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|Natural Nutritional Supplements For Osteoporosis|
Posted On 2010-06-29 , 8:46 AM
Osteoporosis literally means "porous bones". A lack of calcium is the major cause of osteoporosis; a silent disease in which bones lose some of their calcium and other dietary minerals making them brittle and fragile. It does not give an advanced warning. Usually, the first sign is severe low back or hip pain, or a broken bone.
With aging, almost everyone experiences some loss of bone mass. However, it is more common among women than men because women have about 30% less bone mass to begin with. Also, estrogen appears to play an important part in female bone metabolism, which is why women lose bone mass at an accelerated rate during the first 5 to 10 years after menopause. Estrogen protects the skeletal system by promoting the deposit of calcium in bone.
You experience your peak bone mass around the age of 35. After the age of 35, the body creates less new bone and is less efficient in absorbing and storing dietary calcium. This results in the loss of bone mass of about 1% a year. Until you hit menopause, then you lose about 2 to 4% a year for about the next 10 years.
Once you stop producing bone mass your body still needs calcium for functions, so your body has to take the calcium from your bones leaving them brittle and fragile.
Other causes of osteoporosis are an inability to absorb enough calcium through the intestine, prolonged jaundice, a calcium-phosphorus imbalance, lactose intolerance, a gastrectomy and a lack of exercise.
Certain drugs; such as, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, thyroid medications and high doses of steroids can also be a factor in calcium loss.
Healthy bone metabolism requires a certain amount of stress on the bones. Therefore; regular exercise that gives weight-bearing bones a good workout is essential. Good bone building exercises include walking, jogging, bike riding, dancing, tennis or other activities that require moving about.
The best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to build strong bones early in life, especially under the age of 35 while still building bone mass. Then take steps to keep the bones healthy by eating more calcium rich foods or taking supplements.
A diet adequate in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin D is the best prevention and treatment for osteoporosis. Additional minerals important to the health of your bones include boron, copper, manganese, silicon and zinc.
Calcium is the largest and most difficult molecule to utilize. It is most effective when taken in smaller doses throughout the day and at bedtime. When taken at night it will also promote a sound sleep.
Magnesium plays a role in the formation of bone metabolism. It assists in calcium uptake.
Phosphorus is needed for bone formation. A balance of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus should always be maintained.
Vitamin C is important for collagen and connective tissue.
Vitamin D is required for calcium and phosphorus absorption and utilization. It is especially important for normal growth and development of bones. The body manufactures vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight and is found in fortified milk and multivitamins.
Boron improves calcium absorption and is needed in trace amounts for healthy bones.
Copper aids in the formation of bone. It is essential for the formation of collagen, which makes up the connective tissue of the bone matrix. One of the early signs of copper deficiency is osteoporosis.
Manganese is vital in mineral metabolism. It is required for normal bone growth and reproduction. However, do not take calcium and manganese together - they will compete for absorption.
Silicon (silica) is necessary for calcium utilization and bone strength. Silica tablets contain high amounts of calcium in a form that is easily absorbed.
Zinc is important for calcium uptake and is important to the health of your bones. A deficiency impairs the body's ability to utilize proteins.
Excellent sources of easy to assimilate calcium are buckwheat, buttermilk, cheese, dandelion greens, flounder, kefir, kelp, molasses, nuts and seeds, oats, seaweed, tofu, most vegetables, wheat germ, whole wheat products and yogurt.
Herbal supplements you might want to try if you have osteoporosis include the herbs feverfew, horsetail (silicon) and oatstraw (a form of silica).
If you are worried that you are at risk for osteoporosis, you may want to consult with your doctor to discuss an exercise and prevention plan.
|13 Natural Remedies That Lower Your Cholesterol|
Posted On 2010-06-11 , 12:31 PM
Cholesterol is not all bad. Your body naturally produces it, and it plays some pretty important roles. It helps build new cells, produce hormones and insulates the nerves. But, when you have too much, it becomes a health problem.
When cholesterol levels are high, it means you have too much yellow, mushy fat substance circulating in your blood stream, which can clog your arteries and restrict blood flow leading to heart attack, stroke or angina pain.
Another problem with cholesterol, is all the terms that come with it; such as, dietary cholesterol, serum cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Here is how to keep them all straight.
