Tag Archives: Supplement

L-Carnitine

Posted on 11. May, 2015 by .

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MP$$$$639PWhat is L carnitine

Carnitine, derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all cells of the body.Made from lysine and methionine. There are a couple of different forms of carnitine, such as acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine tartrate, and we’ll look at which forms you should be taking and when. In this article, unless otherwise stated, “carnitine” will be used to refer to L-carnitine tartrate.

Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation. Given these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel.The body makes sufficient carnitine to meet the needs of most people. For genetic or medical reasons, some individuals (such as preterm infants), cannot make enough, so for them carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient.

How does it work?

L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and many other body processes.Take Carnitine to Burn Fat: Carnitine is a potent fat burner because it is responsible for the transport of fats into the cells to be used for energy in the body. By raising the level of muscle carnitine, you support the fat burning process, and because your body becomes more efficient at processing fuel, it will increase your energy levels.

Elevating carnitine will also improve physical performance by burning more fat, sparing glycogen, clearing muscle lactate, and optimizing hormone levels.

Carnitine Fights Visceral Belly Fat

Visceral belly fat is one of the toughest fats to lose once you’ve got it, and it causes numerous health problems. Once you begin to gain visceral fat around the belly, it will lead to fat gain within the organs such as the liver, the heart, or even in muscle.

Fat gain in the liver leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, while epicardial fat is a type of visceral fat that is deposited around the heart and is considered a metabolically active organ, altering heart function.

Raising your carnitine levels will fight this visceral fat gain because it increases fat burning, which has the effect of taking triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins out of the system so that they don’t build up causing high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. A new research study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology illustrates this.

Researchers gave a carnitine supplement to mice who were fed a high-fat diet in order to make them gain weight. In comparison to a group of mice fed a placebo, the carnitine group gained substantially less visceral and subcutaneous fat (fat that is right below the surface of the skin that you can pinch with your fingers). The placebo group exhibited the beginning stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis, neither of which were evident in the carnitine group.

Serious kidney disease. Most research suggests that taking L-carnitine by mouth or intravenously (by IV) can improve red blood cell counts during hemodialysis. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved L-carnitine for the treatment and prevention of L-carnitine deficiency in people with serious kidney disease who are undergoing hemodialysis.

L-carnitine deficiency. The FDA has approved L-carnitine for treating L-carnitine deficiency caused by certain genetic diseases.

Chest pain (angina). Taking L-carnitine by mouth seems to improve exercise tolerance in people with chest pain. Taking L-carnitine along with standard treatment also seems to reduce chest pain and improve exercise ability in people who have chest pain but not blocked arteries.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Impairment

The evidence is mixed as to whether carnitine is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Several early studies showed that acetyl-L-carnitine, might help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, relieve depression related to senility and other forms of dementia, and improve memory in the elderly. People should take carnitine for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia only under the supervision of their health care provider.

High thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroidism). Taking L-carnitine seems to improve symptoms such as rapid or pounding heartbeat, nervousness, and weakness in people with high thyroid hormone levels.

Male infertility. Most research shows that taking L-carnitine, alone or in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine, increases sperm count and sperm movement in men with fertility problems.

Preventing side effects caused by valproic acid (Depacon, Depakene, Depakote, VPA), a seizure medication. Using L-carnitine intravenously (by IV) can prevent the side effects of valproic acid.

Heart failure. Taking L-carnitine by mouth seems to improve symptoms and increase exercise ability in people with heart failure. Taking a specific product containing L-carnitine and coenzyme Q-10 (Carni Q-Gel) also appears to improve symptoms of heart failure.

Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis). Taking L-carnitine by mouth seems to reduce the risk of death from myocarditis.

Use Carnitine for Better Skin
A topical carnitine cream can improve the health of your skin by decreasing the amount of oil released by the pores. A new study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that a carnitine cream increased the amount of fat that entered the cell, which decreased the oil secreted by the skin.

This led to less oily skin and a smoother overall appearance. It also indicates the value of using carnitine to improve the transport of carnitine across the cellular wall to be burned for fat because Beta fat oxidation, or burning, was enhanced.

L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth and when used as an injection, with the approval of a healthcare provider. It can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, and seizures. It can also cause the urine, breath, and sweat to have a “fishy” odor.

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carnitine and L – carnitine

Posted on 23. Dec, 2011 by .

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L-Carnitine, a sub-type of Carnitine
Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid which plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat. It functions as a transporter of fatty acids into the mitochondria, the metabolic furnace of the cell.Carnitine is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. Your body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm
Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation. Given these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues like skeletal and cardiac muscle that utilize fatty acids as a dietary fuel
Usually, your body can make all the carnitine it needs. Some people, however, may not have enough carnitine because their bodies cannot make enough or can’ t transport it into tissues so it can be used. Some other conditions, such as angina or intermittent claudication, can also cause low levels of carnitine in the body, as can some medications.For genetic or medical reasons, some individuals (such as preterm infants), cannot make enough, so for them carnitine is a conditionally essential nutrient
Carnitine has been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cells and tamper with DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Some of the conditions carnitine may help treat are serious. Serious diseases and conditions require conventional medical treatment, and you should talk to your health care provider before taking carnitine. For other conditions, such as fatigue or improving athletic performance, carnitine seems safe but may not help much.

