Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Benefits Of Garlic



Garlic is an herb. It is best known as a flavoring for food. But over the years, garlic has been used as a medicine to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. The fresh clove or supplements made from the clove are used for medicine.

Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). Some of these uses are supported by science. Garlic actually may be effective in slowing the development of atherosclerosis and seems to be able to modestly reduce blood pressure.

Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. It is also used to treat prostate cancer and bladder cancer.

Garlic has been tried for treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH), diabetes, osteoarthritis, hayfever (allergic rhinitis), traveler's diarrhea, high blood pressure late in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia), cold and flu. It is also used for building the immune system, preventing tick bites, and preventing and treating bacterial and fungal infections.

Other uses include treatment of fever, coughs, headache, stomach ache, sinus congestion, gout, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, and snakebites. It is also used for fighting stress and fatigue, and maintaining healthy liver function.

Some people apply garlic oil to their skin to treat fungal infections, warts, and corns. There is some evidence supporting the topical use of garlic for fungal infections like ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot; but the effectiveness of garlic against warts and corns is still uncertain.

There is a lot of variation among garlic products sold for medicinal purposes. The amount of allicin, the active ingredient and the source of garlic’s distinctive odor, depends on the method of preparation. Allicin is unstable, and changes into a different chemical rather quickly. Some manufacturers take advantage of this by aging garlic to make it odorless. Unfortunately, this also reduces the amount of allicin and compromises the effectiveness of the product. Some odorless garlic preparations and products may contain very little, if any, allicin. Methods that involve crushing the fresh clove release more allicin. Some products have a coating (enteric coating) to protect them against attack by stomach acids.

While garlic is a common flavoring in food, some scientists have suggested that it might have a role as a food additive to prevent food poisoning. There is some evidence that fresh garlic, but not aged garlic, can kill certain bacteria such as E. coli, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis in the laboratory.

How does it work?

Garlic produces a chemical called allicin. This is what seems to make garlic work for certain conditions. Allicin also makes garlic smell. Some products are made “odorless” by aging the garlic, but this process can also make the garlic less effective. It’s a good idea to look for supplements that are coated (enteric coating) so they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chromium Picolinate good for diabetes





Chromium is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health.

Chromium is used for improving blood sugar control in people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and high blood sugar due to taking steroids.

It is also used for depression, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), lowering “bad” cholesterol, and raising “good” cholesterol in people taking heartmedications called beta blockers.

Some people try chromium for body conditioning including weight loss, increasing muscle, and decreasing body fat. Chromium is also used to improve athletic performance and to increase energy.

Chromium was discovered in France in the late 1790s, but it took until the 1960s before it was recognized as being an important trace element.

Type 2 diabetes. Some evidence shows that taking chromium picolinate (a chemical compound that contains chromium) by mouth can lower fasting blood sugar, lower insulin levels, and help insulin work better in people with type 2 diabetes. Chromium picolinate might decrease weight gain and fat accumulation in type 2 diabetes patients who are taking one of the prescription drugs called sulfonylureas.

Higher chromium doses might be more effective and work more quickly. Higher doses might also lower the level of certain blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in some people.

Beginning research suggests that chromium picolinate might have the same benefits in patients with type 1 diabetes and in patients who have diabetes as a result of steroid treatment.

However, researchers are looking carefully at the results that show chromium might be effective for treating diabetes. It might not help everyone. Some researchers suspect that chromium supplements might primarily benefit patients with poor nutrition or low chromium levels. Chromium levels can be below normal in patients with diabetes.

How does it work?

Chromium might help keep blood sugar levels normal by improving the way our bodies use insulin.


·         Obesity and weight loss. Taking chromium picolinate by mouth for 2 to 3 months might produce a small weight loss of about 1.1 kg. But not all studies have found this benefit.

·         Depression. Chromium might improve the mood of people with mild depression who are not responding fully to certain prescription medications for depression.

·         Preventing a heart attack. Low chromium levels in toenails seem to be linked with a higher risk of having a heart attack. Researchers reasoned that giving chromium supplements might lower that risk. But so far, there is no reliable research showing that chromium supplements can prevent a heart attack.

·         Turner’s syndrome (an inherited disease that often leads to diabetes). Research so far suggests chromium supplements might improve sugar and fat metabolism problems in people with Turner’s syndrome.

