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Gardenia, widely used in TCM, found to prevent cognitive impairmentand neurotoxicity
May 09, 2019 09:56 AM
Nobody wants to think about losing their memories as they begin to age. Luckily, a Chinese medicinal herb called gardenia has been shown to contain components that can help improve cognitive function. Scientists studied mice that were given daily doses of gardenia, and the research revealed that a component called GJ-4 had the ability to help repair cognitive damage, reduce brain inflammation, and even help expand the body's ability to hold antioxidants which help promote brain function.
"In the study, researchers looked at Chinese herbs, which have been used medicinally for thousands of years, as a good source for potential drugs for Alzheimer’s."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-28-gardenia-found-to-prevent-cognitive-impairment-and-neurotoxicity.html
Why overall gut health is vital to wellbeing
June 08, 2017 04:14 PM
Nobody likes bloating and cramping and other gut nuisances. Millions of bacteria, also called microflora, are in gastro-intestinal tract. The state of your digestive health can effect your immunity to illnesses. A healthy digestive tract is key to overall good health. Travel, stress, diet and antibiotics can all cause problems or imbalances in the flora in the digestive tract. Probiotics help to protect the gut, as well as overall health and well-being. It's important to assure you take a probiotic that is high quality.
"Various factors such as a poor diet, high stress, travel, gastroenteritis or taking antibiotics, can cause an imbalance in the gut flora, so it is necessary for most people to supplement their diet with a high quality daily probiotic, Dicks added"
Read more: http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/health/body/why-overall-gut-health-is-vital-to-wellbeing-9578835
5 Awesome Grains to Replace Rice
May 23, 2017 08:44 AM
Nobody can contend against quinoa, not once they read the dietary name on the bundle. Quinoa is, by a wide margin, the most advantageous of the grains. It's additionally ridiculous costly. Try not to stress, it doesn't taste as freaky as it sounds, You'll no doubt discover it in the Middle East or the Mediterranean. Grain is a standout amongst the most one of a kind of the grains to supplant rice. It's chewier than alternate grains, which gives it a consistency practically like pasta.
"Quinoa is one of the only grains to contain all nine amino acids essential for muscle-building, making it one of the best grains for athletes and active people to eat."
Read more: http://www.weightlossforall.com/5-awesome-grains-to-replace-rice.htm
5 Things to Know About Genetic Testing Bill
March 24, 2017 02:44 PM
Could you be pressured into submitting to genetic testing in the near future? A proposed piece of legislation could alter the 2008 law that protects us from mandatory genetic testing and or discrimination based on the results of such tests. The proposed changes get around the 2008 law by linking predictive tests to wellness programming and declaring wellness programs exempt from the prior rules. Bioethics experts believe that your genetic health Is nobody’s business and others point out that wellness programs have failed to produce proven results or savings.
"Despite the country's focus on the American Health Care Act, a smaller bill is also working its way through Congress — one that could overturn years of legislative protections for patients."
Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/nobody-s-business-5-things-know-about-genetic-testing-bill-n733416?cid=public-rss_20170316
The Most Effective Way to Quit Eating Sugar That Nobody Ever Talks About
March 21, 2017 11:14 AM
There is a most effective way to stop eating sugar and nobody ever talks about it. It is interesting to understand that your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat as well as how much energy you burn. Junk food is designed with the intent for you to want more. Your mind has a strong influence on your food cravings.
"Your body is designed to naturally regulate how much you eat and the energy you burn."
The 3 biggest feeding mistakes you can make with your preschooler
December 19, 2016 12:59 PM
Feeding a preschooler can be a daunting task. It is difficult when all they want is unhealthy food, and shun any attempt at giving them something healthy. There are some mistakes which can be avoided. Do not let them drink till their full, or eat a constant stream of snacks. At a young age it is time to impress on the importance of healthy eating.
"Don’t be a short-order cook."
The fantastic pumpkin seed
November 02, 2016 10:49 AM
Mention pumpkin and you think Halloween jack o’lanterns. Come Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s pumpkin pie. Or maybe pumpkin soup. Yet nobody talks of the two powerhouse nutritional part of the pumpkin – pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil. From improving bladder function, easing arthritis to thwarting heart disease and providing anxiety relief, it’s the seeds where the magic of the pumpkin is.
"a condition characterized by a sudden urge to urinate that may lead to an involuntary loss of urine Researchers estimate that 16 percent of men and women suffer from overactive bladder symptoms such as urination urgency as well as frequent daytime and night urination."
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Effects low adrenal to body
As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:
Cause of low adrenal level
With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.
It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .
Types of adrenal stress syndrome
Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.
Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.
Mental burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.
Can Aloe Sooth The Skin When Damaged?
