Search Term: " hospial "
The Kidneys and Your Health: Everything You Need to Know
April 29, 2022 03:10 PM
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit in the lower back, on either side of the spine. They play a vital role in your health, filtering toxins from the blood and regulating fluid balance in the body. We will discuss everything you need to know about the kidneys, including common kidney problems and how to keep them healthy!
What are the common kidney problems
The kidneys are a pair of organs that filter waste products from the blood and excrete them in urine. They are also responsible for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Kidney problems can range from mild to severe, and can be acute or chronic. Common kidney problems include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidney when there is an imbalance of minerals in the urine. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary system and multiply. Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder that causes the body to excrete large amounts of protein in the urine.Kidney problems can often be treated with medication, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to prevent serious complications.
Acute renal failure
Acute renal failure is a sudden onset of kidney failure that can be life-threatening. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood and balancing fluids in the body. When they are not working properly, waste can build up in the blood and cause serious health problems. Acute renal failure can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, infection, and certain medications. Symptoms include decreased urine output, swelling, fatigue, and confusion. If left untreated, acute renal failure can lead to coma and death. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for a successful outcome.
Chronic renal failure
Chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a serious medical condition that affects the kidneys. In this condition, the kidneys become damaged and unable to function properly. As a result, toxins can build up in the body, causing a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include fatigue, bloating and swelling, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, poor appetite, changes in urination frequency or color, and anemia. Diagnosing CRF involves examining several factors like blood test results and overall medical history. Treatment for the condition typically involves managing any associated symptoms with medication or dietary changes. In some cases, dialysis may also be necessary to support patients with severe CRF. Overall, chronic renal failure is a serious but manageable condition that requires careful monitoring and management by patients and their healthcare providers.
Renal artery stenosis
Renal artery stenosis refers to a condition in which one or more of the arteries that deliver blood to the kidneys becomes narrowed or blocked. This can lead to a number of adverse health effects, including increased blood pressure, chronic kidney failure, and possibly even heart attack or stroke. While there are a number of possible causes for this condition, including genetic factors, certain lifestyle choices such as smoking can also increase the risk of developing renal artery stenosis. Fortunately, treatments are available for this condition, including medications and medical procedures like angioplasty. For those who are diagnosed with renal artery stenosis, early and effective treatment is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
Renal cancer begins in the kidneys, which are a pair of bean-shaped organs that filter waste from the blood and produce urine. The most common type of renal cancer is clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which accounts for about three-quarters of all cases. RCC typically affects middle-aged adults and is more common in men than women. Other types of renal cancer include papillary renal cell carcinoma, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, and collecting duct carcinoma. Treatment for renal cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. The type of treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient's overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best possible outcome.
Polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is a complex condition that affects the kidneys and other organs in the body. This disorder occurs when small cysts grow in the kidneys, gradually interfering with their ability to filter waste products from the blood. As these cysts start to expand, they can cause a number of severe symptoms such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, nausea and fatigue. In some cases, PKD also results in serious complications such as renal failure or a stroke. However, there are treatments available that can help people manage this disorder and slow its progression over time. By working closely with a medical team and making lifestyle changes to support kidney health, it is possible for people living with PKD to have long and healthy lives.
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungi or viruses. Symptoms of a UTI may include pain or burning during urination, increased frequency or urgency of urination, cloudy or blood-tinged urine, and pelvic pain. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to serious complications, such as kidney damage or sepsis. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for preventing serious health problems. UTIs are typically diagnosed through urinalysis, which can detect the presence of bacteria or other organisms in the urine. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to kill the infection-causing bacteria. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to treat a severe UTI. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids and emptying the bladder frequently can help to flush out bacteria and prevent reinfection. Wiping from front to back after using the restroom can also help to reduce the risk of UTI development. Avoiding masturbation devices would good idea if you get frequent urinary tract infections because they can introduce new bacteria into the urethra.
UTI and D-Mannose
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a common medical condition that can cause symptoms such as painful urination, abdominal discomfort, and sometimes even fever. While conventional treatments typically involve antibiotics, these medications often come with unwanted side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Fortunately, there is another alternative in the form of D-Mannose, a naturally-occurring sugar that has been shown to help treat UTIs by eliminating bacterial biofilms and relieving symptoms. Unlike antibiotics, which can damage gut health by killing off beneficial bacteria along with the harmful ones, D-Mannose does not disrupt this critical ecosystem. As a result, D-Mannose is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for UTIs, offering an effective and safe alternative to antibiotics.
Kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions to experience. These small, hard deposits form when there is an imbalance in the levels of certain minerals in the body. As they grow larger, kidney stones can cause severe pain as they move through the urinary tract. Treatment typically involves drinking plenty of fluids and taking pain medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the kidney stone. Prevention is the best way to avoid kidney stones, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to do this. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, and eating a diet high in fiber can help to prevent kidney stones from forming.
Glomerulonephritis is a serious kidney condition that occurs when the tiny filtration units in the kidneys, known as glomeruli, become inflamed and damaged. This can disrupt normal kidney function, causing a buildup of waste products in the bloodstream, resulting in numerous symptoms such as swelling and joint pain. While there is no cure for glomerulonephritis, treatment options can help to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. These may include medications to control blood pressure or reduce harmful inflammatory chemicals, along with lifestyle changes to support overall kidney health. With proper medical care and close monitoring, many people with glomerulonephritis are able to live healthy lives despite this chronic condition.
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of health problems. If you have kidney disease, it is important to monitor your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing kidney disease, but by working with your healthcare team and following their recommendations, you can help improve your health and quality of life. Remember, knowledge is power, so be sure to educate yourself about kidney disease and its treatment options. With the right information and support, you can live a full and productive life despite this serious condition.
The evidence is undeniable: Green leafy vegetables take the prizewhen it comes to protecting eye health
May 17, 2019 04:28 PM
One consequence of glaucoma is vision loss or blindness. It is estimated that leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli and other vegetables are full of minerals and vitamins that prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The question the author wants to answer is whether these leafy vegetables can help in preventing glaucoma. The conclusion of the author is that there is a link between leafy green vegetables and prevention of glaucoma. In fact, it can help prevent the disease. This conclusion was based on a recent study that was conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical school. Glaucoma is a eye disease that can affect one’s vision leading to vision loss progressively. The common glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. It leads to vision loss without any symptoms or sign. It is estimated that three million Americans are affected with glaucoma and 120,000 people will lose their sight due to having glaucoma. But why is glaucoma produced? This is due to an imbalance in the drainage of the aqueous humor. The researchers analyzed people’s diet and came to the conclusion that leafy green vegetables should be used as a treatment option.
"The study was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Ophthalmology, and it was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-green-leafy-vegetables-improve-eye-health.html
Whey protein supports recovery from muscle loss among the elderly
March 27, 2019 10:31 AM
Whey protein is good for building muscle especially in the elderly. Studies have shown that whey protein can help elderly people build lost muscle from long hospital stays or illness. Lack of strength in the elderly can affect their balance and the ability to perform simple tasks. A controlled study of sixteen men and fifteen women between the ages of sixty-five and eighty, were given whey protein or collagen for five weeks. During the study there was no difference between the two, but after the study, whey proved to recover more muscle than collagen. The right supplements can help keep you healthy when paired with a healthy diet and exercise.
"A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that whey protein can help seniors rebuild lost muscle from inactivity linked to illness or long hospital stays."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-26-whey-protein-supports-recovery-from-muscle-loss-elderly.html
Study concludes effectiveness of aloe vera for preventing pressureulcers in hospitalized patients
January 16, 2019 07:55 AM
Researchers at Arak University of Medical Science in Iran, performed a study to show that aloe vera works on treating people with pressure ulcers. Many people staying in hospital settings acquire pressure ulcers, or more commonly known as bed sores. Researchers created a treatment and control group. All patients were treated for bed sores and had two treatments a day. One group was treated with aloe vera and the other group was treated with a placebo. They concluded that the patients treated with aloe vera had less swelling, redness, and pain than the other patients.
"A new study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found a natural way of treating and preventing these ulcers using aloe vera gel."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-11-aloe-vera-in-prevents-pressure-ulcers-in-hospitalized-patients.html
Another study finds turmeric and curcumin to be a safe, effectivetreatment for lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart
November 19, 2018 09:36 AM
Turmeric and its much-lauded, health-giving component, curcumin, have had a health buzz about them for a long time. The health benefits to those that use turmeric and consequently curcumin, have long been noted. But, though its benefits for a wide array of bodily systems, including the cardiovascular, are not disputed, it has heretofore not been understood if turmeric, or more specifically curcumin, does some of its wonders by lowering lipid levels. The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University has now performed a meta-analysis of available data, surrounding turmeric and curcumin, as a means of filling the knowledge gap. The researchers began by filtering the data, searching for studies revolving around turmeric, cholesterol and triglycerides. To ensure the data was all the more compelling and germane, the researchers trimmed down the parameters even more, allowing for only those tests that involved subjects laboring under the effects of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. In these cases possible negative effects to the heart would prove particularly relevant. The meta-analysis revealed that turmeric and curcumin had positive effects to impart on the levels of serum triglycerides apparent in its user-subjects. The two components also positively impacted the low-density lipo-protein cholesterol levels of the user-subjects. The researchers theorized that positive chemical activity was initiated by the components, thereby causing the beneficial aspects. Other cholesterol and lipid markers were not affected. In general, turmeric and curcumin have been shown to limit oxidative stress and inflammation as well as benefit the blood vessel lining, all of which can prevent a serious cardiac event.
"Turmeric and curcumin are two substances most known for their wide array of health benefits."
Scientists call on feds to allow research on CBD for pets
December 10, 2017 03:59 PM
Veterinarians, researchers and pet owners are looking to loosen federal regulations on the use of marijuana products to help treat sick animals. Medical issues in dogs, such as epilepsy, arthritis, anxiety, loss of appetite and inflammation could potentially by helped by marijuana-based drugs and extracts.
Some people are already using marijuana extracts on their animals, such as those containing CBD, which is an element of marijuana that is not psychoactive. However, such extracts continue to be listed as Schedule 1 drugs by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, even when they contain little or no THC. THC is the active component in marijuana that causes intoxication.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned that marijuana products for pets sold in animal hospitals or online pet stores are illegal, since such drugs are unapproved. The FDA has suggested it will pursue legal action against those in violation of the law.
However, the policy-making body of the American Veterinary Medical Association, in conjunction with two group councils, is considering making a recommendation to the DEA for marijuana to be declassified as a Schedule 1 drug in order to enable research for both animal and human medical purposes. Declassification could also help prevent pet owners from accidentally overmedicating their animals in the absence of proper guidance from a medical professional.
In September, Republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced a bill that would facilitate research on use of marijuana-based medications, concurring that the drug is over-regulated, although he continues to oppose recreational use of the drug,.
Some veterinarians note that without sufficient evidence, it remains unsafe to use marijuana products on animals, with concerns about potential toxicity.
Yet researchers are continuing to wait for clearance to proceed on various relevant studies, such as use of marijuana for dogs with osteoarthritis, pruritis and epilepsy. Some research on use of products with CBD has been stopped until federal approval is granted. Gaining approval has been difficult due to government requirements, which continue to be an obstacle to moving forward.
"The concern our membership has is worry about people extrapolating their own dosages, looking to medicate their pets outside the realm of the medical professional"
Read more: https://www.aspentimes.com/news/scientists-call-on-feds-to-allow-research-on-cbd-for-pets/
Pancreatitis Symptoms: 11 Natural Ways to Prevent & Manage
November 17, 2017 03:59 PM
The pancreas is a small organ that is located in the upper abdomen. It is gently nestled between the stomach and spine. It's location usually causes delay in diagnose of illness until in the later stages, when it starts to effect other organs. Pancreatitis is an inflammation that effects the pancreas. It can be life threatening. Every year thousands of people are hospitalized due to this illness. However, there are dietary and lifestyle changes that can help prevent pancreatitis before it happens. Most important is to improve your diet. Adding vitamins and supplements can also help aid in prevention. It is also important to avoid trigger foods. One should always seek medical assistance if experiencing pancreatitis.
"The pancreas is responsible for converting food to fuel, aiding in digestion by producing essential enzymes to break down fats and carbohydrates and creating two vital hormones, insulin and glucagon."
Read more: https://draxe.com/pancreatitis-symptoms/
With This Powerful Natural Antioxidant I Controlled Cholesterol And Uncovered My Arteries In 5 Days!
