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Coenzyme Q10: Research confirms ubiquinone and ubiquinol are nearlyequally-absorbed ...
April 22, 2019 04:29 PM
Many Coenzyme Q10 products have labels that indicate that their product is better absorbed due to longtime beliefs surrounding ubiquinol (reduced Coenzyme Q10) being hard for the body to absorb. Many brands instead market ubiquinone, which is redox Coenzyme Q10 instead, since studies have been more supportive about this form being easier for the body to absorb. New research, however, is concluding that both of these forms are equal when it comes to the ability to be absorbed through the body.
"Marketing terms such as “better absorbed” should be questioned unless the absorption or bioavailability is actually stated. Only when the actual absorption has been verified can the better absorbed product be determined."
Read more: https://wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/vitamin-connection/coenzyme-q10-research-confirms-ubiquinone-and-ubiquinol-are-nearly-equally-absorbed-compounds-the-physical-form-and-companion-ingredients-make-the-bioavailability-and-absorption-difference-in-coenz/
CBD 101: Everything You Need To Know About Giving Your Cat CBD
June 01, 2018 09:16 AM
Hemp, which hails from the genus cannabis, as does its far better known cousin marijuana, is distinct from marijuana for a variety of reasons, the most important undoubtedly being that the substance which makes marijuana a psychoactive substance, capable of producing its signature high' is all but missing in hemp. So, while both plants have components with healing properties, hemp offers users the benefits without the addictive component.
Today, these benefits are being actively pursued by pet owners and not just humans. In the case of cat-owners, CBD as an oil is the best way to administer CBD, although humans have the option of sprays and other means. This is because with oil the dose can be titrated over time, to ensure that the smallest health-giving dose is administered. The odds of any side effects of note are rare, but erring on the side of caution is best. For the sake of legality do make sure that the oil you are using is derived from phytocannabinoids hemp. Know that a reputable provider will make a lab report available too.
"Cannabidiol(CBD is found) in all cannabis plants. Both hemp and marijuana plants come from the genus Cannabis. Hemp has no THC unlike marijuana, and as such, it can’t get you high. Therefore, you should always get your CBD oil from hemp ensuring you never get your cat high unless it’s with catnip—that’s completely fine."
Read more: http://www.tgdaily.com/health/cbd-101-everything-you-need-to-know-about-giving-your-cat-cbd
Health Watch: What Do You Know About Vitamin K?
December 30, 2017 03:59 PM
Most people are familiar with benefits of vitamins. The most common vitamins with which people are familiar are A, B, C, D and E. However few people know about the benefits of vitamin K. It derives from the German word Koagulation which is similar to the English word coagulation. That refers to blood clotting. Most people are not deficient in vitamin K unless they suffer from malnourishment. Babies are usually given a shot of vitamin k within a day of birth to stimulate coagulation. There are a number of forms of vitamin K with K1 being the most common. It is also the one present in green vegetables. When people have blood clots, strokes or abnormal heart rhythms, doctors often prescribe anti K drugs such as warfarin which act as anticoagulants. Food high in vitamin K can aid in having a healthy heart. Foods that are high in vitamin K include green vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens, parsley, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Fruit , milk and meat also have vitamin k in different quantites. Vitamin K also comes in K2 and K3 versions which also aid in bone health. In fact study of 72,000 women over a decade followed by the The Nurses' Health Study found that those with less than 109 micrograms a day of vitamin K were 30% more likely to suffer a hip fracture. Overall Americans are not eating enough vitamin K. Eating more would promote healthier cardiovascular systems and stronger bones.
"K2, as well as K1, are believed to play an important role in bone health; low levels have been associated with an increased risk of both osteoporosis and arthritis."
Read more: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/features/health/health-watch-what-do-you-know-about-vitamin-k/article_b2ae97dd-2bd4-57df-8a42-307a4d5fe6a0.html
Editorial: How Republicans came to love hemp
August 05, 2017 09:14 AM
Republicans came to love hemp very much. Hemp looks just like marijuana but it does not make you high. The world appears to be turned upside down now because there are republicans that are supporting hemp. But, not just any kind of cannabis. The kind that has been endorsed in known as industrial hemp. Hemp is a very strong thing. The seeds can actually be eaten or turned into many different things. They have been used to create beauty products.
"The United States imports upwards of $600 million worth of hemp-based products each year — so American law allows hemp products, it just doesn’t make it easy for American companies to make them."
Read more: http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-how-republicans-came-to-love-hemp/article_b9116c36-a706-536e-9c0c-e9f0fa3cacee.html
Why You Shouldn't Go Gluten-Free Unless It's Absolutely Necessary
May 05, 2017 06:59 PM
There are people who have to eat a gluten free diet due to health problems. Some can't process gluten in their bodies so eating it makes them sick. They should definitely avoid gluten. Others do so but it's not for medical reasons, it's just something they feel will be better for them. They are wrong about it. Gluten free diets should not be adopted unless you have to. This explains this and why it is.
Read more: Why You Shouldn't Go Gluten-Free Unless It's Absolutely Necessary
TURMERIC WITH HONEY - The Strongest Natural Antibiotic!
April 06, 2017 05:15 AM
Its hard when your sick to fully get rid of whatever you have unless you take some medicine. Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight of a virus or infection in your body that most people think natural substances cannot fix. However, this video shows a natural ingredient that is proven to be the best antibiotic. Honey mixed with a few other ingredients like tumeric juice can be the best antibiotic to fight of any colds.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iIC_bDlYg8&rel=0
"You surely have heard of or even tried the amazing health benefits of the turmeric golden milk."
What to eat: Broccoli vs. cauliflower - Bel Marra Health
February 13, 2017 10:59 AM
Broccoli and cauliflower are two vegetables that have a lot in common. They are both cruciferous vegetables and family members from the Brassica oleracea plant species. Both vegetables also originated from Europe’s Mediterranean region. Finally, they were likely both among the vegetables that you refused to eat as a kid unless they were covered with cheddar cheese sauce, of course.
"The average man requires approximately 56 grams of protein daily, while the average woman requires around 46 grams."
12 Foods You Should Never Eat
February 03, 2017 10:19 AM
We all know there are many foods and beverages that aren't good for you. But did you know that there are 12 foods you should never eat? You might be surprised by some of the items in this list. Find out what these foods are and why they should be removed from your diet immediately.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BMOuihhfVY
"Heating juice denatures the chemicals makeup of vitamins and minerals and unless it is truly raw it is little more than flavored fructose."
A Handful of Nuts Is Good for Your Health
December 13, 2016 08:59 AM
Nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease and other issues. The percentage reduction of heart-related issues ranges anywhere from 24 to 72 percent. The people that took part in the study received these positive health benefits by eating one ounce of nuts per day. They also produce very little health risk, unless a person is allergic to them.
"A handful of nuts a day may be enough to reduce the risk for death from heart disease and other ills."
How nutritious are plant-based milks?
December 03, 2016 10:59 AM
When deciding what type of milk to consume, it is best to read labels. While cow’s milk is fairly standard in the amount of nutrients it contains, plant-based milks can vary greatly depending on which company manufactures it. unless there is a medical reason to do otherwise, it is recommended that all people consume cow’s milk. Soy, almond, coconut, and other nut milks can be lacking in their nutrients. Soy and nut milks contain a fair amount of protein, but none of the alternatives naturally contain calcium. It can be added, but these usually are not digested as well.
"An eight-ounce glass of cow’s milk naturally contains about eight grams of protein and almost a third of the recommended percent daily value of calcium. Cow’s milk also naturally contains nutrients like potassium and vitamin B12, and is usually fortified with vitamins A and D."
Parents: How smart are you about antibiotics?
December 02, 2016 06:59 AM
Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant ones may be left to grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are the primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
"Antibiotics can be lifesaving and should absolutely be used when they are needed — but they are not without risks and problems."
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
October 04, 2015 10:02 PM
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.
Vitamins that Help Balance Uric Acid in the Body
February 10, 2015 05:58 PM
What is a uric acid?
Uric acid is a waste product that can found in the body. It is a by-product of fructose metabolism. Therefore, a person with a diet rich in fructose will have a higher level of uric acid unless they can take certain measures to ensure that the levels are checked.
Effect of high uric acid
Very high levels of this waste product are associated with certain painful conditions. One of these conditions is gout. Gout is a type of very painful arthritis that will commonly affect the big toe. It is characterized by extreme pain and most people who have this condition are often on medication to regulate it for most of their lives. It is the most common disease associated with high uric levels, but not the only one.
People with High Blood pressure and obesity also exhibit higher levels of the acid in their systems. It is important to note however, that uric acid functions as both an anti-oxidant as well as a pro-oxidant. For this reason, you do not want to lower its levels too much, so as not to miss its anti-oxidation properties. You want to have optimal levels of the acid in your body and the following vitamins and natural spices can help you achieve this easily.
Vitamins to Regulate Uric Acid
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been recommended in many health advice articles as being especially useful to lowering the levels of uric acid in your body. However, it is important to be very careful when taking Vitamin C for this purpose since taking too much could have the opposite effect; that of increasing the levels of this acid in your body. Vitamin C can be found in many natural supplements but you are likely to get good results with the natural sources, which are fruits such as oranges and lemons as well as in vegetables.
Vitamin B5: This vitamin is very important in breaking down excess uric acid in the body. Also known as pantothenic acid, it is actually the necessary ingredient in the body for the excretion of this acid. Most people who have excess uric acid have a Vitamin B5 deficiency. Stress is a major cause of low levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin B9: Also known as folic acid, this vitamin has been used by many people suffering from gout to help lower the levels of uric acid in the cells. Although there are no real studies that show its efficiency, many people who take folic acid supplements have claimed a reduction in the intensity of gout symptoms.
Natural Herbs and Spices that can help, there are also a number of natural herbs and spices that can greatly help to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body. This is because certain herbs have been known to have higher anti-oxidation properties than even fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of the herbs and spices associated with uric acid control include; cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric. These four spices also have anti-inflammatory properties that can be very useful to those suffering from gout.
Can Pancreatic Enzymes Help Reduce Pancreatic Stress?
May 22, 2013 10:43 AM
Pancreatic enzymes are crucial for the purpose of breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. A healthy pancreas will produce about 8 cups of pancreatic juice daily. This is released into the duodenum helping neutralize any acid. This potion of the stomach is at the entrance of the small intestines. The lack of these fluids could cause a myriad of problems depending on the functions that are carries out.
The question however is; can pancreatic enzymes help reduce pancreatic stress?
One of the best ways to answer this is to find out what these enzymes are and do exactly.
Lipase is a pancreatic enzyme that breaks down fats. The lack of this enzyme causes a shortage of fat soluble vitamins and diarrhea evident by fatty stools.
Protease breaks down proteins in the body. It is also crucial in keeping the system clear of protozoa and yeast among many other parasites. The lack of the same will cause a rise on toxicity in the stomach due to faulty digestion. The individual will also be at risk due to infections.
Amylase will break down carbohydrates and is commonly found in the saliva. The lack of the same will cause diarrhea due to the presence of starch that is undigested in the colon.
This is common in patients that have developed pancreatic cancer. The lack of pancreatic juice in the body will cause pancreatic stress. This calls for doctors to find a way to help induce the functionality of this juice into the body. This is the reason why pancreatic enzymes are used to help along with the breaking down of these body substances.
This partly answers the question, can pancreatic enzymes help increase pancreatic stress?
Some other effects that could come with the lack of these enzymes include cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, duodenal tumors and Whipple procedure. Some of the symptoms of these conditions brought by the lack of the enzymes include cramps, gas, indigestion, weight loss and diarrhea.
These enzymes given by doctors may also be given along some acid reducing medication. These enzymes should be taken carefully to ensure that they work optimally.
Added enzymes will ease pancreatic stress by balancing the digestive system. The body in turn will not think it needs more enzymes and reduce its demands on the pancreas.
