypertens. 2003 Dec;16(12):1053-6. PMID: 14643581
Feldberg RS, Chang SC, Kotik AN, Nadler M, Neuwirth Z, Sundstrom DC, Thompson NH. In vitro mechanism of inhibition of bacterial cell growth by allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988 Dec;32(12):1763-8.
Focke M, Feld A, Lichtenthaler K. Allicin, a naturally occurring antibiotic from garlic, specifically inhibits acetyl-CoA synthetase. FEBS Lett. 1990 Feb 12;261(1):106-8.
Hirsch K, Danilenko M, Giat J, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Levy J, Sharoni Y. Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID: 11525603
Patya M, Zahalka MA, Vanichkin A, Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Lander HM, Novogrodsky A. Allicin stimulates lymphocytes and elicits an antitumor effect: a possible role of p21ras. Int Immunol. 2004 Feb;16(2):275-81. PMID: 14734613
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Glozman S, Yavin E, Weiner L. S-Allylmercaptoglutathione: the reaction product of allicin with glutathione possesses SH-modifying and antioxidant properties. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 11;1499(1-2):144-153. PMID: 11118647
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Konstantinovski L, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Weiner L. The mode of action of allicin: trapping of radicals and interaction with thiol containing proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Feb 2;1379(2):233-44. PMID: 9528659
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OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT:
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CLA Extreme Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:59 PM
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to control body fat; People wanting to increase their body’s lean mass (muscle tissue); People wanting an oil that helps to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals; Those wanting to prevent undesirable cellular changes through diet KEY INGREDIENT (S): CLA from safflower oil, L-Carnitine amino acid, Guarana Seed extract (20% naturally occurring caffeine), Green Tea extract (40% polyphenols), Chromium Picolinate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a derivative of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. The softgel is formulated with CLA (derived from safflower oil), Green Tea extract (polyphenols), Guarana extract (caffeine), L-Carnitine, and Chromium (III) Picolinate for synergistic effects of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: One study, titled "Efficacy and Safety of One-Year Supplementation with Conjugated linoleic Acid in Moderate Overweight," found that compared to placebo, CLA-supplemented subjects had Body Fat Mass index scores averaging 9% lower than the placebo group and had Lean Body Mass results showing lean muscle mass averaging 2% more than the placebo group. Analyses of blood tests showed no side effects over this one-year period. CLA plus Guarana reportedly reduces the size and number of fat cells in another report. CLA may also reduce insulin resistance and prevent undesirable cellular changes.
AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to five capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, other Antioxidants
CAUTIONS: CLA may reduce insulin resistance, so people on blood sugar medications may not need as much of their drugs. Use with caution to avoid an overdose of your blood sugar medication when using this oil. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Sytrinol - A Natural Solution for Addressing Cholesterol
June 21, 2005 05:16 PM
Sytrinol - A Natural Solution For Addressing Cholesterol
By Richard F. Staack, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Sytrinol™, a patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts, combines citrus polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), palm tocotrienols and other proprietary constituents. This combination results in a synergistic effect for maintaining cholesterol levels in the normal range, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as demonstrated by a long-term, three-phase clinical trial. This trial is extremely significant because it is a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design, one of only a few in the dietary supplement industry. Sytrinol has also been shown to maintain normal levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the beneficial cholesterol. Additionally, Sytrinol is a powerful antioxidant with numerous heart health benefits and also plays a significant role in reducing cellular irritation.
What are polymethoxylated flavones?
Polymethoxylated flavones are a highly methoxylated sub-classification of citrus flavonoids. This process occurs naturally and results in a more biologically active molecule. This is especially true for tangeretin and nobiletin, two of the primary polymethoxylated flavones in Sytrinol. Tocotrienols, naturally occurring analogues of tocopherol (natural vitamin E), are the other proprietary ingredient in Sytrinol and are a group of minor dietary constituents that have been studied for their effect on heart health.
