Build your body defens - NSP offers powerful immune support

11. November 2012 04:26 by IKE in Body Health, Body System, Health  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Silver Shield® with Aqua Sol Technology
Punch out invaders with the power of silver! NSP Silver Shield with Aqua Sol Technology is a colloidal silver dietary supplement that supports immune system function. Silver Shield is non-toxic and poses
no risk of heavy metal contamination. It is manufactured using a patented process with strict quality control to verify potency and purity, delivering 90 mcg of fine-particle-sized silver colloids per serving. Silver Shield is also available as a topical gel.

Immune System Pack
 Kick germs in the face! The Immune System Pack offers comprehensive support for this system with three powerful formulas. It includes:
• VS-C ®TCM Concentrate, a blend of Chinese herbs that creates an environment inhospitable to invaders and supports respiratory function.
• Elderberry D3fense boosts immune function.
• Immune Stimulator stimulates immune response in specific ways. Vitamin D3 Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, building strong bones, contributing to the overall health of the cardiovascular system and supporting immunity. Immune systems are often compromised during the fall/winter months when the sun is less intense and less able to help with vitamin D synthesis. Supplementing with vitamin D3—the most bioactive form of vitamin D—can help protect the body. NSP Vitamin D3 provides 2,000 IU vitamin D per tablet.

 

Immune Stimulator
Immune Stimulator provides powerful support to the immune system with beta glucans and arabinogalactan to stimulate the production of the body’s natural immune defense cells. It also contains colostrum, reishi and maitake mushrooms, and cordyceps. Guard against illness with these six powerful nutrients.

Solstic Immune
For those on the go, Solstic Immune provides comprehensive immune support in a convenient drink stick packet, offering delicious, drinkable protection that can be tucked into your pocket or purse. Key ingredients include elderberry fruit extract, Echinacea purpurea, vitamin D3, arabinogalactan, beta glucans, Panax ginseng, vitamin C and zinc. Elderberry D3fense Block attackers with excellent defense. This unique blend is specifically formulated for immune support. It contains vitamin D3, which mounting research indicates strengthens the immune system, and which is in short supply as the summer wanes and winter moves in. Elderberry D3fense also contains key immune system boosters elderberry fruit extract and Echinacea purpurea.

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PCOS - Herbal Healing

6. March 2012 06:19 by IKE in Body Health, Health  //  Tags:   //   Comments (14)

PCOS – Herbal Healing

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS for short, is an incredibly common yet little-discussed hormonal disorder, which effects just under 10% of women of childbearing age.

Many women are unaware of having the condition, due to the insidious yet ultimately life-altering symptoms. If you’ve ever found that your menstrual cycle lasts a little longer than the expected 28 days, you’ve had trouble conceiving, suffer hair loss, adult acne or even find that your weight (especially around your middle / abdomen) is harder to shift than you would hope – these are all signs that may point to you being diagnosed with PCOS.

PCOS is a distinct lack of balance between the two key hormones of your reproductive system, those being estrogen and testosterone. A woman with PCOS shows significantly more testosterone in her bloodstream than a healthy woman of a similar age. This excess of testosterone inhibits a woman’s reproductive system from functioning normally, and can cause symptoms ranging from adult acne, weight-gain, hair loss or even infertility.

Diagnosis

The actual diagnosis of PCOS includes several blood tests to check for excess testosterone, and eventually an ultrasound scan of the ovaries. This ultrasound will often reveal “dark spots” on the scan where eggs that would normally have been released during ovulation, have remained unreleased and instead become “cysts” upon the ovaries. The cysts appear to look like “a string of pearls” against the ovary.

There is at this present time, no comprehensive “cure” for PCOS, and instead health professionals suggest a number of life-style changes to help manage the symptoms of the disorder instead.

As PCOS is a hormonal disorder, it can also influence the effectiveness of your insulin, the hormone which controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Women with PCOS often develop Insulin Resistance, which results in the Insulin in the bloodstream becoming less-effective in converting blood-sugars into energy, and instead leaving the sugar to be instantly stored as body fat (as mentioned previously, especially around the central part of the body).

