Search Term: " inerferes "
Is celery the powerful anti-cancer weapon we have all been waitingfor?
April 27, 2019 09:53 AM
Celery is known for being a low calorie vegetable that is also a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. However, the biggest (and perhaps most overlooked) health benefit of celery lies in its cancer-fighting properties. Two important antioxidants found in celery - apigenin and luteolin - are the key. Among other benefits, Apigenin has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors, while Luteolin interferes with cancer cells' replication cycles. Whether you eat it raw or incorporate it into smoothies, soups or stews, celery doesn't just taste good, it can extend your life.
"Research has shown that celery contains two important antioxidants, called apigenin and luteolin, which have exhibited some potent chemopreventive effects."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-06-is-celery-the-powerful-anti-cancer-weapon-we-have-all-been-waiting-for.html
Eating cruciferous greens help your immune system fight offintestinal pathogens
January 13, 2019 04:10 PM
The Francis Crick Institute has published new research on the useful properties of cruciferous vegetables in protecting against pathogens that attack your gastrointestinal tract. According to this research, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower can all help reduce your susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases. They do this by helping to mitigate the effects of a compound called Cyplal, which can inhibit your body’s ability to use a separate substance called aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This is good because when Cyplal interferes with AhR, it can leave you more vulnerable to gut parhogens.
"An article in The Francis Crick Institute news page reported that cruciferous vegetables are particularly beneficial when it comes to shielding the intestine from disease-causing microorganisms."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-18-eating-cruciferous-greens-help-your-immune-system-fight-off-intestinal-pathogens.html
Multiple Studies: You Can Control Blood Sugar with Apple Cider Vinegar
August 31, 2017 12:14 PM
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for many health purposes, but recent studies are showing it can help control blood sugar levels in diabetics. One study found that when individuals with type 2 diabetes took 2 tbs at bedtime, their levels where 4-6% lower in the morning. A second study showed that taking 20 grams mixed with 40 grams of water reduced blood sugar by 34% after meals for insulin resistant diabetics. Yet a third study shows that this may be because the apple cider vinegar interferes with the digestion of carbohydrates allowing more to pass through he system without being digested.
"Apple cider vinegar is one of the most potent ‘all-purpose’ tonics around. Among its huge array of health benefits, multiple studies have found that it may help lower blood sugar levels."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/multiple-studies-you-can-control-blood-sugar-with-apple-cider-vinegar/
These May Be First Warning Signs for Depression in Kids
December 15, 2016 12:59 PM
Yes. Childhood depression is different from the normal "blues" and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. Just because a child seems sad doesn't necessarily mean he or she has significant depression. If the sadness becomes persistent, or if disruptive behavior that interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life develops, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness.
"It can be hard to study depression in families."
How inflammation interferes with the formation of new bone material
One suffers from autoimmune inflammation when the immune system takes healthy cells to be foreign and fights them. This disease causes abnormal changes and growth in body organs; it can affect many or just one body tissue. Autoimmune inflammation usually runs in families. The main cause of the disease is not known, but theories usually rotate on factors like chemical irritants, drugs, environmental irritants and virus. Autoimmune inflammation interferes with the process of bone formation as the chemicals released by body cells increase blood flow resulting in warmth or swelling of the infected part. This swelling causes irritation of the joints and the bones cartilage wears down swelling the joint lining.With patients with autoimmune inflammation, there will be the erosion of the cartilage and the bone. It causes weakening of the bone which is as a result of deterioration of the bone structure and low bone mass. This increases the risks of fractures as the bone becomes more fragile. It affects the bone formation by reducing muscle forces on the bone which can cause paralysis. From the activation of cells and immune system, there is a production of inflammatory cytokines which induce the bone loss. This is because it causes local cartilage degradation and thus inhibits bone formation.
Bone remodeling highly depends on the balanced action between bone-resorbing and the osteoblast, in this process, an inflammatory process that would target the joint will affect the structure of the bone. This will result in impaired function of the bone and the destruction of bone tissue. OPC generally helps to lower the blood pressure, protect the brain, stop deep vein thrombosis, prevent oxidative and stop inflammation. The seed extract reduces anything damaging the joints and helps in immune regulation. They help stop the symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis. It helps in building of the backbone. It acts as antibacterial agents, preventing inflammable infections. Inflammation can also be prevented through exercises and stopping obesity. Modification of the diet and consumption of supplements will also help avoid inflammation.
What Is Fibromyagia Sydrome ?
The scientific reseacher has not come up with the exact cause of Fibromyagia. Fibromyagia is believed to be related to unusual levels of certain chemicals in the brain which interferes with the way brain, spinal cord and nerves (central nervous system) processes ache messages carried around the entire body and poor diets.
Magnesium can help relax and sooth the nervous system. It is important to eat well balanced meals and consider trying fibromyalgia supplements formulated to ease the symptoms.
How Fiber Can Help Reduce Cholesterol
May 26, 2014 12:28 PM
What is fiber?
Many medical researches have proven that fiber plays an important role within the body. Fiber is an element found in plants (such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables) that our bodies have no ability to digest. Without adequate fiber in the diet, people may have irregularity, sluggishness and constipation.
Benefits of fiber
Because fiber helps in moving stool through the digestive tract as well as colon, it helps in preventing colon cancer. It will always keep your colon healthy and clean. This makes it an important element in the body. Other benefits of fiber involve reducing incidences of heart disease, blood pressure, lowering inflammation and glucose levels, lowering cholesterol, and weight loss. Fiber also has the ability to reduce weight loss since it creates fullness within the intestines, which helps people by enabling to eat less. In addition, you need to make sure that you have sufficient amount of fiber within the body due to its numerous benefits.
How fiber works to lower cholesterol?
Research has proved that soluble fiber is effective in lowering the amount of cholesterol in the body. One way in which soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol is by reducing the bile amount reabsorbed within the intestines. How does it works? When fiber often interferes with the absorption of bile within the intestines, more bile is always excreted in feces. To obtain cholesterol needed to make more bile salts, liver often increases the production of more LDL receptors.
These receptors are always responsible for pulling more cholesterol out of the LDL molecules within the bloodstream. The bile salts made from your liver has the ability to pull more LDL cholesterol from the blood. In addition, you need to learn the difference between the soluble fiber and dangerous cholesterol; since this will always help you to enhance your health. Research has proved that soluble fiber of about 5g to 10 g that reduce LDL cholesterol by about 5 percent.
What Is A Good Bladder Support Supplement For Women?
March 31, 2012 09:13 PM
The bladder is a muscle held and supported by the pelvic muscles. It's an organ shaped like a balloon. Its function is to act as a collection area for urine produced in the kidneys. It does this before excretion of the urine from the body, that is, urination.
Bladder infections are common to both women and men. A bladder infection results from the growth of bacteria along the urinary tract. The fact that it is a bacterial infection means that it is easy to cure and control. It is important however, for an individual to be aware of the symptoms of bladder infections. Common bladder infection symptoms are but not limited to: Nausea and vomiting, Painful urination and cloudy or bloody urine, Fever and chills, Lower back pain, Increased frequency of urination and an urge to urinate even when one has a small amount of urine or there is no urine at all.
Medication such as antibiotics are commonly used in treatment of bladder infections. However, herbal and natural supplements are readily available in treating bladder infections by relieving a patient of the symptoms experienced.
Taking bladder supplements helps in relieving symptoms and at the same time it helps in preventing re-occurrence of the bladder infections in the long term. These supplements may include Green Tea, Dandelion, Vitamin C & A, Cranberry and Colloidal Silver. Supplements are much more preferred rather than medication such as antibiotics because of the side effects experienced.Thus supplements are preferred to antibiotics in bladder support.
D-Mannose bladder supplement is water-soluble. When taken, rather than the bacteria binding itself on the wall of the bladder, it binds itself on the D-Mannose. It is the removed from the body during urination. Its action in the body does not involve killing the bacteria as most antibiotics treatment does. Antibiotic treatments result to yeast infections.
It is advantageous since its absorption and excretion is rapid from the kidneys. It is not limited to a specific age group or sex and it is safe to use during pregnancy. Research however has found out that it interferes with fertilization when taken while trying to conceive.
Cranberry bladder supplement is also a preferred supplement. It has the ability to prevent bacteria in the bladder from attaching itself to the bladder wall. The acidity in the berries also has the ability to create a non-conducive environment for bacteria growth. This leads to excretion of the bacteria together with the urine.
There are other ways of preventing bladder infections. For women, a recommendation is to wipe your genital from front to back in order to keep bacteria away from the urethra and the vagina. Prevention of bladder infection may involve the preference of showers rather than baths.
Before starting on any bladder support supplement, it is vital to consult a physician. This ensures one's moves as one method of treatment may not necessarily work for another. Bladder infections pose a threat to kidney infections when left untreated promptly and this can lead to more complications and problems earlier not anticipated.
What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System?
March 25, 2012 03:11 PM
Herbs for Immunity
The immunity system comprises a network of organs, cells and tissues that are responsible for your overall wellness. The status of your immunity system mainly depends on your feeding habits. The foods you eat supply you with vital nutrients and minerals that help protect you from diseases. The white blood cells in your body are also endowed with the role of defending your body against diseases. There are herbs that help increase the number of white blood cells, while others produce immunity cells thus boosting your immunity system. The following are the best herbs that are good for boosting the immune system:
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that is locally known as Huang-Qi. The roots of this herb are used for a wide range of purposes, one of which is to boost the immune system. This is because of its ability to increase the number of T-cells and interferon.
Astragalus is also used to treat inflammatory conditions, liver problems, viral and bacterial infections, lack of appetite, short breath, stomach ulcers, flu, common cold, diabetes, stress, hypertension and body weakness. This herb also interferes with the growth of cancerous tumors, and has thus been used as a natural aid during chemotherapy treatments.
Echinacea is a group of herbs popular within the American market, which are also known as black susans, Indian head, American cone flower, or Kansas snake root. The popular species of Echinacea are E. pallid, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia.
These herbs have been used for ages as natural immune boosters because of their ability to increase the number of WBC as well as spleen cells in your body. They also increase the number of natural immune chemicals such as immuno globin, interferon and interleukin. When White Blood Cells increase, they give your body maximum protection against antigens that interfere with your overall wellness. The phenolic compounds found in the flowers, roots and leaves of Echinacea herbs are the ones that facilitate this immuno stimulating function.
They are also natural remedies for common colds, respiratory infections, skin complications and Urinary tract infections. These herbs can suppress your immunity if taken habitually. Therefore, it is recommended that you use the herb only when you suspect infection. It is also advisable for you to limit the intake of Echinacea to a week because overuse may generate unbearable symptoms.
This herb is also known as Ground Raspberry, Yellow Root, Orange Root, Wild Curcuma, Indian Dye, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root or Indian Plant. It is a medicinal herb that contains berberine, canadine and hydrastine alkanoids. Golden seal also contains vital vitamins and minerals that are needed for strong immunity system.
One of the benefits of Golden Seal is that it serves as an immuno stimulant, especially when blended with echinacea. It has also been used to treat various medical conditions such as inflammation, herpes and common cold. It also has tonic and antiseptic qualities. You can also use it externally to cure sores and itchy sensations.
So if you want an immune boost, give one of these herbs a try!
How DoesTurmeric Help Improve Your Health?
March 22, 2012 07:42 AM
Turmeric - Curcumin
This is a perennial herbaceous plant which belongs to the ginger family making it an important plant because of its active ingredient, curcumin and other properties which makes it avery useful plant in terms of health when used. The rhizomes of turmericare gathered annually for preparation of various health products or foods or taken on its own as they are known to have greater concentrations of curcumin and other substances which are essential for good health. When turmeric is taken, it improves one's health in the following ways:
Weight loss; for those people who are overweight and obese, they always face a challenge on how they can get rid of some extra weight as it is associated with negative health implications and on the other hand fats such as belly fat decrease one's self esteem. Turmeric is one of the herbs that if mixed with food will increase the rate of metabolism which will consequently help in fat loss which will ultimately have an effect on the weight. Thereforemanageable weight will always ensure that one is not at risk of developing cardiovascular heart diseases and other lifestyle diseases which will ultimately promote good health.
Cancer and turmeric; cancer is one of the killer diseases which was very common in developed countries but nowadays it is very rampant even in developing countries. By taking turmeric, the active ingredients in it will help in stopping and preventing the development of cancer more especially prostate cancer which affects men. This herb interferes with the abnormal cell division of the cells hence leading to a stop or prevention of cancer progression thus health improvement. It is important to note that turmeric is also very effective in preventing other types of cancers for example breast cancer from spreading to other parts of the body such as the lungs. The effectiveness of turmeric in fighting cancer can be increased by mixing it with cauliflower flower.
Detoxification; turmeric is rich antimicrobial properties, antiseptic properties which make it a very useful plant when it comes to cleansing of the body. The body is usually bombarded with a lot of chemicals and toxins from the environment and what is eaten hence need to cleanse it. This can be achieved by taking turmeric on its own or mixing it with other foods and taking it two to three times a day for a period of about one month. This will go along way in detoxifying the body more especially the liver which will make it more healthy hence work better as it is one of the largest organ in the body.
Fighting inflammation; this is one of the common symptom of very many ailments and by taking turmeric, it will be able to fight inflammation resulting in improved and good health. It has also been associated with the reduction or clearing of symptoms of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis). This will improvemotion of the patient which willfinally have an impact on performance of the patient thus have a positive impact on the health of those with these conditions.
Turmeric can also be used as a natural disinfectant for example when burns and cuts occur at home, it can be applied thus hastening the healing process.
As you can see, turmeric with curcumin has a wide range of uses, you too should have this wonderful herb on hand in case of emergencies.
What is Vitamin K Good For?
February 15, 2012 10:05 PM
Understanding Vitamin K
Vitamin K can be found in different forms, Phylloquinone is vitamin k1 and it is found in plants. Vitamin k2 is referred to as Mena Quinone and is produced by the intestinal bacteria. It can also be obtained from purified fish. The synthetic version of this mineral is called Menadione.
The role of the mineral is to aid in the blood clotting functions. When there is a deficiency, the production of prothrombin and various clotting factors is reduced. With time a person begins showing signs of hemorrhage.
The human body is incapable of synthesizing the mineral so you need to get it from dietary sources. The intestinal bacteria produce it as a metabolic by product. It is hard for someone to suffer from a deficiency since the vitamin is available from so many sources.
Vitamin K Stability
Since it is water soluble and heat stable there is no risk of leeching or inactivation during cooking. However, strong acids and alkalis have a destructive effect on the substance. Even though gamma irradiation is used to prolong the shelf life of food it inactivates the mineral.
Bile has to be present in order for the vitamin to be absorbed by the body. Lipoproteins in the bloodstream are responsible for transporting it to the liver. When it gets to the liver it is in is inactive form. A reductase is needed in order to revert it into its active state.
How Vitamin K Is Made
Normal intestinal bacteria are usually destroyed by prolonged use of antibiotics. This means that the body is unable to synthesize the mineral. The patient is put on supplements so as to prevent hemorrhagic tendencies. When a person is taking the supplements they are administered via intravenous or intramuscular injections. In some cases people are asked to take the supplements orally.
During the first weeks of their lives babies can suffer from hemorrhagic conditions due to a deficiency in vitamin k. in order to prevent this from happening, the infants are routinely injected with natural minerals at the time of birth depending on their weight. Medical practitioners do not use the synthetic version because it is toxic to babies.
A person suffering from a deficiency of vitamin k has certain symptoms such as excessive bleeding, less active prothrombin in their blood, their blood takes long to clot and if they are newborns they suffer from hemorrhagic episodes. There are a number of medical conditions and treatments that can cause a deficiency.
If you have a medical condition that interferes with the absorption of fats in the intestines then you could suffer from a deficiency of vitamin k. some of the conditions that lead to the problem include obstructive jaundice, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disorders and diarrhea. When you have any one of these conditions your body is unable to absorb the vitamin.
You can also suffer from a deficiency if you use mineral oil as laxatives. The vitamin usually attaches itself to the oil droplets in your intestines instead. The body is unable to absorb it so it is excreted in the feces. People are usually discouraged from using mineral oil to cure constipation because of this reason.
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do for the Body?
July 26, 2011 01:29 PM
Celery seed extract is obtained from the fruits of celery. Powdered celery seeds are historically noted as a natural analgesic, and have been in use as a pain reliever throughout the ages. Modern science has found out that celery seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals that display pharmacological activity. In addition, it exhibits diuretic and hepatoprotective properties.
Suppresses Pain Chemicals
Traditionally, the seeds are picked from the flowers, powdered, and made into tinctures. Herbalists have long prescribed celery seed extract for the treatment of rheumatism. Several historical sources cited that its use provides relief to sufferers of joint pain and muscle spasms. Laboratory studies have shown that it naturally contains organic compounds capable of blocking the release of pain chemicals.
Alleviates Skin Disorders
Psoralen refers to a group of chemical compounds that increase ultraviolet absorbance. As such, it is a major component of PUVA, a form of therapeutic remedy in use today. This therapy has been reported to effectively cure medical conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. Celery seed extract is a source of bergapten, a type of psoralen that has been utilized to treat psoriasis in particular.
