Search Term: " folate "
Cortisol and Adrenal Balancing Supplements: How to Reduce Cortisol and Fight the Effects of Stress
May 07, 2022 11:38 AM
Do you feel like stress is constantly wearing you down? It's no wonder, with all the demands on our time and energy. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce cortisol and improve your resilience. One of the most important is to make sure you're getting enough of the nutrients your body needs to stay strong. A cortisol balancing supplement can help make up for any deficiencies and give your body the support it needs to reduce cortisol levels and fight the effects of stress.
If you can balance cortisol levels you will have more energy & stamina, be able to manage weight better, boost immunity, support hormone activity, manage blood sugar better, reduce stress and improve mood.
The problem of cortisol imbalance and its effects on the body
The hormone cortisol is important for many bodily functions, including maintaining blood pressure and regulating metabolism. However, when the body experiences chronic stress, it can produce too much cortisol, leading to a condition known as "cortisol imbalance." Cortisol imbalance can have a number of harmful effects, including weight gain, anxiety, and depression. In extreme cases, it can even lead to adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, cortisol imbalance is becoming increasingly common in our fast-paced, high-stress world. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from this condition, a supplement formulated to combat stress and high cortisol levels my be what you need. With proper nutrients, it is possible to restore balance to your hormones and improve your overall health.
The importance of nutrients in maintaining a healthy balance of cortisol
A healthy diet is important for many reasons. It can provide the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, help to regulate hormone levels, and promote a sense of well-being. Cortisol is a hormone that plays an important role in the body's stress response. When levels of cortisol are too high, it can lead to anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, folate, Biotin, pantothenic acid, and DHEA can help to maintain a healthy balance of cortisol in the body. In addition, avoiding processed foods and managing stress levels with exercise can also help to keep cortisol levels in check.
Stress is a natural physical and mental response to the demands of life. It is the body's way of preparing to meet a challenge. However, when a person experiences chronic or long-term stress, it can take a toll on their health. Long-term stress can lead to a condition known as adrenal fatigue. This occurs when the adrenal glands become unable to produce adequate amounts of the hormone adrenaline. Cortisol is essential for managing stress and maintaining proper metabolism. When levels are too low, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, adrenal fatigue can also cause depression and anxiety.
Adrenal Fatigue and Adrenaplex
The adrenal glands are small, but they play a big role in our bodies. When the adrenal glands become fatigued, it can lead to a number of symptoms, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and low blood pressure. While adrenal fatigue is not a diagnosable condition, it is a real phenomenon that can be treated with lifestyle changes and natural supplements. Adrenaplex is one such supplement. This formula contains adaptogenic herbs that help to support the adrenal glands and improve their ability to respond to stress.
When Cortisol levels Are balanced You Will Experience:
Though it is possible to treat adrenal fatigue with a cortisol balancing supplement, the best way to prevent it from happening in the first place is by managing stress levels and eating a healthy diet. If you are under a lot of stress, consider adding an adrenal support supplement to your routine. This can help to improve your body's response to stress and keep your hormones in balance.
If you are looking for a way to reduce cortisol and the effects of stress, try a cortisol balancing supplement. These supplements help the body reduce cortisol and fight the effects of stress. With proper nutrients, it is possible to restore balance to your hormones and improve your overall health. Try a cortisol balancing supplement today! You may be surprised at how much better you will sleep, wake in the morning, and feel overall!
Research links folate deficiency to a wide range of diseases
April 30, 2019 03:59 PM
Folate is commonly known as vitamin B9 and is found in many fruits and vegetables. Being deficient in folate has been linked to many health complications. Folate deficiency has been found to be associated with incurable DNA problems, such as a lost chromosome. It is also associated with dementia, cancer, and even anemia. However, an abundance of folate in the body can prevent cancer and dementia risk. Foods containing folate include brussels sprouts, tomato juice, peas, bananas, and poultry, so it is important to eat healthy to reduce risk of deficiency.
"This is the first study that shows folate deficiency can cause problems with DNA replication and cell division."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/folate-deficiency-vitamins-2919.html
Vitamins for Brain Function
September 12, 2018 09:52 AM
Your brain needs good nutrition to be at its best. Vitamin B6 and folate play important roles in neurological and psychological health. The Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA also have vital roles to play, and can be found in seafood, flaxseed and fish and krill oil supplements. B Complex vitamins are constantly used up by the nervous system and must be regularly replenished. Stress and alcohol consumption both increase the depletion rate of B vitamins. Iron and various different minerals also play their own vital roles.
"The human brain needs the correct nutrition through all stages of life, just like any other part of the body."
Read more: https://www.news-medical.net/whitepaper/20180907/Vitamins-for-Brain-Function.aspx
Health Benefits of Vitamin B9
September 01, 2018 09:53 AM
Vitamin B9, which naturally occurs in food as folate and is artificially added to food in the form of folic acid, is a crucial and versatile nutrient. Natural dietary sources include green, leafy vegetables, liver and mushrooms, but many other foods can be fortified with Vitamin B9 in the form of folic acid. Vitamin B9 plays an important role in cardiac health, mood, production of red blood cells and other bodily processes. It is also very important during pregnancy, when a deficiency can harm both mother and baby.
"Vitamin B9 is a member of the B-vitamin family and is essential for amino acid metabolism, cellular homeostasis, DNA methylation and neurotransmitter synthesis."
Read more: https://www.healthaid.co.uk/healthaid-blog/vitamin-b9-benefits
The Best Vitamins for Women
August 05, 2018 09:53 AM
Almost 75 percent of women would have a vitamin deficiency if not for multivitamins, and even with multivitamins many women still have at least one. Water-soluble vitamins like A, C, and E play roles that include boosting immunity and protecting both skin and vision. Vitamin K improves cardiac health and blood clotting. Folate is especially crucial during pregnancy, but folate and other B vitamins are always important to many body systems. It is also important to get adequate supplies of iron, iodine and other minerals and fatty acids, too.
"While it’s possible to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need from careful food selection and a nutrient-dense diet, research shows many women still experience at least one type of nutrient deficiency, if not more."
Read more: https://draxe.com/best-vitamins-for-women/
Asparagus: The Cancer-Fighting, Fibrous Superfood
May 26, 2018 05:16 PM
Asparagus does more than just help promote digestive health. It also is known for containing something called rutin, which is a flavonoid that has the ability to help reduce the risk of blood clots. Studies with rats have also shown that consumption of asparagus over a ten week time span can result in more regulated blood pressure in those who are suffering from hypertensive symptoms. Asparagus also contains glutathione, which is known for boosting the human immune system.
"Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable rich in antioxidants, minerals and anti-inflammatory properties. Asparagus also contains rutin – a flavonoid that helps to treat haemorrhoids and prevent blood clots."
Read more: http://www.longevitylive.com/anti-aging-beauty/anti-aging-health-studies/asparagus-superfood/
5 Reasons Why You Need To Include Beetroots In Your Diet, Today
January 01, 2018 07:59 AM
Beets are slowly becoming the new trendy thing. From their sweet taste to their versatility, it only makes sense that they are this popular. But even more than that, they're loaded with vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin c. They are also good for anemics due to their high iron and folate content. They also contain a great alkaloid known as betaine, known for its ability to help with liver functionality and ability to aid with diabetes.
"Beets are not only full of essential nutrients like vitamins B and C, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, fiber and potassium, but they are also abundant in health-boosting nutrients that one may not get from anywhere else."
Read more: https://swirlster.ndtv.com/wellness-mother/5-reasons-beetroots-are-absolutely-great-for-your-body-1792953
Wheat Germ Benefits the Gut, Heart & Blood Sugar Levels
September 14, 2017 09:14 AM
Wheat germ contains tons of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as other antioxidants. Wheat germ, AKA, wheat embryo, is usually stripped away during the manufacturing process of baked goods and other wheat containing products. You can find wheat germ powder or oil in stores. Use the powder to add nutrition to smoothies and baked goods. Use the oil to get your daily dose of Vitamin E for extreme antioxidant protection that could potentially help slow the growth of cancer tumors. Wheat germ contains fiber for regularity, heart health and blood sugar balance. Wheat bran is great too, it contains the outer hard shell of the wheat berry; it is just not quite as nutritious as wheat germ.
"Getting enough antioxidants into your diet through foods like wheat germ is critical to health, as antioxidants have been linked to prevention of chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease."
Read more: https://draxe.com/wheat-germ/
This Juice Prevents Cancer, Cleanses Your Liver & Lowers High Blood Pressure
July 25, 2017 12:14 PM
Beets and beet extract have powerful health benefits which indicate health-conscience consumers should emphasize them as important parts of one's diet. Beets aid human wellness in six ways: 1) Beets are high in fiber and promote healthy colon functioning; 2) Scientific studies show that eating beets helps to lower the risk of a variety of cancers, including breast cancer and pancreatic cancer; 3) beets act as an anti-inflammatory agent which promotes heart health and further reduces the risk of cancer; 4) the folate benefits of Vitamin B within beets helps reduce the chance of birth defects; 5) beets lower blood pressure because of the copious amounts of nitrates present; and lastly, 6) beets act in a way to help rid the body of toxins accumulating in the liver.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW4nu4jjM6w&rel=0
"Beets are dynamic little power plants, stuffed with phytonutrients that serve as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory secret agents."
Best fiber-rich foods for human health
June 24, 2017 04:14 PM
I really believe it's mandatory to nourish your body with the necessary amount of fiber that's needed on a daily basis.Why I say this is because as follows theirs more than just a few benefits of doing so.It was mentioned about the positive effects that a diet rich in fiber has on cancer fighting agents.As well as a few nutrients that we may not get from other food sources.Lets also remember it keeps our digestive system reguarl which in turn combats colon problems we may have without the proper amount of fiber.Just remember theirs loads of benefits from eating a proper diet.
