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The Importance of Collagen for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails
September 12, 2022 10:54 AM
We all want to look our best, and that starts with having healthy hair, skin, and nails. One of the most important things you can do to maintain these treasures is to make sure you're getting enough collagen.
Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissues of our bodies, and it's responsible for giving our skin its elasticity and firmness. It also strengthens our nails and helps keep our hair shiny and lustrous. In other words, collagen is pretty much essential for anyone who wants to look their best. That's why we've put together this blog post on the importance of collagen for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Keep reading to learn more!
As we mentioned, collagen is a protein found in the connective tissues of our bodies. Specifically, it's found in the dermis, which is the layer of skin below the epidermis (the outermost layer). Collagen provides support to the other cells in the dermis and gives our skin its elasticity. It also helps to prevent sagging and wrinkling.
Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies produce less collagen. This decrease in collagen production leads to many of the telltale signs of aging, such as wrinkles and thinning hair. That's why it's so important to make sure you're getting enough collagen—either through your diet or via supplements. Here are some foods that are rich in collagen:
You can also get collagen through supplementation. For example, you might take a daily collagen supplement in pill form or use a collagen serum on your face or other areas of your skin. No matter how you get it, make sure you're getting enough collagen to keep your hair, skin, and nails looking their best!
As you can see from everything we've talked about above, collagen is essential for anyone who wants to maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. Make sure you're getting enough by incorporating collagen-rich foods into your diet or using a supplement. Your hair, skin, and nails will thank you!
Now Foods Beef Bone Broth is 70% Collagen, give it at try today.
Antioxidants to Protect Your Body from Non Ionizing Radiation
July 20, 2022 03:12 PM
Non ionizing radiation is all around us. It comes from many different sources, including our cell phones, laptops, and other electronics. While it is not as dangerous as ionizing radiation, it can still do a lot of damage to our bodies. This damage can lead to health problems down the road. That's why it's important to protect yourself with antioxidants. We will discuss the three best antioxidants to protect your body from non ionizing radiation: vitamin C, NAC, and greens!
What is non ionizing radiation and why should we be concerned about it?
Non-ionizing radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that does not have enough energy to remove electrons from atoms or molecules. Despite its relatively low energy, non-ionizing radiation can be harmful to human health. This is because it can cause damage to DNA and other cellular structures. Prolonged exposure to non-ionizing radiation has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, as well as other health effects such as eye damage, skin burns, and interference with the body's natural electrical systems. While the risks associated with non-ionizing radiation are typically lower than those associated with ionizing radiation, it is still important to take steps to reduce exposure when possible. For example, individuals can limit their exposure to non-ionizing radiation by avoiding unnecessary x-rays, using cell phone hands-free devices, and keeping laptops at a distance from the body. By taking these simple precautions, we can help reduce our risk of developing health problems from non-ionizing radiation exposure.
How to protect yourself from non ionizing radiation?
Extended exposure to certain types of non-ionizing radiation can be harmful. For example, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can damage the DNA in cells and lead to skin cancer. Additionally, high levels of microwave radiation can cause thermal injuries, such as burns. To protect yourself from harmful non-ionizing radiation, it is important to limit your exposure and take precautions to reduce your risk. For example, you can avoid prolonged sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade. You can also limit your exposure to microwave radiation by avoiding cell phone use and standing at least three feet away from microwave ovens while they are in use. By taking these simple steps, you can significantly reduce your risk of harm from non-ionizing radiation.
The best antioxidants for protecting your body from non ionizing radiation?
When it comes to protecting your body from non ionizing radiation, vitamins C and E are often thought of as the best antioxidants. However, studies have shown that glutathione (GSH) and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may be more effective. GSH is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage, and NAC has been shown to increase GSH levels in the body. Both of these nutrients are found in leafy greens, making them an excellent addition to your diet. Green tea is also a good source of antioxidants, and regular consumption has been linked with a reduced risk of cancer. Whether you're exposed to non ionizing radiation on a daily basis or just want to boost your antioxidant intake, adding more greens to your diet is a good place to start.
Other ways to reduce your exposure to non ionizing radiation?
There are a number of ways to reduce your exposure to non ionizing radiation. One is to simply turn off routers and other devices when they are not in use. Another is to move cell phones out of the room where you sleep, or at least keep them on airplane mode during the night. If possible, it is also advisable to avoid using microwave ovens and instead opt for stove-top cooking. Additionally, there are a number of newer devices on the market that emit low levels of radiation, so it is worth doing some research to see if these might be a better option for you. Ultimately, the best way to reduce your exposure to radiation is to be aware of the sources around you and take steps to minimize your exposure.
Non-ionizing radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has been linked to several health risks, including cancer. While the risks associated with non-ionizing radiation are typically lower than those associated with ionizing radiation, it is still important to take steps to reduce exposure when possible. By taking simple precautions, such as avoiding unnecessary x-rays and using cell phone hands-free devices, we can help reduce our risk of developing health problems from non-ionizing radiation exposure. Additionally, there are a number of ways to reduce our exposure to this type of radiation, including turning off routers and other devices when they are not in use, moving cell phones out of the room where we sleep, and avoiding microwave ovens. By being aware of the sources of non-ionizing radiation around us and taking steps to minimize our exposure, we can help protect ourselves from its harmful effects.
Here's How to Actually Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Vegetables
June 04, 2018 01:16 PM
Pesticide residue now commonly occurs on all fresh produce (including organic produce which uses natural pesticides). Those who believe pesticide consumption is directly linked to serious diseases like cancers can follow four at-home tips to drastically reduce the ingestion if pesticides. These include rinsing with water, soaking in a vinegar solution and then rinsing with cold water, using a rinse or spray made by combining water and baking soda, lightly boiling the produce, or removing the outer skin or peel even after rinsing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh5RWjaRKpY&rel=0
Wheat Germ Benefits the Gut, Heart & Blood Sugar Levels
September 14, 2017 09:14 AM
Wheat germ contains tons of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as other antioxidants. Wheat germ, AKA, wheat embryo, is usually stripped away during the manufacturing process of baked goods and other wheat containing products. You can find wheat germ powder or oil in stores. Use the powder to add nutrition to smoothies and baked goods. Use the oil to get your daily dose of Vitamin E for extreme antioxidant protection that could potentially help slow the growth of cancer tumors. Wheat germ contains fiber for regularity, heart health and blood sugar balance. Wheat bran is great too, it contains the outer hard shell of the wheat berry; it is just not quite as nutritious as wheat germ.
"Getting enough antioxidants into your diet through foods like wheat germ is critical to health, as antioxidants have been linked to prevention of chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease."
Read more: https://draxe.com/wheat-germ/
What Happens to Our Bodies in Space?
June 20, 2017 11:14 AM
Space travel could become a real viable option for most people in the very near future. But, you may ask, what kind of health problems can arise from traveling in outer space? Well, nutrition for one, could be an area of concern in space travel, since most food would consist of re-hydrated food pouches. Fresh foods during space travel are rare, so vitamins are a must to ensure proper health is maintained. Another health concern for a space traveler may be hygiene. While on board a space flight, water is limited. Showering and changing clothes daily may not be an option. Water is precious and even urine is recycled and reused. In addition, a person's mental health will certainly be tested from being in such a small confined area during the journey. Sleeping, as well, takes a little more thought, since falling asleep without being tethered could cause one to be injured or even float away! Lastly, the main health concern would probably be radiation exposure which could lead to cancer or "space brain," a condition that causes brain damage. These areas of health concern would need to be considered before deciding if boarding the next spacecraft is the right choice for your one of a kind vacation in the near future. Happy travels!!
Read more: What Happens to Our Bodies in Space?
Psyllium Husk: Fiber for Well-Being
May 18, 2017 03:44 PM
Plantago Ovata, known as the Horse Flower, is found in East Asia and the Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries as an important herbal medicine ingredient. The psyllium seed coat can retain large amounts of water and the outer husk of the seed is high in fiber, making it a good digestive aid. It absorbs toxins and aids in elimination from the bowel by increasing stool's bulk and aids in softening it to ease elimination.
"Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries."
Read more: http://www.healthplusinc.com/blog/psyllium-husk-fiber-for-well-being
According to Chinese technique every area of our face is associated with certain organs of the body
February 17, 2017 10:19 AM
It seems as though every area of our face is associated with a certain organ in our body. This is according to a Chinese technique. The cheeks are associated with the stomach and lungs. The area under your nose is associated with your heart. It is an ancient method to be able to tell the inner condition of your body based on the outer appearance.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0HwJtgiycg
""every area of our face is associated with certain organs of the body""
The fix for dry eyes
February 13, 2017 02:59 PM
There are many remedies for dry eyes out there. This gives you some more ideas. Dry eyes can be very unpleasant. It can be anything from irritating to painful. It happens when the body doesn't make enough tears for themselves. Tears are needed to lubricate the eye's sensitive membranes and without them irritation occurs.
"Taking care of dry eyes not only relieves discomfort but can help you avoid infection or even scarred corneas."
Can Chitosan Really Absorb Fat?
June 06, 2014 05:11 AM
What is a chitosan
Chitosan is a naturally produced supplement that is recommended by nutrition experts and doctors as a great remedy for weight loss and high cholesterol, which results in a lower risk to develop bothersome cardiovascular problems and facilitates a better looking physique. Chitosan is made from the outer shell of crustaceans, such as shrimp or lobster. The outer shell is processed and a special form of "sugar", also known as a polysaccharide, is obtained. Unlike other types of artificially created sugars, Chitosan possesses unique properties that make it a great addition to a healthy diet for individuals who want to manage their weight and prevent obesity.
Can MSM Work As A Lotion?
March 05, 2014 09:11 AM
What is MSM
MSM, or methyl-sulfonyl-methane, is the first sheltered, regular, symptom free solution for some sorts of torment and incendiary conditions. MSM is otherwise called Organic Sulfur. Sulfur is needed for our physique to capacity appropriately. Without enough sulfur in our framework our physique's unit capacities get languid. Defectively working units permit poison development. We all distinguish poison development manifestations, for example, muscle and joint torment and general emotions of weakness.
Benefits of MSM lotion
Applying this lotion permits you to gather MSM in the territories where you need the most profits. MSM Lotion gives alleviating quick alleviation for sore hands, elbows, hips and knees for a long time. The MSM lotion is perfect for skin health management and upkeep carrying non-abrasiveness and flexibility to your skin health management needs.
MSM in a topical lotion serves to takes out the irritation of carpal tunnel, breaks down scar tissue, surface spots, anticipate rankling and uproot the ache from a severe singeing. These are just a couple of the numerous prizes of utilizing Rich's MSM lotion.
Use MSM Lotion consistently to carry speedy help for terrible hands and joints. This quite brilliant lotion is hand made in little bunches to present you a 99.99% unadulterated MSM (17% result) Aloe Vera, Calendula, Jojoba and Tea Tree oil in a satisfying non-oily lotion.
MSM lotion is made of all characteristic items:
Sunflower oils, aloe vera and jojoba mollify and saturate your skin for about three hours without leaving an oily film. Calendula and tea tree oil execute parasite that creates around fingernails and additionally players foot.
This fine mix of elements takes the sting out of rashes and bug nibbles, even relieves outer surface yeast contaminations.
Utilizing Rich and Pure msm lotion helps pack MSM in spots where the form needs uncommon consideration.
When you have attempted msm lotions you will concur that they are the best lotions.
Deer Antler Velvet
February 02, 2014 07:56 AM
Deer antler velvet
Deer antler is also referred to as insulin like growth factor or simply IGF 1. They are designed to help improve the performance of an athlete and also aid in building of muscles. Deer antler is the outer layer that is found on the antler of a male deer which is extracted just before they reach a fully calcified state. Then they are concentrated and sold as deer antler sprays.
What it does
IGF 1 plays a very important role in growth of cells and their replication, protein synthesis, helps stop overproduction of insulin, helps metabolize carbohydrates, regulates growth and development of the bones and also helps regulate circulation. Recent study shows that Deer antler velvet also supplements helps in improving cartilage damage joints due to cases of repetitive trauma. It affects how the process through which the body repairs itself. The hormone aids in building up a base that is essentially a building block of protein that is needed for the growth of cells. Then this substance helps increase the total number of new cells that accumulate on the base which in turn helps in healing the injury.
Health benefits of deer antler
Focusing on the health benefits of this supplement, the user can trust the fact that he or she will have to go through increase in the levels of their energy, endurance as well as stamina. If you happen to be training then this is the best supplement that you ought to be using. You will discover that you find yourself able to execute all kinds of physical efforts. In addition to this you will feel more relaxed and rested after the effort and will enjoy a good night sleep. Also, deer antler is known to improve your mood and helps you maintain a younger look for longer periods of time. Also it helps eliminate the pains that result from exercise and heightens your sense in order to help you think more clearly. Besides these benefits, this supplement it is used to improve the way in which the immune system works, it counters the effects of stress and also promotes the rapid recovery from illness. Other uses include treatment of high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, indigestion, headache, weak bones, muscle aches and pains chronic skin ulcers and liver as well as kidney disorders.
Why it is popular
Ancient medicines have proclaimed that deer antler is the best regenerative supplements found in nature. This hormone has produced what is the best antler extract that is available on the market. With many similar products in the market Deer antler is the only supplement that gives an antler extract of 100mg per dose. Also what is exciting about this product is that it contains a stimulant for the nerve growth which is very essential for the body since nerves do not degenerate. These are the unique properties of this product and that’s what makes it stand out of the other products.
Deer antler supplements is referred as the best body booster is the market and will give you that body shape you always desired while keeping it healthy and young therefore be sure to spend your hard earned cash on the real deal in order to get the tremendous health benefits.
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?
December 10, 2013 02:30 AM
What Are Some Natural Cholesterol Lowering Supplements?Cholesterol is a lipid, or a fat, which is produced by the liver. Though many know it not, cholesterol is essential for the normal function of the body. Amazingly, each and every cell of the body contains cholesterol in its outer layer. This lipid serves several critical functions. Most importantly, cholesterol aids in building and maintaining cell membranes. The compound also determines which elements can pass through a cell membrane and which cannot; put differently, it determines cell permeability. The compound is also essential in the production of sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens.
LDL and HDL
Like most other chemical elements found in the body, cholesterol is only helpful if it is available in the right proportions. Low or high levels of cholesterol are harmful. However, high cholesterol levels can cause the most devastating effects on health. It is of great importance, to control cholesterol levels in the body. Failure to do this, you are at risk of developing several health complications. Some of these include atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become extremely narrow to allow proper circulation; heart attack, caused by clogged arteries; stroke, caused by blood clots that prevent arteries or veins from transporting blood to the brain; and angina, a condition that develops when the heart muscles do not get enough blood.
About Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels can always be brought to optimal levels by behavior and lifestyle change. This may include avoiding foods saturated in fats, quitting smoking and drinking, and exercising. There are also supplements that are quite effective in restoring cholesterol levels to the optimal levels. Some of the popular and effective supplements include red yeast rice, niacin, and guggul. Others are fish oil and green tea extracts. Though different from the outlook, all cholesterol supplements achieve their objective in a similar or closely related ways. Most importantly, the supplements are useful in raising HDL (high density lipo-protein also called good cholesterol) levels while at the same time lowering triglycerides (another class of fats found in the blood stream).
Does Beta Sitosterol Help Reduce Cholesterol?
November 14, 2013 09:47 PM
About Beta Sitosterol
A high cholesterol level in the body is a cause to worry. Many people on learning that their cholesterol levels are way above the norm resort to healthier diets and regular exercises. While these mainstream methods of lowering cholesterol work, researchers have explored other different options that involve the use of cholesterol lowering supplements; Beta Sitosterol.
What is Beta Sitosterol
Beta Sitosterol is a plant sterol that is largely medicinal. Credible studies have shown that this compound is indeed capable of reducing cholesterol. It is able to do this by inhibiting the absorption/uptake of cholesterol from the gut. Researchers have had to perform extensive experiments to come up with these findings about the Beta Sitosterol. But how exactly does this compound achieve this?
