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The Kidneys and Your Health: Everything You Need to Know
April 29, 2022 03:10 PM
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit in the lower back, on either side of the spine. They play a vital role in your health, filtering toxins from the blood and regulating fluid balance in the body. We will discuss everything you need to know about the kidneys, including common kidney problems and how to keep them healthy!
What are the common kidney problems
The kidneys are a pair of organs that filter waste products from the blood and excrete them in urine. They are also responsible for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Kidney problems can range from mild to severe, and can be acute or chronic. Common kidney problems include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidney when there is an imbalance of minerals in the urine. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary system and multiply. Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder that causes the body to excrete large amounts of protein in the urine.Kidney problems can often be treated with medication, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to prevent serious complications.
Acute renal failure
Acute renal failure is a sudden onset of kidney failure that can be life-threatening. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood and balancing fluids in the body. When they are not working properly, waste can build up in the blood and cause serious health problems. Acute renal failure can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, infection, and certain medications. Symptoms include decreased urine output, swelling, fatigue, and confusion. If left untreated, acute renal failure can lead to coma and death. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for a successful outcome.
Chronic renal failure
Chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a serious medical condition that affects the kidneys. In this condition, the kidneys become damaged and unable to function properly. As a result, toxins can build up in the body, causing a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include fatigue, bloating and swelling, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, poor appetite, changes in urination frequency or color, and anemia. Diagnosing CRF involves examining several factors like blood test results and overall medical history. Treatment for the condition typically involves managing any associated symptoms with medication or dietary changes. In some cases, dialysis may also be necessary to support patients with severe CRF. Overall, chronic renal failure is a serious but manageable condition that requires careful monitoring and management by patients and their healthcare providers.
Renal artery stenosis
Renal artery stenosis refers to a condition in which one or more of the arteries that deliver blood to the kidneys becomes narrowed or blocked. This can lead to a number of adverse health effects, including increased blood pressure, chronic kidney failure, and possibly even heart attack or stroke. While there are a number of possible causes for this condition, including genetic factors, certain lifestyle choices such as smoking can also increase the risk of developing renal artery stenosis. Fortunately, treatments are available for this condition, including medications and medical procedures like angioplasty. For those who are diagnosed with renal artery stenosis, early and effective treatment is essential for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
Renal cancer begins in the kidneys, which are a pair of bean-shaped organs that filter waste from the blood and produce urine. The most common type of renal cancer is clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which accounts for about three-quarters of all cases. RCC typically affects middle-aged adults and is more common in men than women. Other types of renal cancer include papillary renal cell carcinoma, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, and collecting duct carcinoma. Treatment for renal cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. The type of treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient's overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best possible outcome.
Polycystic kidney disease
Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is a complex condition that affects the kidneys and other organs in the body. This disorder occurs when small cysts grow in the kidneys, gradually interfering with their ability to filter waste products from the blood. As these cysts start to expand, they can cause a number of severe symptoms such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, nausea and fatigue. In some cases, PKD also results in serious complications such as renal failure or a stroke. However, there are treatments available that can help people manage this disorder and slow its progression over time. By working closely with a medical team and making lifestyle changes to support kidney health, it is possible for people living with PKD to have long and healthy lives.
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria, but they can also be caused by fungi or viruses. Symptoms of a UTI may include pain or burning during urination, increased frequency or urgency of urination, cloudy or blood-tinged urine, and pelvic pain. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to serious complications, such as kidney damage or sepsis. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for preventing serious health problems. UTIs are typically diagnosed through urinalysis, which can detect the presence of bacteria or other organisms in the urine. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to kill the infection-causing bacteria. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to treat a severe UTI. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids and emptying the bladder frequently can help to flush out bacteria and prevent reinfection. Wiping from front to back after using the restroom can also help to reduce the risk of UTI development. Avoiding masturbation devices would good idea if you get frequent urinary tract infections because they can introduce new bacteria into the urethra.
UTI and D-Mannose
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a common medical condition that can cause symptoms such as painful urination, abdominal discomfort, and sometimes even fever. While conventional treatments typically involve antibiotics, these medications often come with unwanted side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Fortunately, there is another alternative in the form of D-Mannose, a naturally-occurring sugar that has been shown to help treat UTIs by eliminating bacterial biofilms and relieving symptoms. Unlike antibiotics, which can damage gut health by killing off beneficial bacteria along with the harmful ones, D-Mannose does not disrupt this critical ecosystem. As a result, D-Mannose is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for UTIs, offering an effective and safe alternative to antibiotics.
Kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions to experience. These small, hard deposits form when there is an imbalance in the levels of certain minerals in the body. As they grow larger, kidney stones can cause severe pain as they move through the urinary tract. Treatment typically involves drinking plenty of fluids and taking pain medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the kidney stone. Prevention is the best way to avoid kidney stones, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to do this. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, and eating a diet high in fiber can help to prevent kidney stones from forming.
Glomerulonephritis is a serious kidney condition that occurs when the tiny filtration units in the kidneys, known as glomeruli, become inflamed and damaged. This can disrupt normal kidney function, causing a buildup of waste products in the bloodstream, resulting in numerous symptoms such as swelling and joint pain. While there is no cure for glomerulonephritis, treatment options can help to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. These may include medications to control blood pressure or reduce harmful inflammatory chemicals, along with lifestyle changes to support overall kidney health. With proper medical care and close monitoring, many people with glomerulonephritis are able to live healthy lives despite this chronic condition.
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can lead to a variety of health problems. If you have kidney disease, it is important to monitor your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing kidney disease, but by working with your healthcare team and following their recommendations, you can help improve your health and quality of life. Remember, knowledge is power, so be sure to educate yourself about kidney disease and its treatment options. With the right information and support, you can live a full and productive life despite this serious condition.
Athletes who want to boost their game are recommended to try beet root
April 26, 2019 04:10 PM
These days, athletes and performance experts are trying to find the best and most effective ways that they can increase their output in whatever field they may be a part of. In order to do so, many have started looking into herbal and holistic related remedies and boosts. One of these that has recently emerged as being beneficial for athletes is that of beetroot, which has found to increase productivity and performance levels for athletes while on the field.
"When it comes to cognitive performance, beetroot juice also has beneficial effects. A study published in 2016 investigated whether beetroot juice consumption might have a synergistic effect with exercise on neuroplasticity in older men."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-11-athletes-boost-game-try-beetroot.html
Environment's Effect on Health
April 27, 2017 10:44 PM
The environment can take a toll on a persons health. It can disturb a persons well being and cause health concerns. The World Health Organization defines environment, as it relates to health, as "all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person and all the related behaviors." The pollutants in the environment can contribute to heart disease and stroke. Some of the most dangerous pollutants are carbon monoxide, nitrates, sulfur dioxide, lead, and secondhand tobacco smoke. Things that you can do to limit your output of pollutants would be to walk to places instead of driving when possible, not buy bottled water and instead use a reusable one. You could also use fewer chemicals in household cleaning.
Read more: Environment's Effect on Health
10 Foods your liver loves you to consume
April 13, 2017 11:44 AM
The liver has an important role in keeping us healthy and filtering our systems. An unhealthy liver can lead to many diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are many foods that help the liver function well and guard against disease. These include dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, garlic, walnuts, blueberries, turmeric, pineapple, green tea and avocados. Fresh vegetables and fruits of any kind are beneficial as is limiting alcohol intake and being careful to stay away from toxins.
"Adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, lower alcohol intake and less exposure to toxins may help promote liver health. Avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar and preservatives do your liver a huge favor."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-02-7-foods-your-liver-loves-you-to-consume.html
Development of castor oil.