March 13, 2014 04:25 PM
What is aloe vera
Aloe Vera is one of the natural products that is used to treat various skin diseases as well as maintaining and preventing some of the skin conditions. Aloe is rich in enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that help to heal and sooth damaged skin.
Aloe is rich in antioxidants compounds such as vitamin A and calcium which have been proved to have a soothing effects. They help to eliminate free radicals in the body which are known to cause rashes and growths on the skin. Upon it use, you will feel calm and relaxed.
Benefits of aloe vera
Aloe gel is effective in healing damaged skin especially skin prone too acnes, rashes and blisters. It has anti-bacterial properties which permanently heals damages skin.
Aloe provides instant relief from itching, sunburn, rashes as well as blisters. Apart from healing damaged skin. Aloe will moisturise skin and give you a natural look. It is rich in fatty acids that increases sebum production which makes skin to remain hydrated.
Aloe is non-staining and is easily absorbed. It does not stick on your skin, nobody will know if you have applied aloe after 10 minutes.
It is also effective in removing skin tags and dark spot. Though there are methods to remove skin tags and dark spot, aloe is one of the safest way to remove. It does not cause irritation and permanently removes skin tags and black spots.
Aloe also increases oxygen supply to the skin. This is very important since it enhances growth of skin tissues and also tightens it. This is very important because it reduces saggy skins which are not pleasing.
Aloe extract will also reduce redness and swelling, reduce inflammation and speed up wound healing.
Thus, aloe is not only effective in soothing skin when damaged, it has multiple benefits to the user.
Fight Acne Naturally
May 06, 2009 12:13 PM
Acne treatment therapies focus upon two aspects of acne: its prevention and management, and the removal of its more lasting effects.
Looking at the latter first, acne scars can be unsightly, and there are several methods currently used either to remove them or to hide them. Some of the more radical are surgical, while others involve modifications the surface of the skin by means of techniques akin to sandpapering, and also cosmetic techniques.
However, such therapies are needed only if the condition is permitted to have a significant effect on your skin. There are therapies that can be used to mitigate the condition if not remove it altogether. Before discussing these it will be necessary to consider what causes acne, because without that knowledge there can be no effective treatment.
Acne is cause by blockage of the sebaceous pores in the skin. That blockage is generally caused by a mixture of dead skin cells and skin oil, otherwise known as sebum. Why should this occur with acne sufferers and nobody else, when all of us have the ingredients of acne as normal components of our skin? The answer lies in our hormones.
The reason that acne is most prevalent in teenagers is that the generation of sebum is promoted by our hormones: specifically the male hormones known as androgens that both males and females begin to create in quantity during puberty. These cause the sebaceous pores to enlarge, and sebum to be produced in larger than normal quantities.
The hormones also tend to disrupt the usual desquamation rate, or shedding of dead skin cells. What happens is that the skin cells within the pores begin to shed in clumps, rather than singly, and when mixed with the excess skin oil form a plug that clogs up the pores. This plug of oils and skin cells then gets contaminated with bacteria that in time initiate the immune reaction, resulting in pus being formed through the action of macrophages on the bacteria.
The therapy needed to reduce the incidence of acne, then, can be either proactive or retroactive. Proactively, they can reduce the production of the sebum/skin cell plug. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) as found in Omega-6 oil can block androgen receptors and so decrease the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) produced. The less the amount of DHT, then the less will be the severity of your acne.
Evening primrose oil contains large quantities of GLA, and even applying this topically on your skin will dilute the sebum and reduce the likelihood of sebum and skin cells blocking your pores. This is an extreme simplification of what GLA does, but it does accurately represent the end result of its use. There are also medications you can take to reduce the rate of shedding of your skin cells, so that your pores have less chance of being blocked.
Retroactively, you can apply antibiotics to kill off the bacterial that act on the plug and that initiate the immune response responsible for the lesions. You can also give your skin a good wash with an effective skin cleanser, including a mild antibiotic to enhance the cleansing of the bacterial plug. However, there are alternative treatments, such as the proactive diet control, and the use of vitamins and appropriate herbs to control or even prevent the condition.
When you think of diet, don't think chocolate. Acne is not caused by eating too much chocolate, or even by fatty foods. We have already discussed the causes of acne, and if we can find any components in our diet that can create these conditions, then by eliminating them we should be able to avoid the condition. As a corollary, if we can identify any substances that could prevent androgens from creating excess sebum, or even control the androgens themselves, or that could help the skin cells to shed more evenly, then we could include these in our diet.
In fact such substances do exist. By going deep into the science, we will find that the secretion of testosterone is promoted by a hormone known as IGF-1 and also by insulin. IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, and is important in the growth of children. It also promotes acne! Insulin does the same, and what that infers that anything in the diet that promotes the production of insulin will also promote acne.