Sytrinol's Proven Benefits
Sytrinol is the result of over 12 years of research focusing on the relationship between polymethoxylated flavonoids, tocotrienols, and cardiovascular health. Sytrinol?s benefits have been shown in vitro, in vivo, and in multiple clinical studies. In these studies, subjects consumed 150 mg of Sytrinol twice per day (300 mg/day) and were instructed to keep the same dietary habits and maintain their caloric intake. Fasting blood samples were drawn at study onset, and at 4-weeks, 8-weeks, and 12-weeks. The results of the clinical studies were all similar in their effect, with a reduction of total cholesterol up to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol up to 27 percent, and total triglycerides up to 34 percent in twelve weeks compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the LDL/HDL ratio was significantly reduced in all clinical studies up to 30 percent. Another very important benefit of Sytrinol that cannot be claimed by other cholesterol-addressing supplements is its effect on C-reactive protein (CRP), which plays a role in cardiovascular challenges. Recent research has established that inflammation may cause C-reactive protein to be produced in the body. Specific PMFs, including nobiletin and tangeretin, have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting that Sytrinol may have a positive effect on CRP Sytrinol has also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. The polymethoxylated flavones have been researched for over 25 years demonstrating their antioxidant effects for heart health. Studies have shown that polymethoxylated flavonoids and their metabolites are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants that are able to suppress many of the events of free radical damage, including cellular irritation. The tocotrienols in Sytrinol have a higher antioxidant activity than tocopherols. Alpha-tocotrienol has been shown to be up to 60 times more potent than alpha-tocopherol in the prevention of lipid peroxidation. Other research has demonstrated that the delta and gamma isomers of tocotrienols also have potent antioxidant activity.
Sytrinol has three complementary mechanisms of action in the body that delivers cardiovascular benefits. *Polymethoxylated flavones decrease apolipoprotein B, the structural protein needed for endogenous synthesis of LDL cholesterol. *Polymethoxylated flavones (tangeretin & nobiletin) decrease diacylglycerol acetyl transferase, a liver enzyme needed for endogenous synthesis of triglycerides. *Tocotrienols inhibit HMG CoA reductase, the liver enzyme responsible for endogenous synthesis of cholesterol. These mechanisms work synergistically to support normal total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, more significantly than other natural supplements on the market today. Sytrinol can also be combined with other ingredients such as phytosterols. Phytosterols help block cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract while Sytrinol helps block cholesterol synthesis in the body. This suggests that, when combined, a more pronounced effect on maintaining normal cholesterol levels would result.
The ease of compliance for consumers is a major consideration for a successful natural heart health product. Consumers do not have to take Sytrinol prior to, immediately following, or directly with their meals and, as a result, are more likely to take the correct dosage and continue using the product. Sytrinol can be taken in tablets, or softgels, which are easy to swallow because of the low dosage. Sytrinol will also be available in functional foods.
Dr. Richard Staack is the Vice President of Business Development, Technology, and Science at SourceOne™ Global Partners. He received his Master of Science and Doctorate in Nutritional and Biochemical Toxicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his Master of Business Administration with Distinction from DeVry University. Dr. Staack has received several awards and honors in the field of nutrition, is associated with numerous professional affiliations, and has published several articles on nutrition and toxicology in peer-reviewed journals.
Disclaimer: 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.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
Hidden In Plain Sight - The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
June 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Hidden In Plain Sight by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 7, 2003
Today, a devastating disease is striking millions of Americans. Sixteen million Americans already have this disease, and every day another 2,200 Americans learn they have it. The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
The potential ramifications: Millions of people more susceptible to heart disease, dementia, infections, amputations and blindness. Lowering your risk for diabetes is relatively simple and terribly important. Because dealing with some of its effects once you are its victim can be much more complicated.
Signs of Trouble
"Approximately one in four individuals over the age of 60 has type 2 diabetes, which is a remarkable statistic," says Gerald Shulman, MD, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. "And, if you add impaired glucose tolerance [a condition that often leads to diabetes], you're talking about 40% of the population."
The economic burden of this epidemic is staggering, estimated at about $100 billion a year and growing.