There are about hundreds of castor oil factories in China, of which only about 10% castor oil manufacturers start working; large processing plants have around 20; only nine plants have tens of thousands processing capacity. About 70% of Chinese castor oil processing factories in stop production or semi-shutdown state, because there are no adequate, high-quality raw material castor sources. At the end of the 1980s, China extends and built several large scale castor oil factories, each factory's total amount of annual output of castor oil are in 10 -15 thousand tons, total production capacity is about 55,000 tons per year.
The world's major markets of castor oil were concentrated in North America and Europe, of which the France, Britain, Netherlands, United States, Germany, five countries accounted for 61% of annual fuel consumption.
India castor oil used in making soap has about 1.6-1.8 million tons, the textile industry uses 2-3 thousand tons, chemical industries use 2-3 thousand tons, lubricating oil use 5-6 thousand tons, the rest for exporting. In Japan's castor oil use amount, paints accounted for 28.6%, the surfactant is 12.3%, cosmetic raw material is 8.2%, resin is 5.7%, hardened oil is 17.8%, sebum oil is 12.9%, others is 14.5%. Japan needs to import large quantities of castor beans every year; they are mostly imported from China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Brazil and other countries. Castor oil in the United States for the production of plastics and resins was accounted for 25.9%, fatty acids accounted for 12.7%, lubricating oil accounted for 6.3%, paint accounted for 23.7%, cosmetics (mainly synthetic waxes) accounted for 2.1%, others such as inks, surfactants accounted for 29.1%, these castor oils are imported from foreign countries.
Every year, the world needs 700 thousand tons of castor oil, convert into 1.6 million tons castor beans. Nowadays, gasoline resource was gradually reduced, transportation, live used gasoline was rapidly increasing, use gasoline as a raw material for synthetic material will be increasingly constrained in cost. And the United States study found that long-term exposure to polymers which synthesized by gasoline was harmful to human health. California and some other states have enacted laws and regulations for this, to restrict and gradually prohibit using synthetic resin in city buildings, interior facilities and human health-related sites and articles, which is polymerized from petroleum, natural gas cleaved into monomers raw materials, it makes castor oil's demand was rising sharply.
Castor cultivation in China is very commonly; there is no open planted regional division. South from Hainan Island, north to Heilongjiang is cultivated. Because castor hybrids with drought resistance, thin ridge resistant, saline-alkaline tolerance, well-adapted, simple to manage, less invest, high efficiency and other salient features, no matter grain field or hills, rocky land, saline-alkali soil and even around the house can be grown it. So anywhere in China can be planted castor.
Dilute honey 'may fight urine infections'
November 10, 2016 12:54 PM
A recent study at the University of Southampton is proposing the use of honey to prevent microbiological biofilms from developing within catheters. Their research has shown promising results. They were able to use this natural substance to stop E. coli and Proteus mirabilis bacteria from clustering together as in normal catheters. While the research is far from human trials, this would be an alternative welcomed by those who prefer all natural substances. However, that doesn’t mean it will be as effective as current antimicrobials.
"Honey has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic. People have used it to treat burns and wounds and many companies now sell a range of "medical grade" honey products that comply with regulatory standards."
Do you need to regulate hormones ? Experience Chaste Berries Powerful Effects
Would you believe that a simple berry could be the solution to hormone normalization and regulation? The Chaste berry has been shown to treat suffering from symptoms of menopause, menstrual irregularities, pre-menstral syndrome, and infertility. However, Chaste berries benefits do not end with women as the berry has also seen use as a natural way to balance hormones in men and may actually prevent prostate cancer.
Chaste berry, also known as vitex, has the ability to regulate and stimulate anterior pituitary functions and has been shown to restore normal estrogen to progesterone levels in women. This is accomplished by attaching to dopamine receptors and decreasing output of prolactin. It is this process that allows Chaste berry to treat the multitude of different hormonal issues that it does and ultimately regulate and normalize hormone levels.
In conclusion, there are many different uses for Chaste berry when it comes to hormonal health. For women the berry has shown successful use as a treatment for PMS pains, fertility challenges, and abnormal menses. In men, Chaste berry has been used to prevent prostate cancer and balance hormones. Chaste berry has also been indicated to effectively treat acne in both male and females. Who would’ve thought you could get all that from one little berry?
What are the Benefits of Jiaogulan
July 10, 2014 08:20 PM
What is a jiaogulan
Jiaogulan is also known as Gynostemma pentaphyllum is an adaptogenic herb and the vine from the Cucurbitacea family of plants that grows naturally in Asia, and most specifically in China, Japan as well as in Korea. This plant is related to plants such as the watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber as well as to the gourds. Praised in China as xiancao, the Jiaogulan herb is an incredibly useful life giving plant, the herb of immortality with a powerful adaptogenic capabilities and antioxidant properties. Its adaptogenic capability is derived from its components and substances that aids in revitalization thus bringing the whole body back into balance.
Benefits of jiaogulan
Generally, this plant offers numerous health related benefits with minimal side effects. To Begin with its adaptogenic capabilities, not only helps the body to resist the effects of a stressful conditions, but it also promotes the condition known as homeostasis which helps the body to achieve a state of balance through by regulating various and numerous internal body process. To be more specific, the Jiaogulan herb has adaptogen properties that address both the excess output and the deficiency in the body immune and the endocrine systems. Basically, the adaptogens and the saponins in this plant not only aids the body to regulate itself, which is indeed a key factor in the prevention of diseases and defects such as diabetes, stroke, insomnia, cancer, heart attack, hypertension, atherosclerosis, hormonal imbalance as well as prevention of the high blood pressure, aiding in the proper function of the cardiovascular as well as helping to regulate the cholesterol level in the body among many more.Additionally, Jiaogulan has some collective chemical compounds known as gypenosides.These gypenosides compounds offer protection against free radical elements and thus against oxidative stress within the brain, which are known to be the main trigger of the Parkinson disease. Their antioxidant capability improves immunity, reduces the effects of aging and speeds the rate of muscle recovery. This herb also has the capability to release nitric oxide, which helps to relax the body blood vessels, its antioxidant compounds ensures you leave free of the radical compound hence your longevity. If you need to build your body mass, muscles,your strength as well as to reduce fatigue, then this herb will be so suitable for you. Finally, the the Gynostemma also has important minerals, vitamins,amino acid and traces of minerals, which of course is generally essential to the body.
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Improve Your Health?
April 17, 2012 07:22 AM
Health Benefits Of Phosphatidyl Serine
Phosphatidyl serine is phospholipid that is vital to your brain functioning. The phospholipid are molecules containing both fatty acids and amino acids found in every cell in the body. Phodphatidyl Serine supplements are plant extracts that has been proven safe and effective therapeutic substance in remedying memory disorders as well as in enhancing higher brain functions. Clinical trials have shown that this vitamin supplement do strengthen your memory, increase mental acuity, increase concentration, boosts learning, enhances attention and vigilance. In addition, Phodphatidyl serine relieves depression while improving your mood and inhibits increases in cortisol induced by exercise and stress.
The supplement works by enabling your brain cells to metabolize glucose and releases it to bind with neurotransmitters which hence support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Phodphatidyl serine enhances the cells communication in the brain through increasing the number of membrane receptor sites. It is also important to note that this natural supplement modulates the fluidity of the cell membranes which are essential in supporting the ability of brain cells to send and receive chemical communications.
Another health benefit associated with Phodphatidyl serine is its ability to restore the supply and output of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is an essential transmitter to memory and is associated in reversing aging. Further, it increases the availability of endogenous chlorine used for de novo synthesis and production. Patients diagnosed with clinical depression that have ben put under the treatment of Phodphatidyl serine have registered a remarkable improvement with their symptoms. This follows from the fact that the supplement stimulates the production of dopamine by the brain. A deficit in dopamine in the brain has also been associated with attention deficit disorder and hence the natural supplement of Phodphatidyl serine has demonstrated to be an effective remedy for the disorder.
