Infiniti 

Wellness Center

Top Health
   
 


   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 
             
   
- Introduction - Amino Acids
- Vitamins - Fats
- Minerals - Carbohydrates
- Herbs - Bibliography
   
     
 


How Food Substances Influence the Body
by Dr. Linda Fry, N.D.


In today’s society, the American diet seems to be a topic of much discussion. Through the last several years of study, I have come to the realization and belief that our food sources have been depleted of almost all-nutritional value. I truly believe that the only way we can stay healthy, be whole and live a long pain-free life is with supplementation and a whole food diet. Not only do our food sources have very little nutritional value, but what is left has been compromised by the addition of preservatives, antibiotics, steroids and hormones just to name a few. We need nutritional supplementation because of what our food is lacking and we need supplementation to ward off the ill effects of the dangerous additives that are placed in our foods today. The following chapters will outline various supplements, what they are and how they affect our body.

It appears we have but one choice if we want to live a long and healthy life style. A life that is free of pain and disease. The choice is to take care of our bodies. One third of all Americans are seeking help outside the realm of traditional medicine. More people are turning to alternative modalities for the reason of obtaining better health. Nutritional supplements have been used for many years to enhance the health of the body and fight diseases. Nutritional supplements have been added to our diet to help compensate for imbalances or deficiencies.

Vitamins

Vitamins regulate the metabolism and assist in biochemical processes that release energy from digested food. They are considered micronutrients because the body needs them in small amounts compared to other nutrients. Vitamins work with enzymes (coenzymes) which allow activities within the body to carry out as they should. Water-soluble vitamins need replenished daily while oil soluble vitamins can be stored for longer periods of time in the body’s fatty tissue and liver. It is important to have an adequate balance of vitamins and minerals in the body, but taking too many of either can upset the balance and can cause the same effects as taking too little.

Vitamin A- Is a fat-soluble vitamin, which the liver stores for future use. It must have plenty of protein to function, yet the more protein consumed, the more vitamin A is needed by the body. Vitamin A prevents night blindness and other eye problems; it helps with skin disorders and enhances immunity. Vitamin A can also help heal gastrointestinal ulcers and it is needed to repair skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A is important in the formation of bones and teeth, aids in fat storage, protects against colds, flues and infections of the kidneys, bladder, lungs and mucus membranes. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, protecting against cancer. Vitamin A is necessary for new cell growth and guards against heart disease and strokes lowering cholesterol levels. Vitamin A also slows the aging process and helps the body utilize proteins. Vitamin A also reduces wrinkles and age spots. Vitamin A is converted into beta-carotene in the liver, which neutralizes free radicals and stimulates the production of germ destroying antibodies.


B Complex- Helps to maintain the health of nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver and the mouth. Vitamin B-Complex also maintains healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. It acts as coenzymes; producing energy and aiding in depression or anxiety. B complex is important for older people because B-vitamins are not absorbed easily as we age. B Complex enables the body to convert food to energy and enables the body to use its fats and proteins for energy and body building.



Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)- Helps to maintain the health of nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver and the mouth. Vitamin B-Complex also maintains healthy muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and proper brain function. It acts as coenzymes; producing energy and aiding in depression or anxiety. B complex is important for older people because B-vitamins are not absorbed easily as we age. B Complex enables the body to convert food to energy and enables the body to use its fats and proteins for energy and body building.



Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)-Is necessary for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. B2 alleviates eye fatigue, is important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts and aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. B2 works with vitamin A to maintain and improve the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and facilitates the use of oxygen by the tissues of the skin, nails and hair. B2 also eliminates dandruff and helps the absorption of iron and B6. B2 can help to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Vitamin B2 is necessary for energy, growth and iron absorption and is also very important during pregnancy for fetal growth.

 

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Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide)-Stimulates blood circulation and aids in healthy skin and in the functioning of the nervous system. B3 also aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as in the production of hydrochloric acid. B3 is also involved in the normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. B3 is involved in the synthesis of sex hormones. B3 also lowers cholesterol and improves circulation. B3 is also helpful for schizophrenia and other mental disorders and is a memory enhancer.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) -Is known as the “Anti-Stress Vitamin” and plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and in the formation of antibodies. B5 aids in vitamin utilization and helps to convert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. B5 is also a stamina enhancer, prevents certain forms of anemia and produces neurotransmitters. B5 is needed for normal gastrointestinal functioning and may be helpful in treating depression and anxiety.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) -Plays a role in cancer immunity as well as aids in the prevention of arteriosclerosis and inhibits the formation of homocysteine. B6 aids in maintaining sodium and potassium balance. B6 is also useful in RNA/ DNA synthesis and activates enzymes. B6 aids in B12 absorption in immune system function and antibody production. B6 is also critical to energy, emotional and mental health and protein use. It is also necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid and the absorption of fats and protein.

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) -Is active in growth and protection of the nervous system. B 12 also protects against neurological deterioration as we age and can reverse the symptoms of certain neurological disorders. B12 is necessary to prevent anemia. B12 aids in proper digestion and absorption of foods as well as the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. B12 aids in cell formation and the growth and development of the nervous system by maintaining protection on nerve endings. B12 assists in memory and learning and can enhance sleep patterns. B12 may help prevent Parkinson’s disease and increase the synthesis of nerve function.

Vitamin C -Involved in at least 300 metabolic functions. Vitamin C aids tissue growth and repairs as well as adrenal gland function. Vitamin C aids in healthy gums and in the production of anti-stress hormones. Vitamin C is needed for metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine and phenylalanine. It can reduce symptoms of asthma. Vitamin C protects against harmful effects of pollution, helps to prevent cancer and enhances immunity. It also helps the absorption of iron. Vitamin C can render harmful metals harmless. Vitamin C may reduce “bad cholesterol’ while raising blood clotting and bruising. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of cataracts and promotes the healing of wounds and burns.

Vitamin D -Is required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is also necessary for growth and is very important for bone and teeth development in children. It protects against muscle weakness and is involved in heartbeat regulation. It is important in the prevention/treatment of breast/colon cancer, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and hypocalcaemia. Vitamin D enhances immunity and is necessary for thyroid function and normal blood clotting. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of colon polyps and prostate cancer and lessens the risk of coronary artery disease as well as decreases the chance of Type 1 Diabetes. It also increases muscle strength, coordination, and bone strength.

Vitamin E -Prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of lipids and the formation of free radicals. It protects other fat-soluble vitamins from destruction by oxygen as well as aiding in vitamin A absorption. Vitamin E protects ion density lipoproteins from oxidation.

Vitamin K -Produces prothrombin (used in blood clotting). It is essential for bone formation and repair and is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin (the protein in bone tissue where calcium crystallizes). Vitamin K can help prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin K plays an important role in the intestines and promotes healthy liver function as well as increases resistance to infection. Vitamin K also helps prevent cancers that target the inner linings of organs. Vitamin K aids in promoting longevity in converting glucose to glycogen for storage in the liver.

Biotin -Aids in cell growth and fatty acid production. Biotin aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as in the utilization of B-complex vitamins. Biotin is needed for healthy hair and skin. Biotin promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and helps relieve muscle pain.

Choline -Is needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses from the brain through the central nervous system. Choline is needed for gallbladder regulation, liver function and lecithin formation. Choline aids in hormone production. Choline minimizes fat in the liver by aiding fat and cholesterol metabolism and is beneficial for nervous system disorders. Choline also plays an important role in cardiovascular health.

Folate -Is needed for energy production and for the formation of red blood cells. Folate strengthens immunity by aiding in proper formation of white blood cells. It is important for healthy cell division and reproduction. Folate is involved in protein metabolism. It can help treat folic acid anemia and assists in the prevention of premature births. Folate may help treat depression and anxiety. Folate regulates homocysteine levels and regulates late embryonic and fetal nerve cell development.