If you never exercise, carry around a substantial amount of stomach fat and have seen your weight climb significantly over the years, you are among the people at higher risk for diabetes.
These lifestyle habits eventually render your body unable to efficiently process blood sugar. In technical terms, researchers investigating how the body uses and misuses blood sugar have identified what they have called "syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome," a condition that puts you at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease.
If you have three or more of the following signs, you now have metabolic syndrome and, unless you change the way you live, may eventually suffer diabetes (Circulation 7/14/03):
* Fat around your middle
* High blood pressure
* High triglycerides (blood fats)
* Low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)
* High fasting blood sugar
In a study of more than 6,000 men in Scotland, having three of these metabolic problems almost doubled the risk of heart disease and more than tripled the risk of diabetes. If you have four of these risk factors, your risk of heart disease just about quadruples, and your diabetes risk skyrockets almost 25 times.
The cells in your body get the energy they need to survive when they take sugar out of your blood and oxidize it along with fatty acids. Normally, insulin, a hormone-like substance released by the pancreas, speeds the absorption of blood sugar by the cells. When your pancreas cannot make insulin at all or makes too little, you suffer what is called type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This condition is usually treated by taking insulin.
But if your pancreas secretes what should be enough insulin for glucose absorption, and your cells are still unable to take sufficient sugar from your blood, you have what is called type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.
Understanding exactly why cells develop difficulties in taking sugar out of the blood and using it for energy has long troubled medical investigators. This condition, before it develops into full-blown diabetes, is called insulin resistance. Researchers have now linked it to malfunctioning mitochondria, the little structures in cells that make the energy that keeps cells functioning.
Scientists have long known that, as you age, you become more susceptible to diabetes. And when researchers compare the mitochondria in young people with those found in the cells of the elderly, they find that older mitochondria are more sluggish.
The mitochondria within the cells oxidize glucose and fatty acids to make energy. (They accomplish this in a complicated metabolic action called the Krebs cycle.) Difficulty with this process, or insulin resistance, can occur when fat and fatty acid waste products accumulate in your liver and muscle tissue.
"We hypothesized that there were two routes to this type of fat accumulation," says Dr. Shulman. "One is that the fat cells might release more fatty acids to be delivered to muscles and/or defects in mitochondrial oxidation might then lead to the accumulation of these fatty acids."
Research confirms that fatty molecules probably collect in muscle cells because the mitochondria's ability to burn fat breaks down over the years. On average, mitochondrial activity dips about 40% in older people.
Dr. Shulman thinks that the final coup de grace in the development of diabetes from insulin resistance takes place when the mitochondria malfunction in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Although Dr. Shulman says that more research is needed to understand why mitochondrial function slips with age, he recommends keeping your mitochondria from slacking off by exercising. Studies now show that regular physical activity can probably increase the mitochondria in your muscles by activating release of an enzyme called AMP kinase. "...an encouraging note in this study is that-since we've shown that exercise leads to more mitochondria by activation of [the enzyme] AMP kinase-by staying active, the elderly might...maintain mitochondrial content and head off such health problems," says Dr. Shulman. "This is yet another reason for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle," he adds.
Maitake for Metabolic Syndrome
Another natural way to fight the metabolic syndrome is with an extract of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). The extract, called sx-fraction, is attracting research investigating its ability to help the body manage blood sugar more efficiently. In one study, five people with diabetes improved their blood sugar levels with sx-fraction (Diab Med 2001; 18).
This research found that taking maitake sx-fraction is often accompanied by drops in blood glucose levels ranging from 30% to 63%. According to Mark Kaylor, PhD and Ken Babal, CN, in Syndrome X and SX-Fraction (Woodland), "...Studies have demonstrated that whole maitake or its fractions are potent agents for improving 'diabetic conditions.'"
Take the Whole Grains Home
Eating a daily dish of whole grains, like whole wheat and brown rice, can also reduce your risk of diabetes (AJCN 8/22/03). In a twelve-year study of more than 40,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers found that those who ate three servings of whole grains a day cut their risk in half.
