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The Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep
September 14, 2022 04:03 PM
Most people know they should be getting around eight hours of sleep per night, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, between 50 and 70 million U.S. adults havea sleep disorder*. That means many of us are not getting the quality sleep we need on a nightly basis. But what does that mean for our health? Let’s take a look.
Short-Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation
There are many short-term effects of not getting enough sleep, including:
* Difficulty concentrating or making decisions * Increased forgetfulness * Moodiness or irritability * Slow reflexes * Increased anxiety * Decreased sex drive * Weight gain or weight loss * Heightened senses * Increased susceptibility to colds and flus
Long-Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation
The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are even more concerning. Some of the long-term effects of not getting enough sleep include:
* High blood pressure * Diabetes * Heart disease * Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety * Memory problems * weakened immune system * Increased pain perception Conclusion: As you can see, there are many short-term and long-term effects of not getting enough sleep. If you think you might have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about treatment options. In the meantime, practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a calming bedtime routine. Do your best to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!
Need more sleep try melatonin!
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. It's produced naturally by our bodies in response to darkness and starts to increase in the evening as we prepare for bed.
How Does Melatonin Work?
Many people take melatonin supplements in an effort to improve their sleep quality. And there is some evidence to suggest that it can be helpful. One small study found that melatonin supplements helped people fall asleep faster than placebo pills did. However, the effects were only temporary, lasting for just three days.
Another study looked at the effects of melatonin on people with insomnia due to jet lag. This research found that melatonin supplements shortened the time it took for participants to fall asleep by about an hour on average.
It's important to note that these studies looked at short-term usage of melatonin supplements. There's not much research available on the long-term effects of taking this supplement.
If you're struggling to get enough sleep, you might be wondering if supplements could help. One popular option is melatonin. But what is it, and does it really work? Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles which is produced naturally by our bodies in response to darkness.. Many people take melatonin supplements in an effort to improve their sleep quality and there is some evidence to suggest that it can be helpful such as one small study found that melatonin supplements helped people fall asleep faster than placebo pills did.. however the effects were only temporary lasting three days or another study which looked at the effects of melatonin on people with insomnia due to jet lag and found that it shortened the time it took participants to fall asleep by an hour on average...
Give Melatonin a try and sleep better!
How Melatonin Can Support a Healthy Sleep Cycle and More
May 11, 2022 12:19 PM
Did you know that melatonin is a powerful free radical scavenger? This means that it helps protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called radicals. Melatonin is also naturally produced in the pineal gland and is present in high amounts in the GI tract. We will discuss some of the ways that melatonin supports health and wellness.
Melatonin and the body
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is responsible for regulating the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm. The production of melatonin increases at night, and decreases during the day. This hormone is also available in supplement form, and is often used to treat jet lag or insomnia. When taken as a supplement, melatonin works by resetting the body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, melatonin may also help to reduce anxiety and improve mood. As a result, this hormone plays an important role in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle.
How does melatonin support a healthy sleep cycle?
Melatonin is a hormone that help regulate the sleep cycle. The production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. As a result, melatonin levels typically start to rise in the evening as the sun sets, and they remain high throughout the night. In the morning, light exposure causes melatonin levels to drop, helping to wake us up and start the day. Melatonin supplements can be used to help people who have difficulty sleeping and staying asleep. This hormone helps to reset the body's natural sleep cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. As a result, melatonin can be an effective way to support a healthy sleep cycle.
What are some of the other benefits of melatonin?
It can help to boost the immune system, protect against cancer, and reduce inflammation. Research suggests that melatonin may also have neuroprotective effects and could be beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
Tips for getting a good night's sleep
Most people need about seven to eight hours of sleep a day. However, many people find it difficult to get enough rest. There are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep habits. First, create a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Second, create a relaxing bedtime routine. This might include taking a warm shower, reading a book, or writing in a journal. Third, create a comfortable sleep environment by making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Fourth, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, while alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle. Finally, try not to use electronic devices in bed. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body's natural sleep rhythm and take melatonin. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep.
Research on melatonin began in the 1950s, and since then, numerous studies have been conducted on its potential health benefits. Some of the most promising research has found that melatonin may help to prevent cancer. In one study, melatonin supplements were found to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by half. Other research has shown that melatonin may help to protect against colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. Additionally, melatonin has been shown to boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy.
While more research is needed to confirm the exact role of melatonin in cancer prevention, the available evidence suggests that it could play a significant role in protecting against this disease. Therefore, it may be worth considering supplementing with melatonin if you are at high risk for cancer or are undergoing treatment for this disease.
Can sulforaphane help children with autism?
May 10, 2019 10:46 AM
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli have enormous amounts of sulforaphane. Research has even shown that when this compound is taken in large quantities, it can help alleviate the problem of autism in children. Autism is a very important consideration because it affects about one in ten children right now; this is according to experts. New cases are also increasing worldwide. The author states that the recent increases in autism reporting is due to the fact that vaccination schedules in children are increasing and vaccines deliver toxins to the child which can damage the nervous system. Sulforaphane though has been shown to be a chemical that can help in alleviating autism in children even after they have been vaccinated. The research was carried out by scientists at the John Hopkins University who found out that eating foods that have enormous amounts of sulforaphane can help autistic children by enhancing their social skills, verbal communication ability, and their general behavior. The compound, sulforaphane, acts through activating the genes that shield the cells from inflammation, damage to the genetic material, oxidative stress, and other factors that are linked to autism. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
"The results of their experiment showed that the sulforaphane group demonstrated considerable improvements in social behavior by the time of the fourth week of treatment."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-20-can-sulforaphane-help-children-with-autism.html
Medical benefits of cannabis SUPPRESSED and banned throughout mostof the 20th century
March 23, 2019 10:59 AM
Cannabis sativa, otherwise known as marijuana, has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years, prior to the development of western civilization. However, with the introduction of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, governments deemed marijuana as evil and dangerous. By the 1930s, the U.S., England, and Canada all outlawed marijuana. However, over the last twenty years, there has been an overwhelming amount of cannabis research out of Spain, Israel, and Brazil, uncovering the human body’s endocannabinoid system and identifying marijuana as the new powerhouse drug of this century.
"By making cannabis “illegal,” governments of the West paved the way for Big Pharma to take over and declare its poisons as the only safe and effective medicine out there – “medicine” that, in some cases, was derived and synthesized from the very same cannabis plant that, under Schedule I designation, was deemed to have no legitimate medical use."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-20-medical-benefits-of-cannabis-suppressed.html
Congress Finally Frees Hemp From Jail: Big News For Farmers and CBDIndustry
January 06, 2019 04:20 PM
The Farm Act that was recently passed by Congress allows farmers across the nation to freely grow hemp as they please. Unfortunately, there are still restrictions set on the production of CBD products, which leaves a grey area in terms of what is acceptable and unacceptable. CBD oil is becoming more and more prevalent in treating psychological symptoms without the psychoactive effects that marijuana has. Industry leaders suspect that this bill passing is the first step in the CBD industry ultimately exploding.
"At any rate, the passing of the Farm Bill is sure to have implications on the growing CBD industry."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/congress-frees-hemp-from-jail-news-farmers-cbd-industry/
How sleep habits affect weight goals: Survey reveals the ideal sleep schedule for shedding pounds
August 04, 2018 09:53 AM
A study of 1000 Brits found that people who get less than seven hours of sleep in an average night have noticeably more erratic eating patterns than their better-rested compatriots. People who got less than seven hours of sleep were more likely to break their diets, snack between meals and drink more alcohol. By contrast, people with consistently good sleep patterns found it easier to lose weight by dieting and had more regular, routine eating schedules. Scientists generally recommend going to bed around 10 PM to maximize your restorative REM sleep.
"Millions of adults are missing out on sleep, which leads to unhealthy lifestyle habits – such as excessive eating – in turn leading to a plethora of adverse health effects."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-02-how-sleep-habits-affect-weight-goals.html
The future of cannabis in the workplace
February 09, 2018 03:59 PM
Cannabis, though being legalized in many locales, still isn't quite legalized to be imbibed or smoked in the workplace. Unlike other prescription drugs, like say pain killers or antibiotics, you are not free to use these in the same way at the workplace as you would at home. Due to their schedule 1 designation by the DEA, they are still illegal and a company can be held liable if found with amounts in their confines. This may be changing over time, but for the time being, do not expect relaxed regulation at work for your legally prescribed drugs.
"Cannabis isn't a new substance, but now that it's allowed to be consumed, it's a different awareness."
Read more: http://www.bonnyvillenouvelle.ca/article/The-future-of-cannabis-in-the-workplace-20180206
Indiana senator files bill to legalize sale, possession of CBD oil
January 03, 2018 03:59 PM
Indiana is hoping to be one of the first states with legal access to CBD oil. Senator Jim Tomes from Wadesville out forth this legislation in hopes that it will open up this promising drug to all. The drug, derived from hemp, instead of the marijuana, is seen to be promising in many of its tests in a wide range of symptoms for its anti-inflammatory properties. The major change would just get rid of CBD from the controlled substance ban list for ease of use throughout the state.
"Republican Sen. Jim Tomes from Wadesville hopes to make the product readily available throughout the state."
Read more: http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Indiana-senator-files-bill-to-legalize-sale-possession-of-CBD-oil-467210573.html
WHO to DEA: You Are Completely Wrong About Marijuana
December 20, 2017 03:59 PM
The article writes about how the DEA is still classifying marijuana as bad as heroin even tho that is clearly not the case. There have been several studies on cannabidiol that prove that it has a helpful effect in curing or helping with certain illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease while also having no toxic or addictive properties. The article tries to show the DEA that their are many medically valid reasons that marijuana should be reclassified.
"In a preliminary report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month, a non-psychoactive substance in marijuana, cannabidiol, which the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers to be a Schedule I drug that has no medical use and can be abused, is, in fact, not harmful, and has been shown to be a benefit to those who are ill."
Read more: https://sputniknews.com/society/201712171060065986-who-to-dea-wrong-about-marijuana/
Scientists call on feds to allow research on CBD for pets
December 10, 2017 03:59 PM
Veterinarians, researchers and pet owners are looking to loosen federal regulations on the use of marijuana products to help treat sick animals. Medical issues in dogs, such as epilepsy, arthritis, anxiety, loss of appetite and inflammation could potentially by helped by marijuana-based drugs and extracts.
