Blueberry Extract Vs. Grape Seed Extract

Blueberry Extract Vs. Grape Seed Extract

Grapes and berries make delicious snacks, but they are as rich in phytochemicals as they are in taste. Phytochemicals are natural chemicals which have beneficial medical effects. While extracts of blueberries and grape seeds differ in their phytochemical make-up, both are effective neutralizers of tissue-damaging free radicals. Consult your physician before using either blueberry or grape seed extract for health purposes.

Blueberry Extract Uses

Blueberries contain many chemicals which may improve your health — in particular, a group of compounds known as anthocyanins. In addition to contributing to the color of blueberries, anthocyanins have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties. Anthocyanins block the action of free radicals, which can damage cells and DNA. Through this antioxidant effect, blueberry extract can reduce the general deterioration of the body associated with aging. Anthocyanins play a role in your body’s metabolism as well by increasing the effectiveness of insulin.

Blueberry Extract Research

Blueberry extract may help you retain your memory as you get older. A 2010 study published in “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” tested the effect of blueberry juice on memory decline in older adult subjects. The results should apply to blueberry extracts as well. The study subjects averaged 76.2-years-old. Blueberry juice improved the subjects’ learning and recall ability. In addition, the researchers found that the juice reduced symptoms of depression and lowered blood glucose levels. The researchers believed that both reductions may have contributed to the subjects’ improved mental function.

Tart Cherry Extract & Uric Acid

Tart Cherry Extract & Uric Acid

Uric acid levels in the blood can rise for several reasons, one of which is gout. Gout is an arthritic disease characterized by inflammation and pain in the joints. Tart cherries, whether eaten as whole fruit or in the form of juice, contain high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Some evidence has show that tart cherry consumption reduces uric acid levels, which could possibly provide a beneficial effect for those who suffer from symptoms of gout.

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are most often found frozen, dried or concentrated into a juice. They contain high levels of beneficial flavanoids, phenolic compounds and anthocyanins, which have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” investigated the antioxidant content of common foods and found that from the top 50 foods with the highest antioxidant content, sour cherries were ranked number 14.

Uric Acid

Uric acid is present in the blood as a product of the break down of purines. Purines in diet are found in liver, dried legumes, anchovies, beer and wine. According to the National Institutes of Health, most uric acid produced in the body is excreted in the urine, however if the body doesn’t remove enough, high levels of uric acid can result which is a symptom of a number of medical conditions.

Beta Glucan Powder Vs. Beta Glucan Extract

Beta Glucan Powder Vs. Beta Glucan Extract

Beta glucan — also known as beta glucans, beta glycans, beta 1,3 and lentinan — is a polysaccharide compound derived from plant sources. Beta glucan is sold in both extract and powdered form as a dietary supplement that manufacturers claim can enhance your health and prevent the development of certain diseases. Beta glucan powder and beta glucan extract share the same properties and, while some research indicates that supplementation with either yields health benefits, both also may cause side effects. Speak to your doctor before using beta glucan powder or beta glucan extract for any medical condition.

Origin and Function

Both beta glucan powder and beta glucan extract — beta glucan in a liquid form — are derived from the cell walls of plants such as oats, wheat and barley; from baker’s yeast; and from certain species of fungi, such as mushrooms. Beta glucan may inhibit cholesterol absorption in the digestive system and stimulate the production of immune system enzymes and proteins in both animals and humans.

Blueberry Extract for Skin Care

Blueberry Extract for Skin Care

When it comes to skin care, consumers are often on the lookout for products that offer the promise of a healthy glow as well as anti-aging properties. Some products contain blueberry extract, a liquid formula derived from the related antioxidant-rich fruit. While blueberries themselves are considered a super-fruit when eaten, skin care manufacturers market blueberry-extract products as natural methods of keeping the complexion healthy while fighting signs of age (Reference 4). Still, this doesn’t mean blueberry extract is safe for all individuals. Choose skincare products wisely and see a doctor in case you experience any adverse reactions.

Features

Blueberry extract is made from crushed and processed forms of the popular berry. Blueberries contain antioxidants, molecules that help prevent the formation of harmful cells in the body. Extracts are available in liquid and supplement forms, which are used for a variety of health conditions ranging from glaucoma and diabetes to overall inflammation.

Grapefruit Seed Extract for Melasma

Grapefruit Seed Extract for Melasma

Melasma is a skin condition characterized by brown or gray patches on your face and, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the causes of this condition are unknown. It may fade on its own or require topical treatments that will lighten your skin. Grapefruit seed extract contains vitamins and antioxidants that may help treat certain skin conditions. However, do not use any at-home remedies without first discussing them with your doctor.

Definition of Melasma

Melasma is a skin problem that plagues women more than men, the AAD reports. While it most often forms on your cheeks, nose, forehead, chin and upper lip, it may also crop up on your forearms and neck. Those with darker skin tones are more likely to develop this condition, and you are also more prone to it if you have a family history of melasma. Pregnancy, birth control, sun exposure and allergic reactions to certain cosmetic products can all cause the condition to develop.

