Search Term: " neuropathy "
GREAT news: Cannabis found to reduce diabetic neuropathy pain
April 13, 2019 11:16 AM
Scientists from the University of California, San Diego have performed new research indicating that cannabis/marijuana may be highly effective at relieving the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy. The research found that cannabis compounds are an excellent match for the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the human nervous system, and on inflammatory cells. Patients who received cannabis vapors or cannabis smoke in the study reported drastically reduced pain from their neuropathy. More research is needed to fully explore these effects, to include wider use of placebos and a wider range of different dosage arrangements.
"A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego deserves the credit for finding that cannabis has an amazing ability to greatly reduce, and in some cases completely eliminate, diabetic neuropathy pain – and all without the need for dangerous and typically ineffective pharmaceutical drugs."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-13-cannabis-found-to-reduce-diabetic-neuropathy-pain.html
Vasculitis: Inflamed Blood Vessels + 4 Natural Treatments
July 15, 2017 04:14 PM
Vasculitis is a technical term for inflamed blood vessels. This condition can cause an array of symptoms such as fatigue, neuropathy, confusion, mouth sores, ear infections, skin rashes, weight loss and nausea. It can also lead to more serious problems due to a lack of blood going to organs. It can also lead to strokes so it can be fatal. Luckily, there are both medical treatments available as well as lifestyle changes that can address vasculitis.
"There are approximately 20 different disorders that are classified as vasculitis."
Read more: https://draxe.com/vasculitis/
Why Are Diabetics More Prone to Heart Diseases?
May 28, 2017 07:14 PM
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that can lead to many dangerous complications, including coronary heart disease, cerebro-vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Of these complications, coronary heart disease is of one of the most worrisome. Having diabetes doubles the risk of heart disease in men and triples the risk in women. This is because people with diabetes have vessel blockages that make them more susceptible to cardiac problems. It is important for people with diabetes to manage their risk by monitoring their blood sugar and lipid levels. They can do this by making lifestyle changes, such as exercising, avoiding smoking, and having appropriate screened tests performed.
Read more: Why Are Diabetics More Prone to Heart Diseases?
How Do I Know If I Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
May 08, 2017 11:59 AM
There are specific symptoms one might experience if they are low on vitamin b12. One such symptom is a numbness or tingling sensation in the extremities, also known as peripheral neuropathy. This happens when someone is low on B12 in that the insulation on one's nerves, called myelin, wears thin and basically short circuits, causing pain and a burning sensation. This condition is seen commonly in diabetics who take the medication metformin, also known as Glucophage. Metformin blocks the absorption in the stomach of B12. Other symptoms include fatigue, memory issues, and depression.
"As B12 is important for helping to produce red blood cells, anemia and fatigue can commonly happen in the setting of deficiency."
Read more: http://www.courierjournal.net/columnists/house_calls/article_0c0f1ee4-2ede-11e7-ad8a-1f61cbbb744d.html
Support Healthy Circulation and Arterial Function with Benfotiamine!
Benfotiamine is a derivative nutrient of thiamine (vitamin B1). Usually, many people suffering from peripheral neuropathy lack this crucial nutrient. Thiamine, Vitamin B1, is highly required for the nervous system to keep functioning properly. Maintaining adequate levels of Thiamine through diet alone is hard. Benfotiamine works to nourish the nerves and reverse the effects of peripheral neuropathy. It helps to support blood circulation, enhance arterial function and healthy blood vessels.
Increases blood circulation and vessel health
Benfotiamine helps to increase the rate of blood flow, especially for those patients suffering from low blood circulation. It is also required for the health of the nervous system and is required for the biosynthesis of a number of cell constituents, including certain neurotransmitters. Just like Vitamin B1, Benfotiamine demonstrated itself as a miracle worker when somebody suffering severely from beriberi got on his feet within hours after being injected with the nutrient. Since then, it has been performing the same "miracle" without fail.Benfotiamine also assists mental health, particularly warding off depression while facilitating memory functions and learning. It's deficiency will no doubt bring back the dreaded beriberi, while minor deficiencies will be manifested in the human body as extreme fatigue, irritability, constipation, edema and an enlarged liver. Forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, and breathing difficulties are also common symptoms.
Promotes arterial functionBenfotiamine has been proven to improve the structural integrity of the veins and the entire circulatory system. Usually, people with varicose veins have an increased tendency to develop fibrin deposits in the tissue surrounding the affected veins. This causes the skin to become hard and lumpy. There is a decreased ability to break down fibrin, a compound involved in clot formation, thus an increased risk of the formation of a thrombus which may potentially cause life-threatening complications. Benfotiamine nutrient helps to promote fibrin breakdown hence promote the functioning of the arteries while enhancing the flood of blood.
Reaping the Powerful Health Benefits of the Chaga Mushroom
Varying types of mushrooms have been used for their healing and health promoting properties in the history of medicine but none have gained more popular use for treating a variety of ailments than the Chaga mushroom.
Chaga mushrooms been used for soothing pains associated with a host of diseases including diabetes and neuropathy but have also seen notable use in normalizing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, also supports gastrointestinal health, and antiviral properties.
Chaga is considered an adaptogenic Fungus. Adaptogenic plants have a specific impact on the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, the immune system, and the GI tract. Being an adaptogen means Chaga mushrooms can help the body cope with stress.
