Archive for the ‘Detoxification’ Category

Keep Your Liver Strong with Milk Thistle

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Milk thistle may be a pest for some gardeners, but for many people this plant is a prized possession thanks to it’s powerful healing abilities. Milk thistle helps to keep our blood clean and strong by providing support to our liver, the organ most responsible for blood cleansing.

The Healing Properties of Milk Thistle

The milk thistle plant is loaded with a chemical substance called silymarin. Silymarin has a number of different health benefits, all of which help to provide support to the liver to keep it healthy and functioning properly.

Silymarin works in one way to help encourage cell growth within the liver. When the liver is able to continuously change the outer layer of the livers cells with new healthy cells, it is better able to keep harmful toxins out that can cause liver damage.

Another property of silymarin is that it works as an anti-inflammatory to keep liver cells stable and prevent swelling of the cells should an injury occur to the liver. The chemical also has antioxidant properties which help to reduce and prevent damage caused by free radicals which help to protect the liver from damage that can be caused by degenerative diseases.

Many natural health practitioners and herbalists use milk thistle to treat and protect the body from liver damage that can occur from a variety of factors including drugs, alcoholism, chemicals and diseases. The medical practitioners have noted significant improvements to patients suffering from liver pollution from these conditions, as the milk thistle helps to repair damage that has already occurred.

Milk Thistle as a Blood Cleanser

Our liver is like a small washing machine in our body. Polluted blood goes in, is “washed” by the liver and comes out clean. Healthy, clean blood is essential for good health since our blood is what keeps our body going. If our blood becomes polluted with toxins, the rest of our body will quickly start to show the affects and our health will decline.

In order for us to have clean and healthy blood, the liver must be kept healthy so that it can perform it’s job as the “washer.” When we keep our liver healthy, we ultimately help to ensure the rest of us stays healthy as well thanks to the clean flow of blood that is traveling to all of our cells and organs.

Taking a Milk Thistle Supplement

Milk thistle provides the best results when a supplement is taken daily. Fortunately, there are no known or reported side effects of taking milk thistle though it is always recommended to consult with your physician before you begin taking any herbal supplement. This is especially important if you are on prescription medications to ensure there are no drug/herbal interactions.

Milk thistle can be purchased to take by itself in capsule form such as the Milk Thistle Extract capsules available by Nature’s Way or you can also find milk thistle that is blended with other beneficial cleansing herbs like the Milk Thistle Liver Cleanse by Nature’s Secret that contains a blend of 20 cleansing botanicals.

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What is Glucoactive…

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Glucoactive is a supplement that combines several proven glucose lowering herbs and elements, such as cinnamon and chromium, to come up with a one of a kind formula that is a diabetics dream come true. Cinnamon alone has shown positive effects on blood glucose in clinical studies, when combined with these other blood sugar stabilizing herbs it is a virtual diabetes wonder supplement. Don’t misunderstand I am not suggesting that this supplement will completely cure your diabetes, everyone responds differently to treatment. While some have been able to completely discontinue their oral insulin medication, others may not respond as well. What the supplement will do for almost everyone that takes it is stabilize and help regulate your blood sugar…hopefully back into the normal range.

Let’s discuss the proprietary blend in detail:

The first ingredient is Cinnulin PF, this is simply a cinnamon bark extract. Cinnamon is great for the body on a number of levels. However, cinnamons effects really shine when used as a glucose stabilizer. In a number of clinical trials cinnamon has proven effective at lowering blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and also promoting a natural production of insulin. Cinnamon taken by itself is a great option, for anyone, but if you have diabetes I would strongly suggest taking a cinnamon supplement or a combination supplement that contains the sweet smelling spice.

The next is Fenugreek, this herb is sometimes called the oldest medical herb, and for good reason. Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein; they possess an extremely unique amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine (4-OH-Ile). This particular amino acid is one of the key players in blood glucose control.

