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Lawmakers revive bill that would allow growing hemp for research Darrell Miller 3/17/17
This simple ancient Japanese technique helps improve physical and mental health Darrell Miller 12/8/16
Say Goodbye To Fatigue With These Powerful Vitamins And Minerals Infographic Darrell Miller 10/30/16
Natural Skin Care Products - Kukui Nut Oil Darrell Miller 5/17/14
Goji Berries And Health. Darrell Miller 3/25/14
Nutritious Amaranth Darrell Miller 4/9/09
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium Darrell Miller 5/18/07
Catuaba Darrell Miller 6/25/05
Anti-Aging Nutrients Darrell Miller 6/18/05
Energize Your Life! Darrell Miller 6/14/05
SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair... Darrell Miller 6/14/05
Women and Depression! Darrell Miller 6/13/05
Nutrients for Longevity Darrell Miller 6/10/05



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Lawmakers revive bill that would allow growing hemp for research
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Date: March 17, 2017 06:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Lawmakers revive bill that would allow growing hemp for research





Law makers in the New Mexico House of Representatives have passed a bill allowing people to grow hemp. The purpose for this is to allow people to grow hemp so it can be used for medicinal purposes. The lawmakers decided to do this despite the fact that a similar bill was already vetoed by the governor. While it is not clear if this bill will be vetoed as well, the lawmakers are optimistic that the governor will pass it this time.

Read more: Lawmakers revive bill that would allow growing hemp for research

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This simple ancient Japanese technique helps improve physical and mental health
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Date: December 08, 2016 04:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: This simple ancient Japanese technique helps improve physical and mental health





Jin Shin Jyutsu physio-philosophy is an art of harmonizing the life energy in the body. Born of innate wisdom and passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, the Art had fallen into relative obscurity when it was dramatically revived in the early 1900's by Master Jiro Murai in Japan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our bodies communicate with us, but we're not always listening. Our bodies give us clues as to what is going on, but we don't always understand.
  • Skin health, inflammation, heartbeat, mood changes and the presence of mucous, are a just a few indicators.
  • Mindfulness is one way we can be present in the moment and become aware of our bodies and emotions.

"To prevent health problems, we must sincerely understand what makes our organs work, how they are connected and energized."



Reference:

//www.naturalnews.com/056167_Jin_Shin_Jitsu_emotional_health_mindfulness.html

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Say Goodbye To Fatigue With These Powerful Vitamins And Minerals Infographic
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Date: October 30, 2016 02:04 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Say Goodbye To Fatigue With These Powerful Vitamins And Minerals Infographic

There are vitamins and minerals that can boost your energy and fight against fatigue. If you are feeling tired all the time there are things you can do to help revive yourself again. Changing your diet and exercise is a good way to keep from being tired. And giving your body an adequate amount of sleep can help as well.

Key Takeaways:

  • Do you know which vitamins and minerals have the potential to boost your energy and help you get rid of chronic tiredness?
  • If you find yourself in a situation in which this feeling is taking over and prevents you from normal functioning and engaging in the activities you used to like
  • Look at the infographic below to find out what vitamins and minerals can help you take your power back.

"Are you looking for ways to banish the feeling of being drained of energy, exhausted and lacking the strength to get yourself together and do what you need to?"

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//naturalon.com/say-fatigue-goodbye-powerful-vitamins-minerals-infographic/&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjVkYjY3ZDViNDdiNGM3ZTc6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGffrEt7XWPiGqk5xcv8y_bqVjuLw

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Natural Skin Care Products - Kukui Nut Oil
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Date: May 17, 2014 01:52 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Natural Skin Care Products - Kukui Nut Oil

kukui nut treeWhat is kukui nut tree?

The Kukui Nut tree is a blooming tree that develops all around the tropics and was initially acquainted with Hawaii by right on time Polynesian pilgrims. On Hawaii, the tree immediately flourished is presently a national state symbol. The tree is occasionally alluded to as the Candlenut tree, Candleberry, Indian walnut tree and additionally the varnish tree. A few parts of the tree have the same number of employments, as the tree has been given names. The blossoms and bark are utilized within Hawaii to make the acclaimed Lei wreath and the tree trunk has utilized for 2 centuries now to make customary kayaks.

Generally, kids in Hawaii have been anointed with the kukui nut oil to secure them from the components and, likewise, the oil was found to have critical medicinal properties for skin disturbances, blazes, and wounds. The oil additionally has utilization as the premise for oil candles, henceforth where the names Candlenut and Candleberry are shaped. The scorched kukui nuts can likewise be utilized as the premise for tattoo ink and the oil is additionally utilized broadly as a part of Hawaii as a varnish and wood medications.

kukui productBenefits of kukui nut oil

In the nineteenth century, the tenants of Hawaii uncovered that applying the kukui oil to the skin helped ensure it from the sun and likewise recuperate the harming impacts of the sun, wind and salt water. Current clinical studies have discovered that Kukui Oil holds a few common fixings that give noteworthy characteristic profits to the skin. It gives a wellspring of a-linolenic corrosive, which helps the phone structure of the epidermis layer of the skin. The Kukui nut oil has been discovered to be exceptionally alleviating for gentle sunburn and is likewise demonstrated in giving easing from psoriasis and skin inflammation.

Also alleviating and recuperating, broke and dry skin, the kukui oil saturates, relaxes, and has been utilized for quite a while as a part of Hawaii to help revive dry skin and reduce the appearance of almost negligible differences and wrinkles on the face. At the point when purchasing kukui nut oil skin health management items, search for items that are supplemented with Vitamins A, C and E and remember it that kukui does not give as defensive a sun boundary as cutting edge creams and salves so don't utilize these items for skin assurance, they are more for utilization as an after-sun medicine and lotion.