Benefits of Beta Sitosterol
Beta Sitosterol’s chemical structure is quite similar to that of cholesterol. On ingestion and during absorption in the intestine, Beta Sitosterol will effectively compete and take the place of dietary cholesterol in the micelles thus inhibiting/lowering its absorption. Furthermore, upon absorption, Beta Sitosterol gets incorporated into the cell membrane further reducing uptake of cholesterol. This happens when Beta Sitosterol inhibits the transportation of cholesterol to the smooth endoplasmic reticulum from the outer cell membrane. This reduces Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL-bad cholesterol) and serum cholesterol levels.Beta Sitosterol is also said to increase the receptability of the liver cells to LDL. This means that the liver cells are able to effectively absorb LDL from the blood stream reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood. Dietary cholesterol on the other hand is excreted. the use of Beta Sitosterol as a cholesterol reducing supplement has made it possible to reduce cholesterol without dieting or engaging in rigorous exercises. Users of Beta Sitosterol are however warned about prolonged use of this sterol. High concentrations in the body may have dire consequences.
What Are The Benefits Of Pure Hempseed Oil?
March 18, 2013 04:40 PM
Hempseed oil is oil that is obtained from hemp seeds. Unrefined Hempseed oil that is cold pressed is green in color and dark to clear light. It also has a nutty pleasant flavor. If the Hempseed oil has a dark the color then the flavor becomes more grassier. Refined hemp oil is colorless and clear with little flavor. It lacks antioxidants and natural vitamins.
Refined Hempseed oil is used primarily to manufacture products of body care. Industrial Hempseed oil is used to produce paints, lubricants, inks, plastic and fuel. This oil has also found some limited use in industries that produce shampoos, detergents and soaps.
Hempseed has had a good relationship with humanity.
Hempseed high in fatty acids
Studies that have been conducted recently shows that it contains essential fatty acids and amino acids that are necessary for human life. It also has a rare protein referred to as globule Edestins that is similar to Globin that is fond in blood plasma of humans.
Pure Hempseed oil has high nutritional value because it consist 1:3 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids .This ratio matches with the balance that human body requires. In recent years, it has received attention as possible feed stock for large scale production of bio-diesel. This oil makes incredible cosmetic grade oil and quality dietary oil that are superior because of its high nutritional value.
It is used also as a skin care recipes because it has base ingredients that helps the skin to regenerate and heal. Pure Hempseed oil is highly emollient and this property makes it to be used to regenerate and nourish the skin directly. Hempseed oil is capable of penetrating the skin deeply unlike other oils that sits on top of the skin. Its deep penetrative property prevent the skin from aging because it allows essential fatty acids to penetrate the outer layer of skin fully thus encouraging a healthy moisture balance.
Hempseed oil contains a rich balance of essential oils
Pure Hempseed oil contains one of the richest and balanced natural sources of essential oils that are good for human consumption. The essential fatty acids help to restore wasting bodies and also improve immune system that is damaged. It is therefore not a surprise that modern researchers have studied this oil in relation to modern immune that attacks AIDS virus.
Hempseed oil is surely nature's oil that is most balanced for human nutrition (1:3 LNA to LA ratio) and it can be digested easily. In fact, modern research indicates that this oil can provide all our essential fatty acid requirements for life.
Rich in Omega-3
This is made possible because it has a balanced 80 percent essential fatty acid content of the oil. Omega 3, a component that is found in Hempseeds helps to prevent: growth retardation, motor in coordination, tingling in legs and arms, behavioral changes, visual impairment and learning inability, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, tissue inflammation, dry skin, edema, low metabolic rate, sticky platelets and other kinds of immune dysfunctions.
Rich in Omega-6
Omega 6 a component that is also found in Hempseeds helps in preventing: loss of hair ,skin eruptions ,liver degeneration ,kidney degeneration ,behavioral disturbances, drying up of glands excessive water loss from the skin that is accompanied by thirst, failure of wound healing ,susceptibility to infections ,growth retardation sterility in males ,arthritis like conditions, miscarriage in females, circulatory and heart problems. Prolonged absence of both omega 3 and 6 in your diet can be fatal and should be avoided.
Pure Hempseed oil is is ideal to be used in mayonnaise, dips and salad dressing because of its nutty pleasant flavor .It can be taken as an additional supplement for well being and general health. However it is not suitable to be used for frying because its benefits are reduced.
Can Butcher's Broom Help Fight Varicose Veins?
January 11, 2013 12:36 PM
Varicose Veins are abnormally thick veins that are twisted and enlarged. This problem occurs mostly in the leg and thigh veins. The thickened and twisted veins are called varicose veins. They can occur anywhere, but they mostly form in the legs because the legs work against gravity. Standing all day can increase the pressure on leg veins and cause varicose veins.
The normal function of veins is to carry blood from the outer body parts to the heart and lungs. The veins are provided with one-way valves, which prevent the blood from flowing backward within the vein. Defective or damaged valves are the main reason for varicose veins, as they allow the blood to flow backward, when it should be actually flowing up towards the heart. As the muscles contract to empty the veins, pressure builds up and this causes in the flow of more blood in the wrong way. Thus the pressure on the veins is increased and this causes varicose veins.
Factors that Aggravate Varicose Veins
There are different types of treatments available to shrink varicose veins and to improve circulation, from simple home remedies to surgeries or medications for severe cases. Natural supplements like Butcher's broom are considered to be a very effective treatment for varicosities.
Butcher's broom is a small, clump-forming evergreen shrub with tiny green flowers. It is an aromatic, diuretic and mildly laxative herb that helps reduce inflammation, increase perspiration and constrict the veins. The whole plant, young shoots and roots are used medically. Young shoots can be eaten like asparagus. It grows commonly in woodlands and hedgerows, and also on coastal cliffs. It is widely grown from Iran to the Mediterranean and the United States.
Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus, but it is commonly known as butcher's broom because butcher's used the stiff twigs to clean their cutting boards. The herb has been used for nearly 2000 years, but its medicinal uses have become common only from the last century. Investigations conducted in the 1950s indicated that butcher's broom can induce vasoconstriction and thus might be useful in treating circulatory diseases.
How It Works?
The two primary chemicals in butcher's broom, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin, can cause the blood vessels to narrow or constrict. Their anti-inflammatory properties help improve blood circulation in legs by preventing pooling of blood and reduce swelling.
Butcher's broom is used internally to treat venous problems that vary from varicose veins to hemorrhoids. It is also used to strengthen the veins and capillaries. Butcher's broom may be the best natural solution for varicose vein treatment, because it helps with blood flow and circulation.
Black walnut hull and its health benefits
December 19, 2012 12:36 PM
Black walnut hull, also called Juglans Nigra, is the hull or outer shell of black walnut tree. This tree is a native of North America. While the tree is easy to grow, it is quite rare. Its health benefits Black walnut hull has several health benefits besides its effectiveness in treating parasites and fungal infections.
Some of its health benefits are as follows:
It is used for treating inflammatory skin conditions like ringworm, eczema, blisters, and acne. It's also effective for wounds and bruises. It is used to treat diarrhea, constipation, candida and giardia. It has been proven to build tooth enamel due to its fluoride content, balance glucose levels, and also to treat impetigo and herpes. It can be topically applied on cold sores and herpes. It is an excellent source of nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, copper, sulfur, manganese, and silica. It contains Juglone, a very effective fungicide, bactericide, and parricide.
It contains tannins that help the body to fight bacteria and protect against diarrhea, blood disorders, tumors, stress, and even cancer. In addition, tannins can tone body tissues when applied topically. This makes black walnut hull useful for treating bowel inflammatory conditions, especially hemorrhoids. Tannins also help to eliminate microbes from the large intestine. It contains iodine, a very popular antiseptic. Iodine helps to maintain thyroid health. Since iodine contains antiseptic properties, it also helps to strengthen the natural immune system of the body. How black walnut hull kills parasites Perhaps the most popular property of black walnut hull is that it can fight intestinal parasites.
It is a popular vermifuge that helps the body to get rid of parasites. It is a laxative that expels parasites when cleansing the body. Its high juglone and tannin content also helps to oxygenate blood and get rid of parasites. This herb is effective against ringworm, tapeworm, pinworm, and other parasites.
Can Too Much Fiber Block Mineral Absorption ?
October 12, 2011 01:39 PM
Fiber has always been known to be a helpful substance in many ways related to digestion and our bowel movements. In terms of how much is too much though we would need to look at first what fiber can do and how it works in the colon to have a broader point of view and to take all aspects into account before determining if too much fiber can cause health issues and specifically in this case, can cause a form of blockade for mineral absorption.
What is Fiber and what does it do?
Fiber, simply put is a substance that is found primarily in the outer layers of plants. Fiber is considered a carbohydrate and a special one at that because of its ability to stay intact even after passing through our digestive system unlike other carbohydrates that gets broken down by food and used for energy. For better understanding let’s talk more about its importance. For one, it has the ability to influence our digestive process in so many ways. It’s most evident importance and function is how it is able to regulate digestion and virtually slow the process down.
With this, it is able to allow us to feel full longer which will cause less appetite therefore affecting weight and in turn overall health. With the same process it slows glucose processing as well which will aid in sugar levels and also helps nourish the colon’s lining to keep it from damage and maintain its health. However in a more practical sense, it aids in our digestion because of its sponge like qualities. So if coupled with a good amount of water in the stomach it will aid and ease the stool and help bowel movements along. This is more known to many as a cleansing process which brings me back to the question, can it be too much and affect mineral absorption?
Can too much affect absorption?
A simple and most straight forward answer is “yes”. Yes it can, absolutely it can and “how?” you ask. As discussed above, one of the ways that fiber functions is aid with the cleansing process and the same sponge like qualities are the primary reason why it can affect mineral absorption in the colon. The reason why fiber is effective for cleansing is because it absorbs bacteria and any other toxin or harmful substances in the colon and flushes it out therefore promoting good health however it can’t filter through its absorption process and select only those toxins, rather it absorbs both good and bad substances, the good in this case being the minerals.
So before it can be absorbed by the body, fiber already caused it to be excreted. But this does not mean you stop taking fiber, remember the key words here are “too much” and all we need to do to avoid any mineral deficiency is to follow the right amount, we can check with our doctor for best advice but most experts believe getting somewhere around 30 – 35g maybe too much but then again most Americans does not even come close to that with their regular diets.
What is Fenugreek Seed and How Does It Boost Your Health?
July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
Fenugreek seed and your health
Fenugreek seed is a spice often added to curries and other Indian dishes. It is a good source of protein and nutrients. In folk medicine, it has been used in the treatment of pain and irritation characteristic of inflammation. It is historically utilized to promote lactation. More recent studies have shown that it displays antiviral properties. In particular, it has been tested in allaying symptoms of cold infections.
Trigonella foenum-graecum is a plant species that belongs to the legume family. As such, it has been cultivated as a vegetable even before the ancient times. It is believed to be an indigenous species of the Fertile Crescent, a historic region that comprises the modern countries Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. To this day, it remains an important crop, herb, and food source in these countries.
Combats Diabetes Mellitus
Fenugreek seed has been the subject of scientific research in the past few years. Drawing on its use in traditional medicine, it has been employed in the management of blood sugar. It improves the effect of the hormone insulin in regulating glucose levels. In fact, it has shown great potential in treating both type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type II noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
Alters Blood Lipid Profile
The phytochemical content of fenugreek seed enables it to effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Clinical trials have recorded changes in lipids present in the systemic circulation after intake of fenugreek seed products. It is now postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway for the synthesis of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Some sources say that it raises good cholesterol levels.
Increases Milk Production
Fenugreek seed is rich in organic compounds that promote the secretion of milk products within the mammary glands of lactating women by as much as 900 per cent. Traditionally, the seeds are ground into powder and consumed in large quantities by pregnant women. Today they are made into capsules, which have been reported to display the same benefits and remain popular in the Indian subcontinent.
Relieves Viral Infections
There is a growing body of literature devoted to the putative antiviral properties of fenugreek seed. A number of researchers have attested that the seed displays biochemical activity that interferes with the replication of viruses. For instance, topical applications of fenugreek extracts have shown desirable results in removing viral skin conditions, and oral intake has been effective in easing the common cold.
Promotes Skin Health
Fenugreek seed is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It promotes retention of moisture in the skin and protects the outer layer of the skin from irritants. It has been used as salves to wounds, rashes, boils, bruises, allergies, and insect bites. It is made into a syrupy mixture that is directly applied to the hair. It regulates the production of sebum in the hair follicles and helps control dandruff.
Grab some fenugreek seed and feel the difference!
Can Dietary Collagen Help the Skin and Joint Tissue?
June 30, 2011 10:45 AM
Collagen and Your Health
Collagen is the most common form of protein in humans and other mammals. It is a major constituent of the extracellular matrix that provides structural support to animal cells from the outside. It displays great tensile properties, which is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin. Since it is a component of fibrous tissue, it is also found in ligaments and cartilages that make up joint tissue.
Dietary collagen has long been postulated to contribute to the biochemical composition of cells present in the skin and joints. Proponents of collagen supplements believe that dietary collagen is assimilated into the extracellular matrix and fibrous tissue. The scientific community has been doubtful about the efficacy of topical applications of collagen, but oral supplements have been promising in clinical trials.
Molecular collagen is composed of polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bands, which are too big at the cellular level to get absorbed through skin. On the other hand, intestinal absorption of dietary collagen remains a matter of controversy. That being said, nutraceutical companies have developed formulations of supplements that facilitate the best possible absorption rates and better bioavailability.
Tough bundles of collagen fibers comprise several polypeptide chains of fibrous structural proteins. All fibrous tissues have cells and extracellular matrix in between. High concentrations of collagen found in cartilages, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and even bones give these fibrous tissues tensile strength, the reason why the joints are capable of bearing a certain level of longitudinal stress without tearing apart.
Structural proteins make up the outer layer of the human skin and its appendages, such as the scalp, hair, and nails. The most important of these proteins are collagen, keratin, and elastin. Collagen fibers are responsible for the tensile properties of the skin. Keratin provides strength whereas elastin exerts an elastic effect. Collagen fibers affect the process of healing and its degradation leads to wrinkles.
Oral route of administration is believed to produce the health benefits linked to dietary collagen. While researchers have ruled out the health claims tied to collagen creams and lotions, they have reported encouraging results about dietary collagen. In fact, collagen supplements utilized in the management of rheumatoid arthritis and treatment of skin disorders have produced significantly positive outcomes.
One clinical trial that involved more than 200 participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis point to the medicinal potential of collagen as an adjunct treatment for rheumatism and osteoarthritis. There was a noticeable decrease in joint pain, morning stiffness, and restrained mobility, which were noted as statistically significant. For this reason, supplementation of collagen has attracted more research.
Dietary collagen is now becoming increasingly visible in the nutraceutical industry in that sales have increased in the past few years. It has become the subject of numerous studies well underway, and as such developments in collagen supplementation are expected to produce formulations specialized for higher bioavailability. The good news is dietary collagen has not been linked to any adverse effects.
Get some collagen today and feel the difference it can make in your diet!
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.
These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.
A Powerful Herbal Blend
Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.
This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.
Immune Activating Mushroom
Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.
Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern latitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”
In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it
February 25, 2010 09:47 AM
Sunburn is the result of excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The amount of exposure that is required to cause a burn is unique to each individual, the geographical location, the time, and the atmospheric conditions. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, which are designated as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB). Both types of ultraviolet rays are dangerous. UVB rays attack the skin’s outer layers, while UVA rays attack the underlying layers of the skin.
The majority of sunburns are first-degree burns that cause the skin to become red, warm, and tender to the touch. Depending on the severity of the burn and the individual’s skin type, the burn may subsequently “cool” into a suntan or thin layers of skin may peel off. More serious sunburn can be categorized as a second-degree burn. A second-degree burn consists of extreme reddening, swelling, pain, and even blisters. This is a sign that the burn has gone deeper than just the surface layer of the skin and has caused damage and the release of fluids from cells in the lower layers of the skin. The result of this is eruptions and breaks in the skin where bacteria and other infectious organisms can enter. In the most severe cases, a burn can be accompanied by chills, fever, nausea, and/or delirium. These types of sunburns are extremely painful and are extremely dangerous for children. Sunburn can often be accompanied by dehydration.
