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Keep a Jasmine flower in your room to reduce stress and anxiety. Study finds as calming as valium
May 09, 2019 04:37 PM
People who frequently experience bouts of anxiety and frequent periods of stress may find it hard to wind down after a hard day at work. This can then result in the inability to relax and inability to sleep. That is why anxiety and stress are recognized as the two most prominent leading causes of insomnia. Insomnia on the other hand takes a major toll on one’s physical health and mental well-being. What could be the solution? Researchers have found that this could be keeping a jasmine plant in the house. The scent which the jasmine plant releases has been linked to a reduction in anxiety and stress. The author states that the Jasmine plant is a flower that blooms at night with a sweet fragrance and exciting smell. Companies use it to make teas, incense, essential oils, and then perfumes. Its health benefits are immense and it has been used to treat diabetes, hepatitis, and cancer. It can now be proved that it can used to reduce anxiety and stress in individuals. It is estimated that about 40 million adults are affected yearly by anxiety and stress. The author then states the pathways in which jasmine works.
"One way to combat a high level of toxins in the air is to keep a jasmine plant nearby. Research concludes a jasmine plant in your room can serve as relief for sleeplessness, anxiety, and stress, among other illnesses. Simply breathing the aromatic scent of the plant can help to significantly calm your anxieties."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/keep-a-jasmine-flower-in-your-room-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety-study-finds-its-as-calming-as-valium/
Aged garlic is incredibly good for your heart
May 03, 2019 04:18 PM
Natural compounds found in aged garlic can be very beneficial to cardiac health. For example, a 2016 Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute study on subjects with metabolic syndrome found that aged garlic extract reduced both the accumulation of new plaque within the arteries and the total amount of plaque present as well. Additional research suggests that aged garlic extract can help reduce C-reactive protein and interleukin levels. The polysulfides in garlic also support greater production of the nitric oxide that helps keep your blood vessels supple, reducing another cardiac risk factor.
"The LA BioMed researchers concluded that garlic not only decreased the amount of plaque in the arteries. The extract also stopped new plaque from appearing in the blood vessels. (Related: Aged garlic extract balances your cholesterol levels, study finds.)"
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-09-aged-garlic-is-incredibly-good-for-your-heart.html
Vitamin D And Its Effect On Brain
April 30, 2019 09:28 AM
Vitamin D has a wide range of vital health benefits for your bones, teeth, heart and endocrine system. Recent research suggests it also has a critical job in brain health and mental health as as well. Vitamin D deficiency — already associated with damage to the immune system and hypertension — may also put you at a higher risk of schizophrenia or cognitive impairment. This is a serious problem, given that there may be a billion vitamin D-deficient people in the world today.
"New research finds that vitamin D deficiency influences a kind of brain “scaffolding” that supports the neurons."
Read more: https://thestylishmagazine.com/1469/vitamin-d-and-its-effect-on-brain/
Why do I have so much gas?
April 22, 2019 04:26 PM
Gas and bloating can have a variety of causes. Constipation allows fecal matter to ferment and feed bacteria in the colon, for example. Cruciferous vegetables can also cause excess gas because they contain indigestible raffinose. Carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners and chewing gum are some additional common causes. People with lactose intolerance can get bloated if they consume dairy products, as can people who consume too much fiber or are too sedentary. In some cases, excess gas can be a sign of an underlying condition like celiac disease or pancreatic insufficiency.
"While gas is usually just a normal part of gut function, it can, rarely, be the sign of an illness. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten, can lead to gas and bloating. Excessive gas can also be the result of pancreatic insufficiency, a disease in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough of the enzymes needed to digest food."
Read more: https://www.today.com/health/why-do-i-have-so-much-gas-t150006
Research finds medicinal plants, such as nettles, have potentialfor fighting diabetes
October 23, 2018 09:51 AM
For the people that suffer with diabetes, they all wish that they could find something that gets rid of their disease. It is not as if the disease is unbearable but it definitely causes some issues for the people who have it. People who do not have diabetes do not know how hard it can be to live with it so they have no right to talk. Now there are ideas that some plants can help combat diabetes.
"The scientists noted that the Urtica diocia L., more commonly known as nettle, was used across eight regions. Likewise, the Teucrium polium L. or poleigamandar was traditionally used in five regions."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-14-research-finds-medicinal-plants-such-as-nettles-have-potential-for-fighting-diabetes.html
Improve memory and mood with curcumin: Study finds it boostscognitive function in those with mild, age-related memory loss
October 11, 2018 02:28 PM
There are some people who are finding that retaining their memory gets harder and harder with age. Some people deal with it better than others but when this moment comes, it is a tough pill to swallow. Many people do not want to face reality as they struggle to comes to terms with the fact that they are getting older. However, it happens to everyone. Now you can improve your memory with curcumin and more things.
"Results after the completion of the study indicated that participants who took curcumin had significantly improved their cognitive function than those who received the placebo – in particular, they had better recall, visual memory, and attention than the placebo group."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-23-improve-memory-and-mood-with-curcumin-cognitive-function.html
CBD may help smokers quit cigarettes, finds new study
June 20, 2018 04:44 PM
Humans have what is called a electrochemical system that can be directly impacted by substances referred to as endocannabinoids. One of these is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oil was given to 30 participants in a 2013 study, and it showed that it helped them successfully reduce the amount of cigarettes that they smoked by 40%. More studies have to be done to determine a direct correlation, but this is good news for those who are continuously struggling to find natural ways to quit.
"In 2013, a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who were given a CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette consumption by around 40% compared to those given a placebo."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cbd-may-help-smokers-quit-cigarettes-finds-new-study/
New research finds astaxanthin may help diabetics by lowering blood pressure and improving glucose metabolism
April 03, 2018 09:17 AM
Perhaps one of the most widespread and minimally understood illnesses in society today is that of diabetes, especially considering the fact that it impacts so many people, and there has been little headway in identifying a proper cure. However, recent research has provided hope for those who are suffering with the illness, as studies now are finding that astaxanthin may be helpful in lowering blood pressure for those dealing with diabetes, and improving glucose metabolism as well.
"Now, a new study shows that scientists are just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of astaxanthin."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-04-01-astaxanthin-may-help-diabetics-by-lowering-blood-pressure-and-improving-glucose-metabolism.html
Yet another study finds that daily fish oil supplements protect the brain by balancing hormones like estrogen
September 02, 2017 04:14 PM
There has been yet another study done that showed how daily fish oil supplements help to protect your brain by balancing the different hormones in it, like estrogen. It was found that the frequency and duration of seizures got smaller. Experts have found an important link between DHA and brain estrogen levels. The research was done with mice that showed the link. The study was conducted with three groups of mice and they were given different types of oil in their diet.
"The findings may show potential in alleviating the growing number of epileptic attacks around the world."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-30-yet-another-study-finds-that-daily-fish-oil-supplements-protect-the-brain-by-balancing-hormones-like-estrogen.html
Not all Vitamins are equal – D3 is better than D2, research finds
July 11, 2017 09:14 AM
Not every single vitamin is created equal. The vitamin known as D3 turns out to be better than D2 and research can back this up. Researchers took a look at the health benefits of of veggie containing Vitamin D2 and D3, that is provided by animals. Research done from the University of Surrey found that D3 is 2 times better for you than D2. Vitamin D is very important for our bodies and not to be underestimated.
"Research from the University of Surrey found that D3 is twice as good for you as D2."
Read more: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/not-vitamins-equal-d3-better-d2-research-finds/
Prescription antibiotics almost always completely useless for UTIs in older women, study finds
June 20, 2017 07:14 AM
A study has found that antibiotics are almost always completely useless for UTIs in older women. They actually may even cause more harm than good in older patients that suffer from urinary tract infection. The scientific community has gained a greater understanding of the types of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that are present in the human body. But, there are still certain groups that may gain some benefit from the use of antibiotics to treat UTI.
Read more: Prescription antibiotics almost always completely useless for UTIs in older women, study finds
Animal Study Finds Monounsaturated Fats in Olive Oil May Extend Life
June 10, 2017 12:14 PM
A recent genetic study on metabolic changes has discovered an unexpected finding: accumulation of monounsaturated fats may lengthen one's lifespan. Though the study was conducted among roundworms rather than humans, it is interesting to note since researchers previously thought that decreased caloric intake would increase longevity. Rather, it appears that this particular build-up of fat and calories can be beneficial. The researchers discovered this by blocking certain DNA-modifying proteins to increase lifespan among worms, and then noted that these worms displayed higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.
"Prior research shows the type of fat consumed has a much greater influence on health than the quantity, and the recent experiment builds upon what is known on the topic."
Read more: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-news/animal-study-finds-monounsaturated-fats-olive-oil-may-extend-life/56292
CONFIRMED: Omega-3s boost blood flow to regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory
June 02, 2017 12:14 PM
A new study finds an increase in blood flowing to your brain, and it may help to prevent cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease is a leading cause of death, causing a downward deterioration of a person ability to live independently as the symptoms become worse. The study shows correlation between omega-3 concentrations in the brain with a lower incidence of brain disease, called neurocognitive disorders. The omega-3 is found to be the cause of increased blood flow to the brain, resulting in a decreased probability of neural degradation.
"This study opens the door to the possibility that relatively simple dietary changes could favorably impact cognitive function."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-25-confirmed-omega-3s-boost-blood-flow-to-regions-of-the-brain-responsible-for-learning-and-memory.html
High-Fiber Diet Tied to Less Knee Arthritis
May 31, 2017 11:14 AM
A new research study from Boston University finds support for the claim that high fiber diets may help individuals avoid arthritis and more specifically knee osteoarthritis. While the benefits of an increased fiber intake seem to have been cemented, the exact reasons why fiber helps to prevent arthritis remains murky. Lead author of the new study, Zhaoli Dai suggests increased fiber intake may help as much as other treatments, but for a considerably cheaper cost.
Read more: High-Fiber Diet Tied to Less Knee Arthritis
Pairing curcumin with turmeric essential oils offers better protection from ulcerative colitis, study finds
May 10, 2017 06:44 PM
There have been many studies on the effectiveness of essential oils since they're so popular now. People swear by them to help with all sorts of things. Turmeric is a popular one. It is sort of a go to oil. People say it helps with a whole list of things. One of these is apparently ulcertive colitis. There is a study supporting this. The Turmeric oil should be combined with curcumin for the best results.
Read more: Pairing curcumin with turmeric essential oils offers better protection from ulcerative colitis, study finds
Medical Cannabis Patients Use Less Opioids, Antidepressants and Alcohol, Study Finds
May 06, 2017 10:44 PM
The medical cannabis argument is still raging. People swear by it but others say it doesn't help or that it actually causes addiction. This talks about some positive outcomes of using it. Patients using medical cannabis use fewer opioids which is a huge plus because they are highly addictive. They also use fewer antidepressants and they drink less. These are very good things because most medications and alcohol have a negative affect on our internal organs.
"A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — approve of the use of medical marijuana for their patients."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/medical-cannabis-patients-use-less-opioids-antidepressants-alcohol-study-finds/
Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
April 27, 2017 10:44 AM
Diet sodas are not a healthy choice for those dieting. New studies have shown that people who drink them are not experiencing health benefits and are at a three times higher risk of experiencing dementia and stroke. The study did not discern which artificial sweeteners were consumed. People that drink sugary beverages did not have the same risk factors but those who drank sugary risks had a higher risk of memory loss and accelerated brain aging. Experts agree drinking water and coffee are healthier alternatives.
