Offering a unique reference point on alternative medicine and complementary therapies.

Posts Tagged "zinc"

Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, accounts for the majority of baldness in males. This condition has a heriditary predisposition, but is mainly caused by a hormone imbalance. Hair loss usually starts at the temples and the crown. The hair initially thins over a number of years before causing baldness. The hormone Testosterone, which is present in high levels in males after puberty is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. High levels of DHT are responsible for causing hair loss and baldness. The hormone DHT attaches itself to the hair follicles and blocks blood flow to the follicle. This deprives the hair follicle of vital nutrients that are required for hair growth. This leads to a slowing of hair growth and eventually complete hair loss. There are a number of natural medicines that can be taken to stop the enzyme, 5-alpha reductase and therefore decrease the amount of DHT, the main cause of male pattern baldness. Studies have shown that the herb Saw Palmetto is an effective natural anti-androgen. It lowers levels of DHT by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Zinc can also be taken to stimulate hair growth by stimulating the immune system aswell as lowering levels of DHT. Essential fatty acids from flax seed oil or fish oils are also very important to treat hair loss. Other important natural supplements include anti-oxidants such as Selenium, Acai, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Co-enzyme Q10 and Silica. For maximum benefit it is important to combine these products or to take a combination...

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Natural remedies for impotence (erectile dysfunction)

Today marks the start of Men’s Health Awareness Month, so to kick off this article explores the alternative remedies for this distressing condition. Erectile Dysfunction (E.D) or impotence is a common health problem amongst men of all ages, but is especially prevalent in those over 60 years. There are many potential causes of E.D. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure can cause impotence. Certain prescribed medications can also cause a man to become impotent as part of their side effects. If you think this may be the case, do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. However, there are many natural remedies for impotence available. Long term smoking, high alcohol consumption and the use of recreational drugs all contribute to developing E.D. Obesity and lack of regular exercise are also factors that can lead E.D. So if you think that you may have E.D the first thing is to cut out smoking and recreational drugs, cut down on alcohol consumption and start regular exercise. Anxiety and stress can also lead to men developing E.D. This can be helped by taking time to relax, or consulting a homeopath for treatment. Homeopathic and herbal remedies such as Avena Sativa and Passiflora can be taken to help relieve strees. These natural remedies can be taken to help with short term stress that may be causing E.D. Bach Rescue Remedy or Ainsworths Recovery Remedy can also be taken to help with short term anxiety that may be causing E.D. The following natural remedies may help treat Erectile Dysfunction (E.D): Catuaba is a Brazilian herb that is a natural aphrodisiac and supports the nervous system. The herb Gingko Biloba improves circulation and blood flow. The nutrients Zinc and Selenium are important in the healthy function of the male reproductive sysytem, and are also good antioxidants. The amino acid L-Arginine is used to treat E.D. It works in a similar way to the drug Viagra, by enhancing the action of Nitrous Oxide, which causes the smooth muscle to relax. This results in improved blood flow to the penis. The drug Viagra works by breaking down the enzyme which destroys Nitrous Oxide, whereas L-Arginine helps to produce Nitrous Oxide. Other health benefits of L-Arginine are improved circulation which can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular...

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Flu Prevention?

What is the best method of flu prevention? The start of autumn brings a change of weather, shorter days and the new flu vaccine. The annual flu vaccination is heavily promoted throughout the country by all factions of the NHS. Everyone over the age of 65, asthmatics, diabetics, pregnant women and even young children (most of the population) are being pushed to get this vaccination. It is worth thinking before simply agreeing to the jab. The vaccine promotes protection against most strains of flu but this does not provide a 100 per cent guarantee that you will be protected.  The flu virus is continually evolving, so any specific vaccine can never be an identical match to the latest strain. Health authorities also promote an annual vaccination as the strains of flu evolve each year. By the time you have the vaccine, the new strain of flu is invariably in circulation. This mass vaccination programme, however, does not take into account the individual’s susceptibility to getting the flu symptoms. The medical authorities do not promote the use of vitamins, healthy diet and regular exercise as a means of naturally boosting the immune system. Taking immune boosting vitamins such as B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc throughout the winter months strengthens your natural defences irrespective of the specific strains of flu that are in circulation. We can even boost natural immunity through our diet. Fried foods and junk food deplete our stores of vitamins and minerals, whereas a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit and water can supplement the immune system. Latest research is looking at a universal vaccine which boosts numbers of CD8 T cells in the body. Experiments have suggested that CD8 cells could protect against the virus, but further studies will need to be conducted. It is worth taking a bit of time to consider other options before having the seasonal...

