Search Term: " tryptophan "
5 Foods To Help You Fight Insomnia
April 25, 2019 04:48 PM
Insomnia, which is a chronic lack of sleep, achieved because the insomniac can't seem to enter a state of sleeping, or because the sufferer can't sustain the state once achieved, is a debilitating problem for many. While there exist pharmaceutical interventions for insomnia, there are also more natural ways to combat the problem, specifically food choices that may help. Tryptophan is the hormone that releases the relaxing chemical serotinin, that helps sleep arrive. Hummus has natural tryptophan. Kiwi has specific phtyochemicals and antioxidants that also promote sleep. Healthy carbs tend to make us sleep, which is why corn is a good sleep-promoter. Milk is another healthy carrier of tryptophan. Chewing on basil might help too as it eases mental woes and soothes troubled digestion.
"The sugar level in candies is capable of upsetting your blood sugar levels which leads to the interruption of your sleep. You might sleep well immediately after eating them but after some time, you will wake up irritable. Corn is a healthy carb you should incorporate in your diet."
Read more: https://www.longevitylive.com/live-healthier/5-foods-fight-insomnia/
Pumpkin Seeds: The Antioxidant Seeds that Combat Diabetes, HeartDisease & Cancer Cells
December 11, 2018 11:22 AM
Pumpkins don't get the attention of other vegetables. Even during their season, it's the pies made from the meat of the pumpkin that get most of the table time. However, pumpkin seeds should not be relegated to the trash. Like sunflower, and other seeds, they make good snacking. And they have a lot of health benefits for users. For example, they're full of antioxidants, like many veggies, which makes them useful for warding off many unwanted conditions. They're good for hearts and for leveling blood sugar. Study has shown that the seeds benefit the heart in an array of ways. Nitric oxide is enhanced, while blood pressure and cholesterol are lowered. The seeds are protein-packed and fiber-rich, which means that sugar is absorbed more slowly. The seeds are also rich in tryptophan and magnesium, known to promote optimal sleep. Study has also shown that sperm count was enhanced and abnormalities were improved when rodent subjects were given pumpkin seeds. Certain seed properties may have anti-cancer effects as well, even the ability to help with overactive bladder syndrome.
"However, there are many benefits of pumpkin seeds that make them a worthy addition to your diet, both during the holidays and all year round."
Read more: https://draxe.com/pumpkin-seeds/
Pumpkin seeds, mostly eaten during Halloween, contain an impressivearray of vitamins and minerals that support heart health
September 15, 2018 08:52 AM
Why You Should Be Eating a Handful of Pumpkin Seeds Everyday. You can eat pumpkin seeds raw, toasted and spiced, or salted and in their shell. ... Pumpkin seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, E, and K, magnesium, and iron.these seeds are consumed during hallowen they are usually scraped out of the pumpkin in making jack-o-lanterns. They are rich in essential fatty acids and tryptophan, which make them an effective tool in improving heart health and preventing diseases, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, bladder dysfunction, and anxiety.To support heart health, pumpkin seeds work by increasing high-density lipoprotein while decreasing low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol levels.Pumpkin seeds are good for the bones because of their high magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc content. In addition, pumpkin seed oil helps relieve inflammation linked to arthritis and related conditions.Another benefit of pumpkin seeds has to do with bladder health. Up to 16 percent of aging adults are affected by overactive bladder, which can greatly affect their quality of life. An overactive bladder causes sudden urges to urinate and can cause involuntary urination. Recent study by researchers from the University of Tennesse have shown that pumpkin seed oil and extract are effective in improving these symptoms and helping to bring back bladder control,the high tryptophan content of pumpkin seeds help improve anxiety. In the brain and also improve mood.
"However, these nutty seeds and their byproduct pumpkin seed oil should be consumed more often because they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for the heart."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-16-pumpkin-seeds-vitamins-and-minerals-heart-health.html
Gut microbes play a significant role in the central nervous system digestive health is linked to your risk of neurodegenerative diseases
August 07, 2018 09:53 AM
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers are becoming more and more common in the United States, and pose an increasing risk to aging populations. A recent study has identified gut microbes as one of the causes of these diseases - a huge breakthrough in the field, and one with significant implications for how we view our brain's health. These microbes release chemicals that can change the nature of the brain. It's a finding that shows that caring for our digestive health can be one of the most important steps to preventing diseases like Alzheimers, later on.
"They reached their conclusions after examining gut microbes and changes in mouse models of multiple sclerosis. They discovered the compounds produced by the breakdown of tryptophan cross the blood-brain barrier and activate an inflammatory pathway that can limit neurodegeneration."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-30-gut-microbes-play-a-significant-role-in-the-central-nervous-system.html
Top 7 Foods That Boost Serotonin
September 01, 2017 12:14 PM
Serotonin helps regulate body temperature, mood, sleeping patterns and aids in digestion, among other benefits. It's common for those that have low levels of serotonin to experience depression and many antidepressant medications raise serotonin levels to combat depression. If you want to raise your serotonin levels naturally(or tryptophan a serotonin precursor), without the side effects involved with prescription medications, you may want to try adding these foods to your diet. They include frits, vegetable, eggs, meats and even chocolate
"Serotonin plays an important role in controlling our circadian rhythms - our body’s internal clock."
Read more: https://www.healthambition.com/foods-boost-serotonin/
How A Common Nutrient Is Improving Gut Health
August 15, 2017 07:14 AM
There is a common nutrient that improves gut health. A recent study was released that has shown a strong correlation between tryptophan and gut health. If there is inflammation in the body, then there is a higher risk of for disease and weight gain. Because of this, diets such as the paleo diet and the anti grain diet have emerged. There has been an increase in diets that are attempting to repair the gut and make it healthy.
Read more: How A Common Nutrient Is Improving Gut Health
Mice fed tryptophan develop immune cells that foster a tolerant gut
August 13, 2017 09:14 AM
Tryptophan is a fundamental building block of protein. A study was conducted on genetically identical mice that were separated and raised in different environments, which led to the finding that environmental factors were a high contributor in regards to developing an immunity to irritable bowel disease. Bacteria highly affects the immune system because the mice that were raised in sterile conditions grew the immune cells. Doctor Luisa Cervantes-Barragan conducted the study. Tryptophan is common in both mouse and the human balanced food diet.
"People have the same tolerance-promoting cells as mice, and most of us shelter L. reuteri in our gastrointestinal tracts."
Read more: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-08-mice-fed-tryptophan-immune-cells.html
sleep better with pumpkin seeds
April 07, 2017 11:44 AM
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? If you try a snack made out of pumpkin seeds, you may have an easier time getting some shut-eye. You might have only associated pumpkin seeds with the stuff you have to scoop out of pumpkins when you're pumpkin-carving in October. However, pumpkin seeds are very nutritious and contain tryptophan and zinc- two nutrients that help promote serotonin production which is important to getting a good night's rest. Watch this video for more information along with a pumpkin seed recipe that is quite simple to make.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxcvSedY0YQ&rel=0
"Pumpkin seed power and milk is a proven remedy for insomnia."
6 surprising ways Christmas is actually good for your health
January 03, 2017 08:59 AM
It’s the Holiday season and with that comes family, friends, gifts, and more. This article provides six ways Christmas is good for your health. Are you a fan of cheese? This article is for you. Do you like board games? This article is for you. Check out the article for the rest of the benefits of the Christmas season
"Just like turkey, it seems to be only at Christmas that you really tuck into Brussels sprouts – we’re not sure why, because we’re totally into our sprouts when we do eat them."
11 Foods that Help You Sleep Better
November 04, 2016 04:09 PM
Did you know that there are some foods that actually help you sleep better? If you are like most people, sleep is a very expensive luxury to come by now a days but with these eleven foods you can help sleep better. These foods are rich in both magnesium and in tryptophan which can help promote not only sleeping quicker but also a more restful sleep. To learn more, please take a closer look into this article.
"Magnesium regulates circadian rhythms, so you get sounder, more satisfying sleep. Dark chocolate is a great source of magnesium, as are a multitude of other foods we've highlighted below."
Suffering from anxiety? These foods can calm it
October 30, 2016 11:59 AM
If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from anxiety, a start to the solution can be as simple as changing your diet. The best foods to eat for anxiety include those brimming with folate, protein, & magnesium. These help regulate blood pressure and cortisol levels, leaving you with an overall calm feeling. tryptophan in turkey can also contribute to the calming effect. The worst foods you can eat if you suffer from anxiety are large doses of alcohol, caffeine, & sugar. By following this basic information, you can be on your way to a calmer you.
"According to beyondblue, around 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and more than 2 million Australian adults are grappling with anxiety"
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
L-Leucine as an essential Amino Acid
May 31, 2014 06:54 AM
L-Leucine is a a-amino acid with the chemical formulae HO2CCH(NH2)CH2CH(CH3)2. It is a hydrophopic amino acid to its aliphatic isobutyl side chain. L-Leucine is an essential amino acid since the human body can’t synthesize it, and it therefore must be ingested.
What is an essential amino acid
These are the amino acids that can’t be synthesized by the body of the organism hence it must be supplied in the diet. These amino acids is important not because they are important than others, but simply because the body can’t synthesize them.
Phenylalanine, L- Leucine, Valine, tryptophan, Threonine, meyhionine, iso - Leucine, lysine and histidine are some of amino acids regarded as essential for humans beings.
The main difference between essential and non-essential amino acids is somehow since some proteins can be synthesized from others. The sulfur containing amino acids such as L-Leucine may sometimes be referred to as an essential amino acid.
