Monday, January 30, 2012

Vitamin E Tocotrienols Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

Few people pay attention to the importance of vitamin E, much less the multi-fractioned mirror image versions of the vitamin known as isomers (consisting of tocotrienols and tocopherols). Vitamin E has long been known as a nutrient that may play a role in maintaining heart health, but extensive new research explains that the vitamin in all its potent forms is required to dramatically lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Recent studies also confirm that the nutrient family may play a crucial role to thwart the effects of metabolic syndrome, precursor to the diabetes epidemic. Health-minded individuals may need to supplement with a full spectrum form of the vitamin to obtain sufficient quantities to avert a multitude of chronic killer diseases that plaque millions today.

Study Found Vitamin E Tocotrienols Lowered Damage to Heart Muscle by 75%
An ever expanding detailed body of evidence is mounting to support the importance of the tocotrienol fraction of vitamin E. While all eight isomers are required for optimal health and disease prevention, the four tocotrienols have emerged as critical components shown to influence LDL cholesterol particle size and oxidation rate. Researchers publishing the result of a study in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry explain that tocotrienols protect the heart against adverse gene signaling that is a consequence of elevated cholesterol.

A study was designed using rabbits placed on a high cholesterol diet for a period of 60 days. The test animals were supplemented with alpha, gamma, or delta tocotrienols for 30 days, and then subjected to experimentally induced heart attack. Measures of serum cholesterol were cut in half in the rabbits on gamma tocotrienol and nearly in half on those receiving the alpha tocotrienol isomer. The delta tocotrienol form did not exert any effect on cholesterol. Additionally, gamma tocotrienol reduced damage to the heart by 77% and alpha tocotrienol resulted in 67% less damage to the critical heart muscle.

Vitamin E Fractions Reduce the Formation of Cardiovascular Arterial Plaque
Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms closely associated with the development of diabetes. People exhibiting metabolic syndrome characteristics run more than twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia found “Tocotrienols improved lipid profiles and reduced atherosclerotic lesions, decreased blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin concentrations, normalized blood pressure, and inhibited adipogenesis.”

Researchers determined that a variety of different receptors or genetic signaling mechanisms are involved that can prevent the dangerous systemic inflammation known to precipitate heart disease and diabetes. Natural sources of vitamin E tocotrienols include most varieties of nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil in its unrefined state. Most people will want to ensure adequate intake of this critical nutritional fraction by including a full-spectrum supplement to improve heart health and prevent metabolic syndrome.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ginger Root Soothes Digestive Inflammation to Help Prevent Colon Cancer

Since ancient times, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

The result of a new body of research published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research demonstrates the specific anti-inflammatory action of the spice on the colon. Health-minded individuals will want to include ginger as part of their regular diet, or include an organically harvested supplement to dramatically lower inflammatory risk markers for colon cancer.

Ginger Root Supplementation Lowers Inflammatory Markers to Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Dr. Suzanna Zick, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and her team assembled 30 patient participants to conduct the study. Each was provided with two grams of ginger root supplements per day or a placebo for a period of 28 days. After the test timeframe, researchers measured standard levels of colon inflammation and found statistically significant reductions in most of these markers. They also found trends toward significant reductions in a number of other colon cancer biomarkers.

A critical inflammation marker in the colon is known to be PGE2, a naturally occurring prostaglandin also called dinoprostone. PGE2 is the prostaglandin that ultimately induces fever, and is therefore an important marker researcher’s monitor to determine inflammatory levels in the body. Inflammation has been implicated in prior studies as a precursor to colon cancer, and ginger root supplementation effectively lowers blood levels of the prostaglandin to reduce colon cancer risk.

Natural Plant Based Compounds Promote Health without Deadly Side Effects
Dr. Zick is a Naturopathic Doctor developing plant and naturally occurring compounds that specifically promote health without the need for deadly pharmaceutical interventions. She noted on the research findings, "We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research." Dr. Zick concluded. "Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way."

Ginger is a spice that has been used for centuries both for its distinctive flavor and medicinal properties as well. Researchers from this study used supplements (2 grams per day) to achieve the inflammatory-reduction results. Most health-conscious people will want to use a lower recommended supplemental dose of 250 mg per day to lower inflammatory risk factors that promote colon cancer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Study Explains How Lifestyle Factors and Mindset Increase Dementia Risk

Loss of cognitive function, most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease instills feelings of fear and insecurity more than any other chronic condition, including a cancer diagnosis. Researchers publishing in the journal Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that people who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life. Is there really a mind-link association between how we feel about our overall health and initiation of this dreaded disease?

Researchers point to the fact that many chronic illnesses such as heart disease and dementia develop over the course of 20 or 30 years and our perceptions may actually influence how these conditions progress. A positive spirit and happy outlook on life may just help you avoid a host of deadly diseases, including dementia.

Seniors Effectively Able to Predict Risk of Dementia Later in Life
People may possess a much more powerful diagnostic tool than the plethora of diagnostic tests, dyes and pharmaceuticals used by most allopathic physicians and diagnosticians. Dr. Christophe Tzourio, director of Neuroepidemiology at the University of Bordeaux in France explained “Having people rate their own health may be a simple tool for doctors to determine a person's risk of dementia, especially for people with no symptoms or memory problems”. His research results show that health and disease can be assessed more effectively by an individual from within, as opposed to managing a set of medical results and tests.

A research study was designed with 8,169 people, aged 65 years or older who were followed for a period of seven years. During the study each participant was asked to rate their own health, and 618 people developed dementia. The risk of dementia was 70 percent higher in people who rated their health as poor and 34 percent higher in people who rated their health as fair compared to those who rated their health as good.