Other intriguing skin health management items leaving Hawaii are the lip mind demulcents, made up of a compound of Kukui Nut, beeswax, and Mango Butter and arrive in a reach of flavors, for example, sugar stick, coconut or simply unadulterated. A percentage of the unscented emollients can likewise obviously be utilized on dry noses, broke fingernail, skin, and mosquito chomps. At the point when purchasing kukui nut oil items it is fitting to watch that you are purchasing from a trustworthy merchant, ideally one situated in Hawaii who should have the capacity to give some insurance as to the degree of the genuine and nature of the oil.

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Goji Berries And Health.
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Date: March 25, 2014 08:14 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Goji Berries And Health.

goji berriesWhat is goji berries

The Goji berry is also called the wolfberry. Today, a huge number of individuals have recognized its health profits and are currently taking it to harvest with the greatest characteristics out of it. The tree has grown foods is recognized to hail from Solanaceae family that incorporates tobacco, potato, stew pepper and eggplant. These berries are more well known in China as it is the nation of its root. Its medicinal properties were distinguished long time back and the nation has been utilizing it as a helpful fixing in a large portion of their fabricated solutions.

Characteristics of goji berries

Goji berries are generally red in color and its size fluctuates from 1-2 cms, and holds 10 to 60 seeds in it. These berries have the maturing period from the month of July to October.

Benefits of goji berries

Goji berries are likewise utilized within sustenance things as a result of its solid supplements and are celebrated as a longevity fruit on the grounds that it is profoundly nutritious. They are well referred to for its solid fixings, for example, vitamins and minerals that help in lessening glucose level. It conveys high amassing of calcium, potassium alongside other suitable fixings, for example, zinc, iron, riboflavin, vitamin C, beta carotene, zeaxanthin and selenium. Given the recuperating properties of goji berries, they are known for improving the human invulnerable framework, liver working, and visual perception. It is likewise very convenient in giving alleviation to skin illnesses, for example, aggravation and skin infections. Goji berries are likewise utilized as crude nourishment and additionally handled in type of goji powder, Wanbao tea, and dry goji and Ganoderma tea.

In case you are searching for a master excellence medicine; goji berry items can revive your skin, and make it seem impeccable and wonderful. Goji berry items are utilized within form creams, skin creams and other home grown excellence items. In this way, given the unfathomable utilization of goji berries in solutions, sustenances and magnificence items, it is undoubtedly a suitable products of the soil with an extensive variety of medicinal and mending properties.

The best characteristic of the Goji berry items is that there is no reaction in its normal admission. Utilizing goji berry items day by day as a part of the manifestation of powder and juices can keep you sound and increment your lifespan.

Numerous health specialists and restorative experts have demonstrated the profits of goji berries and have begun prescribing it to their patients. It is viewed as an aggregate health answer for individuals of all age groups.

 

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Nutritious Amaranth
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Date: April 09, 2009 03:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Nutritious Amaranth

Amaranth is an herb full of vitamins. It was traditionally used by Native Americans in both Central and North America as a survival food. This herb has been cultivated for thousands of years in many different cultures due to the fact that it grows well in most climates and uses a very small amount of water. Amaranth contains a huge amount of protein and a lot more calcium than milk provides. It also contains the amino acid l-lysine, which is not often found in plants. Amaranth seeds were used by the Aztecs in their pagan ceremonies. Additionally, mature seeds of the amaranth plant were eaten raw, mixed with cornmeal, or added to soups. The leaves, which taste similar to spinach, can also be eaten.

Often, amaranth is used for gastroenteritis or the stomach flu. It helps to lessen the irritability of the tissues. A strong decoction of amaranth can be used to remove worms and other parasites from the digestive tract. Applying amaranth topically can help to reduce tissue swelling. The herb can be used with bandages for medical treatment. Additionally, it can help stop excess bleeding which is often caused by sore gums, nosebleeds, and heavy menses. Amaranth is highly digestible and is recommended for infant formulas.

Amaranth is a traditional food plant in Africa with the potential to improve nutrition greatly. There are several species of amaranth grown in Asia and the Americas for grain. Ancient grains still used to this day include three species: Amaranthus caudatus, Maranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Even though amaranth was grown on a small scale in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, India, and Nepal, there is a huge potential for future cultivation in the U.S. and tropical countries. Because of this, this herb is often referred to as “the crop of the future.” Because of a weedy life history, amaranth grains grow very rapidly, with their seedheads weighing up to 1 kilogram and containing a half-million seeds. Amaranthus species have a 30% higher protein value than rice, wheat flour, oats, rye and other cereals.

Amaranth was revived in the 1970s because of it is very palatable, easy to cook, and a protein that is well suited to human nutritional needs. This herb was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties, now being commercially cultivated. A popular snack sold in Mexico City, this herb is often mixed with chocolate or puffed rice. Its use has recently spread to Europe and parts of North America. Amaranth is a pseudo grain because it has a very similar flavor and cooking ability to grains. Along with protein, amaranth provides a great source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.

The leaves, seeds, and flowers of the amaranth plant are responsible for all of the health benefitis provided. Amaranth’s properties include: alterative, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, and nutritive. Primarily, amaranth is used for diarrhea, dysentery, excessive menstruation, and nosebleeds. Amaranth can also be used for canker sores, bleeding gums, stomach and mouth ulcers, worms, and wounds. For more information on the benefits of this herb, please contact your local health food store.

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The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium
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Date: May 18, 2007 01:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium

The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine,

D-Ribose, Magnesium

 

The “Awesome Foursome” of Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium helps our hearts metabolize energy more efficiently and protects them from the stress of cardiovascular disease. This powerful combination of nutrients goes directly to the basic biochemistry of cellular energy metabolism. Now let’s take a closer look at how Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium work in synergy to promote cardiovascular health.

 

Coenzyme Q10:

Energy Recycling through the Electron Transport Chain

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the mitochondrial membrane, mitochondrial DNA, and cell walls from free-radical attack. But its most important function in the body is its central role in energy metabolism.

