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5 easy ways you can boost your energy levels
August 31, 2018 05:53 PM
While many people feel tired a lot of the time, healthier habits can help you be more energetic. Eating lots of unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods can help, as can engaging in regular, moderate levels of physical activity, even if you really don’t feel like it at the time. Getting enough sleep and learning how to relax and de-stress can both also help you feel refreshed and better rested. Finally, if your fatigue persists, consult your doctor, since in some cases it can be a symptom of an underlying condition.
"Although fatigue is common and can seem inevitable, steps can be taken to beat tiredness."
Read more: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/28/5-easy-ways-you-can-boost-your-energy-levels/
If Your Kid Is Depressed Or Anxious, This Could Be Why
December 31, 2017 07:59 AM
A lot more children in this day and age are experiencing more mental disorders that were previously only diagnosed to adults, such as depression. Many factors can be causing this. Social media is much too image focused. Academic pressures are higher than ever before. Prepackaged junk foods and fast food are causing children to have poor diets. As adults we have to be aware of all these issues and bolster children's confidence while counterattacking negative influences.
"Instagram and Snapchat can have a detrimental impact on the mental health of young people."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/what-is-driving-the-epidemic-of-anxiety-and-depression-in-school-age-kids/
What To Eat (And Avoid) For Better Skin This Winter
December 05, 2017 03:59 PM
Winter is a very bad time of the year for our skin. While there are different creams and moisturizers that can help, diet can also play a role in helping our skin. There are certain vitamins and minerals that have an effect on avoiding certain skin conditions. Eating foods that our healthy for the stomach and lungs will have an effect on skin. Eating a diet high in fiber also helps to flush out toxins. Drinking pure water or green tea can also be beneficial. Some things to avoid that will have a negative effect on skin include dairy, bread, cake, caffeine, and alcohol.
"We talked to expert nutritionists, dietitians, and dermatologists to get the lowdown on what we should be stocking our fridges and pantries with for an immaculate complexion."
Read more: https://nylon.com/how-to-eat-your-way-to-better-skin
Weeding through marijuana: Experts, advocates talk cannabidiol (CBD)
October 26, 2017 01:14 PM
Cannabidiol is a chemical compound in marijuana that helps deal with a variety of ailments such as pain, swelling, anxiety, and depression. Unlike its more famous chemical compound THC, cannabidiol doesn't give you the sensation of feeling high. For people skeptical of the ability of marijuana to help, they can hear stories like the one shared by Sage Pierson, who started taking a mix of cannabidiol to put in her tea every morning. This drastically reduced the swelling she had as a result of her arthritis, helping her live a normal life. While doctors and government officials debate the merits of CBD, it is not officially endorsed by the FDA, so you won't be able to buy it at a pharmacy near you.
"Whenever a medicated herb can provide relief to a medical condition or illness it should not only be allowed, it should be encouraged before taking (Food and Drug Administration)-approved drugs with their long list of toxic side effects."
Read more: http://www.aspentimes.com/news/weeding-through-marijuana-experts-advocates-talk-cannabidiol-cbd/
1 Pinch Of This Magical Ingredient In Lemon Water Will Vanish Your Migraines And Headaches!!
October 11, 2017 12:14 PM
Migraines are not just normal headaches. They are extremely painful. They can have other symptoms as well such as a feeling of nausea. Lemon water can help, though, and this is good news for many. Migraines can be very hard to treat. It is hard to even find the cause so you can cut it out of your life. Many who suffer are at a loss and don't know what to do about it, and even doctors can be stumped at times.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8dZ-tbHxQU&rel=0
"Your pain will disappear in an instant. The remedy that we are suggesting is so powerful and easy to make."
Get Rid Of Your Joint Pain In 5 Hours After Drinking This Home Made Liquid!!
October 06, 2017 12:14 PM
Joint pain is hard for many. It hurts and makes it hard to get things done. This drink can help, though, and if you suffer from joint pain you could notice how much better it is to have it lessened. There are medications for this but not everyone wants to take those. Some people are allergic to them or just don't like the ingredients. This drink will seem safter to those people so they might be willing to try it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCEhQgR2y8g&rel=0
"its high concentration of nutrients will help eliminate pain and inflamation almost immediately"
5 Natural Remedies To Treat Rosacea
July 30, 2017 12:14 PM
Rosacea is a skin condition of inflamed blood vessels on your face, many people worldwide suffer from this skin condition. People think that this just means red skin, but many people also have photo reactive skin, painful skin and skin that burns. There are things that can help, like eating a cleaner variety of foods. Using aloe vera. Using tea tree oil, green tea and cucumber also work well with inflamed skin because they have anti inflammatory properties.
"Rosacea is quite unpredictable and can flare up out of the blue or remain dormant for long periods of time. It might worsen over the years, remain constant or improve slightly with time."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/natural-remedies-for-rosacea/
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/
Does your hair need more nourishment?
May 08, 2017 06:44 AM
Deep conditioners and hot oil treatments are only temporary fixes for dry and brittle hair. The truth us, hair health comes from nourishment that you put into your body. Your hair (and nails too) need certain nutrients to thrive. Silica, iodine, manganese copper, selenium, vitamin C, betacarotenes and B vitamins are essential to nourish the growth cells below the skin. There are herbs that can also help, Fallopia and other Chinese herbs can strengthen hair growth as well. These essential ingredients can be found in Fusion Hair Tonic as well as Fusion hair Skin and Nails supplements.
Read more: Does your hair need more nourishment?
Does apple cider vinegar have health benefits?
May 02, 2017 08:59 AM
Is there any apple cider vinegar in your pantry? If not, perhaps it is time to make this addition. Apple cider vinegar has an array of health benefits that are going to be yours when the vinegar is used on a regular basis. What are those health benefits? You've come to the right place to learn. DO not wait any longer to enjoy the massive health benefits that come with apple cider vinegar used in your life.
"If you are using apple cider or other vinegars as one part of an overall plan, combining it with a healthy diet, portion control and exercise, it might help, Drayer says. She suggested using balsamic vinegar on salads, in a 4:1 ratio with oil, or adding it to sauces for poultry and fish."
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html
9 Natural Ways To Combat Depression That Actually Work
March 17, 2017 11:44 AM
Chronic depression should not be left untreated. Cost of treatment is a real concern, particularly if you are uninsured or unable to meet high deductibles. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Look for the free or low cost resources in your community. Community counseling services or support groups are some examples of low cost or free access to help. Self helps in the form of journal writing or meditation should be considered. Take advantage of sunlight, exercise, and a balanced diet. Finally, know the number for a national crisis hotline and recognize help is waiting for your call.
"Some universities across the nation offer community counseling services with graduate students in their psychology departments."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/natural-ways-to-treat-depression/
Mushrooms for nutrition and health
December 31, 2016 02:39 PM
He recommends one tea bag, at least half an hour before you plan to crack open a beer or order wine. This can help, he said, because it has antioxidants that may protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol. "That's my favorite way to support the liver during this time," said Davidson, based in Irvine, Calif. "help it do its job at a very high level." Some health experts caution that too much green tea can cause damage in rare cases, so don't try to equal your green tea intake with your alcohol.
"Recent investigations have proved the empirical observations of the oriental herbalists that certain mushrooms possess many useful medicinal values."
The USA Comes in Last Again on Health
November 27, 2016 02:59 PM
America may be the land of opportunity, but it is definitely not the land of health. When ranked against 10 other countries, the United States was found to be inferior to all the others. We spend much more on health care in the United States, and yet, we have far less to show for it. A majority of low income people in America skip going to the doctor simply due to the cost. On the other hand, other countries have far more access to equivalent healthcare. Obama Care was supposed to help, but it seems to have made it worse.
""The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and coordination," said Commonwealth Fund President Dr. David Blumenthal."
It Is The Silent Killer
Chronic Inflammation is considered the silent killer, it can go on with absolutely zero symptoms. It is caused by Lifestyle choices, dietary choices, obesity, and uncontrolled stress.
Stress is the number one factor in creating chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation triggers cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and most all other diseases related to age. It can weaken the immune system and cause cell damage that prevents cells from dying causing uncontrolled cell reproduction and cancer.
Taking anti inflammatory drugs can make it worse. Do not substitute NSAID drugs in hopes to reduce chronic inflammation, it wont work.
There is an herb that can help, Curcumin!
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory herb, an antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer plant. If you want to fight chronic inflammation, take curcumin.
Vitamins that Help Balance Uric Acid in the Body
February 10, 2015 05:58 PM
What is a uric acid?