Those people who are fair-skinned are more prone to sunburn than those darker-skinned individuals. However, no matter what your skin color, you will burn if you get enough exposure. Symptoms do not always appear while you are in the sun, as they may begin from one hour to twenty-four hours after sun exposure and they usually reach their peak in two to three days.
The effects of sun exposure are becoming an increasing concern today due to the decline in the earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is responsible for screening out the most harmful ultraviolet rays, but it is becoming increasingly thinner all over the world. Holes that fluctuate in size have even developed in various places. Additionally, the incidence of skin cancer is growing at an alarming rate. It has been found that having two or more bad episodes of sunburn as a child can make you much more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult.
The following nutrients are recommended for prevention and treatment of sunburn: coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMB, a free-form amino acid complex, L-cysteine, a multivitamin and mineral complex, potassium, Pycnogenol, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, an all-purpose bactericide spray, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, silica, a vitamin B complex, vitamin E oil, and zinc.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial in treating sunburn. Aloe vera gel has been noted to be remarkably effective in treating any kind of burn. It is responsible for relieving discomfort, speeding healing, and also helping to moisturize the skin and relieve dryness. A salve of calendula flowers and St. John’s wort can act as painkiller for burns and promote healing of skin wounds because these herbs have antiseptic properties.
Also, Lavender oil or chamomile oil used in a herbal bath can help to minimize the stinging and pain of sunburn. Comfrey and gotu kola tea can be made it to a compress for the affected area. Horsetail is good for tissue repair, while tea tree oil can help to heal sunburn and other skin irritation. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water is a great wash for sunburned areas.
To prevent sunburns, apply sunblock on any exposed skin before going out side to prevent skin damage before it starts.
October 15, 2009 10:44 AM
The cinnamon plant is a small evergreen tree that grows between thirty two and forty nine feet tall. This plant belongs to the Lauraceae family and is native to Sri Lanka. The leaves of the plant are ovate oblong in shape and approximately two to seven inches in length, while the flowers, which have a distinct odor, are greenish in color. The fruit is a purple berry about one-centimeter and contain a single seed. The flavor of cinnamon is the result of an essential oil which makes up about 1/2% to 1% of its composition. This oil can be prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and quickly distilling the whole. The oil is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste.
Cinnamon has been known from ancient times, with the first mention of particular spice in the Old Testament being of cinnamon. In this, Moses commanded the use of sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. Additionally, cinnamon is also mentioned elsewhere in the bible. This herb was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was often looked upon as a gift fit for even God. Cinnamon was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 B.C. The herb is also alluded to by Herodotus and other classical writers. Cinnamon was too expensive to be commonly used in funerals of ancient Rome. However, the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year’s worth of the city’s supply at the funeral for his wife in 65 A.D.
Cinnamon can be harvested by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it. About a dozen shoots will form from the roots in the next year. These shoots are then stripped of their bark and left to dry. Only the thin inner bark is used, while the outer woody portion is removed. Each dried strip of cinnamon are then cut into lengths of about five to ten centimeters for sale.
Cinnamon has been around for thousands of years. It is revered as a spice and also as a healing agent. Cinnamon was included in embalming oils by the Egyptians. This herb was used in China to treat fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems dating as far back as 2000 BC. Cinnamon was a major trade commodity during the ancient times. Cinnamon grew in the southern regions of Asia originally. This herb is used to help relieve upset stomachs, reduce milk flow, stop excessive menstrual flow, and alleviate back pain. Research has also determined that cinnamon contains components that possess antifungal and antibacterial capabilities. This herb is found in some toothpaste, which allows it to help some decay-causing bacteria. Cinnamon is also helpful for promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
The dried bark of the cinnamon plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, cinnamon is beneficial in treating abdominal pain, candida, diarrhea, gas, gastric disorders, and indigestion.
Additionally, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with arthritis, asthma, backaches, bloating, bronchitis, cholera, coronary problems, fevers, excessive menstruation, nausea, nephritis, parasites, psoriasis, rheumatism, upset stomach, vomiting, and warts. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cinnamon, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 08, 2009 01:20 PM
Plantain is one of the most commonly used plants found throughout the world. The herb is generally used for cooking and is lower in sugar content than general bananas. Plantain was known for its medicinal properties from England to the New World. Its popularity continues to grow to this day. The seeds of this herb are related to psyllium seeds. They are often used for the same purposes.
The outer layer of the seeds of plantain contain mucilage. This is a product that swells up when moist. These seeds are responsible for helping to lower cholesterol. However, plantain is most known for its gastric benefits. This herb is responsible for both neutralizing stomach acids and normalizing stomach secretions. Fresh plantain juice has been used to treat mild stomach ulcers. This herb helps to absorb toxins from the bowels and promotes normal bowel function. Plantain is a bulk laxative and increases in mass when it is mixed with water. Research has determined the value of plantain as a mild laxative. The intestinal transit time was decreased in those subjects who were tested.
Along with intestinal use, plantain can help with bladder infections and kidney problems. It can also help with bed-wetting in children. This herb is great as an expectorant. Plantain ingested in tea-form clears the head and ears of congestion. The tea is also helpful in treating chronic lung problems in children.
Plantain is known for its ability to neutralize poisons in the body. Those patients who had poison ivy were treated topically with crushed plantain leaves. Itching was eliminated and the condition was prevented from spreading in those who were treated. Additionally, the leaves were able to stop hemorrhaging when they were applied to the bleeding surface. The astringent properties that are found in this herb are helpful in stopping bleeding and promoting the healing of wounds.
Plantain works as an anti-inflammatory to help with problems like edema and hemorrhoids. Other conditions that plantain has been included for include nerve problems, fevers, burns, eye pain, and jaundice.
The leaves and seeds of the plantain plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antivenomous, astringent, blood purifier, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, mucilant, parasiticide, gentle purgative, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, potassium, sulfur, trace minerals, and vitamins C, K, and T. Primarily, plantain is extremely beneficial in treating bed-wetting, snake bites, cystitis, diarrhea, intestinal problems, kidney problems, chronic lung disorders, neuralgia, blood poisoning, poison ivy, sores, ulcers, urinary incontinence, and wounds.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with insect bites, bronchitis, burns, high cholesterol, colitis, coughs, cuts, dysentery, edema, epilepsy, sore eyes, fevers, gas, external hemorrhages, hemorrhoids, infections, jaundice, leucorrhea, excessive menstruation, respiratory problems, primary tuberculosis, skin conditions, and stings. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medication. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by plantain, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 22, 2009 10:53 AM
The prickly ash plant is a tall shrub that is often described as a small tree. It can usually be found growing up to a height of twenty feet. The shrub can be distinguished by its barbed stalks and branches. The leaves of this plant are covered with fine hair-like material when they are young. As the leaves mature, they become smooth and develop spots of resins on the outer surface. When crushed, the leaves give out a fragrance that is similar to that of the lemon. The shrub is responsible for bearing green colored flowers. These appear in bunches on old wood before the leaves. Reddish-brown casings can be found on the wood, which house black seeds that are spicy to taste. The prickly ash shrub can be found in the region that ranges from Canada to Virginia and Nebraska.
The Native American tribes used prickly ash for toothaches and infection. Subsequently, it appeared in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1829 to 1926. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947 as a treatment for rheumatism. This herb was often used in the South during cholera and typhus epidemics. There, it was able to produce positive results. Prickly ash is often used in combination with a variety of other herbs.
Samuel Thomson, a nineteenth-century herbalist, considered prickly ash to be a valuable natural stimulant. It helps with problems such as rheumatism, cold hands and feet, ague, and fever. This herb is responsible for stimulating circulation, which is essential for a healthy body. Prickly ash can also help circulation that is impaired. This is the case in cold extremities and joints. Additionally, this herb can help with arthritis and lethargy because of its stimulant action and because it shows promise as way to enhance the immune system and relieve exhaustion.
Prickly ash can be used as a poultice to help speed up the healing of wounds and preventing infection. Also, it helps increase the production of saliva. This helps to eliminate mouth dryness. The bitter and sweet qualities of this herb are responsible for helping to heal deficiencies in the heart, lungs, spleen, and intestine. These qualities also help to strengthen them. As an example, prickly ash has been used to treat ulcers, asthma, and colic. Prickly ash is also used to aid digestion. Additionally, it helps in relieving feminine problems such as premenstrual cramps. This herb also is used to treat skin diseases.
The bark and berries of the prickly ash plant are used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, astringent, blood purifier, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. Primarily, prickly ash is extremely beneficial in dealing with poor circulation, fevers, paralysis, mouth sores, ulcers, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating ague, arthritis, asthma, blood impurities, cholera, colic, uterine cramps, diarrhea, edema, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, lethargy, liver disorders, rheumatism, primary tuberculosis, skin diseases, syphilis, thyroid problems, and typhus.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by prickly ash, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
March 03, 2009 12:14 PM
The nails are responsible for protecting the nerve-rich fingertips and tips of the toes from injury. Nails are part of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. They are mainly composed of keratin, which is a type of protein. The nail bed is the skin on top of which the nails grow, as they grow from 0.05 to 1.2 millimeters each week. If a nail is lost, it takes approximately seven months for it to grow out fully.
Those nail beds that are healthy are pink, which indicates a rich blood supply. Changes or abnormalities in the nails are often a result of nutritional deficiencies or other underlying conditions. The nails are able to reveal a great deal about the body’s internal health. Nail abnormalities on either the fingers or the toes can give evidence to an underlying disorder.
There are many changes that nutritional deficiencies can produce in the nails. A lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C are responsible for hang nails, while white bands across the nails are an indicator for protein deficiency. Dryness and brittleness indicates a lack of vitamin A and calcium. Horizontal and vertical ridges in the nails means that there is a deficiency of the B vitamins, while an insufficient intake of vitamin B12 can lead to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails. Iron deficiency can lead to nails that develop a concave shape and/or vertical ridges. White spots on the nails can be caused by a deficiency of zinc. Inadequate amounts of friendly bacteria in the body can result in the growth of fungus under and around the nails, while a lack of hydrochloric acid contributes to the splitting of nails.
The following supplements are essential in promoting healthy nail growth. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.
Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it inhibits the harmful bacteria that cause fungal infection. A free-form amino acid complex can also be taken as directed on the label, on an empty stomach, to provide the building materials for new nails. Silica supplies silicon, which is needed for hair, bones, and strong nails. It should be taken as directed on the label. Vitamin A emulsion should be taken in dosages of 50,000 IU daily, as the body cannot utilize protein without vitamin A. Black currant seed oil is helpful for weak, brittle nails and should be taken in dosages of 500 mg twice daily. Calcium and magnesium should be taken as directed on the label, as they are necessary for nail growth.
Iron should be taken as directed by a physician, as deficiency produces spoon nails and/or vertical ridges. A vitamin B complex should be taken as directed on the label, as deficiencies result in fragile nails. To prevent hangnails and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nail, 3,000 to 6,000 mg daily of vitamin C with bioflavonoids should be taken. 50 mg daily of zinc is beneficial for affecting absorption and action of vitamins and enzymes.
Additionally, the following herbs are helpful: alfalfa, black cohosh, burdock root, dandelion, gotu kola, yellow dock, horsetail, oat straw, borage seed, flaxseed, lemongrass, parsley, primrose, pumpkin seed, sage, butcher’s broom, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, rosemary, sassafras, and turmeric.
Healthy looking nails can tell you if your body is getting the right nutrients from your diet. When you find your nails are not looking well, consider the above vitamins, minerals and herbs to help restore healthy looking finger and toe nails. The vitamins and herbs listed can be found at your local or internet health food store.
What Is Fiber?
July 21, 2008 02:56 PM
Fiber often has been called roughage, as it technically is a food component that is undigested and processed through the gastrointestinal tract. Since it readily absorbs water, it helps to add to the bulk that is required in order to form a good bowel movement. Fiber is often described as a complex carbohydrate, which consists of the polysaccharide and lignin substance that often gives structure to the cell of a plant and is the portion of plant food that is not digested.
Fiber which is insoluble has the capability of passing through the intestines intact and unchanged. Unlike fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, fiber does not give the body nutrients or fuel for energy, and has no caloric value. Dietary fiber can only be found in plant components including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Primarily, there are only two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, with some foods containing both types.
Soluble fiber is eventually digested in the large intestine, causing it to have limited bulking power. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and have often been linked to helping prevent blood sugar highs and lows, helping to lower blood cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping to control high blood pressure, and encouraging friendly bacteria growth. Soluble fiber can be found in pectin, lignin, gums, mucilages, and other sources such as psyllium, beans, apples, pears, and oat bran.
Soluble fiber doesn’t usually seem like fiber. It is digestible and, when broken down, it creates a gel as it absorbs water in the intestinal tract. It does not bulk the stool to the extent of insoluble fiber, but it does slow down the rate at which food is digested. Soluble fiber is found in vegetables, particularly onions, bulbs, leeks, and asparagus, and also fruits, including dried varieties.
Insoluble fiber remains undigested for the most part and promotes a faster stool transit time. Insoluble fiber can keep the bowel clean and operative and also help to bind dangerous toxins and hormones in order to promote better excretion. Insoluble fiber also fosters regularity in the body, contributes to better digestion, prevents constipation, and helps to lower the risk of bowel disease.
Insoluble fiber is primarily composed of cellulose and hemicelulose. Cellulose is a non-digestible form of fiber, found in outer portions of vegetables and fruits. Bran or seed covering of whole grains is another type of insoluble fiber. Hemicellulose fibers remain unchanged and absorb water as they travel the digestive tract. They increase stool bulk and transit time, preventing constipation and conditions like hemorrhoids. Stalks, stems, peels, and fruit and vegetable skins are all made up of insoluble fiber. However, the insoluble fiber content of fruits is actually found in its flesh and stringy membranes, rather than its peelings.
The average person needs a good variety of foods that contribute to at least 35 grams of dietary fiber in our diet daily. Most foods contain both types of fiber, but the ones that are most fiber rich are not usually the ones that we commonly eat. Whole grain cereal, raw fruits and vegetables, split peas, beans, lentils, millet, and barley are the best sources of fiber. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that most of us only get 9 grams of fiber each day, if we are lucky.
Finally, fiber has the ability to increase fecal bulk by retaining water, decrease stool transit time, keep blood sugar levels more stable, lower blood serum and liver cholesterol, help prevent weight gain by slowing the rate of digestion and absorption and controlling hunger, expediting the removal of dangerous toxins, binding with bile salts to help decrease the risk of gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer, and creating the presence of healthier intestinal bacteria.
June 19, 2008 04:06 PM
Many natural health practitioners are looking at chitin as a possible weight-loss tool in a diet program. While still under study, proponents of it have helped this natural product and formulations made from it popular. Those seeking to lose weight efficiently are buying this product in droves. Manufacturers and marketers of chitin have seen great sales growth in Japan and the United States in recent years.
Chitin is a positively charged polysaccharide that comes from an animal source. This source is shellfish in the form of shrimp, crab and lobster. A polysaccharide is a string of sugar molecules found in the outer shell of these crustaceans. Chitin is also found in marine coral and the outer shells of certain insects, such as beetles and ants. Chitin shares chemical similarities with cellulose and starch, which are plant fibers.
The weight-loss benefits of chitin are in its binding properties. Some researchers believe that the positively charged polysaccharides attract negatively charged bile acids and free fatty acids. These acids are now bound by the positively charged chitin and therefore are not absorbed into a person's system. The result is the prevention of an increase in dietary fat, which puts the pounds on a person's frame.
Some evidence from studies does suggest that chitin breaks down in the stomach and changes to a gel. Some researchers believe this is where the binding takes place as this gel traps fats and cholesterols. This process is believed to occur in the intestine, where chitin prevents the fat from becoming absorbed and digested.
All types of fiber are beneficial for preventing the absorption of fat into the body, at least to some degree. Studies show that chitin, as an amino polysaccharide fiber may do this to a greater degree. Some proponents believe chitin has the capacity to expel up to four times its weight in fat. Some claim it binds 10 times its weight in fat and does this better than any other kind of fiber.
Some believe chitin works best when used in conjunction with a high-fat meal. If it's going to be one of those high-fat intake days, they say taking chitin can help you counter the fat. Taking chitin may help bind the fat molecules and take them through your system until they're eliminated. However, chitin does not bind carbohydrates, protein, or alcohol. Over-indulgence in them, even with chitin added to your diet, may mean you will still put on weight.
