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Are You Getting Enough Healthy Fats?
April 22, 2019 04:19 PM
If you have been trying to remove all fat from your diet, you've been making a mistake. The human body needs fat to function. You just need to make sure you are getting the right fats. When it comes to your health, unsaturated fats are beneficial, trans fats are detrimental, and the jury is still out on saturated fats. Failure to consume enough healthy fats can lead to cognitive fatigue, dry skin, joint pain and other ailments. To ensure your body gets enough good fat, fill your diet with seeds, fruits, nuts and fatty fish.
"Your skin is what you eat and good skin always starts from the inside. Aside from collagen and elastin, healthy fats also help to keep your skin moisturized and supple. As our skin cells are surrounded by them, low levels of fats in the body can lead to dry, flaky and irritated skin (4)."
Read more: https://www.longevitylive.com/anti-aging-beauty/getting-enough-healthy-fats/
Natural antifungal remedies that reduce candida overgrowth
March 18, 2019 05:11 PM
Did you know that the most common cause of yeast infections in humans is caused by a fungi called Candida albicans? Those who have a high presence of Candida albicans can experience symptoms such as brain fog, depression, and unstable moods. Researchers have found that there are several natural remedies that can help decrease the presence of Candida albicans within our systems. Substances such as coconut oil have natural antifungal properties which help fight off any overgrowth of Candida albicans.
"If you suffer from candida overgrowth, you may experience symptoms like mood swings, leaky gut, brain fog, and depression, which can interfere with your daily life."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-05-natural-antifungal-remedies-that-reduce-candida-overgrowth.html
Is magnesium the secret to ending PMS? Vitamin eases headaches andcramps
February 20, 2019 03:49 PM
The vast majority of women will suffer from common PMS symptoms like cramps, insomnia, headaches, anxiety and mood swings. Roughly five percent of women will suffer more serious symptoms — known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder — involving anger and depression. However, studies suggest that women who take a daily magnesium supplement suffer from less severe PMS symptoms, possibly because magnesium helps promote higher levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter which helps regulate sleep. Women who experience exhaustion as a central PMS symptom are particularly likely to need more magnesium.
"According to PubMed Health, during this time, some women feel a wide range of physical discomforts, such as abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, backache, headaches, bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness, possible sleeping issues and digestive discomfort."
Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6697649/Is-magnesium-secret-ending-PMS-Vitamin-eases-headaches-cramps.html
How Much Omega-3 Per Day Should You Take?
February 01, 2019 04:11 PM
Omega-3 is a common supplement with lots of health benefits, however, finding the right supplement comes with a lot of choices. The source of the Omega-3 could be a variety of oils, as well as the quantity of the supplement that is right for you. The amount of Omega-3 that you need is dependent on different factors including how much Omega-6 you consume each day, your size, and gender. Furthermore, people will take different quantities of Omega-3 depending on which health benefit they are most interested in.
"The amount of omega-3 fatty acids that you need each day depends on a number of different factors, from your health status to which forms you get in your diet."
Read more: https://draxe.com/how-much-omega-3-per-day-should-you-take/
Fight menopausal symptoms with fermented red clover extract
October 14, 2018 01:38 PM
According to a recent Danish study, fermented red clover is an herbaceous plant that can effectively be used to treat mood swings and hot flashes associated with menopause. Furthermore, the red clover extract can help to prevent osteoporosis that may occur for some menopausal women. Researcher Dr. Lambert claims that the key to the beneficial properties of red clover extract is the fact that it’s fermented, which helps support the bioavailability of the plant’s estrogen-like compounds, otherwise known as isoflavones. This research on fermented red clover is important given that the unpleasant symptoms of menopause affect one in three women over age 50.
"The fermented extract is a remedy of great efficacy. In addition, the extract prevents osteoporosis or bone loss that is accelerated by menopause, which affects one in three women over the age of 50."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-24-fight-menopausal-symptoms-with-fermented-red-clover-extract.html
Herbal treatments help balance hormone fluctuations and mood swings in women
April 07, 2018 05:17 PM
Menopause is an unsettling time of life; the chemical seratonin becomes unbalanced and causes uncomfortable or even painful changes in the body. Fortunately, there are some natural herbs and treatments that can help with the hormonal imbalances experienced. Those herbs have a long history of use and are as follows: St. John's Wort, Kava Kava, Black Cohash and Valerian. These different herbal treatments are traditionally used to treat depression, menopausal problems as well as promote relaxation and healthy rest.
"Menopause is a natural occurrence wherein menstruation stops in women."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-04-06-herbal-treatments-help-balance-hormone-fluctuations-and-mood-swings-in-women.html
I Used These 4 Tricks To Cure Candida In A Week
January 19, 2018 03:59 PM
Our body does not survive on its own but rather through the assistance of numerous micro organisms. In our gut system for instance, bacteria and yeasts thrive in billions. However, these can turn into harmful creatures if their numbers are not checked. A good example is 'Candida Albicans' species of yeast. If the immune system weakens, it can multiply to hazardous quantities. The body becomes sick. First symptom is strong sugar craving. Then there is chronic mental fog, joint swelling and mood swings. To cure this condition, avoid sugar and antibiotics. include in your diet probiotics, apple cider and lemon juice.
"When a person’s immune system is weakened — whether through diet, stress, antibiotics or all of the above — candida can no longer be held in check and begins to expand outwar"
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/all-natural-tricks-to-cure-a-candida-overgrowth/
15 Signs Your Body Desperately Needs A Detox (And What To Do)
August 22, 2017 09:14 AM
There are 15 signs that your body needs a detox. One of the signs is constant fatigue, regardless of how much sleep you get. A strange and thick coating on your tongue is another sign that your body needs a detox. If you have this sign, then your body may be in need of a serious detox. There are many other signs as well. Rapid mood swings and depression are a good indicator os a body that needs a detox.
"With your liver working overtime to process and eliminate these toxins 24/7, it’s got no time for a vacation… and we all know what happens when you don’t get that all important vacation time: a tantrum!"
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/signs-your-body-desperately-needs-a-detox
4 ways lack of sleep or sleep deprivation affects the brain
June 13, 2017 07:14 AM
There are 4 ways that lack of sleep deprivation affects the brain. It can cause severe mood swings among other things. It will impair your overall performance in life. This will affect your personal and work life. Your memory and your thinking process will also be greatly affected. Sleep helps your learning and your memory. It will lead to psychiatric problems. Overall, sleep is an important part of our lives and we need it in order to function.
Read more: 4 ways lack of sleep or sleep deprivation affects the brain
8 Ailments Blackstrap Molasses Can Treat
June 10, 2017 07:14 AM
Many people think of molasses as just a sugary treat, but it has a surprising amount of natural healing power. Blackstrap molasses, which is the portion leftover after sugarcane has been processed, is chock full of minerals and also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Some of the ailments that it can be used to treat are arthritis, iron deficiency, menstrual mood swings and pain, constipation, skin conditions, unhealthy hair, and ADD/ADHD. While it should be consumed cautiously by people who suffer from diabetes, it can be added in small doses to your diet to aid with arthritis pain, iron deficiency, ADD/ADHD, and constipation. Using it topically can help improve the conditions of both your skin and hair. The most effective blackstrap molasses is that which is high-quality, 100% real blackstrap molasses. How you choose to consume it is only limited by your imagination.
Read more: 8 Ailments Blackstrap Molasses Can Treat
Are You Gaining Weight For No Reason? Check Your Thyroid
The human body is an extremely complex system of checks and balances that's held in a very delicate state of equilibrium. It's hard to understand at times but with the patience of science, we can usually get to the bottom of whichever mysteries our bodies will present us with.
One of the mysteries that some people might find themselves faced with at some point in their lives is that of gaining weight for no reason. Diets and exercise will seem not to work. A possible culprit might be found in a small organ known as the thyroid gland. Let’s have a closer look at it and how it may be affecting your metabolism and weight.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is the largest gland in your endocrine system of glands and is located right in the middle of your neck just below the Adam’s apple in men. Endocrine glands refer to glands that secrete hormones in the human body. The thyroid gland produces the hormones Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine, which are referred to as the thyroid hormones. These hormones play a significant role in your energy regulation and metabolism functions by prompting almost every cell in your body to increase its activity. This is essentially what your metabolic rate is. There are three basic categories of problems that can occur in your thyroid gland, as follow:
The Thyroid Gland and Weight Gain
When too little thyroid hormone is being produced in a patient, their metabolic rate will slow down, meaning that the body’s cell will not be burning up calories at their optimum rate. This will lead to these unspent calories being deposited throughout the body in the form of fat. The person affected might find themselves suddenly gaining weight without any apparent changes in their lifestyle or eating habits. This is also why dieting and exercise may not have the desired effect on the patient.
The symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be very vague because the hormone acts throughout the body but should you find yourself experiencing some of these, consider testing specifically for hypothyroidism:
6 Types of Depression
April 15, 2014 10:36 PM
Types of depression
Major / Clinical Depression
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Effects low adrenal to body
As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:
Cause of low adrenal level
With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.
It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .
Types of adrenal stress syndrome
Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.
Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.
Mental burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.
The Health Benefit Of Grapefruit Oil.
February 18, 2014 06:47 AM
Grapefruit oils are known to be very important in improving and maintaining body health. Herbalist and medical doctors have recommended regular use of grapefruit oil because of variety of benefits it has.
Some of the amazing health benefits of grapefruit oil includes
Helps in Losing Weight
Grapefruit oil is rich in enzymes that burns excess fat in the body, they contains low sodium which helps to fight body weight since there is no absorption of excess water in the body.
By eating grapes and taking small exercises that will no strain your body, you are assured of fast weight loss.
Prevents Arthritis and antiseptic properties
Grapefruit oil contains salicylic acid which is effective in breaking down inorganic calcium in the body. Accumulation of inorganic calcium would lead to arthritis as it builds up in cartilage joints. Regular intake of grape fruit oil will also lower arthritis severity.
Additionally, it has antiseptic properties, it helps to clean congested skin.
Helps in Cancer Prevention
Grapefruit oil contains a compound known as lycopene, lycopene is a carotenoid which makes grape fruits have a red color. It eliminates cancer causing radicals and cancerous tumors.
Grapefruit oil is also rich in compound called naringenin which has anti-oxidant properties, naringenin will also repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cases, by repairing damaged cell, naringenin helps in cancer prevention by preventing production of cancer cells.
Grapefruits will help to prevent mood swings and ant-depression properties. They are also very energizing and with a refreshing property.
It is also very effective in maintaining the color of your hair, maintaining healthy hair follicles and treatment of dandruffs.
Grapefruit essential oil is rich in fiber, which encourages better digestion by creating a laxative effect for more consistent bowel movements. It stimulates secretion of gastric enzymes to help break down of food and maintains digestion.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Magnesium Glycinate?
March 12, 2013 11:58 AM
Magnesium Glycinate is derived from the attachment of magnesium to glycine. The health benefits of Magnesium glycinate are many. Naturally, the body needs magnesium to function properly. If the magnesium levels in our blood are less than normal, it is necessary to take magnesium glycinate supplement. When the amount of magnesium in the human body is very low, it may lead to various ailments. Likewise, excessive intake of this nutrient may lead to fatigue, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea etc.
Let us consider some of the health benefits of this supplement:
Prevent High blood pressure Medical Experts believe that consuming a large amount of this supplement can help prevent or reduce the effect of high blood pressure. Individuals who are already suffering from high blood pressure can take this supplement to reduce hypertension.
Increase Levels of HDL
HDL stands for good cholesterol. This supplement can also help reduce levels of bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol.
Improve Sleep Quality
People who have low levels of magnesium may find it difficult to sleep. If you are yet to achieve a more restful sleep, perhaps you can take this supplement. Those who are struggling with restless leg syndrome may also find this supplement helpful.
Magnesium glycinate supplement can help balance your mood swings. According to the author of "Healing Depression Naturally" Lewis Harrison, magnesium has the ability to regulate neurotransmitter receptor sites. Harrison emphasizes on the use of magnesium glycinate as a good treatment for depression. He stated that magnesium glycinate helps to remove mercury from the body, which can lead to emotional stability. However, this claim is based on anecdotal evidence and not clinical studies. Notwithstanding, some persons have achieved success using this supplement to treat depression. Therefore, if you are struggling with fatigue, sleeplessness, depression, high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol levels, then this supplement is for you.
The Differences and Benefits
December 27, 2012 10:23 AM
There are different sources of healthy foods and ingredients that people can consume to boost their health and performance. Honey is one substance that is considered natural and has great various health benefits to prevent serious ailments, increase stamina, and improve the health of the skin and the overall body system. When talking about natural products related to honey and bee activities, people can also enjoy great benefits from royal jelly, bee pollen, and Propolis.
Value of Royal Jelly:
Although they are made through the same bee activities, the source of their existence is different; thus, leading to different health benefits and usages.
For a starter, let's talk about royal jelly first. Royal jelly is a substance that is milky or white in trait. The substance is produced by worker bees' gland in order to feed the queen bee. Although the royal jelly is also given to the larvae, it is the staple food for the queen bee. Queen bee gets to consume the jelly for life, while the larvae can only consume it for three days. The jelly is believed to contain healthy substances that make the queen bee survive for about four to five years.