Research indicates that athletes involved in weight training, endurance running and cycling can reduce muscle soreness when they use Phodphatidyl serine. The athletes on this supplement have also been reported to undergo speed recovery during their rigorous training sessions. Other benefits of the supplement include; testicular function, formation of bone matrix, heart beat coordination, cell repair and removal by the immune system and secretion of hormones by the adrenal glands.
It is vital to note that phodphatidyl serine is present in almost every cell in our body and the membrane proteins it activates are important in all these cells. However, our bodies cannot produce enough amounts of it when under stress, when there is a deficit in necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors, and when aged. Stress increases the demands for phospatidylserine thus depleting the available levels in the cells. On the other hand, aging not only increases the brain's requirement for phosphatidylserine but also leads to inefficiency in the digestive and metabolic functions of the body. This makes it difficult for aged people to acquire enough of it from the diet and thus it is recommended that aged people should use phosphatidyl serine supplements.
Modern diets with low fat and low cholesterol levels have been shown to be lacking in phodphotidyl serine to levels of up to 150 mg per day. A vegetarian diet on the other hand may have a deficit of up to 250 mg per day. This deficit in supply of Phodphatidyl serine in the diet leads to impairment of your brain's ability to form, store, process and even remember. It is vital hence to consider taking vitamin supplements with phosphatidyl serine to cater for the deficit which may be detrimental to your health.
Is Sulfite Sensitivity And Vertigo Linked?
October 17, 2011 03:40 PM
Sulfites are chemical compounds which occur naturally in several animal and plant products. These chemicals are sulfur - based which is commonly used as food enhancer or preservative. Sulfites can effectively prolong the shelf life of food and also prevent discoloration of food. Foods which may contain sulfite include baked products, canned goods, junk foods, vegetable juices, fruit juices, apple cider, some teas and other processed food items. Sulfite - containing ingredients may include sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite and sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite.
Allergic reaction to sulfite is not that rare. In fact, the Food and Drug Authority have established "1 out of 100 people" prevalence rate that is hypersensitive to sulfite and its products. Any person may develop allergic reaction to sulfites any time of his/her life. Studies revealed that the cause of such hypersensitivity is still unknown. More studies are still ongoing. Initial results have stated that the allergic effects can be mild or life – threatening. In late 1980's, the FDA released a memorandum on prohibiting the use of sulfite on fruits and vegetables that are commonly eaten fresh and raw such as lettuce, apples, guavas and the like. Regulations are also released for manufacturers to put labels on sulfite – containing processed food items. Sulfites also occur naturally among wines and beers.
One theory revealed that sulfite allergic reaction may be caused by a significant insufficient amount of the enzyme necessary for the breakdown and elimination of such compound known as sulfite oxidase. This enzyme works hand in hand with the element molybdenum which acts as a cofactor. Nonetheless, asthma, nasal and sinus congestion, rhinitis, postnasal drip, headache and bronchospasm may also be experienced by the individual as an effect of sulfite consumption. In addition, vertigo may also be a manifestation of sulfite hypersensitivity.
Studies have found that the allergic reaction brought about by the compound sulfite can significantly lower blood pressure thus resulting to decreased cardiac output which can eventually lead to insufficient tissue perfusion. Thus, dizziness is experienced or even loss of consciousness. Vertigo or dizziness is a kind of feeling in which your surroundings seem to be moving around even though there is no actual movement. In cases of severe vertigo, the person may experience nausea and vomiting. This will greatly affect your daily functioning since the person with vertigo may have difficulty walking or even standing on his/her own. This will significantly result to loss of balance and increase the risk of fall.
There is no direct treatment of sulfite sensitivity. However, the symptoms can be alleviated in a palliative manner. The one and only way to prevent the occurrence of allergic reaction is to avoid food products with sulfites or food items which are likely to have sulfite content. Therefore, if you have sulfite allergy, you must be vigilant on what you eat. Carefully check labels of processed and preserved foods and when eating out, politely as the waiter or chef if the food you like contains sulfite or ingredients which contain such chemical compound.
Foods to avoid:
Alcoholic beverages, Baked goods (pastries), Beverages fruit based, Condiments, Relishes, Confections, Frostings, Modified Dairy Products, Drugs, Fish, shell fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, gelatin, puddings, grains, jams, jellies, nuts, plant proteins, snack foods, soups and soup mixes, sweet sauce, and instant teas. To name a few. Look online to view a more details list of foods to avoid.
This practically eliminates most of our favored junk foods we love to eat. Avoiding these foods may be hard but it is a healthier choice.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monophosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monophosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP), the diphosphate (ADP), the triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
August 15, 2008 11:53 AM
In the recent past, DHEA has shown scientists its amazing abilities within the human body. Clinical tests have created a huge amount of interest for both scientists and consumers, with estimates of about 500 in-depth clinical studies on DHEA taking place. These tests, which have been conducted at some of the most prestigious medical research centers and universities in the country, have proven DHEA to be one of the most important anti-aging and anti-disease substances of the 21st century.
DHEA is a crucial and important hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands. It is often called the mother hormone, as it forms the base for the biochemical actions of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. These hormones control important body functions that determine metabolism, energy output, endocrine mechanisms, and reproductive capabilities. DHEA directs the entire endocrine systems through activating and inhibiting enzymes. In its many clinical studies, DHEA has shown an unusually wide variety of physiological benefits. Although it has been known for many years that DHEA is made by the adrenal glands, the function of DHEA in the body has only been recently studied.
DHEA is produced by the adrenal glands, but it can also be found in non-patented prescription drugs and other over-the-counter forms. A lot of these supplements contain a synthetic DHEA-S. A lot of people consider Dioscorea extract, which can be found in Mexican Wild Yam, to have a natural source of DHEA. There are a lot of naturally occurring compounds that can mimic the actions of DHEA and, at the time, do not require a prescription. Wild Yam and Mexican Yam can give a botanical precursor of DHEA, which is considered a substantial source by a lot of health advocates. A great number of studies on DHEA that is derived from Mexican Yam have been conducted, with results concluding that DHEA derived from Mexican Yam and Dioscorea extract is a great idea. However, some controversy surrounds the value of Wild Yam as a valuable source of DHEA.
DHEA is used in the body to make other hormone, as it is the most dominant of all the hormones present in the body. It contributes to the proper growth of brain cells, inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates to fats, decreases the formation of blood clots, regulates hormones, decreases the stickiness of platelets that can clump to cause heart attacks and strokes, increase estrogen in women and testosterone in men, lowers LDL cholesterol, enhances overall immunity, and decreases symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
DHEA helps to reduce menopausal symptoms, promotes thermo genesis, helps to increase muscle mass, stabilizes blood sugar, inhibits appetite and discourages eating, boosts endurance, inhibits diseases associated with aging, helps to restore collagen and skin integrity, fights fatigue and depression, helps to inhibit certain tumors, improves calcium absorption to discourage osteoporosis, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to lower blood pressure.
DHEA levels dramatically vary in each individual and can drop as a result of stress or other conditions such as blood sugar, fever, hypertension, nicotine ingestion, alcohol consumption, drinking coffee, and the presence of various diseases. Taking birth control pills and other synthetic hormones can also deplete levels of DHEA. When any of these occur, supplementation is needed. Therapeutic doses range from 5 to 25 milligrams per day which can be found here at VitaNet, LLC.
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.
Adapt To The Stresses Of Life with Herbal Adaptogens
October 18, 2007 11:13 AM
Life today places a number of different types of stresses upon us. There are the normal stresses of living, of facing problems at work, financial worries and family stresses. Schedules are becoming busier as we try to pack more and more into each day, and relaxation time is cut to a minimum. For many of us, the stress starts when we waken and rush through breakfast, if we have time for one, to catch the bus or train to work, or to slip into the morning traffic rush that takes us an hour to travel 10 miles or less.
