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Apocynum androsaemifolium

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Botanical Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
Species: A. androsaemifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Milkweed. Dogsbane. Fly-Trap.
Common Names: Fly-trap dogbane, Spreading dogbane,Bitter Root

Habitat: Apocynum androsaemifolium is native to North America.It grows in   open woodland, woodland edges etc, usually on drier soils
Description:
The genus Apocynum contains only four species, two of which Apocynum androsaemifolium and A. cannabinum, or Black Indian Hemp, resemble each other very closely, the roots being distinguished by the thick-walled stone cells, which in the former are found in an interrupted circle near the middle of the bark, and in the latter are absent.
A. a. ndrosaemifolium is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling indiarubber when dry.

The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects…..click & see the pictures

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or greyish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odour, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

Subspecies and varieties:
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. androsaemifolium – E Canada, W United States
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum (Greene) Bég. & Belosersky – Ontario, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum A.DC. – widespread in Canada, United States, NE Mexico
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium Woodson – Colorado
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. pumilum (A.Gray) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum (Greene) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii B.Boivin – Alberta, British Columbia, Washington State, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho

Parts Used for medicine: The dried rhizome, roots.

Constituents: The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.
Medicinal Uses:
Apocynum androsaemifolium   is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants. The root is cardiotonic, cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant. It has a powerful action in slowing the pulse and also has a very strong action on the vaso-motor system, it is rather an irritant to the mucous membranes though, so some people cannot tolerate it. The juice of the fresh root has been used in the treatment of syphilis. The sap of the plant has been applied externally to get rid of warts. The roots were boiled in water and the water drunk once a week in order to prevent conception. The green fruits were boiled and the decoction used in the treatment of heart and kidney problems and for the treatment of dropsy. This preparation can irritate the intestines and cause unpleasant side-effects. It is used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula.

Other  Uses:The bark yields a good quality fibre that is used for making twine, bags, linen etc. It is inferior to A. cannabinum. The fibre is finer and stronger than cotton. It can be harvested after the leaves fall in the autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming. The plant yields a latex, which is a possible source of rubber. It is obtained by making incisions on the stem and resembles indiarubber when dry.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocynum_androsaemifolium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bitroo47.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apocynum+androsaemifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Soyabeans

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Botanical name: Glycine max
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Glycine

Common name: soy bean, soya bean

Habitat:
Soybeans are native to east Asia, but 45 percent of the world’s soybean area, and 55 percent of production, is in the United States. The U.S. produced 75 million metric tons of soybeans in 2000, of which more than one-third was exported. Other leading producers are Brazil, Australia, Argentina, China, and India.

Description:
The soybean is an annual plant Soy varies in growth and habit. The height of the plant varies from less than 0.2 to 2.0 m (0.66 to 6.56 ft).

The pods, stems, and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray hairs. The leaves are trifoliolate, having three to four leaflets per leaf, and the leaflets are 6–15 cm (2.4–5.9 in) long and 2–7 cm (0.79–2.76 in) broad. The leaves fall before the seeds are mature. The inconspicuous, self-fertile flowers are borne in the axil of the leaf and are white, pink or purple.  The fruit is a hairy pod that grows in clusters of three to five, each pod is 3–8 cm long (1–3 in) and usually contains two to four (rarely more) seeds 5–11 mm in diameter.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Like some other crops of long domestication, the relationship of the modern soybean to wild-growing species can no longer be traced with any degree of certainty. It is a cultural variety (a cultigen) with a very large number of cultivars. However, it is known that the progenitor of the modern soybean was a vine-like plant that grew prone on the ground.

Soybeans occur in various sizes, and in many hull or seed coat colors, including black, brown, blue, yellow, green and mottled. The hull of the mature bean is hard, water-resistant, and protects the cotyledon and hypocotyl (or “germ”) from damage. If the seed coat is cracked, the seed will not germinate. The scar, visible on the seed coat, is called the hilum (colors include black, brown, buff, gray and yellow) and at one end of the hilum is the micropyle, or small opening in the seed coat which can allow the absorption of water for sprouting.

The genus Glycine Willd. is divided into two subgenera(species), Glycine and Soja. The subgenus Soja(Moench) includes the cultivated Soybean, G. max(L.)Merrill, and the wild soybean, G. soja Sieb.& Zucc. Both species are annual. The soybean grows only under cultivation while G. soja grows wild in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Russia. Glycine soja is the wild ancestor of the soybean: the wild progenitor. At present, the subgenus Glycine consists of at least 16 wild perennial species: for example, Glycine canescens, and G. tomentella Hayata found in Australia and Papua New Guinea

Beans are classed as pulses whereas soybeans are classed as oilseeds. It is a versatile bean, having a diverse range of uses.

