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Omega-3s found to help those suffering from PTSD
May 06, 2019 03:18 PM
New Japanese research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help mitigate one of the major psychophysiological symptoms of PTSD: a racing, pounding heart. The researchers divided over 80 survivors of major accidents into a control group and a group that received supplementary omega-3s. The omega-3 group had lower resting heart rates and also lower heart rates after being subjected to imagery related to their accidents. Omega-3s play an important role in brain health and neurological functions, and have already displayed potential utility in the treatment of depression.
"supplementation of omega-3s might help prevent psychophysiological symptoms of PTSD"
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-10-omega-3s-help-people-suffering-from-ptsd.html
L-theanine is one of the best ways to combat stress and reduce yourheart rate
May 02, 2019 03:02 PM
L-theanine is an amino acid that scientists have recently found can decrease overall stress levels, as well as the heart rate, which can be beneficial for many individuals. Because l-theanine suppresses the sympathetic nervous system, it can have a positive affect on those faced with anxiety or stressful situations. Researchers have also found that l-theanine can decrease a person's immunoglobulin levels, which is helpful in supporting the immune system. L-theanine can also be used to control high blood pressure and to support good quality sleep.
"During the course of the study, researchers increased the stress levels of 12 volunteers by instructing them to solve a mentally stressful task in four double-blind trials."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-13-l-theanine-can-combat-stress-reduce-your-heart-rate.html
Why does losing weight get harder with age?
August 18, 2018 09:53 AM
Many find it harder to drop the extra pounds later in life, and science is now backing up this theory with medical evidence that point to it being true. Each year that we grow older, our metabolism drops by approximately 1%. This means that the amount of calories we burn drops by this same amount. We also tend to store more white fat as opposed to brown fat. White fat is known to store more fat cells, while brown fat helps promote an increase in heart rate and other beneficial functions.
"Well, there are a couple things working against you. One, you’re most likely not burning as many calories as you did when you were in your 20s."
Read more: https://www.wahpetondailynews.com/health/why-does-losing-weight-get-harder-with-age/article_cc0254cc-a16b-11e8-8cf4-7710ae4a480b.html
Is CBD Oil The Supplement That Your Workout Is Missing?
May 29, 2018 09:16 AM
Although hard evidence about the effects of cannabinoids like CBD is difficult to come by, our growing understanding of the body's natural endocannabinoid systems suggest that there is at least the potential for benefits from CBD for athletic performance. CBD, for example, may help boost the endocannabinoid system's suppression of pain and inflammation. However, it is also important to note that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in whole marijuana, appears to decrease long-range endurance. More research is sorely needed to understand just how CBD and other cannabinoid compounds impact athletic performance.
"Despite anecdotal evidence that CBD oil might help with athletic performance and recovery, there actually haven't been any clinical trials examining those effects, says Brook Henry, PhD, an assistant research scientist at the University of California, San Diego's Center for Medical Cannabis Research and department of psychiatry."
Read more: https://www.refinery29.com/cbd-oil-for-exercise
How exactly does fish oil help the heart? It counteracts the effects of mental stress
May 28, 2018 05:16 PM
A study was recently done in which one half of the participants received fish oil, and the other half received olive oil as a placebo. When the participants were relaxing with a resting heart rate, there didn't seem to be any change between both groups of participants. However, when the group members were put into distressing situations, it was shown that those who had the fish oil had much lower levels of mental stress than those who received the placebo.
"Participants who took fish oil exhibited blunted heart rate reactivity while they were stressed compared to those who took olive oil."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-05-20-how-exactly-does-fish-oil-help-the-heart-counteracts-effects-of-mental-stress.html
You can't beat the beet for muscle recovery: Scientists reveal how the superfood heals muscle damage
January 03, 2018 11:59 AM
British scientists have discovered thag drinking beetroot juice can help repair muscle damage. It is recommended to drink it right after strenuous physical activity. In this scientific study some people were given beetroot juice anf some people were given a placebo with the same amount of calories as beetroot juice. The people who drank the beetroot juice had a quicker recovery than those who drank the placebo. The ones who drank the placebo experienced more muscle soreness.
"The findings showed that the participants exhibited a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extended to the knee at about two hours after drinking the beetroot juice with high nitrate levels."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-24-beet-for-muscle-recovery-scientists-reveal-how.html
Why you should NEVER hit the snooze button on your alarm clock - and always get 8 hours of sleep!
September 20, 2017 12:14 PM
Getting enough sleep is important. That is when your body recharges. It is good for your physical and mental health to get enough. This will keep you from having to hit your snooze button a lot in the mornings as well, and this will help you get places on time. Not getting enough sleep can hurt your schooling or job since you can't get up and there on time. This is not good for you. You could even be fired over it.
"Professor Michael Irwin, a sleep scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, has performed landmark studies revealing just how quickly and comprehensively a brief dose of short sleep can affect cancer-fighting immune cells."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4874174/Why-never-hit-snooze-button.html
Study: Single Dose Of CBD Shown To Reduce Blood Pressure
August 25, 2017 09:14 AM
A recent study conducted at the University of Nottingham in England has shown that a single dose of Cannabidiol can effectively lower blood pressure for individuals that are suffering from high blood pressure. This is great news, considering Cannabidiol is a non-addictive, natural medication. It is also an amazing breakthrough because this means that it can treat many other cardiovascular disorders, not just hypertension. Cannabidiol is believed to be a neuroprotectant that can help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke, in addition to lowering an elevated heart rate.
"Nearly 75 million adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure. That means around 32 percent of the population is at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. It’s very promising that CBD has the possibility of reducing and preventing certain cardiovascular disorders."
Read more: http://www.cannatech.news/2017/08/21/single-dose-cbd-shown-reduce-blood-pressure/
Natural Ways to Combat Depression
July 19, 2017 12:14 PM
19 million Americans suffer from depression, most of these people are women. Serotonin is the main chemical when it comes to how happy or depressed a person is. Exercise increases your level of serotonin, this is one way to raise the level. Changing your diet and watching how many carbs you eat may also help, as carbs raise insulin levels, which can cause weight gain. Sometimes people need SSRI's / medications like Prozac because diet and exercise are not enough.
"Find something, anything, that you enjoy, that will elevate your heart rate, and make it a weekly habit. This will benefit both your body and your brain."
Read more: http://fitcommerce.com/2017/07/14/natural-ways-to-combat-depression/
Green Coffee Bean: Do Benefits Outweigh Risks of This Weight Loss Supplement?
July 14, 2017 12:14 PM
Anything for weight loss should be used carefully. Losing too much too fast is bad for you, and these supplements often raise the heart rate as well. Green coffee bean has risks like any other supplement. This discusses whether the benefits are greater than these. It will help you decide whether or not you want to use it. If you do you should do so responsibly. Do your own research before using any diet supplement.
"This study shows that the major CGA compounds present in green coffee are highly absorbed and metabolized in humans."
Read more: https://draxe.com/green-coffee-bean/
These foods may help keep the brain young
June 22, 2017 07:14 PM
Blueberries, leafy greens, and healthy fats from fish and nuts are some of the foods that may be beneficial to brain health, experts say. Exercise that speeds up your heart rate and breathing keeps your heart and blood better cardiovascular fitness to a sharper brain is providing new clues about this heart-mind connection. Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Good nutrition can help your mind as well as your body.You probably know that regular exercise offers a wealth of benefits for your body, like staving off excess weight and chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Read more: These foods may help keep the brain young
vitamin b and iron deficiency can cause anxiety and panic attacks
April 18, 2017 08:44 AM
Generally, people are aware of the difference that vitamins and minerals, in this case Vitamin B and Iron, can make towards your overall digestive health. However, the mental health aspects of these vitamins and minerals has generally been completely overlooked....until now!Research shows that these vitamins and minerals can help your body in the case of anxiety and/or panic attacks. So while you are helping your mental health, why not help your overall health at the same time?
"A scientific study from Japan, which monitored 21 individuals, has discovered that the levels of vitamin B6 and iron in the blood are closely related to the occurrence of anxiety and panic attacks."
Read more: https://www.dailyhealthcare.info/vitamin-b-iron-deficiency-can-cause-anxiety-panic-attacks/
2 Ways to Boost Heart Health That Have Nothing to Do with Diet or Exercise
February 26, 2017 10:59 AM
Keeping your heart running healthy is one of the most important things you can do. While it is obvious that diet and exercise play a major role, there are other ways to protect your heart. Maintaining good posture may be one of the biggest ways to keep a heart healthy. Stand up straight today.
"But while maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine (and, apparently, eating cheese) are surefire ways to keep your ticker healthy, there are two even easier ways to give it a boost in a matter of minutes: good posture and a better attitude."
EXTENSION CORNER: Stress can make you eat everything in sight
February 21, 2017 05:59 AM
Stress eating can effect the you in many adverse ways. Stress causes nervousness and increased heart rate that can be worsened by eating bad foods. Having foods that are healthy and low in fat promote brain and heart function which can physically alleviate stress. Eating soup is a good way to do this with healthy ingredients and a water which is hydrating, soup can help you cope with stress. It's good to have healthy whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables and soup around when experiencing stress.
