liver anatomyWhat is a Glutathione?

Glutathione is an antioxidant that is necessary for prevention of heart disease, cancer, aging, dementia and many others. It is also necessary for
treating Alzheimer’s disease, autism AIDS and many other chronic diseases. The antioxidant contains a chemical known as sulfur that aids in getting rid of all the toxins and harmful substances in the body that are responsible for causing a myriad of diseases.

Importance of Glutathione to the liver

Foremost, it is important to identify the role that the liver plays in the body. The liver is responsible for;

  1. Storage of glycogen as well as keeping blood sugar at an optimum levels.
  2. Detoxification.
  3. Production and storage of proteins.
  4. Bile production that is essential in fat digestion.
  5. Hormone regulation.
  6. Productions of substances essential for red blood cells formation as well as controlling blood clotting.
  7. Vitamins A, D and 12 storage
  8. Turning free radicals to a neutral state.

Your body manufactures sufficient amounts of the antioxidant. However, depletion of glutathione can occur if there is exposure to radiation, toxins, trauma, stress, pollution, poor diet, infections, certain medications, infections and aging. The aforementioned overload the liver hence making it unable to naturally detoxify the body. The inability of the liver to detoxify leaves your body more susceptible to free radicals, oxidation which causes infections and chronic diseases.

How does Glutathione work?

The sulfur contained in glutathione works like a magnet to metal. It attracts all the harmful substances in the body like heavy metals, free radicals and toxins. Once the substances stick on the sulfur, it becomes much easier for the liver to remove them from the body. The process makes it easy for the body to recycle the body’s natural glutathione, which would have been impossible if the harmful substances were still present.

How can you increase depleted levels of glutathione?

If you like to boost your glutathione levels, there are a number of things that you can do.

  1. Consume foods rich in sulfur for instance, onions, garlic, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
  2. Exercise – Exercising at least three times a week helps in straightening your immune system, enhances your body’s level of antioxidants and helps in detoxification. When you exercise, you sweat which is one way of getting rid of the toxins. Because of sweating, you will also get the urge to drink water that is essential in flushing out more toxins.
  3. Consume whey protein – Bioactive whey is a protein that is rich in amino acid building blocks and cysteine which are essential in the production of glutathione. Go for whey products that are non-pasteurized, and that organically produces because they are healthier. Organically produced means that they do not contain hormones, pesticides or antibiotics. A good example is Immunocal that is often prescribed by medical doctors.
  4. Glutathione supporting supplements – These are crucial for production and recycling of the antioxidant. Examples of the supplements are; milk thistle, vitamin B6, B12, C and E, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, folate and N-acetyl-cysteine.

Depletion of Glutathione is not a one-day affair. It is a long process, and the effects may go unnoticed until it is too late. It is therefore, recommended that we up our intake of the above foods as well as exercise. Today’s world is one that is full of pollutants and their ingestion is unavoidable. By maintaining an optimum level of the molecule, our livers will be able to function properly for the general well-being of our bodies.

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Magnesium1 (2)What is a neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition that occurs because of nerve damage. Neuropathy can also be termed as Peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy

The term peripheral neuropathy refers to a complication that occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged. Peripheral nerves are nerves that are located outside the central nervous system. Peripheral nerves are nerves that carry information or messages to the brain and the spinal cord from the other parts of the body.

Cause of neuropathy

When the peripheral nerves are damaged, communication to the brain will be interrupted. This means that normal sensation in the arms and legs will be affected. Neuropathy causes body muscles to be impaired. Neuropathy occurs as a result of several different types of diseases.

The nerves that can be affected by neuropathy include:

  1. Sensory nerves – These are nerves that assist in body sensations such as heat, touch and pain.
  2. Motor nerves – They control the movement of muscles in the body. Damaged motor nerves will result to paralysis in more serious situations.
  3. Autonomic nerves – They control body functions like blood pressure, digestion and heart rate.

Symptoms of neuropathy

  • Burning sensation. It may start from the feet and legs of the affected person. This then spread to the hands and the arms.
  • Weak body muscles. Motor nerves are important in strengthening the muscles. When the nerves are damaged, the muscles will remain weak.
  • Co-ordination problems. Neuropathy breaks the communication between the brain and other body parts. This will result into the body parts not being able to co-ordinate well with the brain and thus poor body functionality.
  • Paralyzed muscles. When motor nerves are destroyed or damaged completely, the muscles will be paralyzed.
  • Pain while walking.
  • Foot problems such as foot ulcers and other foot infections.
  • In ability to feel pain in some parts of the body such as the foot and the hands.
  • Weakness in the hands or feet.

