Thursday, March 31, 2011

DHA from Fish Oil Lowers Diabetes Risk, Slows Brain Aging

Human genetics have evolved by harnessing the power of a wide variety of nutrients which have been available in our food supply for countless generations. Over the past half century many of these natural nutrients which are so essential to our health have been slowly and systematically removed from the foods we eat.

DHA is a critical Omega-3 fatty acid which our ancestors found primarily in fish which is now severely deficient in our diet, causing a dramatically increased risk from diabetes and dementia. Including this powerful nutrient through targeted supplementation can prevent these conditions and regulate the progressive decline we know as aging.

DHA Inhibits Amyloid Plaque Formation
DHA is an Omega-3 fat which is preferentially used by the body for the formation of cell membranes and is especially important to the formation and function of neurons in the brain. When our body is supplied with sufficient amounts of DHA, the fat is allowed to accumulate in the brain where it increases brain cell survival and down regulates the formation of toxic amyloid beta plaque. This action effectively lowers the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer`s disease.

DHA Can Prevent Cognitive Decline
The results of a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that DHA can protect against brain aging by preventing the typical damage associated with memory decline. DHA is stored by the brain for use during periods of stress and toxic overload to protect brain neurons. This is critical to the formation of memories, higher learning and thought which decline with the onset of dementia. Sufficient blood levels of circulating DHA are necessary to provide reserves which can be used to repair neuronal damage before memory loss becomes evident.

DHA Lowers Systemic Inflammation
Systemic inflammation is one of the key underlying causes of diabetes and DHA has been shown to regulate the metabolic disorder which results from excess body weight. Macrophages are components of our immune system which are essential for fighting invading pathogens, and accumulate in the white adipose tissue in response to weight gain. As more weight is gained macrophage activity increases and inflammation levels rise in the body with potentially devastating effects to our internal organs and vascular system.

DHA Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Prevents Diabetes
DHA has been shown to attach to a receptor on macrophages which are present in our white fat cells and down regulate inflammatory activity to reduce levels of inflammation. Higher levels of inflammation are associated with insulin resistance which is a hallmark of the progression of diabetes. According to research published in the journal Cell, DHA is the evolutionary key to mediate inflammation while safely lowering risk from diseases ranging from diabetes and cancer to cardiovascular disease.

Extensive research has confirmed DHA as the most critical fatty acid to promote cognitive function and lower dangerous levels of inflammation throughout the body. Man has evolved on a diet which is fortified with this essential fat but our modern diet is grossly deficient leading to many common diseases. The best way to ensure sufficient levels circulating in your blood is to supplement daily with a highly concentrated form of DHA to reduce the risk of diabetes and cognitive decline.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Almonds and Walnuts Prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes

Man has evolved to eat almonds and walnuts in their natural form and extensive research confirms the benefits to our health. It’s no coincidence that the ratio of fats and other essential nutrients are in perfect balance with our own nutritional needs.

Studies confirm that almonds and walnuts promote heart health by regulating blood lipids and help to prevent diabetes by controlling blood glucose and factors which lead to metabolic syndrome. You can boost your health by adding these nuts to your regular diet and reap the many health benefits.

Poor Diet Increases Risk of Heart Attack
Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of adults and there’s solid evidence that including a handful of nuts to your diet each day can have a significant impact on the health of your heart. The typical diet consists of excessive calories from sugars, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats from fried foods. This type of diet negatively influences blood lipids, causing an uneven balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol. Problems arise when the LDL particles become very small and oxidized as a result of eating too much processed food.

Small LDL particles are known to lead to the formation of foamy plaque which is used by our body to pack the small micro cracks which occur in the delicate inner lining of the coronary arteries. Once the LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized, typically from a diet high in hydrogenated trans fats, the substance becomes sticky and quickly forms into dangerous plaque which can narrow the arteries. This sets the stage for a blockage and can lead to a heart attack.

Eat Nuts Daily for Heart Health
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating nuts on a regular basis can help to change the blood lipid chemistry to reduce the risk from coronary artery disease and death from a heart attack. Nuts are loaded with beneficial monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats which directly control the size of the LDL cholesterol particles as well as oxidation properties which make the particles less cohesive and less likely to form plaque.

