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Did you know that turmeric is just as effective as 14pharmaceutical drugs?
April 24, 2019 01:46 PM
Turmeric, a spice used in many Indian dishes, contains a high concentration of a substance called curcumin which possesses medical benefits rivaling many pharmaceuticals. Research suggests that turmeric has the potential to replace cholesterol and steroid medications, chemotherapy drugs, and antidepressants. There is even evidence it can be effective in reversing liver damage. Plant-based treatments are now in the process of revolutionizing modern medicine. In the near future, prescriptions for popular drugs such as Lipitor and Prozac could be replaced with prescriptions for Turmeric.
"Without a healthy fat/oil, curcumin may pass right through the body and not be absorbed into the small intestine and into the bloodstream, where it is most effective. Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado are great to consume along with turmeric. Curcumin absorption is also boosted by piperine, the principle component found in black pepper."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-01-turmeric-is-just-as-effective-as-14-pharmaceutical-drugs.html
Add This To Your Coffee Every Morning, And You'll Forget The Overweight Problem!!
August 26, 2017 05:14 AM
You can lose weight by adding cinnamon to your morning coffee. First grind the coffee, and then add the cinnamon and the water. After boiling, you should drink the coffee, and make sure that you don't eat any pastries with it.
If you don't care for cinnamon you can also add coconut to your coffee. This provides a possibly more appealing taste than the cinnamon.
Whichever you choose, it is also recommended that you combine the enhanced coffee with a balanced diet and regular exercise.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lSG2QS-0rE&rel=0
"All this favors well the loss of weight. You can drink this coffee throughout the day, not forgetting the principles of healthy eating. The effect will soon appear."
nasal polyps treatment miracle
March 16, 2017 11:59 AM
A mechanical voice presented an advertising video regarding a natural way to get rid of nasal polyps. The video is not a moving picture but just a drawing of a woman injecting something into her nose and an audio description of an offer to tell the viewer how to naturally get rid of the polyps with diet and exercise along with the undisclosed remedy. A link is included to order the briefly described remedy, along with a written testimonial from the vendor and other purchasers.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcqtadzoiu4&rel=0
"Firm believer of natural remedy and this guide will combat all painful ailment."
THC initiates brain cancer cells to destroy themselves
March 15, 2017 11:59 AM
With all the research that goes into cancer treatments, something rather interesting has been found. The active ingredient in marijuana is called THC. This has been found to kill cancer cells without damaging the healthy cells around it. It lab research with mice, they found that brain tumors shrunk when using this substance. This research does not condone people going out and trying to cure themselves by smoking marijuana. That is not showing any promise, even though many people are doing it. It makes one wonder if this THC is really doing in reality what research is showing. Brain cancer patients that are using marijuana have been showing a decrease in their cancer that would indicate there is a lot of validity to the research.
"The THC cells initiates brain cancer cells to destroy themselves."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F304555993537563424%2F&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjFlMTFjYzBlYzAwOTU4NjY6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNEMXEvnWJmfK5_G1VLVDuaTlKBflg
Garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar: Powerful natural mixture against indigestion, obesity
January 28, 2017 07:59 AM
If you are wary of prescription medicines, you may want to look into natural remedies for ailments. A simple mixture of garlic, honey, and apple cider vinegar is effective in helping with gastrointestinal issues and warding off obesity. This is believed to be due to garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties and the vitamins and minerals present in honey. The recipe is quite easy. Simply mix one cup honey, one cup apple cider vinegar, and ten cloves of minced garlic. To be the most effective, you should use the freshest and most organic sources of each ingredients as possible.
"These solutions are also typically far safer and cost pennies on the dollar compared to steep costs for conventional medical treatments. Better yet, these down-to-earth treatments are usually simple and accessible to all people."
Is Butter Good Or Bad? Saturated Fat Foods In High-Fat Diet May Boost 'Good' Cholesterol
December 12, 2016 02:59 PM
We have grown up hearing that we should avoid saturated fats as much as possible. However, the University of Bergen in Norway has recently published a study showing that saturated fats may actually help boost good cholesterol rather than hinder it. The study didn’t find any significant increase in bad cholesterol when patients had a high saturated fat diet. They found that low-fat diets tended to make people want more sweets to compensate. It was actually a high sugar diet that caused a higher risk of cardiovascular death.
"Last month, Harvard University researchers found a five percent higher intake of fats in foods like butter or red meat was linked with a 25 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease."
Five vitamins you need to support your liver - Jakarta Post
December 09, 2016 02:59 PM
Your liver is one of your body's most metabolically active organs, meaning its energy demands are high. The liver, brain, kidneys and heart together account for about 5 percent of your body weight. Yet, these organs account for 60 percent of the energy your body consumes when you are at rest, according to the book "principles of Clinical Gastroenterology." To keep you liver functioning efficiently, it needs a good supply of B-complex vitamins to assist it with the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
"Vitamin A and iron deficiencies are among the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide, according to a study published in the 2000 issue of Nutrition."
Why wounds heal more slowly with age
December 01, 2016 06:59 AM
Our bodies undergo many changes when we age. Once potentially problematic change is that our bodies take longer to heal when we are older. This phenomenon has been observed since WWI. Recent studies at Rockefeller University have focused on observing young and elderly mice to determine why this happens. It has been discovered that our immune cells stop communicating effectively in old age, which leads to them not doing their jobs as quickly as when we are young.
"Recent experiments at The Rockefeller University explored this physiological puzzle by examining molecular changes in aging mouse skin."
Refreshement With A Raw Food Diet
You need to be feeling rejuvenated and completely ready to conquer the world whenever you get out of bed each and every morning, yet you feel tired and cranky even with eight hours of rest. You have a tendency to feel even slower after your meals, and so you rely on coffee, soda, and energy products to keep you going. But those artificial stimulants are simply just insufficient to provide you the focus and sharpness you have to be productive and in high overall performance through the day. Even worse of all, your family, buddies, and loved ones have begun to complain that you often don't have the time, energy or mood to spend a quality moment with them. Is your insufficient strength holding you back from living a complete life?
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits The Skin
May 20, 2014 09:19 AM
What is hyaluronic?
Hyaluronic corrosive is found in a great deal of hostile to maturing items. It helps your skin by enhancing the tone and composition. It is discovered characteristically in the body and serves to grease up specific territories.
Your skin produces hyaluronic corrosive regularly. This happens in the deeper layers and keeps the skin stout and smooth. As we get more seasoned, our body thinks that it is hard to hold dampness so the skin starts to lose its tone and suppleness. Without sufficient dampness, the skin is inclined to hang and as it loses flexibility, wrinkles and scarcely discernible differences show up.
Hyaluronic Acid's Function
This corrosive functions as against maturing element by helping your body to transform collagen. Collagen is an exceptionally imperative connective tissue found in the skin, which helps it to keep its structure. Surveys Hydroxatone has indicated that including this as a segment the skin gets back its sound shine and energy.
Hyaluronic corrosive additionally helps the skin to repair itself from natural harm, for instance the climate or airborne poisons. Audits Hydroxatone has indicated that this cream works well in light of the fact that the Hyaluronic corrosive can infiltrate profound into the skin. Notwithstanding decreasing wrinkles, it has been indicated to support with skin aggravation and in lessening pimple inflamation scars.
Superior to Botox
There is other mainstream approaches to lessen wrinkles, for example, Botox or plastic surgery. Then again, the principle issue with these systems is, separated from being considerably more exorbitant; they are extremely equivocal on the body and can have awful reactions. Hyaluronic corrosive is not dangerous: it is even generated regularly by the body. It is much less expensive to utilize and has not been indicated to have any significant symptoms. Likewise, dissimilar to Botox infusions, creams holding this corrosive might be utilized anywhere on the face.
Hyaluronic corrosive can hydrate the skin successfully. Truth be told, it can hold 100 times its weight in water. One reason for wrinkles is skin dryness, so by holding more dampness in your skin, you can diminish the appearance of wrinkles as well as keep more from showing up.
Hyaluronic corrosive works successfully in against maturing. A substance discovered regularly in the body, it could infiltrate profound into the skin and serves to hold dampness. A cream holding this corrosive is a much more secure strategy than surgery and its belongings are longer enduring.
Facts about whey protein.
January 24, 2014 10:09 AM
Whey protein refers to one of the two significant parts of milk, whey is the fluid parcel of the milk that divides from the curds (the other real part), throughout the process of cheese processing. Whey proteins are made up of fats, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. Because of its tough amino acid acerbic profile and simplicity of withholding, it is ostensibly the most prominent games nourishment supplement.
Whey protein exists in three principle structures:
Isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate. This article will concentrate on how different is concentrate from isolate. Both structures have whey protein, but whey isolate, which is created out of whey concentrate, goes through further processing which yields an end product with more protein per unit than whey concentrate.
Then again, the whey protein isolation procedure is significantly more exhaustive. It basically differentiates the protein, just about in its sum from the crude whey, bringing about 90-94% pure protein. So in a 50-gram serving of whey protein isolate, move toward getting 45-47 grams of unadulterated protein with the remaining 3-5 grams being maybe 1 gram of crabs and some calcium, potassium and sodium.
You may tend to think that whey protein is spring water because as it is separated, pure and also healthy, yet contains the greater part of the minerals and so forth of regular water. While whey protein disengage is like refined water, as it is water in its purest structure with essentially all different particles evacuated additionally a hydrogen and oxygen atom
The essential distinction between isolate and concentrate
Isolate is the most unmodified type of protein. Whey isolate typically have between 90-94% proteins while whey concentrate has a protein proportion of around 70-85%.
In the event that you are you are not fit for lactose and you have issues with gas then the whey protein isolate is the better decision. Whey protein concentrate is also an astounding source of protein and concentrate has higher BV qualities contrasted with lean red meats, chicken, fish and entire eggs. Isolate whey is more expensive than other forms as Isolate has been filtered more than concentrate some of the important immune-boosting protein components have been removed and some say the protein is degraded more making it less useful to the body.
The following sites have more on whey proteins that every consumer should know.
What Makes Curamin Such A Good Natural Pain Remedy?
March 07, 2012 06:57 AM
Curamin: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
When nerve endings become irritated, they cause pain. This is because of factors such as lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, stress, nutritional imbalance, etc. Pain is generally symptomatic of some dysfunction or inflammation in our body and the first reaction for those suffering from it is to reach out for a pain killer. This is where Curamin comes in.
Curamin is a proprietary formula and a curcumin based supplement. Curcumin is a beneficial compound found in turmeric, a popular Indian spice. Turmeric has been used since centuries in the field of alternate medicine like Ayurveda because of its many medicinal properties. The compound, curcumin in fact, has the ability to reduce pain by supporting the body's ability to respond to swelling and inflammation. It has been found equivalent to some popular allopathic pain killers. Apart from this, it also has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer properties and has been found to promote anti depressant and cognitive enhancement benefits.
Curamin is a product having a formula based on this particular compound of turmeric and is therefore extracted out of natural ingredients and has been found to have minimal side effects. Curamin, apart from other ingredients, also contains a strain of curcumin that has a high absorption factor which makes it several times more effective and stronger than plain curcumin products. It not only balances the body's response to inflammation but also has been observed to have a consistent and long lasting effect. Therefore, this makes curamin the most effective form of curcumin available.
Studies have established that curamin is safe and does not interfere with kidney, liver or stomach functions. The safe dosage recommended by the company is two pills twice a day for pain alleviation and not more than 8 pills within a 24-hour period. An overdose of such herbal products may sometimes cause intestinal discomfort at the most.
Main Ingredients of Curamin
Curamin has four principle ingredients that have an overall effect on inflammation caused in the bones and joints due to arthritis or overuse and exercise. These ingredients include: DL-phenylalanine or DLPA is a two part amino acid that acts as a positive mood enhancer by preventing the breakdown of enkephalin compound and also helps in the production of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. Boswellia that helps to prevent the activity of the inflammatory enzyme. Curcumin which helps block multiple pathways within the body to retard and stop inflammation. Nattokinase which is an enzyme that helps the fast absorption of the ingredients through the body by promoting blood flow and improving circulation.
Benefits of Curamin
Curamin has helped people suffering from problems like arthritis, migraines, bursitis, and soreness caused by accidents or injuries. It also helps build resistance and immunity to inflammation concerned especially with the bones and joints.
Curamin, being a plant based product has no toxic effects and is available with many natural medicine practitioners and pharmacies. It is a very effective natural alternative to allopathic drugs and painkillers that over a long term use cause many side effects, some of which are potent.
If you are in pain, try curamin today!
What Makes a Good Probiotic Supplement?
August 09, 2011 01:27 PM
Probiotics refer to a group of microorganisms that help maintain homeostasis in the digestive tract and even produce vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Nutrition experts have long recommended the consumptions of friendly bacteria as they curb the populations of harmful pathogens in the gut. More importantly, studies have shown that they contribute to the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders.
Scientists have identified a diverse variety of bacteria and yeasts that work as microbes. Bacteria that manufacture lactic acid are the most commonly used probiotics in the food and drug industries. They comprise a large number of Gram positive and acid tolerant bacteria that are generally recognized as safe. Most of the species are utilized in the production of yogurt in addition to nutritional supplements.
Multi-strain probiotic supplements are deemed better, though most products contain only one strain of bacteria. Nonetheless, they all work on the same principle. Apart from the fact that they produce lactic acid, almost all strains available in the market possess the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of lactase. Hence, probiotics give special benefits to individuals suffering from lactose intolerance.
Lactobacillus is the genus of bacteria best known as probiotics. They are the most extensively studied of all microorganisms identified to be beneficial for human beings. It is an established fact that they provide a steady supply of nutrients. Their fermentation activity in the gut enables them to synthesize vitamin K and other organic compounds that promote healthy metabolism and lower blood lipid levels.
Some strains prevent constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and many other disorders of the digestive tract. For one, probiotics are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates that usually pass the small intestines largely unchanged. These compounds are beneficial for blood sugar. The by-products add bulk to stool, speed up the passage of fecal matter in the colon, and promote regular bowel movement.
