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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Herb extracts


Herbs are an integral part of medical training for millenniums. They have many positive effects on human health. Thanks to modern technology, there are plant extracts which contain only the beneficial substances in concentrated form. Ginkgo biloba Ginkgos are deciduous, dioecious trees which is the only living species within the division Ginkgophyta. Ginkgos are used as traditional medicine. Its leaves contain flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol) and terpenoids. It is used for curing brain ischemia, dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss. It has beneficial effects on varicose veins, hemorrhoid, and foot ulcer. According to clinical research, it is effective against mild and moderate depression and impotence. Thanks to its flavonoid content, it widens the veins, ensures the blood supply of the skin and muscles, and boosts metabolism. It has antioxidant properties, and improves the blood supply of the brain, too. In homeopathy, it is used as a remedy for tonsillitis and headache. Ginzeng Ginseng belongs to the genus Panax of the order Apiales and of the family Araliaceae. Its root has been used for centuries in the Far East. Ginsenosides are the active compounds which are responsible for ginseng’s efficacy. They put an end to symptoms caused by stress, and they boost both ...

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Mineral basics


Dietary elements (commonly known as dietary minerals or mineral nutrients) are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen present in common organic molecules. The term “dietary mineral” is archaic, as the substances it refers to are chemical elements rather than actual minerals. Chemical elements in order of abundance in the human body include the seven major dietary elements calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Important “trace” or minor dietary elements, necessary for mammalian life, include iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, bromine, and selenium. Over twenty dietary elements are necessary for mammals, and several more for various other types of life. The total number of chemical elements that are absolutely needed is not known for any organism. Ultratrace amounts of some elements (e.g., boron, chromium) are known to clearly have a role but the exact biochemical nature is unknown, and others (e.g. arsenic, silicon) are suspected to have a role in health, but without proof. The dietary focus on chemical elements derives from an interest in supporting the biochemical reactions of metabolism with the required elemental components. Appropriate intake levels of certain chemical elements have been demonstrated ...

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Fats and Oils


We call substances which are hydrophobic and greasy, fats. The definition, used in chemistry, is different. Only triglycerides, which are esters of organic acids formed with glycerol, are called fats. Some of those substances we call oil are also triglycerides. Fats are simple lipids. They are biologically important natural compounds produced by plants and animals. Saturated Fatty Acids Saturated fatty acids (such as palmitic acid) have no double bonds or other functional groups except for the carboxyl group. The straight chains pack tightly, which makes it possible for living creatures (especially for animals) to store energy in high amount in a relatively small space in the form of fat. Unsaturated Fatty Acids There is at least one double bond within the chain of unsaturated fatty acids. Depending on the position of hydrogen atoms in the double bond, they may be either cis- or trans- fatty acids. Essential Fatty Acids Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated compounds which include omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) and omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA). These are essential nutrients, because the body cannot produce them. Essential fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation, regulating blood pressure, and in the proper function of the immune ...

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Amino acid basics


Amino acids are biologically important organic compounds composed of amine (-NH2) and carboxylic acid (-COOH) functional groups, along with a side-chain specific to each amino acid. In the form of proteins, amino acids comprise the second-largest component (water is the largest) of human muscles, cells and other tissues. Outside proteins, amino acids perform critical roles in processes such as neurotransmitter transport and biosynthesis. They include the 23 proteinogenic (“protein-building”) amino acids, which combine into peptide chains (“polypeptides”) to form the building-blocks of a vast array of proteins. Twenty of the proteinogenic amino acids are encoded directly by triplet codons in the genetic code and are known as “standard” amino acids. Many important proteinogenic and non-proteinogenic amino acids also play critical non-protein roles within the body. For example, in the human brain, glutamate (standard glutamic acid) and gamma-amino-butyric acid (“GABA”, non-standard gamma-amino acid) are, respectively, the main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters; hydroxyproline (a major component of the connective tissue collagen) is synthesised from proline; the standard amino acid glycine is used to synthesise porphyrins used in red blood cells; and the non-standard carnitine is used in lipid transport. Nine proteinogenic amino acids are called “essential” for humans because they cannot be ...

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Vitamin basics


A vitamin is an organic compound that is essential for an organism, although only in limited amount. Since the body is not always capable of producing the sufficient amount of vitamins, vitamins are also needed in the form of nutrients. Vitamins are classified according to their biological and chemical activity, not their structure. Our body can produce some vitamins under certain circumstances. Regarding humans, the link between Vitamin-D and sunshine exemplifies the above mentioned phenomenon. Not all substances have the same effect on every living organism. A substance might serve as vitamin for one, but not for the other. Vitamin-C is a good example for this, because most animals can produce it. Essential amino acids and essential fatty acids do not belong to vitamins, because they are needed in high quantities. So far, the number of vitamins acknowledged by science has decreased to 13.In general, a well-balanced diet cover the body’s vitamin needs. However, when putting a dietary together, one should not only aim that the raw material of the food should be rich in vitamins, but one should also take into consideration the fact that during cooking – especially during heating – 10% to 50% of vitamins might be ...

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All about creatines


Creatine is a compound which is made up of three amino acids. Our body produces 1 gram of it per day. Meat and fish are natural sources of creatine. In muscles, creatine phosphate is needed for the regeneration of ATP. The supplement raises creatine- and creatine phosphate level of muscles, which improves performance. The total creatine stored in the body of a person weighing 70kg (150pounds) is approximately 120 grams from which between 1.5 and 2 gramms are lost and then supplemented on a daily basis. Creatine is synthesized in the liver, in the pancreas, and in the kidney by arginine, methionine, and other amino acids and enzymes. Synthesized creatine gets into the bloodstream. The loss of creatine is about 2% a day and is excreted in urine. Creatine extracted from food sources and creatine produced by our body make up for the loss. Insufficient folic acid and B12 intake might limit the natural production of creatine. The purpose of creatine supplement is to rise the body’s level of creatine and creatine phosphate (the supplement may indirectly rise the glycogen concentration in human skeletal muscle too), since these play an important role in the regeneration of ATP. For this reason, ...

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Protein facts

protein powder

Proteins are large biological molecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, replicating DNA, responding to stimuli, and transporting molecules from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of their genes, and which usually results in folding of the protein into a specific three-dimensional structure that determines its activity. Proteins are also necessary in animals’ diets, since animals cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need and must obtain essential amino acids from food. Through the process of digestion, animals break down ingested protein into free amino acids that are then used in metabolism. Most proteins consist of linear polymers built from series of up to 20 different L-α-amino acids. Most microorganisms and plants can biosynthesize all 20 standard amino acids, while animals (including humans) must obtain some of the amino acids from the diet. The amino acids that an organism cannot synthesize on its own are referred to as essential amino acids. Key enzymes that synthesize certain amino acids are not present in ...

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