Some people are already using marijuana extracts on their animals, such as those containing CBD, which is an element of marijuana that is not psychoactive. However, such extracts continue to be listed as Schedule 1 drugs by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, even when they contain little or no THC. THC is the active component in marijuana that causes intoxication.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned that marijuana products for pets sold in animal hospitals or online pet stores are illegal, since such drugs are unapproved. The FDA has suggested it will pursue legal action against those in violation of the law.
However, the policy-making body of the American Veterinary Medical Association, in conjunction with two group councils, is considering making a recommendation to the DEA for marijuana to be declassified as a Schedule 1 drug in order to enable research for both animal and human medical purposes. Declassification could also help prevent pet owners from accidentally overmedicating their animals in the absence of proper guidance from a medical professional.
In September, Republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced a bill that would facilitate research on use of marijuana-based medications, concurring that the drug is over-regulated, although he continues to oppose recreational use of the drug,.
Some veterinarians note that without sufficient evidence, it remains unsafe to use marijuana products on animals, with concerns about potential toxicity.
Yet researchers are continuing to wait for clearance to proceed on various relevant studies, such as use of marijuana for dogs with osteoarthritis, pruritis and epilepsy. Some research on use of products with CBD has been stopped until federal approval is granted. Gaining approval has been difficult due to government requirements, which continue to be an obstacle to moving forward.
"The concern our membership has is worry about people extrapolating their own dosages, looking to medicate their pets outside the realm of the medical professional"
Read more: https://www.aspentimes.com/news/scientists-call-on-feds-to-allow-research-on-cbd-for-pets/
Treating Autism With Cannabis Now Has Scientific Support
October 20, 2017 10:14 AM
Autism is a hard thing to diagnose and treat. There are different forms of it. There are also different levels of severity. Cannabis is one way some treat it even though it is controversial. Most cannabis uses are. There is scientific evidence that this may work. It is at least looking into if you can get past the stigma, though it might not work for everyone. Some don't react to it just like any other medication.
"Looking at the quality of the social interactions, we found that our autistic-like mice tended to dart away from a social interaction and huddle in the corner of their testing box."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/cannabidiol-treatment-for-autism-scientific-support/
If you get less than 7 hours of sleep, this is what can happen to your belly fat
July 21, 2017 12:14 PM
When adult don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (7-8 hours), the body is out of balance, especially with a proper eating schedule. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor nutritional habits (i.e. eating convenience food at any hour of the day). This can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Getting enough sleep allows the body to reset and can help ward off many diseases. There are many techniques, such as hypnosis shown in the video, or limited screen time before bed, to relax and aide in the sleeping process.
"Even willpower may not be enough to overcome lack of sleep’s not-so-subtle influence on your appetite, as sleep restriction is associated with activation of your endocannabinoid system — the same one activated by marijuana."
Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act
June 23, 2017 07:14 PM
The Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act is A bill to require the Attorney General to make a determination as to whether cannabidiol should be a controlled substance and listed in a schedule under the Controlled Substances Act and to expand research on the potential medical benefits of cannabidiol and other marijuana components. The only thing that has been done with this act is that it has been read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Read more: Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act
Marijuana Extract a 'Game-Changing Medication'
June 10, 2017 11:14 AM
Cannabidol, or CBD is a compound found in marijuana that researchers have indicated can aid in the treatment of epilepsy. Children that were part of a study who were given the CBD compound were found to have their seizures cut in half. Parents agree that even though there are side effects to the CBD compound, the benefits of taking it far outweighs them. The researchers believe that the idea of marijuana being a schedule 1 controlled drug substance with no medical benefits is ridiculous.
Read more: Marijuana Extract a 'Game-Changing Medication'
CBD Oil Shows Remarkable Health Benefits
May 31, 2017 04:14 PM
In studies Cannabinoids, a non- psychoactive phytocannibinoid extracted from marijuana, have shown the capability to diminish anxiety; reduce seizure activity in children for sometimes up to decades; and even fight cancer cells. The only catch? Marijuana's continued classification and regulation as a schedule I controlled substance making it difficult to legally purchase CBD oil even though a Schedule I substance means a compound has," no noted medicinal value." The Organic Newsroom delves into the observed benefits of CBD oil, the legality behind it, and even where to find it
"Cannabidiol is remarkable not only because of the large body of scientific evidence supporting it, but also from miraculous stories of people that have had pharmaceuticals fail them."
Read more: https://www.organicnewsroom.com/cannabis-cbd-oil/
Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
May 17, 2017 08:45 AM
If you have diabetes, you'll need to learn about and control several factors in your life if you want to control your blod sugar. Eat low carb, small portion meals timed around when you need your medicine. Stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks. Develop an exercise plan with your doctor, then make an exercise schedule to incorporate it into your life. Frequently check your blood sugar, store your insulin propertly, and keep your doctor updated on any changes. Don't make changes to your diet or your insulin intake when you are ill. Talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol. Watch for cycles of erratic blood sugar during menstruation or if you have menopause. Lastly, log your stress level every time you take your insulin.
"As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats."
Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963
Should You Mix Turmeric And Weed For Pain Management?
May 06, 2017 11:44 AM
An alternative health blog has a feature touting the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in cannabis. The writer states that CBD has been found to be effective in fighting chronic pain and reducing inflammation. The writer notes that CBD is classified as a Schedule One drug and may not be available legally in some states. CBD is available in states that have legalized medical marijuana. She recommends mixing CBD with turmeric. Other good mixing items include coconut oil, raw honey, and ginger root.
"The importance of natural remedies (like our yummy golden milk) cannot be overstated."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/turmeric-and-weed-for-pain/
Will medical marijuana be covered by insurance companies?
March 22, 2017 02:44 PM
Medically prescribed cannabis is being proven to be a good substitute for the standard opiods that are often prescribed to people in pain. Opiods are known to cause dependency whereas medical marijuana does not have that effect on it's users. Studies even find that there are a lot of opiod-related deaths, but this wouldn't be an issue if doctors were more likely to prescribe medical marijuana in these instances. The hope of many medical marijuana users is that it will be removed from the list of banned substances, so that the costs of medical marijuana will soon be covered by health insurance providers. With the new presidency, they hope this will soon be the case.
"While recreational consumption remains against federal law, some hope the Trump administration will remove marijuana from the Schedule I list of banned substances."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-17-will-medical-marijuana-be-covered-by-insurance-companies.html
Lack of sleep linked to behavioral problems in kids
March 19, 2017 01:44 PM
Not surprisingly, researchers have linked a lack of sleep to behavioral problems in kids. Specifically, a lack of sleep effects the executive functions in children, making simple tasks more challenging for them in school. These children would benefit from sleeping longer, and they would perform better in school. It is important for parents to see the the recommended amount of sleep for kids in their age brackets, and ensure their kids are getting enough sleep.
"Children who aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep have more difficulties with attention, with emotional control, with reasoning, with problem-solving, and also have behavioral problems."
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-sleep-children-behavior-idUSKBN16N2XS?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews
Here Is Why Congress Believes Marijuana Is The Same As Heroin And Meth
March 12, 2017 11:59 AM
Congressman Garrett is working to get marijuana off the federal controlled substance list, which will put marijuana on a level similar to alcohol rather than heroin. The Controlled Substance Act, passed in 1970 by President Nixon, lists marijuana as a tier 1 substance (the highest possible tier, meaning no acceptable medical use), while only 2 years after it was discovered that marijuana posed no threat to the public. While marijuana is considered highly dangerous to the federal government, twenty-eight state governments so far have passes laws allowing medical marijuana. Even cannabis extracts with no THC are considered schedule 1 drugs. And yet, congress has no plan to reschedule any time soon, with several recent attempts all proving unsuccessful.
"Earlier this week, Congressman Tom Garrett, a Republican freshman from Virginia, introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthefreshtoast.com%2Fcannabis%2Fhere-is-why-congress-believes-marijuana-is-the-same-as-heroin-and-meth%2F&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjViYjkzZDJlODZhNjI0ZWE6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGVMruuanmcWtstgLlU4juLWyStng
Can CBD Help you Lose Weight?
February 25, 2017 10:59 AM
CBD has been in the headlines and in the spotlight for those battling many different health ailments. Many supporters say that it works better at treating common and uncommon health problems that might affect you. Now, new research is available, suggesting that weight loss is another problem that CBD can help. Learn the facts here.
"Most of the four million medical marijuana patients in the U.S. get their license recommendations from a doctor they never see again."
20 Minute Body
February 15, 2017 07:59 AM
This book is easy to read, and mainly very easy to follow. The 20 minutes workout doesn't include the warm up, which will take you around 4-5 minutes. If you follow the 20 minutes workout as instructed, you will be sweating like crazy within 10 minutes, and your muscles will be store. Moves are easy to perform, nothing fancy or that requires reading the instructions over and over.
"This site can’t be reached couponlink1122.download60coaching.club’s server DNS address could not be found."
Possible new head of the FDA is a supporter of medical marijuana … Could Trump's FDA finally stop suppressing cannabis?
February 04, 2017 12:59 PM
Back on November 8th 2016 there was much celebration among the marijuana community. There were four more states that legalized adult use cannabis and several, including Florida, that legalized medical marijuana. However, there was still a lump in the back of many of our throats. Sessions has a long standing anti-drug stance and has made some strong comments against cannabis legalization. Recently the Trump administration has made a surprising announcement when they confirmed previous reports that Jim O'Neil is being considered to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
"For decades, cannabis advocates have pushed for universal legalization of medical marijuana. Citing scientific study after scientific study, they have forcefully (and truthfully) argued that legalization would provide much needed relief to millions of people suffering from a host of medical ailments."
Cannabis Use For Pediatric Cancers
January 25, 2017 07:59 AM
With the slackening of legislation in some states to allow the use of marijuana, there has been a surge in the research to test the effectiveness of cannabis against various diseases. The most interest has been on treating cancer. Animal cells have shown promise in fighting off cancer in children, but human trials are currently prohibited. There have, however, been some documented cases of parents using cannabis to treat cancer in their children. These few cases just show how much more research we need to apply to the topic.
"Cannabis treatment for children with cancer remains controversial, however, in cases of treatment-resistant cancers and severe side effects from treatment, cannabis must be a readily available option, especially since it is significantly less toxic than most cancer treatments."
