We spoke about a healthy weight to protect joints. Also we know about distress (negative stress) management in decreasing fat storage. We learnt about the effect cortisol has on the body in negative stress situations and gaining fat.
Although Thai Yoga massage is very effective in treating with pain, distress and mobility issues, there is a lot more that we can do to help ourselves. Exercise, better eating, relaxation and distress control are valuable.
These herbal supplements are worth mentioning, not only for fat loss, dealing with distress and to help build and protect joints but also to boost energy, improve sexual activity and life’s activities in general.
Doing supplements the right way
Adaptogens: What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are active ingredients in particular plants and mushrooms that impact how your body deals with stress, anxiety and fatigue. When consumed, these plants target specific stressors in the body.
There are three qualities that plants have that qualify them as adaptogens: It must be non-toxic when taken in normal doses. It must help the body to cope with stress and it allows the body to return to balance (homeostasis).
Adaptogens work as a temporary aid but one must tackle distress at the root for a long term solution.
The goal of taking adaptogens is to return the body back to a state of balance. The herbal action in adaptogens increases or decreases chemical reactions within your body.
If you are distressed , levels of Cortisol will increase. An adaptogen will respond by reducing Cortisol levels. If you experience chronic fatigue with low cortisol levels, an adaptogen will increase the level of cortisol in your body.
Be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider to understand how adaptogens could impact your health and if they are right for you, especially if you are on any medication.
There are several types of adaptogens. Common adaptogens include:
- American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium): This offers immune system support (immune-modulators) that helps to reduce inflammation and to relieve pain (anti-inflammatory). In addition, this type of ginseng combats stress and boosts your nervous system, which improves how your body responds to stimuli (fight or flight). Some studies suggest American ginseng can reset dopamine levels and regulate your mood.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha has a positive effect on the endocrine, nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems by regulating your metabolism and helping you relax by calming how your brain responds to stress. Ashwagandha offers protection for your cells as an antioxidant and reduces swelling (an anti-inflammatory reaction).
- Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng): This type of ginseng helps relieve both mental and physical fatigue. Ginseng can improve your energy and performance during stressful activities.
- Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Similar to ginseng, eleuthero relieves stress and fatigue. This adaptogen helps boost immune function as an immune modulator.
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea): Rhodiola alleviates symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression. Studies show that Rhodiola helps improve performance during stressful situations like at work or during physical activity.
- Tulsi or holy basil is also a potent Adaptogen, it may help:
- Balance cortisol levels in the body
- Improve brain function
- Boost the immune system
- Lower inflammation
- Improve energy levels
Adaptogens come from plants, so you can take them in several different ways including:
- Adding adaptogens to food or beverages.
- Taking adaptogens as capsules.
- Using tinctures: a liquid form of a plant extract.
- Some adaptogenic plants can be dried, ground up and steeped in hot water in the same way you would steep your favorite tea. There are several different types of tea blends on the market that use some adaptogens as the main ingredient. Be sure to read the label to see what the intended effects of the tea are, how long you should steep the tea in water and how often it should be consumed.
Adaptogens support the way that your body handles stress. Some people consume adaptogens to:
- Alleviate anxiety.
- Reduce fatigue and/or increase energy.
- Cope with trauma.
- Regulate emotional reactions to distress.
- Boost your immune system.
Adaptogen dosage varies by plant and how you choose to take it. For example, the dosage to take a capsule of Ashwagandha is 1 to 6 grams of dry root per day or a tincture dose based on concentration, which varies by brand. Capsules can also be made with plant extract, where the dose for standardized extract is 500 milligrams twice a day.
Before you start taking adaptogen supplements, check the label on how much and how frequently you should take them and talk with your healthcare provider to see if they have recommendations on which adaptogen is right for you.
Studies show that adaptogens work best for a short duration (less than six months) because your body could build a resistance to adaptogens and their intended effects, proving them ineffective over time.
Adaptogens are generally well tolerated. Side effects are rare but possible and vary based on the plant.
Side effects of adaptogens include:
- Allergic reactions.
- Abdominal Pain
It’s also important to understand the purpose of the adaptogen you are taking and how it will affect your body. For example, certain adaptogens increase energy and you wouldn’t want to take that type of adaptogen before going to bed because it would be difficult for you to fall asleep.
Adaptogens could react with medicines
Adaptogens could impact how certain medicines work if you have medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, insomnia, hypothyroidism and depression. Interactions with adaptogens include:
- Increasing blood pressure.
- Decreasing blood sugar levels.
- Disrupting sleep patterns.
- Increasing thyroid activity.
- Counteracting antidepressants.
Before starting adaptogens, discuss the following with your provider:
- Current medications you take.
- Medical diagnoses.
- If you plan on becoming pregnant.
- Types of adaptogens you are interested in taking.
As we realize, adaptogens like Tulsi, Ginseng and Ashwagandha can certainly help us to deal with the stressors of daily living . Consider including it as a supplement in your health regime.
