Best Anti-aging supplements other than NR and NMN

22 Best Anti-Aging Supplements

Geroprotectors are substances that support healthy aging, slow aging, or extend healthy life. Sometimes people refer to them as “aging suppressants,” “anti-aging drugs,” “gerosuppressants,” “longevity therapeutics,” “senolytics,” or “senotherapeutics.” They include various foods, nutraceuticals (supplements), and pharmaceuticals (drugs). Unfortunately none comes close to realizing the age-old aspiration of ending aging altogether (yet), but some may make a practical difference for many people.

I’ve used several geroprotectors for years. And I’m exploring ways to incorporate others into my diet, if they’re applicable to my personal situation and meet a few general criteria:

First, I look for geroprotectors supported by multiple studies on humans – not just anecdotal evidence, one study, or studies on non-human animals. Although I’ve nothing against the health benefits of placebo, I prefer knowing that something more than only placebo is at work.

Second, I look for geroprotectors with the highest ratios of efficacy to expense. Given innumerable options and a limited budget, I want to do more than just empty my wallet.

Third, I look for geroprotectors that are legal and generally safe. If it’ll put me in a hospital or a prison, it’s not worth it.

Based on those criteria, I’ve compiled a list of top tier natural geroprotectors. These are, to the best of my knowledge, the most well-researched and effective geroprotectors available in the United States without a prescription. I’ve excluded from this list any geroprotectors that are primarily nootropic geroprotectors (such as ginkgo and melatonin), which you can find in my list of top tier nootropics. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Please consult a physician before and during use of these and other geroprotectors.

1) Berberine

Barberry

Berberine is a compound of extracts from herbs such as barberry. Supplementation may provide a strong decrease to blood glucose, and a notable decrease to total cholesterol, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Berberine may also provide a subtle increase to HDL-C; and a subtle decrease to insulin, LDL-C, and triglycerides. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Berberine article  for more studies and details.

2) Blueberry

Blueberry

Blueberry is the fruit of a perennial flowering plant native to North America. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to DNA damage, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

See the Blueberry article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

3) Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense)

Frankincense

Boswellia Serrata is a plant native to India and Pakistan. Supplementation may provide notable support for long-term joint function, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

See the Boswellia Serrata article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

4) Cocoa

Cocoa

Cocoa comes from the seeds of evergreen trees native to tropical regions of Central and South America. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to blood flow, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Cocoa may also provide a subtle increase to insulin sensitivity, and photoprotection; and a subtle decrease to general oxidation, platelet aggregation, and LDL-C. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable.

5) Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule found in the mitochondria of humans and other organisms. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to lipid peroxidation, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 may also provide a subtle increase to blood flow, endothelial function, and exercise capacity; and a subtle decrease to blood pressure, exercise-induced oxidation, and general oxidation. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Coenzyme Q10 article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

6) Creatine

Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates. Supplementation may provide a strong increase to power output and a notable increase to hydration, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Creatine may also provide a subtle increase to anaerobic running capacity, lean mass, bone mineral density, muscular endurance, testosterone, VO2 max, and glycogen resynthesis; and a subtle decrease to blood glucose, lipid peroxidation, and muscle damage. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Creatine article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

7) Curcumin

Turmeric

Curcumin is the bioactive in Turmeric, which is a perennial plant native to Southern Asia. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to antioxidant enzyme profile and a notable decrease to inflammation and pain, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Curcumin may also provide a subtle increase to HDL-C, and functionality in the elderly or injured; a subtle decrease to blood pressure, general oxidation, lipid peroxidation, and triglycerides; and subtle support for long-term joint function. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Curcumin article for more studies and details.

8) DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA

DHEA is a natural hormone in humans and other animals. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to estrogen or testosterone (depending on the need of the body), according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

See the Dehydroepiandrosterone article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

9) Fish Oil

Fish

Fish Oil, as the name suggests, is an oil that accumulates in the tissues of some fish species. Supplementation may provide a strong decrease to triglycerides, thereby supporting a healthy cardiovascular system, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Fish Oil may also provide a subtle increase HDL-C, endothelial function, and photoprotection; and a subtle decrease to blood pressure, inflammation, natural killer cell activity, platelet aggregation, and LDL-C. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Fish Oil article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

10) Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a bulbous plant native to Central Asia. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to HDL-C and a notable decrease to LDL-C, total cholesterol, and blood pressure, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Garlic may also provide a subtle decrease to triglycerides and a strong decrease to rate of sickness. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Garlic article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

11) Horse Chestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum)

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut is a deciduous flowering tree native to South East Europe. Supplementation may provide notable support to long-term circulatory function, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Horse Chestnut may also provide a subtle decrease to pain. Evidence for this effect may not be as reliable. See the Horse Chestnut article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

12) Magnesium

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral found in food like nuts, cereals, and vegetables. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to blood pressure (only in cases of high blood pressure), according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Magnesium may also provide a subtle increase to insulin sensitivity, aerobic exercise, and muscle oxygenation; and a subtle decrease to blood glucose, and insulin. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Magnesium article at Examine.com for more studies and details. also check out my article on Magnesium Glycinate supplementation. Magnesium is an ingredient in Thrivous Serenity.

13) Nitrate

Beetroot

Nitrate is a molecule produced in the body in small amounts and available in vegetables like beetroot. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to blood pressure, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Nitrate may also provide a notable increase to anaerobic running capacity; and a notable decrease to oxygenation cost of exercise. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable.

14) Olive Leaf

Olive Leaf

Olive Leaf comes from an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean, Africa, and Asia. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to blood pressure and oxidation of LDL, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Olive Leaf may also provide a subtle increase to HDL-C; and a subtle decrease to LDL-C, total cholesterol, cell adhesion factors, and DNA damage. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Olive Leaf Extract article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

15) Pycnogenol (Pine Bark)

Maritime Pine

Pycnogenol is an extract from bark of the maritime pine, native to the Mediterranean. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to blood flow, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Pycnogenol may also provide a subtle decrease to leg swelling; and subtle support for long-term joint function. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Pycnogenol article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

16) Salacia Reticulata

Salacia Reticulata

[“Kothala Himbutu” by Satheesan.vn under CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped]

Salacia Reticulata is a plant native to the forests of Sri Lanka. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to blood glucose and insulin, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

See the Salacia Reticulata article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

17) SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine)

SAMe

SAMe is a naturally-occurring compound found in most tissues and fluids of the human body. Supplementation may provide notable support for long-term joint function, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with SAMe may also provide a subtle increase to functionality in elderly or injured; and a notable decrease to pain. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the S-Adenosyl Methionine article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

18) Spirulina

Spirulina

[“Spirulina” by Lara Torvi under CC BY 2.0 / cropped]

Spirulina is a blue-green algae. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to lipid peroxidation and triglycerides, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Spirulina may also provide a strong decrease to allergies, nasal congestion, and liver fat; a notable increase to power output; a notable decrease to blood pressure and general oxidation; a subtle increase to HDL-C and muscular endurance; and a subtle decrease to LDL-C and total cholesterol. Evidence for these effects may not be as reliable. See the Spirulina article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

19) TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid)

TUDCA

TUDCA is a bile acid found naturally in trace amounts in humans and in large amounts in other animals like bears. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to liver enzymes, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with TUDCA may also provide a notable increase to insulin sensitivity. Evidence for this effect may not be as reliable. See the Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

20) Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin

Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, is an essential dietary vitamin found in foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, peanuts, cereals, and legumes. Supplementation may provide a strong increase to HDL-C and a notable decrease to LDL-C and triglycerides, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Vitamin B3 may also provide a subtle increase to blood glucose and insulin; and a subtle decrease to insulin sensitivity and vLDL-C. Evidence for some of these effects may not be as reliable. See the Vitamin B3 article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

21) Vitamin D

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is an essential dietary vitamin naturally synthesized in the skin from sun exposure. Supplementation may provide a notable decrease to risk of falls, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Vitamin D may also provide a notable increase to functionality in elderly or injured; and a subtle decrease to blood pressure, bone fracture risk, and fat mass. Evidence for some of these effects may not be as reliable. See the Vitamin D article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

22) Vitamin K

Vitamin K1

Vitamin K is an essential dietary vitamin found in foods like leafy green vegetables and some fruits. Supplementation may provide a notable increase to bone mineral density, according to multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in humans:

Supplementation with Vitamin K may also provide a notable decrease to bone fracture risk. Evidence for this effect may not be as reliable. See the Vitamin K article at Examine.com for more studies and details.

Best Sulforaphane Supplements for Nrf2 Activation – Containing Glucoraphanin + Myrosinase

For a while now, Sulforaphane has been a hot topic within the scientific community. Its received particular attention from Rhonda Patrick and Tim Ferriss. Whilst it can consumed via broccoli sprouts, these aren’t always easy or convenient to consume. The below post discusses the best supplement options.

Jed Fahey, one of the leading researchers in the field, warns us to be careful of which supplement we use. Saying their lab, which has analyzed dozens of supplements over the years, has found that many are terrible, and don’t contain what they say they do.

To complicate matters, there are 3 main ways to consume sulforaphane:

  1. Pure Sulforaphane – Average bioavailability of 70%*
  2. Glucoraphanin + Myrosinase – Average bioavailability of 35%*
  3. Glucoraphanin – Average bioavailability of 10%*

* Bioavailability numbers come from Jed Fahey’s research at Johns Hopkins. See source #3 below for more info.

Below are a list of the best sulforaphane supplements. All are currently used by Jed Fahey’s team at Johns Hopkins University in their clinical studies:

1. Prostaphane

Consuming active sulforaphane itself has the greatest potential affect (measured using a term called bioavailability). Currently, there is only one free-form stabilized sulphoraphane product on the market. Its name is Prostaphane, and is manufactured in France by a company called Nutrinov.

You may see products advertising that they contain Sulforaphane (specifically Sulforaphane Glucosinolate), however, it should be noted that this is misleading. Whilst it is technically accurate to say that they contain the glucosinolate form of sulforaphane, actually they contain glucoraphanin. It then needs to be converted into sulforaphane via myrosinase.

 

2. Avmacol

The next best alternative to active sulforaphane is consuming the precursor glucoraphanin alongside the activation enzyme myrosinase.

Avmacol is a high end supplement made by Nutramax Laboratories. It is glucoraphanin extracted from Broccoli seeds, plus the active myrosinase enzyme.

Each Avmacol pack contains 60 tablets, which at 2 tablets per day, is a 1 months supply.

 

3. Crucera-SGS

Crucera-SGS is a supplement from Thorne Research containing concentrated glucoraphanin.

Crucera-SGS comes in 60 tablet packs, doses at 1 tablet per day, so 2 months supply.

As briefly mentioned above, although the supplement ingredients read “Sulforaphane Glucosinolate”, this isn’t to be confused with active sulforaphane (found in prostaphane). Sulforaphane Glucosinolate is actually Glucoraphanin, before it has been transformed by the enzyme myrosinase, into sulforaphane.

