Tone your Abs,Triceps, Inner Thighs, and Butt with Muscle Gauge!

November 28, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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www.mgnstore.com Check out simple, yet challenging exercise moves you can do in the comfort of your own home to tone up your abs, triceps, inner thighs, and glutes. Get tight and lean with consistent exercise, weight training, and proper nutrition with Muscle Gauge products today!

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Scott York Fitness Tip – Tight Upper Back Solution

October 14, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Subscribe for more! youtube.com Tweet me! twitter.com If you exercise for any length of period, you’re eventually going to get tight knotted up muscles. I get them from time to time in my upper back area. Here’s a useful tip to help overcome knotted up muscles using a tennis ball. Scott York has been in the fitness industry for nearly 30 years. Scott has been certified by NASM, ISSA and others as a personal fitness trainer. Scott is married and has 3 young children so he knows how tough it is to stay in shape when you’re responsible for others as well as yourself. This youtube channel is designed to help you get in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle whether you are a beginner or and advanced fitness enthusiast looking to pick up new tips. Topics covered at this channel include: exercise, rehab, mindset, fitness challenges, nutrition, healthy snacks for kids, and much more. Please subscribe to get the latest tips! Thanks 🙂

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Bodybuilding and Fitness (useful links in description)

August 5, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Are you interested or active in bodybuilding and fitness ?! Then please check out the links below to get closer to your dream body. Body Re-Engineering Bodybuilding System: 87cbbkuctj447wa737uf4tbmae.hop.clickbank.net Female contest secrets: b1273jv5rqxb6v47-ew83almdb.hop.clickbank.net Stage ready nutrition and training: 6d89esw5pi7h1s6et06aulexf1.hop.clickbank.net How to attract and date muscular women: 7bfd6gm0lr57cu17n1nw7mbycx.hop.clickbank.net How to make money in bodybuilding and fitness: 6002amvzjovc9z04ngqdymfyiw.hop.clickbank.net Some other links: 56a81jkcwh192pagzeql66ocn5.hop.clickbank.net 3dfa7dk6rsz48nbbe58t6v2lbp.hop.clickbank.net 59e80ej-we0f5sb2x0ycra4hh-.hop.clickbank.net 4c611sn0poua1k7ezcl7gvcw53.hop.clickbank.net 2e161jvbvl4g4nc1dbjojzw-ht.hop.clickbank.net baa0dou8pnzc0yf6iu-9e5pk4h.hop.clickbank.net aa693ixbvl5g1tabs8-ir2lm4w.hop.clickbank.net 76ce1fj3vnucak58edutlxfpfq.hop.clickbank.net 99d8fmvzjk0g9m2808sd0c9t7l.hop.clickbank.net ca085hlzkh0acv0d6t3ercw90s.hop.clickbank.net 57382jobrr1fdl3kw6vfunoa3j.hop.clickbank.net 83da6ds5oq5hard5h0q6skgkak.hop.clickbank.net All images from Photobucket. (No copyright infringement intended. Audio: www.newgrounds.com

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Exercise and Fitness Tips: CR Body Shop Promo Video for Fitness and Exercise

June 23, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Christopher Ruiz, celebrity personal trainer for Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Century City, talks about CR BODY SHOP. He discusses how he became a trainer, his motivation for creating a premier fitness company, and his commitment to excellence. If you are an athlete, executive celebrity requiring state of the art training from a professional body builder, nutritionist with a professional background in physical therapy, please visit www.beverlyhillspersonalfitnesstraining.com. Additional contact information and resources listed in this video.

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Naturally Reducing Prostate Inflammation

May 23, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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www.iHealthTube.com Dr. Aaron Katz on how the amount of fat content we eat is linked to cancer, inflammation and other health conditions. He advises the use of Zyflamend to interfere with inflammation. Twitter twitter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com Myspace: profile.myspace.com

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Is Estrogen Making You Fat?

