Monday, February 28, 2011

Carnosine and Carnitine Key to Anti-Aging Health

(Article first published as Anti-Aging Nutrients Carnosine and Carnitine Help Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease on Technorati.)
Arterial stiffness caused by glycation is one of the key underlying causes of aging and has been shown to contribute to increased risk of heart disease, dementia, DNA damage and metabolic dysfunction. The aging process accelerates as blood sugar levels slowly increase as a result of poor dietary choices and can cause damage to proteins.

Protein structures are rendered useless as they are bound with sugar as combined units known as advanced glycation end products (AGE’s). Carnosine and carnitine are natural compounds that have been shown to prevent the damage caused by excess sugar and can reverse the development of AGE’s that lead to disease proliferation.

Carnosine Shown to Demonstrate Anti-Aging Effects
The heart muscle and vascular system are very sensitive to the effects of free radical damage and protein degradation from sugar glycation. When critical proteins become non-functional from AGE accumulation, the heart and endothelial structures lose their elasticity and blood pressure rises.

The results of research published in the journal Experimental Gerontology demonstrate carnosine’s ability to scavenge and neutralize free radicals and repair damaged protein structures. This was shown to effectively reduce the damaging effects of atherosclerosis and lengthen life span.

Carnosine Reduce Damage from Diabetic Complications
Elevated glucose causes destructive changes to vital enzymes and proteins that set the stage for metabolic syndrome and tissue damage. This problem is particularly devastating in diabetics as blood sugar levels remain elevated throughout the day and sugar-protein cross links wreak havoc with renal health, vision and the nervous system.

Information provided in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development shows how carnosine can prevent and even reverse glycation by inhibiting the chemical reaction that links sugar and protein to form non-functional structures. Carnosine effectively stabilizes cellular integrity and helps to prevent the devastating complications that are so common in diabetics.

Carnitine Lowers Risk from Heart Disease
Carnitine is made in the body from the two amino acids lysine and methionine and is essential to lipid metabolism. Research has shown that carnitine is able to lower the damaging effects of free radical damage to the arteries, prevent deterioration of the heart and reduce arterial stiffening. These processes are common in aging individuals and are a key cause of heart disease and heart attack, especially in diabetics.

The European Journal of Clinical Investigation explains how carnitine (Acetyl-l-carnitine) improves arterial flexibility by helping to prevent AGE cross-links that cause hardening of the delicate endothelial structures. The study authors theorize that carnitine may lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol that is known to provide the `glue` for compounds that develop into arterial plaque.

Carnosine and carnitine levels in the body naturally decrease with age. The main dietary source for both compounds is from meat and dairy products. Many health conscious people limit their consumption of these foods and supplementation may become necessary. Nutritional experts recommend supplementing with 1000 mg of carnosine and 500 mg of carnitine daily to achieve the antioxidant and anti-aging health benefits experienced in most research studies.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slash Heart Disease Risk by 80%

(Article first published as Four Step Approach to Cut Heart Disease Risk by Eighty Percent on Technorati.)
Nearly one million people fall victim to heart disease every year. The vast majority of these people are unaware that this devastating condition can be prevented with a natural approach to diet. Researchers from the European EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study have developed a plan that can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease by 81%. 

Medical researchers understand that heart disease begins early in life and progresses to threaten life as we approach our senior years. The good news is that heart disease can be controlled and reversed by making simple changes to lifestyle and diet.

Drugs Can`t Fix Heart Disease
The typical patient diagnosed with heart disease is placed on a low fat diet and given a handful of medications including a statin. Statins cause muscle pain in 40% of those who take them and information from a study published in The Lancet journal confirms that this class of medication causes diabetes. Volumes of research confirm that high cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, yet it remains a popular target of treatment because it`s easy to lower with drugs. Similarly, a low fat diet perpetuates and worsens heart disease as it triggers continual blood sugar surges and high triglycerides.

Correcting the Real Cause of Heart Disease
The results of the EPIC study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrate that changes in diet could lower the risk of a heart attack by 81% through inflammation reduction and lowering blood pressure. The study highlighted four dietary factors that result in heart disease.

