Archive for July, 2008

Resveratrol in Red Wine May Achieve Same Longevity Results as Starvation Dieting

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

How do the French get away with a clean bill of heart health despite a diet loaded with saturated fats? Scientists have long suspected that the answer to the so-called “French paradox” lies in red wine.  Researchers from industry and academia, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Florida, and the open-access journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, report that low doses of resveratrol — a natural constituent of grapes, pomegranates, red wine and other foods — can potentially boost the quality of life by improving heart health in old age. A small amount in the diets of middle-aged mice had a widespread influence on the genetic causes of aging. Specifically, the low dose of resveratrol mimicked the heart-healthy effects of what is known as caloric restriction, diets with 20 to 30 percent fewer calories than a typical diet. The new study is important because it suggests that resveratrol and caloric restriction may govern the same master genetic pathways related to aging. The similarities were remarkable. The new study showed that resveratrol in low doses, beginning in middle age, could elicit many of the same benefits as a reduced-calorie diet. The authors noted that a glass of wine or food or supplements containing even small doses of resveratrol were likely to help stave off cardiac aging.

In the heart, for example, there are at least 1,029 genes whose functions change with age. In animals on restricted diets, 90 percent of those heart genes experienced alterations in gene expression, while low doses of resveratrol thwarted age-related change in 92 percent. The new findings, said the study’s authors, revealed how red wine’s special ingredient helped keep the heart young and stave off cardiac aging. Mitochondria, which are everywhere as the tiny power plants that keep a cell functioning, were affected by resveratrol which seemed to promote mitochondrial health and reduce the cells vulnerability to the oxidative damage that accumulates during the aging process. Viva resveratrol and pass the bottle!

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Dr. Robert Young, “Greens” & the Alkalizing Diet

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

GREENS FIRST contains only 30 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving; mixes easily without a blender; contains 49 super foods, extracts and concentrates including super greens, vegetables, fruits, probiotics, soluble and insoluble fibers, herbs, spices, natural flavonoids, enzymes and lecithin; each 9.4 gram scoop mixed with 6 to 8 oz. of water is proven to have the antioxidant power of 10 plus servings of fruit and vegetables;* contains Certified Organic Fruits and Vegetables.

                   

ALKA-FIZZ is not a medicine to cure any disease. There is no approved therapeutic claim, but it will add bicarbonates [HCO3] to the blood stream. Bicarbonates in the blood stream are one of the primary substances for life and basic elements of nutrition that keep your blood alkaline and available to neutralize acids.*   The decline of bicarbonates in the blood with a corresponding increase of acids and a lowering of the arterial pH may promote aging and chronic conditions.  Some may say that the reduction of bicarbonates is an unavoidable result of aging. However others suggest that the reduction of bicarbonates is the primary cause of physiological aging and by adding bicarbonates we may delay the aging process and prevent age related adult degenerative conditions.  For more information, read the following:  http://www.greensfirst.com/5039/gf_content2.asp?node=83

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10 Easy and Great Health Foods From Your Pantry

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

These 10 great health foods meet at least three of the following criteria: (1) Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients; (2) Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene; (3) May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions;  (4) Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories; and/or (5) Are readily available.

     Almonds – Packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium (more calcium than any other nut w/ 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving or about 23 almonds), and vitamin E.  Also a great plant source of protein and most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat – a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Apples – An excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, and fresh apples are a good source of vitamin C – an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damage, helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.

Blueberries – They’re are a rich source of phytonutrients (plant compounds) which may help prevent urinary tract infections, improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.  One cup of blueberries is also a low-calorie source of approximately 3.6 grams of fiber and 14mg of vitamin C in only 84 calories.    

Broccoli – Broccoli is a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, and broccoli contains phytonutrients – a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C – antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from damage.

Red Beans – Small red beans and dark red kidney beans are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They’re  low-fat and low-calorie sources of protein and dietary fiber, and contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Salmon – Salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and is a good source of protein.  It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which is a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3s may also protect against irregular heartbeats that may cause sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Spinach – Popeye had it right.  Eat your spinach!   The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system, and may help keep your skin and hair healthy.  Spinach is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron and magnesium, and is high in vitamins A and C and folate.

     Sweet Potatoes – You can tell sweet potatoes are high in the antioxidant beta carotene by their deep orange-yellow color. Foods rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also fat-free, low in calories, and are a good source of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium.

