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Aloe Vera: A Succulent With Medicinal Properties

Aloe Vera A succulent with medicinal properties

Aloe Vera A succulent with medicinal properties

Aloe Vera: A Succulent With Beneficial Properties

 

Aloe Vera is a popular gel-like substance derived from the Aloe Vera plant.

The gel is included as an ingredient in many natural supplements. This is because aloe contains many beneficial vitamins.

It provides a group of health benefits.

Aloe Vera most well-known for its proven benefits to several conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. Also, its shown benefits to wound healing and oral and digestive health.

What Is Aloe Vera And How Can It Benefit Your Health?

Aloe Vera is a long-standing remedy that has been used for thousands of years to treat various health conditions and promote overall health.

Aloe plants are a type of flowering succulent. It is native to many areas across the world, but is most commonly found in Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula.

From the aloe plant, the gel inside the aloe leaves is used to create medicinal gels, creams, salves, ointment, and more (1). There are also aloe juices and liquids that are safe for consumption

Traditionally, the aloe plant has been used to health wounds, treat and sooth burns, maintain the skin, and ease stomach issues (1).

It is also a potent antibacterial at high concentrations with anti-microbial properties. Aloe Vera inhibits the activity of and reduces growth of harmful bacteria. Especially bacteria in wounds and the mouth.

Aloe Vera is most known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects from a combination of anti-inflammatory enzymes, fatty acids, antioxidants, and hormones it contains (1).

Micronutrients and Beneficial Compounds in Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera contains lots of different compounds that provide many benefits.

These include:

VitaminsAloe Vera contains a variety of essential vitamins. These vitamins are required by our body to perform daily activities. Each vitamin serves a different process, but the vitamins that you will find in Aloe Vera include: vitamin A, C, E, B-12, and B-9.

Antioxidants – Some vitamins found in Aloe Vera function as antioxidants; including vitamins A, C, and E. Antioxidants help with reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage to tissues.

EnzymesAloe Vera contains 8 different enzymes, but the most known is A. vera enzymes (2). A. vera helps reduce inflammation, typically of the skin.

Fatty acids – There are a few plant steroids that provide anti-inflammatory action and anti-septic properties (2).

Salicylic acid – This acid occurs naturally in Aloe Vera and is a common additive to skincare products. It enhances skin moisture and provides exfoliation.

Hormones – The hormones in Aloe Vera (auxins and gibberellins) help heal wounds and prevents inflammation (2).

4 Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera provides several health benefits.

Including – healing burns and wounds, improving oral health, boosting digestive health, and may help with acne.

  1. Heals Burns and Wounds

Healing both burns and wounds is a well-known property of Aloe Vera.

The components of aloe gel – antioxidants, anti-inflammatory enzymes, moisturizing acids, and anti-septic fats – help skin abrasions heal correctly and at a quicker pace. 

  1. Beneficial for Oral Health 

Aloe Vera has recently been used as an alternative, natural mouthwash.

When used for oral health purposes, Aloe Vera inhibits the activity harmful bacteria of the mouth through its anti-sceptic and anti-microbial properties.

In clinical research, this has shown to directly inhibit the two most harmful strains of bacteria in the mouth (Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus). 

  1. Improve Digestive Health

Aloe Vera may benefit the digestive tract.

When aloe juice is ingested, the anti-inflammatory and decreases irritation of the stomach and intestinal.

It’s also shown the ability to sooth certain digestive tract disorders (1).

  1. May Help with Acne

One of the most recognizable uses of Aloe Vera is its ability to help clear acne and improve the overall condition of the skin.

Aloe Vera is common ingredient in cleaners, toners, creams, and serums used to reduce acne and redness (1).

The antioxidants, enzymes, fatty acids, salicylic acid, and hormones naturally found in aloe gel make it a great skin remedy. It reduces stress and damage to tissues, reduces inflammation, provides moisture, and inhibits pathogenic action (2).

Dosage and Potential Side Effects

There are currently no exact intake or usage recommendations for Aloe Vera, but all forms are generally well tolerated.

Those who should be cautious when using Aloe Vera are women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children under the age of 12, and those with certain diseases or already consuming specific prescription drugs (1).