Refined Carbohydrates, Grains and Sugar: Processed foods have become a staple in the typical diet. These foods are loaded with simple carbs that quickly break down to glucose and cause rapid blood sugar spikes. This eventually leads to insulin resistance and damages the delicate inner endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Cut all breads, pasta, rice, sugary treats and any foods made with wheat (including whole grain) or corn.

Excess Omega-6 Vegetable Oils: Vegetable oils are stable at room temperature and are used in virtually all baked and processed foods to enhance flavor and increase shelf life. Excess amounts of vegetable fats trigger the release of inflammatory chemical messengers that increase oxidative stress and damage the vascular system. Don`t use vegetable oils for cooking and avoid all fried foods and corn fed meats.

Omega-3 Fat Deficiency: Our modern diet is virtually void of health-sustaining Omega-3 fats that have been a part of the human diet for countless generations. The proper ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats is ideally 1:1. Experts agree that many people are closer to a 20:1 ratio. This creates an imbalance and promotes systemic inflammation. Include tuna, salmon, sardines, nuts and seeds to balance your fat ratio or include a high potency fish oil supplement.

Oxidative Stress: The normal course of breathing, eating and moving generates free radicals that can damage our genetic structure and cause LDL cholesterol to become oxidized. We can’t avoid the process entirely but we can include healthy quantities of fresh vegetables, berries and targeted supplements to negate the effects of free radicals on our heart and other organs.

Heart disease is the leading killer of people in western society. Most of these deaths can be prevented by following a natural diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Reduce your risk of death from heart disease by making these changes today and live to pass the word to your great grandchildren.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Curcumin, Garlic and Green Tea Lower Risk of Chronic Disease

(Article first published as Powerful Nutrient Trio Protects the Brain and Heart on Technorati.)
Humans have relied on natural extracts and powerful nutrients to prevent disease and maintain health for countless generations. The typical diet consists mostly of foods that have been heavily processed so that most of the vitamins and minerals we need to sustain optimal health have been eliminated. 

Estimates are that only 1 in 20 people consumes the minimum daily recommendation of 5 servings of vegetables and fruits. Most individuals are therefore deficient in a wide array of phytonutrients supplied by fresh produce that are essential for disease prevention. You can improve your health by adding these natural nutrients to your diet or supplemental arsenal.

Curcumin Shown to Protect the Brain and Liver
Curcumin is the active component of the Indian spice, tumeric that gives curry its deep yellow color. This potent antiviral is known to provide critical protection to the brain as it can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Researchers have shown that the spice extract can effectively inhibit the formation of brain plaque that is associated with Alzheimer`s disease and other neurological disorders such as Parkinson's.

New research published in the journal Endocrinology confirms how curcumin can help prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver. Fatty liver disease is a potentially fatal affliction that worsens with excess body weight and obesity. The liver is our primary organ responsible for filtering toxins from the blood as well as hundreds of other important metabolic functions within our body. Any natural nutrient that can help keep fat from clogging the normal activity of our liver is critical to our health.

Garlic Dramatically Lowers Risk from Many Cancer Lines
Sulfur is the active compound that makes garlic difficult for many to eat raw and also contributes to its long list of health benefits. Our body uses the breakdown of sulfur to power a process known as methylation. Through this chain of chemical reactions our body is able to perform many critical functions that promote healthy immune response and clear waste products from our cells.

The result of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrates that a diet including garlic (and onions) was inversely related to the risk of many forms of cancer. Pancreatic cancer risk was lowered by 54%, prostate cancer by 51% and colon cancer rates were cut in half. Researchers believe that an improved immune response is behind the cancer fighting ability associated with garlic.

Green Tea in the Fight Against Obesity and Heart Disease
The catechins in green tea (EGCG) have been known for their ability to fight diseases ranging from cancer to dementia and heart disease. Extensive research has shown that EGCG can effectively inhibit the blood supply required for the development and proliferation of cancer cells. Risk for developing deadly lung cancer was reduced by 66% in participants taking a concentrated form of green tea extract.

Green tea is also a powerful tool in the fight against heart disease. Information published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition explains how EGCG increases the oxidation of fat by boosting metabolism. This action assists in weight loss by increasing base metabolic rate. Green tea also lowers the risk of coronary artery disease by limiting oxidized LDL cholesterol that causes arterial plaque.