Normalizes Blood Pressure
People suffering from hypertension are likely to benefit from celery seed extract. As the subject of much research in recent years, celery seeds have been observed to lower high blood pressure and bring about normal blood flow. While its exact mechanisms of action remain under investigation, initial studies yielded very desirable results, spurring more researchers to look into its medicinal potential.
Promotes Liver Function
Many food and drug products are precursors to metabolites that inflict direct damage to liver cells. The liver as an organ becomes increasingly ineffective in containing the damage as we age. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the hepatoprotective properties of celery seed extract, which raises the capacity of the liver to defend against harmful metabolites and promote liver function.
Reduces High Cholesterol
The phytochemical content of celery seed extract is especially good for the cardiovascular system. In addition to its effects on blood pressure, it appears to alter the quality of lipids in the blood. It is now posited that it interferes with the utilization of fatty acids in the synthesis of cholesterol, lipoproteins, and triglycerides. By so doing, it lowers cholesterol in the blood and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Counters Oxidative Stress
Celery seed extract contains bioflavonoids, which are a class of polyphenolic phytochemicals. These compounds have been extensively studied in the past few decades due to their antioxidant activity. Regular consumptions of foods high in polyphenols have been documented to counter radical damage during oxidative stress, protect body tissues from disease activity, and promote cellular longevity.
What is Fenugreek Seed and How Does It Boost Your Health?
July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
Fenugreek seed and your health
Fenugreek seed is a spice often added to curries and other Indian dishes. It is a good source of protein and nutrients. In folk medicine, it has been used in the treatment of pain and irritation characteristic of inflammation. It is historically utilized to promote lactation. More recent studies have shown that it displays antiviral properties. In particular, it has been tested in allaying symptoms of cold infections.
Trigonella foenum-graecum is a plant species that belongs to the legume family. As such, it has been cultivated as a vegetable even before the ancient times. It is believed to be an indigenous species of the Fertile Crescent, a historic region that comprises the modern countries Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. To this day, it remains an important crop, herb, and food source in these countries.
Combats Diabetes Mellitus
Fenugreek seed has been the subject of scientific research in the past few years. Drawing on its use in traditional medicine, it has been employed in the management of blood sugar. It improves the effect of the hormone insulin in regulating glucose levels. In fact, it has shown great potential in treating both type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type II noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
Alters Blood Lipid Profile
The phytochemical content of fenugreek seed enables it to effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Clinical trials have recorded changes in lipids present in the systemic circulation after intake of fenugreek seed products. It is now postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway for the synthesis of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Some sources say that it raises good cholesterol levels.
Increases Milk Production
Fenugreek seed is rich in organic compounds that promote the secretion of milk products within the mammary glands of lactating women by as much as 900 per cent. Traditionally, the seeds are ground into powder and consumed in large quantities by pregnant women. Today they are made into capsules, which have been reported to display the same benefits and remain popular in the Indian subcontinent.
Relieves Viral Infections
There is a growing body of literature devoted to the putative antiviral properties of fenugreek seed. A number of researchers have attested that the seed displays biochemical activity that interferes with the replication of viruses. For instance, topical applications of fenugreek extracts have shown desirable results in removing viral skin conditions, and oral intake has been effective in easing the common cold.
Promotes Skin Health
Fenugreek seed is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It promotes retention of moisture in the skin and protects the outer layer of the skin from irritants. It has been used as salves to wounds, rashes, boils, bruises, allergies, and insect bites. It is made into a syrupy mixture that is directly applied to the hair. It regulates the production of sebum in the hair follicles and helps control dandruff.
Grab some fenugreek seed and feel the difference!
Why Is The Amino Acid Tyrosine So Good for the Brain?
June 18, 2011 12:20 PM
Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as an immediate precursor to several organic compounds found in the brain and the central nervous system. It is one of the 20 amino acids utilized by cells in protein synthesis. As such, it is an important component of the human diet, albeit not classified as an essential nutrient. Mental infirmities not related to age has been linked to tyrosine deficiency.
There is no daily value for tyrosine, but it is an integral part of proteins obtained from both animals and plants. Also, supplementation of tyrosine has not shown any adverse effects. That being said, deficiency in tyrosine is not unheard of. In fact, there is a rare autosomal recessive disorder called phenylketonuria that interferes with the synthesis of tyrosine and leads to brain damage and seizures.
Prevents Brain Damage
Tyrosine is one of the amino acids necessary for the manufacture of neurotransmitters and proteins that display vital functions in the nervous system. In phenylketonuria, the synthesis of tyrosine from phenylalanine is impaired, causing the build-up of the latter. High concentrations of phenylalanine deprive the brain of other amino acids, such as tyrosine. This results in progressive mental retardation.
The presence of tyrosine in the central nervous system is very important in mental development. It works as nutrient for nerve cells that powers neuronal activities. Not surprisingly, regular intake of tyrosine has been observed to display cerebroprotective properties. It has also been linked to the prevention of headaches following an intense physical activity.
Improves Stress Tolerance
It has long been suggested that supplementation of tyrosine may improve stress tolerance, but studies that support this claim have surfaced only recently. High levels of tyrosine in the brain appear to improve physiological responses to stress in both animal and human studies. Many researchers believe that depleting levels of tyrosine in times of stress contribute to mental fatigue.
Tyrosine is a precursor to catecholamines, organic compounds that function as neurotransmitters and hormones. It is converted to epinephrine, or adrenaline, which is responsible for the activities in the peripheral nervous system during stress. It is also converted to norepinephrine, which sends signals to both sides of the brain and forms a neurotransmitter system within the brain and the spinal cord.
Promotes Mental Clarity
Tyrosine plays a role in sustaining mental clarity, the reason why it is thought to produce nootropic effects. For one, the availability of tyrosine in the brain improves mental function, especially under psychological stress. It is utilized by the brain in the manufacture of brain chemicals involved in cognitive function and even motor skills.
More importantly, tyrosine provides a ready pool of levodopa, which increases dopamine levels. Both tyrosine and dopamine levels have been observed to be low in individuals suffering from clinical depression, suggesting that tyrosine may provide mood-altering effects. Since there is no harm in regular intake of tyrosine, it has been promoted as an alternative to other mood enhancers.
Fight Pain Improve Blood Sugar And Heart Health with OPC Pine Bark Extract
June 07, 2011 11:36 AM
How Does OPC Pine Bark Boost Your Health?
OPC pine bark has become increasingly popular in the supplement industry due to obvious reasons. It is one of the best antioxidant formulas available today. There has been so much research involved in its development, and the studies that followed have published largely positive results. In the past few years it has received a lot of good press, which has significantly contributed to its commercial success.
OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidin, a class of flavonoids. OPC has been in use as a nutritional supplement since the 1980s. To this day, it remains an important source of polyphenolic antioxidants. Moreover, it has been linked to a diverse variety of health benefits, and laboratory studies concerning its effects on human health are well publicized. Pine bark extracts are one of its best known sources.
Promotes Heart Health
OPC pine bark has long been associated with heart health. For one, it has shown to help lower lipid levels in the blood, including cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins. It interferes with the productions of bad cholesterol into the blood and protects the blood vessels from lipid peroxidation.
In addition, it facilitates normal flow of blood and combats chronic venous insufficiency. It contributes to the upkeep of blood vessel walls and keeps the veins and arteries in prime working condition. By so doing, it promotes proper circulation to the deepest reaches of the body and back to the heart.
Improves Kidney Function
OPC pine bark is particularly good for the kidney as it appears to improve renal function, especially in the context of metabolic syndrome. Central obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure are all symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which takes its toll on the kidneys.
Kidney problems have been observed in people with elevated levels of albumin in the urine. When filters of the kidney are damaged, proteins from the blood such as albumin leak into the urine. OPC pine bark restores health to the capillaries in the kidneys that filters waste materials from the blood.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Sufferers of joint pain are likely to benefit from OPC pine bark. Joint pain is often tied to osteoarthritis, the most common form arthritis. It is often accompanied by stiffness and reduced mobility. OPC pine bark has been used as a therapeutic treatment for osteoarthritis and other causes of joint pain.
There is good evidence that OPC pine bark is effective in counteracting pain chemicals and relieving inflammatory pain. In several randomized, double blind, placebo controlled studies, regular intake of OPC improved joint pain and stiffness, reduced reliance on analgesics, enhanced physical function.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
OPC pine bark is free radical scavenger, first and foremost. It is arguably the most researched plant polyphenol largely owing to its potent antioxidant capacity. As an antioxidant, it prevents radical damage from progressing to oxidative stress and promotes cellular longevity.
OPC Pine bark may also help manage blood sugar. What is stopping you from taking OPC pine back daily?
Boost Brain Chemistry, Lower Bad Cholesterol, And More
May 12, 2011 01:27 PM
What is Inositol Good for?
Inositol is an organic compound present in many plant-based foods. Popular nutritional sources of inositol include brown rice, wheat bran, whole grains, beans, nuts, and other foods rich in fiber. It is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate that was once classified as an essential nutrient together with B-complex group of vitamins. It is an important component of signal transduction of cells, amplifying the strength of signals from the receptors on the cell surface to target molecules within the cytoplasm.
Cancer research on inositol is one of the most publicized. Fruits and vegetables that are known for their high fiber content also contain large amounts of inositol, which is believed to prevent the inactivation of DNA repair gene and protect the cells from mutation that lead to carcinogenesis. In laboratory studies it has shown great medicinal potential as a therapeutic remedy for various cancers. In addition, it has been extensively utilized in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Rebalances Brain Chemicals
Supplementation of high dose inositol has been observed to be beneficial to sufferers of mental illnesses. There have been numerous clinical trials focused on its effects on the chemical compounds found in the central nervous system, and early studies recorded that its mechanisms of action are similar to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
A growing body of scientific literature is devoted to its purported role in the amelioration of anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, and bipolar disorder. It has been favored over some SSRIs because of its desirable results and absence of side effects. It has particularly benefited individuals diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, with testimonies being largely positive. Also, it has been reported to also reduce frequency of panic attacks.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
High-fiber diet has always been recommended to manage high cholesterol levels. It emphasizes the intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The same group of foods is rich in the carbohydrate inositol. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was discovered that inositol in fact contributes to the breakdown of fatty molecules, such as triglycerides, in the gastrointestinal tract and interferes with their absorption. More importantly, regular consumptions of inositol appear to reduce overall lipid levels in the blood. It is postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway that integrates triglycerides in very-low-density lipoproteins, the immediate precursors of low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. By so doing, it not only lowers cholesterol and free fatty acids found in systemic circulation but also prevents cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
Many nutraceutical products that contain inositol are commercially touted to aid weight loss. Inositol has also been associated with the alleviation of digestive problems, most notably constipation. It is believed to soften the stool by attracting water as it works its way into the alimentary canal, and regular intake promotes regularity. Furthermore, it has been linked to hair growth as low levels of inositol have often been tied to hair loss.
Taking a inositol supplement can help you obtain all the inositol you need for your daily needs!
Can Lycopene Help with Prostate Problems
May 09, 2011 11:14 AM
Lycopene and The Prostate.
Lycopene is an organic compound often associated with tomatoes. It is almost always touted to prevent prostate cancer, though the scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet. Scientists are nevertheless positive that it is good for the prostate, for it displays antiproliferative effects on prostate cells. Laboratory studies are very promising as it appears to inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
Prostate health has long been tied to consumptions of foods rich in lycopene. It is a carotenoid that is bright red in color, and as such can easily be obtained from brightly colored plant products, such as watermelon, papaya, pink guava, and apricots in addition to tomatoes. Like other carotenoids, it displays antioxidant properties. In fact, it is the most efficient scavenger of singlet oxygen of all antioxidants that are classified as carotenoids.
Reverses Oxidative Damage
There have been numerous studies on lycopene in the past few decades, and many of them have noted its antioxidant potential. It has become common knowledge that lycopene is good for the prostate, but not all people know that the prostate gland is its primary storage in the human body. Indeed lycopene interferes with the health of cells and tissues that make up the prostate gland.
One study that tracked down malignant prostate tissues prior to scheduled surgical removal studied the effects of regular intake of lycopene. It was documented and published that lycopene concentrations in the prostate doubled and the oxidative damage to DNA in prostate tissues decreased, suggesting a dose-related efficiency in the prevention of cellular damage brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Apoptotic Death
High consumptions of lycopene appear to directly counteract with cancer cells and tumor growth, not only in the prostate gland, but also in the lungs, breasts, ovaries, stomach, and cervix. It has also been tied to other disorders of the prostate, such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It has been noted to slow down cell proliferation that leads to the enlargement of the prostate.
More imporatantly, lycopene seems capable of inducing the cellular process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in prostate tissues, most notably in carcinoma regions. This is also evidenced by a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen in the blood, the reason why lycopene has gained the attention of researchers for prostate health, spurring a number of studies in recent years.
Maintains Prostate Health
Lycopene levels in the human body are largely dependent on dietary intake. As a general rule, the higher the intake of lycopene is, the healthier the prostate becomes. First, it neutralizes reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. It also inhibits the multiplication of prostate cells, effectively preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is believed to afflict up to 80 percent of the male population. For those suffering from prostate enlargement, it slows the progression of the disease.
If you are, 40 years old or more you should consider taking lycopene as a preventative daily!
What is Bioperine and How Does It Help with Absorption of Vitamins
April 21, 2011 03:14 PM
Get more from your food with Bioperine.
Bioperine is a patented form of an alkaloid found in black pepper. It is derived entirely from piperine, an organic compound responsible for the spicy taste of black pepper and long pepper. Piperine has been noted for its thermogenic properties believed to speed up the absorption metabolism of digested foods. Recent studies have discovered that it also interferes with the release of enzymes that govern the bioavailability of drugs and supplements. By so doing, it enhances the rate of absorption of vitamins.
The human body has a complex mechanism of controlling the substances that get in and out of systemic circulation. The first pass occurs in the alimentary canal, where gastrointestinal enzymes break down substances into smaller compounds. It is believed that a very small percentage manages to undergo intestinal absorption after digestion. In general, this is the part where constituents of supplements remain undigested and instead enter the colon together with waste materials.
The liver plays a central role to the metabolism of drugs and most bioactive compounds. The compounds that pass the intestinal walls and enter the hepatic portal system, a group of veins that direct blood and other compounds from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver, is further metabolized inside the liver. Anything that the body considers foreign is sent to the kidneys and easily excreted through the urine. This is the reason why bioavailability is significantly reduced after ingestion.
Counteracts Effects of Enzymes
Bioperine is the only compound known to interact with enzymes that controls the metabolism of foreign materials within the intestinal epithelium. P-glycoprotein is released in the digestive tract to deal with drugs and xenobiotics found in our diet. Vitamins are no exception to the tightly regulated process of absorption in the intestines. These enzymes transport digested compounds to the liver.
It has been observed that piperine appears to reduce the expression of p-glycoprotein in the alimentary canal and other parts of the body. Proponents believe that bioperine, a purer form of piperine, is capable of counteracting the effects of the enzyme within the intestinal epithelium, making it easier for vitamins and supplements to enter the hepatic portal system.
Increases the Rate of Metabolism
Not all compounds that undergo the first-pass effect interact with the cells and tissues they are supposed to act on. If they should have an effect on any cell, they are still subjected to the actions of enzymes specialized for the expulsion of xenobiotics found in the systemic circulation and the rest of the body. For example, CYP3A4 removes foreign materials from the cells and facilitates their excretion.
Bioperine is touted to induce thermogenesis and stimulate cellular activities. By so doing, the effects of bioactive compounds are achieved while they remain inside the cells and tissues. The thermogenic properties of bioperine influence the rate of metabolism of digested compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and components of herbal preparations. Note that it can increase the update or prescription medications as well, so caution should be observed when consuming bioperine with medications.
If you want to give your body a nutrient boost, add bioperine to your supplement regiment to boost absorption.
Can Olive Leaf Boost My Immune System - answer is Yes
April 06, 2011 03:01 PM
Olive Leaf And Your Health
Olive leaf is highly prized for its antimicrobial properties in booth food and supplement industries. For centuries, the leaf of the olive tree has been utilized as a natural antibiotic. It has become the subject of modern day scientific research in the past few years, and preliminary studies appear to be in favor of its age-old claims. In addition, it is now known to modulate immune responses and display potent antioxidant activities.
