Archive for the ‘Supplements’ Category

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Astaxanthin May Hold Key to Chronic Disease Prevention

September 23, 2011
Astaxanthin is a Potent Antioxidant in the Fight Against Chronic Diseases

Astaxanthin is a Potent Antioxidant in the Fight Against Chronic Diseases

There’s a new kid on the block in the world of natural nutrients that promote optimal health and have a significant impact in preventing chronic disease development. Astaxanthin is a red-orange carotenoid pigment derived from microalgae, fish, and crustaceans that can prevent and even treat conditions that progress from the negative effects of oxidative stress and antioxidant deterioration.

Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to be ten times more powerful that other pigments and carotenoids including resveratrol.  Research details published in The American Journal of Cardiology provide solid evidence that astaxanthin supplemented daily can inhibit the damaging effects of oxidative stress that leads to heart disease, heart attack and dementia.

Astaxanthin Helps Arteries to Relax, Lowering Blood Pressure

Astaxanthin Can Relax Arteries to Lower Blood Pressure

Astaxanthin Can Relax Arteries to Lower Blood Pressure

Researchers discovered that the potent antioxidant activity afforded by astaxanthin supplementation results in improved cardiovascular health. The super nutrient positively influences endothelial function, allowing the delicate heart vessels to relax. This lowers blood pressure and reduces the number of inflammatory cells that promote deadly arterial plaque known to reduce blood flow to the heart muscle.

Astaxanthin is further shown to boost the heart`s pumping capacity to maintain normal blood flow to the muscle and other vital organs throughout the body. Researchers found that astaxanthin inhibits the effects of advanced glycation end products (AGE`s) that form through normal cellular function and can increase the incidence of diabetes by altering glucose metabolism. Scientists have demonstrated that astaxanthin reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation and improves the way blood flows through the vascular system to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Astaxanthin Reduces Brain Free Radicals to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Astaxanthin Shown to Improve Brain Oxidative Stress to Prevent Dementias

Astaxanthin Shown to Improve Brain Oxidative Stress to Prevent Dementias

Compelling research published in the British Journal of Nutrition posits the effect of supplemented astaxanthin on development and progression of Alzheimer`s dementia. One of the significant markers of the disease is the proliferation of phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) in the blood. Excess levels cause free radical damage in the brain that can damage neural structures and are associated with progression of Alzheimer`s dementia.

The study found that supplementing with 6 to 12 mg of astaxanthin daily for 12 weeks lowered blood levels of PLOOH up to 50%. Astaxanthin was found to be a potent antioxidant that could easily cross the blood-brain barrier to dramatically lower oxidative stress.

Study researchers concluded “These results suggest that astaxanthin supplementation results in improved erythrocyte antioxidant status and decreased phospholipid hydroperoxide levels, which may contribute to the prevention of dementia.” Based on an ongoing body of compelling evidence to support the amazing benefits of astaxanthin, health-minded individuals will want to supplement with 4 to 12 mg daily to support heart and brain health.

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Vitamin D Crucial in Cancer Prevention

March 14, 2011

(Article first published as Don’t Ignore Vitamin D to Dramatically Slash Cancer Risk on Technorati.)

Research Shows That Proper Blood Levels of Vitamin D are Critical

Research Shows That Proper Blood Levels of Vitamin D are Critical

Evidence in support of the health-promoting properties of vitamin D continues to mount as new research shows a direct link between blood levels of the super-nutrient and the risk of developing colon cancer. The National Cancer Institute provides statistics showing that colon cancer is the second most deadly form of the disease, taking the lives of more than 50,000 each year in the US.

The International Journal of Cancer has published a meta-analysis from nine comprehensive studies showing dramatic reductions in colon cancer risk with higher blood concentrations of the sunshine vitamin.

Cancer Risk Reduction is Linked to Vitamin D Blood Saturation

Breast Cancer Risk is Lowered in a Dose Dependent Manner to Vitamin D

Breast Cancer Risk is Lowered in a Dose Dependent Manner to Vitamin D

The pooled data from the studies reviewed showed that for every 10 nanograms per milliliter increase in vitamin D blood level saturation, there was a corresponding decrease in colon cancer incidence of 15%. Breast cancer risk was lowered by 11% with the same increase in vitamin D. Researchers made note that they were testing the biologically active form of vitamin D known as cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and not the less active precursor (vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol). Vitamin D was tested using the more accurate 25(OH)D blood test.

