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Worse than sugar, this alternative boosts your risk of obesity and diabetes
July 26, 2018 09:03 AM
Nearly 40 percent of American adults are obese, and although the food industry often presents artificial sweeteners as a solution, they are even worse for your health than the real thing. Artificial sweeteners may raise your risk of obesity and diabetes even more than real sugar, and may cause worse damage to the lining of the blood vessels. Over the long term, artificial sweeteners can change or wear down the cellular “machinery” your body uses to make energy, or even trick your body into breaking down muscle.
"If you’re still holding out hope that science will eventually prove artificial sweeteners to be beneficial, or at the very least harmless, you’re likely to be disappointed."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/worse-than-sugar-this-alternative-boosts-your-risk-of-obesity-and-diabetes/
Lactic acid bacteria can protect against Influenza A virus, study finds
December 19, 2017 07:59 AM
Researchers have shown that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may provide broad protection against influenza viruses. LAB are best known for their human gut floral maintenance, fermentative activity, and preservative capacity. LAB are widely used in food industry, such as in the preparation of fermented dairy products, pickling of vegetables, and baking. LAB have many health benefits, such as alleviation of diarrhea, stimulation of immune system, inhibition of infections, and prevention of certain diseases. So, LAB have been classified as probiotics. Previous studies have suggested that many LAB strains protect mice against influenza virus. The aim of the new study is to further explore the antiviral effect of LAB.
"Our study provides evidence that heat-killed lactic acid bacteria could potentially be administered via a nasal spray as a prophylactic drug against non-specific influenza virus infections."
Read more: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/gsu-lab121317.php
Sugar: A Dangerous and Addictive Drug?
October 12, 2017 10:14 AM
Sugar has been known to be addictive for a while. The body and brain can begin to crave it. It can cause many health problems as well if it is not controlled. Be careful not to consume too much sugar if you want to remain healthy. Your body will thank you. Sugar negatively affects many parts of it including the teeth. Diabetes can occur if you overindulge as well. A weight problem can also occur.
"Two hundred years ago, the average American ate 2 pounds of sugar per year. Today, we each eat about 152 pounds a year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."
Read more: https://www.theepochtimes.com/sugar-a-dangerous-and-addictive-drug_2320725.html
Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study
May 12, 2017 10:44 AM
There are lots of problems associated with saturated fats. This is why may restaurants and other members of the food industry quit using them. Everyone knows a diet high in them isn't good for us. Apparently it is even being linked to gut inflammation. You should think about the amount of saturated fat you eat and how you can lower them. There are food substitutions you can make. All you need to do is research.
Read more: Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study
Cooking With Canola Releases More Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals Than Any Other Type of Oil
March 14, 2017 01:59 PM
Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed and despite claims that it's healthy, it's actually the worst type of oil you can use. Most canola oil is made from genetically modified crops and the modification actually increases risks to health including causing cancer. Oil made from rapeseed used to be used as an industrial lubricant and canola can be used as a pesticide. It's important to also know that the oil is hydrogenated and can cause cardiac risks.
"In a nutshell, healthy living and canola oil simply don’t go well together."
Back To Seeds: Let's Start An Epidemic Of Good Health
November 25, 2016 06:59 AM
You may have noticed the recent emergence of seeds on menus and in the organic food industry. This is because seeds pack a major punch when it comes to nutritional value. All types of seeds, cereals, legumes, and nuts, are readily available and can easily be added to all sorts of recipes to boost nutritional value and enhance taste.
"Seeds are nutritional powerhouses. They are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and are also the best sources of healthy fats needed by the body."
Does eating fat make you fat? This physician says no
November 09, 2016 04:54 PM
One big myth surrounding weight loss is that in order to lose weight, you must not eat any fat. However, that is not the case. Mark Hyman says that dietary fat, like those found in avocadoes, actually helps cut fat, and even goes to say that all calories are not the same. Healthy fats can also speed up metabolism and cut cravings. Hyman suggests consuming foods such as spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers along with up to six ounces of protein.
""The misinformation that has been pushed on our population by the food industry and our government, which is that all calories are the same - that's true in a laboratory, when you burn them," Hyman said. "It's not true when you eat them.""
The Dangers of Vegetable Oil
July 21, 2015 05:23 AM
More often than not, when we see the words vegetable oil, we assume that it is good for us since vegetables are essentially beneficial for the body. The truth of the matter is that this kind of oil is mostly derived from seeds such as sunflower, soybean and corn, not from any kind of vegetable at all. Aside from this, their extraction requires a process that uses up a lot of energy and is not good for the environment.
Unsaturated fats, otherwise known as trans fats, are fats that are usually solid at room temperature but processed in such a way that they are not when they come in the form of oils derived from seeds. These contribute to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. The sad part is that although there are so many calls to action regarding minimizing the presence of trans fats in food; there is very little that has been done regarding their presence in vegetable oils. How trans fats were developed or discovered will show how scary it actually is. It was discovered while looking for an alternative to tallow which is an ingredient for candle wax. It was cheap and convenient to harness and use. The reason why it is widely used is because of its extended shelf life. It can also be reused several dozen times for frying without changing flavor or adding a rancid taste to the food fried in it.