GREEN TEA POLYPHENOLS
Green tea contains compounds known as polyphenols and also phytochemicals that have antioxidant , antibacterial, anti viral and other health boosting qualities. Tests on Epigallocatechin Gallate, a polyphenol in green tea, have shown that it is able to enter the body’s cells and shield DNA from hydrogen peroxide, an extremely powerful free radical. Green tea protects against cancer, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces the clotting tendency of the blood,
It also has been shown to elevate the metabolism although this is quite negligible when considering use as a weight loss product, Evidence has shown it to be useful in stimulating the immune system , fighting tooth decay and combats mental fatigue,
Green tea inhibits the formation of Nitrosamines from high Nitrite foods at meal time. So a heavy cancer fighter, This is safe and comes highly recommended,
Known as the “Potted Physician,” this cactus-like plant with long, green leaves filled with a clear gel was brought from Africa to the Americas in the sixteenth century.
The English brought Aloe Vera to Barbados to provide their sailors protection from long hours of working in the sun. The nutrient content is wide and it contains the Phytochemicals Acemannan, beta carotene, beta sitosterol, campesterol, cinnamic acid, coumarin, lignins, p-coumaric acid, and saponins, It also contains Amino acids, calcium, folate, iron. magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B1,B2, B3, C and E.
Aloe acts as an astringent and emollient and has anti fungal, anti fungal and anti viral properties. Here are some of the benefits that can be acquired from its use:
Soothing Burns and Healing Wounds
Whether it’s sunburn, burns, cuts and scraps aloe is the best. Applied to wounds, aloe gel is a mild anesthetic, relieving itching, swelling, and pain; it is also antibacterial and antifungal. It increases blood flow to wounded areas and stimulates fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for healing wounds.
Easing Intestinal Problems
Aloe Vera juice can be very effective for treating most digestive conditions. The juice helps to detoxify the bowel, neutralize stomach acidity and relieve constipation and gastric ulcers.
Reducing Arthritic Swelling
Applications of aloe can reduce pain and swelling of arthritis, and drinking aloe juice also helps to inhibit the autoimmune reaction associated with certain forms of arthritis, in which the body attacks its own tissues.
Healing Psoriasis Lesions
Aloe is the best natural treatment for psoriasis and eczema. In most cases, the lesions are even cured using aloe.
Washing one’s mouth with aloe juice several times a day can heal stubborn infections. Blend the fresh gel of a leaf without the skin or any water, and gargle.
Eye irritations and injuries
Apply a freshly cut slice of aloe over the closed eye, then open the eyelid to coat it with aloe. It’s a great treatment when you have a small particle stuck in an eye.
Strains and sprains
Aloe is an excellent treatment that can be applied immediately to cool, sooth and reduce the swelling of the joint. Blend the gel of a fresh leaf without water to make a poultice for the injury.
Aloe acts as a powerful expectorant when the lungs are congested. Blend the gel of aloe with lemon juice and water and drink freely during the day.
Rashes and allergic reactions on the skin
In the tropics, these types of skin issues are common. Try aloe gel as a natural first aid treatment.
Lowering blood sugar levels in the blood
Aloe can be part of a successful program in treating diabetes. Aloe juice can be taken several times a day between meals to help heal the pancreas and liver.
Although allergic reactions are rare, they may appear in susceptible people. it is suggested that, before using, a small amount should be applied behind the ear or on the under arm. if a stinging or a rash occurs, do not use. CAUTION : Should not be taken internally during pregnancy.
Arjuna also known as coming from the “Arjun tree” is a widely grown tree in India. It has various medicinal properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
Arjuna helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. It strengthens and tones the heart muscles and helps in proper functioning of the heart. The Arjuna bark also has strong anti-hypertensive properties and helps to reduce high blood pressure. Arjuna bark (chaal) is found to be useful in managing high cholesterol levels. Due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it lowers the level of total blood cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. Thus it helps to improve the level of good cholesterol ( HDL),
Arjuna also helps control diarrhea, asthma and coughs as well.
Arjuna might help improve the immune system due to its immunomodulatory activity. It changes the response of the immune system by increasing or decreasing the antibodies production. Thus, it improves the immune system.
External application of Arjuna bark (Arjuna chaal) helps manage various skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, itching and rashes.
One note of caution is to avoid Arjuna with anticoagulant drugs as it has blood thinning properties.
Arjuna is beneficial in the management of chest pain (angina). Studies suggest that the Arjuna Bark shows a significant reduction of chest pain by lowering the level of cortisol i.e., the stress hormone. Arjuna also increases exercise tolerance, improves HDL levels and reduces blood pressure in people with stable angina.
Arjuna shows its benefits in managing heart diseases as it acts as a cardiotonic and strengthens the heart muscles. Certain constituents such as Tannins and glycosides present in the Arjuna bark have antioxidant properties that protect the heart muscles and blood vessels against damage caused by free radicals. Arjuna also helps in the dilation of the blood vessels and dissolves the plaque to improve blood flow. Thus it is effective in managing cardiac problems such as high blood pressure, palpitations and rapid heartbeat.
Arjuna might be beneficial in managing diarrhea. Certain constituents present in Arjuna has antimicrobial and astringent properties. It also has an antibacterial property that controls the intestinal infection caused by microorganisms. It regulates the gut motility and prevents excessive loss of water and electrolytes from the body.