The English word soy is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of shōyu, the Japanese word for soy sauce; soya comes from the Dutch adaptation of the same word.

Physical characteristics:
Soybeans occur in various sizes, and in several hull or seed coat colors, including black, brown, blue, yellow, and mottled. The hull of the mature bean is hard, water resistant, and protects the cotyledon and hypocotyl (or “germ”) from damage. If the seed coat is cracked the seed will not germinate. The scar, visible on the seed coat, is called the hilum (colors include black, brown, buff, gray and yellow) and at one end of the hilum is the micropyle, or small opening in the seed coat which can allow the absorption of water.

Remarkably, seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein can undergo desiccation yet survive and revive after water absorption. A. Carl Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, began studying this capability at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University in the mid 1980s. He found soybeans and corn to have a range of soluble carbohydrates protecting the seed’s cell viability. Patents were awarded to him in the early 1990s on techniques for protecting “biological membranes” and proteins in the dry state. Compare to tardigrades.

Cultivation:
Soybeans are an important global crop, providing oil and protein. The bulk of the crop is solvent-extracted for vegetable oil and then defatted soy meal is used for animal feed. A small proportion of the crop is consumed directly by humans. Soybean products do appear in a large variety of processed foods.

Soybeans were a crucial crop in eastern Asia long before written records, and they remain a major crop in China, Japan, and Korea . Prior to fermented products such as soy sauce, tempeh, natto, and miso, soy was considered sacred for its use in crop rotation as a method of fixing nitrogen. The plants would be plowed under to clear the field for food crops.Soy was first introduced to Europe in the early 1700s and the United States in 1765, where it was first grown for hay. Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter in 1770 mentioning sending soybeans home from England. Soybeans did not become an important crop outside of Asia until about 1910. In America, soy was considered an industrial product only and not utilized as a food prior to the 1920s. Soy was introduced in Africa from China in the late 19th Century and is now widespread across the continent.

Cultivation is successful in climates with hot summers, with optimum growing conditions in mean temperatures of 20 °C to 30 °C (68°F to 86°F); temperatures of below 20 °C and over 40 °C (68 °F, 104 °F) retard growth significantly. They can grow in a wide range of soils, with optimum growth in moist alluvial soils with a good organic content. Soybeans, like most legumes, perform nitrogen fixation by establishing a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum (syn. Rhizobium japonicum; Jordan 1982). However, for best results an inoculum of the correct strain of bacteria should be mixed with the soybean (or any legume) seed before planting. Modern crop cultivars generally reach a height of around 1 m (3 ft), and take 80 to 120 days from sowing to harvesting.

Chemical composition of the seed:
The oil and protein content together account for about 60% of dry soybeans by weight; protein at 40% and oil at 20%. The remainder consists of 35% carbohydrate and about 5% ash. Soybean cultivars comprise approximately 8% seed coat or hull, 90% cotyledons and 2% hypocotyl axis or germ.

The majority of soy protein is a relatively heat-stable storage protein. This heat stability enables soy food products requiring high temperature cooking, such as tofu, soymilk and textured vegetable protein (soy flour) to be made.

The principal soluble carbohydrates, saccharides, of mature soybeans are the disaccharide sucrose (range 2.5 to 8.2%), the trisaccharide raffinose (0.1 to 1.0%) composed of one sucrose molecule connected to one molecule of galactose, and the tetrasaccharide stachyose (1.4 to 4.1%) composed of one sucrpose connected to two molecules of galactose. While the oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose protect the viability of the soybean seed from desiccation (see above section on physical characteristics) they are not digestible sugars and therefore contribute to flatulence and abdominal discomfort in humans and other monogastric animals; compare to the disaccharide trehalose. Undigested oligosaccharides are broken down in the intestine by native microbes producing gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, etc.

Since soluble soy carbohydrates are found mainly in the whey and are broken down during fermentation, soy concentrate, soy protein isolates, tofu, soy sauce, and sprouted soybeans are without flatus activity. On the other hand, there may be some beneficial effects to ingesting oligosaccharides such as raffinose and stachyose, namely, encouraging indigenous bifidobacteria in the colon against putrefactive bacteria.