The reason for the health benefit of the royal jelly is the pantothenic acid and acetylcholine levels which are quite high. They are responsible in delivering nerve message between cells, in order to make sure that the body system works perfectly. The acetylcholine is believed to be responsible for Alzheimer disease. When the acetylcholine level is low, the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer is increasing. On the contrary, when the acetylcholine level is high, people can prevent the ailment.
The bee pollen is gained from plants' pollen. When the worker bees collect the pollen and they mix it up with their saliva and the nectar, they create small pellets that are then used to feed the male bees. The drones (the male bees) are usually residing within the beehive.
Nutritive value of bee pollen:
The bee pollen itself is believed to have great health benefits since it is rich in nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Since the pollens are rich in antioxidants, protein, carbs, amino acids, and coenzymes, the benefits people can get from consuming the pollens are:
Propolis is another product from the bee. Known as the bee glue, the resinous and sticky substance is mainly used by bees to seal off the cracks in their hive. They collect it from tree buds, so the composition, colors, and odor are different - depending on the resin source.
When Propolis is produced as cream, it is said to treat minor burns, help opening the genital herpes lesions, and heal cervix inflammation. When used as nasal spray, it can treat running nose or throat infection. When used as mouthwash, it can reduce the plaque formation, help treating gum inflammation, and reduce the numbers of bacteria.
Basically, each of these products is beneficial for people as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrition. People only need to choose which product suits their needs the most.
But to answer the question, royal jelly is believed to be the most beneficial!
MCT OIL benefits?
October 10, 2012 01:13 PM
Mct oil is a natural versatile oil used in cooking, salad dressing and can be used instead of butter. It contains easily digested fatty acids contained in milk fat, palm oil and coconut oil. These components are good for digestion in burning fats and improve energy disbursement.
Due to its effects of burning fats, it helps in resulting to effective and healthy weight loss. People suffering from malnutrition and those with poor absorption conditions, are advised to use Mct oil since the body does not hold the Mct oil because they are easily digested, stored and used as they are directly absorbed in the blood stream, unlike other fats and oil that the body stores in the fat cells, due to the inability of the body to break them down.
Athletes are beneficiaries of Mct oil in gaining weight and in losing weight Mct's are known to have improvement effects on muscle building, this is achieved by introducing Mct oil to their food as the oil works as carbohydrates and not fat and also enhances the taste and makes more edible. The oil increases muscle building as it reduces the fat percentage in the body with this; the body is able to improve muscle building and fat reduction simultaneously. Those enrolled to gyms for body building are better placed to experience this.
Patients suffering from diabetes are great beneficiaries since the Mct oil helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Obesity being currently so common, should be checked in its early stages to curb its drastic effects. Mct oil can be used by those suffering from obesity to burn the excessive fats and raise their energy. This will eventually result to weight loss and good health.Since Mct oil is not digested as a fat but as energy giving it is recommended for the elderly whose digestive system is known to be fragile and weak.
It will boost their energy levels as it reduces the fats in their body. With a weak digestive system, the Mct oil requires the least energy to bed absorbed into the body making it favorable for the old age. Young children do not have complex digestive system, therefore, introducing Mct oil to their diet will boost their energy levels and improved their immunity since children are known to be prone to many diseases and end up spending a lot of energy in playing. Expectant mothers too should be encouraged to use Mct oil in their diet as it works as carbohydrate and not a fat.
These mothers are known to be prone to several conditions like disease outbreaks and mood swings, this oil will boost their immunity during this period as they prepare to have their new born. The MCT oil will boost the child's immunity as well so introducing this oil to the expectant mothers diets helps even the unborn thus saving two lives at ago.This Mct oil is quite available, as it is locally available in the local stores therefore acquiring it is made easy and cheap.
st johns wort and depression
October 10, 2012 12:10 PM
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort, also scientifically known as hypericum perforatum, or Klamath Weed, is a herb with yellow flowers. It has numerous composition of strong compounds like hypericin and hyperforin thathave shown evidence of antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant properties.
St John Wort can be used to treat mild session of anxiety depression and mood swings, the hyperforin chemical found in it, elevates the level of the neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin) that relay information in between cell and play a vital role in the nervous system. The herb has the ability to inhibit chemical associated with anxiety and depression and thus induce a sense of wellbeing and help moderate depression, anxiety, mood swings, chronic fatigue and low energy level.
Other benefit of the St John Wort is that it can help treat hangover and alcoholism; it also helps prevent the risk of getting Parkinson disease. It antibiotic and anti-viral properties can help treat congested sinus or a chronic cough its antibacterial and analgesic propertied help to treat wounds and burn.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil in Joint Pains and Inflammation
August 01, 2012 08:16 AM
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil and are an essential fatty acid necessary for the human health. Human body cannot produce them so they have to be derived from food products like fish, nuts and some plants. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in abundance in certain fish varieties like the salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, krill and halibut. One needs to consume these varieties of fish at least twice a week to enjoy the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil has a number of health benefits some of them are neurological benefits, preventing heart diseases, and improving the health of joints.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil:
Omega-3 fish oils are also known as polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Fish oil supplements are made from salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring varieties. The polyunsaturated fats in the fish oil have substantial anti-inflammatory properties and suppress the production of inflammation. They also help in reducing the risks of arthritis, cancer, and heart diseases. Omega-3 fish oil helps in brain growth and improves the operation of the brain memory and performance. Babies who are deprived of omega-3 fish oil are born with possible nerve and vision problems.
Deficiency of omega-3 fish oil can lead to dry skin, tiredness, heart problems, and mood swings. People consuming food rich in omega-3 fish oils are less likely to develop heart disease.
Benefits of Omega-3 fish oil in joint pains and inflammation:
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the major causes of joint pains and inflammation in many people making their life difficult. This type of arthritis can affect young as well as old alike. The body's immune system attacks the joints of the body by causing stiffness, and swelling of the area. People suffering from this condition have found a lot of relief from inflammation due to joint aches after regular consumption of fish supplements or consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of omega-3 fish oil relating to joint pains are:It helps reduce tenderness of the jointsIt reduces the enzymes that destroy the cartilageDecreases the need to use painkillersReduces stiffness of the joints especially in morningsImproves the strength of joints
Increase in Omega-6 fatty acid which is also a type of essential fatty acids causes inflammation of the joints. They are found in abundance in corn, sunflower and canola oils. These are found in packaged snacks, processed foods and in margarines. Omega-3 fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, which reduces joint pain and inflammation. According to researches our body helps convert omega-3 fatty acids into compounds which protect our joints and is thousands of times stronger than the original omega-3. These compounds are named Resolvins. These Resolvins slows and stops the production and flow of chemicals that are responsible for causing pains.
Studies have shown there should be a proper balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fish oils can also be consumed in the form of supplements for people who do not consume fish. These supplements are an affordable choice to lessen joint and tendon pains. Omega-3 fish oil is considered to be very healthy in treating many other health conditions and improves the overall health just by consuming them on a regular basis.
Chaste Berry a Women Herb
February 08, 2012 11:51 AM
Other names of Chaste Berry- Monk's pepper, Chaste-tree Berry
Chaste Berry is the fruit found on Chaste tree which is botanically known as Vitex. Chaste tree is a decidous tree that grows in a well-drained, acidic soil in full sun. Vitus agnus castus or Chaste Berry is a native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia but now is grown throughout the world. The tree belongs to Verbanaceae family and can grow to a height of 22 feet. It was traditionally used by men in ancient Greece and Rome to reduce sexual desire, treat menstrual disorders and other hormonal problems and as an anti-microbial agent against infections. It is also known as 'Women's Herb' as it regulates hormonal imbalances and promotes women reproductive health. Aside from its medicinal use, it was used as a peppery condiment. Some of the constituents included in Chaste Berry fruit are flavonoids (casticin, orientin, isovitexin, kaemferol), glycosides (aucubin and agnuside) and essential oils (linalol, sabinene, pinene and limonene). These phytohormone compounds help in regulating the female hormones production and normalising testosterone and progesterone activity.
Effects of Chaste Berry:
ChasteBerry controls and regulates overall female reproductive system.
1. It helps to manage Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is associated with several uncomfortable symptoms, ranging from mood swings to fatigue and hot flushes. Chaste Berry is known to be rich in progesterone that helps to ease out the disturbing symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.
2. It helps to normalize menstrual irregulaties: Imbalance in prolactin levels in the body can lead to various complications in women such as amenorrhoea (absence of periods), breast tenderness and reduced milk production in lactating mothers. Chaste Berry balances natural production of prolactin hormone in the body and effectively treats menstrual irregularities and other symptoms such as tenderness of breast and reduced milk secretion.
3. It treats menopausal discomforts: Some women experience dicomfort and other menopausal symptoms that affect their daily routine life. The hormone regulating properties of Chaste Berry help in easing menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flushes and several other physical symptoms associated with hormone deficiency during menopause.
4. It improves overall female reproductive health: Chasteberry has been found to be effective in treating fibroid cysts especially of smooth muscle. It also reduces heavy bleeding associated with perimenopause.
5. It helps in treating Hormonal acne: Hormonal acne are due to imbalance in androgen hormone levels. Increased androgen levels in the body leads to excessive sebum production that causes acne. This wonder herb regulates the androgen levels in the body and thereby helps in treating moderate and light acne. Another way in which this herb prevents acne formation is its anti-bacterial property. The bioactive essential oils present in Chasteberry have anti-bacterial properties that prevent the survival of bacteria. Chaste Berry contains linoleic fatty acid which is responsible for regulating sebum production.
Chaste berry modulates the hormone prolactin with the neurotransmitter dopamine. The active ingredients such as polyphenols in the herb indirectly affects hormones and neurotransmitters and regulate the hormones.
Chaste berry herb is a safe and natural treatment for many women related problems.
How Do I Use Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams For PMS?
September 22, 2011 11:04 AM
If you are a guy who had encountered women you probably would have heard about PMS. It is something that we as men are familiar with because often times, about once a month our female acquaintances would let us know that they should be allowed to act silly and have their way for the next few days all because they are experiencing PMS but is there truth to it? Let’s try to take a more scientific approach because my guess is, it is more serious than we know.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined by strong and consistent mood swings, tender breasts, fatigue, depressions, food cravings and irritability just to name some of the more common symptoms. Commonly this peaks around the late 20’s and early 30’s for females and it is a serious issue. It is not the kind of juvenile reason for tantrums that young female kids might lightly throw around. These symptoms can cause serious discomfort and many changes in the sufferer’s lives and at times in certain months it will be pretty intense and unnoticeable in some. It also happens in a predictable pattern which is one upside to allow the patient to prepare for it and can figure out certain ways to counter the effects so as to not allow PMS to take control of your life.
Phytoestrogen And Progesterone Creams
First off let look at some details about these substances. Phytoestrogen are chemicals that are derived from plants and have the primary property of having the ability to mimic estrogen in the human body which is the primary sex hormone in women. Estrogen on the other hand is the real thing and is a hormone manufactured primarily in the ovaries with an essential responsibility of initiating and maintaining proper menstrual cycles in women.
Although this hormone can also be found in the male’s body we produce it at a lesser degree. Studies have shown that estrogen is an important factor in women’s reproductive cycles unlike men which does not really have much use for it and aims to keep the levels of this hormone down as it may cause more feminine bodily changes in men. With women however, supplementation with estrogen has been used to treat reproductive cycle issues so it is no surprise that these hormones are being incorporated into cream products to aid in PMS relief and how you use it depends on your specific cycle.
Some common guidelines is to use of about 100 to 200mg a day and it terms of when, it shall depend on the length of a female’s cycle. As a general rule though it should be taken 14 days prior to ovulation if the specific ovulation date is not known as ovulation starts fourteen days before bleeding starts. If no ovulation happens or you don’t have a period, use a 28 day cycle as a guide and choose any day to start. It is important that this is done before ovulation so it does not interrupt the body’s natural process of ovulation and hormone production.
Herbs For Depression
December 13, 2010 12:34 PM
Fight Depression with Natural Herbs
Before discussing treating depression with natural herbs we should first consider depression itself: what is it and what causes people to become depressed? Psychiatrists and psychologists will suggest a number of definitions although most experts agree that there are two forms of depression.
Causes of Depression
Exogenous depression comes about as a result of external factors such as bereavement, heavy debt, job loss, etc, while endogenous depression comes from within and is believed to be due to biochemical problems, including food allergies, hormonal changes, thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, particularly Vitamin B deficiency, and addictions. There are many other reasons for people becoming depressed, some of which can be established by the particular symptoms of the individual.
In many cases of depression the external factors are often easier to treat than those due to internal factors. Many exogenous causes of depression such as bereavement are alleviated through time, while causes such as job loss and debt can be resolved once the cause has been rectified: thus, if the patient is no longer in debt or is re-employed, the depression tends to disappear with the cause.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is not diagnosed from a single symptom, but from a number of symptoms that can point to a person being clinically depressed and requiring treatment. Among the symptoms of depression are:
Prolonged periods of sadness or despair
Forms of Depression
Many normal people can suffer one or two of the above systems, and would not be diagnosed as depressed because of it. We can all get mood swings, feel a bit worthless now and again or be unable to concentrate or focus at times, but that does not mean we are clinically depressed.