Olea europaea may be best known for its long association with Mediterranean cuisines although cultures around the world have also used various parts of the plant as flavor enhancers. Its medicinal value continues to gain prominence as recent studies point to the health benefits of the organic compounds it contains. Olive leaf is identified to be an excellent source of the phytochemicals hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal, all of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, fresh olive leaves are widely accepted to have an antioxidant content that is 400 per cent higher than vitamin C, that’s double the antioxidant capacity of green teas.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
Olive leaf is antiseptic in nature. It was an important ingredient in poultices used to treat war wounds in the ancient world. Elenolic acid is an organic compound naturally occurring in olive leaf, which is under scrutiny for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This compound is described to be both bactericidal and bacteriostatic, which means it is directly involved in killing bacterial strains and at the same time interferes with bacterial cellular metabolism. In addition, the antiviral properties ascribed to olive leaf are attributable to its ability to viral protein synthesis necessary for viral replication. This explains why it is effective in the treatment of many known infections, such as candidiasis, shingles, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis. It has also been reported to reduce the symptoms of colds and flu and shorten their duration.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
The natural antioxidants found in olive leaf are believed to be the most powerful antioxidants in the market, and as such often marketed as anti-aging. Antioxidants are indispensable in the prevention of the tissue damage caused by reactive oxygen species, or ROS. Free radicals, the best known ROS, are among the group of by-products of oxygen metabolism in the human body. They are also deployed by cells in response to invasive pathogens. Each cell does have its own antioxidant defense, but an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and ROS is quite common. Chronic stress and physical fatigue are thought to compromise the antioxidant defense of the body, which is restored by antioxidants found in the diet.
Boosts the Innate Immune System
Furthermore, olive leaf strengthens the innate immune system. Its proponents believe that regular intake contributes to the non-specific responses of the immune system, such as the production of neutrophils during inflammation. This type of white blood cells is often the first to engage with pathogens. By speeding up their releases, olive leaf prepares the body against infections.
If you want an Immune Boost, Give olive leaf a try!
Can Butterbur Help Me with Migraines
April 02, 2011 12:14 PM
Butterbur and Headaches
Butterbur has helped countless of migraine sufferers for more than three decades. In Europe, it is available as a prescription drug, which neurologists have prescribed since 1972. It has been the subject of numerous studies and reviews in a span of 40 years that have come to a conclusion that it does alleviate symptoms of migraine and reduce frequency of attacks. It is one of the herbal remedies clinically tested in migraine centers in the US. To date there has been no recorded adverse effects and harmful drug interactions, and as such available in the US over the counter, no prescription required. It has been compared to beta blockers and anticonvulsants and in general believed to be better than both of these more common treatments.
Petasites hybridus, the common butterbur, is the herb where butterbur extracts are obtained from although other species that belong to the genus Petasites are also known to produce the same health benefits. Petasites comprises up to 20 plant species widely distributed across the globe, a number of which have been tied to folk medicine throughout the ages. Petasites hybridus is native to North America and thrive well in marshes and wetlands, where there is a significant amount of moisture in the soil.
American Indians have long used its rhizomatous roots to fight off headaches and inflammation-induced diseases, such as asthma attacks and hay fever. Indeed the discovery of the organic compounds petasin, isopetasin, and oxopetasin explained its long-standing association with the treatment of migraines and allergies. Today most butterbur preparations do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which were identified to cause liver damage. That being said, it is still best to seek professional advice and ask assistance in choosing products from a reputable laboratory.
Interferes with Releases of Pain Chemicals
The phytochemicals unique to Butterbur have been well investigated, and results point to their effects on inhibiting the productions of local pain chemicals, which are pro-inflammatory in nature. Leukotrienes are lipid mediators that supervise the productions of other intermediaries of inflammation. Prostaglandins are responsible for vasodilation of blood vessels and their consequent sensitization to pain. Butterbur has been observed to influence these two pain chemicals.
Plays the Role of a Natural Beta Blocker
Beta-adrenergic antagonists, or simply beta blockers, are a class of drugs that target endogenous catecholamines implicated in migraine attacks. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are catecholamines that act on beta-andrenergic receptors, leading to a reduced blood flow in the brain. This results in the spasmodic contractions of cerebral blood vessels characteristic of migraines. Butterbur works on the principle of blocking the effects of catecholamines and inducing normal blood flow to the brain.
Produces No Known Serious Side Effects
Most analgesics and beta blockers have been associated with several adverse effects, which more often than not include nausea, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Many have been reported to cause weight gain. None of these have been linked to regular use of butterbur, one of the reasons why it has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.
If you suffer from Migraine headaches, give butterbur a try!
Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant?
April 01, 2011 03:10 PM
Pycnogenol And Your Health
Pycnogenol is the latest innovation in the antioxidant supplement industry. It makes use of oligomeric proanthocyanidins, select bioflavonoids, and organic acids that have been well investigated in a span of more than 30 years. As a trademarked product, it has been cited in more than 230 published works and systematic reviews that came into the conclusion that it is safe and effective. In fact, it is now an ingredient in over 300 health products.
Pinus pinaster is an indigenous plant species of western Mediterranean from which the patented pycnogenol is extracted from. It is most populous in southwestern France, but it can also be found in large numbers in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Unlike new ingredients in some dietary supplements, pycnogenol is all-natural and completely derived from the Maritime Pine, which may well be known in the now-obsolete scientific name Pinus maritima.
Neutralizes Reactive Oxygen Species Fast
Antioxidants work on the principle of replenishing the antioxidant reserves of each cell especially at times when our body is most susceptible to physical fatigue. Radical chemistry has taught us that reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism. There is nothing we can do to inhibit their releases, but our body does have a mechanism to neutralize them. Free radicals are one of the best known ROS and they are particularly reactive, causing a damaging chain reaction called oxidative stress.
What makes pycnogenol different from other antioxidant supplements? It is the fastest-acting antioxidant out there with an absorption rate of only 20 minutes. In contrast with other known antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, pycnogenol is believed to readily cross the blood-brain barrier, expanding its uses in the central nervous system. This is the reason why it has been suggested to be of value in treatment of known disorders of the nervous system. More importantly, it works up to a record-high 72 hours before it gets excreted by the body.
Fight Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease With Pycnogenol
Displays Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activities
There have been numerous citations that pycnogenol is an effective inhibitor of inflammation intermediaries. It is postulated that it influences the productions and releases of eicosanoids that govern inflammatory responses. It has associated with the treatment of osteoarthritis, and preliminary results are encouraging. Also, it is believed that pycnogenol interferes with the effects of histamine via its receptors, and acts on mast cells responsible for mediator release. This is the reason why it is widely accepted as a viable treatment option for asthma, multiple sclerosis, allergic rhinitis, acute dermatitis, atopic eczema, and other skin conditions.
Contributes to Overall Circulatory Health
Pycnogenol is one of the antioxidants under scrutiny for its medicinal potential in the prevention of major diseases that afflict the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. For one, it has been observed to significantly lower systolic blood pressure, making it an effective therapy for hypertension. It has shown to alleviate chronic venous insufficiency and remove varicose veins. Moreover, regular supplementation of pycnogenol appears to improve performance in endurance athletes.
Pycnogenol is an excellent herb to add to anybodies diet. Give Pycnogenol a try today!
Bad Cholesterol, High Blood Sugar ? - Try Prickly Pear!
March 29, 2011 04:27 PM
Prickly Pear Cactus And Your Health
Prickly pear refers to a large genus of cactuses known for their culinary and medicinal uses. It is also known as nopal, a popular vegetable from the young pad segments with the spines removed that originated from Central America. Nopales are sold fresh in Mexico and neighboring countries and largely derived from the species Opuntia ficus-indica. This edible cactus is rich in fiber and flavonoids, making it not only a healthy source of but also a potent medicinal herb. In recent years it has enjoyed a much-publicized association with the therapeutic treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Also, its age-old preparations for indigestion and other digestive problems remain in wide use.
Cleanses the Digestive Tract
Prickly pear has long been used as a digestive and an herbal remedy for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract. In certain regions of Central America, eating nopales is considered the most viable treatment for indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation simple because it works, not to mention nopales are delicious. Of course it is now common knowledge that its high fiber content is the reason why it aids digestion and allays digestive problems. Furthermore, the phytochemical it contains serves as natural cleansers of the entire alimentary canal.
Lowers Blood Lipid Levels
Bad cholesterol is notoriously named so because of the fact that they are a reliable indicator of cardiovascular diseases, notably atherosclerosis. Recent studies have linked prickly pear, especially Opuntia ficus-indica, to better management of high cholesterol. The exact mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but it is postulated that it interferes with the conversion of very-low-density lipoproteins into low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, in the liver. It is also suggested that prickly pear may promote the releases of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol.
Enhances Insulin Sensitivity
Among all the health benefits of prickly pear, its effect on diabetes may well be the best studied. Type 2 diabetes results from a metabolic disorder that impairs the capacity of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. Cells that have become resistance to the physiological effects of insulin significantly contribute to escalating levels of sugar in the blood, which often leads to diabetes. Prickly pear works on the principle of reversing this metabolic disorder by promoting the uptake of glucose.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals are by-products of oxygen metabolism that damage cells and tissues, the reason why cells have endogenous antioxidants to fight them off. When there is an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and free radicals, the body needs help in the form of exogenous antioxidant in our diet to contain the damage free radicals cause.
There have been numerous reports about the antioxidant properties of the herb prickly pear. In fact, Opuntia species contain a diverse variety of polyphenols that are not present in a single plant species. Nopales are particularly rich in betalains and flavonoids, both of which are organic compounds naturally occurring in nature that have been well investigated due to their active antioxidant properties inside the human body.
Did You Know Lecithin is More than a Brain Food
February 15, 2011 04:16 PM
Lecithin, first discovered as the yellow substance in egg yolk, is now associated with a wide array of health benefits. It is in fact made up of a number of naturally occurring substances that all play an important role in promoting overall health at the right amounts. Today lecithin is made available as over-the-counter supplements and utilized for many different purposes in the food industry.
Lecithin has been proven to reduce cholesterol serum levels. For one, it has a direct effect on the digestion of triglycerides and cholesterol from the foods we eat, blocking the pathway that breaks down fats into smaller particles and their consequent absorption by intestinal walls. Also, lecithin has been observed to attract free fatty acids in the bloodstream and move them away from arterial walls. More importantly, it inhibits the release of bad cholesterol and instead raises good cholesterol levels.
Induces Weight Loss
There are dietary supplements that make use of lecithin to assist weight loss. Since the amount of lecithin present in our diet contributes to the ability of the intestinal walls to break down fats, notably cholesterol, it practically flushes away unwanted calories. Lecithin is a part of a class of compounds called lipids, and, as a lipid, it is readily utilized by the cells to burn fats and power cellular functions.
Phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of lecithin, is in the employ of every cell in the body as a form of protection and in cellular communication. It is one of the compounds that make up the lipid bilayer of cell membranes. Unfortunately, our systems use up more lecithin as a dynamic source of energy than what we supply our body, and this explains why we become more susceptible to stress.
Protects the Liver
Lecithin has always shown to be one of the compounds that promote liver health, and has been in use against certain diseases of the liver such as cirrhosis. This compound is responsible for speeding up the metabolism of lipids in the liver, and produce them only when needed, thereby removing the hazards associated with the buildup of fatty tissues that interferes with the functions of the liver.
Helps during Pregnancy
Choline is one of the most important compounds during pregnancy. It is in itself an essential nutrient with established daily value, being required to support healthy body functions, and lecithin is its best known precursor. Intake of lecithin before getting pregnant is recommendable as choline must be produced at sufficient amounts prior to conception to ensure healthy fetal development.
Lecithin, being a precursor of choline, is involved in improving brain function. There are neuronal processes that rely entirely on choline, whose absence in the nervous system results in decreased activity of these processes. In addition, it has long been postulated that the functional decline tied to aging is due to the depleting levels of choline in the body. Hence, it is prudent to replenish our choline reserves by eating foods rich in lecithin.
How can I Tell if I am Magnesium Deficient?
February 09, 2011 01:25 PM
Magnesium The Essential Mineral
Magnesium is a dietary mineral that has established nutritional values in most countries. The presence of magnesium inside the human body involves many different chemical reactions, assisting more than 300 enzymes in their functional roles. That’s why we need to meet the daily recommended allowances for this dietary element, which has been calculated by the scientific community to supply the body with amounts adequate to support body functions.
An Essential Mineral
Not all enzymes are capable of producing the effects that they are programmed for on their own, and enzymes identified to rely on the presence of magnesium can be traced in almost all metabolic pathways. Molecules that comprise the structural units of RNA and DNA are extensively used as a source of energy of all cells, such as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. When enzymes utilize ATP for energy, they require another molecule that secures their binding to ATP, which is magnesium. In addition, ATP being the main source of energy that powers the functional roles of cells more often than not necessitates that it be bound to a magnesium ion to be fully activated.
Magnesium is ubiquitous in nature, and green leafy vegetables are ideal sources of this dietary element as well as nuts, wheat, seafood, and meat. In spite of that, it has been reported that in the US alone more than 60 per cent of the population does not meet the recommended daily intake for magnesium. The availability of magnesium in our diet does not ensure absorption of this essential mineral, and a significant fraction is in fact excreted along with other waste products in the urine or feces. Interestingly, diet high in protein or fat actually interferes with the absorption of magnesium.
A general feeling of malaise must not be taken lightly, for it is key indicator of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is indispensable at the cellular level, and insufficient amounts of this element will certainly affect the way you feel, bringing about the perception of fatigue. If you feel weak all the time for no known reason, then it is recommendable to visit your doctor and find out if you have an alarming case of magnesium deficiency.
Keep in mind that high concentrations of protein and fat in the foods that you eat contribute to malabsorption of magnesium, and subsequently malnutrition. Certain medical conditions are known to deplete your reserves of elemental magnesium present in your body, notably diabetes mellitus. Drugs and medications also washes away the magnesium found in your diet and your body especially osmotic diuretics, cisplatin, ciclosporin, amphetamines, and possibly proton pump inhibitors.
Continued exposure to stress and excessive intake of alcohol both result in the unhealthy drop of magnesium levels in the blood. While there are environmental settings that we may not be able to alter, we can certainly control what we ingest. Supplementation is the only surefire remedy for magnesium deficiency, but the best way to combat whatever symptoms you are experiencing is to seek medical advice.
It is Essential You Get Your Magnesium Daily!
Use Curamin For Painful inflammation and see how your life can change!
June 15, 2010 05:10 PM
Everyone experiences occasional pain at some time in their lives. We use the word pain in our jargon to describe something unpleasant and to indicate the necessity of toughening up such as “no pain no gain”. As common as the word pain may be, there are many misconceptions about pain. Four out of five Americans believe that occasional pain is just natural and unavoidable due largely to getting older. More than one quarter of Americans believe there is absolutely nothing they can do to relieve their personal pain.
Pain is a warning signal that something has gone wrong in the body or that something is damaged. Pain is so unpleasant that it motivates you to remove yourself from the cause of this damage as quickly and completely as possible.
There are four ways to relieve occasional pain:
1. You can leave the pain alone, but flood the body with feel-good substances that push the pain signals out from your consciousness (drugs).
2. you can put the person asleep and do surgical procedures to cut nerves and stop the pain.
3. You can impact the nervous system the internal wiring that carry the pain signals to dull them so that the signal becomes less distinct and weaker.
4. You can target what is causing the pain in the first place (most recommended). Occasional pain can be perfectly normal for instance, starting a new exercise routine when you are a bit out of shape. When dealing with type of pain, helping the body to balance its inflammation response can have tremendous impact.
This is where curamin is the answer to pain problems. Curamin contains four high potency ingredients that make it work so well. The first ingredient is curcumin from Turmeric. Curcumin is a super antioxidant with a ORAC value of 1592.27 each gram. That’s 24 times stronger than blueberries. Curamin also contains Boswellia, DLPA (DL-phenylalanine) which help fight inflammation and maximize the endorphins and enkiphalins in our own body. It finally contains nattokinase which is a systemic enzyme known to help improve circulation.
They all break down as follows:
DLPA: DL-phenylalanine is an amino acid consisting of equal parts D-phenylalanine and L-Phenylalanine. D- inhibits the breakdown or compounds called enkephalins. Enkephalins are associated with positive mood and have been shown to relieve occasional muscle pain due to exercise or overuse. L- is converted into tyrosine, which in turn is used to produce brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine.
Boswellia: Clinically tested boswellia helps reduce the activity of the inflammatory enzyme, 5-LOX (lipoxygenase). A compound (beta boswellic acid) found in boswellia which interferes with its benefitical activity has been removed, greatly increasing the effectiveness of this extract. Curcumin: Curcumin, a compound found in the spice of turmeric, inhibits multiple inflammation pathways in the body. It is also a potent antioxidant. Some of the benefits associated with curcumin include immune system modulation, protection from oxidative stress, and support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. The specialized extract in this formula has the highest absorption of any curcumin extract available for maximum health benefit. (Found in Curamin)
Nattokinase: the enzyme nattokinase helps promote blood flow, aiding the other ingredients in the formula to reach all areas of the body.
So if you are suffering from chronic pain, give curamin a try and see how well you can feel. If you are concerned about its effectiveness, have no fear, VitaNet ®, LLC offers a 100% Money back guarantee if the product does not work for you.
Boost Absorption With Natural Vitamins
April 17, 2009 11:20 AM
Malabsorption occurs when the body fails to properly absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food. Even though a person’s diet is adequate, an individual with malabsorption develops various nutritional deficiencies. This problem is often the result of impaired digestion, impaired absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream from the digestive tract, or both.
