Thank you! Please check your inbox shortly for a welcome message from Dr. Ryan and your 5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass! If you don't receive the email in a few minutes please check your spam folder.

Your FREE Gift Is Waiting...

Sign up below to get:

  • check

    The “5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass” Video Series ($47 value)

  • check

    Valuable tips on nutrition, exercise & supplementation

  • check

    Insights to keep you happy and healthy at any age

Arjuna for Blood Pressure

Arjuna for Blood Pressure

Feeling stressed out in today’s fast paced world is seemingly a byproduct of life, unavoidable with the amount of stressors present. But continually being a little stressed out can do more damage than you think.

Extreme stress

Chronic stress can lead to an incredible amount of complications later in life. Stress, and the stress reaction in the body, causes the body to produce hormones that are intended to help it react to physical danger, a remnant of our ancestral tribulations.

Stress in the modern world is not the same as it used to be when our bodies evolved to respond effectively. We used to use our fight or flight response to avoid physical stress and danger present in the world around us, but modern stress is much more pervasive and persistent. We’ve got mortgages, family matters, traffic, work problems, and other daily stressors that we take home with us, and constantly weigh on our minds.

This pervasive stress forces the body to constantly produce stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, which over a long period of time and continual exposure, do damage to the body. Stress can cause serious ailments like asthma, obesity, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation and interest, headaches, upset stomach, reduced appetite and sexual drive, and the stress related diseases that kill are heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.

Referred to as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure is as dangerous as the name implies. Statistics show that as many as 110 million people die from stress and related issues every year. High blood pressure alone has been found to harden the arteries, leading to an incredible range of problems.

High blood pressure

Researchers have found that modern stress, that which is persistent and continual, causes the body to remain in the alarm phase of fight or flight, after which the body attempts to repair itself and return hormone levels to normal. But pervasive stress response renders the body unable to repair itself and return to normal, which eventually leads to the final phase, the exhaustion phase.

Exhaustion is a common side effect of adrenaline release. This stage in the stress response is thought to be the cause of many chronic diseases because the body is constantly in a state of exhaustion.

Prescription medication

With so much damage being done by stress and high blood pressure, it is important to treat it in a way that is sustainable and effective. Many of the prescription medications people take are doing more harm than good, themselves causing health issues within the body.

Traditional medicinal systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, and Ayurvedic medicine in India, have been treating stress and high blood pressure with natural, safe, and effective remedies for centuries, and studies from the west are finally lending credence to their traditional medicines. Arjuna has been used as a heart remedy in India for over 3000 years.

One such treatment often used in traditional medicine is called arjuna. Terminalia arjuna is a tree of the genus Terminalia. It is commonly known as arjuna or arjun tree in English, thella maddi in Telugu, kumbuk in Sinhala, marudha maram in Tamil and neer maruthu in Malayalam.

Terminalia arjuna

Many people around the world rely on arjuna as a natural remedy for their high blood pressure, believed to provide such benefits as supporting the muscle tone of the heart, providing antioxidant power and healthy flavonoids and polyphenols, and benefitting blood flow throughout the body. Many animal and clinical studies have validated its anti-ischemic, antihypertensive, antihypertrophic and antioxidant effects.

Terminalia arjuna bark

The bark is the primary material used for medication, which contains phenolic constituents (arjunolic acid and terminic acid), glycosides (arjunetin and arjunosides I–IV), flavones, tannins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins and b-sitosterol.

In addition to high blood pressure, arjuna has been thought to help with a variety of other ailments, including the suppression of the herpes virus by inhibiting viral attachment and penetration, and even to help heal wounds.

For hypertension, arjuna has been studied with impressive results. One study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, tested the ability of an arjuna extract on pulmonary hypertension. Researchers created an extract of the stem bark of arjuna and tested it on lab rats.

This study placed subjects into groups, and treated some with a prescription medication called sildenafil, a vasodilator used to treat erectile dysfunction and hypertension, and the others into a group treated with arjuna extract. The study concluded that arjuna was able to treat high blood pressure as well as the prescription medication sildenafil, yet arjuna is widely believed to be completely free from side effects, while sildenafil carries with it sometimes significant side effects.

Other studies have found much of the same, with one concluding that “Most of the studies, both experimental and clinical, have suggested that the crude drug possesses anti-ischemic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, and antiatherogenic activities” and that “So far, no serious side effects have been reported with arjuna therapy.”

Arjuna medication can be found easily online, especially as it continues to gain popularity. For high blood pressure, arjuna works via its mild diuretic properties, as it can reduce blood clot formation, enhance prostaglandin levels, and lowers blood lipid levels, each of which contributes to its ability to help mediate hypertension.

Like all medications, it is important to consult with a physician before beginning a serious treatment process. Currently, arjuna is widely believed to have zero counter indications with medication, and little to no negative side effects, so it is believed to be very safe for use.

Not only is arjuna believed to be extremely safe when used in conjunction with other medications, some studies have shown that it actually may aid other medications in their effectiveness. Western doctors and researchers are only just beginning to scratch the surface of this traditional eastern remedy, but it looks as if arjuna will soon be included in the typical western remedy for hypertension.

It is helpful to think of stress not as the cause of a problem, but the symptom of problems that are occurring externally. It is our body’s reaction to external problems, thus, if we are to effectively treat stress, we must help our bodies better adjust to external factors, and arjuna indeed provides promise, helping the heart function more effectively, improving blood flow throughout the body, helping the body cope with adrenaline response, and much more.

ED relief with natural substances

ED relief with natural substances

Of all the catastrophic conditions that a man can suffer from, few are more emotionally taxing than erectile dysfunction. ED can seriously affect a man’s confidence, ego, and overall mood, which has an enormous effect on his overall psyche.

The cold hard fact is that most men will experience some form of erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. While most cases are due to temporary abnormalities, like overconsumption of alcohol or drugs, prescription medication being taken, or correctable health issues, sometimes erectile dysfunction can serve as a symptom of a much more serious health concern.

When erectile dysfunction becomes persistent, a more serious inquiry into possible causes must be made. Studies show that ED can even serve as a precursor to cardiac arrest, so paying close attention to your member is more than just a manhood issue, it can be a life or death issue for some.

Because ED is somewhat perceived by many as a normal part of being a guy and aging, affecting as much as 25 percent of men over 65, many are unlikely to address it as a serious health concern.

One of the most serious conditions that erectile dysfunction is a symptom for is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Research has found that ED and cardiovascular disease share a few of the same risk factors, coexisting frequently. As much as 70 percent of men who have cardiovascular disease also have erectile dysfunction, with the erectile dysfunction often preceding a major cardiovascular incident, like a serious heart attack, by 2 to 5 years.

