August 21, 2014

Beside cancer, heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease.
I. Causes of Heart Diseases
There are many causes of heart diseases. Most of heart diseases are caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage or anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart can be defined as a risk of heart disease.
II Symptoms of Heart diseases
Here are some early indication of heart disease symptoms:
1. Leg cramps during walking
Leg cramps during exercise might be caused by dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of fluid during exercise. Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contracts. The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints. Leg cramps during walking might be an indication of heart disease caused by arteries in your leg being clogged up by cholesterol in result of not enough oxygen being delivered to the cells in your leg.
2. Chest pain
Chest pain is caused by blood vessels in the heart temporarily being blocked up. It is also caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle or coronary . The persistence of chest pain would be an early indication of heart diseases.
3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the major symptom of the left ventricular insufficiency. People with shortness of breath are four times more likely to die from a heart disease related cause than individuals without any symptoms.
4. Headaches
People see sparkling zigzag lines or loss of vision before a migraine attack may be at particular risk of future cardiovascular problems. Generally headaches do not cause heart diseases but a sudden, explosive onset of great pain might be.
5. Dizziness
Dizziness can have many causes including low blood count, low iron in the blood stream and other blood disorders, dehydration, and viral illnesses. Since there are many different conditions that can produce these symptoms, anybody experiencing episodes of severe headaches or dizziness ought to be checked by your doctor.
6. Palpitations
Palpitations is an extremely common symptom of heart disease. Palpitations are skips in the heart beats and irregular heart beats.
7. Loss of consciousness
It is a common symptom, most people pass out at least once in their lives. However, sometimes loss of consciousness indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition such as heart disease so when loss of consciousness occurs it is important to figure out the cause.
There are many more symptoms such as fatigue, memory defects, and changes in skin tone and temperature.
III. Types of Heart Diseases
The heart is a four chambered, hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs. Heart diseases caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage.
There are some major types of heart diseases:
1. Type of heart disease affecting heart chambers
As we mention in the previous article, the heart is a four chambered hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs. Heart diseases caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage.
In this article, we will discuss heart disease affecting the heart chambers.
Heart failure is caused by the heart not pumping as much blood as it should and so the body does not get as much blood and oxygen that it needs. The malfunctioning of the heart chambers are due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart.
There are 4 heart chambers as follow:
* The right atrium
* The left atrium
* The right ventricle
* The left ventricle.
Heart diseases affect the heart chambers include:
A. Congestive heart failure
Heart failure is caused by the heart not pumping as much blood as it should and so the body does not get as much blood and oxygen that it needs. The malfunctioning of the heart chambers are due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart.
a) Diastolic dysfunction:
The contraction function is normal but there's impaired relaxation of the heart, impairing its ability to fill with blood causing the blood returning to the heart to accumulate in the lungs or veins.
b) Systolic dysfunction:
The relaxing function is normal but there's impaired contraction of the heart causing the heart to not pump out as much blood that is returned to it as it normally does as a result of more blood remaining in the lower chambers of the heart.
B. Pulmonary heart disease
Pulmonary heart disease is caused by an enlarged right ventricle. It is known as heart disease resulting from a lung disorder where the blood flowing into the lungs is slowed or blocked causing increased lung pressure. The right side of the heart has to pump harder to push against the increased pressure and this can lead to enlargement of the right ventricle.
2. Heart Disease affecting heart muscles
In the case of heart diseases affecting heart muscles, the heart muscles are stiff, increasing the amount of pressure required to expand for blood to flow into the heart or the narrowing of the passage as a result of obstructing blood flow out of the heart.
Heart diseases affecting heart muscles include:
A. Cardiomyopathy
Heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn't work as well as it should. There may be multiple causes such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, artery diseases or congenital heart defects.
a) Dilated cardiomyopathy
The heart cavity is enlarged and stretched. Blood flows more slowly through an enlarged heart, causing formation of blood clots as a result of clots sticking to the inner lining of the heart, breaking off the right ventricle into the pulmonary circulation in the lung or being dislodged and carried into the body's circulation to form emboli .
b) Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
The wall between the two ventricles becomes enlarged, obstructing the blood flow from the left ventricle. Sometimes the thickened wall distorts one leaflet of the mitral valve, causing it to leak. The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and angina pectoris.
c) Restrictive cardiomyopathy
The ventricles becomes excessively rigid, so it's harder for the ventricles to fill with blood between heartbeats. The symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, swollen hands and feet.
B. Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscles or the weaken of the heart muscles. The symptoms of myocarditis include fever, chest pains, congestive heart failure and palpitation.
3. Heart disease affecting heart valves
Heart diseases affecting heart valves occur when the mitral valve in the heart narrows, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood from the left atrium into the ventricle.
Here are some types of heart disease affecting heart valves:
a. Mitral Stenosis
Mitral Stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves a narrowing or blockage of the opening of the mitral valve causing the volume and pressure of blood in the left atrium increases.
b. Mitral valves regurgitation
Mitral regurgitation is the heart disease in which your heart's mitral valve doesn't close tightly causing the blood to be unable to move through the heart efficiently. Symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation are fatigue and shortness of breath.
c. Mitral valves prolapse
In mitral valve prolapse, one or both leaflets of the valve are too large resulting in uneven closure of the valve during each heartbeat. Symptoms of mitral valves prolapse are palpitation, shortness of breath, dizzy, fatigue and chest pains.
d. Aortic Stenosis
With aging, protein collagen of the valve leaflets are destroyed and calcium is deposited on the leaflets causing scarring, thickening, and stenosis of the valve therefore increasing the wear and tear on the valve leaflets resulting in the symptoms and heart problems of aortic stenosis.
e. Aortic regurgitation
Aortic regurgitation is the leaking of the aortic valve of the heart that causes blood to flow in the reverse direction during ventricular diastole, from the aorta into the left ventricle. Symptoms of aortic regurgitation include fatigue or weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitation and irregular heart beats.
f. Tricuspid stenosis
Tricuspid stenosis is the narrowing of the orifice of the tricuspid valve of the heart causing increased resistance to blood flow through the valve. Symptoms of tricuspid stenosis include fatigue, enlarged liver, abdominal swelling, neck discomfort and leg and ankle swelling.
g. Tricuspid regurgitation.
Tricuspid regurgitation is the failure of the right ventricular causing blood to leak back through the tricuspid valve from the right ventricle into the right atrium of the heart. Symptoms of tricuspid regurgitation include leg and ankle swelling and swelling in the abdomen.
4. Heart disease affecting coronary arteries and coronary veins
The malfunctioning of the heart may be due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart as well as blood backing up in the veins. Types of heart disease that affect the coronary arteries and veins include:
A. Angina pectoris
Angina pectoris occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get as much blood oxygen as it needs. Here are 3 types of angina pectoris:
a) Stable angina