Effects of L-Leucine deficiency
Majority of amino acids are important in the human diet. An experiment carried out by William Cummings Rose showed that lack of L-Leucine results to symptoms of exhaustion, nervousness and dizziness. Results further showed that these symptoms were encountered to lesser extent whenever human subjects were deprived of an essential amino acid.
In plants and other micro-organisms, L-Leucine is synthesized from pruvic acid by several enzymes. These enzymes include:
· a-Isopropylmalate synthase
· a-Isopropylmalate isomerase
· Acetolactate synthase
· Acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase
· Dihydroxyacid dehydratase
Importance of L- Leucine
L-Leucine is used by the adipose tissue, liver and the muscle. In muscle tissue and adipose L-Leucine is used in the formation of sterols. Ironically the combined usage of L-Leucine in the muscle and adipose is seven times greater than its use in the liver.
L-Leucine is also used in stimulation of the muscle protein synthesis. In dietary , L-Leucine is used in to slow down the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins in aged rats however this does not work in elderly men. L-Leucine helps you lose weight and spare muscle when dieting.
However L-Leucine can’t be associated as the main reason in muscular growth for the entire populatin. L-Leucine activates the mammalian target that regulates the growth cells in rats.
Negative effects of L- Leucine
L-Leucine cause neurologic complications which may be fatal if not control in time.
Studies also show that over activity of the liver is caused by taking L-Leucine supplement, excess L-Leucine may also cause pellagra, whose symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and eventually death.
Can 5-HTP Help with Sleep?
May 26, 2014 12:57 PM
What is 5-HTP
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a compound which is produced naturally in the body via the means of the amino acid tryptophan. Even though this compound is already present in the body, researchers have found that we can benefit by having more of it. This has resulted in several supplement companies producing this compound from the seeds of an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia; 5-HTP can now be found in many health food and drug stores.
Benefits of 5-HTP
Even though there still hasn't been much research done regarding this supplement, we can still see that there are many uses for it. However, there is sufficient evidence out that shows 5-HTP is effective in treating depression and fibromyalgia, which means improved mood, reduced pain, better joint health, and better quality of sleep. To elaborate on the sleep benefits, 5-HTP increases serotonin levels which are converted into melatonin (a hormone which helps keep sleep cycles under control) through the body. There is also some evidence to suggest that this supplement can reduce anxiety as well as help promote weight loss in obese people.
So there is some great evidence to suggest that this supplement can help to improve our mood, quality of sleep, health and much more. However there is a slight downside, because of the limited amount of research done on this compound it is currently considered possibly unsafe to use. Potential side effects of 5-HTP include muscle ache/pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, stomach pain, and also a serious condition known as eosinophilia myalgia syndrome – a rare flu-like condition. Drug interactions can take place also; you should stay away from 5-HTP especially if you are taking any anti-depressant medication as these often increase serotonin levels which may result in too much serotonin in the body.
This supplement has many benefits and there has been research done to prove that it is effective in treating many problems such as insomnia, depression, fibromyalgia, anxiety, weight loss and more. However, it is recommended that you stay away from supplementing with 5-HTP because of the limited research done.
Is Cocoa Butter Good For The Skin? Why?
March 06, 2014 03:27 PM
Doubtlessly, there are few preferred healthy skin items over cocoa butter and some few that likewise makes you feel great deductively notwithstanding feeling extraordinary because of the way your skin looks so great, but Cocoa butter is good solid skin reinforcement, and for additional data on characteristic healthy skin items with a great experimental foundation. Therefore it is good for the skin.
Reasons to why cocoa butter is good for your skin:
Powdered cocoa butter contains a lot of diverse antioxidants which behave synergistically presenting a massive bothersome resistant to the cost-free radicals which eliminate your skin layer cells along with lead to quick getting older. Therefore, therefore, is it doesn't suitable natural skin care solution.
Let's have a look at which record again. Precisely why your 'ideal' natural skin care solution? In order to solution which question, we need to have a look at precisely what antioxidants tend to be, along with precisely what hot cocoa butter can perform them, along with after that the reason why it is advisable than additional natural skin care merchandise on the market.
Totally free radicals tend to be small substances kinds in the body's fat burning capacity while vitality is generated coming from blood sugar in the mitochondria of each and every cell phone within your body. Fortunately they are shaped simply by experience of toxins including pesticides, along with particularly the several poisonous pieces of cigarette light up. Cigars along with water lines tend to be believe it or not harmful than tobacco, along with filtration system guidelines make not any difference towards the production connected with cost-free radicals.
What exactly that they do is always to eliminate cells, when they're pores and skin cells you continue to grow older. Your skin layer wrinkles along with dries up, and you begin to take on the style connected with an individual many years over the age of you're. These people try this by way of a procedure often known as oxidation, along with antioxidants can certainly keep the idea. These people reduce the effects of your cost-free radicals, and forestall your skin layer cells coming from getting ruined.
Contents of cocoa
Powdered cocoa butter contains several different antioxidants that can eliminate away from numerous diverse cost-free radicals along with superoxides, as well as hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin e is really a powerful antioxidant -- your strongest of all the so-called antioxidant vitamin supplements in fact, and will quickly eliminate away from hydrogen peroxide along with any oxidizing agent. Others tend to be vitamin supplements A new along with G, however they can not strategy the potency of vitamin E.
Furthermore, it contains phytochemicals (posh title pertaining to place chemicals) including flavanoids which might be also powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols are very effective in neutralizing cost-free radicals, and the hot chocolate mass polyphenols tend to be in particular successful. In fact, hot chocolate butter boasts a greater antioxidant awareness and then possibly blueberries as well as other so-called superfoods.
In order that hot cocoa butter to work, it will email numerous of the pores and skin cells as is possible, that involves do away with the idea properly directly into your skin layer. The epidermis is incredibly absorbent all of which will eliminate cost-free radicals in the reduced absolute depths of the pores and skin as soon as they're created, along with ahead of they are able to do injury.
It is clinically demonstrated which hot chocolate butter will certainly keep pores and skin degradation a result of the harmful consequences from the UV light in the rays of the sun -- UV rays builds cost-free radicals which are very effective in doing damage to pores and skin. Merely go through the influence connected with sunburn! However, there is additional in order to hot chocolate butter than which.
It contains a substantial percentage connected with vitamins as well as lime scale, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper along with metal, all of which come in a highly bioavailable style which make them far better which business vitamins. Not just that, though. Furthermore, it contains tryptophan, involved in the development connected with serotonin, your 'feel good' neurotransmitter, and also dopamine along with phenylethylamine, many beneficial materials. It is a mental faculties food as well as food to your pores and skin.
5-HTP and how it can help promote natural sleep patterns.
November 27, 2013 07:47 AM
What is 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)?
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a substance derived from Griffonia simplicifolia’s seed pods. In the human body, 5-hydroxytryptophan is an immediate nutrient precursor to neurotransmitter serotonin. This implies that 5-HTP directly converts into serotonin in human brain. Serotonin plays very many essential functions such as; a role in appetite, learning, sleep, memory, temperature regulation, cardiovascular function, endocrine regulation, sexual behavior, mood and muscle contraction.
The production of serotonin declines with age, however it’s also important to note that, at any age serotonin production can be further compromised by stress. Low serotonin levels are commonly manifested by insomnia, depressed mood and anxiety.
It is known that insomnia is an age-related condition. Sleep disorders are associated with very significant psychological, medical and social disturbances. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, stress and anxiety, it can also lead to fatigue, impairment of memory, immune function and mood. Nutritional supplements that contain 5-HTP, choline, melatonin and valerian root helps one to get a good sleep hence alleviating these problems. Recent research has indicated that increased serotonin levels can assist individuals suffering from chronic sleep disturbances restore healthy sleep patterns.
Pathways of serotonin
One of the metabolic pathways of serotonin leads to melatonin a hormone widely acknowledged for being responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. By increasing serotonin’s level with 5-HTP, you are also increasing the melatonin levels. Melatonin is also known to improve the immune function and assist improve immunodepressions that are stress-induced.
Valerian root is a Eurasian herb that has been for long known for enhancing sleep. Valerian helps one to fall asleep and also improves the quality of sleep thus allowing one to wake up feeling refreshed. A study showed that people who used valerian were more active and alert .
Choline is a nutrient precursor to neurotransmitter acetylcholine, that assists to protect your sound sleep so that you are not woken up by every little murmur or cleak.Supplementing the diet with these natural substances will assist eradicate or diminish sleep disturbances and also assist reestablish healthy sleep patterns.
The Health benefits of P-5-P
July 20, 2012 07:51 AM
P-5-P or Pyridoxal-5-phosphate
P-5-P or the most commonly called Pyridoxal-5-phosphate is known to be the most active form of the Vitamin B6. This is known to be converted from organic compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. The Vitamin P-5-P is a coenzyme which support several other enzymes in the body which play a important role in biosynthesis. This also makes optimum use of the vitamin B6 by improving the body metabolism and many other biological process as well. The vitamin B6 traditionally comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which the body finds difficult to synthesize in its existing state. Hence, this pyridoxine hydrochloride is processed and is formed as Pyridoxal-5-phosphate to help the body to use the vitamin B6 effectively.
There are a lot of benefits of the vitamin P-5-P
Let us have a look at some of them.
Pyridoxal-5-phosphate uses the information from the genes ad helps to produce proteins.P-5-P is also helpful in the formation of hemoglobin, histamine and neurotransmitters and is also helpful in the metabolism of amino acids, fats and glucose.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the conversion of dopa which is a useful substance used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Dopa is converted to dopamine which is a neurotransmitter which is produced in the brain and is released by the hypothalamus.