Common symptoms of malabsorption syndrome include constipation or diarrhea, dry skin, fatigue, gas, mental difficulties such as depression or an inability to concentrate, muscle cramps and/or weakness, premenstrual syndrome, steatorrhea, a tendency to bruise easily, failure to grow normally, thinning hair, unexplained weight loss, and visual difficulties especially with night vision. Abdominal comfort may also be present and a combination of anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss is typical. However, in some individuals, obesity may result if fats are deposited in the tissues rather than being utilized properly by the body. Additionally, the body may begin to crave more and more food, which often leads to the consumption of many empty and/or fat calories.
Factors that can contribute to a malfunction of the absorption mechanism include digestive problems, poor diet, excess mucus covering the intestinal lining, an imbalance in intestinal bacterial flora, the use of certain medications, food allergies, and illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
No matter how good your diet is or how many supplements you take, you will have nutritional deficiencies if you suffer from malabsorption syndrome. These deficiencies lead to other problems. The impaired absorption of protein can cause edema, while a lack of potassium can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems. Anemia results for a lack of iron and folic acid, while bone loss and tetany can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D. Bruising easily results from a lack of vitamin K, while night blindness comes from a deficiency of vitamin A. The failure to absorb B vitamins and to transfer amino acids across the intestinal lining interferes with the production of needed digestive enzymes and causes further malabsorption, as these nutrients are essential in the absorption process itself. This causes a vicious cycle to be produced.
Malabsorption is a factor in other medical and physical problems, along with being a serious condition in itself. The body needs all nutrients in balance because they have to be able to work together. If there is a deficiency in even a single nutrient, the body no longer functions as it should, allowing all things to go awry. This results in disease. Malabsorption is a common contributing factor to a wide range of disorders, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and all types of infection.
People with malabsorption syndrome must take in more nutrients than the average person to compensate, and to treat and correct the problem. It is best to bypass the intestinal tract as much as possible when supplying these nutrients. As a result, choosing supplements that are sustained-release and large in size should be avoided. Many people with malabsorption problems can not break down supplements taken in hard pill form. Therefore, injections, powders, liquids, and lozenges provide nutrients in forms that are more easily assimilated.
The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with malabsorption syndrome: acidophilus, vitamin B complex, bioperine, calcium, free-form amino acid complex, garlic, magnesium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, a multi-vitamin and mineral complex, proteolytic enzymes, and zinc lozenges. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, dandelion root, fennel seed, ginger, nettle, aloe vera, peppermint, black pepper, buchu, goldenseal, irish moss, rhubarb, and yellow dock.
January 03, 2009 12:27 PM
Calcium is the most damaging mineral that is involved in the calcification of the blood vessel system. Ionic calcium, which is a floating form of calcium, is used by the body in daily functions like muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve impulse transmission, blood coagulation, and others. Calcium is a mineral that is capable of forming complexes with other components, such as proteins. These complexes can eventually lead to the formation of lesions, plaque, and the overall hardening of the blood vessels.
There are four different components that are found mainly in arterial walls which often combine with calcium. Elastin, a type of protein that makes up a good amount of the blood vessel wall, is the substance that allows the arterial wall to be elastic. During the process leading to atherosclerosis, elastin often forms complexes with ionic calcium, which results in a loss of elasticity.
Collagen, another type of protein that works with elastin to make up the bulk of arterial walls, forms complexes with ionic calcium, which leads to hardening of the blood vessel. MPCs, which are carbohydrates that contain a number of agents including amino acids, uronic acids, and chondroitin sulfate, are found within the arterial wall where they form complexics with ionic calcium to promote the formation of atherosclerosis. Beta lipoproteins and pre-beta lipoproteins transport a fatty acid and glycerol combination for storage in the liver, muscles, and other areas of the body.
Although beta and pre-beta lipoproteins form ionic calcium complexes and initiate the onset of arteriosclerosis, there are lipoproteins that do not form complexes with calcium, but interferes with the formation of ionic calcium complexes instead. It is clear that ionic calcium plays a huge role in the formation of arterial plaque and the actual hardening of arteries, due to the complexes it forms with components of the arterial wall. Because EDTA effectively ties up calcium complexes so that it can be eliminated through the urine, it is also clear why EDTA chelation therapy is a successful way to reduce the levels of atherosclerotic plaque and reverse the hardened condition that so often occurs in the artery walls.
EDTA chelation therapy was patented in Germany in 1930 and first used in medicine in 1941 to help with lead poisoning. It wasn’t patented in the United States until 1949, with several papers being published on its therapeutic effects following in the early 1950s. EDTA chelation therapy has been used in the U.S. to treat atherosclerosis since 1952, but was also used for lead poisoning and heavy metal toxicity before that. After its initial use for lead and heavy metal poising, it was noted that EDTA resulted in the reduction of severe pressure and pain in and around the chest, which led to the discovery of its abilities to treat atherosclerosis.
Since then, thousands of scientific articles have been written concerning the many aspects of EDTA chelation therapies as well as its safety, which has been proven by its use on thousands of patients in over three million intravenous treatments by over one thousand doctors in the last fifty years. Not one fatality has been documented when established protocol has been followed, while the FDA approved the new drug application for EDTA without requiring any additional safety studies to determine its safe use. Have you tried oral EDTA?
December 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Although it is important to stress that the fatty acids found in flax are essential, flax also contains substances called lignans. Lignans are special compounds that demonstrate impressive health benefits, as they seem to be responsible for assisting the immune system in many ways, along with helping to prevent some types of cancers.
Because flax contains lignans, it is an even more beneficial to the body when consumed in this form. Flax is one of the most abundant sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that interferes with estrogen metabolism in animals and humans. This property gives lignans the ability to help in the prevention of both fat and hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Lignans also benefit the body by providing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity that helps the immune system to function optimally.
All of the benefits of flax are still yet to be known, but it has been established that flax is also a good source of fiber. There have been several studies which confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent similar to oat bran, fruit pectin, and other food ingredients that contain fiber. Because flax packages both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber together, it presents two ingredients which provide healthy blood lipid patterns. Flaxseed contains beneficial amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, giving it potential cancer-fighting ability especially in colon cancer.
When selecting a healthy diet, it is important to consider your sources of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fragile and easily damaged by air, high temperatures, and food processing, so you are unlikely to get all of the EFAs that you need, even if you are careful to use vegetable oils for cooking. Most of the oil that we consume today has been heavily processed, which damages essential fatty acids. When choosing flax oil, you’ll want to take into account the same considerations, looking for oil that has not been damaged by processing and is packaged to block all light from contact with the oil.
Not all flax oils are the same, with there being a great deal of variation in quality and purity as a result in differences of how the oil is expressed. Most flaxseed oils are mechanically pressed out through an expeller, in which great amounts of heat and pressure can be generated. The higher the temperature, the better the yield of oil, but the lower the quality of oil. Many manufactures willingly sacrifice quality for quantity. The best way to measure the quality of oil is by taste, with the degree of bitterness being a close approximation of the level of lipid peroxides. The best source of high quality flaxseed oil can be found in health food stores where inventory turnover is highest.
Some good guidelines to go by in selecting a good flaxseed oil include: making sure the flaxseed oil is derived from 100% certified organic flaxseed; making sure the oil is as fresh as possible and not past the expiration date; making sure that the oil is expeller-pressed or cold pressed; using flaxseed oil that is high in lignans to gain the most benefit.
Control Blood Sugar Naturally
October 01, 2008 12:10 PM
Your blood glucose level is generally controlled by insulin and glucagons, both of which are biosynthesized in the pancreas. Insulin works by making the glucose bioavailable to the mitochondria to convert into energy, while glucagon, the lesser known of this twosome, stabilizes the level of insulin and mobilizes it to do its job. There are two types of diabetes, known as Type I and Type II or A and B.
Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile onset diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys Beta cells because they are recognized as being foreign. It is the Beta cells that generate insulin, and so the condition can be fatal. Patients with Type I diabetes must take insulin throughout their lives, and while potential cures are currently under investigation, none are yet available. Although insulin can be effective it does not guarantee survival, and a better form of treatment is required.
Type II diabetes is by far the more common of the two, and is a form of resistance to insulin, where the body cells cannot use insulin properly. The pancreas initially reacts to this by producing more insulin in response to the increased blood glucose level, but through time it loses its ability to produce insulin as a reaction to an increase in blood sugar, even though this occurs as a result of digesting a meal.
The exact causes of either type of diabetes are not known for sure, although the general mechanism by which they work is known. However, Type II diabetes is believed to be due to some form of interaction between genetics and environment, and it is known that the majority of Type II sufferers are obese and also over 40.
The treatment for this type of diabetes is rarely insulin, but a controlled diet, control of your cholesterol level and blood pressure, exercise and specific medicines designed for sufferers of this form of diabetes. However, there are also natural supplements that can be used to control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death of the USA in 1999, with 450,000 deaths, and by 2005 had reached about 300 million sufferers world wide. It is therefore a serious and widespread condition, though Type II is less serious than Type I.
It is important to do what you can to control your diabetes, since after several years it can lead to problems with your nerves, eyes, kidneys and gums, and can also lead to heart disease. With diabetes you are at least twice as likely to have a stroke or heart problem as those without it, although you can reduce the risk of this by keeping your blood pressure under control, and the levels of fats in your blood to a minimum. Stopping smoking helps, and there are some natural treatments that can also help you control your diabetes.
The most important means of control is to reduce your blood sugar levels. While there are natural products that will help you to do that, do not stop taking the medication prescribed by your doctor, but use these in addition to what you are already taking. Among specific substances that can help are:
Chromium: chromium helps your body to use insulin properly. When taken in the form of chromium picolinate, it helps to replace chromium that diabetics appear to be short of. Human studies have indicated that chromium can decrease insulin levels and improve the metabolism of blood sugar in those with Type II diabetes. Some claim that chromium is harmful to health, but the general opinion is that it helps, though you should consult your doctor before using it.
Cinnamon: If you take cinnamon daily, your blood sugar levels should gradually decrease. It appears to enable your cells to make better use of the insulin your blood, although there still discussion as to the mechanism by which this occurs and of the active ingredient in cinnamon that promotes it. Some claim it to be a flavonoid known as methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP. However, others claim it not to be MHCP, but polyphenol type-A polymer. Whichever it is, many people are finding cinnamon to be effective in reducing high levels of blood sugar to a more manageable level.
Milk Thistle: It is known that antioxidants can help to control blood sugar, and the flavolignins in Silymarin marianum, an herbal extract available from milk thistle seeds, work in this manner. It is also good for protecting the liver from toxins. Although it is not clear how it is done, silymarin appears to help to control Type II diabetes possibly by way of liver digestion of sugars in the blood. The liver processed glucose and improving its function through the consumption of milk thistle could help reduce blood sugar as well. Mulberry: The Chinese make what is known as “sugar control herbal tea” from mulberry leaves, green tea and jasmine. Mulberry leaves contain adenine, pectin and choline, and also high levels of Vitamins A and B types. This tea is used by the Chinese to control blood sugar levels, which might occur through the antioxidant effect of the mulberry constituents.
Salacia oblonga: This is an herb used in India and Sri Lanka that appears to cause a dramatic drop in the levels of insulin and sugar in the blood. It binds to enzymes in the intestine that break carbohydrates down into sugars, and so reduces the amount of sugar in your blood. That in turn reduces the amount of insulin released by the pancreas.
Apple Cider Vinegar: There is evidence that apple cider vinegar can help to control your blood sugar levels if taken before a meal. Just two tablespoons appears sufficient to give a noticeable result. This is one of those home remedies that might be just anecdotal, but might also work, so is worth trying.
Zinc: It has been discovered that diabetics suffer a deficiency in zinc. This mineral plays a part in the storage and production of insulin in your body, and a deficiency could cause an increase in your sugar level. Oysters, pecans, almonds, lamb and chicken are all good sources of zinc.
Glyconutrient complexes: we know that diabetes is an autoimmune disease for type I individuals. Supporting a properly function immune system requires a good diet as well as a diet rich in Glyconutrients. The polysaccharides found in glyconutrient formulas can help the immune system communicate better with the body and just possibly correct some autoimmune diseases which attach our cells.
These are the natural supplements that people are taking to help control their blood sugar and diabetes. It is important that you take nothing that interferes with the medicines given to you by your physician, so you should let your doctor know of any natural supplement that you are using in addition to your prescription medicines. However, it is possible to control your blood sugar with natural supplements, and those mentioned above are just a few of the natural substances available that can help diabetics control their condition and so avoid the side effects.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
This sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite-stifling effect
May 26, 2007 05:44 PM
Stay satisfied with garcinia
This sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite-stifling effect.
It’s funny how modern science continues to support ancient systems of herbal healing. Such is the case with garcinia: the yellowish, pumpkin like fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree, log valued in tropical Asian cooking for its sweetly acidic taste, is a traditional Indian remedy for digestive problems that is also used to make meals more filling. Today, garcinia (also known as brindleberry and Malabar tamarind) is used in natural weight-loss products based on research supporting its stomach satiating powers. Scientists also believe that garcinia helps block fat formation and regulate glucose (blood sugar) usage vital functions in an increasingly overweight world.
Filling up Faster
One reason so many people losing the battle of the bulge is that temptations to eat – and eat – are absolutely everywhere, often as the focal points of clever and well designed advertising campaigns. (Remember the slogan “belch’a can’t eat just one”?) To make matters worse, restaurants often serve overly generous portions and experiments have shown that the more food you serve, the more people will consume. For example,
The answer would seem simple – just eat less. But knowing when to say when isn’t easy. That’s where garcinia comes in, specifically an extract taken from the rind called HCA (Hydroxycitric acid). In laboratory animals HCA has upped levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps suppress appetite and elevate mood, which might help take the edge off the depressing and binge-eating urges that often affect would-be weight losers. At the same time HCA appears to reduce levels of another substance in the brain called neuropeptide Y, which enhances appetite (Experimental Biology meeting 4/06).
What is it: the pumpkin-like fruit of the garcinia cambogia tree; this Indian native is used in cooking and in Ayurveda, the country’s system of traditional medicine.
What is does: A popular ingredient in natural weight-loss aids, garcinia is being investigated for possible fat blocking and appetite-suppressing functions; it may also help regulate glucose (blood sugar).
Fat Smack down
The fat that stubbornly clings to your frame doesn’t always start out that way. In many cases, your body actually creates fat from excess carbohydrates (such as the icing encrusted doughnut you couldn’t pass u at breakfast). If you don’t burn off those extra carbs through exercise, they are broken down into citrates that are then transformed into the building blocks of body fat. This process is controlled by an enzyme called citrate lyase; HCA interferes with this crucial enzyme, an action that inhibits fat formation. Researchers believe the body uses those extra carbs to provide more energy; this mechanism may also have the happy side effect of further checking appetite. In addition, results from a Dutch lab study indicate that garcinia may blunt sugar-induced increases in glucose, which can help forestall diabetes development.
Garcinia works best when teamed with out nutrients and herbs, such as chromium, green tea and forskolin. In one investigation, over weight people who stuck to a supervised diet and exercise program supplemented with a combination of HCA, chromium and another herb called Gymnema lost body weight and mass, and showed improved fat burning capacity (Nutrition Research 1/04). This modern usage mirrors Ayurveda’s ancient precepts, according to which individual remedies are generally used in combination for more effective results. Looking to get your meals more staying power? Then look for garcinia in your favorite weight loss formula. –Lisa James
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
February 28, 2007 12:02 PM
This is a fast paced world. We are all busy; living our full lives, burning the candle at both ends. We all get tired. We all get sick from time to time and maybe even depressed. But the illness called chronic fatigue syndrome is not like the normal ups and downs that we experience in everyday life. People with chronic fatigue syndrome feel overwhelming fatigue, and often pain as well. This is an illness that does not go away with a few good nights’ sleep. It drags on and on and doesn’t resolve itself. It steals vigor and energy over months, and sometimes even years.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will talk about powerful vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs combined in scientifically validated formulas that people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia can use every day. These nutrients help address some root problems of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia by restoring energy and health to sufferers.
Q. What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a group of symptoms associated with unrelenting and debilitating fatigue. The profound weakness of CFS causes a persistent and substantial reduction in activity level. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted for no apparent reason.
Besides extreme fatigue, symptoms of CFS include general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal problems. A list of symptoms includes:
The number of symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can vary among people. The symptoms of CFS hand on or reoccur frequently for more than six months.
Q. Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia considered being the same illness?
A. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body. FMS is basically a sleep disorder characterized by many tender knots in the muscles. These tender knots, called tender or trigger points, are a major cause of the achiness that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Approximately 80 percent of chronic fatigue syndrome patients have received and overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome. For most people, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same illness.
Q. What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faulty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Q. Who gets chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. CFS is more common than you might expect. It strikes people of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 800,000 people nationwide have CFS and over six million have fibromyalgia at any given time.
It is important to stress that CFS is a real illness; it is not “just in your head.” Unfortunately, sufferers of CFS may find that many healthcare practitioners discount the symptoms of this illness or misdiagnose it as another disease. This can lead to additional emotional suffering.