Chaga is a great fungus to support many of our bodies systems. Consider adding it to your daily supplement regimen.
Does Black Currant Have Healing Properties?
March 28, 2014 10:26 PM
Truly, the leaves of black currant and borage plants have been used for different rheumatic and provocative conditions, and as natural diuretics. Black currant has likewise been utilized to loose bowels, while borage has additionally been utilized as an antipyretic, expectorant, and general tonic. Right now, both plant oils are utilized as rich wellsprings of gamma-linolenic corrosive (GLA). Alongside, night primrose oil, these GLA-holding oils are utilized for interminable provocative and other conditions, for example, dermatitis, rheumatic issue, nostalgia, premenstrual syndrome, and diabetic neuropathy.1-4 Patients with these issues are thought to be unable to sufficiently change over their dietary vital greasy acids to GLA, an antecedent of mitigating eicosanoids 5; in this manner, supplementation with GLA-rich plant oils is viewed as advantageous.
Benefits of black currant
The Health Benefits and therapeutic employments of black currants incorporate it being utilized for the medicine of different cardiovascular ailments because of vitamin C. Likewise, black currants are additionally used to anticipate heart inadequacy as they have a tendency to enhance the safety of the energetic vessels that are known to be delicate and likewise minimize blood vessel hypertension.
Black currants are additionally valuable for those miseries of menopause as they have a tendency to escalate the feeble fringe flow and likewise dispose of the cholesterol, waste and poisons from the blood. Black currants likewise help women experiencing menopause.
Some of the other medicinal employments of black currants might be it being exceptionally beneficial in the common medication of gout, stiffness and joint pain.
The homegrown cure arranged using the buds of the black currant plant is utilized within the medication of urticaris and the products of the soil of the black currant are utilized as a common solution for treating skin conditions, for example, bug stings, dermatosis, and abscess and skin inflammations.
Black currants are a brilliant soil grown foods for ladies particularly, by virtue of their various benefits, for example, treating the indications of premenstrual syndrome, menopause, bosom delicacy and excruciating periods. Black currants are additionally useful in upgrading one's general unsusceptibility.
Health benefits and therapeutic employments of the black currant likewise make it an amazing common cure for kidney related issues in a distinctive as the dried leaves of the black currant plant are known to advertise stream of urine, work against the shaping of bladder stones and additionally sterilize the urine particularly when expended on a customary groundwork as a cleansing tea.
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
December 04, 2013 06:43 AM
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
Majority of people consider evening primrose oil as one of the major miraculous discoveries within preventive care after Vitamin C. This oil consists a compound called phenylalanine that can assist with pain relief and has been applied increasingly with remedying headaches. Its therapeutic and preventive features are many hence making it a regular proposal from a big number of herbalists.
10 health benefits:1- GLA Deficiency
Evening primrose oil has a lot of fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is very crucial for general operation of the body.
2- Heart Health
Studies revealed that utilizing of evening primrose oil on daily basis can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and safeguard against the coronary artery disease thus minimizing the capability of heart attacks and diseases.
3- Menstrual Pain
The oil is normally used in relieving distress that is normally related with menstrual signs. Majority of women around the world get relief by applying evening primrose oil.
Diabetics occasionally get challenges in producing GLA hence evening primrose oil is an effective supplement to assist them. Studies revealed that this oil can also safeguard people from diabetic neuropathy which is a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
5- Skin Health
Evening primrose oil is considered as an effective remedy for eczema and other skin disorders due to GLA and other essential fatty acids that are vital for skin health.
6- Anti-Inflammatory & Discomfort Reliever
Evening primrose oil is referred to contain anti-inflammatory features and can assist to ease symptoms of chest discomfort and rheumatoid.
7- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Studies revealed that kids suffering from ADHD got relieved after taking evening primrose oil.
8- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Utilizing evening primrose oil with quality fish oil is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.
9- Helps to Counter Impotence & InfertilityEvening primrose oil can stimulate blood flow, thus it helps in solving one of the key causes of male impotence. When taken for some time, it assists in preventing blood vessels to become narrow as a result of cholesterol.
10- Helping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The GLA prompts the brain to make a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E that can operate to resist withdrawal symptoms.
Why Is Alpha Lipoic Acid The Best Antioxidant Supplement?
January 15, 2013 02:09 PM
Thiocitic acid, also called alpha lipoic acid, is a natural antioxidant found in the body cells. It has been used by several people since 1950s for various purposes. It's a fatty acid that prevents oxidative destruction precipitated by free radicals and also aids in the breakdown of glucose to release energy. The health benefits of alpha lipoic acid supplements are so many. Individuals suffering from diabetic neuropathy, premature skin aging and glaucoma can greatly benefit from the use of the antioxidant.
Water And Fat Soluble Antioxidant:
Thiocitic acid is soluble both in water and fats, therefore it reaches many parts of the cell to guard against free radical destruction. It's a potent antioxidant. Currently, these fatty acids are taken by many people in supplement forms. If you intend to use the antioxidant supplement, the following are some of the benefits of thiocitic acid.
This antioxidant is produced in the body and it can also be included in the diet; its use in the form of supplements is on the rise. When it is eaten in the form of supplement, it's converted into a very active form known as dihydrolipoic acid. It is also vital in the production of other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione.