Some of the things to keep in mind when using these are;
The most common side effect of these enzymes is constipation. They are however the best way to deal with indigestion due to the lack of the pancreatic fluid in the body. Have you had your pancreatin today to boost digestion and eliminate food allergies?
Plants That Fight Against Cancer
May 16, 2013 12:49 PM
As medical research continues to understand cancer and formulate ways to treat it, there has been a lot discovered about cancer fighting plants. There are chemicals in certain plants that have been shown to help prevent cancer, but there have also been plants that can fight cancer once it begins to develop. There are many plants that are considered to be herbs and are not a part of a typical person's everyday diet. However, many fruits and vegetables have been shown to be effective and are found at most super markets.
Good examples of these types of vegetables are those from the cruciferae family. Among vegetables in this family are broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and cauliflower. The specific chemical that is helpful in fighting cancer is Indole-3-carbinol. Although this compound can be found in other plants, it exists in greater concentrations in this family of vegetables.
Indole-3-carbinol works to inhibit and reduce the size of tumors.
Although research is still ongoing, there has been significant work done on animals such as mice and rats that have demonstrated the effectiveness of Indole-3-carbinol. At the time of this writing, the data for its effect on humans is still inclusive, but the research is producing optimism in the medical community. It is in the area of prostate and breast cancer that have shown the best results, but there seems to have an effect on other forms of cancer as well.
Another example of a natural chemical to help fight cancer is ellagic acid.
This anti-oxidant is found in fruits and vegetables, but it is more prevalent in fruits. Various berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cranberries have the highest concentrations. Pomegranates have been found to have a very high concentration of ellagic acid as well. This chemical is just now beginning to be understood in how it fights cancer.
Although research is in an early stage, it appears that ellagic acid acts to prevent the proliferation of carcinogens that cause cancer by stopping them from binding with human DNA. Even with research still being done and the results, in some cases, still unclear, nutrition has been shown to help prevent and fight cancer. If you begin to add certain vegetables and fruits to your diet, it will be beneficial to your overall health, and this will reduce your chances of getting many forms of cancer.
Other than an allergy to a certain plant, there are no side effects when eating several servings of fruit and vegetables every day of your life. No one has every suffered an ill effect from adding broccoli to their diet. The best way to take advantage of cancer fighting plants is to consume a variety of them throughout the day.
unless there is a particular type of fruit or vegetable that you love, it is best to mix up the types you eat so that you do not get tired of the food. You should also eat fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible. Although cooked vegetables still have nutritional value, they lose much of their nutritional content when heated. A well balanced diet with very little red meat can go a long way against the fight with cancer.
If you can not consume enough raw vegetables on a daily basis, give these vegetable food concentrates in supplement form a try:
CoQ10: What You Ought to Know about This Substance?
March 26, 2013 12:27 PM
Coenzyme Q10 or simply CoQ10 is a substance naturally present not only in a human's body but as well as with the other mammals. It plays a vital role in the production of energy. Back in the year 1957, Dr. Frederick Crane successfully used the mitochondria from the cells of a beef heart in order to locate Coenzyme Q10. But the truth of the matter is that, the substance is also present in human mitochondria. Basically, this substance has antioxidant properties which are highly beneficial in protecting the body against the free radicals present in the environment. Below are some relevant details you ought to know about this substance.
Here they are:
CoQ10 in Kreb's Cycle
There are a number of chemicals that the body needs to induce metabolism and one of those chemicals is CoQ10. The Kerb's Cycle is the body's mechanism to convert certain enzymes into energy. In order to achieve that, the body needs CoQ10 to facilitate the conversion of the enzymes in energy production. CoQ10 is fundamental in the Kerb's Cycle as it supports the electron transport chain in which the oxidative phosphorylation of the ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (andenosine triphosphate) needs electrons that are exactly delivered where they must be. Without CoQ10, the entire Kerb's Cycle process would certainly fail. The mitochondria of every power cells synthesize CoQ10 so the substance is present in almost all the body parts. However, the heart consumes the most CoQ10 for the reason that it has the most number of mitochondria and it keeps on working even while the body is at rest.
If the Kerb's Cycle fails due to CoQ10 deficiency, the person will feel exhausted and weak. But aside from that, there are other conditions that are often associated with the deficiency such as cardiovascular related diseases, Parkinson's disease and gum disease. Conversely, it doesn't necessarily mean that those diseases are brought about by CoQ10 deficiency.
CoQ10 Dietary Sources
The main sources of CoQ10 include fish oil, whole grains and organ meats. With a balance diet, people can get sufficient amount of coenzyme Q10.
Aging is an inevitable process and it can affect the synthesis of CoQ10. As humans grow older, the production of the coenzyme Q10 gradually decreases. It was mentioned earlier some of the foods that are incredibly beneficial in maintaining ample amount of CoQ10 in the body. But people who do not really include those foods in their diet should not worry for there are now food supplements that contain CoQ10. Some medications like cholesterol meds can prevent the body from using CoQ10, this is when it is essential for one to take a supplement.
Fortunately, with the advent of medical researches and innovative technology in drug manufacturing, CoQ10 can now be ingested into one single tablet, soft gel capsule, hard shell capsule or an oral spray. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance so taking it along with foods is highly encouraged.
Who Takes CoQ10 Supplement?
Children under 18 years old are not allowed to take CoQ10 supplements unless prescribed by the doctor. For adults at the age of 19 or older, the recommended dosage in 30 - 600 mg daily. Higher dosage may be taken for special conditions.
Humans need energy in order to carry out all the tasks. Therefore, CoQ10 must be taken daily, whether from foods or supplements, so the body has the energy to move.
Have you had your CoQ10 Today?
November 17, 2012 11:58 AM
Vitamin B-6 was discovered by Paul Grorgy in 1930 when doing nutritional studies. He discovered the substance was able to cure a certain skin disease when he tested it in rats. Vitamin B-6 exists in three forms namely pyridoxine, pyridoxamine and pyridoxal. These three are precursors of PLP (pyridoxal 5-phosphate). PLP plays an important role as a cofactor for most enzymes in the body.
Vitamin B-6 has many health benefits.
To begin with, it helps maintain a healthy heart. It prevents the formation of a substance, homocysteine, which damages the lining of blood vessels resulting to the building up of plaque. This happens when the body attempts to repair the damage. It prevents the buildup, reducing chances of a myocardial infarction. It lowers blood pressure, prevents platelet aggregation and it also lowers levels of cholesterol in the body.
Vitamin B-6 from supplements or diets reduces the chances of having Parkinson's disease. In women, it strengthens their immune system and it also promotes proper hormone balance in case of any fluctuations. Vitamin B-6 deficiency exposes one to the carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a disorder that is characterized by a burning or tingling sensation and pain that is felt on the wrist or hand after being strained repetitively. It also causes numbness, loss of strength in hands/ fingers, diminished coordination and swelling. Studies have indicated that increased levels of vitamin B-6, from diets or supplements, reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Toxic potential in grams per day.
Vitamin B-6 however becomes toxic if taken in excess. It does not relieve the symptoms immediately. Sometimes it takes up to six weeks before noticing any relief. Those suffering from this syndrome should take fifty milligrams of vitamin B-6 twice or thrice daily. You should never take more than two hundred milligrams of vitamin B-6unless you have been recommended to do so by a doctor.
glycine: a healthy amino acid
November 15, 2012 07:56 AM
For those who have heard about glycine and wonder about its health benefits, they should first of all know that it's a proteinogenic amino acid with its name being a combination from the words glycogen and glucose. This is not an essential amino acid for the body, because it can be obtained from other sources.
Many studies have been performed around glycine and the results show that it can be easily used in order to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and at the same time it can also be used to reduce symptoms that are associated with BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
It seems that glycine also has many benefits in nutrition and they are as following:
Glycine is similar with many other amino acids and one of those similarities is in the fact that it has a great importance for the nervous system, more specifically in what regards understanding and memory. Due to the fact that glycine work as a neurotransmitter, it has been successfully used in many treatments for hyperactivity, epilepsy and bipolar depression. Not only that, but it also supplies the human body with creatine which is vital for having healthy developing muscles.
More to that, it also helps with maintaining a healthy prostate and with healing damaged skin. On the other hand, it seems that its uses are much broader and deeper, down to even helping out the body with detoxifying the liver and eventually helping with the calcium absorption process.
Where is it found?
People can easily get glycine from foods like seeds, soya, gelatin, dairy and fish products, but also meat. In some cases, it's used as a sweetener and also in food supplements and protein drinks. Lastly, unless the individual needs this amino acid specifically, there is no need to actually get it, as the body can produce it unless for some reason the body mechanism that produces it is blocked. Then supplementation is essential to good health and wellness.
Melatonin spray: The Perfect Remedy for Insomnia
May 10, 2012 11:02 AM
Are you experiencing difficulty in sleeping or feel tired in the morning every day? Probably you are suffering from insomnia. Getting enough sleep is an aspect that you cannot just choose to overlook. Receiving the desired amount of sleep helps your body in a plethora of ways. Most people even get overstressed due to lack of sleep, an aspect that can even adversely affect their quality of life in the long term and short term both. Sleep helps to boost the immune system, repair damaged cells, boost your thinking capacity and also generally helps the body to deal with the daily stresses in life.
If at all you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, you most definitely have visited your local healthcare provider recently. If they prescribed some medication for you, do they really seem to work?
You might have gotten prescription of NyQuil and Tylenol. If these options do not work, there is only one way out that case, and that is the use of melatonin spray. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland that is located at the center of the brain. As experts state, this gland is normally inactive during the day but later during the night, it secretes melatonin into the blood stream. Melatonin is normally produced between nine at night till sunrise. The amount of melatonin produced by the body tends to reduce with age. Children produce more melatonin than adults. This explains why most cases of sleeping disorders are reported in the elderly rather than kids.
Melatonin is sold as a sleeping aid in many different forms. You most likely know about the capsules. Most of these pills do not work for many people unless they are taken for some time so that the system can get used to. Due to the limitations and lack of effectiveness witnessed in the use of capsules, companies manufacturing synthetic melatonin have now started producing melatonin spray. The melatonin spray has a higher absorption rate as compared to pills and thus more effective.
So how does melatonin spray work?
Well, this sleeping support spray helps melatonin to distribute and get absorbed evenly into the system without necessarily having to interfere with other minerals, supplements and food vitamins. If at all you are part of the population that is experiencing difficulty in sleeping, do not waste much of your time investing in less effective over the counter pills such as Tylenol PM. You can do your body a very big favor by adopting the use of melatonin spray.
This kind of spray works effectively to ensure that you regain back your sleep. It is also safer to use as compared to other sleeping aids. At least with this option, you do not have to keep worrying about side effects meaning that this is a much safer alternative. Even though the benefits you would gain from the use of melatonin spray are numerous, the safety of this alternative is still in question in various parts of the globe. It is therefore important for you to consult your doctor before you can start using this sleep aid. Working with your doctor is much recommended if at all you suffer from certain health conditions.
Holding Back the Years with DHEA
September 20, 2011 01:58 PM
Once you reach an average of around 25 years of age your body begins to cut back on its production of the sex hormone precursor DHEA, responsible for the biosynthesis of testosterone, estrogen and other sex hormones. Your body reckons you are past it at 25, so hard luck - no more sex hormones. You must find a way to overcome that, or you might as well give up the ghost now - but luckily there is a solution: DHEA supplements.
Imagine of you were over the hill, with around 60 years still to go as a guy, but no hormones! In fact, the same is true of the girls, so that's another worry for you. You take DHEA but none of them do, and what then? Use your own imagination, but it won't be a whole heap of laughs, that's for sure!
There is an answer - simply take a DHEA supplement, and make sure your girl does too, then you will both be on the same wavelength and your lack of hormones will be solved. In reality what happens is that you will go to your doctor and ask for help, when all you need do is to take a DHEA supplement. Don't come crying if your doctor can't help you!
Seriously though, you should keep your doctor informed about what you are doing, although DHEA is relatively benign and unlikely to cause you serious problems. Nevertheless, never use it if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, and never give it to your children unless cleared by your family physician.