Inositol -Is vital for hair growth. Inositol has a calming effect and helps to reduce cholesterol levels as well as helps to prevent hardening of arteries. Inositol is important in the formation of lecithin and the metabolism of fat and cholesterol. Inositol also helps to remove fats from the liver.

Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) -Is a basic constituent of Folate. Helps to protect against sunburn by reducing the absorption of UV-B radiation. PABA helps prevent skin cancer. PABA acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of protein and assists in the formation of red blood cells. PABA also aids in the maintenance of healthy intestinal flora. PABA protects from secondhand smoke, ozone, and other air pollutants. It reduces inflammation in arthritis and enhances flexibility.

Bioflavonoids -Are essential for Vitamin C absorption. Bioflavonoids are used in athletic injuries because they relieve pains, bumps and bruises and reduce pain in the legs and back. Bioflavonoids lessen symptoms associated with prolonged bleeding. They work with Vitamin C to preserve structure of capillaries. Bioflavonoids have an antibacterial affect and they treat and prevent cataracts. When taken with Vitamin C they can reduce the symptoms of oral herpes.

Coenzyme Q10 -Is a vitamin like substance and powerful antioxidant. COQ10 plays a critical role in producing energy. COQ10 aids circulation and stimulates the immune system. COQ10 increases tissue oxygenization and has vital anti-aging effects. COQ10 treats anomalies of mental function. It can help counter allergies, treat cardiovascular disease and enhances the immune system. COQ10 also protects the stomach lining and has the ability to counter histamine.

Minerals

Living cells depend on minerals for proper function and structure. They are needed for the proper composition of bodily fluids, the formation of blood and bone, the maintenance of healthy nerve function and the regulation of muscle tone. Minerals function as coenzymes. All enzyme activities involve minerals, so minerals are essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients. To maintain its proper chemical balance, the body relies on nutrients. Balance depends on the levels of different minerals in the body and the ratio of one nutrient to another. If the level of one mineral is out of balance then all other mineral levels are affected. This can start a chain reaction of imbalances that can lead to illness. Both trace minerals and bulk minerals are needed for good health.

Because minerals are stored primarily in the body’s bone and muscle tissue, it is possible to develop mineral toxicity if large quantities are consumed. This is rare; however, as toxic levels of minerals accumulate only with massive amounts ingested consistently over a long period of time. When mineral supplements are taken with a meal, they are usually automatically chelated 10 in the stomach during digestion. After minerals enter the body, they compete with one another for absorption. Fiber decreases the body’s absorption of minerals.

Four important minerals that most people are lacking are calcium, iodine, sodium and silicon. Calcium provides energy, tone and power. Paranoia, unfounded anxiety and shuttering can come from a lack of calcium. Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland. Excessive uses of sodium can bring calcium out of solution. Sodium buffers acids in the stomach and assists nutrients in transferring through the wall of the small intestine. The amount of sodium in the body is regulated by the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, adrenal glands and the skin. Chlorine aids muscles, digestion and osmosis and magnesium has sedative properties.

Boron -Promotes healthy bone and muscle growth and is necessary for the metabolism of calcium, phosphates and magnesium. Boron alleviates joint discomfort, enhances brain function and improves alertness. Boron also helps the body utilize energy from fats and sugars and prevents postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Calcium -Vital for strong bones, teeth and healthy gums. Calcium helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and to transmit nerve impulses. It also lowers cholesterol levels. Calcium prevents cardiovascular disease and is needed for muscular growth and contraction. Calcium is essential in blood clotting. Calcium also helps to prevent cancer. It lowers blood pressure, provides energy, activates enzymes and aids in neuromuscular activity. Calcium helps keep skin healthy and protects the bones and teeth from lead. Calcium maintains proper cell membrane permeability and can increase the rate of bone growth and bone density in children. Calcium is the leading element in promoting healing or knitting anywhere it is necessary; whether in the bones, tissues or any part of the body. Blood produces healing by transporting calcium to the needed area. Calcium is more important to healing than any other element. Calcium is responsible for solidity as well as movement of the body. It is essential to walking and mental and physical activities of all descriptions; without calcium the body would be like a jellyfish.

Chromium -Is needed for energy and is vital in cholesterol, fat and protein synthesis. Chromium maintains stable blood sugar levels and controls blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

Copper -Aids in the formation of bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells. Copper helps form elastin along with zinc and Vitamin C. Copper is also involved in the healing process, hair and skin coloring and taste sensitivity. Copper is needed for healthy nerves and joints and is essential for collagen formation.

Germanium -Improves cellular oxygenation. Germanium helps to fight pain and keep the immune system functioning properly while ridding the body of toxins and poisons. Germanium acts as a carrier of oxygen to the cells.

Iodine -Helps metabolize excess fats in the body. Iodine is important for physical and mental development. Iodine is also needed for a healthy thyroid gland and for the prevention of a goiter.

Iron -Produces hemoglobin and myoglobin. Iron oxygenizes red blood cells. It is essential for many enzymes and important for growth. Iron is required for a healthy immune system and for energy production. If iron were not present in the hemoglobin of the blood, man could not live long; like a fire without oxygen, he would suffocate and die. Metabolism would decrease and atrophy. Oxidation could not take place without iron in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells.



Magnesium -A vital catalyst in enzyme activity. Magnesium assists in calcium and potassium uptake. Magnesium helps prevent depression, dizziness, muscle twitching and weakness. Magnesium helps prevent Premenstrual Syndrome. In addition, magnesium aids in maintaining the body’s pH balance and temperature. Magnesium helps dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones. Magnesium prevents cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, certain forms of cancer and may reduce cholesterol levels. It reduces birth defects, prevents calcification of soft tissue and protects arterial linings from stress from sudden blood pressure changes. Magnesium also plays a role in bone formation. 1 Magnesium is called the “Relaxer.” Children are especially in need of it for healthy bowel function. Magnesium contributes to the alkalinity of the body and acts as a natural laxative for the bowel. Many backaches will disappear when magnesium is added to the diet. Magnesium soothes and cools the brain and nervous system in general.

 

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Manganese -In general, manganese deals with helping brain fibers make connections. Manganese also encourages the coordination of thought and purpose. Manganese should be considered when a tonic or favorable effect is desired on linings, membranes, joints, ligaments, gelatinous and tubular structures. It improves eyesight by improving small print and distance viewing.

Molybdenum -Used in nitrogen metabolism. Molybdenum aids in converting purines to uric acid and promotes normal cell function. Molybdenum also aids in enzyme activation, it also supports bone growth and strengths the teeth.

Phosphorus -Needed for blood clotting and bone and tooth formation. Additionally, phosphorus is needed for cell growth, contraction of the heart muscle, normal heart rhythm and kidney function. Phosphorus assists the body in utilizing vitamins and in the conversion of food to energy. A higher intellectual capacity depends on phosphorus – psychic perceptions, idealistic tendencies, humanitarianism, philanthropy, the subjective functions of the brain and physical brain sensation (especially taste and touch).

Potassium -Important for the nervous system and heart rhythm. Potassium helps prevent strokes. Potassium helps control the body’s water balance and electrical impulses. Potassium and can prevent kidney stones. Also, it aids in proper muscle contraction and in maintaining blood pressure. Potassium regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell walls.

Selenium -Inhibits the oxidation of lipids. Selenium protects the immune system by preventing the formation of free radicals. It regulates the effects of thyroid hormone on fat metabolism and prevents some tumors. Selenium also aids antibodies, infertility, cataracts, AIDS and high blood pressure.