Read more: Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
Study Finds Hot Chili Peppers May Extend Life
March 16, 2017 01:59 PM
According to a news study published in the journal PLOS One, eating hot chili peppers could extend your life. Analyzing data from more than 16,000 Americans who had been followed for an average of nearly 19 years, the researchers found that hot red chili pepper consumption was associated with a 13 percent lower risk of death.
"According to a news study published in the journal PLOS One, eating hot chili peppers could extend your life."
Obesity could triple your risk of stomach cancer later in life
March 02, 2017 10:59 AM
A new report looking at what causes stomach cancer found three new somewhat surprising links: alcohol, processed meat and obesity. All three are linked with several other cancers, including colon cancer and breast cancer, but this is the first time they've been associated with stomach cancer. The report also finds more typical causes: smoking, eating food preserved with salt, and infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
"Those who gained more than 45 pounds also faced twice the risk of developing esophageal cancer, compared to those who maintained a healthy weight."
Protein and carb intake post-exercise can benefit bone health, study finds
February 21, 2017 04:59 PM
Part of my current employment requirements are that I remain physically fit and after particular tough workouts I will drink protein shake but had no idea that it could benefit my bone health. Avoiding injury is going to be important as I have noticed when I get injured now I do not bounce back as quickly as I use to.
Stunning scientific discovery finds that gut bacteria control your brain chemistry, altering moods and more
February 19, 2017 12:59 PM
It has long been known that things in your body are connected. We don't know all the ways yet but studies are often done about it. This provides information about a new finding. It explains what your gut bacteria can do to the chemicals in the brain and how that affects you in daily life.
"Studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a key role in regulating everything from digestion and metabolism to immune function and even mood, but the mechanisms of this action remain largely a mystery."
Could Obesity Undermine Memory Training in Older Adults?
February 01, 2017 02:59 PM
According to a new study by Daniel Clark, obesity can alter your memory intake, especially in elderly people. They conducted a study of elderly people around 74 years old and watched them for 10 years, their results show that people with obesity have a lower memory function. The kicker is they can not find a direct correlation between the weight gain and the brain function activity. Looks as if their next study will be about how to keep weight off while losing weight and the effects.
"Clark suggested that researchers need to focus on effective ways to prevent weight gain, as well as to lose weight."
Can curcumin Fight Cancer?
Curcumin is a bright yellow liquid that is produced by some plants, and some people were led to believe that it has the properties to cure cancer which has been found to be entirely false. Although the research has not been abandoned altogether, it has so far led to nothing, and this means that it can not under any circumstance help fight cancer. Some patients have been found to consume up to eight grams in a single day for three to four months; there were still no changes. Although a research scientist had published that there was chance of the plant, form the ginger family to it curing cancer, but now the report has been retracted and deemed fraudulent and misleading by the original publisher.
It is in this light that the many cancer patients that had seen it as a means of escaping that deadly disease now finds themselves whether they were in the first place despite taking curcumin in large amounts. Some of these patients have reported diarrhea as well as mild headaches although the studies showed no signs of any form of toxicity from the curcumin. This well designed clinical research has shown that there is no relationship between it and the curing of cancer.
In human subjects, however, it was found that it reduces the C - reactive protein significantly. There was no relationship established between the dose and response, though. This is not good news for any cancer patients out there, but it does shed a lot of light on this subject and eliminates the need for the patients to keep on doing something that is not helping them. It is imperative to find alternative means to curing cancer, but this is not the way as it is not going to help with much. So, the answer is that Curcumin does not in any way help your body fight cancer.
It's not all in the genes: Clean living can cut heart risks
December 02, 2016 10:59 AM
Moderate physical activity lowers your chances of getting a heart attack by 30% to 50%. If you stick to a healthy diet you could lower your odds of getting heart disease by 25%. Fill your plate with different kinds of fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, and lean meats. Stay away from processed or prepared foods that often are high in salt and filled with preservatives.
"The study was discussed Sunday at an American Heart Association conference in New Orleans and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine."
The USA Comes in Last Again on Health
November 27, 2016 02:59 PM
America may be the land of opportunity, but it is definitely not the land of health. When ranked against 10 other countries, the United States was found to be inferior to all the others. We spend much more on health care in the United States, and yet, we have far less to show for it. A majority of low income people in America skip going to the doctor simply due to the cost. On the other hand, other countries have far more access to equivalent healthcare. Obama Care was supposed to help, but it seems to have made it worse.
""The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and coordination," said Commonwealth Fund President Dr. David Blumenthal."
high protein diets may not help fend off diabetes webmd
November 01, 2016 11:04 AM
What do you know about diabetes? Now, what do you know about trying to prevent diabetes? Have you heard that you can prevent diabetes through diet? If this sounds like something that has peaked your interest then you want to take a look at this article about high protein diets that may not help fend off diabetes like we all thought before.
"While many believe that a high-protein diet can help with weight loss, a new study finds it might actually prevent an important health benefit that comes with slimming down."
What is Ferrochel And Why Do I Need It?
Ferrochel is a powerful iron supplement, which is considered safer for use by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, infants, and teenagers. It does not cause nausea and gastric upset like other options. Iron is a vital mineral in the human body. The mineral promotes cognitive development, cardiovascular health, and immune function. Some people do not get adequate amounts of this mineral from their diet, making supplementation necessary.
The human body finds it difficult to absorb minerals such as iron through the intestines. But this is not a concern with ferrochel. This supplement has a chelated structure that makes it easy for the iron to go through your intestinal wall. Its structure also reduces the risk of taking in more than you need. Your body will absorb about 90% of the ferrochel if you are iron deficient and only take in what is required if you have no deficiency.
Ferrochel is not associated with any gastrointestinal problems. Nausea and constipation are two of the most common side effects for people who use iron supplements. This can be particularly distressing if you are pregnant.
It has no taste, making it easy for individuals who are prone to nausea and vomiting to use the supplement. You need ferrochel if you find other products nauseating.
Research has demonstrated that the supplement is more effective when compared to other products even when it is used in lower doses. This is because it is chelated, making it easier for the body to take it in.
It is a great choice if you are concerned about blocking absorption of other nutrients when you supplement iron. Your body will still be able to absorb vitamin C and E and calcium when you use ferrochel. You should use this supplement if you have had an allergic reaction to any other iron supplement. It can be used by at any age without side effect concerns.
Food allergies and pancreatin
May 21, 2013 10:59 AM
Food allergy is a condition where the body's immune system reacts to some substances in the food that you have eaten resulting in an allergic reaction. It is important to note that children are more prone to food allergy when compared to adults. Some of the common foods that may cause allergy are peanut, milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts and so on. Food allergies may be exhibited in different ways for example atopic allergic reactions occur to people who have inherited the allergic traits. Others will be highly sensitive to certain foods for example people who are oversensitive to peanuts. There is also the celiac disease which results in allergy to proteins found in grain such as wheat.
How exactly does food cause allergic reactions?
The particles in your food that will cause allergy are referred to as allergens. Allergens are protein in nature and they are resistant to heat during cooking, stomach acid during digestion and also digestive enzymes. When these enzymes find their way to the blood stream, they will reach their target organs where they will result in allergic reactions. It is important to note that an allergic reaction is a hypersensitive reaction and therefore for this reaction to occur, the body must have been exposed to that particular food substance before. The first time the allergen is introduced in the body, the lymphocytes are stimulated to produce antibodies against that particular antibody. The next time that allergen finds its way into the blood stream, the mast cells will be stimulated to release different chemicals such as histamine which results in different symptoms of food allergy.
Digestive enzymes may play a very crucial role in alleviating symptoms of food allergies. The enzymes will break down fats, proteins and starch thereby aiding in digestion. Pancreatin which has a number of digestive enzymes will alleviate allergic symptoms such as gastroenteritis, indigestion, stomach discomfort and so on. Sometimes with age, the production of pancreatin in the body might reduce and in such circumstances, one can take specially made pancreatin tablets which serve the same purpose.
Pancreatin is a word that is used to describe a mixture of digestive enzymes produced by exocrine cells in the pancreas. The enzymes contained in pancreatin include amylase, protease, trypsin and lipase. Sometimes, pancreatin will be referred to as pancreatic acid. Apart from treating food allergies, pancreatin will also help to reduce symptoms for weight loss, cancer, autoimmune disease, celiac disease and food allergies.
Each of the enzymes in pancreatin plays a very important role in the digestion process. Trypsin works by hydrolyzing proteins to form oligopeptites, amylase will work to hydrolyze starch to form disaccharides and oligosaccharides, and lipase will hydrolyze triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids.
Food allergy is a common thing among very many people in the world. Sometimes, many people will find it hard to determine the exact food which they are allergic to. The easiest way to find out the exact type of food that you are allergic to is through trial and error method. Other times diagnosing the food intolerance may be complicated especially in cases where one not allergic to the food itself but the ingredients used in its preparation.
If you are experiencing food allergies, consider trying pancreatic enzymes like pancreatin for a month with every meal and feel the difference.
Top Three Health Benefits of Mangosteen
January 24, 2013 03:10 PM
Mangosteen, botanically referred to as Garcinia Mangostana, is a topical fruit that finds its roots in Southwest Asia. The shape and size of this fruit is akin to that of a tangerine and it has a think rind. Additionally, mangosteen is sweet and has creamy white flesh. This fruit is well known for its powerful characteristics that can be attributed to its three nutrient contents; xanthones, flavonoids and fiber. Here is a look into a few benefits that you can avail by including mangosteen into your diet. Read on.
#Benefits of Mangosteen
Xantone is basically a polyphenol that only exists in plants. This polyphenol is the cause of a variety of hues in plants but more importantly, it has antioxidant properties that promote healthy body functions. The most notable benefit offered by xanthones is its ability to neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage. Numerous health experts are of the opinion that xanthones can help the body to combat harmful fungal invasions.
Just like xanthones, flavonoids are also found in the rind of the fruit. They enhance other antioxidants, especially those that promote the immune system. In addition to that, these flavonoids exhibit anti-inflammatory characteristics as they prevent the reaction between certain body enzymes and free radicals. Such a reaction can cause inflammation which is undoubtedly a leading cause of lymphatic diseases.
A single serving of mangosteen contains 5.1 g of fiber (dietary). Fiber aids in digestion and helps in promoting bowel movement. As such, it helps in eliminating bacteria that may have hitched camp in the colon and thus minimizing the risk of colon cancer. Proper bowel movement can soften your stool and eliminate constipation. Again, fiber helps in moderating the blood sugar level.
There are other numerous benefits of mangosteen including its ability to relieve anxiety, stress and depression, combating allergies and protecting the brain and nervous system. However, all these benefits boil down to the aforementioned nutrient content. So, you can incorporate mangosteen into your diet and avail a host of health benefits.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Solaray Avena Sativa?
December 28, 2012 12:52 PM
Avena Sativa is a botanical that is used for food and as medicine. Commonly known as groats or oats, the plant is available as tea or as a liquid extract. Over the years, Avena Sativa has been used as medicine for improving the functions of certain body organs. This plant is beneficial in so many ways. Let us look at some of its benefits.