Lack of Sleep Could Be Doing This to Your Heart
January 01, 2017 01:59 PM
New mothers, college students and emergency room doctors all have something in common: sleep deprivation. But is getting little to no sleep on a regular basis bad for your health? The evidence says yes. According to a recent study, getting less than three hours of sleep within twenty-four hours causes increased strain on the heart, elevated blood pressure, and increased heart rates. Thyroid hormones and cortisol also went up, which can lead to stress and eventually heart disease. It is clear that getting enough sleep is in your best interests in the short- and long-term, along with a healthy lifestyle.
"Getting less than three hours of sleep during a 24-hour period causes immediate heart problems, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radio logical Society of North America. Researchers looked at 20 healthy adults."
The real secret to a healthy heart
December 22, 2016 07:59 AM
Regular exercise helps to keep your heart healthy. There are numerous ways to exercise your heart, but interval training is one of the best ways. Interval training increases your heart rate for minimal amounts of time and works to strengthen the muscles of the heart. By bringing you heart rate up, then letting it rest, then stressing it again, your body works to simulate a very difficult workout when in fact you are not working too hard.
"Resistance training, also called strength training, has benefits for your heart, too. Long-term resistance training can help lower blood pressure."
Must Read Facts About Your Thyroid Hormone and Iodine
The thyroid is that butterfly-shaped gland found in front of the neck area, only a little lower than the Adam's apple. It's the organ responsible for your body's metabolism, the process related to how you burn up calories. The thyroid gland makes use of iodine to produce thyroid hormone. That's the chemical substance released into the bloodstream to perform the metabolic functions of the thyroid. With inadequate thyroid hormones, your body produces less energy, slowing down metabolism. Without iodine, the thyroid is unable to produce thyroid hormones.
Sometimes, the thyroid slows down, causing a common disease, we all know as hypothyroidism. It's simply the case when an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones is manufactured by the thyroid gland. It is usually diagnosed through blood tests that check hormone levels.
Signs of Hypothyroidism
If you have a slow thyroid or underactive thyroid disease (another name of Hypothyroidism), you may observe one of the following signs. However, know that these symptoms may mimic other health problems which makes it more difficult to diagnose.
How to Avoid Hypothyroidism
One of the causes of the thyroid to slow down is having too little iodine in your diet. Remember, iodine is the required component to produce thyroid hormones. And our body doesn't have iodine. Thus, it should come from an external source, that is, through the foods we eat. You need to boost up iodine in your diet. Use only iodized salt when seasoning food. As much as possible, also eat shellfish, dairy products, eggs, saltwater fishes, seaweeds and other saltwater edible food.
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.
Educative And Informative Details About NADH Supplement And Its Benefits
May 12, 2014 03:34 AM
What is a NADH
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH) is an activated form of B vitamin niacinin, which is available naturally in the body, from poultry, meat, fish and in minimal quantities from vegetables and fruits. This substance is also commonly referred to as the most important coenzyme mainly because of the import role of transforming food-based energy into energy, which can be utilized by the body cells. Due to the roles played by NADH, it has been developed into supplements, which have various benefits. NADH role in the body is important since the body cannot utilize the energy inform of whole proteins, carbohydrates and fats which are the main sources of energy.
How NADH works
Instead, when the foods that provide the body with energy are ingested, they are usually broken down into smaller parts after being absorbed and distributed into various cells. One of the things that are derived after these foods being broken down is acetyl, which is a two-carbon molecule. Enzymes are the primary components that break the foods into acetyl. However, enzymes require coenzymes to break these foods properly and extract the energy from acetyl. This makes NADH is an important coenzyme, which extracts energy from reactions between oxygen and acetyl. This coenzyme also helps in transforming tyrosine, which is an amino acid into dopamine, which is a brain chemical.
Benefits of NADH
One of the primary benefits of NADH supplement is that the brain chemical it helps to produce known as dopamine helps in improving various brain functions. Some of these functions which this chemical affects include; concentration, mood, muscle movement, sexual drive and energy. It also helps in athletic performance, slowing aging process, Parkinson's disease, depression and Alzheimer's disease.
This supplement is also helpful on people with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is achieved through helping patients reduce anxiety and reduce heart rate. Consequently, the patient is able to relax and allow the body to function normally. Therefore, NADH supplement is helpful and has many benefits if it is used properly.
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Effects low adrenal to body
As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:
Cause of low adrenal level
With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.
It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .
Types of adrenal stress syndrome
Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.
Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.
Mental burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.
Benefits of Neroli Oil
February 27, 2014 11:48 AM
Neroli oil is an essential oil that has been used for aromatherapy for a long time. It is produced from the bitter orange tree known as citrus aurantium. Neroli oil is believed to be a source of a variety of health benefits ranging from physical to mental health. It has a sweet smelling aroma with a floral fragrance that contains an element of citrus.
Neroli oil has a variety of health benefits some of which are outlined below;
Neroli oil is widely used for aromatherapy. Due to the sweet smelling fragrance of Neroli, inhaling the aroma has an effect on the brain region responsible for emotions control. This brain region is referred to as the limbic system and has a direct connection to the nervous system. As a result, it has a direct effect on the heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and the immune function.
Several studies conducted in the past point to the fact that neroli oil can reduce anxiety levels on an individual. For instance, a research conducted in 2013 and later published in the Evidence-based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that the sweet fragrance in neroli oil when mixed with other sweet smelling essential oils including lavender and chamomile for use in aromatherapy treatment significantly alleviated anxiety and greatly improved the quality of sleep among patients in an ICU.
High blood pressure
According to a study conducted in 2012, neroli oil plays an important role in the control of high blood pressure. The study involved 83 people who suffered from prehypertension. The patients were asked to inhale a range of essential oils including neroli, lavender, marjoram and ylang-ylang for a period of 24 hours. The results showed that the patients assigned to inhale neroli oil showed a significant decrease in the level of blood pressure as compared to other essential oils.
Other health benefits
Neroli oil can also be used to reduce headaches, colds, indigestion, and insomnia as well as boost the immune system.
The benefit of Amino Acid L-Tyrosin for our brains
January 21, 2014 09:47 AM
L-Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid because it can be made from phenylalanine, the another amino acid by our body. But from some researchers the body cannot make tyrosine from phenylalanine if stressed. In otherhand, L-Tyrosine is definitely present in many kinds of foods, such as milk, meats, eggs, nuts, cheese, bananas, beans and some seafood like fish.
Benefits of L-Tyrosine
By using this food stuff can increased the amount of L-Tyrosine in our body. And Also L-Tyrosine can we get from some suplement. L-Tyrosine has benefits for our brains. L-Tyrosine need for creating the neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It can called stress hormone. This compounds that transmit chemical signals in our brains. The neurotransmitters that was produced by L-Tyrosine have effect significant for your mood, memory, concentration, focus and alertness. The neurotransmitter dopamine can affects the incentive mechanism in our brain which indicates it involved in feeling of happiness. Dopamine is also helps we keep motivated and handle problem that can make streesed. But too much stress can make our dopamine level decreased. It can make our brain less active and weak. The neurotransmitter epinephrine ability to increases our energy, heart rate and breathing. It because epinephrine produces oxygen with rich blood that travels to our brain. Moreover the neurotransmitter epinephrine can boosting our memory, enhance cognitive performance, polishing our senses and reducing pain level of sensitivity. And the third compound of neurotransmitters is norepinephrine. It can helps increase our concentrate and to develop new memories. Norepinephrine is also travels through our blood and can stimulate our brains. The effect of our body does not produce enough neurotransmitters, we will become depressed, fatigued, confused and also develop memory loss. So if you want to enhance your memories and don’t let your body has less L-tyrosine to products stressed hormone that you need. Food supplements have shown good results in improving the amount L-tyrosine in our body.
Magnesium Is An Important Mineral For The Cardiovascular System
November 25, 2013 06:32 PM
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an earth metal that is alkaline. It is the 8th most abundant mineral on the earth’s crust. Magnesium is soluble in water thus it’s commonly found in sea water. In human body it is the 11th most abundant element by mass. Most of the magnesium contained in our bodies resides in the teeth and skeleton - about sixty to sixty five percent. Almost all the remaining amount is found in muscle cells and tissues and only 1 percent is found in the human blood.
Magnesium is a very important mineral in human body and is needed for more than three hundred biochemical reactions. Some of its health benefits include formation of healthy teeth and bones, body temperature regulation, energy production and nerve impulses transmission.
Magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker and it’s responsible for relaxation. Magnesium is very essential to the smooth functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system. A human body operates well in a relaxed and calm parasympathetic state as opposed to the heart pounding and adrenaline driven state of sympathetic nervous system.
Physical and mental stress related to the flow of adrenaline, consumes large quantities of magnesium. This is because adrenaline affects blood pressure, muscle contraction, vascular contraction and heart rate - actions that all require continuous supply of magnesium for healthy functioning. The nervous system relies on adequate magnesium for the calming effects including a restful sleep.
Magnesium lowers the risk of suffering from coronary heart diseases. Many dietary surveys have found out that sufficient intake of magnesium may lower the risk of a stroke. Magnesium deficiency increases the chance of experiencing abnormal heart rhythms that increases the chance of having complications after heart attack.Thus,taking the correct amount of magnesium is beneficial to cardiovascular system.
November 24, 2012 11:37 AM
Magnesium is important in the body for good health.
Its approximated that about fifty percent (50%) of magnesium is present in bones and the other half is found in body cells.One percent is present in the blood and the body has to maintain this level to prevent an imbalance which could cause problems. Magnesium is needed to aid in biochemical reactions of the body.