Both thioctic acid and glutathione assist in liver detoxification. It attaches to the toxins in the body and assist in their elimination from the bloodstream. It's also vital in promoting good health of the liver. Alpha lipoic acid is also critical on the skin. It aids in cell regeneration and guards the skin against free radicals that precipitate aging of the skin. It assists in making the skin look younger and radiant. It may also help in decreasing wrinkles and fine lines. It is one of the most effective anti-aging supplements. It is sometimes called universal supplement. Benefits of thiocitic acid are not limited to skin, it's also vital in the treatment of conditions like neuropathy. Since it assists in changing glucose into energy, it can be important in losing weight.
October 27, 2012 11:25 AM
The use of bilberry extracts dates back to 1000 years ago where many people attest success when they are applied to the eye. Bilberry is considered a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant used to treat the eye problems such as cataracts, muscular degeneration, and neuropathy.
As one ages, there is tendency that the eye blood vessels thickens due to consumptions of fats. Bilberry application helps to reduce the inflammation and strengthen then artery walls of the vessels within the eye area, and therefore improves the vision. Clinical studies suggest that proper blood circulation within the eye also reduces the chances of blindness in the early ages.
Moreover, thick arteries contribute to the swelling of the eyes. In extreme circumstances, swollen eyes hamper vision and make it difficult for an individual to walk without help of a friend. If this condition is untreated, atherosclerosis develops thereby worsening the eye health. To avert this, bilberry is eaten in extract form or as a fruit. It will eventually reduce the thickness of the arteries within the body circulatory system. During the Second World War, the fruit extract was eaten the soldiers who fought throughout the nights. Pilots also ate them as it was regarded to enhance the night vision. It was until recently that publicity of the extract was recognized worldwide and it has been commercialized as an eye supplement.
Bilberry also improves the vision at night. Many studies have indicated that consumption of bilberry jam helps to increase vision during the night. Bilberry extract contains anthocyanins which is a useful ingredient for the production of rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is known to enhance the night vision by aiding the eye to adjust to insufficient light during night and therefore enhances vision.
Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
July 02, 2012 07:53 AM
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid, popularly abbreviated as ALA, can also be referred to as thioctic acid. It is an antioxidant as well as a fatty acid occurring naturally in the body. Every single cell in your body has this compound, which can also be sourced from food staff such as broccoli, spinach, organ meats, peas, brussel sprouts and rice bran. The following is a comprehensive list of the health benefits of ALA.
Health benefits of ALA on the aging process
ALA is known to delay the aging process. It does this through its antioxidant properties that help reduce cell damage, a condition that contributes to early aging of cells. This function also helps protect you from chronic illnesses that are attributed to old age.
Health benefits of ALA on brain cells
ALA also protects your brain from the damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting you from dementia and memory related problems. Studies conducted on animals have shown that this acid helps boost memory. Free radicals are also associated with brain cancer, and so this antioxidant helps protect you from developing malignant tumors in your brain. It also protects you from diseases such as Alzheimer.
Health benefits of ALA on blood sugar
Lipoic acid has been found to help regulate blood sugar thus helping relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It helps relieve the numbness, tingling, pain and itchiness experienced by diabetes patients. This function makes ALA an effective remedy for diabetes-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Health benefits of ALA on the skin
ALA has been used to manufacture a wide range of beauty creams because of its ability to improve the skin texture. This acid also protects the skin against sun damage, thus reducing chances of developing sunburns. It reduces the size of your skin pores thus helping correct specific types of acne. Finally, ALA helps improve the radiance of your skin thus giving you a beautiful and glowing skin.
Other health benefits of ALA
ALA plays almost all the roles of antioxidants, since it also helps boost your immunity. This function helps protect you from diseases such as:
• Multiple sclerosis
One of the advantages that ALA has over other antioxidants is that it is both water soluble and fat soluble, unlike the other antioxidants that are soluble in either water or fat only. Therefore, its health benefits can be felt all over your body. In addition, ALA is found in all cells within your body and so deficiencies are rare.
Even though ALA is synthesized naturally within your body cells, their production goes down as you age. This is why alpha lipoic acid supplements are available. They are often presented in the form of capsules. There is no recommended daily dose of this supplement, but you need the guidance of a health physician in order to determine the right dosage for you. These supplements may cause serious reactions with specific drugs, and so your doctor will determine whether they are appropriate for you. Children are not allowed to take alpha llipoic acid supplements because their bodies are still in a position to release enough for their needs.
What Is L-Carnosine And What Does It Do?
March 30, 2012 08:28 AM
What Is L-Carnosine
L-Carnosine is basically a combination of 2 vital amino acids-L-histidine and beta-alanine. It is naturally present in the body, mainly in the muscle, and in many animals too. Carnosine can be broken down easily into the two amino acids, but it is good to know that these amino acids work much better when combined to form L-Carnosine. L-Carnosine has the remarkable ability to revitalize, that is, to make older cells younger and lengthen their life cycle. This compound is commercially available and is the only one that has the rare and distinctive ability to rejuvenate cells.
What does L-Carnosine do?
In simple language, L-carnosine is able to transform itself into so many compounds with each performing or enhancing a number of crucial body functions such as:
May bind to dangerous metal compounds to make them inactive.
Turning the resultant metal compound/carnosine into useful antioxidants which in turn can be anti-ulcer agents
Protecting and stabilizing cell membranes, keeping cells safe from dangerous free radicals
Protecting healthy cells from damage caused by radiation
Enhances blood flow to the brain
Acts like a neurotransmitter, helping messages move from one nerve to the other. This helps fight dementia, as in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and boost memory.