The P5P is also helpful in the utilization of the food sources for the formation of energy and also helps in the easy release of glycogen which is the stored energy.P5P also converts glutamate into GABA which is gamma amino butyric acid which is again a neurotransmitter which is known to be found in the mammals. This is found in their central nervous system.The Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helpful in the process of decarboxylation which is the conversion of histidine to histamine.
This also converts SAM-e to propylamine which is known to be a precursor of polyamines.The Vitamin P5P is also responsible to lower the homocystenie levels which are caused by the intake of high amounts of methionine.The Vitamin Pyridoxal-5-phosphate helps in the treatment of irregular heartbeat , which is a condition termed as arrhythmia.This plays a important role in the treatment of myocardial infections. This prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other which usually causes blood clots.The enzymes produced by the Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also helps in the formation of different kinds of amino acid reactions which keeps the carbon ions stable. This process is very important in the metabolism of the cells.The P5P also helps in the metabolism of the amino acids.
Here it helps in converting methionine to cysteine and also converts tryptophan to niacin.Pyridoxal-5-phosphate also plays a vital role in the formation of glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis.This also acts a important co-enzyme in the process of glycogenolysis which happens in the liver and muscles and this is known to be a reaction which occurs due to presence of glycogen.The P5P also helps in the formation of antibodies and also assists in the process of hemoglobin synthesis as well.
To keep it simpler, the vitamin P5P performs many functions which is very beneficial to the whole human body. The P5P deficiency can also happen in many individuals and even such symptoms are hard to identify. Any person suffering from the P5P deficiency will have symptoms like muscle weakness, irritability or depression. Consulting a physician and taking necessary supplements will help to overcome the P5P deficiency.
Getting Sleep the Natural Way - What Are Some Natural Remedies For Sleep?
July 04, 2012 08:13 AM
Sleep is a vital part of everyone's life, and without it things can really start to go wrong. It is a proven fact that people who do not get the proper amount of sleep are less healthy then people who sleep properly. There are a lot of ways to get sleep, but many people do not want to take a sleeping pill prescribed by a doctor, or something over the counter. For those that want to get a good night's sleep, but do not want to go buy some harsh drug there are options. Here is a list of some natural ways for someone to catch up on their sleep.
This is an herbal supplement that has been used as a way to cure insomnia for a very long time. Valerian is available in any herbal shop and usually comes in a liquid form. All you need to do is add a few drops to water and drink it right before you go to bed. What makes valerian effective is that the ingredient GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that helps ease the body and make it nice and calm. The best thing about valerian is that it is not addicting and people wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Unlike Valerian, melatonin is not anherb, it is a hormone that is found in the body naturally. In the brain there is a gland called the pineal, and it is this little gland that produces melatonin. The debate is out about how effective melatonin is, and people with certain conditions like depression, or auto immune problems should be careful when taking it since this is a hormone associated with the brain.
Ever heard of chamomile tea? Known for its ability to fight bacteria, chamomile is also known as a way to help people fall asleep by calming their body down and causing it to relax. Chamomile tea is also good for the digestion.
Another herbal remedy, kava is known to be good for anxiety. People who take kava as a remedy for anxiety have reported that they tend to sleep better as well.
Every Thanksgiving holiday, people find themselves getting sleepy after they eat and end up taking a post-meal nap. Is it because they ate too much? Well, yes and no. The size of the meal does not matter, but the fact they ate turkey does. Turkey is loaded with tryptophan, though there are supplements also available that contain it. Just be aware that no everyone who eats turkey or takes the pills gets sleepy, some people are immune to the effects of tryptophan.
Everyone needs to sleep if they want to function in their everyday lives. When sleep does not come easy, people tend to turn to the natural world for help. There are a number of remedies available to help a person fall asleep including valerian, melatonin, chamomile, and kava. Before taking any of these remedies or others, please do your research and make sure you get your good night's sleep and nothing more.
How does 5-HTP Help the Brain?
May 28, 2012 08:17 AM
5-HTP is the abbreviation of 5-Hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid that converts tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with the regulation of sleep, mood and appetite, and it is found in the stomach or the CNS. 5-HTP is mainly obtained from animal products especially red meats and eggs. Fish and dairy products are also rich in this amino acid. Vegetarians get this compound from pumpkin seeds, oats, potatoes, peanuts and dried dates. Due to its ability to regulate the amount of serotonin and melatonin in your body, 5-HTP regulates the functioning of your brain.
The following are the health benefits of this compound:
It fixes anxiety
Anxiety and panic disorders are some of the most popular mental disorders that can be cured using 5-HTP. These two illnesses occur when your body experiences a deficiency of serotonin. Therefore, taking supplements of this amino acid reduces your chances of developing any or both of these conditions.
It treats insomnia
Insomnia is a problem that affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep is normally regulated by your brain. Every night, your brain releases receptors that lead to the five stages of a sleep cycle. If your brain fails to release the appropriate receptors, you cannot enjoy a complete sleep cycle. In addition, Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep and therefore its absence leads to poor sleep quality. The production of sufficient melatonin therefore boosts the quality of your sleep and helps with the treatment of insomnia.
It helps relieve the symptoms of depression
Your mood is controlled by the neurotransmitter serotonin. The absence of this neurotransmitter leads to the development of a depressed mood. However, the availability of 5-HTP in your body leads to the production of sufficient serotonin thus restoring your happiness.
It also treats eating disorders especially among young children Your brain controls your levels of appetite. Serotonin is specifically in charge of this function, and therefore its deficiency in your body leads to a disruption in your appetite mechanism. Most people who have this problem often tend to eat lots of sweet foods that are rich in empty calories, high carb and junk food. This often leads to obesity and overweight. However, taking 5-HTP supplements restores your appetite mechanism thus protecting you from eating disorders and subsequent complications such as obesity.
It is a natural pain killer
5-HTP enhances the production of endorphins, thus helping your body overcome pain and migraines. Chronic headache is often associated with low levels of serotonin, and this can be reversed by taking sufficient 5-HTP. Serotonin has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, and therefore the sufficient release of this neurotransmitter helps ease pain on the head.
5-HTP helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by chronic pains and aches that can be relieved by taking sufficient supply of 5-HTP. This is because this amino acid helps with the secretion of serotonin, which helps ease such pains and aches.
It is therefore important for you to ensure that you have sufficient supply of 5-HTP in order to enhance the functioning of your brain.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea?
February 26, 2012 07:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea is medicinal herb that has many beneficial health effects on humans. It grows in the cold regions of the world like Europe, Central Asia and Arctic region. The phytochemicals present in this medicinal plant are good antioxidants and they are quercetin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and proanthocyanidins. It also consists of essential polyphenols namely rosiridin, rhodioniside and rhodiolin in the extracts of Rhodiola. These substances are the active ingredients of this herb and helps in improving the overall health of the body. The extracts of this plant can be taken in the form of tea, pills or liquid form and must be taken after prescription by medicinal health expert.
Some of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea plant are explained as follows
Stabilize the Nervous system: This nature gifted herb is very helpful to stabilize the levels of neurotransmitters in our brain and thereby increase the levels of tryptophan, dopamine and norenephrine in our body naturally. Thereby, improve the neuro-chemical reactions inside the body.A Good Anti-oxidant: It acts as a good antioxidant and also protects our nervous system. It helps to overcome the damage caused to nervous system by eliminating the free radicals present in our body.
Treat Depression: It is known though a scientific research that Rhodiola rosea gave good results to treat mild and moderate depression on people of age group from 18 years to 70 years. The prescribed dosage to get the complete health benefit is 340 mg to 680 mg per day. SHR-5, the extract of this plant enhances the mental performance and also helps the person to concentrate on healthier subjects. This medicinal herb can also be used along with other anti-depressant drugs as it has the synergistic effect. Regular intake of the plant's extract according to the prescribed dosage by expert doctor reduced the symptoms of fatigue and helped them improve their concentration power. This herb is being used in cold counties like Scandinavia and Russia to overcome the stressful life and chill climate. Improves the Overall Health: This medicinal herb is known to enhance the immune system of a person and also improve the overall health. It helps in preventing the side-effects of stress and improve the physical activity, enhance the mood, appetite, estrus cycle, reduce fatigue etc.
It also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, anemia, hormonal imbalance cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders of a person. It is also known to decrease the time needed for recovery after any strenuous muscular activity.
Treat Insomnia: It is also being used to treat Insomnia and has given good results. Sleeplessness can be cured effectively with this herb without any side effects. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medicinal herb as it has some side effects on them.
Always consult your medicinal health expert before taking the extracts of this herb and take the correct dosage.It is known to maintain creatine phosphate at high levels and this is especially useful for athletes to maintain their stamina levels. Rhodiola rosea is also used to overcome the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What are the Essential Amino Acids we must get from our Diet to Survive?
August 17, 2011 12:13 PM
Amino acids or the building blocks of protein are very important in overall functioning of the body. Proteins, to mention, are responsible for the build up of most of our body parts specifically our muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, tissues, glands, nails and hair. Moreover, the repair and preservation of those parts still rely on proteins. Amino acids can be of two different forms which are the non-essential and essential. On this selection, we will be focusing more on the latter.
Essential amino acids are those which cannot be produced by the body therefore it has to be supplied through our diet. This category of amino acids includes tryptophan, lysine, methionine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine and phenylalanine.
tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, can be acquired from peanuts, meat, turkey, fish, milk, dried dates, cottage cheese, banana, oats and chocolates. A deficiency of this can bring up serious neurological problems, depression, anxiety and sleeping difficulties.
