Search Term: " glutathione "
Powerful antioxidant helps us burn fat, lose weight and avoid premature aging
April 27, 2019 11:30 AM
Milk thistle is known for being good for the liver, but researchers are finding more and more evidence that points to an antioxidant called glutathione being a key component as well. The powerful antioxidant called glutathione allows our bodies to kick up their natural fat burning abilities which helps trigger weight loss in an almost effortless manner. Studies have also shown that a deficiency in glutathione can cause weight gain through a reduction in mitochondrial fat burning.
"Glutathione is synthesized from the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamate. But, as we age, two of these “building blocks” – cysteine and glycine – decline, causing shortfalls in glutathione production."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/antioxidant-lose-weight-2793.html
9 Health Benefits of Glutathione
January 02, 2019 05:17 PM
Glutathione is made of 3 combined amino acids and is found in alol cells of the body. Its function as an antioxidant is to protect the body cells and tissues from harm posed by free radicals.But it also serves to function as a protective agent in critical body systems, such as the liver, protecting against fatty liver disease, colitis, the endocrine system as it relates to insulin function. One can uptake their intake of this critical protein through supplements or simply by eating foods rich in this complex: broccoli, spinach, garlic, onions, chicken, fish and brown rice to name a few.
"The nutrient, glutathione, is touted by many people as one of the greatest nutritional supplements for preventing countless health conditions, from autism to weight loss and even cancer."
Read more: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-health-benefits-of-glutathione.html
Glutathione is the body's most important antioxidant
December 13, 2018 04:35 PM
Your body is something that you must do everything in your power to take care of. People should think that your body is like a car and in that car, you want to put the best gas in it so that it runs smoothly. A body is the same idea. Antioxidants are things that protect the body from disease. These things should be fostered and maintained to a high level. Glutathione could be the body's most important antioxidant.
"Unfortunately, many of us have very low levels of glutathione – and our bodies are suffering as a result."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-21-glutathione-is-the-bodys-most-important-antioxidant.html
Reduce your risk of developing an autoimmune disease withglutathione
November 21, 2018 12:15 PM
The 50 million Americans living with some kind of autoimmune disease share a deficiency of “master antioxidant” glutathione. Glutathione helps control and moderate the immune system, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, but lifestyle issues like lack of sleep, dietary factors, obesity and inadequate exercise can cause you to developed a glutathione deficiency. Supplements like N-acetyl-cysteine can help increase the amount of glutathione in your cells, while alpha-lipoic acid promotes recycling of oxidized glutathione. You can also address glutathione deficiency by eating a better diet and moderating your blood sugar.
"Research has shown that people with an autoimmune disease are always deficient in this antioxidant."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-24-glutathione-reduces-risk-for-autoimmune-disease.html
Glutathione holds the key to managing over 100 autoimmune diseasesknown today
November 02, 2018 01:51 PM
There are many people out there that are suffering with some form of disease. For someone who has been healthy all of their life, and never had any issue, this is very foreign to them. They do not know how it feels nor do they understand the amount of work it takes for regular treatments. However, it is important to know that there are some simple fixes to many autoimmune diseases out there in the world today.
"However, scientists have found that one disease-fighting antioxidant, glutathione, could be the key to keeping these types of illnesses under control."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-11-glutathione-holds-the-key-to-managing-over-100-autoimmune-diseases.html
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/
9 Health Benefits of Whey Protein + How to Choose the Right Product
November 24, 2017 07:59 AM
Whey protein can do a lot for your body. This talks about the benefits. It can also help you choose the right kind. There are many types of whey protein. It can be hard to choose. There are powders you can add to food or to drinks. There are also ready mixed drinks. If you can choose a good product you'll be happy with the results. Proteins are the building blocks your body needs to make muscle and other things.
"There are many benefits of whey protein, including its ability to increase strength, build muscles, burn fat, reduce cravings, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve energy, boost glutathione levels and immunity, and extend your life span."
Read more: https://draxe.com/whey-protein/
10 Reasons You should Be Taking curamed daily!
September 05, 2017 12:21 PM
Order Today! Call 1-800-877-8702
How antioxidants aid in healthy living: Vitamins C, E and beta carotene can help ward off a ...
March 02, 2017 12:59 PM
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources. These include fruits, vegetables and their juices.
"Among the antioxidants that our bodies utilize to protect us are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, glutathione, selenium, lutein and various polyphenols. These are very necessary ingredients that ward off a multitude of diseases."
For stress, superfoods are better than comfort foods
December 22, 2016 06:59 PM
There is probably no person in this world that hasn’t been under stress at some time in their life. Different people have different responses to stress. Things such as exercising are actually good for the body, whereas eating comfort foods can be very harmful. If you must munch on something when under stress, try instead to eat superfoods such as broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, oily fish, and fermented foods. Anything with high amounts of vitamin C will do, since it has been found that the supplement prevents spikes in cortisol. Sugary or caffeine-filled foods can have the opposite effect.
"Many of these 'superfoods' also work to boost glutathione in the body: an amino acid in charge of detoxification. So superfoods nourish and detoxify, and in this way, they combat stress."
For stress, superfoods are better than comfort foods
December 22, 2016 06:39 PM
There is probably no person in this world that hasn’t been under stress at some time in their life. Different people have different responses to stress. Things such as exercising are actually good for the body, whereas eating comfort foods can be very harmful. If you must munch on something when under stress, try instead to eat superfoods such as broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, oily fish, and fermented foods. Anything with high amounts of vitamin C will do, since it has been found that the supplement prevents spikes in cortisol. Sugary or caffeine-filled foods can have the opposite effect.
"Many of these 'superfoods' also work to boost glutathione in the body: an amino acid in charge of detoxification. So superfoods nourish and detoxify, and in this way, they combat stress."
How Glutathione Reduces Effects Of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease is an incurable chronic and movement disorder that results from the death of neuron cells of the substantia nigra area of the brain. The symptoms associated with this disease worsen as one ages.When the neurons die, they release a chemical called dopamine that is a neurotransmitter that relays messages to movement and coordination centers of the brain. As one ages, the dopamine level produced decreases making it hard for transmission of messages to this part of the brain responsible for movement and coordination. This makes the patient unable to control movement of body parts.
Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease:
How To Reduce Effects Of Parkinson's Disease:
PD currently has no cure. However, doctors do surgeries and other medical procedures on affected parts of the brain to reduce effects of this disease. Researchers worldwide agree that there could be a breakthrough in the treatment of this chronic disease with the administration of glutathione (GSH) to patients. The supplement works in the following ways:
Our bodies naturally produce glutathione which is an antioxidant. Its production however reduces progressively as one ages. Its main role is to fight free radicals which may build up to cause oxidative stress. Patients should thus take the glutathione supplement daily to help them fight this oxidative stress which causes PD.
glutathione also supports mitochondria. This ensures consistent energy production in mitochondria. This energy is useful in the fight of PD. glutathione makes the brain effectively use dopamine and detoxifies the body. This ensures that heavy metals which may attack the brain are regularly removed from the body. Numerous studies are however still underway to determine how this supplement can be used effectively. glutathione should not be taken orally as it is broken down in the gut before it can be used in the brain cells.
If You Want To Detox, Look To The Liver
The liver is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for processing toxins in it. This organ has been shown to have over five hundred vital functions including production of bile, metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, storing vitamins, and detoxification. This makes it very important to always detox it in order to keep it working at its best. Apart from getting rid of all the toxic substances that will have build up, here are some of the other benefits of liver cleansing.
Benefits of Liver Cleansing
Immune system support – Since the liver is responsible for the removal of toxins from the body, cleansing it makes your immune system stronger.
Supports whole body detox – As the liver removes toxic substances from the body, there are some little amounts of toxins that remains in it. With time there is buildup of too many toxins which will need you to detox it to make it work well again.
Increasing vitality - By cleansing the liver, you will have restored it to its peak working condition. This in turn will help breakdown fats thus make your skin look healthier and younger.
Weight loss – Cleansing promotes bile production which is used to break down fats. It is therefore important to detox if you want to lose weight.
How efficient your liver works depends on the constant supply of antioxidant nutrients to it. One of the major antioxidants that you can use to detoxification the liver is glutathione. This antioxidant enzyme protects the liver cells from radical damage and also protects them from environmental damage. It also protects the liver cells from toxic substances that are produced by the body itself. Another antioxidant that has proven to be one of the most potent liver-protecting substances is silymarin. It I responsible for the stimulation of new liver cells production and can even stimulate glutamine levels up to 35 percent. It is very important to cleanse your liver regularly to always keep it clean and realize these health benefits.
Is Glutathione The Fountain Of Youth?
glutathione has created huge excitement in the medical world. Many experts believe that finally they have found the secret to eternal youth. Although glutathione is naturally produced in our liver, but it gradually depletes as we age. Hence, it should be taken from external sources. glutathione can be taken via pills. It can also be injected into our body through our veins.
glutathione, the Fountain of Youth
What Are The Signs Of Liver Damage?
The liver is one of the largest and powerful organs of your body. It protects all the tissues from damage by filtering out the toxins from the bloodstream. It is able to repair the damaged tissues as well. You can make your liver healthy with some supplements like milk thistle and glutathione. A healthy liver can help your filtration system to work more effectively.
Do you want to know about the signs of liver damage? When your liver does not work properly, you might notice some physical changes in your body and some discomfort in different areas of your body.
Common Signs of Liver Damage
Nausea. Nausea is one of the first signs of liver damage. You might feel like vomiting. It can be short-lived and you can also experience it for a long time. If you leave it untreated, it will be debilitating after a period of time.
Abdominal Swelling. A damaged liver can cause an imbalance of protein and other helpful compounds that will ultimately head to abdominal swelling and water build ups in different parts of the body. The water buildup in the tissues can cause swelling in your feet, hands, and ankles as well.
Fatigue. Another sign is fatigue and tiredness. You will not only feel exhausted and tired mentally, it will also affect your brain. You will feel tired both physically and mentally throughout the day.
Jaundice. Jaundice is one of the signs of the liver damage. If you find yellow skin, yellow eyes, and yellow nails then it is important to see your doctor soon to protect your liver from the permanent damage. Always remember that Jaundice can be fatal.
Reducing Age-Related Decline by Boosting Glutathione
November 26, 2016 04:59 PM
A research team at Oregon State University has determined that glutathione may help ward off toxins that are an underlying cause of aging. glutathione levels decline with age, which opens the door for a broad range of age-related health issues. High levels of it in conjunction with NAC may help reduce the toxicity of cancer chemotherapies, certain prescription drugs, and treat other health problems. The researchers concluded that Using NAC as a prophylactic, instead of an intervention, may allow glutathione levels to be maintained for detoxification in older adults,
"Hagen said that glutathione is such a vital antioxidant that its existence seems to date back as far as oxygen-dependent, or aerobic life itself."
