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Beta Carotene
Echinacea
Ester-C
Garlic
Ginseng
Omega Fatty Acids
Vitamins
Vitamin A
Vitamin B
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Essential Amino Acids
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Phenylalanine
Threonine
Tryptophan
Valine
Non-Essential Amino Acids
Alanine
Arginine
Aspartic Acid
Cystine
Glutamic Acid
Antioxidants
Aromatherapy
Energy Bars
Enzymes
Glucosamine
Homeopathy

 

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is part of a nutrient group named carotenoids which are found in plant sources. Carotenoids are believed to help in disease prevention by interacting with phytochemicals. Beta carotene is said to prevent cancer and heart disease and helps to boost immunity. It can be found in yellow, red, and deep green vegetables and fruits.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a herb which is said to work through stimulation of the immune system over the short term and is primarily used in reducing the symptoms and lessening the duration of common colds. Echinacea use is not recommended over the long term as it has not been fully verified that it is effective in disease prevention.

Echinacea purpurea, echinacea angustifolia, and echinacea pallida are the three species of the herbal plant. Depending on the species used, the herbal supplements are manufactured from either the root or above the ground portions of the plant.

There is not currently a clear understanding as to which chemical compound present in echinacea is responsible for its medicinal effects, although speculation focuses on alkamides, polysaccharides and the herb's phenols (The phenols are used as markers to assess the quality of echinacea in a given product). The phenols, cichoric acid and caftaric acid, are present in echinacea purpurea. The phenol, echinacoside, is present in the roots echinacea angustifolia and echinacea pallida.

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Ester-C

Ester-C provides an advanced form of non-acidic, buffered vitamin C, formulated for faster absorption and longer retention in the body. By "esterfying" vitamin C with calcium and bioflavanoids, this formula is estimated to be absorbed 400% faster than regular vitamin C. Ester-C also has a neutral pH that helps protect you from the stomach upset that can accompany other vitamin C products. Ester-C enters the bloodstream faster and reaches the cells up to 4 times more efficiently than other forms of vitamin C. It maintains healthy skin, strengthens teeth, supports the immune system and is an excellent anti-stress vitamin. The formulation helps you to obtain the maximum benefits of vitamin C in a short time. Ester-C also contains with bioflavonoids for a more synergistic formulation.

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Garlic

Garlic has long been supposed to promote health, reported to prevent the common cold, improve digestion, reduce congestion and promote good skin health. Its non medicinal uses include its being used as a natural insect (specifically mosquito) repellent. It detoxifies the body and protects against infection by improving immune function. It lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, lowers blood lipid levels and is effective in treating diseases of the respiratory system. There is evidence that garlic helps in the management of high cholesterol levels.

There is higher medicinal benefit from stronger tasting garlic. The garlic taste is regulated by the sulphur content, this being the main active medicinal compound of the herb. Garlic supplements are frequently preferred over ingestion of raw garlic. Garlic capsules have the benefit of being odourless and help in avoiding garlic breath.

In modern scientific studies, Garlic has been shown to have strong, yet non- targeted, antibiotic properties. The body does not develop a resistance to garlic's antibiotic properties as it does to those of pharmaceuticals meaning that the benefits persist over time. A powerful antioxidant effect can be obtained from garlic, and in particular aged garlic. Antioxidants help protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. The two key medicinal components present in garlic are both sulphides: allicin sulphide and diallyl sulphide.

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Ginseng

Ginseng is a widely recognized Chinese herb used in traditional medicine. It has been used medicinally in various forms for over 7000 years. Ginseng is the root (often dried) of the herb family araliaceae.

Several species of ginseng grow across the globe, the most commonly used being Asian ginseng. Asian ginseng is frequently sold under the names Korean ginseng, Chinese Ginseng or panax. Panax literally translates from Greek to mean 'all healing'. American ginseng is a close botanical relative of Asian ginseng, though its effects are milder than its Asian counterpart.

A third variety, Siberian ginseng is less closely related and contains numerable compounds not present in Asian and American ginseng varieties. Siberian ginseng is generally less expensive as it is considered weaker than the primary species of the herb.

Ginseng is difficult to grow. The roots which can live for 100 years, take between four and six years to reach a maturity at which they can be harvested.

Oriental medicine prescribes ginseng as both prevention and cure. It is cited as having properties that reduce mental and physical fatigue, that cure pulmonary problems and that minimize the effects of age.