The researchers found that even overweight people lowered their chances of diabetes by eating whole grains and exercising.
Consuming more magnesium also helped; whole grains contain amounts of this mineral missing in refined-grain foodstuffs. Magnesium improves insulin response.
In an age of junk food, our simple taste for sugar and refined grains may threaten our health. Yet, your defense against this scourge is no further away than simply eating more fibrous foods and going for a simple, everyday walk.
The Blood Sugar Blues - help lower blood sugar
June 12, 2005 08:08 AM
The Blood Sugar Blues by Carl Lowe Energy Times, July 10, 2003
The cells in your body run on the sugar they get from blood. Normally, this energy distribution system functions efficiently. When things go awry, however, blood sugar fluctuations can cause serious problems.
If your blood sugar stays too high, your pancreas, heart and other organs suffer. But stabilize your blood sugar and you can stabilize your health.
Problems linked to too much blood sugar are widespread. Diabetes, in which the body becomes increasingly unable to regulate blood sugar levels, is one of the most serious and widespread conditions. Plus, researchers now know that elevated blood sugar, even if you don't suffer diabetes, elevates your risk of heart disease and pancreatic cancer (JAMA 5/17/00).
Researchers at the Northwestern University Medical School have shown that with every bump up in your blood sugar levels, your chances of contracting pancreatic cancer rises significantly.
"Because the prevalence of type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and obesity, including childhood obesity, is steadily increasing, identifying a potential causal association between hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and pancreatic cancer could have important preventive and prognosticative implications for this cancer," notes Susan M. Gapstur, MD, a professor at Northwestern.
In other words, measuring your blood sugar can go a long way towards measuring the odds of developing this devastating condition. In the United States, pancreatic cancer is the fifth most deadly cancer. The disease is difficult to discover, and tumors in the pancreas usually remain hidden until the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Blood Sugar and Heart Problems
A collection of researchers now believes your blood sugar level so closely predicts your heart disease risk that blood sugar may be a more accurate heart disease predictor than cholesterol. According to a study in England (BMJ 2001; 322:15), the higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
In particular, a type of blood sugar called glycated hemoglobin may provide an indication of what kind of trouble your heart and arteries may face in the future.
Glycated hemoglobin is blood glucose (sugar) that has latched onto your red blood cells. The levels of this type of attached sugar climbs when blood sugar levels consistently stay too high. After a while, this sugar not only sticks to blood cells, it also starts sticking to other tissues, an occurrence that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
While about one in twenty people in their late 40s or older has diabetes, experts estimate that almost three out of four have at least some degree of elevated glycated hemoglobin.
Higher and Higher
Men and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for elevated blood sugar. Your blood sugar also generally increases:
You can lower your risk of forming glycated hemoglobin by taking the antioxidant vitamins C and E and drinking three or four alcoholic drinks a week (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000: 71(5)). In addition, losing weight and exercising also drops your glycated hemoglobin.
When glucose enters the bloodstream after a meal, it has a variety of possible destinations. It can be picked up by brain cells, which use glucose as their only source of fuel (this explains why low blood sugar can cause headaches, dizziness and shakiness). Glucose also can enter muscles, which can burn either glucose or fat for energy. Or glucose can enter fat cells for storage-not a desirable option for someone who is already overweight.
One reason blood sugar may rise to unhealthy levels is a condition called glucose resistance or intolerance, which occurs when insulin, the hormone-like substance that shepherds glucose into the body's cells, can't do its job efficiently. That leads to blood which is too rich in both sugar and insulin.
Researchers believe that the element chromium can help the body use insulin more effectively, which, when combined with adequate exercise, allows glucose to more easily enter muscle cells.
"In experiments, chromium supplementation has actually been found to improve glucose tolerance in some diabetics and in people with impaired glucose tolerance," says nutrition researcher and teacher Shari Lieberman, PhD, in The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery/Penguin).