Is CBD Crystalline the Most Effective Cannabis Medicine?
January 03, 2017 02:59 PM
Information regarding the use of medicinal marijuana has been in high demand over the past few years. This article discusses the positive impacts and benefits of CBD. There are several conditions that cannabinoids have been shown to benefit. Check out the article for those conditions and the progress researchers have been making
"CBD provides no psychoactive effects when ingested, but being that it is derived from cannabis, the potential life-saving compound is still considered a schedule 1 substance with “no medicinal value.” This obstacle blocks many professional research facilities from conducting experiments with CBD to truly put its healing abilities to the test, at least in the United States."
5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible
December 31, 2016 11:59 AM
On December 14, 2016, in the Federal Register, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg made cannabis a schedule I controlled substance by making it illegal to use. People suffering from medical issues often use cannabis (CBD) and CBD oil in their treatment. Opponents to the new classification argue that cannabis should not be included in schedule 1 drugs. For starters, they say it’s not psychoactive, addictive, or dangerous. Also, the US government has conducted research on the drug and concluded that it has medical benefits. In addition, it has been helpful in treating other coditions, like seizures and schizophrenia.
"While it’s possible to abuse marijuana (along with anything else), dependence and addiction are rare."
The empire strikes back: DEA quietly announces "Schedule I" status for CBD extracts to comply with United Nations demands... CBD Prohibition begins on January 13, 2017
December 23, 2016 10:59 AM
There is concern over a rumor that the DEA seeks to create a brand new schedule I class of drugs just for marijuana extracts, known as CBD. They must go through a scheduling action to get approval, but many are outraged over the possibility of losing access to any medicinal product made from Cannabis. This can include non-psychoactive drugs. Some are trying to soothe the panic by stating that it doesn’t include hemp products. As long as it is not a drug, it is not restricted. We will have to wait and see how this plays out.
"Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Government, Big Banks and Big Agriculture are assaulting our bodies and minds by the hour, it seems."
Six reasons why walking is the best medicine for mental health
November 13, 2016 10:04 AM
Did you know walking can help you work better, help with addiction, make you happy and keep you young? Walking can make you more creative and give your confidence a boost in addition to creating new brain cells that can help with decision-making and learning. By releasing endorphins, walking can also make you feel happier and it can also help control addiction by increasing dopamine. Walking can even help you age by sharpening memory and by preventing cognitive decline.
"A lot of people take up walking in hopes of getting fit or losing a little bit of weight, but many people find that it becomes a surprisingly enjoyable habit once they get started."
What Is Adrenal Burnout?
November 02, 2016 04:31 AM
Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing adrenaline and cortisol. These help you to manage all kinds of stressful situations as they help you to survive any difficult condition.
Over time your adrenal glands will stop working as well as they should. This will result in adrenal burnout, a condition where your glands keep you from feeling energetic and healthy.
Adrenal burnout occurs in that you will feel worn out rather quickly. You might struggle to get up in the morning regardless of how much sleep you get.
You may also develop naturally high cortisol and adrenaline levels. This causes your body to become stressed out all the time. It will be hard for you to feel relaxed in this case, thus depleting your energy levels. Over time, the levels of those compounds in your body will decline due to them wearing out and your glands being unable to produce new forms. This may cause you to use more stimulants like caffeine than what your body really needs.
After a while, your immune system will start to weaken. This is due to your body not getting cortisol over time. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory agent that should protect your body but you may have little to no cortisol to help. Also, an excess amount of cortisol at the start of adrenal burnout will keep your immune system working too hard to the point where it starts to become fatigued and fails to work properly.
You will need to work hard to keep adrenal burnout from being a real threat. You will have to create a consistent sleep schedule while creating a comfortable space to sleep in. meditation and deep breathing exercises may help as well. Vitamin C can also help to produce cortisol while vitamins B5 and B6 will help create new hormones.
Adrenal burnout can be a real threat to your life. Be sure to watch for how you control your life if you start to feel excess fatigue and stress.
May 05, 2014 07:40 PM
Obese and overweight
With busy schedules day in and day out, refined foods and drinks have become the order of the day and this has led to a higher percentage of people who are obese and overweight. People have realized how this is hurting them and are very concerned about their health and are taking keen interest in how the body works and what it needs to remain healthy and in good shape. Most body processes are driven by hormones, which trigger the necessary reactions.
The body usually produces these hormones but at times, they need external boosting through intake of certain foods or medication. The T3 thyroid hormone is very important as it is responsible for stimulation of metabolism which if one is trying to lose weight is very important. Most people take thyroid drugs to increase this hormone level but a better and natural way is by using guggul extract, which does not have side effects like insomnia, jitters and heart palpitations.
What is a guggul extract and its benefits
Guggul extract is yellowish in color and it comes from guggul (gum guggul) which is a resin that comes from the mukul mirth tree. It possesses bioactive compounds from its sterols. Guggul has been used to treat obesity, acne, inflammation and hypolidemia. Guggul works by converting T4 into T3 triiodothyronine, which is more active in speeding up metabolism. The conversion increases the amount of T3 in the blood stream. The sterols in the extract also boost thyroid stimulating hormone production, which is more direct.
This extract is best used by lose on fat loss diets as it helps maintain high levels of active thyroid which in turn helps in faster burning of the body fat. Remember dieters usually have low calorie intake and the body is designed to slow down metabolism when there is slow food intake so guggul helps crank it up.
All about trace minerals.
March 18, 2014 10:26 AM
While much accentuation is put on the trace minerals that are discovered to be crucial to the human form, to be specific, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc, there are additionally follow minerals which help the figure to perform its normal schedules. Follow minerals are required by the constitution, yet just in little measurements. Moment measures of follow components can mean the distinction between poor and fitting health. A number of them perform distinctive, critical capacities which are needed by the constitution. In this article, we'll examine a portion of the diverse follow minerals that are of service to people.
Iodine is advantageous to the human figure because of the way that it serves to control advancement and usefulness in the thyroid organ. This is a capacity of most extreme criticalness, as the thyroid organ is answerable for to such an extent. The generation of vitality inside the human figure, fortified digestion system, discourse capability, and solid hair, skin, and teeth are all because of a legitimately working thyroid organ.
Copper is an alternate essential follow mineral. It has been discovered to be vital for legitimate assimilation of iron in the human form. It additionally works with the cell reinforcement Vitamin C to help structure elastin, which is a substance utilized within the muscles of the constitution. Fitting bone development, and also the best possible building of red platelets are likewise made conceivable because of copper.
Manganese, in itself, is capable cell reinforcement. Notwithstanding performing the capacities of a cancer prevention agent, manganese is answerable for fitting breakdown of amino acids and vitality generation. Vitamin B-1 and Vitamin E are likewise influenced by manganese, as it helps the form to metabolize them legitimately. Also, sex hormone creation is controlled by manganese.
While of service for all people, diabetics specifically profit from the best possible measurements of chromium. It helps insulin in the constitution to metabolize sugar, keeping glucose at a sensible level. Chromium is additionally answerable for serving to clean garbage out of our conduits, lessening cholesterol and triglycerides.
Potassium works in pair with sodium in regulation of the physique's waste procedures. It animates the kidneys to help free the assemblage of harmful waste. Heart rhythms might additionally be stabilized by getting the correct dose of potassium. It is likewise known to encourage send more oxygen to the mind, which can bring about clearer considering.
Selenium is an alternate follow mineral that has critical cancer prevention agent properties. Some therapeutic reviews have demonstrated that a fitting selenium admission may bring about a diminished shot of contracting bosom, lung, colon and prostate malignancy.
The trace minerals recorded above are simply a portion of the more applicable follow minerals. There are numerous distinctive follow minerals that your constitution requirements and it might take truly a long rundown to depict every one of them. To get all the minerals you need, make sure to consume your everyday necessities of products of the soil. This sustenance’s hold probably the most vitamin and mineral-rich mixes accessible, and are beneficial to consume, to boot!
Is Egg White Protein A Better Protein?
January 24, 2014 09:48 AM
Egg White a Protein?
You may have been continually hunting down the best protein supplement so as to go down your quality preparing muscle schedule. Here is an incredible and modest proposal for you “Egg White”. You can consume to the extent that you like. There is no specific threat for your health. On the other hand, recollect simply the egg white and not the entire egg.
Every one holds no less than 4- 6gm of unadulterated protein. You blend each morning in the shaker four egg white's line with half a spoon of cocoa, simply to enhance the taste of it. That is 20- 25gm of unadulterated protein. It is the protein admission sum you get from one bit of a protein rich supplement. Some individuals can't oversee swallowing crude egg whites. It simply won't go down. In the event that that is the situation attempt to heat up the eggs and expend the bubbled egg white. You might prescribe completing this once a day. Specifically, in the wake of getting off the cot is the perfect opportunity to accomplish better ingestion from the muscle units.
All things considered you surely not saying that it ought to be a substitute for protein shakes or amino acids supplements. It is equivalent in protein quality to the protein supplements. Along these lines, take your egg whites in the morning as specified above and keep in mind your protein shakes throughout the day. Take the first segment in the wake of preparing and some place between dinners the second one. That way you will achieve to keep up a steady protein stream into your muscle units.
By digging deeper into the discussion, it makes the white protein a better type of protein than any other protein. Try it as a substitute to your other protein intake for better health of you body.
December 19, 2013 07:34 AM
What is Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid acts as a remover of the “glue” holding the dead cells together. This property helps it to exfoliate the dead cells of the skin tissue.
After this removal, the skin remains softer, smooth and improves in appearance.
This inhibits cell from building-up on the skin, which brings about a non-appealing complexion and blocked pores which cause acne. Oily skin has a low ability to exfoliate the dead skin cells hence requires the implementation of glycolic acid to help prevent whiteheads and blackheads.
Glycolic acid also helps peel away the scarring cells. This helps to reduce the scars hence a well and uniformly pigmented skin tone. Glycolic dermatology medicines likewise help to diminish skin aggravation by advertising the early evacuation of flanky, dryskin units and expanding the damp substance of the skin. This helps equalization of the sebum generation in the skin. Over abundance and trapped sebum in the skin can accelerate stopped up pores, decreased peeling and skin aggravation in skin break out. Dampness is critical for solid, adjusted skin cells from all skin sorts, considerably oilier appearances.