Uric acid is a waste product that can found in the body. It is a by-product of fructose metabolism. Therefore, a person with a diet rich in fructose will have a higher level of uric acid unless they can take certain measures to ensure that the levels are checked.
Effect of high uric acid
Very high levels of this waste product are associated with certain painful conditions. One of these conditions is gout. Gout is a type of very painful arthritis that will commonly affect the big toe. It is characterized by extreme pain and most people who have this condition are often on medication to regulate it for most of their lives. It is the most common disease associated with high uric levels, but not the only one.
People with High Blood pressure and obesity also exhibit higher levels of the acid in their systems. It is important to note however, that uric acid functions as both an anti-oxidant as well as a pro-oxidant. For this reason, you do not want to lower its levels too much, so as not to miss its anti-oxidation properties. You want to have optimal levels of the acid in your body and the following vitamins and natural spices can help you achieve this easily.
Vitamins to Regulate Uric Acid
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been recommended in many health advice articles as being especially useful to lowering the levels of uric acid in your body. However, it is important to be very careful when taking Vitamin C for this purpose since taking too much could have the opposite effect; that of increasing the levels of this acid in your body. Vitamin C can be found in many natural supplements but you are likely to get good results with the natural sources, which are fruits such as oranges and lemons as well as in vegetables.
Vitamin B5: This vitamin is very important in breaking down excess uric acid in the body. Also known as pantothenic acid, it is actually the necessary ingredient in the body for the excretion of this acid. Most people who have excess uric acid have a Vitamin B5 deficiency. Stress is a major cause of low levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin B9: Also known as folic acid, this vitamin has been used by many people suffering from gout to help lower the levels of uric acid in the cells. Although there are no real studies that show its efficiency, many people who take folic acid supplements have claimed a reduction in the intensity of gout symptoms.
Natural Herbs and Spices that can help, there are also a number of natural herbs and spices that can greatly help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. This is because certain herbs have been known to have higher anti-oxidation properties than even fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of the herbs and spices associated with uric acid control include; cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric. These four spices also have anti-inflammatory properties that can be very useful to those suffering from gout.
What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses
February 19, 2014 03:18 PM
What is juniper berry
With regards to Super foods, berries are right on top of the agenda on the grounds that they are packed with gainful cell reinforcements. One such berry that can help you a great arrangement is the juniper berry oil and through the years, experimental exploration has indicated what a wonder it is.
Organically talking, the juniper berry isn't a real tree grown foods yet the juniper's seed cone. It's viewed as a berry as a result of its scales. The juniper is an evergreen tree and there are obviously 6 types of this tree whose berries are palatable and utilized for a ton of useful purposes.
Juniper berries oil are widely utilized within European cooking, particularly meat based arrangements as it gives one of a kind quality. Gin significant others likewise may be amazed to discover that juniper berries are the essential element in gin. However the juniper berry is eminent for its notoriety as a home grown answer for an unimaginably long rundown of conditions and afflictions.
How it makes a difference
The juniper is truth be told a helpful tree as a large portion of its parts are utilized for a medicinal readiness or the other. In this way, the berries, leaves, bark and even oil determined from the berries and wood are utilized within different ways.
Benefits of juniper berry
Basically a severe berry, the juniper berry holds various unpredictable oils or key oils, strand, vitamin C, flavoring and entire parcel of dynamic fixings that makes it the achievement healer that it is. Note that juniper berries might be taken as teas and the squashed berries could be connected on the skin also for an assortment of sicknesses.
Here is a glance at a portion of the employments of the juniper berry and how it can help us lead healthier lives:
Juniper is recognized to be a herb with the most astounding consequences for kidneys. It is additionally used to cure different urinary tract contaminations and it can uproot uric harsh corrosive from the figure. Juniper makes the kidneys work rapidly and the form transforms more pee, making it a great diuretic additionally.
People confronting water maintenance issues can feel a great deal of alleviation with the juniper berry and its oil due to its diuretic lands.
Oil from the juniper berry has a disinfectant impact and it comes as an extraordinary easing to individuals experiencing urethritis and cystitis.
Suffering from digestive issues? The Berry may very well be your reply as it can help diminish tooting and colic and help processing. It additionally moves issues, for example, bloating, belching and acid reflux. As a digestive help, it is remarkable as it expands the longing, soothes gas and expansions the generation of gastric harsh corrosive.
Juniper berry oil additionally has calming qualities and it is of superb assistance to those experiencing joint inflammation, gout and different conditions, for example, ailment. These joint related ailments happen due to the liquid maintenance around these joints and the juniper berry with its diuretic activity assuages this weight extensively.
Skin afflictions, for example, dandruff, skin inflammation and contender's foot can additionally be treated with topical provision of the juniper berry.
Juniper helps in invigorating the muscle tone and discernibly decreasing the impacts of ageing for generally individuals.
Menstrual spasms are frequently a significant number of the most troublesome parts of a lady's life; however these can additionally be lessened fundamentally with the assistance of the juniper berry. Numerous cultivators even utilize the juniper to enhance the uterus tone and to help the individuals who have moderate or late beginning periods.
Concentrated oils of the juniper are utilized topically for lung clogging and hack while it is additionally pivotal in helping those experiencing respiratory contaminations. The unpredictable oils help in clearing up bronchial entries and disposing of bodily fluid.
It has a high convergence of insulin and aides in mending the pancreas.
Essential oils extricated from juniper berries can help in soothing toothache and making gums stronger. It can additionally be utilized to oversee hair fall.
Finally, the juniper berry is utilized by numerous to thin down and since it even scrubs the poisons from the form, it is an extraordinary general purifier also.
Juniper does have some noteworthy symptoms and its vital that you're attentive to them before you begin utilizing them as any type of medicine.
Avoid the juniper berry oil in the event that you have extreme kidney issues as it can disturb the issue and cause further harm.
If you utilize more than the endorsed sum, chances are that you could experience the ill effects of loose bowels, kidney torment, high circulatory strain, quick pulse and purplish pee.
When taken inside, it can affect the assimilation of iron and different minerals.
Open wounds are best not treated with juniper on the grounds that it can cause inconvenience and swelling.
Juniper causes uterine fits and could prompt brought down ripeness, so ladies who are endeavoring to get pregnant must escape juniper.
Pregnant ladies ought not to utilize juniper as it can cause uterine compressions and reason a premature birth.
Diabetics must be cautious while utilizing juniper as it can raise the levels of glucose in the form.
Juniper when taken in prudent sums and with individuals, who don't have the shown issues as said above, could be a blessing as it furnishes them with a considerable measure of help.
December 27, 2012 01:59 PM
Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant/hormone secreted by a small endocrine gland in the human brain. The hormone is responsible for sleep-wake cycle modulation and fine tuning of your body's "internal clock". In other words: when it gets dark, your pineal gland increases melatonin production, which induces drowsiness and makes you sleepy. When light conditions change (e.g. daytime), your body decreases melatonin production. If you expose yourself to an intense source of light during the night, or keep spending time in a dark environment during the day, you can confuse your body and disrupt melatonin production.
The hormone was also observed to affect the production and the discharge rate of female sex hormones.
As one gets older, his pineal gland produces less and less melatonin, which leads to a conclusion that melatonin is age dependent (children have the highest concentration of melatonin). The fact that our body produces melatonin to "sedate" itself when the sun goes down, implied that the hormone could be used to help people suffering from sleeping disorders, desynchronosis (jet lag) or similar conditions.
This served as a basis to study and use positive health effects of the hormone. Melatonin is not a miracle-cure, but it CAN improve the sleep quality of insomniacs, women in menopause, benzodiazepine (valium) withdrawal patients and people who suffer from ADHD. Melatonin also improves the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer treatments and increases the chance of survival in prostate cancer patients.
If you are a healthy middle-aged person, your body will produce between 5-25 micrograms of melatonin per night (80 times less than a single melatonin capsule). This is a good indicator of recommended dosage. In fact, you should start with 0.1 - 03 mg per night, an hour before bedtime. If that doesn't help, you may increase the dosage up to 10mg a day. However, do not exceed 10 mg per night before consulting your doctor, as that may cause an overdose.
Anything above 10 mg is risky without a professional guidance . If you consider the fact that you can overdose even with a sufficient amount of vitamins, melatonin is not an exception, and should be used with caution. Typical overdose symptoms include drowsiness, upset stomach, headache, confusion, lethargy, psychotic thinking, tremors, seizures and liver issues. If you experience multiple symptoms at the same time, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Holding Back the Years with DHEA
September 20, 2011 01:58 PM
Once you reach an average of around 25 years of age your body begins to cut back on its production of the sex hormone precursor DHEA, responsible for the biosynthesis of testosterone, estrogen and other sex hormones. Your body reckons you are past it at 25, so hard luck - no more sex hormones. You must find a way to overcome that, or you might as well give up the ghost now - but luckily there is a solution: DHEA supplements.