Blocks guanylate cyclase activation, an enzyme associated with cancer, migraine, asthma, and septic shock.
Special derivatives of carnosine can help get rid of the accumulation of sugar compounds and abnormal protein in the eye. A variety of these compounds may cause glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Carnosine works like a catalyst to boost the work of so many other compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of using L-carnosine
Although L-carnosine benefits haven't been extensively researched, according to initial studies it may help in:
Dealing with complications related to cataracts, diabetes, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
It may also help in slowing down aging in skin, minimizing wrinkles as well as breakdown of elasticity in skin.
It can help to prevent joint inflammation, atherosclerosis, and formation of cataract.
Carnosine has been known to prevent and reduce cell damage occasioned by beta amyloid-the substance found in Alzheimer's patent's brain.
Additionally, carnosine appears able to help get rid of the helicobacter pylori bacterium, the organism associated with stomach cancer and peptic cancer. Therefore, it can significantly help protect and heal both peptic and gastric ulcers.
Other possible L-carnosine benefits
Increase muscle endurance and strength
Improves heart function
Speeds healing of wound
A powerful antioxidant that can deal with even the worst free radicals
Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
It helps pull out or chelate some heavy metals from your body
May help autistic children
Act as anti-cancer agent in the body
Stabilizes cell membranes and slows down lipid peroxidation to protect the process of aging of the brain
L-carnosine can help in preventing or even treating age-related conditions like:
Cell aging/cellular senescence
Cross-linking of eye lens
Build up of damaged proteins
Brain circulatory deficit
Cross-linking of collagen in the skin
DNA chromosome damage
LDL cholesterol oxidation
Formation of AGEs i.e. advanced glycation end-products.
What is stopping you from taking L-Carnosine today?
Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help Lower Blood Sugar?
August 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Alpha lipoic acid is a nutritional supplement best known as an antioxidant. It is an organic compound that plays many important physiological functions at the cellular level. For one, it is widely regarded as a potent scavenger of free radicals. It also affects the rate of metabolism and the production of energy. In fact, it has become one of the most popular supplements available in the past few years.
Often abbreviated as ALA, alpha lipoic acid is a derivative of caprylic acid or octanoic acid. As its name suggests, caprylic acid is generally linked to goat milk, though it can be obtained from several other sources of food, such as vegetable oils. ALA has been the subject of studies in recent years. Apart from its role it in the prevention of oxidative stress, it also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar.
Modulates Insulin Function
Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream as measured by whole blood, plasma, or serum. Glucose is obtained from complex carbohydrates found in the human diet. It enters the circulatory system, travels through the bloodstream, and nourishes cells. It is the precursor of biochemical energy that supports the physiological functions of cells, tissues, and body organs.
There is good scientific evidence that alpha lipoic acid influences the uptake of glucose. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels as it instructs cells to take up glucose from the blood. It has been observed that alpha lipoic acid induces the activation of insulin receptors, raises the number of glucose transports in cell membranes, and enhances glucose uptake in the process.
Increases Glucose Utilization
Alpha lipoic acid is a dietary supplement popular among body builders largely owing to the fact that it increases glucose utilization. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the effects of ALA on overall metabolic rate, the reason why it has been marketed as a weight loss supplement for years. As a general rule, glucose utilization by cells increases as the rate of metabolism increases.
The synthesis of adenosine triphosphate requires the presence of glucose, which the human body uses as a source of cellular energy. Numerous studies have reported that alpha lipoic acid is capable of upregulating the production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Its presence triggers cells to convert glucose to energy at a faster rate, effectively affecting and lowering blood sugar.
Alleviates Diabetes Mellitus
Alpha lipoic acid is especially helpful for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and its complications. In addition to its role in the management of blood sugar, it also protects the nervous system from cellular damage brought on by reactive oxygen species, as is the case with diabetic neuropathy. As a reputed free radical neutralizer, ALA not only alleviates diabetes but also prevents its complications.
Boost Energy, Improve circulation Heart Disease, And More with Methycobalamin (B12)
June 16, 2011 11:45 AM
Methylcobalamin is an organic compound that displays vitamin B12 activities inside the human body. It is one of the active forms of vitamin B12, and as such believed to be the most bioavailable of all vitamin B12 supplements. In fact, all other forms of vitamin B-12 in the market are converted into methylcobalamin when ingested. Its high absorption rate enables it to produce visible health benefits.
Influences Energy Production
Vitamin B12 is an indispensable component of many cellular activities. It is quite pervasive at the cellular level, inasmuch as it is directly involved in chemical reactions that lead to the production of adenosine triphosphate(ATP), the primary source of energy that fuels all metabolic processes within cells.
In particular, methylcobalamin participates in DNA synthesis, allowing each cell to effectively perform its physiological roles. Healthy levels of methylcobalamin protect the cells from DNA damage, and contribute to the rate of metabolism. Vitamin B12 deficiency seriously affects energy production.
Promotes Circulatory Health
Studies on anemia led to the discovery of vitamin B12. The causes for anemia were uncovered at the turn of the 20th century. High consumptions of liver appeared to cure anemia as liver are high in the dietary mineral iron. It was also later identified that vitamin B12 also cure one specific case of anemia.