Cardiovascular disease

The major reason that ED and CVD are so closely related is largely due to the lining of blood vessels, impacted by a perpetually unhealthy lifestyle. Without adequate blood flow, the penis cannot become erect, and cardiovascular disease often inhibits blood flow.

Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can be made to restore proper blood flow by restoring the inner lining of the body’s blood vessels, and it largely can be accomplished with diet changes, including adding foods high in restorative compounds like L-Arginine, pycnogenol, citrulline, Scutellaria, and cinnamon.

In order for an erection to occur, the cavernous smooth muscle must relax, an event triggered by the compound nitric oxide (NO). Thus, men with diminished amounts of nitric oxide may experience erectile dysfunction.

Researchers believe that nitric oxide is necessary for not only relaxing smooth muscle cells to dilate blood vessels, but also absorbs reactive oxygen species (ROS) to prevent permanent penile changes occurring as well as damaging collagen/glycosylated proteins forming.

Age related erectile dysfunction is usually associated with a reduction in smooth muscle cells and an increase in collagen within the corpora cavernosa, the main vessels forming the penis. This increase is associated with an increase in ROS.

Nitric oxide, or more specifically inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) that produces nitric oxide is the body’s natural way of preventing the overproduction of ROS, scavenging and eliminating it before it causes damage. Thus, age related erectile dysfunction is a result of underproduction of nitric oxide, and supplementation can help.

A study published back in 2003 confirmed that pycnogenol can stimulate nitric oxide production, and when coupled with another compound, L-arginine substantially increased the production of nitric oxide.

The study was conducted on 40 men aged between 25 and 45 years old. For three months participants were treated with a solution containing the equivalent of 1.7g of L-arginine alone, with discouraging results.

Pycnogenol-pine bark

However, when combined with pycnogenol, the treatments showed extremely promising results. When combined, the supplementation of L-arginine with pycnogenol restored the sexual ability of 80 percent of participants. After 3 months of treatments, an astounding 92.5 percent of participants experienced restored erections. Perhaps just as promising as its efficacy is this treatment’s safety. No side-effects were reported, making it perhaps the safest treatment for ED known to this point.

Part of a chemical building block called an amino acid, L-arginine is obtained from food consumed and essential for the body to make proteins. L-arginine is found in abundance in red meat, fish, nuts and seeds, and poultry. L-arginine is commonly used as a treatment for blood vessel conditions, which also makes it an intuitive treatment option for erectile dysfunction.

Citrulline is an interesting compound that is converted into L-arginine in the kidneys. So while L-arginine gets absorbed by the body, L-citrulline may be a better option for supplementation, allowing the body to create its own supply of L-arginine that doesn’t get depleted so quickly, as studies show that Supplemental L-arginine provides a spike of L-arginine in plasma, while supplemental L-citrulline increases arginine plasma levels over a longer period of time.

Not only great for blood sugar regulation among a host of other peripheral benefits, cinnamon is another great compound that has been found to help treat ED. Cinnamon is a popular spice in every kitchen, but it has also been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in India for ages, sometimes as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.


Studies show that when given an extract of Cinnamomum cassia has the ability to inhibit arginase, aiding the smooth muscles in the corpus cavernosum. Researchers have found that a cinnamon extract can “relaxed phenylephrine pre-contracted isolated rat CCSM up to 43% and significantly increased (P < 0.05) sexual function of young male rats. Treatment with the extract also increased smooth muscle level and decreased collagen level in rat penile tissue.” As mentioned above, increasing smooth muscle function and reducing the buildup of collagen in the penis is paramount for proper penis function.

It would take more concentrated, power-packed dosages of these natural medications for erectile dysfunction to restore a man’s erection, so eating more spiced up French toast isn’t going to necessarily restore function. The herb Scutellaria has been studied thoroughly to have similar results.

But these studies in a more natural approach to erectile dysfunction, as well as other problematic disorders, definitely represents a step in the right direction for western medicine. Natural remedies are prized for their reliability, efficacy, and perhaps above all, their lack of serious side effects, if any at all, so the future definitely looks bright for western medicine to make a shift to less impactful medications.

Noni for Hypertension

Noni for Hypertension

If there was a killer in your neighborhood, you’d want to know right? What if there was a silent killer, and instead of residing in your neighborhood, this killer resided inside your body?

Hypertension, often referred to as a silent killer, affects millions of Americans, going unnoticed and unattended until it finally causes too much damage for the host to overcome.

High blood pressure

Hypertension is also referred to more commonly as simply high blood pressure, but make no mistake about it, high blood pressure can cause untold amounts of damage throughout your body, ranging from impotence to artery damage, and eventually stroke, heart attack, and even death.

The damage to arteries caused by hypertension is extensive, and very often extremely harmful.

Healthy arteries have certain characteristics that hypertension robs them of, namely flexibility, elasticity, and strength, and their inner lining, epithelial cells, are smooth and allow for easy and efficient blood flow. The arteries after a long life of hypertension are rigid, weak, and brittle, and their inner lining is not as smooth. All of this affects the way blood flows through the arteries, so someone with longstanding hypertension is in danger of life threatening consequences.

As arteries become damaged from hypertension, fats can begin to collect along the inner lining, and the lack of elasticity eventually prevents them from stretching and accommodating blockage. This limits the amount of blood flow throughout the body, leaving cells starved of oxygen, and increasing the risk of serious consequence like heart attack and stroke.


Another extremely dangerous effect of hypertension is an aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs when a vein or artery forms a bulge due to continued high pressure and being in a weakened state. While aneurysms can form in any of your arteries, the most common location is your largest artery, the aorta. If and when an aneurysm bursts, internal bleeding occurs that cannot be stopped without intervention, and if it occurs in the brain, tissue dies from contact with blood and is never regenerated, causing irreparable damage, if not death.

A lesser known side-effect of hypertension is kidney damage. It’s easy to focus attention on the system that encompasses the blood that is under pressure, but there are also many peripheral effects of hypertension that also go overlooked.


Because the kidneys filter fluid and waste from your blood, they depend on healthy blood vessels to function properly. When arteries become damaged from hypertension, kidney scarring, kidney artery aneurysm, and even kidney failure can occur.


Prescription medications for hypertension often come with a hidden consequences like pervasive cough, dizziness, lightheadedness from reducing blood pressure too much, and many more unwanted side-effects.

Researchers are constantly examining alternative ways to treat disease and illness, and with this renewed vigor to explore all options, traditional medicines have begun to enter back into the western consciousness.