·         Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

·         Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

·         Other conditions.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Enhancing Your Memory With Supplements

Memory loss worries many of us as we get older. You might wonder whether you'll become one of the 10 million baby boomers who develops Alzheimer's disease. Or, maybe you're simply seeking ways to fortify your memory with memory supplements, memory vitamins, or memory games.

Will these brain boosters really help our memory? WebMD talked with the experts to find out whether -- and which -- memory enhancers really work.
(Note: if you suspect you or someone you love may have Alzheimer's, it's important to seek medical advice.)
The Need for Memory Enhancers
Finding new ways to slow memory loss could produce astounding results. For example, if the onset of Alzheimer's could be delayed in today's population by an average of just one year, there would be about 210,000 fewer people with Alzheimer's 10 years from now. And that would produce a cost savings of $10 billion.
"The problem with prescription drugs is that they're extremely expensive and often have limited effectiveness during a short window of time," says Evangeline Lausier, MD, assistant clinical professor in medicine, Duke Integrative Medicine, Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
Memory Supplements With Potential

Although there are a variety of "brain boosters" on the market -- many chockfull of multiple substances -- most are lacking research to support their memory-enhancing claims.
Ginkgo biloba is one that shows more promise than many others and is commonly used in Europe for a type of dementia resulting from reduced blood flow, Lausier says. "Ginkgo biloba tends to improve blood flow in small vessels."

"A couple of meta-analyses and systematic reviews show that ginkgo biloba is helpful for dementia in about the same range as drugs being pushed very heavily to treat Alzheimer's," says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, an associate professor in the complementary and alternative medicine Master's program of the department of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Unfortunately, that's not all that successful, she adds. Ginkgo doesn’t seem to help prevent dementia. But in people who already have dementia, it may either improve symptoms or stabilize symptoms so that they don’t get worse. In addition, some but not all studies show benefits in mood, alertness, and mental ability in healthy people who take ginkgo. More research needs to be done to be certain about these effects.
Here are a few other memory supplements that may also have some potential, but require much more study:

·         Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fish oil supplements have piqued great interest. Studies suggest that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acid from foods such as cold-water fish, plant and nut oils, and English walnuts are strongly linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's. However, thorough studies comparing omega-3s to placebo are needed to prove this memory benefit from supplements.

·         Huperzine A. Also known as Chinese club moss, this natural medicine works in a similar way as Alzheimer's drugs. But more evidence is needed to confirm its safety and effectiveness                                                                                                 
·         Acetyl-L-carnitine. Some studies suggest that this amino acid might help Alzheimer's patients with memory problems. It may provide a greater benefit to people with early onset and a fast rate of the disease.

·         Vitamin E. Although vitamin E apparently doesn't decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's, it may slow its progression. Recent studies have raised concerns about an increased risk of deaths in unhealthy people who take high doses of vitamin E, so be sure to consult with your doctor before taking this supplement.

·         Asian (or Panax) ginseng. An herb that's sometimes used with ginkgo biloba, Asian ginseng may help with fatigue and quality of life.
·         Ginkgo Biloba for Memory Loss?
·         One of the top-selling herbs in the United States, ginkgo biloba has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.
Recommended Forever Living Supplements To Alleviate Symptoms
·         Ginkgo Plus
·         Artic Sea Super Omega 3

·         A-Beta-CarE
·         Gin-Chia
·         Aloe Blossom Herbal


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The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products discussed are not intended to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure or prevent a specific disease or class of diseases. You should consult your family physician if you are experiencing a medical problem.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease



Pelvic inflammatory disease, commonly called PID, is an infection of the female reproductive organs. PID is one of the most serious complications of a sexually transmitted disease in women: It can lead to irreversible damage to the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other parts of the female reproductive system, and is the primary preventable cause of infertility in women.

How Common Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Each year, more than 1 million women in the U.S. experience an episode of PID. As a result of PID, more than 100,000 women become infertile each year. In addition, a large proportion of the 100,000 ectopic (tubal) pregnancies that occur each year can be linked to PID. The rate of infection is highest among teenagers.

What Causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

Normally, the cervix prevents bacteria that enter the vagina from spreading to the internal reproductive organs. If the cervix is exposed to a sexually transmitted disease -- such as gonorrhea and/or chlamydia -- the cervix itself becomes infected and less able to prevent the spread of organisms to the internal organs. PID occurs when the disease-causing organisms travel from the cervix to the upper genital tract. Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia cause about 90% of all cases of PID. Other causes include abortion, childbirth, and pelvic procedures.

