Antioxidants Studies

As everyone knows, eating and drinking are necessary for life. Less well known, however, is the fact that the body generates what are called free radicals in the process of turning food into energy. Free radicals are chemicals that are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. But eating is not the only way free radicals spring into being. The food we eat and the sunlight we feel also generate free radicals.

To be sure, free radicals come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical configurations. The characteristic feature of this chemical is that it soaks up electrons from bodily substances that yield them, which can leave the “loser’s” structure or function radically altered. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA; it can also make a circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL, sometimes called bad cholesterol) molecule more likely to get trapped in an artery wall. Free radicals also have the potential to alter a cell’s membrane, changing the flow of what enters the cell and what leaves it.

Fortunately, we aren’t defenseless against free radicals. The body puts up natural defenses against free radicals by making molecules that smothers the errant chemicals. We also extract free-radical fighters from food. Often called “antioxidants”, certain kinds of food give electrons to free-radicals without themselves turning into electron-scavenging substances. There are many different substances that can act as antioxidants. The most familiar ones are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other related carotenoids, along with the minerals selenium and manganese. They’re joined by glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and many more.

However, the term “antioxidant” can be misleading. These substances do not emit chemical properties that fight so much as they emit properties that facilitate. Indeed, some substances that act as antioxidants in one situation may be prooxidants—electron grabbers—in a different chemical milieu. Another big misconception is that antioxidants are interchangeable. This is not true. Each anti-oxidant has unique chemical behaviors and biological properties. It is believed, and has been strongly corroborated through scientific study, that anti-oxidants evolved as parts of elaborate networks, each substance having a different role to play. It follows that no single substance can fulfill the function of every other substance.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants: What’s the Buzz?

Antioxidants came to public attention in the 1990s. It was then that scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, and that the chemicals may contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. A number of studies stated that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions than were people who ate sufficient amounts fruits and vegetables. Clinical trials tested the impact of single substances, especially beta-carotene and vitamin E, on cancer, heart disease, and similar maladies. But even before the results of these trials were in, the media, and the dietary supplement and food industries began promoting the benefits of “antioxidants.” Foods such as frozen berries and green tea were hyped as being rich in antioxidants. The consequences of this publicity were predictable: certain foods were labeled as rich in antioxidants and were marketed as such in stores; the makers of dietary supplements began touting the disease-fighting properties of all sorts of antioxidants.

In the meantime, the results of the actual trials were mixed. Most have not found the hoped-for benefits. And research teams reported that vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements didn’t protect against heart disease or cancer. One study even showed that taking beta-carotene may actually increase the chances of developing lung cancer in smokers. However, some of the trials reported benefits. One such study found that taking beta-carotene is associated with a modest reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.

The rather most, if not downright disappointing, results of the antioxidant trials have not stopped the commercial interests from misrepresenting the benefits of antioxidants in order to make money. Antioxidant supplements are a $500 million dollar industry that continues to grow. Antioxidants are still added to breakfast cereals, sports bars, energy drinks, and other processed foods, and they are promoted as additives that can prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and a host of other conditions. The claims made by the food and dietary supplement industries often distort the data. It is true that the package of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and other substances found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help prevent a variety of chronic diseases; but there is no solid evidence that high doses of antioxidants can accomplish the same feat. The conclusion is clear: randomized, placebo-controlled trials—which, when performed well, provide the strongest evidence—offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The results of the largest such trials have been mostly negative.

Heart Disease and Antioxidants

Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other so-called antioxidants are not a panacea for heart disease and should not be promoted as such. In the Women’s Health Study, 39,876 initially healthy women took 600 IU of natural source vitamin E or a placebo every other day for 10 years. The results of the study showed that the rates of major cardiovascular events and cancer were no lower among those taking vitamin E than they were among those taking the placebo; however, a 24 percent reduction in total cardiovascular mortality was observed, which can be considered a quite significant result.

Earlier large vitamin E trials, conducted among individuals with previously diagnosed coronary disease or at high risk for it, generally showed no benefit. In the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, the rates of major cardiovascular events were essentially the same in the vitamin E (21.5 percent) and placebo (20.6 percent) groups, although participants taking vitamin E had higher risks of heart failure and hospitalization for heart failure. (3) Another trial, the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI), showed mixed results; there were no preventive effects after more than three years of treatment with vitamin E among 11,000 heart attack survivors. Nevertheless, some studies suggest potential benefits among certain subgroups. A recent trial of vitamin E in Israel, for example, showed a marked reduction in coronary heart disease among people with type 2 diabetes who have a common genetic predisposition for greater oxidative stress. In any case, Beta-carotene, as was shown in the Physicians’s Health Study, does not provide any protection against heart disease or stroke.