Treatment of neuropathy

The treatment of neuropathy can best be done when its cause if treated. Diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure if treated can help cure neuropathy. When treating neuropathy it is important for patients to reveal all medical history of their bodies to the doctors. This will enable doctors identify the root cause of the condition and be able to come up with ways of treating them. Minor symptoms can be relieved by the use of pain relievers. Some medication used to treat diabetes can be administered to treat neuropathy, as diabetes is one of the causes of neuropathy.

Use of magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is vital for various biological processes in the body. Some of its functions include:

 

  • Its assists in the regulation of cholesterol levels in the body.
  • It assists in the metabolism processes
  • It helps in maintaining normal cardiovascular functions.
  • It assists in maintaining smooth muscle movement and thus reducing muscle pain.
  • In places where nerves have been damaged, magnesium assists in the generation nerves to strengthen the muscles.

 References

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peripheral-neuropathy
  2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

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fishFish Oils

What is the effect of consuming fish oil, which contains Omega 3 to gout? This query is answered by knowing the effects of this substance to gout patients or even for healthy people. There are several manifestations of this disease, which are relieved through consuming this substance.

Gout on Fish Oil

Gout can take place as an outcome of an over accumulation of uric acid within the bloodstream. The disease emerges when the condition is triggered by a sturdy inflammatory response and the immune system will then respond. This response will most probably cause an arthritis condition or also known as gouty arthritis. Gout always commence in the big toe. However, it may as well involve other joints, such as elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles.

Cause of Arthritis

Only around five per cent of arthritis condition was associated with gouty arthritis in the past. Nevertheless, the numbers slowly escalate every day. This is possibly because of alcohol consumption, poor diet and the intake of fatty foods, which are low in terms of nutritional values. The two main fats, which contain Omega 3 are DHA and EPA. Research studies have discovered most recently that DHA is transformed inside the body into a chemical, Resolvin D2, which activates the anti-inflammatory response. This substance is confirmed to comprehensively lessen the manifestation of gouty arthritis, both primary or secondary gout and other kinds of arthritis.

Studies as well show that Omega 3 works much better than other prescribed medications. As a wrap up of these studies, it was discovered that this substance does not have any side effects. It can provide a vast number of other advantages, particularly for the brain and the heart. An Omega 3 rich diet is essential to everyone’s welfare. It can boost the immune system and thereby aiding to prevent various illnesses.

Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acid

The most preferred oils are extracted from hoki and tuna fish. It is proven that a particular blend of these two types of oils has a better anti-inflammatory effect than usual oils. The ideal fish oil for gouty arthritis are species that have high DHA fat content, reaching up to 270 milligrams every 1000 milligram capsule or soft gel.

The Omega 3 fatty acids are known to reduce pain and inflammation caused by a number of ailments from injury trauma to arthritis. These acids help to promote a stronger inflammation cycle, which can both prevent as well as relieve many different painful conditions that virtually anyone could suffer from.

Omega 3 fish oil is known to promote brain functions as well as development and it is also common today for a pregnant mother to be advised to take Omega 3 supplements. Taking them can lead to a higher intelligence as well as increased happiness in the child after birth

We should also mention the benefits of fish oil to the health of the heart. The benefits of Omega 3 fish oils in relation to the cardiovascular system are just astounding.

It can thin out the blood, which can prevent blood clots while at the same time reducing one’s cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Furthermore, Omega 3 has been shown to add years to one’s life.

What about the reduction of cancers like prostate, breast and colon cancer? Yes, Omega 3 has been known to reduce the potential for this to occur as well. There are just so many benefits associated with the consumption of Omega 3 fish oils that there is no knowing what benefits will be discovered next.

 


Alzheimer’s diseaseWhat is an Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that causes changes in behavior and memory lapse. The disease is usually progressive and this means that it becomes worse with time. AD as the condition is commonly referred to most common type of dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a medical term that is used to refer to a serious memory loss that can interfere with your daily life. As of now, there is no cure for AD. People suffer from AD as a result of two major changes that occurs in the brain.

People with Alzheimer’s disease get

  1. Plaques – which is characterized by the building up of proteins between the brain nerve cells stopping the cells from signaling to one another.
  2. Tangles – These are the dying or dead nerve cells. They prevent the nutrients from passing through the cells, resulting in their death.