Most – about 90 percent – of the ATP used by cells is recycled as food (fuel) and oxidized in the mitochondria. Fatty acids, carbohydrates, and, occasionally, proteins are carried across the mitochondrial membrane and enter the Krebs’ cycle, moving from step to step and spinning off electrons. These electrons are then handed off to the electron transport chain, where, in the presence of oxygen, the energy from the electrons is captured as a phosphate group is added to ADP to form ATP. This recycling of ATP is called oxidative phosphorylation, and the by-products of these pathways are CO2 and water.

In this fashion, Coenzyme Q10 acts as a gatekeeper of electrons, making sure they are carried to just the right place to pass on their life-giving energy.

What is critical, however, is the simple fact that without Coenzyme Q10 the electron transport chain would totally break down. And since the electron transport chain is (by far!) the largest contributor to cellular energy turnover, its loss would be catastrophic. It is also important to know that there has to be an excess of Coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondria to be maximally effective. Having just enough isn’t sufficient to do the job properly, and having a deficiency seriously affects the mitochondria’s ability to supply the cell with energy.

Cellular stress can cause Coenzyme Q10 deficiency, which places a severe strain on Coenzyme Q10 availability. People with heart disease, hypertension, gingival disease, Parkinson’s disease, and the other disorders we’ve discussed are known to be deficient in Coenzyme Q10. Whether these deficiencies are the cause or the effect of these varied medical problems, the end result is that they sap the life out of their mitochondria and reduce their energy supplies. You see, Coenzyme Q10 cannot function properly if electrons are not coming out of the Krebs’ cycle, and the Krebs’ cycle won’t work without the fuel that’s transported into the mitochondria by L-Carnitine.

 

L-Carnitine:

Transporting the Cellular Energy Fuel

Fatty acids are the preferred energy fuel for hearts and most other cells in the body. L-Carnitine facilitates the beta oxidation of fatty acids as energy fuel. And since fatty acids are the preferred fuel for energy recycling in cells, this action is critical to cell and tissue function. Unfortunately, L-carnitine is deficient in people with heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, lipid metabolic disorders, mitochondrial disorders, and many other disease syndromes we reviewed earlier. This L-carnitine deficiency disrupts the normal metabolism of fatty acids, reducing available energy supplies and leading to the accumulation of toxic by-products of fatty acid metabolism. L-carnitine supplementation revives fatty acid metabolism and restore normal mitochondrial function. But even this powerful improvement in cellular energy metabolism cannot up for the energy drain that comes from the loss of energy substrates caused by low oxygen delivery to the tissue. Only D-Ribose can do that.

 

D-Ribose:

Rebuilding the Cellular Energy Pool

As long as cells and tissues have plenty of oxygen, the pool of energy substrates in the cell remains high. And as long as there is enough L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 available, the process of energy utilization and supply can proceed unimpeded. However, the cellular supply of oxygen can be restricted by acute or chronic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, any number of skeletal – or neuromuscular diseases, or even high-intensity exercise.

When cells are deprived of oxygen the mitochondrial energy turnover becomes inefficient. Remember, oxygen is required to let the oxidative pathway of energy recycling work properly. If the mitochondria are not able to recycle energy efficiently, cellular energy supply cannot keep pace with demand. But the cell has a continuing need for energy so it will use all its ATP stores and then break down the by-product, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), to pull the remaining energy out of this compound as well. What’s left is adenosine menophosphate (AMP). Since a growing concentration of AMP is incompatible with sustained cellular function it’s quickly broken apart and the by-products are washed out of the cell. The net result of this process is a depletion of the cellular pool of energy substrates. When the by-products of AMP catabolism are washed out of the cell, they are lost forever. It takes a long time to replace these lost energy substrates even if the cell is fully perfused with oxygen again.

Ribose is the only compound used by the body to refill this energy pool.  Every cell in the body has the capacity to make ribose, but hearts, muscles, and most other tissues lack the metabolic machinery to make ribose quickly when the cells are stressed by oxygen depletion or metabolic insufficiency.  Ribose is made naturally in the cells from glucose.  In stressed cells, however, glucose is preferentially metabolized for the energy turnover and is not available for ribose synthesis.  So when energy pools are drained from stressed cells, the cells must first wait for the slow process of ribose synthesis before they can begin to replace their lost energy stores.

    Acute ischemia, like that which takes place during a heart attack, heart surgery, or angioplasty, drains the cell of energy.  Even when oxygenated blood flow returns, refilling the energy pool may take ten or more days.  But when oxygen deprivation is chronic, or when energy metabolism is disrupted by disease, there may be so much continual strain on the energy supply that the pool can ever refill without the assistance of supplemental ribose.  Conditions like ischemic heart disease or congestive heart failure fall into this category.  In these situations, supplementing the tissue with exogenous ribose is the only way the cell can keep up with the energy drain.

 

Magnesium:

Switching on the Energy Enzymes

Magnesium is an essential mineral that's critical for energy requiring processes, in protein synthesis, membrane integrity, nervous tissue conduction, neuromuscular excitation, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, maintenance of vascular tone, and in intermediary metabolism.  Deficiency may lead to changes in neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal function; Impaired energy metabolism; and reduced capacity for physical work.  Magnesium deficiency is now considered to contribute to many diseases, and the role for magnesium as a therapeutic agent is expanding.

    Magnesium deficiency reduces the activity of important enzymes used in energy metabolism.  Unless we have adequate levels of magnesium in our cells, the cellular processes of energy metabolism cannot function.  Small changes in magnesium levels can have a substantial effect on heart and blood vessel function.  While magnesium is found in most foods - particularly vegetables - deficiencies are increasing.  Softened water and a trend toward lower vegetable consumption are the culprits contributing to these rising deficiencies.