Imagine of you were over the hill, with around 60 years still to go as a guy, but no hormones! In fact, the same is true of the girls, so that's another worry for you. You take DHEA but none of them do, and what then? Use your own imagination, but it won't be a whole heap of laughs, that's for sure!
There is an answer - simply take a DHEA supplement, and make sure your girl does too, then you will both be on the same wavelength and your lack of hormones will be solved. In reality what happens is that you will go to your doctor and ask for help, when all you need do is to take a DHEA supplement. Don't come crying if your doctor can't help you!
Seriously though, you should keep your doctor informed about what you are doing, although DHEA is relatively benign and unlikely to cause you serious problems. Nevertheless, never use it if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, and never give it to your children unless cleared by your family physician.
Fight Anxiety Disorders Naturally
December 14, 2010 04:27 PM
Do you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder?
Before considering how to test for anxiety disorders and discussing natural supplements that can help we should first discuss what anxiety disorders are - what the term means and if there are degrees of anxiety disorders as there are of depression and stress. First, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress and it is anxiety that makes you worry about the consequences of not studying for an exam - so you study. It focuses you on problems so that you will be more likely to solve them, and helps you to perform better whatever you are doing. However, it can get out of hand and these positive mental processes become negative anxiety disorders.
With some people, anxiety becomes a dread of situations that were once everyday occurrences and can make your life a misery. Here are some forms of anxiety disorder.
Typical Anxiety Disorders
General Anxiety Disorder
Its symptoms include excessive sweating, worry, headaches, irritability, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness and tension in your muscles. It can lead to substance abuse and deep depression if left untreated.
These are three typical forms of anxiety, but how do you test for anxieties? Here are some tests that are used, beginning with the easiest - doing it yourself!
Testing for Anxiety Disorders
Many that believe they may have an anxiety disorder either tend to panic or go into a depression. It is far better to carry out a self-test. This anxiety test is very simple: simply tick which of the symptoms below you have experienced in the past six months:
I can't relax
I am always worried about something.
I get headaches for no apparent reason
I frequently sweat a lot and get hot flashes
I have no time for anybody and am easily annoyed
I find it hard to sleep and I often wake up during the night
My attention keeps wandering and I can't focus on anything
I sometimes get so worried I want to be sick or have a lump in my throat
If you have ticked more than three then perhaps you should pay your doctor a visit, or try some of the recommendations below.
b) Doctors' Tests
If you feel you might be suffering some form of anxiety disorder you should consult your doctor, particularly if you have tried the self test above and it indicates that you might be. Your doctor might carry out various tests for your general health, and if it is felt necessary you may be asked about your family history: is there any history of mental problems in the family, particularly with your mother or father.
Other questions may appertain to your own physical and mental background, such as have you been stressed for any reason lately, have you suffered anxiety or panic attacks in the past and what is your normal use of prescription and non-prescription medications and drugs. Do you smoke, drink or take any social drugs.
It is important that you are totally honest: the doctor is not judging you, simply trying to find the cause of your problem. Under the terms of their oath they cannot divulge anything you tell them to anyone else, so be honest and let them help you. Among the tests you will be given will be to declare all your history of anxiety-related symptoms. To achieve that, you will be asked a series of questions while the doctor assesses your mental condition.
Finally, you may be referred to a psychiatrist who will be able to help you more than your doctor. Psychiatrists have a good record in resolving anxiety disorders, but once you are diagnosed positively, what then? Chemical drugs? Or perhaps you would prefer something more natural such as herbal remedies.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Here are the more commonly used of these:
Passion flower contains the active substances maltol and ethylmaltol that your body's biochemistry uses to increase the concentration of GABA (gamma-butyric acid) in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms you and helps you to relax and forget anything that is making you anxious. It relieves muscle tension, can lower your blood pressure and some equate its effect to that of Valium: although it is totally different chemically it is similar in its effect. It offers a sedative effect and helps you sleep.
Kava Kava root
Kava kava. Generally just referred to as kava, comes from the Pacific and the kavalactones it contains increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in your vascular system, particularly serotonin, the feel-good substance. Its sedative effects have been likened to that of alcohol, and it can certainly give you a lift and certainly helps you worry less as it reduces the negative symptoms of stress and depression.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is a well-known anti-depressant and it can also help reduce the symptom of anxiety. The hyperforin the plant contains helps to improve the brain's content of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that make you feel good, and St. John's wort certainly washes away your anxiety. Not only that, but the napththodianthrone in another of its important components, hypericin, promotes a reduction in depression through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase, a pro-depressive enzyme.
An extract of valerian root can help you to relax and sleep well, and this can often be enough to prevent your anxiety attacks. A lot depends on their cause, but if the attacks are mild and don't require extensive medical or psychiatric intervention, then valerian can help, particularly in treating stress-related anxiety. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because valerian can be dangerous if taken to excess.
The four herbal remedies above should between them be all you need to treat your anxiety. One major problem is that, just like any chemical drugs, they only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause which is something you and your physician will have to work on yourselves.
However, until then, the above herbal remedies for anxiety disorders are generally safer to use than prescription drugs and each has a well proven effect, both on the symptoms of anxiety and on depression.
Protect your body from Damaging UV radiation With PABA
September 02, 2010 12:34 PM
PABA - The oral Sun Screen Protection
Para-aminobenzoic acid, otherwise known commonly as PABA, is an antioxidant, meaning that it possesses chemically reducing properties that can destroy the free radicals that disrupt skin cell membranes and so lead to wrinkling. At one time it was used in sunscreens where it was believed to protect against UVB radiation though not UVA radiation. However, after it was discovered that UVA radiation can damage the skin more than UVB, its use has reduced considerably although it can still protect your skin by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
Free radicals are small oxygenated molecules that rupture the membranes of your body cells and also oxidize LDL cholesterol, causing it to form plaques on the internal walls of your arteries. That eventually blocks them and can cause heart attacks and strokes. PABA can destroy these free radicals and ultimately prevent this from happening. In doing so, of course, it also destroys the free radicals generated by the UV radiation in sunlight and so helps your skin to keep looking fresh even when exposed to strong sunlight.
PABA will not offer complete protection against excessive sunbathing but will help, and it is free radicals that give those that live in hot countries that wrinkled and leathery look to their skin. PABA can protect you from that.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
May 17, 2008 10:17 AM
Recently, the Natural Products Association has experienced a flurry of activity on the legislative front. One month ago, Natural Products Association members went to Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and discuss legislation important to the association and the industry. Many who could not visit Washington in person were part of our "virtual march" on Washington that delivered e-mails, petitions, and videos to Congress on the importance of natural products. Natural Products Day was a great success, boasting higher than ever attendance at our evening Congressional reception, and resulting in additional co-sponsors for S. 771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act sponsored by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The bill now boasts co-sponsorship of more than a quarter of the Senate. Its companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1363, sponsored by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), has gained an additional five co-sponsors as the result of Natural Products Day meetings and now has 140 co-sponsors. These bills continue to build momentum, thanks to your support.
More recently, the Natural Products Association urged supporters to contact their legislators to include an amendment to the "Farm Bill" allowing food stamp recipients to purchase dietary supplements. This provision was similar to free-standing bills that have been introduced in the current and previous Congresses by Sens. Harkin and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and have earned the association's support. Although the amendment advanced further than other versions in previous sessions, it did not make the final Farm Bill, which was reported out of conference today. The good news is that the Farm Bill did contain significant increases in nutrition programs and increased funding for organic farming, another supported goal of the Natural Products Association. Because of the strong effort of our supporters on the amendment's behalf, the bill was placed on Congress's radar screens and has greatly improved the chances as stand-alone legislation, S. 770, the Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, of seeing passage. We will continue to ask for support on this important bill as this legislative session progresses.
In addition, the Natural Products Association has been leading the fight to protect Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and to keep this important, safe, and effective supplement available to elderly consumers. The same players behind S. 762, which would wrongly classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, proposed S. 2470 in late 2007 as a misplaced reaction the release of the Mitchell Report, which chronicled the abuse of steroids by professional baseball players. Although DHEA has no performance enhancing attributes, this bill was proposed to limit the access of minors to DHEA. The Natural Products Association and its supporters have worked hard to inform Congress of the benefits of DHEA, and that it is not an anabolic steroid and should not be classified as one. We have been able so far to prevent any movement on the bill, but the association continues to monitor its progress and make sure that this supplement remains accessible to the seniors who need it most.