Arjuna has antibacterial properties and helps in the management of urinary tract infections. Arjuna also manages symptoms like increased urine frequency.
Arjuna also helps to improve fertility. Arjuna bark extract is a rich source of antioxidants and metals such as zinc. It helps promote the formation of new sperm cells and increases the sperm count. It also helps to increase the overall stamina of the body.
Arjuna protects the heart, strengthens circulation and helps to maintain the tone and health of the heart muscle. It is also useful in stopping bleeding and helps healing after a heart attack. Studies state that Arjuna bark (Arjuna chaal) helps to reduce high blood pressure level. This is due to its high content of coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is a catalyst that helps lower high blood pressure and improves heart functions. It also has a vasodilation activity that helps in the dilation of blood vessels . This may be an excellent therapy in dealing with issues concerning Erectile Dysfunction. Recommended dosage, 500 milligram tablet twice daily.
Arjuna is a cardio protective herbal remedy. Scientific studies show that is has beneficial effects in angina, heart disease, heart failure, edema, high cholesterol, gonorrhea, acne, wounds, blemishes, dysentery and wounds. The bark of this tree is high in Co-enzyme Q-10. thus helps in Cirrhosis of liver and reduces blood pressure. It provides a significant cardiac protection in myocardial infarction commonly known as heart attack. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining it to normal levels. It nourishes heart muscles, which is very helpful in regular expansion and contraction of the heart. It helps in both vasoconstriction as well as vasodilatation that make the vessels flexible there by making it very much helpful for proper functioning of circulatory system.
Considerations: It is generally advisable to avoid taking Arjuna, if you are breastfeeding. Arjuna may decrease the blood sugar level. So it is generally advisable to monitor your blood sugar regularly if you are taking Arjuna with anti-diabetic drugs. It is generally advisable to avoid the use of Arjuna during pregnancy.
The spice known as turmeric is an extremely powerful nutritional supplement. Many studies show that turmeric has major benefits for your body and brain. Many of these benefits come from its main active ingredient, Curcumin. Turmeric gives curry its yellow colour. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Many people choose to supplement because the actual curcumin content in turmeric is low. around 3%. Also the rate at which the body absorbs the curcumin (Bioavailability) is poor. Consuming with Black Pepper which contains the compound Piperine, increases the absorption of Curcumin by 2000%. Many Curcumin supplements contain Piperine which makes it more effective. Curcumin is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. That’s why it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements with a meal that’s high in fat.
Inflammation is highly important. It helps to fight pathogens and has a role in repairing damage in the body. Although acute, short-term inflammation is useful, it can be a concern if it becomes chronic and attacks your body’s tissues.
Experts believe that chronic low-level inflammation plays a role in some health conditions such as:
- heart disease
- metabolic syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- various degenerative conditions
That’s why anything that can help to fight chronic inflammation is important in preventing and helping to treat these conditions.
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant.
Free Radical damage is believed to be one of the causes behind aging and many illnesses . Free radicals are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. In addition, animal and cellular studies suggest that curcumin may block the action of free radicals and may stimulate the action of other antioxidants. In addition, Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and may help fight various degenerative processes in your brain like Alzheimer’s.
Curcumin has beneficial effects on many factors known to play a role in heart disease. Plus, it’s an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth and development.
Studies have shown that it can
- contribute to the death of cancerous cells
- reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors)
- reduce metastasis (spread of cancer)
Curcumin shows effect in helping to prevent and even treat Cancer.
Arthritis is a disorder that manifests itself by joint inflammation. Many studies evince that curcumin can help to treat symptoms of arthritis and is, in some cases, more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. This may be largely owing to curcumin’s powerful anti-inflammatory qualities.
In a controlled trial, sixty people with clinical depression were randomly placed into three groups . One group took Prozac, another group took one gram of curcumin, and the third group took both Prozac and curcumin. After six weeks, curcumin had led to improvements similar to those of Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and curcumin experienced the best results. According to this small study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.
Depression is also linked to reduced levels of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin can help boost BDNF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes .
There’s also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
An indispensable spice if you want to reduce sugar in the blood stream. Known as Mother Nature’s glucose reducer, this can help to reduce your blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity as well as to reduce inflammation.
Researchers at the USDA have found that Cinnamon speeds the conversion of glucose into energy. Excess blood sugar is quickly moved out of the blood stream and into the cells where it is required. The compound in Cinnamon responsible for this action is called MHCP or Methylhydroxy Chalcone Polymer. This stimulates insulin receptors the same way as insulin.
There was “The Rice Pudding” study published in the American Journal of Clinal Nutrition where scientists added cinnamon to rice pudding and found that those who ate it had a significantly lower rise in blood sugar levels as compared to participants who ate pudding without cinnamon. Researchers say that all that is required to reduce the blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes is less than half a tea spoon daily, This can be sprinkled on most anything.
Cinnamon is also a powerful antioxidant which blocks the formation of damaging free radicals. These free radicals can cause systemic inflammation leading to conditions such as heart disease, dementia and cancer.
Another great fact, is that Cinnamon inhibits the release of Arachidonic acid, which is a highly inflammatory fatty acid, contributing to the building up of plaques in blood vessels. This leads to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke, as well as arthritis and Alzheimer’s and other ill conditions.