To recap:

  • All 3 supplements mentioned above are currently used in clinical trials by Johns Hopkins University. This means that they’ve been tested and confirmed to contain what they say.
  • The most bioavailable sulforaphane supplement you can buy is called prostaphane, but so far, is only distributed in France.
  • Next most bioavailable (and accessible in the USA) is Avmacol, because it bundles the enzyme myrosinase alongside its glucoraphanin.

Growing & Consuming Fresh Broccoli Sprouts

If you’ve read through the above, you’ll realize there doesn’t exist an optimal supplement. Even if prostaphane were available in the USA, its cost would likely be high.

Whilst supplements are great for busy lifestyles, whilst you’re on the go. If you’ll be staying in one place for a while, a good alternative is to grow broccoli sprouts yourself.

It’s really simple to grow broccoli sprouts, you just need a seed sprouter (Rhonda uses Ball jars + sprouter lids, but any jar + mesh will do), and some organic broccoli sprout seeds. This video gives a good overview on how to produce your own.

The dosage used in clinical trials often ranges from 30-60mg of sulforaphane. Estimates land fresh broccoli sprouts at a concentration of about 1 gram fresh weight to around 0.45mg of sulforaphane. So to achieve 30-60mg, you’d need to consume between 67-134g of sprouts.

Rhonda says (on her latest Tim Ferriss podcast) she consumes up to 4 ounces (113g) of broccoli sprouts a few times per week. Broccoli seeds yield approximately 5:1. So this means if you start off with 1 ounce of broccoli seeds, you’d end up with approximately 5 ounces of sprouts.

To achieve Rhonda’s 8 ounces consumption per week, you need to grow approximately 1 and a 1/2 ounces (43g) of seeds each week. To put a price to that, Todd’s seeds (for example) are $24 per pound (1lb = 16 ounces). So you’re looking at a cost of $2.25 of seeds per week. That’s not very expensive, given the potential long term health benefits.

Granted, if you’re consuming 4 ounces of broccoli sprouts in one sitting, its a lot. You’ll probably want to emulate Rhonda, and blend them in with a smoothie. Her blender of choice (like Joe Rogan) is the Blendtec Classic. But any decent blender will do.

Its worth also taking a look at Rhonda’s video on tripling the bioavailability of sulforaphane your sprouts. Essentially you heat your broccoli sprouts to 70C, hot enough that it disables the epithiospecifier protein, but not too hot that it disables the myrocinase enzyme (responsible for converting the glucoraphanin into sulforaphane). We do this because glucoraphanin can be converted into two forms of sulforaphane (regular sulforaphane, the stuff we want, and sulforaphane nitrile, which does not contain the anti-carcinogenic properties we want). By knocking out the epithiospecifier protein, which is needed for converting glucoraphanin to sulforaphane nitrile, we increase potential conversion to regular sulforaphane (yay!).

She uses a Famili temperature monitor to ensure she gets the water at 70C.

Rhonda’s broccoli sprouting setup. Complete with Ball jars, sprouting lids, regular teapot, famili temperature monitor and blendtec blender.

Sources

  1. Chemoprotection Center At Johns Hopkins University FAQ
  2. Jed Fahey Interview on Rhonda Patrick’s Podcast
  3. Further publications from Johns Hopkins University research

P.S. Check out this post on supplements that Rhonda Patrick takes – these can make good additions to sulforaphane.

Essential Micronutrients – How we can lead longer, healthier lives by avoiding micronutrient deficiencies

What if we are consistently attributing poor health to the wrong things? Focusing too much on fats and carbohydrates, all the while, important cellular processes in our body are hampered by micronutrient deficiency.

For someone who’s interested in nutrition, I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time obsessing over protein, carbohydrate and fat. And very little time understanding micronutrients.

I don’t seem to be alone in this matter. Popular diets such as Atkins, Weightwatchers & ketogenic diet ALL focus on things other than micronutrients.

So this post is to highlight an issue I didn’t know we had. Which is, by not taking micronutrients ‘seriously’ – we are shortening our potential life span and introducing the risk of illness far earlier into our lives.

The general rhetoric when it comes to micronutrients are:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Eat your vegetables
  • Eat a diet with lots of color (e.g. colourful vegetables vs chicken nuggets and fries type food)

Which is good advice, and should work.

But in practice, we have widespread micronutrient deficiency across the globe. It’s particularly concentrated in under developed countries, but is also found in developed countries like the US5, in particular in the poor, young children, the obese and the elderly.

But first… what are micronutrients?

Micronutrients come under 2 categories; essential and non-essential.

Essential micronutrients are elements or compounds that our bodies can’t construct from other ingredients (our body is generally very good at synthesising the things it needs). They are used for processes such as energy production, cell repair and enzyme activation (to name just a few). And naturally, without them, we have a problem (!)

Below I’ll focus on the 40 micronutrients essential to humans. Beyond this list, there are more micronutrients, although they are not considered essential humans. That doesn’t however mean they don’t have uses within the body.

Micro vs Macro Nutrients

Macronutrients are widely talked about. They consist of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Essentially they are the energy and building blocks for our bodies’ metabolism.

But we can’t run our bodies on macronutrients alone. There’s a range of 40 micronutrients that are essential. They can be categorized into vitamins, minerals, omega-3s and amino acids. Their roles are crucial to perform all kinds of biological functions in our bodies.

Micronutrients come bundled up with the foods we eat. By eating a varied diet, incorporating vegetables, nuts and animal products, we can generally get enough of these micronutrients to live healthily.

But one curious thing about micronutrients, is that we can continue functioning relatively well, even if we’re very low on them.

And that is part of why they get often overlooked. Lets take the comparison of vitamins to coffee.

If a regular person (not a coffee junkie), drinks a coffee, they quickly feel the affects of the caffeine from the coffee in their body.

Compare that to a regular person taking a vitamin pill, packed with micronutrients, they are unlikely to feel anything at all.

Similarly, if you’re deficient of a particular micronutrient for a period of time, you’re also unlikely to feel anything different.

It takes a long time to feel the effects of micronutrient deficiency. But this doesn’t mean the shortage isn’t doing damage. It turns out it is.

What happens if we don’t get enough micronutrients?

We’re generally all familiar with examples of extreme micronutrient deficiency. For example, the story of early sailors who needed to pack limes onto their boats in order to avoid getting scurvy. They only realized the necessity of vitamin C when attempting to subsist for long periods of time on basic foods like potatoes, and then would get sick. Back then they hadn’t isolated the benefits of limes to vitamin C, they just knew limes prevented them getting sick.

Fortunately these days, extreme micronutrient deficiency is rare. But what is happening is long term micronutrient deficiency.

This can have varying effects.

At an extreme, for example, being deficient in folate (a micronutrient found in green vegetables), can lead to DNA damage comparable to that of high dose radiation. This was figured out through experimentation in cell cultures1.

And then more subtilely, we have what Bruce Ames named ‘Triage Theory’. And its a much bigger deal than it’s being credited for (see his paper and YouTube talk for more details).

Similar to how hospitals have to triage patient injuries, treating the most life threatening ones first, in order to ensure maximum patient survival. Our body triages how it uses micronutrients, prioritizing the most important functions, to ensure its short term goals of survival and reproduction.

This means that processes useful for living longer take a back seat.

Why do we care about Triage Theory?

Generally speaking, we all want to live as long and as healthy a life as possible.

If we accept what Triage theory posits, then we can help live longer and healthier by avoiding micronutrient deficiencies. Thus giving our bodies the optimum chance to prosper.

What ARE the 40 Essential Micronutrients?

In this section I’m going to do the amazing, but perhaps mind numbingly dense thing of presenting tables of the different micronutrients. If you’ve time and energy, this can be used to compare your diet and vitamin supplements against the list (!). Or perhaps bookmark it and later refer back.

Without identifying the essential micronutrients, we have little hope of remedying their deficiency.

One thing that’s worth noting, is that for many of the micronutrients, there are different sources available. So for example with Vitamin A, its direct form is retinol, but when we consume plants containing carotenoids (the most well known carotenoid being beta-carotene) our body can later convert them into retinol. This idea personally confused me. I was previously of the mindset that each vitamin was a single compound, and you need to consume that compound to meet your needs. Another term for compounds that can be converted into vitamins, is provitamins.

Which leads us to our next point of potential confusion, bio-availability. Its possible to have different forms of the same thing, and find that one is more optimal than another. For example, with magnesium, there are a large number of different forms, including magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. Magnesium oxide has poor absorption, whereas magnesium citrate has better absorption2.

So, onto our micronutrient lists. I’ve broken this up into somewhat arbitrary delineations such as water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. There are 13 vitamins, 25 minerals, 2 omega-3’s, 9 amino acids and choline, all of which are essential.

Vitamins

Water Soluble Vitamins

Count Vitamin Good Food Sources RDA* or AI†
1. Thiamin (vitamin B1) Yeast, pork, sunflower seeds, legumes 1.1mg*
2. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Beef liver, meats, eggs, yogurt, ricotta cheese, nonfat milk 1.1mg*
3. Niacin (vitamin B3) (nicotinic acid, nicotinamide) Tuna, beef liver, veal, chicken, beef, halibut, peanut butter 14mg*
4. Pantothenic Acid Widespread in foods 5 mg†
5. Biotin Synthesisedby microflora of digestive tract; liver, soybeans, eggs  30 μg†
6. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine) Steak, navy beans, potato, salmon, banana, whole grains 1.3 mg*
7. Folate Brewer’s yeast, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, lima beans, beef liver, fortified grain products 400 μg*
8. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) Meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, milk 2.4 μg*
9. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) Papaya, limes, oranges cantaloupe, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peppers, grapefruit juice, strawberries 75 mg*

Fat Soluble Vitamins

10. Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, retinoic acid)
Provitamins: Carotenoids, particularly β-carotene
Beef liver, dairy products, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, butternut squash, greens, broccoli, cantaloupe 900 μg RAEa
700 μg RAEb
11. Vitamin D
Provitamins: 7-dehydrocholesterol (ergocalciferol) Vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol)
Synthesised in skin exposed to ultraviolet light; fortified milk 15–20 μgc,d 
12. Vitamin E
Tocopherols
Tocotrienols
Vegetable seed oils  15 mg α-tocopherolc
13. Vitamin K
Phylloquinones
Menaquinones
Synthesised by intestinal bacteria; green leafy vegetables, soy beans, beef liver 120 μga,e
90 μgb,e

aAdult males
bAdult females
cBoth males and females
dVaries with age for adults
eadequate intake

Minerals

Electrolyte Balancing
Count Mineral Approximate Body Content Good Food Sources AI
14. Sodium 105g Table salt, meat, seafood, cheese, milk, bread, vegetables (abundant in most foods except fruits) 1,500 mg
19–50 years
15. Potassium 245g

