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Why Dextrose is Important for Athletes and Bodybuilders
October 10, 2022 02:17 PM
Dextrose, also known as glucose, is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is the primary source of energy for the body. It is important for athletes because it stimulates the body to drive, not only glucose, but amino acids and other nutrients into cells. This makes energy readily available to working muscles and helps to maintain glycogen stores. In addition, dextrose also helps to make important nutrients, such as creatine and branched-chain aminos, available for use by muscle tissue. From an athletic performance perspective therefore, it can help fuel intense activity, maintain exercise endurance, and support recovery from exercise.
How Dextrose Works
Dextrose enters the bloodstream rapidly after being consumed and raises blood sugar levels quickly.* Insulin is then released by the pancreas in order to shuttle glucose into cells for use or storage.* Glucose is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen; when these stores become depleted during exercise, blood sugar levels fall and fatigue sets in.* Dextrose can help delay this fatigue by replenishing glycogen stores and keeping blood sugar levels elevated.*
Dextrose And Creatine oppose each other hormonally; when insulin levels are elevated via carbohydrate consumption, creatine uptake into muscle cells is inhibited.* Conversely, when blood sugar levels are low (and insulin levels along with them), creatine uptake is enhanced.*Deoxyglucose acts as a transport vehicle for creatine, driving more of it into muscle cells where it can be used for energy production and protein synthesis – two key processes for supporting muscle growth.* Therefore, when combined with creatine, dextrose can further enhance its efficacy.
*BCAAs are essential amino acids that must be obtained through diet since they cannot be produced by the body; of the three BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), leucine is the most anabolic.*Leucine seems to work best when consumed with carbohydrates; when carbs and leucine are consumed together they stimulate insulin release – an anabolic hormone that promotes protein synthesis as well as drives amino acids and other nutrients into cells where they can be used or stored for future use..* Therefore, dextrose can help enhance the anabolic effects of leucine consumption.
Dextrose is a simple sugar that has many benefits for athletes. It helps to fuel intense activity, maintain exercise endurance, support recovery from exercise, and delay fatigue. It also helps to make important nutrients like creatine and branched-chain aminos more available for use by muscle tissue. If you are an athlete who wants to perform at your best, make sure you include dextrose in your diet.
The Truth About Sugar: How It's Digested, Metabolized, and Why Too Much Can Be Dangerous
June 25, 2022 10:13 AM
What is glycation and what does it do to the body?
Glycation is a process that occurs when glucose binds to proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids. This can damage tissues and lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are toxic compounds that contribute to the development of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. The body has mechanisms to prevent glycation, but these become less effective with age. Additionally, certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking and a high-sugar diet, can increase the risk of glycation. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect the body from this damaging process.
How does sugar cause glycation?
Sugar causes glycation in several ways. First, when sugar is present in the bloodstream, it can attach to proteins and lipids, forming new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Once formed, AGEs can accumulate in tissues and cause damage. Second, sugar can also indirectly cause glycation by promoting inflammation. Inflammation triggers a release of immune system chemicals that can damage tissues. Third, sugar can also impair the body's ability to regenerate tissues. This is because glycation damages DNA, making it difficult for cells to divide and multiply properly. over time, this leads to a decrease in the body's ability to heal wounds and repair damaged tissues. As a result, sugar plays a significant role in the development of conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
How can you prevent glycation from happening?
There are several ways to help prevent glycation from occurring. First, it is important to control blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent glycation. In addition, antioxidants may help to protect against glycation by scavenging sugar molecules before they can attach to other molecules. By taking these steps, you can help to prevent glycation and the age-related conditions that are associated with it.
Should we be worried about sugar intake?
Sugar is a complex topic, and there is still a lot of scientific research to be done in order to understand all of its implications. However, based on the current evidence, it seems that we should be at least somewhat concerned about our sugar intake. Numerous studies have linked sugar consumption to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. And while sugar itself is not necessarily bad for you, the truth is that most of us consume far more sugar than we need. The average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar every year, which is well above the recommended limit. So, while you don't need to eliminating sugar entirely from your diet, it is important to be aware of how much sugar you're consuming and to make sure that you're not overdoing it.
What are some healthy alternatives to sugar?
Sugar is a common ingredient in many processed foods, and it can be difficult to avoid. However, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, cavities, and other health problems. Thankfully, there are a few healthy alternatives that can be used in place of sugar. Stevia is a popular choice, as it is derived from a plant, has no calories, and does not elevate blood sugar levels. Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols that have a lower calorie content than sugar and do not cause cavities. These substitutes can be found in most supermarkets, and they can help to make healthier choices when it comes to sweetening food and drink.
So, while you don't need to eliminating sugar entirely from your diet, it is important to be aware of how much sugar you're consuming and to make sure that you're not overdoing it. There are a few healthy alternatives that can be used in place of sugar. Stevia is a popular choice, as it is derived from a plant, has no calories, and does not elevate blood sugar levels. Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols that have a lower calorie content than sugar and do not cause cavities. Try a sugar alternative in your next recipe and see how it tastes! You might be surprised at how good it can be.
Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs butsuffers from NONE of the side effects
April 23, 2019 01:53 PM
According to over 12,000 peer-reviewed studies, the herb curcumin has over 800 preventive and therapeutic uses. It is estimated that the health-enhancing properties of this powerful herb can replace 14 pharmaceutical drugs with no negative side effects. Research published in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community shows that curcumin is up to 100,000 times more effective than the diabetes drug Metformin in activating AMPK, which is used to increase glucose uptake. In addition, a 2008 study revealed that curcumin is just as effective as Lipitor in decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. Research also shows that curcumin compares favorably to Prozac in treating depression without any of the side effects, such as suicidal ideation, tremors, and headaches.
"Researchers believe it works on depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that has been linked to depression when it’s present in high amounts in the brain. It also raises levels of calmness-inducing serotonin and dopamine."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-07-turmeric-is-just-as-effective-as-14-pharma-drugs.html
Insulin and disease
August 21, 2017 09:14 AM
Many health problems, and especially cancer and heart disease are caused by an imbalance of insulin, due to poor diet. We eat far too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. This leads to insulin resistance, which, in turn, leads to heart disease, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It also raises blood pressure because when we are insulin resistant our bodies cannot store magnesium, which is needed to relax the walls of the blood vessels. Dr. Michael Cutler has written a book, "The Insulin Factor" which explains how to get your insulin back in balance, through diet. This will help us to live longer, healthier lives.
"Centenarian studies show no health consistency at all except that all the centenarians have relatively low insulin (sugar) for their age and they all have low triglycerides for their age."
Read more: https://personalliberty.com/insulin-and-disease/
Should You Give Up Sugar?
August 20, 2017 09:14 AM
Obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the rise, because of this people are trying to quit sugar. Sugar can be as addictive or rewarding neurologically as drugs are, so it's not an easy task. Average consumption of sugars comes to 75 lbs. a year, this begs the question "what is the right does of sugar?". Since this is a recent development, we are only beginning to see the effects of this type of diet. This isn't the only factor however, as we have seen a change in diet toward sugars, we shifted away from fats and cholesterol. In reality while this was a shift intended to reduce the negative effects of those things, we ended up with a trade that wasn't much better. We should all try to find a balance in diet, and avoid unneeded sugars as much as possible. Stopping soda or reducing sugary drinks is a great way to start.
"Mainly, it’s a source of quick energy that rapidly raises blood sugar"
Read more: http://www.nextavenue.org/stop-eating-sugar/
Here's the beef on gluten, coconut oil and other burning nutrition questions
March 15, 2017 01:59 PM
It has been 10 years of the free nutrition Expo at Dallas's Cooper Fitness Center, which starts Monday, March 6 from 8 AM to 3 PM. The Expo Brims wide ranges of interesting events including the opportunity to learn all sorts of things about nutrition. Here the author wrote some nutrition related topics with the advice of Meridan Zerner, the registered dietitian who got the Expo started. Regard to gluten, for most of us some food with gluten have valuable nutrients. Coconut oil contains high saturated fat although it has HDL-boosting effect. Ms. Zerner recommends other oils with higher qualities. We need minimum amount of protein each day and should choose it wisely. Regarding weighing daily, better do body fat measurement. Ms. Zerner said the best eating plans are tailored to your life style and try some tasty new foods, such as sorghum, seaweed or various greens.
"About 1 percent of the population has to avoid gluten because they have celiac disease, which is a serious auto-immune disorder."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dallasnews.com%2Flife%2Fhealthy-living%2F2017%2F03%2F02%2Fbeef-gluten-coconut-oil-burning-nutrition-questions&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjY3NzEzYzg1MjE0ZjUwYzU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNHiv6oNJ2diyfQaIDK4tYrnI7SFJg
7 Awesome Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
February 26, 2017 10:19 AM
This video reviews the health benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the following health benefits: Lower Body Mass Index, boosts brain power,improves eyesight, reduces inflamation, it can protect your skin, it lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol. Overall, dark chocolate can provide many health benefits that can lead to a healthier well-being.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZlDx1ccWPM
"Eating dark chocolate can give your brain a short-term boost by increasing your alertness."
How Vitamins Help Keep Calcium in the Bones
Your arteries and heart work full time. They require nutrients that would assist and maintain blood vessels firm and flexible. If you are worried about stroke or blood pressure, you want to read about the important vitamins which can create a great difference. Vitamins A, D3, and K2 are the most important vitamins for the cardiovascular system. These fat soluble vitamins make sure the heart and the sixty thousand miles of blood vessels perform at the optimum. Still most of the people do not understand how essential it is to obtain sufficient of these three. These three vitamins function as partners to avoid dangerous blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attacks, maintain calcium in the bones, assist keep arteries strong and flexible and decrease inflammatory triggers in the bloodstream.
Calcium has some negative sides also. If not effectively used in the tissues and blood, it can accumulate in the body when we age, a method known as calcification. Few calcifications are not dangerous. Half of the female over 50 will reveal certain benign calcification in breast tissue at the time of mammogram. But this build up may be a sign of calcium accumulation in other parts of the body such as the heart and arteries. This makes arteries inflexible and stiff, resulting to higher risk of strokes, blood clots and heart attacks. The necessary thing to keep in mind is that the body does not avail nutrients such as calcium, separately. To ensure the body is availing calcium properly, you want to ensure you are also obtaining sufficiently of the vitamins which regulate calcium.
Vitamin K is available in two types, Vitamin K1 is responsible for making clots and avoiding extra bleeding if there is any wound. Vitamin K2 boosts proteins which assist transport calcium to the place where it is required. The lower you consume vitamin K2, the higher the danger of heart attack and heart disease. The sunshine vitamin is necessary to heart and bone health. But most of the people still do not receive sufficiently of it. Vitamin D is also utilized by several cells in the cardiovascular system like cells which line the blood vessels and heart muscle cells. Lower levels of this vitamin have been connected to a higher danger of dying from stroke or heart disease.
Vitamin D assist avoid calcium accumulation in the blood vessels. It raises the expression of the vitamin K based proteins that adjust calcium. Without these, calcium cannot be received by the bones, rather stores up in the artery walls and blood vessels. The right amount of vitamin D is needed to boost proteins. Researchers have proven that vitamin K and D function better when they are at good levels. Most of the people aware that vitamin A is vital for eyes. It also influences a variety of body processes like controlling different proteins that adjust the kinds of cells the body creates. This involves the cells which line blood vessels. This vitamin falls down when inflammation is seen, identifying its important part in fighting injury and disease.
Low vitamin D levels linked to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease
October 30, 2016 04:59 PM
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, & multiple sclerosis have become more prevalent over the years. Recent neurological studies are showing that these conditions can be prevented by supplementing more vitamin D in the diet. Many people just don’t get enough sunlight to provide the needed amount of vitamin D each day. It has been recommended to get at least 600 to 800 IU of the vitamin per day, but some are suggesting that we may need up to 8,000 IU per day in order to prevent disease, depending on our current health.
"Adequate vitamin D blood levels help to ensure protection and support of these crucial systems to prevent the onset and progression of these diseases."
Chamomile: What You May Not Know!
Chamomile is an excellent tea that everybody should have at their disposal when you need to relax and calm down from a busy stressful work day. The Tea is great tasting and easy to make.
Benefits of Amla - Prevent Aging and Promote Longevity
Amla herb benefits the body in the following ways:
· Promotes absorption of food - Amalaki is helpful in promoting the absorption of food in the body.
· Balances gastric juices - Amalaki is helpful in maintaining the proper secretion of gastric juices especially the hydrochloric acid (HCl) that is being secreted in the stomach. This hydrochloric acid is helpful in proper digestion of food but if it is secreted in larger amount it causes the very widely known disorder, acidity.
· Improves liver condition - amla is among the best liver stimulants. It helps in proper secretion of bile juices and also helps in proper metabolism of fats. It also helps in improving the immunity of the body and protects us with various ailments like jaundice and malaria.
· Improves mental stamina - Amalaki is a good brain tonic. It helps in improving the brain functioning and improve the mental concentration. It raises the grabbing power of the brain and also increases the retaining power.
· Regulates elimination - amla, as said earlier also helps in increasing the peristaltic movements and hence promotes proper elimination of toxins from the body. It tones up our gastrointestinal tract and gives proper nourishment to them.
· Tones urinary system - it tones up the urinary tract and also helps in fading away any kind of infection that happens in the body. More over it also reduces the chances of calculus (stones) formation in the kidneys
· Improves skin texture - Amalaki is wonderful for our skin and promotes glow in the skin. It is very helpful in nourishing the skin to the highest level. It does not let any kind of infection to occur in the body that might creep through the skin and causes skin ailments especially acne. It also improves blood circulation to the skin and purifies blood to decrease any chance of blood infection that is the major cause of skin ailments.