Therefore a diet that is low in carbohydrates, or Low GI, is insisted upon as the main life-style change for a women suffering from PCOS. A simple way to start lowering your carbohydrate intake is to substitute your use of refined sugar with a sweetner, such as Nature’s Sweet Life Xylitol, instead. It is heat stable, therefore can be used in many different recipes to keep the Glycemic Index of your food down.

Taking Control – A Herbal Helping Hand

Generally taking care of your health is of the utmost importance for PCOS suffers, and ensuring you exercise adequately, eat well, take part in smoking relapse prevention and try not to drink too much alcohol will all benefit you greatly, especially if you are trying to conceive.

Herbal products are also cited as a much-needed complimentary therapy in replacement of the lack of prescribed drugs available for dealing with PCOS.

Dong Quai is known to be a traditional ingredient in many herbal remedies aimed at women, especially dealing with their reproductive system. It is a fantastic addition to your everyday herbs, when helping to regulate your menstrual cycle. When teamed with other well-known “feminine” herbs such as Black Cohosh and Red Raspberry Root, as can be found in our “Female Comfort” supplement, these herbs can help balance your hormones to allow for a more comfortable and reliable menstrual cycle.

If you’re trying to conceive, studies have shown that taking Folic Acid before conception and in the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy will greatly aid the development of your baby and help ensure healthy growth. Giving your body and baby the right amount of folic acid can most importantly help reduce the risk of miscarriage, and also reduces the risks of your baby developing a cleft lip and palate.

As for your skin, acne can be a difficult problem to deal with even as a teenager, so having to suffer as an adult can feel even more unjustified. Keeping your skin calm and supple during stages of adult acne is very important, and products such as “Black Ointment” can help sooth angry skin. It contains a mix of herbs, and includes Vitamin E, which is renowned for it’s skin-healing properties.

Although herbal and traditional treatment cannot completely cure PCOS, taking close-care of your symptoms is an important part of your health routine. Studies have found that once a PCOS sufferer can curtail the effects of their symptoms, the disorder itself actually decreases its hold over the body. This is why a combination of herbal supplements and a healthy lifestyle is crucial in learning to live with PCOS in the long-term.

New Flower Essences including a New Distress Remedy

1. February 2012 17:09 by IKE in Health, Nature's Sunshine Products news  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

For a few months, we’ve been without one of everyone’s favorite nervous system products Distress Remedy. We know this is a product you really want, and we’re excited to bring this new formula to you. This version, a flower essence, was created by Steven Horne and contains many of the same ingredients as our old formula, including arnica, star of Bethlehem, rock rose, impatiens and cherry plum. It also features clematis and star thistle for emotional support during times of stress or tension.

 

Flower remedies are liquid extracts made from carefully selected flowers. They have been used for several decades to help with emotional well-being. Dr. Edward Bach, a surgeon in England in the 1930s, set out to find natural ways to address the emotional states of people. He studied English flowers and plants and developed over three dozen flower essences for a large variety of specific emotional states.

 

Others in this field studied flower remedies from North American sources. Now Nature’s Sunshine has its own unique line of both English and North American flower essences that feature flowers grown in certified organic gardens and pristine wildcrafted habitats. These essences were formulated by Master Herbalist and famed author and NSP lecturer, Steven Horne. He explains:

 

“You may have heard the term Emotional First Aid Kit. I think every home should have one. Flower essences help people get through the basic emotional imbalances we go through in our lives.

 

“There’s a lot of anger and fear in our nation right now. Many people are suffering losses, whether with financial situations, the market, lost homes, jobs, loved ones, etc. I believe that people really need help processing their emotions. This is a product line whose time has come. I think we all have a unique opportunity to help others as they search for help in dealing with emotional issues.

 

“I’ve been doing emotional work for 25 years. It’s a huge part of what I do. When you include the emotional with the physical, you get much more dramatic results, and people feel better a lot faster. These flower remedies are unique. No one else has them or anything like them.”

 

Steven Horne, author of The Heart’s Key to Health, Happiness and Success and developer of NSP’s new flower essences

 

Key Nutrients For Structural Health

10. December 2011 05:31 by IKE in Body Health, Health  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

May is National Arthritis Month. Spearheaded by the Arthritis Foundation, it’s a time to increase awareness of this leading cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of nearly 19 million adults. By the year 2030, 67 million (25%) adults aged 18 years and older will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. 

