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Medicinal benefits of cinnamon
April 03, 2019 10:08 AM
Once thought to be sacred and rare, cinnamon is now a common house spice that is used in many dishes and desserts. This spice is commonly used for health. There are relatively few clinical studies that show this, but it is a common conception that there are many benefits to cinnamon consumption. The first is that cinnamon is an antioxidant and can help with improving memory. Cinnamon also can aid in the riddance of acne and other common skin issues. On top of this, cinnamon helps the skin look young and fresh. Finally, cinnamon can help lower blood sugar, specifically those who suffer from type II diabetes. To sum, if you want to stay healthy, young, and fresh, increase your cinnamon consumption!
"While there is only a handful of supported clinical evidence that validates the health benefits of cinnamon, there are a lot of small studies which suggest that using the spice offers some advantages."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-02-medicinal-benefits-of-cinnamon.html
Resveratrol improves the efficacy of paclitaxel in treating livercancer
October 12, 2018 03:52 PM
A recent study done to test the effectiveness of the natural cancer inhibitor paclitaxel with a plant-based polyphenol resveratrol showed to be effective. Supported by the Central South University, paclitaxel improved the human liver cancer cells resulting in limited amounts of cancer fighting substances. The resveratrol's that were given improved the cancer fighting opponents of the paclitaxel. Various tests were given that showed cell growth, cellular apoptosis, mRNA expression, and protein expression in cancer patients. Longer use of this resulted in decreased development in cell growth.
"A Chinese in vitro study tested the efficacy of the natural cancer inhibitor paclitaxel when taken alongside the plant-based polyphenol resveratrol."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-12-resveratrol-improves-the-efficacy-of-paclitaxel-treating-liver-cancer.html
Eating walnuts may help ward of several diseases: experts
November 12, 2017 03:59 PM
Walnuts are being examined by Indian researchers for their health benefits. Well known to have MUFAs and Omega-3 fatty acids, these nuts are heart healthy and can help lower triglycerides. Indian researchers are looking into the benefits of nuts to help with the rise of obesity on the subcontinent. As the wages have gone up in cities, so have the waistlines. By researching and hopefully introducing more healthy options to people's diets, they are hoping to have an impact on the subcontinent as a whole.
"Eating a diet rich in walnuts may help prevent several diseases prevalent in India such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer and diabetes, according to an international team of researchers."
Read more: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/eating-walnuts-may-help-ward-of-several-diseases-experts-4915514/
Is Fluoride Bad for You? It’s Not Just in the Water
October 19, 2017 10:14 AM
The benefits and risks of fluoride has been a subject of much contention since the 1960’s when it was added to the public water supply in the US and several other countries, though no studies have been shown to prove this fact. . According to the CDC, fluoride helps prevent cavities. Those against fluoride maintain that fluoride is dangerous, and can cause damaging effects to living organisms. This claim is supported by the fact that the type of fluoride in drinking water, sodium fluoride, was considered as industrial toxic waste.
"But when we look at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant."
Read more: https://draxe.com/is-fluoride-bad-for-you/
Foods That Fight Spring Allergies
July 07, 2017 05:14 AM
This medicin help people who suffer form allergys and most ingredients are found in common fruits and veggies. People who suffer from allergys can really be helped with this product. It's not really great for use in small children or any older adult over 50-65 but and should not be taken more then the recommended 5 days but, for anyone that needs some relief from allergys it would be great. There are many fruits and veggies that help as well and could reduce the affects of sinus allergys.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXSD8oWlBnQ&rel=0
"Even higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have made pollen more potent."
Zinc lozenges proven to greatly speed recovery from colds and flu by 300%
May 26, 2017 04:14 PM
According to a recent study, zinc acetate lozenges are an effective treatment for the common cold, causing significant increases in the speed of recovery in several trials. Other unrelated research has supported this conclusion, acknowledging zinc's effectiveness in relieving congestion and muscle pain, among other symptoms. The original study, done by experts from the University of Helsinki, concluded that it would be recommendable to take zinc acetate supplements as a means of treatment for the common cold.
"Zinc acetate lozenges were found to effectively accelerate recovery from common colds, according to a recent analysis published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-22-zinc-lozenges-proven-to-greatly-speed-recovery-from-colds-and-flu-by-300.html
Members of Congress and Senate in Support of the New CBD Bill
May 13, 2017 06:44 PM
A website for marijuana advocates has issued a story about a new bill working through Congress. This bill would exempt Cannabidiol, or CBD, from being categorized as a controlled substance. CBD has been found to be useful for a form of epilepsy called intractable. Intractable epilepsy does not respond well to conventional medications. Several Republicans have publicly supported this exemption, A YouTube video is included. The video has the support of the Epilepsy Foundation. There were four comments.
Read more: Members of Congress and Senate in Support of the New CBD Bill
Can turmeric really shrink tumours, reduce pain and kill bacteria?
May 09, 2017 08:44 AM
According to Gunveen Kaur, the food turmeric is a miracle substance. This yellow-colored spice, widely used in India and South East Asia, supposedly contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer properties. Additionally, this substance encourages the death of cells that are dangerous or no longer needed in the human body. According to Kaur, systemized studies have supported these assertions to certain extents. While these findings are quite promising, more work needs to be done to validate and study how much of an impact this miracle food has on the health of others.
"Although curcumin is showing some encouraging effects in reducing markers of inflammation in humans, the majority of the pharmacological effects of curcumin are in lab studies or animal experiments."
Read more: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-turmeric-tumours-pain-bacteria.html
Cannabidiol Oil Producers Praise New Marijuana Definition
April 24, 2017 03:44 PM
The State of Oklahoma has a new definition for marijuana and it now includes cannabidiol. The new classification made by the Governor is a move greatly supported by the medical companies producing cannabidiol or medical marijuana oil. One of the companies in Oklahoma City has been producing cannabidiol with no THC, the ingredient that leads to a high. Company official believe their product could become used nationwide. Lawmakers made the change in the classification after seeing the important medical benefits in a young patient.
"I think it puts Oklahoma on a map for a viable source for pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products"
Read more: http://www.news9.com/story/35182039/cannabidiol-oil-producers-praise-new-marijuana-definition
Cracking the coconut oil craze
April 20, 2017 08:44 AM
Despite a high saturated fat levels, coconut oil is celebrated as having a variety of health benefits. But those benefits may not be supported by science.
Studies have shown that coconut oil does not lower the risk of heart disease relative to other oils. Populations that traditionally consume large amounts of coconut oil also have diets rich in fish and vegetables, so their diets cannot really be compared to standard American eating habits. Small quantities of antioxidants in some coconut oils may lessen inflammation related to heart disease, but this has not been demonstrated in humans.
While there is little evidence for coconut oil's health claims, there is plenty of science to show that diets rich in unsaturated fat, such is olive oil, do help prevent heart disease.
"If you want to lower your risk of heart disease, coconut oil is not a good choice."
Read more: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cracking-the-coconut-oil-craze-2017041011513
CBD bill appears headed for passage
March 08, 2017 05:59 PM
My Racine County reports that the State Assembly Bill 49 will soon be coming to vote. Passage of this bill will permit the use of CBD oils for medical applications. Supporters of the bill in the state legislature have built a version that will likely be successful. It now appears that the bill will be passed, in which case it would be ready for the governor to sign. The families who have supported the bill in order to help minors with seizures and other disorders are hopeful about what this will mean for those that are sick and can benefit from use of the oil.
Read more: CBD bill appears headed for passage
7 Reasons You Need CBD Oil in Your Kitchen (and Medicine Cabinet)
February 17, 2017 10:59 AM
With marijuana now legal in 26 states and the District of Columbia, the cry for more research on cannabis oil has spread. Many are pushing for the use of cannabis oil, which is a potent form of the plant, to treat cancer and seizures. Though the use of the oil to treat symptoms of diseases is not currently supported by the FDA, some cases have shown success in relieving pain, preventing seizures, and slowing down cancer tumors. It’s important to get use a trustworthy source and start with small doses until you know how you will react.
"Nausea is one of the most common reasons people turn to medical marijuana; synthetic THC has been administered to battle nausea in the UK since the early 80s, and many cancer patients choose to smoke marijuana to battle the effects of chemotherapy treatments."
7 Surprising Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar| Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits For Skin and Hairs
February 12, 2017 10:19 AM
For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems. The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is claimed to lead to all sorts of benefits, some of which are supported by science.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFZbUdTYuI
"Apple Cider Vinegar is one of natures most powerful ingredients that offer health as well as beauty benefits."
Vitamin D and folic acid can help deal with depression
January 08, 2017 12:59 PM
Vitamin D and folic acid are two natural chemicals that affect neurotransmitter function, and low levels of either can contribute to depression. Vitamin D is normally produced by the skin when hit by sunlight, so can run short during the winter. Low iron levels can also affect brain function by limiting the blood's ability to supply the brain with oxygen. Fortunately, levels of all these substances can be boosted through nutrient-rich foods.
"Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. In regions where sunshine is limited in winter, more people tend to suffer from depression."
Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies
December 11, 2016 10:59 AM
The common cold is an infection of your nose and throat caused by viruses. We typically catch between two and four colds a year. There is some evidence suggesting that people with higher levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of catching the common cold. Astragalus root has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen immunity and prevent colds and flu. Studies have found that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, although there have been no clinical trials examining the effectiveness of astragalus against colds in humans.
"For instance, elderberries have been used as medicine since the Stone Age, according to Melanie Grimes, scholar, academic, author and homeopathic expert."
Did You Know That Folic Acid Can Help Prevent Birth Defects
There is continuing good press for folic acid in several aspects of human health, but the foremost health issue it addresses is a human reproduction. The popular belief that folic acid removes serious birth defects is supported by incontrovertible scientific facts. If a woman plans on getting pregnant, eating foods rich in folic acid is among other things that have to take priority.
Folate is an indispensable component of life in that it is directly connected to DNA and RNA processes, most notably in inhibiting changes to DNA. Folate deficiency results in the limited production of cells such as erythrocytes, also called red blood cells, bringing about abnormalities of cells in the body.
The fact that folate sustains the enhanced rate of cell division promotes the correct developments of body tissues and organs during pregnancy, significantly reducing the number of reported congenital malformations. Folate stabilizes DNA synthesis in red blood cells, hence the prevalent opinion that it is a must-have prior to conception. The employment of red blood cells is important to the first half of pregnancy as this time covers the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord in the fetal development, leading to a drop in folate levels before and during this stage.
If you are planning or currently pregnant, supplementing folic acid is a must, consider taking a prenatal multiple vitamin that has folic acid added!
Do You Problems With Bladder Infections? Try CranActin and Feel The Difference
January 07, 2013 02:53 PM
A bladder infection (usually called cystitis) is one of the most common disease in the world. This disease is commonly found in women because their urinary anatomy systems are more susceptible than men to the infections. In normal conditions, the bladder is free from the bacteria and any other organisms that can cause some infections.
When bacteria come to the bladder, they enter through the end of the urinary tract or the bloodstream. Untreated urinary tract infection is able to cause more serious kidney infections. That is the reason why you should treat this infection as soon as possible.
Try to pay attention to the symptoms of bladder infections, such as burning or painful sensation during urination, cloudy urine, and frequent need to urinate. When you have those symptoms, try to visit your doctors. They will tell you what you should do to reduce the negative effects of bladder infection. Some doctors will give you some medicines to treat the bladder infections.
However, medicines are not good for your health because they contain a lot of chemical ingredients. Try to use natural treatments or supplements in order to treat bladder infections.
Cranberry for treating bladder infections
Cranberry is one of the most effective way to treat bladder infections naturally. This product is able to prevent the growth of bacteria, such as E. coli, in the urinary tract systems. It contains active compounds that are able to prevent the ability of E. coli to multiply and infect the bladder systems.
In some cases, cranberry is able to kill the negative bacteria growing in the digestive system. This product is also proven to be very effective to improve the urination. Increased urination is good to flush out the bacteria from the urinary tract systems. That is the reason why cranberry is commonly used to treat people with the bladder infections.
People usually consume cranberry by blending it together with water and sweeteners to make cranberry juice.
