Thursday, August 18, 2011

Psyllium Fiber as Colon Cleanse: Controls Cholesterol, Promotes Weight Loss and Relives Constipation

Sedentary lifestyles, desk-bound jobs, consumption of too much refined and denatured food, irregular and wrong eating habits and no exercise; all contribute to constipation. Chronic, untreated constipation can become the cause of a host of illnesses and diseases ranging from hemorrhoids, fissures, ulcers, colitis, gall stones, appendicitis, obesity and cancer. Regular bowel movement is very vital for the normal functioning of the body.

Psyllium Husk Seeds have
several health benefits
What is Psyllium?

Psyllium seeds are obtained from the Plantago psyllium plant. Diverse species of the plant are used in medicine. Generally, the seeds of Plantago psyllium and Plantago ovata are used to manage a host of disorders.

Psyllium Seeds, Psyllium Fiber and Psyllium Husks

Psyllium seeds are reddish-brown to black. The seeds and their husks are packed with dietary fiber; and have been prescribed to treat obstinate constipation and a wide range of other digestive ailments. Blended with water, the psyllium husks form a viscous mass that soaks up water from the bowel and produces large, soft stools.

Relieve Constipation with Psyllium

Psyllium adds bulk to the stools and thus aids in its speedy evacuation. Psyllium reduces the transit time of the feces in the bowels, thus staving off a whole range of GI tract disorders, even cancer. The seeds normalize bowel function and effectively, manage chronic constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome , and diverticulosis.

However, make sure that you drink plenty of water, 2 to 2 and ½ liters per day. If you do not drink plenty of fluid, you may develop an intestinal block, which may be counter-productive, as it can cause severe and painful constipation.

Psyllium Reduces Cholesterol

Psyllium can decrease bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol significantly. Psyllium diminishes the level of cholesterol by combining with cholesterol rich bile in the GI tract and eliminating it, accordingly reducing its level in the bloodstream.

Psyllium is beneficial in
management of rectal cancer
Colon Cleansing and Psyllium

Psyllium is exceedingly popular in colon cleanse programs. The supplement helps throw out all toxic matter from the body effectively. It sweeps the walls of the colon clean and purges out all lethal toxins. Psyllium assists in expelling old accumulated matter; crusts adhered to the colon walls, noxious wastes and putrefied sludge, thereby sluicing the bowels as well as the blood stream. Psyllium is an amazing detox agent. It is also beneficial in the management of colorectal cancer.

Psyllium Promotes Weight Loss

This excellent source of fiber plays a pivotal role in weight loss and weight management. Psyllium absorbs water and fills the stomach, thus creating a sense of fullness. It naturally suppresses appetite and brings about quick satiety. The seeds also delay the emptying of food from the stomach, hence, extending the time you feel full. Additionally, the seeds stabilize blood sugar levels and consequently control food cravings.

Psyllium Side Effects

Pysllium may cause transient bloating and may increase flatulence resulting in gassy stomach. To prevent this, incorporate small doses of the fiber in to the diet on a daily basis. In case you do not drink lots of water when taking the supplement, the constipation could even aggravate. Allergic reactions are rare; they may manifest as rash, itching or breathing difficulty. Do consult a doctor before staring the supplementation.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Biotin for Health: Food Sources and Biotin Benefits and Ideal Dosage

Biotin is a part of the vitamin B complex; but, surprisingly, it doesn’t get too much attention. Biotin plays a vital role in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Biotin supplements assist in the treatment of a range of illnesses.

Structure of the
Biotin Molecule
What is Biotin?: Biotin for Health

The word biotin is derived from the word ‘bios’, which means life. This vitamin is present in practically all the foods. Additionally, it is also synthesized by the intestinal bacteria, provided that the digestive tract is healthy.

Biotin has a crucial part to play in the process of metabolism and it helps the body use glucose to generate energy. It is also necessary for the production of various enzymes.

Biotin Deficiency and Its Side Effects

A severe deficiency of biotin is relatively rare. Our daily diet usually provides us with ample biotin. However, those who use antibiotics for log intervals or those who are on to anti-seizure medications, may develop a deficiency of the vitamin.

An insufficiency of the vitamin is seen as unhealthy nails and hair, brittle nails, hair loss, hair thinning and dry, lifeless hair.

Biotin Benefits

  • Biotin promotes healthy hair and nails. It stimulates hair growth, checks hair thinning and hair loss and makes them luxuriant. It improves weak and brittle nails.
  • Biotin helps your body to process fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Biotin for Healthy
  • The vitamin also enhances blood sugar control in diabetics. Biotin increases the body’s response to insulin, so that blood sugar levels stay low and do not fluctuate. It also protects against nerve damage that very commonly occurs in diabetics. It is also advocated in cases of candida albicans, where it slows the multiplication of the fungus.
Biotin for Hair: Benefits of Biotin Supplements

Biotin is very effective to manage hair loss that is linked to biotin deficiency. In fact, nutritionists and trichologists prescribe biotin supplements to make up for any deficiencies, particularly in individuals who are on to strong antibiotics or anti-epileptics. The vitamin repairs dry, scaly scalp and stimulates hair growth.