Because chitin is a non-digestible, non-absorbable fiber, it acts as a carrier. It doesn't absorb into your body as other foods can. It helps carry harmful fats away through its binding capabilities before they have a chance to settle in. Studies suggest chitin may do this and help improve blood cholesterol levels as it goes about its work.
Chitin is a calorie-free fiber supplement. A product that is abundantly available, it is even used in food manufacturing as an edible film to protect foods from spoiling. It is often found at a reasonable cost and is a product known for having few side effects. One caveat with chitin is that those allergic to shellfish should not consume chitin. In addition, pregnant women should not take chitin products because of a possible reduction in calcium and vitamin D absorption. Of course, any weight-loss program needs to rely on healthy foods and exercise in addition to any weight-loss supplements. It's all part of an overall healthy approach to losing weight.
Along with its possible benefits as a weight-loss tool chitin has other benefits. It is used in the manufacture of surgical thread. Being biodegradable, it dissolves over time as a wound heals. It also has properties that allow for its use as a wound-healing agent.
Studies continue in the uses of chitin as a weight-loss product. As a natural product, readily available, diet supplement manufacturers strive to make innovative products from it. Their focus is to further research chitin so they can use it to help those striving to take control of their weight.
Brown Rice Protein
April 14, 2008 01:05 PM
Did you know that the world produces over 1.3 trillion pounds of rice annually? Brown rice grows in over 40,000 varieties, if you are one looking for the health benefits of rice, the type of rice you choose makes a huge difference.
The USDA recommends that more than half your daily grain diet should be from whole grains (less processed grains) which retain more of their natural nutrients.
When brown rice is processed the outer shell is removed. Brown rice is milled and polished into white rice removing all the valuable nutrients giving the rice its health benefits and fiber. Processing destroys 67% of vitamin b3, 80% of vitamin b1, 90% of vitamin b6, 50% of magnesium and phosphorus, 60% of its iron, and all the fiber giving rice its colon health benefits. Processing destroys the essential fatty acids in rice as well.
One cup of brown rice supplies 88% of the daily recommended manganese, a mineral essential for energy production as well as supporting the nervous system and aids in the production of antioxidants and enzymes that improve over all health. The same cup of brown rice provides 27% of the daily needed selenium and other vital minerals to support a health immune system and thyroid function. Brown rice is an excellent source of B vitamins. One can obtain 14% of their daily fiber from one cup of brown rice, so what’s stopping you from adding it to your diet.
Bilberry Extract Is A Powerful Antioxidant That Strengthens Veins
April 12, 2008 11:06 AM
Bilberry extract is taken from the Vaccinium myrtillus, or bilberry, a small blue berry that has been used traditionally for the treatment of conditions now known to be due to inflammation and the action of free radicals on the body.
Among these is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, caused by the free radical oxidation of the low density lipids that carry cholesterol around the bloodstream, and that cause deposition of fatty plaques on the arterial walls and eventually constricts them to a stage that can cause heart failure or a stroke, depending on whether the arteries are close to the heart or in the brain.
However, additional to treating this condition, bilberry has also traditionally been used for the treatment of varicose veins and also for certain eye conditions. In fact it was during the Second World war that the Royal Air Force in Britain received reports from pilots that their night vision improved after eating bilberries. Not only their vision, but the restoration of night vision after exposure to glare.
This was extremely important to war-time pilots who had to be able to rapidly adapt their vision to fly their plane after exposure to searchlights and explosive detonations. That is the reason for anything that appeared to promote this essential adaptation to be reported.
The pharmacology of these effects have been found to be due to the anthocyanosides in which bilberries are particularly rich. Anthocyanosides consist of an anthocyanaidin backbone, to which one of either arabinose, galactose or glucose can be bound. Since bilberry contains five of these anthocyanadins, then there are fifteen different anthocyanosides in the fruit concentrate.
The area of the retina that appears to control night vision, and the transition from day to night sight, is called the epithelium which is connected with purple vision. Anthocyanosides seem to have an affinity for this part of the retina, and in so doing plays an important part in this type of vision, specifically night vision although it is also beneficial in improving day vision.
Although bilberry also contains vitamins A and C, hydroquinone and tannins, it is the anthocyanosides that provide it with its unique antioxidant properties, and also its effect upon collagen fibers. It can cross-link collagen fibers to help overcome weaknesses in the connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and the walls of blood vessels.
Its effect as an antioxidant is to prevent the cleavage of collagen by the cyzymes that are secreted by leukocytes generated by the immune system. By preventing histamine release, and release of prostaglandins and other proteins and cells mobilized during the immune inflammatory response to the detection of foreign invasion into human tissue, anthocyanosides can help to reduce inflammation and to protect against other extreme reactions of the immune system that can harm the organism it evolved to protect.
The most powerful property of anthocyanosides are their antioxidant properties: perhaps even its only property once all of the conditions it helps to protect against are fully understood. An antioxidant combines with free radicals and destroys them. Free radicals are particularly vile chemical entities that require an electron to make them stable, and they take this electron from the nearest source. This can result in oxidation and destruction of many bodily tissues leading to premature aging, atherosclerosis, eye damage and many other problems that result from the destruction of body cells and tissue.
The various constituents that make up bilberry act in concert to scavenge the free radicals and increase the supply of oxygen to the eye. The benefits of this are in helping to prevent cataracts and glaucoma, the latter due to the effect of the anthocyanoside cross-linking effect on the structure of the collagen in the eye. It can also help in cases of macular degeneration that affects the central area of the retina which might be due to the same property of there glucoside.
Moving away from the eyes and back to the vascular system, the collagen cross-linking properties of the flavonoids, which is what anthocyanosides basically are, can help to repair damaged vein tissue by strengthening the vein walls themselves, and also by providing support for the cell membranes, or outer layers of the cells.
This in turn builds up more strength in the vein tissue below the outside walls and contributes to an overall reduction in the weakness of the vein. This in turn enables it better to withstand the internal pressure put upon it by the failure of the valve that created the problem. In this way bilberries can be used to help repair the damage done by varicose veins and improve the function of the vein in returning blood to the heart from the extremities of the legs and also to help reduce the pain and swelling of varicose veins.
In addition to these beneficial effects on the vascular system and the eyes, bilberry can also help to decrease the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to pollutants, drugs and other undesirable chemicals by improving the resistance of the capillaries in the brain to the transfer of such substances through their walls. It does so by preventing the collagen of the capillaries in the brain being degraded either by enzymes or other agents, Also, by helping to strengthen that collagen structure so that it becomes more impermeable to the larger molecules that form the pollutants.
A lesser known constituent of bilberry is myrtillin, an anthocyanoside monoglucoside that is also available in all green plants, that possesses anti-glycemic properties. What this means is that it can reduce hyperglycemia and glycosurea, and so reduce blood sugar without reducing the blood sugar level to dangerously low levels. In other words it is an ideal insulin substitute.
Native Americans used green plants for teas for centuries and were free from diabetes until the came into contact with Europeans and adopted their dietary habits. Although the case has to be proved, it appears highly likely that it was the myrtillin that kept them free from a condition that affects so many other races.
Irrespective of that, however, it is for its powerful antioxidant effect that bilberry finds its best use, and also its effects on varicose veins. However, all of the above health benefits that bilberry provides, can likely be laid at the door of the combined antioxidant effect of its vitamin C content and the anthocyanosides – including the glucoside myrtillin.
B Complex to Restore the Adrenal Glands from Stress
February 07, 2008 05:18 PM
The B vitamins comprise a range of water soluble vitamins that frequently work together to impart a number of general benefits to your body’s health. In general they support and maintain the metabolic rate, maintain the function of the nervous system, support the immune system, maintain healthy skin and muscles and help to promote cell growth and division. They work together to suppress the causes and symptoms of cardiovascular disease and stress and they are dispersed throughout the whole of the body by means of the circulation system of the blood.
In very general terms they collectively ensure that the body is provided with energy from the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose. They are also needed for the metabolism of fats and proteins, and also the maintenance and health of the nervous system in general.
There are many natural sources, including lentils, potatoes, liver, turkey, brewer’s yeast, and also, of course, dietary supplements.
Vitamin B Complex can help to restore the adrenal glands from stress, but to understand how it does so, it is first necessary to understand what these glands are, and the part that they can play in stress.
The adrenal glands are situated just above each kidney, and take the form of two small pieces of tissue in the shape of a pyramid that generate specific hormones and chemical messengers. You have likely heard of adrenaline, the hormone that make you respond to certain types of stress either through flight or by fighting: what is known as the fight or flight reaction. Well, in fact there are two of them, noredrenaline being the other. They are also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine respectively.
Both the adrenal glands are controlled by what is known as the HPA axis, short for the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis which is the stress center of the body. The adrenals are the main steroid-producing plants in the body, responsible not only for the adrenaline hormones, but also for cortisone and hydrocortisone, testosterone, estrogen, cholesterol, progesterone and a number of others. These are produced in the outer cortex of the adrenal glands, whereas adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced and secreted by the medulla.
Adrenaline and cortisol are responsible along with others for the balance of your body fluids, blood sugar and blood pressure and many of the other main metabolic functions of the body, and if the adrenaline is not working properly, it can disrupt the metabolism of your blood glucose into energy, giving you a weak run-down and listless feeling. This is not surprising since your energy is failing at the cellular level.
The main reason for adrenal fatigue is stress. Either emotional or physical stress or even poor nutrition can be responsible for reducing the functioning of the glands to such an extent that they no longer provide the steroid hormones in the proper balanced quantities needed to maintain the proper functioning of your metabolic processes. Unlike Addison’s disease, which a complete stoppage of the functioning of the adrenal glands, in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome the glands still function, but at a reduced capacity and the various products they are responsible for generating are secreted in reduced and imbalanced quantities.
However, fatigue is not normally the first reaction of the body to stress. As normal stress levels increase the bodies response is generally to secrete higher levels of adrenaline, and the cortex produces extra cortisol and other hormones. As stress continues beyond the intermittent stage and becomes more constant, the adrenals produce a more sustained high level of hormones, that generally raise blood pressure and also increase the level of sugar in the blood in order allow a sustained increase in energy levels. Corticosteroids are produced to maintain this higher level reaction to stress.
Finally, when the adrenals can sustain this high level of activity no longer, adrenal fatigue sets in which is when the worst symptoms of the stress are evident: exhaustion, both physically and mentally, excessive fear, guilt and worry, and under-activity of the HPA axis leads to depression, hopelessness and severe illness, often due to a weakened immune system.
So where does the B vitamin complex come into this? Vitamin B complex includes niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. As already stated, the complex is useful in supporting many of the critical functions of the body from healthy bones to healthy blood cells, and nervous systems. It also helps to maintain your reproductive system and can be used in cases of nerve-related conditions such as sciatica and neurological conditions.
Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is particularly useful in dealing with stress in that it enhances the activity of the adrenal glands. It also increases your energy levels due to its effect on the Krebs Cycle through its action as a precursor of acetyl Coenzyme A and acetylcholine which is a primary neurotransmitter. This helps to reduce fatigue and the pain of headaches caused by excessive stress and consequent reduction in adrenal output. Pantothenic acid is also essential during the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and is important in the maintenance of healthy nerves, skin and glands.
In fact the whole of the vitamin B family work together to make sure that your whole nervous system and metabolism remain healthy. People with high stress jobs often take the vitamin B complex to help reduce that stress and also anger. Excessive stress and anger can lead to anxiety and overwork the adrenal glands, and B complex can help to restore these to their normal function.
If you are concerned about your adrenal health, you can have a simple test carried out on your saliva, blood or urine by a trained medical practitioner. Many doctors do not know to carry out this test since it is not a normal test as would be used to detect Addison’s Disease, or complete adrenal failure, but only adrenal fatigue, so ask specifically for an adrenal fatigue check.
A quick self-test is to shine a light into an eye using a flashlight while looking in a mirror. They pupil should contract and return to normal after about 30 seconds. If it fails to do so, or even dilates, then that is a sign of adrenal fatigue. However, you must have it confirmed by a proper test.
All in all, a B complex supplement is a good way to restore adrenal glands from stress, and it also helps your nervous system in general, in addition to aiding the metabolic processes of your body. However, make sure that your symptoms are what you think they are by seeking professional medical advice.
Back to School with Colloidal silver
December 02, 2007 06:11 PM
Although the basic school supplies and a nutritious lunch are necessities that most parents know children need, other tools for a good immune system are often overlooked. With so many supplements on the market, ranging from herbal immune boosters to vitamin and mineral regimens, it is hard for a parent to decide what to choose when it comes to helping their children stay healthy during the school year. There is one supplement, however, that stands above the rest when it comes to keeping children healthy: colloidal silver. This supplement is the one supplement that is capable of meeting all your child’s needs. Not only is it at the head of its class in immunity support, but it also works as an antimicrobial and has regenerative properties to aid the body in recuperating after an illness has already set in. In addition, it can be used as a health support aid along with other antimicrobials or pain relievers. The best part is that colloidal silver is a clear liquid that looks, tastes, feels, and smells like water, so it is an easy supplement to give your children.
The difference between those children who never seem to get sick and those who are constantly ill has to do with more than a matter of avoiding germs. All the preventative measures in the world can be taken to protect a child from illness, but if he or she does not have a strong immune system, the parent will be fighting a continuous battle to keep the child healthy. Unlike other immune supplements that are only geared for use at the beginning of a cold or flu, colloidal silver can be used every day to continuously support the immune system.
It was observed as far back as 1907 that silver increases the production of white blood cells. This observation has been recently confirmed in many studies. Researchers have also found that silver may help white blood cells to intercept immune threats effectively by increasing their ability to track, recognize, and survey incoming threats. All of these things cumulatively enhance the immune system, a factor that is very important in keeping children healthy for the long run. It has also been accepted for a long time that silver is effective in fighting a range of microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus. This is contributed to silver ions rupturing the outer membrane of the infectious agent, thereby exposing the internal components to the immune system. When colloidal silver is applied to vulnerable areas such as the eyes, throat, and nose, it can act as a first line of defense in eliminating microbes before they can enter the body. By applying this in the morning before school, microbes that may come into contact with those areas can be eliminated. Silver can also be applied on cuts and scrapes to provide a healthy antiseptic support, as well as faster healing.
In order to decide which silver is right for your children, you must keep in mind that not all silver preparations are the same. A good colloidal silver should have small silver particles that are sub-nanometer in size. Remember that colloidal silver is a dietary supplement to support your health, not to cure diseases. If serious issues are occurring, be sure to contact your health care professional first.
Lutein - A plant pigment provides sun protection from the inside out.
July 09, 2007 01:21 PM
A plant pigment provides sun protection from the inside out.
Energy on earth begins with the sun’s rays, which spark the photosynthesis in plants that ultimately powers all life. (Petroleum is the residue of prehistoric plants crushed over eons into liquid form.) But the sun’s energy is not totally benign for us humans; excess exposure can cause skin to wrinkle and eyesight to dim.
Enter lutein. This plant chemical, reddish-orange like the setting sun, has become a hot commodity over the past several years because of its ability to protect both eyes and skin against sun damage. A member of the carotenoid family of nutrients, lutein is generally paired with its partner, Zeaxanthin, in a wide variety of foods, including egg yolks, fruits, corn and leafy greens such as spinach (where its bright color is masked by the green of chlorophyll). That’s a good thing, since your body can’t make lutein and so needs to obtain it from your diet.
The sun produces a whole spectrum of light rays, from the visible (red through violet) to the invisible or ultraviolet (UV). UV rays—both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB)—are troublemakers. They attack collagen, the protein that gives skin its shape, which leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging. What’s worse, UV is also capable of damaging skin cell DNA, a process that can promote cancer development. And UV isn’t the only culprit: The sun’s visible blue rays are believed to help create harmful molecules called free radicals within the skin.
The clue to lutein’s importance in fending off skin damage lies in the fact that it is found throughout both the outer (epidermis) and inner (dermis) skin layers, where as an antioxidant it fights free radicals and as an orange pigment it soaks up blue light. In one study, using lutein both orally and topically produced improvements in skin hydration and suppleness (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 4/19/07). Lutein has also shown an ability to counter the inflammation and immune system suppression associated with excess UV exposure (Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2/04).
