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Posts Tagged ‘Minerals’

And what about chicken soup, you ask? 

The suspected benefits of chicken soup have been reported for centuries.  The Egyptian physician Maimonides recommended it for respiratory symptoms in his 12th century writings that were, in turn, based on earlier Greek writings.  And, of course, mothers all over the world have said it time and time again.

University of Nebraska researcher, Dr. Stephen Rennard, became interested in the subject, and in 1993, he conducted a well-controlled research study on chicken soup that he prepared in the laboratory following his family’s recipe.  He was not able to identify the exact ingredients or ingredients in the soup that he prepared in the laboratory following his family’s recipe.  He was not able to identify the exact ingredient or ingredients in the soup that made it effective but concluded that it was the combination of all the vegetables and the chicken soup that made it so beneficial. 

The study also presented evidence that chicken soup can stop or reduce inflammation.  Since inflammation, particularly of the respiratory tract, contributes to cold/flu symptoms, the soup clearly has its benefits.  For comparison purposes, commercially available chicken soups were tested for anti-inflammatory effects, and most of the soups were just as effective as the homemade chicken soup.

There are also many herbs, which are recommended for both conditions.  Some boost the immune system, some suppress cough, and yet other reduce fever.  Since all herbs contain active substances that may interact with other herbs, supplements or medications, or trigger side effects, it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable practitioner in this field.  Here some of the herbs used to treat cold/flu that are also found in Alveo: Licorice, Peppermint, and Yarrow.

Similarly, dietary supplements (such as vitamins, minerals and others) may interact with medications or have various side effects; therefore, a consultation with a knowledgeable health provider is advised.  Despite a popular belief that vitamin C can cure a cold/flu, the scientific evidence in support of this, is limited.  Some experts suggest that vitamin C may only be beneficial for individuals with already low levels of this supplement.  Others suggest that the effect of vitamin C may be very individual – some people may improve, while others may not. 

Several studies, but not all, have revealed that zinc lozenges and nasal zinc gels may reduce some symptoms of cold and flu, cough in particular.  However, nasal zinc spray does not appear to have the same benefits.

Prevention

Even though everybody gets cold/flu from time to time, there are preventive measures one can take.  The best defense is frequent hand washing.  Scrubbing your hands for at least 15 seconds with the ordinary soap and water is the most efficient way to prevent viruses from entering the body.  Remember: telephones, doorknobs, shopping cart handles and computer keyboards, are well known carriers of germs!  And of course, a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and reduction of stress are all essential I building a strong immune system.

Alveo Can Help!

One of the reasons our body needs food supplements is the quality of food in our stores and markets.  Most of our food, if not all, is mass-produced, meaning it is produced with the use of pesticides, colorants and additives.  It often has decreased nutritional value.  Since food is essential in keeping our organs and body systems working properly, we need to add supplements to our diets to meet nutritional requirements and to keep our bodies strong and resilient.

In order to get all nutrients to our organs, our digestive system must absorb them well.  Alveo is an excellent digestive tonic and as such, helps in the gastrointestinal absorption by stimulating digestive enzyme production.  The herbs found in Alveo also have anti-inflammatory properties in the gastrointestinal tract.  When our organs are well-nourished and function properly, we are much more prepared to face the fall and winter seasons.

Until next time…Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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Akuna is pleased to inform you that Onyx Plus has been launched in Canada.

Onyx Plus t is an advanced-formula multi-mineral supplement that delivers essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc in a liquid form that is easy for the body to absorb, process and utilize. The minerals in Onyx Plus will strengthen your bones and immune system and reduce the risks of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease.

To celebrate the launch of Onyx Plus on the Canadian market, Akuna has created three special offers, valid in both Canada and the USA.

For more information click  Onyx Plus now available in Canada

Until next time…Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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Fall and winter are upon us once again, and with them the most common illnesses of the season: the cold and the flu.  People often use the terms cold and flu interchangeably; however, these are two separate conditions.

The common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus.  It is usually not accompanied by a fever but it does affect the nose, sinuses, throat, larynx, and often also the trachea and bronchi.

Influenza, or flu (grippe, grip), is also a viral infection affecting the respiratory tract but in addition is accompanied by fever, general malaise, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain and such.  In severe cases, it may even result in death.