Avocados, bananas, dried fruits, oranges, peaches, potatoes, dried beans, tomatoes, wheat bran, dairy products, eggs

4,700 mg
19+ years

16. Chloride 105g

Table salt, seafood, milk, meat, eggs

2,300 mg
19–50 years

Major Essential Minerals

17. Calcium 1,400g Milk, milk products, sardines, clams, oysters, turnip and mustard greens, broccoli, legumes, dried fruits 1,000 mg,19-50 years
18. Magnesium 25g Nuts, legumes, whole-grain cereals, leafy green vegetable 400 mg males;
310 mg females;
19–30 years
19. Phosphorus 850g Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, milk products, nuts, legumes, grains, cereals 700 mg, 19+ years
20. Sulfur 175g Protein foods: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, legumes, nuts Not established

Trace Essential Minerals

21. Chromium 4-6mg Mushrooms, green peppers, organ meats, whole grains, brewer’s yeast 35 μg* male;
25 μg* female
22. Copper 50–150 mg Liver, shellfish, whole grains, legumes, eggs, meat, fish  900 μg
23.  Iodine  15-20mg Iodized salt, salt-water seafood, milk, liver, eggs, yogurt, legumes  150μg
24.  Iron  2-4g Organ meats (liver), meat, molasses, clams, oysters, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, enriched/whole grains 8mg male;18mg female
25.  Manganese  10-20mg  Wheat bran, legumes, hazelnuts, blueberries, pineapple, seafood, poultry, meat 2.3 mg* male;
1.8 mg* female
26.  Molybdenum  2mg  Legumes, meat, poultry, fish, grains  45μg
27.  Selenium  20mg  Oysters, tuna, meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, brazil nuts  55μg
28.  Zinc  1.5g-3g  Oysters, wheat germ, beef, liver, poultry, whole grains 11 mg male;
8 mg female
Typically, lists of micronutrients will stop at the above list of 28 vitamins and minerals. However, Dr Bruce Ames includes omega-3’s, amino acids and choline in his list also. Deficiency in these for humans is very bad.

Fish Oils

Count Oil Good Food Sources RDA
 29.  Omega 3 Fish, fish oil, krill oil, walnut, edible seeds, flaxseed oil, hemp oil No current RDA for omega 3, however 500mg seems to be about minimum necessary.
30. Omega 6  Poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds Again, no RDA, but ideally we want to have a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6. In practice, our modern diets contain significantly more omega 6 than omega 3.

Essential Amino Acids

Count Amino Acid Good Food Sources RDA for Adults
mg per kg body weight
31. Isoleucine Fish, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts 19
32. Leucine 42
33. Lysine 38
34. Methionine  19
35. Phenylalanine  33
36. Threonine 20
37. Tryptophan 5
38. Valine  4
39. Histidine 14

Additional Essential Nutrient

Choline is an interesting one. Whilst you won’t find it on a wikipedia list of essential micronutrients (yet), it was included by Dr Bruce Ames in all his talks. There is evidence to suggest it is an essential nutrient3. Summarising from the papers abstract, choline is required to make essential membrane phospholipids, and is a pre-cursor for biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. If its good enough for Bruce Ames to list, we should take it seriously.

Count Nutrient Good Food Sources RDA
40. Choline Cod fish, beef liver, eggs, soybeans, wheat germ The is no RDA, however adequate intake guidelines published suggest adults consume at least 500mg per day4.

How do we use this micronutrient knowledge to live longer?

If we go back to the year 1900, we knew a bit about minerals, but almost nothing about vitamins. It took us until 1912, when Casimir Funk, found the first vitamin (niacin). As the 1900s progressed, we gradually unravelled a list of 40 essential micronutrients.

Going forward there are a number of things we can anticipate happening:

  • We identify more nutrients that are extremely beneficial to humans (even if they are not necessarily ‘essential’)
  • We clarify in more detail the desired amounts of micronutrients we need (although much of this work has already been done)
  • We develop better tools for mass analysis of micronutrient deficiencies (versus the hard to obtain, and often expensive blood panels that we have currently)

But working with what we have today, there are steps an individual can take to safeguard themselves against micronutrient deficiency:

Step 1: Eat a diet rich in micronutrients

Firstly, and this should be the #1 priority, aim to eat a diet rich in vegetables (raw and cooked), fish, meat (especially organ meats), eggs and nuts.

Step 2: Add supplements

On top of your healthy diet, you can “cover your ass” by taking supplements that cover the full spectrum of essential micronutrients.  Thus safeguarding yourself against any dietary omissions. We want to take reasonable, but not excessive amounts of these micronutrients, because too much of them can have negative health consequences.

Step 3: Get blood tests

Due to variation in

In researching this article I was surprised to find there is no blood panel that covers all of the essential micronutrients. The closest thing I was able to come across is the SpectraCell Laboratories micronutrient test, which covers most micronutrients. It covers all 13 vitamins (yay!), and  7 of the 15 essential minerals. Although I’m not sure how important it would be to test sodium, potassium & chloride in a healthy individual (responsible for electrolyte balance). So that leaves 5 minerals; phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, iron and molybdenum that it misses out. It also doesn’t test essential amino acid deficiency or choline deficiency. I don’t think the amino acids and choline are as important, but I’ve emailed SpectraCell to learn a bit more about why these are skipped the aforementioned minerals, and will update the post as I learn more.

This test is only available in the US, and costs $390 – which I thought was quite reasonable. Of course, it will be amazing in the future to get this down to a price that everyone could afford comfortably.

Alternatives to that test are to piece meal various tests together from what you can find available. Additionally, it may be possible to 80/20 the testing, by only getting testing commonly deficient, yet high consequence micronutrients tested. At the time of writing, I don’t know enough to say which micronutrients would cover the 80/20 approach.

Micronutrients and the future

Despite the fact that the information mentioned above has been out in the public domain for some time, its clear that it hasn’t been absorbed by our collective consciousness just yet. This is evidenced by a few things:

  • Extremely popular multivitamin supplements that don’t cover even close to the full range of essential micronutrients.
  • Hospitals (at least the NHS in the UK) not providing in-patient supplementation so that they hit their necessary micronutrient intake on a daily basis.
  • Extremely limited availability of blood test panels that cover the full range of essential micronutrients.
  • Lack of routine micronutrient blood testing.
  • A general societal focus on the macronutrient composition of the diet.

This means that we can expect a lot of changes in the future. Generally speaking, I anticipate micronutrient testing and supplementation to become more thorough and routine in order to maintain optimal human health.

Questions & Answers

This whole theory is quite a lot to swallow. Because if its true, it suggests we can make huge strides towards better health (as a population) with some relatively simple steps. I say “simple”, because a lot of health innovation is predicated upon advanced biological breakthroughs (think gene sequencing, editing and programming). Whereas for this we already have all the technology we need.

So this section is to try and tackle some of the questions that may come up.

Q: What needs to be true (scientifically speaking) for this theory to be accurate?

A: Two things:

  1. There needs to be actual micronutrient deficiency in the population. And then as an extension from that, the greater the micronturient deficiency problem, the greater effect fixing the deficiencies could have.
  2. The “triage theory” itself needs to be watertight. Specifically, it means that the experiments that were ran by Ames et al. need to be repeatable. And, the negative effect of micronutrient deficiency (in some shape or form) should apply across more of the micronutrients (their paper only cites experiments done with vitamin K and Selenium.

Q: What exactly do we mean by ‘micronutrient deficiency’?

A: Deficiency could refer to two things. The first is extreme long term deficiency, which results in ilness or bad side effects. For example, a common cause of blindness in developing countries is vitamin A deficieny. The second type of deficiency is less extreme, for example, you could be deficient in vitamin A for just long enough to start getting reduced night vision – one of the early warnings for vitamin A deficiency. According to triage theory, both of these deficiency types could be problematic for long term health.

To know for sure what the specific long term effects of minor vitamin A deficiency are, we would need to run experiments.

Question: What examples do we have to show micronutrient deficiency in the population?

Answer:

Firstly, its worth noting that obtaining data about the worlds micronutrient deficiences is by its very nature; difficult. Due to the relative expense and invasiveness of the number of blood tests it would take to get an accurate picture. So whatever data we can piece together, it won’t be a complete picture.

Bruce Ames quotes some interesting US figures on nutritional deficiency in his triage theory paper. Initially when I looked into them, I was hopeful they were based on actual blood test data. It turns out however, its data based on surveys of people’s dietary intake, which is then extrapolated upon. When I hear ‘survey’ in science, I immediately want to face palm. However… this isn’t your average survey, so its worth at least hearing out. The data comes from an organisation called NHANES (The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), who are run under the umbrella of the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention). This particular data set came from 2003 to 2006 time periods, and covered 18,063 people who submitted complete 24-hour survey data. It shows:

Nutrient % Ingesting less than Estimated Average Requirements (Inc Fortified Food + Supplements)
Magnesium 45%
Calcium 35%
Zinc 8%
Vitamin D 70%
Vitamin E 60%
Vitamin K 35%
Vitmain A 34%
Vitamin C 25%
Omega-3 Very High %

Source: Fulgoni et al. (2011)

…Will expand on this section further as time goes by. Research is super time consuming, and I don’t want to delay posting what I’ve synthesized so far, in pursuit of making this whole article “perfect”. Already there is enough to be useful to the reader.

Further Resources

This post is purely a synthesis of information already available, and is wholly inspired by the work of Dr Bruce Ames, Joyce McCann, Jung Suh and the rest of their team at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). See the links below to get more info straight from the source:

More about Triage Theory:

  • Dr Rhonda Patrick’s YouTube interview with Dr Bruce Ames
  • Dr Bruce Ames’ presentation on triage theory at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition
  • Amazing slides from a 2010 extended version of his above presentation.
  • Dr Bruce Ames’ paper on triage theory.

Footnotes:

1. Folate deficiency and ionizing radiation cause DNA breaks in primary human lymphocytes: A comparison
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/9025839_Folate_deficiency_and_ionizing_radiation_cause_DNA_breaks_in_primary_human_lymphocytes_A_comparison

2. Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double-blind study.
http://www.magnezij.si/uploads/datoteke/Walker_et_al._2003_engl.pdf

3. Choline, an essential nutrient for humans – Zeisel, Da Costa, Franklin et al
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/41a7/eeb2d1c4069e3395b8f62b061c4eee2ef427.pdf

4. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2005) – Institute of Medicine
https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/12

5. Foods, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients? (2011) – Fulgoni et al.
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/141/10/1847.short

Collagen Supplements May Help Manage Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, characterized by the breakdown of cartilage within joints.

Pain killers or anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce symptoms, but their impact on arthritis is limited.

Dietary supplements containing collagen may also be effective. Recently, scientists examined the effects of undenatured type II collagen on symptoms of osteoarthritis.

COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENTS

Collagen Supplements

Collagen Supplements

BACKGROUND

Type II collagen is found in articular cartilage, which helps the joints move smoothly and prevents the bones from rubbing together when you move.