This small addition in the diet can reduce fasting blood sugar levels by 29%, Triglycerides by 30%, LDL cholesterol by 27% and total cholesterol by 26%,
Whey is a natural byproduct of cheesemaking. It is the liquid that remains when the solids in milk come together and then pressed into solid form. The whey protein is manufactured by filtering and purifying the whey and then removing the water to create a powder. This is a very high quality protein that is free of fat and lactose (milk sugar).
This supplement helps to build lean body mass through hard exercise and training by increasing the body’s production of muscle protein. For this reason , it is popular among body builders and other athletes. The hard training has to be stressed for as we learnt before, any excess protein is not stored but turned to fat in a process called deamination.
Whey protein also helps to prevent muscle wasting in persons with diseases such as AIDS and Cancer. In addition to its effect on muscles , it appears to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, protect against free radical damage and enhance immune function.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS.
The human body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials. That isn’t the case for omega-3 fatty acids (also called omega-3 fats and n-3 fats). These are essential fats—the body can’t make them from scratch but must attain them from food. Foods high in Omega-3 include fish, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.
Omega 3 fatty acids are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.
Omega-3 fats are a key family of polyunsaturated fats. There are three main omega-3s:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) come mainly from fish, so they are sometimes called marine omega-3s.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds and flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat, especially in grass-fed animals. The human body generally uses ALA for energy, and conversion into EPA and DHA is very limited.
The strongest evidence for a beneficial effect of omega-3 fats has to do with heart disease. These fats appear to help the heart beat at a steady clip and not veer into a dangerous or potentially fatal erratic rhythm. Such arrhythmias cause most of the 500,000-plus cardiac deaths that occur each year in the United States. Omega-3 fats also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lower triglycerides and may ease inflammation, which plays a role in the development of atherosclerosis.
Several large trials have evaluated the effect of fish or fish oils on heart disease. In the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardio (known as the GISSI Prevention Trial), heart attack survivors who took a 1-gram capsule of omega-3 fats every day for three years were less likely to have a repeat heart attack, stroke, or die of sudden death than those who took a placebo. Notably, the risk of sudden cardiac death was reduced by about 50 percent. In the more recent Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study (JELIS), participants who took EPA plus a cholesterol-lowering statin were less likely to have a major coronary event (sudden cardiac death, fatal or nonfatal heart attack, unstable angina, or a procedure to open or bypass a narrowed or blocked coronary artery) than those who took a statin alone.
Most Westerners take in far more of another essential fat—omega-6 fats—than they do omega-3 fats. Omega 6 fats are found in foods such as soybeans, corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, and vegetable; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings. Some experts have raised the hypothesis that this higher intake of omega-6 fats could pose problems, cardiovascular and otherwise, but this has not been supported by evidence in humans. In the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, for example, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats wasn’t linked with risk of heart disease because both of these were beneficial. Many other studies and trials in humans also support cardiovascular benefits of omega-6 fats. Although there is no question that many people could benefit from increasing their intake of omega-3 fats, there is evidence that omega-6 fats also positively influence cardiovascular health and reduce heart disease.
Researchers are taking a hard look at a different sort of balance, this one between possible effects of marine and plant omega-3 fats on prostate cancer. Results from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and others show that men whose diets are rich in EPA and DHA (mainly from fish and seafood) are less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those with low intake of EPA and DHA. At the same time, some-but not all-studies show an increase in prostate cancer and advanced prostate cancer among men with high intakes of ALA (mainly from supplements). However, this effect is inconsistent. In the very large Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, for example, there was no link between ALA intake and early, late, or advanced prostate cancer.
Given the wide-ranging importance and benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to eat fish or other seafood one to two times per week, particularly fatty (dark meat) fish that are richer in EPA and DHA. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant and nursing mothers. From the third trimester until the second year of life, a developing child needs a steady supply of DHA to form the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Many women shy away from eating fish because of concerns that mercury and other possible contaminants might harm their babies, yet the evidence for harm from lack of omega-3 fats is far more consistent, and a balance of benefit vs. risk is easily obtained.
Glucosamine is one of many substances classified as an amino sugar. Amino sugars are incorporated into the structure of body tissues rather than used as energy. it is involved in the formation of the tendons, nails, eyes, skin, bones, heart valves and ligaments. This amino sugar also plays a role in the mucous secretions of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.
Glucosamine is made in the body from the simple carbohydrate glucose and from the amino acid glutamine. It is highly concentrated in joint structures. It is also available as a supplement in the form of glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate supplements are often made using shellfish. The substance can also be made in a laboratory.
This supplement helps to combat both the the symptoms and causes of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine has been proven in over 300 studies and 20 clinical trials to build joint cartilage. It can also reduce the destruction of cartilage and depression caused by taking Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Glucosamine may be taken in conjunction with Chondroitin Sulfate for a greater effect on osteoarthritis.
In addition to providing benefits for osteoarthritis, supplemental glucosamine can help with conditions such as asthma, bursitis, candidiasis, food allergies, osteoporosis, respiratory allergies, tendinitis, vaginitis, and various skin disorders. Studies done in a laboratory dish, hint that glucosamine sulfate may help fight HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Much more comprehensive research is needed before scientists can say whether or not this supplement could be helpful for those with the virus.
