The number of Americans who want technology to play a role in their healthcare is growing, as up to 64% of Americans use online health resources, and 40% use them to self-diagnose, according to a new survey conducted by the Atlantic and GlaxoSmithKline. Continue reading
It used to be that “ten fingers and ten toes” was the barometer for whether a baby was born healthy. But the more we learn about autism, the better we understand that babies are often born with difficult, life-altering ailments that are much tougher to see at first glance.
Needless to say, if science could discover a silver bullet for preventing autism, Continue reading
At Doctors Health Press, we enthusiastically promote natural medicine. But, there are important health considerations when it comes to how drugs and supplements can interact, as they sometimes do so dangerously. A new study, which looked extensively at the subject, offers a clear and accurate picture of what drugs and supplements should never be combined. Continue reading
We all know how popular natural supplements are these days. And, readers of Doctors Health Press are aware of the thousands of studies that point to the health benefits of taking them. A new study might be interesting to take a peek at-it found out, via a poll, what people Continue reading
Many people do not realize that the medications they take on a daily basis can negatively affect the amount of nutrients stored in the body. Numerous drugs actually deplete specific vitamins and minerals, causing a whole host of additional problems. Being aware of what is being depleted by the prescription you are taking can help you to choose what to supplement with. Vitamins and minerals are vital for the everyday cellular processes in your body; inadequate amounts may lead to decreased immunity, digestive issues and much more. Continue reading
Suzanne Somers is 65 years old, but you’d never know it from looking at her.
Somers, an actress, author, Continue reading
Here’s some health news about a natural remedy for those of you who want to boost your mental health: scientists have discovered that creatine could protect the brain. Creatine is a substance in your body the main job of which has to do with energy production. About 95% of your body’s creatine is stored in your muscles. For this reason, creatine is a favorite supplement for athletes and bodybuilders Continue reading
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of age-related blindness. What used to be health secrets aren’t so secretive any more: natural medicine offers valuable protection against AMD. Now, for the time ever, researchers report that an oral nutraceutical may Continue reading
- Abnormalities in your immune system—such as allergies and autoimmune diseases—are a common outcome of Gut and Physiology Syndrome (GAPS), as about 85 percent of your immune system is located in your gut wall
- The answer to resolving food allergies, Continue reading
Here’s a health secret you may not know about: shilajit.
Shilajit is a natural substance found mostly in the
Himalayas. What makes shilajit special, and important for you to know about, is the fact that it contains some active ingredients that could help shield you against age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
What is shilajit exactly? Continue reading
One of the natural supplements gaining popularity over the past 20 years is creatine. It is known best for its use to boost athletic performance. It could be far more valuable for people with major heart and lung disease.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) are common diseases in the U.S. A symptom of both is shortness of breath when moving around. This is caused by impaired skeletal muscle function. Your muscle function depends on several factors: blood flow; amount of muscle mass; type of muscle fiber; and energy burned in the muscle. Changes in any factors play a key role in weakened muscles.
Muscle performance consists of two parts: strength; and endurance. Strength is the force it can exert and endurance is its ability to sustain a certain force over a certain period of time. Losing either results in muscle weakness. Now, both diseases here involve muscle weakness — especially those in your limbs and any involved in breathing. Continue reading
Calcium is one of the overarching most popular natural supplements around. There is no doubting its importance, particularly for women of postmenopausal age. This study takes a different route, one that warns against having too high calcium — in particular, what it does to the brain.
Older adults worried about declining mental function may want to have their calcium levels checked every so often. That’s because a team of Dutch researchers have just found that high levels of blood calcium — rather than calcium in the bone — are linked to a faster decline in cognitive ability.
In other words, high blood calcium is a signal that your mind might be weakening more quickly. Signs that your brain function may not be what it used to be include generally what one would assume: a slipping memory; difficulty concentrating; inability to pay attention as well; inability to learn new things easily; simple thinking becoming more challenging; and use of language is not as sharp anymore.
Previous studies have illustrated that small rises in calcium within nerve and brain cells can actually kill those cells. While it’s known that calcium can slip from the blood into the brain, Continue reading
Lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid or thioctic acid, was originally identified as a vitamin more than 50 years ago. It is a naturally occurring chemical made in small amounts by plants, animals and humans. It is also a natural solution for improving the health of your blood vessels. This is the first of two articles explaining how it works.
Though the information is limited, foods rich in lipoic acid include kidney, heart, liver, spinach, tomatoes, peas, and Brussels sprouts. Lipoic acid in dietary supplements varies from 100 to 600 milligrams. In Germany, lipoic acid is available by prescription for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Low blood levels of lipoic acid are found in patients with diabetes, atherosclerosis, and liver cirrhosis.
Lipoic acid has many functions in your body: Continue reading
Recent research suggests that a dietary supplement containing molasses extract may contribute to the battle against obesity. The study, conducted by Richard Weisinger, Ph.D., will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), and may change the way people look at weight management.
Weisinger took two groups of mice and put both on a high fat diet. He supplemented each group’s diet with either 2 percent or 4 percent molasses extract. Twelve weeks later, the mice who were on the 4 percent extract diet had lower body weight and a decrease in a hormone produced by fat cells, all the while consuming similar amounts of fat as the other mice.