All species of ginseng are considered to have rejuvenation properties, some species are purported to have more specific medical benefit. Ginseng is used to combat loss of energy and vitality during periods of stress and fatigue.

The energy boosting effects of ginseng have not yet been clinically verified, however several studies indicate that the herb has abilities in after meal glucose level normalization for diabetics.

Trials also show that ginseng can stimulate the immune system and assist in treating male impotence (erectile dysfunction).

When taken in combination with ginkgo biloba, ginseng has been shown to improve memory and to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children.

Vitamins A and B6 are found in ginseng. The mineral zinc is also present. Zinc assists in thymic hormone production, hormones which are required in the healthy function of the body's natural defense system.

It is the plant chemicals named saponin triterpenoid glycosides (ginsenosides) that are said to be the key medical ingredients in ginseng. There are over 25 of these steroid-like compounds present in ginseng, compounds that make give ginseng its adaptogenic properties.

An adaptogen is a compound that normalizes physical functions. An adaptogen for blood pressure would have the effect of raising low blood pressure while being capable of lowering high blood pressure.

These glycosides are steroid-like adaptogens which act on the adrenal glands and enable ginseng to prevent excessive corticosteroid production which is a normal response to stress of a physical, chemical or biological nature.

Glycosides are ginseng's marker compounds: the levels present in a sample of ginseng is used to indicate its type and quality.

Chinese studies show that ginsenosides increase synthesis of protein and neurotransmitter activity in the brain, indicating that the herb may be used to promote memory restoration and to enhance cognition and concentration.

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Omega Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in some fish tissues. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are also present in several seeds and seed oils, including flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and canola oil. Though originally labelled vitamin F, omega-3 fatty acids are now designated as fats.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids were identified during the 1970s and have since been the subject of countless scientific studies and clinical trials. The findings indicate that omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital nutrients for life and beneficial to good health The protect against diseases and can be used in the treatment of illnesses.

In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there was "supportive but not conclusive research " that consuming EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) may reduce the risks of coronary heart diseases. They offer benefits to the heart in healthy people and to those with or at high risk of having cardiovascular disease.

Eating fish, in particular fatty fish several times a week will offer a good source of EFAs. Fish which have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids of both types include herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon and some forms of tuna. One concern with the consumption of fish as a source of fatty acid is the level of mercury present in some fish.

Salmon is one of the types of fish with the lowest levels of mercury yet the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids. There are some good statistics on Omega-3 levels and mercury levels provided by the American Heart Association.

Omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians can be produced by the body from ALA (alpha- linolenic acid) which is present in many beans, seeds and their by-products. ALA is found in flaxseed and flaxseed oils, walnuts and walnut oils, soybeans (and products derived from soybeans like tofu) and in canola oils. It should be noted that there is less conclusive evidence that ALA enhances heart health in the same way or to the same degree as EPA and DHA.

Omega-6 is also a fatty acid essential to the well being of the human body, however, when consumed in high quantities it can be detrimental to health. Omega-6 is present in high concentrations in many vegetable oils including soy, canola, corn and sunflower oils.

In the western world we consume far greater quantities of these fats than our ancestors. It is said that we consume between twenty and fifty units of omega-6 for every one unit of omega-3 whereas an ideal ratio for optimum health would be one to one.

Both omega-6 and omega-6 fatty acids are crucial in heart disease and cancer prevention. They may assist defense against many other forms of disease. Our brains are also dependent on DHA. Reduced DHA levels are being linked with mental depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. It appears that there are links to premature birth and low birth weights and some research shows connections with low omega-3 intake to hyperactivity among children.

Vitamins

The word vitamin has its origins in the words 'vital' and 'amine'. The word was brought into use in 1912 by Casimir Funk, a Polish chemist who isolated vitamin B1 (thiamine) from rice.

Vitamins are organic molecules, meaning that they are carbon-based. They act as catalysts in the body, allowing chemical reactions to occur over shorter time spans and using less energy than would normally be possible.

The human body is known to require at least 13 different vitamins to function normally. It requires these vitamins in only tiny amounts, however, deficiencies in vitamins can retard or interfere with normal metabolic functions and make the body more prone to infection and disease.

Vitamins come from three primary sources: foods, drinks and our own bodies. Whilst we need to ingest some vitamins as a primary source or as a supplement, our bodies have mechanisms to produce some of those we need. For instance, vitamin D is produced in the skin in a reaction with ultraviolet light. Some forms of vitamin B are produced by intestinal bacteria.

