Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beating Male Depression

Despite what you may have heard, depression affects men as profoundly as it does women.

Yes, we've all heard the jokes about the male mid-life crisis and the questions of self-identity that go with it.


But there's a darker side to depression in men. Over a million people take their lives world-wide each year. American men are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than women. In fact, American men between 20 and 24 have a suicide rate seven times higher than women in the same age bracket.

While not all depressed men are going to commit suicide, symptoms of depression affect man's lives and can have a profound impact on their careers, health and their loved ones. Symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, guilt or helplessness, low mood and an inability to feel pleasure, lack of energy and insomnia.

Compounding the problem is the fact that men can find it difficult to reach out and ask for help with depression. Reaching out can make men feel unmanly and weak.

This article outlines how to reach out to men experiencing depression, either yourself or someone you know.

First of all, talk to people. While men often find it difficult to talk about depression, they're more likely to talk about depression-related symptoms they might experience, like insomnia or lack of energy. Talking to a doctor is a good place to start, as it may help diagnose the root cause of the symptoms.

Don't bottle up your feelings. If you've had a blow out with someone, tell someone about it. Alleviate the tension that can build up inside.

Stay active. Exercise benefits both the body and mind, and not only helps you sleep better, it's a great stress relief and an effective way to shed excess pounds. Recent studies are now linking depression to obesity. At the very least, you'll look better with regular exercise. Chances are, you'll feel better too.

Maintain a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. Some of the best depression-fighting foods include brown rice, whole grains, leafy vegetables and oily fish. Salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines are all high in the omega-3 fatty acid EPA. In a 2002 clinical study, researchers found that participants who took a gram of fish oil each day experienced a 50% reduction in depressive symptoms, including insomnia, feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.

Stay away from processed foods and foods that are high in fat and sugar. Also avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, which can make depressive symptoms much worse.

Practice relaxation techniques and exercises like yoga. Have a massage, or practice aroma therapy. Lemon oil, for example, is a powerful anti-depressant and clinical studies have shown it can reduce stress.

Try to sleep between seven and eight hours a night. This can be difficult when experiencing depression, as insomnia is a common depressive symptom. Therefore, practice good sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom an inviting place to sleep. Keep it dark and cool and avoid coffee and stimulants before going to bed. Having said this, try not to get upset if you can't sleep. Avoid sleeping pills, and with enough healthy lifestyle factors, you'll eventually sleep better.

Don't forget to do something you enjoy! Spend time on a hobby or something you enjoy. Maybe it's golfing. Maybe you're a stamp collector. Whatever you enjoy, spend some time to do it. And if it gets you outside when the sun is shining, even better.

Review your lifestyle. Many men who experience depressive symptoms are also perfectionists. In some cases it can be wise to reduce expectations or workload. Or even explore the options of a new career.

If nothing else, take a break from your regular routine. A vacation can do wonders for your life perspective, but even a few days, or a few hours can help.

And finally try a good human growth hormone (HGH) releaser. These are dietary supplements that boost HGH production in men and women, which reduce the effects of aging, including fewer wrinkles, less body fat, increased lean muscle mass and enhanced sex drive.

An HGH releaser can reduce depressive symptoms in men and boost overall quality of life, including more sex, younger appearance and increased feelings of well-being. And because they're dietary supplements, they're available without a doctor prescription. Provacyl is a good HGH releaser for men, as it's specifically formulated with natural ingredients to address andropause, or the steady decrease of hormone production in men, and comes with no known side effects.

Depression in men is a serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences. But it doesn't have to. With the tips you've found in this article you're equipped to manage depression and minimize the disruption it can create in either your life, or someone you know.

Article courtesy of Provacyl website

 

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Supporting Your Health During Allergy Season

By Keri Marshall, MS, ND
 
For many people, after a long hard winter, the budding of trees and spring flowers is a greatly anticipated time of year. However, for allergy sufferers, it can be an unwelcome time as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes prevail. Being proactive with your health during allergy season can help prevent most symptoms and make springtime a time to be outdoors planting your garden and enjoying some warm sunshine.


During allergy season, the body has a tendency to produce higher levels of histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that is released from mast cells when the body is exhibiting an allergic reaction or immune response. Histamine dilates blood vessels and increases blood vessel permeability. This can lead to visual signs in the body such as localized swelling, warmth, and redness. Histamine also irritates nerve endings that can lead to itching and pain. The bump and redness immediately following a mosquito bite is a good example of this reaction, which can occur seconds after the body is challenged by an allergen. If you are a person whose body “overreacts” to bug bites, then it is likely your body has a tendency towards inflammation and allergy.