Calms the Nerves
Avena serves as a remedy for anxiety, stress and depression. It helps to calm the nerves and may be taken by an individual who finds it difficult to concentrate. It can also be used to relieve insomnia associated with stress and nervous irritation.
Improves heart health
Medical experts have revealed that Avena Sativa can help to lower the “bad” low density lipoprotein and cholesterol level. It contains ingredients such as beta glucan, a soluble fiber which is very beneficial to the body. Further more, Avena sativa helps to treat palpitation and various heart problems. Such benefits help to strengthen the heart and make it healthy at all times.
Avena Sativa helps to fight inflammation, thanks to a molecule called avenanthramides. This molecule helps to reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines. When the levels of cytokines are high they raise the risk of chronic illnesses like heart diseases and diabetes.
Natural Sex Booster
Dr. Ray Sahelian, the author of “natural sex boosters, identified avena sativa as a mild sex enhancer. Hence, its impact on the libido cannot be pushed aside. As you can see, Avena Sativa has lots of benefits. It can boost hormone levels and stimulate cell growth. Since it is rich in minerals, it may help an individual who is suffering with the thyroid glands.
Meanwhile, you can opt for the Solaray avena sativa available at VitaNet (R), LLC
Does CLA Help With Weight Loss?
November 21, 2012 03:27 PM
Millions of people are suffering due to obesity. Obesity brings along various diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, joint problems, and much more. It seems everywhere you look, you will finds over weight people. If you are overweight, you already know how difficult it is to lose weight. Wouldn't it be great if you can get some help in this endeavor? Now you can easily increase the amount of weight you can lose by just popping a pill.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) Benefits
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a good fatty acid that is very important for your body metabolism. When you supplement your diet with significant amount of CLA, it can increase your body metabolism and the rate at which your body burns fat. However, you must keep in mind that these supplements work only when you follow a strict exercise and diet regime. The reason why CLA works is because it has an ability to disrupt the process of fat storage in human body. The storage of fast cells adds pounds to one's weight and within a short time, one becomes obese.
These fat cells stubbornly holds onto their fat stores and it becomes very difficult to get rid of this abdominal fat. CLA has the ability to move this fast and convert them into muscle cells where they are burned off during exercises. Once fat cells have been destroyed, it prevents the rebound weight gain. All fat calories are directly sent to muscles for being burned away and are not stored as fasts.
In fact, regular intake of CLA can easily maintain a prefect balance between body fast and muscles. However, you must keep in mind that you won't get immediate results by taking CLA supplements. For instance, if you are 60 pounds overweight, then you cannot lose 40 pounds in a month. These supplements can show results when you take them on long term basis and combine it with workouts.
A good CLA supplement can make the difference when you are interested in getting rid of your excess fat. Add this supplement to your diet and follow an exercise routine and within a short time you will notice a considerable difference in the way you look and feel.
The Health benefits of P-5-P
July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate
P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.
There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P
Let us have a look at some of them.
Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.
The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.
This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.
Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.
To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.
What is Cordyceps Mushroom good for?
March 10, 2012 12:00 AM
Cordycep mushrooms have been receiving a lot of hype lately, as they are said to have many compounds that can benefit ones health. Cordycep mushrooms have been used for 1500 years in ancient Chinese history, and was proven to benefit a variety of factors. However, it seems as if people are having a tough time when it comes to looking for them, as they are known for being in natural habitats. Cordyceps itself is a type of fungus, and it includes over 400 kinds of described species. Cordyceps are abundant in tropical areas, as they tend to thrive better in humidity and high temperature. Cordyceps have also had an extensive history of being a medicinal fungi. Cordyceps are not really known in the Western world, as scientists have not been able to study it properly yet. However, since China has been studying the fungus for some time now, some of this fungus' secrets were already unfolded. The main reason to why Cordyceps have received so much attention is that the History Channel stated that if someone finds an ounce of Cordyceps, you will be given 900 dollars.
The Benefits To Taking A Supplement Of Cordycep.
One benefit to taking a supplement of cordycep is that it dilates the airways of your lungs, allowing more oxygen to your lungs. Cordyceps are also known for fighting the means of womens infertility. It also enhances mens sexual performance and fuction by stimulating the sex hormones. Cordyceps helps in building muscle and even improve ones physical performance as well. It also has the capability to reduce the effects of fatigue, and has anti-aging properties as well. These help in strengthening the liver and kidney, as it improves the natural flow of your blood. They help strengthen and even enhance your immune system because it has the capability to increase and improve a huge amount of natural killer cells.
Where Can You Find Cordyceps In Nature Habitats?
Cordyceps can be found in a huge array of areas such as Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, China, and Russia. However, they tend to grow in the South areas of tropical places. The best places to look for cordyceps would have to be in the areas where ants climb the moment before they pass away. Those areas are tree branches and the bottom of tree leaves. They can also be found in tropical forests as well. The fruiting body of a Cordycep sort of has a grass-like appearance, making it easy for them to be spotted. They also kind of look like worms, and though they are technically mushrooms, in wild areas, they can grow on plants, insects, caterpillars, and a variety of other fungus' as well.
Cordyceps can be found in a huge array of areas, so you must learn and know exactly what they look like to actually find a couple ounces. Cordyceps are said to be worth a fortune, and its value has even increased throughout the years. Even if it's tough to find cordyceps, at least the reward that you are given is decent.
February 15, 2012 06:58 AM
Ashwagandha is a popularly known dietary supplement that is commonly grown in India and North America. Also known by the name Indian Winter Cherry, ashwagandha is a product of the brown roots of a shrub that goes by the same name and which is believed to have a wide range of benefits for many ailments. Ashwagandha has always been considered as a very important herb in ayurvedic medicinal systems. This is particularly because of its wide application in curing a wide range of ailments, which has earned it a lot of respect in the eyes of traditional herbal healers. In fact, even modern science has started grasping the herb's potent abilities. Research has already confirmed that ashwagandha possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory as well as anti-stress properties. This article will hence discuss some of the benefits of ashwagandha to our bodies.
Ashwagandha is particularly recognized for it calming effect on the body. Some researchers have even indicated that it has the ability to induce sleep. Research has demonstrated that it calming and sleep-inducing effects or properties are much similar to that of the popular amino acid known as GABA.
Ashwagandha is also popularly recognized for its ability to ease restlessness or anxiety in addition to reduction of drug withdrawal symptoms. It has the ability to stabilize one's moods in addition to encouraging adrenal recovery which has made it very valuable among herbalists.
The benefits of ashwagandha extend far beyond mood stabilization as it also finds applicable use in helping elderly people to have a better cognitive ability, mental agility as well as enhance their memory and retention. Other than the above, ashwagandha is also known as a very effective remedy for fighting the symptoms of colds as well as coughs.
Recent research has also provided reliable prove that ashwagandha bears a lot of potential ability towards decreasing or inhibiting the growth of cancer cells without having any side effects on other healthy cells.
Ashwagandha is also an antioxidant that contains anti-aging properties and is traditionally recognized for its ability in the nourishment of muscles and the brain as well as strengthening the immune system. Studies have also indicated that the orange berries of the ashwagandha shrub can be tropically used in the treatment of skin ulcers, tumors and carbuncles. Ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief to swellings as well as restores blood supply.
It also works as a suppressant to any form of pain. This is due to its “ushan virya” potency properties that help in the eradication of pain in the body. It is also known as an effective remedy for diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as sciatica. It use also has effective application as a remedy for goiter, lymphadenopathy, as well as healing any wounds or injuries.
As a powerful aphrodisiac, ashwagandha helps in the enhancement of sexual energy in addition to long lasting endurance in both men and women. In men, it improves sperm count as well as sperm quality.
Further research has indicated that ashwagandha is an effective treatment for diabetes, constipation, nerve problems, memory loss, impotency, bipolar disorder among a list of other endless physical ailments.
Ashwagandha, taken with a healthy diet as well as accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices is a great way of guaranteeing one's protection from minor ailments as well as promotion of physical strength.
September 28, 2009 11:10 AM
Figwort is the common name for some members of the Scrophulariaceae family, which is comprised mainly of herbs and small shrubs. These plants are distributed widely over all continents, with the family including few types of climbing plants and some parasitic and saprophytic forms.
There are approximately 2800 species and 200 genera of Figword distributed worldwide. Many of these grow in the American Northwest. The name was derived from European species of Scrophularia, which is the common figwort. The plants are used to treat hemorrhoids, which were known as figs. Additionally, figworts were used to treat scrofula, which is a form of tuberculosis that is carried in the milk of infected cows.
Figwort finds the majority of its use in the treatment of skin problems. In a broad manner, it acts to help the body function well. This herb brings about a state of inner cleanliness. Figwort may be used for eczema, psoriasis, and any skin condition where there is itching and irritation. Part of the cleansing that comes from figwort is due to the purgative and diuretic actions that it possesses. The herb may be used as a mild laxative to treat constipation. It can also be used as a heart stimulant. For safety purposes, figwort should be avoided where there is any abnormally rapid heartbeat.
The figwort family is characterized by irregular, bilaterally symmetrical flowers with four to five petal, joined to a calax and four to five petals, joined to a corolla. This forms a tube, with the petals flaring outward at the end. The lower ones form a down turned lip. The flowers are bisexual and are sometimes brightly colored. The leaves of the plant are alternate, opposite, and sometimes whorled. The fruit is typically a two-chambered capsule. Some common hemiparasites can be found in the figwort family. Among these are Indian paintbrush, owl’s clover, lousewort, and bird’s beak. These hemiparasites have green, photosynthetic leaves. A substantial portion of the parasite’s carbon comes from the host plant, which is parasitized from the roots.
Figwort is typically used as a skin medication for eczema, scabies, tumors, and rashes. The herb also provides hormone-like materials that are helpful in soothing the digestive organs. The herb has diuretic properties and can help to clean the kidneys. Figwort is sometimes used to treat circulatory disorders and may assist with the treatment of varicose veins. The herb is recommended for its ability to lower high blood pressure. Figwort can be used as poultice for ulcers, piles, scrofulous gland sin the neck, sores, wounds, and toothaches.
The leaves, stems, and roots of the figwort plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, bitter, demulcent, diuretic, purgative, parasiticide, and stimulant properties. Primarily, figwort is extremely beneficial in dealing with abrasions, athlete’s foot, cradle cap, fever, impetigo, indigestion, restlessness, and skin diseases. Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, burns, cuts, eczema, hemorrhoids, insomnia, kidney problems, and light flow in menstruation, nightmares, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by figwort, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 02, 2008 09:36 AM
Cartilage has several roles to play in your body, an example of which is to form curved body parts that would otherwise be unsupported, such as the external contours of your ears or a large part of your nose. Without cartilage you ears and nose would flop around a lot, and it is also contained in the spine, to prevent your discs from grinding against each other.
However, the part that we are interested in is as a shock absorber between the bones of your joints. It allows bones to slide over one another without damage, either through friction or shock, and is also nature’s shock absorber, helping to support your weight while you are active. Thus, your cartilage protects from impact damage when you are running or jumping down from a height. This type of cartilage, known as articular cartilage, is bathed in a lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid, which introduces its own problems when your cartilage becomes damaged.