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and its Protection of the Liver
SOD consists of enzymes that speed up the break-down or partition/dismutation of the superoxide (O2-) radical into its constituent molecular content Oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. Superoxide is harmful to cells and is produced as a by-product of oxygen metabolism; therefore it needs to be controlled or regulated. The resultant Hydrogen peroxide is also harmful but to a less extent, and it is further broken down by other enzymes like catalase, This sums up the crucial role played by Superoxide Dismutases (SOD) as an important antioxidant in almost all living organism exposed to oxygen.
SOD extracted or laboratory manufactured can be used as a medicine orally or taken as an injection. When taken orally it is believed to remove wrinkles, rebuilding tissue, and prolonging life; even though it is not proven that orally administered SOD is absorbed by the body. When injected it functions as a painkiller, treatment of inflammation caused by sports injuries, osteoarthritis, kidney condition known as interstitial cystitis, gout, cancer, lung problems in infants among others.
A critical role played by SOD IS the protection of the Liver; which is one of the most crucial organ in the body for it is engaged in high-level metabolism in its function of detoxifying chemicals, breakdown of drugs and conversion of certain food into necessary nutrients for the body. These processes entail the high use of oxygen needed by the liver cells in the effort to function optimally and thus the production of the harmful Superoxide as a by-product. SOD as an enzyme helps to break down this harmful by-product that is potentially harmful to the liver cells and consequently prevent tissue damage.
SOD also prevents oxidative tissue damage of the liver as the result of strenuous exercise. Exhausting exercise or running causes a significant surge in the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and xanthine oxidase (XO), and in addition to increased levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in liver tissue immediately after the activity. Scientific studies have revealed that effective protection of the liver against such oxidative damages requires increased dosage of the antioxidant SOD.
Improving Liver Health - Does NAC Help Improve Liver Health?
All organs in our body have purposes why they exist. This includes our football size liver. Many people take their liver health for granted. Since it is an internal organ, we do not see the actual effects of toxins and unhealthy lifestyle as they slowly destroy the liver. However, we might feel the results from time to time. Our liver has the size of a football, making it a star football player in our digestive system where everything passes through it. It cleanses the blood by taking away hazardous chemicals, converting the liquid into bile, which is then used to break down fat from the food we eat. The liver also stores glucose, a sugar that quickly boosts energy. So how do we take care of our liver?
How to Take Care of Liver Health
It is okay to enjoy and have fun, but to do it every day with a lot of alcohol is dangerous. Drinking too much alcohol leads to the swelling of liver cells.
Controlling what you eat and good amount of exercise will help you avoid non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, a condition that might lead to severe liver damage.
There are some medicines such as Tylenol and cholesterol drugs that may hurt your liver when taken in uncontrolled doses. Also avoid taking medicines with alcohol, because they are not a good combination, or joining different drugs together.
Many studies say that liver diseases are caused by the lack of glutathione or GSH in our body. That is why NAC comes to the rescue.
NAC is a small protein powerful to restore intracellular level of glutathione or GSH, an effective antioxidant. The GSH is most needed by those who have liver diseases because it protects the liver against toxicity. When you are suffering from stress caused by a chronic liver disease, there is the reduction of glutathione, which is why there is a need to supplement it. NAC also helps to protect against present liver damages by reducing a wide range of chronic, deteriorating issues which include liver inflammation and impaired glucose control.
Taking good care of our liver health is like grooming a football superstar. Always watch out of the things you are doing to it.
Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?
August 08, 2014 10:01 PM
What is thyroid glands
Human thyroid glands are small glands with a very important function. The major function of thyroid glands is to regulate body metabolism.
There are two main hormones produced by thyroid glands; thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of these 2 hormones is based on the feedback mechanism of hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These hormones influence every body cells- they control the rate at which your body accumulates and uses fat, help to regulate body temperature and also heart rate. In addition, thyroid glands produce calcitonin, a very important hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. There are the major types of thyroid diseases, Thyroid cancer, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Benign disease. But what is the role of selenium in thyroid functions?
Selenium deficiency is not common in healthy adults, but it is common in people with digestive disorders causing low absorption, or those with severe inflammation arising from chronic infection. Research shows that low selenium does not cause illness by itself, but due to its role in immune functions, it makes a body susceptible to biochemical, nutritional and infectious diseases.
But this does not mean that selenium has no direct influence on thyroid functions. Adequate selenium supports the production of thyroid hormones, protects thyroid glands from the adverse effects of excess iodine in the body, and will also improve body metabolism.
Importance of selenium
Selenium is very important and it is always healthy to ensure your normal selenium level. For example, selenium supplements are used to treat autoimmune thyroid condition. Studies have found that selenium supplementation lowers thyroid inflammation. These findings are backed by the fact that selenium increases thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activity, and also lowers the toxic concentration of lipid hydro peroxides and hydrogen peroxides which results from the production of thyroid hormones.
Selenium prevents thyroid tissue damage. Selenium is very important because it lowers the level of thyroid peroxides in the blood. In addition, selenium is vital for conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormones. Low T3 causes hypothyroidism.
How to obtain selenium?
If you think your body is deficient of selenium, it is good to seek medical care immediately. Thyroid glands are very important for the body functions. Selenium supplement is a good solution to thyroid function. But long term use of selenium supplement would cause other complications such as white blotchy nails, hair loss, gastrointestinal upsets, fatigue, irritability, garlic breath odor, and mild nerve damage. In addition, very high selenium in the body may cause hyperthyroidism. In addition, clinical test for use of selenium supplements has found that it predisposes users to the risk of prostate cancer. Though this has not yet been proven. This makes selenium rich foods the best way to increase the level of selenium in the body. Some of the food rich in selenium includes; crimini mushrooms, shrimp, tuna, cod, scallops, chicken, halibut, salmon, shiitake mushrooms, brazil nuts, lamb eggs, and turkey. Brazil nut is particularly very rich in selenium, taking one or two in a day will significantly improve the selenium level and also boost your immune system.
Is selenium important for thyroid function?
Yes, selenium level is very important and low selenium.
Difference between Vitamin B-12 Cobalamine
January 06, 2014 01:58 PM
Vitamin B-12 occurs in many formations.
The different formations of vitamin B-12, based on the functional group,is called cobalamine. The naturally occuring form in the human body is the dibencozide while the most common supplemented forms being the cyanocobalamine and methylcobalamine.
Differences between cyanocobalamine and methylcobalamine:
1. Cyanocobalamine has the presence cyanide ligand on the cobalamine and it is very stable and has a longer shelf live.Methylcobalamine, on the other hand, is an active cobalamine and has methyl ligand present in it.
2. Cyanocobalamine is converted into methylcobalamine in the body. The glutathione present in the human body removes the cyanide ligand and replaces it with methyl group. Cyanocobalamine is not recommended for persons who smoke as cyano group fails to detach in persons who intake tobacco. And hence the intake of cyanocobalamine can be fatal for smokers. It is also not recommended for those having liver failure since the glutathioneis formed in liver and hence if there is no glutathione the cyanide ligand cannot be detached and can pose threat to the body.4. At 1mcg dose cyanocobalamine is absorbed at 49.2% while methylcobalamine at 44.4%5. At 5 mcg dose cyanocobalamine is absorbed at 20.4% while methylcobalamine at 18.8%6. At 25 mcg cyanocobalamine is absorbed at 5.6% and methylcobalamine at 6.1% This indicates that cyanocobalamine is absorbed in the body better than methylcobalamine.The difference in the absorption can be attributed to the mass and the molecular structure of cyanocobalamine.Cyanocobalamine is cheaper than methylcobalamine and it has prolonged shelf life compared to other cobalamine forms. It appears as crystals synthesis and is red in color. Although the food rich in vitamin B-12 is enough for the body to meet the daily requirements, deficiency of this vitamin leads to disturbance in the sleep pattern, feeling of tingling in the body parts, numbness, etc
Can L-Glutathione Help The Liver Detox?
November 22, 2013 10:25 PM
What is L – glutathione
L – glutathione can be defined as a non-protein thiol present in the body (especially in the liver). It can protect the body’s cells from free radical damage, and plays an important role in the detoxification of the body. There are many aspects of L – glutathione that will explain why it is so beneficial to the body. One of its main aspects is the tremendous ability to detoxify the entire body. With this in mind, it is possible for it to help with the detoxification of the liver. So how does it work?
The liver is the body’s main organ of detoxification. It is also the body’s most concentrated source of L – glutathione. Studies have proven that low levels of this non-protein thiol will lead to poor liver function. This in turn will result with more toxins circulating through the body leading to damage to individual organs and cells. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why sometimes doctors use L – glutathione promoting drugs to detoxify people who have overdosed on certain drugs.
Apart from being able to detoxifying organs of the body including the liver, L – glutathione is able to protect cells of the same organs. A liver that has been detoxified will need to have cell protection if it is to remain at optimal performance. L – glutathione helps to prevent free radical damage of cells. Since the liver is made of cells, it can stay healthy when there is sufficient supply of L- glutathione. It also helps to metabolize carcinogens and toxins.
Some foods (meats, vegetables and fruit) contain it, and the body can make its own in the liver. In the event that there has been extensive damage to the liver, other stronger sources of L- glutathione might be needed for detoxification of the same. In this instance, either the victim will have to get the non-protein thiol intravenously or by use of supplements. It is therefore true that L- glutathione can help the liver detox.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Amino Acid Glutathione?
January 30, 2013 12:33 PM
glutathione is a naturally occurring substance produced by the liver that acts as a very good antioxidant. Apart from being produced in the body, glutathione is also found in some fruits and vegetables, and also detoxifies and boosts the human immune system. glutathione is a very exciting and important discovery, as it can do all this, and much more. Experts who have been researching glutathione over the years have found out that it can also treat and repair the damage caused to the body by various factors like pollution, radiation, poor diet, stress, drugs, aging, burns, injury, trauma and infection. glutathione is found in almost every cell of the body, and acts as a very important antioxidant. It is also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Anyone with a decent diet should not have to worry about not having enough glutathione in their system.
What is it that glutathione does for your body, anyway?
Well, to put it simply, glutathione helps keep your cells functioning properly. It also assists the liver in freeing the body of foreign agents like chemicals and pollutants. You might dismiss glutathione as not being of much importance, but its actual role comes into effect when you become severely ill. Not enough glutathione in your body can deteriorate chances of recovery, as it is essential in keeping your cells together and in good condition.
There are oral glutathione supplements available for people who don't have enough of it in their body. It has many health benefits like fighting against various diseases and aging. Some of the diseases where glutathione has been proved to effectively act include high blood pressure, cataracts, Parkinson's disease, cancer, male infertility and Alzheimer's disease. It is thus evident how beneficial glutathione is for the human body. Research is being done to explore the possibility of glutathione treating cancer, and some progress has been obtained. If we can successfully treat cancer with this powerful antioxidant, it will be a medical miracle.