It helps to maintain proper nerve and muscle functioning. It helps in keeping the heart rate steady by ensuring smooth flow of the body to prevent cardiovascular diseases, helps maintain a healthy immune system, and helps in making strong bones. Magnesium improves the mineral density in the bones making bones stronger. Magnesium functions together with calcium in regulating the nerves and muscles of the body.
Manage Blood Sugar
Magnesium helps to regulate the levels of sugar in the body to ensure that the body is functioning properly and prevent diabetes. It helps to regulate the body's blood pressure and aids in protein synthesis and energy metabolism.
Reduce Insomnia, Stress, And Anxiety
Magnesium treats symptoms of depression and insomnia. Taking magnesium supplements reduces stress, panic attacks, anxiety and helps in treating migraines. If one has low magnesium in the body, symptoms may include weakening and softening of bones, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat and muscle weakness. Some foods rich in magnesium include soybeans, spinach, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds and black beans.
Prevent Disease With Magnesium
Magnesium is important and to prevent diseases that come as a result of lack of it in the body, one should consider including the above foods in their diet. Eating a balanced diet that includes foods rich in magnesium will help the body function properly and prevent diseases. Care should be taken while taking magnesium supplements to prevent overloading the body with too much magnesium which could cause problems. A sign that magnesium is too much is diarrhea. When taken as directed, this mineral can do wonders to help one relax, improve bowel function, and improve sleep naturally.
Give It a Try and feel the difference!
Bitter Orange Extract
November 22, 2012 10:46 AM
Indigenous to the Meditteranean region today, but brought to their shores by Arab tradesmen in 1200 , bitter orange or citrus aurantium was highly popular among herbalists all over the southern parts of Europe is mainly France, Greece, Spain and Italy. A botanical species commonly termed as seville orange and bigarade orange, this bitter citrus fruit is known for its oil extract, flavoring and use in the perfume industry.
However , the ancient Chinese used it for treating dyspepsia , abdominal distention and diarrhea. These uses also drew from its roots in ancient Greek experiments in aromatherapy, phyto-therapy and cosmetology. Its arrival in America can be credited to the Spaniards and the Portuguese who for very long had been using the fruit for its medical component. Bitter orange trees grew in abundance in the states of Florida, Louisiana and California way back in the middle of the nineteenth century.There have been numerous pharmacological indicators in the study of C aurantium actions and it has been termed as an anti spasmodic, anti fungal , anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative, tranquilizer and also a vascular stimulant.
Recent studies about its effect on cancer cells is underway. A Closer Look At Its Health Benefits Bitter orange peel, flower and seed are known to have varying effects on the human body and its studies date back centuries. Quite simply it has the ability to squeeze blood vessels, affect the heart rate and also change the level of metabolism. A closer look at its components would help focus on their particular impact on health.
It results in faster metabolism, increase in heart rate by affecting the adrenaline system, and in turn aid in weight loss. What needs to be seen is whether this metabolism booster is in any way a retardant with any other medication that you may be taking.
Many have reverted to bitter orange extracts to tackle their weight problem after the ban on ephedra by the US drug administration . what is needed is prudence as most consider bitter orange as a health supplement forgetting its rather potent effect on the body .
Health benefits of triphala
August 07, 2012 08:22 AM
Owing to the unhealthy food habits that people follow, there is hardly anyone who does not suffer from stomach problems like acidity, constipation, pain in abdomen and loss in appetite. These ailments can lead to various other problems like fatigue, hypertension, poor eyesight, skin ailments and headache. If you have tried various antibiotics, medicines and diets without getting any desired relief, it is time you try out triphala. It is an Indian mixture of herbs which can bring about great positive changes. Triphala is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘three fruits'. Triphala contains Bibhitaki (Terminalia belliricia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). It is important for you to know the benefits that each of these ingredients offer.
Bibhitaki (Terminalia belliricia)Bibhitaki is an internal cleanser, which helps remove harmful toxins, and gets your body rid of excess fats. It purifies your blood and helps control hemorrhage.It strengthens the hair roots and also improves hair texture and color. It is anti bacterial and anti viral in nature. It improves eyesight and betters voice quality.
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)It is an antioxidant and helps your body get rid of harmful toxins.Amlaki is very rich in vitamin C which is helpful in building immunity. It nourishes and strengthens respiratory tract and lungs by removing mucous out of the lungs.It increases fertility in both females and males and also helps maintain a good reproductive health by regulating menstrual cycle. It offers a healthy glow to the skin by working as detox, which helps in formation of fresh tissues.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)Haritaki has five rasas or tastes, which are salty, sour, bitter, pungent and sweet. It strengthens the sensory organs and stimulates the functioning of the digestive system.It is a great cure against anemia, piles, gallstone and diarrhea. It is helps fight cough, asthma, headache and fever. It helps regulate blood pressure and prevents heart diseases.
These three herbs when combined form a great drug, the benefits of which are mentioned below.
Benefits for heart
It helps maintain cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart problems. It limits the formation of low density lipoprotein in the body and helps in the formation of high density lipoprotein. It regularizes the heart rate and is thus beneficial for heart patients. It helps generate red blood cells and is thus helpful for anemia patients.
Benefits for stomach
It acts as a natural appetizer and helps in proper digestion thus benefiting the digestive systemIt helps evacuate the bowel and throws harmful toxins out of the body.It relives your body of harmful gases thus curing acidity,It is helpful in curing stomach ulcers. It acts as an internal cleanser for the body.
Benefits for skin and eyes
It controls the amount of external radicals in the blood, which helps reduce skin disorders and infections. It improves blood quality and thus benefits the skin.Its antioxidant property helps delay aging. It improves eyesight by strengthening the muscles around the eyes. It helps cure eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts and conjunctivitis.It can be used to wash eyes to get rid of redness.
For weight loss
Triphala is very helpful in treating obesity. Since it helps in proper functioning of the digestive system, it helps reduce body fat.It secretes bile juices which is beneficial for the liver and is needed for burning fats. By reducing excessive water content of tissues it helps in weight loss.It also cuts down hunger pangs.
Triphala has endless health benefits to offer, no wonder, more and more people are opting for the same.
What are the Health Benefits of Oligonol?
March 23, 2012 08:12 AM
Oligonol is one of the few existing products in the market that has helped so many people so when one is asked what are the health benefits of Oligonol it's guaranteed that they won't fall short of words to say. This health supplement has anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties that help you achieve the best possible state of wellbeing. The following are some of the health benefits that you can get from using this natural supplement;
Improves blood circulation:Oligonol helps in improving blood circulation because it contains anti-oxidant elements that help in enhancing blood flow to the vital organs of the body.
Helps boost immunity: this health supplement fights against infectious bacteria and its agents and this is because it contains the lychee fruit which is a good source of vitamin C.
Helps reduce fatigue: in the research to find out what are the health benefits of Oligonol it was found that it helps speed up the body's recovery from fatigue after a period of physical exercises.
High energy levels: Helps increase energy levels in the body due to the fact that it helps facilitate the body's metabolic processes which in turn improves digestion.
Protects the body against cardiovascular diseases: when medical practitioners did a research on what are the health benefits of Oligonol, they found out that it contains minerals that include copper and potassium. These two minerals come from the lychee fruit. Potassium helps control a body's blood pressure and heart rate and for this reason protecting it from against diseases like strokes. On the other hand, Copper is important for the production of red blood cells in the human body. These blood cells are used to deliver oxygen to the body organs, tissues and muscles and without them the body would fail to function.
Reduces calorie levels and visceral fat production: use of oligonol health supplements helps reduce heart diseases risk that are brought about by visceral fat. Oligonol also contains elements that are rich in dietary fiber content and this helps control excess body weight.
Boosts memory: when asked what are the health benefits of Oligonol persons who had previously used the health supplement said it helped them remember stuff more easily than they did before they started using it.
Reduces stress levels: use of oligonol has proven to reduce peoples stress levels and it has been used as a remedy for depression as an added point to the research on what are the health benefits of Oligonol.
Inhibits production of influenza virus: previous studies gave sufficient proof that oligonol inhibits the production of the influenza virus by blocking the attachment of the virus to the body cells.
Improves skin: oligonol helps improve the skin appearance by reducing wrinkles and helping get rid of freckles on people's faces.
In addition, the oligonol health supplement is safe. This is because it is made from pure natural ingredients, and has no negative interactions therefore it can be used by all who would like to find out what are the health benefits of Oligonol and in turn benefit from it.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Magnesium?
March 03, 2012 08:05 AM
Magnesium is of paramount importance for the overall health. It is required by the body in sufficient amount to facilitate certain metabolic processes. Unfortunately, most people are so focused on the need to supply the body with vitamins, iron and calcium that they forget about this important mineral. It is found in green vegetables, peas, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and whole grains. Its deficiency can result in serious effects like weak muscles, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea. The following are some health benefits of magnesium.
Magnesium benefits for the bones and muscles Magnesium is important for the formation of strong bones and teeth. However, it is not directly responsible but it helps the body to absorb calcium to keep the bones strong.Its supplements are used to treat back ache as it relieves muscle tension and stress also.It can be used by people with calcium deficiency although it should not replace calcium. The person should continue taking calcium even when taking magnesium.Magnesium is used in muscle contractions treatment as it helps the muscles to relax.Athletes and sportsmen are advised to consume lots of magnesium as it aids in blood circulation during physical exercises to ensure that muscles have enough oxygen.