Other Glycolic Acid Considerations
Those who are utilizing healthy skin pharmaceuticals, for example, Accutane or Retin-A, might as well dependably counsel with their dermatologist or therapeutic supplier before utilizing glycolic harsh corrosive healthy skin items.
Furthermore, those under the consideration of a specialist for skin issue, for example, rosacea, skin inflammation or dermatitis, may as well additionally counsel with their medical practitioner before beginning a glycolic harsh corrosive skin health management schedule.
November 14, 2013 09:18 PM
Vitamin D is a nutrient used to regulate phosphorous and calcium needed for formation and growth of strong bones. The body through a chemical reaction acquires this vitamin when one is exposed to direct sunlight for about five to fifteen minutes. This vitamin is rarely found in foods, and therefore, if you fail to get direct sunlight, you can supplements that are used to boost vitamin D levels. Therefore, if you stay indoors most of your time, you may lack this important nutrient and you are at risks of suffering from osteoporosis, hearth diseases, multiple sclerosis, and rickets due to vitamin D deficiency. In addition, vitamin D has been known to improve the body immune system and prevents autoimmune and cancer diseases.
What does Sun Can Do
Vitamin D3, also known as sunshine vitamin, is stored in the body when sunlight is exposed to the skin for about 15 minutes. Sun has Ultraviolet B (UVB) light, which when it strike the skin, a natural chemical reaction is initiated which converts cholesterol under the skin to yield vitamin D3. When exposure is done continuously for 6 days, the body can get enough of this vitamin for the next 49 sunlight-free days. However, you are warned against long periods of time sunlight exposure, as this has been known to cause skin cancer.
What are the Benefits on the Sun
As stated earlier, there are various benefits of this vitamin. The following are the major:
Since this vitamin is acquired at no cost, it is advisable to spare a few minutes of your busy daily schedule to get this valuable body vitamin that will improve your health and keep your body fit at all times. Thanks.
What is a Good Uric Acid Cleanse?
January 02, 2013 03:26 PM
Symptoms of Uric Acid:
High levels of uric acid in your blood can lead to a variety of conditions, the most prominent being gout, a painful arthritis condition that results from excess uric acid forming crystals that place pressure against joints, veins, and skin. These high levels of uric acid an be a result of genetics, a poor diet with excess purine or fructose, rapid weight loss, and a reduced excretion by the kidneys.
A good uric acid cleanse can reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood which can treat and prevent gout as well as other conditions related to high levels of uric acid. As well as trying these treatments you should restrict foods with high levels of purine like liver, anchovies, legumes, beer, and wine as well as foods high in fructose like carbonated beverages, fruits that grow on trees, processed and prepared meals, and some condiments.
Here are the top three treatments for cleansing the body of uric acid.
Tart cherries, whether eaten as a whole fruit or in juice form offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. The consumption of tart cherries has shown evidence of reducing uric acid levels. Studies have shown that eating tart cherries can reduce uric acid levels by 15 percent by destroying the formed crystals that cause pain and inflammation as well as promote muscle recovery and improving oxidative stress resistance.
Celery Seed Extract
Celery seed has been used for centuries to treat and cure illnesses like the common cold, flu, different types of arthritis and pain associated with the liver and spleen. The most common use for celery seed extract is to promote healthy joints with its strong anti-inflammatory properties that reduces pain and swelling in the joints. Celery seed extract can also be used to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, aid digestion and has strong diuretic properties which allows you to excrete excess uric acid through frequent urination.
Turmeric contains many active compounds with anti-inflammatory effects including curcumin which can reduce pain and swelling that is a result of excess uric acid. It is recommended that you take at least one dose of turmeric daily if you are suffering from gout to relieve the symptoms. Turmeric is well researched and has been confirmed to treat symptoms of gout and is used in many traditional Indian and Chinese anti-inflammatory medications. Studies have shown that turmeric contains certain antioxidants that prevent certain types of cancer and can also help relieve symptoms associated with cancer.
If you want to cleanse your body of excess uric acid then you should eliminate foods high in purine and fructose as well as add one of these supplements to your daily schedule.
Not only can these supplements provide a good uric acid cleanse, but it can also help prevent high levels of uric acid from building up as well as reduce or eliminate any symptoms associated with uric acid buildup. They can also provide other benefits like promoting muscle recovery and high energy levels, reducing blood and cholesterol levels, and providing certain cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Can Melatonin Help Me Sleep?
December 20, 2012 12:22 PM
What is melatonin?
Melatonin can be described as a hormone generated in the pineal gland found in the brain. It controls the body circadian rhythms such as sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in the blood increase before you fall asleep due to darkness (Lack of sunshine).
Where to find melatonin
Melatonin occurs naturally in humans and plants. Natural melatonin quantity produced decrease with age. Older people produce very little quantities of it.
It is a synthetic medication that is produced in the laboratories. It is available in pill or liquid forms. The pills can be put in the cheek, underneath the tongue or swallowed. This permits direct absorption in the body. Melatonin supplements are available in health food shops.
It is also found in foods, in small quantities, such as milk, chicken meat, turkey, and peanuts but in small quantities.
Melatonin and sleep
Melatonin does not work for every kind of insomnia or sleeping disorders. Your body needs to be ready for sleep for melatonin to be effective. It is safe to use melatonin supplements in low doses long term.
Melatonin treats insomnia, autism in children, and as a sleep reliever after withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs use. It is also very significant for changing sleep/wake patterns for people who work schedules changes regularly. It can also be used to calm individuals before anesthesia is administered for surgery purposes.
The body has an internal clock that regulates sleeping cycle and waking hours. The body clock regulates the amount of melatonin produced each day. Melatonin production is affected by light.
For effective treatment of cycle sleep, make sure you take the supplements at the appropriate time of the day (Night time).
Use the right method and dosage for it to be helpful.
Consuming the sleep supplement at the inappropriate time of the day can lead to biological clock reset. It is essential to understand the right quantity, time of taking and its effectiveness. Taking 1-10mg of melatonin every day restores the pace in people experiencing insomnia synchronizing them to duration of 1day.
Melatonin helps enhance sleep.
It enhances sleepiness feeling and can intensify the duration of sleep. This supplement has been applied successfully for improving sleep in healthy people and also decreasing jet lag feeling during travels. Remember to consult a physician if you are experiencing sleep issues. Give melatonin a try start with lower doses like 1 mg before bed time and gradually increase till it becomes effective.
The Benefits of Phytoestrogen for Hot Flashes
April 16, 2012 07:38 AM
How Does Phytoestrogen Help With Hot Flash?
Phytoestrogen is a natural compound found in several plants. It has many benefits. Therefore, it sometimes is made into a supplement by deriving it from those plants. The compound consists of three categories; lignans, coumestans, and isoflavones.
Phytoestrogen can be used to prevent Alzheimer and breast cancer. A published journal called “Neurotoxicology and Teratology” found that a diet program with this compound can improve visual-spatial memory. And as for the breast cancer, it is because of the isoflavones and lignans which are effective in protecting the breast against the cancer cell development in adult.
Phytoestrogen: Reproductive System
On the other side, phytoestrogen has the similar structure with estrogen, a hormone found in a female body that influences the function of reproductive system. Therefore, it can be used as a natural solution for female reproductive system such as menopause symptoms.
The most common disturbing symptom in menopause is hot flash. Hot flash is a warm feeling that spreads all over the body. It usually starts from the area around the head and neck. It is cause by drastic hormonal changes that cause the body temperature to drop. To stabilize the body temperature, the brain sends a signal to the entire body to warm it all up. And then, the warmth is sent to all over the body through the blood vessel. When your whole body has warmed up, the blood will return its temperature to its regular level.
As mentioned above, phytoestrogen can be a natural solution to mend hot flashes in menopause. This theory has been proved by a research done by Mayo Clinic where the fifteen menopausal women are given a phytoestrogen diet while the other fifteen women were not. The result shows that the first fifteen women with the diet suffer from hot flashes 57% less than the women with no diet.
Besides hot flashes, another problem may occur to menopausal women is the loss of bone mineral density. This problem can also be avoided with the benefits of phytoestrogen. The compound can also decrease the cholesterol level of menopausal women. Consume 30-60 milligrams of this compound per day can be effective to lower the cholesterol during the menopause.
For those benefits, it is recommended for menopausal women to consume foods that are rich in phytoestrogen, such as;
The bean that contains most of this compound is soy. Soy contains the most phytoestrogen than any other food. It mainly contains isoflavones. Consuming 100 g of soybeans per day is enough for a menopausal remedy. Other beans are lentil, yellow peas, navy, fava beans, etc.
The vegetable that contains most this compound is flaxseed, alfalfa sprout and red clover. Flaxseed also contains omega-3 and fiber which are beneficial for body. Other vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.
The fruit that contains most of this compound is dried prunes. Other fruits are peaches, strawberries, and raspberries.
Many kinds of grains are rich in phytoestrogen, such as brown rice, wheat, oats, and barleys.
Consuming fresh foods as your menopausal diet is very healthy and low in risk. However, if it is difficult for you to eat them in a structured schedule, you can simply get the phytoestrogen supplements from a drug store.
Can Lycopene Help with Prostate Problems
May 09, 2011 11:14 AM
Lycopene and The Prostate.
Lycopene is an organic compound often associated with tomatoes. It is almost always touted to prevent prostate cancer, though the scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet. Scientists are nevertheless positive that it is good for the prostate, for it displays antiproliferative effects on prostate cells. Laboratory studies are very promising as it appears to inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
Prostate health has long been tied to consumptions of foods rich in lycopene. It is a carotenoid that is bright red in color, and as such can easily be obtained from brightly colored plant products, such as watermelon, papaya, pink guava, and apricots in addition to tomatoes. Like other carotenoids, it displays antioxidant properties. In fact, it is the most efficient scavenger of singlet oxygen of all antioxidants that are classified as carotenoids.
Reverses Oxidative Damage
There have been numerous studies on lycopene in the past few decades, and many of them have noted its antioxidant potential. It has become common knowledge that lycopene is good for the prostate, but not all people know that the prostate gland is its primary storage in the human body. Indeed lycopene interferes with the health of cells and tissues that make up the prostate gland.