This damage can occur in several ways: as the result of a fall, for example, or direct contact with the joint when playing a physical contact sport such as football or soccer. It can also become damaged through wear and tear over a period of time, such with long distance runners or soccer players (again), and is also associated with age. Many years of continual use, especially amongst those with active rather than sedentary occupations, eventually lead to wear and damage.
Problems with the joint structure itself, known as osteoarthritis, can also damage the cartilage, as can being overweight for a lengthy period. You can also experience cartilage damage if you are bedridden or other wise immobile for long periods, because the cartilage needs regular movement to function correctly. This is connected with the blood supply, which will be discussed shortly.
Cartilage is constructed of cells known as chondrocytes that generate a fibrous matrix known as collagen, a mixture of amino acids known as elastin that allows the cartilage to return to its original shape after deformation, and non-collagenous matrix tissue containing proteins, water and proteoglycans that contain sulfated glycosaminoglycan chains. That last mixture is often referred to as ‘ground substance.’
One of the problems with cartilage is its lack of a direct blood supply, and it relies on the compression and decompression of the articular cartilage, or on the flexing of elastic cartilage, to create a pumping action that drives blood to the chondrocytes. This is why inactivity can cause cartilage damage, due to a lack of blood supply, and why it is repaired more slowly than other body components.
Once an injury or wear and tear damages a joint, the body’s natural defense, the immune system, is activated, and the major part of that involved in cartilage damage is the inflammatory response. The joint becomes inflamed, the quantity of synovial fluid is increased to provide more protection and swells the joint, and enzymes (hyaluronidase) are produced which, although part of the natural defense system, actually degrade the synovial fluid and the cartilage.
This increases the amount of inflammation and the process becomes self-perpetuating, leading to the condition known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) because the body is unable to produce enough glucosamine to generate the proteoglycan needed for repair.
This is where glucosamine sulfate enters the scene. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG), which as mentioned as above are components of proteoglycans in the cartilage matrix ground tissue. It has been shown to stimulate the biosynthesis of proteoglycan, and analysis has shown its presence within articular cartilage after administering it orally to patients with cartilage disease. It therefore makes its way to the right place.
Glucosamine is administered in the form of glucosamine sulfate, the highly electrically charged sulfate groups believed to aid in the compression properties of cartilage. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, although only about a quarter of the oral dose is eventually available to the body, and high concentrations accumulate in the liver, kidneys and in articular cartilage where it is used in the biosynthesis of GAG.
When in solution, glucosamine sulfate separates into ions: sulfate and glucosamine. Glucosamine ions are involved in the synthesis of GAG, that then combine with proteins to form proteoglycans, a component of the non-collagenous matrix of the cartilage. Although glucosamine is the major active component, there is evidence that the sulfate group contributes the stability of the matrix of the connective tissue since the uptake of sulfate ions increases with the amount of glucosamine sulfate used.
Another consideration here is that sulfate is an important part of proteoglycans, and glucosamine sulfate promotes not only the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, but also of proteoglycans in general. Glucosamine is also active in regenerating the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, and in hindering the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
Some people find that glucosamine, taken either alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and/or methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), is more effective than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation (e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and without the side effects of these substances. MSM contains dietary sulfur, which is necessary for cell structure and healthy cell repair. Methyl sulfone methane is know to be beneficial for painful conditions such as arthritis, and also improves the blood circulation. It might also play a part in helping glucosamine sulfate get to the site of the cartilage damage.
Glucosamine is a large molecule, however, and finds it difficult to make its way to the area around the joint due to the lack of a direct blood supply. It is therefore taken in relatively large doses to ensure that sufficient amounts get to where it is needed. Many people insist that glucosamine sulfate is very effective in reducing, or even eliminating, their pain, and it is finding increasing popularity in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions involving cartilage damage.
St. John's Wort
June 22, 2008 08:52 AM
St. John's Wort is a plant with yellow flowers that researchers continue to look at for its health and well-being benefits. A perennial herb, it is from Europe and found its way to America with settlers. It is commonplace in meadows and fields. The first recorded use of St. John's Wort was in ancient Greece. It also goes by the following names: hypericum, Klamath weed and goat weed.
For centuries, this plant has found use as a medicine for depression and anxiety. People often used it to treat mental conditions and nerve pain. Today, people use the herb to treat sleep disorders and anxiety as well as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. In Europe, St. John's Wort is available as a prescription medicine and finds wide use there.
In the United States, it is an herbal supplement and does not have classification by the government as a prescription medicine. However, there is great interest in the U.S. in this herb's capabilities as treatment for depression. Studies show St. John's Wort has a minimal effect on major depression. There is evidence though that it is a useful herb for treating milder depression. Some studies show it acts similar to synthetic antidepressants by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain. There is also evidence that it produces fewer side effects than these synthetics.
In North America, St. John's Wort comes in capsule, tablet, liquid extract, oil-based skin lotions and tea form. The flower tops of the plant find use in tea formulations. The major active elements in the herb, considered by some researchers as antidepressants, are hyperforin and hypericin. Studies suggest that the hyperforin in the herb plays a part in helping people decrease alcohol consumption. In addition, hyperforin has beneficial antibacterial properties. The plant also contains essential oils and flavonoids. Native Americans have a history of use of St. John's Wort as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent agent.
If you decide to try St. John's Wort, you must consult with a health care professional first, as this herb interacts with other medications. Evidence shows that it can affect anticoagulant drugs and contraceptive pills. It can also affect medication needed to treat high blood pressure.
One study of St. John's Wort showed it was beneficial to a group who consumed 300 mg. three times daily compared to a group who took a placebo only. This study occurred over a four-week period. Sixty-seven percent of the St. John's Wort group experienced improvement of their depression compared to 28 percent of the placebo group. This study included only those suffering from mild depression. What was important in this study was that there were no adverse side effects from the St. John's Wort as compared to synthetic antidepressants. This was significant because many patients often refuse standard antidepressants because of the harmful and bothersome side effects they produce.
There is no denying that St. John's Wort has a long tradition as a medicine to treat anxiety and depression. This is why studies continue into its effectiveness. Researchers do not want to ignore repeated testimonials about the herb's antidepressant capabilities; they seek to make sure these claims are legitimate by having facts to back them up.
Thirty-seven trials that met criteria for being credible received recognition concerning St. John's Wort. They received summarization in a study. (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000448. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub2.)
The conclusion reached upon analysis of the studies showed St. John's Wort could benefit those with milder types of depression. No conclusive evidence exists that more severe types receive anything more than minimum benefits from the St. John's Wort products that were part of the studies. The researchers stress that their analysis applies only to certain products they tested, not every St. Johns Wort formulation on the market. Many are of different pharmaceutical quality and of different strengths and purities.
Research will continue into this natural product that the earth provides us. At the very least, St. John's Wort does help some forms of depression. The jury is out on whether its benefits will extend to those who suffer harsher forms of the debilitating mental condition that affects millions.
June 20, 2008 02:08 PM
That common yard or roadside plant you see during the growing season can be your ally against sickness and disease. The common dandelion has many essential vitamins and minerals inherent in it that can be part of your health regimen. Dandelions are an all-natural way to promote good health when used wisely.
The dandelion root and leaves contain vitamins A, C and D, as well as the B-complexes. They also contain iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, choline, boron, calcium and silicon. Choline has shown to improve memory function. Dandelion has found use as a treatment for breast illnesses, bloating (water retention), aching joints, skin problems and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also as a gentle diuretic and a purifier for the bloodstream and liver.
This plant contains luteolin, which is an antioxidant and beneficial as an immune system enhancer. Luteolin helps inhibit the degradation and wearing down of the body's cells. What's great about dandelion and its antioxidant properties is the fact that there is no toxic effect on cells associated with it.
Dandelions are also a medicinal herb. They increase waste elimination in the body through the urine. Like green tea's effects, this excretion of water and waste can lead to weight-loss. Dandelion is available naturally, as well as in pill, liquid, tablets and tea form. The Puritans used it strictly as a vegetable, although some who eat it as a prepared dish consider it to have a bitter taste.
This plant has ranked high in many categories. It is one of the top six herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest. It is one of the top four green vegetables rated for overall nutritional value according to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews, 1984). It is food rich in fiber. This is important because fiber is an essential component of a complete weight-loss program. Fiber absorbs fat molecules and aids in their elimination from the body. This prevents fats from absorbing into the body.
The dandelion is part of the sunflower family. It is prevalent in temperate regions in Europe, Asia and North America. This plant finds itself a big part of culinary recipes. Taking the dandelion in this form is good for health, as it is in its most natural, unprocessed state. Some use dandelion as a tea to help in the fight against fever, insomnia and jaundice. Dandelion tea can also aid those who have rheumatism, eczema, constipation and even skin diseases.
It aids digestion by stimulating stomach secretions. However, it does increase the flow of bile in one's system, so you should not take dandelion if you have obstruction of the bile ducts. While generally safe, like anything else, you should consult a doctor when trying something new in your diet. This is to make sure it doesn't have harmful side effects or interact negatively with other herbs and medications.
For women, dandelion helps because of its diuretic capabilities. This means it helps eliminate excess water from a woman's system, which causes bloating.
Those who experience premenstrual syndrome may find dandelion helps bring down their bloating and weight gain associated with water retention.
Another promising aspect of dandelion is the fact it contains lecithin. Lecithin is a lipid that contains choline primarily, along with inositol, phosphorous and linoleic acid. Lecithin elevates the brain's acetylcholine, which helps brain function. This, some researchers believe, may help slow down or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dandelion, again because of lecithin inherent in it, is beneficial for prevention of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease too.
Sometimes we need to look only in our own backyards and surrounding environments to find plentiful foods that are healthy. Dandelions are one of earth's products that have found use for centuries. Whether as a recipe ingredient, a tea or a pill, dandelion is versatile. When used with care, it can help with weight-loss and be a health enhancer at the same time.
Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw)
April 26, 2008 09:36 AM
Una de Gato, otherwise known as cat’s claw, is properly Unicaria tomentosa. It has been used as an herbal medicine for at least two thousand years by the people of Central and South America who gave it the name vilcacora.
It grows in jungle areas and rainforest in South America and Asia, and gets its name from the small claw-like thorns at the base of the leaves. One of the environmental benefits of the Una de Gato is that when it is harvested at three feet above the ground, it grows back to its full size of up to 100 feet within a few years when it can be harvested again to three feet. Cat’s claw has been given dietary supplement status by the FDA.
The Peruvian Asháninka tribe has used the plant as a contraceptive and for the treatment of rheumatic conditions, diabetes, acne, diarrhea, cancer, urinary tract diseases and as an anti-inflammatory, and many of the studies of cat’s claw have centered on this tribe. The studies quickly showed the active ingredients to be alkaloids, both tertracyclic oxindole alkaloids and pentacyclic alkaloids that have been found both in the bark and in the root.
The extract is obtained by boiling both the inner part of the bark and the root, each of which differs in concentration of the various alkaloids. The root is believed to better for its anti-inflammatory powers due to the quinovic acid glycoside it contains, although the relative concentrations of the various alkaloids can vary according to the time of year and to the chemotype of the plant.