Silicon -Necessary to form collagen. Silicon is necessary for healthy nails, skin and hair. Silicon is needed to maintain flexible arteries and prevent cardiovascular disease. Silicon also prevents Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Silicon stimulates the immune system and inhibits the aging process in tissues.

Sodium -Needed for proper water balance and blood pH. Sodium is necessary for stomach, nerve and muscle function.

Manganese -Needed for protein and fat metabolism, healthy nerves, a healthy immune system and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is used in energy production and is required for normal bone growth and reproduction. Manganese is also used for cartilage formation and bone synthesis.

Sulfur -Disinfects the blood and protects the protoplasm of cells. Sulfur stimulates bile secretion and protects against toxic substances. It is also needed for collagen synthesis. Sulfur can protect the body from harmful effects of radiation and pollution, and thus slows the aging process.

Vanadium -Needed for cellular metabolism and for the formation of bones and teeth. Vanadium plays a role in the growth and reproduction of the body. Vanadium also inhibits cholesterol synthesis and improves insulin utilization.

Zinc -Important in prostate gland function and the growth of reproductive organs. Zinc prevents acne and regulates oil glands. It promotes the healing of wounds, enhances activity of taste and smell and protects the liver from chemical damage. Zinc is also vital for bond formation.

Herbs

Medicinal benefits of herbs have been known for centuries. Herbs contain powerful ingredients that can help heal the body. The pharmaceutical industry was originally based upon the ability to isolate the components found in herbs and makes them available in a purer form. Other components act as buffers, synergists or counterbalances working in harmony with the more powerful ingredients. When herbs are used in their complete form, the body’s healing process utilizes a balance of ingredients provided by nature. Many herbs are rich in compounds that have a beneficial effect on certain organs and can be used as medicines to treat, cure or prevent disease. Herbs can help to nourish the immune system, stimulate the regeneration of damaged liver tissue, build the strength of the adrenal glands, counter out adverse effects of chemotherapy, balance the endocrine system, stimulate milk production and improve night vision. Tonic medicinal herbs help cells, tissues and organs to maintain balance. They can activate or invigorate bodily processes and supply important nutrients. Herbs taken over a longer period of time gently strengthen and improve overall health.

Acerola -Has antioxidant, anti-fungal and astringent properties. Acerola supports liver and hydrates skin. Acerola is useful for diarrhea and fever.

Alfalfa -Alkalizes and detoxifies the body. Alfalfa is a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal herb. Alfalfa lowers cholesterol, balances blood sugar and hormones and promotes pituitary gland function. Alfalfa is good for anemia, arthritis, ulcers, bleeding-related disorders and disorders of the bones, joints, digestive system and skin.


  Herbs

Aloe Vera -Acts as an astringent, emollient, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral herb. Heals burns and wounds when applied topically. Aloe stimulates cell regeneration, lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation due to radiation, increases blood cell regeneration for people with poor circulation and soothes digestive disorders.

Arnica -Soothes and heals skin wounds and irritations. Arnica relieves pain due to muscle spasm or joint inflammation. When arnica is used internally, it is good for coughs.

Ashwagandha -Rejuvenates and energizes the nervous system. It helps prevent stress-related disorders and increases physical endurance as well as improves sexual function. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects on the body. Ashwagandha also helps prevent stress related depletion of Vitamin C.

Astragalus -Protects the immune system and aids in adrenal gland function and digestion. Astragalus increases metabolism, produces spontaneous sweating, promotes healing and provides energy to combat fatigue and prolonged stress. Astragalus is good for colds, flu and immune deficiency problems, including AIDS, cancer and tumors. Astragalus helps chronic lung weakness.

Basil -Reduces stomach cramps and nausea. Basil relieves gas and promotes normal bowel function as well as aids in digestion.

Bayberry -Acts as an antioxidant, diuretic and urinary tract antiseptic. Bilberry keeps blood vessels flexible which allows for increased blood flow. Bilberry helps control insulin levels and strengthens connective tissues. Bilberry also supports and strengthens collagen structures, inhibits the growth of bacteria and has anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Birch -Diuretic, anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Birch helps with joint pain, urinary tract infections and boils and sores.

Black Cohosh -Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Black cohosh reduces mucus production and helps treat cardiovascular and circulatory disorders. Black cohosh induces labor and aids in childbirth. Also, black cohosh relieves menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps with back pain, morning sickness and arthritis pain.

Black Walnut -Aids in digestion and acts as a laxative. Black Walnut helps heal mouth and throat sores. Black Walnut also cleanses the body of some types of parasites as well as helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Blessed Thistle -Stimulates the appetite and stomach secretions. Blessed Thistle heals the liver, lessens inflammation, improves circulation, cleanses the blood and strengthens the heart. Blessed Thistle can increase milk flow in nursing mothers.

Blue Cohosh -Eases muscle spasms and stimulates uterine contractions in childbirth. Blue Cohosh helps for memory problems, nervous disorders and menstrual disorders.

Borage -Acts as an adrenal tonic and gland balancer. Borage contains valuable minerals and essential fatty acids needed for proper cardiovascular function, healthy skin and nails.

Boswellia -Anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Boswellia is used topically for pain relief, lowers cholesterol, protects the liver and helps repair blood vessels damaged from inflammation. Boswellia also helps lower back pain, arthritis, gout, myosistis and fibromyalgia.

Buchu -Is useful for urinary tract infections. Buchu is an effective diuretic. Buchu also has a stimulating effect on the body.

Burdock -Acts as an antioxidant. Burdock may help to control cell mutation. Burdock also aids in the elimination of excess fluid, uric acid, toxins and helps skin disorders. Burdock has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, purifies the blood, restores liver and gallbladder function and stimulates the digestive and immune system.

Butcher’s Broom -Reduces inflammation. Butcher’s Broom is useful for circulatory disorders. Butcher’s Broom is used for the bladder and kidneys, carpal tunnel syndrome, edema, varicose veins and vertigo.

Calendula -Reduces inflammation and is soothing to the skin. Calendula helps regulate the menstrual cycle and lower fevers. Useful for skin disorders, neuritis and toothache.

Caraway -Is an excellent digestive aid. Caraway helps expel gas and reduces nausea. Caraway is used to improve the appetite. It works as an effective expectorant for coughs due to colds. Caraway increases breast milk in nursing mothers.

Carrot -Promotes eye health. Carrot helps prevent cancer and lower cholesterol. Carrot also helps induce relaxation, eases indigestion and gas and may help relieve bronchitis. Carrot also helps control diarrhea.

Cascara Sagrada -Acts as a colon cleanser and laxative. Relieves constipation.

Catnip -Lowers fever, dispels gas and aids digestion. Catnip aids in sleep, relieves stress and stimulates the appetite.

Cat’s Claw -Acts as an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory. Cat’s Claw stimulates the immune system, cleanses the intestinal tract and enhances the action of white blood cells. Cat’s Claw helps treat intestinal problems and viral infections.

  Herbs  

Cayenne -Aids in digestion and circulation. Cayenne stops bleeding from ulcers and helps to ward off colds, sinus infections and sore throats. Cayenne is used topically for pain. Cayenne is good for the heart, kidney, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach.

Cedar -Acts as an anti-viral and anti-fungal herb. Cedar is an expectorant, lymphatic cleanser and urinary antiseptic. Cedar also stimulates the immune system and increases blood flow.


Celery - Reduces blood pressure. Celery also relieves muscle spasms and improves appetite. Celery acts as a diuretic, antioxidant and sedative.

Chamomile -Reduces inflammation. Chamomile stimulates the appetite and aids digestion and sleep. Chamomile acts as a diuretic and nerve tonic. Chamomile also is helpful for stress and anxiety as well as indigestion and insomnia.