 

Vegetable Juice – Vegetable juice is an easy way to include veggies in your diet and includes most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in the original vegetables.  Vegetable juices that include tomato juice, and tomato juice, are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer.  (Be sure to choose low-sodium vegetable juices.)

     Wheat Germ – The wheat germ – the part of the seed that’s responsible for the growth and development of the new plant sprout – is a highly concentrated source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.  It also contains protein, fiber and some fat.    

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S.A.D., or the Standard American Diet

Posted on July 12, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

S.A.D., or the Standard American Diet*, rarely includes the minimum 5-to-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables recommended by the National Cancer Institute and the United States Department of Agriculture.  Their concern is primarily about the epidemic rise of cardio-vascular disease, obesity, cancer and premature aging in the populace.  People will only eat what they like and, quite often, what is convenient.  Our goal is to provide good-tasting, instant and healthy super foods that can help bridge the gap between a S.A.D. and an optimal diet.

 

Greens First is our morning antioxidant blend containing 49 super foods, extracts and concentrates, including super greens, vegetables, fruits, probiotics, soluble and insoluble fibers, herbs, spices, natural flavonoids, enzymes and lecithin.  Each 9.4 gram scoop is easily mixed in 6-8 oz. of water, contains only 30 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, and is proven to have the antioxidant power of 10 plus servings of fruits and vegetables (see our Greens First Scientific White Paper link below).  Greens First contains Certified Organic fruits and vegetables.  Adding Greens First to your diet may help to boost energy, promote a healthy heart, improve digestion, fight aging, promote normal cholesterol, assist weight management, and more.

Greens First Scientific White Paper:  http://www.greensfirst.com/gestion/GreensFirstWhitePaper.pdf

(* The Standard American Diet, aka S.A.D., tends to be high in animal fats, unhealthy saturated and hydrogenated fats, and processed foods, while being low in fiber, complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods.)

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Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, & Goji “Superfruit” Juices Compared

Posted on July 9, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 The Total Antioxidant Capacity, or TAC, of nine various “superfruit” juices were tested by CHOICE (www.choice.com.au) , a fiercely independent consumer organization and the largest one in Australia.  CHOICE receives no government, organization or commercial funds to conduct their independent tests, and their stated goal is to arm consumers with information that will allow them to make confident choices.

CHOICE tested the Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) of nine different superfruit products:  1) four goji juices; 2) two noni juices; 3) two mangosteen juices; and 4) one açai juice.

CHOICE gave the TAC (measured in μmol of trolox equivalents) of a single serve of each product, and showed it as a percentage of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple (5900*) for comparison. CHOICE examined the different brands’ websites as well as their  marketing literature on display where they were sold. CHOICE also reviewed the evidence for health benefits of each product.

* Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2004, 52, 4026-4037.

Açai
Brand tested:  Nu Açai and Guarana, from RioLife (contains 14% açai pulp).
TAC: 1800 per 30 mL
31% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple                               Price Paid:  $12 for 500 ml. (Cost in 2004. Some vendors selling at $41.99/bottle)
The lowdown Amazonian açai, the cherry-sized purple berry fruit of the açai palm, deteriorates rapidly after harvest. This “amazing energy berry” is usually only available outside the Amazon as juice or pulp that’s been frozen, dried or freeze-dried. Pulp can be added to juices or smoothies. The Boost juice bar chain sells an açai and guarana combo juice as the ‘açai NRG shooter’.Açai is reported to contain high levels of anthocyanins, compounds with antioxidant activity that are also responsible for its deep purple colour. According to RioLife’s marketing literature, açai was rated by a doctor on the TV show Oprah as “the #1 food for anti-aging benefits”. Nu Fruits’ website says açai berries have “six times the antioxidant level of blueberries” and touts them as a great source of essential fatty acids and energy, but holds back from making specific health claims.

Research confirms açai’s high antioxidant levels, and lab studies suggest it may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as a possible use in treating heart disease. But human studies on its health effects are yet to be published.