Natural antiviral nutrients are vital to our health. Those interested in lowering their risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia and liver dysfunction should be certain to include these powerful compounds through diet or supplementation.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beetroot Juice Effective in Alzheimer's Disease Risk Reduction

(Article first published as Beetroot Juice May Hold a Key to Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention on Technorati.)
The results of a new study published in the journal Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry shows the impact of beetroot juice on brain health. Researchers already know that beetroot juice is beneficial to heart health as it effectively lowers blood pressure. A new study demonstrated the extract could be used as an agent to improve oxygen flow to the aging brain and improve cognitive decline.

Nitrates in Beetroot Juice Relax Aging Arteries
Healthy blood flow to the brain declines with age as the vascular endothelium begins to harden and normal flexibility is lost. The heart needs to beat faster and harder to pump the same volume of blood and normal oxygen supply is reduced. These are known risk factors for the onset of dementia as well as stroke.

Beetroot juice is high in natural nitrates that turn into nitrite and help to relax and open aging blood vessels that supply the brain. More blood flow corresponds to improved oxygenation, improved memory and the ability to learn and retain recent events.

Blood Flow to the Brain Improved with Beetroot Juice
The study conducted at Wake Forest University`s Translational Science Center included 14 adults aged 70 and over for a period of 4 days. Participants were broken into two groups and provided with a diet high in nitrates (from beetroot juice and leafy green vegetables) or a traditional diet without nitrates. The next day blood was drawn to determine nitrite saturation levels and an MRI was performed to check for blood flow to the brain. Participant diets were switched on subsequent days and the tests repeated.

Study Concludes Beetroot Juice Improves Blood Flow and Cognition
Test results indicated that blood flow to the critical front lobe white matter was increased as a result of the diet high in nitrates from beetroot juice. No change was seen when a traditional diet was provided. The study authors concluded “Our results support the proposal that oral nitrate therapy may be beneficial in treating cognitive decline that is often observed with aging. Towards that end, we show a direct effect of dietary nitrate on cerebral blood flow within the subcortical and deep white matter of the frontal lobes”.

Increasing blood flow and oxygenation is essential to prevent the cognitive decline that is so prevalent in the aging population. Half of those people at age 80 will experience some form of dementia or vascular disorder. Research continues to confirm that a natural diet including foods such as beetroot juice can help to improve cognition and allow people to age naturally.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Raspberries Help Lower Colon Cancer Risk by 45%

(Article first published as Choose Raspberries and Purple Fruits to Ward off Cancer on Technorati.)
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. This devastating disease is on the rise as our typical diet of processed foods continues to kill. A diet void of essential nutrients is the driving force behind this largely preventable disease.

Researchers continue to uncover the critical link between a diet packed with natural plant based phytonutrients and cancer prevention. You can add these important foods to your dietary arsenal and dramatically lower your risk of disease.

Study Shows a 45% Reduction in Colon Cancer Risk
Research conducted at the University of Illinois and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research show that a diet supplemented with black raspberries lowered the incidence of colorectal cancer by 45%. The study authors conclude that the high polyphenol content of the raspberries are likely to influence digestive gene targets and may be of benefit to other digestive cancer lines as well.

Black Raspberries Shown to Reverse Gene Damage
A second study published in Cancer Research demonstrated that there are over 2000 genes that are responsible for regulating digestive health. These genetic targets are down regulated with a diet of processed foods, hydrogenated fats and sugar to favor the initiation and development of cancer. Supplementing with a concentration of freeze-dried black raspberries was shown to return 462 of those genes to a normal state.

The study author concluded, “We have clearly shown that berries, which contain a variety of anticancer compounds, have a genome-wide effect on the expression of genes involved in cancer development”. Researchers have shown that the active compound found in black raspberries inhibits tumor development by suppressing the activity of a protein needed for the disease to progress. Further, black raspberries reduce levels of dangerous systemic inflammation that lower tumor formation by 50%.

Anthocyanins are Powerful Antioxidants
Black raspberries aren`t the only member of the berry family known to prevent disease. Research has concentrated on the antioxidant capacity of berries and how anthocyanins can reduce the risk from diseases ranging from diabetes and dementia to stroke and heart disease. Information published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that berry compounds have a significant biological activity that has been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of cancers of the digestive tract.