What promotes insulin? Sugars and carbohydrates! Therefore, if you eat a diet low in sugars and carbs then you should have less production of sebum, and hence less acne. What this is leading to is that if you have a tendency to get acne; then switch your diet from carbohydrates and sugary foods to vegetables, grains and seafood. The Japanese get very little acne, which supports this theory.
You should also take foods rich in zinc, since a zinc deficiency has been found to lead to acne. nobody knows why yet, but use the information and either take a zinc supplement or eat zinc rich foods such as shellfish. Strangely, it is a deficiency of zinc that causes an increase in testosterone, not the surplus of zinc provided by eating oysters! These have another effect.
There are also herbal treatments that can be effectively used for acne. Most are topical, and tea tree oil is one the more recent such treatments used to treat acne. Among the chemical constituents of tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, with powerful antimicrobial properties. Little wonder then that it is effective in preventing the bacterial infection of the sebaceous gland pores. The oil helps to dry out the skin, again creating conditions alien to bacteria.
You could use tea tree oil by itself, though many people simply mix it with the acne creams they are currently using. That makes them much more effective. Another option goes back to the zinc again, but rather than take it as a supplement, use it topically. Chamomile and lavender are useful in calming skin that has been inflamed both by over-zealous use of skin scrubs and also the immune system's inflammatory response to the infection of the pores.
There are many healthy options to the severe pharmaceutical treatments offered by your physician. These can be used in place of, but preferably as supplements to, the treatment recommended by your doctor. Each of the natural treatments has a sound scientific basis, and if you suffer from acne can be well worth trying.
Looking For A Calcium But Not Sure Which Is Best For You?
November 02, 2007 12:23 PM
Calcium is essential to good health, but if you are looking for calcium it can be confusing to decide in which form you take it. There are so many available and every one claims to be good for you, so why the difference? Why not just sell the best and let us all know what it is? Well, this same argument could be applied to all supplements that are sold in different forms, and also to many foodstuffs.
The supplement best for you might not be the best for the next person due to dietary requirements each persons diet is different, so it is better to learn about what is available then make your choice based upon knowledge rather than ignorance. It is not only the source of the calcium you have to bother about, but also the other vitamins that have be present to make sure that that the calcium is absorbed by the body in the way that you want it to be.
To understand that then you need to learn why the body needs calcium, other than just the bones and teeth that everybody knows about. After all, why else do we need calcium? It is only contained in bones and teeth – right? Wrong!
Although 99% of calcium is contained in your bones and teeth, 1% is contained in the blood, muscles and central nervous system. With out that 1% we would all die. Without teeth we would not. Calcium is essential for blood clotting and for the proper function of our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Calcium combines with phosphorus to create healthy bones and teeth, and is essential early in life to build up a strong skeleton. Note that phosphorus is also necessary so we also need an adequate supply of that mineral.
Calcium is essential to allow muscles to properly contract. Without that ability, muscles could not work, and a deficiency of calcium causes muscle cramps and spasms. The movement of the smooth muscles is regulated by a protein that is bound to calcium. This is just one of the uses of the calcium in the body that most people are unaware of.
Calcium also takes part in the binding process of the blood platelets during the coagulation of blood. Although most people are aware of the need for vitamin K and fibrin, in fact calcium is also essential in its interaction with the platelets in the coagulation cascade that eventually results in a blood clot that stops bleeding. Basically, without calcium, the blood could not form a clot. In addition to its effect on blood clotting, calcium also plays an essential part in the movement of ions through the membranes of nerve cells, and without it intercellular communication could not occur. Our nerve impulses would not occur and the body again would not be in a working condition.
However, the body has a way of modulating the calcium level in the blood past a minimum level needed for effective nerve cell communication, and below a certain level it can even use the calcium in the bones to divert to the more needy areas of the body. It is therefore not possible for the body to fail through a lack of calcium. The skeleton would disintegrate first. Nevertheless, nobody wants a disintegrating skeleton since that would be counterproductive to effective movement of the body, so a good source of calcium is essential for overall bodily health, not just that of the teeth and the bones.
There are many sources of calcium, but some are more suitable for absorption by the body than others. Chalk, or calcium carbonate, is an excellent source of calcium, but will fail to promote bone growth if your diet does not contain sufficient potassium, vitamin D, magnesium and strontium needed to make it work to build healthy bones. It is the most common on the shelves, and likely the cheapest, but not necessarily the best source. It is basically chalk or limestone, and only 10% of the supplement will actually become available for your body to use.
The bioavailability of a calcium supplement is a figure that indicates how much of the calcium is actually absorbed by the body during digestion. It is important that the supplement is digested and absorbed properly or the calcium will not be available for use. This availability is called the ‘bioavailability’. Calcium citrate has a bioavailabilty of 50%, but the size of the citrate part of the molecule is so large that only 10.5% of the molecule is available to the body as calcium. Not much more than the carbonate.
