woman about to take omega-3 pill

Reduce Inflammation With This Fatty Acid

You may have been hearing a lot about omega-3 fatty acids lately, and you may be wondering, what exactly are Omega-3 fatty acids? You’ve probably heard they were good for you; are they vitamins? Minerals? Animals? To clear up your confusion, or to add to it, omega -3 fatty acids are, well, fatty acids, which may not sound like something that’s good for you at all, but they are. That’s because they’re essential fatty acids, and we need them for normal metabolism. Now research shows that omega-3s have anti inflammatory properties that can help ward off a number of health concerns. What could this mean to the field of medicine? Take a look at what some experts are finding out about the inflammation- Omega-3 connection.

Omega 3 and Inflammation
Omega-3 fatty acids have long been studied for their extensive health benefits, many of which stem from their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Since the reduction of inflammation has been associated with the risk for diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, it is suspected that omega-3s may have disease fighting benefits. Here are what investigations of the fatty acid has revealed so far in regard to disease prevention.

Heart Disease
Because omega-3 fatty acids can increase levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol, it is being investigated as having the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease. Although omega -3s have not been shown to lower rates of heart attacks, directly, they have been associated with maintaining good heart health.

Arthritis
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus, may all be able to find a little comfort in increased omega-3 intake. Research suggests that the anti-inflammatory power of the fatty acid could reduce swelling, pain, and joint stiffness. A 2012 study showed that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were able to decrease the dosage of anti-inflammatory medications they were taking by supplementing with omega-3s.

Cancer
The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer are still under investigation, but preliminary findings indicate that they may help reduce colorectal cancer, in particular, and also may help to increase tolerance to chemotherapy.

Diabetes
Insulin resistance is a condition at the root of diabetes, in which the cells in the body to not respond properly to the effects of insulin. Although further investigation on whether or not Omega-3s can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes is needed, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve sensitivity to insulin in some studies.

Getting Your Omega-3s
After reading all this powerful evidence, you may be wondering how you can get your daily dose of omega-3s. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce its own omega-3s, but they can be gotten in certain foods. Fish is the best source of omega-3. The World Health Organization recommends consuming two servings of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines per week.

For those concerned about intake of heavy metals, or to whom fish does not appeal, omega-3s can also be found in plant sources, including flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Add these to your cereal or smoothie to up omega-3 intake.

Are you getting your omega-3’s? Let us know what your sources are and how they’re helping you.

flaxseeds

Health Benefits Of Flaxseed

Flaxseed. It’s health benefits have been known for ages. In fact Charlemagne was so confident in its powers that he passed laws all members of his court to incorporate it into their daily diet. So where has it been for the past thirteen centuries? Why did we not all grow up eating this wonder food? Apparently, flaxseed was first used in North America to make textiles, so when cotton came along, it was bye bye flaxseed, until some nutritionists rediscovered the seeds, phenomenal health properties, and now its back on the market in everything from oatmeal to crackers, to frozen waffles. So what are the fax on flax? Here are some of flaxseeds many health benefits.

Major Components of Flaxseed
Although it may be tiresome to go through all of the many health components found in the flax see, here are the main three:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids: These are the “good fats’ you’ve been hearing about. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 1.8 grams of the heart healthy plant omega-3s.
  •  Lignans: Lignans have antioxidants, and contain estrogen. Flaxsees has 75 to 800 times the lignans found in other plant foods.
  •  Fiber: Flaxseed has both insoluble and soluble fiber types.

Health Benefits

Cancer
Recent studies suggest that flaxseed may help to prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Animal studies have shown the ALA, the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flax seed, inhibits the growth and development of tumors. Other studies suggest that exposure to lignans may help increase survival rates among breast cancer patients. Lignans ability to protect against cancer is thought to be due to its ability to block enzymes involved in hormone metabolism and interfere with the onset and growth.

Cardiovascular Disease
Research finds that the plant omega-3s can benefit the cardiovascular system by normalizing the heartbeat and through anti- inflammation action. Kelley Fitzpatrick, director of health and nutrition with the Flax Seed Council of Canada, says that flaxseed can have significant effects on lowering blood pressure and studies suggest that flaxseed rich diets can help to prevent hardening of the arteries. Daily consumption of flaxseed has also been linked to to decrease in LDL or “bad cholesterol in menopausal women.