· Antioxidant - it is the most powerful herbal antioxidant. It helps in eliminating the free radical formation in the body and also helps in elimination of toxin in the body. It keeps the skin glowing and also avoids wrinkles formation in the body.
· Enhances immunity - it is very helpful in improving the immunity in the body. It promotes the formation of antibodies in case of any external invasion of the antigens that has the capability of causing any diseases in the body.
· Good for eyes - it is excellent for improving vision. It is also helpful in strengthening the eye muscle and has the great potential to remove the spectacles. It also is helpful in cooling the eyes and also helps in preventing eyes related problems like redness, watering and itching of eyes.
Amla is a bitter herb when consumed in bulk, keep in mind that it can sore the mouth, but feels sweet in the stomach. If you are looking for an herb that sustains overall body wellness, look no further, Amla is your herb!
What Causes Candida?
A yeast infection is brought about due to yeast overgrowth. Candidiasis is the most common kind of yeast infection. Usually, there are more than twenty species of candida with the most common or popular being Candida albicans. Under suitable conditions, particularly in moist and warm areas these fungi become numerous and cause infections. Some of these infections like vaginal yeast infections.
What causes candida?
Unhealthy feeding habits leads to candida overgrowth. Consumption of foods high in sugar contents raises the risk of developing candida. Some of these common foods include juice, honey, ice cream, maple syrup, soda and chocolates among others.
These class of drugs upsets the inner bowel ecology and affects body immune system since they are unnatural, artificial and man-made. Usually, antibiotics are designed for short time use. Using antibiotics for longer periods leads to accumulation of their negative side effects that bring about life threatening diseases including candida.
Stress affects the bowel movement and body immune system resulting in candida overgrowth. Mental stress and emotional nervousness cause nausea, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, ulcers, high blood pressure and many related health problems.
Excessive alcohol consumption kills off friendly bacteria which increases liver toxicity and promotes candida overgrowth dysbiosis. Usually, alcohol is a by-product of yeast escalating the possible hazard.
For instance, mercury weakens body immune system causing candida among other health problems. Silver amalgam fillings comprises more than 50% mercury which is continuously released in vapor and particle form during grinding, chewing and brushing teeth.
Diabetes, especially among women, causes a yeast infection. An increased blood sugar level nourishes the candida yeast, boosting its growth and dominance of the other microorganisms in the gut.
Conditions that weaken the body immune system like cancer, aids, hepatitis, herpes and others causes fungal infections. According to scientific research, most individuals suffering from serious illness are victims of Candida Albicans/ yeast infections.
Dental Benefits of Xylitol; Protect your teeth against decay.
October 07, 2014 08:34 PM
Are There Herbs And Vitamins For Pain?
December 29, 2012 10:17 AM
Everyone at one point or the other suffers some pain which could be of different kinds. We usually go for prescription drugs or at times, over-the-counter pain relievers. These drugs, however, have many side effects and do cause numerous health damages if used for a long period of time. Thus, it is much better to turn to natural pain relievers, such as herbs and vitamins.
Most herbs and vitamins for pain are used as food; therefore, do not have any side effects. This is however not the case in painkillers which are made from synthetic hormones, chemicals, and so on.
Herbal pain relievers.
Turmeric: Turmeric is popularly used in Southeast India for cooking. Turmeric has curcumin, a very powerful ingredient which aid to fight against chronic inflammatory ailments. Thus, turmeric is usually employed with some other herbs to relieve pain.
Ginger Root: Ginger root is a commonly used herbal remedy since it contains warming properties and helps to enhance blood circulation. It is essential in treating arthritis associated pains, backache and menstrual cramps. It's also used to treat sore throat. It is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Valerian Root: This is used for chronic pain relief and as a skeletal relaxant. It may be used also for the treatment of trauma, cramps, shingles, headaches, insomnia, neuralgia, and stress. It possesses antispasmodic properties and is also a sedative.
Arnica: This is a homeopathic pain reliever and is believed to be particularly essential in the treatment of bruising and soft tissue injuries. It helps to alleviate overall sprains and muscle pain. It may be applied externally as a preventive measure to avoid injury prior to racing or exercising. Thus, it is seen to be applied topically and care must be taken so as not to apply it on a broken or open skin.
Vitamins for Pain Relief
Vitamin D: This is a unique vitamin since its main source is being exposed to UV light. A deficiency in this nutrient is widespread and a popular cause of chronic pains. As a matter of fact, a vitamin D deficiency significantly raises the risk of common women's pains. In a study, vitamin D deficiency was shown to raise risk of chronic pain, particularly in women, by over 50%. Aside from sunlight, other sources of vitamin D are mushrooms, shellfish, fatty fish and fortified orange juice.
Vitamin E: This is a potent antioxidant which protects nerves and joints from damages which may cause pain. In a recent research, it was discovered that vitamin E supplements lower nerve pain. Vitamin E-rich diets are walnuts, peanuts, wheat germ, corn and kiwi.
B complex Vitamins: These include many water-soluble vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamine and folic acid. In a chronic pain animal model, it was discovered that high amounts of B-complex vitamins reduced pain significantly. B-complex vitamin supplements can be found in a number of supplement stores. Dietary sources are vegetables, whole grains, fortified cereals and fruits.
Vitamin C: This is an antioxidant just like vitamin E and protects nerve cells from damage. A scientist known as Paul E. Zollinger discovered that vitamin C supplements helped in reducing pain in wrist fractured patients. Foods rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, bananas, mangoes and oranges.
The Benefits of Forskolin
December 24, 2012 07:58 AM
Forskolin is the chemical substance extracted from the root of a plant called coleus forskolin also known as Indian coleus plant. This plant originated in India and its part of mint family. This herb is used to treat various health conditions.
One of the benefits of this herb is its great effectiveness in losing weight. For those people who love looking good, then this product can be of great help. This herb can greatly help wit the reduction of excess fat; this helps in speeding up the process of losing weight.
Forskolin can work in two days.
It works first through stimulating lipolysis and then breaking down the lipids containing fats. This is takes much less time compared to other traditional methods since it raises the cAMP production levels in patients. CAMP regulates glycogen, sugar and lipid. Scientists have proven that this herb can be very beneficial to obese patients.
Stimulates Thyroid function
Secondly, Forskolin helps in losing weight through is ability to increase the production of thyroid hormone levels. When thyroid production is increased, our metabolism rate increases which leads to weight loss. Typical dosage is 25 to 60mg of forskolin herb per day. This is divided into 2 or 3 doses. Weight loss can be experienced within a few weeks of regular use of this herb. This herb also helps in lowering blood pressure, therefore preventing blood clots.
An improved blood flow helps maintain a healthy heart. This herb also helps in maintaining healthy lungs. Forskolin is also used in treatment of eczema and psoriasis. It's also beneficial to asthma patients by aiding in relaxing the airways, this helps in respiration process. This product has no known side effects, it can also be taken along with other caffeine's; this provides a boost in the stamina. However, make sure you see your doctor for proper guidance on how to use this product.
How to Remove Excess Estrogen Naturally From the Body?
August 30, 2011 10:00 AM
Estrogen is an important reproductive hormone in the body that helps maintain female traits as well as reproductive organs and functions. Estrogen is found in both men and women but is predominantly found on women and lesser in men. Although estrogen is natural, excess amounts prove to be problematic and frequently does have its negative effects on men as well as women.
Research shows that excess estrogen may be the reason of excess fat in our body. It seems that no matter what we do, it just won’t come off and seems to be resistant from diet and exercise. Stubborn fat, as what others call it. Excess estrogen leads to larger deposits of adipose tissue or fat tissues in the body. For men, the problematic areas are the chest and stomach, which also leads to formation of firm breast tissues, a condition called gynecomastia. The stomach, upper thighs, lower buttocks and the back of the upper arms are the problematic areas for women.
In women, excessive amount of estrogen seems to pose health concerns too. Most women complain of hot flashes and unpredictable bleeding during menstrual cycle, aside from the irrational feeling it creates. Increased level of the less favorable type of estrogen in the body are also believed to contribute to higher risk of certain types cancers such as breast cancer. Lifestyle and diet modification contribute greatly to lowering the excess level of estrogen in the body.
Proper diet significantly can help in restoring the estrogen level in one’s body back to normal. Adding more soy – based products in the diet or supplements of the like can effectively lower the amount of estrogen in the body. Phytoestrogens, predominantly genistein and daidzein are found in soy products which can help to naturally get rid of excess natural estrogen in the body. Also, add more fiber in your diet. Fiber helps in removing excess estrogen by binding, and thus removing excess hormones. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains pack a lot of fiber. Western diet also shows an imbalance of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids, in which omega-6 is predominantly abundant, which provides too much estrogen producing chemicals. So, increased intake of fish, which is high in omega-3, can help in reducing estrogen levels. Sugar also raises estrogen levels and also negatively affects your body in many other ways. So cut down on sugar. Also, reduce alcohol intake since breast cancer is higher in people who have higher intake of alcohol due to the increase of hormones it causes.
Regular and proper exercise can also help in lowering estrogen levels in the body. Regular exercise releases endorphins, a natural hormone which helps to regulate estrogen-to-testosterone-balance. Getting enough sleep is also another efficient way. Estrogen levels are also affected by one’s sleep cycle. The ability of your body to redress hormone levels in the body is greatly affected when you get enough sleep.
There is also a home test kit available that determines the level of estrogen in your body. A urine sample is required and then is sent to a medical laboratory. Customized supplements can be recommended if it is determined that your estrogen levels are too high.
Can Alpha Lipoic Acid Help Lower Blood Sugar?
August 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Alpha lipoic acid is a nutritional supplement best known as an antioxidant. It is an organic compound that plays many important physiological functions at the cellular level. For one, it is widely regarded as a potent scavenger of free radicals. It also affects the rate of metabolism and the production of energy. In fact, it has become one of the most popular supplements available in the past few years.
Often abbreviated as ALA, alpha lipoic acid is a derivative of caprylic acid or octanoic acid. As its name suggests, caprylic acid is generally linked to goat milk, though it can be obtained from several other sources of food, such as vegetable oils. ALA has been the subject of studies in recent years. Apart from its role it in the prevention of oxidative stress, it also contributes to the regulation of blood sugar.
Modulates Insulin Function
Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream as measured by whole blood, plasma, or serum. Glucose is obtained from complex carbohydrates found in the human diet. It enters the circulatory system, travels through the bloodstream, and nourishes cells. It is the precursor of biochemical energy that supports the physiological functions of cells, tissues, and body organs.
There is good scientific evidence that alpha lipoic acid influences the uptake of glucose. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels as it instructs cells to take up glucose from the blood. It has been observed that alpha lipoic acid induces the activation of insulin receptors, raises the number of glucose transports in cell membranes, and enhances glucose uptake in the process.
Increases Glucose Utilization
Alpha lipoic acid is a dietary supplement popular among body builders largely owing to the fact that it increases glucose utilization. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the effects of ALA on overall metabolic rate, the reason why it has been marketed as a weight loss supplement for years. As a general rule, glucose utilization by cells increases as the rate of metabolism increases.
The synthesis of adenosine triphosphate requires the presence of glucose, which the human body uses as a source of cellular energy. Numerous studies have reported that alpha lipoic acid is capable of upregulating the production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Its presence triggers cells to convert glucose to energy at a faster rate, effectively affecting and lowering blood sugar.
Alleviates Diabetes Mellitus
Alpha lipoic acid is especially helpful for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and its complications. In addition to its role in the management of blood sugar, it also protects the nervous system from cellular damage brought on by reactive oxygen species, as is the case with diabetic neuropathy. As a reputed free radical neutralizer, ALA not only alleviates diabetes but also prevents its complications.
How Does N-Acetyl L-Carnitine Help Energy Levels?
August 03, 2011 11:47 AM
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine And Cellular Health
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine refers to the ester form of the organic compound carnitine. It has been linked to many different health benefits largely owing to the fact that it is quite ubiquitous at the cellular level. It plays an important role in keeping cells in prime working condition as derivatives of this compound protect cells from oxidative stress as well as contribute to reactions responsible for energy production.
Increases Cellular Energy
The biochemical energy that powers cellular activities comes in the form of adenosine triphosphate. All types of tissues in the human body are capable of manufacturing this chemical compound, the reason why it is often called the molecular unit of currency. The human diet provides the biological precursors of cellular energy, but adenosine triphosphate is obtained from the sugar glucose more often than not.
Cells make use of N-acetyl L-carnitine in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Research has shown that the presence of acetylated carnitine appears to modulate the metabolic processes leading to the manufacture of cellular energy. In recent years, endurance athletes and body builders have relied on supplements that contain this compound to boost their energy levels. Human trials support its safety.
Aids Healthy Metabolism
Glucose is the principal precursor of chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Complex carbohydrates are digested to simple sugars such as glucose, which enters the circulation. Insulin is a hormone that induces the uptake of glucose by cells, which convert glucose to usable energy. Studies have observed that N-acetyl L-carnitine improves the activity of insulin and consumption of glucose.
It is a well established fact that carnitine is involved in the breakdown of fats, waxes, and sterols, and their consequent utilization in the production of cellular energy. For this reason, N-acetyl L-carnitine is marketed as a nutritional supplement that promotes fat loss and aids weight loss. Human trials have noted that regular intake upregulates the conversion of fats and other lipids to adenosine triphosphate.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Lysine and methionine are amino acids that act as immediate precursors of carnitine, which the body synthesizes on a regular basis to support a number of physiological functions. In particular, carnitine plays a major role in supplying cells with a steady supply of chemical energy during intense physical exertion. At the same time, they protect the cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.