The recommended dose is 1500 mg per day.
Considerations: Glucosamine may interfere with some medicines. Do not use glucosamine if you take warfarin (Coumadin). Doing so raises your risk of bruising and dangerous bleeding.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful anti oxidant . It can restore the antioxidant properties of vitamin E and C after these vitamins have neutralized free radicals. ALA also stimulates the body’s production of glutathione and aids in the absorption of COQ10. These are also essential antioxidants. Supplements have been used for decades in Europe to treat peripheral nerve degeneration an to help to control high blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
This supplement helps to detoxify the liver of metal pollutants, block cataract formation , protect nerve tissue against oxidative stress , and decrease blood cholesterol levels. According to researchers, Lester Packer, Ph.D. , Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California as well as Berkeley and other antioxidant researchers , ALA could play an important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses. ALA is known as a metabolic antioxidant . Without it cells cannot use sugar to produce energy. Since the body does not produce large quantities of ALA, and it is found in only a few foods like spinach, broccoli, and organ meats, supplementation may be necessary.
Coenzyme Q 10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that your body produces naturally. Your cells use CoQ10 for growth and maintenance. Levels of CoQ10 in your body decrease as you age. CoQ10 levels have also been found to be lower in people with certain conditions, such as heart disease, and in those who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. You may be surprised to learn that both cholesterol and CoQ10 are made via the same pathway in your body. And where statins work along this pathway, it has downstream effects, resulting in less cholesterol and less CoQ10 being made.
CoQ10 is found in meat, fish and nuts. The amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources, however, isn’t enough to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in your body. CoQ10 dietary supplements are available as capsules, chewable tablets, liquid syrups, wafers and by IV. CoQ10 might help prevent or treat certain heart conditions, as well as migraine headaches.
Research on CoQ10 use for specific conditions and activities shows:
- Heart conditions. CoQ10 has been shown to improve symptoms of congestive heart failure. Although findings are mixed, CoQ10 might help reduce blood pressure. Some research also suggests that when combined with other nutrients, CoQ10 might aid recovery in people who’ve had bypass and heart valve surgeries.
- Diabetes. Although more studies are needed, some research suggests that CoQ10 may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, lowering their risk of heart disease.
- Histamine: Research has revealed that supplemental coenzyme Q 10 has the ability to counter histamine and is therefore beneficial for people with allergies , asthma and respiratory disease.
- Chemotherapy: Some doctors give patients Co Q 10 to reduce the ill effects of cancer chemotherapy.
- Statin-induced myopathy. Some research suggests that CoQ10 might help ease the muscle weakness and pain sometimes associated with taking statins.
- Migraines. Some research suggests that CoQ10 might decrease the frequency of these headaches.
- Physical performance. Because CoQ10 is involved in energy production, it’s believed that this supplement might improve your physical performance. However, research in this area has produced mixed results.
The safety of use of CoQ10 during pregnancy and breast-feeding hasn’t been established. Don’t use CoQ10 if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding without your doctor’s approval.
Possible interactions include: Anticoagulants. CoQ10 might make blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin , less effective. This could increase the risk of a blood clot.
The therapeutic properties of the ginkgo plant are said to include treatment for blood disorders and memory problems, enhancement of cardiovascular function and to improve eye health. Gingko contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, antioxidants that provide protection against oxidative cell damage from harmful free radicals. In this way, antioxidants are believed to help reduce the risk of cancer.
Also known as the maidenhair tree, ginkgo is one of the oldest species of tree in the world. The trees can grow more than 130 feet tall and can live for over 1,000 years. Some trees in China are said to be over 2500 years old.
The tree is considered to be a “living fossil,” meaning that it has continued to survive even after major extinction events. The extract can be taken as a supplement, and the dried leaves of the plant can be used to make tea.
Improves brain function by increasing cerebral and peripheral circulation and tissue oxygenation. Has antioxidant properties. Beneficial for asthma, dementia, depression, eczema, headaches, heart and kidney disorders, memory loss and tinnitus. Shows promise as a treatment for vascular related impotence.
Considerations: takes at least 2 weeks before experiencing results. People on prescription blood thinners and over the counter painkillers should consult a health care provider before using Gingko since the combination can cause internal bleeding.
Lecithin is a type of fat found naturally in many foods that’s essential to human health. Some manufacturers add it to food products to improve taste or texture. You can also take it as a supplement or use it to moisturize your skin. Lecithin is also known as soy lecithin, egg lecithin, and sunflower lecithin, among others Lecithin is primarily found in soybeans and eggs. It is also present in wheat germ, peanuts, and liver.
The food additive lecithin is made in an industrial process. For example, soy lecithin is created from the combination of soybean oil and hot water. Spinning the mixture rapidly then separates the lecithin. Egg lecithin has also become popular. This type of lecithin is extracted from the yokes of fresh eggs. Egg lecithin may hold promise for those suffering from AIDS, Herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, and immune disorders associated with aging. Studies have shown that it works better for people with these disorders than soy lecithin does. Other sources of lecithin are brewers yeast, grains, legumes, fish and wheat germ.