Once at work we have problems to deal with that continue throughout a rushed lunch period, and then back to the stress of trying to return home in the evening to open the bills and check if we have enough in the bank to pay them. However, that is not all.
Our environment is continually changing, and our bodies are subject to the stresses of pollution from the planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention the pesticides, preservatives plastics and harsh lighting. The noise of air conditioning and the continual musak of the stores and shopping malls and everything else that goes to completely stress us out, weekdays and weekends.
That is ignoring the smog, the disappearing ozone layer and increased UV radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, El Nino and everything else that causes worry or affects the delicate balance of the body’s biochemistry. Rather than adapting to our environment we are continually striving to adapt the environment to suit our needs. We should develop a flexibility of mind and body so that we can survive these modern-day stresses, and this is where the substances known as adaptogens are important.
Adaptogens help us to adapt to the environment and withstand the stresses of modern life. The term was first used by Russian N.V. Lazarev in 1947 who defined an adaptogen as a substance meeting three specific criteria: it should cause a minimal disruption to the normal physiological function of the body, it must work by means of a range of chemical, physical and biochemical factors rather than through one specific action and must have an overall effect of normalization, so that no condition is aggravated to improve another.
There are a large number of identified adaptogens, among them several forms of ginseng: Panax, American, Siberian and Japanese; licorice, schizandra berries, rhodiola and others. These adaptogens tend to work in the body by improving the body’s availability and use of energy, improving the efficiency of removal of the metabolic waste and by-products, supporting the adrenal function so that the effects of stress are reduced or countered, improving the utilization of oxygen and helping to build up body tissue. In general the body works more efficiently in generating and using energy, muscle tissue and counteracting the effects of modern day stress, both environmental and psychological.
Of the ginsengs, Panax is very expensive for regular use, although many people prefer it. However, studies have shown that Siberian, or eleuthero ginseng, is a stronger adaptogen that Panax which is also called Korean or Chinese ginseng. In fact the other forms, including American and Japanese, tend to over-stimulate the body, and can also cause unwanted side effects such as constipation and over-excitement. The Siberian ginseng tends not to show these symptoms.
Siberian ginseng contains seven active substances known as eleutherosides A – F which are not present in the other ginsengs. These substances appear to have several properties that have been clinically proven. For example, they relieve insomnia, one of the symptoms of stress, high and low blood pressure, bronchitis, various forms of neuroses and, it is claimed, also some types of cancer. Siberian ginseng also allows humans to withstand noise, heat and extra stresses caused by severe workloads. It improves athletic performance and allows people to improve their work output under a variety of stresses. Athletes can train harder and recover quicker.
Another adaptogen is schizandra berries (also called schizandra chinensis and magnolia vine). Chinese herbalists class medicinal herbs by the five different flavors, sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. Schizandra berries possess all five, and are therefore considered by the Chinese to balance all the systems of the body.
It is used in the West as a stress reducing adaptogen and is also included in sports and weight loss formulae. It helps insomnia and improves endurance and mental coordination. Schizandra is believed to be a good tonic for the liver and is often used in combination with Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and licorice. The latter is another popular herb in China that is said to be a good tonic for the spleen. Licorice itself is a known anti-inflammatory since it contains flavanoids and saponins that promote the immune system. Licorice is thought be a useful supplement for HIV patients due to its effect on the immune system. It also increases corticosteroid levels by inhibiting the liver’s ability to break down adrenal hormone. However, people with high blood pressure should be careful with licorice since it can cause sodium retention. Like any other medication, you should seek your physician’s advice if you have any existing conditions.
Rhodiola, also referred as roseroot, is used for improved memory and enhanced vitality and it can also be used as a mood modifier. It is used by athletes of all types for increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and muscle recovery time. The Russians call it ‘Golden Root’ and it is a safe and effective adaptogen.
More and more people are turning to adaptogens to help them cope with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, and they are becoming increasingly available from ordinary health stores. If you are finding it difficult to stay energetic and active then try them out. Not all work with every individual, but there is a large variety to choose from and most people are able to find an adaptogen that suits them and enables them to adapt to the stresses of daily life.
D-Ribose Powder Benefits!
April 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Supports normal heart function*
A significant amount of in vitro, animal and human research suggests benefits of ribose on heart function.* Studies have shown that ribose supplementation can enhance cardiac energy levels and support cardiovascular metabolism.* Ribose has been shown in clinical trials to enhance the recovery of heart muscle ATP levels and improve myocardial function following exercise.
Studies suggest that ribose supplementation can increase the tolerability of the cardiovascular system to exercise-induced fatigue.1 In one study, twenty men underwent treadmill exercise tests on two consecutive days to confirm the onset of fatigue secondary to exercise. The participants were then randomized to the treatment group or a placebo group. The groups received either four doses of 15 grams of D-ribose (60 grams/day total) or the same amount of placebo each day. After three days of treatment, another treadmill test was performed. The time it took to reach the specified level of fatigue was significantly greater in the ribose group than in the placebo group.
Another study investigated the ability of ribose to support healthy heart function and quality of life.2 In a randomized, crossover design study, fifteen individuals were given 5 grams three times a day of either D-ribose or placebo. Each treatment period lasted three weeks. In patients receiving ribose, echocardiography demonstrated enhancement of heart function, reflecting a “more efficient relaxation phase of the heart”. Participants also had a significant improvement in their subjective quality of life scores compared to placebo.
Scientists suggest that suboptimal heart function is a result of the heart requiring more energy to function properly. Ribose supports the heart’s enhanced energy requirements, promoting optimal heart function. It does so by enhancing the stores of high-energy phosphates in heart tissue. These intermediates are necessary for the production and resynthesis of ATP. A double-blind crossover study in which 12 individuals were randomized to receive either ribose or dextrose (both administered as 5 grams three times daily for three weeks, followed by a 1-week washout period and crossover of treatments for three additional weeks) suggested significant enhancements in normal cardiac function during the period of ribose supplementation.3
Perhaps one of the more useful illustrations of the potential for ribose to support heart function comes from a study in which 20 rats received a continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours (control rats received an infusion of saline). The hearts were then explanted (as they would be for heart transplants) and placed in preservation solution that was enriched with ribose for 4 hours. ATP levels were measured from tissue biopsies and revealed that 10 of the ribose-treated hearts had ATP levels higher than 12.3 micromoles per gram whereas saline-treated hearts (controls) had lower ATP levels, with 20% showing levels below 10 micromoles per gram of tissue. This provides support for the hypothesis that ribose may enhance the preservation of ATP levels in cardiac tissue, promoting normal heart function.4
Further animal studies have shown that ribose significantly enhances heart function after experimentally induced cardiac depression. Rats were injected with isoproterenol (a drug that stimulates sympathetic nervous system function) and had their abdominal aorta constricted to induce depression of heart function and reduce cardiac ATP levels. The decrease in ATP was primarily responsible for the depression of heart function. Continuous infusion of ribose for 24 hours replenished ATP concentrations to normal levels and normalized heart function in these animals.5
Ribose may strengthen and support the body’s crucial antioxidant defenses*
Ribose may support the body’s innate antioxidant mechanisms while promoting an antioxidant effect of its own. Intense exercise and other strenuous activity can induce the production of free radicals. Preliminary studies suggest that ribose can attenuate some of the effects of oxidation seen after performance of intensive exercise.
One small human study indicated that ribose administered at a dose of seven grams before and after a bout of cycling exercise may reduce free radical production.6 Seven volunteers ingested either ribose or placebo both before and after intense exercise. Markers of lipid peroxidation, including malondialdehyde, significantly decreased in the ribose-supplemented group, while increasing in the control group. The results of this study indicate a possible effect of ribose in supporting antioxidant activity.