 

Causes

There are over 200 different types of viruses which can cause a cold.  Most commonly, you can get a cold by touching your nose, eyes or mouth after handling a contaminated object.  However, cold-causing viruses can also be transmitted through the air.  Exposure to chilly outdoor air will not make you more susceptible to get a cold as is often believed, on the other hand, emotional distress and excessive fatigue actually may.  On average, an adult may experience between 3-6 colds in a year, while a child may have as many as 8-10.

Many different types of influenza viruses belonging to either Influenza A or B groups may cause the flu.  The flu is very contagious and spreads easily from person-to-person (e.g. through handshakes or the sharing of utensils) or via air droplets (containing a virus) that contaminate objects.  Flu epidemics often occur about every x number of years and usually affect the entire country; occasionally (about once per decade), the flu spreads across all continents.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Cold:

  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Possible fever ( 39C or lower)
  • Headache

Flu:

  • Sudden fever (up to 40C)
  • Fatigue, chills, headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing, runny and stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nonproductive cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

 

Treatments

Conventional medicines, herbs, supplements and other forms of treatment can only help in alleviating the symptoms of both, the cold and the flu, but cannot treat or cure either condition.

The following is recommended for both the flu and cold:

  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids – water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey will help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration
  • Salt water – a salt-water gargle (1/2 teaspoon salt in 250 ml of warm water) can relieve a sore throat
  • Saline nasal sprays – will help you combat stuffiness and congestion.  Unlike decongestants, saline sprays don’t lead to a rebound effect – a worsening of symptoms when the medication is discontinued.  They are safe and nonirritating, even for children.  

 

To be continued…

Until next time…Stay healthy

 

Katarzyna

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Zinc

Zinc formulations have been used since the time of Ancient Egyptians to enhance wound healing.  The clinical significance in human nutrition and public health was recognized relatively recently.  It’s deficiency in humans was first describes in 1961, when the consumption of diets with low zinc was associated with “adolescent nutritional dwarfism” in the Middle East.  Since then, the deficiency of zinc has been recognized by a number of experts as an important public health issue, especially in developing countries.

Zinc is also an essential trace element for all forms of life.  As it is necessary for the functioning of over 300 different enzymes and plays a vital role in an enormous number of biological processes.

Numerous aspects of cellular metabolism are zinc-dependant.  Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction, in the structure of proteins and cell membranes.

The immune system is adversely affected by even moderate degrees of zinc deficiency.  It was found that severe zinc deficient depresses the immune function.  Zinc is required for the development and activation of T-lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell that helps fight infection.  When zinc supplements are given to individuals with low zinc levels, the numbers of T-cells lymphocytes circulating in the blood increase and the ability of lymphocytes to fight infection improves.  Zinc supplements are often given to help heal skin ulcers or sores, but they do not increase rates of wound healing when zinc levels are normal.

There is no single laboratory test that adequately measures zinc’s nutritional status.  Medical doctors who suspect a zinc deficiency will consider risk factors such as inadequate caloric intake, alcoholism, digestive diseases, and symptoms such as impaired growth in infants and children when determining a need for zinc supplementation.  Vegetarians may need as much as 50% (1.8 mg/daily) more zinc than non-vegetarians because of the lower absorption of zinc from plant foods, so it is very important for vegetarians to include good sources of zinc in their diet.

Zinc is found in oysters, and to a far lesser degree, in most animal proteins, beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  A turkey’s neck and beef’s chunk or shank also contains significant amount of zinc.  Phytates, which are found in whole grain breads, cereals, legumes and other products, have been known to decrease zinc absorption.  Fortunately, a healthy diet can provide you with as much zinc as you need.  However, the truth of the matter is that only about 30% of the zinc that you intake can get absorbed by your body.

Chromium

Chromium is a mineral that humans also require in trace amounts, although its mechanisms of action in the body and the amounts needed for optimal health are not well defined.

Although trivalent chromium is recognized as a nutritionally essential mineral, scientists are not yet certain exactly how it functions in the body.

Chromium has long been of interest for its possible connection to various health conditions.  Among the most active areas of chromium research is its use in supplement form to treat diabetes, lower blood lipid levels, promote weight loss, and improve body compositions.