Pernicious anemia is one of the many types of megaloblastic anemia, in which red blood cells appear large but immature. This results from a deficiency in vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin supplements have shown the best recovery rate for this type of anemia, promoting circulatory health in the process. The presence of methylcobalamin in the blood powers DNA synthesis and nourishes red blood cells.
Prevents Heart Disease
Methylcobalamin is particularly good for the heart and the blood vessels. Its presence in the bloodstream influences the levels of organic compounds, such as homocysteine, which are implicated in the death of myocardial cells and the formation of risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The same endogenous compounds are incriminated in life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks.
Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood raise the levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine, or ADMA, which directly cause cardiovascular disease. Regular intake of methylcobalamin has been observed to lower serum levels of homocysteine, which in turn lower ADMA concentrations in the bloodstream.
Improves Neuropathic Disorders
neuropathy refers to damage to nerve cells to the extent of producing symptoms, such as muscle weakness, impaired reflexes, gait abnormalities, muscle twitch, tingling sensation, difficulty swallowing, speech impairment, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction, among others.
Vitamin B12 is one of the many causes of peripheral neuropathy. Not surprisingly, supplementation of methylcobalamin significantly improves symptoms in very little time. Methylcobalamin has also shown encouraging results as an adjunct treatment for diabetic neuropathy. As a result, it also corrects the symptoms tied to neuropathic disorders, notably reflex impairment and muscle weakness.
Pick Up some Methylcobalamin (b-12) today and feel the difference!
Alpha Lipoic Acid
December 11, 2008 11:19 AM
Alpha lipoic acid is the ideal antioxidant for five main reasons. It can scavenge free radicals of all kinds of both fat and water-based cell structures. It rapidly assimilates and absorbs into cells. Alpha lipoic acid boosts the action of other protective compounds. It chelates free meal ions and it also promotes normal cell replication.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is both fat and water soluble, which makes it a superior free-radical scavenger because it can protect lipid (fat) and aqueous (water) cell parts from free-radical damage. This ability allows ALA to offer excellent cellular protection because it can easily transport across cell membranes and give oxidant protection outside and inside cell structures. ALA has the ability to freely move throughout all cell parts, scavenging for free radicals in a way that is definitely more effective than other antioxidant compounds. Vitamin C, for example, is a good antioxidant but is strictly water soluble and only affects the interior of cells. On the other hand, vitamin E is only fat soluble, meaning that it affects only the lipid portion of cell structures or the membrane, which leaves other areas unprotected.
Cellular glutathione, which is produced in the body and works to neutralize free radicals, is very difficult to artificially boost. Although oral glutathione supplements are available, they have to go through the GI route before they enter the blood stream, leaving little glutathione which actually survives this process. Because of this, cellular levels are not significantly increase by oral supplementation. ALA has been found to help regenerate glutathione by providing extra cellular protection.
If the body becomes deficient in ALA, other antioxidant compounds may not work well. ALA plays an important role in boosting the activity of protective compounds such as vitamin E. ALA dramatically extends the life and effectiveness of other vital compounds.
ALA has been used for decades to treat diabetic conditions and complications including diabetic neuropathy, with ALA actually having the ability to initiate a reverse in the condition in some cases. Additionally, ALA helps to boost glucose uptake and results in less insulin dependency in some cases. Among its other properties, ALA can protect brain tissue on a cellular level, as well as protect brain cells from certain hazardous chemicals.
Research has shown that ALA may even play a role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease. As we are all aware, LDL cholesterol has a huge role in the development of cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol, which is particularly susceptible to free-radical damage, can be protected by ALA from free radical damage itself. Along with the above properties, ALA has been shown to help in strokes, cancer, cataracts, HIV, liver regeneration, and detoxification.
ALA can be purchased in tablet and capsule form and works well when it is orally ingested so that it can be easily assimilated through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. Taking between 40 to 50 mg of ALA is recommended for best results. The primary applications of alpha lipoic acid are aging, aids, alcoholism, atherosclerosis, bell’s palsy, cataracts, cancer, cirrhosis, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, radiation sickness or exposure, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, stroke, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heavy-metal poisoning. Have you had your alpha lipoic acid today?
Benfotiamine A Natural Solution Or Miracle Substance To Control Blood Sugar?
February 19, 2008 04:25 PM
The term "miracle" has been in use for hundreds of years when it comes to products that are claimed to aid health. Does this mean that it's always false? Not necessarily. Occasionally a seemingly "new" product will enter the spotlight and draw the attention of the public. Often, after a series of tests and trials, these products fade into oblivion because they didn't actually perform in the ways purported. There are exceptions to this rule; as with the supplement benfotiamine.
Benfotiamine is a natural solution to many problems in the human body. This product is one of nature's best sources of thiamine; or B-1. The FDA has approved this additive as a dietary supplement. Vitamin B-1 is a necessary substance in the body because it maximizes the results of your carbohydrate intake. It also helps with stress, improves your mental health and strengthens your general nervous system.
Benfotiamine is commonly found in trace amounts within such substances as roasted garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Many years ago, a Japanese pharmaceutical company attempted to bring attention to this substance. Unfortunately, their efforts gained little traction. Recently, a physician produced a published article detailing the benefits of benfotiamine and since then the product has rapidly gained popularity.