Why Is Alpha Lipoic Acid The Best Antioxidant Supplement?
January 15, 2013 02:09 PM
Thiocitic acid, also called alpha lipoic acid, is a natural antioxidant found in the body cells. It has been used by several people since 1950s for various purposes. It's a fatty acid that prevents oxidative destruction precipitated by free radicals and also aids in the breakdown of glucose to release energy. The health benefits of alpha lipoic acid supplements are so many. Individuals suffering from diabetic neuropathy, premature skin aging and glaucoma can greatly benefit from the use of the antioxidant.
Water And Fat Soluble Antioxidant:
Thiocitic acid is soluble both in water and fats, therefore it reaches many parts of the cell to guard against free radical destruction. It's a potent antioxidant. Currently, these fatty acids are taken by many people in supplement forms. If you intend to use the antioxidant supplement, the following are some of the benefits of thiocitic acid.
This antioxidant is produced in the body and it can also be included in the diet; its use in the form of supplements is on the rise. When it is eaten in the form of supplement, it's converted into a very active form known as dihydrolipoic acid. It is also vital in the production of other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione.
Both thioctic acid and glutathione assist in liver detoxification. It attaches to the toxins in the body and assist in their elimination from the bloodstream. It's also vital in promoting good health of the liver. Alpha lipoic acid is also critical on the skin. It aids in cell regeneration and guards the skin against free radicals that precipitate aging of the skin. It assists in making the skin look younger and radiant. It may also help in decreasing wrinkles and fine lines. It is one of the most effective anti-aging supplements. It is sometimes called universal supplement. Benefits of thiocitic acid are not limited to skin, it's also vital in the treatment of conditions like neuropathy. Since it assists in changing glucose into energy, it can be important in losing weight.
What Are A List Of Detox Foods?
January 03, 2013 12:12 PM
A quick search online will undoubtedly result in you managing to come across a list of detox foods that various experts claim will help you to just cleanse your body of various toxins in an entirely natural way. There are clearly a number of health benefits associated with doing this, but prior to starting you do need to have a firm understanding as to which foods or herbs are the best and indeed some of these will now be discussed below.
First on the list is fruit in general and you should look at eating several pieces every single day in order to really get the benefit from them. The reason why they are so good is due to the amount of liquid that is contained within them and this helps the body to flush out those toxins and when you combine this with the number of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and nutrients, then you get a powerful food that can do you a lot of good.
Another food group that deserves to be on a list are your greens and the reason why the likes of spinach, kale, and chard are so good is thanks to the amount of chlorophyll that is contained within them. Chlorophyll is great as it boosts your digestive system, but more than that it has been shown to help your liver to detox itself and this is key since the liver plays a central role in your system due to it filtering waste and toxins and processing them correctly. You will also find that chlorophyll helps your body to clear out various environmental toxins that we breathe in on a daily basis and this alone can really improve your body.
One type of food that deserves to be mentioned on its own is garlic and you should certainly look at eating more of it on a regular basis due to the positive effects it has on your body. It is so important because it entices your liver into producing more of the correct enzymes that will lead to your body being able to detoxify itself and in particular to help remove those toxins from the digestive system, so do add it to your recipes as much as you can and you will certainly benefit from doing so.
Other types of foods that you may wish to consider include some raw vegetables and you may wish to juice them and have them that way rather than simply eating them. The main ones to look at include:
As with other things listed above they work by helping your liver to deal with the various toxins in your system. These vegetables are also good because of their naturally high levels of things such as glutathione and sulphur, so consider just eating them as nature intended to really benefit from doing so.
Finally, you should also consider using more herbs if you wish to detox and there are several that should play a key role due to their various properties. Two that you will have heard of are ginger and turmeric and they will tackle your immune system and your digestion process and by balancing them out it helps your body when it comes to getting rid of the toxins.
Others that should be included are gymnena due to it being good for your blood sugar levels, neem due to it helping to purify your blood, guduchi as it will cleanse your liver, and mangistha as this will boost your lymphatic system and since this is linked to your immune system you are going to need to have both working perfectly if you want your body to cleanse itself.
What has been attempted here is to point you in the direction of certain types of foods that can help you to detox rather than simply listing one after the other. You are advised to try to include as many as possible when going through the detox process and by doing so you will feel the benefit that comes from removing those toxins from your system and enjoy the increase in health and energy that comes with it.
Can Glutathione Taken Orally Be Effective?
December 28, 2012 04:12 PM
One of the main antioxidant found in the human body is glutathione. The chemical nature of it is made up of three amino acids together bound with tripeptide bonds. The many functions of glutathione in human body include gene expressions, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, etc. It has been noted that deficiency of this chemical in human body gives rise to diseases and problems like Parkinson's diseases, AIDS, epilepsy, sepsis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular troubles, trauma, Schizophrenia and many others.
The amino acid that is extracted from the protein containing food consumed by an individual helps in the formation of glutathione in the body itself. Many medical personalities might suggest the consumption of oral glutathione pills by those who have glutathione deficiency. It must however be noted that the answer to the question can glutathione taken orally be effective is a widely debated topic. Most of the recent medical tests and experiments suggest that although no forms of side effects are caused by oral consumption of this chemical as pills, but effectiveness of the medicine is not 100%.
The chemicals and organic supplements present in glutathione are not 100% absorbed by the body when it is taken orally. Without intravenous administration, this chemical would never provide the required results in maintaining a healthy body. The glutathione, when taken down orally, is partly broken in the digestive canal, especially in the small intestines through the enzymes that are present. Hence most of the benefits of this chemical would be lost adding to the cellular toxicity of the body if consumed orally. Most doctors and medical professionals suggest that instead of taking glutathione orally as pills, one should have food that is protein rich.
Consumption of protein rich food, especially protein shakes, in turn, adds to the intravenous glutathione production which is best suited for the body. Consuming NAC can help boost glutathione levels as well.
Where to buy Schizandra Fruit?
December 28, 2012 03:12 PM
The schizandra fruit health benefits
For those who heard about the schizandra fruit, they should know that this is actually a herb that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The part of the fruit that is used is actually the berry and in what regards its taste, it has the 5 tastes of pungent, bitter, salty, sweet and sour. This is actually a tonic that promotes good health and at the same time it will also help people with alleviating certain health problems.
Health benefits: Addresses Liver Complaints
Many herbalists consider this fruit to be hepato-protective, which means that it will protect people from liver damage. This is one of the most important organs in the human body because it deals with filtering toxins from the blood, it stores nutrients and it also helps the digestive process. At the same time, the fruit will also help with stimulating the growth of liver cells and improve the overall function of the liver.
The fruit's seeds contain deoxyschizandrin, schizandrol, gamma-schizandrin and lignans schizandrin which basically help out with stimulating the production of glutathione. For those who don't know that this is, they should know it's a vital anti-oxidant that's involved in many of the liver's detox processes. It seems the schizandra fruit is also really effective in treating fatty liver, chronic hepatitis and other types of liver diseases.
The schizandra fruit is also used as an adaptogen which increases the body's resistance to stress and it also balance the functions of the rest of the bodily organs. On top of that, it is very useful for forgetfulness, insomnia and anxiety.
Improves Respiratory Problems
Last but not least, the fruit is used very much in Chinese traditional medicine in order to strengthen the lungs and kidneys. Those suffering from influenza, cough and asthma will benefit greatly from this fruit.All available at VitaNet(R) LLC
What Is Glutathione Good For?
April 14, 2012 08:03 AM
What is glutathione?
glutathione (GSH)is a tripeptide derived from non-proteinaceous amino acids. Contains apeptide bond between the group unusual amino of the cysteine group and the carboxylside chain of glutamate. glutathione, an antioxidant, helps protect cells from reactive species of oxygen such as free radicals and peroxides. glutathione is nucleophilic at sulfuracceptors and conjugated electrophilic attack poisonous. Groups thiolare maintained in a reduced state to a concentration of about ~ 5 mM in animal cells. Indeed, glutathione reduces any link disulfideformed with in proteins cytoplasmic cysteines by acting as a donor of electrons.In the process, glutathione is converted to its oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). glutathione is found almost exclusively in its reduced form, since the enzyme that turns its oxidized form, glutathione reductase,is constitutively active and inducible to oxidative stress.In fact, the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione in cells is often used scientifically as a measure of cellular toxicity. H2O2+ GSSG + 2 ------- 2GSH H2O.
Advantages of the glutathione
Before discussing the benefits of L-glutathione, let's first talk a little about the nutrient. glutathione is an antioxidant enzyme dominant which is soluble in water.It is absorbed mainly in the liver.It helps fight against free radical damage.The free radical damage is harmful relatives. glutathione is involved in a variety of other functions in the body.
The function of glutathione - Benefits of glutathione
glutathione works in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, and amino acid transport.It helps in the metabolism of carcinogens and toxins.Immune system is improved through the use of glutathione, and contributes to the prevention of cellular oxidative damage, and activation of enzymes. glutathione also helps and maintains the functions of other antioxidants.
There is the possibility of a deficiency of glutathione. It usually occurs during aging.For example, it is seen in macular degeneration related to age, diabetes, and lung and gastrointestinal diseases. It may be the cause of pre-eclampsia, Parkinson's, AIDS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Where to get glutathione
Some sources of glutathione include fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and cantaloupe.It is found in vegetables such as avocados, potatoes, spinach, okra, acorn squash, and asparagus.It is found in most meats as well. Other sources of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, parsley, and not only provide GSH - glutathione peroxidase, but it also stimulates the body to make more BA.Since cooking destroys much of glutathione, you will get more to eat raw or steamed vegetables for the best benefits of glutathione.
Reduced glutathione is in a supplementation that we personally use a company called source naturals a Natural Product meeting the above requirements.The nutrient content in their signature product - Total Balance.
Prostate Prevention: Using Natural Means To Promote A healthy Prostate
October 12, 2011 11:51 AM
Overview of Prostate Health
Prostate health has been more of a concern for men in the recent decade, not really because it did not have any credence before but because now there is more effort in raising awareness. It also helps that more and more men are able to talk about it more comfortably out in the open and rightfully so compared to when men are ashamed to talk about it because in some ways they see it as losing their manhood due to the ability of poor prostate health to affect erectile functions. And when issues like this are involved some prefer to go down with the disease quietly rather than ask for help and talk about it.
So the improvement in awareness this past years has been a very positive change, more and more men are aware including me as to how prostate health is as important as breast health for women. Furthermore, aside from just being aware of the need to look into prostate health a little bit more, many men are also realizing the need to have alternative ways aside from medication to promote good prostate health and avoid having prostate cancer in the future.