There are strains that release natural antibiotics called bacteriocin. These compounds either directly kill pathogenic microbes present in the gut or suppress protein synthesis necessary for their survival. By so doing, probiotics curtail population growth of harmful bacteria that are often incriminated in the disease activity of ulcerations in the alimentary canal and complications of inflammatory illnesses.
Due to the fact that each strain provides unique benefits to health, it is best to choose a probiotic supplement that contains several strains of friendly bacteria. It is also important to read on the total bacterial count the product promises to deliver. Medical professionals caution the supplementation of probiotics with very high amounts of bacteria as they may disrupt the natural pH in the digestive tract.
Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration are usually not shelf-stable, and thus its quality is likely to get compromised during shipment. There are products that use sustained release technology and formulated to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. Experts believe that releasing probiotics in the intestines helps as friendly bacteria take up residence in the gut.
How Does Progesterone Cream Help Ease Hot Flash Symptoms?
June 21, 2011 11:01 AM
Progesterone And Hot Flashes
Progesterone cream is an all natural remedy for hormonal imbalances in the female body. It has grown in popularity in the past few years largely owing to very strong anecdotal evidence. Its use in the management of hot flashes has produced very encouraging results, and thus has become a mainstay of alternative treatment for vasomotor symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome.
Plants contain fats and oils that can be modified in the laboratory to partially synthesize progesterone. The active ingredient of most progesterone creams in the market is diosgenin, which is a plant sapogenin that occurs naturally in wild yams. Diosgenin has long been noted for its steroidal activity inside the human body, but it has been successfully converted to progesterone only recently.
Reverses Estrogen Dominance
The concept of estrogen dominance is central to the appearance of hot flashes. A group of medical professionals believe that vasomotor symptoms are brought on by fluctuations in hormonal levels, among other factors. While both groups of female sex hormones experience changes, progesterone is thought to approach near depletion in comparison with estrogen. Hence, the latter dominates.
Progesterone creams work on the principle of reversing estrogen dominance. They are formulated to facilitate optimum absorption into the body. While their active ingredients, such as diosgenin, have been noted to produce estrogen-like activities when unmodified, progesterone creams function exactly in the same manner as endogenous secretions of progesterone.
Increases Progesterone Levels
Hot flashes are often linked to changes in body temperature. It has long been postulated that hormonal imbalances have an effect on the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. It is believed that depleting levels of progesterone lead to a series of chemical reactions that confuse the biological thermostat, resulting in vasodilation of blood vessels close to body surfaces.
Progesterone creams effectively relieve hot flashes because the active ingredients are capable of penetrating the part of the skin that leads to the blood vessels. There is very good evidence that topical applications of progesterone are readily absorbed. Since fats and oils from plants have high absorption rates, progesterone creams are certain to increase progesterone levels in no time.
Normalizes Hormonal Changes
There has not been any contraindication associated with the regular use of progesterone creams as most of them are formulated in concentrations suitable for use at any time of the day. In fact, it can be applied to the skin even in the absence of hot flashes to prevent any vasomotor symptoms. A growing of body of literature has noted its efficacy in managing hormone-related imbalances.
More importantly, progesterone creams have shown great promise in stabilizing hormone levels in the long run, making it an ideal remedy for women suffering from premenstrual syndrome. Also, it is very likely to help women who are surgically menopausal as they experience very intense episodes of hot flashes that last until the natural age of menopause.
Grab some progesterone today and feel the relief it can bring!
Triphala - Boost digestion, Improve Liver Function, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
May 27, 2011 11:42 AM
What is the Ayurvedic Herb Triphala and What Does it Do for the Body?
Triphala, or “three fruits”, is an herbal preparation that originated from India. As its name suggests, it is made up of fruits extracts from three different plant species, namely: amla, beliric, and haritaki. These plants are native to India, but enjoy a significant presence throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. Their historical uses are largely medicinal, with the exception of amla.
Allays Digestive Problems
The organic compounds that occur naturally in triphala have several properties that aid digestion and prevent gas. Triphala is often taken before meals as an appetizer because it increases digestive activities necessary for the perception of hunger. It is also widely used as a treatment for constipation for two reasons: it works as a mild laxative that induces the fast passage of foods and stimulates peristaltic movements in the colon.
Improves Liver Function
Triphala is especially good for the liver. For one, its addition to the diet speeds up the breakdown of bioactive compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Regular intake of triphala has been observed to improve several liver functions, most notably the conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, which is crucial for the processing of lipids in the diet. More importantly, it raises the capacity of the liver to deal with harmful metabolites of foreign materials, such as drugs.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine recommend larger consumptions of triphala to individuals suffering from glucose intolerance, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. The fruits that constitute triphala are known for their ability to interfere with the releases of simple sugars, such as glucose, into the systemic circulation. They work on the principle of sustaining a gradual but steady distribution of glucose to individual cells for several hours.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
It is common belief in parts of Asia that triphala is good for the circulatory system. Apart from its putative role in the regulation of blood sugar, it also impacts overall lipid levels in the blood. The phytochemical content of triphala enables it to have an effect on the productions of very-low-density lipoproteins, precursors of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. This results in fewer free fatty acids that often get trapped in arterial walls.
Promotes Healthy Metabolism
Athletes are likely to benefit from triphala, for it influences the conversion of bioactive compounds to energy for use by cells. Triphala appears to increase metabolic rate and facilitate better utilization of glucose and fats, the reason why it is now commercially touted as an herbal supplement that aids weight loss. Also, triphala has been observed to regulate water retention, which has been linked to obesity.
Protects Eye Tissue
Triphala contains a host of antioxidants that protect eye tissues. The eyes are susceptible to oxidative stress brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Oxidative stress interrupts functions of ocular cells and damages cellular organelles, leading to many known diseases of the eye. Triphala has been associated with the prevention and amelioration of conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, and myopia.
Triphala being a fiber has a wide range of health benefits, give triphala a try today and feel the difference!
How Does Nattokinase Help Improve Cardiovascular Health
April 29, 2011 04:01 PM
Nattokinase And Your Health
Nattokinase is an organic compound that occurs naturally in the Japanese food natto, or fermented soybeans. It is an enzyme that acts on fibrous proteins responsible for blood clothing, and as such has been commercially touted to work like thrombolytic medications to a certain degree. Its synthesis involves fermentation that results from adding the bacterium Bacillus subtilis to boiled soybeans.
Natto is a traditional dish in Japan. It has enjoyed long-standing popularity among the Japanese people since feudal times largely owing to its reinvigorating effects on the blood. In recent years, laboratory studies point to the presence of chemical compounds in fermented soybeans. The enzyme nattokinase appears to be the active ingredient, improving fibrinolytic activities in animal subjects.
Breaks Down Blood Proteins
Proteases are enzymes capable of reducing proteins into smaller peptide chains in the digestive system or anywhere in the body. A special kind of protease called plasmin is found in the blood. It is the primary enzyme that facilitates the catabolism of fibrin clot, or coagulated blood protein. Fibrinolysis is the process initiated by the enzyme plasmin to dissolve compacted red blood cells.
Thrombolytic drugs work on the principle of raising the levels of plasmin in the blood. Streptokinase is one of these drugs. It is commonly administered in the treatment of myocardial infarction, or heart attack to avoid complications. Natto has been compared to streptokinase, and oral intake of nattokinase has been observed to stimulate productions of plasmin.
Prevents Blood Coagulation
Nattokinase has been extensively studied in Japan, though well designed large-scale randomized clinical trials are still needed to establish its purported benefits to human health. There is buzz around nattokinase in the pharmaceutical industry especially as early studies suggested that it may ameliorate complications of cardiovascular diseases, notably in the removal of platelet-fibrin emboli.
There have been numerous citations on the blood-thinning capacity of nattokinase. This enzyme is also believed to have an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation. Thrombocytes, or platelets, are necessary for containing excessive bleeding. However, aggregation of platelets may result in thrombosis in patients with history of atherosclerosis and other disorders of the blood vessels. Nattokinase is a blood thinner that affects both platelets and fibrins.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
In addition to its thrombolytic and anticoagulant properties, nattokinase has been reported to promote normal flow of blood. Natto has been linked to the alleviation of high blood pressure and has seen desirable outcomes in hypertensive patients. Recent studies have shown that nattokinase is responsible for producing antihypertensive and vasodilator effects when natto enters the systemic circulation. It is postulated that nattokinase inhibits angiotensin-induced vasoconstriction.
The Japanese have always believed that natto is good for the blood. Nattokinase remains under scrutiny, but clinical trials are well underway. A growing body of literature devoted on promoting its alleged health benefits draws so much on decades-long anecdotal evidence.
If you want to improve cardiovascular health, give Nattokinase a try!
Can a Lactase Enzyme Help with Milk Digestion
April 27, 2011 03:49 PM
Lactase enzyme is the compound necessary for the breakdown of lactose. As such, deficiency in this enzyme results in the impaired capacity to metabolize milk and other dairy products. This is quite common in Asian and African countries, where the majority of their populations do not rely on milk-based animal products. Consumptions of lactase supplements have been reported to aid milk digestion.
Human beings are believed to have lost the ability to process lactose in adulthood a few thousand years ago. The primary source of lactose of early human populations was breast milk, which is only provided by mothers during the early stages of childhood in general. This practice has continued in Asian and African communities, the reason why these groups are predominantly lactose intolerant.
On the other hand, European communities have considered milk as an important source of food and nutrition since the introduction of the agricultural practices of raising livestock. It is now postulated that the early inhabitants of Europe who relied so much in dairy products underwent a genetic mutation that enables them to continue the biosynthesis of the enzyme lactase into adulthood.
Whereas much of the global population is lactose intolerant, people with European ancestry are capable of digesting milk well into their adult years. That being said, people who are not lactose intolerant are not necessarily well equipped for the digestion of dairy products. In fact, many adults suffer from lactose maldigestion, which causes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and indigestion as well as allergies and sinus problems such as infections.
Lactose maldigestion has a higher incidence worldwide than lactose intolerance. It is a fact that the genetic expression for the enzyme lactase as produced and released in the digestive tract is down-regulated the human body with age. This may not result in lactose intolerance, but depleting levels of lactase will no longer be able to effectively digest into old age food products that contain lactose.
The absence of the enzyme lactase may result in a variety of digestive problems when milk is taken together with other foods. In some people, even the smallest amounts of lactose upset digestion and produce common symptoms of lactose intolerance such as indigestion, diarrhea and sinus inflammation. If you want to avoid these problems but still love dairy products, you may want to choose hydrolyzed lactose.
Lactase supplements have been documented to produce desirable results. Most nutraceutical companies make use of eukaryotic microorganisms that possess the genes needed to synthesize this enzyme, such as Kluyveromyces fragilis, Kluyveromyces lactis, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus oryzae, among others. These supplements are formulated for individuals with lactose intolerance, but also benefit those who are suffering from symptoms tied to lactose maldigestion.
The enzyme lactase works on the principle of breaking down lactose into smaller compounds, galactose and glucose, and supplementation of lactase does exactly that.
Does Progesterone Cream Really Help with Hot Flashes?
April 19, 2011 02:53 PM
Progesterone cream is a derivative of steroids that occur naturally in plants. It is commercially touted to help a variety of vasomotor symptoms related to menopause, including hot flashes. Proponents of progesterone believe that the undesirable effects of menopause on the female body are triggered by an imbalance of female steroid hormones, with a noticeable dominance of estrogen.
Women experience the transitory years of menopause with symptoms that are largely variable. That being said, hot flashes are one of these symptoms that all menopausal women are likely to experience at least once. It is less prevalent in some, but a significant fraction complains about a varying degree of sensation of heat often accompanied by rapid heartbeat.
Hot flashes afflict women of all ages. It is not unheard of to have women in their 20’s complain about night sweats and related symptoms of changes in hormones. Sex hormones of the female body are lowest at night, the reason why a lot of younger women experience episodic flashes at night, but not during daytime. However, outbreaks of hot flashes may happen at the most random times, and to this day the causes are not well understood.
Progesterone may be best known for its biological roles during pregnancy as it is important to the development of the fetus. It belongs to a class of steroid hormones called progestogens, which are in fact biological precursors of other sex hormones, such as androgens and estrogens. In addition, it plays a central role in thermogenic function during ovulation and even found in mucus membranes within subcutaneous regions.
Dilation of Blood Vessels
Sex hormones of the female body, especially progestogens and estrogens, undergo a steep decline after the age of 40 especially in women into their menopausal years. Hot flashes in general are considered vasomotor symptoms in that they are visible effects of the sudden opening of blood vessels close to the skin. Sometimes, the same dilation of the blood vessels produce noticeable changes in heartbeat most women refer to as palpitations.
Effects of Progesterone Cream
There are drugs that cross the layers of the human skin and permeate the microcirculation of the dermis, reaching systemic distribution in the process. Progesterone cream is believed to work on the same principle. It is lipid-soluble, and as such capable of interacting with subcutaneous tissues that largely comprise lipids. Blood vessels in regions where hot flashes occur are believed to have dilated, making it ideal for topical applications to work.
All-natural Plant-based Steroids
Progesterone cream is obtained from fats and oils of plants. Most products derive it from a specific species of wild yam while others utilize soybeans. Noted for their estrogenic activities, these plant steroids are converted into progesterone in the laboratory. The product is thought to act exactly like the hormone produced and released by the human body. Anecdotal evidence is positive that progesterone cream normalizes progesterone levels in the skin, putting an end to hot flashes.
For those who suffer from hot flashes progesterone cream could be the answer.
What Makes Organic Raw Almonds so Good for My Health?
April 16, 2011 10:10 AM
Eat Organic Raw Almonds for Good Health.
Almonds are widely cultivated for its nuts, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Throughout history, almond nuts have enjoyed a significant presence in many cuisines from all over the world. In fact, they are one of the best known nuts, rivaled only by peanuts in popularity. In recent years, almond nuts have been tied to alkaline diet, which consists of healthy foods touted to be alkaline-forming.
