Search Term: " linoleic acid "
Argan Oil Benefits
May 28, 2019 11:07 AM
Moroccans have been using argan oil for centuries because it has a good, nufty flavor but also many health benefits. This has made the oil, derived from the fruit of the argan tree, very popular worldwide although it is native to Morocco. It is widely known and used for culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes. The author suggests some 12 uses of argan oil in the blog. One of the uses is that it contains essential nutrients which are usually fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid. These fatty acids are good sources for the health and also it contains a rich source of vitamin E. Another usefulness of argan oil is that is has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of its compounds that make this possible are vitamin E, CoQ10, melatonin, and plant sterols. The author states that more research is needed though to fully understand how argan oil is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Another good reason to use argan oil is that it boosts heart health. This is due to the omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid, it contains. Other reasons to use argan oil are found in the blog.
"Although native to Morocco, argan oil is now used across the globe for a variety of culinary, cosmetic and medicinal applications."
Read more: https://www.ecowatch.com/argan-oil-2634443123.html
Pistachios: Discover 7 reasons to eat this delicious nut
April 24, 2019 02:19 PM
Tree nuts can be a great addition to a healthy diet, and there is no better example of this than the pistachio. Pistachios are rich in antioxidants that help fight against aging, cancer and inflammation. Eating pistachios can also improve your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. They're a good source or protein, fiber and healthy fats. In fact, snacking on pistachios can actually help you lose weight because they make you feel full. Note that one serving of pistachios is about one ounce of unshelled nuts, which is just under 50 kernels. How you eat them (alone or added to salads, rice, desserts, etc.) and buy them (pre-shelled vs. shelling them yourself) is up to you.
"They’re super gut healthy and can increase the number of bacteria which produce the anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate (which protects against everything from obesity to autoimmune disorders)."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/pistachios-food-news-2805.html
Health benefits of mushrooms: 10 interesting health benefits of mushrooms nobody told you about
April 16, 2017 01:44 AM
If you don't eat mushrooms, you may be missing on the many health benefits they provide. Mushrooms contain copious amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein. They can help prevent prostate and breast cancer, maintain bone health, gives the immune system a boost, gets rid of anemia, fights free radicals, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, strengthens hair and teeth, and lowers blood pressure. Read this article for further details into this wondrous plant and then go eat some mushrooms!
"Mushrooms are fungi that do not contain chlorophyll and extract nutrients from decaying animal and plant matter."
Read more: https://in.news.yahoo.com/health-benefits-mushrooms-10-interesting-104312300.html
9 health benefits of hemp oil and hemp seeds
February 25, 2017 06:19 AM
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, omega 3 and insoluble fiber. They are a good source of tocopherols, or Vitamin E antioxidants. They're packed with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. High in essential fatty acids, Omega 6 and omega 3, hemp oil can be used to increase immunity, counteract aging skin and improve cardiovascular health. Several studies show that the linoleic acid present in hemp oil can slow down the aging process and fight psoriasis.
"Hemp seeds contain arginine and gamma-Linolenic acid, both of which have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease."
7 Reasons You Need CBD Oil in Your Kitchen (and Medicine Cabinet)
February 17, 2017 10:59 AM
With marijuana now legal in 26 states and the District of Columbia, the cry for more research on cannabis oil has spread. Many are pushing for the use of cannabis oil, which is a potent form of the plant, to treat cancer and seizures. Though the use of the oil to treat symptoms of diseases is not currently supported by the FDA, some cases have shown success in relieving pain, preventing seizures, and slowing down cancer tumors. It’s important to get use a trustworthy source and start with small doses until you know how you will react.
"Nausea is one of the most common reasons people turn to medical marijuana; synthetic THC has been administered to battle nausea in the UK since the early 80s, and many cancer patients choose to smoke marijuana to battle the effects of chemotherapy treatments."
7 Reasons You Need CBD Oil in Your Kitchen (and Medicine Cabinet)
January 23, 2017 10:59 AM
As Marijuana becomes more and more legal across the states, its plant leaves are becoming more popular tool. Oil from the leaves ,CBD oil, also has many great properties. It an affect the way you sleep helping you get a better nights rest. It also been known to change our mood and relieve your pain without any psychoactive properties. One of the most noteworthy reason to incoroporate this oil into daily life because it can help with cancer. It inhibits cell growth and manage seizures. The oil can be found all over as it is legal.
"First off, don’t confuse CBD oil with hemp oil — a nutritional oil more properly known as hempseed oil. Made from crushing hempseed or hemp hearts, hemp oil is very rich in linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids and antioxidants, and it has an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids."
Are These Factors Causing Inflammation In Your Body?
November 08, 2016 03:04 PM
Inflammation is caused by a number of factors. For instance, the hormonal changes experienced by women during menopause can cause chronic inflammation. The production of the hormone cortisol during stressful moments can also contribute to inflammation. Some foods are another possible contributor. For instance, polyunsaturated oils like peanut, soybean and corn lead to inflammation. Consuming a diet balanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fats can help balance this out. Inflammation can have negative long-term consequences on the body, so it’s best to consult a doctor and make healthy lifestyle choices.
"Along with other factors, there are certain foods that you consume which might end up causing inflammation. These are regular food items that we have without even realising that they are the cause of inflammation."
Everybody Should Switch Back To Butter, It Is the healthier Choice
Years ago, there was a push to switch to vegetable oil. Unfortunately, most everybody didn't realize that vegetable oil is not a healthy choice. Vegetable oil is mostly made up of Omega-6, American diets have 30 to 100:1 omega-6 : omega-3 ratio. Omega-6 is bad for the body when it is the dominant oil in our diets. Omega-6 causes inflammation in the body. Most Americans have chronic inflammation, consuming vegetable oil does not help matters at all. Everybody should switch back to Butter.
Have you had your butter today?
Bulletproof coffee - coconut and butter does improve health
A cup of coffee is a common thing that most of people drink in the morning. However, since many people realized that coconut oil and butter are healthy fats (Axe, 2016), they started replacing cream with them. This coconut and/or butter coffee is known as bulletproof coffee and it is a new trend of healthy morning drink. It has been extremely popular all over the world.
Coconut oil has so many benefits for your body, such as:
· Increases your energy - its ingredient, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides), is absorbed by the body and metabolized as fuel more quickly (Tifanny, 2016).
· Improves your immune system - There is a lot of lauric acid in coconut oil that is effective to prevent and cure many viruses (WebMD in Tifanny, 2016).
· Improves brain function – Its fatty acid plays an important role in memory and brain functions (Axe, 2016).
· Promotes heart health – Coconut oil contains good cholesterol that is good for your heart (Axe, 2016).
· Acts as anti-inflammatory – Antioxidant content makes coconut an effective anti-inflammatory food that help reduce arthritis (Axe, 2016).
· Is good for hair and skin – It is able to smoothen and tighten the skin, as well as maintain healthy hair (Axe, 2016).
On the other hand, butter also offers many advantages for your health, such as:
· Prevents and treats many diseases - Omega 3 fatty acids in butter are essential for growth, as well as prevention and treatment of arthritis, coronary artery disease, cancer, inflammation, and high blood pressure (Leonard, 2016).
· Improves your brain, blood circulation, and hormonal system – It helps prevent neurodegenerative and heart diseases, increase energy expenditure, and act as anti-inflammatory (NN, 2014).
· Is good for bones and blood circulation – Butter contains vitamin K that plays an important role in blood clotting and keeping the bones strong (Leonard, 2016).
· Helps with weight loss – It makes you feel full for a longer period and its conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is an effective aid for losing weight (Leonard, 2016).
· Reduces caffeine sensitivity – Butter fat can protect the stomach from shakes and nausea caused by caffeine (Leonard, 2016).
· Boosts the energy – It provides more sustained energy for the body (Leonard, 2016).
· Accelerates metabolism and digestion – Vitamin A, D, and E contained in butter are easily absorbed by the body and stored in gastrointestinal tract (Axe, 2016).
Based on the facts above, coconut and butter coffee is a healthy drink. However, excessive consumption of this bulletproof coffee is not good. Healthy fats can only function effectively in the body if the amounts taken are mooderate, not more and not less. Moreover, drink this coffee as the replacement of your breakfast is not recommended since it does not have enough essential nutrients (Gunnars, 2016).
Black Seed Oil Health Benefits
Black seed oil is derived from black cumin seeds. Black seeds, also known as black cumin seeds, black caraway or kalonji have been used medicinally since ancient times. In cooking, they are added as a whole for flavoring dishes. The seeds come from the annual flowering plant, Nigella sativa, which is indigenous to Asia. Just like the seeds, black cumin seed oil is highly prized for its culinary and therapeutic applications.
Black seed oil is a multivitamin loaded with nutrients. It contains Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, linoleic acid, Selenium, Oleic acid and vitamins A, B, B2 and C. This light brown oil is slightly bitter and has a mildly pungent aroma. Possessing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this oil is effective in treating many external and internal health problems.
Here are some benefits of Black Seed Oil:
The nigellone in black seed oil helps open up the lung’s air passages and makes a person breathe easier. This oil is thus considered effective against respiratory problems. The oil can be used internally and externally to fight problems like cough, bronchitis and asthma.
Nigella sativa can be used to treat several skin problems due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Acne sufferers can mix the oil with honey and use it as an acne treatment mask. The oil helps renew cells and heals acne scars. Apart from this, it can also be used to treat fungal infections. Since skin infections are caused by bacteria and fungus, this oil can be used to treat many skin infections.
Pure oil extracted from black seeds can be added to routine hair and nail care regimen. The vitamins present in this oil helps improve hair texture and strengthen hair the natural way. Some of the improvements can also be observed in nail health.
The carminative action of black seed oil makes it an excellent remedy for reducing bloating and other digestion problems. Adding this oil in your cooking is a simple way to combat indigestion and excess gas formation.
This oil contains thymoquinone, a powerful antioxidant that helps flush out toxins from the body. Regular consumption of this oil can help improve your general health.
The Dangers of Vegetable Oil
More often than not, when we see the words vegetable oil, we assume that it is good for us since vegetables are essentially beneficial for the body. The truth of the matter is that this kind of oil is mostly derived from seeds such as sunflower, soybean and corn, not from any kind of vegetable at all. Aside from this, their extraction requires a process that uses up a lot of energy and is not good for the environment.
Unsaturated fats, otherwise known as trans fats, are fats that are usually solid at room temperature but processed in such a way that they are not when they come in the form of oils derived from seeds. These contribute to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. The sad part is that although there are so many calls to action regarding minimizing the presence of trans fats in food; there is very little that has been done regarding their presence in vegetable oils. How trans fats were developed or discovered will show how scary it actually is. It was discovered while looking for an alternative to tallow which is an ingredient for candle wax. It was cheap and convenient to harness and use. The reason why it is widely used is because of its extended shelf life. It can also be reused several dozen times for frying without changing flavor or adding a rancid taste to the food fried in it.
The process of extracting the oils from their sources requires a lot of heating and, for some, even exposure to acids and metals which contribute to the "mutation" that these oils undergo. Hydrogenated vegetable oil confuses our bodies into thinking that they are good for us. This is mainly due to the processes that changes their form. HVO alters the structure of our cells, making them weak and lowering the good cholesterol as well as raising the bad. Our bodies welcome these fats and do not treat them as a danger although their presence does, in fact, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Vegetable oils can also cause imbalances in the composition of our fatty acids. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are not produced by our bodies. Therefore, we need to supplement these from our diets and daily consumption in pretty much the same amounts to balance their presence in the body. Polyunsaturated fats from HVO that causes the mutation in our cell membranes can lead to oxidative chain reactions which are harmful to our cells. In essence, our cells are made weak and the chances of alterations to our DNA are increased. Omega 6 is abundant in HVO because it helps to slow the deterioration of the vegetable oil. It can cause an imbalance to the cell membrane causing inflammation in various parts of the body. One component of Omega 6 that is highly dangerous is linoleic acid. It has been linked to obesity, high levels of bad cholesterol and even damage to the brain's hypothalamus.
These are just a few of the dangers that come with using so called vegetable oils. These dangers are kept under wraps because of the massive income that the food industry will lose if it changes the oils used for cooking and preparing food.
Health Benefits and Side effects of Grape Seed Oil.
March 08, 2014 09:09 AM
Grape seed history
Grape seed oil has been used for centuries to prevent and cure some diseases. In modern world, grape seed oil has been used to manufacture cooking oil and health practitioners recommend it use due to its health benefits.
Some of its health benefit includes.
It has is rich in antioxidants compounds, these compounds are very important because they help to eliminate free radicals in the body.
Grape seed oil improves heart functions, it is rich in HDL cholesterol which prevents heart diseases. This oil lowers the LDL cholesterol which is a major cause of heart diseases.
It is very beneficial to people suffering diabetes, it contains linoleic acid which is unsaturated fatty acid which is effective in alleviating diabetes.
It is beneficial to blood vessels especially capillaries. Grape seed oil strengthens and repairs damaged blood vessel. This helps to alleviate conditions such as, spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
It is also very beneficial to people suffering arthritis. Grape seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties which have soothing effects, they provide relief against swelling and pain caused by arthritis.