What is it? A red orange carotenoid found in a number of fruits and vegetables, generally with a similar compound called Zeaxanthin.
What does it do? This powerful antioxidant helps protect the eyes against both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD); it also appears to defend the skin against sun damage and has been associated with reduced arterial wall thickness, a measure of cardiovascular health.
The Eyes Have It
Your eyes, like your skin, are directly exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Such exposure can cloud the eye’s lens to create cataracts. It can also disrupt the retina at the back of the eye particularly the macula, the part of the retina responsible for clear central vision—which can result in age-related macular degeneration.
Not surprisingly, the eye is yet another one of the body’s lutein hot spots. This pigment is especially concentrated in the macula; in fact, of the 600 or so carotenoids that exist in nature, only lutein and Zeaxanthin are found within this all important structure. So it also isn’t surprising to learn that they Eye Disease Case Control Study, one of the first large-scale investigations into carotenoids and eye health, found a link between reduced AMD risk and high levels of lutein and Zeaxanthin. Current research has focused on the use of supplemental lutein in AMD patients, with promising results.
It isn’t only the outside of your body that may benefit from lutein. When oxidized by free radicals, LDL cholesterol settles into arterial walls. Lutein may help slow this process; in one study, people with the most lutein in their blood had 80% less vessel-wall thickening than those with the least (circulation 6/19/01).
So enjoy some fun in the sun. But respect the power of those golden rays, and let lutein help make playtime a safe time. –Lisa James.
Complete Liver Cleanse
April 19, 2007 04:17 PM
Complete Liver Cleanse
Technical Data Sheet
The liver performs over 500 functions, including metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins, synthesizing and storing vitamins, and regulating hormones – naming just a few. To do this job, the liver is also required to be exposed to potentially harmful toxins and chemicals, every day.
One way to support the liver is through periodic supplementation with the proper balance of herbal ingredients, phytosterols, and fiber. Complete Liver Cleanse is a convenient, multi-ingredient formula that supports overall liver health and detoxification.
Complete Liver Cleanse:
Includes ingredients for various aspects of liver and gallbladder support:
-Herbal ingredients that support liver and gallbladder health
-Detoxifying ingredients that keep bound toxins from being reabsorbed
-Phytosterols to block cholesterol absorption in the intestines
-Fiber that moves cholesterol and toxins out of the body
-Oat beta-glucan fiber with up to 4 times higher viscosity than other beta-glucan
-Simple, two week liver cleanse program
Each 3 capsules contain:
Calcium (as calcium D-glucarate) 13 mg
Proprietary PuraFiber Blend: 1 mg
Viscofiber Oat B-Gucan Concentrate, phytosterols
(beta sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, brassicasterol,
and other plant sterols), and glucomannan
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Fruit Phytosome 220 mg
One part Milk Thistle Extract, standardized to contain 80%
Silymarin bound to two parts phosphatidylcholine (soy) using
a patented process
Burdock (Arctium lappa) Root Extract 4:1 100 mg
Calcium D-Glucarate 100 mg
Boldo (Peumus boldus) Leaf Extract 2:1 75 mg
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Rhizome Extract 50 mg
Standardized to contain 90% curcuminoids
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) Root Extract 4:1 50 mg
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Leaf Extract 30 mg
Standardized to contain 13-18% caffeylquinic
Acids calculated as chlorogenic acid
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, dairy products, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, ingredients of animal origin, or preservatives. This product contains natural ingredients; color variations are normal.
Other ingredients: See label for most current information
Viscofiber is a registered trademark of Cebena Bioproducts, Inc. The use and composition of the Viscofiber proprietary formula is protected by patients and patent applications filed in the
This product contains calcium D-glucarate, the use of which is licensed from Applied Food Sciences, LLC, and protected by
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Every day, the liver must process an almost unbelievable amount of blood – at a rate of three pints every minute. All the while, the liver performs over 500 physiologic functions, including protein and glucose synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin and mineral storage, synthesis of clotting factors, urea formation, metabolism of medications, and the production of bile. The liver also assists in hormonal regulation, blood glucose control, and other regulatory functions.
Harmful substances that have been neutralized by the liver are carried to the intestines and kidneys for excretion. They are transported by bile, a greenish, watery solution that is synthesized, and continuously being excreted, by the liver. Stored in the gallbladder, a small sac cupped in the under surface of the liver, bile is also required for the digestion of dietary fats. However, in the case of toxins, bile is primarily an early transporter of the toxic compounds to the intestines, where they can be bound to fiber that helps transport them out of the body. Environmental toxins, including lipid (fat) soluble toxins, are broken into water-soluble components by bile to be excreted through the kidneys or colon.
Detoxification refers to the process of excreting potentially harmful compounds that are both generated by the body and acquired through exposure to the environment. In the body, toxins are generated as by-products of cellular metabolic processes. Examples include dead and digested bacteria, hydrogen peroxide, cellular debris, and carbon dioxide.
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the amount of environmental toxins in the air, groundwater, and soil has increased significantly in the last 40 years. In fact, the use of pesticides has doubled every ten years since 1945. Americans are increasingly exposed to heavy metals, pesticides, fossil fuel emissions, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and other harmful chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that traces of toxic chemicals can now be found in nearly every American.
Herbal Liver Support
One of the major components in Complete Liver Cleanse is its milk thistle extract, standardized to contain 80% silymarin, the plant’s most bioactive compound. Milk Thistle provides support, at a cellular level, for healthy liver function. A patented delivery system, known as the Phytosome process, provides superior absorption of the milk thistle extract.
Silymarin, a key compound found in milk thistle, is a mixture of flavonoids with a long history of liver support. Silymarin supports the health of Kupffer cells, specialized liver cells responsible for removing bacteria, old blood cells, and other foreign matter from the liver’s blood supply. Silymarin scavenges free radicals (superoxide anion radical and nitric oxide) produced by activated Kupffer cells, supports healthy leukotriene levels, and supports glutathione production that is used in detoxification.
Silymarin also supports the health of hepatocytes, highly versatile liver cells with unique physiologic functions. Studies of silymarin have demonstrated that it supports the health of the hepatocyte outer membrane, which is crucial to the liver’s detoxification processes. Silymarin also supports the healthy regenerative ability of the liver through support of protein synthesis in the hepatocytes.
A special, patented proves known as Phytosome enhances the absorption of milk thistle in Complete Liver Cleanse. The Phytosome process pairs herbal ingredients with phosphatidylcholine molecules. Phosphatidylcholine is a naturally occurring substance found in soybeans, egg yolks, and some vegetables. In the body, phosphatidylcholine is an important building block of cell membranes.
When milk thistle (or other herbs) are bound with phosphatidylcholine, the phosphatidylcholine molecule facilitates absorption through the intestines into the bloodstream. Research has shown increased blood and serum levels for phytosome herbs in comparison to the individual herb alone.
To test whether binding an herb with phosphatidylcholine increased its bioavailability, researchers gave volunteers identical amounts of either milk thistle alone, or milk thistle phytosome. The researchers then took blood sample from the participants and measured the level of silybin (a key compound in milk thistle). The measurements showed that silybin levels in participants taking the phytosome form of milk thistle were higher, and that silybin was detected for a longer time, than those who took milk thistle without the phytosome delivery system.
Other Herbal Liver Supportive Ingredients
Herbal extracts are often at their best when they are working synergistically – that is, when different constituents of each plant work together and support each other. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a variety of herbal extracts that have noted benefits for supporting the body’s healthy bile flow and free-radical scavenging effects. These ingredients provide a wide spectrum of liver supportive benefits.
For instance, dandelion root extract supports healthy bile flow from the gallbladder.
Burdock is originally native to Europe and Asia, but was introduced to
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) supports the natural physiologic processes of organs involved in detoxification and elimination: notably, the liver, kidneys, and intestines.
Bolodo (pemus boldus) is a small evergreen native to South America, but naturalized to southern
In scientific studies, boldo appears to have strong free-radical scavenging ability, mostly attributed to the catechin and flavonoids content of its leaves. In a clinical study, boldo also appears to relax smooth muscle and support intestinal transit time.
Artichoke Leaf extract specifically supports healthy bile production in the liver and healthy gastrointestinal function in general. Research into artichoke’s gastrointestinal supportive properties has included at least three clinical trials. Artichoke’s role in supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits has also been investigated.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial shrub native to southern
More recently, turmeric has been investigated for its support of healthy bile secretion, and pancreatic and gastric function.
In a scientific study, dietary curcuminoids derived from turmeric supported healthy lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels already within normal limits.
Curcumin has also been shown in scientific studies to enhance the activity of glutathione S-transferase - an enzyme responsible for linking glutathione (one of the body’s natural antioxidants) with toxins to help remove them from the body. In this way, it provides additional support for healthy liver function.
The process of detoxification is the breakdown and excretion of substances that are no longer needed or may be harmful to the body. One of the ways in which the body excretes hormones and toxins is by binding them to glucuronic acid in the liver, and then excreting this compound in the bile.
However, this process can be disrupted by B-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is produced by intestinal bacteria. This enzyme has the ability to break (uncouple) the chemical bond established by glucuronic acid. This action releases the bound toxins, which are then reabsorbed into the body instead of being excreted.
Calcium D-Glucarate is the calcium salt of d-glucaric acid. It is found in both the human body, and in some plant sources, including broccoli and oranges.
Calcium d0glucarate enhances the body’s detoxification systems by inhibiting the actions of beta-glucuronidase. This helps decrease the portion of active compounds that could be hazardous to the body.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is vital to fat digestion, cell structure, nerve insulation and hormone production. Cholesterol comes from two sources: dietary or “exogenous” cholesterol absorbed in the intestine, and “endogenous” cholesterol formed mostly by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
Cholesterol occurs in two forms known as lipoproteins. Lipoproteins act as transports that carry fat s to and from the cells.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) carries low lipid density cholesterol (LDL) away from arterial walls and returns it to the bloodstream. LDL then travels back to the liver, which processes and eliminates it. While high levels of HDL cholesterol is desirable, high amounts of LDL cholesterol is not supportive of optimal health.
LDL-cholesterol is both synthesized in the body, or absorbed into the bloodstream through receptor sites in the intestines. Think of these receptors as “parking spaces” for cholesterol. As it happens, the liver can receive up to 500 mg per day of cholesterol from intestinal absorption. (It can also produce as much as 1000 mg per day).
One way to help reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol molecules it to occupy their “parking places” in the intestines. Phytosterols in Liver Cleanse are essentially the “fat” of plants. They’re found in nuts, corn and rice and are some of the “good” fats associated with the benefits of olive oil, flaxseed oil and other healthy oils.
The structure of phytosterols is so similar to cholesterol that they fit perfectly in the specially-shaped intestinal parking spaces that LDL-cholesterol would normally occupy.
Taken with, or just before meals, phytosterols block the cholesterol receptor sites so that cholesterol is excreted from the body rather than absorbed. Phytosterols also have the additional role of helping promote healthy bile salt excretion in the intestines.
The phytosterol blend in Complete Liver Cleanse can help minimize the absorption of cholesterol from high-protein food sources, help retain healthy cholesterol levels that are within normal limits, and move bile sat through the digestive system.
Fiber and detoxification
Fiber plays a key role in the removal and excretion of intestinal toxins in detoxification. Only fibers that can effectively bind toxins will be successful in eliminating these harmful substances. Due to the unique benefits of individual fibers, the best binding, removal, and elimination effects are noted when combining different fiber types. Complete Liver Cleanse contains a combination of oat beta-glucan and konjac fiber that has been shown in scientific studies to bind to bile salts.
Dietary fibers are complex mixtures of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, mucilage, and gums, which are resistant to digestive fluids or enzymes – that is, they aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream. So, while fiber itself doesn’t necessarily provide nutrients, it does promote laxation and modulate gastric and intestinal physiology. Intestinal flora that normally reside within the colon utilize fiber as a medium for microbial fermentation, resulting in the synthesis of the vitamins, vitamin K and biotin, and the formation of short chain fatty acids, or SCFA.
SCFA have a simple, but important job: to be absorbed by the colon mucosa, increasing fecal matter bulk and providing energy. Fiber has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies to provide support of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine function health.
Complete Liver Cleanse also features two unique fibers to promote detoxification – konjac and oat beta-glucan.
Konjac, (Amorphophallus Konjac) is a tuber native to
As a fiber, konjac has shown positive results maintaining healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits in clinical studies. This beneficial effect is due to konjac’s ability to boost excretion of bile acid.
Oat beta-glucan has been a widely studied fiber source for supporting healthy cholesterol levels within normal limits.
In a randomized clinical study, oat beta-glucan showed support of healthy HDL/LDL ratios already within normal limits in individuals over a three week trial.
Closely linked to cholesterol, oat beta-glucan has also been studied for its support of healthy bile excretion.
Fiber has benefits beyond maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within normal limits. It also contributes to healthy blood sugar levels already within normal limits. In a double-blind, clinical study, the oat beta-glucan fiber used in Liver Cleanse was shown to have 4 times higher viscosity than another high concentrate beta-glucan fiber.
Viscosity – the resistance to flow – is an important factor in beta-glucan, and all fiber. Water, for instance, would have a low viscosity, because it provides very little resistance to movement. Fiber, on the other hand, should have a higher viscosity in order to maximize its transit time through the GI tract, providing a gentle “scrubbing” on the intestinal walls. Therefore, the higher the viscosity, the greater the potential benefit.
Three capsules in the morning and three capsules at bedtime for 14 days.
Warnings: Do not use if you know or suspect you have an obstructed bile duct or problematic gallstones. If pregnant, nursing or taking prescription drugs, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. Keep out of reach of children.
How Does It Work?
July 08, 2006 01:24 PM
Proprietary Probiotic blend
Acidophilus Pearls is a probiotic dietary supplement designed to help support digestion and a healthy intestinal system. Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum are live microbial food supplements that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic). Probiotics do not permanently colonize in the body. Therefore, they need to be ingested regularly for their health-promoting effects to persist. After ingestion, probiotics must adhere to the wall of the intestine. Once attached to the intestinal wall, the bacteria are capable of multiplying and colonizing in the gut, thereby enhancing the immune response. 1-3
Oral probiotics help support the composition and metabolic activities of the large intestine micro flora.1 Micro flora of the large intestines assist digestion through fermentation (making the intestines inhospitable to invading species), protection against pathogenic bacteria, and stimulation of the development of certain components of the immune system.3 Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum occupy a central role in the guy micro flora, thereby enabling them to influence the composition of the micro flora to provide health benefits.4
Breakdown of Lactose
Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid producing bacteria (such as lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum).6 Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose.7 Lactose intolerance may be due to genetics, age related declines in intestinal lactase (the enzyme that metabolizes lactose), or other reasons.8 Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and accelerates transit time, which can lead to diarrhea.2,8 Lactic acid bacteria can help metabolize the non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract.
In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacterium longum was shown to support the breakdown of lactose and reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.5
Immune system support
While a normal micro flora is associated with good health, changes in intestinal health are associated with altered immune function. A well-functioning gastrointestinal immune system mediates immune responsiveness at mucosal sites and throughout the entire body via the control of quality and quantity of foreign substances gaining access to the immune system.9
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum have shown to possess immunoprotective/immunomodulatory properties. These benefits include modulation of: cytokine and various interleukin production, autoimmunity, natural killer cells cytotoxicity, lymphocyte proliferation, and antibody production.3
In an open, randomized, controlled trial, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum were supportive of colon health in older adults. In addition, B cell (important antibody producing immune cells) levels increased as compared with the untreated group. The probiotics were very well tolerated, with no significant side effects or variations in clinical chemistry or hematologic parameters.
