Category Archives: Suppliments our body needs

Zinc

Introduction:

Zinc is a kind of metallic chemical element. It is considered to be a transition metal, similar to nickel and mercury. It has the chemical symbol of ZN with an atomic number of 30. In its pure form it has a kind of light blue color. It tends to be quite brittle at room temperature but, once it is heated, it transforms into something very soft and easy to shape. In fact, it is often added to other metals in order to make them more malleable.


People have been using zinc for centuries. The ancient Hindi civilization were the first to find many applications for it. By the 1500s, though, it made its way to Europe via trade. There, it was considered rare and was quite expensive to obtain. Today, however, people have found many zinc sources and it is considered a relatively abundant chemical.

Zinc is used to make metal alloys and is usually an ingredient in making batteries and coins. Zinc oxide, on the other hand, is an ingredient in sun screen. Zinc is also needed by the body. An average person needs 11 mg of zinc ever day; lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and diarrhea. Too much zinc, on the other hand, can cause anemia. Luckily it is possible to get the recommended daily allowance of zinc through food. Some foods that are rich in zinc are seeds and whole grains. However, it is also possible to get zinc supplements, or on the other hand, multi-vitamins that are enriched with zinc.

Dietary supplement:
Zinc is included in most single tablet over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral supplements. It is believed to possess antioxidant properties, which protect against accelerated aging of the skin and muscles of the body, although studies differ as to its effectiveness. Zinc also helps speed up the healing process after an injury.

The efficacy of zinc compounds when used to reduce the duration or severity of cold symptoms is controversial. Zinc gluconate glycine and zinc acetate are used in throat lozenges or tablets to reduce the duration and the severity of cold symptoms. Preparations include zinc oxide, zinc acetate, and zinc gluconate.

You may click to see : Alternative treatments used for the common cold#Zinc preparations

Zinc preparations can protect against sunburn in the summer and windburn in the winter.[51] Applied thinly to a baby’s diaper area (perineum) with each diaper change, it can protect against diaper rash.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study determined that zinc can be part of an effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Zinc supplementation is an effective treatment for acrodermatitis enteropathica, a genetic disorder affecting zinc absorption that was previously fatal to babies born with it.

Zinc lactate is used in toothpaste to prevent halitosis. Zinc pyrithione is widely applied in shampoos because of its anti-dandruff function Zinc ions are effective antimicrobial agents even at low concentrations. Gastroenteritis is strongly attenuated by ingestion of zinc, and this effect could be due to direct antimicrobial action of the zinc ions in the gastrointestinal tract, or to the absorption of the zinc and re-release from immune cells (all granulocytes secrete zinc), or both

Biological role:
Zinc is an essential trace element, necessary for plants, animals, and microorganisms. Zinc is found in nearly 100 specific enzymes (other sources say 300), serves as structural ions in transcription factors and is stored and transferred in metallothioneins. It is “typically the second most abundant transition metal [ sic ] in organisms” after iron and it is the only metal which appears in all enzyme classes.

In proteins, Zn ions are often coordinated to the amino acid side chains of aspartic acid, glutamic acid, cysteine and histidine. The theoretical and computational description of this zinc binding in proteins (as well as that of other transition metals) is difficult.

There are 2–4 grams of zinc distributed throughout the human body. Most zinc is in the brain, muscle, bones, kidney, and liver, with the highest concentrations in the prostate and parts of the eye. Semen is particularly rich in zinc, which is a key factor in prostate gland function and reproductive organ growth.

In humans, zinc plays “ubiquitous biological roles”. It interacts with “a wide range of organic ligands”, and has roles in the metabolism of RNA and DNA, signal transduction, and gene expression. It also regulates apoptosis. A 2006 study estimated that about 10% of human proteins (2800) potentially bind zinc, in addition to hundreds which transport and traffic zinc; a similar in silico study in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana found 2367 zinc-related proteins.

In the brain, zinc is stored in specific synaptic vesicles by glutamatergic neurons and can “modulate brain excitability”. It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity and so in learning. However it has been called “the brain’s dark horse” since it also can be a neurotoxin, suggesting zinc homeostasis plays a critical role in normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system

Enzymes:
Zinc is a good Lewis acid, making it a useful catalytic agent in hydroxylation and other enzymatic reactions. The metal also has a flexible coordination geometry, which allows proteins using it to rapidly shift conformations to perform biological reactions. Two examples of zinc-containing enzymes are carbonic anhydrase and carboxypeptidase, which are vital to the processes of carbon dioxide (CO2) regulation and digestion of proteins, respectively.

In vertebrate blood, carbonic anhydrase converts CO2 into bicarbonate and the same enzyme transforms the bicarbonate back into CO2 for exhalation through the lungs. Without this enzyme, this conversion would occur about one million times slower at the normal blood pH of 7 or would require a pH of 10 or more. The non-related ?-carbonic anhydrase is required in plants for leaf formation, the synthesis of indole acetic acid (auxin) and anaerobic respiration (alcoholic fermentation).

Carboxypeptidase cleaves peptide linkages during digestion of proteins. A coordinate covalent bond is formed between the terminal peptide and a C=O group attached to zinc, which gives the carbon a positive charge. This helps to create a hydrophobic pocket on the enzyme near the zinc, which attracts the non-polar part of the protein being digested.

Other proteins:
Zinc serves a purely structural role in zinc fingers, twists and clusters. Zinc fingers form parts of some transcription factors, which are proteins that recognize DNA base sequences during the replication and transcription of DNA. Each of the nine or ten Zn2+ ions in a zinc finger helps maintain the finger’s structure by coordinately binding to four amino acids in the transcription factor. The transcription factor wraps around the DNA helix and uses its fingers to accurately bind to the DNA sequence.

In blood plasma, zinc is bound to and transported by albumin (60%, low-affinity) and transferrin (10%). Since transferrin also transports iron, excessive iron reduces zinc absorption, and vice-versa. A similar reaction occurs with copper. The concentration of zinc in blood plasma stays relatively constant regardless of zinc intake. Cells in the salivary gland, prostate, immune system and intestine use zinc signaling as one way to communicate with other cells.

Zinc may be held in metallothionein reserves within microorganisms or in the intestines or liver of animals.[156] Metallothionein in intestinal cells is capable of adjusting absorption of zinc by 15–40%. However, inadequate or excessive zinc intake can be harmful; excess zinc particularly impairs copper absorption because metallothionein absorbs both metals

Dietary intake
Foods and spices containing zincIn the U.S., the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men. Median intake in the U.S. around 2000 was 9 mg/day for women and 14 mg/day in men.[159] Red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver have some of the highest concentrations of zinc in food.

The concentration of zinc in plants varies based on levels of the element in soil. When there is adequate zinc in the soil, the food plants that contain the most zinc are wheat (germ and bran) and various seeds (sesame, poppy, alfalfa, celery, mustard). Zinc is also found in beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and blackcurrant.

Other sources include fortified food and dietary supplements, which come in various forms. A 1998 review concluded that zinc oxide, one of the most common supplements in the United States, and zinc carbonate are nearly insoluble and poorly absorbed in the body. This review cited studies which found low plasma zinc concentrations after zinc oxide and zinc carbonate were consumed compared with those seen after consumption of zinc acetate and sulfate salts. However, harmful excessive supplementation is a problem among the relatively affluent, and should probably not exceed 20 mg/day in healthy people, although the U.S. National Research Council set a Tolerable Upper Intake of 40 mg/day.

For fortification, however, a 2003 review recommended zinc oxide in cereals as cheap, stable, and as easily absorbed as more expensive forms. A 2005 study found that various compounds of zinc, including oxide and sulfate, did not show statistically significant differences in absorption when added as fortificants to maize tortillas. A 1987 study found that zinc picolinate was better absorbed than zinc gluconate or zinc citrate. However, a study published in 2008 determined that zinc glycinate is the best absorbed of the four dietary supplement types available.

Deficiency:
Zinc deficiency is usually due to insufficient dietary intake, but can be associated with malabsorption, acrodermatitis enteropathica, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy, and other chronic illnesses. Symptoms of mild zinc deficiency are diverse. Clinical outcomes include depressed growth, diarrhea, impotence and delayed sexual maturation, alopecia, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, altered cognition, impaired host defense properties, defects in carbohydrate utilization, and reproductive teratogenesis. Mild zinc deficiency depresses immunity, although excessive zinc does also. Animals with a diet deficient in zinc require twice as much food in order to attain the same weight gain as animals given sufficient zinc.

Groups at risk for zinc deficiency include the elderly, vegetarians, and those with renal insufficiency. The zinc chelator phytate, found in seeds and cereal bran, can contribute to zinc malabsorption in those with heavily vegetarian diets. There is a paucity of adequate zinc biomarkers, and the most widely used indicator, plasma zinc, has poor sensitivity and specificity. Diagnosing zinc deficiency is a persistent challenge.