 

 

 

 

 

Goji

Brands tested:

Absolute Red NingXia Wolfberry Purée (100% puréed goji berries).
TAC: 2025 per 25 mL —
34% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Himalayan Goji Juice from FreeLife (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 570 per 30 mL
10% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Medicines From Nature Goji Juice (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 690 per 30 mL —
12% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Tree of Health Goji Juice Blend (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 1440 per 30 mL —
24% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: From $45 to around $85 for  1Liter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            

 

 

The lowdown  The goji berry, or wolfberry, has been cultivated and eaten in Himalayan regions for centuries. According to Absolute Red, goji is “the greatest natural source of antioxidants on the planet”. Dr Earl Mindell, the ‘face’ of FreeLife and reported to be “the world’s foremost authority on the goji berry”, is quoted as saying, “I believe goji juice will have a more powerful benefit on health, well-being and anti-aging than any other product I have seen in the last 40 years.”

Cellular and animal studies have investigated the impact of goji on the growth of human leukemia cells, aging, vision, insulin resistance and infertility, among other things. Results from many show a positive effect, and it’s suggested that polysaccharides unique to goji may play a key role. But good-quality clinical studies providing evidence for reported benefits in humans are lacking. If you take warfarin, see your doctor before drinking goji, as they may interact.

 

Mangosteen

Brands tested:

Xango Whole Fruit Beverage (an undisclosed % of mangosteen, from concentrate).
TAC: 1020 per 30 mL
17% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Xanberry (an undisclosed % of puréed mangosteen).
TAC: 1710 per 30 mL —
29% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: Approx. $50 for 750 mL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

           

The lowdown Mangosteen, Asia’s so-called ‘queen of fruits’, is a tropical fruit with a thick purplish rind and segmented white flesh. It’s purported to contain more xanthones — a compound that may have antioxidant properties — than any other fruit.Literature given to us by a Xango distributor makes strong claims about the fruit, including, “Lab studies show that mangosteen xanthones outperform current chemotherapy drugs in killing liver, lung and stomach cancer cells.” Xanberry marketing talks more generally about the antioxidant power of mangosteen fruit and the benefits of xanthones and antioxidants, but it claims that one bottle of Xanberry has over double the antioxidant levels of goji juice.

Scientific research confirms that a variety of xanthones can be isolated from mangosteen plants and fruits. There are also a number of lab studies that suggest mangosteen extracts may have a use in the treatment of some cancers. But clinical trials on real people are lacking.

 

Noni

Brands tested:

Tahitian Noni Juice (89% noni fruit juice purée).
TAC: 540 per 30 mL
9% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Tree of Health Noni Juice (100% noni fruit juice).
TAC: 525 per 25 mL —
9% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: Approx. $40 to $60 for 1 L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            

The lowdown Noni, a lime-green Polynesian tropical fruit, has a long history of medicinal use. Typically it’s the roots, bark and leaves that are used for different remedies, usually by applying them externally to the skin or to wounds.The website of market leader Tahitian Noni Juice refrains from making extravagant claims about its product. It says the fruit “provides powerful antioxidants, boosts the immune system and increases energy”, the inference being that the juice will too.Tree of Health, however, doesn’t hold back. It quotes a contemporary Hawaiian healer as saying, “I have used noni to help people with cancer, kidney problems, diabetes and tumors.” It also lists dozens of testimonials from people who found that drinking noni juice resulted in lower blood pressure, stronger nails and even improvements to their golf game. Noni fruit and juice derivatives have shown anti-tumour activity in rats and mice, but clinical data is scant. Of most interest is a trial in which cancer patients were given daily capsules (not juice) containing noni fruit extract. No tumour regressions were observed, but quality of life (as measured by a decrease in pain interference with activities) improved.

http://www.choice.com.au/                                      This article last reviewed August 2007

 

 

                             
 

 

 

  

 

 

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“Store Wars” (too fun, I had to include this)

Posted on July 8, 2008. Filed under: Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , |

If you loved “Star Wars,” you’ll delight in “Store Wars.”

This was too fun.  I had to include it.  Sit back and enjoy!

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Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The method for measuring the antioxidant capacity of various foods is called ORAC which is the acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.  ORAC was developed by scientists in the NIH, specifically in the National Institute on Aging division (but the method is not approved by the NIH).

A wide variety of foods had been test for their ORAC values in the past, but the following chart is more current and reflects the 2007 results.  The importance of a food’s high ORAC value is that it indicates a food’s antioxidant value, and a high value is believed to be correlated in the Free-radical theory of aging. 