Supports healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue*
After bouts of intense exercise, ATP levels have been shown to decrease by an average of 15 to 20%.7 The amount of ATP stored in the muscle is limited and so the body must have the potential to rebuild ATP stores. ATP is the fuel necessary for the integrity and function of a cell. In addition, several studies have found correlations between ATP content and heart function.1 Research that was also alluded to above suggests that ribose stimulates ATP synthesis and supports heart and muscle function by enhancing ATP levels in cardiac and muscle tissue. D-ribose is an essential building block for the synthesis of ATP through the pentose phosphate pathway.
The results of ribose supplementation enhancing ATP levels in muscle are evidenced by studies suggesting beneficial effects on anaerobic performance. In a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study assessing the effects of acute ribose supplementation, participants receiving the ribose supplement had increases in mean power (a measure of average overall muscular strength output during the sprint) and peak power (a measure of the highest muscular strength output during the sprint) when undergoing a series of cycle sprints.8 While this effect was not noted in all of the six short cycling sprints that the participants underwent, the study does illustrate the potential benefits of ribose on ATP production and, secondarily, on enhancing exercise performance.
A second placebo-controlled trial investigated the effects of four weeks of ribose-supplementation (10 grams /day) on male bodybuilders. Of the 20 participants who were recruited, twelve completed the study. Each subject participated in a heavy-resistance training program designed to increase skeletal muscle mass. The effects of ribose on body composition (body weight, body fat, lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content) were also assessed. The results suggested that ribose increased total work capacity and bench press strength compared to placebo, without altering body composition.9
Supports energy recovery after exercise*
Animal studies have suggested that the administration of ribose after exercise increases the rate of adenine salvage by five to seven-fold in muscle tissue7, supporting energy recovery after exercise. When ATP is utilized by muscle tissue, the degradation products include adenine nucleotides (Adenine is one of two purine bases that is a component of DNA). Adenine is recycled to synthesize DNA, and the salvage of adenine within the muscle tissue is crucial to energy recovery. Studies have shown that the presence of adequate ribose concentrations is the rate-limiting step in the purine salvage pathway. Therefore, increased adenine salvage could potentially help in the recovery and regeneration of ATP after intense bouts of activity.
A study investigated the effect of oral intake of ribose on the synthesis of AMP, a precursor to ATP.10 Participants performed intense cycle training for seven days. They then received either ribose (at a concentration of 200 mg/kg body weight, which is equivalent to 14 grams per day for an average 70 kilogram male) or placebo three times a day for the following three days. Exercise tests were performed again on day 4. Muscle biopsy samples were taken before the first training session, immediately after, and again five hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours after the last training session. No differences were seen in exercise performance between the groups. The intense exercise caused the ATP levels in muscle to decrease in both groups. However, at 72 hours post-exercise, the ribose group exhibited a much higher ATP level than the placebo group. The muscle levels of critical building blocks for ATP, including total adenine nucleotides (TAN) and inosine 5’-monophosphate (IMP), were also significantly higher in the ribose group compared to the placebo group at 24 hours after exercise. Ribose-supplementation was shown to enhance the resynthesis of ATP after intense exercise.
*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.
Caution: Insulin-dependent diabetics and pregnant women should consult their physician before use.
Suggested Adult Use: Take 1 or 2 scoops mixed in water, juice or other beverage two times per day. May be taken with or without food.
1) Pliml, W., von Arnim, T., Stablein, A., Hofmann, H., Zimmer, H., Erdmann, E. Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. The Lancet. 1992;340:507-510.
2) Omran, H., Illien, S., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A., Luderitz, B. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. The European Journal of Heart Failure. 2003;5:615-619.
3) Illien, S., Omran, H., MacCarter, D., St. Cyr, J.A. Ribose improves myocardial function in congestive heart failure. FASEB Journal 2001;15(5): A1142
4) Muller C., Zimmer H., Gross M., Gresser U., Brotsack I., Wehling M., Pliml W. Effect of ribose on cardiac adenine nucleotides in a donor model for heart transplantation. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):554-8.
5) Zimmer H.G. Normalization of depressed heart function in rats by ribose. Science. 1983 Apr 1;220(4592):81-2.
6) Seifert, J.G., Subudhi, A., Fu, M., Riska, J.J. The effects of ribose ingestion on indices of free radical production during hypoxic exercise. Free Rad Biol Med 2002; 33(Suppl 1) S269.
7) Zarzeczny, R., Brault, J.J., Abraham, K.A., Hancock, C.R., Terjung, R. Influence of ribose on adenine salvage after intense muscle contractions. J Applied Physiology. 2001;91:1775-1781.
8) Berardi J.M., Ziegenfuss T.N. Effects of ribose supplementation on repeated sprint performance in men. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):47-52.
9) Van Gammeren, D.V., Falk, D., Antonio, J. The effects of four weeks of ribose supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in healthy, young, male recreational bodybuilders: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Current Ther Research. 2002;63(8):486-495.
10) Hellsten, Y., Skadhauge, L., Bangsbo, J. Effect of ribose supplementation on resynthesis of adenine nucleotides after intense intermittent training in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2004;286:R182-R188.
Buy Ribose at Vitanet at a Discount
October 17, 2006 01:50 PM
Carbohydrate loading is an ergogenic technique devised for endurance athletes to trick the muscles into storing more fuel than it normally would. Although carbohydrate loading has been hailed as an innovative training technique in the past few years, the discovery of carbohydrates as the preferred fuel of the body dates back several decades. In 1939 two scientists named Christiansen and Hensen demonstrated that the body burns carbohydrates before drawing upon its fat and protein. The research found that the body readily uses carbohydrates as fuel for the muscular and nervous system with minimal wastage and toxic by products – unlike the case with protein and fats.
The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver. This glycogen helps the liver to detoxify otherwise dangerous substances. It also supplies a readily available source of glucose to maintain the essential blood sugar level. Glycogen stored in a muscle is available for energy use for only that particular muscle, unlike glycogen stored in the liver, which is available systemically. At rest, and during low-intensity exercise, the body burns about an equal mixture of fat and carbohydrate for energy purposes. However, as work intensity increases, carbohydrates become the dominant fuel because of its quick availability. Laboratory research has shown that an exercise intensity of less than 40-50 percent VO2 max, the body burns mostly fat, and the degradation of stored glycogen is minimal.
The situation changes during high intensity exercise, when carbohydrates become the sole source of energy. The activity itself is limited by the availably of glycogen as an energy source.
Muscle glycogen is five times more available as an energy source for intensity exercise as compared to liver glycogen. When the muscle glycogen becomes depleted, the muscle its self begins to fail, and fatigue rapidly sets in marathon running, this dreaded phenomenon is known as “hitting the wall”.
Since it is obvious that the availability of glycogen is a limiting factor in endurance athletic events, exercise physiologists devised ways to increase glycogen storage in the body. In 1967 two Swedish exercise physiologists came up with carbohydrate loading, also called glycogen loading, as a method of supper-compensation of glycogen through diet and exercise.
Hydrate loading usually is approached by any of the following means:
According to researchers David Costill, Ph.D., carbohydrate consumption in excess of 600 grams daily won’t result in proportionally larger amounts of synthesized glycogen. In the first 24 hours of carbo-loading, the type of carbs eaten is not of critical importances. However, after the second day, Costill suggests eating complex rather refined or simple sugars.
Complex carbs are those which contain lots of intact fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. An exception to this rule is pasta, which is a refined sugar but is good to ingest during carbo-loading. Complex carbs tend to maintain a steady output of the hormones insulin, which activates the enzymes glycogen synthetase, essential for effective glycogen storage.
Most experts today advocate a gradually tapering exercise program while increasing carbo consumption to about 525 grams daily. This avoids the problems associated with the low-carb period, such as fatigue, weakness, potassium loss and muscle tissue loss.
One day prior to competition, the athlete rests completely and consumes about 550 grams of carbohydrates.
