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About vitamin E: Natural alfa-tocopherol

About vitamin E: Natural alfa-tocopherolProfessor Maret Traber from the Linus Pauling Institute in the United States has studied vitamin E for a number of years. Traber, in a review article, looked at the most recent science concerning this important, lipid-soluble nutrient. Judging from her work, it looks as if we only need the form of vitamin E called alfa-tocopherol.

Vitamin E comes as either tocopherols or tocotrienols, and there are several kinds. Science has identified four different tocopherols (alfa, beta, gamma, and delta) and four different tocotrienols (alfa, beta, gamma, and delta). In total, there are eight kinds of vitamin E. Plants are able to convert one form of vitamin E to another, while animals and humans are not able to do this.

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Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol - does it really matter?

Ubiquinone or Ubiquinol - does it really matter?Ever since the discovery of coenzyme Q10 in 1957, scientists have been conducting research with this intriguing nutrient that appears to play a crucial role in human health. Another word for coenzyme Q10 is “ubiquinone” because of its omnipotent importance. “Ubi” means everywhere. In 2006, a new type of CoQ10 called “ubiquinol” surfaced commercially. Clever marketing campaigns attempted to pawn this off as the new and improved CoQ10 source that was absorbed more easily in the body and was superior to ubiquinone. Consumers as well as scientists got confused and started questioning the traditional form of CoQ10 – ubiquinone – although it had been sold commercially and used in studies all along.

More expensive and less stable

Is there really a difference? Is ubiquinol better than ubiquinone? Little information is available about this and to be honest, nobody really knows. In fact, the only known differences between these two types of CoQ10, besides their color (ubiquinol is milky white and ubiquinone is yellowish) is that ubiquinol is a more expensive raw material and is less stable, biochemically speaking.

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Organic or inorganic chromium

Organic or inorganic chromiumChromium is an element and a metal. To humans, it is also an essential micronutrient in the form of so-called trivalent chromium. Chromium also exists as divalent and hexavalent chromium but these forms are toxic. All approved chromium supplements contain trivalent chromium. The various chromium forms can bind with a variety of chemical compounds to form other substances.

Chromium contributes to the body's metabolism of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and lipids). However, chromium is better known for its role in regulating blood sugar levels. Without chromium, insulin is ineffective. Chromium's influence on macronutrient metabolism and blood sugar levels are approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The ability to absorb and utilize elements is not very good in humans. The elements in our diet are embedded in food molecules. In food supplements, however, it is common practice to bind elements to various organic or inorganic compounds for increased absorption. Chromium is one of the nutrients which is most difficult for the body to absorb, even in situations where a person is chromium deficient. Chromium has poor bio-availability.

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Women benefit from omega-3

Women benefit from omega-3Years of scaremongering against fat has had the unfortunate consequence that many women get too few essential fats in their diet, such as the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Since we humans are unable to produce them in the body, we rely on a steady supply from our diet. This makes them just as important as vitamins and minerals.

Woman who do not eat fish are three times more likely to develop heart disease. A large Danish research project has shown that women of childbearing age who do not eat fish, experience a nearly three times increased risk of heart disease compared to those who eat the most fish. The preventive effect of omega 3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease is attributed to their anticoagulant and anti-arrhythmic properties, their ability to lower blood levels of fat (triglycerides) and to some extent also cholesterol. More generally omega 3 constitute an important fuel for the cells. Fats are needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the body, and to transport a large number of signaling molecules and to form vital hormones. They are part of cell walls in the brain, eyes and skin and are essential for their function. Women with dry skin often lack omega 3 fatty acids.

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Effective treatment of osteoarthritis with glucosamine

GlucosamineOsteoarthritis makes life difficult for many people but with glucosamine both the symptoms (pain and tenderness) and the breakdown of joint cartilage is effectively halted. The better our joints work, the easier it is to stay physically active and enjoy all the activities that help to keep us youthful and in good shape.

Glucosamine - always with sulfate

It is vital that glucosamine is always combined with sulfur (as glucosamine sulfate), whether you take it as a dietary supplement or as a pharmaceutical drug. Sulfur ensures that glucosamine is effectively transported into the articular cartilage. In the United States there seems to be a tradition for attaching glucosamine to hydrochloride which does not contain sulfur, yet in scientific studies there is a significant difference between glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Glucosamine sulfate is without discussion a superior form.

Some patients use the sulfur compound MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) along with glucosamine, but this is only necessary if you take glucosamine hydrochloride. Like MSK, sulfate is a sulfur compound and both are equally effective when combined with glucosamine.

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What is selenium?

What is selenium?Selenium is a mineral that is related to sulfur. Plants take up selenium from the soil in the form of selenate, just like they take up sulfur as sulfate. The body contains around 13-20 mg of selenium, of which 50% is stored in the liver. All cells contains selenium. The highest selenium concentrations are found in the sexual glands and in semen.

Selenium is a so-called trace element, which means that it is only found in microscopic (trace) amounts in the diet. Selenium is a component of glutathione which we have in all cells. Glutathione was the first selenium enzyme to be discovered.

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Essential nutrients

Essential nutrientsEssential nutrients are those vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids that the body needs in order to function. We can't do without these substances and there are no other substances that can replace them. It is possible to live a full, long life without ingesting for example, ginseng, rose hips extract and medicine, but it is not possible to survive without getting all the essential nutrients. Deficiency of these substances will inevitably lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Essential in this context means vital or lifesaving.

Nutrient is any substance which when ingested contributes to the body's metabolism, function or growth.

Non-essential nutrients are all the nutrients that the body itself can form.

Essential nutrients - vital for our health

There are 45 nutrients plus water (= 46 substances) which are essential for the body. Essential nutrients are the substances that the body cannot produce and which are
indispensable to the body. This means that a deficiency of one or more of these substances will cause symptoms and ultimately lead to fatal disease. These nutrients are the foundation for our health, and you should always ensure that the supply is optimal. These nutrients have been essential to our health and survival throughout human history and that will not change. In 100 years from now, the same 45 nutrients will be every bit as necessary for our health and survival - regardless of our geographical location, color, age and gender.

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