Category Archives: Herbs

Another Kevin Trudeau Scam

You would think by now the FDA would have gotten this guy out of the public eye but no, he keeps coming backing scamming people with so-called super products like Eden PM Sleep Support. Instead of honestly telling people what the product is, he masks it by using the full technical name for the amino acids in it and makes it sound mystical.

Here is the scoop on Eden PM –

  • Proprietary THP – tetrahydropalmatine a herbal extract that has shown ability to calm the nervous system but he uses a very small amount (2mg), much lower than the study by HM Chang and PPH But which was at 100 to 200 mgs.
  • 2-Aminoethanesulfonic acid – A fancy name for the amino acid taurine which is relatively inexpensive and is a good calming agent.
  • 2-amino acetic acid – Another fancy name for the cheapest amino acid on the market, Glycine.
  • Acetyl-3-Hydroxy-4-Trimethylaminobutoanyoate – Yup the long name for Acetyl-L-Carnintine

As is typical with Mr. Trudeau he wrapped a simple combination with relatively cheap ingredients into a extremely high priced scam. While the product is ok, the price is ridiculous – $104.90 for two bottles or $69.95 for one bottle.  Save your money and buy some melatonin, taurine or 5-HTP (5-hydroxytrytophan) for a lot less.

Echinachia Helps Fight the Common Cold

In a recent study published in the journal Lancet Infectious Disease, researchers found that the herb Echinachia does indeed help reduce the risk of catching the common cold and that it can lower the number of days with a cold.  Now the study isn’t flawless as it uses a statistical technique called meta-analysis, it does indicate a possibility that this common herb may be beneficial to those who’s immune system isn’t up to snuff.

A word of caution here, this herb may be contraindicated in people with autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Because of that I recommend that you go see a good naturopath who is familiar with the use of herbs.

Nutrition Update for the Week of May 9th

Vitamin D and Physical Performance in the Elderly – In this study, vitamin D status was correlated to physical performance in elderly patients and this study suggested that there was a definitive relationship between the two. Those with low vitamin D levels did poorly on physical performance tests. What was striking was the percentage of people with vitamin D deficiency (28.8% women, 13.6% men). Even more disturbing was the percentage of people with vitamin D insufficiency (74.9% women, 51.0% men).

The authors of the study go on to state. “Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older populations, additional studies examining the association between vitamin D status and physical function are needed.” Do we really need more studies or do we need to educate our aging population that they need to take additional vitamin D. My suggestion is 800 to 1,200 i.u. daily in the spring, summer and fall and 1,200 to 2,000 i.u.’s in the winter.

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk – As if you need yet another reason to take this nutrient the authors of this study suggest that taking 2,000 i.u.’s of vitamin D would decrease a women’s risk of developing breast cancer by 50%!!! If you aren’t taking this essential nutrient, what are you waiting for???

CoEnzyme Q10 Does Not Illicit Positive Findings in Healthy Subjects – I a poorly constructed study, the authors of this study suggest that CoQ10 does little to affect help heart markers in healthy men. The stupidity of this study is the fact that they made these conclusions despite the fact that all they measured was a single, 50 mg dose of CoQ10! Are they kidding me?  Why waste time and effort and paper to report on this unless there was an agenda to fill medical research with negative papers of supplements. It is well known that either you need to look at a higher dose (300 mg) or long-term effects of CoQ10. Shame on the authors of the paper and shame on the journal that published this drivel.

Valerian Root and Sleep Quality and Quantity – In a meta-analysis of research on this calmative herb, the authors suggest that valerian may be beneficial in helping improve sleep quantity. They do have some reservations and state that “Future studies should assess a range of doses of standardized preparations of valerian and include standard measures of sleep quality and safety.” Given this study though, if you have sleep problems, trying valerian may be a good idea as the study also states that this herb has shown little in the way of side-effects unlike drugs like AmbienTM.

Circumin and Liver Cirrhosis – In this study, the authors suggest that curcumin may be helpful in treating this serious liver disease. They conclude, “Curcumin inhibited the development of TAA-induced liver cirrhosis mainly due to its anti-inflammatory activities and not by a direct anti-fibrotic effect. As curcumin ingestion is safe in humans, it may be reasonable to assess in clinical studies the beneficial effect of curcumin in slowing the development of liver cirrhosis.”

