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Catechins in green tea found to improve symptoms of metabolicsyndrome in obese people
April 25, 2019 04:43 PM
Green tea not only tastes good, but it also has very beneficial health factors. Among these factors includes the fact that it contains catechins, which are polyphenols that are a good barrier to diabetes and stress. These catechins can also help with metabolic syndrome, which is a syndrome that causes people to have higher than normal levels of abdominal fat and a slowed down metabolism. This could potentially lead to lowered rates of obesity when consumed by the public.
"In this study, the researchers wanted to determine if catechins were beneficial for reducing abdominal fat and improving metabolic syndrome."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-27-catechins-improve-symptoms-of-metabolic-syndrome-in-obese-people.html
Compounds in pomegranate juice found to trigger cancer cell death
February 09, 2019 10:05 AM
Cancer can be slowed down or perhaps even prevented with a proper diet containing anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Now research has shown that pomegranate juice is a strong anti-cancer agent. It contains strong chemical compounds that heal, like ellagic acid and luteolin which combine to prevent the growth of cancer cells, in particular in regards to prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice is beneficial in other ways too because it is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, helps aid digestion, supports and promotes heart health.
"According to research, pomegranate juice and pomegranate extract contain powerful healing chemical compounds such as luteolin and ellagic acid that effectively work together to help prevent cancer cell growth, particularly prostate cancer cells."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/compounds-in-pomegranate-juice-found-to-trigger-cancer-cell-death/
The evidence is clear: Hemp slows the progression of ovarian cancer
July 12, 2018 05:54 PM
Researches have discovered that the hemp plant has anti-cancer effects, so you might see it used more often in natural medicinal treatments. In a recent study, hemp extract was discovered to significantly cause a drop in the migration of cancer cells. Furthermore, KY-hemp also slowed down the discharge of interleukin IL-beta, which are chemicals that been linked to the elevation of cancer. Researchers feel that the hemp plant extract is just as effective as cisplatin, a drug used in chemotherapy.
"New research has shown that the humble hemp plant has anti-cancer effects so profound that it can slow down the progression of ovarian cancer — and can stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, too."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-10-hemp-slows-the-progression-of-ovarian-cancer.html
Osteoporosis And What You Should Know About Bone Health
March 17, 2018 10:15 AM
The skeleton, the body's framework, changes as we age, as does the body's capacity to grow new bone. When the body experiences too much bone loss. When the body can not grow new bone, or when both happenstances are concurrent, the resulting condition is called osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is not considered curable. But it's progression can be slowed or halted, thereby preventing more bone loss, leading to injury and even death.
There are diagnostic processes that can assess bone damage, even predict the likelihood of damage based on bone mineralization. Once damage is diagnosed and need assessed a treatment plan consisting of diet a regimen and supplementation, augmented by exercise and possibly medication can be implemented.
"Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both."
Read more: http://www.good4utah.com/good-things-utah/gtu-sponsor/osteoporosis-and-what-you-should-know-about-bone-health/992235724
Cognitive decline may be slowed by leafy greens
December 29, 2017 07:59 AM
New research out of Chicago's Rush University Medical Center have shown positive links between a daily serving of green, leafy vegetables and a cognitive function. This functional slip may even be slowed by eleven years due to green, leafy vegetables. The study lasted almost five years, and helped demonstrate this hypothesis. Most importantly, none of the participants showed signs of dementia before the study, so their cognitive function was still high before the study even if the average age was 81.
"According to a new study conducted by Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, just one serving of leafy green vegetables per day could help preserve memory and thinking skills as we get older."
Read more: https://newatlas.com/leafy-greens-cognitive-decline/52737/
Starving prostate cancer with what you eat: Apple peels, red grapes, turmeric
June 11, 2017 07:14 AM
According to recent research conducted on nutrition at the University of Texas, various natural compounds may help prevent the development of prostate cancer. These compounds are plant-based chemicals commonly found in foods such as tumeric, apple peels, rosemary, tumeric, and certain berries. Certain combinations of these chemicals can block cancer cells from obtaining nutrients they require to survive. The study effectively slowed tumor growth in mice without detrimental health effects. This research is especially promising for those with an increased risk of cancer due to obesity or a chronic inflammation.
Read more: Starving prostate cancer with what you eat: Apple peels, red grapes, turmeric
Prebiotics reduce body fat in overweight children
June 09, 2017 12:14 PM
In the developed world today the most costly medical condition, for youth, is being overweight. This is a symptom arising from over nutrition. One such way to combat this epidemic may be to use probiotic, as part of a regular diet. A double blind test was preformed by the University of Calgary, in Canada. A controlled group of 42 participant age ranging from 7 to 12 years old participated. The participants added a powder mix to daily water intake and were monitored thereafter. The results showed that the group who supplemented with prebiotic lost more weight than those who took the placebo. Since prebiotic is inexpensive and non-invasive this area of weight loss techniques needs to be studied further.
"Prebiotics reduce body fat in children who are overweight or obese by altering their gut microbiota, according to new research. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients (such as fiber) that act as fertilizers to help stimulate the growth of good bacteria already in the gut, different from probiotics, which introduce new bacteria into the system."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170607123949.htm
Top 13 Benefits Of Vitamin A For Health And Skin
May 22, 2017 08:44 AM
Vitamin A, found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and proteins, plays an important part in our everyday lives. Many people know of Vitamin A's existence, but are unaware of its host of benefits. These benefits include improving the immune system (raising lymphocytic responses, maintains moisture of mucus membranes, and improving white blood cell activity), maintaining eye health (through regulating light changes and moisture), keeping skin soft, strengthen teeth and bones (by forming dentin), prevent urinary stones (due to calcium phosphate formation), inhibit muscular dystrophy, may prevent acne and certain cancer, treat measles and cold sores, lower cholesterol, and protect from infection. And, as an added bonus, it's also an anti-aging agent, because of its wrinkle reducing properties! Just be careful that you don't take too much Vitamin A, and speak to a doctor before starting on supplementation.
"One of the most amazing benefits of vitamin A which ought to be mentioned first is improving your immune system"
Read more: http://vkool.com/benefits-of-vitamin-a/
Having Children Increases Longevity
March 21, 2017 06:44 AM
A study of over one million Swedish men and women found that those who raised children could expect to have a longer lifespan than their childless counterparts. Researchers posited that the increased longevity may be caused by a number of factors including the consumption of healthier foods and engagement in pro-social activities as compared to their childless counterparts. In addition, as individuals aged, those with children also tended to have a greater network of socialization and physical / logistical support than those without. This additional support slowed the physical decline of adults in their senior years, especially amongst men.
Read more: Having Children Increases Longevity
Tree nuts literally fight cancer in the human body
February 21, 2017 02:59 PM
People who eat nuts in their adolescence may have a better chance of fighting off breast cancer later in life, according to data from the Harvard Nurse’s Study. A follow-up study involving the daughters of the nurses corroborated the findings. Those eating more peanut butter, nuts, beans, lentils, soybeans, or corn were found to have just a fraction of the risk for fibrocystic breast disease, which places one at higher risk of cancer. The protective effects were found to be strongest for those most at risk, such as those with a family history of breast cancer.
"Eating nuts consistently (and consciously) is perfect for pumping up heart protection, warding off obesity, and keeping clear of diabetes."
Anti-aging 'Holy Basil' herb supports natural detoxification
January 27, 2017 02:59 PM
Anyone who loves Italian food is probably aware of basil. Hindus actually view the plant as sacred and use it in many religious ways. However, Western herbalists are just now beginning to understand the power this herb has to detoxify and hold off aging. Indians already use basil to help with immunity and stress. It is this stress-relieving property that they believe to be the cause of its anti-aging properties. It also seems to have an effect on cortisol in the body. There is still much research that needs to be done on the subject.
"According to Ayurveda, holy basil can be used to boost mood, stamina and endurance by filling the body with a calming energy. It can help speed up slowed digestion or free up suppressed emotions."
Early signs of liver damage that everyone should know
December 08, 2016 07:59 AM
Our livers clean our blood of impurities and toxins, while asisting our bodies with fighting off infections. The liver has the ability to repar itself by regenerating damaged tissues. But when the liver suffers irrepairable damage like cancer, inflammation or scarring, our bodies react by producing outwardly signs. First, your stools will lighten and your urine will become more yellow, as well as your skin and eyes. Also, you may begin to feel itchy and you may bruise or bleed more easily. Additionally, your body will retain excess water, causing your body to swell.
"Despite the fact that the liver is inside the body, a poorly-functioning organ produces some outwardly visible signs that should always be heeded."
Can Protein, Probiotics Help With Blood Sugar Control?
December 04, 2016 10:59 AM
A recent study to determine the effect protein and probiotics can have on blood sugar has shown promising results. By having patients consume a protein-rich diet or add probiotics to an already healthy diet, researchers were able to see their blood sugar levels decrease. The protein is believed to slow down the metabolism of carbohydrates and prevent blood sugar from spiking, while probiotics supposedly allow the cells in the body to utilize insulin more effectively to combat glucose surges. More research needs to be done, but these findings may help diabetics control their condition more effectively.