Stable angina is chest pain or discomfort that typically occurs with activity or stress due to oxygen deficiency in the blood muscles and usually follows a predictable pattern. Symptom of stable angina include chest pain, tightness, pressure, indigestion feeling and pain in the upper neck and arm.
b) Unstable angina
Unstable angina is caused by blockage of the blood flow to the heart. Without blood and the oxygen, part of the heart starts to die. Symptoms of unstable angina include pain spread down the left shoulder and arm to the back, jaw, neck, or right arm, discomfort of chest and chest pressure.
c) Variant angina also known as coronary artery spasm
Caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries. This is caused by the contraction of the smooth muscle tissue in the vessel walls. Symptoms of variant angina include increasing of heart rate, pressure and chest pain.
B. Heart attacks known as myocardial infarction or MI
Heart attacks caused by plaque rupture with thrombus formation in a coronary vessel, resulting in an acute reduction of blood supply to a portion of the myocardium. Symptoms of MI include a squeezing sensation of the chest, sweating, nausea and vomiting, upper back pain and arm pain.
C. Heart disease also known as coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease
Caused by arteries hardening and narrowing, cutting off blood flow to the heart muscle and resulting in heart attack. Symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, chest pains on exertion, palpitation, dizziness and fainting.
D. Atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and to other parts of your body. Atherosclerosis is caused by plaques that rupture in result of blood clots that block blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. Atherosclerosis has no symptom or warning sign.
E. Silent ischemia.
Ischemia is a condition in which the blood flow is restricted to a part of the body caused by narrowing of heart arteries. Silent ischemia means people have ischemia without pain. There is also no warning sign before heart attack.
5. Heart disease affecting heart lining
Rheumatic heart disease results from inflammation of the heart lining when too much fluid builds up in the lungs leading to pulmonary congestion. It is due to failure of the heart to remove fluid from the lung circulation resulting in shortness of breath, coughing up blood, pale skin and excessive sweating. Heart disease resulting from inflammation of either the endocardium or pericardium is called heart disease affecting heart lining.
Endocardium is the inner layer of the heart. It consists of epithelial tissue and connective tissue. Pericardium is the fluid filled sac that surrounds the heart and the proximal ends of the aorta, vena vava and the pulmonary artery.
a. Endocarditis
Endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the endocardium is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream and settling on the inside of the heart, usually on the heart valves that consists of epithelial tissue and connective tissue. It is the most common heart disease in people who have a damaged, diseased, or artificial heart valve. Symptoms of endocarditis include fever, chilling, fatigue, aching joint muscles, night sweats, shortness of breath, change in temperature and a persistent cough.
b. Pericardium
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium. It is caused by infection of the pericardium which is the thin, tough bag-like membrane surrounding the heart. The pericardium also prevents the heart from over expanding when blood volume increases. Symptoms of pericarditis include chest pain, mild fever, weakness, fatigue, coughing, hiccups, and muscle aches.
6. Heart disease affecting electrical system
The electrical system within the heart is responsible for ensuring the heart beats correctly so that blood can be transported to the cells throughout our body. Any malfunction of the electrical system in the heart causes a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat. The electrical system within the heart is responsible for ensuring that the heart beats correctly so that blood can be transported throughout our the body. Any malfunction of the electrical system in the heart malfunction can cause a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
Types of heart disease that affect the electrical system are known as arrhythmias. They can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. These types of heart disease include:
a. Sinus tachycardia
Sinus tachycardia occurs when the sinus rhythm is faster than 100 beats per minute therefore it increases myocardial oxygen demand and reduces coronary blood flow, thus precipitating an ischemia heart or valvular disease.
b. Sinus bradycardia
Sinus bradycardia occurs when a decrease of cardiac output results in regular but unusually slow heart beat less than 60 beats per minute. Symptoms of sinus bradycardia includes a feeling of weightlessness of the head, dizziness, low blood pressure, vertigo, and syncope.
c. Atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that starts in the upper parts (atria) of the heart causing irregular beating between the atria and the lower parts (ventricles) of the heart. The lower parts may beat fast and without a regular rhythm. Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include dizziness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain and irregular heart beat.
d. Atrial flutter
Atrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs in the atria of the heart causing abnormalities and diseases of the heart. Symptoms of atrial flutter includes shortness of breath, chest pains, anxiety and palpitation.
e. Supraventricular tachycardia
Supraventricular tachycardia is described as rapid heart rate originating above the ventricles, or lower chambers of the heart causing a rapid pulse of 140-250 beats per minute. Symptoms of supraventricular tachycardia include palpitations, light-headedness, and chest pains.
f. Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is described as an occasional rapid heart rate. Symptoms can come on suddenly and may go away without treatment. They can last a few minutes or 1-2 days.
g. Ventricular tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia is described as a fast heart rhythm that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart . This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it may lead to ventricular fibrillation and/or sudden death. Symptoms of ventricular tachycardia include light headedness, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath and chest pains.
h.Ventricular fibrillation
Ventricular fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's electrical activity becomes disordered causing the heart's lower chambers to contract in a rapid, unsynchronized way resulting in little heart pumps or no blood at all, resulting in death if left untreated after in 5 minutes.
There are many heart diseases affecting electrical system such as premature arterial contractions, wolf parkinson, etc.
7. Congenital heart disease
There are several heart diseases that people are born with. Congenital heart diseases are caused by a persistence in the fetal connection between arterial and venous circulation. Congenital heart diseases affect any part of the heart such as heart muscle, valves, and blood vessels. Congenital heart disease refers to a problem with the heart's structure and function due to abnormal heart development before birth.Every year over 30,000 babies are born with some type of congenital heart defect in US alone. Congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects. Some congenital heart diseases can be treated with medication alone, while others require one or more surgeries.
The causes of congenital heart diseases of newborns at birth may be in result from poorly controlled blood sugar levels in women having diabetes during pregnancy, some hereditary factors that play a role in congenital heart disease, excessive intake of alcohol and side affects of some drugs during pregnancy.
Congenital heart disease is often divided into two types: cyanotic which is caused by a lack of oxygen and non-cyanotic.
A. Cyanotic
Cyanosis is a blue coloration of the skin due to a lack of oxygen generated in blood vessels near the skin surface. It occurs when the oxygen level in the arterial blood falls below 85-90%.
The below lists are the most common of cyanotic congenital heart diseases:
a)Tetralogy of fallot
Tetralogy of fallot is a condition of several congenital defects that occur when the heart does not develop normally. It is the most common cynaotic heart defect and a common cause of blue baby syndrome.
b)Transportation of the great vessels
Transportation of the great vessels is the most common cyanotic congenital heart disease. Transposition of the great vessels is a congenital heart defect in which the 2 major vessels that carry blood away from the aorta and the pulmonary artery of the heart are switched. Symptoms of transportation of the great vessels include blueness of the skin, shortness of breath and poor feeding.
c)Tricuspid atresia
In tricuspid atresia there is no tricuspid valve so no blood can flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Symptoms of tricuspid atresia include blue tinge to the skin and lips, shortness of breath, slow growth and poor feeding.
d)Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a rare congenital heart defect that causes cyanosis or blueness. Symptoms of total anomalous pulmonary venous return include poor feeding, poor growth, respiratory infections and blue skin.
e)Truncus arteriosus
Truncus arteriosus is characterized by a large ventricular septal defect over which a large, single great vessel arises. Symptoms of truncus arteriosus include blue coloring of the skin, poor feeding, poor growth and shortness of breath.
B. Non-cyanotic
Non-cyanotic heart defects are more common because of higher survival rates.
The below lists are the most common of non-cyanotic congenital heart diseases:
a)Ventricular septal defect
Ventricular septal defect is a hole in the wall between the right and left ventricles of the heart causing right and left ventricles to work harder, pumping a greater volume of blood than they normally would in result of failure of the left ventricle. Symptoms of ventricular septal defect include very fast heartbeats, sweating, poor feeding, poor weight gain and pallor.
b)Atrial septal defect
Atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of your heart causing freshly oxygenated blood to flow from the left upper chamber of the heart into the right upper chamber of the heart. Symptoms of atrial septal defect include shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations or skipped beats.
c)Coarctation of aorta
Coarctation of aorta is a narrowing of the aorta between the upper-body artery branches and the branches to the lower body causing your heart to pump harder to force blood through the narrow part of your aorta. Symptoms of coarctation of aorta include pale skin, shortness of breath and heavy sweating.
There are many more types of non-cyanotic such as pulmonic stenosis, patent ductus arteriorus, and atrioventricular cana. These problems may occur alone or together. Most congenital heart diseases occur as an isolated defect and is not associated with other diseases.
8. Other Types of Heart Diseases
In this article, we will discuss other types of heart diseases that can affect any part of the heart including the following:
*A cardiac tumor can be either malignant or benign
A) Benign tumors
a. Myxoma
Myxoma is a cardiac benign tumor. It is the most common tumor inside of cavities of the heart and most of them occur in the left atrium of the heart obstructing the normal flow of blood within the chambers of the heart. Symptoms of Myxoma include paroxysmal dyspnea, weight loss, feverhemoptysis, lightheadedness and sudden death.
b. Rhabdomyomas
Most of rhabdomyomas occur in children or infants and are associated with tuberous sclerosis. It develops in the myocardium or the endocardium and accounts for about one out of every five tumors that originate in the heart causing obstruction of blood flow, valvular insufficiency, and cardiac arrhythmias. Symptoms of rhabdomyomas include palpitations, chest pains, shortness of breath, and nausea.
c. Fibromas
Fibromas develop in the myocardium or the endocardium. These tumors are composed of fibrous or connective tissue and tend to occur on the valves of the heart and may be related to inflammation. Other than seeing or feeling the fibroma, there are no usual symptoms.
d. Teratomas of the pericardium
It is often attached to the base of the great vessels, usually occurring in infants. They are rarer than cysts or lipomas, usually causes no symptoms.
B) Malignant tumors
Malignant tumors that originated elsewhere in the body and spread to the heart are more common than ones that originate in the heart. Malignant heart tumors can originate from any heart tissue. They occur mostly in children.
a. Angiosarcomas
Angiosarcomas account for about a third of all malignant heart tumors and usually start on the right side of the heart. The cause of angiosarcomas is usually unknown and symptoms of angiosarcomas differ according to the location of the tumour. Often symptoms of the disease are not apparent until the tumour is well advanced.
b. Fibrosarcomas
Fibrosarcomas occur as a soft-tissue mass or as a primary or secondary bone tumor. The 2 main types of fibrosarcoma of bone are
i) Primary fibrosarcoma is a fibroblastic malignancy that produces variable amounts of collagen
ii) Secondary fibrosarcoma of bone arises from a preexisting lesion or after radiotherapy to an area of bone or soft tissue. Symptoms of fibrosarcomas include broken bone, pain, swelling, lump found under skin or bone, frequent urination and urinary obstruction.
c. Rhabdomyosarcomas
Rhabdomyosarcomas are a cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles of the body and are also more common in children. They usually have some type of chromosome abnormality in the cells of the tumor, which are responsible for the tumor formation. Symptoms of rhabdomyosarcomas include bleeding from the nose, vagina, rectum, throat and tingling, numbness, and pain.
d.) Liposarcomas
Liposarcoma normally appears as a slowly enlarging, painless, nonulcerated submucosal mass in a middle-aged person. Symptoms include palpation, weakness, limitation of motion weight loss, fatigue, and lassitude.
*Sudden cardiac death
The victim may or may not have diagnosis of heart diseases, and the death is totally unexpected. Sudden cardiac death is a result from abrupt loss of heart function. The cause of sudden cardiac dealth might be a result of coronary heart disease.
* Hypertensive heart disease
Hypertensive heart disease are caused by high blood pressure that increases the work load of the heart. Overtime the muscles of the heart become thick in result of an enlarged left ventricle and decreased blood pump from the heart. Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, swelling in the feet, ankles, or abdomen, fatigue, irregular pulse, nausea and frequent urination at night.
IV. Heart Diseases- Prevention and Treatment
Anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart can be defined as a risk of heart disease.
Unhealthy diet is a major cause of heart diseases resulting in the buildup of cholesterol and fat in the inner wall of arteries that narrows the arteries, impedes the circulation and eventually causes heart attacks.
1. Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease with Diet
To prevent heart diseases, your daily diet should contain:
a) Fiber
Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. As we mentioned in a previous article, soluble fiber can lower your LDL and raise your HDL cholesterol while insoluble fiber has no effect on cholesterol but promotes regular bowel movements. The intake of fatty foods causes the liver to release bile into the intestines to break down the fat.
b) Reduce intake of saturated fat and trans fat
We know that saturated and trans fat are toxins causing cholesterol to build up in the arteries damaging the arterial wall and narrows the arterial passage in result of poor circulation and oxygen transportation to our body in result of high blood pressure as the heart has to work harder than normal in order to provide enough nutrition to the body`s cells. Eventually, the heart will fail and result in heart diseases. It is recommended that you reduce the intake of animal fat and increase the intake of cold water fish which is the best sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that can help your cholesterol levels as well as lowering your blood pressure.
c). Diet high in complex carbohydrates
Vegetables, fruits, some beans and grains contain high amounts of plant pigments known as flavonoids that provide healthy protection against heart diseases. Unfortunately study shows that diets high in complex carbohydrate may increase the release of too much insulin to respond to carbohydrates in the diet. The type and amount of carbohydrate foods may need individual monitoring.
d). Drink half of your body weight of water or juices in ounces
If you weigh 160 pounds then you are require to drink 80 ounces of water or juices to prevent the cells in our body to become dehydrated. Maintaining normal function of our body's cells is a healthy way to normalize high blood pressure.
2. Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease with natural remedies
Beside foods and herbs, nutritional supplements also play an important role in preventing heart diseases and stroke. Here are some nutritional supplements which have proven record in treating heart diseases:
a. L-Arginine
L-Arginine helps to increase the production of nitric oxide in our body, this has an anti-angina and anti-stress effect upon the arteries enabling the muscles in the arterial walls to relax. L-Arginine also helps to prevent the build up of plaque on the arterial walls. L- Arginne taken either orally or intravenously has been found to prevent and reverse atherosclerosis, improving the functional status of heart failure and increasing blood flow in heart disease patients.
b. L- Carnitine
L-Carnitine working with vitamin E will help the body to recover quickly from fatigue. L-Carnitine helps the body convert fatty acids into energy, which is used primarily for muscular activities throughout the body. When working with vitamin E, L-carnitine will help the body to recover quickly from fatigue and combat heart diseases.
c. Lecithin
Lecithin supplies the body with needed inositol, choline and phosphatidyl choline that help to maintain healthy arteries. Lecithin also helps to reduce plaque in the arteries, lower blood pressure and ameliorate angina pectoris.
d. Niacin
Niacin a B3 vitamin, helps decreases blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides which may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Niacin can only be taken under medical supervision because of it's side effects.
e. Selenium
Selenium deficiency will cause increase in high blood pressure.
f. Taurine
Taurine is an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant helping to fortify cardiac contraction and enhance the outflow of blood from the heart. Intake of taurine will reduce the risk of congestive heart failure and arteriosclerosis.
g. Calcium and potassium
Calcium and potassium deficiency may result in heart palpitation.
h. Magnesium
Magnesium helps to improve blood circulation by permitting the muscles in the arterial wall to rest.
i. Lutein
Lutein is one of the carotenoids, yellow and orange pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. Lutein supplementation has already been proven in helping prevent muscular degeneration, the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. Study shows that increased dietary intake of lutein may protect against the development of early atherosclerosis. It also helps explain why diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of heart diseases.
j. Flax seeds
Flax seeds contain high amounts of alpha-linoenic acid that helps to lower high blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Eating too much flax seeds will cause gas to build up if you are not used to it.
k. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba helps to to make blood less sticky and prevents blood clotting and stroke. Unlike aspirin, Ginkgo biloba will not cause upset stomach and internal bleeding. Also, Ginkgo biloba can improve blood circulation. Be sure not to take Ginkgo seeds because they are toxic and can cause seizures.
l. Cayenne
Cayenne stimulates blood flow, and strengthens the heart's metabolism. It also helps to improve blood circulation as well as the digestive and immune systems. Cayenne contains high amounts of beta-carotene, cobalt, essential fatty acids, niacin and zinc that helps circulatory stimulation, blood purification, detoxification and fatigue.By
Read More