The insoluble carbohydrates in soybeans consist of the complex polysaccharides cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. The majority of soybean carbohydrates can be classed as belonging to dietary fiber.

Genetic modification:
Soybeans are one of the “biotech food” crops that have been genetically modified, and GM soybeans are being used in an increasing number of products. In 1995 Monsanto introduced Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans that have had a copy of a gene from the bacterium, Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4, inserted into its genome by means of a gene gun, that allows the transgenic plant to survive being sprayed by this non-selective herbicide, Roundup. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, kills conventional soybeans. The bacterial gene is EPSP (5-enolpyruvyl shikimic acid-3-phosphate) synthase. Soybeans also have a version of this gene, but the soybean version is sensitive to glyphosate, while the CP4 version is not.

RR soybeans allow a farmer to spray widely the herbicide Roundup and so to reduce tillage or even to sow the seed directly into an unplowed field, known as no-till farming or conservation tillage. No-till agriculture has many advantages, greatly reducing soil erosion and creating better wildlife habitat; it also saves fossil fuels and sequesters CO2, a greenhouse effect gas. It should be noted that RR soybeans simplify the process, but are not a requirement for no-till agriculture. Roundup may be sprayed on the field (and weeds) before the non-RR soybeans have emerged from the soil.

In 1997, about 8% of all soybeans cultivated for the commercial market in the United States were genetically modified. In 2006, the figure was 89%. As with other “Roundup Ready” crops, concern is expressed over damage to biodiversity.[17] However, the RR gene has been bred into so many different soybean cultivars that the genetic modification itself has not resulted in any decline of genetic diversity, as demonstrated by a study on genetic diversity

The ubiquitous use of such types of GM soybeans in the Americas has caused problems with exports to some regions. GM crops require extensive certification before they can be legally imported into the European Union, where there is extensive supplier and consumer reluctance to use GM products for consumer or animal use. Difficulties with coexistence and subsequent traces of cross-contamination of non-GM stocks have caused shipments to be rejected and have put a premium on non-GM soy
Uses:
Soybeans can be broadly classified as “vegetable” (garden) or field (oil) types. Vegetable types cook more easily, have a mild nutty flavor, better texture, are larger in size, higher in protein, and lower in oil than field types. Tofu and soymilk producers prefer the higher protein cultivars bred from vegetable soybeans originally brought to the United States in the late 1930s. The “garden” cultivars are generally not suitable for mechanical combine harvesting because they have a tendency for the pods to shatter on reaching maturity.

Among the legumes, the soybean, also classed as an oilseed, is pre-eminent for its high (38–45%) protein content as well as its high (20%) oil content. Soybeans are the leading agricultural export in the United States. The bulk of the soybean crop is grown for oil production, with the high-protein defatted and “toasted” soy meal used as livestock feed. A smaller percentage of soybeans are used directly for human consumption.

Immature soybeans may be boiled whole in their green pod and served with salt, under the Japanese name edamame (枝豆, edamame?). Soybeans prepared this way are a popular local snack in Hawaii, and are becoming increasingly popular in the continental United States. Because of the proclaimed health benefits of soy, edamame has been featured as an ideal snack alternative in fitness and healthy living magazines such as Real Simple. Edamame is sold in the frozen vegetable section at some larger grocery stores, and as ready-to-eat snackfood in many Asian delis.

In China, Japan, and Korea the bean and products made from the bean are a popular part of the diet. The Chinese invented tofu , and also made use of several varieties of soybean paste as seasonings. Japanese foods made from soya include: miso , natto , and edamame . In Korean cuisine, soybean sprouts, called kongnamul (hangul) are also used in a variety of dishes such as doenjang, cheonggukjang and ganjang.

The beans can be processed in a variety of ways. Common forms of soy (or soya) include soy meal, soy flour, soy milk, tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP, which is made into a wide variety of vegetarian foods, some of them intended to imitate meat), tempeh, soy lecithin and soybean oil. Soybeans are also the primary ingredient involved in the production of soy sauce (or shoyu).
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is among the largest processors of soybeans and soy products. ADM along with Dow Chemical Company, DuPont and Monsanto support the industry trade associations United Soybean Board (USB) and Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA). These trade associations have increased the consumption of soy products dramatically in recent years.

Neutritional Value:
For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with “wet” heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors). Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to all monogastric animals.

Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body’s inability to synthesize them. For this reason, soy is a good source of protein, amongst many others, for vegetarians and vegans or for people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. According to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Protein, Vitamins, and Minerals:
Soybeans are generally considered to be a source of complete protein, without any need for Protein combining. although this is contested by some sources. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body’s inability to synthesize them. For this reason, soy is a good source of protein, amongst many others, for many vegetarians and vegans or for people who cannot afford meat.