The process of extracting the oils from their sources requires a lot of heating and, for some, even exposure to acids and metals which contribute to the "mutation" that these oils undergo. Hydrogenated vegetable oil confuses our bodies into thinking that they are good for us. This is mainly due to the processes that changes their form. HVO alters the structure of our cells, making them weak and lowering the good cholesterol as well as raising the bad. Our bodies welcome these fats and do not treat them as a danger although their presence does, in fact, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Vegetable oils can also cause imbalances in the composition of our fatty acids. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are not produced by our bodies. Therefore, we need to supplement these from our diets and daily consumption in pretty much the same amounts to balance their presence in the body. Polyunsaturated fats from HVO that causes the mutation in our cell membranes can lead to oxidative chain reactions which are harmful to our cells. In essence, our cells are made weak and the chances of alterations to our DNA are increased. Omega 6 is abundant in HVO because it helps to slow the deterioration of the vegetable oil. It can cause an imbalance to the cell membrane causing inflammation in various parts of the body. One component of Omega 6 that is highly dangerous is linoleic acid. It has been linked to obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and even damage to the brain's hypothalamus.
These are just a few of the dangers that come with using so called vegetable oils. These dangers are kept under wraps because of the massive income that the food industry will lose if it changes the oils used for cooking and preparing food.
What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans
December 22, 2014 04:54 PM
What are Beta-glucans?
Benefits of beta-glucan
Beta-glucans are use for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and high cholesterol. Beta-glucans are also use for boosting the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakens by emotional or physical stress, chronic fatigue syndrome or by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Beta-glucans are also used for ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, aging, H1N1 flu, Lyme disease, allergies, fibromyalgia, ear infections, rheumatoid, asthma and crohn's disease.
What Causes High Blood Pressure And What Can Reduce And Prevent It?
December 28, 2012 11:24 AM
High blood pressure is one of the most common conditions people suffer from in first-world countries; throughout the last few decades civilized countries have becomes exponentially more reliant on technology, without forgetting the rise of the fast food industry. In conjunction with the sedentary lifestyles most people lead nowadays, this has led to an increase of people with cardiovascular health problems. According to the American Heart Association, around 33% of adults in the United States are suffering from hypertension.
The silent killer
The disease is not known as the silent killer for nothing, as a person can live with it for years and years without even experiencing any symptoms. However, as time goes by the disease starts to take its toll on the body, with symptoms including dizziness, headaches and nosebleeds. However, if gone unchecked for a long time the condition is going to worsen considerably, eventually leading to the development of serious cardiovascular problems, including coronary heart disease.
What precisely causes high blood pressure?
For starters, one's body fat percentage plays an important role; the more fat a person has, the more the walls of their arteries are clogged, the higher the blood pressure rises. A lack of physical activity has also been known to help the condition develop as it forces your heart to contract itself more often. Intake of products such as tobacco, alcohol, sodium and potassium can all lead to an increase in your blood pressure, as well as your risk of heart disease.
Stress is a factor which often gets overlooked, but the truth is that when you tense up, your heart starts pumping blood faster, which consequently increases the pressure in your arteries. Finally, there is the one factor which cannot be controlled: genetics. Indeed, if a person has a family history of hypertension, that person is likely to suffer from it as well.
While it is possible to treat high blood pressure with chemical over-the-counter pharmaceutical remedies, they often bring about a slew of side effects which can cause problems even worse than the ones experienced with the blood pressure.
Fortunately, there are a few natural remedies which can be used to fight the condition.
For starters, you can take magnesium supplements which are sold by numerous companies, generally in the form of capsules. Magnesium is the most common mineral needed by the body and it helps to regulate one's blood levels. If you don't feel like taking supplements, you could always eat foods rich in magnesium, which basically translates to consuming lots of green vegetables, nuts, seeds and unrefined grains.
Hibiscus tea is another apparent miracle of nature; drinking it on a regular basis will slowly decrease one's hypertension. A clinical study was actually conducted in order to determine the tea's effectiveness, and it was found that it can noticeably improve the condition of those suffering from mild or moderate hypertension.
Finally, you might want to look into the Coenzyme Q10, a natural supplement which has undergone clinical studies. More precisely, there was a twelve-week double-blind placebo-controlled study involving eighty-three subjects with hypertension. They were treated for the entire duration with 17.8 mm Hg of the Coenzyme Q10, and in the end their pressure was significantly reduced.
Needless to say, there are countless more natural remedies which can help deal with high blood pressure, with the best part being that most of them don't cost much and are readily available for purchase anywhere. In some cases, you can even do it at home by yourself. All in all, as long as there are natural methods to try it is highly recommended that you stay away from pharmaceutical treatments; not only will they burn a hole in your wallet, they may very well leave you worse for wear.
Xanthan Gum Recipes
December 18, 2012 11:29 AM
Natural Healthy Thickener
Anyone who has wielded a ladle knows exactly what it means to get the right consistency in sauces and soups. Generally a flour, either cornstarch or arrowroot powder based additive, which is carbohydrate rich, make our soups and sauces thick, using conventional cooking methods. However, with growing concerns over carb -rich diets being linked to obesity and the recurring need for thickening required in cooking, has necessitated a switch without compromising on health.
Synthetic thickeners are not recommended though sometimes used commercially . Xanthun gum is a naturally derived form of a thickener made through the fermentation of glucose or sucrose using the harmless bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. Marketed from the 1960's, this harmless bacteria forms one of the most useful thickening agents that has been used commercially in the food industry. It has been used as an anti-settling agent, thickener and emulsifier for ice creams, smoothies, gums and confectioneries and even as a binding agent in creams ,lotions as well as other cosmetics including lipsticks.
