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Pregnant diabetic women are encouraged to take propolis
April 24, 2019 01:58 PM
A recent study took pregnant rats who were suffering from gestational diabetes, and they gave them propolis to see if it had a beneficial impact on regulating their glucose levels. The results showed that propolis did, in fact, help regulate blood sugars, and it also helps in several other areas as well. Taking propolis consistently can also help protect you against hypertension during your pregnancy, as well as promote faster wound healing which is extremely important in diabetic patients.
"Their study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, showed that the superfood propolis not only improves pregnancy outcomes but also placental oxidative stress."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-26-diabetic-pregnant-women-should-take-propolis.html
Did you have a C-section or take antibiotics while pregnant? Give babies probiotics to avoid diseases like asthma, diabetes
December 27, 2017 03:59 PM
Probiotics have many benefits when given to newborns, especially those delivered by c-section. These probiotics when added to either brestmilk or formula help aid in digestion and replace many healthy bacteria that were not acquired due to the c-section. These probiotics helped relieve the onset of several ailments, making early life for the infant much easier and enables him to grow strong and have a better quality of life. Several studies were conducted to confirm this and it will be utilized more often I the future.
"The study is extremely important in that it shows how important a healthy gut microbiome is. The work had major implications for reduced infection rates and atopic issues like eczema and asthma."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-22-c-section-or-antibiotics-while-pregnant-give-babies-probiotics.html
Chlamydia Symptoms + 5 Natural Treatments
April 30, 2017 06:44 PM
Chlamydia is a common STD but us easily treatable. It can effect men, women and even newborns of infected mothers. Symptoms include abdominal pain, pain with urination as well as nausea and sore throat, among other symptoms. Traditionally, there are some antibiotics available but there are some natural treatments. Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic cure. Echinacea's antibiotic properties has treated chlamydia and other STDs. Garlic and oregano oil, traditional foods have great immunity boosting properties. Probiotics can proliferate good bacteria that helps fight chlamydia. It's important to treat chlamydia before serious long term conditions occur.
Read more: Chlamydia Symptoms + 5 Natural Treatments
Traditional Uses of Blessed Thistle
Importance of Phospholipids and Peptides found in Fish oil
The demand for fish in the world keeps on increasing as a result of health advantages associated with fish oil. Fish oil is the oil extracted from the tissues of the oily fish, and this oil is known to have some benefits and one of them being the reduction of inflammation in the body. Although fish oil doesn’t contain the omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements contain these acids that are essential in the body.
Peptides found in fish oil are organic compounds that are groups of amino acids. The peptides have various medicinal benefits that include the following.
The fish peptides found in fish oil help reduce vasoconstriction that gets defined as the narrowing of one’s blood vessels as a result of contraction of the muscular wall. These fish peptides also help to reduce the thickness of the inner walls of the blood vessels that will affect blood circulation. Lastly, fish peptides found in fish oil always inhibit the aggregation of blood.
Fish peptides work in various ways. In their circulatory pressure function, the peptides inhibit the angiotensin converting enzyme. When the formation of angiotensin II gets inhibited, fish peptides help relax arteries and reduce fluid volume hence improving circulation.
When one combines fish oil together with fish peptides, it provides higher cardio-protective advantages than using pure fish oil.
The advantages of the fish oil supplement like krill oil revolve around their natural composition. It’s bioavailable as it has omega-3 fatty acids always attached to phospholipids. It, therefore, makes the supplement more effective and enables the body in absorbing more omega-3. The krill oil that contain phospholipids has several advantages. It always promotes one’s cardiovascular health. The main omega-3 fats include EPA and DHA that help to combat inflammation mainly in the blood vessels. In a way, it also helps to lower blood pressure and to some extent prevent strokes and heart attacks.
When taken in large quantity during pregnancy, the omega-3 found in these supplements helps a lot in improving neurological development in the newborns. They will help in the child’s development of the eyes, central nervous system and the brain.
The phospholipids that contain omega-3 fatty acids are said to be water dispersible. As a result, this makes them gentler on one’s stomach, hence, the body absorbs them more easily. These phospholipids are also natural and important parts of the cells compared to other marine oil omega-3s.
They help in both the heart and brain health. As a result of proper blood circulation, it ensures that oxygen is also well supplied within the body. They also have the advantages of a healthy inflammation and play a major role in women’s health. Lastly, phospholipids are safe for taking into the body as they are natural supplements.
Phospholipids are absorbed into the body at a faster rate compared to triglycerides found in fish oil. They have a superior absorption rate, and they are more effective in the body. The other reason you should go for phospholipids is that they aren’t chemically altered and are therefore safe for consumption.
In conclusion, the benefits of peptides found in the fish oil and phospholipids include protection of one’s brain from oxidative damage, improve focus as well as mental agility and reduce any depression symptoms. They also strengthen the blood vessels and the arteries.
What Is Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD)?
December 29, 2012 12:06 PM
Super Oxide Dismutase is an important enzyme that plays an important role in protecting the cells from free radical damage. Enzymes are compounds that work by speeding up certain chemical processes in the body. Super oxide dismutase speed up the process of transforming superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, making SOD an important component in the processes of providing oxygen to the cells. Without oxygen, cells eventually stop functioning and die.