"Regular use of split peas aids digestive health and helps reduce your blood cholesterol level."
Read more: http://us.blastingnews.com/food/2017/06/best-fiber-rich-foods-for-human-health-001760605.html
6 Big Health Benefits of Oatmeal
May 17, 2017 11:44 AM
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast. In other countries it is sometimes called porridge. It's inexpensive and sticks to the ribs as well. There are many reasons to eat it. Health is another which should not be overlooked. This outlines six health benefits to oatmeal that you might not know about. You can make it even healthier by adding fresh fruit, nuts or other healthy foods to it. There are many ways to invorporate it into your diet.
"oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help keep you full in between meals, as well as regular"
Read more: http://www.health.com/food/health-benefits-of-oatmeal
The health benefits of nut butters
April 28, 2017 09:29 PM
Nut butters, peanut butter and it's alternatives, can be delicious, healthy and full of protein. Each nut used has unique nutrients and flavors.peanut butter is packed with protein perfect for an after workout recovery snack, almond butter protects against heart disease, diabetes and stroke, cashew butter, though more expensive, improves your metabolism and immunity while hazelnut butter is high in folate that supports healthy pregnancy as well as healthy aging and decreased levels of anxiety.
Read more: The health benefits of nut butters
health benefits of green tea |green tea benefits & green tea side effects|weight loss with green tea
February 23, 2017 10:19 AM
Green tea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in the US. Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world behind water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqVy6fAuVzg
""Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.""
12 Amazing Cucumber Juice Benefits for Your Skin, Hair and Overall Health
January 20, 2017 02:59 PM
Looking for the ultimate natural remedy? No need to bother with different herbs, fruits, and veggies this remedy contains only one ingredient: Cucumber! With amazing benefits such as weight maintaining, Rehydrating, and Purifying these twelve different ways to use a cucumber will revolutionize your daily routine and dietary habits, all while helping you be a better you.
"Ever wanted to find a magical elixir that can improve your overall health and give you that glow you’ve always wanted? Presenting: Cucumber juice."
Here's Why Some Miss Out on the Asparagus Effect
December 26, 2016 02:59 PM
If you have ever eaten a hearty helping of asparagus, you may or may not have noticed that your urine smelled pungent afterwards. A study in the British Medical Journal states that only 40% of people can smell this. This study showed that all the people who could not smell asparagus in urine had the same gene anomaly. Scientists are also hoping to raise awareness of how healthy the vegetable is. This stalky plant is rich in fiber, zinc, iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.
""Outstanding questions on this topic remain; first and foremost perhaps is why a delicacy such as asparagus results in such a strong odor?""
Nourish your bones with vitamins - The Detroit News
December 13, 2016 06:59 AM
Bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt to make it stronger. To decrease the chance of the "replacement bones" of being weaker, there are a few vitamins that will make your bones stronger. These vitamins include Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, and folate. These vitamins can be taken in pill form or be found in certain foods.
"Vitamin B12 and folate support bone health by helping to keep levels of homocysteine, a compound that stimulates the breakdown of bone, low. This role is further confirmed by genetic studies that reveal a link between an increased risk of osteoporosis in older adults and a common gene mutation (MTHFR C677T) that can lead to high homocysteine levels."
Dr. Rao of Diet Doc Warns That Going Gluten-Free Can Inadvertently Result in a Lack of Proper ...
December 11, 2016 04:59 PM
With the emergence of Celiac disease in recent years, there are many who have cut gluten from their diet even though they do not suffer from the condition. It has been viewed as a fad new diet, but specialists argue that it can negatively impact your diet. The concern is that the lack of fortified breads, pastas, and cereals in a diet will cause a deficiency in essential B vitamins, folate, and fiber that come from them. Doctors are advising those who do not have Celiac disease to not cut gluten from their diet.
"This truth is that there are no published reports showing that a gluten-free diet produces weight loss in persons without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity"
Suffering from anxiety? These foods can calm it
October 30, 2016 11:59 AM
If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from anxiety, a start to the solution can be as simple as changing your diet. The best foods to eat for anxiety include those brimming with folate, protein, & magnesium. These help regulate blood pressure and cortisol levels, leaving you with an overall calm feeling. Tryptophan in turkey can also contribute to the calming effect. The worst foods you can eat if you suffer from anxiety are large doses of alcohol, caffeine, & sugar. By following this basic information, you can be on your way to a calmer you.
"According to beyondblue, around 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and more than 2 million Australian adults are grappling with anxiety"
Did You Know That Folic Acid Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
There is continuing good press for folic acid in several aspects of human health, but the foremost health issue it addresses is a human reproduction. The popular belief that folic acid removes serious birth defects is supported by incontrovertible scientific facts. If a woman plans on getting pregnant, eating foods rich in folic acid is among other things that have to take priority.
folate is an indispensable component of life in that it is directly connected to DNA and RNA processes, most notably in inhibiting changes to DNA. folate deficiency results in the limited production of cells such as erythrocytes, also called red blood cells, bringing about abnormalities of cells in the body.
The fact that folate sustains the enhanced rate of cell division promotes the correct developments of body tissues and organs during pregnancy, significantly reducing the number of reported congenital malformations. folate stabilizes DNA synthesis in red blood cells, hence the prevalent opinion that it is a must-have prior to conception. The employment of red blood cells is important to the first half of pregnancy as this time covers the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord in the fetal development, leading to a drop in folate levels before and during this stage.
If you are planning or currently pregnant, supplementing folic acid is a must, consider taking a prenatal multiple vitamin that has folic acid added!
Celery Seeds: blood pressure, cancer, and cholesterol
Celery is actually a marshland plant whose botanical name is Apium graveolens. Since ancient times, the plant has been cultivated as a vegetable.
The many vitamins contained in the seeds include vitamin K, folate (Bg), Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), and vitamin C among others. Important minerals such as Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorous are found in the seeds. All these nutrients enhance your body's health.
Organic Seeds and Nuts Contain Healthy Oils
One should develop a healthy habit to maintain a diet with organic seeds and nuts. Organic seeds and nuts are high in fiber, protein, Vitamin E, zinc and minerals that are required for getting a healthy and dynamic life. Numerous research and study reports say that organic seeds and nuts contain healthy oils that give an amazing result for weight loss, heart diseases and also for controlling cholesterol levels. If you are planning to include nuts and seeds in your daily diet then consider to have it in a raw form to get more healthy oils. Here are the names of some organic seeds and nut that you can make a part of your daily diet.
Almonds are considered good nuts and are used for multiple purposes. It has been used for treating different health conditions such as constipation, heart disorders, diabetes, anemia, coughs, and impotency and it works well on hair and skin. So, you must include it in your daily diet to be benefited by its natural nutrients. Almond is rich in healthy oil that is considered good for getting a long, shining hair and healthy body.
Almond is rich in riboflavin and L-carnitine. These two nutrients are considered helpful for developing brain power. Almond strengthens the immune system and also contains important fatty acid that is required to control the level of cholesterol. Almond can be included in the diet of the people of any age group.
Cashew should be taken in the raw form to get more benefit. Cashew is rich in copper, zinc, vitamin B, vitamin E, folate and some other nutrients that are required for maintaining a healthy life. Cashew is very helpful for high blood pressure, healthy heart, healthy bone, teeth, and muscles. It has a lot of fibers and is helpful for improving your digestive system and also for curing constipation. It has healthy oils that help to lower cholesterol levels.
Macadamia nut has a sweet taste and its important nutrients are required for maintaining a healthy life. This nut has vitamin E, Vitamin A, vitamin B complex, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that are helpful for improving digestive system, managing cholesterol levels. It works well for heart diseases and has healthy omega oil that is considered good for having a healthy body and for the overall development of your body mechanism.
A perfect food for those who are looking for weight loss since Sunflower nut is rich in fiber that is helpful for improving the digestive system. Sunflower seeds should be the first choice for the women. This nut has a good amount of folate that is essential for a maintaining a healthy and energetic lifestyle. The other nutrients of Sunflower seeds are good fats, selenium and copper, vitamin E, healthy oils, and all important nutrients that are considered vital for having a healthy heart.
Organic seeds and nuts are considered good as these foods keep the body energetic and also heal the mind. Organic foods contain powerful omega oil and other healthy oil that are important for good health, healthy skin and also for the good immune system.
February 04, 2014 06:59 PM
Sunflower seed nutrients
Sunflower seeds are a source of polyunsaturated oil. They are rich in nutrients. These nutrients comprise of vitamin E, B1, B6 & B3, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and selenium. Due to their high content of nutrients the sunflower seeds have various health benefits to a human body which include:
Health benefits of sunflower
Cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits - since they are a source of vitamin E. vitamin E has various functions in the body. They are fat-soluble antioxidants. It neutralizes free radicals in the body thus ensuring that fat containing structures and molecules are not damaged. It also stops radicals from oxidizing cholesterol thus preventing blockages in the arteries. It thus have anti-inflammatory effects leading to reduced symptoms in the conditions that are inflammatory in nature such as gastric ulcers, asthma, joint pain, skin eruption and also prevention of cardiovascular diseases, risk of colon cancer and reduce the development of diabetic complications. Vitamin E also helps ease arthritic pain. Vitamin E also reduces hot flashes during menopause
Lowering cholesterol - sunflower seeds have phytosterols which reduce the blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the body immune system and reduce the risk of certain cancers when taken in a diet.
Calms the nerves, the blood vessels and the muscles - sunflower seeds have magnesium nutrients that reduce the severity of asthma, reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, prevents migraine headaches and lower high blood pressure. Magnesium is also important for healthy bone formation and energy production. Magnesium and copper are needed for the body to stay strong.