Depression would not be diagnosed in a patient with just one of these symptoms but five or more likely would be. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders deem the patient suffering clinical depression if displaying 5 or more of the bottom 8 symptoms above for a month or more. This is believed to be the case with around 17 million Americans so it is a significant problem.
Manic depression is otherwise known as bipolar disorder, where patients have large mood swings from high and extreme hyperactivity and excitability to very low deeply depressive moods and is a clinical condition generally treated using drugs.
Treatment of Depression With Natural Herbs
The usual treatments are drugs that often have undesirable side effects; so many people are trying natural remedies instead. There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat depression, one of the most familiar being St. John's Wort. However, there are others, and here is a synopsis of each.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort (hypericum perforatum) is likely the best known herbal treatment for depression. In fact, in Germany it is prescribed by doctors to children and adolescents for the treatment of mild depression and is available over the counter in many countries.
However, it can also be used in cases of severe depression, and a report in the Cochrane Database Review[8(4)] by K. Linde, M.M. Berner and L. Kriston in 2008 stated that of 29 separate tests carried out on a total of over 5,000 patients, the conclusion was that St. John's wort extracts were at least as good in treating severe depression with 5 times lower side-effects as tricyclic antidepressants and twice lower than the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
It should be stated, however, that one trial on 340 subjects indicated no improvement over a placebo. However, the anti-depressive drug sertraline (Zoloft) was also shown to be no better than the placebo in this test, so some doubts must lie regarding its accuracy. Of all the herbal treatments, St. John's wort has had most testing carried out and it seems to be effective in treating mild to severe depression although not all experts are yet agreed.
Kava Kava Root
Kava kava can be used to treat depression and anxiety, largely due its content of kavalactones that are believed to increase the amount of a number of neurotransmitters in the blood, including the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Kava kava root is mildly intoxicating, having much the same effect as alcohol, and can also reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, it is doubtful if its effects are permanent and so it may be less of a depression cure as a short-medium term treatment. Its effects are also variable on different people, some describing it as making them feel relaxed and 'dreamy', while others find it therapeutic and making them feel better in themselves.
Kava kava should not be taken without your doctor knowing about because there have been concerns about its effect on the liver if taken in excess. A European-wide ban was lifted about two years ago after testing found the risks of taking it to be very low. It has been used for centuries as an intoxicating drink on islands such as Fiji.
Passion flower has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, stress and depression, its active ingredients believed to be maltol and ethylmaltol that help to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is one of the brain's key neurotransmitters and has been described by some as the brain's own 'Valium' supply.
Through the intervention of GABA, passion flower extract helps in reducing anxiety levels and makes you feel a lot calmer. If you suffer forms of depression that make you hyper or excitable, passion flower will help to reduce this and also helps to cure insomnia. It is a component of many natural sleeping pills.
These are just three natural substances that can be used to treat depression. However, you must inform your doctor or physician if you decide to take them since they may interfere with or change the effect of any antidepressant drug you are currently taking.
Call today for natural remedies for depression
Control Depression And Appetite With 5-HTP
March 05, 2010 12:21 PM
It has become a national obsession to find a quick fix for obesity. In the long run, prescription drugs have not proven to be safe or effective. Additionally, just about all diets fail. There have been some natural supplements that have been found to be both beneficial and safe. One of the most promising of these supplements is griffonia, which is extremely high in 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is also referred to as 5-HTP.
Considerable research has been done on 5-HTP as to its safety and use in weight loss and depression. 5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is a natural amino acid that is found in foods. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that it cannot be produced within the body. Therefore, it must be obtained from food, specifically, proteins. 5-HTP is convereted to an important monomine neurotransmitter called serotonin within the liver and brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons in the brain. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that closes the gap between neurons, is essential for many bodily functions.
It is believed to play a role in both depression and obesity. Unlike serotonin alone, it can cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes it possible for the brain to manufacture more serotonin. 5-HTP may actually help to promote the production of serotonin, which makes more available in the body. Research has determined that increasing amounts of 5-HTP can help deal with weight loss and depression. 5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is a natural amino acid that is found in foods.
5-HTP may be able to revolutionize the treatment of emotional and physical problems that are related to the lack of serotonin. This amino acid has been used effectively in Europe for decades. Recent clinical studies that therapeutically administered 5-HTP confirmed that this supplement is effective in treating depression, fibromyalgia, binge eating, chronic headaches, and insomnia.
Recent research determined that a group of women given 5-HTP ate less than those women who were given a placebo. Weight loss through appetite control was linked to the intake of 5-HTP. Women who took 5-HTP over a five week period lost an average of three to four pounds. Other studies on humans have produced the same results. It seems that 5-HTP provides a feeling of fullness, causing women to eat less.
Depression has been linked to low levels of serotonin. 5-HTP has been shown to improve mood swings and depression by elevating serotonin levels in the body. One study compared 5-HTP supplementation with the use of Prozac, which works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. In both cases, there was fifty percent improvement in depression. However, those who were taking 5-HTP showed a higher tolerance for the treatment and had a lower failure rate.
Those suffering from obesity and depression may be helped by the use of 5-HTP. This natural supplement may be able to help reduce the appetite and improve moods. 5-HTP acts as an alternative to prescription drug therapy, which is well-known for the adverse side effects that it provides. It is important to consult your health care provider before using this, or any other supplement. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by 5-HTP, please feel free to contact a representative from your local or internet health food store.
October 01, 2009 11:57 AM
In the past decade, ginkgo has received much attention. It has been revered throughout China and other areas of Asia for thousands of years. However, its popularity increased in Western countries. An increase in sales can be attributed to interest in the benefits of ginkgo on conditions that are associated with aging like Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia, and circulatory disorders. Often, gingko is used to increase the blood flow to the brain, which improves memory problems like Alzheimer’s, to prevent strokes, and to increase blood circulation through vasodialation. The improved circulation is also thought to improve ear conditions, help blood flow to the retina, aid in preventing muscular degeneration, reduce frequency of asthma attacks, and help transplant recipients avoid rejection.
The ability of ginkgo to boost brain function has been studied extensively. Most importantly, ginkgo increases oxygen supply to brain cells, as the brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, ginkgo has been used to improve electrical transmission in nerves and supply more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. The effect that ginkgo has on the brain and circulatory system disorders seems to be extremely promising for a variety of conditions. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective in treating migraine headaches. In one study that took place in 1975, ginkgo extract was given to individuals who were suffering from migraines. Results concluded that eighty percent of the patients showed improvement or were cured of the condition.
Ginkgo extract has also helped dementia that results from poor blood flow to the brain. Senile dementia is often recognized by depression, unusual fatigue, and memory problems. Ginkgo has the ability to help improve circulation to the brain tissue, which in turn improves brain function.
Blood platelet aggregation, or clotting, can cause serious problems in the body. Among these are strokes, heart attacks, and coronary thrombosis. It has been found that ginkgo can reduce the tendency for platelets to stick together and prevent them from forming clots in the arteries and veins.
The brain and nervous system are extremely sensitive to free-radical damage because of the high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. It has been found that ginkgo’s antioxidant activity is particularly powerful in these areas, along with the eye and retina. This is extremely helpful in conditions like retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration. The central nervous system possesses fat lipids in the cell membranes that are typically attracted by free radicals. Ginkgo can help protect these cell membranes and prevent condition which can occur in the brain and nervous system that are often associated with aging, like memory loss.
The leaves of the ginkgo plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antioxidant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. Primarily, ginkgo is extremely helpful in treating ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of attention span, blood clots, cardiovascular disorders, poor circulation, dementia, dizziness, edema, impotence, inflammation, ischemia, memory loss, lack of mental clarity, multiple sclerosis, muscular degeneration, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, senility, stress, stroke, and tinnitus.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, coughs, depression, lack of equilibrium, eye problems, hearing problems, hemorrhoids, lung disorders, migraines, mood swings, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, varicose veins, vascular problems, and vertigo.
Fight Hypoglycemia With Fiber
July 17, 2009 03:46 PM
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can be very subtle and difficult to recognize. Many people with hypoglycemia have become so used to their symptoms that often, they don’t even recognize their own abnormality. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral changes.
There is a whole variety of symptoms that can be caused when the body cells are deprived of sugar or when blood sugar drops too quickly. The most common symptom of hypoglycemia is fatigue. When referring to fatigue, the normal kind of fatigue that occurs after hard work or exercise is not what is being discussed. Hypoglycemic fatigue affects the muscles and nerves and usually can’t be relieved with rest or sleep. The brain is extremely dependent on glucose for its energy source. Once blood sugar levels have dropped, hormones kick into action. The release of adrenaline can cause sweating, tremors, hunger, and weakness. It should also be kept in mind that if your blood sugar levels drop at a more gradual pace, the patient may not even recognize the symptoms as those of hypoglycemia. Those experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia may feel dizzy, confused, clouded, and emotionally unstable without any visible tremors. Symptoms such as anxiety or panic attacks can become a part of hypoglycemic mood swings.
Other mental symptoms of hypoglycemia include melancholy, irritability, hostility, confusion, and paranoia.
Along with the above, there are many other symptoms that can result from hypoglycemia. These symptoms include amnesia, anxiety, antisocial behavior, breathing difficulties, confusion, constant worry, crying jags, depression, digestive disorders, drowsiness, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, heart palpitations, impatience, inability to cope, insomnia, intense hunger, internal trembling, irritability, lack of concentration, nervousness, dizziness, seizures, severe sweating, fainting, tingling, and tremors.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia is when blood sugar levels are low at night time, causing insomnia. Eating a whole grain snack or small piece of cheese 30 minutes before going to bed can help to reduce occurrences of this scenario.
There are, unfortunately, hundreds of people that struggle with low-blood sugar symptoms and are unaware as to why. By simply switching for a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates to one that is comprised of protein and complex carbohydrates, one can bridge the gap between a dysfunctional life and a rich one. In order to determine whether you have hypoglycemia, you must first examine your eating habits. Simple facts like what and when you eat can directly affect how you feel. Anyone who has unexplained fatigue, depression, crying spells, anxiety, or apprehension should investigate low blood sugar levels as a potential culprit. You should also look into your family history, as hypoglycemia tends to run within families.
Those people who are chronically stressed and often find themselves on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of the day. These people have adrenals that are not functioning optimally, causing them to want sugar when they hit a real low point. Usually, in the mid-afternoon, adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. If you do, in fact, suffer from hypoglycemia, you will feel good right after you eat and then your mood and physical status will deteriorate from two to six hours after eating.
Keeping your glucose levels stable is important to maintaining good health. Snacking on complex carbohydrate foods can help regulate the amount of sugar that is released into your blood system. Consuming large quantities of fiber can also slow down the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and level out blood sugar.
Look for great advice and fiber supplements at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing products, always buy name brands to ensure quality and purity of the supplements you buy. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lycopene is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 27, 2009 01:56 PM
Menopause is the time at which a woman stops ovulating and menstruation ceases, which indicates the end of fertility. Menopause is not a disease, but rather a natural progression in life, similar to puberty. Many years before a woman stops ovulating, her ovaries will begin to slow their production of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen and progesterone are often thought of as the reproductive hormones.
Although estrogen is essential in reproduction, it is also extremely important in other non-reproductive organs and systems in the body. Cells in the uterus, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver, and brain all contain estrogen receptors. These organs need this hormone in order to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function. Estrogen is needed to keep the skin smooth and moist and the body’s internal thermostat working properly. Estrogen is also essential for proper bone formation. Even though estrogen levels drop sharply after menopause, they do not disappear entirely. Other organs take over for the ovaries, continuing to produce a less potent form of estrogen. These organs, known as endocrine glands, secrete some hormones from fatty tissue in order to maintain bodily functions.
Progesterone works along with estrogen, stimulating changes in the lining of the uterus to complete the preparation for a fertilized egg during the second half of the menstrual cycle. If no egg is fertilized, the uterine lining is broken down and expelled, allowing the cycle to being again. Progesterone also has effects beyond the reproductive system, as it calms the brain and also affects other aspects of nervous system function. Testosterone is most important for both men and women, with women producing about 80 percent less than men do. However, it is the driving force for maintaining a healthy life and proper functioning organs.
The period when a woman’s body is preparing for menopause is known as perimenopause. For the majority of women, hormone production beings to slow down then they reach their thirties, continuing to diminish with age. Many women will experience few if any symptoms at this time, but others may suffer from anxiety, dry skin, fatigue, feelings of bloating, headaches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, decreased interest in their significant other, loss of concentration, mood swings, night sweats, reduced stamina, urinary incontinence, uterine dryness and itching, weight gain, cold hands and feet, joint pain, hair loss, and/or skin changes.
Menopause occurs when a woman stops menstruating altogether. At this point, most of the acute problems a woman may have experienced are actually over and a new balance between all hormones should be established. However, women become increasingly vulnerable to other, potentially serious health problems at this time. Over the long term, the diminished supply of estrogen increased the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and uterine atrophy. Osteoporosis especially is a major problem for women after menopause, with an estimated 80 percent of the hip fractures that occur in the United States every year being due to osteoporosis.