 

Supporting the Links in The Energy Cycle Chain – the Synergy

Clearly, each membrane of the “Awesome Foursome” is fundamental to cellular energy metabolism in its own right. Each plays a unique and vital role in supplying the heart with the energy it needs to preserve its contractile force. Each is independently effective in helping hearts work through the stress of disease. And while each contributes immeasurable to the energy health of the cell, in combination they are unbeatable. Allow me to reiterate the step-by-step, complicated cellular processes involved to be sure that you really understand the rationale for using these nutrients.

The cell needs a large, sustained, and healthy pool of energy to fuel all its metabolic functions. Contraction, relaxation, maintenance of cellular ion balance, and synthesis of macromolecules, like proteins, all require a high energy charge to carry their reactions to completion. The energy pool must be preserved, or these fundamental cellular functions will become inefficient or will cease to operate altogether. To keep the pool vibrant and healthy, the cell needs ribose. But even with supplemental ribose, the cell needs the efficient turnover of its energy stores to balance ongoing energy utilization with supply. That’s where CoQ10 and L-carnitine come into play.

The converse is also true. Even if the cell is fully charged with energy, cellular energy supply will not keep pace with demand if the mitochondria are not functioning properly. CoQ10 and L-carnitine work to keep mitochondrial operations running at peak efficiency, and one side cannot work effectively without the other. Even though CoQ10 and L-carnitine can make the energy turnover mechanisms work more efficiently, they cannot increase the cell’s chemical driving force, and their action will be only partially effective. Ribose on the other hand, can keep the energy pool supplied with substrate, but the value of energy pool repletion cannot be fully realized if the substrate cannot be maximally utilized and recycled. Ribose fills the tank; CoQ10 an L-carnitine help the engine run properly.

Magnesium is the glue that holds energy metabolism together. By turning on the enzymes that drive the metabolic reactions, magnesium allows it all to happen.

These four nutrients must be utilized by cardiologists and other physicians as they treat patients day-to-day. On my own journey, using Coenzymes Q10 for two decades, L-carnitine for more than ten years, D-Ribose for two years, and magnesium equally as long, I’ve seen this “Awesome Foursome” reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.

The future of nutrition in conventional medicine is very bright, although the integration of nutritional supplements has been a slow and, at times, lonely process.

L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. D-Ribose is emerging as a new player in the complex understanding of metabolic cardiology, and doctors are beginning to discuss the important role of magnesium deficiency in heart patients. As a practicing cardiologist for over thirty years, I see metabolic cardiology as the future for the treatment of heart disease and other complex disease conditions, as well.



--
Protect the Heart with D-Ribose, Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium at Vitanet ®, LLC

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Catuaba
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Date: June 25, 2005 07:23 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Catuaba

According to natives of the Amazon, when Tupan, the most powerful of all the Gods, decided to create man and woman and an environment in which they could t hrive, he assembled the other gods and goddesses and sought t heir assist ance. Jaci, the goddess of the moon, offered her help to Tupan. “I will teach the people how to grow seeds for food.

While many beneficial plants are steeped in myth and legend, few are as widely known and consumed among the natives of the Amazon river basin as catuaba, Erthyroxylum catuaba.

Revered as an enhancer of both libido and sexual potency, catuaba is a tree which grows widely across the northern Amazon.This most famous of all reputed aphrodisiac Amazonian plants is the subject of numerous indigenous songs,and the harvesting of catuaba bark (the part used for sexual enhancement) has become big business throughout Brazil.

In January of this year, I and two others went on a mission to the Brazilian Amazon to investigate catuaba as it is harvested and used by the indigenous people of that region. We possessed complementary skills.

My work involves researching and photographing indigenous native uses of plants around the world.My wife Shahannah, whose previous career as a marine mammal researcher put her on the ocean for three years, was our videographer.The third member, Bernie Peixoto, was born and raised in that region, speaks ten native languages fluently, and also holds a Ph.D in anthropology.We were a small, but capable group.

Entering Brazil through Manaus, we made contact with Antonio Matas,the most famous herbalist in that area.Antonio described to us numerous instances in which the use of catuaba had resulted in renewed sexual potency in men, and revived or enhanced libido in both men and women.Antonio also introduced us to a man named Sivao,the primary dealer of catuaba in the entire sprawling Manaus region. From Sivao we learned that catuaba was increasing in popularity every month, and had become one of the most sought after and widely used beneficial plants in northern Brazil, due to its ef fectiveness.

After our meetings in Manaus,we headed down the Amazon river where we stayed with Ipixuna and Crinicoru Indians in floating houses right on the river itself.

With the guidance of an outdoorsman named Geronimo and a fisherman named Jose’,we hiked into the forest,saw catuaba trees growing, and witnessed the harvesting and sale of the bark.In addition,we were led to two elderly women shamans,who described to us the sex-enhancing and restorative virtues of catuaba.

While space doesn’t permit an explanation of all that we saw and learned, we discovered during the course of our travels that while catuaba is used by almost all middle-aged men,it is also popular among couples of all ages for its enhancement of libido. More often than not,catuaba is used with muira puama. We asked repeatedly why this was so,and each time we were told that the combination of the two plants results in significantly greater sexual enhancement than can be obtained by using either herb by itself. Most of the people with whom we spoke use catuaba personally, and they expressed great enthusiasm for catuaba’s sex-enhancing properties. Throughout history, people have sought to enhance their libido and improve sexual potency. Catuaba,a common tree growing widely across the Amazon river basin,has centuries of safe,effective use as a sex-enhancer.As more people become aware of the botanical treasures of the rainforest,catuaba is destined to become popular and widely used in this culture as well. The views expressed in this article are those of the author only, and have not been approved or endorsed by Nutraceutical Corporation or any of its subsidaries or affiliates.



--
Vitanet ®

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Anti-Aging Nutrients
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Date: June 18, 2005 09:07 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Anti-Aging Nutrients

Anti-Aging Nutrients by Edward C. Wallace, DC, ND Energy Times, February 3, 2000

What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful, easy feeling.