Q. How long does chronic fatigue syndrome last?
A. The illness varies greatly in its duration. Some people recover after a year or two. More often, those who recover are more likely to do so three to five years after onset. Yet for some people, the illness seems to simply persist. There are rare cases of spontaneous improvement after five years without undergoing any treatment. However, this is very unusual.
Q. What are the complications of chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. The patterns of CFS vary from individual to individual. However, many common patterns of symptoms are seen in CFS sufferers. These symptoms and problems interact and create new symptoms and problems. For example, infections and disrupted sleep can lead to digestive, hormone, and immune problems.
The most notorious pattern seen in CFS is the one in which a person suddenly comes down with a flu-like illness that doesn’t go away. These viral or bacterial infections can suppress the body’s master gland, the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus controls the other glands, including the adrenals, ovaries, testes, and thyroid, suppression of this gland will lead to a subtle but debilitating decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones. Suppressed hypothalamic function from chronic infections can then trigger sleep dysfunction.
The suppression of the hypothalamus gland can lead to poor sleep because the body confuses its day/night cycles. Because of this, people with CFS have trouble staying in the deep, restorative stages of sleep that “recharge their batteries.”
Poor sleep can cause immune suppression, which may lead to secondary bowel infections. The bowel infections seen in people with CFS can cause decreased absorption of nutrients, which can lead to chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Q. Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study ( of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’. An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for pain, sleep disturbances; digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tent to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS/FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients
Vitamin A: Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter. Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutraphils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophils activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.
All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. It is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough CFS/FMS needs. The chart in the next column lists the B vitamins that are critical for people suffering from CFS/FMS.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
B vitamins - Effect on Energy
Thiamine (B1) - Essential in the process of energy production. This vitamin also removes lactic acid from muscles, which causes them to be sore in fibromyalgia patients.
Riboflavin (B2) - Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy gluthathione reductase activity, which helps maintain gluthathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.
Niacinamide(B3) - Essential vitamin that is a component of the body’s energy furnace, helping to improve fatigue and “brain fog”.
Pantothenic Acid (B5) - This vitamin improves adrenal gland function, which will boost energy levels. It can also aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite.
Vitamin B6 - Working along with thiamine, this vitamin is critical in the process of energy production.
Vitamin B12 - Important for brain function and nerve repair. Aids in relieving fatigue symptoms in CFS patients. Folic Acid - Aids in strengthening the immune system, and aids in mental clarity and concentration.
Q. What other supplements can help me with CFS?
A. Many people with CFS/FMS are suffering from adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress like that seen in cases of CFS. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. However, in cases of CFS that return to normal can be made much simpler by using a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function.
Glandular therapy uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands to improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacks and thus repairing the malfunctioning gland.
If CFS has left your adrenal glands in a stressed-out state, you should see great results by taking adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
The Road to Recovery-Adequate Sleep
Disordered sleep is the underlying process that drives many of the symptoms of CFS/FMS. The most effective way to eliminate pain in CFS/FMS is to get seven to nine hours of deep sleep each night.
However, getting adequate sleep is easier said than done for CFS sufferers with underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. The muscle knots of fibromyalgia make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, causing difficulty in returning to deep sleep. Because of this, people with CFS/FMS do not stay in deep stages of sleep to recharge their “batteries.” In addition, poor sleep can cause and be caused by the suppression of the hypothalamus gland, which causes the brain to think it is daytime instead of night time.
It may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Therefore, it is important to look for an herbal sleep formula that is especially formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension.
Ingredients - Effect on Sleep
Wild Lettuce - Has been found to have sedative effects.
Hops - Acts as mild sedative and has a sleep-inducing effect. Jamaica Dogwood Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.
L-Theanine - Causes significant increases of neurotransimitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxion and improves sleep.
Valerian - This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.
Passionflower - This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.
Putting It All Together
After a good night’s rest, a powdered energy drink mix formulated for people with CFS/FMS should be drunk along with a well-balanced breakfast as discussed earlier. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement designed specifically for CFS sufferers, also discussed earlier, containing niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients, to combat your overwhelming fatigue, pain, and “brain fog.” Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much-needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy.
Together, these four interventions: sleep formula; morning energy drink; energy B complex supplement; and an adrenal complex- can make an incredible difference that you should begin to notice within 2-3 weeks of starting this program.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are complex physical diseases with physical causes. The unrelenting symptoms of fatigue, pain, and mental fogginess can be overwhelming and frightening. Partnering with a healthcare practitioner specializing in CFS and utilizing different medical treatments, supportive therapies, and lifestyle changes are healthy ways to combat chronic fatigue syndrome. And taking nutritional supplements formulated specifically for people with CMS/FMS that help boost energy or help you get a good night’s sleep can give you critical control over the outcome of your illness and set you on the road to recovery.
Neurological Health and CoQ10
February 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Between 1946 and 1965, 78 million Americans were born, creating the largest number of children in U.S. history. This Baby Boom generation has greatly influenced the makeup of American society and undoubtedly w ill continue to do so. Thanks to good nutrition and health care, Baby Boomers are aging well and have an excellent life expectancy. For the first time in history, we have more people turning 60 every day, and record numbers of adults reaching their seventh decade. As a result, neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s disease, are becoming major health care concerns. The good news is CoQ10 has applications for neurological diseases, in addition to its better known use for cardiovascular diseases.
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone (existing everywhere there is human life). CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body.
Q. Isn’t CoQ10 a supplement for heart health?
A. Yes, it is. Because the heart requires lots of ATP to meet its high energy needs, CoQ10’s function in heart health is well understood. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that when individuals with heart disease take CoQ10, their symptoms improve, sometimes quite dramatically. Supplemental CoQ10 improves the heart’s pumping ability, improves blood circulation, increases tolerance to exercise, and improves the heart’s muscle tone. CoQ10 also is a powerful antioxidant and protects heart tissue from free-radical damage.
Q. How does CoQ10 affect brain health?
A. CoQ10 works in the brain the same way it works elsewhere in the body: it’s essential to ATP production. Nearly all human cells contain tiny structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are referred to as cell powerhouses because they produce cellular energy. Depending on what each cell’s job is. There can be several thousand mitochondria in one cell. If a cell needs a lot of energy, it will have more mitochondria. This explains why heart cells contain so many mitochondria; the continual pumping of blood requires continual ATP production.
The brain also requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy to regulate, integrate, and coordinate ongoing nervous system transmissions. To meet this need, ATP production within the mitochondria of brain cells is vital. Since CoQ10 exerts such a powerful influence on heart cells in ATP production, it was a natural progression for scientists to wonder how it affects brain cells. Brain and nervous system research led to the conclusion that the same intracellular principles apply. CoQ10 is produced in the body to assist in ATP production. Without it, ATP cannot be produced.
The most important discovery regarding CoQ10 and the brain is that CoQ10, when formulated with certain ingredients, can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain’s mitochondria. If large amounts of CoQ10 can get into the brain cell’s mitochondria, its ability to make ATP is greatly enhanced.
Q. What is the blood-brain barrier and why is it important?
A. The blood-brain barrier is a unique anatomical structure. The cells that make up the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain are extremely close together. This greatly restricts what can leave the bloodstream and enter the brain. While the blood-brain barrier protects the brain and spinal cord from potentially toxic substances, it also can be a significant obstacle to therapy of central nervous system disorders. Only substances with certain solubilities or those that have a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree.
Obtaining optimal absorption of CoQ10 is difficult. The CoQ10 molecule is large and inflexible. The easiest and least expensive way to increase absorption levels is with the use of harsh solvents such as propylene glycol. However, at higher doses, these types of chemicals are considered dangerous (neurotoxic) to the person with a serious neurodegenerative disease. It is more difficult, as well as more expensive (considering raw materials, research, and proper manufacturing methods) to promote absorption with less harmful alternatives. However, reputable companies ensure that their products are safe for all their customers. Look for CoQ10 products formulated with vitamin E and other safe ingredients such as Micosolle.
Nearly all CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream. But, only CoQ10 supplements with special formulations have been scientifically shown to enter the mitochondria and cross the blood-brain barrier.
Q. If CoQ10 is made in the body, why take supplements?
A. While CoQ10 is synthesized in the body, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Researchers have discovered CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. They also have determined some medications significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Although CoQ10 exists in some dietary sources, it may not be realistic to obtain CoQ10 through food alone. For example, it would take approximately 3 pounds of sardines, 7 pounds of beef, or 8 pounds of peanuts to equal 100 mg of supplemental CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 help people with Parkinson’s disease?
A. CoQ10 seems to have several beneficial actions in the illness. Researchers have looked at mitochondria in brain cells and determined people with Parkinson’s disease have reduced activity of Complex I in the electron transport chain. Recent research has proposed the reduced activity of Complex I interferes with the brain-signaling chemical dopamine. Stored and newly synthesized dopamine is depleted. The dopamine depletion causes nerve cell degeneration.
A recent clinical study involved 80 patients with Parkinson’s disease (both men and women). The researchers first evaluated all the participants to establish scores for basic motor skills (measuring the ability to control physical movements such as walking), mental status (whether the person was depressed or experiencing memory loss) and the activities of daily living (whether the person was experiencing difficulty with handwriting, dressing themselves, using utensils such as knives and forks, and so on). This scale is known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). This process is known as establishing “baseline values,” that is, the condition of the patient before receiving any treatment.
Participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group received either 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of the special form of CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers observed the participants for 16 months.
The results of the study showed that all the participants who received CoQ10 had smaller declines in function compared to the placebo group, but the smallest decline was experienced by the group taking the highest amount of the special form of CoQ10.
The most significant results were noted specifically in the activities of daily living scores by the people taking 1200 mg of CoQ10 daily. These people retained better ability to feed and dress themselves, speak, walk, and bathe or shower by themselves. They maintained greater independence for a longer time. Parkinson’s disease, as with other neurodegenerative diseases, robs the sufferer of their ability to control the movements of their own body and care for themselves. Supplementation with CoQ10, while not a cure, is the first intervention that showed a slowing in the progressive deterioration of the function associated with this disease.
Q. What were the results of clinical research on Huntington’s Disease?
A. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study respected type of study, was conducted at the University of Rochester. All of the 347 Huntington’s disease (HD) patients were experiencing some HD symptoms, but were still in the early stages of the disease. The patients (who did not know which drug they were receiving) were randomly assigned to four different treatment groups: 25 percent received Remacemide, 25 percent received CoQ10, 25 percent received both, and 25 percent received a placebo, or sugar pill. The researchers, who also did not know which patients got which drug, watched and recorded their progress for two and one-half years. Remacemide is a new drug made by Astra Seneca that blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, that has long been suspected of contributing to the death of brain cells in Huntington’s disease.
Unfortunately, in the CARE-HD study, Remacemide had no effect on the progression of the disease in patients in the early stages. However, the individuals who received 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced some slowing of the disease progression. They were able to manage daily activities, such as meal preparation, housekeeping tasks, and personal care longer than those not on CoQ10. They were also able to focus their attention better and were less depressed and irritable. The portion of the studied patients receiving 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD. According to the researchers conducting the study, a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD would roughly translate into approximately one more year of independence for patients. This is the very first study from more than a dozen Huntington’s disease patient trails that showed any modification of the course of the illness.
Of note, the effects of the CoQ10 had not abated at the end of the research study. That is, the benefit of using CoQ10, 600 mg per day, was still increasing; this suggests that the longer a patient supplements with CoQ10, the greater the decline in the progression of HD. The next phase of the CARE-HD research will test a higher dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg or more per day), with more patients (over 1000), for a longer period of time (approximately 5 years). This study should improve our understanding of the optimal dose and the total achievable decline in the progression of HD. The CoQ10 product used in the CARE-HD study was designated an Orphan Drug by the FDA. The product utilizes a proprietary, patent-pending delivery mechanism, which is proven to be safe and tolerable at high doses for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, substantially improving brain tissue levels of CoQ10.
Q. What other diseases could benefit from CoQ10 supplementation?
A. Studies show CoQ10 levels are greatly reduced in Alzheimer’s patients. Mitochondrial abnormalities also are noted; however, research has yet to determine how or why this occurs. Some scientists believe damage to mitochondria is an early feature of the disease. Free-radical damage also is a feature of Alzheimer’s.
In a study of 27 Alzheimer’s patients, subjects were given 60 mg of CoQ10, 150 mg of iron, and 180 mg of vitamin B6 daily. Each patient’s mitochondria activity was effectively activated. All patients continued to experience gradual decline. However, researchers believed that with this combination, the progression was much slower and allowed the patients to experience 1 to 2 years of extended good health.
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive, fatal, neurological disease. It occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that control voluntary movement gradually degenerate. Investigation of CoQ10 in individuals with ALS is just beginning. Researchers at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center at Columbia University recently conducted a small clinical pilot trial of CoQ10 in ALS. The study was an open label study, which meant that everyone enrolled received CoQ10, 400 mg three times per day. Of the 16 patients originally enrolled, nine patients completed the study. Six of these nine patients experienced some benefits. The patients declined from 0 – 25 percent in functional scores, 6 percent in strength, and 10 percent in breathing ability. These scores reflect a positive trend compared to the 50 percent decline that is seen in the natural history of ALS over the same period of time (5 to 9 months). Citing the need to conduct more studies of the effectiveness of CoQ10 for people with ALS is rapidly and efficiently as possible to get answers to patients and clinicians, another clinical trial is currently underway at the Gehrig ALS Center. This is a pilot study to determine if CoQ10 has short-term effects on motor nerves in the brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The researchers are going to try to “see” if CoQ10 can change the chemical sin the brain’s upper motor nerves of people with ALS, an important next step of the investigation.
Q. Can taking CoQ10 prevent neurodegenerative disease?
A. To date, there have been no studies or research examining whether CoQ10 can prevent these diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease prevention is being clinically investigated. Researchers have determined that people who take certain anti-inflammatory medications seem less likely to develop the illness. A large, multi-centered trial is studying this connection.
Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?
A. Depending on your family history of neurological disease and your disease experience, studies show benefits at doses of 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. Some studies used doses of up to 1,200 mg per day.
CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Q. What should I look for in a CoQ10 supplement?
A. Use products which have a strong clinical research track record, supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions, and have been proven to be safe, tolerable and effective in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The CoQ10 product you choose should be proven to: be absorbed, enter the blood stream, cross the blood brain barrier and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. If the product you are considering does not have evidence to support these points, keep looking. Once you have found a candidate, examine the product’s safety and efficacy record for neurodegenerative diseases- if the product has not been proven to be safe and effective, keep looking. Good products exist; however, caveat emptor.
CoQ10 supplementation for people with neurodegenerative diseases is supported by contemporary clinical research. CoQ10 is certainly not the only answer to the complex issues of management and treatment of these types of diseases. However, research indicates that it is a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. As we continue to study this naturally occurring compound, we are finding more and more benefits to the body.
All CoQ10 is not created equal. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that is supported by product-specific research from reputable institution, which is proven to be safe, tolerable and effective at high doses; deviating from this set of criteria may do more harm than good for people with these serious illnesses. Choose clinically tested products from a well-respected company and increase the potential to achieve and maintain brain and neurological health.
This is sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite stifling effect.
January 13, 2007 02:44 PM
It’s funny how modern science continues to support ancient systems of herbal healing. Such is the case with Garcinia: The yellowish, pumpkin like fruit of the Garcinia Cambodia tree, long valued in tropical Asian cooking for its sweetly acidic taste, is a traditional Indian remedy for digestive problems that is also used to make meals more filling. Today, Garcinia (also known as brindleberry and Malabar tamarind) is used in natural weight-loss products based on research supporting its stomach satiating powers. Scientists also believe that Garcinia helps block fat formation and regulate glucose (blood sugar) usage—vital functions in an increasingly overweight world.
Filling Up Faster
One reason so many people are losing the battle of the bulge is that temptations to eat-and eat—are absolutely everywhere, often as the focal points of clever and well designed advertising campaigns. (Remember the slogan “belch’a can’t eat just one”?) To make matters worse, restaurants often server overly generous portions and experiments have shown that the more food you serve, the more people will consume. For example, Chicago moviegoers ate 45% more popcorn from larger containers even when they were given stale product (Food Quality and Preference 1/01).
The answer would seem simple—just eat less. But knowing when to say when isn’t easy. That’s where garcinia comes in, specifically an extract taken from the rind called HCA (Hydroxycitric acid). In laboratory animals HCA has upped levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps suppress appetite and elevate mood, which might help take the edge off the depression and binge-eating urges that often affect would-be weight losers. At the same time HCA appears to reduce levels of another substance in the brain called neuropeptide Y, which enhances appetite (Experimental Biology meeting 4/06).
What it is: the pumpkin-like fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree; this Indian native is used in cooking and in Ayurveda, that country’s system of traditional medicine
What it Does: A popular ingredient in natural weight-loss aids, garcinia is being investigated for possible fat blocking and appetite suppressing functions; it may also help regulate glucose (blood sugar).
