Green Lipped Mussel Extract Side Effects

Green Lipped Mussel Extract Side Effects

Shellfish is a traditional remedy for arthritis. The indigenous Maori population of New Zealand uses Perna canaliculus, commonly known as the green-lipped mussel, for this purpose, as explained by The website notes that some studies support the effectiveness of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel extract for treating inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and asthma. Standardized preparations of this supplement are available under the brand names Lyprinol and Seatone. The green-lipped mussel naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, and chondroitin sulfate, a supplement used to decrease and prevent joint pain. Research is lacking on the safety of green-lipped mussel extract, according to the American Cancer Society, but the society notes that the substance appears to be “relatively non-toxic.”

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

A small number of people experience gastrointestinal effects when taking New Zealand green-lipped mussel and its extracts, according to These side effects may include abdominal discomfort, gas, diarrhea and nausea.

Which Supplements Should You Not Take With Licorice Root Extract?


Licorice root extract is an ingredient in pills, capsules, candies, teas and liquids. The product can increase your risk of experiencing side effects when combined with certain other supplements. It has health risks of its own, so talk with your doctor if you plan to take licorice root extract regularly. Some candies taste as though they contain licorice extract, but they are actually flavored with anise oil, which tastes similar to licorice. Read the ingredients label to find out whether your product contains licorice.

Licorice Root Extract

Licorice root extract’s active ingredient, glycyrrhizen, appears to cause side effects that can be intensified by other herbs. Glycyrrhizen increases your body’s levels of aldosterone, a hormone in charge of sodium regulation. Symptoms of too much aldosterone include high blood pressure, headaches and heart problems. Another version of licorice root extract is available on the market without glycyrrhizen, called DGL, for deglycyrrhizinated licorice. New York University Langone Medical Center cautions that the safety of DGL has not been verified.

Pine bark extract

Pine bark extract, also known as Pycnogenol, is derived from the Pinus pinaster plant and contains potent antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which are responsible for most of its effects. Research suggests that supplementing with pine bark extract can provide an abundance of benefits that enhance overall health. Consult your health care provider before taking any supplements.

Boosts Kidney Function

Pine bark extract might improve kidney function and decrease the risk of kidney damage from hypertension, according to a study conducted by lead author Dr. Gianni Belcaro and fellow researchers from G D’Annunzio University in Italy. Their report, which was published in the March 2010 issue of the “Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics,” revealed that hypertensive subjects taking Pycnogenol for six months experienced decreases in blood pressure and improvements in kidney function from increased blood flow compared to those taking a placebo.

Treats Hemorrhoids

Pycnogenol might be effective for treating hemorrhoids, a condition that causes inflammation of the veins surrounding the anus. Dr. Gianni Belcaro led a team of researchers from G D’Annunzio University in Italy who investigated the impact of Pycnogenol on acute hemorrhoidal episodes. At the end of the treatment, which was reported in the March 2010 issue of the journal “Phytotherapy Research,” scientists observed that subjects ingesting Pycnogenol for seven days experienced reductions in intensity and duration of pain and bleeding around the anus compared to those receiving a placebo.

Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin, are naturally occurring compounds known as xanthophylls, which are yellow pigments found in many plants and vegetables. Xanthophylls are in a class of nutrients called carotenoids. Food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include dark-green leafy vegetables, fruit, and egg yolks. They may also be taken as supplements. Lutein and zeaxanthin may be helpful for many health conditions, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. A doctor should be consulted before taking any lutein and zeaxanthin supplements.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in the macula of the eye and give it its yellow color. The macula is the part of the eye responsible for central sharp vision, which is necessary for driving and reading. Lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties and thus help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.


Age-Related Macular Degeneration

According to All About Vision, age-related macular degeneration, commonly called ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss in America in people age 65 and higher. ARMD is caused by the deterioration of the macula. In a study published in a 1994 issue of the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” researchers studied the effect of dietary carotenoids, vitamin A, C and E on advanced age-related macular degeneration. The authors found that a diet high in carotenoids was associated with a low risk for the disease. The research team commented that among the specific carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin were most strongly associated with a reduced risk for age-related macular degeneration.