This product has been tested for individuals with conditions pertaining to diabetes, but the full scope of clinical testing does not end there. Benfotiamine has been tested for decades for its effects and capabilities in helping all types of conditions.
For those with diabetes, this substance has been reported to alleviate sciatica as well as improve general cellular and circulation health. neuropathy is a painful condition encountered by individuals with diabetes. There are several other related conditions that have all responded well to this supplement.
This supplement has helped many with diabetes, but also helps those without it. This supplement has also been reported to have benefits for: nerve health, improved blood pressure, fibromyalgia and has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It has been suggested that benfotiamine contains many anti-aging properties that help the body.
Vitamin B-1 is reported to combat motion sickness. It helps in the treatment of the painful condition known as "shingles," helps lessen post-operative dental pain and even repels biting insects. B-1 is found naturally in many products including whole wheat foods, dairy products, peanuts, oatmeal and rice husks.
Benfotiamine has no known interactions with prescription medications and, in turn, helps replenish the body with thiamine. There are some prescription drugs that will cause a B-1 deficiency if no supplements are taken.
Benfotiamine is lipid-soluble (or fat-soluble) and this quality means the idea of "overdosing" is nearly impossible. It metabolizes quickly and does not build up in the human body. There are certain individuals who require a higher dose to be most effective. Those who love caffeine, who are pregnant, who smoke or drink alcohol may have a B-1 deficiency.
There are many forms of this product, but capsules seem to be the most common outside of the food groups. The effects are noted to take anywhere from two to three weeks to fully develop. If you are interested in starting a regimen of benfotiamine, or any supplement, consult your physician first.
Cayenne for your aches and pains!
December 22, 2007 11:15 AM
Cayenne is the spicy pepper that is found in the same family as bell peppers and jalapenos. It is responsible for putting the kick into a lot of different spicy dishes, but it also helps to promote better health. Cayenne creams have capsaicin, an active compound which has proven to ease the pain of arthritic joints, along with the discomfort from shingles, muscular aches and spasms, bursitis, diabetic neuropathy, and phantom pains that follow amputation. By rubbing capsaicin on the skin, one can get rid of the chemical messengers that usually send pain signals. Even though the source of pain will still be there, using capsaicin will cause relief from the pain. However, this effect won’t last, so you will need to keep applying the cream to continue to deplete messengers that send pain signals. To use capsaicin, start by applying it four times a day for the first four days, then cut back to twice daily. You can tell a cayenne cream is working because there is a definite tingle, sometimes even a sting when you first apply them. Be careful not to put too much of this potent stuff on irritated or broken skin and be sure to wash your hands after applying so that you do not get the cream into sensitive areas such as your eyes and mouth.
By consuming cayenne in foods or in a capsule, one can ease the pain of stomachache, cramps, gas, or indigestion. One can also benefit the cardiovascular system by lowering LDL cholesterol and can also protect the body from free radical damage. Even more promising research on cayenne has found that cayenne cranks up thermogenesis and also suppresses appetite, assisting in weight loss. This means that while your mouth is burning from the spicy food, you are also burning calories. This spicy herb has also shown promising results in its ability to protect the stomach lining from damaging effects of aspirin. If you know that you have an ulcer or gastritis, make sure to use cayenne cautiously as it could worsen those conditions.
If you are looking for a great way to cleanse your system, an effect detox drink can be made from cayenne. By simply squeezing the juice of one lemon into a pint of warm water and adding a pinch of cayenne and one tablespoon of maple syrup, an effective drink can be created. Drinking one or more cups daily will produce great effects. If you’ve decided to eat mostly raw fruits and veggies during your cleansing diet, you might find that the raw foods can be tough to digest. A lot of people have found that when their digestive fire is weak, the raw fruit and vegetables are not easily digested. By sprinkling a little cayenne on your foods, you can build up the inner digestive fire, making raw foods much more easily digested. To get all of these great and helpful benefits, you can find cayenne at any local health food store or pharmacy. Cayenne can enhance absorption of the vitamins and prescription drugs you are currently taking; always first, be sure to consult your health care practitioner to make sure that cayenne is right for you.
Taming the Tingle – ALA helps fight nerve damage caused by diabetes…and more.
November 09, 2006 01:27 PM
For some people the constant tingling in their feet is the worst part. Others feel like their feet are being stabbed or burned, or that their extremities are simply lifeless. All these folks suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that afflicts nearly 30% of people with diabetes aged 40 and older. And if the discomforting sensations are not enough, neuropathy can lead to falls, wounds that won’t heal, even amputation.
Untold numbers of individuals have been helped by alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a supplement that European practitioners have used as a standard neuropathy treatment for 30 years. ALA (also known as thioctic acid) assists in the chemical reaction that generates energy within cells. It serves as a universal antioxidant—a substance that can fight tissue-damaging free radicals in both the fatty watery parts of a cell-and helps the body create additional free radical fighters, such as glutathione. ALA can even help regenerate several other antioxidants, including coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamins C and E.
People with diabetes need antioxidant protection as much as anyone. Fortunately for them, though, ALA fights this insidious disorder in many other ways.
Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer effectively use glucose (blood sugar), its main energy sources; ALA helps shepherd glucose out of the blood and into cells. It also interferes with glycosylation, a process in which glucose sticks to proteins such as the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that carries cholesterol through the bloodstream. That’s important because this “sticky” LDL can adhere to arterial walls, creating a major risk factor for heart disease. ALA combined with exercise appears to make insulin, the hormone that controls glucose usage, more effective. What’s more, early research indicates that ALA can deflect another cardio hazard by interfering with the ability of salt to push blood pressure upward (molecular and Cellular Biology 12/03).