Lower Cholesterol and Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Lecithin made from soy reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol and may also raise “good” HDL cholesterol. Less LDL cholesterol can mean less fatty plaque buildup in your arteries and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, while HDL cholesterol helps to carry away LDL cholesterol and plaque to the liver for processing, reducing the risk of blockages.
Clear Ducts for Breastfeeding
Lecithin may help breastfeeding mothers avoid clogged ducts. This condition can be painful and uncomfortable, and it can cause swelling or redness in the area of the blockage. A blocked breast duct can lead to an infection or mastitis, a condition caused by a backup of milk that makes breastfeeding mothers feel achy and feverish.
Taking 1 tablespoon, or about 1,200 milligrams, of lecithin four times per day can help reduce the thickness of the breast milk, making a clog less likely.
Healthy Brain Function
Researchers have been studying whether lecithin — which contains choline, an important nutrient for brain function — can help symptoms of dementia and other memory problems. One study did show significant results. However, the results of other studies and research are inconclusive and show that there is not any benefit to taking lecithin for dementia. Experts have not ruled it out, but more research is needed to determine whether lecithin can help with memory problems.
Many skin care and cosmetic products contain lecithin. It works well as a moisturizer, reducing flakiness when applied. Studies show that it is safe to use on the skin in concentrations of up to 15%.
Most people with a soy allergy are allergic to soy proteins. Experts say there are no soy proteins in soy lecithin, but those with an allergy to soy may still want to avoid it. If the source of lecithin is not labeled on a food product, you may need to contact the manufacturer or avoid the product altogether to avoid an allergic reaction.
Lecithin may cause some minor digestive side effects, including stomach aches and Diarrhoea. Additionally, as with any supplement, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should contact a medical professional before taking any supplements that contain lecithin.
Amounts and Dosage
There is no officially recommended dosage for lecithin. Some sources say to take 1,200 milligrams or 1 tablespoon four times per day for a clogged milk duct. Others say to take 300 milligrams two or three times a day for general health benefits. Each lecithin supplement — whether it’s in the form of a capsule, powder, or liquid — should have instructions for dosage, so you should follow the manufacturer’s directions found on the packaging.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before adding lecithin to your diet. Agree upon a daily dosage that is right for you and your unique needs.
Probiotics are made of good live bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. You constantly have both good and bad bacteria in your body. When you get an infection, there’s more bad bacteria, knocking your system out of balance. Good bacteria helps eliminate extra bad bacteria, returning the balance. Probiotic-supplements are a way to add good bacteria to your body.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are a combination of live beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. Bacteria is usually viewed in a negative light as something that makes you sick. However, you have two kinds of bacteria constantly in and on your body — good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that helps keep your body healthy and working well. This good bacteria helps you in many ways, including fighting off bad bacteria when you have too much of it, helping you feel better.
Probiotics are part of a larger picture concerning bacteria and your body — your microbiome. Think of a microbiome as a diverse community of organisms, such as a forest, that work together to keep your body healthy. This community is made up of things called microbes. You have trillions of microbes on and in your body. These microbes are a combination of:
- Fungi (including yeasts).
Everyone’s microbiome is unique. No two people have the same microbial cells — even twins are different.
For a microbe to be called a probiotic, it must have several characteristics. These include being able to:
- Be isolated from a human.
- Survive in your intestine after ingestion (being eaten).
- Have a proven benefit to you.
- Be safely consumed.
Where do beneficial probiotics (microbes) live in my body?
Though the most common place linked to beneficial microbes is your gut (mostly large intestines), you have several locations in and on your body that host good microbes. These locations are in contact with the “outside world” and include your:
- Urinary tract.
How do probiotics work?
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed (through food or drinks) from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You don’t actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
What are the most common types of probiotic bacteria?
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Can I use probiotics to help with medical conditions?
There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.
However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.
Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body (through food or supplements) include:
- Diarrhea (both diarrhea caused by antibiotics and from Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection).
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Yeast infections.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Gum disease.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
- Upper respiratory infections (ear infections, common cold, sinusitis).
- Sepsis (specifically in infants).
Can I take or eat something to increase the good probiotics (microbes) in my body?
You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular (yogurt and pickles, for example) are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha (fermented tea) or kefir (fermented dairy drink) that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.
Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These aren’t drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). It’s important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.
Can I get probiotics from food?
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics (good bacteria) in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for “live and active cultures.” A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
- Sourdough bread.
For lunch, try:
- Cottage cheese.
For a snack, try:
- Fermented pickles.
For dinner, try:
- Fermented sauerkraut.
- Miso soup.
Make sure you are still creating a balanced and healthy meal each time you sit down to eat. Though adding probiotic-rich foods into your diet won’t hurt you, balance is still key. Adding too much of just one food prevents your body from reaping the benefits of other food groups.
How do I take a probiotic supplement?
There are several ways you can take a probiotic supplement. They come in a variety of forms, including in:
- Capsules or pills.
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the “food source” for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, it’s called a synbiotic.
How effective are probiotics?
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. There’s constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
It’s also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with “claims” of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider (or pediatrician) before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
Are there any storage instructions for probiotics?
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that they’re still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
How safe are probiotics?