Another essential amino acid is methionine. The production of sulfur and other compound needed for a healthy growth and metabolism depends on the presence of this amino acid. Fish, whole grains and dairy are its sources.
Lysine, which is effective in the treatment and prevention of herpes, is present in soybeans, green beans, lentils, spinach and amaranth. Low levels of lysine can also compromise the levels of niacin and this leads to pellagra.
Tissue healing, muscle metabolism and keeping the equilibrium of nitrogen levels in our body are the functions of valine. It has proven to be efficient in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. Deficiencies that results from drug addiction are can also be reversed by this amino acid. Its sources are peanuts, soy proteins, dietary products, grains, meat and mushrooms.
Leucine can be obtained from chicken, fish, cottage cheese, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds. It functions in muscle protein build up and is the main medium in tissue building process. Inability to acquire such makes a person prone to protein wasting since leucine, together with valine and isoleucine, serves as energy and protein reservoirs.
In boosting energy levels, blood sugar regulation, muscle build - up and repair as well as hemoglobin development, isoleucine has shown its relevance. Its dietary sources are fish, poultry, beef, dairy, eggs, lentils, seeds, soy, almonds and wheat. Isoleucine deficiencies may result into neurological disturbances such as confusion, depression, irritability, fatigue, headache and dizziness.
Threonine is significant in synthesis of antibodies. Beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, poultry, eggs and beef are rich in threonine. A low level of this amino acid causes disorders of the skin and weakness.
Adrenaline and noradrenalin which are stimulates the central and peripheral nervous system requires phenylalanine to perform their function. Phenylalanine can be acquired from peanuts, seeds, almonds, lima beans and dairy. Liver damage, weakness, skin lesions, lethargy and slowed growth are results of its deficiencies.
In summary, our body needs networks of essential amino acids for its proper functioning. Eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the secret towards maintaining your optimum general health.
What is the Difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan And How Does It Help Sleep Patterns?
June 22, 2011 11:00 AM
5-Htp and tryptophan to Sleep Better, Feel Better
5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an organic compound that naturally occurs in the human body. It is a metabolite of tryptophan, and as such it serves as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. It is sold over the counter in many countries primarily as a dietary supplement. In addition, it is used as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.
tryptophan to 5-HTP
tryptophan is best known as an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. Popular sources of this amino acid are eggs, cheese, pork, turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, and white flour. In one metabolic pathway, tryptophan is processed into vitamin B3, or niacin. In a completely different pathway, it is metabolized into serotonin and then melatonin, both of which are processed from 5-HTP.
Also known as oxitriptan, 5-HTP has been the subject of numerous studies in the past few decades. Being the immediate precursor of serotonin, regular intake has been observed to specifically increase the production of serotonin, the reason why it has been a very important amino acid widely utilized in the treatment of depression. On the other hand, tryptophan is utilized by the body in many ways.
5-HTP to Serotonin
Supplementation of tryptophan has also been used as a therapeutic treatment for depression. It is an alternative to antidepressants and stimulants, especially for patients deemed unresponsive to conventional treatments. Regular intake of this amino acid is recommended for the sole purpose of raising the levels of serotonin. But in order to do so, tryptophan must be metabolized into 5-HTP first.
Serotonin is often referred to as the happiness hormone, inasmuch as this neurotransmitter is implicated in several chemical reactions that contribute to physical well-being. For example, the perception of hunger is triggered by low serotonin levels. Not surprisingly, serotonin is the target of many drugs, such as antidepressant, anxiolytic, antiemetic, anti-migraine, and antipsychotic drugs.
Serotonin to Melatonin
It is a widely accepted fact that serotonin produced and released outside the central nervous system does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus it does not have the effect of serotonin found in the brain. That being said, its precursors, tryptophan and 5-HTP, can. For this reason, tryptophan and 5-HTP makes a viable candidate in increasing the levels of serotonin in the central nervous system.
Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin by a short metabolic pathway that stems from the synthesis of 5-HTP. Proponents argue that 5-HTP supplements work better than tryptophan due to the fact that the former is the immediate precursor of the neurotransmitters of concern. Furthermore, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier whereas tryptophan is subject to different metabolic pathways.
5-HTP works as an appetite suppressant since it makes serotonin more available outside the nervous system, especially in the digestive tract. By so doing, it promotes the synthesis of melatonin, which induces sleep. It also makes a reliable antidepressant as it increases serotonin levels in the central nervous system.
Grab Some tryptophan or 5-HTP today and feel better, sleep better right now!
Chronic fatigue syndrom and your life styles
September 01, 2010 07:55 PM
Fight Chronic Fatigue SyndromChronic fatigue syndrome strikes more than two million people in the United States, with eighty-five percent of these people being women between the ages of thirty and fifty. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome often resemble many other viral infections, making it very hard to pinpoint the real problem. This condition is possibly caused by stress as well as by mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, hypoglycemia, anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, food and chemical allergies, weak adrenal function, parasitic infections, amino acid deficiencies, and Candida albicans infections. With all of this in mind, there are a couple of herbal combinations and healthful suggestions that can be followed to help prevent or deal with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Cordyceps sinensis is a natural Chinese supplement that contains high amounts of L-tryptophan. It provides nutrients that are necessary for relieving fatigue and improving endurance. It also helps to increase blood supply to the heart and brain. This herb increases the production of superoxide dismutase in the body. In China, this herb has been traditionally used to treat the nervous system. Additionally, it is used to help strengthen the kidneys and liver.
An herbal combination containing bee pollen, licorice, kelp, barley grass, schizandra, gotu kola, eleuthero, yellow dock, rose hips, and capsicum has been shown to help restore energy to the system. This combination is an excellent combination of herbs to feed and nourish the entire system. It provides nourishment for the adrenals, in the form of licorice, and also for the thyroid, in the form of kelp. The bee pollen in this combination helps to nourish and supply energy to the body. Barley grass nourishes and cleans the body, while schizandra, which is an adaptogen herb, increases the energy supply of cells in the brain, muscles, liver, kidneys, glands, nerves, and in the entire body. The combination of herbs will rebuild the blood, liver, and digestive system.
The following are a few suggestions that can be followed to help deal with and prevent chronic fatigue syndrome. Exercise is very helpful, with even mild exercise helping to increase stamina and oxygenate cells. Exercise also helps to improve sleep. Allergies can be involved in chronic fatigue syndrome, so it is important to look into food allergies, chemicals, and heavy metals, and eliminate them. Anytime there is inflammation in the body that is accompanied by pain, swelling, heat, and redness, allergies are likely the culprits. When the immune system is weak, candida is usually involved.
Candida and Chronic Fatigue Syndrom
A candida diet would help to restore natural flora to the system. Candida can prevent the body from using sugars properly, which blocks the body’s energy production and causes extreme fatigue. To restore the friendly bacteria, use acidophilus on an empty stomach and eat unsweetened yogurt. If candida is involved, it is important to eliminate sugar, alcohol, mushrooms and all fungi, molds, and yeast in any form. It is also important to eliminate fermented foods. Look into leaky gut syndrome, which typically allows germs, viruses, bacteria, worms, and parasites to flourish. When they flourish, the immune and nervous system become weak, causing diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome to weaken the body.
Trying natural remedies like Fatigue to fantastic herbal supplements may help ease chronic fatigue.
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.
L Tryptophan by Now Foods
August 05, 2009 06:30 PM
L tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a number of important roles in human health and nutrition. Its most important function, however, involves the production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, energy, and emotions. L tryptophan is also a direct precursor to the production of melatonin, a hormone that is produced in the pituitary gland to help regulate the body’s wake and sleep cycle. Considering that L tryptophan can not be manufactured by the body, it must be obtained through food or dietary supplementation. It is most commonly found in protein-rich foods, including meats, poultry, whole grains, rice, legumes, and dairy products. To help your customers better understand how natural and effective tryptophan is, simply remind them that it’s the same compound in turkey that makes them sleepy after a big thanksgiving meal.
Now 1000mg L tryptophan is a USP pharmaceutical-grade dietary supplement and has been developed to ensure the highest levels of efficacy. Each lot is tested to be free of Peak E, as well as potency and microbial testing. L tryptophan has been used and consumed by millions of individuals throughout the years. It has been shown in numerous studies, including clinical studies, to improve mood and emotional stability, as well as appetite and sleep patterns. Aside from its role in supporting normal cognitive functions, L tryptophan also provides many of the building blocks needed for protein synthesis, and is currently being studied for its role in supporting healthy immune system response.
This product is:
• Fast-Acting disintegration
• Encourages positive mood
• Promotes restful sleep
• Guaranteed to be free of Peak-E
• High potency formula 1000mg per tablet!
Give it a try!
NOW Foods is the Leading Brand for Amino Acids in Health Food Stores
April 29, 2009 04:16 PM
-Michael Lelah, Ph.D. / Technical Director
It was recently announced that NOW Foods is now the leading brand for the amino acid segment in Health Food Stores. We sell over 100 different formulas of single and multiple amino acids in powder, capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. We cover the alphabet from L-Arginine to L-Tyrosine, with high potency products such as Acetyl L-Carnitine 750 mg, 1,000 mg L-Carnitine Tartrate, and our new 1000 mg L-tryptophan Tabs coming in June. Most amino acids come in two optical forms – the L-form and the D-form. The L-form is the only true natural form, while the more common D- and DL-forms are synthetic. At NOW Foods, we only carry the natural L-form. This is the safest form, naturally found in foods and in the human body. Taurine and Glycine have no optical rotation, and therefore occur in only one natural form with no L- or D- designation.