L-carnitine was discovered in Russia, and one year later in Germany. The proper name, Carnitine, refers to the Latin origin, (carno, caris). Its structural formula was decoded in 1927, and its physiological significance was understood by the 1960’s. (http://www.hlthmall.com/l-carnitine.html) L-carnitine is synthesized in the liver and kidneys, from two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. This synthesis requires the presence of vitamins niacin, B6, and iron. Most (98%) of the carnitine supply resides in the body’s muscle tissue. Approximately 80% of the amino acids our bodies need is endogenously synthesized, the remaining 20% are referred to as the essential amino acids. The supply of such aminos, like l-carnitine, must be supplemented exogenously. L-carnitine is available in the following food sources: red meat, diary products, avocado, and tempeh. Although a well balanced diet can provide approximately 75% of what the body is lacking, often conditions arise that make it difficult to obtain all the carnitine one needs.
It has been established that an adequate supply of l-carnitine is necessary for the maintenance of good health. L-carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be metabolized. L-carnitine aids in the release of stored body fat, tryglycerides, into the bloodstream for energy. Tryglycerides are the major source for the production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles. Access to l-carnitine is believed to increase energy levels for long-term aerobic activity. L-carnitine is also responsible for muscle contraction, regulation of protein balance and maintenance of a healthy heart. Research also suggests that an adequate supply of l-carnitine could be instrumental in the treatment of diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney and liver disease.Since its involvement in the process of burning fats is of most importance to those interested in endurance and body fitness, it is this topic that will be focused upon.

THE ROLE OF L-CARNITINE: HOW DOES IT WORK?

Carnitine boosts energy by stimulating the body’s burning of tryglycerides as fuel, and sparing the supply of glycogen stored in the liver for heavier exertion. During exercise, the body will burn fat at a rate of 75-80% of maximum exertion, thus less glycogen from carbohydrates is burned. L-carnitine allows the body to burn more fat, save more glycogen, and ultimately boost stamina and endurance. By providing more fat to the muscles, carnitine makes accessible an otherwise unavailable energy source

FAT + OXYGEN + L-CARNITINE = ENERGY

Is this the recipe for success? According to proponents of L-Carnitine, it is the essential amino acid in the optimum fat burning process. They believe that carnitine is to the human body, what a turbo mechanism is to a car: both provide optimal fuel and performance. Minus L-carnitine, fatty acids would have a difficult time permeating the walls of the mitochondria. Energy, stored in carbohydrates and fats, is required to work the muscle. Carbohydrates are converted from glucose to glycogen, to be stored in liver and muscle cells. Eventually, the body turns to fat storage for energy, and possibly, with more ease in the presence of L-carnitine. This is where L-carnitine as a supplement enters. During high energy output, the supply of L-carnitine becomes exhausted. Is it possible to compensate for this decrease solely through metabolic processes and diet? Or is an additional carnitine supplement needed for the extra boost? Judging from the variety of carnitine products now on the market, apparently many believe an additional outside source proves beneficial.

L-carnitine supplements are used to increase L-carnitine levels in people whose natural level of L-carnitine is too low because they have a genetic disorder, are taking certain drugs (valproic acid for seizures), or because they are undergoing a medical procedure (hemodialysis for kidney disease) that uses up the body’s L-carnitine. It is also used as a replacement supplement in strict vegetarians, dieters, and low-weight or premature infants.

L-carnitine is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including heart-related chest pain, congestive heart failure (CHF), heart complications of a disease called diphtheria, heart attack, leg pain caused by circulation problems (intermittent claudication), and high cholesterol.

Some people use L-carnitine for muscle disorders associated with certain AIDS medications, difficulty fathering a child (male infertility), a brain development disorder called Rett syndrome, anorexia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, overactive thyroid, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leg ulcers, Lyme disease, and to improve athletic performance and endurance.

The body can convert L-carnitine to other amino acids called acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine. But, no one knows whether the benefits of carnitines are interchangeable. Until more is known, don’t substitute one form of carnitine for another.

When can a carnitine deficiency occur?

Two types of carnitine deficiency states exist. Primary carnitine deficiency is a genetic disorder of the cellular carnitine-transporter system that usually manifests itself by five years of age with symptoms of cardiomyopathy, skeletal-muscle weakness, and hypoglycemia. Secondary carnitine deficiencies may occur due to certain disorders (such as chronic renal failure) or under particular conditions (e.g., use of certain antibiotics) that reduce carnitine absorption or increase its excretion . There is scientific agreement on carnitine’s value as a prescription product for treating such deficiencies .

What are some current issues and controversies about carnitine?

Carnitine has been studied extensively because it is important to energy production and is a well-tolerated and generally safe therapeutic agent . Researchers prefer to use acetyl-L-carnitine in research studies because it is better absorbed from the small intestine than L-carnitine and more efficiently crosses the blood-brain barrier (i.e., gets into brain tissue) .

Athletic performance

Some athletes take carnitine to improve performance. However, twenty years of research finds no consistent evidence that carnitine supplements can improve exercise or physical performance in healthy subjects—at doses ranging from 2-6 grams/day administered for 1 to 28 days. (The total body content of carnitine is about 20 grams in a man weighing 155 pounds, almost all of it in the skeletal muscle .) For example, carnitine supplements do not appear to increase the body’s use of oxygen or improve metabolic status when exercising, nor do they necessarily increase the amount of carnitine in muscle.

Aging

A decline in mitochondrial function is thought to contribute to the aging process. Carnitine may be involved because its concentration in tissues declines with age and thereby reduces the integrity of the mitochondrial membrane
. Research in aged rats found supplementation with high doses of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid (an antioxidant) to reduce mitochondrial decay
. The animals also moved about more and improved their performance on memory-requiring tasks. At present there are no equivalent studies of this kind in humans. However, a meta-analysis of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies suggests that supplements of acetyl-L-carnitine may improve mental function and reduce deterioration in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
. In these studies, subjects took 1.5-3.0 grams/day of acetyl-L-carnitine for 3-12 months.