Nearly two billion people in the developing world are deficient in zinc. In children it causes an increase in infection and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. The World Health Organization advocates zinc supplementation for severe malnutrition and diarrhea. Zinc supplements help prevent disease and reduce mortality, especially among children with low birth weight or stunted growth. However, zinc supplements should not be administered alone, since many in the developing world have several deficiencies, and zinc interacts with other micronutrients.

Zinc deficiency is crop plants’ most common micronutrient deficiency; it is particularly common in high-pH soils. Zinc-deficient soil is cultivated in the cropland of about half of Turkey and India, a third of China, and most of Western Australia, and substantial responses to zinc fertilization have been reported in these areas. Plants that grow in soils that are zinc-deficient are more susceptible to disease. Zinc is primarily added to the soil through the weathering of rocks, but humans have added zinc through fossil fuel combustion, mine waste, phosphate fertilizers, limestone, manure, sewage sludge, and particles from galvanized surfaces. Excess zinc is toxic to plants, although zinc toxicity is far less widespread.

KNOWN HAZARDS:

Toxicity:

Although zinc is an essential requirement for good health, excess zinc can be harmful. Excessive absorption of zinc suppresses copper and iron absorption. The free zinc ion in solution is highly toxic to plants, invertebrates, and even vertebrate fish.[173] The Free Ion Activity Model is well-established in the literature, and shows that just micromolar amounts of the free ion kills some organisms. A recent example showed 6 micromolar killing 93% of all Daphnia in water.

The free zinc ion is a powerful Lewis acid up to the point of being corrosive. Stomach acid contains hydrochloric acid, in which metallic zinc dissolves readily to give corrosive zinc chloride. Swallowing a post-1982 American one cent piece (97.5% zinc) can cause damage to the stomach lining due to the high solubility of the zinc ion in the acidic stomach.

There is evidence of induced copper deficiency at low intakes of 100–300 mg Zn/day; a recent trial had higher hospitalizations for urinary complications compared to placebo among elderly men taking 80 mg/day. The USDA RDA is 15 mg Zn/day. Even lower levels, closer to the RDA, may interfere with the utilization of copper and iron or adversely affect cholesterol. Levels of zinc in excess of 500 ppm in soil interfere with the ability of plants to absorb other essential metals, such as iron and manganese. There is also a condition called the zinc shakes or “zinc chills” that can be induced by the inhalation of freshly formed zinc oxide formed during the welding of galvanized materials.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that zinc damages nerve receptors in the nose, which can cause anosmia. Reports of anosmia were also observed in the 1930s when zinc preparations were used in a failed attempt to prevent polio infections. On June 16, 2009, the FDA said that consumers should stop using zinc-based intranasal cold products and ordered their removal from store shelves. The FDA said the loss of smell can be life-threatening because people with impaired smell cannot detect leaking gas or smoke and cannot tell if food has spoiled before they eat it. Recent research suggests that the topical antimicrobial zinc pyrithione is a potent heat shock response inducer that may impair genomic integrity with induction of PARP-dependent energy crisis in cultured human keratinocytes and melanocytes.

Poisoning:
In 1982, the United States Mint began minting pennies coated in copper but made primarily of zinc. With the new zinc pennies, there is the potential for zinc toxicosis, which can be fatal. One reported case of chronic ingestion of 425 pennies (over 1 kg of zinc) resulted in death due to gastrointestinal bacterial and fungal sepsis, while another patient, who ingested 12 grams of zinc, only showed lethargy and ataxia (gross lack of coordination of muscle movements). Several other cases have been reported of humans suffering zinc intoxication by the ingestion of zinc coins.

Pennies and other small coins are sometimes ingested by dogs, resulting in the need for medical treatment to remove the foreign body. The zinc content of some coins can cause zinc toxicity, which is commonly fatal in dogs, where it causes a severe hemolytic anemia, and also liver or kidney damage; vomiting and diarrhea are possible symptoms. Zinc is highly toxic in parrots and poisoning can often be fatal. The consumption of fruit juices stored in galvanized cans has resulted in mass parrot poisonings with zinc

You may click to see :Use  Zinc For Cold & Flue
Resources:

http://brainz.org/what-zinc/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc

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This Supplement Almost All Should Take When They Are Sick

In the recent years we have placed Vitamine C in the back seat  with the advent of many newer antioxidants, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Vitamin C is clearly the “GRANDFATHER” of the traditional antioxidants we know of, and its potent health benefits have been clearly established.

Vitamin C good for patients’ mood swings

Dr. Ronald Hunninghake is an internationally recognized expert on this vitamin. He got his start in this field about 22 years ago when he joined Dr. Hugh Riordan, who conducted research on intravenous (I.V.) vitamin C for cancer patients. His clinic is the successor to Linus Pauling and his work on vitamin C, and there is likely no clinic in the world with as much experience as his.

Dr. Ronald Hunninghake is an internationally recognized expert on vitamin C who has personally supervised more than 60,000 intravenous (IV) vitamin C administrations.
In this interview, Dr. Hunninghake shares his experience with this important modality.

You may click to see the interview between Dr. Mercola & Dr. Ronald Hunninghake

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Propolis


Defenition:
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Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.2 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature (20° Celsius). At lower temperatures it becomes hard and very brittle.
Clic k to see the picture
Propolis is a sticky resin that seeps from the buds of some trees and oozes from the bark of other trees, chiefly conifers. The bees gather propolis, sometimes called bee glue, and carry it home in their  pollen baskets.  They blend it with wax flakes secreted from special glands on their abdomens. Propolis is used to slickly line the interior of brood cells in preparation for the queen’s laying of eggs, a most important procedure.  With its antiseptic properties, this propolis lining insures a hospital-clean environment for the rearing of brood.

Purpose:-
For centuries, beekeepers assumed   that bees sealed the beehive with propolis to protect the colony from the elements, such as rain and cold winter drafts. However, 20th century research has revealed that bees not only survive, but also thrive, with increased ventilation during the winter months throughout most temperate regions of the world.

Click to see the picture

Propolis is now believed to :

1.reinforce the structural stability of the hive
2.reduce vibration
3.make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances
4.prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth
5.prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, found its way into the hive and died there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odorless and harmless.
Click to see the picture
Constituents:
Chemically speaking, propolis is a very complex mixture. Its chemical elements vary according to its source.  Colors range from golden brown to brownish green to reddish brown to blackish brown.  A broad analysis reveals approximately 55 percent resinous compounds and balsam, 30 percent beeswax, 10 percent ethereal and aromatic oils, and 5 percent bee pollen.  Many flavonols contribute to propolis.  Other components include cinnamic acid, cinnamyl alcohol, vanillin, caffeic acid, tetochrysin, isalpinin, pinocembrin, chrysin, galangin, and ferulic acid.

The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season. Normally it is dark brown in color, but it can be found in green, red, black and white hues, depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area. Honey bees are opportunists, gathering what they need from available sources, and detailed analyses show that the chemical composition of propolis varies considerably from region to region, along with the vegetation. In northern temperate climates, for example, bees collect resins from trees, such as poplars and conifers (the biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects). Poplar resin is rich in flavonoids. “Typical” northern temperate propolis has approximately 50 constituents, primarily resins and vegetable balsams (50%), waxes (30%), essential oils (10%), and pollen (5%). In neotropical regions, in addition to a large variety of trees, bees may also gather resin from flowers in the genera Clusia and Dalechampia, which are the only known plant genera that produce floral resins to attract pollinators. Clusia resin contains polyprenylated benzophenones. In some areas of Chile, propolis contains viscidone, a terpene from Baccharis shrubs,[8] and in Brazil, naphthoquinone epoxide has recently isolated from red propolis,  and prenylated acids such as 4-hydroxy-3,5-diprenyl cinnamic acid have been documented. An analysis of propolis from Henan, China found sinapic acid, isoferulic acid, caffeic acid and chrysin, with the first three compounds demonstrating anti-bacterial properties. Also, Brazilian red propolis (largely derived from Dalbergia ecastaphyllum plant resin) has high relative percentages of the isoflavonoids 3-Hydroxy-8,9-dimethoxypterocarpan and medicarpin.

Occasionally worker bees will even gather various caulking compounds of human manufacture, when the usual sources are more difficult to obtain. The properties of the propolis depend on the exact sources used by each individual hive; therefore any potential medicinal properties that may be present in one hive’s propolis may be absent from another’s, and the distributors of propolis products cannot control such factors. This may account for the many and varied claims regarding medicinal properties, and the difficulty in replicating previous scientific studies investigating these claims. Even propolis samples taken from within a single colony can vary, making controlled clinical tests difficult, and the results of any given study cannot be reliably extrapolated to propolis samples from other areas.