It’s important to note that eating nuts is just one powerful tool in your dietary toolbox for fighting heart disease. To dramatically lower your risk of heart disease, you must cut out refined carbohydrates, wheat based foods and eliminate sugar as this type of diet fuels atherogenic blood fats and heart disease. Use nuts as a compliment to your healthy diet.

Almonds and Walnuts Help Prevent Diabetes
The continual blood sugar spikes seen in many people after eating are a sign of metabolic dysfunction which leads to diabetes. A diet high in sugar and processed carbs drives this condition which can lead to devastating complications including blindness, kidney failure and neuropathy. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition demonstrates that eating almonds before a meal helps to decrease the wild blood sugar swings from a high carb meal. This helps to lower the risk of developing diabetes and can even assist in the treatment of the disorder when used as part of a healthy diet.

Almonds and walnuts are nutritional super foods which have been shown to provide essential health benefits. These natural foods help regulate blood lipids and glucose to lower the risk of heart disease and help to prevent diabetes. In addition to eliminating sugar, wheat and processed carbs from your diet, try adding a handful of these nuts to your menu each day for optimal health benefits.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Green Tea and Fish Oil Promote Health and Assist Weight Loss

Green tea and the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA combine to provide a powerful natural shield against certain forms of cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia while assisting weight loss and maintenance. Both of these nutrients directly target gene sequences which have been shown to lower disease risk while increasing base metabolism to burn more calories.

Include green tea and DHA in your nutritional arsenal to prevent a wide array of potentially lethal illnesses and reach your ideal weight loss goal.

Harness the Power of Green Tea Against Cancer
The active antioxidant compound in green and white tea is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to exert significant anti-cancer properties by fighting development and proliferation of rogue cells. EGCG works by switching off the genes responsible for cancer initiation while influencing natural cell death to prevent replication. Chemical components of green tea further help to cut off the blood supply cancer cells need to grow while lowering levels of dangerous systemic inflammation known to promote cancer as well as many other diseases.

Green Tea Boosts Metabolism
The results of a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition provide evidence that EGCG increases fat oxidation by 33% through accelerated metabolism. Green tea has also been shown to inhibit fat cell formation and improve excretion of fat from abdominal adipose tissue. This study found that fat was burned at a higher rate for 2 hours after eating and deceased rapidly after that point. The study authors recommend drinking green tea or supplementing with EGCG prior to eating for maximum benefit.

The researchers also noted that higher intake of green tea or EGCG does not necessarily translate into increased levels of fat oxidation. Fresh brew your own green tea or use low dose EGCG supplements (300 mg or less) to receive the full fat metabolism effect.

DHA Provides Support for the Heart and Brain
DHA is one of two Omega-3 fats found in fish and distilled fish oil. DHA has been shown to lower levels of inflammation, provide a thinning effect to blood platelets to prevent clotting and reduce dangerous triglycerides in the blood. These benefits all contribute to the heart health benefits of DHA as research demonstrates that supplementation can cut the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third.

DHA is the preferred fat used in brain cell neurons as well as most other cells in the body. Its unique properties allow for oxygen and nutrients to easily pass through the cell wall. When this vital fat is deficient, other fats must be used which create a stiffer cell membrane leading to cellular death and disease.

DHA Prevents Fat Accumulation
DHA works by influencing genes which control blood sugar, insulin secretion and fat accumulation. This Omega-3 fat targets the bioactive white adipose cells and affects how triglycerides in the blood are either burned for fuel or allowed to be stored as fat. The results of a study published in the International Journal of Obesity demonstrate the addition of DHA and Omega-3 fats increased weight loss in a group of overweight men by 28% compared to those who didn`t supplement.

