Archive for the ‘General’ category

Men’s & Women’s Daily Multi-vitamin Formulas SALE!

March 29, 2010

Multiple vitamins help to bridge the nutrient gap in our daily diets. In today’s world of processed foods and fast-paced lifestyles, many of us do not get the daily recommended allowance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Multiple vitamins can help fill in the areas lacking in our diets, and are formulated to provide a broad range of nutrition in a synergistic manner.

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Rhodiola Rosea: Herbal Adaptogen to Reduce Stress

March 22, 2010

Rhodiola Rosea or “Golden Root” can help our bodies adapt to stress. It has been used in the traditional medicine of Russia, Scandinavia, and other countries. Between 1748 and 1961 various medicinal applications of Rhodiola Rosea appeared in the scientific literature of Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Iceland. Since 1961, more than 180 pharmacological, phytochemical and clinical studies have been published.

Although Rhodiola Rosea has been extensively studied as an adaptogen with various health-promoting effects, it’s properties remain largely unknown in the West. This may be partially due to the fact that the bulk of research has been published in Slavic and Scandinavian languages.

Traditional folk medicine used Rhodiola Rosea to increase physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders. In mountain villages of the Republic of Georgia, a bouquet of roots is still given to couples prior to marriage to enhance fertility and assure the birth of healthy children. In Middle Asia, Rhodiola Rosea tea was the most effective treatment for cold and flu during severe Asian winters. Mongolian doctors prescribed it for tuberculosis and cancer. For centuries, only family members knew where to harvest the wild “golden roots” and the methods of extraction. Siberians secretly transported the herb down ancient trails to the Caucasian Mountains where it was traded for Georgian wines, fruits, garlic, and honey. Chinese emperors sent expeditions to Siberia to bring back the “golden root” for medicinal preparations.

Rhodiola Rosea has also been used as an astringent and for the treatment of hernia, leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge), hysteria, and headache. In 1755 Rhodiola Rosea was included in the first Swedish Pharmacopoeia. Vikings used the herb to enhance their physical strength and endurance. German researchers described the benefits of Rhodiola Rosea for pain, headache, scurvy, hemorrhoids, as a stimulant, and as an anti-inflammatory.

There are still more scientific studies being held in which scientists are exploring its diverse physiological effects. Future medical applications are being developed including medicines to treat diseases such as cancer and radiation sickness, and enhancing physical and mental performance.

Click Here for Information on Rhodiola Rosea.

Ways to Get Natural Relief from Seasonal Allergies

March 15, 2010

It’s Spring time and seasonal allergies are in the air. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom and airborne pollen is flying about. Allergy sufferers are beginning their annual ritual of sniffling and sneezing. Every year, 35 million Americans alone suffer from  seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever.

Allergy symptoms tend to be particularly high on breezy days when the wind picks up pollen and carries it through the air. Rainy days, on the other hand, cause a drop in the pollen counts because the rain washes away the allergens.

Seasonal allergies symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Airborne allergens also can also trigger Asthma, a condition which causes airways to become narrow, leading to breathing difficulty, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

If you’ve never been formally diagnosed with spring allergies but you notice that your eyes and nose are itchy and runny during the spring months, see your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to an allergist for tests.

The allergy specialist may do a skin test, which involves injecting a tiny sample of a diluted allergen just under the skin of your arm or back. If you’re allergic to the substance, a small red bump (called a wheal or hive) will form. Another diagnostic option is the radioallergosorbent test or RAST. RAST is a blood test that detects antibody levels to a particular allergen. Just because you are sensitive to a particular allergen on a test, though, doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily start sneezing and coughing when you come into contact with it.

Perscription treatment for spring allergies:

Doctors treat spring allergies with a number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Some Over-the-counter allergy drugs are effective for many people and include the following:

  • Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching by lowering the amount of histamine (the substance produced during an allergic reaction) in the body.
  • Decongestants clear mucus out of the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling.
  • Antihistamine/decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.
  • Nasal spray decongestants relieve congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants.
  • Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help prevent hay fever by stopping the release of histamine before it can trigger allergy symptoms.
  • Eye drops relieve itchy, watery eyes.

You can buy these allergy drugs without a prescription, but, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first to make sure you choose the right medication. Some antihistamines can make you feel sleepy, so you need to be careful when taking them during the day (although non-drowsy formulations are also available). Don’t use over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants for more than a few days without talking to your doctor.

