New Research: Vitamin E Prevents Muscle Loss With Aging

vitamin e foodsA study from the journal “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” has demonstrated that vitamin E can prevent and treat the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs as people age.  This loss of muscle is known as “sarcopenia”.

Regarding the word “oxidative” that is included in the journal name, this refers to the process in our bodies where we process the oxygen we breathe in, and our cells produce energy from it.

This process can become imbalanced and create a state of “oxidative stress” if we don’t consume enough “anti” oxidants such as vitamins E, C and A.  Besides the body’s own natural metabolism functions, sources of oxidative stress can include pollution, medications or drugs, smoke, infection, stress, toxins, or a poor diet.

The researchers explain that vitamin E creates healthy muscles because a reduced level of vitamin E or a deficiency in the body is associated with an increased risk of muscle atrophy (shrinkage).  The vitamin can prevent muscle damage and encourage muscle regeneration.

Muscles in the body are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage as these are the site of the highest consumption of oxygen. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that greatly boosts cellular antioxidant capacity.  Because of this, vitamin E can be beneficial for preventing the effects of aging and for also treating infections, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurological disorders.

Several studies have demonstrated an association between vitamin E levels and the amount of muscle strength or weakness.  One study in Italy was done with 1,156 participants between 65 years old and 102.  Knee extension strength tests showed that a daily intake of vitamin E is significantly related to a person’s total physical performance and strength.

Another group of scientists proved the beneficial effects of vitamin E in reversing muscle damage during extensive exercise in men.  The men took 800 units of Vitamin E daily for 28 days.  After a downhill run, their oxidative stress indicators were measured and were shown to be markedly reduced in both the older and younger men.

Vitamin E has many pathways by which it brings its beneficial health effects.  In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, it is also an effective anti-inflammatory vitamin.  It may halt the overall inflammation in the body by suppressing certain reactive cells of the immune system.  These inflammatory responses and cells have a direct affect on muscle strength and mass as well, so vitamin E does its good deeds in benefiting the muscles in this additional way.

Inactivity and immobility can lead to muscle wasting, so the researchers highly encourage low intensity exercises as an effective means to increase muscle strength and performance.  This may include walking, lifting light weights, doing squats, etc.  This also increases a person’s ability to balance and control the body well.  Combining a healthy diet with nutrition supplements and exercise is the most highly recommended approach to improved muscle strength.

Vitamin E has also been shown to ease arthritis pain and stiffness.  One study showed that pain parameters were significantly decreased after vitamin E treatment when compared with placebo.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Best Laxative Foods: Studies on Flaxseed, Aloe Vera, Yogurt, Magnesium

laxative foodsIt can make a person feel so healthy and energetic to have smooth digestion and elimination, and it can feel equally as bad to experience an upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea.

With infrequent bowel movements, the digestive tract can retain a large quantity of toxic material that can accumulate over time and contribute to many chronic health problems and conditions. Nature has provided us with some time-tested and research-supported laxative foods that not only relieve constipation but also deliver many additional health benefits.

One of these foods is flaxseed, which has been proven to have a dual effectiveness for both constipation and diarrhea.  The study on flaxseed comes from the Natural Products Research Division of the Aga Khan Medical College in Pakistan.  Flaxseed oil and its gel-like fiber was given orally to people and it caused a dose-dependent increase in looser bowel movements – meaning that the higher the dose, the more effective it was. Flaxseed is also an effective remedy for hot flashes, other menopause symptoms and high cholesterol.

When studied for its anti-diarrheal effect, flaxseed oil reduced diarrhea by 50%, when it was induced by giving castor-oil.  This effect was discovered to be from the ability of flaxseed oil to prevent low potassium levels.  The researchers confirmed the medicinal use of flaxseed for both constipation and diarrhea, with a sound basis for both.

Aloe vera leaves are commonly used as a remedy for constipation and the laxative effect of their plant chemicals is well-proven.  In one study of 28 adults, aloe vera had a laxative response that was stronger than a stimulant called phenolphthalein.  The German Commission E, which is a governmental regulatory agency that has evaluated the usefulness of 300 different herbs, has approved aloe vera laxative preparations for use as a constipation treatment.  Aloe vera is also rich and vitamins and minerals and it enhances dental health when used as a mouthwash, heals canker sores and helps heal burns.