The Natural Way To Better Prostate Health
All natural is all well and good but one thing that we need to remember here is that the key is prevention not treatment. There are so many natural products out in the market today which could benefit prostate health and aside from just supplementing there are things you can do as well to maintain good prostate health. Some recent researches has shown that low glutathione has been linked to higher risks of prostate cancer and so it would be a good idea to ensure that glutathione levels in the body are good. There are also herbs that promote prostate health and one well known herb is saw palmetto which is a native of the Atlantic seaboard region and is by far the most well researched prostate herb.
It has been proven to be helpful because of its contents like beta sitosterol which is a powerful compound that inhibits DHT(Dihydrotestosterone – male sex hormone) conversion from testosterone. It also has been proven to have properties that aid in the relief of any prostate enlargement and its symptoms. The next herb would be red clover which is a member of the pea family and contains a hefty amount of antioxidants which we all know fights off free radicals that cause cancer. Aside from herbs, activities like regular ejaculation can also help in such a way that it acts like a cleansing method for our prostate and experts say that 3 times a week should be enough. Exercise and diet as well can most definitely be helpful on keeping your systems healthy and making sure the right nutrients are taken in. And speaking of nutrients, some vitamins and minerals that are considered important for prostate health are Vitamin B6 and working in conjunction with the mineral Zinc it aids in the prevention of prostate enlargement or swelling. Lastly but certainly not the least, lycopene simply has powerful antioxidants that will prevent cancerous cells from proliferating thereby reducing the chances of prostate cancer.
What Is the Life Span Of Human Cells And How Do Antioxidants Help?
August 25, 2011 10:38 AM
The human body is composed of many different cells. These cells have varying functions as well as life span. The human cells, in general, are very complex. Some cells may last only within a day while others may be for life. Like for example, one blood component known as neutrophil lasts only within 24 hours. On the other hand, another blood component which is red blood cell has a life span of 120 days. One human cell which lasts for a lifetime is the stem cell. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells which are the source of blood cells. They supply the body throughout life both with red and white blood cells. Here is a brief outline of some cells of the human body with their corresponding life spans.
1. Granulocytes such as eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils – half day to 3 days
2. Stomach and colon lining cells – 2 to 4 days
3. Sperm cells – 2 to 3 days
4. Epithelial cells of the small intestines – 5 to 7 days
5. Platelets – 10 days
6. Skin epidermal cells – 14 to 28 days
7. Lymphocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells – 2 months to a year, but may vary
8. Pancreatic cells – a year or more
9. Bone cells – 25 to 30 years
As shown above, these human cells have an expected time of death. However, if the body is exposed to harmful toxins, their life span significantly decreases. As we know for a fact, the body undergoes many biological reactions almost every second. The reaction is called oxidation process which is essential to the body. However, such reaction has harmful by – products in the form of free radicals. Free radicals can cause the body significant damage. Free radicals can cause destruction and death of the healthy cells of the body and also affect the body’s cellular division. This kind of chemicals can potentially tamper DNA replication during cell division. Once cellular division is tampered, abnormal growths would likely happen. Aside from the naturally occurring free radicals, external stressors can also cause damage to the cells of the body. Some of these include pollutants, harmful chemicals and irritants. These harmful chemicals can potentially lead to the development of certain disease conditions such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer.
Fortunately, there are many antioxidants which can greatly help in the prevention of free radical damage by protecting the cells of the body. Antioxidants are molecules which can effectively prevent the oxidation of other molecules. There are many natural antioxidants found among plants and animals. Some common antioxidants are glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E. Other nutrients which have antioxidative property include beta – carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin A and selenium. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. Nuts, grains, meat, poultry products and fish are also good sources of such cell – protecting chemicals. In addition, dietary supplements of antioxidants are also widely available in the market. However, health experts highly suggest that before supplementation of antioxidants, medical evaluation must be done first to be completely safe.
How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
glutathione a Body Detox
glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and raising cellular toxicity.
glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.
Liver Protection With Lipoic Acid and R-Lipoic Acid
May 05, 2011 03:42 PM
Early biochemistry studies pioneered by Linus Pauling associated R-Lipoic acid with orthomolecular medicine in that proponents argued that it biological roles provide protection against diseases. Succeeding research in the latter half of the 20th century supported its status as an essential nutrient, but more recent studies proved that all it is produced in vivo by almost all mammals, including human beings. In the past few years Lipoic acid has been strongly linked to glutathione as its supplementation appears to raise levels of endogenous glutathione.
Strengthens Antioxidant Defense
Lipoic acid is believed to raise the antioxidant capacity of the human body. Its biological roles benefits all cells, most notably hepatocytes, the cells that make up a significant fraction of the liver. For one, it affects productions of glutathione throughout the body. glutathione is tripeptide that protects cells from the damage caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals. Furthermore, it is a major transport of toxins found in the systemic circulation, facilitating their excretion through the urine.
R-Lipoic acid has been observed to be the form of Lipoic acid that is capable of activating nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2-like 2, commonly abbreviated as NFE2L2, the protein that binds to DNA sequences responsible for regulating the antioxidant defense of the human body. Proponents believe that oral intake of R-Lipoic acid produces more visible results than its racemic counterparts.
Displays Higher Bioavailability
Research on Lipoic acid is one of the most advanced, starting in the 20th century and spanning over 5 decades. It is widely accepted that the forms available in the market are not bioequivalent. Most of the studies in the 1950’s utilize the enantiomer S-Lipoic acid and R/S-Lipoic acid race mixture because they were cheaper to produce. Recent developments in chiral chemistry have increasing allowed for large-scale productions of R-lipoic acid.
Many scientists today believe that R-Lipoic acid is superior to racemic forms. Its rate and extent in availability after oral administration has been noted to be far better, and thus its efficacy is expected to be more remarkable. It is postulated that its higher bioavailability allows it to effective fill the roles of endogenous lipoic acid, not to mention manage to influence the master regulator of antioxidants.
Shows Vitamin-like Properties
The popularity of R-Lipoic acid lies in vitamin-like properties. Researchers are particularly enthusiastic about its purported benefits on human health, though more studies are needed. It is one of the organic compounds needed for enzyme function just like vitamins, and supplementation is believed to produce preventative benefits against diseases. Its pervasive roles at the cellular level enable it to affect energy metabolism, leading to healthy weight loss.
Can N-Acetyl Cysteine Boost Liver Health And Function?
February 10, 2011 12:31 PM
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) And The Liver
N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC is an antidote for poisonous effects of paracetamol overdose. It targets the cells in the liver, raising their capacity to deal with harmful metabolites. There are a number of researches well underway that scrutinizes a variety of medical conditions for which this compound could be of use. It is a known precursor of antioxidants and in itself a scavenger of peroxides and free radicals.
Hepatocytes are the cells that take on most of the functions of the liver and account for more than 70 per cent of the liver’s total mass. These cells are responsible for the presystematic metabolism of drugs, also known as the first-pass effect, rendering most drugs innocuous before they are released into the bloodstream. The total amounts of bioactive substances that are distributed to the rest of the body are also largely regulated by hepatocytes, notably carbohydrates. In addition, they are involved in the biosynthesis of protein, cholesterol, phospholipids, and bile salts as well as the functional reserves for protein.
Hepatocytes and Toxins
Certain drugs produce toxins when broken down by hepatocytes. A classic example is the metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is a toxic compound, a probable carcinogen, and an air pollutant emitted by combustion of cars and tobacco smoking. While hepatocytes are known for their detoxifying responses to toxic substances entering the body, the metabolism of toxins actually takes up a great deal of time, resulting in certain toxins getting released into the bloodstream prior to first-pass effect.
That being said, continued exposure to toxins wears down hepatocytes, and high concentrations of what we refer to as poisons is certain to bring damage to the liver. This is what happens during overdose of paracetamol, or acetaminophen. In an effort to metabolized excessive amounts of the drug, the liver cells produce by-products that are essentially poisons, which under normal circumstances can be contained well.
NAC and glutathione Production
The major antioxidant synthesized by the human body called glutathione comes to the liver’s defense when toxic by-products are produced. Hepatocytes in particular are so dependent on glutathione in the quenching of toxins that it has been observed that any challenge to the manufacture of this endogenous antioxidant will ultimately result in liver failure.
glutathione is released by hepatocytes in large amounts especially during the metabolism of alcohol and drugs, but during overdose the ravaging activities of ethanol or drug metabolites overwhelm the detoxifying effects of antioxidant reserves in the body. Simply put, the defense mechanisms in the employ of the body have limits. NAC resolves this problem.
The presence of NAC in the body augments the liver’s ability to produce the needed amounts of glutathione to effectively counter the harmful properties of invasive substances. In fact, the liver completely recuperates in a matter of weeks even after life-threatening conditions given that NAC is introduced in the human body in time to avoid subsequent damages to other vital organs. Indeed its application has proven to save lives in fatal cases of paracetamol poisoning.
N-Acetyl Cysteine is available at your local or internet vitamin store in capsule or tablet forms. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy for better liver health.
Have you had your NAC today?
Lycopene is More than Just a Tomato Extract!
February 08, 2011 04:38 PM
Lycopene is a naturally occurring antioxidant, and a very powerful one at that. Like beta-carotene, it is a carotenoid, a phytochemical that gives certain plants their orange or bright red pigmentation. While lycopene belongs to a group of carotenoids called carotene, known precursors of vitamin A, it does not get converted into vitamin A inside the human body, which is not a bad thing, inasmuch as lycopene in itself exhibits antioxidant properties that surpass the effects of vitamins.
Tomatoes are very rich in lycopene, and indeed consumptions of tomatoes have been reported to show the antioxidant properties of lycopene. Papayas, pink guavas, and watermelons are also good sources of this compound, but the plant source identified to have the highest concentrations of lycopene is Gac, in English also known as Sweet Gourd, a bright red fruit native to Southeast Asia and largely unknown to the rest of the world. With that, a significant fraction of the total lycopene consumption worldwide is derived from tomatoes.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
Chemical reactions in the human body that respond to the presence of oxygen are part of a process called oxidation, which takes place everywhere else in nature. These reactions entail a change in the oxidation number of atoms or molecules involved in the movement of electrons between molecules inside the body, giving rise to toxic by-products collectively known as reactive oxygen species.
When cells produce the energy that they use to power their physiological functions, they also produce reactive oxygen species, or ROS, which is now believed to be a key factor in the progression of physical infirmities associated with the aging process of human beings and other mammals. That being said, ROS are actually in the employ of the immune system, and particularly effective against pathogens, which may be invasive extracellular matter or harmful microorganisms.
Every single cell make use of enzymes that change the chemical makeup of unnecessary ROS, which must always be kept in check as they damage cells even at low amounts. These enzymes outmaneuver the damaging activities of ROS, thereby protecting the cells. In spite of that, the human body is known to produce more ROS as we age or during long-standing exposure to stress.