The gold standard for measuring protein quality, since 1990, is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) and by this criterion soy protein is the nutritional equivalent of meat and eggs for human growth and health. Soybean protein isolate has a Biological Value of 74, whole soybeans 96, soybean milk 91, and eggs 97.

Soy protein is similar to that of other legume seeds, but has the highest yield per square meter of growing area, and is the least expensive source of dietary protein.

Soybean, mature seeds, raw: Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy…1,866 kJ (446 kcal)
Carbohydrates..30.16 g
Sugars……….7.33 g
Dietary fiber…9.3 g

Fat……….19.94 g
Saturated………2.884 g
Monounsaturated…4.404 g
Polyunsaturated..11.255 g

Protein……………36.49 g
Tryptophan……..0.591 g
Threonine………1.766 g
Isoleucine……..1.971 g
Leucine………..3.309 g
Lysine    ………..2.706 g
Methionine0…..547 g
Cystine………. 0.655 g
Phenylalanine…..2.122 g
Tyrosine1…….539 g
Valine…………2.029 g
Arginine……….3.153 g
Histidine………1.097 g
Alanine1……….1.915 g
Aspartic acid…..5.112 g
Glutamic acid…..7.874 g
Glycine………..1.880 g
Proline………..2.379 g
Serine…………2.357 g

Vitamins:
Vitamin A equiv…… .(0%)….1 ?g.
Thiamine (B1)………(76%)…0.874 mg
Riboflavin(B2)……..(73%)…0.87 mg
Niacin (B3)………..(11%)…1.623 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5).(16%)…0.793 mg
Vitamin B6…………(29%)…0.377 mg
Folate (B9)………..(94%)…375 ?g
Vitamin B12………..(0%)……0 ?g
Choline……………(24%)…115.9 mg
Vitamin C…………..(7%)…..6.0 mg
Vitamin E…………..(6%)…..0.85 mg
Vitamin K…………..(45%)….47 ?g

Trace metals:
Calcium………….(28%)…..277 mg
Iron…………….(121%)…15.7 mg
Magnesium………..(79%)…..280 mg
Manganese………..(120%)..2.517 mg
Phosphorus……….(101%)….704 mg
Potassium………..(38%)….1797 mg
Sodium    ………….(0%)……2 mg
Zinc……………(51%) 4.89 mg
Other constituents

Soya Oil:
In processing soybeans for oil extraction and subsequent soy flour production, selection of high quality, sound, clean, dehulled yellow soybeans are very important. Soybeans having a dark colored seed coat, or even beans with a dark hilum will inadvertently leave dark specks in the flour, are undesirable for use in commercial food products. All commercial soybeans in the United States are yellow or yellow brown.

To produce soybean oil, the soybeans are cracked, adjusted for moisture content, rolled into flakes and solvent-extracted with commercial hexane. The oil is then refined, blended for different applications, and sometimes hydrogenated. Soybean oils, both liquid and partially hydrogenated, are exported abroad, sold as “vegetable oil,” or end up in a wide variety of processed foods. The remaining soybean husks are used mainly as animal feed.

The major unsaturated fatty acids in soybean oil triglycerides are 7% linolenic acid (C18:3); 51% linoleic acid (C-18:2); and 23% oleic acid(C-18:1). It also contains the saturated fatty acids 4%stearic acid and 10% palmitic acid.

Soybean oil has a relatively high proportion, 7–10%, of oxidation prone linolenic acid, which is an undesirable property for continuous service, such as in a restaurant. In the early nineties, Iowa State University developed soybean oil with 1% linolenic acid in the oil. Three companies, Monsanto, DuPont/Bunge, and Asoyia in 2004 introduced low linolenic, (C18:3; cis-9, cis-12, cis-15 octadecatrienoic acid) Roundup Ready soybeans. In the past hydrogenation was used to reduce the unsaturation in linolenic acid, but this produced the unnatural trans-fatty acid trans fat configuration, whereas in nature the configuration is cis. This external picture from North Dakota State University compares soybean oil fatty acid content with other oils.

