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Michael A Meyer


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May 2001 Ageless herbal newsletter

Underneath is the main part of the newsletter that was sent out (excluding special offers or promotional items). You can access all previous newsletters and also subscribe to the free newsletter.
anti-oxidants fight free radicals antioxidants prevent aging tissue cell damageon this page
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Anti-oxidants

Much is said about antioxidants, but in a recent survey conducted, we found that although most people are familiar with the term "antioxidant", few really knew what they are, and why we need them for optimum health.

Antioxidants should be of interest to people wishing to keep looking as young as possible, when on diet, as well as for general well-being and health.

Antioxidants as supplements are a class of nutrients that help fight and rid the body of free radicals - the gremlins that can cause untold damage to our bodies. The importance of antioxidants are nowadays accepted by even the most conservative medical fields, and people find great benefit from these nutritional ingredients in achieving optimum health.

The quantities used in supplements are still open to discussion, with various researchers giving different information on what they consider sufficient, and although it would be great to simply get the antioxidants from a balanced diet, this is seldom achieved in our over-processed diets filled with junk and convenience food.

When the cells in the body carry on their daily functions, oxygen is used in the process and oxidation takes place - and although these are normal functions, they do cause free radicals.

Free radicals and damage caused to the body anti-oxidants fight free radicals antioxidants prevent aging tissue cell damage

The waste material of these processes can have an influence on the forming of cancer, arterial damage, inflammation, and accelerated and premature ageing through oxidative damage.

Free radicals in some cases only exist in the body for a split second, but that split second is time enough to cause long-term damage.

Free radicals are also caused by a variety of factors, such as a diet high in fried and barbequed foods, environmental pollution and exhaust fumes, radiation (including SUN TANNING), cigarette smoking, toxins, etc. (When last have you really breathed unpolluted air?)

Another action which causes the formation of free radicals is when you are muscle-building and exercising hard, since the dramatic increase of oxygen consumption needed to sustain the training sessions also cause a dramatic increase of free radicals being formed in the body.

Food high in fat can also produce more free radicals since more are formed in the synthesis of fats than when synthesizing proteins and carbohydrates.

What makes a free radical dangerous in too large quantities is the fact that it is an atom, or group of atoms, with at least one unpaired electron - which is an unstable arrangement. With this atom being unpaired, other molecules easily bond with it, which causes a chemical reaction.

These free radicals are constantly being formed (and it is essential that they do occur as the body needs them) and are constantly being kept in check by free radical scavengers.

The free radical action is needed by the body to kill off diseased cells as well as pathogens and a variety of other essential functions - but they become problematic to us when they are too plentiful in our bodies.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by binding to the free electron of the atoms.

Damage caused by free radicals anti-oxidants fight free radicals antioxidants prevent aging tissue cell damage

Should the free radicals not be neutralized and destroyed in the body, they can also trigger the production of even more free radicals, which compounds the problem with subsequent damage to the cells.

It is indicated that massive amounts of free radicals may interfere with the genetic coding within the cells, upset protein synthesis, which in turn can upset the immune system. Free radicals can also damage the protective cell membranes, as well as lead to water retention within the cells.

Different free radicals are found in the body - such as superoxide, hydroxy radicals, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxides, hypochlorite radicals, nitric oxide etc, and they are neutralized by naturally occurring enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), methionine reductase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase.

It is however felt by certain researchers that your body's ability to produce sufficient antioxidants gets less as you age - which is a double whammy, since it is believed by some that antioxidants are vitally important when trying to combat ageing as such.

Over and above the naturally occurring enzymes, certain nutrients also act as antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, plus the precursor of vitamin A - beta-carotene, flavonoids (oligomeric proanthocyanidins - such as pine bark and grape seed extract) as well as the minerals selenium and zinc, the hormone melatonin, green tea etc.

This is where the controversy now enters the arena between medical research and some nutritional advisers - the medical researchers feel that the RDA amounts (or slightly higher quantities) are sufficient, while some nutritionists would rather see far more taken.

Although we do not advocate mega-dose therapies of certain vitamins, it is however interesting to take note of some of the suggested RDAs.