Diabetes
Preliminary research shows that the daily consumption of the lignans in flaxseed may improve blood sugar, as measured in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation
The ALA and lignans in flaxseed may be effective in reducing inflammation associated with deceases such as asthma and Parkinson’s by blocking the release of pro inflammatory agents. The reduction of inflammation associated with the buildup of plaque in arteries may be another way that flaxseed is beneficial in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

Hot Flashes
According to a 2007 study of menopausal women, 4 tablespoons per day of ground flaxseed cut occurrence of hot flashes in half, and the intensity of the incidences dropped by 57%.

Where has flaxseed been all of your life? Tell us how flax seed is contributing to your diet and what you think its been doing for you.

Woman drinking milk

Full Fat Dairy Products May Not Be All That Bad

Move over skinny cows! It’s great news for the extra cheese and “no such thing as too much butter” crowd; scientists have found that full fat dairy food does not increase your risk of heart attack. What, you may ask? Does this mean I can stop eating this strange excuse for ice cream I have in my freezer? Depends on your motivation, but one thing’s for sure, this is something that your stomach and heart will both approve of. Recent studies have shown that those who consume full fat dairy may actually be healthier than their low fat dairy eating (cow)nterparts. Read on for more.

The Evidence, Or Lack Thereof
What tastes good can’t possibly be good for you, right? Well, maybe it can. Recently, dairy researchers have found that, contrary to popular beliefs about saturated fats leading to heart attacks, there may be nutrients in dairy products that actually prevent them. According to researcher Stella Aslibekyan of Brown University, “Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances. We looked at heart attacks risk dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, and it turns out that the results are null. Perhaps the evidence is not there.”

Benefits of Dairy
While Aslibekyan’s team is far from suggesting that the presence of saturated fats in dairy products is harmless, she does believe that other nutrients found in dairy, such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium may offer protection from heart disease. According to a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases journal a study of 3,630 Costa Rican men found that dairy intake in heart attack sufferers was no different than that of those who did not get heart attacks, even when consumption was as high as 593 grams a day. Researcher, Dr. Anna Baylin says, ” The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients.

Pouring milk

Full Fat Dairy May Be Healthy
Additional research corroborates the Brown University study. There is evidence that full fat dairy key reduce the risk of:

  • Diabetes
    Palmitoeic acid, occurring naturally in meat and full fat dairy food, can protect against diabetes and insulin resistance. One study showed that individuals who consumed a diet including whole fat dairy had higher blood levels of trans-palmitoleate, decreasing their risk of developing type -2 diabetes by two thirds, as compared to those with lower levels.
  • Cancer
    Conjugated linoleum acid, a.k.a. CLA, is a type of fat found naturally in cow’s milk that can significantly lower the risk of cancer. A study found that those who ate a minimum of four serving of high fat dairy per day had a 41 % lower risk of bowel cancer than people who ate less than one.
  • Heart Disease
    A sixteen year study of Australian adults found an indirect relationship between full fat dairy consumption and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Full Fat Dairy and Weight-Loss
Females who indulged in one serving of full fat dairy were found to gain 30% less weight over a nine year span than their low fat eating counterparts.

What do you think of the info? Willing to scrap your 1 and 2% milk for the pure stuff? Let us know!

Woman with vitamin D

Vitamin D and Lowered Cancer Risk

Cancer cells can seem downright evil. While normal cells act to benefit their host, cancer cells have their own devious plan and that plan is to stay alive and keep dividing. And when cancer cells divide, they mutate and tumors result. Normal cells are designed to commit suicide when they are damaged, but not cancer cells. Cancer cells continue to thrive and, multiply and produce. So what can a body do to fight these demonic cells? It must use every weapon at its disposal. One of the most powerful of these is Vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps the body to use phosphorous to make teeth and bones strong. While certain foods can be sources of Vitamin D, it is more commonly made when skin is exposed to sunshine. If you are looking for vitamin D from food sources, foods such as fish liver oil, eggs , and fatty fish, naturally contain the vitamin, while others, such as cereal, juices and milk, are fortified with vitamin D. It can also be obtained through supplements.

The Vitamin D Cancer Connection
Researchers are studying connections between vitamin D and lowered cancer risk based on early research that showed cancer rates to be lower among people living in the south, where levels of sunlight is high, as opposed to those living in northern areas. Because UV light from the sun is responsible for production of vitamin D, researchers speculated that the difference in vitamin D levels might account for the findings. According to a 2007 study, women experienced a 77 percent reduction in all cancers after being given enough Vitamin D to raise their serum levels to 40 mg/ml.