Cardiovascular and peripheral-arterial disease
Several studies have examined supplemental carnitine in the management of cardiac ischemia (restriction of blood flow to the heart) and peripheral arterial disease (of which the most important symptom is poor circulation in the legs, known as intermittent claudication)
. Because levels of carnitine are low in the failing heart muscle, supplemental amounts might be beneficial to the organ by counteracting the toxic effects of free fatty acids and improving carbohydrate metabolism
. In short-term studies, carnitine has demonstrated anti-ischemic properties when given orally and by injection. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial in Italy with patients who had suffered a first heart attack found that supplemental carnitine (given intravenously for five days, then 6 grams/day orally for one year) reduced heart failure and overall mortality
. The results were not conclusive but promising enough to justify a larger study whose results have not yet been reported

Claudication results from an inadequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to the legs and leads to an accumulation of acetylcarnitine in muscle due to its incomplete utilization. Patients with peripheral arterial disease who develop claudication have significant impairments in exercise performance and find it difficult to walk even short distances at a slow speed
. Two published randomized, controlled trials raise the possibility that carnitine may improve the performance of skeletal muscles in the leg. In one European multicenter clinical trial, subjects with moderate to severe claudication who were supplemented with L-carnitine (in the form of propionyl-L-carnitine at 2 grams/day for 12 months) significantly improved their maximal walking distance and perceived quality of life as compared to subjects receiving the placebo [21]red for 6 months in patients with disabling claudication to significantly improve walking distance and speed, reduce bodily pain, enhance physical function, and improve perceived health state as compared to controls.

Cancer

Fatigue resulting from chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and poor nutritional status is common in cancer patients
. They may also be deficient in carnitine
. In one study, treatment with carnitine supplements (4 grams/day for one week) ameliorated fatigue in most chemotherapy-treated subjects and restored normal blood levels of carnitine
. In another trial, terminal cancer patients supplemented with carnitine (doses ranged from 250 milligrams to 3 grams/day) experienced less fatigue and improved mood and quality of sleep
. In both studies, most subjects were carnitine deficient before taking the supplements.

Type 2 diabetes

Insulin resistance, which plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, may be associated with a defect in fatty-acid oxidation in muscle. This raises the question as to whether mitochondrial dysfunction might be a factor in the development of the disease. Increased storage of fat in lean tissues has become a marker for insulin resistance . Early research suggests that supplementation with L-carnitine intravenously may improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics by decreasing fat levels in muscle and may lower glucose levels in the blood by more promptly increasing its oxidation in cells. A recent analysis of two multicenter clinical trials of subjects with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes found that treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine (3 grams/day orally) for one year provided significant relief of nerve pain and improved vibration perception in those with diabetic neuropathy. The treatment was most effective in subjects with type 2 diabetes of short duration.

HIV and AIDS

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes a decline in the number of lymphocytes (one type of white blood cell), resulting in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV-infected individuals often accumulate fat in some areas of the body and lose fat in others and develop high levels of blood fats (hyperlipidemia) and insulin resistance, which together constitute the lipodystrophy syndrome. This syndrome may represent mitochondrial toxicity brought about by the HIV infection and the antiretroviral drugs used to treat it, and can induce a carnitine deficiency that limits mitochondrial fat metabolism . The molecular mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly understood. Preliminary research provides conflicting findings but suggests that supplementation with carnitine both intravenously and orally (at doses of 2-6 grams/day for weeks or months) in HIV-infected individuals may slow the death of lymphocytes (which in turn may slow HIV progression), reduce neuropathy , and favorably affect blood lipid levels .

End-stage renal disease and hemodialysis

Carnitine homeostasis (balance within the body) among individuals with renal diseases can be substantially impaired by several factors, particularly reduced synthesis and increased elimination of the compound by the kidneys as well as reduced intake from food due to poor appetite and consumption of fewer animal products . Many patients with end-stage renal disease, particularly those on hemodialysis, become carnitine insufficient. Carnitine blood levels and muscle stores are low, which may contribute to anemia, muscle weakness, fatigue, altered levels of blood fats, and heart disorders. Numerous studies suggest that high doses of supplemental carnitine (often injected) in patients on maintenance hemodialysis can correct some or all of these symptoms, though most involve small numbers of patients and are not double-blinded trials. A recent meta-analysis of these studies concludes that carnitine supplements may aid anemia management but not blood-lipid profiles, and that their effects on exercise capacity or heart stability are inconclusive .

Male infertility

Low sperm counts have been linked to low carnitine levels in men. Several studies suggest that L-carnitine supplements may increase sperm count and mobility.

Erectile Dysfunction

Preliminary studies suggest propionyl-L-carnitine may help improve male sexual function. One study found that carnitine improved the effectiveness of sidenafil (Viagra) in men with diabetes who had not previously responded to Viagra. In another study, a combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine improved the effectiveness of Viagra in men who had erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. More studies are needed.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease is characterized by a curvature of the penis that leads to pain during an erection. One promising study compared acetyl-L-carnitine to the medication tamoxifen in 48 men with this condition. Acetyl-L-carnitine worked better than tamoxifen at reducing pain during sex and reducing the curve of the penis. Acetyl-L-carnitine also had fewer side effects than tamoxifen. More research is needed.

The carnitine content of seminal fluid is directly related to sperm count and motility , suggesting that the compound might be of value in treating male infertility. Several studies indicate that carnitine supplementation (2-3 grams/day for 3-4 months) may improve sperm quality, and one randomized, double-blind crossover trial found that 2 grams/day of carnitine taken for 2 months by 100 infertile men increased the concentration and both total and forward motility of their sperm . The reported benefits may relate to increased mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation (providing more energy for sperm) and reduced cell death in the testes . However, a recent randomized controlled trial with 21 infertile men found that 3 grams/day of carnitine taken for 24 weeks produced no significant increases in sperm motility or total motile sperm counts as compared to placebo . Larger and more carefully designed studies are needed to evaluate carnitine’s potential value as an infertility therapy.