"Both proteins and probiotics appear to slow down digestion of carbohydrates, preventing blood sugar spikes that can lead to type 2 diabetes or exacerbate damage done by the disease, researchers found."
CORDYCEP: MEANING AND BENEFITS
Cordyceps is simply a fungus. Not typically kitchen friendly, but if health is your number one target, then it will make the best supplement in your system. Before we go deeper into its benefits let us first have a clear understanding of what this unpopular yet effective medicinal fungi is.
What is Cordyceps?
It is simply an ascomycete fungi genus with approximately four hundred species that are mainly parasitic. They weren't considered beneficial to health until a recent discovery of Cordyceps Sinensis popularly known as a caterpillar fungi (It attaches itself on the caterpillar). Despite limited research on its health benefits, Cordyceps seems to be the best remedy for most of the health complications related to poor diet, lack of exercise and more.
Let us take a look at some of its benefits.
1. A remedy for kidney disease - Cordyceps prevent rat's renal fibrosis. This condition (renal fibrosis) is evident in later stages of the organ. However, there is still need for more research on this fact.
2. Slows down Tumor Growth - There is some proof that Cordyceps trigger the immune system to combat cancer. Ability to improve the immune system was due to a result of research where there were some indications that Cordyceps slowed down tumor growth in many animals.
3. Increase libido - Lots of studies shows that Cordyceps raise the level of testosterone in rats. There are some claims that it also enhances sexual performance that is also yet to be proven.
Apart from slowing down tumor growth, kidney disease and increasing sexual performance that are yet to be confirmed, Cordyceps have other numerous health benefits according to researchers that are,
* Increase body oxygen uptake - Needed for maximum athletic performance.
* Reduce the aging effects - Slows down aging that has remained a bother for centuries.
* Strengthen muscles - For weight lifters and athletes looking to gain strong muscles with a little workout.
* Improves lung function - Improves breathing needed for athletic performance
* Good for the liver - Slows down liver complications that are known to lead to a liver transplant.
There are also some claims that Cordyceps may replace the steroids when it comes to improving athletic performance and muscle building. Among these claims is that Cordyceps can enhance stamina needed mostly by sportsmen and women. Other researchers claim that it can tone muscles, increase energy and even reduce fatigue after a long time of work.
In summary, the caterpillar fungi (Cordyceps) has a lot in store when it comes to solving health complications. However, these claims are yet to be confirmed. If the facts are as real as the researchers claim them to be, then Cordyceps will be at the top of the top list of best natural supplements ever discovered.
Can Fenugreek Seed Help Lower Blood Sugar?
May 17, 2012 08:47 AM
The cells essentially need glucose since it supplies them with energy, and it is the simple sugar traveling in the blood that provides the cell with glucose. Glucose moves from the blood into the cells with the help of the insulin hormone. At times, the body fails at producing insulin or starts reacting abnormally to the insulin in the blood. This way, the cells are not able to use the glucose, which causes the glucose to continue accumulating in the blood until the glucose levels in the blood become really high.
The severity of this condition can lead to diabetes. Fortunately, people can keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range by using fenugreek seeds, which is a herb this is capable of lowering blood sugar. Before consuming fenugreek, it is better if people consult their doctor and follow their doctor's advice.
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum, is a plant that is also known as Greek hayseed, and it bears seeds. For thousands of years, the Fenugreek seeds have bee used in Ayurveda or traditional Indian medicine. Fenugreek is generally recommended as a remedy for digestive problems, since constipation is relieved and lactation is promoted by the seeds of this herb. Even diabetes, high cholesterol and inflammation can be treated using these seeds. Several biologically active components are contained fenugreek, which lessen the amount of blood sugar, lowering blood sugar levels.
What are the Properties Fenugreek?
Natural chemicals known as saponins and alkaloids are contained in Fenugreek. The way in which carbohydrates are converted by the digestive system into glucose and way in which insulin is secreted and used by the body is affected by some of these compounds. The saponins cause lesser glucose to be absorbed from digested nutrients. The amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas and the number of insulin receptors on red blood cells are increased by the rest of the compounds. Abundant fiber is also contained in fenugreek seeds, as a result of which the absorption of the glucose derived from carbohydrate after a meal is slowed down.
Is There Any Evidence that Fenugreek Helps Lower Blood Sugar?
It has been suggested by several laboratory studies that fenugreek indeed keeps the blood sugar levels in control. The benefits of fenugreek and its seeds have also been suggested by several clinical studies with human subjects. While large trials have not yet been conducted, the present findings seem to be quite promising and definitely suggest that fenugreek effectively lower blood sugar levels.
Precautions and Recommendations
A variety of health food stores are currently selling fenugreek extract and fenugreek seeds. While there is no standard dosage of consuming the extract or the seeds, but it is better if about five grams of the seeds per day or one gram of the extract per day is consumed. Fenugreek might result in mild abdominal bloating or gastric upset, but overall it is regarded safe to use. Thus, consuming fenugreek seeds or extract can prove to be beneficial for the people who are suffering from high blood sugar levels or diabetes.
What Does A Selenium Deficiency cause In The Body?
September 26, 2011 04:56 PM
What is Selenium
Selenium is also known as selenium yeast, selenium sulfide and selenium acid as it has different forms. Its main role in our bodily functions is to work in tandem with Vitamin E. As with vitamin E's main functions, selenium also has been deemed vital in the preservation and elasticity of tissues. It is commonly found from sulfide ores such as pyrite and in some cases can partially replace sulfur. Aside from its uses for health it also is used in industry as chemicals and pigments.
This is defined basically as the lack of Selenium in the body, at depreciated levels that may cause health disorders. For the most part, this mineral can easily be obtained and consumed however unlike other minerals it takes only a little to create a deficiency in the body so it is important to be vigilant about Selenium levels. The most common cause found is impaired intestinal functions as it relates to the absorption of this mineral.
Aging Process Alteration
So much cosmetic products in the market today are geared towards beauty and slowing down the aging process. If you are the kind of person that does not like chemical products on your skin this might be interesting to you. Studies have shown that Selenium is necessary if we want to slow down the process of aging. How does it do it? You may ask. It is by increasing endurance which leads to improved blood and oxygen supply for the muscles of the heart. Another key to how Selenium is essential to a slowed down aging process is that the prostoglandins in the human body which is responsible for high blood pressure protection cannot be formed without selenium. Prostoglandins are substances that aid our body's avoidance of harmful blood clots. With this action, strokes and heart attacks can be prevented. With a deficient amount of selenium in the body these are some of the positive things that you can say good bye to in our body.
Recent research has shown that selenium can aid in preventing cancer. It would seem that patients with low levels of selenium are more prone to certain cancers. Recognition has been given that it does work as an antioxidant. It works in an indirect way. It basically helps other enzymes get rid of the body’s toxic free radicals that may be harmful to our bodies in the long run by causing certain cancers. As something that works in tandem with Vitamin E it should be evident that selenium in itself is able to influence our cells protection against free radicals as Vitamin E does.
Aside from the two major possible health issues from being deficient in selenium mentioned above there is a wide variety of more minor problems that can occur from not having the right levels of this mineral in your body. It can cause joint tissue weakening, hypothyroidism and muscle weakness just to name a few. Over longer periods of time without treatment, it may also cause a steady but gradual decline in mental health.
What are the Essential Amino Acids we must get from our Diet to Survive?
August 17, 2011 12:13 PM
Amino acids or the building blocks of protein are very important in overall functioning of the body. Proteins, to mention, are responsible for the build up of most of our body parts specifically our muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, tissues, glands, nails and hair. Moreover, the repair and preservation of those parts still rely on proteins. Amino acids can be of two different forms which are the non-essential and essential. On this selection, we will be focusing more on the latter.
Essential amino acids are those which cannot be produced by the body therefore it has to be supplied through our diet. This category of amino acids includes tryptophan, lysine, methionine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine and phenylalanine.
Tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, can be acquired from peanuts, meat, turkey, fish, milk, dried dates, cottage cheese, banana, oats and chocolates. A deficiency of this can bring up serious neurological problems, depression, anxiety and sleeping difficulties.
Another essential amino acid is methionine. The production of sulfur and other compound needed for a healthy growth and metabolism depends on the presence of this amino acid. Fish, whole grains and dairy are its sources.
Lysine, which is effective in the treatment and prevention of herpes, is present in soybeans, green beans, lentils, spinach and amaranth. Low levels of lysine can also compromise the levels of niacin and this leads to pellagra.
Tissue healing, muscle metabolism and keeping the equilibrium of nitrogen levels in our body are the functions of valine. It has proven to be efficient in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. Deficiencies that results from drug addiction are can also be reversed by this amino acid. Its sources are peanuts, soy proteins, dietary products, grains, meat and mushrooms.
