Spectrum™ Natural Multivitamins
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Spectrum™ Natural Multivitamins

Spectrum™ Natural Multivitamins

Vitamin supplements have been around for many decades and the natural health industry has been pushing supplements in a rather bold manner.  No doubt, supplementing the diet is important due to our processed foods.  The matter of fact is that most ingredients (vitamins) in supplements are made
and/or processed with petroleum derivatives or sugars that have been hydrogenated.  According to the literature, even though these vitamins are referred to as natural, most synthetic vitamins (non-food) vitamins are isolates from substances that are crystalline in nature.  It is important to note that natural vitamins in food are never crystalline and never isolated.  What that means is that real food vitamins are chemically and structurally different from so called ‘natural vitamin’ (isolated) formulas.  Since non-food vitamins are different they should be seen as imitations and not real vitamins.  These non-food vitamins don’t work the same way in the body nor do they have the bioavailablity of organic vitamins.  XBrain has formulated Spectrum Natural Multivitamins with all natural botanicals for maximum vitamin support.  Spectrum Natural Multivitamins contain alfalfa leaf, baobab fruit, barley grass, beetroot, bilberry fruit, carrot root, dandelion root, green teal leaf, kelp, lemon peel, spinach leaf, spirulina, turmeric root and wheatgrass.  This all natural supplement contains natural vitamins, natural minerals and a wide range of natural antioxidants for optimal health support.

Naturopaths have long known the importance of food vitamins.  Naturopathy is defined as a method of treating disease without synthetic drugs and/or synthetic or inorganic vitamins or surgery.  This is a treatment that uses specific diets, herbs, food vitamins and other natural remedies to aid the healing process. 

It is generally recognized that vitamins are organic substances that are essential (we can’t make them in our bodies) in relatively small amounts to maintain growth, reproduction and health.  Each vitamin is unique and performs specific functions, therefore, one can’t be replaced by another.  Most vitamins come from plant tissues.  Isolated non-food vitamins are not included in the diet nor do they necessarily come from plant tissues.  They can’t fully replace food vitamin activities.  Pay attention to supplement labels and watch for ‘natural’ (referring to isolates) or USP or pharmaceutical grade labels and stay away from them.  Health professionals have no trouble reading labels and interpreting them, however, for those of you who have no background in this area, you may have trouble.  Take the time to talk to a health professional to get the proper information so that you can purchase the best supplement for your needs. 

Keep in mind that non-food vitamins are petroleum extracts, coal tar derivatives and chemically processed sugar derivatives.  Sometimes they are processed with industrially processed fish oils along with acids and other industrial chemicals like formaldehyde used in the isolation process.  These vitamins were initially developed because they cost less and the public was more apt to buy them.  Additionally, keep in mind that non-food vitamins are often referred to as 'vegetarian’.  This is not because they have come from plants but rather they are not from animals.  Food vitamins come from whole foods such as cherries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lemons, alfalfa, barley grass, beets, bilberry, dandelion, green tea, kelp, spinach, turmeric, wheatgrass as well as many other plants.

Listed below are all the botanicals found in XBrains’ Spectrum Natural Multivitamin along with all the bioactive components within in each botanical and how these bioactive components work in the body.  Spectrum Natural Multivitamin is contained within a vegetable cellulose capsule which is suitable for vegans.

Alfalfa leaf

Alfalfa leaf as a whole food is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein and amino acids.  It contains all the B vitamins, A, D, E and K as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium not to mention chlorophyll.  Alfalfa leaves makes a great dietary food or nutritional supplement.  Some of the benefits of alfalfa leaves include:  urinary tract, blood and liver detoxification; provides an alkaline effect on the body (chlorophyll); eases digestive issues, acts as a natural laxative and diuretic, lowers cholesterol thereby inhibiting plaque formation; promotes healthy blood sugar levels, supports pituitary function and the immune system.

Since Alfalfa leaves have so many benefits, it can be taken as a supplement on its own or mixed in with other botanical formulas.  The leaves can be used in teas, salads, soups and much more.  The alfalfa leaf is a whole food which contains natural forms of vitamins, mineral, enzymes, antioxidants, proteins and amino acids.  