Thanks to your help, the Natural Products Association continues to have an active presence on Capitol Hill that is felt by legislators. We could not do it without the help of you, our supporters, who know how important it is to stand up for natural products. The impact of your messages to legislators continues to help the Natural Products Association to ensure all natural products - from natural and organic foods to dietary supplements and health and beauty aids - are accessible to Americans. With your continued support we will continue to be known as a vocal group with a wide base of support through the rest of this legislative session and beyond.
To get involved, please visit our action center at www.capwiz.com/nnfa/issues/
Third- The Science (Putting It All Together) Boswellia & Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:44 PM
Frankincense has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and is even mentioned in the Bible. The trunk exudes a resin containing mono- and sesquiterpenes that possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are also well known antiseptics and astringents, and support the immune and respiratory systems.
These terpenes are commonly referred to as boswellian acids, and consist of a carboxylated pentacyclic triterpene with at least one more functional group. Both the alpha and beta acid have a hydroxyl (-OH) grouping, and there are also the acetyl (CH3CO-) equivalents with an acetyl group replacing the OH. There are other so-called-boswellian acids, and it is believed that they all play a part in the anti-inflammatory properties of the resin.
The acetyl derivatives are thought to be involved in the death of some cancer cells, particularly those involve in brain and colon tumors, and also leukemia. The way in which they achieve this appears to be a programmed progression that ends with the dying out of the cells rather than a violently destructive mechanism, which lends credence to the Ayurvedic belief that the treatment is a natural one designed by nature.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the acetyl triterpenes are due to their effect on leukotrienes that sustain the inflammatory reactions of many allergic reactions and also of asthma. They appear to inhibit the enzyme elastase in leukocytes; this is a crucial enzyme in the production of the chemicals that promote inflammation.
It has been established that the inflammatory response of the immune system is due to the action of specific enzymes, so it stands to reason that if you can inhibit these enzymes, then you will also inhibit the immune response to specific initiators and so reduce the pain involved. Bosellian acid in the form of triterpenes appears to contain these inhibitors, and this would appear to explain its effectiveness. Pinene and phellandrene are among the terpenes isolated from Boswellia.
A standardised dose of 60% - 65% of Bosellian acids is generally used, so if you are purchasing Boswellia this is what you should be looking for. Keep in mind that it is intended to treat inflammation, ands that inflammation is an indicator that something with your body is not quite right. Therefore, while inflammation is painful, and Boswellia may help, you should also treat the cause of the inflammation by treating the immune system.
Fight Osteoporosis With Minerals To Build Bones And Improve Quality Of Life
April 02, 2008 11:06 AM
Bone consists predominantly of collagen and calcium phosphate. The collagen provides the connective framework for bone that is hardened by the calcium phosphate, and without healthy bones, your quality of life would be significantly reduced due to bone breakage. That is why it is essential to supplement this framework with the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a good bone density at those periods in your life when bone density is liable to deteriorate.
This begins to happen between the ages of 30 and 35 and in women and accelerates during the menopause, when your ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen that is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones. Through time, your bone mass drops creating first a condition known as osteopenia, or reduced bone mass, and then osteoporosis, when your bones become brittle, porous and very prone to fractures.
Before we look at what can be done to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, lets have a close look at how bone develop so that it will be easier to understand the remedial action that can be taken.
Calcium is the most common mineral in the body, and the vast majority is in the bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also essential for healthy bones because as stated earlier, the bone consists of collagen that is hardened by calcium phosphate. The two main uses of phosphorus are in bone structure and animal metabolism, since phosphates are also essential for the vast majority of the energy-production chemical reactions within your body.
Calcium has other functions within the body other than bone, however, including exchange of fluids within and between cells, the maintenance of your heartbeat and in blood clotting. Vitamin D is necessary to help calcium be absorbed from your diet, through the membranes of the duodenum. More calcium is absorbed there than in the small intestine, and the calcium is also most available to the body when it is in a water-soluble form.
In fact, the reason that stones form in your kidney for example, is that the calcium is rendered insoluble through the formation of calcium oxalate from the oxalic acid in foods such as rhubarb and soy. High fat diets can also slow down the absorption of calcium.
Estrogen plays a significant part in bone physiology, and is an important factor in the maintenance of bone density in women. Bone is living tissue, and is constantly being absorbed and remodeled throughout life. The part played by estrogen is to maintain a proper balance between the osteoclasts, the cells that reabsorb bone tissue, and osteoblasts, the cells that form new bone tissue.
When estrogen is deficient, this balance is lost and rather than bone formation and resorption occurring constantly, they take place in spurts so that first an area of new bone will be formed, then resorption will occur some weeks later, resulting in a structure where there are cavities between areas of bone. With time, these cavities will increase and weaken the integrity of the bone structure.
However, that is not the whole story. The effect of estrogen is to limit the active period of osteoclasts so that the areas of bone resorbed into the body are relatively small so that the removed bone cavity can easily fill up with new bone by the osteoblasts, which are invigorated by estrogen. When estrogen is deficient, not only is the activity of the bone-forming osteoblasts reduced, but the bone-absorbing osteoclasts activity is not regulated, and they form deeper holes in the bone structure than the osteoblasts are able to fill.
The net result is bone loss, with more bone being reabsorbed than is being formed. The end result of all this is spongy bone tissue with many tiny hole and also with larger areas of missing bone. Eventually this passes a critical point and the bone fractures during normal use. A simple jump from one step to another can fracture a bone at its weakest point, such as at the hip joint where the neck of bone is thinner.
Not everybody is at the same risk, and there are certain risk factors that you should be aware of, each of which could increase the chances of you developing weak bones. The condition particular affects white or Asian women, and those who have a small frame. If you smoke and drink an excessive amount of alcohol, you will also be more prone to osteoporosis, although exercise can help you to avoid it. An inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D will also contribute, and magnesium is an essential part of strong bone development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has carried out surveys that indicate American women to be taking only 50% of the calcium recommended to maintain a healthy bone density. However, it is not only dietary calcium that is needed for the formation of bone, but also magnesium and boron, and vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium in the gut.
If you are on steroids then they can render you more prone to brittle bone disease. Unfortunately the symptoms of osteoporosis do not become evident until there has been a significant amount of bone loss, which is why post menopausal women, and those over 65, should have a bone density scan (DXA test). It is important to understand that osteoporosis is not a disease as such: you cannot ‘catch’ it, but it develops as the result of a gradual reduction in the minerals that maintain the density of your bone structure.
Your diet is important in helping you prevent bone loss and osteoporosis later in life, and your lifestyle is also important. Reducing your daily alcohol intake will certainly help, and cigarette smoking further retards the activity of the bone-creating cells. Calcium and vitamin D supplements will help, but do not restrict yourself only to these.
If you want to maintain proper bone density through and beyond the menopause stage of life, you should take a balanced supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy balance between natural bone loss and regeneration. There is more to it that only calcium and vitamin D, and a balanced supplement takes this out of your hands. You can rest in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your body and its bone density.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
Coconut Oil May Help Promote Healthy Thyroid and Digestive Function
November 01, 2007 09:49 AM
Coconut is extracted from coconuts, the coconut palm often being called the tree of life and for good reason. However, its benefits were lost to America for many years due to the politics of the vegetable oil industry claiming that all saturated fats are bad. This is not based on scientific or medical fact, and coconut oil was recently rediscovered in the USA, and the health benefits enjoyed by the rest of the world are once again available to Americans.
Coconut palms grow in most tropical climates such as Southern California and Florida, the Philippines and the Caribbean. Refined coconuts oils are mass produced and much of the beneficial nutrients are lost by the refining process. Virgin coconut oil is by far the better form, though is a slower process. It is generally obtained by shredding and dry milling the meat, and then cold pressing to produce the milk. The milk is fermented for a day or so and the separated oil collected.
Such oils are analyzed to contain over 50% lauric acid and high levels of phenolic antioxidants. Much higher than from refined oils. It is said to be the healthiest oil on earth. So why did the American authorities legislate against its use? It is because of the bad press received by saturated fats and oils.
You can have saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The majority of the fats and oils in our diet are composed of long chain fats and oils. The chain length refers to the length of the hydrocarbon chain, whether saturated or unsaturated. It is long chain saturated acids that are bad for your cardiovascular system, and that should be avoided. However, there are also short chain and medium chain fatty acids that are more easily metabolized by the body. Coconut oil consists predominantly of medium chain fatty acids that help to protect against heart disease and cholesterol rather than promote it.