In a number of investigations, chromium has not only helped improve glucose tolerance, but it has also decreased circulating insulin, glycated hemoglobin and cholesterol levels (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998; 17:548-55). (People with elevated glucose levels often suffer from elevations in cholesterol as well. In the search for ways to improve cholesterol levels, Germany's Commission E, an herbal authority respected around the world, has approved the use of garlic to help support healthy cholesterol.)
Ginseng and Blood Sugar
American ginseng, an herb known as an adaptogen (which means it helps the body cope with everyday stress) is another tool for controlling blood sugar. Research at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto shows that taking American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) about 40 minutes before you eat can reduce your blood sugar (Archives of Internal Medicine 4/9/00).
According to Vladimir Vuksan, MD, lead investigator for the research team, these findings may have important implications for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. "Although preliminary, these findings are encouraging and indicate that American ginseng's potential role in diabetes should be taken seriously and investigated further. Controlling after-meal blood sugar levels is recognized as a very important strategy in managing diabetes. It may also be important in the prevention of diabetes in those who have not yet developed the disease," says Dr. Vuksan.
Fat vs Sugar
Supplemental helpings of the fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have also been shown to control blood sugar and lower your risk of diabetes (Journal of Nutrition 1/03). "In previous work, we found that CLA delayed the onset of diabetes in rats," says Martha Belury, PhD, the senior author of the investigation and an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "In (our latest) study, we found that it also helped improve the management of adult-onset diabetes in humans."
Dr. Belury's research shows that CLA may help lower levels of leptin, a hormone believed to regulate fat levels. By reducing leptin, CLA may help reduce body fat, which, in turn, may lower the risk of diabetes and high blood sugar.
A consistent, long-term exercise program is one of the single best ways to convince your body to temper blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing diabetes (Clinical Exercise Physiology 2/15/02).
"It now appears that there is...a long-term beneficial effect from regular exercise, most likely due to the fact that a significant amount of fat is lost," says exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, PhD. "Long-term exercise leads to loss of fat in the gut (stomach) region, which is especially beneficial since this fat is thought to be directly linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease."
Dr, Slentz's study examined how exercise influences the way the body uses sugar in people who have a high risk of diabetes.
In this research, five overweight individuals who had never exercised before engaged in an intensive workout program for nine months. Afterwards, they went back to their couch potato lives.
Dr. Slentz and other investigators measured their blood sugar before they started the exercise program and then remeasured these levels at one day, five days and thirty days after the nine-month regimen ended.
The researchers also looked at these people's insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well their bodies controlled blood sugar.
"Insulin sensitivity, or its ability to stimulate glucose metabolism, was higher after nine months of exercise, and the fasting insulin levels were lower," Slentz said. "Just as importantly, 30 days after stopping exercise, insulin sensitivity was still 24% higher than pre-exercise levels, indicating that beneficial effects of exercise persisted."
In this study, people pedaled exercise bikes, walked on treadmills and climbed stairs. By the end of the research, they were working out about an hour a day.
So if you've put off devoting yourself to an exercise program and taking care of your blood sugar, you now have more reason to start as soon as possible. Paying attention to blood sugar pays off.
June 10, 2005 09:37 PM
Diabetes by , February 5, 2002
Lack of exercise and being overweight boosts your chances of developing diabetes. So, as America's epidemic of obesity grows, the number of people afflicted with the condition called type II diabetes is expected to soar. If you follow the typical US pattern of not getting enough exercise while indulging in a diet of too many calories from cookies, cakes, fast food and saturated fat as your waistline gradually expands, your chances of encountering this health menace grow every day. According to the most recent estimate by health researchers, "more than half of all US adults are considered overweight or obese"(JAMA, 10/27/99).
Those same researchers, who examined the health history and weights of more than 16,000 Americans, confirmed a fact well-understood by health practitioners who understand the chemistry of blood sugar: being overweight greatly increases your chances of not only diabetes but also high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol and arthritis. (If you suffer or think you suffer from diabetes, or any of these conditions, consult a knowledgeable health practitioner.)
While Type I diabetes is a relatively infrequent disease that often strikes kids, Type II diabetes is a much more widespread (and increasing) health problem experienced by 9 out of 10 adults with what is now called adult-onset diabetes.