Breast Cancer and Vitamin D
Breast cancer has sometimes been referred to as “vitamin D deficiency syndrome.’ Dr. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California’s San Diego Moores cancer center is responsible for making the connection between cancer and vitamin D deficiency. If you don’t have enough vitamin D, the structure that makes up you epithelial cells comes apart and the cells begin to circulate and multiply. If this process becomes problematic, cancer can result. If breast cancer is in progress, vitamin D can slow cancer growth and allow your immune system to deal with them in smaller numbers.

Getting Your D
The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure. You should expose 40% of your body to the sun for about 20 minutes between 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is stronger. If you are taking oral supplements, studies suggest adults get 8,000 IUs per day. However, keep in mind that oral vitamin D should be accompanied by vitamin K2 to prevent hardening of the arteries.

Let’s all try and up our defenses against cancer and get all the Vitamin D we can! Just say “no” to cancer and let us know your favorite ways of getting your Vitamin D!

heart shape by various vegetables and fruits

Resveralife Eat Well Guide: Best Fruits and Vegetables this Winter

Some hot chocolate, a blazing fire and cozy blankets… mmm… Winter certainly has its own set of charms, but fresh fruits and vegetables are usually not known to be one of the highlights of the winter season. It can become very challenging to find fresh produce during the winter months, particularly in the colder climates. But, luckily for you, you don’t need to survive on just onions or potatoes throughout winter. All you need to know is what to buy and you should be able to enjoy a regular supply of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the winter season. This Resveralife Eat Well Guide from Vine Vera helps you understand the best fruits and vegetables to eat this winter.

 

The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Colder Climates

 

Potatoes

Potatoes usually get a lot of negative publicity, but there is a reason they are a staple food in many cuisines around the world. Potatoes are very inexpensive, highly filling and they offer your body with Vitamin C, proteins, potassium, folic acid and magnesium. The best part? They are available throughout the year.

Cabbages

Cabbages are extremely healthy as well as budget friendly. They are full of Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin K and they also offer you with a rich dose of antioxidants, Glucosinolates and fiber. Certain studies also indicate that cabbages can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. Although cabbages can be found from the month of July, there are a number of cold weather varieties that harvest throughout the winter season.  This vegetable is best eaten raw as a part of your salad.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts, otherwise known as mini cabbages, are known to be as healthy as their elder cousins. They can protect your DNA from oxidative damage and they also offer you with antioxidants that fight cancer. And since Brussels Sprouts are mainly harvested between the months of September – February, you have a steady stream of fresh ingredients throughout the winter.

Onions

Onions are an ideal way of flavoring almost all of your food items – right from those pastas and soups to those grain salads. Onions offer your body with a rich dose of fiber and Vitamin C and they can also help you to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and increase the good cholesterol levels. Like potatoes, onions are available throughout the year.

Beets

Beets are deep red in color and they have an earthy flavor to them. Beets are extremely unique vegetables that contain an antioxidant known as Betalains. This antioxidant can protect you from a number of degenerative diseases and they also fight cancer. Furthermore, beets are very rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium and Vitamin B. Unfortunately, fresh beets are only available from the spring season till the fall season.

Carrots

Your parents might have been wrong in making you gulp down all that milk because of its “so called” benefits, but it turns out that they were spot on when it came to those carrots. Carrots are rich in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gets converted into Vitamin A and helps to strengthen the immune system and gives you healthier eyes and skin. Although carrots are mostly available through the fall season, a number of varieties are actually harvested during the winter months.

Parsnips

Parsnips might look a lot like carrots and have a similar rich and earthy flavor, but they offer you with loads of goodies like fiber, Vitamin C, folate and potassium. They go well with most winter soups and are usually at their best during the late fall and early spring seasons.

Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet Potatoes are full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber and beta-carotene. They are also known to be low on the glycemic index, thereby making them an ideal option for weight conscious people. Moreover, sweet potatoes can be found throughout the year.

 

The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Warmer Climates

 

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are more than enough to help you last the winter seasons. They might not be the best options for your teeth, but they are very beneficial for your skin and your body. They are loaded with Flavanoids and Vitamin C and they can also help in reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cataracts and cholera. Some of the best citrus fruits to look at include lemons, blood oranges, grapefruits and oranges. Moreover, citrus fruits only become ripe for picking between the months of October – March.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits in the world. They date all the way back to the Greco-Roman era. Pomegranates are also known to be one of the most nutritious fruits because of the presence of anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants. This fruit can help you with issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart attacks.