Properties :   Propolis is another medicinal marvel from the beehive.  Research shows it offers antiseptic, antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties.  Propolis is Nature‘s premiere preventive.  It is so powerful in action, it is often called Russian penicillin in acknowledgement of the extensive research the Russians have mounted on this wonder worker from the bees.  Propolis demonstrates strong antimicrobial properties against various bacterial and fungal infestations.  Even streptococcus bacteria have been shown sensitive to propolis.

Medicinal Uses:
Nature’s Preventive Medicine : Propolis has been justly called Nature’s premier preventive.  The immune system is supported and strengthened by the ingestion of propolis.  Modern scientific studies indicate that those who take propolis regularly escape winter colds and sore throats and seem to develop a natural immunity to common viruses, including the various strains of flu.

Chemical antibiotics
destroy all bacteria in the body, both the friendly, (necessary flora required for healthy functioning in the entire gastrointestinal tract) and the bad intestinal flora.  An individual who constantly takes prescribed antibiotics for one condition after another soon learns to his sorrow that the drugs may no longer work as well as they once did.  As invading bacteria get “smarter,” the drugs become less and less effective.

Propolis, the natural antibiotic, works against harmful bacteria without destroying the friendly bacteria the body needs.  Propolis has also been proven effective against strains of bacteria that resist chemical antibiotics.

The field of influence of propolis is extremely broad.  It includes cancer, infection of the urinary tract, swelling of the throat, gout, open wounds, sinus congestion, colds, influenza, bronchitis, gastritis, diseases of the ears, periodontal disease, intestinal infections, ulcers, eczema eruptions, pneumonia, arthritis, lung disease, stomach virus, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, bile infections, sclerosis, circulation deficiencies, warts, conjunctivitis, and hoarseness.

Propolis helps regulate hormones and is an antibiotic substance that stimulates the natural resistance of the body.  Propolis may be used by everyone, sick or healthy, as a means of protection against microorganisms.  Propolis is also efficient against conditions caused by bacteria, viruses, or different fungi.  Propolis cures many diseases because it is a special natural substance with strong effect.
You may use it as part of your daily program of supplementation.  It has helped the bee society survive and thrive for over 45 million years.  It may well help you survive … for a long time!

Other Uses:

In musical instruments
Propolis is used by certain music instrument makers to enhance the appearance of the wood grain. It is a component of some varnishes and was reportedly used  by Antonio Stradivari.

In food

Propolis is used by some chewing gum manufacturers to make Propolis Gum.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis

http://www.draperbee.com/info/propolis.htm

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Vitamin C

Alternative  Names: Ascorbic acid

Definition:-Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development.

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.

Function:-
Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Vitamin E and beta-carotene are two other well-known antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy.

The build up of these by-products over time is largely responsible for the aging process and can contribute to the development of various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and a host of inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Antioxidants also help reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.

Even many of those who generally do not take nutritional supplements on a regular basis will still take the odd Vitamin C tablet when feeling a cold coming on, compliments of Linus Pauling‘s best-seller “Vitamin C and  the Common Cold,” which rocketed the immune-enhancing effects of ascorbic acid to fame, and thanks to the many articles and books which since followed.  While the recommended daily or dietary allowance (RDA) stands now at 75 – 90 mg per day for adults (see bottom of page), a higher dietary reference intake (DRI) is  again in review.  However, many of those who regularly supplement Vitamin C, take in the vicinity of 250 mg to 1,000+mg per day, and there are those who take up to, and beyond 10,000 mg daily.

Headlines about oxidative damage (DNA mutations) attributed to taking Vitamin C in excess of 500 mg per day had many people step back and reconsider their supplemental routines.  In addition, similar studies had come to light just prior to the Vitamin C revelation about the potential problems of regularly supplementing
Beta Carotene.  This however, as it turned out later, only applied to smokers who had used higher doses of synthetic, but not natural sources of beta carotene, which made the use of natural-source, mixed carotenoids  the preferred choice and more popular.

Once the headlines on the possible DNA-damaging potential from taking higher doses of Vitamin C faded, most people continued where they left off and resumed their previous regimen again, especially following  publications to the contrary which indicated that the original studies on Vitamin C were flawed, and that epi-demiological data showed no evidence at all that higher amounts of ascorbic acid caused cancer. (see also Acu-Cell Disorders “Cancer”).

Food Sources;-
All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C. Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe.

Other excellent sources include papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples.

Side Effects:-
Vitamin C toxicity is very rare, because the body cannot store the vitamin. However, amounts greater than 2,000 mg/day are not recommended because such high doses can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea.Sometimes   increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

For adults, the recommended upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements can cause:

*Diarrhea
*Nausea
*Vomiting
*Heartburn
*Abdominal cramps
*Headache
*Insomnia
*Kidney stones

But always remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.

Headlines about oxidative damage (DNA mutations) attributed to taking Vitamin C in excess of 500 mg per day had many people step back and reconsider their supplemental routines.  In addition, similar studies had come to light just prior to the Vitamin C revelation about the potential problems of regularly supplementing
Beta Carotene.  This however, as it turned out later, only applied to smokers who had used higher doses of synthetic, but not natural sources of beta carotene, which made the use of natural-source, mixed carotenoids  the preferred choice and more popular.

Once the headlines on the possible DNA-damaging potential from taking higher doses of Vitamin C faded, most people continued where they left off and resumed their previous regimen again, especially following  publications to the contrary which indicated that the original studies on Vitamin C were flawed, and that epi-demiological data showed no evidence at all that higher amounts of ascorbic acid caused cancer. (see also Acu-Cell Disorders “Cancer”).

However, questions on what daily amounts of Vitamin C could be considered to be an “overdose” still come up on a regular basis, to which unfortunately, there is no universal answer applicable to everyone, because overdosing on Vitamin C – just like overdosing on any other nutrient  -  is RELATIVE to the level of those elements that interact with Vitamin C.  In other words, it all depends on the combined intake of all  synergistic and antagonistic nutrients, and their ratio to Vitamin C.

Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including:

*Dry and splitting hair
*Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
*Bleeding gums
*Rough, dry, scaly skin
*Decreased wound-healing rate
*Easy bruising
*Nosebleeds
*Weakened tooth enamel
*Swollen and painful joints
*Anemia
*Decreased ability to fight infection
*Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism

A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

Recommendations:-

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

Vitamin C should be consumed every day because it is not fat-soluble and, therefore, cannot be stored for later use.

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following amounts of vitamin C:

Infants and Children
*0 – 6 months: 40 milligrams/day (mg/day)
*7 – 12 months: 50 mg/day
*1 – 3 years: 15 mg/day
*4 – 8 years: 25 mg/day
*9 – 13 years: 45 mg/day

Adolescents
*Girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg/day
*Boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg/day

Adults
*Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
*Women age 19 year and older: 75 mg/day
*Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who smoke need higher amounts. Ask your doctor what is best for you.

Resources:

http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Vitamin_C/overview/adam20?fdid=Adamv2_002404

http://www.acu-cell.com/vitc.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-c/AN01801

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Kava

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Botanical Name: Piper methysticum
Family:Pepper/ Piperaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales
Genus: Piper
Species: P. methysticum
Other names: kava kava, kawa, kew, yagona, sakau .awa (Hawaii), ‘ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei).
Parts Used:The part of the plant used medicinally is the root. Although the root was traditionally chewed or made into a beverage, kava is now available in capsule, tablet, beverage, tea, and liquid extract forms.

Habitat:South Pacific Isands.

Description:
Kava is a tall shrub in the pepper family that grows in the South Pacific islands.Kava kava belongs to the pepper family (Piperaceae) and is also known as kava, asava pepper, or intoxicating pepper. It grows to an average height of 6 ft (1.83 m) and has large heart-shaped leaves that can grow to 10 in (25.4 cm) wide. A related species is Piper sanctum, a native plant of Mexico that is used as a stimulant. It has been used there for thousands of years as a folk remedy and as a social and ceremonial beverage.

click to see the pictures…..(1)…....(2)………(3)………..(4)..

The part of the plant used medicinally is the root. Although the root was traditionally chewed or made into a beverage, kava is now available in capsule, tablet, beverage, tea, and liquid extract forms.

Botany and agronomy
There are several cultivars of kava, with varying concentrations of primary and secondary psychoactive substances. The largest number are grown in the Republic of Vanuatu, and so it is recognised as the “home” of kava. Kava was historically grown only in the Pacific islands of Hawaii, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Fiji, the Samoas and Tonga. Some is grown in the Solomon Islands since World War II, but most is imported. Kava is a cash crop in Vanuatu and Fiji.

The kava shrub thrives in loose, well-drained soils where plenty of air reaches the roots. It grows naturally where rainfall is plentiful (over 2,000 mm/yr). Ideal growing conditions are 20 to 35 degrees Celsius (70 to 95 °F), and 70–100% relative humidity. Too much sunlight is harmful, especially in early growth, so kava is an understory crop.