Lycopene versus ROS
One type of ROS is singlet oxygen, a form of oxygen that is highly reactive to free radicals. In fact, singlet oxygen is a known catalyst of free radicals especially when it gets excited at the molecular level. Lycopene is the best known carotenoid to counter the damaging effects of singlet oxygen in the human body, and reported to have antioxidant properties far superior to vitamin E and glutathione.
The good thing about lycopene is that its bioavailability compounds when exposed to heat, so cooking tomatoes actually brings out the goodness of this chemical compound. Lycopene acts against the proliferation of cancer cells in a number of mechanisms, and, to date, there have been innumerable reports in support of the role of lycopene against most known types of cancer.
Have you had your Lycopene today?
You can protect your liver and more with Milk thistle Extract
December 23, 2010 09:48 PM
Milk Thistle Benefits
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver problems for centuries. Its Latin name is Silybum marianum which explains the name of its main flavanoid complex, silymarin, which is obtained from the seeds. Milk thistle offers both a regenerative and a boosting effect to the liver, improving its effect on toxins while enabling it to recover from damage caused by cirrhosis, hepatitis and the effect of toxins and drugs.
Milk thistle also helps to reduce the cholesterol content of the blood and to improve the generation of glutathione, the body's master-antioxidant. Many studies have shown that milk thistle enables patients to survive longer after life-threatening liver conditions such as cirrhosis, and also protects it from the effects of sustained use of common drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and Paracetamol) that progressively damages liver cells, and also of many antipsychotics and antibiotics that have a similar effect.
There are no doubts that taking milk thistle does your liver a great deal of good and leaves it in a much healthier state than it found it.
Milk Thistle and Painkillers
Over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol and paracetamol are based upon a chemical known as acetominophen. Milk thistle can be used to reverse the damage that acetaminophen can cause to your liver if you catch it early enough. Here is how this form of painkiller can cause damage to your liver.
Acetaminophen undergoes processes known as sulfation and glucuronidation prior to being excreted from the body. This process is not harmful to the liver, and is a normal biochemical means of removing excess acetominophen from your body after it has done its work. However, if you have taken excess acetaminophen (>4g/day or 8x 500mg tablets) there is too much for the above process to handle, and a secondary biochemical route (the cytochrome p-450 system) is taken that generates an intermediate product known as NAPQI.
Normally, this NAPQI is safely metabolized by the antioxidant glutathione but if there is insufficient glutathione in your system then the NAPQI will destroy cells in your liver. That can occur if too much acetaminophen has been taken for the glutathione to handle, if alcohol is also involved or if the diet of the patient is nutritionally deficient. If left untreated this condition can be resolved only by a liver transplant, without which it is usually fatal. Milk thistle can help to repair this damage and survival is more likely with patients who take milk thistle than those that do not.
So if you take acetaminophen or drink alcohol on a regular basis, or you just want to protect your liver, what is stopping you from taking milk thistle?
How to detoxify from heavy metal aluminum toxitity
November 09, 2010 06:04 PM
Although aluminum is not a heavy metal, it can be toxic if present in excessive amounts or small amounts if it is deposited in the brain. Many of the symptoms of aluminum toxicity are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Aluminum toxicity can often lead to colic, rickets, gastrointestinal disturbances, poor calcium metabolism, extreme nervousness, anemia, headaches, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances, memory loss, softening of the bones, and weak, aching muscles. Since aluminum is excreted through the kidneys, toxic amounts of aluminum can often impair kidney function.
When aluminum salts accumulate in the brain, seizures and reduced mental function can often result. In order to reach the brain, aluminum must pass the blood-brain barrier, which is an elaborate structure that filters the blood before it reaches the vital organ. Although elemental aluminum does not ordinarily pass through this barrier, certain aluminum compounds, such as aluminum fluoride, will. Many municipal water supplies are treated with aluminum sulfate and fluoride. These two chemicals readily combine with each other in the blood and are poorly excreted in the urine. The absorption of high levels of aluminum and silicon in the intestines can result in the formation of compounds that accumulate in the cerebral cortex and prevent nerve impulses from being carried to and from the brain in the proper manner. This situation can be aggravated by a chronic calcium deficiency.
People who have spent their career in aluminum smelting plants for long periods have been known to experience dizziness, impaired coordination, and a loss of balance and energy. When aluminum accumulates in the brain, the above symptoms are often caused. Perhaps the most alarming thing to note it that there is evidence to suggest that long-term accumulation of aluminum in the brain may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been estimated that an ordinary person ingests about 3 and 10 milligrams of aluminum a day. Aluminum, being the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust, is primarily absorbed in the body through the digestive tract, but can also be absorbed through the lungs and skin. Additionally, aluminum can be absorbed by and accumulate in the body tissues. Since aluminum permeates our air, water, and soil, it can be found naturally in varying amounts in almost all food and water. Aluminum is also used to make cookware, cooking utensils, and foil, along with being present in many other everyday products including over-the-counter painkillers, anti-inflammatories, douche preparations, antacids, baking powder, food processing, antiperspirants, toothpaste, dental amalgams, bleached flour, grated cheese, table salt, beer, and municipal water supplies.
The following nutrients are very helpful when dealing with aluminum toxicity: apple pectin, calcium, magnesium, coenzyme A, garlic, kelp, lecithin capsules or granules, l-glutathione, a multivitamin and mineral complex, SAMe, vitamin B complex, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs are great for blocking damage to the body from toxic heavy metals and radiation when taken regularly: burdock root, Echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and fiber. Other recommendations to help prevent aluminum toxicity include maintaining a diet that is high in fiber and includes apple pectin; using only stainless steel, glass, or iron cookware, with stainless steel being the best; and being aware of the products that contain aluminum by reading labels and avoiding those that contain aluminum. Sulfur container foods like N-Acetyl Cysteine can help find up heavy metals and eliminate them from the body. If you suspect you have heavy metal toxicity, consult your health care provider immediately.
Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body
July 14, 2010 02:41 PM
glutathione is a simple protein that consists of three amino acids. These amino acids include glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Due to the chemical nature of sulphur-containing cysteine, glutathione is able to effortlessly donate electrons. This ability is the reason why it has powerful antioxidant properties. Intracellular glutathione status is a sensitive indicator of cellular health and of the cell’s ability to resist toxic challenges.
glutathione is an important water-phase antioxidant that is an essential component in the glutathione peroxidase system. glutathione peroxidase enzymes are crucial for detoxifying peroxides including hydrogen peroxide, which is generated within cellular membranes and lipid-dense areas of the cell, especially the mitochondrial membrane. Severe glutathione depletion often leads to cell death, while experimental glutathione depletion has been found to induce cellular apoptosis.
A cellular level of glutathione depletion seems to cause extensive damage to the mitochondria. Depletion of mitochondrial glutathione may, in fact, be the ultimate factor that determines a cell’s vulnerability to oxidative(free radical) attack. The mitochondria is the most crucial place for glutathione presence, as the cascade of oxidation-reduction reactions complete the final steps in respiration take place here. Throughout this process, which is called oxidative phophorylation, electrons invariably escape and react with the ambient oxygen in order to generate toxic free radicals. It has been estimated that 2% to 5% of the electrons that enter the mitochondria are converted into reactive oxygen species that generate considerable oxidative stress for the cell. These free radicals cause an immediate threat to other cellular components, such as the DNA, enzymes, structural proteins, and lipids.
The cumulative damage that is caused by oxygen and other free radical species is now determined to be the principal contributor to the degenerative disease process and the progressive loss of organ function that is commonly recognized as aging. Because of this, the cell is constantly challenged to destroy these free radicals before they can inflict any lasting damage. Minimizing oxidative attacks may actually be the ultimate challenge of being alive. Because of this, the reducing power of glutathione is of huge important to the cell.
glutathione is important for helping to regenerate other antioxidants that are depleted from their constant work to fight off free radical challenges. Regeneration that is glutathione-induced may be the mechanism that is actually used by the cell in order to conserve lipid-phase antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, and the carotenoids. It has been confirmed by recent investigations that dietary vitamin C can actually protect us against tissue damage that results from glutathione depletion.
Additionally, supplementation with glutathione or its precursors can also quickly replenish any vitamin C deficiencies. Because of this, glutathione and ascorbic acid, both of which are pre-eminent cellular antioxidants, are tightly linked, as glutathione can conserve vitamin C and vitamin C can conserve glutathione. When they are both present, these two antioxidants protect the entire spectrum of biomolecules that are found within the cell, as well as facilitate the cell’s best performance. It has been said that the glutathione status of a cell may be the most accurate single indicator of the health of the cell. This means that as glutathione levels go, the health of the cell will go as well.
glutathione is available in capsule or tablet form at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the glutathione supplement you choose to purchase for consumption.
May 08, 2009 10:00 AM
L-Cysteine is what is known as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be biosynthesized by the body and hence not an essential part of your diet. Due to its possessing a thiol side chain, it is termed a hydrophilic amino acid with an affinity for aqueous systems. Because of this it is relatively highly reactive, and is therefore an important component of a large number of enzymes and proteins.
Although, after all, it is not an essential amino acid, deficiencies can occur in the young and in the old, and also in those suffering certain metabolic diseases. Dietary sources include high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, dairy products and vegetables such as cereals, broccoli, garlic and onions.
The biochemistry of this amino acid begins with another amino acid known as serine, and also methionine. The latter is fist converted to homocysteine, which is then combined with serine to form cystathionine. This is then converted into cysteine and alpha- ketobutyrate. The thiol group is highly reactive and gives cysteine its biological properties.
L-Cysteine possesses strong antioxidant properties due to the thiol group which easily undergoes redox reactions. However, it is for its detoxification effect on the body that the amino acid is mainly taken as a supplement. It is, therefore, these properties that we shall discuss first.
Cysteine can reduce the toxic effects of alcohol, such as a hangover or the more serious liver damage. The by-product of alcohol metabolism that does most damage and is responsible for the majority of the negative after-effects of excessive alcohol consumption is acetaldehyde. L-Cysteine converts acetaldehyde into the more acceptable acetic acid, and so prevents the aldehyde from having too much of a negative effect on your health and well-being. However, the results obtained from such studies have been from animals only, and the therapeutic effects of cysteine have not yet been tested on humans.
What has been tested and is known is that L-cysteine is effective in the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. A common source of heavy metal toxicity is mercury from amalgam fillings in the teeth. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 1989 that dental amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, many people still have them in their mouths.
The thiol group and L-cysteine has a high affinity for mercury and other heavy metals, as previously stated, and a supplement can be used to remove from the body any mercury leached from mercury-based tooth fillings. It can also be used to bind to copper, lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are particularly toxic to the human body, and even though lead is no longer used in plumbing or paints, and cadmium in toys or paints, there are still many sources of these two heavy metals available that can lead to human toxification.