August 20, 2014

Get Rid of Parasites - Homemade Solutions

Human parasites are becoming more common as compared to olden days. This could be due to many reasons ranging from unhealthy dietary habits to unhealthy living conditions. Whatever the cause parasite infestation has occurred in the body, once they attack intestines, they rest there and feed themselves with the foods and blood intestines have. At first sight, parasite infestations may not harm the body but over the times, they can bring many health ailments and can even damage intestines. In some bad cases, they travel in the body to many other sites and damage those particular organs.

Fortunately, there are many remedies that help getting rid of parasites from the body. Some of the homemade solutions are very effective and one should go for it since they produce favorable effects without harming the body in any other way.

Black walnut oil is considered to be good remedy to get rid of parasites. 1-2 drops of black walnut oil is to be put into the glass of water. One should have this water twice a day and this is sufficient to terminate the growth of the parasites and their eggs from the intestines. This is because the oil creates uncomfortable zone for parasites into the intestines and they leave it by getting excreted with feces.
Another proven homemade solution to get rid of parasite is having pumpkin seeds and onions mixed with soymilk. It is very good remedy for almost all type of parasite infestations in the human intestines. Cloves, goldenrod and goldenseal roots are also few of the most effective homemade solution to get rid of parasites from the human intestines. They all possess natural anthelminthic properties and hence help killing parasites and their eggs. Some of the naturopaths suggest taking bitter melon; either raw or in salads. This is very good and safe homemade remedy for treating parasite infestation.

Pineapple is another effective agent that parasites do not like! One can eat raw pineapple for 3 days to get rid of parasite infestations in the intestines. Many health experts suggest taking Vitamin E supplements that can help eliminating parasites and their eggs up to certain extent. Some of the ancient Asian herbs such as Terminalia bellirica, Butea monosperma, Neem and Turmeric are considered to be very effective against parasite infestations in the intestines. One can take them as daily health supplements. They all are available either as single herb or as formula having blend of those herbs.

Ayurveda, an ancient herbal science of India describes giving enema and some herbal preparation containing Neem, Holy Basil, Turmeric, Ginger, Emblica ribes and Black pepper. This is time tested and trusted herbal remedy that can be prepared at home and can be taken in case of parasites infestation in the intestines.