Prunus dulcis, the scientific name of almonds, is believed to have been domesticated earlier than the ancient times, with earliest evidence dating back to more than 2000 years ago in what is now known as the Early Bronze Age. This species is one of the ancient fruit-bearing trees grown commercially that remains popular to this day largely owing to its capacity to easily grow and bear fruits without the aid of grafting.
Organic almonds are different from other almonds grown the conventional way in that, as the name suggests, they meet the standards for organic farming, a method of food production that does away with chemicals known for their potential threat to the human health. In addition to being the only nuts considered alkaline forming, it contains higher levels of bioactive compounds noted for their nutritional significance.
Decreases Acidic By-Products
Almond, the only alkalizing nut, works on the principle of rebalancing the body’s pH. Proponents of alkaline diet believe that foods that are identified to be alkaline-forming aid the body in maintaining homeostasis and restore pH imbalances in the human body. It follows that foods that are acid-forming gradually contribute to the formation of diseases. Organic almonds, guaranteed to contain none of the chemical compounds known to produce acidic by-products, help rebalance the overall pH of the body.
Enhances Mental Performance
Nuts have always been touted as foods for the brain. Organic almonds are different from other nuts because it is not even a nut in the first place. It is a drupe that contains a large seed, which is sold and consumed exactly like other nuts. These seeds contain an abundance of nutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and many others, all of which work hand in hand in increasing neuronal activities in the brain and the central nervous system, thereby enhancing mental performance.
Prevents Many Known Diseases
One cup of organic almonds is enough to meet the recommended daily intake for vitamin E and magnesium, two nutrients that have been the subject of extensive study in the past few years for their purported role in medicine. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is pervasive at the cellular level. Magnesium improves health by raising the production of energy needed for cellular functions.
Organic almonds have been linked to the treatment of many different diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and digestive problems. More importantly, they are one of the sources of food consistently recommended by experts on the alkaline diet.
Most importantly, raw almonds are full of nutrients and phytonutrients. Have you had your raw almonds today?
What Is Slippery Elm Bark and How Does It Help Improve Colon And Digestive Health
April 08, 2011 11:27 AM
Slippery Elm History.
Slippery elm bark is an herbal remedy derived entirely from a tree species of the same name. Its use in maintaining colon health has been associated with Native Americans, who continue to use the inner bark of the tree as a treatment for skin conditions, gum problems, and sore throats in addition to digestive problems. In recent years, there have been numerous citations of its ability to significantly alleviate illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract, and its use has even been suggested by medical professionals in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, and abdominal pains.
Ulmus rubra is a tree species native to North America, but its range and distribution is limited to Southern Quebec down to Northern Florida and west to eastern Texas. It prefers soils that are rich in moisture, with large populations present in uplands, but it also thrives well in dry regions. This deciduous tree is commonly known by the names Slippery elm, Red elm, Moose elm, and Indian elm. The name Red elm refers to its heartwood that is reddish-brown in color. The leaves and the inner bark are dried and powdered beforehand, and then made into a tea or packed as supplements.
Increases Mucus Secretions
Recent studies have observed that slippery elm bark stimulates the nerve endings of the intestinal walls. Excess acidity is thought to result from both the diet and the stomach’s secretions of hydrochloric acid. While peptic ulcers are often caused by invasive pathogens, cases in which the acidic environment in the stomach brings on lesions in the gastrointestinal tract are not uncommon. Slippery elm bark works on the principle of inducing the secretions of gastrointestinal mucosa, which rebalances the pH inside the digestive tract.
Slippery Elm Bark Properties
Exhibits Antioxidant Properties
Researchers ascribe the effects of slippery elm bark on inhibiting inflammation of the digestive tract to its antioxidant properties. Free radicals have been tied to many diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease is believed to be influenced by an imbalance between free radicals and the antioxidant defense of the body. Indeed free radicals can cause tissue damage as each cell’s ability to neutralize them is compromised. Unfortunately they are a natural by-product of oxygen metabolism and other chemical reactions, which means the only way to dispose of them is to strengthen cellular antioxidant defense.
Heals Lesions and Ulcerations
Native Americans have long used slippery elm bark as an ingredient in salves used for wounds and sores. It is widely accepted that medicinal products containing powdered slippery elm bark reduce inflammation and speed up the process of healing. For the same reasons, oral administrations appear to produce similar effects on ulcerations of the alimentary canal, allaying abdominal pains.
Slippery elm bark is a known cleanser for the gastrointestinal tract. People who felt benefited from it believe it eases stomach cramps and improve colon disturbances. While more studies are needed for its efficacy, slippery elm bark products are generally considered to be safe.
Slippery Elm bark is excellent therapy for the digestive tract. Don’t be with out it!
How Does Passion Flower Help Me Relax ?
April 07, 2011 01:39 PM
Passion flower refers to a group of flowering plants that belongs to the genus Passiflora, comprising of up to 500 species. The commonly known plant species of Passiflora are climbing vines with a woody stem system although there are a few herbaceous shrubs. They are found across the globe with the exception of arctic and sub-Saharan regions and easily recognizable by their unique flower structure which often contains prominent styles and stamens. Passiflora incarnata, or more commonly known as Maypop in the vernacular, has a long association with folk medicine of American Indians, who use various parts of the plant as a relaxant.
Different species of Passiflora are called different names, but the trivial name passion flower pertains to the corona that resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Moreover, the Christians have ascribed many symbolisms for the intricate parts of the flower. For example, the ovary is believed to represent the Holy Grail. Early European settlers in the Americas discovered the calming effects of teas made from Passiflora species through the Indians, and popularized its use against anxiety soon after in Europe.
Produces Tranquilizing Effects
Several studies have investigated the effects of passion flower on human health, with a few comparing it to the drug exazepam. Its mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but scientists are convinced that its sedative effects are very similar to the herbs Valeriana officinalis and Piper methysticum. More often than not, it is used in combination with these two herbs. As a mild relaxant with a slow onset of action, Passiflora incarnata, or Maypop, have been documented to benefit individuals suffering from irritability, insomnia, and agitation. In conjunction with a drug called clonidine, it also appears to relieve muscle tremors.
Increases Inhibitory Brain Chemicals
It has long been postulated that passion flower works on the principle of raising the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutryric acid, or GABA. Glutamic acid, the biological precursor of gamma-aminobutyric acid, has been linked to neuronal excitotoxicity that leads to many known diseases of the nervous system. By aiding the metabolic pathway responsible for converting glutamate into gamma-aminobutyric acid, passion flower not only increases the amounts of the chief inhibitory brain chemicals in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system, but also lowers the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters. This results in a drop in neuronal activities and a reduced risk of excitotoxicity, which translated into a more relaxed feeling.
Alleviates Physical Fatigue
Passion flower is known to counter the harmful effects of stress. In addition to alleviating psychiatric symptoms of anxiety, Passiflora incarnata has also been tied to the treatment of muscle weakness characteristic of fibromyalgia. It is one of the herbal nervines used in combination with other herbal adaptogens in combating physical fatigue due to long hours at work and the consequent sleep deprivation. Fortunately, passion flower is generally considered safe and nontoxic, with dosages equivalent to food proportions in general.
Passion flower can be taken with valerian and skull cap to help calm the mind and body when under intense stress. Give it a try and See for yourself!
Can Butterbur Help Me with Migraines
April 02, 2011 12:14 PM
Butterbur and Headaches
Butterbur has helped countless of migraine sufferers for more than three decades. In Europe, it is available as a prescription drug, which neurologists have prescribed since 1972. It has been the subject of numerous studies and reviews in a span of 40 years that have come to a conclusion that it does alleviate symptoms of migraine and reduce frequency of attacks. It is one of the herbal remedies clinically tested in migraine centers in the US. To date there has been no recorded adverse effects and harmful drug interactions, and as such available in the US over the counter, no prescription required. It has been compared to beta blockers and anticonvulsants and in general believed to be better than both of these more common treatments.
Petasites hybridus, the common butterbur, is the herb where butterbur extracts are obtained from although other species that belong to the genus Petasites are also known to produce the same health benefits. Petasites comprises up to 20 plant species widely distributed across the globe, a number of which have been tied to folk medicine throughout the ages. Petasites hybridus is native to North America and thrive well in marshes and wetlands, where there is a significant amount of moisture in the soil.
American Indians have long used its rhizomatous roots to fight off headaches and inflammation-induced diseases, such as asthma attacks and hay fever. Indeed the discovery of the organic compounds petasin, isopetasin, and oxopetasin explained its long-standing association with the treatment of migraines and allergies. Today most butterbur preparations do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which were identified to cause liver damage. That being said, it is still best to seek professional advice and ask assistance in choosing products from a reputable laboratory.
Interferes with Releases of Pain Chemicals
The phytochemicals unique to Butterbur have been well investigated, and results point to their effects on inhibiting the productions of local pain chemicals, which are pro-inflammatory in nature. Leukotrienes are lipid mediators that supervise the productions of other intermediaries of inflammation. Prostaglandins are responsible for vasodilation of blood vessels and their consequent sensitization to pain. Butterbur has been observed to influence these two pain chemicals.
Plays the Role of a Natural Beta Blocker
Beta-adrenergic antagonists, or simply beta blockers, are a class of drugs that target endogenous catecholamines implicated in migraine attacks. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are catecholamines that act on beta-andrenergic receptors, leading to a reduced blood flow in the brain. This results in the spasmodic contractions of cerebral blood vessels characteristic of migraines. Butterbur works on the principle of blocking the effects of catecholamines and inducing normal blood flow to the brain.
Produces No Known Serious Side Effects
Most analgesics and beta blockers have been associated with several adverse effects, which more often than not include nausea, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Many have been reported to cause weight gain. None of these have been linked to regular use of butterbur, one of the reasons why it has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.
If you suffer from Migraine headaches, give butterbur a try!
Is Pycnogenol a Good Antioxidant?
April 01, 2011 03:10 PM
Pycnogenol And Your Health
Pycnogenol is the latest innovation in the antioxidant supplement industry. It makes use of oligomeric proanthocyanidins, select bioflavonoids, and organic acids that have been well investigated in a span of more than 30 years. As a trademarked product, it has been cited in more than 230 published works and systematic reviews that came into the conclusion that it is safe and effective. In fact, it is now an ingredient in over 300 health products.
Pinus pinaster is an indigenous plant species of western Mediterranean from which the patented pycnogenol is extracted from. It is most populous in southwestern France, but it can also be found in large numbers in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Unlike new ingredients in some dietary supplements, pycnogenol is all-natural and completely derived from the Maritime Pine, which may well be known in the now-obsolete scientific name Pinus maritima.
Neutralizes Reactive Oxygen Species Fast
Antioxidants work on the principle of replenishing the antioxidant reserves of each cell especially at times when our body is most susceptible to physical fatigue. Radical chemistry has taught us that reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism. There is nothing we can do to inhibit their releases, but our body does have a mechanism to neutralize them. Free radicals are one of the best known ROS and they are particularly reactive, causing a damaging chain reaction called oxidative stress.
What makes pycnogenol different from other antioxidant supplements? It is the fastest-acting antioxidant out there with an absorption rate of only 20 minutes. In contrast with other known antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, pycnogenol is believed to readily cross the blood-brain barrier, expanding its uses in the central nervous system. This is the reason why it has been suggested to be of value in treatment of known disorders of the nervous system. More importantly, it works up to a record-high 72 hours before it gets excreted by the body.
Fight Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease With Pycnogenol
Displays Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activities
There have been numerous citations that pycnogenol is an effective inhibitor of inflammation intermediaries. It is postulated that it influences the productions and releases of eicosanoids that govern inflammatory responses. It has associated with the treatment of osteoarthritis, and preliminary results are encouraging. Also, it is believed that pycnogenol interferes with the effects of histamine via its receptors, and acts on mast cells responsible for mediator release. This is the reason why it is widely accepted as a viable treatment option for asthma, multiple sclerosis, allergic rhinitis, acute dermatitis, atopic eczema, and other skin conditions.
Contributes to Overall Circulatory Health
Pycnogenol is one of the antioxidants under scrutiny for its medicinal potential in the prevention of major diseases that afflict the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. For one, it has been observed to significantly lower systolic blood pressure, making it an effective therapy for hypertension. It has shown to alleviate chronic venous insufficiency and remove varicose veins. Moreover, regular supplementation of pycnogenol appears to improve performance in endurance athletes.
Pycnogenol is an excellent herb to add to anybodies diet. Give Pycnogenol a try today!
Can Herbs and Prunes Help with Constipation
March 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Herbs and Prunes as a natural laxative
Herbs and Prunes must be the best digestive formula out there. It contains a select combination of herbs whose laxative properties are tried and tested for decades, namely: senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb root, Chinese asparagus, beet leaf, buckthorn bark, cabbage leaf, cascara sagrada bark, celery leaf, cranberry fruit, Culver’s root, parsley leaf, spinach leaf, and prune fruit. In addition to their long-standing association with alternative medicine, medical research has pointed to their active ingredients that are purgative in nature. These herbs not only relieve digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion but also cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, effectively disposing of toxins.
Induces Bowel Movement
There are several factors that may give rise to constipation, but in most cases it results from withholding bowel movement far longer than what is considered normal. In general, a healthy individual is expected to discharge fecal matter from the bowels at least once a day although it may vary from person to person. The rectum sends messages to the brain every time the final phase of digestion is about to take place, and not responding to these messages leads to reversing the direction of the feces, which are temporarily stored in the colon. However, the colon is not able to reduce the pressure the feces produce for long periods of time, leading to constipation. The unique formulation of Herbs and Prunes relaxes the intestinal walls and softens the stools, making it much easier to evacuate the bowels.
Alleviates Abdominal Pains
The phytochemicals that are considered the active ingredients of Herbs and Prunes include anthraquinones, such as senna glycosides, sorbitol, and isatin, such as dihydrophenylisatin, among others. These organic compounds are reputed for their laxative properties that soothe the muscles tissues within the intestinal walls and influence the releases of chemicals that sensitive the digestive tract to pain. Irregular bowel movement causes what we refer to as stomach pains, and more often than not the foods that we eat influences regularity. A balanced diet is named so because it promotes digestion as well as gives us the nutrients our body needs in right amounts. Herbs and Prunes works on the principle of supplying our body with all-natural, plant-based dietary fiber and phytochemicals that restores normal digestion.