Potential side effects of consuming or using too much Aloe Vera can include (1):

  • Low potassium
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or stomach cramps
  • Electrolyte imbalances

This far, research has shown that moderate, long-term use of Aloe Vera is safe.

Seek advice from a medical professional

It is always important to seek the advice of a trusted medical professional if you experience discomfort when using a new health product.

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-use-aloe-vera-plant
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/aloe-vera-for-face#benefits
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/7-amazing-uses-aloe-vera

 

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Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Stress “B” Gone: The Effect of Kava Kava, B Vitamins, and Vitamin C on Stress Relief

Buried Treasure Stress B Gone with Kava Kava, B Vitamins and Vitamin C for natural stress relief

Stress “B” Gone: The effect of Kava Kava, B vitamins, and vitamin C on stress relief

 

Buried Treasure™ Stress “B” Gone is a natural, comprehensive liquid formula to help protect the body against stressors while promoting relaxation during times of stress. Stress “B” Gone works fast and is assimilated quickly to help you ease out of stress and into relaxation (1).

The 3 key ingredients of Stress “B” Gone

Stress “B” Gone contains 3 key ingredients that protect the body against stressors while simultaneously promoting relaxation – kava kava root, B complex vitamins, and vitamin C.

  1. Kava Kava Root

Kava kava (Piper methysticum), also called simply ‘kava,’ is a tropical evergreen shrub native to the South Pacific Islands and member of the nightshade plant family (2). In its native lands, kava kava has been used hundreds of years as a ceremonial drink during rituals and social gatherings and to promote relaxation.

To be processed into a consumable product, the roots of kava kava are first ground into a paste. Afterward, the paste is mixed with water and strained before consumption. Currently, kava kava is available in the form of tea, capsule, power, liquid, and as an ingredient in select supplements.

The primary active component of this plant (making up 3-20% of the root’s dry weight) is kavalactones. Kavalactones have be specifically studied for their stress-reducing and anti-anxiety properties. Breaking down the action of kavalactones scientifically, they are  thought to inhibit the breakdown of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that decreases the activity of your nervous system, producing a calming effect and reducing stress (3).

Kava kava has also proven to be an effective sleep aid, making it a common alternative to addictive sleep medications.

 

  1. B Vitamins

B vitamins, or the B-complex, are a group of eight vitamins that play important roles in several body processes. These include – thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate, and cobalamin (4). All B vitamins are water-soluble and not stored or produced by the body, meaning they must be consumed daily. They are found in several different foods, including meat, grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Some functions these vitamins provide to the body include antioxidant power, converting food to energy in the digestive process, cell growth and DNA repair, hormone production, and neurological production (4).

Of the complex of B vitamins, one in particular, vitamin B5 – also known as Pantothenic Acid – along with many other functions, plays and important role in the production of stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands (5). The adrenal glands are small organs above the kidneys and are a key support system during times of stress, releasing hormones (like cortisol and/or adrenaline) in response. A deficiency in pantothenic acid and adrenal fatigue may lead to tiredness, apathy, depression, irritability, or insomnia.

 

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble vitamin found in an abundant number of vegetables and fruits, primarily citrus fruits, but also can be found in strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach (6). This vitamin is also ‘essential,’ which means it cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed.

Vitamin C plays an important role in several vital body processes and is well-known for is support of a healthy immune system, antioxidant power, and assistance in improving anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue and mood.

As an antioxidant, clinical studies have shown that vitamin C plays an important therapeutic role in combating the damage caused by oxidative stress in individuals that suffer from anxiety (7). Also, these studies provided evidence that vitamin C not only assists with reducing anxiety, but showed antioxidants as a possible prevention/reduction of anxiety. Suggesting that supplementing with vitamin C may be an effective addition to medical and psychological treatment of anxiety, depression, fatigue and mood.

Along with its antianxiety and stress-relieving capabilities, vitamin C also plays a role in keeping bones strong, helps with iron absorption, aids in healing, and promotes healthy aging.

Daily requirements and upper limits of B vitamins, vitamin C, and kavalactones

Like more supplements or medicinal substances excessive and improper use can lead to mild to serious side effects. With vitamins and minerals, it is possible to receive a megadose (taking over the daily limits) of vitamins and minerals, which is also potentially harmful.

