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KLRI Recommends Exercise to Boost Muscle and Joint Health

A new report from Kronos Longevity Research Institute (KLRI), which suggests diet and exercise are better than testosterone therapy for older men, also includes exercise recommendations designed to promote joint and muscle health.

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Based on the review of available research, the scientists say natural approaches like physical activity and five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day may reduce mortality rates and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease among seniors by up to 35 percent.

KLRI also points to the need to prevent sarcopenia, a gradual loss of skeletal muscle that begins at age 25-30 and accelerates after 50.

The institute therefore recommends aerobic exercise and resistance training through lifting weights during two to three 30-minute sessions per week. Seniors should use a combination of circuit weight machines and free weights, increasing the speed at which the weight is lifted.

Performing the lifting part of the exercise as fast as possible and then lowering the weight with control, will improve muscle power, endurance and balance, it says. Resistance training will also strengthen the muscles around the joints, reducing the risk of injuries like joint sprains and osteoarthritis of the knees.

Health practitioners have moreover recommended protein nutritional supplements and the alkaline diet for those who wish to boost their muscle and bone health.

Source: Better Health Research. Nov.5.’09

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Crioceras Longiflorus

 

BOTANICAL NAME: Crioceras Longiflorus

FAMILY: Apocynaceae
GENIUS: Crioceras
SPECIES: Crioceras longiflorus = Crioceras dipladeniflorus
NAME:
The Genus Crioceras was named by Pierre in 1877 for a species named Crioceras longiflorus. This was originally classified as Genus Tabernaemontana, with the name Tabernaemontana dipladeniflora. After research carried out by N. Halle in 1971, it obtained the name Crioceras dipladeniflorus.

Habitat :Africa

DESCRIPTION:
It is a small bush or tree, 2-8 meters high, belonging to the apocynaceae plant family. It grows in Africa, more specifically in the Central African region; the Crioceras longiflorus is a plant whose alkaloids have opened a vast therapeutic field.

click to see the pictures….>.....(1)..….…(2)...

STUDIES:
The study of the different species has revealed the production of terpenoid indole alkaloids with different properties and possible applications. Information on the pharmacology of crude extract and individual alkaloids belonging to the different species has been assembled by Van Beek et al. (1984). These compounds generally possess characteristic biological activities and many of them are utilized for medicinal purposes and for the lead compounds they contain to develop new synthetic drugs. Alkaloids of the distinct species have shown hypotensive and muscle relaxant activity, antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, effects of sedation, decreased respiration, decreased skeletal muscle tone and antibacterial activities.

People throughout the world expect to live longer. And, in fact, there are over 35 million people over the age of 65 in the United States alone. Long life is largely a result of incredible advances in medical technology that have made it possible to alleviate many conditions which negatively affect our bodily organs. Yet the complex functions of one of our most important organs, THE BRAIN, still remain a mystery.

Medical technology has determined many aspects of how the Brain works. Neurons need plenty supply of oxygen, glucose and the proper function of other factors. How can we safely and effectively help the Brain so that it continues to function properly?

The answer to this last question can be found in nature. Vinpocetine is naturally occurring from the plant Crioceras Longiflorus and also can be obtained from Vincamine.

Vinpocetine is a cerebral metabolic activator and a neuronal protector. Clinical studies indicate that vinpocetine helps increase blood flow ; cerebral vasodilation 2 produces an immediate increase in the cerebral oxygenation and this results finally in the activation of the cerebral metabolism, the increase of glucose and the improvement of certain neurotransmitters´utilization . Another benefit that has been observed by using vinpocetine is its neuronal protection effects which increase resistance of the brain to hypoxia and ischemia , reduce platelet aggregation, and improve red blood cells deformability allowing oxygen to feed neurons through microcapillaries. Evidence also shows that Vinpocetine has antioxidant properties .

The are more than 100 clinical studies on Vinpocetine performed on over 30,000 patients proving its safety and effectiveness. Vinpocetine has many different effects of varying importance on cognitive functions such as increase of attention, concentration, and memory .

Almost anyone can benefit from taking vinpocetine. From people who have already cognitive deterioration, through baby boomers who are starting to suffer the symptoms of memory loss to young people and students who want to enhance their memory to increase their intellectual intelligence as well as to get good results at exams.

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://www.covex.com/crioceras.htm
http://www.vinpocetine.com/

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Categories
Suppliments our body needs

Creatine

 

Other Names: creatine monohydrate, creatine phosphate, creatine citrate

Definition:Creatine is nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates and helps to supply energy to muscle and nerve cells. Creatine was identified in 1832 when Michel Eugène Chevreul discovered it as a component of skeletal muscle, which he later named creatine after the Greek word for flesh, Kreas.