Alfalfa leaves are safe to consume when taken by healthy individuals.  However, there are a few situations where caution is advised.  Some individuals have experienced a stomach upset or lupus like symptoms.  For that reason, individuals with autoimmune disease or hormonal cancer should stay away from alfalfa.  If you are taking prescription medications or are pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider before taking alfalfa. 

Baobab fruit

Baobab fruit contains up to 300 mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) per 100 grams.  This is about 6 times that of an orange.  Vitamin C not only plays an important role in nutrition but as a therapeutic agent as well.  It has long been known to have the power to prevent scurvy, however, its antioxidant properties provide much more protection than once thought.    This fruit also contains tartaric acid, malic acid and succinic acid as well.  Baobab fruit contains fair amounts of Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).  These B vitamins are important for regulating metabolic functions, maintaining skin and eyes and general cell integrity throughout the body.  

Baobab fruit contains a fair amount of some mineral and essential fatty acids (EFAs).  It contains approximately 293 mg of calcium, 2.31 mg of potassium and around 100 mg of phosphorous in 100 grams of pulp.  In the fatty acid category, it contains about 27 mg of alpha-linolenic acid per gram of dry product.   Baobab fruit is a good source of calcium and iron.  The iron boosts serum levels of ferritin and hemoglobin.

Baobab fruit contains dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) as well as prebiotic activity.  In 100 grams of product, Baobab contains 22.5 percent soluble fiber and 22 percent insoluble fiber and in some cases this can go up to 45 grams.  That’s more than the daily minimum fiber required in your diet.  As many people don’t get enough fiber, baobab fruit is a good source and important for maintaining a healthy digestive tract and known to reduce the rate at which colon-rectal cancer occurs while supporting beneficial bacteria.  Soluble fibers contained within the Baobab fruit pulp are an indigestible dietary component that acts as a prebiotic.  Prebiotics stimulate growth of certain microbes that inhabit our large intestine.  This is particularly important for lactobacilli and bifidumbacteria 

Studies carried out on Baobab highlight that the water-soluble fraction of the fruit pulp has stimulating effects on the growth of lactobacilli and bifidumbacteria, such as:  Bifidobacterium bifidum A3, B. longum type, B. infantis type  and B. bifidum B16.  These bacteria ingest prebiotics (complex polysaccharides) and use them as an energy source.  This allows beneficial bacteria to proliferate and establish a healthy population bringing the intestinal microflora in balance, improve lactose digestion, decrease the chances of diarrhea and stimulate immune function.

Experiments in animals have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of an extract of Baobab fruit pulp.  Studies conducted have shown that doses of this extract between 400 and 800 mg/kg were able to reduce inflammation in a limb treated with formalin.  This effect is reported to be comparable to a dose of phenylbutazone of 15 mg/kg of body weight.  It has been suggested that this anti-inflammatory property comes from sterols, saponins and triterpenes found in the fruit.  Moreover, administration of 800 mg/kg of Baobab fruit extract into mice, showed painkilling and febrigugal (fever eliminator) activity that was comparable to 50mg/kg of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) orally.   

Baobab fruit has powerful antidiarrheal properties and has been used in African children who have low-calorie, low-protein vegetable and floury diets, without milk.  This type of diet generally leads to rickets, diarrhea and/or dysentery.  The components responsible for the antidiarrheal effect are believed to be tannins acting as astringents, mucilage acting as a wetting agent, cellulose (indigestible fiber) and citric acid.

Baobab has also been used in the prevention and treatment of gastric and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) disorders.  It has been reported to be effective in treating osteoporosis, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.  The vitamins and minerals have been demonstrated to correct anemia and anorexia.  This is an excellent fruit to ingest if you have type 2 diabetes and it has been used to complement diets given to people who have celiac diseases (autoimmune small intestine disease).  Baobab fruit is also used in Tempe (soy) fermentation. 

