Supplements In The News

Texas physician says progesterone cream reduces bodyfat

Dr. James Snow, a physician in Whitesboro, Texas, suggests that his patients who want to lose weight should try progesterone cream. Snow’s theory is that the progesterone stimulates the thyroid and causes an increase in the metabolism of fat. read more...read more...

Pine bark extracts show promise for treating arthritis

Finnish researchers recently studied the Scotch pine Pinus sylvestris as a source of anti-inflammatory compounds. The work parallels work done on another species of pine, Pinus pinaster. Both species turn out to be rich in antioxidant compounds. (Pinus pinaster, in fact, is the source of a product called Pycnogenol which is used for its cardiovascular benefits.)

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Idebenone anti-aging skin cream hits the market

Allergan Inc., the company that makes the Botox treatment for reducing wrinkles, now has a new anti-aging product on the market: Prevage®, a skin cream that contains the antioxidant idebenone. Idebenone has been available as an oral nutritional supplement for several years and has a well-deserved reputation as an energy-booster. Its antioxidant properties have been established by many biochemical studies.

Prevage has taken a long time to reach the market and has cost a lot of money to develop — not because it posed any special safety or technical problems, but because Allergan wanted to sell it as a high-end prescription drug rather than a cosmetic supplement — and this means that the U.S. FDA had to be involved. read more...read more...

Clinical trial will test curcumin as Alzheimer’s treatment

Curcumin, the yellow substance in turmeric and curry, has a long medicinal history in India, and in recent years has received increasing attention from medical researchers as a possible treatment for a variety of ailments. Recent work at the University of California, Los Angeles, has now revealed a new application: curcumin interferes with the biochemical process responsible for the formation of destructive plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

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Irresponsible news industry: the latest scare

Although many people consider journalism in the U.S. to be largely a bad joke, this joke has some very unfunny consequences. A good example is the latest media-produced scare over vitamin E.

A group of statisticians recently published a study consisting of an analysis of previous studies of vitamin E. The studies they analyzed were clinical trials, dating back to the 1960s, in which vitamin E played a role. The statisticians reached the conclusion that higher doses of vitamin E were associated with higher death rates. How much higher was the death rate? 0.38% higher — that’s 38 hundredths of a percent.


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Quercetin and green tea for flu prevention

The flu vaccine fiasco in the U.S., combined with the threat of a disastrous bird flu epidemic in the near future, has created an incentive to look for alternative influenza preventatives. (At least, such an incentive exists in the U.S., which is apparently the only country in the industrialized world with a medical system sufficiently inept for this fiasco to happen.) Two of the most promising of these alternative flu preventatives are quercetin (a substance found in many plants) and EGCG (a substance plentiful in green tea).

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Quercetin suggested as preventative for neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Quercetin’s potential as an anti-cancer supplement has made it a popular item for research as well as a popular nutritional supplement. But its apparent benefits go far beyond its anti-cancer activity and include protection against the type of damage done to nerve cells by neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These neuro-protective effects have been known about for several years.

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Hoodia ‘cactus’ — the latest word in fat reduction

Hoodia gordonii is a cactus-like plant from southern Africa. Tribesmen from that region have used it for generations as an appetite suppressant and as a feel-good supplement. Europeans found out about it several decades ago, studied it, gave the development rights to a European drug company, but the company decided not to pursue hoodia as a reducing drug — possibly because the active ingredients could not be patented since they were naturally occurring.
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Grape Seed Extract — a potential preventative for dangerous blood clots?

Grape seeds contain a variety of interesting compounds with pharmacological properties. Among these are a class of compounds known as “proanthocyanidins”*. Proanthocyanidins are found not only in grape seeds, but also in the bark of pine trees, an extract of which is commercially marketed as “Pycnogenol®”.

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Cardiovascular and cognitive benefits from tea

Tea and its chemical constituents have caught the interest of medical researchers — the past ten years have seen thousands of research studies published on this subject. Much of this interest has been inspired by epidemiological studies showing that societies having high tea consumption also have low cancer rates. But the benefits of tea (both green tea and black tea) go beyond cancer prevention — they seem to include cognitive enhancement and cardiovascular improvement, as well.

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