Traditional medicines are often composed of naturally occurring compounds, found easily and readily in plants, and generally don’t cause the types and seriousness of side-effects commonly caused by western remedies.

One treatment for hypertension being explored is called noni. Derived from Morinda citrifolia leaves, noni is an edible plant that grows exclusively in tropical climate zones from India through Southeast Asia, and has a variety of medicinal uses, including antispasmodic, vasodilator and cardio-suppressant effects.

Morinda citrifolia leaves

The noni plant traditionally grows adjacent to lava flows in the Pacific Islands as well, and has been used to make red or yellow dye for clothes. Among this use, islanders have been using it for a variety of ailments like colic for infants, cough, convulsions, diabetes, stimulating menstrual flow, fever reduction, liver disease, constipation, nausea, and even cancer.

The list of noni’s uses goes on and on, but scientists have yet to prove its benefits for these ailments, so the FDA has issued warnings for companies making unverified claims.

Studies are underway however for the effect noni has on hypertension.

To study its efficacy for hypertension, scientists isolated vascular tissue from different animals, including rabbit jejunum, rat and rabbit aorta tissues, and guinea pig atria. Scientists used these tissues to test the cardiovascular relaxant effects of noni, a process that helps to relax the arteries and in cases of hypertension, allow blood to flow more freely.

These studies concluded that noni did indeed relax atrial tissue, reducing atrial force and the rate of atrial spontaneous contractions. This indicates that the vasodilator effects of noni can help prevent chronic hypertension, and preliminarily, it is believed that the side effects are much less than other western prescription medications.

Another very recent study examined the effects of noni on hypertensive rats, concluding that this powerful plant “significantly decreased the blood pressure of hypertensive rats. The combination group showed highest hypotensive activity by lowering systolic blood pressure by 16.71 ± 3.95%, diastolic blood pressure by 21.49 ± 7.90%, and mean arterial blood pressure by 19.58% ± 6.35. All extract treatments have not been able to repair or inhibit renal damage caused by dexamethasone induction.”

Noni juice

While the benefits of noni have been well established by now, the challenge remains in getting it to consumers. It is a bitter fruit that ferments rather quickly, meaning that its shelf life is quite short. Many noni manufacturers include it in a blend with other juices, masking the taste.

Some people are taking noni in the form of fruit leathers and supplements. The fruit leathers are similar to the ones found on grocery store shelves, containing dried fruit compressed into semi-tough thin and wide strips.

There are a handful of prescription treatments for hypertension, each accompanied by a Trojan horse of additional complications and side-effects. Current prescription medications available for hypertension bring with them, often times, more complications than they purport to alleviate.

Patients taking blood pressure medication report problems like extra urination, erection problems, weakness, cramps, fatigue, decrease in the body’s potassium levels, and more, while those taking beta blockers can experience asthma like symptoms, cold hands and feet, depression, erection problems as well, and insomnia.

As always, it is important to discuss any and all treatment options with a doctor, as even natural treatments derived through diet can have implications, especially if you’re on other medications. More than likely, your doctor will figure out a way to best treat you and introduce noni into your lifestyle with minimal invasiveness.

Noni fruit
Boswellia for Joint Pain

Boswellia for Joint Pain

Joint pain is an inevitable part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Whether it is due to overuse of the joints, or simply age related wear and tear or autoimmune disorder, for those who suffer from it, joint pain can be debilitating and often non-repairable due to the nature of the tissues involved.

Because the tissue of the joints, like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, all of which are tissues that usually cannot be healed or regrown naturally, joint damage is not only permanent without intervention, but can be extremely painful. Bones begin to grind together without cartilage on the ends, resulting in loads of pain and eventually, permanent damage to the bone.

The leading cause of joint pain is arthritis, which comes in many different variations. Among the leading types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down, and rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.

Between these two types of arthritis, millions of people are suffering with swollen, tender, and painful joints in America, and because these conditions are so common, researchers are naturally constantly looking for better ways to treat them.


Among the newest treatments for joint pain, at least to Western medicine, is Boswellia, more commonly known as Indian frankincense. This biblical plant has a long history of medicinal use throughout Southeast Asia. Aside from wise men handing it out as gifts, frankincense has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent, astringent, disinfectant, digestive aid, diuretic, and an expectorant traditionally. Indian frankincense grows in the mountainous regions of the Middle East, and as the name implies, is related to the tree that produces frankincense.

To procure Indian frankincense, harvesters slice the bark of the Boswellia serrata tree and allow the resin to leak. It is collected in special bamboo baskets and allowed to cure, then graded and separated by color and shape.

Indian frankincense

The resin contains numerous active compounds including the fatty acids palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic, as well as sugars such as glucose, arabinose, rhamnose, galactose, fructose, glucuronic acid, and idose. The gum resin also contains triterpene alcohol, serratol, and triterpenoids. The volatile oil contains p-cymene, d-limonene, terpinolene, bornyl acetates, and methylchavicol.

Researchers, constantly on the lookout for new treatments for common ailments, have conducted exhaustive studies on Boswellia for many disorders, including arthritis and its resulting joint pain and swelling.

A study published in Minerva Medica tested the efficacy of a standardized Boswellia extract called FlexiQule to mitigate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Researchers provided the Boswellia extract to participants with symptomatic knee arthritis for four weeks, measuring progress via the Karnofsky scale (the Karnofsky Performance Scale Index allows patients to be classified as to their functional impairment. This can be used to compare effectiveness of different therapies and to assess the prognosis in individual patients. The lower the Karnofsky score, the worse the survival for most serious illnesses), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), and a treadmill test.

At the end of the four week study, those receiving the Boswellia extract noted improvements on all three measurement scales, and even more improvements when combined with the standard management regimen common for arthritis.

Researchers noted that effects for those receiving Boswellia extract were “significantly higher” than the control group receiving only standardized management, and in addition, “The WOMAC Score was decreased significantly more in the supplement group in comparison with controls considering pain, stiffness and physical functions. Social/emotional functions improved better with the supplement. Both groups improved their walking distance at 4 weeks.”

In regard to side effects, Boswellia is very well received, and has a long history of having little to zero side effects. Having been used for centuries in Eastern medicinal systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in India, Boswellia is trusted by medical professionals across the regions as well as the people who use it to treat a multitude of symptoms, including inflammation and joint pain, especially that which is caused by inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

Another study published in Molecular Medicine Reports expounds on the safety of Boswellia, and its efficacy when coupled with other drugs used to treat joint ailments, reporting that “BSE was well tolerated by the subjects except for minor gastrointestinal ADRs. BSE is recommended in the patients of osteoarthritis of the knee with possible therapeutic use in other arthritis.”


