L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, helps reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep. L-theanine is found in tea leaves in low concentrations (less than 2 percent), which means that effective dosage levels (of 100 – 200mg/day) cannot be delivered from drinking tea. Recently, animal studies and human studies have shown that a high dose of L-theanine (100 mg) combined with caffeine about at the level of a single cup of tea (40 mg), can help to improve attention, memory, and cognition.
There is no question that caffeine increases alertness, but this effect comes at a price. L-Theanine appears to counteract some of the stimulatory effects of caffeine while exerting benefits of its own. Some of the effects noted for L-theanine include:
Increasing brain serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels.
Binding to various brain receptor sites.
Improving learning and memory in animal studies.
Positive results in double-blind studies showing it:
Reducing feelings of stress.
Improves the quality of sleep.
Diminishes the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome
Increasing the production of alpha brain waves
L-theanine is a very is a popular ingredient in function foods and beverages as well as dietary supplements designed to produce mental and physical relaxation, without inducing drowsiness.
In a study of 91 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), subjects were given either the green tea-theanine combination or a placebo. Neuropsychological tests (Rey-Kim memory test and Stroop color-word test) and electroencephalography (EEG) were conducted to evaluate the effect of green tea-theanine on memory and attention. The results demonstrated that the green tea-theanine product led to improvements in memory and attention. The EEG tracings indicated an increase in brain theta waves, an indicator of cognitive alertness.
Park SK, Jung IC, Lee WK, et al. A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Med Food. 2011 Apr;14(4):334-43.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is palm tree native to Florida. Numerous double-blind studies have shown an extract of the berries to significantly improve the signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – a condition that affects approximately 5 to 10% at age 30 and increases in incidence to eventually affect over 90% in men over 85 years of age. Symptoms of BPH include increased urinary frequency, waking up often at night to urinate (nocturia), and reduced force in the stream of urine (dribbling).
Saw palmetto extract in BPH:
Roughly 90% of men with mild to moderate BPH experience some improvement in symptoms during the first 4 to 6 weeks of therapy.
All major symptoms of BPH are improved, especially increased nighttime urination (nocturia).
Saw palmetto is best used early on in BPH, it is less effective when in severe BPH.
The mechanism of action is related to improving the hormonal metabolism within the prostate gland.
The study aimed to evaluate the long-term efficacy of treatment with saw palmetto extract in patients with BPH. In the study, 120 patients with mild or moderate BPH with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of <4 ng/ml and residual urinary volume <150 ml were treated daily for 24 months with one capsule of 320 mg saw palmetto extract. Results showed statistically significant improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Score, quality of life score, erectile function and a reduction in residual urinary volume were observed during the study period. In addition, the size of the prostate after 24 months was reduced to 36 ml compared to 39.8 ml at the beginning of the study.
Sinescu I, Geavlete P, Multescu R, et al. Long-term efficacy of Serenoa repens treatment in patients with mild and moderate symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urol Int. 2011;86(3):284-9.
The mulberry plant (Morus indica) is probably best known as food for silkworms, but it has also been highly regarded in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Recent studies have shown that it possesses significant blood sugar lowering effects as it contains a “sugar blocker” (specifically an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor) along with other compounds that appear to improve blood glucose control.
Mulberry leaf in type 2 diabetes
In one study, patients were given either mulberry dried leaves at a dose of 3 g/day or one tablet of the drug glyburide (5 mg/day) for 4 weeks. Results included:
Mulberry therapy significantly improved diabetic control in Type 2 diabetic patients.
Fasting blood glucose concentrations and A1C levels were significantly lowered with mulberry therapy compared to glyburide treatment.
Mulberry therapy also lowered total and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol.
A study was set up to evaluate the lipid lowering effect of mulberry leaf in 23 non-diabetic patients with mild elevations in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels (dyslipidemia) who had failed a 4 week diet therapy. Subjects were given three tablets of 280 mg mulberry leaf tablet three times a day before meals for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the study, total cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL were significantly decreased by 4.9%, 14.1%, and 5.6%, respectively, from baseline, whereas HDL was significantly increased by 19.7%. These results indicate that mulberry leaf tablet therapy is safe and effective in reducing cholesterol levels and enhancing HDL in patients with mild dyslipidemia.
Aramwit P, Petcharat K, Supasyndh O. Efficacy of mulberry leaf tablets in patients with mild dyslipidemia. Phytother Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):365-9.
Curcumin is one of the most intensely studied natural products. Preclinical research has indicated a long list of possible uses due to its ability to switch off inflammation in an unparalleled manner. Unfortunately, clinical research has been limited due to curcumin’s poor absorption in humans. Theracurmin is the most bioavailable form of curcumin. In this informative presentation Dr. Murray provides an overview on why there is so much excitement at major research centers and universities about Theracurmin. According to Dr. Murray, Theracurmin is a “Game Changer” – watch the video and learn why.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection in a more bioavailable form than ever before
Theracurmin is a special advanced form of curcumin—the yellow pigment of turmeric (Curcuma longa), the chief ingredient in curry. Curcumin has demonstrated significant activity in many experimental and clinical studies, but its effects have been limited until now because of poor absorption. Theracurmin is by far the most bioavailable form of curcumin and represents a major breakthrough in the use of curcumin to promote health. Many of curcumin’s beneficial effects are attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Special Effects of Curcumin
What research has continually documented is that curcumin is highly pleiotropic, meaning it exerts multiple actions. Foremost is curcumin’s ability to act as an antioxidant and influence many factors involved when normal inflammatory processes get out of balance. Curcumin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models as well as clinical studies. In these studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents, such as ibuprofen.
