Thursday, August 25, 2016

Are You Experiencing Hair Loss?


Hair is approximately 80 percent protein, and is made up of tough fibrous proteins called keratin. Keratin is composed of long chains of amino acids. These chains are found within the fibers of the cortex of the hair. The amino acids comprising these chains are  Cysteine (10-14%), Serine, Glutamic Acid, LysineThreonine, Glycine, Leucine, Valine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Proline, Isoleucine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Histidine, Methionine.  Cysteine is by far the most abundant. A useful graphic of the composition of hair can be found at http://www.ajichem.com/en/products/amino-acids.aspx Sulfur bonds in the hair hold the chains of amino acids together. These same amino acids are the building blocks of skin and nails.  Amino acids , in general, are the building blocks of the entire body.
 
G. Harrap reported a study on the effect of age on hair root amino acid levels.  They concluded hair root  amino acid concentrations fall  by 32% from age 20 to 70 years of age.  We might conclude that aging does affect hair protein synthesis.  What would happen if there were no decline in protein synthesis  secondary to an increase in free form amino acid  precursor loading?  Am curious that I do not see more research on this as the hair loss industry is huge.
Deficiencies of the following nutrients  can be associated with hair loss: Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, Inositol, Essential Fatty Acids, Copper, IronZinc, Protein ( especially the amino acids L-cysteine, L-methionine, L-glutathione).
 
Excesses of Selenium and Vitamin A, Cadmium or Arsenic can cause hair loss.
 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

High Cholesterol and Its Causes


When it comes to your cholesterol levels, the old adage of "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" holds true once again. It is much better to prevent a buildup of bad cholesterol in your body than it is to find yourself faced with the task of reducing your cholesterol. Let's be clear about what is meant by "bad" cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. HDL is good for your body, while LDL is bad for your body and is the main cause of cholesterol in the body.  

Cholesterol occurs in the body when there is more fat consumed than the body can break down. This excess fat builds up in blood vessels and can cause constriction or blockages in blood vessels, leading to a host of cardiac issues, including heart attack and stroke. The liver, when overloaded with fat, produces cholesterol to help it break the fats down, which in turn are released into the blood stream where they adhere to the walls of veins and arteries. 

 A diet heavy in saturated fats, especially red meat, is commonly to blame. Other causes include a lack of fat-burning exercise, which is the only way the body can rid itself of fat. People with diabetes or thyroid issues are also at risk because of the high levels of triglycerides in their bodies. Estrogen production in women produces HDL, meaning that after menopause, there is a drop in good cholesterol in the body, which can lead to a cholesterol imbalance. Cholesterol issues can also be genetic.

Monitor your cholesterol and take any changes seriously. Eating right and exercising are simple lifestyle habits that can help to ensure your HDL/LDL levels stay balanced. Studies have also shown that increasing HDL levels in the body can mitigate the effects of LDL, so make sure that you're getting plenty of those good fats in your diet.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

THE MANY BENEFITS OF ALOE

Nature has provided us with many healing even miraculous plants.  Aloe Vera is a succulent  and like all other succulents, is a self-healing plant.  I have always grown Aloe in my yard for use on cuts, burns, bites, etc. When a living aloe leaf is cut or torn, it immediately seals the "wound" preventing the loss of water and nutrients and protecting it against bacterial contamination.  It takes only minutes for the aloe gel to begin seeping out to the surface and forming a water-tight, rubber-like coating over the injured area. As the gel coating begins to dry it contracts, pulling the edges of the wound shut.  The wound heals completely within days & leaves no scarring.

When aloe vera is applied topically to a wound it forms a seal over the damaged skin. This helps to stop the bleeding, protect against wound infection, provide essential nourishment to the traumatized tissues, stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and connective tissue, and accelerate the healing process.  Aloe Vera gel also alleviates inflammation and swelling.

Stone carvings depicting the Aloe Vera plant show it was used in early Egypt. It was known as the “plant of immortality” and presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.  Aloe was one of the most frequently prescribed medicines in the 18th and 19th centuries and today in the U.S. it is one of the most commonly used herbs.

Aloe is mainly grown in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America.  There are over 240 different species of aloe.  The Aloe Barbadensis Miller (commonly know as Aloe Vera)  has the most nutritional & healing value.

Although scientists have discovered over 150 nutritional ingredients in Aloe Vera, there is no "single" magic ingredient. They all work together in a synergistic way to create healing and health giving benefits. The Aloe Vera leaf contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins.

The chemical components of Aloe vera include:

  • Amino Acids: These components of protein are literally the building blocks of the body. Eight of the essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, but are found within the aloe plant.  As well as in protein food items.

The following is a list of the amino acids found in the aloe plant: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, Tryptophan, Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Cysteine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Histidine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine, Glutamine, Aspartic Acid.

  • Vitamins:  Since the human body cannot store some of vitamins listed beow, it is necessary to supplement them through our diet.

The following is a list of the vitamins found in the Aloe Vera plant: Vitamin A Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Choline, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3(niacin),  Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12.

  • Minerals: Adding naturally occurring vitamins and minerals to our diet is important for overall health.

This is a list of the minerals in the aloe plant: Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Sodium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Manganese.

  • Enzymes:  Run your entire body & without them you would not be able digest or absorb food.  For more about the critical functions of enzymes see my newsletter on this topic.