This is why Boswellia performs so well for arthritis specifically. The hallmark of arthritis is inflammation in the joint, which eventually leads to swelling and long term joint damage, harming the tissues that allow the joint to function properly. Because it helps so well to reduce inflammation in the joint, Boswellia is able to reduce the swelling, reduce pain, and reduce the damage that would otherwise be taking place due to arthritis.

The same study also evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Boswellia serrata Extract (BSE) in 30 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.

For this study, 15 participants received Boswellia serrata extract, and the other half placebo. At the conclusion of the study, 8 weeks, researchers found that “All patients receiving drug treatment reported decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexion and increased walking distance. The frequency of swelling in the knee joint was decreased.”

It’s easy to think of the medicine we see every day in television commercials and magazine advertisements as being the best that medicine has to offer, but this simply is not true. Many of the most revolutionary treatments for our most pervasive illnesses are repurposed or rediscovered remedies long used in Eastern medicine.

Many of the medicines we rely on in America simply treat the symptoms, and neglect to address the cause of the ailment. In addition, many of these medications are very harmful to our bodies, often causing more damage than they relieve. This is a major factor in the resurgence of traditional remedies, and will continue to influence our medicines as we progress towards safer and more effective treatments.

Probiotics and Anti-Aging

Probiotics and Anti-Aging

Americans are only just recently discovering what other cultures have known forever, that the gut and the microbiota living there are instrumental in overall health. Not only can your gut control the amount of nutrients your body absorbs, but studies show that the microbiota living there can actually communicate with your body via chemical signals, even influencing your metabolism and how the body burns fat.

Probiotics, once an unknown word and concept, have moved into the forefront of the American awareness, largely due to word of mouth touting their ability to help restore gut health. The word probiotics is a general term used to describe all of the microorganisms living in the gut, but not all are beneficial. The gut contains an extremely delicate balance of microorganisms, some which are beneficial and others that are detrimental.

Consuming foods rich in beneficial probiotics, like sauerkraut, dark chocolate, microalgae, fermented foods like miso and kimchi, pickles and tempeh, can help to crowd the gut with good microbes which in turn starve out the bad ones.

Fermented probiotic foods

Having a well-rounded mix of microbes in the gut provides many benefits to the body, including helping to support healthy immune system function, preventing and treating urinary tract infections, improving digestive function, healing inflammatory bowel conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, managing and treating skin disorders like eczema, fighting food borne illnesses, boosting metabolism and telling the body to burn fat, and even providing support in how the body ages.

Scientists are discovering more benefits of probiotics every day. One recent study suggests that the microbes in the gut can affect how a person ages, helping to “restore acidic skin pH, alleviate oxidative stress, attenuate photoaging, improve skin barrier function, and enhance hair quality.” Researchers believe that probiotics are so integral to our survival, that they can slow the skin manifestations of both intrinsic and extrinsic aging, meaning that they can help the skin age slower at a cellular level in addition to the skin as a whole.

Another study looks at the effects of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055), and its ability to extend the lifespan of the animals they inhabit. Studies show that this specific strain of bacteria can help prevent the host from catching influenza A and other viruses, which can also help the host with longevity.

To test its effect on the aging process, scientists examined the effects of LG2055 on lifespan and aging of Caenorhabditis elegans, a species of roundworm that lives in temperate soil environments, and analyzed the mechanism of prolongevity, with the results showing a positive effect on longevity.

Researchers found that “Feeding with LG2055 upregulated the expression of the skn-1 gene and the target genes of SKN-1, encoding the antioxidant proteins enhancing antioxidant defense responses.”

Your DNA

For this study, results showed that LG2055 promoted the roundworm to express a gene that in turn had an antioxidant effect for the roundworm. Antioxidants are extremely important to living organisms, as they remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents, preventing against diseases like cancer.

For the roundworm, research concludes that “feeding with LG2055 is effective to the extend lifespan in C. elegans by a strengthening of the resistance to oxidative stress and by stimulating the innate immune response signaling including p38MAPK signaling pathway and others.”

Round worm

By introducing the right kind of probiotics to the gut of the roundworm, scientists were able to extend its lifespan. They discovered that the probiotics could cause the roundworm to express certain genes, increasing its ability to fight free radicals, the effect of oxidative stress on molecules in the body. Free radicals are so destructive because they lead to atomic chain reactions that can damage the body’s cells.

Another beneficial strain of probiotics is Lactobacillus plantarum HY7714 (HY7714), with studies showing that it can help slow down the aging process on our skin, the most visible age-identifier on our bodies.

Researchers studied these effects on 110 participants aged between 41 and 59 years, each with noticeable dry skin and wrinkles. Research lasted 12 weeks, during which time participants received either HY7714 or a placebo, measuring the skin for hydration, wrinkles, skin gloss, and elasticity. At the close of the trial, researchers noted significant increases in the skin water content of the face and hands for the group treated with HY7714.

Volunteers in the probiotic group also experienced significant reduction in wrinkle depth, and a significant increase in skin gloss by week 12. Finally, when skin elasticity was measured, the group taking HY7714 had improved elasticity by 13.17 percent by week 4, and almost 22 percent by week 12.

With anti-aging results as promising as these, it won’t be long before people are taking specifically engineered probiotics as part of their skin regimen.

The ability of probiotics to communicate with the body is truly amazing. One thinks of bacteria as tiny organisms without a central intelligence organ like a brain, just trudging around eating things, so it is truly incredible to realize that these tiny, seemingly insignificant organisms are so essential to the function of our body. They can talk to our bodies via the cells in our colon and intestines, relaying chemical messages that can benefit us in ways we’ve yet to fully understand.

Organisms in you body

Probiotics can be found in over-the-counter treatments like pills, or more easily in certain foods. Some cultures have been consuming them, unwittingly enough, for ages. Asian foods feature many fermented foods like miso and kimchi, each one a probiotic powerhouse. But other cultures enjoy probiotic rich foods as well.

Without the technology to study the mechanisms of fermented foods, these cultures simply relied on their gut to inform them of the benefits of fermented foods. When you eat them regularly, you just feel good.

Fermented soybean paste

Miso, or fermented soybean paste, has been found to have radio-protective properties, preventing against radiation effects, but is also a rich source of calcium, isoflavones, and vitamin K, each of which helps maintain bone health. In addition, miso is rich in probiotics, helping to heal the gut and benefit the body in ways yet unknown.

