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Thursday, January 26, 2012

High fructose corn syrup linked to cardiovascular disease in children, teens

(www.Borganic.org) Adolescents who consume foods and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup already have, present in their blood, evidence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes according to a recent study. The results of the new study, to be published in February 2012 in The Journal of Nutrition, provide strong scientific evidence of the negative health consequences of fructose on the human body.

Health consequences of HCFS show up early

An investigation by scientists from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) followed 559 children ages 14-18. The study subjects' dietary habits were measured; their blood analyzed and blood pressure, body fat and other health measurements taken. The researchers found a correlation between high-fructose diets and markers for heart and vascular disease such as higher blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin resistance, levels of C - reactive protein, related to inflammation.

Teens whose diets included more HFCS also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and of the fat burning hormone adiponectin. In addition, study subjects who often consumed the industrial sweetener were more likely to have midsection fat, referred to as visceral adiposity, another known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. More generalized fat distribution does not appear to have a link to HFCS or the other health risk factors.

Norman Pollock, assistant professor of pediatrics at GHSU and co-lead author of the study said that "There is not much data in children and adolescents," although "adolescents consume the most fructose so it's really important to not only measure the levels of fructose but to look at what it might be doing to their bodies currently and, hopefully, to look at cardiovascular disease outcomes as they grow."

Re-shaping teen diets

Dr. Vanessa Bundy, a pediatric resident at MCG as well as co-lead author of the study, stated "It is so very important to provide a healthy balance of high-quality food to our children and to really pay close attention to the fructose and sucrose they are consuming at their home or anyone else's. The nutrition that caregivers provide their children will either contribute to their overall health and development or potentially contribute to cardiovascular disease at an early age," Bundy also pointed out that parents can help their teens by modeling good health habits, including both nutritious dietary choices and regular exercise.

Bundy also remarked on a truth that alternative health experts have long known but official medical science and health regulatory agencies have been slow to acknowledge: "Fructose itself is metabolized differently than other sugars and has some byproducts that are believed to be bad for us. The overall amount of fructose that is in high fructose corn syrup is not much different than the amount in table sugar but it's believed there's something in the syrup processing that plays a role in the bad byproducts of metabolism."

Previous studies involving animals have had similar results to the Georgia study, but evidence of a direct health link among children between HCFS and health problems may finally spur action to limit adolescent consumption of the sweetener. Pollock noted "Ultimately we want to use this paper and other papers to kind of change politically how food is distributed into the schools, and the types of foods, to cut down on these specific types of foods with high fructose corn syrup in them."

Pollock also pointed out that the study he and his team conducted was unusual in its focus on the total amount of fructose consumed in the diet. "A unique aspect of our study design is that we took into account the fructose released from sucrose during digestion along with the fructose found in foods and beverages. Because sucrose is broken down into fructose and glucose before it arrives at the liver for metabolism, it is important to consider the additional fructose from sucrose when determining the overall health effect of fructose."

Sources in this article include:

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-01-high-fructose-consumption-adolescents-cardiovascular.html

http://www.thenutritionpost.com/kids/sweetener-gives-kids-more-belly-fat-and-disease-risk-ghsu-study-finds.html

http://news.georgiahealth.edu/archives/5037?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ghsunews+%28GHSU+News%29

http://m.chronicle.augusta.com/news/health/2012-01-06/fructose-gives-adolescents-more-belly-fat-increases-disease-risk-ghsu-study

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vitamins and herbs for strong, healthy hair

(www.Borganic.org) Men and women alike desire thick, healthy and shiny hair. Chances are people who possess all of these traits are supplementing with certain vitamins and herbs, or eat a diet that feeds their hair these nutrients on a daily basis. Hair is not just an extension of our bodies. It has become a symbol of beauty, health and status. In order to get the coveted body, bounce and sheen you desire there are certain nutrients you should be concentrating on putting in your body.

Vitamins for healthy hair

The first vitamin for hair health is biotin. This is actually a form of vitamin B that is widely used to help prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. It is often recommended for chemotherapy patients to help increase the rate of growth.

It is also useful for thinning hair and is thought to help with loss of hair pigmentation although no conclusive evidence has been found. Biotin helps our bodies to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates. It can be found naturally in Swiss chard, liver, halibut and goat milk, to name a few.

Several other B vitamins help with hair loss or slow hair growth as well. Panthenol, or vitamin B5 is often used externally in shampoos and other hair products to help increase thickness. It has the ability to penetrate the cuticle and increase the diameter as a topical supplement.

A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which stunts hair growth. Supplements of this vitamin often fall short as they don't absorb very well. Vitamin B12 shots are given for energy support in those who are deficient. However you can also increase your levels of this vitamin by eating foods such as grass fed beef, egg yolks and free range poultry.

