vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

School Teacher Conducts His Own Omega-3 Study

The following article tells the story of a school teacher in New Zealand, Paul Whitaker, conducting his own experiment with students involving an Omega 3 supplement. Mr. Whitaker is from Auckland’s Wellsford School and is studying 42 students between the ages of 11 and 13. So far, twenty-one of the students took one 1,000 mg capsule of Omega 3 for the first month and two capsules the second month; Twenty-one of the students are not participating. While he has no placebo control in the experiment, he says his study is showing some amazing results.

This article explains the study that Mr. Whitaker is conducting and speaks with him about the results that he’s seen so far. Mr. Whitaker claims that the students have increased in their writing abilities and have a much greater focus than they had before, while the children not taking the supplements have seen no change. Mr. Whitaker began the study in September and plans to end the experiment at the end of December.

Experiment shows boost from Omega 3

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

The New Superfood for Reducing Heart Disease – Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are moving on up in the world. As today’s new superfood, they are being studied extensively and touted for their superb nutrition. With each new study, they are being proved healthier, doing everything from reducing inflammation to lowering cholesterol. Now a new study by the University of Michigan has reported they can add one more item to their list of accolades: lowering fat and body weight, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease.

The new study involved obese rats who were fed a standard American diet. Some of the rats were also given whole tart cherry powder as one percent of the diet, while others were not. After a twelve-week analysis, the rats that included tart cherry powder in their diet had 14 percent lower body fat than the other rats, 11 percent reduced cholesterol levels and a higher percentage of maintained lean muscle mass.

In addition, interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by over 30 percent and TNF-alpha was lowered by 40 percent, both of which are linked to inflammation. The lowered rate of these compounds suggests that tart cherries may also have an anti-inflammation effect.

Although the body uses inflammation to fight off injury and infection, a persistent state of inflammation is a serious risk for diseases and infection. Tart cherries may reduce this risk by lowering inflammation.

The results of the study suggested that tart cherries could be helpful for reducing heart disease, but the overall opinion of the study is that diet changes in general could possibly reduce heart disease. Reducing weight, cholesterol and inflammation in any way could contribute to a reduce risk of heart disease.

More studies will help the medical community decide whether or not these suspicions are true, including human-based studies.

The study was presented at the American Dietetic Association’s annual meeting.

Although a solid consensus on whether or not tart cherries can reduce heart disease in humans could be a long way off, in the meantime, eat your cherries!

Tart cherries lower heart disease risk

Prior Posts

Alternative medicine, nutrition, and high cholesterol
Just what exactly is High Cholesterol?
Garlic lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
Lowering Cholesterol With Food and Statins
Omega 3s raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
Inflammation allows the body to heal itself
Green Tea, Cancer, and the Inflammation and Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Can linoelic acid reduce the risk of heart disease ?

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Are Injected Wrinkle Removers Safe?

Instant wrinkle removers are all the rage. How wonderful it is to be able to get a quick injection and watch those lines and wrinkles disappear, making you appear more youthful and . Unfortunately, these wrinkle ‘miracle cure’ injections are only temporary - wrinkle fillers, not wrinkle removers - which fill the wrinkles in but fade with time. If that was the only bad thing about them that would be great, but the truth is that they come with serious side effects. The FDA has released a 41-page report on wrinkle fillers and their potential side effects and health issues. The report included 930 side effects.

The following article is a wealth of information about wrinkle-fillers and their side effects. The article gives the direct link to the 41-page report released by the FDA (in downloadable PDF form) and paraphrases much of the information in the report. Allergic reactions, erythema, infection, pain, blurred vision, disfigurement, tear duct obstruction and heart attack are only a few of the side effects and adverse events that can happen due to wrinkle-filler injections.

Instant Wrinkle Removers Are Fillers With Side Effects

*Does sugar cause wrinkles?

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Increasing Your Energy Naturally

It seems as though nearly everyone tries to create more energy for themselves. The high consumption of soft drinks and coffee alone is a testament to the desire for more energy. What about those with chronic illness? While everyone can use more
energy, those who struggle with chronic illness are more vulnerable to energy depletion and need to take extra care of the energy that is given to them each day.

This article outlines the many simple ways that one can increase their daily energy, from removing foods that contain sugar and gluten, detoxifying the body, and doing joyful activities, to turning off the computer and resting. In addition to making simple, commonsense changes to one’s daily routine - such as staying away from negative television programs and negative, draining people - this article also suggests taking supplements such as cordyceps mushroom and alpha ketoglutaric acid, along with using toxic binders such as chlorella to help remove those toxins from the body.

Fantastic Fixes for Low Energy

Prior Posts

Antioxidant Protection and Antioxidants in Coffee
What is Sugar?
What is Brown Sugar?
Sudafed, High Blood Sugar, and the Value of Portable Glucose Monitors
Gout and Sugar Soft Drinks

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Turmeric Trials

Turmeric, the yellow-orange spice found in curry powders and as a powdered seasoning for Asian cooking, is more than a delicious, flavorful spice. Researchers are hot on the trail of turmeric, holding studies and trials to determine how it can be used to increase health and fight disease, including cancer.