Another way to consume cranberry is by taking some dried cranberry in a pill. Some manufacturers produce dried cranberry pills for the consumers so they can consume the cranberry easily. However, most of the dried cranberries lose the active compounds because of the production process itself. If you are looking for a better solution for this, you should try to get the Cranactin.
CranActin is one of the best products from Solaray. It contains high quality of cranberry extract that you can use to treat the bladder infections. The unique thing about the CranActin is that this product is the first cranberry supplement that has been tested and guaranteed to contain cranberry's special antibiotic activity. This supplement is supported by many clinical research. Many doctors also recommend this product because it is good for your health, especially for the urinary tract system.
There are many ways to get CranActin. The easiest way to get this supplement is through the internet. There are many online stores selling this CranActin in the internet. What you need to do is just visiting their sites and order the supplements. Try to read the instructions first before consuming this supplement.
Apple Cider Vinegar
November 20, 2012 12:49 AM
Apple Cinder Vinegar commonly known as ACV is one type of vinegar products that is made from quality apple fruit and cider products. But some may ask, how can I make it? Well, this can be done at home by anyone suppose they have the necessary knowledge.
How is it Made?
The preparation involves complete crushing of apples and extracting the liquid inside.Then, ferment the liquid by the addition of yeast and bacteria which stimulate the ideal alcoholic fermentation. This leads to the transition of sugars to alcohol and the final step involves fermenting the alcohol into vinegar by the help of acetic acid bacteria. Before delving into the benefits carried along the usage of acetic acid, it is equally important we know the chemical composition of the solution which is the main component of the product. Primarily, the active constituents components found in ACV are malic acid, pectin and acetic acid. However, acetic acid has proven to be a topic worth discussion.
How Does Acetic Acid from Apple Cider Vinegar Help Improve Your Health?
1. Pearl White Teeth
The acetic acid, due to its acidic nature, is ideal when it comes to killing bacteria, removing stains, whitening and hence strengthening the teeth.However, so as to achieve this fulfilling yet equally rewarding merit, you have to gargle the apple cider vinegar every morning and brush the teeth thoroughly with a regular paste or alternatively, salt.Your teeth will ultimately be a specter to behold.
2. Exhaustion Removal
The build up of lactic acid in our bodies is due to the severe exercises and stress we go through. This causes fatigue making us feel frustratingly uncomfortable.However, if you apply apple cider vinegar; the case will never be the same again. This is because it contains amino acids that fight the fatigue as well as enzymes and potassium that relieve exhaustion.
3. Prevent Indigestion Problems
You can try the folk methodology of sipping a glass full of apple cider that is rich in acetic before consuming delicacies that will make you regret after a few hours. This can be done by mixing one tea spoonful of honey or sugar (to neutralize acidity) and another one of apple cider and pour in one glass of warm water. Take a few gallops after stirring and you're safe to dine.
4. Troubles with Tummy
Thanks to acetic acid's antibiotic properties as they can satisfyingly contain any problems associated with your tummy. Any bacterial infection in form of diarrhea will be squarely dealt with by only a few sips of vinegar water. This is because the presence of acetic acid in ACV helps sooth spasms entailed in the intestinal region.
5. A Stuffy Nose and Occasional Hiccups
A study carried out proved that the application of acetic acid could highly lead to reduction in the drainage of sinus which is characterized by a stuffy nose. Additionally, it showed that the same treatment could be used for occasional hiccups only if a tea spoonful of it was used. Although a number of scientific facts are not supported by the theory, the primary compound of Apple Cider Vinegar which is acetic can be an expectorant in helping address the problem of phlegm and mucus. However, it is important to note that it will not prevent the root of sinus and phlegm build up. You can now enjoy all the health conveniences with exclusive ACV.
How Potassium Iodide Helps Under Active Thyroid
June 18, 2012 08:19 AM
Potassium iodide is actually an inorganic compound. Also known as KI, its chemical formula, it became the most commercially important iodide compound and was produced around 37,000 tons in 1985. Compared to sodium iodide, KI is less hygroscopic, meaning that it less readily absorbs water. It becomes a precursor to Agl (silver iodide), a useful chemical used in photography. As a medical treatment, it comes in the form of tablet or liquid. In the liquid form, KI is known as SSKI or Thyroshield which is commonly used as preparation the thyroid gland before surgery. In the form of tablet, it is known as thyrosafe or losat and is used to protect thyroid glands from radiation.
Used as disinfectant, KI becomes an antiseptic, like in Betadine. Iodine in Betadine is a common topical disinfectant which is utilized in the hospital operating rooms. It functions to sterilize the skin which will be operated. As water purification, potassium iodide is used to purify water during the emergency situation. Due to the antimicrobial properties, KI will eliminate the illness-causing microorganisms. For the time being, KI is also medical treatments.
As medical treatments, KI can be used to help thyroid deficiency. It refers to as hypothyroidism. The thyroid problems are fast becoming. They can cause hair loss, rapid weight gain, anxiety, depression and ongoing fatigue. These problems are usually associated with under active iodine. Hypothyroidism also makes someone older than healthy individual. Even though the only difference from the normal people is only two degrees, this can cause various effects of our body with different symptoms.
The importance of having sufficient iodine is also supported by Michael Tierra in Planet Herbology. She asserts that underactive iodine is major cause to ovarian and breast cancers. Even mild imbalance level of iodine can make the other hormones like progesterone, estrogen and androgen imbalanced.
Potassium iodide has been medically proven to effectively treat patients with under active thyroids. As Schachter Center for the Complementary Medicine reported, it has been used to treat people with chronic Hashimoto's disease or known as thyroiditis.
In terms of under active thyroid or hypothyroidism, potassium iodide can raise up the production of hormones in the thyroid glands. In order to know how KI works to treat iodine deficiency, we can see from the people with these conditions. Commonly, they have weight gain. Even if they have done workouts, the weight will not reduce. Whereas, sufficient iodine is very important to maintain metabolism and prevents the body fat accumulation, as Burton Goldberg writes in Alternative Medicine. That is why KI is required. KI will increase the iodine level so the thyroid will function as normal and the metabolism will also return in usual state.
Therefore, if you have this kind of thyroid problem, then you have to visit your doctor or medical professional. Alternatively, if you have a overweight problem but never do enough exercise, you should not potassium iodide as supplement to lose your weight. KI is not a weight loss supplement, after all. KI has only to be used when you surely have under active thyroid. That will work for this problem.
What Is A Good Bladder Support Supplement For Women?
March 31, 2012 09:13 PM
The bladder is a muscle held and supported by the pelvic muscles. It's an organ shaped like a balloon. Its function is to act as a collection area for urine produced in the kidneys. It does this before excretion of the urine from the body, that is, urination.
Bladder infections are common to both women and men. A bladder infection results from the growth of bacteria along the urinary tract. The fact that it is a bacterial infection means that it is easy to cure and control. It is important however, for an individual to be aware of the symptoms of bladder infections. Common bladder infection symptoms are but not limited to: Nausea and vomiting, Painful urination and cloudy or bloody urine, Fever and chills, Lower back pain, Increased frequency of urination and an urge to urinate even when one has a small amount of urine or there is no urine at all.
Medication such as antibiotics are commonly used in treatment of bladder infections. However, herbal and natural supplements are readily available in treating bladder infections by relieving a patient of the symptoms experienced.
Taking bladder supplements helps in relieving symptoms and at the same time it helps in preventing re-occurrence of the bladder infections in the long term. These supplements may include Green Tea, Dandelion, Vitamin C & A, Cranberry and Colloidal Silver. Supplements are much more preferred rather than medication such as antibiotics because of the side effects experienced.Thus supplements are preferred to antibiotics in bladder support.
D-Mannose bladder supplement is water-soluble. When taken, rather than the bacteria binding itself on the wall of the bladder, it binds itself on the D-Mannose. It is the removed from the body during urination. Its action in the body does not involve killing the bacteria as most antibiotics treatment does. Antibiotic treatments result to yeast infections.
It is advantageous since its absorption and excretion is rapid from the kidneys. It is not limited to a specific age group or sex and it is safe to use during pregnancy. Research however has found out that it interferes with fertilization when taken while trying to conceive.
Cranberry bladder supplement is also a preferred supplement. It has the ability to prevent bacteria in the bladder from attaching itself to the bladder wall. The acidity in the berries also has the ability to create a non-conducive environment for bacteria growth. This leads to excretion of the bacteria together with the urine.
There are other ways of preventing bladder infections. For women, a recommendation is to wipe your genital from front to back in order to keep bacteria away from the urethra and the vagina. Prevention of bladder infection may involve the preference of showers rather than baths.
Before starting on any bladder support supplement, it is vital to consult a physician. This ensures one's moves as one method of treatment may not necessarily work for another. Bladder infections pose a threat to kidney infections when left untreated promptly and this can lead to more complications and problems earlier not anticipated.
Your Diet May Be What's Causing Your Acne
September 19, 2011 06:05 PM
Although dieticians and physicians maintain that diet does not cause acne, this is not strictly true. Even dermatologists argue the point, but while it is generally agreed that eating fatty foods or excessive quantities of chocolate will not in itself lead to acne, there are certain valid arguments that diet has a role to play. Recent research has shed new light on dietary factors that can help to promote acne symptoms, if not being the sole cause of them.
Before discussing that, it is important to understand why acne gives rise to the symptoms that it does: lesions in the form of whiteheads and blackheads, pustules and cysts. While not necessary to discuss the biochemical details, the part that your diet has to play will not be understood without considering the effect of hormones on acne.
The reason that teenagers in particular appear to be more prone to acne is that an increased production of hormones has an effect on the condition that causes the symptoms of acne. Fundamentally, acne is characterized by the infection and inflammation of a mass of oil and dead skin cells within the pores of the skin, particularly on the face, neck, chest buttocks and back. If we discuss each of these elements first, and how they are created, then the relationship between diet and acne will become clear.
At a certain time in their lives, people experience a spurt of growth and develop sexually. This is initiated by the secretion of hormones, particularly of male sex hormones collectively known as androgens, and by various hormonal 'Growth Factors'. This stage of human development is known as puberty, although there is also an increase in androgen secretion by the adrenal glands just before menstruation and during pregnancy and menopause. Androgens such as testosterone are reserved not only for the male of the species!
An effect of androgens is to increase the rate of secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands in the skin. The reason for this is unknown, though it has been hypothesized that its purpose is to waterproof the additional hair that is grown on the body at this time. Another suggested reason is as an olfactory warning to others to deter from sexual activity, in teenagers until their sexual development is complete, and in pre-menstrual, pregnant and menopausal women for obvious reasons. There is no substantial proof for any of these hypotheses, though the latter appears to make more sense than the former.
Irrespective of this, androgens also interfere with desquamation, and the dead skin cells within the pores tend to fall off irregularly and in clumps. This mix of dead skin cells and excess sebum clogs up the pores of the sebaceous follicles. Once this plug becomes infected with bacteria, the immune system is activated, inflammation occurs, and leukocyte action leads to pus formation. That is what is known as acne.
In order to determine how diet and acne are connected, it would be necessary to determine what components of our diet can either stimulate sebum production, or stimulate androgen secretion. If no such link could be found, then it would be fair to descry any connection between acne and the food you eat. However, there is a connection, and it is a positive one.
In addition to their main function, insulin and a hormone known as IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 that helps promote growth in children) promote the secretion of testosterone, a male hormone or androgen. Knowing, as we now do, that androgens promote the secretion of sebum, then anything that increases the levels of insulin or IGF-1 within the body will also lead to sebum production and hence to acne. What that infers is that any foodstuffs that increase the insulin levels in the blood can also lead to acne.
This inference is supported in many ways. For example, it has been found that while drinking milk promotes a greater risk of acne, eating yoghurt does not. Why is this? It is known that milk can increase insulin levels because of its high sugar content. The effect of bacterial activity to produce yoghurt reduces the amount of sugars in the milk it is made from because the bacteria live on the lactose. The same argument applies to cheese, which promotes lower insulin levels than milk, if not as low as yoghurt.
This being the case, then a diet low in sugars and carbohydrates should reduce the incidence of acne generally. Recent research has indicated that a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar increases both IGF-1 and insulin levels in the blood. This then creates a surge in male hormones which in turn leads to excessive sebum secretion and intermittent shedding of skin cells and so on to the growth of bacteria and acne. It is a logical progression, supported both by theory and by observation.