The popular image of someone with diabetes is, ironically, often of someone who is suffering with Type I. In simplistic terms, Type I diabetes occurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone-like substance that, among its several tasks, helps deliver sugar from the bloodstream into the body's cells. When your body is functioning normally, insulin helps steady blood sugar levels and keeps tissues fed with nutrients.
People with Type I diabetes often have to inject themselves with insulin. Otherwise, a lack of insulin causes dangerously increased blood sugar levels, cellular damage to blood vessels and nerves plus a high risk of heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and serious damage to your extremities that may, in the long-term, lead to amputation.
On the other hand, someone beginning to suffer Type II diabetes usually has plenty of insulin being produced by the pancreas, but may be insulin resistant: for a variety of physiological reasons, the hormone is unable to do its job. That allows blood glucose to reach levels where it can wreak metabolic havoc.
When you gain weight, drastically increase the amount of your bodyfat and lead a sedentary, couch potato existence without engaging in very much exercise, you boost your risk of becoming insulin resistant. Consequently you also boost the chances of eventually suffering Type II diabetes.
However, a consistent exercise program (and losing weight) can alleviate or moderate some of the blood sugar problems brought on by diabetes or insulin resistance. When you exercise, your working muscles may take in more glucose from the bloodstream and stabilize your blood sugar level. That is one reason physical exercise helps to modify your body's response to blood sugar. (Of course, if you have diabetes or have not exercised in a long time, be sure to consult your health practitioner before engaging in strenuous physical activity.)
One of the most useful supplements employed to help control diabetes is chromium, a mineral that plays an integral role in the body's metabolism of sugar.
In the Natural Health Bible, Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, discuss a study in China of 180 people with Type II diabetes. In that study, those who took chromium enjoyed better blood sugar levels than the people who took no supplements (Diabetes 46(11): 1786-1791, 1997). In addition, a double-blind study of chromium found that the supplement could reduce the necessary oral medication by more than half in many cases (Harefuah 125(5-6): 142-145, 1993). In this study, women seemed to benefit from chromium more than men.
Relief with Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant nutrient, helps defend nerve cells against painful damage-a condition called neuropathy-that can result from diabetes. Consequently, in Germany, doctors have been prescribing lipoic acid to people with diabetes for more than two decades.
According to Dr. Bratman and Dr. Kroll, studies show that lipoic acid may be particularly helpful when taken with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. Studies of GLA have found that this fat can soothe numbness and pain and slow nerve injuries (Diabetes Care 16(1):8-15, 1993).
Taken together, GLA and lipoic acid may synergistically improve nerve function (Diabetologia 41(4): 390-399, 1998). Blood sugar control may also improve.
Two signs that you may be suffering diabetes are excessive thirst and a dry mouth. This missing liquid, especially in the mouth when the flow of saliva slows, can lead to a lack of lactoferrin, a naturally-occurring protein that fights infection in the mouth by binding iron (Jrnl of Diab Comp 7, 57-62).
Lactoferrin's iron-binding ability destroys harmful micro-organisms like bacteria. In addition, lactoferrin stimulates the body's production of a substance called secretory IgA, which keeps disease-causing organisms out of the body and helps stabilize blood sugar (colostrum also produces this effect).
Fenugreek, a spice, has had long use as a medicine and food ingredient in the Middle East and Asia. And now modern science has begun to accumulate evidence supporting its traditional use: Several studies have shown that this seed can benefit blood sugar levels and keep blood cholesterol down.
In laboratory animals, researchers found that fenugreek kept blood sugar levels under control and also increased HDL (good cholesterol) while dropping triglycerides, blood fats that increase the risk of heart disease (Eur Jrnl Clin Nut 44 (1990):301-306).
Fortuitously, studies on people have supported fenugreek's benefits. In people with Type I diabetes, studies show that fasting blood sugar levels were reduced and glucose tolerance tests (measures of how well the body handles sugar) were closer to normal (Eur Jrnl Clin Nut 42 (1988):51-54). Bilberry for Eye Health
Retinopathy, eye damage resulting from diabetes, is a serious complication of this disease and can cause blindness. Bilberry, a botanical that has been used as a folk treatment for eye health for centuries, may be able to lower the risk of this kind of vision destruction.