Chaparral -Fights free radicals and chelates heavy metals from the body. Chaparral has anti-HIV activity. Chaparral protects against harmful effects of radiation, sun exposure, and the formation of tumors and cancer cells. In additional chaparral relieves pain and is good for skin disorders.

Chaste Tree -Has a calming and soothing effect on the body. Chaste Tree relieves muscle cramps, regulates and normalizes hormone levels and menstrual cycles.

Chickweed -Relieves nasal congestion and may lower blood lipids.

Chives -Good for digestion. Chives help prevent anemia caused by iron deficiency.

Cinnamon -Relieves diarrhea and nausea. Cinnamon also counteracts congestion, aids peripheral circulation, warms the body and enhances digestion. Also, cinnamon helps fight fungal infection.

Clove -Has antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties and acts as a digestive aid.

Comfrey -Speeds healing of wounds and many skin conditions.

Cranberry -Acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from adhering to bladder cells. Cranberry has anticancer properties. Cranberry is helpful for urinary tract infections and is beneficial for the kidneys, bladder and skin.

Damiana -Stimulates muscular contractions of the intestinal tract and delivery of oxygen to the genital area. Damiana is used as an energy tonic and aphrodisiac as well as a remedy for sexual and hormonal problems.

Dandelion -Acts as a diuretic in cleansing the blood and liver. Dandelion increases bile production, reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid levels. Dandelion also improves functioning of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen and stomach. Dandelion is used to relieve menopausal symptoms.

Devil’s Claw -Relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Devil’s Claw acts as a diuretic, sedative, and digestive stimulant on the body.

Dill -Soothes ingestion and upset stomach. Dill promotes the appetite. It helps milk production in nursing mothers. Dill is used to expel gas.

Dong Quai -Acts as a mild sedative, laxative, diuretic, antispasmodic and pain reliever. Dong Quai improves the blood, strengthens the reproductive system and assists the body in using hormones.

Echinacea -Fights inflammation. Echinacea also fights bacterial and viral infections. Echinacea is effective against the flu and stimulates certain white blood cells. Echinacea is good for the immune and lymphatic system.

Elder -Combats free radicals and inflammation. Elder relieves coughs and congestion. Elder builds the blood, cleanses the system and eases constipation. Elder is used to enhance the immune system and increases perspiration. Also, elder also lowers fevers, soothes the respiratory tract and stimulates circulation.

Eucalyptus -Acts as a decongestant and mild antiseptic. Eucalyptus reduces swelling by helping to increase blood flow. Eucalyptus also relaxes tired and sore muscles.

Evening Primrose -Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It reduces anxiety. Evening Primrose also helps to prevent heart disease and stroke by controlling high blood pressure and reducing cholesterol. Evening Primrose helps maintain healthy skin.

Eyebright -Prevents secretion of fluids and relieves discomfort from eyestrain or mild irritation. Eyebrights is used as an eyewash and combats fever.

Fennel -Used as an appetite suppressant and eye wash. Fennel also promotes kidney, liver and spleen function. Fennel clears the lungs and relieves abdominal pain, colon disorders, gas and gastrointestinal tract spasms. Fennel is useful for stomach acid.

Fenugreek -Acts as a laxative. Fenugreek lubricates the intestines and reduces fever. Fenugreek helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fenugreek reduces mucus and promotes lactation. Fenugreek is also good for the eyes and lung inflammation disorders as well as asthma and sinus problems.

Feverfew -Combats inflammation and muscle spasms. Feverfew increases fluidity of lung and bronchial tube mucus. Feverfew promotes menses, stimulates the appetite and stimulates uterine contractions. Feverfew is also used to relieve nausea and vomiting.

Flax -Promotes strong bones, nails and teeth. Flax also promotes healthy skin. Flax is useful for colon problems, female disorders and inflammation.

Fo-Ti -May help slow signs of premature aging. Used generally as a tonic to maintain health and energy. Fo-Ti is good for heart health and may help prevent cancer.

Garlic -Detoxifies the body and protects against infection by enhancing immune function. Garlic lowers blood pressure and blood lipid levels and improves circulation. Garlic helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is good for virtually any disease or infection.

Gentian -Aids in digestion, stimulates appetite and boosts circulation. Gentian also kills plasmodia and worms in the body and is good for circulatory problems and pancreatitis.

Ginger -Is a strong antioxidant. Ginger fights inflammation, cleanses the colon, reduces spasms and cramps and stimulates circulation. Ginger also is an effective anti-microbial agent for sores and wounds. Ginger protects the liver and stomach.

Ginkgo -Improves brain function. Ginkgo improves circulation and has antioxidant properties. Ginkgo also shows promise as a treatment for vascular related impotence.

Ginseng -Strengthens the adrenal and reproductive glands. Ginseng enhances immune function as well as promotes lung functioning. Ginseng also protects against radiation exposure and stimulates the appetite Ginseng is used by athletes for overall body strengthening.

Goldenseal -Fights infection and inflammation. Goldenseal cleanses the body and increases the effectiveness of insulin. Goldenseal strengthens the immune system, colon, liver, pancreas, spleen and lymphatic and respiratory systems. Goldenseal also improves digestion, regulates menses, decreases uterine bleeding and stimulates the central nervous system. Goldenseal can stop a cold, flu or sore throat from developing when taken at the first sign of symptoms.

Gotu Kola -Helps eliminate excess fluids. Gotu Kola decreases fatigue and depression. Gotu Kola increases sex drive, shrinks tissues, stimulates the central nervous system and promotes wound healing. Gotu Kola is also good for varicose veins and for heart and liver function. Gotu Kola may neutralize blood acids and lower body temperature.

Gravel Root -Acts as a diuretic and urinary tract tonic. Gravel Root combats prostate disorders, kidney stones and problems related to fluid retention.

Green Tea -Acts as an antioxidant and helps to protect against cancer. Green Tea lowers cholesterol levels, reduces the clotting tendency of the blood and stimulates the immune system. Also, Green Tea fights tooth decay, helps regulate blood sugar and insulin and combats mental fatigue. Green Tea is used for asthma.

Guarana -Acts as a general tonic, stimulant and intestinal cleanser. Guarana increases mental alertness, improves stamina and endurance as well as reduces fatigue.

Hawthorn -Dilates the coronary blood vessels. Hawthorn lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and restores heart muscle. Hawthorn also decreases fat deposit levels and increases intracellular Vitamin C levels in the body.

Hops -Relieves anxiety and stimulates the appetite. Hops calms you down, relieves indigestion and has been used as an old-time pain reliever.

Horehound -Decreases thickness and increases fluidity of mucus in the bronchial tubes and lungs. Horehound also boosts the immune system.

Horse Chestnut -Protects against vascular damage. Horse Chestnut also makes capillary walls less porous and shields against UV radiation damage.

Horsetail -Acts best as a diuretic. Horsetail lessens inflammation and reduces muscle cramps and spasms. Additionally, Horsetail aids calcium absorption which promotes healthy skin and strengthens bones, nails, and teeth, bolsters healing of broken bones and connective tissue. Horsetail also strengthens the heart and lungs.

Hydrangea -Stimulates the kidneys and acts as a diuretic.

Hyssop -Promotes expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract. Hyssop also relieves congestion, regulates blood pressure and dispels gas. Hyssop, when used externally, is good for wound healing.

Irish Moss -Acts as an expectorant and aids in the formation of stools. Irish Moss is good for bronchioles and many intestinal disorders.

Juniper -Acts as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and decongestant. Juniper also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Kava Kava -Induces physical and mental relaxation. Kava Kava acts as a diuretic, genitourinary antiseptic and gastrointestinal tonic. Kava Kava also relieves muscle spasms and eases pain.

Kudzu -Suppresses alcohol cravings. Kudzu lowers blood pressure and relieves headache, stiff neck, vertigo and tinnitus.