Leucine can be obtained from chicken, fish, cottage cheese, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds. It functions in muscle protein build up and is the main medium in tissue building process. Inability to acquire such makes a person prone to protein wasting since leucine, together with valine and isoleucine, serves as energy and protein reservoirs.
In boosting energy levels, blood sugar regulation, muscle build - up and repair as well as hemoglobin development, isoleucine has shown its relevance. Its dietary sources are fish, poultry, beef, dairy, eggs, lentils, seeds, soy, almonds and wheat. Isoleucine deficiencies may result into neurological disturbances such as confusion, depression, irritability, fatigue, headache and dizziness.
Threonine is significant in synthesis of antibodies. Beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, poultry, eggs and beef are rich in threonine. A low level of this amino acid causes disorders of the skin and weakness.
Adrenaline and noradrenalin which are stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system requires phenylalanine to perform their function. Phenylalanine can be acquired from peanuts, seeds, almonds, lima beans and dairy. Liver damage, weakness, skin lesions, lethargy and slowed growth are results of its deficiencies.
In summary, our body needs networks of essential amino acids for its proper functioning. Eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the secret towards maintaining your optimum general health.
Royal Jelly As An Anti-Aging Supplement
February 27, 2010 11:45 AM
Royal jelly is considered to be the treasure of the beehive. It has the ability to promote longevity by helping to maintain healthy, beauty, and youth. This natural food is extremely potent and highly nutritional. Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent white liquid. It is produced by the worker bees specifically for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. This fantastic material converts a common honeybee into a queen bee, extending the bee’s lifetime from six weeks to five years. This substance is full of natural hormones and B-vitamins. Additionally, it contains a variety of seventeen amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential. Royal jelly is particularly rich in cystine, lysine, and arginine and is also composed of 16.1 percent aspartic acid, which is crucial for proper tissue growth and regeneration.
Gelatin is another component of royal jelly and one of the primary precursors of collagen. It is a potent anti-aging compound that helps to keep the youthful, while supporting the organs, glands, and muscular systems. It contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential in order to properly transmit nerve impulses. It is also important for the proper functioning of the endocrine system. An insufficient amount of acetylcholine often leads to a susceptibility to a variety of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly has many properties. Among which include: antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic, tonic, nutritive, and anti-aging. It is very beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, reproductive, cellular, skeletal, hepatic, and respiratory systems.
Although aging is inevitable, the process can be slowed significantly with supplements. Researchers in Argentina have been working to document the ability of royal jelly to both slow down tissue deterioration and even reverse it. For example, the story of Noel Johnson should be noted, as he experienced of rebirth of health at age eighty. In 1964, at age sixty-five he was refused life insurance because of a weak and damaged heart. At this point he was also cautioned to restrict his physical activity in order to prevent death. In 1989, at age ninety, Johnson discussed the book he wrote, The Living Proof… I Have Found the Fountain of Youth, which claims that his use of bee products, along with a solid nutritional program, is responsible for changing his life. Despite the additional exercise and diet changes, Johnson attributes most of his vitality to the bee products he used. He claims that he discovered bee’s gift at age seventy, as the foods restored his manhood, brought him to full vigor and sexual potency, and continue to nourish every cell in his body. Johnson claims to be improving in every way without spending any money on medicine.
Royal jelly has been found to help with many conditions. Some of these include menopause, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue, skin blemishes, wrinkles, immune system problems, viral and bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, hormonal balance, cardiovascular disease, weight control, inflammation, liver ailments, cancer, arthritis, memory, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, asthma, and mental exhaustion.
In order to obtain the best results when using this, or any bee product, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by royal jelly, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Always buy Name brands like Premier One Royal Jelly to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
May 02, 2008 03:07 PM
The benefits of fish oil come from two long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA primarily helps prevent behavioral and attention issues in children and adults. DHA is good for brain development starting as far back as when we are developing in the womb.
Scientists at Wayne State University in Detroit found that babies who had higher concentrations of DHA in their cord blood had greater visual, cognitive, and motor development when tested at the six month and twelfth month marks. Most pregnant women get less DHA then they need during those last few months of pregnancy. Supplementing with DHA can have profound benefits for baby as well as mother. DHA can extend gestation time which can reduce the rate of premature birthing. Some research suggests that DHA can help fight pre-eclampsia, a life threatening condition that happens to women that are pregnant. Omega-3 fish oil reduces platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction – both of which are symptoms of pre-eclampsia.
Eating fish is a good way to get the needed DHA in our diets but safety is always an issue with the fish that is being consumed. Cold water fish have been known to have potential toxins like mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins. These toxins are not good for developing baby as well as the mother.
Brain power can be boosted in babies who are breast fed because of the high concentrations of DHA present in breast milk. Infants begin developing neuronal pathways associated with learning as soon as they are born and if they are not breast fed they should be supplementing their diet with DHA. Studies suggest that DHA plays a role in the production and regulation of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Numerous studies show that breast fed babies have greater cognitive development and visual acuity then those who are formula fed.
The importance of fish oil for infants in brain development is clearly seen, fish oil is also important for older children and adults who want a mental boost. It’s never too late to take fish oil to boost mental health; studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed with the consumption of omega-3 fish oil as well. Have you had your fish oil today?
If burping up fish oil is not your cup of tea, give vectomega a try. vectomega is a dry fish oil that provides the same health benefits you experience with regular oil pills minus the oil.
7-Keto, The Next Dhea With No Side Effects
November 10, 2007 12:24 PM
7-Keto is a natural derivative of DHEA that is claimed to be free from many of the side-effects of regular DHEA supplements. DHEA is dehydroepiandosterone, which is the most abundantly produced of the adrenal hormones. After production in and release into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands that are situated just over the kidneys, DHEA undergoes metabolism to the male androgen hormones, and the female estrogens.
As you age, the production DHEA declines, starting at about 30, with a 50% decline by time you reach 40 and almost 85% at 70. This is true of the levels of many hormones in the body, though some, like the steroidal aldosterone, remain constant throughout life. The general rate of metabolism also reduces with age resulting in an even lower conversion rate of DHEA to the male and female hormones.
At the same time as this occurs, there also occurs a significant reduction in the biosynthesis of protein in the body, which results in a loss of muscle mass as you age, and also in the regeneration of bone tissue that results in what is commonly termed age-related osteoporosis. Brain cells die at an increasing rate leading to many neurological conditions and the immune system is also affected negatively.
Due to the concurrence of these aging effects, many scientists have related the general hormonal decline with the other effects of aging. The have asserted that if these hormones were restored, than many of the effects of aging could be delayed. Osteoporosis would be delayed due to the body’ s increased ability to restore lost bone mass, the metabolic rate would improve and fat would be burned at a faster rate and continue to build muscle, the brain would lose its functionality at a significantly lower rate and the immune system would continue to protect the body against disease.
In other words we might be able to live longer, but if not that then at least the quality of life would be maintained longer as we aged. This is a very welcome and desirable situation, but the taking of hormones as supplements has long been regarded as fraught with danger due to the possibility of undesirable side effects, some of them potentially very serious. DHEA was considered as one of these hormones that could be used as a supplement to achieve positive results in reducing these age-related changes because it exhibited these effects in tests on animals.
However, in order that a specific substance can be declared responsible for any metabolic improvement that involves liver biochemistry, some form of receptor has to be identified, and this failed to materialize in DHEA. There appears to be no such DHEA receptor, although that does not necessarily imply that DHEA is not responsible in some way. It might very well be a DHEA metabolite that is responsible, and that has still to be identified. It is certainly true that DHEA administered to both animal and human subjects has resulted in an increase in the testosterone and estrogen levels of the subjects. Such an increase is not desirable due to a number of potential side effects as previously inferred.
These are particularly liable to occur with people who already have an adequate level of natural DHEA production within their body. The side effects include acne, irregularity in the menstrual cycle, itchy scalp, increased body odor and an excess of androgenic hormones can lead to hair loss, or male pattern baldness. Interruptions in the heart rhythm, or palpitations, are another very serious side effect of DHEA supplementation, and high doses over a long period introduce a theoretical risk of certain cancers.
However, the discovery of 7-Keto, a natural derivative of DHEA claimed to be free from many of these side effects, has altered the situation. 7-Keto is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up the metabolism of fat and helps to reduce body weight. It also helps to replace lost fat with muscle mass, though it must be stated that this effect is only valid after the natural production of DHEA has slowed down. It is not a body-building supplement.
It was Professor Henry Lardy, of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, who tested over 150 DHEA metabolites over 10 years and identified 7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone as having the greatest biochemical effect without having any detectable side effects. This material was trademarked 7-KETO by the Humanetics Corporation, and one of its known effects is to burn fat quicker by stimulating thermogenesis. It had also been shown to strengthen the immune system and to improve the memory. All of this without any measurable increase in any of the sex hormones. It was released after a careful and intensive series of safety tests on both humans and animals found it safe for human consumption.