The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention has been theorized since the early 1940`s when scientists discovered that cancer rates were much lower in countries closest to the equator. At the time they believed that sunshine played an important role in `cancer immunity`. Over time the link between vitamin D production in the skin and sun exposure has become increasingly apparent and extensive research demonstrates how this crucial nutrient can protect DNA integrity and prevent cancer-causing mutations.

Ensure Proper Vitamin D Levels With a Simple Blood Test

A Simple Blood Test is the Only Reliable Method to Assess Cancer Risk

A Simple Blood Test is the Only Reliable Method to Assess Cancer Risk

Research studies over the past decade have provided conclusive evidence that vitamin D blood levels in the 50 to 80 ng/ml range are associated with a significantly reduced cancer risk from all lines of the disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study showing that vitamin D (1100 IU per day) combined with calcium (1400 to 1500 mg per day) `substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women`.

Scientists found that the two nutrients work synergistically to lower cancer risk in aging healthy women. The authors conducting the study concluded, `these findings highlight the importance of promoting optimum vitamin D status and underscore the value of achieving and maintaining a high serum 25(OH)D concentration.` This study demonstrates the importance of maintaining multi-nutritional status to prevent chronic illness.

Vitamin D is only one of a very small number of natural nutrients that are known to prevent and treat many types of potentially life-threatening conditions. Up until the age of 40 sun exposure provides the best source of vitamin D, but conversion of the nutrient declines as we age and supplementation using an oil-based gelcap is necessary to maximize blood saturation and lower cancer risk.

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Milk Thistle Protects the Brain and Liver

March 4, 2011

(Article first published as Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver and Can Slow Signs of Brain Aging on Technorati.)

Milk Thistle Supports Brain and Liver Health

Milk Thistle Supports Brain and Liver Health

The liver and brain are two metabolically active organs that are under constant attack from disease promoting free radicals. Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels combined with blood glucose abnormalities and obesity cause damage to the cellular matrix of the liver and brain that worsen with time.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects an estimated 20 to 40% of adults in western society and dementia can touch nearly half of those reaching their 85th birthday. Silymarin is the active compound found naturally in milk thistle that is shown to provide a significant degree of protection against NAFLD and abnormal brain aging.

Silymarin Shown to Prevent and Reverse Liver Damage

Silymarin Can Prevent Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Silymarin Can Prevent Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The liver is called upon to perform more than 300 critical metabolic functions within our body. One of those functions is the formation of cholesterol and essential lipids that are required for cellular synthesis and repair. A diet high in processed carbohydrates and synthetic hydrogenated fats can result in excess blood triglycerides that become lodged in the hepatic cells and NAFLD can develop.

NAFLD is a chronic disease that is characterized by inflammation of the organ that releases a flurry of free radicals and liver enzymes. Left unchecked, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, carcinoma and death. The result of research published in the journal Hepatitis Monthly demonstrates the effectiveness of treatment with silymarin for the treatment of NAFLD. Researchers noted a significant decline in liver enzyme markers that indicate reversal of the disease, and no serious side effects were reported as a result of the natural treatment.

Silymarin Found to Protect Nerves, Slow Brain Aging Process

Milk Thistle Protects Against Nerve Damage in the Aging Brain

Milk Thistle Protects Against Nerve Damage in the Aging Brain

Silymarin is one of a small number of compounds able to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect neural function and chemical neurotransmitters. Long known for its ability to detoxify the liver, silymarin also exerts a powerful protective edge against nerve damage and brain preservation.

Information from the journal Neurochemistry International shows that the nutrient is able to protect delicate glial cells in the brain against free radical damage that occurs as a result of low grade bacterial infection common in overweight and obese individuals.

Silymarin Inhibits Plaque Formation, Prevents Alzheimer`s Disease

One of the key indicators of Alzheimer’s disease are the protein amyloid plaques that form and prevent electrical and chemical signaling between neurons. It is known that plaque exists as a normal byproduct of metabolic activity in the brain and is not properly cleared in those exhibiting symptoms of dementia. The result of a study published in the journal Molecular Gerontology demonstrates that silymarin helps the brain to naturally clear amyloid plaque before it becomes tangled and restricts normal cellular communication.