Xanthan Gum Powder-Here are some benefits that one could look forward to:
This polysaccharide needs to be used in small quantities thus it is not only affordable but can get easily amalgamated into home cooked food recipes with absolute ease ending up providing the most mouth watering of recipes the respite from censure .
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Cholesterol And Triglycerides?
December 05, 2011 09:40 PM
Apple Cider Vinegar And CholesterolApple cider vinegar is a classification of vinegar which is derived from apple or cider. As you can observe, apple has an acidic taste which makes it possible to be processed into a type of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is pale yellow to amber in color. This kind of vinegar may be pasteurized or unpasteurized. Non - processed or unpasteurized form of apple cider vinegar has a semi - solid or firm appearance because of its thickness and cobweb - like make - up. This form of apple cider vinegar is considered to be the “mother of vinegar”.
Apple cider vinegar is yielded by mashing the fruit and squeezing out the juice it contains. Friendly microorganisms such as bacteria and yeasts are usually combined into the extracted juice to allow alcoholic fermentation. These microorganisms are the ones responsible for converting the sugar contained in the apple extracted juice into its alcohol form. Apple cider vinegar undergoes a second fermentation process. The alcohol produced from the first fermentation process is converted into its vinegar form by adding an ample amount of acetic acid – forming bacteria specifically known as Acetobacter. As a result, the juice extract will have a sour taste because of the acetic acid and malic acid it contains after several fermentations.
In the food industry, apple cider vinegar is commonly used as an ingredient of salads, marinades, food preservatives and the like. Aside from its acetic acid content, apple cider vinegar also contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Clinical studies on whether apple cider vinegar can help control the amount of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood have shown significant results. Yes, apple cider vinegar can have promising effects on the regulation of serum cholesterol and triglycerides. However, the studies also revealed that this fruit extract must not serve as a substitute for the medications prescribed by your doctor to regulate blood cholesterol and maintain or improve cardiovascular health. In animal studies, apple cider vinegar has shown positive effects on lowering triglycerides by almost 50 %. However, effects on Low Density Lipoprotein or the so – called “bad cholesterol” are not that efficient.
Needless to say, the American Heart Association stated that a good lifestyle and balanced diet can effectively reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Apple cider vinegar will also greatly help in lowering these substances in the blood.
Other studies have also revealed that the acetic acid content in apple cider vinegar stimulates the expression of the genetic material which activates fatty acid oxidation enzymes. As a result of this biological process, there will be a significant lowering or control of body fat accumulation by the liver. This is the reason why apple cider vinegar can also be employed as a weight loss agent.
Apple cider vinegar is all – natural. Therefore, safety is relatively established. However, health experts still suggest that before you start using this product, you have to consult your doctor and discuss your current and past health condition as well as the other medications you are taking. This will reduce the incidence of adverse health reactions and drug to drug interactions.
Anise Seed Is Anti-Fungal Herb And Much More!
February 23, 2011 01:44 PM
Anise Seed And Your Health
Anise seed, or simply aniseed, refers to the seed pods of the herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It is famed for its moderate flavor, which is similar to fennel, licorice, and tarragon. The plant species, Pimpinella anisum, has been part of many cuisines on both the West and the East, incorporated in aromatic, sweet-tasting dishes. There is a wide array of uses for anise in the food industry, especially in recent years because of its health benefits. For centuries, it has been utilized to treat digestive problems, and the recent discovery of its high phytochemical levels has been reported to show antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The first undisputed mention of anise seed was in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, which recorded its widespread use as a breath freshener, a therapeutic remedy for insomnia, and a cure for insomnia. Some translations of biblical accounts also recorded the use of the seeds in ancient Israel and surrounding areas. By the time of Roman antiquity, it had become a popular spice added to seafood dishes, valued for of its sweet fragrance. In the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions, anise has up to now been used as a digestive, taken after meals to avoid indigestion, especially after feasts.
The English herbalist John Gerard noted in his encyclopedia Generall Historie of Plantes the carminative effects of anise seed, which means it decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, thereby removing related digestive ailments such as excessive flatulence. It has become quite commonplace in Europe, not only due to its presence in traditional medicine, but also its increasing visibility in the food and beverage industry. It is used in soups and stews, in confectionery, adding a very strong sweet flavor. Anethole, an organic compound extracted from aniseed is added to liquor to produce a cloudy appearance.
Phytochemical Content or Anise Seed
Anise seed is known to contain many different phytochemicals that are polyphenolic and phytoestrogenic. It has high levels of phenylpropenes, a class of polyphenols that are present in essential oils, the reason why aniseed is one of the most common ingredients used in aromatherapy. These organic compounds have shown to lower the body temperature, act on the nervous system to relieve pain, and have a positive effect on epileptic seizures. In addition, it creates strong phytoestrogen-like activities in the human body, relieving cramps during menstrual period.
Anethole is widely believed to be responsible for the antimicrobial activities of anise seed, acting against bacteria, yeast, and other types of fungi. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic and a bactericide, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial cellular metabolism responsible for their replication and, at the same time, actively kill them. This explains why anise seed is effective as a breath freshener in the old days, and removes digestive ailments related to bacteria. Interestingly, aniseed is also anthelmintic; it expels parasitic worms from the body.
That being said, keep in mind that the benefits of anise seed are largely therapeutic.
Anise Seed is one of those herbs you want to keep in the medicine cabinet for quick use when needed.