The researchers tested the chemo-protective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts (ARE`s) to determine which exhibited the highest antioxidant power. They found that purple corn, chokeberry, bilberry, purple carrot and grapes were at the top of the list. Anthocyanins impart the deep purple color to these foods that make them such powerful agents against cancer.

Members of the berry family and foods rich in anthocyanins have been consumed by our ancestors for generations. These potent compounds provide us with an important tool to prevent many diseases that result from our poor western diet. Be certain your diet includes a source of anthocyanins to dramatically lower your risk of digestive cancers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coenzyme Q10 Improves Heart Health and Assists Weight Loss Efforts

(Article first published as CoQ10 Energy Boosting Nutrient Improves Heart Health and Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)
Coenzyme Q10 is an amazing chemical cofactor which is required by every cell in the body to produce the energy we need to live. It`s been shown to increase the level of energy to all muscles and is especially important to cardiac function as it increases energy production at an optimal rate. 

Coenzyme Q10 provides the necessary energy to fuel our immune system as it mounts an attack against invading pathogens, and improves the release of fat from storage by improving oxygen utilization. Our production of CoQ10 decreases as we age so it`s necessary to supplement with the correct form of this enzyme to achieve the important health benefits

Boost Energy and Improve Heart Health
The primary unit of energy used by the mitochondria of our cells is known as ATP and Coenzyme Q10 is the only chemical facilitator which can be used by the body to make this critical fuel. A shortage of this coenzyme means our muscles don`t function efficiently and the aging process is accelerated. Coenzyme Q10 is also a powerful antioxidant which has been shown to influence arterial elasticity.

The results of a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism show that combining Coenzyme Q10 with other powerful antioxidants including Vitamins C, E and selenium significantly improved an array of cardiovascular risk factors including arterial function, blood pressure, blood sugar and protective HDL cholesterol. Billions of dollars are spent annually on pharmaceuticals which are largely ineffective at improving cardio biomarkers and have the potential to wreak havoc throughout the body.

Provides Critical Energy for Strong Immune System Function
Our immune system requires considerable energy to combat potentially lethal pathogens and rogue cancer cells. Coenzyme Q10 has been found to help boost our immune system when an invader is detected. The coenzyme works at the cellular level by providing critical support for our natural killer cells which are the first line of defense in detecting and removing viral and bacterial invaders.

Coenzyme Q10 has also been shown to lower levels of damaging systemic inflammation by down regulating the secretion of chemicals (NF-kappaB) which lower our immune response. Researchers have shown that increasing blood levels of the coenzyme can raise antibody response by 57% which improves the time it takes for our immune system to respond to an invader.

Burn More Fat and Assist Weight Loss Efforts
Coenzyme Q10 provides needed energy to improve the effectiveness of exercise as it increases oxygen utilization and fat metabolism. By improving the efficiency of how raw energy components are converted into ATP, coenzyme Q10 stimulates metabolic rate and controls how quickly fat is released from our white adipose tissue. Researchers have found that combining Coenzyme Q10 with regular aerobic exercise significantly increases fat release compared with just exercise alone.

The importance of Coenzyme Q10 to human health has been confirmed by a large number of scientifically validated studies. Benefits include improved cardiovascular and immune system health from the nutrients ability to lower inflammation, increase antioxidant status and assist metabolic function. Most adults need to supplement with 100 mg each day to improve health and dramatically lower disease risk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vitamin E and Physical Activity Lower Risk of Alzheimer`s Disease

(Article first published as Walking and Diet Dramatically Cut Risk of Alzheimer`s Disease on Technorati.)
Medical researchers continue to demonstrate that the development and progression of one of the most feared conditions of our generation is not an inevitable occurrence. Alzheimer`s disease affects 1 in 10 people by age 65 and nearly half of those aged 85 or older.

The disease develops undetected over the course of decades due to a diet deficient in nutrients and antioxidants and lack of regular physical activity. You can ensure your risk of developing this devastating form of dementia is negated by taking appropriate dietary and lifestyle actions today.

Walking Protects the Brain from Cognitive Decline
Brain volume is directly related to our ability to learn and form new memories. One of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer`s disease is a loss of brain cells due to death of the critical neuronal structures. This effect can be measured using an MRI and is an indicator of cognitive decline and disease progression. The results of a study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America demonstrated that walking the equivalent of five miles per week significantly lowered the decline in brain volume commonly seen in aging adults.