N-acetyl L-carnitine is a very good source of carnitine as it is widely believed to be more bioavailable than L-carnitine. It adds to the number of carnitine in cells, boosts energy levels, and combats free radicals and other reactive oxygen species. Free radicals are natural by-products of energy production, and thus carnitine produces a twofold effect. It promotes cellular longevity and raises chemical energy.
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do for the Body?
July 26, 2011 01:29 PM
Celery seed extract is obtained from the fruits of celery. Powdered celery seeds are historically noted as a natural analgesic, and have been in use as a pain reliever throughout the ages. Modern science has found out that celery seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals that display pharmacological activity. In addition, it exhibits diuretic and hepatoprotective properties.
Suppresses Pain Chemicals
Traditionally, the seeds are picked from the flowers, powdered, and made into tinctures. Herbalists have long prescribed celery seed extract for the treatment of rheumatism. Several historical sources cited that its use provides relief to sufferers of joint pain and muscle spasms. Laboratory studies have shown that it naturally contains organic compounds capable of blocking the release of pain chemicals.
Alleviates Skin Disorders
Psoralen refers to a group of chemical compounds that increase ultraviolet absorbance. As such, it is a major component of PUVA, a form of therapeutic remedy in use today. This therapy has been reported to effectively cure medical conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. Celery seed extract is a source of bergapten, a type of psoralen that has been utilized to treat psoriasis in particular.
Normalizes Blood Pressure
People suffering from hypertension are likely to benefit from celery seed extract. As the subject of much research in recent years, celery seeds have been observed to lower high blood pressure and bring about normal blood flow. While its exact mechanisms of action remain under investigation, initial studies yielded very desirable results, spurring more researchers to look into its medicinal potential.
Promotes Liver Function
Many food and drug products are precursors to metabolites that inflict direct damage to liver cells. The liver as an organ becomes increasingly ineffective in containing the damage as we age. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the hepatoprotective properties of celery seed extract, which raises the capacity of the liver to defend against harmful metabolites and promote liver function.
Reduces High Cholesterol
The phytochemical content of celery seed extract is especially good for the cardiovascular system. In addition to its effects on blood pressure, it appears to alter the quality of lipids in the blood. It is now posited that it interferes with the utilization of fatty acids in the synthesis of cholesterol, lipoproteins, and triglycerides. By so doing, it lowers cholesterol in the blood and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Counters Oxidative Stress
Celery seed extract contains bioflavonoids, which are a class of polyphenolic phytochemicals. These compounds have been extensively studied in the past few decades due to their antioxidant activity. Regular consumptions of foods high in polyphenols have been documented to counter radical damage during oxidative stress, protect body tissues from disease activity, and promote cellular longevity.
What is Fenugreek Seed and How Does It Boost Your Health?
July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
Fenugreek seed and your health
Fenugreek seed is a spice often added to curries and other Indian dishes. It is a good source of protein and nutrients. In folk medicine, it has been used in the treatment of pain and irritation characteristic of inflammation. It is historically utilized to promote lactation. More recent studies have shown that it displays antiviral properties. In particular, it has been tested in allaying symptoms of cold infections.
Trigonella foenum-graecum is a plant species that belongs to the legume family. As such, it has been cultivated as a vegetable even before the ancient times. It is believed to be an indigenous species of the Fertile Crescent, a historic region that comprises the modern countries Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. To this day, it remains an important crop, herb, and food source in these countries.
Combats Diabetes Mellitus
Fenugreek seed has been the subject of scientific research in the past few years. Drawing on its use in traditional medicine, it has been employed in the management of blood sugar. It improves the effect of the hormone insulin in regulating glucose levels. In fact, it has shown great potential in treating both type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and type II noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
Alters Blood Lipid Profile
The phytochemical content of fenugreek seed enables it to effectively lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Clinical trials have recorded changes in lipids present in the systemic circulation after intake of fenugreek seed products. It is now postulated that it blocks the metabolic pathway for the synthesis of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Some sources say that it raises good cholesterol levels.
Increases Milk Production
Fenugreek seed is rich in organic compounds that promote the secretion of milk products within the mammary glands of lactating women by as much as 900 per cent. Traditionally, the seeds are ground into powder and consumed in large quantities by pregnant women. Today they are made into capsules, which have been reported to display the same benefits and remain popular in the Indian subcontinent.
Relieves Viral Infections
There is a growing body of literature devoted to the putative antiviral properties of fenugreek seed. A number of researchers have attested that the seed displays biochemical activity that interferes with the replication of viruses. For instance, topical applications of fenugreek extracts have shown desirable results in removing viral skin conditions, and oral intake has been effective in easing the common cold.
Promotes Skin Health
Fenugreek seed is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It promotes retention of moisture in the skin and protects the outer layer of the skin from irritants. It has been used as salves to wounds, rashes, boils, bruises, allergies, and insect bites. It is made into a syrupy mixture that is directly applied to the hair. It regulates the production of sebum in the hair follicles and helps control dandruff.
Grab some fenugreek seed and feel the difference!
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!
Why Are Fresh Sprouts Like Alfalfa, Barley, and Wheat So Good for Your Health?
May 24, 2011 11:22 AM
Sprouts For A Healthier Body!
Fresh sprouts are among the healthiest of all foods. They are rich in enzymes that are not found in the human body. These enzymes help facilitate better absorption of vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa, barley, and wheat are examples of plants that are capable of sprouting when soaked in water. They are best consumed fresh when they still contain all of their nutrients. They make excellent ingredients to salads and sandwiches that can complement any meal. They can be processed in juicing machines, too.
You might have heard of the nutritional value of grasses and legumes. Wheatgrass is becoming increasingly popular nowadays as they have been receiving a lot of good press lately. Wheatgrass and barley grass has in fact earned the moniker superfoods. Alfalfa, on the other hand, is a legume recently rediscovered for its phytochemical content. It has been a forage crop for centuries, but human consumptions have steadily increased in the past few years. Apart from the fact that wheat, barley, alfalfa can be consumed as fresh sprouts, they also bring similar benefits to human health.
Restore Normal pH Levels
Proponents of the alkaline diet believe that the body is in a constant cycle of alkalinity and acidity, which is partially dependent on the foods that we eat. The body raises alkalinity with every acidic by-products of digestion to maintain pH balance. That being said, a significant fraction of the human diet is acid-forming, tipping the balance in the process. Fresh sprouts are often linked to the alkaline diet, which aims to restore pH balance of the body.
Have High Nutrient Content
Alfalfa, barley grass, and wheatgrass are very good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in dietary minerals that help the body function at its best. Plus, they contain amino acids, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates in amounts adequate to complement any other foods that make up a healthy diet. One of the very noticeable improvements after months of consuming fresh sprouts is the increase in red blood cell count.
Cleanse the Body of Toxins
Aside from the fact that fresh sprouts are effective free radical scavengers, they also improve the natural antioxidant defense of the human body. Wheat, barley, and alfalfa are reliable sources of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium, all of which are involved in chemical reactions that lead to effective removal of toxic by-products of metabolism. Fresh sprouts are capable of neutralizing reactive oxygen species such as free radicals. Furthermore, they facilitate the excretion of toxins.
Promote Heart Health
Fresh sprouts are particularly good for the cardiovascular system. They maintain the health of red blood cells. They limit the releases of low-density lipoproteins into the blood, thus lowering bad cholesterol and free fatty acids. They help control high blood pressure and promote normal blood flow. They maintain healthy levels of blood sugar by improving glucose metabolism. And, of course, their antioxidant profile enables them to protect the heart and arterial walls from lipid peroxidation.
Have you had your sprouts today?
What is Schizandra Fruit Good for?
May 17, 2011 02:57 PM
Schizandra and your Health.
Schizandra fruit refers to the berries of schizandra. It is widely used in China and the plant is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a highly prized ingredient to a health tonic historically prepared for Chinese royalty and nobility. In recent years it has become available to more people across the globe as cultivation increases to meet large-scale productions. Also, herbal supplements that contain extracts of schizandra fruit are becoming popular.
Schisandra chinensis is an indigenous plant species of, as the name suggests, China. However, its native range goes as far north as Asiatic Russia. It is cultivated for its leaves, bark, and berries. The name of the fruit in Chinese translates as “the berry that possesses all five basic flavors,” inasmuch as the Chinese believe it contains organic compounds responsible for its unique taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. The berries are often dried and made into tea that can be served hot or cold.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of cellular respiration, the process of energy metabolism that takes place within each individual cell. These include peroxides, singlet oxygen, and free radicals. ROS can interrupt cellular activities and even damage DNA synthesis, the reason why each cell has its own antioxidant defense. That being said, cells are overwhelmed by ROS as we age.
The process of aging has been tied to the weakening antioxidant defense of cells. Free radicals are also believed to be responsible for the fast progression of many life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Schizandra fruit is a natural remedy for oxidative stress, the cellular damage brought on by ROS. The berries are rich in antioxidants that help replenish the antioxidant stores of the body.
Displays Hepatoprotective Properties
Schizandra fruit is particularly good for the liver. Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine believe that its berries rejuvenate the liver, the kidneys, and the circulatory system by washing away the toxins these tissues have amassed over the years. The cleansing properties of juices and tinctures that contain schizandra have been ascribed to the organic compounds naturally occurring in the fruit.
Lignans are a class of polyphenolic substances that occur naturally in nature. Schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisin, and pregomisin are lignans unique to the schizandra fruit. The antioxidant properties of lignans are well established, but those found in the berries of this plant species have an affinity toward hepatocytes, or liver cells. It protects liver cells from oxidative damage and raises the capacity of liver to deal with drugs and their harmful metabolites during first pass metabolism.
Increases Physical Working Capacity
Schizandra fruit is a symbol for youth in the East, and for good reason. For one, it is an adaptogen that increases tolerance to stress and raises the physical capacity of the human body. It is also an aphrodisiac believed to enhance libido and improve sexual performance. Modern herbalists believe its aphrodisiac effects are attributable to its stress-relieving properties.
You too can experience the health benefits of schizandra by picking up a bottle at your health food store.
How Does Zinc Boost the Immune System and What Else Does this Mineral Do
May 02, 2011 01:58 PM
Zinc And Good Health!
Zinc is considered a transition metal in general, and as such one of the most abundant transition metals in living organisms, including human beings. It plays a central role in the molecular structure of proteins, which is indispensable in catalytic activities of over a hundred enzymes. These proteins belong to all enzyme classes and have far-reaching effects on the human body, notably in the immune system.
In the past few decades, the scientific community has unearthed countless chemical reactions that take place inside the human body. A number of these reactions necessitate the presence of zinc. While zinc is considered toxic in high amounts, it is classified as an essential trace mineral, which means it has a daily value. A deficiency in zinc has serious effects on growth and development as implicated in the life cycle of cells.
Stabilizes Cellular Structures
Zinc is a trace mineral that is quite pervasive at the cellular level as all cells have zinc demands. This dietary element keeps cells in prime condition and maintains the health of cell organelles. For one, zinc is required to stabilize ions that functions as interaction modules responsible for binding DNA, RNA, and other particles found within cells. The absence of zinc in cells will cripple these activities.
The complete absence of this trace mineral is improbable, but low levels of elemental zinc in the body have been observed to have serious effects on cellular health. The capacity of cells to contain radical damage depends on the availability of zinc. Depleting levels of zinc result in an impaired antioxidant defense and greater susceptibility to free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Enzymatic Reactions
Enzymes are proteins that play functional roles in the metabolism of bioactive compounds. They are categorized into many classes, depending on their catalytic functions. These functions are vital as they are one of the mechanisms in the employ of the body to sustain homeostasis. Some classes are involved in immune responses in the prevention of disease and the alleviation of chronic disorders.
All classes of enzymes are affected by the metabolism of zinc one way or another, with over a hundred requiring the direct involvement of zinc to induce catalysis. Zinc is of special note in a chemical reaction called hydroxylation, a process that helps cleanse the body of toxins. With hydroxylation, zinc participates in the conversion of lipid-soluble substrates into water-soluble products ready for excretion.
Modulates Immune Responses
The human body utilizes zinc in many different metabolic pathways that influence the processes needed for prompt immune responses. In the case of common infections such as colds and flu, zinc curtails severity of symptoms and raises immune responses to optimum levels. More importantly, healthy levels of zinc enable the body to take on preventative measures against diseases.
Remember even though zinc is an important mineral, to much can cause problems as well. Do not exceed 150mgs daily for extended periods of time to maintain safe levels of zinc. I suggest 15mg to 75mg 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!
Did You Know Lecithin is More than a Brain Food
February 15, 2011 04:16 PM
Lecithin, first discovered as the yellow substance in egg yolk, is now associated with a wide array of health benefits. It is in fact made up of a number of naturally occurring substances that all play an important role in promoting overall health at the right amounts. Today lecithin is made available as over-the-counter supplements and utilized for many different purposes in the food industry.
Lecithin has been proven to reduce cholesterol serum levels. For one, it has a direct effect on the digestion of triglycerides and cholesterol from the foods we eat, blocking the pathway that breaks down fats into smaller particles and their consequent absorption by intestinal walls. Also, lecithin has been observed to attract free fatty acids in the bloodstream and move them away from arterial walls. More importantly, it inhibits the release of bad cholesterol and instead raises good cholesterol levels.