Grape seed oil is also very important to the skin, it alleviate skin acnes and blisters.
Grape seed oil is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids which have multiple benefits. Omega 3 increases concentration power, mind power and also general body health. Kids who have used grape seed oil have recorded increased concentration and improved performance in academics.
Grape seed oil moisturizes skin and boost skin tone. It has astringent properties which help to tighten and to tone skin. This makes users to be attractive, this boost self-confidence.
Although grape seed oil has various benefit to the body, it has some side effects. Some of the seed effects includes;
People who are allergic to grapes are not fit to use grape seed oil.
Those under ant-coagulate are still not fit to use this product.
User may suffer increase blood pressure, dizziness, headache, indigestion and nausea.
Health Benefits Of Almond Oil
March 07, 2014 04:04 PM
What is almond
Almonds are fruits of deciduous trees that are originally found in North Africa and Asia. There are two varieties of almonds, sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds can be used to produce essential oil, and extract. Almond extract is often used as an alternative to vanilla extracts in diabetic safe recipes. Bitter almonds contain a toxic amount of prussic acid that can be converted to cyanide during refining, consequently prussic acid has to be leached out, before it can be suitable for human consumption.
Both bitter and sweet almond oil can be produced from two different almond trees. From the sweet almond tree, we produce sweet almond oil and an emulsion. From the bitter almond tree we produce the essential oil of almonds (it is nearly pure benzaldehyde), a less amount of fixed oil, and an emulsion that yields cyanide, and glucose.
Health Benefits Of Almond Oil
1. Skin- The two oils have different health benefits to the skin. Sweet almond oil is a good lubricant and is beneficial for sensitive, dry skin. It is composed of olein, glucosides, and linoleic acid. It also contains minerals, vitamins and protein, as a result it nourishes and revitalizes the skin. It is used as a carrier oil in face serums.
Its other benefits include:
Bitter almond oil as mentioned above is nearly 100% benzaldehyde, it does not contain any cyanide. It isn’t used in any direct way for skin care. It is used mainly because of its wonderful almond flavor or scent.
2. Hair- Sweet almond oil contains omega 6 fatty acids, which stimulates hair growth. It strengthens hair, nourishes the hair follicles, moisturizes the scalp, and prevents dandruff. It also makes hair thicker and stronger, as well as smoothing and nourishing hair cuticles.
3. Body- Sweet almond oil contains antioxidants that are useful in eliminating free radicals and toxins from the body. It assists digestion, aiding the assimilation of nutrients, and can be used to cure constipation. It contains mono-saturated fats and antioxidants that help in preventing heart disease. Sweet almond oil helps in maintaining the proper level of cholesterol by decreasing the level of LDL, and increasing the level of HDL in the body. It contains folic acid, which is important in preventing birth defects in pregnancy. It also contains phenylalanine and riboflavin that improve neurological function.
Does CLA Help With Weight Loss?
November 21, 2012 03:27 PM
Millions of people are suffering due to obesity. Obesity brings along various diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, joint problems, and much more. It seems everywhere you look, you will finds over weight people. If you are overweight, you already know how difficult it is to lose weight. Wouldn't it be great if you can get some help in this endeavor? Now you can easily increase the amount of weight you can lose by just popping a pill.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) Benefits
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a good fatty acid that is very important for your body metabolism. When you supplement your diet with significant amount of CLA, it can increase your body metabolism and the rate at which your body burns fat. However, you must keep in mind that these supplements work only when you follow a strict exercise and diet regime. The reason why CLA works is because it has an ability to disrupt the process of fat storage in human body. The storage of fast cells adds pounds to one's weight and within a short time, one becomes obese.
These fat cells stubbornly holds onto their fat stores and it becomes very difficult to get rid of this abdominal fat. CLA has the ability to move this fast and convert them into muscle cells where they are burned off during exercises. Once fat cells have been destroyed, it prevents the rebound weight gain. All fat calories are directly sent to muscles for being burned away and are not stored as fasts.
In fact, regular intake of CLA can easily maintain a prefect balance between body fast and muscles. However, you must keep in mind that you won't get immediate results by taking CLA supplements. For instance, if you are 60 pounds overweight, then you cannot lose 40 pounds in a month. These supplements can show results when you take them on long term basis and combine it with workouts.
A good CLA supplement can make the difference when you are interested in getting rid of your excess fat. Add this supplement to your diet and follow an exercise routine and within a short time you will notice a considerable difference in the way you look and feel.
Grape Seed Extract
November 13, 2012 07:58 AM
Grape seed extract ( also known as vitis viniferal) is a substance derived or sourced by manufacturers and industries from whole grape seeds. Grape seed extract was discovered in the Ancient Greece and many parts or sections of the grape were commonly used for different medicinal purposes.
Grape seeds have a high concentration of Vitamin E, linoleic acid, Flavonoids and Opcs. Its health benefits. Its said to help protect the body against cancer. Studies done by scientists in laboratories have demonstrated that grape seed can actually help fight and protect against the free Radicals attacks in the body ( Radical attacks are Chemical by products which are known to lead or cause damage to the DNA of the body thus leading to cancer).
Grapeseed extract and Diabetes
According to a 2009 study on 32 type 2 diabetic subjects at high cardiovascular risk, it was seen that extract played a significant therapeutic role or part in decreasing cardiovascular risks.The grape seed extract greatly improved the markers of glycemia and inflammation which showed that the grape seed extract helped in decreasing cardiovascular risks in the type 2 diabetic patients.It is also known to help in eye diseases related to diabetes.
Still in 2009, a study done on patients with a Metabolic syndrome revealed that the extract significantly lowered the chances of having type 2 diabetes and developing a heart disease. It can also help in a type of poor circulation called 'chronic venous insufficiency'. In addition it helps in high cholesterol conditions, it reduces swelling caused in injuries. The primary cause for aging is 'oxidative stress' which is normally caused by free Radical attacks (Mentioned earlier).
To protect against Oxidation the body needs Vitamin E and C, the extract contains a high concentration of Vitamin E which helps curb oxidation. Grape seed extract (as noted earlier) also helps in fighting the free Radicals that cause oxidation thus slowing down the aging process.
Flaxseed oil benefits
July 09, 2012 08:32 AM
Flaxseed oil is extracted from the flax plant which is native to Europe. The flaxseed plant has the botanical name of Linum Usitsissimum and also goes by the name linseed plant. The flax plant is an annual plant which grows to a height of around 1.2 meters. It has glaucous green leaves and normally produces pale blue flowers with five petals. The seeds from this plant are normally brown in color and are contained in a round capsule, these seeds are the ones normally used to produce flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil has also very many health benefits associated with it.
Flaxseed oil extraction
Oil has to be first extracted from the flax plant before it can be used. The oil is usually obtained from the flax seed through a certain physical and chemical processes that are usually aimed at increasing its purity.
The normal procedure is usually to mechanically cold press the seeds so as to produce the oil. Solvent extraction usually follows up if the oil required is to have a high level of purity. The oil obtained is normally clear to yellowish color depending on the level of purity.
Components of flaxseed oil
Linseed oil or flaxseed oil is triglyceride in nature like many other types of essential oils. The main components of the oil include: Omega 3 fatty acid this acid is very essential to the body but has to be obtained from external sources since the body cannot make it. Omega 9 or oleic fatty acid, Omega 6 fatty acid or linoleic acid, Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant for the body system.
The combined effect of these compounds usually provides the body with a lot of health benefits. The health benefits associated with linseed oil have been known for thousands of years and there is documented cases of its use amongst the ancient Romans.
Some of the benefits associated with linseed oil include Cardiovascular well being.
This is one of the most important health benefits associated with the use of this kid of oil. Omega 3 or alpha-linoleic fatty acid is the compound which is attributed to a healthy heart and cardiovascular well being of an individual. This fatty acid acts as a lubricating cushion and hence helps to counteract the stresses the body might undergo. It also has anti inflammatory properties.
It is also important in maintaining the rigidity of cell membranes and also lowers the amount of harmful cholesterol within the body.
The omega 3 that is contained in flaxseed oil has got anti inflammatory properties that makes it an effective tool against arthritis as it reduces the inflammation of joints.
Reduces risk of cancer
Vitamin E contained within flaxseed oil has got anti-oxidant properties which make sit effective against the occurrence of cancer. Omega 3 has also got anticancer propertiesHealthy skin The compounds that make up flaxseed oil are very effective in the elimination of eczema and acne. Therefore, the use of cosmetic products which have linseed oil incorporated in them can go a long way in ensuring that an individual has a young and beautiful skin.
Increases calcium absorption
Research has shown that linseed oil increases calcium absorption within the body. This is very important for women who are in the post- menopausal period as their bone density normally drops during this period and they require increased calcium intake. Linseed oil has also instrumental in burning calories and also increases the body's metabolic rate. It is therefore recommended that an individual should incorporate this oil into h9is or her diet.
The Health Benefits Of Taking Spirulina
June 26, 2012 09:18 PM
Spirulina is a food supplements which has more than twice the quantities of protein than beef thus making it a great source of proteins especially to people who do not use beef such as vegetarians and those who are restricted by medical reasons amongst others. The supplement derives its name from the fact that it is made from a green-blue algae which do well in alkaline waters and goes by the same name. Beside proteins, Spirulina also contains other important minerals which include vitamin B12, gamma linolic acid (GLA), beta-carotene and chlorophyll. The supplement is popular amongst many people with health problem or those who wish to maintain their good health because it has several health benefits.
Strengthening the immune system
Several studies have proofed that Spirulina have the necessary components that assists in boosting the body's immune system. Some of the vital components that play a significant role in improving the body's immune system include the gamma-linoleic acid which is also found in breast milk. This justifies the ability of the acid to boost immune system since in breast milk it helps children to obtain and boost the already existing immune systems. Hence the supplement is ideal to be used by people who have health conditions that reduce their immune levels.
Reduce chances of contracting several forms of cancer
Spirulina is also rich in beta-carotene which has been traditionally known as amongst the primary substances that can significantly reduce chances of developing cancer. This means that if the supplement is properly used, then the people using it have significantly lower chances of getting several forms of cancer. Consequently, it is very popular amongst people who are more prone of getting cancer because of various reasons such as genetic reasons and working in conditions that might increase chances of getting cancer amongst others.
Increasing body energy
Spirulina is also endowed with components which play a significant role in improving the general body energy. The particular nutrient that plays this role is vitamin B12 which is recognized and established as a critical source of body energy. Furthermore, the vitamin from this supplement is superior when compared with those from other supplements since it is not readily destroyed by stomach acid since it is derived from a substance which can endure and survive even in harsh conditions. Thus Spirulina is an ideal supplement to be used for fatigue since it is almost guaranteed to provide the necessary body energy.
Spirulina is also ideal to be used by people who do extensive exercises and activities which might require long endurance such as athletes. This is because the supplement is rich in proteins and carbohydrates which are known to rebuild worn out muscles and also provide the much needed energy from the carbohydrate components to people who might need to withstand tiring activities for long. The most appropriate time to use the supplement with aims of deriving the endurance benefits is just before starting the exercise so that it can work during the exercises. Hence Spirulina is an ideal supplement for people who might want to derive its various benefits.
The Major Health Benefits Of Hemp
April 06, 2012 07:47 AM
Hemp is the only food with the largest amount of protein available on earth. It is easily digestible and it is the only food with a wide range of proteins. These include important fatty acids and amino acids. It is the only food that supplies the human body with all dietary needs at once. Thus, it is the only food that is capable of sustaining human life alone without other nutritional supplements.
Apart from being a good source of proteins, hemp supplies the body with important minerals and vitamins. However, the most important component of this food is the essential fatty acids. These include the alpha-linolenic (omega 3) and linoleic acids (omega 6). These two categories of fat are important in the body because human body is not capable of manufacturing them. Therefore, they have to be consumed in the daily meals. The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in hemp is 3:1. This is close to the 4.0 on average as the optimum recommendation of the world health organization for a human diet.
It plays an important role in various organs of the body including:
Hemp has important nutrients are that are essential for the good health of the human heart. These are the essential fatty acids which play a very important role in ensuring the health of the heart. Several studies have revealed that substituting saturated fats with healthy polyunsaturated reduced risk of cardiac arrest. Such fats are found in hemp and are important in preventing sudden cardiac arrhythmia. They also reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood. Hemp has important fats that also decrease build-up of cellular in the arteries. This is very important as it is associated with a condition known as atherosclerosis. Phytosterol contained in hemp plays an important role in reducing cholesterol in the blood by about ten percent.
Human brain has a large portion that includes essential fat acids. Since hemp supplies the body with these fats, it becomes essential for brain health. It is also vital for proper memory function. Diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are preventable with consumption of hemp. The Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids also help in delaying or reducing neurological effects that come with these diseases. This improves the kind of life led by individuals with such diseases.
Essential fatty acids play an important role in ensuring healthy skin. Perhaps, this is why hemp seed has been used as an ingredient in various cosmetic products. The Lipids allow the acids to permeate via the skin. Hemp component in the cosmetic products help to nourish the skin directly. Hemp is also very beneficial to people with psoriasis and eczema skin conditions.