May 10, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Dr. Sherrill Sellman on how excessive amounts of estrogen and the eliminating of progesterone can make women gain weight. For more information, visit www.ihealthtube.com Twitter: twitter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com Myspace: profile.myspace.com

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Natural Remedies for Prostate Health

May 6, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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www.iHealthTube.com Dr. Aaron Katz offers alternative natural remedies to keep the prostate healthy and treat prostate symptoms and conditions. For more natural health videos visit http Joseph Mercola is now on ihealthtube. Twitter: twitter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com Myspace: profile.myspace.com

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Progesterone: The Cinderella Hormone

April 13, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Dr. Sherrill Sellman shares her personal experience with the hormone progesterone and how it helped her and could help other woman deal with perimenopause and menopausal women. For more information, visit www.ihealthtube.com

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Who Needs Progesterone?

April 12, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Dr. Sherrill Sellman provides a list for how women can assess if they need to supplement the progesterone hormone. For more information, visit www.ihealthtube.com

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How to Improve Your Bone Health

April 9, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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Dr. Sherrill Sellman lists several tips of what we can do to improve women’s bone health at any age. For more information, visit www.ihealthtube.com

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Thyroid Issues

April 3, 2011 by  
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I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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www.ihealthtube.com Dr. Sherrill Sellman the many problems women can have with their thyroid and what health problems hypothyroidism can cause, including weight gain. She says most hormonal issues are associated with the thyroid. For more information, visit http *Rate – Comment – Subscribe* Twitter: twitter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com Myspace: profile.myspace.com

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Best Aerobic Exercise?

January 21, 2011 by  
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Which is the best aerobic exercise and which aren’t that good. BodyPerformanceTV.com

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Winter health superstar: cinnamon

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under DIABETES, HEART AND STROKE

There is nothing more mouth-watering than the aroma of baking apfel strudel in the oven on a cold, snowy day in January. Mind you, I am no baking expert so I must confess that the apfel strudel is the frozen type from the supermarket.

Apfel strudel is the apple pie in the Alpine regions of Europe and its wonderful smell comes from the combination of apples and cinnamon. Such a healthy combination, I would say.

Cinnamon is an essential ingredient of many pastries and recipes, including apple pies, pumpkin pies, rice pudding and of course ginger bread. However, aside from being a yummy condiment, cinnamon has some medicinal benefits. Especially against diabetes.

Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree Cinnamomum zeylanicum. I had the pleasure of meeting a cinnamon tree in Brazil about 10 years. According to WedMD, there are 2 varieties of cinnamon, the Ceylon and the Cassia and the latter is the one that we commonly use in our kitchen.

Benefits

Several studies have shown cinnamon to be an effective antiglycemic agent, e.g. a compound for lowering blood sugar. And it does this in a very effective and sustainable way – by decreasing insulin resistance.

Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease. There are many drugs out there which are used to treat diabetes by controlling sugar levels. However, as the diseases progresses, these medications lose their efficacy because of increasing insulin resistance. This leads to use of add-on medications that will also eventually lose their efficacy. Cinnamon, on the other hand, control sugar levels by improving insulin resistance.

Aside from improving sugar levels, some studies also reported that cinnamon may have cardiovascular benefits by lowering cholesterol levels.

Cinnamon is available as a herbal supplements and can be purchased without prescription.

Caveats

However, before launching on a cinnamon supplementation therapy, patients should be aware that cinnamon is counterindicated in patients with liver problems. It can also interact with other herbal supplements such as:

In addition, cinnamon may also interact with other medications. Interactions can cause toxicity that may be potentially life-threatening. Therefore, CHECK WITH YOUR DIABETES EXPERT BEFORE STARTING ON A SPECIAL THERAPY!!!

Nutritional info

The table below was taken from www.whfoods.com.

Nutritional info for ground cinnamon, 2 tsp = 4.52 grams = 11.84 calories

Nutrient Amount

DV (%)

Nutrient Density WHF Rating
manganese 0.76 mg

38.

57.8 excellent
dietary fiber 2.48 g

9.9

15.1 very good
iron 1.72 mg

9.6

14.5 very good
calcium 5 5.68 mg 5.6 8.5 very good

Can fish oil stop breast cancer in its tracks?