Improving detoxification and cancer prevention - sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium that is important for human health. Selenium induces DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells. Thus they control cell damage hence playing a role in preventing cancer.
The vitamin E present - in the sunflower seeds help bring glow to the skin. The vitamin E prevents the skin from the ultra violet rays hence keeping the skin youthful.it also strengthens the hair and protects it from damage.
Advantages of taking Multiple Vitamin and Mineral Pills
January 16, 2014 06:19 AM
Multiple Vitamin and Mineral pills
Multiple vitamins, also known as multivitamins are dietary supplements containing vitamins and dietary minerals, among other important elements. These supplements often are in the form of capsules, tablets, injections and syrup. They are normally provided in conjunction with dietary minerals. The minerals provided by these supplements fulfill various roles in the body. Research findings have indicated that taking multiple vitamins does not protect you from diabetics, heart attacks, cancer, among other lifestyle diseases. Nonetheless, some categories of people like malnourished people and people with an increased chance of macular deterioration. Overally, the benefits of taking a multivitamin daily exceed the probable risks associated with them.
Enhancing nutrient intake
For people who cannot get the recommended nutrient amounts, these people are urged to take supplements so as to boost their diet. Processed and inorganically grown food have been depleted of their vitamins and essential minerals. It is for this reason that it is suggested to take multivitamins and minerals daily to supplement your dietary intake. People essentially take dietary supplements to back up their food intake.
Improving your health and suppression of recurrent diseases
Specific supplements can be very helpful for individuals with particular diseases. Increasing your daily dose of vitamins and minerals is likely to slow down loss of vision. Studies have also indicated that taking multivitamins lowers the risk of developing growth in the large intestines. The folate in multivitamins is thought to be responsible for this protection.
In as much as multivitamins cannot take the place of real food, it is imperative to get extra vitamins and nutrients for people taking incomplete diets. One advantage of these supplements is that they offer higher nutrient returns with low calories unlike regular food. They are also recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding and post-menopausal women.
Why Take A Coenzymated B-Complex?
January 10, 2014 05:09 PM
Why Take A Coenzymated B-Complex?
Vitamin B can normally be found in fruits and vegetables, people can get Vitamin B complex from eating green leafy vegetables, eggs, citrus fruits, nuts, kidney beans, bananas as well as chicken.
However, not everyone has the time to have a balance meal.
Vitamin B deficiency
When the body suffers from Vitamin B deficiency a person can suffer depression symptoms like anxiety and constant fatigue. It can also lead to other health problems like heart diseases and premenstrual syndrome as well as skin problems.
There are some individuals who are taking in B vitamins, but some are not able to make use of it due to problems with the way it is processed by the body.
Because of this Coenzymated B-Complex was developed. If a person’s body is unable to convert the B vitamins into usable form, then there is a need to use a coenzymate product of B vitamins.
Coenzymated sublingual B vitamins can be purchased singly or as a complex, not all forms of Vitamin B are in the coenzymate form, some are in their pure form from vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 including folate.
While this form of supplement provides a lot of benefits for the body, this is harder to find than other B vitamins, there are only a few websites who is selling coenzyme products.
Before taking in any vitamin supplements
There is a need to consult a doctor. While it is undeniable that Vitamin B supplements are beneficial for the body, there are also potential side effects.
B vitamin supplements need to be taken according to doctor’s prescription in order to avoid skin problems and increase in sugar blood levels.
Who should take B vitamin supplements?
Coenzymated B-Complex should be taken by people who are suffering from anemia, loss of appetite, people who are experiencing frequent abdominal pain, hair loss and those who have eczema.
There is a need to ask a doctor with regards to the kind of B vitamin supplement that should be taken; vitamins should be taken only if recommended by doctors.
Overdose of vitamins can lead to kidney problems, and for this reason people have to avoid self-medication.
Secrets of Papaya Revealed
February 06, 2012 08:00 AM
The benefits, an individual can derive from eating papaya should never be compared with that of consuming health pills or supplements. Papaya is not only good to eat but it also has a number of beneficial qualities.
Benefits of Papaya
Prevents heart attacks
Papaya is rich in anti-oxidants. It helps to prevent cholesterol from getting oxidized and helps in preventing heart attacks. It also has ample amounts of vitamin B, folate acid and pantothenic acid, and also minerals, potassium, fiber and magnesium. Such high quantities of minerals in papaya help in the prevention of colon cancer and also in promoting good health of the heart.
Papain, a digestive enzyme found in papaya, is very similar to bromelain. It is helpful in the treatment of injuries due to sporty activities and also in the treatment of trauma and allergies. Papain also aids in relieving an individual from constipation problems. Papaya is a great cleansing agent for an individual’s stomach. Recent research has shown that individuals who have consumed papaya daily for three to four days have had a highly beneficial effect on their stomachs and intestines.
Promotes healthy immune system
Beta-carotene, which is present abundantly in papaya, helps in the making of vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins help in the maintaining a healthy immunity system.
Helps prevent menstrual irregularity
Papaya taken in its raw form helps in the reducing of menstrual irregularities in women. It eases the condition by helping in the smooth flow of the menses.
Helps in making your skin healthy
Papaya is highly beneficial for the skin. It helps in getting rid of acne for individuals who have acne-prone skin. When one uses papaya as a face pack, the pores of the skin get opened and thus prevent further formation of acne. Papaya helps in giving a glow to an individual’s skin. Papain, the enzyme found abundantly in papaya helps in dissolving the dead cells of the skin. Therefore it helps in giving an individual a fresh and clean look. Consuming papaya helps in allaying pre-mature aging. The anti-oxidants present in papaya help in preventing the skin from developing fine lines and wrinkles.
Other benefits of Papaya
Arginine, an enzyme found in papaya is extremely essential for the fertility of males. Another enzyme Carpain is considered healthy for the heart. Daily consumption of papaya helps many individuals suffering from nausea and morning sickness and hence gives them relief. Ear infections, which may trouble an individual continuously, can be allayed by the consumption of papaya. Even cold and flu can also be prevented by consuming papaya. Papaya is rich in nutrition and low on calories. Therefore, it is an excellent food for those individuals who are on a diet. Papaya is good for the hair and helps in dandruff prevention. Shampoos with papaya extracts are now readily available at medical stores. Papaya possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous qualities. Individuals suffering from pain from arthritis, edema or osteoporosis can reduce their pain by the intake of papaya.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are For Mental Alertness?
August 29, 2011 10:33 AM
There are many vitamins and minerals which can help improve the health and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins and minerals are significantly involved in many biological processes of the body. It influences the activities of the organs of the body including the brain. In fact, deficiencies on vitamins and minerals may result to psychological or even psychiatric symptoms in certain individuals. People with psychiatric problems are also prescribed with vitamin and mineral supplements which serve as one of its conventional treatment.
The vitamins and minerals which are good for the improvement of brain function and improvement of mental alertness are the following:
1. THIAMINE OR VITAMIN B1. Generally, insufficient amount of this enzyme may result to mild psychiatric symptoms. Studies revealed that people with inadequate amount of this vitamin has the symptoms of fearfulness, anxiety, depression, agitation and behavioral instability. This vitamin is necessary for the activity the body’s enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase. This enzyme is required for the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl – coenzyme A. If pyruvate is not catalyzed into acetyl – coenzyme A, the excess pyruvate in the body might be converted into lactate which can cause muscle pains and also psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety. Deficiency of this vitamin must be suspected when the person is alcoholic or malnourished.
2. RIBOFLAVIN OR VITAMIN B2. This vitamin is closely associated with major depression in relation to oxidative stress. Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. The building blocks of these macronutrients are important for the maintenance of brain health and proper functioning of the nervous system. It can improve the energy levels and functioning of the brain, thus improving an individual’s mental alertness.
3. PYRIDOXINE OR VITAMIN B6. Studies show that low level of vitamin B6 is directly related to depression. Inside the body, pyridoxine is converted into its biochemical active form called pyridoxal phosphate which is important for mental alertness and brain functioning. Pyridoxine acts as a coenzyme involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This vitamin is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids which are essential for boosting energy levels.
4. COBALAMIN OR VITAMIN B12. Deficiency of this vitamin is closely related to decrease mental functioning. Vitamin B12 is a cofactor of the enzyme methionine synthase which is important in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is required for the production of energy in fatty acids and proteins which is important for the methylation reactions of brain chemicals.
5. VITAMIN C. This vitamin is considered to be a cofactor of the neurotransmitter dopamine and is involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are important for the maintenance of proper mental alertness.
6. folate. Decreased mental alertness and depression is a common symptom of low levels of folate in the body. This mineral is involved in the methylation and synthesis of DNA. It is important for the development of brain function and improvement of mental alertness.
7. MAGNESIUM. This mineral is involved in many reactions of the body. Individuals with decreased mental alertness are found to have low levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluids.
8. ZINC. This is a mineral which is important in the catalyses of many enzyme sin the body. It is found in high amount in the brain which is important for nervous activities.
Stay Young-Looking with PABA
May 23, 2011 03:44 PM
Most people have not heard of PABA, short for para-aminobenzoic acid. It has often been referred as Vitamin Bx and a member of the B vitamin complex, but this is wrong because it is not an essential, nutrient: life can go on satisfactorily without it, so it is not a vitamin.
It is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of folate by bacteria. Since folate cannot be produced naturally by human metabolism it has either to be taken in the diet or synthesized by colonic bacteria such as E. coli using PABA as an intermediate. However, humans can get folate, the natural form of folic acid, from their diet, so PABA is not essential and hence not the vitamin that some claim it to be.