There have been combinations, but the findings are complicated and unclear. In the Supplementation en Vitamins et Mineraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) study, 13,017 French men and women took a single daily capsule that contained 120 milligrams of vitamin C, 30 milligrams of vitamin E, 6 milligrams of beta-carotene, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc, or a placebo, for seven and a half years. The vitamins had no effect on overall rates of cardiovascular disease. In the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study, vitamin E, vitamin C, and/or beta-carotene had much the same effect as a placebo on myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or cardiovascular death, although there was a modest and significant benefit for vitamin E among women with existing cardiovascular disease.

Cancer and Antioxidants

There is also no conclusive proof that antioxidants help prevent cancer. Scientists need more time to determine the impact of antioxidants on the risk of getting cancer. In the long-term Physicians’ Health Study, cancer rates were similar among men taking beta-carotene and among those taking a placebo. Other trials have also largely showed no effect, including HOPE. The SU.VI.MAX trial showed a reduction in cancer risk and all-cause mortality among men taking an antioxidant cocktail but no apparent effect in women; it is possible that this is a result of the men in the study having low blood levels of beta-carotene at its beginning. A randomized trial of selenium in people with skin cancer demonstrated significant reductions in cancer and cancer mortality at various sites, including colon, lung, and prostate. The effects were strongest among those with low selenium levels at baseline.

Age-Related Eye Disease and Antioxidants

The effects of antioxidants on age-related eye disease may be one of the most hopeful leads scientists have. A six-year trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), found that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc provided some protection against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration in people who were at high risk of the disease. Lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, may also protect vision. It is too early to tell what the impact of lutein supplements may be. The trials of such substances have been relatively short, and their ability to slow or prevent age-related macular degeneration has not been ascertained. A new trial of the AREDS supplement regimen plus lutein, zeaxanthin, and fish oil is underway, and it could yield better information.

Potential Hazards of Antioxidants

There have been a few studies which showed that the consumption of antioxidants, as opposed to being beneficial in all instances or at least harmless in fact can interfere with the health of the consumer. The first trial which showed this possible negative effect was undertaken in Finland where heavy smokers were fed beta-carotene. Because of their smoking habits there was a already a lung cancer risk but it was noticed that a significant increase in the incidence of lung cancer amongst the trial group as opposed to the placebo. The trial was stopped so conclusive results are hard to deduce.

A different test which was conducted with heavy smokers exposed to asbestos being fed beta-carotene and vitamin A. This too shows an increase in the incidence of Lung cancer. It must be emphasized that not all trials of Beta-carotene have been negative. A physicians health study which only had a few smokers did not show any significant differences even when followed up after 18 years.

In a separate study showing possible negative effects of a variety of health supplements showed a higher incidence of skin cancer in women being fed supplements of Vitamins C & E, Beta-carotene, selenium and zinc.

Conclusions to be drawn from the above studies, amongst others, is that it is known that although free radicals have been shown to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and even vision loss, there is no automatic conclusion that can be drawn that antioxidants will fix the problem. And certainly not when consumed away from their normal context.

Studies to date do not show conclusive evidence one way or another but there is certainly no strong evidence to suggest that antioxidants are effective against disease. A rider must be mentioned and that is that the trials conducted till now have been short in duration, conducted with people some of whom had an existing disease.

There has been a noticeable benefit to the consumption of beta-carotene on cognitive ability after 18 years. This is exceptional as it is the only study to have continued so long. (Physicians health follow up study) Nevertheless there is abundant evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many of these scourges of aging.

Clarification with regard to supplemental studies

There are any number of studies conducted on any number of vitamins and other dietary supplements that are often contradictory. The picture presented to the consumer is confusing and will often seem frustrating in that instead of clarifying things these studies muddy the waters.

Examining exactly what the vitamins trial study did will often go some way to explaining the varying results. Here are a few items to check when looking at apparently conflicting vitamins studies.