Vitamis can be divided into two groups: water soluble and fat soluble. Vitamins B and C are water soluble. They are stored in the body within the liver. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble. They are stored in the body in fats and within the liver. Both types of vitamin taken to excess are associated with toxicity. This toxicity is less common with water soluble vitamins, excesses of which can be excreeted from the body through the urine.

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Vitamin A

Vitamin A is not a single mineral, but a family of compounds which are soluble by fats. The nutrient isolated in 1930 was the first fat-soluble vitamin discovered.

These fat-soluble compounds are required by the human body for healthy vision, sexual and cellular reproduction, and bone growth. Vitamin A plays a role in cell differentiation; the process that instructs cells if they are to form part of the skin, part of the brain, part of a muscle etc.

Vitamin A is involved in immune system regulation. The immune system helps the body fight off infections and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses through white blood cell production. Specifically Vitamin A enhances infection-fighting actions of a particular white blood cell type called lymphocytes. Vitamin A has antiviral properties

Vitamin A helps to keep skin, surface linings, and membranes in good condition. Vitamin A primarily promotes health in the surface linings of the eyes, the respiratory system, and the intestinal tracts. The body becomes more vulnerable to disease when these surface linings deteriorate as it becomes easier for bacteria and viruses to enter the body via these routes.

There are two naturally occurring forms of Vitamin A - Retinol and Beta-Carotene (or Provitamin A).

  1. Retinol

    The most active form of Vitamin A is called Retinol. It is found in whole milk and animal foods. Because it is in a for that the body can readily use it is often called preformed Vitamin A. The name retinol is related retina (part of the eye) which reflects the vitamin's role in healthy vision.

  2. Carotenoids

    Carotenoids come from darkly colored pigments found in plant foods. Provitamin A carotenoids are converted to Retinol within the body in a process which requires fats and bile. As such, carotenoids are considered a precursor to pure Vitamin A. Over 500 carotenoids have been identified although less than 50 are precursors to vitamin A. Those found in found in foods include beta- carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.

    It is beta-carotene, orange pigment found in food, that can most efficiently be converted to retinol. The human body splits Carotene into two units of vitamin A. Both Alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin can be converted to vitamin A, but only half as readily as Beta-Carotene. Although the carotenoids Lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin cannot produce Vitamin A, they do have other health promoting properties. Some carotenoids have, in laboratory trials (but not human trials), been identified as having antioxidant properties.

What foods provide vitamin A?

The highest source of retinol is animal foods: eggs, milk, and liver (the body stores Vitamin A in the liver). Fat reduced and free milk (liquid and dried forms) are often fortified with vitamin A supplements, replacing the quantity lost in the removal of fats. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamin A. vitamin A from animal sources of are easily absorbed and efficiently used in the human body.

Darkly colored fruits and vegetables are generally rich sources of Provitamin A carotenoids which can be converted within the body to usable forms of vitamin A. Carrots, spinach, broccoli, kale, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots are all good sources of Provitamin A carotenoids. vitamin A from vegetable sources is not as readily absorbed as vitamin A from as animal sources.

People who eat a healthy diet do not usually need supplements of vitamin A. An excess of Vitamin A can be toxic to the human body.

Benefits of Vitamin A:

  1. Promotes healthy vision.
  2. Prevents night blindness.
  3. Helps the eye to adapt to light changes.
  4. Treats a disorder known as dry eye
  5. Prevents flu, colds, and bronchial infections
  6. Fights breast and lung cancers and leukemia
  7. Hinders the development of a melanomas (often malignant skin cancers)
  8. Enhances responses of patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment
  9. Treats eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders
  10. Controls cold sores
  11. Protects against some gastrointestinal ailments
  12. Encourages healing of minor burns, cuts, and abrasions

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Vitamin B

There are eight vitamins in the B-complex family, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), pantothenic acid and biotin. They provide a variety of functions, such as converting carbohydrates to glucose, providing energy, breaking down fats and proteins, aiding in nervous system funtion, increasing the muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract and contribute to a healthy mouth, hair, liver and skin. They can be found in liver, fish, rice, nuts, meats, eggs, leafy green vegetables, brewer's yeast, whole-grain cereals, milk, fruits and many other sources.

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Vitamin B1

B1, or thiamine, metabolizes carbohydrates into glucose. Thiamine combines with pyruvic acid to form a coenzyme, which, when combined with other substances, forms an enzyme, which speeds up the body's chemical reactions. Thiamine also aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system, and acts as a coenzyme in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (the link between nerve fibers which acts as a messenger).