Can Tea Tree Oil Reduce Scarring?
September 16, 2011 03:50 PM
Scarring can be traumatic for any person and yet it may be a source of pride for others, in fact many native cultures in the world that is still left untouched by the modern world still has scarring as part of decorating their bodies. However we also need to look at it in a different view, it is a fact of life that we do not live in a native world, we need to adhere to common beliefs in terms of what beauty is and let’s face it, being full of scars is not something that many people look for and deem as beautiful.
How does it happen?
The formation of scars is a natural process. It simply is our body healing itself after injury. The main difference though is that when the skin is the part of the body that is injured it leaves a mark that we can see and I say that because like all healing processes in the body their always is a small mark left and the problem never really gets completely repaired unless the injury happens while you are very young or if you have amazing regenerative gifts. There are a lot of factors that could influence scars and of course depth and size of the injury are the ones that play a major role in shaping the scars characteristics.
Types of Scars
First and most common are Keloid scars. This is a result of a very aggressive healing process by the body and in some cases it even can affect mobility as it extends beyond the normal wound or injury. Second would be Hypertrophic scars. These types of scars are a little similar to keloid but the main difference is that it does not extend out of the injury zone but in terms of look and texture it is very similar to keloid. The third are contracture scars. This is commonly caused by the burning of the skin. It also has the ability to impair your mobility as this has a characteristic of going deeper into your muscles and nerves to impede its functionality. Lastly you have the scars that result from acne and which is appropriately named as acne scars.
Tea Tree Oil and Scars
This oil has been known to have wondrous effects to the health with even just one drop. Studies have shown that the use of Tea Tree Oil or also known as meleleuca alternifolia on scars is one of the most effective ways to aid in the treatment of scars. Its strong cell regenerative properties are what makes tea tree oil important and potent in healing scars. It also could help in preventing other skin problems and acne.
Another reason why it is so effective is it has a natural antiseptic effect for skin infections and problems and it is able to penetrate the epidermis to do its healing from within which adds to its potency. Plus, the best thing about it is that, it is mild on the skin, it does all this without any side effects that other skin treatments has like drying the skin or causing minor irritations.
Phosphatidyl choline, Aging, And Intelligence What You Must Know
May 24, 2011 10:52 AM
If you are aging and wish to maintain your intelligence, experts are turning to the belief that a supplement of phosphatidylcholine could enable you to do this. For a long time, lecithin supplements have been recommended to people seeking a way to maintain their faculties as they age, and in a number of cases it appears to have been effective. Now it is phosphatidylcholine that is being recommended, and it is certainly no coincidence that this phospholipid/choline combination constitutes the bulk of lecithin.
Nor is it any coincidence that the cell membranes of the brain and everywhere else in your body contains large quantities of phosphatidylcholine, or at least should do for maximum effectiveness. The membranes of the brain cells of a young infant consist of around 90% of this phospholipid, while those of the brain cells of a 60 -70 year old contain only around 10%. This figure will naturally vary with each person, and some individuals could have a considerably higher amount and others less, but that is a rough average.
It follows, then, and many experts agree, that by taking a supplement of phosphatidylcholine you can slow down the natural loss of cognitive ability, memory and overall brain function. If taken according to the recommended doses there are no significant side effects, so what do you have to lose? Certainly not your memory and your ability to make that decision because you are going to lose that in any case - unless these experts are correct in their thinking and you take their advice.
Do you Need Uric Acid Cleanse?
July 28, 2010 12:49 PM
Uric acid is a problem when you have high levels in your blood. So what is this chemical that can cause you so much pain when it deposits as crystals in your joints and rips your joint tissues to shreds? Uric acid is the final metabolic by-product of purine metabolism. No, that doesn't help you much, but it does when you find out that meat products are high in purine and vegetable products very low in this nitrogenous heterocyclic compound that is the base behind several amino acids, and an essential component of DNA. The final end product of the metabolism of purine is uric acid, and unless this is cleansed from the body it can precipitate as needle-like crystals in your connective tissues and cause damage. It is uric acid crystals that cause the pain of gout where you movement will be not only be restricted, but damage can also be caused to the joint itself.
A uric acid cleanse will reduce the concentration of the acid in your blood, and hence render it less likely to precipitate as crystals and cause problems such as gout.
The Good and Bad of an iron supplement
April 25, 2010 06:04 PM
Iron holds a crucial role in the physiology of the body. It is a central part of the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules. Iron is indispensable to the body’s ability to transport gases into and out of the cell. It is necessary in many important enzymes that are involved in energy production, metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Some iron is lost when red blood cells are broken down and excreted in the bile. However, because of iron’s importance, the body is able to conserve iron at all costs, as the kidneys do not eliminate the metal.
The dark side of iron supplementation comes when iron is consumed in amounts that are excessive to the body’s needs. Although unbound iron is more likely to cause oxidative challenges through the generation of free radicals, excessive iron supplementation in any form can cause huge problems for the cell. The overload of iron can cause deterioration of the gut lining, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal and joint pain, liver damage, loss of weight, and intense fatigue. In children, acute doses as low as 3 grams can cause death.
About one out of every 250 North Americans suffer from haemochromatosis, which is a genetic defect that is common in a lot of those people of northern European descent. This disorder causes the body to accumulate and abnormally store high levels of iron. Those people with haemochromatosis store twice as much iron as others, which places them at increased risk for iron-related diseases. Symptoms of these diseases generally occur after fifty years of age and often include things ranging from fatigue, abdominal pain, achy joints, impotence, and symptoms that mimic diabetes.
Several studies have produced evidence which suggests that high levels of iron contribute to noticeable increases in the risk for cardiovascular disease. This is likely due to non-haeme iron’s aggressive pro-oxidant nature. Iron levels are one of the strongest biochemical markers for the progression of atherosclerosis, which results from increased oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A study in 1995 conducted on Finnish men found that those who had high body stores of iron also had a substantially increased risk of heart attack. Those men who posses the highest levels of stored iron often showed a levels of risk that was up to three times that of men who possessed the lowest levels of stored iron.
Disorders in iron accumulation contribute to a whole host of other disease states, all of which are degenerative in nature. Studies have shown that chronic iron overload contributes to increased infections, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and various congenitive dysfunctions. The only way to remove excess iron is through blood letting, unless you are a woman with regular menses. That is why, for men, iron overload can provide quite a problematic issue. Recent research has found that long-term supplementation with iron at doses less than 5 mg/day can lead to iron-overload toxicity. Because of this, it is recommended that the upper limit of iron intake be at 5 mg/day when considering a product’s rating. Any product that contains iron at a daily dose greater than this limit is penalized with this rating criterion.
But for those who need iron, it can easily be obtained through a vitamin supplement at your local or internet health food store. Men should avoid iron supplements and products containing iron, but women on the other hand due to monthly blood loss should supplement with iron regularly.
Green Foods Can Boost Improve Wellness
April 19, 2010 10:29 AM
Green foods are phyto-foods that typically contain a high amount of chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives plants their green color. Also, chlorophyll allows the plant to use sunlight to access nutrients from the soil. These plants contain some of the most important nutrients, which includes vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, protein, amino acids, enzymes, and fiber. The high content of nutrients found in green foods makes theme extremely valuable for keeping the body in optimum health. Some green foods include algae, cereal grasses, and legumes.
Green foods are not always green in color. There are a variety of colors that can be found in the green foods category. Some greens include spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, barley, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, parsley, cabbage, rice grass, kale, and celery. Additionally, there are red, yellow, and orange green foods. These include the tomatoe, cranberry, cayenne, red and yellow peppers, orange juice, grapefruit, pineapple, brown rice, papaya, and squash. There is also a blue group of green foods, which includes grape skin extract, black cherry, beet juice, and elderberry. The white group of green foods includes apple pectin, garlic, and onion.
There are four green foods that are especially beneficial to the body. The first of these is baby broccoli. The federal diet recommendation for adults includes at least three cups of dark leafy greens in a week. This includes broccoli, kale, mesclun, and spinach. Broccoli sprouts are great because they contain more vitamins than the adult version. There is no need to take your greens as juice, unless you prefer them that way, as the full vegetable provides the body with much more fiber. Secondly, it is believed that the Chinese may have lower cancer rates because of their consumption of green tea.
Green tea should be consumed when it is freshly brewed, as bottled or instant tea has little key catechins to work as antioxidants. One may need to take green-tea pills or expect to spend a good deal of time brewing and drinking to get the full benefits. Research shows, concentrated green tea pill that are equal to eight to sixteen cups a day is required in order to boost the production of enzyme enough to make carcinogens less toxic. The third is limes, which are plentiful in vitamin C and act as a potent antioxidant. Scientists have shown that vitamin C, and potentially other antioxidants, can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors. Lastly, it has been found that garlic may be responsible for blocking the formation of potent carcinogens in the liver. Additionally, it acts as a natural antifungal and possesses antibiotic like properties.
Green foods have gradually risen in popularity, as many individuals are becoming more and more concerned about their health. When they think they are not getting enough essential nutrients in their diets, they often turn to green foods. Everyone could benefit from the addition of green foods to their diet. This is especially true for those individuals who are in poor health. Additionally, athletes are in need of extra nutrients. This is because they often put their bodies under stress because of the intense training they go through.
Green food supplementation could help the body grow muscle and bone tissue. Pregnant women, along with those developing fetuses, could definitely use the extra nutrients, especially during development stages. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by green foods, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Oil Skin Treatment
February 12, 2010 12:31 PM
Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands, which are the oil-secreting glands, produce more oil than is needed for proper lubrication of the skin. The excess oil is responsible for clogging pores and causing blemishes. Oily skin is most likely a result of heredity. However, it is known to be affected by factors such as diet, hormone levels, pregnancy, birth control pills, and the cosmetics that you use. Humidity and hot weather stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. However, it can occur at any age. A lot of people have skin that is oily only in certain areas and dry or normal in others. This condition is known as combination skin. Generally, the forehead, nose, chin, and upper back tend to be the areas that are more oily than other areas.
Oily skin does have some positive aspects. This type of skin is slow to develop age spots and discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Often, it doesn’t freckle or turn red in the sun. It actually tans evenly and beautifully. On the negative side, oily skin is extremely prone to breakouts, even past adolescence. Oily skin also has a chronically shiny appearance, an oily or greasy feeling, and enlarged pores. The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and maintenance of oily skin. The dosages recommended are for adults unless otherwise specified. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dosages should be reduced to three-quarters the recommended amount.
Flaxseed oil capsule or liquid in dosages of 1,000 mg daily or 1 tsp daily is helpful in supplying needed essential fatty acids. This nutrient is a good healer for most skin disorders. 25,000 IU of vitamin A for three months is necessary for healing and construction of new skin tissue. Vitamin B complex should be used as directed on the label as B vitamins are important for healthy skin tone. 1,000 to 1,500 mg of kelp should be taken daily. This nutrient is responsible for supplying balanced minerals that are needed for good skin tone.
Vitamin E should be taken in dosages of 200 IU daily or 400 IU every other day to protect against free radicals. 50 mg of zinc should be taken daily for tissue repair. This nutrient also enhances immune response. Grape seed extract should be taken as directed on the label, as it is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells. 500 mg of L-cysteine should be taken on an empty stomach, as it contains sulfur which is needed for healthy skin. 1 tsp of lecithin granules should be taken three times daily before meals. This nutrient is needed for better absorption of the essential fatty acids. SOD should be taken as directed on the label. It acts as a free radical destroyer. Tretinoin should be used as prescribed by a physician. This nutrient acts as a gradual chemical peel, unclogs pores, and speeds up sloughing off of top layers of skin. It helps to expose new, fresh skin.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: aloe vera, burdock root, chamomile, horsetail, oat straw, thyme, lavender, lemongrass, licorice root, rosebuds, and witch hazel. If you have a oily skin, washing the affected area two or three times daily will help keep the skin oil free and reduce acne along with a healthy diet low in sugar and vitamin supplements.