A proper diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise can help to minimize or eliminate most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with this stage of life: beta-1, cerasomal, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, essential fatty acids, lecithin granules, a multi-enzyme complex, soy protein, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E, boron, calcium, magnesium, quercetin, silica, zinc, l-arginine, multiglandular complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin C, aloe vera gel, slippery elm, damiana, amaranth, chickweed, dandelion greens, nettle, seaweed, watercress, anise, black cohosh, fennel, licorice, raspberry, sage, unicorn root, wild yam root, hops, valerian root, gotu kola, red clover, dong quai, St. John’s wort, and Siberian ginseng.
All these above listed vitamins and herbs are available in capsule, tablet, or powder forms. When looking for natural alternatives to help replace estrogen naturally, look to your local or internet health food store for name brand products that can help restore an imbalance over time.
March 23, 2009 01:56 PM
Our memory is as natural to us as breathing. An ability we all have, but don’t often think of, it doesn’t seem to cross our mind until we perceive that we are losing the ability. Memory lapses are an annoyance in themselves, but the anxiety that often comes along with them seems to be even worse. We often wonder if our memory problems are a symptom of some other problem like midlife depression, arteriosclerosis, or even Alzheimer’s disease. Although Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common disorder among older people, one must realize that most memory lapses have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease.
Generally, it is believed that increasing age brings about an increased likelihood of developing memory loss. The mildest form of this illness is called age-associated memory impairment. This is characterized by one’s perception of his or her own memory loss and it is estimated that it is experienced by 40 percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five. Not all memory loss is attributable to aging, as occasional memory lapses are a natural normal part of life at almost any age, and are not likely to precede serious memory loss. With a proper diet, nutrition, and memory use, the memory should remain sharp and active well into one’s nineties or beyond.
One big reason why people suffer from memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients to the brain. The life of the body is in the blood, as it literally feeds and nourishes every cell within our bodies. Only certain substances are allowed to pass from the bloodstream into the brain, thanks to the protective envelope that is known as the blood-brain barrier. If the blood is thick with cholesterol and triglycerides, the amount of nutrient-rich blood that can pass through the blood-brain barrier decreases. This can result in the brain becoming malnourished over time.
The functioning of the brain also depends upon substances that are referred to as neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that act as electrical switches in the brain and are responsible for all the functions of the body. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, or the nutrients to make them, it starts to develop something similar to a power failure or a short circuit. If you are trying to recall as specific fact or piece of information and your mind goes blank, it is likely that the above “short circuit” has occurred.
There are many other factors that are involved in the deterioration of the memory. One of the most important is exposure to free radicals, which can cause huge amounts of damage if the memory is unchecked. Alcoholics and drug addicts often suffer a great deal of memory loss, with alcoholics being notorious for huge memory gaps that occur even though they are conscious. Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain can also contribute to memory loss, while hypoglycemia can play a role in memory loss as well, as the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a specific narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels affect brain function and memory.
The following nutrients are beneficial in dealing with and preventing memory loss: acetylcholine, boron, DMAE, garlic, huperzine A, lecithin granules, manganese, multivitamin and mineral complex, omega-3 fatty acid complex, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, SOD, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin B3, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, acetyl-l-carnitine, l-glutamine, l-tyrosine, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, DMG, melatonin, NADH, pregnenolone, RNA and DNA, Brahmi, ginkgo biloba, anise, blue cohosh, ginseng, gotu kola, and rosemary.
All of the above mentioned as well as formulas tailored to help improve memory can be found in capsule, table, or power forms. Remember, only look to name brands such as Solaray, Source Naturals and Natures Plus for quality products. Memory vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Lower Blood Sugar
October 16, 2008 01:54 PM
Many people struggle to control their weight. However, while they are going on and off various diets, they fail to realize that they are also struggling to control blood sugar. Actually, the cause of blood-sugar problems may be weight problems, as being overweight and having blood sugar problems tend to go hand in hand. Too many blood sugar swings during the day tend to increase hunger jags, snacking, and overeating. When you overeat, you’re much more likely to add on the pounds, setting the stage for obesity, pre-diabetes, and full blown diabetes.
Sadly, both pre-diabetes and overweight have become modern epidemics that are out of control, with two of every three Americans being overweight and over 100 million people having some signs of pre-diabetes. Both of these illnesses are nutritional disorders that result from eating too many unhealthful foods. However, there is good news: you can reverse pre-diabetes and control your weight.
One can self-diagnose pre-diabetes by looking for the most visible symptom: being chubby or fat around the waist. Other clues are cravings sweets and starchy foods, not being hungry at breakfast, and feeling tired or mentally fuzzy after lunch. Many physicians diagnose pre-diabetes when a patient’s fasting blood sugar falls between 100 and 124 mg/dl. There are several dietary factors that significantly increase the risk of overweight. Some of these being: too many calories, too many refined carbs, especially sugars, and too many unhealthful oils.
The average woman needs about 1,600 calories and the typical man needs about 2,000 calories daily, but the average American now consumes 3,900 calories each day, making it difficult to burn off all these calories and causing the accumulation of body fat. Because most excess calories take form of refined carbs and sugars, which are digested rapidly, rapid or extreme spikes in blood sugar levels, elevated insulin levels, and bouts of hunger result, which stimulate low blood sugar. Trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, interfere with the body’s processing of fats and often lead to weight gain. Most of these problematic calories are found in fast foods, microwave foods, and other types of convenience foods, which are all best if they are avoided.
Even though pre-diabetes can be scary, it’s actually an opportunity to improve your eating habits and regain your health. To improve your health you can emphasize quality protein, emphasize high-fiber vegetables and fruits, include grapefruit in your diet, use more vinegar, and add some cinnamon. Since protein stabilizes and safely lowers blood sugar levels, be sure to start each day with some protein with breakfast and eat a little protein with each meal.
Most veggies and fruits are rich in fiber, which helps to lower blood sugar, so opt for salads and steamed broccoli while avoiding crutons, potatoes, bananas, and pears. Despite the calories, eating fresh grapefruit can help in weight reduction. The acetic acid in vinegar can also help to improve blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce appetite, and help with weight loss. Adding cinnamon has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. There are also several supplements that have exceptional value in improving insulin function or lowering blood sugar levels. These include lipoic acid, chromium, silymarin, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin D, and Pycnogenol.
You can also enhance the benefits of diet and supplements by increasing your physical activity as it helps build muscle and burn blood sugar and fat. Tackling pre-diabetes can not only reduce your long-term risk for health problems, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, but also can allow you to quickly gain more energy and feel less post-meal fatigue.
Polyphenols is an Antioxidant
October 13, 2008 02:14 PM
A lot of new evidence suggests that consuming more plant polyphenols is a powerful way to protect aging arteries. These polyphenol compounds help improve endothelial function, a critical factor in preventing atherosclerosis; inhibit abnormal platelet aggregation which causes most sudden heart attacks and strokes; fight inflammation; and support healthy blood lipids. Polyphenols that are of particular interest are those derived from green tea, cocoa, apples, and black chokeberry, which all complement each other in helping to build the body’s defenses against various ailments.
All throughout history, the medicinal potential of plants has been celebrated. Modern science has found that edible plants are to be valued for their high vitamin and fiber along with their rich store of polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in fruits and vegetables, as well as cocoa, tea, and chokeberry and have been shown to be a type of chemical that may protect the body against some common health problems as well as certain effects of aging. Polyphenols protect cells and body chemicals against damage that is caused by free radicals and block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth, deactivating substances that promote the growth of cancer. The increased consumption of polyphenols has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and potentially cancer and stroke.
In Aztec culture, cocoa was one of the most highly prized due to its medicinal and stimulant value, along with its taste. The polyphenols found in cocoa occur in a higher concentration than can be found in any other food. They also have antioxidant activity much greater than those found in broccoli or red wine. The catechins and procyanidins that are found in cocoa seem to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Cocoa has also been proven in studies to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and slightly ameliorate the lipid profile. Although cocoa is a healthy and tasteful food, it is high in caloric content and therefore, its ingestion must be accompanied by the careful reduction of calories from other sources.
Many studies have shown that tea polyphenols can be extremely beneficial to human health, possessing anti-obesity, antihypertensive, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. Tea is the world’s second most consumed beverage, although less popular in the Western diet. Green tea and white tea retain more polyphenols in their intact form, as oolong and black teas undergo more extensive processing before they are marketed. Tea polyphenols break down in high temperatures therefore; freshly brewed tea contains a higher amount of polyphenols per serving than do tea drinks that are canned or bottled.
Similar to the blueberry, the black chokeberry is high in anthocyanins and antioxidant activity. It is native to eastern North America and has become popular in Eastern Europe and Russia due to its health-promoting potential. This berry protects the liver from chemical poisoning and the stomach lining from ulcers. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers harmful cholesterol levels, and prevents dangerous swings in blood pressure. Some studies have shown that this berry seems to prevent the harmful mutations in cell cultures, regulates immune function of human white blood cell cultures, and suppressed the growth of human colon cancers.
August 26, 2008 04:58 PM
GABA is gama amino butyric acid, and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is essential for the proper function of your brain and the central nervous system, and has the effect of reducing excessive brain activity and promoting a state of calm.
For many people, the rush of daily life, with its problems, worries and external stimuli, can over-stimulate the brain to the extent that it can all seem too much for them. They feel anxious and overwhelmed, and wish that they could just go into a quiet corner to get away from it all. Most people have felt like that at some time, but the demands of life do not allow them that luxury. They just have to bear it and get on with life.
That is where GABA can come in. It can be used to bring your nervous system back to base, and make you feel more relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that life often throws at you. When you feel that you just can’t relax or concentrate on what you are doing, GABA can help you. If you look around you and everybody else seems OK, without apparently feeling the stress and irritability that you feel, and then perhaps your problem is due to a GABA deficiency. GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, and a deficiency would certainly give you the symptoms that you are feeling. Let me explain why.
As your brain becomes excited, it can run out of control and needs some form of modification or inhibition to keep it acting as normal. Without this you would become increasingly more restless and irritable, and ultimately have seizures. GABA is not only the main inhibitor in your brain, but also helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense of well being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins are produced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, is commonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’.
GABA is at its highest concentration in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and the central brain area, and is present in up to 40% of all synapses, the small gaps between neurons across which brain cells can communicate with each other.
It is produced during the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle that is responsible for cell respiration or the production of energy from carbohydrates. It is synthesized from alpha-keto glutarate, which is produced just before the Succinyl Co-A stage of the Krebs Cycle in the brain. Vitamin B6 in involved in its metabolism, and a Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a deficiency in GABA that might result in seizures.
Basically GABA works by inhibiting the firing of neurons in your brain, and thus reducing general brain activity. The GABA receptor allows more chloride ion to enter the brain cell, thus helping to maintain the electrical charge within the cells. Bezodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) work by increasing the effectiveness of GABA in opening the chloride ion cells to allow more chloride ion to enter the neurons, and caffeine does the opposite, and inhibits this property of GABA. Thus diazepam works as a minor tranquilizer and caffeine as a stimulant.
Alcohol has a similar effect to the benzodiazepines, increasing the release of chloride into the neurons, and is the major way in which alcohol affects the brain. In fact, tolerance to drugs and withdrawal symptoms can be explained by the receptors adapting to the drug. They may increase in number, which means that more of the drug is needed to work on them, and they can become hypoactive in the event of the drug being withdrawn, that enhances the symptoms that the drug was intended to treat.
So basically, that is the way that GABA works. In simple terms it increases the flow of chloride electrolyte to the brain, and in so doing affects our mood. This effect is enhanced by prescription drugs such as Valium and Ativan, which are used by those that suffer the effects of a GABA deficiency. However, these drugs have side effects, not the least of which is dependency due to the GABA receptors becoming modified to suit the drug. There is a more natural way to overcome many stress problems and symptoms of mood swings.
Knowing what causes these symptoms, it makes sense to eat foods that stimulate the creation of neurotransmitters to replace those that are deficient. Since GABA is produced in the Krebs Cycle and complex carbohydrates produce glutamine that is an important part of that Cycle, and is also the precursor to GABA, then the consumption of such foods should in theory produce more GABA. In this case the theory works, and you should eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oats as part of your diet.
Other foods that are high in glutamine or its precursors, glutamic acid and glutamate, include citrus fruits, beef liver, broccoli, halibut and lentils. A useful supplement to take is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, and available in supplement form. L-theanine can calm your nerves while maintaining clarity of thought. In other words it calms you down, but doesn’t make you drowsy and allows you to enjoy your day with anxiety.
Your doctor can determine whether or not you have a neurotransmitter deficiency through a simple urine test, and might also test your saliva for hormone content. A GABA supplement might be indicated, and if so it other beneficial effects on your body other than its effect on your brain cells.
It improves your sleep cycles and promotes vivid dreaming, and can also have a positive effect on your blood pressure. It is also an effective pain killer, and can provide relief from such conditions as back pain and arthritis. Its stimulating effect on the anterior pituitary gland to secrete Human Growth Hormone might also be regarded as a benefit by many. Increasing the level of HGH in your blood can lead to fat loss and improved anabolic activity (increase in muscle tissue). This can be of benefit to older people whose level of HGH secretion has dropped off, and who find it more difficult to lose fat.
GABA is a substance that has many known benefits and no known side effects other than a slight tingling and increase in heart rate when the supplement is first used. It has a definite benefit for people to whom the world seems too hectic and overwhelming.