Kava cannot reproduce sexually. Female flowers are especially rare and do not produce fruit even when hand-pollinated. Its propagation is entirely due to human efforts by the method of striking.

Traditionally, plants are harvested around 4 years of age, as older plants have higher concentrations of kavalactones. But in the past two decades farmers have been harvesting younger and younger plants, as young as 18 months. After reaching about 2 m height, plants grow a wider stalk and additional stalks, but not much taller. The roots can reach 60 cm depth.

Composition
Fresh kava root contains on average 80% water. Dried root contains approximately 43% starch, 20% fibers, 15% kavalactones, 12% water, 3.2% sugars, 3.6% proteins, and 3.2% minerals. Kavalactone content is greatest in the roots and decreases higher up the plant. Relative concentrations of 15%, 10% and 5% have been observed in the root, stump, and basal stems, respectively.

The mature roots of the kava plant are harvested after a minimum of 4 years (at least five years ideally) for peak kavalactone content. Most kava plants produce around 50 kgs (110 lbs) of root when they are harvested. Kava root is classified into two categories: crown root (or chips) and lateral root. Crown roots are the large diameter pieces that look like big (1.5 inch to 5 inches diameter) wooden poker chips. Most kava plants consist of approximately 80% crown root upon harvesting. Lateral roots are smaller diameter roots that look more like a typical root. A mature kava plant is approximately 20% lateral roots. Kava lateral roots have the highest content of kavalactones in the kava plant. “Waka” grade kava is kava that is made of lateral roots only.
General use
Kava kava has been prescribed by healthcare providers to treat a wide range of ailments, including insomnia, nervousness, and stress-related anxiety and anxiety disorders. It is also reported to relieve urinary infections, vaginitis, fatigue, asthma, rheumatism, and pain.

The active ingredients in kava kava are called kavalactones and are found in the root of the plant. Kavalactones cause reactions in the brain similar to pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for depression and anxiety. Research has shown that kavalactones have a calming, sedative effect that relaxes muscles, relieves spasms, and prevents convulsions. Kavalactones also have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that may bring relief to sore throats, sore gums, canker sores, and toothaches.

Kava kava is a strong diuretic that is reportedly beneficial in the treatment of gout, rheumatism, and arthritis. The diuretic effect of the herb relieves pain and helps remove waste products from the afflicted joints. Antispasmodic properties have shown to help ease menstrual cramps by relaxing the muscles of the uterus. Kava kava’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agents may help relieve an irritable bladder, urinary tract infections, and inflammation of the prostate gland.

Kava root.…………………....Kava root power…………….Cava in bottle as medicine

Medicinal Uses:
Kava kava has been used as a medicinal herb for hundreds of years and used by Pacific Islanders to treat rheumatism, asthma, worms, obesity, headaches, fungal infections,leprosy, gonorrhea, vaginal infections, urinary infections, menstrual problems, migraine headaches, and insomnia. It was also used as a diuretic, an aphrodisiac, to promote energy, and to bring about sweating during colds and fevers. Pacific Islanders consume a kava kava drink at social, ritual, and ceremonial functions. It is drunk at ceremonies to commemorate marriages, births, and deaths; in meetings of village elders; as an offering to the gods; to cure illness; and to welcome honored guests. Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, and Hillary Rodham Clinton have all drunk kava kava during their island visits.

The drink is prepared by grinding, grating, or pounding the roots of the plant, then soaking the pulp in cold water or coconut milk. Traditionally the root was chewed, spit into a bowl, and mixed with coconut milk or water. That practice is no longer the standard.

Captain James Cook has been credited with the Western discovery of kava kava during his journey to the South Pacific in the late 1700s. The first herbal products made from kava kava appeared in Europe in the 1860s. Pharmaceutical preparations became available in Germany in the 1920s. Currently, kava kava has received widespread attention because of its reputation to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Preparation & Consumption:
Traditional preparation
Kava is consumed in various ways throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia and Australia. Traditionally it is prepared by either chewing, grinding or pounding the roots of the kava plant. Grinding is done by hand against a cone-shaped block of dead coral; the hand forms a mortar and the coral a pestle. The ground root/bark is combined with only a little water, as the fresh root releases moisture during grinding. Pounding is done in a large stone with a small log. The product is then added to cold water and consumed as quickly as possible.

Kava root drying in Lovoni village, Ovalau

The extract is an emulsion of kavalactone droplets in starch. The taste is slightly pungent, while the distinctive aroma depends on whether it was prepared from dry or fresh plant, and on the variety. The colour is grey to tan to opaque greenish.

Kava prepared as described above is much more potent than processed kava. Chewing produces the strongest effect because it produces the finest particles. Fresh, undried kava produces a stronger beverage than dry kava. The strength also depends on the species and techniques of cultivation. Many find mixing powdered kava with hot water makes the drink stronger. However the active ingredients of kava, such as Kavalactone, are ruined at 140 degrees. Most tea steeps at 180 degrees for at least a couple minutes which will reduce the potency of the kava.

In Vanuatu, a strong kava drink is normally followed by a hot meal or tea. The meal traditionally follows some time after the drink so that the psychoactives are absorbed into the bloodstream quicker. Traditionally no flavoring is added.

Fijians commonly share a drink called “grog”, made by pounding sun-dried kava root into a fine powder and mixing it with cold water. Traditionally, grog is drunk from the shorn half-shell of a coconut, called a “bilo.” Despite tasting very much like dirty water, grog is very popular in Fiji, especially among young men, and often brings people together for storytelling and socializing.

Modern preparation
In modernized countries Kava beverage is usually made from Kava root powder. The root is dried and then finely ground into powder before being exported. Generally one tablespoon of powder is added per cup of water, but sometimes as much as a half a cup of powder (eight tablespoons) is added per cup of water to increase potency. The powder is then soaked in water for approximately 30 minutes to allow the water to completely soak through the powdered fibers. Lecithin is often added to aid in the process of emulsifying the kavalactones with water. The Kava powder, water, and lecithin are blended in a blender for several minutes then strained into a straining cloth. Nylon, cheesecloth, and silk screen are common materials for straining. The remaining liquid is squeezed from the pulp and the pulp is discarded. As an alternative to the blender method, with the powdered pulp enclosed within the straining material, the pulp is massaged for five to ten minutes in water, then the liquid is wrung out. The more pressure that is applied to the wet powdered pulp while wringing it out, the more kavalactones will be released from it. Finally the pulp resin is discarded and the beverage is enjoyed. Often coconut water, coconut milk, lemongrass, cocoa, sugar, or soy milk is added to improve flavor.

Pharmacology
Kava’s active principal ingredients are the kavalactones, of which at least 15 have been identified and are all considered psychoactive. Only six of them produce noticeable effects, and their concentrations in kava plants vary. Different ratios can produce different effects. Kava has some abuse potential and some experts recommend cycling use over 1 to 3 months.

Pills
Pharmaceutical companies and herbal supplement companies extract kavalactones from the kava plant using solvents such as acetone and ethanol and produce pills standardized with between 30% and 90% kavalactones. Some kava herbal supplements have been accused of contributing to very rare but severe hepatotoxic reactions (see section on safety) such may have been due to the use of plant parts other than the root, such as stems or peelings that are known to have been exported to European manufacturers. A kava pill usually has anywhere from 60 mg to 150 mg of kavalactones. By comparison the typical bowl of traditionally prepared kava beverage has around 250 mg of kavalactones.

Uses: In some parts of the Western World, kava extract is marketed as herbal medicine against stress, insomnia, and anxiety. A Cochrane Collaboration systematic review of its evidence concluded that it was likely to be more effective than placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, although research indicates that this may be largely due to the use of stems and leaves in supplements, which were not used indigeneously

The word kava is used to refer both to the plant and the beverage produced from its roots. Kava is a tranquilizer primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones.

Because kava can cause sedation, and in high amounts, intoxication, kava drinks are consumed in some parts of the world in much the same way as alcohol.

Although it’s not clear exactly how kava works, kavalactones may affect the levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages from nerve cells to other cells) in the blood. Kava has been found to affect the levels of specific neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine

A number of well-designed studies have examined kava’s ability to relieve anxiety compared to anxiety medication or a placebo. The results have been promising.

In 2003, a review by the Cochrane Collaboration examined the existing research to see how kava fared compared to a placebo in treating anxiety. After analyzing the 11 studies (involving a total of 645 people) that met the criteria, the researchers concluded that kava “appears to be an effective symptomatic treatment option for anxiety.” However, they added that it seemed to be a small effect.