The fat that stubbornly clings to your frame doesn’t always start out that way. In many cases, your body actually creates fat from excess carbohydrates (such as the icing encrusted doughnut you couldn’t pass up at breakfast). If you don’t burn off those extra carbs through exercise, they are broken down into citrates that are then transformed into the building blocks of body fat. This process is controlled by an enzyme called citrate lyase; HCA interferes with this crucial enzyme, an action that inhibits fat formation. Researchers believe the body uses those extra carbs to provide more energy; this mechanism may also have the happy side effect of further checking appetite. In addition, results from a Dutch lab study indicate that garcinia may blunt sugar-induced increases in glucose, which can help forestall diabetes development.
Garcinia works best when teamed with other nutrients and herbs, such as chromium, green tea and forskolin. In one investigation, overweight people who stuck to a supervised diet and exercise program supplemented with a combination of HCA, chromium and another herb called Gymnema lost body weight as mass, and showed improved fat burning capacity (Nutrition Research 1/04). This modern usage mirrors Ayurveda’s ancient precepts, according to which individual remedies are generally used in combination for more effective results.
Looking to give your meal more staying power? Then look for garcinia in your favorite weight loss formula. –Lisa James.
Taming the Tingle – ALA helps fight nerve damage caused by diabetes…and more.
November 09, 2006 01:27 PM
For some people the constant tingling in their feet is the worst part. Others feel like their feet are being stabbed or burned, or that their extremities are simply lifeless. All these folks suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that afflicts nearly 30% of people with diabetes aged 40 and older. And if the discomforting sensations are not enough, neuropathy can lead to falls, wounds that won’t heal, even amputation.
Untold numbers of individuals have been helped by alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a supplement that European practitioners have used as a standard neuropathy treatment for 30 years. ALA (also known as thioctic acid) assists in the chemical reaction that generates energy within cells. It serves as a universal antioxidant—a substance that can fight tissue-damaging free radicals in both the fatty watery parts of a cell-and helps the body create additional free radical fighters, such as glutathione. ALA can even help regenerate several other antioxidants, including coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamins C and E.
People with diabetes need antioxidant protection as much as anyone. Fortunately for them, though, ALA fights this insidious disorder in many other ways.
Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer effectively use glucose (blood sugar), its main energy sources; ALA helps shepherd glucose out of the blood and into cells. It also interferes with glycosylation, a process in which glucose sticks to proteins such as the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that carries cholesterol through the bloodstream. That’s important because this “sticky” LDL can adhere to arterial walls, creating a major risk factor for heart disease. ALA combined with exercise appears to make insulin, the hormone that controls glucose usage, more effective. What’s more, early research indicates that ALA can deflect another cardio hazard by interfering with the ability of salt to push blood pressure upward (molecular and Cellular Biology 12/03).
ALA Annotations – what is it? Alpha Lipoic acid, a substance the body creates naturally.
What it Does: ALA, a powerful antioxidant in its own right, plays a vital role in the creation and renewal of other antioxidants. It is used to treat peripheral neuropathy; nerve damage caused by diabetes, and is also under investigation for possible therapeutic effects in other disorders, including multiple sclerosis and age-related cognitive decline.
Diabetes doesn’t just attack the nerves and the heart—its effects are felt throughout the body. That’s why scientists are examining whether ALA can tackle other diabetic complications: in lab studies it has forestalled diabetes-related kidney and eye damage. (Check blood-sugar levels regularly when using ALA, especially if you’re taking other glucose regulators.)
While diabetes is one of the most common causes of nervous system damage, it isn’t the only one. In test tube studies ALA has promoted chemical reactions that encourage neurons (nerve cells) to survive and grow; as a result some scientists believe this natural antioxidant may eventually play a role in treating degenerative nerve disorders. Such research is in its beginning stages, but the results are still intriguing. For example, in mice ALA has slowed progression of a disorder that mimics multiple sclerosis in human beings (Journal of Neuroimmunology 3/04) and improved age-related memory loss when used with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), another antioxidant supplement (Journal of Neurochemistry 3/03). A number of other conditions that become more common with age may also benefit from ALA, including arthritis and thinning skin.
If you suffer from both diabetes and the nerve damage it causes, ask your practitioner about ALA. It just may help your feet and the rest of you feel happy. –Lisa James
October 31, 2006 03:37 PM
Prickly Pear Extract for Endurance and Stamina
• Contains Tex-OE™, a patented extract from the nopal cactus.
Source Naturals opal contains Tex-OE™, a patented standardized extract from the prickly pear or nopal cactus that helps support endurance and stamina by priming the body for athletic activity and physical exertion. Preliminary evidence suggests that Tex-OE™ may support the accelerated formation of Heat Shock Proteins (HSTs), stress recovery proteins synthesized by the body to endure physiological extremes. This early response helps to minimize cellular damage as a result of extreme physical exertion. Source NaturalsNopal Endurance is a critical step toward achieving maximum potential.
1 capsule contains:
Prickly Pear Fruit Standardized Extract 40 mg (Tex-OE™ a patented extract of Opuntia ficus)
Suggested Use: 1 capsule per 130 lbs of body weight, with water, at least 2 hours before stress activity, once every three days. Fiber interferes with absorption. For best results, do not eat or drink foods or beverages containing fiber 2 hours before and 2 hours after taking.
Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
December 10, 2005 03:19 PM
A. Treating chronic fatigue syndrome presents a significant challenge to people with CFS and their healthcare practitioners. Recently, a published placebo-controlled study (of which I was the lead investigator) showed that when using an integrated treatment approach, over 85 percent of CFS and fibromyalgia patients can improve, often dramatically. The full text of this study can be seen at ‘www.endfatigue.com’.
An editorial in the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management noted that this treatment, which I developed, is now a highly effective and excellent part of the standard of practice for treatment of fibromyalgia. Since this treatment addresses many different problems associated with CFS/FMS, it needs to be individualized to each patient.
Medications that provide symptom relief are frequently the first line of treatment chosen by healthcare practitioners for the person with CFS. These include medications for the pain, sleep disturbances’ digestive problems such as nausea, depression and anxiety, and flu-like symptoms.
However, medications have not been universally successful because they tend to put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. Because of this, medications may need to be supplemented by the other supportive therapies that can address the root problems.
People with CFS? FMS may be depressed, given the catastrophic lifestyle disruption these diseases may cause. They may also feel guilt and frustration because their symptoms were not taken seriously for such a long time. Fear can be a factor as employment and family relationships may be jeopardized by this illness.
Therapies that help people to relax and improve coping skills may be helpful and include counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
Daily Nutritional Supplementation for Energy Good overall nutrition is important for everyone, of course. However, there are several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful nutritional effects for a person with CFS. All of the vitamins and minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together synergistically to help improve energy levels and overall health. Here are some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula:
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Key Ingredients Vitamin A: Essentail for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone grown and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-catotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter.
Vitamin E: Helps to relieve pain in CFS patients. Can also improve night leg cramps, which interferes with sleep.
Vitamin C: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells, B and T cells. Can prevent chronic bladder infections by acidifying urine.
Vitamin D: Regulates immune functions of monocytes and neutrophils. Neutrophils are white blood cells that ingest invasive bacteria, and act as the first line of defense once bacteria makes it past the skin barrier.
Magnesium: Involved with immune support. Working with malic acid, enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells. Magnesium is also critical for the relief of muscle pain.
Inositol: Enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cells.
Malic Acid: Working with magnesium, improves energy levels by improving cellular functions. Especially important in muscle metabolism.
Betaine: Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation.
Amino Acids: Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.
Zinc: Supports the immune system by enhancing neutrophil activity and supporting healthy antigen-antibody binding.
Selenium: Supports immune function by enhancing antibody production.
Fructooligosaccharides: Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora. All of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements on the list are important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. To ensure that your nutritional supplement regimen contains all of these ingredients, look for a powdered supplement formulated specifically for CFS/FMS sufferers that can be reconstituted in a beverage of your choice. A powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the needed vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that will give you the needed energy to recover from your illness.
B Vitamin Complex for Energy
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a vitamin B-complex supplement specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS. The B vitamin formula, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B^, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, is especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body, as well as for mental function. IT is also important to make sure that the dosages are high enough for CFS/FMS needs.
B Vitamins Effect on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Studies have demonstrated that people with CFS/FMS are often deficient in many of the B vitamins, which tends to worsen their symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess” and ultimately lead to a weakened immune system.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
July 25, 2005 09:46 PM
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
While estrogen balanced with progesterone is necessary for proper female development and reproduction, when is dominates, it can contribute to a number of unwanted reactions, including:
Pain - Post Op and Relaxation
July 13, 2005 09:24 AM
Relaxation, Music Reduce Post-Op Pain. New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of the journal Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone. Led by Marion Good, PhD, RN, of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, the study is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), at the National Institutes of Health. "This is important news for the millions of Americans who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain each year," said Dr. Patricia A. Grady, director of the NINR.
"Better pain management can reduce hospital stays and speed recovery, ultimately improving patients' quality of life." Dr. Good and her research team studied three groups of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. In addition to the usual pain medication, one group used a jaw relaxation technique, another group listened to music, and a third group received a combination of relaxation and music.
Findings revealed that, after surgery, the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group, which received only pain medication. "Both medication and self-care methods which involve patient participation are needed for relief," said Dr. Good.
"These relaxation and music self-care methods provide more complete relief without the undesired side effects of some pain medications." The findings have important implications for the 23 million people who undergo surgery and experience postoperative pain annually in the United States. Pain can hamper recovery by heightening the body's response to the stress of surgery and increasing tissue breakdown, coagulation and fluid retention. Pain also interferes with appetite and sleep and can lead to complications that prolong hospitalization.
Dr. Good and her research staff worked with 500 patients aged 18-70, who were undergoing gynecological, gastrointestinal, exploratory or urinary surgery. Prior to surgery, those in the music, relaxation or combination groups practiced the techniques. The relaxation technique consisted of letting the lower jaw drop slightly, softening the lips, resting the tongue in the bottom of the mouth, and breathing slowly and rhythmically with a three-rhythm pattern of inhale, exhale and rest. Patients in the music group chose one of five kinds of soothing music--harp, piano, synthesizer, orchestral or slow jazz.
On the first and second days after surgery, all patients received morphine or Demerol for pain relief by pressing a button connected to their intravenous patient controlled analgesia pumps. The groups receiving the additional intervention used earphones to listen to music and relaxation tapes during walking and rest, while the control group did not. The research team measured the patients' pain before and after 15 minutes of bed rest and four times during walking to see if the sensation and distress of pain changed.
Dr. Good found that during these two days postsurgery the three treatment groups had significantly less pain than the control group during both walking and rest. "Patients can take more control of their postoperative pain using these self-care methods," says Dr. Good. "Nurses and physicians preparing patients for surgery and caring for them afterwards should encourage patients to use relaxation and music to enhance the effectiveness of pain medication and hasten recovery."
Dr. Good's findings have implications for future research into the effectiveness of self-care methods on other types of pain, including chronic pain, cancer pain, and pain of the critically ill.
Vitamin D Lack Linked to Hip Fracture. Vitamin D deficiency in post-menopausal women is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. In a group of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fracture, 50 percent were found to have a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency. In the control group, women who had not suffered a hip fracture but who were hospitalized for an elective hip replacement, only a very small percentage had vitamin D deficiency, although one-fourth of those women also had osteoporosis. These findings were reported in the April 28, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study, conducted by Meryl S. LeBoff, MD; Lynn Kohlmeier, MD; Shelley Hurwitz, PhD; Jennifer Franklin, BA; John Wright, MD; and Julie Glowacki, PhD; of the Endocrine Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR. These investigators studied women admitted to either Brigham and Women's Hospital or the New England Baptist Hospital, both in Boston, between January 1995 and June 1998.
A group of 98 postmenopausal women who normally reside in their own homes were chosen for the study. Women with bone deterioration from other causes were excluded from the study.
There were 30 women with hip fractures caused by osteoporosis and 68 hospitalized for elective joint replacement. Of these 68, 17 women also had osteoporosis as determined by the World Health Organization bone density criteria. All the participants answered questions regarding their lifestyle, reproductive history, calcium in their diet, and physical activity.
Bone mineral density of the spine, hip, and total body were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technique, as was body composition. Blood chemistry and urinary calcium levels were analyzed. The two groups of women with osteoporosis did not differ significantly in either time since menopause or bone density in the spine or hip. They did, however, differ in total bone density.
The women admitted for a hip fracture had fewer hours of exercise than the control group. Fifty percent of the women with hip fractures were deficient in vitamin D, 36.7 percent had elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels (a hormone which can stimulate loss of calcium from bone), and 81.8 percent had calcium in their urine, suggesting inappropriate calcium loss. Blood levels of calcium were lower in the women with hip fractures than in either elective group.
These researchers propose that vitamin D supplementation at the time of fracture may speed up recovery and reduce risk of fracture in the future. Current Dietary Reference Intake Guidelines contain a daily recommendation of 400 IU of vitamin D for people aged 51 through 70 and 600 IU for those over age 70.
"We know that a calcium-rich diet and regular weight-bearing exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. This new research suggests that an adequate intake of vitamin D, which the body uses to help absorb calcium, may help women to reduce their risk of hip fracture, even when osteoporosis is present," observed Dr. Evan C. Hadley, NIA Associate Director for geriatrics research.
"Osteoporosis leads to more than 300,000 hip fractures each year, causing pain, frequent disability, and costly hospitalizations or long-term care. "Prevention of such fractures would greatly improve the quality of life for many older women and men, as well as significantly reduce medical costs." The bones in the body often undergo rebuilding. Some cells, osteoclasts, dissolve older parts of the bones. Then, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts create new bone using calcium and phosphorus.
As people age, if osteoporosis develops, more bone is dissolved than is rebuilt, and the bones weaken and become prone to fracture. Also in many older persons, levels of vitamin D in the blood are low because they eat less or spend less time in the sun, which stimulates the body's own production of vitamin D.
Experts do not understand fully the causes of osteoporosis. However, they do know that lack of estrogen which accompanies menopause, diets low in calcium, and lack of exercise contribute to the problem. Eighty percent of older Americans who face the possibility of pain and debilitation from an osteoporosis-related fracture are women. One out of every two women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will have such a fracture sometime in the future. These fractures usually occur in the hip, wrist, and spine.
Sleep Apnea, Diabetes Link Found. Adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are three times more likely to also have diabetes and more likely to suffer a stroke in the future, according to a new UCLA School of Dentistry/Department of Veterans Affairs study published today in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Sleep apnea, a serious condition marked by loud snoring, irregular breathing and interrupted oxygen intake, affects an estimated nine million Americans. The culprit? Carrying too many extra pounds.
"The blame falls squarely on excess weight gain," said Dr. Arthur H. Friedlander, associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry and associate chief of staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles. Surplus weight interferes with insulin's ability to propel sugars from digested food across the cell membrane, robbing the cells of needed carbohydrates. Diabetes results when glucose builds up in the bloodstream and can't be utilized by the body. Being overweight can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea, according to Friedlander.
"When people gain too much weight, fatty deposits build up along the throat and line the breathing passages," he explained. "The muscles in this region slacken during sleep, forcing the airway to narrow and often close altogether." Reclining on one's back magnifies the situation. "When an overweight person lies down and goes to sleep," Friedlander said, "gravity shoves the fat in the neck backwards. This blocks the airway and can bring breathing to a halt."
Friedlander tested the blood sugar of 54 randomly selected male veterans whom doctors had previously diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. He discovered that 17 of the 54 patients, or 31 percent, unknowingly suffered from adult-onset diabetes. Using the same sample, Friedlander also took panoramic X-rays of the men's necks and jaws. The X-rays indicated that 12 of the 54 patients, or 22 percent, revealed calcified plaques in the carotid artery leading to the brain.
These plaques block blood flow, significantly increasing patients' risk for stroke. Seven of the 12, or 58 percent, were also diagnosed with diabetes. In dramatic comparison, the 17 patients diagnosed with diabetes showed nearly twice the incidence of blockage. Seven of the 17 men, or 41 percent, had carotid plaques. Only five of the 54 patients who displayed plaques did not have also diabetes. If he conducted this study today, Friedlander notes, he would likely find a higher number of diabetic patients. After he completed the study in 1997, the American Diabetes Association lowered its definition for diabetes from 140 to 126 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood.
"This is the first time that science has uncovered a link between sleep apnea and diabetes," said Friedlander. "The data suggest that someone afflicted with both diabetes and sleep apnea is more likely to suffer a stroke in the future." "Persons going to the doctor for a sleep-apnea exam should request that their blood be screened for diabetes, especially if they are overweight," he cautioned. More than half of the individuals who develop diabetes as adults will need to modify their diet and take daily insulin in order to control the disease, he added.
Stress, Surgery May Increase CA Tumors. Stress and surgery may increase the growth of cancerous tumors by suppressing natural killer cell activity, says a Johns Hopkins researcher.
Malignancies and viral infections are in part controlled by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells, a sub-population of white blood cells that seek out and kill certain tumor and virally infected cells. In a study using animal models, natural killer cell activity was suppressed by physical stress or surgery, resulting in a significant increase in tumor development.