The findings showed that greater amounts of physical activity were associated with greater brain volume. Individuals with demonstrated cognitive decline were able to maintain brain volume and slow cognitive decline. Healthy subjects needed to walk an average of six miles each week to maintain brain volume and significantly lower risk of developing dementia. The study author concluded that “walking can improve your brain's resistance to the disease and reduce memory loss over time."

Poor Blood Sugar Regulation and Insulin Resistance Degrade Brain Health
The effects of blood sugar and insulin resistance are now implicated in the development of Alzheimer`s disease. The results of a Japanese study published in the journal Neurology showed that insulin resistance was particularly damaging to the brain structure and was involved in the formation of amyloid protein plaques. High blood sugar causes dysfunctional particles known as AGE`s (advanced glycation end products) that degrade the normally flexible structure of brain cells. Eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates that cause AGE formation can improve cognitive function.

Low Vitamin E Levels Trigger Onset of Alzheimer`s Disease
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can be deficient in diet despite our best efforts. The results of research published in the Journal of Alzheimer`s Disease found that damage by free radicals is a primary cause of cognitive decline. Vitamin E has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier to provide protection against oxidative damage and prevent inflammatory damage. The study demonstrated that when vitamin E levels are depleted, free radical damage accelerates and Alzheimer`s disease sets in. Nuts, seeds and leafy greens provide an excellent food source for vitamin E.

Alzheimer`s disease presents after decades of an inactive lifestyle and diet deplete in essential nutrients and antioxidants that our brain requires to maintain optimal function. Those wishing to avoid this devastating affliction will stay physically active, ensure a natural diet that provides healthy antioxidants and avoid processed foods that lead to metabolic dysfunction. You can spare your memory and extend your healthy lifespan with simple lifestyle modifications.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alpha Lipoic Acid Lowers Blood Pressure and Reduces Stroke Risk

(Article first published as Super Nutrient Lowers Blood Pressure and Reduces Stroke Risk on Technorati.)
Slowly rising blood pressure as we age places millions of Americans at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Medical practitioners and Big Pharma think the answer is prescribe a host of different pharmaceuticals until a magical number is achieved artificially. Research has rapidly emerged to demonstrate that reaching a normal blood pressure using drugs is not the same as lowering blood pressure naturally.

In fact, using drugs to lower blood pressure can contribute to a host of damaging side effects including death. Fortunately you can take advantage of nature`s treasure of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and supplement with lipoic acid to dramatically lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Protein Damage Contributes to High Blood Pressure
For the first time, researchers have discovered the actual underlying cause of high blood pressure and the best way to alleviate the problem at its source. The result of a study published in the journal Nature demonstrated that a key regulatory protein that controls blood pressure is damaged by the normal wear and tear caused by free radicals. The protein angiotensinogen becomes damaged through free radical assault and leads to hypertension.

Researchers found that a low antioxidant status was indicative of increased blood pressure. Insufficient circulating antioxidants allow damage to angiotensinogen protein molecules and loss of blood pressure regulation. The study determined that simply increasing antioxidant status was not enough to fully lower blood pressure readings and found that other mitigating factors such as stress, being overweight, and insulin resistance generated high levels of free radical damage. When these factors were addressed and controlled, increased intake of antioxidants from natural food sources and supplementation effectively lowered blood pressure levels.

Antioxidants Lower Risk of Stroke by 60%
Stroke is a leading cause of disability and mortality in western society, largely due to damage to the delicate vascular network and the movement of blood clots through the body. Free radicals cause the endothelial lining of delicate blood vessels to become unstable and inflamed, greatly increasing the risk of an ischemic stroke. A study released in the Journal of Nutrition found that individuals with the highest antioxidant status were 60% less likely to suffer from a stroke. Vitamin C alone was found to lower the risk by 40%.

Lipoic Acid Rejuvenates Antioxidant Status During Aging
The human body functions at an advanced metabolic rate and our cellular mitochondria generate large amounts of free radicals that wreak damage in the process. Mitochondria are the energy producing structures in each cell and are particularly vulnerable to free radical damage. Details of a study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science demonstrated how lipoic acid is able to prevent damage to the mitochondria by providing a powerful antioxidant shield to the cellular structure. They found the `R-lipoic acid` form to be most effective.