Thiamine deficiency is rare, but does occur. It is found most often in alcoholics when alcohol interferes with thiamine absorption through the intestines. Health problems associated with a thiamine deficiency include beriberi (a disease characterized by anemia, muscular atrophy, weakness, paralysis and spasms in the leg muscles), Korsakoff's psychosis (affects short-term memory) and Wernicke's encephelopathy (causes lack of coordinaton). Sensitivity of the teeth, cheeks and gums, and cracked lips can also be signs of a thiamine deficiency.

Thiamine can be found in bread, yeast, brown rice, red meat, sweet corn, the germ and husks of grains and nuts, green leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolks, berries, and whole-grain cereals. Very high doses of thiamine have not been shown to cause adverse health effects and any excess is excreted.

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Vitamin B2

B2, or riboflavin, acts as a coenzyme in the process of carbohydrate, fat, and protein breakdown and also aids in the maintenance of skin and mucous membanes, the cornea, and nerve sheaths. It is also a coenzyme for oxidation-reduction reactions, which are reactions which involve the addition of either oxygen or hydrogen to a substance. Riboflavin sometimes inhibits chemical reactions with oxygen or highly reactive free radicals, which can cause damage to our cells.

A riboflavin deficiency is characterized by inflamation of the soft tissue lining around the mouth and nose, skin disorders (seborrheic dermatitis), anemia and light-sensitivity in the eyes. Riboflavin deficiency can also cause the development of angular cheilosis, a painful condition where lesions develop at the corners of the lips and inflammation of the tongue (glossitis) can also occur.

Riboflavin may be found in meat, milk, eggs, cheese, whole-grains and peas. Small amounts are stored in the liver and kidneys, however any excess is excreted.

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Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin (also called nicotinic acid or nicotinamide), is a factor in the metabolism of food, the maintainance of healthy skin, the gastrointestinal tract and nerves. It is also used in oxidation reduction reactions.

Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, sometimes referred to as the 'three d's', diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia, and ultimately results in the fourth 'd', death. In the past, it has been associated with the very poor and was also a cause of mental illness. Pellagra also affects the mouth, causing the inside of the cheeks and tongue to become red and painful. Pellagra can be reversed by injesting high doses of niacin (150-300 mg).

Niacin can be found in foods rich in protein, such as brewer's yeast, eggs, milk, potatoes, legumes, fish, meats, and peanuts. It may also be used in higher doses to help lower cholesterol. One must be wary when using niacin for cholesterol reduction, however, as the main side effects of high doses of niacin include itching, flushing of the skin due to dilating blood vessels, cramps, headaches, nausea and skin eruptions.

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Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, pyridoxal phosphate, and pyridoxamine, is used for the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as the production of red blood cells and biochemical reactions invoved in the metabolism of amino acids.

Pyridoxine is abundance in many foods, and a deficiency is rare. When a deficiency occurs, it is most often present in alcoholics. A deficiency of B6 causes skin disorders much like the symptoms of riboflavin and niacin deficiencies), confusion, poor coordination, insomnia and neuropathy (abnormal nervous system). Other symptoms include inflammation of the edges of the lips, tongue and mouth. Large doses of pyridoxine can cause nerve damage, but continues to be recommended as a remedy for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but research has not supported this claim as of yet.

Vitamin B6 can be found in many foods, some of which include organ meats, brown rice, liver, fish, butter, wheat germ, whole grain cereals and soybeans.

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Vitamin B9

B9, or folic acid, is also sometimes called folacin or pteroylglutamic acid. It interacts with B12 for the synthesis of DNA and in combination with both B12 and vitamin C is necessary for the breakdown of proteins and the formation of hemoglobin (transports oxygen and carbon dioxide through red blood cells). Folic acid is also used in virtually all one-carbon transfer biochemical reactions and is produced by bacteria in the stomach and intestines.

Folic acid deficiency is characterized by anemia, irritation of the mouth and poor growth, also symptoms of B12 deficiency. It is present in almost all natural foods but can be damaged or weakened during the cooking process. Deficiencies are found primarily in alcoholics, the poor and malnurished, the elderly and those with certain diseases which cause difficulty absorbing food, such as topical sprue and gluten enteropathy.

Folic acid can be found in many foods, such as yeast, green vegetables, liver, and whole grain cereals. An increase of the intake of B9 is encouraged during pregnancy. Mega-doses of folic acid causes convulsions, disrupts zinc absorption, and can interfere with anticonvulsant medication, most commonly used by epileptics.