If over-the-counter remedies don’t help allergies, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication or allergy shots. Prescription nasal sprays with corticosteroids reduce inflammation in the nose. Allergy shots expose your body to gradually increasing doses of the allergen until you become tolerant of it. They can relieve your symptoms for a longer period of time than oral and nasal allergy medications. Although they don’t work for everyone, in people who do see a response, allergy shots can stave off symptoms for a few years.

Some allergy sufferers turn to natural allergy remedies for relief, although the research is mixed on their effectiveness:

  • Butterbur The herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus), which comes from a European shrub, shows potential for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. In one Swiss study, butterbur was just as effective as the antihistamine Allegra for reducing allergy symptoms.
  • Quercetin This flavonoid, which is found naturally in onions, apples, and black tea, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown in research to block histamines.
  • Stinging nettle The roots and leaves of the stinging nettle plant (Urtica dioica) have been used to treat everything from joint pain to prostate problems. Although some people use freeze-dried stinging nettle leaves to treat allergy symptoms, there isn’t much research to show that it works.
  • Nasal irrigation with a combination of warm water, about a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda may help clear out mucus and open sinus passages. You can administer the solution through a squeeze bottle or a neti pot, a device that looks like a small teapot.

Ways to Manage Seasonal Spring Allergies

It’s almost impossible to avoid symptoms of allergies especially during the spring when there are plants growing and flowers blooming all around you However, you can find ways to manage your seasonal allergy symptoms, ease sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes by avoiding your main allergy triggers. Here are a few tips.

  • Try to stay indoors whenever the pollen count is very high (pollen counts usually peak in the mornings).
  • Keep your doors and windows closed whenever possible during the spring months to keep allergens out. An air purifier may also help.
  • Clean the air filters in your home often. Also, clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen can collect.
  • Wash your hair after going outside, because pollen can collect there.
  • Vacuum twice a week. Wear a mask while cleaning as vacuuming can kick up pollen, mold, and dust that were trapped in your carpet.

*Just because a spring allergy treatment says “natural” doesn’t mean that it is safe. Some herbal remedies can cause side effects or can react with medications you’re taking. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any herb or supplement.

For more information on Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies Visit American Nutrition’s Online Store.

Proposed Government Takeover of Dietary Supplements!

March 2, 2010


This Bill Would Repeal Key Sections of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) A Bill has been introduced that will limit which supplements you can buy, while substantially restricting the number of acceptable ingredients. The misleadingly named Dietary Supplement Safety Act (DSSA) was introduced with the good intention of stamping out illegal/mislabeled sports supplements, but governing agencies already have ample authority to enforce laws and ensure product purity and safety. Should this Bill pass, the federal government will take over the dietary supplement industry to harmonize the U.S. with highly restrictive CODEX rules, Canadian and European regulations, getting new veto power over both existing ingredients and every new product! Let the FDA and DEA enforce the strong federal regulations that are already in place.

Read the Full Story at:


Stand up, defend and demand your rights to purchase and use safe dietary supplements!

Tell your Senators NOT to support this desperately misguided Bill!

Tell your Congressman NOT to support a House-version of this Bill!

To learn how this Bill Could Affect Your Health Rights:
Look up legislators’ contact information at
By Phone: Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

For additional questions, email:


Garlic: Nature’s Antibacterial / Anti-fungal Remedy

February 26, 2010

Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the most valuable food sources in the world. Since biblical times garlic has been used by Romans, Egyptian, Babylonians, and Hebrews for strength and endurance.

Allicin is the most powerful medicinal compound derived from garlic and provides the greatest reputed health benefits. Allicin does not occur in “ordinary” garlic, it is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect.

Allicin exhibits antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it is garlic’s natural defense mechanism. In order to protect itself from insects and fungi, garlic enzymatically produces allicin when it is injured. It also protects your cells and immune system in a similar manner.

Allicin’s potent antimicrobial activity was discovered in 1944 by Cavallito et al. Allicin received a patent for its antifungal activity in test tubes. However, no clinical trials have been performed with allicin and it was never developed into a drug or commercial product due to its instability, inability to be absorbed, and offensive odor. Allicin itself is considered to be of limited value inside the body for the following reasons:

  • Stomach acid destroys alliinase, preventing allicin production.
  • Intestinal fluids further diminish the amount of allicin that can be produced.