The highest levels of medium chain fatty acids are found in coconut oils and palm kernel oils, and these are far more nutritious than the saturated long chain fatty acids found in animal fats and just about all vegetable fats. The main MCFA in coconut oil is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is generally regarded as being responsible for the vast majority of the health benefits of coconut oil. The only other source of this fatty acid other than coconut oil is in human breast milk. After absorption, lauric acid is metabolized into monolaurin that is the monoglyceride used by the human body to destroy viruses and microbes, and attack the fat coated viruses that cause such diseases as HIV. It destroys flu viruses, a number of dangerous bacteria and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
However, let’s have a look at some of the lesser known effects of coconut oil, such as its effects on the thyroid. Anything that blocks the efficient operation of the thyroid and secretion of the thyroid hormones can lead to excess estrogen in the body that can contribute to excessive blood cholesterol. There is a body of evidence that polyunsaturated fats and oils, such as soy, can have this effect is many people. When coconut oil is used instead, the medium chain fatty acids do not have the same effect, and those that are affected frequently find that their thyroid problem is cured and their blood cholesterol reduces.
This is not to infer that all hypothyroidism can be cured through the use of coconut oil, only those cases caused by consumption of excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Although this is refuted by some medical practitioners that are against the use of supplements in general, it has been supported by medical evidence.
Coconut oil is also good for the digestion, and helps the cure of many digestive problems including Crohn’s Disease. It helps to build lipoproteins, fats and bile in the liver, the latter being essential for digestion. It helps to create a much healthier digestive tract that makes for generally better digestion and more efficient use of the foods you eat. Absorption of the nutrients is maximized and you feel altogether better in yourself when you take a small amount of coconut oil daily.
You can have sugar cravings for a number of reasons, and taking coconut oil can reduce these quickly and effectively, irrespective of their cause. The medium chain fatty acid breaks down and is rapidly metabolized to glucose thus providing a source of the energy your craving is telling you that you lack. It is very useful in reducing sugar cravings without you having to eat excess sugar that can create yeast problems.
If you replace the fats you are currently eating with coconut oil, it will not only act as an appetite suppressant but can also help you to lose weight. The fatty acids in coconut are absorbed immediately and converted to energy thus reducing your immediate need for food and hence your appetite. If you eat the saturated fat in coconut oil rather than the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, then you can lose weight.
Many of the benefits of coconut oil are due to the speed with which the lauric acid is absorbed and metabolized in comparison to the long chain polyunsaturated fats. It is the chain length of the hydrocarbon tail that is important here rather than the number of double bonds in that chain that determines the degree of unsaturation.
Make sure that it is virgin coconut that you use since that is the most nutritious form. Do not be misled by labels claiming the contents to be extra virgin oil, since that is a term borrowed from the olive oil industry, and there is no such thing as extra virgin in relation to coconut oil. Never use refined coconut oil since that will just as bad for you as other saturated oils. Not even ‘Extra Virgin Refined Coconut Oil’ in the mistaken belief that such a label must indicate that the oil is extra good. It does not – it simply indicates that the supplier is a charlatan deliberately trying to mislead you into paying a premium price for a useless product.
Coconut oil may promote a healthy thyroid and digestive function, and all the medical tests indicate that it does. People that use it regularly swear by it and if you have a problem that virgin coconut oil might help, then one thing is sure: it will certainly do you no harm, and all indications are that it will do you a lot of good.
Natural Vitamin and Herbal Alternatives For Joint Health
October 18, 2007 03:58 PM
Joint tissue breaks down and arthritis sets in for a number of reasons, and there are several natural alternatives for joint health that can be use to prevent this and to treat affected joints.
Thyroid problems can slow down the production of adrenal hormones that are responsible for the production of cortisone and cosrtisol. These are anti-inflammatories, that when unavailable or in low supply can result in joint inflammation. If you suffer joint pain in the mornings that tends to improve as the day goes on, then it is likely that is the cause since adrenal activity can improve as the day progresses.
One of the main reasons for joint tissue breakdown is osteoarthritis whereby the cartilage wears down until it fails to provide the necessary protection against impact between the bones in a joint, or against the friction generated when two bones rub together. Injuries to joints can have the same effect, whereby an injury to a hip or knee can appear to clear up and then later the cartilage wears out sooner than expected. This can take several months or many years, depending on the severity and nature of the injury concerned.
Continual wear and tear can also cause joint tissue to break down. Athletes and other sportspersons often suffer twenty years or more after retirement from their sport due to the gradual wearing down of cartilage while they were active. Once they stop, this continues to a lesser extent until the cartilage is eventually worn away sufficiently for it to stop protecting the joint.
Problems with the auto-immune system can lead to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation of the joints. This weakens them and can eventually completely destroy the tissue. In such cases the tissues in the joint tend to swell and become extremely painful. Gout can also damage joints, especially in the big toe. This is caused through a built up of needle sharp uric acid crystals. Another cause is a deficiency in sodium and potassium in the diet that are needed to help maintain calcium in solution. When these metals are in deficiency due, for example, to an adrenal problem or some other reason, calcium can deposit right in the joints, causing undue pain.
Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are commonly associated with arthritis sufferers, and protein deficiencies are also believed to be a contributing factor of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is also true that degenerative arthritis can accompany rheumatoid arthritis. This occurs in almost 40% of cases, and diet and nutrition are now being recognized as a major cause of both types. Deficiencies in folic acid or its natural form of folate, vitamin E, zinc and selenium have all been associated with degeneration of joint tissue, so it makes sense that a supplement of these substances can help to avoid these conditions.
Standard medical treatment, however, is for the relief of pain and reduction of inflammation through the prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Typical NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Although it relieves pain, paracetamol is not an anti-iflammatory. An alternative to blocking the inflammatory reponse is to help to regenerate the damaged joint tissue.
However, reducing the inflammatory response to tissue damage does not address the underlying problem, but masks it. Not only that, but there are side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs. Excessive doses can create serious gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, ulcer perforation and even death is possible in severe cases. Anti-inflammatories cause gastric problems in up to 20% of cases
The newer Cox-2 inhibitors act on the enzyme that causes the inflammation within the joint, and while these can be very effective, they are still masking the underlying problem. Incidentally, the Cox-2 inhibitors should not be used with NSAIDs, and both increase the possibility of a myocardial infarction or heart attack. Also, if you are taking aspirin to reduce the risk of heart problems, you should be careful not to use other NSAIDs since they can interfere with the effects of the aspirin.
More effective in the long run is to treat the conditions with substances that deal with the cause of the problem. Vitamin C, for example, improves the lubrication effect of the synovial fluid in the joints, and vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can help to repair damaged tissue and improve the circulation within the joints. Joints have very low blood circulation levels, which is a problem when trying to direct drugs to the joint tissues. Vitamin C is also good for improving the integrity of connective tissue. Zinc, manganese and copper are also instrumental in developing strong connective tissue and helping to repair the damage done to the joints.
Horsetail is a commonly used herbal remedy that can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. It is the richest natural herbal source of silicon, which is used by the body to form connective tissue and collagen. Damaged connective tissue is rapidly repaired by horsetail, and its strength and elasticity significantly improved. It is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Cat’s Claw is used for its beneficial effect on the immune system, and frequently used successfully to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, this treatment is used more to help reduce the inflammatory effects of the condition than to effect a long lasting cure. Gotu Kola, also called Indian pennywort, is traditionally used for treating arthritis. The fresh leaves are effective in reducing the inflammation and pain, and help to improve the quality of life of arthritis sufferers. In Australia, it is referred to as ‘the arthritis herb’ and two leaves a day are said to be effective.
Another popular remedy is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), although it is claimed to provide pain relief rather than a cure. Amino acids also seem to help, and L-cysteine helps promote collagen and connective tissue. It appears to work best when taken in combination with vitamin E and selenium that are powerful antioxidants. L-arginine has a similar effect in the reconstruction of joint tissue, again helping to repair damaged connective tissues.
There are therefore two approaches to treating both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, one providing pain relief and reducing inflammation, and the other repairing the damage done to the joint tissues. Vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and herbal remedies are used in both, though it is better to use a combination that provides pain relief and also helps to regenerate strong connective tissues in the joints.
When using combinations of remedies it is important that possible interactions are understood, and you should always seek the advice of your physician when using non-prescription remedies of any kind.
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.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
Crucial bill S.3546 may soon land in the House of Representatives.