September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

Fish oil has been touted to prevent cardiovascular disease. Now this heart-friendly supplement has another health benefit: lowering the risk for breast cancer. Fish oil supplements contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, substances that are beneficial to heart health and apparently also have some anticancer benefits.

This was revealed in a study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The study participants consisted of 35,016 postmenopausal women with no family history of breast cancer. The women completed a questionnaire on vitamin use. After 6 years, a total of 880 study participants were diagnosed with breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer was reduced by 32% among those who regularly took fish oil supplements. The protective effects of fish oil seem to be true only for invasive ductal breast cancer, which is the most common form of the disease.

What about other supplements?

Other forms of “specialty supplements” that are used to treat menopausal complaints do not seem to have an effect on cancer risk.

This is the first ever study to report the anti-cancer benefits of fish oil and although the results are promising, and even exciting, experts warn that more studies are needed before they can truly recommend fish oil as preventive measure against breast cancer. Previous studies on fish oil intake obtained inconsistent and inconclusive results.

According to study author Dr. Emily White,

“It may be that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements is higher than most people would typically get from their diet. Without confirming studies specifically addressing this, we should not draw any conclusions about a causal relationship.”

According to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health

“It is very rare that a single study should be used to make a broad recommendation. Over a period of time, as the studies confirm each other, we can start to make recommendations.”

I do not think I would start taking fish oil supplements now but I think this news is comforting for those who are already taking the supplements for heart problems that they might be fighting two monster diseases with just one pill. Or is it too good to be true?

In the meantime, more research studies are being planned and we hope that we will have the answers soon.

Folate and lung cancer

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

As scientists continue to unravel the genetics of cancer, other researchers are also discovering ways of using these information in preventing or slowing down cancer.

Take for example lung cancer. Studies have identified a high number of genetic mutations in the lungs of smokers. Furthermore, the carcinogens that cause their mutations vary depending on the cigarettes, their ingredients and how they are manufactured.

But knowing the genetic mechanisms of cancer is not enough. Steven Belinsky of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico and his colleagues studied more than 1000 current and former smokers and report possible ways of slowing down  lung cancer even if not being able to beat it completely. And it is something that you can do all by yourself through lifestyle change. The answer lies in your diet. The research results indicate that genetic changes that lead to lung cancer is less severe among those who ate leafy green vegetables , multivitamins and foods rich with folate.

According to Dr. Belinsky:

“These studies do in fact indicate that substances in these food groups and in the multivitamins could potentially retard the processes by which these gene changes occur in the smoker.’’

The researchers identified sputum samples of smokers eight genes  which are commonly “silenced” in lung cancer patients and strongly associated with risk for this disease.

Folate is a vitamin commonly associated with pregnancy to prevent fetal defects such as spina bifida. However, everybody needs folate. According to World’ Healthiest Food, folate

So what are foods that are rich in folate?

Table 1: Selected Food Sources of Folate and Folic Acid

Food Micrograms (μg) % DV^
*Breakfast cereals fortified with 100% of the DV, ¾ cup 400 100
Beef liver, cooked, braised, 3 ounces 185 45
Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature, cooked, boiled, ½ cup 105 25
*Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV, ¾ cup 100 25
Spinach, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup 100 25
Great Northern beans, boiled, ½ cup 90 20
Asparagus, boiled, 4 spears 85 20
*Rice, white, long-grain, parboiled, enriched, cooked, ½ cup 65 15
Vegetarian baked beans, canned, 1 cup 60 15
Spinach, raw, 1 cup 60 15
Green peas, frozen, boiled, ½ cup 50 15
Broccoli, chopped, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 50 15
*Egg noodles, cooked, enriched, ½ cup 50 15
Broccoli, raw, 2 spears (each 5 inches long) 45 10
Avocado, raw, all varieties, sliced, ½ cup sliced 45 10
Peanuts, all types, dry roasted, 1 ounce 40 10
Lettuce, Romaine, shredded, ½ cup 40 10
Wheat germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons 40 10
Tomato Juice, canned, 6 ounces 35 10
Orange juice, chilled, includes concentrate, ¾ cup 35 10
Turnip greens, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup 30 8
Orange, all commercial varieties, fresh, 1 small 30 8
*Bread, white, 1 slice 25 6
*Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice 25 6
Egg, whole, raw, fresh, 1 large 25 6
Cantaloupe, raw, ¼ medium 25 6
Papaya, raw, ½ cup cubes 25 6
Banana, raw, 1 medium 20 6

Source: Office of Dietary Supplement, National Institutes for Health (ODS)

How much folate do we need?