It should be stressed that 7-Keto is not a hormone, and is not chemically the same as DHEA: it is a different chemical altogether that is produce when DHEA degrades in the body. Because of this it can be promoted as a non-androgenic or estrogenic form of DHEA. It is thought that all of the conditions that decline as we age that can benefit from a supplement of DHEA, will also benefit from a supplement of 7-Keto. However supplementation is only required from the ages of 25 – 30, when the natural amount of DHEA and 7-Keto in the body start to decline.
It causes neither high blood pressure nor any form of cancer, and was submitted to the FDA prior to being made publicly available. It is important to stress that the substance is neither a steroid nor does it metabolize to steroidal hormones, and is also not a sex hormone. It also has no effect on the body’s sex hormones. The whole point of 7-Keto is that it has the effect of DHEA without having any connection whatsoever with steroidal hormones or any hormonal substances. It is totally innocuous and safe to use, without the risk of heart palpitations, lost hair or any of the other side effects of DHEA.
Without a doubt, 7-Keto is a DHEA substitute that has none of the side effects of its precursor. So if you are over the age of 30 and feel the need for an energy boost, give 7-keto a try.
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
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results
Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.
Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.
However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.
Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a Purple Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful Purple Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on Purple Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.
Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?
A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from Purple Kculli Corn.
Q. Why is Purple Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?
A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep purple of Purple Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from Purple Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.
Once harvested, the Purple Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on Purple Kculli Corn extract, the Purple Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when Purple Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.
Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?
A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.
The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.
Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.
Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:
Mushroom Health Benefit
Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)
Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on Purple Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.
Q. What are ORAC values?
A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Q. How does Purple Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?
A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. Purple Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, Purple Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.
Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?
A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.
Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.
Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on Purple Kculli Corn substrate?
A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.
Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from Purple Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.
Taming the Tingle – ALA helps fight nerve damage caused by diabetes…and more.
November 09, 2006 01:27 PM
For some people the constant tingling in their feet is the worst part. Others feel like their feet are being stabbed or burned, or that their extremities are simply lifeless. All these folks suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that afflicts nearly 30% of people with diabetes aged 40 and older. And if the discomforting sensations are not enough, neuropathy can lead to falls, wounds that won’t heal, even amputation.
Untold numbers of individuals have been helped by alpha lipoic acid (ALA), a supplement that European practitioners have used as a standard neuropathy treatment for 30 years. ALA (also known as thioctic acid) assists in the chemical reaction that generates energy within cells. It serves as a universal antioxidant—a substance that can fight tissue-damaging free radicals in both the fatty watery parts of a cell-and helps the body create additional free radical fighters, such as glutathione. ALA can even help regenerate several other antioxidants, including coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamins C and E.
People with diabetes need antioxidant protection as much as anyone. Fortunately for them, though, ALA fights this insidious disorder in many other ways.
Diabetes occurs when the body can no longer effectively use glucose (blood sugar), its main energy sources; ALA helps shepherd glucose out of the blood and into cells. It also interferes with glycosylation, a process in which glucose sticks to proteins such as the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that carries cholesterol through the bloodstream. That’s important because this “sticky” LDL can adhere to arterial walls, creating a major risk factor for heart disease. ALA combined with exercise appears to make insulin, the hormone that controls glucose usage, more effective. What’s more, early research indicates that ALA can deflect another cardio hazard by interfering with the ability of salt to push blood pressure upward (molecular and Cellular Biology 12/03).
ALA Annotations – what is it? Alpha Lipoic acid, a substance the body creates naturally.
What it Does: ALA, a powerful antioxidant in its own right, plays a vital role in the creation and renewal of other antioxidants. It is used to treat peripheral neuropathy; nerve damage caused by diabetes, and is also under investigation for possible therapeutic effects in other disorders, including multiple sclerosis and age-related cognitive decline.
Diabetes doesn’t just attack the nerves and the heart—its effects are felt throughout the body. That’s why scientists are examining whether ALA can tackle other diabetic complications: in lab studies it has forestalled diabetes-related kidney and eye damage. (Check blood-sugar levels regularly when using ALA, especially if you’re taking other glucose regulators.)
While diabetes is one of the most common causes of nervous system damage, it isn’t the only one. In test tube studies ALA has promoted chemical reactions that encourage neurons (nerve cells) to survive and grow; as a result some scientists believe this natural antioxidant may eventually play a role in treating degenerative nerve disorders. Such research is in its beginning stages, but the results are still intriguing. For example, in mice ALA has slowed progression of a disorder that mimics multiple sclerosis in human beings (Journal of Neuroimmunology 3/04) and improved age-related memory loss when used with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), another antioxidant supplement (Journal of Neurochemistry 3/03). A number of other conditions that become more common with age may also benefit from ALA, including arthritis and thinning skin.
If you suffer from both diabetes and the nerve damage it causes, ask your practitioner about ALA. It just may help your feet and the rest of you feel happy. –Lisa James
Guggulsterones - Natural Support for Cholesterol Health
June 29, 2005 10:44 AM
Today’s lifestyle, with its high-fat, processed food diet, lack of exercise, and high stress levels, leaves you at risk for imbalanced cholesterol levels. Source Naturals is committed to your optimal health and longevity. That’s why we developed GUGGULSTERONES. GUGGULSTERONES is a natural solution to help keep your cholesterol levels in the normal range. Guggulsterones are compounds found in guggul, the resin of a shrub used in traditional Ayurvedic herbalism to support a healthy heart. Research shows guggulsterones help maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range by helping to promote bile production, which removes cholesterol from the blood. They also boost thyroid activity, which supports cholesterol regulation by the liver. Source Naturals offers you natural guggul extract, standardized to provide a clinically effective daily dosage. As one of the most important botanicals to support cardiovascular health, GUGGULSTERONES is at the heart of Source Naturals’ commitment to empower people to take charge of their own health.
Cholesterol, Guggulsterones and Bile Production
Much of the cholesterol made by your liver is utilized to create bile, a substance used in digestion to emulsify fats. Because excess cholesterol and triglycerides are excreted from our bodies in the form of bile, it is important to support the liver’s bile-producing mechanism. Research shows that certain guggul compounds— guggulsterones—help maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range and act at the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) to promote bile production. Guggulsterones appear to be farnesoid X receptor (FXR) antagonists. FXR is a bile acid receptor. If FXR is activated, this results in down-regulation of the amount of bile acids produced by the liver. Bile is made out of cholesterol, which gets used up when bile is produced. When bile levels are high, the production of more bile is slowed through negative feedback of the FXR pathway. As steroids, guggulsterones can enter the nuclei of liver cells and block FXR, which results in more bile production.
Guggulsterones and Thyroid Stimulation
Guggulsterones have been shown to stimulate thyroid activity in animal studies. This is important because 90% of individuals with sluggish thyroid glands also experience challenges to healthy cholesterol levels. Since the thyroid regulates the metabolic rate of many organs, when thyroid hormone levels are too low, the body’s overall metabolic rate declines. This impairs the liver’s ability to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream. The liver regulates cholesterol levels in blood as well as producing bile, and it contains thyroid hormone receptors. This is how the thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate of the liver. Several studies have shown that guggul supports normal cholesterol levels, including LDL, serum triglycerides, and HDL levels. Because normal levels of serum lipids, including cholesterol, are supported by increased circulating thyroid hormones, it is believed guggul works by stimulating the thyroid gland, in addition to its effects on bile production.
Clinically Effective Dosage
According to several clinical studies, the amount of guggulsterones used to maintain normal cholesterol levels is 75 mg per day, when taken with a diet low in saturated fats. This is the daily dose delivered by SOURCE NATURALS GUGGULSTERONES.
A Wellness Revolution in Cardiovascular Care
At a time when our cardiovascular health faces numerous lifestyle challenges, research into the remarkable heart-supportive properties of the plant world is critical. Source Naturals is your connection to this research, dedicated to quickly bringing you nutritional benefits now available only through the natural products marketplace.
Scents of Balance
June 14, 2005 11:54 AM
Scents of Balance by Rosemary Sage Energy Times, January 5, 2005
Life can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, with the high-stress jitters following the low-mood blues. But aromatherapy-the healing power of scent-can restore equilibrium.
The use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being dates back thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used infused oils and herbal preparations for medicinal, fragrant, cosmetic, even spiritual reasons.
During the late 20th century, people started to relearn the benefits of aromatherapy and these days, aromatherapy's reputation as a soothing, healing art continues to grow. Once you've experienced the odiferous power of aromatherapy's essential oils, you'll keep coming back for more: These gently wafting odors have the power to stimulate or calm, invigorate or relax.
When you enter this scented world, "there you will find nature in one of its most powerful forms-aromatic liquid substances known as 'essential oils,'" says Valerie Ann Worwood in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (Thorsons). Essential oils form what Worwood refers to as the "fragrant pharmacy," a collection of concentrated substances used in pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics.