You can do several things to support your body in an effort to normalize histamine levels and regulate overall bodily inflammation. Berries such as blueberries, cherries, and raspberries as well as mango contain a good amount of bioflavonoids. These phytochemicals help to stabilize mast cells in the body and decrease overall histamine response, thus reducing inflammation.

The nettle plant is a perennial herb well known for its stinging hairs on the stem and leaf. Nettle leaf has a great number of naturally occurring nutrients, including chlorophyll, protein, ascorbic acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K1, potassium, and zinc. These nutrients work together to promote the health of skin, bones and joints as well as encouraging a healthy immune and respiratory system. Nettle leaf also contains flavonoids such as quercitin and rutin that help maintain healthy levels of histamine in the body by increasing histamine efficiency.

Also, try taking a daily dose of vitamin C during allergy season. Research shows that 1 gram a day can help reduce overall histamine levels in the body. There are also a number of foods that tend to increase histamine levels in the body such a0s strawberries, tomato, chocolate, wine, bananas, and shellfish. These foods should be limited or avoided altogether during allergy season.

Lastly, try using a HEPA air filter. It can reduce dust in your home’s main living areas as well as eliminate circulating pollen that enters through open windows. Be sure to keep windowsills wiped down in the bedroom and sweep under the bed. Keep in mind: the bedroom should be the most dust-free room, as this is where you will have the most concentrated period of breathing throughout the day!



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*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Article source here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Does Hoodia Work for Weight Loss?

Hoodia gordonii (pronounced HOO-dee-ah) is also called hoodia, xhooba, !khoba, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, and South African desert cactus. 

Hoodia is a cactus that's causing a stir for its ability to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. 60 Minutes, ABC, and the BBC have all done stories on hoodia. Hoodia is sold in capsule, liquid, or tea form in health food stores and on the Internet. Hoodia gordonii can be found in the semi-deserts of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. Hoodia grows in clumps of green upright stems and is actually a succulent, not a cactus. It takes about 5 years before hoodia's pale purple flowers appear and the cactus can be harvested. Although there are 20 types of hoodia, only the hoodia gordonii variety is believed to contain the natural appetite suppressant.

Although hoodia was "discovered" relatively recently, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert have been eating it for a very long time. The Bushmen, who live off the land, would cut off part of the hoodia stem and eat it to ward off hunger and thirst during nomadic hunting trips. They also used hoodia for severe abdominal cramps, haemorrhoids, tuberculosis, indigestion, hypertension and diabetes.

In 1937, a Dutch anthropologist studying the San Bushmen noted that they used hoodia to suppress appetite. But it wasn't until 1963 when scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa's national laboratory, began studying hoodia. Initial results were promising - lab animals lost weight after taking hoodia.


The South African scientists, working with a British company named Phytopharm, isolated the active ingredient in hoodia, a steroidal glycoside, which they named p57. After getting a patent in 1995, they licensed p57 to Phytopharm. Phytopharm has spent more than $20 million on hoodia research.

Eventually pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (makers of Viagra) caught wind of hoodia and became interested in developing a hoodia drug. In 1998, Phytopharm sub-licensed the rights to develop p57 to Pfizer for $21 million. Pfizer recently returned the rights to hoodia to Phytopharm, who is now working with Unilever.

What you need to know about hoodia

Hoodia appears to suppress appetite!

Much of the buzz about hoodia started after 60 minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl and crew traveled to Africa to try hoodia. They hired a local Bushman to go with them into the desert and track down some hoodia. Stahl ate it, describing it as "cucumbery in texture, but not bad." She lost the desire to eat or drink the entire day. She also didn't experience any immediate side effects, such as indigestion or heart palpitations. Stahl concluded, "I'd have to say it did work."

In animal studies, hoodia is believed to reduce caloric intake by 30 to 50 percent. There is one human study showing a reduced intake of about 1000 calories per day. However, I haven't been able to find either study to actually read for myself and am going on secondhand reports.

Article courtesy of Hoodia Review website
 


*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Get Rid of Parasites?

Everything you eat, drink, or handle could be inviting unwanted guests to set up home inside your body. It may not be the most pleasant subject, but it's the reality of the world in which we live. Harmful organisms affect billions of people.


It's estimated 90% of the population may have some form of harmful organism lurking in their bodies and not know it! These intruders live in and feed off the host, depriving them of vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids, altering natural pH levels, decreasing energy levels, and creating an acidic environment within the body.