Previous studies indicate that taking type II collagen supplements may reduce joint pain and stiffness for people who have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

However, the collagen in supplements is sometimes processed by heating. This type of collagen is referred to as denatured collagen, which may be less beneficial than undenatured collagen.

Undenaturated type II collagen (UC-II) is a patented dietary supplement produced from chicken bones.

Several previous studies have found that UC-II may significantly relieve symptoms in people with arthritis. Below is an overview of their findings from over the years:

  • 2002: Taking 10 grams of UC-II for 42 days significantly reduced pain and morning joint stiffness.
  • 2009: Supplementing with 40 grams of UC-II for 90 days improved symptoms of osteoarthritis by 33% — significantly more than glucosamine plus chondroitin.
  • 2013: Supplementing with 40 grams of UC-II for 120 days improved knee joint mobility. However, joint pain did not decrease.

ARTICLE REVIEWED

Scientists from Interhealth Nutraceuticals and the University of California examined the effects of UC-II supplements on knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

STUDY DESIGN

The purpose of this double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was to examine the effects of undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

The study, which lasted for 180 days, was conducted at 13 research centers in southern India. The 191 participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups:

  • UC-II: Participants took two capsules, containing 40 mg of a UC-II supplement, every day. This dose provided 1.2 mg of bioactive UC-II.
  • GC: This group took capsules containing a mixture of glucosamine hydrochloride (1500 mg) and chondroitin sulfate (1200 mg) each day.
  • Placebo: Participants in this group took a placebo, which had no effects on osteoarthritis.

At the beginning and end of the study, the researchers assessed the symptoms of osteoarthritis using the Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).

Other measurements included knee mobility, joint function, subjective ratings of pain and circulating levels of inflammatory markers.

164 arthritic men and women completed the study, or 86% of those who started.

Bottom Line: This was a randomized, controlled trial examining the effects of undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) on osteoarthritis symptoms.

FINDING 1: UC-II IMPROVED SYMPTOMS

Osteoarthritis symptoms were calculated from the results of the WOMAC questionnaire, which contains three subscales: pain, stiffness and knee function.

The score ranged from 0–2400, from no symptoms to severe pain and dysfunction.

Supplementing with UC-II improved the overall WOMAC score by 39%, significantly more than the placebo or GC. These results can be seen in the chart below.

UC-II

When the subscales of the WOMAC were examined separately, UC-II significantly improved symptoms in all of them.

Conversely, participants in the GC group experienced no statistically significant improvements.

Bottom Line: Supplementing with UC-II, 40 mg/day for 180 days, significantly improved subjective ratings of knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

FINDING 2: UC-II IMPROVED KNEE JOINT FUNCTION

Knee joint function was estimated using the Lequesne Functional Index (LFI), which is a 10-question survey assessing pain, walking distance and activities of daily living.

The LFI score ranged from 0–24, from no symptoms to a severe condition.

For the participants who supplemented with UC-II, the LFI score improved by 37%, compared to the start of the study.

This improvement was significantly greater than in the GC group or the placebo group, which can be seen in the chart below.

Lequesne Functional Index

These results were consistent with the results of the WOMAC questionnaire, which showed that supplementing with UC-II improved knee joint function by 39% and stiffness by 41%.

Bottom Line: Supplementing with UC-II significantly improved knee joint function and stiffness.

FINDING 3: UV-II REDUCED KNEE PAIN

Knee pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS) questionnaire, which included 7 pain-related questions.

Supplementing with UC-II improved ratings on the VAS scale by 39%. This was greater than both the GC group or the placebo, as shown in the chart below.

visual analog scale

These results were supported by the pain subscale of the WOMAC questionnaire, showing a 41% reduction in knee pain.

However, despite improvements in pain, inflammatory markers did not decrease significantly.

Bottom Line: Supplementing with UC-II significantly improved knee joint pain, compared to the GC or placebo supplements.

LIMITATIONS

The study had a few potential limitations. First, the results were based on subjective ratings of symptoms, which are prone to bias.

Second, the study was solely funded by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, the company that owns the patent for UC-II.

Additionally, all study materials were supplied by Interhealth Nutraceuticals, and two of the paper’s authors were employees of the company.

However, the study was independently conducted by an Indian company, Laila Pharmaceuticals. Also, an independent statistician performed all analyses and calculations.

Although there is no specific reason to doubt the findings, the results should be confirmed by an independent research group.

Bottom Line: The study’s main limitation was a potential conflict of interest. However, apart from funding the study and writing the paper, independent partners conducted the study itself.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

In short, this study showed that supplementing with 40 mg (two capsules) of undenatured type II collagen (UC-II) improved symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Specifically, UC-II improved knee function and reduced pain and stiffness.

Simply put, if you have osteoarthritis, taking UC-II could make a difference.

Top Chlorella Benefits for Hair and Skin

We all know that chlorella is one famous and popular superfood that can do wonders to the human body. But did you know there are specific chlorella benefits for hair?

Yes, chlorella can do a lot to your crowning glory!

They’re pretty easy to get too, so you won’t be in a panic of you run out of stock. You can use chlorella on practically every ailment you’re feeling, from headaches to even pretty serious illnesses.

Chlorella is slowly climbing up the ladder of the must-have ingredients of quite a number of beauty products. Many cosmetic companies are now adding this helpful algae into their formulas.

There are a number of studies that show that chlorella can be beneficial to the skin and hair, whether ingested or applied topically.

Chlorella Beauty Nutrients

This super algae possesses many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that have plenty of benefits for the skin and hair. For one, it has loads of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, and C. To add to that, this algae is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.

Chlorella Benefits for Hair

Did you know that taking in chlorella is good for your hair? Chlorella is believed to stimulate the production of keratin, which is the primary component found in hair. Its elements have the ability to promote hair growth and renew hair follicles.

In addition, chlorella is effective in the prevention of hair loss. There are phytonutrients in chlorella as well that strengthen hair follicles and boost scalp circulation.

Chlorella is a good source of MSM, which is a natural sulfur. This element increases the hair’s growing phase, and this results in shinier, longer, and stronger hair.

Another of the chlorella benefits for hair is its effectivity in retaining the hair’s natural color. In order to retain the hair color that you are currently enjoying, make sure to take in something with lots of biotin. This vitamin helps produce keratin, which is a protein made in the scalp. Biotin also prevents graying and hair discoloration, as well as hair loss. And as you’d expect, chlorella is a good source of biotin.

Also, the DNA and RNA found in chlorella growth factor helps your body properly produce and use protein. Protein is necessary for naturally thick, lush, and shiny hair that says no to hair breakage.

Chlorella Benefits for Skin

Aside from having chlorella benefits for hair, there are chlorella benefits for skin as well. Chlorella possesses certain extracts that improve the production of the skin’s collagen. This is the protein primarily responsible for the skin’s elasticity. Several clinical tests show that just a 1-percent concentration of chlorella increases the skin’s firmness and tone after just 48 hours of use.

Chlorella also improves skin problems due to the formulation of new blood vessels. These include general redness, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Another great benefit that chlorella has for the skin is its antioxidant content protects skin cells from accelerated aging caused by sun damage as well as free radicals that do damage to the skin.

Also, chlorella contains lipids, amino acids, and several minerals that can greatly help with skin regeneration. Take note that human skin cells need to renew themselves to stay in good shape. Good thing that regular consumption of chlorella provides the skin the necessary nutrients it needs for proper skin regeneration.

Other Chlorella Skin Benefits

Need more convincing to start using chlorella for your skin?

Well, its wide range of nutrients can effectively treat inflammatory-related conditions. One study shows that both the topical and oral use of chlorella has positive effects on skin inflammation. It also helps with the overall healing process of wounds and scabs and other skin issues.

And of course, we all know how chlorella is fully loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and many other elements. That’s why it’s one of the top superfoods known to man. With all that healthy stuff going on, it will definitely show in your skin. The regular consumption of chlorella will provide you with younger-looking, glowing, healthy, beautiful skin.

If you have a problem with spider veins (a group of dilapidated veins that appear at the surface of the skin that look like spider webs or tree branches), then chlorella is the answer. Its components can reduce the appearance of these spider veins by reducing the redness caused by vascular irregularities. The color and the size of these spider veins will noticeably lessen as time passes by.

Chlorella Products for Skin

There are a lot of products out there that feature chlorella. Why not try out Astarella Primetime Skin Cream? It’s a natural skin cream that combines antioxidant-rich astaxanthin and chlorella growth factor. These two are skin-supportive nutrients that improve the health of skin cells and provide a dewy and fresh complexion.

Another skin care product to try is Sun Chlorella Natural Anti-Aging Skin Cream. It effectively removes the toxins that you encounter every day—heat, wind, cold, pollution—and makes sure your skin stays vibrant and clean. This cream also has artemesia capillaris, which smoothes the skin.

If you want to erase those annoying dark spots on your face, have no fear. Skin Inc’s Chlorella Serum will do the job for you. This renewing serum improves dullness of the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots. This then provides you with an even, radiant, and luminous skin tone. What’s great to know is that it’s suitable for all kinds of skin types and is very safe for sensitive skin.

After a long and tiring day, this MJ Care Chlorella Facial Mask will help relieve the stresses you feel. This mask neutralizes the pollution and relaxes the skin, stimulating cell activity. This then hydrates the skin and provides it elasticity.

Acure Eye Cream is a handy and helpful product to have around. It’s great for all skin types and is very effective in reducing wrinkles and crow’s feet, relieving puffiness, erasing dark circles under the eyes, protecting and stimulating new collagen production, and keeping the skin fully hydrated to protect the skin’s moisture barrier.

Turmeric for Skin Whitening ?

In this beauty-conscious world we live in, many people, young women especially, try to do everything they can to improve their looks. A lot want whiter skin, and many people prefer using natural ways and means in achieving that. Luckily, using turmeric for skin whitening is a very effective method.

All of us are born with different skin tones. That’s a fact. This is because of the melanin presence in the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin. If there’s more melanin in the skin, the darker the skin tone will be.

However, even if you are naturally light-skinned, outside factors can trigger an increase in melanin production. Some of these factors include too much sun exposure, pollution, an unhealthy diet, stress, hectic lifestyles, and many others.

To counter the darkening of the skin, there are many companies out there that offer many products that guarantee whiter skin in weeks. Unfortunately, most of these products use harmful chemicals that do more harm than good. For example, in the long run, these chemicals might lead to cancer and other debilitating diseases. That’s why using natural products, like turmeric for skin whitening, is safer and can work as effectively.

How It Works: Turmeric for Skin Whitening

So how does turmeric work its magic in making the skin look more youthful and beautiful? Read on to find out.

Reduces Melanin Production

Turmeric has a powerful compound called curcumin. This is responsible for most, if not all, of the wonderful benefits turmeric can provide the entire human body. With regard to skin whitening, curcumin effectively resolves hyperpigmentation as well as melanin production.