Our L-amino acids are of the highest quality available, and our ingredient powders conform to USP standards. The USP standards cover identity, purity and potency testing. This means that each lot of amino acid ingredient is tested to ensure that (a) it really is the amino acid we say it is, and not something else, (b) it’s pure to the highest USP standards, and (c) it has the full potency that you require. At NOW Foods, we take our amino acids seriously, and we even go beyond the USP level of testing when we believe it is necessary. For example, every lot of our L-tryptophan is tested to ensure that it is free of Peak E. This is the impurity which is believed to have been responsible for serious adverse events twenty years ago. We rigorously enforce this standard, and this goes beyond USP requirements. We have rejected a number of lots of L-tryptophan because of the presence of Peak E. We will not sell you these rejected materials, and we hope that others do not as well. We can’t control what others do, but we can control what we do and we assure you of L-tryptophan tested to be free of Peak E.
Our state-of-the-art analytical labs allow us to perform our own testing on our amino acids to doubly ensure their quality. We have 9 HPLCs that we use every day to test and retest our aminos to confirm their potency, purity and identity. We have very strong analytical, professional, and technical staff members who have many years of experience in testing amino acids. So much so that we are involved in developing industry validated methods for L-Carnitine and L-Arginine. NOW scientists are setting the standards for amino acid testing.
Most amino acids are quite stable and they can be packaged in standard containers. These amino acids will maintain their shelf life through their Best By date, and we test to make sure they do. SAMe however, is a uniquely unstable amino acid compound. Because of this, we provide triple protection – glass bottles, moisture control and oxygen control. SAMe is distinctly susceptible to oxygen degradation. We are the only major brand to offer our SAMe packaged with Ageless® oxygen absorbing packets, which remove integrity-challenging oxygen from every bottle to reduce degradation. We go that one step further to protect our products! Finally, we’re the leading amino acid brand because our products work. As an example, in a published study2, our SAMe was directly compared against the leading drug – Celebrex®.
NOW Foods brand SAMe performance was the same as the drug supporting joint health, but without the pharmaceutical side effects. All in all, we are not the leading brand in this category just because of our great prices. We have significant science and quality behind all of our products, not just amino acids, and we hope that you consider our rigorous efforts in quality assurance, safety and efficacy when making a purchase.
1. SPINScan Natural Channel, 52 weeks ending 02.21.09. 2. Najim, W.I., et al, SAMe versus celecoxib…, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2004, 5:6.
October 31, 2008 04:28 PM
Contrary to popular belief, Attention deficit and hyper activity (ADHD) doesn’t always go away when children grow up. Many of the children affected by this disorder as children carry it on into adult hood. This complicated disease can cause all sorts of problems mostly lost of work.
One survey studying over seven thousand workers between the ages of eighteen and forty four discovered that three and one half percent of these workers studied had ADHD. The ability to concentrate cost these individuals over twenty days of work. Both women and men experience mood, anxiety and most likely abuse drugs and alcohol. Fortunately there is an alternative, changing ones diet can help.
Dietary changes can help reduce the occurrence of ADHD in both children and adults. Have you ever noticed when you eat a meal high in carbohydrates you become sleepy where a meal higher in protein then carbohydrates does not make you sleepy but increase your mental acuity?
A high protein meal can reduce the amount of tryptophan that crosses the blood brain barrier in turn causes more phenylalanine and tyrosine to enter the brain. These two amino acids boost mental alertness. They are converted into neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine which are adrenaline like neurotransmitters. High carbohydrate meals cause an insulin spike in the blood which causes the body to absorb protein into the muscles and frees up tryptophan.
tryptophan when not in competition with other amino acids will cross the blood brain barrier which then is converted to serotonin a sleep neurotransmitter. To help over come this, one should eat a meal high in protein at breakfast and moderate protein / carbohydrate meal at lunch, leaving the last big meal of the day rich in carbohydrates.
Some older individuals may notice that they have a hard time sleeping at night; this may largely be due to a high protein meal later in the evening which stimulates the brain. A over stimulated brain will hinder ones sleep and could cause insomnia.
Other things that can help with ADHD are omega-3 fish oil that is high in DHA, phosphatidyl serine, and DMEA. The later two convert to neurotransmitters that can help support healthy mental function and alertness.
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.
Broken Cell Chlorella - Single Celled Micro alga
April 21, 2008 05:06 PM
Chlorella is what is known as a micro alga, a single celled vegetable organism that grows in fresh water. Microalgae are microscopic species of plant life that are likely responsible for the biological evolutionary history of our planet. Most people associate algae with seaweed: marine plant life. However, this is a restricted view since algae are also common on land, although are rarely conspicuous and still require an aqueous environment if not necessarily a salt water ocean.
The reason for this is that algae have no vascular tissue to draw moisture up into the body of the plant as terrestrial plants do, and they tend to be found in tropical regions, on snow in areas of the Arctic and also on exposed areas of stone and rock in symbiosis with fungi in the form of lichens. They can also be found in freshwater ponds and rivers, and chlorella is one of these.
Its scientific name is Chlorella pyrenoidosa, and it occurs worldwide. It is said to have the highest concentration of chlorophyll of any other known plant in addition to its other highly nutritional content. The superlatives are almost limitless for such a small plant that most of the general population is unaware of. It is the first plant known to have a true nucleus, it has been around for about two and half billion years, and it can multiply itself fourfold making it the fastest growing species of plant known on earth. It beats other fast-growing algae and bamboo out of site.
So what of its nutritional content? It is believed by NASA to be the ultimate foodstuff for long-term travel in space and an ideal crop for colonizing communities. Were a space community to be established on Mars, chlorella would be the first to be cultivated under these big glass domes we all see in the movies! It is more than just a foodstuff though; it is also the most powerful known natural detoxifier for the human body, which makes it practically the ideal food. Why is this?
If any food deserves to be referred to as a ‘superfood’ it is chlorella. It consists of over 60% bioavailable protein, and contains six members of the vitamin B complex (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12) and also vitamins A, C, E and K. It is therefore very high in antioxidants and excellent for destroying free radicals as soon as they are formed, and before they can cause problems such as atherosclerosis and excessive cell damage.
It also contains more than its fair share of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, and also iodine, folic acid and a high proportion of iron. That is not all: it contains many more nutrients essential for a healthy life, but above all chlorella contains all eight essential amino acids.
Human biochemistry and metabolism need 20 amino acids to function properly, twelve of which can be manufactured by the liver from these eight: leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine, and sometimes serine is added. These are called the essential amino acids from which all the others that your body needs can be manufactured.
Amino acids are needed to build proteins and DNA, manufacture body cells, repair damaged tissue, help the immune system to protect you from invading bacteria and viruses, ensure that the oxygen you breathe gets to the cells where it is needed to sustain life and carry out many other functions besides. Without them you could not exist. Chlorella contains five times more protein and amino acids than eggs do.
The Chlorella Growth Factor or CGF is a combination of these amino acids, together with nucleic acids, carbohydrates and peptides that have not yet been completely characterized. The CGF promotes the growth of body cells, and stimulates cell repair in a way not seen before in any other food. It has been shown to promote the growth of children in a natural and safe way.
Not only this, but it has been found not to promote the growth of diseased or cancerous cells, only healthy ones. The fact that that this accelerated growth does not happen with adults indicates that the Chlorella Growth Factor supports the natural growing process, although in adults it has been seen to accelerate the repair of damaged body tissue.
Chlorella also appears to strengthen the immune system, and researchers have found the presence of a polysaccharide in the cell walls of the microalgae that acts with CGF to produce an interferon that protects the helper cells that aid macrophages to destroy invading bacteria and viruses. It can help our resistance to influenza, choryza (common cold), fungi such as candida and many other forms of invasion by foreign agents into our bloodstream.
The detox effect of chlorella is largely contained within its cell walls that can bind with persistent toxic substances such as DDT, and bind with heavy metals to safely remove them from the body. In fact it is the ideal anti-toxin for life in today’s environment, full of vehicle exhaust fumes, pesticides and other chemical emissions. It has been claimed to be able to remove mercury from the body, but this has not been established.
Probably the only problem with the ingestion and the efficiency of the body to use Chlorella to its full extent is the strength of the cell walls. Chlorella has very strong cell walls, which could also account for the concentration of nutrients within them. the traditional method to overcome this was to mill them using small glass or ceramic beads to break the cell walls down, but the Japanese have come up with a more effective means. High frequency sound waves are used to break the cell walls down supersonically, a technique known as ‘cracking’, and once cracked the cells can release up to 65% of its nutrients, compared to the 50% of the milling method.
The nutritional content of single celled microalgae such as chlorella is amazing, and if the was only one food that you were able to eat, then this would be it. There is no other known species of plant or animal life that provides the range of vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids that chlorella does, and it truly is the king of all superfoods.
Which Protein Is Best For You?
January 18, 2008 11:16 AM
If you are physically active and taking supplements but still cannot seem to get the energy back in your body and brain, then it’s time to look at how much and what kind of protein you are getting. Even though dieters have been using high-protein diets for years, many are unaware of how much protein they actually need and how critical it is to their overall health. Low-protein diets can be lacking greatly in a lot of essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and others. This deficiency can cause illness and fatigue. Protein deficiency leads to difficult recovery from exercise, feeling tired, frequent colds, poor hair or nails, and a cessation in menstrual period for women, which may sound pleasant but is potentially dangerous. People of all ages are not aware of how much their protein needs change as they increase exercise. As your activity increases, so does your protein needs.