So how should a person with a propensity for acne change their diet? Switch to fruits, vegetables and grains. Non-fatty meats are also acceptable, and .lots of fish and other seafood. Studies have concluded that diets rich in seafood lead to very low acne rates. The Japanese and coastal Chinese suffer very little acne in comparison with those taking a Western diet, particularly an American diet.
One of the reasons for this is that omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce both inflammation and sebum production. The same is true of green tea that contains antioxidants that reduce the blood levels of dihydotetosterone and hence of sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands. We could go on, and list supplement after supplement that contain antioxidants and other substances that can reduce the production of sebum and hence of the symptoms of acne.
Vegetable oils, on the other hand, with their high omega-6 fatty acid content, can drive up sebum production and the activity of the immune system and the inflammatory response. There are few doubts left that, while acne is not specifically caused by what you eat, diet can contribute to it and that acne and its severity can be eased by eating a diet low in carbohydrates and other sugar-promoting foods.
How Does Grapefruit Seed Extract Help Fight Candida Yeast Infections?
August 08, 2011 06:51 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is processed from the seeds, pulp, and vesicles of the sour citrus fruit known as grapefruit. Nutrition experts have attributed several medicinal properties to the plant. In addition, practitioners of herbal medicine make use of the seeds and membranes of the fruit in health tonics. It has long been linked to the treatment of earache, sore throat, digestive problems, and yeast infections.
Citrus x paradisi is a hybrid species of pomelo and orange. Its fruits are much larger than oranges but smaller than pomelos, growing up to 15 centimeters in diameter on average. It is widely known as a naturally occurring hybrid, like sweet orange. The juice of popular varieties of the fruit comes in colors red and pink in respect to its ripeness. Some cultivars are sweet, but most are sour at the same time.
Many organic compounds isolated from grapefruit have long been observed to show pharmacological activity. For one, consumptions of the fruit itself have been reported to interact with numerous drugs. It either enhances the potency of drugs or inhibits their pharmacological activities. Researchers have enumerated a long list of drugs whose bioavailability increase in the presence of grapefruit extracts.
Proponents of grapefruit seed extract believe that it possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. They began promoting its medicinal uses at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, physicians took note of the many benefits tied to grapefruit in the earlier century. Furthermore, they produced the first extracts from the seeds and white membranes of the fruit mixed with glycerin.
Grapefruit seed extract is an all natural remedy for Candidiasis. As its name suggests, Candida yeast infections are caused by different species of fungi that belong to the genus Candida. These fungi are part of the normal flora of the human body that comprises bacteria and other microorganism. While they are not harmful in general, they are capable of producing harm and spurring inflammation.
Oral thrush is one form of Candidiasis that infects mucus membranes located in the mouth cavity. Populations of yeast build up in the surface of the mouth and bring on inflammatory responses. The infection often appears as cream-colored deposits or slightly raised red patches. Candidiasis of the skin, sex organs, and other parts of the body look similar as they are all inflammatory in nature.
The effectiveness of grapefruit seed extract in the treatment of Candidiasis yeast infections has been compared to conventional medications. Its use is supported by anecdotal evidence that is largely positive. While the results of studies are conflicting at best, researchers have compared the extract to benzethonium chloride, a chemical compound that displays strong antibacterial and antifungal activity.
Grapefruit seed extract is a viable remedy for Candidiasis yeast infections. In fact, it may be used as a therapeutic prophylactic for infections caused not only by fungi but also viruses and bacteria. Due to its putative effect, it is added as an active ingredient to many personal care products.
How Does Chromium Picolinate Work in the Body And Blood Sugar?
August 01, 2011 03:36 PM
Chromium, Blood Sugar, And More
Chromium picolinate is a form of trivalent chromium first developed to reverse chromium deficiency. It has been linked to many different health benefits over the past few decades. Inasmuch as chromium is an essential trace mineral required in minute quantities for the hormone activity of insulin, it is often marketed as a dietary supplement for the management of uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood.
Glucose tolerance is compromised in the absence of chromium in the human body for long periods of time, as is the case with chromium deficiency. Research has found out that chromium concentrations are decreased with high consumptions of simple sugars whereas regular intake of chromium has been noted to improve glucose tolerance. Also, several studies have supported its use for diabetes mellitus.
Improves Lipid Profile
It is a fact that trivalent chromium is necessary for the metabolism of lipids, which include fats, waxes, sterols, and fat-soluble vitamins. It has long been postulated that chromium picolinate has an effect on the lipids found in the blood, the reason why proponents suggest its use for the improvement of blood cholesterol and serum lipids. It allegedly lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Aids Energy Production
Chromium picolinate has been marketed to athletes for years in that it aids energy production. As a trace mineral, chromium is involved in the metabolism of glucose, which is the biological precursor of chemical energy for use of each individual cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate. It appears to modulate the uptake of sugar from the blood and elevate the production of energy in the process.
Induces Weight Loss
In addition to its putative effects on energy production, chromium picolinate has been reported to curb sugar and fat cravings. Indeed healthy levels of chromium effectively controls metabolism. Moreover, scientific literature has noted its role in the utilization of adipose tissue that leads to the burning of body fat. For these reasons, it has become increasingly popular as a supplement for weight loss.
Promotes Muscle Growth
There have been numerous reports that chromium picolinate promotes the growth of lean mass and skeletal muscles. In fact, it is one of the earliest supplements that remain in use by body builders today. Some sources say that it provides the muscles a steady supply of energy even during intense physical exertion and it accelerates the process of muscle recovery in between physical activities.
Enhances Mood Disorders
Chromium picolinate has shown potential as an alternative remedy for mood disorders. In particular, it has been investigated in a study that involved patients diagnosed with a chronic mood disorder called atypical depression or dysthymia. It has been observed that regular intake of chromium picolinate exerts a positive effect on the appetite of patients and enhances mood disorders at the same time.
Is Cod Liver Oil Good for My Health?
July 30, 2011 01:19 PM
Cod liver oil is a dietary supplement obtained from the liver of a group of fishes collectively known as cod. It is an all natural remedy for a diverse variety of disorders, and as such remains one of the most popular supplements to this day. Recent studies have confirmed many of its age-old health claims. It is now common knowledge that it aids joint health, treats skin conditions, and improves brain function.
Deactivates Pain Chemicals
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil makes it an excellent source of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These omega 3 fatty acids have long been identified by scientists as anti-inflammatory compounds. Numerous studies have documented that they exert an inhibitory effect on chemicals that sensitize tissues to pain, cause excessive inflammation, and bring on rheumatism.
Nourishes Joint Cartilage
Cod liver oil is a traditional treatment for joint pain characteristic of arthritis. In recent years, it has been noted as the leading therapeutic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Research has shown that it is capable of switching off enzymatic processes responsible for the destruction of cartilage tissue in arthritis. Also, its fatty acid content nourishes the proteins found in joint cartilage.
Protects Nervous Tissue
The myelin sheaths that insulate the axons of nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord require fatty acids to support their physiological functions. In particular, DHA is the principal fatty acid that nourishes nervous tissue. Cod liver oil has been utilized as an adjunct medication for multiple sclerosis in studies, and reports suggest its potential as a mainstay of treatment for other neurological disorders.
Enhances Brain Function
In addition to their known role in the upkeep of myelin sheaths, fatty acids are directly involved in the development of brain function. In fact, they are a major component of breast milk. For years, nutrition experts have suggested consumptions of cod liver oil to combat neurodegenerative disorders as well as enhance cognitive capacities as it contains high levels of compounds proven as effective nootropics.
Alleviates Skin Conditions
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil is particularly good for the skin. Apart from the fact that it counters inflammatory agents that cause hypersensitive skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, it also promotes tensile strength and maintains skin elasticity. Cod liver oil is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin, D, and vitamin E, all of which contribute to skin health.
Prevents Heart Disease
Cod liver oil maintains heart health and even reverses cardiovascular disorders. Medical professionals have supported this nutritional supplement as it has been clinically proven to cut the risk of heart disease. It alters the profile of lipids present in the blood and appears to reduce cholesterol. For decades, lower incidence of cardiovascular disorders has been tied to populations that consume high amounts of cod.
Liver Protection With Lipoic Acid and R-Lipoic Acid
May 05, 2011 03:42 PM
Early biochemistry studies pioneered by Linus Pauling associated R-Lipoic acid with orthomolecular medicine in that proponents argued that it biological roles provide protection against diseases. Succeeding research in the latter half of the 20th century supported its status as an essential nutrient, but more recent studies proved that all it is produced in vivo by almost all mammals, including human beings. In the past few years Lipoic acid has been strongly linked to glutathione as its supplementation appears to raise levels of endogenous glutathione.
Strengthens Antioxidant Defense
Lipoic acid is believed to raise the antioxidant capacity of the human body. Its biological roles benefits all cells, most notably hepatocytes, the cells that make up a significant fraction of the liver. For one, it affects productions of glutathione throughout the body. Glutathione is tripeptide that protects cells from the damage caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals. Furthermore, it is a major transport of toxins found in the systemic circulation, facilitating their excretion through the urine.
R-Lipoic acid has been observed to be the form of Lipoic acid that is capable of activating nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2-like 2, commonly abbreviated as NFE2L2, the protein that binds to DNA sequences responsible for regulating the antioxidant defense of the human body. Proponents believe that oral intake of R-Lipoic acid produces more visible results than its racemic counterparts.
Displays Higher Bioavailability
Research on Lipoic acid is one of the most advanced, starting in the 20th century and spanning over 5 decades. It is widely accepted that the forms available in the market are not bioequivalent. Most of the studies in the 1950’s utilize the enantiomer S-Lipoic acid and R/S-Lipoic acid race mixture because they were cheaper to produce. Recent developments in chiral chemistry have increasing allowed for large-scale productions of R-lipoic acid.
Many scientists today believe that R-Lipoic acid is superior to racemic forms. Its rate and extent in availability after oral administration has been noted to be far better, and thus its efficacy is expected to be more remarkable. It is postulated that its higher bioavailability allows it to effective fill the roles of endogenous lipoic acid, not to mention manage to influence the master regulator of antioxidants.
Shows Vitamin-like Properties
The popularity of R-Lipoic acid lies in vitamin-like properties. Researchers are particularly enthusiastic about its purported benefits on human health, though more studies are needed. It is one of the organic compounds needed for enzyme function just like vitamins, and supplementation is believed to produce preventative benefits against diseases. Its pervasive roles at the cellular level enable it to affect energy metabolism, leading to healthy weight loss.
How Do I Eliminate Parasites Naturally from the Colon?
April 11, 2011 09:36 PM
Intestinal parasites infect over 3 billion people worldwide. These worm-like organisms populate the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with the absorption of foods. In children they may slow the normal progress of physical growth and intellectual development. In adults they cause muscle weakness, vitamin deficiencies, and susceptibility to fatigue. People from all over the world may acquire parasites from contaminated water and infected soil. Deworming is an effective way to get rid of these parasites. Fortunately, there are many herbs reputed for their anthelmintic benefits.
Allium sativum, the popular spice known as garlic, is the best known anti-parasitic herb. Its wide distribution in every continent has enabled cultures from all over the world to take advantage of its medicinal uses. Garlic contains the organic compound allicin, which is the primary substance responsible for warding off worms and bugs that attack the plant. This is the same compound that destroys intestinal parasites, notably threadworms.
Juglans nigra, or black walnut, is recommended specifically for the removal of pathogenic microorganisms, yeast infections, and intestinal worms. It is a flowering tree that belongs to the hickory family, and anthelmintic extracts are derived from the juice of unripe walnuts. Its antifungal effects are very visible after topically applied to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. When taken orally, it has been noted to be particularly helpful against tapeworms.
Hydrastis canadensis, called orangeroot or goldenseal in the vernacular, is historically noted for its ability to ease anomalies of the alimentary canal. It is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which restores health to the damaged epithelial tissues of the intestinal walls and expels invasive microorganisms. In recent years it has been observed to act against the parasites E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and Plasmodium as well as the bacterium E. coli.
