aged-garlicAged Garlic

Description:  (Allium Sativum) Helps to detoxify the body and  to protect against infection. Aids in enhancing the immune system, supports lower blood pressure and aids in improved blood circulation.

Studies have suggested that aged garlic extract and its active compounds may protect the liver from the toxicity of carbon tetrachloride. In addition, aged garlic extract may increase the glutathione level and glutathione related enzymes which aid in detoxifying the body.Research has also suggested that aged garlic extract may help to protect the body from heavy metal poisoning. When aged garlic extract was combined with red blood cells it prevented lead, mercury and aluminium from destroying them. When no aged garlic extract was added to the blood samples, these heavy metals ruptured the red blood cells. Garlic is the only antibiotic that can actually kill infecting bacteria and at the same time protect the body from the poisons that are causing the infection. It is known that the most sensitive bacterium to garlic is the deadly Bacillus anthracis which produces the poison anthrax. Even the forefather of antibiotic medicine Louis Pasteur acknowledged garlic to be as effective in killing harmful bacteria as penicillin is today and late studies show similar activity to a more modern antibiotic, chloramphenicol. Even the blood of garlic eaters can kill bacteria and it is also reported that the vapour from freshly cut garlic can kill bacteria at a distance of 20 cms!!

Another once common and apparently returning disease, tuberculosis was treated with garlic very successfully as the invading organism. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is sensitive to several of the sulphur components found in garlic. Other studies have suggested that aged garlic extract may protect liver microsomal membranes from chemical and physical damage induced by lipid peroxidation and may protect vascular endothelial cells from oxidant injury upon exposure to hydrogen peroxide, a potent oxidant. The endothelial cells lining the vascular system are especially sensitive to attack by free radicals and such attack may contribute to the development and/or progression of cardiovascular diseases.The antioxidant activity of aged garlic extract may also be responsible for its ability to protect the heart from damage caused by the anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin/andriamycin which has been shown to cause strong oxidative damage to the heart muscle. Appropriate antioxidant intervention, by inhibiting or reducing free radical toxicity, may offer protection against radiation, and alleviate or delay symptoms of aging and chronic diseases.

adobestock_7303217Yucca Stalk

Description: Yucca Schidegera (Saponins) Aids in blood purifying and helps metabolize the minerals and purines in food Yucca Stalk aids in blood purifying…

Saponins are natural detergents that are found in certain desert plants and are also present in small amounts within some pod family foods. The major commercial sources of saponins are Yucca Schidigera, which grows in the arid Mexican desert country of Baja California.Yucca Saponins, and other components of yucca as well, have ammonia-binding activity. When ammonia is processed by the liver, uric acid is created. When added to the diet, Yucca Saponins pass the ammonia through the digestive tract unabsorbed and are then excreted in the faeces. Yucca is also used in some dog foods to reduce the odour in their urine and bowel movements.

Saponins bind with cholesterol, which has many important considerations including cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Saponins react with cholesterol in the protozoal cell membrane by causing the cell to rupture. Research currently in progress at Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta has shown yucca extract to be very effective in killing Giardia trophozoites, which are the infective stages released in the gut when the oocytes, or eggs, sporulate. Yucca saponins are also effective in killing rumen protozoa (helps breed Salmonella bacteria) when ingested.

The blood cholesterol-lowering properties of dietary saponins are of interest in human nutrition. One research program on this subject was that of Dr. Rene Malinow at the Oregon Regional Primate Centre, whose research (published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1997) demonstrated unequivocally the cholesterol-lowering properties of saponins. This desirable effect is achieved by the binding of bile acids and cholesterol by saponins. Bile acids form mixed micelles (molecular aggregates) with cholesterol further increasing its absorption. Cholesterol is continually secreted into the intestine via the bile, with much of it subsequently reabsorbed. Saponins cause a depletion of body cholesterol by preventing its reabsorption, thus increasing its excretion in much the same way as other cholesterol-lowering drugs do.