Along with medications, one should avoid eating fermented foods, junk/canned/packed foods, foods with preservatives, refined floured or sugary foods and the food that is not fresh. They all are triggering factors for parasites in the intestines.By: Raj Kumar
Read More

August 19, 2014

Kidney Failure - How to Prevent Kidney Failure

For those who suffer kidney disease, you will know how critical it is to prevent kidney failure. Kidney disease can be both temporary and permanent. This can be known as acute kidney failure/acute renal failure or chronic kidney failure.
The difference between acute and chronic renal failure
With acute kidney failure, function of the kidneys is rapidly lost, and can occur from many stresses on the body, most of which are related to diet. Others are indirectly related to diet, being brought on by another disease or illness. There are many different classifications of acute kidney disease and is generalised into the following categories:
Common Pre-renal Causes of Kidney Disease
  • dehydration from excess fluid loss (diarrhoea, flu, gastroenteritis, sweating)
  • dehydration from lack of fluid intake
  • hypovolemia from excess blood loss
  • obstruction of kidney arteries and veins causing inconsistent blood flow
  • pain killers, other medication and excess sodium/potassium/protein
Common Post-renal Causes of Renal Failure
  • Having any restriction in the bladder can cause back-flow to the kidneys. This can cause a series of events, from infection to completely damaging the kidneys due to the excess pressure.
  • Blockages, cysts, tumours in the abdomen can form obstructions around the ureters.
  • Other age related obstructions, including cancers and other tumours around the bladder
  • Having kidney stones do not directly affect the kidney failure, but do increase the risk, but having a lot of extra strain on the kidneys.
Common Causes of Kidney Damage
  • Toxic Medications are found in certain antibiotics, ibuprofen, some anti inflammatory drugs, iodine and radiology medications.
  • Sepsis can occur if the body's immune system is battling infection. This can cause the kidneys to shut down as a result.
  • Muscle breakdown can cause muscle fibres which are damaged to clog filtration of the kidneys. This can usually be on set by severe trauma and burns to the body.
  • inflammation of the kidney filtering system - the glomeruli
Common Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure
  • Many problems listed above can result in chronic kidney failure
  • constant high blood pressure
  • people suffering diabetes
  • chronic glomerulonephritis.
  • kidney stones
  • prostate disease or prostate cancer
  • reflux nephropathy
  • polycystic conditions
Common Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Kidney disease can sometimes be hard to detect, and not always show obvious symptoms. The main way to ask if you are showing the symptoms is to ask yourself if you are at risk. Kidney disease is 99% of the time the result of poor dieting and malnutrition. What you will notice when symptoms start to appear is when you start to see irregularities in waste products clearing the body, onset of weakness, fluid retention, some mild pain or even slight discomfort while urinating.
All of these symptoms of kidney failure should immediately ring alarm bells and need immediate adjustments to diet and lifestyle.
All of these will result in directly related medical symptoms, such as excess potassium levels causing heart rhythm problems, an increase in urea levels in the blood - which can affect a number of organs in the body, anemia - resulting in general weakness, loss of appetite due to build-up of excess waste products - which will result in further issues all contributing to kidney failure, rising blood pressure due to the acid load on the body and trouble breathing.
It is extremely important, that even if you feel the onset of kidney failure as being an option, to drastically change your diet to help lighten the load and strain on your kidneys. This can even reverse kidney failure if it is undertaken as soon as possible.
With western diets contributing to all the common forms of kidney failure, it is the best option to reverse any chances of suffering kidney failure and help restore health to the body.
What if you could reverse kidney disease today?
Paul M Alberti is a respected article writer on many health related issues.
He understands that those who are currently suffering any type of kidney condition require immediate help, relief and treatment to help reverse the onset of kidney failure.
The kidney diet has been created to help you reverse any kidney related disease and help restore a healthy lifestyle and the abundant life you so much deserve.By
Read More

Skin Care - Home Remedies for Skin Allergies

A healthy and radiant skin is one of the most sought after things, perhaps by all women!! If you have it, you cannot hide it - but yes, you need to maintain it.
The key to a glowing skin is right there within your arm's range. One can attain a healthy supple skin though a three-tier approach involving diet, exercise and proper cosmetics.
Here is a step-by-step guide to skin care -
1) Water - drink two to three litres of water daily to detoxify.
2) Have a rich diet full of vegetables, fruits. Increase the fibre content in your daily diet. Avoid excess refined sugar, sweets as it damages collagen in skin and makes it lose its elasticity.

3) Invigorate your sluggish lifestyle. Come on, get moving!! Go to the gym or just stretch.
4) Restrict intake of alcohol and caffeine.
5) Keep stress at bay.
6) Go for a daily skin care regime- i.e. cleanse, tone and moisturize.
7) Apply a moisturizer to hydrate your skin externally. A homemade moisturizer is a mixture of cucumber, juice and buttermilk.
8) Go for an exfoliation once a fortnight either at a professional salon, or at home. It helps remove dead cells and revitalize the skin through blood circulation. Oatmeal combined with mashed apple is an excellent home scrub
9) Do not forget to apply sunscreen with a SPF of minimum 15 at least 10 minutes before going out of house. If you get a suntan, relieve yourself with a mixture of curd and cucumber juice.
10) Use cosmetics depending on your skin type. Learn about your skin type first and then try commercial products.
Skin care is not as difficult as it looks to be.
Thus, the ABC of a beautiful and radiant skin - balanced diet, hydration, cleansing and protecting it from sun and wind should be a part of your daily skin care regimen.
Some popular herbal remedies for skin care -
Water - Drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water daily to detoxify the body. It naturally hydrates the skin and gives that young vibrant look.
Turmeric: This is the basic grandma's remedy - just apply fresh turmeric paste along with curd and gram flour on to your face. Your complexion clears up within a few days, as turmeric is very good for skin health.
Tea extracts: It is a natural antiseptic and is useful for skin acne.

Neem, tulsi: Drop some neem leaves into your bathtub, and you will feel the difference in your skin within a few days. If you have any external skin rash, infection, just apply a paste of neem or basil leaves to heal up, as they have excellent anti-bacterial properties, clear up pimples and acne; and keep the skin naturally invigorated.
Sandalwood paste: It soothes the skin, cools it and moisturizes it naturally.
Different skin types and their care -
1. Dry skin -
To avoid any sort of skin problem, one should drink at least eight to ten glasses of water a day to keep dry skin well hydrated. Along with it, eat a high quality healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables; get some exercise and the secret 8-hour sleep daily to get a healthy skin.
Home remedies for dry skin:
o Do not expose yourself to sun too much, as well as to too much air conditioning.
o Reduce how often you wash your face to maximum two times a day, and if possible use slightly tepid water.
o Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they cause dehydration. Also do not smoke, as smoking deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients making it dry and flaky.
o Avoid using a commercial highly perfumed soap. Instead, use non-detergent, neutral-pH products to cleanse your skin.
o Massage your face every night before sleeping with a good hydrating moisturizer, and be generous in the areas surrounding the eyes.
o For cracked skin on fingers and feet, use a cream rich in vitamin E and aloe vera. Massage in well.
2. Oily skin -
Oily skin is the least vulnerable, and it ages least of all. The best thing to do is to take measures to keep the skin pores from being clogged and forming acne.
- Follow strictly the experts' advice - clean your face two to three times daily with a good medicated soap, one, which works well with your skin.
- It is best to use water based non-comedogenic product that effortlessly and effectively dissolves sebum.
- Use an oil free moisturizer to maintain a shine free complexion. It will also help if you use tepid water to clean face as it loosens the dirt easily.
- Before applying make-up, use an antiseptic day cream which contains benzyl peroxide as it reduces sebaceous secretions.
Home remedies for oily skin -
- Cucumber juice works great on oily skin. Before applying make-up, rub it on the excessively oily parts of your face and dry it thoroughly.
- It is very important that you definitely remove all make up before going to bed. Gram flour mixed with curd acts as an effective cleansing milk which cleans open pores.
- Be cautious about your diet if you have an oily skin! Go for a protein rich diet, but restricted in sugar and salt. Take plenty of leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits. Cut down on animal fat, fatty foods, alcohol and junk food.
- It is advised that you reduce consumption of iodized salt.
- Do not miss out on the 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep the skin hydrated and to flush out toxins.
- Exercise is also a must. Exercise works magical on any skin as it boosts circulation, encourages blood flow, and cleans the skin from within.
3. Sensitive skin -
This is a very unpredictable skin type, and one needs to be extra cautious while dealing with it. Almost anything and everything can react to it.
- It is always advised to use the simplest and purest products- colour free, alcohol free, fragrance free and preservatives - a complete no-no.
- If using any new cosmetic, it is very important that you patch test it on your skin three to four times initially. The best parts are small areas like behind your ear or on hands. Go for it only if there is no skin reaction.
- Limit exposure to sun. While going out it is important to use a sun block because sensitive skin can easily get discoloured or age spots may appear. Use a sunscreen with only physical ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which deflects the UV rays rather than absorb them.
- Try to use only natural or homemade products - they are best. Fresh and natural!!
- If you have sensitive skin, keep skin clean always. Wash your face maximum twice a day with a natural pH balanced cleanser.
- If going to a party, use only those cosmetics, which are hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic.
- Always use cosmetics that do not contain many ingredients. The more the number of ingredients, the more the probability of it causing a reaction.
- Do not forget to drink plenty of water to detox for making your skin glow.
- Eat a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, green vegetables and nuts.
- Daily exercise to get that radiant glow from inside
- While washing face, avoid steam or very hot water. Hot baths and steams lead to broken capillaries.By
Read More

August 18, 2014

Millions of people from various ages suffer from different bladder diseases such as overactive bladder and urinary tract infection. Problems in the bladder may range from mild where it still does not affect your work and daily life and may range up to serious like tumors where you may get hospitalized and may even cause fatalities.
However, for most people, the common problem overactive bladder and there are a few natural herbs you can take to alleviate this symptom.