Did You Know Lecithin is More than a Brain Food
February 15, 2011 04:16 PM
Lecithin, first discovered as the yellow substance in egg yolk, is now associated with a wide array of health benefits. It is in fact made up of a number of naturally occurring substances that all play an important role in promoting overall health at the right amounts. Today lecithin is made available as over-the-counter supplements and utilized for many different purposes in the food industry.
Lecithin has been proven to reduce cholesterol serum levels. For one, it has a direct effect on the digestion of triglycerides and cholesterol from the foods we eat, blocking the pathway that breaks down fats into smaller particles and their consequent absorption by intestinal walls. Also, lecithin has been observed to attract free fatty acids in the bloodstream and move them away from arterial walls. More importantly, it inhibits the release of bad cholesterol and instead raises good cholesterol levels.
Induces Weight Loss
There are dietary supplements that make use of lecithin to assist weight loss. Since the amount of lecithin present in our diet contributes to the ability of the intestinal walls to break down fats, notably cholesterol, it practically flushes away unwanted calories. Lecithin is a part of a class of compounds called lipids, and, as a lipid, it is readily utilized by the cells to burn fats and power cellular functions.
Phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of lecithin, is in the employ of every cell in the body as a form of protection and in cellular communication. It is one of the compounds that make up the lipid bilayer of cell membranes. Unfortunately, our systems use up more lecithin as a dynamic source of energy than what we supply our body, and this explains why we become more susceptible to stress.
Protects the Liver
Lecithin has always shown to be one of the compounds that promote liver health, and has been in use against certain diseases of the liver such as cirrhosis. This compound is responsible for speeding up the metabolism of lipids in the liver, and produce them only when needed, thereby removing the hazards associated with the buildup of fatty tissues that interferes with the functions of the liver.
Helps during Pregnancy
Choline is one of the most important compounds during pregnancy. It is in itself an essential nutrient with established daily value, being required to support healthy body functions, and lecithin is its best known precursor. Intake of lecithin before getting pregnant is recommendable as choline must be produced at sufficient amounts prior to conception to ensure healthy fetal development.
Lecithin, being a precursor of choline, is involved in improving brain function. There are neuronal processes that rely entirely on choline, whose absence in the nervous system results in decreased activity of these processes. In addition, it has long been postulated that the functional decline tied to aging is due to the depleting levels of choline in the body. Hence, it is prudent to replenish our choline reserves by eating foods rich in lecithin.
Curcumin Is "The All In One Solution" - Said by Doctors In India!
January 29, 2010 09:23 AM
Doctors in India call it the “all in one solution. Their "all in one solution" is curcumin. Why would medical professionals describe curcumin with such a powerful statement? Could it really be so powerful that it truly is the “all in one solution”?
I have researched herbs and nutrition for 40 years. I think I have pretty good knowledge of many of the top medicinal plants in the world. However, several years ago I began to see a number of studies on curcumin from different scientific institutions in various parts of the world. In all, over 2,000 studies have been conducted on curcumin over the last several years, and as many as a dozen new studies every month. I began to wonder - why has this plant intrigued so many scientists? This large amount of research is a clue that scientists are seeing a tremendous medicinal benefit of curcumin. This really piqued my curiosity, and while I do not have a specific technical background, I have a passion for research and development of high quality medicinal products. I began corresponding with scientists around the world to inquire as to what they were discovering and why there was this huge influx of scientific research. Eventually, a group of scientists invited me to a conference in India on curcumin. What I discovered was truly amazing. After 40 years in the health food industry and alternative medicine, I never thought I would have the opportunity to see a plant with such medicinal benefits.
Guarana Seed Extract
November 17, 2008 11:24 AM
Guarana comes from the Amazon basin, and has been used by the natives of the Amazon rain forest to treat conditions such as diarrhea, arthritis, fatigue and even to reduce hunger. It is, in fact, a climbing plant of the Sapondacaea family, although it is the fruit for which it best known. Each contains a single seed that contains around five times the amount of caffeine of a similarly sized coffee bean.
An interesting piece of trivia is that the reason why such seeds are rich in caffeine is that the substance is poisonous to certain pathogens that would otherwise attack the berry. The same is - true of all seeds that contain caffeine: it is a means of self-defense. Obviously it is an effective defense since the berries appear to relatively immune to such common plant diseases.
Guarana is named after the Guarani tribe of South America, and the language is spoken by many in the area around Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, and also parts of Argentina. In fact over 67% of Paraguayans speak the language. There is a myth that when child of the Guarana village was killed by an evil god, a more benevolent deity planted the child's left eye in the forest and the right eye in the village. The left eye gave rise to the wild form of the plant, and the right eye the cultivated form.
This likely came about because of the appearance of the fruit when it is split open: it has the appearance of eyeballs. However, what is true is that Guaranis made tea from the seeds, and also a bread known as guarana bread by mashing the powder into a dough and shaping it into a cylindrical bread. It is dry roasted and milled to a fine powder, also known as Brazilian cocoa, but it has never quite managed to compete commercially against the coffee! However, it has its local adherents to whom it is a staple drink.
However, back to the health benefits of the seed. They were recognized as early as the 17th century when Father Felip Betendorf introduced it into Western civilization, but over the centuries since then it has been found that even in spite of the caffeine content it has been demonstrated to have brain-boosting properties and able to increase tasks requiring mental attention. It is certainly known to be an energizer, and able to give a boost to your brain when you really need it. So why should this be, and how does it do this?