When you sniff the aromas of essential oils, "they enter and leave the body with great efficiency, leaving no toxins behind," Worwood points out. "The most effective way to use essential oils is...by external application or inhalation. The methods used include body oils, compresses, cosmetic lotions, baths-including sitz, hand and foot baths-hair rinses...perfumes...and a whole range of room [scenting] methods."
As Worwood explains, essential oils are produced in various parts of different plants. As a result, it takes a great deal of specialized work to extract essential oils. About 60,000 rose blossoms are consumed in the production of an ounce (!) of rose oil.
Just as the antioxidant phytonutrients we eat in vegetarian foods link our bodies to the health-promoting chemistry of plants, the penetrating nature of essential oils are thought to connect our souls to the essences of flora. "From inside comes the voice and from inside comes the scent," observed the 19th century German doctor Gustav Fechner, quoted by Robert Tisserand in The Art of Aromatherapy (Healing Arts Press). "Just as one can tell human beings in the dark from the tone of voice, so, in the dark, every flower can be recognized by its scent. Each carries the soul of its progenitor."
Fechner believed that the power of essential oils to stir our deepest emotions derives from their function as a vital means of communication in the plant world. As Tisserand asks, can't we imagine that flowers "communicate with each other by the very perfumes they exude, becoming aware of each other's presence?"
The Science Behind the Scent
While alternative medical practitioners have acknowledged the effectiveness of aromatherapy for thousands of years, only recently have conventional medical researchers begun seriously looking into how this technique works.
For instance, a study of estragole, a chemical found in basil, fennel and tarragon, determined that it could potentially ease back pain by inhibiting inflammation of the sciatic nerve. (The sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, runs from the back down the leg.) The researchers discovered that estragole is "active on nerves," a conclusion that aromatherapy practitioners, who employ the scent of these oils to soothe pain, already knew. Science is verifying another piece of information long known to practitioners-that while certain essential oils can calm you down, others prod your alertness. In a study performed at the University of Northumbria in England, scientists found that sniffing the scent of lavender lulls the human brain into a comfortable, rather stupefied state, while rosemary, in contrast, can sharpen recall.
As the English researchers noted, lavender "produced a significant decrement in performance of working memory, and impaired reaction times for both memory and attention-based tasks." That's probably why the odor of lavender is noted for enhancing sleep. On the other hand, the scientists found that rosemary "produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors." However, they did point out that under the influence of both of these oils, performance slowed when tackling a battery of memory tests. Apparently, the oils mellowed people so that they had little motivation to rush through the paperwork.
As Frazesca Watson notes in Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies (Thorsons): "The aroma of the oils directly affects our moods and emotions and sometimes our short- and long-term memory. Together with a wide range of physiological benefits, the aroma can help with emotional upsets such as depression, anxiety, nervous tension, anger, apathy, confusion, indecision, fear, grief, hypersensitivity, impatience, irritability, panic and hysteria."
Essential oils are especially helpful at defusing stress. Watson notes, "Treatments with essential oils are therefore very helpful for all sorts of stress-related problems, so common in our modern life."
As scientific research into the effects of these oils continue, conventional medical practitioners are sure to embrace them in increasing numbers. But before there were scientists around to confirm the effects of these wonderful scents, the ancient medical practitioners in Egypt and Greece attributed the origins of aromatherapy to the gods. For many people in today's overstressed world, the relaxing assurance of essential oils certainly seems heaven-s(c)ent.
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart
June 13, 2005 10:06 AM
Recognizing the Signs: Roadmap to a Healthy Heart by Louis McKinley Energy Times, January 2, 2004
From time immemorial, people have tuned into life's lessons that come from the heart. Sadly, times are changing: If you're like most inhabitants of today's harried world, you may be too distracted to detect important clues about your cardiovascular circumstances.
And while heart lessons may be more complicated than simply connecting the physiological dots, understanding those heart messages are imperative for improving and maintaining your heart health.
Every cell in your body relies on heart-powered blood flow to keep it supplied with nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other natural chemicals necessary for survival. Without that supply of life-giving substances, few cells in the body-including those within the heart itself-can survive very long.
And just as damage to a major roadway can cause mayhem with traffic patterns, damage to blood vessels and the heart can wreak a lumpy cardiovascular havoc that blocks the passage of blood and endangers your heart's well-being.
Your Heart Disease Chances
Within the last ten years, scientific research performed by investigators around the world has focused on the specific factors that most strongly influence your chances of developing heart disease and suffering either a heart attack or a stroke.
While much of your risk depends on your genetic inheritance and family history, several factors that determine your heart health are within your control.
The most important factors you can do something about include:
* Smoking: free radicals generated by burning tobacco causes significant damage to blood vessels and other cells
* Lack of exercise: the human body is designed for consistent, moderate physical activity; without exercise, the body slacks off in creating antioxidant protection for arteries
* Diabetes: when excess blood sugar persists, physiological processes begin that endanger the heart and arteries
* Cholesterol: when oxidized (a chemical process that has been compared to a kind of internal rusting), cholesterol can form artery-blocking plaque; antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and natural vitamin E may help the body limit this process
* High blood pressure: excessive pressure within the blood vessels raises the risk of damage to the heart and arteries; a program of weight loss and exercise can help control blood pressure
* Being overweight: the extra body fat carried around your middle is linked to a greater risk of heart problems
Heart Attack Signs
Do you think you know what a heart attack feels like? Well, if you think it feels like a dramatic pain somewhere in your chest that knocks you to the floor, you're probably wrong. "Most heart attacks do not look at all like what one of my colleagues calls the 'Hollywood' attack-the heart attack you see on television or in the movies," warns Julie Zerwic, MD, professor of surgical nursing who has studied what happens when people develop heart disease and suffer damage to their hearts.
"The symptoms [of heart problems] are not necessarily dramatic. People don't fall down on the floor. They don't always experience a knife-like, very sharp pain. In fact, many people describe the sensation as heaviness and tightness in the chest rather than pain," she says. And, if you're a woman experiencing a heart attack, you may not even feel discomfort specifically in your chest. Instead you may experience a severe shortness of breath. The apparent ambiguity of the discomforts caused by a heart attack lead many people to either ignore them or take hours to realize they need to go to the emergency room at the hospital.
Consequently, much fewer than half of all individuals undergoing a heart attack actually go to a hospital within an hour of the start of the attack. That delay can be a fatal mistake.
"Timing is absolutely critical," laments Dr. Zerwic. "If treatment starts within a hour after the onset of symptoms, drugs that reestablish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery can reduce mortality by as much as 50%. That number drops to 23% if treatment begins three hours later. The goal is to introduce therapy within two hours."
However, in Dr. Zerwic's research, only 35% of non-Hispanic whites go to the hospital within an hour of the start of a heart attack. And among African-Americans, the number of people going to the hospital right away drops to a frighteningly low 13%.
Often, people will lie down or use a heating pad to relieve the tightness they feel in the chest," says Dr. Zerwic. "They may take some medicine and wait to see if that works. All these steps postpone needed treatment."
Signs of a possible heart attack include:
* Chest discomfort: Heart attacks most frequently cause discomfort in the center of the chest that can either go away after a couple of minutes (and come back) or persist. The discomfort may feel like strong pressure, fullness or pain.
* Upper body discomfort: An attack may set off pain or discomfort in either or both arms, and/or the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: Chest discomfort is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. But it's important to note that shortness of breath can take place even in the absence of chest discomfort.
* Other signs: You can also break out in a cold sweat, or feel nauseated or light-headed.
A Woman's Sleep Signs
If you are a woman who suddenly experiences a marked increase in insomnia and puzzling, intense fatigue, you may be in danger of an imminent heart attack.
In an attempt to understand how women's symptoms of heart problems differ from those of men, researchers talked to more than 500 women in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio who had suffered heart attacks. (Technically, what they had experienced is referred to as acute myocardial infarction.)
They found that chest pain prior to a heart attack was only reported by about 30% of the women surveyed.
More common were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath (Circulation Rapid Access, 11/3/01).
"Since women reported experiencing early warning signs more than a month prior to the heart attack, this [fatigue and sleep problems] could allow time to treat these symptoms and to possibly delay or prevent the heart attack," says researcher Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, nursing professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. In Dr. McSweeney's study, more than nine out of ten women who had heart attacks reported that they had had new, disturbing physical problems more than a month before they had infarctions.
Almost three in four suffered from unusual fatigue, about half had sleep disturbances, while two in five found themselves short of breath.
Other common signs included indigestion and anxiety.
"Women need to be educated that the appearance of new symptoms may be associated with heart disease and that they need to seek medical care to determine the cause of the symptoms, especially if they have known cardiovascular risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight or a family history of heart diseases," says Dr. McSweeney.