Barley grass

Barley grass is possibly nature’s most complete food.  It is a natural multivitamin providing all vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and fiber you need.  It is also high in chlorophyll which is important to bring back healthy pH levels in the body.  Barley grass by far surpasses synthetic vitamin formulas with high potency providing a natural balance.  The barley grass used in Spectrum multivitamins contains no fillers, additives, colors or preservatives and is processed to protect its nutrient profile.

Weight for weight, barley grass contains more vitamin C than oranges, as much calcium as milk, more iron than spinach and more fiber than bran.  Barley grass contains the major 18 vitamins, 20 minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and selenium as well as 8 basic proteins that contain all the essential amino acids required for healthy body function.   It is high in beta-carotene and a number of powerful antioxidants including superoxide dismutase (SOD).  It is reported that Barley grass contains around 1,000 different enzymes so important for digestion and regulating a number of body functions.  

Barley grass is high in chlorophyll which is a natural cleanser which not only cleans the intestinal tract but helps to maintain an alkaline pH.  Many of the processed foods we eat and meats we consume tend to bring the body to acidosis.  Chlorophyll has the ability to restore natural alkaline pH levels.

This botanical has high concentrations of organic sodium which is important for  replenishing organic salts in the lining of the stomach as this aids digestion by enhancing the production of hydrochloric acid.  Barley grass organic sodium is important for dissolving calcium deposits on joints effectively maintaining joint health and combating arthritis.   

Beetroot

Beetroots or beets have many healthy benefits as they are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  They are an excellent source of carotenoids (terpenes) and lutein/zeaxanthin (important for eye health).  They also contain dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous.  Beetroots also contain flavonoids known as anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and anticancer agents.

Beetroot is reported to be good for pregnant women as it is an excellent source of vitamin B9 important to prevent spinal column defects in the fetus.  It is an excellent source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and known to inhibit asthma symptoms. 

The fiber in beetroots helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing high density liposomes (HDL).  Beets also contain betaine which lowers levels of homocysteine.  Elevated levels of homocysteine increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and clot formation.

Bilberry fruit

Bilberry fruit (Vaccinium myrtillus), is related to the North American Blueberry and is similar in color and taste.  It is not easy to come by in its fresh state.  Bilberry contains flavonoids and anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants and important for the cardiovascular system.  These antioxidants have the ability to strengthen capillaries, thin blood and stimulate the release of vasodilators effectively lowering blood pressure as well as reduce clotting.  Bilberry also contains glucoquinine which has the ability to lower blood sugar.  

 Bilberry fruit contains vitamin A which is important for protecting eyes from free radical damage.  Vitamin A also keeps your vision sharp.  Bilberry also contains Vitamin C which is important for the formation of collagen and is needed for repair and growth of cells and blood vessels.  Anthocyanosides are important for protecting collagen in the blood vessels of the eyes maintaining strong eye muscles and nerves.  Bilberry has been used as a therapy for poor night vision (night blindness).  Clinical trials demonstrate that when bilberry is taken orally, it enhances visual accuracy.  It has also been demonstrated to improve certain eye diseases such as pigmentosa, retinitis, glaucoma and myopia.  Additionally, pilots in the British Royal Air Force (during World War II), took bilberry preserves before their night missions as it improves night vision.  It is believed that Bilberry improves microcirculation and regeneration of retinal purple.  Retinal purple is a red photo pigment found in rods that is needed for night time vision.  Animal studies have demonstrated that Bilberry can block the effects of aging in the eye.   

Bilberry also contains quercetin and resveratrol known for the anti-aging effects.  Several studies have demonstrated that Bilberry can protect against toxin damage and in particular potassium bromate.  Potassium bromate is commonly found in baked goods such as bread which helps it rise more.  It is considered a carcinogen and has been banned by a number of Europan countries, however, not in the United States.

Because of Bilberry’s ability to protect against free radicals and toxin exposure, it is thought that it could be used as a nutritional cancer prevention therapy.  It is believed that a Bilberry topical solution combined with glutathione can protect against sun damage if used with a chemotherapy protocol.  So far, Bilberry appears to be safe with no specific drug interactions.  It can be taken alone or in conjunction with other vitamins.   

