Editor’s Note: This and many other areas of OWC are works-in-process improving as we have time and capital. Please “Contact Us” if you can help.
AMINO ACIDS (essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids)
Understanding amino acids and what they do is essential today to understand natural health and anti-aging issues. Doctors, body builders, military soldier trainers, and other health enthusiasts are well aware of the need for and benefits of amino acids. Amino acids are the focus of many of their supplementation routines today. Amino Acids are protein building blocks (protein precursors) and can be found in both plants and animals. Cell growth, renewal and regeneration require protein synthesis. Diets and supplements deficient in amino acids could result in premature aging and illness. Amino acids are generally categorized as “Essential” or “Non-Essential.” Your body needs both but essential amino acids must be obtained from a food source as your body cannot make them from other compounds. Non-essential amino acids can be formed in the body from other fuel so are less likely to be deficient. Amino acids are needed by all organs and body tissues for proper function. Amino acids targeting brain performance are gaining greatest interest today in the nutrition and supplementation industry. Plant sources containing all essential amino acids we consider “superfood” although the term superfood is not well defined and likely overused and exaggerated in marketing of products today. Much is still being learned about the bio-availability of amino acids, the digestive characteristics of different sources, and to what degree amino acids compliment or compete for transport and uptake in your system. For more information on amino acids and to learn more about the potential benefits of supplementing your amino acid intake, CLICK HERE.
There is perhaps nothing more important to disease prevention and life extension than getting plenty of antioxidants daily – substances, like vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene, that protect your body from the damage of oxidation caused by free radicals [More on anti-oxidants
Don’t be misled by fad diets that make blanket pronouncements on the dangers of carbohydrates. They provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, and they are an important part of a healthy diet. But some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others. The best sources of carbohydrates—whole grains,vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients. Easily digested carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, pastries, sugared sodas, and other highly processed foods may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease... [More on carbohydrates].
Enzymes are critical to your biochemistry and increasing focus on diets and supplements with excellent enzymatic and related co-factors is here to stay. A living organism controls its cellular activity through enzymes. An enzyme is a protein molecule that is a biological catalyst with three characteristics. First, the basic function of an enzyme is to increase the rate of a reaction. Most cellular reactions occur about a million times faster than they would in the absence of an enzyme. Second, most enzymes act specifically with only one reactant (called a substrate) to produce products. The third and most remarkable characteristic is that enzymes are regulated from a state of low activity to high activity and vice versa. Gradually, you will appreciate that the individuality of a living cell is due in large part to the unique set of some 3,000 enzymes that it is genetically programmed to produce. If even one enzyme is missing or defective, the results can be disastrous [More on enzymes].
Your body needs good fats for optimal health. The total amount of fat you eat, whether high or low, isn’t really linked with disease. What really matters is thetype of fat you eat. The “bad” fats—saturated and trans fats—increase the risk for certain diseases. The “good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. The key to a healthy diet is to substitute good fats for bad fats—and to avoid trans fats.
Although it is still important to limit the amount of cholesterol you eat, especially if you have diabetes, dietary cholesterol isn’t nearly the villain it’s been portrayed to be. Cholesterol in the bloodstream is what’s most important. And the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats in your diet—not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food [MORE].
There are many types of fatty acids. The most important for health purposes that you need to get into your diet in adequate quantities are the essential fatty acids. As we expand site content, we will add material alerting you on what foods and common dietary and cooking practices to start avoiding so your body performs better and is not battling against your bad habits every second of every day. For more detail on Essential Omega Fatty Acids, CLICK HERE.
Fiber is not generally digested by the body but essential for proper health. When you eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, you usually get most of the fiber you’ll need, which means you’ll also be lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, and constipation.
Fiber is classified as a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans [MORE].
Nutrients found in the earth or water and absorbed by plants and animals for proper nutrition. Minerals are the main component of teeth and bones, and help build cells and support nerve impulses, among other things. One example is calcium.
PREBIOTICS – PROBIOTICS
Animal protein and vegetable protein probably have the same effects on health. It’s the protein package that’s likely to make a difference. A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—38 grams worth. But it also delivers 44 grams of fat, 16 of them saturated. That’s almost three-fourths of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat. So when choosing protein-rich foods, pay attention to what comes along with the protein. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and whole grains, are excellent choices, and they offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best animal protein choices are fish and poultry. If you are partial to red meat, stick with the leanest cuts, choose moderate portion sizes, and make it only an occasional part of your diet [MORE].
Vitamins are naturally found in plants and animals. They are vital to growth, energy, and nerve function. There are two types of vitamins used by the body to support health: fat-soluble and water-soluble [MORE].