Symptoms of AD

  • Memory loss affecting your day to day activity
  • Trouble solving problems or planning
  • Being unable to complete some tasks that you were able to handle in the past
  • Trouble judging distance or reading
  • Making poor judgments
  • Withdrawing from hobbies, work and social activities
  • Getting confused on where you are or even the time
  • Change in personality or mood. This could cause you to easily get upset, anxious or suspicious

It is important to note that these symptoms are different from the normal changes that come with the aging process such as losing things regularly or forgetting names. If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Prevalence of the disease

It is estimated that there are over 5 million Americans who are living with AD. The condition affects 1in every 9 people who are aged over 65. Some of the people who are commonly affected by the condition include:

  • Those who are aged over 65. The main cause of the condition is old age
  • A family history of a person with the condition
  • Genes that affect the development of AD
  •  A serious head injury
  • Conditions such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or stroke
  • Black or Hispanic people

 

 

What causes AD?

Scientists do not know the exact cause of HD, but they are aware that it involves the death of the brain cells and the development of plaques and tangles.

How Vitamin D helps fight AD

Research has proven that there is a close link between vitamin D and the way that the brain works. There are suggestions that a lack of vitamin D could be one of the causes of dementia, such as AD. Many parts of the brain contain vitamin D receptors and this means that vitamin D influences the way we think, act and learn. Scientists have noted that people suffering from AD have less vitamin D receptors in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for forming memories. Vitamin D receptors help to protect the brain from factors that can damage it such as plaques and tangles. Scientists are still researching on whether taking vitamin D can help treat AD.

Sources

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php

 

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CoconutSubstitute for sugar

You will scarcely discover an individual who has not caught wind of the negative outcomes of intemperate sugar utilization. A few classifications of individuals like overweight individuals and those agonies from diabetes are not permitted to consume sugar whatsoever. Nonetheless, opposing an allurement to consume something sweet or sugary is generally amazingly troublesome. Subsequently, numerous good dieting lovers are searching for the sweetener that is free of sugarcane and accordingly does not debilitate their wellbeing. In the event that you fit in
with this class of individuals, you ought to attempt coconut sugar.

What is a coconut sugar?

Coconut sugar is a regular sweetener inferred from the blossoms of a coconut tree. Crude coconut sugar has a dull tan color and does not have an aftertaste like general sugar. It is less sweet and diabetes amicable. It is turning out to be the healthiest sweetener substitute and has various wellbeing profits some of which are uncovered in this article.

coconut sugarLow Glycemic Index

Glycemic file is the numeric esteem that indicates how rapidly distinctive nourishments turn to sugar. The higher the record is – the speedier sustenance transforms into sugar. Inordinate utilization of sustenance with a high record of glutamine can prompt stoutness and along these lines weight related ailments like elevated cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and heart sicknesses. Consequently, health awareness authority prescribes minimizing the utilization of high glycemic sustenance. Glycemic file of pure sweetener is 50, which makes it one of the greatest foes
of your wellbeing. Consequently, on the off chance that you need to enhance your wellbeing it is suggested substituting it with coconut sugar, glycemic record of which is 35.

Rich in Amino Acids

Fitting working of the human body is unthinkable without the sufficient admission of amino acids. They are key for legitimate digestion system and different methodologies. While the body itself delivers some amino acids, others ought to get from nourishment. Coconut sugar contains sixteen out of twenty fundamental amino acids.

Stacked with Minerals and Vitamins

An alternate profit of devouring coconut sugar is its high substance of vitamins and minerals. Minerals like potassium, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and numerous others are vital for the correct working of all organs and along these lines for the general wellbeing. In the meantime, coco sugar contains each of the 12 gathering B vitamins, which support resistant framework and helps keep muscles toned.

Weight reduction Properties

Coconut sugar is a perfect sweetener for good dieting aficionados and weight watchers. A tablespoon of coconut sugar contains just ten calories. Accordingly, you can add it to sustenance and beverages without regret, regardless of the fact that you are on a health improvement plan.

Considering everything, it is vital specifying that coconut sugar is a 100% natural item. It is inferred from the coconut sap without including additives and added substances. Coco sap is bubbled in an open compartment in which it is cooled and set.

Nutrient Content

Coconut sugar is not a healthful super food; however, it does offer a bigger number of vitamins and minerals than white table sugar. It contains follow measures of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar additionally gives little measures of phytonutrients, for example, polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and cancer prevention agents. You will likewise find the B vitamin inositol, frequently utilized as a disposition supporter, in coconut sugar.

 

 

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hemp plantWhat is a hemp seed?