Each B vitamin has a specific recommended daily amount that varies depending on gender and age. Also, needs are higher in pregnant and lactating women, while infants and children need less (4).

The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and for adult women is 75mg (6).

Current recommendations for kavalactones is 120–280mg a day with a maximum usage of 4–8 weeks (3).

Important usage information for kavalactones – Kava kava has been proven to be safe and effective with short-term use only (4-8 weeks at a time). Also, if you choose to supplement with kava, choose a reputable brand. Serious side effects, like liver damage, occurs with supplement adulteration or the use of less expensive parts of the kava plant, such as the leaves or stems, instead of the roots (3).

Seek advice from a medical professional

It is always important to seek the advice of a trusted medical professional if you are taking a new supplement. Especially if you are already taking medications that may have adverse interactions with any ingredients in this supplement.

Can Stress “B” Gone help with your daily stress?

As shown above, the main ingredients in Stress “B” Gone have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

If you are having difficulties reducing stress in your daily life, this supplement may provide you a natural aid to add to your routine. From fatigue to depression to anxiety to general mood support, Stress “B” Gone may be the perfect boost you need for a productive day.

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

References

 

  1. https://www.buriedtreasureln.com/product/stress-b-gone-with-kava-kava-root-b-vitamins-and-vitamin-c-tropical-flavor/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kava-kava
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamins-for-stress
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-complex
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-watch-what-does-b5-do
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#section5
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26353411
Stress B Gone with Kava Kava Root, B Vitamins and Vitamin C for Stress Relief

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  • Made from the highest quality full-spectrum standardized whole root extract from the Kava Kava
  • Tropical flavors of pineapple, kiwi, coconut and orange-mango.

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Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

 

Vitamin C is another micronutrient that’s vital for keeping our bodies healthy. Because it is not a nutrient the human body can produce, we must consume Vitamin C every day in our diet or from dietary supplements.

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble vitamin found in an abundant number of vegetables and fruits, primarily citrus fruits, but can also be consumed via dietary supplements.

This micronutrient plays an important role in several vital body functions, which is why it needs to be consumed daily. These include supporting a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing, helps in iron absorption, functioning as an antioxidant, and promoting healthy aging.

 

6 Benefits of Vitamin C

 1. Healthy immune system support

Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.

First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) and essential antibodies. These cells help protect the body against infections and illnesses (1).

Even further, vitamin C is a key component of the body’s first line of defense to disease and infection—the skin (and mucus membranes), which is discussed further below.

2. Aids in healing and tissue repair

Vitamin C is essential for the growth, skin strengthening and defense, and repair of tissue all over the body due to its contribution to collagen production. Collagen is a key protein for of skin tissue construction.

This way, vitamin C keeps our skin strong, but also helps to heal tissue wounds (2). Research has shown a higher intake of Vitamin C is associated with faster wound healing.

 

3. Keeps bones strong

Like in healing and tissue repair, vitamin C’s role in collagen production is also vital of bone mineralization, maintenance, and repair. However, collagen is also found in not only bone, but also teeth and cartilage (2).

Studies have shown an increased intake of vitamin C is linked to higher bone density (3). Older individuals, who naturally have lower bone density and are at higher risk for breakage and fracture, will want to increase their supplementation of vitamin C to increase density.

 

4. Helps to absorb and store Iron

 

Iron is an important nutrient for several functions in the body, including making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. However, some food sources of iron, like those found in plants, is poorly absorbed by the digestive system. Vitamin C helps convert these certain forms of iron into one that is easily absorbed by the body (1).

5.Functions as an antioxidant

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect your cells against the effects of molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful tobacco smoke or radiation. (4) This occurs by Vitamin C aids the protection of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) from the damage free radicals can cause (1).

 

It’s antioxidant properties also assist in maintaining skin health. Vitamin C is actively transported to the skin where it help strengthen the skin’s barriers and promote its natural regeneration process (1).

6. Promotes healthy aging

To keep bodily systems running at top shape as we age, it’s important to maintain an adequate intake of vital nutrients that contribute to these systems is essential. Vitamin C being one of those nutrients.

As discussed above, vitamin C is a key component of many body functions including maintaining a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing and iron absorption, and functioning as an antioxidant, which all promote healthy aging over the lifetime.