Are there health risks from too much carnitine?

At doses of approximately 3 grams/day, carnitine supplements may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and a “fishy” body odor . More rare side effects include muscle weakness in uremic patients and seizures in those with seizure disorders.

Carnitine and medication interaction

Carnitine interacts with pivalate-conjugated antibiotics such as pivampicillin that are used in the long-term prevention of urinary-tract infections . Chronic administration of these antibiotics increases the excretion of pivaloyl-carnitine, which can lead to carnitine depletion. However, while tissue carnitine levels may become low enough to limit fatty acid oxidation, no cases of illness due to deficiency have been described . Blood concentrations of carnitine may be reduced in children treated for convulsions with phenobarbital, valproic acid, phenytoin, or carbamazepine, but no clinical consequences have been shown .

Supplemental sources of carnitine

L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine are available over-the-counter as dietary supplements. Carnitine is often promoted as an aid for weight loss, to improve exercise performance, and to enhance a sense of well-being . It is also a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat primary and certain secondary carnitine-deficiency syndromes.

Carnitine intakes and healthful diets

Most people obtain sufficient carnitine because of the body’s natural production of the substance as well as from their diets. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that:

* emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
* includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts;
* is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars; and
* stays within your daily calorie needs.

Heart Conditions

* Angina — Some good evidence shows that carnitine can be used along with conventional treatment for stable angina. Several clinical trials show that L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine can help reduce symptoms of angina and improve the ability of people with angina to exercise without chest pain. Do not self-treat chest pain with carnitine, however. See your health care provider for diagnosis and conventional treatment, and take carnitine only under your health care provider’s supervision.
* Heart attack — A few studies have found that carnitine may help when used with conventional medicines after a heart attack, but not all studies agree. Some small studies suggest that people who take L-carnitine supplements soon after a heart attack may be less likely to have another heart attack, die of heart disease, have chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms, or develop heart failure. However, other studies have shown no benefit. Treatment with oral carnitine may also improve muscle weakness. Carnitine should be used along with conventional medication under your health care provider supervision.
* Heart failure — A few small studies have suggested that carnitine (usually propionyl-L-carnitine) can help reduce symptoms of heart failure and improve exercise capacity in people with heart failure. However, more and larger studies are needed to know for sure.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Decreased blood flow to the legs from atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries — where plaque builds up in the arteries — often causes an aching or cramping pain in the legs while walking or exercising. This pain is called intermittent claudication, and the reduced blood flow to the legs is called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Several studies show that carnitine can help reduce symptoms and increase the distance that people with intermittent claudication can walk. Most studies have used propionyl-L-carnitine. Scientists don’t know whether L-carnitine would work the same.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy happens when high blood sugar levels damage nerves in the body, especially the arms, legs, and feet, causing pain and numbness. Some small preliminary studies suggest acetyl-L-carnitine may help reduce pain and increase feeling in affected nerves. It is also possible that carnitine can help nerves regenerate. More research is needed.

Exercise Performance

Although carnitine is often taken to boost exercise performance, there is no evidence it works.

Weight Loss

Although L-carnitine has been marketed as a weight loss supplement, there is no scientific evidence to show that it works. Some studies do show that oral carnitine reduces fat mass, increases muscle mass, and reduces fatigue, which may contribute to weight loss in some people.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Impairment

The evidence is mixed as to whether carnitine is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Several early studies showed that acetyl-L-carnitine, might help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, relieve depression related to senility and other forms of dementia, and improve memory in the elderly. But larger and better-designed studies found it didn’ t help at all. People should take carnitine for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia only under the supervision of their health care provider.

Kidney Disease and Dialysis

Because the kidneys make carnitine, kidney disease could lead to low levels of carnitine in the body. If you have kidney disease, your health care provider may prescribe carnitine — but you shouldn’ t take it without medical supervision.

Hyperthyroidism

Some research suggests that L-carnitine may help prevent or reduce symptoms of an overactive thyroid, such as insomnia, nervousness, heart palpitations, and tremors. In fact, in one study, a small group of people with hyperthyroidism saw these symptoms improve, and their body temperature become normal, when taking carnitine. But a larger, better-designed clinical trial is needed to see if carnitine really works. In addition, researchers think carnitine may work by blocking the action of thyroid hormone, which could be dangerous for people with low thyroid levels. Don’ t take carnitine for hyperthyroidism without your doctor’ s supervision.

Dietary Sources:

Red meat (particularly lamb) and dairy products are the main food sources of carnitine. It can also be found in fish, poultry, tempeh, wheat, asparagus, avocados, and peanut butter.
Available Forms:

Carnitine is available as a supplement in a variety of forms.

* L-carnitine: the most widely available and least expensive
* Acetyl-L-carnitine: Often used in studies for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders
* Propionyl-L-carnitine: Often used in studies for heart disease and peripheral vascular disease

Avoid D-carnitine supplements. They interfere with the natural form of L-carnitine and may produce unwanted side effects.

In some cases, L-carnitine may be taken by prescription or given intravenously by a health care provider.
How to Take It:

Pediatric

Don’ t give carnitine supplements to a child without your child’s health care provider’s supervision. Your child’s health care provider should first make sure that the child has a carnitine deficiency.

Adult

Recommended doses of L-carnitine vary depending on the health condition being treated. The usual dose is between 1 – 3 g per day.
Precautions:

Because supplements may have side effects or interact with medications, you should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Side effects are generally mild. High doses (5 or more grams per day) may cause diarrhea. Other rare side effects include increased appetite, body odor, and rash.