Effects:
A moderately potent kava drink causes effects within 20–30 minutes that last for about two and a half hours, but can be felt for up to eight hours. Because of this, it is recommended to space out servings about fifteen minutes apart. Some report longer term effects up to two days after ingestion, including mental clarity, patience, and an ease of acceptance. The effects of kava are most often compared to alcohol, or a large dose of Valium.

The sensations, in order of appearance, are slight tongue and lip numbing (the lips and skin surrounding may appear unusually pale); mildly talkative and sociable behavior; clear thinking; anxiolytic (calming) effects; relaxed muscles; and a very euphoric sense of well-being. The numbing of the mouth is caused by the two kavalactones kavain and dihydrokavain which cause the contraction of the blood vessels in these areas acting as a local topical anesthetic. These anesthetics can also make one’s stomach feel numb. Sometimes this feeling has been mistaken for nausea. Some report that caffeine, consumed in moderation in conjunction with kava can significantly increase mental alertness.

A potent drink results in a faster onset with a lack of stimulation, the user’s eyes become sensitive to light, they soon become somnolent and then have deep, dreamless sleep within 30 minutes. Sleep is often restful and there are pronounced periods of sleepiness correlating to the amount and potency of kava consumed. Unlike alcohol-induced sleep, after wakening the drinker does not experience any mental or physical after effects. However, this sleep has been reported as extremely restful and the user often wakes up more stimulated than he or she normally would. Although excessive consumption of exceptionally potent brew has been known to cause pronounced sleepiness into the next day. Although heavy doses can cause deep dreamless sleep, it is reported that many people experience lighter sleep and rather vivid dreams after drinking moderate amounts of kava.

After thousands of years of use by the Polynesians and decades of research in Europe and the U.S., the traditional use of kava root has never been found to have any addictive or permanent adverse effects. Users do not develop a tolerance. While small doses of kava have been shown to slightly improve memory and cognition, large amounts at one time have been shown to cause intoxication. In Utah, California, and Hawaii there have been cases where people were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after drinking a significant amount of kava (eight cups or more) although some of them were acquitted due to the laws not being broad enough to cover kava consumption.

Kava Culture:
Kava is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes throughout the Pacific. These cultures have a great respect for the plant and place a high importance on it. Correspondingly, the paraphernalia surrounding the traditional kava ceremony are expertly crafted. Traditionally designed kava bowls are bowls made from a single piece of wood, with multiple legs. More modern examples are also highly decorated, often carved and inlayed with mother of pearl and shell.

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Kava root being prepared in Asanvari, a village on Maewo Island in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Photo taken in September, 2002 by Jordan Bigel.

Kava is used primarily at social gatherings to increase amiability and to relax after work. It has great religious significance, being used to obtain inspiration. Among some fundamentalist Christian sects in the Western Pacific, the drink has been demonized and seen as a vice, and young members of these religions often reject its traditional use. However, among most mainline Christian denominations, i.e. the Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Anglican churches, kava drinking is encouraged where it replaces the greater danger of alcohol.

Basic research on anti-cancer potential
On 15 February 2006, the Fiji Times and Fiji Live reported that researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the Laboratoire de Biologie Moleculaire du Cancer in Luxembourg had discovered that kava may treat ovarian cancer and leukemia. Kava compounds inhibited the activation of a nuclear factor that led to the growth of cancer cells. The Aberdeen University researchers published in the journal The South Pacific Journal of Natural Science that kava methanol extracts had been shown to kill leukemia and ovarian cancer cells in test tubes.The kava compounds were shown to target only cancerous cells; no healthy cells were harmed. This may help explain why kava consumption is correlated with decreased incidence of cancer.

Fiji Kava Council Chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo welcomed the findings, saying that they would boost the kava industry. For his part, Agriculture Minister Ilaitia Tuisese called on the researchers to help persuade members of European Union to lift their ban on kava imports.

Liver damage incidents and regulation
In 2001 concerns were raised about the safety of commercial kava products. There have been allegations of severe liver toxicity, including liver failure in some people who had used dietary supplements containing kava extract (but not in anyone who had drunk kava the traditional way). Out of the 50 people worldwide taking kava pills and extracts that have had some type of problem, almost all of them had been mixing them with alcohol and pills that could have effects on the liver.[16] The fact that different kava strains have slightly different chemical composition made testing for toxicity difficult as well.

The possibility of liver damage consequently prompted action of many regulatory agencies in European countries where the legal precautionary principle so mandated. In the UK, the Medicines for Human Use (Kava-kava) (Prohibition) Order 2002 prohibits the sale, supply or import of most derivative medicinal products. Kava is banned in Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands[17]. The health agency of Canada issued a stop-sale order for kava in 2002. But legislation in 2004 made the legal status of kava uncertain. The United States CDC has released a report[18] expressing reservations about the use of kava and its possibly adverse side effects (specifically severe liver toxicity), as has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has recommended that no more than 250 mg of kavalactones be taken in a 24 hour period.[20] According to the Medicines Control Agency in the U.K., there is no safe dose of kava, as there is no way to predict which individuals would have adverse reactions.

Potential Side Effects of Kava:
Side effects include indigestion, mouth numbness, skin rash, headache, drowsiness and visual disturbances. Chronic or heavy use of kava has linked to pulmonary hypertension, skin scaling, loss of muscle control, kidney damage, and blood abnormalities.

Kava may lower blood pressure and it also may interfere with blood clotting, so it shouldn’t be used by people with bleeding disorders. People with Parkinson’s disease shouldn’t use kava because it may worsen symptoms.

Kava should not be taken within 2 weeks of surgery. Pregnant and nursing women, children, and people with liver or kidney disease shouldn’t use kava.

Possible Drug Interactions:
Kava shouldn’t be taken by people who are taking Parkinson’s disease medications, antipsychotic drugs, or any medication that influences dopamine levels.

Kava shouldn’t be combined with alcohol or medications for anxiety or insomnia, including benzodiazepines such as Valium (diazepam) or Ativan (lorazepam). It may have an additive effect if taken with drugs that cause drowsiness.

Kava may have an additive effect if combined with antidepressant drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).

Kava shouldn’t be taken with any drug or herb that impairs liver function. Kava also may interfere with blood clotting, so people taking Coumadin (warfarin) or any drug that influences blood clotting should avoid it unless under a doctor’s supervision.

Kava is a diuretic, so it may have an additive effect if combined with drugs or herbs that have diuretic properties.

Allergy
Literature suggests that <0.5% of people that take kava have an allergic reaction to it. Allergic reactions are usually mild and include itchy skin or itchy throat, and hives on the skin usually prevalent on the user’s belly region. If someone has an allergy to any relative of the pepper family, such as black pepper, they have a higher chance of having a kava allergy.

Click to learn more about Kava.:-.>………(1)….(2)……(3).…..(4)….(5)

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/kava/p/kava.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/kava-kava

 

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Why Sunlight is Your Best Source of Vitamin D

A 2004 study seemed to show that vitamin D in the form of cod liver oil had only a mild effect on reducing upper respiratory tract infections in young children. This result was surprising, considering that it has been known since at least 1926 that vitamin D can significantly reduce respiratory infection, colds, and flu.
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In fact, vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the immune system. The explanation likely comes from the fact that vitamin D in cod liver oil does not exist in isolation — it comes with a high dose of vitamin A.

Vitamin A and vitamin D compete for each other’s function. For example, even the vitamin A in a single serving of liver can impair vitamin D’s rapid intestinal calcium response.

Unfortunately, Americans tend to consume multivitamins or cod liver oil that contain disproportionately small amounts of vitamin D, but detrimental quantities of vitamin A. One manufacturer sells cod liver oil containing only 3 to 60 IU of vitamin D, but between 3,000 and 6,000 IU of vitamin A.

A separate study by Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also suggests that a form of vitamin D could be one of your body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation. Hayes explains that calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, may protect us from background radiation and could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident.

He points out that calcitriol is involved in cell cycle regulation and control of proliferation, cellular differentiation and communication between cells, as well as programmed cell death (apoptosis and autophagy) and antiangiogenesis.

Calcitriol is the form of vitamin D that activates your body’s Vitamin D Receptor (VDR), which allows gene transcription to take place and the activation of the innate immune response.

It is possible that several of the transcriptions by the VDR will help transcribe proteins that protect the body against radiation.

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Chromium

Introduction:
Chromium is a mineral that humans require in trace amounts. It’s found in small quantities in foods such as brewer’s yeast, calf liver, whole grains, processed meats and cheese.
In 1959, chromium was first identified as an element that enables the hormone insulin to function properly.

Since then, chromium has been studied for diabetes and has become a popular dietary supplement. It is widely available in health food stores, drug stores and online.

Definition :
Chromium, a “transition” metal, is of intermediate atomic weight – that is, it is not considered either a heavy metal or a light metal. It is found primarily in three chemical states depending on its electrical charge. Common forms are chromium-0, which has no charge, chromium+3, which has an ionic charge of plus 3, and chromium+6, which has a charge of plus 6.