Although there are reports of the development of synthetic saponins as drugs for treating high blood cholesterol, yucca / saponins are natural phytochemicals currently used in foods and beverages and herbal products and are safer. Recent research conducted in Canada and Africa have suggested that the very low serum cholesterol levels of tribes in East Africa, who consume a diet very high in animal products, cholesterol, and saturated fat, are likely due to the consumption of saponin-rich herbs like Yucca.

The binding of bile acids by saponins has other important factors. Bile acids excreted in the bile are metabolized by bacteria in the colon, producing secondary bile acids. Some of the secondary bile acids are promoters of colon cancer. Saponins binding to primary bile acids reduce the formation of these secondary bile acids thus helping to prevent colon cancer. The University of Toronto has shown that feeding saponins to laboratory animals reduced the number of pre-cancer colon lesions in mice. The Canadian researchers also found that saponins had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on growth of human carcinoma cells in culture. Major current interest in saponins concerns their effects on the immune system.

Yucca is a rich storehouse of phytochemicals with many useful and important functions in human and animal nutrition.

curcumin-termericTurmeric (Curcumin)

Description: Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Aids in protecting the liver against toxins, helps to lower bad cholesterol and protects the cardiovascular system

Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Aids in protecting the liver against toxins and helps to lower bad cholesterolTurmeric is showing promise in many areas ranging from anti oxidant activity, to anti cancer properties, lowering cholesterol, protection of the cardiovascular system and HIV. Doing a search on Medline shows positive research results on various forms of cancer from oral to colon and breast cancers. Ayurvedic uses widely range from anemia, arthritis, blood purification, digestive disorders, skin disorders and inflammatory conditions.

The crucial chemical is curcumin, a compound found in the spice. Alzheimer’s is linked to the build up of knots in the brain called amyloid plaques. Turmeric reduced the number of these plaques by a half. The researchers also found that turmeric had other health benefits. It aids digestion, helps fight infection and guards against heart attacks. In the study, middle aged and aged rats were fed a diet rich in curcumin. All the rats received brain injections of amyloid to mimic progressive Alzheimer’s disease. Not only was there less evidence of plaque build up in the curcumin-fed rats, they also outperformed rats on normal diets when carrying out maze-based memory tests. Curcumin also appeared to reduce Alzheimer’s-related inflammation in the brain tissue. Researcher Dr Sally Frautschy said the compound had potential as a treatment for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease – particularly in tandem with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Dr Richard Harvey, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Curcumin has both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) and Yale University School of Medicine have found that a compound in the spice turmeric corrects the cystic fibrosis defect in mice. This research is reported in the April 23, 2004 issue of the journal Science.

July 11, 2005 — The essential curry spice that gives Indian curries their characteristic yellow colour may also be a potent cancer fighter.

A new study shows that curcumin, the yellow pigment found in the spice turmeric, kills and stops the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells in laboratory tests. Melanoma is the deadliest and can be the most difficult-to-treat form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma accounts for about 4% of skin cancer cases, but it causes about 79% of skin cancer deaths.

It’s not the first time that curcumin has been hailed as a potential disease fighter. The spice has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may be useful in combating a variety of diseases.

But researchers say this is the first study to demonstrate that curcumin works in both high concentrations for short periods of time and at low concentrations for long periods of time to trigger cancer cell death.

milk-thistleMilk Thistle

Description: (80% Standardized Silymarin) This is a type of flavanoid and one of the most helpful liver protecting substances known. Helps to stimulate new liver cell growth