Dietary cholesterol is what is contained in food (mostly of animal origin). The American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake to 300 milligrams.
Serum cholesterol is what is in your bloodstream and what the doctor measures with a cholesterol test. (A reading less than 200 is desirable, a reading between 200 - 240 is borderline high risk, and a reading greater than 240 is high risk.)
HDL cholesterol (“High” Density Lipoprotein) is a distinct part of serum cholesterol that is considered “good” because of its artery cleansing ability. The “higher” the HDL level, the better.
LDL cholesterol (“Low” Density Lipoprotein) is considered to be HDL’s evil twin because of its artery clogging ability. The “lower” the LDL level, the better.
Here are 13 natural remedies that lower your cholesterol.
1. Watch your weight. Studies have shown that the more overweight you are, the more cholesterol your body produces. Every 2.2 pound rise in body weight elevates your cholesterol 2 points. Aim for a diet composed of two-thirds fruit, vegetables, cereals and whole grains. Only one-third of your calories should come from meat and dairy products. (Which are often high in fat and calories.)
2. Watch your fats. Saturated fat elevates blood cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fat lowers blood cholesterol. So, it would be wise to cut back on such sources of saturated fat as meat, butter, cheese and hydrogenated oil. Replace these sources with fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products and polyunsaturated oils like corn, safflower and soybean.
3. Eat less eggs. You don’t have to cut them out completely. Just limit yourself to three whole eggs per week. Since only the yolk contains cholesterol, use the egg whites freely. You can substitute two egg whites for every whole egg. Even when baking. You can make scrambled eggs or an omelet using one whole egg with two to four egg whites.
4. Eat more beans. Beans, and other legumes contain pectin, which surrounds cholesterol and escorts it right out of the body. One cup of beans; navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans, black-eyed peas and lentils, will all perform this cholesterol lowering activity.
5. Eat more fruit. Fruit also contains pectin. Try to eat a variety of fruit. For instance, a half a grapefruit at breakfast, an apple at lunch and some orange sections at dinner, could probably lower your cholesterol quite nicely.
6. Eat your oats, brans and barley. Oat bran, corn bran and barley appears to lower serum cholesterol in the same fashion as pectin rich fruits and does as good a job as beans. Oatmeal can also reduce cholesterol.
7. Eat carrots. Carrots also have pectin content. Studies have shown that eating just 2 carrots a day can lower high cholesterol 10 to 20%. That could be enough to bring levels into a safe range.
8. Drink skim milk. A compound in the nonfat portion of skim milk inhibits cholesterol production in the liver.
9. Take garlic. Large quantities of raw garlic can reduce harmful blood fats. Unfortunately, it can also reduce your number of friends. One gram daily of liquid garlic extract, however, can reduce your cholesterol level an average of 44 points in six months.
10. Fiber rich psyllium seeds. Psyllium seeds are the main ingredient of the bowel regulator Metamucil. Metamucil and other psyllium seed products may be a good alternative treatment when diet alone does not bring blood cholesterol levels down.
11. Exercise. One of the best ways to lower your levels of LDL cholesterol is through vigorous exercise. It also increases the body’s ability to clear fat from the blood after meals.
12. Do not smoke. A Swedish study showed that smokers tend to suffer from low levels of HDL cholesterol. But when a group of habitual smokers kicked the habit, they all experienced rapid and noticeable increases in HDL concentrations.
13. Drink Tea. The astringent tannins found in tea may also help lower cholesterol. A study found that people on a high cholesterol diet that habitually drank tea had blood cholesterol levels within a normal range.
Some nutritional supplements that may help to counter cholesterol are Vitamin C, E and calcium. Studies have shown that when Vitamin C is added to a pectin rich diet, cholesterol drops even lower than with pectin alone. Another study showed that Vitamin E can significantly increase HDL levels. And yet another study showed that 2 grams of calcium carbonate taken daily, reduced cholesterol by 25% in 12 months.
Herbal supplements that are beneficial in lowering LDL levels include alfalfa, black cohosh, cayenne and ginseng. Skullcap may be beneficial for increasing HDL levels.
Do you have any natural remedies for cholesterol?
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