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence (passing gas) and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system (those going through chemotherapy for example).
- A critical illness.
- Recently had surgery.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
Can probiotics hurt me?
For most healthy people, probiotics don’t cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often “given a try” to see if they could help with various medical conditions. There’s a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldn’t be taking them. It’s always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
Are there any risks related to probiotics?
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
Should I give probiotics to my kids?
Probiotics can be beneficial for both adults and kids. If your child has an illness that requires an antibiotic medication for treatment, taking a probiotic can help shorten symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas and eczema in children.
Introducing probiotics into your child’s diet through food is typically a safe way to give them probiotics. Foods like yogurt and cottage cheese are often part of a balanced diet and can add in good bacteria without much risk.
There are commercially available probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children. However, it is important to talk to your child’s pediatrician before giving them any probiotic supplement or changing the child’s diet to include probiotic-rich foods.
Do I need to take probiotics after I take antibiotics?
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasn’t been proven yet and doesn’t work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics won’t hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.
Should I try probiotics?
If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, it’s worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally don’t cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.
Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.
This article was provided by Cleveland Clinic.
SHIITAKE AND REISHI (MUSHROOMS)
These are mushrooms that have many health properties. Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) contains a polysaccharide Lentinan that strengthens the immune system by increasing T cell function. It has 18 amino acids, and is rich in b1 B2 and B3 vitamins. When sun dried, they contain high amounts of vitamin D. Their effectiveness in treating cancer is well known. It has been reported in a joint study by the Medical department of Koibe University of Nippon Kinoko Institute in Japan.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) mushrooms have been popular for over 2000 years. Today both Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms are used to treat a variety of disorders and to promote vitality. They deal with problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol, low immunity, fatigue and viral infections. They are known to have anti tumor properties very valuable in treating cancer. Supplements are available fresh, dried, or extracted in pills and capsules,
Trouble with constipation? Cathartics may not be the best idea. Try Psyllium. Available in various forms ,some may know Metamucil, Psyllium is the main ingredient.
This article from Mt. Sinai will give a comprehensive look at this fibre.
Psyllium is a soluble fiber used primarily as a gentle bulk-forming laxative in products such as Metamucil. It comes from a shrub-like herb called Plantago ovata that grows worldwide but is most common in India. Each plant can produce up to 15,000 tiny, gel-coated seeds, from which psyllium husk is derived.
The soluble fiber found in psyllium husks can help lower cholesterol. Psyllium can help relieve both constipation and diarrhea, and is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and other intestinal problems. Psyllium has also been used to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. When psyllium husk comes in contact with water, it swells and forms a gelatin-like-mass that helps transport waste through the intestinal tract. Several large population based studies also suggest that increased fiber intake may reduce risk of colon cancer, but other studies have been conflicting.
After some promising early studies, newer results examining whether a high fiber diet protects against colon cancer have been mixed. Most large, well-designed studies have found only a slight association between fiber intake and colorectal cancer risk. In addition, fiber does not appear to protect against the recurrence of colorectal cancer.
Many well-designed studies have shown that psyllium relieves constipation. When combined with water, it swells and produces more bulk, which stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract. Psyllium is widely used as a laxative in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Studies suggest that a high-fiber diet may help lower insulin and blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. It may also reduce the chance of developing diabetes in those who are at risk.
Psyllium can also be used to help relieve mild-to-moderate diarrhea. It soaks up a significant amount of water in the digestive tract, making stool firmer and slower to pass.
Adding high fiber foods (such as psyllium-enriched cereals) to your diet may help lower heart disease risk. In fact, studies show that a diet high in water-soluble fiber is associated with lower triglyceride levels, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Your doctor may recommend psyllium to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
High Blood Pressure
Although studies are not entirely conclusive, adding fiber to your diet, particularly psyllium, may help lower blood pressure. In one study, 6 months of supplementation with psyllium fiber significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in overweight people with hypertension.
Soluble fibers, such as those in psyllium husk, guar gum, flax seed, and oat bran, can help lower cholesterol when added to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Studies have shown psyllium can lower total, as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. In combination with cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, psyllium provides an added benefit to reducing cholesterol levels.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Although studies suggest conflicting results, some physicians recommend psyllium for mild-to-moderate cases of diarrhea from either ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease (another type of inflammatory bowel disorder). In one study of people with ulcerative colitis, psyllium was as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine (Pentasa, Rowasa, Asacol) in maintaining remission. However, for some people with IBD, too much psyllium can make symptoms worse. Work closely with your doctor to decide how much fiber is right for you.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Several studies have found that soluble fiber (including psyllium) helps relieve some symptoms of IBS, such as diarrhea and constipation. Other studies, however, have found mixed results.
Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may make you feel fuller and reduce hunger cravings.
This substance comes from psyllium seed and psyllium husk. Psyllium is also added to some cereals to increase fiber content.
Standard preparations of psyllium are available in dry seed or husk form, to be mixed with water as needed. Psyllium is an ingredient in some commercially-prepared laxatives. It also comes in capsules, tablets, and wafers.
How to Take It
Children should get fiber from their diet. Give a child psyllium supplements only under a doctor’s supervision.