Additionally, high vitamin C intake has been linked to a lowered risk of cataracts, blood sugar stabilization for those with diabetes, increase heart health and function, reduced cholesterol levels, and help in preventing gout—all of which are common complications of aging. (5)

 

What is the daily requirement of Vitamin C

The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and for adult women is 75mg (1).

 

What are the best sources of Vitamin C?

Because Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, it’s important to meet the suggested intake recommendations every day via diet or dietary supplement.

As mentioned, vitamin C found primarily in citrus fruits, but is also in an abundant number of other fruits and vegetables. These include strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach (1).

However, fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C when heated or stored for long periods of time. To get the most nutrients, you must eat them as soon as possible after shopping and consider steaming or microwaving vegetables for short periods of time to limit nutrient loss. (2)

Consult with a healthcare professional to discuss if you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C through your daily diet.

If you are having difficulties meeting your vitamin C daily intake requirements through your diet, supplements are also recommended. Vitamin C can be found in most multivitamins, but is also available alone as a dietary supplement or in combination with other nutrients. The vitamin C in dietary supplements is usually in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements have other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids. However, no one form has been proven to be more effective than the other (6)

Always insure you are using reputable companies to source your vitamin C supplements.

 

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#section5
  2. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/how-vitamin-c-supports-a-healthy-immune-system
  3. https://americanbonehealth.org/nutrition/vitamins-for-bone-health/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-c/art-20363932
  5. https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/april-2019/vitamin-c-and-the-role-it-plays-in-healthy-aging.aspx
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/

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Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Elderberry: What it is, 5 Benefits, and Side Effects

Elderberry what it is and 5 benefits

Elderberry: What it is, 5 Benefits, and Side Effects

Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants grown and used throughout the world.

It has had many medical purposes in the past, aging all the way back to ancient Egypt, but currently it is taken as a supplement to treat symptoms of the flu and common cold.

What is Elderberry?

Elderberry is, in fact, a berry. The Elderberry includes a variety of flowering trees that produce the beneficial berries. While the most common of these trees grows in Europe (Sambucus nigra, AKA: the European elderberry or black elder) different varieties of the tree are found and grown on several continents worldwide (1).

This berry is also bursting with nutrients, which is one of the most notable qualities it has health-wise. Elderberry is high in vitamin C, fiber, and several antioxidants including phenolic acids, flavonols, anthocyanins (1).

When consumed correctly, this versatile berry has many uses and has been used around the world for a variety of medicinal reasons for thousands of years. The benefits may include a boost to the immune system, mood stabilization, ability as an antioxidant, and protection against UV rays.

 

5 Benefits of Elderberry

 

  1. High in a variety of nutrients 

 Elderberries, like most fruits, are low in calories and packed with nutrients. However, this berry provides a unique combination of nutrients that make it exceptionally beneficial when consumed. These include vitamin C, fiber, and several antioxidants.

Vitamin CIf 3.5 ounces of berries (½ cup, approximately) are consumed, around 60% of the daily requirement of vitamin C will be met (i.e., 90mg for men and 75mg for women (2)) (1).

This micronutrient plays an important role in several vital body functions, including immune system health, bones strength, healing and antioxidant function, iron absorption, and healthy aging (2).

 Fiber There are 7 grams of fiber in every 3.5 ounces (½ cup) of berries, which meets ¼ of the recommended daily intake of fiber (i.e., 25 to 30 grams per day) (1).

Fiber plays an important role in keeping the digestive system functioning effectively and keeps us feeling fuller longer. It also effectively reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels and their linked health risks.

AntioxidantsAntioxidants found in high number in Elderberries. The specific antioxidative compounds in this berry are phenolic acids, flavonols, anthocyanins (1).

Phenolic acids are powerful antioxidants that can help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body (1).

Flavonols have been shown benefit the circulatory system by aiding in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. The flavonols in Elderberries include quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin (1).

Anthocyanins not only do these antioxidant contribute to the anti-inflammatory effects of Elderberry, but this compound is what gives the berry its characteristic dark black-purple color (1).

  1. High in antioxidants

As stated above, Elderberry is high in several key antioxidants that enhance your white blood cells’ ability to protect against the effects of harmful free radicals.