These findings suggest that protective measures should be considered to prevent metastasis for patients undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, according to Gayle Page, D.N.Sc., R.N., associate professor and Independence Foundation chair at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. "Human studies have already found a connection between the level of NK activity and susceptibility to several different types of cancer," says Page, an author of the study.
"We sought to determine the importance of stress-induced suppression of NK activity and thus learn the effects of stress and surgery on tumor development. "Many patients undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors that have the potential to spread. If our findings in rats can be generalized to such clinical settings, then these circumstances could increase tumor growth during or shortly after surgery." The research was conducted at Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where Page held previous positions, and at Tel Aviv University.
Results of the study are published in the March issue of the International Journal of Cancer. In laboratory studies, Page and her colleagues subjected rats to either abdominal surgery or physical stress, and then inoculated them with cancer cells. In the rats that had undergone surgery, the researchers observed a 200 to 500 percent increase in the incidence of lung tumor cells, an early indicator of metastasis, compared with rats that had not received surgery.
The experiment also showed that stress increased lung tumor incidence and significantly increased the mortality in the animals inoculated with cancer cells. "Our results show that, under specific circumstances, resistance to tumor development is compromised by physical stress and surgical intervention," says Page.
"Because surgical procedures are life-saving and cannot be withheld, protective measures should be considered that will prevent suppression of the natural killer cell activity and additional tumor development. "Researchers do not yet know how to prevent surgery-induced immune suppression, but early animal studies have shown increased use of analgesia reduces the risk."
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Health. Lead author was Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D., and other authors were Raz Yirmiya, Ph.D., and Guy Shakhar.
Immune Health - Herbs to Maintain A Healthy Immune System
July 01, 2005 04:21 PM
Immune Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The immune system has been receiving a lot of media attention, especially since the rise in recognized immune system deficiency diseases. The efficient functioning of the immune system is of paramount importance to everyone, adults and children alike, since it controls our ability to fend off illness, whether it is a common cold or more deadly disease. The immune system is made up of a combination of specialized cells, chemicals, tissues and organs. These include the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow and tonsils, as well as specialized white blood cells, which recognize and engulf invading microorganisms and cellular debris.
The ability of the immune system to function optimally is influenced by many factors. These include inherent genetic makeup, environmental influences (such as pollution, pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring/colorings in food), obesity, stress levels, exposure to infective agents, etc. Specific research suggests that consuming excessive amounts of sugar interferes with immune function. We can aid our immune system by eating a high amount of organic green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while cutting down on 'junk food' consumption. Stress reduction, through prayer, meditation, yoga and moderate exercise can also help.
Herbs may be used in two different ways to help the immune system. Tonics strengthen the immune system over time, while strong immune system stimulants have a more immediate action, and are used during an acute infection.
Herbal tonics work to help maintain a dynamic balance in the body and usually need to be taken long-term. Astragalus is said to build "Wei chi". "Chi" is the Chinese concept of life energy force. "Wei chi" is thought of as 'protection'. Current scientific studies confirm the positive benefits of Astragalus on the immune system. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated Astragalus' ability to help strengthen resistance of the immune system, especially to viral infections. Reishi, called the "mushroom of immortality", has been used for centuries as an overall tonic. Chinese physicians have used Ligustrum berries specifically for their immune-enhancing activities. They are often combined with Astragalus for a synergistic effect. Coptis is another Chinese herb that contains the bitter yellow compound, berberine. This herb helps the immune system prevent infections. Many of these herbs can be found in the unique combination formula called Immunotonic™ (alcohol-free). Immunotonic™ offers the ideal way to experience the benefits of many herbs in one convenient supplement.
Other immune system tonic herbs include Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to balance the immune system. It gives strength and fortitude, especially when dealing with environmental stress. Schisandra has been shown to build non-specific resistance, improve brain function, increase work capacity and build strength.
Osha Root has been used traditionally by both Chinese and Native Americans (who called it Chuchupate) for colds and flues, sore throats and other health ailments requiring a higher level of immune support. Echinacea is a well-researched and respected immune system stimulant. (Refer to our Echinacea article for further information). It helps increase the activity of white blood cells, which engulf invading microorganisms. Thuja is an herbal extract from the Northern White Cedar tree. It is a strong immune stimulant that Native Americans used for colds, coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Possibly the mushroom with the greatest capability of stimulating the immune system is the Maitake. It is known as the "dancing mushroom" because it was so highly prized that whoever found some would dance for joy. Maitake contains specific chemical components that have been scientifically studied for their strong immune enhancing effects; (refer to Maitake Bio-Beta-Glucan™ article for further information). Nature's Answer® combines these herbs in Immune Boost™, a combination formula for use during acute illness and infections. Try it along with the combination formula Echinacea & Goldenseal. Nature’s Answer® offers a selection of all these herbs in liquid and/or capsule forms. Check with your local health food store, or visit www.naturesanswer.com, for more information.
Children can often use a boost to their immune system to help ward off colds and flues. Nature's Answer® comes to the rescue with three alcohol-free formulas specifically designed for their special needs - E-KID-nacea™, E-KID-nacea Plus™, and NatChoo™. All of these outstanding formulas help promote a healthy immune system.
June 25, 2005 10:57 AM
Ginkgo has achieved unprecedented popularity within the last decade and has become a familiar household term. Because interest in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s has escalated over the last decade, the biochemical capabilities of ginkgo in regard to brain function have been investigated and are still being researched. Ginkgo is one of those herbs that has become intrinsically connected with notions of herbal elixirs capable of pre s e rving youth and promoting longevity.
Ginkgo comes from the oldest species of tree in the world dating back some 200 million years. Some ginkgo trees have been known to live well over an average of 1000 or more years. The ginkgo tree is also known as the “maidenhair tree” and would have probably become extinct if the trees had not been cultivated in Far Eastern temple gardens and nurtured by Oriental monks.
Ginkgo is a deciduous conifer with separate male and female types. It resembles the pau d’arco tree and like pau d’arco, possesses an unusual immunity to insects and diseases. Ginkgo’s remarkable hardiness enabled it to survive the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Because of its unprecedented longevity, ginkgo biloba has sometimes been referred to as a living fossil.
Ginkgo has been used in China for over 5000 years. The Chinese refer to the fruit of the ginkgo tree as pa-kwo. This fruit is sold in markets throughout China and resembles dried almonds. Ginkgo fruit is pleasant tasting when fresh, but can become quite disagreeable if allowed to get overly ripe. Asians have relied on extracts of the fan-shaped ginkgo leaf since 3,000 B.C. to heal a wide variety of ailments.
The Chinese have been acquainted with the curative powers of ginkgo for centuries and have typically used the herb for ailments related to aging, such as circulatory disorders, mental confusion and memory loss. In China, ginkgo seeds, called baigou, are considered lung and kidney tonics and are used in conjunction with acupuncture. Ginkgo seeds also help to tonify the urinary system, so they are used in cases of incontinence and excessive urination.1
Practitioners of Chinese medicine routinely use ginkgo leaves. Ginkgo was introduced into Eu rope in 1730 and was we l l received, not for its medicinal value, but for its ornamental appeal. It is used extensively in landscaping because of its lovely fern-like leaf. It was brought to America in 1784 to the garden of William Hamilton who lived in Pennsylvania.
Decades passed before the healing properties of ginkgo we re investigated. Consequently, it has been part of the herbal repertoire only since the 1980s. During this time, it became technically feasible to isolate the essential components of ginkgo. Pharmacologically, there are two groups of substances which are significant compounds found in ginkgo: the flavonoids, which give ginkgo its antioxidant action, and the terpenes, which help to inhibit the formation of blood clots. The majority of scientific interest has focused on Ginkgo’s ability to improve the circulation of blood. O ver the past twenty years, scientific testing on the plant has dramatically escalated. Ha rva rd professor Elias J. Core y, Ph . D , synthesized ginkgo’s active ingredient, ginkgolide B, for the first time in the laboratory. Consequently, stepped-up research in this country and in Eu rope resulted. Ginkgo has been the subject of over 300 scientific studies and continues to intrigue scientists. Much modern research has confirmed ancient applications of ginkgo as well as discovered new ones.
Ginkgolide, the active component of the herb, is what creates most of ginkgo’s biochemical attributes. Exactly how ginkgolide B functions is not yet known. One theory is that the compound somehow interferes with a chemical found in the body called PAF (platelet activating factor). PAF has been implicated in cases of graft rejection, asthma and other immune disorders. PAF antagonists have been identified from a variety of medicinal plants. These compounds help to explain the pharmacological basis of several traditional medicines and provide a valuable new class of therapeutic agents.
Particular attention has been paid to ginkgo’s powerful actions on the cardiovascular system. Thousands of Europeans use this herb for peripheral circulatory disorders. As a circulation booster, ginkgo has accumulated some impressive credentials. Because proper circulation is vital to each and every body function, virtually all body systems can benefit from ginkgo therapy.
Ginkgo’s relationship to brain function has also spawned considerable interest. In 1985, Rudolf Weiss said of ginkgo,
“ Significant improvement in mental states, emotional lability, memory, and the tendency to tire easily, have been reported.”
Ginkgo is currently planted in groves and used for a number of medicinal purposes. It is harvested in the summer and can be used in extract, tincture or infusion forms. The therapeutic properties of ginkgo seem endless. Continuing re s e a rch promises to further uncover additional health benefits of this remarkable botanical. Ginkgo extracts are among the leading prescription medications in France and Germany. Currently, millions of prescriptions for ginkgo are written by physicians worldwide.
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements
Heart Science - A Five-Tiered Approach to Heart Health ...
June 02, 2005 12:07 PM
Your heart is crucial to every function of your body. It is the sole organ which pumps oxygen-rich blood through the entire circulatory system, feeding your cells and making life possible. Only recently are Americans realizing the importance of a proper low-fat diet, regular exercise, giving up cigarette smoking, and cutting down alcohol consumption to maintaining a healthy heart. Unfortunately, there has been a huge gap in the number of nutritional supplements which provide nutrients and herbs to support normal heart function. That’s where Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE comes in. Two years in the making, and backed by numerous scientific studies, the nutrients in HEART SCIENCE are some of the most soundly researched of all. Combining high potencies of these super-nutrients, HEART SCIENCE is the most comprehensive, cutting edge nutritional approach to proper heart care available.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE— The Five Tiered Approach to Heart Health
Your heart never rests. Even while you sleep, your heart must keep working, relying on the constant generation of energy by the body for its very survival. If this vital organ stops beating for even a short amount of time, all bodily functions cease and life ends. Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE helps support heart function on the chemical, cellular, structural, and energetic levels. This broad spectrum formula includes ingredients specifically geared for
Energy Generators for An Energetic Organ
Every day, the human heart beats about 104,000 times, pumping over 8,000 liters of blood through the body! Because it requires so much energy to perform efficiently, the experts at Source Naturals included specialty nutrients in HEART SCIENCE such as Coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine — integral factors in the body’s energy production cycles — to enhance the body’s energy supply.
There are three main interconnected energy generating cycles in our cells — the Glycolytic (sugar-burning) cycle, the Krebs’ (citric acid) cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain. Together they supply about 90 to 95% of our body’s entire energy supply, using fats, sugars, and amino acids as fuel. Coenzyme Q10 is one of the non-vitamin nutrients needed to maximally convert food into ATP (the energy producing molecule). It is the vital connecting link for three of the four main enzyme complexes in the Electron Transport Chain, the next step in energy generation after the Krebs’ cycle. Using the raw materials generated by the Krebs’ cycle, the Electron Transport Chain produces most of the body’s total energy! The heart is one of the bodily organs which contains the highest levels of CoQ10, precisely because it needs so much energy to function efficiently.
CoQ10 is one of the most promising nutrients for the heart under investigation today. It has been postulated that as a result of its participation in energy production, CoQ10 improves heart muscle metabolism and the electrical functioning of the heart by enhancing its pumping capacity.8 Many factors such as a high fat diet, lack of exercise, and cigarette smoking can lead to suboptimal functioning of the heart, and therefore failure of the heart to maintain adequate circulation of blood. Interestingly, people whose lifestyles reflect the above factors also tend to have depleted levels of CoQ10 in the heart muscle.10
Researchers suggest taking between 10-100 mg per day of CoQ10;18,29 HEART SCIENCE provides an impressive 60 mg of CoQ10 per 6 tablets. Similar to CoQ10, L-Carnitine is important for energy production in heart cells. It is a natural amino acid-like substance which plays a key role in transporting fatty acids, the heart’s main source of energy, to the mitochondria, the “power plants” of each cell, where they are utilized for the production of ATP. Heart and skeletal muscles are particularly vulnerable to L-Carnitine deficiency. Studies have shown that supplementation with LCarnitine improves exercise tolerance in individuals with suboptimal heart and circulatory function, and seems to lower blood lipid status and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.16, 22 Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE contains 500 mg of this extremely important compound.
Like CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, B Vitamins help improve the ability of the heart muscle to function optimally. Each B Vitamin, after being converted to its active coenzyme form, acts as a catalytic “spark plug” for the body’s production of energy. Vitamin B-1, for example, is converted to Cocarboxylase, which serves as a critical link between the Glycolytic and Krebs’ Cycles, and also participates in the conversion of amino acids into energy. A deficiency of B coenzymes within contracting muscle cells can lead to a weakened pumping of the heart.21
HEART SCIENCE is formulated with high quantities of the most absorbable forms of B Vitamins providing maximum nutrition for the high energy demands of heart cells.
B Vitamins also play a crucial role in the conversion of homocysteine, a group of potentially harmful amino acids produced by the body, to methionine, another more beneficial amino acid. While it is normal for the body to produce some homocysteine, even a small elevation in homocysteine levels can have negative implications. It is well documented that individuals who are genetically predisposed to having elevated homocysteine levels (homocysteinemics) tend to have excessive plaque accumulation in the arteries and premature damage to endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels and heart).26 Researchers have found that even those without this genetic abnormality, whose homocysteine levels are much lower than those of homocysteinemics, still have an increased risk for premature endothelial damage and the development of plaque in the arteries.24, 26 One study conducted among normal men and women found that those with the highest levels of homocysteine were twice as likely to have clogged arteries as were those with the lowest levels.24 Furthermore, it was found that the lower the research subjects’ blood levels of folate and B-6, the higher their homocysteine levels.24 Another study found that Folic Acid administered to normal men and women who were not even deficient in folate caused a significant reduction in plasma concentrations of homocysteine!3 In order to regulate homocysteine levels, it is critical to provide the body with sufficient amounts of B-6, B-12, and Folate, whether through the diet or through supplementation. HEART SCIENCE includes high levels of these three nutrients, providing B-6 in the regular and coenzyme form for maximum utilization.
The Dangers of Oxidized LDL Cholesterol
While many people have heard that high cholesterol levels may negatively affect normal heart function, few people understand exactly what cholesterol is, or how it can become harmful. Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance produced in the liver by all animals, and used for a variety of necessary activities in the body. Your liver also manufactures two main kinds of carrier molecules which transport cholesterol throughout the system: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Cholesterol is either carried out by LDL from the liver to all tissues in the body where it is deposited, or carried back by HDLs which remove cholesterol deposits from the arteries and carry them to the liver for disposal. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is considered damaging, while HDL is considered protective. Problems occur when there is too much LDL cholesterol in the body and not enough HDL.
When the body becomes overloaded with fat, an over-abundance of LDL particles are manufactured to process it, and they in turn become elevated in the body to a degree that the liver cannot handle. Rich in fatty acids and cholesterol, these particles are highly susceptible to free radical attack (oxidation). Once oxidized, LDL particles are no longer recognized by the body, which attacks them with immune cells. Immune cells which are bloated by oxidized lipids (called foam cells) are a key factor in the development of “fatty streaks” — the first sign of excess arterial fat accumulation. The bloated immune cells accumulate in artery lesions and create plaque in blood vessels, leading to obstruction and constriction of the vessels. Plus, these lodged foam cells continue to secrete free radicals into the bloodstream, making the problem worse.
The development of lesions in the arteries is not an uncommon problem. Arterial (and all blood vessel) walls are composed of a chemical matrix which holds the endothelial cells in place. That endothelial layer is the first and most important line of defense in preventing large molecules, such as cholesterol and fat, from entering the vessel wall. This matrix is composed of proteins, collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (amino sugars). Arterial lesions can be caused by suboptimal collagen and elastin synthesis due to three factors: 1. Vitamin C deficiency (since Vitamin C is a key building block for collagen and elastin); 2. excessive consumption of rancid fats, or heavy usage of alcohol or cigarettes; and 3. free radical damage. Once these lesions are created, the body attempts to repair them by depositing LDL cholesterol — similar to the way one would patch a tire. If that cholesterol is not oxidized, i.e. chemically changed to a harmful, unstable molecule, then this process does not create a problem. But when arterial lesions are “patched” with foam cells, arterial walls suffer page 3 page 4 even more damage, because those foam cells release free radicals which can further damage cell membranes.
Unfortunately, most people have a lot of oxidized cholesterol floating through the bloodstream. The typical American diet, with its low antioxidant intake and overconsumption of fried and overcooked foods, contributes to the overall levels of harmful oxidized cholesterol. In fact, the average American intake of antioxidants is low even by USRDA standards, making Americans particularly prone to having high levels of oxidized cholesterol.
Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, and its subsequent ill effects on health. In addition to cutting out high-cholesterol and fatty foods, supplementation can protect existing cholesterol and all tissue cells — from oxidation. Antioxidants, substances which scavenge and neutralize free radicals, protect the cardiovascular system by halting the oxidation of cholesterol, and helping to prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries and the continual secretion of free radicals by foam cells. Supplementing the diet with high amounts of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant, also encourages a more healthy “patching” of existing lesions by using collagen (made from Vitamin C) instead of cholesterol. HEART SCIENCE contains generous amounts of the following antioxidants for their protective benefits:
The Regulating Trio
Three nutrients — Magnesium, Potassium, and Taurine — work closely together in the body to help maintain the normal electrical rhythm of the heart, promote proper fluid balance, and prevent excessive Calcium levels from building up in the heart and artery linings.
Artery Lining Protectors
Your arteries form an integral part of your cardiovascular system, carrying blood away from the heart to nourish other parts of the body. In a healthy heart, blood surges through the arteries with every beat of the heart. The arteries expand with each pulse to accommodate the flow of blood. When arteries become hardened and narrowed by the build-up of plaque, they can’t expand and are not able to transport blood efficiently throughout the body. This inability to open up increases blood pressure, putting a strain on the heart as well as the arteries. HEART SCIENCE includes ingredients specifically geared to protect against plaque formation within arteries and maintain the flexibility of these vital blood vessels. N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) is a key amino sugar which forms the building blocks of mucopolysaccharides. Mucopolysaccharides, which are long chain sugars, are an integral component of connective tissue. They combine to form gel-like matrixes which are present throughout tissues in the body, helping to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels which must continually adapt to the changing pressures of blood flow. Each daily dose of HEART SCIENCE provides 500 mg — a substantial amount — of this vital tissue building block. There is evidence indicating that Silicon, a natural mineral, may protect against plaque formation in the arteries. Silicon is found mainly in connective tissues, where it helps bind the body’s chemical matrix. Bound Silicon is found in high amounts in arterial walls. Researchers have found that there is a steady decline in the Silicon content of the aorta and other arteries as we age. This may be due to the low fiber content of the typical American diet, since fiber is a key dietary source of Silicon.23 HEART SCIENCE includes 400 mg of Horsetail herb extract, a natural source of Silicon. Hawthorn Berry is without question the herb most widely used to encourage normal heart function. The beneficial actions of Hawthorn Berry on cardiac function have been repeatedly demonstrated in experimental studies. Supplementation with Hawthorn Berry has been shown to improve both the blood supply to the heart by dilating coronary vessels, and the metabolic processes in the heart, resulting in normal, strong contractions of the heart muscle.34 Also, Hawthorn may inhibit the angiotensen converting enzyme, which is responsible for converting angiotensen I to angiotensen II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels.34 Bromelain, a natural enzyme derived from pineapples, has become well-known for its neuromuscular relaxing properties. Researchers have reported favorable results when using Bromelain for soothing vascular linings. Initial research also indicates that Bromelain may break down fibrin, the glue which holds platelets together to form blood clots.6
Capillaries are the smallest, yet some of the most important, blood vessels. If you think of your cardiovascular system as a series of roads which transport blood and oxygen, then your arteries are akin to interstate highways, your arterioles are the main city boulevards, and your capillaries are local residential streets. Capillaries are so small, in fact, that single red blood cells actually have to fold up to fit through them. Because of their tiny size and the intricate nature of their network throughout the body, capillaries are responsible for actually nourishing each individual tissue cell! Along the length of the capillaries are small openings called slit pores through which oxygen, glucose, and nutrients leave the capillaries and enter the surrounding interstitial fluid. From there, they cross cell membranes and nourish the cells. Similarly, the waste products of cells enter the fluid and cross over into the capillaries, where they are then transported to the liver and kidneys for disposal. If the capillary slit pores are torn or have lesions, then blood proteins and Sodium will leak out and cause the interstitial fluid to take on a more gel-like nature. This makes the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the cells more difficult, as well as the disposal of cell waste products, turning the fluid into a stagnant swamp instead of a flowing river. In addition to its powerful antioxidant actions, Proanthodyn also helps protect collagen and elastin, the main constituents of tissue in the capillaries, and throughout the body. It is absolutely essential for capillary walls — which are only one cell thick — to be strong and stable, so that they do not allow blood proteins to leak into the interstitial fluid. Once the interstitial fluid takes on a gel-like consistency, the surrounding cells literally become starved from lack of nutrition. The exciting news is that the proanthocyanidins contained in Proanthodyn are among the few substances yet discovered which can help strengthen capillary walls, ensuring the liquid nature of the interstitial fluid.2 Plus, proanthocyanidins help keep capillary and artery walls flexible, allowing for proper blood flow to the heart.
The 1990’s mark a decade of increased awareness among Americans of important health issues. Much of the discussion has revolved around protecting that precious center of life we call the heart. Simple lifestyle change is one of the most effective ways to maintain and protect the functioning of the cardiovascular system. In order to take a holistic approach to heart care, make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (organic, if possible) in your diet, and cut down on fatty and cholesterol-forming foods. Reduce your salt and alcohol intake to a minimum. Try to get regular, sustained aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Don’t smoke – or if you do smoke, try to eat even more fresh fruits and antioxidant-rich vegetables to counter the amount of free radicals being produced in your body. Lastly, consider adding Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE to your health regimen. HEART SCIENCE, the most comprehensive formula of its kind, provides targeted protection to the entire cardiovascular system. By approaching the promotion of normal heart function on five different levels — through the inclusion of ingredients which supply energy, decrease harmful homocysteine levels, fight cholesterol build-up, help regulate electrical rhythm, and protect artery and capillary linings — HEART SCIENCE is the perfect addition to a holistic approach to heart care.
Source Naturals HEART SCIENCE™
Genistein 1000mg Eternal Woman - Soy Supplement ...
June 02, 2005 10:30 AM
For most of human history, we existed in a world that was very different from the one today. Our endocrine systems evolved in an environment without synthetic chemicals. Unfortunately, today we’re surrounded by artificial hormone-mimicking compounds that disrupt the subtle biological processes that determine growth and reproduction. Receptors on our cells meant to receive natural bodily hormones can also accept molecules other than the ones they were intended to receive, placing our endocrine systems under considerable duress. Fortunately, certain plants contain estrogen-like compounds that are also accepted by hormone receptors in the human body – but with beneficial effects. Soybeans, which contain the isoflavone Genistein, can help regulate and maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. Source Naturals GENISTEIN is a concentrated form of the essence of the soybean.
The Secret of Soy
Not surprisingly, it was Ben Franklin who first introduced America to soybeans. Always on the lookout for beneficial imports, he was intrigued by the soybean cheese he saw in England. Today, tofu and other soy products are gaining popularity here in the West, in good part due to the reported benefits to populations that consume a considerable amount of soy products.
Some researchers have postulated that the high intake of soy foods by Asians may be a key factor in their low incidence of certain health problems that are common in the West. For example, epidemiological studies show that women in Asia have a higher occurrence of normal trouble-free menopause. There is no Japanese word for hot flashes. Soy foods contain high concentrations of phytonutrients including phytosterols and isoflavones. Isoflavones are an important class of bioflavonoids whose properties have been well researched. Of the seven isoflavones contained in soybeans, the most active are genistein and daidzein. Source Naturals GENISTEIN contains over 11 mg of genistein, 42 mg of daidzein, and 86 mg of total isoflavones per four 1000 mg tablets.
Genistein and Estrogen
The subject of scientific studies since 1966, genistein research has been published in many journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Annals of the New York Academy of Science. Genistein has been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen. This helps to maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. By competing for human estrogen receptors, genistein causes excess estrogen to be sent to the liver for elimination. Conversely, when there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens – genistein and daidzein – substitute for the lack of human estrogen, mitigating the effects of its absence.
Genistein and Cell Growth
One of genistein’s most promising functions is its ability to inhibit capillary proliferation. By neutralizing a growth factor called vascular endothelial (vegF), genistein protects cells. Genistein also shows pronounced inhibition of tyrosine kinase, the enzyme that interferes with normal cell growth. Soybeans are the only significant dietary source of genistein; however, the amount of soy foods necessary to meet the body’s needs can be difficult to incorporate into today’s diet. In Asia, the daily intake can be up to 20 times that of a Western diet. Source Naturals GENISTEIN is made from the germ of isoflavone-rich soybeans, using a chemical- free process that yields a consistent standardized isoflavone content. It requires approximately 400 pounds of soybeans to yield just one pound of finished product. With GENISTEIN, Source Naturals brings the remarkable properties of a time-honored food plant into your wellness program today.
DHA Neuromins - Feed Your Brain!
June 01, 2005 11:59 AM
In today’s society, “fat” has become a bad word. Our quest for good health has influenced many of us to drastically reduce our intake of fatty foods. But this dietary change has brought unintended consequences. As we’ve cut back on unhealthy saturated fats, we’ve also reduced certain “good” fats essential to our well-being. Few people realize how important fats are to a healthy brain. In fact, our brains are primarily fat, 60% by dry weight! And DHA, the most plentiful fatty acid in the brain, is crucial to brain health, from infancy to old age. Now DHA is available in a vegetarian source compatible with today’s trimmed-down lifestyle. Introducing: Source Naturals NEUROMINS DHA.
The Building Block of the Brain
DHA is shorthand for docosahexaenoic acid. This omega-3 long chain fatty acid is the primary building block of the brain and retina of the eye. The brain is 60% fat, and DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain, comprising 25-35%. DHA is found in even greater concentrations - 50- 60% - in the retina. DHA is critical for infant development. Compelling research links DHA to the rapid cerebral and eye development that occurs during pregnancy and in the first few months after birth. DHA passes through the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy, and to the nursing baby through breast milk. Optimal levels of DHA in the bloodstream of pregnant women and the breast milk of nursing mothers are crucial to babies. In fact, DHA’s presence in breast milk may explain why breast-fed babies have demonstrable IQ advantages over babies fed formula without DHA. An emerging body of research led an expert committee of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization to recommend that DHA be included in infant formulas at levels comparable to those of mothers’ milk. Yet DHA levels in the breast milk of American women rank among the lowest in the world, and DHA is still not available in U.S. infant formulas.
Supporting a Healthy Nervous System
DHA’s benefits are not limited to infant development. Supplementation may be helpful to anyone with a low DHA intake, especially for supporting a healthy nervous system. DHA has been associated with optimal memory function, visual acuity, and maintaining a positive mental state. DHA is an integral component of all membranes with electrical activity. The cells in our brain, retina and other parts of the nervous system have a complex network of connecting arms that transport electrical messages throughout the body. DHA’s presence in nerve cell membranes is critical because this is where messages are transmitted. It is at the membrane that nerve cells generate the electrical impulses that are the basis of all communication in the nervous system. Without the necessary fatty acids, this communication system can break down or become less effective. DHA supplementation may be especially important as we grow older. The body’s ability to synthesize DHA, which is very limited in all human beings, may decline even further with age. Research suggests that aging interferes with the activity of delta-6-desaturase, the enzyme involved in the conversion of omega-3 fatty acids into DHA. Elderly people with inadequate or DHAdeficient diets may benefit from a supplementary source of DHA.
Insufficient in Today’s Diet
Because human beings cannot adequately synthesize DHA, most of it is obtained from our diets. The richest sources are red meats, animal organs and eggs - among the first foods to be eliminated by people concerned about fat intake. Today, the average American is getting less DHA from food, and vegetarians, vegans, and people on lowfat diets are especially at risk. Fish are a good dietary source, but must be eaten several times a week to provide enough DHA for optimal brain function. Fish obtain their DHA from microalgae – the nutritional basis of NEUROMINS.
Neuromins: a Pure, Safe Source Source Naturals DHA is obtained from NEUROMINS, a dietary supplement derived from algae in a base of sunflower oil. NEUROMINS DHA is a highly purified form of DHA, produced under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions. Unlike fish oil, which used to be the main supplemental source of DHA, NEUROMINS does not contain the fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is not recommended for infants or children. Source Naturals NEUROMINS DHA is available in bottles of 30, 60 and 120 softgels, in both 100 and 200 mg dosages. Pure, safe DHA in the 200 mg dosage may be especially beneficial for pregnant or nursing women.
KudZu, Treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse
May 19, 2005 09:29 AM
For millennia, folk medicines have been used to treat ‘‘alcohol addiction’’ in China. A thorough literature search of the ancient Chinese pharmacopoeias revealed a long list of traditional remedies, including the 16 ‘‘stop-drinking’’ formulae of Sun Simiao (ca. 600 AD) and the ‘‘anti-alcohol addiction’’ formula of Li Dongyuan (ca. 1200 AD), 2 of the most reputed ‘‘medical doctors’’ in the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, like those discovered by the ancient Romans,11 most of the ancient Chinese remedies for ‘‘alcohol addiction’’ were based on psychological aversion: to deter patients from further drinking by associating alcohol drinking with an unpleasant experience. Interestingly, as time went by, treatments based solely on psychological aversion were gradually eliminated from the ancient Chinese pharmacopoeias, presumably because of their ineffectiveness and/or undesirable side effects. The only remedies that have survived this historical trial-anderror scrutiny are those consisting the root (Radix puerariae, RP) or flower (Flos puerariae, FP) of Pueraria lobata (a medicinal plant known to the West as kudzu). It was on the basis of this historical backdrop, we initiated the search of safe and efficacious anti-dipsotropic (alcohol intake suppressive) agents from RP. This approach has led to the discovery of daidzin,12 an isoflavone that has since been shown to reduce alcohol drinking in all alcohol preferring animal models tested to date.
Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence (i.e., alcoholism) are serious public health problems of modern society. In the United States alone, an estimated 13 million adults exhibit symptoms of alcohol dependence due to excessive alcohol intake, and an additional 7 million abuse alcohol without showing symptoms of dependence according to U.S. Government projections from studies conducted in the mid-1980s. Alcohol dependence and abuse are very expensive: in economic and medical terms, it will cost the U.S. well over $200 billion in 1991 with no prospect of falling or leveling off. The social and psychological damages inflicted on individuals as a consequence of alcohol abuse, e.g., children born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and victims of alcohol-related accidental death, homicide, suicide, etc., are immense.
While it is generally accepted that alcoholism and alcohol abuse are afflictions with staggering international economic, social, medical, and psychological repercussions, success in preventing or otherwise ameliorating the consequences of these problems has been an elusive goal. Only very recently the public view that alcoholism and alcohol abuse are remediable solely by moral imperatives has been changed to include an awareness of alcoholism and alcohol abuse as physiological aberrations whose etiology may be understood and for which therapy may be found through scientific pursuits. Both alcohol abuse and dependence arise as a result of different, complex, and as yet incompletely understood processes. At present, alcohol research is in the mainstream of scientific efforts.
Our studies on alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) have been based on the hypothesis that its abuse can ultimately be understood and dealt with at the molecular level. Such a molecular understanding, if achieved, would provide a basis for the identification and development of appropriate therapeutic agents. Our view hypothesizes that the clinical manifestations of alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the consequence of aberrations or defects within one or more metabolic pathways, affected by the presence of ethyl alcohol. In order to test this hypothesis, our initial studies focused on physical, chemical, and enzymatic properties of human alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme that catalyzes alcohol oxidation according to the following reaction formula:
CH.sub.3 CH.sub.2 OH+NAD.sup.+ .fwdarw.CH.sub.3 CHO+NADH
In addition, our studies more recently have focused on the aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH) which catalyze the subsequent step in the major pathway of ethanol metabolism according to the following reaction formula:
CH.sub.3 CHO+NAD.sup.+ .fwdarw.CH.sub.3 COOH+NADH
Prior to our research (for example, see Blair and Vallee, 1966, Biochemistry 5:2026-2034), ADH in man was thought to exist in but one or two forms, primarily in the liver, where it was considered the exclusive enzyme for the metabolism of ethanol. Currently, four different classes of ADH encompassing over twenty ADH isozymes have been identified and isolated from human tissues. There is no reason to believe that all of these ADH isozymes are necessary to catalyze the metabolism of a single molecule, ethanol, even though all of them can interact with it. We have proposed that the normal function of these isozymes is to metabolize other types of alcohols that participate in critical, physiologically important processes, and that ethanol interferes with their function (Vallee, 1966, Therapeutic Notes 14:71-74). Further, we predicted that individual differences in alcohol tolerance might well be based on both qualitative and quantitative differences in isozyme endowment (Vallee, 1966, supra).
Our research has established the structures, properties, tissue distribution, and developmental changes for most of the ADH isozymes, which while structurally quite similar, and presumed to have evolved from a common precursor, are functionally remarkably varied. Of the more than 120 publications from our laboratory that relate to the above subjects, the following, arranged in six categories, are especially useful for instruction in the prior art.
Kudzu Recovery 60ct
Kudzu Recovery 120ct
Kudzu Root Extract 50caps
Kudzu Root Extract from Solaray 60ct