These are just the major benefits of hemp in the human body. Others include increasing of metabolic rate and energy levels, improving immunity and organic function, among others. Hemp is also crucial in the prevention of degenerative diseases and this proves why it is crucial for positive human health. This food provides a lasting solution to various health complications and you may as well try it and enjoy its benefits.
Health benefits of Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids
March 08, 2012 06:50 AM
What AreThe Benefits Of Omega-3-6-9?
In order to maintain the normal function of the body, it is important that our diet consists of the right amounts of various fatty acids. These are organic compounds made up of carbon chains of various lengths, with one end having an acid group and a hydrogen on the end all attached to the carbons in the chain. Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids are vital ingredients that play important roles in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are referred to as essential fatty acids because they cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from foods such as nuts, fish or plant oils such as canola and sunflower. These essential fatty acids exists in three types, alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid each with an important role to play in the body.
The alpha-linolenic acid help to reduce the high risks of stroke and heart disease by lowering cholesterol level and slowing down the production of harmful triglyceride in the liver while at the same time raising the level of high-density lipoproteins, HDL or good cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the accumulation of harmful fat in the arteries and promote the elastic nature of the blood vessels.
Both eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids promote the development of the eye and brain, reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases, and may aid in preventing Alzheimer's disease. A study based on eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids conducted on a ten year period on individuals who had high risk of death from heart disease revealed a 40% decrease in cardiovascular disease and a dramatic reduction in mortality rate.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from chicken, eggs, dairy products and various plant oils such as corn oil, rice bran oil among others. In association with its derivative, the alpha-linoleic acid they aid in production of prostaglandin which plays a vital role in promoting the normal function of the brain, nerve and immune system.
They also help in reducing incidences of coronary artery disease by lowering the level of cholesterol in the arteries. By consuming the right amounts of essential fatty acids, a balance is achieved and both essential oils work synergistically to promote the overall health of the body by preventing various inflammatory disorders.
Omega-9 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fats commonly found in animals fats and vegetables and are also called monosaturated fats or oleic acids. They are usually produced by the body unlike the essential fatty acids but can also be obtained from various plant oils such as sunflower, olive, canola as well as other mono-saturated fats. Research studies have revealed that the mono-saturated fatty acids may help in reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
This is because, they have been found to play an important role in increasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol and decreasing the level of high-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body. They also prevent the unwanted plaque deposits in the arteries and this reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Despite the fact that Omega-3-6-9 individually play different roles in the body, it is clear that striking a balance of the essential fatty acids plus non-essential fatty acids is important for promoting the overall health of the body.
The Benefits of GLA to Women
June 15, 2011 11:10 AM
GLA, otherwise known as gamma linolenic acid or Omega-6 fatty acid, has been found to benefit women's health in a number of ways. For example, supplements of GLA have been found to reduce many symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, depression and breast pain. The reason for this may be due to the fact that at this time the metabolism of women is less able to convert dietary linoleic acid to GLA, the normal biochemical pathway for its production.
GLA is also of benefit to menopausal women, for whom it has been found to reduce the number of night flushes. GLA also helps to maintain fetal development in terms of new tissue grown and organ development, and in fact fetus development involves fairly high essential fatty acid consumption. Many women take one or two capsules of evening primrose oil intravaginally to soften the cervix in preparation for childbirth.
However, a small number of sources state that taking GLA in the latter stages of pregnancy should be avoided, so you should seek the advice of your doctor or physician on this question.
Essential fatty acids are essential for proper hormone production in women and men.
Make sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids daily!
Is There Any Benefit to Taking Grape Seed Extract?
April 15, 2011 02:12 PM
Grape Seed Extract And Your Health!Grape seed extract has been linked to many health benefits. It is entirely derived from grape products, but contains higher concentrations of organic compounds naturally occurring in grape seeds. It has long been known that grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds while grape seeds have more phytochemicals. In addition to their long list of all-natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, grape seed extracts contain the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, the reason why they are exceptionally good for the skin.
Accelerates Wound Healing
The circulatory system is the best venue for nutrient distribution throughout the body. The tissues that have direct access to the blood vessels are more likely to receive nourishment and heal faster in the process. Grape seed extracts induce the productions of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of healthy blood vessels, thereby accelerating wound healing in any part of the body.
Improves Bone Density
Grape seed extracts have been noted to increase bone mass and strength. The bones are the primary storage of inorganic minerals in the human body, like elemental calcium. As such, they undergo a lifetime cycle of resorption and reabsorption to respond to the mineral needs of other body parts. Any imbalance in the process may result in bone porosity. It is postulated that the phytochemical content of grape seed extracts inhibits bone resorption.
Promotes Integumentary Health
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, are of special note for their unique antioxidant activities. They are capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. At the same time, they protect the skin, the scalp, and the rest of the integumentary system from the harmful oxidative effects of ultraviolet rays. Grape seed extracts are particularly rich in OPCs, which have been tied to impede skin tumor growth.
Shows Cardioprotective Effects
Grape seed extracts contain an abundance of organic compounds that promote cardiovascular health. First, it has shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. Second, its antioxidant properties prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which results in the formation of arterial plaques if subjected to oxidative stress. Third, grape seed extracts reduce complications of preexisting cardiovascular disorders.
Eases Digestive Problems
Grapes have long been reputed as a digestive in many cultures. Grape seed extracts, having flavonoids with bioactive properties, serve as a cleanser of the alimentary canal. They aid digestion and modulate the effects of enzymes on food. The same organic compounds limit the growth of microorganisms that populate the colon, which is the cause of many disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Grape seed extracts contain phenolics that interfere with the metabolism of sugars in the oral cavity. The bacteria that take up residence in the mouth rely on the availability of saccharine compounds, and they thrive well in the presence of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Dental carries result from an abundance of these sugars and a growing bacterial population. Grape seed extracts impact both.
As you can see, grape seed extract has many health benefits. All who want to keep their body’s working in tip top shape should be taking grape seed extract daily!
Why Do We Need Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) And What Source Is Best?
February 15, 2011 05:03 PM
EFA's can boost Your Health
Essential fatty acids are organic compounds that the human body necessitates to support healthy functions of organs and tissues but lack the ability to synthesize. Two fatty acids make up this group: (1) alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, and (2) linoleic acid, LA. Also referred to as EFAs, they are ubiquitous at the cellular level, but known to play an active role in neuronal and vascular tissues as well as in inflammation.
Maintains Cellular Health
One of the most recent advancements in cellular science is the discovery of lipid rafts, which are a part of the bilipid layer of cell membranes specialized for trafficking of cellular molecules, such as proteins and receptors. Also, these lipid rafts have an effect on the viscosity of cell membranes, thereby influencing fluidity that governs membrane-dependent functions of cells such as cellular signaling and phagocytosis, the mechanism by which cells swallow extracellular debris including pathogenic stimuli. Due to its being less stiff and more fluid, essential fatty acids make up cell membranes.
Modulates Neuronal Activities
It has long been postulated that learning and memory is influenced by the availability of intracellular substances known as endocannabinoids in a process called retrograde signaling. Unlike other neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids act on presynaptic cells while produced in postsynaptic cells, and by so doing enhances the signal transmission between nerve cells. Essential fatty acids are converted into endocannabinoids, which are produced on demand, and thus daily intake of EFA is a must. In addition, EFA has for years been in use as a treatment for depression and in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Regulates Inflammatory Responses
The right amounts of essential fatty acids present inside the human body significantly contribute to the inflammatory responses of the immune system. There are chemical compounds that are produced by the body only in the presence of essential fatty acids, and a number of these compounds are essential to the process of healing and other processes implicated during inflammation. This is the reason why intake of EFA is highly regarded as a therapeutic remedy for reducing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and autoimmune illnesses.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
There is high risk of heart attack and related cardiovascular diseases in populations with low levels of essential fatty acids. Especially for individuals who are dependent on drugs that are known to cause oxidative stress in vascular tissues, susceptibility to damages of the blood vessel linings sets the stage for the buildup of macrophages and bad cholesterol in the form of arterial plaques. These plaques contribute to the thinning of the vascular passageways characteristic of atherosclerosis.
There is a reason why alpha linolenic acid and linoleic acid are considered essential fatty acids. They are a vital component of a healthy body with well-functioning organs and tissues. Good thing we have a wide list of food sources rich in EFA, which includes the oils of hemp, soya, canola, and wheat germ. EFA is also abundant in seeds of sunflower, chia, pumpkin, and flax.
EFA's should be an essential part of everyone's diet, have you had your EFA's today?
Essential Fatty Acids and our Health
March 26, 2010 05:18 PM
Essential fatty acids are also known as vitamin F or polyunsaturates. They must be supplied through the diet because the body is unable to make them. For this reason, they are referred to as essential. There are three basic types of essential fatty acids: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. linoleic acid is the most vital of these because it can be converted to linolenic and arachidonic acid. All of these are necessary for cell structure and all body functions. Essential fatty acids are required by every cell in the body. These substances are responsible for transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, into the body.
Essential fatty acids are extremely important for a healthy body, with linoleic acid being the most essential of the fatty acids. EPA and DHA are included in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in marine lipids. Research has determined that these reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-6 fatty acids, which include GLA, are usually found in plant sources.
The most common forms of omega-3 fatty acids are EPA, DHA, and alpha-linolenic acid, which helps to create EPA and DHA. When animals eat plants that are rich in linolenic acid, they produce omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in the oils of cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, bluefish, herring, tuna, and mackerel. EPA and DHA are liquids and remain so, which protects the fish by staying fluid even in cold temperatures.
Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in fresh-pressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts. Gamma-linolenic acid also known as G L A is the most common form of omega-6 and has been found to have a variety of health benefits. It is responsible for helping to facilitate weight loss in overweight persons, but not those who do not need to lose weight. Additionally, GLA reduces platelet aggregation and helps to reduce symptoms depression. GLA may even help to alleviate PMS symptoms.
Essential fatty acids are able to help with a variety of disorders in the body. To name a few, they help to reduce blood pressure, aid in arthritis, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce inflammation, improve skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema, and aid in nerve impulse transmissions. Additionally, essential fatty acids help with brain function, learning, and memory.
Numerous symptoms can result from a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. These include fatigue, lack of endurance, dry skin, allergies, high blood pressure, angina, aching, frequent colds, digestive problems, dry hair, immune weakness, forgetfulness, depression, and arthritis. The symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency can be extremely vague, often going unnoticed by health-care providers.
Essential fatty acids are so important that deficiencies can often be linked to a variety of symptoms. They contain superior nutritional support to encourage health and vitality in the body. Many individuals lack these essential nutrients, which are responsible for providing support for the immune system and health. The body needs these vital nutrients in order to function.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by essential fatty acids, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store. Vita Net health food store carries a large selection of fatty acid supplements at discount prices. Stop in today and browse our large selection of name brand vitamins today.
Flax Seed Oil Supplement
December 29, 2008 01:13 PM
The majority of Americans know to some extent that there is a an association between a high-fat diet and serious health problems including heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes complications, and cancer. However, what a lot of people are unaware of is that the kind of fat that we take into our bodies is as important as regulating the amount.
This notion was first observed by researchers in the early 1950s and is made particularly clear when observing the Eskimo diet versus the standard American diet. Because Eskimos routinely eat a diet that is full of animal fat, it is a wonder why they do not suffer from the cardiovascular disease that is associated with these foods as Americans do.
The explanation of this is because Eskimos eat a great deal of fish, which is a food that is high in unsaturated fats, which work to prohibit the harmful effects that saturated fats produce. Saturated fat is often associated with harmful disease, and comes from animals, while unsaturated fat comes from vegetables and can actually work to inhibit the effects of saturated fats. Put simply, it is safe to say that the two types of fats work to cancel each other out. Saturated fats found in foods such as margarine, shortening, and most prepared foods negatively affect the way that the body uses unsaturated fats, while the reverse is also true.
A diet that is low in levels of saturated fats ad high in levels of unsaturated ones can help to protect the body against heart disease and cancer. This counteractive effect works because of the presence of two specific fats which function as essential fatty acids, which are needed in the body in order to properly function. However, the body cannot produce these essential fatty acids on its own and without them, deficiency symptoms develop and growth ceases. Because the body can not produce its own essential fatty acids, it relies on food sources that supply them. The problems result because the typical American diet does not provide a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids.
There are two primary types of essential fatty acids: linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, the body needs both of these acids in order for it to function properly and have normal cellular structure. The main difference between the two is basically a structural one, leading two the identification of two different oils: omega-3 and omega-6. A balance of these two oils is needed by the body in order for it to function at an optimal level.
linoleic acid is responsible for transportation of water across the skin and the proper functioning of the pituitary gland. It is beneficial in the treatment of many skin conditions and in growth and development therapies. Alpha-linolenic acid, on the other hand, offers protective effects against coronary heart disease and stroke and benefits those who are suffering from migraines, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
There are two main sources of fatty acids: fish oil and flaxseed oil. Fish oil has many benefits, while flaxseed oil may have greater benefits at a more economical price. If one doesn’t like the smell of fish then the flaxseed oil alternative is more appealing and has very little smell while still retaining the health benefits that omega supplements provide.