It’s no surprise that natural nutrients and supplements act to promote health and assist weight loss. Green tea and DHA fats are prime examples of an intricate mechanism evolved over generations which our body uses to support our health. Incorporate these powerful nutrients into your lifestyle for improved quality of life and longevity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Diet and Lifestyle Determine Mid-Life Weight and Disease Risk

(Article first published as Evolved Dietary Changes Lead to Weight Gain and Chronic Disease on Technorati.)
Our diet has changed radically over the past century and has become a significant cause of disease and illness as animal based foods account for a quarter of our calories. Processed foods which didn’t exist 100 years ago make up more than 60% of our present diet while naturally healthy vegetables and fruits provide less than 5% of our daily energy.

The food we eat influences our genes and is the leading cause of the rampant rise in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and obesity seen today. It’s possible to prevent and even reverse the damage from a poor dietary lifestyle by eating naturally high nutrient density foods.

A Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Illness
We need both calories and nutrients to survive. Modern food manufacturing techniques have removed most of the nutrition from the processed foods which represent such a significant portion of our calories. Vitamins, minerals and a host of essential nutrients provide the fuel we need to neutralize free radicals, facilitate DNA repair, counteract carcinogens and provide an effective immune response. After decades of nutrient deficiency our natural reserves are depleted and the stage is set for the onset of chronic disease often leading to a shortened lifespan.

Children Develop a Taste for Junk Food Early in Life
Many children are fed a diet of processed junk food from an early age and they quickly develop a taste for salty, sugared and fried foods. The instinct to eat vegetables, fruits and meats in their natural form is erased as their taste buds become satiated with a refined diet impregnated with artificially manufactured chemicals which are more pleasing to the taste.

An analysis reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that 800 of 2200 calories consumed by a typical child each day are attributable to solid fats and added sugar. These macronutrients are commonly known as `empty calories` as they provide scant nutrients and contribute to the growing childhood obesity problem. Children who acquire the taste for junk food early are much more likely to develop weight problems in later life and suffer from early onset chronic illness.

A Natural Food Diet Reverses Disease Progression
The vast majority of children and adults eat less than a quarter of the fruits and vegetables they need to provide minimal protection against disease. Include a minimum of five and optimally ten or more servings each day of fresh vegetables and leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, lean protein sources and protective monounsaturated fats. Prepare foods raw or minimally cooked and avoid overheating as this quickly removes nutrients. The human body has an amazing capacity to repair and reverse the effects of a poor diet. Health conscious people view natural foods as medicine which leads to a long and healthy life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Curcumin is a Powerful Anti-Cancer Agent

(Article first published as This Indian Spice Packs a Powerful Anti-Cancer Punch on Technorati.)
Known as a staple in the Indian diet, curry and its powerful polyphenol derivative curcumin have rapidly gained attention as a potent antioxidant compound that is used to prevent and treat many forms of cancer. Curcumin is taking its rightful place among a small handful of agents that fight cancer at the genetic level by inhibiting ten critical initiation steps necessary for development and progression of the disease.

The spice can no longer be considered an herbal remedy as it has demonstrated efficacy in more than 240 peer reviewed research studies over the past year alone. Scientists continue to provide conclusive evidence that indicates all health-minded adults should include curcumin as part of their regular diet.

Curcumin Influences Gene Expression That Leads to Cancer
Cancer is known to develop through ten independent causative factors including DNA damage, chronic inflammation, cellular signaling dysfunction, abnormal cell death and metastasis. As if designed by nature to provide a protective shield against each of the factors known to promote cancer, curcumin has been shown to inhibit and halt the expression of genes that allow cancer cells to multiply.

Publishing in the AAPS Journal, researchers found that curcumin is an inexpensive natural compound that fights cancer at its root cause by derailing the initiation phase of ten different pathways used by the disease to multiply and spread throughout the body. Curcumin has also been shown to interfere with the production of advanced glycation end products that promote the accumulation of dangerous inflammatory byproducts that lead to cancerous mutations.

Curcumin Shown to Trigger Natural Cell Death to Prevent Cancer
The FEBS Journal reports that curcumin is particularly effective in targeting hormone-dependent forms of the disease such as breast cancer. The study found that curcumin is able to induce apoptosis (normal programmed cell death) in the most resistant breast cancer cells that lack estrogen receptors. The spice targets only cancerous cells causing them to self-destruct by destroying the mitochondria that power the rapidly growing tumor tissue.