Dr. McSweeney warns that, until now, little has been known about signs that women are having heart trouble or heart attacks. The fact that most of Western medicine's past attention has been on heart problems in men has obscured the warning signs in women. As part of Dr. McSweeney's studies, she and her fellow researchers have discovered that more than 40% of all women who suffer a heart attack never feel any chest discomfort before or during the attack.
"Lack of significant chest pain may be a major reason why women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men or are mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments," she notes. "Many clinicians still consider chest pain as the primary symptom of a heart attack."
Vitamins for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Having diabetes significantly raises your chance of heart disease, which means that keeping your blood sugar levels under control can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack.
Today, 17 million Americans have diabetes and, as the country's population in general gains weight and fails to exercise, the number of people suffering this problem continues to grow.
The first line of defense against diabetes consists of exercise and weight control. All you have to do is take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day to drop your chances of diabetes (American Journal of Epidemiology 10/1/03).
"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said Andrea Kriska, PhD, professor of epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
To help your body fight the development of diabetes, researchers also recommend vitamin C and natural vitamin E.
Researchers working with lab animals at the University of California at Irvine have found that these antioxidant vitamins can help insulin (the hormone-like substance secreted by the pancreas) reduce harmful blood sugar. In addition, these vitamins shrink the chances of organ damage that can be caused by diabetes (Kidney International 1/03).
In this investigation, these vitamins also helped reduce blood pressure, another risk factor that raises heart disease risk.
"Blood pressure was lowered to normal, and free radicals were not in sufficient numbers to degrade the sugars, proteins and nitric oxide," notes Nick Vaziri, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California. "We think this shows that a diet rich in antioxidants may help diabetics prevent the devastating cardiovascular, kidney, neurological and other damage that are common complications of diabetes."
Free Radical Blues
Dr. Vaziri and his group of researchers found that untreated diabetes raised blood pressure and increased the production of free radicals, caustic molecules that can damage arteries and the heart. Free radicals can change blood sugar and other proteins into harmful substances, boosting tissue and heart destruction.
In Dr. Vaziri's work with lab animals, he found that treating diabetes with insulin lowered blood pressure and helped keep sugar and protein from changing into dangerous chemicals, but allowed the free radicals to subvert nitric oxide, a chemical the body uses to protect itself from free radicals.
In this investigation, adding vitamins C and E to insulin insulated the body's sugars, proteins and nitric oxide from oxidative assault. This produces a double advantage: Lowering the risk of heart disease and other damage to the body from diabetes.
Maitake, an Oriental mushroom that has been shown to have many health benefits, can also be useful for people with diabetes who are trying to avoid cardiovascular complications. Laboratory studies in Japan demonstrate that maitake may help lower blood pressure while reducing cholesterol (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1997; 20(7):781-5). In producing these effects, the mushroom may also help the body reduce blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of tissue damage.
Tobacco smoke is one of the most notorious causes of heart problems. In the same way a hard frost exerts a death grip on a highway, the smoke from cigarettes can freeze up arteries and hamper their proper function. A healthy artery must stay flexible to comfortably allow adequate circulation.
But "...when blood vessels are exposed to cigarette smoke it causes the vessels to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube, thus the vessels can't dilate in response to increased blood flow," says David J. Bouchier-Hayes, MD, professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who has studied the deleterious effects of tobacco.
This rigidity is called endothelial dysfunction. When arteries are rigid, blockages gum up vessels, clots and other impediments to blood flow appear, and your risk of heart attack and stroke increases (Circulation 2001 Nov 27; 104(22):2673).
This condition can also cause chest pain (angina) similar to that caused by a heart attack, and should be evaluated by a knowledgeable health practitioner.
Although all experts recommend you stop smoking to lower your heart disease risk, some studies have found that Pycnogenol(r), a pine bark extract that helps the body fight inflammation, may ease some of smoking's ill effects.
In a study of platelets, special cells in the blood that can form dangerous blood clots, researchers found that Pycnogenol(r) discouraged platelets from sticking together (American Society for Biochemical and Molecular Biology 5/19/98). By keeping platelets flowing freely, this supplement may alleviate some of the heart-threatening clots that tobacco smoke can cause.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional therapy from India, an herb called guggul has also been used to lower the risk of blockages in arteries. This herb, derived from the resin of the mukul tree, has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 25%. People taking this herb have also reduced their triglycerides (harmful blood fats) by the same amount (Journal Postgraduate Medicine 1991 37(3):132).
The Female Version of Heart Disease
For one thing, women often don't suffer from the crushing chest pain that for most people characterizes a heart attack; instead, many women experience back pain, sweating, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, anxiety or indigestion, signs that can be easily misread as digestive troubles, menopausal symptoms or indicators of aging.
The genders also differ in how heart disease poses a threat. While men seem most endangered by the buildup of blockages in arteries, women apparently are more at risk from endothelial dysfunction. But more study needs to be done since, in many cases, researchers have been unable to pin down the precise mechanism that causes many women to die of heart disease.
Scientists have found that the number of women in their 30s and 40s who are dying from sudden cardiac arrest is growing much faster than the number of men of the same age who die of this cause. But research by the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Jesse E. Edwards Cardiovascular Registry in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that while doctors can pinpoint the coronary blockages that kill men, they can't find specific blockages in half of the female fatalities they have studied (American Heart Journal 10/03).
"This was an unexpected finding. However, the study underscores the need to focus on what is causing these younger women to die unexpectedly because the number of deaths continues to increase," says Sumeet Chugh, MD, a medical professor at Oregon.
Since the failure of arteries to relax probably contributes to heart disease in many women, eating red berries, or consuming supplements from berries such as chokeberry, bilberry or elderberry, may be important in lowering women's heart disease risk. These fruits help arteries expand and allow blood to flow freely.
Red berries are rich sources of flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocynanins. The anthocyanins are strong antioxidants that give the berries their color. Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that these chemicals can interact with nitrous oxide, a chemical produced by the body, to relax blood vessels (Experimental Biology conference 5/20/02).
As researchers work to devise lifestyle roadmaps that can steer you around the perils of heart disease, they are finding that exercise is a key path to avoiding cardiovascular complications.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that those who exercised and kept their weight down (or took weight off and kept it off) experienced a significantly lower risk of heart problems (Preventive Medicine 11/03).
"The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Burning calories in physical activity may be the secret to reducing heart disease risk and living longer, she says.
Dr. Fang's research used information collected from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1975 and then computed how much people exercised, how their body mass indices varied and which of these folks died of heart disease during the next two decades.
In the study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who worked out and consumed more calories cut their risk of heart disease death in half.
Exercise Is Essential
"Subjects with the lowest caloric intake, least physical activity, and who were overweight or obese had significantly higher cardiovascular mortality rates than those with high caloric intake, most physical activity, and normal weight," Dr. Fang notes. The individuals in the study who were overweight and didn't exercise had a bigger risk of heart disease even if they tried (and succeeded) at eating less.
"This suggests that heart disease outcome was not determined by a single factor, but rather by a compound of behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic and clinical characteristics," according to Dr. Fang.
According to researchers, if your job requires a great deal of physical activity, your health will be better if you get another job. Exercise on the job not only doesn't decrease your risk of heart disease, it may actually raise it. The reason: On-the-job activity is linked to heart-endangering increases in job stress.
Research into this subject, performed at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, found that while recreational exercise slowed hardening of the arteries, workers who had to exert themselves during the workday had arteries that were blocked at a younger age (American Journal of Medicine 7/03).
In this study, researchers examined about 500 middle-aged employees as part of what is called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study.
"We found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs," says James Dwyer, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School. According to Dr. Dwyer, "This suggests that the apparent harmful effect of physical activity at work on atherosclerosis-and heart disease risk-may be due to the tendency of high-activity jobs to be more stressful in modern workplaces.
"It appears from our findings that the psychological stresses associated with physically active jobs overcomes any biological benefit of the activity itself."
On the other hand, the scientists found that heart disease drops dramatically among those who exercise the most in their spare time. In the study, people who vigorously worked out at least three times a week had the lowest risk. But even those who just took walks enjoyed better heart health than people whose most strenuous activity was working the TV remote. Dr. Dwyer says, "These results are important because they demonstrate the very substantial and almost immediate-within one or two years-cardiovascular benefit of greater physical activity."
Lowering your risk of heart disease is substantially up to you. Listen to what your heart tells you it needs; then, exercise your right to fetch some cardiovascular necessities.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overburdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
The Joints Are Jumping
June 11, 2005 04:56 PM
The Joints Are Jumping by Rachel Alexander Energy Times, October 8, 2003
It usually starts with a twinge in your back or an ache in your knees: Knee stiffness, back pain and joint inflammation can signal the beginning of arthritis.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, arthritis affects over 42 million Americans-that's 1 in every 3 adults-and costs the economy nearly $65 billion annually. But as common as arthritis is, it doesn't have to extract a high cost from your joints.
Who's At Risk?