Protein is important in your body because every single cell in the body is made up of proteins. Protein is also essential for muscle building, producing red blood cells, the production of various enzymes and hormones, and good hair, nails, and skin. Our immune systems are almost all protein based, so providing our body with protein means that we can fight colds and other infections better. Proteins are also needed in our body to repair muscle damage that occurs during mild exercise. Protein is made from a chain of amino acids and our body cannot make some of these amino acids, which means that they need to be found in our diet. There are eight amino acids that our body cannot make and must be found in our diet every day. These include: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Although it is nice to know which amino acids are essential, it is even more important to know where you can find these amino acids because your muscles and body need them on a daily basis.
Since proteins are constantly being broken down, it is necessary to get some every day. It is suggested that women aged 19 to 70 need 46 grams of protein per day, while men of the same age need 56 grams. Now that you know that protein is essential to your life, what kind of protein is actually needed? Even though protein can be found in a good diet by simply eating meat, nuts, eggs, and other foods, many of us with busy lives need a quick and convenient source of protein. At a health food store, your choices are soy, casein, whey, and egg. Although the classic protein source is whey protein, the problem is that even though it has a high amount of useable amino acids, some people don’t like it or have a hard time taking it. Other proteins like soy and casein don’t have the complete amino acid content that your body is looking for.
With all the different forms of protein available one might wonder which is best? Egg white is the perfect protein source. Egg whites contain more than half the protein of an egg and are also rich in chlorine, niacin, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin K, and sulfur. Additionally, egg whites have a high amount of protein but exclude the cholesterol and sodium found in the yolk. Egg white protein is considered almost perfect because human requirements for amino acids and the amino acids contained in eggs are almost identical. Eggs are also one of the well-tolerated proteins, as over 90 percent of the protein of eggs is digested into the individual amino acids that your body needs. Egg white protein is one of the few products on the market that taste good without the added artificial flavors, colors, or additives.
Set Your Snooze Control With Herbal Supplements
December 27, 2007 02:03 PM
Over one-third of adults say that they have symptoms of insomnia over the course of any one year. Unfortunately, about 10-15 percent of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep can be traced back to too much stress, anxiety, caffeine, and discomfort from a medical problem, depression, work shift issues, or travel. For some people, insomnia presents itself as trouble falling asleep, while others have trouble staying asleep, and still others wake up too early. It all comes down to the same thing, people aren't getting enough restorative sleep, which leaves insomniacs feeling tired, irritable, and unfocused all day.
Before pharmaceutical sleeping pills were on the market, herbs were the treatment of choice to cure a restless night. As the list of adverse effects to sleeping pills grows longer and longer, herbal sleep aids are again becoming the option of choice. Valerian has been known to give insomniacs better sleep for more than 1,000 years as it eases stress and has been scientifically documented for its sedative effect. Even better, valerian is non-addictive and includes no morning hangover from using it. A study on valerian extract found that the time to fall asleep can be reduced to that of what prescription sedatives promise. Earlier in the year, a similar study found that the combination of valerian and hops shortened the time it takes to fall asleep in a group of twenty-seven insomniacs from what was almost an hour to just about twelve minutes. Chamomile tea has a soothing, sedative effect and is still a pleasant drink. Additionally, chamomile can be used for anxiety and to soothe intestinal upset such as indigestion and heartburn. Other mildly sedating herbs include lemon balm, catnip, passion flower, and skullcap. Still other herbs to consider include corydalis, which encourages feelings of relaxation, in turn helping people to fall asleep, and lavender oil, which acts as a great calming agent.
Green tea, which contains L-theanine, has a calming effect in the body and also strengthens immunity. When feelings of anxiety interfere with sleep, help can be found by taking L-theanine about an hour before one’s desired bedtime, as L-theanine interacts with the brain receptors that are associated with relaxation, therefore inducing a relaxed state of mind.
Serotonin also plays a huge role in sleep, while 5-HTP helps to make this chemical. Studies have proven that by taking 5-HTP, insomnia can be helped a great deal in terms of sleep quality and longer REM sleep periods. About 100-300 mg of 5-HTP should be taken before bedtime for most people. Since some people can feel a little nauseous when first taking 5-HTP, starting with 50 mg for the first few nights and building up to higher doses is advised. Some reports of vivid dreams and even nightmares have been reported fro taking large amounts of 5-HTP and those people who are taking anti-depressants should not take 5-HTP. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin and has been proven to be a successful remedy for insomnia. Although this supplement was unavailable for several years, it is now back on the market.
Melatonin also plays an important role in regulating the body's clock as it is secreted for several hours each night. People with insomnia tend to have lower levels. Therefore, taking supplemental melatonin, especially in a time-release form, an hour or so before one’s desired bedtime can help to get back into a better sleep schedule. Lastly, magnesium can help resolve sleep issues, especially in those people who have sleep problems because of restless leg syndrome (RLS).
No matter what herbal supplement or mineral you decide to use, always consult your health care practitioner before adding vitamin supplements and herbs to ones diet while taking prescription medication. The above mentioned herbal supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Protein And Its Role In Bodily Functions
November 09, 2007 05:00 PM
Protein is an essential organic compound composed of 20 or more amino acids which are joined by peptide bonds. Proteins serve as structural material such as connective tissue, and hair (i.e. collagen and keratin) can function as enzymes and hormones, as transporters of essential substances such as oxygen, antibodies, or regulators of gene expression. The importance of protein cannot be overstated in its effects on overall health regardless of age. Dieters using the low-protein diet can be seriously lacking in many essential nutrients including minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese, chromium, copper, etc. These deficiencies can lead to chronic illness, fatigue and make mental function more difficult.
In order to fight sickness and disease, our immune systems need to be in optimum performance. Something you may not have realized but our immune system are almost all protein based. Providing the body with the correct proteins is like providing the proper building blocks of the immune system and can help to fight the common cold and infections better. Proteins are also used to repair muscles during exercise.
There are eight essential amino acids which the body cannot manufacture and which we must derived from our diet each day. The essential amino acids are (i) isoleucine, (ii) leucine, (iii) lysine, (iv) methionine, (v) phenylalanine, (vi) theronine, (vii) tryptophan, and (viii) valine. With this list of proteins it is possible to determine where we can find these amino acids and incorporate them into our diet. We need protein in our diet on a daily basis, especially for muscle function which requires a particular mix of amino acids which are not found in many food sources. For example, to increase muscle mass, you need glutamine, carnitine, taurine, and arginine amino acids.
Now that we know we need protein daily in our diet and that protein is essential to life. So the next question you may have is what kind of proteins are the best? Quality proteins found in your local grocery store can be found in meat, nuts, eggs, and other foods. If you turn to your local health food store, look at soy, casein, whey and egg proteins. The type of protein you take will depend upon what you are capable of eating, i.e. taste. Some people have trouble eating whey protein, while others cannot pallet egg protein.
The best protein found in nature however is derived from egg whites. Egg proteins are not only complete in its supply of what the body needs, the egg is rich in chlorine, niacin, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin K, sulphur, and omega-3. An added bonus to eating egg whites is the lack of cholesterol and sodium in the yoke. Eggs are also one of the most tolerable proteins in the human body where over 90 percent of the proteins derived from eggs is digested into the individual amino acids our bodies need. By eating egg derived protein you are essentially supplying the body with the raw materials it needs for proper function. So, if you have been troubled by fatigue, poor hair and nails the answer may be to increase your protein intake or try an all natural egg white protein for three to four weeks and see what a difference it will make in your health and appearance
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.
Wake up! This is National Sleep Awareness Week!
March 28, 2006 04:51 PM
We live in stressful times. Maybe that’s why more than 70 million Americans suffer from occasional sleeplessness, according to the National Institutes of health. Job related worries, marital and relation ship problems, even excitement about happy occasions—vacations or holidays—can all make it hard to fall asleep. Sleeplessness can also occur with jet lag, shift work, major schedule changes, even digestive problems.
Just turn on the TV and it’s obvious there are millions of customers looking for products to help them get a good nights sleep. And Source Naturals has an array of natural, effective sleep support supplements.
NightRest: This bio-aligned formula combines the powerful properties of melatonin and GABA with additional amino acids and herbs.
Melatonin: A neurohormone used as a restorative for occational sleeplessness.
Nutrasleep: a Unique herbal-nutrient blend, including skullcap, passion flower, valerian and chamomile.
Theanine Serene: Features L-Theanine, derived from Green tea, Plus Gaba, Taurine, magnesium, and holy basil.
GABA: the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, associated with mental states of calm and serenity.
L-tryptophan: an essential amino acid, which helps support relaxation, restful sleep, and a positive outlook.
5-Htp: An intermediate to the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, shown in clinical studies to support normal sleep cycles.
New L Tryptophan 500mg from Source Naturals
March 14, 2006 07:32 PM
Rest, Relax, Feel Good
Amount Per Serving %DV
Calcium 69 mg 6%
L-tryptophan 1.5 g †
†Daily Value not established.
Suggested Use: 1 tablet 3 times daily, between meals and preferably with fruit juice. To support restful sleep, take 3 tablets before bed.
Melatonin and 5-HTP 60ct - New from Kal
November 18, 2005 09:13 AM
Melatonin and 5-HTP the Ultimate Combo
Relaxed and Refreshed Sleep
Enhance your life with a more sound (deep) sleep every night.
Coming out of depression.