The specific antioxidative compounds in this berry are phenolic acids, flavonols, anthocyanins (1).

 

  1. Boost the immune system

Elderberry is most effective when it comes to its effect on the immune system. The powerful combination of vitamin C and antioxidants has been shown to assist in combatting the symptoms of infections and viruses, which may also help in a quicker recovery from illnesses (1).

It may even reduce your chances of becoming sick in the first place through the boost it provides your immune system.

 

  1. May reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

In some cases, the phytochemicals in elderberry have been linked to an improved mood. Not only this, but it has also show to relieve some symptoms of mental/emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

 

  1. Could protect against UV rays

Protecting against UV rays was a main use of elderberries by the Egyptians. Elderberry extract has a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 9.88 (1). However, this is still quite low when considering modern sun defense.

Egyptians also used to use the extract from elderberry to heal burns caused by overexposure to the sun or other scalding substances.

 

  1. Bonus – Using the Elder tree leaves, flowers, and bark

 It’s not all about the berry.

Historically, the leaves, flowers, and bark of the Elder tree have been used as well to provide a variety of benefits.

From the tree, the bark was consumed as a diuretic, laxative, and to induce vomiting when necessary. The leave and flowers have been used for pain relief, swelling, inflammation, and as a diuretic (1).

The elderberry flowers also contain the highest ratio of flavonols; 10 times more than the berries themselves (1). They can also be eaten, raw or cooked.

 

Potential side effects of Elderberry

And while it can provide several health benefits, the berry should be consumed cooked or via approved supplements because consuming the berries raw can be dangerous. The raw berries, or bark and leaves of the tree, are known to be poisonous and can cause stomach problems if eaten (1).

As always, if you are experiencing any of these negative reactions seek out the advice of a medical professional immediately. 

Dosage recommendations for Elderberry

There are currently no recommendations for elderberry supplementation.

Despite these berries being packed with nutrients and antioxidants that may provide various benefits, there is still much research to be done on elderberry and health (3).

Best practices are to use supplements you’ve purchased from a trusted brand, rely on the product for short-term use (between 2 to 5 days), and seek the advice of a medical professional if you are ever in doubt (4).

 

What Elderberry supplement is right for you?

Elderberry supplements come in several forms — gummies, capsules, drops, extracts, and syrup (3).  You just have to determine your need, use, and preference.

Whichever you happen to select, ensure you purchase a trustworthy brand and thoroughly review the usage instructions.

Remember, though there is data on elderberry, there is still ample research to be done on topics like dosage. So if you are ever in doubt, seek the advice of a medical professional.

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#section5
  3. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0519p8.shtml
  4. https://www.champagnenutrition.com/elderberry-traditional-anti-flu-treatment/

 

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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L Glutathione

glutathione supplement for health and wellness

L-Glutathione

Glutathione is a protein that is produced naturally in the body. As a tripeptide it encompasses three amino–acids, namely L-cysteine, L-glutamic and glycine in most of the animal species and also in plants. As such, glutathione is synthesized by all normal cells from the three amino-acid components. Despite being a non-essential nutrient reduced levels can occur in immunocompromised states hence necessitating supplementation. Also, although glutathione is found in all cells, the highest concentration is found in the liver that also acts as a storage site for glutathione. Glutathione exists in main two forms, the reduced form known as L-glutathione (GSH) and oxidized form (GSSH). L-glutathione forms the largest percentage of   the total glutathione pool in the body, reaching up to 90 %.  Glutathione has three crucial functions; it functions as an antioxidant, immunosupportive function and detoxification function. Glutathione levels tend to get depleted with age.

Glutathione is one of the antioxidants that is manufactured by the body. It the most abundant cellular thiol. Glutathione functions as a water-soluble antioxidant when it counteracts oxidative attack by free radicals. Specifically it neutralizes toxic peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide.  It normally exists in the reduced form (GSH) which readily receives reactive radicals and is reduced to (GSSG) within the cells. Even in the oxidized state glutathione has the ability to non-enzymatic ally reduce free radical species and reactive oxygen and nitrite compounds by acting as a substrate for conjugation   and reduction courtesy of the thiol group of the cysteine amino acid. It is commonly referred to as the “master antioxidant” as other antioxidants depend on it to function properly. Glutathione also functions as a cofactor.  It potentiates the action of glutathione peroxidase that is also an antioxidant. It also helps maintain the levels of ascorbate and tocopherol through its reducing properties.