Induces Weight Loss
There are dietary supplements that make use of lecithin to assist weight loss. Since the amount of lecithin present in our diet contributes to the ability of the intestinal walls to break down fats, notably cholesterol, it practically flushes away unwanted calories. Lecithin is a part of a class of compounds called lipids, and, as a lipid, it is readily utilized by the cells to burn fats and power cellular functions.
Phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of lecithin, is in the employ of every cell in the body as a form of protection and in cellular communication. It is one of the compounds that make up the lipid bilayer of cell membranes. Unfortunately, our systems use up more lecithin as a dynamic source of energy than what we supply our body, and this explains why we become more susceptible to stress.
Protects the Liver
Lecithin has always shown to be one of the compounds that promote liver health, and has been in use against certain diseases of the liver such as cirrhosis. This compound is responsible for speeding up the metabolism of lipids in the liver, and produce them only when needed, thereby removing the hazards associated with the buildup of fatty tissues that interferes with the functions of the liver.
Helps during Pregnancy
Choline is one of the most important compounds during pregnancy. It is in itself an essential nutrient with established daily value, being required to support healthy body functions, and lecithin is its best known precursor. Intake of lecithin before getting pregnant is recommendable as choline must be produced at sufficient amounts prior to conception to ensure healthy fetal development.
Lecithin, being a precursor of choline, is involved in improving brain function. There are neuronal processes that rely entirely on choline, whose absence in the nervous system results in decreased activity of these processes. In addition, it has long been postulated that the functional decline tied to aging is due to the depleting levels of choline in the body. Hence, it is prudent to replenish our choline reserves by eating foods rich in lecithin.
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.
June 22, 2009 11:43 AM
Even though bee pollen has received a good deal of attention over the last few decades, a lot of people still do not know exactly what it is. Pollen is technically the male seed of flowers and can be viewed as the male cells of a flowering plant. It is necessary for the plant to be fertilized. Every kind of flower on his plant produces pollen, which is created in the stamen of the blossom itself. Bee pollen is the pollen which is collected and stored by honey bees in their hives. While honey bees perform this activity, they actually pollinate more than 80 percent of green growing plants. Obviously, they are a vital component of plant propagation. Universally, bee pollen is praised for its notable nutrient content and extraordinary ability to provide energy.
Used for centuries, bee pollen has been considered a powerful healing agent, a source of regenerative power, and the secret to eternal youth for some ancients. As far back as 2735 B.C., the Chinese emperor compiled an impressive medical collection containing many beehive products. This compilation is still referred to today, with ongoing research continuing to support many of its claims. For millions of years, humans have made good use of beehive products. Before paper was even invented, ancient people commemorated their respect of the honeybee and beehive products. Honeybees were considered to be sacred at this time, with Egyptian papyri referring to bee pollen as life-giving dust and its use as a sacred offering to the gods. Roman legions use to carry bee pollen for sustenance, with ancient Romans even making Virgil the official poet laureate of the honeybee.
Even Hippocrates recommended bee pollen for several ailments, while the Hindus taught that eating honey and pollen could produce health, vigor, happiness, and wisdom. Honey and pollen were routinely used by orientals for medicinal purposes, while Ancient Greeks referred to honey and pollen as the food of kings, as they believed the food would give them youth and vitality. Bee pollen was also looked upon as a dietary staple by the Anglo-Saxons. People drank combinations of wine, honey, and pollen because they believed that it was a life-sustaining elixir.
In the following centuries, Charlemagne recorded that his subjects used pollen and honey on a daily basis. He even required that his people take an annual inventory of their honey and pollen supplies. Taxes were often paid in the form of honey and pollen and gifts of honey and pollen were looked upon with respect. Almost every recorded religious or historical record praises the honeybee and its products such as bee pollen. These books refer to the beneficial healing and nutritive properties that bee pollen possesses. Aztec and Mayans even worshiped the honeybee, which can be proved through numerous images of honeycombs and pollen. Early American settlers even became actively involved in honey production, so that it could be used at the table.
Because American scientists have shown little to no amounts of interest in European documentation that supports the therapeutic value of bee pollen, most modern day scientific investigation has taken place in Europe. Other researchers have already discovered that this wonderful food contains concentrations of just about every known nutrient, with reports from areas of Europe and Russia confirming the belief that this substance has infinite value for health maintenance and diseases treatment.
Bee pollen is available in capsule, tablet, and bulk powder forms at VitaNet ®, LLC. Always purchase a name brand bee pollen product to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
October 10, 2008 09:23 AM
Each food we eat has a different, specific effect on the body. Meat and fish are rich in protein and help to build the body’s muscle structure, while carbohydrate foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta are rich in sugar and are instantly converted to energy and also stored for energy. Vegetables and fruits have an abundant amount of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiver, and antioxidants that help other foods to do their jobs. Because each food has its own role in the body, getting the correct amount of each food is vital.
One doctor suggests that what and how much to eat should be determined by the number and shape of the teeth. Since humans have four canine teeth for chewing meats, eight incisor teeth for vegetables and fruits, and 20 molar and pre-molar teeth for grinding staple foods, the ration should be meat one, vegetables two, and staple foods five for a well balanced ratio of eating.
However, today’s typical diet is far from being well-balanced. Vegetables are usually what lack most in diets, which regulate the body. Because of this, meat dishes and staple foods can’t do their jobs and instead, remain in the body as fat, making improperly metabolized food cause disease. This unbalanced diet means that food becomes body fat and increased body fat causes hyperlipema, which clogs the blood with fat, but also raises the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis.
Chlorella can be used to effectively supply the body with nutrients that are identical to vegetables. With eating being one of life’s joys, it is only human instinct to want to eat a lot of delicious food. This desire often influences our lives. However, eating an unbalanced diet can increase excessive body fat, leading to a variety of diseases. Along with balancing the diet, chlorella is able to cleanse the blood by eliminating the excess fat and making blood vessels more flexible. This helps to lower cholesterol in the blood and liver. Chlorella also has the ability to improve hypertension, improve diabetes, protect against arteriosclerosis, prevent stomach ulcers, and prevent anemia.
The human digestive system is responsible for taking in necessary nutrients for the maintenance of life. The intestines can be considered the entrance to the body, where nutrients from food are absorbed. However, intestines are also the entrance for toxins, which can lead to various diseases such as colon cancer, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, cystitis, poor skin, headaches, dizziness, stiff shoulders, stomachaches, insomnia, anorexia, hemorrhoids, allergies, and lowered immunity. Some common toxins include dioxins, heavy metals, residual agricultural chemicals, food additives, and prescription drugs. All of these materials are highly absorbable, highly residual in the body, and not easily detoxified by just the liver.
It’s necessary to improve liver metabolism to detoxify and regulate the environment inside the body. Chlorella is able to detoxify the body by boosting liver metabolism and detoxify the poisons that are highly residual and not able to be detoxified by the liver. As a detoxifier, chlorella is responsible for the detoxification of PCBs, excretion of dioxin, detoxification of heavy metals, and improvement of constipation. Have you had your chlorella today?
September 18, 2008 11:14 AM
They say that you can never bee too rich, too thin or too hot. The search for potions, foods, herbs, and supplements to increase sagging libido is never ending. Not only does erectile dysfunction (ED) affect approximately 30 million American men and one-third of those American males between the ages of 40 and 70, but about 43 percent of women have reported having some kind of sexual dissatisfaction, with about one-third of them specifically reporting low sexual desire.
In the 1970s and 80s a famous erotic entertainer named the brain as being the most erogenous zone in the body. A lack in libido can have a lot more to do with the brain than with genital areas. Stress, lack of energy, fatigue, depression, anger, and worry all kill sexual appetite, and few foods have been found to make much of dent in your mind or other places. On the other hand, slow libido for men or women occasionally has a physical base, being the combination of both desire and the ability to do something about it.
If we assume that the “spirit is willing” we still have to make sure that the body is able, with the first order of business being circulation. The best way to improve overall circulation is exercise, of which almost any kind will do as long as your heart is pumping, blood is flowing, and oxygen is reaching the brain. Exercise also raises the feel-good chemicals in the brain referred to as catecholamines, which makes it more likely that you’ll be more in the mood. Many yoga postures that are done prior to sex have been shown to be fantastic enhances, especially the butterfly pose for women.
There is also a list of sexy foods including, almonds, avocados, celery, chili peppers, chocolate, oysters, figs, and nutmeg. Almonds contain important fatty acids which help the brain to work better while avocados are not only a sensual delight, but also contain important fatty acids that help the brain and heart. Celery actually contains a small amount of androsterone, which is a male hormone that is released in sweat, known to turn women on. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which stimulates circulation.
Chocolate contains pheylethylalmine (PEA), which is a chemical raised in the brain when you’re in love. Oysters, which are high in zinc, help men with sexual functioning. Figs are high in amino acids and are also believed to increase sexual stamina and nutmeg is used in Indian medicine for enhancing desire, with studies showing that it has the same effect as Viagra. Dishes that are high in carbohydrates, such as pasta, are much more likely to lead to sleep rather than romance. So be sure to eat energy producing protein and vegetables, leaving the table just a bit hungry.
There are some foods that can trigger thoughts of love, such as a peach or even an avocado. Those foods that have luscious textures and tastes are also shown to enhance mood. In order to turn on the brain naturally, think of smells. Almond and coconut make great scented candles and are good bets to improve libido. Lavender has been shown to be one of the most universal turn-on’s and can be used through out the day with relaxing and mood boosting properties. However you decide to boost libido, adding the above mentioned foods might help improve quality of life.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
The Growing Organic Market Place
June 26, 2007 01:51 PM
It probably doesn’t come as much of a shock that the market for organic produce is growing—estimated by various sources at about 20 percent a year. What may be surprising is that the organic food market, which generated about $13.8 billion last year, represents only about 2.5 percent of the total U.S. food consumption.
While those of us involved in the natural products industry or natural healthcare take for granted the advantages of organic products over “traditional” ones, there is a pressing need to mobilize resources in order to meet the consumer demand for pesticide-free foods.
Currently, only 0.2 percent of the U.S. farmland is organic. The other 99.8 percent produces food utilizing the high-production, low-nutrient and flavor lacking industrial chemical methods we grew up with—the same tradition that drove consumers to seek out organic produce in the first place. The picture isn’t any better in Canada, according to the Canadian Organic Growers Association, where only 1 percent of the food grown there is organic.
This of course raises the question as to how we are going to satisfy this increasing consumer demand. In a word: imports. We already import more than 10 percent of the organic food we eat. But perhaps the figure of greater interest is that we consume 42 percent of the worldwide organic food supply, leaving only 58% for world’s non-U.S. residents.
In this enlightened era in which we understand the downside of processed foods, chemical residue and the portent of global warming, it’s hard to understand why we don’t muster our great resources and legendary spirit to launch a program to address these issues—like JFK’s Apollo Project, which put a man on the moon in under a decade using computers less powerful than are commonly found on our desktops today.
While we ponder the question, there are people of good will and strong conviction who are working, albeit with limited resources, to do something about it. one group is working on remineralizing the earth. We are proud to be supporters and friends and we think you will find their concept as exciting as we do. -Peter Gillham – editor.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
1. Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
2. Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
3. Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
4. Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza sauce. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Scientific Research Backing Glyconutrition
October 15, 2006 04:26 PM
There are over 20,000 studies conducted annually on glycoforms alone. Researchers from universities and major pharmaceutical companies realize the importance of this new discovery. Breaking the “sugar-code” will mean a tremendous advancement in health and medicine.
Studies confirm that the eight essential biologically active sugars can accomplish amazing results. The following are just a few examples of the exciting possibilities of Glyconutrition:
How to deal with Stress and Cortisol...
August 30, 2006 09:36 AM
Beating the Aging Odds
All of us grow older, but aging is a choice. You have it in your power to retain much of the health, vitality and beauty of your youth. It boils down to a simple fact – retard oxidative stress and you’ll retard the aging process. The 70 million people who make up the “boomer” generation and are getting ready for an active retirement welcome this news.
Stress and Cortisol
The early twentieth century “stress doctor” Hans Selye, M.D. was renowned for his work on the human adaptive response and the effects of stress on aging. He taught that every stress leanves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older. That’s because stress raises levels of the adrenal hormone cortisol. It increases internal generation of free radicals, disrupts normal metabolism and leads to aging conditions. Because of this, cortisol has been dubbed the age-accelerating hormone.
The more stressful our lifestyle and the level of environmental hazards we are exposed to, the higher cortisol levels will climb in an effort to jump-start our adaptive response. Coupled with a poor diet, this is a recipe for pre-mature aging. At least eleven major aging factors are related to high cortisol levels:
So, there you have it. Now let’s see how to tame cortisol and reduce oxidative stress.
Reducing Cortisol and Oxidative Stress
Be in the moment – stress reducing techniques such as meditation, prayer, visualization, yoga, chi gong, and listening to inspirational tapes induce calmness and a sense of balance.
Eat right for your genes – as we get older, we don’t digest animal protein as efficiently as when younger. Shifting to plant source proteins that are easier to digest and contain the full complement of vitamins and minerals is most desirable. We are accustomed to thinking of dairy, meat, poultry, and fish as “protein.” All vegetables are good sources of protein. Along with legumes, whole grains, and nuts, daily protein needs are easily fulfilled. Meals that combine a variety of tastes from plant foods also require less salt for flavor enhancement and this helps keep hypertension at bay. So, explore just how good meals can be that either do not contain meat or use it as a condiment. If you do need some salt, try substituting table salt with NOW Vitamins Potassium Chloride crystals.