Cat’s Claw comes in two chemotypes, each of which differs in the relative concentrations of the two different alkaloid types. One predominates in the pentacyclic alkaloids that strengthen the immune system, and the other chemotype in the tetracyclic alkaloids that counter that effect and reduce the speed and strength of the contractions of the heart. It is not possible to tell which chemotype a particular plant is until it has been chemically tested. They look exactly the same and it is possible for both to grow sided by side. However, the root is generally richer in alkaloids, and sells at about twice the price of the bark. Alkaloids are not the only active ingredients in Una de Gato, and it also contains tannins and phytochemicals that have an antioxidant effect and are useful free radical scavengers. They have been studied for their effects in the treatment of HIV and cancer, though mainly due to the glycoside content that will be discussed shortly. The National cancer Institute has confirmed some anti-cancer properties of quinovic glycosides derived from cat’s claw.
The four pentacyclic alkaloids have been found to have a boosting effect on the human immune system, which it does by enhancing the ability of the white blood cells and macrophages to digest and kill off foreign organisms and debris in tissue and the bloodstream. The inference is that the herb is able to be used to treat a wide variety of infectious diseases, including many immune and autoimmune conditions including AIDS. The results with AIDs are inconclusive, although one particular study showed that cat’s claw produced accelerated healing of cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) and shingles (caused by herpes zoster virus). Although the evidence is slight, there are indications of its possible use in treating viral conditions.
It is used in homeopathy for the treatment of a number of digestive ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and gastric ulcers among others. It is also used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and some conditions of the prostate gland.
The tertracyclic indole alkaloids that appear to counter the immune-boosting properties of their pentacyclic cousins include rhynchophylline, hirsutine, and mitraphylline. Rhynchophylline prevents blood clots in the veins and arteries by reducing the formation of platelets, and can dilate the peripheral blood vessels of the hands and feet. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the heart rate. Due to this effect on blood vessels, it is though to be able to improve the circulation in the brain and be a useful treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Hirsutine inhibits contractions of the smooth muscle of the bladder, and so finds uses in the treatment of urinary incontinence.
The pentacyclic alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine are believed to have important properties beyond their phagocytosis effect on the immune system. It has been reported that they have an effect on the 5-HT(2) receptors in the brain. These neurotransmitters are used as targets for many drugs used to treat a variety of conditions such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and such alkaloids have a positive modulating effect on them.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s claw are largely due to the very potent quinovic acid glycosides previously referred to. These have been known about only recently, and they are thought to work synergistically to reduce the tissue swelling (edema) associated with the immune system’s inflammatory reaction. Although this is believed to be largely due to the glycosides, three of the alkaloids also possess anti-inflammatory properties. This property provides the scientific background for the traditional use of Una de Gato for rheumatism and arthritis, both inflammatory conditions. Many of the digestive conditions for which the plant has traditionally used are also inflammatory in nature.
A threat to cat’s claw is the destruction of the Peruvian rainforest, although not as much as a threat as the destruction of the plant itself. Cat’s claw has reached levels of popularity so high that it is in danger of extinction due to improper harvesting. New laws being enacted by the Peruvian government should help to protect the plant, and to promote its harvesting over cocoa.
When buying cat’s claw, make sure that it is the Uncaria tomentosa form you are purchasing since there is another type, Uncaria Guianensis that contains different alkaloids and is not as potent as the real Una de Gato. Also beware of a shrub known as cat’s claw acacia, grown in Mexico and the southwest USA, since it contains cyanide derivatives and could be very dangerous if taken by mouth.
Bilberry Extract Is A Powerful Antioxidant That Strengthens Veins
April 12, 2008 11:06 AM
Bilberry extract is taken from the Vaccinium myrtillus, or bilberry, a small blue berry that has been used traditionally for the treatment of conditions now known to be due to inflammation and the action of free radicals on the body.
Among these is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, caused by the free radical oxidation of the low density lipids that carry cholesterol around the bloodstream, and that cause deposition of fatty plaques on the arterial walls and eventually constricts them to a stage that can cause heart failure or a stroke, depending on whether the arteries are close to the heart or in the brain.
However, additional to treating this condition, bilberry has also traditionally been used for the treatment of varicose veins and also for certain eye conditions. In fact it was during the Second World war that the Royal Air Force in Britain received reports from pilots that their night vision improved after eating bilberries. Not only their vision, but the restoration of night vision after exposure to glare.
This was extremely important to war-time pilots who had to be able to rapidly adapt their vision to fly their plane after exposure to searchlights and explosive detonations. That is the reason for anything that appeared to promote this essential adaptation to be reported.
The pharmacology of these effects have been found to be due to the anthocyanosides in which bilberries are particularly rich. Anthocyanosides consist of an anthocyanaidin backbone, to which one of either arabinose, galactose or glucose can be bound. Since bilberry contains five of these anthocyanadins, then there are fifteen different anthocyanosides in the fruit concentrate.
The area of the retina that appears to control night vision, and the transition from day to night sight, is called the epithelium which is connected with purple vision. Anthocyanosides seem to have an affinity for this part of the retina, and in so doing plays an important part in this type of vision, specifically night vision although it is also beneficial in improving day vision.
Although bilberry also contains vitamins A and C, hydroquinone and tannins, it is the anthocyanosides that provide it with its unique antioxidant properties, and also its effect upon collagen fibers. It can cross-link collagen fibers to help overcome weaknesses in the connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and the walls of blood vessels.
Its effect as an antioxidant is to prevent the cleavage of collagen by the cyzymes that are secreted by leukocytes generated by the immune system. By preventing histamine release, and release of prostaglandins and other proteins and cells mobilized during the immune inflammatory response to the detection of foreign invasion into human tissue, anthocyanosides can help to reduce inflammation and to protect against other extreme reactions of the immune system that can harm the organism it evolved to protect.
The most powerful property of anthocyanosides are their antioxidant properties: perhaps even its only property once all of the conditions it helps to protect against are fully understood. An antioxidant combines with free radicals and destroys them. Free radicals are particularly vile chemical entities that require an electron to make them stable, and they take this electron from the nearest source. This can result in oxidation and destruction of many bodily tissues leading to premature aging, atherosclerosis, eye damage and many other problems that result from the destruction of body cells and tissue.
The various constituents that make up bilberry act in concert to scavenge the free radicals and increase the supply of oxygen to the eye. The benefits of this are in helping to prevent cataracts and glaucoma, the latter due to the effect of the anthocyanoside cross-linking effect on the structure of the collagen in the eye. It can also help in cases of macular degeneration that affects the central area of the retina which might be due to the same property of there glucoside.
Moving away from the eyes and back to the vascular system, the collagen cross-linking properties of the flavonoids, which is what anthocyanosides basically are, can help to repair damaged vein tissue by strengthening the vein walls themselves, and also by providing support for the cell membranes, or outer layers of the cells.
This in turn builds up more strength in the vein tissue below the outside walls and contributes to an overall reduction in the weakness of the vein. This in turn enables it better to withstand the internal pressure put upon it by the failure of the valve that created the problem. In this way bilberries can be used to help repair the damage done by varicose veins and improve the function of the vein in returning blood to the heart from the extremities of the legs and also to help reduce the pain and swelling of varicose veins.
In addition to these beneficial effects on the vascular system and the eyes, bilberry can also help to decrease the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to pollutants, drugs and other undesirable chemicals by improving the resistance of the capillaries in the brain to the transfer of such substances through their walls. It does so by preventing the collagen of the capillaries in the brain being degraded either by enzymes or other agents, Also, by helping to strengthen that collagen structure so that it becomes more impermeable to the larger molecules that form the pollutants.
A lesser known constituent of bilberry is myrtillin, an anthocyanoside monoglucoside that is also available in all green plants, that possesses anti-glycemic properties. What this means is that it can reduce hyperglycemia and glycosurea, and so reduce blood sugar without reducing the blood sugar level to dangerously low levels. In other words it is an ideal insulin substitute.
Native Americans used green plants for teas for centuries and were free from diabetes until the came into contact with Europeans and adopted their dietary habits. Although the case has to be proved, it appears highly likely that it was the myrtillin that kept them free from a condition that affects so many other races.
Irrespective of that, however, it is for its powerful antioxidant effect that bilberry finds its best use, and also its effects on varicose veins. However, all of the above health benefits that bilberry provides, can likely be laid at the door of the combined antioxidant effect of its vitamin C content and the anthocyanosides – including the glucoside myrtillin.
Fight Histamine With Quercetin
February 11, 2008 03:48 PM
Quercetin is one of the more powerful of the body’s antioxidants, and it can also be used to reduce the rate of histamine release by the body normally initiated by contact with an allergenic substance (for which your immune system has designed an antigen). We shall examine the biochemical mechanism which this is achieved, but first let’s have a closer look at quercetin and what it actually is.
Quercetin is what is known as a phytochemical, which is simply the scientific name for a chemical that is naturally produced by plants. Other phytochemicals include vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids, so the term is very broad ranging for any substance that is produced by plants. It is commonly known as a flavanol, one of a family of compounds known as flavonoids that give color to plants.
It is a very active flavonoid, with very powerful antioxidant properties, in addition to acting as an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Histamine is an amine released as part of the body’s immune response to allergenics, and quercetin inhibits its manufacture and release. This amine is an irritant and can itself cause inflammation and the other symptoms associated with allergies such as runny and itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy spots. Quercetin can be used to alleviate these symptoms by blocking the manufacture in the body of the histamine that causes them.
It demonstrates other anti-inflammatory properties such as alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, and also helps to destroy free radicals in the body through its strong antioxidant properties, but before we discuss how it does this we shall have a closer look at the mechanisms used in its effect in inhibiting histamine.
Calmodulin is a protein that is used to transport calcium ions, Ca++, across the membranes of certain cells in the body, and by doing so it helps to mediate a number of biochemical processes within the body, among them the immune response and inflammation. It should not be thought these are always unwelcome responses: on the contrary, they are the body’s way of reacting to foreign bodies and preventing more serious conditions from developing.
However, there are instances where the body can become sensitized to certain substances and overreact to their presence leading to conditions such as hay fever or, considerably more serious, asthma. These are just two of the undesirable manifestations of the human immune system that we would be better without. What quercetin does is to prevent calmodulin from properly binding to certain enzymic proteins and so suppress the effect of these proteins. Among these are the enzymes that control the secretion of histamine from mast cells.
Mast cells are found mainly in areas prone to injury and at the interface between internal tissues and outside world, such as the nose, mouth, lungs, eyes, blood vessels and feet. They contain granules rich in histamine that degranulate and released the histamine when the immune system detects foreign bodies such as pollen grains and dust mites, especially when the body has created antigens against them.
Quercetin suppresses the release of histamine from the granules in the mast cells by preventing the degranulation. The release of the histamine is not completely halted, but its effects are reduced and quercetin is used in the treatment of asthma where it is believed to help reduce the symptoms by reducing histamine-induced swelling in the airways.
A similar application of this flavonoid is in reducing the inflammatory response to arthritis, the main cause of the swelling of this painful condition. Your skin can also be affected by inflammation that is partially controllable by quercetin. Collagen and fibronectin biosynthesis is increased that help to maintain not only healthy joints, but also to speed up the healing of wounds and repair damaged nerves. It is also believed that quercetin can hold back the effects of aging on the skin, and slow down the formation of wrinkles.