How Do We Age?

Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Programmed Cell Theory

In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain. On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents.

Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution. Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

DNA Repair Theory

Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

What Can We Do?

The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

Antioxidant Protection

Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.) Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725). Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

Nutrition Deficiencies

A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

Longevity Diets

A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460).

Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

Staying Alive

Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

Longevity and Exercise

Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184). In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

The Treadmill of Life

The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

Longevity Supplementation

Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging. Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

Toning Down Enzymes

Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls. In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

Vitamins E & C

A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

Chronological Age Vs.Biological Age

Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems.

In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

Similar Relationship

A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less.

And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

Carotenoids

When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119[1], Jan. 1989: 112-115).

Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs. For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

Amino Acid Health

Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68). As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

Attitude & Behavior

Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit. In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

Longevity at Last

While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of longer life. And by staying healthier, your old age will be more enjoyable, too.



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Energize Your Life!
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Date: June 14, 2005 05:06 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Energize Your Life!

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.

Ginseng Boost

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.



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Vitanet ®

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SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention
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Date: June 14, 2005 10:32 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention

SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, October 12, 2004

Feeling stressed out? Looking for some time to relax and cool off, but just too busy to get away? Give yourself a spa treatment at home.

Creating your own home spa experience is easy and the benefits are many. With some common household items and a few essential oils, you can luxuriate in your own special spa experience while recharging and renewing mind, body and spirit. Indulge with a few close friends for a unique, shared experience.

Aromatherapy Adventures

Using concentrated plant oils derived from flowers and plants, aromatherapy offers an ancient healing art that has gained newfound respect in the modern world. Aroma chemicals transfer quickly into the body, and researchers are finding unique ways to employ this ancient technique, including medical applications.

Studies find that lemon balm or lavender oil reduces behavioral problems in older people with dementia (BMJ 2002; 325:1312-3). Rosemary has been found to improve memory and enhance mental functioning (Int J Neurosci 2003 Jan; 113(1):15-38).

Only a drop or two of an essential oil is needed to receive their unique healing benefits. (Always dilute essential oils; never use or apply them directly to your skin without watering them down.) Essential oils can help you relax, rejuvenate, improve your memory and increase your energy.

Some essential oils are reputed to reduce pain, kill bacteria, speed healing of injuries and help fight inflammation and infection (Natl Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 8/02).

Bathing Beauties

When you feel like you're ready to spa, take the phone off the hook, unplug the TV and set aside a special, unbothered time and day for your at-home spa experience. Next, turn your bathroom into your special place. Light fragrant candles, put on your favorite soft music and fill the tub.

When running the water you should select a water temperature that fits the effect you desire, according to Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN, author of Healing Home Spa (Penguin). Water temperature that approximates your normal body temperature produces a sedative effect. On the other hand, hotter water-that which hovers around 100 degrees-induces sweating and helps cleanse and detoxify. In any case, limit your time in hot water to about 20 minutes. If you use cold water, only stay immersed for a few short minutes to rejuvenate and close the skin's pores.

Try adding about 10 drops of either lavender or ylang-ylang oil to a warm bath to aid in relaxation and to release tight muscles. Don't rush; soak for at least 20 minutes and let the fragrant water vaporize your cares. Dry off with a fluffy towel and wrap yourself in your favorite bathrobe.

Other bath enhancers you can add to your soak include oatmeal to soften the skin, seaweed for deep cleansing, Epsom salts to relieve aches, and baking soda to alkalize the body. Herbal sachets can be made by placing dried herbs in a muslin bag and dropping the bag into the water to release fragrances and healing chemicals.

Fantastic Facial

The facial is a standard spa procedure. Hold your face over a steaming bowl of hot water that contains lemon juice or a few drops of lemon essential oil for about 15 minutes. Use a towel over your head to hold in the steam.

When your face is well moisturized, apply a facial mask. On dry skin, use either puréed, ripe avocado or a mask of honey and kelp. If your face is oily, apply either puréed, ripe bananas or a mask of peppermint oil and honey. If you are not sure of your skin type or have mixed skin, green clay can be used for a balanced facial. Green clay is rich in minerals while being antiseptic and healing, notes Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (New World Library). With the addition of warm water, it creates an instant facial mask. (You can also use prepared facial masks; ask about them at your health food store.)

To apply the mask, begin at the forehead using upward strokes. Go easy around the eyes. Afterwards, put cucumber slices over your eyes and relax. Keep the mask on for about 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water and then apply a moisturizer. Your skin should feel supple and look radiant.

Pleasant Pampering

Worwood recommends a few drops of rosemary oil and one tablespoon of baking soda in a basin of warm water to soothe your feet. Soaking your feet for about ten minutes softens the skin and nourishes the nails. After drying off, combine one-half cup sea salt with one-half cup of cooking oil, preferably olive, canola or sesame. Gently massage into each foot to stimulate reflex points and remove dead skin. Rinse and pat dry. Finish with a pedicure.

This salt scrub can be used on any part of the body to eliminate toxins, increase circulation, improve lymphatic movement and cleanse the pores. A popular European treatment, it is especially helpful for parts of the body that store water, such as the tummy and thighs. Rinse completely after the scrub and apply moisturizer to dry areas.

Since hands can age quickly, Worwood suggests using oils of rose, sandalwood and geranium for dry or neglected hands. You can also mix one-half cup of sugar with one-half cup cooking oil and a few drops of one of the above essential oils. Massage into each hand to moisturize and pamper your overworked hands. Rinse and apply your favorite lotion to seal in moisture. A gentle manicure adds the finishing touch.

Healthy Hair

Your special spa day wouldn't be complete without pampering your hair. Noted dermatologist David Bank, MD, suggests looking for shampoos that contain such gentle cleansers as avocado, borage oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and wheat germ oil. Your shampoo should also contain moisturizing substances, such as aloe vera, to help give your locks shine and bounce.