Enzymes Increase Digestion
Use digestive enzymes such as Optimal Digestive System to insure that you are absorbing all the nutrients in your food. This product has been clinically tested for its digestive effectiveness helping to digest fats, carbs, proteins and even gas producing beans and cruciferous vegetables. Other enzymes, Serrazimes is a systemic enzyme that will help keep lymphatic’s clear of debris, support immune function, and boost your adaptive response to stress.
As many people reach middle age they have a tendency to gain weight around the navel. High stress amps up levels of cortisol that results in increased girth. Middle body fat is considered a significant risk factor for impaired glucose metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Check your waist to hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement in inches by your hip measurement. If you have a ratio of 0.85 or below, you have lower risk of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. This measurement is one of the best indicators of cortisol induced metabolic syndrome and weight gain.
Super cortisol support with Relora is an herbal, vitamin and mineral formula that’s designed to fight mid-body fat by taming cortisol. Its key ingredient is Relora which is a blend of the herbal extract of Phellodendron amurense and Magnolia officinalis. A small double blind clinical trial found that pre-menopausal obese women – half of whom took Relora – lost a significant amount of weight. These were women who eat in response to stress. Thus the researchers proposed that Relora appeared to reduce cortisol and perceived stress, resulting in weight loss. Super cortisol support also contains Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, herbs traditionally use for increasing adaptive response and reducing stress. You can read about these herbs and other nutritional products in the book 7-syndrome healing: supplement essentials for mind and body. Written by myself and coauthor Jayson Kroner. This book can be ordered from Now Foods.
Additionally, Chinese scientists found that the active components in Relora called honokiol and magnolol delayed gastric emptying, which would make you feel full longer. An additional anti-aging benefit was observed by another group of Chinese scientists. They reported that honokiol is a potent arterial thrombosis inhibitor because it inhibits prostacyclin release; a promoter of platelet adhesion. Platelet stickiness increases stroke risk. Phellodendron and Magnolia have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.
Quell Free Radicals
Health and longevity essentially rests on the body balance between free radical load and antioxidant reserves. Toxic exposure depletes some of your antioxidant reserves. Eating a diet rich in antioxidant fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, helps you rebound. Continued toxic exposure will challenge your antioxidant status and may overwhelm your reserves. VitaBerry Plus+ is a powerful antioxidant formula that contains a range of high ORAC fruits that naturally augment the diet. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It is a measure of the ability of a food to quell oxygen free radicals, the most dangerous kind. VitaBerry Plus+ is a product after my own heart. In my book The Anti-Aging Solution, I wrote about how different color foods protect DNA and prevent aging. VitaBerry Plus+ contains the important colors described in my bood. You can order your copy from Now Vitamins.
True-E Bio Complex rounds out the antioxidant colors. It contains all eight tocopherols and eight tocotrienols in the natural ratio found in “tan” foods such as whole grains and legumes. It is the only natural vitamin E that is produced from soy that has not been genetically modified.
The best anti-aging advice I can pass on is from my friend and food columnist Joan Jackson. “Take Pleasure in Your Life TODAY and Enjoy What You Eat”
Green tea, brewed or extracted, may help you dodge the big C.
May 20, 2006 12:14 PM
Has anything garnered more health-news headlines than tea lately? It seems that every time you turn around a new study is published that links this venerable beverage to increased well-being. Of course none of this is news to the Chinese, who have been singing tea’s praises—and using it to fight fatigue, strengthen memory and aid digestion—ever since its discovery by the semi-mythical emperor Shen Nung.
As Tea spread throughout Asia, other folks quick to catch on. “Tea has an extraordinary power to prolong life,: proclaimed Kitcha Yojoki, who introduced Zen Buddhism to Japan. “Anywhere a person cultivates tea, long life will follow.”
Lutein to fight age-related macular degeneration!
February 27, 2006 05:53 PM
Lutein: The Antiordinary Antioxidant
Lutein belongs to a class of compounds known as carotenoids. Carotenoids in general are yellow, orange, or red pigments responsible for many of the colors of the foods we consume each day. To date, over 600 carotenoids have been identified in nature, but are only produced by plants, algae and bacteria leaving humans and animals to consume carotenoids in the diet. Forty to fifty carotenoids are consumed in the typical US diet, but only 14 have been detected in the blood, indicating a selective use of specific carotenoids by the body. Lutein is one of these carotenoids found in the blood and has been increasingly associated with eye health over the last decade.
Lutein’s role in eye health
In the human eye, lutein is concentrated in the center of the retina in an area known as the macula. Lutein is deposited in the macula through the lutein we consume in out diet or through supplements. This area is responsible for human central vision and is colored intensely yellow due to high concentrations of lutein. Lutein is thought to be beneficial for eye health by reducing damage in the eye in two ways: 1) by absorbing blue light (blue light is thought to increase free radical formation in the eye) and 2) by acting as an antioxidant, reducing damage in the eye caused by free radicals. Leading carotenoid researchers believe these functions may lead to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
Age-related macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the USA in those over 65. twenty-five and thirty million people are afflicted worldwide and currently there are no effective treatments for the disease. The disease has two forms known as dry and wet AMD.
Ninety percent of AMD cases diagnosed are the dry form. In dry AMD, also referred to as early AMD, debris deposits under the center of the retina (known as the macula) interfering with its normal function. Parts of the macula atrophy, causing the central vision to slowly become dimmer or more blurry. Wet age-related macular degeneration, also known as late AMD, often develops in areas where dry AMD exists. Abnormal blood vessels grow and leak blood and fluid under the macula, causing scarring, which leads to rapid loss of central vision.
Dr. Joanna Seddon published one of the first studies demonstrating a link between lutein intake and AMD risk in 1994 (1). This epidemiological study compared the risk of developing AMD to nutrient intake and showed a significant reduction in risk for developing AMD as lutein intake reached 6mg per day (57% reduction in risk). Since the Seddon study, researchers have shown that increasing dietary lutein intake raises blood levels of lutein as well as levels of lutein in the eye (2). Bone et al. demonstrated that eyes with higher levels of lutein were less likely to be afflicted with AMD (3).
The latest clinical trial that investigated lutein’s role in AMD is known as the lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (L.A.S.T) (4). This study evaluated the effects of lutein supplementation for one year in 90 veterans diagnosed with dry AMD. Supplementation with lutein in these subjects significantly increased the concentration of lutein in the macula. Improvements in visual function were also detected with lutein supplementation. Glare recovery, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity were all improved. This study continues to build on clinical evidence that the dry form of AMD may be responsive to changes in nutrition.
A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens, the area of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging. Currently in the US, cataracts are the second leading cause of blindness in the elderly behind AMD.
Lutein is the major carotenoid that has been identified in the human lens asn is thought to provide similar benefits to the leans that are seen in the retina. Two large epidemiological studies consisting of >70,000 women (age 45-71) and >30,000 men (age 45-75) compared the risk of cataract extraction to nutrient intake (5,6). Similar to AMD, a significant reduction in risk of cataract extraction was associated with lutein intakes of 6mg per day (20% reduction in risk). Besides cataract extraction, higher levels of lutein consumption have been associated with a decreased risk of cataract development and improvements in visual acuity and glare sensitivity in people with age-related cataracts.
The richest source of free lutein in the typical US diet are dark green leafy vegetables, with the highest concentration found in kale followed by spinach.
The average daily lutein intake is low, average between 1-2 mg/day. Currently there is no recommendations of the dietary guidelines for Americans 2005 (9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day) you would consume between 4 and 8 mg of lutein a day (7). Epidemiological evidence, animal models, and clinical data have indicated levels of 6-10 mg a day may be necessary to realize the health benefits associated with lutein consumption. By continuing to increase our intake of lutein, we begin to ensure the optimal health of our eyes.
Seddon et al. (1994) dietary carotenoids, vitamin a, c, and e, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease case-control study group. JAMA. 272: 1413-20.
Bone et al. (2000) Lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes, serum and diet of human subjects. Exp. Eye Res. 71: 239-45.
Bone et al. (2001) Macular pigment in donor eyes with and without AMD: a case-control study. Invest. Ophthalmal. Vis Sci. 42: 235-40.
Richer et al. (2004) Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-relaged macular degeneration: the veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 75: 216-30.
Brown et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in the US men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 517-24.
Chasen-Taber et al. (1999) A prospective study of carotenoid and vitamin A intakes and risk of cataract extraction in US women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70: 509-16
HHS/USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. //www.healthierus.Gov/dietaryguidelines/CDC. National health and nutrition examination survey data 2001-2002. //www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/nhanes01-02.html
Brandon lewis, Ph.D. is the applied research and Technical services manager at kemin health, L.C. in des moines, iowa. His responsibilities include the initiation and management of laboratory projects pertaining to the inclusion and analysis of kemin ingredients in vitamins and dietary supplements, as well as developing new applications and prototypes that include kemin ingredients. Prior to joining kemin, Brandon was enrolled at the university of Florida where he received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Science from the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
Phosphatidyl Serine - HEALTHY COGNITION BRAIN FUNCTION
December 21, 2005 11:04 AM
“To the dull mind, nature is leaden. To the illumined mind, the whole world burns and sparkles with light.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the moment we rise to the moment we rest, our brain is in a decision-making frenzy. When we’re thirsty, our brain tells us that we need water. When we’re hungry, it reminds us that we have a refrigerator full of food. When we’re tired, it lets us know that we need to sleep, and so on. But despite the thousands of decisions we make everyday, our brain still hasn’t figured out a way to let us know what it needs to func¬tion.
Though ironic, this raises a very serious issue. The human brain, like every other organ in the body, demands nutrition - period. Unfortunately, it leaves that up to us to figure out. Thanks to notable advance¬ments in research, we’re finally learning which nutri¬ents are most important for optimal brain function. Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a perfect example. This naturally occurring phospholipid has been the subject of numerous studies regarding its ability to boost cognitive function and delay (or potentially reverse) memory deterioration, and suggests that PS may be able to increase the effectiveness of neural transmissions. Interestingly, PS accounts for roughly 15% of the brain’s phospholipid supply. This is enor¬mous because phospholipids play a significant role in the billions of neurotransmissions that take place every second. Yes, billions.
Brain cells are constantly communicating with one another, and send astonishing amounts of impulses throughout the nervous system. This is accomplished via neurotransmitters - chemical messengers that send and receive impulses over the synapses of the brain and throughout the body. Mentally, we’re function¬ing at our best when these cells are well nourished. We can think more clearly, recall memories with ease and operate with greater efficiency. However, a de¬ficiency in neural-nutrients can prevent these mind messengers from functioning as they should. For¬tunately, PS has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier to deliver critical nutrients and remove mind-slowing waste.
Consider this. The brain functions in the same man¬ner that a major airport does around the holidays. There are millions of actions taking place. Impulses departing, nutrients arriving, endless communication, the occasional problem and more reactions than any¬one could possibly count. There’s confusion, delay and emotion, not to mention the endless series of transmissions that take place every second. Imagine PS as that ultra-motivated employee who shows up to work everyday anxious to expedite everything in sight. It helps neural travelers get to and from their respec¬tive gates, ensures that they have everything they need, simplifies processes that could result in breakdown, and clears isles that are cluttered with junk. Simply stated, PS is the brain’s overachieving go-getter.
PS can help us think more clearly.
It’s 3:06 in the afternoon and you’re scrambling to get to a meeting that you’re already late for. That fluster could be the result of poor neurotransmission caused by a deficiency in essential nutrients like PS. Moreover, these innocent brain-bursts can exhaust our PS reserves, leaving us somewhere hovering be¬tween frantic and sluggish. Every impulse, thought, action, reaction, movement, emotion and desire is the end result of neurotransmitters in action. PS is a major supporter of these actions. Therefore, as we increase the amount of PS in our system, we gain the ability to think and act with greater ease.
PS can reduce the adverse impacts of stress on our body and mind.
What do we do when we’re down in the dumps? While plopping down on the sofa with a snack might be an easy solution, it comes with a price. Not only does stress interfere with mood, but it can also inspire inactivity, over-eating and sluggishness. This is due largely in part to cortisol - a catabolic hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to emotional stress. Studies done to determine the effectiveness of PS on cortisol suppression have shown that it works by suppressing the hormones that produce cortisol. As a result, supplementing with PS may be able to help reduce the amount of stress related hormones that ultimately leave us singing the blues.
PS can expedite post workout recovery time.
Endurance athletes who carefully monitor their body’s response levels are increasingly turning to PS. Immediately following strenuous activity, the body responds by releasing adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) – a hormone that discourages testosterone and encourages cortisol. By limiting ACTH pro¬duction, PS reduces the amount of muscle tissue breakdown that occurs during exercise. A common misconception is that muscles grow during exercise - wrong. In fact, muscles are torn down during ex¬ercise and grow in-between workouts – hence the term recovery. During recovery, PS helps prevent the activity of growth-inhibiting hormones. This helps athletes recover faster so their gains are realized more quickly.
In short, Phosphatidyl Serine appears to be a completely safe and beneficial dietary supple¬ment that can offer a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. NOW® Phosphatidyl Serine is derived from soy leci¬thin, and includes Choline and Inositol – two metabolites that work synergistically to help in¬crease circulation and cognitive response.
October 06, 2005 10:08 PM
Magnesium is a dietary mineral with a wide array of biological activities in the body. Magnesium participates in numerous life-essential processes that occur both inside and outside cells. Magnesium deficiency impacts normal physiologic function on many levels. Adequate magnesium is a fundamental requirement for optimum function of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system and skeletal muscle, as well as the uterus and GI tract. Magnesium deficiency can affect health of the heart, bones and blood vessels and alter blood sugar balance .