Carrot root

Carrot root is a good source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene (antioxidant) for healthy skin and eyes.  Vitamin A acts as an antibiotic keeping internal surfaces clean.  It plays an important role in preventing premature aging.

Carrots also contain essential enzymes, vitamins, carbohydrates, protein and minerals.  Carrots contain a fair amount of calcium, iron, potassium, fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, K and biotin (B7).  The nice thing is that carrot root is easily assimilated by our bodies.  Carrots contain lignin which is important as dietary fiber and helps to strengthen the immune system to fight against cancer and promote colon health.  Carrot beta-carotene has been reported to aid in the prevention of cancer and in particular lung cancer.  Doubling the intake of beta-carotene has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of lung cancer by 40 percent.

Carrots are reported to enhance the quality of breast milk and can lower cholesterol and blood pressure.  This root promotes healthy blood sugar levels by inversely affecting insulin resistance.  Carrot root also supports adrenal gland and thymus function.

Dandelion root

Dandelion has been used as a staple of traditional herbal medicines for hundreds of years.  In Europe is it well respected as a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse.  It has been used as a gentle laxative, digestive aid, relieve inflammation, reduce fever, combat diarrhea, stimulate appetite and to treat liver and kidney dysfunction.   

Dandelion root contains vitamins A, C, D, B complex, zinc, iron and potassium.  The iron in dandelion root is used to remedy liver issues and has a diuretic effect that helps to rid the liver of toxins.  Dandelion root also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Because of its high iron and zinc content, it is used as a therapy for anemia.

Green tea leaf

Green tea leaf comtains a complex array of ingredients.  This leaf contains enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, sterols, vitamins B, C, E, xanthic bases (caffeine, theophylline), chlorophyll, carotenoids, aldehydes, alcohols, esters, lactones, hyrdrocarbons and minerals.

The amino acids include theanine, glutamic acid, tryptophan, glycine, serine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, valine, leucine, threonine, arginine and lysine.   Carbohydrates include cellulose, pectins, glucose, fructose and sucrose.  Lipids include linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.  In the sterol category, green teal leaf contains stigmasterol.   Minerals and trace elements include Ca, Mg, Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mo, Se, Na, P, Co, Sr, Ni, K, and F.

Green tea leaf contains a number of powerful antioxidants in the polyphenol form such as catechins.  Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the important catechin in green tea.  It is a potent antioxidant that may have therapeutic application in a number of disorders, for example cancer.  EGCG is also believed to have antimutagenic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Green tea is considered an important dietary source of polyphenols and in particular flavonoids.  Green tea also contains gallic acid (GA), chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid and flavonols such as kaempferol, myricetin and quercetin.

Gallic acid appears to have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.  It helps to protect cells from oxidative stress and has cytotoxicity against cancer cells without harming normal cells.  Gallic acid has been used as a therapy to treat diabetes and albuminuria (albumin in the urine).  Albuminuria is a sign of kidney disease.

The flavonoid kaempferol contains antiangiogenesis (prevent new blood vessel growth into cancer cells) potential and demonstrates promise to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells because they are deprived of oxygen and nutrients.  Kaempferol reduces vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene expression at mRNA and protein levels in some forms of ovarian cancer.  VEGF is a signal protein produced by cells that stimulates blood vessel growth.

Myricetin is an antioxidant that combats the production of free radicals.  Studies have demonstrated that myricetin carries anticancer properties by reducing the risk of pancreatic and prostate cancer.   It has also been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial to patients who have diabetes.  

Quercetin is another powerful antioxidant.  It is also known for its naturally occuring anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory effects.  It is also known as a potent xeno factor.  As a xeno factor, quercetin can activate survival genes.  If the body is under stress, the survival genes produce enzymes that maintain cell stability and promote longevity.  Quercetin has also been reported to inhibit the formation of bad cholesterol (LDL).  Quercetin has been demonstrated to inhibit the enzyme (a protease) that the HIV virus needs to replicate itself.