August 12, 2008 01:34 PM
Similar to everyone else, you probably have an occasional period where you’re down in the dumps. But don’t fret; feeling a little bit down every now and then is normal. But when these low feelings persist, you may be in trouble. If they deepen over time no matter what you’re doing to change them, then chances are that you are truly depressed. True depression occurs as a result of a loss of interest in nearly everything that once gave you pleasure. These pleasure feelings are replaced by an all-consuming feeling of emptiness and numbness which may be related to clinical depression.
Clinical depression is another matter, this form of depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for long periods of time and prevents people from leading a normal life. It is a treatable medical condition and is characterized by persistent and sometimes severe feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. There may also be disturbance in sleeping or eating patterns, anxiety, regret, shame, grief, diminished ability to concentrate, and repetitive suicidal thoughts.
Having five or more of these symptoms for a span of two weeks or longer is categorized as clinical depression. However, there are shades of gray when it comes to being emotionally down, from low moods all the way to major depressive episodes. Dysthymia is a lot less severe than depression, but it lingers sometimes for years, allowing people to function adequately but consistently feeling unhappy. Bipolar disorder also causes people to have severe high and low mood swings, while seasonal depression is another form that rounds out the category.
According to a global study, depression may be the most disabling disease in the world. Researchers found that depression can worsen health more than angina, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes. Those who have depression and one or more chronic diseases are in the worst health of all. It is estimated that 19 million American adults are living with major depression, with up to 25 percent experiencing an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime and women suffering twice as much as men do from major depression.
Suicide is strongly connected to depression and is the third-leading cause of death in 10 to 24 year olds, with most depressed people never seeking treatment. Those who are undiagnosed and untreated allow depression to worsen and last for years of untold suffering. About 15 percent of people with major depression die from committing suicide. Major depression is a life-threatening illness that should be treated by medical experts. There is no test that can diagnose major depression. However, it is important to rule out other medical problems that have similar symptoms as those of depression.
Depression is usually treated with medications and counseling. Natural remedies may also be effective in the treatment of depression, especially in those cases that are mild to moderate. Additionally, many nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle factors are involved and it is important to recognize that these factors are not only important for depression, but also for our total health. Getting people healthy gets them less depressed, generally speaking, and there are three supplements that can help ease the symptoms of depression naturally.
Lithium, which is a prescription drug for bipolar disorder, is a simple mineral with benefits for the nervous system to improve mood and cognition. Since patients with depression often have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, proper DHA levels are essential for proper functioning of the neurotransmitters. Supplementing with essential fatty acids can help with depression symptoms.
Finally there is SAM-e, a molecule that naturally occurs in the cells of plants and animals, works well as an antidepressant without causing side effects for most people. Always consult your doctor if you suspect you may have clinical depression or when you start any new vitamin supplements with medication and never exceed the recommended doses on the bottle with out a doctors help.
July 03, 2008 08:58 AM
Serotonin has not only been shown to regulate sleep, but it also is responsible for controlling mood, including feelings of optimism, relaxation, general sense of well-being, and the ability to focus and concentrate. When serotonin levels drop, it can lead to a lowered mood, which is what people experience with seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and general stress. People who experience these conditions also have been shown to experience decreased levels of tryptophan, which is responsible for the decrease in production of serotonin. Tryptophan depletion has been associated with a lowering in mood of normal healthy men. In one study, women who had recovered from major depression and ended drug treatment experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms after tryptophan depletion. In many studies that were performed in the 1970s, indications of trytophan’s ability to relieve lowered mood were found.
When shorter days begin in the fall and winter, negative effects on a significant percent of the U.S. population result. Some experience sadness, sleepiness, increased appetite, weight gain, and a loss of libido, which is what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A key contributor to this is the increased synthesis of melatonin that occurs during the winter months. Daylight normally inhibits the conversion of serotonin into melatonin. Since the period of nighttime is longer in the winter versus the summer, there is a longer period of melatonin secretion. Increased synthesis of melatonin depletes serotonin levels, which, in turn, increase the symptoms of SAD. Those patients who experience SAD tend to crave starchy foods and sweets more, which happens when brain serotonin levels are low.
Tryptophan treatment may offer a substantial amount of help for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD patients who were treated with either light therapy or with tryptophan proved that patients with light therapy relapsed more quickly after the discontinued use, as apposed to those who were treated with tryptophan. Studies have also shown that SAD patients often feel better after being treated with tryptophan.
Serotonin also plays an important role in behavioral inhibition. Many studies have found that there is a decrease in aggressive behavior when serotonin is increased, while decreasing serotonin leads to impulsive aggressive behavior. Another study proves that healthy men who are depleted of tryptophan show more aggressiveness. When tryptophan supplementation was studied, participants who received the tryptophan significantly decreased their quarrelsome behavior and increased in sociable and agreeable behavior. Additionally, those patients’ perceptions of other participants’ agreeableness also increased.
Symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome include depression, cravings for foods that a rich in carbohydrates, insomnia, irritability, and hostility. More so, women with premenstrual syndrome dysphoria, which is a more severe premenstrual syndrome, have shown decreased levels of brain serotonin. This suggests that tryptophan may be involved, as premenstrual women who had tryptophan depletion have shown increased aggressive behavior. When tryptophan supplementation was studied on women who experienced premenstrual dysphoric disorder, mood swings, tension, and irritability, results showed that there were significantly greater improvements with l-tryptophan supplementation than with a placebo.
Eighty Seven Percent of All Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Prevented Naturally
January 24, 2008 05:06 PM
It is a fact that almost 90% of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by attention to diet and the use of specific supplements. However, before having a look at these possibilities, we shall first have a look at what type 2 diabetes is so that the means of prevention can be better understood.
Diabetes is a condition, not a disease. It cannot be passed from one person to another, and there is evidence that it is hereditary since it tends to run in families. In the past it tended to develop later in life, although the modern lifestyle appears to have made it more common now in children and young adults.
Diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in your blood becomes higher than it should be. The reason for this is twofold: either the body produces no or insufficient insulin or it cannot use the insulin that is produced. Sugars and other carbohydrates are metabolized to glucose that is the body’s source of energy. The parts of your body that do this are the mitochondria that are contained within your body cells, and the hormone insulin is essential in allowing this to happen.
When the concentration of glucose in your blood reaches a certain level, the pancreas secretes insulin into your blood. The insulin is synthesized in special cells called the islets of Langerhans, after the person who discovered them. Also produced is glucagon which is also secreted into your bloodstream, and the glucagons and the insulin work together to ensure that your blood glucose levels remain stable (when everything is working correctly).
Glucagon is secreted when your glucose levels are low, and its presence in the bloodstream stimulates the conversion of the emergency energy store in the liver (glycogen) to glucose in order to maintain this stability. Insulin, on the other hand, is released after you have consumed a meal, and your glucose levels are high. What insulin does is to stimulate the cells of your body to convert glucose to energy and either use it immediately, or store it as glycogen for use later. By means of these two substances, the level of glucose in your blood is maintained at safe levels – normally.
If something happens to the supply of insulin, then the blood sugar level will continue to rise until the bloodstreams contains too much glucose, a condition known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms are excessive thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, fungal infections or thrush around the genital area (due to yeasts and sugar fermentation), and various others such as mood swings, cramps, dizziness and a feeling of tiredness and weakness.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces no insulin, and the only possible treatment is continual insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is defined in two ways. Either your body does not make enough insulin for your needs, or the cells in your body cannot use the insulin produced properly. It is Type 2 diabetes we are concerned with here, and that we shall be exclusively discussing. With Type 2 diabetes, insulin shots can be provided, but there are other factors that can also help to resolve the problem.
Before discussion treatment or prevention, you should be aware of the complications that Type 2 diabetes can lead to. Hyperglycemia is not common with this type of diabetes, but it can develop. If it does then it can be a life-threatening condition needing a rapid injection of insulin into the bloodstream Symptoms prior to the critical stage are drowsiness and dehydration, although as stated, this is more commonly associated with Type 1 diabetes where regular insulin injections is the normal treatment.
Longer term complications of Type 2 include kidney damage, hardening of the arteries, eye problems, impotence and problems with your circulation. Nerve damage can also occur, and it is important that you avoid these by changing your diet and lifestyle. These problems occur if you have had high blood glucose levels over a long period of time, and you therefore have time to take the steps necessary to avoid them if you start now. The same steps will also help you to avoid the condition from occurring. So what are these steps you should take?
The first is to look carefully at your diet. A healthy balanced diet is essential if you are to beat your condition naturally and avoid the potential longer term side effects. Diabetes is associated with the overweight and obese. That is not to say that only these people become diabetic, but the majority are. Most people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, and although around 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, a considerably higher proportion of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight.
The first and obvious action to take to avoid this type of diabetes would therefore be to lose weight, and adopt a healthy diet that is free from junk food, trans fats and alcohol, all of which contribute to obesity. The next is to look to your blood pressure and keep it normal, and also to keep your low density lipoproteins (LDL) low. These affect the propensity for your blood cholesterol to deposit in your arteries, especially if they are oxidized by free radicals. A good antioxidant content is therefore recommended in your diet. Although blood pressure and high LDL levels do not directly contribute to diabetes, they are risk factors that could increase the risk to your health if you are diabetic.
You should eat a diet that is high in whole grains and fiber, and eat lean meats and fish rather than fatty foods. Stick to complex carbohydrates that metabolize to glucose slowly and steadily, rather than starchy foods that produce a sudden sugar rush that will give you problems and could promote Type 2 diabetes in those that are prone to it.
Specific supplements that you could take include chromium picolinate that can not only be used to treat existing diabetes patients but also to reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Studies involving the use of chromium picolinate on patients with this type of diabetes have been very positive, resulting in reduced blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels. The optimum dosage is around 500 micrograms twice daily. Such treatment has been shown to both prevent and reverse Type 2 diabetes.
Magnesium is another specific supplement that studies have suggested can lower the risk of developing this type of diabetes. Magnesium rich foods have also been found to be effective, and the fact that a magnesium deficiency can lead to diabetes supports the findings that its use can help to prevent it. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and beans nuts and seeds are generally rich in magnesium.
Vitamin D can also help protect against the development of diabetes. Although the research is relatively new, it has been established that the cells that produce insulin are affected by a lack of vitamin D in the blood, and low levels of vitamin D can also led to insulin resistance. If you spend more time out in the sun, you should have less chance of contracting Type 2 diabetes, although you could also take a supplement.
Although Type 2 diabetes is not as serious as Type 1, no form of diabetes is desirable to have, and ultimately both types can be extremely serious. You should do what you can to avoid diabetes, and Type 2 is easier to avoid then Type 1. Diet, weight and supplementation as described above will all help to avoid contracting this condition, so follow the advice, especially if you are overweight and have a sweet tooth.
Natural Hormone Balance for Women
December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.
There are many natural approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.
In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.
Is Wild Yam Natures Progesterone?
November 15, 2007 07:20 AM
Dioscorea villosa, commonly known as wild yam, is a tuberous vine native to North America and parts of Central America. It was used by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations for pain relief and birth control and has also been given the names colic root and rheumatism root, demonstrating this early use of the plant. However, whether it is nature’s progesterone or not is another question that requires close analysis.
These Central American civilizations, of course, did not understand the reason why they were effective. Some of the symptoms treated can be caused by the menopause, and the wild yam is believed to contain natural forms of progesterone that can alleviate some of the adverse effects of the menopause on the body. Like most plants, they also likely act as anti-inflammatories, so relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Like any natural remedy, wild yam had its adherents and its detractors, though in recent years the plant has been used as the raw material for the production of cortisone and a form of progesterone: or at least so it is claimed, so let’s have a closer look at these claims and determine whether or not wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The human body uses organic compounds called hormones to regulate many of the chemical activities of the body. The hormones catalyze the chemical reactions and changes needed for the proper functioning of our bodies. Hormones are produced in small chemical factories dotted throughout our body called glands. Each gland is devoted to producing a specific hormone, or a range of them, and each hormone is designed for a specific purpose.
Each has an associated hormone ‘receptor’ at their targeted destination that fits the hormone like a jigsaw piece. When it turns up, the hormone attaches to the receptor and the reaction proceeds. That might be the initiation of energy production in cells, the activation of certain genes or even the stimulation of hair growth by the follicles or of the libido and the natural desire to procreate.
Hormones are manufactured from only three constituents: proteins, amino acids and cholesterol, and the steroidal sex hormones are created from cholesterol. Therefore, don’t reduce your cholesterol level too much!
Prior to puberty, all of the sex hormones are manufactured by the adrenal glands, and after puberty by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Progesterone is produced initially, and is then used as the building block for all the other sex hormones (hence the prefix ‘pro’). In women these are the estrogens and in males the androgens. Progesterone is made from the start of the menstrual cycle, and after day 12 they have reached a high enough level to halt ovulation. Progesterone levels continue to rise for about 8 days, and then if fertilization has not occurred, the progesterone levels trigger menstruation, and the lining of the womb is detached and expelled.
During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop off, although the exact reason for the many and varied symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are still unknown to a large extend. There appear to be several contributing factors, though estrogen and progesterone certainly appear to be two of the major ones. We shall concentrate here on the progesterone factor because that is what wild yam is claimed to address.