September 28, 2017 12:14 PM
Antioxidants are important. They do a lot for your body. They can be found in many foods. This gives an example of a great one which can help to unclog arteries. This outs you at a lower risk of a heart attack since those are often caused by artery blockages. If you can unblock yours you should try to do so because otherwise you could end up in the hospital needing surgery. That's not good for anyon`e.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PfiwpH_D8k&rel=0
"One of the greatest benefits of basil is its ability to cleanse the blood stream"
New non-invasive eye test can detect Alzheimer's 20 years before symptoms start
August 22, 2017 07:14 PM
Researchers at hospital in Los Angeles have published a report claiming they have developed an eye test that can detect Alzheimer's disease well in advance - twenty years - before actual symptoms show up. Traditional methods of diagnosing this disease are to perform look at the patient's brain after death, or to perform a PET scan. The report just published claims it can detect the disease by scanning a patient's retina for plaque. The test is non invasive. A link to the journal where the report appeared is included in the article.
Read more: New non-invasive eye test can detect Alzheimer's 20 years before symptoms start
The goodness of matcha tea
August 02, 2017 09:14 AM
Matcha tea is a precursor of sorts to green tea and is well known and loved in Asian cultures. It is a powder made of the stone ground leaves of green tea. Since you ingest the whole leaf this way, matcha is said to provide more benefits in the form of phytochemicals, antioxidants and other components known to provide health benefits. Normally available as a powder for making a beverage, it is also commonly used as an ingredient in cooking, especially baking or when creating sweet dishes.
"Matcha tea is considered better than green tea in all respects because of its higher antioxidant levels, chlorophyll and other amino acids, says Sunita Roy Chowdhary, chief dietitian, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi."
Read more: http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/cIjGhoxjciSkyEAvCw0fGP/The-goodness-of-matcha-tea.html
Omega-3 and cancer recovery: How supplementation helps reduce hospital stays after operations
May 07, 2017 07:14 AM
New evidence has shown that taking Omega-3 supplements after GI cancer surgery can recover quicker due to a reduction of inflammation and an increase in immunity. The best way to receive the benefits is to start supplementing 5-7 days before the surgery. The supplement combats, decreased immunity, malnutrition inflammation and surgical stress. It however is to be noted that the sample size of research patients was small with researchers cautioning that this study should be used to encourage further research.
Read more: Omega-3 and cancer recovery: How supplementation helps reduce hospital stays after operations
Living near nature linked to longer lives, says study
April 20, 2017 10:44 AM
Researchers at Harvard along with Brigham and Women's Hospital have released a new study finding that women who live near green areas have better mental health and live longer. They propose that women in greener areas have less depression, socialize more , are more physically active and are exposed to less air pollution. The researchers state that several of women tested live in Urban areas and just having any increased vegetation around can be very beneficial.
Read more: Living near nature linked to longer lives, says study
Can Energy Drinks Cause Hepatitis?
April 09, 2017 06:44 PM
Energy drinks are known for their high caffeine levels, but they also contain high levels of B vitamins and Niacin. In Erin Elizabeth's article, she claims that a man who drank about 5 of these energy drinks a day ended up in the hospital with acute hepatitis. She claims that the man took in so much niacin, that it built up and became toxic. She encourages her audience to read labels and research a product before consuming it, and know the effects that large quantities of even vitamins can do to the body.
Read more: Can Energy Drinks Cause Hepatitis?
Scientists Call for Restrictions on Ibuprofen & other OTC Painkillers After Deadly Risks Discovered
April 09, 2017 03:44 PM
Generally people know that medications can have negative side effects. But when it comes to over the counter pain medications it is often thought that they are safe to take. There are studies however that show that stuff like Ibuprofen actually have some pretty terrible side effects when taken to often, when taken with other drugs, or if you take too many at one time. If you take over the counter medications often you should see what you can do to wean yourself off of them.
"A recent study from Denmark that was published in the European Heart Journal has found that taking Ibuprofen, the popular over-the counter painkiller is linked to a 31% increased risk of cardiac arrest, among other things."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/scientists-call-restrictions-ibuprofen-otc-painkillers-deadly-risks-discovered/
Bad bug, no drugs: The real end of antibiotics?
March 04, 2017 10:59 AM
One of the biggest problems we face as a race is the super bug. There are bacterial infections that have become immune to any antibiotics. There is a major rise in hospitals of people coming in with infections that cannot be cured with antibiotics. This is becoming a major problem in the world.
"The Klebsiella bacteria that killed her had a powerful enzyme that breaks down antibiotics, known as New Dehli metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), because it was first found in a patient who had travelled to that Indian city."
Flaxseed Consumption and Bone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women.
February 07, 2017 10:59 AM
Determine the benefits of phytoestrogen-rich flaxseeds on decreasing bone turnover in postmenopausal women. To observe the effect of consuming 40g of flaxseeds/ daily for 12 weeks on bone health of postmenopausal women by measuring some markers of bone resorption and formation 3 during the study period (baseline, 6 and 12 week)
"Osteoporosis affects approximately 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 and accounts for more days spent in hospital than diabetes and breast cancer; amongst women of that age group (Cosman, De Beur et al. 2014)."
Each Meal You Eat Triggers An Immune System Response, Sets Off Inflammation
January 25, 2017 12:59 PM
The research, carried out at the University Hospital Basel, was published, Jan. 16, in the journal Nature Immunology, and addresses the series of reactions taking place in the human body, both for healthy and overweight people. When it comes to people who suffer from diabetes, this substance causes chronic inflammation, thus killing the cells responsible for the production of insulin. IL-1 and insulin increased the uptake of glucose into macrophages, and insulin reinforced a pro-inflammatory pattern via the insulin receptor, glucose metabolism, production of reactive oxygen species, and secretion of IL-1 mediated by the NLRP3 inflammasome, noted the research.
"However, this new research presents the positive aspects of this type of inflammation triggered by digestion, as it seems that healthy people only have a short-term inflammatory response, directed at leveling the sugar uptake and the immune system."
Red meat link to common bowel disease: study
January 20, 2017 07:59 AM
Watch out if your on a rich red meat diet! Studies show people on red meat rich diets have been linked to a heightened risk of a bowel inflammation called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a common condition in which small pockets lining the intestine become irritated. Diverticulitis causes 200,000 hospital admissions every year in the United States alone.
"Diverticulitis is a common condition which occurs when small pockets lining the intestine -- called diverticula -- become irritated."
The Difference Between Type I and II diabetes.
There are mainly two different types of diabetes - Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. It is a condition in which there is an absolute lack of insulin. Due to the attacking of the body's immune system, the beta cells which are present in the pancreas and are responsible for making and secreting insulin die. Thus, there are no cells available to make insulin. So, in this case, the body will die without getting supplemental insulin immediately or in near- immediate future. The only treatment for this diabetes is insulin shots. Almost 10% of the people get this diabetes.
Whereas in type 2 diabetes, beta cells are present therefore insulin is also present. This diabetes is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. Insulin production produced is less than the amount of insulin the body requires. Almost 90% get affected by this type of diabetes. Treatment includes proper diet, exercise, and pills.
Usually, type 1 diabetes starts during childhood whereas type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed during adulthood. As type 1 diabetes affects mostly young babies and children, it is known as juvenile-onset diabetes. People who have type 1 diabetes lack total insulin whereas type 2 diabetics have too little insulin.
Even the causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are entirely different. It is not possible to prevent type 1 diabetes whereas type 2 can be avoided. But type 2 diabetes may be genetic also. It may be the result of obesity or high blood pressure. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are very severe. Suddenly the child becomes feeble and sick; urination is increased, experience increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, stomach and abdominal pain, excessive fatigue, weight loss and decreased appetite. Immediate medical attention or usually hospitalization is required for the person suffering from these symptoms. On the other hand, type 2 is often diagnosed before the presence of any symptoms.
Doctored marijuana gives relief to boy
January 17, 2017 07:59 AM
Many anti-marijuana advocates state that the drug is harmful. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who claim that it can help give relief to those with chronic conditions. It’s easy to state that, but what about a real-life case to back it up? Think about Jackson Leyden, who started having several seizures a day at the age of 8. He has tried almost all seizure therapies out there and nothing worked. Within just a few days of starting THC extract therapy, he had barely any seizures. He went from having 200 a month to about two per month.
"The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not."
Does a vegan diet affect your ability to heal?
January 16, 2017 02:59 PM
For all you vegans out there what if I told you being a vegan may give you the ability to heal faster? Sounds crazy I know but recently a once vegan man survived a brutal plane crash. There is no proof of this but some researches and scientist believe this may be true.
"The pilots, who thought that they had blown a tire, were unable to stop the plane on the remaining runway they had left."
Relieve the Holiday Stress with Magnesium
The holiday season is meant for having quality time with friends and family, going on an adventure, taking time off work and so on. However, it can also be very stressful given the many guests to entertain, tight budget to stick to, preparing family meals, the shopping craze and so much more. It is important to gain control in this period of the year since too much stress can lead to depression alongside other physical and psychological issues. Fortunately, we have magnesium, the original chill pill, to get you back into the holiday cheer.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a huge role in cell functioning and relaxation. It has been used in hospitals to treat a myriad of complications including anxiety, irritability, muscle cramps and headaches. Magnesium accounts for over 250 enzyme reactions in our bodies and regulates the secretion of stress hormones. It is basically the fuel that your body runs on and hence its deficiency will lead to undesirable symptoms like brain fog, anxiety, aggression and fatigue among others. Modern farming and lifestyle changes have led to rather low levels of magnesium in our bodies as compared to decades ago. Magnesium will particularly be used up in greater quantities by your body during periods of extreme stress like this holiday season. This will usually translate in poor stress management, thus the more reason you should take some magnesium.
Some of the magnesium-rich foods include parsley, avocado, bananas, kelp, leafy greens like spinach, soy beans, brown rice, cashews and almond. In addition to providing this crucial mineral these foods also pack other nutritional benefits. Alternatively, you can also take a magnesium supplement like magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide to help rid some of that holiday stress. Lastly, taking baths in Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is also a great stress reliever plus it works wonders in treating colds, detoxifying the body, relieving back pain and sore muscles.
Schools are filled with bacteria, causing crippling lung function in children
December 19, 2016 07:59 AM
Sure, when you send your kids to school you worry about a lot of things: Fitting in, bullying, learning but never did you think that you would have to worry about bacteria from mice and other rodents. Researchers have shown that bacteria in school has caused an increase in asthma in school age kids. This is increasing at such an alarming rate that it finally caught the attention of health officials even though the effects have been happening for years.
"Some 284 children from 37 inner-city public schools located throughout the Northeastern United States were evaluated as part of the research."
World Osteoporosis Day: Smoking, high alcohol consumption increasing incidence of Osteoporosis
November 23, 2016 04:59 PM
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone density and is especially prevalent in women over 50. Women younger than 50, and even as young as 30 are experiencing this disease at a higher rate; poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and consuming alcohol may be the cause. Learn how, an active lifestyle, calcium intake and sun exposure can decrease the risk of osteoporosis, especially before menopause is reached.
"Tobacco smoking has a series of negative repercussions on health. While increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease is the most talked about."
Feast on natural food for healthy eyes
November 15, 2016 05:04 PM
There are lots of natural foods that may help keep your eyesight in tip top condition. Eggs, green leafy vegetables, some fruits, nuts and beans all contain antioxidants and components that fight disease and protect the eyes from damage as we age. Some meats, like pork. Oysters and some fish may also help with eye health.
"So, there is more to eye nutrition beyond carrots."
Daylight saving time could increase depression
November 09, 2016 02:49 PM
Setting our clocks back every winter can have its benefits, like gaining an extra hour of sleep. However, a recent study has revealed that gaining an extra hour could also lead to depression due to it getting dark an hour earlier in the evening. Psychiatric hospitals in Denmark reported over a 17-year period, 11 percent of new cases decreased after the time change. Dr. Oexman has recommended that we decrease how much alcohol or caffeine we drink this weekend in order to keep our circadian rhythms in check.
"Depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time, the study says."
A metabolic switch to turn off obesity
November 01, 2016 04:04 PM
Here’s some good news to cheer you up. If you’ve been fighting a losing battle trying to lose weight, maybe you should quit beating yourself up about it. A new University of Montreal study of mice says when an enzyme is blocked in some neurons in the mouse brain, it becomes impossible for the mice to lose weight even when they stick to an ideal regime. So now you can blame it all on the ABHD6 enzyme.
"A research team at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) has generated genetically engineered mice, deprived of the ABHD6 enzyme in a localized area of the brain, namely in a specific population of hypothalamic neurons."
A Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory - Akuamma Seeds
Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory
The Akuamma seeds originate from the Akuamma tree also referred to as Picralima nitida. The seeds have an extremely bitter nature and was commonly used as a pain killer in West Africa, mainly in Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana.
The seeds were also used to treat malaria and diarrhea as it contains an anti diarrhea, anti inflammatory and muscle relaxant properties.Traditionally the seeds were taken orally and were often crushed or powdered. A hospital in Ghana began manufacturing the powder in a standardized 250g capsules.