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Natural Health Supplements for ADHD

Natural Health Supplements for ADHD

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a behavioural disorder that is characterised by symptoms such as hyperactivity, a short attention span, restlessness, being easily distracted, constant fidgeting and impulsiveness. These symptoms can also lead to sleep problems and learning difficulties. ADHD is normally diagnosed between the ages of 3 to 7 years. The symptoms may start at an early age, but they become more noticeable when a child starts school or nursery. It is a fairly common complaint in the UK, affecting 3 to 9% of school children and young people. The conventional management of ADHD is to prescribe strong medications such as Methylphenidate and Dexamfetamine, which stimulate the CNS (central nervous system). This will result in altering the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain and could possibly lead to health problems in later life. The long term side effects of these drugs are not yet known, but these medicines are usually given long term. This is by no means a permanent solution to this condition, but just a means to keep the child in a “calm state”. These medications have a number of side effects such as sleep disturbances, depression, confusion, gastro-intestinal symptoms and growth retardation. These medicines are also addictive and children can become dependent on them. ADHD requires a full consultation with a qualified complementary health practitioner, but there are some very effective natural supplements that can have very dramatic results. These supplements can be taken by young children and extremely safe. Current research is highlighting that deficiencies in certain essential fatty acids can contribute to behavioural disorders such as ADHD. Omega 3 contains two essential nutrients, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Whilst they are both important for health, DHA is more important for concentration as this essential nutrient is predominantly found in the brain. Low levels of DHA have been linked with behavioural and learning and learning problems in children. Recent studies have highlighted that EPA is very effective in reducing problems with attention and perception that are associated with ADHD. This shows that both DHA and EPA are very important for the health of the brain. Flax seed oil is a rich source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty...

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Foods to Improve Fertility

Foods to Improve Fertility

Infertility is an increasing problem for many couples. The causes of infertlity range from genetic complications, hormone imbalances, life-style and diet. A healthy diet for both the male and female partner is very important especially if you are having trouble conceiving. Adding certain foods and removing others from your diet can actually improve fertility and raise your chances of getting pregnant. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can have a detrimental effect on your chances of conceiving, so should be avoided. The more alcohol that both partners consume – the lower the chance of getting pregnant. The odd drink is fine, but binge drinking is not recommended if you want to get pregnant. Excessive alcohol can lower zinc levels, which can lower sperm counts in men. Alcohol can prevent implantation in women. Sugary snacks such as chocolates, biscuits and cakes can affect hormone balances in the body. These foods should not totally be cut out of your diet, but keep to a minimum. Foods high in saturated fat, ready meals and junk foods deplete the body of essential nutrients that are needed for conception. These foods are also generally high in sugar and salt. Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many carbonated drinks, can reduce your chances of conceiving. It is worth noting that the odd caffeinated drink or bar of chocolate is fine, but when these foods are eaten in excess, fertility can be affected. In males, excess caffeine intake can cause impotence by reducing blood flow. This lack of blood flow also affects the motility of a fertilised egg in females. The following foods, aside from improving your general health, can help you to conceive: A diet that is high in antioxidants will improve the reproductive function of both partners. Antioxidants are present in coloured vegetables, such as peppers and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Strawberries, blackberries, pomegranates and raspberries are examples of fruits that are high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are natural substances that help to protect the body from the harmful effects of free radical damage. Free radicals can be formed by factors such as exposure to radiation (including over exposure to the sun’s rays), cigarette smoke, air pollution, exercise, processed foods, household cleaners and stress. Zinc is...