Although the main function of progesterone is to generate estrogen and testosterone, to restore the libido after menstruation, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the uterus and aid in gestation, it has many other purposes such as in thermogenesis (burning of body fats), protection against osteoporosis and is also believed to have a natural anti-depressant action. These are all supported by the symptoms that appear when the body is low in progesterone levels: depression, sudden increase in body fat, mood swings, loss of sex drive and a susceptibility to weak bones if the deficiency is long-term.
In other words, women that usually suffer from PMS, also generally suffer low progesterone levels. It is believed in some quarters that a progesterone deficiency causes an excess of estrogen that leads to these symptoms in addition to heart disease. No one really knows for sure, but a deficiency of progesterone seems to be the determining factor.
Women with menstrual problems continue to be issued with prescribed synthetic progesterone even though they do not have the same effect as natural progesterone. They can also lead to some unpleasant side effects such as fluid retention, strokes, jaundice, blood clots and depression: some of the symptoms it is intended to alleviate. Some take borage or evening primrose oil for the GLA that helps some of the effects, but this is taken to counter the over-production of the hormone prolactin in some women prior to menstruation, not a deficiency of progesterone.
Wild yam does not cause these symptoms, and is claimed by many to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS. The problem with the artificial forms of progesterone is that the liver’s job is to destroy foreign hormones, and send them to the digestive tract for expulsion. Natural hormones are not affected in this way, even if they come from a non-human source.
The chemical diosgenin in wild yam is very similar in structure to progesterone, and is believed to be the active principle. It is claimed that it can be used to produce not only progesterone but also other related hormones. However, some medical authorities and practitioners dispute this claim, and there is still a question as to how wild yam works. Because it does work, many people swear by it and claim that they could not live without it.
This is especially true of those that suffer from the more severe effects of PMS, and since wild yam does not work for everybody, it could be connected with the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Whichever is true, there appears to be little doubt in the eyes of those that use it as a cream that wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
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August 26, 2006 02:41 PM
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7-Syndrom Healing and 5-HTP
June 07, 2006 03:49 PM
Boomer Breakthrough – Keeping in the Game
If there is not thing boomers need to manage, its chronic stress. That’s because of its deleterious effects, which include accelerated aging and altered brain function. This month boomer breakthroughs will focus on 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-htp, one of the most versatile and powerful anti-aging remedies. For starters, 5-htp is a more powerful antioxidant than either vitamin C or melatonin. This it deserves a place in ones daily vitamin regimen based on this fact alone. However, the better-known attribute of 5-htp is its stabilizing effects on the brain and nerves.
Mood, Anxiety and Depression
Chronic stress can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression, poor memory, and reduced cognitive functions. Last month we recommended the Adaptogenic herbs Ashwagandha and Rhodiola as therapy for smoothing out periods of intense stress such as looming deadlines. For longer term stress supplementation with 5-htp is a better choice. That’s because extended periods of stress reduce brain levels of serotonin. Supplemental 5-htp is produced from the African plant Griffonia Simplicifolia and has over 30 years of safety and effectiveness in clinical use.
How do you know if you have low levels of serotonin? Persistent anxiety is one key and insomnia is another. 5-htp, an intermediary metabolite of serotonin, has proven to be clinically effective in reducing these disorders. Weight gain and eating disorders also appear to be associated with low serotonin levels.
Serotonin the Antiaging Neurotransmitter
Serotonin, one of three major neurotransmitters, has a calming effect and helps keep emotions in check. It has been extremely helpful in lessening panic attacks, various phobias, suppressing appetite, and reducing aggression, anxiety, and pain sensation. And, it may be more effective in relieving mild depression than antidepressants. In a 1991 Swiss study, the effectiveness of 5-htp in alleviating depression was compared to a conventional antidepressant, fluvoxamine (Luvox). Patients were divided into two groups and given either 100mg 5-htp or 150mg of fluvoxamine three times a day for six weeks. At the end of the test period, the 36 5-htp patients showed a greater percentage of improvement than the 33 fluvoxamine patients.
Other studies have compared 5-htp with antidepressants such as chloripramine and imipramine. 5-htp was at least as effective if not more so than the conventional drugs. Moreover, 5-htp has no reported side effects, although some patients have experienced mild nausea when they first take 5-htp. If this happens, merely back off and reduce the daily dose to 50mg and gradually increase it over a four-day period.
5-htp has an advantage over its precursor amino acid L-Tryptophan (LT). it is more readily absorbed than LT and is immune to meals without reducing its effectiveness. 5-htp, unlike LT, is not shunted into niacin, melatonin, picolonic acid and other amino acids. Seventy percent of oral 5-htp ends up in the bloodstream, crosses into the brain and is directly converted into serotonin.
It’s best not to combine 5-htp with antidepressant medications, although there have been no reports of adverse events. Suggested doses is 100mg 3 times a day or 200 to 200 mg taken at bedtime for insomnia.
Pain, Per-menopause and PMS
5-htp has additional benefits for boomers. It reduces hot flashes and is an effective anti-pain remedy. The concern over use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has led to interest in safe and effective methods of reducing hot flashes. Come anti-depressants (Prozac, ect.) have been effective in alleviating hot flashes in women with breast cancer or at risk of the disease. Increasing serotonin is the proposed mechanism by which this occurs. Serotonin in turn resets the brain’s heat regulating system. 5-htp is effective at raising serotonin levels, is free of side effects, and is an effective substitute for anti-depressants.
Additionally, 5-htp has been clinically useful in reducing premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, self-deprecation, tension, anxiety, emotional instability, tearfulness, anger and irritability.
Migraine and fibromyalgia share a common root in serotonin and adrenal hormone (Cortisol) receptor function. Serotonin plays a role in maintaining pain thresholds, vascular constriction/dilation and maintenance of restorative sleep. It is also thought to disrupt pain signals and induce the activity of endorphins, the brains natural painkiller.
Italian researchers report in two clinical trials involving patients with fibromyalgia, that 5-htp (100mg 3X/day) significantly reduced fibromyalgia symptoms. These include a number of tender points, subjective pain severity, morning stiffness, sleep patterns, and anxiety.
Now offers 5-htp in three convenient doses; 50mg for starters, 100mg for maintenance, and 200mg plus 250mg tyrosine, Niacinamide and vitamin B-6 to stabilize adrenal function and help control minor pain.
Adapted from 7-syndrome healing: Supplement essentials for Body and Mind by Marcia Zimmerman and Jayson Kroner, 2006, Nutrition Solution Publications.
PROGESTERONE REPLACEMENT AND MOOD SWINGS
July 25, 2005 10:10 PM
PROGESTERONE REPLACEMENT AND MOOD swings
Consider the following quote concerning mood elevation and depression and progesterone replacement: The domino effect of the inter-relationship between amino acids, vitamins and neurotransmitters is further complicated by the presence of estrogen . . .
an estrogen overload can cause a number of distressing symptoms. Estrogen is a central nervous system stimulant while progesterone has the opposite effect. Maintaining the right balance between these two hormones is a complex and delicate process. Any imbalance can trigger a change in mood. In order to have enough serotonin, you need tryptophan which is necessary for its production. To have enough tryptophan, your body must have certain amounts of vitamin B6. This chemical chain can be broken by estrogen, which can block the action of vitamin B6 and force it to be eliminated from the body . . . consequently, you feel like the world is coming to an end.16
Ironically, synthetic forms of progesterone which are routinely prescribed to help with PMS related depression etc. can actually inhibit the absorption of vitamin B6, thereby contributing to emotional instability and mood swings.
Clinical depression, anxiety attacks and mood swings can all respond to natural progesterone therapy. In addition to opposing estrogen, progesterone stimulates the adrenal glands which help to elevate mood and create energy. One of the most dramatic effects of using natural progesterone is in creating emotional stability. In other words, fluctuating between euphoria and depression in response to hormonal flux is greatly eased by increased progesterone. The short-tempered, anxious or nervous states so typical of PMS are also tempered by keeping estrogen levels in check.
SYMPTOMS OF AN ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
July 25, 2005 09:47 PM
SYMPTOMS OF AN ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
Aside from having your blood or saliva tested, it is relatively easy to assess whether or not you may be suffering from an estrogen dominance. The following symptoms are typical of excess estrogen and progesterone depletion: breast enlargement and tenderness, water retention, heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain (fat on hips and thighs), fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, loss of libido, PMS, mood swings/depression, and certain types of acne.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
July 25, 2005 09:46 PM
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ESTROGEN
While estrogen balanced with progesterone is necessary for proper female development and reproduction, when is dominates, it can contribute to a number of unwanted reactions, including:
Progesterone: Ignorance Is Not Bliss
July 25, 2005 09:42 PM
Progesterone: Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Has anyone ever asked you if you might be suffering from a progesterone deficiency? Women ranging in age from 12 to 100 may be subject to low progesterone levels and as a result, can suffer from a whole host of mysterious ills related to a hormonal imbalance. While most women are fairly informed about birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy with all of its controversy, few of us understand the very profound role progesterone plays in determining our overall health. Moreover, the therapeutic effects of natural progesterone remain relatively unknown and untapped. Of even more significance is that a growing number of women seem to be suffering from progesterone depletion and estrogen dominance. If you’re like I was, this notion struck me as a completely new concept. I can say now, in retrospect, that this bit of knowledge is clearly one of the most important pieces of information I have had the opportunity to research. So many symptoms that women have to endure are readily branded as just part of inevitable PMS or worse yet, products of an overactive imagination or emerging psychosis. It is has been through my own personal experience with terrible mood swings, horrendous periods and all sorts of miserable hormonal demons that I have come to write this booklet. Make no mistake however, the information contained herein is based on scientific fact and is backed by the experience of medical doctors. More than any other physician or scientist, Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. has pioneered and documented his remarkable results using natural progesterone from wild yam for his female patients. To say the very least, his findings have profound health implications for all women.
Natural plant-based progesterone may well be the most important breakthrough therapy for women to come out of the latter twentieth century. Ironically, its use from botanical sources has a long tried and true history. Like so many valuable natural treatments, the value of plant-based progesterones have been virtually ignored by modern medical practices.
Unfortunately, most physicians focus on the use of synthetic estrogen or artificial progestins to manage female disorders such as osteoporosis when, in reality, progesterone may be the key hormone. Ironically, natural progesterone, unlike its pharmaceutical counterparts, offers an impressive array of therapeutic actions with complete safety and efficacy. As previously mentioned, mainstream medicine continues to overlook the use of natural phytoestrogens which can offer practical treatment of hormonally-related disorders without negative side effects.
These simple plant-based medicinals have been used for generations by women of almost every culture and for good reason. These botanicals have been able to support the special health needs of both pre-and post-menopausal women with little or no side effects. Progesterone plays a profoundly more critical role in the maintenance of female health than previously assumed. Too little of this vital female hormone can lead to all kinds of menstrual disorders, infertility, miscarriages, osteoporosis and even cancer. Progesterone deficiencies are much more common that most of us would assume, even in younger women. Replenishing progesterone in its natural form is a safe and effective way of relieving a whole host of female symptoms ranging from the mildly annoying to the seriously debilitating. Simply stated: there are viable alternatives to popping synthetic hormones for problems like PMS or menopausal distress. In many cases, specific plant-based hormone creams can achieve better results without the significant health risks associated with synthetic hormonal analogues.
Today, the use of natural progesterone is dramatically growing as women and health practitioners alike become disillusioned with synthetic hormonal therapies. Using pharmaceutical estrogen has proven to be rather disappointing in treating osteoporosis.1 In addition, the controversy over the safety of birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy for post-menopause rages on. In the midst of much misinformation concerning artificial hormonal drugs, plants like wild yam are being reconsidered and reevaluated for their intrinsic value.
Ironically, modern technological manipulations of these natural phytochemicals has resulted in more potency and more risk to the human body which was not designed to cope with artificial compounds. It turns out that ancient civilizations who turned to botanicals for female ills understood the value of natural therapies. In the face of high-tech pharmaceutical imitations, it turns out that Mother Nature knew what she was doing after all.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. Desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
Progesterone Cream - Supports Hormonal Balance
June 28, 2005 09:40 AM
Recent medical reports have profoundly shaken popular beliefs about the safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women in menopause. You may be one of the six million women who are searching for alternatives. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM can help address normal menopausal discomforts, when used as part of a care for their own health needs. Source Naturals is committed to joining with your health food retailer to help insure that right.
Menopause and Hormonal Balance
Public confidence in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) suffered a major blow when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health halted a large clinical trial out of concern for the safety of participants. Women are looking for natural alternatives to risky HRT.
Source Naturals Progesterone CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM address the hormonal fluctuations that bring on the first disturbing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Used together or separately, these creams address declining levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone Cream from Woman-Friendly Soy
Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to most other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, estrogen and testosterone. Because it is the precursor to so many hormones, progesterone is crucial for overall hormone balance. Yet progesterone levels can drop to near zero during menopause. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM supplies natural progesterone from soy.
Unlike creams which don’t divulge their progesterone content, Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce! This pure white cream softens and smoothes skin. Along with natural progesterone, it contains aloe vera, wild yam extract, natural vitamin E, lecithin phospholipid, jojoba oil, and extracts of ginseng root and grapefruit seed. Natural rosemary oil is added as a fragrance. Available in both tubes and jars for your convenience.