Decrease Occasional Constipation
Constipation is defined as infrequent or difficult defection that can result from decreased motility of the intestines. It is a common problem, particularly in older adults. When the feces remain in the large intestine for prolonged periods, there is excessive water absorption, making the feces dry and hard.7
Insufficient amounts of lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum may play a role in delayed bowel movement, which can favor the activity of undesireable putrefactive bacteria (bacteria that break down organic matter into potentially harmful compounds) in the intestines. Lactic acid bacteria contribute to the re-establishemtn of healthy intestinal flora (at the expense of pathogen growth) and stimulation of intestinal peristalsis via lactic acid. 10
Support of putrefactive Processes
When unbalanced conditions are present in the intestines (ie, unbalanced diet, high acidity, and/or low levels of lactic acid bacteria), organic matter may be putrified (decomposed or rotting) by certain bacteria and produce harmful substances such as ammonia.1,11
Micro flora or the large intestines promote homeostasis (balance) in both the intestine and the vagina.1,12,13 these activities are carried out via support of direct production of antibodies, competition with adhesion to intestinal cells, or indirect modulation of the immune system.2
Normal micro flora of the large intestine help support and complete digestion via fermentation.1,11 The risk of diarrhea, for example, increases when the capacity of colonic micro flora to ferment carbohydrates decreases.8 Oral ingestion of probiotics produces a stabilizing effect on the guy flora.2
The benefits of probiotics extend beyond digestion support and immune support. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum also help support the better utilization and bioavailability of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.14
Candida albicans is a fungus that is a naturally occurring component of normal gastrointestinal micro flora.15 however, C. albicans should be maintained at healthy levels. Probiotics have been shown to help retain healthy levels of C. albicans that are already within normal limits.
True Delivery Technology
Recently, our Enzymatic Therapy laboratory tested four leading probiotics nutritional supplements in the marketplace. These supplements were best selling brands, two of the supplements were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency (guaranteed number of live bacteria). The laboratory scientist counted the levels of living bacteria found in compared these findings to the bacterial levels claimed by each manufacturer. The products were also subjected to a simulation of stomach acid conditions, after which the levels of living bacteria were re-counted.
The laboratory results found the probiotic supplements contained less than 50% of the number of living bacteria that they clamed on their labels. Furthermore, the laboratory results found that only 10% of the liver bacteria clamed on the manufacturer’s label survived the simulated stomach conditions.
Acidophilus pearls used a revolutionary proprietary “pearl” encapsulation process called True Delivery Technology. The True Delivery Technology is a special type of natural coating that protects the probiotic bacteria.
The True Delivery is a seamless “pearl”, which consists of three layers. The inner layer is a paste of probiotic bacteria suspended in a protective oil suspension. The second layer actually “seals” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air, moisture, and the effects of heat. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic organisms (grow in the absence of oxygen) and the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill them. Because probiotic bacteria are injured or destroyed by the acids of the stomach, the third, outermost layer of the pearl is specially developed to only dissolve in the alkaline environment of the intestines. This patented gelatin pearl protects the probiotic bacteria from the acid environment of the stomach, so that they can successfully reach the intestine.
The patented seamless pearl capsule of Acidophilus Pearls assures the virtually all the bacteria remain uninjured and healthy to colonize in the intestine. In addition, the special pearl capsule’s ability to seal the bacteria inside it eliminates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
Store at controlled room temperature, 59 degrees F to 86 degrees F (15 – 30C). May refrigerate if desired
This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
HERBS FOR SUMMER HEALTH
July 11, 2005 09:29 PM
HERBS FOR SUMMER HEALTH
Just about everyone looks forward to the summer months when school is out and more time can be spent outside. Backpacking, hiking, camping, boating, and bike riding are just a few of the adventures available. It’s a time for connecting and becoming reacquainted with nature while exploring the out of doors. Family camping trips and backpacking through the wilderness can help us put our hectic lives in perspective and renew as well as refresh the body. Along with the adventures, a few bumps, bruises, bites and stings are expected. Before the summer holiday begins, prepare by having some herbal remedies on hand to help with minor accidents that may occur.
Aloe is one of the best choices for the first aid kit. Commercial preparations can be taken along on trips. A leaf from the plant can be sealed in a zip lock bag and tucked in the first aid kit for short term use. The plant has numerous healing abilities and can be used on minor burns, rashes, bumps, scrapes and bruises. The aloe plant is very useful for many conditions.
Modern research has proven many of the benefits of Aloe vera. It has been used effectively for treating radiation burns, skin disorders, wounds, sunburn and dermatitis, to name a few. Aloe vera can help clean, soothe and relieve pain on contact. It penetrates through all three layers of the skin rapidly to promote healing. There are many different types of aloe products. Some include:
Aloe gel: This is the undiluted gooey substance that is found in the center of the leaves. Aloe concentrate: The concentrate is the gel when the water content has been removed.
Aloe juice: The juice is a digestible version of the aloe plant made from the gel with at least 50 percent Aloe vera gel. Aloe latex (aloin): The latex is the bitter yellow liquid from the pericyclic tubules of the outer rind of the leaf. The main constituent of this is aloin.1
Aloe is known for its healing and soothing effect on burns, wounds, and rashes. It can help clean, soothe and relieve pain on contact. It is able to penetrate all three layers of the skin rapidly to promote healing. It contains salicylic acid and magnesium which work together to produce an aspirin like analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. The transparent gel on the inner leaf is applied directly to areas of the skin to treat burns, wounds, skin irritations and frostbite. The gel can is commonly found in many first-aid creams.
Research has found that aloe when applied externally can actually help speed healing and restore skin tissue.2 It also aids in healing when used externally in cases of wounds, frostbite and burns.3 The healing of burns may be due in part to the moisturizing effect of aloe. It is easily absorbed into the skin preventing the air from drying the damaged skin tissue.4 Aloe can help with many minor irritations that can occur during the summer months. Steven R. Schechter, N.D. conducted a study in 1967 at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati to determine the healing benefits of aloe. Research animals were being treated for laser burns. Dr. Schechter used several different preparations and consistently found the aloe vera gel to produce the most healing results. He found the gel to help with many skin disorders including burns, lesions and cancers. 5
As much as we try to avoid sun exposure, it is almost impossible to completely avoid getting a sunburn at some point in our lives. We may forget the sunscreen or stay out longer than expected. Excessive exposure to the sun can be detrimental to health. But, aloe vera may help to lessen the damaging effects of the sun. A sunburn can damage the skin as well as the immune system. Research by Dr. Faith Strickland of the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas points to the possibility of aloe vera helping to eliminate the damage done to the immune system and skin. It may even help to restore the immune system to full function.
Many individuals have found that having an aloe vera plant growing in the home, within easy access, is an easy and simple way to treat common injuries. Commercial p reparations are also available which contain aloe. Scientists have found the plant to contain antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anesthetic and tissue healing properties.
So why shouldn’t it be useful as a natural home remedy? Simply break off a leaf of the plant and slice down the middle of the leaf. Apply the thick inner gel to the injury whether it be a burn, insect bite, abrasion, scrape, rash, or other injury. The cut leaf can be placed directly on the wound and wrapped with gauze to secure it into place for a more serious injury. The skin will soak up of the gel as it soothes the affected area.
Toxicity is rare, but some do have allergic reactions to Aloe vera products. The aloin, found in the bitter yellow latex, containing anthraquinones, may cause severe cramping and should be avoided by pregnant women and children. Aloe can also help with the following:
Elder Berry - For Natural Respiratory Health
June 30, 2005 09:30 AM
Elder Berry By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The plant known as Elder Berry occurs as several different species and grows throughout Europe and North America. It can be a tall tree or smaller bush, earning it the knickname "Dwarf Elder". The berries that appear as the ripe fruits can range in color from red to black. Only the blue/black berries are medicinal. The genus and species name for this variety is Sambucus nigra. This plant has a long history of use as both a food and medicine in many countries. In England, for example, it was a common belief that Elder-Berry was a favorite tree of witches who enjoyed residing among its branches. To disturb such a tree was thought to incur a witch's wrath. To this day, many British still refuse to cut an Elder Tree down or burn its branches. In Denmark, the tree was said to house Hylde-Moer, "The Elder Tree Mother", who would haunt anyone found harming the tree. In addition, many believed that an Elder Tree was a symbol of "good luck" if found growing on one's property.
As a food source Elder Berries are commonly made into jams, jellies, chutneys and wine. As a medicinal, the fruit is often prepared as a syrup. For example, the "Duke of Monmouth's Recipe" was made with Elder syrup and other herbs, and was used for sciatica. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for infections, coughs and skin conditions. Today Elder can be found listed as an "official medicine" in the Holland pharmacopeia, and was listed in the past in the pharmacopeias of both England and the United States.
The most common medicinal uses for Elder Berry are:
Elder Berries contain vitamins A, B and C plus various flavonoids including quercetin. However, these substances alone cannot account for its remarkable effect of disarming the symptoms of a cold or flu. An Israeli scientist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuouglu, Ph.D., performed research that uncovered the mechanism of activity of Elder Berry's anti-cold and flu activity. The flu is triggered by a virus, which must invade living cells in order to reproduce and spread. The virus enters the cell by puncturing the cell's outer membrane with tiny spikes known as hemagglutinin. Dr. Mumcuoglu discovered that the active ingre- dients in Elder Berry bind onto the hemagglutin, deactivating it and ultimately preventing the piercing of the cellular membranes.
Scientific investigations collaborate the effectiveness of Elder berry. One scientific study tracked a reduction of flu symptoms during an outbreak of influenza. (Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995; 1:361-9.) An added advantage to the use of Elder Berry is its record of safety. There are no known adverse reactions to the use of Elder Berry, although the possibi-lity of an individual allergic reaction can never be discounted.
Nature's Answer® offers Elder Berry in an alcohol-free, tangy-tasting 4oz. liquid herbal extract form. This concentrated (1:1) maximum strength fluid extract contains 5,000mg of Elder Berry in each 1 teaspoonful dose. Nature’s Answer® also supplies Elderberry in two encapsulated products, Sambucus & Ester-C®, and Sambucus & Maitake Bio-Beta Glucan™.
A great companion product is Nature's Answer®'s Elder Flower (organic alcohol). Flowers from the Elder tree contain tannins that have been shown to help dry up excess mucous, and can act as an expectorant.
One final note...when deciding on an Elder berry liquid, remember to check the kind of sweetener it contains. Many brands add sugar or sorbitol, while Nature's Answer's® Elder berry contains only pure coconut glycerine.
Ester-C® is a licensed trademark of InterCal Corporation and manufactured under U.S. patent #4,822,816 and other patent applications.
Hyaluronic Joint Complex - w/Glucosa, Chondr, & MSM - The Next Generation in Joint Formula
June 29, 2005 11:45 AM
Hyaluronic Joint Complex™ with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM The Next Generation in Joint Formulas
Every movement you make requires your joints to help your body flex, bend and twist into that next position. But with time and use, your joints can begin to break down, resulting in discomfort. Source Naturals understands how difficult it is to live with joint discomfort. That’s why we developed HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX. This powerful formula combines the most popular, scientifically researched ingredients for joint health—hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Together, these ingredients promote joint, tendon and ligament flexibility and easy joint movement. Joints are cushions made of flexible and protective cartilage—containing outer layers that surround a lubricating fluid. It is this design of your joint and other connective tissues that gives your body structure, height and the ability to move without damaging the bones and muscles that hold you up. HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX provides the key nutrients needed to support this complex structure.
BioCell Collagen II®—Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide chain found throughout the body. It is a major component of joint tissue that helps to hold lubricating moisture in joints and cartilage, affecting their resilience, elasticity, and strength. BioCell Collagen II® is a patented hyaluronic acid, which has undergone an absorption enhancing hydrolyzation process that yields low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, and Collagen Type II peptides, unlike other preparations that have not been hydrolized. The low weight allows these compounds to deliver greater support for your joints.
Glucosamine—An Amino Sugar
Glucosamine is an amino sugar—a molecule made from an amino acid and a simple sugar. Amino sugars are the basis of virtually all connective tissues and lubricating fluids in the body. Just as amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, amino sugars are the building blocks of giant molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s), also known as proteoglycans and mucopolysaccharides. GAG’s are large, spongy, water-holding molecules that form the glue that holds us together. This substance is found in all connective tissue and mucous membranes. Numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have examined the positive effects of oral administration of 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate-the amount in one daily use of HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX. To ensure optimal absorption, this formula contains glucosamine sulfate, N-acetyl glucosamine and glucosamine HCl.
Chondroitin sulfate is the most abundant GAG in the body. Its main role is in keeping cartilage fluid and elastic. It is found naturally in the body, where it is one of the critical compounds that makes up connective tissue. Connective tissue is responsible for building and supporting cartilage found in the joints and elsewhere.
Dietary Sulfur for Joint Lubrication
Both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate provide an additional source of sulfur, a mineral that is important for healthy connective tissue. HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX also features MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur found in body fluids and tissue, cow’s milk, plants and most natural foods. Sulfur may promote joint flexibility due to its role in supporting joint lubrication and movement. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the effects of MSM with promising results.
Supporting Ingredients for Joint Health:
Manganese Ascorbate and Vitamin C Manganese is involved in the production of a wide variety of enzymes. These enzymes influence such biological processes as the production of collagen and the metabolism of protein and cholesterol. Manganese is also necessary for the growth and maintenance of tissues, cartilage and bones.
The manganese ascorbate used in this formula also provides 55% vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for the production and stability of collagen, the major protein in cartilage and connective tissue. It also protects cells from harmful free radicals.
Innovative natural products, such as HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX, are an integral part of the Wellness Revolution. Taking personal responsibility for your health is at the heart of this revolution. Your local health food outlet is your source for nutritional education and advanced natural products. Source Naturals is pleased to partner with these outlets to bring you HYALURONIC JOINT COMPLEX—the next generation in joint formulas.
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004
Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.
" We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."
Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.
" The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.
Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."
Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).
Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.
To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."
" Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."
Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.
Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."
Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.
Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."
" Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.
When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.
To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.
For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.
If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.
To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.
Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."
Women and Depression!
June 13, 2005 07:48 PM
Women and Depression by Lisa James Energy Times, March 11, 2004
Just as fog veils a beautiful landscape, so depression veils life itself: rendering existence dark and dreary, narrowing the scope of one's dreams. And women are particularly prone to this lingering sadness.
The good news: Depression doesn't have to linger forever. With proper nutrition, lifestyle changes and a revived outlook, you can break through that fog into a sunnier emotional clime. Women are more likely than men to fall prey to depression throughout their lifetimes, with women being twice as likely as men to experience major depression.
While the greatest risk for both sexes falls at midlife, the gender difference appears early; one in ten teenage girls was found to suffer from major depression in one study (International Journal of Behavioral Development 2004; 28:16-25). What's more, childhood depression leaves a person more susceptible to mood problems in adulthood.
One reason for the gender difference in depression, according to researchers, is that women tend to dwell on depressed feelings to a greater degree than men. Some scientists believe a family history of depression carries greater weight for women. Others theorize that the inner fluctuations of a woman's monthly cycle can leave her susceptible to stresses emanating from the outer world. Studies indicate that almost three-quarters of all premenstrual women experience some level of mood difficulties (Summit on Women and Depression, APA, April 02), and a woman's hormonal ebb and flow may even make her more vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the kind of depression linked to a lack of natural light.
Warning Signs Not surprisingly, many depressed folks feel sad and lethargic, down on themselves and the world. But in some people, depression is marked by agitation and concentration difficulties, or is accompanied by anxiety. Sleep disturbances-either insomnia or excessive sleepiness-often ensue, and activities that used to provide pleasure lose their appeal.
Breaking depression's grip can do more than just lighten your mood-it may help safeguard your health. Studies suggest depression dampens the immune response and may increase the risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:1009-14; Circulation 2000; 102:1773; Diabetes Care 2004; 27:129-33).
Origins of Depression
The reasons some people are pulled down by depression's undertow while others are able to stay afloat emotionally are complex, but researchers believe common factors link them all.
One factor that can't be ignored is genetics. "If you are depressed, there is a 25% chance that a first-degree relative-a parent, child or sibling-is also depressed," says Hyla Cass, MD, author of St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster (Avery). Other factors are physical problems and medication side effects. That's why your first step should be a consultation with your health care practitioner (if your moods are especially dark, seek professional assistance as soon as possible).
Life's worries and cares also weigh more heavily on some people than on others. " [N]ot only will certain stressors [adverse events] cause depression as a direct response," notes Dr. Cass, "but they may predispose an individual to future episodes of depression." For example, the end of a relationship when you feel you've lost a lover and been humiliated (and been cheated on) raises your risk of depression (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:789-96).
