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.
Among nutrients used for cholesterol support, fiber, Co Q-10, niacin, and red yeast rice get most of the attention. But plant sterols are not only effective, they’re extremely affordable, safe…and isn’t that what everyone starts out looking for in the first place? A recent study agrees, calling sterols “an important but underused dietary component in the treatment of elevated blood cholesterol”.
One of the ways you can save money on supplements is by getting the most out of your money. Pooling your orders with friends and family is one good way. Another one is taking advantage of inexpensive products that have lots of different uses or benefits. Alpha lipoic acid is an example of a supplement like that, almost like 2 or 3 separate supplements rolled into one. Another good one is organic coconut oil. Healthy, nutritious, cholesterol-free and super-versatile, you’ll want to keep a jar of organic coconut oil on hand after you find out all the good things about it in today’s AllStarHealth.com blog.
It’s not the first time that dairy foods have been associated with health risks, but the attention is usually focused on the effects of milk’s naturally-occurring saturated fats and cholesterol, as well as drug and hormonal contamination. More recently, researchers have been looking at the possible long-term effects of milk protein consumption, and they do mean ‘long-term’, going so far as to suggest prenatal effects in expectant Mom’s who consume dairy. But for the millions of nutritionally-conscious consumers who consider dairy protein like whey an important part of their regimen – not to mention the brands that market such supplements – this just-published study raises more questions than answers. We’ll try to put it into perspective in today’ AllStarHealth blog.