Phyto-Estrogen Cream: Plant Compounds Renowned for Menopause Estrogen levels drop 40-60% at menopause. Phytoestrogens—estrogens from plants—have been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen, helping maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. When there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens substitute for the lack of human estrogen. Conversely, when estrogen levels are high (as in some women who experience PMS), phytoestrogens compete with human estrogen for binding to receptors and decrease overall estrogenic activity.
Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is an almond-colored cream that can be massaged into smooth skin areas to add oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM offers some of the finest phytoestrogens in the botanical world, including 60 mg of soy isoflavones per ounce. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM also contains pomegranate seed juice (a natural source of estrone), red clover tops extract, black cohosh root extract, and dong quai root extract, along with aloe vera gel, natural vitamin E, cocoa butter, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oil, and natural cherry almond fragrance.
Warning: Phyto-Estrogen Cream is not for use by women of childbearing age. DO NOT USE if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant.
Source Naturals offers you the first progesterone and phytoestrogen creams to utilize unique liposomal delivery of key ingredients. Liposomes are micro-penetrating lipid spheres made from lecithin, which pass through skin layers more easily than non-liposomal creams—for highest possible penetration of skin cells. Both creams are available in 2 and 4 oz jars. PROGESTERONE CREAM is also available in 2 and 4 oz tubes.
Lifestyle Tips for Menopause: A Strategy for Wellness
Eat Well: In certain cultures, hot flashes are practically unknown. It is generally true that women in these cultures eat foods rich in phytoestrogens. For example, in Southeast Asia, where soy proteins comprise 20% to 60% of daily protein intake, epidemiological studies suggest an association between a positive, trouble-free menopause and soy consumption.
Lignans—phytoestrogens found in flaxseed oil and unprocessed olive oil—may also have a protective effect. You should eat fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, cereals, beans, whole grains and small portions of fish or hormone-free chicken. Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods. Avoid fatty meats, sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and chemicals. Adequate calcium intake— 1,500 mg per day—is crucial.
Use Supplements: Source Naturals HOT FLASH is an excellent complement to PROGESTERONE and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAMS. A recent comprehensive scientific review of natural menopause products (Annals of Internal Medicine 11/19/02) singled out soy isoflavones and black cohosh for their benefits in addressing hot flashes. Unlike most products, HOT FLASH contains clinical potencies of both soy isoflavones and standardized black cohosh extract. In addition, HOT FLASH contains additional herbs, renowned for use in menopause: vitex, licorice root and dong quai. To be sure you are covering all your nutritional bases, take a good daily multiple like MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE, especially designed for women 40+ years old.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, while those who are thin or underweight are more susceptible to osteoporosis and hot flashes.
Rest and Relax: It is important to get adequate sleep, take naps if you feel tired, and avoid stress. Meditation and yoga can be helpful in reaching a state of calm. Take Care of Your Skin: A 1997 study of 3,875 postmenopausal women documented the relationship between low estrogen levels and skin dryness and loss of elasticity. Research has associated wrinkling with consumption of full-fat dairy products, butter, margarine, fatty meats and sugar. Drink lots of water—at least 1.5 liters daily. Water flushes out wastes, and acts as an internal moisturizer, keeping skin hydrated and supple. Spring water is beneficial since it contains trace minerals vital to healthy skin. For radiant skin, you should also try the Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL™ family of creams and serums. This advanced cosmetic system recharges and revitalizes all skin types. Keep Cool. Avoid triggers such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, overheated rooms, hot beverages and stress. Wear layered clothing, and choose natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool.
Stay Active: Exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps regulate weight and contributes to overall well-being. Weight-bearing exercises are especially important for increasing bone mass. Kegel exercises (tightening and relaxing of the pelvic muscles) can improve bladder control, and may enhance sexual pleasure. Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): Alternative therapies— herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and much more—can help you cope with the physical and emotional changes of menopause.
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
June 13, 2005 01:18 PM
by Cal Orey Energy Times, August 2, 1999
Depression plagues the creative and the mundane. The disparate desperate driven to distress by depression include painters, poets, actors and musicians as well as truck drivers, clerks, electricians and physicists. The victim list encompasses Vincent van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Audrey Hepburn, Virginia Woolf and Ludwig von Beethoven, as well as millions of other sharers of melancholy misery.
More than 17 million American men and women experience depression in one form or another every year, according to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) in Alexandria, Virginia. This includes the deeply destructive major, or clinical, depression, the wide mood swings of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), and dysthymia, a milder, long-lasting form of emotional suffering.
Twice as Many Women In the depression scenario, women suffer twice as much: Two times as many women as men endure clinical depression, reports the NMHA. The mood-deteriorating effects of the hormonal disruptions women are heir to may be partly to blame.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one of 10 Americans wades through at least one depressive swamp sometime during his or her life.
The good news: Research shows that diet and lifestyle can lower your risk of depression.
Birth of the Blues
Nowadays, mounting evidence suggests that depression may result more from physiological factors than psychological woes.
Some of the hidden reasons why you may be depressed include: nutritional deficiencies, exacerbated by overdosing on too much caffeine, sugar, alcohol and high fat foods; allergies; anxiety and chronic stress; and a chemical imbalance in the brain's gray matter. According to the NMHA, people with depression often possess too little or too large a quantity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Changes in levels of these brain chemicals may cause, or contribute to, clinical depression.
The NMHA also reports that an imbalance of melatonin, a chemical made by the body's pineal gland (located at the base of the brain), contributes to a form of wintertime depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This hormone is made at increased levels in the dark. Therefore, the body may oversupply this hormone during winter's shortened daylight hours.
Since the B vitamins are often involved in the production of energy, and a large component of depression may encompass the inability to get out of bed and deal with the world, experts believe that at least some of the signs of depression are linked to B deficiencies. For instance, studies cited in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima) by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, demonstrate that folate deficiency and lack of vitamin B12 can compromise mental health (Drugs 45, 1993: 623-36; Lancet 336, 1990: 392-5).
Inositol: This vitamin is also part of the B vitamin complex, and it, too, has shown its ability to lift spirits. Research work in Israel shows that daily inositol given to 28 depressed patients for four weeks produced an overall positive effect. (Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 7:2, May 1997: 147-55). Inositol is found in whole, unprocessed grains, citrus fruits (except lemons) and brewer's yeast.
NADH: Allan Magaziner, DO, in his book The Idiot's Complete Guide To Living Longer & Healthier (Alpha), reports that brain energizing NADH, a metabolite of vitamin B3, enhances the production of the key neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. "In a recent clinical trial," he claims, "nearly all patients given NADH for depression reported improvement in their symptoms and the absence of side effects or adverse reactions."
Another substance winning the spotlight for its effect on mood is SAM-e: S-adenosylmethionine. In New York on February 24, a symposium coordinated by the American Health Foundation met to hear researchers present information from studies of SAM-e's ability to possibly ease depression.
"SAM-e is a natural product. You and I have it but as people age it declines in production in the body. And that's why we believe supplementation in older people is a beneficial means of bringing that back up and helping people that have depression," said the lead symposium researcher, John H. Weisburger, PhD, MD, Director Emeritus, American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York.
Another researcher, Teodoro Bottiglieri, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Studies and Neurology, Director of Neuropharmacology at Baylor University reported: "SAM-e has been shown to enhance brain dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter metabolism and receptor function. It may also aid in the repair of myelin that surrounds nerve cells. These mechanisms are likely to be responsible for the antidepressant effect of SAM-e."
(Bottiglieri is co-author with Richard Brown, MD, and Carol Colman of Stop Depression Now, a report on the powers of SAM-e just published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.)
SAM-e was first touted as an antidepressant in Italy in 1973. It's been reported that nearly 40 clinical trials demonstrate its beneficial effects as a natural antidepressant.
For instance, an analysis of more than 1000 people suffering depression showed that the effect of antidepressants in patients taking SAM-e was 17% to 38% better than dummy preparations. Conventional antidepressants show a 20% effectiveness rate (Bressa G. Acta Neurol Scand S154, 1994: 7-14).
5-HTP: Another popular supplement to boost mood and relieve depression is hydroxytryptophan. "This medication is actually a brain chemical that is metabolized from tryptophan into serotonin," says Magaziner. And since low serotonin levels have been linked with depression, and certain prescribed medications may up serotonin levels, 5-HTP is in demand.
"One of the more impressive studies supporting the efficacy of 5-HTP for depression evaluated 100 people who had previously found conventional antidepressant therapy to be inadequate. Forty-three of these folks reported a complete recovery, and eight showed significant improvement," reports Magaziner. Not only has 5-HTP been shown to work slightly better than drugs known as SSRIs (these include Prozac), he adds, it has fewer side effects than standard antidepressants, too. DHEA: Medical experts also believe that levels of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) may influence mood. Ray Sahelian, MD, in his book All About DHEA (Avery) reports an interesting study conducted by Dr. Owen Wolkowitz of the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco. A group of six depressed middle-aged and elderly individuals who took DHEA found that within a month they had better memory and mood. (Biological Psychiatry 41, 1997: 311-18.) "In addition," adds Sahelian, "other studies have also found that DHEA increases energy levels and a sense of well being." But follow package directions: Some people complain of greater irritability and overstimulation with DHEA, when they take large amounts.
St. John's wort: still the most touted natural therapy for defeating depression. In Europe, 23 clinical studies, reviewed in the August 3, 1996 British Medical Journal, found that this herb, also known as Hypericum perforatum, can be helpful in alleviating cases of mild to moderate depression. The work, which included 757 patients, has shown that hypericum produced fewer side effects than conventional anti-depressants.
Although experts have never satisfactorily explained exactly how St. John's wort benefits the brain, some theorize that it boosts serotonin levels. And it can help SAD sufferers.
"In a recent study of 20 people with SAD, four weeks' worth of St. John's wort significantly alleviated feelings of depression. Those people who added full-spectrum lights to the treatment program gained an even greater benefit," notes Dr. Magaziner.
Valerian: Anxiety and stress, which can cause depression and insomnia, may be helped by this herb, says the prolific Dr. Sahelian in his book Kava: The Miracle Antianxiety Herb (St. Martin's). In 101 Medicinal Herbs (Interweave), Steven Foster reports that "Ten controlled clinical studies have been published on valerian...one of which suggests that valerian should be used for two to four weeks before daily mood and sleep patterns improve."
Amino Acid Help
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, may also help improve mood. (For more on protein, see page 65.) These chemicals are used by the body to construct neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that facilitate mental activity.
For instance, the amino acid L-tyrosine is necessary for the formation of transmitters adrenaline and dopamine. This substance, therefore, is given to alleviate depression and anxiety.
The substance L-dopa which is given to victims of Parkinson's disease is concocted from tyrosine. And several antidepressants alleviate bad moods by boosting the interaction of brain chemicals related to tyrosine.
In addition, since tyrosine is used to make adrenaline, this amino acid may be helpful for folks trying to cope with the mood problems related to stress.
Another amino acid that experts believe useful for better moods, L-methionine, is used by the body to make choline, a crucial substance for brain function. (Choline goes into the formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.)
Methionine has been given to people suffering from schizophrenia and depression as well as to those with Parkinson's. Methionine plays a number of crucial roles in the brain and body since it helps form other vital proteins.
For those concerned about preserving a positive mood, researchers are positive that smoking worsens depression. A study at the Department of Behavioral Services at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan found that daily smokers run twice the risk for major depression compared to those who only smoked occasionally.
Unfortunately, the investigators found that not only did smoking seem to lead to depression, depression, in turn, led to more smoking (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2/99).
"Smokers who have depression tend to see their smoking become a daily habit and it may be because they use nicotine to medicate their depressed mood," reported Naomi Breslau, PhD, who headed the research. Over a five year period, the researchers looked at about a thousand young people aged 21 to 30. They found that daily smokers generally start smoking in adolescence, and those who report early depression are three times as likely to eventually become daily smokers.
If you're feeling down, don't give up hope. Although depression can prove to be a depressingly complicated malady, daily, healthy habits can offset its effects. Getting consistent exercise, dousing your cigarettes and turning to herbal and nutritional help to treat mild depression may defeat those blues.
Vitali-Tea - Tea fits a healthy lifestyle to a T...
June 13, 2005 09:45 AM
Vitali-Tea by Leah Brinks Energy Times, October 9, 2003
If the research is even only half right, tea fits a healthy lifestyle to a T. Whenever scientists look at a teapot's contents, they find striking health benefits: Heart protection. Reduced cancer risk. Better skin.
All of these are apparently in the bag when you choose to drink tea. Tea green, tea black: Which to choose? Actually, both types come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Green tea is steamed and dried; black tea is fermented, which allows its darker color to develop. Some lesser-known types include white tea, which is actually green tea that undergoes the most minimal of handling. (Another rare white tea, white cantaloupe, is rich in antioxidants.) Oolong is a tea that falls between green and black in processing and flavor.
One increasingly popular tea color, red, is not tea at all, but an herbal brew called rooibos (technically, herbal teas are known as tisanes). This South African plant yields a citrus-flavored beverage high in vitamin C. Other herbs known for yielding flavorful infusions include chamomile, used to promote sound sleep; peppermint, a digestion easer; and rose hips, which, like rooibos, combines healthy vitamin C levels with a delightfully zesty taste.