The flavor is a bit like chocolate, hence its nickname of Brazilian cocoa, and has been approved by the FDA as a food additive. Extracts from the berry have been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties, and also act as bactericides and fungicide, few of which can be put down the caffeine content. In fact the seed has been proposed for use in the food industry as a natural antioxidant and preservative and as stated below, that is more acceptable to people than synthetic chemicals.
This is probably in response to the fact that synthetic antioxidants are in decline whereas the natural antioxidants such as vitamins, C and E and the various tocopherols and carotenoids are increasing in prominence due to them being more readily accepted by the consumer than the synthetics such as butylhydroxytoluene(BHT). These antioxidants are commonly used as food preservatives, in that they slow down the oxidation of foodstuffs, and people are increasingly feeling that natural products are preferable for this application than synthetic.
Guarana seeds have been found to be exceptionally high in proanthocyanadins with powerful antioxidant properties. They are fatal to free radicals and help to prevent cardiac disease and to improve cellular activity. They also display antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Chemically, they consist of up to 60% starch, pectins, saponins, proteins, and the aforementioned caffeine (3% - 5%). The guarana paste can contain up to 7% caffeine that can be dangerous to those with cardiac problems.
Guarana also contains tannins at levels of up to 12%, including catechin and some proanthocyanadins. The astringency of these tannins represents a problem to their use in the beverage and food industry, although the substance is regarded as safe by the FDA. They have little if any nutritional value and can react with alkaloid and proteins to form unwanted complexes. Were it not for tannins guarana would be more acceptable to the food industry.
However, it is for their energy-boosting properties that the guarana berries and seeds are most prized by many. The fact they it has been traditionally used as a stimulant and aphrodisiac indicates that there is something behind these claims. Studies on mice, hamsters and other animals have supported these effects. It has been found to posses the two desirable properties (to some) of stimulating the nervous system and curbing the appetite.
Consequently, it is used in diet and weight loss pills, and also to maintain high energy levels. In fact weight loss pills are used by many people to maintain their energy levels while not eating. This is a definite bonus to those that want to lose weight, but dislike the lethargy that a strict diet can cause.
There is a downside to that of course, and that is insomnia and an increased heartbeat, and also nervousness and feeling 'on edge'. Once people stop using guarana they suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, irritability and headaches.
The upshot is that it is basically the high caffeine content of guarana that allows its use as a stimulant that can boost not only energy, but also reduce appetite and act as an effective weight loss supplement. However, used excessively it can lead to nervousness and while it is included as an ingredient in many foods and drinks, you should be careful when using it as an energizing supplement if you have any heart problems at all.
Otherwise, guarana is used to energize the body naturally, and is not only very commonly used for this purpose in South America, but also increasingly so in the USA and elsewhere with some very good results.
The next logical step
June 26, 2007 02:04 PM
When you examine the minerals involved, it is not surprising that remineralization is so much more effective for healthy plants than current methods. “Agriculture in the last several decades has mainly relied on three minerals—nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, known as NPK,” says Joanna Campe. “Lately they’ve begun to add more minerals, maybe up to twelve, but that’s still nothing compared to the broad spectrum of a hundred or so minerals provided naturally by mineralized soil.”
Another great aspect to mineralization is that it can help eliminate our heavy reliance on petrochemicals (oil-based products). Modern farming relies on chemical fertilizers that are petrochemical based. “We can shift from an economics of scarcity to an economics of abundance by switching from reliance on chemical fertilizers to remineralizations.” Campe says. “Fossil fuels are quickly disappearing, and rocks are the most abundant resource on the earth.”
This kind of economic effectiveness should come as great news to the organic food industry. According to current statistics, the U.S. buys nearly half of all the organic food produced in the world, and only 0.2 percent of its farmland is dedicated to organic growing. Much of the food produced is also of suspect quality. The reason for this scarcity and lack of quality lie partially in the expense and difficulty of growing organic food due to the poor soil. Such problems would be easily remedied by the next logical step in natural food production—remineralization—making it possible for farmers everywhere to grow natural food easily and within economic boundaries.
Organic growers are starting to take notice and participate in remineralization. For example, the largest carrot farmer in the world is turning over its acreage to remineralization, and remineralized carrots can now be purchased from cal-organic at whole food markets. World-renowned Chef Alice Waters, inventor of what has become known as California Cuisine, is also an advocate of remineralization and has up to 70 remineralized fruits and vegetables grown for her famous restraint, Chez Panisse, by Bob cannard.
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
May 30, 2006 02:36 PM
Ambassador to Health Profile
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
Congressman Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state’s beautiful central coast. His district encompasses the length of the big Sur coastline in Monterey County, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Salinas Valley “Salad bowl,” the redwoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. The health and wealth of this region has been strengthened by Rep. Farr’s focus on the environment, education and the economy. Rep. Farr was raised in Carmel, California and graduated from Willamette University with a BS in biology. He later attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish. As a tough advocate for the health food industry, he has lobbied for strict federal organic standards.
Todd: Congressman Farr, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Id also like to thank you for all the great things you’ve done for our community, form funding marine sanctuaries and authoring the Ocean’s Act to expanding Pinnacles national Monument. The League of Conservation Voters and others have recognized you as an “Environmental Hero”. And, you’ve worked hard to support the economic vitality of central coast’s $3 billion agriculture industry which includes a substantial organic segment. Our backyard here is also the home of a robust group of nutritional supplement manufacturers. An estimated 187 million Americans are currently taking dietary supplements as part of their daily healthy diet. In California, we’ve got 792 natural product manufacturers and distributors. Where do you stand on the state of our industry?