Nevertheless, it is useful, and apart from its application in sunscreens as a UV filter, PABA is a powerful antioxidant and can neutralize the free radicals and free roaming electrons that are believed to be the cause of aging. A supplement of PABA can destroy free radicals as soon as they are generated by your metabolism and atmospheric pollution and prevent the cell damage they cause. It is this cell damage that gives the appearance of aging: wrinkled skin, age or liver spots and a tough leathery appearance. By taking a regular supplement of PABA you can go a long way towards avoiding this and retaining your youthful appearance for a lot longer.
I Am a Vegetarian, Should I be Taking a B-12 Vitamin Supplement?
February 28, 2011 12:52 PM
Vitamin B12 And Your Health
Vegetarians are especially in risk of deficiency in vitamin B12 in that there are no plant sources known to contain significant levels of this essential nutrient. While the body is capable of storing this vitamin in the liver enough to meet the daily needs for several years, those who are following a strict vegan diet for long periods of time are in danger of developing many different medical conditions, including heart diseases, neural impairment, and anemia. Most vegetarians do not realize the seriousness of vitamin B12 deficiency as its symptoms often materialize in later life when the damage may no longer be reversible. Fortunately, total vegetarians do have options without renouncing their beliefs, inasmuch as Vitamin B12 supplements have shown to meet the nutritional needs of the body.
Removes Neurological Problems
One of the mishaps of long-term vegetarianism is the incidence of neural tube defects in babies, inasmuch as developments in the nervous system in the first periods of pregnancy is compromised in women who have very low levels of vitamin B12 does not have enough even with excessive quantities of folate. Nerve cells in particular are very sensitive to the absence of this vitamin. Many vegetarians are under the impression that plants contain every nutrient that the human body needs, which is completely misleading. Only bacteria have the enzymes required to manufacture vitamin B12, and these bacteria are present in the gut of animals. The good news is that vitamin B12 supplements that are available in the market today are good source of the active forms of this vitamin, and has stood the test of time in reversing the deficiencies brought on by malnutrition.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
High levels of homocysteine are another consequence of low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood. A rise in homocysteine concentrations in the blood serum is a very important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and may come to an extent that is no longer reversible. Atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease are among the disorders tied to elevated homocysteine in the bloodstream, the reason why supplementation vitamin B12 has been used to treat certain medical conditions involving the heart and the blood vessels. The availability of vitamin B12 is in fact inversely proportional to the quantities of homocysteine produced by the body, and supplementation starting in the early years has shown to remove all the dangers related to homocysteine.
Supplies the Body with Energy
It is a known fact that vitamin B12 supplements affect chemical processes implicated in the production of energy. They are now widely accepted to be good for individuals involved in endurance sports and for the regular guy who usually relies on caffeine. Vitamin B12 stimulates the conversion of fatty acids into cellular energy, and influences the production of red blood cells, producing the vitality we need minus the jittery effects of coffee. For athletes, it does not only provide energy but also ensures cardiovascular health as homocysteine levels are directly proportional to exercise duration.
If you do not eat much red meat and do not take a supplement, you might be deficient or boarder line at best in vitamin B12. Taking a supplement is the easy way to boost B12 and improve your health.
Why Should I Be Taking A Vitamin B-Complex?
February 03, 2011 12:18 PM
Vitamins are vital to life. They are essential organic nutrients that are required in very small amounts. Each vitamin is responsible for a certain metabolic function. Vitamins, except for Vitamin D, are not synthesized by the human body and thus are essential nutrients that must be provided through diet or supplements. Vitamins have two categories based on their solubility, the water – soluble and the fat – soluble. Water – soluble vitamins comprise of the B – complex vitamins, vitamin C and choline. On the other hand, the fat – soluble ones are vitamins A, D, E and K. In this article, we will focus on vitamin B – complex which are water soluble.
Vitamin B – complex include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, biotin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are crucial to many biologic processes:
Vitamin B-1 or thiamine is plays a role in energy metabolism and nerve functioning that is associated with muscular movement.
Vitamin B-2 or riboflavin also acts as a coenzyme in the release of energy from nutrients just like thiamine.
Vitamin B 3 or niacin is also very important in energy metabolism, specifically in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is involved in the normal growth and development of cells.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine acts as a catalyst in protein metabolism. This is essential in the development of nerve cells and normal functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B7 or biotin aids the transfer of carbon dioxide from one compound to another. It also assists the body to make hormones.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid helps maintain a healthy DNA and is required in the production of red blood cells (RBC).
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is important in the growth and development of tissues and organs. It is also needed in the production of RBCs and nervous system functioning.
These vitamins are found almost in all foods, yet no one food is a perfect source of all these essential vitamins. Fruits and vegetables, cereals, meat and dairy products are great sources. Experts suggest that it is always best to consume vitamins from food sources. However, deficiencies may be rampant if you would just depend on dietary sources. These vitamins work hand in hand that an insufficiency in any B vitamin may result to poor functioning of any or all of the other B vitamins even if they are in good supply. Good thing, vitamin B – complex is made available to supplement the diet. These supplements come in capsule or tablet preparations. Inadequate levels of B vitamins may cause a feeling of weakness, tingling sensation and numbness in both upper and lower extremities, muscle cramps, hair loss, nail brittling, abdominal pain, depression, anemia, poor growth and development in children, and birth defects. As mentioned above, B vitamins are water – soluble. This means that the body cannot store this kind of vitamin except for vitamin B12 and any excess will be readily excreted in the urine. That’s why for those who are taking vitamin B – complex, it is safe and normal to have a bright to dark yellow – colored urine.
Beef Liver Is Nutritous For You
September 03, 2010 12:51 PM
Beef Liver Health Benefits
Beef liver is packed full of nutrients, including significant quantities of several B vitamins: B1 thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin) and folate. It also contains large amounts of Vitamin A - in fact the liver of the polar bear contains so much Vitamin A that it is toxic to humans and eating its liver can be fatal. Vitamin C is another vitamin, and beef liver also offers a number of useful minerals, such as phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper.
However, liver is available in a number of forms: raw, cooked or as desiccated raw beef liver granules. The Argentineans often eat their beef liver raw or only slightly cooked, and they get the best deal as far as nutrition is concerned. That is because cooking destroys Vitamin C and thiamin and so, if you do not like eating raw liver, Argentinean Beef Liver granules are likely the best form in which to take this very nutritious food source.
Beef Liver Supplements
November 03, 2008 09:47 AM
Nowadays, it is so in to be thin and being anything but that carries a stigma, along with increased risks of serious illnesses. If that isn’t enough, recent research has found that infertility, which experts define as twelve months of unprotected intercourse that doesn’t result in a pregnancy, is also related to obesity. For women, the main obstacle is lack of ovulation, which is when the body refuses to release an egg every month. Too much abdominal fat stores an excess of estrogen, the hormone that needs to fluctuate in order for ovulation to occur. At the same time, male hormone levels rise, with all that estrogen and testosterone sending the women’s brain the wrong message.
When a couple is having trouble conceiving, evaluation by a fertility specialist is often a very good idea. Because it is pretty easy to count and evaluate sperm, it is easy to rule out any male problems, first. A woman who has irregular menstrual cycles should look for signs of hormonal imbalances like abnormal body hair, which indicates an excess in testosterone. Testing may reveal polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is marked by many cysts on the ovaries, hormonal imbalances, and/or ovulation problems. But if the male’s sperm and both partners’ hormone levels are normal, and if the woman doesn’t have blocked fallopian tubes or poor thyroid function, then the problem could very well be caused by too much weight.
Obese people usually have some medical problems already; infertility seems to be just another hit. Studies have proven that even just a 5% to 10% loss of your current weight can get your ovaries working again on their own. It is impractical to suggest normal weight, as it’ll take too long, while meanwhile, the ovaries are aging. You shouldn’t wait until you reach your ideal weight before you try to conceive, but rather, keep dropping pounds for the sake of your overall well-being. Your partner may even want to get fit with you, as one study has found that conception can be difficult when both partners are overweight or obese. Since obese men have problems with poor sperm counts or quality, along with weight-related hormonal imbalances, they’re twice as likely to be infertile than men of normal weight. Fathers-to-be may also want to take folate, as low folate levels are linked with increased risk of defective sperm.
If you’re obese, herbs and supplements may help you get pregnant, but weight loss is the critical component. To encourage ovulation, whether you are obese or not, one doctor suggests a weight-loss or weight-maintenance program, along with beta-carotene, a nutrient for ovarian function, and chaste tree berry, for its hormonal effects to optimize ovulation. This plan has proven a fifty percent success rate. Even though fertility aids such as in vitro fertilization result in a live-birth rate of more than 82%, it has been found that only 55% of those births are single babies.
If women trying for children begin eating well and exercising daily, not only will they be able to conceive more easily, but they will be physically fit and able to play with their kids all through their lives. Diet and nutrition as well as natural prenatal supplements and extra folic acid are needed to support the birth of a healthy baby boy or girl. Stop into your local health food store and see what is available for fertility for both men and women.
October 30, 2008 01:39 PM
National press has recently taken an interest in the benefits of folic acid, with coverage increasing throughout the media. Folic acid, a B vitamin and other folates helps the body to form red blood cells and aids in the formation of genetic material within every body cell. Folic acid also helps to prevent birth defects. Proponents of dietary supplements have encouraged the use of folic acid by women who are of the child-bearing age for a long time.