Silymarin from milk thistle is shown to be a powerful nutrient that assists multiple biological pathways in the liver and brain to maintain optimal organ function. Milk thistle is available as an inexpensive nutritional supplement. Nutritional experts recommend 250 to 450 mg per day to provide optimal effectiveness. Take advantage of natural silymarin to boost liver detoxification, prevent NAFLD and prevent the damage from free radicals on the delicate brain matrix.

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Vitamin D Along With Sunshine Lower Breast Cancer Risk

February 3, 2011

(Article first published as Vitamin D Shows Promise in the Fight Against Breast Cancer on Technorati.)

Vitamin D and Sun Synergystically Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Vitamin D and Sun Combine to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Both vitamin D and exposure to sunshine are known to provide protection against many forms of potentially deadly cancer lines. The combination of both supplemental vitamin D and moderate sunlight provide a synergistic effect that is shown to dramatically lower the risk of developing breast cancer.

Many health-minded individuals attempt to balance the intake of the vitamin from supplements and sunbathing when feasible. Research shows that a combination of both methods can bolster the critical circulating blood levels of vitamin D and provide significant protection against this devastating form of cancer.

Supplement with Vitamin D and Spend Time in the Sun

Vitamin D From Gelcaps is Absorbed Best in the Body

Vitamin D From Gel-Caps is Absorbed Best in the Body

The link between vitamin D and cancer has been theorized for more than 70 years when researchers noticed that cancer incidence was considerably lower in latitudes closest to the equator. Since that time much has been learned and evidence conclusively confirms that individuals with the highest levels of circulating vitamin D can lower the risk of developing certain forms of cancer by as much as 78%.

Sun exposure and supplementation with the natural human form of vitamin D (D3) are essential to boost vitamin D levels, as dietary sources are scarce and unreliable. The results of a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention followed more than 67,000 postmenopausal women for a decade and examined degree of exposure to the sun and intake of vitamin D. Researchers found significant protection against breast cancer for those women with the most sun exposure and highest intake of vitamin D.

Study Finds Risk Lowered by 45% with Combined Vitamin D Sources

Vitamin D Supplements and Sun Exposure Lower Breast Cancer Risk by 45%

Vitamin D Supplements and Sun Exposure Lower Breast Cancer Risk by 45%

Information from this study underscores the importance of establishing a high circulating level of vitamin D to lower risk from cancer. The researchers noted that there was no significant risk reduction from taking vitamin D or sun exposure independently. The combination of moderate sun exposure and low dose vitamin D supplementation was shown to lower breast cancer risk by 32%. Women with the most sun exposure and highest level of dietary intake of vitamin D experienced a 45% reduction in breast cancer incidence.

Revised Recommended Daily Allowance Does Not Provide Cancer Protection

The referenced study found no cancer protection from taking a vitamin D supplement that provides the recommended dose of 400 IU. Additionally, cancer incidence was not affected by sun exposure alone. Combining both sources provided a degree of risk reduction that was dose dependent. Both sources were necessary to provide sufficient circulating vitamin D to demonstrate protection against breast cancer.

The revised RDA suggests that 600 IU of vitamin D will protect against disease. Unfortunately this will have no effect on cancer risk and millions will succumb to this preventable affliction. As this study confirmed, sun exposure is not a reliable source of vitamin D as our skin loses the ability to efficiently produce the vitamin as we age. Most adults will require at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D each day to establish a circulating blood level of 50 – 70 ng/ml. At this level all cells become fully saturated with vitamin D and cancer risk plummets.

Everybody metabolizes vitamin D differently and will require more or less of the nutrient based on age, weight, activity and genotype. Begin your journey to vibrant health with a simple blood test to determine your level and supplement with a gel-based form of D3 as necessary. You will dramatically lower your risk from a multitude of diseases and lengthen your natural lifespan.

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Pomegranates and Vitamin C Prevent Heart Disease

December 18, 2010
Pomegranates Shown to Protect Coronary Arteries

Pomegranates Shown to Protect Coronary Arteries

Heart disease claims the lives of nearly 900,000 Americans each year, caused largely by a diet of processed junk food, excess calories, obesity and smoking. Many people are under the false impression that heart disease is inevitable and once diagnosed can only be controlled by a low fat diet and a cocktail of prescription drugs.

This belief has been fostered by a medical profession that makes large profits by perpetuating patients in a never ending cycle of disease progression. Nature has provided powerful tools that can effectively prevent and treat heart disease by correcting the root cause of the affliction.