Hemp seeds are the most nutritious natural health food, which makes a human healthy, fit, and fine. Produced by a strain of the Cannabis plant, these seeds contain proteins, amino acids, and fatty acids essential for a healthy human body. The best thing about these seeds is that it contains all these essential elements in the required ratio and quantity that a body needs. Hence, there is no other source that can be so effective and possess such strong nutritious elements.

Beings the best source of fiber, proteins and other nutritional elements, Hemp seeds health benefits are numerous. If you want to sustain your all types of dietary needs in the perfect ratio, then start taking hemp seed in your regular diet.

Below are few health benefits of hemp seeds:

High Nutritional Value: These seeds contain all the 20 different types of amino acids, including 9 more which cannot be produced by the body and that too in perfect ratio which provides the required amount of protein to the body. Moreover, these seeds provide all the different types of protein that a human body can get from various foods like meat, milk, eggs, and soy. These are more digestible and complete source of proteins, therefore used to treat malnutrition problems.

Moreover, a human body cannot produce fatty acids internally and to produce them, you need to take these seeds regularly in your diet. Ideal amount of fatty acids improves the functioning of your brain and transfer oxygen to cells.

Treat A Range Of Diseases: The seeds are essential to treat different types of diseases like tuberculosis and other chronic diseases. Moreover, it is Omega-3 Linolenic Acid and Omega-6 Linoleic Acid helps in strengthening the immune system while treating nutritional deficiencies. Apart from this, their anti-cancer properties help in avoiding tumor problems and other forms of cancer. Moreover, these seeds are
highly beneficial for the skin as it reduces inflammation and moisturize is properly.

Obesity: Individuals who are having difficulty in shedding off their excess weight can reap the benefits of these seeds. Health specialists have always advised obese persons to adapt to this sort of sustenance. They say individuals who consume hemp seeds in breakfast, lunch and supper can lose up to thirty pounds of weight in a month. With this, they should likewise work on their physical exercises to increase adaptability and quality. Notwithstanding it, obese individuals are supposed to stay far from unhealthy sustenance’s and refreshments. By eating hemp seeds, one can shed weight and gain a decent body shape.

Now after knowing the hemp seeds benefits, you must be thinking how to take it in your regular diet? You can have these seeds along with fresh vegetable salad or fruit salad. Further, you can also use it as toppings over pizza. You can also take a teaspoon of seeds during breakfast, lunch and supper, which will provide the necessary proteins, acids and fiber to the body.

However, hemp cultivation is illegal in a number of countries; you can purchase them online stores. Just search for them online and you will get the best stores selling these seeds.

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citronellaWhat is citronella?

Citronella is a substance regularly used to repulse bugs, mostly mosquitoes. It comes in numerous structures that individuals can utilize. It is regular oil that mosquitoes a whole lot despise. A citronella geranium, likewise called mosquito geranium, is a type of plant that delivers the oil utilized within citronella items. The plant scent discharges when you squash or rub then clears out. A citronella geranium contains short of 1 percent citronella oil. The plant may not repulse enough mosquitoes to be worth planting for this sole reason. The citronella geranium is delicate to ice and obliges insurance in the chilly climate. Citronella oil originates from a dried verdant plant called Cymbopagon Nardus. Its solid smell makes it troublesome for mosquitoes and different bugs to place a host. It goes about as a smoke screen by disguising the human aroma. Mosquitoes abhor this in light of the fact that this keeps them from discovering a host to feast upon.  It is not because they despise the emanation. The period of time it repulses mosquitoes relies on upon how solid the citronella smell is.

Mosquitoes and Citronella

Citronella oil likewise bothers mosquitoes’ feet. This keeps them from arriving on an individual that is close blazing citronella oil or has connected it to their skin.

mosquitoWhy Only Mosquitoes

Since mosquitoes are virtually the main bugs that encourage of human blood, this characteristic repellent relates to them. They cannot survive and lay eggs on the off chance that they cannot discover a victimized person to suck blood from.

Step by step instructions to utilize Citronella to repulse mosquitoes

1. Select a planting holder that is 8 to 12 inches in width with bottom waste gaps. Fill the compartment half full with a well-emptying potting soil.

2. Expel the citronella seedling from the developing holder and relax the roots. Set the root ball into the holder so the top is 1 to 2 inches beneath the compartment edge. Pack soil around the root ball to hold it set up. Leave no less than 1 inch between the
highest point of the dirt and the edge of the holder.