Benefits of Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D)
This enzyme is present in various living organisms even in some bacteria species that do not utilize oxygen. Because of its function in providing oxygen to the cells, super oxide dismutase is important in keeping cells healthy and ensuring the function of all organs in the body. Without it, cells rapidly age and die, and the body becomes exposed to various kinds of diseases and infections. This becomes more pronounced in individuals who are constantly exposed to pollution and other sources of free radicals. Fortunately, the enzyme is available as a supplement for those who want to ensure that they have the right amounts of super oxide dismutase in their systems. It is important to seek professional consultation before taking the enzyme, but it is often allowed for most people in varying degrees of health.
Top Uses of Super Oxide Dismutase
Super oxide dismutase is often used to treat various types of organ malfunctions like bladder infections as well as to prevent lung infections in newborns suffering from compromised respiratory systems. This is very important in premature newborns since giving oxygen to a newborn can damage his lungs. The enzyme is also used by bodybuilders and those who want to stay fit and healthy since it enhances oxygen delivery and promotes longer endurance when working out. The antioxidant property of SOD also helps in keeping cells healthy and supports cell tissue repair after strenuous workouts.
What is Vitamin K Good For?
February 15, 2012 10:05 PM
Understanding Vitamin K
Vitamin K can be found in different forms, Phylloquinone is vitamin k1 and it is found in plants. Vitamin k2 is referred to as Mena Quinone and is produced by the intestinal bacteria. It can also be obtained from purified fish. The synthetic version of this mineral is called Menadione.
The role of the mineral is to aid in the blood clotting functions. When there is a deficiency, the production of prothrombin and various clotting factors is reduced. With time a person begins showing signs of hemorrhage.
The human body is incapable of synthesizing the mineral so you need to get it from dietary sources. The intestinal bacteria produce it as a metabolic by product. It is hard for someone to suffer from a deficiency since the vitamin is available from so many sources.
Vitamin K Stability
Since it is water soluble and heat stable there is no risk of leeching or inactivation during cooking. However, strong acids and alkalis have a destructive effect on the substance. Even though gamma irradiation is used to prolong the shelf life of food it inactivates the mineral.
Bile has to be present in order for the vitamin to be absorbed by the body. Lipoproteins in the bloodstream are responsible for transporting it to the liver. When it gets to the liver it is in is inactive form. A reductase is needed in order to revert it into its active state.
How Vitamin K Is Made
Normal intestinal bacteria are usually destroyed by prolonged use of antibiotics. This means that the body is unable to synthesize the mineral. The patient is put on supplements so as to prevent hemorrhagic tendencies. When a person is taking the supplements they are administered via intravenous or intramuscular injections. In some cases people are asked to take the supplements orally.
During the first weeks of their lives babies can suffer from hemorrhagic conditions due to a deficiency in vitamin k. in order to prevent this from happening, the infants are routinely injected with natural minerals at the time of birth depending on their weight. Medical practitioners do not use the synthetic version because it is toxic to babies.
A person suffering from a deficiency of vitamin k has certain symptoms such as excessive bleeding, less active prothrombin in their blood, their blood takes long to clot and if they are newborns they suffer from hemorrhagic episodes. There are a number of medical conditions and treatments that can cause a deficiency.
If you have a medical condition that interferes with the absorption of fats in the intestines then you could suffer from a deficiency of vitamin k. some of the conditions that lead to the problem include obstructive jaundice, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disorders and diarrhea. When you have any one of these conditions your body is unable to absorb the vitamin.
You can also suffer from a deficiency if you use mineral oil as laxatives. The vitamin usually attaches itself to the oil droplets in your intestines instead. The body is unable to absorb it so it is excreted in the feces. People are usually discouraged from using mineral oil to cure constipation because of this reason.
Can Colostrum help With Herpes?
November 03, 2011 07:34 AM
Colostrum is a special substance produced by female mammals just before they give birth to their offspring. Colostrum is basically not milk but a pre-milk fluid that is often called by many as the “first milk” for the very reason that it is obtained after birth (during first milking). Colostrum production ceases with birth; birth also signals the body to produce milk which will then serve as the infant’s food.
The fluids that are coming out from the female’s mammary glands changes after the first milking; the colostrums concentration is no longer that high and as time passes, all that goes out from the mother’s breast is already pure milk. The transition process would last for approximately 2 to 3 days. For humans and other mammals colostrums is very necessary for survival because of its vital components such as immunofactors. Although death is not eminent for babies who were not able to receive colostrum, those who were able to take the substance are relatively healthier than those who were not able to take it at all.
To make sure that your baby could drink colostrums, it is advisable to harvest the substance as soon as the breasts are already producing it after birth. Once harvested, you can bottle-feed it to the newborn during the first day of life. In this way, you will be certain that your baby will receive enough amounts of quality colostrums that would provide him or her with the vital components that the substance contains. Colostrums truly play a vital role especially during the first 24 hours of life thus; it is a duty of every mother to try whatever ways there are to provide her infant with the wonder substance, colostrums.