September 19, 2006 11:24 AM
By the time you read this Washington Update, Senate Bill 3546 (S.3546), “The Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Act,” may have already passed the Senate. As S.3546 advances to the House for implementation, non-casual Adverse Event Reporting (AER) looms on the horizon. This bill will wrongfully associate safe and beneficial dietary supplements with millions of adverse events that supplements did not cause. As S.3546 targets supplements, it ignores foods that have been linked to millions of annual adverse events—calling into question whether this bill is truly designed to keep us safe. With our right to take vitamins hanging in the balance, we must take immediate action in the House to head off S.3546 as the pass.
S.3546 offers no protection to American people. Instead, this bill appears to inexplicably punish supplement manufacturers and those who choose nutrition as a path to health and well-being. S.3546 attacks our fundamental freedom of choice through guilt by association and will destroy our core freedom to decide how and through which means we pursue health.
Along the way to revoking our health freedom, S.3546 will impose unreasonable reporting requirements that will drain supplement manufacturers’ resources and finances until they collapse. The non-causal AER that S.3546 proposes will unleash a wave of junk lawsuits that will deliver the fatal blow to the supplement industry—making trial lawyers rich while America’s health sinks in the murky waters of malnutrition and sickness.
Association, Not Causation
S.3546 proposed AER for supplements is based on association and not causation—a baldy misguided approach under which supplements will be reported for adverse events even if they did not cause, and had nothing to do with, those adverse events.
Non-causal AER encourages the scourge of our society-junk lawsuit purveyors and ambulance-chasing trial lawyers-to continue exploiting out legal system for their own selfish gains. If S.3546 is implemented, this scourge will blame vitamins for everything from acne to obesity. Americans are already paying for the actions of junk lawsuit scammers, facing ever increasing insurance premiums. With S.3546, Americans will pay an even greater price for junk lawsuits-losing their freedom, their health and their very lives when health-enhancing nutrition is taken away.
Why are safe, natural supplements being singled out, anyway? Dietary supplements rarely, if ever, cause any serious adverse events. The centers for disease control (CDC) estimate that foods cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Despite these figures, no one in Washington is proposing AER for foods. That S.3546 does not include foods is incriminating; it suggests that public safety is not the bill’s ultimate goal. Our enemies in Congress are pushing S.3546, not to protect us, but to destroy supplements-because supplements keep us healthy and healthy people make no money for Big Pharma.
Sending Faxes to the House
After S.3546 is passed in the Senate, it will land in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce. We must voice our AER opposition to Rep. Joe Barton, the chairman of this key committee, because he will hold the greatest leveraging power when non-causal AER is discussed in the House. Please fax and call Barton (emails and letters are ineffective) and urge him to abolish S.3546 in the name of health freedom.
Please call and send faxes to Barton and other key AER players at the following numbers (fax numbers second): Barton at 202-255-2002, fax:202-225-3052, chairman of the judiciary committee F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. at 202-225-5101, fax: 202-225-3190; House Majority Leader John Boehner at 202-225-6205, fax: 202-225-5117; Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert at 202-225-2976, fax: 202-225-0697; and Congressman Nathan Deal, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, at 202-225-5211, Fax: 202-225-8282.
Join the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA). Visit www.NHA2006.com and take advantage of online tools for easily sending faxes to Congress. Time is running out-please fax and call today and fax and call again tomorrow! With your help, we can preserve the American legacy of health freedom-and keep safe, beneficial nutritional supplements in our lives for generations to come.
Scratching the Surface
September 19, 2006 09:12 AM
Persistent yeast infections may indicate a body out of balance.
Say the words “yeast infection” to the average woman and she’ll probably start to squirm. The burning, the itching we’ve all been there. Yeast’s miseries drive millions of desperate woman to seek relief each year.
Yeast infections (also known as yeast vaginitis) start when candida albicans, a naturally occurring fungus, starts growing excessively, producing itchy discomfort and a whitish discharge. Most every woman will endure a vaginal infection at least once during her lifetime, and many of these episodes will be caused by candida. (Bacteria or Trichomonas vaginalis may also be to blame; to be sure have the necessary testing done.)
When yeast strikes repeatedly you should look for an underlying cause. One of the biggest is the extended use of certain prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids. Another is the presence of undiagnosed diabetes. If you’ve been on meds, or have other diabetes symptoms such as excessive thirst or fatigue, see your practitioner.
A number of alternative health authorities—though by no means all-see recurring yeast vaginitis as part of a systemic candida infection, also called candidiasis. They believe it occurs when intestinal yeast over-growth causes the bowel wall to “leak” partially digested food and toxins into the blood, causing such symptoms as depression, digestive woes, fatigue, irritability and rashes even weight gain. The solution lies in a diet that tightly restricts sugar and other carbohydrates. To learn more www.yeastconnection.com.
Ditching the itch
In addition to addressing the underlying causes of persistent yeast infection you should also tame the beast where it lives. Fortunately, there are safe, natural therapies that can make life a lot more comfortable. Tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic available in both liquid and suppository form, may help, and aloe Vera gel can provide welcome itch relief. To bolster the effects of these topical treatments, some herbalists suggest taking cinnamon or the rainforest herb pau d’arco in supplemental form. Garlic, known for its antifungal properties, is another time-tested option.
After disposing of the harmful critters, replace them with helpful organisms. Organic plain yogurt, both eaten and applied directly, is a good source of these beneficial bacteria, especially when you add acidophilus or other probiotic supplements. Cutting down on your sugar consumption is always a good idea no matter what, as is upping your fiber intake (Oat bran is a good source).
To help keep things cool and airy, a little wardrobe management may be in order. Avoid tight, synthetic fabrics (sorry, but those cute spandex pants have just got to go) in favor of looser garments made with natural fibers, especially white cotton underwear. If swimming’s your thing, don’t spend to much time sitting around in a damp suit—change into something dry as soon as possible.
If you have got an itch that won’t go away, don’t just scratch. Learning what’s really going on is the better way to experience sustained relief. –Lisa James.
July 06, 2006 02:18 PM
Restoring optimum liver function is one of the most important and vital actions people can take to improve their health. The liver is the largest organ in the body and carries a greater workload than all other organs. The liver works full time both converting the food that one eats into substances vital for life and neutralizing and destroying toxic matter.
If your customers have tried many ways to improve their health and energy level and nothing has seemed to adequately help, it is very possible that an overworked liver underlies their difficulties.
The natural course of life can cause the liver to get stressed, overworked and exhausted. Toxic chemicals, preservatives, poor diet, cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs all cause the liver to deteriorate, drain its energy and make it hard or even impossible for it to perform its functions. This can create a “State of energy” within the body that debilitates and damages other organs, leading to numerous chronic conditions.
As the detoxifying center of the body, the liver has a daily workload of neutralizing toxins such as pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, medications, chemicals, preservatives, auto exhaust and cigarettes. The liver helps remove these materials by breaking them down, enabling us to survive the enormous toxic challenges in today’s environment.
Symptoms of a congested liver
Ultimately, one’s health can only be as good as the health of his liver. A poorly functioning liver will affect all other organs. Weight gain and depression are two menifestations of a congested, overworked liver. Other common symptoms and conditions include being on edge (easily stressed), emotional roller coaster, elevated cholesterol, skin conditions, skin irritation, sleep difficulties, fat indigestion, kidney damage, heart damage, brain damage, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, poor memory, PMS, mental fog, blood sugar disorders, allergies and obesity.
When the liver gets congested and toxic, it will remain that way and get worse until it is detoxified and rejuvenated.
Liver Rejuvenator is a breakthrough product the most powerful liver formula available today. Made from a unique combination of the finest Chinese herbs and the best of Western herbs, Liver Rejuvenator detoxifies as well as rebuilds the liver.
No other formula can renew liver health as effectively, rapidly and gently as Liver Rejuvenator. This product sets a new standard for efficiency and results. The liver has everything to do with a person’s energy level. If your customers want high energy, great stamina and overall good health, tell them to be sure to keep their liver in excellent shape. Not detoxifying the liver is like never changing the oil filter in one’s car!
A healthy liver can mean much more energy, greater mental clarity, better mood, improved health, protection against countless ailments, and finding relief for conditions that may have been plaguing your customers for years.
Here are just some of the benefits Liver Rejuvenator users report: reduced stress, higher energy, mood elevation, feeling calmer and more relaxed, reduced or no headaches, less muscle or joint pain, eye or vision improvement, relief from skin irritation, enhanced mental clarity, less congested (sinus and chest), improved overall health.
FDA & Congress: Stop The Madness- Let the natural health revolution enhance our lives.