One study that tracked down malignant prostate tissues prior to scheduled surgical removal studied the effects of regular intake of lycopene. It was documented and published that lycopene concentrations in the prostate doubled and the oxidative damage to DNA in prostate tissues decreased, suggesting a dose-related efficiency in the prevention of cellular damage brought on by free radicals and other reactive oxygen species.
Induces Apoptotic Death
High consumptions of lycopene appear to directly counteract with cancer cells and tumor growth, not only in the prostate gland, but also in the lungs, breasts, ovaries, stomach, and cervix. It has also been tied to other disorders of the prostate, such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It has been noted to slow down cell proliferation that leads to the enlargement of the prostate.
More imporatantly, lycopene seems capable of inducing the cellular process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in prostate tissues, most notably in carcinoma regions. This is also evidenced by a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen in the blood, the reason why lycopene has gained the attention of researchers for prostate health, spurring a number of studies in recent years.
Maintains Prostate Health
Lycopene levels in the human body are largely dependent on dietary intake. As a general rule, the higher the intake of lycopene is, the healthier the prostate becomes. First, it neutralizes reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen and free radicals. It also inhibits the multiplication of prostate cells, effectively preventing benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is believed to afflict up to 80 percent of the male population. For those suffering from prostate enlargement, it slows the progression of the disease.
If you are, 40 years old or more you should consider taking lycopene as a preventative daily!
Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements
December 27, 2007 02:03 PM
Over one-third of adults say that they have symptoms of insomnia over the course of any one year. Unfortunately, about 10-15 percent of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep can be traced back to too much stress, anxiety, caffeine, and discomfort from a medical problem, depression, work shift issues, or travel. For some people, insomnia presents itself as trouble falling asleep, while others have trouble staying asleep, and still others wake up too early. It all comes down to the same thing, people aren't getting enough restorative sleep, which leaves insomniacs feeling tired, irritable, and unfocused all day.
Before pharmaceutical sleeping pills were on the market, herbs were the treatment of choice to cure a restless night. As the list of adverse effects to sleeping pills grows longer and longer, herbal sleep aids are again becoming the option of choice. Valerian has been known to give insomniacs better sleep for more than 1,000 years as it eases stress and has been scientifically documented for its sedative effect. Even better, valerian is non-addictive and includes no morning hangover from using it. A study on valerian extract found that the time to fall asleep can be reduced to that of what prescription sedatives promise. Earlier in the year, a similar study found that the combination of valerian and hops shortened the time it takes to fall asleep in a group of twenty-seven insomniacs from what was almost an hour to just about twelve minutes. Chamomile tea has a soothing, sedative effect and is still a pleasant drink. Additionally, chamomile can be used for anxiety and to soothe intestinal upset such as indigestion and heartburn. Other mildly sedating herbs include lemon balm, catnip, passion flower, and skullcap. Still other herbs to consider include corydalis, which encourages feelings of relaxation, in turn helping people to fall asleep, and lavender oil, which acts as a great calming agent.
Green tea, which contains L-theanine, has a calming effect in the body and also strengthens immunity. When feelings of anxiety interfere with sleep, help can be found by taking L-theanine about an hour before one’s desired bedtime, as L-theanine interacts with the brain receptors that are associated with relaxation, therefore inducing a relaxed state of mind.
Serotonin also plays a huge role in sleep, while 5-HTP helps to make this chemical. Studies have proven that by taking 5-HTP, insomnia can be helped a great deal in terms of sleep quality and longer REM sleep periods. About 100-300 mg of 5-HTP should be taken before bedtime for most people. Since some people can feel a little nauseous when first taking 5-HTP, starting with 50 mg for the first few nights and building up to higher doses is advised. Some reports of vivid dreams and even nightmares have been reported fro taking large amounts of 5-HTP and those people who are taking anti-depressants should not take 5-HTP. L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin and has been proven to be a successful remedy for insomnia. Although this supplement was unavailable for several years, it is now back on the market.
Melatonin also plays an important role in regulating the body's clock as it is secreted for several hours each night. People with insomnia tend to have lower levels. Therefore, taking supplemental melatonin, especially in a time-release form, an hour or so before one’s desired bedtime can help to get back into a better sleep schedule. Lastly, magnesium can help resolve sleep issues, especially in those people who have sleep problems because of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
No matter what herbal supplement or mineral you decide to use, always consult your health care practitioner before adding vitamin supplements and herbs to ones diet while taking prescription medication. The above mentioned herbal supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Adapt To The Stresses Of Life with Herbal Adaptogens
October 18, 2007 11:13 AM
Life today places a number of different types of stresses upon us. There are the normal stresses of living, of facing problems at work, financial worries and family stresses. schedules are becoming busier as we try to pack more and more into each day, and relaxation time is cut to a minimum. For many of us, the stress starts when we waken and rush through breakfast, if we have time for one, to catch the bus or train to work, or to slip into the morning traffic rush that takes us an hour to travel 10 miles or less.
Once at work we have problems to deal with that continue throughout a rushed lunch period, and then back to the stress of trying to return home in the evening to open the bills and check if we have enough in the bank to pay them. However, that is not all.
Our environment is continually changing, and our bodies are subject to the stresses of pollution from the planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention the pesticides, preservatives plastics and harsh lighting. The noise of air conditioning and the continual musak of the stores and shopping malls and everything else that goes to completely stress us out, weekdays and weekends.
That is ignoring the smog, the disappearing ozone layer and increased UV radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, El Nino and everything else that causes worry or affects the delicate balance of the body’s biochemistry. Rather than adapting to our environment we are continually striving to adapt the environment to suit our needs. We should develop a flexibility of mind and body so that we can survive these modern-day stresses, and this is where the substances known as adaptogens are important.
Adaptogens help us to adapt to the environment and withstand the stresses of modern life. The term was first used by Russian N.V. Lazarev in 1947 who defined an adaptogen as a substance meeting three specific criteria: it should cause a minimal disruption to the normal physiological function of the body, it must work by means of a range of chemical, physical and biochemical factors rather than through one specific action and must have an overall effect of normalization, so that no condition is aggravated to improve another.
There are a large number of identified adaptogens, among them several forms of ginseng: Panax, American, Siberian and Japanese; licorice, schizandra berries, rhodiola and others. These adaptogens tend to work in the body by improving the body’s availability and use of energy, improving the efficiency of removal of the metabolic waste and by-products, supporting the adrenal function so that the effects of stress are reduced or countered, improving the utilization of oxygen and helping to build up body tissue. In general the body works more efficiently in generating and using energy, muscle tissue and counteracting the effects of modern day stress, both environmental and psychological.
Of the ginsengs, Panax is very expensive for regular use, although many people prefer it. However, studies have shown that Siberian, or eleuthero ginseng, is a stronger adaptogen that Panax which is also called Korean or Chinese ginseng. In fact the other forms, including American and Japanese, tend to over-stimulate the body, and can also cause unwanted side effects such as constipation and over-excitement. The Siberian ginseng tends not to show these symptoms.
Siberian ginseng contains seven active substances known as eleutherosides A – F which are not present in the other ginsengs. These substances appear to have several properties that have been clinically proven. For example, they relieve insomnia, one of the symptoms of stress, high and low blood pressure, bronchitis, various forms of neuroses and, it is claimed, also some types of cancer. Siberian ginseng also allows humans to withstand noise, heat and extra stresses caused by severe workloads. It improves athletic performance and allows people to improve their work output under a variety of stresses. Athletes can train harder and recover quicker.
Another adaptogen is schizandra berries (also called schizandra chinensis and magnolia vine). Chinese herbalists class medicinal herbs by the five different flavors, sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. Schizandra berries possess all five, and are therefore considered by the Chinese to balance all the systems of the body.
It is used in the West as a stress reducing adaptogen and is also included in sports and weight loss formulae. It helps insomnia and improves endurance and mental coordination. Schizandra is believed to be a good tonic for the liver and is often used in combination with Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and licorice. The latter is another popular herb in China that is said to be a good tonic for the spleen. Licorice itself is a known anti-inflammatory since it contains flavanoids and saponins that promote the immune system. Licorice is thought be a useful supplement for HIV patients due to its effect on the immune system. It also increases corticosteroid levels by inhibiting the liver’s ability to break down adrenal hormone. However, people with high blood pressure should be careful with licorice since it can cause sodium retention. Like any other medication, you should seek your physician’s advice if you have any existing conditions.
Rhodiola, also referred as roseroot, is used for improved memory and enhanced vitality and it can also be used as a mood modifier. It is used by athletes of all types for increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and muscle recovery time. The Russians call it ‘Golden Root’ and it is a safe and effective adaptogen.
More and more people are turning to adaptogens to help them cope with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, and they are becoming increasingly available from ordinary health stores. If you are finding it difficult to stay energetic and active then try them out. Not all work with every individual, but there is a large variety to choose from and most people are able to find an adaptogen that suits them and enables them to adapt to the stresses of daily life.
Memory And Focus
May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Memory & Focus
Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.
This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.
The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.
In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important co-enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.
Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?
A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.
While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.
After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.
Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.
While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.
Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?
A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.
Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.
A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.
Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?
A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..
Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.
Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?
A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.
One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.
Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.
In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.
Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?
A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in
Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?
A. Alpha lipoic acid (
Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly,
In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given
Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?
A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.
Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.
Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.
Q. What about folic acid?
A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.
An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.
Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.
Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.
Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.
It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of
In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and
The Important Role of Nutritional Magnesium & Calcium Balance in Humans Living with Stress
August 23, 2006 03:14 PM
Part I. The Stress Response
The stress reaction is a host of responses necessary for any animal to live in the world. Commonly called the fight-or-flight reation, we as humans often experience it in rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. It comes when we exercise more vigorously than usual, or when we are suddenly and unexpectedly frightened.
We are all different. We show a range in how strongly we experience the stress response. Most of us are usually calm and experience the stress response when an unexpected noise frightens us to alertness, or we run to first base as fast as we can in a benefit baseball game that is not on our usual playtime schedule. We breathe harder for a while and notice our hearts beating faster and harder then usual, but after a while these responses all calm down, and we are again in our usual state—out or the stress response. Others of us are very low key, and it takes a lot to disturb our physiological calm. Still others of us are very sensitive to triggers of the stress response and go into it “at the drop of a hat” and to a greater degree than do calmer people. For some, parts of the stress response are almost always engaged—never really calming down all the way—giving one a hyper-vigilant or anxious demeanor.