Artemisium absinthium, better known as wormwood, is an ingredient of traditional herbal preparation used for deworming in the Mediterranean region. The discovery of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant explained its bitter taste and supported its centuries-old use as a vermifuge. Recent studies point to its activities inside the human body that inhibit growth of the parasites Giardia, Plasmodium, A. lumbricoides, and S. mansoni and effectively expel them.
Seeds of pumpkin cultivars that belong to the species Cucurbita pepo have a long-standing association with the natural expulsion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin Seed oil has a milder effect than other herbs but guaranteed to be the safest of all anthelmintic herbal remedies. It is most effective against tapeworms and roundworms. For better results, it is consumed in large quantities with ample liquids, and often ground into a pulp beforehand.
Syzgium aromaticum, or Cloves, refers to the dried flowering buds of the plant commonly used as a spice. It is often linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and known for the treatment of digestive ailments. Its oil has been proven effective against infections induced by certain strains of bacteria and fungi. It contains sesquiterpenes that are believed to kill intestinal worms.
If you have worms, you can experience fatigue, malnutrition, and leaning development delays or mental foggyness. Taking an herbal remedy to help expel worms of any kind should be used with a yearly detox and cleans to maintain good health and wellness.
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Gooseberry And Your Health.
Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep purple in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.
Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:
Counters Visual Decline
Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.
Improves Hair Loss
The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.
Give Gooseberry A Try Today!
Why is It so Important to Give Your Child a Multiple Vitamin Mineral Supplement
March 11, 2011 11:42 AM
Giving a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement to your child is tantamount to protecting him or her from the unknown dangers of malnutrition. It is a fact that children are picky eaters. Besides, not all food that you put on the table provides all the nutrients that they need. Experts remain divided over the need to give children daily multivitamins, but it is a common belief that doing so is just the prudent choice to make as parents. Does it make any difference? Yes, it does. Research has pointed to the positive effects of vitamin supplementation, and it has been cited a lot of times that the bioavailability of these supplements is not bad at all. This means supplementation does contribute to the well-being of your child.
Ensures to Meet Nutrient Needs
It is not a myth that our diet does not contain all the nutrients that we need. More often than not we are not getting the daily value for all vitamins and minerals as most of us are not able to monitor our eating habits. Also, we don’t have control over how sources of these nutrients change as they undergo the process of heating foods and other cooking preparations. With children being so picky, it is not surprising that they are susceptible to malnutrition. On the other hand, supplementation has been supported by decades-old research to meet the nutrient needs of individuals, including children. If you decide on giving your child multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, do check the label to make sure it says it contains 100 per cent of the recommended dietary intake of all nutrients.
Affects Growth and Development
A number of nutritional supplements available today have been proven to be of utmost help to the reversal of many medical signs and alleviation of diseases. Some of them have been associated with having a positive effect on the chemical reactions within the human body, and multiple vitamins and mineral supplements belong to this category. There is an ever-growing body of literature devoted to the interactions of exogenous compounds within the human body. Research on multivitamins in particular is among the most advanced in pharmacology, with emphasis on how the body effectively digests and absorbs them. Since the availability of vitamins and minerals is important to the physical and mental development of children, modern-day technology focuses on their absorption.
Strengthens Immune Defenses
There is scientific consensus that micronutrients, even trace minerals, boost our immune system. In fact, in individuals who have compromised immune responses, high quantities of vitamins and minerals slow down the progression of opportunistic diseases, as is the case with children with HIV. Children who have strong immune system are known to have levels of micronutrients adequate to ward off common illnesses. The opposite is also true. Multiple vitamin and mineral supplements have long been used to combat the dire effects of malnutrition as deficiencies are almost always reversed with supplementation. That being said, prevention is always better than cure.
Ensure you are getting the daily vitamins and minerals you need to maintain good health with a quality multiple vitamin and mineral.
What is stopping you from taking a multiple today?
How Does the Herb Holy Basil Help with My Health?
March 10, 2011 02:04 PM
Holy Basil And Cholesterol, Inflammation, and more
Ocimum tenuiflorum, known as Holy Basil in the vernacular, is an herbal plant indigenous to South Asia, where it is called Tulsi. It is widely distributed across the subcontinent of India and surrounding countries and is primarily cultivated for its age-old medicinal benefits in addition to its religious significance to Vaishnavite practices of Hinduism. It has earned popularity as a health tonic over the centuries, and recent studies have supported its positive effects on human health. Today it is often associated with lowering cholesterol and glucose, acting as an antioxidant, and regulating inflammatory intermediaries.
Counteracts Stress Factors
The juice of holy basil has long been reputed to display adaptogenic properties. There have been countless accounts of its effectiveness in combating stress. In fact, the most compelling of all anecdotal evidence has something to do with its ability to create a feeling of wellness right after ingestion, the same tonic benefits attributed to ginseng. To date studies point to its homeostatic effects on the stress hormone cortisol, creating homeostatic effects on its metabolites and their interactions with compounds released in response to stress.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Holy basil has been observed to show antioxidant activities, and this is one of its mechanisms in allaying symptoms brought on by fatigue. Free radicals are released by the body to dispose of pathogens, but are in turn disposed of by endogenous antioxidants. Oxidative stress ensues when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to neutralize them. The polyphenols found in holy basil helps the body quench excesses of free radicals.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
There has been a growing body of literature devoted to the lipid-lowering properties of holy basil. The phytochemicals found in holy basil have been cited to affect the metabolic pathway that produces very-low-density lipoproteins, which is a precursor to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, and bring about an increase in high-density lipoproteins, dubbed good cholesterol. Also, it has been associated to the overall decrease of lipids present in the bloodstream, notably free fatty acids.
Reduces Blood Glucose
One of the earliest observations on the health effects of holy basil is its properties that counter the progression of diabetes. It has been reported many times to have helped patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which results from the compromised ability of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. The use of holy basil extracts has yielded promising results on promoting the glucose uptake of cells, and, of course, the consequent decrease in glucose present in the blood.
Holy basil has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The most recent research has pointed out that organic compounds found in holy basil may inhibit the enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the synthesis of inflammatory mediators. Eicosanoids are endogenous substances produced by local tissues during inflammation, and a special group called prostanoids is responsible for the pain tied to inflammation. By targeting COX-2, holy basil greatly aids against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
What is stopping you from giving holy basil a try today?
How Does Cherry Fruit Extract Help with Gout?
March 07, 2011 04:39 PM
Cherry fruit extracts contain the micronutrients and phytochemicals found in cherries. They are available as supplements widely touted to display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries, the fruits, are in fact very high in anthocyanins, which have a long association with the prevention of inflammation, even including the type that results in most known cardiovascular diseases. Also, research on anthocyanins in connection with its chemopreventative potential has yielded the most reliable public data. Individuals suffering from gout will definitely benefit from cherry fruit extracts as supported by an abundance of reports and anecdotal evidence concerning its efficacy.
Stabilizes Metabolism of Purine Nucleotides
The development of gout is greatly attributable to an anomaly in the metabolism processes involving purine nucleotides. A class of organic compounds classified as purines is necessary for life and present in many chemical reactions. They are a major component of ATP, the primary energy of cells, and several nucleotide bases of DNA and RNA are purines. The problem lies in its final metabolic product, uric acid, which at high levels condense into urate crystals that are deposited in tendons and ligaments, as is the case with gout and tophus. Cherry fruit extracts bring about twofold effects. First, they stabilize purine metabolites, notably uric acid, and, second, they facilitate the effective excretion of uric acid. If you consume a lot of foods high in purines such as animal products, especially beef, pork, and seafood, taking cherry fruit extracts will make sure that the uric acid they produce gets out of your system.
Affects Releases of Inflammatory Mediators
While high levels of uric acid is the causation of gout attacks, the painful inflammation that ensues is triggered by an entirely different group of endogenous compounds in the employ of the immune system. Eicosanoids have long been identified to precipitate pain not only during gout attacks, but in all inflammatory responses of the human body. These compounds are released locally by the cells around the joints containing urate deposits in an attempt to fight off the degenerative effects of uric acid on the surrounding tissues. They deal with the joints the same way they get rid of pathogens during infections, bringing on the redness, swelling, and pain characteristic of gout. A group of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins that are known to interfere with the releases of eicosanoids are abundant in cherries, and intake of cherry fruit extracts deliver these flavonoids into the region of pain.
Normalizes Acidic Digestive Environments
Cherries belong to the group of foods that are alkaline forming. With gout thriving in an acidic setting, it is just prudent to carefully reassess your diet and cut down on foods high in purines. Not surprisingly, your doctor may tell you to minimize consumptions of meat products especially if you suffer from recurrent gout attacks. Cherry fruit extracts rebalances the pH level of your gastrointestinal tract, and supplementation will keep your body in an alkaline state in the long run, protecting you not only against gout but also against the aging process.
If you suffer from gout or other uric acid buildup disease, give cherry fruit extract a try today!
Is AHCC Good for the Immune System? How So?
March 02, 2011 02:44 PM
AHCC And Immune Health
Active Hexose Correlated Compound, or AHCC, is one of the most commonly used food supplements in Japan largely owing to its effective immune-boosting properties when successfully absorbed by the human body. The earliest important study concerning its activities in the immune system was published in the early 1990’s at Tokyo University, triggering a sudden rise in popularity among consumers in Japan, where it is sold over the counter.
Activates White Blood Cells
It has been observed in the past few years that AHCC boosts the immune system in many different ways in that it participates not only in the innate immune system but also in the adaptive immune system. Of special note is the significant increase in certain types of white blood cells, including natural killer cells, or NK, and macrophages. NK cells are in the employ of the innate immune system and responsible for the disposal of cells infected by viruses. They are often the first line of defense against common viruses such as herpes, containing the damage that viral infection spreads while waiting for specified mechanisms of the adaptive immune system. This is when macrophages come into play along with a cohort of lymphocytes. Their relatively bigger size allows them to effectively engulf pathogenic cells and the enzymes they contain break these pathogens down.
Removes Antigens and Toxins
AHCC also influences the production of antigen presenting cells, or APC. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study involving healthy individuals there was a significant increase in the quantities of APC, notably dendritic cells, in comparison with the baseline, and proteins released by lymphocytes called interferon. Both APC and interferon facilitate the detection of antigens and toxins created by invasive foreign bodies and alert the rest of the immune system of their presence. Dendritic cells are considered the most important group of all APCs in that they present a wide range of antigen presentation by way of phagocytosis or endocytosis, two different ways of catching antigens. By so doing, they make it easier for white blood cells to eliminate antigens and other toxic substances.
Defends against Cancer Cells
Cancer patients are the group of individuals that have benefited the most from AHCC. Early studies yielded data that are now being used to enhance the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer. Indeed boosting the immune system has proven to play a part in the battle against cancer, and AHCC stimulates the immune system to manufacture a class of white blood cells that actively defend the body against cancer cells by causing tumor cells to die and on the same principle delay the proliferation of malignant cells.
There have been extensive clinical trials well underway in many countries, including China, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, and the US. These studies aim to that rigorously test its efficacy. In fact, AHCC belongs to the group of nutritional products tied to alternative medicine that has been supported by an abundance of data in connection with its safety and recommended dosages.
If you are battling disease, give AHCC a try.
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.
These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.
A Powerful Herbal Blend
Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.
This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.
Immune Activating Mushroom
Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.
Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern latitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”
In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Build Healthy Bones With A Good Bone Builder Supplement
May 22, 2010 12:17 PM
Since bones are living tissue, healthy bones need at least 24 bone-building materials in order to be at their best. These materials include both trace elements and protein. The most important minerals to bone health are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The balance between these minerals is just as important as well. Strong bones need a lot of calcium, but calcium supplementation must include the presence of magnesium, as it increases the retention of calcium within the bone. Phosphorus is another important component in bone formation, as it must be in proper balance with calcium. If you take too much of it, which can be gained through soft-drink consumption or high protein intake, it will suck the calcium out of the bone, therefore, weakening the bone’s integrity. Vitamins D and K are also essential for increased calcium deposition.