There are other applications of this versatile flavanol, including its effect on acute prostatitis where it reduces oxidative stress and the accompanying inflammation of the prostate gland. In fact, it is believed to have positive effect on many conditions caused by free radical oxidation and excessive reaction by the immune system causing inflammation. Apart from the allergies and arthritis previously referred to, quercetin is believed to have been effectively used in the treatment of gout, macular degeneration and heart disease, and it can also help to prevent the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) responsible for transporting cholesterol to where it is needed to repair major blood vessels.
When these lipoproteins become oxidized by free radicals then the cholesterol associated with them tends to be excessively deposited in the arteries it is meant to be repairing, and lead to atherosclerosis. This condition can lead to heart failure or to strokes if the blood vessels are in the brain.
Studies have indicated that the flavonoid might help to prevent certain cancers by preventing the nutrition of some types of cancerous cells, effectively killing them. Due to its phytoestrogen properties, quercetin can be used to bind to the sites in cancerous cells that are receptive to estrogen and so prevent their growth. Many types of cancerous cells need estrogen for their growth and proliferation, and phytoestrogens mimic the effect of this hormone. However, these are laboratory studies, and more work is required.
More certain is the effect of quercetin on heart disease due largely to the aforementioned control of cholesterol deposition in your arteries, but also through its ability to strengthen the capillaries. However, when all things are considered, it is in the properties of this non-allergenic bioflavonoid to fight histamine release that it finds it’s most popular and effective use.
So what is the best way to take quercetin? Like most bioflavonoids, it is available naturally in the majority of plant foods. Particularly rich sources are broccoli, red onions, red apple skins, black tea, red wine, red and purple berries and almost all dark green leafy vegetables.
However, the name of the game these days is to take measured doses, and while you should continue to eat these foods, you can also receive controlled doses by use of supplements. From 200 to 500 milligrams thrice daily is a good average dose, depending on the severity of your immune reaction or allergy. Bromelain is believed to improve its absorption in the gut, and quercetin is frequently provided with bromelain, which itself is also a good treatment for allergies and excessive response of your immune system to irritation.
Bromelain is an enzyme, generally extracted from pineapple, and treatments higher than the above doses of quercetin with or without bromelain are available online, although like any natural remedy you should inform your own physician of the dosage you are taking.
There is no better non-allergenic bioflavonoid to fight histamine and its potentially unpleasant effects on your body than quercetin.
The Benefits of Ascorbyl Palmitate A Fat-Soluble Form of Ascorbic Acid
February 09, 2008 10:43 AM
The benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are due to the substance being a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid which is otherwise known as vitamin C. Before discussing why being fat-soluble should be of benefit, let us first have a look at what vitamin C does for us and what its limitations are.
Most people know vitamin C as the vitamin that prevents us from getting scurvy, and that limes and other citrus fruits were given to sailors to prevent them from contracting this often fatal disease on long journeys. However, important though the protection it provides against scurvy is, there are many more important uses for this important vitamin. In fact some of them are closely connected to the symptoms of scurvy.
Among these are pains and swelling in the joints, and the loosening of teeth and hair loss. Scurvy is also associated with easy bruising and bleeding. All of these can be associated with loss of collagen, which is contained in connective tissues, bone and blood vessels. Collagen repairs and maintains cartilage, heals wounds and is essential for proper skin formation and the structure of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, hair and teeth. When we consider that one of the most important properties of vitamin C is the part it plays in the production of collagen in the body, then its effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of scurvy is not difficult to understand.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that destroys free radicals that kill and severely damage body cells, and cause a large variety of undesirable conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancers, and also debilitating and painful inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Many free radicals are formed in the body as by-products of our metabolism: the generation of energy from fats and blood glucose. Others are ingested in the form of cigarette smoke and other toxins, while yet other free radicals are caused by the effect of sunlight on our skins. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E help to keep these free radicals under control and minimize their effect.
Another interesting property of vitamin C is in the synthesis of carnetine, a deficiency of which is also thought to contribute to scurvy. Carnetine is needed by the body to transport fat to the cellular mitochondria so that it can be converted to energy. Vitamin C is also believed to take part in the biochemistry that converts cholesterol to bile acids and so helps to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
The vitamin is therefore a very useful one for the body, but it has one fault. It is water soluble, and hence cannot be stored in the body but is expelled in the urine. Had it been fat soluble it could have been able to be stored in the body fats, in the same way that vitamins A and E are, and be available for use when required. Instead any excess that is not immediately used is lost, and a fresh intake of ascorbic acid necessary on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but it is only of use in areas of the body that the blood can reach. Fatty tissue is practically devoid of vitamin C, and many areas of the brain cannot be reached by substances that are insoluble in oils and fats. It also finds it difficult to penetrate the skin and the walls of body cells. This is where the benefits of ascorbyl palmitate are useful.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C and possesses all of the attributes of ascorbic acid. It is more easily absorbed by the body and can be stored in the membranes of the cells until needed. It is also a powerful antioxidant, the same as vitamin C, and is frequently used to prevent the oxidation of vegetables oils, such as on potato chips and other oily snacks. It also takes part in the biochemistry of the production of collagen and connective tissues.
The usefulness of this substance comes from not only from its amphoteric nature, whereby it has one end that is water soluble and another that is fat soluble, but also by the fact that it is also amphipathic, meaning that it prefers neither one medium nor the other, and tends to collect at phase boundaries, between oil and water phases. It is particularly effective in topical uses on the skin, because it is easily absorbed into the skin tissue, and more stable than some of the other forms of vitamin C. It is also believed to protect other fat soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E from oxidation, and also to help to protect blood cell membranes from free radical attack.
Although vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, carrying out a multitude of tasks, ascorbyl palmitate has some advantages over it apart from the solubility difference. Its antioxidant properties are stronger than those of regular ascorbic acid and in fact rival those even of vitamin E, which it also helps to regenerate after its reaction with free radicals, and help to maintain a continuous supply of this powerful antioxidant.
It is also a chemically neutral form of the vitamin, and unlike regular ascorbic acid, does not cause inflammation of the tissues it comes into contact with. It can also reduce sunburn due to excessive exposure to UVB when applied to the skin, and is a very stable form of the vitamin. Ascorbyl palmitate also acts as an anti-inflammatory with certain conditions, such as psoriasis where topical application helped to reduce the extent of the lesions. In fact it appears to do most of what vitamin C does, but faster and with smaller doses.
So why is ascorbyl palmitate not used as the main form of vitamin C in supplements? The answer is money. Ascorbyl palmitate is considerably more expensive than regular vitamin C, and also normal ascorbic acid has some properties that the fat-soluble form does not have, such as its ability to rapidly pass through the body in the bloodstream.
However, it would make sense to take a supplement consisting of both forms of vitamin C, and so combine the best properties of each. Any vitamin C supplement that is designed for maximum effect on the body should contain at least 25% of ascorbyl palmitate, the balance being ascorbic acid. That is what to look for if you are to receive the combined benefits of both water and fat soluble vitamin C.
Acai: The Super Antioxidant From Brazil
February 03, 2008 02:07 PM
Acai is an Amazonian palm tree, and possesses small purple fruits that the Amazonian natives of Brazil have used since time immemorial as food and as a remedy for certain health conditions that are now known to be associated with the activity on free radicals on body cells.
The active constituents of acai are powerful polyphenols and anthocyanin antioxidants that protect your body cells from oxidation by free radicals. In fact the plant has been referred to as ‘the super antioxidant from Brazil’ by many medical writers who have recognized its right to be termed as such. To understand that, you first have to understand what an antioxidant is and how it works. The chemical names of the active substances it contains will be meaningless without that background knowledge.
Oxidation occurs in your body even before you are born. What is does in general terms is to destroy your body cells, and the more it progresses the more your body is prone to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and the more visible becomes the aging process. Chemically, oxidation is the loss of one or more electrons by an atom or molecule. Oxidation within your body is highly associated with what are known as free radicals. To explain these we have to consider the chemistry of electron pairs and free radicals, though this is not too technical so read on.
Normally electrons exist in pairs of opposite spin: in simple terms each pair makes up a single negative charge. Take hydrogen: its atomic structure contains one proton and one electron. However, the hydrogen atom cannot exist by itself since the most stable configuration is that electrons exist in pairs with a net zero spin, so the hydrogen molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms with their own protons sharing an electron pair. This is true of all covalently bonded molecules.
However, certain influences, such as pollution through tobacco smoke, pesticides, engine exhausts and the excess UV radiation of sunlight can cause a molecule to lose an electron. This creates what is known as a free radical: a molecule without an electrical charge but with an unpaired electron. Since the most stable configuration for it is to have a paired electron, the molecule will steal an electron from the most suitable candidate it finds.
In practise this will be a body cell, and the cell that loses the electron gets destroyed causing aging of the skin and many other undesirable effects, including cancers. This stealing of an electron is chemically referred to as oxidation. Antioxidants prevent this occurring to your body cells by being reactive themselves and preferentially mopping up these free electrons.
Polyphenols and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and that is why the people of the Amazon rainforests have used acai not only as a food, but also for their health. It is only relatively recently that, as with many of the ancient health remedies, the scientific basis behind its use has been proved. The early Brazilian natives may not have understood biochemistry or what free radicals were, but they sure knew what was good for them.
As with many other foodstuffs containing powerful antioxidants, it is likely that it was the highly colored berries that first attracted them. That does not suggest that all brightly colored foods are good for you, but the brightly colored pigments and dyestuffs contained within them also tend to act as antioxidants due the same electron configuration that provides them with their color. Many of these chemicals are also use as food dyes, and have been used so since before their chemistry and antioxidant effects were known. The color comes from the same electron activity that makes them destroy free radicals. That is why most highly colored foods contain significant quantities of phytochemicals.
The deep purple color of the acai fruit led chemists to determine its content of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, that are common in other highly colored foods such blueberries, peppers and aubergines. High concentrations of anthocyanins such as cyandin-3-glucoside and the rutinoside analogue were found, together with flavonoids such as orientin, deoxyhexose and scoparin. A total of twelve flavonoids were discovered that explains the highly antioxidant properties of the fruits. Laboratory and other tests have indicated that over 80% of the antioxidant effect of acai is due to polyphenols other than the anthocyanins. It is likely that these are the twelve flavonoids identified to date and any others that have still to be detected.
However, it is not only for its antioxidant properties that acai is such a healthy fruit, since it contains many other nutritional components. It contains fatty acids, including linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid and also beta-sitosterol that are believed to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The fruit also contains a high level of amino acids, essential for the synthesis of proteins and DNA.
So what exactly does this mean for you in real terms? Antioxidants can do different things for different people, and the acai berry is said to have more than thirty times the antioxidant power of red wine. When you consider that many doctors believe one glass of red wine to provide sufficient antioxidant for the average person, you are getting a very high dose with acai berries, so what does it do for you?
Due its effect in destroying the free radicals caused by pollution, acai and similar powerful sources of antioxidants are becoming increasingly important to our diets. What was a sufficient antioxidant intake even twenty years ago is not longer sufficient. Acai can help to combat early aging by reducing the rate at which your body cells are destroyed by free radicals. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the associated high risk of strokes or heart attacks.