Dark and Leafy Greens

Greens like kale and collards are an ideal option for your winter diets. They are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, manganese, calcium, Vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants. They are also known to be extremely low in calories and can fit almost any dish.

Fennel

Fennel has a taste that resembles that of licorice and it is definitely one of the most delicious vegetables on the planet. It is sweet and crunchy and it is also known to be very healthy. Fennel is rich in a compound known as Anethole as well as ingredients like Vitamin C, copper, magnesium and potassium. Fennel is usually available from the fall season till the spring season.

Resveralife Examines the Secrets of Vineotherapy

Vinotherapy bath in the barrel

Millions of people all over the world are known to love their few glasses of wine but, the way we look at wine has been quickly changing. Many among the rich and the famous are not just drinking those magnificent labels, they are actually bathing in them. One of the biggest patrons of wine bathing is Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire actually created quite a furore on social media when he posted a photo in which he was covered with red wine up to his neck on his Instagram account.

The concept of bathing in red wine is nothing new either. It might seem to be a childhood prank, but the treatment has actually been used by the rich and the famous ever since the 1900s. This process is known as Vinotherapy. Vinotherapy is basically a process which requires one to immerse into wine-grape leaves, vines, branches and skin. Bathing in this mixture for about 30 minutes, once a week, can work wonders for your skin. Those who practice Vinotherapy believe that the process helps them to increase the circulation of their red blood cells and offers them with a rejuvenated feel.

Vine Vera Reviews the History of Vinotherapy

Mathilde Thomas was touring her parents’ winery in the year 1993 when she was asked a question, “What becomes of the seeds, red grape branches and vines?” The guest who actually asked this question was a professor who believed that the oils found in these red wine grape seeds were much more effective in preventing wrinkles than the popular antioxidant Vitamin E. This chance encounter led to expansions in the concepts of Vinotherapy by Bertrand and Mathilde Thomas, who later introduced the concepts in their own skin care line as well.

How does Vinotherapy work?

The objective of Vinotherapy is to treat a person with products that are rich in the polyphenols that are found in red wine grapes. These compounds are usually found in branches, vines and the skin of red grapes, items that are usually discarded during the wine manufacturing process. It is believed that when these polyphenols are applied to the person’s skin, they can help in masking free radicals and revealing youthful looking skin. One of the most powerful polyphenols found in these items is Resveratrol, a compound that has already proven to be highly effective when it comes to skin care.Vinotherapy treatments include a variety of massages, scrubs and body wraps using grape skin and barrel baths which allow people to bathe in a combination of red vine leaf stock and water.

Can Vinotherapy be backed by scientific data?

Those who believe in the wonders of Vinotherapy believe that it not only helps out with anti-aging, it also has anti-cancer benefits to offer. Dr. Edwin Frankel had released a study in the year 1993 which claimed that polyphenols actually offer powerful antioxidant properties to the human body. A study led by Richard Sinclair in the year 2006 also backed the importance of Resveratrol in the human body. His study showed that Resveratrol helped in offsetting the negative effects of high calorie diets in mice and that it also helped in increasing their lifespan. Sinclair worked on another study in the year 2013 in which he showed that the SIRT1 genes of the human body could be activated because of Resveratrol. It is believed that these genes control the aging process.

Other patrons of Vinotherapy

Stoudemire might have given Vinotherapy a lot of publicity, but he is not the only athlete or celebrity who enjoys this unique style of pampering. Some of the other popular names who are said to believe in the wonders offered by Vinotherapy include Patrice Evra (French footballer) and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs future Hall of Fame guard).

So will bathing in red wine actually help?

According to medical experts, alcohol in any form is never good for the skin. The only effect that alcohol has to offer is that it dries out the skin. If one is really looking to enjoy the wonders of Vinotherapy, one needs the items that get discarded in the process of making wine – the branches, vines and the skins. Moreover, one also needs fine mini-jets like the ones found in a Jacuzzi so as to allow the mixture to work with the muscles and improve the blood circulation. A simpler alternative would be to use a Resveratrol based skin care product. It might not be able to give you the purported health benefits that Vinotherapy supposedly has to offer, but it can definitely help you rejuvenate your skin and boast of a younger and firmer looking skin.