The evidence for tea's health benefits has practically boiled over. For instance, researchers at the University of Rochester have found that green tea substances inhibit the action of a molecule irritated by tobacco smoke, a toxin central to tobacco's cancer-causing danger. This action, say the scientists, may be the reasons that smokers who drink tea suffer less cancer (Chem Res Tox 7/21/03).
The Rochester researchers found that tea helps protect a cellular molecule called the aryl hydrocarbon (AH) receptor. Ordinarily, AH is frequently disturbed by toxic substances that cause cancer and other illnesses. Tobacco smoke (as well as the pollutant dioxin) interacts with AH to initiate cancer and other problems.
But at least two chemicals in green tea-epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and epigallocatechin (EGC)-interfere with AH's harmful activity. These substances, flavonoids similar to healthful chemicals found in grapes, wine and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, have been shown to lower cancer risk.
"It's likely that the compounds in green tea act through many different pathways," says Thomas Gasiewicz, professor and chair of Environmental Medicine and director of Rochester's Environmental Health Science Center.
In the Rochester study, Dr. Gasiewicz and his colleagues found that EGCG and EGC close down the AH receptor in cancerous animal cells and most likely produce the same benefit in human cells.
Still to be made clear is how tea is metabolized when the body digests tea, but the Rochester scientists are still peering through their microscopes and teapots to find out.
Scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have found that drinking green or white tea can significantly lower your risk of colon cancer as well the prescription drug sulindac, which has been shown effective for people at high tumor risk (Carcinogenesis 3/03).
"Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and recent upswings in the sales of green tea in the United States can be attributed to reports of potential health benefits against cancer and other chronic diseases," says Gayle Orner, an OSU research associate. "Teas exert significant protective effects in experimental animal models of skin, lung, esophageal, gastric, hepatic, small intestinal, pancreatic, colon, bladder and mammary cancer."
While many people today take aspirin and similar drugs that have been shown to lower cancer risk, this study shows that drinking tea and taking low doses of these drugs, called NSAIDs, can reduce the risk even further. (High doses of NSAIDs, while protective against colon cancer, can cause internal bleeding.)
"These are pretty exciting results," Orner says. "What's especially significant is that as far as we can tell consumption of tea has none of the side effects of NSAIDs, which can be severe, including bleeding, ulcers and even death."
In this research on animals, use of tea dropped the risk of cancer by about two-thirds. According to the lab results, drinking about three large cups of tea a day should provide significant cancer protection. Based on research in Japan that looked at how green tea lowers the risk of stomach cancer, the Linus Pauling scientists urge plenty of tea drinking: "The more the better."
Studies show that nations of tea drinkers have less trouble with their hearts than residents of places where tea is hardly ever brewed. And now research is starting to zero in on the substances in tea that benefit heart health.
A study of 240 Chinese men and women who have high cholesterol has found that chemicals in tea can significantly drop harmful cholesterol (Arch Int Med 6/23/03).
"Personally, I was very surprised," says David J. Maron, MD, professor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, lead author of the study. "I expected, if anything, a very slight cholesterol-lowering effect. But what we saw was a 16% reduction in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol."
LDL cholesterol is known as "bad" cholesterol because it can increase your risk of heart disease.
The researchers in this study gave people extracts of green and black tea enhanced with theaflavin, an antioxidant also found in green tea.
In the future, if past results are any indication, tea's rich supply of beneficial chemicals will continue to pleasantly surprise researchers with even more benefits.
June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002
Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo
But aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.
The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.
How it Works
For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of aromatherapy.
Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.
When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.
Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.
The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:
Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.
Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle relaxant for aches and pains.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.
Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.
Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.
Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.
Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.
Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.
Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.
Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.
The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.
One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.
The Healing Garden offers a full line of aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.
Simply Be Well products take traditional aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.
The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.
Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.
"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:
Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.
Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.
Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.
Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.
Wicks and Sticks
Perhaps the easiest way to get your aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.
The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.
Stevia, Xylitol Sugar alternatives ...
June 09, 2005 06:15 PM
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels Energy Times, January 4, 2002
Sugar Solution by Kristin Daniels
Low blood sugar-a blood sugar recession-can make the good times recede. While you can't live without blood sugar, too much or too little wreaks havoc on your body and mind. And when blood sugar dips low enough to cause hypoglycemia you may feel like your emotions have been shredded. Knowing how the body regulates blood sugar allows you a measure of control in keeping blood sugar in the proper groove, and makes life a little sweeter. Hypoglycemia occurs when you feel dragged out because of low blood sugar. Ironically, this low blood sugar syndrome may be caused by an overabundance of sugar in your meals and snacks. Those who point to hypoglycemia as a widespread problem claim that up to two of three women in America suffer from hypoglycemia. That would make it an epidemic of monstrous proportions. In a survey of 1000 folks complaining of hypoglycemia, published in the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation's winter 2000 edition, researchers found that low blood sugar sufferers complained of hypoglycemic discomforts in several main categories: 94% of the people in the study reported nervousness, 89% mentioned irritability, exhaustion affected 87%, depression struck 86% and drowsiness hit 73%. Other miseries included fatigue, cold sweats, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), rapid heart rate, blurry or double vision, confusion, sudden hunger, convulsions, sweating, sleeping problems, paleness, muscle pain, memory loss, crying jags, fainting and dizziness.
Body of Evidence
Diary of a Maddening Condition
Stevia Sweetleaf with FOS - A Healthy Choice for Balanced Blood Sugar Levels
June 06, 2005 09:08 AM
Since the first sugar cane was brought from exotic South Pacific and Caribbean islands generations ago, Americans have had a love affair with foods that are super sweet but lack true nourishment. This has led to the development of literally thousands of good tasting but nutritionless foods that have contributed to childhood and adult obesity, energy depletion, mood swings, decreased brain function, and countless other negative effects on human health. Nature has also provided help in the form of an amazing herb from Paraguay, Stevia rebaudiana. Now Planetary Formulas brings you this beneficial herb with its introduction of STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS.
STEVIA SWEETLEAF contains a concentrated extract of stevia leaves and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) derived from the roots of the Chicory plant (Cichorium intiba). Stevia leaves have been used as a staple in the diet of the Gaurani Indians for more than 1500 years. One of stevia’s greatest attributes is that it contains no calories and no fat. Traditionally, it was used in foods and as a digestive tonic. Modern research has shown that stevia can help to balance blood sugar levels through an enhancement of insulin production. Balanced blood sugar levels in turn can help maintain stable energy levels, proper brain function, and emotional stability, while also reducing sugar cravings.
Planetary Formulas STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS contains a highly potent stevia extract containing 90% steviosides, the primary active components of stevia. Stevia has been used historically to improve digestion and gastrointestinal function. A healthy gastrointestinal tract is important for digestion, assimilation, the efficient burning of calories, the elimination of toxins, and healthy immune functions. The steviosides in stevia pass through the digestive process without chemically breaking down, so the body obtains no calories from it and it does not contribute to swings in blood sugar levels in the way that consumption of simple sugars do. Modern research suggests stevia has a positive effect on the pancreas, the primary sugar regulating organ of the body.
Unlike many stevia extracts, which are made with toxic extracting solvents, Planetary Formulas uses a water extraction process to avoid the presence of potentially toxic compounds. This is also more ecologically sound: a perfect supplement for people and planet.
FOS is a delicious, fiber-rich group of compounds that also serve as an herbal intestinal prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that promote the body's natural production of friendly flora, most specifically, lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The magic of FOS is that–like the steviosides–it passes through the stomach and small intestine undigested. Once in the colon, it helps to create a healthy bacterial environment. Part of its action in the colon is its ability to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have beneficial effects on fat metabolism that are similar to fiber. The results are improvements in gastrointestinal function, bowel regularity, fat metabolism, and a cleansed colon--all of which are integral to health overall.
This combination of delicious flavor, fiber, blood sugar-balancing, and prebiotic activity makes STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS an ideal dietary supplement for healthy blood sugar levels, digestion, and colon health and as part of a healthy weight management program.
PLANETARY FORMULAS—YOUR SOURCE FOR ADVANCED HERBAL NUTRITION
Planetary Formulas is dedicated to bringing you the finest herbal supplement modern research has to offer. And now compelling research shows how the ingredients in STEVIA SWEETLEAF WITH FOS can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and a healthier lifestyle. Available in 2 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.
Diet Metabo 7 -- It's all about Mood and Metabolism ...
June 01, 2005 12:08 PM
It’s incredibly difficult to stay committed to a weight loss program—to change the eating habits of a lifetime and resist “emotional overeating.” You need a weight loss program that helps you break the unhealthful cycle of dieting and losing— followed by bingeing and gaining back.
We can’t stop the Yo-Yo®, but we can give you a fighting chance.
DIET METABO-7 supports seven body systems related to successful weight loss, including cellular energy generation and metabolism, and neurotransmitter production to support calmness, drive and determination.
DIET METABO-7 SUPPORTS SEVEN BODY SYSTEMS
Your body is composed of complex interactive systems that work on many levels. Likewise, the nutrients in DIET METABO-7 target specific body systems and the connections between them. This full spectrum nutritional formula helps instill balance and harmony by addressing seven interrelated systems whose healthy function is necessary for successful dieting: the brain and nervous system, metabolic energy, liver, thyroid, blood sugar levels, adrenals and fluid balance.
MOOD MANAGEMENT: A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
DIET METABO-7 can help you change your habitual response to eating and start making healthy food choices. A key strategy involves the production of neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that regulate your nervous system. When certain neurotransmitter levels are low in your brain, you may feel depressed. You crave simple carbohydrates and sugars from bread, pasta or candy— because when the brain is low in mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, it does whatever it can to increase them. It will cause you to crave those foods that produce the building blocks your body uses to raise those neurotransmitter levels. DIET METABO-7 provides specific vitamins and amino acids necessary for your brain to make norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and GABA, the major neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and attention, support clear focus and active calm, and affect drive and determination. Included are the amino acids tyrosine, glutamine, phenylalanine and GABA. For example, the brain uses phenylalanine and tyrosine to manufacture norepinephrine. Increased amounts of norepinephrine can block the drive to eat and may help provide a sense of well-being.
METABOLIC ACTIVATORS: HERBAL ENERGIZERS
To support a sustained reduction of body fat, it’s helpful to increase metabolism via exercise and herbal stimulation while lowering caloric intake by curbing appetite. High doses of stimulants, however, are counterproductive and can make you nervous and irritable. To avoid being overly stimulative, DIETMETABO-7 is formulated with appropriate amounts of herbal metabolic activators that promote calorie burning and suppress appetite.
Used since ancient times in India to support health, Sida cordifolia contains a profile of naturally occurring ephedrine alkaloids that act as stimulants to promote the metabolism of fat. This thermogenic effect is augmented by the natural caffeine contained in standardized extracts of green tea, yerba mate, and kola nut. Also included are specific B vitamins essential to the production of energy from the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.
HELPING THE LIVER: DETOXIFICATION AND CIRCULATION
One of the most overworked organs is the liver, the body’s chief manufacturing and detoxification plant. It constantly regulates the levels of chemicals circulating throughout the bloodstream and plays a key role in breaking down fat and eliminating waste products. The amino acid N-acetyl cysteine is an antioxidant that strongly supports liver function. Your liver needs it to make glutathione, a crucial detoxifying substance used to remove harmful compounds from your bloodstream. Optimal metabolic energy depends on healthy circulation, especially while dieting, when the bloodstream is delivering excess waste products to the liver for removal. To help maintain a healthy circulatory system, DIET METABO-7 includes standardized extracts of ginkgo and horse chestnut. In use for centuries, these botanicals have been the subject of numerous chemical and pharmacological investigations.
THE THYROID: YOUR BODY’S THERMOSTAT
Your thyroid gland produces hormones that control how quickly you burn calories and use energy. Tyrosine is an amino acid building block of thyroid hormones. Low blood levels of tyrosine have been associated with the underproduction of thyroid hormones. Kelp and bladderwrack provide natural sources of iodine, the basic substance of thyroid hormones.
STABILIZING BLOOD SUGAR: CONTROLLING MOOD swings An important strategy of DIET METABO-7 is to minimize the changes in blood sugar levels that can cause unwanted mood swings, which diminish your physical and mental energy. Chromium, an essential mineral, is important to carbohydrate and fat metabolism and tends to increase insulin efficiency. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you on an even keel.
DEALING WITH THE STRESS FACTOR
Dieting often adds more stress to your life, and stress hormones affect the mind and body in many ways. They disrupt liver function and blood sugar levels, which lowers energy production in the brain, adversely influencing mood and motivation. Because your adrenals need extra attention, DIET METABO-7 helps nourish these hardworking glands with pantothenic acid and ascorbic acid, both necessary for healthy adrenal function. Also, pantothenic acid provides additional support for energy generation during dieting.
Potassium is an essential mineral with many functions, including the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain. It works with sodium to control the body’s water balance. Dieting tends to deplete potassium levels in the body, therefore DIET METABO-7 replenishes this vital nutrient.
THE WEIGHT IS OVER
DIET METABO-7 provides necessary cofactors to balance body systems involved with healthy weight management. When used with the Maximum Metabolism Weight Loss Plan and exercise program, Source Naturals DIET METABO-7 may help you achieve your goal of a healthy and more vibrant life.