It is a compound that’s involved in the production of energy in the body, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Made in the liver, approximately 95% of the body’s creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles and the remaining 5% is found in the brain, heart and testes. Once it’s used, creatine is converted to a waste product called creatinine and excreted in urine.

Functions:

Creatine, by way of conversion to and from phosphocreatine, functions in all vertebrates and some invertebrates, in conjunction with the enzyme creatine kinase. A similar system based on arginine/phosphoarginine operates in many invertebrates via the action of Arginine Kinase. The presence of this energy buffer system keeps the ATP/ADP ratio high at subcellular places where ATP is needed, which ensures that the free energy of ATP remains high and minimizes the loss of adenosine nucleotides, which would cause cellular dysfunction. Such high-energy phosphate buffers in the form of phosphocreatine or phosphoarginine are known as phosphagens. In addition, due to the presence of subcompartmentalized Creatine Kinase Isoforms at specific sites of the cell, the phosphocreatine/creatine kinase system also acts as an intracellular energy transport system from those places where ATP is generated (mitochondria and glycolysis) to those places where energy is needed and used, e.g., at the myofibrils for muscle contraction, at the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) for calcium pumping, and at the sites of many more biological processes that depend on ATP.

Biosynthesis:
In humans, about half of the daily creatine is biosynthesized from three different amino acids – arginine, glycine, and methionine. The rest is taken in by alimentary sources. Ninety-five percent of creatine is later stored in the skeletal muscles.

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The enzyme GATM (L-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT), EC 2.1.4.1) is a mitochondrial enzyme responsible for catalyzing the first rate-limiting step of creatine biosynthesis, and is primarily expressed in the kidneys and pancreas.

The second enzyme in the pathway (GAMT, guanidinoacetate N-methyltransferase, EC:2.1.1.2) is primarily expressed in the liver and pancreas.

Genetic deficiencies in the creatine biosynthetic pathway lead to various severe neurological defects.

Controversy:While creatine’s effectiveness in the treatment of many muscular, neuromuscular, and neuro-degenerative diseases is documented, its utility as a performance-enhancing food supplement in sports has been questioned (see creatine supplements for more information). Some have even proposed that its use as a performance enhancer should be banned. Despite this, creatine remains very popular.

Sources:
In humans, approximately half of stored creatine originates from food (mainly from fresh meat). Since vegetables do not contain creatine, vegetarians show lower levels of muscle creatine which, upon creatine supplementation, rise to a level higher than in meat-eaters.

Creatine is found in small amounts in red meat and fish. However, much of it is destroyed by cooking. It’s also made naturally in the body from L-arginine, L-glycine and L-methionine, amino acids that are principally found in animal protein. Insulin is needed for creatine to enter muscles, so consuming carbohydrates with creatine may increase the amount of creatine available to muscles.

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Creatine supplements are available in capsules or as a powder at health food stores, some drug stores and online. One of the most popular forms of creatine is creatine monohydrate.

Side effects:-

In the Cochrane Collaboration analysis of 12 trials, there were no notable adverse events reported, however, research on the side effects and safety of creatine supplements is still limited.

Possible side effects of creatine include:

*Stomach cramps

*Nausea
*Diarrhea

*Loss of appetite

*Muscle cramps

*Weight gain

Creatine may cause water to be drawn away from other areas of the body and into muscle tissue, which could increase the risk of dehydration.

High doses of creatine could potentially injure the kidneys, liver and heart. Theoretically, creatine may cause kidney damage because its by-product, creatinine, is filtered through the kidneys into urine. Although studies haven’t found adverse events in recommended doses, there have been a couple of case reports of people who have experienced kidney collapse and three deaths in people taking creatine, but there is no definitive evidence that creatine was the cause. People with kidney disease or liver disease should avoid creatine.

Creatine supplements may cause asthmatic symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, in some people.

People with McArdle’s disease shouldn’t use high doses of creatine because it has been found to increase muscle pain.

There is some concern that oral creatine supplements are metabolized in the body to a toxic waste product formaldehyde, which could potentially damage cells, DNA molecules and blood vessels.

Pregnant or nursing women or children should not use creatine supplements.

One of the main safety concerns is that individuals using creatine to enhance athletic performance or muscle mass, particularly adolescents, may exceed recommended dosages and take it without supervision.

Short-term use of creatine in healthy individuals is generally considered safe (see Creatine supplements#Safety). , studies have not yet been able to demonstrate either long-term or short term creatine supplementation result in adverse health effects. Creatine supplementation utilizing proper cycling and dosages has not been linked with any adverse side effects beyond occasional dehydration due to increased muscular water uptake from the rest of the body.[13] In fact, an increase in body mass because of increased muscle hydration is the most widely accepted side effect of creatine supplementation[14][15].