Chrome metal (the form chromium-0) is the element that makes steel “stainless.” Chromium in this form is hard, stable, and resistant to chemical changes such as oxidation or rust. Steel alloyed with chromium is harder and less brittle than iron and highly rust-resistant. This form of chromium is also used to coat or “chrome plate” the surface of other metals to produce a hard, shiny, chemically resistant surface.

The primary form of chromium found in the environment is chromium+3, which is also quite stable. This common form of chromium is always found in a complex with other chemical partners such as oxygen or chlorine. In these compounds it is very “inert to substitution”, that is, it is resistant to changing its form or exchanging its chemical partners.

Though small quantities of chromium+6 are found in nature, most of the chromium in this form is man-made. Chromium+6 is easily and rapidly reduced to chromium+3 by many chemicals and conditions, so it is not very stable in the environment. Like chromium+3, chromium+6 is usually found in chemical complexes with other elements, for example bound with several oxygen atoms to form chromate. It is very difficult to oxidize chromium+3 to chromium+6, though it can be done with strong oxidizing agents and very high temperatures. An industrial process called “roasting” is used to oxidize the chromium+3 derived from ores into chromium+6, a form used in a wide variety of commercial products.

Where is chromium found?
Chromium is widely dispersed in the environment. In the Earth’s crust chromium is present at an average of 140 parts per million (ppm), but is not distributed evenly. High concentrations of chromium can be found in certain ores, which are mined commercially.

There are trace amounts of chromium in rocks and soil, in fresh water and ocean water, in the food we eat and drink and in the air we breathe. Levels of chromium in the air are generally higher in urban areas and in places where chromium wastes or “slag” from production facilities were used as landfill.

Chromium wastes have been detected in many landfills and toxic waste sites across the country, usually in combination with other metals and chemicals. In the Aberjona River watershed near Boston Massachusetts, industrial wastes containing chromium contaminated the river and pond sediments. In some areas the sediments contain as much as one to two percent chromium by weight. However, recent studies suggest that people living nearby have received very little exposure to the chromium from these sediments. The principal impact is ecological in areas such as this, where concentrations of several toxic materials collectively threaten aquatic food webs and the wildlife they support.
General Uses of chromium
Chromium is used in paints, dyes, stains, wood preservatives, curing compounds, rust inhibitors and many other products. However, the predominant use of chromium is for production of stainless steel and in chrome plating. A radioactive form of chromium is used in medicine to tag, or label, red blood cells inside the human body. The labeling is permanent for the lifetime of that cell, so it is a useful way to look at long-term patterns of blood cell turnover in the body, to look for evidence of internal bleeding and for similar studies.


Because of commercial demand, chromium-containing ores have been mined and processed intensively over the past century, and many industries manufacture or use chromium containing compounds.

Chromium for health
Humans need chromium, in the form of chromium+3, for proper health. However, most people get all the daily chromium they need from a normal, well-balanced diet.

Nutritionists have learned over the past century that certain substances, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to normal functioning and health. These substances are not made in the body, so they must come from foods. (The British Navy discovered this connection in the 1700s, when they observed that sailors on long sea voyages often developed a condition called scurvy. Adding citrus fruits such as limes to the sailors’ diets prevented the condition. This is how English sailors first came to be known as “Limeys.”) Since chromium is present in all foods, and is especially high in certain plants, few people are deficient in dietary chromium.

Chromium act as a nutrient:
The best known nutritional effect of chromium is that it appears to assist insulin in regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels. Insulin is a small protein hormone that is released into the blood when blood glucose levels get too high. Insulin then binds to a receptor on the outside of cells, causing them to absorb more glucose from blood, returning blood glucose levels to normal. If glucose levels fall too low, other signals in the body prompt cells to release glucose to the blood. This “seesaw” glucose regulation is disrupted in people with diabetes, usually due to a lack of insulin production or a failure of cells to properly respond to insulin. Chromium appears to enhance the effects of insulin once insulin binds to its receptor.

Human bodies do not appear to store or absorb chromium+3 very well, taking up only 1 or 2 percent of the total chromium available in the intestines from food. But humans do have a way to take up more chromium when it is needed – the lower the body’s level of chromium, the more efficiently it is taken up from the intestines. Chromium+3 does not easily cross cell membranes, and it appears to interact with cells only when needed, which suggests that it is stored in a form the body can rapidly mobilize, either in blood or nearby where blood can easily draw on it.

The form of chromium associated with enhancing insulin’s effect is a complex of several chromium+3 atoms bound together with amino acids. The response of cells to insulin is much greater in the presence of this LMWCr complex (also called chromodulin). The complex appears to be different from the storage form of chromium in the blood, which is not yet well defined.

Recently, Dartmouth toxicologist Joshua Hamilton and his colleagues discovered that chromium also affects the other side of the “seesaw” that controls blood glucose levels, increasing cell signals that offset the effects of insulin. This appears to be through interaction with another as yet unknown protein receptor on the surface of cells. The mechanism for this effect and the identity of this new receptor are intriguing research questions that remain to be answered. There may also be other uses of chromium by the body that remain to be discovered.

Views on Chromium
Chromium is also believed to help the body process carbohydrates and fats. It is marketed as a weight loss aid for dieters and an ergogenic (muscle-building) aid for bodybuilders and athletes. One form in particular, chromium picolinate, is popular because it is one of the more easily absorbed forms. In 1995, a study headed by Diane Stearns, PhD, at Dartmouth College generated controversy about the safety of chromium picolinate. Click to see:->Chromium for Weight Control
The researchers added high concentrations of chromium picolinate, chromium chloride or chromium nicotinate to hamster cells in culture and found that only chromium picolinate could damage the genetic material of the hamster cells.

Since then, other laboratory studies using cell cultures and animals have suggested chromium picolinate causes oxidative stress and DNA damage.

Critics say that the scientists used unrealistically high doses and that administering chromium to cells in test tubes is not the same as taking chromium supplements orally.

No adverse events have been consistently and frequently reported with short-term chromium use in human studies. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended upper limit for chromium.

You may click to see :-> Benefits, Deficiency and Food Sources of Chromium

Some Informations on Safety of Chromium
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine reviewed the safety information on chromium for a prototype monograph and concluded that chromium picolinate is safe when used in a way consistent with published clinical data (up to 1.6 milligrams of chromium picolinate per day or 200 micrograms of chromium per day for three to six months).
There is very little information, however, about the safety of long-term use of chromium. There have been rare clinical case reports of adverse side effects after taking chromium picolinate supplements.

For example, a report published in the journal The Annals of Pharmacotherapy described the case of a 33-year-old woman who developed kidney failure, liver damage, and anemia after taking 1,200 to 2,400 micrograms of chromium picolinate (approximately six to 12 times the recommended daily allowance) for five months for weight loss.

The woman was being actively treated with antipsychotic medication, so it’s difficult to say whether it was the chromium, the combination of chromium with the medication, or another medical problem that predisposed her to such a reaction.

In a separate case report, a 24-year-old man who had been taking a supplement containing chromium picolinate for two weeks during his workout sessions developed acute kidney failure. Although chromium picolinate was the suspected cause, it’s important to note that there were other ingredients in the supplement which may have been responsible.

There are some concerns that chromium picolinate may affect levels of neurotransmitters (substances in the body that transmit nerve impulses). This may potentially be a concern for people with conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Chromium picolinate may have an additive effect if combined with diabetes medication and cause blood glucose levels to dip too low. That’s why it’s important to talk your doctor before taking any form of chromium if you are also taking diabetes medication.

Chromium supplements taken with medications that block the formation of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances), such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, and aspirin, may increase the absorption of chromium in the body.

The safety of chromium picolinate in pregnant or nursing women has not been established. Although there is no human data, chromium picolinate administered to pregnant mice was found to cause skeletal birth defects in the developing fetus.

Bottom Line
Given that chromium picolinate supplements in high doses appear to provide very little if any health benefit while possibly carrying some risk, it is my opinion that high doses of chromium picolinate should be avoided, at least until there is more compelling evidence of benefit, or more evidence about side effects.
If you are currently taking chromium picolinate supplements and are experiencing any new symptoms, including the following, call your doctor:

*Unexplained bruising
*Nosebleed
*Skin rash or blisters
*Urinate less than normal
*Feel very tired
*Loss of appetite
*Nausea or vomiting
*Sleep disturbances
*Headache
*Dizziness

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/chromiumsideeff.htm

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/dietpillssupplements/a/dietpills.htm

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/TXQAcr.shtml

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Shilajit

Latin Name:Asphaltum

English Name:Mineral Pitch and Shilajit
Sanskrit/Indian Name:Shilajit

The name
Shilajit is a Sanskrit word meaning “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” It is also spelt as Shilajeet, and is known by various other names like Shilajita Mumiyo; Mineral pitch, Mineral wax or Ozokerite in English; Black Asphaltum; and Asphaltum punjabianum in Latin.