Lady’s Mantle -Promotes coagulation of the blood and stops bleeding. Promotes menstrual regularity. Lady’s Mantle improves the appetite and reduces vaginal irritation.

Lavender -Relieves stress and depression. Lavender is also beneficial for the skin.

Lemongrass -Acts as an astringent, tonic and digestive aid. Good for the skin and nails.

Licorice -Fights inflammation. Licorice also fights viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Cleanses the colon, reduces muscle spasms, increases fluidity of mucus in the lungs and bronchial tubes. Licorice promotes adrenal gland function. Licorice can change the pitch of the voice and helps inhibit the growth of plaque and bacteria on tooth enamel. Also, Licorice has an estrogen and progesterone effect on the body.

Marshmallow -Aids the body in expelling excess fluid and mucus. Marshmallow also soothes and heals the skin, mucous membranes and other tissues externally and internally.

Meadowsweet -Tightens tissues and promotes elimination of excess fluid. Meadowsweet reduces inflammation and strengthens and tones the system.

Motherwort -Protects the liver from toxins and pollutants. Milk Thistle protects the kidneys as well as prevents free radical damage in the body. Milk Thistle also stimulates the production of new liver cells.

Muira Puma -Helps to relieve pain. Muira Puma acts as a mild laxative and detoxifier. It also supports the heart. Muira Puma balances sex hormones and has a general tonic effect.

Mullein -Acts as a laxative. Mullein also is used as a painkiller and sleeping aid. Mullein clears congestion and soothes inflammation in the kidneys.

Mustard -Improves digestion and aids in the metabolism of fat. Applied externally, Mustard is helpful for chest congestion, inflammation, injuries and joint pain.

Myrrh -Acts as an antiseptic, disinfectant, expectorant and deodorizer. Myrrh stimulates the immune system and gastric secretions. Myrrh also tones and stimulates mucus tissue and helps to fight harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Nettle -Acts as a diuretic, expectorant, pain reliever and tonic. Nettle also improves goiter, inflammatory conditions and mucous conditions of the lungs.

Oat Straw -Acts as an anti-depressant and restorative nerve tonic. Oat Straw increases perspiration and helps to ease insomnia.

Olive Leaf -Fights all types of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites conditions. Olive Leaf helps fight off colds and flu. Olive Leaf may have antioxidant properties and has potential for lowering high blood pressure. Olive Leaf is good for virtually any infectious diseases.

Onion -Is a good expectorant and antiseptic. Onion relieves symptoms of the common cold and relieves gas. It helps prevent heart disease and cancer. Onion is an antifungal and is good for the treatment of warts.

Oregon Grape -Purifies the blood and cleanses the liver. Oregon Grape also acts as a laxative and is also good for skin conditions.

Papaya -Stimulates the appetite and aids digestion. Papaya aids in the breakdown and metabolism of protein.

Parsley -Prevents the multiplication of tumor cells. Parsley also expels worms, relieves gas, stimulates normal activity of the digestive system and freshens the breath. Parsley helps bladder, kidney, liver, lung, stomach and thyroid function. Parsley helps settle the stomach after a meal and clears congestion due to coughs and colds. Parsley is soothing for asthma and the oil may induce menstruation.

Passion Flower -Has a gentle sedative effect and helps lower blood pressure.

Pau D’ Arco -Fights bacterial and viral infection. Pau D’ Arco also cleanses the blood.

Pennyroyal -Helps promote productive coughing. Pennyroyal is good to take at an onset of a cold. Pennyroyal also brings on menstruation and relieves PMS and menstrual cramps.

Peppermint -Increases stomach acidity aiding in digestion. Peppermint slightly anesthetizes mucus membranes and the gastrointestinal tract.

Plantain -Acts as a diuretic and is soothing to the lungs and urinary tract. Plantain may slow the growth of tuberculosis bacteria. Plantain also has a healing, antibiotic and styptic effect when used topically for sores and wounds.

Pleurisy Root -Reduces inflammation of the pleural membranes in the lungs. Pleurisy Root increases secretion of healthy lung fluids and stimulates the lymphatic system. Pleurisy Root induces sweating and aids expectoration. Pleurisy Root has antispasmodic properties.

Pumpkin -Useful for prostate disorders and an irritable bladder.

Pygeum - Reduces inflammation and congestion. Pygeum also lowers levels of inflammatory compounds in the prostate.

Red Clover -Fights infection. Red Clover suppresses the appetite and purifies the blood. Red Clover has an expectorant, anti-spasmodic and relaxing effect on the body. Red Clover also relieves menopausal symptoms.

Red Raspberry -Reduces menstrual bleeding. Red Raspberry promotes healthy nails, bones, teeth and skin. Red Raspberry relaxes uterine and intestinal spasms and strengthens uterine walls. Red Raspberry prepares the uterus for childbirth and may help shorten delivery.

Rhubarb -Fights infection and eliminates worms. Rhubarb enhances gallbladder function and promotes the healing of duodenal ulcers.

Rose -Good for combating bladder problems. Rose is also effective for the treatment of all infections.

Rosemary -Fights free radicals. Rosemary is used to relieve inflammation, bacteria and fungi in the body. Rosemary relaxes the stomach, stimulates circulation and digestion, improves circulation to the brain and helps detoxify the liver. Rosemary acts as an astringent and decongestant. Rosemary has anticancer and anti-tumor properties.

Sage -Stimulates the central nervous system and digestive tract. Sage reduces sweating and salivation. Sage is also beneficial for disorders affecting the nose and mouth. Sage has an estrogenic effect on the body.

St. John’s Wort -Good for depression and nerve pain. St. John’s Wort helps to control stress. Applied topically, the oil of St. John’s Wort aids in wound healing.

Sarsaparilla -Promotes excretion of fluids. Sarsaparilla increases energy, protects against harm from radiation exposure and regulates hormones.

Saw Palmetto -Acts as a diuretic, urinary antiseptic and appetite stimulant. Saw Palmetto inhibits the production of a hormone that leads to enlargement of the prostate.

Shitake Mushroom -Boosts the immune system and lowers blood cholesterol.

Skullcap -Aids the body in sleeping. Skullcap improves circulation as well as helps in strengthening the heart muscle. Skullcap also relieves muscle cramps, pain, spasms and stress. 1 Skullcap helps reduce nervous and muscle tension.

Slippery Elm -Soothes inflamed mucous membranes of the bowels, stomach and urinary tract. Slippery Elm provides a soothing coating to the throat and esophagus.

Suma -Fights inflammation. Suma also boosts the immune system and combats anemia as well as fatigue and stress.

Tea Tree -Used topically, disinfects wounds and heals virtually all skin conditions.

Thyme -Eliminates gas and reduces fever. Thyme is also used for headaches and mucus conditions. Thyme has strong antiseptic properties and lowers cholesterol levels.

Turmeric -Fights free radicals. Turmeric protects the liver against toxins. It inhibits platelet aggregation, aids circulation, lowers cholesterol levels and improves blood vessel health. Turmeric also has antibiotic, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is good for all arthritic conditions. Turmeric helps the prevent sticking together of blood cells that could cause dangerous clots. It is good for liver function and helps prevent gallbladder disease. Turmeric also relieves symptoms of arthritis.

Uva Ursi -Promotes excretion of fluids. Uva Ursi fights bacteria as well as strengthens the • heart muscle. Uva Ursi relieves the pain from cystitis and nephritis. It also eliminates excessive bloating due to water retention.

Valerian -Acts as a sedative. Valerian helps improve circulation and reduces mucous from colds. Valerian calms you down and relieves insomnia. It is good to use for muscle tension and for periods of extreme emotional stress. Valerian is also used to relieve gas pains and stomach cramps.