For instance, vitamin C RDA is 60 mg per day, plus another 35 mg per day should you smoke. The 60 mg of vitamin C would however not go very far, since that amount is really required to prevent scurvy.

Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin excesses are excreted in the urine, and the "father" of vitamin C, Dr. Linus Pauling, did studies by placing terminal patients on vitamin C - 10,000 mg per day, and found they lived about four times longer than those not on vitamin C.

Another great nutritionist, Adelle Davis, was also a firm believer of using vitamin C in therapeutic quantities and used it to treat a variety of ills - from colds, bruising, and periodontal problems to toxicity.

A very high intake of vitamin C could cause diarrhea but this normally ceases as soon as the dosage is cut down.

With other antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin A and E a person should take care, since they are stored in the body and toxic levels can be reached if very high quantities are taken in supplement form.

The mineral selenium is also a great antioxidant, but since it can be toxic in high dosages, your intake should be controlled.

Much is being written about pine bark extract, but since it can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals, it might be wiser to opt for grape seed extract - the other oligomeric proanthocyanidin.

It is thought that a shortage of antioxidants could cause, or assist in causing, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diabetes, hypertension, infertility, macular degeneration (eye lens degeneration) measles, mental illness, periodontal disease, respiratory tract infection as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

An autopsy study on the brains of people who died free of Alzheimer's disease compared to those who showed signs of Alzheimer's, had twice as much free radical activity in their brains.

People on diet would also benefit to ensure that there are enough antioxidants in their system, since free radicals are released in large quantities when synthesizing fats.

Some research also indicates that age spots (also referred to as liver spots) are indicative of free radical damage, since they are a build-up of waste known as lipofuscin accumulation which is a byproduct of free radical damage in skin cells.

The greater amount of medical doctors however still do not subscribe to the use of antioxidants to help treat age spots and would rather treat with lasers, liquid nitrogen or retinol containing creams and lotions, and advise to stay out of the sun.

If we however take the antioxidant/old age spot argument to its logical conclusion, it would then also indicate that there might be a build-up of free radicals in other (not so visible) parts of the body as well.

(A folk remedy for old age spots is to rub castor oil onto the spots twice a day or to daub the spot with lemon juice twice a day - it might be worth a try since the cost involved is very little.)

We will not go into the side effects of sun tanning in this month's newsletter - but please take note - try not to expose your skin for excessive periods of time to the sun - not only is it extremely aging but it can also lead to skin cancers.

Should age spots be present on a person's skin, it may be a good idea to increase your dietary intake of antioxidants by means of your diet or supplementation.

By adding enough antioxidants to the diet there is less oxidation stress, which can also help to slow down some of the visible signs of aging.

Another sign that you might be in need of some extra antioxidants would be if you are continually prone to infections, easy bruising, slow wound healing, excessive wrinkling of the skin and easy toxicity of your body.

This is by no means all the data available on antioxidants and free radicals, but we hope that we have given you some more information on a subject that so many people are talking about currently.

antioxidants free radicals

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Articles of interest

Ageless herbal product range

Our Ageless herbal product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.

 

Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.

 

Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
  • Cellulite gel
    • Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.

 

Herbal supplements

  • Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
    • The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
  • Digest capsules
    • If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
  • Detox capsules
    • Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
  • Urinary and bladder health capsules
    • Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
  • Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
    • If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
  • Olive leaf extract capsules
    • This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
  • Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
    • Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.

 

Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Lavender oil
    • This is the most popular essential oil and with good reason. Lavender oil is a superb product to use on burns, insect bites, sunburn, wounds and other skin complaints and irritations. Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat (not diluted) on the skin, and is great to help with regeneration and rejuvenation of skin cells. Emotionally it has a calming and soothing effect and is an exceptionally pleasant smelling oil.
  • Tea tree oil
    • Once used, you will always have a bottle of tea tree essential oil handy. It deals effectively with bacteria, fungi and viruses. Our oil surpasses the “Australian Standard” by having less than 15% 1,8 cineole and more than 30% of Terpinen-4-ol. This powerful essential oil is effective in various ways to fight infections and skin problems.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

Herbal information

Herbal encyclopedia

Different uses of medicinal herbs

Explanation of the therapeutic properties of herbs

List of ailments and herbs that may be useful


Information on individual herbs

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