When outside factors cause an increase in melanin production, the ACTH hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. This hormone supports MC1R, and this is one of the proteins that stimulate melanin production.

What curcumin in  turmeric does is it restricts the ACTH hormone. This then reduces hyperpigmentation and thus lightens the skin.

Fights Against Aging

Turmeric possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help counteract skin aging. According to several studies, face products that make use of turmeric  show significant results in minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, crow’s feet, laugh lines, and changes in skin pigment.

Protects Against Sun Damage

Another way to use turmeric for skin whitening is it can help with damage from the sun. Too much exposure to UVB causes wrinkles, skin thickening, larger blood vessels, changes in skin pigmentation, and loss of elasticity. Luckily, turmeric effectively protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet B radiation.

Sun radiation increases the production of matrix metalloproteinase-2. This is an enzyme that lessens the collagen content between the outer and middle layer of the skin. Turmeric inhibits the increase of MMP-2, which then prevents damage to skin from the sun.

Remedies Oily Skin

Turmeric contains phytosterols and fatty acids, which reduces oil production in the skin. One study shows that after just four weeks of treatment with turmeric, which was applied topically twice a day, there was a significant decrease in skin oils. And in over a period of three months, this turmeric cream reduced facial oil by nearly 25 percent.

Treats Many Skin Conditions

The curcumin in turmeric has antibacterial properties, which deals with the bacteria that causes acne. Curcumin is also effective in reducing the symptoms of many chronic skin diseases. These include rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and many more.

Turmeric for Skin Whitening Recipes

There are numerous ways you can use turmeric to improve your skin. You can make homemade pastes, masks, etc. When you do, keep in mind that turmeric stains easily. As much as possible, try not to get it on your clothes or anywhere else. And when you apply the mixture to your face, make sure to wear old clothes. Also, use an old towel to dry your face after doing the treatment.

Turmeric and Milk

 

Milk has cleansing abilities that remove dead skin cells, dirt, and many other impurities from the skin. Turmeric joined with milk is great in treating acne, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

Procedure:

  1. Combine ½ teaspoon of turmeric with 1 teaspoon of milk.
  2. With your fingers or a facial brush, apply an even layer all over the skin.
  3. Let the mixture rest for about 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, rinse well with lukewarm water.
  5. If there are areas that are still yellow, dip a clean cotton ball in pure milk  and gently rub over the affected areas. Do this for a few minutes, then rinse off.
  6. It’s best to do this treatment 3 times a week to get the results you want.

Turmeric and Lemon

This is a great treatment of turmeric for skin whitening. Lemon has skin-bleaching properties that will naturally lighten your skin. In addition, it also helps make the skin look more youthful and treats oily skin.

Procedure:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice with 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  2. Apply an even layer on the skin and leave the mix on for about 20 minutes.
  3. Afterward, rinse the paste off with water, making sure to use gentle circular motions.
  4. Do this process twice a week, ideally before going to bed.

Turmeric and Honey

Honey locks in moisture in the skin cells, as well as treats acne and relieves sunburns. This treatment of both honey and turmeric is great for people with normal and combination skin.

Procedure:

  1. Blend 2 teaspoons of honey with ¼ teaspoon turmeric.
  2. Next, spread an even layer all over your skin.
  3. Leave the mixture on for about 30 minutes.
  4. Afterward, rinse everything off with lukewarm water.
  5. Make sure to do this treatment three times a week.

Turmeric and Cucumber

Cucumber possesses astringent qualities, which help slow down the aging process. Using turmeric and cucumber juice together is perfect for those with sensitive skin.

Procedure:

  1. Combine 2 teaspoons of cucumber juice and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric in a small bowl.
  2. Spread an even coat all over the skin and gently massage for about 5 minutes.
  3. Leave the mask on for about 1 hour.
  4. When the time is up, rinse off completely with lukewarm water.
  5. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a week to get naturally radiant and glowing skin.

Right Chlorella Dosage for Different Uses

We’ve all heard about the superfood chlorella and all the wonderful things it can do to the entire human body. It offers a boatload of healthy benefits, and a lot of people just can’t get enough of it. However, we all have to be careful when we take in chlorella. A specific chlorella dosage is needed for specific purposes. And before we take in the stuff, we have to know beforehand how much we should have.

This superfood comes in many different forms, with the popular ones being capsules, tablets, juice, or powder. So before taking in any of these forms, make sure to know how much is each form carrying.

Ingesting too much of chlorella has negative side effects. It’s not true that you can take in as much as you want in order to get maximum results. Nope, that’s not how it works. When you ingest too much of this substance, you may experience nausea and vomiting. Others start feeling sick and get stomach cramps, upset stomach, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Chlorella Dosage

The right chlorella dosage to take in depends on a number of factors. These include the user’s age, health, and other conditions. But just always bear in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe. That’s why knowing the right amount of dosages is very important. Be sure to follow specific directions on product labels. Also, don’t forget to consult your pharmacist or primary physician before adding chlorella into your daily diet.

So how much should you be really taking? According to experts, the maintenance chlorella dosage is 3–8 grams. With these amounts, your body will already start reaping some healthy benefits and experience a slow, gradual detox.

Chlorella is safe for kids to take too. Powdered chlorella or crushed chlorella tablets are your best bet. Doses of the superfood should be adjusted, depending on the weight of the child. The recommended chlorella dose for children is around 1 gram.

It’s advised to take chlorella at least half an hour before meals, along with a full glass of water or some juice. The reason for this is because chlorella helps the stomach bacteria that helps in digestion to multiply quickly. This then leads to improved digestion as well as the proper and efficient absorption of nutrients.

Keep in mind that if you’re starting to add chlorella in your diet for the first time, you should always start with small doses first. Don’t overwhelm your body with this new element.

Chlorella Dosage for Specific Issues

Different diseases and illnesses require various chlorella dosage in order to be eliminated. Here are certain guidelines and chlorella dosage to take note of.

Mercury Detoxification

Our bodies are exposed to various toxins and harmful elements every single day. One of these toxins that we absorb, sometimes without our knowledge, is mercury. Over time, when the mercury content in our bodies build up, we will start to experience a number of things, and all of them not good.

First, they can do damage to our central and peripheral nervous systems. This can also affect our digestive system, immune system, lungs, and kidneys.

Luckily, if you take in the right chlorella dosage, this will gradually help your body rid these toxins naturally. Around 5–7 grams of chlorella per day is sufficient enough to effectively rid the body of mercury.

Better and Healthier Skin

Plenty of studies show that chlorella can do wonders on the skin. This superfood greatly lessens oxidative stress, which is from pollution, poor diet, stress, and other factors. Its high vitamin A and vitamin C content also contributes to younger-looking skin. These two vitamins act as antioxidants that protect the skin from harmful free radicals.

Taking in just 1 to 2 teaspoons (3–4 grams) of chlorella every day will show results in as little as two weeks.

Lower Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels

Many Americans today either suffer from type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or both. Our recent eating habits and food availability, including stress and lack of sleep,  have led to these two diseases.

According to a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the effective chlorella dosage to help alleviate these two illnesses is 8,000 mg per day. Take note that this dosage should be taken in two doses, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

What happens first is a decline in cholesterol levels. Then the improvement in blood glucose follows after. This is because chlorella activates certain genes at the cellular level, and these genes improve insulin sensitivity. This leads to a healthy balance.

Improved Immune System

Harmful free radicals are what bring about diseases and illnesses to the human body. In order to protect our bodies, our immune system has to be strong enough to resist these outside factors.

Good thing that just the right dose of chlorella can ensure a stronger defense system. Just 5 grams of chlorella supplement per day will increase the natural killer cell activity in your system. This ensures better immunity against bacterial as well as viral infections.

Tips in Using Chlorella

Before purchasing your own stash of this superfood, there are certain things that you need to watch out for. To make sure that it’s digestible, double-check to see if its label says it’s broken cell wall chlorella.

Also, make sure that the chlorella that you purchase contains no additives. Make sure that you are buying quality organic chlorella.

Additionally, make sure to check that the product contains no contaminants. Make sure the label of the product shows basic information about it.

If you’re taking any other medication, like birth control pills, make sure to take your chlorella supplement an hour before other meds. Ideally, it’s best if you take chlorella in the morning and the other medication at night.

Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss and Arthritis

Turmeric tea is quite a popular brew that not only soothes, but also improves a person’s life. Turmeric is a superfood that contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Its most powerful compound is curcumin and is probably the main reason how turmeric tea is able to do so much for the human body.

Because of its bright shade of orange-yellow, many people refer to turmeric tea as liquid gold. It contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibactarial, and anti-viral properties.

Turmeric Tea Nutrition Content

So what exactly is in turmeric tea that can help with a lot of issues in the human body? First, it has a high content of dietary fiber. It also provides the body with healthy carbohydrates, healthy fat, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, energy, and protein. However, it does not contain any amount of cholesterol.

For its vitamin content, it has vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, as well as folates, niacin, and riboflavin. It has electrolytes potassium and sodium. It also has minerals iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium.

Out of all these nutrients, the most potent one is curcumin, which is a polyphenolic compound. This superfood drink also contains beneficial essential oils, like cineole, p-cymene, turmerone, and curcumene.

The use of this amazing superfood has been around for a very long time. Ancient traditional Chinese medicine as well as Ayurvedic medicine avail of turmeric tea’s benefits. It’s been known to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-flatulent, and carminative properties.

Turmeric Tea for Weight Loss

We all don’t want to be overweight or obese, right? Gaining too much weight can lead to many other deadly complications. These include hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and many more.

That’s why there are plenty of ways and means to make sure to prevent these. And one of the most effective ways to fight against overweight and obesity is turmeric tea.

Prevents Fat Accumulation

There are plenty of ways turmeric can help win making sure you don’t gain too much fat. For one, it’s very effective in preventing fat accumulation. The major fat accumulation area in the body is the white adipose tissue. When new blood cells form in the white adipose tissues, this can lead to weight gain. The curcumin in turmeric prevents these unwanted fats from staying. Studies also show that curcumin decreases the size of adipose tissue, thus lowering fat accumulation.

Helps Diets Achieve Weight Loss

Having the right kind of diet can indeed help a person lose weight. Paired with the right diet plan, regularly taking in turmeric tea assists diet-induced weight loss.

The dietary fibers in turmeric play a part here. Also, the carbohydrates found in turmeric are not absorbed by the body.

According to a study, a number of overweight individuals were put on diets. Some were given turmeric tea while some were not.  Those who took in turmeric showed a significant increase in fat reduction. Their body mass index (BMI) also declined.

Possesses Thermogenic Properties

Thermogenesis is a metabolic process that burns off calories in the body and transforms it to energy. This particular process promotes healthy weight loss.

Turmeric contains compounds that increase the body’s metabolic rate. The more fat you burn, the more unwanted weight will be gone.