Here is a list of the enzymes found in the aloe plant & their benefits:
  • Amylase: Breaks down sugars and starches
  • Bradykinase: Stimulates immune system, analgesic, anti-inflammatory
  • Catalase: Prevents accumulation of water in the body
  • Cellulase: Aids digestion of cellulose
  • Lipase: Aids digestion of fats
  • Oxidase: Is any enzyme which catalyzes an oxidation-reduction reaction involving molecular oxygen ,O2, as the electron acceptor
  • Alkaline Phosphatase: Is a hydrolase enzyme responsible for removing phosphate groups from many types of molecules
  • Proteases: Hydrolyses proteins into their constituent elements
  • Creatine: Phosphokinase found in muscles and aids muscle contraction
  • Carboxypeptidase: A protease enzyme)
Other conpounds found in the aloe plant include:

  • Anthraquinines:  Are important phytochemicals (natural plant compounds) found the sap of the aloe vera plant. Small doses appear to stimulate digestive secretions, bile flow, and the upper digestive system, while large doses can have a laxative effect. They have been linked to aloe vera's anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.
  • Lignans: Are dietary fibers that stimulate digestion. They work as carriers for other important substances by binding them and transporting them into even deeper skin layers.Aloe Vera is the only known substance which can penetrate the dermis layer of the skin.
  • Monosaccharides & Polysaccharides:   Are proven to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and immune-stimulating effects. They enhance digestion, bind a number of dangerous substances such as cholesterol and gall acid preventing them from entering the bloodstream. The saccharides found in aloe vera are: Acemannan, aldopentose, arabinose, cellulose, galactose, galacturonic acid, glucoronic acid, glucose, hexanoic acid, mannose, mannuronic acid, pentosan, rhamnose, uronic acid, and xylose.
  • Salicylic Acid:  Possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also works as a pain killer, decreases fever and stops inflammation. Salicylic acid is a popular and well-recommended treatment for acne, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and other skin conditions.
  • Saponins:  Have a cleansing and anti-septic effect. These substances are very important for the destruction of bacteria, virus, fungi and yeasts.
  • Fatty Acids:   Such as Sterols which chemically resemble cholesterol. This allows them to travel through your digestive tract, where they prevent real cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Sterols have been shown to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine by up to 50%. This can lower LDL cholesterol by 14% or more.  Aloe Vera also contains the fatty acids: Linoleic, Linolenic, Myristic, Caprylic, Oleic, Palmitic, & Stearic.

If the synergistic (various parts working together to produce an enhanced result) relationship between the elements found in the plant does not explain why Aloe Vera works, then nothing does. It is this synergistic relationship that explains why through the ages lay persons and physicians alike have proclaimed that Aloe Vera has the ability to heal, alleviate, eliminate, or even cure, a monumental list of human diseases and disorders, and therefore truly deserves the name "medicine plant."

Many researchers have suggested Aloe Vera is an important modality for fighting disease. Aloe Vera has been used in both alternative & traditional medicine to aid in the healing of a variety of conditions such as: BurnsWounds, Skin irritations, Constipation, Diabetes, Asthma, DepressionEpilepsy, Osteoarthritis, Slight to moderate psoriasis vulgaris, Alcohol-induced hepatic damage, Gastrointestinal problems.

Aloe vera has also been shown to: 
On top of all the above listed benefits, Aloe Vera is also an excellent aid to weight loss. It helps with weight loss by:
  • Increasing the body’s ability to burn fats & carbs while helping to build muscle.
  • Aiding in the balancing of blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are balanced, you feel fuller longer.
  • Supporting metabolism, suppressing appetite & preventing fat storage.
  • Acting as a natural laxative & helping the body to eliminate food quicker. This prevents food from building up in the colon & preventing potential weight gain.

Lee Ritter, N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy) is a noted authority on the beneficial uses of Aloe Vera for the human body. Dr. Ritter’s original documentary entitled  Nature's Miracle reveals the use of Aloe Vera for the treatment of AIDS, cancer, and tumors. This DVD includes interviews with the patients and doctors that were involved with research studies and case histories using Aloe vera for enhancing the Immune System.


When Aloe Vera is combined with other plants it assists in even greater health benefits. 

Combine with:
  • Chlorella  & Spirulina for detoxifying organs & strengthening the body.
  • Acai & Goji Berry to protect against aging & skin diseases. Also to strenthen hair & nails, and protect the eyes.
  • Ginkgo Biloba  for protection from radiation & improving blood circulation.
  • Turmeric  & Ginger to aid in the prevention of cancer & gastrointestinal problems and to protect the immune system.
  • Ginseng Maca  to help stimulate the immune system and increase energy & libido.
Aloe vera  has been studied as a natural food preservative. Research conducted by Daniel Valero, Ph.D., of the University of Miguel Hern├índez in Alicante, Spain, showed that a thin layer of aloe vera gel was highly effective in preserving foods.

The researchers dipped table grapes into an aloe vera gel, then stored them at refrigerator temperatures. While untreated table grapes went bad in 7 days, the grapes dipped in aloe vera stayed fresh and tasty for as astonishing 35 days! See this article by ScienceDaily Aloe Vera Coating May Prolong Freshness, Safety Of Fruits And Vegetables for more information.

Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and sunblocks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring.



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SAFELY WARD OFF BUGS & MOSQUITOS




Bug spray aside, you can help keep mosquitoes from zeroing in on you as their next victim. Considering that they carry diseases, this is one easy way to stay healthy.
 
Wear lighter clothes. Mosquitoes show a preference towards darker colored clothes.
 
Go for patterns. Stripes, floral patterns, plaids and other patterned materials are more likely to deter mosquitoes.
 
Avoid being too sweet. What you eat affects your natural smell. Eating more garlic can help prevent mosquito bites – but too much sugar in your diet and you may be sought after for the sweet taste.
 
Change the way you smell. Your perfumes, laundry soap, and shampoo might all be contributing to the reasons for mosquitoes being so into you – change things around until you discover the culprit.
 
Here's a great link for a link for homemade mosquito repellent