An L-cysteine supplement can be used to remove these heavy metals from the body. Any proteins containing cysteine will tightly bind heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, molybdenum, cobalt and mercury, and allow them to be excreted by the body in the usual fashion. This direct involvement in heavy metal detoxification is a very useful property of this amino acid.
Another detoxification application of L-cysteine is in direct involvement in protecting cellular glutathione levels, and also the prevention of the death of liver cells by acetaminophen poisoning. The latter is of particular interest to many people since acetaminophen is better known as paracetamol, and since this is a freely available over-the-counter drug, overdoses are not unknown. The result of an overdose is the necrosis of liver cells, with eventual liver failure and death.
The treatment of choice is N-acetylcysteine. If used within 10 hours of the overdose it is extremely effective, and even from 16 to 24 hours it is better than other controls. It is believed that the acetylcysteine liberates cysteine which, when available to the liver, enables the biosynthesis of glutathione. glutathione can then maintain the production of the fifth metabolite required for the specific detoxification of the paracetamol/acetaminophen.
L-Cysteine is also an essential component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, an enzyme essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also a very important component of hair, from which it is commercially produced. Without an adequate intake of L-cysteine the growth of healthy hair would not be possible.
There are several supplemental uses of L-cysteine including the treatment of bronchial conditions for which the amino acid can help to liquefy and clear mucus from the airways and lungs. It is also used to protect against side effects of chemotherapy treatment of cancers and for medical treatments for excessive exposure to radiation.
However, there are certain situations in which L-cysteine should be avoided when at all possible. Diabetics should not use it, and neither should those suffering from cystinuria, whereby large quantities of amino acids, including cystine, are excreted in their urine. L-cystine, incidentally, is formed by oxidation of L-cysteine.
Paradoxically the amino acid is one of the several hundred additives made to tobacco by the cigarette companies. Although, as with the majority of tobacco additives, its purpose is unknown there are two possible reasons for its inclusion. L-Cysteine is a known expectorant, so it could be added to promote the expectoration of mucus in the lungs which is promoted by smoking, and it also increases the production off the antioxidant glutathione that is depleted in smokers.
There are several other non-medical uses for the amino acid, but it is for is its detoxification properties that it is most used as a supplement. However, because it is largely derived from human hair or duck feathers, it may not be classed as kosher or halal in spite of many claims made to that effect, though the more expensive source of microbial fermentation from corn sugar can be.
The substance is recognized as safe by the FDA, and must be labeled as L-cysteine when it is present in a preparation intended for its therapeutic effects. Keep in mind however, that it should be avoided by diabetics.
May 02, 2009 11:41 AM
Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is not synthesized by the body, and so has to be taken as part of your diet. It also contains sulfur, one of two sulfur-containing amino acids that can form proteins, the other being cysteine. It is a precursor for taurine, which is an aminosulphonic acid, and not strictly an amino acid, which together with cysteine supports the health of your cardiovascular system and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
Maintenance of Cell Membranes
It is also an important intermediary in the maintenance of cell membranes. Phospholipids are fat-soluble components of the cell membrane, phosphatidylcholine being a very important example. Also known as lecithin, this substance is derived from choline, itself biosynthesized in a chemical pathway involving S-adenosylmethionine.
This substance is made in the body from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and methionine with the help of the enzyme methionine adensosyltransferase. Known as SAM (or SAM-e), S-adenosylmethionine employs a number of metabolic pathways in its reaction, though generally aminopropylation, transmethylation and transsulfuration. These add aminopropyl, sulfo and methyl groups to a number of substances, the most common being the methylation of proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.
Phosphatidylcholine is produced by the enzyme-catalyzed sequential methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, SAM donating the methyl groups. The maintenance of the integrity of the cellular membrane by phosphatidylcholine is critical to all of the basic processes in human biology, including communication between cells, flow of information and bioenergetics.
A by-product of this reaction is homocysteine, formed in the liver from the S-adenosylhomocysteine that SAM is changed to after donating methyl groups. Excess homocysteine in the blood can create the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. SAM is also of use in the treatment of depression and of arthritis.
Creatine is a substance well known to athletes as being useful in provide short-term energy for high-intensity training. Although available in the diet, about 50% creatine used by the body is biosynthesized from methionine and two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. It allows a burst of energy lasting about 10 seconds, carried out without the use of glycogen reserves or fatty tissue.
Glycine and arginine combine to release ornithine as a by-product, and form guanidino acetate. SAM donates a methyl group to the latter to form creatine, about 95% of which is then stored in the skeletal muscle tissue. The stored creatine phosphate has the effect of allowing the muscle cells to hold more water, which also enables an enhanced level of protein synthesis, and hence an increase in muscle bulk, which also results from the increased blood flow resulting from the short-term high-intensity exercise that creatine allows.
Creatine can also increase the levels of MRF4 (myogenic transcription factor), resulting in an increasing in the myonuclei provided by satellite cells to damaged muscle tissue, that not only repair damaged muscle fibers, but also increase their ability to grow.
Detoxification of the Liver
Substances that help the liver to process fats, or lipids, are known as lipotropic, and the important lipotropics in human biochemistry are imositol, betaine, choline and methionine. They prevent fat from accumulating in the liver, and methionine is also useful in its effect of glutathione. This is a substance that helps the liver to neutralize toxins, such as excessive doses of acetaminophen, and its supplies are regulated by methionine.
Methionine and Autism
Research into autism is closely studying the Methionine/glutathione Transsulfuration Pathway. This pathway is a very important biochemical means of detoxification, whereby toxins are methylated and then excreted. This pathway seems to be disrupted in autistic individuals.
Not only that, but disruption can lead to oxidative stress which results in many health problems. An example of this is the build-up of the oxidant homocysteine when there is insufficient Vitamin B6 to convert it into cysteine. This has been discussed previously, and is discussed again below.
Although research is in its infancy, it appears that AIDS sufferers also have decreased levels of methionine in their blood. It is believed that the process of AIDS could be linked to this, particularly the dementia that can occur as a result of the deterioration of the nervous system.
It is also hoped that it can help with some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and pancreatitis. Initial research into this use of methionine has been very promising, as are studies into its use for urinary tract infections. It appears to operate like cranberry in this respect, preventing bacteria from attaching to the cell walls and multiplying in the urinary tract.
Methionine is believed to be essential for the formation of collagen, and for healthy pliable skin, hair, nails and other forms of connective tissue. For this reason it is often used as a supplement for the treatment of arthritis, although an excess should be avoided for reasons discussed above. S-Adenosylmethionine generates homocysteine during the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, and this can cause cardiovascular problems.
So stick to the recommended doses when you use methionine as a supplement. Used properly, and according to instructions, it offers many health benefits, and can also be used to bulk up your muscle tissue and give increased energy when you need it most.
Dietary sources include fish, eggs, lentils, onions, garlic, meat, seeds, spinach and yoghurt. A good supplement would be from 800mg - 1000mg per day, and is best taken along with a B vitamin complex, or at least folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, in order to prevent the increased generation of homocysteine.
Methionine also promotes the excretion of estrogen, so is a possible supplement for women on oral contraceptives that lower the production of this hormone. The elderly might also benefit from a supplement although, if taken for any specific condition, your health professional should be consulted first, as they should be for any supplement.
Nevertheless, methionine is a very useful supplement, and can be taken to prevent a large number of conditions. Research is continuing on its effect on AIDS patients, and Parkinson's, and it is hopeful that it will one day be recommended to help people suffering from these conditions.
Protect The Liver with Glutathione And Cysteine
April 23, 2009 01:54 PM
The tripeptide L-glutathione is synthesized in the body from L. glutamic acid, L-cysteine and glycine, a reaction that can occur in any cell of the body although it is essential that it also occurs in the liver. Should glutathione concentrations drop, they can be increased by supplementing with cysteine or any other of the three amino acids that are used in the biosynthesis of this important if substance
The tripeptide exists in two forms: the reduced form (GSH) which contains a sulfhydryl (SH) functional group attached to the cysteinyl part of the molecule, and the oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). As electrons are lost from the reduced form, two molecules combine to create a dimer formed by a disulfide bridge, the process which can be reversed through reduction of the GSSG. Such electrons are lost during its reaction with free radicals, in which the free radicals are neutralized by the donation of an electron from the oxidized version of glutathione.
The definition of a free radical is a molecule that is lacking one electron from an electronic pair. Its prime purpose is then to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to it. In doing so, it can not only destroy that molecule, but also destroy body cells and lead, not only to premature aging, but also to some potentially fatal conditions.
It is an unusual peptide in that it involves a link between the cysteine amino grouping and the carboxyl functional group of the glutamic acid. It is a powerful antioxidant, acting as an effective free radical scavenger and protecting the body cells from the effects of free radical oxidation. However, it is on its detoxification effect in the liver that we shall focus here prior to discussing some other uses to which the body puts glutathione in its two manifestations.
Much of the detoxification is connected with the thiol group in the molecule. Take mercury for example. The thiol grouping forms a strong Hg-sulfydryl chemical bond within the liver, in the form of a glutathione-mercury chelate. In this form mercury is unable to exert any toxic effect on the body and can be excreted in the normal manner. The same reactive pathway is followed by other heavy metals that can bond to thiol groupings. In this way L-glutathione can protect the liver from the effects of a number of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and chromium.
This is an important property of the amino acid, particularly in industrial and urban environments where the population is more prone to exposure to heavy metals than their rural counterparts. However, the end result on the glutathione is that it is removed from the body, and, particularly with city dwellers, a supplement may be required to maintain a healthy concentration of this amino acid in the body and in particular in the liver. Therefore, although L-glutathione is not considered an essential amino acid, in that it is biosynthesized within the body, a supplement is sometimes required, particularly by those who live in large cities.
It is important to consider the form in which the glutathione supplement is administered. This is because of the presence of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase within the digestive system. This enzyme appears to destroy L-glutathione before it can be absorbed in the intestine so normal oral forms of supplementation are likely to be ineffective. Possible forms of effective administration include buccal (between the cheek and teeth) and hypodermically.
An alternative means of supplementation is to take substances such as selenium, methionine, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C and glutamine that stimulate the biosynthesis of glutathione. Also, since the substance utilizes the raw materials of L-cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine in its intracellular production, supplementation with these amino acids should also help to produce L-glutathione.
That said, let's return to its antioxidant properties and its effect on the liver that contains the largest stocks of glutathione in the body. It is generally regarded as the most important antioxidant in the body. It protects cellular cytoplasm from oxidation by reducing disulfide groups and maintaining a highly reducing environment within the cytoplasm. It reacts with hydrogen peroxide and other oxidative agents, and is converted to the oxidized form GSSG. It is then reduced back to GSH through the combination of the reducing agent and an enzyme. The reducing agent is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), the enzyme being glutathione reductase.