Curcumin is a potent agent in the fight against colon cancer, an insidious form of the disease that ranks second among cancer deaths taking the lives of more than 50,000 Americans each year. The Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research provides evidence that curcumin slows the progression from colon polyp to cancerous growth by damping the pro-inflammatory cytokine called NF-kB. This action halts the development of cancer cells before they can become detectable tumors.

An extensive library of research underscores the importance of curcumin as an anti-cancer agent. As the second leading cause of death, cancer will affect 1 in 3 women and half of all men during their lifetime. Any natural compound that can help to lower these statistics should be embraced by traditional and alternative medical institutions alike. Nutritionists recommend supplementing with 250 to 400 mg of curcumin twice daily with meals to provide optimal cancer protection.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Coffee Consumption Lowers Stroke Risk by 25 Percent

(Article first published as Coffee Consumption Lowers Stroke Risk by 25 Percent on Technorati.)
A study following nearly 35,000 Swedish women for a period of 10 years provides evidence that one to two cups of coffee a day can lower the incidence of deadly stroke by nearly 25%. Publishing in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers found the women aged 49 to 83 experienced significantly lower stroke risk when consuming the equivalent of two cups of java each day. Coffee consumed without cream and sweeteners is shown to reduce damaging systemic inflammation, lower oxidative stress and improve insulin sensitivity.

Two Cups of Coffee Each Day Found to Dramatically Lower Stroke Risk
Researchers from the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute`s National Institute of Environmental Medicine examined the diet and lifestyle of the female study participants using standardized questionnaires to assess and cross reference disease development over the decade-long period. The women experienced 1,750 stroke events over the 10-year cycle. They found that participants consuming one to two cups of coffee each day were 22 to 25% less likely to suffer from any type of stroke compared to those women drinking none or less than a cup.

Although the study did not examine if there was a different risk association between decaffeinated and regular forms of coffee, the authors did note that decaffeinated coffee consumption is uncommon in Sweden where the study was conducted. The exact mechanism responsible for the stroke risk reduction was not identified. Scientists detected lower measurements of inflammation and oxidative stress in the coffee drinking group that are known to reduce risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease and believed to provide the stroke-lowering effect.

Coffee Shown to Lower Inflammation and Cellular Oxidative Stress
The lead researcher, Dr. Susanna Larsson remarked "Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy," she added. "In fact, increasing evidence indicates that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer and possibly stroke." Prior research has demonstrated a positive correlation between coffee consumption in male smokers, and this study was conducted to demonstrate that coffee provides health benefits to women as well.

Coffee has been maligned in the past, largely based on its high caffeine concentration and association as a high calorie pick me up fashioned at many high-end restaurants and coffee shops. After a strenuous review of the data from this study, the authors concluded "Given that coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide, even small health effects of substances in coffee may have large public health consequences." Most people will want to drink one to two cups of black coffee daily to dramatically lower the risk from a devastating stroke.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blueberries Lower Blood Pressure and Risk of Heart Disease

(Article first published as A Handful of Berries Each Day Lowers Blood Pressure and Risk of Heart Disease on Technorati.)
Bioactive compounds found in the full spectrum of berries, and especially blueberries are shown to lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The results provide fresh proof that this great tasting source of beneficial phytonutrients can lower the risk associated with a heart attack.

“Our findings are exciting and suggest that an achievable dietary intake of anthocyanins may contribute to the prevention of hypertension,” said lead author Professor Aedin Cassidy of the Department of Nutrition at the University of East Anglia's Medical School. Approximately one-quarter of all adults worldwide and as many as one in three Americans suffer from hypertension, a leading cause of heart disease and death from a heart attack.

Anthocyanins in Berries Reduce Risk of Hypertension
The team of scientists followed nearly 200,000 men and women over a period of 14 years and assessed their intake of flavonoids from a variety of natural foods including apples, orange juice, blueberries, red wine, and strawberries. They found that the group consuming the highest amount of anthocyanins (found mainly in blueberries and strawberries in the US) were 8% less likely to develop hypertension over the period of the study.