Grape Seed Extract is a wonderful all around supplement, and it is sometimes, when bought separately, quite expensive. Not only does grape seed extract help lower blood glucose levels, but it also helps to support skin and tissue health, which is a major concern for diabetics. Not to mention the fact that it also helps prevent heart disease and vascular problems…another great concern for diabetics. In general taking a grape seed supplement is a perfect way to lower your blood glucose, and prevent some common diabetic complications.

Chromium and Vanadium these two trace elements in the body have long been linked to blood glucose stabilization. Researchers are now beginning to understand that these two elements are very important to the metabolism of glucose/sugar. This in turn leads to the regulation and stabilization of over all glucose levels.

Any of these ingredients would be a great addition to a diabetic’s daily supplementation. However, when combined and packaged as an all in one formula Glucoactive is, in my opinion, the best over all diabetes supplement on the market. This supplement covers all bases of the condition from glucose control to skin health.

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Why is it Important to Detoxify your body?

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Detoxifying your body is no new fad, it is a ritual that has been carried out for centuries, and there is no one specific ritual that is any better than another. I say this because there are a plethora of different rituals, and many of them are religious. One specific detox ritual that is performed in almost every single religious writing…throughout all religions, is fasting. This fasting ritual is the oldest form of detoxing, and has been performed through out the world for centuries.

While these religious detoxifying rituals were performed for spiritual purposes, the underlying purpose was the same as it is today, to flush the body of toxins. Further evidence of ancient text, is the Indian Ayurveda; it focuses on detoxifying as a way to prevent certain illnesses and diseases by regularly flushing the body of toxins.

All religious rituals aside, in our modern day and age we come in contact with so many toxins, in the form of chemicals, pollutants, or genetically and chemically altered food. If we don’t detoxify these harmful toxins can and will build up in our body and cause major problems. Almost everything we use in our daily life has some sort of toxin in it; believe it or not even our food sources can leave us full of nasty toxins that can have a negative impact on our systems. Our body does its very best to rid itself of these nasty toxins; however, it needs help because it simply cannot keep up with our daily interaction of these harmful substances.

Performing a detoxifying ritual is a great, natural way to help your body flush these harmful toxins from your system, and restore a sense of balance. There are several ways to go about a detoxifying ritual. If you are very religious a good time to completely detoxify your body is during this time of fasting with the help of certain herbs and natural juices; being careful of course to say well within the guidelines of your religion. If however, you don’t have these strict religious guidelines to abide by there are several options open to you, everything from a week of internal cleansing supplements to a 48 hour juice diet.

No matter how you decide to detoxify your body, the important thing is to do it, and help your body rid itself of these harmful toxins that get built up in our body from daily contact. If the ancient civilizations of the world felt that detoxification was important when their diets consisted of only organic foods, and their bodies were only subjected to clean un-polluted air, imagine how important it is for you to detox in this age of chemical substances.

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Spring Clean Your Body

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Spring brings a fresh new beginning to our lives, so it makes sense that it’s a good time for Americans to spring into action over liver health. As flowers burst into bloom and the grass returns to a lush green, the surge of springtime energy brings forth the tradition of spring cleaning. Windows sparkle, closets are emptied, and the dirt and toxins that accumulated during the dark days of winter are cleared away.

Since the liver is the body’s detoxification center, it’s important for you to keep your liver in the best of health. Without a healthy liver, it is impossible to maintain a healthy life. Just as spring cleaning removes household toxins, the liver removes toxins from your bloodstream, whether the toxin is alcohol, a pesticide, or a drug. Spring is a great time to assess your liver health and to find new ways to support your liver, because your life depends on a healthy liver all year long.

The liver—the largest internal organ in the human body—is a chemical production plant in that nearly all the blood that leaves the stomach must pass through the liver for processing. According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the liver has over 500 functions, some of which are: the conversion of food into energy and chemicals to support life and to fuel muscles; the manufacture of blood-clotting factors, blood, and proteins; the regulation of hormones, cholesterol, and blood sugar concentrations; the production of bile to help with digestion; and the detoxification of drugs and poisons, including alcohol. The intake of some toxins, such as alcohol and medications, is controllable, but exposure to air pollution or ingesting pesticides from improperly washed fruits and vegetables at a restaurant can’t be avoided. Although the liver is extremely resilient, it is not indestructible.