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Health Benefits of Papaya

This fruit is traditionally grown in tropical countries around the world, but the Papaya was believed to have originated from Central America. Papaya was called “fruit of the angels” by the Conquistadors due to its heavenly taste. Papaya’s can be grown all year round and are available in many groceries and supermarkets. Papaya is often referred to as a superfood, as it has many health benefits. Papaya’s have traditionally been used to support the digestive system. Papaya fruit contains an enzyme similar to bromelain, called papain.This enzyme helps to breaks down protein, which makes it an excellent digestive aide. Papain, like bromelain is also helpful in reducing inflammation and in treating allergies. There are many health benefits of Papaya, and it is a very underused fruit. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin C. Papaya is also a good source of fibre, which helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Together, these properties make papaya a good natural remedy for promoting the health of the cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems. Papaya has been touted as an anti-ageing food. This may bebecause this fruit promotes better digestion, and helps the body to absorbvital nutrients. Papaya also contains beta-carotene which can help to preventprostate cancer in men. This fruit is also a good source of lutein, which havebeen found to protect the eyes from macular degeneration. Papaya has also been found to be helpful in diabetes,although more research is required. Studies have found that papaya contains soluble fibre that helps to control blood sugar levels by slowing sugar absorption. This is promising as people who may be prone to developing diabetes can include papaya as part of their daily diet to help prevent the illness. In summary, this fruit has many health benefits and shouldform part of your diet. Alongside being a health food, it is a delicious fruitthat can also been made into a...

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Cold and Flu Remedies During Pregnancy

Cold and Flu Remedies During Pregnancy

Being pregnant does not make you more likely to develop a cold or flu. It is more important to keep your immune system healthy, by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and getting enough rest.  Complementary medicine offers a wide range of safe remedies for colds and flu that can be taken safely during pregnancy. Pregnancy can throw up a host of conditions such as backache and heartburn, but having a cold or a bout of flu can really bring you. The conventional painkillers and cold medicines are not safe during this time. Antibiotics are not effective and are also not recommended during pregnancy, and conventional decongestants should be avoided as they can harm the health of mother and baby. This is where complementary remedies can really help you recover faster and more importantly safely. Not all natural remedies are recommended as some of them have not been tested as yet. I would advise pregnant women to avoid herbal medicines, such as Echinacea and Propolis as their safety in pregnancy cannot be confirmed. Homeopathic remedies, biochemic tissue salts and certain nutritional supplements can be taken effectively and safely throughout pregnancy. You can take several natural remedies to maintain your immune system throughout the winter months. This will help you to prevent catching a cold or flu. Vitamin C can help support your immune system. A dose of 500mg a day will be sufficient to supplement your diet. The homeopathic remedies Anas Barb 200c and Aconite 200c are very effective if taken at the first sign of a cold or flu. These remedies can be made up as a combination remedy at one of the specialist homeopathic pharmacies. It is a good idea to keep this remedy with you, especially during the winter months. This combination can help to shorten the length of a cold and flu and help you get back on your feet. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body such as supporting the immune system.  An added benefit to taking these probiotics in pregnancy is that they...