3. Set the compartment on a porch or range where you need to repulse mosquitoes. The plant develops best when it gets at least six hours immediate daylight.

4. Uproot leaves and pulverize them to discharge the oil and regular aroma to repulse mosquitoes. Set the leaves on a plate and stun the leaf accumulations around the zone to repulse mosquitoes where individuals assemble.

5. Rub the leaves of the plant on your skin to fortify aroma discharge that repels mosquitoes. You may need to rub the leaves on your skin occasionally as the aroma decreases.

The most effective method to concentrate Citronella

1. Place 4 ounces of dried citronella leaves into a little jug and fill it with isopropyl liquor, otherwise called rubbing liquor.

2. Set the jug down and abandon it for three days.

3. Place your colander on top of your pot. Strain the substance of the jug into the pot for transport into its last holder. You now effectively remove citronella oil.

 

Reference

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6791117_do-mosquitoes-hate-citronella_.html

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st john's wortWhat is St. John’s Wort

St.john’s wort is an herb mostly found in Europe and US. It grows naturally, but due to its variety of health benefits, people are planting it in their homes, not mainly for aesthetic value, but for medical purposes.

Uses of St. John’s Wort

For centuries, St. John’s wort her has been used to treat various disorders especially depression and anxiety. A study conducted in 2005 to establish its effectiveness found that it significantly reduced anxiety and depression. People suffering from anxiety and depression were found to have unusual levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. With the help of St.Johns wort, symptoms of physical anxiety and depression such as fatigue, profuse sweating, restlessness and headache were significantly reduced. Some research has found this St. John’s wort as effective as some prescription antidepressants.

St. John’s Wort Compounds

St. John’s wort is wholly a natural product that works naturally to treat depression and anxiety. Its flowers and leaves contain photodynamic molecules which are to trap sunlight. It also contains hypericin, naphthodianthrones, hyperiforin, xanthenes and flavanols. These are the same ingredients used in medicines used to treat people who are plagued with depression and anxiety disorders.

Naphthodianthrones and hyperiforin compounds in the wort have the ability to modulate brain signals and significantly boost the functionality of the nervous system. Hypericin found in this product has been found effective in regulating the amount of acetylcholine, which has a direct effect on your memory and muscular movements.

There ongoing research show that St. John’s wort is as effective as Prozac or Zoloft in treating mild to moderate anxiety or depression.

Dosage of St. John’s Wort

Dosage ranges from 600 milligrams to 800 milligrams. You should also vary the dosage according to the body response to medication.

However, dosage also varies because the concentration of ingredients also vary according to the environment the herb has grown. Before using this product, it is very important to discuss with the dealer, and also notify your doctor.

Risks of taking St. John’s wort

When the dosage is properly followed, St.John’s wort has no side effects. However, just like any other medications, it has some simple side effects which your body can adopt as you continue with its use. Some of its side effects include.

  1. Allergic reactions
  2. Fatigue and restlessness with long term use
  3. Increased blood pressure
  4. Anxiety
  5. Dry mouth.
  6. Sensitivity to sunlight.
  7. Dizziness.
  8. Stomach upset.
  9. Headache.

Sexual problems and fatigue.

By following the correct dosage, you can avoid most of the side effects.

Drug interaction

  1. Tricyclic antidepressants
  2. HIV drugs, such as Indinavir
  3. Birth control pills
  4. SSRIs, (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  5. Cyclosporine.
  6. Digoxin
  7. Warfarin and other anticoagulants.

Who should not use this product?

St.johns wort should not be used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Why should I use St. John’s wort?

There has been enough research and evidence supporting its use. It wholly a natural product that when properly used, it has no side effects.

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agaveWhat is agave nectar

Agave nectar can be a slightly better sweetener than white granulated sugar. There are several reasons that it is either the same or better than white sugar. The glycemic index plays a huge part in most of the advantages that agave has over refined sugars. Agave may, however, be one of very few products that can replace refined sugars for vegans who have completely turned away from the use of any animal product during any stage of creating or processing foods or other products.

Agave and white sugar

Agave has a slightly higher calorie count than white granulated sugar. This is all right, however, because it is much sweeter than white sugar, so not as much will be used. What makes agave better than white sugar, however, is the fact that the glycemic index is lower in agave than white sugar. This is the part of the sugar that can trigger a diabetic episode. Agave does still have calories and carbohydrates, like any other sweetener, but the lower glycemic index makes it raise blood sugar much more slowly than other sweeteners. It is a better alternative than artificial sweeteners because it is a natural product and is not made of chemical compounds.