What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

The symptoms of PID can vary, but may include the following:

·         Dull pain or tenderness in the stomach or lower abdominal area, or pain in the right upper abdomen.

·         Abnormal vaginal discharge that is yellow or green in color or that has an unusual odor.

·         Painful urination.

·         Chills or high fever.

·         Nausea and vomiting.

·         Pain during sex.

What Puts a Person at Risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

There are several things which would put a woman at risk for PID, including:

·         Women with sexually transmitted diseases -- especially gonorrhea and chlamydia -- are at greater risk for developing PID.

·         Women who have had a prior episode of PID are at higher risk for another episode.

·         Sexually active teenagers are more likely to develop PID than are older women.

·         Women with many sexual partners are at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and PID.

Some studies suggest that douching may contribute to PID. Douching may push bacteria into the upper genital tract and may mask the discharge that could alert a woman to seek medical attention.

What Is the Treatment for PID?

If the findings of your exam or tests suggest PID, treatment is started immediately.

·         Antibiotics. The initial treatment for mild cases of PID usually consists of one or more antibiotic medications taken by mouth. More significant cases can be treated with a combination of intravenous and oral antibiotics. If treatment is not effective, if you cannot take antibiotics by mouth, or if the infection is severe, you may need to be hospitalized to receive medication intravenously (directly into a vein).

If you are diagnosed with PID, your sexual partner(s) also must be treated even if they do not have any symptoms. Otherwise, the infection will likely recur when you have sex again.

·         Surgery. When PID causes an abscess (when the inflamed tissue forms a collection of pus), antibiotics are no longer as effective. Surgery is often needed to remove the abscesses (or the organ with the abscess) to prevent them from rupturing and causing widespread infection throughout the pelvis and abdomen. Depending on the conditions, this may be done with a laparoscope (a thin, lighted instrument) or with a procedure in which the doctor opens the abdomen to view the internal organs (laparotomy). Both techniques are major surgical procedures and are performed under general anesthesia (you are put to sleep).

If abscesses have formed on the uterus or ovaries, your doctor may recommend hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

Another surgical procedure that could be recommended to treat chronic pain when there is no infection, inflammation, or abscess present are those that involve nerve ablation (destruction) surgeries. In these types of surgeries the nerves which provide sensation to the organs in the pelvis are removed or destroyed. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, these procedures can be effective in eliminating pain.

Recommended Supplements To Alleviate Symptoms

·         Aloe Berry Nectar

·         Pomesteen Power

·         A-Beta-CarE

·         Garlic Thyme

·         Bee Propolis

·         Vitolize For Women




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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Truth About Omega-3,The Good Fat


Omega-3: The Good Fat

Doctors may tell you to cut the fat, but not all fats are unhealthy. Omega-3 fatty acids may have far-reaching health benefits. Studies suggest they help lower the risk of heart disease, the nation’s top killer. They may also protect against depression, dementia, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3s are found in salmon, walnuts, spinach, and more – but the health benefits can differ greatly from one source to another.

The Omega-3 Alphabet

Omega-3 fatty acids come in more than one form. The types found in fish, called DHA and EPA, have been studied most extensively and appear to have the strongest health benefits. Another form known as ALA is found in vegetable oils, flaxseed, walnuts, and dark leafy vegetables such as spinach. The body converts a small amount of ALA into EPA and DHA. ALA may also have some health benefits of its own.

How Omega-3 Fights Disease

Omega-3 fatty acids help fight disease by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels, joints, and elsewhere in the body. At high doses they also lower the risk for an abnormal heart rhythm and reduce unhealthy fats in the bloodstream known as triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque build-up inside the blood vessels. Our bodies can’t make omega-3s, so we must get them from foods or supplements

Omega-3 and Heart Disease

If you've had a heart attack, a prescription dose of omega-3s may help protect your heart. Some studies show fewer heart attacks and fewer heart disease deaths among survivors who boosted their levels of omega-3. The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram a day of EPA plus DHA for people with heart disease. Eating fish is best, but your doctor might recommend a fish oil capsule.

Omega-3 and Arrhythmias

Omega-3s seem to have a stabilizing effect on the heart. They can lower heart rate and reduce the risk of life-threatening arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms. Several common sources of omega-3s are shown here: fish, walnuts, broccoli, and edamame, green soy beans that are often steamed and served in the pod.