People with the following conditions should talk to their health care provider before taking carnitine:

* Peripheral vascular disease
* High blood pressure
* Liver disease from alcoholism (cirrhosis)
* Diabetes
* Kidney disease
* History of seizures

Possible Interactions:

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use carnitine without first talking to your health care provider.

AZT — In a laboratory study, L-carnitine supplements protected muscle tissue against toxic side effects from AZT, a medication used to treat HIV and AIDS. More studies are needed to know whether L-carnitine would have the same effect in people.

Doxorubicin — Treatment with L-carnitine may protect heart cells against the toxic side effects of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy medication used to treat cancer, without making the medication any less effective. Always talk to your oncologist before using any complementary or alternative therapy with chemotherapy.

Isotretinoin (Accutane) — Accutane, a strong medication used for severe acne, can cause liver problems, as measured by a blood test, as well as high cholesterol and muscle pain and weakness. These symptoms are like those seen with carnitine deficiency. Researchers in Greece showed that a large group of people who had side effects from Accutane got better when taking L-carnitine compared to those who took a placebo.

Thyroid hormone — Carnitine may stop thyroid hormone from getting into cells, and theoretically may make thyroid hormone replacement less effective. If you take thyroid replacement hormone, talk to your health care provider before taking carnitine.

Valproic acid (Depakote) — The anti-seizure medication valproic acid may lower blood levels of carnitine. Taking L-carnitine supplements may prevent any deficiency and may also reduce the side effects of valproic acid. However, taking carnitine may increase the risk of seizures in people with a history of seizures.
Alternative Names:

Acetyl-l-carnitine; L-carnitine

thank you and reference
http://www.webmd.com
http://www.vanderbilt.edu
http://www.carnitine.com
http://ods.od.nih.gov
http://www.umm.edu
http://www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com
http://www.drweil.com
http://www.naturalremedies.org/l-carnitine

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Herbal Supplement

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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There are many medicinal herbs and herbal supplements that have a strong reputation for alleviate symptoms of illnesses. Traditional medicinal herbs are used more often to treat the whole person rather than individual symptoms and are formulated to stimulate the body’s natural healing powers. Medicinal herbs can be taken as tinctures,capsules and pills or you can simply pick them yourself! They can be used in teas, cooked with your food, and used as topical creams or pastes.

From a “scientific” perspective, many herbal supplements are considered experimental, but the reality is, however, that herbal medicine has a long and respected history and numerous studies that have been done in this field lead us to the fact that the therapeutic benefits and the healing ability of various medicinal herbs and herbal supplements can be very significant if they are used wisely and with caution along with a healthy lifestyle.

The downside to this growing use of herbal supplements and other health-related products, especially those you can buy online, is that they do not contain the medicinal herbs or the ingredients the manufacturer says they contain. In many countries, natural and herbal supplements are not subject to strict regulation. Therefore, there is no obligation to the safety or effectiveness of the products.

To find out more about herbal supplement product, check out the link below :

Get Suggestions from the Supplement Advisor!

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Vitamin K

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is stored in the body’s fat tissue and liver. It is best known for its role in helping blood clot (coagulate) properly (the “K” comes from its German name, Koagulationsvitamin). Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot.Vitamin K also plays an important role in bone health.

It is rare to have a vitamin K deficiency, because in addition to being found in leafy green foods, the bacteria that are found in the intestines can make vitamin K. Sometimes taking antibiotics can kill the bacteria and lead to a mild deficiency. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to excessive bleeding (hemorrhage), which may begin as oozing from the gums or nose. Other circumstances that may lead to vitamin K deficiency include:

* Health problems that can prevent the absorption of vitamin K (such as gallbladder or biliary disease, which may alter the absorption of fat), cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease
* Liver disease
* Use of blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin)
* Continuing hemodialysis
* Serious burns

Other conditions that benefit from vitamin K include:

Excessive Bleeding

Vitamin K is used to reduce the risk of bleeding in liver disease, malabsorption syndromes, or in association with long-term use of antibiotics.

In the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and many other countries, all newborns receive vitamin K injections to prevent the possibility of hemorrhage (particularly in the brain) just after delivery. Babies are born without any bacteria in their intestines and do not get enough vitamin K from breast milk to tide them over until their bodies are able to make it. (However, if a mother eats lots of green vegetables on a daily basis, she can improve the amount of vitamin K in breast milk.) Even though vitamin K deficiency in newborns is very rare, it is dangerous enough to warrant these measures. Newborns at greatest risk for vitamin K deficiency are those who are born prematurely or whose mother had to take seizure medications during pregnancy. Mothers on seizure medications are often given oral vitamin K for 2 weeks prior to delivery.

Osteoporosis

Vitamin K is needed for proper use of calcium in bones. Higher vitamin K levels correspond to greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K have been found in those with osteoporosis. There is increasing evidence that vitamin K improves bone health and reduces risk of bone fractures, particularly in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis. In addition, studies of other groups (such as male and female athletes) have also shown bone enhancing benefits from vitamin K supplements.

Dietary Sources:

Foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin K include beef liver, green tea,soybeans, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower,cabbage, asparagus, and dark green lettuce. Chlorophyll is the substance in plants that gives them their green color and provides vitamin K.Vitamin K is also made by the bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract

Freezing foods may destroy vitamin K, but heating does not affect it.
Available Forms:

There are 3 forms of vitamin K:

* Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone, the natural version of K1 and phytonadione, the synthetic type of K1)
* Vitamin K2 (menaquinone)
* Vitamin K3 (menaphthone or menadione)

K1 and K3 are both available as part of multivitamin complexes or alone, in 5 mg tablets. These fat-soluble forms are an excellent source of vitamin K.