Curcumin has also demonstrated significant effects in preventing the accumulation of compounds associated with premature aging. For example, beta-amyloid is a compound linked to aging in the brain and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It is essentially a biochemical scar in brain tissue that reflects damage due to inflammation. Curcumin is showing great promise in preserving brain health by preventing the accumulation of beta-amyloid. However, in order for this benefit to be realized, it must first be absorbed.
Enhancing the Benefits of Curcumin
While many preliminary studies show curcumin has great promise, a major issue limiting its clinical use has been that it is not very well absorbed. Several types of curcumin products have now been developed to more effectively raise blood and tissue levels of curcumin. Theracurmin is by far the most advanced of these techniques. This all-natural preparation reduces the particle size of curcumin, while dramatically increasing its solubility. The average particle size of typical curcumin is 22.75 μm. In Theracurmin, the particle size has been reduced to 0.19 to 0.3 μm—a reduction of over 100 times. This reduced particle size curcumin is then mixed with natural emulsifiers to suspend it in a highly bioavailable mixture that is then dried. The result of all of this technology is a dramatic increase in the absorption of curcumin as compared to all other commercial forms that have been tested, including other enhanced forms of curcumin.
Theracurmin Increases “Free” Curcumin
In addition to being poorly absorbed, regular curcumin is rapidly metabolized in the liver. When measuring levels of curcumin in the blood during absorption studies, the value of curcumin is based upon total curcuminoids, including metabolites. The only product form that has shown to actually increase the free curcumin form is Theracurmin. Since free curcumin is significantly more active than the metabolites, it is extremely likely that Theracurmin is not only better absorbed, but it also produces additional benefits as compared to other supplemental forms of curcumin.
Health Benefits of Theracurmin
Because Theracurmin enhances the absorption of curcumin, all of the benefits associated with curcumin are also enhanced. Theracurmin has been the subject of several clinical studies that have shown Theracurmin possesses an ability to reduce tissue damage caused by inflammation, improve liver function, increase the ability of the heart to function more efficiently, and increase the flexibility of the arteries. Currently, Theracurmin is being investigated for additional properties at some of the major universities and research centers in the world. The dosage recommendation of Theracurmin, based upon the existing clinical evaluation, is 300 to 600 mg per day.
Theracurmin is the Most Bioavailable Form of Curcumin
The above graph demonstrates Theracurmin is by far the most bioavailable form of curcumin. Theracurmin is the only curcumin preparation currently available that produces a clear dose response. What that means is that even small dosages of Theracurmin increase blood measurements of curcumin, and, as the dosage increases, so does the blood level. This increase is linear, meaning that it increases in the blood in a parallel fashion to the dosage. This absorption profile is extremely important; as the effectiveness of curcumin within the body requires achieving effective concentrations. Theracurmin is able to achieve necessary concentrations within the body that are not likely to be easily achieved, if at all, with other curcumin preparations.
A short video showing the amazing dissolution of Theracurmin in water compared to regular curcumin powder. This dramatic dispersion in water translates to the dramatic increases in bioavailability seen with Theracurmin.
In short-term studies with subjective assessment of hunger and satiety, dietary protein has been shown to be more satiating than fat or carbohydrate intake. However, not all longer-term studies showed that increased protein intake improved body weight or composition. One consideration that may play a role in the success of weight loss may be the source of the protein. In particular, supplemental whey protein may support lean body mass during weight loss.
Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein has the highest biological value of any protein.
Whey protein is a rich source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are metabolized directly into muscle tissue and are the first ones used during periods of exercise.
Whey protein is an excellent source of the essential amino acid, leucine. Research has shown that individuals who exercise benefit from diets high in leucine and have more lean muscle tissue and less body fat compared to individuals whose diet contains lower levels of leucine. Whey protein isolate has approximately 50% more leucine than soy protein isolate.
Whey protein is a soluble, easy to digest protein and is efficiently absorbed into the body.
Whey protein contains bioactive components that help stimulate the release of two appetite-suppressing hormones: cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).
In a study involving 90 overweight and obese subjects randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments for a period of 23 weeks: 1) whey protein (56 g/day); 2) soy protein (56 g/day); 3) an equal amount of carbohydrate. Results showed supplementation with whey protein was found to be associated with reductions in body weight (-1.8 kg), fat mass (-2.3 kg), waist circumference, and fasting ghrelin levels. No such changes were found in the soy protein or carbohydrate groups. The authors state, “Through yet-unknown mechanisms, different sources of dietary protein may differentially facilitate weight loss and affect body composition.”
Baer DJ, Stote KS, et al. Whey protein but not soy protein supplementation alters body weight and composition in free-living overweight and obese adults. J Nutr, 2011; 141(8): 1489-94.
"One of the great myths about natural medicines is that they are not scientific. The fact of the matter is that for most common illnesses there is greater support in the medical literature for a natural approach than there is for drugs or surgery."