How many times have you heard this one? "Eat the right foods." Well, this page is no exception. Many herbs do have a marvelous healing power when used with a good life-style and diet. They are not miracle drugs which will fix everything by themselves. But combined with a healthy life-style and a good diet, herbs can become your miracle. By Michael Hall, R.N.
A relatioship between your liver and weight loss
Two organ tissues, the liver and adipose (fat cells) tissues, form an overall balanced axis of fat metabolism. Both function in production of and the breakdown of fat. Fatty acids released by fat are used as concentrated fuel by other cells.
After the breakdown of fat into fatty acids and glycerol, the small gycerol portion (approx. 10% of a fat cell) can be converted to glycerol by the liver and made available for glucose formation. Which (blood sugar) is then used by our cells.
Only one hormone, insulin, acts to lower blood sugar levels. It is produced by special Beta Cells in the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood sugar though several actions; #1) cell permeability is increased, allowing it into the cell for oxidation to supply energy needs, #2)lipogenesis stimulates conversion of glucose to fat for storage in adipose tissue, and #3)glycogenesis stimulates conversion of glucose to glycogen in the liver for a constant energy reserve.
One of the key goals for enhancing weight loss is to increase the sensitivity of cells throughout the body to the hormone insulin. Insulin plays a critical role in maintaining proper blood sugar levels and stimulating cellular respiration. Chromium functions as an critical component of the organic complex "glucose tolerance factor" (GTF), which stimulates the action of insulin. Insulin resistance manifested by impaired glucose tolerance has responded positively to chromium supplementation by restoring normal blood sugar. Many resaerchers believe that adequate chromium could prevent most, but not all, cases of mild glucose intolerance from progressing to TYPE TWO (Adult-onset) diabetes.
In weight loss, getting adequate chromium doesn't mean you have to eat more of the mineral or take chromium supplements. You just need to consume fewer chromium depleters (food items containing simple sugars, like cookies, pasteries, and candy) and more chromium preservers (complex carbohydrates such as is found in pasta and potatoes).
FACTS ABOUT CHROMIUM
#1) Needs vary amoung different people and run between 50-200ug/day. With 200 micrograms officially regarded as the "safe and adequate" intake.
#2) Chromium (cr) is absorbed in association with zinc:
Is excreted mainly by the kidney
Is associated with glucose metabolism, it improves faulty glucose uptake
by the tissues (GTF)
Potentiates the action of insulin in pwersons with diabetes
Lowers serum cholesterol, LDL-Cholesterol
Toxicity: Similar to chromium trioxide; though dietary forms have very low toxicity, large-dose/long-term exposure to chromium may lead to skin problems (highest concentration by bio-analysis have been found in the skin), perforation of the nasal septum, lung cancer, liver impairment, kidney impairment (less than one percent of taken in is absorbed and used by the body, the rest is detoxified by the liver and removed by the kidneys via the urine.
Since increasing insulin sensitivity is a critical goal in promoting weight loss, several studies suggest that chromium supplementation would be quite benificial for people trying to loose weight. In studies, chromium supplementation has been demonstrated to lower weight and increase lean body mass (WHICH...In this authors opinion, also implies increased activity, as muscles do not enlarge with out use, and they weigh more), presumably as a result of increased insulin sensitivity (M.F. McCarthy, "Hypothesis:...Journal of Optimal Nutrition 21 (1993: 35-53).
My preachy point? Good dietary habits will go a long way in maintaining good health. It isn't always easy to develop good habits but the effort is worth it
When properly combined, plant stimulants such as ephedrine and methyxanthines can activate the sympathetic nervous system, thereby increasing the metabolic rate and diet-induced thermogenesis. This results in weight loss bt addressing the underlying defect in metabolism.
Ephedrine and methyxanthine combinations are not for everyone, but they do appear to be quite useful in weight loss programs. Al though ephedrine has demonstrated an appetite suppressing effect, its main mechanism for promoting weight loss appears to be increasing the metabolic rate of adipose tissue (fat) (Astrup et al., "Pharmacology of Thermogenic Drugs," American J Clin Nut 55 (1 suppl.) (1992): 246s-248s).
Thermogenic formulas containing ephedrine and methyxanthine combinations can produce increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, insomnia, and anxiety.
The FDA advisory review pannel on non-prescrition drugs recommended that ephedrine not be taken by patients who have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyriod disease, diabetes, or difficulty in urination due to enlargement of the prostrate. In addition, ephedrine should not be used to treat patients who are taking antihypertensives or antidepressants.
There were other intresting findings in these studies. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased, indicating that the effect of weight loss more than compensated for any increase in blood pressure caused by the ephedrine and methylxanthine combination. Blood glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels also decreased with weight loss and were not effected by ephedrine and methyxanthine.
Great Burdock, known for its stimulating action on bile secretion. It is mildly diuretic while sweat inducing to remove toxins via the sweat glands and urine. Research has shown that the seeds can lower blood sugar in test subjects (K.E. Schulte et al., Arzneim-Forsch, 17, 829, 1967). Seed and pods contain acetic, propionic, buttyric, and isovaleric acids, andarctiin, chorogenic acid, arctol, fukinone, taxasterol, with lauric, myristic, stearic, and palmitic non-hydroxylacids. Burdock helps metabolize carbohydrates, and aids the pituitary gland adjust hormones and body weight.
Wild Huckleberry Leaves, the chemical found in them decreases blood sugar. Recent research indicates that they also may stimulate insulin production. The leaves contain fatty acids, hydroquinone (also reffered to as glucoquinone and arbutin, used medically as a urinary antiseptic, treats cystitis, ect.), loeanolic acid, neomyrtillin, tannins, and ursolic acid.
Milk Thistle, which contains silymarin, an agent that acts as an antioxidant. The protective effect of silymarin has been demonstrated in numerous medical studies. It does so by preventing the depletion of glutathione, which prevents cirrhosis of the liver by toxins. Further, research shows increases of glutathione by near 35%, for a heathier liver!
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