Multivitamin Supplementation May be Beneficial in Reducing Osteoporosis in the Elderly – Despite the claims by CNNs medical reporting team, here is yet another human study showing the health benefits of nutrient supplementation. In this paper the authors state that the results of the research suggests that daily intake of a multivitamin supplement containing cholecalciferol/vitamin D3 may improve overall nutritional status and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in a nutritionally vulnerable group, such as the elderly.

An Addendum to Yesterday’s Post

Yesterday I discussed the problems within the supplement business, today’s headlines bring more distressing news, one company, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, has had a multi-charge indictment put on it and it’s principals that reads like a description of all that is wrong with the nutritional supplement industry. This puts a nasty blanket of suspicion on all of us, regardless of the fact that most companies are stand-up citizens who produce good products and follow the law to the letter and then some.

In a well researched article on MSNBC, the reporter lays out a sordid tale of deception, illegal dealings and discussions of murder and blackmail. The company was found to have added the drug Cialis to their herbal “male-enhancement” supplement, which is something I have been privy to being done by others in the supplement industry. This is where our industry needs to be stronger, policing itself with more vigor and speed than ever before. If not, the FDA will step in and regulate nutritional supplements in a a far heavier handed way than is necessary.

Weekly Nutrition Update

Dietary Sodium Intake and Asthma: An Epidemiological and Clinical Review – In this paper, the researchers from Indiana University suggest that lowering sodium intake would be beneficial to asthma sufferers. This is not surprising to me as sodium is known to constrict tissue, in this case the lungs, which is one of the problems people with asthma have. I would be interested in seeing whether an increase in the intake of potassium would also be beneficial as that mineral is helpful in relaxing tissue.

Effects of a Low-Carb Diet (with and without soluble fiber supplementation) on LDL Cholesterol Levels and Other Markers of Cardiovascular Risk – Thirty study subjects in who were put on a low carbohydrate diet were found to reduce body weight, percentage of body fat, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, plasma glucose, HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels among both subjects given a soluble fiber supplement as well as those given a placebo. LDL cholesterol levels reduced more significantly and more rapidly among subjects taking the soluble fiber supplement. Another excellent reason to try a low carb diet if you are obese or overweight.

Curcumin – the active ingredient in Turmeric – May Help Correct Cystic Fibrosis – I have to tell you, curcumin is quickly becoming my favorite herb. Aside from the flavor it provides to many foods, it has been extremely beneficial in a number of different inflammatory conditions and here, the study authors suggest it may be helpful in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis. While the study represents research in the earliest stages (animal model), it is worth trying as this herb has very few known side effects.

Risk of Mortality due to Cardiovascular Disease Increases as Blood Glucose Levels Increase – Controlling your blood sugar is always important but as this study suggests, it may be even more important if you are at risk or, or already have cardiovascular disease. In other words, cut out the extra sugar and especially high-fructose corn syrup which I feel is the number one food additive that needs banning.

Supplementation with Ginger May Benefit Diabetics – The herb ginger was found to be beneficial in lowering lipid peroxidation, a common problem amongst diabetics as well as increasing plasma antioxidant capacity.

Long-Term Supplementation with Vitamin D and BMD in Adults and Adolescents on Anti-Epileptic Drugs – As some of you may know, my daughter Tasya has epilepsy and based upon this study, increasing her vitamin D intake should decrease the risk of developing low bone density when she gets older. Vitamin D is increasingly becoming one of the most important nutrients to take on a daily basis.

Food Alone May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients to Prevent Deficiency in Athletes and Non-Athletes – With our nutrient depleted food supply, this study does not surprise me one bit. In my 21+ years in the field of health and nutrition, and the 38,000 lab tests I’ve reviewed, rarely do I see anyone who would not benefit from the addition of nutritional supplements.

Circumin the Spice Healer?

The regular readers of this blog know my affection for Circumin and Tumeric. The recent issue of Scientific American has a 4 page article about this remarkable herb. Its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, colorectal cancer, and cognitive impairment is discussed. While more research is warranted, I am a firm believer in using this remarkable herb on a regular basis.