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Zinc: Essential for Health

  Zinc is a very important mineral that is essential for optimal health. It has many health functions, ranging from supporting the immune system, reproductive organs to skin health. Zinc has also been found to improve mental health and reduce depression. Zinc is a trace mineral, meaning that we need to obtain it from our diet. Due to intensive farming methods, the levels of zinc in the soil have been greatly reduced, meaning that more people than ever are now deficient in this vital nutrient.  There are however certain foods that have high levels of zinc. Oysters are the richest food source of zinc. Other foods that have high amounts of zinc are shellfish, red meat, pumpkin seeds, lentils, sunflower seeds, ginger root, pecans, and brazil nuts. Other good sources are whole wheat, rye, oats, peanuts, lima beans, almonds, walnuts, and buckwheat. A deficiency in zinc can show up in many symptoms. Examples are hair loss, loss of taste or smell, reduced ability to fight infections or poor night vision. Several studies have found that daily doses of zinc caused dramatic improvements in the function of the immune system, especially the T-cells (they help to fight off infections).Taking addition zinc is very important for people over 60 years, as the body’s ability to produce T-cells deteriorates after this age.  It is also a very important supplement for men as zinc is very important for maintaining a healthy prostate gland. The usual dose of zinc is between 10 and 15mg a day. You should only take a higher dose under the supervision from your GP or...

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Natural Health Supplements for ADHD

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a behavioural disorder that is characterised by symptoms such as hyperactivity, a short attention span, restlessness, being easily distracted, constant fidgeting and impulsiveness. These symptoms can also lead to sleep problems and learning difficulties. ADHD is normally diagnosed between the ages of 3 to 7 years. The symptoms may start at an early age, but they become more noticeable when a child starts school or nursery. It is a fairly common complaint in the UK, affecting 3 to 9% of school children and young people. The conventional management of ADHD is to prescribe strong medications such as Methylphenidate and Dexamfetamine, which stimulate the CNS (central nervous system). This will result in altering the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain and could possibly lead to health problems in later life. The long term side effects of these drugs are not yet known, but these medicines are usually given long term. This is by no means a permanent solution to this condition, but just a means to keep the child in a “calm state”. These medications have a number of side effects such as sleep disturbances, depression, confusion, gastro-intestinal symptoms and growth retardation. These medicines are also addictive and children can become dependent on them. ADHD requires full consultations with a qualified complementary health practitioner, but there are some very effective natural supplements that can have very dramatic results. These supplements can be taken by young children and extremely safe. Current research is highlighting that deficiencies in certain essential fatty acids can contribute to behavioural disorders such as ADHD. Omega 3 contains two essential nutrients, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Whilst they are both important for health, DHA is more important for concentration as this essential nutrient is predominantly found in the brain. Low levels of DHA have been linked with behavioural and learning and learning problems in children. Recent studies have highlighted that EPA is very effective in reducing problems with attention and perception that are associated with ADHD. This shows that both DHA and EPA are very important for the health of the brain. Flax seed oil is a rich source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids....

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What is a natural acne treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition that usually affects teenagers at the time of puberty but can also affect adults. It usually affects the face, back and shoulders. The skin eruptions usually appear in the form of spots that are raised and painful. The spots appear as blackheads, whiteheads (small hard lumps with a white centre), pustules (spots with a lot of pus) and nodules (hard, painful lumps under the skin). It is important to look after your body so why not try a natural acne treatment. There is also the risk of scarring when these spots disappear. Acne is normally causes by hormone imbalances. Sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps to protect the skin. Hormone imbalances cause an increase in the production of sebum, which blocks the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of spots and inflammation.  Acne is not only related to hormone imbalances. Other factors that can contribute to acne are nutritional deficiencies, stress, certain medications, a diet high in saturated fat and food allergies. The skin is also a major detox organ, so if the body contains a lot of toxins, this process may also contribute to acne. It is not surprising that acne is a condition that can affect people both physically and emotionally. Acne on the face can cause a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. This can have a knock on effect in the person’s social and work life. People often give up with over the counter skin creams and washes and are often prescribed long term antibiotics and retinoids which can have harmful side effects. There are however a number of natural approaches to skin health that can help to improve the general health of your skin. Nutrition is the most important factor in the health of your skin. A diet high in refined sugar, salt and hydrogenated fat can cause and aggravate acne. Processed food can also aggravate acne, as these foods contain very few enzymes and are generally high in sugar and salt. A diet that contains a variety of fibre, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and essential fatty acids will benefit the health of the skin as well as...

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