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Latest Articles

Indian herb in the fight against diabetes

Gymnema

  Can you imagine having a natural herb on your side when battling diabetes? Nature is omnipotent and can both help and harm us with equal ease. Fortunately, this time we focus on a useful Indian herb that can be considered a first aid in the fight against type 2 diabetes. The history of the herb gymnema begins more than 2,000 years ago, somewhere in Asia. It is a creeping annual plant distributed in Asia, China, the Arabian Peninsula, Africa and Australia. Its Latin name is Gymnema Sylvestre, but it is also known as the Australian cowplant and Periploca of the woods. Long before it was used so widely as a dietary supplement, the herb was used to prevent and treat diabetes. It is also known as the “sugar destroyer”.   Which part of the gymnema is used for medical purposes? The main chemicals in the composition of the herb are gymnemic acid, tartaric acid, calcium oxalate, glucose, stigmasterol, choline and its derivative amino acid betaine. They are all found in the roots and leaves of the plant, which is why the roots and leaves are used.   How does gymnema extract help? Gymnema extract has several impressive qualities related to the body’s susceptibility to sugar. The active ingredient in the gymnema extract, called gymnemic acid, blocks sugar receptors located on the surface of the tongue and thus the sugar cravings are drastically reduced. According to research, Gymnema sylvestre extract can affect the need for sweets and so sweet foods look less attractive. This can be very useful for people who are struggling with their desire for different sweets when trying to control their weight. (Studies have shown that contact of the plant’s leaves with the surface of the tongue reduces the ability to feel the taste of sweet foods and crave them.) According to the WHO, more than 420 million people worldwide have diabetes. It is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels and is caused by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or the bodys inability to use it effectively. Gymnema is one of the “warriors” that fights diabetes. It is often used as a supplement in combination with other medicines for diabetes, as it has been shown to have antidiabetic qualities and help lower blood sugar levels after meals. Gymnema can stimulate the production of insulin by the pancreas, promotes the regeneration of insulin and this can help lower glucose levels. While the herb is said to lower blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings, research shows that it can also affect fat absorption and lipid levels. In other words, it can help lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In a study of obese people, it was shown that the anthem extract reduces triglycerides, “bad” LDL and increases the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol by 22%, in other words , the positive effect of the plant is also reducing the risk of heart disease. High blood sugar levels are dangerous, but so are low blood sugar levels, which can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and even coma.   What is the correct dosage? The daily intake of gymnema extract depends on the stage of the disease, the age of the patient and his general health. It is natural to determine the dosage after consultation with your doctor. The herb can interact well with cholesterol-lowering drugs and increase their effect. The palpable effect of the gymnema appears from 6 months to a year from the beginning of the reception.   Why should you consult a doctor before taking supplements, read here.  

Why should you consult a doctor before taking food supplements?

healthy life

  Daily, everyone experiences discomfort in some shape or form, but this does not always mean that there is a serious cause for concern. In such cases, long before starting the self-diagnosis and solving the problem with the help of a drug or food supplement, the most sensible action that can be taken is to consult a doctor. Even taking vitamins in the wrong amounts can be a health risk.   When do we need to consult a doctor? If we want our body to function properly, it needs different types of food, which get converted into energy . When, for some reason, our diet does not include a certain food group, we respond to this deficiency differently. If the reaction is more acute, we feel this lack almost immediately. Then, the best solution for our health is to consult a doctor. As such, he would order the necessary tests to determine the source of pain or discomfort.   What do we need to know before buying supplements? Nutritional supplements are part of the daily lives of most people in the 21st century. Factors such as stress, lack of sleep, exercise, background noise, etc.  always affect our health. The various stages in the development of our body, pregnancy and advancing age are periods of our lives that require changes in our current diet. In order to maintain the balance in our body, we need to get these active substances in the form of supplements. But we should not forget that they are neither medicines nor replacement for a healthy diet. They simply help us regulate our nutrient income by supplementing what we lack in a given period.   Are there risks of excessive use of dietary supplements? Before consuming any food supplement, we should always ask ourselves not only about the benefits of its consumption, but also about the possible harms it can bring to our health condition. Often, when taking supplements, problems could occur, such as exceeding the recommended daily dose or taking it for a longer period of time than recommended. For example, we can take  antioxidant supplements containing vitamin C and E, which may reduce the effectiveness of some drugs needed to treat cancer.   Online consultation with a doctor New technologies in the health sector are changing the way medicine is viewed at the moment. According to studies, about 80% of the problems associated with our health can be solved remotely. The ability to book an appointment saves us both time spent in the hospital and the risk of contact with infected patients. Another advantage is that we can reach a doctor of our choice, no matter where in the world he is.   What doctor do we need to consult? Not every doctor is familiar with the effectiveness and application of nutritional supplements and here the comes role of the nutritionist. The nutritionist is the doctor who, after specialized consultation and conducting the necessary tests, will prepare an individual diet.  This diet will be based on our current health situation and will cover all the nutrients our body requires for its proper function. What are the ingredients that would help manage stressful situations read here.   