There is a significant loss of allicin when ingested and sent directly into the stomach. Alliinase, the enzyme which catalyzes the conversion of alliin to allicin, has been shown to be irreversibly deactivated at pH 3 or below, an acidic environment typically found in the stomach. Further, a 99% loss in allicin production was observed following consecutive exposure to simulated stomach fluids and simulated intestinal fluids which would occur when one takes a garlic powder orally.

To prevent the destruction of alliinase by stomach acid, some manufacturers have enteric-coated garlic powders in order to bypass the stomach. These enteric-coated pills allow garlic to be consumed and the allicin to be absorbed properly allowing your body the ability to receive all of the health benefits garlic has to offer.

Click here for more about Garlic Supplements.

Safely Using Vitamins & Supplements to Control Your Diabetes

November 20, 2009

Diabetics tend to be more educated than the average person, in regards to their daily diet. They are faced with issues of dietsm, and trying to follow the dietary guidelines for Diabetics. More fruits and vegetables, less fats, and more fiber is more important for a diabetic than for others.

Some people say that if you eat a proper diet you should not need extra vitamins or minerals. But, even people who eat the Recommended Daily Allowance of fruits and vegetables are not getting the proper amount of vitamins in their diet. The fruit and vegetables we consume today are lacking the full amounts of nutrients we need.

It takes so long from the time the fruits are harvested to get to our mouths, that much of the original nutrients have been depleted. Water can be an enemy to nutrients, boiling vegetables leaves some of the nutrients in the water and using water softeners take the magnesium out of food. Commercial produce in America has suffered from chemicals in farming. In fact, organic produce has almost double the amount of nutrients than commercially grown produce.

The vitamins in fruits and vegetables we eat contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to help protect the body against free-radical damage. They help reduce oxidative stress and fight off free radicals throughout the body. Free Radicals cause buildup and clogging in blood vessels and can lead to health complications. Antioxidants, like vitamin E, have been shown to be beneficial for common complications of diabetes. Vitamins also help your insulin function and help lower your blood sugar levels.

A lot of people know that antioxidants are good for their bodies, but still question, “How much is too much” and “Which ones are better for specific health concerns”. Studies have proven that antioxidants help prevent diabetic complications including neuropathy and retinopathy. Therefore, it would be beneficial for diabetics to consider adding supplements to their diet.

Before you overload your body with mega-doses of vitamins containing antioxidants, you should be warned that more is not always better. People can overdose on certain vitamins and actually damage their body. You need to know how much is too much, depending on each particular vitamin or supplement.

You should check with your physician before you begin taking supplements. Make sure the levels of each supplement are safe for your body type and that they don’t cause any complications with prescriptions you may be taking for a particular ailment(s).

George Blackburn, MD, associate editor of Health News, reports in a story on vitamins that “only healthy adults should take nutrient supplements without a doctor’s guidance…anyone with a disease or chronic medical condition should take supplements only under medical supervision.”

Vitamins for Diabetes

Niacin has many health benefits in the general population, but people with diabetes need to be more careful. Niacin in high doses can help to reduce cholesterol levels, but it also increases glucose levels. It is recommended that diabetics stay close to the standard recommendation of 20 milligrams per day.

Niacin is found in variety of foods including liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes and is also synthesized from tryptophan, which is found in meat, dairy and eggs. Fruit, vegetable and other sources of Niacin include; avocados, dates, tomatoes, leaf vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, whole grain products, legumes, saltbush seeds, mushrooms and brewer’s yeast.

Selenium and vitamin E supplements taken together play a role in controlling oxidative status and altered lipid metabolism in the liver, according to a French study, published in April of 1998. The recommended daily Selenium dose for people with diabetes given by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, author of Herbal Defense, a natural healing specialist from Seattle, is 400 micrograms per day.

Chromium, usually taken as chromium picolinate to improve blood sugars, is a highly debated diabetes topic. Experts disagree on whether or not chromium decreases HbA1c levels, and both have studies to back them up. A review was published in January of 1998 in the Journal of Family Practice, of the evidence on chromium supplementation for diabetes, it states that, “There is some evidence, including results from human studies, that chromium has a role in glucose homeostasis.” The authors then call for more studies, because of chromium’s “unproven benefits and unknown risks.” Nutrition experts say the typical supplement’s levels of chromium, about 400 micrograms per day, can’t do any harm.