A more in-depth analysis showed that consumption of blueberries in particular conveyed the highest degree of protection against developing high blood pressure with a 10% lower incidence for those eating the fruit once a week. Dr. Cassidy noted "Our findings are exciting and suggest that an achievable dietary intake of anthocyanins may contribute to the prevention of hypertension". Hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart attack, and this finding could translate to a significant reduction in the number of people suffering a cardiovascular event.

A Daily Dose of Berries Can Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke and Dementia
Nutrition researchers will now begin to identify the different sources of anthocyanins as well as the ideal dose necessary to prevent hypertension. Most berry varieties are packed with flavonoids and anthocyanins that have been shown to lower the risk of chronic illness from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature brain aging.

Extensive scientific studies now exist showing how berry consumption, and especially blueberries help to prevent diseases of the brain that result in cognitive decline and dementia. The special compounds that give berries their deep purple and reddish colors are able to cross into the brain where they exert a powerful effect to thwart functional decline.

We now have evidence that berry consumption can prevent hypertension and lower heart attack risk. Until exact standards are developed, nutrition experts advise eating one-half to a full cup of berries several times a week to protect the heart and the brain.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vitamin D Shown to Dramatically Cut Cancer Risk

(Article first published as Don’t Ignore Vitamin D to Dramatically Slash Cancer Risk on Technorati.)
Evidence in support of the health-promoting properties of vitamin D continues to mount as new research shows a direct link between blood levels of the super-nutrient and the risk of developing colon cancer. The National Cancer Institute provides statistics showing that colon cancer is the second most deadly form of the disease, taking the lives of more than 50,000 each year in the US.

The International Journal of Cancer has published a meta-analysis from nine comprehensive studies showing dramatic reductions in colon cancer risk with higher blood concentrations of the sunshine vitamin.

Cancer Risk Reduction is Linked to Vitamin D Blood Saturation
The pooled data from the studies reviewed showed that for every 10 nanograms per milliliter increase in vitamin D blood level saturation, there was a corresponding decrease in colon cancer incidence of 15%. Breast cancer risk was lowered by 11% with the same increase in vitamin D. Researchers made note that they were testing the biologically active form of vitamin D known as cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and not the less active precursor (vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol). Vitamin D was tested using the more accurate 25(OH)D blood test.

The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention has been theorized since the early 1940`s when scientists discovered that cancer rates were much lower in countries closest to the equator. At the time they believed that sunshine played an important role in `cancer immunity`. Over time the link between vitamin D production in the skin and sun exposure has become increasingly apparent and extensive research demonstrates how this crucial nutrient can protect DNA integrity and prevent cancer-causing mutations.

Ensure Proper Vitamin D Levels With a Simple Blood Test
Research studies over the past decade have provided conclusive evidence that vitamin D blood levels in the 50 to 80 ng/ml range are associated with a significantly reduced cancer risk from all lines of the disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study showing that vitamin D (1100 IU per day) combined with calcium (1400 to 1500 mg per day) `substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women`

Scientists found that the two nutrients work synergistically to lower cancer risk in aging healthy women. The authors conducting the study concluded, `these findings highlight the importance of promoting optimum vitamin D status and underscore the value of achieving and maintaining a high serum 25(OH)D concentration.` This study demonstrates the importance of maintaining multi-nutritional status to prevent chronic illness.

Vitamin D is only one of a very small number of natural nutrients that are known to prevent and treat many types of potentially life-threatening conditions. Up until the age of 40 sun exposure provides the best source of vitamin D, but conversion of the nutrient declines as we age and supplementation using an oil-based gelcap is necessary to maximize blood saturation and lower cancer risk.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Meat Consumption Increases Cancer Risk by 80%

(Article first published as Eating Red Meat Increases Digestive Cancer Risk by Eighty Percent on Technorati.)
Many researchers have made the connection between red meat consumption and a variety of different digestive cancers. The results of a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology makes a clear link between red meat consumption and esophageal (esophageal squamous cell carcinoma) and stomach cancer (gastric cardia cancer) lines. The study focuses on a type of compound known as DiMelQx that is formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

Red Meat Cooked at High Temperatures or Charbroiled Implicated in Increased Cancer Risk
Red meat and cooking have been the focus of numerous investigative studies. Researchers have discovered that cooking meats at high temperatures generates heterocyclic amines (HCA`s) as well as N-nitroso compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These compounds have been shown to cause colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers through several biochemical mechanisms. Unbound iron in red meat has also been shown to promote cancer development.