Magnesium–Important for Everyone, Deficient in Many The average person living in a modern country today very likely consumes less than the optimum amount of magnesium . An abundance of data collected over the last two decades shows a consistent pattern of low magnesium intake in the U.S. This pattern cuts a wide swath across various age-sex groups. The USDA’s Nationwide Food Consumption Survey found that a majority of Americans consumed less than the recommended daily magnesium intake . Twelve age-sex groups were studied and this low magnesium intake was true for all groups except 0 to 5 year olds.
An analysis of the nutrient content of the diets of 7,810 individuals age four and above included magnesium among several nutrients where the amounts supplied by the average diet "were not sufficient to meet recommended standards" . The FDA’s Total Diet study examined the intakes of eleven minerals, including magnesium, among eight age-sex groups. Data was collected four times yearly from 1982 to 1984. Levels of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper were low for most age-sex groups . Surveys conducted in Europe and in other parts of North America paint a similar picture. Loss of magnesium during food processing is one explanation for this global lack of adequate dietary magnesium .
In particular, the elderly may be susceptible to magnesium deficiency for a variety of reasons, including inadequate magnesium intake, poor absorption due to impaired gastrointestinal function and use of drugs such as diuretics that deplete magnesium from the body . It has recently been theorized that magnesium deficiency may contribute to accelerated aging, through effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as muscles and the kidneys .
Women who take both synthetic estrogen and calcium supplements may be at risk for low blood levels of magnesium . Estrogen promotes the transfer of magnesium from blood to soft–tissues. Low blood magnesium may result if the ratio of calcium to magnesium intake exceeds 4 to 1. Magnesium supplementation is thus advisable for women taking estrogen and calcium.
Young adults are not immune to magnesium deficiency. The University of California’s Bogalusa Heart Study collected nutritional data from a cross-sectional sample of 504 young adults between age 19 and 28 . The reported intake of magnesium, along with several other minerals and vitamins, was below the RDA.
Glycine is a highly effective mineral chelator. This is because it is a low-molecular-weight amino acid, hence is easily transported across the intestinal membrane. A study conducted at Weber State University found this particular magnesium glycinate was absorbed up to four times more effectively than typical magnesium supplements.
Magnesium-the Versatile Mineral
The average adult body contains anywhere from about 21 to 28 grams of magnesium. Approximately 60 percent of the body’s magnesium supply is stored in bone. Soft tissue, such as skeletal muscle, contains 38%, leaving only about 1 to 2% of the total body magnesium content in blood plasma and red blood cells. Magnesium in the body may be bound either to proteins or "anions" (negatively charged substances.) About 55% of the body’s magnesium content is in the "ionic" form, which means it carries an electrical charge. Magnesium ions are "cations," ions that carry a positive charge. In its charged state, magnesium functions as one of the mineral "electrolytes."
Magnesium works as a "co-factor" for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Metabolism uses a phosphate containing molecule called "ATP" as its energy source. Magnesium is required for all reactions involving ATP . ATP supplies the energy for physical activity, by releasing energy stored in "phosphate bonds".
Skeletal and heart muscle use up large amounts of ATP. The energy for muscle contraction is released when one of ATP’s phosphate bonds is broken, in a reaction that produces ADP. Phosphate is added back to ADP, re-forming ATP. ATP also powers the cellular "calcium pump" which allows muscle cells to relax. Because it participates in these ATP-controlled processes, magnesium is vitally important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By controlling the flow of sodium, potassium and calcium in and out of cells, magnesium regulates the function of nerves as well as muscles .
Magnesium’s importance for heart health is widely recognized. The heart is the only muscle in the body that generates its own electrical impulses. Through its influence on the heart’s electrical conduction system, magnesium is essential for maintenance of a smooth, regular heartbeat . Magnesium appears to help the heart resist the effects of systemic stress. Magnesium deficiency aggravates cardiac damage due to acute systemic stress (such as caused by infection or trauma), while magnesium supplementation protects the heart against stress . This has been found true even in the absence of an actual magnesium deficit in the body.
Evidence suggests that magnesium may help support mineral bone density in elderly women. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplements showed gains in bone density. A control group of 23 women who declined taking the supplements had decreases in bone density . The dietary intakes of magnesium, potassium, fruit and vegetables are associated with increased bone density in elderly women and men . In an interesting animal study, rats were fed diets with either high or low levels of magnesium. Compared to the high magnesium-fed rats, bone strength and magnesium content of bone decreased in the low-magnesium rats, even though these rats showed no visible signs of magnesium deficiency . While this finding may or may not apply to humans, it raises the possibility that diets supplying low magnesium intakes may contribute to weakening of bone in the elderly.
Maximizing Absorption––Chelated Minerals Explained Mineral absorption occurs mainly in the small intestine. Like any mineral, magnesium may be absorbed as an "ion," a mineral in its elemental state that carries an electric charge. Mineral ions cross the intestinal membrane either through "active transport" by a protein carrier imbedded in the cells lining the membrane inner wall, or by simple diffusion. The magnesium in mineral salts is absorbed in ionic form. However, absorption of ionic minerals can be compromised by any number of factors, including: 1) Low solubility of the starting salt, which inhibits release of the mineral ion, and 2) Binding of the released ion to naturally occurring dietary factors such as phytates, fats and other minerals that form indigestible mineral complexes .
A second absorption mechanism has been discovered for minerals. Experiments have shown that minerals chemically bonded to amino acids (building blocks of protein) are absorbed differently from mineral ions. This has given rise to the introduction of "chelated" minerals as dietary supplements. Mineral amino acid chelates consist of a single atom of elemental mineral that is surrounded by two or more amino acid molecules in a stable, ring-like structure.
Unlike mineral salts, which must be digested by stomach acid before the desired mineral portion can be released and absorbed, mineral chelates are not broken down in the stomach or intestines. Instead, chelates cross the intestinal wall intact, carrying the mineral tightly bound and hidden within the amino acid ring. The mineral is then released into the bloodstream for use by the body. Research by pioneers in the field of mineral chelation and human nutrition indicates that the best-absorbed chelates consist of one mineral atom chelated with two amino acids. This form of chelate is called a "di-peptide." Compared to other chelates, di-peptides have the ideal chemical attributes for optimum absorption . Dipeptide chelates demonstrate superior absorption compared to mineral salts. For example, a magnesium di-peptide chelate was shown to be four times better absorbed than magnesium oxide .
Consumer Alert! Not all "amino acid chelates" are true chelates. In order for a mineral supplement to qualify as a genuine chelate, it must be carefully processed to ensure the mineral is chemically bonded to the amino acids in a stable molecule with the right characteristics. The magnesium bis-glycinate/lysinate in High Absorption Magnesium is a genuine di-peptide chelate ("bis" means "two"). It has a molecular weight of 324 daltons, considerably lower than the upper limit of 800 daltons stated in the definition of "mineral amino acid chelates" adopted by the National Nutritional Foods Association in 1996 .
Bioperine® For Enhanced Absorption Bioperine® is a natural extract derived from black pepper that increases nutrient absorption.* Preliminary trials on humans have shown significant increases in the absorption of nutrients consumed along with Bioperine® .
Scientific References 1. Abbott, L.R., R., Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner electrolyte Metab, 1993. 19: p. 314-22. 2. Durlach, J., Recommended dietary amounts of magnesium: Mg RDA. Magnesium Research, 1989. 2(3): p. 195-202. 3. Morgan, K.e.a., Magnesium and calcium dietary intakes of the U.S. population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1985. 4: p. 195-206. 4. Windham, C., Wyse, B., Hurst, R. Hansen, R., Consistency of nutrient consumption patterns in the United States. J AM Diet Assoc, 1981. 78(6): p. 587-95. 5. Pennington, J., Mineral content of foods and total diets: the Selected Minerals in Food Survey, 1982 to 1984. J AM Diet Assoc, 1986. 86(7): p. 876-91. 6. Marier, J., Magnesium Content of the Food Supply in the Modern- Day World. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 1-8. 7. Costello, R., Moser-Veillon, P., A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern? Magnesium Research, 1992. 5(1): p. 61-67. 8. Durlach, J., et al., Magnesium status and aging: An update. Magnesium Research, 1997. 11(1): p. 25-42. 9. Seelig, M., Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnesium Research, 1990. 3(3): p. 197-215. 10. Zive, M., et al., Marginal vitamin and mineral intakes of young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Adolesc, 1996. 19(1): p. 39-47. 11. McLean, R., Magnesium and its therapeutic uses: A review. American Journal of Medicine, 1994. 96: p. 63-76. 12. Graber, T., Role of magnesium in health and disease. Comprehensive Therapy, 1987. 13(1): p. 29-35. 13. Sueta, C., Patterson, J., Adams, K., Antiarrhythmic action of pharmacological administration of magnesium in heart failure: A critical review of new data. Magnesium Research, 1995. 8(4): p. 389- 401. 14. Classen, H.-G., Systemic stress, magnesium status and cardiovascular damage. Magnesium, 1986. 5: p. 105-110. 15. Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper, R., Leichter, I., Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis. Magnesium Research, 1993. 6(2): p. 155-63. 16. Tucker, K., et al., Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 1999. 69(4): p. 727-736. 17. Heroux, O., Peter, D., Tanner, A., Effect of a chronic suboptimal intake of magnesium on magnesium and calcium content of bone and bone strength of the rat. Can J. Physiol. Pharmacol., 1975. 53: p. 304-310. 18. Pineda, O., Ashmead, H.D., Effectiveness of treatment of irondeficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bisglycinate chelate. Nutrition, 2001. 17: p. 381-84. 19. Adibi, A., Intestinal transport of dipetides in man: Relative importance of hydrolysis and intact absorption. J Clin Invest, 1971. 50: p. 2266-75. 20. Ashmead, H.D., Graff, D., Ashmead, H., Intestinal Absorption of Metal Ions and Chelates. 1985, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 21. NNFA definition of mineral amino acid chlelates, in NNFA Today. 1996. p. 15. 22. Bioperine-Nature's Bioavailability Enhancing Thermonutrient. 1996, Sabinsa Corporation: Piscataway, N.J.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Doctor's Best•1120 Calle Cordillera•Suite 101, San Clemente, CA 92673
Guys should forget the six-pack abs and just lose the beer belly.
September 24, 2005 12:00 PM
Time for a Gut Check
Guys should forget the six-pack abs and just lose the beer belly.
When a woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale and sucking in his stomach, she said, “I don’t think that’s going to help.” “Sure it will,” he responded. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”
Funny line, sure. But whether you’re talking about “love handles,” a “spare tire” or the proverbial “beer belly,” having a tummy that hangs over your belt buckle is no laughing matter. It’s not even a matter of the quest for “six-pack abs” or a “washboard stomach.” It’s a matter of health.
Consider this: A recent study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a man’s waist size can be a good predictor for the development of type 2 diabetes. A Harvard Health Professionals team, led by Dr. Youfa Wang, an assistant professor at the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, analyzed data from more than 27,000 men who were tracked for more than 13 years. The team found that men with larger waists or a higher body mass index (BMI) were both at greater risk for type 2 diabetes than slimmer men. (You find your body mass index by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. If your waist size is 40 inches or less, a BMI of 25 or over means you’re overweight.)
“Abdominal fat measured by waist circumference can indicate a strong diabetes risk, whether or not a man is considered overweight or obese according to his BMI,” says Wang. The Harvard team found that men with waist sizes of 40 to 62 inches were 12 times more likely to develop diabetes and suggested that the current recommended waistline of 40 inches or below for men may need to be lowered.
Okay, now that we’ve scared the bejeezes out of all you guys under 6-foot-4 who by your pants in the big-man store, let’s talk about what you have to do to shop anywhere in the mall. Again, this is not about looking like a Greek ab god. This is about diminishing your risk for a myriad of health problems and being able to comfortably bend over for a ground ball during the pickup softball game. And there are no shortcuts, so forget about liposuctioning those years of accumulated lard. Despite what all those TV makeover shows say, liposuction can only really enhance your body aesthetic if you lose a large chunk of the surface fat first.
“Those makeover shows have it all backwards,” says Dr. Bruce Nadler, a fitness trainer who also happens to be a plastic surgeon. “They do surgery on someone’s midsection and then have them doing intense workouts when they are supposed to be recuperating from surgery. I wouldn’t do liposuction until you see what diet and exercise can accomplish. When you have all the weight in the midsection the dangerous fat is deep within the body. So liposuction may make you look better but it won’t necessarily improve your health.”
The Gut Check Plan
Talk to any exercise expert worth their weight in body fat, including Nadler, and they will tell you that on of the biggest fitness fallacies is the notion that intense abdominal workouts and use of abdominal machines (like those sold through those interminable infomercials) are the keys to getting a flatter and more “ripped” midsection. In fact, for many people it’s not physiologically possible to achieve a flat tummy because abdominals are not designed to be flat. And the idea of “spot reduction,” exercising the area where you want to lose the fat, is now considered a myth. Research has shown that fat is lost all over your body, not just in the area that you work.
It’s not that you can’t benefit from doing abdominal exercises. Crunches, situps and leg raises, when done properly, are great for muscle tone and endurance (and you do burn calories), but the real key to achieving a wonderful waist size is losing body fat. How do you do that?