Inflammation Initiates Heart Disease

Natural Nutrients Prevent Deadly Inflammation

Natural Nutrients Prevent Deadly Inflammation

Systemic inflammation is one of the primary metabolic processes underlying heart disease as it causes instability in the delicate inner endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Chronic inflammation causes elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein and studies have shown that the protein is an important marker for heart disease risk.

The flames of inflammation are fanned by a processed diet high in hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates. This in turn generates excess triglycerides and oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood and promotes fat storage in the adipocytes around the abdomen. Metabolically active fat cells secrete chemical messengers known as cytokines, C-reactive protein and the hormone cortisol. This is a protective action evolved by our body to handle short term damage and stress that becomes destructive when levels are chronically elevated.

Vitamin C Lowers Inflammation Markers

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient known to prevent scurvy. Evolutionary scientists know that in our distant past, we were able to synthesize the vitamin internally but lost the capability likely due to plentiful supply from our diet. The importance of vitamin C to our health was highlighted by the work of Nobel Prize winning researcher Linus Pauling who showed the nutrient could be combined with the amino acids lysine and proline to create a powerful agent capable of removing arterial plaque.

The results of a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley and published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine demonstrate the power of vitamin C to lower inflammation by moderating levels of C-reactive protein. Study participants supplemented with 1000 mg a day of vitamin C and were able to reduce C-reactive protein levels by 34%. Vitamin C provides a significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels that translate to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

Pomegranate Improves Blood Flow to the Heart

Pomegranates are Tasty and Heart Friendly

Pomegranates are Tasty and Heart Friendly

Blood flow to the heart becomes slowly constricted over time as our arteries stiffen and become thicker due to increased blood pressure and metabolic imbalance from high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Arterial hardening is recognized as a significant cause of heart disease as the muscles that line the endothelial wall constrict meaning the heart has to pump harder to force blood to all parts of the body. Eventually hardened arteries lead to heart failure and death.

Pomegranate has been shown to reverse the signs of arterial stiffening as it relaxes the endothelial muscles that control blood flow to the heart. The results of a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition shows that after 3 months of supplementation with pomegranate extract, arterial wall thickness decreased by 35% and dangerous LDL cholesterol oxidation was reduced by 90%.

Nature has provided us with powerful nutrients which we can use to prevent the ravages of heart disease. Combined with proper diet and physical activity, vitamin C and pomegranate can help us to live long and productive lives.

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Vitamin K Lowers Risk From Cancer

December 17, 2010

(Article first published as Vitamin K Necessary to Stop Cancer in its Tracks on Technorati.)

Vitamin K Required to Protect Against Cancer

Vitamin K Required to Protect Against Cancer

The second leading cause of death in the US is a preventable disease caused by a damaging diet of processed foods and poor lifestyle choices. Many people view cancer as inevitable having seen family members and friends succumb to the disease and believe there is little they can do to protect themselves from the `Big C`.

Our body is continually under assault from rogue cancer cells that are detected and controlled by our innate immune system. Eventually a diet of sugary processed foods and regular contact with household toxins wear down our natural defenses allowing cancer to proliferate. Vitamin K is a critical nutrient that has been shown effective in preventing a number of cancer cell lines with no toxic side effects.

Typical Diet is Grossly Deficient in Vitamin K

Raw Vegetables Including Broccoli are Great Source of Vitamin K1

Raw Vegetables Including Broccoli are Great Source of Vitamin K1

Since its discovery nearly 80 years ago, Vitamin K has been viewed merely as a nutrient necessary for proper blood coagulation. Research over the past decade has shown that this vitamin is essential to many functions necessary to promote ideal health.

Vitamin K1 is the most common form of the vitamin found in fresh vegetables such as broccoli and leafy greens. K1 must be converted to K2 in the intestines to be available for use by our cells. K2 is only found in naturally produced cheeses and natto. Since most diets are deficient in vegetables, very little is available for conversion to the active type shown effective in cancer prevention.

Study Confirms Cancer Fighting Power of Vitamin K

Small quantities of vitamin K are required for normal blood clotting. New research is emerging to confirm the amazing cancer prevention and treatment benefits associated with larger doses of this super nutrient. The results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that those individuals with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 had the lowest risk of developing cancer and a 30% reduction in cancer mortality. Due to poor availability in the diet, most people will need to supplement with K2 to achieve full benefit.

