11/21/14

Senility, benefits of plant adaptogens and antioxidants

Adaptogens increase resistance to stress and fatigue, enhance concentration and performance. They do this through a series of mechanisms that are able to normalize the body functions. Promote the adrenal glands functioning. Increases the uptake of glucose by cells, thereby promoting an increased energy production. Enhance processes of removal of metabolic waste. Slow metabolism. Increase specific resistance, by stimulating the immune system. Normalize the regulation of biorhythms.

Stimulation of the expression of proteins associated with heat stress (Hsp 70s) and their release into the blood would be one of the fundamental mechanisms. Proteins that act as repairing the incorrect protein synthesis and as targets for the immune system.

Numerous scientific evidence on a variety of metabolic chemical processes that influence aging and, when fully understood, will give new patterns of action. Such mechanisms for ketone bodies, which slow down with age.

Plants with adaptogenic properties

Angelica (Angelica spp.). Its use goes back many years, especially in Eastern countries. Root aqueous extracts have been shown to reverse chronic stress changes, apparently by interference with hormonal mechanisms.

Guanabana or graviola (Anonna muricata). Its activities are centered mainly on the metabolic effects of chronic stress, achieved by inhibition of lipid oxidation. These effects have been achieved primarily through the use of ethanol extracts of the bark of branches of the plant.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus). Another plant traditionally used in China. It is considered an excellent adaptogen to protect the body from physical, mental or emotional stress. Its antioxidant properties also helps to protect against free radicals and has been shown to boost the immune system. Its activity is due to several active ingredients, amino acids and essential fatty acids, minerals and groups of phytoestrogens such as isoflavones.

Centella (Centella asiatica). The extract of the herb has been used as a tonic, anti-stress and immune stimulant. The alcoholic extract has shown similar effects than diazepam.

Eleutherococcus or Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Repeated administration of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the bark and branches has shown a significant protection against chronic stress. Its chemical composition is very complex, glycosides, glycosides, pigments, etc.

Grouse (Mikania cordata). Alcoholic extracts of some species of grouse showed an interesting anti-stress activity, at least in tests with laboratory animals.

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). Laboratory tests have shown that the use of aqueous extracts of the plant have been corrected behavioral and physiological reactions related to chronic stress.

Ginseng (Panax spp.). Ginseng saponins derived from the roots and rhizomes, have shown a suppressive effect of psychological stress and develop coping mechanisms.

Rhodiola or Arctic Root (Rhodiola rosea). Extracts of root and rhizome contains a large number of active substances, alcohols, glycosides, flavonoids, flavolignans, proanthocyanidins, etc.

Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia paniculata). This creeping ivy root is used. Its popular name "for all" with which it is known in Brazil and indicates its usefulness. It contains saponins, allantoin and some unusual mineral type, the germanium.

Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent oxidative damage that can produce free radicals, byproducts of cellular metabolism. Vitamins like A, C and E are antioxidants frontline as minerals like selenium. Many fruits (blueberries, grapes) and vegetables (especially leafy) are excellent sources of antioxidants, so are many spices, including clove, lemon balm, mint, oregano, sage and thyme. As an example I will mention some of the most common and easy to use plants.

Plants with antioxidant properties

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) and other plants with high content of glutathione, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, purslane, avocado, grapefruit, orange, peach and watermelon. It is a very powerful antioxidant.

Cocoa, chocolate (Theobroma cacao). It has been demonstrated that cocoa polyphenols, for its high antioxidant power, help to prevent cardiovascular disease, the onset of neurological conditions, the growth of tumor tissues, increased blood pressure and problems associated to metabolic stress such as cataracts.

Barley (Hordeum vulgare). Plant grains contain high levels of antioxidants capable of neutralizing substances responsible for the oxidation of lipids, proteins and DNA damaging free radicals.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). They contain a number of antioxidants, which can be exploited by using the dried plant, as a condiment or extracting the active ingredients by decoction.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Another plant with an exceptional amount of antioxidant compounds that should be included in the daily diet.

Grape (Vitis vinifera). In addition to othr several important compounds, grape juice or wine itself contain a compound, resveratrol, that together with its derivatives, have a potent antioxidant effect that may be responsible for the properties related to slowing of aging, bad cholesterol control, low blood sugar levels and growth of some tumors inhibition.

Other plants with significant amounts of resveratrol are bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

Other plants such as artichoke, Boldo, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, marcela, nutmeg, rosemary and various fungi, make up the long list of plants with high antioxidant power.