Alpha-lipoic acid has produced convincing evidence of it’s ability to aid in glucose control. It has also proven to be a strong antioxidant in the fight against diabetes In a recent human studies, alpha-lipoic acid alone, significantly reduced glucose levels in type 2 Diabetes. A study published in Diabetes Care in February 2009, shows German doctors gave lean and obese type 2 Diabetes Patients 600 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid twice per day. Although more drastic changes were noted in lean people, both groups had lower fasting glucose concentrations. Researchers believe that alpha-lipoic acid works by lowering the levels of lactate and pyruvate that are increased after people ingest carbohydrates. Lactate and pyruvate are products of the digestive process that can lead to damage like lactic acidosis.

Other studies have led to similar conclusions of alpha-lipoic acid’s beneficial effects on blood glucose levels. ABC news did a television story on its power as an antioxidant, and an entire book has been written about it.

“Lipoic Acid in Health and Disease” is edited by Jurgen Fuchs, MD, PhD, and Guido Zimmer, MD, PhD, of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and Lester Packer, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley.
The book contains numerous studies with evidence that alpha-lipoic acid fights insulin resistance and neuropathy.

Natural Health magazine says in its “Consumer Guide to Vitamins & Minerals,” July-August 1998 issue, “100 to 600 milligrams per day is a helpful amount of alpha-lipoic acid for people with diabetes.”

Gamma-linolenic acid (Evening Primrose Oil) has been shown to improve nerves that have been damaged from diabetes. Its natural sources are evening primrose oil and borage oil. Testing of both alpha-lipoic acid and gamma-linolenic acid in combination for diabetes treatment has been coduced in recent years.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen found promise for future studies of gamma-linolenic acid and alpha-lipoic acid in humans. The April 1998 Diabetologia, revealed the effects of alpha-lipoic acid, gamma-linolenic acid and other essential fatty acid ingestion on the nerve function of diabetic rats. The conclusion was that the combination improved the rats’ nerve function and is “worthy of consideration for clinical trials.”

A few months later, another study confirmed this evidence. The July Diabetologia told of a British study, also of alpha-lipoic acid and gamma-linolenic acid on diabetic rats. The final word was the combination “is effective in improving both electrophysiological and neurochemical” aspects of experimental neuropathy.

Natural Health recommends 200 to 500 milligrams per day of gamma-linolenic acid for people with diabetes.
Vanadium, commonly taken as vanadyl sulfate, is another contested substance. There have been claims made about its effects of lowering insulin requirements and even preserving beta cell function, but skeptics say
side effects are harmful. Vanadium has been studied throughout the 1990s. In 1996 the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, published in May 1996 Diabetes, reported that vanadyl sulfate improved type 2 Diabetes’ insulin sensitivity. As time went on, studies either verified or disputed this conclusion. One said it has no effect in type diabetes (December 1998 Diabetes Care). Another demonstrated that it “restored elevated blood glucose to normal” in diabetic rats.

John Walsh, PA, CDE, coauthor of “Stop the Rollercoaster,” wants more long-term, human studies done, because vanadyl sulfate in high doses has also shown toxic side effects in animals, including kidney damage and oxidation
of fats, leading to cardiovascular disease. Walsh concludes, “Vanadium or one of its derivatives may someday help improve blood sugar…” but “too many unknowns surround this mineral today.” Scientists are working on different formulations of vanadium besides vanadyl sulfate for dietary supplementation.

Natural Health magazine says 5 to 25 milligrams per day is a safe amount.

Folic Acid has been brought to the limelight by its ability to reduce birth defects, it has also been attributed to helping with vascular disease in people with diabetes. It is said to act upon homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine is a substance normally metabolized into amino acids by the body but in high levels it can cause vascular problems and heart disease. Two groups are known to have problems metabolizing homocysteine; people with a rare genetic problem that causes early heart attacks and people with diabetes.

The standard recommendation or safe level of Folic Acid is 800 – 1600 micrograms of per day. The only precaution is that, (although rare), extreme doses of folic acid can mask symptoms of anemia.