Signs of parasitic infection:
  • fatigue
  • bloating
  • irritability
  • poor vision
  • bad breath
  • itchy rectum
  • yellow skin
  • poor memory
  • sleep problems
  • lack of appetite
  • intestinal malfunction
  • unexplained weight gain
Once a person is infested, it's not too difficult to eliminate the adult organisms. The more difficult part lies in dealing with the complete life cycle of these intruders. Fortunately, there are powerful herbs traditionally used to help the body establish an internal environment that is unfavorable and even hostile to unwanted invaders.

The most effective parasite fighting herbs:
  • Organic Black Walnut Hull (From Green Hull) - One of the strongest and most versatile herbs for removing harmful organisms, the kernel and green hull are the most potent parts of the Black Walnut to promote Harmful Organism cleansing of the intestinal tract. The high tannin content of the green hull is primarily responsible for the walnuts beneficial properties. Other constituents such as juglandin, juglone, and juglandic acid are also involved in the purging process. Some research suggests Black Walnut can oxygenate the blood, which also helps create a hostile environment to harmful organisms. The green husk also contains organic iodine, which possesses antimicrobial properties assisting your intestinal tract in the cleansing of harmful organisms.
  • Organic Male Fern Root - Researchers have determined that male fern root contains the compounds filicin, filmarone, and oleoresin, which help establish an environment toxic to a broad range of harmful organisms in your body.
  • Organic Clove - Clove Bud is considered one of the best herbs for killing eggs from harmful organisms and it also acts as a powerful fungicide.
  • Organic Wormwood - References to Wormwood date back to 1600 BC in Egypt. Historically, wormwood has been used as an intestinal cleanser and anti-parasite herb. Wormwood creates an extremely hostile environment for harmful organisms in your intestinal tract and also promotes healthy digestive processes such as increasing liver and gallbladder secretions.
  • Organic Fresh Water Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - The razor sharp edges of the diatoms in Diatomaceous Earth discourage colonization of harmful organisms in the intestinal tract. These sharp edges slice tiny holes in the outer shells of harmful organisms, causing them to lose vital fluids and die. This natural substance helps the body fight harmful organisms without chemicals. DE won't harm beneficial Probiotic organisms in the bowel, and ingestion of Diatomaceous Earth is not toxic to mammals.
  • Organic Kamala - Kamala has been traditionally used to eliminate intestinal and blood-borne organisms. Kamala is especially useful for eliminating tapeworms & rounnd is known to act quickly and effectively.
  • Organic Anamu - Anamu is a flowering plant that grows wild in South America, Mexico, Texas and other similar regions. It has a long history of medicinal use, that includes helping relieve intesintal gas, expels harmful organisms and promote a healthy immune system.
  • Organic American Wormseed (Chenopodium) - Derived from the seeds and other aboveground parts of wormseed, Chenopodium is an excellent ingredient for any product used to promote a healthy intestinal environment. Before being popularized by the medical establishment in America during the 19th century, American Wormseed was frequently used by Native Americans to support digestive health. Wormseed is also said to have properties for removing intestinal irritants that cause spasms within the colon wall. Wormseed contains up to 90% ascaridol - an ingredient found to be useful for discouraging intestinal invaders.
  •  
As worm populations build up over time, many of the health problems caused by these worms become chronic. The worms can cause malnutrition as they rob the body of food - either by reducing appetite, or by preventing food from being absorbed properly once it has been eaten. Children with chronic worm infections and large numbers of worms may become stunted and underweight.

Heavy infections with roundworm can cause bowel obstruction. Intestinal worms - especially hookworm - can contribute to anemia by causing intestinal bleeding and thus loss of blood. The larger the number of worms, the more likely they are to make a person ill. Chronic infections can lead to long-term retardation of mental and physical development and, in very severe infections, even death.

The long-term presence of parasites may contribute to the development of food allergies.

Harmful organisms may be present in food or water and are more and more frequently being identified as causes of food-borne illness in the United States. The illnesses they cause can range from mild discomfort to debilitating illness and possibly even death. A parasitic detox should be performed at least twice a year.


   

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

*Information courtesy of Diagnose me & GHC website

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vitamin K - An Extraordinary Anti-Aging Nutrient

Learn how vitamin K strengthens bones, protects arteries, and prevents cancer and other degenerative diseases

Unlike many other nutrients, vitamin K did not receive much attention in the past. New research, however, indicates that this vitamin is one of the most amazing anti-aging nutrients available to us. An ongoing scientific research suggests that vitamin K may play a significant role in preventing certain cancers and the Alzheimer's disease.