Weight management

While agave is a sweetener, complete with calories and carbohydrates, the chemical makeup of it is such that it does not trigger the body’s fat storing mechanisms, making it easier to lose body fat. Because it does have calories and carbohydrates, it is not technically diet sweetener, but because it’s glycemic index is approximately half that of refined or granulated sugars, it is possible to use sparingly in place of sugar when dieting. It is also healthier than refined artificial sweeteners that are made partially of refined sugar, and partially of synthetic sugar, which have been shown to increase risks of cancer.

Functionality

Because agave is plant based, like refined sugars, it offers some of the same cooking functionality as sugar. Using agave for browning, moisture retention, softening and food preservation is just as good as using white granulated sugar, and because it is sweeter, the amount of agave used in cooking can be reduced. This can be a useful sugar replacement because the agave fails to trigger the body’s fat storage system. This makes agave a good sugar replacement for cooking functions, where artificial sweeteners tend to fail repeatedly.

Vegan Friendly

Most granulated or refined sugars are filtered using animal-bone based charcoal. While most vegans are not aware of this fact, those who are may be looking for natural alternatives, and agave is the answer. Because it is boiled directly from the plant sap, there is no contact with any animal product or by-product, making it completely vegan. This is the perfect choice for those who choose to live life with no animal product usage.

While agave is about the same as refined sugars, there are a few advantages to switching to agave. Almost every advantage comes back to the fact that most refined sugars have a glycemic index of approximately sixty, agave has a glycemic index of approximately thirty.

Reference

http://www.allaboutagave.com/agave-vs-granular.php

 

 

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seafoodWhat is the thyroid?

You may have heard about the thyroid, but, do you really know what it is and what it does? Well, let me explain it in the simplest way possible. The thyroid is a large butterfly – shaped gland in the neck that secretes hormones that regulate growth and development. Your thyroid is located in your neck, just below the larynx or the voice box and right in front of the trachea or windpipe. The thyroid is interrelated to every system in your body. If you have an under-active thyroid then, you might end up suffering from hypothyroidism – a condition affecting millions of people in America and around the world – while an overactive thyroid leads to hyperthyroidism.

What does the thyroid do exactly?

The thyroid, as mentioned earlier, produces hormones that are responsible for directing some bodily actions. Now, think of the thyroid as a manager of an institution overseeing proper coordination among the various departments under him. The thyroid, in this case, ensures that all cells are operating at their optimum by checking on each of them thyroidand in so doing, increasing or reducing their rate of metabolism.

To be precise, the thyroid produces two very important hormones: Triiodothyronine and Thyroxine. These are commonly known as T3 and T4 respectively and are responsible for the regulation of conditions in all the other cells. If, for instance, a cell is lacking in oxygen, T3 will ensure that it gets it.

Thyroid function and the role of iodine

During their formation, the T3 hormone receives three atoms of iodine while the T4 gets four (Now you know where these weird names come from). Without iodine, the T3 and T4 hormones cannot be formed and, therefore, cannot be produced. If this happens, hypothyroidism sets in and you start feeling depressed, sluggish and generally fatigued. Other symptoms include: a puffy face, pale skin, swollen joints and muscles, weight gain, hoarse voice – the list is endless!

On the flip side, there’s hyperthyroidism; a condition caused by too much iodine. Suffering from this condition could lead to, among other symptoms, sudden weight loss, increased appetite, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, anxiety, irritability and lack of sleep.

Potassium iodide and the thyroid

The thyroid uses iodine by, first, converting it into a free elemental form called iodide which enters the thyroid through a special mechanism. The thyroid is, essentially, wholly made up of iodine and iodide, which are key to its function. In cases of hyperthyroidism, potassium iodide, which is a white iodide compound, can be used as a treatment

If the thyroid gland needs removal – yes, it can be surgically removed – potassium iodide can also used together with anti-thyroid medicines to prepare it for the operation. The potassium iodide shrinks the thyroid gland, thereby, decreasing its physical size and the amount of hormones produced.

In fact, potassium iodide can even be used to protect the thyroid in the event of radiation exposure. In this case, the potassium iodide acts as a cover for the thyroid; protecting it from absorbing harmful radioactive iodine and thus, limiting the damage and risk of thyroid cancer.

 

Sources

  1. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18119
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/endocrine/why-thyroid-important1.htm
  3. http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/tech_briefings/potassium_iodide/en/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_iodide
  5. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-1823-potassium+iodide+Oral.aspx

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