Another great probiotic food is sauerkraut. Cabbage alone is dietary powerhouse, with high levels of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and many B vitamins, as well as iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. Sauerkraut also contributes a healthy amount of protein to the diet, along with large levels of probiotics to help the digestive tract and help the body absorb all of those nutrients effectively.


Probiotics are nature’s little helpers and chances are you’re not getting enough probiotics in your diet. The Western diet is typically high in fat and sodium, and low in nutrients. Getting more probiotics can require a pretty serious lifestyle change for some, but be assured that your body will thank you for it.

Pomegranate for Joint Pain

Pomegranate for Joint Pain

As living beings age, people and animals alike, their bodies eventually begin to break down. Years upon years of movement, physical stress put on joints by exercise, and just the in and outs of everyday life tend to take its toll on a body that relies on effective cellular reproduction to continue functioning properly.

Cells in your body

The sad truth is that eventually the body’s cells age, become less efficient at dividing with ever cellular split, and ultimately hit what is referred to as the Hayflick limit, the absolute limit to a cell’s ability to divide.

Among the multitude of troubles that arise with aging is joint pain. Some joint pain as we age is not uncommon, but serious illness and internal complications can cause some to experience very serious joint issue, including osteoarthritis, one of the most painful joint issues to deal with.

Fortunately, there is quite an extensive list of treatments available for joint pain, some better than others.

The most common options for joint pain are prescription medications like Celebrex, Relafen, Anaprox, and Feldene, as well as non-prescription options like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Neither types are without side effects.

Some of the side effects reported by Celebrex users are diarrhea, hypertension, and abnormal hepatic function tests, and more serious side effects like chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance, bloody stools, coughing up blood or vomit, and more.

Even the more widely used painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen are not without their side effects. Ibuprofen is notoriously bad for the liver and digestive tract, with complications from overuse ranging from upset stomach and nausea to liver damage and tinnitus, a ringing in the ears.

Pomegranate fruit

The threat of serious side effects has pushed many consumers away from prescription medications all together, forcing them to look for other, less invasive remedies. Fortunately for them, many holistic and natural remedies exist for joint pain, one of which, pomegranate, is gaining scientific evidence to confirm its efficacy.

A very recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled “Pomegranate extract alleviates disease activity and some blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients” confirms the anti-inflammatory benefits of pomegranate, specifically testing its efficacy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Because the main characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are inflammation, serious pain, and flexibility problems affecting the joints specifically, researchers are actively seeking powerful anti-inflammatory compounds to fight the disease, moving further and further away from side effect-laden prescription medications and studying the benefits of natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

For this study, researchers enrolled 55 participants, each with RA, into two separate groups, one to receive medication and the other as a control. The participants receiving medication were given 250 mg of pomegranate extract for a period of 8 weeks, after which progress was monitored with methods such as a Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Disease Activity Score (DAS), serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), matrix metalloproteinases 3 (MMP3), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were analyzed.

Compared to the control group, the group receiving 250 mg of pomegranate extract experienced significant improvement in their DAS score, which researchers believe is the result of reduced inflammation in joints. Recipients also reported reduced pain intensity, morning stiffness, and increased levels of GPx concentration, an enzyme whose role is to protect the organism from oxidative damage.

Additional research on the ability of pomegranate to help treat knee osteoarthritis indicates similar results.

Among the most common musculoskeletal disorders, osteoarthritis leads to joint degeneration and severe pain as it affects more than 27 million people in the US alone. Initial studies purport that pomegranate extract can also have an impact on osteoarthritis due to its antioxidant properties, helping to mitigate cartilage inflammation.

Pomegranate extract

Tested on 38 patients over a span of 6 weeks, researchers found that there was significant decrease in pain, stiffness, and physical functioning of the joint. Like the previous study mentioned, this study also found increased levels of GPx which further substantiates the ability antioxidant capabilities of pomegranate, helping to protect the knee from further damage, concluding that “According to the findings of this clinical trial, PJ consumption can improve physical function and stiffness, decrease breakdown cartilage enzymes and increase antioxidant status in patients with knee OA.”

Pomegranate juice

It’s no secret that pomegranate is high in antioxidants. Touted for its high concentration of polyphenols, pomegranate juice is considered among the healthiest fruits on the planet, specifically for its heart health benefits, but with new research being conducted frequently, the benefits of this odd fruit continue to be exposed.

Pomegranate is part of a healthy diet, due to its high concentrations of beneficial ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which account for about half of the pomegranate’s antioxidant ability. Pomegranate packs more antioxidant punch per pound than other, widely touted foods like acai berries, blueberries, concord grapes, cranberry juice, apple juice, black cherry juice, orange juice, and red wine.

In fact, pomegranate juice was found to be more than 20 percent more powerful than its nearest competitor.

As the west begins to look to the east more and more for traditional medicinal remedies, we look to foods as our primary source of health, as opposed to the common western sentiment that has, in a way, plagued western society, the idea that we can live an unbalanced life, eat foods that provide little to no nutritional benefits, and generally remain unhealthy because relief can be found in a bottle.

Healthy foods

Eastern medicine relies on proper diet and supplementation with natural remedies that are much freer from side effects, and can provide equal if not greater relief from damaging and painful degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Rosemary for Joint Pain

Rosemary for Joint Pain

While joint pain can affect anyone, at any age, the most common cause of joint pain is caused by arthritis, and predominantly affects older people. Overwhelmingly the most common cause, approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from arthritis, with nearly 40 million in the United States.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints and occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, leading to swelling, stiffness, and eventually a lot of pain. It is a degenerative joint disease, sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” of the joints. Most commonly affecting the knees, hips, lower back and neck, and fingers, joints with compromised cartilage eventually result in bone rubbing against bone, which causes the pain and inflammation.


Statistics show that one of every two adults will develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis at some point in their lives. In addition, one in four will develop symptoms of hip osteoarthritis by the age of 85.

Couple jogging in nature

For those affected by OA, unfortunately, there is no cure, but there are treatments available. One of the best treatments for OA is, as counterintuitive as it seems, more movement of the joints. Exercise has been proven effective at treating osteoarthritis, including walking and light physical activity, which helps to strengthen the muscles around the joint and reduce pain and stiffness.