Study Makes Direct Link to Dramatic Rise in Cancer Risk
Investigators from the National Cancer Institute tracked the health of nearly 500,000 Americans aged 50 to 71 for a period of 10 years. The study examined nutritional habits including meat consumption and preparation as well as smoking, exercise and body weight. Those participants who ate the most meat were 79% more likely to develop esophageal squamous cell carcinoma compared to those who ate the least meat.

Cooking Byproducts Multiply Cancer Risk
When meat is cooked at high temperatures using methods such as grilling, frying or searing, fats at the surface of the meat are chemically altered to become mutagenic compounds known as HCA`s and DiMelQx. The study authors concluded “We found positive associations between red meat intake and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and between DiMeIQx intake and gastric cardia cancer.”

Protecting Yourself From Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer will be diagnosed in 21,000 men and women annually with nearly 11,000 deaths as a result. The natural alternative would be to eat a Mediterranean style diet focused on fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish and healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Vegetables are best eaten raw or lightly steamed to avoid the byproducts of overcooking. Choose limited quantities of white meat that have been roasted (with skin removed) to avoid excess iron and charring.

Stomach and esophageal cancers are yet another example of preventable disease. These cancers occur largely as a result of food choices and cooking methods. Eliminate most meat from your diet and include plenty of raw vegetables and fruits to lead a healthy life free from cancer risk.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Almonds Can Prevent Diabetes and Assist Weight Loss Efforts

(Article first published as Include Almonds to Lower Risk of Diabetes, Assist Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)
It’s hard to imagine that a natural food that tastes as good as an almond can have such a profound beneficial effect on health. Regular almond consumption is shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in part due to the high fiber content and concentration of monounsaturated fats.

Further research demonstrates that almonds contribute to accelerated fat metabolism and can reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity by influencing healthy blood glucose control and insulin response. Just a handful of almonds every day can improve your health profile and lower the risk of serious disease.

Almonds Help to Stabilize Blood Sugar Spikes
Post meal blood sugar spikes are known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including diabetes and initiate the chain of events that lead to cardiovascular disease. Any intervention that can help to minimize the post meal rush of blood sugar will reduce the risk from these conditions.

The results of a study conducted at the Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows how almond consumption can blunt the effect of high blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance and lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. The study involved 65 prediabetic adults that were broken into two groups to determine the effect of almond consumption. The control group ate a healthy diet low in carbohydrates for 16 weeks and excluded all nuts. The intervention group consumed the same diet but included 20% of total calories from almonds.

Blood analysis showed that the almond group had significantly better insulin levels and improved markers for insulin resistance and beta-cell function. The study authors concluded that the high fiber content and unsaturated fats in almonds “help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Almonds in the Battle Against Obesity
Almonds are high in protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats that are all known to influence how our body stores and metabolizes fat for energy. Almonds are rich in complex carbohydrates that require significant energy to be broken down by our body. The International Journal of Obesity published the results of a study that shows almonds are “a feasible option for consideration and have a potential role in the public health implications of obesity.” The study concluded that almonds provide a sensation of satiety and are beneficial for people trying to lose weight.