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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cyanocobalamin is used to process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which helps to create blood cells and used for maintenance of our nerve sheaths. It also acts as a coenzyme in DNA repair and synthesis.

B12 deficiencies are most often seen in strict vegetarians who do not take vitamin supplements or those who have an inability to absorb the vitamin due to a failure of the body to produce intrinsic factor (needed to bind with the B12 in order for absorption to occur). This disorder is called pernicious anemia, causing weakness, numbness of the extremities, fever, pallor and other symptoms. Brain damage and mouth irritation also occur. These symptoms may be reduced or reversed by vitamin B12 shots.

B12 is not found in any plant food sources and is produced only by bacteria. Sources of B12 include meat, liver, egg yolk, milk and poultry.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, is used in many of the body's metabolic reactions. It promotes strength in cell membranes and improves immune system function. As an antioxidant it neutralises free radicals, which are incomplete molecules and atoms present in the body; natural by-products of metabolic and immune system processes. In their endeavours to become complete, unstable free radical compounds attack local molecules. Vitamin C and other antioxidants form the body's natural defense against free radicals, neutralizing harmful free radical substances and help to promote cell health.

Vitamin C also assists the protection of HDL cholesterol from free radical damage. HDL cholesterol (or good cholesterol) promotes heart health and good blood circulation.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, which is essential for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, and nerve cells. Vitamin D also helps maintain the body's levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children. Excessive doses of vitamin D can result in increased calcium absorption, which leads to elevated levels of calcium in the blood. When this occurs, calcium may be deposited in soft tissues such as the heart and lungs and inhibit their ability to funtion.

Vitamin D is found in dairy products, fish, fortified cereals, margarine and oysters. The body also manufactures vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to prevent cancer, diabetes, anemia, cataracts, age related diseases, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. It has been shown to protect healthy cells when exposed to chemotherapy. Vitamin E encourages healthy circulation, reduces scarring, lowers blood pressure, strenthens capillary walls and promotes healthy skin and hair.

Vitamin E deficiency is characterized by poor muscle coordination, shaky movements, lack of reflexes, paralysis of eye muscles and in extreme cases, an inability to walk.

Vitamin E can be found in mayonnaise, watercress, cold-pressed vegetable oils, spinach, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts), sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, kale, organ meats,and eggs.

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Amino Acids

Amino Acids are the body's building blocks instrumental in the cell building and tissue repair. They form antibodies to combat bacterial viral infections. As a component of the enzyme and hormonal systems, Amino Acids build the nucleoproteins RNA and DNA. They support muscle activity by carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Amino acids in the human body are a byproduct formed by the breakdown of protein in the digestive system. Protein breaks down into over 20 amino acids. Eight of these amino acids cannot be synthesized by the human body (that is: they are essential). All of the others can be produced directly by a properly nourished body.

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Essential Amino Acids

An essential amino acid for an organism is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized by the organism from other available resources, and therefore must be supplied as part of its diet.

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Isoleucine

The chemical composition of Isoleucine and leucine are identical but their atomic arrangements differ, resulting in different properties. It can only be manufactured by plants and bacteria.

Along with other BCAAs (branched-chain-amino-acids), Isoleucine encourages muscle recovery after physical exertion. Isoleucine is required in hemoglobin formation and plays a role in formation of blood clotting. It aids blood sugar level regulation and promotes good energy levels.

High concentrations of Isoleucine are found in meats, fish, eggs and cheese. It is also found in substantial concentrations in the majority of seeds, nuts and lentils

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Leucine

Leucine, like Isoleucine promotes blood-sugar level regulation along with muscle and tissue growth and repair and wound healing.

Leucine helps to prevent post stress and post trauma muscle protein breakdown and keeps bones, skin and muscles in good health. Leucine supplements and protein powders containing leucine are used by hard training athletes and bodybuilders to assist muscle recovery.

Leucine is involved in the production of growth hormones. It plays a role in energy regulation. Because Leucine contributes to synthesis of Glutamine (the body's most abundant amino acid) it is needed for supporting healthy immune system function.

When used in unison with Isoleucine and Valine (both essential Amino acids), Leucine seems to assist in the treatment (an occasional reversal) of liver damage in alcoholics (specifically hepatic encephalopathy). The neurological deterioration and muscle wasting associated with chronic liver disease can also be prevented with the use of Leucine.