Silicon, boron, and zinc are also required in order to strengthen the bone’s mineral matrix. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of the collagen matrix, which is an extremely important protein component that creates a structure for calcium crystallization. Silicon increases the bone-mineral density. Additionally, it seems to have a role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Silicon deposition is found in areas of the body that experience active bone growth. Because of this, it is suggested that this mineral may be involved in the growth of bone crystals as well as the process of bone mineralization. Zinc is also important for the proper action of vitamin D, as its status plays a huge role in bone health. When an increase in zinc excretion takes place, accelerated depletion of bone-mineral content also results. This situation is very common among osteoporosis sufferers. Diets that are low in zinc have also been shown to slow adolescent bone growth as well.
Lastly, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are necessary for reducing mineral loss as they modulate blood homocysteine levels. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin used in the metabolism of amino acids. Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins which is crucial for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body. It affects DNA synthesis and regulation as well as fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Folic acid is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It occurs naturally in food and can also be taken as a supplement.
The scientific evidence that has been found has supported the need for long-term supplementation with several key nutrients in order to maintain bone health. This is especially true for those women who are in their peri- and post-menopause years. Supplementation with vitamins D, K, C, B6, B12, folic acid, as well as the minerals boron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, and zinc at levels that are declared to be suitable for optimal nutrition health by nutritional authorities is an important component of product-rating criteria. Researchers question whether each product contains vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, boron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, and zinc at potencies that are up to 100% of the potencies for these nutrients that are stated in the Blended Standard.
Look to your local or internet vitamin store for bone building formulas that contain all these essential vitamins to help the body support a healthy bone structure. Remember to always choose name brands like Eithical nutrients and Solaray to ensure you buy a high quality complete bone building supplement.
Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination
March 22, 2010 09:07 PM
Turmeric / Boswellia Complex
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as great challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient-imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health. These unhealthy lifestyles and environmental changes have set our immune system on overdrive, a state call metabolic inflammation. Planetary Herbals Inflama-Care is a potent, herbal response to these modern challenges.
The Inflammation Cycle
As toxins and stress begin to alter our body chemistry and change the function of vital tissues, our body reacts with metabolic inflammation just as if it were being attacked. This reaction may result in a perpetual cycle of chemical imbalances and suboptimal health. Yet metabolic inflammation is often below the threshold of perception, not noticed or felt for years after its starts. It is only much later that the altered biochemistry and the system imbalances that it generates are noticed.
A Powerful Herbal Blend Inflama-Care helps support the body’s natural response to metabolic inflammation. The main component of the formula is the rhizome of the curcuma species, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (Curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines—inflammation messengers. This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits proinflammatory enzymes, and ginger, an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skull cap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Planetary Herbals presents inflama-Care to help maintain the body’s biochemical balance and integrity. Inflama-care was formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. Thie result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Elderberry Lozenges With Zinc 1.2mgs
December 18, 2009 01:24 PM
The immune support benefits of Zinc and Elderberry, on their own or when united, are supported by scores of welldocumented research. Numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of these two natural compounds to help support the body’s ability to more effectively identify, target, and eliminate foreign particles, as part of the immune system’s innate defense mechanism. In lozenge form, they help coat the lining of the throat and esophageal surface — a region where airborne particles, many of which can be harmful, tend to thrive. The presence of zinc has been shown on countless occasions to support a healthy immune response.* Simple enough, right? It would be, if such a strong percentage of the population wasn’t so sensitive to zinc. On an empty stomach (and in some cases, even when food has been consumed), zinc can result in almost unbearable feelings of nausea.
This innovative new low-dose Zinc-Elderberry lozenge from NOW® provides enough zinc to provide effective immune system support, without the gut-wrenching nausea that leaves many would-be users apprehensive of even considering supplementation. Each tasty lozenge delivers a modest 1.2 mg of zinc, along with additional vitamin C, Elderberry extract, Echinacea purpurea root extract, and Slippery Elm extract. If there was ever a time to be extra mindful of one’s immune system maintenance,* this is definitely it. Stock up on this promising new immune supplement and save throughout December!
Clantro (Coriander Plant) to remove heavy metals
November 05, 2009 01:51 PM
Cilantro Heavy Metal Detox With Chlorella
Planetary Herbals is pleased to introduce Cilantro heavy metal detox, a unique herbal cleansing formula for defense against today’s environmental toxins. The herbs in Cilantro heavy metal detox are known to bind to heavy metals, helping to clear them from the body. Chlorella is added to increase the chelating and cleansing actions of cilantro. This combination also provides effective antioxidant support for overall cell health.
Planetary Herbals Cilantro heavy metal detox contains organic cilantro leaf and organic chlorella, for the purest product possible.
Herbs: Nature’s Answer to a Toxic World
Cilantro (one of the names used for the leaves of the coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum) is an ancient herb that has been used for millennia for health and for its robust, savory taste. Beyond its culinary value, modern research has confirmed the benefits of cilantro as a natural means of internal cleansing.
Recent studies show the cilantro attaches to heavy metals in the bloodstream. This process, known as “Chelation,” helps our bodies eliminate metals from our systems, and helps cleanse and purify our tissues, organs and blood. This process is supported with the addition of chlorella, single celled algae that work synergistically to enhance cilantro’s chelating and cleansing ability.
Binding heavy metals
Thousands of noxious chemical compounds, many of which didn’t exist on the planet 100 years ago, now pervade our food, water, and air. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, and cadmium enter our bodies through food, air, cooking utensils, deodorant, and even the fillings in our teeth.
Cilantro’s properties that enable binding with these toxins are thought to come from unique constituents, including citric acid, phytic acid, and electrolytes that attach to metals. The sequestration of metal ions by chlorella is assumed to be accomplished by surface ligands in the cell walls. Simply stated, both cilantro and chlorella contain properties that bind with metals, and chlorella additionally helps purge the bound metals from the organs.
Planetary Herbals: the PhytoDynamic Difference
Cilantro heavy metal detox is the latest in a herbal product line based on the principles of PhytoDynamics. PhytoDynamics unites a profound understanding of the interaction between plants and people, a commitment to holistic integrity of herbs for optimal efficacy, a strong grounding in scientific research, a world class quality control team, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the industry.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
NPA Loby Day
April 29, 2009 04:12 PM
NOW Takes Top Honors in 3 Distinct Categories On March 24th, 2009 a large contingent of individuals from the Natural Products Association (NPA) visited Capitol Hill during Natural Products Day to lobby Congress on behalf of our industry. Among this contingent were seventeen individuals from the state of Illinois, including three from NOW Foods – President Al Powers, Mike Richard, and Truth Advocate Neil Levin. NOW had two goals during Lobby Day; to meet and lobby Illinois legislators and their staffers on important industry matters, and to obtain contact information for House and Senate lawmakers and their staff for the purpose of extending an invitation to visit and tour our Bloomingdale, Illinois headquarters.
During the day Illinois representatives visited the offices of Illinois senator Richard Durbin and Illinois congressman Bill Foster, and visited with a representative of newly appointed Illinois senator Roland Burris. In regard to legislation, members of the Illinois contingent supported an update to the national school lunch program, which was last revised in 1979, and renewed their support for the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA), the main body of laws regulating our industry. They also warned Illinois lawmakers that the possible dissolution of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into separate Food and Drug agencies could potentially lump natural products regulation together with drug regulation, despite the vastly superior safety record of natural products and dietary supplements.
They also presented information on a number of studies that showed the potential for over $20 billion in healthcare savings over a five year period if consumers were to take certain supplements, including calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health, lutein and zeaxanthin to support visual function, folic acid to protect from birth defects, and more. Lastly, representatives from NOW Foods opposed new regulations that could hurt businesses that, like NOW Foods, are responble for increasing American exports and creating new jobs for Americans during a protracted economic downturn.
Even though there was no immediate commitment from our representatives in Washington on the key issues discussed, we feel that this Lobby Day was successful in building more personal relationships with our elected officials, and in helping them to understand our industry’spassion and commitment to promoting optimal health for all Americans through the use of safe, high quality natural products.
Interested in learning more about important legislative issues affecting the natural products industry? Visit www.saveoursupplements.organd make sure your voice is heard in the fight to protect American’s access to safe, affordable dietary supplements and natural products.
Holy Basil Extract
November 28, 2008 10:04 AM
It has been proposed that holy basil extract can help you cope with stress, and an investigation into the active components of the plant does indicate that there could be a scientific basis behind this use of it. This is in line with most traditional Ayurvedic medicines, whose benefits have been supported by modern scientific evidence.
Holy basil, otherwise known as Tulsi or Tulasi in Sanskrit and Hindi, is correctly Ocimum tenuiflorum, an aromatic member of the Lamiaceae family just as the more common form of basil is (Ocimum basilicum). Holy basil is cultivated for several reasons, the major ones being for its essential oils, for culinary use, religious use and for its medicinal properties. It is grown right across South Asia. Thai holy basil is used in Thai cookery while other forms play an important role within some of the traditions of Hinduism and is found profusively around Hindu temples.
Holy basil extract has been used for thousands of years for its healing and medicinal properties, and is mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita. It is written that it is used to balance a number of bodily processes and believed to be involved in promoting longevity. It is considered to be able to allow the body to adapt to stress and is also used to treat a large number of different medical conditions, from headaches to malaria and heart disease.
Most modern medical studies, however, have been carried out on animals rather than human subjects, so definitive evidence is lacking, and while there is evidence that tulsi extract might be an effective antioxidant and help in the control of blood sugar, there is also compelling evidence that it might be able to counteract the effects of stress. First, let's have a look at the active ingredients of holy basil extract, and how they fit in with the beneficial medical properties claimed.
One of the more important components of tulsi is eugenol, or 1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene. Eugenol is a phenylpropanoid, also found in clove oil, and is a COX-2 inhibitor that is used in medicine as a local anesthetic. Two others are the triterpenes oleanolic and ursolic acids, which possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. The pentacyclic ursolic acid can inhibit the development of various forms of cancers through the inhibition of the STAT3 pathway that is responsible for several types of human cancer that have poor prognosis.
Also present in holy basil extract is the polyphenol Rosmarinic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that is also present in herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme. Rosmarinic acid will also contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil, and many of the antibacterial properties it is said to possess could be due to carvacrol, a terpene that damages bacterial cell membranes and inhibits the growth of a number of bacterial strains.
Another component of Tulsi is the sesquiterpene B-caryophyllene, also contained in clove oil, and also possessing anti-inflammatory properties in mice. It is unknown whether or not these properties are transferred to humans, but the evidence of the use of the plant is that they are. Beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive, and as such, a dietary cannabinoid. Apegenin, also present in tulsi, is a flavanoid and another strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
With all of these ingredients that have proven health benefits, it is little wonder that holy basil is claimed to have the health benefits that it has. But what about its effects on blood sugar that it is said to control? It's probably not a coincidence that many other herbs that contain eugenol, such as cloves, are also claimed to have the same moderating effect on blood sugar levels. Not only that, but since diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it is not surprising that holy basil extract, that is rich in ant-inflammatories, should possess this property.
The main theory is that many of the components of holy basil can help support the beta cell function of the pancreas, and so enhance the secretion of insulin. In one of the few controlled human tests, a group of 40 people with Type 2 diabetes stopped taking their normal medication seven days before the test. They were then given holy basil leaves for an initial period of 5 days. Half were then given 2.5g powder holy basil leaf and the other half a placebo for 4 weeks. The two groups then switched over for 4 weeks - the first being on the placebo, and the second taking the holy basil.
With the first group, the average fasting glucose level dropped by 25.9%, from 234.5 mg/dl to 99.7. After switching to the placebo for 4 weeks it increased to 115.6 mg/dl (15.9% increase). The fasting blood glucose of the second group dropped from an average of 132.4 to 123.2 (6.9%), and then when on the holy basil leaf, dropped further to 97.2 mg/dl (21.1%).
This demonstrates clearly that holy basil leaf reduces blood sugar significantly faster than fasting, and so is beneficial to Type 2 diabetics. Perhaps more such studies should be carried out to confirm these important results, which appear to conform to the theory that the components of the plant should have this type of effect on blood sugar levels.
How about stress? Tulsi is said to particularly useful to people suffering from stress. The human stress response is an inflammatory cascade in which the immune system reacts by attempting to repair the stressed areas. If this response gets out of hand the stress can be exacerbated, and it is important that the stress response is carried put at an appropriate level.