The public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of this nutrient to prenatal development. In a survey done by U.S. Health and Human Services in 2007, about 40% of all women surveyed reported the daily consumption of a supplement that contained folic acid, while about 42% of women surveyed reported that folic acid is the most important vitamin for women of child-bearing age. This study also found that awareness of the benefits differed by age group. Younger women were the least likely to know about the benefits of folic acid, and therefore, were the least likely to consume folic acid. These younger women were also more likely to hear about folic acid from a magazine or newspaper or school or college, rather than their health-care provider.
On the contrary, the women who aged 25-34 and 35-47 were much more likely to hear about folic acid and its benefits from their health-care provider. Because of these results, the U.S. Health and Human Services considers it vital to increase young person education and awareness. Folic acid has long been known to help prevent birth defects. Recent research on folic acid shows that it may also help in preventing premature births, boost baby weights, prevent preeclampsia, reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and even cut male smokers’ stroke risk.
folate is determined from the term “foliage,” and is a member of the B vitamin family where it can be primarily found in dark leafy green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, beets, meat, and wheat germ. Folic acid does not occur in nature and cannot be found in unfortified foods. It is not an active form of the B-vitamin. However, it is the most common form of folate used is supplements and in fortified food products due to the fact that it is highly bioavailable and chemically stable. It is also readily reduced to tetrahydrofolate, which is the active coenzyme form of folate. One study, comparing folic acid from orange juice and folic acid from a supplement showed that the supplement had a better absorption rate than the fortified orange juice.
Although folic acid is not generally associated with side effects, there have been some clinical reports that high level of folic acid can mask a deficiency of vitamin B-12. However, a deficiency of B-12 is very uncommon and it has been determined that only amounts about 3000 – 4000 micrograms per day of folic acid for extended periods of time may have this masking effect, which can in turn be eliminated by supplementing with a few micrograms of B-12. For more information about folic acid and its benefits to your body, contact your local health food retailer.
August 19, 2008 08:38 PM
Folic acid is an important vitamin to the developing fetus in that it aids cell development, particularly those cells involved in the development of the baby's spine. A deficiency can result in neural tube defects, in which the neural tube, down through which the central nervous system passes, fails to close properly.
However, let's first discuss the substance itself so that its function in that process can be more easily understood. Neither should we ignore the other benefits that folic acid gives us, or the problems we can have in the event of a deficiency.
Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B9, sometimes referred to as Vitamin M. Its anionic form is known as folate, which is the form in which it is frequently offered in supplements. Incidentally, it gets its name from the Latin for leaf, so is from the same root as foliage. It is water soluble, and like Vitamin C can be leached through the body if not immediately used.
It is available naturally from leafy and green vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach and peas, but is also available in fortified breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds and some fruits. You would not normally suffer a deficiency, but if you are taking anticonvulsants, have liver problems or undergoing kidney dialysis, then you might need a supplement. Pregnancy, of course, is the important case in which a supplement should be taken, although, surprisingly, many mothers-to-be are unaware of this.
New body cells need folate for their production, particularly when they are dividing and growing rapidly such as during pregnancy and in infancy. The formation of DNA depends on many chemical entities, among them four nitrogenous bases, of which three, thymine and the two purine bases, adenine and guanine, depend on folate for their synthesis. If the growing fetus is lacking folate then DNA synthesis will be hindered. This retards cell division and growth.
Among the conditions this can cause are a form of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia, and neural tube deficiencies, where the sheath that surrounds the main nerve canal up the spine fails to close properly. The best known of such neural tube defects is spina bifida, though any condition caused by a lack of cell division can also occur. Anemia can be contracted by both adults and children, since production of red blood cells takes place constantly throughout your lifetime. These are the reasons why folic acid or folate is used in breakfast cereals.
The biochemistry is fairly simple to understand, and is important because it explains the importance of two other B vitamins, B3 and B12, in DNA synthesis. The initial stages are a six step reaction that forms methyl tetrahydrofolate from folate, starting with the reduction of folate to dihydrofolate, and then a further reduction to the tetrahydrofolate (THF). Vitamin B3 (in the form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) is an essential cofactor for these reductions. Vitamin B12 is necessary as an acceptor for the methyl-THF so that it can continue along the biochemical pathway - now that is too complex to discuss here!
However, the inference you can rightly draw from this is that a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause what is known as a 'methyl trap', whereby the methy-THF cannot be used, and so a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to the same symptoms as a folic acid or folate deficiency.
The implications of that are that vitamin B12 is also an essential component of a pregnant woman's diet. The problem here is that this vitamin is available only from animal sources, including dairy products. Its presence in vegetable organisms such as certain algae and fungi has been proposed, but it is believed that the cobalamin (chemical term for the vitamin) from these sources is not bioavailable to humans.
Vegans, therefore, who do not eat dairy products, will need a Vitamin B12 supplement in addition to folic acid or folate, particularly when they are pregnant and with young growing children. In this respect, a vegan diet is unsuitable for young children until their rapid growth period has stabilized.
For those of you wondering why the biochemistry above was discussed: that is your answer. Such discussions can frequently explain why certain supplements are necessary, or certain diets should be reconsidered under particular circumstances. Such things are easier to understand and accept when the logic behind them are explained. A folic acid supplement taken from the onset of pregnancy up to 12 weeks at least, and also a Vitamin B12 supplement in the case of those with a low meat intake, should prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
A daily supplement of 0.4 mg should be sufficient, along with a diet rich in green vegetables, fortified cereals and breads and oranges. Your greens are best steamed since prolonged boiling destroys folic acid - as it destroys Vitamin C. One source of folic acid that you might read about is liver, and its additional iron content might lead you to believe this to be a good component of your diet when pregnant. However, although normally a very nutritious food, liver should be avoided during pregnancy due to its high Vitamin A content. This can be harmful to your baby.
Finally, there are some circumstances under which the dose during pregnancy should be greater. If you have previously had a child with a neural tube defect, or have an NTD yourself (or your partner), if you are diabetic, if you have celiac disease (a gluten allergy) or are taking anti-epileptic medication, you should increase your dose to 5 mg (milligrams) for which you will likely need a prescription from your physician.
NTD is rare, so don't over-worry much about it, but take the above precautions to put your mind at rest since pregnancy is not a time during which you should be nervous but to enjoy. That will pass on to your growing baby, which will then itself be happy.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
June 19, 2008 12:48 PM
The B vitamins are integral to body growth and development. They play a great part in the activities of enzymes that regulate chemical reactions in our body. Different B vitamins exist in various animal and plant foods. Examples of some of these are cereals and whole grains, pork, seafood, eggs and liver. They are also in dairy products, dried beans, chicken, watermelon and grapefruit to name a few among the many sources. Supplements are another great way to ingest B vitamins.
These vitamins consist of a group of eight water-soluble nutrients:
* B1 – Thiamine * B2 – Riboflavin * B3 – Niacin * B5 – Pantothenic Acid * B6 – Pyridoxine * B7 – Biotin * B9 – Folic Acid, folate * B12 – Cobalamin
When the body takes in these B vitamins, it uses them in different ways. The body uses B1 and B2 to affect enzymes (proteins) that have an influence on muscles and nerves. When B1, thiamin, enters the system, the body uses it to help convert glucose into energy. It uses B2 to help repair hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B3 helps maintain skin health and digestive functions. This vitamin also helps maintain the health of the body's nervous system. Vitamin B5 affects the body's normal growth and development overall.
The body uses B6 to break down protein and to maintain the health of the red blood cells. It also uses this kind of B vitamin to keep the nervous system and components of the immune system healthy. The B7 vitamin helps the body produce hormones. It also helps it break down carbohydrates and proteins. The B9 vitamin also helps the production of red blood cells. The body uses B9 in its cells so they can manufacture and maintain DNA. This DNA contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all living organisms known to man. The body uses vitamin B12 to help produce blood cells and uses it in nervous system functions.
Since the B vitamins are water-soluble, they do not remain stored in the body if too much of them are ingested. The exceptions are B12 and folate (B9), which the liver stores. The body eliminates most of any extra amounts of the rest of the B vitamins through the urine. However, it's wise to take only what your particular system requires when it comes to these vitamins.
Because the body uses the B vitamins to aid so many vital functions, certain things happen when the body does not get enough of them. Some people may experience numbness and tingling in their arms and legs if they're deficient in B vitamins. Muscle cramps can occur as well as tiredness. Anemia is a concern if a person does not get enough of these vitamins, as is depression. Loss of appetite and abdominal pain are symptoms of vitamin B deficiency as well. Therefore, it is important that one ingest the B vitamins on a regular basis.
Just eating foods that contain these B vitamins prepared in any manner is not enough. Because the body uses these vitamins to support important functions, it needs them in full measure. Extended cooking times and food processing can dilute the strength and concentration of these vitamins. Alcohol can diminish their useful effects too.
The right amounts of B vitamins on a regular basis are part of a comprehensive health strategy. The body uses the required amounts efficiently to promote overall health. Used in conjunction with the other vitamins and minerals we need, the B vitamins can make daily living that much more energetic.
Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
April 18, 2008 03:59 PM
3 tablets contain:
Suggested Use: 3 tablets mid-morning and 2 tabs mid-afternoon between meals on an empty stomach.
Support A Healthy Digestive System With Discount Vitamins
November 21, 2007 10:31 AM
Discount vitamins can help to support a healthy digestive system, but to explain how they do you first need to know how the system of pipes, tubes and chemical plants that make up the digestive system basically works.
The digestive system is a system of tubes through which your food is passed during the various stages of digestion, and also organs that produce the chemicals needed to break down your food into the nutrients needed by the body. The digestive system begins with the mouth, where the teeth cut and grind the food, and mix it with saliva containing the enzyme amylase that begins the digestive process by converting starch into maltose and dextrin, which are later converted to glucose. Amylase cannot work in the acidity of the stomach, which is why you should chew starchy foods such as bread and potatoes before it is swallowed and passed down the esophagus to the stomach.