Table 2: Recommended Dietary Allowances for Folate for Children and Adults [10]

Age
(years)
Males and Females
(μg/day)
Pregnancy
(μg/day)
Lactation
(μg/day)
1-3 150 N/A N/A
4-8 200 N/A N/A
9-13 300 N/A N/A
14-18 400 600 500
19+ 400 600 500

*1 DFE = 1 μg food folate = 0.6 μg folic acid from supplements and fortified foods

Source: Office of Dietary Supplement, National Institutes for Health (ODS)

Special warning

Folate from natural sources is not linked to any health risks. However, folate supplements in the form of folic acid can be toxic if taken in large amounts.

According to ODS:

Beware of the interaction between vitamin B12 and folic acid.

Intake of supplemental folic acid should not exceed 1,000 micrograms (μg) per day to prevent folic acid from triggering symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency [10]. Folic acid supplements can correct the anemia associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, folic acid will not correct changes in the nervous system that result from vitamin B12 deficiency. Permanent nerve damage can occur if vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated.

It is very important for older adults to be aware of the relationship between folic acid and vitamin B12 because they are at greater risk of having a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are 50 years of age or older, ask your physician to check your B12 status before you take a supplement that contains folic acid. If you are taking a supplement containing folic acid, read the label to make sure it also contains B12 or speak with a physician about the need for a B12 supplement.

Vitamin D and calcium do not prevent breast cancer

March 3, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Here is another study from the Women’s Health Initiative that gives disappointing results. At least disappointing for those who are big fans of vitamins and other dietary supplements.

Previous studies suggested that vitamin D supplements may lead to a reduction in breast cancer risk. The current research by UCLA researchers looked at 36,282 postmenopausal women who were randomly assigned to two groups. One group took a pill containing 1,000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D every day while the other group took placebo which was identical in appearance to the vitamin pill. This way, the participants were not aware which drug they were taking. The study was originally designed to study the effects of supplements, especially calcium on the incidence of hip fractures. Fractures due to osteoporosis are quite common among women of postmenopausal age and calcium supplements are prescribed as primary care preventive measure. Vitamin D is also known to contribute to bone health and prevent rickets.

Unfortunately, the main findings of the study say

Calcium and vitamin D supplementation did not reduce invasive breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women. In addition, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were not associated with subsequent breast cancer risk. These findings do not support a relationship between total vitamin D intake and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with breast cancer risk.

This wasn’t the first disappointing news regarding vitamin supplementation and cancer. Late last year, the National Cancer Institute prematurely stopped the SELECT trial which investigated the efficacy of selenium and Vitamin E in preventing prostate cancer – with negative results.

There have been many reports that vitamins and other nutritional supplements do not necessarily give us health benefits. Many health experts discourage the use of supplements with the exception perhaps of vitamin D. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, revised its guidelines last year to double the dose of vitamin D supplements for children to prevent vitamin D deficiency and rickets. This is in addition to the fact that baby formula and milk products in the US are fortified with vitamin D.

Recent research studies are putting a question mark on the benefits of vitamin supplementation and the current study also puts to doubt the necessity of vitamin D supplements, which taken in excessive amounts, can actually be toxic.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has compiled some facts and figures on supplementation, as given below:

Selenium and vitamin E supplements do not prevent prostate cancer

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

A disappointing end to an otherwise promising clinical trial. It was known as the SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial) and it evaluated whether supplementation with selenium and Vitamin E can prevent prostate cancer. The large-scale long-term study of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) included more than 35,000 male participants in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada. They were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: group 1 took vitamin E only, group 2 took selenium only, group 3 took both, and group 4 took placebos only.

