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Category Archives: Health

How Folic Acid May Help in Protect Against Cancer

The term folic acid may be confusing to some, because it is in fact one of the most important and heavily researched of the B complex of vitamins and widely used in this form as a dietary supplement. In the form of folate compounds the vitamin is also found naturally in the body as well as in various common foods.

Folic acid is essential for a large number of biochemical reactions within the body, including the metabolism of energy from food, but is particularly important in ensuring that the continual process of cell division within the body proceeds normally. This is especially vital during the rapid development and production of new cells during the first weeks after conception. Inadequate intake of folates and/or folic acid in the early stages of pregnancy has been identified as a cause of what are known as “neural tube defects” which lead to inadequate or abnormal development of the foetal brain and spinal cord.

One of the most dreaded diseases which may result from these problems is spina bifida, but the incidence of this has been shown to be reduced by 75% when folic acid supplements of 400 mcg are taken during the first three months of pregnancy. Folic acid supplements are recommended because they are much more easily absorbed, “bioavailable” in the jargon, than folates from food.

It would in fact be difficult to obtain sufficient supplies of this nutrient from ordinary food sources. Supplementation is therefore recommended for all women of child bearing age because the need for this nutrient is at its most critical in the very early days of a pregnancy, possibly before the mother is even aware of her condition.

This is not to say, however, that a diet rich in folates should not still be followed, because amongst the best and most readily available sources of folates are leafy green vegetables, and orange juice which also provide a plentiful supply of valuable anti-oxidants and are extremely beneficial to general health.

A single cup of spinach or asparagus, for example, may provide as much as 130 or more micrograms (mcg) of folate; a small glass of orange juice perhaps 80 mcg. Pulses such as beans and lentils are also good sources, the latter providing around 180 mcg in just half a cup, beans between 80 and 140 mcg according to type.

Best of all, however, is fortified breakfast cereal, a single cup of which may yield between 200 and 400 mcg, reflecting the FDA’s insistence on the addition of folic acid to refined grain foods, including bread.

Although this policy is driven mostly by a desire to protect the unborn, the more general advice to consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day has also been put forward as a protector against cancer. Certainly such a diet would be rich in folates, and research suggests a strong association between folate deficiency and an increased incidence of certain of the more common cancers, including those of the cervix, colon and rectum, lung, oesophagus and breast. It is thought that the association may arise because of the role of folate in DNA repair within cells, DNA damage being regarded as a principal cause of cancer.

However, conventional medicine remains reluctant to accept folic acid supplementation as a possible weapon in the battle against cancer, even though one large scale study has reported a halving of breast cancer risk in women taking more than 600 mcg daily. For reasons which are not understood, however, this protective effect was only observed in the case of those women who also consumed at least one alcoholic drink per day. In general it can be said that the link between folic acid intake and cancer risk remains a matter of association rather than clear causation, but orthodox opinion is much less cautious in recommending a high intake of folates from food.

But not surprisingly, given the potential benefits, nutritional therapists are much less a cautious in recommending folic acid supplementation at levels far in excess of the officially Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 400 mcg (0.4 mg) a day; some suggesting as much as 10 mg (10,000 mcg). And in fact there appears little reason for concern over the ingestion of such apparently large amounts.

Although the US Food and Nutrition Board has recommended that folic acid intake should be limited to 1,000 mcg (1 mg) per day, this is not so much because of possible problems with such an intake of folic acid in itself, but rather because it may cure a particular type of anaemia which is one of the symptoms of an underlying deficiency of vitamin B12. Whilst you might think that such a cure would be beneficial, the problem is that it may mask the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency with potentially serious neurological consequences.

But the solution to the problem would seem straightforward. It is simply to ensure that a generous supply of vitamin B12 is obtained along with any folic acid taken. And this should not be difficult if the vitamins are taken as part of a supplement containing the entire B complex, as is always recommended. As with all vitamins supplements, they should for maximum effectiveness be taken in conjunction with a comprehensive multi-mineral.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are nutrients found in the skins of several fruits and vegetables, which give the food color as well as flavor and scent. Phytonutrients are quite simply the best types of antioxidant foods that you can find anywhere. If you are looking for a supplement value, the coq10 offers you a high level of antioxidant value.

Although fruits and vegetables are the best sources for antioxidants, the problem with them is that they are produced by the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and different types of fertilizers.

Over the years, studies have shown that fruits and vegetables which are organically grown are high in antioxidants, and boast a much higher concentration than those that have been produced commercially.