Vervain -Strengthens the nervous system. It promotes liver and gallbladder health. Vervain reduces tension and stress. Vervain also induces sweating.

White Oak -Acts as an antiseptic. White Oak is good for skin wounds.

White Willow -Relieves pain. White Willow reduces inflammation. It is good for neuralgia. White Willow relieves swollen joints due to rheumatism and arthritis.

Wild Cherry -Acts as an expectorant and as a mild sedative.

Wild Oregano -Fights free radicals. Wild Oregano is beneficial for inflammation. Wild Oregano is used also for bacterial, viral and fungal infections and used to boosts the immune system.

Wild Yam -Relaxes muscles spasms. Wild Yam also reduces inflammation and promotes perspiration. Wild Yam contains hormones similar to the hormone progesterone.

Wintergreen -Relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Wintergreen is used to stimulate circulation.

Witch Hazel -Has astringent and healing properties. Witch Hazel relieves itching when applied topically.

Wood Betony -Stimulates the heart and relaxes muscles. Wood Betony improves digestion of food.

Wormwood -Acts as a mild sedative. Wormwood eliminates worms, increases stomach acidity and lowers fever.

Yellow Dock -Acts as a blood purifier and cleanser. Also, Yellow Dock improves colon and liver function.

Yerba Mate -Fights free radicals. Yerba Mate cleanses the blood, suppresses the appetite, fights aging, stimulates and tones the mind and stimulates cortisone production. Yerba Mate also tones the nervous system and enhances the healing powers of other herbs. Yerba Mate quiets a nagging cough and helps clear the chest of phlegm. Yerba Mate also relieves congestion due to allergies.

Yohimbe -Increases libido and blood from the erectile tissue. In addition, Yohimbe is used to increase testosterone levels.

Yucca -Purifies the blood. 1 Yucca reduces inflammation and relieves joint pain due to arthritis and rheumatism.

Amino Acids

Amino Acids are chemical units (“Building Blocks”) of proteins and are all the products of hydrolysis (protein digestion). To understand how vital amino acids are, you must understand how essential proteins are to life. It is the protein that provides the structure for all living things. Proteins are chains of amino acids linked together by what are called peptide bonds. Each protein in the body is tailored to a specific need; proteins are not interchangeable. Proteins participate in the vital chemical processes that sustain life. Proteins also make up the greatest portion of body weight besides water.

The enzymes and hormones that catalyze and regulate bodily functions are proteins. They help to regulate the body’s water balance and maintain proper pH as well as assist in the exchange of nutrients between the intercellular fluids and tissues, blood and lymph. A deficiency of proteins can cause edema. Proteins form the structural basis of chromosomes, through which genetic information is passed to offspring. Genetic “code” in DNA is information on how to make that cell’s proteins.

Each individual type of protein is composed of a specific group of amino acids in a specific chemical arrangement. It is the particular amino acids present and the way in which they are linked together in sequence that give the proteins that make up the various tissues their unique functions and characters. Amino Acids contain about 16% Nitrogen, which distinguishes them from other nutrients that do not contain nitrogen, like sugars and fatty acids. Individual types of proteins are composed of a specific group of amino acids in a certain chemical arrangement. Proteins are not obtained directly from the diet. Dietary protein is broken down into amino acids.

Thus, amino acids rather than protein are the essential nutrients. Some amino acids are used in metabolic functions; some are neurotransmitters that can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Amino Acids also enable vitamins and minerals to perform their jobs properly. Some deficiencies have been linked to low amino acid levels. The lack of vital proteins can lead to problems ranging from indigestion to depression. There are 22 separate amino acids. Thirteen can be manufactured in the body and the other nine are available through dietary protein. The liver produces about 80% of all amino acids while 20% must be obtained from the diet.

If any essential amino acid is low or missing, the effectiveness of all the others will be proportionally reduced. Amino acids are not only where proteins form, but also are the products of protein digestion. Most amino acids can be converted into others or manufactured by the body if there is a shortage of one type. Any amino acids which are not needed for the construction of new protein molecules can be burned as fuel.

Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body's proteins, muscle and so forth. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use. Amino acids must be in the food every day.

The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids.

Alanine -Plays a role in the transfer from peripheral tissue to the liver and aids in glucose metabolism. Alanine guards against the buildup of toxic substances.

Arginine -Enhances the immune function. Arginine retards growth of tumors and Arginine aids in liver detox, heals and repairs damaged tissues. It is important for muscle metabolism and aids in weight loss and insulin production. Arginine also assists in the release of growth hormones and helps treat arthritis and connective tissue disorders. It is good for liver disorders.

Asparagine -Created from Aspartic Acid. Asparagine is needed to balance the central nervous system and it also keeps the body from being overly nervous or overly calm.

Aspartic Acid -Increases stamina. Aspartic Acid is good for fatigue and depression. Aspartic Acid plays a vital role in metabolism and is beneficial for neural and brain disorders. It aids in the removal of excess ammonia. Aspartic Acid combines with other amino acids to form molecules that remove toxins from the blood stream. It aids in cell function and in the function of RNA and DNA. Aspartic Acid also enhances the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies.

Carnitine -Transports fatty acids and creates energy for the muscles. Carnitine prevents fatty buildup and lessens the risk of heart disorders. It also aids in weight loss. Carnitine improves the mobility of sperm and improves muscle strength in people with neuromuscular disorders. Carnitine appears to reduce the formation and accumulation of fat, encourages the formation of skeletal and cardiac muscular tissue and is involved in certain oxidative reactions. Carnitine supplementation has been shown to be helpful for some people with depression and may help prevent complications associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine -Involved in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Acetyl-L-Carnitine increases levels of carnitine in the system. Acetyl-L-Carnitine also slows the progression of Alzheimer’s. Acetyl-L-Carnitine can treat depression as well as many cognitive disorders.

Carnosine -Prevents glycosylation, which can be beneficial for combating diabetes, kidney failure, neuropathy and aging in general. Accelerated brain glycation (glucose cross-linking with proteins) and the resulting brain damage occur early in the life of those with Down syndrome and carnosine is also an antiglycation agent that may prevent or at least reduce this brain damage.

Citrulline -Promotes energy. Citrulline stimulates the immune system and detoxifies ammonia in the liver.

Cysteine -Aids in the formation of skin and is important in detoxification. Cysteine aids in collagen production, destroys free radicals and protects the liver and brain from chemical damage. Cysteine can be used to treat arthritis, hardening of the arteries and cancer and promotes healing after surgery. Cysteine also chelates heavy metals and promotes the burning of fat and building of muscle.

Cystine -Prevents side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and has an anti-aging effect.

Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid (GABA) -Acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA aids in proper brain function and inhibits nerve cells from over firing. GABA calms the body; stimulates the release of sex hormones and promotes growth hormone secretion.

Glutamic Acid -Corrects personality disorders. Glutamic Acid also treats epilepsy, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, ulcers and hypoglycemic coma.

Glutamine -Can be helpful in the treatment of arthritis. Glutamine is also used to treat autoimmune diseases, fibrosis, intestinal disorders, peptic ulcers and connective tissue diseases. Glutamine is used to enhance mental functioning. Glutamine is known as brain fuel and it has been used to treat a range of problems, including developmental disabilities, epilepsy, fatigue, impotence, depression, schizophrenia, and senility. Glutamine is the most prevalent amino acid in the body. It represents approximately 60% of the intracellular amino acids in the muscle. The intestines use it as an oxidizing fuel source, which spares glucose. It is involved with the synthesis of proteins, nucleotides and glutathione. Glutamine supplementation has been shown to assist surgery patients, people with peptic ulcers and has a protective effect for people with aspirin-induced gastric ulceration.

Glutathione -Detoxifies harmful compounds so that they can be excreted through the bile. Glutathione can mitigate some of the damage caused by tobacco smoke and may protect the liver from alcohol-induced damage.