The word arthritis actually means joint inflammation. Arthritis comprises more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, the most common of which is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions the joints. Other frequently occurring forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and gout. Although arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, people of all ages (including children) can be affected. 

Joint supporting nutrients
 such as glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and devil’s claw help support optimal structural health. Joint support products.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar required for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, carbohydrate-containing compounds that are the major structural components of cartilage.1 Studies demonstrate that glucosamine is also capable of protecting connective tissues, relieving pain and reversing the progression of joint degeneration.1,2 

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound. Sulfur is required for the production and repair of cartilage.3  MSM is also thought to have soothing and pain-reducing properties.4 Although MSM is found in many fresh foods, it is easily destroyed in cooking and processing. Thus, it makes sense to supplement the diet with MSM to ensure an adequate supply in the body.

Chondroitin is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan that is important in maintaining the structural integrity of connective tissue. Chondroitin sulfate is produced by chondrocytes and performs the important function of attracting fluid into the cartilage.1 This gives cartilage its spongy-like form, making it a good shock absorber. Evidence suggests that chondroitin sulfate protects cartilage and helps prevent cartilage breakdown.1,5 

Hyaluronic acid (also known as HA or hyaluronan) is a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan that occurs naturally throughout the body.6 It is found most abundantly in the skin, cartilage, synovial fluid, and eyes.1 Hyaluronic acid plays a major role in joint lubrication and is critical in maintaining joint health. Research indicates that hyaluronic acid may prevent joint inflammation and the breakdown of cartilage.7,8 

Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is named for the tiny hooks that cover its fruit. Devil’s claw root has been used for thousands of years in Africa for pain reduction.9 Devils claw root contains phytochemicals known as iridoid glycosides, including harpagoside, that have soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.1 Studies show that taking devil’s claw root significantly reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with joint pain.9 

References:
  1. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al.  Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.  9th ed.  Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2007.
  2. Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Rovati LC, Lee RL, Lejeune E, Bruyere O, Giacovelli G, Henrotin Y, Dacre JE, Gossett C. Long-term effects of glucosamine sulphate on osteoarthritis progression: a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial.  Lancet. 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):251-6.
  3. University of Maryland Medical Center.  Sulfur. 2007. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/sulfur-000328.htm Accessed April 20, 2010. 
  4. Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006 Mar;14(3):286-94. Epub 2005 Nov 23.
  5. Baici A, Bradamante P. Interaction between human leukocyte elastase and chondroitin sulfate. Chem Biol Interact. 1984 Sep 1;51(1):1-11. 
  6. Laurent TC, Laurent UB, and Fraser JR. The structure and function of hyaluronan: an overview.  Immunol Cell Biol 74:A1-A7, 1996.  
  7. Balazs E: The physical properties of synovial fluid and the specific role of hyaluronic acid. Disorders of the Knee.  Edited by Helfet AJ.  Philadelphia: J B Lippincott; 61-74, 1982.
  8. Dougados M. Sodium hyaluronate therapy in osteoarthritis: arguments for a potential beneficial structural effect. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2 Suppl 1):19-25. 
  9. University of Maryland Medical Center. Devil’s Claw. 2007. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/devils-claw-000237.htm Accessed April 20, 2010

Men's Health Issues

9. December 2011 10:29 by IKE in Body Health, Health  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

The general topic of men’s health is quite broad and can include issues that are part of women’s health too. Good examples here are cardiovascular wellbeing and weight loss. However, prostate health and conditions such as erectile dysfunction (ED) are peculiar to men.
 
In men, vascular health and sexual function are very closely related. Erectile dysfunction not only adversely affects intimate relationships but it can also indicate potential cardiovascular health problems. In many cases, erectile difficulties may be a sign of an underlying cardiovascular disorder. Because vascular health reflects erectile function, it’s not surprising that nutritional supplement ingredients that support healthy erectile performance also contribute to cardiovascular health.
 