It is already a proven fact that for humans and to other mammals, newborns that are able to take colostrums as their first meal is very significant for development and immunity. It is also necessary in keeping the infant healthy for the rest of his or her life. After birth, the immune system of the infant is still very fragile and undeveloped thus, making them very susceptible from various illnesses and diseases brought about by antigens, pathogens, and allergens. With colostrums intake, these newborns will be provided with immune factors that are so potent in regulating and maintaining homeostasis within the immune system.
At present, the prevalence of herpes simplex virus, AIDS, and other immune disorders warrants the necessity of providing newborns with mantle of protection through the utilization of colostrum. As we all know, herpes simplex virus is one potent virus that could cause detrimental effects to one’s health especially to those that have flimsy immune system like infants and the sickly. By allowing infants to take colostrums, they will be somehow protected from the fierce of herpes simplex virus thus prevents them from being sick regularly. Colostrum can strengthen the immune system and our immune system is the only thing that fights off this virus.
When it comes to our health, we should exert superlative efforts to attain the best health state we could ever have because by doing so, we could enjoy the world better.
Can Colostrum Help Promote Healthy Immune Function?
October 12, 2011 01:33 PM
Colostrum, also known as first milk and yes that is not a typo error, I did mean first and not fresh, is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy and as my wife put it is the first milk that comes out of your breasts and as advised by our doctor was the most nutrient rich of all the breast milk she will ever produce. A woman’s breast is the one responsible for producing colostrums and start during pregnancy and continues on through the first days of breastfeeding. This special milk is thick and sticky and is more like yellow in color instead of white of dirty white color as most milk. It also is low in fat but high in carbohydrates, protein and antibodies to help build a foundation of good health for the newborn. So in other words it is the first milk that the mother produces and the first milk that the baby should ingest and must ingest because of the benefits it can bring and this makes calling it the “First Milk” all the more appropriate.
Most of the mammals in the planet will generate colostrum just before giving birth. We all have heard it before, “breast milk is still best for babies”, and this holds that statement to be even more true. The milk from the mom during pregnancy given that the mom is also in good health will be filled with nutrients that will be passed on to the offspring. It is nutrients in its purest form as untainted and unprocessed food will be given to build on the blank slate that the newborn can be considered to be since it still does not have a well built defense against viruses and bacteria which brings me back to the question above.
Promoting Healthy Immune Function With Colostrum
Colostrum contains a whole lot of antibodies and will most definitely help protect the newborn against diseases and will also even aid in building a strong foundation of good health all throughout his life. It also will not be a problem for the newborn’s tiny underdeveloped digestive system as it is designed to be easily digested. It has laxative effects which will help alleviate the movement of waste and any excess impurities in the newborn’s system which in turn can help prevent jaundice which is a very common health issue for newborns. In so many ways it is perfectly designed for your new born it is often referred to as the perfect first food for the baby as only nature can design.
It has nutrients tailored fit for the newborn and has very high concentration of immune factors that it works almost like a vaccine and to add to that it is even 100% safe, tried and tested for thousands of years. The good news is that there are supplemental colostrums available in the market today to mimic those effects to the new born, many studies have shown that colostrums immune factors are four times richer and has shown to be capable of correcting a dysfunctional immune system in adults.
Supplement forms of colostrums are from bovine sources. These sources still offer health benefits to the immune system and digestive tract. You too should take colostrums even as an adult to help boost your health.
Iodine, The Thyroid, And Radiation! What You Should Know!
July 13, 2011 10:34 AM
What Is Potassium Iodide Good For?Potassium iodide is an inorganic chemical compound which is a non-radioactive form of iodine. This type of chemical compound is very important to the body because it is involved with the production of thyroid hormones. If iodine in the body is low, thyroid hormones cannot be produced therefore levels of these hormones remain low in the blood. The pituitary gland, in return, will continue to produce thyroid – stimulating hormone thus the thyroid gland will also continually be stimulated. Overstimulation or overwork of any part of the body will cause enlargement thus goiter or enlargement of the thyroid gland occurs. These hormones are also important for the regulation of the body’s metabolism and are involved with protein synthesis, as well as fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
Potassium iodide is also important when there is radiologic exposure or nuclear meltdown since radioactive iodine may be freed into the air thus contamination to human beings and surrounding materials can be highly expected. Exposure may then lead to internal contamination which can be harmful to the body cells most especially with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland readily absorbs iodine whether in radioactive ionizing or non-ionizing form. If potassium iodide is present, it fills the receptor sites of iodine thus preventing the radioactive form of iodine to be absorbed by the body.
The iodine in the receptor sites is good for 24 hours already. The Food and Drug Administration has approved two preparations of potassium iodide which comes in the form of tablet and liquid. The tablet comes in two dosage, 130 milligrams and 65 milligram. It is also scored so that it can be easily divided for smaller doses prescribed. The liquid preparation, on the other hand, contains 65 milligram of potassium iodide per one milliliter. Experts suggest that those who are exposed to high doses of radiation can take potassium iodide immediately after a nuclear meltdown or radiation emergency.