The Effects of Green Tea Extract & Hoodia

The Effects of Green Tea Extract & Hoodia

Many manufacturers offer weight loss products containing green tea extract and hoodia. While research shows that both of these supplements may contribute to a weight loss program, neither has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for weight loss. Additional clinical studies are needed to conclusively prove or disprove claims made by weight loss supplement manufacturers.

Green Tea

Clinical studies suggest that green tea may boost your metabolism and aid your body in burning fat. According to Rebecca Dobler of Vanderbilt University, green tea promotes heat production, or thermogenesis, in the cells, enhancing energy expenditure and stimulating weight loss. Additionally, green tea may inhibit the digestion of fat in the intestines, according to the University of Michigan Health System.

Hoodia

Many varieties of hoodia exist, but only the rare Hoodia gordonii contains the active ingredient thought to suppress appetite, reports Melissa Divack of Vanderbilt University. This active ingredient, a steroidal glycoside now known as P57, seems to affect the hypothalamus, which regulates hunger and fools your brain into thinking you’re full for up to 24 hours. However, claims that hoodia effectively suppresses appetite are not supported by any solid evidence, warns MayoClinic.com. Also, the rarity of the hoodia botanical has prompted some less than reputable manufacturers to advertise hoodia weight loss products that don’t actually contain any hoodia.

Side Effects of Stevia Leaf Extract

Side Effects of Stevia Leaf Extract

Everyone seems to be looking for the best-tasting artificial sweetener in order to remove the excessive amount of sugar in their food. Diabetes and obesity are on the rise, so this revelation comes as no surprise. Stevia has been used for centuries in different cultures to sweeten foods and drinks, so it was only a matter of time before it made its way to the United States. The extract is derived from the stevia plant, which is a small shrub indigenous to South America. It was originally used to sweeten tea by tribes in South America, and it spread to other continents quickly as it was discovered.

Disrupted Metabolism

It is thought that stevia can have an adverse affect on the body’s natural metabolism. This side effect can be detrimental to patients who are underweight or suffer from blood sugar problems. When food is consumed, it is broken down into glucose and carbohydrates, which are absorbed by the body for energy. How quickly this occurs is considered the body’s metabolism. It is thought that excess amounts of stevia can block the absorption of the glucose and carbohydrates, resulting in weight problems, loss of energy, and low blood sugar.

Horse Chestnut Extract for Hemorrhoids

Horse Chestnut Extract for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum. Usually, they are caused by constipation, straining during bowel movements and pregnancy. Symptoms include burning, itching, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. If you think you have hemorrhoids, or if you are bleeding rectally, you should be examined by your doctor to rule out dangerous diagnoses.

Horse chestnut extract is made from the seeds of the European horse chestnut tree, and is widely used in Europe for the treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. If you are interested in trying horse chestnut extract, a discussion with your doctor will help you determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for this natural treatment.

Step 1

Obtain horse chestnut extract cream or ointment from a reputable health foods store; it can also be purchased online. The preparation should certify that a toxic ingredient, called esculin, has been completely removed. Make sure the cream contains pharmaceutical grade horse chestnut with 2 percent aescin, the compound responsible for many of horse chestnut extract’s healing qualities.

Aescin appears to have the ability to repair tiny leaks in blood vessels and capillaries, improving their health, strength, and elasticity. According to the Health Library website, a clinical study of 80 people with hemorrhoids indicated that horse chestnut produced significant improvements in pain, swelling and bleeding within two weeks.

Horse chestnut extract is also available in capsule form; it should be standardized to contain 50 mg aescin per supplement.

What Are the Benefits of Green Coffee?

What Are the Benefits of Green Coffee?

While traditional black coffee is made from roasted coffee beans, green coffee beverages are made using the unroasted, or “green,” coffee beans. Extracts from green coffee beans have demonstrated many health benefits in scientific studies. The main components of green coffee responsible for these benefits appear to be caffeine and chlorogenic acid, a type of antioxidant, although some effects are influenced by factors other than these compounds.

Potential Weight Loss

According to a study published in March 2006 in “BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” daily supplementation of an extract prepared from green coffee beans reduced body fat and body weight in mice, as well as fat composition in the liver. The effect was similar in mice supplemented with isolated chlorogenic acids and caffeine, which suggests that these are the compounds responsible for the effect. Chlorogenic acids found in green coffee can be digested and absorbed by humans, which implies a similar availability as the extract.

Dosage of Cranberry Extract for UTIs

Dosage of Cranberry Extract for UTIs

“The New England Journal of Medicine” reports that every year 11 percent of American women seek medical care for a urinary tract infection, UTI. If you are female, your lifetime risk for developing a UTI is 60 percent. Many of the bacteria that cause these infections have become resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Cranberry juice has been used for decades as an alternative remedy for UTIs, but the dosage needed to confer benefit is unclear, and cranberry products are not universally accepted as an effective therapy. Consult a doctor before using cranberry for UTI.

How UTIs Get Started

Your urinary tract is normally a relatively sterile environment. However, bacteria can gain access to your bladder by ascending through your urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from your bladder. If urine is retained in your bladder for extended periods of time, if your urethra becomes irritated or inflamed, or if the normal protective barriers that coat the lining of your bladder break down, bacteria can adhere to the interior of your bladder and begin reproducing. Cranberry juice may prevent bacteria from “sticking” to your bladder wall.