RELATED TERMS and DEFINITIONS:
Substances obtained from plants and used in food supplements, personal care products, or pharmaceuticals. Other names include “herbal medicine” and “plant medicine.”
Certificate of Analysis.
Co-Enzyme / Co-Factor
Co-enzymes are non-protein components of enzymes and are co-factors. If the cofactor is organic, then it is called a coenzyme. Co-Q10 is perhaps the best known co-factor/co-enzyme. Coenzymes are relatively small molecules compared to the protein part of the enzyme. Many of the coenzymes are derived from vitamins. Coenzymes make up a part of the active site/cell, since without the coenzyme, the enzyme will not function. The coenzyme, NAD+, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, for example, is from the niacin vitamin.
Found on food and drink nutrition labels, this number tells you the percentage of the recommended dietary allowance provided by one serving of the food or drink in question.
Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, are absorbed by the body with dietary fats. Your body stores excess fat-soluble vitamins in your liver and body fat, then uses them as needed. Ingesting more fat-soluble vitamins than you need can be toxic, causing side-effects like nausea, vomiting, and liver and heart problems.
To increase a food or drink’s nutritional value by adding vitamins, minerals, or other substances. For example, milk is fortified with vitamins A and D.
An atom or molecule with at least one unpaired electron, making it unstable and reactive. When free radicals react with certain chemicals in the body, they may interfere with the ability of cells to function normally. Antioxidants can stabilize free radicals.
Taking more than 100% of the RDA (daily value) of required vitamins and minerals.
The name given to vitamins and minerals because your body needs them in small amounts. Micronutrients are vital to your body’s ability to process the “macronutrients:” fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Examples are chromium, zinc, and selenium.
A pill, beverage, or other substance containing more than one vitamin. Nobody’s diet is perfect, so think of a daily multi as an insurance policy for that imperfect diet. A multi includes vitamins and minerals essential for wellness which you might not get in your daily food in adequate amounts and which help to support cardiovascular, brain, bone & joint, eye, heart, liver and nerve health. Most women who are still menstruating or are pregnant may want added iron as well. Visit our member store for a sample of quality Multi-Vitamin Supplements, high quality anti-aging supplement products, and nutrient dense meal replacement products.
A chemical reaction in which oxygen combines with a substance, changing or destroying its normal function. Oxidation can damage cell membranes and interfere with a cell’s regulatory systems, but it is also part of our normal-functioning immune system.
Natural Killer Cell
Health-protecting compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Phytochemicals (sometimes called phytonutrients) include beta-carotene, lycopene, and resveratrol.
Specially formulated multivitamins that ensure a pregnant woman gets enough essential micronutrients. Prenatal supplements generally contain more folic acid, iron, and calcium than standard adult supplements.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
The amount of nutrients needed daily to prevent the development of disease in most people. An example is vitamin C; the RDA is 70 milligrams, below which, for most people, there is the risk of developing scurvy.
Supplements. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other substances taken orally and meant to correct deficiencies in the diet.
Superfoods are nutrient dense foods known to have a wide array of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics and more. Superfoods are one of the secrets to a long healthy life. View Doctor Video on Starting Your Day With Superfoods. Read an excellent superfood article.
Stem cell science is evolving rapidly. The basic definition of Stem Cells is that they are self-renewing cells that can give rise to, essentially transform into, multiple types of specialized cells in the body. For a thorough definition [CLICK HERE]. The process of transformation is called differentiation; and is fundamental to the development of a mature organism. Stem cells, in various forms, can be obtained from the embryo, the fetus, and the adult … most practicing stem cell scientists actually part of teams doing effective stem cell therapy today are focused on adult stem cells extracted from the patients tissue then multiplied and processed in specialized labs and then reintroduced to the patient. If the patient receives proper pre-and-post stem cell therapy care, results are apparently amazing. Getting proper assessment and care before and after stem cell therapy is the problem due to a lack of expertise amongst 99% of the medical community. But that will soon change. For a stem cell primer article with interesting information, some previously unpublished from stem cell therapy clinics, [CLICK HERE].
U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).
A nonprofit authority that sets standards and certifies supplements that meet certain quality, strength, and purity standards. Many supplements carry the USP symbol on their label.
Water-soluble vitamins like B-6, C, and folic acid are easily absorbed by the body. Your body uses the vitamins it needs, then excretes excess water-soluble vitamins in urine. Because these vitamins are not stored in the body, there is less risk of toxicity than with fat-soluble vitamins, but a greater risk of deficiency.
See “Conditions” for combinations of nutrients used for natural remedy formulations.