Potassium iodide is present among common foods especially sea foods. Kelp which is a large type of seaweeds is very rich in potassium iodide. Studies show that its iodine content is about 90 to 8000 microgram per gram of kelp. To note, the recommended daily allowance of iodine is only 100 to 150 micrograms. FDA recommends specific doses after exposure to large amounts of radioactive iodine. For adults, take 130 milligrams, for breastfeeding women, 130 milligrams is also recommended, for children 3 to 18 years old must take only 65 milligram, however, for children who are 150 pounds or more, 130 milligrams of potassium iodide is suggested. Children who are 1 month of age but less than three years old are recommended to take 32 milligrams or one – half of the 65 milligram tablet. newborns to 1 month old babies are prescribed to have only 16 mg or one – fourth of the 65 milligram tablet.
The effectiveness of potassium iodide relatively depends on the time interval between the onset of exposure and contamination with radioactive iodine and the time when potassium iodide is taken, therefore, it is highly recommended that potassium iodide is taken just prior or immediately after exposure.
What is the Transfer Factor in Colostrum?
May 26, 2011 12:12 PM
Colostrum, Transfer Factor, And Your Health.
Transfer factor refers to any immune molecule found in the milk produced by the mammary glands in the first days after childbirth. It comprises a group of amino acids that are smaller than cells. Since its discovery in the 20th century, it has been suggested as a treatment for a host of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, infertility, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hepatitis, herpes, and HIV. It has grown in popularity in the past few years due to a resurgence of interest in natural remedies.
The quality of milk that mammals make in the last weeks of pregnancy is called colostrum, which is believed to be superior to ordinary milk. For one, it is lower in lipids and fats, but higher in proteins. More importantly, it contains antibodies called immunoglobulins, which are central to the identification of bacteria and viruses during infections. These antibodies alert the rest of the immune system to effectively deal with pathogens encountered for the first time. Colostrum contains transfer factors.
Like any other form of milk, colostrum is subjected to the digestion process when taken orally. The human gastrointestinal tract treats the carbohydrates, proteins, and even antibodies present in colostrums just like any other bioactive compounds, which are either absorbed or excreted. With the sole exception of transfer factors, everything else undergoes first pass metabolism in the liver. Transfer factors are so small that they pass through physiological screens and filters.
It is becoming common knowledge that transfer factors have antibiotic properties. Indeed they are one of the antibiotics that occur naturally in nature. They are produced by the mammary glands for the sole purpose of transferring the immunity of the mother to the newborn child. newborns are completely sterile, making them especially susceptible several hours after birth. Transfer factors prepare the immune system of newborns against common pathogens the mother has encountered before.
One of the unique characteristics attributed to transfer factors in colostrum is its antiviral properties. Transfer factors were first observed to interfere with the rapid multiplication of rotavirus, which causes diarrhea in infants. More recent studies have looked into its medicinal potential against other viruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus and herpes. The scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet, with most of the antiviral researches on transfer factors being in their initial stages.
Transfer factors have been linked to faster muscle recover. Proponents believe that the group of proteins that constitutes transfer factors is capable of speeding up the healing rate of skeletal muscles after intense physical exertion. They raise the stress tolerance of individual cells amid harmful levels of aerobic metabolism. By so doing, they also make a viable treatment for muscle weakness and physical fatigue following continued exposure to stress without taking adequate time for recovery.
Boost Your Immune System with Colostrum Daily, you are never to young!
Taurine - Essential or Non-Essential Amino Acid - You Decide?
February 17, 2011 10:56 AM
Amino Acid Taurine Is Essential For More Than You Think
Taurine is an organic compound with acidic properties, which is synthesized in the pancreas in adults, but an essential amino acid in infants. Many neutraceutical products for infants are fortified with taurine, inasmuch as some newborns do not have the enzymes required to synthesize taurine. Taurine deficiency in adults results from deficiencies in other organic compounds, notably methionine and cysteine, which are its immediate precursors within the body.
Helps in Brain Development
It has long been postulated that taurine plays an important role in the human brain, especially in infants, protecting the nerve cells from possible neonatal damages. Taurine continues to affect the nervous system as we age, acting on gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, and consequently enhances inhibitory synaptic transmissions. In addition, taurine is alleged to stimulate continuous activation of synapses characteristic of long-term potentiation, which memory and learning ability stem from.
Stabilizes Glucose Levels
Taurine is a powerful inhibitor of glycation, a process by which sugar molecules attach themselves to other biomolecules without the aid of enzymes, and thus subsequently impair the functions of these biomolecules. This process may take place inside or outside the body, but the substances that result from this process, which are referred to as advanced glycation end-products or AGEs, contribute to the formation of a number of major disorders in later life such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related deafness and blindness, and cancer. Taurine keeps the cells from taking up AGEs from the blood, which is slowly excreted in the urine.