Acai juice itself has an unusually high fiber content, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system. An associated benefit of this is that you are less liable to contract colon cancer than if you did not consume it. Due to a reduction in the rate of destruction of body cells, including brain cells, elderly people benefit through maintenance of their brain function, and a lower likelihood of degenerating cognitive ability. It helps you to maintain concentration and memory, and can also reduce the risk of you getting cataracts.
Antioxidants are also known to help maintain the immune system, and act as anti-inflammatories, and it is believed that acai juice can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. If you use acai berries as part of a daily diet, you should receive the benefits that it provides, although a more measured dosage in the form of a supplement will enable you to control your intake of acai, and if one thing is certain it is that you will be far healthy with a regular dose of the superantioxidant from Brazil than without.
Some Final Thoughts
June 22, 2005 09:54 PM
Some Final Thoughts
One of the important proofs of the belief Pariza and Cook have in this supplement is to learn that they both take it themselves.
Cook says it is the only supplement he takes, and he believes he will take it the rest of his life. He was naturally thin because of intense exercise, but he believes that it has helped him to keep inches off during long weeks of travel. Pariza, for his part, has lost three inches from his waist during the last year, as well as about seven pounds. He said he has less of an appetite. He says he feels warmer, probably an effect of a faster metabolism. He warns that this is not a quick fix. When he first started taking this supplement, he found virtually no results. He was disappointed. But the results have come.62
Another significant thing to remember is that, today, scores of scientists around the country are now studying this nutrient. The results will pile in human studies and in other long-term clinical trials. These will give broad indications of the use of this natural, previously unrecognized nutrient.
Why would CLA be involved in so many functions?
If human studies hold true, and the expectation is that they will, you might consider this the next aspirin or the next vitamin C. Vital, remarkable nutrients seem to work on a basic level and impact a variety of systems. This is the case with CLA. What a remarkable piece of science that emerged from a charcoal grill. So, the next time charcoal briquettes sizzle with the drippings of a nice burger, remember how science has found that life, with its remarkable chemistry, finds a way to survive and thrive. No better example exists than that beef cooking on the grill. Sizzling steak covers itself with dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer. Many people feared that fact for years, and science studied those dangers earnestly. How encouraging that nature thankfully also provided other chemicals that counteract, partially at least, the effects of these dangers. CLA, just another highway of chemicals, is a quiet blessing, wiping out carcinogens, blocking dangerous fat, and striving to keep our veins clear. And it was there all along, doing its job, just waiting to be studied and understood. Now that nearly two decades of research are beginning to show how this substance can benefit our lives, a celebration of nature’s bounty seems to be in order. Let’s light up the old grill. Shall we make it steaks or burgers this time?
Take Your Vitamins: Reviewing Scientific Approaches to Selecting Daily Multiple Supplement
June 21, 2005 05:10 PM
By Adina Licht, MS
Adina Licht, M.S. is a Nutritional Scientist and Science Writer who works as a Marketing Specialist for Source Naturals. She has a B.A. in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from San Jose State University, and training in Technical Communication from Cal State Hayward. Her work has appeared in publications such as Advances in Packaging and Development, Health Supplement Retailer and Delicious Living.
Americans Need More Nutrients
The U. S. population is drastically malnourished. According to the latest A. C. Nielsen survey, only 12% of Americans claim to eat the 5 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day (Warner, 2004). And approximately 1/3 of the calories that people do consume are from nutrient-poor foods such as alcohol and soda (Yang, 2004). This combination has led to a population that consumes too few nutrients, which according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Fletcher, 2002) puts people at risk for long-term health concerns. With Americans eating fewer healthy foods, taking a daily multiple is one way for people to increase their intake of nutrients. But the search for what defines a good multiple can be confusing, even to health care professionals.
The Confusing U.S. Government Standards
Scientists first recognized the need for vitamins in the early 1900s (Levenstein, 1993). But setting U. S. government standards for vitamins and minerals didn't start until healthy soldiers were needed to fight World War II. And when a committee of scientists was asked to determine the levels of nutrients needed to maintain good health they could only agree on "recommended allowances" to prevent deficiency with a wide margin of safety. In 1941, these allowances became the first Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for the nation (Levenstein, 1993). In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used latest RDAs to set the new Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) standards, which included Adequate Intakes (AIs) for when there was insufficient evidence to determine an RDA, and Upper Intake Levels (ULs) as the safe daily upper limit. To simplify the information, food labels express nutrient information as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which includes RDA values for a healthy adult who consumes 2000 calories per day (Whitney, 2002). However, these values do not include AIs or ULs and many individuals need different levels of nutrients than these.
Confusing Standards equals Confusing Recommendations
The RDAs and subsequent DRIs are the basis of the nutrient standards for at least 40 different nations and many professional health organizations. Currently, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends that people who cannot reach the DRIs through diet take a multiple with nutrient levels that do not exceed the RDAs (JADA, 2001). And in 2002, the American Medical Association (AMA) published a paper that included a recommendation for all adults to take RDA levels of vitamin supplements in their Journal of the American Medical Association (Fletcher, 2002). Despite the benefits of having guidelines, most people only hear about the RDAs and DVs, which may be too low for preventing deficiencies while the ULs and AIs, which can be much more beneficial are rarely discussed. For example, the Daily Value of Vitamin E to prevent deficiency is 30 IU while the daily Upper Intake Limit is 1,467 IU. But, according to the ADA, as many as 75% of cardiologists recommend vitamin E to their patients to promote heart health, usually at a dosage of 400 IU (ADA, 2001; Meydani, 2004; & Whitney, 1998). And the Daily Value for Vitamin C is 60 mg while the daily Upper Intake Limit is 2000 mg, but in clinical studies it took 500 mg per day to help maintain healthy blood pressure (Whitney, 1998, & Hendler, 2001).
Lyle MacWilliam is a biochemist and former health advisor to the Canadian Ministry of Health, who decided to research, analyze and publish the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. In this book, the individually published recommendations from seven nutrition experts (Phyllis Balch, CNC, Dr. Michael Colgan, Ph.D., Dr. Earl Mindell, Ph.D., Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., Dr. Richard Passwater, Ph.D., Dr. Ray Strand, M.D., and Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D.) were combined to create an ultimate blended standard of recommended median intakes for 39 nutrients to promote health. Those nutrients include vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other supplements, that span 14 different health categories and are much closer to the Upper Intake Limit government standards. The guide also includes information about recommended forms, safety, purity and quality (MacWilliam, 2003). One of the most profound differences between MacWilliam?s compiled recommendations and the DRIs is the difference in the number of supplements: 39 vs. 26 respectively. The Comparative Guide standard includes additional nutrients, including many more antioxidants, based on decades of clinical research about their benefits. For example, the fat-soluble antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 that your body manufactures less of as you age is included. So is the fat and water-soluble antioxidant alpha lipoic acid that helps recycle other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E (Hendler, 2001).
Top Ranked Multiples for Optimal Health
In the latter half of MacWilliam's book he uses this ultimate blended standard to rank and compare 500 manufactured multiples. Of the five top-ranked multiples, only the Source Naturals multiples, Life Force and Élan Vitàl, are widely available at natural product stores and health outlets. And the new and improved Life Force formulation now rates higher than any of the products evaluated in the current edition of this guide (MacWilliam, 2004; & Mac-William, 2003). The ingredients that can be found in today's multiple supplements can vary greatly. But multiple choices don't have to lead to confusion. Health professionals, such as Lyle MacWilliam, understand the importance of remaining curious, evaluating the available research, and conferring with other scientists to determine the nutrients that support optimal health.
American Dietetic Association. 2001. Vitamin E: Disease Prevention for your Good Health. American Dietetic Association Website. Available at: Public/Other/index_nfs1001.cfm Fletcher, R. H., & Fairfield, K. M. 2002. Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults. JAMA. (23)287:3116-3129. Hendler, S. S., et al. 2001. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Thomson Healthcare: Montvale. Pages 11-12, 17-21, 60-62, 103, 416-421, 486-498. JADA (Journal of the American Dietetic Association) 2001. Vitamin and mineral supplementation. J AM Diet Assoc.101: 115 Available at: Public/NutritionInformation/92_8343.cfm Levenstein, H. 1993. Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America. Oxford University Press: New York. Pages 13-15, 64-67. MacWilliam, L, et al. 2003. Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. Northern Dimensions Publishing: Vernon. Pages 62-70. MacWilliam, L. 2004. Comparative Guide Individual Assessment of New Life Force Formulation. Warner, J. 2004. Few Follow '5 a Day' Fruit and Vegetable Rule. WebMD website. Available at: ent/Article/93/102158.htm Whitney, N. W., & Rolfes, S. R. (1998). Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, 5th ed. Page 358. Whitney, E. N., & Rolfes, S. R. 2002. Understanding Nutrition. 9th ed. Wadsworth Thomson Learning: Belmont. Pages A, B, Y, 13-20, 55-56, 307, 331, 335-341, 401. Yang, S. 2004. Nearly one-third of the calories in the US diet come from junk food, researcher finds.
June 14, 2005 06:26 PM
by Catherine Heusel Energy Times, October 1, 1998
Quitting a bad habit presents quite a challenge. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to give up cigarettes. Or alcohol. Or even coffee. You start out with the best of intentions but cravings can push you off the straight and narrow. The result: giving up a nasty habit often means regenerating your resolve and trying again. And again. And again. While some blame an inability to give up a bad habit on poor will power, in actuality, the tenacious chains of these habits may derive from the body as well as the mind. "People don't seem to realize the effects these substances have on the body," says Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., director of the Health Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, and author of Seven Weeks to Sobriety. Dr. Mathews-Larson is one of a growing number of addiction professionals who stress physical recovery when giving up a drug, whether it's caffeine or cocaine. "You can't disrupt your internal chemistry for months or years on end and then expect your body to automatically bounce back," she says. "You have to give it some help."
Breaking Off is Hard to Do
The substances we love to overdo all share a common characteristic: they mimic or enhance the body's chemical messengers. Opiate drugs such as heroin, for example, are virtually identical to substances called endorphins, neurochemicals that the body produces to mask feelings of pain. (When an injured Kerri Strug performed her final Olympic vault, her endorphins enabled her to push past her protesting nerve endings.) Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can provide a "rush" similar to that produced by adrenaline and noradrenaline, the neurochemicals that provide the quick and excited feeling that swells down your spine during frightened or thrilling moments. On the other hand, some drugs (notably alcohol and cocaine) boost the activity of several different neurochemicals, including those that control sensations of pleasure. From a biological perspective, then, none of the drugs that people take are totally unfamiliar to the body. Your body makes similar chemicals all the time, in response to specific events and needs. "The main advantage of drugs is that they act powerfully and immediately," explains Andrew Weil, M.D., in his book, From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind Altering Drugs. "Their main disadvantage is that they reinforce the notion that the state we desire comes from something outside us."
Another serious disadvantage of drugs resides in their impact on the body's everyday neurochemical balance. Under normal circumstances, the body maintains its internal chemical environment on a fairly even keel. It may pump out oodles of adrenaline in response to a specific threat, like a near miss on the highway, but for every such scary "high" a corresponding low sets in: that rubbery-kneed sense of relief you feel when things calm down.
Over time, the body mistakes the introduction of mind-altering, foreign chemicals as an excess of its own production of neurochemicals. As a result it slows down its own manufacture of these vital substances. So when you stop drinking caffeine or other stimulating drugs, the body finds its neurochemical receptors begging for relief: Cravings raise their ugly heads while so-called withdrawal symptoms raise your discomfort level. A general sense of ill health sets in until the body's natural production of neurotransmitter production reaches an acceptable level.