Arthritis literally means an "inflammation of the joints" and can affect anyone-from small children to 80-year-olds. Some groups are more prone to certain types of arthritis; for instance, those over 40 are at greater risk for developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition of the joints.
According to Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, more than 50% of all individuals over the age of 40 have x-ray signs of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints (such as those in the knees and hips), and nearly half of those over 65 have measurable symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is often caused by overuse, age, excess weight or genetics, or by a combination of these factors.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a disease of the immune system that affects the joints, which can make it harder to diagnose because early symptoms-fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and low-grade fever-can mimic other chronic conditions.
Stiffness and pain may or may not accompany the initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, joints eventually become inflamed and swollen. Although less common that osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 2 million Americans.
Covering Up the Signs
Treating arthritis can involve the use of both conventional and non-conventional therapies.
"In osteoarthritis specifically, conventional medicine has just been focused on covering up the symptoms," says Jason Theodosakis, MD, author of The Arthritis Cure (St. Martin's Press). "In the history of medicine, this approach has been considered primitive."
But Dr. Theodosakis points out that treatment often depends on the type of arthritis involved: "Rheumatoid arthritis patients should be taking prescription drugs that are known to prevent the disease from progressing. [Use] alternative medicine as an adjunct..."
Conventional therapies often involve the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. The chief drawback of NSAIDs is the toll these treatments extort from the gastrointestinal system.
In fact, a 2002 study conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida, Tampa, found that more than 15% of patients developed digestive problems after a five-week course of ibuprofen. In addition, ibuprofen may increase blood pressure.
Newer prescription NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors, which work by suppressing the body's inflammatory response, also carry risks of side effects ranging from diarrhea and fluid retention to liver damage and kidney problems. In addition, people with asthma or chronic allergies (including to aspirin) should not take these medicines.
Corticosteroids-another treatment option that has been used to lessen inflammation-can cause side effects such as increased appetite, mood changes and even immune system breakdown.
A growing body of evidence shows that nutrients such as glucosamine and MSM, coupled with lifestyle changes, can help decrease or eliminate some of the aches and pains of arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural chemical that helps build joints. When the cartilage in joints deteriorates due to age or other factors, studies indicate that glucosamine provides the necessary building blocks for rebuilding and repairing this tissue.
In one investigation (Archives of Internal Medicine 2002; 162:2113-23), scientists discovered that glucosamine slowed the progression of osteoarthritis and improved symptoms for over 200 patients. Another study, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, demonstrated that a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin holds promise for conditions such as spinal disc degeneration.
To date, several studies have confirmed glucosamine's ability to help the symptoms of arthritis, and the National Institutes of Health is currently supporting research to further study the benefits of glucosamine.
Other Joint Aids
MSM is often an adjunct therapy as it does not work directly on joints, but provides the raw materials, in this case sulfur, to help rebuild cartilage in the joint matrix. Studies indicate that sulfur has a protective effect and may interact with magnesium, an essential bone nutrient.
Traditionally, the herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has been used to supply silica, a mineral component of nails, bones and joints. Its support of these structures can help in the fight against arthritis.
As the body ages, it may lose much of its silica reserves. Resupplying much of this mineral may help support joints. In addition, experts believe, silica can help the body use calcium more effectively and support bone health.
Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic affliction, you should work with a trained health professional in treating it. Complementary care practitioners often use antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, to reduce free radical damage, along with pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to lessen morning stiffness.
A Joint Project
According to Dr. Theodosakis, exercise is the key to dealing with arthritis: "[Start with] an individualized exercise program that strengthens the joints without causing more damage...and an eating program to control your weight if you are currently overweight." To limit the effects of arthritis, you should quit smoking, since smoking generates free radicals that can harm the tissues which make up joints. In addition, a strict vegan diet may help alleviate some of the pains of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Theodosakis also recommends looking for hidden causes of symptoms, such as food allergies, that may contribute to arthritis.
Heat helps ease arthritis pain and encourages both blood flow and tissue repair. A plain, old-fashioned hot water bottle works quite well. Or you can use one of the newer heat-generating wraps, which are thin enough to be worn under clothing and don't have to be constantly reheated.
You can't always avoid arthritis, especially as you get older. But you don't have to let it get the better of you.
R-Lipoic Acid - Fulfilling the Potential of Lipoic Acid
June 04, 2005 02:23 PM
Lipoic acid may be the body’s most versatile nutrient. Its critical importance for health is scientifically documented. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it supports healthy sugar metabolism and liver function, and is integral to energy generation, which affects all biological functions. But few know that the commonly available form, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), is not the same compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. ALA is a 50/50 combination of natural form r-lipoic and synthetic s-lipoic acid—and the synthetic form may actually block the activity of r-lipoic acid, resulting in a weaker product. Because it is the natural form, r-lipoic acid is better absorbed and safely metabolized. And it is up to 10 times more effective at producing cellular energy, according to in vitro research, and may be a more potent antioxidant. Source Naturals, the science company, is proud to be one of the first to offer this breakthrough nutrient: R-LIPOIC ACID
R-Lipoic Acid: Key to Cellular Energy Generation
Plants capture solar energy in their carbohydrates. In a reverse process called oxidation, animals extract that energy. R-LIPOIC ACID is a vital link in the metabolic pathway that gives us the power to move and the energy of intelligence. R-LIPOIC ACID is synthesized in the mitochondria, the tiny power plants inside every cell that produce energy in the form of ATP. It is safely metabolized and up to 10 times more effective than other forms of lipoic acid in mitochondrial ATP production, according to an in vitro study.
Supports Glucose Metabolism
Human and animal studies show that R-LIPOIC ACID can increase glucose uptake by muscle and nerve cells. By enhancing sugar metabolism, R-LIPOIC ACID may protect cells from glycation. In this detrimental process, excess glucose reacts with proteins to create tough crosslinked bonds that damage vital proteins, including the myelin sheath of neurons and the lens of the eye. Scientists believe glycation is a major source of tissue degradation and cellular aging. Collagen, another important protein, is also subject to crosslinking, which inhibits the flexibility of blood vessel walls—one of the most important indicators of cardiovascular health.
Increases Antioxidant Protection
R-LIPOIC ACID also neutralizes the harmful byproducts of glucose metabolism, free radicals. The body synthesizes barely enough R-LIPOIC ACID for its metabolic needs, and this decreases with age. As mitochondrial energy production becomes less efficient, more free radicals are generated. R-LIPOIC ACID protects cells, particularly in the mitochondria, where most oxygen damage occurs. R-LIPOIC ACID is a leading component of the body’s antioxidant network. Unlike other antioxidants, it is water and fat-soluble, so it neutralizes a greater number and broader range of free radicals, providing more protection. In animal studies, R-LIPOIC ACID slowed the aging process, which may be the result of cumulative oxidative damage. Lipoic acid, known as the “universal antioxidant,” is a strong antioxidant in its own right, but it also directly recycles vitamin C and indirectly recycles vitamin E for continued use. And R-LIPOIC ACID is more efficient than other forms of lipoic acid at increasing levels of the key antioxidants, CoQ10 and glutathione. Commercial alpha-lipoic acid is 50% synthetic s-lipoic acid, which can interfere with natural form R-LIPOIC ACID when both forms compete for binding sites. Tests showed 40% better absorption by R-LIPOIC ACID, as measured by plasma concentration levels.
Integral to Your Wellness Program
Because it is central to such critical functions as energy generation, antioxidant protection, anti-glycation activity, and liver support, R-LIPOIC ACID belongs at the center of your wellness program. Source Naturals is happy to join forces with your natural foods retailer in bringing you this advanced nutrient.
Mental Edge - Support proper Brain Function...
June 03, 2005 06:07 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MENTAL EDGE® is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that supports the interdependent body systems involved with healthy brain function. These include neurotransmitter production, myelin sheath generation, stress response, energy metabolism, and antioxidant defense.
Mental Edge®: A Bio-Aligned Formula™
Many scientists believe that only a small portion of the brain is fully utilized. MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. This comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula optimizes brain function by addressing the multiple body systems involved with cognitive health.
Neurons (nerve cells) communicate with each other when neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) cross a small gap called a synapse to convey a message from one neuron to the next. Second messengers help transmit the message from the membrane of a receiving neuron to its inner environment. MENTAL EDGE supports neurotransmitter production with L-glutamine, L-phenylalanine, L-pyroglutamic acid, taurine, L-tyrosine, manganese, vitamins B-1 and B-6, and inositol.
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters. It is vital for memory and muscle movement. The ingredients DMAE, phosphatidylcholine, L-pyroglutamic acid, vitamin B-5 and choline are precursors to acetylcholine. DMAE is particularly important because it crosses the protective blood-brain barrier more easily than the others. DMAE also enhances mental concentration.
Adaptogenic herbs help provide the brain with the support and energy it needs to deal with the physical and mental stresses of an ever-changing environment. MENTAL EDGE supports stress response with the botanicals gotu kola, schizandra, and Siberian ginseng, and with the nutrients taurine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B-5 and C, and inositol.