When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium, among other things, into the bloodstream. At the same time, nerve cells begin to “fire,” telling heart and muscles to “speed up. NOW!!!” These blood, nerve and organ changes make possible the instantaneous and collective rise in the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other necessities for the fight-or-flight reaction.
Much research has been done on the stress response, especially on the effects of stress hormones, such as adrenaline (also called epinephrine) on body, organ and cell. You can get an idea of how widespread the stress response is-affecting every aspect of physiology—by noting some of the reactions to adrenaline, one of the major stress hormones. See Table 1.
Much study as the cellular, biochemical and physiological levels has shown that the stress response vitally involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio (Mg:Ca).
In simple solutions, such as salt water, all ions are evenly dispersed. Not so in living cells. Ions are carefully and meticulously separated in living cells, and this ion “packaging” is vital to life processes and health. Calcium ions, for the most part, are kept outside cells while magnesium ions are kept mainly inside cells. The stress response changes this. During stress response, calcium ions rush inside the cell, and this alters the internal Mg:Ca ratio. This change in ratio exhibits wide effects because, while magnesium and calcium are very similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently. Magnesium and calcium are two sides of a physiological coin: they are antagonistic to one another yet comes as a team. For example:
Scientific study shows more and more that the underlying cellular change enabling the stress response is a low Mg:Ca ratio caused by a large and sudden influx of calcium into cells. This stress response subsides when the cell’s magnesium returns to its dominant presence inside cells, moving extra calcium back outside cells to its “normal” Mg:Ca ratio. This underlying principle is present in studies of nerve cell-stress hormone response, organs such as hearts, the high blood pressure response to stress, and the blood-clotting reaction during stress, among many others. See Table 2.
In the normal healthy state, the stress response occurs when necessary, and subsides when the crisis or trigger is over. Since magnesium and calcium—two essential nutrients that must be obtained by the body from its dietary environment—are so essential to this important response, it is not surprising that nutritional magnesium and calcium status can affect the response.
Let’s see how.
In the normal unstressed state, cellular Mg:Ca ratio is high. If this cannot be maintained due to lack of adequate body magnesium or an overwhelming amount of body calcium, the ratio may not be able to maintain or return itself to its healthy nonstressed ratio. In such a case, the stress response, in the absence of an appropriate trigger, can occur. This can be seen when nutritional magnesium deficits cause high blood pressure or increase blood stickiness (platelet aggregation). Additionally, since a low Mg:Ca ratio can increase adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, a too low magnesium state can keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way. Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself, alarming the body into further stress response with out enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis that can end in sudden death.
In the industrialized world, we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium in order to maintain a healthy stress response that can calm when not necessary.
Part II. Heart Disease Is Often a Magnesium Deficiency
Clearly, an adequate amount of nutritional magnesium—in proper balance with adequate nutritional calcium—is key to a healthy stress response. And yet today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium. Add the recent additions of nutritional calcium via supplements and food fortifications meant to stave off osteoporosis, and many of us are getting inadequate magnesium plus too much calcium. This results in a large occurrence of heart disease.
Not all, but much of the heart disease in the industrialized world can be explained by the low magnesium state of these societies. People with heart disease—for the most part—are people who are in a state of magnesium that is borderline or deficient. Many studies on heart disease patients exist due to medicine’s effort to understand and treat this widespread malady. Although not intended as such, this body of research shows us what stress can do to a person in a magnesium deficient state.
Part III. Mental and Emotional Stress Deplete Magnesium
It is commonly accepted that certain traditional risk factors for heart disease exist. This include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, and other factors, all of which can be linked to a shortage of nutritional magnesium. Recent studies tell us that stresses—both sudden and chronic—with their high magnesium requirements, are also strong risk factors for heart disease.
The sudden stress of the
Emotional stress and phobic anxiety cause heart problems in patients with heart disease—a population we know to be mostly low in their nutritional magnesium status. Chronic states of emotional stress, including a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction, depression, and panic disorder, must now be added to the list of traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Depression can be a symptom of low magnesium status. So can anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, hyperactivity, and over-sensitivity to loud noises. Do these newly found risk factors cause heart disease, or are they risk factors because the, as well as heart disease, can all be aspects of low magnesium status? These chronic sources of stress can increase the human need for magnesium as well as be caused by its deficit.
Emotional stress triggers in susceptible people can even bring a sudden death due to heart attack, presumably by initiating a stress/low-magnesium crisis. Such emotional “triggers” include work stress, high-pressure deadlines, social isolation and loneliness, low socioeconomic status, anxiety, war, fear of war, anger and rage. Identical stress triggers cause more human heart attacks regardless of age, race, gender, or geographic location, including continent.
Mental stress, such as working out a math problem, can be shown to have impact upon the magnesium-stress response connection, since it can bring on heart attacks in people with heart disease.
Part IV. Stress, Magnesium and Aging
We are hearing a lot about stress in the health media, and rightly so as this constant companion to our lives brings on the fight-or-flight syndrome, a stress response that, when activated, has been shown to shorten lifespan. When we realize that the stress response is exacerbated when we are low in magnesium, that we are living on low-magnesium foods for the most part, and that our lifestyles are more and more filled with chronic stresses and stressful events, we are not surprised to see that several aspects of magnesium deficiency are remarkably like aspects of the aging process.
When faced with out stressful lifestyles, coupled with a society presenting a chronically low-magnesium/high-calcium diet, what is our best defense? For many of us, magnesium supplements can help to preserve or restore a healthy Mg:Ca balance, so important to our health in these stressful times.
Peter Gillham's Natural Calm
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
May 30, 2006 02:36 PM
Ambassador to Health Profile
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
Congressman Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state’s beautiful central coast. His district encompasses the length of the big Sur coastline in Monterey County, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Salinas Valley “Salad bowl,” the redwoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. The health and wealth of this region has been strengthened by Rep. Farr’s focus on the environment, education and the economy. Rep. Farr was raised in Carmel, California and graduated from Willamette University with a BS in biology. He later attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish. As a tough advocate for the health food industry, he has lobbied for strict federal organic standards.
Todd: Congressman Farr, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Id also like to thank you for all the great things you’ve done for our community, form funding marine sanctuaries and authoring the Ocean’s Act to expanding Pinnacles national Monument. The League of Conservation Voters and others have recognized you as an “Environmental Hero”. And, you’ve worked hard to support the economic vitality of central coast’s $3 billion agriculture industry which includes a substantial organic segment. Our backyard here is also the home of a robust group of nutritional supplement manufacturers. An estimated 187 million Americans are currently taking dietary supplements as part of their daily healthy diet. In California, we’ve got 792 natural product manufacturers and distributors. Where do you stand on the state of our industry?
Congressman Farr: Well, thank you for the introduction and for asking to talk to me about nutritional supplement issues. I am very supportive of this industry and include myself in the 187 million Americans taking dietary supplements. I think supplements offer many safe and viable tools to maintain your health. The continued growth of this industry is an indication of both consumer confidence in the products and the products’ ability to fill the gaps where conventional medical care falls short.
Todd: It is estimated that by 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and the cost of health care could reach $16 Trillion per year. A recent study by the Lewin Group showed that by taking certain dietary supplements, seniors can lead healthier, more productive, independent lives while saving billions in reduced hospitalizations and physician services. Do you share our view that a Wellness Revolution is needed to counter the dilemma of an aging population versus shrinking health care support in the future?
Congressman Farr: Our health care system is definitely facing a challenge, especially as the Baby Boomers hit their 60’s and Americans are living longer than ever before. As a Baby Boomer myself, I am well aware of America’s aging population and the impact that will likely have not only on our social institutions but also our fiscal well-being. I agree that dietary supplements do play and will play an even larger role in the future as more seniors look for a way to augment their diets in order to stay healthy and active longer than past generations.
Todd: Our industry is regulated by DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1994 to create a reasonable regulatory framework for access to, information about, dietary supplements. But many say that the FDA and DSHEA weren’t adequately funded to do the job as tasked. “Supplements are unregulated” is a false argument we sometimes hear. To ensure that the FDA is able to carry out the law as Congress intended, Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 2485, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005. Did you support this bill and where does it stand today?
Congressman Farr: I think the DSHEA is a critical law and was proud to support it when Congress considered it in 1993 and 1994. I would certainly support H.R. 2485 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill has not moved since it was first introduced and referred to the Subcommittee on health in the house energy and commerce committee. Since this is an election year we have a tight schedule with only about 60 legislative days scheduled before we adjourn. That means it’s likely Congress will only finalize bills such as the appropriation bills that fund government before adjournment.
Todd: Our business climate has included some valid and rigorous challenges to improve our industry, from good manufacturing practices (GMP), to allergy labeling, to implications of Prop-65 in California. It’s disconcerting that a new bill, H.R. 3156 The Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act would try to capitalize on misconceptions about the industry. In an era of declining health care and declining insurance coverage, this bill would regulate supplements as prescription drugs. Among other things, it would also require adverse event reports to be turned over to the FDA, even though other foods, including those with identical ingredients, do not have the same requirements. This has the potential to be the next Prop-65-like Lawsuit mill. The result of H.R. 3156 would be chilling. It will knock smaller producers out of the market. It will result in higher prices for all supplements. It will decrease the availability of health-giving supplements to the public. What’s your feeling on this?
Congressman Farr: I am similarly concerned about H.R. 3156 and would oppose it if it came up for a vote in Congress. Like H.R. 2485, this legislation has been referred to a subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any further action. The supplement industry has worked in good faith with the FDA since passage of DSHEA and H.R. 3156 would re-invent a wheel that isn’t needed. Instead, adequate funding as proposed in H.R. 2485 would provide ample oversight for the industry.
Todd: According to a recent study, 72% of the general population believe the government should fund more research on health benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you agreen and what can be done to meet this need?
Congressman Farr: I definitely agree that the federal government should play a bigger role in support of research regarding the health benefits of nutritional supplements. As a member of the House Appropriation Committee, I sit on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FDA’s budget and I know the tight fiscal restraints the agency is under. I’ve worked with my colleagues to provide adequate funding, but it’s an uphill battle especially when we’re in a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of situation. I recommend that people within the industry organize and use your consumer base to actively lobby Congress for additional funds. I’m fond of reminding people that the squeaky wheel gets grease – so let every Congress member and Senator know how much this issue matters to you.