Detoxifies the Digestive Tract
Herbs and Prunes comprises a significant fraction of both soluble and insoluble fiber that are guaranteed to wash away toxins when ingested with ample amounts of liquids. As diet significantly influences human health, it is not surprising that the digestive system may be rendered susceptible to unhealthy foods. The alimentary canal is our first line of defense against toxins that the foods we eat produce. Plant-based foods that contain fiber remove by-products of digestion that otherwise accumulate in the bowels. In conjunction with phytochemicals, fiber is known to reach parts of the alimentary canal that play host to harmful microorganisms, the reason why plant-derived medications are often the cure to many diseases of the digestive system.
Herbs and Prunes
It is always recommended to keep a herbs and prunes formula on hand when irregularity hits. Grab yourself a bottle today!
Bad Cholesterol, High Blood Sugar ? - Try Prickly Pear!
March 29, 2011 04:27 PM
Prickly Pear Cactus And Your Health
Prickly pear refers to a large genus of cactuses known for their culinary and medicinal uses. It is also known as nopal, a popular vegetable from the young pad segments with the spines removed that originated from Central America. Nopales are sold fresh in Mexico and neighboring countries and largely derived from the species Opuntia ficus-indica. This edible cactus is rich in fiber and flavonoids, making it not only a healthy source of but also a potent medicinal herb. In recent years it has enjoyed a much-publicized association with the therapeutic treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Also, its age-old preparations for indigestion and other digestive problems remain in wide use.
Cleanses the Digestive Tract
Prickly pear has long been used as a digestive and an herbal remedy for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract. In certain regions of Central America, eating nopales is considered the most viable treatment for indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation simple because it works, not to mention nopales are delicious. Of course it is now common knowledge that its high fiber content is the reason why it aids digestion and allays digestive problems. Furthermore, the phytochemical it contains serves as natural cleansers of the entire alimentary canal.
Lowers Blood Lipid Levels
Bad cholesterol is notoriously named so because of the fact that they are a reliable indicator of cardiovascular diseases, notably atherosclerosis. Recent studies have linked prickly pear, especially Opuntia ficus-indica, to better management of high cholesterol. The exact mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but it is postulated that it interferes with the conversion of very-low-density lipoproteins into low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, in the liver. It is also suggested that prickly pear may promote the releases of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol.
Enhances Insulin Sensitivity
Among all the health benefits of prickly pear, its effect on diabetes may well be the best studied. Type 2 diabetes results from a metabolic disorder that impairs the capacity of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. Cells that have become resistance to the physiological effects of insulin significantly contribute to escalating levels of sugar in the blood, which often leads to diabetes. Prickly pear works on the principle of reversing this metabolic disorder by promoting the uptake of glucose.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals are by-products of oxygen metabolism that damage cells and tissues, the reason why cells have endogenous antioxidants to fight them off. When there is an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and free radicals, the body needs help in the form of exogenous antioxidant in our diet to contain the damage free radicals cause.
There have been numerous reports about the antioxidant properties of the herb prickly pear. In fact, Opuntia species contain a diverse variety of polyphenols that are not present in a single plant species. Nopales are particularly rich in betalains and flavonoids, both of which are organic compounds naturally occurring in nature that have been well investigated due to their active antioxidant properties inside the human body.
Does Aloe Vera Juice Help with Digestive Problems?
March 28, 2011 02:01 PM
Aloe vera and your Colon
Aloe vera juice is one of the oldest herbal remedy for digestive problems that up to now remains in common use. It is extracted from the succulent plant aloe vera, which is known for its medicinal properties all over the world. Cultivation of this medicinal aloe predates written history, and its place of origin has eluded scholars for centuries. The fact that it is widely distributed across the globe today makes it a ready source of medicine in treatment of common digestive ailments. Also, large-scale production has contributed to its growing popularity worldwide.
You may have heard of aloe vera juice as a health tonic. Folk medicine practices in just every continent highly value this medicinal aloe for its cleansing properties, but the first recorded use for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract is in an Egyptian medical papyrus. In Greek and Roman antiquity aloe vera extracts in the form of juice were prescribed by physicians who practiced humorism to patients afflicted with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach cramps. Both De Materia Medica by Greek botanist and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides and Naturalis Historia by the Roman natural philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus made mentions of its medicinal powers known to cleanse not only the alimentary canal but also the blood.
Heals Ulcerations of the Gastrointestinal Tract
It is common knowledge that aloe vera promotes the healing of wounds and other skin lesions. Aloe vera juice works on the same principle when ingested. This medicinal plant contains phytochemicals that increases the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a growing body of literature devoted to the effects of this medicinal aloe on inflammatory intermediaries present in the processes that are implicated in lesion of body surfaces, including the inner walls of the alimentary canal.
Inhibits Growth of Harmful Strains of Bacteria
Aloe vera juice has long been postulated to have antibacterial properties, and scientific evidence in support of this claim has surfaced in the past few years. One of the reasons why aloe vera speeds up the recovery of wounds is the fact that it is both bacteriostatic and bactericidal in nature, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria and actively eliminates them at the same time. In addition, aloe vera contains polysaccharides that benefit probiotics, or friendly bacteria. By raising the number of helpful strains of bacteria such as lactobacillus, populations of harmful bacteria are curbed.
Induces Peristaltic Movement of the Intestines
There is strong scientific evidence that aloe vera juice is particularly beneficial for individuals afflicted with constipation. For one, anthroquinone glycosides found in aloe vera have been noted to accelerate defecation by adding bulk to the impacted feces and attracting water to soften the stool. Furthermore, aloe vera stimulates the muscle cells within the intestinal walls, which consequently produce contractions. The resulting peristaltic movement moves the ball of food, leading to the evacuation of the bowels.
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy to take daily to maintain good intestinal health as well as skin health. Take your aloe daily!
Improve Your Memory Naturall, How Does Huperzine A Help Improve Memory?
March 26, 2011 10:47 AM
Huperzine A and The Brain
Huperzine A is an organic compound naturally occurring in a plant species believed to be one of the oldest vascular plants still in existence. It is derived entirely from the firmoss Huperzia serrata, which is reputed for its memory-enhancing effects in China for the most part of its history. It has gained the attention of researchers and health professionals in the West owing to its purported role as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which delays cognitive decline and brain shrinkage tied to Alzheimer’s disease. It has become popular to people seeking other forms of cholinesterase inhibitors apart from those commonly available in the market, and anecdotal evidence points to its noticeable effects on symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Increases Quantities of Neurotransmitters
Cholinergic neurotransmission makes use of a system of nerve cells that participate in anti-excitatory activities in the central nervous system. These neurons rely on an endogenous compound called acetylcholine, which acts as the primary neurotransmitter in the brain, the brain stem, and the spinal cord. Acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter is synthesized from esterified acetic acid and choline, but its lifespan is cut short by the enzyme cholinesterase.
This enzyme induces the hydrolysis of this neurotransmitter back into choline and acetic acid. Huperzine A works on the principle of inhibiting the enzyme cholinesterase, resulting in a longer acetylcholine lifespan especially those in the brain. By doing so, it also raises the levels of other neurotransmitters that are in the employ of nerve cells.
Affects Chemical Compounds in the Brain
Nerve cells constantly respond to many chemical brains that may induce more neuronal activities that affect cognitive function. The busier nerve cells become, the sooner the brain is able to sustain concentration. An increase in neurotransmitters has been tied to greater neuronal activities. Also, there are exogenous chemical compounds that when ingested pass the blood-brain barrier and act as stimulants to nerve cells, such as caffeine.
It has been postulated that Huperzine A provides a nootropic effects by influencing endogenous brain chemicals and consequently stimulating neuronal activities in a similar way caffeine does. However, unlike caffeine, it is not considered a psychoactive drug. More importantly, a more recent study points to its effects on nerve growth factor, or NGF, a protein responsible for the growth and upkeep of nerve cells. This means Huperzine A not only influences brain chemicals, but also makes sure that nerve cells survive.
Creates Positive Effects on Neuroplasticity
In contrary to former claims that the brain does not change after early developments during infancy, recent studies point to changes in both chemical makeup and cellular structure as we age. These changes are a response to both physiological stimulus and learning experience. New nerve cells are created as we spend more time sharpening our mental skills, much like how the muscles respond to continuous exercise and body toning. This process of change in the brain is called neuroplasticity, which Huperzine A supports by acting as a vitamin-like nutrient to nerve cells and neurotransmitters.
If you want to improve brain function and memory, give Huperzine A a try today!
What are Homeopathic Remedies and How do They Work?
March 25, 2011 11:28 AM
Homeopathic remedies have been in use for over a century in treatment of diseases. Homeopathy is considered a forerunner of modern medicine, but today largely classified as a form of alternative medicine. Medications prepared by practitioners of homeopathy are still widely available. Moreover, there has been a resurgence of interest in homeopathy in the past few decades. Germany in particular grants the title Physician of Homeopathy after a training program of three years while other countries require professional training in more accepted conventional medicine.
Potentization and Succussion
Repertories are the primary source of information for practitioners of homeopathy. These reference books point to a process called potentization, which works on the principle of systematic dilution of substances in a solution. Homeopathic remedies administered today use distilled water or alcohol as major solvents, with proponents of this alternative medicine believing that water has the capability of retaining properties of substances even when the molecules of the substance are no longer present in the solution.
However, this effect is only achieved through succussion, the proper shaking of solution, which must be applied between each process of dilution. On the other hand, desirable dilutions of insoluble solids are possible to achieve by first reducing the size of the substance with the use of a mortar and a pestle. Potentization and succussion produce homeopathic remedies that are believed to display their well-documented potent pharmacological effects.
Law of Similars
Modern scholars consider Samuel Hahnemann to have single-handedly invented the alternative medicine practice of homeopathy. In fact, he coined the term homeopathy and outlined procedures known as homeopathic provings. He was a German physician who studied in several German universities and practiced conventional medicine before he developed the law of similars in response to medical practices of the time that are harmful in general, such as bloodletting. He gave up his medical practice amid the conviction that information on medicine was very limited and often conflicting.
All the homeopathic provings that followed the rise of homeopathy depends on the most important principle he called law of similars, which is believed to govern diseases and their treatment. Substances that produce symptoms similar to a known disease when taken by an individual in large amounts ought to bring about curative effects when taken in small amounts by an individual afflicted with the disease. Homeopathic repertories document the effects of a host of substances and their identified sources in a process called homeopathic proving in an effort to support the laws of similar.
Modern Homeopathic Remedies
The continued support for homeopathy comes from people who are seeking alternative forms of healing. Also, homeopathic remedies that follow standard preparation procedures of potentization and succussion have never been associated with any known adverse effects. While present-day doctors and medical professionals are particularly critical of homeopathic remedies, which they generally consider as placebo, they also believe that homeopathic remedies are the safest among all forms of alternative medicine.
Is AHCC Good for the Immune System? How So?
March 02, 2011 02:44 PM
AHCC And Immune Health
Active Hexose Correlated Compound, or AHCC, is one of the most commonly used food supplements in Japan largely owing to its effective immune-boosting properties when successfully absorbed by the human body. The earliest important study concerning its activities in the immune system was published in the early 1990’s at Tokyo University, triggering a sudden rise in popularity among consumers in Japan, where it is sold over the counter.
Activates White Blood Cells
It has been observed in the past few years that AHCC boosts the immune system in many different ways in that it participates not only in the innate immune system but also in the adaptive immune system. Of special note is the significant increase in certain types of white blood cells, including natural killer cells, or NK, and macrophages. NK cells are in the employ of the innate immune system and responsible for the disposal of cells infected by viruses. They are often the first line of defense against common viruses such as herpes, containing the damage that viral infection spreads while waiting for specified mechanisms of the adaptive immune system. This is when macrophages come into play along with a cohort of lymphocytes. Their relatively bigger size allows them to effectively engulf pathogenic cells and the enzymes they contain break these pathogens down.
Removes Antigens and Toxins
AHCC also influences the production of antigen presenting cells, or APC. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study involving healthy individuals there was a significant increase in the quantities of APC, notably dendritic cells, in comparison with the baseline, and proteins released by lymphocytes called interferon. Both APC and interferon facilitate the detection of antigens and toxins created by invasive foreign bodies and alert the rest of the immune system of their presence. Dendritic cells are considered the most important group of all APCs in that they present a wide range of antigen presentation by way of phagocytosis or endocytosis, two different ways of catching antigens. By so doing, they make it easier for white blood cells to eliminate antigens and other toxic substances.
Defends against Cancer Cells
Cancer patients are the group of individuals that have benefited the most from AHCC. Early studies yielded data that are now being used to enhance the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer. Indeed boosting the immune system has proven to play a part in the battle against cancer, and AHCC stimulates the immune system to manufacture a class of white blood cells that actively defend the body against cancer cells by causing tumor cells to die and on the same principle delay the proliferation of malignant cells.
There have been extensive clinical trials well underway in many countries, including China, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, and the US. These studies aim to that rigorously test its efficacy. In fact, AHCC belongs to the group of nutritional products tied to alternative medicine that has been supported by an abundance of data in connection with its safety and recommended dosages.
If you are battling disease, give AHCC a try.
Can Astragalus Help Boost the Immune System?
February 24, 2011 01:31 PM
What we refer to as the herbal astragalus is actually a large number of plant species in the family Fabaceae, the same group of shrubs that we commonly identify as peas, beans, or legumes. Many of these species have been utilized in folk medicine of different communities all over the world, but the majority of herbal extracts made available as nutritional supplements today come from Astragalus propinquus, or Astragalus membranaceus.
Astragalus may be best known for its touted modulating effects to the immune system largely owing to the fact that it has enjoyed a very long history as a health tonic both in the East and the West. It is an important ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, valued for its reinvigorating effects to what they call defensive energy of life. It is known by the name of Huang Qi in China, where most of the recent studies on this herb take place.