Furthermore, the market is flooded with a host of biotin hair products, biotin hair supplements and biotin shampoos.

Biotin Dosage for Health: Food Sources of Biotin
For healthy hair and nails, experts recommend a dose of 1000 mcg of biotin per day. In case o diabetics, it is prudent that you talk to your physician about the most appropriate dose to maintain normal serum glucose levels as well as to prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Liver, soy and its products, nuts, oatmeal, rice, barley, cauliflower, legumes and whole wheat are excellent sources of biotin. Overdose of Biotin is associated with slight diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Manage Depression and Anxiety with Ginkgo Biloba Supplements: Health Benefits of Ginkgo

In a study published in Journal of American Medical Association, 202 patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were evaluated. The study showed that patients who had take 120 mg of Gingko Biloba extract a day had improved mental and social functions compared to those given the placebo. Though the effects of this study were modest and for limited duration, the findings provided a promising new insight into management of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Ginkgo is an herbal remedy which was an integral part of Chinese medicine and is available in different forms including tablets, capsules, liquid and powdered forms. This memory booster herb has several other health benefits.

Ginkgo can help treat
Mental Health Benefits of Ginkgo: Improves Memory and Manages Depression and Anxiety
The primary action of Ginkgo is on the circulatory system and the central nervous system. Ginkgo improves the blood circulation to the brain and also has several anti-oxidants that prevent free radical damage of the body cells. Research studies indicate that Ginkgo plays a crucial role in enhancing supply of oxygen and nutrients to the nerves and thereby has a potent action on the nervous system. Some of the key mental health benefits of Ginkgo herb include,
  • Though there is inadequate scientific information available on the same, Gingko plays a crucial role in managing age related memory loss. Studies have however been conducted on individuals who already suffer from diminished blood flow to the brain and have not been conducted on healthy volunteers.
  • Diminished blood flow is considered to be primarily linked with Alzheimer’s disease and age related memory loss. Ginkgo improves blood circulation to the brain and thereby increases oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain. Studies are tying to explore the possible role that Ginkgo plays in prevention of clots and atherosclerosis
  • In addition, this potential action of Ginkgo makes it a crucial herb in management of depression, anxiety, confusion, headaches and tinnitus.

Gingko Tree
Other Health Benefits of Ginkgo:  Prevents Cramps
With primary action of improving blood flow to the different parts of the body, Ginkgo is beneficial in the management of a wide range of health problems,
  • It is effective in the management of macular degeneration and retinal degeneration of the eye- both the condition responsible for blindness. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy eyesight
  • It reduces pain and cramping caused due to narrowing of arteries of the legs and helps in management of painful cramps and claudications
  • It is also beneficial in the management of Raynaud’s disease and chilblains and frost bites
  • It hastens recovery from stroke or head injury and also helps in management of nerve damage and neuropathies  associated with diabetes and multiple sclerosis
Precautions while using Ginkgo: Guidelines for Use
Ensure that you purchase Ginkgo supplements which contain a minimum of 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. Avoid using Ginkgo leaves directly as it may contain potent chemicals which might trigger allergic reactions.
When used as a memory booster, Ginkgo supplement in the tune of 1000 mg per day is adequate however when used for management of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or depression the recommended dosage is 2000 mg twice a day.
Certain side effects associated with over consumption of the herb include irritability and restlessness, nausea and vomiting along with diarrhea. Most of these symptoms are transient and resolve spontaneously. Ginkgo should be taken with food and the herb is a slow acting herb so ideally weight for 12 weeks before you can report the benefits of the same.

Anti oxidants for Immunity, Aging, Skin and Hair: Vitamin Supplements

The market is chockfull with supplements which claim to have potent anti aging benefits and cancer fighting properties. Vitamins are loaded with anti-oxidants which play a crucial role in reducing free radical damage, which is responsible for its potent health benefits

Vitamin Supplements are
loaded with Antioxidants 
What are the Benefits of Anti-Oxidant Supplements?

The remarkable benefits of anti oxidants are immense. Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E are potent anti oxidants and provide the several health benefits.
Antioxidants are molecules which inhibit the process of oxidation, which is a chemical reaction involving transfer of electrons to an oxidizing agent. This reaction results in the production of free radicals which are responsible for a chain reaction. This chain reaction can result in cellular damage and even cellular death.
Antioxidants interfere with this chain reaction as they oxidize themselves and remove the free radical intermediaries. Some of the key antioxidants include ascorbic acid, polyphenols and thiols.
Anti oxidants thereby help in strengthening and reinforcing the immune mechanism and defense system of the body and delay the onslaught of aging.