There are various herbs that can help control your bladder and your bladder problems. Though most of them can be found in European or in the Asian countries, they are proven and are also used in those formulated medicines.
The herbs that can be found in China and in other Asian countries are Alpinia oxyphylla, Cornus officinalis, Schisandra chinensis, Panax ginseng.

These herbs have been used by Asians for thousands of years, more like ancient medicine and yet they still work and have proven to help treat bladder problems.

Valerian can be found in the Greek region, where it has been used for more than thousands of years and yet it's still being studied because of its capabilities to cure various sicknesses besides bladder disorders.
These various medicinal herbs are also used for treating spasms and also muscle problems. In those medicinal capsules that are said to cure or treat bladder problems, these herbs are combined and brewed as it might amplify its effects.
Though these herbs are said to work and cure bladder problems, you might still want to consult your doctor as these herbs might cause complications to your body and cause side effects or even might make your condition worse.By: Ricky Lim
Read More

August 16, 2014

Painful Mouth Sores

I have suffered with painful, recurring mouth sores for the past year and a half. They appear as inflamed, coarse white and red patches all over my gums, quite near to the teeth. My doctor and dentist say I just have to put up with them. I have a relatively healthy diet - for a student - but I also suffer with what seem to be cold sores on my lips. They first appeared with a serious bout of tonsillitis and swollen glands six years ago. Please help.
Mouth ulcers are round patches of exposed tissue, which are painful if you explore them with your tongue, as people tend to do subconsciously. Spicy food or alcohol can also trigger pain. If you have numerous or large ulcers, eating becomes extremely difficult.
Mouth ulcers have always puzzled physicians. Medically called aphthous ulcers, and also known as canker sores, they look like any ulceration in the mucous membrane but there may be differing underlying causes.
The most common cause is the fungal infection candidiasis. The hallmarks are white patches, which can be wiped off by the tongue or with cotton wool to leave a crater with exposed raw tissue that contains nerve endings and blood vessels. These craters are painful and may bleed. Candida is a form of yeast that has tentacles,
or roots, called hyphae. These penetrate the mucous lining to suck nutrients from the tissue underneath. When enough nutrients have been extracted and the tissue is ulcerous, the candida moves to another healthier area, where it continues to form ulcers.
Antibiotics were originally derived from fungus and their prolonged use promotes fungal infection, such as candida. Broad-spectrum antibiotics has led to a predominance of fungal and viral infections. This is recognized by many conventional doctors.
Deficiencies of vitamin B and severe lack of vitamin C can also lead to mouth ulcers. Other causes include excess stomach acid, chronic constipation, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers. Certain foodstuffs, such as very hot chillis, pineapples, cloves, yam, ginger and radish, may also produce local irritation to the oral cavity, triggering ulcers. Sometimes people are sensitive to certain drugs or chemicals in toothpaste or mouthwash.
In traditional Indian medicine, mouth ulcers are signs of excess body heat. This is produced, for instance, by eating game, pigeon or red meat which has been cooked slowly for a long time with herbs and spices (chillis, cloves, ginger, garlic, cumin, saffron), as well as excess butter or ghee, almonds and pistachios. The remedy is eating cooling foods such as raw or spring onions, cucumber, yoghurt buttermilk coriander or melon.
I suggest the following
* For about four weeks, eat simple food steamed, grilled, boiled or poached with olive oil, salt" mint, parsley, aniseed, coriander, or spring onions - nothing else. (You may lose a little weight.)
* Avoid all yeast and fungal products (bread, pizza, Marmite, ready-made gravies, some canned products, beer, wine, mushrooms and cheese).
* Avoid citrus or sour fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, mangoes, tomatoes, kiwi, rhubarb, vinegar).
* Eat cucumber salad (with yoghurt and spring onions), water melon, carrot juice, cooled fresh mint tea.
* Take kadu: soak two twigs in a cup of hot water overnight; strain and drink in the morning.
* Take vitamin B complex: one daily for two months.
* Take vitamin C: one 500 mg tablet for two months.
* Take acidophilus with bifidus: one every other day for a month.
* Consult a qualified homoeopath. If you are prescribed high-potency homoeopathic remedies your mouth may get worse at first, but it will subside and the condition will be cured.
Read More

August 15, 2014

The 10 Best Foods For Fighting Acne

1. Olive oil:
Olive oil provides good fats that our bodies need. Oils like olive oil and sesame oil have essential fat acids that are required for good health. These nourish our skin from the inside out.
2. Green tea:
Rich in a chemical called catechins which is an anti-inflammatory. It helps prevent acne as well as reduce the signs of aging.
3. Seeds and Nuts:
Seeds and nuts are rich in Omega 3 oils. These oils are also found in oily fish like salmon, and in flaxseed oil. Omega 3 oils are a powerful antioxidant which help the skin remain supple.
4. Lemon water:
Lemon water helps to stimulate and detoxify the liver and expel fat deposits. It also helps your body to produce more enzymes in the liver to help with detoxification. Because the liver helps remove toxins from your body, it can not remove toxins which are pushed through your skin. This means those toxins become prime breeding grounds for bacteria that cause acne. In order to survive acne causing bacteria need specific conditions to breed, those are areas with low oxygen and high acid levels. The minerals in lemons help offset the acid pockets that can form in our skin.
5. Garlic:
Garlic helps to lower our bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, called HDL. It also helps reduce toxins like lemon water does. So by reducing the toxins, we lessen the possibility of providing the required breeding grounds for acne.
6. Watermelon:
As odd as it might sound, the pulp of watermelon is a good exfoliate. Taking that in mind some people will rub the their face with the rinds of the watermelon which is also high in vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains a lot of water which helps to keep the skin properly hydrated.
7. Water:
Water is the most important aspect of keeping your body hydrated. Water will also help cleanse your body of the toxins that could build up. Some experts say that to determine how many ounces of water you should drink everyday, divide you body weight by 2, and that is how many ounces you should drink.
8. Wheatgrass:
You can find this in just about every store that carries a selection of vitamin supplements. There are numerous health benefits for wheatgrass, many of which help with preventing acne.
9. Yogurt:
Yogurt contains high concentrations of a good bacteria call Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This is commonly called a Probiotic. Probiotic microbes fight against infectious diseases by competing for the food and nutrients acne bacteria require to survive.
Closely related to this category are Prebiotics. Prebiotics help re-establish good bacteria in the stomach. Examples include honey, onions, artichokes and bananas.
10. Barley:
Barley is high in both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps the body metabolize fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Insoluble fiber promotes healthy digestion; most people refer to eating insoluble fiber as "eating the roughage." Barley also contains high levels of Vitamin E which helps kill acne quickly.By
Read More

August 14, 2014

Top Tips For Growing Long Nails

People have different opinions when it comes to long fingernails. There are some who appreciate long nails and some who do not. Often, women are the ones who get away with long nails. There are some who find it sexy and beautiful as long as the nails are clean. For women who are more comfortable with longer nails, you should know the proper nail care to follow. These are the secrets to having beautiful and well-kept nails.
Aloe vera is one thing that you can rely on for growing nails. In order to prevent you from biting your nails, a paste from this ingredient works effectively. Boil aloe leaves for a few minutes until a gel forms in the pan. You should apply this on your nails to keep them healthy. In addition to this, aloe vera does not taste good so if prevents you from biting your fingernails.
Diet is a big factor affecting the health of the nails. You should eat a complete diet with enough protein, vitamin A, folic acid, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12. While this may seem to be a long list, there is one type of food that you should consider - almonds. This is essential for nail care because almonds contains fatty acids which promote healthy nails. Eating at least 6 almonds per day will be beneficial for the nails.
Long nails have to be properly moisturized because it helps the nails grow stronger. Dry fingernails are very brittle and weak. This only causes the nails to break and chip easily. The best way to moisturize the finger-nails is by dipping it in olive oil for 15 minutes once a week. A daily routine that you can adopt is to apply fingernail moisturizer as often as you can.
In addition to breaking finger-nails, another fingernail care tip to consider is filing the nails. The fingernails must always be filed properly. The edges or corners of the nails must not be filed carelessly or else it may cause the nails to weaken. The fingernails will be more prone to chipping off if you file the nails in the wrong way.
Admit it, biting your nails may relieve you from all of your stress. But this can also be the number one cause for ugly nails. The more you bite, the more damage you cause to the nails. If you really want to perfectly grow your nails long, you should only cut your nails using a fingernail cutter. Unlike when you bite your nails, you are destroying the shape of your nails.
Up until now, people do not realize that their fingernails are a part of their body. They often mistake them for tools such as can openers, label removers and a lot more. Though it may be tempting to do this, exerting pressure on the nails can also cause the nails to break. This is a big no-no when it comes to the proper nail care.
Long nails look very beautiful on women's hands. If you want to start growing fingernails, then you should. Just make sure that you know the proper nail care for growing nails long. Just make sure that nails are clean and presentable to ensure that these will look clean all the time.By
Read More