Almonds are a perfectly balanced food source that can benefit health. This powerful seed has a balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are in perfect alignment with human macronutrient requirements. Nutritional studies confirm that almonds regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance that lowers the risk from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, almonds help regulate fat metabolism and can be used as a tool to assist weight loss. Include a handful of almonds every day to reap the many health benefits.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tomato Compounds Shown to Improve LDL Cholesterol and Lower Heart Disease Risk

(Article first published as Did You Know Tomatoes Can Prevent Heart Disease? on Technorati.)
Who knew that the ubiquitous tomato, actually a super fruit is good for your heart? Enjoyed as a tasty compliment in many traditional dishes or eaten a la carte, scientists from Japan have now discovered that the tomato contains a nutrient that is shown to halt the devastating effects of vascular disease by improving blood lipids. Research published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research explains the importance of including this super fruit to prevent heart disease.

An extracted compound from the fruit called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid (9-oxo-ODA) was shown to influence the amount of blood lipids in circulation. The effects of high levels of blood fats are typically symptomless, but have been shown to be an important factor in the development of heart disease and vascular disorders.

Tomatoes Lower Dangerous Levels of Oxidized LDL Cholesterol
Contrary to the Big Pharma instigated notion that high cholesterol is the cause of arterial plaque and heart attack, researchers have shown that the problem is really caused by increased levels of triglycerides and small, oxidized LDL cholesterol particles. These dangerous fat fractions are the result of a diet high in sugar and processed foods that stimulate the liver to release disproportionate quantities of the atherogenic lipids.

The study leader, Dr. Teruo Kawada determined that the tomato-based compound could enhance fatty acid oxidation while regulating the release of metabolized fats from the liver. By directly influencing blood lipids already in circulation as well as during hepatic development, 9-oxo-ODA from tomatoes can halt vascular disease in its tracks.

Tomato Compound Shown to Improve Blood Lipid Profile
Researchers concluded that the tomato-derived compound is a potent activator of genes that control the release of blood fats known to cause cardiovascular disease. According to Dr. Kawada “Finding a compound which helps the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases in foodstuffs is a great advantage to tackling these diseases. It means that the tomato allows people to easily manage the onset of dyslipidemia through their daily diet."

The use of functional foods to prevent and treat chronic illness is rapidly gaining traction among mainstream medical practitioners. Despite the stronghold placed on physicians by pharmaceutical powerhouses and the American Medical Society to prescribe drugs for chronic disease management, a steady flow of solid peer reviewed research efforts are beginning to change the mindset of a growing number of physicians.

Past research designed to demonstrate the health benefits of tomatoes has shown that the key nutrient, lycopene is activated when the fruit is cooked. The result of this study makes no distinction between raw and cooked versions, indicating that 9-oxo-ODA is bioavailable to regulate blood lipids in either form. Be certain to include tomatoes as part of your daily menu to help prevent heart disease.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Milk Thistle Boosts Liver Function and Slows Brain Aging

(Article first published as Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver and Can Slow Signs of Brain Aging on Technorati.)
The liver and brain are two metabolically active organs that are under constant attack from disease promoting free radicals. Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels combined with blood glucose abnormalities and obesity cause damage to the cellular matrix of the liver and brain that worsen with time.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects an estimated 20 to 40% of adults in western society and dementia can touch nearly half of those reaching their 85th birthday. Silymarin is the active compound found naturally in milk thistle that is shown to provide a significant degree of protection against NAFLD and abnormal brain aging.

Silymarin Shown to Prevent and Reverse Liver Damage
The liver is called upon to perform more than 300 critical metabolic functions within our body. One of those functions is the formation of cholesterol and essential lipids that are required for cellular synthesis and repair. A diet high in processed carbohydrates and synthetic hydrogenated fats can result in excess blood triglycerides that become lodged in the hepatic cells and NAFLD can develop.

NAFLD is a chronic disease that is characterized by inflammation of the organ that releases a flurry of free radicals and liver enzymes. Left unchecked, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, carcinoma and death. The result of research published in the journal Hepatitis Monthly demonstrates the effectiveness of treatment with silymarin for the treatment of NAFLD. Researchers noted a significant decline in liver enzyme markers that indicate reversal of the disease, and no serious side effects were reported as a result of the natural treatment.

Silymarin Found to Protect Nerves, Slow Brain Aging Process
Silymarin is one of a small number of compounds able to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect neural function and chemical neurotransmitters. Long known for its ability to detoxify the liver, silymarin also exerts a powerful protective edge against nerve damage and brain preservation.