Breaking a bad habit may be complicated by a lack of regenerative health habits. "A proper diet is pretty low on an addict's list of priorities," says Mathews-Larson. "Most of the people we see live on fast food and junk food." Many people trying to give up bad habits are attacked by the chemical and physical problems resulting from eating fatty foods and not exercising: their bodies are chemically and physically challenged from a poor lifestyle.
Fortunately, recovery from a bad habit can be enhanced by balancing your diet, exercising and using nutritional supplements to straighten out your interior biochemical environment.
"We target substances that are essential for maintaining optimal brain chemistry," points out Mathews-Larson. Foremost among these substances are a variety of amino acids that the body needs to rebuild its supply of neurotransmitters. In addition, nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C are often in short supply among those who indulge in addictive drugs and alcohol.
Exercise and meditation are equally important to recovery, since both activities naturally prompt production of mood-enhancing neurochemicals. (The so-called "runner's high" is believed to result from endorphins and other neurochemicals stimulated by jogging.) More importantly, natural stimulation that pushes the body to create its own, endogenous supply of feel-good chemicals produces a longer sense of well-being than the transitory high induced by drugs and alcohol. "The potential for highs is always there, and many techniques exist for eliciting them," declares Dr. Weil. "Drug highs differ from other highs only in superficial ways."
To experienced treatment professionals such as Mathews-Larson, kicking a long-standing habit depends on learning to appreciate the natural high of good health, through an overall healthy lifestyle. "It's not enough to just stop using the substance you abused," she contends. "You have to build a high quality of life for yourself, so you can fully enjoy every day."
Recommended Reading: Seven Weeks to Sobriety, by Joan Mathews-Larson (Fawcett Books, 1997) Healing Anxiety With Herbs by Harold H. Bloomfield. (Harper Collins, 1998.)
Don't Be Blue - Does winter got you singing the blues?
June 13, 2005 09:49 AM
Don't Be Blue by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 10, 2003
Have the gray skies of winter got you singing the blues? Do you feel tired, lost your creative spark, need extra sleep, can't get control of your appetite? If you nod in agreement to these queries, you may be one of the millions of people affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder), also known as the "winter blues" or "cabin fever." Time to lighten up, throw off those lowdown winter blues and step up to more enjoyable feelings. Experts who study the winter blahs now acknowledge that you can blame much of winter's crankiness, moodiness and restlessness on short, cloudy days and a lack of sunlight. Low levels of sunlight trigger changes in hormones, increasing levels of melatonin (a hormone that normally helps you go to sleep) and decreasing serotonin (a hormone that improves mood). For many people, this hormonal tumult translates into a craving for sugary foods, a need for more sleep and a reduced sex drive.
Although the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers believe the pineal gland plays an important role in this disorder. This gland, located beneath the brain, makes melatonin in response to the amount of light that enters your eyes. Melatonin hormone is only produced in darkness. The darker your bedroom, the greater your melatonin production.
Conversely, melatonin production usually stops in the morning when you open your eyes to the day's new light. But research shows that the production of melatonin climbs too high in folks who suffer from SAD. That excessive amount of the hormone results in a sedative effect upon the body.
Many people with SAD suffer muscular aches and pains, along with headaches and a faltering immune system. Consequently, they often feel like they have the flu all winter long.
More women than men suffer from SAD (and, apparently, depression in general), though the reason is unclear.
According to Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Winter Blues (Guilford Press), "about 6% of the US population may suffer from SAD, with an additional 14% suffering from subsyndromal [less severe] SAD." Because less sunlight reaches the northern latitudes, folks in Washington state and Alaska suffer the highest rates of SAD. People in sun-soaked Florida suffer the least.
How do you escape SAD? If a winter vacation to the sunny South is out of the question for you, a natural program can brighten the wintry gray days and provide relief.
Turn on the Light
The most common treatment for SAD is light (also called phototherapy), which cuts back the body's manufacture of melatonin. Sitting in front of a special light box for about 30 minutes each morning during the winter months can often offset SAD. But the effects of this treatment vary from individual to individual, and some may be more sensitive to the light therapy than others.
For artificial light treatment, consult an appropriately trained healthcare professional who can design a plan that finds the optimal intensity, length and time of day for the treatment that best works for you. Researchers at Columbia University have found that timing the light therapy with the nuances of a person's biological clock doubles its effectiveness (Archives of General Psychiatry 1/15/01).
On the other hand, walking in natural light can banish these problems, and research finds that natural light frequently offers the best results (Journal of Affective Disorders 1996 Apr 12; 37(2-3):109-20). In this study, people either participated in a daily walk outdoors in natural light or were treated for half an hour in artificial light. At the end of the study, participants were tested for melatonin and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Both were found to be lower after exposure to natural light than artificial light.
Roll up those sleeves when you're outdoors this winter: Curiously enough, studies show that light produces physiological effects by being absorbed through both the eyes and the skin.
Research now shows that light on the skin alters the hemoglobin in the blood. "This research suggests that SAD might be a disorder of the blood rather than a brain disorder," says Dan A. Oren, MD, of the Yale University School of Medicine (Science 1/12/98).
Vitamin D Need
If you suffer from seasonal depression, you may also not be getting enough vitamin D. During the sun-reduced winter months, stores of this fat-soluble vitamin drop, since the skin makes it when exposed to sunlight. When you step out into daylight, the sebaceous glands near the surface of your body produce an oily substance from cholesterol that rises to the skin's surface. Then, ultraviolet B rays from the sun convert this oily substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) into what is called previtamin D3. Finally, body heat converts previtamin D3 into vitamin D3 (a form of vitamin D).
Twenty minutes of daily sunlight exposure on the hands, arms and face can give adequate amounts of vitamin D to light-skinned people. Dark-skinned people may need longer exposure. Supplements can help: In one study, researchers found that people who took vitamin D had significant improvement in depression scale scores (Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 1999; 3(1):5-7).
As far as vitamin D production goes, you can never receive too much sunlight (although overexposure resulting in a burn is never a good idea). The body absorbs vitamin D from the skin as needed and never accepts more than is required. (If you take supplements, follow package directions so you don't get too much of a good thing.) Food sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, salmon and other fish.
Walk Away the Blues
Research also shows that exercise can chase the winter blues and that a little bit of exertion goes a long way. Exercise physiologists at Duke University found that little as eight minutes of physical activity can improve your mood.
Exercise stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, feel-good hormones that help reduce pain and depression. Physical activity can also increase serotonin levels, those neurotransmitters that brighten emotions. These two hormones work together to make you feel better: Serotonin improves the functioning of your mind while endorphins produce beneficial effects on your body. In one study, researchers reported that exercise increased vitality and improved mood even in cases of prolonged depression (Psychological Medicine 1998 Nov; 28(6):1359-64).
To banish SAD, engage in an outdoor activity in natural light, or get active indoors under bright lights.
As you can see, much of the research into low, wintry moods suggests that sun worshippers may have been right all along: Exposure in winter to our friendly, local neighborhood star offers impressive mood benefits.
June 10, 2005 10:16 PM
Mushrooms by Frank Sturges Energy Times, December 7, 1999
The interest in mushrooms as health enhancers has... mushroomed. Mushrooms, researchers have found, are filled with a long list of substances that may help us fight disease. Some of these natural chemicals boost immunity. Others may be effective against cancer and heart disease.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the research into mushrooms stems from the vast number of mushrooms that dot the landscape. At least 1.5 million types of fungi populate forests, fields, nooks and crannies, but studies have detailed the properties of less than 3,000.
Mushrooms produce so many beneficial compounds because they constantly fight off other fungi and microbes to survive. These substances, which mushrooms utilize for defense, can apparently help humans.
One of the most important of these classes of compounds are the polysaccharides. Scientists believe these long starch molecules spark immune action that can protect us against invading germs or cancer. They may do this by persuading the body to create what are called killer T-cells. These immune warriors destroy microscopic invaders and may help stop tumors.
According to Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Ten Speed), use of polysaccharides... "will synergistically, in combination with the individual's immune system, result in dramatic recoveries...Right now we don't clearly understand all the elements in those formulas to be able to predict downstream what will happen. But clearly with some people, it is tremendously effective" (Townsend Ltr, 6/98).
In addition, mushrooms also make biologically active chemicals called steroids and terpenes, says Christopher Hobbs, author of Medicinal Mushrooms (Interweave). These substances are thought to help fight off the formation of cancerous tumors.
Maitake: Useful Fungus
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms, also known as "Hen of the woods," contain chemicals called beta glucans that can enhance immunity. Scientists are particularly fascinated by substances called the "D-fraction." Studies show these can spur immunity (Biol. Pharm. Bull. 17(12), Dec. 1994: 1554-60).
Researchers are also looking into the possibility that Maitake can help people with AIDS regain weight. And scientists are examining their effect on high blood pressure and diabetes.
In Tibet, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been used to battle altitude sickness in the Himalayan mountains. Reishi is also reputed to soothe frayed nerves.
Scientific studies have supported these traditional uses, finding that people who consumed Reishi functioned better in low oxygen (Proceedings Contrib Symp 59 AB, 5th Intl Cong, 8/14-21, 101-104). Other research finds Reishi may help ease arthritis (Proc 1st Intl Symp on Ganoderma l. 11/17-18, 99-103, Tokyo).
Lion's Mane (Heri-cium erinaceus), also called "Monkey's head," has traditionally been a treatment for stomach problems in China. But researchers have found that chemicals in this mushroom help fight tumors (Biosci Biotech Biochem 56(2), Feb. 1992: 347-8).
During the past few years, scientific investigators have also begun to extract chemicals called erinacines from lion's mane. These substances, (known as Nerve Growth Stimulant factor) appear to encourage neuron regeneration. The potential uses: boosting nerve performance, fixing neurological damage and treating Alzheimer's disease (Tetrahedron Ltrs 35(10), 1994: 1569-1572).
Known as Cogmelo de Deus (Mushroom of God) in Brazil, the Royal Agaricus (Agaricus blazei) has been grown in Japan since the '70s where it enjoys widespread popularity. Researchers find that it provokes powerful anti-tumor effects. This fungus harbors more beta-glucans, immunity enhancers, than other mushrooms.
Can a fungus make athletes faster? A few researchers think so, pointing to Chinese Olympians who use Cordyceps sinensis. This fungus, traditionally grown on caterpillars, is another native of the Himalayas.
Traditionally, Cordyceps has been used to foster stamina, better breathing and immunity.
At least one study shows this fungus may help blood vessels dilate during exercise. By supplying extra blood to working muscles, Cordyceps may help fight off fatigue and boost performance (Abstracts from 5th Mycological Cong, Vancouver, 8/14-21).
The mushroom called Shiitake has been the subject of an extravagant amount of research since the '60s. Called the "elixir of life," it boosts immunity. Stamets reports that people with cancer who take Shiitake do significantly better in coping with their disease (Abstract 2nd Meeting Soc of Natl Immunity, Italy, 5/25/94).
Another characteristic of Shiitake mushrooms: a celebrated taste. The tongue and the palate take great pleasure in this health enhancer!