Benefits of magnesium for heart health Magnesium is very important for health. It aids heart rates and also prevents the formation of blood clots which can cause stroke.In addition, to preventing heart diseases, it can aid in recovering from heart disease.It is also regulates breathing and thus is used in treatment of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.It regulates blood sugar levels to prevent high blood pressure.
Other benefits of magnesium Absorption: magnesium aids the absorption of potassium, phosphorus and sodium which are important for the general health of our bodies.Prevent diabetes: it regulates the production of insulin in the body to make sure the blood glucose levels are maintained at the right levels.
Pregnancy: in pregnant women it reduces safe delivery and reduces labor pain also. Not only that, it regulates blood sugar levels to ensure the health of the unborn baby and the mother.
Depression: by regulating blood pressure it relieves the symptoms of depression which include stress, anger and anxiety. Migraine: Magnesium is beneficial for people suffering from migraine as well as those with insomnia.Anti aging: It prevents the signs of aging such as wrinkles by nourishing the body cells. It is also effective in preventing degenerating diseases such as cancer.
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can result in diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Osteoporosis and nerve malfunctioning are other symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Osteoporosis is a bone disease which increases the risk of fractures and injury. Other symptoms are listed below. Asthma Depression Headache Leg cramps Migraine Loss of appetite Diarrhea.
The symptoms are always subtle but they should not be neglected because by addressing them early one can prevent complications such as heart disease.
The above listed health benefits of magnesium are a clear indication that people should include the mineral in the diet.
Use Turmeric Herb Instead Of Cox-2 Inhibitor for Pain Relief
February 17, 2012 07:15 AM
What Is a Cox-2 Inhibitor?
Cox-2 Inhibitor is a form of NASID. NASID stands for Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which function to bring inflammation down. It is one of popular painkillers. It is very useful since medical science has gained information about serious problem about inflammation. Yet, it has been reported that it causes fast heart rate. It is a risky heart rhythm condition which is also named with atrial fibrillation. Medical experts said that it is a serious problem because it might lead to the risk of heart failure. Besides, it might also cause stroke and even death.
As a form of NASID, Cox-2 Inhibitor will crucial to bring the inflammation down from a disease such as arthritis and an injury. In the United State, the common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis. In short, this is the primary benefit of it. Besides that, it also functions as pain reducer. It is done by blocking proteins and enzymes made naturally by the body. However, it brings harm for our body on the other side. It seems to be side effects. Earlier research has noticed that it leads to the death.
As the solution, you can pick turmeric herb. It appears in a form of yellow colored spice. Similar to Cox-2 Inhibitor, it is very helpful for relieving the pain for arthritis. It is a perennial herb which originally grows in India. In the past, Indian people use it for cooking. Curcurmin becomes the most important part of turmeric. It is the most medicinal part contained in turmeric. We can easily find it in form of yellow color. Besides India, China has already use this herb in their daily live. For both Indian and Chinese, this herb has significant function as an anti-inflammatory. Besides, it also can be used as an antiseptic and several powerful ways.
Besides for curing arthritis, turmeric herb is able to inhibit the spread and the growth of cancer cell. It has been proved by a university of Texas study. The result concluded from its research shows that turmeric herb prevents the breast cancer to be spread out to the lungs. It works together with our body by identifying the mutated cells and then it kills them. To make it more effective, it is suggested to combine turmeric herb with cruciferous vegetables.
Other benefits of Turmeric
Another benefit taken from turmeric herb is a protection toward our heart. For several countries especially the United State, heart disease has become the number one killer. In this case, this herb will play the role to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. It is very important since the oxidized cholesterol might lead to the heart attack and stroke. It is because this oxidized cholesterol is able to damage blood vessels.
Cox-2 Inhibitor has benefits yet they are not equal with the side effects created such as heart attack and also stroke. Having had similar function, turmeric herb is highly recommended to take for pain relief. For long time, it has been used for anti-inflammatory too. In short, turmeric herb is better choice than Cox-2 Inhibitor.
Raspberry Ketones can help you in losing Weight
February 07, 2012 02:14 PM
According to NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), more than two thirds of Americans are overweight and about one third are obese. Obesity is definitely a serious medical condition that not only reduces your stamina, but can also lead to various health complications such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, menstrual irregularities, atherosclerosis and many more.
Any attempt to lose weight can succeed only when it is multidimensional. In order to get the desirable results, you will have to bundle various weight loss techniques to get the desired results. In some instances, this can also lead to deleterious side effects. For example, stringent dietary restrictions may result in various nutritional disorders such as goiter, osteoporosis, scurvy and so on. Excessive exercises can also cause various maladies such as depression, fatigue, muscular injuries and insomnia. So What Are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry, which is an edible fruit, is quite rich in Vitamin B, antioxidants, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium potassium copper and manganese. Aside from these, it also has large amounts of ketones, referred to as “Raspberry Ketones”. Actually, ketones are phenolic compounds that help you in losing excess body weight without harming your body in any way.
How do Raspberry Ketones work?
Raspberry ketones, being natural substances work in an entirely different way. Unlike various other weight loss therapies, they work all alone and in the most effective way. They persuade the body to release norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone and affects that part of your brain, which controls responses and attention.
Along with norepinephrine, raspberry ketones trigger a increase in the heart rate, which increases the supply of oxygen to the brain. This also increases the blood flow to skeletal muscles. This results in increase in the energy requirements of the body. In order to get the desired energy, the stored body fat is broken down into much simpler products. Therefore, this lipolytic act of norepinephrine results in body losing considerable fat in an easy and healthy way.
Raspberry ketones have a molecular structure which is identical to the synephrine (orange peeols) and capsaicin (chili peppers). Both of these compounds active a enzyime known as lipase which triggers rapid metabolism of body fats. Raspberry ketones ensure that the lipolysis process continues at a constant rate. This results in enhanced weight loss within a short time period.
Raspberry ketones also increase the production of T and B cells and thus play an important role in strengthening the immune system of the body. Aside from that, they also nourish the body with all essential micronutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, manganese and copper.
If you are interested in using raspberry ketones for losing excess weight, then you will find many exciting options on the market. Before buying a supplement or pills, you must ensure that it is made by a reputable manufacturer and comes at a reasonable price and has safe ingredients. Many sellers on the Internet offer exciting deals and you can easily order your requirements right from the comforts of your home.
How Can I Raise Blood Pressure Naturally?
October 18, 2011 05:25 PM
One of the leading causes linked to most illnesses in some form or the other is an imbalanced blood pressure. Statistics have shown that 1 out of 3 adults in the US have imbalanced blood pressure. So much of our bodily functions rely on normal blood pressure to work well. Let us put it this way, if your blood pressure is higher than it is supposed to be that means it is giving your body more workload than it is supposed to have, so in turn what will happened is, your body’s degeneration will be amplified. A lot of your systems will be overworked, your heart will be overworked and eventually depending on the cause your arteries will take a beating causing other organ failures in more severe cases. Now on the other hand if blood pressure is too low, you may feel fatigued all the time, light headedness, dizziness, nausea, close to fainting or anxiety and these are all things that we want to avoid.
This is the process in which the blood is carried from the heart towards other parts of your body. This is done through blood vessels called arteries and ultimately blood pressure is defined as the force of the blood in which it pushes the arterial walls. How much pressure is experienced is also directly proportional to how much the heart beats per minute in other words blood pressure is also directly proportional to the rate of your heart beat. The faster it beats the higher your blood pressure is. The blood pressure form of measurement is based on systolic over diastolic rates. Simply put the systolic rate is when the heart pumps blood and the diastolic is when the heart is at rest in between pumps or beats and that is why the diastolic is usually lower than the systolic rate. With that said by now you probably are able to make the conclusion that blood pressure will be at its highest when you are active, nervous, or excited and on the other hand it is at its lowest when you’re a sleep.
Why would you want to increase your blood pressure?
Most of us will probably think that, that idea is ludicrous since most of us would like to avoid high blood pressure and a lot of us are taking medications to support that effort and do things like exercising and all the other stuff to help fight against high blood pressure. However there is also a problem when blood pressure is too low as stated above and that is why some people need to increase blood pressure. There are a couple of ways to do it. First and foremost is for you to make sure you are hydrated well. High liquid volume in the body will promote higher blood pressure. Second is to lie down and elevate your feet. This will increase the return of blood to the heart therefore increasing blood pressure. Eat smaller meals so that the body will not divert so much blood to your digestive tract for digestion. Some studies also have shown that small amounts of caffeine daily may help increase low blood pressure.
You can also try herbs like bitter melon and yohimbe to elevate the heart rate. An elevated heart rate will effectively raise blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure or high, make sure you get tested every other day and record the results. Maintaining a BP level of 80/120 is optimal for good health.
How Does B-12 Help Boost Energy?
August 24, 2011 01:11 PM
How Can Vitamin B12 help you?
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and is naturally present in most meaty foods. Also called cobalamin, Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called "cobalamins". It also has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for blood formation. Vitamin B12 normally plays part in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. It owes its discovery to pernicious anemia which is an anemic disease, when the cure was discovered it was along with B12.
Our body depends on B12 for a lot of our bodily functions among them are: Helping to maintain normal energy levels, aiding in healthy neurological activity, better mental alertness, and support stronger cardiac function. When blood levels of vitamin B12 are low, these functions are interrupted and would result to changes in energy levels. Our body relies much on how efficient we convert carbohydrates to glucose to use as fuel, like a car needs to be able to use gas to run smoothly. Likewise, B12 also enables your body to convert fatty acids into energy as well. Overall, B12 is a Vitamin your body can’t do without for efficient, healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates in which I am left to conclude, that if our blood level has inadequate B12, symptoms related to low energy and overall fatigue will be experienced.