Todd: When there is overwhelming scientific evidence that nutritional supplements provides relief for a disease condition, it currently takes a lawsuit to get the FDA to relent and allow the claim. Even then, the FDA strictly limits the claim and requires a disclaimer that does more harm than good in communicating this important information to the public. There is a new bill, H.R. 4282, The Health Freedom Protection Act that would end FDA and FTC censorship of health information. As an example, the 50% of all adult males who suffer from an enlarged prostate could receive relief from that condition by consuming a simple and safe ingredient, saw palmetto derived from the fruit of the dwarf American palm tree. The FDA censors that information. The public deserves a better opportunity to be informed about omega-3 EFA and heart disease, folic acid and birth defects, phosphatidylserine and cognitive impairment. Do you agree and do you support this bill?
Congressman Farr: I agree the public needs to access to the best information possible so they can make well informed choices about their health. I likely would support H.R. 4282 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill is in a similar situation as other we’ve mentioned in this interview – and again because of the tight schedule of an election year, it’s unlikely action will happen this year.
Todd: According to the barometer study, 85% of the US population is currently using some type of dietary supplement. Do you? Looking at your busy schedule from co-chairing the House Oceans Caucus to your seat on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, you are one busy congressman! Are you popping nutritional supplements please tell us!
Congressman Farr: I do take some nutritional supplements, though they vary and since Ginkgo Biloba isn’t among them I cant remember their names off-hand! One product I do use faithfully is Airborne to help me combat germs and colds that I might get from sitting on an airplane. But, like many Americans my life is over-scheduled and combined with the amount of air-travel I do, I find nutritional supplements helpful as I try to stay healthy despite my hectic lifestyle.
Todd: Thank you Congressman Farr! Live long and prosper!
DSEA Release of Health/Cost Impact Study Conducted by the Lewin Group, Initial Results, Wash DC; Nov. 2, 2005
NNFA database. Adam.F on 3-15-06.
DSEA Nutritional Supplement Barometer Study, 2005 Report, Prepared by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
Todd Williams; Source Naturals Marketing Programs Manager.
Wake up! This is National Sleep Awareness Week!
March 28, 2006 04:51 PM
We live in stressful times. Maybe that’s why more than 70 million Americans suffer from occasional sleeplessness, according to the National Institutes of health. Job related worries, marital and relation ship problems, even excitement about happy occasions—vacations or holidays—can all make it hard to fall asleep. Sleeplessness can also occur with jet lag, shift work, major schedule changes, even digestive problems.
Just turn on the TV and it’s obvious there are millions of customers looking for products to help them get a good nights sleep. And Source Naturals has an array of natural, effective sleep support supplements.
NightRest: This bio-aligned formula combines the powerful properties of melatonin and GABA with additional amino acids and herbs.
Melatonin: A neurohormone used as a restorative for occational sleeplessness.
Nutrasleep: a Unique herbal-nutrient blend, including skullcap, passion flower, valerian and chamomile.
Theanine Serene: Features L-Theanine, derived from Green tea, Plus Gaba, Taurine, magnesium, and holy basil.
GABA: the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, associated with mental states of calm and serenity.
L-Tryptophan: an essential amino acid, which helps support relaxation, restful sleep, and a positive outlook.
5-Htp: An intermediate to the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, shown in clinical studies to support normal sleep cycles.
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group...
March 18, 2006 02:38 PM
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group of people in the world. They also have some of the highest rates of Type-II Diabetes and heart problems in the world. Why are we so fat? Weight gain is usually a combination of two things: an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise. Most people, when they decide to try and lose weight, only tackle part of the problem. They try dieting or taking pills or living off of lemon juice and cayenne pepper for awhile, but usually it doesn’t work. Though a healthy diet is important to losing weight, it’s still only part of the equation. If you cut down your calories but still sit on a couch or in an office every day, you’re not going to lose much weight. Interestingly enough, though many people are happy to try dieting, there aren’t many who only work at the other side of the equation: exercising.
So why don’t people exercise? Part of it is attached to our mentality about exercising. “Exercising” brings up images of sweaty, unhappy people lifting weights in a smelly gym, and it sounds like a lot of work. However, exercising doesn’t mean you’re going to have to pump iron for a few hours every day. In fact, lots of things are considered exercising, from playing a pick-up game of basketball to gardening to just taking a walk around the block. Most studies have found that a half hour of exercise every day is enough to keep you healthy, and that half hour doesn’t even have to be all at once. You can skip rope for ten minutes in the morning, take a walk for ten minutes after lunch, and take a walk around the block for ten minutes when you get home and night and take care of all of your exercise for the day.
“But wait a minute,” you say, “How can walking be good for you? I walk every day!” The average American walks for only about 1/3 of a mile every day. However, fitness walking is a great way to lose weight, especially because it’s so available. If you want to go swimming you have to go to a pool, change clothes, swim, change again, and go home or to work, but if you’re taking part in fitness walking all you have to do is walk out the door of your office. Fitness walking is also an attractive exercise choice because it’s low-impact and virtually injury-free, and serves as a nice warm up for running or jogging. Fitness walking is also easy to incorporate into any schedule, since if you walk fifteen minutes to work every morning and fifteen minutes back every evening you’ve already taken care of your exercise for the day, which will help you lose weight and stay healthy.
The 50 Year Service Check...
July 07, 2005 09:18 AM
Sad but true: Guys who wouldnt forget to give their cars an oil change will go years without having their own inner workings inspected. But a reluctance to have ones chassis checked at the practitioner's office can translate into serious body engine failure. While physical exams are always important, they become a nevessity with advancing age. We're not saying 50 is old, mind you--a couple at Energy Times staffers are starting the big five-oh right in the face--but it's a good time to start getting regular checkups if you haven't been in the habit. Here's some of the things to look for next time they pop your hood.
Get those choppers checked at least once a year--untreated gum disease can lead to the kind of low-level inflammation now thought to be a culprit in numerous illnesses, including heart disease.
Some experts recommend yearly testing for glaucoma, a condition in which increased pressure within the eyeball can cause blindness if not treated. Presbyopia, the farsightedness that accompanies increasing age, generally starts in one's 40s; time to invest in a pair of reading glasses.
Have your blood pressure taken by a professional at least once a year. Checks for cholesterol and blood sugar are part of a metabolic panel (Standard blood work) to be done every three years; it should include total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats). Discuss testing for CRP (C-reative Protein), a marker of chronic inflammation, with your practitioner.
The American Thyroid Association suggests an initial check of your thyroid, a gland in your neck that serves as the body's energy transformer, at age 35 with retests every five years afterwards. If you can't seem to lose weight and/or are sonstantly tired, ask about having your thyroid hormone levels assessed.
Your liver won't send out distress signals until it's pretty banged up. Since the standard metabolic panel includes the liver-enzyme check be sure to have it done every three years; that frequency may need to increase if you have a history of heavy alcohol or workplace exposure to toxins.
Having a yearly digital rectal examination (DRE) is recommended. Blood testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is more contraversial.
Colonoscopy, in which a lighted tube is used to view the entire colon, is the gold standard (although doctors are working on a less invasive virtual colonoscopy); once every 10 years starting at age 50 is recommended. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) should be preformed every year, but keep in mind it can yeild false results, positive and negative.
Don't Forget to:
Screening frequencies are for healthy individuals with no known risk factors. If you have a pre-existing condition or are at risk for one, follow your practitioner's recommendations.
: Energy Times
Digest Active - For Occasional Indigestion
June 29, 2005 02:39 PM
It feels great when you’ve eaten well and your body has been energized with nutrients. But with your busy schedule, you might not always be able to eat well, and your body might not have the time or energy to properly digest your meals. The result: occasional indigestion and low energy because your food doesn’t get broken down enough to release the energizing nutrients you need. And poor digestion can lead to long-term health imbalances. To reclaim the energy from your nutrients, Source Naturals, the science company, introduces DIGESTACTIV, a Bio-Aligned Formula™ designed to work with your body to stimulate optimal digestion. DIGESTACTIV contains the high potency, broad-spectrum blend of digestive enzymes found in our best-selling ESSENTIAL ENZYMES™, plus digestion-stimulating ingredients such as bromelain, papain and ginger. When you want digestive stimulation along with the nutrient releasing power of ESSENTIAL ENZYMES for occasional indigestion, take DIGESTACTIVE.
Bio-Aligned™ Digestive Support
DIGESTACTIV™ is scientifically formulated to support the body systems involved in healthy digestion. There are herbs and other ingredients to promote the digestive stimulant system and enzymes to promote the digestive systems for releasing nutrients from food. These ingredients work together to optimize the amount of energizing nutrients you can assimilate from your meals and to relieve occasional indigestion, occasional constipation, sour stomach, bloating and gas.
Digestive Stimulant System
DIGESTACTIV contains many ingredients that help stimulate your digestive process to promote healthy nutrient accessibility. Betaine HCl (hydrochloric acid) supports the acidic environment needed in your stomach to digest food. The bitter herbs gentian, ginger, peppermint and quassia all stimulate the appetite and the gastric juices needed for digestion. Bioperine® is a pepper extract that increases thermogenic, or heat generating reactions in the gastro-intestinal tract, which facilitates enhanced bioavailability of nutrients.
Nutrient Digestion Systems
DIGESTACTIV also contains enzymes that work throughout the varying sections and pH (or acidity) levels of your digestive system. For the carbohydrate digestive system, there are amylase, amyloglucosidase and lactase. Amylase and amyloglucosidase convert starch into smaller, simpler sugars. Lactase breaks down the milk sugar lactose, which many adults are unable to digest. For the protein digestive system, there are acid stable protease and vegetarian pancreatin to promote protein digestion in a wide range of pH levels. Additional protein digestion support comes from the pineapple enzyme bromelain, the papaya enzyme papain, and betaine HCl, which promotes the acidity level needed to denature proteins for digestion of their building blocks, amino acids. For the fat digestive system, there is lipase to promote the healthy breakdown of fats, or triglycerides, into their nutrient building blocks, fatty acids and glycerol.
For the fiber digestive system, there are cellulase and hemicellulase to break down the sturdy cell walls in fibrous plants, thereby releasing more nutrients for digestion.