Kelp

Kelp not only contains high concentrations of iodine but has nearly 30 minerals.  Iodine is important for thyroid function as it is required to make thyroid hormone.  Iodine is also used to treat goiter, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.  Kelp also contains omega-3 and omega-6, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B9, B5, choline and small amounts of protein.

The iodine, calcium and other minerals in kelp have been reported to support health heart function.  Moreover, a study in th 1950s by a Cornell professor (George Cavanaugh) of agricultural chemistry conducted some research on chickens that were fed kelp supplements.  He observed that the chickens produced eggs with harder shells.  This research paved the way for human studies which demonstrated that fractured bones fuse more quickly on patients that were given dietary seaweed supplements.  Specifically, healing time of a fracture can be reduced by 20 percent with just a daily dose of kelp.  This may not seem surprising since seawater and the composition of the human body are essentially the same.  Taking in kelp should be an effective way of avoiding the mineral deficiencies that we have due to consuming land-grown foods that are grown in mineral-starved soil.     

Kelp is also linked with a lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women.  Kelp has high levels of various lignans.  Lignans are a type of fiber that carry estrogen-like effects.  Researchers have found that seaweed improves estrogen metabolism and aids in removing excess estrogen from the body.  This effectively reduces the risk for breast cancer.

A study published in the journal In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology (Nov, 2012) reports that certain kelp polysaccharides that have an antioxidant effect may aid in repairing injuries to the central nervous system.   The researchers report that these polysaccharides have the ability to form a structural scaffold that may promote regeneration and replacement of damaged astrocytes.  Astrocytes are supportive cells that nurture and protect neurons.     

Lemon peel

Believe it or not, lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the juice.  The peel is also an excellent source of fiber, beta-carotene (vitamin A), Vitamin C, vitamin B9, limonene, salvestrol Q40, potassium, magnesium and calcium.  Studies indicate that lemon peel aids in preventing osteoporosis, inflammatory polyarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Lemon peel is high in citrus bioflavonoids which are powerful antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress levels combating free radical production.  Lemon peel is reported to remove toxic and carcinogenic substrates from the body as well.

Lemon peel consumption has been demonstrated to prevent various forms of cancer such as skin, colon and breast cancer.  Lemon peel has also been reported to act as an anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent.  Lemon peel contains salvestrol Q40 and limonene which have been demonstrated to treat and prevent cancer.  Researchers at De Montfort University in the U.K. found that salvestrol Q40 destroys an enzyme that supports human cancer cell growth.

Spinach leaf

Spinach contains a store house of phyto-nutrients that have a number of medicinal benefits.  It is low in calorie, contains a good amount of soluble fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, Vitamins A, B complex, C, and K, omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids.  These are fat molecules found in the membranes of light-sensitive organs in most plants and important for photosynthesis.  Animal research has demonstrated that glycoglycerolipids from spinach can aid in protecting the lining of the gastrointestinal tract especially from unwanted damage from inflammation. 

Researchers report that spinach demonstrates significant protections against aggressive prostate cancer.  Spinach out performed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards and even kale as these other greens showed no significant difference in cancer protection.   It is not known specifically what substrates in the spinach were responsible for the decrease in prostate cancer risk.  However, it is known that spinach contains some unique anti-cancer carotenoids known as epoxyxanthophylls and they are plentiful in spinach.  These epoxyxanthophylls include neoxanthin and violaxanthin.

The high content of iron in spinach is important for the production of red blood cells and is used as a cofactor for cytochrome-oxidase (an oxidation-reduction enzyme) during cellular metabolism.

The carotenoid zeaxanthin is selectively taken into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is believed to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions.  It aids in protecting the retina from age-related macular degeneration.

Spinach is rich in vitamin K which plays an important role in maintaining strong bones by promoting bone building activity.  B complex vitamins as coenzymes support hundreds of metabolic functions.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant important for infectious agent resistance and keeping free radicals at bay.