This more current list from 2007 was compiled by scientists within the United States Dept. of Agriculture and includes ORAC values for 277 foods commonly consumed in the USA (grains, seeds, nuts, spices, vegetables, fruits, etc.).  It’s also considered to be more accurate than the previously published ORAC numbers because it shows that all plants have variable amounts of both hydrophilic (water-loving) phytochemicals and lipophilic (fat-loving) phytochemicals that contribute to total ORAC. 

USDA data on foods with high levels of antioxidant phytochemicals

Food

Serving size

Antioxidant capacity per serving size[6]

Cinnamon, ground

100 grams

267,536

Aronia black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

100 grams

16062

Small Red Bean

½ cup dried beans

13727

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13427

Red kidney bean

½ cup dried beans

13259

Pinto bean

½ cup

11864

Blueberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

9019

Cranberry

1 cup (whole berries)

8983

Artichoke hearts

1 cup, cooked

7904

Blackberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

7701

Prune

½ cup

7291

Raspberry

1 cup

6058

Strawberry

1 cup

5938

Red Delicious apple

1 apple

5900

Granny Smith apple

1 apple

5381

Pecan

oz

5095

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4873

Black plum

1 plum

4844

Russet potato

1, cooked

4649

Black bean

½ cup dried beans

4181

Plum

1 plum

4118

Gala apple

1 apple

3903

 

 

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Clean Carbon Dioxide vs. Dirty Carbon Dioxide

Posted on July 5, 2008. Filed under: Just FYI | Tags: , , , |

“What is your carbon footprint? That is the wrong question to ask. A more meaningful question is–How much carbon dioxide does it take to grow the wheat required to produce a loaf of bread? Or–How much carbon dioxide does it take to grow the corn for the chicken feed required to produce a dozen eggs?”

For a cogent presentation on CO2 and global warming, visit the link below:

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/alleviate-world-hunger-produce-more-clean-carbon-dioxide/#comment-23044

What do you think?

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Are they safe? Energy saving light bulbs?

Posted on July 3, 2008. Filed under: Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Are they safe? Energy saving light bulbs?

Watch this YouTube video and be amazed (click on the link above).

Where does the mercury go when the 1,000s and 1,000s of bulbs get squashed and break in the landfills (the pink box in the above graph represents the amount of mercury in a CFL)?  To the water table?  Our drinking water?  What is your reaction?  How important is it when a bulb does break and the mercury is aerosolized and available for inhalation? 

(From Wikipedia: In China and Tibet, mercury use was thought to prolong life, heal fractures, and maintain generally good health. China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di  was driven insane and killed by mercury pills (failing liver, poison, brain death) intended to give him eternal life.) 

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Green Tea and Fat Oxidation

Posted on July 2, 2008. Filed under: Weight Weight Weight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I’m reproducing this article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and note, especially, the “Conclusions” at the bottom.  Green Tea is not only a treat but a benefit, too.  Enjoy! 

********************************************************************************************************

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 6, 1040-1045, December 1999
© 1999
American Society for Clinical Nutrition


Original Research Communications

Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans1,2,3

Abdul G Dulloo, Claudette Duret, Dorothée Rohrer, Lucien Girardier, Nouri Mensi, Marc Fathi, Philippe Chantre and Jacques Vandermander

1 From the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva; Geneva University Hospital; and Laboratoires Arkopharma, Nice, France.

 

Background: Current interest in the role of functional foods in weight control has focused on plant ingredients capable of interfering with the sympathoadrenal system.

Objective: We investigated whether a green tea extract, by virtue of its high content of caffeine and catechin polyphenols, could increase 24-h energy expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation in humans.

Design: Twenty-four–hour EE, the respiratory quotient (RQ), and the urinary excretion of nitrogen and catecholamines were measured in a respiratory chamber in 10 healthy men. On 3 separate occasions, subjects were randomly assigned among 3 treatments: green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg epigallocatechin gallate), caffeine (50 mg), and placebo, which they ingested at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Results: Relative to placebo, treatment with the green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in 24-h EE (4%; P < 0.01) and a significant decrease in 24-h RQ (from 0.88 to 0.85; P < 0.001) without any change in urinary nitrogen. Twenty-four–hour urinary norepinephrine excretion was higher during treatment with the green tea extract than with the placebo (40%, P < 0.05). Treatment with caffeine in amounts equivalent to those found in the green tea extract had no effect on EE and RQ nor on urinary nitrogen or catecholamines.

Conclusions: Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both.

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