August 13, 2014

10 Foods That Prevent Acne: How To Prevent Acne

In everyone's life at least once we have experienced a breakout or unexpected acne blemish. We then try to discover the root causes of acne and ways to prevent it. We understand the foods that cause acne and more specifically the foods that can help fight/prevent it. By incorporating some of these foods in our die we increase the odds of warding off acne. In this article we discuss 10 common foods that can be used to prevent acne. There are other foods and similar related foods that can fight acne to a similar effect. Below are the 10 foods that can prevent acne at their root cause.
1.) Cucumbers and Cabbage
Cucumbers, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Parsley, Lettuce, and various other foods that contain high water absorption can help increase the water intake in your system. Increasing water intake is advised as it's recommend to drink 8 glasses of water a day for a successful acne diet. These foods also contain vitamins and nutrients which help in the prevention and reducing of acne.
2.) Green Tea
Green tea can help cleanse the body and adds polyphenols that help strengthen cells. All these properties of green tea aid just like water in cleaning the body/organs and preventing/reducing acne.
3.) Plain Yogurt
This does not include flavored yogurt or vanilla yogurt. As many flavored yogurt contain refined sugar that can have acne causing properties to contract the probiotics in the yogurt.
By having plain yogurt with an antioxidant fruit you can include a probiotic and antioxidant in one serving. By having plain yogurt with fruit you can have two prevention methods for acne in one.
4.) Green Vegetables
Lettuce, Artichokes, Spinach, and other similar green vegetables are known to aid in the prevention of acne. These foods contain Vitamin A which is necessary in a balanced diet and should be incorporated each day.
5.) Whole grains
Whole grain cereal, bread and other whole grain foods can help prevent acne compared to alternatives. These foods also contain zinc which can also aid in preventing acne and assist in reducing acne scars. This is not a complete fix for acne scarring though.
6.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish that contains Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent acne. They can also reduce obesity when consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and help prevent cancer growth.
Some foods that contain high amounts of % daily value of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, salmon, sardines, soybeans, shrimp, halibut, and tofu. By incorporating many of these foods we can gain many health benefits as a result.
7.) Broccoli
Along with containing a wide array of vitamins (including Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K) it also is considered an anti-oxidant and can be an agent help fight/reduce acne. Broccoli is one of the greatest vegetables in preventing and reducing acne breakouts. It wouldn't hurt to eat at least a serving once a day.
8.) Garlic Cloves
Incorporating garlic into meals has been shown to reduce current acne and prevent it to some extent. This does not include garlic powder or garlic salt as it is not pure garlic and can contain other acne causing agents.
9.) Lemons and Lemon Juice
When lemon juice is added to water it can help cleanse the body and organs. Lemons citric acids can help deep clean the bacteria in pores. It can also aid in preventing acne as well as slightly reduce it.
Another benefit is that lemon juice applied directly to acne scars can help reduce the scarring. Lemons are the natural cure-all to fighting, preventing, and reducing acne scarring.
10.) Foods high in Anti-oxidants
Foods such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, black/red beans, certain apples (granny smith, gala), plums, cranberries, pecans, and others can help greatly in preventing acne. It's also advised to eat a balanced diet including all the food groups in preventing acne. With these anti-oxidants incorporated in our diet we can increase our fight in preventing acne.By
Read More