Calcium aspartate is highly soluble and produced by reacting calcium with aspartic acid to form the soluble salt. It is much easier to assimilate and be absorbed by the body than any of the forms above. The amino acid, aspartic acid, delivers the calcium exactly to where it is needed, where it is absorbed and used. Although a bioavailability figure is not available, it is not the amount of calcium that is significant here but the fact that it comes with its own transportation system and is immediately available where needed.
If you want to calculate the availability for yourself, find the molecular weight of the particular calcium product, and then the weight of the calcium contained within it. For example, in calcium carbonate, CaCO3, the molecular weight is 100 (40 + 12 + 3x16) and the atomic weigh of calcium is 40, so the amount of calcium present in 1000g calcium carbonate is 40% or 400g. Only 25% of calcium carbonate is absorbed, so only 10%, or 100g, of calcium is available for each 1000g supplement.
Calcium citrate on the hand (Ca3(C6H5O7)2.4H2O) has a molecular weight of 570, so the amount of calcium present is 3*40*100/570 = 21%. Since the bioavailability of calcium citrate is 50%, the amount of calcium available is only 10.5%, or 105g in 1000g citrate. You can carry out the same calculation on all the molecules if you know how much is absorbed by the body.
The bioavailability is calcium aspartate is 85%. Its molecular formula is [C4H6NO2]2Ca, and molecular weight 304. The calcium availability is therefore 40*100/304 = 13.16%. If 85% is absorbed, then 1000g provides 80% of 13.16 x 10 = 115.6g. The aspartate therefore wins it.
Amino acid chelates can also be used as a source of calcium, and its bioavailability is improved tremendously by including vitamin D and magnesium in the supplement. The bioavailability of these calcium chelates are not quoted, but is claimed to be high. Whether or not it is as high as the aspartame is debatable, though it is claimed to be.
Calcium is a very important mineral for human health, and there are several different supplements that can be used. The bioavailability of the calcium is different in each supplement, though the organic forms, calcium aspartate and amino acid calcium chelates appear to be the highest. When looking for a calcium supplement look for one with additional minerals added as mentioned above to help improve absorption and usability by the body.
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.
CLA and Body Fat
June 22, 2005 09:50 PM
CLA and Body Fat
Of all the health concerns facing Americans today, few are as important and daunting as weight loss and body fat. In the 1980s, Americans gained an average of eight pounds each. That’s on the order of 1 million tons of flab—2 billion total American pounds.45 So large is the current girth that as many as two in three Americans could be termed overweight.46 Being overweight and having excess fat increases the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer and diabetes. That collection of health challenges would be difficult enough, but being overweight has many problems that accompany it, including battles with self-esteem.
Let’s give a historical example of this story. The emotional power of being perceived as too fat is caught with pathos in the life of former U.S. President William Howard Taft. Taft, who is the only man to serve as both president and as chief justice of the Supreme Court, was noted for his honesty and his integrity. The nation mourned his death, but much of his internal story focused on his battle with weight. One editorial cartoonist showed the island of Cuba tipping under his girth. Once, when he visited Japan, an entire village worked together to pull his rickshaw up a hill. When he married, his personal esteem showed when he told his wife that “I shall worry you so much with my appetite that you must gain strength to meet the trial.”
Taft refused to be seen on a horse because of how awkward he looked. At one point, he lost 75 pounds, but, like so many others, ended up gaining that amount back , and more, during the next 10 years. He died of athero s c l e rosis, something associated with being ove rwe i g h t .4 7 The tragedy of Taft is that, like so many suffering with weight trouble, he seemed to let it damage his self w o rth, when he was a great asset to his nation and to others. History and culture put into us that being overweight means lacking in self-control and being a glutton, when in reality this isn’t true. So many more factors are involved. Each person has a different metabolism. Certain nutrients can meet different needs, and a lack of those nutrients can lead to fat retention. CLA may be one of those nutrients, one of those factors in our diets that can change our shapes and that have nothing to do with self-control, just nutritional luck and knowledge. In a study of rats, 28 days after beginning the study, body fat in those that ate CLA was 58 percent less than in those who didn’t consume any (10.13 percent body fat versus 4.34 percent body fat, a highly significant difference). Also, the percent of muscle was about one percent more in animals that ate CLA. The weights of both sets of animals were about the same.48 (Muscle weighs more than fat. This can mean that you won’t necessarily lose weight with CLA, but would gain muscle mass, which is tighter and more shapely.) The research in this area is slightly newer, but it has been reproduced in studies on other animals.49 That more than one kind of animal has shown that body fat is lower with supplements of CLA indicates that it will likely benefit humans as well.