  • Most treatment plans combine activity with medicine, available in the form of pills, creams, lotions, or even injected directly into the joint. Among the most popular are:
  • Analgesics: Analgesics are available over-the-counter or by prescription, and are pain relievers like acetaminophen, opioids and an atypical opioid called tramadol.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): You’ve probably got a bottle of these in your cabinet right now. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and celecoxib and are the most commonly used drugs to ease inflammation and related pain. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines. They are most commonly taken by mouth but may also be injected directly into a joint if necessary.
Hyaluronic acid close up
  • Hyaluronic acid: Another injected medicine, hyaluronic acid is found naturally in joint fluid, and helps lubricate the joint and absorb shock. For those with OA, this acid appears to break down, so it can be injected directly into the joint.

These treatment options have been, mainly, all that is available to those suffering from osteoarthritis. The unfortunate consequence to receiving these treatments is damage to other parts of the body. Corticosteroids have been known to cause side effects like clouding of the lens in the eye, high blood sugar, increased risk of infections, thinning bones, and suppressed adrenal gland hormone production, while long-term exposure to NSAIDs can result in stomach ulcers, headaches and dizziness, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, and liver and kidney problems.

For those seeking a more natural alternative to these effective, yet potentially harmful medications, a better solution may be growing right in your garden.

Rosemary essential oil has long been touted for its ability to relieve pain, which makes it among the best natural treatments for headaches, muscle pain, and even arthritis. It possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great treatment for ailments like joint sprains, aches, and even osteoarthritis.

Rosemary oil

Among all plants, herbs are among the highest in antioxidants, substances that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. These oxidizing agents are called “free radicals” which when not addressed can cause oxidative damage to cells throughout the body, leading to many of the most common chronic illnesses. Rosemary is extremely high in antioxidants, which helps it fight inflammation in the body, helping with pain and inflammation in the joints in the process.

One study published in 2015 found that carnosol, a phenolic diterpene found in the herbs rosemary and Mountain desert sage, showed potent inhibition of pro-inflammatory and catabolic mediators of cartilage breakdown in chondrocytes, the cells responsible for creating cartilage.

Researchers cultured chondrocytes in either the presence or absence of carnosol, analyzing the gene expression after 4 days. In chondrocytes, type II collagen expression, one of the prominent components of cartilage, was significantly enhanced in the cells exposed to carnosol. In addition, researchers found that this rosemary treatment suppressed the pro-inflammatory response, which can help deter the breakdown of cartilage in the presence of inflammation in the joints.

Another study combined a proprietary combination of reduced iso-alpha acids, rosemary extract and oleanolic acid in patients with arthritis and fibromyalgia, evaluating participants with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia for pain.

Administering 440mg for the first four weeks, and doubling treatments to 880mg for the next four, participants reported “a statistically significant decrease in pain of 50% and 40%… in arthritis subjects.” Reduced C-reactive protein, a common identifier of inflammation in the body, further verified the effects of the treatment. The rosemary treatment relieved pain by as much as 50% and lowered inflammation in the body, all without the report of any serious side effects, making it among the safest treatment possibilities for OA and other diseases of inflammation.

Rosemary plant

Free from serious side effects, rosemary is yet another effective natural treatment for some very common ailments plaguing people across the planet. While some will scoff at the efficacy of “natural” treatments for serious diseases like osteoarthritis, the studies don’t lie. Participants repeatedly report positive effects when treated with rosemary for joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness, making it a great alternative to the harmful medicines that are all too common the cause of more damage to the body.

Stress and the General Adaptation Syndrome

Stress is a normal, unavoidable part of modern life, which all animals must cope with. Not all stress is a bad thing, and sometimes it can save your life. We’ve all heard of the “fight or flight” reaction, and this survival mechanism is a natural response to external stressors, helping us react quickly to a potentially dangerous situation.

We still rely on this ancient autonomous response to keep us safe these days, but we don’t need it as much as we did when it was imperative to our survival. In fact, we’ve dragged this archaic survival mechanism all the way with us through our evolution, to modern day scenarios, which for the extremely large majority of us, no longer involve the danger of being eaten alive.

The outdated stress response has become burdensome and actually physically damaging to our modern bodies. We, as animals, don’t cope very well with stress, and chronic stress kills.

It is estimated that more than 110 million people die each year as a direct result of stress, equaling 7 deaths every two seconds.

Stress can cause serious ailments like asthma, obesity, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation and interest, headaches, upset stomach, reduced appetite and sexual drive, and the stress-related diseases that kill are heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more.

Modern day stressors are so prevalent that the body has no time to recover, we transition through our day from waking up to an alarm, which is enough to stress the coolest cucumber out, dealing with daily traffic, working a stressful job and dealing with deadlines, and then there are the constant stressors that never subside like financial worries, relationship stressors, familial problems, and all of the other modern societal worries that plague us all as thinking, feeling beings.

While it has been a permanent part of our lives since our creation as a species, we were unaware of stress and its impact on us until a scientist by the name of Hans Selye placed a name on this bodily response, and measured its effects.

Hans Selye was an Austrian/Canadian endocrinologist of Hungarian origin who discovered and coined the theory of General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). Selye was born in Vienna, Austria in 1907 and died in 1982 in Montreal, Canada. The term “stress” actually comes from the field of physics, used to describe an organism’s physiological response to perceived stressful conditions in its environment.

Selye’s GAS contends that stress leads the body to engage in a three-stage response.

  1. Alarm: This is the famous “fight or flight” portion of response to stress. During this stage, the body reacts autonomously to a stressor, mobilizing all of the appropriate resources in the body, i.e., adrenaline, to adequately respond to the stressor, threat, or danger.
  2. Resistance: After the alarm stage, the body attempts to return to normal, resisting and compensating the effects of the alarm stage as the parasympathetic nervous system returns the body’s internal levels to normal.
  3. Exhaustion: A common side effect of adrenaline is the exhaustion afterwards, often called the adrenaline dump. This stage is the cause of chronic disease, because as we are exposed to stress on a near-constant basis, the body remains in a state of exhaustion, making it susceptible to disease and eventually death.

The three steps of GAS happen internally, and as a result of the parasympathetic nervous system, making them autonomous, which is where the problem lies. If we could control these reactions, we could choose to react in a healthy way, but since we can’t choose our reaction the body constantly reacts to the maximum of its potential, over exhausting itself and eventually leading to damaging effects.

During the first step, alarm, the brain notices the danger and signals the adrenal glands to release two powerful substances epinephrine and norepinephrine. Next, cortisol is released into the body via the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

These substances make the body more alert, focused, reduces pain receptors making the body less responsive to pain, and inhibits reproductive behaviors and desires. During this time, heart rate is increased, blood pressure is increased, and the body provides fuel for it to remove itself from danger if necessary, redirecting blood flow from the gastrointestinal and digestive processes to muscles, heart, and brain.