July 14, 2005 09:24 AM
FDA & Congress: Stop The Madness!Let the natural health revolution enhance our lives.
Here's a memo to the Food and Drug Administration and Congress: Enough is Enough. The American people are fed up with backroom politics. We are sick and tired of having our God-given right to natural health threatened by attempts to "protect" us from the very natural therapies that can help ensure our national health. You do not have the power to dictate or control our pursuit of natural health. First and foremost, end your attempts to regulate or even ban nutritional supplements! Americans choose to take supplements because we believe they contribute to optimal health and vitality. Who are the FDA and Congress to trample on our beliefs and pursuit of health and happiness?
Next, our enemies need to open their narrow minds to the sublime power of nature. We must embrace nature to evolve in body, mind and spirit. Our understanding of the healing power of natural elements has progressed significantly over the past century. We are on the cusp of a natural health revolution that will enhance the well-being of millions.
Natural supplements can change the world for the better. And yet, there the governments stands like an ignorant behemoth attempting to block our access to natural supplements. Step aside, we say. This is America, and we have the right to choose our own path to health.
Plant a seed and watch it grow. This is nature's most basic miracle. Part of this miracle is nature's inherent ability to create, perpetuate and enhance life. Science has proven that thousands of plants have healing powers, including powerful benefits for depression and pain management; that scientific knowledge affirms the wisdom employed by indigenous healers for centuries. These plants were placed on earth to comfort and relieve people suffering from painful, degenerative diseases of body and mind.
Who presumes to deny us nature? Look no further than to Congress and the FDA-for they are doing this right now. We must stop this behavior. The health and healing of all our people must take priority over all other interests.
Washington Update readers, rise up and unite! If the phiosophies in this column resonate with your own beliefs, then join the health freedom revolution! To uphold our freedom to take natural supplements, we must support like-minded souls and revolt against those working to rip our rights away.
Facing the right senators is an easy, effective way to help save supplements. Fax encouragement to key vitamin advocates, Senators Tom Harkin at 202-224-9369 and Orrin Hatch at 202-224-6331. Fax your disapproval to Senator Dick Durbin, a key figure in the movement to ban supplements, at 202-228-0400. Fax Senator Michael Enzy, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, at 202-228-0359. Tell Senator Enzi that you demand the freedom to take natural supplements. If you have already sent a letter or fax, please send another fax. Our health freedom depends on this fax campaign.
You can take action by visiting www.NHA2004.com and taking advantage of revolutionary technology that lets you rapidly and easily compose faxes to Congress. With your help, we can win the fight to keep safe, healthy supplements in our lives! For health, freedom, and liberty join NHA today!
The 50 Year Service Check...
July 07, 2005 09:18 AM
Sad but true: Guys who wouldnt forget to give their cars an oil change will go years without having their own inner workings inspected. But a reluctance to have ones chassis checked at the practitioner's office can translate into serious body engine failure. While physical exams are always important, they become a nevessity with advancing age. We're not saying 50 is old, mind you--a couple at Energy Times staffers are starting the big five-oh right in the face--but it's a good time to start getting regular checkups if you haven't been in the habit. Here's some of the things to look for next time they pop your hood.
Get those choppers checked at least once a year--untreated gum disease can lead to the kind of low-level inflammation now thought to be a culprit in numerous illnesses, including heart disease.
Some experts recommend yearly testing for glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure within the eyeball can cause blindness if not treated. Presbyopia, the farsightedness that accompanies increasing age, generally starts in one's 40s; time to invest in a pair of reading glasses.
Have your blood pressure taken by a professional at least once a year. Checks for cholesterol and blood sugar are part of a metabolic panel (Standard blood work) to be done every three years; it should include total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats). Discuss testing for CRP (C-reative Protein), a marker of chronic inflammation, with your practitioner.
The American Thyroid Association suggests an initial check of your thyroid, a gland in your neck that serves as the body's energy transformer, at age 35 with retests every five years afterwards. If you can't seem to lose weight and/or are sonstantly tired, ask about having your thyroid hormone levels assessed.
Your liver won't send out distress signals until it's pretty banged up. Since the standard metabolic panel includes the liver-enzyme check be sure to have it done every three years; that frequency may need to increase if you have a history of heavy alcohol or workplace exposure to toxins.
Having a yearly digital rectal examination (DRE) is recommended. Blood testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is more contraversial.
Colonoscopy, in which a lighted tube is used to view the entire colon, is the gold standard (although doctors are working on a less invasive virtual colonoscopy); once every 10 years starting at age 50 is recommended. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) should be preformed every year, but keep in mind it can yeild false results, positive and negative.
Don't Forget to:
Screening frequencies are for healthy individuals with no known risk factors. If you have a pre-existing condition or are at risk for one, follow your practitioner's recommendations.
: Energy Times
Digestion - Keeping The Digestive System Balanced
June 30, 2005 09:23 AM
Digestion By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Digestion is the foundation for the health and balance of the whole body system. In a very real sense our physical body is formed by the molecules we eat and absorb. As the old adage says, “we are what we eat.” Our eating habits, lifestyle choices and state of mind as well as the foods we choose to consume all directly influence the effectiveness of our digestion. Ideally, a diet of good whole organically grown foods eaten at regular intervals in a stress-free environment would be wonderful. The reality is that few of us actually ever attain this ideal. Herbs have been used traditionally by civilizations around the world to aid the digestive system in several different ways. Herbs may act as digestive tonics, bitters, carminatives, vermifuges (killer of parasites), laxatives and astringents, which all benefit the digestive system in different ways.
Digestive tonics can help to balance stomach acidity. Their tonic actions may be in part due to their ability to protect and soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Nature’s Answer® has many digestive tonic herbs available in the form of fast-absorbing liquid extracts. Nettle Leaf (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) is a mild digestive tonic that is highly nourishing. It tones the walls of the intestinal lining as well as the veins that supply nutrients to the digestive system. Cat’s Claw (alcohol-free, organic alcohol), often called Una del Gato in the Amazon rainforest where it is harvested, is a tonic herb for the entire system. Scientists believe that its overall positive influence on the body is directly related to its healing effect on the digestive system.
Bitters act to stimulate digestion through the increased production of digestive juices, from saliva to the release of bile. The Standard American Diet is sorely lacking in foods that taste “bitter”. There is actually a message sent via the nerves in the tongue to the digestive system to release enzymes and other digestive fluids when bitters are consumed. Herbal bitters can help, such as Nature’s Answer®’s Gentian Root(organic alcohol), Barberry Root (organic alcohol) and Oregon Graperoot (organic alcohol) liquid extracts. Bitters with Ginger (alcohol-free) is a combination “bitters” formula that blends several herbs together for ease of use and extra “bitters” benefits.
Carminatives are a classification of herbs that contain certain volatile oils well-known for their calming and relaxing actions to the stomach (leading to gas relief). Nature’s Answer® offers a variety of carminative herbs in liquid form, rich in the herbs’ roots, seeds, leaves and flowers: Ginger Root (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) is a common spice used throughout the world. It has outstanding medicinal properties that help to relieve conditions such as nausea, “morning sickness” (due to pregnancy), motion sickness (due to traveling in cars and boats) and other digestive complaints. Fennel Seed (organic alcohol) has a licorice like flavor. It is always available when leaving Indian Restaurants because it is a popular digestive aid. Peppermint leaf (alcohol-free,organic alcohol) is one of the most highly recognized and effective herbal treatments for bloating, gas, and “tummy-aches” in adults and children alike. Chamomile Flowers (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) is a popular herb in the United States. In Germany, the name for Chamomile translates to “Mother of the Stomach” because of its usefulness for many digestive complaints. Finally, Di-Jest™ (alcohol-free) is an example of an outstanding combination formula for digestion, featuring a synergistic blend of both carminative and bitter herbs for optimum support.
Vermifuges, also referred to as anthelmintics, are herbs that help rid the body rid itself of worms and other parasites. The presence of these “pests” was a well-known health concern until recent times, when advances in modern medicine essentially relegated these ailments to “the back burner.” It is an erroneous assumption to disregard the presence of parasites, especially in those who suffer from chronic digestive disorders. Nature’s Answer® provides several liquid herbal extracts which are quite effective vermifuges. Black Walnut Hulls (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) has been used historically to help get rid of worms. The combination formula, Black Walnut & Wormwood, combines Black Walnut with the appropriately named Wormwood and other herbs that are useful to help rid the body of parasites.