October 28, 2005 02:46 PM
If a positive outlook is the sun, then depression is a heavy shade drawn across one’s existence. Clinical depression is not the passing blue mood or feelings of sadness, grief and sorrow in the face of life’s more somber moments. But when sadness seems never-ending, when you can’t concentrate, sleep or enjoy anything, when you feel hopeless and that life isn’t worth the bother—now that’s depression.
If your moods are especially dark, seek professional help. What you may be experiencing, though, is more of a sneeze n’ sniffle melancholy than the heavy chest-cold kind (and the analogy is apt, given how common a disorder depression truly is). If that’s the case, you may find the following supplements helpful:
Omega-3 Fatty acids: A healthy brain needs plenty of these healthy fats. Flax seed oil and fish oil are two common sources.
SAM-e: This naturally occurring substance helps activate serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals vital to healthy mood.
St. John’s Wort: One of the best-known natural depression fighters, St. John’s Wort also helps reduce the mild anxiety that often accompanies depression. It usually takes four to six weeks to reach full effectiveness.
tryptophan: An amino acid the body uses to create serotonin. Natural tryptophan is found in milk protein concentrate.
Speak with health care practitioner if you are taking prescription medications for depression (or any other condition, for that matter). Do not stop taking synthetic antidepressants without proper guidance.
Depressed? Try these “super 5” supplements
August 09, 2005 03:25 PM
Depressed? Try these “super 5” supplements
While we must first address basic health issues and tackle them individually, nature has provided us with a number of compounds capable of treatment depression by safely raising serotonin levels and by boosting oxygen supplies to brain cells.
1. 5-HTP, a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan, has the ability to boost serotonin production without the negative side effects of drugs like Prozac. It has been successfully used in clinical trials with people suffering from depression that were resistant to traditional therapies. Because it can boost serotonin without the negative side effects of antidepressant drugs, it is one of nature’s best choices as a natural remedy for depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.
2. St. John’s worth as received considerable attention for its ability to successfully treat mild to moderate depression. Numerous studies have concluded that many patients respond as well or better to St. John’s wort than standard drugs. Not surprisingly, German doctors prescribe St. John’s wort four times as often as Prozac for depression.
3. Ginkgo has enjoyed tremendous popularity as an herb capable of boosting memory function. Because depression is viewed by some experts as a condition of brain under-stimulation, ginkgo may be valuable in that it can boost brain cell oxygenation by enhancing blood flow. A French study found that 166 patients with mental disorders significantly improved with ginkgo therapy.
4. Phenylalanine and Tyr osine are two amino acids which elevate serotonin levels and curb excess carbohydrate cravings. Dr. Oscar Janifer, M.D. in his book A Different Kind of Healing, comments: “I’ve had great results with tyrosine. It’s like a natural antidepressant and is a precursor to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.” Phenylalanine acts as precursor to the amines that comprise neurotransmitters (serotonin) in the brain.
5 . NADH, a form of niacin, plays a vital role in the energy production of all cells and is thought to boost brain cell metabolism. It is currently used for Alzheimer’s disease and seems well suited to older individuals suffering fro m depression. NADH levels significantly decline with age.
Virtually any physical stressor can disrupt delicate chemical balances in the brain causing us to feel unexplainably sad for prolonged periods of time. Take a moment to evaluate your life, and look into natural means for assistance.
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
August 02, 2005 10:03 AM
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
Stress, illness and even our everyday routines can all affect our energy levels and our ability to do daily tasks. Perpetual fatigue not only keeps us from doing what we would like to do but also what we have to do. Below are some tips for easy ways to boost your energy and increase your enjoyment of life: FIGHT AND WIN THE Allergy WAR
DECREASE YOUR INTAKE of white flour and sugar, processed foods, red meat and fatty foods. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and soy products.
ENERGY LEVELS CAN be affected by digestive problems, such as sluggish bowel. Try a juice fast followed by a diet of whole, raw foods to help cleanse your body and recharge your immunity.
INSTEAD OF RELYING ON caffeinated soft drinks to get you through the day, try an iced ginseng or peppermint herbal tea. Ginseng is a particularly energizing herb that is good with honey.
FATIGUE CAN ALSO BE a result of a vitamin deficiency. B vitamins in particular are important for our energy levels and our ability to handle stress. Consider getting a B12 shot.
IF YOU ALWAYS feel tired and rarely sleep well, consider taking L-tryptophan supplements. With the right dosage, you should feel a big difference in your anxiety levels and how rested you feel.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from hidden food allergies, you are overworking your immune system. This situation can cause fatigue. Keep a food diary to help you eliminate the guilty foods.
CONSIDER A FISH, flaxseed or evening primrose oil supplement for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, which affect every body system.
Get energized—try these natural energy-enhancing tips
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY or sleeping too much can also lead to a general lack of energy. Even if a gym is not for you, walking or stretching for 45 minutes, three times a week is suggested.
SOMETIMES FATIGUE IS DUE to a problem with the thyroid gland, especially if you are pregnant. Consider talking to your health-care professional about thyroid testing. Adding kelp to your diet is also helpful because of its iodine content—an iodine deficiency is sometimes responsible for thyroid disorders.
DEPRESSION, NERVOUS TENSION AND emotional or physical stress can tax the body, and if experienced daily, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy. Research suggests that daily journal writing is effective for dealing with depression and stress. Daily meditation is also helpful.
MAKE AN HERBAL JUICE by mixing sage, rosemary and oat juice (from the green plant), and take 1 tablespoon each day. This juice will help counteract nervous tension and irritability, as well as exhaustion. It is also good for insomnia if taken before bed.
COENZYME Q10 IS A useful supplement that increases the supply of oxygen to your body tissues, thereby boosting your energy and performance levels. This supplement should be easy to find at any pharmacy or health store.
LONG-TERM FATIGUE can be a symptom of low blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, cancer or liver problems. If you are concerned, see your health care professional.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED FOR weak adrenals or low iron in the blood. If you are suffering from either of these problems, you are likely to feel a general lack of energy. DHEA, a precursor hormone, can help with adrenal problems, and low iron can be remedied with a simple mineral supplement fortified with iron.
MAKE AN EFFORT to unwind before bedtime. By reading, going for a short walk or taking a bath before you go to sleep, you have a chance to release tension and stress that will affect how well you sleep each night. Also, try not to eat right before retiring to bed.
CONSIDER ADDING TWO OR MORE yoga positions to your daily routine. There are a number of books on how yoga increases well-being and fights fatigue.
THE PRESENCE OF A yeast infection in the body can also decrease energy levels by overtaxing the immune system. These infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control and environmental stress. Acidophilus and a cleansing diet are helpful for dealing with yeast infections. Serious infections may require medication.
THE PRESENCE OF PARASITES in the body can also compromise your immune system and lead to chronic fatigue or lack of energy. Goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, zinc and vitamin C can all help fight microbes and support healthy immune function.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE spring and summer months, when the weather is getting warmer, you should be drinking plenty of water. Also, consider trying this energy booster: 3 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts and 10 almonds, all blended until smooth.
ONE OF THE MOST substantial problems of the typical American diet is a lack of fiber. Aim for 25–35 grams of dietary fiber each day by including beans, fruits (like apples, skin included) and whole grains to the diet. Fiber is essential for proper digestion and elimination, both of which affect all other body systems.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is especially important for enhancing your energy levels, especially if you have been ill. Consider adding vitamin C, bee products and green foods to your daily diet to fight infection and fatigue.
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.
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:
Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.
The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.
Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.
Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.
discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.
ROOT AND ROOT BARK
Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.
Body Systems Targeted
The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.
Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.
Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .
NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY
Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .
Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers
Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.
Noni’s Medical Reputation
Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.
A Timely Reemer gence
Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.
TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI
Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15
decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.
XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?
One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .
Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18
How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.
MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI
Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.
Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.
xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.
A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21
In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.
with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.
The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.
The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.
The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.
While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.
A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29
Skin Healing Agent
One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.
burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30
The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.
Complementary Agents of Noni
PrimaryApplications of Noni
5-HTP - The Science of Sleep
June 29, 2005 02:22 PM
Sleep is especially important in today’s world. It’s the time when your body repairs, rebuilds and replenishes the tissues and compounds that have been damaged or depleted by the demands of your life. But when there is too much stress, imbalances occur that can keep you from getting enough sleep.
Source Naturals, the science company, introduces 5-HTP to help promote healthy sleep cycles. 5-HTP, or L-5-Hydroxytryptophan, is created when the tryptophan in your body is converted into serotonin. 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier and is associated with increasing active serotonin levels as well as serotonin production. And those increased serotonin levels are associated with healthy sleep regulation, increased melatonin production for 24-hour sleep cycle regulation, mood regulation, and appetite control. Source Natural’s 5-HTP capsules are safely and naturally derived from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds.
How 5-HTP Works
5-HTP works because it supports your body’s balanced production of two important sleep regulating hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, moods and appetite. But you need adequate serotonin levels to maintain this balance. 5-HTP is the serotonin precursor that is formed when tryptophan is converted into serotonin in your body. In clinical research, 5-HTP increased the amount and availability of serotonin produced by the body. It is able to cross the blood brain–barrier to increase both serotonin levels and serotonin production in your brain so you can regain a healthy balance when you are sleeping, feeling emotions, or eating.
Eventually, the serotonin in your body is converted into melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate healthy 24-hour sleep cycles known as circadian rhythms. Aging and various forms of physical or emotional stress can decrease your melatonin levels and disrupt your sleep cycle. Fortunately, that balance can be regained. When 5-HTP increases serotonin production, melatonin production is also increased, which can help you regain a healthy circadian rhythm.