Regulates Adipose Tissues
It has also been observed that dietary taurine influences the metabolic pathways that give rise to the formation of adipose tissues, the fat reserves of the human body. These fat depot appear anywhere in the body, but are commonly tied to the subcutaneous fats, those that we see on the belly, chest, arms, and thighs. Moreover, body fat percentage has been an indicator of obesity, which is central to the use of taurine in regulating adipose tissues.
Influences Lipid Absorption
Taurine is a major component of bile, the fluid produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and secreted in the small intestines to aid in the digestion of triglycerides, cholesterol, and other lipids. Also, several studies point to the effect of taurine on the binding of proteins to lipids to form lipoproteins, compounds that have been notoriously labeled as bad cholesterol. Not surprisingly, taurine has been suggested to maintain healthy levels of blood cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Fights Oxidative Stress
Sodas have become a part of our daily diet today, but little did we know that they are risk factors for oxidative stress, the continued peroxidation of cellular structures. Fructose in sodas and other sweetened beverages is the most dangerous of all sugars, inasmuch as it releases by-products called AGEs, which are highly reactive to oxidation. AGEs do not get excreted right away and are instead absorbed by cells, leading to irreversible damages to neuronal and vascular tissues in later life. Intake of taurine removes this problem.
Have you had your Taurine Today?
Join The Age Specific Probiotic Revolution For Better Health
January 18, 2008 10:54 AM
Probiotics are good or friendly bacteria that may just be the most important supplement of all. Probiotics may help boost your immunity, heal disease, and according to recent research, help prevents cancer. All of the above especially applies to both babies and vulnerable older adults. Along with helping people to maintain healthy populations of beneficial bacteria, probiotics have many other health benefits. One that has recently become known is the ability to protect against colon cancer.
A recent study in Ireland found that probiotics, which are live bacteria that can benefit health, may also be just as important as vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and regular exercise in our strategies to lower the risk of cancer. This study was performed on eighty patients who had had either colon cancer tumors or polyps recently removed. Each patient received either a probiotic or a placebo. Included in the probiotic was Lactobacillus rhamnosus and a Bifidobacteria that was combined with other probiotics. These formulas which contain live probiotics and prebiotics are known as synbiotics. After three months of use, the balance of colon bacteria in those receiving the symbiotic formula had changed to having more lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria and less of the bacteria that is linked with increasing cancer risk, as compared to those patients who received placebos.
Additionally, those patients who received synbiotics showed a decrease in DNA damage in the lining of the colon along with a decreased growth and reproduction of colon cells. Also, neither of the groups reported any adverse effects of the synbiotics. These findings were also consistent with those of earlier studies, concluding that “bad” bacteria can produce substances that promote the development of colon cancer. Probiotics have also been shown to decrease abnormal colon cell development and DNA damage in animals.
However, these findings are not yet enough for the FDA to allow the claims that probiotics work against colon cancer, but rather simply state that they support colon health. These studies certainly suggest that the right beneficial strains in the right amounts of probiotics in your gut are a great amount better for you than too much of the bad bacteria.
Many people take a lifetime approach to probiotics, believing that they are appropriate for people of all ages, from babies to children to adults. Probiotics have an immunomodulatory effect at any age by stimulating and boosting the immune system. Even for infants, probiotics are critical. It has been shown that mothers who take a probiotic blend during pregnancy have babies who are less prone to eczema and other allergic conditions.
Additionally, the advent of new methods has made it possible to characterize the gut microbiota changes as we age, and in health and disease. Because of this, products that target specific issues and ages have been produced which can work with each individual’s needs. The two key bacteria helping advanced adults are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacteria, as they provide the additional bacterial strains that are associated with the older adult’s needs. Additionally, newborns and babies do not need the same composition as adults. Instead, products for babies include B. infantis, B. bifidum, and B. breve. The greatest thing about probiotics is that you can’t overdose. Probiotics are always quite safe and very effective.
When buying a probiotic supplement, look to your local health food store to find the freshest name brand probiotic because not all probiotics are made the same.
Fats: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
June 14, 2005 11:18 AM
Fats: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly by Thomas Sherman Energy Times, October 15, 2004
We need fat to absorb vitamins, to keep our brains sharp, to survive. But not all fats are our friends. Find out which ones are the heroes and the villains in your diet.
In a lot of cases health fads don't live up to their hype. But the case for consuming more good fats-the omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in fish, flax and hemp oils-is strong and growing stronger. As a nation we eat too little of these good fats, and our health would improve greatly if we relied a little less on the bad saturated fat in burgers, skipped the ugly trans fats in fries and indulged in more salmon and other seafoods.
Fish and the Heart
Need proof? A wealth of research supports fish oil's desirable effects, especially on heart health. While many people believe that heart disease is primarily a problem for men, women who have passed through menopause are just as susceptible to heart problems.
" [Our] findings suggest that all women, and most likely men, would benefit from regular fish intake," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. "A tuna fish sandwich counts, as does almost any other type of fish that is baked, broiled, grilled, or poached." But she points out that fried fish, which is often cooked in hydrogenated oils, is not helpful.