Lactase Enzymes and Acidophilus
February 10, 2010 11:16 AM
Lactose intolerance is what is known as the inability to digest lactose. It is cause by a lack or deficiency of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that is manufactured in the small intestine. It is responsible for splitting lactose into glucose and galactose. When a person who has lactose intolerance consumes milk or other dairy products, some or all of the lactose they contain remains undigested, retains fluid, and ferments in the colon. This results in abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually result between thirty minutes and two hours after consumption of dairy foods.
The degree of lactose intolerance varies from person to person. For most adults, lactose intolerance is actually a normal condition. Only Caucasians of northern European origin generally retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. In the United States, somewhere between 30 and 50 million people are lactose intolerance. Lactase deficiency can also occur due to gastrointestinal disorders, which damage the digestive tract like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, regional enteritis, or ulcerative colitis. Lactase deficiency can even develop on its own, with no known way to prevent it.
Lactose intolerance can occur in children as well as adults, even though it is far less common. In infants, lactose intolerance can occur after a severe case of gastroenteritis, which damages the intestinal lining. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in an infant can include foamy diarrhea with diaper rash, slow weight gain and development, and vomiting. Lactose intolerance can cause discomfort and digestive disruption, although it is not a serious threat to health and it can be easily managed through dietary adjustments. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with lactose intolerance. The dosages specified are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. A child between the ages of six and twelve should use half the recommended dosage.
One teaspoon of acidophilus in distilled water, taken twice daily on an empty stomach, can help to replace lost friendly bacteria and promote healthy digestion. It is recommended that a nondairy formula is used. Charcoal tablets are helpful in absorbing toxins and relieving diarrhea. Four tablets taken every hour with water until symptoms subside can help combat an acute attack. 1,000 mg of magnesium should be taken daily, as it is need for calcium uptake and promotes pH balance.
A multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label because all nutrients are needed for optimal health. 400 IU of vitamin D3 is also needed for calcium uptake, while 200 IU of vitamin E daily protects the cell membranes that line the colon wall. It should be noted that the d-alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E should be taken. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily. A total of 100 mg daily from all supplements should not be exceeded. This nutrient is needed to maintain immune system and proper mineral balance. For best absorption, zinc gluconate lozenges should be used. Additionally, 3 mg of copper is needed to balance with zinc.
Most of all, a good lactase enzyme supplement can help ease painful gas and bloating when taken before dairy products are consumed.
September 25, 2009 10:56 AM
The eyebright plant is elegant and small, growing between two and eight inches high. This plant is an annual, commonly growing on heaths and other dry pastures, especially on chalky soil. The plant flowers from July to September and has deeply cut leaves and small, white or purplish flowers. The stem is erect and wiry. It comes in either unbranched, small specimines, or with many opposite branches. The leaves are tiny, about 1/6 to ½ inches in length and opposite to one another on the lower portion of the stem. The flowers, which are white or lilac, have purple veins and terminal spikes. The structure of the flower places the plant in the Scrophulariaceae family. The seeds in this flower are produced in tiny, flattened capsules, and are numerous and ribbed.
When a bee visitor comes in search of the honey lying around the ovary at the bottom the petal tube, it knocks against the anther spurs, setting the pollen free so that it falls on the insect’s head. When visiting the next flower, the bee will then rub its head against the outstanding stigma, in which cross-fertilization takes place.
The eyebright plant has white petals that have a red or purple tinge, resembling bloodshot eyes. It is this appearance that is thought to be the reason for the use of eyebright in treating eye irritations as far back as the Middle Ages. Topical applications of this herb were prescribed by Dioscorides and Theophrastus for eye infections.
The eyebright plant will not grow readily in a garden if it is transplanted unless it is protected by grass. The reason for this is that it is a semi-parasite and relies on its nourishment on the roots of other plants. Above ground, the plant appears to be a perfectly normal plant, with flowers and bright green leaves. But below the surface, suckers from its roots spread around and lie on the rootlets of the grass plants surrounding it. The grass preyed upon does not suffer very much. The eyebright plant, being an annual, renews itself each year. For centuries, eyebright has been the herb of choice for treating eye irritations. It is extremely helpful in conditions that involve the mucous membranes. This herb can help to relieve eye irritations or eyestrain when used as eyewash. The herb’s antiseptic properties allow it to help fight eye infections. Traditional uses of eyebright include eye problems such as failing vision, eye inflammation, eye ulcers, conjunctivitis, and eyestrain. This herb is able to strengthen all parts of the eye and provide elasticity to the nerves and optic devices that are essential for sight. Additionally, eyebright is stimulating to the liver, as it helps cleanse the blood.
The entire eyebright plant is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, silicon, vitamins A, B, B-complex, C, D, and E, and zinc. Primarily, eyebright is extremely beneficial in dealing with blood impurities, cataracts, colds, conjunctivitis, eye disorders and infections, eyestrain, and glaucoma.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating black eyes, sinus congestion, coughs, hay fever, headaches, hoarseness, memory loss, and sties. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Oregon Grape Extract
August 11, 2009 01:21 PM
Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that is related to the barberry plant. The Oregon grape is not closely related to grapes, but it gets its name from the purple clusters of berries. The color and slightly duster appearance is similar to that of grapes. Often, it is referred to as the “tall Oregon grape” in order to distinguish it from the “creeping Oregon grape” and “dwarf Oregon grape.” The Oregon grape grows approximately one to five meters tall. It has leathery leaves that resemble holly and stems and twigs that have a thick, corky appearance. The flowers, which grow in late spring, are a bright yellow color. This plant is often used in landscaping similarly to barberry. The plant is suited for low-maintenance plantings and loose hedges. This plant is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. The berries of the Oregon grape attract birds.
The purplish-black fruits found on the Oregon grape plant are quite tart and contain large seeds. Sometimes, they are used locally and mixed with Salal to make jelly. The fruit is bitter and generally not eaten unless it is sweetened first. The leaves of the Oregon grape are holly-like and resist wilting. For this reason, the foliage is often used by florists for greenery. Additionally, the inner bark of the larger stems and roots yield a yellow dye.
The Oregon grape plant grows natively on the North American west coast from British Columbia to northern California. It is also the state flower of Oregon. In some areas outside of its native range, this plant has been classified as an invasive exotic species that may displace native vegetation. Oregon grape tonics were first introduced as a medicinal remedy in the late nineteenth century. The herb was marketed as a blood purifier.
Oregon grape is well known for the treatment of skin diseases that are caused by toxins in the blood. This is because it stimulates the action of the liver. It is also one of the best blood cleansers. This herb is also mildly stimulates thyroid function. This herb aids in the assimilation of nutrients, promotes digestions, and is a tonic for all glands. The rhizome and root of the Oregon grape plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, blood purifier, cholagogue, hepatic, nephritis, nutritive, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamin C, and zinc. Primarily, Oregon grape is extremely beneficial in treating acne, blood conditions, blood impurities, eczema, jaundice, liver disorders, psoriasis, and staph infections. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, chronic constipation, hepatitis, herpes, intestinal problems, kidney problems, leucorrhea, lymphatic problems, rheumatism, lack of strength, syphilis, uterine problems, and vaginitis.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by Oregon grape, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine
April 27, 2009 02:08 PM
L-leucine is an amino acid that is used by the body to fuel exercise and muscle-building to provide you with that athletic edge that gets you ahead of your opponents. It does so in a number of ways, none of them specifically by the direct generation of energy as such.
It is also an essential amino acid, since it cannot be manufactured by your body and hence must be taken as a supplement or as part of your diet. Foods rich in leucine include nuts, whole wheat products such as wholemeal bread, and brown rice. It is a hydrophobic amino acid, meaning that it does not like water.
It is also one of three essential branched chain amino acids, the other two being L-valine and L-isoleucine, and offers many benefits to athletic performance that shall be discussed below It also helps to preserve the body's stores of glycogen, used as an emergency energy source. Other than these properties, it possesses others, such as the maintenance of the nitrogen balance in the body.
So how does it work to fuel your body while you are exercising? The answer is not as you might think. L-leucine doesn't increase your energy levels as creatine does when it elevates your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. ATP is the molecule of energy that is synthesized in your body cells, and is then converted back to ADP, the diphosphate, with the release of energy in the form of muscular contractions.
This amino acid is what is referred to as a 'limiting' substance, in that the other amino acids cannot do their jobs in your body unless you have sufficient L-leucine in proportion to them. Specifically, you need two parts of L-valine and two parts of L-leucine to one part of L-isoleucine for optimum usage of the food that you eat.
Therefore you cannot just take the supplement without considering how much should be taken to ensure this balance. Excess will be wasted and a deficiency would fail to make proper use of the protein content of your food.
If you suffer from a deficiency, therefore, your body cannot make best use of the protein in your diet to the extent that muscle tissue will not be generated during exercise. In fact it causes catabolism, or the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in a loss of performance and possible increase in fatty tissue as opposed to lean muscle. The only way to build muscle is take in sufficient nitrogen in the form of amino acids and protein, along with L-leucine to put that protein to best use.
One of the major properties of L-leucine is in stimulating the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue and by using a supplement, the protein balance can be positive after a workout. It has been shown that this protein balance is generally negative until specifically L-leucine is consumed.
The way it works is to activate a muscle-generating pathway known as mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). mTOR is normally activated when the levels of ATP in the muscle cells is high, and when these levels drop then mTOR is deactivated. The activity of mTOR is sensitive to the concentration of L-leucine, and when the concentration of the amino acid in the body rises it informs mTOR that the protein in the diet is sufficient to manufacture skeletal muscle tissue, and so mTOR s activated.
Exactly how this is done is unknown, but is a fact the mTOR depends upon both L-leucine concentration and also ATP levels. This amino acid also decreases catabolism through a number of different mechanisms, one of which involves increasing insulin levels.
In fact, when insulin and L-leucine levels increase at the same time, there is a synergy that promotes the synthesis of new protein. Not only that, but the response of insulin to the presence of carbohydrates is enhanced, this resulting in an enhancement of your body's metabolism.
The amino acid can also be used to help those suffering from kidney and liver problems because it increases liver protein synthesis. It is therefore a useful adjunct both to diabetics and those suffering from liver and kidney disease.
However, because L-leucine is an essential amino acid with so many important properties, a deficiency can have specific consequences. Catabolism has been stated earlier as one such reaction to a deficiency, and others include decreased energy levels and irregularities in the levels of blood sugar.
Everything about this substance is not good however, and when taken by itself in excess, it can reduce the amount of the other amino acids in the blood, particularly of the other two branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). This in turn upsets the balance of amino acids, and reduces further the ability of the body to produce muscle tissue until a balanced supplement is taken.
Leucine also helps to maintain the nitrogen balance. It is essential for the human body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and L-leucine supports this. In fact, one study has demonstrated that after 12 hours infusion with L-leucine, nitrogen balance was improved by as much as 23%.
A supplement alone is not always sufficient to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. It is generally essential that you rest your body for a sufficient length of time to allow protein to be generated. If you don't take the required amount of rest, a surplus of protein could be used to maintain energy levels rather than replace lost protein and maintain a good nitrogen balance.
A positive nitrogen balance is essential for the generation of muscle tissue, such as in bodybuilding for example, since all proteins contain nitrogen and the net nitrogen intake must exceed the excretion rate. Not in gaseous form, of course, but in the intake of amino acids and proteins. The more positive your nitrogen balance is, the faster you will recover after exercise. It is essential for anabolic exercise.
L-leucine, therefore, is a supplement that can help to maintain your current muscle mass while undergoing strenuous exercise, in addition to increasing it while resting. It offers other health benefits, one being helping to maintain clarity of thought in the aged. However, it is for its effect on muscular build-up and the athletic edge that provides that the supplement is most commonly taken.
March 03, 2009 12:14 PM
The nails are responsible for protecting the nerve-rich fingertips and tips of the toes from injury. Nails are part of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. They are mainly composed of keratin, which is a type of protein. The nail bed is the skin on top of which the nails grow, as they grow from 0.05 to 1.2 millimeters each week. If a nail is lost, it takes approximately seven months for it to grow out fully.