Congressman Farr: Well, thank you for the introduction and for asking to talk to me about nutritional supplement issues. I am very supportive of this industry and include myself in the 187 million Americans taking dietary supplements. I think supplements offer many safe and viable tools to maintain your health. The continued growth of this industry is an indication of both consumer confidence in the products and the products’ ability to fill the gaps where conventional medical care falls short.
Todd: It is estimated that by 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and the cost of health care could reach $16 Trillion per year. A recent study by the Lewin Group showed that by taking certain dietary supplements, seniors can lead healthier, more productive, independent lives while saving billions in reduced hospitalizations and physician services. Do you share our view that a Wellness Revolution is needed to counter the dilemma of an aging population versus shrinking health care support in the future?
Congressman Farr: Our health care system is definitely facing a challenge, especially as the Baby Boomers hit their 60’s and Americans are living longer than ever before. As a Baby Boomer myself, I am well aware of America’s aging population and the impact that will likely have not only on our social institutions but also our fiscal well-being. I agree that dietary supplements do play and will play an even larger role in the future as more seniors look for a way to augment their diets in order to stay healthy and active longer than past generations.
Todd: Our industry is regulated by DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1994 to create a reasonable regulatory framework for access to, information about, dietary supplements. But many say that the FDA and DSHEA weren’t adequately funded to do the job as tasked. “Supplements are unregulated” is a false argument we sometimes hear. To ensure that the FDA is able to carry out the law as Congress intended, Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 2485, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005. Did you support this bill and where does it stand today?
Congressman Farr: I think the DSHEA is a critical law and was proud to support it when Congress considered it in 1993 and 1994. I would certainly support H.R. 2485 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill has not moved since it was first introduced and referred to the Subcommittee on health in the house energy and commerce committee. Since this is an election year we have a tight schedule with only about 60 legislative days scheduled before we adjourn. That means it’s likely Congress will only finalize bills such as the appropriation bills that fund government before adjournment.
Todd: Our business climate has included some valid and rigorous challenges to improve our industry, from good manufacturing practices (GMP), to allergy labeling, to implications of Prop-65 in California. It’s disconcerting that a new bill, H.R. 3156 The Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act would try to capitalize on misconceptions about the industry. In an era of declining health care and declining insurance coverage, this bill would regulate supplements as prescription drugs. Among other things, it would also require adverse event reports to be turned over to the FDA, even though other foods, including those with identical ingredients, do not have the same requirements. This has the potential to be the next Prop-65-like Lawsuit mill. The result of H.R. 3156 would be chilling. It will knock smaller producers out of the market. It will result in higher prices for all supplements. It will decrease the availability of health-giving supplements to the public. What’s your feeling on this?
Congressman Farr: I am similarly concerned about H.R. 3156 and would oppose it if it came up for a vote in Congress. Like H.R. 2485, this legislation has been referred to a subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any further action. The supplement industry has worked in good faith with the FDA since passage of DSHEA and H.R. 3156 would re-invent a wheel that isn’t needed. Instead, adequate funding as proposed in H.R. 2485 would provide ample oversight for the industry.
Todd: According to a recent study, 72% of the general population believe the government should fund more research on health benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you agreen and what can be done to meet this need?
Congressman Farr: I definitely agree that the federal government should play a bigger role in support of research regarding the health benefits of nutritional supplements. As a member of the House Appropriation Committee, I sit on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FDA’s budget and I know the tight fiscal restraints the agency is under. I’ve worked with my colleagues to provide adequate funding, but it’s an uphill battle especially when we’re in a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of situation. I recommend that people within the industry organize and use your consumer base to actively lobby Congress for additional funds. I’m fond of reminding people that the squeaky wheel gets grease – so let every Congress member and Senator know how much this issue matters to you.
Todd: When there is overwhelming scientific evidence that nutritional supplements provides relief for a disease condition, it currently takes a lawsuit to get the FDA to relent and allow the claim. Even then, the FDA strictly limits the claim and requires a disclaimer that does more harm than good in communicating this important information to the public. There is a new bill, H.R. 4282, The Health Freedom Protection Act that would end FDA and FTC censorship of health information. As an example, the 50% of all adult males who suffer from an enlarged prostate could receive relief from that condition by consuming a simple and safe ingredient, saw palmetto derived from the fruit of the dwarf American palm tree. The FDA censors that information. The public deserves a better opportunity to be informed about omega-3 EFA and heart disease, folic acid and birth defects, phosphatidylserine and cognitive impairment. Do you agree and do you support this bill?
Congressman Farr: I agree the public needs to access to the best information possible so they can make well informed choices about their health. I likely would support H.R. 4282 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill is in a similar situation as other we’ve mentioned in this interview – and again because of the tight schedule of an election year, it’s unlikely action will happen this year.
Todd: According to the barometer study, 85% of the US population is currently using some type of dietary supplement. Do you? Looking at your busy schedule from co-chairing the House Oceans Caucus to your seat on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, you are one busy congressman! Are you popping nutritional supplements please tell us!
Congressman Farr: I do take some nutritional supplements, though they vary and since Ginkgo Biloba isn’t among them I cant remember their names off-hand! One product I do use faithfully is Airborne to help me combat germs and colds that I might get from sitting on an airplane. But, like many Americans my life is over-scheduled and combined with the amount of air-travel I do, I find nutritional supplements helpful as I try to stay healthy despite my hectic lifestyle.