  • What was the precise dosage taken by the participants and how long was the study’s duration. This is significant as few studies will have identical dosages and identical time spans. A study in Vitamin D showed that a dosage of 700 plus IU per day had a significant protection against fractures whereas a study of people taking only 400 IU per day showed no such effect. The same applies to the duration as the build up of the protective mechanisms is not a short process.
  • The age, health and life styles of the participants. Studies drawn from young, active gym going participants is likely to differ significantly from heavy drink and smoking office workers. Exercise and other lifestyle choices such as diet affect out health and how the body responds to vitamins.
  • At what stage is was the supplement fed to a study participant. If studying the effect of a supplement on someone already suffering from a disease it may be found that something taken at the onset has a differing effect from something taken when a disease is far advanced. An example being that Folate supplements are only effective against neural tube defects in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • How were the results tabulated and calculated. This is a significant problem as measurement as to benefit may and probably will vary widely. Heart disease is a wide subject and a measurement of coronary thrombosis may miss out on the incidence of strokes.

Herbal Supplements

Cordyceps
Cordyceps is a mushroom that has long been used, particularly in traditional Chinese medicine, for ailments ranging from asthma to coughs to female hormonal problems. Its use has since extended to include treating bronchitis, hepatitis B, and hepatic cirrhosis, and acting as a replacement to certain immunosuppressive medications. Some studies have also found that cordyceps provides increased energy levels and improved lung capacity. For that reason, this herbal supplement is popular among athletes.

Glucosamine
Glucosamine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in all tissues. It is vitally important to the preservation of cartilage, for two reasons: First, it is a main component of the connective tissue. Second, it is an aid in the process of transporting sulfur (another main component of cartilage) into the tissue.

As people age, they often gradually lose the ability to produce adequate levels of glucosamine. It is theorized that this is a main cause of osteoarthritis. Studying the effect of glucosamine supplements on arthritis sufferers, researchers have found that pain was relieved and mobility was improved. Although ti has not yet been proven, some people believe that this supplement can actually slow down the progression of the disease. Glucosamine sulfate is the form most highly recommended for relief from osteoarthritis.

Don’t’ take any form of glucosamine if you are allergic to shellfish. Consult use with your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, because glucosamine can alter blood sugar levels. Also, taking glucosamine with a diuretic reduces the effectiveness of this supplement, so you may need to increase the dosage to compensate.

Glycerophosphocholine
Glycerophosphocholine (GPC) is a compound related to phosphatidylcholine. It is only available with a prescription in Europe; it is available without a prescription in the United States. GPC stimulates the production of new acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that helps maintain memory and allows learning. Ti also has an effect on nerve growth factor, a substance that regulates acetylcholine receptors. Studies have shown that this supplement can forestall, stabilize, and even reverse some memory loss that occurs in the early stages of dementia.

Ipriflavone
The synthetic ipriflavone is similar in structure to soy isoflavonoids. It is approved in some countries as a prescription drug for the treatment and prevent of osteoporosis, while it is available over the counter in the United States. Ipriflavone works by enhancing the effects of calcitonin (a thyroid hormone that regulates calcium) on calcium metabolism. The recommended dosage is 200 milligrams three times a day.

Malic Acid
Malic acid is found naturally in the body, but can also be consumed in apples, currants, and most tart fruits (as well as in some supplements). It is essential to life, as it is involved in several energy-producing reactions including the Krebs cycle and mitochondrial respiration. Despite its importance, healthy people do not usually need to take malic acid supplementation. However, a deficiency is associated with physical exhaustion, muscle pain, and fibromyalgia, and a malic acid supplementation program can help treat these conditions. Cisplatin, a chemotherapy medication, and certain other drugs can reduce the level of malic acid in the body.

Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate
Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG) is a combination of two amino acids, ornithine and glutamine. It increases the release of muscle-building hormones, prevents the breakdown of muscle, enhances muscle growth, and improves immune function. Clinical trials have shown that OKG supplementation also improves wound healing.

Policosanol
Policosanol is a mixture of fatty alcohols isolated from the wax of sugar cane and yams. Its main compound is octanosol. Studies have shown that policosanol lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. It can also help prevent atherosclerosis. Policosanol reduces platelet aggregation of the blood and, therefore, its ability to clot, so consult use with your healthcare provider if you are taking a blood thinner.