Energy production within our body generates large numbers of free radicals that are known to be the cause of aging and chronic conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. In addition to controlling external factors such as stress, weight and insulin resistance, increasing antioxidant status from raw foods and supplements is shown to slow the aging process and dramatically lower the risk of disease.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Berries and Grapes Can Prevent Alzheimer's Disease, Improve Memory

(Article first published as Berries and Grapes Improve Memory and Brain Health on Technorati.)
Cognitive decline is unnatural. Millions of aging adults consider an impaired capacity to think, reason and form new memories as the inevitable course of declining health. By accepting brain aging as normal, we condemn our senior years and live in constant fear of whether we will remember our family and friends or retain our personal identity.

Loss of cognition as we age is not normal. There is no programmed switch that diminishes our ability to reason and remember events, names and faces. The brain is susceptible to many of the damaging effects of inflammation, free radicals and insulin resistance that lead to chronic illness. Blueberries and grape seed extract show great potential in the fight against brain aging and cognitive decline.

Blueberries are a Powerful Brain Antioxidant
The human brain performs millions of electrical and chemically mediated actions every second and generates a large number of free radicals in the process that can damage normal neuronal function. Any natural agent that can neutralize the effect of free radicals will provide necessary protection and prevent brain aging.

Anthocyanins and flavanols are natural protective compounds found in high concentration in blueberries and are known to be able to cross the critical blood-brain barrier and influence brain function. The result of research published in the journal Nutrition shows that dietary supplementation with blueberries for as little as 30 days can slow and even reverse the decline in mental function associated with age. The study authors concluded “this illustrates a surprisingly prompt and powerful effect of an antioxidant dietary intervention.”

Blueberries Enhance Critical Neuronal Communications
Researchers know that blueberries and other members of the purple berry family are linked with lowered incidence of age-related dementia and Alzheimer`s disease. While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, prior studies have shown that the active compounds in berries exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.

Grape Seed Extract Can Rebuild Brain Cell Networks
Grape seed extract is a significant source of naturally occurring phenolic compounds that are known to bolster the structural integrity of brain cells and brain cell networks. Research provided by a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research documents the ability of grape seed extract to stimulate the production of new brain cells. Researchers were able to show that compounds in grape seed extract activated genes that controlled cellular rejuvenation. Additionally, grape seed extract strengthened existing brain cell connections in the memory control center of the brain (hippocampus).

Loss of memory and the ability to learn and form thoughts are functions that should not be lost as we age. Cognitive decline can be prevented by eating a diet void of processed foods, sugars and damaging hydrogenated fats. Eat a cup of wild blueberries each day and supplement with grape seed extract to provide critical antioxidant support and prevent the assault from free radical damage.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Melatonin Fights Cancer, Dementia and Premature Aging

(Article first published as Melatonin Fights Cancer, Dementia and Premature Aging on Technorati.)
Free radical production plays a pivotal role in the development of systemic inflammation that fuels the aging process. Free radicals are formed as a result of essential metabolic processes such as breathing, walking and eating. Over the course of decades, these molecules damage sensitive cellular structures and can threaten the integrity of our genetic architecture.

Any natural compound that can minimize the effect of free radicals and lower our inflammatory response to stressors is critical to our health and well being. Melatonin , most commonly known for its ability to naturally help you fall asleep, has demonstrated an amazing capacity to blunt the impact of free radicals and lower the risk from many cancers, prevent neurologic deterioration and extinguish the flames of systemic inflammation.

Melatonin Provides Neuroprotective Benefits
Long known for its ability to regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythms in the body, melatonin is rapidly emerging as a powerful agent in the fight against brain aging and neurologic deterioration. Melatonin effectively protects both lipids and proteins from free radical damage as it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. The production of melatonin decreases with age and oxidation slowly diminishes the normal electrical communication patterns seen in a healthy brain.

The result of a study published in the Behavioral and Brain Functions journal found that patients suffering from neurologic disorders such as Parkinson`s and Alzheimer`s disease were deficient in circulating levels of melatonin. Researchers found that providing supplemental melatonin dramatically lowered the degree of oxidative stress on neural mitochondria and was protective against related free radical damage. The study authors noted that the effect of melatonin was more pronounced on patients in the earliest stages of disease.