According to the opinion statement of the European Food Safety Authorities (EFSA) published in 2004 it was concluded that “The safety and bioavailability of the requested source of creatine, creatine monohydrate in foods for particular nutritional uses, is not a matter of concern provided that there is adequate control of the purity of this source of creatine (minimum 99.95%) with respect to dicyandiamide and dihydro-1,3,5-triazine derivatives, as well as heavy metal contamination. The EFSA Panel endorses the previous opinion of the SCF that high loading doses (20 gram / day) of creatine should be avoided. Provided high purity creatine monohydrate is used in foods for particular nutritional uses, the Panel considers that the consumption of doses of up to 3g/day of supplemental creatine, similar to the daily turnover rate of creatine, is unlikely to pose any risk”.

This opinion is corroborated by the fact that creatine is a natural component in mothers’ milk and that creatine is absolutely necessary for brain development in the human embryo and the baby, as well as for optimal physiological functioning of the adult human body, especially the brain, nervous system, the muscles and other organs and cells of high energy expenditure, where the creatine kinase (CK) system is highly expressed and creatine levels are high.

Side effects that produce lower leg pain may be associated with the use of creatine. Creatine may be the cause of an increase in the anterior pressures of the lower leg. This is usually found in post-creatine use when at rest and after exercise. Normal at-rest pressures have been found to be highly elevated by subjects who used creatine within the prior 35 days when compared to no supplementation. This can produce an extreme amount of pain in the lower leg due to the rigidity of the anterior compartment of the lower leg and lack of fluid drainage out of the compartment. It may also be exasperated by the increase of water content in the muscle fibers, putting more pressure on the anterior compartment. If this condition persist, check with your doctor and inform them of your creatine use and dosage. Although this condition may and usually does subside, if left untreated complications may occur that require emergency medical attention. If the levels remain high for a long period of time, irreversible damage to tissue may occur, particularly to the peroneal nerve. These conditions can further be found under Chronic Compartment Syndrome.

Creatine and the treatment of muscular diseases:
Creatine supplementation has been, and continues to be, investigated as a possible therapeutic approach for the treatment of muscular, neuromuscular, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (arthritis, congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, disuse atrophy, gyrate atrophy, McArdle’s disease, Huntington’s disease, miscellaneous neuromuscular diseases, mitochondrial diseases, muscular dystrophy, neuroprotection, etc.).

Two studies have indicated that creatine may be beneficial for neuromuscular disorders. First, a study demonstrated that creatine is twice as effective as the prescription drug riluzole in extending the lives of mice with the degenerative neural disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The neuroprotective effects of creatine in the mouse model of ALS may be due either to an increased availability of energy to injured nerve cells or to a blocking of the chemical pathway that leads to cell death.

Second, creatine has been demonstrated to cause modest increases in strength in people with a variety of neuromuscular disorders.

Third, creatine has been shown to be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment for several neuro-muscular and neuro-degenerative diseases and its potential is just beginning to be explored in several multi-center clinical studies in the USA and elsewhere.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/creatine/a/creatine.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Muscle Cramps

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Definition:   A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. When we use the muscles that can be controlled voluntarily, such as those of our arms and legs, they alternately contract and relax as we move our limbs. Muscles that support our head, neck, and trunk contract similarly in a synchronized fashion to maintain our posture. A muscle (or even a few fibers of a muscle) that involuntarily (without consciously willing it) contracts is in a “spasm.” If the spasm is forceful and sustained, it becomes a cramp. Muscle cramps often cause a visible or palpable hardening of the involved muscle.

click & see

Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour or occasionally longer. It is not uncommon for a cramp to recur multiple times until it finally resolves. The cramp may involve a part of a muscle, the entire muscle, or several muscles that usually act .

A muscle cramp, technically, occurs when your muscle tightens and shortens causing a sudden severe pain. Muscle cramps generally result from overexertion and dehydration.

Most of us have experienced muscle cramps at one time or another. Cramps can affect anyone, whether you are a regular exerciser or a regular couch potato. They strike many of us when we are sound asleep – waking us up in the middle of the night with a sharp, piercing pain. but cramps may affect some of us during a baseball game or in the middle of a volleyball match.

Resulting from an abnormal muscle contraction, a cramp occurs as the muscle locks into an awkward and sustained spasm because of that contraction. Although the calves are the most likely site for a cramp, any muscle in the body is vulnerable. Medical specialists are not exactly sure what causes cramps, but they do recognize several factors that are associated with them. Muscles that are overworked, injured or exposed to extreme temperatures may be more likely to succumb to a cramp.

Facts about Muscle Cramps:
*A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
*Almost everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some time in their life.
*There are a variety of types and causes of muscle cramps.
*Numerous medicines can cause muscle cramps.
*Most muscle cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched.
*Muscle cramps can often be prevented by measures such as adequate nutrition and hydration, attention to safety when exercising, and attention to ergonomic factors. Continue Reading.