Folic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know About Folate

фолиева киселина

  Folic acid is a synthetic vitamin found in supplements and fortified foods. However, folate (also known as vitamin B-9), is a vitamin B that naturally occurs in certain foods too. For a healthy lifestyle, it is important to include both folic acid and folate in your diet. Wonder what is so special about it? Well, keep reading for our top benefits of taking folic acid! Your Body Can’t Make It Naturally Your body can naturally produce all the nutrients essential for your health and survival. However, folate is one of the few vitamins that your body cannot make naturally – yet it is so important for your overall health. This is why you need to obtain this vitamin through dietary intake as well as supplements. Folate is found in many plant and animal foods like avocado, eggs, spinach, kale, broccoli, citrus fruits, and beef liver. However, Folic acid is often added to ready-to-eat foods like breakfast cereals, bread and more. It’s also available in a concentrated form through food supplements. Dietary Folate Equivalents is a unit of measure that accounts for the differences in absorbability of folic acid and folate. Synthetic folic acid is thought to have 100% absorbability when consumed on an empty stomach, while folic acid found in fortified foods is thought to have only 85% absorbability. Naturally occurring folate has a much lower absorbability of around 50%.   Prevention of Pregnancy Complications & Birth Defects One of the most common uses of folic acid and folate supplements is to prevent birth defects, more specifically, neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly (when a baby is born without parts of its brain or skull). In fact, maternal folate levels are commonly used to predict whether there is a neural tube defect risk. Therefore, folic acid supplementation for women who are or may become pregnant are often prescribed to prevent fetal birth defects and may even assist in preventing pregnancy-related complications like preeclampsia.   Promotes Brain Health Medical research has shown that low blood folate levels are associated with poor brain function as well as an increased risk of dementia. In fact, even normal with low folate levels are associated with an increased risk of mental impairment in older adults. These studies have also shown that folic acid supplements may improve brain function in those with mental impairment and assist in treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.   Treatment of Mental Health Disorders Research shows that people with depression have lower blood levels of folate than those without depression. It proves that folic acid and folate supplements may even reduce depressive symptoms when used in conjunction with antidepressant medications. Another study showed that treatment with folate-based supplements alongside antipsychotic medication resulted in reduced negative symptoms in people with schizophrenia, compared with antipsychotic medication alone. Reduced Heart Disease Risk Taking folic acid as a supplement may help improve heart health as well as a reduced risk of heart disease factors including high blood pressure and an improved blood flow. Having elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease. Blood levels of homocysteine are determined by both nutritional and genetic factors. Folate plays a major role in the metabolism of homocysteine, and low folate levels can contribute to high homocysteine levels, known as hyper-homocysteinemia.   More Benefits & Uses Supplementing with folic acid has also been associated with the following health benefits: Diabetes Folate-based supplements may help improve blood sugar control, reduce insulin resistance, and enhance cardiovascular function in those with diabetes. These supplements may also help reduce diabetic complications, including neuropathy.         Fertility A high intake of the folic acid supplement is associated with higher rates of live births in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology. Adequate folate is also essential for oocyte (egg) quality, implantation, and maturation of the egg. Inflammation Folic acid and folate supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation in different populations including women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and children with epilepsy. Reduction of Medication Side Effects Taking a daily folic acid dietary supplement may help reduce the incidence of side effects in certain medications including methotrexate – an immunosuppressant drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and certain cancers. Kidney Disease Due to impaired kidney function, hyperhomocysteinemia occurs in over 80% of people with chronic kidney disease. Supplementing with folic acid may help reduce homocysteine levels and heart disease risk. And many more! There are many other reasons why people use folate-based supplements as well as a folate-rich diet.   What Happens When You Have A Folate Deficiency? Folate is involved in a number of vital metabolic processes; hence, a lack of the vitamin can be dangerous. Folate deficiency can occur due to a many different causes such as inadequate dietary intake, surgery, pregnancy, alcoholism and malabsorptive diseases. Deficiency can also result in serious side effects including megaloblastic anemia, birth defects, mental impairment, impaired immune function and even depression. Unfortunately, folate deficiency is quite common as many find it difficult to acquire the necessary dietary intake through their diets. To help with it, many countries even fortify grain products (amongst other products) with folic acid to reduce the incidence of folate deficiency. Therefore, to maintain a healthy body, it is important to include both folic acid supplements as well as naturally occurring folate through a healthy diet. Ready to improve your health? See our list of Folic Acid dietary supplements specifically catered towards your health requirements. Here are 5 ways to boost your immune system naturaly. Do you know why you should consult a doctor before taking food supplements?