Celery Seed Extract Standardized
October 30, 2008 05:36 PM
Despite being relatively unknown within western medicine, Celery (apium graveolens) has been cultivated as food and used to promote good health for thousands of years throughout the world. In its earliest applications, Mediterranean and Ayurvedic practitioners relied on celery to address a wide range of health concerns, including respiratory challenges, fatigue, and physical distress. Some of the most recent scientific studies, however, have identified a number of potentially beneficial active compounds in Celery, including volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins, and linoleic acid. One of the most significant and promising is 3nB (3-n-butylphthalide), the compound that gives celery its distinctive taste and aroma. The celery seed extract used in this formula is standardized 85% total phthalides calculated as 3nB. Studies have shown that 3nB appears to help support a normal inflammatory response and blood pressure within the healthy range. Additionally, research has suggested that 3nB may be able to increase cranial blood flow.
Celery Circulation is an innovative circulatory support formula designed to encourage a balanced inflammatory response while increasing blood flow through its vasodilatation properties. For enhanced support, it includes standardized extracts from horse chestnut (minimum 20% total triterpene glycosides) and hawthorn (minimum 1.8% Vitexin).
Essential Fatty Acids (omega-3) ( Primrose Oil)
September 11, 2008 09:04 AM
A deficiency in essential fatty acids can be linked to many ailments. When the body lacks linoleic acid in the diet, adverse symptoms result. Such symptoms include: acne, changes in personality or behavior, gallbladder dysfunction, slow healing wounds, cardiovascular problems, prostate inflammation, thirst due to excessive perspiration, arthritis, miscarriage, poor growth, kidney problems, muscle tremors, skin disorders, and sterility in males. Low contents or a lack of linolenic acid in the diet can also cause many adverse symptoms. These symptoms include poor growth, learning disability, tingling in the extremities, impaired motor coordination, and poor vision.
When adequate amounts of dietary fatty acids are obtained in the deficient person, adverse symptoms will disappear. Unfortunately, long-term deficiencies of essential fatty acids can eventually lead to death. Because the human body requires forty-five known essential nutrients and requires linoleic acid more than any other, researchers estimate that the body needs at least three to six grams a day of linoleic acid in order to prevent deficiency symptoms. This is equivalent to one to two percent of your daily caloric intake.
However, a much larger amount can be helpful to encourage and preserve optimum health. Although the requirements are different for each person, factors such as stress, diet, and amount of physical activity that is engaged in daily must be taken into account. For example, an obese person who eats a lot of saturated fats will need a lot more essential fatty acids than a thin person who is cautious about the amount of saturated fats that are included in their diet. Saturated fats interfere with the absorption and metabolism of linoleic acid.
A well-balanced diet will include primary nutrients such as vitamins B3, B6, C, zinc, and vitamin A. This will help the body to utilize essential fatty acids much more efficiently. It should be mentioned that the ability of lipids to hold high levels of oxygen has negative effects for those who are obese. By having increased oxygen in fat reserves, one can experience lipid oxidation, which leads to free radical formation, which in turn increases many tissue pathologies. In order to avoid this process, a diet or supplementation that is rich in antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E is encouraged. Many factors can get in the way of fatty acid metabolism. These include a diet that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol, aging, alcohol, high blood sugar, viral infections, and aspirin use.
It is recommended that people stay away from fats that have been altered from their normal, health-giving state to the point in which they actually cause damage to the cells of the body. In an ideal state, a person who is health conscious will avoid any foods that are deep-fried, as they are especially dangerous to the human body. However, because we are all humans, it is almost impossible to eat a perfect diet in this day and age.
Therefore, taking an essential fatty acid supplement is a great idea that is recommended by many health experts to offset the damage that is often done to your body by consuming the unwanted, yet inevitable, bad fats. Essential fatty acids can regulate hormone production in the body and stabilize ones emotional state if it is due to a hormone imbalance. Have you had your essential fatty acids today?
Evening Primrose Oil
September 04, 2008 09:08 AM
The tiny seeds of the evening primrose flower are the source of oil that has been valued in the world for building health and overcoming a lot of common health problems. Evening primrose, also known as evening star, night willow herb, scabish, and tree primrose, has a recorded history of at least 500 years of use for its health promoting properties. Growing in a wider variety of climates, the plant can be found in rocky roadsides, shallow streams, or even high deserts.
The plant can even be found growing at elevations as high as 9,000 feet. This plant has yellow flowers from July through September that open after sunset and are pollinated by insects of the night. Open only until sunrise, the flowers die the next day, causing hundreds of small black seeds to form inside. These seeds are the source of the plant’s oil, with about 5,000 seeds being used for just one 500 mg capsule. Due to this, evening primrose can be relatively expensive. Evening primrose’s value in a variety of illnesses was recognized by American Indians and European immigrants. Indians used it to treat skin wounds, asthma, coughs, and also as a sedative. One of the first botanicals exported to Europe from North America, it was brought to Italy in 1619 and planted in the Padua Botanical Gardens. It was so valued by the Puritans that they called it the “King’s cure-all” and exported it to England. The ancients didn’t know scientifically why evening primrose was so effective for so many illnesses, but that didn’t affect its abilities. Modern science has found that the essential fatty acids that are found in the oil of the evening primrose seeds are the secret to the health-building properties.
Fat has gotten a bad name for itself in the past few years, but the truth is that there are actually certain types of fats that are vital for good health. One of these healthy fats is essential fatty acids, which are found in unprocessed vegetable, plant, and fish oils. One of the richest sources known is actually mother’s milk. Like vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids are nutritional substances that have far-reaching effects on many body processes.
These effects include reducing blood pressure, helping to prevent arthritis, reducing the growth rate of breast cancer, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintaining healthy skin, aiding in transmission of nerve impulses, playing a role in normal brain function, constituting the building blocks of body membranes, promoting proper hormone function, and forming the basis for prostaglandin production.
Because essential fatty acids can not be manufactured in the body, they must be consumed in the diet, with at least three percent of an adult’s daily caloric intake being recommended to be comprised of essential fatty acids. Children and pregnant women should have a diet containing at least five percent essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are essential for normal functioning of all body tissues.
Because of this, the list of symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency includes reduced growth rate, skin disorders, male and female infertility, kidney abnormalities, decreased capillary resistance, susceptibility to infection, heart problems, anemia, enlarged liver, sparse hair growth in infants, poor wound healing, and an increased susceptibility to infection.
In conclusion, to prevent or heal these conditions, a diet that is rich in essential fatty acids must be present. Evening primrose oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, containing about 72 percent linoleic acid and 9 percent GLA. Have you had your evening primrose oil today?
Gac Fruit Oil
August 25, 2008 07:04 PM
Most people have never heard of gac fruit, yet it is very popular in South East Asia, particularly in China and Vietnam. The fruit is grown on vines that reach the size of a cantaloupe and from North East Australia across to China and Vietnam it is used as both a food and a medicine. It is only fairly recently that it has found use in the West as a health food
So what’s so special about this fruit, known also as baby jackfruit and sweet gourd? Its bright red color should provide a clue, since it is jam packed full of beta carotene, lycopene and other strong antioxidants that not only helps to support the immune system, but also helps to retard the effects of aging. It has been used in Vietnam in particular to overcome the effects of an endemic deficiency in vitamin A, and is rich in provitamin A carotenoids. It is also widely used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of complaints.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Antioxidants can boost health in a number of ways, and it might help you understand better the benefits that gac fruit can provide to explain what antioxidants do and why they are such an essential part of our diets. Every millisecond of every day of our lives, our natural metabolism of the conversion of blood glucose to energy generates small oxygenated molecules known as free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that possess an unpaired electron and are highly unstable. Electrons generally travel in pairs, and when one of that pair is lost through a chemical reaction, the other electron has only one purpose in its short life: to pair up with another electron and it will do whatever it has to in order to achieve that. It is called a free radical, and its life is short. Free radicals destroy body cells, and this can have a dramatic effect, both visually on your skin, and internally on your general health.
Apart from those generated by your body’s own biochmemistry, free radicals are present in car emissions and other pollutants such as pesticides, smog and fried and barbecued foods. They are also formed in your skin by excessive exposure to the UV component of the sun’s radiation. That is why the skin of those living in hot climates tends to age earlier.
Free radicals are what make you look older as you grow older: they destroy skin cells as they are formed, but that is one of the least of their effects. They can also oxidize low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your body, causing it to deposit fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries, which is a serious cardiovascular condition known as atherosclerosis.
Antioxidants can donate an electron to free radicals without then becoming free radicals themselves, and so destroy them as they are formed. However, the antioxidant can then lose its reducing power. Free radicals do not roam the blood seeking victims as many imagine them to, but react almost instantly, as soon as they are formed. It is important, therefore, that antioxidants are present in or close to every cell of your body. To achieve this, they must be bound to a fatty molecule, and the problem with many phytonutrients is that they have no associated fats or oils to carry them into the fatty tissues of the body.
Nutritional Constituents of Gac Fruit
Not so with gac fruit, because in addition to the beta carotene and lycopene content, it is also rich in long-chain fatty acids, particularly linoleic and alpha linoleic acids. Not only that, but its beta carotene content is around ten times that of carrots, and it contains 70 times the lycopene of tomatoes! Vitamin C is another very powerful antioxidant, and gac contains 60 times the Vitamin C of oranges. It is also rich in other free radical busters, such as xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E.
Altogether, gac fruit contains a free radical killing arsenal that should be enough to scare even the most courageous free radical back to where it came from. Other constituents of gac are numerous minerals, particularly zinc and iron.
That is why the sweet gourd is such a prized fruit, and why Southeast Asian women have skins that western women of the same age would die for! Antioxidants help to prevent the disruption and destruction of skin cells that are the major reason for aging looks, and why skin creams are packed with vitamins A and E, both strong antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Gac
Most of the health benefits of gac are provided by its antioxidant properties. Thus, if you have a high cholesterol level, gac can help you to avoid atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol, which is the precursor to it depositing on your artery walls. The body needs cholesterol, but levels should be kept to within certain limits or the resultant atherosclerosis can narrow your arteries leading to cardiac problems and strokes, particularly in the very narrow arteries of the brain.
Gac also supports the immune system and helps to maintain prostate health, largely through its alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E content. Vitamin E is easily destroyed by free radicals, which is where the beta carotene is of benefit. This is the body’s first line of defense against free radicals, and each molecule can neutralize up to 20 free radical molecules before it is destroyed. This helps to save other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Lycopene is particularly beneficial to the prostate and current research indicates that it can help to prevent prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, plus some other diseases such as macular degeneration that affects your sight. Perhaps this is one reason why the gac fruit membranes are used in Vietnam to promote healthy vision, and they also help to cure dry eyes. Lycopene remains in your body fat longer than normal beta carotene, and recent studies have found that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat are up to 50% less likely to suffer heart attacks as those with low amounts.
Gac fruit is jam-packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and has no known side effects. It is used in Asia for weddings and other special occasions, and is grown on lattices in many gardens, although it has a short season. However, gac fruit is not known as the “Fruit from Heaven” for no reason, and if you were allowed the choice of only one fruit in your life, then this would be the one.
August 15, 2008 03:51 PM
DHA is the most abundant essential fatty acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) found in the brain and retina. DHA is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life. DHA is found in cold water fatty fish, including salmon, tuna (blue fin tuna have up to five times more DHA than other types of tuna), mackerel, sardines, shellfish, and herring. Lets take a look at what DHA can do for you.
DHA makes infant formulas more like human milk than "conventional" formula containing Alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are precursors to DHA. It has been an ingredient in several brands of premium infant formula sold in North America since 2001. Mead Johnson was the first infant formula manufacturer to add DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid) to its Enfamil Lipil product, several other manufacturers have followed. DHA levels in breast milk are higher if a mother's diet is high in fish.
DHA is also present normally in very high concentrations in the retina. DHA supplementation would be particularly important for mothers who have consumed excessive alcohol, because alcohol inhibits the desaturase enzymes necessary for DHA synthesis. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, a nutrient that has been studied for its role in heart, brain and eye health. An experiment that studied the individual effects of EPA and DHA found that EPA reduced natural killer (NK) cell activity and cell-mediated immune response, but that DHA does not so this study concluded that the immune-suppressing effects of fish oil are mainly due to EPA, not DHA.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help lower triglycerides (fats in the blood), lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, improve the health of arteries and reduce the amount of arterial plaque (which narrows arteries and causes heart disease). Many people believe that excessively high omega-6 rather than omega-3 in the modern diet is responsible for an increase in allergies and the need to take aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Sunflower, safflower and corn oil are particularly rich sources of linoleic acid, which is at the root of the omega-6 fatty-acid family. The ability of enzymes to produce the omega-6 and omega-3 family of products of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid declines with age this is why we need more omega 3 DHA in our diets. In fact, a high omega-3 fatty acid diet increases the alpha-tocopherol content of heart muscle membranes by five times, and this effect is most prominently associated with DHA because the heart muscle prefers DHA as its raw materials to manufacture and strengthen its membranes.