Soybean oil has also been found effective as an insect repellent in some studies. The commercial product Bite Blocker contains soybean oil as one active ingredient

Soya Meal:
Soybean meal, the material remaining after solvent extraction of soybean flakes, with a 50% soy protein content, toasted (a misnomer because the heat treatment is with moist steam) and ground in a hammer mill, provided the energy for the American production method, beginning in the 1930s, of growing farm animals such as poultry and swine on an industrial scale; and more recently the aquaculture of catfish.
Soya Flour:
Soy flour refers to defatted soybeans where special care was taken during desolventizing (not toasted) in order to minimize denaturation of the protein to retain a high Nitrogen Solubility Index (NSI), for uses such as extruder texturizing (TVP). It is the starting material for production of soy concentrate and soy protein isolate.

*Defatted soy flour is obtained from solvent extracted flakes, and contains less than 1% oil.
*Full-fat soy flour is made from unextracted, dehulled beans, and contains about 18% to 20% oil. Due to its high oil content a specialized Alpine Fine Impact Mill must be used for grinding rather than the more common hammer mill.

*Low-fat soy flour is made by adding back some oil to defatted soy flour. The lipid content varies according to specifications, usually between 4.5% and 9%.

*High-fat soy flour can also be produced by adding back soybean oil to defatted flour at the level of 15%.

*Lecithinated soy flour is made by adding soybean lecithin to defatted, low-fat or high-fat soy flours to increase their dispersibility and impart emulsifying properties. The lecithin content varies up to 15%.

Soya Infant formula:
Infant formulas based on soy are used by lactose-intolerant babies and for babies that are allergic to cow milk proteins. The formulas are sold in powdered, ready-to-feed, or concentrated liquid forms.

Some reviews express the opinion that more research is needed to answer the question of what effect the phytoestrogens contained in soy formula may have on infants , but did not find any adverse effects. Diverse studies conclude there are no adverse effects in human growth, development, or reproduction as a result of the consumption of soy-based infant formula. One of these studies, published at the Journal of Nutrition, concludes that:

“…there is no clinical concerns with respect to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, neurobehavioral development, immune development, or thyroid disease. SBIFs provide complete nutrition that adequately supports normal infant growth and development. FDA has accepted SBIFs as safe for use as the sole source of nutrition”

Soya Nut butter:
Soybeans have been made into a spread called soynut butter, similar to peanut butter but with soybeans instead. It is less fattening than peanut butter.

Substitute for existing products:
Soybeans are the primary ingredient in many processed foods, including dairy product substitutes (e.g., margarine, soy ice cream, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese and soy cream cheese), as well as Crisco, soybean oil, tofu, veggie burgers, soy crisps, among others. Soybeans are processed to produce a texture and appearance similar to other foods (e.g., butter, ice cream, milk, yogurt, cheese, lard, olive oil, ground beef, potato chips, etc.) and are readily available in most supermarkets. Soy milk does not contain significant amounts of calcium, since the high calcium content of soybeans is bound to the insoluble constituents and remains in the pulp. Many manufacturers of soy milk now sell calcium-enriched products as well.
Other products:
Soybeans are the bean used in Chinese fermented black beans, douchi, not the sometimes confused black turtle beans.

Soybeans are also used in industrial products including oils, soap, cosmetics, resins, plastics, inks, crayons, solvents, clothing, and biodiesel. Soybeans are also used as fermenting stock to make a brand of vodka.[citation needed]

Henry Ford promoted the soybean, helping to develop uses for it both in food and in industrial products, even demonstrating auto body panels made of soy-based plastics. Ford’s interest led to two bushels of soybeans being used in each Ford car as well as products like the first commercial soy milk, ice cream and all-vegetable non-dairy whipped topping. The Ford development of so-called soy-based plastics was based on the addition of soybean flour and wood flour to phenolformaldehyde plastics.

In 1931, Ford hired chemists Robert Boyer and Frank Calvert to produce artificial silk. They succeeded in making a textile fiber of spun soy protein fibers, hardened or tanned in a formaldehyde bath which was given the name Azlon by the Federal Trade Commission. Pilot production of Azlon reached 5000 pounds per day in 1940, but never reached the commercial market.

Today, very high quality textile fibers are made commercially from “okara” (soy pulp), a by-product of tofu production.