In July 1997, preliminary results of one of the first human studies involving CLA showed promising, preliminary results. For three months in 1997, 20 volunteers participated in a study, daily consuming an amount of slightly more than one gram of CLA at breakfast lunch and dinner. Three months later, their weights and body-fat percents were measured. Half of the group took a placebo. The average weight of the 10 who took CLA dropped by about five pounds (not enough to be statistically significant), but the body fat percentage dropped by about 15 to 20 percent, or from 21.3 percent of average body fat to 17 percent of body fat. Meanwhile, the group taking a placebo had little or no effect on either. Half of the people in the study were men and half were women. Two people in the study decided to drop out because they received unpleasant gastrointestinal upsets. One of those who dropped out was in the placebo group, the other in the group taking CLA.63
nobody would suggest that CLA supplementation would be a pill freeing you to sit slug-like on the couch to watch M*A*S*H* re runs. A healthy, weight-conscious lifestyle requires many factors including exercise. As far as science can tell, CLA may not be essential the way certain vitamins are. If you consume no vitamin C, you can expect to get scurvy and die. There are no known deficiency diseases associated with an absence of CLA.
Japanese consumers, for example, get very little CLA in their diets, but they also eat food very low in fat, and their lives are among the longest in the world.50 So, the role of CLA supplementation in regulating weight is most useful for those with a typically high-fat Western diet. As the science grows, it seems clear that CLA will lead to better health and more hope for people struggling with body fat.
Nothing to Sneeze At
June 18, 2005 08:41 AM
Nothing to Sneeze At by Carole Poole Energy Times, August 14, 2004
To many, nothing is more annoying than a persistent allergy. Runny nose, itchy eyes, hives, sneezing, coughing...Frequently, allergies seem to represent suffering with no end.
When you are sensitive to something in your environment, often your only hope for relief appears to be to flee to an elsewhere that eludes the problematic, trouble-making allergen.
Complementary measures are available that can lower your risk of allergic reactions. Heading off allergic reactions before they strike can help you enter a comfort zone that leaves nothing to sneeze at.
Limit Your Antibiotics
While people have always suffered allergies, today, many experts agree, allergies are on the rise. One possible explanation: antibiotics. For instance, research at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit demonstrates that kids who get antibiotics within six months of being born run an increased risk of being allergic to dust mites, ragweed, grass and animals. At the same time, if two or more cats or dogs live with them, they reduce their chances of allergies (Eur Respir Soc ann conf, 2003).
" I'm not suggesting children shouldn't receive antibiotics. But I believe we need to be more prudent in prescribing them for children at such an early age," Christine Cole Johnson, PhD, says. "In the past, many of them were prescribed unnecessarily, especially for viral infections like colds and the flu when they would have no effect anyway."
Dr. Cole's investigators found that by age 7, kids who got one or more rounds of antibiotics were:
When antibiotics are necessary, they are crucial to quelling bacterial infections. However, if you or your children suffer colds or flus, diseases caused by viruses, antibiotics have no effect on your illness but could increase your chance of developing allergies.
" Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, which correlates with widespread use of antibiotics and alterations in gastrointestinal (GI) microflora," says Mairi Noverr, a researcher on a study linking allergies to antibiotic use (104th Gen Meet Amer Soc Microbiol, 2004). "We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long-term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora." While a lot of research needs to be done, it may help to fortify the probiotic, or good, microbes in your intestines with probiotic supplements. One study has shown that giving probiotics to pregnant women helped their children avoid allergic eczema, a skin condition (Lancet 2001; 357:1076-9).
Green Tea Relief
Research has demonstrated that various types of tea can produce a range of health benefits. Tea drinkers can add allergy relief to that list.
Research in Japan demonstrates that for the allergy-oppressed, green tea may help them have nothing to sneeze at. In laboratory tests, scientist found that green tea contains a substance that blocks one of the immune cell receptors which is often a part of the allergic response. The substance, methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is believed to have a similar effect in the real world (J Agr Food Chem 10/9/02).
" Green tea appears to be a promising source for effective anti-allergenic agents," notes Hirofumi Tachibana, PhD, the study's chief investigator and an associate professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka. "If you have allergies, you should consider drinking it." Traditionally, many people have consumed tea as part of their effort to suppress sneezes, coughs and itchy eyes caused by allergies. This experiment supports the evidence that green tea, in particular, has a reliable effect.
According to Dr. Tachibana, green tea's anti-allergenic benefits have not been completely established, but tea apparently has the potential to be effective against allergens like dust, chemicals, pet dander and pollen.
EGCG has also been shown to be a very active antioxidant, helping to quell the destructive effects of the caustic molecules known as free radicals. Green tea is richer in EGCG than black tea or oolong tea (a type that falls between black and green).