The carbohydrate loading program should be limited to three times a year. More often than seems to decrease its effectiveness. Costill suggests that athletes engaged in intense exercise on a daily basis consume about 70 percent of their daily calories in carbohydrates. This will maintain adequate glycogen levels in both the liver and muscles, according to Costill.
Carbohydrate loading is of no real benefit in athletic events lasting less than 60 min, because lesser activity time does not deplete glycogen levels enough to inhibit work capacity of endurance.
Carbohydrate loading isn’t for everyone. Each gram of cellular glycogen is stored with 2.7 gram of water. This rapid water storage makes some people feel stiff and tight, resulting in decreased performance. The only way to determine if the carbohydrate loading works for you is to try it – carefully!
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
March 27, 2006 06:23 PM
If there’s one truth to be told about the natural products industry, it is this. We will never have a shortage of companies claiming to be the best. It happens so often in fact, that distinguishing the quality from the questionable has become an exhausting task all in itself. After all, making claims is easy. What’s challenging, however, is supporting these claims with something concrete.
As no stranger to recognition, NOW takes pride in every honor that is bestowed upon us. And yes, over the past year, we have been blessed in many ways. Nothing, however, can match the sense of reward that comes from having our efforts, values and commitment to human wellness acknowledged by our peers, colleagues and valued customers. It is with the most sincere gratitude that we are once again able to share these with you.
Vitamin Retailer Magazine’s 2005 Vity Awards Every Spring, Vitamin Retailer Magazine recognizes the most outstanding dietary supplements, and honors the recipients with a Vity Award. The winning products are selected based on a number of criteria. This year, three NOW products were awarded 1st place honors.
The first was presented in recognition of our MSM 1000 mg. This marks the third consecutive year that we’ve watched our MSM excel in this category. Next was the award for Vitamin E, which went to our Natural Vitamin E-400 mixed tocopherol formula. Like MSM, this was also awarded 1st place st place for the third year in a row. Finally, the award for “Best Calcium”, which was given to our Calcium Citrate. With the calcium category regarded as one of the most competitive, taking top honors is an accomplishment that we’re all very proud of. Whole Foods Magazine Natural Choice Winner Best Sports Supplement
It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are literally hundreds of protein formulas available. When it was announced that our line of Whey proteins had earned the title of “Best Sports Supplement” from Whole Foods Magazine, we were truly honored to be selected as one of their Natural Choice winners.
Each year, Whole Foods Magazine evaluates hundreds of products, selecting only those that meet their demanding standards. Our Sports division has worked tirelessly to perfect our Whey proteins, and this award is a true testament to the efforts they have put forth. NOW is one of the very few companies that offers a line of 100% natural proteins, free of artifi cial sweeteners. Accordingly, this is an honor that we’re especially proud of. Nutrition Business Journal’s Lifetime Leadership Award, Elwood Richard
Nutrition Business Journal recently honored NOW founder Elwood Richard, with their prestigious Lifetime Leadership Award. Mr. Richard has been an active member of the natural products business since 1960 and is a strong advocate for both science and quality. He co-founded the NNFA standards committee, and sponsors industry organizations such as Citizens for Health, NNFA, ABC, AOAC and AHPA among others. His hard work, vision and commitment have inspired our entire organization
in supporting independent retailers, producing quality products and taking proactive measures towards environmental preservation.
Nutrition Business Journal’s Business Achievement Award, Environment of Sustainability In addition to the award presented to Elwood Richard, NOW was also the recipient of the NBJ Business Achievement Award for Environment of Sustainability. This honor is presented to businesses who have consistently participated in both internal and local initiatives to make positive environmental impacts. Notably, our recycling program has reduced waste output by over 50%. NOW FOODS Vitamins also conducts employee training programs, supports community conservation efforts and hosts volunteer workdays to plant vegetation, remove litter and control lakeside erosion in a local forest preserve. These actions have earned us a number of community service awards from several local recreation organizations. Finally, we help support environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
AOAC adopts NOW Glucosamine Method
NOW Foods’ glucosamine HPLC method has passed the AOAC’s 2-year validation process to become the fi rst offi cial method for testing the standards of this popular joint health ingredient. It was selected by the expert review panel in April of 2003 as the “best method for further laboratory validation”. It will be published in the Journal of AOAC International and become available to the industry this summer, 2005. “Having NOW’s method for glucosamine become the offi cial AOAC method is a testament to the expertise of our staff, our focus on the science, and our commitment to quality,” said Michael Lelah, technical director of NOW Foods.
DuPage County Forest Preserve District’s Shooting Star Award.
The DuPage County Forest Preserve District of Illinois recently presented NOW Foods their Shooting Star Award at their annual Forest Preserve District volunteer banquet. This award recognizes the long-term efforts that our entire organization has made in order to improve and support the quality of the East Branch Forest Preserve in Glendale Heights, IL. This is also the fi rst time that the District has given this award to a company. As the primary recipient, we look forward to furthering our environmental efforts.
Recapping our 2004 Achievements
Eight 1st Place Vity Awards, from Vitamin Retailer Magazine
United States Department of Commerce Excellence in Export Achievement Award
Nutrition Business Journal’s Effort on Behalf of Industry Award Consumerlab.com Top Rated Brand in Health Food Stores based on Customer Satisfaction Natural Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) Crusader Award, Elwood Richard Vitamin Retailer Magazine Manufacturer of the Year (2003)
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
July 14, 2005 03:38 PM
HERBS FOR A HEALTHY LIVER
The liver is extremely important in ridding the body of toxins. It is the key channel of elimination. Good health is impossible without adequate liver function. It is one of the most important organs in the body and often is not considered when it comes to health. The liver cannot function if digestion is poor or the colon is congested. Everything the enters the liver must be detoxified.
Everything we breathe, eat and absorb through the skin is refined in the liver; it becomes overburdened when too much is required. The liver is required to detoxify at a much higher rate than ever before. The exposure to toxins has increased rapidly over the years. The liver works by using enzymes to break down toxic material. The liver then converts the material from a fat soluble form to a water soluble form to be eliminated through the kidneys.
Milk thistle has a complex of compounds known as silymarin. These substances are actually known to protect the liver against some toxins and help increase the function of this important organ. Silybin found in this herb is used as an antidote to the deadly deathcap mushroom which is known to destroy liver cells. It also contains amines (thyramine and histamine) which are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial on liver function.
Studies done recently indicate that milk thistle is beneficial for severe liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as general liver restoration, protection and strengthening. The properties of milk thistle have been confirmed in animal studies to be a protection in liver disorders.
Turmeric has been found to contain liver protective properties similar to the glycyrrhizin found in licorice. This ability may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity. It also has been found to increase enzymes in the liver to pre vent inflammation. Turmeric has also been found to increase bile acid output. Turmeric has the ability to breakdown carcinogens and toxins allowing them to be excreted from the body without doing damage. It seems to protect the liver from toxic damage.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid which help stimulate interferon in the body which is essential for protecting the immune system. It also contains liver protective properties preventing damage due to toxic exposure. Glycyrrhizin found in licorice is thought to inhibit cell injury. Glycyrrhizin has been found in studies to be beneficial in treating cases of chronic hepatitis B. It seems to improve liver function as well as reduce liver enzymes that are known to determine liver damage.
Scientific studies have found that schizandra protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver and lead to immune disorders because of the build up of toxins. Schizandra has also been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in mice. Other studies have found this herb to have a mild regenerative effect on the liver . It is used in China to treat infectious hepatitis. It helps to protect the liver from damage and encourage liver regeneration after injury or illness.
June 25, 2005 01:02 PM
Research on the Panax ginseng was first done to determine the adaptogen properties. Siberian ginseng does possess adaptogenic qualities, but its action is thought to be milder than Asian ginseng. The American ginseng has not been well studied or documented as to its adaptogenic properties, but it is known to have adaptogenic activity. Each of the ginseng varieties are thought to work as a general tonic on the body, increase energy and increase mental and physical abilities. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogenic herb. When taken for extended periods of time, it helps the body adapt to stress and brings the body into balance.
