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Functional Nutrition Blog

The Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Oct 6, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Alpha Lipoic Acid

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS

Smart SupplementationTM is a free series of educational literature created by Huntington College of Health Sciences (HCHS) as a public service. Although copyrighted, it may be freely photocopied and distributed, but may not be altered in any way. Smart SupplementationTM is not intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition, consult your physician.

AIpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), also known as thioctic acid, has gained considerable attention as an antioxidant. ALA combats particularly nasty free radicals such as superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, peroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen, thereby reducing oxidative stress. ALA is a small molecule, soluble in both water and fat. This allows it to work both inside the cell and at the membrane level, making ALA a particularly valuable antioxidant.

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Topics: anti-aging, degenerative disease, skin health, smart supplementation

Supplement of the week: Designs for Health S-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Sep 22, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Quick Overview

Acetylated form of glutathione for optimum absorption and bioavailability

S-Acetyl Glutathione (S-A-GSH) is a unique form of glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants naturally produced in the body. It has an acetyl group (COCH3) attached to the sulfur atom of cysteine in the glutathione molecule. S-A-GSH is well-suited for oral ingestion, because this acetyl group protects glutathione from breaking down in the gastrointestinal tract; once absorbed and inside the cells it is removed, thus leaving the glutathione molecule intact.

This product also includes N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and vitamin B6, both of which are important for the production of glutathione.

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Topics: anti-aging, immune health, degenerative disease, smart supplementation

Antioxidants: Our Defense Against Free Radicals

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Sep 22, 2014 8:00:00 AM

By Art Presser, PharmD - President, Huntington College of Health Sciences

Smart SupplementationTM is a free series of educational literature created by Huntington College of Health Sciences (HCHS) as a public service. Although copyrighted, it may be freely photocopied and distributed, but may not be altered in any way. Smart SupplementationTM is not intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition, consult your physician.

The terms “antioxidant” and “free radicals” are two of the most tossed around “buzz” words used in the health field today. What are they, and how do they effect our lives?

As researchers began to become interested in degenerative disease, aging, their causes, and how they can be prevented, they were lead to an interesting discovery. Our body and foods were already on the case. In fact, Hippocrates, who lived in around 400 BC, may have had the first insight. He said that in foods there are tiny substances that act on the body, and in some way change life. He went on to state that our lives depended on these changes. It amazes me, in 1996, just how “right on” Hippocrates was.

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Topics: cardiovascular health, anti-aging, degenerative disease

Alternative Treatments For Prostate Cancer

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Aug 22, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Prostate cancer is a male cancer starting with abnormal cell growth in the prostate gland that may metastasize and spread to other parts of the body.  It is typically comprised of many very small slow-growing tumors and it strikes approximately one out of six American men (“About Prostate Cancer”, 2010).  Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in American men, yet it is highly treatable and preventable (Rakel, 2007, p. 848).

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Topics: anti-aging, degenerative disease

The Health Benefits Of Kale

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Aug 10, 2011 6:00:00 AM

My mother scattered some seeds in a pot for me a few weeks ago. I had no idea what they were but I proceeded to water the pot diligently hoping it was something I love. Well much to my surprise I now have a large pot full of kale! They are still growing and maturing, but I can easily recognize their curled up deep green leaves.

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Topics: whole foods, anti-aging, micronutrients, degenerative disease

How To Treat Coronary Artery Disease, Pt 2

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jul 29, 2011 6:00:00 AM

This is Part 2 of a two part series on Cardiovascular Disease, specifically Coronary Artery Disease.  Click HERE to read Part 1 of this series.

Treatment Options and Lifestyle Changes

Biomedical Approach

Typical treatments include invasive interventions like percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting, and other surgeries. These treatments attempt to alleviate symptoms. Drugs are used to lower three risk factors: LDL Cholesterol, blood pressure and platelet function. These may include aspirin, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and lipid-lowering agents (statins). Patients are urged to quit smoking as a secondary prevention measure (Rakel, 2007, p. 301-303).

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Topics: cardiovascular health, anti-aging, degenerative disease

How To Treat Coronary Artery Disease, Pt 1

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jul 28, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Cardiovascular disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart and/or blood vessels. It is America's number one killer, taking almost one million American lives every year. It is primarliy a lifestyle disease that is preventable. Therefore, our greatest defense is education about heart health and prevention cardiovascular disease.  This is Part 1 of a two part series.