Quercetin
Quercetin is a plant flavonoid. An anti-inflammatory, quercetin can be used to reduce arthritis pain. It can also help treat prostatitis and respiratory illnesses associated with inflammation such as asthma and bronchitis. Quercetin inhibits the release of histamine, which decreases the severity of allergic reactions, and is an antioxidant. Studies have also shown that men who intake more flavonoids, particularly quercetin, suffer fewer strokes and heart attacks than those who do not. In addition, quercetin has been found to protect the kidneys against the aging process. It can be found in apples and red onions as well as nutritional supplements.

Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is the fermented product of rice on which red yeast has been grown. Red yeast is a natural statin drug. It forms naturally occurring HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors known as monacolins, which lower cholesterol. In fact, monacolin-K (which is also called lovastatin) is the ingredient in the cholesterol medication Mevacor. Red yeast rice also contains sterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, sapogenin), isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids, which also have a cholesterol-lowering effect on the body.

Similarly to a statin drug, rd yeast rice can deplete the body of coenzyme Q10. Therefore, after taking red yeast rice, the body’s supply of coenzyme Q10 must be replenished. Consult your healthcare practitioner regarding the recommended dosage of coenzyme Q10 for you.

Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree that grows in Australia. With antiseptic and antifungal properties, tea tree oil can be applied topically to treat sunburn, sores, cuts, arthritis, bruises, insect bites, warts, acne, fungal infections, mouth ulcers, and dandruff. Do not take tea tree oil internally because it can cause nerve damage. It should also not be applied in the ears, eyes, or other mucous membrane.

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is any change in the regular rhythm of the heart. It is typically due to interference with the electrical pathways of the heart and are responsible for over 400,000 deaths each year. Some arrhythmias are harmless and some are life threatening. Often the first sign of hidden heart disease is sudden death, which is usually caused by arrhythmias.

Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats from fish oil may prevent sudden death. The Italian GISSI-Prevenzione was a trial of over eleven thousand participants who either took 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA (fish oil) or a placebo. The group taking fish oil had a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality and a 45 percent reduction in sudden death. A Harvard study showed that men who had higher blood levels of omge-3 fats had an 80 percent lower risk of sudden death compared with men with low serum levels of omega-3. Omega-3 fats may also help prevent atrial fibrillation.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is associated with arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Magnesium strongly impacts heart cell membrane function and is a very important catalyst in many enzymatic reactions in the heart muscle cell (myocyte) and in more than three hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium given by intravenously has also been shown to reduce the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Magnesium helps to prevent both benign arrhythmias and serious arrhythmias. Magnesium helps to relax the heart and calm down and stabilize the heart’s electrical system.

Taurine

Taurine is the second most abundant amino acid in muscle. Foods that contain taurine include meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish. Taurine prevents arrhythmias by limiting calcium overload of the myocardium and helping to prevent hypertrophy of the heart. The heart that is ischemic or lacking adequate oxygen is more prone to arrhythmia. Some researchers believe that arrhythmias due to acute myocardial ischemic may be due to a loss of intracellular taurine. Following either an ischemic event or heart attack, taurine levels drop to as low as one-third of normal levels. Taurine also protects the oxygen-starved, or ischemic, heart from reperfusion-induced arrhythmias.

Coenzyme Q10

It is very useful in treating arrhythmias. CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body and helps manufacture energy. It also is believed to stabilize the heart’s electrical system and help prevent arrhythmias. It is especially effective for premature ventricular contractions.

Berberine

Berberine is the main active ingredient in the herb goldenseal, which has been used for years to treat intestinal infections. It has also been found to be beneficial for ventricular arrhythmias due to ischemia or a lack of oxygen. Berberine may also help prevent sudden death after myocardial ischemic damage. Researchers have studied berberine on patients with ventricular arrhythmias. They found that 62 percent of patients had 50 percent or greater, and 38 percent of patients had 90 percent or greater suppression of premature ventricular contractions. Berberine is typically recommended at a dose of 500 mg, twice a day.

Most all supplements that help congestive heart failure and ischemia will also typically help arrhythmias.

Nutrients for A Healthy Heart Muscle

Coenzyme Q10 – The antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) functions as a coenzyme in the energy-producing pathways of every cell in the body and is an important antioxidant that will fight the oxidation that creates free radicals as well as the oxidation of LDL and other lipids. CoQ10 is found in many foods, such as broccoli, Chinese cabbage, spinach, raw nuts, ocean fish and shellfish, pork, chicken, and beef. However, in a normal diet, we only get 2-5 mg of this important vitamin-like compound, so it is wise to add it in supplement form as well.