Research on milk thistle and its components appears to be growing. The current theory regarding mode of activity is that silymarin supports liver health in two major ways. First, it alters the outer cell membrane of hepatocytes (liver cells) in such a way as to prevent penetration of harmful substances into the interior of cells. Second, it stimulates the action of nucleolar polymerase A (an enzyme involved in chromosome replication) resulting in an increase in ribosomal protein synthesis, which stimulates the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new hepatocytes. Silymarin may also stimulate an increase in bile flow from the gall bladder to the intestine. Silymarin is being investigated as an agent to support healthy cholesterol levels by exerting an effect on the liver cholesterol metabolism. Silymarin also possesses antioxidant properties. Studies have indicated that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenisis of toxic liver disease and other liver problems, and silymarin may reduce oxidative stress in the liver. Therefore, any liver subjected to chemical or chronic illness stresses may benefit from the additional nutritional support that silymarin provides. In an article for Prevention magazine, Varro Tyler, Ph.D., Sc.D, states that milk thistle may help support the liver in people taking prescription medication that may adversely affect the liver.Milk thistle, known in Latin as Silybum marianum, is one of the most effective herbs for detoxifying and regenerating the liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down and eliminating most toxic substances. These include drugs, antibiotics, cortisone, chemotherapy, anti-seizure medications, anti-inflammatory, preservatives in food, artificial flavoring and colouring agents, shampoos, environmental chemicals, foods fried in certain oils, chemicals found in tap water, household cleansers, air pollution, tobacco smoke and distillates. Hundreds of scientific studies have demonstrated that milk thistle can protect the liver from potent toxins such as poisonous mushrooms, heavy metals and alcohol.

The herb has several mechanisms of action. It stimulates protein synthesis, which contributes to regeneration and replacement of liver cells. It helps protect the liver against poisoning by blocking the absorption of toxins into liver cells. It inhibits the formation of inflammatory substances that contribute to liver degeneration. It helps the liver break down toxins. Milk thistle is a potent anti-oxidant (more potent than Vitamins C and E). This means it can counteract free radical damage that can cause degenerative diseases including cancer. It increases intracellular levels of glutathione, a substance necessary for detoxicating reactions.

Clinical studies have confirmed milk thistle’s benefits. Trials in more than 2,000 patients showed benefits in alcohol and chemical induced fatty liver, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, bile duct inflammation and non specific changes in liver tissue. Elevated liver enzymes (blood tests for liver function) also improve with milk thistle therapy. Silymarin may also help prevent or treat gallstones by increasing the solubility of the bile. The best-known active compound in milk thistle is silybin. It is important to remember that there are many other naturally occurring ingredients that are vital for optimum activity.

Recent studies have shown that Milk thistle extract may also be beneficial for reducing the chance for certain cancers. With almost no known side effects (Milk thistle is a food!) and well-known hepatoprotective efficacy, it is said that Milk thistle can’t be beat as a liver protector.

artichoke-powderArtichoke Powder

Description: Artichoke Powder helps in the production of bile, aids in lowering cholesterol, and improves digestion

A relative of the hepatoprotective Milk Thistle, is popular for its pungent taste which is attributed to phytochemicals found in the green parts of the plants called cynaropicrin and cynarin, sesquiterpene lactones with documented medicinal actions. The phytochemicals in artichoke have been well documented and the leaves rather than the flower have been found to be higher in medicinal value.Traditional uses have included support for sluggish liver, poor digestion and atherosclerosis.

The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends Artichoke leaf for ‘Dyspeptic problems. Average daily dosage: Drug, 6 g; equivalent preparations. Mode of Administration: Dried, cut leaves, pressed juice of fresh plant, and other galenical preparations for internal use. Action: Choleretic’

Research on standardized Artichoke extract has focused on the constituent, caffeoylquinic acid, and its ability to increase bile production in the liver. An increase in bile production assists the body in blood fat metabolism, which assists the digestion process.

Cynarin has been shown to increases bile production in the liver, and to increases the flow of bile from the gallbladder, as well as increasing the contractive power of the bile duct, that is, it is ‘choleretic.’ Choleretics typically lower cholesterol levels because they increase the excretion of cholesterol and decrease the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Cynara extract from artichoke leaf has been shown to lower blood cholesterol (13%) and triglyceride levels (5%) in both human and animal studies.

Consistent with its choleretic effect, Artichokes also possess some diuretic activity, helping with kidney disease and protein in the urine. A recent French patent describes an artichoke extract for treating liver disease, high cholesterol levels and kidney insufficiency. Artichoke has been shown to decrease the rate of cholesterol synthesis in the liver, and other blood fats such as triglycerides are thought to be reduced through the use of artichoke.