The number one symptom from a Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and lethargic. Without all of the proper components like B-Complex Vitamins this system can breakdown and cause a these symptoms. If left untreated, B12 deficiency can lead to a serious medical condition and most common is Pernicious Anemia. The symptoms of B12 deficiency ranges from shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, fatigue and diarrhea which can all cause lower energy levels. This condition is easily fixed by adding B12 rich foods to your diet or for most of us that are too busy to worry about making sure we eat the right food with the right amount of certain vitamins, supplementation should be one of our options.
Put together time constraints and changing diets and the days of highly processed foods, there has been somewhat of a proliferation of Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know for some it’s easy to get your hands on some red meat, eggs, dairy and fish, however with those sources comes other substances that most of us need to avoid like fat, cholesterol and toxins depending on where and how the meat is processed. Modern diets have simply led to a decline in nutritionally balanced diets. In terms of what adequate B12 will be able to do for your body and how it can boost energy, there should be more urgency in making sure we get the B12 dosage we need and supplementation is one of the keys.
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyphosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
September 17, 2009 10:57 AM
Ancient Greeks used hawthorn berries for heart disease. The Greeks and Romans looked to hawthorn as a source of happiness and hope for the future. The berries were used by the Chinese for digestion and circulatory problems. Christian legend says that the crown of thorns that was placed upon the head of Christ was made from hawthorn. The crushed fruit or leaves were used as a poultice for their drawing powers to remove thorns and splinters for centuries in England. Native Americans believed that hawthorn was useful for rheumatism and heart problems.
This herb contains many different components which work together to benefit the heart and body. Hawthorn can both feed and strengthen the heart and arteries. It seems to work on the heart muscle to make it work more effectively. The herb may even help a damaged heart. Hawthorn contains some mild sedative properties, which can help when heart disorders are due to stress and with insomnia. Hawthorn has been used to treat and prevent arteriosclerosis, rapid heartbeat, feeble heartbeat, enlarged heart, angina, and breathing difficulties due to a lack of oxygen in the lungs. Some people recommend using hawthorn to protect against disease before symptoms occur.
Hawthorn is known for its ability to regulate arterial blood pressure. It increases the strength of the heart muscle and also works to increase coronary blood flow. This herb is great in helping to reduce the heart rate and lessen the heart’s workload.
Some studies have found that this extract is responsible for dilating the blood vessels, which results in reduced peripheral resistance. Hawthorn may also have some further cardio-protective effects that become pronounced after prolonged use. Research on 132 patients found substantial positive results with the use of this herb. These stage two stable heart failure patients had improved exercise tolerance, and a reduction in shortness of breath and fatigue after exercise. The researchers noted that for maximum effect, hawthorn must be used for one to two months. Cardiac improvement accelerates with long-term use and relatively high doses. One of the most positive facts about hawthorn is its safety. This herb is believed to be safe for long-term use without side effects. Some experiments have found that hawthorn dilates the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the heart. This herb is commonly prescribed by German physicians to treat minor heart problems. Hawthorn also contains a mild sedative effect. This effect may contribute to a healthy heart. Stress, anxiety, and nervousness are often associated with heart conditions.
The berries and flowers of the hawthorn plant are used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, astringent, cardio-alterative, diuretic, sedative, and vasodilator properties. The primary nutrients found in hawthorn are choline, inositol, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C with bioflavonoids. Primarily, hawthorn is extremely beneficial in dealing with angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, high and low blood pressure, heart conditions, heart palpitations, and hypoglycemia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, blood clots, edema, hypertension, insomnia, liver disorders, rheumatism, sleeplessness, and stress. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hawthorn, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
January 29, 2009 03:52 PM
Some companies are already manufacturing a blend of cheaper ingredients with hoodia, and claiming it is better than hoodia alone. This means that you might find a product that contains 1,000 mg of total ingredients, but it could contain as little as 50 mg of hoodia. As a general rule, the other ingredients are only included to make the product cheaper. All hoodia supplies are the same strength worldwide. The stems of the plant are picked, dried, and milled, leaving a powder about 5 percent of the original weight, which is why some quote it as a 20:1 extract. However, don’t be misled. Despite what a label may lead you to believe, you’re only getting 50 mg of hoodia.
The minimum dosage that is necessary to have a usable effect is about 800 to 1,200 mg of actual hoodia each day. This amount will help to reduce your appetite so that you can eat smaller meals and, consequently, lose weight. If you think you’d like to try hoodia, look for a product that has been naturally extracted and grown or ethically wild crafted without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or preservatives, preferably in a vegetarian capsule.
Make sure that the product you use is a true standardized full-spectrum herbal supplement that does not include any fillers, binders, or common allergens. Also, keep in mind that even though safety reports to date are encouraging, no long-term safety studies have been performed. Additionally, there is no data on the possible interactions hoodia may have with other drugs.
Hoodia is a non-stimulating herb, which makes it more suitable for a large range of people. Herbal stimulants such as guarana or kola nut, which both contain caffeine, can cause a large range of side effects such elevated heart rate and blood pressure, nervousness, and sleeplessness. P57, the active ingredient in hoodia, has no sedative effects.
Losing weight and maintaining an ideal weight also requires changing attitude and lifestyle. If your main goal is to quickly lose weight so you can fit into your bathing suit, you may be able to achieve that lighter weight, but without exercise, you’re still going to look flabby. Even though the subjects in the hoodia clinical study did not exercise, you should, as exercise plays an important role in losing and managing weight along with overall health.
Weight loss should be about your overall health. Without the proper eating habits, especially nutrition and exercise, you won’t be able to accomplish much. It’s true that less weight puts less stress on your cardiovascular system, but you need to exercise to strengthen your heart muscles. Proper nutrition and exercise also helps to prevent many other health problems, which includes fighting off many digestive ailments.
If you’re considering trying hoodia for weight loss, experts suggest that you supplement with 800 to 1,200 mg a day, divided into two doses and taken with water. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s dosage instructions since products may vary. You should also follow a reduced-calorie diet of natural, unprocessed foods. Even though you can probably lose weight on a diet like this without supplementing with hoodia, adding hoodia may help you to stick to your diet better.
December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.
Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.
Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.
The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.
Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.
Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.
Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.
Vitamin B Complex
November 24, 2008 04:45 PM
The connection between B vitamin complex and stress is well known; although why a good B vitamin complex can reduce stress is less well known. Before discussing the reason why a Vitamin B formula can reduce stress, we shall first have a look at stress and what causes it. The term means different things to different people, and a stressful situation to one person might not be such to another.
The biochemistry of stress is fairly complex, although involves the production and release of hormones into your bloodstream. When an event occurs that causes stress, the hypothalamus portion of your brain becomes involved. It releases cotocotropin releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that protects you from stress by raising your spirits. CRF sends signals to the pituitary gland causing the release of ACHT (Adrenocorticotropic hormone corticotropin) that causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. Cortisol speeds up the metabolism.
Coincidentally, the cells of the brain stem and spinal cord send a message that stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine that increases the heart rate, breathing and alertness, ready for fight or flight. Both of these mechanisms then lead back to the pituitary gland and your new stress level can repeat the process or stop it, should your stress be reduced. If this cycle continues over an extended period of time it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health.
The B vitamins can help to regulate this biochemical function, and in doing so can reduce stress, and with it the associated anxiety and depression. In fact many of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are those that are also associated with stress: anxiety, nervousness, depression irritability and so on. There is no one specific form of Vitamin B that helps with stress, and there are eight in total. However, in saying that, the three members of the B vitamin complex that have most effect on stress are vitamins B 3, 6 and 12.
Every one of the B vitamins is involved in cell metabolism. Because they are soluble in water, they are quickly leached from the body so have to be replaced on a regular basis. The various B vitamins are needed by your body for specific purposes, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for the correct function of your nerves, brain and muscles. Although others have their own particular areas of responsibility, they are generally lumped together, not only because they are all soluble in water, but also because they each have a profound effect on the metabolism of your body.
Those mostly connected with the nervous system are Vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps to maintain the proper health of your digestive system, skin and nerves, and B12 (cobalamin) is also needed for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with vitamin B12 are the two principal members of the B complex that have an effect on stress, and a deficiency of these can make you more prone to this frequently debilitating condition. In fact many people that are suffering from a general Vitamin B deficiency have various forms of mental problems.
Because Vitamin B12 is available only from animal sources, deficiencies are common in vegetarians, and even more common in vegans who are advised to take a Vitamin B12 supplement. However, in general you are best to take a Vitamin B complex as opposed to a supplement of any specific member of the B family. This is because a surplus of any one could lead to a depletion of others.
It is thought that much of today's stress is caused by an inadequate diet, and a diet deficient in various forms of Vitamin B is believed to render the subject particularly prone to stress and anxiety. People that have been suffering undue levels of stress over a protracted period of time can be helped by a regular treatment of B vitamins. In taking such supplements, however, you should also be aware of the various possible effects on your body that the causes of your stress can have. These are frequently neither understood nor recognized when they occur.