Water-soluble chlorophyll is the most common form of vitamin K found over the counter. It is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
How to Take It:

As with all supplements, check with a health care provider before taking vitamin K or giving it to a child.

People with vitamin K deficiencies related to malabsorption (such as gallbladder or biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease) will benefit most from a multivitamin containing vitamin K, rather than an individual vitamin K supplement. In certain circumstances, your doctor may administer vitamin K by injection.

Daily intake for dietary vitamin K (according to the U.S. RDA) are listed below:

Pediatric

* Infants birth – 6 months: 2 mcg
* Infants 7 – 12 months: 2.5 mcg
* Children 1 – 3 years: 30 mcg
* Children 4 – 8 years: 55 mcg
* Children 9 – 13 years: 60 mcg
* Adolescents 14 – 18 years: 75 mcg

A single injection of vitamin K is also given at birth.

Adult

* Males 19 years and older: 120 mcg
* Females 19 years and older: 90 mcg
* Pregnant and breastfeeding females 14 – 18 years: 75 mcg
* Pregnant and breastfeeding females 19 years and older: 90 mcg

Precautions:

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

At recommended doses, vitamin K has few side effects.

Vitamin K crosses the placenta and is also excreted in breast milk. Therefore, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin K supplements.

People with an rare metabolic condition called Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency should avoid vitamin K.
Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not take vitamin K without first talking to your health care provider.

Antibiotics — Antibiotics, particularly a class known as cephalosporins, reduce the absorption of vitamin K in the body. Long-term use (more than 10 days) of antibiotics may result in vitamin K deficiency because these drugs kill not only harmful bacteria but also beneficial, vitamin K-activating bacteria. This is not likely to occur in people who already have low levels of vitamin K or are at risk for deficiency (such as those who are malnourished, elderly, or taking warfarin). Cephalosporins include:

* Cefamandole (Mandol)
* Cefoperazone (Cefobid)
* Cefmetazole (Zefazone)
* Cefotetan (Cefotan)

Phenytoin (Dilantin) — Phenytoin interferes with the body’s ability to use vitamin K. Taking anticonvulsants (such as phenytoin) during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may deplete vitamin K in newborns.

Warfarin (Coumadin) — Vitamin K reduces the effects of the blood thinning medication warfarin, rendering the medication ineffective. You should not take vitamin K, or eat foods containing high amounts of vitamin K, while you are taking warfarin.

Orlistat (Xenical, Alli) and Olestra — Orlistat, a medication used for weight loss, and olestra, a substance added to certain food products, prevent the absorption of fat and can reduce the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The Food and Drug Administration now requires that vitamin K and other fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) be added to food products containing olestra. In addition, physicians who prescribe orlistat add a multivitamin with fat soluble vitamins to the regimen.

The fact that vitamin K is now added to olestra-containing foods is important to know if you should not be taking vitamin K (if you are on the blood thinner warfarin, for example).

Bile acid sequestrants — These medications, used to reduce cholesterol, reduce the overall absorption of dietary fats and may also reduce absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. If you take one of these drugs, your doctor may recommend a vitamin K supplement:

* Cholestyramine (Questran)
* Colestipol (Colestid)
* Colsevelam (Welchol)

How Vitamin K Deficiencies Occur

Human intake of vitamin K comes from two main sources – our diets and synthesis from intestinal bacteria. Vitamin K deficiencies can be caused by a variety of factors. These include:

* Not consuming enough vitamin K from one’s diet can contribute to a deficiency. Dietary vitamin K is highest in leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, kale, broccoli and collard greens. These are foods that many people don’t eat frequently.

* A diet with high intakes of salicylates can block vitamin K. Salicylates are found in foods such as nuts, fruits, spices and mints. Aspirin is a salicylate. Blocking vitamin K is why aspirin can “thin” the blood – it basically keeps blood from coagulating. This is why too much aspirin may be a factor in bleding related health issues such as epistaxis (nose bleeds), as well as brain and intestinal bleeding.
* Antibiotics can cause bleeding problems from vitamin K deficiencies. Antibiotics destroy not only harmful digestive tract bacteria, but also the beneficial intestinal bacteria that is needed to create vitamin K. In order to replace the beneficial intestinal bacteria after a course of antibiotics it is often recommended to eat yogurt with active cultures or have to take probiotic supplements containing acidophilus. In the U.S. You can usually get the supplements at most drug stores or health food stores. The refrigerated kind is often best because the cultures last the longest when they have been kept cold.

Replacing beneficial bacteria after antibiotics is standard conventional medical advice in many European countries, but does not seem to be common medical advice in the United States.

*Candida (systemic yeast) infections have been linked to vitamin K deficiencies. An overgrowth of candida albicans or other kinds of yeast can crowd out the helpful bacteria in the digestive tract that make vitamin K. People who eat a lot of sugary foods, an unusually high proportion of alkaline foods and/or take antibiotics tend to be at high risk for Candida infections.

*Malabsorption syndromes that prevent the proper absorption of nutrients can cause vitamin K deficiencies. Celiac disease, an intolerance to gluten, can cause deficiencies of a wide variety of nutrients, especially vitamin K. Crohn’s disease can also cause vitamin K and other deficiencies.

*Anticoagulants like Warfarin block the action of vitamin K. In turn, vitamin K blocks the action of anticoagulants. This is why people taking these types of medications have to limit how much vitamin K they get in their diet.

*High amounts of vitamin A and/or vitamin E can also block vitamin K. I get nosebleeds whenever I take a multivitamin or eat one of the popular nutrition bars, even if I choose one with vitamin K. I think it may be at least in part because the multivitamins and nutrition bars always contain high amounts of vitamin A and E–probably too much for someone like me who bleeds easily.