Leading an Active Life with Many Friends and Family Members Lowers Dementia Risk
The study also found a higher correlation between ones health assessment and developing dementia for those individuals who did not have any memory problems or other issues with thinking skills. Those with no visible signs of cognitive decline were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who rated their health as good. Researchers found that having a large social network along with plenty of social activities are associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

Dr. Tzourio concluded "… it's possible that rating one's health as poor might be associated with behaviors that limit social interaction and in turn accelerate the dementia process." A wealth of scientific research studies have found that lifestyle factors including close bonds with family, friends and social groups are important to lowering dementia risk in the elderly population.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Green Tea Halts Weight Gain by Inhibiting Fat Absorption

Reporting in the research journal Obesity, researchers continue to mount crucial evidence to support green tea as an agent in the war against overweight and obesity. Green tea (and its less refined cousin, white tea) is shown to slow weight gain and may be a key tool in the obesity epidemic impacting the health of millions of children and adults in western cultures.

Mice supplemented with the active compound found in green tea, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) were fed a high-fat diet and gained weight much slower than their control counterparts. The findings demonstrate the potent effect of the natural tea extract when coupled with a healthy, calorie-reduced diet that minimizes processed carbohydrate foods and hydrogenated fat sources.

Green Tea Extract Shown to Slow Weight Gain By 45 Percent
Extensive scientific research has been performed on green tea and the potent EGCG extract. Most of this work has shown a direct link between green tea consumption and lowered risk of Alzheimer`s dementia, many digestive cancers, cardiovascular disease as well as being an aid in weight management. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 percent polyphenols that contribute to its myriad of health benefits. Common black tea contains between 3 and 10 percent polyphenols, as the leaves have been highly refined to remove the naturally occurring compounds.

Research leader Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences at Penn State University and his team determined to expand on prior research showing that green tea consumption promotes healthy body weight. The researchers used obese mice genetically predisposed to gain weight. The mice were broken into two groups; each fed a high fat diet. The test group was supplemented with EGCG in their drinking water for a period of six weeks.

ECGC Polyphenols From Green Tea Cut Fat Absorption by Thirty Percent
The results showed that mice receiving the active EGCG component through supplementation, along with a high-fat diet, gained weight 45 percent more slowly than the control group of mice eating the same diet without EGCG. Lambert noted “Our results suggest that if you supplement with EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly.” Additionally, mice fed the green tea supplement showed a nearly 30 percent increase in lipid excretion, suggesting that the EGCG was limiting fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase. The study did not differentiate between caffeinated and caffeine-free green tea consumption, so caffeine sensitive individuals can attain similar results with non-caffeinated sources.

Researchers noted that green tea consumption did not appear to suppress appetite, an indicator that the weight reduction effect was due to inhibition of fat cell genesis. The authors concluded “Human data … shows that tea drinkers who only consume one or more cups a day will see effects on body weight compared to non-consumers.” Most nutritionists suggest 2 to 4 cups of green tea each day, or a standardized EGCG extract (500 mg to 1 gram daily) along with a calorically-balanced diet to achieve weight management success.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Resveratrol Reduces Breast Cancer Risk by Blocking the Effect of Estrogen

Researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Calabria in Italy publishing in The FASEB Journal report that resveratrol blocks the effect of estrogen and can help to prevent the malignant growth of breast cancer in women. The grape/red wine derivative has been the subject of numerous scientific studies in recent years and has shown promise in lowering risks from cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia.

Scientists also believe the protective nutrient may extend healthy lifespan by directly influencing mortality genes known as SIRT. Italian researchers noted "Resveratrol is a potential pharmacological tool to be exploited when breast cancer become resistant to the hormonal therapy." Health-minded adults will want to include resveratrol from natural food sources or supplementation to reap the numerous health benefits.

Resveratrol Supplementation Suppresses the Growth of Malignant Breast Cancer Cells
To design their study, researchers used several breast cancer cell lines expressing the estrogen receptor to test the effects of resveratrol. They exposed the different cells to a solution containing resveratrol and compared the results to cells left untreated. They found an important reduction in cell growth in cells treated with resveratrol, while no changes were seen in untreated cells. Further experiments determined that this effect was caused by a critical reduction in estrogen receptors caused by the administration of resveratrol.

This finding is the first of its kind as it relates specifically to the effect of resveratrol on a particular cancer cell line. The team was able to conclude that resveratrol is able to counteract the malignant progression of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the growth and spread of hormone resistant cancerous cells. This has important implications for the treatment of women with breast cancer whose tumors eventually develop resistance to hormonal therapy.

Resveratrol Specifically Targets Cancerous Cells to Fight Breast Cancer
Lead researcher Dr. Sebastiano Ando noted "Resveratrol is a potential pharmacological tool to be exploited when breast cancer become resistant to the hormonal therapy." A peer review board examining the study data concluded “scientists haven't finished distilling the secrets of good health that have been hidden in natural products such as red wine.” It is important to note that in this body of research, resveratrol only demonstrated an effect on malignant cancer cells and exerted no effect on non-cancerous cells.

While the authors cautioned that people should not go out and start using red wine or resveratrol supplements as a treatment for breast cancer, the finding strongly indicates that the plant-protective compound should be considered as a component in an overall plan designed to prevent the devastating disease. Nutrition experts recommend a supplemental intake (from a purified, organically derived source) of between 50 and 250 mg per day for optimal health benefits.