Those nail beds that are healthy are pink, which indicates a rich blood supply. Changes or abnormalities in the nails are often a result of nutritional deficiencies or other underlying conditions. The nails are able to reveal a great deal about the body’s internal health. Nail abnormalities on either the fingers or the toes can give evidence to an underlying disorder.
There are many changes that nutritional deficiencies can produce in the nails. A lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C are responsible for hang nails, while white bands across the nails are an indicator for protein deficiency. Dryness and brittleness indicates a lack of vitamin A and calcium. Horizontal and vertical ridges in the nails means that there is a deficiency of the B vitamins, while an insufficient intake of vitamin B12 can lead to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails. Iron deficiency can lead to nails that develop a concave shape and/or vertical ridges. White spots on the nails can be caused by a deficiency of zinc. Inadequate amounts of friendly bacteria in the body can result in the growth of fungus under and around the nails, while a lack of hydrochloric acid contributes to the splitting of nails.
The following supplements are essential in promoting healthy nail growth. unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.
Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it inhibits the harmful bacteria that cause fungal infection. A free-form amino acid complex can also be taken as directed on the label, on an empty stomach, to provide the building materials for new nails. Silica supplies silicon, which is needed for hair, bones, and strong nails. It should be taken as directed on the label. Vitamin A emulsion should be taken in dosages of 50,000 IU daily, as the body cannot utilize protein without vitamin A. Black currant seed oil is helpful for weak, brittle nails and should be taken in dosages of 500 mg twice daily. Calcium and magnesium should be taken as directed on the label, as they are necessary for nail growth.
Iron should be taken as directed by a physician, as deficiency produces spoon nails and/or vertical ridges. A vitamin B complex should be taken as directed on the label, as deficiencies result in fragile nails. To prevent hangnails and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nail, 3,000 to 6,000 mg daily of vitamin C with bioflavonoids should be taken. 50 mg daily of zinc is beneficial for affecting absorption and action of vitamins and enzymes.
Additionally, the following herbs are helpful: alfalfa, black cohosh, burdock root, dandelion, gotu kola, yellow dock, horsetail, oat straw, borage seed, flaxseed, lemongrass, parsley, primrose, pumpkin seed, sage, butcher’s broom, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, rosemary, sassafras, and turmeric.
Healthy looking nails can tell you if your body is getting the right nutrients from your diet. When you find your nails are not looking well, consider the above vitamins, minerals and herbs to help restore healthy looking finger and toe nails. The vitamins and herbs listed can be found at your local or internet health food store.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
February 26, 2009 12:43 PM
Motion sickness is the result of motion causing the eyes, the sensory nerves, and the vestibular apparatus of the ear to send conflicting signals to the brain, causing a loss of equilibrium or a sense of vertigo. Most often, it is experienced in a car, airplane, train, boat, elevator, or swing. Contributing factors to this illness are anxiety, genetics, overeating, poor ventilation, and traveling immediately after eating. A susceptibility to things like offensive odors, sights, or sounds can often precede an attack of motion sickness. Typically, women are affected by this condition more frequently than men are. Elderly people and children under the age of two are usually not affected.
Those people who suffer from motion sickness experience symptoms including severe headaches, queasiness, nausea, and vomiting while flying, sailing, or traveling in automobiles or trains. Other symptoms of motion sickness include cold sweats, dizziness, excessive salivation and/or yawning, fatigue, loss of appetite, pallor, severe distress, sleepiness, weakness, and occasionally, breathing difficulties that make one feel as if they are suffocating. If motion sickness is severe, an attack can make a person feel completely uncoordinated, and sometimes and injury can occur from loss of balance. The motion sickness typically goes away once the stimulus is removed. However, it can also persist for hours or days. If a person suffers from motion sickness for a prolonged amount of time, they may experience depression, dehydration, or low blood pressure. Motion sickness can also worsen any other illnesses that a person already has.
Many natural remedies have been greatly successful in treating motion sickness. The prevention of motion sickness is the key, as it is far easier to prevent than it is to cure. Once excessive salivation and nausea set in, usually it is too late to do anything but wait for the trip to be over so that recovery can begin.
The following nutrients have been recommended to help prevent motion sickness. unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.
Charcoal tablets can be used as a detoxifier. Five tablets should be taken one hour before travel. Magnesium, which acts as a nerve tonic, should be taken in dosages of 500 mg one hour before a trip. To help relieve nausea, 100 mg of vitamin B6 should be taken one hour before a trip, and then 100 mg should be taken again two hours later. Additionally, black horehound can help to reduce nausea. Butcher’s broom, kudzu, and motherwort are great for helping to relieve vertigo. Ginger is beneficial in suppressing nausea, making it an excellent treatment and preventive for nausea and upset stomach.
Lastly, peppermint tea sooths and calms the stomach. Also, a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue is a great way to provide relief from nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint can also be taken in a lozenge form. To learn more information about the above nutrients, contact your local or internet health food store.
February 13, 2009 10:47 AM
Copper is an essential trace mineral that can impair the ability of white blood cells to fight infection with even the slightest deficiency. Copper is necessary for the proper absorption of iron in the body. It is found primarily in foods that contain iron. If the body does not get a sufficient amount of copper, hemoglobin production decreases, causing copper-deficiency anemia to potentially result.
There are a variety of enzyme reactions that require copper. Copper is essential as a cross-linking agent for elastin and collagen. It is also a catalyst for protein reactions and is also needed for oxygen transport. Copper is used for the metabolism of essential fatty acids. Copper deficiency can result in a variety of symptoms. Among these symptoms are diarrhea, inefficient utilization of iron and protein, and stunted growth. The development of nerve, bone, and lung tissue can be impaired in babies and the structure of these body parts may also be altered.
Because the body is unable to manufacture copper, it must be obtained through the diet. Too much copper trace mineral produces a condition known as copper toxicity or copper overload. In order for the body to work properly, it is essential that it has a proper balance of copper and zinc. An imbalance can lead to thyroid problems. Additionally, low copper levels can contribute to mental and emotional problems. For example, copper deficiency may be a factor in anorexia nervosa.
Although the FDA has never published a Recommended Daily Allowance for copper, the National Research Council recommends that adults get from 1.5 to 3.0 mg per day, while children obtain 1.5 to 2.5 milligrams and infants less than six months old obtain 0.4 to 0.6 milligrams. For most people, a normal healthy diet will provide the correct amount of copper.
Copper deficiency is most likely to occur in babies who are fed only cow's milk, persons suffering from a malabsoprtion syndrome known as sprue, persons suffering from kidney disease, and those who chronically take mega-doses of zinc. Long-term use of oral contraceptives can upset the balance of copper in the body. This can cause either excessively high or excessively low copper levels. Copper levels can be determined through a blood test, urine samples, and hair analysis. The basis for a nutritional program to balance body chemistry is determining mineral levels and ratios.
The following nutrients are helpful in combating copper deficiency. The dosages recommended are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dosage should be reduced to three-quarters the recommended amount, while one-half the recommended amount should be used for a child between six and twelve. A child under the age of six should use one-quarter the recommended amount.
Copper should be taken in dosages of 5 mg daily for a month, and then reduced to 3 mg daily. This helps to restore copper in the body. It is recommended that a copper amino acid chelate is used. 30 mg of zinc should be taken daily, as it is needed to balance with copper. This amount should not be exceeded and a zinc chelate form should be used. Iron should be taken as directed by a physician, as copper deficiency may cause anemia. Be sure to use a chelate form and do not take iron unless anemia is diagnosed. Additionally, a multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label since all nutrients are necessary in balance.
In conclusion, copper is a wonderful mineral that can help one with immunity and much more. Remember that copper should only be taken in low dosages of 1 to 3 milligrams per day. Copper can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Copper is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Dangers Of Over The Counter Drugs
October 16, 2008 03:42 PM
Parents have recently been hit with shocking information about the potential dangers to their children. First it was lead contamination that came from toys that were manufactured by some of our most trusted companies. Next, it was super antibiotic resistant bugs that may lurk in day care centers and schools. The latest information is of greatest concern. Every study performed in the recent years has found that children’s cough and cold remedies are ineffective and may, in fact, be potentially dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended against the use of multi-symptom, over-the-counter, cold medicines in children under the age of three unless the parents are advised by a physician.
Many parents have depended on these medicines for years to help with runny noses, coughs, and sleep disruptions. However, our kids are not the first generation to suffer from frequent respiratory troubles. Herbal and dietary remedies have been the first line of defense for centuries, with Elderberry being rich in flavonoids, essential oils, vitamin C and organic acids. It reduces mucous secretions, helps ease breathing, and soothes an irritated nose and throat.
If your child frequently deals with a runny nose, earache, and sinus infection, he or she may have hidden food intolerances. One doctor states that there are various ways that you can recognize hidden childhood allergies. A classic symptom is the “allergic salute”, which the child demonstrates when he is constantly rubbing his or her hand across the end of a runny nose.
Food allergies are difficult to determine with standard allergy testing, but by avoiding common allergic provoking foods like dairy, wheat, corn, and tree nuts, often brings relief to the child. Changing the family diet is the best way to eliminate offending foods. Replace all forms of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, as they slow down bowel transit time and increase exposure to toxic bowel contents. Natural sweeteners, which can be found in most health food stores, can be used instead. Since dairy products top the list of provoking foods, they should be replaced as much as possible with other beverages. Inspect labels carefully to determine if they contain casein, which is a milk protein that often causes problems. A liquid calcium supplement is a good idea to give your children if they are not receiving dairy products.
Allergic children are often prone to digestive problems, which is a condition referred to as intestinal dysbiosis. Antibiotic use disturbs the microflora in the gut by killing helpful bacteria. Psychological stress can also impact microflora, which poses the question of whether or not stress is having a negative impact on our children’s health. Studies in which some children were placed in a stress relieving program showed that treated groups of children increased their levels of secretary IgA, which gives them a greater ability to resist colds.
Allergic children also have disturbed bowel function, making them constipated, frequently pass gas, be bloated, and have foul smelling hard stools. A low fiber diet is one cause of constipation, but an imbalance in microflora in the gut is another reason, which causes toxins to enter circulation. Supplementing with Bifidobacteria and other helpful probiotics can restore normal gut function, alleviate allergic symptoms, restore immune competence, and reduce allied bowel problems. Supplementing with fiber can also support proper elimination of toxins in children as well as adults. Acidophilus, fiber, and herbal cold aids can be found at your local health food store.
The pediatrics academy has raised its earlier recommendation to 400 IU per day.
October 14, 2008 10:03 PM
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today announced that it has doubled the amount of vitamin D recommended for infants, children and adolescents. The increase, from 200 international units (IU) to 400 IU per day, starting in the first few days of life, was detailed at the group’s annual meeting in Boston. The new advice replaces an academy recommendation issued in 2003.
"We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits," said Frank Greer, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and co-author of the report. “Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone.”
"Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants. However, because of vitamin D deficiencies in the maternal diet, which affect the vitamin D in a mother’s milk, it is important that breastfed infants receive supplements of vitamin D,” said Carol Wagner, M.D., FAAP, member of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Committee and co-author of the report.
The new advice is based on mounting research about potential benefits from vitamin D besides keeping bones strong, including suggestions that it might reduce risks for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But the evidence isn't conclusive and there is no consensus on how much of the vitamin would be needed for disease prevention.
"We know 400 IU a day is safe and prevents rickets," Greer said. "We don't have any idea if that amount of vitamin D is enough for other diseases. We also don't know if anything over 400 is safe."
The AAP also made these recommendations:
Infants who are breast-fed or partially breast-fed receive 400 IU a day of vitamin D in supplements, beginning in the first few days of life, continuing unless the infant starts taking at least one quart a day of vitamin D-fortified formula or whole milk, although whole milk should not be introduced until the child has turned 1. Non-breast-fed children and older children should also receive a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day.