*The bacteria that synthesize vitamin K thrive in an acidic digestive environment. Antacids, if taken in sufficient quantity, may cause a vitamin K deficiency, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and various nutritional deficiencies, because they neutralize the hydrochloric acid in a person’s stomach. Hydrochloric acid is needed to digest food and create the acidic environment in which the beneficial bacteria thrive.

(For more information on this topic, see my section on Acidic Foods – Alkaline Foods.

*One study found vitamin K deficiencies to be common in male alcoholics. (Perhaps not coincidentally, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome share many overlapping borth defects linked to vitamin K deficiencies.)

*In rats, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a food preservative, was shown in tests to induce vitamin K deficiencies. BHT is a common preservative. Many commercial cereal boxes are sprayed with BHT to extend the shelf life of the product.

Regular aspirin use may raise the risk of bleeding strokes in healthy people. A study from Oxford University found that large numbers of older people suffered from bleeding in the brain when they took aspirin or other antithrombotic drugs. Another study from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London found that aspirin use caused a risk of serious bleeding in men with high blood pressure.

Alternative Names:

Menadione; Menaphthone; Menaquinone; Phylloquinone

thank you and references

http://www.umm.edu
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm
http://www.ctds.info/vitamink.html

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collagen hydrolysate supplement

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Why take a collagen hydrolysate supplement?
The stress placed on our joints means that they are prone to damage in the longer term. Cartilage is worn out and sometimes even lost. Unfortunately the body is sometimes unable to product sufficient new cartilage to counteract this loss. By taking a collagen hydrolysate supplement we can provide our body with the essential building blocks needed for the formation of joint cartilage.
Collagen hydrolysate is used as a nutritional supplement for the prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis.
How quickly will I notice a difference?
Acute pain, morning stiffness and restriction of articular function are symptoms of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. Patients taking 10grams of collagen hydrolysate per day see significant improvements after 6 to 12 weeks.
If taken preventatively, 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate per day will reduce the risk of degenerative disorders.
Why is collagen hydrolysate specifically important for cartilage in comparison to other proteins?
The amino acid composition of collagen hydrolysate corresponds exactly to that of collagen – the predominant protein in cartilage.
Does collagen hydrolysate have any other benefits?
As well as improving joint mobility people have reported a gain in hair thickness and quality of skin and nails.
Which persons can benefit from collagen hydrolysate?
Collagen hydrolysate is an ideal nutritional supplement for anyone wanting to stay fit and well or who want to reduce risks of degenerative joint disease by constitutional nutrition. Collagen hydrolysate administration has an important role for use in individuals at risk from the development of joint degeneration. Such at-risk populations include older individuals, particularly those individuals aged 50 years and older; individuals who are overweight; individuals whose occupational activities predispose to osteoarthritis, including jobs involving repeated knee-bending (e.g. carpenters, floor layers, and painters), textile workers, miners and dock workers; individuals participating in extensive non-occupational physical activities including recreational runners/walkers, cyclists, gardeners, soccer/football players; individuals with a past history of significant joint injury such as fracture or ligamentous injury; and individuals with a family history suggesting a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis.

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Natural Joint Dietary Supplement To Increase Joint Flexibility

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Joint dietary supplement – Glucosamine is a natural Joint dietary supplement joint which has been effective at easing joint discomfort as well as in increasing flexibility since the past two decades. Typically, glucosamine is taken in combination with chondroitin. Making use of such complementary therapies such as glucosamine in patients with joint arthritis allows reducing the dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

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What is collagen dietary supplement?

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Dietary supplements containing collagen hydrolysate have been found to stimulate collagen synthesis in joint cartilage. Clinical studies with patients suffering from osteoarthritis have shown positive effects of collagen hydrolysate or joint health, such as, pain reduction, reduced medication, improved physical function.

Collagen is the primary structural protein found in the connective tissues in the body. It is fibrous in nature, and its job is to provide connective tissues for joints, tendons, muscles, skin and bones. Are they safe for everyone?

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What is Resveratrol?

Posted on 01. Dec, 2010 by .

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Resveratrol (trans-Resveratrol) is a phytoalexin  (an antibiotic enzyme) produced by plants under stress as when attacked by fungi, disease-causing pathogens, adverse weather, insects or animals. It is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties as well; and thus protects the plants from UV radiation and other free radical damage.

resveratrolselect

Resveratrol can also be chemically synthesized.

Seventy-two plant species are known to produce Resveratrol.

Some examples of plants or plant-based products and their Resveratrol average production capacity are:

  • Red wine – about 160 micrograms per ounce;
  • Boiled peanuts and red grapes – 75 micrograms per ounce;
  • Blueberries – 8 micrograms per ounce;
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) – 6 micrograms per ounce; and
  • Bilberries – 3 micrograms per ounce.

Grapes, the most abundant natural source known, contain Resveratrol primarily in the skins, but also in the roots, seeds and vines depending on the cultivar (cultivated variety).

It is interesting to note that grape juice contains just half the amount of Resveratrol as red wine. Some speculate that the stress of the fermentation process and concurrent injuries to the skin induce increased production of the anti-stress enzyme.

When Resveratrol burst onto the anti-aging scene a few years ago, it was thought to be the key to the French Paradox.

Despite the fact that French men consume wine daily along with their high-fat diet, they have one-third the risk of heart attack of American men. However it is now believed that Resveratrol is only part of the answer.

It should be noted that Resveratrol is also a phytoestrogen (plant estrogen). The estrogenic properties of this chemical may play a role in the beneficial cardiovascular benefits of red wine by increasing blood levels of HDL, the healthy form of cholesterol.

On the other hand, pregnant or nursing women, women on hormone replacement therapy or those who have had estrogen-dependent cancer are advised to ask their health care professional before using resevratrol supplementation.