Regulates Interferon Releases
There are a number of studies that link astragalus to HIV in that it is purported to combat replication of viruses and inhibit growth of pathogenic microbes. To be more specific, it is believed to have an influence on the production of proteins called interferon, or IFNs. A type of white blood cell in the employ of the immune system called lymphocytes release interferon whenever the body detects the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites, or even tumors. In addition, IFNs activate natural killer cells, which target cells infected with viruses and tissues afflicted with tumor, and program them to die.
Stimulates the Healing Process
It is also postulated that astragalus has an augmenting effect on the healing process by interfering with inflammatory agents. There are organic compounds called eicosanoids that are released by the body in larger amounts to facilitate healing of wounds or infections through the process of inflammation. These compounds work hand in hand with the immune system in removing the pathogens that cause infections and initiate the reversal of damages done by these pathogens. If inflammation takes place longer than it is supposed to, the area affected will have to deal with prolonged pain, redness, and swelling. Astragalus works on the principle of maintaining healthy releases of eicosanoids, the reason why it is used as a treatment for arthritis, dermatitis, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases.
Produces Homeostatic Effects
Astragalus has shown to be involved in many metabolic processes, maintaining stability of organic compounds from the foods we eat that reach the circulation. There have been mentions that it is particularly good for the lungs, adrenal glands, and alimentary canal by improving their functions and acting as a buffer to any unwanted debris that may attack the cells that make up these organs.
Be reminded that astragalus has been associated with a long list of health benefits, but none of these have yielded strong scientific support. It is safe to assume that testimonials are influenced by anecdotal evidence and initial results of studies that are yet to be concluded.
Have you tried Astragalus?
Curcumin and Pain
December 02, 2010 12:33 PM
Make no mistake about it: curcumin has long been identified as the compound responsible for the anti-inflammatory benefits of the ginger plant turmeric. The herb turmeric has been around for ages, cultivated for its wide array of culinary and medicinal uses that transcend regional and cultural boundaries. Apart from the popular use of its powdery form in bread, cakes, ale, and beer as a flavoring, the plant contains up to 5 per cent curcumin, which is one type of polyphenols now being looked into for its antioxidant properties.
Prostaglandin and Inflammation Pain
Autocrines and paracrines are contained in almost all tissues and organs to effectively participate in bodily defenses every time the systems call for them, for example in treating wounds. Prostaglandins are either autrocrines or paracrines that take on the job of signaling the tissues and systems implicated in defensive reactions when the body detects unwanted and harmful stimuli. Cells release autocrines to have an effect on the same cells and paracrines to aid nearby cells, making these compounds function as effective chemical messengers in immediate vicinities anywhere in the body as they are short-lived.
Prostaglandin is known as the chemical messenger causing pain and igniting fever among others. Defensive mechanisms start when cells release mediators, including prostaglandin, which brings about the known signs of inflammation. Prostaglandins relax smooth muscle cells within the walls of blood vessels in the area of inflammation and promote the flow of needed fluids like blood and plasma proteins into the spot, leading to the subsequent redness and swelling. They continue to mediate the healing process by permitting the entrance of neutrophil granulocytes, the front-line soldiers against harmful stimuli, and consequently put an end to invading pathogens. The same group of chemicals also increases pain at the same time, for example the joint pains associated with inflammation called arthritis.
Curcumin and Anti-inflammation
Painkillers, classified as analgesic drugs, work in a number of ways that in the end relieve the continual sensitization of certain body parts to pain. One group called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen targets the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of prostaglandins aim to reduce levels of prostaglandins.
Curcumin works on the same principle. Take for example, joint pains caused by arthritis. Be reminded that individuals who complain about joint pains are suffering from varied forms of medical conditions, which one way or another contribute to the pain in addition to having excessive levels of prostaglandins in the joints involved. Damage to the joint brought about by wear and tear or forced movement involving joints spurs the body to take defensive measures that include inflammatory effects, thus the pain. The intake of curcumin and its derivatives act on the cells in its production of prostaglandins, resulting in both the easing of pain and the lessening of inflammation.
Free Radicals and how to Combat Them!
November 30, 2010 02:41 PM
Vitamin C and E
Chances are you have heard about antioxidants. They’re everywhere: in the news, on the internet, and, of course, in our body. The first group of antioxidants that spurred the war against free radicals are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. As early as the 15th century, seafarers knowingly consumed citrus fruits in treatment of scurvy, which today we refer to as a disease caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. On the other hand, intake of green leafy vegetables results in healthy cells in the body, touted lately as one of the benefits of Vitamin E. Since the latter half of the 20th century the term antioxidants have come into wide use, sparking a series of studies that led scientists and health professionals to a much more well-informed understanding of how important these vitamins are to human life.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Two things about biochemistry that have been a part of our growing concern about eating right are antioxidants and free radicals, which you might have learned outside the classroom. The human body deploy free radicals for the purpose of killing harmful microorganisms, but somehow these chemical entities get out of control. It should be noted that most known free radicals are short-lived, explaining how we survive as they are toxic to the body. When not properly disposed of, free radicals are one of the reactive oxygen species that create a chain reaction damaging everything, including DNA. The problem arises when the body fails to detoxify these reactive oxygen species, and then the latter run amok inside the body. This is when antioxidants come into the picture.
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Peroxyl Radicals
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are lipids that protect the interior of cells from the outside environment and play a role in storing energy for use by the human body. Different groups of lipids encompass several major chemical reactions in the body, including securing the proper functions of physiological communication lines. In a process called lipid peroxidation, peroxyl radicals go on a killing spree by depriving the lipids of electrons, which continues as they bring in more radicals. The human body make use of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to police the proliferation of lipid radicals in time to deactivate lipid radicals and avoid unwanted effects on cell membranes.
Ascorbate and Tocopherol as Co-Antioxidants
In chemical reactions, the body utilizes forms of tocopherol in Vitamin E and ascorbate ions in Vitamin C. These antioxidants work on the principle of pairing with peroxyl radicals, taking on radical forms, ascorbate and tocopherol, to stop the oxidation process initiated by free radicals. At the molecular level, ascorbate makes an ideal antioxidant as it does not react with oxygen and terminates harmful peroxyl radicals that continue to oxidize. Studies say that Vitamin C and Vitamin E are co-antioxidants in that ascorbate works with tocopherol. For example, when continuing oxidation damage lipids, tocopherol, Vitamin E, removes the harmful radicals, and ascorbate recycles Vitamin E back to its usable tocopherol form.
The Perfect Match
Alpha Lipoic Acid recycles both Vitamin C and Vitamin E because alpha lipoic acid is both water and fat soluble.
Lomatium by Planetary Herbals
June 03, 2010 12:16 PM
Planetary Herbals is pleased to introduce full spectrum lomatium, a botanical used traditionally by Native Americans for centuries to support immune and respiratory health.
The resinous roots of lomatium dissectum were extensively used by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Nevada were the plant grows. Lomatium, a perennial plant that sprouts and flowers in early spring, was often called “biscuit root” since the pulp was pounded into cakes, or “Indian carrot” due to its resemblance and kinship with carrots.
Support for the Respiratory and Immune Systems
Native Americans gather the lomatium dissectum plant in late fall, and use it to enhance respiratory health. Modern research indicates that certain compounds in lomatium may stimulate white blood cell activity (Phagocytosis). Phagocytosis is a process that is part of the body’s first line of immune defense.
Two Beneficial Liquids
Planetary Herbals full spectrum Lomatium is available in 1:3 root extract, prepared with grain alcohol (70%) and purified water. Also, alcohol free full spectrum Lomatium Glycerite. Both products can be taken in water, or made into a tea and sipped. This ancient and renowned herb can enhance our health year round.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Planetary herbals Full Spectrum Lomatium was developed with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.
These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.
A Powerful Herbal Blend
Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.
This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.
Immune Activating Mushroom
Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.
Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern latitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”
In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Take Control Of your Inflammation With Supplements
May 27, 2010 12:40 PM
Chronic inflammation is often induced by uncontrolled oxidative stress (free radical damage). It is the principle mechanism by which degenerative disease takes hold. By reducing oxidative stress and changing the balance within the body to favor the production of anti-inflammatory chemical messengers, one can lower their levels of inflammation. This can be achieved through conscious changes to diet and lifestyle, which includes appropriate supplementation.
By consuming foods that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, EPA, and DHA, derived from fish oil or flax seeds, one can greatly influence and reduce inflammation. When the body has appropriate balances of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats, the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins is favored and inflammation is kept in check. Increasing the consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3s or supplementing with a high quality fish oil suppresses the formation of harmful prostaglandins and also promotes the synthesis of beneficial prostaglandins. Since the average North American diet contains 10 to 20 times the amount of omega-6 oils that we need, the most sensibly dietary approach is to reduce sources of omega-6 oils and supplement with a high dose of omega-3 oils in order to achieve the optimal 4:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.
Supplementing with flaxseed oil is another effective way to optimize your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Anti-inflammatory EPA can be manufactured in the body by converting the alpha-linolenic acid that is often found in flaxseed oil. Supplementing with this oil, along with restricting omega-6 fatty acid intake, raises tissue EPA levels to those comparable to fish oil supplementation. It should even be noted that flaxseed oil contains more than twice the omega-3 fats as fish oil. Additionally, alpha-linolenic acid can be found in a variety of other plant source including pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and other nuts. However, flaxseed is by far the richest source of omega-3 oil, carrying 58% by weight.
Another nutrient that plays a crucial role in inflammation is gamma tocopherol. This nutrient acts through a mechanism that is unavailable to alpha tocopherol by reacting with RNO radicals to subdue inflammation. Gamma tocopherol also has the ability to reduce inflammation by inhibiting COX-2 , which is an enzyme that has a central role in the inflammatory process as it controls the synthesis of the inflammatory prostaglandin. The consuption of gamma tocopherol has been found to reduce several other inflammatory protagonists at the site of inflammation. Strong evidence has found that this form of vitamin E exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties that are extremely important for human disease prevention and therapy.
Similar to essential fatty acids is resveratrol and green tea polyphenols each of which have the ability to inhibit the activation of NFkB and control a wide variety of inflammatory pathways. Green tea polyphenols are also believed to be neuroprotective, as they invoke a spectrum of cellular mechanisms such as the chelation of metals, scavenging of free radicals, and modulation of mitochondrial function in nerve tissues. Green tea polyphenols are now considered to be therapeutic agents that can alter brain processes and serve as neuroprotective agents in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There are a wide variety of nutrients that are involved in fighting systemic inflammation. These nutrients and nutrient categories include EPA and DHA, linolenic acid, gamma tocopherol, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C, flavonoids, procyanidolic oligomers, and the phenolic compounds found in green tea, turmeric, and olive extracts. When changing your diet from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and adds more fruits and vegetables to their diet along with antioxidant vitamin supplements, one can successfully reduce inflammation naturally and live a healthier happier life.
Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination
March 22, 2010 09:07 PM
Turmeric / Boswellia Complex
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as great challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient-imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health. These unhealthy lifestyles and environmental changes have set our immune system on overdrive, a state call metabolic inflammation. Planetary Herbals Inflama-Care is a potent, herbal response to these modern challenges.
The Inflammation Cycle
As toxins and stress begin to alter our body chemistry and change the function of vital tissues, our body reacts with metabolic inflammation just as if it were being attacked. This reaction may result in a perpetual cycle of chemical imbalances and suboptimal health. Yet metabolic inflammation is often below the threshold of perception, not noticed or felt for years after its starts. It is only much later that the altered biochemistry and the system imbalances that it generates are noticed.
A Powerful Herbal Blend Inflama-Care helps support the body’s natural response to metabolic inflammation. The main component of the formula is the rhizome of the curcuma species, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (Curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines—inflammation messengers. This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits proinflammatory enzymes, and ginger, an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skull cap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Planetary Herbals presents inflama-Care to help maintain the body’s biochemical balance and integrity. Inflama-care was formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. Thie result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
December 19, 2009 11:11 AM
Glucomannan is derived from the extracted mucilage of the konjac root. This plant is part of the same family as yams, but does not have the calories. Glucomannan is a 100 percent natural form of fiber. The principle use of this herb is as a bulking agent to promote the feeling of fullness.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble polysaccharide. This nutrient is considered to be a dietary fiber. Often, glucomannan is a food additive that is used as both an emulsifier and thickener. Products that contain glucomannan are marketed under a variety of brand names, but are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris, and type II diabetes. Glucomannan can be found making up about forty percent by dry weight of the roots of the konjac plant. This nutrient is also a hemicellulose, which can be found in large amounts in wood of conifer plants and in smaller amounts in the wood of dicotyledons.
Glucomannan helps to reduce cholesterol, maintain regularity, and promote intestinal health. The herb also aids in normalizing blood sugar levels, relieving stress on the pancreas, and discouraging blood sugar abnormalities such as hypoglycemia. Glucomannan also absorbs toxic substances that are produced during digestion and elimination. The herb binds toxic materials and eliminates them before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Research has determined that glucomannan and lecithin together reduce cholesterol levels. Lecithin is responsible for breaking down fat and cholesterol, and glucomannan eliminates those broken-down particles from the body. This herb expands to about fifty times its original volume when it is taken with a glass of water.
Diabetic patients have reported that they experienced benefits with glucomannan. One study, in which patients were given glucomannan daily for ninety days, found the mean fasting glucose levels to have fallen by 29 percent by the end of the ninety days. At the end of the period, the mean fasting glucose levels fell by 29 percent. Most participants in this study reduced their insulin requirements. Glucomannan may also help cholesterol levels. Animal studies have determined that there is a significant reduction in cholesterol levels when given this herb.
Before supplementing with glucomannan, it is important to speak with your health care provider. In the same sense, you should be sure to tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices that you use. It is important to give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This ensures both coordinated and safe health care.
The root of the glucomannan plant is used to provide anorectic, antacid, cholagogue, digestive, nutritive, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2, and zinc. Primarily, glucomannan is extremely helpful in treating blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol, constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and obesity. Additionally, the herb is very beneficial in dealing with atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastric problems, hypoglycemia, and pancreatic problems.