Nutritional Content of Perilla Leaves

The leaves of the perilla plant, which is an herb, may be an effective ingredient to add to your meals, as notes that perilla is purported to prevent food poisoning. These leaves may also have anti-inflammatory effects and are said to promote healthier cholesterol levels. However, notes that there is not adequate clinical evidence to support these claims. Regardless of these effects, perilla leaves do have nutritional content. Consult a doctor before using this or any other alternative forms of medicine.


Perilla leaves are low in calories, as each 100 g serving of the leaves provides just 37 calories. This number of calories composes less than 2 percent of the total suggested daily intake of 2,000 calories. Although perilla leaves are low in calories, they are higher in calories than some types of leaves; 100 g of lettuce contain just 15 calories.


Although many leafy vegetables are fat-free, perilla leaves contain 1 g of fat in each 100 g serving. None of the fat in perilla leaves comes from saturated fat, a type of fat which may increase your risk of heart disease. Dietary fat is vital for proper health, so the Department of Agriculture recommends consuming between 20 and 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, but no more than 10 percent of your calories should come from saturated fat.


Carbohydrates and Fiber

Perilla leaves are rich in carbohydrates, with 7 g in each 100 g serving. Perilla leaves are free of sugar and provide 7 g of dietary fiber per serving. Due to the rich fiber content in perilla leaves, this type of food may aid in weight loss, as fiber promotes satiety. Fiber also promotes healthy digestion and may aid in the treatment of diabetes and heart disease, so you should consume 20 g to 35 g each day.


Perilla leaves do not contain any protein. Protein is a vital nutrient that promotes the health of your body’s cells and tissues, among other roles.


Perilla leaves contain some minerals, with 23 percent of the daily suggested intake of calcium and 9 percent of the daily suggested intake of iron in a 100 g serving.


Perilla leaves are rich in vitamin C, with 43 percent of the daily suggested intake in a 100 g serving.

Benefits of Cacao

11229Native Americans have consumed beverages made from the Theobroma cacao tree for millennia. Ancient healers used the fruit of this tree to treat health problems. According to a 2011 review in the “Chemistry Central Journal,” cacao is a “super fruit” producing large antioxidant effects and having a high nutrient content. Modern researchers have gradually documented the alleged benefits of Theobroma extracts. Cacao may cause allergic reactions, so speak with a doctor before ingesting this fruit.

Lowers Blood Pressure

One in three Americans has high blood pressure, according to a 2011 survey in “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” Surgery and drugs may correct this problem, but such treatments can have side effects. Natural products like cacao extracts may eventually replace these conventional approaches. A clinical trial presented in the 2010 volume of the “British Journal of Nutrition” looked at the impact of cacao on blood pressure in healthy adults. Participants received two different doses of cacao-containing dark chocolate. Relative to baseline, both treatments similarly lowered diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Researchers observed an identical response in obese and normal individuals. The subjects did not experience adverse events, but the long-term effects of cacao remain unknown.

Fights Experimental Cancer

At least 20 percent of American men over 80 have prostate cancer, according to a 2011 analysis in “Prostate.” The incidence of this cancer continues to increase in some populations. Changes in exercise and diet can help reverse these trends, and ingesting more cacao may support these changes. An experiment described in the 2008 edition of the “European Journal of Cancer Prevention” assessed the effect of cacao in an rodent model of prostate cancer. For nine months, control animals received drugs known to cause cancer. Treated animals received these drugs and cacao powder. Rats given cacao extracts had fewer prostate tumors and lived longer than those given no treatment. In fact, many cacao-treated animals did not develop any tumors.

Treats Diabetic Symptoms

Diabetes affects over 20 million Americans, according to a 2010 review in the “American Journal of Managed Care.” The large prevalence of this disorder places a burden on our health care system. Doctors emphasize the prevention of diabetes, but management remains important as well. Cacao contains substances that might help you manage diabetic symptoms. An investigation offered in the 2007 volume of “Nutrition” tested the effect of proanthocyanidins on experimental diabetes. This over-the-counter supplement is from cacao extracts. Overweight and diabetic rats received proanthocyanidins or saline for three weeks. Rats given the extract had lower blood sugar by the end of the study. The extract did not affect appetite or weight, and it did not cause toxicity.