Turmeric Tea for Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions that exist. It is described as having swollen and painful joints. The usual symptoms of this disease are muscle aches and pains, fatigue, loss of flexibility, stiffness of joints, and inability to use certain limbs.

The most common forms of arthritis are gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and infectious arthritis. This condition can affect children as well, not just adults.

Incorporating turmeric tea into your daily diet can help ease, soothe, and get rid of arthritis. Check below for the numerous ways it can help you deal with this disease.

Helps with Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the primary symptoms of arthritis. This will then cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. Fortunately, the curcumin in turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits the action of pro-inflammatory enzymes. It helps control inflammation in arthritis and prevents it from spreading. Also, it protects joints and synovial fluid from inflammation.

Helps Protect Bones

In osteoarthritis, the degradation of bone tissues is observed. Curcumin protects certain bone cells from inflammation. It protects bones and joints from erosion in arthritis and also prevents the thickening of synovial fluid, which lubricates joints.

Curcumin also slows down the progression of osteoarthritis by preventing the loss of bone tissue. It also reduces the activity of the bone cells that absorb bone tissue. Also, it maintains the function of cells that lay down bone tissue.

Prevents the Progression of Arthritis

No matter what type of arthritis you have, drinking turmeric tea regularly will eventually help halt its progress. There are certain cells in the body that are immune to cell death. They go by the name of fibroblasts. They are on the lining of joints, and they ensure smooth movements and flexibility.

However, due to inflammation, these cells start to grow and resist cell death. This contributes to inflammation and the destruction of joints.

Fortunately, the curcumin in turmeric targets these cells specifically. Curcumin prevents them from producing inflammatory agents. Eventually, curcumin is able to destroy these so-called indestructible fibroblasts, thus preventing the advancement of arthritis.

Soothes Pain Brought On by Arthritis

The daily intake of turmeric tea can help in reducing the tenderness and swelling of joints. Curcumin also inhibits the activity of certain enzymes that bring about inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.

There are many studies that show  turmeric, specifically its compound curcumin, work as better painkillers and are more effective than certain drugs in treating arthritis. And unlike prescription drugs, they do not have any side effects.

Supplements that help alleviate diabetes

Low-carb diets can provide you with powerful health benefits, including lowering your blood sugar and insulin levels, helping you lose weight and reducing disease risk. A growing number of studies suggest that these effects may be enhanced by taking certain supplements.

At this point there aren’t a lot of high-quality studies looking at the effects of spices and other plant compounds on health markers in people with diabetes and prediabetes. However, the research that currently exists is pretty impressive.

Although the supplements discussed in this chapter are considered safe if taken in the recommended dosages, individual adverse reactions cannot be ruled out. Therefore, starting with a small dosage and assessing your personal tolerance is highly recommended.

In addition, if you are taking any medications, be sure to discuss potential interactions between these supplements and your medicines with your pharmacist to make sure it is safe to take them together.

Berberine

Berberine may provide a number of beneficial effects on metabolic health. This orange-colored compound is found in several plants, including goldenseal,

barberry and Oregon grape root. It has been prized in ancient Chinese medicine for centuries due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

A number of studies have shown that it can also help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (187, 188, 189, 190).

Indeed, a large analysis of 14 studies totalling more than 1000 people revealed that berberine is as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as metformin, one of the oldest and safest diabetes medications (190).

Like metformin, berberine works by reducing the amount of sugar released by your liver and making your cells more sensitive to insulin. This insulin-sensitizing effect also seems to promote weight loss and improve heart health markers.

In a small study, 9 adults with prediabetes who took 900 mg of berberine daily for 3 months had significant reductions in weight, belly fat, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure (191, 192).

How to get the best results when taking berberine:

  • In studies, effective dosages have ranged from 300 mg 3 times per day to 500 mg 3 times per day. As with metformin, it’s best to start with a lower dosage like 300-500 mg once a day and work up to 300-500 mg 3 times a day, as tolerated.

  • Always take berberine with a meal.

  • Because its action is so similar to metformin, it should not be used together with metformin or other diabetes medications unless recommended by your doctor.

Curcumin

Like berberine, curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is the bright-gold pigment found in turmeric, one of the main spices in Indian curries and an important component of Ayurvedic medicine.

Studies suggest that taking curcumin increases insulin sensitivity and could potentially help people with prediabetes avoid progressing to diabetes (193, 194).

In a 9-month controlled study of 240 adults with prediabetes, one group took 750 mg of curcumin daily, and the other group received a placebo (“dummy pill”).

Although 16.4% of the control group developed diabetes by the end of the study, not a single person in the curcumin group did. What’s more, those who took curcumin were found to be more insulin sensitive and have better beta cell function following treatment (194).

How to get the best results when taking curcumin:

  • In studies, dosages of 250 mg taken 2-3 times per day have been used.

  • Since curcumin is a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s important to take it with a meal that contains fat — which should be the case for all of your meals on a

low-carb diet.

  • Curcumin is poorly absorbed on its own. However, taking it with 10 mg of piperine (from black pepper) can significantly boost its absorption by up to 2000% (195). There are some brands of supplements that contain bioperine, which is identical to piperine and also helps boost absorption of curcumin.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a delicious spice with powerful antioxidant effects. Research in those with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes suggests cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and improve the way your cells respond to insulin (196, 197, 198, 199, 200).

In one study of 109 diabetic adults, the group who took 1 gram of cinnamon for 3 months reduced their hemoglobin A1c values more than twice as much as those who only received standard medical treatment (200).

Cinnamon also appears to protect heart health. One analysis of 10 studies found that in addition to lowering fasting blood sugar, cinnamon increased HDL

cholesterol and reduced LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in many people with type 2 diabetes (201).

On the other hand, some studies haven’t shown that cinnamon lowers blood sugar very much among those with diabetes, which suggests that cinnamon’s effects on blood sugar may vary from person to person (202, 203).

There are two main types of cinnamon: cassia and ceylon. Cassia is the type most commonly found in the spices section at grocery stores.

Of the two kinds, Ceylon contains more antioxidants and may therefore have more potent effects on blood sugar. In addition, cassia cinnamon contains significantly more coumarin, a compound that has been linked to liver damage when consumed in high amounts.

How to get the best results when taking cinnamon:

  • Most studies have used between 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon daily. Taking up to 6 grams of Ceylon cinnamon (about 1.5 to 3 teaspoons) per day should pose no safety concerns.

  • Cassia cinnamon should be limited to 2 grams (0.5 to 1 teaspoon) daily in order to protect against coumarin’s potentially harmful effects.

  • Cinnamon may cause your blood to become thinner, so you may need to avoid taking it as a supplement if you take aspirin or a blood thinner.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a health tonic in traditional medicine for centuries and has been credited with all sorts of health benefits.

Research suggests that taking apple cider vinegar can suppress appetite, increase feelings of fullness and promote weight loss (204, 205).

A 12-week study in overweight people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar daily led to small losses of weight and reductions in belly

fat and triglycerides. These changes occurred even though the men continued to follow their usual diets (205).

Studies have found that apple cider vinegar may also help lower blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Although the strongest effects have occurred when vinegar is taken with high-carb foods, it may also help lower blood sugar when taken with protein foods.

In a controlled study of type 2 diabetic adults, the group that took apple cider vinegar with cheese at bedtime experienced twice the decrease in fasting blood sugar the next morning as those who consumed cheese with water (206).

How to get the best results when taking apple cider vinegar:

  • The amount of apple cider vinegar shown to lower blood sugar and promote weight loss in studies is 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) per day, mixed with water. Taking larger amounts isn’t recommended due to potentially harmful side effects that can occur at high dosages.

  • Begin by taking 1 teaspoon (5 ml) per day and gradually work up to 1-2 tablespoons, depending on your personal tolerance.

  • Avoid taking more than 1 tablespoon at a time. Taking too much apple cider vinegar at one sitting may cause nausea.

If you are taking any medications for diabetes or other health conditions, remember to consult your pharmacist before taking these or other supplements.

Antioxidant rich Moringa has many benefits

Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, kelor tree, and horseradish tree in certain regions, is an incredibly versatile plant species for the claims made about its supposed medicinal properties (1, 8, 14, 16, 18, 45).

Originating in Northern India, its naturalization and use has also extended into the subtropics of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, even reaching as far as the Caribbean and Guatemala..

The implementation of M. oleifera has been present for hundreds of years as a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, as well as other traditional medicinal practices.

Though millions already reliably use moringa for treatment on a regular basis, it has only been a singular topic of scientific inquiry in the last few decades.

Scientific evidence demonstrates the myriad alleviating effects of M. oleifera, particularly toward cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal distress and other conditions that are harmful to the body.

Check out these 10 research-supported health benefits of M.oleifera. Included afterwards are some recipes to start enjoying these benefits straight away!

1. Moringa is rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds

Of the plant family Moringaceae, moringa is a tree that is resistant to drought, grows fairly quickly, and has many parts that are widespread in their uses and applications.

The roots, leaves, stem bark, gum, flowers, seeds, and pods (or “drumsticks”) of M.oleifera all have demonstrated efficacy in health remedies (8).

Globally, the edible and therefore more commonly cultivated parts are the flowers, leaves, roots, and pods.

The flowers and leaves contain adequate amounts of essential amino and fatty acids, making them a good source of protein, while the pods are low in fat content and high in fiber (25).

The crude protein contained within moringa is roughly around 50%, while the percentage of digestible protein from the crude protein is around 30%. The remaining composition is mostly water and nontoxic ash (3, 5, 21).

Potassium, β-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E are also found in M.oleifera leaves, with some studies suggesting the leaves have higher values than bananas, carrots, and oranges overall (6, 10).

These nutrients aid improved growth and development in bone density, vision, cellular function, blood pressure maintenance, and iron absorption (3,6).

Along with mineral concentrations of iron, zinc, copper, and calcium, moringacontains flavonoids and phenols, phytochemicals (or plant-based compounds) that also assist healthy body functionality in humans (1, 3, 5, 6, 25).

The content percentage for each of these compounds varies depending on the geographic locations of M.oleifera cultivation, the modes of plant processing, and the plant parts used (2, 6, 21, 29).

For example, one particular study found M. oleifera leaves and seeds from Sheda, Nigeria had overall higher concentrations of iron, calcium, and magnesium than those from Kuje, Nigeria (21).

This variation also extends into the scientific process, where the different modes of analysis can produce different responses from M. oleifera, such as whether or not researchers choose ethanol or aqueous extraction to source its critical components.

Despite the healthful composition of moringa, the body already struggles to absorb essential nutrients from food sources since they are processed into structurally different byproducts before and after ingestion.

Therefore, regularly and moderately consuming moringa, or any food materials that contain it, is recommended, as occasional consumption may not reap enough of the desired benefits (31).

Moringa should also not be the only source of nutrients in an average human diet if one plans to use it.

