vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Friday, September 25, 2009

What herbs or supplements are commonly used for depression?

There are many different herbs and supplements used for depression. One of the most notable and most studied is St. John’s wort. Countless clinical studies have found St. John’s wort as an effective treatment for depression, and doctors in Europe have been prescribing it for many years. You can find it at your local health food store as a tea, in a capsule, dried herb, or tincture. Many people swear by St. John’s wort for depression, although it is for mild depression not the more intense variety or bipolar disorder.

A popular supplement for depression is 5-HTP, otherwise known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan. This supplement is actually an amino acid found naturally in the body. 5-HTP is known to increase serotonin in the brain, improving mood, improving sleep and decreasing appetite. It is quite popular for mild depression, and as a sleep aid.

Another popular supplement for depression is SAMe. Another amino acid found naturally in the body, SAMe has shown to be effective for moderate depression in some studies, though the FDA still hasn’t approved any medical claims for the supplement. It is sold in the United States, but unlike 5-HTP, SAMe is not allowed to claim depression benefits until more studies have been done. Regardless, it remains a popular aid for depression.

In addition to these three popular depression aids, other herbs and supplements that are helpful to depression are: Ginkgo biloba, Siberian Ginseng, and kava kava. Omega-3 fatty acids are also gaining recognition for being a helpful supplement for depression.

Other Posts

5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) for depression and anxiety?
Organic food really is healthier
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in Cayenne
Chamomile is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic powers
Cranberries contain antioxidant substances called proanthocyanidins
Dandelion leaves are an excellent source of beta-carotene

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What do doctors think about vitamin E supplements?

Written by Tena Moore (- if this post appears on any site other than it has been stolen)

On the topic of vitamin E supplements, it definitely depends on which doctor you talk to. The reason there is so much conflicting information about vitamin E supplements is due to conflicting studies, particularly in recent years when studies have indicated that Vitamin E megadosing can be dangerous and can potentially cause heart damage.

Some studies a while back said that vitamin E may help prevent disease, especially heart disease and cancers. When this happened people started buying vitamin E by the truckloads. It became super popular, especially in high mega-doses. A normal dose of vitamin E is considered to be 40 IU, although many vitamin E supplements offer IU of up to 1,500. Anything over 400 IU is considered a ‘mega-dose’.

Now, many new studies show that it may not be helpful in preventing cancer or heart disease, or any other disease. In fact, it may increase the chances of disease, especially in doses of 400 IU or more.

Many doctors believe that people should just get their vitamin E from natural food sources, such as leafy greens, egg yolks, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and fish such as sardines. Vitamin E deficiency is not a problem for most people, so since the information about whether to take supplements or not is conflicted, it’s best not to take supplements. If you do decide to take supplements, stick with the normal RDA and forgo mega-doses.

Other Posts

Burdock works as both a decongestant and diuretic
Calendula is often recommended for treatment of ear infections
Research has shown that camphor does kill bacteria and fight infection
Cat's claw is a proven anti-inflammatory

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Thoughts on Dropping Weight

Written by Tim Moore

Here's a post I recently made on facebook. It seemed relevant so I thought I would repost it here.

I like krispy kremes but boy they put you on sugar overload, especially without the milk. My true fondness is things like stuffing, mashed potatoes, pizza, chicken-n-dumplings. I tried doing the low carb thing. And, yes, it does work. However, you feel so deprived that it doesn't work long. The real solution for me has been lifestyle modification. We used to eat out all the time. I used to think going out for sushi was healthy. That stuff is loaded with calories. Now, I do it in moderation. And not just exercising once in a while, but consistently. However, just dropping calories a bit will do the trick over time. Example, I got really tied up with work for a couple months. Almost no physical activity. Still dropped several pounds because I had cut the restaurant eating down quite a bit and stopped eating after 6pm (but factor there). Mind you, this is a 2 year battle for me so far. And it is still raging.

Other Posts

Natural, Whole Food Fiber
Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber
Slow twitch muscle fiber
Dietary Fiber: Benefits of Adding Fiber to the Diet
Artificial sweetener linked to weight gain
Big Breakfast = Small Waistline?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Regarding the Starting of a new diet regimen

Written by Tena Moore (- if this post appears on any site other than it has been stolen)

Starting a new diet can be a stressful time. Changing how you eat, what you eat, and when you eat, can be challenging. Here are a few tips to remember to be more successful in this endeavor.

Talk to a professional. First and foremost, talk to a professional about your new diet regimen. Find out if your goals are realistic. Make sure you’re doing what is best and most healthy for you. Taking weight off in a healthy way can help keep the weight off. Whether you talk to your doctor or a nutritionist, talk to someone to get sound, supportive advice.

Don’t tell everyone. Telling everyone around you (friends, family, co-workers, your mailman, the cashier at Walmart) is not really a great way to go about it successfully. Telling everyone invites in their doubts and negative comments. Tell a couple supportive friends and leave it be.

Get rid of temptation. It sounds easy, but getting rid of temptations can be challenging if you have a partner or family that loves to keep junk food in the house. Eliminating these temptations is crucial to keep you on track even when you have weak moments.