Although other research has demonstrated that EGCG offsets allergic responses in lab animals fed this substance, scientists don't completely understand why it works for allergies. Researchers theorize that EGCG restricts the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), two substances secreted in the body as part of the chain of chemical reactions that lead to an allergic reaction, says Dr. Tachibana.
This study shows, for the first time, that a methylated form of EGCG can block the IgE receptor, which is a key receptor involved in an allergic response. The effect was demonstrated using human basophils, which are blood cells that release histamine. As of now, nobody knows how much green tea you need to guzzle to have the best protection against allergies and, of the several varieties available, nobody knows which green tea is best.
Outside of the US, green tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, right behind water. In the US, however, black tea is more popular than green. But the allergy sensitive should think and drink green.
Stay Away from Diesels
Those who are allergic to ragweed or pet dander usually know they should avoid the source of their allergies. But now scientists have found that, for many allergy sufferers, diesel exhaust can also worsen sneezes and wheezes.
Scientists at two southern California schools have shown that about half of us have inherited a sensitivity to diesel pollution that can make our allergies significantly worse (Lancet 1/10/04). "[T]his study suggests a direct way that pollution could be triggering allergies and asthma in a large number of susceptible individuals...," says Frank D. Gilliland, MD, PhD, the study's lead author. Diesel exhaust particles are thought to act as destructive free radicals in the lungs, forming caustic molecules that damage lung tissue. This irritation can cause your immune system to create larger amounts of compounds that make you sneeze and wheeze more.
The Antioxidant Advantage
Antioxidants, scientists believe, can help defuse this damage and ease the body's allergic responses. The California scientists looked at two antioxidant enzymes the body makes to protect the lungs called glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1). Only about five of ten people's immune systems can make all the effective forms of these enzymes. The rest of us lack this protection to some degree, and the immune system in about one in five people can't make any effective form of these enzymes.
The research team found that people allergic to ragweed who lacked these antioxidant enzymes suffered more when they took in both ragweed pollen and particles from diesel pollution.
Breathe Easier With C
This research may help explain why many health practitioners recommend vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, to allergy sufferers. Vitamin C "prevents the secretion of histamine by the white blood cells, increases the detoxification of histamine and lowers the blood-histamine levels," says Sylvia Goldfarb, PhD, author of Allergy Relief (Avery/Penguin).
Scientists continue to study the allergy conundrum. Meanwhile, sip a cup of green tea and shut the window before the next truck comes by.
Catch Your Breath
June 14, 2005 05:56 PM
Catch Your Breath
by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 10, 2004
Asthma is on the rise. This serious breathing problem already afflicts 300 million people around the world and is expected to hinder the lung function of 400 million people in 20 years (Annual World Asthma Meeting, 2/17/04).
In the US, asthma continues to strike our kids. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (2/24/03), the rate at which kids developed asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. By 2001, 6.3 million American kids had asthma. The cost of treating all these kids: more than $3 billion a year.
Few researchers are prepared to state definitively why asthma rates have continued to climb during the past two decades. However, many investigators point to factors that seem inextricably linked to this disorder, which is marked by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing spells.
A report from the American Public Health Association and researchers at Harvard puts a lot of the blame for the high rate of asthma on global warming, smog and the atmosphere's growing burden of carbon dioxide. These are linked to industries and car exhaust that release pollution.
In this increasing burden of toxins released into the atmosphere, the rate of asthma among toddlers has grown to be particularly worrisome. Their rate of asthma has climbed more than twice the national average: by 160% between 1980 and 1994. According to these researchers (Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City), global warming-which involves large increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide released by internal combustion engines and and industrial processes-has fomented the asthma epidemic in several ways:
• Extra heat in the atmosphere has stimulated rapid plant growth that results in more fungus, pollen and spores; this causes allergies that often lead to asthma. Weeds like ragweed, which release allergenic particles, have greatly increased during the past few years. • Extreme weather has caused more floods and damp houses, leading to more indoor air pollution from molds. • Diesel pollutants are now combining with pollen and mold to irritate lungs, causing troublesome allergic reactions.
Bus Fume Hazards
The report notes that in neighborhoods like Harlem, in New York City, 25% of all children suffer asthma. Rates are particularly high in children who live in apartments that are located along bus routes.
A finding that surprised the scientists is the fact that carbon dioxide released by city traffic and the burning of coal and natural gas persists over urban areas, causing a dome of CO2 pollution.
Research on air quality in New York City, Phoenix and Baltimore shows that these lingering CO2 domes contain from 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide to 600 ppm. Those levels are significantly above the global average of 379 ppm. Over the course of the earth's history, going back more than 400,000 years before the Industrial Age, research shows the atmosphere has averaged only 180 to 280 ppm.