For example, if you are under stress due to a poor diet, or conversely, are eating a poor diet due to your high stress levels, you might be building up fatty deposits in your liver. Because of this your general health could be at serious risk in addition to your mental health. It is important, therefore, that you don't just restrict yourself to a B vitamin complex, but also take a supplement containing inositol and choline bitartrate.
These can reduce the fatty deposit that a poor diet can cause to build up in your liver with consequent risk to life. Such deposits affect the ability of your liver to destroy the environmental toxins to which become exposed as part of your daily life, and which can be directly related to your ability to counter high stress levels.
In general, however, if you are prone to stress and get nervous and worried about the slightest thing that doesn't go to plan, a B vitamin complex can help: vitamin B can reduce stress, although if your stress is sever you would be better advised consulting a physician than a health store.
Stress is a serious condition, and not one that should be treated lightly. It is possible to treat some stress conditions by using a good B vitamin complex, although should the stress be serious then you should consult your physician. Frequently the stress is not diet related, but due to personal circumstances that cannot be cured by any form of supplement.
However, there are few doubts that a course of Vitamin B supplements can help to overcome many of the metabolic causes of stress, and make up for any deficiency in these vitamins that leave your body almost as quickly as they enter it. Vitamin B can reduce stress, but only if your stress is due to a deficiency: and this is more common that most people are aware.
August 26, 2008 04:58 PM
GABA is gama amino butyric acid, and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is essential for the proper function of your brain and the central nervous system, and has the effect of reducing excessive brain activity and promoting a state of calm.
For many people, the rush of daily life, with its problems, worries and external stimuli, can over-stimulate the brain to the extent that it can all seem too much for them. They feel anxious and overwhelmed, and wish that they could just go into a quiet corner to get away from it all. Most people have felt like that at some time, but the demands of life do not allow them that luxury. They just have to bear it and get on with life.
That is where GABA can come in. It can be used to bring your nervous system back to base, and make you feel more relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that life often throws at you. When you feel that you just can’t relax or concentrate on what you are doing, GABA can help you. If you look around you and everybody else seems OK, without apparently feeling the stress and irritability that you feel, and then perhaps your problem is due to a GABA deficiency. GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, and a deficiency would certainly give you the symptoms that you are feeling. Let me explain why.
As your brain becomes excited, it can run out of control and needs some form of modification or inhibition to keep it acting as normal. Without this you would become increasingly more restless and irritable, and ultimately have seizures. GABA is not only the main inhibitor in your brain, but also helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense of well being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins are produced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, is commonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’.
GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area, and is present in up to 40% of all synapses, the small gaps between neurons across which brain cells can communicate with each other.
It is produced during the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle that is responsible for cell respiration or the production of energy from carbohydrates. It is synthesized from alpha-keto glutarate, which is produced just before the Succinyl Co-A stage of the Krebs Cycle in the brain. Vitamin B6 in involved in its metabolism, and a Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in GABA that might result in seizures.
Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ion to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. Bezodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ion to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits this property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant.
Alcohol has a similar effect to the benzodiazepines, increasing the release of chloride into the neurons, and is the major way in which alcohol affects the brain. In fact, tolerance to drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be explained by the receptors adapting to the drug. They may increase in number, which means that more of the drug is needed to work on them, and they can become hypoactive in the event of the drug being withdrawn, that enhances the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.
So basically, that is the way that GABA works. In simple terms it increases the flow of chloride electrolyte to the brain, and in so doing affects our mood. This effect is enhanced by prescription drugs such as Valium and Ativan, which are used by those that suffer the effects of a GABA deficiency. However, these drugs have side effects, not the least of which is dependency due to the GABA receptors becoming modified to suit the drug. There is a more natural way to overcome many stress problems and symptoms of mood swings.
Knowing what causes these symptoms, it makes sense to eat foods that stimulate the creation of neurotransmitters to replace those that are deficient. Since GABA is produced in the Krebs Cycle and complex carbohydrates produce glutamine that is an important part of that Cycle, and is also the precursor to GABA, then the consumption of such foods should in theory produce more GABA. In this case the theory works, and you should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oats as part of your diet.
Other foods that are high in glutamine or its precursors, glutamic acid and glutamate, include citrus fruits, beef liver, broccoli, halibut and lentils. A useful supplement to take is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, and available in supplement form. L-theanine can calm your nerves while maintaining clarity of thought. In other words it calms you down, but doesn’t make you drowsy and allows you to enjoy your day with anxiety.
Your doctor can determine whether or not you have a neurotransmitter deficiency through a simple urine test, and might also test your saliva for hormone content. A GABA supplement might be indicated, and if so it other beneficial effects on your body other than its effect on your brain cells.
It improves your sleep cycles and promotes vivid dreaming, and can also have a positive effect on your blood pressure. It is also an effective pain killer, and can provide relief from such conditions as back pain and arthritis. Its stimulating effect on the anterior pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone might also be regarded as a benefit by many. Increasing the level of HGH in your blood can lead to fat loss and improved anabolic activity (increase in muscle tissue). This can be of benefit to older people whose level of HGH secretion has dropped off, and who find it more difficult to lose fat.
GABA is a substance that has many known benefits and no known side effects other than a slight tingling and increase in heart rate when the supplement is first used. It has a definite benefit for people to whom the world seems too hectic and overwhelming.
May 28, 2008 01:36 PM
Eleutherococcus, better known as Siberian Ginseng, is best known for increasing endurance and stamina in people who use it on a regular basis. It is also known for its properties that aid the body in fighting fatigue and stress. Keeping both of these physical stressors under control will improve the body’s ability to optimize physical and mental performance.
Eleutherococcus is an adaptogen. This means that it will help the body maintain a normal adrenal function in order to reduce stress and combat disease. This species of ginseng is generally used for boosting and maintaining the immune system. It plays a major role in increasing resistance to mild infections and colds.
How to Use Eleutherococcus
This herbal product should be taken by mouth. The dosage will depend on the source of the herb and the purpose of its use. As with any species of ginseng, Eleutherococcus may cause sleep difficulties. It is; therefore, wise to avoid taking the product near your usual bedtime. It is also recommended that you do not take Eleutherococcus for more than three weeks at a time continual use will reduce its effectiveness.
What Does it Work for?
* Fatigue (physical and psychological). Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of people in the general population. It often poses a problem for the patient, as well as the physician trying to treat them. It is usually caused by endocrine dysfunction of the thyroid and/or adrenal glands.
* Hypothyroidism. This is caused when there is low thyroid hormone function. The result is less energy production at the cellular level. This causes the metabolic rate of the body to plummet. The thyroid also controls growth, transcription of genes, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, heart rate, blood volume heartbeat, muscle contraction, digestion, gastrointestinal function and endocrine hormones.
* Low adrenal function. The adrenal glands secrete steroid hormones including cortisol, aldosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). An imbalance in these hormones can cause a wealth of other health problems. It can also activate a regular stress response in the body, which takes its toll on overall healthy function of the body and mind.
Common side effects of using Siberian Ginseng may include agitation, headache, nervousness and trouble sleeping. If you experience diarrhea, fast or irregular heartbeat, skin rash or unusual vaginal bleeding, discontinue use and contact your pharmacist or physician immediately.
Who Should Not Use Eleutherococcus
If you suffer from any of the following health problems, you should consult a physician before using Eleutherococcus:
* Cancer * Fever * High blood pressure * Low blood pressure * Diabetes * Heart problems * Allergies
If you have allergy issues with any species of ginseng, you should avoid all of them. Ginseng may lower blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should carefully monitor their blood levels while taking this product. Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. If you suffer from diabetes, alcoholism or liver disease, use extreme caution. This product is not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
It is important to consult your pharmacist or someone you know is trained and educated in the use of Eleutherococcus. Some products have been found to contain additives and impurities that may be harmful to the consumer. Only use the purest forms of Siberian Ginseng that are available to you.
Aside from the specific conditions listed, Eleutherococcus can play an important role in the overall health of the mind and body. Every aspect of our physical health relies on the health and normal function of all of our internal systems. Our psychological health also relies on these systems all working in unison with each other. A healthy and balanced mental state requires an ever-present inner harmony.
Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw)
April 26, 2008 09:36 AM
Una de Gato, otherwise known as cat’s claw, is properly Unicaria tomentosa. It has been used as an herbal medicine for at least two thousand years by the people of Central and South America who gave it the name vilcacora.
It grows in jungle areas and rainforest in South America and Asia, and gets its name from the small claw-like thorns at the base of the leaves. One of the environmental benefits of the Una de Gato is that when it is harvested at three feet above the ground, it grows back to its full size of up to 100 feet within a few years when it can be harvested again to three feet. Cat’s claw has been given dietary supplement status by the FDA.
The Peruvian Asháninka tribe has used the plant as a contraceptive and for the treatment of rheumatic conditions, diabetes, acne, diarrhea, cancer, urinary tract diseases and as an anti-inflammatory, and many of the studies of cat’s claw have centered on this tribe. The studies quickly showed the active ingredients to be alkaloids, both tertracyclic oxindole alkaloids and pentacyclic alkaloids that have been found both in the bark and in the root.
The extract is obtained by boiling both the inner part of the bark and the root, each of which differs in concentration of the various alkaloids. The root is believed to better for its anti-inflammatory powers due to the quinovic acid glycoside it contains, although the relative concentrations of the various alkaloids can vary according to the time of year and to the chemotype of the plant.