The minerals in spinach support a wide range of actions.  Potassium is important is important for maintaining membrane potential, body fluid balance, heart rate and blood pressure.  Manganese and copper are used as cofactors on superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme.  Copper is necessary for the production of red blood cells and zinc is a cofactor for a number of enzymes that are involved with sperm generation, digestion, regulate growth and development and nucleic acid synthesis.  Last but not least, spinach contains omega-3 fatty acids important for heart health.

Spirulina

Spirulina is often referred to as an alga but it is actually a bacterium known as cyanobacteria which is a photosynthetic bacterium.  You can think of it as part alga and part bacterium which has the best of both worlds.  Spirulina is packed full of nutrition including high concentrations of protein and essential amino acids.  In fact, 60 percent of dried spirulina is protein.  The mineral content includes Ca, Mg, Fe, P, K, Na, Zn, Cu, Mn, Se, and F.  This alga contains a variety of vitamins including A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and choline.  It also contains carbohydrates, fiber and sugar as well as a high concentrations of omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids.  And, of course, chlorophyll and other pigments.    

The fatty acids in spirulina support a healthy cardiovascular system.  Chlorophyll is important for alkylizing the body as well as remove toxins from blood, boosting the immune system and cleansing the gastrointestinal tract.  The iron in spirulina is an important component of hemogloblin found in red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen to all your cells.  An iron deficiency generates anemia and fatigue. All the B vitamins are coenzymes that are important for activating their corresponding enzymes that are used in running metabolic pathways.  Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble antioxidant, vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant important for eye health and vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that maintains integrity of cell membranes.   Spirulina carries a high oxygen radical absorbence capacity (ORAC) and, in fact, four times that of blueberries.  This cyanobacterium has 26 times the calcium of milk making this an excellent natural source of calcium.  It’s phosphorus content promotes re-mineralization of tooth enamel.  Spirulina contains a number of pigments including beta-carotene, small amounts of zeaxanthin, chlorophyll, xanthophyll, echinenome, myxoxanthophyll, cryptoxanthin, oscillaxanthin as well as phycobiliiproteins (C-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin).             

A study from two related assay systems from isolated assays and whole blood assays demonstrated that C-phycocyanin (a natural blue pigment and a biliprotein) from Spirulina platensis is a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).  COX-2 converts arachidonic acid to prostaglandin which results in pain and inflammation.  These researchers suggest that the apoprotein in phycocyanin plays a key role in the selective inhibition of COX-2.  It is also known that phycocyanin has the ability to scavenge free radicals and inhibit lipid peroxidation which may also account for selective inhibition of COX-2.  Nevertheless, other studies support phycocyanin’s ability to be hepatoprotective (liver), act as an anti-inflammatory and carry anti-arthritic properties.    

Turmeric root

Turmeric root has long been used in China and India for its powerful health benefits.  It carries anti-inflammatory properties and is used for a variety of conditions such as flatulence, toothache, bruises, chest pain, colic, hemorrhage, jaundice and bloody urine.

Turmeric contains a number of chemical components, however, the most important molecules are known as curcuminoids, which include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin of which curcumin is the best studied.  Curcumin carries the most health benefits.  Other ingredients include volatile oils such as tumerone, atlantone and zingiberene.  Turmeric also contains sugars, proteins and resins.  

Researchers have been able to demonstrate that curcumin is an excellent therapy for individuals who have cystic fibrosis.  It is known that cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the gene that codes for CTFR.  CTFR (the transmembrane conductance regulator) is a protein that is responsible for traveling to the cell’s surface and intercalating into the plasma membrane creating an ion channel that allows chloride ions to exit the cell.  The mutated gene causes the amino acid sequence to be altered and the protein doesn’t fold properly.  This means chloride has no way to get out of the cell and begins to build which leads to excess mucus production.   

There are a few mutations that can occur with cystic fibrosis, however, the most common mutation is DeltaF508 which results in an abnormally folded CTFR.  Using a mouse model with a DeltaF508 mutation, researchers administered curcumin and discovered that the abnormally folded DeltaF508 protein returned to normal appearance and function.  Furthermore, researchers at Yale have shown that curcumin can inhibit the release of calcium which allows the mutated CTFR protein to exit cells by way of the calcium channels.  This helps to stop the chloride-driven build up of mucus.  Clinicians suggest that individuals with cystic fibrosis should not self-medicate with curcumin until the correct dosages are known and if there are any adverse side effects with prescription drugs taken by cystic fibrosis patients.