Consumption of soy may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, possibly due to the presence of sphingolipids.
THE ROLE OF SOYA FOODS IN DISEASE PREVENTION:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, alpha-linolenic acid C18-3, all cis, 9,12,15 octadecatrienoic acid (where the omega-3 refers to carbon number 3 counting from the hydrocarbon tail whereas C-15 refers to carbon number 15 counting from the carboxyl acid head) are special fat components that benefit many body functions. However, the effects which are beneficial to health are associated mainly with the longer-chain, more unsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA) found in fish oil and oily fish. For instance, EPA and DHA, inhibit blood clotting, while there is no evidence that alpha-linolenic acid (aLNA) can do this. Soybean oil is one of the few common vegetable oils that contains a significant amount of aLNA; others include canola, walnut, and flax. However, soybean oil does not contain EPA or DHA. Soybean oil does contain significantly greater amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the oil: 100g of soybean oil contains 7g of omega-3 fatty acids to 51g of omega-6: a ratio of 1:7. Flaxseed, in comparison, has an omega-3:omega-6 ratio of 3:1.
Isoflavones:
Soybeans also contain the isoflavones genistein and daidzein, types of phytoestrogen, that are considered by some nutritionists and physicians to be useful in the prevention of cancer and by others to be carcinogenic[citation needed] and endocrine disruptive[citation needed]. Soy’s content of isoflavones are as much as 3mg/g dry weight.[citation needed] Isoflavones are polyphenol compounds, produced primarily by beans and other legumes, including peanuts and chickpeas. Isoflavones are closely related to the antioxidant flavonoids found in other plants, vegetables and flowers. Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein are found in only some plant families, because most plants do not have an enzyme, chalcone isomerase which converts a flavone precursor into an isoflavone.

Claims of cholesterol reduction:
The dramatic increase in soyfood sales is largely credited to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of health claims for soy in which studies are conflicting as to their cholesterol lowering ability.

From 1992 to 2003, sales have experienced a 15% compound annual growth rate, increasing from $300 million to $3.9 billion over 11 years, as new soyfood categories have been introduced, soyfoods have been repositioned in the market place, thanks to a better emphasis on marketing nutrition

In 1995, the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 333, No. 5) published a report from the University of Kentucky entitled, “Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Soy Protein Intake on Serum Lipids.” It was financed by the PTI division of DuPont,”The Solae Co.”[34] St. Louis, Missouri, a soy producer and marketer. This meta-analysis concluded that soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride concentrations. However, High Density Lipoprotein HDL(good cholesterol) did not increase by a significant amount. Soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones: genistein and daidzein) adsorbed onto the soy protein were suggested as the agent reducing serum cholesterol levels. On the basis of this research PTI, in 1998, filed a petition with FDA for a health claim that soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. It should be noted that only subjects with serum cholesterol of 250mg/dl and higher showed any improvement in the study.

The FDA granted this health claim for soy: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” One serving, (1 cup or 240 mL) of soy milk, for instance, contains 6 or 7 grams of soy protein. Solae resubmitted their original petition, asking for a more vague health claim, after their original was challenged and highly criticized. Solae also submitted a petition for a health claim that soy can help prevent cancer. They quickly withdrew the petition for lack of evidence and after more than 1,000 letters of protest were received. In February 18, 2008 Weston A. Price Foundation submitted a petition for removal of this health claim.

In January, 2006 an American Heart Association review (in the journal Circulation) of a decade long study of soy protein benefits casts doubt on the FDA allowed “Heart Healthy” claim for soy protein. This review of the literature compared soy protein and its component isoflavones with casein (isolated milk protein), wheat protein, and mixed animal proteins. The review panel also found that soy isoflavones have not been shown to reduce post menopause “hot flashes” in women and the efficacy and safety of isoflavones to help prevent cancers of the breast, uterus or prostate is in question. Thus, soy isoflavone supplements in food or pills is not recommended. Among the conclusions the authors state, “In contrast, soy products such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts, or some soy burgers should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat. Using these and other soy foods to replace foods high in animal protein that contain saturated fat and cholesterol may confer benefits to cardiovascular health.” The original paper is in the journal Circulation: January 17, 2006

SOY CONTROVERSY :

Phytoestrogen:
Soybeans contain isoflavones called genistein and daidzein, which are one source of phytoestrogens in the human diet. Since most naturally occurring estrogenic substances show only weak activity, it is doubtful that normal consumption of foods that contain these phytoestrogens would provide sufficient amounts to elicit a physiological response in humans.

Plant lignans associated with high fiber foods such as cereal brans and beans are the principal precursor to mammalian lignans which have an ability to bind to human estrogen sites. Soybeans are a significant source of mammalian lignan precursor secoisolariciresinol containing 13–273 µg/100 g dry weight. Another phytoestrogen in the human diet with estrogen activity is coumestans, which are found in beans, split-peas, with the best sources being alfalfa, clover, and soybean sprouts. Coumestrol, an isoflavone coumarin derivative is the only coumestan in foods.