Cat’s Claw comes in two chemotypes, each of which differs in the relative concentrations of the two different alkaloid types. One predominates in the pentacyclic alkaloids that strengthen the immune system, and the other chemotype in the tetracyclic alkaloids that counter that effect and reduce the speed and strength of the contractions of the heart. It is not possible to tell which chemotype a particular plant is until it has been chemically tested. They look exactly the same and it is possible for both to grow sided by side. However, the root is generally richer in alkaloids, and sells at about twice the price of the bark. Alkaloids are not the only active ingredients in Una de Gato, and it also contains tannins and phytochemicals that have an antioxidant effect and are useful free radical scavengers. They have been studied for their effects in the treatment of HIV and cancer, though mainly due to the glycoside content that will be discussed shortly. The National cancer Institute has confirmed some anti-cancer properties of quinovic glycosides derived from cat’s claw.
The four pentacyclic alkaloids have been found to have a boosting effect on the human immune system, which it does by enhancing the ability of the white blood cells and macrophages to digest and kill off foreign organisms and debris in tissue and the bloodstream. The inference is that the herb is able to be used to treat a wide variety of infectious diseases, including many immune and autoimmune conditions including AIDS. The results with AIDs are inconclusive, although one particular study showed that cat’s claw produced accelerated healing of cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) and shingles (caused by herpes zoster virus). Although the evidence is slight, there are indications of its possible use in treating viral conditions.
It is used in homeopathy for the treatment of a number of digestive ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and gastric ulcers among others. It is also used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and some conditions of the prostate gland.
The tertracyclic indole alkaloids that appear to counter the immune-boosting properties of their pentacyclic cousins include rhynchophylline, hirsutine, and mitraphylline. Rhynchophylline prevents blood clots in the veins and arteries by reducing the formation of platelets, and can dilate the peripheral blood vessels of the hands and feet. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the heart rate. Due to this effect on blood vessels, it is though to be able to improve the circulation in the brain and be a useful treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Hirsutine inhibits contractions of the smooth muscle of the bladder, and so finds uses in the treatment of urinary incontinence.
The pentacyclic alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine are believed to have important properties beyond their phagocytosis effect on the immune system. It has been reported that they have an effect on the 5-HT(2) receptors in the brain. These neurotransmitters are used as targets for many drugs used to treat a variety of conditions such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and such alkaloids have a positive modulating effect on them.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s claw are largely due to the very potent quinovic acid glycosides previously referred to. These have been known about only recently, and they are thought to work synergistically to reduce the tissue swelling (edema) associated with the immune system’s inflammatory reaction. Although this is believed to be largely due to the glycosides, three of the alkaloids also possess anti-inflammatory properties. This property provides the scientific background for the traditional use of Una de Gato for rheumatism and arthritis, both inflammatory conditions. Many of the digestive conditions for which the plant has traditionally used are also inflammatory in nature.
A threat to cat’s claw is the destruction of the Peruvian rainforest, although not as much as a threat as the destruction of the plant itself. Cat’s claw has reached levels of popularity so high that it is in danger of extinction due to improper harvesting. New laws being enacted by the Peruvian government should help to protect the plant, and to promote its harvesting over cocoa.
When buying cat’s claw, make sure that it is the Uncaria tomentosa form you are purchasing since there is another type, Uncaria Guianensis that contains different alkaloids and is not as potent as the real Una de Gato. Also beware of a shrub known as cat’s claw acacia, grown in Mexico and the southwest USA, since it contains cyanide derivatives and could be very dangerous if taken by mouth.
Fight Stress With Magnesium Supplements
April 17, 2008 04:16 PM
When stress hormones are released into the body due to a stressful situation, several things may happen. Your metabolic rate can increase, heart rate jumps, blood vessels contract and get tighter, the rate at which one breaths gets more frequent and shorter, muscles contract in response to stress among other things.
At the cellular level a significant inflow of calcium decrease cellular magnesium to calcium ratios which stimulates cellular function such as secrete fluids, contract, go into active mode. The muscles prepare to contract this includes the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Nerves start to fire more frequent, the blood gets ready to clot, and secondary stress hormones are released. Normally when the stress crisis is over, magnesium moves back into the cells at the cellular level forcing calcium out relaxing the cells, this allows the body to slow down and relax, the nerves calm down and blood flow slows.
Magnesium plays a vital role to relax the body, once the stressful situation is over. The demand for magnesium goes up with stress. If there are inadequate amounts of magnesium in the body, this magnesium deficiency can in itself sustain a stress response. A magnesium deficiency itself can initiate and maintain a stress response without a trigger to cause the stress in the first place. Low magnesium states can prevent the body from relaxing and cause muscle cramping. After a stressful situation, adequate magnesium is needed to help the body shift over to a relaxed state.
Boarder-line magnesium individuals can have a mental, emotional, environmental or physical state of continuous stress where their bodies never come down out of the stress state. This can be detrimental to health and wellness. Drinking coffee, alcohol, and eating lots of sugary foods will cause the body to become depleted. Today’s diets high in over processed foods are lacking magnesium; one should supplement by either changing ones diet or adding magnesium to their diet in mineral supplement form.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones (bone density loss), and calcification of organs.
Women who consume high amounts of calcium can actually create a greater deficiency in magnesium leading to greater bone mineral density lost then if no calcium was consumed at all. Foods today that are being fortified with calcium are actually helping women loose more bone density because magnesium is not in the right proportions.
To word off the negative effects of a prolonged or over-reaction to stress including a shortened lifespan, one needs to balance out their magnesium to calcium ratios by adding adequate amounts of both magnesium and calcium to their diet. Supplementing with 400 mgs to 800 mgs of elemental magnesium is critical for one looking to live a healthier longer life that is free from stress.
Keywords: Magnesium Deficiency, Fight Stress, Magnesium, Calcium, Fight High Blood Pressure
Description: Are you feeling tired, sick or maybe you feel like something is wrong but not quite sure what it is? Would you know if you had a magnesium deficiency? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic functions in the body; learn how it can help you!
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
Policosanol Cholesterol Complex
February 03, 2006 03:50 PM
Life Force - The Energy Activator
June 29, 2005 10:35 AM
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Caffeine - a nervous system stimulant
June 21, 2005 12:14 PM
Caffeine when used in moderation, acts as a mild stimulant to the nervous system and is harmless but potentially addictive to most persons. Caffeine increases the heart rate and rhythm, affects the central nervous system, and increases urination. It also stimulates secretion of stomach acids and is therefore harmful to individuals with ulcers.
Caffeine helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness. The recommended dose of this product contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications, foods, or beverages while taking this product because too much caffeine may cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness and occasionally rapid heartbeat.
Do not give to children under 12 years of age. For occasional use only. Not intended for use as a substitute for sleep. If fatigue or drowsiness persist or continues to occur, consult a physician. Do not use if you are diabetic.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overburdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide
June 11, 2005 03:54 PM
Summer Sports Nutrition Guide by Joyce Dewon Energy Times, June 18, 2004
If you're hooked on exercise you're probably just as hooked on using top-notch equipment when you work out. Those who are serious about staying in shape buy the best running shoes, carefully pick out the best bikes and tread on durable treadmills. But do you pay just as much attention to your nutrition?
Scientists who have studied exercise have found that what you eat before, during and after workouts is crucial to maintaining your health, getting into shape and staying fit. To achieve your best athletic performance without getting injured or sick depends on optimum nutrition. When you carefully plan what to feed your exercised body, it rewards you by feeling and looking better.
Short 'n Sweet
If you thought long exercise sessions were the only ways to get decent exercise benefits, take notice: small doses of exercise during the week can go a long way. " The important thing, apparently, is just do it," says Howard D. Sesso, ScD, author of an American Heart Association study on exercise and heart disease. In his study, exercisers demonstrated that several short sessions of exercise were as good for the body as a single long session (Circ 8/00; 102:975-80). " Short sessions lasting 15 minutes long appear to be helpful,"Dr. Sesso explains. Even walking about three miles per week, which is a moderate level of exercise, lowers your risk of heart disease by 10%.
Some people glorify in working up a sweat; others curse the dampness. But putting in extra effort in even short bursts of activity pays off: experts have found that intense exercise burns more calories than more relaxed sessions, more effectively reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. In addition, it stimulates production of human growth hormone, which offsets some of the effects of aging (Exp Biol Med 2004 Mar; 229(3):240-6).
But don't go crazy if you haven't worked out in a long time. The intensity of the workout should match your physical fitness. According to the American Heart Association, when people exercise at a comfortable pace, their heart rate and level of exertion stay within a safe range, but still high enough to benefit their health. Strenuous activities, for those who can handle them, produce the most physiological bang for the jog. But brisk walking within your own level of fitness still offers significant benefits.
Feeding Your Muscles
When you exercise, you work and develop your muscles, which are made primarily out of protein. Despite this fact, many exercise experts have advocated high-carb diets for athletes. But, as John Ivy, PhD, and Robert Portman, PhD, point out in their book The Performance Zone (Basic Health), "[While] there is no doubt that aerobic athletes require more carbohydrate than strength athletes...we are now discovering that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement offers significant benefits to aerobic athletes."
That is why researchers believe that consuming plenty of protein along with carbohydrates offers the best fitness benefits. Protein helps fuel activity more efficiently and aids in recovery after a session at the gym, allowing your body to repair muscle damage and build up muscle fibers.
During exercise, you break down muscle tissue. It is during recovery, after your exercise session ends, that muscles are rebuilt. At the same time, other cellular processes take place that adapt the body to working out.