In the busy world of today, it is difficult to eat like we should, nor can we eat organic fruits and vegetables all the time. If you can’t or don’t have access to organic fruits or other sources of antioxidant foods, you should look into nutritional supplements that offer you the phytonutrients you need in your diet.

Supplements that contain phytonutrients do have advantages when compared to certain fruits, such as carrots – which can elevate your blood sugar level to a very high level. Phytonutrients found in supplements are the extract of pigments where nutrients are concentrated, meaning that they draw the best from antioxidant foods, leaving the calories and sugar behind.

Don’t get the wrong idea here, fruits and vegetables are indeed good for you. They are high in antioxidants, although those that are produced commercially generally come with chemicals and such that aren’t so good for you. Canned fruits and vegetables come with high levels of sugars and calories, which antioxidant supplements don’t have. The supplements offer you the levels you need, without any chemicals, sugars, or calories. This way, you don’t have to worry about consuming anything that isn’t good for you.

No matter how you look at it, healthy eating for your body starts and end with foods that contain antioxidants. There are several types of foods that contain antioxidants, although fruits and vegetables contain the most amounts. Steak and meat are also great sources of antioxidants, along with other great benefits, such as protein. Anytime you can’t get foods that contain antioxidants – you can count on supplements to deliver the amount you need to stay healthy.

Green Foods and Your Health

Naturopaths have recommended the use of green foods to enhance the treatment of diseases such asthma, candida, lupus, HIV and many others. One pound of wheat grass or one pound of barley grass has more nutritional value than twenty-five pounds of organic vegetables. Blue-green algaes, i.e. spirulina, have high levels of vitamins, minerals, and protein that exceed the equivalent weight of meat or soybeans. Alfalfa contains all known vitamins. The phyto-nutrients in green foods are packed with valuable anti-oxidants. Green foods made from fruit and vegetable extracts that come in capsules, tablets, wafers or powders can be the nutritional equivalent of eating all the fruits and vegetables that we should eat daily but don’t because of our fast paced and processed, fast food lifestyle. These green foods in supplement form have more nutrient density i.e. an ounce of these concentrated green foods in supplement form contain much more of the beneficial phytonutrients found in an ounce of green vegetables. In addition to vitamins, minerals and protein, green foods are also packed full of antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes, coenzymes and fibre.

The green color of green foods comes from the phytochemical chlorophyll which is the equivalent, in plants, of the oxygen-carrying red pigment hemoglobin in our red blood cells. Chlorophyll has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response, and cancer prevention. Chlorophyll inhibits bacteria that cause disease, bad breath and internal odors.

Chlorella is a green food that is a complete food in itself. Chlorella has massive amounts of chlorophyll and protein as well as high levels of all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, amino acids and rare trace minerals. Chlorella has more B12 than a equal serving of liver. It’s high RNA and DNA content are believed to fight against the effects of ultraviolet radiation.. Chlorella is a powerful antioxidant that reduces high blood pressure, lowers harmful cholesterol, accelerates wound healing and improves our immune system. Chlorella from green foods, in supplemental form, has been shown to help reduce pain in fibromyalgia, reduce blood pressure and blood fat in hypertension, and help heal and reduce pain in ulcerative colitis. Chlorella has been found to help in the prevention of the growth of tumors because of its glycoproteins that enhance the migration of T cells to tumor sites. Chlorella attaches to heavy metals and dioxin and helps eliminate them from the body.

Spirulina is one of the more well known green foods. Spirulina contains gamma-linolenic acid, linoleic and arachidonic acids, vitamin B 12, essential amino acids, nucleic acids RNA and DNA, chlorophyll and phycocyanin. Spirulina has been found to enhance our immune system, reduce cholesterol and enhance mineral absorption. With it’s high nutrient and protein content, spirulina is especially helpful to people suffering hypoglycemia. Spirulina has been used to assist in the treatment of cancer and HIV because of it ability to aid in nutrient absorption and it’s ability to strengthen the immune system. Sprulina has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helps reduce blood pressure, helps control symptoms of ulcerative colitis and aids in digestion, helps protect the liver from toxins e.g. heavy metals, and helps reduce allergies. Spirulina and other blue-green algaes are rich in essential fatty acids, phenolic antioxidants, chlorophyll, B vitamins, carotenoids and minerals such as calcium iron, magnesium maganese, potassium and zinc.