Woman holding a breast cancer ribbon

Study Identifies Resveratrol's Ability to Inhibit Cancer

A chemical found in the skin of red grapes and in red wine, is considered to be extremely effective in fighting cancer, even after the metabolism present in the human body converts this chemical into other compounds. Vine Vera reviews a study that was published in the Science Translational Medicine Journal confirms.

This study was conducted by a group of researchers working for the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine at the University of Leicester. This study reveals that Resveratrol, a popular antioxidant found in red wine, doesn’t become ineffective after it has been metabolized by the body.

This proves to be an extremely important finding that shows the effectiveness of Resveratrol in the human body, because recent studies had shown that Resveratrol gets metabolized very quickly, thereby raising questions on its effectiveness. This new research also shows that Resveratrol can still be taken in by the cells, even after it has been transformed into Resveratrol sulfates by the body’s metabolism.

The study also shows that enzymes present within the cells manage to break down the Resveratrol sulfates back into Resveratrol. In fact, this study actually shows that Resveratrol might be even more effective once it is transformed from Resveratrol sulfates, because of the higher concentrations.

The team had administered Resveratrol sulfates into mice to further their research. They subsequently managed to detect the presence of free Resveratrol in a variety of tissues and the plasma of mice. This is the first direct sign of the fact that Resveratrol sulfates can be transformed back into Resveratrol by the body, thereby leading researchers to believe that the compound might be even more beneficial than initially thought.

The study also confirmed that the Resveratrol generated from the Resveratrol sulfates can actually slow down the growth of cancer cells by forcing them to digest their own constituents and preventing them from dividing further.

According to Professor Karen Brown, there is some serious evidence from the lab testings that Resveratrol can not just prevent a variety of cancers, but can also protect the body from heart diseases in order to extend the lifespan of the body. It is common knowledge that Resveratrol rapidly converts into sulfates in animals.

This means that the plasma concentrations of Resveratrol become low after administration. Professor Brown states that it was always difficult for experts to understand how Resveratrol managed to offer its benefits when the concentrations were so low. She also mentions that this was one of the main reasons why many experts were doubtful if Resveratrol had any effects whatsoever on humans.

However, the latest study has actually shown that the compound can be regenerated into a more potent form and that this compound can then offer biological activity to the body in order to make itself useful in treating all sorts of diseases. However, most of these discoveries have been made in laboratory settings. Whether or not the compound actually manages to offer such benefits to humans remains to be seen.

Dr. Sarah Williams, the health information officer of Cancer Research UK, mentioned that this study supports the continued research into Resveratrol. She also mentioned that it was important to note that none of the effects were because of drinking red wine and that consuming any sort of alcohol, red wine included, increases the chances of developing cancer.

Pencil eraser erasing leukemia

Resveratrol Update – Resveratrol Aids in Preventing Leukemia?

Pencil eraser erasing leukemia

Cardiotoxicity is considered to be one of the most common side effects of numerous antineoplastic agents like arsenic trioxide, one of the main treatments for a disease known as acute promyelocytic leukemia. Researchers recently investigated the possibility of using a combination of arsenic trioxide and Resveratorl or genistein in creating a cardiac friendly therapeutic strategy for acute promyelocytic leukemia.

 

During the research, potential combinations were explored and the effects of these combinations on reactive oxygen species, autophagy, mitochondrial membrane potential, apoptosis and superoxide dismutase activity were determined. The results of the experiments suggested that about 5 µM of Resveratrol helped in reducing cardiotoxicity caused by arsenic trioxide to a great extent. To get the same amount of benefits, researchers had to use a dosage of genistein that was 10 times stronger than the Resveratrol dosage. Furthermore, administering Resveratrol also boosted the anti-cancer effects of the arsenic trioxide present in the NB4 cells. Resveratrol also aggravated mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress, thereby reflecting its synergy with arsenic trioxide. In addition to these results, using 5 µM of Resveratrol with a singular drug formula of arsenic trioxide lead to an increase in the cellular autophagy activity, thereby indicating the involvement of autophagy-mediated tumor cell death.

 

This study goes a long way in showcasing the importance of Resveratrol in terms of preventing Leukemia. Researchers believe that it is entirely possible to combine Resveratrol to arsenic trioxide in order to prevent cardiotoxicity and achieve better therapeutic effects. However, the poor bioavailability of the compound remains to be a major concern in its clinical applications.