The drug prompted medical research as it was sold countrywide and was accepted as safe and effective pain killers.The seeds contain five alkaloids with akuammine, being the main alkaloid. Akuammine stimulates the uptake of glucose and was used to treat diabetes mellitus in Nigeria.
Soaked in boiling water, Pricalima nitada barks, have proven to be effective in the treatment of tryponosomiasis or chagas diseases. The roots of the Akuamma tree can also be boiled and cooked for management of intestinal problems and stomach aches.
This seed is a natural pain killer, it should not be mixed with prescription drugs, and only adults 18+.
Typical dosages: is
Interesting Facts About Activated Charcoal
November 03, 2013 12:19 AM
How Activated Charcoal is Made
Activated charcoal is very similar to normal charcoal which is made from coconut shell, wood, petroleum, peat or coal. To make activated charcoal, the common charcoal is heated in the presence of some gases like argon, oxygen or nitrogen in a variety of processes, namely; physical or chemical activation. These processes open up millions of tiny pores between the present carbon atoms. These pores help the charcoal to easily trap select chemicals in a process known as adsorption. It is known by a myriad of names from Animal charcoal, Gas black to lamp black etc.
Uses of Activated Charcoal
The earliest documented usage of activated charcoal was reported in the early 19th century in England where it was sold as charcoal biscuits. It was generally administered as an antidote to a wide variety of stomach problems and flatulence. It has since gained mainstream usage for a wide variety of ailments and can either be sold as an over the counter drug in certain countries as tablets or capsules or be prescribed by doctors in hospitals. It can also be used for pre-hospital purposes in emergency treatments.
One of the main uses of activated charcoal has been in treating instances of overdoses and poisonings in the human body. It does this by adsorption (attaching to the poison by chemical attraction) thereby preventing its absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also known to interrupt the enteroenteric circulation of some toxins and drugs thereby preventing poisoning. The correct dosage is usually 1 gram per kilogram of body mass and is usually given once to the patient even though in very acute instances it can be given to the patient more than once. Apart from the adsorption process, activated charcoal can also be used to filter out any harmful drugs from affected person’s blood stream. It is worth noting though that for long term accumulation of toxins in the body through a variety of methods such as toxic herbicide infection, that the use of activated charcoal to reverse the effects will not be successful.
L-glutamine as we age!
June 01, 2013 10:51 AM
Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. The body is capable of making enough of glutamine for its own regular needs although at times of extreme stress and age, the body may need more. Glutamine has some great importance (aka. body detox) as it is used by the body to remove excess ammonia which is a waste product the body produces everyday. It also acts as an immune system function booster as well as helping the brain to function and aiding in digestion.
Some medical conditions can lower the levels of glutamine like infections, surgery, injuries and prolonged stress, it is advisable that you take a glutamine supplements in order to boost its level in the body.
L-glutamine also helps in the following health conditions;
L-glutamine reduces as we age
This amino acid is mostly stored in muscles and the lungs. As muscle mass decrease with age so does the production of L-glutamine throughout the body. L-glutamine is primarily produced in the muscles, this accounts for 90% of the L-glutamine that is synthesized in the body, so aka less muscle means less glutamine. It is also produced in small amounts in the brain plus the liver but the liver more or less regulates the levels in the blood and is a large consumer of this amino acid.
When glutamine levels drop, a supplement or foods high in L-glutamine should be consumed. Some studies have shown this amino acid to greatly reduce the healing time of healing for the patients who undergo surgery in the hospitals. In case one has an abdominal surgery, the hospital stay time can be reduced by providing parental nutrition of this supplement.
Some of the dietary sources of L-glutamine
Small amounts of L-glutamine are also found in vegetable juices. Diets that are enriched with L-glutamine have been known to maintain cellular function as well as maintain a strong gut barrier. This suggests that this amino acid helps to protect the walls and the lining of the mucosa and gastrointestinal tract. Some of those people who may be having inflammatory bowel disease or crohn's disease might not be having enough of the it in the body.
This amino acid is a strong carbon downer, this helps in refilling the cycle of citric acid and regulation of the acid balance in the bodies kidneys by way of producing and eliminating ammonia.
The List Goes On And On, have you had enough glutamine today?
What Are The Magnesium Malate Benefits?
May 17, 2013 10:59 AM
A combo Mineral:
Magnesium Malate is a combination of Malic acid and magnesium. Both compounds come together to form a powerful supplement that is crucial for the body. Magnesium is used in more than 300 processes in the body making it one of the most needed minerals in the body. It is also found in the bones mostly and is synthesized from the locations to aid in optimizing many bodily functions.
Malic acid is an organic ingredient mostly found in the fruits. The compound combines with compounds forming salts known as Malates. The combination of Malic acid and magnesium forms magnesium Malate which is an important compound when it comes to the generation cellular energy. It is also important when it comes to a variety of physical and muscular conditions. The compound also comes in handy to treat a number of conditions in the body when used as a supplement.
If you are suffering from constipation, this is one to go. It is commonly used to loosen stools and induce laxative actions to clean the system. It is a perfect detox agent and is famously used in colonoscopy and bowel surgery. The Malic part of the compound is ideal for the laxative action giving relief to anyone suffering from constipation. The combination of the two compounds enhances these effects making them more potent in effectiveness.
Fibromyalgia Pain Relief
This compound is used to induce relief on patients suffering fro fibromyalgia. This condition will often cause muscle stiffness, muscoskeletal pain and chronic severe pains. These supplements are used to exponentially reduce the effects that come with the disorder. A study was done and published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine where 15 patients were placed under observation with the treatment. All patients reported increased comfort when using the supplements in relation to fibromyalgia symptoms.
Solving Syndromes of chronic fatigue
Magnesium Malate enhances the production of energy at a cellular level increasing the condition of the individual using it. The process eliminates the chronic Fatigue syndrome and its effects allowing the individual to enjoy a wholesome life. This also deals with any accumulated stress and distraction factors that come with a tired out body. A rejuvenated body enhances performance in all aspects of life making this product one major energy and performance booster in the long run.
The combination can also be used to target heart related disease reducing the risk of experiencing closed valves and blood vessels. It is used to treat heart related diseases in the hospitals. Magnesium is also ideal when it comes to dealing with skin breakouts ranging from boils to skin ulcers. The compound will target many functions of the body through a domino effect. No matter how minute the effect may be on a general sense, it is important for the running of the boy functions such as the heart, nervous system and the epidermal system. The compound is one of the most widely used supplements from a varied number of conditions producing great results.
Can Vitamin D-3 Do More For Bone Health Than Calcium?
January 10, 2013 01:02 PM
Loss of density and mass in bones has become very common these days because of the increase in the number of people suffering from osteoporosis. It is shocking to note that the number of osteoporosis related fractures in US is more than 1.3 million. Bone health can be improved by taking the right nutrients and minerals. It is generally assumed that calcium is the only mineral needed to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Calcium supplement have been used by many people to improve their bone strength. is it correct?
Do calcium supplements treat osteoporosis completely? The answer is NO.
A recent study conducted in Iceland concludes that maintaining right levels of vitamin D-3 provides greater protection to bones than taking calcium supplements every day.
What are the results of this study?
Maintaining ideal levels of PTH or parathyroid hormone is essential for bone health. It has been proved by researchers that sufficient vitamin D-3 levels ensure the ideal level of PTH and not calcium. PTH is not in the ideal level in an individual who takes more than 1200 mg calcium a day if he has vitamin D deficiency. On the other hand PTH level is ideal in a person who has sufficient vitamin D even if he takes less than 800 mg of calcium a day.
Vitamin D-3 has calcium sparing effect and if the status of vitamin D in the body is assured, there is no need to take calcium of more than 800 mg a day. The results of this study clearly indicate the importance of vitamin D-3 for bone health. It is clear that sufficient levels of vitamin D-3 are more important than sufficient levels of calcium to prevent osteoporosis. In another study, women who were hospitalized for osteoporosis related fractures were studied. It was found that more than 50% of them had vitamin D-3 deficiency.
The duration of the study was two years and it proved that vitamin D-3 supplementation improved the bone strength and reduced the risk of fractures in these women. It is an unarguable fact that calcium is an important mineral to build bones and to keep bones healthy and strong, but how does the human body absorb calcium? It is the presence of vitamin D-3 that helps in absorption of calcium. Without adequate vitamin D-3, intake of calcium supplements is meaningless.
To absorb calcium sufficient amount of vitamin D-3 must be present in the body. Vitamin D-3 is also needed for the efficient utilization of calcium by the body. The mass and density of the bones are increased only when calcium is absorbed by the body. Absorption of calcium is not possible without vitamin D. Vitamin D-3 plays an important role to build bones in children and to keep bones strong and healthy in adults. It also improves immunity, prevents muscle weakness, regularizes the functioning of thyroid glands and helps in blood clotting.
Deficiency in vitamin D-3 may increase the risks of Alzheimer's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D-3 is the natural form of vitamin D. It is produced when skin is exposed to the ultraviolet rays in the sun. Those who live in latitudes, who have dark skin, who spend most of the day indoors and who wear sunscreen lotion whenever they step outdoors lack sufficient levels of vitamin D-3. They should take vitamin-D supplements to avoid a lot of health risks and to improve their bone health.
How Potassium Iodide Helps Under Active Thyroid
June 18, 2012 08:19 AM
Potassium iodide is actually an inorganic compound. Also known as KI, its chemical formula, it became the most commercially important iodide compound and was produced around 37,000 tons in 1985. Compared to sodium iodide, KI is less hygroscopic, meaning that it less readily absorbs water. It becomes a precursor to Agl (silver iodide), a useful chemical used in photography. As a medical treatment, it comes in the form of tablet or liquid. In the liquid form, KI is known as SSKI or Thyroshield which is commonly used as preparation the thyroid gland before surgery. In the form of tablet, it is known as thyrosafe or losat and is used to protect thyroid glands from radiation.
Used as disinfectant, KI becomes an antiseptic, like in Betadine. Iodine in Betadine is a common topical disinfectant which is utilized in the hospital operating rooms. It functions to sterilize the skin which will be operated. As water purification, potassium iodide is used to purify water during the emergency situation. Due to the antimicrobial properties, KI will eliminate the illness-causing microorganisms. For the time being, KI is also medical treatments.
As medical treatments, KI can be used to help thyroid deficiency. It refers to as hypothyroidism. The thyroid problems are fast becoming. They can cause hair loss, rapid weight gain, anxiety, depression and ongoing fatigue. These problems are usually associated with under active iodine. Hypothyroidism also makes someone older than healthy individual. Even though the only difference from the normal people is only two degrees, this can cause various effects of our body with different symptoms.
The importance of having sufficient iodine is also supported by Michael Tierra in Planet Herbology. She asserts that underactive iodine is major cause to ovarian and breast cancers. Even mild imbalance level of iodine can make the other hormones like progesterone, estrogen and androgen imbalanced.
Potassium iodide has been medically proven to effectively treat patients with under active thyroids. As Schachter Center for the Complementary Medicine reported, it has been used to treat people with chronic Hashimoto's disease or known as thyroiditis.
In terms of under active thyroid or hypothyroidism, potassium iodide can raise up the production of hormones in the thyroid glands. In order to know how KI works to treat iodine deficiency, we can see from the people with these conditions. Commonly, they have weight gain. Even if they have done workouts, the weight will not reduce. Whereas, sufficient iodine is very important to maintain metabolism and prevents the body fat accumulation, as Burton Goldberg writes in Alternative Medicine. That is why KI is required. KI will increase the iodine level so the thyroid will function as normal and the metabolism will also return in usual state.
Therefore, if you have this kind of thyroid problem, then you have to visit your doctor or medical professional. Alternatively, if you have a overweight problem but never do enough exercise, you should not potassium iodide as supplement to lose your weight. KI is not a weight loss supplement, after all. KI has only to be used when you surely have under active thyroid. That will work for this problem.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Vitamin D Supplements
July 29, 2008 02:55 PM
Scientists at the Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California have recently begun studying whether there is substantial convincing biological or behavioral evidence that links vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction. The study found that there is biological evidence which proves that there is an important role for vitamin D in the development of the brain and its function. Supplementation for groups that are chronically low in vitamin D has been found to be extremely beneficial. Vitamin D is involved in brain function through its wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain.
Vitamin D affects the proteins in the brain that are known to be involved directly with learning, memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior. Research has shown that supplementation is beneficial to those groups whose vitamin D status is extremely low, especially nursing infants, the elderly, and African Americans, but the need for further study has been established. The authors of the study argue that vitamin D supplementation is necessary for those groups that are at risk.