After, on the average, 5 years of follow up, the NCI decided to cut short the study because of “concerning” findings, namely:

The “slight increased risks” observed were not statistically significant, and could therefore be due to pure chance. However, with such major health risks, there are no taking chances. One thing remains clear: that supplementation with vitamin E and selenium do not prevent prostate cancer.

This is not the first indication that supplementation with vitamins and minerals may actually have adverse effects to our health. In 2007, Danish researchers conducted a meta-analysis of studies on the antioxidant supplementation with beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins A, C, and E. The results of the study suggest that antioxidant supplements do not prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease but may even increase the risk of overall mortality.

Several studies evaluated whether antioxidant supplements can prevent other types of cancer, with negative results. In one study, the authors concluded that “we could not find convincing evidence that antioxidant supplements prevent gastrointestinal cancers.”

Does this mean to say we don’t actually need all these supposedly essential vitamins and minerals? Actually we do. It is just we are probably using the wrong sources. Millions of people are swallowing vitamin pills each day as part of their “healthy lifestyles.” The multivitamin manufacturing has been a multi-billion industry because most of these “health supplements” are available over the counter without the need of any prescription. Vitamin pills are convenient and easy, can be taken on the go, can fit in the smallest of handbags, don’t spoil, and no need to wash, peel, slice or puree. But are they really the best for us? The abovementioned studies indicate that the answer is “No.”

These are no substitutes for the vitamins and minerals we get from fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Nature is still the best source of our nutritional needs.

Resource post for October: Alternative supplements to lower your cholesterol levels

October 2, 2008 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

There are mainstream pharmacological products and there are alternative natural products. There was a time when these two types of products don’t mix. Nowadays, many health experts not only believe but even recommend the use of alternative or adjunctive therapies in the form of acupuncture, yoga, etc. as well as nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, and herbal medicine.

However, it is always prudent to use these products with caution. While many have been proven to be beneficial to our health and highly effective against certain diseases, there are also many which are suspect and can even have harmful effects.

In this post, I will try to review what the experts say about cholesterol-lowering supplements and alternative products.

Only a few natural products have been proved to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels. The table below from the MayoClinic site gives us a comprehensive overview of the most common alternative cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Cholesterol-lowering supplement

What it does

Side effects and drug interactions

Usual suggested doses 

Artichoke extract

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol

May cause gas or an allergic reaction

1,800 to 1,920 milligrams a day, divided into 2 to 3 doses 

Barley

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

None

3 grams barley oil extract or 30 grams barley bran flour a day 

Beta-sitosterol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Promise Activ)

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

May cause nausea, indigestion, gas, diarrhea or constipation
May be ineffective if you take ezetimibe (Zetia), a prescription cholesterol medication

800 milligrams to 6 grams a day, divided and taken before meals, or 2 tablespoons of margarine containing beta-sitosterol a day 

Blond psyllium (found in seed husk and products such as Metamucil)

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

May cause gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation or nausea

5 grams seed husk twice a day, or 1 serving a day of products such as Metamucil 

Fish oil (found as a liquid oil and in oil-filled capsules)

May reduce triglycerides

May cause a fishy aftertaste, bad breath, gas, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
May interact with some blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin)

2 to 4 grams a day 

Flaxseed, ground

May reduce total triglycerides

May cause, gas, bloating or diarrhea
May interact with some blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix) and warfarin (Coumadin)

40 to 50 grams a day, stirred into cereal or yogurt, or mixed into the batter for baked goods 

Garlic extract

May reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides

May cause bad breath or body odor, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
May interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin)

600 to 1,200 milligrams a day, divided into 3 doses 

Oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole oats)

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

May cause gas or bloating

Up to 150 grams of whole-oat products a day 

Sitostanol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Benecol)

May reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

May cause diarrhea

800 milligrams to 4 grams a day, or 4 1/2 teaspoons of margarine containing sitostanol a day 

 Other products not on the list are the following oriental herbal medicine (Sources: Mayo Clinic; Cleveland Clinic)

  • Guggulipid comes from the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora whighitii).
  • The root extract from Costus speciosus is said to be antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipemic and antioxidative effects
  • Bofutsushosan which is a Japanese herbal medicine seems to have a similar effect.
  • Cinnamon
  • Noni juice is an extract from the fruit of Morinda citrifolia which grows in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Red yeast rice, an extract of Monascus purpureus has been reported to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health (see previous post). However, the US FDA has issued a warning concerning three brands of red yeast rice because they were found to contain unknown quantities of lovastatin. High doses of lovastatin is associated with muscle and kidney problems.

The following plant extracts are said to be rich in flavonoids which inhibit LDL oxidation:

Supplements and herbal medicine are available without prescription. However, before we embark on a certain therapy or start on a new drug, we must keep several things in mind.

  •  It is absolutely necessary that you discuss with your doctor before starting on an alternative drug or therapy. Different kinds of medicine, alternative or mainstream, may interact with one another to produce undesirable and sometimes dangerous effects. For example, garlic can lead to prolonged bleeding and longer blood clotting time, so that garlic and garlic supplements should not be taken with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin.
  • We should be cautious of using supplements that are not certified by health authorities. Some imported traditional medicine may turn out to be contaminated, much worse – counterfeits.
  • Remember – it is also important that any therapy should be complemented by a healthy lifestyle and diet.

You can also check out this highly informative podcast by a health expert at MayoClinic:

Podcast: Cholesterol-lowering supplements – Which work and which don’t?

 

Photo credit at stock.xchng:

Know your medications: Red yeast rice extract- good or bad for the heart?

July 30, 2008 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Red yeast extract also know as Xuezhikang or XZK for short, has been the subject of great controversy. Is it or is not good for cardiovascular health?

On August 9, 2007, the US FDA issued a warning to consumers against the use of red yeast rice products in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. These products which are sold as nutritional supplements (and therefore bought over-the-counter (OTC)) contain lovastatin, the active ingredient of anti-cholesterol prescription drugs such as Mevacor.

According to the FDA:

These red yeast rice products are a threat to health because the possibility exists that lovastatin can cause severe muscle problems leading to kidney impairment. This risk is greater in patients who take higher doses of lovastatin or who take lovastatin and other medicines that increase the risk of muscle adverse reactions. These medicines include the antidepressant nefazodone, certain antibiotics, drugs used to treat fungal infections and HIV infections, and other cholesterol-lowering medications.

In addition, FDA has disapproved applications by pharmaceutical companies for OTC marketing of lovastatin.

XZK is an extract from the red yeast rice Monascus purpureus and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Monascus purpureus is not a rice plant but actually a species of mold with reddish color commonly found growing on grains like rice and maize, hence the name.

In a recent study known as the Chinese Coronary Secondary Prevention Study, researchers investigated the long-term efficacy of XZK on the reduction of recurrent cardiovascular events. The multicenter study included4870 Chinese patients aged 18 to 70 years old with average LDL-cholesterol levels. The participants were followed up for an average of 4.5 years.

The study results show the following:

  • XZK treatment showed a 45% risk reduction for myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease,
  • cardiovascular events significantly decreased by 39%
  • Total mortality was decreased by 33%
  • The need for coronary revascularization decreased by 1/3
  • Total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides decreased
  • HDL cholesterol levels increased.
  • Cancer risk was also significantly reduced.

 

The XZK capsules used in the study contained many components, including lovastatin, lovastatin hydroxyl acid, and ergosterol. Although lovastatin is indicated for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, the authors believe that this component alone is not responsible for the all the health benefits of red yeast rice extract. More in-depth analysis of the chemical components is necessary to identify all the beneficial ingredients.

The authors conclude that

…long-term therapy with XZK significantly decreased the recurrence of coronary events and the occurrence of new CV events and deaths, improved lipoprotein regulation, and was safe and well tolerated.

 Sources:

FDA News, 9 August 2007

Am J Cardiol. 2008 Jun 15;101(12):1689-93

Heartwire, 12 June 2008

Photo credit: Mayo Clinic

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.