It helps normalize and adjust the body’s restoring and regulating natural immune response.14 The word adaptogen is derived from the Greek work adapto, to adjust, and the suffix gen, producing. It helps to produce adjustments as needed in the body. This function is done without side effects or harm to the body.15 Ginseng, as an adaptogen, has been used to help normalize blood pressure whether high or low. It helps to increase or slow output to restore equilibrium. Adaptogens help to modify the effects of environmental and internal stresses from different forms such as chemical pollutants, radiation, weather, temperature changes, poor diet, exercise and emotional stress. It is used for many ailments in the body and even thought of as a universal cure-all.
Ginkgo - Anti-Stress Herb
June 25, 2005 11:30 AM
Ginkgo - Anti-Stress Herb
Ginkgo’s popularity has steadily increased as more of its properties have been discove red. It has become the subject of widespread interest and was recently the topic of a scientific conference that was held in New Yo rk. Because stress management is so crucial to our contemporary lifestyles, the role of ginkgo should not be dismissed. Research has shown that ginkgo can help relieve the adverse effects of s t ress. It is considered an herbal adaptogen which helps the body cope with a number of physical and psychological stressors. One way in which ginkgo helps boost stamina is by helping the body conserve energy through the increased biosynthesis of protein and nucleic acids. This process is vital to any kind of healing or cell regeneration. Ginkgo also helps to increase levels of glucose and ATP at the cellular level which helps us sustain higher energy output, especially under periods of mental or physical stress. Frequently, stress impairs cognitive ability, and because ginkgo facilitates better blood flow to brain neurons, coping abilities may be enhanced.
Several experiments have demonstrated that ginkgo can help to facilitate one’s ability to adapt in an adverse environment. Because most of us have to cope with adversity in one form or other, ginkgo may be of benefit in helping to promote better coping skills and enhanced physiological function. Unquestionably, stress contributes to both physical and emotional disorders. Ginkgo can help protect us against the deleterious effects of stress by making our cellular structures more resilient.
Power Meals - Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
June 14, 2005 08:28 AM
by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, March 12, 2004
Choices, choices, choices: For convenience, nutrition and either low-calorie or low-carb dieting, you now have an enviable range of choices. Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
Whatever your inclination, drinks and bars offer a shortcut to daily nutrition without cooking. And whether you use them as meal replacements, diet aids or healthy snacks, these power meals fill you up without filling you out.
That's the main reason these items have grown in popularity in natural food stores among the nutritionally knowledgeable searching for healthier alternatives to fast food.
No matter how hectic your day, you have no excuses anymore for missing your daily required antioxidants and minerals. Either select a bar suited to your taste, or put your blender or food processor to work in creating drinks that use fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, low-fat milk or ice and protein powders for maximum nutritional output.
Quality note: always be sure to use organic foods for the best nutritional content, flavor and taste.
Prepared protein shake mixes and bars are ideal for losing weight, expanding personal energy or building muscle. Protein mixes are available in an assortment of flavors that are generally high in amino acids (protein building blocks) and low in carbohydrates. Of course if you are on a low-carb diet, forsake putting fruits and vegetables in your shakes; these items are too high in carbohydrates.
What's more, bars not only provide a wealth of different tastes, but different bars are also tailored to different needs-whether you're seeking to lose weight, gain muscle or replace a meal, there's a bar out there just for you.
If you use power shakes as meal replacements and you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure the drink supplies plenty of protein and few carbohydrates. If you use either shakes or bars to replace one or more meals during the day, take a fiber supplement in addition. Fiber, which contains no calories, helps speed food through your digestive tract and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer (Lancet 5/2/03).
And remember: powders and bars should also be low in sugars and saturated fats. The weight-loss benefit: If you drink high-protein shakes or eat bars that taste good and leave you feeling satisfied, you'll have a better chance of sticking to your diet long enough to lose a significant amount of weight.
Drink to Lose
Research into weight loss has established protein shakes and bars as reliable diet aids. A study of 100 dieters between the age of 35 and 65 found that people who drank a daily soy protein shake lost more than 14 pounds each in three months (Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57:514). And in a study reported in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (3/01), folks who had a protein shake in place of one daily meal lost almost twice as much weight over 12 weeks than those who ate their regular food with the same amount of calories.
Drinking your breakfast in the form of a protein shake can both increase your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the rest of the day.
Researchers at Harvard University found that metabolism rose faster after eating a high-protein breakfast and that blood-sugar levels stayed high for about six hours after the meal (AHA Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and and Prevention, 3/6/03). In comparison, when a sugary breakfast is consumed, blood-sugar levels rise quickly but fall rapidly, causing fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness.
Protein shakes are especially effective when you are on a weight-loss plateau, trying to lose those last few tenacious pounds. (But shakes, smoothies and bars should not be your only meals of the day. Eat at least one low-calorie meal daily to supply nutrients that may not be in your shakes or bars.)
Made with fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a tasty way of getting extra amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber. Using low-fat milk, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, plus ice, creates a tempting and wholesome blend that lights up the taste buds. Powdered mixes can be used for added protein.
Fruits and vegetables in your smoothies not only fill you up on relatively few calories, but they boost your energy and supply plenty of bioflavonoids (healthy, natural chemicals from plants), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The fiber in smoothies can help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. For reduced calories and added heart health benefits, low-fat or no-fat milk products can be used in place of cream or regular milk in most recipes. For the best taste sensation, combine sour and sweet fruits together.
Adding raw fruits and vegetables to smoothies provides natural enzymes that help with digestion and act as catalysts in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body. (You can also take enzymes in supplemental form.) Enzymes are not present in cooked foods since the heat of cooking destroys them.
Nutrition for Kids
If you have trouble getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, try giving them smoothies. Children can't resist these naturally sweet and healthy creations.
According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing), smoothies should be "high in quality, contain healthy fats, be naturally sweet, and contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables."
Fallon also believes children should consume what are called lacto-fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, which are aged to contain the kinds of friendly bacteria that normally live within our digestive tracts. For kids, Fallon also encourages the use of cream or cultured milk to ensure adequate fat and calcium, so important for the development of growing bodies.
Smoothies are an interactive drink as far as children are concerned, since they love to help blend them. For extra nutrition power, add nutritional yeast, nut butters or ground flaxseeds. These supply additional vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats. You can also add silken tofu to bump up the protein content. If your child is lactose intolerant, try mixing smoothies with rice milk, soy milk or juice.
Bars Designed With A Woman's Needs in Mind
The modern woman is a multitasking wonder, constantly juggling work and home responsibilities. So it's no wonder that bars aimed at women are among the most popular bars there are. Many women, in eyeing the bathroom scale, shortchange themselves of the nutrients they need. That's why a woman's bar needs to provide minerals like calcium, a bone-building necessity.
Women also need to ensure that a bar contains enough of the B vitamins, particularly folate. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant, or wants to be: Folate is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Folate also teams up with two other B vitamins, B6 and B12, to control homocysteine. This protein metabolism byproduct, when present in excessive amounts, is associated with heart disease.
Another popular ingredient in women's bars is soy, which has been duly recognized for its heart benefits. Studies also indicate that soy may help keep bones strong. (Not to mention the fact that the moisture soy holds helps make a bar's texture that much more appealing!)
The Protein Game
If you are unsure about how much protein you need each day, you are not alone. Are you getting too much, not enough, or just enough? Most people need between 45 and 60 grams of protein daily, and most protein shakes contain about 14 and 20 grams of protein per serving (check your labels). No matter what your nutritional needs are, you may find an answer in a smoothie, shake or bar. When it comes to power nutrition, tasting is believing!
PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE (PS) - Maintain healthy cells ...