Increased vitamin D levels protect the body against osteoporosis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. There is now evidence that suggests that vitamin D may help protect against a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure which occurs in some people as they get older. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had researchers finding that as many as 60 percent of whites and more than 90 percent of blacks who participated in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D.
Researchers also investigated the association between vitamin D, blood pressure, and age. This investigation found that people with lower blood levels of vitamin D had significantly higher increases in systolic blood pressure as they aged than did those people who had healthy levels. Actually, the age-related rise in blood pressure turned out to be 20 percent lower in those people who had healthy vitamin D levels, as oppose to those people who did not. This suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a critical role in high blood pressure development.
Many other studies have suggested that there is a role for vitamin D in reducing blood pressure. According to Vin Tangpricha MD, PhD., an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Lipids at Emory University School of Medicine, there is not enough evidence that vitamin D prevents hypertension available, however, because vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent throughout the United States, it may be a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement solely because of the strong evidence on vitamin D’s ability to prevent osteoporotic fractures. It has been noted that further studies are needed in order to determine vitamin D’s effect on blood pressure.
Additionally, it needs to be determined if giving all patients vitamin D will help lower blood pressure. Those people who have a family history of other risk factors that are associated with high blood pressure, such as being older than sixty-five, should have their blood pressure checked regularly. Be sure to look for more studies and information on the effects of supplemental vitamin D on both white and black habitants of the United States to help battle vitamin D deficiency. To learn more about supplemental vitamin D, contact your local health food provider.
Butcher's Broom Extract
May 02, 2008 11:04 AM
Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a member of the lily family, and looks a bit like a holly bush with barbed evergreen leaves and bright red berries in the fall. At one time they were collected, tied together and sold to butchers as brooms to sweep out their shops.
The stiff leaves were particularly suitable for cleaning out offal and other waste products from butchered animals and also for scrubbing butcher’s blocks. It was also used as a deterrent to rodents with their eyes on the meat! Alternative names are sweet broom, kneeholy and Jew’s myrtle, so named because it was used during the Feast of the Tabernacles as one of the ‘four species’ used in the lulav.
The herb was commonly used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the Greeks using it to reduce swellings of various kinds and the Romans using it to treat varicose veins. It has the same uses today, only the mechanisms are understood better. It has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean area for the treatment of inflammations and problems with the circulation, and the Romans used to mash up the leaves and berries to add to wine, and they also used the roots and rhizome as a medicine by soaking them in wine. Today, it is illegal to use holly as a decoration in Italy, so butcher’s broom is used instead.
All parts of the plant are used, including the rhizome, and although it is used as a diuretic, and to control a loss of blood pressure experience by some people on standing up, it is its effect on blood vessels where its main medical benefits lie. Butcher’s Broom can strengthen certain portions of blood vessels, and change the flexibility properties of the cell walls.
The result of this is that the vessels are tightened up, which helps to maintain the flow of blood throughout the body, but also renders the cell walls less likely to leak or crack under stress. The result is a reduction in blood leakage from stretched and weakened blood vessels such as those that result in hemorrhoids, and also of conditions caused by weakened valves in the veins such as varicose veins and spider veins.
The blood pressure in the veins is very weak since they are so far away from the heart, the blood having passed through the arteries, through the capillaries and into the veins on its way back to the heart before being pumped to the lungs. When the valves become weakened, particularly in the large veins in the leg, there is little to prevent the blood from coming under the influence of gravity and pooling back down the vein, causing distention and occasional ruptures.
A ruptured varicose vein can be very serious and cause significant blood loss. Weakened valves can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which is itself a very serious condition that eventually blocks the heart or causes a stroke. Not only can butcher’s broom strengthen the vein walls and prevent leakage, and also enable them to more easily resist the pressure that can cause them to rupture, but it can also be used to break down blood clots. In fact the herb is used in many European hospitals to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery.
The active ingredients in the rhizome are saponins that contain the aglycones ruscogenin and neuroscogenin and the associated spirostanol and furostanol glycosides. The receptors that cause vasocontraction are known as adrenoreceptors, these receptors can be selectively stimulated by butcher’s broom extract to tighten the veins and improve the return of blood. When introduced intravenously, butcher’s broom was noted to constrict venules (small veins that feed the main veins but not arterioles (the small arteries than feed the capillaries). Hence blood vessels can be selectively treated, and the effect on isolated blood vessels was enhanced by heating. Many supplements include calcium that helps to strengthen the blood vessel walls.
It is possible, therefore, to target the blood vessels that require constrictive treatment in order that they are strong enough to return blood to the heart rather than leak or distend. However, that is not the only health benefit that butcher’s broom provides. It can also be used as a diuretic. It is not a strong diuretic, but is used to relief the swelling of bruises and PMS, the reason given being that since leakage from the blood vessels is lessened, then more fluid is available to pass through the kidneys. There might be other reasons.
It is also use for the treatment of ortho static hypotension, the reduction in blood pressure that some people experience. It is believed that butcher’s broom can control this condition without increasing blood pressure, as most other remedies do, and which is almost as undesirable as the condition they are treating.
There are few problems associated with the herb, although few studies have been carried out its use by pregnant women. Although the one test that was carried indicated no effect, it would be wise for pregnant or nursing women not to use it until further studies have been carried out. Due to its effect in tightening blood vessels, its use is not recommended by anybody suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension). Many hypertension treatments are designed to render the blood vessels more elastic rather than constrict them.
In one very small study of pregnant women who used a topical cream containing butcher's broom, no side effects were seen for either the mother or the baby. However, very little information is available on how oral butcher's broom might affect a developing fetus, an infant, or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, or during early childhood.
Because it tightens blood vessels, butcher's broom may worsen high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Individuals with either of these conditions should not use any form of butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The known side effects have already been stated, and they are fairly mild, but few studies have been made on the herb other than in Europe, and the side effects have not been fully explored. It is unlikely; however, that there are any as yet unknown serious side effects since butcher’s broom has been used now for a long time, particularly in Europe.
The term ‘ruscogenin’ is used for the collective mixture of active saponins in butcher’s broom, and many of the supplements are formulated to include from 5 to 15 mg of these. However, check the label, since standardization is not yet required in the USA, and in theory a preparation can include much more or much less ruscogenin. It is frequently supplied with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C or calcium, and perhaps even horse chestnut that affect blood vessels in a similar way. Always follow the instructions on the package, since these are designed for the specific strength of supplement you are using.
NAC could be the ultimate flu and cold fighter this winter
November 07, 2007 02:56 PM
NAC could be the ultimate flu and cold fighter this winter. NAC may work even better than vitamin C and also carries may other health benefits as well. NAC is also known as N-acetyl cysteine known as a sulfur containing antioxidant. NAC is a precursor to glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant made by the body.
Routinely, people go to the hospital for Tylenol overdoses and the hospital administers high doses of NAC to protect the liver. NAC is also used to break up mucus that collects in the lungs. Research suggests that NAC is good for colds and flu. In 1997, a study was published in the European respiratory journal which involved 262 patients. Half of which got NAC and the other received placebo, those that consumed the NAC experienced little or no symptoms of flu even though their blood test confirmed the presence of the flu virus.
Studies have suggested that NAC can help AIDS patients by taking several thousand grams per day can lengthen life expectancy. Researchers suggest that high blood levels of glutathione are better than high levels of immune-cells to predict survival rate. NAC is also a powerful liver detox and can help women with Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Consider NAC as a supplement to be added to your daily supplement regimen.
Food Additives May Be Linked To Kids’ Hyperactivity
October 31, 2007 12:14 PM
Some may deny it but recently discovered that other ingredients in foods can spur hyperactivity in children. We once thought that sugar alone was the problem but now a published report in Sept. 6th edition of The Lancet suggests that preservatives like sodium benzoate in soft drinks and artificial colorings can cause children to have a hyperactivity disorder.
The researchers gave drinks to children ages 3, 8, and 9 years of age either placebo drinks or drinks laced with these preservatives. The end result, the children who took the laced drinks experienced more restlessness and shorter attention span then those children who did not receive the laced drinks. This experiment was conducted of a six week period.
As a result there has been some negative feed back form various authorities like the Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York said that removing additives from the diet may not clear up hyperactivity. I would say state the facts and let the parents decide weather to clean up their child’s diet or not.
Cleaning up the diet and moving to a more natural and organic lifestyle is what everybody needs especially our children. Better nutrition can promote a healthier child with fewer colds through out the year and boost learning. So what is keeping you from changing your child’s diet?
Active Coenzyme Q10
July 07, 2007 01:30 PM
The benefits of Coenzyme Q10 have become increasingly well-known. This important nutrient has been shown in clinical trials to improve heart function, reduce the side effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer, and slow the progression of serious brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Now research has opened a new chapter in the CoQ10 story, highlighting the benefits of ubiquinol, the active form of CoQ10, to increase energy and stamina, and reduce some of he physical signs of aging.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor we will review the benefits of Coenzyme Q10, and discuss the differences between CoQ10 and its active form –ubiquinol.
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone. That’s because CoQ10 is ubiquitious and exists everywhere there is life. CoQ10 is vital to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all processes requiring energy in the body. Although CoQ10 is produced by the body and exists in some limited dietary sources, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. Also, some drugs, especially a group of cholesterol lowering prescription drugs known as “statins,” (Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.) significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Q. What is ubiquinol? Is it the same or different from CoQ10?
A. Ubiquinol and CoQ10 are very closely related. Ubiquinone, or CoQ10, is the oxidized form of the molecule. This means it has to be converted to a non-oxidized form before it can perform its work. Ubiquinol is the active form of this nutrient. Our bodies convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol – which is the form needed to produce cellular energy. Until recently, it was not possible to use ubiquinol as a supplement because it is very unstable outside the human body. But research has now found a way to keep this molecule stable so it can be successfully taken in supplement form.
Q. If CoQ10 gets converted to ubiquinol anyway, can’t I just take CoQ10?
A. While it is true that our bodies can convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol, it isn’t true that we all do this equally well. In fact, as we age, our ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol declines. And some people even have a gene that makes them less effective at this conversion than the majority of the population. IN fact, several common health issues have been associated with less than optimal ratios of CoQ10 to QH. For healthy people the ideal ratio is approximately 97% Ubiquinol to 3% CoQ10. But in people with diabetes, for example, the ratios have been found to range from 43% ubiquinol to 47% CoQ10 in mild diabetes, to only 24% ubiquinol to 76% CoQ10 in severe diabetes. These numbers are for men; the numbers for women vary by 2 to 5 percentage points.
So for older folks, the 30-50% of people who have the gene that impairs CoQ10 conversion, or for people who have serious health concerns, supplementing with ubiquinol instead of CoQ10 might be the smart choice.
Q. What are the health benefits of CoQ10 and Ubiquinol?
A. There have been many studies showing that CoQ10 is beneficial in treating and preventing heart disease and conditions such as high blood pressure atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina, and congestive heart failure (CHF). It’s been shown that heart attacks tend to occur when CoQ10 levels are low in the body. Exciting new research has found that CoQ10 in a unique delivery system supplementation may slow the progression of symptoms associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, CoQ10 is beneficial for diabetes, immune dysfunction, cancer, periodontal disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disease. While the research on ubiquinol is still very new, it is reasonable to expect that its benefits will be equal to or perhaps even better than CoQ10, because it is the more active form.
Q. Why is CoQ10 especially important for preventing and treating heart disease, and for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease?
A. The heart and brain are some of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. Both require large amounts of uninterrupted energy, which means these tissues also need increased amounts of ubiquinol. Research has shown that many people with heart of brain diseases have serum CoQ10 levels that are lower than those of healthy people. Correcting such deficiencies often can produce significant results. However, these diseases become more common as we age – right at the time our ability to convert CoQ10 to its active form, ubiquinol, declines.
Q. How might ubiquinol be important for the heart?
A. Heart Health: A study on patients admitted to the hospital with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) found that CoQ10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with a heart attack if administered within three days of the onset of symptoms. Seventy-three patients received CoQ10 (120 mg/d). The study’s control group consisted of 71 similarly matched patients with acute AMI. After treatment, angina pectoris (severe chest pain signifying interrupted blood flow to the heart), total arrhythmias (dangerously irregular heartbeats), and poor function in the left ventricle (the essential chamber of the heart) were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden cardiac failure and nonfatal heart attacks also were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group.