Soybeans and processed soy foods do not contain the highest “total phytoestrogen” content of foods. A study in which data were presented on an as is (wet) basis per 100 g and per serving found that food groups with decreasing levels of total phytoestrogens per 100 g are nuts and oilseeds, soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, meat products, various processed foods that may contain soy, vegetables, and fruits.


In men:
Because of the phytoestrogen content, some studies indicate that there is an inverse correlation between soybean ingestion and testosterone in men.For this reason, they may be protected against the development of prostate cancer.

In women:
A 2001 lierature review suggested that women with current or past breast cancer should be aware of the risks of potential tumor growth when taking soy products, based on the effect of phytoestrogens on breast cancer cell growth in animals.

A 2006 commentary reviewed the relationship with soy and breast cancer. They stated that soy may prevent breast cancer, but cautioned that the impact of isoflavones on breast tissue needs to be evaluated at the cellular level in women at high risk for breast cancer.

In infant formula:
There are some studies that state that phytoestrogen in soy can lead to alterations in the proliferation and migration of intestinal cells. The effects of these alterations are unknown. However, some studies conclude there are no adverse effects in human growth, development, or reproduction as a result of the consumption of soy-based infant formula. Other reviews agree, but state that more research is needed to answer the question of what effect phytoestrogens have on infants. Soy formula has also been linked to autoimmune disorders of the thyroid gland.


Allergens:
About 8% of children in the USA are allergic to soybean proteins. The major soy allergen has been identified by scientists at USDA. Both transgenic and conventional soybean varieties without the allergenic protein have been prepared.Soy allergy, typically, will manifest itself approximately a day after consumption of the beans. Common symptoms are urticaria, rash, itching, and redness of the skin

Promotion as health food:
Soy consumption has been promoted by natural food companies and the soy industry’s aggressive marketing campaign in various magazines, television ads and in health food markets. Research has been conducted examining the validity of the beneficial health claims with regard to the increase in consumption of soybeans which mimic hormonal activity. A practice guideline published in the journal Circulation questions the efficacy and safety of soy isoflavones for preventing or treating cancer of the breast, endometrium, and prostate (although the same study also concludes that soy in some foods should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health) and does not recommend usage of isoflavone supplements in food or pills. A review of the available studies by the United States’ Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found little evidence of substantial health improvements and no adverse effects, but also noted that there was no long-term safety data on soy consumption

In the brain:
Estrogen helps protect and repair the brain during and after injury. The mimicry of estrogen by the phytoestrogens in soy has introduced a controversy over whether such a replacement is harmful or helpful to the brain. Several studies have found soy to be harmful for rats. One study followed over 3000 Japanese men between 1965 and 1999, and that showed a positive correlation between brain atrophy and consumption of tofu. The study was rejected as not credible by the Food and Drug Administration when it issued its health claim for soy: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

As a carcinogen:
Raw soy flour is known to cause pancreatic cancer in rats. Whether this is also true in humans is unknown because no studies comparing cases of pancreatic cancer and soy intake in humans have yet been conducted, and the doses used to induce pancreatic cancer in rats are said to be larger than humans would normally consume. Heated soy flour may not be carcinogenic in rats.

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

Reources:

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

http://www.teenwitch.com/foods/soyabean.html

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Featured News on Health & Science

Tremor (When the muscles refuse to obey)

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At 40 plus, just at the peak of a successful career, the sudden onset of tremor can be devastating. Careers nosedive as the young executive, although with intelligence undiminished, is unable to speak lucidly. The handwriting has little spidery spikes and is illegible. The head constantly moves in a side-to-side motion, a  yes-yes no-no  see saw oscillation that sends confused signals to the bemused bystander. Eventually, the involuntary to and fro motion affects other muscle groups in the arms, legs and trunk. Gait is affected and becomes unsteady and lurching. Speech becomes tremulous with an up and down intonation as the vocal cords get affected. Even daily tasks like dressing and eating become difficult to perform. Worse still, typing and computer keyboard coordination become impossible. And once rapid button-pressing skills are compromised, life in the 21st century becomes impracticable.

Parkinsons disease  is the diagnosis that leaps to the mind. However, all tremors are not Parkinsons. Parkinsonism occurs later, around the age of 60 years. The tremor is typical and is described as  pill rolling . The face is mask-like and expressionless.