“The addition of molasses extract to a high fat diet Continue reading
Age takes its toll on our skin, just as it does on other parts of our bodies. Exposure to sunlight and oxygen throughout the years produces unstable molecules called free radicals, which cause inflammation, damage skin cells, and ultimately increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Although no magic pill can make you look 20 years younger, you can help your skin look as young as possible in a variety of ways. You probably already know the three surest ways to ensure youthful skin: protect your skin from the sun, don’t smoke, and eat a healthy diet.
Vitamins and Antioxidants for Skin
In addition to lifestyle changes, a variety of vitamins and antioxidants may also improve the health and quality of your skin. Although some vitamin and antioxidant treatments work from the outside in, others work from the inside out, targeting the harmful effects of sun damage and free radicals under the skin’s surface.
Eileen Ross started taking antioxidants to improve her health but shifted the focus to her skin when she started reading up on their benefits. “I developed a cocktail of vitamins and supplements so that I got the ones that were most beneficial for me,” says the 46-year-old preschool director from Smyrna, Ga.
After she started taking her “cocktail,” which includes vitamins E, C, B-12, and selenium, Ross noticed that she was getting more compliments on her skin. “I’ve heard that my skin is flawless or it looks very beautiful, very smooth,” she says.
Research is finding that some vitamins and antioxidants can reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the look of the skin, and protect against further sun damage. Here are a few of the most effective vitamins and antioxidants for the skin:
Vitamins C and E and Selenium for Your Skin
Research has found that vitamins C and E, as well as selenium, can help protect the skin against sun damage and skin cancer and can actually reverse some of the discoloration and wrinkles associated with aging and sun exposure. These antioxidants work by speeding up the skin’s natural repair systems and by directly inhibiting further damage, says Karen E. Burke, MD, PhD, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s department of dermatology.
Although you can find these nutrients in skin creams, the challenge with applying vitamins E and C to the skin is that the concentration in most creams tends to be low, and they can lose their effectiveness when exposed to air and light.
Burke recommends taking supplements containing 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E (in the D-alpha-tocopherol form), and 100-200 micrograms of selenium (l-selenomethionine) to gain the most benefit. (Don’t give selenium to children until they have all of their adult teeth because it can interfere with the proper formation of tooth enamel).
If you do use a topical form of these antioxidants, the most potent products contain 15% to 20% of vitamin C (non-esterified), 2% to 5% of vitamin E (D-alpha-tocopherol), and .02% to .05% selenium (l-selenomethionine).
Coenzyme Q10 for Your Skin
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant in the body that helps the cells grow and protects them from the ravages of cancer. A drop in natural levels of coenzyme Q10 that occurs in our later years is thought to contribute to the skin aging process. A study published in the journal Biofactors found that applying coenzyme Q10 to the skin helped minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Most studies conducted so far have used a 0.3% concentration of coenzyme Q10.
Alpha-lipoic Acid for Your Skin
This antioxidant, when applied topically, may help protect the skin from sun damage. Studies have looked at creams with 3%-5% concentration, applied every other day and building up slowly to once daily, and found some improvement in sun-induced changes in the skin.
When applied topically in higher concentrations, alpha-lipoic acid can cause adverse effects in some people.
Retinoic Acid for Your Skin
Retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin A in the skin, and the “gold standard” in anti-aging skin care, according to Burke. Topical retinoic acid (brand names Retin-A and Renova) treats fine wrinkles, age spots, and rough skin caused by sun exposure. In a study conducted at the Skin Research Institute in Korea and published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, researchers found that treatment with retinoic acid restored the elastic fibers that keep skin taut, and reduced the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinoic acid comes in gel and cream forms, which are typically used once a day. Although dermatologists used to believe that retinoic acid made the skin more sensitive to the sun, they now know that it actually protects against further sun damage. However, if you apply it in too high of a concentration and too often, retinoic acid can cause side effects — such as redness, extreme dryness, and peeling. Burke recommends starting with a low concentration (retinoic acid products range from 0.01% in gels to 0.1% in creams) and applying it once every second or third night to reverse photo damage more slowly.
Flavonoids (Green Tea and and Chocolate) for Your Skin
Green tea and yes, even chocolate, just might help improve your skin. Research suggests that the flavonoids in green tea might protect the skin from cancer and inflammation. A German study in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank hot cocoa with a high flavonoid concentration for three months had softer, smoother skin than women who drank hot cocoa with a lower flavonoid concentration.
Another study, this one in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that women whose skin was treated with green tea extract were more protected against the adverse effects of sunlight exposure. Although the results look promising so far, more research is needed to prove that flavonoids work and to determine the best dose, according to Burke.
B Vitamins for Your Skin
The B vitamins are essential for cells throughout the body, including skin cells. It’s important to get enough of foods rich in B vitamins, such as chicken, eggs, and fortified grain products because a B vitamin deficiency can lead to dry, itchy skin.
Research is showing that some B vitamins are beneficial when applied to the skin.
For example, in one study of hairless mice, researchers in Kawasaki, Japan, found topical application of an antioxidant derived from vitamin B-6 protected against sun-induced skin damage and decreased wrinkles.
There are many other plant-based extracts being studied for their positive effects on the skin, either when ingested or applied topically. Examples are rosemary, tomato paste (lycopene), coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, pomegranate, and soy. Some experts feel that a blend of many different antioxidants and extracts might be more effective than individual products. The final answer about the best doses and extracts remains to be determined by researchers.