Breathing difficulties that increase at night can point to asthma, according to Robert Fink, MD: "Asthma can be a nocturnal disease, at its worst between 10 pm and 4 am, when cortisol [a hormone that regulates many bodily functions] levels are lowest" (Pediatric Asthma: Diagnosis and Treatment Goals, Medscape).
Dr. Fink says that if problems with breathing are bad enough to interfere with sleep, a health practitioner should be consulted to analyze the difficulty.
Diet and Asthma
Although nobody can guarantee protection against asthma, research suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk. For instance, a study in Australia found that people who ate the most apples and pears reduced their chances of suffering from this breath-robbing disorder.
In research involving about 1,600 people, aged 20 to 44, they found that those who consumed the largest quantity of these fruits enjoyed the lowest rate of asthma (AJCN 2003; 78:414).
This is the latest study to confirm the fact that apples and other fruits help to keep lungs healthy. " There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," observes Carol Trenga, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."
Produce for Smokers
Quitting smoking represents one of the best ways to reduce lung disease. But even if you smoke, research on smokers has found that those who ate a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables have fewer lung problems (American Thoracic Society 97th International Conference 5/2001).
And you don't have to change your diet very much to make a difference: In that research, merely eating one and half pieces of fruit a day or eating about a tablespoon of vegetables daily significantly dropped smokers' chances of serious lung disease.
Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue
In a study at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, scientists looking at the diets of more than 2,500 people found that eating five or more apples or three tomatoes a week increased lung function. Eating apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.
" The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," says researcher Sarah Lewis, PhD.
" Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants," she adds. Dr. Trenga recommends that everyone eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. She also notes, "[I]t is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual...These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."
Since asthma is linked to allergies, herbs that help to quell respiratory allergies can possibly lower your risk of asthma. A blend of standardized herbal extracts that contains Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry or amla), Terminalia chebula (Harda or Haritaki), Terminalia bellerica (bedda nut tree), Albizia lebbeck (Indian walnut), Zingiber officinale (ginger root), Piper longum (Indian long pepper), and Piper nigrum (black pepper) has been found to improve breathing and reduce the effect of allergies (FASEB J 2004; Vol II:A912, Abs. 600.8). Other studies have shown that these herbs can relieve nasal congestion, ease sneezing and clear bothersome mucus (J Am Coll Nutr 22(5): Abs 46, 2003).
Avoiding antibiotics may also lower the risk of asthma. " Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, says Mairi Noverr, PhD, a researcher who has looked at the lin between antibiotic use with asthma and allergies. " We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora."
In other words, Dr. Noverr's research shows that beneficial bacteria in people's intestines, which take part in strengthening immunity and regulating the immune response to pollen, may have been harmed by the overprescription of antibiotics by physicians. Dr. Noverr and his fellow researchers gave lab animals antibiotics before exposing them to candida albicans (a yeast infection). They then exposed the animals to mold spores. The result: a greater sensitivity to inhaling the spores and breathing problems similar to what people experience during hay fever season (104th General Meeting American Society of Microbiology).
" The studies presented here are the first direct demonstration that antibiotic therapy can promote the development of an allergic airway response," says Dr. Noverr. On a global scale, the outlook for asthma is worrisome. As other countries continue their industrial growth, the burden on the earth's atmosphere will grow. Meanwhile, few serious measures are being taken to reduce global warming, and the national diet frequently neglects lung-friendly vegetables and fruits. But within that uncertain scenario, you can boost your chances of healthy lungs: Eat more apples. Stay away from smoky buses. Hope for clear skies.
The Flex Factor
June 11, 2005 05:18 PM
The Flex Factor by Thomas Dunville Energy Times, February 10, 2004
Arthritis, according to recent research, presents its sufferers with a Catch-22: The nagging pain of this condition can send your spirits plummeting. But, then, the depression spurred by the disconsolate persistence of arthritic pain can make the condition worse.
Part of the trick is not to give in. If you can keep a bright mood even as your joints start to ache, the pain may lessen.
While nobody can offer a guaranteed, 100% effective cure for arthritis, you don't have to be a passive victim. Exercise, the proper nutrients and a positive, can-do attitude can ease arthritis pain so effectively that scientists have been able to measure the difference. While medical researchers recognize the existence of over 100 types of arthritis, most people with achy joints suffer from osteoarthritis, which is caused by everyday wear and is found in just about everyone over age 60. When this condition occurs, the body's cushioning, its cartilage, thins and the inner surfaces of joints grind together painfully.
Although aging itself increases your chances of enduring achy joints, other factors can also put you in the way of osteoarthritis. If you carry too much weight, it can wear on your joints. In addition, suffering a joint injury when you're young can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis as you age.
In another prevalent form of joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membranes lining the joints, causing swelling and pain. About 2 million Americans suffer from RA, which affects women about twice as often as men.