Antioxidant vitamins are also an important source of nutrition for healthy hair. Vitamins C, E and A are important for the health of the skin and hair. They increase the health and efficiency of the entire body, thereby "freeing up" the resources to feed your hair the nutrients it needs on a daily basis. They help promote healthy connective tissues and cellular growth. A diet rich in these vitamins provides support for vibrant, abundant hair growth. Vitamin E also increases scalp circulation which in turn promotes hair growth.

Herbs for healthy hair

The foremost herb known for adding beauty and luster to the hair when taken orally is horsetail. Named for its long brush-like appearance, this herb is packed with a nutrient called silica. Silica is a substance that strengthens bones, nails and hair.

Siloca adds resilience to the hair by fortifying it with strength and thereby lessening breakage and thinning. Silica also is known for increasing shine and body thanks to the additional strength and presumably increased volume of hair. It is a relatively inexpensive herb and is used extensively for brittle or unhealthy hair.

Rosemary is an excellent herb to use topically to promote hair growth and increase scalp health. When applied to the scalp rosemary increases circulation and helps to gently remove excess sebum and dandruff, which can inhibit healthy hair growth.

Lavender is another herb that enhances the beauty of the hair. Lavender helps increase shine and gently cleanse deposits that dull the hair.

Hops are not only a main ingredient in beer. They make an excellent natural hair conditioner and softener when applied topically. The herb also contains silica so it helps fortify the hair from within. Many popular hair supplements use this to add strength and resilience.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/8-foods-rich-in-biotin.html

http://www.hairlosstreatment-s.com/vitamin-and-hair-loss.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/198978-horsetail-herb-for-hair-growth/

http://www.endhairlossnaturally.com/balding-ingredients.htm

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034727_herbs_healthy_hair.html#ixzz1kJpJGXYu

by: Danna Norek

News from www.Borganic.org

Friday, January 20, 2012

Red beets and beet juice top the list of healing antioxidants

(www.Borganic.org) One ingredient found in many of today's green super-food formulas is red beet root powder, which is made from dehydrated beets and then ground into a powder. Although the benefits of beets are not often shouted through the rooftops, red beet roots and beet juice have a storehouse of plant-sourced nutrients and a tremendous amount of healing potential. Beets are a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, and folate. Beets are also a good source of Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and iron. Beets contain polyphenols and betalains, which are getting quite a bit of medical attention as important natural antioxidants. Beets have been clinically proven to support liver function in rats. Recent clinical research suggests that beets and beet juice are useful in healing a variety of degenerative conditions.

Polyphenols and betalains are seeing an increase in attention within the scientific community

Research over the past ten years is increasingly documenting the importance of polyphenols in the human diet. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, polyphenols, a type of antioxidants, are clinically proven to prevent cardiovascular disease in humans. Positive results from animal studies suggest that polyphenols would be beneficial in cancer, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative disease cases. This is because polyphenols go beyond the action against oxidative stress that most antioxidants perform.

Betalains are also getting more attention within the scientific community. Betalains were "discovered" in 2001 as a class of antioxidants found most prevalently in red beets. A relatively low daily dose of betanin, 300 mL (one and a quarter cups) from red beet juice has been clinically demonstrated to be enough to reverse the effects of free radical damage and oxidative stress in humans. Medical researchers are optimisticaly suggesting that beets and beet juice may be a useful healing therapy for a variety of degenerative diseases.

Our mothers were right - beets are good for us

Beets contain a high concentration of polyphenols and betalains. Eating a diet rich in polyphenols and other antioxidants before undergoing any type of surgery has been proven to reduce post-operative complications, according to a study published in a 2007 issue of Nutrition. In this experiment, red beets were added to the regular diet of rats. Low blood pressure was induced for forty-five minutes to the point where liver cells were damaged. While in this state, a variety of liver tests were performed, then the rats were allowed to recover. In the group of rats who were fed beets, the liver antioxidant levels were significantly increased, as was the levels of copper and zinc. The researchers concluded that a diet high in natural antioxidants, such as those contained in red beets and beet juice, help liver cells heal faster after surgery.

Sources for this article include:

Self Nutrition Data.com, "Beets, raw" http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2348/2

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.com. "Polyphenols: antioxidants and beyond," Augustin Scalbert, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2005: 81(1); 215S- 217S.
http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/1/215S.full

Pubmed.gov. "Liver-protecting effects of table beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) during ischemia-reperfusion," L. Vail, et al. Nutrition, February 2007; 23(2): 172-8.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17234508

Pubmed.gov. "Betalains- a new class of dietary cationized antioxidants," J. Kanner, et al. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, November 2001; 49(11): 5178-85.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11714300

By Donna Earnest Pravel

News from Borganic.org
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