Dietary DHA may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing the level of blood triglycerides in humans. Low levels of DHA result in reduction of brain serotonin levels and have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating inflammatory bowel disease as well.
Dietary changes in the past century have lowered the consumption of omega-3 to a state of subclinical deficiency that is epidemiologically related to cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, mental and psychiatric diseases and suboptimal neurodevelopment. Decreases in DHA in the brain are associated with cognitive decline during aging and with onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease. DHA has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis,, adult-onset diabetes, mellitus, thrombosis, and some cancers.
In conclusion, if consuming DHA through your diet is impossible, you can purchase DHA as a supplement in two common forms: Fish oil capsules or DHA extracted from algae. Consuming DHA may help support body tissues in which DHA is prevalent — especially the brain, nervous system, heart, retinas, and colon. Staying healthy is important, have you had your DHA today?
Flax Seed Oil
August 07, 2008 01:53 PM
Flax seed naturally contains a variety of different categories of essential fatty acids, which includes alpha linoleic acid, linoleic acid, and omega-9 oleic acid. A lot of flax seed’s benefits are a function of its content of alpha linoleic acid, which is converted in the body to a longer chain of omega-3 EPA. Research has proven that supplementation with flax seed oil can help to increase the EPA concentrations in many tissues of the body. One of the main areas of research has been inflammation.
Many factors contribute to inflammatory reactions, including omega-6 linoleic acid, which can be converted into pro-inflammatory substances. Flax alpha linoleic acid can convert into EPA, which has the ability to convert into a prostaglandin that has anti-inflammatory properties. In inflammatory states, alpha linoleic acid and EPA compete with linoleic acid for enzymatic metabolism, resulting in a decreased production of pro-inflammatory substances. Many studies have found that the use of flax seed oil in domestic food preparation can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines.
These studies have also shown the ability of omega-3 rich fish oils to inhibit inflammatory mechanisms in the autoimmune disease lupus nephritis, which lead to the investigation into flax having any abilities in this area. One trial found that 30g/d of flax seed was optimal for improving kidney function, decreasing inflammation, and reducing atherosclerotic development. Flax also contains antioxidants, which may be helpful to those who have SLE.
Research has also been conducted to investigate the hormonal modulating effects of ingesting lignans, which are antioxidant and phyto-estrogenic compounds that are found in flax seed. Clinical evidence indicates that phytoestrogens have an anti-cancer effect on the breast. Experimental studies in animals and humans have also demonstrated flax’s anti-cancer effects, with a 1998 review indicating that the consumption of flax may be used as a secondary prevention method against breast cancer. Flax seed has also been shown to promote prostate health, as it plays a key role in the treatment of an enlarged prostate.
The cardiovascular system is also another area of research focus for flax seed. One study showed that three months of flax seed supplementation resulted in LDL cholesterol levels dropping significantly, while HDL cholesterol did not change. Other research has shown serum lipid level reduction, but a large amount of flax seed was required to be consumed to get the same lipid-lowering effects as fish oils. Flax lignans also possess anti-platelet activating factor activity and antioxidant activity. Animal research has shown that flax seed reduced the development of aortic atherosclerosis’ by 46 percent and suppressed oxygen-free radicals.
The research concluded that dietary flax seed supplementation could prevent hypercholesterolemia-related heart attack and strokes. Lastly, the elasticity of arteries is an important factor of circulatory function, which decreases as the cardiovascular risk increases. Research has proven that obese people consuming a diet high in ALA from flax seed oil experience a marked rise in arterial elasticity, which reflects a rapid improvement in the arterial circulation.
Although flax seed offers many potential benefits, ingesting the right form of supplemental flax is crucial to gaining these benefits. Flax oil supplements are a good source of EFAs, but they do not provide great amounts of lignans. On the other hand, whole or ground flax seed is effective, but is not especially palatable. The best option of flax seed is the liquid in capsule form, as it delivers both EFAs and lignans. The nutritional value and certain beneficial results can be gained by consuming about 3,000 mg daily.
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.
linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.
Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.
It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.
It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.
Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.
Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.
While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.
In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.
The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.
Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, boiling, etc.
It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.
However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. Unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.
June 20, 2008 02:08 PM
That common yard or roadside plant you see during the growing season can be your ally against sickness and disease. The common dandelion has many essential vitamins and minerals inherent in it that can be part of your health regimen. Dandelions are an all-natural way to promote good health when used wisely.
The dandelion root and leaves contain vitamins A, C and D, as well as the B-complexes. They also contain iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, choline, boron, calcium and silicon. Choline has shown to improve memory function. Dandelion has found use as a treatment for breast illnesses, bloating (water retention), aching joints, skin problems and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also as a gentle diuretic and a purifier for the bloodstream and liver.
This plant contains luteolin, which is an antioxidant and beneficial as an immune system enhancer. Luteolin helps inhibit the degradation and wearing down of the body's cells. What's great about dandelion and its antioxidant properties is the fact that there is no toxic effect on cells associated with it.
Dandelions are also a medicinal herb. They increase waste elimination in the body through the urine. Like green tea's effects, this excretion of water and waste can lead to weight-loss. Dandelion is available naturally, as well as in pill, liquid, tablets and tea form. The Puritans used it strictly as a vegetable, although some who eat it as a prepared dish consider it to have a bitter taste.
This plant has ranked high in many categories. It is one of the top six herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest. It is one of the top four green vegetables rated for overall nutritional value according to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews, 1984). It is food rich in fiber. This is important because fiber is an essential component of a complete weight-loss program. Fiber absorbs fat molecules and aids in their elimination from the body. This prevents fats from absorbing into the body.
The dandelion is part of the sunflower family. It is prevalent in temperate regions in Europe, Asia and North America. This plant finds itself a big part of culinary recipes. Taking the dandelion in this form is good for health, as it is in its most natural, unprocessed state. Some use dandelion as a tea to help in the fight against fever, insomnia and jaundice. Dandelion tea can also aid those who have rheumatism, eczema, constipation and even skin diseases.
It aids digestion by stimulating stomach secretions. However, it does increase the flow of bile in one's system, so you should not take dandelion if you have obstruction of the bile ducts. While generally safe, like anything else, you should consult a doctor when trying something new in your diet. This is to make sure it doesn't have harmful side effects or interact negatively with other herbs and medications.
For women, dandelion helps because of its diuretic capabilities. This means it helps eliminate excess water from a woman's system, which causes bloating.
Those who experience premenstrual syndrome may find dandelion helps bring down their bloating and weight gain associated with water retention.
Another promising aspect of dandelion is the fact it contains lecithin. Lecithin is a lipid that contains choline primarily, along with inositol, phosphorous and linoleic acid. Lecithin elevates the brain's acetylcholine, which helps brain function. This, some researchers believe, may help slow down or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dandelion, again because of lecithin inherent in it, is beneficial for prevention of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease too.
Sometimes we need to look only in our own backyards and surrounding environments to find plentiful foods that are healthy. Dandelions are one of earth's products that have found use for centuries. Whether as a recipe ingredient, a tea or a pill, dandelion is versatile. When used with care, it can help with weight-loss and be a health enhancer at the same time.
Acai: The Super Antioxidant From Brazil
February 03, 2008 02:07 PM
Acai is an Amazonian palm tree, and possesses small purple fruits that the Amazonian natives of Brazil have used since time immemorial as food and as a remedy for certain health conditions that are now known to be associated with the activity on free radicals on body cells.
The active constituents of acai are powerful polyphenols and anthocyanin antioxidants that protect your body cells from oxidation by free radicals. In fact the plant has been referred to as ‘the super antioxidant from Brazil’ by many medical writers who have recognized its right to be termed as such. To understand that, you first have to understand what an antioxidant is and how it works. The chemical names of the active substances it contains will be meaningless without that background knowledge.
Oxidation occurs in your body even before you are born. What is does in general terms is to destroy your body cells, and the more it progresses the more your body is prone to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and the more visible becomes the aging process. Chemically, oxidation is the loss of one or more electrons by an atom or molecule. Oxidation within your body is highly associated with what are known as free radicals. To explain these we have to consider the chemistry of electron pairs and free radicals, though this is not too technical so read on.
Normally electrons exist in pairs of opposite spin: in simple terms each pair makes up a single negative charge. Take hydrogen: its atomic structure contains one proton and one electron. However, the hydrogen atom cannot exist by itself since the most stable configuration is that electrons exist in pairs with a net zero spin, so the hydrogen molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms with their own protons sharing an electron pair. This is true of all covalently bonded molecules.
However, certain influences, such as pollution through tobacco smoke, pesticides, engine exhausts and the excess UV radiation of sunlight can cause a molecule to lose an electron. This creates what is known as a free radical: a molecule without an electrical charge but with an unpaired electron. Since the most stable configuration for it is to have a paired electron, the molecule will steal an electron from the most suitable candidate it finds.
In practise this will be a body cell, and the cell that loses the electron gets destroyed causing aging of the skin and many other undesirable effects, including cancers. This stealing of an electron is chemically referred to as oxidation. Antioxidants prevent this occurring to your body cells by being reactive themselves and preferentially mopping up these free electrons.
Polyphenols and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and that is why the people of the Amazon rainforests have used acai not only as a food, but also for their health. It is only relatively recently that, as with many of the ancient health remedies, the scientific basis behind its use has been proved. The early Brazilian natives may not have understood biochemistry or what free radicals were, but they sure knew what was good for them.
As with many other foodstuffs containing powerful antioxidants, it is likely that it was the highly colored berries that first attracted them. That does not suggest that all brightly colored foods are good for you, but the brightly colored pigments and dyestuffs contained within them also tend to act as antioxidants due the same electron configuration that provides them with their color. Many of these chemicals are also use as food dyes, and have been used so since before their chemistry and antioxidant effects were known. The color comes from the same electron activity that makes them destroy free radicals. That is why most highly colored foods contain significant quantities of phytochemicals.
The deep purple color of the acai fruit led chemists to determine its content of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, that are common in other highly colored foods such blueberries, peppers and aubergines. High concentrations of anthocyanins such as cyandin-3-glucoside and the rutinoside analogue were found, together with flavonoids such as orientin, deoxyhexose and scoparin. A total of twelve flavonoids were discovered that explains the highly antioxidant properties of the fruits. Laboratory and other tests have indicated that over 80% of the antioxidant effect of acai is due to polyphenols other than the anthocyanins. It is likely that these are the twelve flavonoids identified to date and any others that have still to be detected.
However, it is not only for its antioxidant properties that acai is such a healthy fruit, since it contains many other nutritional components. It contains fatty acids, including linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid and also beta-sitosterol that are believed to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The fruit also contains a high level of amino acids, essential for the synthesis of proteins and DNA.
So what exactly does this mean for you in real terms? Antioxidants can do different things for different people, and the acai berry is said to have more than thirty times the antioxidant power of red wine. When you consider that many doctors believe one glass of red wine to provide sufficient antioxidant for the average person, you are getting a very high dose with acai berries, so what does it do for you?
Due its effect in destroying the free radicals caused by pollution, acai and similar powerful sources of antioxidants are becoming increasingly important to our diets. What was a sufficient antioxidant intake even twenty years ago is not longer sufficient. Acai can help to combat early aging by reducing the rate at which your body cells are destroyed by free radicals. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the associated high risk of strokes or heart attacks.
Acai juice itself has an unusually high fiber content, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system. An associated benefit of this is that you are less liable to contract colon cancer than if you did not consume it. Due to a reduction in the rate of destruction of body cells, including brain cells, elderly people benefit through maintenance of their brain function, and a lower likelihood of degenerating cognitive ability. It helps you to maintain concentration and memory, and can also reduce the risk of you getting cataracts.
Antioxidants are also known to help maintain the immune system, and act as anti-inflammatories, and it is believed that acai juice can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. If you use acai berries as part of a daily diet, you should receive the benefits that it provides, although a more measured dosage in the form of a supplement will enable you to control your intake of acai, and if one thing is certain it is that you will be far healthy with a regular dose of the superantioxidant from Brazil than without.
Eggs: An Excellent Source of Omega-3 Oils for Better Health
December 18, 2007 11:43 AM
Eggs have many health benefits, among them being the fact they can be an excellent source of omega-3 oils that can promote better health in those that take it as a supplement. Hens fed on flax seeds are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids, although eggs have many health benefits other than omega-3.
Most of the health benefits of Omega fatty acids are well known, although many more are being continually discovered as scientists research the uses to which the substances can be put in our bodies. Omega-3 fatty acids have long carbon chains that are polyunsaturated, i.e. contain multiple double bonds in the hydrocarbon chain. As opposed to saturated fatty acids with no double bonds. They are important components of our neurological systems and help to build up cell membranes, but are probably best known for their effect in protecting us from cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids can help us to maintain a healthy heart, and so enable us to live longer.
The current western diet has been changing to reduce cholesterol intake and improve our lifestyle. However, this has not all been well advised, and the resultant diet is rich in vegetable oils as opposite to animal fats, the relative levels of omega fatty acids having changed in favor of omega-6 fatty acids. These omega-6 fats are not as healthy for us as omega-3, and can lead to a thrombogenic state that more easily leads to cardiovascular diseases and blood clots. Rather than a normal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of around 2:1, this ‘improved’ diet has increased it to anything up to 50:1.