Bilberry, a dark berry that grows in Europe, has been shown in a collection of laboratory tests to hold down blood sugar levels (Quart Jrnl Cr Drug Res 17(1979):139-196). Bilberry has traditionally been used to protect eyesight.
According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), natural substances called flavonoids, found in bilberry, "have been shown to increase intracellular vitamin C levels, decrease the leakiness and breakage of small blood vessels, prevent easy bruising and exert potent antioxidant effects."
Apparently, the body uses these flavonoids to protect the eyes' blood vessels and to keep the retina (central part of the eye crucial to preserving sight) functioning normally (Arch Med Int 37 (1985):29-35). Consequently, bilberry has been used by health practitioners in France to treat diabetic retinopathy ever since the 1940s.
As medical researchers look more closely into how insulin functions throughout the body, much more light will be thrown on how supplemental nutrients and your diet interact to promote the healthiest blood sugar levels.
But, today, what we already know about how the body functions can help you: a low-fat, high fiber diet, moderate, consistent exercise and healthy doses of insulin-friendly supplements may help keep your blood sugar under control.
And keep those pounds from accumulating around your waist. That way, you can keep from singing that nasty old, down and dirty, blood sugar, syncopated ragtime blues.
June 10, 2005 03:24 PM
by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, July 11, 2003
Nutrients do you no good if you don't absorb them. Eating the right stuff and taking the right nutrients can still be wrong if they never make it out of your digestive tract and into your bloodstream.
For instance, dietary supplements usually should be taken along with food. The presence of food in the digestive tract aids the absorption of nutrients. As a general rule, if you take dietary supplements on an empty stomach, most of their contents will probably pass through you and never escape your intestinal tract before they are eventually eliminated. This is particularly true for the fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D and E. By consuming fatty foods when you take these supplements, you enable your body to absorb a large amount of these valuable substances.
But there is at least one exception to this rule: Amino acid supplements (protein building blocks) should usually be taken on an empty stomach. Otherwise the other amino acids present in your meal may interfere with your use of these nutrients and counteract the benefits of the supplements.
The Standardization of Herbs
Taking herbs presents different challenges than consuming dietary supplements. While the chemical structures of nutrients in supplements are usually precisely identified, the active ingredients in herbs is usually a mixture of chemicals. Often, too, researchers disagree on exactly which active ingredients in herbs produce the health benefits linked to these botanicals.
But in an effort to derive the most from these substances, many experts recommend what are called standardized forms.
Standardized herbal supplements are formulas that have been created to insure they contain consistent and reliable amounts of certain beneficial chemicals that scientists have identified in these plants.
In the creation of these supplements, experts determine the standardized chemicals that are most likely the basis of the herbs' effectiveness.
By standardizing certain of the supplements' ingredients, therefore, standardized herbs limit the variation among batches of the product. You can rely on the fact that every purchase will contain the same amount of ingredients taken from the original plant. According to Michael Janson, MD, author of Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution (Penguin/Avery), "Although herbs have a long history of use for medicinal purposes, it is only recently that they have been analyzed to reveal their most active components. These active chemicals are commonly present in very variable amounts in herbs, depending on where and how they are grown, soil quality, when they are harvested, the amount of rain and sun, and other factors.
"Standardized herbs have guaranteed specific amounts of the known, active herbal components, as well as the other factors that might be of help but are not as well studied" (www.drjanson.com).
Herbalists who specialize in using entire plants in their practices can recommend non-standardized preparations that you can often use.
In general, that kind of herbal use is more effective when you secure expert advice. If you lack access to an experienced herbalist and you're choosing botanicals on your own, standardized preparations are easier to take.
Absorption From the Gut
Most of the nutrients you take in are absorbed through the walls of your digestive tract. This most often takes place in the small intestine.