The stomach is a natural food processor, containing concentrated hydrochloric acid that breaks the food down into smaller molecules. Once the food has been mixed and processed it passes into the small intestine where the real digestion begins. The liver and pancreas manufacture digestive juices and pass them into the intestine as the food is expelled from the stomach. These juices are mixed with the food, break it downs chemically into nutrients which are then absorbed through the walls of the intestine. The waste is passed into the colon, from which they are later expelled.
While in the stomach, its glands produce not only the stomach acid but also enzymes that break up proteins into smaller compounds including amino acids. The liver produces a number of digestive juices, including bile that dissolves fats and renders them water soluble to be digested by enzymes from the pancreas. The liver also produces enzymes that further breaks down the food in smaller molecules.
The whole process is controlled by the digestive hormones that are generated by the stomach and small intestine, namely secretin, gastrin and CCK (cholecystokinin). These control the release of the various digestive juices and chemicals into the digestive system, and once the food has been broken down the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the cells of the body where they are needed.
So, starting again from the top, how do discount vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy digestive system? First, we start with the teeth. It is essential for the proper use of food that it is shredded and ground properly before being passed to the body, and that the starches are broken down by the saliva enzyme amylase. The structure of your teeth is dependant on vitamin C and D, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. A deficiency in any of these would result in poor weak teeth, and your food would not be prepared properly for your stomach.
Vitamin B1 keeps your nerves in good working order, without which your appetite could not be regulated. Vitamin B3, or niacin, keeps the digestive tract in a healthy state and functioning properly. Vitamin B9, or folate (folic acid) carries out a similar task, and the B complex vitamins in general, then, keep the digestion process working smoothly and the peristaltic motion that moves the food along, also in good working order.
Manganese and chromium are essential minerals to the digestive system, without which enzyme activity would be limited and without chromium your appetite could not be controlled. Apart from that there is a lot that can go wrong with the digestive system and a good vitamin B complex or Vitamin B1 and B3 supplement, will help to maintain the proper functioning of the system. These vitamins will encourage proper control of the intestinal muscle function, and vitamins C and E will help deal with any inflammation in the bowel, or undue immune system activity. Acidophilus will also help to maintain a good population of healthy bacteria that are essential components of your digestive system. A probiotic supplement taken as instructed should achieve this.
A little considered function of the digestive system, perhaps because it actually takes place in the liver rather than the alimentary canal itself, is the disposal from the body of toxin absorbed by the small intestine. This is the chemical transformation of certain molecules into a form whereby they can be rendered water soluble and expelled in the urine. Substances such as drugs, alcohol, paint fumes and so on are formed into other chemicals that might be even more toxic than the originals for a short time, and since oxidation is used in many of these reactions, free radicals might be formed that can harm the body.
This danger, which is indirectly caused by the digestion of these substances, can be relieved by maintaining a sufficient intake of antioxidants in the form of Vitamins A, C and E to neutralize them. Some liver disease is caused in this way by insufficient vitamin nutrition, and a good discount vitamin supplement can help to prevent it by destroying the free radicals as they are formed.
This detoxification process then proceeds to a phase where the biochemically converted molecules are rendered into the water soluble form so that they can dissolve in the blood and be extracted by the kidneys into the urine. For this, a good supply of the tripeptide glutathione, glycuronic acid and some amino acids is needed. A supplement of these should also help the detoxification process.
Other supplements that can help the digestive system are natural enzymes. These work whether taken on an empty stomach or with food. On an empty stomach, at least two hours after a meal, they will immediately go to work in your blood and improve its condition. Taken with a meal they will help digestion the fats and reduce food waste by improving absorption.
There are many ways in which you can help to maintain a healthy digestive system by the use of discount vitamins, although any problem with your digestive system should be referred to your physician since there are many serious conditions that need expert medical treatment. Vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and other supplements, however, can help to prevent many of these from occurring.
Consume Bright Colored Foods for Better Health
October 22, 2007 10:06 AM
A plate of colored food is not only very pleasing to our eyes, but also very healthy. What looks good to eat is also very healthy for us and if you are finding it difficult to persuade your children to eat those boring old tired looking vegetables, then try brightening up their plates with some nice bright colors.
Kids love brightly colored pop and candy so it should not be a difficult thing to persuade them to eat some brightly colored vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, quashes and even thinly sliced carrots with a nice dip. The more intense the color the better for you they appear to be. Colored foods are normally packed full of anti-oxidants that help to prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system and to mop up free radicals present in our bodies. These antioxidants are all chemicals, and many of the naturally occurring antioxidants are highly colored. They are very good at destroying free radicals.
Free radicals are a form of chemical that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate the effects of aging, but also harm our heart. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron. Electrons like to go around in pairs. Every atom has pairs of electrons, and one atom has an odd number then it pairs up with another atom with an odd number, so the two form a compound with an even number of electrons.
However, now and again, the body’s metabolism throws up a molecule with an unpaired electron. That electron’s first thought is to find a partner, and it does so by stealing one from a cell in your body. The result is the disruption and destruction of the cell. Free radicals can also be formed by environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides and so on.
Anti-oxidants destroy free radicals, and generally keep us healthier for longer. They do so by mopping up the extra electron, and there are many different types of antioxidant that form part of our normal diet. Among them are vitamins A, C and E, but there are others that are complex highly colored organic compounds. Among these are the anthocyanins, known to paint and ink manufacturers as strong red pigments.
Anthocyanins are the pigments or dyes that color red grapes, egg plant, plums and blueberries and they are very powerful antioxidants. However, it is not only for antioxidants that we should eat colorful foods. Some dark green foods, such as spinach, green peppers, peas, celery and dark leafy vegetables, contain what are known as lutein. Lutein works in combination with zeaxanthin to protect our eyes from cataracts and a condition known as macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Zeaxanthin is available from red peppers, oranges, egg yolk and corn.
Many people take folic acid supplements help maintain a healthy heart, and especially women to help prevent birth defects. However, the natural form of folic acid, folate is available from green foods such as lettuce, green beans, broccoli, peas, green grapes, and many other green foods. Broccoli and cabbage also contain indoles also known as indol-3-carbinol are believed to protect your from some cancers. So green is good!
Yellow is also good, and foods such as grapefruit, pineapple and melon help to boost the immune system and keep infections at bay, and also to provide energy and help maintain healthy eyes. Many antioxidants are yellow, although yellow might not a color that you would associate as being attractive to children, unless very bright. However, the yellow foods tend to be fruits rather than vegetables, and it is much easier to persuade a child to eat a pineapple than a squash.
Lycopene is another very powerful antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that can damage the cardiovascular system through atherosclerosis. Lycopene is a red pigment very common in tomatoes, and is fat soluble. It is a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants that are common in brightly colored foods such as carrots, red peppers and many yellow fruits and vegetables as described above. Lutein is also a carotenoid.
A diet rich in carotenoids is very good for keeping the effects of aging at bay and protecting you from heart problems. Lycopene is contained in the liver, colon, skin and prostate gland, and can occur at higher concentrations than most other carotenoids. People that suffer from HIV infections, high cholesterol diseases and inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, are generally found to have low levels of lycopene in their blood.
Many of the so-called ‘superfoods’ are also brightly colored, and useful not just for their antioxidant properties. Take cranberries for example. These bright red berries contain proanthocyanadins that prevent some bacteria such as e-coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and cause urinary tract infections such as cystitis, and also from adhering to the gums. Cranberries can therefore be used in the treatment of some gum diseases. However, they also possess strong antioxidant properties that help to protect the body against some cancers and also heart disease.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranates have exceptionally high antioxidant content and are excellent for a healthy cardiovascular system while strong green broccoli contains not only vitamin C and antioxidants but also folate (the natural form of folic acid) and the phytochemical sulforafane that is believed to protect against certain cancers.
The color of your food, therefore, not only makes it look pretty on your plate and attractive to children, but also indicates the presence of strong antioxidants and other chemicals that help to protect you from specific medical conditions. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of the so-called superfoods is vegetable in origin rather than animal, and also tastes good. You should eat as many of them as you can, and certainly at least five portions every day.
Some can also be used as a remedy for specific conditions in addition to being used for their preventative properties, such as cranberries are used in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, and specific diets can help to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body. Eating with your eyes is not always a bad thing. Some may find it hard to consume enough colorful fruits and vegetables to be beneficial so what is a person to do? Your local health food store has available powdered vegetable and fruit concentrates that supply all the needed nutrients in one simple drink.
Natural Vitamin and Herbal Alternatives For Joint Health
October 18, 2007 03:58 PM
Joint tissue breaks down and arthritis sets in for a number of reasons, and there are several natural alternatives for joint health that can be use to prevent this and to treat affected joints.
Thyroid problems can slow down the production of adrenal hormones that are responsible for the production of cortisone and cosrtisol. These are anti-inflammatories, that when unavailable or in low supply can result in joint inflammation. If you suffer joint pain in the mornings that tends to improve as the day goes on, then it is likely that is the cause since adrenal activity can improve as the day progresses.
One of the main reasons for joint tissue breakdown is osteoarthritis whereby the cartilage wears down until it fails to provide the necessary protection against impact between the bones in a joint, or against the friction generated when two bones rub together. Injuries to joints can have the same effect, whereby an injury to a hip or knee can appear to clear up and then later the cartilage wears out sooner than expected. This can take several months or many years, depending on the severity and nature of the injury concerned.
Continual wear and tear can also cause joint tissue to break down. Athletes and other sportspersons often suffer twenty years or more after retirement from their sport due to the gradual wearing down of cartilage while they were active. Once they stop, this continues to a lesser extent until the cartilage is eventually worn away sufficiently for it to stop protecting the joint.