Todd: Thank you Congressman Farr! Live long and prosper!
DSEA Release of Health/Cost Impact Study Conducted by the Lewin Group, Initial Results, Wash DC; Nov. 2, 2005
NNFA database. Adam.F on 3-15-06.
DSEA Nutritional Supplement Barometer Study, 2005 Report, Prepared by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
Todd Williams; Source Naturals Marketing Programs Manager.
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:59 PM
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to control body fat; People wanting to increase their body’s lean mass (muscle tissue); People wanting an oil that helps to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals; Those wanting to prevent undesirable cellular changes through diet KEY INGREDIENT (S): CLA from safflower oil, L-Carnitine amino acid, Guarana Seed extract (20% naturally occurring caffeine), Green Tea extract (40% polyphenols), Chromium Picolinate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a derivative of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. The softgel is formulated with CLA (derived from safflower oil), Green Tea extract (polyphenols), Guarana extract (caffeine), L-Carnitine, and Chromium (III) Picolinate for synergistic effects of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: One study, titled "Efficacy and Safety of One-Year Supplementation with Conjugated linoleic Acid in Moderate Overweight," found that compared to placebo, CLA-supplemented subjects had Body Fat Mass index scores averaging 9% lower than the placebo group and had Lean Body Mass results showing lean muscle mass averaging 2% more than the placebo group. Analyses of blood tests showed no side effects over this one-year period. CLA plus Guarana reportedly reduces the size and number of fat cells in another report. CLA may also reduce insulin resistance and prevent undesirable cellular changes.
AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to five capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, other Antioxidants
CAUTIONS: CLA may reduce insulin resistance, so people on blood sugar medications may not need as much of their drugs. Use with caution to avoid an overdose of your blood sugar medication when using this oil. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Fats for Life - the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the...
June 12, 2005 02:39 PM
Fats for Life by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, August 6, 2003
For years, many experts argued that the only good fatty foods were the ones you didn't eat. That was a big, fat mistake. Overwhelming evidence now shows that certain fats are not only necessary for optimal health, but that the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the quantity.
Threatening Trans Fats
"The biggest thing wrong with the fats Americans eat today is that they are eating too many trans fatty acids," says Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Allergy and Asthma Cure (John Wiley). "About 42,000 foods contain trans fats. These fats are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer."
Trans fatty acids are fats that form when food manufacturers add hydrogen to fat molecules, a process called hydrogenation that makes fats stay fresh longer without growing rancid. Trans fats also form when foods are fried.
Hydrogenation extends the shelf life of refined foods like cakes, donuts, and crackers. Unfortunately, it also creates fats that many experts believe can compromise your health. In a study of the health effects of trans fats, 26 people agreed to eat a diet that changed every five weeks, continually shifting the types of fats in their meals (American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2000). All of the diets in the study provided 30% of calories from fat. One fifth of the fat came from either soybean oil, semi-liquid margarine, tub margarine, shortening, stick margarine or butter.
"We were interested in assessing what would happen when we substituted one fat for another," notes researcher Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of human nutrition at Tufts University, Boston.
The study showed that as people ate more trans fatty acids (in the more solid margarines) and fewer polyunsaturated fats (in the liquid oils), their triglycerides increased after each meal. Triglycerides are blood fats that boost heart disease risk.
For instance, when these folks ate stick margarine, which is high in trans fats, their triglycerides climbed an average 18% higher than when they ate semi-liquid squeeze bottle margarine, a type of margarine that is softer because it is less hydrogenated. Stick margarine raised heart disease risk by causing a drop in HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Although butter increased HDL, it also caused a significant increase in LDL, the "bad" cholesterol that raises heart disease risk.
"The best dietary advice we can give people is to minimize their intake of animal and hydrogenated fats in order to reach the American Heart Association's target of 10% or less of total calories from saturated fat and trans fatty acids," Dr. Lichtenstein says. "That would mean consumers choosing low-fat and non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat, and the food industry decreasing the amount of hydrogenated fats used in their products." According to a study at Johns Hopkins University (Amer Coll of Card, 52nd Scientific Session, 3/30/03, Chicago), people who eat saturated fat have more visceral fat, fat surrounding their internal organs. This fat around the waist is now seen as a risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses.
Another hidden problem in our fat consumption, according to Dr. Pescatore, hides within canola oil. Dr. Pescatore says that although many consumers believe canola oil is beneficial to health, the refined canola oil sold in the US has had its potential health benefits removed during processing.
"People still think canola oil is healthy and eat too much of it," he says. "The problem with canola is that it is highly processed and refined....Processors hydrogenate canola oil to keep it from getting rancid."
According to Fred Ottoboni, PhD, coauthor of The Modern Nutritional Diseases (Vincente Books), "Canola oil is lightly hydrogenated to take out the omega-3 fatty acids (the healthiest, but most unstable, fats) and then the food manufacturers filter the trans fats out. I don't worry about the trans fats in canola, but the problem is the huge ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s."
To get more of the omega-3 fatty acids, which are lacking in most Americans' diets, Dr. Pescatore advocates using macadamia nut oil. "Macadamia nut oil is higher in monounsaturated fats than olive oil; it is the healthiest fat with an omega-3 to -6 ratio of one to one."
The Omega-3 Difference
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are basic forms of fat found in oils. Fish oil, hempseed and flax oil are high in what are called omega-3s. Certain plant-derived oils like corn and soy are richer in omega-6 fatty acids.