In research on more than 200 women, performed at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, scientists found that the arterial blockages among women who dined on fish were less (and impeded blood flow less) than in women who hardly ever ate seafood. Fish was especially helpful for women who had diabetes, a disease that makes you more prone to heart and circulation problems (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 9/04).
These effects are important: Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women, and older women who suffer from diabetes are particularly susceptible. The number of people with diabetes has been increasing of late, mainly due to the fact that Americans are overweight. Right now about 18 million people have diabetes and another 20 million are expected to suffer this condition in the next four decades.
" This study shows that following the current guidelines of eating at least two servings of any type of fish per week slows down the progression of heart disease in women with coronary artery disease (CAD), especially those who were also diabetic," says Dr. Lichtenstein, coauthor of the study. "We further found that eating one or more servings per week of fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna or other dark-fleshed fish, is equally effective."
Dangerous disruptions in heartbeat, known as arrhythmias, may also be affected by fish oil. "[E]xperiments show that fatty acids from omega-3 fish oils are stored in the cell membranes of heart cells and can prevent sudden cardiac death or fatal arrhythmias," notes Alexander Leaf, MD, medical researcher and professor at Harvard University.
Fat for Your Brain
The right kind of fat is also crucial for the function of your nerves and brain tissue, which is 60% to 70% fat. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into those cells can help keep your brain firing on all synapses. It may lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible form of mental deterioration that kills 100,000 Americans a year. About a thousand people a day in the US are found to have Alzheimer's, and experts believe that over the next 40 years 14 million of us will be doomed to being enveloped by the mental fog this condition produces.
Research indicates that our brains probably need omega-3 fats for protection against the kind of damage that causes our mental capacities to slip. Once Alzheimer's starts, deterioration accelerates because brain cells start losing these fats.
In experiments performed at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (Neuron 9/2/04), scientists looked at how a lack of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, one of the omega-3 fats found in fish), affected the cellular processes that lead to Alzheimer's. They found that the part of brain cells that receive signals from other brain cells, the receptors, are vulnerable to damage from chemical reactions that take place inside the cells. However, DHA offers antioxidant protection against this destruction.
When brain cells were denied DHA, the cells' receptors suffered extra harm. But when fish oil was present, brain cells were protected. In addition, animals that received extra omega-3s were better able to learn and find their way through mazes.
Greg Cole, PhD, senior researcher on this study and a professor of neurology at Geffen, says, "We saw that a diet rich in DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene [which made the animals more susceptible to Alzheimer's]. Consuming more DHA is something the average person can easily control. Anyone can buy DHA in its purified form, fish-oil capsules, high-fat fish or DHA-supplemented eggs." Fishes rich in omega-3s include salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines and herring.
Protecting Kids from Asthma
A surprising benefit of omega-3s has been found in pregnant women and their newborns: Pregnant women with asthma who eat fish rich in omega-3s during their pregnancy lower their children's risk of asthma.
Not just any fish will do. The study (American Thoracic Society International Conference 5/25/04) discovered that mothers who ate fish sticks during pregnancy doubled the asthma risk in their kids. " Fish sticks are deep-fried, and they contain omega-6 fatty acids, which encourage inflammation of the airways," says study co-author Frank Gilliland, MD, PhD, professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. "Oily fish [like salmon and trout] contain omega-3 fatty acids, which appear to be anti-inflammatory, and lead to the reduced potential for developing asthma and allergies."
The USC investigation showed that when women with asthma ate oil-bearing fish during pregnancy, the risk of asthma for their children dropped more than 70%. The more fish that mom consumed, the less likely her baby was to develop asthma. Unfortunately, the study did not find the same benefit in women without asthma.
" A family history of asthma is a very strong risk factor for a child developing asthma," Dr. Gilliland says. "It appears that oily fish interacts with the genes involved in the predisposition to develop asthma, and somehow reduces the risk."
Although most of us try to avoid accumulating unsightly fat around our hips, the right kind of fat plays an integral part in the functioning of our bodies and may even keep us alive. Fats don't get much better than that.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
May 12, 2005 09:33 AM
Keeping the Intestines Healthy"Friendly Bacteria" Therapy Breakthrough
by Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Ninety percent of the cells found in the human body are not of human origin.
No, this does not mean we are all products of some sinister alien experiment.
The human body is made up of about 10 trillion cells. This huge number is dwarfed by the bacteria we all carry around in our intestinal tracts. The lower bowel is a campground for roughly 100 trillion bacteria, single-celled plant organisms that can be seen only through a microscope.
When we enjoy good intestinal health, the bulk of these bacteria are beneficial. Known as "friendly flora," these tiny guests help digest our food by breaking down undigested proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The friendliest of the friendly bacteria are the "lactobacilli," so named because they produce lactic acid in the bowel, by fermenting carbohydrates. This lactic acid production is profoundly important for keep the intestines healthy. And good intestinal health is the foundation of overall health.