Improves Mental Health

Mood disorders such as depression appear in 20 percent of Americans, according to a 2011 survey in the “Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.” Chronic use of antidepressant drugs shortens your life expectancy. Dietary aids like cacao might eliminate these medications in the future. A 2008 report in “Nutritional Neuroscience” looked at the ability of cacao to improve mental health. The authors tested animals using a forced swimming protocol. This procedure causes symptoms of depression. Rodents received a cacao extract or an inert treatment during a single session. Rats given cacao showed less despair and greater “fight” than those given no treatment. Human patients taking cacao also gain energy, and they rarely experience side effects.

Tongkat Ali Effects

11224Tongkat ali, also known as eurycoma longifolia jack, is shrub-like plant that grows in parts of southeast Asia. The plant isn’t primarily popular for landscaping uses, however, but is instead prized as an herbal supplement. The effects of this supplement range from hormonal changes to antibacterial activity.

Increasing Sperm Count

Many of tongkat ali’s effects have to do with the reproductive system. One effect that researchers have uncovered is the herb’s ability to increase sperm count by enhancing spermatogenesis, the process by which the body produces sperm. In a study published in the journal “Clinics,” researchers found that 14 days of tongkat ali supplementation improved spermatogenesis and increased sperm count in rats, even after they were treated with estrogen. Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and caused reductions in sperm counts in the rats of the control group.


Bacterial infections can cause serious health hazards if untreated. Researchers from the “Saudi Medical Journal” found that extracts from the leaves and stems of tongkat ali plants could be potent sources of antibacterial compounds because of their effects on certain bacteria.


Tongkat ali is used by some bodybuilders and other athletes because of its effects on testosterone production. According to a study from the journal “Natural Product Communications,” tongkat ali supplementation significantly increases testosterone levels. However, this study was performed in rats, not humans.

Increased Sexual Arousal

One effect of tongkat ali that is probably related to the enhancement of testosterone levels is the increase in sexual arousal. A study from the journal “Experimental Animals” found that tongkat ali administration in rats was a “potent stimulator of sexual arousal.”

Causing Apoptosis

Apoptosis is the medical term for cellular death. In most cases, a supplement causing cell death would not be useful. When treating cancer, however, inducing apoptosis is very valuable. A study from the journal “Anticancer Research” found that tongkat ali extracts could cause apoptosis in targeted cells.

Uses for Tongkat Ali

Tongkat ali is a plant and herbal supplement also called by such names as long jack and pasak bumi–and by its botanical name, Eurycoma longifolia. As a folk remedy in Malaysia, tongkat ali is employed as an aphrodisiac and a treatment for erectile dysfunction, fever, fatigue, high blood pressure and malaria. Several documented scientific studies exist of tongkat ali’s effects in animals, but research on its effects in humans is not yet as extensive.


Consumption and Benefits

The roots of the tongkat ali tree are dried and ground into a powder similar in appearance to coffee. Users can take tongkat ali in powder or pill form. According to Herbal Supplement Resource, tongkat ali may increase the amount of testosterone in the blood helping an males maintain erections and potentially increasing an individual’s muscle mass.

Human Research

A 2005 study on human subjects, documented at Herbal Supplement Resource, reports that tongkat ali increases the amount of high-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, in the blood, which are essential to maintaining healthy arteries by preventing the accumulation of plaque along artery walls. The same 2005 study also reported an increase in human growth hormone (HGH), which is responsible for the growth and reproduction of cells. According to Chris Kiham at Medicine Hunter, the tongkat ali root contains antioxidants that can inhibit cellular aging as well as phytochemicals to fight viruses and cancer. According to a study by Tee and Azimahtol, documented at, tongkat ali caused apoptosis, or cell death, in human breast cancer cells. Another study by Kuo and colleagues, also documented at, reports that tongkat ali was cytotoxic, or fatal to human lung cancer cells.




Herbal Resource Supplement suggests that women should avoid using tongkat ali if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Men who have diabetes, prostate cancer or heart, liver or kidney disease should not take tongkat ali. Individuals with sleep apnea should not take tongkat ali. Excessive consumption of tongkat ali can result in anxiety and insomnia because of the body’s increased production of ATP. Individuals interested in adding this supplement to their regimen should consult a health care provider before doing so.

The Benefits of Tongkat Ali

Tongkat ali, a medicinal herb with the scientific name, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, is a popular herbal supplement with many purported benefits. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the active constituents of tongkat ali appear to be eurycomalacton, eurycomanon, and eurycomanol. Scientific studies into the active chemical components of tongkat ali have revealed several possible uses for the herb, namely, as an aphrodisiac, ergogenic aid and cancer-fighting agent.