“Dropping a few inches from your midsection,” says Nadler, “depends on four things- calorie reduction through proper diet (eating very little fat, consuming complex carbohydrates and doing it all in smaller portions), stepping up aerobic activity (such as running an bicycling, which burns excess calories quickly and safely), and resistance weight training (which not only increases metabolism and helps burn more excess calories, but also builds and strengthens the abdominal wall).” Then, adds Nadler, when you’ve just about reached your waist=reduction goal, but genetics still won’t give you a flatter stomach, “that’s where plastic surgery may come in as icing on the cake.”
Nadler also advises men not to panic if they don’t notice a substantial weight reduction during a training program. “When people are doing weight and resistance training they are too hung up on the scale,” insists Nadler. “Muscle weighs more than fat so don’t judge your progress by what you weigh, but on what your percentage of body fat is. That’s the number you want to see going down.”
So how long does it take for men with an oversized gut to lose the excess? “Depending on how much they have to lose,” Nadler says, “it takes anywhere from three to six months.” By the way, for men in their 30s and up, there are also two important side benefits to decreasing the waist size and firming up the gut: better overall posture and diminishing the potential for chronic back pain. So get to work guys; suck it up so you can stop sucking it in. -Stephen Hanks
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
July 25, 2005 09:46 PM
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
While estrogen balanced with progesterone is necessary for proper female development and reproduction, when is dominates, it can contribute to a number of unwanted reactions, including:
Energize Your Life!
June 14, 2005 05:06 PM
Energize Your Life!
by Laura Weiss Energy Times, December 1, 2003
If every fatigued day leaves you wondering where your energy went, you need a personal energy makeover.
"Energy, some special kind of energy, just leaks out and I am left lacking the confidence even to cross the street," Diane Arbus, the photographer, once complained. And while Ms. Arbus tried to overcome her energetic and spiritual ups and downs with her art, you can use lifestyle changes as well as self-expression to revive your vigor.
To Sleep, Perchance to Energize
When you're looking for a boost in personal energy, you've got to get enough sleep, insists Jacob Tietelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery). Dr. Teitelbaum emphasizes that unless you "give your body eight to nine hours of sleep per night," your personal energy will never be adequate.
Studies show that getting less than six hours sleep a night hurts your mental performance and drains your energy (Sleep 3/15/03). As your sleep debt builds up, your energy drops down.
"[Our studies show] the importance of sleep as a necessity for health and well-being. Even relatively moderate sleep restriction, if it is sustained night after night, can seriously impair our neurobiological functioning," says Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology at Penn State.
A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that Americans, on average, are getting less than seven hours of shuteye a night. That sleep deficit drains energy.
Watered Down Energy
Added to that sleep requirement, Dr. Teitelbaum stressed in an interview with Energy Times, a lack of water can deplete your personal energy.
"The number one problem is often dehydration," he says. "Make sure you stay hydrated. Although I think it's a bad idea to [obsessively] count glasses of water, you should carry a bottle of water with you, check your lips and if they feel dry drink more water." Overall, your body is about 60% water and 70% of your muscles consist of water. If you let your water levels dip too low, your muscles suffer and your energy levels dip as well. Research shows that as your body dries out, your mental processes can slow down. And the hotter the temperature, the more fluid you may lose (AIHAJ 2002; 63(2):190-8).
B Vitamins for Energy
Also important for keeping your energy up "is getting enough of the B vitamins and magnesium." And even though Dr. Teitelbaum advocates the necessity of a well-rounded multiple vitamin and mineral supplement plus an adequate diet and amino acids to get all the nutrients you need, he recommends "taking a high-level B complex. The RDAs (the government's Recommended Daily Amounts) are inadequate."
In the body, B vitamins are used for the production of energy on a cellular level. For instance, vitamin B1 (thiamine) is crucial for burning carbohydrates effectively. And vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for the body's ability to properly use B1. At the same time, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is required for proper nerve function. The need for B12 may necessitate a supplement: Up to 30% of everyone over the age of 50 may have trouble absorbing B12 from their food (Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 1996; 33:247). Plus, since vegetables contain very little absorbable B12, vegetarians of all ages may also require B12 supplements.
Dr. Teitelbaum also believes that taking malic acid, a nutrient derived from apples, can help. Along with the B vitamins, malic acid is used by the body in the production of energy. When taken with magnesium, malic acid has been shown to ease the pain of fibromyalgia (J Rheum 1995; 22(5):953-7), a condition characterized by fatigue and lack of energy accompanied by painful muscles and joints.
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) represents a potential tool for controlling blood sugar and improving stamina.
According to Dr. Teitelbaum, "...Asian ginseng enhances energy, raises blood pressure and improves adrenal function...Asian ginseng has such a wide mix of health benefits that its name, Panax, comes from the Greek roots of pan (meaning 'all') and akos (meaning 'cure')-that is, 'cure all.'"
Research on people with diabetes shows that this herb may help control blood sugar levels. People who suffer what is called type 2 diabetes often eat small meals to keep their blood sugar from varying too much. (Rising and falling blood sugar can drain you of energy as well as make diabetic problems worse.)
An investigation of how another form of ginseng, American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), affects blood sugar after eating found that it tempered changes by up to 20% (Arch of Internal Med 4/00). These scientists found that folks with diabetes did best when they took the herb within two hours of a meal.
Ready to re-energize? Time to stop skimping on sleep and rushing through inadequate meals. For all of us, slowing down and giving our bodies a chance to regenerate its zip can make the big energy difference.
Women and Depression!
June 13, 2005 07:48 PM
Women and Depression by Lisa James Energy Times, March 11, 2004
Just as fog veils a beautiful landscape, so depression veils life itself: rendering existence dark and dreary, narrowing the scope of one's dreams. And women are particularly prone to this lingering sadness.
The good news: Depression doesn't have to linger forever. With proper nutrition, lifestyle changes and a revived outlook, you can break through that fog into a sunnier emotional clime. Women are more likely than men to fall prey to depression throughout their lifetimes, with women being twice as likely as men to experience major depression.
While the greatest risk for both sexes falls at midlife, the gender difference appears early; one in ten teenage girls was found to suffer from major depression in one study (International Journal of Behavioral Development 2004; 28:16-25). What's more, childhood depression leaves a person more susceptible to mood problems in adulthood.
One reason for the gender difference in depression, according to researchers, is that women tend to dwell on depressed feelings to a greater degree than men. Some scientists believe a family history of depression carries greater weight for women. Others theorize that the inner fluctuations of a woman's monthly cycle can leave her susceptible to stresses emanating from the outer world. Studies indicate that almost three-quarters of all premenstrual women experience some level of mood difficulties (Summit on Women and Depression, APA, April 02), and a woman's hormonal ebb and flow may even make her more vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the kind of depression linked to a lack of natural light.
Warning Signs Not surprisingly, many depressed folks feel sad and lethargic, down on themselves and the world. But in some people, depression is marked by agitation and concentration difficulties, or is accompanied by anxiety. Sleep disturbances-either insomnia or excessive sleepiness-often ensue, and activities that used to provide pleasure lose their appeal.
Breaking depression's grip can do more than just lighten your mood-it may help safeguard your health. Studies suggest depression dampens the immune response and may increase the risks of coronary heart disease and diabetes (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:1009-14; Circulation 2000; 102:1773; Diabetes Care 2004; 27:129-33).
Origins of Depression
The reasons some people are pulled down by depression's undertow while others are able to stay afloat emotionally are complex, but researchers believe common factors link them all.
One factor that can't be ignored is genetics. "If you are depressed, there is a 25% chance that a first-degree relative-a parent, child or sibling-is also depressed," says Hyla Cass, MD, author of St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster (Avery). Other factors are physical problems and medication side effects. That's why your first step should be a consultation with your health care practitioner (if your moods are especially dark, seek professional assistance as soon as possible).
Life's worries and cares also weigh more heavily on some people than on others. " [N]ot only will certain stressors [adverse events] cause depression as a direct response," notes Dr. Cass, "but they may predispose an individual to future episodes of depression." For example, the end of a relationship when you feel you've lost a lover and been humiliated (and been cheated on) raises your risk of depression (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:789-96).
The Depressed Brain
When depression hits, brain chemistry shifts. As a result, chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which relay messages between brain cells, go awry. For instance, a neurotransmitter called serotonin-critical to mood control-may decrease, leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, craving certain foods and unable to sleep.
Conversely, "high levels of serotonin are associated with emotional and social stability," according to Dr. Cass. She adds that, in addition, sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone "affect brain cells directly."
Lifting the Fog
Because the causes of depression are so complex, leaving the darkness behind generally requires opening up several pathways. Part of feeling better simply lies in believing that you can. Researchers have found that depressed people who feel they have a sense of control over their troubles, do, in fact, have a better chance of recovery (General Hospital Psychiatry 2000; 22(4):242-50). Finding a community of like-minded folks bolsters your capacity to deal with mood problems. In some cases, time spent with a therapist can be a valuable aid in figuring out what's bothering you.
On the physical side, losing weight can lift your spirits. Among women with severe obesity-itself a depression risk factor-losing weight has led to depression relief (Archives of Internal Medicine 2003; 163:2058-65). Research also indicates that exercise helps brighten dark moods.
A change in diet, along with certain supplements, can also help dispel depression. The first step on the road to emotional recovery: eat a lot of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and stay away from overly refined foods with high levels of sugar.
Omega-3 fatty acids, the kinds found in flax seed and fish, are essential to proper brain function. In several studies, people who took supplemental omega-3s found significant relief from depression.
Key amino acids-the basic units of which proteins are built-serve as starting points for the production of mood-lifting neurotransmitters. In one trial, people who took an amino-acid mix that included tyrosine enjoyed better moods and were happier than people who took amino acids without it (Psychopharmacology (Berlin) Sept 4 2003).
Along with amino acids, the body needs the right vitamins-especially members of the all-important B family-to create depression-fighting brain chemicals. In one study, people with depression who took vitamin B12 improved their chances of recovery (BMC Psychiatry 2003; 3:17).
Another interesting observation: Vitamin B12 and its partners vitamin B6 and folate are essential to keep a protein called homocysteine (known primarily as a cardiovascular hazard) from reaching excessive levels, and people with high homocysteine are twice as likely to be depressed. This has led some researchers to speculate that folate may help keep depression under control (Archives of General Psychiatry 2003; 60:618-26).
Herbs that may help beat back the blues include two that help the body deal with stress, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and schisandra (S. chinensis).
A new diet, a new outlook: With the help of the right nutrients and the right support, you can break the bonds of depression.
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
Fats for Life - the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the...
June 12, 2005 02:39 PM
Fats for Life by Henry Wolfe Energy Times, August 6, 2003
For years, many experts argued that the only good fatty foods were the ones you didn't eat. That was a big, fat mistake. Overwhelming evidence now shows that certain fats are not only necessary for optimal health, but that the quality of the fat you eat is probably much more important than the quantity.
Threatening Trans Fats
"The biggest thing wrong with the fats Americans eat today is that they are eating too many trans fatty acids," says Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Allergy and Asthma Cure (John Wiley). "About 42,000 foods contain trans fats. These fats are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer."
Trans fatty acids are fats that form when food manufacturers add hydrogen to fat molecules, a process called hydrogenation that makes fats stay fresh longer without growing rancid. Trans fats also form when foods are fried.
Hydrogenation extends the shelf life of refined foods like cakes, donuts, and crackers. Unfortunately, it also creates fats that many experts believe can compromise your health. In a study of the health effects of trans fats, 26 people agreed to eat a diet that changed every five weeks, continually shifting the types of fats in their meals (American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2000). All of the diets in the study provided 30% of calories from fat. One fifth of the fat came from either soybean oil, semi-liquid margarine, tub margarine, shortening, stick margarine or butter.
"We were interested in assessing what would happen when we substituted one fat for another," notes researcher Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of human nutrition at Tufts University, Boston.
The study showed that as people ate more trans fatty acids (in the more solid margarines) and fewer polyunsaturated fats (in the liquid oils), their triglycerides increased after each meal. Triglycerides are blood fats that boost heart disease risk.
For instance, when these folks ate stick margarine, which is high in trans fats, their triglycerides climbed an average 18% higher than when they ate semi-liquid squeeze bottle margarine, a type of margarine that is softer because it is less hydrogenated. Stick margarine raised heart disease risk by causing a drop in HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Although butter increased HDL, it also caused a significant increase in LDL, the "bad" cholesterol that raises heart disease risk.
"The best dietary advice we can give people is to minimize their intake of animal and hydrogenated fats in order to reach the American Heart Association's target of 10% or less of total calories from saturated fat and trans fatty acids," Dr. Lichtenstein says. "That would mean consumers choosing low-fat and non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat, and the food industry decreasing the amount of hydrogenated fats used in their products." According to a study at Johns Hopkins University (Amer Coll of Card, 52nd Scientific Session, 3/30/03, Chicago), people who eat saturated fat have more visceral fat, fat surrounding their internal organs. This fat around the waist is now seen as a risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses.
Another hidden problem in our fat consumption, according to Dr. Pescatore, hides within canola oil. Dr. Pescatore says that although many consumers believe canola oil is beneficial to health, the refined canola oil sold in the US has had its potential health benefits removed during processing.
"People still think canola oil is healthy and eat too much of it," he says. "The problem with canola is that it is highly processed and refined....Processors hydrogenate canola oil to keep it from getting rancid."
According to Fred Ottoboni, PhD, coauthor of The Modern Nutritional Diseases (Vincente Books), "Canola oil is lightly hydrogenated to take out the omega-3 fatty acids (the healthiest, but most unstable, fats) and then the food manufacturers filter the trans fats out. I don't worry about the trans fats in canola, but the problem is the huge ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s."