 

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the primary form of cardiovascular disease.  It is considered a societal and lifestyle disease and it is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.  It can be expressed as acute myocardial infraction, angina, angiographic coronary stenosis and sudden cardiac death (Rakel, 2007, p. 295).  

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Topics: macronutrients, anti-aging, degenerative disease

The Risks Of Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jul 25, 2011 6:00:00 AM


Since the dawn of civilization all peoples and cultures have fermented different foods with yeast to produce various alcoholic beverages.  The varieties and characteristics of those beverages were reflective of their cultures, beliefs and religious tenets. 

Alcohol (ethanol) is produced by fermenting yeast, sugars and starches.  Ethanol is a volatile, highly flammable, colorless liquid.  It has an intoxicating effect on the body.  It acts as a depressant on the central nervous system.  Ethanol is a psychoactive drug and probably the first recreational drug known to man.  As an industrial chemical it can be used as a solvent or even as a fuel.

It is commonly believed that alcohol in moderation can have a healthful effect on the body, especially red wine.  However, because of its neurotoxic properties and the tendency to be abused by people, alcohol can have a damaging and detrimental effect on ones health.  

Alcohol is easily and quickly absorbed through the stomach into the blood stream where it travels to every organ in the body.  The liver works quickly to metabolize alcohol and expel it from the body, but it still takes an hour to remove an ounce of the substance.  The remaining alcohol must continue circulating through the body until it has all been removed.  The detrimental effects of ethanol are dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed.  Other factors affecting the individual’s reactions to alcohol include age, gender, race, physical condition, amount of food consumed before drinking, how quickly the alcohol was consumed, use of medication or drugs and family history of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol impairs the body’s normal functions, affecting one’s ability to respond to stimulus and it slows one’s reaction time.  It affects vision, balance, motor skills and speech.  It is dangerous to operate heavy machinery like cars while intoxicated.  It is illegal in the United States to drive with more alcohol than .08% of blood volume.  Nonetheless, there are millions of accidents and deaths related to driving while intoxicated.  Abuse of alcohol is believed to contribute to certain cancers, stroke, and liver diseases like cirrhosis.  Over-consuming alcohol for long periods of time will intensify these effects.  Pancreatitis is a serious condition affecting the pancreas that is common among heavy abusers of alcohol.

Pregnant women that consume alcohol risk having babies with Fetal Alcohol Ayndrome (FAS).  Alcohol can cause growth, mental and physical problems to the developing fetus.  Alcohol passes easily from the mother, through the placenta to the fetus.  Here the alcohol can cause damage to the underdeveloped organs and systems of the baby.  It appears that the greater damage will occur during the first three months of pregnancy, but there is no safe level of drinking through the entire pregnancy.  The child once born may exhibit structural development problems and may later exhibit thinking and speech impairment, or late establishment of social skills.  These problems can be averted 100% by avoiding alcohol altogether while pregnant.

Alcohol, like many of life’s good things, can be abused.  With a proper respect for the potential dangers associated with its use, it is possible to consume alcohol responsibly and safely.  Drinking alcohol is very much a part of our social interaction and important to our whole person health.  In moderation it can be used as a sedative, to control stress and encourage rest.  I can’t imagine life without a nice glass of wine on the weekends, or even a proper cocktail when out in social situations.  But each person must decide for themselves how much is too much and under what circumstances it should be consumed.  Consider our custom to celebrate with a glass of champagne.  Leading a toast with a glass of water just wouldn’t be the same!

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Topics: degenerative disease, lifestyle

How To Balance Blood Sugar Naturally

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 15, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Diabetes is a health condition where the blood sugar is constantly elevated. There are two types of Diabetes. Type One Diabetes is typically an autoimmune condition and results from the body not producing enough insulin. The islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are targeted by the immune system. Type Two Diabetes is typically caused by lifestyle and genetics, and results in the body not properly producing or using insulin.

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Topics: weight management, degenerative disease

The Beautiful Truth Documentary: A Natural Treatment Of Cancer

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jun 13, 2011 6:34:00 PM

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Topics: whole foods, degenerative disease