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Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid required by the body for growth and tissue repair. Lysine is involved in enzymes and hormones production, in the building of antibodies for fighting disease and in maintenance of the body's nitrogen balance. Lysine is involved in the production of carnitine, one nutrient that converts fatty acids into usable energy and as a result can help to lower cholesterol. Lysine partakes in the caramelisation of sugars in baked foods (pastries, cookies) causing it to link with sugars in a way that makes the Lysine difficult for the body to process.

A deficiency of lysine in the diet may result in anemia, nausea, dizzy spells, fatigue, loss of hair, kidney stones restricted growth or weight loss, bloodshot eyes, weight loss and retarded growth, reproductive disorders, diminished appetite and low concentration abilities. As s many protein foods contain lysine, deficiencies are rare, usually being found in vegetarians and vegans whose only Lysine food source would be grains, or in athletes undertaking frequent vigorous exercise.

Lysine is necessary for childhood growth and bone development. It assists absorption and conservation of calcium during digestion and prevents loss of calcium in the urine. This has led to speculation that Lysine could reduce bone loss in osteoporosis.

Lysine helps in the formation of collagen. Collagen is important to bones and the tissues that connect them: tendons and cartilage.

Red meats, fish and dairy products (particularly Parmesan cheese) are the most rich sources of Lysine. Beans, lentils and peas (legumes) are an alternative source but beyond the legumes, vegetables are in general a poor source of Lysine.

The benefits of lysine supplements are still being researched. Areas under examination include lowering cholesterol, maintain healthy blood vessels and athletic enhancement. Because lysine helps with muscle protein building, it can help patients recovering from injuries and in post-surgical recovery.

Lysine is somewhat successfully used in prevention and management of herpes simplex virus (HSV) sores. Research has shown that the herpes virus needs the common amino acid, arginine to be able to grow, and because Lysine competes with arginine to be absorbed into tissues it restricts the growth of HSV. Avoiding Arginine rich foods (peanuts, almonds, chocolate, seeds, cereals, gelatin, and raisins.) and eating Lysine rich foods should promote this action.

This may indicate why some doctors promote the use of lysine in the treatment of canker sores which are also presumed to be caused by a viral agent. The use of Lysine in canker sore treatment has not yet been clinically confirmed.

Lysine can be useful in

  1. treatment of Herpes and Shingles
  2. treatment of Osteoporosis

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Methionine

Methionine is a vital amino acid which supplies the mineral sulphur to the body, a mineral which is essential in maintaining strong nails, healthy hair and a good skin tone. Methionine is known as a methyl donor, meaning that it is pivotal in the formation of essential compounds through a process called methylation. Methionine is essential in the regulation of the availability of folic acid.

The human body is unable to produce this essential amino acid so it must be ingested from foods. Methionine rich foods include chicken, eggs, fish, beef and dairy products. Whole grains and Sunflower seeds can provide a source of methionine to vegetarians as can beans (such as soy), however beans are not as good a source of the amino acid. Methionine can also be acquired from food supplements.

It is thought that Methionine is thought is partly responsible in preventing the build up of fats (lipids) in the liver which is why it is frequently included in lipotropic combinations (liver detoxification products). Lipotropic combinations usually contain forms of vitamin B (choline and inositol) and are intended to increase bile flow and accelerate the removal of dangerous toxins from the liver. These toxins would if left unchecked contribute to cell damage.

Lipotropic combinations containing Methionine has been used experimentally in the treatment of endometriosis, a condition in which uterine lining tissue begins to grow outside of the uterus. Methionine can help to reduce the cramping pains and bleeding associated with endometriosis. Whilst more research is still necessary, there are indications that Methionine assists cleansing the liver of excess levels of estrogen.

The deterioration of the nervous system (often results in dementia) has been associated with low methionine levels in AIDS sufferers, an observation that suggests that Methionine might be useful in improving memory recall and to repair nervous system damage.

Low doses of Methionine in conjunction with antioxidants have been shown to reduce pancreatitis attacks and help alleviate the associated pain.

People with high histamine levels tend to exhibit methionine deficiencies. Many respond favourably to methionine supplementation as the amino acid can help to lower histamine levels.

Methionine deficient diets may result in harmful metabolism and breakdown of proteins. Methionine deficient diets are also implicated in depression. Deficiency of Methionine can render folic acid unusable in the body and as a result may contribute to a build up of unusable folic acid.