The American Heart Association has been advocating a diet richer in omega-3 fatty acids since 1996, yet while research continues to favor omega-3, the increase in consumption of vegetable oils has continued to increase, and with it a reduction in the overall health of a nation.
Omega-3 enriched eggs have been introduced as one means of redressing the balance. Hens fed on flax seeds lay eggs with a much higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids than normal: up to and over 150mg per egg. Such eggs also have reduced cholesterol – over 15% less, and also are higher in vitamin E, a strong antioxidant, by up to 300%.
Two of the components of omega-3 oils, linoleic acid and linolenic acid, are what are known as ‘essential’ fatty acids. The term means that they cannot be manufactured in your body, so must essentially be introduced through your diet. When the human body developed to what it is now, the consumption of fish and other oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids was a significant part of our diets, and allowed our bodies to develop the biochemistry and metabolism that it uses today.
If we now upset that biochemistry by cutting our intake of unsaturated fatty acids, our metabolism will suffer and our general health decline. This is one reason why humans should interfere with their natural eating habits as little as possible, or if we do so excessively we should use supplements to replace what we are excluding from diets that have been natural to us for countless millennia. It is dangerous now for the human race to suddenly switch to a significantly different diet without suitable supplementation, because we do not know the long terms effects of doing so.
One way to maintain a steady intake of the fatty acids our metabolism needs in order to ensure our survival is to eat eggs, and especially omega-3 enriched eggs. Of course, eggs have a lot more beneficial health effects than just omega-3. Take choline for example. This is a trimethylated compound that is important in the metabolism of fats. It is the newest official B vitamin, and is an essential component of cell membranes. It is particularly important for the maintenance of the health of your brain, and preventing many brain disorders.
It is also important in methylation, an important biochemical process, and also in the biochemical synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This substance is used to pass messages between nerve cells and from nerve cells to muscles, and a deficiency can cause many health problems, including heart disease and diseases of the vascular system. Methylation is a very important biochemical reaction, being used particularly in messages between body cells and is used to switch genes on and off.
Up to 90% of Americans are deficient in choline, and subject to many diseases because of it. Symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, excess fat concentrations in the blood and problems with your nerves and muscular control. It can cause liver problems and heart problems, and cause a number of brain disorders.
Choline is available in the diet from lecithin and egg yolks, and also soya beans, flax seeds, peanuts and potatoes. The typical American diet is not conducive to an adequate choline intake, and increased egg consumption can help to redress this. This is particularly true of eggs from hens fed with flax seeds, or linseed, from which the triple benefits of choline, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E are obtained. Just two eggs will provide you with almost 50% of your daily requirement of choline.
Some are wary about the cholesterol content of eggs, but studies have indicated that it not so much the amount of dietary cholesterol that is eaten, but saturated fats that cause the excess deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Cholesterol is an essential part of human biochemistry, and without any we could not survive. In fact, studies have shown that eating two eggs daily can improve your cholesterol levels
Eggs are also rich in lutein, and contain more than vegetables such as spinach. Lutein is an important carotenoid that is believed to prevent age related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness, and also prevents the development of cataracts. Eggs also appear to have anti-clotting properties on the blood, and so help to reduce the thrombogenesis of omega-6 fatty acids.
Without a doubt, eating eggs is very good for your health, and especially so if they are rich is omega-3 fatty acids. They contain a wide variety of nutrients and truly are a complete food packaged by nature. Some may prefer to stay away from eggs and miss the omega-3 benefits so there is an alternative for diets that exclude eggs. Omega-3 is available in a supplement form that one can take on a daily basis to reap the benefits omega-3 presents.
The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA
November 13, 2007 10:22 AM
Borage is otherwise called the starflower, and the borage oil extracted from its seeds is very rich in GLA, gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid also obtainable from evening primrose oil. Borage, however, is richer in GLA, and is therefore a more economical source that the evening primrose.
A shrub, frequently seen in gardens, borage has historically been used as a salad food, and also in soups, and borage honey is prized in many quarters. Now, however, its main use is for the GLA extracted from the seed, which provides a higher yield of GLA than any other source. Borage seed oil contains up to 25% GLA, compared to the 17% from blackcurrant oil and 9% from evening primrose oil.
The importance of GLA to the body’s biochemistry is inestimable, and cannot be overstated. It is not so much the GLA that is so important, but the prostaglandin to which it is converted in the body. Prostaglandin E1 is a hormone-like substance that plays a part in many of the biochemical and metabolic processes of the body. Examples include the control of the immune system and inflammatory response, some kidney functions, and the tone of the arterial muscles, so important in the health of the cardiovascular system.
A good fatty acid metabolism benefits some very important aspects of our health such as maintaining a good blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, preventing inflammatory and immune system conditions such as arthritis, allergies and some skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and also improving the strength of the keratin-dependent tissues such as our nails and hair.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids also seems to stimulate the overproduction of a hormone in women called prolactin that can lead to the severe mood changes commonly referred to as pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. GLA appears to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of PMS, and some other conditions such as breast discomfort.
Gamma linolenic acid is created in the body from linoleic acid, of which there is a plentiful supply in margarine, vegetable oils and many processed foods, but there is a problem. Fatty acid molecules come in different isomeric forms, in which although the chemical is the same, the geometry or ‘stereochemistry’ is different. The healthy form is the ‘cis’ formation, and the other is the ‘trans’ stereoisomer. The trans fatty acids are formed by hydrogenation of oils to make them semi-solid, and more suitable for spreading. This hydrogenation process causes an irreversible change in the geometry of the fatty acid that can block the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA in the body.
Hence, although most of the western population has more than sufficient linoleic acid in their diets, many who eat an excess of trans fats have a deficiency of GLA. Some B vitamin deficiencies and a deficiency in certain minerals exacerbate this situation, and a gamma linolenic acid supplement is needed. Additional to this, the enzyme responsible for the conversion, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) can be affected by many modern environmental factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol, excessive animal fat consumption and even excessive linoleic acid consumption. The solution to all of this is GLA which does not require any enzymes for its creation, and supplemental GLA from any source can immediately take part in the biochemical pathway to the creation of the prostaglandin eicosanoids.
GLA provides the means and the resultant prostaglandins carry out the job of regulating the hormonal activity within human biochemistry. Prostaglandins help to regulate the function of many of the cells in the body, such as the smooth muscle cells of the arteries and veins that cause constriction or dilation, and on the stickiness of blood platelets causing their aggregation. They are important in the regulation of such functions as blood clotting, fluid balance and the production and balance of hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of prostaglandin E1 are very important to the way that the body reacts to breaches by foreign invaders, and it is also thought to act to thin the blood and cause dilation of blood vessels, hence its effect in lowering the blood pressure.
So what does this mean to you, apart from the effects of the fatty acid on PMS? Borage oil can be used to treat a large number of different symptoms associated with a shortage of GLA and prostaglandin E1, and here are a few of the conditions for which a GLA supplement has been found beneficial.
A deficiency in GLA and other essential fatty acids can lead to loss of bone mass and subsequent osteoporosis and it is thought that fatty acids help the absorption of calcium by the digestive system, and to increase its deposit in bones. It can be used to increase bone mass and density and therefore strengthen the bones of those affected by osteoporosis. This is partially due to the hormone regulatory effect GLA has on the body.
Allergies appear to be very personal responses by the immune system to specific substances, and while borage oil has proved beneficial in a few allergies, and prostaglandins are known to regulate the activity of the immune response, the effectiveness of GLA treatment for allergies has been mixed. There is evidence that it can affect some cases, but not most.
GLA from borage oil can reduce the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and helps to ease morning stiffness. Its effectiveness seems mixed, and you should try it for two or three months to determine if it helps you personally. Be careful, however, since some believe that it might react with some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to treat this condition. Ibuprofen is one, so check with your physician before trying it.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, borage oil used in conjunction with Omega-3 fish oils might lower it, though more research is needed. There is a belief that the GLA is not the active agent here since Omega-3 oils are known to help to reduce hypertension, though the effect of prostaglandins on the factors that can reduce blood pressure is inarguable.
The healing power of borage oil should not be underestimated, and it has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat many conditions, especially those that science has found to be caused by the immune system and the inflammatory response. Borage oil can be found at any Health Food Store.
Mangoni - Complete SuperFruit Food 1oz equals 3 servings of Vegetables
December 27, 2006 12:26 PM
The healing power of borage oil
June 19, 2006 01:27 PM
Borage oil, extracted from the seed of the blue, star shaped borage flower, is gaining much attention by alternative health practitioners and main stream medicine alike for its profound medicinal properties. Whereas the oil is getting all the redit, it is actually the oil’s active component, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has drawn the interest of researchers. The majority of the early studies done on GLA, dating back to the late 1940’s, were conducted with the oil of evening primrose. For rezones cited in the title, more bank for the buck, borage seed oil is now thought to be s superior source of GLA compared to evening primrose oil. Other plants forms and food concentrates that contain appreciable amounts of GLA include black currant seed oil and spirulina.
Why GLA Supplementation?
A body with healthy biochemistry has the ability to produce GLA from the most essential fat linoleic acid. linoleic acid is found most abundantly in the omega 6 family of oils, including safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. While it has been estimated that a majority of Americans and Europeans consume far to many omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (by approximately 10:1). Most biochemists agree optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be approximately 1:1. Despite the obvious over consumption of omega 6 oils rich in linoleic acid, some individuals lack the ability to convert linoleic acid to the much needed GLA.
As is the example with many of our modern day nutrient deficiencies, the adulteration of our food supply by today’s processing methods has much to do with the faulty fat metabolism suffered by many. A prime example is the hydrogenation process utilized to convert liquid polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid, altered saturated fats for use as margarine and commercially processed foods. Hydrogenation is accomplished by subjecting the oils to temperatures in excess of 250 C, and bombarding them with hydrogen ions in the presence of the heavy metal nickel, which irreversibly changes the chemical structure of the fatty acid molecule from a healthful “cis” configuration to a dangerous “trans” configuration. When these products are eaten in excess they are known, in some cases, to block the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid to GLA. In addition to the damaging effects of hydrogenation, certain essential fatty acid nutrient cofactor deficiencies may exist to further complicate the conversion. Vitamins pro-A, A, C, E, B-2, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, B-12 biotin and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and zinc are all involved in essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism.
Particular interest should be given to those afflicted with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis. For a myriad of reasons, including cofactor deficiencies, these individuals lack the enzymatic ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA and must obtain a direct source of GLA for proper hormonal regulation. In addition, excessive consumption of animal fats containing acachidonic acid competes for the same metabolic pathways occupied by GLA, thus minimizing its biological action.
These potential negating effects can simply be diverted to consuming a food source or supplement containing GLA which bypasses any previously necessary enzymatic conversion and floods the metabolic pathways with beneficial GLA. Nutrient deficiency should also be addressed. Here lies the true power of GLA.
Prostaglandins, biochemical regulators
Whereas GLA is the power, the prostaglandins deliver the punch in this biological equation. Just as linoleic acid is normally converted to GLA, GLA is further converted into the prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Many of the benefits derived from GLA supplementation are a result of the hormonal regulatory action of the prostaglandins. Just like the “parent” precursors they are made from, the hormone-like prostaglandins orchestrate a host of important biochemical activities. Their general regulatory effects include the control of arterial muscle tone, sodium excretion through the kidneys, blood platelet “Stickiness,” inflammatory response and the immune function, just to name a few. The list may be endless as scientists continue to discover the regulating effects of prostaglandins. One way in which GLA has shown to decrease the probability of allergic and inflammatory conditions is by competing with arachidomic acid, which when left unchecked may potentiate a hyperimmune response.
As a result of the powerful regulating effects derived from the conversion of GLA to healthful prostaglandins, borage oil and other GLA supplements have shown to be beneficial in the treatment and relief of many classic and modern day health problems. The disease of diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, multiple sclerosis are thought to be helped by bringing about a balance in an otherwise faulty fatty acid metabolism. According to a study released in the journal diabetes care, supplementation with GLA has shown promise in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy (a condition where the nerves degenerate and symptoms of pain and numbness follow). The study concluded that all diabetics should be considered for dietary protocol of GLA. Other conditions shown to benefit include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin conditions, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, improved behavior of hyperactive children and increased strength of hair and nails. Cited in the book, Super Nutrition For Menopause, written by the renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, is one of the most popular applications of GLA supplementation in the relief of menstrual pain. Sufferers use a maintenance does up to the seventh day prior to menstruation, then double the dose for the duration of their menstruation. Dietary restrictions of meat, dairy and eggs during this time has also shown to compliment this regiment. Many would agree with Ms. Gittleman’s credo in allowing mother nature to cure our ails before relying on synthetic drugs which often come with side effects.