In another study, CoQ10 was studied in 109 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The patients were given varying doses of supplemental CoQ10 with the goal of attaining a certain blood level (greater than 2.0 mcg/l). Most patients were on medications to treat hypertension. Half the patients were able to stop taking some or all of their prescription drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10. The 9.4% of patients who had echocardiograms, performed both before and during treatment, experienced a highly significant improvement in heart wall thickness and function. This improvement was directly attributed to CoQ10 supplementation.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a debilitating disease that affects 5 million people in the
And Neurological Health?: A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health showed that supplementing with CoQ10 in a unique delivery system was associated with a slowing of the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Participants were divided into 4 groups and their physical skills (coordination, walking, etc) and mental skills were evaluated. Each group then received 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of a special form of chewable CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers evaluated the participants after 1, 4,8, 12, and 16 months of treatment. Each participant was again scored on motor, mental, and activities of daily living skills.
The results of the study showed that the people who took the highest dosage of CoQ10-1200 mg-experienced the least decline in their physical abilities. The results were so encouraging that the researchers will be continuing with new studies, suing higher dosages to see if the results can get even better.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating and degenerative inherited disease that is always fatal. In fact, no other medication, drug, or nutritional supplement has ever been shown to cause a decline in the progression of this terrible disease. A study compared CoQ10 against remacemide (an investigational HD drug made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals), in 347 HD patients who were in the early stages of the disease. Remacemide blocks glutamate, the neurotransmitter scientists think may cause the death of brain cells that occurs in Huntington’s disease. While remacemide had no effect on the progression of HD, CoQ10 showed a trend toward slowing the disease by an average of 15%. This meant the HD group taking CoQ10 was able to handle every day activities of life a little longer than the patients taking remacemide or a placebo. They also were able to focus their attention better, were less depressed, and less irritable.
The 15% slowing of decline can result in about one more year of independence of HD patients. Needless to say, the gift of an additional year of health in the lives of HD patients is incredibly significant.
Because of these impressive results, researchers are hopeful that supplemental CoQ10 will have beneficial effects for people with other neurological diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease, too. Studies are under way to confirm these effects.
Using the active form of CoQ10 helps to assure that, regardless of age or illness, the CoQ10 can have the greatest impact.
Q. What have been the results of research studies with Ubiquinol?
A. One of the most interesting effects of Ubiquinol that has been reported so far is its ability to slow the physical signs of aging. In laboratory studies, administration of stable ubiquinol to mice forestalled the changes associated with aging – rounded spine, patchy fur and irritated eyes. While the mice who received ubiquinol did not necessarily live longer than the mice that didn’t, they lived better. But it is important to note that these mice were bred to die at a young age. Human studies are needed to determined true impact on longevity.
Additionally, supplemental, stable ubiquinol has been shown to increase physical energy and stamina. In an animal study, the length of time rats were able to run on a treadmill before getting tired was measured. The same rats were then given ubiquinol and the treadmill test was repeated. The length of time the rats were able to run before tiring increased 150 times.
Q. How can one supplement have applications for neurological diseases, heart health, and even the immune system?
A. Supplements often have more than one function, especially when it’s a substance like CoQ10, which is present in all parts of the body. All nucleated cells (most cells other than red blood cells) have mitochondria and all cells require energy to function. CoQ10 is vital to ATP production. Thus, CoQ10 has applications not only in neurological (neurons or nervous system cells) and cardiac health (myocardium or heart tissue), but also for the immune system.
Q. Should I take CoQ10 or ubiquinol? How much should I take?
A. While everyone can benefit from CoQ10 or ubiquinol supplementation, it appears that ubiquinol should be the first choice for older adults, people with known genetic inefficiencies in converting CoQ10 to ubiquinol, and for people with serious heart disease or neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, who are otherwise supplementing with high levels of CoQ10. For people in overall good health, a high quality CoQ10 supplement with proven absorption is a good choice.
Take 200 to 300 mg of CoQ10 or 100 mg ubiquinol daily, depending on your health history. The safety of both forms has been tested, and no significant side effects reported. Occasional mild stomach upset may occur. Taking your CoQ10 or ubiquinol with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Possible Billions in Health Care Costs, why hasn’t the government stepped in?
June 26, 2007 02:58 PM
With the ever growing and aging population in the United States, dietary supplements could save the nation $24 billion in Health care cost.
Calcium with Vitamin D – approximately 776,000 hospitalized for hip fractures over 5 years.
Folic acid – could prevent 600 babies a year from neural tube defects saving $344.7 million in 5 years. Over the child’s life time 1.4 billion saved.
Omega-3 fatty acids – reducing the occurrence of coronary heart disease (CHD) with only 1800mg each day consumed. Saving $3.2 billion. Approximately 374,301 hospitalizations and associated physician fees due to CHD possibly avoided.
Lutein with Zeaxanthin – by supplementing 6 – 10 mgs of lutein with Zeaxanthin we could save over $3.6 billion over 5 years. Approximately 190,927 individuals could avoid dependency because of loss of vision.
CoQ10 for Heart Health
March 28, 2007 12:39 PM
CoQ10 for Heart Health
More than 40% of all deaths in the
One of the most – if not the most – important things people can do to improve their overall health and life expectancy is to improve their heart health. Diet, exercise, and the wise use of dietary supplements can improve heart health dramatically. One dietary supplement that’s extremely beneficial to heart health is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone. That’s because CoQ10 is ubiquitous and exists everywhere there is life. CoQ10 is vital to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body. Although COQ10 is produced by the body and exists in some dietary sources, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. Also, some drugs, especially a group of cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs known as “statin,” (Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.) significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Q. For what health conditions is CoQ10 used?
A. CoQ10 is beneficial in treating and preventing CVD and conditions such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina, and congestive heart failure (CHF). It’s been shown that heart attacks tend to occur when CoQ10 levels are low in the body. In addition, CoQ10 is beneficial for diabetes, immune dysfunction, cancer, periodontal disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disease.
Q. Why is CoQ10 especially important to heart health?
A. The heart is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. In the average person, the heart propels 2,000 gallons of blood through 65,000 miles of blood vessls by beating 100,000 times each day. Thus, it requires large amounts of uninterrupted energy. Heart cells have a greater number of mitochondria, and subsequently, more CoQ10 than any other type of cell. Each heart cell can have thousands of mitochondria to meet these energy demands.
Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as cell powerhouses. These tiny energy-produces produce 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. A cell’s ATP production is dependent on adequate amounts of CoQ10.
Heart disease patients are commonly CoQ10 deficient. Correcting such deficiencies often can produce amazing results. The presence of supplemental CoQ10 is a key to the heart’s optimum performance.
In people who have had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), CoQ10 assists in repairing the heart muscle and restoring heart function. This is due to increased ATP production.
Q. What studies support this fact?
A. A 1998 study found CoQ10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with a heart attack if administered within three days of the onset of symptoms. The study focused on patients admitted to the hospital with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis. Seventy-three patients received CoQ10 (120 mg/d). The study’s control group consisted of 71 similarly matched patients with acute AMI. After treatment, angina pectoris (severe chest pain signifying interrupted blood flow to the heart), total arrhythmias (dangerously irregular heartbeats), and poor function in the left ventricle (the essential chamber of the heart) were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden cardiac failure and nonfatal heart attacks also were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group.
In another study, CoQ10 was studied in 109 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The patients were given varying doses of supplemental CoQ10 with the goal of attaining a certain blood level (greater than 2.0 mcg/l). Most patients were on medications to treat hypertension. Half the patients were able to stop taking one to three antihypertensive drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10. Only 3% of patients required the addition of one antihypertensive drug. The 9.4% of patients who have echo cardiograms, performed both before and during treatment, experienced a highly significant improvement in heart wall thickness and function. This improvement was directly attributed to CoQ10 supplementation.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a debilitating disease that affects 5 million people in the
Q. I’ve heard that CoQ10 can also help people who have neurological diseases. Is this true?
A. Yes, it is. CoQ10 has been studied for its ability to improve the health of individuals with amotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. A recently completed study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health showed that CoQ10 caused a slowing of the progression of Huntington’s disease, a devastating and degenerative disease that is always fatal. In fact, no other medication, drug, or nutritional supplemental has ever been shown to cause a decline in the progression of this terrible disease.
The study compared CoQ10 against remacemide (an investigational HD drug made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals), in 347 HD patients who were in the early stages of the disease. Remacemide blocks glutamate, the neurotransmitter scientists think may cause the death of brain cells that occurs in Huntington’s disease. While remacemide had no effect on the progression of HD, CoQ10 showed a trend toward slowing the disease by an average of 15%. This meant the HD group taking CoQ10 was able to handle every day activities of life a little longer than the patients taking remacemide or a placebo. They also were able to focus their attention better, were less depressed, and less irritable. The 15% slowing of decline means that CoQ10 can result in about one more year of independence for HD patients. Needless to say, the gift of an additional year of health in the lives of HD patients is incredibly significant.
Because of these impressive results with HD, researchers are hopeful that the studies of CoQ10 in those with ALS and Parkinson’s disease will similarly have a positive effect on the symptoms and/or progression of these neurological disorders, too.
Q. Why is it crucial for a CoQ10 supplement to cross the blood-brain barrier?
A. The brains’ blood vessels are composed of cells with extremely tight junctions. These junctions form the blood-brain barrier, which restricts what can pass from the bloodstream into the brain. While this barrier protects the brain, it can be a significant obstacle to central nervous system therapy. To leave the bloodstream and reach the brain cells, a substance must pass through the tightly connected cells of the capillary walls. Only substances with unique solubilities or those with a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree. As a result, crossing the blood-brain barrier presents a significant challenge to supporting neurological health.
While most CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream and increase blood serum levels, only special forms of CoQ10 have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. For CoQ10 to enter the mitochondria within the brain, CoQ10 must first cross the blood-brain barrier to produce significant neurosupportive clinical results.
Q. How can one supplement have applications for neurological diseases, heart health, and even the immune system?
A. Supplements often have more than one function, especially when it’s a substance like CoQ10, which is present in all parts of the body. All nucleated cells (most cells other than red blood cells) have mitochondria and all cells require energy to function. CoQ10 is vital to ATP production. Thus, CoQ10 has applications not only in neurological (neurons or nervous system cells) and cardiac health (myocardium or heart tissue), but also for the immune system.
Q. Are all CoQ10 supplements created equal? Doesn’t CoQ10 just have to get into the bloodstream to be effective?
A. There are some important distinctions among CoQ10 products, as they vary greatly in quality and absorbability. It’s crucial to find a CoQ10 product that’s:
1. Scientifically shown to absorb through the digestive tract, cross cellular membranes, and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. Chewable forms of CoQ10 provide rapid bioavailability and absorption. Serum level determination of CoQ10 in the bloodstream is not necessarily the most important measure of efficacy. For a CoQ10 supplement to be fully effective, it must cross the cellular barrier and raise intracellular CoQ10 levels. A key indicator of effective CoQ10 supplementation is its presence in cell mitochondria.
2. The natural form of CoQ10. The natural process uses living organisms. CoQ10 also can be synthesized by a chemical process, which produces a distinctly different product that contains chemical compounds not found in the natural form.
3. Formulated with ingredients that provide the transport system CoQ10 needs to cross cellular membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Not all forms of CoQ10 have been scientifically proven to cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Some prestigious groups that have investigated this issue include researchers at
4. Studied by respected organizations, with research published in peer-reviewed journals by reputable scientists.
Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?
A. Take 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily, depending on your family history of heart disease and personal heart disease experience.
CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. Dosages in studies have ranged from 100 mg to 1,200 mg per day. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Occasional mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Q. What are some other heart-friendly supplements?
A. CoQ10 is an excellent supplement for overall cardiovascular health, as in L-carnitine. L-carnitine is the naturally occurring form of carnitine that’s found in food and synthesized in the body. Much of the body’s L-carnitine is found in the heart and skeletal muscle, tissues that rely on fatty acid oxidation for most of their energy. Nearly 70% of the energy needed for heart function is derived from fatty acid breakdown. Proper L-carnitine supplementation transports fatty acids into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy. L-carnitine is an excellent addition to CoQ10, especially for people with heart disease, and has been shown to improve many symptoms associated with CVD. In one study, people who had experienced one heart attack received either L-carnitine or placebo. The L-carnitine group had a statistically significant reduction in second heart attacks, and improved overall survival.
Q. What supplements support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol?
A. In addition to maintaining overall cardiovascular health, it’s also important to address your essential fats/lipids levels and healthy circulation/blood pressure. Fish oil supplements can significantly reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and homocysteine levels. Choose a supplement that’s a rich source of EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids naturally obtainable in fish oil. Find a product that’s been clinically studied and purified to ensure it contains the beneficial active constituents of the whole oil, while removing any dioxins, DDT, PCBs, or heavy metals, toxins present in some commercial fish oil preparations. An enteric-coated garlic product that provides a minimum of 5,000 mcg of beneficial allicin supports healthy blood pressure and circulation. And magnesium, niacin, vitamin E, folic acid, hawthorn extract, and L-cysteine provide overall nutritional support to the heart and vascular system.
