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Some supplements seem to be a victim of their own success; they become so well-known for one thing, that any other good things about them are overlooked. We’ve recently been talking about some of these multi-purpose supplements like glutamine, alpha lipoic acid and coconut oil. Another supplement we could add to this group is SAMe. Most people think “depression” when they hear the word SAMe (which is pronounced “sammy”), and that makes sense since it’s one the very best and fastest-acting mood boosters. But there’s a few other really great benefits to taking SAMe that make it something almost anyone can benefit from. By adding SAMe to your regimen, you’ll be enhancing and protecting your health in ways that basic supplements like multis and fish oil cannot. You’ll feel SAMe working within the first few doses, especially where mood and joint comfort are concerned. But you certainly don’t have to be depressed to use SAMe. It’s gone way down in price and way up in popularity since it was introduced in the 90′s, so let’s take another look at SAMe and see if it’s something you might want to use, too.

As most readers as probably aware, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an increasingly-common degenerative disease of the nervous system. Still lacking a cure or a even clear etiology, Alzheimer’ s involves a gradual loss of nervous system function, ultimately erasing a the victims memory, personality and ability to function and care for themselves, let alone others. Most readers are also probably aware that AD is devastating to both victims and caregivers. A considerable amount of research resources are now devoted to finding out more about Alzheimer’s and discovering drugs and natural substances which may be protect against Alzheimer’s. A new study suggests that grape seed extract may protect against the very process responsible for the progressive loss of mental functions that characterizes Alzheimer’s.

A frequent reason people cite for not using nutritional supplements is that they’re too expensive. We think nutritional supplements are a good investment no matter what your budget. You can’t put a price on health, but you can bet insurance companies, hospitals, labs, pharmacies and doctors can put a price on your health problems. If you value your financial security, then you’re crazy to take your health for granted. And even if you’re on a shoestring budget, there are some very affordable supplements that can make a huge contribution to protecting your health. How affordable? These five supplements – as of this date – cost less than five dollars for a one month supply. And reading today’s blog, of course, costs you nothing.

Some supplements really do a lot for the time, money and trouble you go to take them. We’ve recently been discussing a few of them here such as alpha lipoic acid and coconut oil. Another good one is the amino acid L-glutamine. Strictly speaking, glutamine supplements are not usually clinically or nutritionally essential, but there are limits to how much the body can produce and how much can be obtained from food. So since glutamine supports so many critical functions and structures in the body – muscle mass, immune function, pH balance and many others – millions of people use daily glutamine supplements to support overall health by ensuring that there’s there’s plenty of glutamine to go around at all times.

In a study reminiscent of the back-and-forth over whether beta carotene increases lung cancer risk in smokers or not, a study now suggests that curcumin too can increase the risk of lung cancer development when cancer-promoting factors like smoking, or a history of smoking, are present. As a possible mechanism for this effect, the researchers suggested that curcumin may promote cancer in smokers by accelerating the formation of free radicals in damaged lung tissue.

A high-profile debate is taking place over the adverse effect of fructose sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. On one side, the commercial sweetener industry employs fructose on a massive – and massively profitable – scale, the best example being the HFCS that’s in just about every supermarket food. The industry maintains that fructose is, essentially, no worse for you than other sugars, and they’ve enlisted the help of slick high-profile TV ads to advocate for the safety of high fructose corn syrup in a non-technical, feelgood sort of way (it’s ‘natural’, it’s ‘made from corn’, ‘real men’ don’t care, etc). On the other side are researchers and health professionals. These scientists have been searching for a way to explain the explosion in obesity and obesity harbingers like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. This explosion more-or-less coincides with the introduction and rapid, widespread adoption of high fructose corn syrup. At this time in 2009, HFCS has already been the subject of many damaging studies, and while these researchers aren’t taking to the airwaves with their findings, the tide seems to be steadily turning against the industry as more consumers and health experts just put two-and-two together and finally steer clear of fructose sweeteners altogether.

The Federal Trade Commission has just announced a settlement with breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s over claims that just eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal could boost a child’s attentiveness by almost 20 percent. Faulting both the science of Kellogg’s study and its interpretation of the results, the FTC charged that Kellogg’s claim are false and in violation of the FTC Act. Chairman Jon Leibowitz adds, “We tell consumers that they should deal with trusted national brands. So it’s especially important that America’s leading companies are more ‘attentive’ to the truthfulness of their ads and don’t exaggerate the results of tests or research. In the future, the Commission will certainly be more attentive to national advertisers.” This is good news for the industry but perhaps bad news for parents who were (or are) eager to find something ‘easy’ to help their children pay attention, learn and develop intellectually. Fortunately, there are some great products and nutritional factors that can help kids learn and concentrate better, but don’t count on Kellogg’s to clue you in. Get an overview in today’s AllStarHealth blog.

It’s already been well-established that increasing dietary fiber has all kinds of benefits for you; lower cholesterol, lower risk of disease, better elimination and detoxification and even better weight management. And it’s also pretty well-established that most people don’t get enough dietary fiber in the first place. So it’s always been easy to make a case for fiber supplements, since they’re so inexpensive, safe and easy-to-use.

But there are different types of fiber, and they have different effects and benefits. So you want to make sure you’re using the right kind of fiber supplement for your situation. If you’re using or considering using fiber for weight management, there’s new information that points to a crucial difference between the type of fiber and whether it promotes weight loss or weight gain.

You’d never know it from their over-the-top marketing and packaging, but the popular nitric-oxide pre-workout formulas are highly effective performance enhancers nearly anyone can use to have much better workouts and much better results.

Look at a few bone formulas and you’ll see the same nutrients popping up again and again; calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D for example. One nutrient you won’t see very often in bone formulas is vitamin C. There are plenty of benefits already ascribed to vitamin C – immune support, cardiovascular health, would healing – but support for bone health isn’t frequently mentioned. That may change, and so might the next generation of bone support formulas, thanks to a recent Tufts University Study.