The implications that this strong reducing effect has on the liver are significant. Reduced GSH L-glutathione levels have been found in patients suffering from HIV, hepatitis C and other liver diseases. Supplementation with GSH has been found to restore normal levels of glutathione to the liver, and it has been demonstrated that the treatment has improved such conditions significantly.
Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arteries caused by the deposition of plaques formed from oxidized low-density lipoproteins, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. The strong antioxidant effect of GSH prevents this from LDLs from being oxidized and deposited on the arterial wall. There are other results of glutathione supplementation that indicate the effectiveness of antioxidants in the treatment of serious liver conditions, and there are no doubts that combating the effects of free radicals and oxidizing agents within the liver has a positive effect on many potentially serious liver diseases.
Many of these are exacerbated by the generation of free radicals by relatively modern pollution sources such as pesticides, petrol and diesel emissions, tobacco fumes and various other chemical emissions. A strong antioxidant such as L-glutathione cannot be anything other than an effective means of reducing the biological effect of these oxidants. It protects not only the liver but also the lungs and cardiovascular system.
For all these reasons a supplement consisting of L-glutathione or its constituent parts, glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine, provide significant protection against the stresses and strains of modern living. Increased pollution levels and heightened oxidative stress levels within the body are playing havoc with our body defenses, and GSH is an important one of them that can easily be enhanced by supplementation. There are no known reactions to L-glutathione supplementation, but pregnant women and babies should receive expert medical advice prior to taking it.
Glaucoma (loose your eye sight)
February 16, 2009 01:18 PM
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve and can lead to irreversible vision loss. It is usually associated with elevated fluid pressure within the eye. All forms of glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss, even blindness, if left untreated. About 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with glaucoma and as many as 2 million more could have it and not yet know. It is one of the lading causes of blindness and is expected to become more prevalent in years to come due to the growing population of older adults.
Those people who are at greatest risk for developing glaucoma are people over the age of sixty, people of African ancestry, and people with diabetes, high blood pressure, severe myopia, or a family history of glaucoma. Smokers also have an elevated risk, as do those who have sustained eye injuries or who have used steroids for an extended period of time.
About 3 percent of Americans are believed to have open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common form of this disease. Because this disorder causes no symptoms until it is quite advanced, only about half of those who have it are actually aware of it. In open-angle glaucoma, there is no physical blockage and the structure of the eye appear to be normal. However, the drainage of fluid is inadequate to keep the intraocular pressure at a normal level.
The most pronounced symptoms of open-angle glaucoma are the gradual loss or darkening of peripheral vision and a marked decrease in night vision or the ability of the eye to adjust to darkness. Other possible symptoms include chronic low-grade headaches, the need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescription, and/or seeing halos around electric lights.
A far less common, yet more serious, form of glaucoma is closed-angle glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma is much more dangerous than open-angle forms because it almost never manifests any symptoms until very late in the condition. By that time, vision may be irreversibly damaged.
Glaucoma probably has many causes, with many scientists believing it may be closely linked to stress and nutritional problems or disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure. Some think that excessive amounts of glutamic acid, which is a nonessential amino acid, may be involved. Glaucoma has also been linked to deficiency in nitric oxide, which is a molecule that is critical for healthy blood vessels. Problems with collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, have been linked to glaucoma as well. Collagen increases the strength and elasticity of tissues in the body, especially those of the eye. Collagen and tissue abnormalities at the back of the eye contribute to the clogging of the tissues through which the intraocular fluid normally drains. This results in elevated inner eye pressure, leading to glaucoma and related vision loss.
The following nutrients are considered to be very important when dealing with and preventing glaucoma: choline, essential fatty acids, glutathione, rutin, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and zinc. Additionally, the following herbs are helpful: bilberry, chickweed, eyebright, coleus forskohli, fennel tea, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, zinc sulfate, jaborandi, and rose hips.
To resolve issues with the eyes, one must change their diet, exercise, and take supplements and herbs like what are listed above. Medical doctors are at a loss as to how glaucoma happens but they can help stop the progression of this disease if detected early on. Always consult your doctor before adding vitamins and herbs to your diet, vitamins and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Turmeric Extract (Curcumin)
February 10, 2009 01:18 PM
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has the potential to provide far-reaching health benefits. It has been shown to be helpful in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, and cancer. All of these diseases share underlying inflammation that curcumin may help to diminish.
If you have ever eaten curry or cooked with the spice turmeric, you’ve consumed curcumin. It is obtained from the roots of Curcuma longa and consists of several curcuminoids. Turmeric is biologically related to ginger. Curcumin works as an antioxidant, boosting levels of glutathione S-transferase, which is one of the body’s principal antioxidants. This antioxidant blocks the formation of prostaglandin E2, which is a compound that promotes inflammation within the body. Curcumin also inhibits two inflammation-promoting enzymes: COX-2 and 5-LOX. Additionally, curcumin is able to prevent mutations to DNA, which is an effect that helps to maintain younger, healthier cells.
A study conducted at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson had researchers using a curcumin rich turmeric extract to treat rheumatoid arthritis in laboratory animals. The extract blocked joint inflammation as well as the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone. It did this by inhibiting the genes that are involved in inflammation. Curcumin also holds tremendous promise in preventing cancer, as well as an adjunct treatment. Studies on animals have found that curcumin can protect against colon, intestinal, oral, and skin cancers. Its benefits come from several mechanisms. First of all, it blocks the cell-growth cycle in cancer cells, which eventually leads to destruction. It also reduces free radicals and inflammation, both of which can lead to cancer-causing cell mutations.
Many studies have found that curcumin can protect the liver against a variety of toxic compounds, which is important news for those people who are suffering from liver diseases like hepatitis or cirrhosis. In a recent study, researchers reported that curcumin increased the clearance of creatinine and urea, which are signs of improved kidney function. Additionally, curcumin reduced liver damage from toxic chemicals and excess iron.
Another study found that curcumin has the ability to inhibit the activation and spread of the liver cells that play a role in the development of cirrhosis. Japanese doctors have recently used curcumin, drugs, or placebos to treat 89 patients that have ulcerative colitis. These doctors found that a combination of curcumin and conventional medications resulted in the greatest benefits over six months of treatment. Patients in this study took 1,000 mg of curcumin after breakfast and again after dinner.
Inflammation is the underpinning of all chronic degenerative diseases, making curcumin likely to be beneficial for many different conditions. So far, research has identified curcumin’s benefits for diabetic retinopathy, lung disorders, and skin problems such as psoriasis. A dose of 3.6 g of curcumin reduced PGE2 levels by two-thirds in only one hour. After consuming curcumin daily for one month, PGE2 levels were 57 percent lower than before supplementation began.
Turmeric has been used as a culinary spice for at least 2,000 years. It was listed in an Assyrian herbal in 600 BC, used by ancient Greeks, and widely recommended in Ayurvedic medicine. Native to India and other regions of South Asia, it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and help maintain mental function. Curcumin is safe in amounts of 500 to 8,000 mg daily, with most supplements providing 500 mg of curcumin.
Turmeric has been proven safe in larger amounts, but is usually limited by taste as a spice. One should look for a standardized supplement that contains at least 90 percent curcumin. Standardized Turmeric can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
December 11, 2008 11:19 AM
Alpha lipoic acid is the ideal antioxidant for five main reasons. It can scavenge free radicals of all kinds of both fat and water-based cell structures. It rapidly assimilates and absorbs into cells. Alpha lipoic acid boosts the action of other protective compounds. It chelates free meal ions and it also promotes normal cell replication.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is both fat and water soluble, which makes it a superior free-radical scavenger because it can protect lipid (fat) and aqueous (water) cell parts from free-radical damage. This ability allows ALA to offer excellent cellular protection because it can easily transport across cell membranes and give oxidant protection outside and inside cell structures. ALA has the ability to freely move throughout all cell parts, scavenging for free radicals in a way that is definitely more effective than other antioxidant compounds. Vitamin C, for example, is a good antioxidant but is strictly water soluble and only affects the interior of cells. On the other hand, vitamin E is only fat soluble, meaning that it affects only the lipid portion of cell structures or the membrane, which leaves other areas unprotected.
Cellular glutathione, which is produced in the body and works to neutralize free radicals, is very difficult to artificially boost. Although oral glutathione supplements are available, they have to go through the GI route before they enter the blood stream, leaving little glutathione which actually survives this process. Because of this, cellular levels are not significantly increase by oral supplementation. ALA has been found to help regenerate glutathione by providing extra cellular protection.
If the body becomes deficient in ALA, other antioxidant compounds may not work well. ALA plays an important role in boosting the activity of protective compounds such as vitamin E. ALA dramatically extends the life and effectiveness of other vital compounds.
ALA has been used for decades to treat diabetic conditions and complications including diabetic neuropathy, with ALA actually having the ability to initiate a reverse in the condition in some cases. Additionally, ALA helps to boost glucose uptake and results in less insulin dependency in some cases. Among its other properties, ALA can protect brain tissue on a cellular level, as well as protect brain cells from certain hazardous chemicals.
Research has shown that ALA may even play a role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease. As we are all aware, LDL cholesterol has a huge role in the development of cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol, which is particularly susceptible to free-radical damage, can be protected by ALA from free radical damage itself. Along with the above properties, ALA has been shown to help in strokes, cancer, cataracts, HIV, liver regeneration, and detoxification.
ALA can be purchased in tablet and capsule form and works well when it is orally ingested so that it can be easily assimilated through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. Taking between 40 to 50 mg of ALA is recommended for best results. The primary applications of alpha lipoic acid are aging, aids, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, bell’s palsy, cataracts, cancer, cirrhosis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, radiation sickness or exposure, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, stroke, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heavy-metal poisoning. Have you had your alpha lipoic acid today?
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
August 05, 2008 01:13 PM
Unlike macro-minerals such as calcium, which the body needs in gram amounts, trace minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, silicon, chromium, sulfur, and copper are only needed in milligram or micrograms. However, these small quantities do not reflect the importance of trace minerals, as inadequate intake can have huge effects on the body. Lets discuss a few of these trace minerals.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, with 20 to 50 percent of people affected. The average body contains only one teaspoon of iron, but this mineral is crucial in oxygen transportation throughout the bloodstream and into cells. A lack of iron will starve the body of oxygen and energy, which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency to be fatigue, foggy thinking, irritability, headaches, and lethargy.
A lot of athletes have inadequate iron intake, impairing their exercise performance as it decreases hemoglobin levels and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles while it increases the time that is needed to recover from exercise. Iron is also important in immunity, with optimal iron intake strengthening the immune system and building resistance to colds, infections, and diseases. Even though inadequate intake is a common concern, too much can also cause health problems including stomach and intestinal cramps, nausea, and constipation.