Just as every cell needs the proper nutrients to survive, so do neurons. The brain accounts for 2% of our body weight, yet uses 15% of our total energy supply. Adequate levels of energy-generating nutrients are vital to the high-powered functioning of this organ. MENTAL EDGE supports energy generation with ginkgo biloba, L-glutamine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
Myelin Sheath Generation
Myelin, composed of fat and protein, makes up the myelin sheath that forms a protective insulating covering around certain nerve fibers. Properly formed myelin increases nerve impulse conduction. MENTAL EDGE contains vitamins B-5 and B-12, which are needed for myelin sheath generation.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive
Health: A Strategy for WellnessSM Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a highfat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Long-term anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
Neurotransmitter Production: L-Glutamine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6, Inositol
Acetylcholine Production: DMAE, Phosphatidylcholine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5, Choline
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, Vitamin C
Stress Response Gotu Kola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, Taurine, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B-5 & C, Inositol
Energy Metabolism: Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, & B-12, Biotin, Folic Acid
Myelin Sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 and B-12
Mega Mind - re-align your body systems ...
June 03, 2005 05:24 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MEGAMIND™ is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that helps align multiple systems: neurotransmitter production, antioxidant defense, energy generation, circulation, and myelin sheath generation. Complementary Formulations Source Naturals can help keep your mind sharp and alert. Use MENTAL EDGE® Bio-Aligned Formula for foundational support, or MEGAMIND, when memory symptoms* are severe. HIGHER MINDTM is an additional Bio-Aligned choice. Take these formulas alone or as the core of a program that includes additional ingredients such as DHA (NEUROMINS®), GINKGO-24™, PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE, VINCAMINE, and VINPOCETINE.
In today’s complex world, we are bombarded with information. Our ability to process this massive input depends on how well we nourish the multiple body systems related to brain health. In addition, normal aging is associated with impairment of certain mental functions, according to the National Institute on Aging. The brain undergoes changes including functional decline in neurons important to learning, memory, planning, and other complex mental activities, as well as increased oxidative stress. In healthy people, these changes may result in varying degrees of age-related memory decline. Source Naturals can help, with a full line of cognitive support products.
Mental Edge®: Bio-Aligned Formula
MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. MENTAL EDGE supports production of neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, antioxidant defense, energy generation, stress response and myelin sheath generation. It features nutrients needed for production of neurotransmitters— chemical messengers in the brain’s communication system. One of the most important of these is acetylcholine, which is necessary for memory and muscle movement. MENTAL EDGE also contains antioxidants—vitamin C, ginkgo, DMAE, and zinc—to protect the neuron cell membranes where electrical signaling takes place. Adaptogenic herbs provide the brain with support and energy to deal with environmental stress. Energy-generating ingredients such as ginkgo and B-vitamins are vital to the high-powered functioning of your brain. Vitamins B-5 and B-12 are also important for formation of myelin, a substance that forms a protective insulating cover around certain nerve fibers and increases nerve impulse conduction.
MegaMind™: Bio-Aligned Formula When memory symptoms* are severe, you may need a formula with extraordinary cognitive support. MEGAMIND addresses many of the same body systems as MENTAL EDGE, but does so with megadoses of brain nutrients, such as L-pyroglutamic acid and vitamin B-1 for neurotransmitter production. It also adds bacopa and the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to support neurotransmitter production, and higher potency vitamin B-12 for myelin sheath generation. Like MENTAL EDGE, MEGAMIND supports energy generation and antioxidant defense. MEGAMIND augments basic support for the brain’s immense energy requirements with higher potency vitamin B-1, and with one of nutritional science’s most advanced, high-tech nutrients, alpha-lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, as are gotu kola and grape seed. MEGAMIND also supports circulation with ginkgo and gotu kola.
Mega Mind: Bio-Aligned Formula HIGHER MIND is another multi-system support formula, which features phosphatidyl serine, a structural component of nerve cell membranes, and the botanical vinpocetine. HIGHER MIND nourishes neurotransmitter production, cell membrane stability, energy generation, antioxidant defense and myelin sheath generation.
Neurotransmitter Production: Bacopa, GABA, L-Glutamine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6
Acetylcholine Production: Acetyl L-Carnitine, DMAE, Gotu Kola, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5
Myelin Sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 & B-12
Energy Metabolism: Acetyl L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6 & B-12, Biotin,Folic Acid
Circulation: Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Grape Seed, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Zinc, Vitamin C
Complementary Cognitive Support Products
For additional support, you can supplement Source Naturals Bio-Aligned formulas with these single ingredient products: ACETYL L-CARNITINE and DMAE are both important to the synthesis of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter associated with higher cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. DHA (NEUROMINS®) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a significant role in cerebral development, especially during fetal development and infancy. GINKGO is renowned for promoting blood flow to the brain. Source Naturals GINKGO-24™ is a standardized concentration of Ginkgo biloba leaves, yielding 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpenes (the key constituents). PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE is necessary for the health of nerve cell membranes, where electrical signaling takes place. These membranes are critical to information processing. VINCAMINE, an alkaloid obtained from the periwinkle plant, supports cerebral metabolism by promoting blood flow and oxygen and glucose utilization. VINPOCETINE is a derivative of vincamine, shown in research studies to improve cognitive performance and alleviate the short-term memory loss that may accompany stress or aging.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive Health: A Strategy for Wellness SM
Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a high-fat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Longterm anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities, through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
May 31, 2005 04:39 PM
Acetyl-L-carnitine is truly a mind-body nutrient. It helps synthesize acetylcholine, the brain's principal neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. And it is a more bioavailable form of L-carnitine, an amino acid derivative that performs the vital function of transporting longchain fatty acids into the cellular mitochondria where they are oxidized to generate metabolic energy. Supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine supports the activity of brain cells that depend on acetylcholine. It can also reduce the metabolic waste products that damage cells over time. As one of the most important nutrients to help slow the aging process, acetyl-L-carnitine is at the heart of Source Naturals' commitment to empower people to take charge of their own health.
Acetylcholine is the brain's principal neurochemical of thought. Neurons need it to communicate with each other, especially to create and recall memories. Acetylcholine is also involved in muscular coordination. At neuromuscular junctions throughout the body, it tells muscles when to contract. But the efficiency of cells that use acetylcholine naturally declines with age, partly because of decreased activity of the enzyme that synthesizes this neurotransmitter.
Acetylcholine is created when the enzyme choline acetyl transferase (CAT) attaches an acetyl group to a choline molecule. CAT activity is heightened by acetyl-L-carnitine, which donates its acetyl group. Acetyl-L-carnitine is made in small amounts naturally in the body, but its production begins to decline in midlife. In well-controlled human studies, supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine slowed the progress of mental decline by notably improving attention and memory. When supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine was combined with lipoic acid (a powerful natural antioxidant), significant improvement in memory was seen in animals. Researchers said that together the two chemicals "tune up" the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles that power all cells. Mitochondrial decay is believed to be the primary reason for age-related deterioration of cognitive function and energy levels.
Cellular Energy and Protection
As the active form of L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine efficiently transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecule. Animal studies suggest that supplemental acetyl L-carnitine has a positive effect on energy generation as well as on the structural integrity of aging mitochondria. By supporting fatty acid metabolism, acetyl L-carnitine also helps reduce lipofuscin, a metabolic waste product composed of damaged proteins and rancid fats. The brown "liver spots" on some elderly hands are composed of this aging pigment that gradually builds up in cells of the heart, liver, brain, and lens of the eye.
Ninety-five percent of the body's carnitine is found in muscle cells, especially in the heart where mitochondria comprise nearly 50% of a cell's volume. During prolonged exercise, muscles have a high demand for carnitine because fats can account for up to twothirds of the energy burned. L-carnitine supplements can increase exercise endurance and reduce fatigue. Acetyl L-carnitine is also a key nutrient in Source Naturals' legendary neuroceutical formulas MEGAMIND™ and HIGHER MIND™. And because acetyl L-carnitine also generates the basic energy that affects all biological and mental processes, this mind-body nutrient is one of the few nutritional compounds with such a broad range of action in maintaining youthful functioning. Source Naturals ACETYL L-CARNITINE is therefore an essential part of a smart strategy to live well, age well.
Carta A. and M. Calvani. Acetyl-L-carnitine: a drug able to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease? Ann NY Acad Sci 1991; 640: 228-232. Hagen T.M. et al. August 4, 1998. Acetyl-L-carnitine fed to old rats partially restores mitochondrial function and ambulatory activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95(16):9562-6. Liu J. et al. February 19, 2002. Age-associated mitochondrial oxidative decay: Improvement of carnitine acetyltransferase substrate-binding affinity and activity in brain by feeding old rats acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha-lipoic acid. PNAS 99(4):1876-81. Spagnoli A.U. et al. 1991. Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology. 41(11):1726-1732.