Glutathione plays an immunosupportive role.  The healthy growth and activity of immune cells is dependent on glutathione. Glutathione enhances the immune system by stimulating the body to produce more white blood cells which are the main components of the immune system.   Another immune function is that glutathione is necessary for maintaining immune mediated T-cell activation and the process of phagocytosis through which macrophages take up and eliminate foreign organisms from the body. Additionally, it helps maintain balance between various T-helper cells such as IL-2, IL-12 and gamma-interferon, IL-6, IL-4 to maintain an effective cytokine response profile.

Glutathione also maintains skin health. It lowers melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase activity and increasing the levels if colorless pheromelanin, that is responsible for the bright skin. This has a therapeutic function for the skin as it helps remove any form of hyperpigmentation such as dark spots or pimple marks leaving the skin soft and supple. The antioxidation property also helps prevents aging by making the skin smooth, fresh and radiant.  The fact that glutathione also enhances the healing of wounds prevents skin scarring that can occur as a result of sun burn.

Additionally, glutathione has a role in detoxification function. It is directly involved in the specific detoxification reactions that protect the body against the toxins. Glutathione that is highly concentrated in the liver also removes toxins that circulate in the body thus preventing damage to the body cells. According to research low glutathione levels induces poor liver function hence paralyzing its detoxification function.

Lastly, glutathione takes part in the DNA synthesis and repair as well as protein synthesis hence facilitating growth and development. It also influences male fertility by determining the quality of sperms produced. The most effective way of increasing depleted glutathione levels in the body is to ingest its precursor, such as N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC).  Additionally one should maintain a healthy balanced diet and engage in regular exercise (L-glutathione. (n.d.).

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Chromium

Chromium

Chromium is a naturally occurring element that is found in plants, rocks, soil, and animals.  It is an important trace element, with the human body containing about 6 mg of chromium. Chromium exists in diet both as organic and inorganic complexes. It is absorbed in the small intestine mucosa. Absorption is low and is enhanced by vitamin C and vitamin B. Storage of the absorbed chromium occurs in the liver, spleen, bone and soft tissue. Chromium occurs in three valence states, divalent Chromium (II), trivalent chromium (III) and   hexavalent chromium (VI). Of the three forms, trivalent chromium is the biologically active compound and is derived from food sources. Notably, chromium is biologically active as part of an oligopeptide known as chromodulin. One of the biological functions of chromium is that it interacts with thyroid metabolism in humans.

Notably, trivalent Cr is the most stable form in biological systems since it does not penetrate biological membranes easily. It is required in the body in trace amounts. On the other hand, hexavalent chromium is toxic both to the environment and the body since it can easily penetrate cellular membranes to damage lipids, proteins and DNA hence carries a high health risk. Divalent chromium, Cr 2 functions as a strong reducing agent.  It is readily oxidized to Cr3. This is the reason why divalent Cr does not exist in biological systems. As such, trivalent chromium is the nutritionally useful form of chromium.

First, chromium plays a role in the regulation of blood glucose levels by increasing insulin receptors  and insulin-receptor interaction. It does this by enhancing the action of insulin, which functions to reduce the blood glucose levels. Trivalent chromium can therefore be used to correct glucose intolerance and insulin resistance as demonstrated in animal experiments. It also influences the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. As such, trivalent chromium is useful in achieving glucose tolerance.

Trivalent chromium is also directly involved in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It also helps in reducing the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as the triglyceride levels as part of lipid metabolism in individuals with elevated cholesterol. Additionally, studies have shown that it helps increase the levels of apolipoprotein A, a component of high density lipoprotein, which forms good cholesterol. It also increases transcription thus promoting protein synthesis. Through its action on insulin it can also influence lipid metabolism. Therefore, chromium has the ability to lower LDL levels and increase the HDL levels especially in people with high cholesterol levels. Therefore, chromium may be used to achieve a lean body mass and reduce body fat.