Information from the journal Neurochemistry International shows that the nutrient is able to protect delicate glial cells in the brain against free radical damage that occurs as a result of low grade bacterial infection common in overweight and obese individuals.

Silymarin Inhibits Plaque Formation, Prevents Alzheimer`s Disease
One of the key indicators of Alzheimer’s disease are the protein amyloid plaques that form and prevent electrical and chemical signaling between neurons. It is known that plaque exists as a normal byproduct of metabolic activity in the brain and is not properly cleared in those exhibiting symptoms of dementia. The result of a study published in the journal Molecular Gerontology demonstrates that silymarin helps the brain to naturally clear amyloid plaque before it becomes tangled and restricts normal cellular communication.

Silymarin from milk thistle is shown to be a powerful nutrient that assists multiple biological pathways in the liver and brain to maintain optimal organ function. Milk thistle is available as an inexpensive nutritional supplement. Nutritional experts recommend 250 to 450 mg per day to provide optimal effectiveness. Take advantage of natural silymarin to boost liver detoxification, prevent NAFLD and prevent the damage from free radicals on the delicate brain matrix.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

CoQ10 and PQQ Boost Energy and Slow Aging

(Article first published as Natural Nutrients Shown to Revitalize Energy and Slow Aging on Technorati.)
One of the hallmarks of aging is a rapid decline in cellular energy. Energy is produced by a complex of small powerhouses inside each cell known as mitochondria. Mitochondria are particularly vulnerable to the ravages of free radicals and oxidation from normal metabolic activity in our body and begin to deteriorate with advancing age.

Researchers have demonstrated that powerful antioxidant nutrients known to enhance energy production by supporting mitochondrial regeneration can slow aging, prevent disease and extend healthy lifespan.

Mitochondrial Decline Leads to Chronic Disease Development
Mitochondrial degradation is directly related to loss of energy as we age. 95% of the mitochondria are damaged in a 90 year old person compared with virtually no damage seen in pre-teens. Researchers are beginning to tie the development and progression of diseases such as Alzheimer`s disease, type II diabetes, heart failure and cancer to mitochondrial decline and failure. 

Mitochondria contain their own DNA aside from the cell nucleus and remain relatively unprotected and extremely vulnerable to free radical damage. Over time the DNA sustains mutations that disable the energy producing capacity of the mitochondria. Many biologists now believe that the number of functioning mitochondria determine human longevity. The more functional mitochondria you have in your cells, the lower your risk of disease.

PQQ Boosts Cellular Energy Production
PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinine) is a natural enzyme cofactor that is emerging as an essential compound capable of mitochondrial regeneration. The results of a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review demonstrate that PQQ is a powerful antioxidant with a 5,000 time greater capacity to quell free radical damage compared to vitamin C. This prevents damage to the delicate mitochondria and prevents functional decline that has been shown to initiate disease and energy decline.

Research recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry demonstrates how PQQ not only protects the integrity of existing mitochondria from oxidative damage, but also stimulates the growth of new mitochondria. Up until now only calorie restriction and vigorous exercise have been shown to exhibit these characteristics. This type of news should make headlines as it is an indicator that the aging process can be slowed. You won`t hear this information though because it relates to a natural substance that can`t be patented by Big Pharma.

CoQ10 Works in Harmony with PQQ to Boost Energy Levels
CoQ10 has long been known to increase energy levels as it is an essential cofactor in the production of cellular energy known as ATP. PQQ and CoQ10 work together as a team to combat the effects of cognitive decline commonly seen in the elderly. PQQ stimulates the production and release of nerve growth factor in the brain that protects memory and learning. When both cofactors are present in the blood, tests of cognition are dramatically improved in aging subjects.

PQQ is naturally found in a variety of foods including leafy green vegetables, fruits, green tea and wine. Many people will need to supplement with the nutrient due to poor dietary habits. Ground breaking research provides evidence that this little known enzyme cofactor may hold the key to prevention of brain aging while improving cardiovascular health and longevity.