If you use a commercial product that contains psyllium, follow the package directions.
If you are not used to taking psyllium, it is best to begin with a low dose (such as 1/2 tsp. in an 8 oz. glass of water once a day), then gradually increase the dose as needed.
Your health care provider may recommend higher doses of psyllium to treat certain conditions. You can take psyllium first thing in the morning or before bedtime.
Because supplements may have side effects or interact with medications, you should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Psyllium supplements may reduce or delay the absorption of certain medications (See Possible Interactions). As a rule, you should not take psyllium supplements at the same time as other medications. Take psyllium at least 1 hour before or 2 to 4 hours after taking other medications.
You should always take psyllium with a full 8 oz. glass of water, and you should drink at least 6 to 8 full glasses of water throughout the day to avoid constipation. Taking psyllium supplements without adequate liquids may cause it to swell, and, in extreme cases, cause choking.
DO NOT take this product if you have bowel obstructions or spasms, or if you have difficulty swallowing. People with esophageal stricture (narrowing of the esophagus) or any other narrowing or obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract should not take psyllium.
A potential side effect from any fiber product is gas and bloating.
People with kidney disease should talk to their doctor before taking psyllium.
If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use psyllium supplements without first talking to your health care provider.
Antidepressant medications, Tricyclics
Dietary fiber has been shown to lower the blood levels and effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressant medications in some people. If you take tricyclic antidepressants, talk to your doctor before taking psyllium. Tricyclic antidepressants include:
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Doxepin (Sinequan)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
Taking psyllium with carbamazepine, a medication used to treat seizures, may decrease the absorption and effectiveness of carbamazepine.
Cholesterol-lowering medications (bile acid sequestrants)
Taking psyllium with cholesterol-lowering medications called bile acid sequestrants may help further lower cholesterol levels and may reduce side effects of colestipol. Talk to your doctor about whether this may be an option for you. Bile acid sequestrants include:
- Cholestyramine (Questram)
- Colestipol (Colestid)
Fiber supplements may reduce levels of blood sugar, making the possibility of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) more likely. Talk to your doctor before taking fiber supplements, as your dose of diabetes medications may need to be adjusted.
Fiber supplements may reduce the absorption of digoxin, a medication used to regulate heart function. You should not take fiber supplements at the same time as digoxin.
Psyllium may lower lithium levels in the blood, reducing the effectiveness of this medication. If you are taking both psyllium and lithium, you should take them at least 1 to 2 hours apart, and your doctor should closely monitor your lithium levels.
SILYMARIN (MILK THISTLE)
The liver goes through tremendous work in keeping the body clean and poison free, Milk thistle may be an excellent consideration as a supplement in protecting this extremely valuable organ.
This article from the Mayo Clinic will best explain the benefits and contraindications of Silymarin use.
Milk thistle is a plant named for the white veins on its large prickly leaves.
One of the active ingredients in milk thistle called silymarin is extracted from the plant’s seeds. Silymarin is believed to have antioxidant properties.
Milk thistle is sold as an oral capsule, tablet and liquid extract. People mainly use the supplement to treat liver conditions.
Research on milk thistle use for specific conditions shows:
- Diabetes. Milk thistle might lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes, but more studies are needed to confirm its benefits.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Milk thistle, in combination with other supplements, might improve the symptoms of indigestion.
- Liver disease. Research on the effects of milk thistle on liver disease, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis C, has shown mixed results.
Milk thistle might play a role in treating certain liver conditions.
Safety and side effects
Taken in appropriate doses, oral use of milk thistle appears to be safe.
Milk thistle can cause:
- Gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting and abdominal bloating
If you have diabetes, use milk thistle with caution, since the supplement might lower blood sugar. There is also concern that milk thistle might affect estrogen levels. If you have breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids, consider avoiding milk thistle.
Milk thistle can cause an allergic reaction, including a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). An allergic reaction is more common in people who are allergic to other plants in the Asteraceae family, such as ragweed, daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums.
Possible interactions include:
- Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates. Taking milk thistle might affect this enzyme and drugs it processes, such as diazepam (Valium), warfarin (Jantoven) and others. This means milk thistle might affect the levels of these drugs in your body.
- Diabetes medications. Milk thistle might lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes. Closely monitor your blood sugar levels, and talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle supplements if you take diabetes medications.
- Raloxifene (Evista). Milk thistle may affect how your liver processes this osteoporosis medication, causing higher levels of the drug in your bloodstream. Talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle if you’re taking raloxifene.
- Simeprevir. Taking milk thistle with this hepatitis C medication might increase levels of the drug in your blood plasma. Avoid using milk thistle and simeprevir together.
- Sirolimus (Rapamune). Taking milk thistle with this immunosuppressant might change the way your body processes the medication.
Colostrum is a thin yellowish fluid secreted by the mammary glands of mammalian mothers in the first days after giving birth. before the production of true milk begins. It contains high levels of proteins and growth factors as well as immune factors that help to protect the newborn against infection.
Taken as a supplement, colostrum can boost the immune system and build lean muscle. it may also accelerate the healing of injuries, increase stamina and have an anti aging effect. Supplemental colostrum usually contains Bovine (cow) colostrum .