Adolescents who do not obtain 400 IU of vitamin D per day through foods should receive a supplement containing that amount.
Children at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (for example, those taking anti-seizure medications) may need higher doses, but this should only be done in consultation with a health-care professional. The new recommendations were expected to be published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Herbs And Herbal Remedies Are Safe Foods
September 30, 2008 10:57 AM
A lot of people are just learning about herbs and have a lot of fear that if you tell someone about an herb they might overdose. No body wants to accidently hurt someone, but we must remember that herbs are food. So the real question is can we overdose with food and what is that in relation to a chemical overdose. Everyone should read the label on anything they put into their mouths so that they are responsible for their bodies. If we put something into our body, we are responsible for whatever action takes place.
A chemical drug overdose is extremely dangerous. There are warnings on bottles to keep them away from children and elderly people. Overdosing also includes the problem of mixing drugs, which causes serious problems. One should be sure to ask their pharmacist about the bad side affects of any drug he or she takes. The overdose of chemicals or drugs into the human body is undoubtedly dangerous and potentially fatal.
An overdose of herbs or food often causes an allergic reaction to that specific food or herb. From an herb standpoint, there are occasionally people who are allergic to a specific herb, which is why it is recommended that one starts on any herb at a very low dosage and then slowly builds up to the needed level. An overdose on herbs does not put the body into a life threatening situation. Rather, the body normalizes itself because it is simply dealing with a food.
The other situation that an overdose of herbs can cause is diarrhea, which is not a health problem unless it occurs over several days. Anyone who begins an herbal program and gets diarrhea should consult an herbalist, who will reduce the intake of those herbs that have a cleansing action on the body or colon. One can see that the overdose of an herb as compared to the overdose of chemicals is at opposite ends of the spectrum, with one being naturally cleansing and the being life threatening.
It is hoped that this knowledge motivates all of us to think of herbs as foods and not medicines. If we’re going to keep herbs out of the hands of drug companies, the fact that herbs are food must be stressed. Recent herb companies and long standing herbalists have upsettingly announced the fact that they are taking herbs to the doctors and the scientific world, taking them from the housewife who knows and uses them best.
Food or herbs can be toxic or dangerous, but not as much so as man-made chemicals. We must have the wisdom to choose foods or herbs that are not poisonous. Herbs and foods were created by nature to be safe for all people. Where as man-made chemicals are dangerous to all. One must use moderation in all things, as an overdose of herbs causes an allergic reaction that could be avoided with a little wisdom. Anyone eating any herb for the first time should begin at a low dosage and watch the bodily reaction for a couple of days. If not heavy cleansing of allergic reaction is felt, than more can be eaten.
September 22, 2008 09:48 AM
Panax is a type of perennial plant with fleshy roots, and grows in Eastern Asia. Ginsengs contain ginsenosides that are triterpene saponins, steroidal compounds that are found only in Panax ginseng. The effects of these saponins are difficult to establish, but they are believed to be behind the properties of ginseng.
Panax ginseng is found predominantly in Korea, China and Siberia, although a genus has also been found in Vietnam. Panax are adaptogenic herbs that help promote resistance to anxiety, fatigue and stress, and are said to adapt the body to resist a number of different stressors. It has been proposed that adaptogenic herbs can balance the endocrine hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal axis.
They also normalize the immune system, and increase the activity of phagocytes, the killer cells. Additionally, they not only help to maintain homeostasis, but are believed to go further and act as allostatic agents, adapting response to maintain system stability in a more dynamic fashion, by changing interactive functions as opposed to the individual adaption’s made in homeostasis.
Not all ginsengs are the same, and although Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, it is not a true ginseng. Its roots are woody rather than fleshy, and it contains eleutherosides as opposed to ginsenosides. These also are triterpenoid saponins, but of a different adaptogen. The herb is actually Eleutherococcus senticosus as opposed to Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius, both true ginsengs. Siberian ginseng was misnamed as a marketing ploy.
American ginseng is Panax quinquefolius, sometimes referred to by the Chinese as Huaqishen. It, too, is an adaptogen and a true ginseng, containing ginsenosides. However, it contains much less ginsenonide Rg1 than panax. This ginsenonide appears to possess estrogen-like activity and improves spatial learning. The other forms of ginesonide found in panax ginseng are:
Ginsenoside Rb1: This appears in greatest concentration in American ginseng, and appears to have an effect on the reproductive system. It not only has an effect on the testicles, but is believed to increase testosterone production through its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone. It also helps to rdeduce the incidence of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from old, and also a stage in the development of malignant tumors from dormant ones.
Ginsenoside Rc: this possesses sedative properties, and in a study on breast cancer was found to have an effect in inhibiting the growth of these particular cancer cells. Ginsenoside Rc might therefore have use in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer. Studies have also suggested that this ginsenoside could increase the motility of sperm: the motiliy of sperm was found to increase significantly in a solution of ginsenoside Rc.
Ginsenoside Rf: this is present only in panax ginseng, and studies have indicate that it has an inhibitory effect on the Ca2+ neural channels in the brain, and so cokld have an analgesic effect. Studies have as yet failed to explain this effect that is seen in animal tests, but are continuing on this ginsenoside.
Ginsenoside Re: this ginsenoside has strong antioxidant effects and has a significant antidiabetic effect in that is reduces insulin resistance, which is likely why ginseng is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. Studies are ongoing into the properties of this ginsenoside, and also on the other 10 or more that are known to be present in Panax ginseng. The effects of ginseng are difficult to establish with certainity because they work through so many different pathways and it is difficult to isolate one. More than one ginsenoside, for example, affects the calcium channels in the brain, and it is difficult to determine which does what.
There are fewer ginsenosides in Panax quinquefoilius, and in the USA it is only the panax version that can be traded as simply ‘ginseng’. One of the main problems with all ginsengs is that although it is one of the most studied plants, the majority of the studies have been on animals, and due to this, and the difficulties caused by the multiple pathways described earlier, many of the postulations have not been proved in humans.
However, if the theory as it is know today is taken into consideration along with the traditional uses of ginseng in traditional Indian (ayurvedic), Chinese and Native American medicine, it would be fairly accurate to say that ginseng is useful in helping your body to recover after illness or surgery, and to help you to deal with stress. It has also been proved to lower your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and help in the treatment of Type II diabetes, as already mentioned. There is evidence that it helps to boost your mental performance, memory and might help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng can also give a boost to your energy levels, and it is genarally accepted that panax ginseng is more effective than the American version. In traditional medicine, Asian ginseng is said to be warming, and the American variery cooling. Thus Panax ginseng is useful for people recovering from illness and trying to recover their strength, acts as a tonic, stimulant and supports the immune system. In other words it helps the body to get whole again after being depleted.
It should not be used if you get very hot and red, such as with heat stroke, unless you use it in combination with the American version, because these are conditions of high yang and this type of ginseng will increase the yang even further.
American ginseng, on the other hand, is good for those with fevers, hypertension (high blood pressure), and suffereing the effcts of heat. It helps build the yin and reduce the yang, so if you always feel flushed and hot or are hyperactive then go for the American, and if you easily get chilled or find your hands and feet get cold very easily, reach for the Asian ginseng to increase your yang.
You often find ginseng as an ingredient in soft drinks, but the concentration is so low that it has no metabolic or pharmacological effect. The dose to be taken should be as stated on the pack, since there is no specific standardization. It has been noted that the effects can be lost if an excess of ginseng is taken, but generally the herb is safe and if you feel a bit down or lacking in energy, ginseng can work wonders for you.
DHA - Fish Oil
July 31, 2008 03:03 PM
A lot of research has been preformed over the past twenty years which has concluded that fats and cholesterol play a huge role in the development of heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer in the United States. It has been found that certain types of cholesterol in our blood can eventually lead to a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which restricts the blood supply to the heart and sets us up for a potential heart attack.
These researchers found it ironic when looking at the Greenland Eskimo, whose diet is rich in animal fat, but who is almost entirely free from coronary artery disease. Studies have proved that high levels of DHA and EPA that are found in the fish, seal, and whale diet of the Eskimo is what protects them from the heart disease that many people in the United States battle.
In order to improve cardiovascular health, DHA must performs many tasks. Increased DHA and EPA levels have been shown to lower total serum cholesterol. It has also been shown to selectively lower LDL cholesterol while elevating protective HDL cholesterol. Additionally, DHA and EPA supplementation lowers triglycerides. In terms of heart health, these omega-3s also reduce the tendency of platelets to clump and adhere to blood vessels and the blood vessels themselves to constrict.
Although diets that are high in fat content are believed to be potential risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer, especially breast cancer, the rates for some common cancers are relatively low among the Eskimos of Greenland and Alaska even though they have a high fat intake. Studies preformed to look into this fact concluded that the type of fat consumed may be important in determining cancer incidence, rather than just the overall fat intake.
DHA and EPA consumption suppresses the formation of a lot of leukotrienes, which are compounds that affect many different body systems. These leukotrienes stimulate bronchial contraction and are strongly associated with asthma, as they stimulate the production of mucus, affect cerebral circulation, and are powerful pro-inflammatory agents. To sum it up, leukotrienes can contribute too several severe health conditions, so consuming DHA and other fatty acids, have shown to reduce the production of leukotrienes by as much as seventy-five percent. Also, supplementation causes immune and inflammatory responses to be greatly diminished, which is especially important for immune response disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorder.
unless people are eating a good amount of fatty fish and other sea foods daily, it is likely that both adults and children are deficient in DHA. To ensure the proper amount of DHA in the most effective way, one should take DHA in supplement form. Research has shown that consuming DHA exclusively from fish oil may have some drawbacks, specifically the taste of fish.
Fish oils that contain both DHA and EPA are now available in capsule form, which allows one to avoid the issue of taste. For those who prefer to have their supplements from a plant source, microalgae, the food source of fish, is a great source of DHA. This source can be used by both vegetarians and individuals on low-fat diets, both of whom are extremely vulnerable to having a lower dietary DHA level.
Also, if you are having trouble with fish oil softgels give vectomega dry fish oil a try. vectomega is a tablet form of fish oil you can take once daily to get your needed DHA and EPA to enhance your health.
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.
Linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.
Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.
It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.
It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.
Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.
Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.
While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.
In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.
The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.
Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, boiling, etc.
It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.
However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.
May 30, 2008 02:43 PM
You're ready to leave the house, you're already running late and you can't remember where you put the keys. You try retracing your steps, check all of your coat pockets and start to panic. You can't remember where you put them or where you last saw them. Does this sound familiar? Do you have trouble focusing clearly? Our thinking process slows as we age. It is as if a cloud lingers over our brains, making it impossible to think clearly.
Improve Your Mind with Bacopa Extract
There is help for people who can't learn or think as fast as they once could. An all-natural product, bacopa extract, has been used for thousands of years as a "brain tonic" in India. It has been used to enhance memory, learning and concentration. This aquatic plant has strong antioxidant powers. It helps people retain new information by stimulating the brain's neurotransmitters.
Bacopa extract can be used for:
* Relieving anxiety
It also has antispasmodic and anti-allergic properties.
Clinical Study Proves Benefits of Bacopa Extract
A study reported in the August 2002 issue of Neuropsychopharmocolgy, "Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa) on Human Memory," stated positive results. The study found that "Brahmi decreased the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information."
This means you can learn faster and think more clearly when taking a bacopa extract. Consider, for example, a situation in which you are meeting people for the first time and being introduced to them by name. Will you be able to remember any of their names when you see them across the room in 10 minutes? How about if you run into them a few weeks later?
What if you couldn't remember their name, or worse, called them by the wrong name? That doesn't send a very good first impression. Or maybe you have been on the receiving end of this and have been repeatedly called the wrong name by someone. You know how irritating it can be. Bacopa extract can help in this type of situation. Taken daily over an extended period of time, you will see a difference in the amount of information you can retain. You won't have to struggle so much to recall where you left your keys or the name of the person you just met.