More Bang for the Buck
Now comes the challenge of acquiring a GLA supplement suited to meet your needs. With the help of the information below you may maximize your desired result while at the same time stretching your dollars. Lets take a look at the facts. We will limit out narrative to the tree most popular forms of GLA supplementation: 1) borage oil, 2) evening primrose oil and 3) black current seed oil. Potency is an important factor, as the higher the GLA content per gram, the more likelihood of greater biological activity. Borage oil contains 24% GLA, or 240mg per 1000 mg capsules. Black current seed oil contains 18%, or 180mg per 1000 mg capsule and evening primrose oil contains 10% GLA, or 100mg per 1000 mg capsule. While black currant seed may appear to run a close second to borage and have a slight edge on evening primrose, it contains a potent GLA inhibitor and should be considered last on the list. equally, if not more important than potency, is purity. Make it a practice not to purchase any oil product unless full disclosure of the method of extraction is printed on the label. If it is not, you may assume that the oil has been extracted in one of the following ways. Unfortunately, the popular use of the chemical hexane to extract oils is not required for disclosure. This method employs submerging cracked seed in a gasoline like substance (Hexane) and then slowly allowing it to evaporate off yielding 90% oil recovery. This is the most common method used to extract evening primrose oil because of the incredibly small, hard seed and low oil content. The second creative ploy is the claim that the oil has simply been extracted by a new high-tech method called supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE). This process “pregrinds” the seeds then subjects them to pressures of 6000 – 10000 psi in the presence of the gas CO-2. Under such intense pressure CO-2 gas becomes a liquid in which the seeds are submerged, ultimately yielding a 95% oil recovery. Look for oils that are labeled as “expeller pressed” without the damaging effects of light, heat and oxygen. The products should be contained in opaque (light resistant) bottles to protect them from the damaging effects of light. Optimally, you should find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Due to the higher percentage of oil contained in the borage seed, as compared to evening primrose and black current, borage is typically priced well below the others making it the most potent and economical choice. All things considered an expeller pressed borage oil, contained in an opaque plastic bottle, may provide you the absolute best source of unadulterated GLA supplementation.
One company that provides such a product and always fulfills the quality requirements listed is Barlean’s Organic Oils. Their organic flax oil and borage oils are available at VitaNet.
Promise of Evening Primrose Oil
June 03, 2006 01:11 PM
Today, we know that the oil from the seeds of evening primrose contains a high amount of the active ingredient, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an oil quite similar to other essential fatty acids (EFA) of the omega-6 variety. In fact, evening primrose oil is one of the few substances found in nature that contains significant amounts of GLA. It was only as recently as the 1970’s that researchers discovered among its potential therapeutic benefits, GLA aids the body’s formation of important prostaglandins (known as PGE1) that moderates inflammatory processes. (Prostaglandins are molecules that act as vital cell regulators.)
While the body manufactures gamma-linolenic acid from linoleic acid, one of the essential fatty acids, optimal production is often inhibited by dietary deficiencies, age related enzymatic deficiencies and intake of excess amounts of saturated fat. Indeed, it is interesting to note linoleic acid has little to no biological activity in and of itself. It’s true value is in its conversion to GLA. When we take additional GLA, we encourage increased formation of PGE1, which produces a variety of health benefits.
Health experts say that prostaglandin E1 series aids the body by inhibiting or reducing inflammation, blood clumping, blood clots, abnormal cholesterol production and formation of malignant cells. (In particular, GLA reduces risk of arterial spasm and abnormal clots, important factors in heart attacks and strokes. Another beneifit is lowering blood pressure.) The PGE1 series also maintains important electrolyte balances and normalizes insulin secretions.
Other health conditions that can benefit from GLA include arthritis; skin disorders such as eczema, acne, dermatitis; allergies and asthma; premenstrual syndrome; multiple sclerosis; fibrocystic breast disease; and depression.
Barleans – Organic Evening Primrose Oil
June 02, 2006 03:16 PM
Evening Primrose Oil has long been revered for providing relief from symptoms associated with PMS and menopause such as cramps, hot flashes, breast tenderness and moodiness*. Now, for the first time you can enjoy the benefits of EPO from a pure, pristine and organic source.
Barlean’s … You deserve nothing less.
Evening Primrose Oil provides your body with a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and omega 6 fatty acid that supports the body’s cardiovascular, nervous, immune and reproductive systems. The GLA contained in Evening Primrose Oil is a nutrient used by the body to maintain healthy cells and vital body functions.
Evening Primrose Oil enhances the health and strength of cell membranes throughout the body, and promotes a proper inflammation response. Evening Primrose Oil is also used by the body to maintain healthy hormone levels.
Suggested use: 2 Capsules per day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ingredients: Each Light-resistant carob coated gelatin capsule contains: 100% organic, unrefined, evening primrose oil.
Serving size 2 Capsules 2.6g
Amount per serving:
Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.
April 03, 2006 04:57 PM
Trimming flab away with CLA
Fighting fat with fat makes sense with conjugated linoleic acid.
Substances that enhance human health and well being can be discovered in all sorts of odd places. Take conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), for example. This unique fatty acid currently under intense study as an aid to help dieters reduce body fat—was first isolated from grilled ground beef in the early 1980’s by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. (CLA is also found in hamburger that ma actually help you slim down? Who knew?
What’s more, CLA (now generally derived from plant sources like safflower oil) also shows promise in two important areas. First, evidence suggests it can slow down some of the steps in cancer’s complex progression. In addition, CLA may help tame excess inflammation.
When you take in more calories through food than you burn off through exercise, all those extra energy units have to go somewhere and if you’re like a lot of folks, they wind up being deposited into your fat cells. Not only are jam-packed fat cells responsible for the dreaded disappearing waistline effect, but they also promote unhealthy changes in blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other makers of possible hazards to your continued well-being.
CLA helps make life miserable for fat cells in several ways. First, it inhibits an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that shuttles fat molecules from the blood stream into the cells. It encourages lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat that’s already in storage. Finally, in some studies CLA has shown an ability to actually encourage fat cells to commit a form of cellular suicide call apoptosis—which results in fewer places for fat to hide. At the same time, CLA promotes the transport of fat into exercising muscle cells, helping them to both burn off calories and become more toned (and shapely).
CLA Comments: What is it: a special form of linoleic acid, an essential fat: CLA is found naturally in diary foods.
What it does: CLA has shown an ability to help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass (When used as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan); it has also demonstrated cancer-fighting and immune enhancing effects.
While CLA is the subject of ongoing research, early human trials have produced promising results. In Norway, for example, scientists from five separate institutions teamed up for a study involving people who were healthy but over weight. For the first year some of the individuals took CLA while the others took placebo (look-alike) softgels that contained olive oil instead; in the second year, everyone took CLA. At the end of two years, all the people in this study showed significant reductions in body fat, body mass index (BMI), a standard measure of obesity, and weight(Journal of nutrition 4/05).
While battling the bulge is a major goal for many people, fending off cancer may just be America’s number one health concern. And here, too, CLA has come up big in a number of studies, such as a Swedish investigation that shows a link between high CLA intake and reduced colorectal cancer risk (American Journal of Clinical nutrition 10/05). In various lab studies CLA has been shown to interfere with tumor development and keep cancerous cells from spreading to nearby organs.
What’s more, CLA appears to regulate immunity by helping to strengthen the body’s natural defenses while protecting against the inflammatory damage the immune response can cause. That’s important because low-level inflammation has been linked to an ever-growing list of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
If you want to fight off both fat and cancer without eating a mountain of cheeseburgers, don’t have a cow. Turn to CLA instead.
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:59 PM
CLA Extreme Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 01/31/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to control body fat; People wanting to increase their body’s lean mass (muscle tissue); People wanting an oil that helps to reduce pro-inflammatory body chemicals; Those wanting to prevent undesirable cellular changes through diet KEY INGREDIENT (S): CLA from safflower oil, L-Carnitine amino acid, Guarana Seed extract (20% naturally occurring caffeine), Green Tea extract (40% polyphenols), Chromium Picolinate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a derivative of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. The softgel is formulated with CLA (derived from safflower oil), Green Tea extract (polyphenols), Guarana extract (caffeine), L-Carnitine, and Chromium (III) Picolinate for synergistic effects of reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: One study, titled "Efficacy and Safety of One-Year Supplementation with Conjugated linoleic acid in Moderate Overweight," found that compared to placebo, CLA-supplemented subjects had Body Fat Mass index scores averaging 9% lower than the placebo group and had Lean Body Mass results showing lean muscle mass averaging 2% more than the placebo group. Analyses of blood tests showed no side effects over this one-year period. CLA plus Guarana reportedly reduces the size and number of fat cells in another report. CLA may also reduce insulin resistance and prevent undesirable cellular changes.
AMOUNT and HOW TO USE: One to five capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, other Antioxidants
CAUTIONS: CLA may reduce insulin resistance, so people on blood sugar medications may not need as much of their drugs. Use with caution to avoid an overdose of your blood sugar medication when using this oil. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1118–1125 (2004).
Tricon S, Burdge GC, Kew S, Banerjee T, Russell JJ, Grimble RF, Williams CM, Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Effects of cis-9,trans-11 and trans-1 0,cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on immune cell function in healthy humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(6):1626–1633 (2004).
Aminot-Gilchrist DV, Anderson HDI. Insulin resistance-associated cardiovascular disease: potential benefits of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1159S–1163S Suppl. S (2004).
Bassaganya-Riera J, Reynolds K, Martino-Catt S, Cui YZ, Hennighausen L, Gonzalez F, Rohrer J, Benninghoff AU, Hontecillas R. Activation of PPAR gamma and delta by conjugated linoleic acid mediates protection from experimental inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology 127(3):777–791 (2004).
Bergamo P, Luongo D, Rossi M. Conjugated linoleic acid - Mediated apoptosis in Jurkat T cells involves the production of reactive oxygen species. Cell Physiol. Biochem. 14(1–2):57–64 (2004).
Bouthegourd JC, Martin JC, Gripois D, Roseau S, Tome D, Even PC. Fat-depleted CLA-treated mice enter torpor after a short period of fasting. Appetite 42(1):91–98 (2004).
Brown JM, Boysen MS, Chung S, Fabiyi O, Morrison RF, Mandrup S, McIntosh MK. Conjugated linoleic acid induces human adipocyte delipidation - Autocrine/paracrine regulation of MEK/ERK signaling by adipocytokines. J. Biol. Chem. 279(25):26735–26747 (2004).
Cheng WL, Lii CK, Chen HW, Lin TH, Liu KL. Contribution of conjugated linoleic acid to the suppression of inflammatory responses through the regulation of the NF-kappa B pathway. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52(1):71–78 (2004).
Choi JS, Jung MH, Park HS, Song JY. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid isomers on insulin resistance and mRNA levels of genes regulating energy metabolism in high-fat-fed rats. Nutrition 20(11–12):1008–1017 (2004).
Cortes HN. CLA and body composition: Research shows conjugated linoleic acid can help maintain a healthy balance between lean muscle and body fat. Agro Food Industry Hi Tech 15(2):49–51 (2004).
Dauchy RT, Dauchy EM, Sauer LA, Blask DE, Davidson LK, Krause JA, Lynch DT. Differential inhibition of fatty acid transport in tissue-isolated steroid receptor negative human breast cancer xenografts perfused in situ with isomers of conjugated linoleic acid. Cancer Lett. 209(1):7–15 (2004).
Eyjolfson V, Spriet LL, Dyck DJ. Conjugated linoleic acid improves insulin sensitivity in young, sedentary humans. Med. Sci. Sport Exercise 36(5):814–820 (2004).
Field CJ, Schley PD. Evidence for potential mechanisms for the effect of conjugated linoleic acid on tumor metabolism and immune function: lessons from n-3 fatty acids. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1190S-1198S Suppl. S (2004).
Hirao A, Yamasaki M, Chujo H, Koyanagi N, Kanouchi H, Yasuda S, Matsuo A, Nishida E, Rikimaru T, Tsujita E, Shimada M, Maehara Y, Tachibana H, Yamada K. Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on liver regeneration after a partial hepatectomy in rats. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 50(1):9–12 (2004).
Inoue N, Nagao K, Hirata J, Wang YM, Yanagita T. Conjugated linoleic acid prevents the development of essential hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 323(2):679–684 (2004).
Kritchevsky D, Tepper SA, Wright S, Czarnecki SK, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. Conjugated linoleic acid isomer effects in atherosclerosis: Growth and regression of lesions. Lipids 39(7):611–616 (2004).
Lamarche B, Desroches S. Metabolic syndrome and effects of conjugated linoleic acid in obesity and lipoprotein disorders: the Quebec experience. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1149S–1152S Suppl. S (2004).
Malpuech-Brugere C, Verboeket-van de Venne WPHG, Mensink RP, Arnal MA, Morio B, Brandolini M, Saebo A, Lassel TS, Chardigny JM, Sebedio JL, Beaufrere B. Effects of two conjugated linoleic acid isomers on body fat mass in overweight humans. Obesity Res. 12(4):591–598 (2004).
McCann SE, Ip C, Ip MM, McGuire MK, Muti P, Edge SB, Trevisan M, Freudenheim JL. Dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acids and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study (WEB study). Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prevent. 13(9):1480–1484 (2004).
Moloney F, Yeow TP, Mullen A, Nolan JJ, Roche HM. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation, insulin sensitivity, and lipoprotein metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 80(4):887–895 (2004).