CoQ10 is not the only answer to the complex issues of heart disease, neurological disease, or immune dysfunction; however, research indicates that it’s a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. The more we study this naturally occurring compound, the more benefits we find.
The key to this supplement is the manufacturing quality. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that’s supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions. Choose tested products from a well-respected company to increase your potential to achieve and maintain heart and blood vessel health.
Supplementation with clinically studied products can have a major impact on your heart’s health and strength. However, no supplement replaces the need to eat a healthful diet low in refined foods (especially sugar), and saturated fats, and to exercise your most important muscle – your heart – on a regular basis.
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
March 28, 2007 11:10 AM
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation. One-third of all American adults have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis of the hand, foot, knee, or hip. Osteoarthritis is responsible for more than 7 million physician visits per year and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the cause of chronic disability in adults. As Baby Boomers age, the number of people suffering from osteoarthritis is expected to rapidly increase in the next 10 years.
While osteoarthritis research ahs led to the development of promising new prescription and over-the-counter medications aimed at reducing pain, none has created the excitement of glucosamine sulfate (GS), which actually addresses the underlying joint destruction.
Q. What is osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis is a complex, metabolic disorder of the cartilage and bones of certain joints. However, to fully understand how osteoarthritis develops, we need to understand how joints work.
A joint is formed when two or more bones are brought together and held in place by muscles and tendons. Some joints have very little range of movement, such as the joints of the ribs, while others have much more range of movement. Hips, knees, elbows, writs, and thumbs are termed synovial joints, and have the greatest range of movement and mobility of human joints. To allow such mobility, synovial joints have a unique structure.
The bones that form synovial joints are covered with cartilage. Tough fibrous tissue encloses the area between the bone ends and is called the joint capsule. The joint cavity within the capsule is lined with an inner membrane, called synovial membrane. The membrane secretes synovial fluid, a thick, slippery fluid that fills the small space around and between the two bones. This fluid contains many substances that lubricate the joint and ease movement.
The cartilage of synovial joints serves two very important functions. First, it provides a remarkably smooth weight-bearing surface; synovial joints move easily. Secondly, synovial cartilage serves as a shock absorber, providing a soft, flexible foundation. Healthy cartilage absorbs the force of the energy, transmits the load to the bone, and distributes the mechanical stress created by joint movement.
Synovial joints function under almost continual mechanical stress. A joint’s ability to withstand or resist this stress is a reflection of its health. When the mechanical stress is too great or the joint’s ability to resist this stress is compromised, physical changes occur in the cartilage covering the bones.
Cartilage is a tough, elastic tissue, comprised mostly of water, collagen, and complex proteins called proteoglycans. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to weaken, becomes frayed, and eventually breaks down. This exposes the bones of the joint, which then rub together. A gritty feeling and grinding sound may occur when an osteoarthritic joint is bent and flexed. As osteoarthritis progresses, bits of bone and cartilage often break off and float inside the joint space. The bones may enlarge, causing the joint to lose its normal shape. Tiny bone spurs may grow on the joints’ sides and edges. These physical changes in the diseased joint are responsible for progressive damage and continual pain.
People with osteoarthritis most frequently describe their pain as deep and aching. The pain not only is felt in the affected joint but may also be present in the surrounding and supporting muscles. Joint inflammation also may occur, increasing the already considerable discomfort. Joint stiffness is another unfortunate component of osteoarthritis. Exercising the joint most often results in increased pain; however, stiffness tends to follow periods of inactivity. Humid weather often makes all osteoarthritis symptoms worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may occur even when the joint is at rest, creating sleepless nights and miserable days.
Q. What causes osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis’ exact cause remains unknown. Researchers know aging doesn’t appear to cause osteoarthritis. Cartilage in people with the disease show many destructive changes not seen in older persons without the disease. However, certain conditions do seem to trigger osteoarthritis or make it worse.
Some families seem to have a lot of osteoarthritis, pointing to a genetic factor. This is most commonly seen in people who have osteoarthritis of the hands. Repeated trauma can contribute to osteoarthritis, too. Athletes, extremely active people, and individuals who have physically demanding jobs often develop the disease. Persons who have certain bone disorders are more prone to osteoarthritis due to the continuous, uneven stress in their hips and knees.
Obesity also is a risk factor for the disease. In overweight women, osteoarthritis of the knee is fairly common. Excess pounds also may have a direct metabolic effect on cartilage beyond the effects of increased joint stress. Obese people also often have m ore dense bones. Research has shown dense bones may provide less shock-absorbing function than thinner bones, allowing more direct trauma to the cartilage.
Q. Can osteoarthritis be prevented?
A. While there is currently no sure way to prevent osteoarthritis or slow its progression, some lifestyle changes may reduce or delay symptoms. The Arthritis Foundation states that maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight if needed, and regular exercise are effective osteoarthritis prevention measures.
Optimal calcium intake in younger years is vital to ensure a healthy aging skeletal system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E have been studied for their role in osteoarthritis prevention. These vitamins also have shown benefit in individuals who have osteoarthritis.
Q. What treatments are available for osteoarthritis?
A. The goal of treatment is to reduce or relieve pain, maintain or improve movement, and minimize any potential permanent disability. Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced “n-sayds”) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are used for pain and inflammation relief. These medications are effective in treating only the pain of osteoarthritis.
These medications have many side effects, some of which are serious. NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications cause more than 100,000 hospitalizations and nearly 16,500 deaths annually in the U.S. Aspirin can cause an extremely annoying and continual ringing in the ears. NSAIDs frequently cause damage to the stomach lining, which can produce uncomfortable heartburn and abdominal pain. Continued NSAID use may lead to the development of stomach ulcers. NSAID-related ulcers can perforate the stomach lining and cause life-threatening bleeding. Most NSAIDs also interfere with blood clotting and may cause kidney damage. When older persons take NSAIDs, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, and decreased attention span may occur.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and similar medications) is similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs in its pain-relief abilities. However, acetaminophen doesn’t reduce inflammation. And while acetaminophen doesn’t have the same side effects of aspirin and other NSAIDs, if large doses are taken, liver damage can occur.
Newer medications called COX-2 inhibitors provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation without the many side effects of acetaminophen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. More recent research has indicated that, in certain situations. COX02 inhibitors also can cause stomach lining damage and bleeding. While aspirin, NSAIDs, and COX-2 inhibitors may reduce osteoarthritis pain, they do nothing to stop or slow down cartilage deterioration. In other words, these medications have no effect on the disease itself.
That is why many believe glucosamine sulfate (GS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) are preferable to pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications in osteoarthritis treatment: they actually improve synovial joint health. And they do this without potentially life-threatening side effects.
Q. How do GS and CS work?
A. GS improves the health of joints affected by osteoarthritis. This supplement is so effective that even physicians who mostly rely on conventional medications routinely recommend it to their patients with osteoarthritis. In fact, GS is so good at treating osteoarthritis, many physicians use it for their own osteoarthritis joints.
There is even more good news. When glucosamine sulfate is combined with low-molecular weight CS, even greater benefits can be achieved. GS and CS are naturally occurring compounds found in human joints. The right GS/CS combination actually reverses damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis, in turn significantly reducing pain and stiffness.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and is found in synovial fluid. Glucosamine is a basic building block for proteoglycans, is a basic building block for proteoglycans, one of the important compounds of synovial cartilage. It also is required for the formation of lubricants and protective agents for the joints.
In Europe, GS and CS have been used to treat osteoarthritis for more than 10 years. While persons with arthritis felt much better when they took GS and CS, no one really knew how these compounds worked. When European and American researchers first started to study glucosamine, they discovered GS can reduce synovial joint inflammation. This explains why people felt better after taking it.
Q. What has additional study of GS and CS revealed?
A. As the scientific study of GS progressed, researchers determined it can stimulate the growth of cartilage cells, inhibit proteoglycans breakdown, and rebuild cartilage damaged from osteoarthritis. In other words, GS does not simply make persons with osteoarthritis feel better; GS actually makes persons with osteoarthritis get better.
GS is the form of glucosamine used in research. It’s the sulfate salt of glucosamine and breaks down into glucosamine and sulfate ions in the body. The sulfate part of GS plays an important role in proteoglycans synthesis.
CS also provides cartilage strength and resilience. CS is an important component of the cartilage proteoglycans of synovial joints. Because CS helps the production of proteoglycans, researchers believe CS works in a similar nature to GS.
Q. Couldn’t GS and CS be taken on their own? Is there any benefit in taking them together?
A. Research has discovered GS and CS act synergistically (work well together) in improving joint health. Several studies have investigated this action and it’s recommended that GS and CD be taken together. However, there may be times when your healthcare practitioner may recommend using one or the other, but not both GS and CS together. Please follow their recommendations to obtain the best results for your own unique health concerns. Low-molecular weight chondroitin sulfate (CS) is the preferred CS form, and the form that has shown the most promise in studies.
Q. Why is it important to take low-molecular weight CS?
A. When CS was first studied, it was given to six healthy volunteers, six patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and six patients with osteoarthritis. Researchers then measured the levels of CS in all study subjects. They found no evidence of CS in any of the subjects. This single study led many physicians and scientists to believe CS can’t be absorbed, and was not an effective natural treatment.
However, several other studies in healthy volunteers have reported CS can be absorbed. The distinct difference for these findings is thought to be associated with the types of CS used in the studies. Some forms are much more absorbable that others. This was demonstrated in a recent study using CS with lower molecular weight. A higher absorption is observed for low-molecular weight CS.
This means CS products with a low molecular weight may be better absorbed, allowing the CS to get into the bloodstream and the synovial fluid of joints where it’s needed.
Q. Are there other supplements that can help osteoarthritis?
A. Several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and natural supplements have benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis. Proteolytic enzymes effectively offer relief of the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis.
Folic acid and vitamin B can reduce the number of tender joints and increase joint mobility. Vitamins C, D, and E not only may prevent osteoarthritis, but inhibit the disease’s progression. Niacinamide improves joint function, range of motion, and muscle strength. Clinical studies using the herb Boswellia serrata have yielded good results in osteoarthritis.
Application of ointments on osteoarthritic joints may be helpful in reducing pain and stiffness. Menthol-based preparations can provide soothing relief to painful joints. Capsaicin ointments and gel made for cayenne pepper also are very beneficial. When applied to the skin, capsaicin first stimulates, then blocks, nerve fibers that transmit pain messages. Capsaicin depletes nerve fibers of a neurotransmitter called substance P. This neurotransmitter transmits pain messages and activates inflammation in osteoarthritis. Capsaicin ointment is very effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain in many individuals.
Q. Is there anything else I can do for joint pain and stiffness?
A. When osteoarthritis occurs in the hands, use of a paraffin dip can be very comforting. A licensed health care practitioner can provide information about how to safely use paraffin dips at home.
Exercise is an excellent way to keep joints mobile, decrease pain, and increase body strength, too. Water aerobics also can reduce the pressure and stress on joints.
The Arthritis Foundation strongly suggests making movement an integral part of your life. When you’re in less pain and have more energy, more range-of-motion, and a better outlook on life, you’ll reduce stress and be a much healthier person despite your osteoarthritis.
One important last thought
When we don’t feel well, we sometimes have a tendency to self-diagnose. If you haven’t been evaluated by a licensed health care practitioner for your joint pain and stiffness, you need to do so. These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses and may require much different treatment. Only licensed health care practitioner can provide a certain diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis may be a part of life for many of us as we age; however, constant pain and stiffness need not be. GS combined with absorbable CS can actually improve damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis and significantly reduce pain and stiffness. And it can be an empowering way to improve your health.
For Better Heart Health ...
February 06, 2007 12:57 PM
Nutrients Every Heart Needs
High blood pressure. High cholesterol levels. Ever increasing stress. All are factors related to the development of heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, 1 in 2 women in the
Fortunately, heart disease is a problem you can do something about. Proven ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of heart disease include taking targeted nutritional supplements, making changes in the foods we eat, exercising most days of the week, drinking in moderation, eliminating tobacco use and adapting a positive attitude. Research shows that those of us who are often angry and depressed have more heart disease than people that live their lives with a more positive outlook.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’ll talk about specific nutritional supplements that are heart healthy, whether your goal is to prevent heart disease or reduce the effects of heart disease if you currently have it.
Q. I am trying hard to live a healthier life. But it all seems so overwhelming. How do I start?
A. It may help to know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Lots of people feel this way. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association are both urging people to prevent heart disease by identifying their individual health risk factors.
A risk factor is an indicator of whether or not you may develop a certain health condition. In heart disease prevention, there are two kinds of risk factors. There are risk factor you can control – such as diet, exercise, and the supplements you take. There are also risk factors you can’t change or control –your age, race, and gender, as well as your family’s history of heart disease.