Supplements that are intended to combat ED usually contain ingredients that will support optimal nitric oxide (NO) levels in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels to facilitate improved blood flow. The amino acid arginine is well known for its cardiovascular benefits primarily because of its conversion to NO in the endothelial cells that line the internal surfaces of arteries. Increased vascular smooth muscle relaxation and the resulting improved blood flow to erectile tissue are due to enhanced NO production. It has been shown that oral arginine supplementation supports erectile function when compared with placebo (1).
 
Horny goatweed (Epimedium sagittatum) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries because of its aphrodisiac effects and support of erectile health. Scientists have isolated and characterized icariin and have shown this flavonoid derivative to be the major Viagra-like active component (2). Recent research has demonstrated that icariin selectively inhibits phosphodiesterase type 5 (PPE-5), an enzyme that causes a rapid termination of male sexual activity. By blocking this enzyme, sexual activity in men is sustained. Additionally, icariin enhances the production of NO from arginine. As we now know, increased production of NO by cells in the arterial wall results in dilatation of the penile blood vessels, which increases blood flow and maintains erectile function. This mechanism of action for natural icariin is amazingly similar to that of synthetic Viagra (3).
 
Other herbs and nutrients have a long history of safe and effective use in ED and complement the actions of arginine and horny goatweed. These include maca root or Peruvian ginseng (Lepidium meyenii), yohimbe root bark (Pausinystalia yohimbe) and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). All three of these ingredients act as aphrodisiacs and are noted for their erectile and sexual health benefits in men.
 
Another men’s health issue that is fairly widespread in men is enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Keep in mind that BPH is not prostatic cancer but it can be bothersome. Men usually know when they encounter BPH because of difficult urination and frequent nocturnal urination. The currently accepted and most plausible theory supporting the etiology of BPH centers on prostatic testosterone and its excessive conversion to the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The enzyme 5-alpha reductase catalyzes this conversion and once formed, DHT stimulates the proliferation of prostatic cells. It appears logical that high levels of DHT leads to excessive numbers of prostatic cells, which can result in an enlarged prostate.
 
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is the most popular and best understood ingredient that provides benefit in cases of BPH. The lipophilic (fat soluble) fraction from saw palmetto berries is most active and it appears that fatty acids from this fraction inhibit 5-alpha reductase to lower prostate levels of DHT. The bark of the African plum tree (Pygeum africana) has also shown significant benefit in cases of BPH. Evidence suggests that pygeum bark actives may inhibit growth factors that contribute to prostate cell growth and the resulting hyperplasia. Also, there is evidence that points to pygeum actives having anti-inflammatory activity in the enlarged prostate (4). A third herbal ingredient that has shown value in relieving BPH is the root of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Research on the root extract is not definitive but seems to suggest an anti-inflammatory effect as well as an interference with proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells. Interestingly, the root contains an active(s) that blocks the binding of prostatic androgens, testosterone and DHT, to an essential binding globulin (5). There have been anecdotal reports of the carotenoid lycopene and the mineral zinc producing prostate health benefits.
 
Maintenance of men’s health is an important priority and should not be ignored. Several nutritional approaches that offer meaningful benefit are available. My belief and the long-standing goal of all should be to optimize the proper functioning of all body systems and to preserve their highest achievable health. These beliefs must be embraced and the goals can and should be achieved.
 
Created by Dr. William J. Keller
 
References:
 
  1. Melman A. This month in investigative urology. L-arginine and penile erection. Journal of Urology. 1997 Sep;158(3 Pt 1):686.
  2. Dell’Agli M, et al. Potent inhibition of human phosphodiesterase-5 by icariin derivatives. Journal of Natural Products. 2008 Sep;71(9):1513-7. Abstract available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18778098
  3. Xu, HB, Huang ZQ. Icariin enhances endothelial nitric-oxide synthase expression on human endothelial cells in vitro. Vascular Pharmacology. 2007 Jul;47(1):18-24. Abstract available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17499557
  4. Levin, RM, Levin SS, Zhao Y, Buttyan R. Cellular and molecular aspects of bladder hypertrophy. European Urology. 1997;32 Suppl 1:15-21. Abstract available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9218938
  5. Jellin, J. 2010 Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 12 ed. pp 1592-1595.

 

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