ALA Annotations – what is it? Alpha Lipoic acid, a substance the body creates naturally.
What it Does: ALA, a powerful antioxidant in its own right, plays a vital role in the creation and renewal of other antioxidants. It is used to treat peripheral neuropathy; nerve damage caused by diabetes, and is also under investigation for possible therapeutic effects in other disorders, including multiple sclerosis and age-related cognitive decline.
Diabetes doesn’t just attack the nerves and the heart—its effects are felt throughout the body. That’s why scientists are examining whether ALA can tackle other diabetic complications: in lab studies it has forestalled diabetes-related kidney and eye damage. (Check blood-sugar levels regularly when using ALA, especially if you’re taking other glucose regulators.)
While diabetes is one of the most common causes of nervous system damage, it isn’t the only one. In test tube studies ALA has promoted chemical reactions that encourage neurons (nerve cells) to survive and grow; as a result some scientists believe this natural antioxidant may eventually play a role in treating degenerative nerve disorders. Such research is in its beginning stages, but the results are still intriguing. For example, in mice ALA has slowed progression of a disorder that mimics multiple sclerosis in human beings (Journal of Neuroimmunology 3/04) and improved age-related memory loss when used with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), another antioxidant supplement (Journal of Neurochemistry 3/03). A number of other conditions that become more common with age may also benefit from ALA, including arthritis and thinning skin.
If you suffer from both diabetes and the nerve damage it causes, ask your practitioner about ALA. It just may help your feet and the rest of you feel happy. –Lisa James
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.
Tasty, spicy chile peppers also pack a pain-relieving punch.
October 25, 2005 11:24 AM
hile peppers have a pretty fiery reputation, but you won’t get burned health-wise if you indulge regularly.
That’s because chilies contain capsaicin, a substance that acts as a potent inflammation inhibitor. Researches are studying capsaicin as an effective pain remedy for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy when taken internally (topical capsaicin is being used to treat osteoarthritis pain).
You can thank capsaicin for the characteristic spiciness of chiles, so the hotter the pepper the more capsaicin (and pain-relieving power) it contains. Among the hundreds of varieties of peppers, habanero ranks the highest on the thermometer, followed by jalpenos; milder types include pimentos and cherry peppers.
Capsaicin has also been reported to help clear congestion, reduce blood cholesterol, prevent stomach ulcers, boost immunity and help you lose weight. Need more of a reason to eat chiles? According to Coyote Joe, author of On the Chile Trail: 100 Great Recipes from Across America, they cause the brain to produce endorphins, those happy little feel-good chemicals. That’s why you reach for another chip with burning-hot salsa when your mouth feels like it’s on fire.
Chiles were first “discovered” by Christopher Columbus when he landed in the new world about 500 years ago, bringing them back to Europe as a treasure for the queen of Spain; native peoples of Central and South America had been eating and cultivating chiles for thousands of years.
Here in the US, chiles are a staple of popular cuisines like Cajun and Tex-Mex, but they can liven up pretty much anything- from squash to salad to salmon. If variety is the spice of life, chiles can also spice up any variety of food you choose.
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
June 23, 2005 11:50 AM
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:31 AM
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
The following are specific actions associated with capsicum and the conditions it can help relieve.
PRIMARY MEDICINAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Substances that Complement Capsicum As previously mentioned, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations in order to boost and potentiate their action.
The following herbs create particularly good herbal complements with Capsicum: garlic, ginger, hawthorn berry, peppermint, myrrh, yucca, gotu kola, parsley, ro s e m a ry, echinacea, kelp, ginseng, ginkgo, bayberry, slippery elm, black walnut, papaya, pep- permint, fennel, St. John’s Wort, and lobelia.
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.
Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.
CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer
Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.
Blood Pressure Equalizer
While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.
Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM
“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.
An Impressive Pain Killer
Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35
In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.
When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38
MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43
The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44
Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.
RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET
Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.
Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)
Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51
June 10, 2005 09:37 PM
Diabetes by , February 5, 2002
Lack of exercise and being overweight boosts your chances of developing diabetes. So, as America's epidemic of obesity grows, the number of people afflicted with the condition called type II diabetes is expected to soar. If you follow the typical US pattern of not getting enough exercise while indulging in a diet of too many calories from cookies, cakes, fast food and saturated fat as your waistline gradually expands, your chances of encountering this health menace grow every day. According to the most recent estimate by health researchers, "more than half of all US adults are considered overweight or obese"(JAMA, 10/27/99).
Those same researchers, who examined the health history and weights of more than 16,000 Americans, confirmed a fact well-understood by health practitioners who understand the chemistry of blood sugar: being overweight greatly increases your chances of not only diabetes but also high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol and arthritis. (If you suffer or think you suffer from diabetes, or any of these conditions, consult a knowledgeable health practitioner.)
While Type I diabetes is a relatively infrequent disease that often strikes kids, Type II diabetes is a much more widespread (and increasing) health problem experienced by 9 out of 10 adults with what is now called adult-onset diabetes.