Exercise Away Arthritic Woes
Weekend warriors, don't despair! Arthritis doesn't have to mean the end of your weekend athletic wars. Matter of fact, in many cases, experts now recommend exercise to reduce the effects of arthritis.
While that might sound counterintuitive, a study out of the Netherlands shows that folks in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis who work out twice a week for about an hour each session may enjoy better physical and mental health than couch potatoes who receive physical therapy.
The Dutch study took 150 people, many of whom had just started to suffer from rheumatism, and enrolled them in RAPIT, an acronym for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Training. Rather than letting these folks rest their inflamed joints, twice a week the research team took them to the gym where they did:
When the researchers compared the physical changes in these arthritis sufferers with 150 others with similar arthritis complaints who underwent physical therapy without organized physical activity, they found that after two years the exercisers had benefited greatly. They were stronger and more aerobically fit, could perform everyday tasks more effectively and possessed a better, more optimistic mental attitude (Arthritis and Rheumatism 2003; 48(9):2415-24).
However, the exercisers who were already suffering severe rheumatoid arthritis did experience some extra joint damage, so the researchers believe this kind of program is better for those in the early stages of the disease. " This study demonstrates that participation in long-term high-intensity exercise classes decreases the level of psychological distress in RA patients," says researcher Zuzana de Jong, MD, a professor at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Fish Oil Lowers Arthritis Risk
Fish oil-in particular, cod liver oil-may be able to help ease osteoarthritis.
In looking at the effects of fish oil, researchers at Cardiff, Wales, discovered indications that "...the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can reduce cartilage degradation and inflammation in arthritic disease," according to Bruce Caterson, PhD, one of the scientists involved.
Dr. Caterson adds, "Our most recent work shows that by exposing human osteoarthritic cartilage to cod liver oil in the laboratory for just 24 hours we can turn off, or reverse, the action of the degradative enzymes and inflammatory factors affecting the tissue." John Harwood, PhD, another member of the Cardiff research team, adds, "This is where science and old wives' tales coincide. Our findings are consistent with advice that taking cod liver oil in early adulthood could prevent the onset of osteoarthritis and would reduce the harmful symptoms associated with the disease."
Dr. Caterson further explains that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil inhibit enzymes that break down aggrecan and collagen, substances that cushion joints. Consequently, cartilage stays healthier, inflammation is lessened and arthritic pain decreases. The anti-inflammatory action of omega-3s in fighting rheumatoid arthritis is also supported by studies performed in the US (Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(1 Suppl):349S-51S).
Other research shows that if you take natural vitamin E along with fish oil, you may improve even further your odds of relieving arthritis or lessening its effects (JACN 10/30/00).
Glucosamine, the stuff that cartilage is made from, has been shown to lower the risk of arthritis and possibly relieve its pain. This natural substance, made from a sugar and a molecule called an amine, is a building block of joint tissue. As a result, experts believe, when you take it in supplemental form, the body may use it to repair joints that have been damaged by arthritis. For instance, an investigation of osteoarthritis of the knee performed at the University of Liege in Belgium showed that taking glucosamine could stop joints from deteriorating.
The study, which involved more than 200 people suffering from osteoarthritis, found that in three years of taking glucosamine supplements, many arthritis sufferers found that their condition actually improved (Lancet 2001 Jan 27; 357).
Other Arthritis Fighters
Chondroitin sulfate is another material that goes into the making of cartilage. Chondroitin helps cartilage stay hydrated and permits the flow of nutrients through the joint tissues. In addition, researchers believe that chondroitin helps fight inflammation, which can otherwise cause pain and stiffness as well as joint destruction.
Taken together with glucosamine, chondroitin is believed to hasten the healing of bone and cartilage. Another substance that may help ease the ache of arthritis is methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally occurring sulfur-bearing compound. "MSM appears to have anti-inflammatory effects when administered orally, intravenously or topically," says MSM researcher Stanley Jacob, MD, FACS, of the Oregon Health & Science University. That means it has shown an ability to reduce the heat, pain and swelling associated with arthritic conditions. MSM may also be able to reduce muscle spasms around joints and reduce the formation of scar tissue.
Herbal medicine has long been used by folks with achy joints. The yellow spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), a staple of Indian cooking, is a traditional Indian remedy for arthritis because of its painkilling properties. Ginger (Zingiber officinale), another culinary favorite, restrains the production of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. And willow bark (Salix sp), the source of aspirin, is longer-acting and doesn't irritate the stomach lining.
Those who suffer arthritis know that its pain and discomfort are often no laughing matter. But if you don't take arthritis lying down and manage to keep a smile on your face-and avail yourself of nature's remedies-you can get the upper hand on this often debilitating condition.