Check your hair's condition. Oily hair-that which feels greasy within a day of washing-responds best to frequent washing with minimal conditioning. A bad case of the frizzy tangles is a sign of dry hair, which needs a moisturizer-rich shampoo.

revive From the Inside With Green Drinks

During your spa day, sip green drinks. Green drinks made from aquatic plants such as spirulina, seaweed and kelp contain needed minerals to nourish skin, hair and nails; these plants have been used for centuries to promote health and longevity. In addition to being high in minerals, they are also low in fat, high in fiber and rich in protein.

The marine vegetables found in green drinks help detoxify the body, support the lymphatic system, alkalize the blood and tissues, and support a healthy thyroid. Many natural food stores carry green drink powders that can be added to juice or water. Sipping on a green drink can enhance the cleansing action of your home spa treatment, balance blood sugar levels and maintain your energy level during the day.

Throughout your home spa experience, drinking spring water with a touch of lemon or lime can facilitate the elimination of toxins and keep you hydrated. Indulge in plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed sugars and high-fat foods. Eating lightly allows your body to eliminate toxins from the inside out while you work on the outside.

As Valerie Cooksley says, "...sound health occurs when the mind, body and spirit are in perfect harmony and balance." A home spa experience takes you a step closer to that harmony.



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Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
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Date: June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...

Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004

  • The Nature of Hair
  • Hair's Natural Nutrients
  • Ancient Chinese Hair Secrets
  • revive Hair Glow
  • Go Natural
  • Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.

    " We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."

    Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.

    " The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.

    The Nature of Hair

    Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."

    Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).

    Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.

    Hair's Natural Nutrients

    To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."

    " Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

    Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."

    Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.

    Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."

    Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.

    Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)

    Ancient Chinese Hair Secrets

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."

    revive Hair Glow

    " Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.

    When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.

    To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.

    For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.

    If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.

    Go Natural

    To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.

    Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."



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    Women and Depression!
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    Date: June 13, 2005 07:48 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Women and Depression!

    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.

    Nutritional Uplift

    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.



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    Nutrients for Longevity
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    Date: June 10, 2005 09:59 PM
    Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
    Subject: Nutrients for Longevity

    Nutrients for Longevity by Edward C. Wallace, ND, DC Energy Times, September 1, 1999

    What's the big deal about trying to live longer? As you grow older (and the American population grows older alongside you) you may want to postpone the inevitable. Few wish to hasten "the journey from which no traveler returns." But as we approach that final bon voyage, chances are we desire clear sailing-aging without disability and with a peaceful easy feeling.

    How Do We Age

    Science has long puzzled about what causes the wrinkles, pains and deterioration of aging. In the search for causes, two basic theories have won over the most proponents: The first holds that cells are programmed with biological clocks that predetermine how many times they can reproduce before becoming non-functional. This theory has been largely formulated by the researcher Leonard Hayflick, MD.

    The second basic theory, introduced by Denham Harman, MD, PhD, in the mid 1950s, holds that cells eventually break down due to attack by caustic molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

    Programmed Cell Theory

    In the early '60s, Dr. Hayflick observed that human fibroblasts (cells from connective tissue) in the laboratory refused to divide more than about 50 times. Dr. Hayflick also found that even if he froze the fibroblasts after 20 divisions, they would remember that they only had 30 divisions left after thawing.

    Fifty cell divisions have been called the "Hayflick limit." Based on this research, scientists theorize that cells maintain a genetic clock that winds down as old age ensues. Many researchers believe the hypothalamus gland is the force behind our aging clocks, signaling the pituitary gland to release hormones that cause aging.

    Free Radical/Oxidative Stress Theory

    The other popular theory of aging pictures the human body as a cellular battlefield where attackers called free radicals damage our cells and tissues, making them age. In this scenario, a process called oxidation is the chief aging villain.

    On a microscopic level, oxidation generally entails molecules or atoms losing electrons. (Gaining electrons is called reduction.) The molecules or atoms that take these electrons are oxidizing agents. Free radicals are substances that can exist with missing electrons, making them readily able to donate or accept electrons and damage structures in cells. As such, they are highly reactive, binding with and destroying important cellular compounds. Most of the free radicals in your body are made during metabolic processes. More are added from the food you eat and environmental pollution.

    Most of these free radicals contain oxygen molecules. As each cell makes energy in little structures called mitochondria, free radicals result. These oxidant by-products can damage DNA, proteins and lipids (fats). Consequently, toxic by-products of lipid peroxidation may cause cancer, inhibit enzyme activity and produce mutations in genetic material that make you age faster.

    DNA Repair Theory

    Free radical damage to DNA can cause cells to mutate or die. Your body makes enzymes that can repair this damage and slow aging. But, over time, the amount of damage overwhelms the body's ability to fix things. As cells grow older, their ability to patch up DNA diminishes and the rate of damage proceeds faster than repair. The result: We age and eventually die.

    What Can We Do

    The free radical theory of aging suggests that taking antioxidants (compounds known to prevent free radical damage) in our food or as supplements may slow aging.

    In the publication Age (18 [51] 1995: 62), it was reported that "aging appears to be caused by free radicals initiated by the mitochondria at an increasing rate with age. Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals formed by the mitochondria during normal metabolism are major risk factors for disease and death after about the age of 28 in developed countries. Antioxidants from the diet lower the production of free radicals without impairing essential reactions to maintain body function."

    Antioxidant Protection

    Common dietary antioxidants include: vitamins E and C, carotenes, sulphur containing amino acids, co-enzyme Q10 and flavonoids (a group of plant compounds or pigments responsible for the color in fruits and flowers). In addition, melatonin, DHEA and the amino acid compound glutathione may also prove of benefit.

    Glutathione along with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase are an essential part of free radical "quenching." (Quenching means changing free radicals into benign substances no longer capable of harm.)