This article examines how turmeric, which contains the powerful antioxidant curcumin, can help fight diseases such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, arthritis and many other diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Curcumin is not only an effective anti-inflammatory, but is also thought to affect gene activity that can destroy cancer cells. Human trials are currently being funded by The National Cancer Institute and other human trials are underway from scientists at UCLA.

This article not only gives information to the studies that are underway, but also offers tips for how to get more turmeric in your diet, offers a ‘Turmeric Cocktail’ recipe and touches on safety issues and non-toxic amounts.

Add Turmeric to Your Food

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Yucca Treats Many Conditions

When reading about the yucca plant, found mainly in the deserts of the United States, it is almost overwhelming to read the long list of ailments this plant is used to treat.

Similar looking to the aloe plant, yucca roots can be eaten directly or found in many health food stores as an extract or in capsules. As an extract, use topically, directly on the skin. Consume capsules with water. Yucca contains the active phytochemical saponins and if too much is consumed it can cause diarrhea in some people.

The yucca plant has been used to treat gout, premenstrual syndrome, chronic headache, and even skin cancer. In addition, yucca has been found to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Yucca can also help heal wounds and relieve joint stiffness and pain; some use the plant to treat muscle soreness associated with arthritis. Others use yucca to help improve liver function and improve digestion. It is quite amazing how many uses the plant has.

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Need More Energy? Try Natural Herbs

If you are seeking a way to have more energy, but don’t want to use the United States most popular source of energy boosting – coffee – then your options are wide open. There are many different energy boosting herbs from all over the world that can help decrease fatigue and increase energy.

The following article outlines the many different natural energy boosters that are popular the world over, including the United States. From cordyceps, a popular mushroom that is widely used in China to increase energy, stamina and endurance to guarana, South American’s natural source of caffeine that doesn’t produce the jitters.

This article takes a close look at energy enhancing ginseng from Asia, Siberia and America, the popular South American tea drink, mate, and rhodiola, a root extract that boosts endorphins and increases stamina.

The article also supplies information about the amino acid taurine, which can be found in most popular energy drinks and helps support proper nerve function and cardiac muscle activity.

Take the Natural Pathway to More Energy

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Lowering Cholesterol With Food and Statins

A new 1.9 year study involving 18,000 healthy subjects found that Crestor, a statin produced by Astra-Zeneca, may be able to help prevent strokes, heart attack and cardiovascular deaths in those with normal cholesterol, but high levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) – a heart risk marker.

A handful of other unrelated studies took a look at alternative choices to help reduce cardiovascular events, and found that Omega-3s and rest yeast rice were of use as well. One study was conducted in Malaysia, involving 2,000 people over a two-year span, another was conducted in Japan and involved over 18,000 people.

The following article outlines the details of these studies and looks at the fact that nearly half of those who experience stroke and heart attack are at the normal cholesterol level, but tend to have high levels of hsCRP. Read this enlightening article to find out the newest research on cardiovascular health.

Statins lower cholesterol, so do omega-3 and red yeast rice

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Red Wine is once again proven to be healthy. Drink up!

Red Wine is getting quite a bit of attention these days. Researchers are studying it thoroughly due to its high amounts of reservatrol, a compound found to be extremely healthy for cardiovascular health in mice. Recently a team from Harvard Medical School who paired up with the National Institute on Aging found that it not only provides heart benefits, but that resveratrol is also helpful in thwarting eye cataracts, improving balance and coordination and facilitating stronger bones.

Grab your favorite bottle of red and celebrate! (note: drinking too much red wine will have the opposite effect on balance and coordination).

The researchers used one year old mice for their experiment, the equivalent to a 35 year old human. They fed the mice varying diets, low-calorie and high-calorie, along with varying degrees of resveratrol measurements and found nothing but positive results. In fact, they found that the mice with high-calorie diets benefitted the most. The high calorie diet mice were not obese as they should have been and were found to live longer.

The mice that ate low-calorie and low resveratrol diets were just as healthy as those who ate high-calorie and high resveratrol diets.

So, the more calories you consume the more red wine you’ll need to drink. What a prescription for health!

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Will Age Ninety be the New Age Fifty in the Future?

Recently, the first World Science Festival was held in New York City; guests represented all scientific fields from biology to quantum physics, philosophers, Nobel laureates, and business leaders from around the world. The festival celebrated scientific progress that in the last century alone increased the human lifespan thirty years, which is more than any time span in the previous five thousand years of human history.

Not only did the festival celebrate past scientific successes, it pointed to future medical breakthroughs that are not generations away but a few years away. Breakthroughs that will extend the human lifespan even more while easing the affect of ailments long associated with aging.

Aging has become a very hot topic in recent years due to aging baby boomers who are reaching their sixties. The closing discussion at the World Science Festival was aging, especially aging well and remaining healthy. The group discussed studies that have indicated that calorie restriction may be the key to longer healthier lives.

About twenty years ago, Richard Weindruch began studying the affect of extremely low calorie diets on mice. Weindruch found that mice lived longer if kept on extremely low calorie diets.

Whoops, I seem to lost part of my post. Ok...I'll have to look around and see if I can find it. Hopefully, I won't have to rewrite this.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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