In short:

Moringa oleifera alone already provides a profound supply of dietary supplementation for good health practices.

When implementing moringa into a diet, some care may be necessary for determining the source of the powders and tablets provided by Western manufacturers.

The same awareness should also be at play when using actual physical parts of the plant for recipes, ensuring the selection of the most edible and necessary parts of one’s desired intake.

2. Moringa has a high concentration of antioxidants that may fight free radicals in the oxidation process

The efficacy of M. oleifera primarily comes from the presence of flavonoids, chemical compounds (polyphenols) present in plants and fruits (4, 16, 29, 32).

With a composition high enough to equal or exceed the amounts found in vegetables and fruits in most diets (6), moringa holds a wide variety of flavonoid compounds such as rutin, kaempferol myricetin, quercetin, and isorhamnetin (5).

Kaempferol and quercetin (33, 34) are the two M. oleifera flavonoids instrumental to its antioxidative properties, and seemingly responsible for many of the health benefits listed here.

In the oxidation process, free oxygen radicals (ion molecules with unpaired valence electrons) bind to the electrons of protein-structuring fatty acids; these reactive oxidative species then make themselves stable while destabilizing the ionic charges of the fatty acids (9, 44).

Because fatty acids need a stable charge to maintain the structure of cell membranes, encountering free radicals causes the protective layer of cells to erode through oxidation and causes adverse effects to an organism.

Diseases linked to oxidation include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other health conditions like the ones listed in this article (48).

Flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol, however, slow the oxidation process by “scavenging” and binding to free peroxyl, diphenyl, and superoxyl radicals with their unique structural components (4, 9, 17, 44).

The flavonoids also have multiple uses, meaning they can continue binding on to additional free radicals after their initial bond and remain just as functional (30).

Their effectiveness lies in their structure, which contains at the very least “an o-diphenol group in ring B, a 2-3 double bond conjugated with the 4-oxo function, and hydroxyl groups in positions 3 and 5” (30).

These antioxidants and their particular elements protect cell membranes from degradation and lower the risk of acute and chronic diseases throughout the body.

There is also an association with the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, which are known to protect cellular membranes from free radicals when the enzymes are at high levels in the body.

In short:

Due to their individual structures, the antioxidative flavonoids in M. oleifera, quercetin and kaempferol, may protect the body from the oxidation processes responsible for most chronic or acute conditions.

3. Moringa may regulate tumor growth, supposedly preventing or treating cancer

Some studies tentatively link the use of Moringa oleifera to cancer prevention, and possibly cancer treatment.

A healthy human body typically maintains a balance (or homeostasis) between the cells it sheds (a process known as apoptosis) and the cells it reproduces over time (a process known as proliferation).

The imbalance of these two processes, however, contributes to disease manifestation in human and nonhuman animals (10, 23, 41, 53).

High apoptosis and low proliferation means many cells, especially healthy ones, are prematurely programmed to die off, which accelerates cellular and molecular degradation.

Low apoptosis and high proliferation of cells means far too many cells that should have been shed remain concentrated in a single area, leading to the formation of tumors if there is no regulation.

When human tumor cells struggle with low apoptosis and high proliferation, there is a greater likelihood of benign or malignant tumor formation, marking this as a potential catalyst for cancer.

Rebalancing proliferation with apoptosis may reverse the progression of tumors and potentially prevent or limit the damage from cancer.

In testing moringa leaf extract on isolated human tumor cells, researchers found the extract maintained a similar rate of anti-proliferation when compared to the chemotherapy medication, cisplatin (10).

Another study conducted on two leukemia variants and a hepatocarcinoma found that the leaf extract “killed” the density of cancerous cells by more than 70% (23).

In this way, the regulation of tumors is possible through anti-proliferation and dependent on the dosage concentrations of the leaf extract.

Additionally, the antioxidative property of the extract also seemingly plays a role in triggering necessary apoptosis in the tumor cells.

Although the exact mechanisms of their role in cancer is still under scientific review, the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol and their antioxidative properties were seemingly implicated in these cancer studies (10, 23, 53).

Various other compounds said to possess antitumor activity, such as carbamates, isothiocyanates, niazimicin, and glycerol were also present in M. oleifera, making it fairly potent against Epstein-Barr virus (37).

With more rigorous research, ingesting moringa could seemingly be a natural and less toxic alternative to certain cancer medications currently on the market.

In short:

Moringa can potentially restrict increased rates of tumor production in cells, controlling the mechanisms responsible for the onset of cancer.

By maintaining similar values to chemotherapy medication, the leaf extract of moringa also appears to be a plant-based alternative to synthetic treatment with less harmful side effects.

4. Moringa may regulate blood glucose levels, possibly alleviating and treating diabetes

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is a chronic condition steadily on the rise around the world, increasing by about 314 million diagnoses between 1980 and 2014 alone.

With diabetes, not only is there increased risk of going into diabetic shock or having high blood pressure, there is also a greater likelihood of an early death.

It is typical for diabetic individuals to experience elevated levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood, due to a relative lack or absence of insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating glucose (9, 38, 43, 54).

Free radical oxidation negatively impacts both the production and the effectiveness of insulin (9, 43), binding to insulin molecules and altering their structures until they can no longer maintain their processing of glucose in the blood.

Researchers have found, however, that the antioxidative properties of moringacorrelate with a dip in blood glucose and elevated insulin activity, suggesting the relevance of anti-diabetic claims.

For example, one study tested moringa extract on diabetic and control-group rats and discovered an effect comparable to the anti-diabetic medicine, glibenclamide.

Test subjects treated with moringa extract experienced drops in glucose, with greater effects at higher dose concentrations, matching the rate of the glibenclamide control cases (38).

Diabetes-induced complications like osteoporosis were also affected with moringa use, causing increases in osteoblast efficiency (cells needed to form new bone) and decreases in osteoclast efficiency (cells needed to break down bone) (38). This potentially strengthens bone and reverses the decreases in bone density that characterize osteoporosis.

Another study using moringa pod extract on rats suggests flavonoids may directly reduce glucose levels by either stimulating insulin productivity or acting as an insulin substitute (9).

In short:

M. oleifera potentially assists in the treatment and management of elevated blood glucose levels, Type I and Type II diabetes, and complications from diabetes.

Though these studies only conducted testing on nonhuman subjects, they suggest the antioxidative properties may also be responsible for stimulating or substituting insulin production.

5. Moringa may also protect against hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease

As one of the global leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease remains a tremendous public health concern.

Hypertension, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis are physiological responses to a diet lacking proper nutrition, and are precursors to cardiovascular diseases, such as angina and myocardial infarction (31, 54).

Extreme oxidation can cause plaque to form and line the arterial walls of blood vessels (dyslipidemia or atherosclerosis), “hardening” blood vessels and restricting blood flow to and from the heart and throughout the body (31 ,54).

Additionally, the plaque chunks can solidify, break off, travel toward the brain, and cut off the oxygen supply, a process emblematic of a severely debilitating or lethal ischemic stroke.

The flavonoids gained from fruits, vegetables, and the dietary supplementation of M. oleifera, however, may combat the preconditions for cardiovascular disease and prevent unnecessary damage to the heart and the body.

Studies testing moringa on nonhuman animal subjects found that antioxidants may decrease blood pressure, as its flavonoids “scavenge” and dismantle harmful plaque membranes (17, 31, 54)

Potentially contributing to this effect are the glycoside compounds niazimin A, niazimin B, niazicin A, and niazicin B, which may possess hypotensive (blood pressure lowering) properties that act as a balance for hypertension (35, 49, 58).

The nutritional contents of moringa also go a long way in preventing the onset of hypertension and atherosclerosis as well, reducing cardiovascular disease risk overall.

The concentrations of potassium, iron, and sodium in moringa (3) improve lipid cellular membranes, increase red blood cell production, and do not allow for the presence of high amounts of sodium in the blood, respectively (1, 3, 6).

In short:

M. oleifera has an adequate nutritional and chemical compound supply capable of providing enough proper nutrition to prevent hypertension and the mechanisms responsible for cardiovascular disease.

6. Moringa may possess anti-inflammatory properties

When the body sustains an injury or infection, inflammation is a multi-faceted, protective response from the immune system.

There are both acute and chronic types of inflammation: in acute inflammation, the body responds quickly to the injury site (several minutes or hours), consuming infection-causing bacteria and repairing affected tissues; in chronic inflammation, it takes several months or even several years for the body to respond to a more complex injury.

Although necessary in most physical and biological cases, inflammation becomes problematic when it is unable to stop on its own, or it is chronic and the body does not easily respond to treatment.

Maladies such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma are more likely to occur if inflammation carries on for too long without suitable medical attention (55).

Moringa, however, has been used in traditional medicine for its supposed ability to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent long-term negative effects.

Several studies on induced inflammation in rats correlated anti-inflammatory inhibition with moringa seed extract at high concentrations after several hours, providing some support for traditional health claims (40, 50, 57).

The seeds also demonstrated anti-arthritic effects as well, showing a significant reduction of arthritic markers in comparison to the diseased control group (57).

The flower and leaf infusions of moringa closely followed the seeds in terms of their efficacy against inflammation, but only at slightly higher concentrations than the seed extract (40).

A contributing factor for reducing inflammation seemingly comes from isothiocyanate compounds in moringa, such as 4(α-L-rhamnosyloxy) benzyl isothiocyanate, that inhibit genetic markers for inflammation, like tumor-necrotic factor α (TNF-α) from the immune system (55, 57).

Flavonoid antioxidants are also responsible for shutting down the radical oxidation that occurs following an injury and protecting tissues from further degradation (57, 58).

In short:

Despite the usefulness of both acute and chronic inflammation, they also result in the increased likelihood and longevity of certain medical conditions as humans age.

Isothiocyanates and antioxidants in moringa, however, are potentially responsible for limiting inflammation overactivity, avoiding the chronic or severe health conditions likely to occur without intervention.

7. Moringa carries antimicrobial properties

Exposure to fungal and bacterial pathogens increases the risk of developing chronic or life-threatening complications.

Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli are two examples of bacterial-borne pathogens commonly implicated in outbreaks within communities (13, 56).

Although the previously mentioned mechanics of inflammation try to kill these pathogens off before they spread on or inside the body, they are sometimes unsuccessful.

When the pathogens are susceptible to antimicrobial treatment, however, the spread and longevity of these microbes lessens, assisting the immune system and benefitting the overall health of an organism.

Multiple studies on isolated bacteria and fungi that were Gram positive or gram negative were shown to experience noticeable inhibition or complete death when treated with M. oleifera leaf extract (13, 39, 51).

Not all the tested pathogenic strains were inhibited by moringa use (39, 51); however, this seemingly depended on the manner in which the moringa was processed and administered (i.e. aqueous extract vs. ethanolic extract, etc.).

Most susceptible to moringa treatment was the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which is responsible for MRSA infections that are resistant and not easily treated with common antibiotics.