A COX-2 modulator can prevent the inflammatory cascade by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme that causes it. Since eugenol is a COX-2 inhibitor, it can help to keep the body healthy and prevent the stress reaction. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of many of the components of holy basil extract can help to prevent the body being stressed by antioxidants and by today's environmental pollution and it also possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties to help reduce illness.
It is also an adaptogen, which enhances your natural response to emotional stress and helps your body functional normally when stressed. Studies have indicated that holy basil extracts can reduce the levels of corticosterone, a hormone responsible for stress, and improve your mood and mental clarity. Longer term effects can include memory improvement and a reduction in the risk of age-related mental conditions.
The active factors involved in the reduction of mental stress, and an increase in mental clarity, are the essential oils that tulsi contains, and their chemical components: particularly eugenol and caryophyllene. Studies have shown these to elevate the spirit and the mood, while the terpene acids, such as ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, can help to improve your body's response to stress.
There are very few doubts of the effect of holy basil extract (or tulsi extract and leaf) in improving mood, mental clarity and reducing the effects of stress, or of its other extensive beneficial medical effects. More studies might be needed to prove them to the medical community, but even now people suffering from diabetes mellitus are benefiting from its moderating effect on blood sugar levels, and once again the application of Ayurvedic medicine is being proved as effective in the modern era as it was in the ancient world.
Guarana Seed Extract
November 17, 2008 11:24 AM
Guarana comes from the Amazon basin, and has been used by the natives of the Amazon rain forest to treat conditions such as diarrhea, arthritis, fatigue and even to reduce hunger. It is, in fact, a climbing plant of the Sapondacaea family, although it is the fruit for which it best known. Each contains a single seed that contains around five times the amount of caffeine of a similarly sized coffee bean.
An interesting piece of trivia is that the reason why such seeds are rich in caffeine is that the substance is poisonous to certain pathogens that would otherwise attack the berry. The same is - true of all seeds that contain caffeine: it is a means of self-defense. Obviously it is an effective defense since the berries appear to relatively immune to such common plant diseases.
Guarana is named after the Guarani tribe of South America, and the language is spoken by many in the area around Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, and also parts of Argentina. In fact over 67% of Paraguayans speak the language. There is a myth that when child of the Guarana village was killed by an evil god, a more benevolent deity planted the child's left eye in the forest and the right eye in the village. The left eye gave rise to the wild form of the plant, and the right eye the cultivated form.
This likely came about because of the appearance of the fruit when it is split open: it has the appearance of eyeballs. However, what is true is that Guaranis made tea from the seeds, and also a bread known as guarana bread by mashing the powder into a dough and shaping it into a cylindrical bread. It is dry roasted and milled to a fine powder, also known as Brazilian cocoa, but it has never quite managed to compete commercially against the coffee! However, it has its local adherents to whom it is a staple drink.
However, back to the health benefits of the seed. They were recognized as early as the 17th century when Father Felip Betendorf introduced it into Western civilization, but over the centuries since then it has been found that even in spite of the caffeine content it has been demonstrated to have brain-boosting properties and able to increase tasks requiring mental attention. It is certainly known to be an energizer, and able to give a boost to your brain when you really need it. So why should this be, and how does it do this?
The flavor is a bit like chocolate, hence its nickname of Brazilian cocoa, and has been approved by the FDA as a food additive. Extracts from the berry have been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties, and also act as bactericides and fungicide, few of which can be put down the caffeine content. In fact the seed has been proposed for use in the food industry as a natural antioxidant and preservative and as stated below, that is more acceptable to people than synthetic chemicals.
This is probably in response to the fact that synthetic antioxidants are in decline whereas the natural antioxidants such as vitamins, C and E and the various tocopherols and carotenoids are increasing in prominence due to them being more readily accepted by the consumer than the synthetics such as butylhydroxytoluene(BHT). These antioxidants are commonly used as food preservatives, in that they slow down the oxidation of foodstuffs, and people are increasingly feeling that natural products are preferable for this application than synthetic.
Guarana seeds have been found to be exceptionally high in proanthocyanadins with powerful antioxidant properties. They are fatal to free radicals and help to prevent cardiac disease and to improve cellular activity. They also display antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Chemically, they consist of up to 60% starch, pectins, saponins, proteins, and the aforementioned caffeine (3% - 5%). The guarana paste can contain up to 7% caffeine that can be dangerous to those with cardiac problems.
Guarana also contains tannins at levels of up to 12%, including catechin and some proanthocyanadins. The astringency of these tannins represents a problem to their use in the beverage and food industry, although the substance is regarded as safe by the FDA. They have little if any nutritional value and can react with alkaloid and proteins to form unwanted complexes. Were it not for tannins guarana would be more acceptable to the food industry.
However, it is for their energy-boosting properties that the guarana berries and seeds are most prized by many. The fact they it has been traditionally used as a stimulant and aphrodisiac indicates that there is something behind these claims. Studies on mice, hamsters and other animals have supported these effects. It has been found to posses the two desirable properties (to some) of stimulating the nervous system and curbing the appetite.
Consequently, it is used in diet and weight loss pills, and also to maintain high energy levels. In fact weight loss pills are used by many people to maintain their energy levels while not eating. This is a definite bonus to those that want to lose weight, but dislike the lethargy that a strict diet can cause.
There is a downside to that of course, and that is insomnia and an increased heartbeat, and also nervousness and feeling 'on edge'. Once people stop using guarana they suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, irritability and headaches.
The upshot is that it is basically the high caffeine content of guarana that allows its use as a stimulant that can boost not only energy, but also reduce appetite and act as an effective weight loss supplement. However, used excessively it can lead to nervousness and while it is included as an ingredient in many foods and drinks, you should be careful when using it as an energizing supplement if you have any heart problems at all.
Otherwise, guarana is used to energize the body naturally, and is not only very commonly used for this purpose in South America, but also increasingly so in the USA and elsewhere with some very good results.
November 10, 2008 10:30 AM
Guggul is a natural herb supplement that may help lower cholesterol, yet few in the Western hemisphere know much about it. Guggul is otherwise known as the Mukul myrrh tree, and is a plant of the Burseracae family with small red or pink flowers.
It is found across central Asia over to North Africa, although is very common in the northern areas of India where the climate is more semi-arid than equatorial. Guggul does not like a lot of water and can thrive in ground where the soil has few nutrients. Its Latin name is Commiphora wightii, and it grows about 12 feet high.
It has been predominantly used in the Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India, and like many such ancient remedies and treatments, is now used in modern medicine to treat specific conditions: conditions such as some forms of heart condition, where it has been found to be able to lower your blood cholesterol levels, weight loss and some forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
However, it has been used so successfully over the years, particularly in India, which it is now in danger of extinction and is contained in the Red Data List of the World Conservation Union that lists endangered species. So what is so special about this plant that makes it so popular? To get the answer to that we have to go back a bit in its history, although not quite as far as the two or three thousand years that it is known to have been used in traditional Hindu medicine.
The active ingredient is found in the sap of the tree, and is used to fight against obesity and other diseases that can be caused by excess weight or cholesterol, such as arthritis, obesity and atherosclerosis. Until recently it has had very little support for its claims from conventional medicine. It was in the 1960s that an ancient Sanskrit text was found that recommended guggul as a treatment for high cholesterol levels. Since that discovery, research has focused on the plant's anti-cholesterol properties, and a great deal of evidence has been gathered supporting the claims of that ancient text.
So much so that the Indian government has approved the use of guggul for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, largely because it has been found very effective in reducing the levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the blood while increasing the levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. Several trials have supported this, including one study involving 228 patients that showed the extract to be equally as effective as the anti-cholesterol drug clofibrate.
That is not all, and other studies included one in which a decrease in LDL cholesterol of almost 13% was measured in a double blind study involving 61 subjects, of which around half received a placebo. An average 12.7% reduction in LDL cholesterol, 12% in triglycerides and 11.7% in total cholesterol was experienced by the group given the guggul extract. Every 1% drop in total cholesterol is associated with a 2% decrease in the risk of heart disease.
Guggul reduces the levels of harmful cholesterol in your blood by converting it into bile. The plant extract contains substances given the name guggulsterones that block the activity of a protein that regulates the metabolism of cholesterol in your body known as FXR (the Farsenoid X Receptor). This protein can increase the risk of you contracting heart disease by preventing the liver from converting cholesterol into bile acids, so that the concentration of cholesterol in your blood continues to build up.
The problem with bile acids is that once they reach a certain concentration in your body, the FXR comes into play and stops more being produced. Guggulsterones prevent the FXR from doing this, and so helps the liver to destroy more cholesterol. There is a reason for the body not allowing too much bile acid to be generated, but for those with excess cholesterol, it is more beneficial for this regulation to be prevented, and more cholesterol to be destroyed by the liver.
It is the resin of the plant that is prized, being extracted from the bark in much the same way as rubber is tapped. It is also used in fragrances and perfumes in addition to its medicinal uses, and the dosage generally recommended is 1500 mg (1.5 grams) twice daily. However, it is not recommended for those suffering liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or any form of diarrhea, and should not be taken by those on beta blockers.
It is not only for its cholesterol-lowering properties that guggul is prized, however. Another property it possesses is its ability to render blood platelets less sticky, and so reduce the risk of coronary disease, and prevent the formation of blood clots and thrombosis.
Another use it has found is in the field of weight loss, where it has been found effective in reducing the weight of obese adults. It does so by the activation of lipolytic enzymes and increased levels of triiodothyronine (T3), believed to be due to the formation of T3 from T4 (thyroxine) in the liver.
T3 increases the metabolic rate, and the rate of the breakdown of glycogen and gluconeogenesis: the biosynthesis of glucose. It also causes cholesterol to be broken down and increases the rate of lipolysis - the breakdown of fats stored in fat cells in the body. Studies have shown that those taking guggul lost up to 6 times the weight of a control group within 15 days, and the practice is going along with the theory.
Not only that, but when you are on a diet, your body is likely to respond by decreasing levels of triiodothyronine, and so reducing the rate at which fat burns. Hence, your diet does not help you top reduce weight as quickly as it could. Guggul, however, stimulates the production of T3, and so you are not only taking less fat into your body, but are also burning it up at an accelerated rate.
Other uses to which the resin has been put are based upon its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to be an effective treatment for some forms of arthritis and also in the treatment of acne. The active inflammatory ingredient is believed to be myrrhanol A, a polypodane-type triterpene, which would also explain the antioxidant effect of guggulipid on lipid peroxidation.
Guggul is a versatile plant, and a good supplement to take for anybody suffering increased lipid or cholesterol levels, and who wants to increase the weigh-loss effect of their diet. However, make sure that you purchase a supplement standardized on its guggulipid content.
Green Tea Extract
October 23, 2008 01:43 PM
Green tea is a form of tea made from the leaves of the Carmellia Sinensis, a shrub that is native to China and has spread to other areas of Asia including Japan and the Middle East. Drinking it is believed to impart many health benefits, including the prevention of obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 400 years.
Tea is known to have been consumed in China for around 5,000 years, and used, not only in Chinese medicine, but also in that of Japan, Thailand and India for a number of ailments including regulating blood sugar, treating wounds and digestive problems. The drinking of green tea to benefit the heart and other vital organs is described in the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written in 1191 by Eisai, a Japanese Zen priest.
This two-part book talks about the various medicinal benefits of green tea, such as preventing fatigue, curing beriberi, quenching thirst, clearing the thoughts, maintaining health of the urinary tract and improving digestive problems. It also explains how to grow tea and how to prepare and use the leaves. The methods of treatment of various ailments and medical conditions are described in the second part of the book.
The active ingredients in green tea are catechins, polyphenols with strong anti-oxidant properties. Antioxidants are important components of your diet due to their effect on free radicals. These are small molecules, generally oxygenated, such the superoxide cation and hydrogen peroxide that are generated during normal metabolic processes and also ingested in pollutants such as traffic and factory fumes and insecticides. Free radicals are also formed by the effect of the ultra-violet component of sunlight on your skin and other tissues.
The effect of free radicals on your body can be devastating, and they not only destroy cell membranes but also oxidize such molecules as the low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your bloodstream. This allows the LDLs to be absorbed by the white blood cells and then deposited as fatty plaques in the walls of your arteries. The end result is a thickening and hardening of the arteries that leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis, where the blood supply to the brain and heart muscle is restricted, which can in turn lead to strokes and heart disease.