Gentain Herb Can Sooth The Digestive Tract
December 17, 2009 04:23 PM
The gentian plant is an herbaceous perennial with fleshy root and fat hollow stems. The leaves of the plant are ovate and pleated, while the flowers are yellow. The root of the plant often smells aromatic and tastes sweet at first and then bitter.
Gentian was used as a stomach tonic and aid in digestion in Ancient Rome. This herb is native to Europe and western Asia. Generally, gentian was consumed as a tea or alcoholic beverage. Gentian was an official drug in the Untied States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1955 and was used as a gastric stimulant. At one point in time, this herb was used and acclaimed by medical science as being very beneficial for mankind.
Gentian was used to reduce fevers by cooling the system. It contains a bitter principle, which is known as amarogentin, which stimulates the glands, and includes the adrenals and thyroid. This herb helps in the production of bile, which can have a positive effect on the liver and gallbladder. Gentian is also used to clean the bowels, stimulate the pancreas, stimulate circulation, aid in the digestive process, and help with female problems. This herb has historically been used to treat wounds and been taken internally for inflammation from arthritis, jaundice, and a sore throat. Gentian is considered to be a great herb for strengthening the entire body and for use as tonic when it is combined with other herbs.
German scientists have performed studies which confirm that this herb is useful as a digestive aid. Herbal bitters, including gentian, are recommended for the treatment of indigestion. The bitter taste receptors located in the tongue are known for their ability to stimulate the digestive processes by increasing the flow of gastric juices and bile. The alkaloid found in gentian, gentianine, has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory activity in animal studies.
Internally, gentian is used as a liver tonic, to treat loss of appetite, digestive problems, flatulence, and insufficient production of gastric juices and saliva. This herb is responsible for stimulating the taste buds and promoting the flow of saliva, gastric juices, and bile. Because of this, gentian can be used in cases of anorexia, and in homeopathic medicine as well. There are no external uses or aromatherapy and essential oil uses for gentian. It should be noted that gentian should not be used by those with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
The root of the gentian plant is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, sialagogue, stimulant, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients provided by gentian include inositol, iron, manganese, niacin, silicon, sulfur, vitamins F and B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, gentian is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, poor circulation, gastric disorders, indigestion, jaundice, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with anemia, blood impurities, colds, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, gas, gout, heart burn, absence of menstruation, nausea, spleen ailments, urinary problems, worms, wounds, and yeast infections. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gentian, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Clantro (Coriander Plant) to remove heavy metals
November 05, 2009 01:51 PM
Cilantro Heavy Metal Detox With Chlorella
Planetary Herbals is pleased to introduce Cilantro heavy metal detox, a unique herbal cleansing formula for defense against today’s environmental toxins. The herbs in Cilantro heavy metal detox are known to bind to heavy metals, helping to clear them from the body. Chlorella is added to increase the chelating and cleansing actions of cilantro. This combination also provides effective antioxidant support for overall cell health.
Planetary Herbals Cilantro heavy metal detox contains organic cilantro leaf and organic chlorella, for the purest product possible.
Herbs: Nature’s Answer to a Toxic World
Cilantro (one of the names used for the leaves of the coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum) is an ancient herb that has been used for millennia for health and for its robust, savory taste. Beyond its culinary value, modern research has confirmed the benefits of cilantro as a natural means of internal cleansing.
Recent studies show the cilantro attaches to heavy metals in the bloodstream. This process, known as “Chelation,” helps our bodies eliminate metals from our systems, and helps cleanse and purify our tissues, organs and blood. This process is supported with the addition of chlorella, single celled algae that work synergistically to enhance cilantro’s chelating and cleansing ability.
Binding heavy metals
Thousands of noxious chemical compounds, many of which didn’t exist on the planet 100 years ago, now pervade our food, water, and air. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, and cadmium enter our bodies through food, air, cooking utensils, deodorant, and even the fillings in our teeth.
Cilantro’s properties that enable binding with these toxins are thought to come from unique constituents, including citric acid, phytic acid, and electrolytes that attach to metals. The sequestration of metal ions by chlorella is assumed to be accomplished by surface ligands in the cell walls. Simply stated, both cilantro and chlorella contain properties that bind with metals, and chlorella additionally helps purge the bound metals from the organs.
Planetary Herbals: the PhytoDynamic Difference
Cilantro heavy metal detox is the latest in a herbal product line based on the principles of PhytoDynamics. PhytoDynamics unites a profound understanding of the interaction between plants and people, a commitment to holistic integrity of herbs for optimal efficacy, a strong grounding in scientific research, a world class quality control team, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the industry.
August 24, 2009 11:32 AM
Caralluma is a succulent plant that is part of the cactus family. It can be found growing wild in Africa, the Canary Islands, India, and southern Europe, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. The herb has been used in Indian for centuries in order to curb appetite. It is a portable food for hunting and also an endurance enhancer. This herb was also used during periods of famine in order to curb appetite.
The caralluma plant is part of the Apoxynaceae family. It has been eaten in rural Indian for centuries, raw, as a vegetable with spices, or preserved in chutneys and pickles. It is often found as a roadside shrub or boundary marker. Caralluma has been used as a portable food and thirst quencher for hunting. Caralluma is mainly used for its ability to suppress hunger and appetite, while enhancing stamina. Tribesmen on a daily hunt will often only pack some caralluma to sustain themselves, which is why it is commonly known as a famine food in India.
The working class in India used this plant not only as an appetite suppressant, but also to increase energy and endurance. Caralluma can be coked as a vegetable, pickled, used in chutneys, or eaten raw.
This herb seems to block the activity of many fat-promoting enzymes in the body. It forces fat reserves to be burned. One double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial on caralluma extract, which involved fifty people, showed significant reductions in all key indicators of weight loss.
This plant is also believed to affect the appetite-control mechanism that is found in the brain. When we eat, nerves in our stomach send a signal to the brain’s hypothalamus. This is the appetite-controlling center. When the stomach is full, the hypothalamus informs the brain that it can stop eating. When a person feels hunger, it is the result of the hypothalamus sending a signal to the brain to eat. The interference with these signals, or even creating a sign of its own, is done by caralluma. Through this, the brain is tricked into thinking that the stomach is full, even if the person has not eaten.
Patients who use caralluma have reported having more energy. Additionally, they tend to gain lean muscle mass while they lose fat. This herb not only reduces fat synthesis, but it also boosts the burning of fat. This makes more energy available for the body as a whole.
The plant has no known toxicity or side effects. However, it is wise to consult a health care professional before supplementing with this, or any nutrient while on prescription medications.
The entire caralluma plant is used to provide anorectic and energy boosting properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are bitters principles, flavones glycosides, megastigmane glycosides, pregnane glycosides, and seponins. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with low energy and obesity. It also acts as an appetite suppressant. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by caralluma, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
March 26, 2009 03:13 PM
Passion flower has been long known and appreciated for its nervine abilities. The Aztecs used this herb as a sedative as well as for pain. From 1916 until 1936, it was listed in the National Formulary as a sedative. During the early twentieth century, passionflower was included in many over-the-counter sedative and sleep aids. Today, passionflower is available as an over-the-counter sedative in Germany. It is also used in many German homeopathic medicines to treat pain, insomnia, and nervous restlessness. Professional herbalists use passionflower today in combination with other calming herbs to help treat insomnia, tension, and other health problems that are related to anxiety and nervousness.
Passion flower is a perennial climbing vine that grows to a length of nearly ten meters. Each leaf on the passionflower has petals that vary in color from white to pale red. It possesses a fruit that is orange-colored, multi-seeded, and egg-shaped. This fruit is edible, containing a sweetish yellow pulp. According to folklore, the passionflower was given its name because it resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion.
Recent research on passion flower has concluded that it is also useful for insomnia, fatigue, spasms, and nervous tension. The majority of the research done on this herb has focused on its sedative action and found good results. Studies have even found that an extract of passionflower can reduce locomotor activity and prolong sleeping. Some additional tests indicate that this herb has pain reliving abilities as well as sedative effects. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for those who are suffering from arthritis.
This plant contains passiflorine, which is thought to be the active ingredient, as its principles are similar to that of morphine. This herb is even occasionally referred to as the nonpoisonous, safe opium of the natural physician. It is extremely soothing to the nervous system. It is a good way to treat hysteria, anxiety, and hyperactivity. This herb possesses the ability to depress the central nervous system and also lower high blood pressure. Herbal combinations that contain valerian and passionflower are considered to be very useful as a natural tranquilizer. Additionally, passionflower contains calcium and magnesium, both of which are essential for the nervous system. This herb has been proven safe for both children and the elderly.
Passion flower remedies are made from either fresh or dried flowers as well as other ground parts of the plant. Whole and raw plant materials are used. The flowering shoots, which grow 10 to 15 centimeters above the ground, are harvested after the first fruits have matured. They are then either air-dried or hay dried. Passion flower is available as an infusion, tea, liquid extract, or tincture. For adults taking an infusion, the recommended amount is 2 to 5 grams of dried herb three times a day.
Fluid extracts should be taken three times a day, using about 10 to 30 drops, while a tincture should also be taken three times a day using 10 to 60 drops. For children, the recommended adult dose should be adjusted to account for the child’s weight. Since most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on a 150 pound adult, a child who weighs 50 lbs should receive an appropriate dose of passionflower of 1/3 of an adult dosage. Generally speaking, passionflower is considered to be safe and nontoxic. Passionflower should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Passion flower can be found at your local and internet health food store and available in capsule, tablet, and powder form. When looking to purchase this supplement, stick with name brands such as Solaray and Source Naturals. Name brand companies back their product for any reason and put in pure quality ingredients in each bottle.
August 28, 2008 09:33 AM
Garcinia Cambogia is found naturally in India and parts of Asia, and also on the Pacific coast of South and Central America all the way from Peru up to Mexico, and likes a humid forested environment. Also known as Brindall berries, garcinia is believed to act as an appetite suppressant and allows you to lose weight by diminishing your desire for food.
The Malabar tamarind, as it is also known, is about the size of an orange resembling a small pumpkin, and an extract from the fruit and rind is used in several weight loss products. The health risks presented by synthetic diet pills render a natural product extremely attractive were it to be effective. So can Garcia curb your appetite? What is the scientific evidence for it, and what biochemical route would it take?
Although tests on animals have been very positive, human results have been inconsistent. In some double blind tests using a placebo, weight loss was up to three times that of the control, but in others there was no apparent difference between those taking garcinia, and those given a placebo. However, doubts have been raised of the validity of some of the negative tests, so what does science tell us?
The active ingredient in the cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is a powerful inhibitor of ATP citrate lyase, an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between citrate and Coenzyme A to Acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. Since the acetyl CoA is necessary in the synthesis of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the conversion of glucose to fatty acids), then anything that inhibits the biosynthesis of acetyl CoA must help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body.
By inhibiting this reaction, that occurs outside the mitochondria so is not a direct part of the Citric Acid Cycle, HCA should theoretically suppress the formation of fats from carbohydrates, reduce food intake and thereby induce weight loss. But that is not the only mechanism.
A study at Georgetown University in Washington found that after 8 weeks of taking the garcinia extract, there was a 5.4% reduction in body weight and body mass index, and a significant reduction in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides with an associated rise in high density lipoproteins (HDL). This is good news for those suffering from high cholesterol levels, since the LDL lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol to the major blood vessels, and which when oxidized by free radicals deposit fatty plaques on the artery walls. These plaques constrict the arteries and the resultant atherosclerosis can lead to cardiac problems and strokes. HDL lipoproteins carry cholesterol back to the liver for destruction, and is known popularly as ‘good cholesterol’.
The studies also indicated modifications to certain indicators of the status of fat deposits in the body and of appetite modifiers in the brain. In this respect they found 38% decreases in serum leptin and increases in serotonin levels of 44%, and the excretion of fat metabolites in the urine increased from between 32% and 104%.
These are significant findings, and further research has indicated that HCA helps to suppress appetite. Serum leptin is an indicator of the level of fat stores in the body, and as the leptin levels in the blood reduces, the hypothalamus is given an instruction to increase the appetite so as to increase the fat levels again. However, it is believed that HCA possesses leptin-like properties, and this signal is either not generated or is modulated.
The increase in serotonin has the same effect. It is known that serotonin controls the appetite, although the exact mechanism has not yet been established. What is known is that serotonin activates certain neurons and melanocortin-4 receptors (MC4R) in the brain, that not only curb appetite but also block the effect of other neurons that would normally increase appetite by blocking the effect of MC4Rs.
This is how the banned anti-obesity and serotonin inciting drug Fen-Phen operated, and it appears that the hydroxycitric acid in garcinia cambogia extract acts in a similar, but safer, way. The problem with drugs such as Feb-Phen was that they created cardiac problems which could be dangerous to obese people whose hearts might have been weakened.
However, now that the biological pathway by which serotonin controls weight is believed to be known, if not fully understood, the way is becoming clearer as to how safer weight loss pills, acting through appetite suppression, might be developed. It also provides a valid scientific explanation for the effect of garcinia cambogia extract which might in itself prove to be that safer way.
The biochemistry supports the evidence of its effect on those wanting to lose weight, and also bolsters the claims that those tests and trials found to be negative were in some way flawed. Until the full chemical pathway is understood, the factors that can lead to flawed tests are unknown, although one could be the use of excessive fiber in some trials that could reduce the effect of the extract.
One of the effects of HCA is to limit the ability of your body to convert carbohydrates into fat (the Acetyl CoA inhibition mentioned above). That, combined with suppression of your appetite and a higher rate of thermogenesis, prevents the body from storing excess carbohydrates as fat. Instead you will have increased energy levels, so you should exercise to use this up while taking garcinia extract. For this reason it is popular with athletes and bodybuilders seeking an energy source that has not yet been banned from sport.
Although diet pills based on the same principle had side-effects and could make the user feel on edge, there are none known with garcinia. However, it is possible to reduce the absorption of some essential nutrients due to appetite suppression, so do not exceed the recommended dose. An excessive amount can also led to gastric discomfort, but none of these effects have been noted when the recommended doses have been adhered to.