According to Ivy and Portman, timing your intake of nutrients after exercise is crucial: "The ability of the muscle machinery to regenerate itself decreases very rapidly after a workout, so that the nutrients consumed more than 45 minutes after exercise will have far less impact in helping the muscles regenerate than nutrients consumed earlier."
Stresses and Tears
Engaging in athletics can cause microscopic muscle tears. These tears can cause a range of problems that, when you exercise excessively, can cause pain and injury.
Inflammation is the body's response to cellular damage. The damaged area can swell as the body sends white blood cells and other cells to repair the injured area. Unfortunately, the swelling can further damage the muscle cells.
Since inflammation can take 24 hours or more to cause the collection of cells in the injured area, it can be a day or two before the resulting muscle soreness reaches its peak painfulness and then starts to subside.
Cortisol, a hormone produced when you exercise strenuously, which can result in muscle fiber damage. Cortisol boosts protein breakdown, so it can be used to fuel muscle movement. But the more protein breaks down, the more potential exists for muscle fiber injury. Free radicals are caustic molecules that are created when the mitochondria (small structures in cells) create energy; these marauders can also cause microscopic shredding of muscle strands. As you increase your use of energy during exercise, you simultaneously increase the production of free radicals. This collection of free radicals can outstrip the body's antioxidant defenses, leading to extensive muscle damage and dampening of the immune system.
All of these cellular events can make you sore. They are also the reasons that athletes who overdo it day after day are liable to come down with nagging colds and a variety of infections.
Your muscles use different substances for fuel depending on what you ask them to do. Lift a heavy weight and muscles recruit two processes called the creatine phosphate system and glycolysis to generate a large amount of quick energy. These are known as anaerobic types of energy production.
But if you jog, swim, bike or perform any other aerobic activity, the cells use oxygen in what is called cellular respiration to supply energy to working muscles.
When you exercise aerobically for extended periods of time, the energy available is generally limited by how much oxygen your body is capable of taking in and supplying to the muscles, where it takes part in energy production. In athletic circles, this upper limit is known as your VO2max.
The carbohydrates your body burns for energy during aerobic activity are taken from blood sugar and carbohydrate reserves called glycogen. (The muscles store glycogen, as does the liver.) During a workout session, your glycogen supply is limited to what is stored with your muscles. But blood glucose can be boosted by carbohydrate drinks, energy gels or bars.
Most people who work out have enough glycogen and blood sugar to fuel moderate aerobic activity for about two hours. After that, the body turns mostly to fat and protein stores to fuel exercise.
Fat Into the Fire
In contrast to the body's quickly diminishing supply of glycogen and blood sugar, fat can last for hours and hours of exercise. According to Portman and Ivy, a 200-pound man with 15% body fat has, theoretically, enough fat energy to run from Washington DC down to Miami Beach-and still has enough energy left over to jump into the ocean.
But using fat for energy is complicated; fat is stored in fat tissue and not readily available to working muscles. Plus, to burn fat for energy, the body needs carbohydrate-it cannot burn fat all by itself. What's more, the conversion of fat into energy doesn't go as quickly as carb conversion.
Protein is also used for energy when carbs run low. But the more you use protein for energy, the more you risk soreness as muscle fibers break down.
Prepare to Energize
To maximize your energy during exercise and minimize soreness, Portman and Ivy recommend some simple nutritional steps:
Taking protein and carbs while working out can limit muscle damage and curtail soreness. Carbs apparently drop your cortisol levels, and thereby limit muscle injuries linked to this hormone. While the mechanism that helps protein limit muscle soreness is not completely understood, it is possible that taking in protein while working out keeps the body from shredding muscle tissue in search of fuel.
Supplements that contain antioxidants such as natural vitamin E and vitamin C (Portman and Ivy think you should take these during exercise) may limit free radical damage to muscle fibers.
Muscle Reconstruction Plan
If you want to help your exercise plan make you stronger, you should focus your after-exercise sports nutrition plan on these steps:
The protein part of the equation is vital: don't merely indulge in only carbs after exercising. A recent study found that while carbs could help muscles rebuild, adding protein can make a big difference in improving your fitness (J App Phys 2/04).
This combination of nutrients stimulates the pancreas so that it releases insulin. The release of insulin is the key, initial step that sets off a cascade of physiological events that speeds muscle recovery. Although many people think of insulin as an undesirable hormone-if you never exercise, too much insulin may help drive your blood sugar down and cause other problems-for exercisers, this hormone plays a crucial function in benefiting from exercise.
By eating carbohydrate and protein soon after working out and stimulating insulin, according to Ivy and Portman, you help your body boost its synthesis of protein by:
Drinking for Exercise The most obvious nutrient you lose during intensive exercise is water in your perspiration. However, that perspiration also contains an array of minerals known as electrolytes. So, for optimal performance and health, experts recommend you replace both the water and its minerals.
Merely drinking water-instead of electrolyte-filled sports drinks-during prolonged aerobic activity can be dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable to a condition called hyponatremia, which can occur when your blood levels of sodium and other electrolytes drop, but your blood volume stays steady or increases because you drink lots of water.
According to Edmund Burke, PhD, in his book Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery (Avery), one out of four athletes who seek medical attention after a long race are suffering hyponatremia.
" Typically," he says, "conscientious athletes get in trouble because they adhere too diligently to one recommendation: the need to drink lots of fluids. They tend to ignore another recommendation: The need to keep electrolytes up...for most endurance athletes the real problem is drinking too much water." Dr. Burke warns that you can possibly suffer hyponatremia even if you don't drink a lot of water.
Signs of hyponatremia can be similar to those of heat exhaustion. But, while resting and cooling down can help alleviate heat exhaustion, that doesn't help hyponatremia. " To protect yourself against hyponatremia, start by paying attention to how much you sweat," Dr. Burke says. If your sweat seems very salty, burns your eyes or leaves an evident, white residue on your skin, you may be losing a great deal of sodium and should be diligent about eating salty foods. " You can also make sure you're getting enough sodium by drinking sports drinks instead of plain water during long (exercise) events," Dr. Burke notes.
Of course, no matter what you decide to eat or drink while exercising, the most important factor for your well-being is to get out to the gym, onto the track, or just on to the sidewalk, and do something, even if you only want to go out for a walk. No matter how old you are or what kind of shape you're in, you'll benefit from exercise.
" It's solid evidence that across-the-board declines occur when people stop exercising," says Charles Emery, PhD, professor of psychology at Ohio State University (Health Psychology 3/04).
Don't decline or remain supine. Let your fitness climb.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
the effect of vinpocetine on cerebral blood flow (CBF) ...
May 26, 2005 10:37 AM
Abstract Objectie :To investigate the effect of vinpocetine on cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the compromised circulation of a stroke affected hemisphere using transcranial Doppler (TCD) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) methods. Methods : 43 patients with ischemic stroke were randomized into vinpocetine (VP) and placebo group in a double blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of a single-dose i.v. infusion of vinpocetine on cerebral blood perfusion and oxygenation. In the VP group 20 mg VP in 500 ml saline, in the placebo group 500 ml saline alone were administered. The concentrations of oxy-, reduced- and total hemoglobin were measured by NIRS frontolaterally on the side of lesion while the mean cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV), the pulsatility index (PI) and Doppler spectral intensity (DSI) were monitored by TCD in the middle cerebral artery on the same side. Values were averaged for the first 5 min prior to the infusion and for the last 5 min of infusion and they were compared between groups. Results : The concentration of all three chromophores increased during infusion in the VP group (mean dHbT=1.03, CI95=0.84, P=0.058; mean dHbO=0.92, CI95=0.91, P=0.071; mean dHb=0.10, CI95=0.21, P=0.297). The HbT and HbO showed a substantially smaller increase in the placebo group (mean dHbT=0.31, CI95=0.74, P=0.22; mean dHbO=0.57, CI95=0.80, P=0.094) while the Hb decreased (mean dHb=-0.26, CI95=0.29, P=0.05). Comparing to the placebo group Hb increased significantly in the VP group (P=0.027) while the increase of HbO and HbT did not reach the level of significance (P=0.29 and 0.11). DSI showed a significantly larger increase in the VP than in placebo group (dDSI=25.8 CI95=8.8 [VP]; dDSI=3.3, CI95=3.7 [Placebo], P0.005). The CBFV and PI did not differ significantly between groups. (dVm=5.02.98 cm/s [VP], dVm=4.12.57 cm/s [Placebo], P=0.28; dPI=0.08 [VP], dPI=0.09 [Placebo]; P=0.47). Conclusion :VP increases cerebral perfusion and parenchymal oxygen extraction as well. The increased perfusion was indicated by NIRS and by TCD measurement of DSI while conventional velocity and pulsatility measurements failed to detect theses effects. NIRS is a sensitive, www.elsevier.com/locate/ejultrasou Abbreiations :BP, blood pressure; CI, confidence interval; CBFV, cerebral blood flow velocity; CT, computer tomography; CytO, cytochrome-oxydase; DSI, Doppler spectral intensity; Hb, deoxyhaemoglobin; HbO, oxyhaemoglobin; HbT, total haemoglobin; HR, heart rate; MAP, mean arterial pressure; MCA, middle cerebral artery; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; NIRS, near infrared spectroscopy; PET, positron emission tomography; PI, pulsatility index; TCD, transcranial Doppler; US, ultrasonography; VP, vinpocetine.