DIGESTACTIV contains all the key ingredients found in the best-selling ESSENTIAL ENZYMES™. ESSENTIAL ENZYMES is a popular product because it addresses body systems in addition to symptoms* of digestive imbalance. And it works. Increasing the breakdown of nutrients in the digestive system results in fewer digestive symptoms* as well as better nutrient availability. And DIGESTACTIV has added enzymes and herbs to promote digestive stimulation for relief of occasional indigestion. Source Naturals is pleased to partner with your local health food store to bring you the unique health benefits of DIGESTACTIV. There is a revolution underway in how we think about and maintain our health, and natural food stores and outlets are at the forefront. You can benefit right now—long before word spreads to the general public—with the innovative nutrition of Source Naturals DIGESTACTIVE.
Health Strategies for Digestive Wellness
DigestActiv™ is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ Multi-System Support for Occasional Indigestion
Carbohydrate Digestive System: Amylase, Amyloglucosidase, Lactase
Protein Digestive System: Vegetal Analog of Pancreatin, Acid Stable Protease, Bromelain, Papain, Betaine HCl
Fat Digestive System: Lipase
Digestive Stimulant System: Betaine HCl, Bioperine®, Gentian Root, Ginger, Peppermint, Quassia
INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:12 AM
INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
With the advent of modern antibiotic drugs, garlic lost its status as an effective infection fighter. Unfortunately, Garlic’s past track record was diminished by the arrival of new and potent antibiotics like penicillin. Ironically, several years ago, garlic was reported to be more valuable than penicillin when treating throat infections.26
One reason for this may be that the allicin component of garlic is effective against the streptococci bacteria. Traditional Oriental medicine utilized garlic in a variety of forms to treat all kinds of infections: garlic juice for typhoid, and meningitis, garlic vapors for whooping cough, garlic suppositories for yeast infections and garlic soup for pneumonia.27 According to studies in the Journal of the National Medical Association, Garlic has proved its ability to act as a potent antibiotic against various gram-negative, gram-positive and acid fast bacteria.
In view of the fact that garlic has even been shown to be effective against some antibiotic-resistent organisms, it should be utilized more in standard medical treatments. Several medical practitioners have discovered that like throat infections, ear infections also respond nicely to garlic. The great advantage of using garlic over antibiotics is that Garlic will not kill friendly intestinal bacteria or make one more susceptible to future infections. Antibiotics will. In cases where antibiotics are deemed necessary, they should at the very least be supplemented with garlic.
Current research supports the fact that garlic does indeed inhibit bacterial growth.28 Several strains of Mycobacterium are suppressed by the presence of garlic. For anyone who fights chronic bladder infections, garlic may prove invaluable. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of several organisms associated with urinary tract infections.29
Evidence suggests that garlic can effectively treat bacterial ear infections, sore throats, and infected wounds. Several reports have shown that aged garlic extract is particularly effective for the kind of ear infections that children are prone to develop. (Note: Ingesting raw garlic is not a practical way to utilize its allicin compounds as an effective antibiotic. Too much raw garlic would be required to be effective.)
It is common knowledge that as of now, viruses do not respond to antibiotics and are extremely resistent to other forms of treatment. A virus usually has to run its course, as those of us who suffer periodically from colds and flu know all too well. Because viruses are so hardy, it is important to know that garlic possesses antiviral as well as antibacterial properties. Dr. Andrew Weil M.D. states that the best home remedy he has found for the treatment of colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first indication that a cold is developing.30 Several laboratory tests have shown that garlic is an effectual treatment for both the influenza B virus and herpes simplex virus.31
Two independent researchers in Japan and Romania have found that garlic is able to protect living organisms form the influenza virus.32 Chinese scientists have studies the effect of garlic on viral encephalitis for almost 30 years.
Clarissa McCord of Cloverdale, British Columbia used garlic extract to treat a stubborn virus that attacks horses. She relates:
“A bottle of liquid garlic administered on two successive days to each animal does the job of curing. One of my race hors es developed the virus symptoms and was to be scratched from the racing program scheduled for the following day. I gave one bottle of liquid garlic to the animal and he improved sufficiently to enter the race. He hit the board first, second and third.”33
In relation to human beings, it would seem that Garlic is especially effective in cases of influenza as both a treatment to shorten the duration of the disease and as a preventative. Again, garlic’s ability to stimulate the immune system seems intrinsically linked to its anti-viral action. Whether the infection is bacterial or viral, garlic mobilizes immune function, thereby potentiating the body’s ability to defend itself against infectious organisms.
Garlic in certain forms is considered a potent antibiotic and can be particularly effective against certain fungal infections. Like viruses, fungal infections are particularly difficult to treat . Traditional medical treatments for fungal infections are usually toxic and can be ineffectual over the long term. To the contrary, garlic has proven itself as an effective anti-fungal agent against candida, aspergillus and cryptococci.
A report from a Chinese medical journal delineates the use of intravenous garlic to treat a potentially fatal and rare fungal infection of the brain called cryptococcal meningitis. In the report, the Chinese compared the effectiveness of the garlic with standard medical treatment which involved a very toxic antibiotic called Amphotericin-B. The study revealed that intravenous garlic was more effective than the drug and was not toxic regardless of its dosage.34
One study using liquid garlic extract found that candida colonies were substantially reduced in mice that had been treated with the garlic. This same study also revealed that garlic stimulated phagocytic activity. This implies that infections such as candida may be controlled because garlic stimulates the body’s own defenses. Applied externally, garlic oil can be used to treat ringworm, skin parasites and warts. Lesions that were caused by skin fungi in rabbits and guinea pigs were treated with external applications of garlic extract and began to heal after seven days.35
Allicin is primarily a fungistatic substance which can slow or completely stop the proliferation of the microorganisms. As an external treatment, garlic has also been found to effectively treat acne and thrush.
The Colds & Flu Report
June 18, 2005 08:38 AM
The Colds & Flu Report by Sherrill Williams Energy Times, October 13, 2004
The nose knows the misery of a cold: stuffiness, watery eyes, sore throat and nagging cough. These annoyances are especially frustrating when there's not enough time in your busy schedule to be sick.
Traditional remedies help: Slurping a cup of Grandma's chicken soup. Sweating in a hot bath. Climbing under the covers until further notice.
While no one can guarantee you won't catch a cold this year, a few simple measures can limit your sick days and give you the best chance to dodge upper respiratory distress. The common cold is a frequent and expensive problem, causing about 15 million lost work days for Americans each year. Some people seem just about immune to the group of viruses that cause colds. But others may endure as many as 12 colds per year. For the lucky ones, a cold's irritations last a couple of days. For the unfortunate, a cold can drag on for a couple of weeks.
Influenza (commonly known as the flu) has many of the same discomforts as a cold, and both disorders originate in the upper respiratory tract. But while a cold usually stays on tract, the flu is often accompanied by fever, prominent headaches and severe aches and pains around the body. Fatigue from the flu can last as long as two to three weeks during recovery. All this distress demonstrates that your body is fighting off the invaders.
Traditional healers advocate the use of the herb echinacea at the first sign of getting sick. Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflower, is native to North America and was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia until the 1950s.
Rosemary Gladstar, a Vermont herbalist and author of Family Herbal (Storey Books), suggests taking echinacea (Echinacea ssp.) in frequent small amounts in tincture or tea form at the first sign of cold or flu.
" Most of the compounds in echinacea are water soluble, so it makes a fine tea," says Gladstar. She also encourages echinacea tea as a gargle or spray to relieve sore throats.
Research at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts validates what traditional healers such as Rosemary Gladstar have known: echinacea works best if taken at the onset of colds or flu. In an animal study, scientists found that echinacea triggered a humoral immune response, an immune reaction that spurs the production of special proteins that latch onto and destroy viruses (Immunopharmacology & Immunotoxicology 2003 Nov; 25(4):551-60).
In another study, researchers found that echinacea enhances immune actions called T cell subsets or helper cell activity (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2004 Jul; 27(7):1004-9). Helper cells are lymphocytes that take part in the destruction of viruses. In the quest for the kind of immunity that makes you less vulnerable to infection by troublesome viruses, Gladstar says that "echinacea is safe for children, the elderly and everyone in between."
C Is for Colds-And So Is E
The reputation of vitamin C as the anti-cold nutrient has been batted back and forth in the media for decades. Your body can't store up much of this antioxidant water-soluble vitamin, so you have to consume it every day on a regular basis. And while vitamin C may not prevent the common cold, research does demonstrate that it can help reduce a cold's severity and make it go away faster (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1999 Oct; 22(8):530-3).
Adequate vitamin C is crucial for a healthy immune system. Even a marginal deficiency of this nutrient can leave you more vulnerable to the viruses that cause cold and flu. Plus, if you get a runny nose, researchers believe vitamin C can act as a mild antihistamine, slowing that runny nose to a walk.
In a University of Texas study reported at the 60th Anniversary meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2003, daily doses of vitamin C were shown to significantly aid immunity.
After two weeks of taking vitamin C, the people in this study had their blood examined. Researchers found increased numbers of NK (natural killer) cells, immune warriors that destroy infected cells. In addition, vitamin C activated T cells, a class of immune cells that also fight viruses.
And now a newsbreak: you can add vitamin E, vitamin C's antioxidant companion, to your cold prevention shopping list, at least if you're a senior citizen. According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004; 292(7):828-36), nursing home residents aged 65 and older who took vitamin E enjoyed a 20% risk reduction when it came to developing upper respiratory infections.
Don't Be Sick, Stay Happy
" When you smile, the whole world smiles with you" is a melody that is music to immunity. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have found that folks who are relaxed, happy and maintain positive emotions are less likely to catch colds. In addition, people who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely to complain of cold symptoms whether or not they actually have a cold (Psycho Med 2003 Jul; 65:652-7). According to Sheldon Cohen, PhD, "Study participants who had a positive emotional style weren't infected as often and experienced fewer symptoms compared to people with a negative emotional style."
So you don't have to be a passive cold victim this winter. When viruses threaten you, according to Mary L. Hardy, MD, you can also try:
" The first caution I give people is to get a good diagnosis," says Dr. Hardy. "If your cold is not acting like a normal cold, or if it has lasted more than a short amount of time, make sure you don't have a more serious condition, such as pneumonia." In that case, seek professional help.
But if you've contracted a run-of-the-mill winter cold, keep your spirits and immunity up! Even if you've been impulsively singing and dancing in the rain, the chill and wet won't result in a cold if you let a smile be your immune umbrella!
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."