8/22/14

About pomegranate. Another fantastic scientific work

Creating pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Date:
August 22, 2014
Source:
University of Huddersfield

Summary:
Research will look to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin for a drug that would treat neuro-inflammation and slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease, scientists report. The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of the two-year project.

The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co-researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound – found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse.

Dr Olumayokun Olajide's research will look to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin for a drug that would treat neuro-inflammation and slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

Now, a new phase of research can explore the development of drugs that will stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer's, which affects some 800,000 people in the UK, with 163,000 new cases a year being diagnosed. 

Globally, there are at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers, with the numbers expected to soar.

The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co-researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol -- a form of chemical compound -- found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer's sufferers progressively worse.

There is still no cure for the disease, but the punicalagin in pomegranate could prevent it or slow down its development.

Dr Olajide worked with co-researchers -- including four PhD students -- in the University of Huddersfield's Department of Pharmacy and with scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany. The team used brain cells isolated from rats in order to test their findings. Now the research is published in the latest edition of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and Dr Olajide will start to disseminate his findings at academic conferences.

He is still working on the amounts of pomegranate that are required, in order to be effective.

"But we do know that regular intake and regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits -- including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia," he says, recommending juice products that are 100 per cent pomegranate, meaning that approximately 3.4 per cent will be punicalagin, the compound that slows down the progression of dementia.

Dr Olajide states that most of the anti-oxidant compounds are found in the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit. And he adds that although this has yet to be scientifically evaluated, pomegranate will be useful in any condition for which inflammation -- not just neuro-inflammation -- is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's and cancer.

The research continues and now Dr Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr Karl Hemming. They will attempt to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin that could the basis of new, orally administered drugs that would treat neuro-inflammation.

Dr Olajide has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield for four years. His academic career includes a post as a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Munich. His PhD was awarded from the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria, after an investigation of the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

He attributes this area of research to his upbringing. "African mothers normally treat sick children with natural substances such as herbs. My mum certainly used a lot of those substances. And then I went on to study pharmacology!"

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. 

Journal Reference:
Olumayokun A. Olajide, Asit Kumar, Ravikanth Velagapudi, Uchechukwu P. Okorji, Bernd L. Fiebich. Punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in LPS-activated rat primary microglia. 

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201400163

MLA APA Chicago
University of Huddersfield. "Creating pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's, Parkinson's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2014. 
<www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822094106.htm>.

4/6/14

The Tomato Secrets

The tomato, a super fruit, a super vegetable, a super food , with properties that have been recognized for a long time and have rise today, through a series of scientific evidence supporting its importance . My search for information resulted in a avalanche of allegations , many scientifically based, some with evidence in humans and other based in folcklore .

In most cases scientists establish that more research is needed to take the results as conclusively for humans. They also agree in the discordances, the mechanisms of action differ from one researcher to another.

Really one mystery, or more.

No doubt, medicinal properties of tomato are almost unique and compare favorably with those of apples, strawberries, and broccoli and with many other so-called super foods. Tomato particular characteristics are also maintained or even increased after processed.

a) Reduces the risk of onset and development of several tumor types.

Prostate, lungs, breasts and several of digestive tract. This activity is associated with the presence of lycopene (potent antioxidant that inhibits tumor cells) of some of its metabolites and other bioflavonoids (colorless carotenoids, phytoene and phytofluene), chlorogenic and coumaric acids ( nitrosamides inhibitors ), some saponins which produce apoptosis and in the case ofbreast tumors with the increase of the hormone adiponectin, that regulates glucose and fat levels .

It is also mentioned an interference with blood vessels formation that are supplying blood to the tissues a cell cycle arrest and invasion of tissues and metastasis occurrence. 

Lycopene and other antioxidants protect against ultraviolet skin damage and prevent the development of skin tumors.


b) Prevents cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks (to a these lesser extent).

The interference in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus hardening of the arteries, a remarkable activity antiinflammatory and of blood pressure control (by the vascular endothelium) are some of the relevant actions. Potassium, found in tomatoes in good quantity, is important. Some scientists mention the involvement of GABA.

It has been observed a decrease in platelet aggregation with tomato consumption, thus reducing the risk thrombus formation .

The control of elevated homocysteine levels, by vitamin B6 and folate, prevents breakage of the walls of blood vessels.

c) Decreases cholesterol levels.