Kelp is also a well known green food. Kelp is a seaweed common in Asian food. It is high in B vitamins and iodine content and therefore has been used to aid in the treatment of certain thyroid diseases. Poor thyroid function has been found to be a major factor in the cause of weight gain and obesity. Kelp is also believed to be beneficial to brain tissues and membranes, sensory nerves, spinal cord tissue and blood vessels. The high iodine content in kelp has lead to the use of kelp to combat the effects of radiation.

Wheatgrass contains a large variety of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. People have reported experiencing a definite increase in energy after ingesting wheatgrass. It has been used as an important part of treatments for diseases, such as cancer, immunological disorders, and mental health disorders. Before WWII, tablet of wheatgrass and barley grass was used as a common vitamin supplement, especially throughout the midwest section of our country. Barley grass contains all essential amino acids, chlorophyll, flavonoids, vitamin B 12, vitamin C, minerals and enzymes. Barley grass has been used most often to treat stomach and intestinal disorders as well as being used as an anti-inflammarory.

Alfalfa is one of the most mineral-rich foods on the planet. Alfalfa contains all known vitamins, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It’s mineral content is in naturally balanced form which results in natural maximum absorption. Alfalfa has been used to help treat arthritis, anemia, bleeding gums and even cancer.

Studies have shown that green foods in concentrated supplemental form, eliminates toxins such as heavy metals and increases levels of good bacteria such as lactobacilli that are essential for good digestion and elimination, The oxygen-carrying ability of green foods is extremely effective in digestion of foods for vital nutrients, prevention of fungal growth in intestinal passages that can produce a condition of candida. The oxygen distributing and enhancing quality of green foods is vital for cell function of muscles, organs and brain health.

Green foods contain lutein which is an antioxidant found in high levels in the macula which is an eye tissue. The macula helps tell the brain what the eye is seeing and is responsible for the central vision that enables us to drive, read, and see clearly in general. Lutein also helps reduce macular degeneration and cataract development that occurs with our aging.

Green foods have been found to support cellular metabolism and because of it’s high alkaline content, helps to neutralize excess acidity that leads to acid reflux and general acidity associated with our processed, fast food diets. Green foods with their high enzyme and coenzyme content enhance digestive process and health and the absorption of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. Green foods provide benefits of enhancing the health and appearance of skin, hair and nails and delay the natural effects of aging.

Green foods consumed in supplement, concentrated form through capsule or tablet is a very convenient and important way that we can insure that we are receiving the health benefits of these nutrient packed natural plants. Green Foods, in powdered form, can be added, mixed or blended into juices, added to cooking or combined with fruit or protein powders for energy, help with weight loss or for enhancing general health in a natural way. Optimum health requires providing our bodies with the best possible nutrients for growing and maintaining cellular well ness and function. Green Foods are a super form of these best possible nutrients that will help us live well and long.

Honey Nutrition’s

Honey’s rich nutrients, enzyme and antioxidant content combined with its ability to thwart infections makes it a potent healer. From ancient time, honey has been known for its high nutritional and medicinal value. It is believed to be very beneficial for eyesight, reducing effects of poisoning, stopping hiccups, treating urinary tract disorders, worm infestations, nausea, vomiting, cleansing, healing wounds and many more healing properties.

Honey contain mainly carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Honey is also rich in enzymes, antioxidants and other phytonutrients. It also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants, scavenging and eliminating free radicals. These antioxidants substances found in honey have been responsible for the wound-healing properties of honey. The wound-healing power of honey has been widely applied as antiseptic therapeutic agent for healing ulcers, burns and cuts for many years.

How Healing Of Wound Works By Using Honey

Due to its contents of glucose and fructose, which attract water, honey absorbs water from wound, drying it out so that the growth of bacteria and fungi are inhibited. Secondly, an enzyme called glucose oxidase found in raw honey, which if combined with water, produces hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic for medication benefits.

Beauty Benefits Of Honey

The vitamins, minerals and amino acids found in honey make it a wonderful beauty aid. When taken orally for consistent period of time, honey nourishes the skin and the hair. In fact if taken for longer period of time, it helps our skin to glow more radiantly, helps to reduce wrinkles, thus making us look younger.

Honey is also an excellent moisturizing agent and natural cleanser and therefore, popularly used in wide skin-cleansing formulations. It increases exfoliation or renewal of the skin cells that makes the skin softer and younger.