Ensure You Have Sufficient Vitamin K2 to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Vitamin K Helps Fight Heart Disease

Vitamin K Helps Fight Heart Disease

Experts warn that nearly 100% of those tested have low Vitamin K levels circulating in their blood. In addition to the cancer fighting ability associated with the vitamin, research has shown that K2 lowers the risk of heart disease and heart attack as it helps clear plaque-forming calcium from the blood. Millions of people are at increased risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular disease.

Eating plenty of raw vegetables and greens will ensure you have plenty of vitamin K1 that`s needed to form clots. K1 can be converted to K2 by bacteria in the digestive tract, although this process is inefficient and doesn`t reliably increase blood saturation. Pre-formed K2 is found naturally in only a handful of foods such as cheese curd and fermented natto. Many people find these foods difficult to tolerate and need to take an inexpensive supplement with food to attain optimal health benefits.

Researchers note that vitamin K and vitamin D work synergistically to promote health and prevent disease. Both nutrients work together to increase the production of a protein (Matrix GLA Protein) that helps protect blood vessels from calcification. Therefore it`s important to obtain both vitamins through diet, sun exposure or supplementation and dramatically lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.

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Resveratrol Extends Healthy Lifespan

December 14, 2010

(Article first published as Resveratrol and Grape Extract Shown to Extend Healthy Lifespan on Technorati.)

Resveratrol Influences Longevity Genes

Resveratrol Influences Longevity Genes

The benefits of calorie restriction have been known for the past 75 years and provide an important means to increase lifespan. Scientists continue to uncover the evolved biological mechanisms that have been shown to extend life and improve health in animals and mammals alike. Eating too much burdens our ability to properly metabolize such a large number of calories and raises the risk of disease. Excess energy from food also influences our genes that regulate aging. The good news is that you can experience the health benefits of calorie restriction by supplementing with targeted nutrients that mimic the effects of lowered calorie intake.

Reducing Calories by 25% Increases Lifespan

Calorie Restriction Shown to Extend Healthy Lifespan

Calorie Restriction Shown to Extend Healthy Lifespan

Our body is very sensitive to the amount of energy we consume from food each day and scientists have discovered a highly evolved set of genes known as silent information regulators (SIR) that control metabolism and influence our health in an effort to secure our survival. Reducing calories by a quarter has been demonstrated to increase lifespan and improve all aspects of aging including gene expression, DNA repair, oxidative stress and systemic inflammation.

The problem is many people are unable to reduce their food consumption enough to trigger the health boosting effects of calorie restriction. High calorie processed foods have become a large part of our diet that negatively impacts our genes through wild blood sugar swings, insulin resistance and lipid abnormalities. Researchers have found that natural chemical compounds which have evolved to protect fruits and vegetables are able to activate our SIR genes and replicate many of the age reversal effects of caloric restriction.

Resveratrol is a Powerful Antioxidant

Extensive research has documented the antioxidant properties of resveratrol as this polyphenol substance has been shown to prevent oxidative damage that fuels the aging process. The results of a study published in the journal Cell show how resveratrol improves the function of cellular powerhouses known as mitochondria by up regulating the action of the SIR genes. Researchers found that this provided protection against metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease by decreasing oxidative stress on the cell.

Grape Seed Extract Absorbs Free Radicals

Grpae Compounds Neutralize Free Radicals

Grape Compounds Neutralize Free Radicals

Every time you eat, walk or breathe you create free radicals as part of normal metabolism. These tiny particles wreak havoc on the cellular matrix of our cells and are particularly damaging to our brain. Grape seed extract has been shown to decrease free radical induced protein oxidation that affects the electrical conductivity of neurons in the brain. Information published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry document the ability of grape seed extract to modify genes which control brain inflammation and may improve cognitive function and memory.

Quercetin Reduces Systemic Inflammation

Quercetin is super nutrient found in many fruits and vegetables that has been shown to exert influence on our genes that control the release of inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines in our body. Cytokines increase levels of inflammation and are known to cause damage to the vascular system and play a role in cancer initiation. A diet high in fresh vegetables and leafy greens will ensure that you consume this valuable nutrient in your diet, although it may be necessary to supplement to attain optimal benefit.

Nature has provided us with a host of nutrients that directly influence our genes and cellular function. Calorie restriction is a proven method to alter our genes toward improved health and longevity. While everyone may not be able to control calories, we can take advantage of natural nutrients that provide similar benefits.