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Vitamin C and cancer

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamin C and cancer. For cancer resources, information about cancer treatment options and cancer patient support.. Cancer patients seeking links to cancer resources, information and support will find this site provides a general orientation designed to help you make your own choices and decisions concerning alternative cancer treatments or orthodox cancer treatments.

For decades the `dialogue’ – to use a polite word – between those advocating vitamin supplements and those attacking the taking of supplements seems as if it is finally coming to a conclusion. The pro-supplement side has won – perhaps not yet decisively (on a points count rather than a knockout). The US National Academy of Sciences believes that large sections of the community – especially the elderly – need to increase their B-12 (advice varies from 24-400 micrograms per day). Vitamin D deficiency is also widespread. A supplement of 800 iu of vitamin D has been linked conclusively to fewer fractures and to devreased incidence of breast cancer. Too much sun-avoidance is a bad thing (the body makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight).

The US National Council for Responsible Nutrition has also weighed in with advice to take vitamin E (400-800 iu per day) and vitamin C (they suggest 500 mg per day).

On the vitamin C question, I go along with Linus Pauling and say that 6-18 grams a day is what we should be taking. The argument is simple: almost all mammals produce their own vitamin C. They produce large quantities of it. For example, a 70 kilo goat produces 13 grams a day on a good day. On a bad day when it is severely stressed, it will produce up to 100 grams a day. If other animals need so much, how is it that doctors are insisting we only need 500 mgs. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Vitamin C is important for cancer patients.

The reasons Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling looked at vitamin C as a possible anti-cancer agent were two-fold.

A tumour progresses by invading cells. In order to invade cells it must break through the cell walls. The cell walls are strengthened if the `intercellular cement’ (Pauling’s term) was strengthened. This intercellular cement consists of long molecular chains themselves strengthened by fibrils of collagen. Cancer cells release an enzyme – hyaluronidase – that can break down the long molecular chains and another enzyme – collagenase – that can dissolve the collagen. This makes invasion easy as the cell wall essentially collapses.

It was then discovered that vitamin C helped cells to produce a substance that inhibits hyaluronidase. The more vitamin C in the system the more the inhibitor was released. Also vitamin C is neccessary for collagen production. So, for these two reasons, it was assumed that vitamin C would help protect cells against invading malignancies.

Anyone – not predisposed to rejecting the conclusions – reading the evidence in their book, Cancer & Vitamin C, will surely come away feeling they have proved their case.

In fact further studies suggested that patients did best when they took:

* Vitamin C: 10-25 grams a day
* Vitamin E: 400-1600 iu a day
* Vitamin B: several high dose (ie B-50) pills a day
* Vitamin A: a couple of glasses of fresh carrot juice a day
* Multi-mineral: several high dose pills a day

Pauling & Cameron gave their patients 10 grams a day – though some patients required more. Pauling himself recommends supplementation at 6-18 grams a day. Since vitamin C tends to leach minerals from the system it is important to add a multi-mineral supplement.

In addition, Vitamin C is of value for the following diseases and conditions:

* Asthma and other allergies
* Depression
* Diabetes
* Healing
* Heart Disease
* Strokes
* Thrombosis
* Liver disease
* Viral infections
* Problems of fertility and pregnancy

In fact, vitamin C is used in so many bio-chemical processes in the body that it is probably worth upping your intake no matter what the problem. You can’t overdose on vitamin C and it is not at all toxic.

Vitamin C comes in various forms. Pure ascorbic acid is not recommended, certainly not on an empty stomach – it is acidic! The salts of ascorbic acid are called ascorbates. These will not cause any unpleasantness. The usual mixes are sodium ascorbate (recommended by Linus Pauling and others), calcium ascorbate (which some say is useless for cancer patients – see discussion on calcium in New Facts page) and the combination that I prefer which is a combination of magnesium and potassium ascorbate.

Ascorbate induces autophagy in pancreatic cancer.

Ascorbate (ascorbic acid, vitamin C) is one of the early, unorthodox treatments for cancer. The evidence upon which people base the use of ascorbate in cancer treatment falls into two categories: clinical data on dose concentration relationships, and laboratory data describing potential cell toxicity with high concentrations of ascorbate in vitro. Clinical data show that when ascorbate is given orally, fasting plasma concentrations are tightly controlled by decreased absorption, increased urine excretion, and reduced ascorbate bioavailability. In contrast, when ascorbate is administered intravenously, concentrations in the millimolar level are achieved. Thus, it is clear that intravenous administration of ascorbate can yield very high plasma levels, while oral treatment does not.

references and thank you
http://www.fightingcancer.com/vitaminc.htm
www.vitamincfoundation.org
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20400857

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Vitamin That Your Body Needs

Posted on 02. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamins are organic compounds which are needed in small quantities to sustain life. We get vitamins from food, because the human body either does not produce enough of them, or none at all.

An organic compound contains carbon. When an organism (living thing) cannot produce enough of an organic chemical compound that it needs in tiny amounts, and has to get it from food, it is called a vitamin.

Sometimes the compound is a vitamin for a human but not for some other animals. For example, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin for humans but not for dogs, because dogs can produce (synthesize) enough for their own needs, while humans cannot.

Vitamins are substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. There are 13 vitamins your body needs. They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). You can usually get all your vitamins from the foods you eat. Your body can also make vitamins D and K. People who eat a vegetarian diet may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Each vitamin has specific jobs. If you have low levels of certain vitamins, you may develop a deficiency disease. For example, if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you could develop rickets. Some vitamins may help prevent medical problems. Vitamin A prevents night blindness.
The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods. In some cases, you may need to take a daily multivitamin for optimal health. However, high doses of some vitamins can make you sick.

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