During the fight or flight stage, Selye purported, there is a sharp increase in energy production and nutrient utilization. All of these processes happen nearly instantly, and subside when the stressor or danger is no longer imminent.

The “silent killer”, as it’s been termed by doctors, stress is such a danger to our lives because of our inability to cope with it. There are countless medications to treat the effects of chronic stress, but very few that can actually help with stress as it is occurring, mainly because it happens without us knowing.

But there are ways that you can cope with the effects of stress that don’t include taking medication.

First, diet is extremely essential in coping with the effects of stress. Eating healthy, well-balanced meals rich in green leafy vegetables. These vegetables, like spinach, are rich in folate which can help the body produce compounds that have mood-stabilizing capabilities like serotonin and dopamine.

Exercise can help mitigate the effects of stress, benefitting the cardiovascular system, muscle performance, and even improving mental performance which helps us cope with stress more effectively.

When stress impacts the brain, the rest of the body feels it as well, so exercising can help increase concentration and keep your mind sharp in stressful situations.

Drugs and alcohol can help you cope with stress, their benefits are extremely short lived and very much outweighed by the damage they cause on the body and mind. Avoiding drugs and alcohol is essential to a healthy life, and it is paramount that they are not used as a crutch to deal with stress, because they almost always compound stress and harms the body.

Meditation is used throughout the world, especially in eastern societies, as the main coping tool against stress. Tai chi and yoga are wonderful ways to fight stress, uniting the mind and body in a single activity and using breathing and exercise to relax the body. Breathing is one of the only natural ways that we can counteract the autonomous nature of the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathing can slow heart rate, blood pressure, and clear the mind, making it the ultimate tool for immediate stress relief.

Finally, consider taking one or more adaptogenic herbs to help your body cope with stress.  Adaptogenic herbs can help support your adrenal glands in any three of the phases of the GAS.  For an herbal agent to be consider to be an adaptogenic herb, it must meet three criteria:

  1. They must be non-specific and help the body in various adverse conditions, such as physical or environmental stress.
  2. They must counter the physicalimpact of stress.
  3. They must not harm the usual working of the body.

Some of my favortite adaptogenic herbs include Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Eluethrococcus, Schisandra, Panax ginseng, Holy basil, and Cordyceps.

Legumes for Diabetes

Legumes for Diabetes


Diabetes affects more people than we know about. While there are about 29 million verified cases of diabetes in the United States, an estimated 8 million more are undiagnosed, meaning that as much as 28 percent of people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

Because the body cannot adequately process glucose, diabetes can be difficult to treat, as treatment relies largely on the patient being vigilant with their own wellbeing, administering insulin properly, managing diet and food consumption, and being aware of the ancillary complications that diabetes can cause.

Among the side effects that diabetes can cause are very serious ailments that can each be difficult to treat on their own.

Complications with the feet and legs:

Diabetes can cause neuropathy, which is nerve damage, and can make it difficult to feel hot and cold, as well as cause foot ulcers and peripheral vascular disease.


Kidney Disease:

Kidney Disease

Diabetic kidney disease is perhaps the most damaging of the dangers of diabetes, causing the kidneys to leak abnormal amounts of protein from the bloodstream into the urine, and eventually causing kidney failure.


If blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol is not closely attended to and maintained, diabetics run the risk of stroke, which can range from slightly debilitating to deadly.

While there are great prescription medications to help diabetics deal with their condition, treatment and healing always begins with diet. Knowing which foods can help reduce the effects of diabetes on the body is paramount to coping with the disease effectively.

Not only is it important to consider which foods to eat, but how often and when to eat throughout the day. The foods that generate the largest spikes in blood sugar are those which are high in carbohydrates. This is not limited to just cookies and sugar laden foods; even healthy foods like cereal and fruits can spike blood sugar.

High Blood Pressure Fruits

As for amount and time of meals, experts recommend eating three main meals daily with snacks in between them to keep blood sugar consistent throughout the day.


Studies are showing that among the best foods for diabetics are legumes. With their high protein and fiber content, beans are a wonder food for diabetics, containing as much protein in one cup as two ounces of meat or chicken.

Heavy in foods that are appropriate for diabetics, the diet typical for a person in the Mediterranean includes legumes as a staple food, and research is validating these food choices as diabetic friendly.

Published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome, researchers studied whether or not the Mediterranean diet can help treat type 2 diabetes, with promising results.

The study was performed on 158 participants with type 2 diabetes, measuring fasting glucose and lipids in the bloodstream along with monitoring food intake to assure adherence to the diet.

Out of all participants, 55 percent were able to adhere to the Mediterranean diet properly, and researchers found that the consumption of nuts, legumes, and seeds were associated with a significantly reduces risk of diabetes.

Legumes are great for diabetics because they are very low on the glycemic index, a method to measure the impact that food has on blood sugar. Lower foods on the glycemic index are better for diabetics because they don’t create heavy blood sugar spikes which leads to internal organ damage. This coupled with high amounts of protein and fiber make beans a diabetic’s dream food.

More legumes

Perhaps the best nutrition plan for a diabetic is the paleo diet. Like the Mediterranean diet, the paleo diet also recommends eating healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables, but the paleo diet does not traditionally include legumes.

The paleo diet

The paleo diet contends that our human bodies have not yet evolved to adequately digest many of the modern, commercially augmented, foods that we regularly consume. Proponents contend that we should stick to a diet that is similar to that of Paleolithic man, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, grass fed meat, fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils.

Eating legumes

The paleo diet, however, does not recommend legumes as part of a daily diet. Paleo diet with legumes may be a powerful combination.

We know that beans are great for diabetics, but the paleo diet may be able to help control diabetes in addition to the powerful effect of legumes.

One recent study examined the metabolic and physiologic effects from following a paleo diet. Scientists conducted a metabolically controlled study on 14 type 2 diabetics, comparing the paleo diet to that suggested by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Measurements were taken of mean arterial blood pressure, urine electrolytes, hemoglobin A1c and fructosamine levels, insulin resistance, and lipid levels.

While both groups showed improvements in metabolic measures, the group adhering to the paleo diet showed greater benefits in areas of glucose control and lipid profiles. In addition to lipids and glucose, the paleo group also showed a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity, an outcome not exhibited in any of the insulin resistant subjects following the ADA recommended diet.

And yet another study expounds on the ability of legumes to reduce inflammation in the body. Studies show that first-degree relatives of patients with diabetes are more at risk for endothelial dysfunction. This is a vascular disease in which the endolethium –the inner lining of blood vessels- has an imbalance between dilating and constricting, which can have an impact on many blood pressure-related bodily functions.