CoQ10 is one of the best “electron donors” that gives its electrons freely to electron-deficient free radicals rendering them harmless. It also restores oxidized vitamin E into a useful form. By given electrons to vitamin E – which, as you recall, is another important antioxidant – it “recycles” vitamin E to get it back into the free radical fight once again. In this way, when supplements of vitamin E and CoQ10 are combined, LDL becomes more resistant to oxidation than when you take vitamin E alone. This combination has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in laboratory animals. However, CoQ10’s most important function is probably within the mitochondria that facilitate the cycle of ATP to ADP to ATP – and so on – which is so crucial to the health of every cell and particularly important in the cells of the heart muscle.

When you take CoQ10 as a supplement, pay attention to what form it comes in. research has shown that since it is such a large molecule, it is hard to absorb. The best form to take it in is ubiquinol, which is the active form. As many as 30 percent of Japanese have a defective NQ01 gene that regulates coenzyme Q10 from the inactive ubiquinone to the active ubiquinol. Also, as you age, the conversion process slows down. For basic health, take the recommendation of 100 mg of ubiquinol a day. Also check the CoQ10 blood level and adjust the dose accordingly.

L-carnitine: Another “transport” molecule that helps in mitochondrial energy generation is L-carnitine, which facilitates moving long-chain fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane to catalyze beta-oxidation, a process by which the fat is broken down so it can be burned as fuel and turned into energy. L-carnitine is one of the most easily used amino acids in our bodies and is also a precursor of nitric oxide and other metabolites. These fatty acids must be brought through the mitochondrial membrane to be processed in this way, and L-carnitine is the only carrier molecule that can do this. Thus the higher the level of L-carnitine in your system, the greater the rate of energy metabolism, and the lower the level, the more difficult it is to generate sufficient energy. Since the heart gets at least 60 percent of its fuel from such fat sources, L-carnitine is crucial to heart health and improving congestive heart failure.
L-carnitine is found in protein-rich foods such as peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, coconut, milk and milk products, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, oats, wheat, and chocolate. However, with age, through genetic defects or eating carnitine-deficient diets (such as pure vegetarians often do), deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals important to L-carnitine, liver or kidney disease, and the use of certain prescription drugs are all associated with our bodies having insufficient levels of L-carnitine; therefore, supplementation is vital. L-carnitine should be supplemented in a dose of 500 mg, three times a day.

D-ribose is a simple five-carbon sugar found in every cell of the body. It is different from other sugars, such as glucose (a six-carbon sugar) because it both provides and sustains energy, especially in weakened hearts. D-ribose provides tremendous support to the mitochondria in assisting the mitochondria to product ATP, or the heart’s energy currency.

D-ribose is naturally present in some meats, but only in trace amounts so small it does not really make any meaningful impact on our bodies. Cells synthesize D-ribose is the best way to provide it within your body because it is easily absorbed and put to work.

The following daily dosages are recommended for the following concerns, however, you still need to check with your doctor before taking these suggestions:

• As a daily preventative of cardiovascular disease or those who exercise strenuously on a regular basis: 5-7 g a day (5 g is equivalent to 2 teaspoons)
• For someone with milk to moderate congestive heart failure, recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, treatment of angina, or those with other significant vascular concerns: 7 – 10 g a day in divided doses
• For advanced congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, frequent angina, and those awaiting heart transplants or suffering from fibromyalgia: 10 – 15 g a day in divided doses

Magnesium is a wonderful mineral for the heart and cardiovascular system across the board. If you’re suffering with congestive heart failure or arrhythmia, magnesium should be a significant help to you. In fact, magnesium deficiency is very common in those who have congestive heart failure. Studies show that as many as half of Americans lack the magnesium they should have, oddly enough roughly the same number that have cardiovascular complications.

Magnesium is present in nuts, grains, beans, and dark green vegetables. Alcohol and caffeine consumption encourage the excretion of magnesium. Certain conventional drugs for treating congestive heart failure, such as Lanoxin and various diuretics, may also deplete magnesium levels.

All individuals who have experienced congestive heart failure should take a magnesium supplement. It is also beneficial in treating arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, PVCs, and symptoms of mitral valve prolapse.