The Depressed Brain
When depression hits, brain chemistry shifts. As a result, chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which relay messages between brain cells, go awry. For instance, a neurotransmitter called serotonin-critical to mood control-may decrease, leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, craving certain foods and unable to sleep.
Conversely, "high levels of serotonin are associated with emotional and social stability," according to Dr. Cass. She adds that, in addition, sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone "affect brain cells directly."
Lifting the Fog
Because the causes of depression are so complex, leaving the darkness behind generally requires opening up several pathways. Part of feeling better simply lies in believing that you can. Researchers have found that depressed people who feel they have a sense of control over their troubles, do, in fact, have a better chance of recovery (General Hospital Psychiatry 2000; 22(4):242-50). Finding a community of like-minded folks bolsters your capacity to deal with mood problems. In some cases, time spent with a therapist can be a valuable aid in figuring out what's bothering you.
On the physical side, losing weight can lift your spirits. Among women with severe obesity-itself a depression risk factor-losing weight has led to depression relief (Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163:2058-65). Research also indicates that exercise helps brighten dark moods.
A change in diet, along with certain supplements, can also help dispel depression. The first step on the road to emotional recovery: eat a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and stay away from overly refined foods with high levels of sugar.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the kinds found in flax seed and fish, are essential to proper brain function. In several studies, people who took supplemental omega-3s found significant relief from depression.
Key amino acids-the basic units of which proteins are built-serve as starting points for the production of mood-lifting neurotransmitters. In one trial, people who took an amino-acid mix that included tyrosine enjoyed better moods and were happier than people who took amino acids without it (Psychopharmacology (Berlin) Sept 4 2003).
Along with amino acids, the body needs the right vitamins-especially members of the all-important B family-to create depression-fighting brain chemicals. In one study, people with depression who took vitamin B12 improved their chances of recovery (BMC Psychiatry 2003; 3:17).
Another interesting observation: Vitamin B12 and its partners vitamin B6 and folate are essential to keep a protein called homocysteine (known primarily as a cardiovascular hazard) from reaching excessive levels, and people with high homocysteine are twice as likely to be depressed. This has led some researchers to speculate that folate may help keep depression under control (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:618-26).
Herbs that may help beat back the blues include two that help the body deal with stress, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and schisandra (S. chinensis).
A new diet, a new outlook: With the help of the right nutrients and the right support, you can break the bonds of depression.
Winter Survival Kit
June 13, 2005 07:35 PM
Winter Survival Kit by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, February 4, 2000
Now that the flesh-baring season is but a distant memory, skin care may have dropped off your list of priorities. But unless you're planning on hibernating until May, Old Man Winter can play a cruel joke on your smooth, glowing complexion-causing cumulative damage not easily remedied. Defend yourself with our survival kit and keep the harsh elements from wreaking havoc on your outer sheath.
Frigid temperatures and blustery winds take their toll on everyone's skin, whether it's normal, oily or dry. Cold dry air, combined with arid indoor heat, results in less natural sebum (oil) production. This oil acts as a protective barrier that helps hold moisture on the surface of the skin; hence less sebum leads to a rough and dry exterior. Icy winds can also cause redness as the stress induces tiny capillaries just underneath the skin's surface to burst.
So the first order of business for winter skincare is preserving your skin's moisture. Along with external methods of bundling up all exposed areas, dietary habits can help preserve moisture internally.
Skincare consultant Lynn J. Parentini, author of The Joy of Healthy Skin: A Lifetime Guide to Beautiful, Problem-Free Skin (Prentice Hall), suggests reducing your intake of coffee and tea, which act as diuretics; eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain natural, vitamin-rich moisture; and increasing the amount of water you drink (those daily recommended eight glasses of water are even more important in winter).
A Cleansing Experience
Bathing can strip skin of its natural oils, so you should be careful of washing with overdrying soaps. Avoid deodorant soaps with harsh detergents which can irritate the skin, and look for milder soaps with moisturizers or a skin-softening shower gel. Neutrogena Rainbath Shower & Bath Gels gently cleanse and condition skin with a rich, full lather that won't leave a residue. Showers tend to be less drying than baths, but if you prefer soaking in a tub you can use bath oil to lubricate the skin. Also avoid very hot showers and baths as they can pull moisture out of the body.
For extremely dry and sensitive skin, shower at night and follow with a rich moisturizer. Skin then can replenish its protective oils before the morning's icy blast.
Now's the time to use a heavier cream moisturizer to counteract all these dehydrating forces, so finding the right one is imperative. In simpler times, choosing a body moisturizer came down to which one possessed the most pleasing smell. Today, lotions are formulated with nutrients and natural ingredients for powerful, soothing benefits. • CAMOCARE Soothing Cream contains patented Camillosan Camomile, a natural anti-inflammatory. This thick, therapeutic cream is great for dry patches on hands or elbows.
Face the Season
Faces need extra-special protection during winter, as moisturizers do double duty to fight the elements and aging. Many formulas contain alpha (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids: gentle exfoliants that slough off the top layer of dead skin cells to allow younger, smoother-looking skin to emerge. • Oil of Olay's Age Defying Series: Protective Renewal Lotion contains moisturizers, a beta-hydroxy complex, vitamin E and SPF 15. • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion is formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids to ease lines, blotches and discoloration; vitamin A and pro-vitamin B5 to increase firmness and moisture levels; and antioxidant vitamins C and E to fight free radical damage and protect new skin.
So you think the sun is the least of your problems in the winter? Better reflect on that matter again. The general public has finally warmed up to wearing sunblock in the summer, but year-round protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays is crucial to avoid premature aging.
There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB: the former are responsible for aging and the latter for burning. Although UVB rays produce a more blatant sign of skin damage, it is limited to the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin.
UVA rays, on the other hand, don't cause any discomfort, but they penetrate deep to the dermis or second layer of skin. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Dermatology have shown that chronic exposure to sunlight can cause holes and breaks in the elastin and collagen fibers that give the skin its shape, definition and supple quality. This damage is what is known as "photoaging." Severely photoaged skin appears dry, scaly, leathery, spotted and deeply wrinkled.
While the burning UVB rays are most intense during the summer months, UVA rays are prevalent year-round. Their effect on the skin is cumulative, so that the more you're exposed the more likely your skin is to age prematurely. And as only 14% of Americans wear sunscreen year-round (according to the American Academy of Dermatology), most of us are getting more UVA exposure than we realize.
" New clinical evidence proves that sun damages the skin much faster than previously thought," notes Zoe Draelos, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "It only takes small amounts of sun exposure, such as walking to the car or to the mailbox, to start skin damage."
And for those who engage in popular winter sports like skiing, UVA rays are even stronger at higher elevations. Sunblocks with high SPFs (sun protection factor) guard against UVB rays but they do not block against UVAs, so many sunscreen products do not sufficiently protect against the entire range of UVA rays.
It is crucial, then, to look for products that guard against the entire spectrum of UVA/UVB rays. Sunblocks that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or Parsol 1789 provide complete protection against aging and burning rays. Try Coppertone Shade UVA Guard SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic 30 Plus Broad Spectrum Sunblock, L'Oreal Ombrelle Sunscreen Lotion or Spray in SPF 15, or PreSun Ultra SPF 30.
Don't forget that the lips are particularly susceptible to sun damage too. In comparison to other facial skin, they have far fewer oil glands, no sweat glands, a much thinner protective outer layer and very few melanocytes, the cells that produce the protective pigment melanin. Accumulated sun exposure makes the lips less plump as UV rays damage their collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in rough spots, scaly patches or faded areas.
Even if you wear lipstick on a regular basis, most do not contain the sunscreens and conditioners you can find in a lip balm. Blistex offers a wide range of lip care products, like their new Blistex Herbal Answer, which contains the conditioning qualities of five natural, herbal extracts: aloe, chamomile, avocado, jojoba and shea butter, plus SPF 15; Blistex Ultra Protection with SPF 30 has six protectants for advanced defense against cold, wind and sun; Blistex DCT (Daily Conditioning Treatment) with SPF 20 contains aloe, lanolin, cocoa butter, and vitamins A and E to help keep lips soft and supple. o
Keeping Your Edge - The state of your outer body reflects the inner you.
June 12, 2005 05:22 PM
Keeping Your Edge by Carl Lowe Energy Times, December 2, 2003
If you want to keep your mental edge, better keep your physical edge. As your body goes, so goes your brain: The state of your outer body reflects the inner you.
A flabby body leads to flabby thinking. Weight gain and toneless muscles on the outside are evidence of an out-of-tune brain and thinking processes as soft around the edges as your stomach. But staying in shape physically can boost your mental powers.
As you age, one of the biggest threats to keeping your thoughts sharp is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain deterioration (dementia) that destroys your memory and your ability to think.
Today, about 4.5 million Americans suffer Alzheimer's disease. Over a lifetime, the average cost per person suffering this disease adds up to a staggering $175,000. Consequently, according to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), this disease drains approximately a billion dollars a year from the US economy.
Thanks to an aging population and the growing girth of Americans, the rate of Alzheimer's threatens to explode into an epidemic over the next two decades.
Experts now believe that if you are carrying around too much weight, those extra pounds puts you at a higher risk of losing your thinking abilities. And being seriously overweight greatly expands your chances of developing this debilitating type of dementia.
An 18-year study of about 400 people in Sweden, all aged 70 at the beginning of the research, concluded that your chances of suffering dementia significantly increases with every extra pound (Archives for Internal Medicine 7/03).
Cholesterol Conquers Minds
In addition to the extra risk to your thinking capacity from body fat, having high levels of cholesterol in your blood also threatens your brain's ability to reason. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that:
* Excess amounts of cholesterol can lead to accumulation of APP, a protein found normally in moderate amounts in both the brain and the heart.
* Excess APP linked to cholesterol can, in turn, lead to the development of larger amounts of a substance called amyloid protein.
* Pieces of amyloid protein can form plaque on the brain, destroying cells and leading to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
"Past research has shown that high cholesterol levels appear to increase APP levels, which in turn leads to increased levels of beta amyloid protein and the risk of accumulation of amyloid beta peptide," says Vassilios Papadopoulos, PhD, professor of cell biology at Georgetown. "Our research showed that high cholesterol levels also increase the rate at which the amyloid beta peptides break off and form the tangles that kill brain cells." Added to that, the Georgetown scientists have demonstrated that high cholesterol seems to cause the body to boost its production of the protein, apolipoprotein E (APOE), a chemical that normally helps take cholesterol out of cells. But when APOE accumulates, this chemical leads to an excess of free cholesterol, which kills nerve cells.
"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence implicating high cholesterol as a significant risk factor in Alzheimer's disease, and breaks new ground in showing the damage caused by excessive levels of cholesterol," says Dr. Papadopoulos.
Since high blood pressure also increases your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (BMJ 6/14/01), devoting yourself to a heart-healthy lifestyle (eating plenty of fiber, cutting back on saturated fat in red meat and avoiding trans fats in cookies and cakes) can increase your chances of keeping your wits about you as you move through life.
As part of that heart-healthy lifestyle that keeps your brain functioning at top capacity, experts recommend regular helpings of omega-3 fatty acids, the type of fats found in fish, flax and hemp.
In research that focused on people between the ages of 65 to 94, researchers have found that eating seafood at least once a week drops your risk of Alzheimer's by about 60% compared with folks who forego fish (Archives of Neurology 7/03).
Along with fish, the scientists recommended munching more nuts, which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In the report on the relationship between eating and Alzheimer's, Robert Friedland, MD, of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, noted: "A high antioxidant/low saturated fat diet pattern with a greater amount of fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables and less red meat and dairy products is likely to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, as that for heart disease and stroke."
Wake Up Your Brain
If your thinking has been fuzzy lately, take a nap.
Getting enough sleep right after you learn something new helps maintain your learning abilities, according to research at the University of Chicago. In a test of how sleep can help people remember words and language, these researchers taught students to recognize a unique vocabulary spoken by a machine. After the learning session, students were then tested on their new abilities.
The scientists found that students trained in the morning tested poorly when tested later the same evening. But when students were trained right before bedtime and then tested the next morning, their test scores soared (Nature 9/9/03).
"Sleep has at least two separate effects on learning," according to the researchers. "Sleep consolidates memories, protecting them against subsequent interference or decay. Sleep also appears to 'recover' or restore memories."
The concept of this research originated in observations of birds.
"We were surprised several years ago to discover that birds apparently 'dream of singing' and this might be important for song learning," says researcher Daniel Margoliash, professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.
While you may not dream of singing like a bird, you may dream of having a sharper intellect. Luckily, the tools for sharpening your mental powers are easy to find and put to good use: Methods for keeping your brain in shape are basically the same techniques effective for keeping your body and heart in shape.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overburdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
June 10, 2005 03:52 PM
by Lisa James Energy Times, January 3, 2002
An American suffers a heart attack every 20 seconds. That adds up to 180 heart attacks every hour. Many of these life-threatening events don't have to happen: heart-healthy nutrients, weight control and exercise could ease this epidemic.
More evidence of how to protect your heart piles up every day, amounting to a stack of research thicker than the juiciest, most heart-threatening cheeseburger on a big, fat bun. To protect your heart, you've got to protect your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart and also feed the heart muscle oxygen and nutrients.
Arteries are essentially three-layered tubes: the inner endothelium, a middle muscle layer which allows the artery to widen and contract, and an outer layer that encloses and supports the other two. When the lining, which is normally smooth, is damaged, the resulting rough patch develops plaque from LDL cholesterol, and the artery narrows and hardens.
When LDL cholesterol is oxidized into plaque, the resulting damage attracts large immune cells called macrophages which consume the oxidized LDL and get trapped in the developing plaque. Oxidized LDL is also associated with the death of muscle cells in the artery's middle layer (Circulation 2000; 102:2680). Plaque slows blood flow to the heart and can result in angina, chest pain often brought about by exertion. Heart attacks strike when unstable plaque ruptures, triggering blood clotting that blocks blood flow and may kill sections of the heart muscle as it's cut off from oxygen and nutrients.
Foods, like fatty meats, filled with saturated fat, are believed to start this heart-threatening process. Even by age 15, your arteries may be narrowing.
Antioxidants can help keep your arteries functioning smoothly by counteracting LDL oxidation. Lab research has shown that cells in the lining can be protected by natural vitamin E. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains is an important step in stocking your antioxidant arsenal. But many heart experts recommend supplementation, a strategy that's been shown to bolster the body's defenses (J Nutr Biochem 2001; 12:388-95).
Vitamins C and E: The Dynamic Duo
Antioxidant allies abound, but two of the most important are vitamin C and natural vitamin E. They work particularly well together because C is effective in the fluid that bathes all cells, while E defangs free radicals in the fatty areas, such as cell membranes. And vitamin C actually recharges vitamin E, increasing E's antioxidant effectiveness. Each vitamin provides protective benefits on its own. People with Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes who took vitamin E in one study saw drops in cholesterol and glucose and increases in antioxidants, such as superoxide peroxidase, produced by the body itself (Endocr Res 2001; 27:377-86). For its part, vitamin C has prevented free radical damage in individuals who inhale secondhand cigarette smoke and has improved artery lining function in persons with coronary artery disease (Free Radic Biol Med 2000; 28:428-36; Circulation 1999; 99:3234-40). When used together, this vitamin dynamic duo provides powerful protection against both LDL oxidation and high blood pressure (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2000; 20:2087-93; Hypertension 2000; 36:142-6). They also help keep immune cells from sticking to arterial linings (Circ Res 2000; 87:349).
Vitamins C and E also seem to prove effective against inflammation that researchers think contributes to heart health. Research in this area continues, but scientists now believe that inflammation from infections with herpes simplex one, the cold sore virus, and Chlamydia pneumoniae, a respiratory tract bug, can foment heart trouble. Inflammation may slow blood flow to the heart and make clots more likely. Among persons with peripheral arterial disease, blockages in arms and legs, not getting enough vitamin C levels may increase inflammation (Circulation 2001; 103:1863). Vitamin E apparently soothes inflammation by decreasing the release of immune chemicals and calming the immune cells involved in atherosclerosis (Diet and Optimum Health Conference, 5/01, Portland OR). Clot Busters Vitamin E also reduces the risk of clots and lowers the chance of a clot sticking in a vessel. It keeps platelets, cells that cause clotting, from becoming too gooey and breaks up fibrin, a clot-forming protein. Garlic (Allium sativa) also discourages inappropriate clotting. Used medicinally since the beginning of recorded time, the Greek physician Dioscorides thought it could clean the arteries. The ancient faith in garlic's circulatory benefits are supported by modern research. Recent studies have found substances in garlic that keep platelets from clumping together and lower cholesterol. In one study, men with high cholesterol who took garlic extract for five months saw their total cholesterol drop an average of 7% and their LDL drop 10% (J Nutr 2001; 131:989S-93S).