This study aims to determine how legumes can help reduce inflammation that can cause serious side effects in the relatives of type 2 diabetes patients.

26 participants, each with a familial history of diabetes, were randomly assigned to a legume enriched diet for 6 weeks, separated by a two week washout. Inflammatory markers were assessed and measured before the study. The results indicated that, with equal caloric intake, those consuming more legumes exhibited significantly reduced levels of “high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and serum levels of adiponectin”, concluding that “a legume-enriched diet significantly reduced the hs-CRP concentrations in first-degree relatives of patients with diabetes after 6 week of intervention compared with a habitual diet.”

A diet high in legumes is capable of reducing inflammation as well as aiding digestion of carbohydrates, leading to reduced blood sugar spikes for type 2 diabetes patients, and a healthier, less inflammatory response in the body due to dietary intake.

Legumes are not a perfect food for diabetics, but they are very close. With their high fiber content, coupled with high amounts of protein and low sugar and carbohydrate content, beans are an excellent food not only for diabetics, but for anyone looking to eat healthier, increase fiber intake –which generates a huge amount of benefits in and of itself- and reduce blood sugar spikes, a key to treating type 2 diabetes without harmful medication.

Legumes and beans
Zeaxanthin Benefits to Eye Health

Zeaxanthin Benefits to Eye Health

Eye vision

Surveys have been given to thousands of individuals, and the resulting answers place eyesight at the top of the list of most necessary senses. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is a cruel sometimes, leaving us old and diminished by the time we’ve lived our lives.

However, our health and lives, namely how gracefully we age, are still largely in our own hands. Accepting some predetermined fate set forth for you by the invisible hand of nature is not an effective, productive mindset and there are plenty of things that can be done to combat Mother Nature and Father Time. Thankfully, many of the most effective choices we can make are quite simple.

Good health, especially in old age, relies heavily on dietary decisions made throughout a lifespan, and luckily, compounds that can help slow the aging process are found in abundance in the food we eat.

Along with the powerful antioxidant lutein, zeaxanthin can also aid in preserving eye health ad preventing age related macular degeneration (AMD), the number one cause of blindness in the developed world.

Zeaxanthin is a naturally occurring compound, giving pigment to many fruits and vegetables including corn, saffron, wolfberries, and many others. The foods highest in zeaxanthin are green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, kale, turnip and collard greens, romaine lettuce, and watercress, among others.

Zeaxanthin in foods

Zeaxanthin is among the most important compounds for eye health found in nature. One of a group of antioxidants called carotenoids, zeaxanthin is one of the most common carotenoids found in nature. Zeaxanthin is one of two primary xanthophyll carotenoids contained within the retina of the eye. Zeaxanthin is the dominant component within the central retina and its counterpart lutein is the dominant component in the peripheral retina.

Studies are helping to shed light on how beneficial zeaxanthin is to eye health, especially in cases of age related loss of sight like AMD. In addition to helping prevent AMD, zeaxanthin and lutein have also been observed to possibly help prevent cataracts.

The major ocular problems that cause blindness among the elderly population, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, are found to be caused mainly by oxidative stress on the cells of the eyes. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed, these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes, leading to the degradation of the body’s cells, damage to DNA, and eventually diseases like cancer and macular degeneration.

Oxidative stress on cells

Antioxidants like zeaxanthin help to mitigate the damage caused by free radicals, and since it is found in such abundance in the eye, zeaxanthin is truly focused on preventing oxidative damage to the most important parts of the eye.

Where both the initiation and progression of ocular problems are concerned, oxidative stress plays an important role, thus, dietary antioxidants can serve as a therapeutic strategy for the improvement of ocular health. Not only is zeaxanthin known for being one of the most important and common xanthophyll carotenoids, but it also has very important anti-inflammatory properties, further enhancing its prowess as a preventer of disease. Studies show that nearly every chronic disease can be traced back to excessive inflammation in the body, and zeaxanthin helps prevent it.

Research published in Progress in Retinal and Eye Research helps to explain how zeaxanthin works to prevent AMD.

There are three concentrated carotenoids found inside the human macula, which are lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. The body cannot make either lutein or zeaxanthin, the only way to get these compounds is via diet.  Scientists believe that the body can create a compound called meso-zeaxanthin, a substance that is uncommon to most diets. Meso-zeaxanthin is believed to be formed at the macula, which is thought to use carotenoids we get via food to metabolically create meso-zeaxanthin.

While in the eye, these three carotenoids help to prevent damage from the most common offenders, including blue light, damaging sun exposure, and the free radicals that cause AMD and cataracts. The blue light spectrum is more harmful because it penetrates more deeply into the eye, causing a cumulative effect that damages the retina.

How blue light affects your vision
Healthy food and junk food

Statistics show that those who consume a standard American diet are most likely deficient in zeaxanthin, as well as lutein. This diet consists of an abundance of carbohydrates and refined sugars and lacks the proper number of fresh fruits and vegetables. If this is your diet, you’re most likely low on lutein and other important antioxidants.

A 2015 study, published in J.A.M.A. Ophthalmology, examined the medical benefits of carotenoids like zeaxanthin on age related macular degeneration. This study followed up on other studies that took place over the last 30 years to see if there were long term benefits from cardioids like zeaxanthin and lutein.

This study concluded that throughout the study population of 102,046 men and women, those who had optimal levels of zeaxanthin and lutein were about 40 percent less likely to develop symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.

To help prevent cataracts, zeaxanthin works alongside lutein to help prevent the clouding of the optic lens inside the eye. As free radicals flow throughout the body, they attach the body’s cells, even in the eye. This eventually damages the lens, causing it to become cloudy.  However, studies are showing positive results concerning the ability of zeaxanthin and lutein to help prevent this from happening.

When looking after your eye health, there are more foods that contain high amounts of carotenoids than just the green leafy variety. While spinach, kale, greens, and watercress are all great sources of zeaxanthin, you can also find large amounts in eggs, broccoli, zucchini, garden peas, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and leeks.

Broccoli and eggs

But let’s be honest, we don’t always do the right things for our bodies. In these cases, it is easy to get zeaxanthin supplementation, but limit your purchases to trusted sources with good reputations.

Zenith Labs

4610 Prime Parkway
McHenry, IL, 60050, USA

Email Us
+1 (800) 928-1184

Business Hours:6 AM to 5 PM M-F, Sat 6 AM to 2 PM (PST)

Pay Securely with:

Zenith Labs Payment Methods
Copyright ©