Melatonin Shown to Lower Cancer Risk by 34%
Melatonin has been shown to be effective in the fight against many caner lines including those affecting the liver, breast, prostate, lung and brain. Melatonin is a powerful and versatile antioxidant that is naturally secreted by the pineal gland at night during total darkness. The natural nutrient can scavenge the most dangerous free radicals that are known to result in genetic deletions that dramatically increase the risk of many cancers.

The result of a meta-analysis of ten studies released in the Journal of Pineal Research demonstrated that melatonin is able to lower the risk of many cancer lines by up to 34%. Researchers found that this protection resulted across all dosage ranges and there were no adverse effects reported. The lead author concluded, “The substantial reduction in risk of death, low adverse events reported and low costs related to this intervention suggest great potential for melatonin in treating cancer.”

Melatonin is an Anti-Aging Nutrient
As our cells age, they are subject to damage from inflammation throughout the body. The endoplasmic reticulum are cellular structures responsible for creating new functional protein and fat molecules that can be rendered non-functional as we grow older. The leads to the production of excess free radicals and the signs of cellular decay we call aging. Information provided by the Neuroimmunophysiology Research Group explains that melatonin is able to correct many of the age-associated malfunctions induced by inflammation and free radicals. The nutrient was found to slow or even reverse cellular death by regenerating the functional capacity of the endoplasmic reticulum.

Melatonin is a natural nutrient secreted by the brain to provide support in the battle against free radicals and associated inflammation. Small amounts (.5 to 2 mg) taken 30 minutes before bed have been shown to help aging adults in the fight against cancer, dementia and premature aging.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Green Tea Lowers Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline

The healing capacity of green tea has been understood and cultivated by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. Western medicine has been very slow to embrace the many health benefits attributed to drinking green tea, as it has been with many super foods known to lower the risk of chronic disease.

Researchers now have conclusive scientific evidence that green tea can protect the brain against developing Alzheimer`s disease and can play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer. Health-minded individuals can take advantage of the ancient Chinese tradition of drinking green tea each day to naturally protect their health.

Green Tea Becomes a Powerful Antioxidant When Digested
Green tea contains compounds known as catechins (EGCG) that are powerful antioxidants known to scavenge free radicals and lower the risk from many illnesses. In the past, scientists have been unable to validate the specific effect of these catechins once they are broken down in the body through digestion. We now have confirmation that EGCG becomes more potent when subjected to post-digestive enzymes in the stomach.

Scientific research conducted at Newcastle University and published in the journal Phytomedicine explains how our body activates green tea compounds to provide enhanced disease protection. Lead researcher Dr. Ed Okello found “when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer's development than the undigested form of the tea."

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer`s disease that is known to be a progressive and irreversible disorder resulting in loss of cognitive function. It is widely accepted that the disease is the result of damage from hydrogen peroxide free radicals and an inability to efficiently clear amyloid beta proteins that form brain plaques.

Green Tea Extract Shown to Protect the Aging Brain
In this study, researchers showed that compounds in the post-digestive tea extract were able to selectively bind with toxic chemicals in the brain and protect the delicate neurons and synapses that are essential to learning and forming new memories. Dr. Okello explained “green tea has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and what we have here provides the scientific evidence why it may be effective against some of the key diseases we face today."

In addition to being a powerful neuroprotective agent, green tea compounds are effective anti-cancer agents. The study authors were able to show that the digested tea catechins were able to slow the growth of tumor cells in an experimental cancer model. A strong association has always existed between green tea consumption and lowered risk from cancer and this study provides conclusive evidence of the healing power of this natural agent.

Green tea has stood the test of time for more than five millennia and is finally validated as a critical tool in our health management regimen. Most adults will want to drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea each day to take advantage of the healing benefits of this natural super food.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vitamin D and Sun Combine to Halt Breast Cancer

(Article first published as Vitamin D Shows Promise in the Fight Against Breast Cancer on Technorati.)
Both vitamin D and exposure to sunshine are known to provide protection against many forms of potentially deadly cancer lines. The combination of both supplemental vitamin D and moderate sunlight provide a synergistic effect that is shown to dramatically lower the risk of developing breast cancer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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