Methionine may be useful in:

  • the treatment of Depression
  • the treatment of alcoholism
  • the treatment of allergies _ asthma
  • the treatment of copper toxicity
  • against the toxic effects of radiation
  • Improving healing from surgery and wounds
  • lowering high histamine
  • the treatment of depressed high histamine schizophrenics
  • liver disorders
  • antioxidant therapy

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Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is converted in the human body into tyrosine, an amino acid needed to make proteins, brain chemicals, and thyroid hormones. Deficiency in phenylalanine can result in reduced energy levels, loss of mental alertness and appetite, confusion, decreased memory function.

The brain uses the alpha-amino acid Phenylalanine to produce the chemical Norepinephrine (via tyrosine) which transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain. Norepinephrine keeps the mind and body alert and awake, improving memory function and having antidepressant properties.

Phenylalanine is found in most protein based foods (meat of all kinds, dairy products, nuts, beans, tofu). In large quantities, Phenylalanine interferes with the production of serotonin.

PKU - Phenylketonuria (discovered in 1934 by Norwegian physician Ivar Asbjørn Følling) is a genetic disorder which results in an inability to metabolise Phenylalanine and is associated with mental retardation.

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Threonine

In 1935 threonine was isolated from the protein fibrin. It can be synthesized into the two amino acids, serine and glycine.

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Tryptophan

An essential amino acid most commonly associated with turkey, tryptophan helps the body produce niacin, which is converted to 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), and is then converted to serotonin. Tryptophan is also associated with melatonin production. It is plentiful in chocolate, bananas, oats, milk, cottage cheese, dried dates, fish, peanuts, and meat. It has been suggested that tryptophan may be a possible cause of schizophrenia in people who cannot metabolize it properly. When it is not metabolized properly it can cause toxic waste product in the brain which causes hallucinations and delusions.

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Valine

Valine is found in most foods and is thought to be somewhat helpful in treating addictions. Valine can be metabolized in place of glucose to produce energy.

Valine deficiency can cause problems with the nervous system and seizures.

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Non-Essential Amino Acids

Non-Essential Amino Acids are those that the body produces sufficient quantities of in most cases, without requiring them to be included in the diet.

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Alanine

Alanine is used in the metabolism of glucose and tryptophan. It has been shown to potentially reduce cholesterol. High levels of alanine and low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine have been linked to the Epstein-Barr virus and chronic fatigue syndrome. Alanine is found in meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and eggs.

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Arginine

Arginine is essential to the metabolism of ammonia generated by protein breakdown and is also used to transport the nitrogen used in muscle metabolism. Arginine deficiency results in hair loss, a delay in wound healing, constipation and liver disease. It is commonly found in most proteins, including nuts, milk, meats, cheese and eggs.

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Aspartic Acid

Aspartic acid aids in the construction of other amino acids and biochemicals such as asparagine, arginine, lysine, methionine, threonine, isoleucine, and several nucleotides. It assists the liver by removing excess ammonia and other toxins out of the bloodstream and is also very important in the functioning of RNA. Aspartic acid is needed for stamina and brain health and symptoms of deficiency include fatigue and depression. It is found in dairy, poultry, beef and sprouting seeds.

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Cystine

Cystine is required for proper vitamin B6 utilization and also helps in the healing of burns and wounds, breaking down mucus deposits in illnesses such as bronchitis as well as cystic fibrosis. It also helps to supply insulin to the pancreas and increases the level of glutathione in the lungs, kidneys, liver and bones and may have an anti-aging effect on the body by reducing age spots. It can be used as a detoxification agent, protecting the body against damage caused by alcohol and smoking, preventing liver and brain damage.

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Glutamic Acid

Glutamic acid aids in the metabolism of sugars and fats and is also an important excitatory neurotransmitter. It facilitates the transportation of potassium across the blood-brain barrier. Glutamic acid shows promise in the future treatment of neurological conditions, ulcers, hypoglycemic come, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, Parkinson's, and mental retardation.

Sources of glutamic acid include fish, dairy products, eggs, meat, and poultry, as well as some protein-rich plant foods.

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Glycine

Histidine

Proline

Serine

Taurine

Tyrosine

 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent oxidation in other chemicals. In biology, normal oxidation produces highly reactive free radicals which react with and damage other molecules. The body may use this reaction to fight infections, but the same reaction can cause damage to the body's own cells. These free radical by-products of oxygen metabolism are considered one factor in the development of some chronic diseases.

Free radicals can be encouraged to react with compounds that are easily oxidised, before they can cause damage other essential molecules. The compounds that are easily oxidisable are called antioxidants. Some vitamins, minerals, and enzymes have antioxidant effects.