However, if you are diabetic, pregnant or a nursing mother, you should consult with your physician or health professional before taking the extract. Garcinia Cambogia presents no specific risk to such people, and this warning should be given for all non-prescriptive treatments that your physician might be unaware of you taking.
Fiber For Better Health
July 11, 2008 12:27 PM
We have been told that we must eat a certain amount of fiber with our meals because it is ‘good for us’. Most of us have been led to believe that this is because fiber promotes bowel motions and prevents us from suffering from constipation. It is also good for our digestive system. But how true is this, and just what are the real benefits of fiber in our diet?
First of what, what is fiber? Sure, we know there must be fiber in food such as cabbage, beans and celery because we can see it. But is all fiber actually fibrous? Of course not, so let’s first have a close look at what dietary fiber actually is.
Fiber is composed of these parts of a plant that are broken down by the action of enzymes in our digestive juices in the upper parts of our intestinal tract. Some fiber can be digested by the bacteria in our lower intestine, and some is not. So where does fiber come from? By that definition, fiber can be any part of your food, not only the stringy bits, and by definition are of vegetable origin.
Water insoluble fibers increase fecal bulk. That’s the stringy stuff in celery and string beans. It is also contained in cellulose materials, lignin, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the peristaltic movement of the intestine on the passage of chyme (the creamy fluid that exits the stomach into the duodenum) through your system.
The liquid and nutrients are progressively removed, and the fiber maintains the bulk needed for peristalsis to work properly. Peristalsis is the rhythmic movement of the intestine that forces your food right from your stomach to your rectum. It is also the basis of some forms of industrial pump that operate on the same principle. Without fiber this pump would be inefficient.
Soluble fiber includes the gum and pectin that are obtained from plant cells. They swell up the chyme, and slow down its rate of travel through the gastrointestinal system, although they have no effect on fecal bulk. Specific examples are oat bran, fruit and most vegetables (all plants contain both). A peach, for example, consists of a skin which is insoluble fiber, and the juicy pulp beneath it which is predominantly soluble fiber.
Although a distinction is made between dietary and crude fiber, they both have their part to play. The term ‘fiber’ is a wide one and it cannot be said that fiber as a whole imparts a specific health benefit. The benefits of fiber are a combination of those imparted by the full range of types of fiber and their sources that are contained in the human diet, both crude and dietary, soluble and insoluble.
So what specifically are these benefits, other than just the generalization that they are ‘good for your intestinal health’? As you likely know, it is the fiber in your diet that binds your feces together into a solid, rather than leaving it as a mobile liquid. Although around 75% of feces are liquid, the bulk of the rest is fiber, bacteria and undigested food.
Since insoluble fiber makes feces bulkier and softer it can help treat constipation, where the stool has an excess of solid content. Any substance that absorbs water and swells can help with this condition. The same is true of hemorrhoids and a condition of the wall of the intestine known as diverticulosis. Once the inflammation has subsided, a high soluble fiber diet can help prevent a recurrence.
If you want to lose weight, a fiber diet can make you feel full without the calories, since fiber is calorie-free. There is also the fact that high fiber foods have to be chewed longer before they can be swallowed, and so you are liable to eat less in the same time. However, if you are determined, all that means is that you will have to lunch longer to get the same weight gain!
There is little doubt that a fiber-rich diet contributes significantly to intestinal health, and that if the correct amount of fiber is not taken then problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticulosis and a lack of absorption of nutrients will occur. The peristaltic pumping motion of the whole gastrointestinal tract, from the top of the throat to the anus, is dependent on solids rather than liquids. While a semi-liquid fecal consistency will pass through your body, it will take the bulk of the nutrition extracted from your food with it. It is fiber that is needed to bulk it up and to enable the liquid to be extracted through the intestinal wall and the fibrous solid to pass on through the colon to the anus.
There are other benefits of a diet high in fiber, though they generally depend on the type of fiber. Take cholesterol, for example. High LDL blood cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and the consequent risk of heart disease and strokes, due to the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. When the HDL lipids carry cholesterol back to the liver, it is destroyed by the action of bile acids. Since water soluble fiber binds bile acids, it figures that some types of fiber can promote the excretion of cholesterol from the body. The fiber most effective in achieving this comes from rolled oats and also pectin.
It has also been claimed that dietary fiber might be effective in preventing cancer of the colon. The theory is that bowel cancer is caused by toxins in the feces and if the fecal matter is expelled from the body quickly, the toxins will have less time to act. Fiber promotes the expulsion of the contents of the colon. This has not been confirmed, however.
What has been confirmed is that your bowel can collect mucoid plaque that sticks to mainly your colon, and is an ideal environment for parasites and yeast infections. The National Fiber Council has stated that most people do not eat enough fiber, and the average requirement is 38g a day for men and 25g a day for women.
So eat your fiber, because fiber can boost your intestinal health and wellness.
Which Form Of Calcium Is Best For You?
January 15, 2008 05:10 PM
There is no warning signal that lets you know if you have a calcium deficiency. Actually, a calcium deficiency is usually undetectable until damage that is irreversible has already occurred. A calcium deficiency is extremely hard to detect because the calcium level in the blood may seem to be normal, even if extreme cases of deficiency are actually occurring. This is because the body has a calcium bank, which can be found in teeth and bones. Calcium is needed in order to control muscular contractions such as the heart, blood-clotting, transmission of nerve impulses, and other requirements which take priority.
You may not know for sure whether you have calcium deficiency until you experience loose teeth, receding gums, or a bone fracture. At this point you will realize how brittle and chalky your bones have become. There is no known cure for osteoporosis, and it seems to be affecting people at younger ages more and more. The progression towards this illness takes years, but it is going on unnoticed in a great percentage of our population right as we speak.
There are many reasons why calcium deficiency is so widespread. First, calcium is not easily absorbed, as no more than 10-20% of what is found in foods is actually consumed and metabolized. This is because a meal that is high in fats can form insoluble calcium soaps which cause calcium to pass through the system without being absorbed. Also, the calcium in certain vegetables can actually be inhibited from releasing by oxalates that are found naturally in foods such as rhubarb, kale, spinach, broccoli, grains, and cereals.
Furthermore, vitamins A and D must be present in the body in order for absorption to occur. Additionally, calcium requires an acid environment for absorption, which is a huge problem for older people who have less production of digestive acids. More so, amino acids are needed for the formation of calcium-amino acid complexes and magnesium and phosphorus must be present in a precise ratio’s. Without all of these factors, you can lose a lot of the benefit, no matter how much calcium you are taking in.
A great variety of calcium supplements can be found in your health food store. These supplements can range from a simple calcium carbonate to bone meal, dicalcium phosphate, dolomite, calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, and many others. Although they all contain calcium, they vary in the amount of actual calcium content from 40% in calcium carbonate to 9% in calcium gluconate. Calcium carbonate has the highest percentage calcium per gram, but it acts as an antacid which makes this supplement somewhat useless since calcium can only be absorbed in an acid environment.
Acid breaks down the bonds between the calcium element and its bonding partner like carbonate or amino acid chelate. Calcium Carbonate has a carbon bond the strongest bond of its kind; this makes it extremely unwise for those people who are older or suffer from a digestive acid deficiency. Calcium carbonate that is derived from oyster shells is no different from any other form. However, oyster shells carry an additional risk of being contaminated with naturally occurring heavy metals found in the oyster bed environment. Calcium phosphate is probably the best source of calcium, since the principle calcium in the body is actually calcium hydrogen phosphate which is easy to digest.
Whether you choose calcium carbonate or calcium citrate, ask your local health food store which calcium is best for you depending on your age and whether you have a digestion disorder or not. With poor diets and lack of exercise, calcium supplementation is a must for most people. Have you had your calcium today?
Is Wild Yam Natures Progesterone?
November 15, 2007 07:20 AM
Dioscorea villosa, commonly known as wild yam, is a tuberous vine native to North America and parts of Central America. It was used by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations for pain relief and birth control and has also been given the names colic root and rheumatism root, demonstrating this early use of the plant. However, whether it is nature’s progesterone or not is another question that requires close analysis.
These Central American civilizations, of course, did not understand the reason why they were effective. Some of the symptoms treated can be caused by the menopause, and the wild yam is believed to contain natural forms of progesterone that can alleviate some of the adverse effects of the menopause on the body. Like most plants, they also likely act as anti-inflammatories, so relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Like any natural remedy, wild yam had its adherents and its detractors, though in recent years the plant has been used as the raw material for the production of cortisone and a form of progesterone: or at least so it is claimed, so let’s have a closer look at these claims and determine whether or not wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The human body uses organic compounds called hormones to regulate many of the chemical activities of the body. The hormones catalyze the chemical reactions and changes needed for the proper functioning of our bodies. Hormones are produced in small chemical factories dotted throughout our body called glands. Each gland is devoted to producing a specific hormone, or a range of them, and each hormone is designed for a specific purpose.
Each has an associated hormone ‘receptor’ at their targeted destination that fits the hormone like a jigsaw piece. When it turns up, the hormone attaches to the receptor and the reaction proceeds. That might be the initiation of energy production in cells, the activation of certain genes or even the stimulation of hair growth by the follicles or of the libido and the natural desire to procreate.
Hormones are manufactured from only three constituents: proteins, amino acids and cholesterol, and the steroidal sex hormones are created from cholesterol. Therefore, don’t reduce your cholesterol level too much!
Prior to puberty, all of the sex hormones are manufactured by the adrenal glands, and after puberty by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Progesterone is produced initially, and is then used as the building block for all the other sex hormones (hence the prefix ‘pro’). In women these are the estrogens and in males the androgens. Progesterone is made from the start of the menstrual cycle, and after day 12 they have reached a high enough level to halt ovulation. Progesterone levels continue to rise for about 8 days, and then if fertilization has not occurred, the progesterone levels trigger menstruation, and the lining of the womb is detached and expelled.
During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop off, although the exact reason for the many and varied symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are still unknown to a large extend. There appear to be several contributing factors, though estrogen and progesterone certainly appear to be two of the major ones. We shall concentrate here on the progesterone factor because that is what wild yam is claimed to address.
Although the main function of progesterone is to generate estrogen and testosterone, to restore the libido after menstruation, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the uterus and aid in gestation, it has many other purposes such as in thermogenesis (burning of body fats), protection against osteoporosis and is also believed to have a natural anti-depressant action. These are all supported by the symptoms that appear when the body is low in progesterone levels: depression, sudden increase in body fat, mood swings, loss of sex drive and a susceptibility to weak bones if the deficiency is long-term.
In other words, women that usually suffer from PMS, also generally suffer low progesterone levels. It is believed in some quarters that a progesterone deficiency causes an excess of estrogen that leads to these symptoms in addition to heart disease. No one really knows for sure, but a deficiency of progesterone seems to be the determining factor.
Women with menstrual problems continue to be issued with prescribed synthetic progesterone even though they do not have the same effect as natural progesterone. They can also lead to some unpleasant side effects such as fluid retention, strokes, jaundice, blood clots and depression: some of the symptoms it is intended to alleviate. Some take borage or evening primrose oil for the GLA that helps some of the effects, but this is taken to counter the over-production of the hormone prolactin in some women prior to menstruation, not a deficiency of progesterone.
Wild yam does not cause these symptoms, and is claimed by many to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS. The problem with the artificial forms of progesterone is that the liver’s job is to destroy foreign hormones, and send them to the digestive tract for expulsion. Natural hormones are not affected in this way, even if they come from a non-human source.
The chemical diosgenin in wild yam is very similar in structure to progesterone, and is believed to be the active principle. It is claimed that it can be used to produce not only progesterone but also other related hormones. However, some medical authorities and practitioners dispute this claim, and there is still a question as to how wild yam works. Because it does work, many people swear by it and claim that they could not live without it.
This is especially true of those that suffer from the more severe effects of PMS, and since wild yam does not work for everybody, it could be connected with the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Whichever is true, there appears to be little doubt in the eyes of those that use it as a cream that wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
About George’s and Warren Laboratories
April 21, 2007 01:58 PM
George Warren, and independent research chemist in Houston Texas, developed the special processing method that prevents the spoilage with out diminishing the essential properties of the Aloe Vera Plant. This new method completely eliminates the aloins, which gives a bitter taste (and the greenish color) to Aloe Vera juice. He also successfully removed the starches and sugars from the polysaccharide molecular chain and thus George’s “Always Active” Aloe requires no refrigeration, will not spoil in its natural state. This method adds no water, no preservatives, no chemicals of any kind. The finished product looks and tastes like spring water.
In 1965 George Warren began analytical chemical separation studies that led to the development of a procedure for separating aloe vera juice into 34 component parts. At the time plants in a commercial aloe vera field were numbered. Eight leaves from each plant were harvested. Bagged and labeled. The leaves were then chemically analyzed under laboratory conditions. The results of this testing concluded that six distinct groups were found, and for field testing, were designated as aloe plants A, B, C, X, Y, and Z. this procedure was used to analyze over 2,000 aloe vera plants and it was determined that the aloe vera field contained six different types of aloe vera plants. The chemical make-up of each plant fell into one of six aloe plant groups designated. Aloe-X exerted a very pronounced and measurable effect upon the digestive system. The ability of the digestive system to convert food to energy was greatly improved, but only when Aloe-X juice was consumed daily. The other aloe groups (A, B, C, Y, and Z) did not exert this effect. The improved digestion typified only by group X seemed to occur regardless of the type of digestive system. Listed below are Warren’s findings by daily consumption of Aloe-X.
During these animal feed experiments it was noted that in the control group the digestive system was often swollen and the animal’s hide and carcass did not appear to be healthy. In the Aloe-X test group this was very noticeably not the case. In fact, the digestive system, meat, hide and hair all seemed very healthy.
During the seven years of working with the farm animals the Aloe-X plants originally harvested were growing and multiplying. The chemical analysis of each plant-X offspring revealed that they indeed were only Aloe-X plants.