Ochoa JJ, Farquharson AJ, Grant I, Moffat LE, Heys SD, Wahle KWJ. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) decrease prostate cancer cell proliferation: different molecular mechanisms for cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers. Carcinogenesis 25(7):1185–1191 (2004).
O'Shea M. Clarinol(TM) CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid): the weight of evidence supports a safe and efficacious product for weight management. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech 15(4):24–26 (2004).
O'Shea M, Bassaganya-Riera J, Mohede ICM, Immunomodulatory properties of conjugated linoleic acid. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 79(6):1199S–1206S Suppl. S (2004).
Rainer L, Heiss CJ. Conjugated linoleic acid: Health implications and effects on body composition. J. Am. Dietetic Assoc. 104(6):963–968 (2004).
Is Fish Oil good for my heart?
October 25, 2005 02:59 PM
I know that fish oil is good for my heart, but I was told I should also consume fish to protect my bones. Is there any truth to that?
Many people are familiar with the literature that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Animal studies, and now recent human studies, suggest a role in bone health as well, particularly in relation to omega-6 fatty acids. A long-term study in California tracked the ratio of dietary omega-6 fats to omega-3s in relation to bone-mineral density in middle- and older-age individuals. They tested BMD by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry—the gold standard for assessing bone loss—and found that the higher the ratio of linoleic acid (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid(omega-3), the lower the BMD. These results were independent of age, body mass index and various lifestyle factors.
The ratios creating problems were in the range of 7 to 1 and 8 to 1 of omega-6s to omega-3s. Foods high in omega-6 (or with a high omega-6 and omega-3 ratio) are corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils. One of the best sources of omega-3 is fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon. The best vegetarian source is flax oil. In addition, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil (I recommend cold-pressed and unrefined), and some dark, leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens and collards do have some omega-3s.
Also, available is a dry fish oil Vectomega by Europharma, if you do not want to take an oil softgel then give vectomega a try.
Kids will Absolutely Love DinoEFA ...
September 10, 2005 12:33 PM
Have a smart Year with Kal Dinosaurs Supplements for Kids
The Essential Woman Formula
August 15, 2005 12:11 PM
The Essential Woman Formula
-Organic Unrefined Flaxseed Oil
The primary ingredient in The Essential Woman is unrefined organic flaxseed oil, the world’s richest source of essential fatty acids. These important nutrients, alpha linolenic acid (omega 3) and linoleic acid (omega 6) have been shown in scientific studies to benefit over 60 health conditions. Since these vital nutrients are classified as essential, they are absolutely necessary to maintain good health. Several of the most important benefits of essential fatty acid rich flaxseed oil include normalizing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, suppressing inflammation and allergies, alleviating depression, combating fatigue and beautification and healing of the skin. When it comes to these vital nutrients The Essential Woman is exactly that, essential!
-Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil is an integral part of The Essential Woman product for a very important reason. This proven and popular nutritional oil provides a source of specialized nutrient known as gamma linolenic acid or GLA. Volumes of scientific studies support the use of GLA for a woman’s unique requirements. GLA helps balance hormone like substances which, when out of balance, can lead to distressing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The Essential Woman was carefully formulated to provide optimal levels of GLA while working in concert with the other nutrient actives in the product.
Lignans are a class of plant phytonutrients that are concentrated in the solid portion of the flaxseed. These amazing compounds have shown such extraordinary potential that they have been studied by the National Cancer Institute for their cancer preventative properties. Lignans act as estrogen modulators, balancing human estrogen with both weak estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. This helps maintain a regulating activity on human estrogen which has been implicated as a factor in both breast and colon cancers. This is a particular concern for women as estrogen levels rise just prior to and during menopause. Lignans are yet another nutritional ally found in The Essential Woman necessary to meet the special demands of today’s woman.
The simple soybean is a power house of nutritional factors. The much researched isoflavones in soy belong to a family of compounds known as bioflavonoids. The isoflavones in The Essential Woman are concentrated to provide optimal levels in every tablespoon. Scientific studies on isoflavones reveal an astounding array of nutritional benefits for women. Most notably are its effects on bone health and menopause. Researchers have found isoflavones effective in the prevention of bone loss and conclude that isoflavones are an effective natural means to help prevent osteoporosis and provide bone strengthening support. Soy isoflavones area also classified as plant phytoestrogens which are more delicate in their actions than the actual human estrogen, but target human cells in the same manner. In this way, isoflavones are believed to be able to block the overstimulation of human estrogens much like the plant lignans discussed earlier. This is good news for women entering their menopausal phase of life. Isoflavones of phytoestrogens can help alleviate the annoying symptoms of menopause and PMS as well as help reduce the risk of fragile bones, heart disease, breast and other cancers. As more and more women take charge of their personal health and well being, the need for a comprehensive nutritional support system is vital. The Essential Woman provides a formula for success designed for the special needs of a woman’s body.
Supplement Efforts - to increase weight loss...
July 07, 2005 11:41 AM
If you're searching for a pill that magically melts away the pounds safely and quickly, allowing you to pig out on cookies and chips every night without having to walk a step or lift a weight, keep looking-- it doesn't exist. (If anyone tells you it does, lace up those high-tech sneakers and run in the opposite direction.) That being said, there are supplements that some folks find helpful in addition to (not instead of) a healthy diet and adequate exercise:
Don't forget a good, all-purpose multivitamin/mineral to make sure you're not missing anything nutritionally. (For in-depth information on another weight-loss option, Coleus Forskolii.) It's always a good idea to get a knowledgeable health practitioner's assistance in designing a supplementation program, especially if you are looking to lose weight because of a pre-existing health condition.
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.
OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:
Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:
BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil. Black currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.
It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.
This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.
EVENING PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:29 PM
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
The body takes combinations of different triglycerides and makes fats from them to help in various processes. The basic building blocks of any fats are the fatty acids. Fatty acids are either essential or nonessential. A fatty acid is considered essential if 1) the body is unable to synthesize it and 2) the only way it can be obtained is through the diet. In addition, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause a disease. As far back as 1930 researchers discovered that if an animal did not get essential fatty acids in the diet, it could cause symptoms such as poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough, dry skin, and slow growth, among others. There are basically three essential fatty acids. They are linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. linoleic acid is the most vital. Linolenic and arachidonic acids can be converted from linoleic acid, but linoleic acid must be obtained from the diet. Most people are unaware of the many vital functions of essential fatty acids. The list includes:
Cholesterol is synthesized throughout the body. It is manufactured by cells, glands, the small intestine and the liver. Cholesterol is constructed from dietary by-products of proteins, sugars and fats. If the diet contains excessive fats, especially the saturated types, the body will convert them into cholesterol. People who eat high sugar or fat diets may therefore experience elevated cholesterol levels.
Prostaglandins are found in almost all body cells, and act as catalysts for many physiological processes. They help prevent abnormal blood clotting and nerve inflammation. Prostaglandins also help promote blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels and improve immune system function. The most beneficial type of prostaglandin is called PGE-1. PGE-1 balances cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and stimulates the body’s production of T-lymphocytes which strengthen the immune capabilities. Each cell keeps tiny amounts of EFAs and produces prostaglandins from them as they are needed. The name prostaglandins was coined because these substances were originally found in high amounts in the prostate gland. To date, there have been discovered at least thirty-six different prostaglandins with a wide range of roles in the body.
June 22, 2005 09:57 PM
An Essential Fatty Acid
June 22, 2005 09:42 PM
An Essential Fatty Acid
When most people think of fat, they think of the white gooey stuff that deposits around the waist or around the thighs. In many ways, it can be tempting to spell it “fatt”—making it an unspeakable, four-letter word. But at the level of the cell, at the level of molecules, fat means something more complicated. First of all, fat is one method the body uses to store energy for long periods. When we eat, we must either immediately burn the fuel as energy, or store it as fat or as protein for muscle. Fat, therefore, is one way our body tries to make something useful from food. Furthermore, fat serves a vital function in each cell. The membranes of our cells are all made of fat—a collection of fatty acids really. Every cellular function must pass through this barrier.
Hormones act on fat, energy passes through fat, life proceeds because of fat. Fat, then, is not a dirty word. It is vital. Scientists have identified more than 100 fatty acids, and many more fatty acids could theoretically exist. 4 The body produces all the fatty acids it needs except three—linoleic acid, arachadonic acid and linolinic acid. Much the way certain vitamins like vitamin C are essential to good health and are not produced naturally, these acids are essential, hence their name—essential fatty acids. The body can produce linolinic acid and arachadonic acid from linoleic acid, so in some senses, the only vital fatty acid is linoleic acid.
linoleic acid sits like a highway of some 58 atoms of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.5 The carbon is the center line with the hydrogen and oxygen being the cars traveling along the way. (Thousands of chemicals contain these three elements in nature. It is the order of these cars, and the varied shapes of the highway, that lead to many different kinds of chemicals.) The highway of linoleic acid sits curved like a mountain switchback. Conjugated linoleic acid is basically a straighter version of linoleic acid. Scientists have studied CLA at least since the 1930s.6 These studies show that bacteria in the stomach convert linoleic acid into CLA.7
CLA occurs naturally in many foods including some vegetable oils, which are the best sources for linoleic acid, but the best source of CLA is in beef, veal and certain dairy products.8 Dr. Mark Cook, who began working with Pariza around1990, said the reason that sheep and cows and other similar animals provide higher sources of CLA is because these animals are ruminants—they have multiple stomachs for bacteria to convert linoleic acid in, instead of one, as in humans.9 The chemistry of CLA really isn’t that significant to any but a researcher, but, in essence, a double bond of two of the carbon atoms switches position from its position in linoleic acid.10 Instead of having two atoms between a pair of double chemical bonds, as in linoleic acid, there is only one atom in between. This is why chemists named it conjugated linoleic acid. This chemical chain can exist in several forms with the double bonds at positions 9 and 11, positions 11 and 13 or at positions 10 and 12.11 Hence, there are several forms of CLA. Which ones are most effective in providing nutrition, or if they are equally effective, is still a question somewhat unresolved, although it is unlikely that it is the 11,13 version.12 What has been resolved is that CLA is one of the most important, and most exciting nutrients isolated in recent years. And there’s good reason to look at supplementing it into your diet. Why? Because we may not be getting as much of it as we once did, particularly in the United States.13 Cows and other animals have traditionally eaten fresh grasses as a way of getting nutrition, but agricultural development makes it more efficient and cost-effective to provide cattle feed grains and other means of nutrition, instead of natural grasses. That seems to mean that the cows today provide much less CLA in their beef than those of only a generation ago. One study out of Australia showed that cattle in that South Pacific nation had more than twice the amount of CLA than American cows. The reason may well be differences in feeding patterns. As evidence for this, have you ever wondered why it is that Americans, despite eating less fat and meat than a generation ago, end up being more fat than their predecessors? Indeed, America’s obesity rate is up substantially over the last 15 years.14
Declining amounts of CLA may explain this disturbing trend. But more on that later.
June 22, 2005 09:40 PM
Next time someone you know puts a burger on a charcoal grill, notice how the fat drops, sizzling, onto the briquettes beneath. As the drippings burn, the chemical content changes. This really is what burning is, a chemical change from a complex form of the substance to a more simple form. As it changes, many chemicals emerge—some harmless, others less so. One of those chemicals, benzopyrene, can cause mutation of bacteria in the test tube, and that led some scientists to believe it might cause cancer.1 Benzopyrene becomes part of the smoke that rises from the charcoal to settle back on the surface of a cooking burger. This was known as far back as the 1970s, and, for those interested in good health, it became another reason to cut meats from the diet and replace them with healthy grains and vegetable products. Many left it at that. Thankfully, scientists began digging more deeply into this phenomenon, measuring other chemicals and other methods of cooking. One such scientist was Michael Pariza. In 1978, Pariza studied heterocyclic amines to see if they were “mutagenic,” that is, if they would cause bacteria to mutate in the test tube. He found that burgers can be quite safely cooked with care.2 But what changed the direction of his research was an entirely original discovery, separate from what his paper set out to find. This discovery has shaped his career since and may well, in the years to come, help thousands, indeed millions, of people improve their health. What he discovered was that something in hamburger has a “mutagenic inhibitory” effect. That is, something in meat seemed to counteract the bad effects of these mutagens, indeed was an anti-mutagen. In his research, Pariza used a popular scientific test called the Ames Test, named for a scientist at the University of California at Berkeley. This test is still used today for its simplicity by numerous scientists. The test requires enzymes form rat livers stimulated with certain chemicals. Scientists put these enzymes and the possible mutagen onto bacteria. They observe the bacteria in a microscope to see if they have mutated. Pariza changed the experiment slightly. Instead of stimulating rat livers, he used enzymes from normal rat livers. The results showed this anti-mutagenic effect, but just what substance caused it was still a question. For nearly another decade, Pariza and others tried to isolate this substance. Finally, they managed to do so in 1987.3 Call it a previously undiscovered nutrient, one, by the best research now available, that seems essentially vital for optimal health. The substance is CLA— conjugated linoleic acid. Laboratory studies using animals show: