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Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Advantages of Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract is a natural source of a powerful antioxidant called OPC. It is twenty and fifty times more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E respectively. In addition, grape seed extract is good for brain support and eye health as it possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties besides being an environmentally friendly antioxidant.

Grape seed extract can support the treatment of aging by stopping the onset of degenerative mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, and also by slowing down the outer aging process. Grape seed extract is also used in the treatment of cancer by suppressing tumor growth and providing protection against the effects of internal and external stresses. Another benefit of grape seed extract is that it is helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia, a disorder known by its chronic pain in the muscles.

Grape seed extract has been known to help in the treatment of the following health concerns.

Treatment of High Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Grape seed extract has the ability to lower cholesterol levels and thereby support heart health. The powerful antioxidants in grape seed extract helps improve the strength of blood vessels and increasing blood flow to help prevent heart disease and stroke. It also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis or development of plaques in the blood vessels.

Treatment of Aging and Skincare

The benefits of grape seed extract also include its excellent skincare properties. Grape seed extract helps to bind to collagen much better than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. This promotes youthful skin, healthy cells, cellular elasticity, flexibility, and generally helps in the treatment of aging. For this reason, gape seed extract is one of the most effective ingredients in skincare and spa treatments, and is used in many beauty creams.

Grape seed extract is often used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. The presence of flavonoids in grape seed extract can prevent allergic reactions that can cause eczema. Grape seed extract also helps in restoring the normal functioning of the tissues.

Treatment of Allergies

Grape seed extract works as a natural antihistamine and helps in the treatment of a number of allergies. It also helps in controlling the symptoms of allergic reactions, such as sneezing and chest congestion. Grape seed extract can also help in the treatment of endometriosis, a menstrual disorder. The release of prostaglandins during endometriosis generates inflammation and pain.

Support in Eye Health

Grape seed extract can help regulate the blood flow in eyes and so prevent and treat various eye health concerns. Grape seed extract helps in preventing free-radical damage, a leading cause of macular degeneration and cataracts, the most common causes of blindness in older people.

 

Benefits of Wheatgrass

Chlorophyll and Haemoglobin

The effects of wheatgrass are attributed to its high chlorophyll content – over 70 percent of the plant’s solid content is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a plant’s version of haemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen in humans. Chlorophyll and haemoglobin are similar in structure, the main difference being that in harmoglobin the central element is iron (which gives our blood the red color) while in chlorophyll it is magenesium. Chlorophyll converts sunlight into energy, which is stored in the plant – a reason why wheatgrass juice is sometimes nicknamed ‘liquid sunshine’.

A Powerful Antiseptic

Chlorophyll is a powerful antiseptic and detoxifying agent, explaining why wheatgrass has been used successfully for a variety o finternal and external infections (e.g. sinusitis), as well as to hasten skin grafting and wound healing as a gargle for sore throats and to prevent tooth decay, and in bowel cleansing programs. Research also indecates chlorphyll has anti-mutagenic properties, and therefore may be able to inhibit or reduce cancer formation.

Vitamin-rich Superfood

Wheatgrass contains vitamins (A, C, E and various Bs), amino acids, antioxidant enzymes that aid in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, minerals (calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron, manganese, potassium and selenium), plus it’s a good source of MSM, a sulphur containing molecule that reduces inflammation and allergy-type reactions and detoxifies the body. Enthusiasts who take it regularly often comment on the energy ‘hit’ they get from wheatgrass; this is most likely a combination of teh concentrated nutrition present and its detoxification properties.

Research Briefs

– Thalassemia Major. This hereditary disease affects the harmoglobin in red blood cells. Patients are usually dependent on repeated blood transfusions and are at risk of anemia, spleen enlargement and bone marrow problmes. An Indian pilot study (2004) found that taking 100 ml of wheatgrass juice daily dramatically reduced the transfusion requirements of patients with thalassemia major – by over 25 percent in half the patients in the study, and by over 40 percent in thress cases. The average interval between transfusions also incrased by 29.5 percent.

– Foetal Haemoglobin. A wheatgrass extract has been used in a preliminary trial at the Murdoch Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The extract was tested on cells to see if it could cause a significant increase in fortal haemoglobin. (This harmoglobin develops in the foetus and has an extremely high affinity for oxygen. After birth it is not so essential and the levels fall in adults to only around two percent of our total haemoglobin.) The trial found that using the wheatgrass extract over a 5-day period suggested a 3 to 5 fold incrase in the production of fortal haemoglobin. This could explain why some thalassemia patients in the Indian study experienced benefits from the juice although it also indicates these benefits are not due to the chlorophyll content, as the extract contains almost no chlorophyll.

– Ulcerative Colitis. A 2002 double-blind Israeli study showed that regular use of wheatgrass juicecan be useful in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. Patients took either 100 cc of wheatgrass juice or a placebo daily for a month. Treatment with the wheatgrass juice was associated with significant reductions in the overall disease activity and in the severity of rectal bleeding.

User’s Guide

Wheatgrass is widely available at juice bars, health food shops and cafes. You can also buy wheatgrass sprouter kits from healthfood stores and juice your own sprouts at home.

When drinking wheatgrass juice, mix it well with your saliva before swallowing – this improves digestion as well as supporting oral hygiene.

 

Role of Vitamin E in Lupus Treatment

What can vitamin E do to relieve the signs and symptoms of lupus? The answer to that question begins with looking more closely with what we are up against. The most dangerous and common type of lupus disease is Systemic lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which can affect and damage any of the body’s organs such as skin, liver, kidney, joints, blood vessels, brain, blood, and nervous system. The second most common type of lupus disease is Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE), which only affects skin. The signs and symptoms of this type of lupus are skin rash and scaly sores appearing on the face, neck, and chest. The signs and symptoms of SLE will be specific to the part of the body affected, although usually the rash is also present, and can often be misdiagnosed as a different disease.

The other major sign and symptoms of lupus, common to both SLE and DLE, include chronic inflammation in various parts of the body. This causes free radicals to be released, reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that reek havoc amongst healthy cells in the body. Free-radicals are extremely destructive and so increase the severity of lupus symptoms, causing more discomfort to sufferers.

Luckily, rampaging free-radicals can be “mopped up” by antioxidants, a group of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are immensely powerful in restoring and maintaining the body’s health. It is vitamin E’s membership of this elite group that makes it helpful in the treatment of lupus. But there is also moreā€¦

The Properties of Vitamin E

Vitamin C, E, and beta carotene are recommended by doctors to treat lupus. Vitamin E posses many useful properties that help in the treatment of lupus disease:

1. It’s a Powerful Antioxidant: Intake of Alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol), a form of Vitamin E, is a natural way to treat lupus disease. A-tocopherol is the most active form of Vitamin E and a powerful antioxidant, which protects the body from the ill effects of free radicals and the damage caused by them. Because of its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E plays a key role in protecting body from a number of chronic disorders, besides lupus disease, that affect various parts of the body. Vitamin E does this by donating its own electrons to make a pair with a free radical’s unpaired one, thereby “neutralizing” its destructiveness.

2. It Reduces the Levels of Cytokines: Vitamin E also plays an important role in the treatment of lupus disease because it possesses the ability to control the levels of pro – and anti – inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a group of proteins and peptides, which work as signaling compounds and play important roles in the immune system function.

3. A study conducted on mice showed that Vitamin E can significantly lower the levels of inflammatory cytokines, and inhibit the main symptom of lupus disease: inflammation.

Another study conducted on 67 people suffering from DLE showed that high doses (1,500 to 3,000 IU) of Vitamin E per day for 19 months along with pantothenic acid helped to treat DLE to great extent. However individual doses of pantothenic acid were ineffective in the treatment of lupus disease. With vitamin supplements, as with so many things in life, commitment is crucial.

What Next?

Now that we know Vitamin E has a number of properties making it beneficial in lupus treatment, we can think about using natural supplements as opposed to synthetic drugs.

Vitamin E in the form of a-tocopherol is available as supplements. The most natural form of a-tocopherol is labeled, confusingly, with a ‘D’, while the synthetic form of this supplement is labeled “DL”. It is the more natural, D, a-tocopherol that is biologically active in the human body, and more easily absorbed to treat the signs and symptoms of lupus. A-tocopherol, vitamin E supplements are often mixed with Vitamin C to make a more effective supplement for the treatment of lupus.