Glycine -Glycine is necessary for central nervous system function and a healthy prostate. Glycine has been used in the treatment of manic (bipolar) depression and can be effective when used to treat hyperactivity. Glycine also retards muscle degeneration.

Histidine -Protects the body from radiation damage. Histidine helps lower blood pressure, aids in removing heavy metals from the system and may help in the prevention of AIDS. Because Histamine also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, it may be helpful for people with indigestion resulting from a lack of stomach acid. Histidine is significant in the growth and repair of tissues.

Homocysteine -Makes the blood more prone to clotting. Homocysteine also promotes the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) “bad cholesterol”, which makes it more likely that cholesterol will be deposited as plaque in the blood vessels.

Isoleucine -Is needed for hemoglobin formation. Isoleucine stabilizes and regulates blood sugar and energy levels. Often used by athletes, it can enhance energy, increase endurance and aid in the healing and repair of muscle tissue. Isoleucine is found to be deficient in people suffering from many different mental and physical disorders.

Leucine -One of the branched-chained amino acids, it works together with other branched-chained amino acids to protect muscle and act as fuel. Leucine promotes the healing of bones, skin and muscle tissue. Leucine also lowers elevated blood sugar levels and aids in increasing growth hormone production.

Lysine -Needed for proper growth and bone development in children. Lysine helps calcium absorption and maintains a proper nitrogen balance in adults. It aids in the production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes as well as helps in collagen formation and tissue repair. Lysine is very useful for fighting cold sores and herpes viruses. Lysine is beneficial for those recovering from surgery and sports injuries because it helps to build muscle protein. Lysine also lowers high triglyceride levels.

Methionine -Assists in the breakdown of fats, thus helping to prevent a buildup of fat in the liver and arteries that might obstruct blood flow to the brain, heart and kidneys. Methionine helps the digestive system and helps to detoxify harmful agents such as lead and other heavy metals. Also, methionine helps diminish muscle weakness, prevents brittle hair and protects against radiation. It is useful in the treatment of rheumatic fever and toxemia of pregnancy. Methionine is a good source of sulfur, which inactivates free radicals and helps to prevent skin and nail problems. Methionine is good for people with Gilbert’s syndrome, an anomaly of liver function. It is beneficial for women who take oral contraceptives because it promotes the excretion of estrogen. Methionine reduces the level of histamine in the body, which can be useful for people with schizophrenia, whose histamine levels are typically higher than normal.

Ornithine -Helps to prompt the release of growth hormones, which promotes the metabolism of excess body fat. Ornithine is necessary for proper immune system and liver function. Ornithine detoxifies ammonia and aids in liver regeneration. High concentrations of ornithine are found in the skin and connective tissue, making it useful for promoting healing and repairing damaged tissues.

Phenylalanine -Because of its relationship to the action of the central nervous system, Phenylalanine can elevate mood, decrease pain, aid in memory and learning, and suppress the appetite. Phenylalanine can be used to treat arthritis, depression, menstrual cramps, migraines, obesity, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Phenylalanine has been used to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and various types of chronic pain.

Proline -Improves skin texture by aiding in the production of collagen and reducing the loss of collagen through the aging process. Proline helps in the healing of cartilage and the strengthening of joints, tendons and the heart muscle. Proline works with Vitamin C to promote healthy connective tissue.

Serine -Is needed for the proper metabolism of fats and fatty acids, the growth of muscle and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Serine is a component of brain proteins and the protective myelin sheaths that cover nerve fibers. It is important in RNA and DNA function, cell membrane formation and creatine synthesis. Serine also aids in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies. However, too-high serine levels in the body may have adverse effects on the immune system.

Taurine -High concentrations of taurine are found in the heart muscle, white blood cells, skeletal muscle and central nervous system. Taurine is a building block of all the other amino acids as well as a key component of bile, which is needed for the digestion of fats, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the control of serum cholesterol levels. Taurine can be useful for people with atherosclerosis, edema, heart disorders, hypertension or hypoglycemia. Taurine is also vital for the proper utilization of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and it has been shown to play a particular role in sparing the loss of potassium from the heart muscle. Taurine helps to prevent the development of potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. Taurine also has a protective effect on the brain, particularly if the brain is dehydrated and is used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function and seizures. In addition, taurine is associated with zinc in maintaining eye function and may benefit children with Down syndrome and muscular dystrophy. Taurine may reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Cardiac arrhythmias, disorders of platelet formation, intestinal problems, an overgrowth of Candida, physical or emotional stress, a zinc deficiency and excessive consumption of alcohol are all associated with high urinary losses of taurine.

Threonine -Important for the formation of collagen, elastin and tooth enamel. Threonine aids liver and lipotropic functions when combined with Aspartic acid and methionine. Threonine is present in the heart, central nervous system and skeletal muscle and helps to prevent fatty buildup in the liver. Threonine enhances the immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies and may be helpful in treating some types of depression. Threonine also helps to maintain a proper protein balance in the body.

Tryptophan -Used by the brain to produce serotonin and is responsible for normal sleep. Tryptophan helps to combat depression and insomnia and to stabilize moods. Tryptophan also helps control hyperactivity in children, alleviates stress. It is good for the heart, aids in weight control by reducing appetite and enhances the release of growth hormones. Tryptophan is also good for migraine headaches and may reduce some of the effects of nicotine.

Tyrosine -Important for overall metabolism. Tyrosine acts as a mood elevator and is a precursor of adrenaline and the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which regulate mood and stimulate metabolism and the nervous system. A lack of adequate amounts of Tyrosine leads to a deficiency of norepinephrine in the brain, which in turn can result in depression. Tyrosine also acts as a mild antioxidant, suppresses the appetite and helps to reduce body fat. Tyrosine aids in the production of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin and hair color) and in the functions of the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. Low plasma levels of tyrosine have been associated with hypothyroidism. Symptoms of tyrosine deficiency can also include low blood pressure, low body temperature (such as cold hands and feet) and restless leg syndrome. Tyrosine has been used for stress reduction and may be helpful against chronic fatigue and narcolepsy. Tyrosine has also been used to help individuals suffering form anxiety, depression, low sex drive, allergies and headaches, as well as persons undergoing withdrawal from drugs. Tyrosine may also help people with Parkinson’s disease. There is evidence to support that tyrosine is involved with the adrenal gland, blood pressure, cognition, lupus, melanoma, memory, moods, phenylketonuria, rheumatoid arthritis and stress.

Valine -Has a stimulant effect. Valine is needed for muscle metabolism, tissue repair and the maintenance of a proper nitrogen balance in the body. Valine is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue. Valine may be helpful in treating liver and gallbladder disease and is good for correcting the type of severe amino acid deficiencies that can be caused by drug addiction. Valine can be used as an energy source by muscle tissue.

Fats

During childhood and infancy, fats are necessary for normal brain development. Fats are essential to provide energy and supply growth. Fat is also the most concentrated source of energy available to the body. However, after about two years of age, the body requires only small amounts of fat. Excess fat intake is a major causative factor in obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and colon cancer. To understand how fat intake is related to health problems, it is necessary to understand the different types of fats available and the ways in which these fats act within the body. Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids. There are three major categories of fatty acids which are saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These classifications are based on the number of hydrogen atoms in the chemical structure of a given molecule of fatty acid.

Saturated fatty acids are found primarily in animal products and fatty meats. Some vegetable products, including coconut oil, palm kernel oil and vegetable shortening, are also high in saturates. The liver uses saturated fats to manufacture cholesterol. The excessive dietary intake of saturated fats can significantly raise the blood cholesterol level, especially the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). This is why saturated fats have the nickname “bad cholesterol.”