Curcumin is reported to carry anti-cancer properties due to its antioxidant capabilities.  It is known to protect colon cells from oxidative stress particularly protecting DNA.  This is particularly important because cell turnover is rapid in the colon, occurring about every three days or so.   Because the colon cells are replacing themselves so frequently, they go through replication (make copies of the genome) to create daughter cells to replace the old ones such that mutations can result in the formation of cancerous cells quickly.  Moreover, curcumin aids in the destruction of cancer cells, preventing spread throughout the body.  Researchers believe curcumin has this ability because it enhances liver function while inhibiting synthesis of proteins involved in tumor formation as well as preventing angiogenesis.  Angiogenesis is the production of new blood vessels.  Tumor cells initiate angiogenesis which supplies blood and nutrients to the tumor which otherwise it wouldn’t have.  Curcumin stops angiogenesis so the tumor can vascularize itself meaning it can’t oxygen or nutrient to grow, therefore, inhibiting tumor growth and spread.  Studies indicate that curcumin is significantly better in preventing tumors than the drug Taxol. 

Researchers at the University of Texas working with human non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells have demonstrated that curcumin inhibits activation of NF-kappaB.  NF-kappaB is a regulatory protein that signals genes to produce a number of inflammatory molecules such as TNF (tumor necrosis factor), COX-2 (cyclooxigenase-2) and IL-6 (interleukin-6) all of which promote cancer cell growth.  Moreover, curcumin was observed to suppress cancer cell proliferation and to induce cell cycle arrest (cell can’t reproduce) and apoptosis (cell death) in lung cancer cells.  Continuing research on curcumin in an early phase I clinical trial at the University of Texas is looking at the chemopreventive and therapeutic properties against myeloma and pancreatic caner as well as preventing oral cancer. 

A recent study in rats evaluated turmeric’s ability to help the liver detoxify xenobiotic chemicals.  Xenobiotic molecules are molecules not normally found in the body and these can include drugs, pesticides, dietary molecules and their break down products.  There are two important enzymes in the liver responsible for xenobiotic breakdown known as UDP glucuronyltransferase and glutathione-S-transferase.  These two enzymes were significantly elevated in rats that were fed turmeric relative to controls.  These scientists suggest that in addition to turmeric’s anti-oxidant properties, it has the ability to increase detoxification systems. 

Turmeric also appears to hold healing properties for the brain.  Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),  have conducted test tube studies in which curcumin was shown to inhibit beta-amyloid aggregation and to dissolve amyloid fibrils.  Then the researchers used live mice to see if curcumin crosses the blood-brain-barrier and could bind to beta-amyloid.  Curcumin was able to pass the blood-brain barrier and it bound to beta-amyloid.   Once curcumin bound to the beta-amyloid other beta-amyloid proteins couldn’t clump together and form plaque. 

Moreover, turmeric root contains bisdemethoxycurcumin which has been demonstrated to boost the activity of the immune system in Alzheimer’s patients.  Under normal conditions macrophages in the brain engulf and destroy abnormal cells, pathogens and clear excess beta amyloid.  However, this function is suppressed in Alzheimer’s disease.  Drs. Milan Fiala and John Casman have discovered by using blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients, that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosts macrophage activity to normal levels.  This in turn helps to clear excess beta-amyloid.  Moreover, further study was able to identify the genes involved in this process.  They were identified as MGAT III and Toll-like receptors which are responsible for a number of other key immune functions.  At any rate, bisdemethoxycurcumin enhances the transcription of these genes, correcting the immune deficits.

Wheatgrass

It is known that the solid content of wheatgrass juice is 70 percent chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is commonly referred to as “The Blood of Plant Life” and its chemical structure is almost the same as hemoglobin.  Chlorophyll has the ability to cleanse blood by increasing the oxygen supply to the circulatory system.  