June 04, 2005 11:08 AM
All we have ever known or will ever feel, begins and ends with the hundreds of billions of nerve cells that form our brain. Without them, there can be no experience; for us, nothing would exist. Our mind and personality, the sense of who we are, emanate from this immensely intricate system of nerves. The brain’s remarkable ability to perceive and perform, remember and learn, is severely challenged by today’s social and physical environment. These environmental factors accelerate the decline in nerve cell activity that normally occurs with age. Recent clinical research is revealing how previously unrecognized nutrients can strengthen the body’s natural defenses against age-related cognitive decline. Source Naturals is proud to present the latest breakthrough in nutritional support for the brain: PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a phospholipid which forms an essential part of every human cell, but it’s particularly concentrated in the membranes of nerve cells. Since the electronic messages that communicate and regulate every aspect of our lives travel along nerve cell membranes, the structural integrity of these membranes is imperative to our health. The nerve cell membrane is the site where molecules of sodium and potassium exchange electrons, causing the electrical impulse to be generated. This bio-electric current then travels along the membrane to trigger the release of neurotransmitters. These are the chemical messengers that cross synapses (gaps between nerve cells) to relay information to neighboring nerve cells. This sets other electrical currents in motion– along thousands of other nerve cells. This happens billions of times each second, and is how the brain and nerves coordinate and communicate with the rest of the body. PS has a very important function in the nerve cell membrane. As a key bio-structural molecule, PS provides vital support for the membrane proteins that enable nerve cells to communicate and grow.
Regulating the Flow
Unlike other cells in the body, nerve cells do not reproduce. Instead, they repair and rebuild themselves, using proteins called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Experiments verify that PS enhances the synthesis and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.1 PS supplements enhance the cerebral cortex’s output of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with our ability to think, reason, and concentrate. PS also stimulates the synthesis and release of dopamine, related to heightened states of attention.2 The brain’s response to stress also appears to be related to PS. When healthy young men were subjected to exercise-induced stress, those taking PS had a lowered stress response. This was measured by blood levels of ACTH, the pituitary hormone that triggers the adrenals to secrete the stress hormone cortisol.3
Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism and scored higher on cognitive tests.4 Behavioral factors were also measured in elderly subjects; PS positively affected their mood states.5 Over 23 clinical trials have investigated the effect of PS supplements on more than 1200 human subjects, ages 40-93. Consistent and statistically significant results suggest that PS supports brain functions that tend to diminish with age.
Nutritional research continually reveals new potentials for wellness. Source Naturals is committed to helping people achieve a fulfilling life, and a fully functioning nervous system is central to this aim. Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE can help support your body’s natural regenerative processes, keeping your brain healthy and vital for a long, long time. Experience the difference with Source Naturals PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE.
Important Information for Allergy Sufferers
May 13, 2005 09:52 AM
Important Information for Allergy SufferersRichard Conant, L.Ac. C.N.
Imagine you are one among millions who greet each spring with worry about the flood of pollen that fills the air this time of year. When the pollen season arrives, as it inevitably does, you find yourself with two choices. You can either take over-the-counter antihistamines and put up with unpleasant side-effects, or endure the sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and other discomforts of hay fever.
If there was a natural ingredient, a nutritional substance found throughout nature in many foods and plants, that could offer an alternative, would you not be interested?
Quercetin, one among hundreds of flavonoids found throughout the plant kingdom, is this ingredient. Quercetin has been researched in numerous pharmacological studies. The results of this work strongly suggest that quercetin helps to stabilize the fundamental process in the body which causes an allergic reaction. Quercetin, as shown in test-tube ("in vitro") studies, prevents the release of histamine from "mast cells," immune cells that stand guard in the tissues which meet the outside environment—the nasal passages, the lungs, the digestive tract and skin. While this has yet to be confirmed by human clinical trials, in the picture that emerges from the research so far, quercetin looks like a rescue nutrient for allergy sufferers.
Reports from Quercetin Users
I have seen numerous reports from individuals who have indeed achieved significant reductions in allergic sensitivity by using quercetin. And this includes food allergies as well as environmental allergies. Anecdotal stories like these carry little weight among scientists, because they do not provide evidence that the observed result will be repeated in other cases. Only placebo-controlled, double-blind studies can produce this kind of scientific proof. Yet, when anectodal evidence (this includes physician "case reports") correlates with the results of pharmacological research such as we have on quercetin, I believe it should be taken seriously. And quercetin is a nutrient that works effectively when taken as a dietary supplement.
For example, one gentleman writes that his wife, who is allergic to pollen and dust, is now "sneeze-free" after using quercetin for three years. A Pennsylvania woman writes that her husband, also a long time allergy sufferer, "seems to be nearly allergy free" after one month of use. Another man says that "quercetin has literally changed my life." These are not isolated cases; a respected nutritionist who specializes in allergies and environmental problems has seen many similar outcomes with a quercetin. Clearly something significant is going on with respect to quercetin as a nutritional approach for overcoming allergies.
Bear in mind, though, that quercetin does not function like an antihistamine medication; it is not a quick fix. As a nutrient that helps to normalize body functions naturally, quercetin needs time to work, and should be taken for at least two or three weeks to achieve these results.
Exerting a broad range of biological effects, quercetin is perhaps the most active and versatile flavonoid. In test-tube studies, quercetin acts directly on the mast cell in a way that quiets the allergic response.
An allergic reaction occurs when IgE antibodies, positioned on the mast cell surface, come in contact with a potential allergy-causing substance like pollen. The mast cell is then signaled to release histamine from storage granules located inside the cell, through a process called "degranulation." The histamine circulates throughout the body, causing the runny nose, itching and other discomforts associated with allergies.
Quercetin stabilizes mast cell membranes, in effect turning down the allergic response signal. Quercetin also slows other mechanisms which are involved with inflammation, such as the production of inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. This adds to its membrane-stabilizing effect, and its value in allergy control.
Quercetin appears to substantially raise the threshold for initiation of an allergic reaction. In allergy sufferers this threshold is low, for reasons which are not well understood. They may have more IgE antibodies than normal, making the mast cells overly "trigger happy." Histamine has its proper place in the immune response that defends us against truly harmful foreign substances in the body. But like many chemicals produced by the body, histamine is a two-edged sword. In allergy-prone individuals, the mast cells have become overreactive, releasing too much histamine, unnecessarily. With quercetin in the bloodstream, histamine release from mast cells is kept under control. Quercetin's ability to down-regulate both the inflammatory and allergic responses makes it, I believe, a highly important nutrient for humans to consume on a regular basis.
Quercetin-the Scientific Evidence
Several studies, published in respected journals such as the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and others, have demonstrated quercetin's ability to control the release of histamine from mast cells. (Quercetin has the same effect on basophils, a type of white blood cell that also contains histamine.) In these experiments, mast cells taken from both animals and humans are exposed in the test tube to various substances—called "antigens"— that stimulate histamine release. The researchers then add an inhibiting agent such as quercetin to the mixture and measure the differences in histamine output. Quercetin has shown itself to be one of the more powerful histamine inhibitors, more powerful, in fact, than disodium cromoglycate, an anti-asthma drug.
Quercetin has other beneficial properties. A strong antioxidant, Quercetin has a higher level of antioxidant activity than both vitamin C and vitamin E. (Quercetin enhances the antioxidant activity of vitamin C; quercetin and vitamin C are true synergists.) Quercetin has been shown to block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by free radicals. Quercetin also protects cell membranes from being injured by oxidized LDL. The damage that oxidized LDL causes to the delicate membranes of blood vessel linings allows plaque deposits to form, setting the stage for atheroslcerosis. These observations point to quercetin as a key nutrient for maintaining cardiovascular health.
Like all flavonoids, quercetin is not classified as an essential nutrient, although flavonoids were once called "Vitamin P." In view of its many beneficial actions, quercetin is a nutrient that clearly has important roles to play in human nutrition, for allergy sufferers, and for everyone.