August 12, 2014

Sources and Physiologic Functions
Sources: Liver, kidney, muscle meats, eggs, cheese, milk, and fish are excellent sources of vitamin B12. It is not found in plant foods or in yeast. Fermented foods such as soy sauce, tempeh, and miso, and fortified foods such as soymilk are also good sources of this vitamin.
Biochemistry: Vitamin B12 is water-soluble. Cobalamine contains the element cobalt surrounded by a porphyrin like ring. The coenzyme forms of cobalamine are 5'deoxyadenosylcobalamine and methylcobalamine. Four types of cobalamin play a role in human metabolism, including cyanocobalamin (the form known as B12), methylcobalamin (the main form in the serum), and adenosylcobalamin (the main storage form in the liver). Cobalamin acts as coenzyme in two known pathways of human metabolism: demethylation of the folate derivative needed for the thymidylate synthesis, and conjugation of folic acid into the active polymer forms of folate. Cobalamin deficiency may produce a functional folate deficiency by trapping folate in these pathways and limiting its regeneration. Cobalamin is essential for the regeneration of tetrahydrofolate needed in purine and thymidine synthesis. Vitamin B12 is essential for growth, blood cell formation, nutrient metabolism, thyroid functioning, and myelin formation. It prevents accumulation of methyl melonoic acid, and thus, prevents production and incorporation of abnormal fatty acids into the nerve cell membrane. This may account for some of the neurological manifestations associated with deficiency. It may have a role in homocysteine metabolism and thus, control of atherosclerosis.
Populations at risk: Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly caused by pernicious anemia (PA). The major defect in PA is gastric atrophy and absence of intrinsic factor, which is essential for B12 absorption. Disorders of gastric mucosa, intestinal infections, malabsorption secondary to gastrectomy, total ileal disease, or resection and genetic defects in the absorption and transport mechanisms may result in development of deficiency state. Strict vegetarianism over an extended period of time and tapeworm infestation are the other risk factors. A study showed that the vegans had B12 intakes below the RNI; and 35% of the long-term vegetarians and vegans had serum vitamin B12 concentrations below the reference range. Cigarette smoking also affects vitamin B12 status. A univariate analysis showed significantly lower plasma, red blood cell (RBC), and buccal mucosa of vitamin B12 concentrations in cigarette smokers compared to non-cigarette smokers.
Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency: The major defect of B­12deficiency is an impairment of growth, particularly of rapidly dividing cells such as immature RBC. Infants with severe deficiency present with anemia and neurological problems, such as flaccidity, poor muscular control, twitching, and abnormal electroencephalogram. In adults, it is characterized by megaloblastic anemia and later development of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Neurological symptoms include numbness of the hands and feet, parasthesias, decreased vibration sense, and ataxia. CNS symptoms may occur without anemia and are irreversible. Poor growth, sore, smooth tongue, spleenomegaly, thrombocytopenia, and leucopenia are also seen.
Vitamin B12 toxicity: There are no signs of vitamin B12 toxicity, per se. There are a few rarely reported side effects that might be attributable to the vitamin, but such side effects are not necessarily related to the dose. These possible side effects include: diarrhea, blood clots in the legs, feelings of swelling over the entire body. These are the signs of an allergic reaction: hives or a rash, itching, swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat, wheezing or other difficulty breathing.
Vitamin B12 is usually considered a non-toxic substance. Even taking it by injection at high doses does not seem to increase the risk for toxicity
Elevated levels of Vitamin B12 can occur in polycythemia vera. Polycythemia vera is a disease state in which the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells increases. Diagnosis is characterized by an absolute increase in red blood cells and in the total blood volume, although it is not unusual to also have increases in white blood cells and platelets. A bone marrow examination may be done. However, it is not functional in determining a definitive diagnosis. Laboratory studies confirm the diagnosis by showing increased RBC mass and normal arterial oxygen saturation in association with splenomegaly (spleen enlargement) or two of the following: thrombocytosis, leukocytosis, elevated leukocyte alkaline phosphatase level, or elevated serum vitamin B12 or unbound B12-binding capacity.
Recommendations: RDA in μg(mcg)
  • Infants birth to 6 mos - 0.3mcg
  • Infants 6 mos to 1 yr - 0.5mcg
  • Children 1 yr to 3 yr - 0.7mcg
  • Children 4 yr to 6 yr - 1.0mcg
  • Children 7 yr to 10 yr - 1.4mcg
  • Adolescent males 11yr to 14 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adolescent females 11 yr to 14 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adolescent males 15 yr to 18 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adolescent females 15 yr to 18 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adult males 19 yr to 50 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adult females 19 yr to 50 yr - 2.0mcg
  • Adult males 51 yr plus - 2.0mcg
  • Adult females 51 yr plus - 2.0mcg
  • Pregnant Women - 2.2mcg
  • Lactating Mothers (1st 6 months) - 2.6mcg
  • Lactating Mothers (2nd 6 months) - 2.6mg
Cyanocobalamin B12
Food Source Serving Size/Amount # of mcg/serving
Liver (beef braised) 3.5 oz 71 mcg
Liver (veal braised) 3.5 oz 36.50 mcg
Eggs (boiled) 1 egg 0.56 mcg
Cheddar Cheese 3.5 oz 0.83 mcg
Monterey Cheese 3.5 oz 0.23 mcg
Milk 2% 8 fl oz 0.89 mcg
Clams (raw) 3 oz (4 large or 9 small) 42.05 mcg
Tuna (canned in water) 3 oz 2.54 mcg
The Literature Homocysteine:
The total homocysteine (tHcy) level in the serum is related to pregnancy complications, neural tube defects, mental disorder, and cognitive impairment in the elderly. In addition, over 80 clinical and epidemiological studies provide ample evidence that an elevated tHcy level is a common cardiovascular risk factor. The effect of vitamin B12 on the tHcy level is modest with a maximum of a 10 - 15% reduction. However, a low serum B12 level may prevent an optimal response to folic acid. There also exists the concern that folic acid supplementation alone may correct the hematological findings associated with B12 deficiency, but may precipitate the neurological sequelae of B12 deficiency.
Cobalamin deficiency in the elderly
Vitamin B12deficiency is present in up to 15% of the elderly population. This is documented by elevated methylmalonic acid with or without elevated total homocysteine concentrations in combination with low or low-normal vitamin B12concentrations. Clinical signs and symptoms of vitamin B12deficiency are insensitive in elderly subjects, and comorbidity in these subjects makes responses to therapy difficult to interpret. Clear-cut megaloblastic anemia and myelopathy or neuropathy are rare in elderly vitamin B12deficient subjects. Many elderly subjects with hyperhomocysteinemia have undiagnosed vitamin B12deficiency with elevated serum methylmalonic acid concentrations. Therefore, such elderly subjects should not receive folic acid supplementation before their vitamin B12status is diagnosed. Results of a study showed potential usefulness of serum MMA and Hcys in identifying subclinical or tissue deficiency of vitamin B12. Clinicians should be aware of the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in older people and of current screening algorithms using serum metabolites. Large amounts of oral vitamin B12supplementation may be effective in lowering serum methylmalonic acid values in the elderly. However, the dose of vitamin B12in most common multivitamin preparations is too low for this purpose. The traditional treatment of pernicious anemia in the United States is injections of vitamin B12. However, several studies in subjects with pernicious anemia showed that oral doses of 300-1000 mg are effective in raising serum vitamin B12concentrations and preventing clinical abnormalities. It is likely that similar doses of vitamin B12(100-1000 mg) would be effective in elderly subjects with less complete malabsorption.
Undiagnosed pernicious anemia is a common finding in the elderly, especially among black and white women. Findings from a study by Carmel show that almost 800,000 elderly people in the United States have undiagnosed and untreated pernicious anemia and, thus, would be at possible risk for masked cobalamin deficiency if exposed to large amounts of folate. This number does not include those elderly with cobalamin deficiency caused by other disorders or the still unknown number of younger people with unrecognized pernicious anemia and other causes of deficiency.
Low cobalamin concentrations are common in the elderly. Although only a minority of such persons displays clinically obvious symptoms or signs, metabolic data clearly show cellular deficiency of cobalamin in most cases. The evidence suggests that this is not a normal physiologic expression of the aging process. Rather, the elderly seem at increased risk for mild, preclinical cobalamin deficiency. Classical disorders such as pernicious anemia are the cause of this deficiency in only a small proportion of the elderly. A more frequent problem is food-cobalamin malabsorption, which usually arises from atrophic gastritis and hypochlorhydria, but other mechanisms seem to be involved in some patients. One study demonstrated no significant difference in either free or protein-bound cobalamin absorption between healthy middle-aged and older adults, and no alteration in cobalamin absorption in subjects identified as having mild to moderate atrophic gastritis. Thus, the high prevalence of low cobalamin levels in older people cannot be explained by either the aging process or mild to moderate atrophic gastritis. The diminished absorption should not be viewed as a natural consequence of aging. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the partial nature of this form of malabsorption produces a more slowly progressive depletion of cobalamin than does the more complete malabsorption engendered by disruption of intrinsic factor-mediated absorption. The decreased progression of depletion is the most likely cause and this explains why mild pre-clinical low levels are connected most frequently with food-cobalamin malabsorption rather than with pernicious anemia.
The effects of hypochlorhydria and acidic drink ingestion on protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption was investigated in elderly subjects. Omeprazole causes hypochlorhydria and thus, protein-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption, and ingestion of an acidic drink improves protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption. Omeprazole therapy acutely decreased cyanocobalamin absorption in a dose-dependent manner. Patients taking cimetidine should also take vitamin B12 supplements. About 10-20% of elderly are deficient in cobalamine. There was a high (14.5%) prevalence of cobalamin deficiency as demonstrated by elevations in serum methylmalonic acid and homocysteine in addition to low or low normal serum cobalamin levels in elderly outpatients. The serum cobalamin level was insensitive for screening since similar numbers of patients with low normal serum cobalamin levels of 201-300 pg/mL compared with patients with low cobalamin levels (< or = 200 pg/mL) had markedly elevated metabolites which fell with cobalamin treatment. The latter study suggested that the lower limit of the normal range for Cbl level should be increased to 300 pg/mL.
Hearing impairment is one of the four most prevalent chronic conditions in the elderly. Houston et. al., in their recent article, suggested that poor vitamin B12and folate status might be associated with age-related auditory dysfunction.
Data suggest that serum cobalamin levels decrease in normal aging. This association is present only in the non-demented group, but not the demented group. In one study, a lower cobalamin concentration was observed in Alzheimer's disease sufferers still living in their own homes compared with institutionalized persons with AD, which may be related to, but not fully explained, by eating habits. Patients with AD living in their own homes are at risk of developing cobalamin deficiency, and monitoring of serum cobalamin concentrations might be useful in this group. One small study in 22 elderly patients with low serum cobalamin, showed that vitamin B12 may be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimers. A study in 50 Chinese subjects suggested that cobalamin deficiency did not invariably cause cognitive impairment in older people. In another study, vitamin B12 replacement did not result in the slowing of the progression of dementia.
As it becomes clear that most low cobalamin concentrations in the elderly are neither artifacts nor normal expressions of aging, but represent a mild clinical deficiency state (and occasionally a clinically overt one), and as it has become clearer that in one half of the cases absorption of cobalamin is impaired in one way or another, the usual dismissal of patients with low cobalamin concentrations should be reexamined. A broad spectrum of options can be formulated, though none of these alter the common consensus that symptomatic deficiency must always be treated promptly. The options include the following:
1. Do nothing about cobalamin concentrations unless they become clinically noticeable. The arguments in support of this include the sheer number of patients involved, the costs, skepticism about medical intervention for biochemical changes, the fact that only a small minority of affected patients are symptomatic, the likelihood that whatever progression exists is very slow, and the fact that studies have shown no ill effects, even after many years of withholding treatment. The counter arguments are that absence of overt symptoms do not necessarily equal a state of well-being, that the underlying gastric disturbance is one half of the affected people which suggests that the cobalamin deficiency will persist and probably progress, that prevention has at least as much merit as cure, and that preclinical cobalamin deficiency may be a sentinel of serious underlying diseases, such as pernicious anemia in premyelopathic stage or celiac disease.
2. Automatically treat all patients with low cobalamin concentrations. The arguments in support of this hypothesis are that it is a cheap efficient way to ensure that no one who might benefit goes untreated, that a detailed work-up may be neither practical nor effective in view of its expense and the limited availability of many of the newer tests, and that cobalamin is not toxic and will not harm those who might receive it unnecessarily. The arguments against this approach are the resulting failure to identify serious underlying diseases that may have caused the deficiency in some of the patients, the failure to identify in some a need for more complex treatment or attention to complications, and the possibility that the amount and presumably the oral route of cobalamin therapy that such an approach dictates may prove inadequate to some patients. It is worth noting that cobalamin deficiency, even though less frequent than in nonsupplemented individuals, was still found in elderly patients who were taking cobalamin supplements. Thus, although cobalamin supplements are likely to work satisfactorily in people with food-cobalamin malabsorption, this has never been established and may be more complex than assumed. One can ask whether cobalamin pills taken with meals bind to the food proteins and fail to be absorbed by someone with food-cobalamin malabsorption. Moreover, it is not certain that all patients with unsuspected pernicious anemia (estimated to occur in 2% of all elderly and 10-20% of those with low cobalamin concentrations) will absorb enough cobalamin from a pill, especially if doses < 100 mg are taken, or if it is taken haphazardly, as routine supplements often are.
3. Give cobalamin supplements to all elderly people, regardless of their cobalamin concentrations. The arguments in favor of this, beyond those already stated in the preceding option, are that a problem of such proportions may benefit from equally broad solutions, that it saves the cost of widespread cobalamin testing (which in any case may provide falsely normal and falsely abnormal results), and that it may have potential benefits for patients with very early stages of negative balance. The counterarguments are that supplements recommended population-wide tend to lead to high intakes by those who are more affluent, health conscious, and functionally intact, and tend to be ignored by the poor and the impaired.
4. Continue the traditional medical approach of individual evaluation and therapy. The arguments for this approach are based on its laudable goal of making the specific diagnosis; identifying possibly treatable underlying diseases; addressing prognostic issues; treating those who need it with specific, tailored therapeutic approaches; and avoiding treatment of those who do not need it. The arguments against it are the cost in time and money of evaluating millions of people, and the uncertainty of what constitutes optimal diagnostic evaluation, given that currently standard, clinical tests such as blood counts and Schilling tests give negative results in most cases.
The choice to be made among these options and their variations can reflect only personal philosophies and biases at this time. To the concerns already mentioned, could be added uncertainty about the possible adverse effects created by changes in folate status and other changes. Unprotected exposure to nitrous oxide, a widely used inhalant during surgery may constitute another common and under-appreciated source of clinical risk for the elderly with marginal cobalamin status. All these issues must be carefully weighed when devising an optimal approach to the common problem of mild, preclinical cobalamin deficiency in the elderly.
HIV disease progression
In a study conducted in HIV positive men, participants with low serum vitamin B12 concentrations (< 120 pmol/L) had significantly shorter AIDS-free time than those with adequate vitamin B12 concentrations (median AIDS-free time = 4 vs. 8 y, respectively, P = 0.004). In a cross sectionals study, Remacha et. al. found that HIV-1 infected patients that had lower serum vitamin B12 concentrations had lower hemoglobin, leukocytes, CD4+ lymphocytes, and CD4+/CD8+ lymphocytes than HIV-1 infected patients with normal serum vitamin B12 concentrations. Ninety percent of the patients with low serum vitamin B12 concentrations had AIDS compared with only 66% of patients with adequate vitamin B12 concentrations. Similar results were noted in other studies. Another study showed that subjects with low CD4 lymphocyte counts, low serum vitamin B12 levels, anemia, or low neutrophil counts were more likely to have hematologic toxic effects when treated with AZT. Low serum concentrations of vitamin B6 and folate were not associated with either progression to AIDS or decline in CD4+ lymphocyte count. Therefore, Serum vitamin B12 concentrations seem to be an early and independent marker of HIV-1 disease progression. The effectiveness of vitamin B12 replacement therapy in slowing disease progression, however, is still unknown and should be the focus of further research.
Breast Cancer
Menopausal women with lower median B12 concentrations were found to have a higher risk for the development of breast cancer when compared to controls. In the same study, an increased risk of breast cancer was observed among women in the lowest fifth of the distribution of vitamin B12 as compared to women in the other four higher fifths, suggesting a threshold effect for B12. However, the possibility cannot be excluded that an unidentified protective factor for breast cancer associated with higher B12 concentrations might have led to the protective association between vitamin B12 and breast cancer. The mechanisms underlying the association between B12 and breast cancer might be explained by the role of B12 as a co-substrate in the synthesis of methionine, for which a methyl group is transferred from methyl tetrahydrofolate to homocysteine. Thus, lower concentrations of B12 might result in reduced synthesis of de novo methyl groups, leading to DNA hypomethylation, which may play a role in carcinogenesis. Through diminished availability of unsubstituted tetrahydrofolate, which is involved in reactions generating thymidilate and purines, lower B12 concentrations might also lead to reduced DNA synthesis and, thus, impaired DNA repair mechanisms.
Male Infertility:
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to reduced sperm counts and lowered sperm motility. Thus, it is suggested that B12 supplements might improve fertility in men who are truly deficient in this vitamin.
Diabetic Neuropathy:
In a double-blind study, patients with diabetic neuropathy who received methylcobalamin showed statistical improvement in the somatic and autonomic symptoms with regression of signs of diabetic neuropathy. Motor and sensory nerve conduction studies showed no statistical improvement after 4 months. The drug was easily tolerated by the patients and no side effects were encountered. In another study, intrathecal injection of methylcobalamine (2,500 micrograms in 10 ml of saline) in patients with symptomatic diabetic neuropathy showed improvement in paresthesia, burning pains, and heaviness. The mean peroneal motor-nerve conduction velocity did not change significantly. Methylcobalamin caused no side effects with respect to subjective symptoms or characteristics of spinal fluid. Thus, these findings suggest that a high concentration of methylcobalamin in spinal fluid is highly effective and safe for treating the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Multiple Sclerosis:
A massive dose of methyl vitamin B12 (60 mg every day for 6 months) was administered to 6 patients with chronic progressive MS, a disease which usually had a morbid prognosis and widespread demyelination in the central nervous system. Although the motor disability did not improve clinically, the abnormalities in both the visual and brainstem auditory evoked potentials improved more frequently during the therapy than in the pre-treatment period. Thus, it is suggested that a massive dose methyl vitamin B12 therapy may be useful as an adjunct to immunosuppressive treatment for chronic progressive MS. Another study showed that serum cobalamin deficiency is uncommon in multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 is essential for purine and thymidine synthesis. It is also essential for growth, blood cell formation, nutrient metabolism, thyroid functioning, and myelin formation. It helps in maintaining the integrity of nerve cell membrane and is also needed in the production of the mood affecting substance called SAM (S-adenosyl methionine). Cobalamin deficiency may produce a functional folate deficiency by trapping folate in metabolic pathways and limiting its regeneration, and also functions with folate in lowering plasma homocysteine levels, which is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease.
A number of claims have been made about the conditions in which Vitamin B12 may be supportive: pernicious anemia, Crohn's disease, Vitiligo, Tinnitus, Atherosclerosis, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Retinopathy, HIV support, Shingles (herpes zoster/postherpetic neuralgia, Hepatitis, asthma, and infertility in males.
Evidence strongly supports that Vitamin B12 has a modest effect in lowering the tHcy and optimizes the response to folic acid. There also exists the concern that folic acid supplementation alone may correct the hematological findings associated with B12 deficiency, but may precipitate the neurological sequelae of B12 deficiency. The total homocysteine (tHcy) level in the serum is related to pregnancy complications, neural tube defects, mental disorder, and cognitive impairment in the elderly. Vitamin B12 may have a protective effect in the risk of breast cancer. Low B12 concentrations are shown to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer, which may be because lower concentrations of B12 might result in reduced synthesis of de novo methyl groups leading to DNA hypomethylation, which may play a role in carcinogenesis. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations seem to be an early and independent marker of HIV-1 disease progression, although the effectiveness of vitamin B12 replacement therapy in slowing disease progression is still unknown. Further role of B12 in homocysteine lowering is discussed in Homocysteine section. Clinicians should be vigilant to the possibility of cobalamin deficiency in the context of neuropsychiatric illnesses.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in elderly population, most of whom are undiagnosed with elevated serum methyl malonoic acid concentrations. Although the high prevalence of low cobalamin levels in older people cannot be explained by either ageing process or mild to moderate atropic gastritis, undiagnosed pernicious anemia and food-cobalamin malabsorption are very common in the elderly. Patients with Alzheimer's disease living in their own homes are also at increased risk of developing a cobalamin deficiency. Poor vitamin B12 and folate status might be associated with age-related auditory dysfunction. Thus, it appears that in one half of the cases, absorption of cobalamin is impaired in one way or the other, and the usual dismissal of patients with low cobalamin concentrations should be re-examined.
In general populations who are prone to be deficient, like patients with pernicious anemia and those with disorders of gastric mucosa, intestinal infections, gastrectomy, ileal disease, or resection, and genetic defects in absorption and transport mechanisms, should receive supplementation. Strict vegetarians and cigarette smokers should consume adequate amounts in their diet to prevent development of hematological and neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency. Delay in diagnosing and treating vitamin B12 deficiency may result in permanent neurological damage.
Our recommendations for adults is 800 μg/d. This amount can be obtained from approximately 1.4 boiled eggs, 1 serving of cheddar cheese, 8 fl oz of milk with 2% fat and 1/100 servings of liver (beef braised). Patients with pernicious anemia are traditionally treated with vitamin B12 injections, while oral doses of 300-1000 μg/d are shown to be equally effective in raising serum vitamin B12 concentrations and preventing clinical abnormalities. Doses of 100-1000 μg/d may be effective in the elderly patients. Anyone supplemented with more than a 1000 μg/d of folic acid may be initially evaluated to prevent potential problems.By
Read More