The popular image of someone with diabetes is, ironically, often of someone who is suffering with Type I. In simplistic terms, Type I diabetes occurs when your pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone-like substance that, among its several tasks, helps deliver sugar from the bloodstream into the body's cells. When your body is functioning normally, insulin helps steady blood sugar levels and keeps tissues fed with nutrients.
People with Type I diabetes often have to inject themselves with insulin. Otherwise, a lack of insulin causes dangerously increased blood sugar levels, cellular damage to blood vessels and nerves plus a high risk of heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and serious damage to your extremities that may, in the long-term, lead to amputation.
On the other hand, someone beginning to suffer Type II diabetes usually has plenty of insulin being produced by the pancreas, but may be insulin resistant: for a variety of physiological reasons, the hormone is unable to do its job. That allows blood glucose to reach levels where it can wreak metabolic havoc.
When you gain weight, drastically increase the amount of your bodyfat and lead a sedentary, couch potato existence without engaging in very much exercise, you boost your risk of becoming insulin resistant. Consequently you also boost the chances of eventually suffering Type II diabetes.
However, a consistent exercise program (and losing weight) can alleviate or moderate some of the blood sugar problems brought on by diabetes or insulin resistance. When you exercise, your working muscles may take in more glucose from the bloodstream and stabilize your blood sugar level. That is one reason physical exercise helps to modify your body's response to blood sugar. (Of course, if you have diabetes or have not exercised in a long time, be sure to consult your health practitioner before engaging in strenuous physical activity.)
One of the most useful supplements employed to help control diabetes is chromium, a mineral that plays an integral role in the body's metabolism of sugar.
In the Natural Health Bible, Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, discuss a study in China of 180 people with Type II diabetes. In that study, those who took chromium enjoyed better blood sugar levels than the people who took no supplements (Diabetes 46(11): 1786-1791, 1997). In addition, a double-blind study of chromium found that the supplement could reduce the necessary oral medication by more than half in many cases (Harefuah 125(5-6): 142-145, 1993). In this study, women seemed to benefit from chromium more than men.
Relief with Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant nutrient, helps defend nerve cells against painful damage-a condition called neuropathy-that can result from diabetes. Consequently, in Germany, doctors have been prescribing lipoic acid to people with diabetes for more than two decades.
According to Dr. Bratman and Dr. Kroll, studies show that lipoic acid may be particularly helpful when taken with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. Studies of GLA have found that this fat can soothe numbness and pain and slow nerve injuries (Diabetes Care 16(1):8-15, 1993).
Taken together, GLA and lipoic acid may synergistically improve nerve function (Diabetologia 41(4): 390-399, 1998). Blood sugar control may also improve.
Two signs that you may be suffering diabetes are excessive thirst and a dry mouth. This missing liquid, especially in the mouth when the flow of saliva slows, can lead to a lack of lactoferrin, a naturally-occurring protein that fights infection in the mouth by binding iron (Jrnl of Diab Comp 7, 57-62).
Lactoferrin's iron-binding ability destroys harmful micro-organisms like bacteria. In addition, lactoferrin stimulates the body's production of a substance called secretory IgA, which keeps disease-causing organisms out of the body and helps stabilize blood sugar (colostrum also produces this effect).
Fenugreek, a spice, has had long use as a medicine and food ingredient in the Middle East and Asia. And now modern science has begun to accumulate evidence supporting its traditional use: Several studies have shown that this seed can benefit blood sugar levels and keep blood cholesterol down.
In laboratory animals, researchers found that fenugreek kept blood sugar levels under control and also increased HDL (good cholesterol) while dropping triglycerides, blood fats that increase the risk of heart disease (Eur Jrnl Clin Nut 44 (1990):301-306).
Fortuitously, studies on people have supported fenugreek's benefits. In people with Type I diabetes, studies show that fasting blood sugar levels were reduced and glucose tolerance tests (measures of how well the body handles sugar) were closer to normal (Eur Jrnl Clin Nut 42 (1988):51-54). Bilberry for Eye Health
Retinopathy, eye damage resulting from diabetes, is a serious complication of this disease and can cause blindness. Bilberry, a botanical that has been used as a folk treatment for eye health for centuries, may be able to lower the risk of this kind of vision destruction.
Bilberry, a dark berry that grows in Europe, has been shown in a collection of laboratory tests to hold down blood sugar levels (Quart Jrnl Cr Drug Res 17(1979):139-196). Bilberry has traditionally been used to protect eyesight.
According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), natural substances called flavonoids, found in bilberry, "have been shown to increase intracellular vitamin C levels, decrease the leakiness and breakage of small blood vessels, prevent easy bruising and exert potent antioxidant effects."
Apparently, the body uses these flavonoids to protect the eyes' blood vessels and to keep the retina (central part of the eye crucial to preserving sight) functioning normally (Arch Med Int 37 (1985):29-35). Consequently, bilberry has been used by health practitioners in France to treat diabetic retinopathy ever since the 1940s.
As medical researchers look more closely into how insulin functions throughout the body, much more light will be thrown on how supplemental nutrients and your diet interact to promote the healthiest blood sugar levels.
But, today, what we already know about how the body functions can help you: a low-fat, high fiber diet, moderate, consistent exercise and healthy doses of insulin-friendly supplements may help keep your blood sugar under control.
And keep those pounds from accumulating around your waist. That way, you can keep from singing that nasty old, down and dirty, blood sugar, syncopated ragtime blues.