B vitamins, including folic acid, are known to counter the bad effects of high homocysteine levels, and folic acid has also been named as a homocysteine fighter. In 1997, a Scandinavian journal, reported that homocysteine concentrations in type 1 Diabetics “may at least partly be explained by a marginal deficiency of blood folate concentrations.”

In the June 1998 Diabetologia, a group of doctors in Barcelona explains their study of homocysteine and diabetes. “A high plasma homocysteine concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease but information on its association with diabetes is limited,” they begin. They also note that people with nephropathy, or kidney disease, have a particular tendency to cardiovascular disease.

They conducted a study to see if high homocysteine levels are a cardiovascular danger in people with diabetes, as they are in the general population. The study looked at fasting homocysteine concentrations in type 1 and type 2 Diabetics, and people without diabetes. They found that 80 percent of the diabetic people with nephropathy
had high homocysteine levels. The authors conclude that, particularly in type 2 diabetes, there is “a new link between microalbuminuria, diabetic nephropathy and kidney disease.”

In November of 1998 the Diabetes Journal published “Diabetes Care” where they found little evidence of homocysteine causing vascular disease in type 1 Diabetes, so as of now the evidence says lowering homocysteine is more crucial in people with type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in fish, flaxseed and canola oil, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to lower triglyceride levels, but final word on their effect on glucose control still eludes researchers.

The latest word from Diabetes Care is that omega-3 fatty acids do help with triglycerides and don’t alter glucose levels in the process. A study in the May 1998 issue reports that 6 grams of fish oil per day lowered triglycerides in type 2 Diabetic men and had no effect on fasting glucose or HbA1c levels.

Three to five grams per day, of fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements, aid in diabetes management, according to Natural Health’s consumer guide Magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is a problem in diabetes, it contributes to complications including hypertension and heart disease. Most people are unaware of a magnesium deficiency, and it is often it is missed during routine checkups. Many Diabetic diets don’t have a lot of magnesium, nuts and shrimp have large magnesium amounts. When supplementing Magnesium, 800 milligrams is recommended twice per day.

*To learn more on DRI’s for Magnesium, please refer to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22 – Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, Magnesium, Mg (mg).

Pycnogenol has not been tested in people with diabetes, but studies have proven its success as an antioxidant. A study done in 1996 from Ophthalmic Research, proves that Pycnogenol fights lipid peroxidation in animal trials.
Lipid peroxidation is a prominent feature of diabetic retinopathy.

The long-term effect of large doses of these nutrients has not been proven. Other chemicals and substances found in natural sources of antioxidants may also be responsible for the beneficial effects. So for now, the best way to ensure adequate intake of the antioxidant nutrients is through minimal supplementation and eating a balanced diet consisting of 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Another source for avoiding excessive intake is a book, Vitamin and Mineral Safety, published by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which is associated with the supplement industry. This book gives the “no observed
adverse effect level,” for certain vitamins and minerals; it is the highest daily level at which studies have shown no damage to be reported in humans.

The RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowance, you see on food labels does not apply to supplementation. The RDA is only the amount needed to avoid deficiency. The RDAs were dictated before scientists discovered that taking
large amounts of some substances can prevent disease. Thus, the government is now testing how much is too much.

The USDA Online Agricultural Library provides links to general information about dietary and nutritional supplements from both governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. Including resource lists, individual supplement information, and links to resources for assessing supplement use.

Natural Vitamin E for Heart Health

November 17, 2009

Are you taking the right vitamin E for your heart?

Most people don’t know this, but there are eight forms of vitamin E:
four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.

While they’re all antioxidants, the differences between them could easily fill a book. But the most important is that tocotrienols – not tocopherols – have powerful heart benefits.

Tocotrienols help:
Reduce cholesterol oxidation
Maintain healthy triglyceride levels
Support normal blood pressure levels

Tocotrienols have a shorter “tail” that can penetrate the fatty outer layer of a cell membrane and “attack” a cholesterol-creating enzyme called HMG-CoA helping to reduce cholesterol oxidation and helping to promote normal cholesterol levels.

The problem with synthetic versions of vitamin E – the kind you find often in supplements – is that they contain none of the heart healthy tocotrienols and only ONE type of tocopherol.

So, how do you get more of the heart healthy vitamin E that contains tocotrienols?

You can find high concentrations of tocotrienols in certain oils. Annatto, palm, and rice bran oil are good sources. You should be able to find them at your local health food store, specialty grocery store, or online at