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in greatest abundance in corn, soybean, safflower and sunflower oils. Certain fish oils are also high in polyunsaturates. Unlike the saturated fats, polyunsaturates may lower total blood cholesterol levels and can reduce levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), and are known as “good cholesterol.” For this reason, and because polyunsaturates, like all fats, are high in calories for their weight and volume; the NCEP guidelines state that an individual’s intake of polyunsaturated fats should not exceed 10 percent of total caloric intake.

Monosaturated fatty acids are found mostly in vegetable and nut oils such as olive, peanut and canola oil. These fats appear to reduce blood levels of LDLs without affecting HDLs in any way. Essential fatty acids improve the skin and hair, reduce blood pressure, aid in the prevention of arthritis, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce the risk for blood clot formation and aid in the transmission of nerve impulses.

Some other sources of “good fats” are:

  • Borage oil, which contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). Borage oil is helpful in reducing inflammation and the pain of arthritis. Borage oil can strengthen adrenal glands and may help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce PMS.
  • Canola oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat which can raise levels of good cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Evening primrose oil is another essential fatty acid containing GLA. Evening primrose oil converts into hormone like compounds helpful in treating PMS symptoms. Evening primrose oil helps in maintaining healthy skin, reducing cholesterol and controlling high blood pressure.
  • Flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may block the growth of cancerous tumors. Flaxseed oil also reduces inflammation and helps normalize hormone levels.
  • Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat that can raise levels of good-cholesterol. Olive oil lowers the risk of heart disease (use extra-virgin cold-pressed if using this in food).
  • Pumpkin seed oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil helps digestion, circulation and is good for pregnant and lactating women.

Methionine, choline, inositol and betaine are all lipotropics. Their prime function is to prevent abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. Lipotropics increase the liver’s production of lecithin. By doing this, it keeps cholesterol more soluble. By helping the liver produce lecithin, they are also helping to keep cholesterol from forming dangerous deposits in the blood vessels, lessening chances of heart attacks, arteriosclerosis and gallstone formation. Lipotropics also detoxify the liver as well as increase resistance to disease.

Lipotropics help the thymus gland in stimulating the production of antibodies and the growth and action of phagocytes (which surround and gobble up invading viruses and microbes) and in destroying foreign or abnormal tissue.

We all need lipotropics, some of us more than others do. People on high-protein diets especially need more lipotropics. Because nearly all of us consume too much fat, and because that fact that a substantial part of the fat we consume is saturated fat, lipotropics are indispensable.

At least two-thirds of body cholesterol is produced by the liver or in the intestine. It is found there as well as in the brain, the adrenals and nerve fiber sheaths. When it is good, it is extremely beneficial. When referring to the “good” kind of cholesterol, it has many uses by the body.

Some other sources of “good fats” are:

  • Cholesterol in the skin is converted to essential vitamin D when touched by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Cholesterol aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates. (The more carbohydrates ingested, the more cholesterol that is produced).
  • Cholesterol is a prime supplier of life-essential adrenal steroid hormones, such as cortisone.
  • Cholesterol is a component of every membrane and necessary for the production of male and female sex hormones.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a unique component of fish and fish oils, EPA and DHA. They can reduce harmful cholesterol and triglycerides and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. Omega-3s can help prevent fatal heart rhythm disturbances and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Omega-3s reduce the body’s rejection of tissue grafts, aid in the reduction and severity of migraine headaches, fight harmful effects of prostaglandins (which lower immunity and encourage tumor growth). Omega-3 can help in preventing arteriosclerosis, keep skin, hair and nails healthy and aid in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis.

Despite the inconvenience, reducing fat intake may be worth it. Evidence is accumulating that arteriosclerosis is not a permanent condition. Arteriosclerosis, in some cases, has been reversed.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a unique component of fish and fish oils, EPA and DHA. They can reduce harmful cholesterol and triglycerides and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. Omega-3s can help prevent fatal heart rhythm disturbances and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Omega-3s reduce the body’s rejection of tissue grafts, aid in the reduction and severity of migraine headaches, fight harmful effects of prostaglandins (which lower immunity and encourage tumor growth). Omega-3 can help in preventing arteriosclerosis, keep skin, hair and nails healthy and aid in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates supply the body with the energy it needs to function. They are the main source of blood glucose: major fuel for all the body’s cells and the only source of energy for the brain and red blood cells. Eating carbohydrates can have a mild tranquilizing effect on the body and can be beneficial for people suffering from seasonal affective disorders and/or depression.

Fiber is a component of some carbohydrates. Dietary fiber is only part of the plant resistant to digestive enzymes. Several important benefits of fiber are that it retains water, prevents constipation and hemorrhoids and reduces the risk of colon cancer. It binds with certain substances that would normally produce cholesterol and eliminates these substances. In this way, fiber lowers cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Fiber is a component of some carbohydrates. Dietary fiber is only part of the plant resistant to digestive enzymes. Several important benefits of fiber are that it retains water, prevents constipation and hemorrhoids and reduces the risk of colon cancer. It binds with certain substances that would normally produce cholesterol and eliminates these substances. In this way, fiber lowers cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Humans eat more carbohydrates than any other substance. For every ounce of protein consumed, 10 ounces of carbohydrates are likewise consumed. Without this, the body’s primary source of energy would be gone. Unlike other carbohydrates, sugars are not starches that have to undergo a transformation in order to be used. Instead, they are absorbed directly, resulting in a burst of energy, followed by a sudden drop in energy when the sugar is completely used.

As carbon is the major constituent of sugars, we refer to them as carbohydrates. A variety of sugars enters the human body; fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), glucose (starch sugar or grape sugar), saccharose (cane sugar), refined sugar and many others. The liver produces a sugar called glycogen, which is comparable to starch sugar. Muscle metabolism is highly dependent upon carbon, as muscles demand sugar for warmth and energy; with about one percent glycogen content, they account for some forty percent of body weight.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Your liver breaks down carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar), which is used for energy by the body.

Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex. The classification depends on the chemical structure of the particular food source and reflects how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed. Simple carbohydrates have one (single) or two (double) sugars while complex carbohydrates have three or more.

Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as "starchy" foods, include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Simple carbohydrates that contain vitamins and minerals occur naturally in fruits, milk and milk products and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates are also found in processed and refined sugars such as table sugar, syrups (not including natural syrups such as maple), regular (non-diet) carbonated beverages and candy.

Refined sugars provide calories, but lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Such simple sugars are often called "empty calories" and can lead to weight gain. In addition, many refined foods, such as white flour, sugar, and polished rice, lack B vitamins and other important nutrients. It is healthiest to obtain carbohydrates, vitamins, and other nutrients in as natural a form as possible. This would include, eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, rice and legumes.

The main fuel for the body, carbohydrate, comes in two forms. One form is fast-releasing, as in sugar, honey, malt, sweets and in most refined foods. The other form is slow-releasing, as in whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit. Fast-releasing carbohydrates tend to give a sudden burst of energy followed by a slump, while slow-releasing carbohydrates provide more sustained energy and are therefore preferable. Slow-releasing carbohydrates foods should make up two-thirds of what you eat, or around 70 percent of your total calorie intake.

Bibliography

  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, 2006
  • Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible, 2004
  • The Big Family Guide to All the Vitamins, Ruth Adams, 1992
  • Diet & Nutrition, Rudolph Ballentine MD, 2004Diet & Nutrition, Rudolph Ballentine MD, 2004
  • The Chemistry of Man, Bernard Jensen, PhD, 1983
  • Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, 1992
  • Caroline M. Apovian, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, 2006
  • The Biology Project, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Arizona, 2003
  • The Optimum Nutrition Bible, Patrick Holford, 1999
  • Serious Nutrition, Christine Neumann PhD, 2005

 
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