Problems with the auto-immune system can lead to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the joints. This weakens them and can eventually completely destroy the tissue. In such cases the tissues in the joint tend to swell and become extremely painful. Gout can also damage joints, especially in the big toe. This is caused through a built up of needle sharp uric acid crystals. Another cause is a deficiency in sodium and potassium in the diet that are needed to help maintain calcium in solution. When these metals are in deficiency due, for example, to an adrenal problem or some other reason, calcium can deposit right in the joints, causing undue pain.
Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are commonly associated with arthritis sufferers, and protein deficiencies are also believed to be a contributing factor of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is also true that degenerative arthritis can accompany rheumatoid arthritis. This occurs in almost 40% of cases, and diet and nutrition are now being recognized as a major cause of both types. Deficiencies in folic acid or its natural form of folate, vitamin E, zinc and selenium have all been associated with degeneration of joint tissue, so it makes sense that a supplement of these substances can help to avoid these conditions.
Standard medical treatment, however, is for the relief of pain and reduction of inflammation through the prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Typical NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Although it relieves pain, paracetamol is not an anti-iflammatory. An alternative to blocking the inflammatory reponse is to help to regenerate the damaged joint tissue.
However, reducing the inflammatory response to tissue damage does not address the underlying problem, but masks it. Not only that, but there are side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs. Excessive doses can create serious gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, ulcer perforation and even death is possible in severe cases. Anti-inflammatories cause gastric problems in up to 20% of cases
The newer Cox-2 inhibitors act on the enzyme that causes the inflammation within the joint, and while these can be very effective, they are still masking the underlying problem. Incidentally, the Cox-2 inhibitors should not be used with NSAIDs, and both increase the possibility of a myocardial infarction or heart attack. Also, if you are taking aspirin to reduce the risk of heart problems, you should be careful not to use other NSAIDs since they can interfere with the effects of the aspirin.
More effective in the long run is to treat the conditions with substances that deal with the cause of the problem. Vitamin C, for example, improves the lubrication effect of the synovial fluid in the joints, and vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can help to repair damaged tissue and improve the circulation within the joints. Joints have very low blood circulation levels, which is a problem when trying to direct drugs to the joint tissues. Vitamin C is also good for improving the integrity of connective tissue. Zinc, manganese and copper are also instrumental in developing strong connective tissue and helping to repair the damage done to the joints.
Horsetail is a commonly used herbal remedy that can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. It is the richest natural herbal source of silicon, which is used by the body to form connective tissue and collagen. Damaged connective tissue is rapidly repaired by horsetail, and its strength and elasticity significantly improved. It is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cat’s Claw is used for its beneficial effect on the immune system, and frequently used successfully to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, this treatment is used more to help reduce the inflammatory effects of the condition than to effect a long lasting cure. Gotu Kola, also called Indian pennywort, is traditionally used for treating arthritis. The fresh leaves are effective in reducing the inflammation and pain, and help to improve the quality of life of arthritis sufferers. In Australia, it is referred to as ‘the arthritis herb’ and two leaves a day are said to be effective.
Another popular remedy is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), although it is claimed to provide pain relief rather than a cure. Amino acids also seem to help, and L-cysteine helps promote collagen and connective tissue. It appears to work best when taken in combination with vitamin E and selenium that are powerful antioxidants. L-arginine has a similar effect in the reconstruction of joint tissue, again helping to repair damaged connective tissues.
There are therefore two approaches to treating both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, one providing pain relief and reducing inflammation, and the other repairing the damage done to the joint tissues. Vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and herbal remedies are used in both, though it is better to use a combination that provides pain relief and also helps to regenerate strong connective tissues in the joints.
When using combinations of remedies it is important that possible interactions are understood, and you should always seek the advice of your physician when using non-prescription remedies of any kind.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Memory And Focus
May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Memory & Focus
Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.
This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.
The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.
In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important co-enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.
Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?
A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.
While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.
After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.
Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.
While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.
Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?
A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.
Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.
A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.
Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?
A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..
Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.
Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?
A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.
One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.
Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.
In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.
Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?
A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in
Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?
A. Alpha lipoic acid (
Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly,
In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given
Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?
A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.
Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.
Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.
Q. What about folic acid?
A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.
An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.
Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.
Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.
Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.
It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of
In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
Mega-Folinic - Bio-Active Form of Folic Acid
January 31, 2007 03:59 PM
Enjoy Some Nuts Every Day
November 03, 2006 04:00 PM
Although high in fat, nuts contain oils that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts also contain potentially cardio protective components including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts were all found to be good sources of these compounds. Diets that included one or two servings of macadamia nuts a day have been shown in studies done in Brisbane Australia and Honolulu Hawaii to improve blood lipid profiles as effectively as low-fat, complex carbohydrate diets. Furthermore, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating nuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of type II diabetes in women. The researchers suggest that nuts might replace refined grain products, and red or processed meats as a way to limit caloric intake.
The Lowly Goober Gets New Respect
Americans eat more peanuts and peanut butter than all other nuts combined. A Pennsylvania State University study of 13,000 men, women and children revealed that peanut eaters have higher intakes of several hard-to-get nutrients compared to those who did not consume peanuts. Peanut butter and peanut eaters have increased levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, Calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phytonutrients resveratrol, beta sitosterol and p-courmaric acid. What’s more, peanut eaters also had leaner bodies than non peanut eaters. This study helps to dispel the myth that higher-fat foods automatically lead to weight gain.
The peanut Butter Diet evolved from studies such as this that showed the benefits of eating peanuts and peanut butter, particularly their high satiety factor. In one small study, ten health workers aged fifty-plus, consumed 1500 calories healthy and moderate fat (35%) diet that included two tablespoons of peanut butter eaten twice a day. The woman had at least one cardiovascular risk factor – high blood pressure, altered blood lipids or diabetes. Peanut butter was chosen because previous studies at Harvard/Brigham Women’s hospital had shown that over an eighteen-month period, three times as many women stuck with a diet that included peanut butter or peanuts, because of a hunger curbing effects.
Peanuts contain about 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon and when spread on two slices of whole-wheat bread, deliver six grams of fiber. Peanut butter makes some yummy sauces. The barbecued ribs a group of scientists and I prepared during a recent weekend at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California’s Napa Valley where the best I have ever eaten.
The term refers to coconut, palm kernel and palm oils. These oils contain a variety of fatty acids, but unlike olive, macadamia and peanut oils, which contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature; tropical oils have high levels of saturated fats and are solid at room temperature. They are gaining popularity as food manufacturers push to replace hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats. The latest hoopla over coconut oil has been its inclusion in weight loss regimens. Two books featuring coconut products have hit bestseller lists. Moderate increase of tropical oils including coconut and palm appear to improve blood lipid profiles largely because of their high lauric acid content.
The health benefits of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as caprylic and lauric have been known for some time. Lauric acid has been found to improve blood lipids and red palm oil is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and tocotrienols, the vitamin E active constituent. However, there is concern among some experts that eating to many saturated fats, including the tropical oils used to make trans fat free margarine and shortening, can have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health.
In addition, there are differences in processing palm and palm kernel oils that make some choices unhealthy. According to Dr. Andrew Weil palm oil is a better choice than palm kernel oil because chemical solvents are needed to extract palm kernel oil while none are required to press the oil from palm fruit. Fractionation is used to process palm and palm kernel oil and eliminates many of their natural antioxidants, which makes them the least desirable of the tropical oils. It seems prudent to check ingredient labels for fractionated palm kernel oil and avoid it. Best of all, look for Now Organic Coconut Oil that has an impressive resume for boosting immunity. It also has a distinctive flavor to foods prepared with an eastern Indian theme.
Folate Helps Impede Prostate Cancer
June 20, 2006 10:58 AM
According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2006, Vol. 163, no 11: 989-996), folate helped reduce the severity of prostate cancer in men. A team of researchers examined the association between folate intake and prostate cancer among more than 65,800 men from the cancer prevention study II Nutrition Cohort. During nine years of follow-up, 5,158 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dietary folate levels in this group ranged from less than 204 micrograms per day in men with the lowest levels to more than 347 micrograms per day in men with the highest levels. Total folate intake ranted from 223 micrograms per day to more than 640 micrograms per day. While no significant association was observed between folate intake and overall prostate cancer risk, higher folate levels did appear to curb the risk of advanced prostate cancer. The findings also suggested that even a small increase in folate intake reduced the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
Instant Energy B-12 2000mcg per serving 75 packets/Box
February 16, 2006 03:46 PM
Of all the vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialized dietary supplements at the disposal of the health-conscious public, not a single one can mirror the biological complexity of Vitamin B-12. It is involved in thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body, and its presence has a direct influence on energy, red blood cell production, metabolism, central nervous system function, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, emotion, DNA repair and digestion, just to scratch the surface.*
Our researchers and product formulators had one goal in mind – to develop a vitamin B-12 formula that was superior to anything to precede it – a potent, fast-acting B-12 complex capable of expediting delivery while maximizing uptake. After months of research and development, this was accomplished by uniting cyanocobalamin (the primary form of B-12) with the vitamin’s two co-enzyme forms (methylcobalamin and dibencozide) in perfect balance. But we didn’t stop there. To further enhance the activity of this one-of-a-kind formula, we merged the three with a group of proven synergists that includes Chromium Picolinate, Creatine Monohydrate, and a optimally balanced arrangement of 6 additional B vitamins.