It is believed that chromium affects glucose metabolism by enhancing the effects of insulin.  Insulin is secreted be specialized cells in the pancreas in response to increased blood glucose levels, such as after a meal.  A decreased response to insulin or decreased insulin sensitivity may result in impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes.  However, the value of chromium supplements for diabetics is inconclusive and controversial.  Randomized controlled clinical trails in well-defined, at-risk populations where dietary intakes are known, are needed to determine the effects of chromium on markers of diabetes.

The effects of chromium supplementation on blood lipid levels in humans are also inconclusive.  The mixed research findings may be due to difficulties in determining the chromium status of subjects at the start of the trails and the researchers’ failure to control for dietary factors that influence blood lipid levels.

Some claim that chromium supplements reduce body fat and increase lean (muscle) mass.  Yet a recent review of numerous studies that examined the effects of 200 to1,000g/day of chromium on body mass or composition found no significant benefits.  Another recent review of randomized, controlled clinical trails did find supplement of chromium picolinate to help with weight loss when compares to placebos, but the differences where small and of debatable clinical relevance.

Chromium I widely distributed in the food supply, but most foods provide only small amounts.  Processed meats, whole grain products, ready-to-eat bran cereals, green beans, broccoli, and species are relatively rich in chromium; however the content of the mineral is substantially affected by agricultural and manufacturing process.

Absorption of chromium from the intestinal tract is low, ranging from less than 0.4% to 2.5% of the amount consumed, and the reminder is excreted through bodily waste.  Vitamin C and niacin might enhance the mineral’s absorption.  Absorbed chromium is then stored in the liver, spleen, soft tissue, and bone.

 

Until next time…Stay Healthy

  

Katarzyna

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How much do you know? By Milan Frohlich, MSc., A.Sc.T., R&D Scientist Akuna Regulatory Affairs Coordinator

We have all heard at some point or another that minerals are important to our health.  However, not all of us are sure of why this is the case.  This lack of information may be a factor why an estimated 90% of North Americans suffer from a mineral deficiency or imbalance. 

Thanks to the extensive research conducted regarding the relationship between minerals and our health, it has become evident that sustaining a balanced level of minerals in every organ, tissue and cell of the human body may be prominent key to maintaining a healthy existence.  Unfortunately in today’s world, naturally occurring, nutrient-rich foods are becoming a thing of the past.  Fortunately, thanks to all this research and development, we can turn to nutritional supplements to support our health.

We tend to hear a lot about minerals such as calcium and magnesium but are often not familiar with the importance of some of these minerals which our bodies also require.  Trace minerals or trace elements are generally, uncommon minerals that practically all organisms need in minute quantities in order to trigger the production of enzymes and hormones for growth, reproduction and health maintenance of the animal or plant body. 

Nutritionally speaking, trace minerals by definition are those which are required by the human body in micro amount, i.e. in 100 milligrams (mg) dosages per day, or less.

Below is a closer look at three trace minerals, their function and their importance to the human body.

Manganese

The natural importance of manganese was discovered in 1936-37, when researches reported the development of bony malformation in poultry fed on a manganese-free diet.  Later studies also demonstrated the relationship of manganese to growth, bone development, reproduction, and the functioning of the central nervous system.

Manganese is an essential trace nutrient in all forms of life.  The human body contains about 10 to 20 mg of manganese, which is widely distributed throughout the tissues, stored mainly in liver and kidneys.  It plays an important role in a number of physiological processes as a constituent of some enzymes and an activator of their enzymes which are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  In combination with choline, it helps in the digestion and utilization of fat.

Manganese helps to nourish the nerves and brain and assist in the proper coordinative action between the brain, nerves and muscles in every part of the body.  It is also involved in normal reproduction and function of mammary glands.

On the other hand, manganese deficiency has been observed in a number of animal species.  Signs of manganese deficiency include impaired growth, impaired reproductive function, skeletal abnormalities, impaired glucose tolerance, and altered carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.  In humans, demonstration of a manganese deficiency syndrome has been less clear. 

A child on long-term total parenteral nutrition (fed intravenously) lacking manganese developed bone demineralization and impaired growth that were corrected by manganese supplementation.  However, the human body obtains sufficient manganese through normal dietary intake, so a deficiency syndrome is rare. 

It has been documented that women with osteoporosis have increased plasma levels of manganese and also an enhanced plasma response to an oral dose of manganese. Estimated average dietary manganese intakes range from 2.1 – 2.3 mg/day for men and 1.6 – 1.8 mg/day for women. 