Omega-3 and Triglycerides

Omega-3s can lower your triglycerides, a blood fat that’s linked to heart disease. Talk with your doctor before taking omega-3 supplements, because some types can make your "bad" cholesterol worse. You can also bring down triglyceride levels with exercise, by drinking less alcohol, and cutting back on sweets and refined carbohydrates

Omega-3 and High Blood Pressure

There’s strong evidence that omega-3s lower blood pressure. The effect is small, though. One dietary strategy is to replace red meat with fish during some meals. But it’s best to avoid salty fish, such as smoked salmon. If you have high blood pressure, limiting salt, regular exercise, and medications, as recommended by your doctor, can help.

Omega-3 and Stroke

The evidence is mixed on whether omega-3 supplements can help prevent strokes. It curbs plaque build-up inside blood vessels and has anti-clotting effects, so it may help prevent the type caused by clots or a blocked artery. At high doses, omega-3 supplements might raise the risk of the less common type of stroke that involves bleeding in the brain.

Omega-3 and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Studies suggest omega-3s can reduce symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. A diet high in omega-3s may also boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Omega-3 and Depression

Omega-3 fatty acids may help smooth out mood disorders and make antidepressants more effective. However, results of studies have been mixed so far. Countries with higher levels of omega-3 in the typical diet have lower levels of depression. Although more studies are needed, the evidence so far is promising.

Omega-3 and ADHD

Some studies suggest omega-3 supplements may ease the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We know omega-3 fatty acids are important in brain development and function. Although evidence isn't conclusive and a diet supplement can't offer a cure-all for ADHD, omega-3s may provide some added benefits to traditional treatment.

Omega-3 and Dementia

The jury is still out, but there's some evidence that omega-3s may protect against dementia and improve mental function. In one study, older people with a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. More research is necessary to confirm the link.

Omega-3 and Cancer

Omega-3s may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and advanced prostate cancer, but more research is needed. The American Cancer Society recommends a diet that includes fish, but the organization stops short of endorsing omega-3 supplements for cancer prevention.

Omega-3 and Children

Be wary of promises that omega-3s have "brain-boosting" powers for children. The Federal Trade Commission asked supplement companies to stop that claim unless they can prove it scientifically. The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that kids eat more fish, as long as it's not breaded and fried. Pediatricians also caution against types of fish that are high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

Omega-3: Catch of the Day

The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish, though some varieties deliver a higher dose than others. Top choices are salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings a week of fish, which is 3.5 ounces of cooked fish or ¾ cup of flaked fish.

Omega-3 and Tuna

Tuna is an old-school staple in many people's pantries that can be a good source of omega-3. Albacore tuna (often labeled "white") has more omega-3 than canned light tuna, but it also has a higher concentration of mercury contamination. The amount of omega-3 in a fresh tuna steak varies, depending on the species.

Dangers of Contaminated Fish

For most people, mercury in fish is not a health concern. But the FDA has this advice for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children:

·         Limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces/week.

·         Limit fish lower in mercury to 12 ounces/week.

·         Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish.

Omega-3 Supplements

If you don’t like fish, you can get omega-3 from supplements. One gram per day is recommended for people with heart disease, but ask your doctor before starting. High doses can interfere with some medicines or increase the risk of bleeding. You may notice a fishy taste and fish burps. Read the label to find the amounts of EPA, DHA, or ALA you want -- amounts can vary greatly.

 Omega-3 for Vegetarians

If you don't eat fish or fish oil, you can get a dose of DHA from algae supplements. Algae that is commercially grown is generally considered safe, though blue-green algae in the wild can contain toxins. Vegetarians also can get the ALA version of omega-3 from foods such as canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, broccoli, and spinach -- or products fortified with omega-3s.

 Avoiding the Omega-3 Hype

Many food products now boast that they have added omega-3 to support various aspects of your health. But be aware that the amount of omega-3 they contain may be minimal. They may contain the ALA form of omega-3, which hasn't yet shown the same health benefits as EPA and DHA. For a measured dose of omega-3, taking fish oil supplements may be more reliable.

Omega 6: The Other Healthy Fat

There's another healthy fat known as omega-6. Research suggests it may protect against heart disease, especially when eaten in place of less healthy fats. The AHA recommends getting up to 10% of your total daily calories from omega-6 fats, which are found in vegetable oils and nuts. And now for some good news -- most Americans already get enough omega-6 in their diet, thanks to cooking oils and salad dressings.

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