To get more of the omega-3 fatty acids, which are lacking in most Americans' diets, Dr. Pescatore advocates using macadamia nut oil. "Macadamia nut oil is higher in monounsaturated fats than olive oil; it is the healthiest fat with an omega-3 to -6 ratio of one to one."
The Omega-3 Difference
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are basic forms of fat found in oils. Fish oil, hempseed and flax oil are high in what are called omega-3s. Certain plant-derived oils like corn and soy are richer in omega-6 fatty acids.
"Primitive humans ate a diet that contained a one-to-one ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s," says Dr. Pescatore. "Today we (Americans) eat 20 times more omega-6 than -3; that's why we suffer so much chronic disease and chronic inflammation. For instance, the Japanese eat a (much better) diet that contains a two-to-one ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3." "Not all omega-6s are bad," he adds, "we just eat too many of them."
Switching to healthier fat isn't hard. Eat more fish. When cooking, stick to oils like olive oil and macadamia oil. The quality of your oil and your health may improve in a big, fat way.
June 11, 2005 05:24 PM
Better Bones by Deborah Daniels Energy Times, March 13, 2004
As America ages, osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones, grows into an ever-expanding problem. Currently, it affects more than 44 million Americans.
Women are in special danger; of those who suffer weak bones, about 35 million are women. This problem causes a huge amount of damage-physical, emotional and financial. The national bill for hospital and nursing care for osteoporosis victims tops $17 billion a year, about $47 million a day.
Odds are, your bones need help. According to the National Institutes of Health, the bones of more than half of all Americans over age 50 are weak enough to put them at risk of osteoporosis. Weak bones linked to osteoporosis continue to present a serious risk to health. A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that fractures in older people are just as life-threatening today as they were two decades ago (2003; 327:771-5).
When researchers looked at broken legs among more than 30,000 people over the age of 65, they found that just as many people die today after these kinds of bone breaks as they did during the 1980s.
Their findings emphasize how important strong bones are to survival. This study showed that breaking your leg at age 65 or older increases your risk of death more than 12 times. And these high death rates, according to the researchers, reinforce the fact that preventing osteoporosis saves lives.
Blowing Smoke Through Bones
While many bone experts blame the high rate of osteoporosis on sedentary lifestyles and foods low in calcium, Australian research has turned up another bone-weakening villain: smoking. According to these scientists, smoking may be the most destructive lifestyle habit that destroys bone in older women. While other studies have pointed to smoking as a factor in bone loss, this most recent study purports to show that smoking may be one of the most important influences on weak bones (J Bone Min Res 9/03). " This will be an important step forward in the management of osteoporosis, since the results of this study can be used to improve current approaches to preventing bone loss," says researcher John Wark, PhD.
Dr. Wark's study found that older smokers are particularly prone to weak bones. While smoking is always bad for bone strength, after menopause tobacco smoke seems to exert an even deadlier affect on your skeletal support.
" [T]he damaging effects of cigarette smoking may well have been underestimated in the past," says Dr. Wark. When you inhale cigarette smoke, your lungs are exposed to about 500 harmful gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. The infusion of these gases cuts back on the available oxygen used for building bone and other tissues.
Along with these gases, small particles containing chemicals like anatabine, anabase, nicotine, monicotine and other carcinogens also filter into the lungs. Studies (Acad Ortho Surg 2001; 9:9) indicate that bathing the body in these chemicals results in:
While it's never too late to build more bone, the best time for laying down a dependable musculoskeletal foundation is before age 30. That way, as you get older, your strong bones can better resist the weakening effects of aging. Ipriflavone is a natural chemical that has been found to help protect bone. Researchers believe that this supplement can help bones strengthen by absorbing more calcium (Calc Tissue Int 2000; 67:225)
Other ways to make bones stronger include:
Weak bones can put a severe crimp in your lifestyle and put your life at risk. How can you tell what shape your bones are in? Health practitioners can help you get the appropriate bone density test. But the tone of your muscles are also a good indicator: Exercise to tone those muscles and chances are you're building your bones, too. All you have to do is get moving!
June 10, 2005 09:44 PM
Breast Cancer by Joseph L. Mayo,MD Mary Ann Mayo, MA Energy Times, May 2, 1999
What do you fear most? Bankruptcy? Floods? Heart disease? If you're like many women, breast cancer stands near the top of that dreaded list.
But that fear doesn't permeate other cultures the way it does ours.
A woman like Mariko Mori, for instance, 52 years old, Japanese, worries about intense pressures beginning to burden her toddler grandson. But worry about breast cancer? Hardly.
In Indiana, Mary Lou Marks, 50, has similar family frets, mulling over her 28-year-old daughter's career choice.
But on top of that, when Mary Lou tabulates her other worries, she recoils at the thought of breast cancer. She's heard about her lifetime risk: 1 in 8. Meanwhile, Mariko's is merely 1 in 40, according to Bob Arnot's Breast Cancer Prevention Diet (Little, Brown).
New studies have found the effect of carrying the gene linked to breast cancer, which is responsible for only 5 to 10% of breast cancer incidence, is not as great as first suspected. Earlier estimates that the gene reflects an 80% chance of incurring breast cancer by age 70 has been recalculated to be only 37% (The Lancet, 1998;352:1337-1339).
Complex Causesbr> Researchers agree: No one factor is solely responsible for breast cancer. Risk depends on many factors, including diet, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, activity level and, of course, those genes.
Regardless of their actual chance of getting breast cancer, women worry. Mary Lou faces no factors that would place her in particular jeopardy. But her anxieties about radical therapies and medical expenses paralyze her: She forgets to visit her health care provider and skips her annual mammogram appointments. Mary Lou's daughter, perhaps in reaction to her mother's gripping fears, campaigns ardently for cancer prevention, educating herself and mobilizing against the cumulative effects of known cancer risks. Smart young woman: A malignancy, after all, can take years to develop. A tumor must swell to one billion cells before it is detectable by a mammogram.
The soy-rich regimen of Japanese women like Mariko Mori, for example, helps to explain the low breast cancer rates in Asian countries (see box at center of the page).
Tomatoes, because of their high quotient of the carotenoid lycopene, have been found to protect cells from the corrosive clutches of oxidants that have been linked with cancer in 57 out of 72 studies (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 17, 1999, page A6, reporting on a Harvard Medical School study). For more on tomatoes see page 16.
But there's no one magic anti-cancer food or diet. Eating to prevent breast cancer requires a balanced menu with fiber, healthy fats, phytoestrogens and antioxidants, all fresh and free of chemical additives.
Modifying the balance and type of estrogen, the female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, offers an important breast cancer safeguard. Fat cells, adrenal glands and, before menopause, the ovaries, produce three "flavors" of estrogen, the strongest of which, estradiol, is believed to be carcinogenic when too plentiful or persistent in the body.
Estrogen does its work by attaching to estrogen receptors. Receptors are particularly numerous in the epithelial cells that line milk sacs and ducts in the breasts.
A receptor site is like a designated parking spot: Once estrogen is parked there it triggers one of its 400 functions in the body, from preparation of the uterus for pregnancy to intensifying nerve synapses in the brain.
The food we eat can be a source of estrogen; plant estrogens, called phytoestrogens, are much weaker than the body's estrogens, but they fit the same receptors. Phytoestrogens exert a milder estrogenic effect than bodily estrogen and are capable of blocking the more potent, damaging versions.
Soy also contains genistein, an "isoflavone" very similar in molecular form to estrogen but only 1/100,000 as potent. Because of its structure, genistein can attach to cells just as estrogen does; it also helps build carriers needed for binding estrogen and removing it from the body (Journal of Nutrition 125, no.3 :757S-770S). It acts as an antioxidant to counteract free radicals.
Soy is most protective for younger women. Postmenopausal women benefit from soy's ability to diminish hot flashes and for cardiovascular protection, especially in combination with vitamin E, fiber and carotene (Contemporary OB/GYN, September 1998, p57-58).
Experts don't know that much about the cumulative effect of combining hormone replacement with soy, herbs and a diet high in phytoestrogens. Menopausal women who boost their estrogen this way should work with their health care providers and monitor their hormonal levels every six to 12 months with salivary testing.
The Vegetable Cart
Fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces insulin levels and suppresses the appetite by making make us feel full, thus helping with weight control, so important to resisting cancer. Fiber also helps build estrogen carriers that keep unbound estrogen from being recirculated and reattached to the breast receptors.
Cellulose, the fruit and vegetable fiber most binding with estrogen, also rounds up free radicals that damage DNA within cells.,p> Feeding the Immune System Despite heightened public awareness and efforts to stick to wholesome, healthful diets, experts increasingly link poor nutrition to depressed immune systems. Many Americans are at least marginally deficient in trace elements and vitamins despite their best attempts to eat well; that's why a good multivitamin/mineral is wise, even mandatory. Vitamins given to people undergoing cancer treatment stimulate greater response, fewer side effects, and increased survival (International Journal of Integrative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, January/February 1999).
Nutrients tend to work synergistically on the immune system. They should be taken in balanced proportions, and in consultation with your health care provider.
n Riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid (B5), zinc and folate strengthen immunity. Selenium, in lab culture and animal studies, has helped kill tumors and protect normal tissues.
n Beta-carotene and vitamins A, E and C are antioxidants. Vitamin C enhances vitamin E's effects, boosting immunity and protecting against cell damage. The antioxidant isoflavones in green tea, with soy, convey the anticancer effects of the Asian diet. Research shows actions that discourage tumors and gene mutations.
The food you eat influences hormones. Excess sugar raises insulin, which acts as a growth factor for cancer and interferes with vitamin C's stimulation of white blood cells. It may contribute to obesity.
Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde, which causes cancer in laboratory animals. It affects gene regulation by decreasing the body's ability to use folic acid. It increases estrogen and the amount of free estradiol in the blood. The liver damage that accompanies high alcohol consumption frequently reduces its capacity to filter carcinogenic products, regulate hormones and break down estrogen. Studies of alcohol consumption have caused experts to estimate that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day increases breast cancer risk by 63% (OB-GYN News, November 1, 1998, p. 12).
Fat Can be Phat
Fat cells produce estrogen. Excess fat stores carcinogens and limits carriers that can move estrogen out of your system.
Once estrogen has attached itself to a receptor, the health result depends on the type of fat in the breast. Saturated fat, transfatty acids and omega-6 fat from polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as safflower oil, peanut, soybean oil, corn oil and in margarine can increase the estrogen effect and trigger a powerful signal to the breast cell to replicate.
Breast tissue is protected by omega-3 fat chiefly from fish and flaxseed and by omega-9 from olive oil. Salmon once a week or water packed tuna three times a week are particularly beneficial. Fish oil supplements processed to reduce contaminates are available. Cod liver oil isn't recommended: its vitamin A and D levels are too high.
Flaxseed is the richest known plant source of omega-3. Use a coffee grinder to benefit from the seed and oil for the full estrogen effect; sprinkle ground flaxseed over cereal or fold into baked goods. Drizzle flaxseed oil, found in the refrigerator section of your health food store, over salads or cereal. (Store the oil in the refrigerator.)
Olive oil, especially in the context of the so-called Mediterranean diet of vegetables, omega-3-rich fish and fresh fruit (Menopause Management, January-February 1999, p. 16-19), lowers the risk of breast cancer (The Lancet, May 18, 1996;347:1351-1356).
Selecting Organic Food
Buy or grow fresh, organic foods whenever you can. When grilling meat, fish or poultry, reduce the area where carcinogens may accumulate by trimming fat. Charred, well-done meat is known to be carcinogenic. When grilling, marinate meat first and reduce the cooking time on the grill by slightly precooking.
Cancer prevention is an interlocking puzzle requiring the limitation of fat consumption, weight control, exercise, stress reduction and care for psychological and spiritual balance. Possessing more cancer fighting pieces makes you more likely to be able to complete the prevention picture.
Joseph L. Mayo, MD, FACOG and Mary Ann Mayo, MA, are the authors of The Menopause manager: A Safe Path for a Natural Change, an individualized program for managing menopause. The book's advice, in easy-to-understand portions, isolates in-depth explanations with unbiased reviews of conventional and alternative choices. A unique perspective for mid-life women who want to know all their options.
Also from the Mayos - The HOW Health Opportunities For Women quarterly newsletter to help women learn HOW to make informed health choices. Learn HOW to: - Choose nutritional supplements
Take it to Heart - Lower Cholesterol
June 09, 2005 06:05 PM
Take it to Heart by Dawn Lemonathen Energy Times, January 2, 2002
Lifestyle is key to bettering your odds of beating heart disease. A few simple, everyday heart-friendly habits can help your heart help you. Right now, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications like stroke have reached sky-high levels across the US.
Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from one of the various forms of cardiovascular disease and these often fatal complications cause more than 40% of all deaths in the United States. Statistics show that nearly a million Americans succumb to heart problems every year. The humongous cost: Heart disease and stroke consume almost $260 billion annually. Heart disease is the top cause of death for older Americans and remains the leading cause of death for all Americans age 35 and older. Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as ischemic heart disease, is the most frequent cause of death for adults in the United States-accounting for more than 500,000 deaths a year. And even though most women have had their consciousness raised about their risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, in fact, their chances of dying from one of the forms of heart disease is double their risk of succumbing to one of the forms of cancer. And ten times more women die from cardiovascular problems than die from breast cancer.
Cholesterol and Heart Health
Nuts and Heart Health
Vegetarianism vs Heart Disease