People eating vegetarian diets and western diets emphasizing whole grains may have manganese include whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and teas.  Foods high in phytic acid, such as beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and soy products, or foods high in oxalic acid, such as cabbage, spinach, and sweet potatoes, may slightly inhibit manganese absorption.

 

To be continued…

 

Until next time…Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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Alveo should be a basic part of our preventive health program against majority of diseases and premature aging.

Alveo improves the function of Central Nervous System (CNS) by supporting blood circulation and the nutritional requirements of the brain.  It also improves the activity of neurontransmitters (chemicals which help to transmit nerve impulses), and has a calming effect.  The extracts that have the greatest effect in this area are ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, lavender, passionflower and blessed thistle.  The result is an improved memory, better concentration, an improved ability to adapt one’s mood (and in avoiding depressive moods), and deeper sleep.  CNS functions are important to support because the brain creates hormones that affect every other organ in the body. 

A healthy brain usually means a healthy body.  Alveo harmonizes the hormonal system by providing prohormones of phytosterol, plant hormones that activate your natural metabolism by working on the endocrine glands.  The main extracts utilized in this area are red clover, licorice, and alfalfa, as well as several others.  They are important to menstrual regularity, fertility in both genders and for moderating the symptoms of menopause.  These extracts also help to regulate blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes and obesity.

Alveo also harmonizes the function of the immune system by adapting the capacity and mucous membranes of the alimentary tract, harmonizing the microbes in the large intestine and by boosting the Peyers patches; the cells of the immune system that surround the small intestine.  It helps food move through the intestines and has anti-inflammatory effects on the intestinal wall.  Baradykinase from aloe, tannins, pectins, chlorophyll and antibiotic substances are those parts of Alveo that are active here.  

Alveo helps the hormonal system create estrogen – an essential hormone even for men.  It also increases our resistance to stress by boosting the immune system and has detoxicative and diuretic effects that facilitate the function of the liver and kidneys.

Extracts from gingko biloba, licorice and alfalfa lead the way in fighting off autoimmune diseases (diseases where the body has an immune response to itself) such as psoriasis.  Extracts from Siberian ginseng, gingko biloba, red clover, licorice, horsetail, Chinese fo-ti-tieng, alfalfa and Korean ginseng also have a positive influence on the prevention of oncogenous diseases.

Alveo ensures the efficiency of vitamins in fighting increased levels of homocystein because by working on hormones it regulates the enzymes and the substances from which an organism creates these enzymes.   Alveo therefore operates at the earliest stages of the defect development, compared to most of today’s pharmaceutical products; which try to fix problem once it has already become major.

Alveo positively influences the activity of the digestive tract by improving the appetite and optimizing the amount and composition of the digestive system and biliary juices (in particular, decreasing the growth of the Helicobacter pylori using Irish moss extract, and thereby preventing ulcerative disorders of the stomach and the small intestine).  It also supports the activity and enzymatic set of the liver (this is where the organ sulphides and bitter extracts from the blessed thistle and yellow genitian come in), and by assisting the adaptation of enteric micro-flora, which provide anti-bacterial, anti-virus and anti-fungal effects, especially in the large intestine and the regulation of bowel movement (through extracts from aloe, licorice, red clover and thyme).

Alveo harmonizes blood circulation by improving heart activity (by utilizing Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, alfalfa, lavender, gotu kola and passionflower), improving blood clotting ability, expanding the blood vessels from the coronares to the capillaries (gingko biloba, cayenne and cinnamon operate here) and accelerating blood circulation.   In addition, Alveo supports blood cell creation because the immune system becomes more harmonized with the cytokine set-the cells which destroy alien proteins in the blood.

Alveo  stimulates and protects the respiratory system: it positively influences the depth and frequency of the breath (using yarrow and cayenne); and commensurate with your present condition it may moisten the airways and release mucus, Alveo aids the airways in their expansion and contraction, stimulating expulsion (blessed thistle, horsetail, fennel seed, licorice, Irish moss) and at the same time calming a dry cough (boneset and thyme).  By virtue of its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects.   Alveo leads to the prevention of diseases of the respiratory system.

