There is a lot of talk about “oxidative stress” and heart disease. This process results from an imbalance between excessive formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or reactive nitrogen species and limited antioxidant defences. Endothelium (the lining found within blood vessels) and nitric oxide (NO) are key regulators of vascular health. NO bioavailability is regulated by ROS that degrade NO, uncouple NO synthase, and inhibit its production. Cardiovascular risk conditions contribute to oxidative stress, causing an imbalance between NO and ROS, with a relative decrease in NO bioavailability. Dietary flavonoids represent a range of polyphenolic compounds naturally occurring in plant foods. Flavonoids are potentially involved in cardiovascular prevention mainly by decreasing oxidative stress and increasing NO bioavailability.
Diet and nutrition play a fundamental role in cardiovascular prevention and in maintaining physiological homeostasis. Recent literature emphasizes the potential therapeutic effects of micronutrients found in natural products, indicating positive applications for controlling the pathogenesis of chronic cardiovascular disease. In this context, cocoa, some chocolates, red wine, and tea received much attention, because they are particularly rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals with strong antioxidant properties. In addition, polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in our diet and are common constituents of foods of plant origin and are widespread constituents of fruits, vegetables, cereals, olive, dry legumes, chocolate and beverages, such as tea, coffee and wine.
The full study is available for down load (click here
) where the reaserchers conclude that these key antioxidants exert a protective and preventative finctio in the battle against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
The BBC has reported
on some breaking research involving a molecule which may control how acupuncture relieves pain. The US study showed that levels of adenosine – a natural painkiller – increased in tissues near acupuncture sites. admittedly, this work used mice, not people, but the early results only add to the growing body of evidence that supports the scientific basis for acupuncture as an effective pain management tool.
Adenosine is made by the body and controls many internal processes by triggering a response through one of its many receptors (A1, A2A, A2B, and A3) located in the surface of many cells.
With regards to pain, adenosine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter – in other words, it slows or blocks the transmission of pain messages. In addition to this, adenosine promotes sleep by accumulating hour by hour while we are awake. When levels reach a certain threshold level we start to feel sleepy… If we take a slug of coffee (or chocolate) we can block this effect because caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors effectively blocking their call for us to seek our bed! The chemical structure of adenosine and caffeine is similar because both are based on a purine ring structure.
The proof that acupuncture boosts adenosine not only supports the pain killing effects but also the commonly reported sedation effects associated with the treatment. Interestingly, those who are non-responders to acupuncture may find avoiding coffee and chocolate around their treatment sessions may it’s effects.
What is it about a cold sore; it tends to pop up just when you don’t need it the most, typically when you are low, stressed or both. Well that’s the reason. If you are low, stressed or recovering from an illness you are at your most vulnerable to their attack. Your immune guard is off duty. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that is carried in some 80% of the adult population. The virus enters the body through the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals. There are 2 types of HSV, aptly named type 1 and type 2! HSV-1 is the classic cold sore suffered by so many. HSV-2 is more restricted to the genital area, however cross infection can occur. Estimates have 1 in 5 people suffering from recurrent bouts of cold sores many of which could be prevented by taking stock of diet and boosting the immune system. Taking the amino acid called L-Lysine at a single dose of 500mg per day for prevention or twice a day if you feel one on the brew. Lysine interferes with the reproductive cycle of HSV and slows its progression. For many it’s a simple answer that works. There is also great value in looking to your diet. Certain foods can promote the growth of HSV, those foods high in another amino acid called arginine. Following a low arginin diet offers real benefit in many cases eg. nuts, chocolate (sorry!), seeds oats, lentils and brown rice. In addition keep your coffee intake down since caffeine increases the amount of arginine your body uses. Finally, consider using the homeopathic preparation called ZymaDerm-2. This contains homeopathic concentrations of iodine, melissa, geranium and peppermint. Applied locally ZymaDerm-2 can improve healing and kill off the local HSV flare up.