How do we maintain a thriving population of lactic acid-producing bacteria in the gut? First introduced into the human body through mother's milk, lactobacilli are somewhat fragile. Stress, poor diets, and antibiotics can kill them off. They should be replanted fairly regularly throughout life. One way to do this is through consumption of cultured milk products such as sour milk, kefir and yogurt, which contain live lactobacilli. They can also be consumed in dietary supplements, but this may or may not be a reliable route. Bacterial products do not keep very well on the shelf, they require refrigeration, and are largely destroyed on the trip from the mouth to the gut by our own digestive juices.
Introducing Lactobacillus sporogenes- a revolutionary new friendly bacteria supplement.
This article will focus on one particular species of lactobacilli, a relatively unknown member of the family called Lactobacillus sporogenes. This lactic-acid producing bacteria may prove to be one of the most practical forms for use in supplements, thanks to a unique property not shared by the more well-known friendly flora such as acidophillus. L. Sporogenes is a spore-forming bacteria. Safely enclosed within a spore coat that protects it from the environment, L. sporogenes is resistant to heat, oxygen and digestive acids. Once L. sporogenes reaches the intestines, its spore coat dissolves, freeing the bacteria to multiply and churn out the beneficial lactic acid. (The spore coat, made up of a calcium-protein-carbohydrate complex, is harmless).1
The difficulty of keeping friendly bacteria supplements alive is an ongoing problem for manufacturers of these products. Studies have analyzed various commerical products claiming to contain acidophilus and found they often contain few live bacteria.2,3 L. Sporogenes is naturally microencapsulated; this insulates it from the gauntlet through which friendly bacteria in dietary supplements must pass.1 Autointoxication-Poisoning by Bacterial Toxins The intestinal tract may also play host to pathogenic, or disease-causing bacteria. These "unfriendly flora" cause putrefaction and release injurious toxins into the lower bowel. This healthy picture is all too common, and has long been concern of wholistic health practitioners.
The concept of "autointoxication," poisoning of the body by intestinal toxins, was popular among doctors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An editorial on the dangers of autointoxication which appeared in the June 3, 1893 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) declared that "most likely a large majority of chronic diseases take their origin from this cause."4 The famous Russian physician Eli Metchnikoff pioneered the use of lactobacteria for preventing autointoxication and restoring bowel health. His landmark work 'Prolongation of Life' sparked interest in lactobacilli as a food supplement.5,6
Naturopathy, widely practiced during the early twentieth century, has always stressed the fundamental importance of bowel cleansing. With the advent of so-called "scientific medicine," naturopathy slipped into decline, and the concept of autointoxication was discredited. Over the last thirty years or so, this has changed. Naturopathic medicine has rebounded, and the importance of bowel health is once again recognized. A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1964, while opining that autointoxication "was exploited by quacks and faddists" in the early 1900's concedes that "the concept of autointoxication must now receive serious consideration."7
Leaders in the rebirth of natural medicine such as Dr. Bernard Jensen have helped educate the public about the importance of keeping the bowels healthy through regular use of lactobacilli. Jensen is well-known for his extensive studies of regions such as the Hunza Valley in Pakistan where people commonly live well over one hundred years. Jensen and others have noted that the consumption of fermented dairy products containing lactobacilli is a common dietary practice in these areas. Their observations have contributed to the popularity of friendly bacteria supplements. At the same time, clinical research has provided ample evidence of the beneficial effects of lactobacteria supplementation.5,9<.sup>
Eubiosis-Keeping a Healthy Bacteria Population in the Intestinal Tract
In his book 'Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management, which contains a wealth of valuable wisdom on intestinal health, Dr. Jensen writes, "Where health and vitality are found, we invariably find the friendly and beneficial microbes ... To a large extent the flora in the bowel determines the state of health in an individual."8 In a healthy bowel the friendly flora make up the bulk of the bacteria population. The unfriendly, disease-causing organisms are in the minority. The good bacteria keep them firmly under control. This healthy microbial balance in the gut is called "eubiosis."
Life in our modern industrial society is hardly favorable to eubiosis. Residents of the Hunza Valley lead unhurried lives in a pristine, pollution-free environment. They grow their own food in fertile, nutrient-rich soil, work close to the landÐand consume lactic-acid producing bacteria on a daily basis. For the rest of us who cannot hope to enjoy this enviable lifestyle, eubiosis is something we should never take for granted. This means taking proactive steps to plant the seeds of health in our intestinal garden, by using a viable friendly bacteria supplement.
Supplements which help to populate the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria are known as "probiotics." The term "probiotic" literally means "for life.' (In contrast, "antibiotic" means "against life.") Probiotics restore the natural state of "eubiosis" that is so very important for health and longevity.
L. Sporogenes-an ideal probiotic
Not every species of lactobacilli qualifies as an effective probiotic. As noted above, many do not survive processing, storage and passage through the digestive system very well. The following attributes make L. Sporogenes an ideal probiotic supplement:1,10,11
1) Naturally microencapsulatedÐstable at room temperature and can be stored unrefrigerated for long periods without loss of viable organisms.
2) Tolerates heat, stomach acid and bile, allowing it to successfully travel into the lower bowel.
3) Non-pathogenic, has only beneficial effects on its host. Has similar characteristics as acidophilus: prefers a mild acid environment; produces lactic acid, digestive enzymes, etc.