The most important function of selenium is its antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is invaluable in protecting red blood cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. Selenium works closely with vitamin E, sometimes replacing it in certain situations. Selenium holds an important role in maintaining the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of many health problems which include several types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain birth defects.
Zinc is a valuable antioxidant that supports many aspects of the immune system. Zinc works in the eyes to protect them against sunlight-related free radicals. Zinc supplements have been found to slow the progression of macular degeneration, but high intakes of zinc and other antioxidants have been shown to lower the risk of developing this eye disease in the first place. This mineral can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold when in lozenge form, if started within 24 hours of the first cold symptom and taken every couple of hours. Taking 50mg of zinc daily or higher amounts for short periods of time is a good idea, but amounts over 150mg daily could cause metallic taste, stomach upset, or impair immune function.
Many modern diets contain extremely low amounts of silicon, especially since food processing removes much of the silicon. Silicon improves the elasticity and suppleness to skin that has been damaged by excessive skin exposure. Silicon is also important in natural bone formation, since deficiencies in silicon lead to bone weakness and sluggish wound health. Bone mineral density can be improved in people with osteoporosis by raising the intake of silicon.
Chromium is important in maintaining blood sugar levels, as well as many other roles in the body. Chromium deficiency impairs the blood sugar-insulin relationship, while chromium supplementation improves insulin response. Studies have shown that supplementing with chromium picolinate improves diabetes management by lowering blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels and reducing the reliance on blood sugar medications. This mineral is also important in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
Finally, Sulfur is needed in the joints to keep the connective tissues within them strong and stable. One source of sulfur, MSM, has been shown to significantly relieve pain and improve use of knee joints in studies. Through all of the above, one can see that trace minerals are extremely important contributors to health, even in small amounts.
Curcumin, Curcuminoids, and Curamin
April 30, 2008 10:40 AM
Curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, possesses many potentially far-reaching health benefits. After many studies preformed on humans, animals, and in-vitro, it has been found that curcumin may be helpful in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, and cancer. All of these previously listed diseases share an underlying inflammation, which can be diminished by curcumin.
If you have ever eaten curry or cooked with the spice turmeric, you’ve consumed curcumin. Curcumin, which consists of several curcuminoids, is the active constituent of turmeric, which is used in curry. Turmeric is biologically related to ginger. Curcumin works as an antioxidant by boosting levels of glutathione S-transferase, which is one of the body’s main antioxidants. It also blocks the formation of the prostaglandin E2, which is compound that promotes inflammation within the body. Curcumin also inhibits the activity of nuclear factor kappa beta, which is another substance that is involved in inflammation. Additionally, it reduces the activity of COX-2 and 5-LOX, which are two more inflammation-promoting enzymes. Lastly, curcumin prevents mutations that can result in DNA, which helps to maintain healthier, younger cells.
Curcumin taken as a supplement can help with any conditions and diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, liver and kidney protection, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory diseases. A study using a curcumin-rich turmeric extract done at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, treated rheumatoid arthritis in laboratory animals. The results showed that this extract blocked joint inflammation as well as the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone by inhibiting the genes that are involved in inflammation. Curcumin also holds a great amount of promise in preventing cancer and also as an adjunct treatment.
Animal studies have shown that curcumin can protect against colon, intestinal, oral, and skin cancers as its benefits come from several mechanisms. First of all, it blocks the cell-growth cycle in cancer cells, which leads to cell destruction. Additionally, it reduces free radicals by its antioxidant properties, which can lead to cancer-causing cell mutations. Studies have also found that curcumin can protect the liver from a variety of toxic compounds. One recent study left researchers reporting that curcumin increased the clearance of creatinine and urea, which are signs of improved kidney function. It also reduced liver damage from toxic chemicals and excess iron.
Japanese doctors have recently used curcumin to treat patients with ulcerative colitis. A combination of curcumin and conventional medications has led to the best benefits over six months of treatment. Since inflammation is the root of all chronic degenerative diseases, curcumin is likely to be beneficial for many different conditions. So far, research has identified curcumin’s benefits for diabetic retinopathy, lung disorders, and skin problems including psoriasis.
Turmeric, which is the source of curcumin, has been used as a culinary spice for the past 2,000 years, was used by ancient Greeks, and is now a widely recommended Ayurvedic medicine. It is native to India and other regions of South Asia. By eating a lot of curry, which is rich in curcumin, you may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and help to maintain mental function. One study proved that people who often ate curry had half the risk of becoming mentally impaired. By eating curry on occasion, the risk of mental decline can be reduced by a little more than a third. Curcumin can be safely taken in amounts from 500 to 8,000 mg daily. Look for a standardized supplement containing at least 90 percent curcumin.
L-Glutathione Can Eliminate Toxins in the Liver
December 07, 2007 11:54 AM
L-glutathione is the reduced form of glutathione, and is a tripeptide synthesized in the animal and plant tissues from glycine, cysteine and glutamate. Commonly known as GSH, it contains thiol groups that are maintained in a reduced state, and is a very powerful antioxidant, considered to be the key antioxidant and protective substance in the body.
glutathione can reduce any disulfide groups in the cytoplasm within the body of the cell, and ensures that the cytoplasm is a strongly reducing medium protecting against oxidation. It has a synergistic effect with other antioxidants to protect the body against free radicals and oxidizing agents that cause so much damage to the body through what is commonly referred to as ‘oxidative stress’. However, there is more to it than that and it attaches itself to toxic chemicals and drugs in the liver and renders them into a state suitable for elimination from the body.
These toxic materials include poisonous pesticides, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and chromium and many other substances that we come into contact with due to present day pollution of our atmosphere and foodstuffs. glutathione can also help protect the body from the effects of chemotherapy and evidence is suggesting possible links with the control of some cancers, diabetes, atherosclerosis and many other degenerative conditions caused by free radical attack and the effects of pollutants.
The way that GSH acts in the cells is that the redox state of the glutathione-glutathione disulfide couple is critical to the health of the intercellular and intracellular fluid. GSH in the reduced state of glutathione reacts with an oxidative agent such as hydrogen peroxide to form the oxidized form, glutathione disulfide and water. It hence mops up oxidizers such as peroxides and free radicals within the cytoplasm of the body’s cells, and also in between the cells. The disulfide is then converted back to GSH by the combined action of the enzyme glutathione reductase and NADPH (the reducing agent nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate).
The cycle then repeats so that two molecules of glutathione continue to reduce damaging oxidizing agents without themselves being consumed. In so doing, the NADPH becomes oxidized. A continuous supply of NADPH is needed to allow GSH to undergo these biochemical reactions, and up to 10% of our blood glucose is used by the pentose phosphate pathway by which NADPH is synthesized.
Since this cycle consumes no glutathione, it would appear that a supplement is unnecessary. However, this is not the case since the molecule takes part in other reactions in the body, particularly in the elimination of toxic heavy metals from the body. Mercury is highly reactive with the thiol that GSH is, and so will bind to form a stable Hg-sulfydryl bond in the liver. This mercury-glutathione chelate is unable to bind to other proteins or gain access to the body cells, and is eventually harmlessly secreted. The same is true of many other heavy metals that are reactive with thiol’s.
In this way the body is protected from the harmful effects of these heavy metals. However, it results in the loss of the glutathione, and the pollution of modern day living can take a heavy toll of the GSH content of our bodies. For this reason a glutathione supplement is recommended, especially for city dwellers that may be exposed to more heavy metals than those residing in rural areas.
However, the form in which this supplement is taken is very important, because the human digestive tract contains a significant amount of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase. That is an enzyme which apparently destroys glutathione before it can be absorbed. However, it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream by dissolving the pill between the teeth and inner cheek. It has also been suggestion that the supplement could be administered by injection.
Others have suggested that rather than administer a supplement, individuals could take other supplements that contain the materials needed to stimulate the formation of GSH. Substances such as vitamin C, selenium (important in GSH biochemistry), methionine, alpha-lipoic acid and glutamine could all help to increase the body’s production of glutathione. A supplement of the constituent parts of cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid should also help. The dosage ranges recommended vary widely from 50mg to 500mg daily, and the effects of supplementation are not yet well know.
Some specific conditions that this wonder antioxidant is useful in treating include liver disease such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and so on. Patients suffering from these diseases show a massive reduction in their GSH content and prior GSH treatment appeared to offer a significant degree of protection in controlled clinical investigations. Patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C have been found to be associated with reduced GSH levels, particularly if also HIV positive.
Similar deficiencies have been noted in some lung conditions such as asthma and other pulmonary conditions. In such cases it has been demonstrated that administration of GSH supplements sufficient to restore normal levels of the substance improved the patients’ conditions by a significant amount. Its effect on atherosclerosis appears to be significant since a decreased level of GSH peroxidase has been recorded in such patients in addition to an increase in lipid peroxides, indicating that oxidation of the arterial wall had been occurring.
Anti-viral therapies that rely on GSH biochemistry for their action have been found to be less effective in those with low GSH levels, and other studies have confirmed that supplementing with GSH improves the response to interferon treatment. These results indicate the activity of oxidizing agents and free radicals in liver conditions, and in fact this has been demonstrated by tests carried out in New York and Philadelphia in the 1990s.
This suggests that the liver is prone to damage by oxidative stress, and that GSH levels may be able to be used as an indication of potential liver disease. What is evident is that a strong case can be made for glutathione supplementation as protection against potential liver, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, especially by those exposed to specific polluting agents such as primary or secondary tobacco smoke, auto and diesel fumes and chemicals and pesticides.
L-glutathione is useful, not only for the elimination of toxins in the liver, but also in protecting this large and vital organ from the oxidative stress that modern living brings. L-glutathione and its precursors are sold over the counter at your local or internet health food store.
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.
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be expelled by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
NAC could be the ultimate flu and cold fighter this winter
November 07, 2007 02:56 PM
NAC could be the ultimate flu and cold fighter this winter. NAC may work even better than vitamin C and also carries may other health benefits as well. NAC is also known as N-acetyl cysteine known as a sulfur containing antioxidant. NAC is a precursor to glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant made by the body.
Routinely, people go to the hospital for Tylenol overdoses and the hospital administers high doses of NAC to protect the liver. NAC is also used to break up mucus that collects in the lungs. Research suggests that NAC is good for colds and flu. In 1997, a study was published in the European respiratory journal which involved 262 patients. Half of which got NAC and the other received placebo, those that consumed the NAC experienced little or no symptoms of flu even though their blood test confirmed the presence of the flu virus.
Studies have suggested that NAC can help AIDS patients by taking several thousand grams per day can lengthen life expectancy. Researchers suggest that high blood levels of glutathione are better than high levels of immune-cells to predict survival rate. NAC is also a powerful liver detox and can help women with Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Consider NAC as a supplement to be added to your daily supplement regimen.
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.