Studies have shown that bacopa extract is effective for mental acuity. It helps by smoothing neurotransmitters and relaxing the brain. It has no known side effects and is deemed safe for children, as well.
Pair Bacopa Extract with a Healthy Lifestyle for Best Results
As with any natural supplement, bacopa will not improve your mental health unless it is accompanies by healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure you get the proper rest your body needs, daily exercise and good nutrition. Furthermore, it is important to exercise your brain. Find ways to challenge your mental alertness on a daily basis. Combine this with a daily dose of bacopa extract and you will see improvement in the clarity of your thinking.
Are You At Risk And What Can You Do About It?
April 23, 2008 04:54 PM
Did you know there are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that can have an endocrine disrupting ability? Meaning, these chemicals can have an estrogen like and anti-androgen effect on the body, disrupting the normal function of our endocrine system which can cause all sorts of health issues.
Back in the industrial boom directly following world war II these chemicals were widely used in plastics, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning agents, clothing, household furnishings, and decorations, food and water, fertilizers, and pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals are being banned by the government but are not gone all together yet.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals are fat soluble which means when consumed they are stored by the body in our fat stores. This makes these chemicals a persistent pain in the butt for a very long time since fat soluble substances tend to be stored and slowly released; some claim the release can be years and years down the road.
These types of toxins can easily leach into water including juices and can vaporize into the air that we breathe in to our lungs. Once ingested, these chemicals can lead to reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurological, endocrine, and immunologic adverse health effects that can last a lifetime.
Those men and women who want to have children may discover that one of both at have reproductive impairments due to POPs. Symptoms of toxicity are male infertility, gynecological problems, and accelerated puberty, developmental abnormalities of the reproductive tract, premature delivery, behavioral problems, abnormal thyroid function, cancer and heart disease. In cases of children, signs of toxicity are leukemia when fetal exposure is experienced.
The wide spread use of phthalates in industrial and consumer products has raised a lot of concerns. Phthalates are what keep plastics flexible. Dibutyl phthalate is used in PVC piping (in new homes the piping that supply water to faucets), various varnishes and lacquers, safety glass, nail polishes, paper coatings, dental materials, pharmaceuticals, children’s toys, and plastic food wrap. The heating of plastic containers either by microwave or a hot cup of tea can easily leach these phthalate’s in to food or drink exposing humans to high amounts of this toxin.
Also, Parabens are high on the watch list for those health minded. Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. The most common parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. These three are used as a bacteriocidal and fungicidal agent in many products we use every day. The FDA does not require approval of cosmetic ingredients before they reach the market place so cosmetic manufactures are free to use what ever they want in their products.
Parabens have been shown to have a mild estrogenic affect on the body, and are in practically all personal care products on the market today. If you are applying a name brand cosmetic onto your skin daily, take a look at the label to see if Parabens are used.
For those looking to stay away form all the above listed toxins look for products packaged in glass, PETE or HDPE bottles and containers. Look for packets lined with saran, and can linings made of polyolefins. Use biodegradable household cleaning agents and avoid sprays and insecticides. Cleaning supplies are not required to list ingredients so it is always buyer beware unless the label states it is free from PCBs, Parabens, and POPs.
Finally, when buying furniture avoid furniture that contains flame retardant PBDEs and limit children to the exposure of such furniture. Exposure to PBDEs can lead to some of the above listed symptoms and cause health problems. Staying healthy is a tough task with all the environmental toxins we face. By buying organic foods and avoid the above listed chemicals one can live longer and maintain better health over a lifetime.
Blue Green Algae a Super Food that is Foods Packed With Nutrients. Vegetarian Friendly
April 11, 2008 11:24 AM
In the USA it is harvested in Oregon, in the upper regions of the Upper Klamath Lake, although it is also available in many other parts of the world. Blue green algae are about the best source of vegetable protein and amino acids available to the human diet, although are now generally used as a supplement rather than as a primary food source.
However, in spite of its name, it is not an alga at all: it is a bacterium: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), known as cyanobacteria, after the Greek for blue. Nevertheless, bacteria or not, blue green algae offer exceptional nutritional benefits and also health benefits to people suffering from certain conditions. Here are the best of its benefits:
1. It is natural and therefore easily assimilated and digested. You get a very high useful yield from its nutrient content, unlike other foods where a large proportion can be passed through the gut unchanged. In fact a large proportion of the food you eat passes through your body unchanged, although that is mainly due to a lack of chewing!
2. It is very high in protein, and helps to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. If you are on a vegetation diet this is an ideal source of non-animal protein (unless you class bacteria as animals!). If you want numbers, at least 60% of the solid content of this material is vegetable protein human-ready for use.
3. It is packed full of enzymes that aid digestion, and so ensures that not only is it itself fully digested, but also that you get the most nutritional benefit from any other foods you eat. A lack of enzymes is very common in the western diet, especially the North American diet, and if you take a regular supply of blue green algae, then you need not also take enzyme capsules.
4. It possesses cleansing and detoxifying properties, and so helps to reduce the incidence of headaches and allow you better and more restful sleep. Toxins can act on your body to cause pain, and is associated with the free radicals discussed below.
5. It is very high in antioxidants that destroy the free radicals in your blood and tissues. Free radicals destroy body cells and can seriously damage your health. Among the health benefits that blue green algae provide due to its antioxidant properties are:
a) It supports the immune system and helps to prevent inflammation in your joints. It also enables you to fight off bacterial and viral infections quicker. b) It maintains the integrity of your body and skin cells, and reduces cell damage by free radicals. This has an anti-aging effect and preserves the youthful appearance of your skin, resisting wrinkling and maintaining its firmness. c) Blue green algae help to prevent the free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that transport cholesterol that cause the atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
6. It provides you with energy through its effect on your body’s metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy within the mitochondria. This is partially due to its antioxidant effect and partially to the nutritional content of the bacteria. The bacteria are also a rich source of glycogen that is your body’s store of emergency energy. Your liver can use the bacteria to biosynthesize its own store of glycogen that your body can use if called upon for a sudden burst of energy.
7. The amino acids it contains are of low molecular size, and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It provides nutrition to the brain, and its high chlorophyll content helps to purify the blood. Its high content of trace minerals and naturally chelated minerals renders them extremely bioavailable, and able to provide a high degree of nutrition to the brain and other organs of the body. Blue green algae contain rhamnose that helps nutrients to cross from the blood to the brain, and then to the brain cells that need it.
8. Blue green algae have been shown to help memory and mood. This is likely due at least in part to its fatty acid content, and its effect on serotonin levels.
These eight benefits are more than any other individual food source can provide, and in themselves justify the claim that blue green algae is the best individual food source there is. However, when we have a look at the active ingredients, and nutritional content of the bacteria, then it seems even more impressive. There is more to blue green algae than just a few vitamins and minerals. You can get these in any multivitamin supplement: this stuff is completely natural and all of its ingredients are completely compatible with the human digestive system.
Many of the synthetic vitamins you find in boxes and tubs are only partially absorbed due to the form they are in. Either that or they need the presence of other substances before they can be assimilated. An example is calcium, which is next to useless without magnesium and vitamin C also being present to allow it to be incorporated in the structure of the bones and teeth. With blue green algae, every combination of substances that nature needs for them to work properly is there. Everything gets used and everything has a role to play.
The amino acids and proteins have already been mentioned, and these unusual bacteria contain all of the trace minerals that are necessary for the amino acids and proteins to be properly used. It also contains a large quantity of beta-carotene (a natural Vitamin A precursor and strong anti-oxidant), and is also rich in Vitamin B-12 that most vegetarians are deficient in. It is therefore the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans.
If you understand the health benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which blue green algae are also rich in, then you will understand how a foodstuff containing these fatty acids and all of the other nutritional substances listed above could be regarded as a ‘Superfood’.
Blue green algae is probably the richest food available commercially to humans, but before you use it you should ensure that the content of blue algae in the supplement you purchase is clear and that you are purchasing a standardized amount in what you are purchasing.
Otherwise, it is difficult to see how anybody could go wrong with blue green algae, since it is indisputably an excellent source of protein, amino acids, vitamins and much, much more.
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.
Apple Cider Vinegar to Fight Heart Burn
February 16, 2008 08:55 AM
Strange as it may seem, apple cider vinegar can be used to fight heart burn, even though that type of vinegar is composed of acetic acid the same as any other. It wouldn’t seem logical to use an acid to alleviate a condition caused by excess acidity in the stomach, but all will be clear shortly.
First, let’s have a look at what cider apple vinegar is, and what health benefits it can impart to the body. There is more to the old maxim regarding an apple a day than most appreciate. Although an orange has more vitamin C, apples have a lot going for them. They not only contain the soluble dietary fiber and prebiotic pectin, that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Many consider apple cider vinegar the form of the apple that provides its ultimate health benefits.
Hippocrates himself has written of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and used it for the benefits to health that it imparted. That goes back almost 2400 years, to an age when the biochemistry of the body was unheard of and even the alchemists had yet to work their magic. There was no surprise then that an acid could be used to increase the alkalinity of the body since the terms had yet to be understood, let alone invented.
The later applications of vinegar followed a path that would be expected of a substance recognized as a form of medicine, and it has been poured over wounds to sterilize them from early in history, and by people of the 14th and 17th centuries to protect themselves against the Black Death and the Great Plague respectively. It was believed by people in these times that the disease was transferred by breathing in the ‘ill vapors’ and that a vinegar-soaked cloth over the face would protect them.
Many people, associate vinegar with ‘bad wine’ or solutions of acetic acid, generally 5%. But how is real cider apple vinegar produced? All vinegar has acetic acid as its key ingredient. The reason that it can be produced from wine is that acetic acid is produced naturally by the fermentation of ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, the main alcoholic product of the fermentation of sugars. If the fermentation of wine is allowed to continue after the sugar has been used up, then the yeast will act on the ethanol and convert it to acetic acid. In fact the word comes from the old French ‘vin aigre’ or ‘sour wine’, due to it resulting from the undesirable continuing fermentation of wine.
The concentration varies according to the use it is put, though commercial pickling vinegars can be distilled to any required concentration of acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is obtained by the over-fermentation of apple must usually used for cider, and can be obtained either the clear filtered form, or unfiltered with a hazy light brownish color. Although the manufactured distilled vinegars consist of acetic acid at various concentrations, natural vinegars contain by-products of the fermentation process such as citric and tartaric acids.
However, none of this explains why apple cider vinegar should help to cure heartburn. The first thing you should keep in mind is that this type of vinegar has some nutritional value that will be explained later, but also that it is less bitter than many other types of vinegar and many enjoy drinking it with a small amount of honey as an energy pick-me-up and also to prevent various digestive problems that it appears to alleviate such as bloating and diarrhoea.
The reason that many people experience heartburn is due to the body finding that that the acidity of the stomach is lower than it should be to digest a meal. There might be several reasons for the body believing this, such as drinking too much milk during the meal and thereby neutralizing some of the acid while also introducing more fat to be digested. The body reacts by injecting more acid into the stomach. Excessively spicy foods or alcohol can cause the same effect.
Stomach acid is concentrated hydrochloric acid that is very corrosive and can even dissolve a nail. If your stomach is slightly full, the acid causes a slight, but not full, reflux and you get the burning sensation known as heartburn due to the corrosive effects of the very strong acid on the esophagus, which is not protected by the stomach lining that is designed to withstand it. Sometimes the excessive acid in your stomach will cause the bottom of the esophagus to open, allowing some of the stomach contents into the esophagus giving the horrible burning sensation. That sensation is acid corrosion of your body tissue, but it is rapidly repaired and does no lasting damage unless it is chronic when you have to see your doctor.
Since heartburn is caused by excess acidity then, it will seem strange that you can use an acid to alleviate it. However, keep in mind that your heartburn is due to the body (brain) being convinced that there is insufficient acid in your stomach. If you introduce a weak acid, then you can convince your brain that the acid has been brought to a satisfactory level and so it will stop sending signals to the stomach lining cells that secrete the HCl.