4) Readily multiplies in the human gut. In the stomach, the spore coat absorbs moisture and begins to swell. Upon reaching the small intestine, the bacteria cells germinate and begin to multiply, doubling in number every 30 minutes.
5) Produces enzymes which help digest protein, fats and carbohydrates. These enzymes include lactose, the enzyme that digests milk sugar.12
6) Creates a favorable environment (mildly acidic) in the gut for other friendly bacteria to thrive. Prevents overgrowth of pathogenic organisms.
7) Produces lactic acid in the form of L- lactic acid only.
The last point is especially important. Lactic acid occurs in the form of three isomers (substances with identical molecular structures that have different shapes): L-lactic acid, D-lactic acid and DL-lactic acid. The D form is metabolized slowly, and can produce acidosis in the system. (Infants have a particularly difficult time metabolizing D-lactic acid.)11,13 DL-Lactic acid, the kind acidophilus makes, may be converted to either D or L.
The L form is the one we want. L. sporogenes is a "homofermenter," it makes L-lactic acid exclusively. Lactic acid keeps the gut mildly acidic. This acidity is essential for the gut to be a hospitable home for friendly bacteria, and stops the growth of the unwelcome disease-causing bacteria.
L. sporogenes has only one drawback. It is a transient visitor that does not permanently colonize in the digestive tract. A study on the retention of L. sporogenes found no bacteria in the feces six days after consumption was discontinued.14
L. Sporogenes-Results from Clinical Studies
L. Sporogenes is used extensively in Japan and approved by the Japanese equivalent of the FDA. L. sporogenes has been given to hospital patients suffering from intestinal complaints such as gas and bloating due to abnormal fermentation, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. (These problems often occur after surgery or chemotherapy.) A total of 16 clinical reports are on record in Japanese hospitals, documenting 293 case of digestive complaints treated with L. sporogenes.15 The overall improvement rate is an impressive 86 percent. Results are typically seen within four to five days. L. sporogenes has also been used with success to clear up diarrhea in newborns.16 Like other lactobacilli, L. sporogenes lowers blood cholesterol. (Lactobacilli break down cholesterol and bile salts in the intestinal tract.) Researchers at a hospital in New Delhi, India gave L. sporogenes tablets to 20 patients with high cholesterol for twelve weeks.17 Total cholesterol levels were substantially reduced, along with LDL cholesterol, and the beneficial HDL rose slightly.
The popularity of L. sporogenes in other countries as an ideal friendly bacteria supplement will no doubt be soon matched in the U.S. This microscopic helper for intestinal health is now sold in probiotic products under the name "Lactospore®."
1. Gandhi, A.B., Nagarathnam, T. Probiotics in veterinary use. Poultry Guide 1990;27(3):43-47.
2. Brennan, M., Wanismail, B., Ray, B. Prevalence of viable Lactobacillus acidophilus in dried commercial products. Journal of Food Protection 1983;46(10):887-92.
3. Gilliland, S.E., Speck, M.L. Enumeration and identity of lactobacilli in dietary products. Journal of Food Protection 1977;40(11):760-62.
4. Dalton, R.H. The limit of human Life, and how to live long. JAMA 1893;20:599-600.
5. Shahani, K.M., Ayebo, A.D. Role of dietary lactobacilli in gastrointestinal microecology. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980;33:2448-57.
6. Metchnikoff, E.. Prolongation of Life. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons;1908.
7. Donaldson, R.M. Normal Bacterial populations of the intestine and their relation to intestinal function. New Eng. J. Med. 1964;270(18):938-45.
8. Jensen, B. Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. Escondido, CA: publ. by Bernard Jensen, D.C.;1980.
9. Schauss, A.G. Lactobacillus acidophilus: method of action, clinical application, and toxicity data. Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1990;3(3):163-78.
10. 'General InformationÐLactospore®' 1996; Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, NJ.
11. Gandhi, A.B. Lactobacillus sporogenes, An Advancement in Lactobacillus Therapy. The Eastern Pharmacist August 1998:41-44.
12. Kim, Y.M., Lee, J.C., Choi, Y.J., Yang, H.C. Studies on the production of beta galactosidase by lactobacillus sporogenes. Properties and application of beta galactosidase. Korean J. Appl. Microbiol. Bioeng. 1985;13(4):355-60.
13. Oh, MS. D-Lactic acidosis in a man with short bowel syndrome. New Eng J Med 1979;31(5):249-52.
14. Hashimo, K. et. al. New Drugs and Clinics 1964;13(9):53-66.
15. 'Abstracts of papers on the clinical studies of Lacbon' Unpublished data.
16. Dhongade, R.K., Anjaneyule, R. Lactobacillus sporogenes (Sporlac) in neonatal diarrhea. Unpublished data.
17. Mohan, J.C., Arora, R., Khaliullah, M. Preliminary observations on effect of Lactobacillus sporogenes on serum lipid levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. Indian J. Med. Res. 1990;92(B):431-32.
VitaNet ® Staff