Wheatgrass is a complete source of protein containing all the essential amino acids with approximately 30 enzymes, vitamins and minerals.  Few studies have been done on wheatgrass, however, it has been demonstrated to build blood, restore balance in the body, remove toxic metals from cells, support liver and kidney function as well as restore overall vitality. 

One study in India looked at the effects of wheatgrass juice in terminally ill cancer patients to determine if it improved the quality of life.   They evaluated 348 patients six months after giving wheatgrass juice.  The mean values for hemogloblin, total protein and albumin were significantly improved.  The researchers concluded that wheatgrass juice was an effective alternative to blood transfusion in terminally ill cancer patients.         

A few studies indicate that wheatgrass increases red blood cell count and has the ability to lower blood pressure by dilating the vasculature throughout the body.  It has the ability to cleanse blood, organs and the intestinal tract of debris.  It can stimulate metabolism by enriching the blood.

One possible major benefit of wheatgrass is that is retains 92 out of the 102 minerals found in soil.   Of particular note is calcium, potassium and magnesium.   Chlorophyll in wheatgrass is a carrier of magnesium.  Calcium, potassium and magnesium are known as alkalizing minerals.  Research has demonstrated that intake of a multimineral supplement and in particular calcium, potassium and magnesium is linked to a significant increase in blood and urinary pH (meaning more alkaline).    

Your dietary intake influences acid-base balance in the body. Some diets are considered acidogenic due to the large amounts of animal protein consumed with an insufficient intake of vegetables and fruits.  Remember, protein is made up of amino acids and brings the pH of the body down (more acidic).  Diets low in vegetables and fruits bring about mineral deficiencies in potassium, calcium and/or magnesium (alkalizing minerals) bring the body into acidosis.  Chronic acidosis is associated with illness and cancer. 

One way your body attempts to restore acid-base balance is to release alkaline calcium salts from bone.   However, hypercalciuria (high calcium levels in the urine) may result and may have pathological consequences such as the generation of osteoporosis.  Fruit and vegetables help to provide alkaline minerals and in particular calcium, potassium and magnesium salts which improves bone health and maintain healthy acid-base balance for overall health.      

Suggested Reading

The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements

http://www.doctorsresearch.com/articles4.html

alfalfa

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/19.html

Chemical composition of lucerne leaf extract (EFL) and its applications as a phytobiotic in human nutrition.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22744951

The Medicinal Value of Baobab

http://www.baobab.com/baobab-fruit-pulp/the-medicinal-value-of-baobab/

Genetic Variability Influences Carotenoid, Vitamin, Phenolic, and Mineral Content in White, Yellow, Purple, Orange, and Dark-orange Carrot Cultivars

http://journal.ashspublications.org/content/129/4/523.short

Beneficial Effects of Green Tea—A Review

http://www.jacn.org/content/25/2/79.long

Joint effects of citrus peel use and black tea intake on the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-5945/1/3

Selective Inhibition of Cyclooxygenase-2 by C-Phycocyanin, a Biliprotein from Spirulina platensis

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X00937252

Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/531053/

Effects of Curcuma longa (turmeric) on postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in healthy subjects

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/43

Benefits of Wheatgrass

http://www.hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass/benefits-of-wheatgrass

Wikicommons photos

Medicago sativa

Author:  H. Zell, own work

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Baobab fruit

Author:  Ximonic, Simo Räsänen, own work

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Beetroots

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Bilberry fruit

Author: H. Zell, own work

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Carrot root

Author:  Victor M. Vicente Selvas, own work

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pastanagues.JPG

Dandelion root

Source:  English wikipedia that got it from Flickr.

Author:  Zero-X at Flickr

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Green Tea leaf

Author: Hannah 50, own work

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Kelp

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Lemons

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Spinach Leaf

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Spirulina

Author:  Joan Simon, cropped by Perdita (English Wikipedia User)

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Turmeric

Author:  Thamizhpparithi Maari, own work

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Wheatgrass

Author:  Duk

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