Start moving! One way to ensure success with a new diet plan is to couple it with a new workout plan. Maybe you join a gym, perhaps you finally start taking yoga classes, or maybe you just walk around the block. Whatever you do, pairing exercise with a healthy diet can help you be more successful, feel better, burn more calories, and have an improved mood during the transitional stage.

Other Posts

Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids, powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemicals
Saw palmetto was popular during World War II, when it was thought to increase libido, sexual stamina, and sperm production
Recent studies performed in China have shown that motherwort helps prevent blood clots relax the heart muscle, and lower blood pressure
Capsaicin in Cayennedulls pain sensations by interrupting chemical messages
Dang gui roots contain phytoestrogens, which are chemicals found in plants that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body
Several studies support the use of echinacea for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections (URIs)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tips for eating in a vegetarian lifestyle

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish or poultry. Whether you are thinking about adopting a vegetarian diet due to health reasons or environmental reasons, there are many things to think about to make sure that you are eating a diet full of vitamins and minerals, and not simply cutting meat out of your diet. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track:

Tip #1) Forgo junk foods like macaroni and cheese, candy bars, and grilled cheese sandwiches, and opt for healthy, vitamin rich vegetarian foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts.

Tip #2) Get enough protein. Good sources of protein can be found in abundance in whole grains, tofu, low-fat dairy products, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, tempeh, eggs, and peas.

Tip #3) Make sure to consume enough calcium, but not solely from dairy. Calcium can be found in dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, mustard, collard greens, turnip greens, and bok choy, as well as in broccoli, beans, dried figs, and sunflower seeds. If you are not eating enough of these foods, buy calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, cereal bars and juices. Dark, leafy greens also offer an abundance of iron.

Tip #4) Take a vitamin B-12 supplement. While some vegetarians can get enough B-12 through dairy and eggs, it is always best to be safe and add a supplement to your daily regimen.

Tip #5) Experiment with meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh, and check your local grocer for ready-made meat substitutes. You may be surprised at the taste of vegetarian sausages, burgers, chicken and hot dogs.

Adopting a vegetarian diet and staying healthy can easily go hand in hand when following these 5 tips.

Other posts

Glutamine promotes a healthy digestive tract
When applied topically, grape seed extract also acts as an alpha-hydroxy acid
Goldenseal has been called “the poor man’s ginseng”
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in Cayenne
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that repairs cells and reduces the damage done to them by superoxide

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The Gene Smart Diet

There's a great book out there called "The Gene Smart Diet". I would recommend it. It's written by a Professor of Pharmacology at Wake Forest University. I'm halfway through it and I think a lot of the eventual advice will boil down to adjusting one's diet to get more fruits and vegetables, more fiber, fewer empty calories, and also working in more exercise.

That, of course, by itself doesn't sound revolutionary. I mean, don't eat too much, eat good stuff, and get some exercise--sounds like an old common sense prescription for health. Sadly, as the author points out, most of us aren't following this advice and are really working overtime to do exactly the opposite.

The author, Dr. Chilton, is an inflammation researcher and the connections he lists between diet and so many illnesses that are exploding in growth (coronary artery disease, immune disorders, type II diabetes) are really fascinating.

A long while back, my own reading of the news and the various studies that have been publicized, led me to believe that dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and adding wine to the daily diet are something I should do. Therefore, I found it fascinating that Dr. Chilton focused so heavily on these three.

Anyway, I highly recommend "The Gene Smart Diet". I'm still not done with it, but I find it very enlightening.

Other Posts

The medicinal properties of dandelion root and leaf are well known and commonly accepted throughout Europe
Selenium and Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant, are synergists
PABA has been found to reduce the onset of wrinkles
Garlic can be used to help treat hypertension and other underlying conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease
Resveratrol helps lower cholesterol
Quercetin is also an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions that affect the skin

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Quality of GNC Supplements

Recently I was wondering about the quality of GNC supplements so I went looking around on google and found this page. Why did I go looking at all? Well, I've read more than once that certain nutritional supplement products, after having been tested, have been found to contain less than what was advertised. My own suspicion is that this is more likely to occur when the price for a product is exceptionally low.

Without naming names, we all know which national retailers you can go to get the rock bottom lowest prices in town. I like low prices, but if you think about it, sometimes a manufacturer bringing a certain product line in at a certain price point just so they can grace the store shelves of a giant retailer may not be the best way to guarantee quality in the product.

So, are GNC supplements of high quality? Well, I've not heard any complaints. They are more expensive than what you get at the discount retailers; however, there's that saying "you get what you pay for".

Anyway, here's an interesting link that's related to this topic.

GNC Nutritional Supplements To Be Evaluated And Certified By NSF International

Other posts

Lysine is one of the essential amino acids
Arginine helps detoxify the liver
Alanine plays a key role in maintaining glucose levels and thus energy supplies in the body
Ornithine is often combined with arginine and marketed to body builders as a muscle-building supplement
Alpha-lipoic acid may be one of the most powerful antioxidants discovered to date

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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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