    Deficiencies may suggest a decreased capacity to maintain detoxification and metabolic reactions in which glutathione plays a role, resulting in increased free radical stress and/or lipid peroxidation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can result in glutathione deficiency.

    In a study in which 39 healthy men and 130 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 94 were evaluated for glutathione levels, the older subjects had significantly decreased levels (especially in the 60 to 79-year-old group). The authors felt that physical health and longevity were closely related to glutathione levels (Jrnl Lab & Clin Sci 120(5), Nov. 1992: 720-725).

    Poor nutrition and/or deficiencies in essential micronutrients and many prescription medications may contribute significantly to detoxification capacity in an aged individual. All of these circumstances are common in the elderly.

    Eating a poor diet that contains too many processed foods without many fruits and vegetables can compromise your body's ability to detoxify pollutants, toxins and other harmful compounds. That can set off metabolic processes capable of fomenting large increases in free radical stress that can accelerate aging. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as our own, nutrient deficiencies are frequent, especially in older citizens.

    Nutrition Deficiencies

    A study that looked at what elderly people consumed compared their reported intake with the 1989 Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) and 1980 RDA: One of four people consumed only two-thirds of the RDA for calories and 60% consumed less than two-thirds of the RDA for vitamin D. As for other nutrients, 50% were found to have inadequate zinc levels (less than two-thirds of the RDA), 31% lacked calcium, 27% were short of vitamin B6, 25% didn't get enough magnesium, 7% missed out on folate and 6% ate less than two-thirds of the requirement for vitamin C (Nutrition Reviews (II), September 1995: S9-S15).

    When researchers examine what everyone in the U.S. eats, they find that only 9% of Americans consume the recommended five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 1993).

    A diet high in fruits and vegetables is naturally high in antioxidant compounds and is believed to help you live longer. Unfortunately, if you buy your produce in the supermarket, those fruits and vegetables may also be rich in pesticide and herbicide residues (Consumer Reports, March 1999). Obviously, organic produce lacks these residues. But, in any case, research continues to indicate that a diet low in meats and animal fat and high in vegetables protects against antioxidant damage.

    Longevity Diets

    A six-year study of 182 people over age 70 in rural Greek villages found that those following their traditional diet of olive oil, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables and wine were less likely to die during the study than those who consumed more red meat and saturated fat. The most important foods in lowering the risk of early death included fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, dairy products and cereals (BMJ 311, 1995: 1457-1460)

    Another article in Epidemiology highlights the evidence that eating a vegetarian diet increases your chances of living longer. Included in this survey is a recent country-wide study of diet and health in China, showing that the traditional near vegetarian diet of 10% to 15% of calories coming from dietary fat reduced the chances of heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers. (Epidemiology 3[5], 1992: 389-391).

    Staying Alive

    Staying skinny and limiting what you eat may also increase longevity. Scientific studies have previously shown that being overweight can theoretically curtail your life, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening conditions. Animal studies have also shown that restricting food can slow diseases associated with aging. Researchers believe that cutting calories helps your immune system stay younger by reducing the formation of substances that are called proinflammatory cytokines.

    Specifically reducing your intake of fatty foods may decrease your chance of coming down with autoimmune diseases. Researchers think omega-6 fatty acid vegetable oils (like corn oil) may increase free radical formation and decrease levels of antioxidant enzyme messenger RNA in addition to other effects. (Nutrition Reviews 53[4], 1995: S72-S79). Another study found that cutting calories lowers the levels of oxidative stress and damage, retards age-associated changes and extends maximum life span in mammals (Science 273, July 5, 1996: 59-63).

    In yet another study, it was shown that caloric restriction early in the life of lab animals increased their life span by a whopping 40% (Australian Family Physician 23[7], July 1994: 1297-1305). Today's modern higher-fat, low-fiber diet with substantial sugar consumption represents everything the longevity researchers say you shouldn't eat.

    Longevity and Exercise:

    Exercise may slow aging. When researchers looked at the exercise habits of 17,000 men, average age of 46, they found that those who took part in vigorous activity lived longer.

    Exercise can improve both cardiac and metabolic functions within the body, while also decreasing heart disease risk. Even modest exercise has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels (JAMA 273[15], April 19, 1995: 1179-1184).

    In a study of how exercise affects your chances of living longer, 9,773 men underwent preventive medicine examinations on two different occasions. When the researchers looked at who lived longest, they found the highest death rate was in men who were unfit during both physical exams.

    The Treadmill of Life

    The lowest death rate was in the men who worked out and were in good shape. The researchers concluded that for each minute increase in how long a man could keep treading on a treadmill (between the first and second exam) there was a corresponding 7.9% decrease in the risk of dying. (JAMA 273 [14], April 12, 1995: 1093-1098).

    Since exercise can increase oxygen consumption up to 10 times, boosting the rate of production of free radicals, researchers believe that older individuals need more antioxidant nutrients to protect them. In a paper published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (1997), researchers stated that if you regularly exercise in your golden years, you should take more antioxidant vitamins to compensate for this risk.

    Longevity Supplementation

    Melatonin is not often thought of as an antioxidant, but, instead, as a sleep aid. Melatonin, however, is an effective and efficient free radical scavenger and may help stave off the effects of aging.

    Melatonin protects against what are called hydroxyl free radicals. Research shows that older people's lack of melatonin may make them more susceptible to oxidative stress. In one study, researchers felt that new therapies aimed at stimulating melatonin synthesis may eventually lead to therapies for the prevention of diseases related to premature aging (Aging and Clinical Experimental Research 7[5], 1995: 338-339). Melatonin was shown to provide antioxidant protection in several ways.

    Toning Down Enzymes

    Melatonin can ease the effects of enzymes that generate free radicals, enhance the production of glutathione peroxidase (an antioxidant) and defuse the caustic action of free radicals that contain hydroxyls.