Chromium also takes part in hormonal regulation. For instance, it acts as a co-factor of insulin.  Chromium potentiates the effect of insulin by facilitating insulin biding to the receptors on the cell surface. Notably, Cr demand increases during conditions of stress. Elevated cortisol levels during stress act as an antagonist to insulin leading to increased blood glucose concentration and reduction in glucose use by peripheral tissues. Consequently, there is mobilization of Cr reserves. The ability to change sensitivity on insulin also has a role in reproduction.

Chromium has an immune function as well. It has intracellular and intercellular action through potentiating effects of humoral and cellular immunity. In addition, niacin bound trivalent Cr has shown a cardioprotective function and also increases energy levels. However, in high concentrations chromium is cardiotoxic.

Some of the dietary sources of chromium include meat, whole grain products, some fruits and vegetables. Foods containing simple sugars such as sucrose and fructose are low in chromium. It is worth noting that all forms of chromium can be toxic at high levels.  However, hexavalent Cr is more toxic than trivalent Cr as aforementioned. Inhalation of high levels of hexavalent Cr causes irritation to the lungs, nose, lung and stomach.

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Grape Seed Extract

grape seed extract antioxidant liquid supplement

Grape Seed Extract

Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants and oligomeric proanthroyanidin complexes (OPCs) that confer its health benefits. The grape seed extract (GSE) is derived from the seeds, pulp and white membranes of a grape fruit.  GSE is made by mixing grape fruit seeds and pulp into a highly acidic liquid. The health benefit effects of the extract were discovered by Jacob Harich an American immunologist in the year 1972. GSE encompasses a mixture of flavonoids linoleic acid, vitamin E and phenolic procyanidins. However, the most active agents of the GSE are the Oligomeric procyanidins (OPCS) or polyphenols. All these are important in protection of the blood vessels and cells from damage. Action on the blood vessels helps maintain an optimal blood pressure. Also, dilates the blood vessels thus reducing pressure.  On the other hand, OPCs play a key role in the counteraction of free radicals produced in the body due to their antioxidative property. They also inhibit lipid peroxidation courtesy of the OPCs. This is essential in maintaining a good health and longevity as it prevents premature aging.

Notably, OPCs also play an immune-supportive role as they may create a health inflammation response and prevent body’s invasion by foreign bodies that may weaken the immune system. Resveratrol present in the extract is responsible for the function as it may reduce inflammation response. Additionally, compounds known as polyphenols namely, limonoids and naringenin present in GSE   are responsible for enhancing the immune system. It also aids in reducing swelling as a result of injuries.  The ability of GSE extract to potentiate vitamin C activity also contributes to its immune-supportive function.

Another role of GSE is that it improves the health of the skin as it acts as an alpha hydroxyl acid compounds that are easily absorbed by the skin. Polyphenols are the compounds responsible for improvement in the skin elasticity as they are excellent binders of collagen fibers thus help improve the condition of connective tissues and thus generally maintaining the elasticity of skin, joints, arteries, and other connective tissues. Additionally, polyphenols are responsible for the radical scavenging ability. These neutralize the harmful singlet oxygen radicals in the body thus inhibiting unwanted inflammation and damage to the cells (Mielnik et al., 2006). Inhibit platelet aggregation thus preventing formation of clots. The flavonoids which are the most common group of polyphenolic compounds in grapes are responsible for counteracting the LDL molecules in the body thus contributing to good vascular health as it prevents clogging in vessels especially arteries.

OPCs in grape seed extract also protect the body cells from damage and unregulated multiplication through the antioxidative effect.  This also reduces oxidative stress and preserves mitochondrial function to facilitate energy production by the body cells. It also boosts the wound healing process making it heal faster and reducing scar formation. According to research, proanthocyanidin a type of polypehnol is quickens the wound healing due to its antioxidant property. Additionally, the alpha hydroxyl acid component of GSE improves the moisture barrier of the skin cells aiding in the regeneration process. The cells are able to retain enough moisture for a fresh appearance.

Grape seed extract also contains high levels of procyanadin dimmers that inhibit the enzyme aromatase to regulate cell growth hence normal growth and development.  It also improves flexibility in joints, blood vessels and body tissues and organs such as the heart. Animal studies have shown that grape seed extract is important for maintaining bone strength. It improves bone formation and strength that helps regulate skeletal growth.