Laxatives aid with the common problem of constipation. Sufferers of this chronic ailment should examine their diets to be sure it includes a predominance of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For occasional use, Nature’s Answer®’s Cascara Sagrada (organic alcohol) serves as an excellent laxative that not only stimulates peristalsis (movement of the intestines), but also tones the muscles of the digestive system.
Astringents are useful for diarrhea. They help by firming the tissue in the digestive system. One noteworthy herb in this category offered by Nature’s Answer® in a convenient liquid herbal extract form is Bayberry Bark (organic alcohol).
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
Mega Mind - re-align your body systems ...
June 03, 2005 05:24 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MEGAMIND™ is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that helps align multiple systems: neurotransmitter production, antioxidant defense, energy generation, circulation, and myelin sheath generation. Complementary Formulations Source Naturals can help keep your mind sharp and alert. Use MENTAL EDGE® Bio-Aligned Formula for foundational support, or MEGAMIND, when memory symptoms* are severe. HIGHER MINDTM is an additional Bio-Aligned choice. Take these formulas alone or as the core of a program that includes additional ingredients such as DHA (NEUROMINS®), GINKGO-24™, PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE, VINCAMINE, and VINPOCETINE.
In today’s complex world, we are bombarded with information. Our ability to process this massive input depends on how well we nourish the multiple body systems related to brain health. In addition, normal aging is associated with impairment of certain mental functions, according to the National Institute on Aging. The brain undergoes changes including functional decline in neurons important to learning, memory, planning, and other complex mental activities, as well as increased oxidative stress. In healthy people, these changes may result in varying degrees of age-related memory decline. Source Naturals can help, with a full line of cognitive support products.
Mental Edge®: Bio-Aligned Formula
MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. MENTAL EDGE supports production of neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, antioxidant defense, energy generation, stress response and myelin sheath generation. It features nutrients needed for production of neurotransmitters— chemical messengers in the brain’s communication system. One of the most important of these is acetylcholine, which is necessary for memory and muscle movement. MENTAL EDGE also contains antioxidants—vitamin C, ginkgo, DMAE, and zinc—to protect the neuron cell membranes where electrical signaling takes place. Adaptogenic herbs provide the brain with support and energy to deal with environmental stress. Energy-generating ingredients such as ginkgo and B-vitamins are vital to the high-powered functioning of your brain. Vitamins B-5 and B-12 are also important for formation of myelin, a substance that forms a protective insulating cover around certain nerve fibers and increases nerve impulse conduction.
MegaMind™: Bio-Aligned Formula When memory symptoms* are severe, you may need a formula with extraordinary cognitive support. MEGAMIND addresses many of the same body systems as MENTAL EDGE, but does so with megadoses of brain nutrients, such as L-pyroglutamic acid and vitamin B-1 for neurotransmitter production. It also adds bacopa and the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to support neurotransmitter production, and higher potency vitamin B-12 for myelin sheath generation. Like MENTAL EDGE, MEGAMIND supports energy generation and antioxidant defense. MEGAMIND augments basic support for the brain’s immense energy requirements with higher potency vitamin B-1, and with one of nutritional science’s most advanced, high-tech nutrients, alpha-lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, as are gotu kola and grape seed. MEGAMIND also supports circulation with ginkgo and gotu kola.
Mega Mind: Bio-Aligned Formula HIGHER MIND is another multi-system support formula, which features phosphatidyl serine, a structural component of nerve cell membranes, and the botanical vinpocetine. HIGHER MIND nourishes neurotransmitter production, cell membrane stability, energy generation, antioxidant defense and myelin sheath generation.
Neurotransmitter Production: Bacopa, GABA, L-Glutamine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6
Acetylcholine Production: Acetyl L-Carnitine, DMAE, Gotu Kola, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5
Myelin Sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 & B-12
Energy Metabolism: Acetyl L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6 & B-12, Biotin,Folic Acid
Circulation: Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Grape Seed, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Zinc, Vitamin C
Complementary Cognitive Support Products
For additional support, you can supplement Source Naturals Bio-Aligned formulas with these single ingredient products: ACETYL L-CARNITINE and DMAE are both important to the synthesis of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter associated with higher cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. DHA (NEUROMINS®) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a significant role in cerebral development, especially during fetal development and infancy. GINKGO is renowned for promoting blood flow to the brain. Source Naturals GINKGO-24™ is a standardized concentration of Ginkgo biloba leaves, yielding 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpenes (the key constituents). PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE is necessary for the health of nerve cell membranes, where electrical signaling takes place. These membranes are critical to information processing. VINCAMINE, an alkaloid obtained from the periwinkle plant, supports cerebral metabolism by promoting blood flow and oxygen and glucose utilization. VINPOCETINE is a derivative of vincamine, shown in research studies to improve cognitive performance and alleviate the short-term memory loss that may accompany stress or aging.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive Health: A Strategy for Wellness SM
Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a high-fat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Longterm anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities, through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
ACTIVATED QUERCETIN: a truly hypoallergenic formula...
May 31, 2005 04:45 PM
Most of us like to stroll through the countryside. Or play with our pets. Or eat our favorite foods. Or just stop and smell the beautiful flowers. But when our bodily systems are at odds with the natural world, these simple pleasures can be difficult to enjoy. That’s why the nutrition experts at Source Naturals created ACTIVATED QUERCETIN: a truly hypoallergenic formula developed so we all can enjoy the pleasures of nature.
Quercetin: A Unique Bioflavonoid Quercetin is a unique bioflavonoid that has been extensively studied by researchers over the past 30 years. Bioflavonoids - first discovered by Nobel Prize Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi in the 1930’s - occur as pigments in plants, where they usually are found in close association with vitamin C. Together, bioflavonoids and vitamin C provide antioxidant protection, helping plants withstand harsh variations in wind, rainfall, temperature, and sunlight. Bioflavonoids also can be important to our optimal health - but they cannot be manufactured by our bodies.
Quercetin is no stranger to the human diet: for example, onions may contain up to 6% quercetin (dry weight). As a food supplement, quercetin is hypoallergenic, containing no citrus, wheat, corn, or other common allergens.
Histamine and Leukotriene Inhibition: helping Us Enjoy the Natural World
Quercetin has a strong affinity for mast cells, the body’s main storage unit for histamines. Like many other bioflavonoids, it has the ability to stabilize cell membranes, preventing histamines from spilling out of mast cells into the bloodstream and surrounding tissues. Also, quercetin helps inhibit the action of two enzymes - phospholipase A2 and lipoxygenase - which act on arachidonic acid (a key fatty acid constituent of many cell membranes) to create leukotrienes. By inhibiting the release of histamines and leukotrienes into our bloodstreams, quercetin can leave us free to enjoy the natural world.
Activated for Absorption
Quercetin’s main disadvantage is that it is barely soluble in water, and therefore difficult for the body to absorb. Without biochemical help, its beneficial properties may be of very limited use to our bodies. There are lots of quercetin products on the market, but they won’t do much good if the quercetin is not activated for use by the body. Source Naturals combines its quercetin with bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple that is known to increase the body’s ability to absorb various substances. Bromelain also is known to have many of the same histamineand leukotriene-inhibiting properties as quercetin, so they enhance each others’ performance. Source Naturals ACTIVATED QUERCETIN contains vitamin C in a non-acidic form, magnesium ascorbate. Studies suggest that vitamin C has a synergistic relationship with quercetin, which improves quercetin’s use by the body. Since the acidic form of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can create mild stomach irritation, and since quercetin is best taken on an empty stomach to maximize absorption, a pH-buffered form of vitamin C such as magnesium ascorbate is preferable.
Source Naturals ACTIVATED QUERCETIN is a state-of-the-art quercetin complex. With 333 mg of quercetin in each tablet, and key additional ingredients to maximize quercetin’s absorption and beneficial properties, ACTIVATED QUERCETIN is a potent formula. It gives you more help - so you can enjoy nature again. Source Naturals ACTIVATED QUERCETIN is available in 50, 100 and 200-tablet bottles.
• Busse, W.W., Kopp, D.E., and Middleton, E. (1984). “Flavonoid modulation of human neutrophil function.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 73: 801-809. • Middleton, E. (1981). “Quercetin: an inhibitor of antigen-induced human basophil histamine release.” Journal of Immunology, 127: 546-550. • Pearce, F., Befus, A.D., and Bienenstock, J. (1984). “Mucosal mast cells: III. Effect of Quercetin and other flavonoids on antigen-induced histamine secretion from rat intestinal mast cells.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 73: 819-823. • Tarayre, J.P. and Lauressergues, H., (1977). “Advantages of combination of proteolytic enzymes, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid in comparison with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.” Arzneimforsch. 27: 1144-1149.