According to The National Institutes of Health, alcohol induced liver disease (ALD) is a major cause of illness and death in the United States.

The damage alcohol inflicts on the liver is significant. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of death among young and middle-aged adults in the United States. Of the cirrhosis deaths, 10,000 to 24,000 are due to alcohol consumption.

The reason alcohol is so toxic to the liver is because almost all alcohol consumed is detoxified through the liver. With as few as three drinks in combination with some over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen, liver  damage begins. The British Medical Journal reports that in as little as eight days after the start of heavy drinking, fatty lesions begin to cause a condition known as “fatty liver.” The fatty lesions rupture liver cells and set off an inflammatory reaction that can lead to more serious inflammatory damage, producing an unhealthy liver.

Another reason alcohol is so toxic to the liver is due to the products produced during alcohol metabolism. One product, acetaldehyde, is more toxic to the liver than the alcohol itself. In addition, during alcohol metabolism, free radicals are released that damage liver cells and promote inflammation. And it gets worse. While it is normal to have bacteria in the intestines, alcohol consumption increases the passage into our bloodstream of a toxic product formed by bacteria called endotoxins. When endotoxins reach the liver, the immune response alarm is sounded and cytokines are released, throwing the liver into a full inflammatory response. The reason for this inflammatory response is that the liver erroneously senses an infection is present.

According to NIAAA, increased cytokines cause scar formation in the liver and a lack of oxygen, both of which are associated with cirrhosis. This type of inflammation is known as “alcoholic hepatitis,” which can lead to cirrhosis. The Liver Foundation reports that alcoholic hepatitis by itself is a serious condition that can be fatal. What is alarming is that while alcoholic hepatitis is usually found in alcoholics, it is also found in social drinkers. This is due to the variation in the way each person’s liver reacts to alcohol. Liver function variations also depend on diet and general overall health. Continued scarring leads to cirrhosis, which may eventually prevent the liver from functioning, making a liver transplant necessary to maintain life.

A healthy lifestyle will help avoid acute renal dysfunction (ARD). Some healthy recommendations are to eat a low-fat diet, keep alcohol consumption at a minimum, avoid smoking, to not mix drugs with alcohol (especially acetaminophen-containing medications), and to maintain a normal body weight. Let’s not forget that illegal drugs stress the liver too. Even with the best intentions, as reported by the Liver Foundation, everyone’s liver operates at its own level. That’s why Metabolic Response Modifiers (MRM) created LiverX™—a product dedicated to helping maintain a healthy liver via an assortment of carefully selected ingredients.

Although LiverX contains several effective ingredients, its unique extract of BioSorb Silymarin is impressive because it is so well absorbed. Silymarin, an extract from milk thistle, is believed to remove toxins that may otherwise accumulate in the liver. In addition, it acts as an antioxidant to protect the liver from harmful free radicals or oxidants that can damage liver cells. Remember that during alcohol metabolism, one of the side effects is oxidative damage to liver cells. Although silymarin helps to reduce the damaging effects of oxidation, the bad news is that it is resistant to absorption in humans. While other supplements may contain silymarin that is difficult to absorb, the good news is that MRM’s BioSorb Silymarin is specially treated to provide greater absorption. With greater absorption, more effective results are possible.

LiverX also contains alpha-lipoic acid that acts to regenerate the antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione (GSH). GSH is an extremely important antioxidant that rids the liver of toxins and helps to enable white blood cells to work at their full potential, supporting a healthy immune response. GSH cannot be taken as a supplement in that it cannot directly enter the cells threatened by oxidative stress. MRM’s formula also includes N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), another important antioxidant precursor that acts to regenerate GSH.

Other ingredients in LiverX include Picrorhiza kurroa and Andrographis paniculata, used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Hindu system of healing that has been around for thousands of years. So you can see that LiverX is an excellent choice for a healthy liver.