Lastly, GSE has the ability to relax blood vessels thus enabling the control of blood pressure.  This function is facilitated by the presence of high concentrations of oligomeric procyanidins in the grape seed extract that stimulate the relaxation of arteries thus controlling the blood pressure. This also confers preventive and therapeutic function in maintenance of cognitive function as blood flow to the brain is increased.

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MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Dr. Stanley Jacob and Dr. Robert Herschler, chemists with the pulp and paper plant Crown Zellerbach Corporation, were asked to find a use for lignin, one of the primary waste products of the plant. Oxidation of lignin in a reactor was shown to result in the formation of DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide), a natural, organic form of sulfur. Oxidation of DMSO was found to produce MSM, a much more stable, organic sulfur compound with medicinal properties.

MSM is found in protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and legumes. Other good sources include garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale, and wheat germ. It enhances the activity of cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone produced by the body. MSM improves the permeability of cell membranes, which improves the uptake of nutrients and many vitamins and the elimination of waste products and excess cellular fluids. MSM dilates blood vessels, enhancing the blood circulation which also helps to eliminate waste products from the body and speeds up healing. MSM is a muscle relaxant. This is an important and often overlooked benefit of MSM.

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Product Name: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)  

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin: China

  Test Method: USP
Test Type: Microbiology  

Yeast & Mold
Salmonella

Test Method: USP
Test Type: Chemical Lead
DMSO Free
Test Method: USP

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Source

China

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Beijing, China

Contact
Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 
EMail: lifelinefoods@lifelinefoods.com

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367

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Phytoceramides

Phytoceramides

Phytoceramides are the plant-derived equivalent of ceramides, a lipid that keeps your skin hydrated and plump. They are fats that occur naturally throughout the body, including the scalp, bones and skin. Ceramides are like the ‘mortar’ that holds your skin together. Phytoceramides are plant-derived molecules that allow you to replace lost ceramides, from the inside out, giving structure back to skin, which lets you fill in wrinkles and fine lines. Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules. Ceramides are composed of sphingosine and a fatty acid. Ceramides are found in high concentrations within the cell membrane of cells.

They are one of the component lipids that make up sphingomyelin. This is one of the major lipids in the lipid bilayer. Contrary to previous assumptions that ceramides and other sphingolipids found in cell membrane were believed to be purely structural elements, ceramide can participate in a variety of cellular signaling: examples include regulating differentiation, proliferation, and programmed cell death (PCD) of cells. Simply put, ceramides help to keep our skin healthy and looking good by maintaining the correct moisture balance.

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Product Name: Oryza Ceramide    

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin:  Japan

Composition: Rice extract, Cyclodextrin

  Test Method: Standard
Test Type: Microbiology  Molds & Yeast Test Method: Standard
Test Type: Chemical Heavy Metals
Lead
Arsenic
 Test Method: Standard

Phytoceramide Source

Japan

Source of Phytoceramides: Ichinomiya, Aichi, Japan

Contact
Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 
EMail: lifelinefoods@lifelinefoods.com

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367

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Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark)

French maritime pink bark Pycnogenol antioxidants

Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark)

Pycnogenol is a pine bark extract known as a powerful antioxidant with the ability to relieve inflammation, and to improve the immune and circulatory system. The first known reference to pine bark as a therapeutic application was by Hippocrates in the 4th Century B.C. He noted that pine bark could be used as a way to reduce inflammation. In 1479 Miners from Switzerland in his book Thesaurus Medicaminum said that pine bark was useful in healing wounds. Around the same time a German naturalist, Hieronymus Boch said that pine bark made a good topical remedy for many skin disorders.

As an antioxidant, pycnogenol can help reduce cell damage. It may promote a healthy circulatory system by influencing the production of endothelial nitric oxide. Pycnogenol can reduce inflammation by regulating the immune system. By binding to collagen and elastin, it could help protect skin, organs, connective tissue, and arteries.

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Product Name:    

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin:

  Test Method:
Test Type: Microbiology    
Test Type: Chemical    

 

 

Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark)

 

Pikeville, TN

Contact
Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 
EMail: lifelinefoods@lifelinefoods.com

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367

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The Council for Responsible Nutrition   Producer of SOHO EXPO a Natural Products Industry Trade Show