It has been noted a decrease in the formation of LDL cholesterol, inhibiting an enzymatic process. In parallel, has been proven to increase the good cholesterol. In these cases also lycopene is critical, although could involve other active ingredients, including fiber and some vitamins.

It is emphasized that the joint action of the substances active has greater efficacy than each separately .

d) Prevents atherosclerosis.

The tomato and its derivatives in the diet reduce oxidative stress and the inflammatory response created. An increase of vascular lesions known as atherosclerosis is prevented. There are several substances responsible for this activity.

e) It empowers the immune system.

Tomato increases the resistance to infections and reinforces immune system with its contribution of Vitamin C, A, E and minerals.


f) It is an effective cleaner and stimulates the liver to expel toxins resulting from the metabolism . Its diuretic action participates in it ( high in potassium and low in sodium). Also it has been observed a positive effect on the
heavy metal accumulation in the liver. Tomato helps to regulate body fluids. In heavy physical exertion acts as energizing. As mentioned is very rich in potassium, mineral involved in the regulation of body fluids. 

g) Regulates blood sugar levels. Tomatoes are a good source of chromium, which has been shown to help to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Therefore it is useful in cases of Type II Diabetes. The good amount of potassium present is also relevant, since potassium is involved in regulating the levels of blood glucose. The presence of antioxidants, previously mentioned, helps to prevent genetic material damage, attributed to chronic age, including diabetes.

h) Healing wounds. The tomato helps a faster healing of some wounds. Supports the recovery of skin affected by sunburn. Its content in vitamins and antioxidants explains this proppertie.

i) It is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation , a normal process of body defense, can not be properly controlled and cause or contribute to a variety of major chronic diseases, asthma, diabetes, atherosclerosis, psoriasis, mental problems, etc. Has been found that consumption of tomato products (mainly lycopene ) produces a decrease of important substances (cytokines) which trigger the inflammatory mechanisms, inhibition of pro inflammatory mediators, and decreased activity of various other substances involved .

j) Reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Tomato contains significant amounts of calcium and vitamin K, both substances essential to build and repair bone tissue.

k) The content of riboflavin (vitamin B2) explains the migraine attacks decrease observed with daily consumption of fresh or processed tomatoes.

i) Improves vision . Due to its high content of beta-carotene (provitamin A), also the decreased lipid oxidation achieved by the antioxidant action prevents macular degeneration syndrome, that especially affects central vision. Moreover the in vitamin C help to prevent cataracts.

m) The consumption of fresh and processed tomatoes prevent DNA damage, due to their high content of antioxidants, vitamins A and C so as lycopene, 
glutathione, quercetin, etc. This decreases the risk of diseases related to aging, atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc.

n) Other property, helps senior people to stay active and mentally alert, it regulates intestinal transit, diminishes itching, fights fungal skin infections.

It is emphasized the need to consume tomato with caution when there are inflammatory digestive problems and in cases of predisposition to kidney and biliar stones.

It remains to discuss the importance of its association with other foods and the use of some of its active principles in medications and supplements. Mainly based on research techniques and modifications genetic engineering of crops.

2/4/14

Some foods and Diabetes type 2

A very important communication.

Ingredients in Chocolate, Tea, Berries Could Guard Against Diabetes

Jan. 20, 2014 — Eating high levels of flavonoids including anthocyanins and other compounds (found in berries, tea, and chocolate) could offer protection from type 2 diabetes,  according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and King's College London.

Findings published today in the Journal of Nutrition reveal that high intakes of these dietary compounds are associated with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.

A study of almost 2,000 people also found that these food groups lower inflammation which, when chronic, is associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Prof Aedin Cassidy from UEA's Norwich Medical School led the research. She said: "Our research looked at the benefits of eating certain sub-groups of flavanoids. We focused on flavones, which are found in herbs and vegetables such as parsley, thyme, and celery, and anthocyanins, found in berries, red grapes, wine and other red or blue-coloured fruits and vegetables.

"This is one of the first large-scale human studies to look at how these powerful bioactive compounds might reduce the risk of diabetes. Laboratory studies have shown these types of foods might modulate blood glucose regulation -- affecting the risk of type 2 diabetes. But until now little has been know about how habitual intakes might affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation and inflammation in humans."