Their effect on your cells is to cause cancer and premature aging, among others, and free radicals are also believed to play a part in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and also inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. They can also cause damage to your DNA.
It is essential, therefore, that these free radicals are destroyed as quickly as they are generated, and that is what antioxidants do. You might be more familiar with the antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and carotenoids, but there are many substances available to you that are even more powerful such as the polyphenols found in green tea.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of these with antioxidant properties at least twenty five times that of Vitamin E, and 100 times that of Vitamin C. EGCG comprises around 10-50% of the total catechin content of the tea and studies indicate that it likely helps to protect against DNA damage by free radicals, to protect against oxidation of LDL, provide protection against the damage of ultra-violet radiation and to protect you from the free radicals that are generated by smoking tobacco and general airborne pollution.
There are suggestions that the bioavailability of EGCG can be increased by consuming black pepper when drinking green tea, possibly due to the presence of piperine in the pepper. The piperine appears to retard the intestinal glucuronidation of EGCG and so allow more of it to be absorbed as opposed to excreted. So if you are using green tea for health reasons, spice up your food with a small amount of black pepper - that's all it needs. You don't have to smother your food in it! It should be stressed that these tests were carried out on animals, although the biochemistry involved is much the same.
The oxidation of fat by your metabolism to provide energy is a very important factor in weight control. If the contribution of the fats you ingest to the energy generated by your metabolism is low, then the fats can go on to be deposited in your body. This is not only unsightly, in that it can basically make you look 'fat', but is also dangerous to your health. Fat deposits around your midriff and round the major organs of your body can be extremely damaging and a severe risk to your health.
It has been shown by a recent study in the UK (Birmingham University) that those taking green tree extract displayed a 17% increase in fat oxidation over those given a placebo. Not only that, but the ratio of fat oxidation to the overall energy expenditure showed a similar differential between the study and the control group. This provides evidence of green tea extract being able to control your weight by burning fat, and also to improve the tolerance to glucose and sensitivity to insulin of healthy people.
Many other health claims have been made for green tea extract, although many of these have little, if any, scientific basis. Among these are the claims that it can treat multiple sclerosis and be used to treat cancer, although claims that it can prevent the destruction of cell membranes due to its oxidative effect are supported by the biochemistry, if not the medical proof. There are cases where theoretical biochemistry can explain many of the applications of ancient remedies without needing modern day studies to support it.
Some of the research supporting the green tea theories include:
1. In 2006, a study was announced that had followed over 40,500 Japanese men and women, aged between 40 and 79, that had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer starting in 1994. It was found that those who drank at least 5 cups of tea per day had a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 26% less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those that drank less than one cup of tea each day. Since cardiovascular disease and cancer are the major causes of death world-wide, these are significant results.
2. Again in 2006, it was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that studies indicated that a higher consumption of green tea was associated with a reduction in human mental impairment when compared to the average.
3. Yale University School of Medicine reported later that year that, in spite of smoking more than their western counterparts, Asians suffered lower rates of cancer and heart disease, and put that down to them drinking over 4 pints of green tea daily. It was the polyphenol content of green tea and its antioxidant effect that was proposed for this result, known commonly as the 'Asian paradox'. A specific reason given for this was the antioxidant effect preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and its subsequent deposition in the artery walls.
4. Another component of green tea is the amino acid L-Theanine that promotes relaxation, and it is believed that this could help to fight stress by inhibiting the excitation of cortical neurons.
There is a lot more evidence for the health benefits of green tea, and once again it appears that the ancients have been proved correct. Perhaps we should pay more attention to ancient remedies, although without the proper evidence much of it is ignored - for the time being at least. Green tea, however, has generally been accepted due to the research and studies carried out on ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) and in additional to the traditional form, is also available as a dietary supplement.
October 02, 2008 09:36 AM
Cartilage has several roles to play in your body, an example of which is to form curved body parts that would otherwise be unsupported, such as the external contours of your ears or a large part of your nose. Without cartilage you ears and nose would flop around a lot, and it is also contained in the spine, to prevent your discs from grinding against each other.
However, the part that we are interested in is as a shock absorber between the bones of your joints. It allows bones to slide over one another without damage, either through friction or shock, and is also nature’s shock absorber, helping to support your weight while you are active. Thus, your cartilage protects from impact damage when you are running or jumping down from a height. This type of cartilage, known as articular cartilage, is bathed in a lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid, which introduces its own problems when your cartilage becomes damaged.
This damage can occur in several ways: as the result of a fall, for example, or direct contact with the joint when playing a physical contact sport such as football or soccer. It can also become damaged through wear and tear over a period of time, such with long distance runners or soccer players (again), and is also associated with age. Many years of continual use, especially amongst those with active rather than sedentary occupations, eventually lead to wear and damage.
Problems with the joint structure itself, known as osteoarthritis, can also damage the cartilage, as can being overweight for a lengthy period. You can also experience cartilage damage if you are bedridden or other wise immobile for long periods, because the cartilage needs regular movement to function correctly. This is connected with the blood supply, which will be discussed shortly.
Cartilage is constructed of cells known as chondrocytes that generate a fibrous matrix known as collagen, a mixture of amino acids known as elastin that allows the cartilage to return to its original shape after deformation, and non-collagenous matrix tissue containing proteins, water and proteoglycans that contain sulfated glycosaminoglycan chains. That last mixture is often referred to as ‘ground substance.’
One of the problems with cartilage is its lack of a direct blood supply, and it relies on the compression and decompression of the articular cartilage, or on the flexing of elastic cartilage, to create a pumping action that drives blood to the chondrocytes. This is why inactivity can cause cartilage damage, due to a lack of blood supply, and why it is repaired more slowly than other body components.
Once an injury or wear and tear damages a joint, the body’s natural defense, the immune system, is activated, and the major part of that involved in cartilage damage is the inflammatory response. The joint becomes inflamed, the quantity of synovial fluid is increased to provide more protection and swells the joint, and enzymes (hyaluronidase) are produced which, although part of the natural defense system, actually degrade the synovial fluid and the cartilage.
This increases the amount of inflammation and the process becomes self-perpetuating, leading to the condition known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) because the body is unable to produce enough glucosamine to generate the proteoglycan needed for repair.
This is where glucosamine sulfate enters the scene. Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAG), which as mentioned as above are components of proteoglycans in the cartilage matrix ground tissue. It has been shown to stimulate the biosynthesis of proteoglycan, and analysis has shown its presence within articular cartilage after administering it orally to patients with cartilage disease. It therefore makes its way to the right place.
Glucosamine is administered in the form of glucosamine sulfate, the highly electrically charged sulfate groups believed to aid in the compression properties of cartilage. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, although only about a quarter of the oral dose is eventually available to the body, and high concentrations accumulate in the liver, kidneys and in articular cartilage where it is used in the biosynthesis of GAG.
When in solution, glucosamine sulfate separates into ions: sulfate and glucosamine. Glucosamine ions are involved in the synthesis of GAG, that then combine with proteins to form proteoglycans, a component of the non-collagenous matrix of the cartilage. Although glucosamine is the major active component, there is evidence that the sulfate group contributes the stability of the matrix of the connective tissue since the uptake of sulfate ions increases with the amount of glucosamine sulfate used.
Another consideration here is that sulfate is an important part of proteoglycans, and glucosamine sulfate promotes not only the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, but also of proteoglycans in general. Glucosamine is also active in regenerating the lubricating properties of the synovial fluid, and in hindering the activity of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid.
Some people find that glucosamine, taken either alone or in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and/or methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), is more effective than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to reduce inflammation (e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and without the side effects of these substances. MSM contains dietary sulfur, which is necessary for cell structure and healthy cell repair. Methyl sulfone methane is know to be beneficial for painful conditions such as arthritis, and also improves the blood circulation. It might also play a part in helping glucosamine sulfate get to the site of the cartilage damage.
Glucosamine is a large molecule, however, and finds it difficult to make its way to the area around the joint due to the lack of a direct blood supply. It is therefore taken in relatively large doses to ensure that sufficient amounts get to where it is needed. Many people insist that glucosamine sulfate is very effective in reducing, or even eliminating, their pain, and it is finding increasing popularity in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions involving cartilage damage.
August 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Acidophilus is correctly named Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is one species of Lacobacillus used commercially in the preparation of certain types of yoghurt. The name refers to the fact it is found in milk (lacto), is rod-like in shape like many bacteria (bacillus) and it likes acidic conditions (acidophilus). It not only likes them, but creates them.
In fact, acidophilus thrives at a pH of 4-5 or less, and occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, and also the mouth and vagina. It ferments milk to lactic acid, and dies in the presence of sunlight, excessive moisture and at high temperatures. Some, but not all, strains are probiotic, or ‘friendly’ bacteria that aid digestion and help to protect against harmful bacteria and their toxic emissions.
The fermentation of nutrients by friendly bacteria produce acids, such as the lactic acid previously referred to, hydrogen peroxide and other substances hostile to harmful organisms, and also reduces the population of harmful bacteria by competing for their food. There are additional health benefits that shall be discussed later, but first some comments about the stability of acidophilus to heat.
The growth rate of acidophilus reaches an optimum at around 36-37F (2.2C), and it tends to die off at temperatures much above this over a period of time. It also tends to be sensitive to oxygen and moisture, and if exposed to heat, moisture and oxygen, a supplement will lose its potency over time. This is true of all such supplements, and after purchase must be quickly refrigerated. It is possible, however, to purchase stabilized forms of acidophilus that die off slower than normal. This extra resistance is built in during the manufacturing process, and many forms of acidophilus claim to be stable. Although there will never be a truly stable form of the probiotic, these stabilized versions do last longer than those not claimed to be so.
During manufacture, the bacteria are first concentrated by removing the excess liquid by means of sedimentation, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifuging. A substance is then added to protect the bacteria from the shock of freezing and the acidophilus freeze dried. A stabilizer is then added to maintain its properties between freezing and consumption.
It has also been found that bacteria grown at higher pH levels last longer than those at lower pH. The packaging is also important, and since the bacteria are sensitive to oxygen, nitrogen flushing the bottles will improve the stability of the product. Glass bottles are less porous than plastic, and so is the preferred packaging material for maximum stability and life. Another factor is refrigeration. If you keep the bottle in the fridge it was last a lot longer than at room temperature, but take care not to freeze it since acidophilus does not freeze well. If it is not refrigerated then it will quickly lose its potency.
The form in which you take the supplement is immaterial regarding the potency: at least initially. However, through time the powder will become less potent quicker, because it will adsorb oxygen and moisture. Otherwise the form in which it used is immaterial. So, yes, acidophilus can be stabilized, but only for a while, and if allowed to warm up to room temperature in the presence of oxygen will quickly degrade, although this takes more than just a day or two.
Many health benefits are claimed for Lactobacillus acidophilus, although your daily consumption to achieve these should be at least 2 billion CFU, and preferably 5 billion. You can also fortify the bacteria with a prebiotic of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These provide nutrition for the acidophilus and accelerate its growth.
One thing to be careful of is assuming that yoghurt contains acidophilus. It does not contain sufficient to be of benefit to you. Commercial yoghurt acidifies over time and kills off the bacteria, so commercial yoghurt sitting on a supermarket shelf has very little beneficial bacterial content. Natural yoghurt is better, and certainly contains beneficial bacteria, but not enough to make a significant difference. A supplement is therefore needed if you are to keep your intestinal tract sufficiently healthy. If you cannot take dairy products, acidophilus is available in non-dairy form. The major health benefits they impart are:
1. Digestive Problems.
Acidophilus can control many types of digestive disorder, particularly traveler’s diarrhea. In fact if you are traveling to countries where drinking water might be a problem, also take some acidophilus and this will tend to prevent you from becoming ill. Even if you drink bottled water, there are still washed salads, beverages made with local water and showers and the like whereby you could ingest some dodgy water.
Acidophilus, especially when supported by FOS, helps both to hydrate the feces, and improve their transport through the colon, an also to improve the general health and well-being of your entire intestinal system.
3. Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
Acidophilus possess antifungal properties that kill off yeasts, particularly Candida albicans found in the vagina. This is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria, and there is evidence that gastrointestinal yeasts are affected in the same way by the oral probiotic. Furthermore, when bacteria and yeasts are killed off by medication, including friendly bacteria, the sites they occupied on the intestinal walls become free and acidophilus should be present to take these up and prevent any more yeast or bacterial infections. That is one reason why probiotics should be taken immediately after a course of antibiotic treatment.
4. Immune System Support
Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to modify the balance of microbes in the intestine so as to lead to an enhanced production of antibodies, and white blood cells with increased phagocytic activity. The bacteria also appear to have some reducing properties, which can also give support to the immune system through the resultant antioxidant properties.
However, by far the most important property of probiotics are their properties in acidifying the intestinal tract, and so rendering them less attractive to harmful pathogens, and in producing hydrogen peroxide which has a similar effect. They also produce natural antibiotics, and there is now doubt that a supplement of acidophilus will provide you with several health benefits and also make you feel fitter and more alert.
Protect Your Skin
August 11, 2008 03:20 PM
SOD, which is short for superoxide dismutase, is an antioxidant that is found in small, insubstantial quantities in the body. It reduces potentially harmful free radicals. Research is also available that looks into antioxidants role in supporting healthy skin against the sun. However, SOD’s benefits have only recently begun to be studied. One studied found that SOD supported skin health against the photo-oxidative stress that is caused by UV radiation better than any other antioxidant.
Two studies have found that the oral consumption of carotenoids from tomatoes such as lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene helps to maintain healthy skin by protecting it against the damage induced by UV rays. Topical application of currently available sun care products provides limited protection against UV light, as even so-called quality products allows some light to still penetrate the skin which causes damage and wrinkling. To provide optimal protection, supplementing the diet with natural antioxidants, especially lycopene, is essential along with applying sun care products that contain UV-B and UV-A filters. Many studies have been done to examine the photo-protective effects of lycopene.
It has been shown that this nutrients decreases reddening of the skin. A second study, which involved three groups of antioxidants and two different groups of antioxidant supplements that contained carotenoids and selenium, tested the impact of these nutrients on skin structure and health. After 12 weeks, a significant increase in skin density and thickness, an improvement in skin smoothness and softness, and reduced scaling were the results of using these nutrients. There are many all-natural extracts that contain lycopene, and a complex of tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytoene, and phytofluene. These supplements increase the levels of antioxidants in the skin, which enhances the body’s natural defenses against UV-induced skin damage, supports healthy skin structure, and helps to prevent premature aging of the skin.
Zinc oxide is said to provide the most abundant wavelength protection of any sunscreen ingredient, which uniformly covers from 290 to 300 nm, allowing it to protect against UV-B and most of the UV-A rays. Recent studies have shown that topical vitamins C and E offer greater photo-protection than what was previously realized, delivered protection four times stronger, offered seventy percent sunburn reduction, and prevented the formation of thymine dimmers, which are signature DNA mutations found in non-melanoma skin cancers.
Actually, a study that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology determined that a combination of topical vitamins C and E were better for UV protection to skin than an equivalent concentration of topical vitamin C or E alone. Additionally, the combination of vitamins C and E provided protection against thymine dimmer formation. In order to obtain appreciable photo-protection, a combination of topical vitamins C and E is necessary.
Medical experts also suggest that all of the above natural products may protect against skin cancer, photo-aging and the effects that go along with them. For more information on these nutrients and the helpful capabilities that they are able to provide for your body, be sure to contact your local health food store. Sun Care Moisturizers And Creams
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
May 17, 2008 10:17 AM
Recently, the Natural Products Association has experienced a flurry of activity on the legislative front. One month ago, Natural Products Association members went to Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and discuss legislation important to the association and the industry. Many who could not visit Washington in person were part of our "virtual march" on Washington that delivered e-mails, petitions, and videos to Congress on the importance of natural products. Natural Products Day was a great success, boasting higher than ever attendance at our evening Congressional reception, and resulting in additional co-sponsors for S. 771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act sponsored by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The bill now boasts co-sponsorship of more than a quarter of the Senate. Its companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1363, sponsored by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), has gained an additional five co-sponsors as the result of Natural Products Day meetings and now has 140 co-sponsors. These bills continue to build momentum, thanks to your support.
More recently, the Natural Products Association urged supporters to contact their legislators to include an amendment to the "Farm Bill" allowing food stamp recipients to purchase dietary supplements. This provision was similar to free-standing bills that have been introduced in the current and previous Congresses by Sens. Harkin and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and have earned the association's support. Although the amendment advanced further than other versions in previous sessions, it did not make the final Farm Bill, which was reported out of conference today. The good news is that the Farm Bill did contain significant increases in nutrition programs and increased funding for organic farming, another supported goal of the Natural Products Association. Because of the strong effort of our supporters on the amendment's behalf, the bill was placed on Congress's radar screens and has greatly improved the chances as stand-alone legislation, S. 770, the Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, of seeing passage. We will continue to ask for support on this important bill as this legislative session progresses.
In addition, the Natural Products Association has been leading the fight to protect Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and to keep this important, safe, and effective supplement available to elderly consumers. The same players behind S. 762, which would wrongly classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, proposed S. 2470 in late 2007 as a misplaced reaction the release of the Mitchell Report, which chronicled the abuse of steroids by professional baseball players. Although DHEA has no performance enhancing attributes, this bill was proposed to limit the access of minors to DHEA. The Natural Products Association and its supporters have worked hard to inform Congress of the benefits of DHEA, and that it is not an anabolic steroid and should not be classified as one. We have been able so far to prevent any movement on the bill, but the association continues to monitor its progress and make sure that this supplement remains accessible to the seniors who need it most.
Thanks to your help, the Natural Products Association continues to have an active presence on Capitol Hill that is felt by legislators. We could not do it without the help of you, our supporters, who know how important it is to stand up for natural products. The impact of your messages to legislators continues to help the Natural Products Association to ensure all natural products - from natural and organic foods to dietary supplements and health and beauty aids - are accessible to Americans. With your continued support we will continue to be known as a vocal group with a wide base of support through the rest of this legislative session and beyond.
To get involved, please visit our action center at www.capwiz.com/nnfa/issues/
May 08, 2008 03:47 PM
Cetyl myristoleate is a fatty acid ester used largely as a dietary supplement to support joint mobility and the immune system. Chemically it is a natural hexadecyl ester of cis-9-tetradecanoic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid commonly known as myristoleic acid.
The acid is found naturally in fish and whale oils, and also in butter and kombo butter from the kombo nut. The ester is of a buttery consistency at normal room temperatures, and turns waxy when cooled, and it has no known uses other than as a health supplement, particularly for the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory and immune system problems.
The substances appear to have similar therapeutic characteristics to unsaturated essential fatty acids, but with a stronger and more long lasting effect. It also appears to work in three distinctly different ways in that it acts as a joint lubricant, supports the immune system and functions in the same way as essential fatty acids.
Arthritis is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, and it is estimated that more than 50 million Americans are affected by it. Until recently it was believed to be a disease of the aged, or associated with physical injury, but is now known to be more complex than that, with many manifestations and causes. Because of this, no single treatment is effective with all forms of arthritis, but cetyl myristoleate is the new kid on the block that is believe to make a significant contribution to the treatment of non-infective forms of the disease.
However, it was not always known, and a search in the textbooks for cetyl myristoleate prior to 1977 would have yielded nothing. Why 1977? It started with Harry W Diehl, a sugar chemist with an interest in the treatment of arthritis. While carrying out research on arthritis in mice, he was working on thin layer chromatographic analysis of a methylene chloride extract of macerated mice. He noticed a separation that was unknown to him, which was subsequently identified as cetyl myristoleate.
He had been unable to induce arthritis in mice, and believed that if he found out how to do that, then he should also be able to establish what made the mice immune to the disease, and so establish a cure. He soon established that it was this cetyl myristoleate circulating in the blood that protected the mice, and then found a way of synthesizing it in the lab by esterifying myristoleic acid.
Since the compound was unknown at that time Diehl patented it in 1977, hence the date. Apart from in mice, it has subsequently been found only in whale oil and in one of the glands of the male beaver, with no other known sources at the time of writing. There have been several studies that have supported the effect of cetyl myristoleate on arthritis, the first human study being in 1995 when 46 out of 48 arthritis patients showed significant improvement in articular mobility and reduction in pain. Others since have demonstrated similar results.
So how does it work? What is the mechanism by which this hitherto unknown substance helps to relieve the symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis? Being a fatty acid ester, cetyl myristoleate possesses lubricant properties, and one of its properties is to supplement the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and tendons. This helps to keep the joints moving freely, and reduces their tendency to grind when the connective tissue wears. It also lubricates entire muscle groups, allowing them to slide over each other more freely, and also over bones allowing a smoother movement of the joints.
The second way, in which it operates, by supporting the immune system, is particularly appropriate to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis which is caused by the immune system attacking the body’s own joint and connective tissue. In this respect, cetyl myristoleate has also been found effective in treating other immune system conditions such as multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosus.
Finally, it also possesses the mediation effect on the inflammatory reaction possessed by other essential fatty acids. This helps to reduce the effect of inflammation that causes much of the swelling and pain of arthritic conditions, although it occurs much faster than with other fatty acids. When taken together, all of these effects have a powerful effect in reducing the unpleasant symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling is reduced, mobility is improved and pain is alleviated. Improvements have been reported by sufferers of both types of arthritis, and in fact it is reported that Harry Diehl successfully treated his own arthritis with the substance before any other human tests had been carried out.
Cetyl Myristoleate is now used word-wide in significant quantities, and there have as yet been no confirmed reports of adverse side effects. However, as with many otherwise safe supplements, it is recommended not to be taken by pregnant or lactating women until it has been proved to definitely have no side effects on the fetus or young babies.
Although there is no definitive scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the substance in relieving the symptoms of arthritis, there is an overwhelming body of evidence from those that have used it world wide. The accepted treatment is by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and with over 16,0000 NSAID-related deaths in the USA alone each year, cetyl myristoleate is certainly worth considering as an alternative for arthritis sufferers. Not only that but there is a very significant price differential, with NSAIDs costing 5 – 10 times that of cetyl myristoleate.
Among the other benefits that people using the substance have reported are beneficial effects on psoriasis, hepatitis, high blood pressure, eczema, allergies, headaches and many more. Although many of these might be coincidence or psychosomatic, it cannot just be coincidence that many of them, such as psoriasis and allergies, are related to the immune system.
However, anybody with asthma or a history of severe allergic reactions should consult their physician before using the substance. That aside, there is more than enough popular evidence to indicate that cetyl myristoleate is effective in the treatment of arthritis in all its forms, and also good for your general state of health and wellness.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiterpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiterpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Oregano oil hi in Carvacrol
April 25, 2008 02:27 PM
VitaNet ®, LLC is pleased to distribute Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano—one of the finest quality oregano oils available today. Nature’s Answer offers you a concentrated oil of true oregano, Origanum Vulgare, steam-distilled in a base of extra virgin olive oil. There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because many plants throughout the world are called oregano. For example, marjoram (origanum marjorana) is a close cousin to true oregano, and Spanish and Mexican oregano are actually different plant species. It is important to be aware of these differences, because only Origanum Vulgare contains high amounts of the active ingredient, carvacrol. This is the exact species that Nature’s Answer uses in its products.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce two pounds of Nature’s Answer Oregano Oil. This highly concentrated form yields a quality plant product, retaining all the important volatile oils intact, true to Nature’s Answer’s philosophy of maintaining the plant’s Holistic Balance.
Holistic Balance guarantees that the natural constituents of our herb products are in the same synergistic ratio as those found in the plant; an herb of this type reflects the natural balance of the plant, and all of its many micronutrients.
Oregano is rich in nutrients including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, and manganese. It also contains the active chemical constituents, thymol and carvacrol. These components have shown strong activity in protecting cells against foreign organisms.
The protective properties of oregano have been recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano is also a powerful antioxidant, offsetting the adverse effects of free radicals on out bodies. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to support intestinal, digestive and respiratory health and can also be used topically for minor skin irritations.
Each four-drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mg of oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of carvacrol. Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano liquid and its high quality oregano oil in softgel form are always on deal at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.