Hunting Down Homocysteine
Homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood, may also be linked to artery problems. Scientists believe that when too much homocysteine accumulates in the bloodstream, arteries stiffen and plaque forms. The causes of this buildup remain murky but it appears that perpetually angry folks have higher homocysteine levels. Estimates vary on how much of a risk factor homocysteine represents; between 10% and 40% of people who suffer heart attacks may have high levels. Excessive homocysteine also seems to be linked to other risk factors, such as insulin resistance, a diabetes precursor (Diabetes Care 2001; 24:1403-10). The good news: the so-called DASH diet-featuring fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, nuts and fish-may reduce homocysteine and drop your heart disease risk by 7% to 9% (Circulation 2000; 102:852-7). More benefits: simple B vitamins can control homocysteine. Folic acid (folate), along with vitamins B6 and B12, may help break it down and render it harmless. Taking these vitamins in supplement form has been shown to reduce homocysteine (Lancet 2000; 355:517-22). What's more, natural vitamin E may be able to restore artery lining function when homocysteine levels are high (Am J Cardiol 2001; 88:285-90). If you really want your ticker to tick stronger and longer, go long on your ready supply of heart healthy nutrients.
VITAMIN A and CAROTENOIDS - What are they good for?
June 09, 2005 09:27 AM
In 1912, Casimir Funk coined the term 'vitamine' to refer to a 'vital factor' he proposed was an essential component present in foods. His conjecture dovetailed with other research, leading to the isolation in the 1930's and 40's of the compounds we now call vitamins.
Vitamins are chemical substances which play a variety of roles in the human body. They are core components of any nutritional supplementation program.
While many people are aware of vitamins as necessary substances for good nutrition, few have a grasp of the extraordinary complexity of the roles they play in our bodies. As you'll see below, vitamins are involved in trillions of biochemical interactions every minute to keep us alive and functioning. For example, B-vitamins are converted into coenzymes which are directly necessary for the production of ATP energy from food, a process that goes on continuously in every cell in the body and which in turn fuels myriad physiological events such as muscle contraction, brain activity or tissue repair.
Source Naturals offers a full line of vitamins in bioactive forms, allowing you to tailor a nutritional supplementation plan to your individual needs.
VITAMIN A and CAROTENOIDS
Vitamin A is a generic term for a class of fat-soluble substances called retinoids, which can either be consumed preformed or synthesized by the liver from plant pigments called carotenoids (see 'Carotenoids', below). An essential nutrient, vitamin A is perhaps best known for its role in vision.
The outer segments of the rods, a type of light-sensitive cell in the retina of the eye, contain a pigment called rhodopsin (or 'visual purple') that mediates vision in dim light. Cone cells mediate color vision via three additional pigments. Both rods and cones are surrounded by pigmented epithelial cells that store vitamin A. Rhodopsin is formed from a protein called opsin and a vitamin A-dependent compound called 11-cis retinal. As light strikes the rods and cones it is absorbed by the pigment molecules, and retinal is split off from opsin. This chemical change allows an electrical impulse to be sent to the optic nerve and thus to the brain. The pigment must then be regenerated from opsin and retinal. Repeated small losses of retinal during this process require a constant replenishment of vitamin A to the eyes.
Vitamin A also plays an extremely important role in epithelial cell differentiation. Cell differentiation is the process by which a cell undergoes a change to a specialized cell type, allowing it to perform particular functions in the body. It is not yet understood precisely how vitamin A is involved in this process. One hypothesis is that it directly affects gene expression through its interaction with chromatin, a complex of DNA, RNA and protein in the cell nucleus. These interactions affect the process of transcription of DNA to messenger RNA, leading to synthesis of a specific group of cellular proteins.
Each one of us carries in our DNA a unique genetic blueprint. This genetic material is the same in every cell of our bodies. It is only because of this mysterious and magical process of differentiation that we have specialized cell types - and therefore eyes, ears, lungs and hearts.
Vitamin A is necessary, either directly or indirectly, for the healthy growth and functioning of many of our tissues and organ systems, including the eyes, the skin, the bones, the reproductive system, and the natural defenses. It is not yet known whether this requirement is due to the role of vitamin A in cell differentiation or whether there are other physiological processes for which vitamin A is essential.
Vitamin A is related to a class of nutrients called carotenoids, including alpha and beta carotene, lycopene and lutein. Carotenoids are botanical pigments whose colors range from red to orange to yellow. Some carotenoids, particularly beta carotene, can be converted into vitamin A predominantly in the intestinal mucosa and to some extent in the liver. Carotenoids are completely non-toxic; their conversion into vitamin A is well-regulated by the body, making them extremely safe sources of this essential nutrient.
In addition to their role as safe sources of vitamin A, carotenoids are powerful nutrients in their own right. Their primary claim to fame is their powerful antioxidant action, particularly against singlet oxygen. Singlet oxygen is an 'excited' ion of oxygen which, while not technically a free radical, is nonetheless highly reactive. It causes 'oxidative' reactions which can impair or destroy membranes, enzymes and DNA. It can also lead to the formation of free radicals which can cause additional damage.
Certain carotenoids such as beta carotene, because of their chemical structure, can neutralize singlet oxygen by absorbing its extra energy and dissipating it throughout the carotenoid molecule, releasing the energy as heat and converting the singlet oxygen back to 'normal' oxygen. One molecule of beta carotene can quench up to 1000 molecules of singlet oxygen.
In addition to their role as singlet oxygen quenchers, carotenes provide antioxidant protection against free radicals as well. In nature, they protect plants from photo-oxidative reactions; in humans, certain carotenoids, notably beta carotene, may help protect the skin from such reactions. Other carotenoids may provide more localized protection to particular organs. Lutein and zeaxanthin, for example, are selectively concentrated in the retina of the eye. Along with vitamins C and E, carotenes are among the most important nutrient antioxidants in the human body.
Inflama Rest - Natural COX-2 Inhibitor for Joint Comfort
June 02, 2005 12:37 PM
It happens. You reach for something and feel a sudden discomfort. Your joints and muscles may feel tender from overuse. Inside, your cellular systems are out of alignment, resulting in lessened mobility. Source Naturals understands how difficult joint discomfort can be to live with. We are deeply committed to developing well-researched formulas that address the root cause of joint distress. Our Bio-Aligned Formulas™ bring alignment to multiple interdependent body systems. Only this type of indepth formulation can provide the long-term relief you are looking for. Regain your comfort with Source Naturals INFLAMA-REST. Unlike many products that contain just a few ingredients to offer temporary relief, INFLAMA-REST is a Bio-Aligned Formula™, scientifically designed to address aches. INFLAMA-REST goes deep to the underlying cause of joint discomfort. These systems include: inhibition of pathways involved in joint discomfort, joint and muscle function, DNA protection and antioxidant defense.
Addressing Joint Comfort on a Deep Cellular Level
Discomfort can come from many places. From your head to your toes there are many tissues that can become uncomfortable from everyday use. Joint discomfort starts when stress, such as tissue damage, causes an imbalance of the biochemical pathways on a deep cellular level. The body has its own “innate intelligence” encompassing more than just the thoughts in the brain. It consists of ongoing and complex chemical reactions regulated by a wide variety of enzymes and chemical messengers. These reactions can sometimes get out of balance – but you can control and inhibit key body chemicals that would otherwise lead to cellular irritation. For example, certain types of prostaglandins that regulate normal physiological functions such as blood flow, are maintained at low levels in all our cells under everyday conditions. In response to stress, a message is sent to the outer membranes of certain cells to convert their fatty acids into arachidonic acid, the raw material for prostaglandins. This stress also directs cells to produce Cyclooxygenase enzyme- 2 or COX-2. This enzyme converts arachidonic acid into Prostaglandin E2, a particular type of prostaglandin specifically responsible for irritation on a cellular level. The result: joint discomfort. But that doesn’t have to happen. By supporting inhibition of the culprit COX-2, you can decrease Prostaglandin E2 production to bring your joint tissues back into a healthy and comfortable balance.
INFLAMA-REST includes herbs that support inhibition of COX-2 in a variety of pathways. Ginger, turmeric and green tea all support direct COX-2 inhibition. But there are other places in our biochemical communication system where COX-2 production can be inhibited. Two additional factors that lead to COX-2 production are nitric oxide and the enzyme that produces it, nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Nitric oxide is a free radical associated with cell growth and regeneration, blood vessel elasticity and COX-2 enzyme production. Resveratrol, rosemary and turmeric support iNOS inhibition, thus inhibiting your body’s over-production of nitric oxide and the COX-2 enzyme. A related irritation factor is also one of the latest scientific discoveries in cellular health - Nuclear Factor kappa-B (NF-kappa-B). NF-kappa-B works at the DNA level – at the blueprints of cells. When activated, this factor controls the genes that regulate cell growth, differentiation and regeneration. And blocking this factor is also associated with inhibition of both COX-2 and iNOS enzymes. Stinging nettle, milk thistle and Chinese Skullcap all block unhealthy NF-kappa-B activation in your body and thereby help support COX-2 inhibition.
Compounds called cytokines, or interleukins, can also stimulate biochemical pathways leading to joint discomfort. Cytokines are chemical messengers produced by the immune system to regulate defensive activity when they are stimulated. For example, cytokines are released by macrophages in response to stimuli such as tissue damage. This results in rapid escalation and amplification of cell number and response. Constant stress can shift this system out of balance, resulting in tissue discomfort. Bringing these compounds back into balance can preserve your short-term comfort and longterm health. INFLAMA-REST contains curcumin from the spice turmeric. Curcumin assists the body’s inhibition of cytokine activity to support reduced cellular irritation. And Bioperine®, which is derived from black peppercorns, is added to assist curcumin assimilation.
Stress Response: Joints and Muscle Support
Inhibition of chemical messengers involved in joint discomfort is just part of a Bio-Aligned strategy for relieving discomfort. Research has shown that emotional stress, particularly long-term, can directly affect the body and set in motion mechanisms that cause physical discomfort. Ashwaganda and Chinese Skullcap (S. baicalensis) are herbs that help modulate the body’s response to stress and may help ease aches and discomfort. Boswellia, ginger, quercetin, milk thistle, feverfew, Oregon grape root and bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapples) provide additional soothing relief to your cells and tissues. Essential nutrients are also vital to maintaining your joint comfort. The tocotrienol forms of vitamin E, along with selenium, protect cell membranes from lipid-based free radicals. Magnesium aids energy metabolism in muscles and can reduce tenderness as well as muscle spasms. Zinc is essential for normal cellular repair mechanisms such as wound healing and is important for the growth and maintenance of connective tissue. And manganese works to protect cells from oxidation and to build healthy connective tissue as well, an essential component of healthy joints and muscles.
Protecting Your DNA
To reduce cellular irritation, you need to protect the DNA in your cells. DNA is the blueprint for all of the molecules in the body. If your DNA is altered or damaged, then needed molecules may not be produced, leading to short-term and eventually long-term damage. Curcumin, from turmeric, has been shown in in-vitro studies to protect DNA against strand breakage. Quercetin has also been shown to directly protect DNA against strand breakage and base oxidation from free radicals and damaging chemicals, according to recent in-vitro research.
Providing Powerful Antioxidant Cellular Protection
Antioxidants are selfless bodyguards of your cells. They donate their own electrons to stabilize free radicals in your body. Thus, antioxidants absorb the damage that would have been done to your tissues. Some regulatory chemicals, such as Nitric oxide, are powerful free radicals and oxidants. Oxidants also activate NF-kappa-B. Tissues, lipids, proteins and DNA are extremely sensitive to oxidation. Quercetin, milk thistle, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, vitamin E and resveratrol are all antioxidants that help modulate the activity of these compounds as well as protect cells and tissues from damage. Plus, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), one of the most important enzyme antioxidants found in your body, has been added in a new cutting-edge form. The vegetarian SOD used in INFLAMA-REST is attached to Gliadin, a wheat protein, that has demonstrated significantly better absorption than SOD alone.
Six Lifestyle Strategies for Fewer Aches
Inhibition of COX-2: Turmeric, Ginger, Chinese Skullcap, Green Tea, Resveratrol, Boswellia, Silymarin, White Willow Inhibition of Cytokine Turmeric, Stinging Nettle, Feverfew Inhibition of Rosemary, Green Tea, Resveratrol, Turmeric, Quercetin, Chinese Skullcap NF-kappa-B Activation Silymarin, Chinese Skullcap, Stinging Nettle, Rosemary, Resveratrol Stress Response: Ashwaganda, Magnesium, Chinese Skullcap, Oregon Grape, Feverfew, White Willow DNA Protection Turmeric, Quercetin, Rosemary Antioxidant Defense Silymarin, SOD Gliadin, Turmeric, Rosemary, Tocotrienols, Resveratrol, Ginger, Selenium, Manganese, Zinc Prostaglandin & Leukotrine Synthesis Joint & Muscle Support Inhibition of Nitric Oxide Synthesis Production
Beta Glucan 1,3/1,6 - Stimulates Immune Function!
May 31, 2005 05:18 PM
Today’s environment is filled with toxic challenges. A strong immune system is critical to protect you from this onslaught. There is perhaps no single compound more valuable for the immune system than BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6. This complex polysaccharide is found in cereals, yeast, mushrooms and other sources. Now Source Naturals offers you the only yeast beta glucan shown in numerous studies to stimulate your immune system. Only Source Naturals offers beta glucan in the form and potency that can fulfill its immense potential. Unlike products that consist of crude baker’s yeast, BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is purified: the outer cell wall layer and other residues that reduce effectiveness are removed. The few other purified beta glucans on the market range from 5 to 20 mg per tablet—at very high prices. The purity and 250 mg potency of Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 make this the only product that can deliver the immune-supportive power of beta glucan.
Beta Glucan & the Immune System
Beta glucans are non-digestible polysaccharides, which we obtain in our diet from oats, barley, yeast, and mushrooms. Beta glucan supplements are taken to support immune function in individuals whose systems are compromised by physiological and emotional stress. Beta glucan has been found in numerous studies to:
Beta Glucan & Cholesterol
Beta glucan has also been found to help maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range, possibly by forming a layer adjacent to intestinal mucosa that prevents cholesterol absorption. Beta glucan may also promote bile acid excretion, an important method for eliminating excess cholesterol.
Highly Purified Beta Glucan Yeast is one of the most concentrated sources of beta glucans—and Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is highly purified beta glucan from baker’s yeast. Beta glucans are derived from yeast cell walls, which consist of an outer shell coated with compounds called mannoproteins.
In addition, the cell wall contains a plasma membrane and a layer of small fibers. If these layers are not removed, they may interfere with recognition of beta glucan by receptors on white blood cells. It’s not easy to remove the compounds that interfere with beta glucan’s immune-supportive activity. As a result, many products contain beta glucan that is not properly purified— and cannot match the activity of BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6.
Of the numerous nutrients that support immune function, beta glucan is perhaps the most potent and efficacious. It is the central component for those who wisely embark on an immune enhancement regimen. Source Naturals BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 is available in 250 mg tablets, making it one of the most potent products on the market.
Your Source for Advanced Nutrition
The development of BETA GLUCAN 1,3/1,6 represents Source Naturals’ commitment to manufacturing supplements on the cutting edge of nutritional science. We are proud to partner with your local health food store in bringing you nutritional resources that help you take charge of your health.
Abel, G. and J. Czop. 1992. Int J Immunopharmac 14(8): 1363-1373. Czop, J. 1986. Pathol Immunopathol 5:286-296. Nicolosi, R. et al. 1999. Amer J Clin Nutri 39(2): 189-202.