Other supplementary products of honey which are royal jelly, propolis have been used in beauty saloon as facial mask that command great prices due to its effective results for a more glowing skin.

Other Health Benefits Of Honey

Due to its ready availability of carbohydrates, honey provides instant energy sources if taken prior to exercises which improves performances. It helps in muscles recovery faster if taken after an exercises program.

Honey also increases the growth and activity of good bacteria in the gut. Results from recent studies show that taking honey with dairy products such as yogurt can enhance growth and viability of bifidobacteria.

Honey is also used as anti-inflammatory treatment of sore throat.

How To Take Honey As Health Supplement

Honey can be taken as it is in one tea spoon without mixing with water first thing in the morning or anytime in the day as you wish. For me I prefer to take honey as it is with royal jelly and propolis in the morning before breakfast and drink. It provides me with energy for the whole day with royal jelly as a good beauty aid and propolis a great antioxidant too. After a short period of time, my complexion improved tremendously with intake of honey and this motivated me to continue taking it knowing that it has high antioxidant and healing power too.

About Vitamin D and Cancer

The best known and most serious disease associated with vitamin D deficiency is rickets, which arises when the deficiency causes blood calcium levels to fall too low, and the body to respond by stripping the bones of calcium leading to loss of bone density and malformation.

Interestingly, studies have shown that the geographical pattern of the incidence of rickets is very similar to those for both breast and colon cancer, suggesting a possible (though not fully understood) link between vitamin D deficiency and these diseases. One 5 year study which grouped 120,000 people by levels of vitamin D intake reported that men in the highest intake group had a 29% lower incidence of colon cancer than those in the lowest intake group and similar results have been observed in breast cancer research. Relatively high blood levels of active form vitamin D have also been associated with a lower risk of pre-cancerous growths (polyps) in the colon whereas lower levels of vitamin in the blood have been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Vitamin D is known to be essential for a healthy immune system and has been shown to be particularly important in helping prevent auto-immune diseases – those in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own cells, wrongly having identified them as invaders. Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are examples of serious diseases which fall into this category and a number of research studies suggest that a generous intake of vitamin D may be a significant mitigating factor.

Blood levels of vitamin D have also been shown to be inversely correlated with blood pressure, and some research suggests that high dose supplements of vitamin D of (1,600 IU per day) may help this, although orthodox medicine, as ever, is cautious about definitively acknowledging any direct causal link.

The traditional view was that adequate supplies of vitamin D can be synthesised in the skin upon its exposure to sunlight. But the problem is that a large proportion of the population in the affluent world lives in latitudes which provide very limited sunlight for six months of the year. People commonly work indoors and tend to use high factor sunblocks on the rare occasions on which they might expose significant areas of skin to the sun.

It is a cruel irony that this concern about skin cancer may lead to the ill-health associated with vitamin D deficiency and may even increase the risk of other cancers. But in these circumstances the usual assumptions about vitamin D production in the body appear questionable at best, if not downright complacent. And the situation is even worse for the elderly, who may not only enjoy even less exposure to the sun than the young, but are less able to make use of that which they do obtain.

Moreover, there are relatively few good natural food sources of vitamin D, and the best source, oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon is one which many people, and perhaps children in particular, often find unpalatable. The situation has improved somewhat with the fortification of milk, orange juice, bread and some cereal products, but it may still be difficult for individuals to ensure they obtain a sufficient intake of the vitamin, particularly because the amounts added to different foods and drinks are very variable.

Since the amount of vitamin D required from food will vary greatly depending on the amount of exposure to sunlight enjoyed by the individual, it has not been deemed possible to determine a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D. But the Food and Nutrition Board has suggested 200 IU (5mcg) for infants, children, and adults up to 50, rising to 400 IU for the 50-70s, and 600 IU for the over 70s, as an “Adequate Intake” of the vitamin from food on the assumption that none is being obtained from sunlight.

Orthodox opinion, however, seems to regard these suggestions as too conservative. And even for those individuals fortunate enough to enjoy regular exposure to good quality sunlight, the intake of 400 IU (10 mcg) of vitamin D as part of a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement is recommended. For the over 65s, those with less than optimal liver or digestive health, those living in less advantageous climates and those who spend the majority of their time in indoor occupations a supplementary dose of a further 400 IU, for a total of 800 IU is strongly advised.

For maximum effect, however, vitamin D supplementation should be always be combined with adequate dietary calcium – supplemented if necessary to achieve an intake of 1,000 – 1,200 mg per day of this essential mineral.