"Primitive humans ate a diet that contained a one-to-one ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s," says Dr. Pescatore. "Today we (Americans) eat 20 times more omega-6 than -3; that's why we suffer so much chronic disease and chronic inflammation. For instance, the Japanese eat a (much better) diet that contains a two-to-one ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3." "Not all omega-6s are bad," he adds, "we just eat too many of them."
Switching to healthier fat isn't hard. Eat more fish. When cooking, stick to oils like olive oil and macadamia oil. The quality of your oil and your health may improve in a big, fat way.
June 12, 2005 01:59 PM
Certified Foods by Glenda Olsen Energy Times, July 13, 2003
What's in your food, and where does it come from? To most American consumers, that question may seem unimportant. But the answers might surprise you. Your food's origin and processing can make a big difference in its nutritional value, for better and for worse. Increasingly, concern over the quality of food and its influence on health are persuading shoppers to take a greater interest in their food. The result: More visits to natural food stores and more sales of organic food.
Once upon a time, food used to be just food. Crops were grown on family farms, and animals were raised in barnyards. But today, corporations have conquered food production in a big way. Agribusiness is just that-a big business in which animals and plants are treated like assembly-line items and raised on factory farms.
While the term "organic" gets tossed around endlessly in the media, the term is often misconstrued. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones."
In addition, organic farmers generally do not use pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. This type of food is also produced without genetically modified organisms and is not subject to radiation used to zap the bugs on food. Today, USDA-approved certifying agents inspect the farms where organic food is raised to ensure organic standards are followed. In addition, the companies that process food and handle organic food have to be USDA-certified. Meeting these standards allows companies to use the USDA's organic label on foods that are at least 95% organic in origin. Labels for foods that contain between 70% and 95% organic content can use the words "Made With Organic Ingredients," but cannot use the seal.
While the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food has raged for decades, recent research is beginning to turn up evidence that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain extra helpings of vitamins and other nutrients. A study at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, found that organically grown oranges contain more vitamin C than conventional supermarket oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 6/02).
Theo Clark, PhD, the Truman State professor who investigated the organic oranges, says that when he and his students began their research, "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges" because they are larger than organic oranges. To his surprise, chemical isolation combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the organically grown oranges contained up to 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they were only about half the size. "We speculate that with conventional oranges, (farmers) use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and doesn't have as much nutritional value," Dr. Clark says. "However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration."
If you want to avoid pesticide residues in your food, research shows that going organic can make it much less likely that you or your family consumes these unwanted chemicals. Research, for instance, into the diets of children (Enviro Hlth Persp 3/03) shows that dining on organic fruits and vegetables, and organic juice, can lower kids' intake of pesticides.
These scientists took a look at the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide breakdown products in the blood of kids ages two to five who ate conventional supermarket produce and compared it with the OP found in organic kids.
The children on the organic diet had less OP in their blood than the other kids. As a matter of fact, the children on the conventional diet had six times the dimethyl metabolites, dimethyl being a pesticide suspected of affecting nerve function and growth. "Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides," note the researchers. "Organic foods have been growing in popularity over the last several years," says Jim Burkhart, PhD, science editor for the journal that published the study. "These scientists studied one potential area of difference from the use of organic foods, and the findings are compelling."
On the way to tonight's dinner, researchers have created genetically modified organisms (GMO), plants and animals that have been transgenically engineered. In the food world, that means organisms containing genes inserted from another species. Chances are if you eat food purchased at the typical supermarket, those comestibles contain GMO ingredients. In the United States, food companies are not required to label for GMO content.
A growing number of American consumers are upset about not being told about the GMO products in their food. But industry scientists, worried that informed consumers may someday turn their back on GMO foods, consider consumer ignorance to be an acceptable state of affairs.
For instance, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is fighting regulations that would require GMO labeling. According to ASPB President Daniel Bush, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana, "The language...(in these types of regulations) is based on a system of beliefs of what is 'natural,' rather than a scientifically defined set of criteria focused on content and nutritional value. This is a radical departure from food labeling up to now, which is designed to maximize useful information for consumers concerning what is in the food they are buying."
Dr. Bush continues, "There are, of course, examples of voluntary labeling standards in the food industry that reflect how foods are processed, such as organic foods. The voluntary organic labeling standards were sought by the organic food industry. Kosher foods are also labeled as having been produced in accordance with specific beliefs. However, mandatory labeling of targeted production methods has never before been required and we believe would obscure rather than clarify important issues of food safety."
In other words, Dr. Bush opposes GMO labeling because he feels it would unnecessarily stigmatize GMO food items. Others are not so sanguine about the safety of GMO foods.
The arguments against GMO foods include:
These types of risks have motivated industry groups to urge more regulation of GMO crops. The Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association, plus seven other food groups, are worried that GMO plants grown to produce pharmaceutical drugs could contaminate the food supply and destroy consumer trust in food.
Mary Sophos, a vice president of GMA, warns, "To minimize the possible risks, a clear system of regulatory enforcement and liability needs to be in place. Until then, no permits for new field trials or for commercialization should be issued because there is no room for trial and error."
These food industry groups have voiced their concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. Last year, the USDA forced ProdiGene Inc., a biotech firm, to dispose of 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with a drug meant to treat diabetes. What are the chances of more GMO accidents? No one knows. But if you buy and eat organic, you minimize your risk and maximize your chances of dining on safer food.