Testosterone supplementation is also very important for all people with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). There are more testosterone receptors in cardiac muscle than any other muscles in the body. Testosterone will also help strengthen the heart muscle. Heavy metal detoxification, chelation therapy, and an infrared sauna are also very important for people with CHF. People with CHF many times have very high mercury, lead, and/or cadmium levels in their cardiac muscle, and their heavy metals are poisoning their mitochondria or their energy producing structures in the cell. It is also recommended to take omega-3 fats and glutathione-boosting supplements for patients with congestive heart failure.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. It is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.

In the first six months of infection with the virus – the period referred to as acute hepatitis C – 60 to 70 percent of the people infected have no symptoms at all, while others experience decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching, or flu-like symptoms. When infection with the virus continues for more than six months – a condition called chronic hepatitis C – again, there may be no symptoms at all. Some patients, though, experience weight loss, flu-like symptoms, low-grade fever, muscle pain, joint pain, itching, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and more. If left untreated, this disorder can progress and cause inflammation of the liver, liver scarring, and cirrhosis. It should be noted, though, that the majority of those infected with hepatitis C experience either no symptoms or such milk symptoms that they do not seek treatment.

Hepatitis C is spread through contact with infected blood, and may be contracted through IV drug use; transfusions with unscreened blood; occupational exposure to blood; recreational exposure to drugs, as in sports; and even shared personal items such as razors. The condition has also been known to spread through sex with an infectious person, and from mother to infant during childbirth.

While prompt medical treatment of hepatitis C is important to avoid progression of the disease, a number of supplements can also be useful in the treatment of this disorder. At the same time, avoid high doses of vitamin A and beta carotene, and niacin supplementation greater than 100 milligrams.

Supplements to treat Hepatitis C

• Alpha-lipoic acid – USANA combined alpha-lipoic acid with coenzyme Q10 to create CoQuinone 30, a fantastic supplement of these energy-supporting nutrients. USANA Vitamins supplements CoQuinone 30 contains a full 30 mg of CoQ10 and 12.5 mg of alpha lipoic acid per soft gel capsule.
• Astragalus
• B-complex vitamins
• Carnitine
• Coenzyme Q10
• Lysine – Taking for more than six months can cause an imbalance of arginine. Do not take if you have diabetes or are allergic to eggs, milk, or wheat.
• N-acetylcysteien (NAC)
• Olive leaf extract
• Phosphatidyl-choline (Lecithin)
• Probiotics
• Selenium
• Silymarin – Found in milk thistle
• Taurine
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
• Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E

USANA Vitamins supplements Hepasil DTX is the comprehensive liver support formula that promotes and balances the body’s detoxification processes. Milk-thistle extract which provides dual action, stimulating liver enzymes and protecting against oxidative stress. USANA Hepasil DTX provides additional antioxidants from green-tea extract, olives, and turmeric provide further antioxidant protection.

Fibroids

Fibroids, which are also known as leiomyomata, are benign (non-cancerous) growths on or within the walls of the uterus. These tumors can be a variety of different sizes and quantities. The resulting symptoms depend upon these factors. If the fibroids are small and do not cause any symptoms, a doctor may recommend that no course of action be taken. However, larger – or multiple – fibroids can cause pain, excessive bleeding, and problems urinating, as well as infertility and premature labor. When fibroids cause serious problems such as these, treatment options include surgery (hysterectomy or myomectomy), medications (such as oral contraceptives), and procedures such as the high intensity focused ultrasound (which uses necessary surgery or other medical action, the nutrients in the following may allow these procedures to be avoided by shrinking the uterine fibroids naturally. You should also avoid drinking coffee.

Fibroids have estrogen receptors, and are thus responsive to the body’s level of estrogen. During periods of pregnancy, when estrogen levels increase, fibroids tend to grow in size. After menopause, on the other hand, when estrogen levels drop significantly, fibroids usually become smaller. For this reason, doctors will often recommend a medication with an estrogen-lowering effect, which will artificially create this situation. Similarly, you may find it effective to take natural progesterone, which directly affects the estrogen in your body. Your doctor will be able to prescribe a specific daily dosage.

Supplements to treat fibroids

• Alpha-lipoic acid
• Carnitine
• Coenzyme Q10 – As we age, CoQ10 retained in tissues decreases. In addition, CoQ10 may be depleted by several other factors, including overall nutritional status and inadequate levels of the B vitamins, vitamin C, and selenium.
• Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
• Inositol – May stimulate uterine contractions. Women who wish to become pregnant should consult their doctor regarding its use
• Magnesium
• Milk thistle – Reduces efficiency of certain blood pressure medication
• Phosphatidyl-choline (Lecithin)