The stomach-friendly bacteria in yogurt known as “probiotics,” have been increasingly researched as a remedy for constipation.  Scientists from the School of Medicine at King’s College in London reviewed 14 studies involving 1,182 participants. The consensus of the studies is that certain strains of probiotics from supplements can speed up the movement of food through the intestines and it increase stool frequency.  Probiotics are widely available in supplements, yogurts (unsweetened is best), and foods such as sauerkraut and pickles. Probiotics are also known to strengthen immunity and encourage healthy skin.

Magnesium is a long-time, traditional and effective cure for constipation. A recent study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed this by their study of magnesium in 3,835 women in Japan — 26% of which had constipation.  The researchers found that low magnesium intake was associated with an increase in constipation.

They also discovered that dietary fiber intake, intake of water, or water from other fluids were not associated with constipation. However, low intake of water from foods was definitely related to constipation.  The foods highest in water content include vegetables and fruits, and these are a great assistance for achieving smooth stomach health.

Magnesium is also a proven remedy for insomnia, heart health, bone strength and headaches. In one study from the Romanian Journal of Neurology, researchers conducted biochemical and neurological tests in cases of restless leg syndrome with insomnia. The investigators reported several examples of sleep disorders. They found agitated sleep with frequent periods of night time awakenings and a decrease of the duration and percentage of the deeper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.  These things are also found in other forms of insomnia that are caused by magnesium deficiency.

This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002.  Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.

Chart of the Top Natural Headache Remedies Proven Effective

Young businesswoman has splitting headache pain migrainThis news on natural headache remedies is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II.

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Have you ever experienced a painful headache?

Many people who suffer with the pain of headaches or migraines are reaching out for natural, safe remedies, in order to avoid the side effects that can come with drugs or medications.

A headache is defined as a continuous pain in the head, whether it’s a chronic daily tension headache caused by muscle contractions or it’s a full blown migraine. A migraine is a throbbing, pounding pain that can last from a few hours to a few days. It can come from sensitivity to noise or light and often has an aspect of nausea or stomach upset.

There are a number of natural headache remedies that have been shown in studies to be effective.  Here are some of the most studied ones and the chart below has some additional options.

B vitamins

In a study from Griffith University in Brisbane Australia, scientists studied 52 people diagnosed with migraines. They were split into two groups and one half received a daily dose of B vitamins that included 25 milligrams of B6, 2 milligrams of folic acid (vitamin B9), and 400 micrograms of B12,  After six months, there was a significant lessening of migraine disability and symptoms from 60% to 30%. No reduction was seen in the placebo group.

Cayenne

The powerful active ingredient in Cayenne pepper is known as capsaicin. It is known for its ability to remedy pain and inflammation. One study on capsaicin for headache relief was published in the Clinical Journal of Pain. The researchers noted that capsaicin inhibits Substance P in the body, which is a substance that helps transmit pain signals.

Substance P is a part of what creates feelings of pain and capsaicin helps to remove it. The study found that when capsaicin was applied topically to the nasal passages, the participants found relief for headaches, whereas those taking the placebo didn’t. Capsaicin is available as a pill, skin cream or nasal spray.

Gluten free diet

In the quest for natural remedies for headaches, scientists have researched whether or not there’s a connection between migraine headaches and the gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Gluten is a protein-like substance that gives the dough from grains its elastic texture. One study from the journal “Neurology” discovered that eating a gluten-free diet brought relief from migraines to 9 out of 10 of the participants. This leads to the possibility that foods containing gluten can bring on headaches.

Magnesium

Studies have found that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body. The word “cephalalgia” literally means head pain or headache. In a German study of 81 migraine patients published in the journal “Cephalalgia”, 42 percent of the people taking oral magnesium had reduced both the duration and intensity of their migraine attacks. They also reduced their reliance on medications to control migraines.

Natural headache remedies can be a good first defense against headaches and migraines and can help one avoid medications. Enjoy the chart below.

natural headache remediesThis natural health news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs, makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

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