Vitamin C Supplement: Anti Oxidants for Enhanced Immunity

Vitamin C is an extremely powerful antioxidant which supports the body’s immune mechanism. In addition, it promises excellent anti-aging benefits. Vitamin C can delay the manifestation of wrinkles, help keep the skin supple and firm and will also lend a wonderful glow. Natural food sources of vitamin C are: limes, lemons, oranges, bell peppers, gooses berries, mangoes, apples, kiwis, and papaya. Vitamin C fights free radical damage and battles stress and its brutal effects effectively. The RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg per day.

Mode of Action of Antioxidants

Vitamin A Supplement: Antioxidants to Slow down Aging
Vitamin A is an excellent antioxidant. It encourages general well being and prevents the occurrence of cancer, particularly, cancer of the prostate, breast and colon. Vitamin A staves off and wards off the development of age-related macular degeneration, glucoma and cataract . It is essential for healthy skin and hair. There are several synthetic supplements for vitamin A; still, a popular belief is that natural sources for the vitamin are a lot better than the supplements. Excellent food sources of the vitamin are: carrot, tomatoes, papaya, spinach, mangoes, and melons. The RDA for vitamin A is 5000 I.U.

Vitamin E Supplement: Antioxidants for Healthy Skin and Hair

Vitamin E is very important for healthy skin and hair. It peps up the working of the immune system and keeps your body functioning optimally. Vitamin E rich diets exert a protective effect in many common health conditions, such as, cancer, cardiac diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s diseases and Parkinson’s disease and fibrocystic breast disease. Rich sources of the vitamin are: almonds, avocados, cashew nuts, whole grains, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and safflower seeds. The RDA for vitamin E is 15 I.U.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Health Benefits of Ginseng to Treat Impotence and Depression Naturally: Optimum Dosage and Precautions of Ginseng Supplements

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs which is added to different types of health drinks, energy tonics, fruit juices and vitamin supplements due to its potential benefits like enhancing energy levels and ability to fight stress. These health drinks are popular among teenagers, but often these drinks contain very little quantity of this wonder herb. Panax Ginseng is also referred to as the Asian Ginseng which has been used in Chinese medicines for over thousands of years for longitivity and to enhance quality of life. This Chinese Ginseng is different than American Ginseng (P.quinquefolius) and Siberian Ginseng (E. Senticosus), which has completely different effects on human health.

Ginseng has a great
influence on the
endocrine system
Ginseng Health Benefits: Prevents Cancer, Boosts Immunity and Treats Impotence 

The medicinal part of the Ginseng herb is its slow growing root which contains thirteen different ginsenosides, which are the active ingredients of the herb. In addition the herb contains panxans, which are substances believed to lower blood sugar levels and polysaccharides, which play a crucial role in boosting the immune response. The major health benefits of Ginseng herb include,
  • A large scale study conducted in Korea found that the use of ginseng reduced the risk of developing cancer by half. Ginseng is considered to boost the production of “killer T cells”, which are the part of the cellular immunity of the body and play a crucial role in cancer prevention. Further, as this herb stimulates the immune system it also plays a protective role against common infections like flu.
  • Ginseng plays a crucial role in regulating the production of stress hormones by support the endocrinal organs namely the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands. This enhances the ability of an individual to combat stress and also is effective in treating fatigue and feeling of tiredness.
  • Ginseng has a direct action on smooth muscle tissue and hence is considered effective in management of erectile dysfunction and impotency in males. Some claims indicate that this herb increases testosterone and sperm production in the body and thereby enhances fertility in men. 
Optimum Dosage of Ginseng Supplement: Precautions while taking Ginseng Supplements
Though the use of the herb is rarely associated with side effects, there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration while using this herb as a supplement,
  • Though ginseng may be available in a variety of forms including powder, tincture, tablets and capsules, it is always recommended to consume standardized products that contain about 7% ginsenosides. Ginseng powder and tinctures are considered more potent than other forms of the herbal supplement
  • Avoid ginseng when pregnant or when one suffers from uncontrolled hypertension. Ginseng also needs to be avoided in individuals with cardiac arrhythmias
  • Ideal dose of ginseng herb ranges between 100 mg- 250 mg per day. However it can be increased to twice the dosage, especially in individuals recovering from a chronic illness or a major surgery.
  • Ginseng helps control
    depression and impotence
  • Side effects associated with ginseng include headaches, stomach upsets, insomnia and restlessness. In females ginseng is often associated with breast tenderness and irregular menstrual bleeding
Ginseng Supplements for Depression: Ginseng controls Blood Sugar Levels and Diabetes
In addition Ginseng Supplements play a crucial role in management of depression and diabetes,
  • In a study conducted on individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes, it was observed that 200 mg of ginseng supplement each day helped lower the blood sugar levels considerably compared to those on placebo
  • In another study it was observed that ginseng can stimulate the production of endorphins, which are ‘feel good’ hormones which play a crucial role in management of depression