Up to this point, investigators found that aloe vera did not seem to always work. They were hindered by trying to correlate chemical structure to clinical performance. The primary and reasonable deduction for aloe vera not performing consistently was the fact that only Aloe-X had the ability to cleanse the membranes in the digestive system. If Aloe-X was not present in sufficient concentrations then the aloe vera juice did not seem “active” and did not perform.
Also noted was the phenomenal ability of the plant to quickly reduce swelling and bruised, swollen tissue. Thus, it is further hypothesized that Aloe-X exerts a pronounced effect on the digestive system, rejuvenation the tissue system. By making the digestive system work properly the body appeared to be capable of repairing itself and reverting back to a healthy state. Consequently, it is the firm and un-contradicted belief of Warren that allergies, asthma, emphysema, migraine headaches, and digestive problems are improved by Aloe-X through the membranes in the digestive system.
In the early stages of experimentally using Aloe-X, it was noted that other chemical compounds were present which should not be consumed on a regular basis. In fact, the work of the University of California Professor Bruce Ames clearly points out that all plants have their own toxin defense system against predators. Therefore, not all chemical compounds of plants are good for your health. With this thought in mind, standard conventional pharmaceutical chemical engineering principles were used to remove many undesirable components. Aloe vera by nature spoils easily requiring preservatives to be added to most commercial brands to extend the shelf life of the product. This short shelf life has consistently been a problem for the exploitation of the many benefits of this remarkable plant. Thus, in Warren’s products, starches and sugars of the mucopolysaccharide molecular chain have been removed. These starches and sugars act as an energy source for undesirable micro-organisms. Several other components which earlier testing revealed to be undesirable have also been removed. These substances are removed by a proprietary purification and filtering method. Consequently, preservatives are not required. The micro0organisms picked up in the processing and handling are removed immediately prior to packaging. Testing performed by Warren supports its finding that the purification system does not destroy the active components in the company’s aloe products. Such tests, as well as the votes of confidence (indicated by the thousands of humans and confirmed by testing on chickens, pigs, birds, cows, horses, fish, dogs and cats) confirm that findings. Warren has been successful in developing and proving a unique fractional distillation process that allows for capturing the therapeutic benefits of Aloe Vera.
Neurological Health and CoQ10
February 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Between 1946 and 1965, 78 million Americans were born, creating the largest number of children in U.S. history. This Baby Boom generation has greatly influenced the makeup of American society and undoubtedly w ill continue to do so. Thanks to good nutrition and health care, Baby Boomers are aging well and have an excellent life expectancy. For the first time in history, we have more people turning 60 every day, and record numbers of adults reaching their seventh decade. As a result, neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s disease, are becoming major health care concerns. The good news is CoQ10 has applications for neurological diseases, in addition to its better known use for cardiovascular diseases.
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone (existing everywhere there is human life). CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body.
Q. Isn’t CoQ10 a supplement for heart health?
A. Yes, it is. Because the heart requires lots of ATP to meet its high energy needs, CoQ10’s function in heart health is well understood. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that when individuals with heart disease take CoQ10, their symptoms improve, sometimes quite dramatically. Supplemental CoQ10 improves the heart’s pumping ability, improves blood circulation, increases tolerance to exercise, and improves the heart’s muscle tone. CoQ10 also is a powerful antioxidant and protects heart tissue from free-radical damage.
Q. How does CoQ10 affect brain health?
A. CoQ10 works in the brain the same way it works elsewhere in the body: it’s essential to ATP production. Nearly all human cells contain tiny structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are referred to as cell powerhouses because they produce cellular energy. Depending on what each cell’s job is. There can be several thousand mitochondria in one cell. If a cell needs a lot of energy, it will have more mitochondria. This explains why heart cells contain so many mitochondria; the continual pumping of blood requires continual ATP production.
The brain also requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy to regulate, integrate, and coordinate ongoing nervous system transmissions. To meet this need, ATP production within the mitochondria of brain cells is vital. Since CoQ10 exerts such a powerful influence on heart cells in ATP production, it was a natural progression for scientists to wonder how it affects brain cells. Brain and nervous system research led to the conclusion that the same intracellular principles apply. CoQ10 is produced in the body to assist in ATP production. Without it, ATP cannot be produced.
The most important discovery regarding CoQ10 and the brain is that CoQ10, when formulated with certain ingredients, can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain’s mitochondria. If large amounts of CoQ10 can get into the brain cell’s mitochondria, its ability to make ATP is greatly enhanced.
Q. What is the blood-brain barrier and why is it important?
A. The blood-brain barrier is a unique anatomical structure. The cells that make up the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain are extremely close together. This greatly restricts what can leave the bloodstream and enter the brain. While the blood-brain barrier protects the brain and spinal cord from potentially toxic substances, it also can be a significant obstacle to therapy of central nervous system disorders. Only substances with certain solubilities or those that have a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree.
Obtaining optimal absorption of CoQ10 is difficult. The CoQ10 molecule is large and inflexible. The easiest and least expensive way to increase absorption levels is with the use of harsh solvents such as propylene glycol. However, at higher doses, these types of chemicals are considered dangerous (neurotoxic) to the person with a serious neurodegenerative disease. It is more difficult, as well as more expensive (considering raw materials, research, and proper manufacturing methods) to promote absorption with less harmful alternatives. However, reputable companies ensure that their products are safe for all their customers. Look for CoQ10 products formulated with vitamin E and other safe ingredients such as Micosolle.
Nearly all CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream. But, only CoQ10 supplements with special formulations have been scientifically shown to enter the mitochondria and cross the blood-brain barrier.
Q. If CoQ10 is made in the body, why take supplements?
A. While CoQ10 is synthesized in the body, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Researchers have discovered CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. They also have determined some medications significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Although CoQ10 exists in some dietary sources, it may not be realistic to obtain CoQ10 through food alone. For example, it would take approximately 3 pounds of sardines, 7 pounds of beef, or 8 pounds of peanuts to equal 100 mg of supplemental CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 help people with Parkinson’s disease?
A. CoQ10 seems to have several beneficial actions in the illness. Researchers have looked at mitochondria in brain cells and determined people with Parkinson’s disease have reduced activity of Complex I in the electron transport chain. Recent research has proposed the reduced activity of Complex I interferes with the brain-signaling chemical dopamine. Stored and newly synthesized dopamine is depleted. The dopamine depletion causes nerve cell degeneration.
A recent clinical study involved 80 patients with Parkinson’s disease (both men and women). The researchers first evaluated all the participants to establish scores for basic motor skills (measuring the ability to control physical movements such as walking), mental status (whether the person was depressed or experiencing memory loss) and the activities of daily living (whether the person was experiencing difficulty with handwriting, dressing themselves, using utensils such as knives and forks, and so on). This scale is known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). This process is known as establishing “baseline values,” that is, the condition of the patient before receiving any treatment.
Participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group received either 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of the special form of CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers observed the participants for 16 months.
The results of the study showed that all the participants who received CoQ10 had smaller declines in function compared to the placebo group, but the smallest decline was experienced by the group taking the highest amount of the special form of CoQ10.
The most significant results were noted specifically in the activities of daily living scores by the people taking 1200 mg of CoQ10 daily. These people retained better ability to feed and dress themselves, speak, walk, and bathe or shower by themselves. They maintained greater independence for a longer time. Parkinson’s disease, as with other neurodegenerative diseases, robs the sufferer of their ability to control the movements of their own body and care for themselves. Supplementation with CoQ10, while not a cure, is the first intervention that showed a slowing in the progressive deterioration of the function associated with this disease.
Q. What were the results of clinical research on Huntington’s Disease?
A. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study respected type of study, was conducted at the University of Rochester. All of the 347 Huntington’s disease (HD) patients were experiencing some HD symptoms, but were still in the early stages of the disease. The patients (who did not know which drug they were receiving) were randomly assigned to four different treatment groups: 25 percent received Remacemide, 25 percent received CoQ10, 25 percent received both, and 25 percent received a placebo, or sugar pill. The researchers, who also did not know which patients got which drug, watched and recorded their progress for two and one-half years. Remacemide is a new drug made by Astra Seneca that blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, that has long been suspected of contributing to the death of brain cells in Huntington’s disease.
Unfortunately, in the CARE-HD study, Remacemide had no effect on the progression of the disease in patients in the early stages. However, the individuals who received 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced some slowing of the disease progression. They were able to manage daily activities, such as meal preparation, housekeeping tasks, and personal care longer than those not on CoQ10. They were also able to focus their attention better and were less depressed and irritable. The portion of the studied patients receiving 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD. According to the researchers conducting the study, a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD would roughly translate into approximately one more year of independence for patients. This is the very first study from more than a dozen Huntington’s disease patient trails that showed any modification of the course of the illness.
Of note, the effects of the CoQ10 had not abated at the end of the research study. That is, the benefit of using CoQ10, 600 mg per day, was still increasing; this suggests that the longer a patient supplements with CoQ10, the greater the decline in the progression of HD. The next phase of the CARE-HD research will test a higher dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg or more per day), with more patients (over 1000), for a longer period of time (approximately 5 years). This study should improve our understanding of the optimal dose and the total achievable decline in the progression of HD. The CoQ10 product used in the CARE-HD study was designated an Orphan Drug by the FDA. The product utilizes a proprietary, patent-pending delivery mechanism, which is proven to be safe and tolerable at high doses for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, substantially improving brain tissue levels of CoQ10.
Q. What other diseases could benefit from CoQ10 supplementation?
A. Studies show CoQ10 levels are greatly reduced in Alzheimer’s patients. Mitochondrial abnormalities also are noted; however, research has yet to determine how or why this occurs. Some scientists believe damage to mitochondria is an early feature of the disease. Free-radical damage also is a feature of Alzheimer’s.
In a study of 27 Alzheimer’s patients, subjects were given 60 mg of CoQ10, 150 mg of iron, and 180 mg of vitamin B6 daily. Each patient’s mitochondria activity was effectively activated. All patients continued to experience gradual decline. However, researchers believed that with this combination, the progression was much slower and allowed the patients to experience 1 to 2 years of extended good health.
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive, fatal, neurological disease. It occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that control voluntary movement gradually degenerate. Investigation of CoQ10 in individuals with ALS is just beginning. Researchers at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center at Columbia University recently conducted a small clinical pilot trial of CoQ10 in ALS. The study was an open label study, which meant that everyone enrolled received CoQ10, 400 mg three times per day. Of the 16 patients originally enrolled, nine patients completed the study. Six of these nine patients experienced some benefits. The patients declined from 0 – 25 percent in functional scores, 6 percent in strength, and 10 percent in breathing ability. These scores reflect a positive trend compared to the 50 percent decline that is seen in the natural history of ALS over the same period of time (5 to 9 months). Citing the need to conduct more studies of the effectiveness of CoQ10 for people with ALS is rapidly and efficiently as possible to get answers to patients and clinicians, another clinical trial is currently underway at the Gehrig ALS Center. This is a pilot study to determine if CoQ10 has short-term effects on motor nerves in the brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The researchers are going to try to “see” if CoQ10 can change the chemical sin the brain’s upper motor nerves of people with ALS, an important next step of the investigation.
Q. Can taking CoQ10 prevent neurodegenerative disease?
A. To date, there have been no studies or research examining whether CoQ10 can prevent these diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease prevention is being clinically investigated. Researchers have determined that people who take certain anti-inflammatory medications seem less likely to develop the illness. A large, multi-centered trial is studying this connection.
Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?
A. Depending on your family history of neurological disease and your disease experience, studies show benefits at doses of 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. Some studies used doses of up to 1,200 mg per day.
CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Q. What should I look for in a CoQ10 supplement?
A. Use products which have a strong clinical research track record, supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions, and have been proven to be safe, tolerable and effective in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The CoQ10 product you choose should be proven to: be absorbed, enter the blood stream, cross the blood brain barrier and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. If the product you are considering does not have evidence to support these points, keep looking. Once you have found a candidate, examine the product’s safety and efficacy record for neurodegenerative diseases- if the product has not been proven to be safe and effective, keep looking. Good products exist; however, caveat emptor.
CoQ10 supplementation for people with neurodegenerative diseases is supported by contemporary clinical research. CoQ10 is certainly not the only answer to the complex issues of management and treatment of these types of diseases. However, research indicates that it is a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. As we continue to study this naturally occurring compound, we are finding more and more benefits to the body.
All CoQ10 is not created equal. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that is supported by product-specific research from reputable institution, which is proven to be safe, tolerable and effective at high doses; deviating from this set of criteria may do more harm than good for people with these serious illnesses. Choose clinically tested products from a well-respected company and increase the potential to achieve and maintain brain and neurological health.
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
HYDROVITON CR - VITEROL A FACE - VITEROL A EYES
April 14, 2006 11:53 AM
Sunscreens provide inadequate protection from UVA
Studies show that people often have the mistaken notion that the higher the SPF number of the sunscreen they use, the longer they can stay in the sun. In addition, the protection from sunscreens is understood as being the amount of time you can stay in the sun before getting burned. Research in the last several years shows that damage will occur long before you get pink or sunburned, exposure to the sun at what is considered safe levels still leads to photo aging and micro scars. The micro-scars compound over time and after many years lead to visible signs of aging.
Another problem is that the vast majority of sunscreens only provide protection from UVB but very little protection from UVA, wavelengths that appear to be the principle cause of photo-aging and lowered collagen production in the skin.
To prevent premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer, you need to protect yourself from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sunscreen alone will not protect you. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid the sun altogether during the middle of the day, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
However, simultaneously several studies have confirmed that under-exposure to the sun may lead to other health problems. A number of recent articles in medical journals report that the vitamin D made in the skin in response to ultraviolet B radiation may protect against certain diseases, including cancer of the breast, colon and prostate.
The bottom line is that it is important to practice safe sun exposure, without becoming sun-phobic. As always, a well balanced lifestyle is the key to optimal health. It takes just 15 minutes per day in the sun, preferably either earlier in the morning or late in the afternoon, to get all the benefits of sun exposure without the negative side effects.
Patients suffering from an irritating skin condition have been given new hope thanks to scientists on Wearside.
A team at Sunderland University has discovered that gossypol, a substance extracted from the cotton plant can be used to soothe psoriasis.