NOW® Instant Energy B-12 makes it simple to get the B-12 they need to function at their absolute best. NOW’s unique collaboration of all three B-12 forms goes to work quickly to effectively boost energy, support cognitive health, promote normal homocysteine conversion and support healthy red blood cell production. Our convenient packets can be taken throughout the day, and are perfect for the office, the car or when traveling.*
Serving Size 1 Packet
B Vitamins Avert Stroke, Coronary Disease, Death
January 25, 2006 04:30 PM
B Vitamins Avert Stroke, Coronary Disease, Death
London, Ontario--Taking B Vitamins may lower homocysteine levels, thereby reducing the risk of ischemic stroke, coronary disease and death, according to an efficacy analysis of the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention trial (VISP).
Published in Stroke (36, 11:2404-09, 2005) (//stroke.ahajournals.org), the analysis outlined researchers’ criticisms of VISP: Participants in VISP may have been administered folate-fortified grain products, the low-dose arm of the study may have been given the recommended daily intake for b12, low-b12 patients in both study arms may have been treated with parenteral b12, test subjects with malabsorption may have been administered an excessively low dose of b12, study participants may have been taking vitamins outside of the study, and patients with significant renal impairment may have failed to response to vitamin therapy.
In the efficacy analysis of VISP, researchers excluded patients with very low and very high b12 levels at baseline (less than 250 pmol/L and greater than 637 pmol/L, respectively, representing the 25th and 95th percentiles), in order to eliminate test subjects with b12 malabsorption, ongoing b12 supplementation outside the study and significant renal impairment. The resulting subgroup was comprised of 2,155 patients, 37 percent female, with a mean age of 66 plus or minus 10.7 years. There was a 21 percent reduction in ischemic stroke, coronary disease and death in the high-b12 dose group compared with the low-b12 does group. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of the four groups indicated patients with b12 levels at the median or higher at baseline who were randomized to the high-b12 dose showed the best overall outcome, whereas those with baseline b12 levels lower than the median who were assigned the low-b12 dose had the worst general outcome.
In the era of folate fortification, b12 plays a key role in vitamin therapy for total homocysteine may be needed for some patients.
Folic Acid: Strengthening the Immune System in the Elderly
January 09, 2006 09:38 AM
Folic Acid: Strengthening the Immune System in the Elderly
By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, December 20, 2005, abstracted from “Dietary folate improves age-related decreases in lymphocyte function” in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry Recent research has elucidated health-promoting roles for folic acid beyond that of insuring normal development of the fetus. In addition to helping decrease neural tube defects,1 folic acid can also help treat inflammatory bowel disease 2 improve memory 3 and help decrease an amino acid in the body, homocysteine,4 that increases heart disease risk.5 Now a new study 6 has found another way that folic acid can help us age more gracefully: by helping strengthen our immune system. Recognizing the importance of nutrition in the overall health of the immune system 7 and knowing that certain types of immune system cells, called “T cells”, decrease with age,(8,9) researchers fed 11-month-old and 23-month-old male rats either a control diet or a diet fortified with 35.7 mg per kg of folic acid for three weeks. Researchers found “a significant” increase in immune system strength in the folic acid group, specifically that of increased T cell levels, other immune system proteins called IL-2, IL-4, and anti-cancer proteins called “tumor necrosis factor”. While the study reaffirmed the immune system’s weakening with increasing age, the researchers concluded that “supplementing…with additional folate improves [immune system function] and that dietary folate requirement may be higher in the older population than in the younger population to support immune functions.” Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at mailto:ChiroDocPSUalum@msn.com or visiting his website www.CompleteChiropracticHealthcare.com Reference:
December 17, 2005 09:42 AM
Supports Healthy Nervous System and Joint Function Vital For Over 35 Biochemical Reactions Necessary For Optimum Health Promotes a Healthy Mood
As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are vital to health. Next to water, amino acids in the form of proteins make up the greatest portion of our body weight. They comprise tendons, muscles and ligaments; organs and glands; hair and nails; important bodily fluids, and are a necessary part of every cell in the body.
There are over 20 amino acids, separated into two categories – essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by your body, hence, it is essential that you obtain them from your diet. Non-essential amino acids can be manufactured by your body, however, your body must have the right combination of essential amino acids and supporting nutrients to optimize healthy protein maintenance, so supplementation may be desirable.
Amino acids are not only absolutely integral to life, they can have a profound impact upon how clearly we think and how well we feel.
SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally occurring combination of the amino acid methionine and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s primary energy molecule. In this form it is sometimes referred to as “active methionine”. Research indicates that SAMe plays a vital role in nervous system health and normal cognitive function.*
SAMe may support nervous system function by increasing the synthesis and recycling of certain neurotransmitters and enhancing the sensitivity of nerve receptors. SAMe is believed to positively affect a number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline and norepinephrine. Although the mechanism for SAMe’s impact upon neural function is not fully understood, there is no doubt that SAMe’s capacity as a methyl donor is of critical importance.
As a methyl donor SAMe assists the body in the creation of complex organic compounds necessary for normal healthy function. Your body uses these new compounds for numerous purposes, including brain function and detoxification. This process, known as methylation or transmethylation, is vital to your body’s maintenance. SAMe may be the most effective of all methyl donors discovered to date. Research has shown that SAMe is the only methyl donor with the potential to increase transmethylation in the brain, which helps to protect it from homocysteine damage as well as increasing production of glutathione, one of the body’s most effective antioxidants.
Research into the biosynthesis of SAMe has established a clear link between SAMe and folic acid, or folate. Folic Acid has been proven to provide support for healthy nervous system function and a healthy mood, and researchers believe these two nutrients work together to beneficially affect monoamine systems, which directly affect mood and cognitive function.* SAMe has also been shown to improve the synthesis of phospholipids for use in the brain, probably one of the most beneficial effects SAMe has on brain health. The benefits of SAMe extend beyond the brain and throughout the human body. For example, it may also aid in the repair of myelin, the sheath of fatty material that surrounds nerves and nerve cells everywhere in our nervous system. It’s found in all human tissue and organs and is available for use by your body in over 35 different biochemical reactions necessary for optimal health.
SAMe may support joint health through transulfuration, a process that takes a certain amount of sulfur from SAMe to create glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates. This enhances proteoglycan synthesis, the molecule responsible for keeping articular (joint) cartilage lubricated. As mentioned earlier, SAMe is also important for the production of glutathione, a powerful free radical scavenger that defends your body from toxic agents and is necessary for liver detoxification.
SAMe was first isolated in 1952 by G.L. Cantoni at the Laboratory of Cellular Pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Four years later, Cantoni and a co-worker found that SAMe synthesis involves methionine and ATP. They also found that it exists in the human body only temporarily, making production in a supplemental form difficult. It took nearly ten years until improvements in technology permitted SAMe research to advance. With the discovery of a method to stabilize SAMe that overcame these manufacturing problems, U.S. patents were granted to allow the production of SAMe in a stabilized form.
SAMe in its ion form, as found in human cells, has a very short life span and is rapidly metabolized into other necessary compounds as needed. Therefore, it must be manufactured in a stabilized form to prevent rapid degradation as a supplement. Once tableted, it must be enteric coated to preserve stability.
This technology was not readily available until the 1990’s, hence SAMe’s long road to mainstream popularity. Dr. Joseph Zhou, Director of Laboratory Methods here at NOW, is credited with significantly improving the analytical methodology used to assure potency levels in supplemental SAMe. His work is one of the reasons SAMe is available as a supplemental with stable, guaranteed
TMG Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 02:13 PM
TMG Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/07/05
LIKELY USERS: People with high homocysteine levels; People with risks of developing Alzheimer’s Disease; People needing greater metabolism of fats; People with liver detoxification challenges; People consuming alcohol KEY INGREDIENTS: TMG is composed of three methyl groups attached to a glycine atom. It can “donate” methyl groups.
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: TMG is a metabolite of the B vitamin family product called Choline. Choline has 4 methyl groups, TMG has 3 and DMG has 2. These substances plus Folic acid, Vitamin B-12 and SAM-e are all methyl donors. Methyl donors can contribute methyl groups to biological processes such as liver function, detoxification and cellular replication (production of new cells). Methylation protects the kidneys and stimulates production of the fat-transporting molecule l-carnitine.
TMG helps the liver metabolize fats, preventing the accumulation of fats in the liver. It also helps to detoxify chemicals in the liver, while protecting the liver from being damaged by those chemicals.
Methylation with TMG helps to convert the dangerous, inflammatory chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. TMG may lower homocysteine when B-6, B-12 and folic acid cannot.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: TMG is also known as Betaine and is a component of Betaine hydrochloride (Betaine HCl), a stomach acid supplement that is very acidic. But Betaine HCl is not used in the same way as TMG. TMG is not highly acidic and will not supplement low stomach acid.
TMG may be useful for autistic children, along with B-6 and magnesium. It may also be useful in strengthening the body’s immune response against pathogenic bacteria. There is very preliminary evidence that TMG and methyl donors may help against some forms of seizures.
DMG has been used as a sports supplement. TMG is 50% more effective than DMG in any application where the methyl groups are useful. Otherwise, they can used interchangeably.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One serving per day, or up to 6,000 mg., as needed.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: SAM-e, Milk Thistle (Silymarin), Dr. Verghese’s Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator, Antioxidants, NAC, Homocysteine Regulators, D-Flame, Detox Support
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement.
People with Parkinson’s or taking L-dopa should not use methyl donors like TMG without a physician’s specific approval and supervision. There are no other known drug interactions with TMG.
This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. This is not an official publication by any company, nor has this information been screened or approved by the FDA or any private company.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REFERENCES:
Craig SA. Betaine in human nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):539-49. Review. PMID: 15321791
Barak AJ, Tuma DJ. Betaine, metabolic by-product or vital methylating agent? Life Sci 1983;32:771-4 [review].
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