Researchers studied almost 2,000 healthy women volunteers from TwinsUK who had completed a food questionnaire designed to estimate total dietary flavonoid intake as well as intakes from six flavonoid subclasses. Blood samples were analysed for evidence of both glucose regulation and inflammation. Insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, was assessed using an equation that considered both fasting insulin and glucose levels.

"We found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance. High insulin resistance is associated with Type 2 diabetes, so what we are seeing is that people who eat foods rich in these two compounds -- such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine- are less likely to develop the disease.

"We also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation -- which is associated with many of today's most pressing health concerns including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

"And those who consumed the most flavone compounds had improved levels of a protein (adiponectin) which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels.

"What we don't yet know is exactly how much of these compounds are necessary to potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes," she added.

Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King's College London, said: "This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances. If we can start to identify and separate these substances we can potentially improve healthy eating. There are many reasons including genetics why people prefer certain foods so we should be cautious until we test them properly in randomised trials and in people developing early diabetes."

Story Source:

University of East Anglia (2014, January 20). Ingredients in chocolate, tea, berries could guard against diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 22, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2014/01/140120090647.htm 

2/1/14

Antioxidants and cancer


Recently it has been published an article about a study done in Sweden, the journalist conclude that antioxidants increase tumor progression .

This is the article's title, but reading the text what scientists say is "high doses of antioxidant supplements can be harmful in some cases." They are referring to supplements of beta-carotene and vitamin E in high doses.

This does not mean that antioxidants obtained in the diet, by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and some other foods, are harmful, indeed, it has been properly demonstrated that they possess antioxidant substances that have anti-cancer properties .

News biased like these are very harmful, they confuse people and give a hand to companies that sell synthetic products that act "solving" some health problemsand not preventing them, alienating ordinary people about the possibilities offered by foods in disease prevention .

It is not easy to analyze these positions, that lack of scientific basis, as generalizations of this kind are not at all recommended in the scientific field.

8/31/13

Eating Berries Benefits the Brain

Mar. 7, 2012 — Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. 

Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.In the article, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller point out that longer lifespans are raising concerns about the human toll and health care costs of treating Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline. They explain that recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic.

Their review concluded that berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in several ways. Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition. They suggest that further research will show whether these benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. 

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
Marshall G. Miller, Barbara Shukitt-Hale. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; : 120203155528007 DOI: 10.1021/jf2036033

 MLA 
American Chemical Society (2012, March 7). Eating berries benefits the brain. ScienceDaily.

4/30/13

The risks of high blood cholesterol


Looking at new views on the importance of blood lipid levels, especially the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, which question the validity of treatments intended to control dislipidemia, certain clarifications seem to be important.

My view is of a patient, a patient with proved organic tendency to exaggerated levels of cholesterol and the burden of atheromas, that diminishes my possibilities of a full and healthy life.

Some people questioned and denie the validity of anti-cholesterol treatments, especially those using statins. They are called "the deceitfulness of statin" or "statins scam".

Given this two clarifications.

There are many scientific studies that support the relationship between some types of blood cholesterol and the risk of heart problems, by the narrowing of the coronary arteries (due to the formation of atheroma).

An important amount of work tested the effectiveness of statins in the control of blood cholesterol levels.

As a seemingly opposite I mention the importance of inflammatory processes, especially at arterial walls level, in the formation of atheromatous plaques. This fact is also scientifically proved and is of great importance, so that, without inflammation of the vascular endothelium atheromas will nopt appear. Therefore it seems reasonable to require technical advise on substances that indicate the presence of inflammatory processes.

Independently and without reference to the critical importance of cholesterol, scientists have been working on the revision of the test parameters that should be used to assess the risk of coronary artery and other vascular problems. In this regard, new ways to measure lipid levels in blood and the introduction of measuring the presence of calcium in the arterial wall, appear to be of great importance.

It therefore seems relevant or necessary, rather than denying, to provide new tests and new treatments, according to a different approach about the results of routine laboratory tests, appears to be the way.

As a final note, it has been shown that statins improve endothelial dysfunction, are anti-inflammatory, antiproteolytic, antithrombogenic and furthermore, inhibit the new plaque formation and stabilize the existing ones.

So, being an avowed opponent of the trade policies of many pharmaceutical companies and a fervent promoter of herbal treatment, but with an atheromatous plaque in the left carotid artery and another in the external iliac artery, Should I say, after years of successful control, "Statins are a hoax, are scams, I stop taking them"? And to
who I would claim later, from a wheelchair or from ....?