Examples can be really helpful. Let’s follow three adults – Fred, Jane, and Earl – and determine their risk factors.
Fred is 32, single, has a job he loves, has an optimistic attitude about his life, and works out 5 days a week. Most days Fred’s diet is fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat. Occasionally Fred will eat a cheeseburger and fries when he watches the game with his buddies. Fred’s risk factors are his male gender and the occasional high fat content in his diet.
Jane is 55, a lawyer, married, and has a very stressful job. Jane eats lots of salads, fruits, and whole grains. However, her job requires her to work long hours which leaves little time to exercise. Jane is for the most part happy with her life, but her work stress had led to times of negativity. Her father had a heart attack when he was 56. Jane’s risk factors include her age (greater than 50), negativity from job stress, lack of regular exercise, and a family history of heart disease.
Earl is 65, married, and has just retired from a job he hated. He spends most of his day watching TV and eating potato chips and other high fat, salty snacks. Earl has told his friends and family since he worked so hard for so long, he is sure to drop dead soon after retiring. He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Earl’s father had a heart attack and died when he was 73. Earl’s risk is his male gender, age (greater than 50), sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, negative outlook on life, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and a family history of heart disease.
Q. OK, it’s pretty easy to see that Fred needs to watch his diet, Jane needs to exercise more, and Earl needs lots of help. But, which supplements should they take?
A. The Whole Heart Nutrition chart is an easy way to determine the supplements each risk level needs. As you can see, everyone wanting to prevent heart disease – Fred, Jane, Earl, you, and I – need to take quality heart formula multivitamin, garlic, and a fish oil supplement providing Omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is also a smart choice for complete heart heath support.
Q. Why do we all need to take a “heart multivitamin”? Why can’t we take a regular multivitamin to prevent heart disease?
A. Since the human heart simply cannot function without adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, it seems logical that a multivitamin would be the foundation of good nutrition for your heart. Heart-health formulated multivitamins provide the exact nutrients needed to prevent heart disease.
That’s why we need to take a specially formulated heart-focused multi-vitamin. The cells and the tissues that make up the heart must have vitamins C, A, and E, as well as B1, B6, and B12 to function. Folic acid, the little B vitamin that is so crucial in preventing spina bifida (a birth defect), breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease is also needed to keep heart muscles strong. The B vitamins and folic acid are very important to heart health because they help lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a potential and emerging cardiac risk factor,
Magnesium is a mighty mineral and healthy hearts need it every day. Aloha lipoic acid, a fatty acid, provides protection against heart cholesterol and high blood pressure. Lutein and lycopene are all-natural nutrients and keep our arteries free from the buildup of plaque, a condition linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Multivitamins formulated with these exact vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will work with medications often prescribed to treat heart disease and provide the nutrition our hearts need.
Q. Don’t all multivitamins work with medications prescribed to treat heart disease?
A. Many multivitamin formulas contain herbs and other nutrients that can interfere with prescription medications, especially mediations prescribed to treat heart disease. One multivitamin does not fit all.
The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.
Q. What can garlic supplements do for Fred, Jane and Earl or other people with low to high risk factors?
A. Garlic supplements have a very long and very successful history of preventing premature death from heart attacks. Lately, however, there have been some conflicting news stories about supplemental garlic’s ability to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure – the causes of heart disease and death. That’s because many different garlic supplements have been used in these studies – garlic oil, garlic powder, aged garlic extract, and supplements made from fresh garlic. They have all been studied clinically for their effects in heart disease.
The best garlic supplements (and the ones that showed the best effects in garlic studies) contain alliin, which is then converted to allicin. Allicin is the compound that lowers harmfully high cholesterol levels and dangerous blood pressure readings. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor. Because alliin is very stable when dry, properly prepared and enteric coated fresh garlic preparations preserve the allicin-producing action until the garlic mixes with the fluids of the intestinal tract. Fresh garlic extract’s enteric coating also prevents garlic breath. In contrast, aged garlic contains absolutely no allicin or allicin potential. This fact is probably responsible for the poor results noted in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure from aged garlic preparations.
The most effective garlic supplements are made from fresh garlic, enteric coated, and provide a daily dose of at least 10 milligrams (mg) alliin or a total allicin potential of 4,000 micrograms (mcg). Taking a once-daily garlic supplement that delivers 4,000 mcg of allicin will lower Jane’s and Earl’s high blood pressure and Earl’s high cholesterol, naturally and effectively.
Whole Heart Nutrition
Each additional risk factor requires additional supplements or increased doses for protection from heart disease.
Q. What about fish oil supplements? I know they can prevent heart disease but I’ve also heard they contain harmful substances, too.
A. You’re right on both counts. But, there are excellent fish oil supplements naturally loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, powerful nutrients that prevent heart disease, that are also certified free of harmful contaminants.
In the 1980s, researchers first began noticing the native Inuit (Eskimo) populations of Greenland and
Research has shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements can:
-Reduce the risk of arrhythmias, lethal heartbeat rhythms that cause sudden death.
-Lower the levels of triglycerides, fats in the blood that can increase a person’s
risk of dying from a heart attack, even if a person’s cholesterol levels are normal.
-Slow atherosclerosis – the growth of harmful plaque on artery walls.
Atherosclerosis develops over many years. If the plaque growth is slow and
stable, chances are low that a heart attack will result. However, rapidly growing
or unstable plaques can rupture. The body responds with inflammation, which
causes blood clots to form. These blood clots block the artery and cause a heart
-Keep blood pressure levels low. Many people have high blood pressure for years
without knowing it. That’s because it has no symptoms. Uncontrolled high
blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.
While 25% of Americans have high blood pressure, nearly one-third of these
people don’t know they have it. This is why high blood pressure is often called
the “silent killer.”
You can get all of this heart disease preventive protection from just 600-1800 mg of fish oil. It’s pretty simple to see why Fred, Jane, Earl, and you and I need to take fish oil supplements every day.
However, it is absolutely critical that the fish oil supplement you take is free of contaminants and guaranteed fresh! Make sure that the manufacturer of the fish oil supplement you buy is able to provide documentation of purity in their product. Supplements should contain no detectable dioxin (a widely used toxic preservative), DDT (a toxic insecticide), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) or heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
Before you buy any fish oil supplement, ask the clerk if you can open the bottle or jar and smell the contents. A fishy smelling fish oil supplementation means it is rancid. Rancid fish oil is not going to help your heart at all and may actually hurt it.
Q. That leaves CoQ10. Why is it important for Jane and Earl?
A. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is the premier heart supplement! CoQ10 is part of our energy producing system. It works directly in the mitochondria of each cell. Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as powerhouses. These tiny energy producers generate 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. The heart has very important functions and requires a vast amount of energy. Thus, the heart has a lot of mitochondria or little powerhouses.
CoQ10 is incredibly crucial to the health of our hearts. Especially to hearts that are pumping blood with too much cholesterol. But, in a dangerous paradox, CoQ10 levels can become dangerously depleted when physicians treat high cholesterol in their patients with certain medications. The so-called “statin” drugs (Mevacor/lovastatin and Crestor/rosubastatin are two examples) are powerful and medications prescribed to lower harmful cholesterol levels. However, one very harmful side effect they share is that they deprive cells of CoQ10. While some physicians are aware of this serious side effect and tell their patients to take at least 400 mg of CoQ10 each day, most are not. The result? Any good the statin drugs may be doing is actually negated by their depletion of CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 actually work? Has it been studied in heart disease?
A. Yes, it has! CoQ10 has been extensively studied in heart disease. This natural nutrient is present in every nucleated cell in our body (the only cells that don’t contain CoQ10 are red blood cells). Heart cells, however, are absolutely loaded with CoQ10. Its job is fairly simply – CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound our body uses for 95% of its energy needs.
In 1998, 144 patients who had been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack, participated in a CoQ10 study. Half of the patients received 120 mg of CoQ10 a day in addition to the usual treatments given to heart attack patients. The other half, the control group, received the usual treatments and a placebo, but no CoQ10.
The results showed that the group taking CoQ10 had less irregular heartbeat, experienced less angina (a type of heart pain), and had much better function in the left ventricle (the most essential chamber of the heart), compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden heart failure or another heart attack were also reduced in the CoQ10 group.
Q. What if I have already been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure? Will CoQ10 still help me?
A. CoQ10 has been proven in study after study to help slow down the destruction that occurs in congestive heart failure (CHF), a serious heart disease, and heal the heart muscles damaged by heart attacks. In fact, heart attacks often occur when the body’s CoQ10 levels are low.
In a CHF study, patients received 100 mg of CoQ10 or a placebo twice daily for 12 weeks. Before and after the treatment period, the researchers introduced a catheter into the right ventricle of the patients’ hearts to determine the degree of muscle damage CHF had caused. In the group who took CoQ10, the pumping ability of the heart improved significantly. The placebo group’s hearts did not. The researchers conducting the study recommended that people with CHF add CoQ10 to the other medications they need to take to stay alive and well.
Q. Are some types of CoQ10 better than others?
A. Indeed they are. CoQ10 products are not created equally. The key to this natural medicine is the quality of the manufacturing. Take a CoQ10 supplement that’s been used in research conducted by prestigious universities (it will tell you this right on the label). Researchers want the best CoQ10 for their studies. You want the best CoQ10 for yourself and your loved ones.
The best CoQ10 has to meet the following criteria:
1. Must be easily absorbed during the digestion process so that it can get into the
2. Must reach the mitochondria in the cell.
3. Must be proven effective in studies.
4. Must be safe and free of impurities.
Q. It sounds as if CoQ10 is only for people with moderate or high risk factors. Can others benefit from this supplement?
A. Many people, including those like Fred with low risk factors or no risk of heart disease take CoQ10 every day. CoQ10 supplements may reduce your risk of cancer, prevent gum disease, and help certain nerve cells work more effectively.
Understanding your personal risk factors, making it better lifestyle choices, taking a multivitamin formulated for your heart, an enteric-coated fresh garlic supplement, fish oil supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids, and CoQ10 – the heart’s super-nutrient – can help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Helen Keller, the famous lecturer and author, who was both blind and deaf wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot e seen or even touched. They must be felt with the human heart.”
Healthy hearts have the most opportunities to “feel” the best and are the most beautiful thing our world has to offer.
Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Dietary Supplements are targeted while foods sicken millions.
November 09, 2006 11:54 AM
The FDA and our enemies in Congress want you to believe that non-causal Adverse Event Reporting (AER, as presented in the S.3546 bill in Senate and the HR.6168 now in the House of Representatives) for supplements should be implemented to protect our health. The latest nationwide E.coli outbreak casts a shadow of doubt on S.3546/HR.6168 supporters’ motives, however-because these bills are treating safe, natural supplements as dangerous threats while foods wreak havoc on our nation’s health.
By the time this issue went to press, 187 people had been sickened and as many as three people had died from toxic E.coli bacteria found in contaminated bags of spinach. Tragically, this is nothing new; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that food borne disease cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United Stages each year. More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through bad food.
Despite these staggering figures, there is no adverse event reporting system in place for foods. So if our enemies in Congress truly want to protect us, why are they pursuing non causal AER for safe, natural dietary supplements and not foods? The unfortunate answer is that non-causal AER supporters are either ignorant or in pursuit to non-disclosed political agendas. The latter is extremely disturbing especially when these self serving political agendas, promoted in the name of “protecting health,” will actually harm public health by taking away our supplements.
Not only are AER supporters barking up the wrong tree, but the AER bills that they have constructed are totally destructive. S.3546/HR.6168 is based on association and not causation. That’s right—S.3546/HR.6168 disregard what actually caused an adverse event, and instead use “guilt by association.” These poorly constructed bills are impotent when it comes to protecting people, but nonetheless are poised to devastate the nutritional supplements industry. If passed, S.3546/HR.6168 will unleash a barrage of frivolous lawsuits that will make trial lawyers rich while bankrupting the entire nutritional supplement industry and taking away our vitamins forever.
It is hard to imagine why some elected officials, the FDA and certain nutritional supplement industry groups are channeling so much money and energy into AER for harmless supplements while potentially deadly pathogens are tainting our food supply and sickening millions. If our elected officials truly wish to help the American people and protect public health, they should leave safe, natural dietary supplements alone and focus their AER efforts on foods—but only if they take the time to draft an intelligent, functional AER bill that is based causality.
Don’t Give Up the Fight
Adverse events with supplements are practically nonexistent. Adverse events with food are abundant. Elected officials who support S.3546/HR.6168 and the non-causal AER they espouse are clearly misguided, with an imbecile’s grasp on prioritization. If you agree that non-causal AER for supplements is an unwarranted waste of time and will destroy the industry by guilt by association, then please voice your opinion, before it’s too late!