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Aromatherapy

The use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being.

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Energy Bars

Energy Bars are fortified, well balanced, convenient foods, delivering simple and complex carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Energy bar protein usually comes from milk or soy. Soy bars are becoming increasingly popular since the FDA acknowledged the health benefits of soy protein for heart disease.

As well as containing fiber content from grains and oats, many energy bars also contain additional ingredients to promote good health or energy availibility. They may contain nervous system stimulants like ginseng and guarana, or potassium phosphate to increase the consumption capacity of oxygen.

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Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins present in all living cells and are composed from long chains of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. They act as catalysts for reactions in living organisms, speeding up reaction times and controlling metabolic processes in which nutrients are converted into energy and new cellular material. Nature uses enzymes to speed up most processes where one substance needs to be converted to another.

Enzymes assist in the breakdown of food into more simple molecules. Some of the most notable enzymes play major roles in the digestive system. When food enters the mouth, enzymes in the saliva (salivary amylase) begins to break starch into more simple sugars (dextrins and maltose). In the digestive tract, peptidases break down proteins into amino acids. They works best in the high acidity conditions found in the stomach. Lipases are digestive enzymes that break down fats.

Unlike other general use catalysts, most enzymes are specific to a particular task, dedicated to breaking specific bonds. Some enzymes can break down many types of proteins, however they usually break the same bond in whichever protein they tackle. Because of their specializations enzymes are very efficient catalysts, being ably to catalyze the breakdown of over eighty thousand molecules per second.

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Glucosamine

Glucosamine (glucosamine sulfate) is an amino sugar (a glucose or galactose molecule with an amine group attached) which helps create tissues and synovial fluids around joints in order to cushion them from damage.

Glucosamine repairs arthritic joints and reduces pain. It is required for stimulate the growth of skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, parts of the heart, eyes and nails. Glucosamine plays a vital role in the production of protective mucous coatings in the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts.

Glucosamine sulfate is a synthetic version of the Glucosamine made by the human body. The cartilage rebuildig properties of Glucosamine suggest that it can reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It is used to treat sciatica and inflamed discs. There are indications that Glucosamine sulfate may help to relieve the pain of with osteoarthritis. The National Institute of Health has been conducting a study into the effects of glucosamine andchondroitin on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis since 2004.

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Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a natural, holistic, therapeutic medical science: an approach to healing without side effects, developed by a 19th century German physician named Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). The word homeopathy originates from the greek words homeo (meaning same) and pathos (meaning disease or suffering).

Homeopathy is based on the premise that those substances which can cause particular symptoms in healthy people will heal the same symptoms in sick people suffering the same symptoms. Patient's physical and psychological symptoms are addressed in homeopathy with a focus on restoring the body to homeostasis or balance.

As part of his experimental work Hahnemann administered regular doses of common remedies to healthy volunteer subjects and logged the symptoms produced. After this period of 'proving', Hahnemann matched the symptoms produced by the compounds in his trials to the symtoms of actual sick people. Based on these observations Hahnemann developed treatments.

The Homeopathist prescribes immeasurably small, nontoxic doses of a selected substance that, at higher doses, would produce the same symptoms in a healthy person. This healing principle is called "the law of similars" or "like cures like", and as such, is the antithesis of allopathy (modern Western medicine) which uses dissimilar compounds to alleviate symptoms of illness.

Proponents of Western medicine express that homeopathy might cause harm, not through its medications, but in that patiets might ignore potential safe and been proven cures from a doctor whilst seeking a cure through homeopathy. As homeopathic medicines were officially recognised as drugs in 1938 their manufacture and sale is regulated by the FDA.

The scientific theory behind homeopathic medicine is that the administering patients with minute dilutions of active substances, in fact, stimulates the body's immune systems and healing processes to provide a more healthy balance of internal chemistry and to combat the disease.

Homeopathic cures use tiny potent doses of a natural substances (plant, mineral and animal) to address the root cause of the ilness. The original extract is described as the "mother tincture". Homeopathic cures are diluted to the desired strength in pure water to such low concentration that there are usually no molecules of the original substance remaining.

The low concentration of the doses used in homeopathy mean that they have a non- toxic affect in the body, yet if these same compounds were administered at higher doses they would generally be harmful. traditional medicine would consider the minute dosages involved as ineffective, yet paradoxically, homeopathic theory states that this increases their effectiveness to cure.

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