Alveo harmonizes the musculoskeletal system: it releases tension in the muscles (ginseng, passionflower and guarana) and strengthens muscles that are flaccid and weakened.  By regulating muscle tension, it helps to protect ligaments and bones from stress due to contracted muscles (using Chinese fo-ti-tieng, cardamom and gotu kola).  It also improves the quality of articular cartilage – the anti-inflammatory effects from the extracts can assist in the prevention of rheumatism and arthritis, which are often a result from inflamed joint cartilage.

 

Until next time…Stay healthy

 

Katarzyna

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Ten tips on how to eat well and live healthy:

1.   Do not eat until you are genuinely hungry.  When you are hungry our stomach will tell us that it needs food.  This means the stomach is empty from the previous meal and is ready to digest a new meal.  If you eat when you are not hungry or continually eat and mix semi digested foods with new ones, it will cause the mixture to stay in the stomach pouch for a longer time.  This causes purification and fermentation of foods leading to health problems.

2.   Do not over eat.  The stomach has a limited capacity for food and needs some space for mixing and digestion.  If it is completely full, it cannot function properly.  The stomach is located beneath heart, and when the stomach is full it expands and applies pressure on the heart.  The process leaves very little space for the heart to beat at its proper pace.  Too much pressure can cause the heart to palpitate or to beat at irregular intervals.  Always stop eating before you feel full.  It takes approximately 20 minutes for the stomach to let your brains know you are in fact full and that it is best at that time to stop eating.

3.   Take liquids before solids.  Foods that are less difficult to digest and require less time should be eaten first.  After the easier swallow food has been consumed, start with harder to chew foods that need more time for digestion.  The food, which is more solid and has the lower water content, should be taken after the food, which has highest water content.  Soup and vegetables should be taken before the main meal.

4.   Do not drink while you are eating.  Water, juices or carbonated drinks should not be taken with a meal as they dilute the stomach juices and enzymes and interrupt digestion process.  This causes gas, bloating, pain, constipation and toxicity of the whole body.  Undigested food goes into the intestines and then into the colon where it putrefies and ferments to create more gas and acid, which is then re-absorbed, into the bloodstream.  Water and all kinds of drinks can be taken half an hour before and about two hours after the meal.

5.   It is best to chew each bite of food 20-30 times.  Chewing food is a very important process in proper digestion.  Dieticians recommended chewing solid food to the extent.  This ensures for proper breakdown and causes the food to change to the more liquid for before making for a more simple digestion process.  Many problems and diseases are caused by not chewing food adequately.

6.   Do not mix different food groups together and try to eat a single food group at one time.  There are different groups of food in nature, for instance fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.  Most of the food we consume is complex, but in order to have better digestion it is best not mix proteins with carbohydrates or fats with proteins.  For example, the traditional North American dish of steak   and potatoes in not a good mixture for healthy digestion and nutrients absorption.  If a potato, which is carbohydrate, gets served with vegetables it makes an ideal food combination.   Carbohydrates and vegetables also make a good combination.  A proper combination of the right foods makes for over all healthy digestion.

7.   Do not eat any processed or manufactured foods.  Any food that has been altered by the process using heat or the adding of chemicals to preserve or add flavor or is vitamin enriched is not healthy to eat.  For example, white bread does not have any food value left in it nor do cold cuts which are full of chemicals and coloring.  All added chemicals are hazardous to your health.

8.   Add lots of fiber to your meals.  The human digestive system is a long tube which should be filled with a large amount of fibrous foods.  Fiber absorbs water and cleans the digestive track.  A lack of fibers in your diet causes many kinds of disorders and diseases; from constipation to cancer.

9.   Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.  Our body is made up of 65% to 70% of water.  Without an adequate amount of water, the body does not function optimally and there is a general lack of energy and concentration.  All nutrients and vitamins must be dissolved in water in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  The amount of water to be drink is based on the body weight of the individual; for each kilogram of weight, one ounce of water is needed.  Note that too much water is also not recommended as it flushes the nutrients out of your body. 

10.   Exercise.  Exercising makes the muscles strong and keeps the bones dense.  It stimulates the lymphatic system keeping the fluids moving so it works better at keeping us healthy.  Our lymphatic system is responsible for waste collection and immunity protection.  It does not have a pumping system like our bloodstream has to the heart; therefore, the speed of fluid movement is very low.  Regular exercise keeps the continual appellation of toxins through the lymphatic system removing them from the body.

Until next time… Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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