    In several studies, DHEA supplementation has been shown to potentially revive immune function in older adults (Exp. Opin. Invest. Drugs 4[2], 1995: 147-154).

    In a study of 138 persons older than 85 years compared to 64 persons 20 to 40 years of age, scientists found that the younger people had four times as much DHEA in their bodies.

    The researchers believe that our bodies make less and less DHEA as we get older. The authors of this study raise the possibility that declining DHEA may be partly to blame for our biological clocks running down (New York Academy of Sciences 1994: 543-552).

    Vitamins E & C

    A growing body of research also supports the benefits of taking vitamins E and C to hold off the effects of getting old. Researchers writing in Free Radicals and Aging (1992: 411-418) point out that as you get older your body is home to more and more free radical reactions that may lead to degenerative diseases like heart disease and arthritis. Research has found that in older people with exercise-induced oxidative stress, taking vitamin E every day may significantly fight off free radicals. (To investigate this effect, scientists measured waste products in urine that result from free radical reactions.) Their conclusion: Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E may be beneficial.

    Chronological Age Vs. Biological Age

    Vitamin C also looks to scientists like a good anti-aging bet. Research in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, (7[1], Spring 1994: 31-41) showed that folks consuming larger amounts of vitamin C were less likely to experience clinical problems at all ages. Those taking in less than 100 mg of vitamin C per day also suffered the most problems. In this research, individuals over 50 years of age who daily consumed the largest amount of vitamin C were as healthy or healthier than the 40 year olds who were taking the least amount of vitamin C.

    Similar Relationship

    A similar relationship appears to exist for vitamin E and serum cholesterol levels. In a study of 360 physicians and their spouses, researchers found that people in their 50s who consumed more vitamin E had lower cholesterol than those in their 30s who were taking less. And the longevity beat goes on: In a study evaluating environmental tobacco smoke and oxidative stress, researchers divided 103 people into three groups. Researchers blew smoke at 37 of these folks without protection while 30 of them got to breathe tobacco smoke but took antioxidant supplementation. Another 36 of them merely had to read magazines from doctors' offices. The results: After 60 days of supplementation the antioxidant folks had a 62% reduction in evidence of oxidative damage to their DNA. Cholesterol levels dropped and so did antioxidant enzyme activities. The researchers concluded that taking antioxidants provided a modicum of protection against environmental poisons.

    The range of antioxidant nutrients used in this study included: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium as well as copper (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7, November 1998: 981-988).

    Carotenoids

    When you mention carotene or carotenoids, most people think of the beta carotene that makes carrots orange. But more than 600 carotenoids are present in colorful vegetables and many of these misunderstood substances are more potent antioxidants than beta-carotene.

    Carotenoids have been shown to destroy oxygen free radicals in lipids (fats), help protect our cells from the sun's ultra violet radiation and enhance our natural immune response (J. Nutr 119(1), Jan. 1989: 112-115).

    Some evidence seems to show that how much carotenoids you (and other mammals) have in your cells may be the predominant factor in determining life span (Proc Natl Acad Sci 82 [4], 1985: 798-802). Therefore, a diet rich in carotenoids (leafy green vegetables, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes) along with supplementation seems to be just what the fountain of youth ordered.

    Flavonoids

    Flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant pigments, seem to be able to protect specific organs.

    For instance, the flavonoids in milk thistle (Silybum marianum) have been used for ages for liver problems. Bilberry has been found protective for the eye and hawthorn for the heart and circulatory system.

    Numerous studies have shown the many beneficial effects of flavonoids with perhaps the best known being the ability of anthocyanidins in wine and grape seed extract to help protect your blood vessels and capillaries from oxidative damage (Phytotherapy 42, 1986: 11-14; Am J Clin Nutr 61, 1995: 549-54).

    Flavonoids are found in vegetables and such fruits as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. A diet rich in these foods helps ensure an adequate intake of these important nutrient compounds.

    Amino Acid Health

    Methionine and cysteine are sulphur containing amino acids (protein building blocks), both of which are essential in maintaining levels of glutathione, a substance that plays a major role in quelling free radicals. Studies have found that as we age, the level of these important amino acids in our bodies decreases. (NEJM 312 [1], 1985: 159-68).

    As it has been shown that adding cysteine to the diet of test animals can increase their life expectancy considerably, researchers believe these amino acids can help us live longer too.

    Attitude & Behavior

    Get more sleep! A recent study showed that men who habitually napped were less likely to have a heart attack. The men in this research who regularly napped for at least 30 minutes per day had about a 30% reduction in heart problems while those who napped for a full hour had a 50% reduction compared to non nappers. Naps of longer duration did not seem to increase the benefit.

    In the same research, investigators also found that spending time with a pet or merely contemplating nature could also improve cardiac health. Sensuality, optimism and altruism also appeared to have health benefits (Family Practice News, December 15, 1998: 14-15).

    In another study, this one in American Psychologist, researchers from the University of California found that people who are self-indulgent, pampered and achieve by running roughshod over the competition are less likely to outlive their healthy peers. Being egocentric, impulsive, undependable and tough-minded were predictors of poor physical health and a shorter life. So loosen up and be nice to your fellow humans! (U.C. Davis Magazine, Fall 1995: 14).

    Longevity at Last

    While no one has suggested that taking supplements, eating vegetables or exercising can, as of yet, extend the human life span past the generally recognized limit of about 120 years, researchers believe they can improve your odds of living longer. An added benefit: By staying healthier, your old age won't only be longer, it will be more enjoyable, too.

    And, who knows, if you hang around long enough, taking your nutrients and getting a comfortable amount of consistent exercise, while meditating and refusing to succumb to stress, that magic bullet that will keep you alive for centuries may be discovered. Some day a new antioxidant or other substance may finally prove to provide the elusive fountain of youth. Stay tuned.



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