Please call and fax Joe Barton, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and other key AER players at the following numbers (fax numbers second): Barton at 202-225-2002, 202-225-3052; Chairman of the Judiciary Committee F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. at 202-225-5101,202-225-3190; House Majority Leader John Boehner at 202-225-6205, 202-225-0704; Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert at 202-225-2976,202-225-0697; and Congressman Nathan Deal a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, at 202-225-5211, 202-225-8272.
Don’t let self-serving political skullduggery take your vitamins and supplements away from you! Visit www.NHA2006.com and take advantage of online tools that allow you to easily send faxes to Congress. Please do not delay—without swift and decisive action, we may all lose our health freedom forever!
*This editorial is a public service announcement sponsored by the Nutritional Health Alliance (NHA).
Enjoy Some Nuts Every Day
November 03, 2006 04:00 PM
Although high in fat, nuts contain oils that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts also contain potentially cardio protective components including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts were all found to be good sources of these compounds. Diets that included one or two servings of macadamia nuts a day have been shown in studies done in Brisbane Australia and Honolulu Hawaii to improve blood lipid profiles as effectively as low-fat, complex carbohydrate diets. Furthermore, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating nuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of type II diabetes in women. The researchers suggest that nuts might replace refined grain products, and red or processed meats as a way to limit caloric intake.
The Lowly Goober Gets New Respect
Americans eat more peanuts and peanut butter than all other nuts combined. A Pennsylvania State University study of 13,000 men, women and children revealed that peanut eaters have higher intakes of several hard-to-get nutrients compared to those who did not consume peanuts. Peanut butter and peanut eaters have increased levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, Calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phytonutrients resveratrol, beta sitosterol and p-courmaric acid. What’s more, peanut eaters also had leaner bodies than non peanut eaters. This study helps to dispel the myth that higher-fat foods automatically lead to weight gain.
The peanut Butter Diet evolved from studies such as this that showed the benefits of eating peanuts and peanut butter, particularly their high satiety factor. In one small study, ten health workers aged fifty-plus, consumed 1500 calories healthy and moderate fat (35%) diet that included two tablespoons of peanut butter eaten twice a day. The woman had at least one cardiovascular risk factor – high blood pressure, altered blood lipids or diabetes. Peanut butter was chosen because previous studies at Harvard/Brigham Women’s hospital had shown that over an eighteen-month period, three times as many women stuck with a diet that included peanut butter or peanuts, because of a hunger curbing effects.
Peanuts contain about 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon and when spread on two slices of whole-wheat bread, deliver six grams of fiber. Peanut butter makes some yummy sauces. The barbecued ribs a group of scientists and I prepared during a recent weekend at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California’s Napa Valley where the best I have ever eaten.
The term refers to coconut, palm kernel and palm oils. These oils contain a variety of fatty acids, but unlike olive, macadamia and peanut oils, which contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature; tropical oils have high levels of saturated fats and are solid at room temperature. They are gaining popularity as food manufacturers push to replace hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats. The latest hoopla over coconut oil has been its inclusion in weight loss regimens. Two books featuring coconut products have hit bestseller lists. Moderate increase of tropical oils including coconut and palm appear to improve blood lipid profiles largely because of their high lauric acid content.
The health benefits of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as caprylic and lauric have been known for some time. Lauric acid has been found to improve blood lipids and red palm oil is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and tocotrienols, the vitamin E active constituent. However, there is concern among some experts that eating to many saturated fats, including the tropical oils used to make trans fat free margarine and shortening, can have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health.
In addition, there are differences in processing palm and palm kernel oils that make some choices unhealthy. According to Dr. Andrew Weil palm oil is a better choice than palm kernel oil because chemical solvents are needed to extract palm kernel oil while none are required to press the oil from palm fruit. Fractionation is used to process palm and palm kernel oil and eliminates many of their natural antioxidants, which makes them the least desirable of the tropical oils. It seems prudent to check ingredient labels for fractionated palm kernel oil and avoid it. Best of all, look for Now Organic Coconut Oil that has an impressive resume for boosting immunity. It also has a distinctive flavor to foods prepared with an eastern Indian theme.
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the
October 07, 2006 02:59 PM
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the famous oil.
Okay class, its time for a beneficial botanicals pop quiz. Raise your hands—how many people here know that olive oil is good for you? The whole room not surprising. Now, how many know that olive leaf is also good for you? There are not quite so many hands up this time. Let the lesson begin.
The olive tree occupies a prominent place in ancient history and no wonder: olives and the oil hey contain were (and are) dietary staples in the Mediterranean world. (The Greeks were so enamored of the olive tree that they ascribed its creation to the goddess Athena.) But the leaf of this venerable tree has also made historical appearances, generally as a folk remedy for bringing down fevers. The mechanism behind that action didn’t come to light until scientists were able to isolate a substance called oleuropein, responsible for both the bitter taste of uncured olives and the tree’s hardy nature and resistance to bugs and bacteria.
In the laboratory oleuropein extract has been as tough on many of the bacteria and viruses that plague human beings as it is on the olive tree’s natural enemies, a finding which helps explain why olive leaf has traditionally worked as well in fighting fevers (a sign of infection). Various types of rhinovirus (common cold), influenza and herpes virus have been numbered among oleuropein’s victims, along with the bacterial bad guys Escherichia coli (a strain of which can cause food poisoning) and staphylococcus aureus (the prime suspect in many hospital acquired infections).
Viruses are especially difficult to vanquish—antibiotics, as anyone suffering from the flu can tell you, don’t touch these tiny marauders. Olive leaf’s power lies in its ability to thwart viruses from replicating; now replication means no new viruses, which means no spread of infection. Olive extract can also incite immune system cells into gobbling up harmful micro-organisms.
In addition to thwarting microbes, olive leaf promotes better circulatory health. The white-coat crowd has discovered that oleuropein extract relaxes constricted arteries, which results in reduced blood pressure. And olive not only reduces blood sugar (glucose) levels but also serves as an antioxidant, a substance that can mop up harmful molecules known as free radicals. Given that oxidation plays a key role in the development of diabetic complications, both actions make olive leaf an intriguing option for people with diabetes. What’s more, oxidation also affects LDL cholesterol, turning it into the bad stuff that clogs arteries; olive leaf appears to interfere with this insidious process. This triple action-the ability to reduce blood pressure, glucose and LDL oxidation—may give olive leaf an important role in fighting metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health woes that helps fuel the worlds epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
The latest news from the olive grove: what boosts your blood may also benefit your bones. French researchers, intrigued by the low occurrence of osteoporosis among people who consume olive-heavy Mediterranean diets, found that female rats who received oleuropein showed less inflammation-induced bone loss than those fed standard rat chow (Clinical Nutrition 2006 online).
Surprised to learn that the olive trees leaf is just as valuable as its fruits? It’s true-and olive leaf deserves to go straight to the head of the class. --Lisa James.
Testamonial by Wendy: Subject: DiGeorge Syndrome
September 19, 2006 05:50 PM
I was touched this morning by the attached E-mail. When someone tells me “these products are so expensive” these are the kind of stories that always come to mind. It is not about cost: IT IS ALL ABOUT VALUE. What else in this world has this kind of impact on health?
Subject: DiGeorge Syndrome
My name is Wendy and I live in Ponca City OK. This story is about my daughter Sydney and her journey with DiGeorge Syndrome.
DiGeorge syndrome is a rare congenital (i.e. present at birth) anomaly with symptoms vary greatly between individuals but commonly include a history of recurrent infection, heart defects, and characteristic facial features.
We learned about DiGeorge when Sydney was born. What a tough way to come into the world. Sydney had open heart surgery at 13 days old. We were told after her surgery that Sydney was born without a thymus gland. This gland is the home for the immune system. We were then told that she would likely die by the age of three. She would be very ill all of her life and would die from some type of infection. This devastated us!
One of the first people to provide some hope that there was something out there that could help was a friend of mine. His name is Tim O’Conner and told me about a company that provides glyconutrients. He is our pharmacist (we go to church together too). I had to call him from the hostpital with a medication list to make sure he had everything available in Ponca City before we could leave the hospital in Oklahoma City. Once we got to the pharmacy, Tim told me about the products and how it helps the immune system.
I had to think about it, research it and pray about it. I wasn’t just going to take his word for it! When Sydney was about 9 weeks old, I started her on glyconutrients, ¼ teaspoon twice a day. Because when Sydney was six weeks old, the immunologist told us she had a very poor immune system and to keep her away from everyone we can. No animals, no strangers, no church. So I really thought even more about the products. We started the products and went back to the immunologist at 6 months and at that point he told us that her immune system was probably better than mine! Then we asked what else do we need to do and he said “let me hold her for a minute because I am not going to see her ever again”. I started to cry! I was so happy because I had been told so many terrible things about kids with DiGeorge Syndrome and how they are always sick and that pneumonia normally kills them. We have been so blessed! Until Sydney was 1 year old she had to take a form of calcium, I cant remember the specific type. We were told by the endocrinologist that she would always have a calcium deficiency. Guess what, she is off the calcium too! Genetics asked what we had been doing with her, special therapy? No, just Sonner Start (a state funded occupational therapy) oh, and glyconutrients.
Every time we told a doctor about glyconutrients, they wanted to know more. We have told every doctor about this product. We have been told by all the genetic, immunologist, endocrinologist ect., that she doesn’t need to be followed by them any longer. Between that and prayer, Sydney is now almost 3 years old and is very healthy! Actually now, all we giver her are the glyconutrients kids supplements anywhere from 5 – 7 a day. She is great and loves the kids BEARS supplements!
Medical Tourism Adopted by Businesses
September 19, 2006 05:46 PM
(NewsTarget) A number of U.S. employers that fund their own health insurance plans have started sending their employees to countries such as India and Thailand for operations that can cost tens of thousands of dollars more in the United States.
“the hospitals have a monopoly,” says North Carolina based Blue Ridge Paper Products Inc. benefits director Bonnie Blackley. “They don’t care, because where else are patients going to go? Well, we’re going to go to India.”
“This accelerating trend of medical tourism,” adds Mike Adams, a medical industry watchdog and critic to conventional medicine, “is the free markets way of overcoming the anti-competitive, monopoly practices that have now become accepted as standard in the U.S. medical industry. Despite the industry’s best efforts to exploit patients by limiting their options, smart consumers are realizing that U.S. meical costs are, indeed, a sham, and that they can get the same level of care – plus a free vacation to Asia – for a fraction of what they’d spend in the U.S.”
Pretend Medicine: let’s play doctor!
September 19, 2006 05:44 PM
(NewsTarget) Conventional medicine, as practiced today, is actually pretend medicine. Doctors and drug companies pretend to make patients healthier by giving them drugs. The FDA pretends to protect the safety of the public. Medical journals pretend to print only rigorous, scientifically-sound research papers. Drug companies pretend to care about the lives and health of patients. Non-profit disease front groups pretend to be searching for the cure while, in reality, most of them are only searching for more ways to recruit patients into conventional medicine treatments like drugs, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
How do we know it’s all pretend? Aside from the junk science, corruption fraud, collusion, conflicts of interest and intellectual dishonesty that characterizes modern medicine, there’s one more all-important thing to consider. The results. If modern medicine really worked, and wasn’t just pretend, wouldn’t we be the healthiest population in the world? (Instead of being 38th?)
Seriously. We Americans pay more for health care, per capita, than any nation in the world. We take more drugs, undergo more surgical procedures, and log more hospital visits than anyone else. If the drugs-and-surgery approach to medicine actually produced healthy human beings, shouldn’t we be the healthiest people on the planet?
But look around. We are the most diseased people on the planet. We have more disease, disorders and illness than any population that has ever been observed in the history of human civilization (Aside from plagues and the like). The reason is because the medicine being practiced today is pretend medicine.
As all of this unfolds, of course, the mainstream media will pretend to offer objective reporting on the health care crisis, relying on journalists who pretend to actually know something about health.
Conventional medicine exists in a fantasy. While cancer groups, researchers and drug companies promise enhanced health and quality of life, the reality is far different: accelerating chronic disease, skyrocketing health care costs that are putting U.S. companies like General Motors flat out of business, and hundreds of thousands of Americans being literally killed by medication side effects – an atrocity that the FDA still hasn’t seemed to notice. Conventional medicine is actually the leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 750,000 Americans each year (drug death, hospital deaths, latrogenic deaths combined, source: Death by medicine).
That’s the reality of the situation. Maybe its time we all stopped pretending. Perhaps its time that conventional medicine stopped playing doctor and started helping patients heal with natural, safe and effective treatments that work for real. Because once Americans are killed by prescription drugs, we cant merely pretend to bring them back.
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.