If you remember what I asked you to remember above, regarding the traditional uses of apple cider vinegar and how easy it is to drink, then that vinegar is the ideal acid to take. It floods the stomach with acetic acid and signals pass back and forth between the stomach wall to the brain and back again to the effect that the stomach has enough acid and so no more hydrochloric acid need be secreted.
Had you treated it with milk or even an antacid, it would have worked initially, but eventually the signal would be initiated and the lining would secrete more HCl. With an antacid that can occur after the stomach contents have been passed on, but although it has had its effect, your food will have been poorly digested, and so the better remedy is likely not an alkaline antacid but a weak acid such as apple cider vinegar.
That’s how it works, but what other benefits does it bring to you. For starters it is a good source of potassium which is essential to maintain a proper cardiac rhythm. Potassium can also help to maintain a good blood pressure, and it is necessary for healthy nails, hair and teeth, and also helps to repair damage to soft tissues and to allow cells to repair internal tissue loss.
Potassium is an essential mineral, although there is normally sufficient in a healthy diet. However, if somebody is displaying the symptoms of potassium deficiency then this form of vinegar can help to resolve the problem. The elderly especially can benefit from a regular dose.
Other than its antiseptic effect, the most common popular use of apple cider vinegar, however, is to fight heart burn and in that respect it is very effective, even if it seems a bit of a paradox.
Natural Bar Soaps for the Kitchen and Bathroom
January 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Good natural bar soaps that contain only substances that are good for your skin are available, although most people pay little attention to them. Many people might be unaware of the fact but the skin is the largest organ of the body. As such, the skin needs taken care of just as much as any other major organ, yet few people pay much attention to what they bring into contact with it. Although a lot of money is spent on body products, do you really know what your skin needs for optimum health and what substances can do it harm?
Your skin carries out many functions other than keeping the bits inside that should be kept inside. It is a natural thermostat, containing the sweat glands that dampens it and allows evaporation to cool you down. It contains hairs and subcutaneous fat, both of which help you to remain warm when the external temperature is low. Your skin is designed to remain supple, and so allow free movement of the various parts of your body.
It is an ideal waterproof covering for your body that also protects you from infection. Although infection can set in if the skin is ruptured through cuts or grazes, the skin itself rarely suffers from surface infections when related to the number of infectious agents it is constantly in contact with.
The health of your skin is very important, especially in view of the fact that it regularly comes into contact with some very hazardous substances. What may not have occurred to you is that one of the many functions of your skin is to eliminate some of the body’s waste products. It does this when you sweat and the toxins that are emitted can harm it. Although not often infected, it does suffer from complaints such as psoriasis, eczema and acne that are not primarily caused by bacterial agents or viruses, and hence not true infections.
These conditions, however, are caused largely through the emission of toxic agents through the sweat glands. Acne for instance is caused by excessive emission of sebum that combines with dead skin cells to form acne which can also become infected with bacteria. Psoriasis is the excessive formation of skin cells at too rapid a rate, the true causes of which are as yet unknown. Skin cells can become cancerous due to excessive exposure to sunlight or ultra violet radiation, and skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that your doctor is liable to come across.
If you suffer from any specific skin condition, such as acne, or even dry skin that can be caused through excessive exposure to degreasing agents or dry winds, then your skin will need special care. The soap you use is very important in the way you care for your skin, and many people will use soaps that contain many ingredients that they cannot pronounce let alone understand.
Your skin needs cleansed regularly since it comes into contact with many dangerous and toxic substances. Apart from the everyday pollution of traffic fumes and factory emissions, there are also the substances that contaminate your skin at work and at home. At home specially, domestic cleaners can be very harsh on your skin, consisting of substances that are intended to clean away greases and oils, the very types of substance that protect your skin from the elements. When you clean your oven or your sink without gloves, you also clean off the protective oily layer on your skin and leave it open to bacterial attack.
Your skin can also become sensitized to many substances, so that whenever it comes into contact with them it promotes an allergic reaction that can cause irritations so severe that your life can become very miserable. Many people are allergic to various types of soap or detergent because they have become sensitized to them, and are unable to use that type of cleanser after sensitization.
Many soaps contain active ingredients that are intended to carry out specific functions. Thus, some contain antibacterial agents to inhibit the growth of specific types of bacteria on your skin, while others contain detergents to improve their cleaning power. However, some detergents can be very harsh on your skin, and try to avoid bar soaps containing PEG-6 methyl ether or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These can be harmful to your skin. There are others, and if your skin is sensitive try to avoid soaps containing animal products or petroleum derivatives.
Take tetrasodium EDTA, which is present in common bar soaps. It enhances the penetration of substances through your skin, which means that it can also enhance the penetration of the lees welcome ingredients in the soap as well as the moisturizers. Substances as sodium etidronate that is a synthetic preservative that might cause irritation to your skin and mucus membranes. There are several other synthetic detergents that are ingredients in bar soaps, and many kitchen soaps contain the same ingredients as personal or bathroom soaps, the difference between them being only in their moisturizer and perfume content.
Other ingredients than can cause potential problems are limonene, linalool and camphor, all of which can give rise to unwelcome conditions such as irritation or respiratory problems. The first two of these are common in bar soaps, as are benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol which are irritants. Alpha-pinene, found in some bar soaps, is a sensitizer than can damage your immune system. unless you know what a specific ingredient is, don’t use the soap. Instead you should use pure natural bar soaps containing antioxidants that are good for your skin.
A pure soap should contain the fat or oil that it is made from, good examples being coconut or palm oils, water, a water softener to enable the soap to cleanse the skin properly, an example being one of the penetrates, a moisturizer such as glycerine or lanolin and possibly a perfume derived from natural sources. Salt is also frequently used, and is a good bactericide.
Wherever possibly, you should choose a natural soap containing antioxidants. Citrus soaps, for example, contain vitamin C although many soaps contain antioxidants such as beta carotenes, vitamin A and vitamin E. Since soap consists of both oils and water, you can have both oil and water soluble antioxidants in your soap. The antioxidants help to protect your skin from the ravages of pollution and the effects of the sun’s rays, both of which generate free radicals that can accelerate the aging and wrinkling of your skin.
A good antioxidant, moisturizer and wetting agent in your bar soap will help to protect your skin from the effects of atmospheric pollutants, the drying effect of the sun and wind and also effectively cleanse the skin surface and pores of everyday dirt. If this is associated with an absence of synthetic chemicals that can cause irritation then you will be giving your skin the best protection that you can. This is true of soaps intended either for the kitchen or the bathroom.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.
Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.
You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.
All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?
In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.
It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.
When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.
Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.
The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.
However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.
However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.
It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.
Chemically, pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.
The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.
In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.
October 22, 2007 10:06 AM
A plate of colored food is not only very pleasing to our eyes, but also very healthy. What looks good to eat is also very healthy for us and if you are finding it difficult to persuade your children to eat those boring old tired looking vegetables, then try brightening up their plates with some nice bright colors.
Kids love brightly colored pop and candy so it should not be a difficult thing to persuade them to eat some brightly colored vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, quashes and even thinly sliced carrots with a nice dip. The more intense the color the better for you they appear to be. Colored foods are normally packed full of anti-oxidants that help to prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system and to mop up free radicals present in our bodies. These antioxidants are all chemicals, and many of the naturally occurring antioxidants are highly colored. They are very good at destroying free radicals.
Free radicals are a form of chemical that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate the effects of aging, but also harm our heart. A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron. Electrons like to go around in pairs. Every atom has pairs of electrons, and one atom has an odd number then it pairs up with another atom with an odd number, so the two form a compound with an even number of electrons.
However, now and again, the body’s metabolism throws up a molecule with an unpaired electron. That electron’s first thought is to find a partner, and it does so by stealing one from a cell in your body. The result is the disruption and destruction of the cell. Free radicals can also be formed by environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides and so on.
Anti-oxidants destroy free radicals, and generally keep us healthier for longer. They do so by mopping up the extra electron, and there are many different types of antioxidant that form part of our normal diet. Among them are vitamins A, C and E, but there are others that are complex highly colored organic compounds. Among these are the anthocyanins, known to paint and ink manufacturers as strong red pigments.
Anthocyanins are the pigments or dyes that color red grapes, egg plant, plums and blueberries and they are very powerful antioxidants. However, it is not only for antioxidants that we should eat colorful foods. Some dark green foods, such as spinach, green peppers, peas, celery and dark leafy vegetables, contain what are known as lutein. Lutein works in combination with zeaxanthin to protect our eyes from cataracts and a condition known as macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. Zeaxanthin is available from red peppers, oranges, egg yolk and corn.
Many people take folic acid supplements help maintain a healthy heart, and especially women to help prevent birth defects. However, the natural form of folic acid, folate is available from green foods such as lettuce, green beans, broccoli, peas, green grapes, and many other green foods. Broccoli and cabbage also contain indoles also known as indol-3-carbinol are believed to protect your from some cancers. So green is good!
Yellow is also good, and foods such as grapefruit, pineapple and melon help to boost the immune system and keep infections at bay, and also to provide energy and help maintain healthy eyes. Many antioxidants are yellow, although yellow might not a color that you would associate as being attractive to children, unless very bright. However, the yellow foods tend to be fruits rather than vegetables, and it is much easier to persuade a child to eat a pineapple than a squash.
Lycopene is another very powerful antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that can damage the cardiovascular system through atherosclerosis. Lycopene is a red pigment very common in tomatoes, and is fat soluble. It is a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants that are common in brightly colored foods such as carrots, red peppers and many yellow fruits and vegetables as described above. Lutein is also a carotenoid.
A diet rich in carotenoids is very good for keeping the effects of aging at bay and protecting you from heart problems. Lycopene is contained in the liver, colon, skin and prostate gland, and can occur at higher concentrations than most other carotenoids. People that suffer from HIV infections, high cholesterol diseases and inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, are generally found to have low levels of lycopene in their blood.
Many of the so-called ‘superfoods’ are also brightly colored, and useful not just for their antioxidant properties. Take cranberries for example. These bright red berries contain proanthocyanadins that prevent some bacteria such as e-coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and cause urinary tract infections such as cystitis, and also from adhering to the gums. Cranberries can therefore be used in the treatment of some gum diseases. However, they also possess strong antioxidant properties that help to protect the body against some cancers and also heart disease.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranates have exceptionally high antioxidant content and are excellent for a healthy cardiovascular system while strong green broccoli contains not only vitamin C and antioxidants but also folate (the natural form of folic acid) and the phytochemical sulforafane that is believed to protect against certain cancers.
The color of your food, therefore, not only makes it look pretty on your plate and attractive to children, but also indicates the presence of strong antioxidants and other chemicals that help to protect you from specific medical conditions. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of the so-called superfoods is vegetable in origin rather than animal, and also tastes good. You should eat as many of them as you can, and certainly at least five portions every day.
Some can also be used as a remedy for specific conditions in addition to being used for their preventative properties, such as cranberries are used in the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, and specific diets can help to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body. Eating with your eyes is not always a bad thing. Some may find it hard to consume enough colorful fruits and vegetables to be beneficial so what is a person to do? Your local health food store has available powdered vegetable and fruit concentrates that supply all the needed nutrients in one simple drink.
An organic farmer’s perspective
June 26, 2007 02:03 PM
How effective can remineralization be? Just as Dan Kittredge, executive director of Remineralize the Earth, who is also an organic farmer. Prior to remineralizing his farm, he had weaker crops and a horrendous insect problem. “I put in two greenhouses a year and a half ago and planted Asian greens in them. Last spring, all the plants were inundated with tiny holes made by insects. unless you are extremely diligent, it happens to all of a particular family of crops around here, including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.”
This year, however, he had remineralized. “Under the exact same growing conditions and locations, with the exception of adding rock dust last year, the crops are now growing virtually insect free,” he reports.
The crops themselves are extraordinary. “They have this incredible sheen,” Kittredge says. “The flavor is far, far better, and they last longer. We were harvesting broccoli all the way into December, which is pretty amazing, especially from Massachusetts.”