Description:
Shilajit is used in the Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Shilajit is a rasayana herb and is an adaptogen. Shilajit contains at least 85 minerals in Ionic form as well as humic acid and fulvic acid. Clinical researches have been in progress and the ancient claims of the drug’s several properties, including anti-aging properties.A similar exudate from the Caucasus Mountains is called Mumiyo but is not considered as strong as the Himalayan Shilajit.

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Origin
Ancient Indian yogis, and practitioners of Aurvedic medicine, on understanding several potent qualities of Shilajit, had attributed divine powers to Shilajit. In essence Shilajit is a natural concentrate of plants of the regions of the Himalayas, and is found in the Himalayan ranges in India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Tibet, and part of Central Asia and Scandinavia. The flora of the Himalayas is rich and varied, and for thousand of years the plants have come to life, absorbed nutrients from the soil, and then died out. This is a process which has been repeated again and again countless times, and continued for millennia. It is believed that Shilajit found in the Himalayas are the fossilized form of those plants, and the particular biosphere of the Himalayas created them and bestowed medicinal qualities to them. Shilajit, found in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, are collected during summer months when the ice melts, and Shilajeet lumps are sometimes spotted and collected from the crannies of rocks, and similar places. Shilajit so collected are processed by several drug manufactures and presented in capsule form for human consumption.

Puri (2006) in his book has devoted one chapter to Shilajit. He has given in detail about the study of Shilajit in the last two centuries and the various speculated sources of Shilajit. The Indian workers considered dendroid Euphorbia” as the source but in Ladakh faeces of mountain mouse were considered the source. In Russian literature, it is said to have formed by compaction of Junipers. Scientific studies reveal that it is a humus like compound. Dr Peter Zahler (1998 and 2002) has commented on the relationship of the occurrence of salajit and the Woolly Flying Squirrel and Dr Carman (unpublished) has reported his observations of mammal pellets (Woolly Flying Squirrel and Afghani Pika) in association with salajit deposits in northern Pakistan. These pellets are the so called “pallets’ in photomicrographs described by Faruqi (1997).

Modern discovery:Winston, David & Maimes, Steven. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007. Contains a monograph on shilajit and health benefits.

Over sixty years of clinical research have shown that shilajit has positive effects on humans. It increases longevity, improves memory and cognitive ability, reduces allergies and respiratory problems, reduces stress, and relieves digestive troubles. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and eliminates free radicals. The research proves that shilajit increases immunity, strength, and endurance, and lives up to its ancient reputation as the “destroyer of weakness.”

Technically, shilajit is an exudate that is pressed out from layers of rock in the most sacred and highest mountains in Nepal and other areas. It is composed of humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock. Humus is formed when soil microorganisms decompose animal and plant material into elements usable by plants. Plants are the source of all our food and humus is the source of plant food. Unlike other soil humus, shilajit humus consists of 60-80% organic mass.

Click to see:->Shilajit-The True Story of An Ayurvedic Formula

Shilajit is truly an amazing medicine.

Shilajit: Antiaging and Aphrodisiac herb

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Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilajit

http://www.ayurvediccure.com/shilajit.htm

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Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

chemical structure of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

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Definition:
Dimethylaminoethenol (DMAE) is a metabolite, a product produced by the body’s metabolic process of procaine. It is a central nervous system stimulant that has a mild impact. It’s effect is similar to an amphetamine, but it is not such a drug. The term DMAE is actually an abbreviation for dimethylaminoethanol, a naturally occurring chemical produced by the human brain. It is a choline molecule that has one methyl group missing from the nitrogen, and it may be for this reason that it can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than choline. While choline is known to be the precursor of acetylcholine, a recognized neurotransmitter, DMAE may prove to offer a more direct approach to this function by moving into the brain, being acted on by an enzyme (methylation), and thereby undergoing conversion into choline directly where it is needed.

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Although free-radicals are a natural result of the human body’s activity, the human equilibrium may be upset because of modern diet and environmental conditions that add further stressors to the system. These conditions cause a need for additional antioxidants in order for the body to cope with industrialized life. Antioxidants seem to reinforce one another, and for this reason it seems prudent to combine the use of several rather than to rely on only one type.

Dimethylaminoethanol, also known as DMAE or dimethylethanolamine, is an organic compound. This compound also goes by the names of N,N-dimethyl-2-aminoethanol, beta-dimethylaminoethyl alcohol, beta-hydroxyethyldimethylamine and Deanol. It is a liquid with a color that ranges from clear to pale yellow.

DMAE is known chemically as dimethyl-amino-ethanol. DMAE has been known in Europe by the product name Deanol for more than three decades. DMAE has two methyl groups and is chemically similar to choline. DMAE has been popular for many years in those interested in improving mental alertness and clarity of thinking.

Industrial uses
Dimethylaminoethanol is used as a curing agent for polyurethanes and epoxy resins. It is also used in mass quantities for water treatment, and to some extent in the coatings industry. It is used in the synthesis of dyestuffs, textile auxiliaries, pharmaceuticals, emulsifiers, and corrosion inhibitors. It is also an additive to paint removers, boiler water and amino resins.

Biochemical precursor
Dimethylaminoethanol is related to choline and is a biochemical precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and found naturally in fish like sardines and anchovies. It is reported to have nootropic effects, although research on this chemical has found both positive and negative potential results.

It is believed that dimethylaminoethanol is methylated to produce choline in the brain[1]. It is known that dimethylaminoethanol is processed by the liver into choline; however, the choline molecule is charged and cannot pass the blood-brain barrier.

Research
Short term studies have shown an increase in vigilance and alertness, with a positive influence on mood. Long term studies are equivocal. Some showed dimethylaminoethanol to increase the lifespan of animals in which it was tested, while others indicate a possible reduction in the average life span of quail.  With the uncertainty of whether this could be extrapolated to humans, dimethylaminoethanol supplementation is not generally recommended. It is possible that dose is a major determining factor in the overall effects of dimethylaminoethanol – a high dose could produce effects opposite to those sought and contribute to life-shortening.

DMAE Research for Alzheimer’s, memory loss, age related mental decline
Studies with DMAE go back to the 1950s. One double blind, placebo-controlled trial performed in twenty-seven patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease did not show significant benefits (Fisman 1981). Another study on twenty-one patients with memory deficits was also discouraging since no improvement was found in memory (Caffarra 1980). However, DMAE was found helpful in patients with age related mental decline. DMAE was given for four weeks to fourteen older patients (Ferris 1977). Ten patients improved and four were unchanged. The patients on DMAE had reduced depression, less anxiety, and increased motivation, but they had no improvement in memory. The researchers say, “the results thus suggest that although DMAE may not improve memory, it may produce positive behavioral changes in some senile patients.” Dementia is a term that is now substituted for senility and is sometimes used to denote a severe case of age related cognitive decline.

DMAE has been touted as an anti-aging nutrient but there have not been any human studies evaluating the claim that DMAE slows aging.

DMAE Positive effects - Benefit of DMAE – DMAE Enhances Mood and Alertness
Most people notice being more alert and focused within a couple of hours after taking DMAE. The DMAE benefit of alertness and focus can last most of the day. A few report a higher sense of wellbeing. DMAE is recommended to be taken in the early part of the day. I also like the mind boosting effect of Acetyl-l-carnitine, but my favorite is a combination of several nutrients and herbs, including DMAE bitartrate, found in Mind Power Rx.

There are dozens of herbs and nutrients available in health food stores that influence mental function. One that has been popular for many years is DMAE, which stands for dimethyl-amino-ethanol. A recent German study evaluated the brain’s electrical reaction during presentation of videoclips of 7 minute duration in 80 subjects with borderline emotional disturbance. The researchers recorded the different emotional states by having the subjects watch these film excerpts. Half of the subjects were then started on a daily dose of DMAE and the testing was repeated after 6 and 12 weeks. The testing included showing the videoclips, filling out mood questionnaires, and also evaluating the brain’s electrical reaction through EEGs (electrodes placed on the scalp that measure brain activity) . The results showed that those who took the DMAE daily had a decrease in theta and alpha1 brain electrical activity indicating that they were more alert. Furthermore, the questionnaires revealed that those on DMAE had a better mood. The researchers conclude, “DMAE can be interpreted to induce a psychophysiological state of better feeling of wellbeing on both levels of analysis mood and electrical pattern of brain activity in subjects suffering from borderline emotional disturbance.”