What to watch out for: Fast food, fast living and long work hours afflicts our digestion and can disrupt proper absorption. You have to be relaxed to properly absorb the nutrients in your food and supplements.
Consequently, the occasions for meals should be relaxed and enjoyable moments. Set aside enough time to appreciate, taste and thoroughly chew your food. Adequate digestion and absorption begin in your mouth.
Another way to increase nutrient absorption is with the use of digestive enzymes. Since the digestive tract depends on the enzymatic breakdown of food that reduces nutrients to absorbable form, taking enzymes can help your intestines make better use of nutrients as they pass through the digestive tract. Normally, enzymes are present in raw food, like uncooked fruits and vegetables. Since most of our food is eaten after it is heated, a process that breaks down enzymes, not many enzymes are present in today's diet. Therefore, taking supplemental enzymes may increase absorption.
Beyond everyday stress, a variety of problems can make absorption go astray, allowing important nutrients to escape and permitting unwanted substances to enter the body. For instance, a significant digestive malfunction that many experts have focused on in recent years is a condition that has come to be called "leaky gut."
As Anil Minocha, MD, director of digestive diseases at the Mississippi Medical Center and author of Natural Stomach Care (Avery), points out, "In a healthy individual, the wall of the intestinal tract is designed to absorb food molecules and prevent harmful microorganisms and toxic materials from passing out through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream. "In today's heavily polluted environment, the gastrointestinal tract of even the healthiest individual is called on to process an overwhelmingly large flow of septic and infectious materials."
Because of these digestion destroyers, as we take in a startlingly large amount of viruses, bacteria, toxic chemicals, fungi and processed foods, our digestive systems are often overwhelmed and are rendered unable to perform their tasks correctly. This constant assault on the stomach and intestines takes a serious toll. A frequent product of this process is the digestive walls' loss of their crucial ability to keep out unwanted toxins and organisms as they become, in Dr. Minocha's words, "loosened and inflamed." As a result, instead of keeping out harmful substances and absorbing helpful nutrients, spaces open up that begin to allow in "bulky, partially digested food particles, toxic substances and infectious microbes."
According to Dr. Minocha, the first signs of this absorption problem can include complaints such as allergic reactions, skin problems, joint pain, digestive difficulties, nausea, fatigue and lack of energy.
To improve your digestive absorption, Dr. Minocha recommends a six-part program that includes these steps:
* Detoxification by means of fasting and avoiding harmful items like sugar, over-processed foods, coffee and alcohol
* Taking herbs that can help the digestive tract heal, recover and repair itself; these include garlic, ginger and milk thistle
* Replenishing the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract by eating yogurt
* Keeping track of your daily diet and eliminating foods that cause allergies and other reactions
* Consuming more fruits and vegetables while eating a high-fiber, mostly vegetarian diet
* Developing consistent, healthy lifestyle habits; these include not smoking, cutting the size of your meals and eating in moderation, exercising several times a week and controlling stress
Young and Old Digestion
The nutrients in your diet can also beneficially influence the state of your digestive system and its ability to distinguish among substances that are supposed to gain entrance to your body and those that should be kept out. Since aging can further compromise the discriminatory ability of your gut, Dr. Minocha also recommends a steady diet of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables plus supplements to keep your digestive tract functioning at full capacity as you grow older.
Among the nutrients he recommends:
* Coenzyme Q10: By middle age, your body makes less of this powerful antioxidant that helps cells generate energy in the mitochondria (structures within cells that may decrease with age).
Dr. Minocha notes that research demonstrates CoQ10 may be able to help people with diabetes control harmful metabolic byproducts that appear in their bloodstreams.
* Natural Lycopene: This antioxidant, responsible for the red of both tomatoes and watermelon, has been shown to lower the risk of both heart disease and prostate cancer. As an antioxidant, natural lycopene also helps protect the digestive tract.
Absorption of the proper nutrients may be the key to health for many people. By paying closer attention to the well-being of your digestive tract and practicing lifestyle habits that promote maximum absorption, you may be able to substantially improve your nutrition and your health.