Naturally Promoting Healthy Sleep
Source Naturals 5-HTP is safely derived from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds and is available in 50 and 100 mg potencies. Innovative natural products, such as 5-HTP, are part of a new paradigm in health care. You can join this revolution in preventive wellness, long before it becomes mainstream, by taking charge of your health with products that are only available at natural food and nutrition outlets. Support your healthy moods, eating habits and sleep cycles with the science of Source Naturals 5-HTP today.
Three Tips for a Healthy Sleep Cycle
Enhancer for Youthful Vitality
June 16, 2005 08:20 PM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT
Enhancer for Youthful Vitality
Five tablets contain:
Suggested Use: 5 tablets before exercise and/or at bedtime with plenty of water at least two hours after the last meal. Discontinue use or reduce dosage if any of the following symptoms are present: nausea, excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, cramps, excessive urination, insomnia, headache, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, or changes in mood or emotional balance.
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.
June 11, 2005 05:04 PM
Power Protein by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, August 4, 1999
Chances are, if you've been trying to lose weight, build muscle, or increase your energy levels, then you've been hearing about protein. This essential nutrient has stolen the spotlight of the health industry as the alleged key to vitality and a solid physique.
With books like Protein Power (Bantam) and Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (Avon) firmly implanted on The New York Times bestseller list, and protein bars and shakes growing in popularity, more people than ever are seeking to tap into the power of protein.
But before you go on an all-out protein-blitz, how can you decide what's best for you?
The Purpose of Protein
No doubt about it, protein performs a variety of roles. First and foremost, it is used to manufacture and repair all of the body's cells and tissues, and forms muscles, skin, bones and hair. Protein makes up the connective tissue that forms the matrix of bones; keratin is a type of protein used to make hair and nails.
It is essential to all metabolic processes; digestive enzymes and metabolism-regulating hormones (such as insulin, which influences blood sugar levels) are all made of protein. This nutrient also intricately takes part in transport functions: Without sufficient protein the body cannot produce adequate hemoglobin, which carries nutrients through the blood. Lipo-proteins are fat-carrying proteins which transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Protein helps regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, maintaining proper blood volume. Immunoglobulins and antibodies that ward off diseases are also comprised of protein.
Any protein that you eat that is not utilized for these purposes is stored as fat, although some may be broken down, converted to glucose and burned for energy. This can occur during intensive workouts, or when the body runs out of carbohydrates from the diet or glycogen from its muscle and liver stores.
"Even though the body can depend on the fat it has stored, it still uses muscle protein, unless it is fed protein as food," explain Daniel Gastelu, MS, MFS, and Fred Hatfield, PhD, in their book Dynamic Nutrition for Maximum Performance (Avery). "When dietary circumstances cause the body to use amino acids as a source of energy, it cannot also use these amino acids for building muscle tissue or for performing their other metabolic functions."
One can see why it is so important to eat a sufficient amount of protein daily in food, shakes or bars. Without it, bone tends to break down, the immune system can become impaired, and muscle strength drops as the body uses up muscle protein for energy.
Proteins are built of chains of amino acids, and 20 different kinds of these building blocks are necessary for protein synthesis within the body. Eleven of them can be manufactured by the body through a process called de novo synthesis; these are referred to as non-essential amino acids. The other nine, which must be obtained from the diet, are known as essential amino acids. (Although some amino acids are called "non-essential," in actuality they are vital: The body needs all 20 amino acids to function properly.)
Some of the more familiar non-essential amino acids include: n Carnitine helps remove fat from the bloodstream n Arginine helps burn sugar Essential amino acids include: n L-tryptophan, a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, helps create calm moods and sleep patterns n L-lysine, required for the metabolism of fats n L-methionine a component of SAM-e (a supplement intended to relieve depression and arthritis, see p. 45)
The body forms and destroys protein from amino acids in a constant cycle of synthesis and degradation. You must consume protein regularly to replace the lost amino acids that are oxidized when protein is broken down and used for fuel. The amount of amino acids lost each day depends on what you eat and how much exercise you do.
Athletes vs. Weekend Warriors
Protein intake in the general population is still adequate, notes Gail Butterfield, PhD, RD, director of Sports Nutrition at Stanford University Medical School. "But we're learning that what is true for the general population may not be true for the athletic population," she says. "With heavy training there is greater protein degradation and you need to increase your intake. Thus, protein requirements are higher for athletes than regular people."
Also, if you diet or restrict your eating in any way, you may also not be getting enough protein.
Certainly, if you work out, eating protein is important. Providing four calories of energy per gram, protein keeps blood sugar steady during exercise. After exercise, it helps replenish and maintain stores of glycogen (stored muscle fuel) and decreases the loss of amino acids, as recent research has shown (J Appl Physiol 81 (5), Nov. 1996: 2095-2104). Lab studies in animals show that protein consumed after you run, lift weights, bike, etc..., helps stimulate muscle growth (Jrnl of Nut 127 , June 1997: 1156-1159)
High-protein diets are frequently touted to promote weight loss and increased energy. One of the most influential: the so-called 40-30-30 formula, developed by Barry Sears in his book The Zone: A Dietary Roadmap (HarperCollins), which describes a diet whose calories are 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. The rationale: when you eat too many carbohydrates, your body uses these starches for energy instead of burning body fat. A high protein diet is supposed to keep your blood sugar balanced and stimulate hormones that burn body fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Other fitness experts such as Sherri Kwasnicki, IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year of 1998, say that while protein is a necessary component of any diet, extreme high-protein plans aren't necessary for recreational fitness buffs. However, she notes that maintaining muscle mass is the key to aging gracefully, and getting enough protein is critical for that.
Many people today won't eat meat and dairy for ethical reasons, or to avoid the antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle. But that doesn't have to prohibit adequate protein intake. All soybean products, including tofu and soymilk, provide complete proteins, which supply ample quantities of all the essential amino acids.
In the past vegetarians were told to combine particular foods to make sure they consumed all the essential amino acids at each meal. (For example, beans with either brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds or wheat forms "complete" protein.) Today, diet experts aren't so picky. Eating a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day is just as effective as combining them at one meal.
Vegans who avoid all animal products should eat two servings at sometime during the day of plant-based protein sources, such as tofu, soy products, legumes, seeds and nuts.
The newest sources of protein are bars and shakes, which are growing steadily in popularity. Protein bars now constitute about 12% of the so-called energy bar market, with sales increasing about 38% per year. These bars generally provide at least 20 grams of protein, including soy and whey protein and calcium caseinate (milk protein). The benefits: bars supply protein along with carbohydrates for energy; protein powders, on the other hand, provide quickly digested, easily absorbed amino acids.
Edmund Burke, PhD, author of Optimal Muscle Recovery (Avery), suggests "If you need extra protein, you may benefit from the convenience of a mixed carbohydrate-protein supplement... choose a supplement that's healthy and low in fat."
Amino acid supplements are also growing in popularity, reported to build muscle and burn fat, or improve mood by boosting brain neurotransmitters. The amino acids glutamine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and 5-HTP (a form of tryptophan) are all used to boost spirits and enhance brain function.
And if you still ponder the merits of those high protein diets, do keep in mind that protein may be better at controlling hunger than carbohydrates or fat since it steadies blood sugar, so it may help you stick to a reduced-calorie plan. But excess protein can't be stored as protein in the body: It is either burned for energy or converted to fat. And carbs are still the body's top energy source, so forgoing too many can leave you tired and sluggish.
Still, with so many vital functions-and a variety of sources to choose from-you can't afford to not explore the benefits of protein.
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.
May 13, 2005 06:45 PM
L-5-Hydroxytryptophan treatment of sleep terrors in children.
Bruni O, Ferri R, Miano S, Verrillo E.
Centre for Paediatric Sleep Disorders, Department of Developmental Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Via dei Sabelli 108, 00185 Rome, Italy. email@example.com
To test the hypothesis that the administration of L -5-hydroxytryptophan (L -5-HTP) might exert beneficial effects on sleep terrors, we carried out an open pharmacological trial in a group of children with sleep terrors compared to a group of children with the same disorder but without L -5-HTP treatment. Participants in the trial were 45 children (34 males and 11 females; age range 3.2-10.6 years), referred to the Sleep Centre of the Department of Developmental Neurology and Psychiatry of the University of Rome "La Sapienza", affected by sleep terrors. All subjects underwent: (1) complete medical and sleep history; (2) complete neurological examination and EEG recording whilst awake and sleeping, (3) a structured sleep diary for 2 months, (4) after 1 month, all subjects were examined again from the clinical and EEG points of view and (5) after 6 months, a structured interview in order to evaluate the clinical outcome. After the first visit, L -5-HTP was administered (2 mg/kg per day) at bedtime to 31 randomly selected patients for a single period of 20 consecutive days. After 1 month of treatment, 29/31 (93.5%) of patients showed a positive response. In the comparison group without drug therapy, after 1 month, the episodes disappeared only in four children (28.6%) while ten children (71.4%) showed the persistence of episodes with the same frequency as before. After 6 months, 26/31 (83.9%) of children treated with L -5HTP were sleep terror-free, while in five children (16.1%) sleep terror episodes persisted. Of the children in the comparison group, ten (71.4%) continued to show sleep terrors at 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSION:to our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the efficacy of a new drug treatment for sleep terrors. These results confirm our initial hypothesis and represent evidence that treatment with L -5-hydroxytryptophan is able to modulate the arousal level in children and to induce a long-term improvement of sleep terrors. Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag
L-tryptophan 500mg 90ct