Types of muscle cramps:

True cramps:……click & see
True cramps involve part or all of a single muscle or a group of muscles that generally act together, such as the muscles that flex several adjacent fingers. Most authorities agree that true cramps are caused by hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles. They are overwhelmingly the most common type of skeletal muscle cramps. True cramps can occur in a variety of circumstances as follows

Nocturnal leg cramps…....click & see
Nocturnal leg cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that occur in the calves, soles of the feet or other muscles in the body during the night or (less commonly) while resting. The duration of nocturnal leg cramps is highly variable with cramps sometimes only lasting a few seconds and other times several minutes. Soreness in the muscles may remain for some time after the cramp ends. These cramps are more common in older populations but may happen to anyone. They can happen quite frequently in teenagers and in some cases while exercising at night. Nocturnal leg cramps can be very painful especially if dehydrated.

The precise cause of these cramps is unclear. Potential contributing factors are believed to include low levels of certain minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium), dehydration and prolonged sitting. Less common causes include more serious conditions or use of drugs.
An unrelated condition is restless legs syndrome, an unpleasant sensation that is relieved by moving the leg, but which rarely includes cramping or pain.

Smooth muscle….click & see
Smooth muscle contractions lie at the heart of the cramping (or colicky) pain of internal organs. These include the intestine, uterus, ureter (in kidney stone pain) and various others.

Skeletal muscle
Skeletal muscles are muscles in our body that we can control (voluntarily). These muscles include the calves, thighs, and arches in the foot and cramp more often than any other muscles.

Skeletal muscle cramps can be categorized into four major types. These include true” cramps, tetany, contractures, and dystonic cramps. Cramps are categorized according to their different causes and the muscle groups they affect.

Causes:-
There are two basic causes of cramping. One is inadequate oxygenation of muscle, and the other is lack of water or salt. Cramps from poor oxygenation can be improved by rapid deep breathing, as well as stretching the muscle. Cramps from lack of salt and water can be treated by stretching the muscle, and of course drinking water and increasing salt intake. Pounding on the muscle can increase soreness.

Other factors include:
Dehydration – A body that is dehydrated can make muscles more vulnerable to cramps. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids during the day, especially if you exercise.

Electrolyte imbalance
– Electrolytes can be found in the minerals potassium and sodium, and they carry an electric charge that helps trigger your muscles to contract and relax. Dehydration can disrupt the balance between potassium and sodium which may cause muscle cramps. You need to constantly refurbish your body’s fluids in order to keep electrolyte balance and reduce your chances of suffering muscle cramps.

Mineral Deficiency – Sometime, too much or too little of certain minerals other than potassium and sodium in your diet can onset a muscle cramp. Two important minerals for your body are calcium and magnesium. Sufficient amounts of these and other minerals in your diet can help you avoid muscle cramps.

Relief and Treatment
For immediate relief of a cramp, gently stretch the muscle. Although this can be quite painful, it will help the muscle to relax. Stretching a contracted muscle increases the tension on the tendons and causes the muscle to relax. Pressing on the muscle, massaging it and applying ice while stretching can also help to relieve the cramp.

Stretching and massaging are only temporary treatments for a continuing problem. In order to avoid muscle cramps in the future, you must change some of your dietary and lifestyle habits. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, get enough potassium and sodium by eating foods such as bananas and oranges, build up your body’s levels of other important minerals, keep your muscles in shape and conditioned with regular exercise, stretch your muscles throughout the day, and wear appropriate clothing – tight clothing that interferes with blood flow can lead to cramps.

You should also make sure to drink plenty of fluids. If you get muscle cramps after exercise, drink water or a sports drink or juice to rehydrate and restore your electrolyte balance. Most of the time water will be sufficient to rehydrate you, however, you are then better off choosing a sports drink containing electrolytes.

You may also undo a cramp with ice. Ice is both a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory. Try massaging the area with ice for no more than ten minutes or until the area is bright red, which indicates that blood cells have returned to heat the cramped muscle. If ice is too uncomfortable, try heat. Heat improves superficial blood circulation and makes muscles more flexible, so some people find that heat is more soothing for muscle cramps than ice. Try a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time or even a warm shower or bath. Make sure to massage the muscle with your hands following ice or heat.

Electrolyte disturbance may cause cramping and tetany of muscles, particularly hypokalemia (a low level of potassium) and hypocalcemia (a low level of calcium). This problem can be solved by drinking electrolyte enhanced fluids, after strenuous muscle activity, and supplementing your daily diet with a multi-vitamin, which contains potassium and calcium.

For permanent cure one should do regularly Yoga Exercise Under the guidance of an expart, drink plenty of fresh  water and eat foods high in potassium, such as bananas, potatoes, and prunes.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Resources:

www.therapyservicespc.com and www.betterbodz.com

http://www.medicinenet.com/muscle_cramps/article.htm

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