Dr Sahelian says: Most people notice being more alert and focused within a couple of hours after taking DMAE. DMAE is available in dosages ranging from 100 to 400 mg. It is best to start with a low dose, such as 50 to 150 mg of actual DMAE since high doses can cause anxiety, restlessness, and muscle tenseness in the neck and shoulders. DMAE taken late in the day may cause insomnia.

Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states. Dimpfel W. Forschung und Entwicklung -, Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 9, D-35440 Linden, Germany. Eur J Med Res. 2003 May 30;8(5):183-91.

The psychophysiological model of provoking different emotional states by watching film excerpts with various emotional contents was used to characterize drug action in 80 subjects (male /f emale = 50%) with threshold emotional disturbance within a randomized, group-parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Analyzing the brain’s electrical reaction during presentation of 5 videoclips of 7 min duration followed by 3 minutes pause revealed a content specific representation of topographical frequency changes. This procedure was repeated after 6 and 12 weeks of daily intake of a vitamin-mineral drug combination containing dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) or placebo. Subjects taking DMAE supplement for 3 months developed significant less theta and alpha1 power in sensomotoric areas of the cortex. Since decreases in theta and alpha1 electrical power have been associated with increased vigilance and attention, subjects taking DMAE combination obviously were more active and felt better. Therefore the vitamin-mineral combination containing DMAE can be interpreted to induce a psychophysiological state of better feeling of wellbeing on both levels of analysis mood and electrical pattern of brain activity in subjects suffering from borderline emotional disturbance.

DMAE Side effects
DMAE is available in varying dosages. It is best to start with a low dose, such as 50 to 150 mg of actual DMAE to avoid DMAE side effects. High doses can cause anxiety, restlessness, and muscle tenseness or stiffness in the neck, jaw, and shoulders. DMAE taken late in the day may cause insomnia. Other DMAE side effects on high dosages include irritability, headache, and overstimulation.

DMAE Availability
DMAE is usually sold by the name of DMAE bitartrate. A 350 mg pill of DMAE bitartrate yields 130 mg of actual DMAE. It is also available as DMAE liquid. One product contains 35 mg of DMAE per drop. Most users notice an effect from 50 to 150 mg of actual DMAE or 150 to 350 mg of DMAE bitartrate.

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DMAE Summary
DMAE can be helpful in the elderly who have cognitive decline. This nutrient can also be taken by an adult of any age who needs to be more focused and alert.

DMAE and Skin
A recent study shows DMAE cream is able to increase firmness of skin. Perhaps DMAE cream has anti-wrinkle potential. See below for the abstract.

The role of dimethylaminoethanol in cosmetic dermatology.
Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(1):39-47. Grossman R.
Johnson and Johnson Consumer Products Worldwide, Skillman, NJ 08558
Skincare formulations for the improvement of aging skin are increasingly important consumer products. Here, we review available data on one such agent – 2-dimethylaminoethanol ( DMAE ) or deanol – that has recently been evaluated in a placebo-controlled trial. DMAE is an analog of the B vitamin choline and is a precursor of acetylcholine. Although the role of acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter is well known, growing evidence points to acetylcholine as a ubiquitous cytokine-like molecule that regulates basic cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, locomotion, and secretion in a paracrine and autocrine fashion. Indeed, this modulatory role may contribute to the cutaneous activity of DMAE. In a randomized clinical study, 3% DMAE facial gel applied daily for 16 weeks has been shown to be safe and efficacious in the mitigation of forehead lines and periorbital fine wrinkles, and in improving lip shape and fullness and the overall appearance of aging skin. Conclusions: Thus, the benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone. Studies are needed to evaluate the relative efficacy of DMAE compared with other skin-care regimens (e.g., topical antioxidant creams, alpha-hydroxy acids).

Split face study on the cutaneous tensile effect of 2-dimethylaminoethanol (dmae) gel.
Skin Res Technol 2002 Aug;8(3):164-7
Beyond subjective assessments, the effect of skin tensors is difficult to assess. The present 2-phase randomized double-blind split face study was designed to compare the effect of a gel containing 3% 2-dimethylaminoethanol (deanol, DMAE) with the same formulation without DMAE. METHODS: In a first pilot study, sensorial assessments and measures of the skin distension under suction were performed in eight volunteers. In a second study conducted in 30 volunteers, shear wave propagation was measured. RESULTS: Large interindividual variations precluded any significant finding in the first study. The DMAE formulation showed, however, a significant effect characterized by increased shear wave velocity in the direction where the mechanical anisotropy of skin showed looseness. The DMAE formulation under investigation increased skin firmness.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethylethanolamine

http://www.raysahelian.com/dmae.html

http://www.dmae.org/

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Vitamin E

Definition:
Vitamin E is the collective name for a set of 8 related tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties Of these, ?-tocopherol (also written as alpha-tocopherol) has been most studied as it has the highest bioavailability, with the body preferentially absorbing and using this form.
………..RRR alpha-tocopherol  (Vitamin E).……………
It has been claimed that ?-tocopherol is the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant, and that it protects cell membranes from oxidation by reacting with lipid radicals produced in the lipid peroxidation chain reaction.This would remove the free radical intermediates and prevent the oxidation reaction from continuing. The oxidised ?-tocopheroxyl radicals produced in this process may be recycled back to the active reduced form through reduction by other antioxidants, such as ascorbate, retinol or ubiquinol.

The functions of the other forms of vitamin E are less well-studied, although ?-tocopherol (also written as gamma-tocopherol) is a nucleophile that may react with electrophilic mutagens, and tocotrienols may have a specialized role in protecting neurons from damage.[6] However, the roles and importance of the various forms of vitamin E are presently unclear,[7][8] and it has even been suggested that the most important function of vitamin E is as a signaling molecule, and that it has no significant role in antioxidant metabolism.

Most studies about Vitamin E have supplemented only alpha-tocopherol, but doing so leads to reduced serum gamma- and delta-tocopherol concentrations. For more info, read article tocopherol.

1 IU of vitamin E is the biological equivalent of about 0.667 mg d-alpha-tocopherol (2/3 mg exactly), or of 1 mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.

The term vitamin E describes a family of 8 antioxidants, 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the only form of vitamin E that is actively maintained in the human body and is therefore, the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.

It is an anti-oxidant vitamin that protects us from damage to our cells, and prevents and dissolves blood clots. Vitamin E has also been used by doctors in helping prevent sterility, muscular dystrophy, fibrocystic breast disease, calcium deposits in blood walls and heart conditions.
A deficiency of vitamin E may lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, lack of sexual vitality, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles.

Since vitamin E is oil soluble, we store it in our bodies. High supplemental amounts may interfere with blood clotting. Vitamin E should not be taken along with iron. Supplemental doses over 400 IU may cause temporarily high blood pressure.

The Recommended Daily Allowance for adult males is 10 mg and 8 mg for adult females.

Food sources of Vitamin E


Particularly high levels of vitamin E can be found in the following foods:

*Almonds

*Asparagus

*Avocado

*Nuts

*Olives

*Red Palm Oil

*Seeds

*Spinach and other green leafy vegetables

*Vegetable oils — Canola, corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed

*Wheat germ

*Dandelion

*Broccoli

*Mango

*Turnip
Because most of the food sources of vitamin E are foods that aren’t consumed in large amounts, a therapeutic level of vitamin E may be achieved only with supplements.

Benefits Of Vitamin E


Vitamin E is an important nutrient that helps your body in a variety of ways. You should get enough from a healthy, balanced diet. However, high amounts (400 IU) may be harmful.

Click to see Why do we need vitamin E

The benefits of vitamin e for the overall good health of individuals are substantial. In particular, vitamin e is very important in healthy and proper skin care.Click to learn more about BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E

Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin E also contributes to a healthy circulatory system and aids in proper blood clotting and improves wound healing. Some studies have shown that vitamin E decreases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and certain types of breast disease.

Other studies have shown that taking large doses of Vitamin E has decreased the risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Animal studies have suggested that vitamin E does slow the development of atherosclerosis, but the American Heart Association doesn’t recommend using supplements until the effects are proven in large-scale, carefully controlled clinical trials.

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to six months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Some people take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in these vitamins won’t cause a problem. Remember, you only need small amounts of any vitamin.

Some health problems can make it hard for a person’s body to absorb these vitamins. If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor about whether your vitamin absorption will be affected.

Vitamin E Controversy – Cause or Correlation?
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous and should be avoided. This study considered doses of vitamin E in excess of 400 IU per day to be high and doses of vitamin E less than 400 IU per day to be low. Is it true that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous? Does the danger out weigh the benefit of vitamin E supplements?
Click to learn more from Office of Dietary Supplements • National Institutes of Health

Click to learn more from Micronutrient Information Center

Side Effects:
In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.

Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.

Recommendations :

Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:

0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day
7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day
14 and older: 15 mg/day
Women who are producing breast milk (lactating) may need slighly higher amounts. Check with your doctor.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_E

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002406.htm#top

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