Ergogenic Aid

One of the purported uses of tongkat ali is as an ergogenic aid, or a supplement that enhances the body’s adaptive response to exercise. Tongkat Ali is thought to produce this effect by causing an increase in the body’s levels of testosterone, a male sex hormone which effects muscle size and performance. According to a 2003 study by S. Hamzah and A. Yusof in “The British Journal of Sports Medicine,” a tongkat ali extract in conjunction with a weight-training program, caused an increase in lean body mass and a loss of fat tissue relative to placebo. This supports the use of tongkat ali by athletes as an ergogenic aid.

As tongkat ali is thought to increase levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, it may have utility as a libido-enhancer or general male sexual aid. According to a 2003 study by Ang HH, Ngai TH and Tan TH in “The Journal of Phytomedicine,” when an extract of tongkat ali was administered to middle-aged rats their sexual performance increased relative to the placebo group. The main effect observed was a decrease in the hesitation-time of the rats, indicating an increased libido.

Anti-Cancer Agent

Tongkat ali has also been studied as a possible cancer-fighting agent, as several of it’s chemical constituents have been shown to exert anti-cancer effects in studies. According to a 2005 study by Tee TT and Azimahtol HL in the journal, “Anticancer Research,” an extract of tongkat ali exerted anti-proliferative effects against human breast cancer cells. In a 2003 study conducted at National Cheng Kung University and published in “The Journal of Natural Products,” an extract of tongkat ali killed human lung cancer cells, as well as demonstrating anti-malarial effects.

Saw Palmetto Whole Herb Vs. Extract

saw palmetto is a small palm tree that grows wild across the coastal regions of the Southern United States. It has been used as an herbal remedy in the United States, South America and Europe to treat a variety of conditions affecting both men and women. It is available in the form of dried berries, tablets, capsules or extract and can be made into a tea. When choosing an herbal supplement, it may be difficult to decide among the different dosage forms available. No matter which form you choose, as with any herbal supplement, consult a health care professional before beginning a new regimen.

Saw Palmetto Uses

The “Prescription for Herbal Healing” reports that saw palmetto has been used for its hormonal properties since the mid-1800s in the United States. It has also gained widespread popularity in Europe and South America for its ability to treat some of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and may help with symptoms such as weak urine stream, frequent urination and nighttime awakenings. It has also been used to treat some menopause-related symptoms including hirsutism, or unusual hair growth. Some European herbalists have used saw palmetto to treat weight loss in HIV and AIDS patients. Saw palmetto should not be used to self-treat urinary or other problems without the advice of a physician because these conditions may indicate a serious medical problem such as prostate cancer. In addition, women who are pregnant or being treated for hormonal conditions should not take this supplement.

Whole Dried Herb Supplements

The active portion of the saw palmetto herbal supplement is the berry. Some practitioners think that taking a whole dried supplement will give all of the benefits of the herb, including some phytonutrients. The disadvantage of using whole dried herbs is that it may take as many as 3 to 4 grams of freeze-dried berries to equal the standardized extract of a saw palmetto extract capsule. In addition, it is important to know how the berries were dried and stored, because sun, heat and freeze-drying may all result in different amounts of active ingredients. Always purchase your herbs from a reputable source, preferably in a closed container and not from open jar or bin. Whole dried berries may be made into a tea or may be taken with other foods.


Whole Herb Extract

Whole herb extract of saw palmetto has undergone a process in which the active ingredients have been extracted from the whole berry. The advantage of using whole herb extracts is that they can generally be purchased in tablet or capsule form in a known dosage amount. The “Prescription for Herbal Healing” states that most tablets or capsules contain 320 mg of extract each and will state that they are made from whole herb extracts on the label. Saw palmetto supplements may be purchased at health food stores and many grocery and drug stores. When purchasing any supplements, make sure you are buying them from a well-established manufacturer.

Chemical Extract Supplements

Some manufacturers of herbal supplements do not use the whole herb to obtain the active ingredients. Some may be made from parts of the plant containing lower amounts of the active ingredient, while others may be synthesized in a lab. The label will state the amount of the extract but will not state that it came from whole herbs. Most natural health practitioners prefer whole herbs or whole herb extracts made in a natural manner.