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that can be found in nature and made in the body. Phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, is the natural form of vitamin K that is found in plants such as dark green leafy vegetables, alfalfa, and kelp. Menaquinone, or vitamin K2, is the vitamin K produced by the bacteria in our intestines. Menadione, or vitamin K3, is a synthetic compound that has the chemical structure of the natural vitamin K. This form of vitamin K, however, is regarded as toxic because it generates free radicals.


Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 by a Danish researcher Henrik Dam. He noticed that chicken that were fed a fat-free diet were susceptible to hemorrhage. Moreover, blood taken from these birds coagulated very slowly. Intrigued by this observation, he investigated this strange phenomena and found out that a particular substance was necessary for the blood to coagulate. The chickens in his experiment lacked it because that substance was found only in the fatty foods. He named that substance "coagulation vitamin" using the German spelling, hence the name vitamin K. 


Vitamin K is easily destroyed by extreme heat, light, alkaline substances, strong acids, radiation, and oxidizing agents. Some research, however, shows that cooking does not significantly diminish vitamin K content in vegetables.

Vitamin K is absorbed from the upper small intestine with the help of bile salts and pancreatic juices and carried to the liver where it is utilized in the synthesis of prothrombin - a key blood clotting factor in the body. Vitamin K is stored in small doses within the body. The highest concentrations are found in the liver, the pancreas, and in the bones. Any excess of this vitamin is excreted. High intake of vitamin E and calcium interferes with the absorption of vitamin K.

Functions of vitamin K
  • The most important and best studied function of vitamin K is it role in the blood clotting process. Vitamin K is required for the synthesis of the coagulating factors, mostly the blood-clotting protein prothrombin.
  • Vitamin K protects the heart because it prevents the calcification of the aorta and the heart valves.
  • Vitamin K is responsible for bone health. Low serum levels of vitamin K are normally associated with lower bone mineral density and indicate an increased risk of hip fracture. Supplementation with vitamin K may improve bone mass in postmenopausal women. Research shows that when vitamin K is taken together with vitamin D3, it can prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin K regulates calcium levels in the body. I helps keep calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. Scientists suggest that by regulating calcium, vitamin K may reverse hypertension and reduce the susceptibility to stroke.
  • Research shows that vitamin K has the potential to reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting interleukin-6, a substance that affects the immune system and is responsible for the inflammatory processes in the body.
  • According to the latest research conducted in Japan, vitamin K may be involved in blood sugar control. Pancreas has very  high concentrations of vitamin K and researchers discovered that this vitamin has some effects on insulin and glucose concentrations in the body. Laboratory tests showed that insufficient levels of vitamin K in the body interfere with the clearance of glucose causing release of too much insulin. This discovery may be of great importance in diabetes prevention and treatment.
  • Studies demonstrated that vitamin K is a powerful antioxidant. It fights free radicals in the liver and protects linoleic acid from oxidation. It may be useful in preventing liver cancer. Research conducted in Germany also shows that vitamin K may prevent prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin K supports the brain and the nervous system. Scientists discovered that vitamin K is required for the synthesis of the fats called sphingolipids that are critical in the formation of the myelin sheath - an outer wrapping around the nerves. This discovery may be useful in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Nutritional sources of vitamin K

Most dietary vitamin K come from vegetable especially from dark leafy greens such as kale, chard, and collards, and from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Blackstrap molasses, fermented soy products, and polyunsaturated oils also contain significant amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is also found in egg yolks, cow liver, fish liver, yogurt, and Swiss cheese.

Deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin K is very rare and is associated with impaired absorption rather than with inadequate diet. Deficiency occurs when the body cannot absorb this vitamin from the intestines or when the intestinal flora has been destroyed by prolonged treatment with antibiotics. People suffering from cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and cholestasis may become deficient. Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency usually include tendency to bruises, nose bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, gum bleeding, and heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. 

Recommended daily dose

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin K is 80 µg per day for adult men and 65 µg per day for adult women. No more than 50 µg per day may be administered to the newborn babies to prevent hemorrhage.

A healthy, balanced diet usually provides 75 - 150 µg of vitamin K in its natural, bio-available form.

Warning

Although there is no known toxicity associated with high doses of the naturally occurring vitamin K1, synthetic forms of this vitamin should be avoided. High intake of vitamin K is not recommended for individuals taking anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin. Their diet should not contain more than 120 µg of this vitamin.

By Dominique Allmon



*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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