A young person is more likely to have hereditary essential tremor. This is inherited as an autosomal dominant condition (if one parent has tremor the offspring has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting it). It affects around 0.4-3 per cent of the population (both male and female) around the age of 40 years.

Any malfunction of the areas of the brain that control movement can cause tremor. This can be caused by infectious diseases like meningitis or encephalitis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, tumours and neurodegenerative diseases. Tremor can also be brought on by low blood sugar and a hyper functioning thyroid gland.

However, not all tremors are sinister. Standing for a long time in a particular position may cause the legs to shake. This tremor is normal and disappears if the person sits down.

Sometimes a person may complain of tremor and yet nothing may be grossly visible. This fine physiological or normal tremor can be proved by asking the person to hold a small, lighted torch and focus it on a wall. The light shakes from side to side. This kind of tremor is increased by anxiety and fear but disappears at rest and when the person is calm.

Alcohol can provoke or normalise tremor, depending on whether it is due to excessive consumption or withdrawal.

Tremors caused by an underlying medical condition spontaneously disappear once the condition is removed. Appropriate treatment depends on accurate diagnosis of the cause.

Symptomatic drug therapy is available for several forms of tremor. Parkinsonian tremor can be treated with a combination of levodopa, other dopamine-like drugs and anticholinergic medication. Unfortunately, the response decreases over time so the dosage has to be increased or more drugs added.

Essential tremor may be treated with beta blockers and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug. The response is variable.

Caffeine in coffee, tea and cola drinks, nicotine in cigarettes, and alcohol behave as tremor  triggers . Eliminating them from the diet controls all kinds of tremor.

Sometimes, the tremor can become so uncontrolled that the person expends all his or her energy. Food intake cannot keep pace and the person becomes cachexic and moribund. If the response to medication is also inadequate, surgical intervention may help. These procedures are usually performed only when the tremor is severe and does not respond to drugs.

The thalamus is the part of the brain that is responsible for most tremors. Implantable electrodes can be used to send high-frequency electrical signals to this region. A hand-held magnet can be used to turn on and turn off a pulse generator that is surgically implanted under the skin. This temporarily disables the tremor. The batteries in the generator last about five years and have to be replaced surgically. This procedure can be performed for both Parkinsonian and essential tremors.

If this is not practical, in severe cases the thalamus can be electrically ablated with brain surgery. This permanently cures the tremor without disrupting sensations or voluntary control of the muscles.

Tremor is debilitating and depressing for the patient. The caregiver also has a difficult time trying to cope with the uncoordinated and uncontrolled motor activity of a person whose muscles simply refuse to obey commands. Physical therapy helps to reduce the tremor. A qualified physiotherapist can work with the patient to improve coordination, muscle strength, control and functional skills. Control in a tremulous limb can be regained to some extent by bracing the limb and regularly exercising using weights and splints. Some traditional forms of exercise like yoga and Taichi are also beneficial. They may help to retard the progress of the disease if started in the early stages in conjunction with medication.

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.

Written by:Dr Gita Mathai is a paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore. Questions on health issues may be emailed to her at yourhealthgm@yahoo.co.in

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Healthy Tips

Fruits, Vegetables May Be Your Best Defense Against Pancreatic Cancer

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Cancer of the pancreas is one of the most deadly types of cancer in the U.S., killing an estimated 300,000 Americans each year. Little is known about the primary cause of pancreatic cancer; even less is known about how to prevent it. A recent study suggests that increasing consumption of certain fruits and vegetables may the best way of reducing a person’s risk of pancreatic cancer, and that the more fruits and vegetables a person eats, the lower the risk of contracting the disease…….click & see

The study looked at the eating habits of more than 2,200 people over a 4-year period. Included in the study group were 532 people who had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Analysis of the eating habits showed that consuming at least five servings per day of “protective” vegetables was associated with a 55 percent reduced risk of pancreatic cancer, compared with eating two servings or less daily. High consumption of “protective” fruit and fruit juices, meanwhile, reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 28 percent. Onions; beans; garlic; carrots; yams; sweet potatoes; corn; dark, leafy vegetables; cruciferous vegetables; citrus fruits; and fruit juices were the items considered to provide the best protection against pancreatic cancer.

Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is typically recommended to help in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The results of this study suggest that pancreatic cancer is the latest disease that can be added to that list. So, what are you waiting for? Go eat some fruits and veggies!

For more information, you may visit: http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition.

Chan JM, Wang F, Holly E. Vegetable and fruit intake and pancreatic cancer in a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay area. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Sep. 2005;14:2093-2097.