Also susceptible was the fungus Aspergillus niger, which is both a typical food contaminant responsible for the appearance of black mold on vegetables and fruits, and a source of fungal ear infections.

Flavonoids and pterygospermin of moringa may be responsible for reducing microbe sustainability, seemingly destabilizing the membrane of a microbe until it is no longer active (13, 39, 51, 56).

The isothiocyanate, 4(α-L-rhamnosyloxy) benzyl, was also cited as an active principle responsible for the antimicrobial properties of moringa (39, 56).

In short:

Though not all studied microbes were susceptible to moringa administration, the flavonoids, pterygospermin, and isothiocyanates within M. oleifera may provide additional defenses to the immune system by limiting the longevity of pathogens in an organism.

With bacteria like Aspergillus niger susceptible to flavonoids in moringa, this finding also lends credibility to the use of M. oleifera as a food preservative.

It is also worth noting that the combination of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties from M. oleifera support its traditional use in balms and poultices for minor cuts, abrasions, and wound healing.

8. Gastrointestinal conditions can be treated with Moringa

From stomach pain to ulcers, traditional medicine uses M. oleifera to treat many gastrointestinal conditions.

Most extensively studied has been the effect of moringa on medically-induced ulcers and intestinal spasms with nonhuman animal subjects.

Ulcers form when the mucus barrier protecting the stomach lining erodes, exposing the stomach wall to the naturally-occurring acid of the stomach.

NSAIDs, H. pylori bacteria, and tumors contribute to the erosion of the mucus barrier.

Meanwhile, spasmodic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome occur when the muscles of the intestines contract frequently and painfully.

When compared to anti-spasmodic and ulcer-preventing medications, however, M. oleifera appears to be just as effective without many of their side effects.

In one study, the use of M. oleifera leaf extract for treating induced ulcers in rats conferred some protection, with the protections exceeding 50% after a 300 mg/kg dose and reaching nearly 100% at a 400 mg/kg dose concentration (59).

Other studies using seed extract found a considerable reduction in spontaneous activity of intestinal spasms and smooth muscle contraction in tissue samples (40, 58).

Because moringa already acts as a possible anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-tumor supplement, the combination of these properties helps prevent ulcer formation and the erosion of the mucus barrier.

The aforementioned glycosides from moringa, niazimin A, niazimin B, niazicin A, and niazicin B also appear to have some responsibility in maintaining the rates of contractions during involuntary spasms.

In short:

Although testing for gastrointestinal conditions has not yet extended to human subjects, the use of moringa on animal subjects provides some support to traditional medicinal health claims.

9. Moringa may alleviate or treat epilepsy

Traditional medicine also hails moringa for assisting the central nervous system, and aiding or possibly treating epilepsy and its symptoms.

Epilepsy, or seizure disorder, results from elevated or abnormal electrical activity occurring in the brain (60, 61).

While some epileptic occurrences are not immediately noticeable, like slight changes in behavior, others result in convulsions that can seriously incapacitate its sufferers (60).

Additionally, though there are factors for susceptibility to epilepsy, perfectly healthy individuals without any previous family or medical history of epilepsy are also at risk (60).

Exposure to various degrees of electric stimuli outside and within the body increase the likelihood of an epileptic response.

Typical treatment would address these moderate-to-severe conditions by targeting the neurotransmitters and metabolic pathways responsible for mediating electrical activity.

This can potentially limit or prevent the harm of particularly violent seizures during epileptic episodes.

Studies have sought to understand the effects of M.oleifera on epilepsy and other neurological conditions, typically using nonhuman rat subjects for testing.

After using different methods of inducing seizures in rats, researchers then administered M. oleifera extract in comparison to anticonvulsant medicine from the present market (61, 62, 63).

One study discovered moringa extract significantly reduced convulsions after implementing electrical shock, and completely prevented convulsions induced by ‘PTZ,’ similar to the anticonvulsant, diazepam (61).

Another study analyzed moringa through the context of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine for example, finding that an increase in the former and a decrease in the latter lowered stimulation in multiple parts of the brain (63).

The antioxidative properties of the flavonoids in M. oleifera are the suspected mediators of electrical activity in the central nervous system.

There are, however, many other factors implicated in specific neurological conditions, such as the inhibition of the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter from the brain, or the blockage of sodium or calcium channels (61).

The role of M. oleifera in these potential sources for seizures is still under exploration, but its chemical components may be responsible for removing or alleviating negative effects on GABA and the sodium and calcium channels.

In short:

The effects of moringa in alleviating epilepsy and associated seizures are promising, as they keep up with the anticonvulsant medication of the present market and provide further support to traditional claims.

10. The liver potentially gains protections through the use of moringa

An important aspect of safeguarding personal health is via the protection of the liver.

The liver is responsible for filtering blood and processing ingested food, medications, and various chemicals which are then spread throughout the rest of the body.

Though a crucial part of healthy functionality, the liver is also unfortunately susceptible to many damaging conditions, including hepatitis A & C, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease.

Consuming high levels of alcohol or avoiding precautions while taking hepatotoxic (hurtful to the liver) medications like NSAIDs, are some known stressors associated with these effects.

Without immediate medical attention, the continuity of these conditions can result in liver failure, leading to liver transplants or the possibility of mortality.

Once again, moringa and its antioxidant properties may confer some advantages for assisting the liver, especially considering the particular role of radical oxidation in alcohol or drug-related strain on the body (66, 67).

Several studies noted decreases in markers associated with oxidation damage, upon administering moringa extract following various known inductions of toxicity in the liver (65, 66, 67, 68).

Oxidative markers specifically associated with the liver, aspartate aminotransferase and aspartate alanine aminotransferase also dropped considerably when compared to the controls without moringa intervention.

Meanwhile in these same studies, enzymatic markers associated with healing and repairing oxidative damage, superoxide dismutase and catalase, experienced increases in activity with moringa administration (65, 66, 67, 68).

Seemingly, the implementation of moringa results in counteracting overall damage on the liver.

In short:

M. oleifera affords some protection to the liver through its antioxidative properties, reducing the harmful effects of oxidation and preventing outright liver damage.

Caution towards Overuse

As with all things, moringa should be ingested as a dietary supplement in moderation.

Especially for first-time consumers of moringa, starting with lower doses and/or concentrations and gradually scaling up the doses over time is advisable.

In buying powders or capsules, follow the recommended preparations on the packaging, and for buying physical parts, take note of their place of origin if possible.

Since its absorption is not particularly high, M. oleifera should also not be used as a complete replacement for the nutritional benefits of a healthy diet or other supplements.

Several studies say anti-nutritive elements in moringa are low and may not actually prevent essential nutrient absorption or cause discomfort (35, 47), but this can potentially change if precautions are not taken (16).

Overall

Moringa oleifera is a well-studied plant species whose hundreds of years of traditional use have been rigorously explored for decades.

In seeking the specifics of moringa’s versatility, researchers provide enough credibility to show just how dynamically it can improve the overall health of those who use it.

Although most of the studies referenced here have used nonhuman animal subjects, the results reveal that M.oleifera remained consistent in relieving or treating detrimental health conditions.

As a plant with antitumor, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, and anti-epileptic properties, it is clearly complex in its applications for curative purposes.

Rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and capable of aiding minor and severe maladies, moringa remains a comprehensive, health-supporting food additive welcome to most diets.

Recipe #1: Moringa Soup

This recipe is ideal for taking advantage of the benefits of moringa and also keeping warm. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 moringa leaves

Preparation:

  1. Thoroughly clean the moringa leaves to remove any sand and grit. Set aside.
  2. Heat the chicken broth in pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Place the celery, onion, carrot, serrano pepper, and moringa leaves in the broth. Reduce the heat to low.
  4. Let the mixture sit for another 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetable ingredients soften.
  5. Season to taste and serve.

Recipe #2: Moringa Tea

A simpler recipe, this is an easier way of regularly benefitting from moringa, especially during the summer or the winter. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • Moringa, dried leaves or powder
  • Lemon
  • Honey

Preparation:

  1. Make sure the leaves are thoroughly cleaned before steeping in heated (not-boiling) water. Add more leaves or steep longer for a stronger effect.
  2. If using moringa powder, simply add 1 scoop for each 8 oz. Add more if desiring a stronger effect.
  3. After steeping for several minutes, add lemon slices to the water. Continue to steep for several more minutes.
  4. Drain the tea free of leaves.
  5. Use honey to sweeten tea to taste.
  6. For iced tea, let the tea cool before just adding ice.

Recipe #3: Moringa Smoothie

Another simple recipe, moringa is a great additive to a healthy smoothie! The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ tsp moringa leaf
  • 1 banana, unpeeled
  • 1 ½ cup chopped apples

Preparation:

  1. Add the ice, soy milk, spinach, moringa leaf, unpeeled banana, and chopped apples to a blender, blending on the highest setting.
  2. When all the ingredients are thoroughly blended, turn off the blender, pour the smoothie into a glass and serve.

Recipe #4: Drumstick Curry

This recipe is one of the heartier dishes for implementing M. oleifera that use actual parts of the plant, and it is great for cold days! The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • Moringa oleifera drumsticks, 2 ½ medium-sized bundles
  • 5 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp salt

Preparation:

  1. Wash and clean the drumsticks thoroughly. Cut the drumsticks to an inch in length. Season with 2 tbsp curry powder. Set aside for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and red bell peppers to the saucepan and saute for several minutes.
  3. Add the 3 tbsp curry powder, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp tomato paste to pan. Thoroughly fold into onion and red bell peppers and cook for several minutes.
  4. Add the cup of water to pan. Once the mixture is boiling, add the drumsticks and 1 ½ tbsp of lime juice and stir thoroughly. Add another ½ cup of water before covering and bringing to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and uncover the pan. Stir the mixture and add the final cup of water. Replace the lid and let the mixture cook for another 20-30 minutes.
  6. Remove the saucepan from heat and serve with rice.

Recipe #5: Moringa Leaf Sauce

This recipe makes a stew-like sauce that can be served with rice when it is finished. Moringa leaf sauce can be eaten for lunch or dinner. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Tbsp of Moringa powder
  • 1 pound of smoked chicken or meat
  • 3-4 Tbsp of vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Season to taste

Preparation:

  1. Put the water in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the smoked chicken or meat to the water. Change to medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. After the 20 minutes, add the oil and chopped onion to the pot.
  4. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for another 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add the moringa powder and cayenne pepper. Stir thoroughly. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving with steamed rice.

Recipe #6: Moringa Rice Stir-Fry

This stir-fry recipe is a good way for incorporating moringa in a fairly common dish. This recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups beef, sliced to bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried Moringa leaf
  • ¾ cup green beans
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Thoroughly clean the moringa leaves. Strip the leaves and crumple them into fine pieces. Set aside.
  2. Cook rice in a separate pot, at medium heat and with enough water to cover the rice by about 1 inch. Cover the pot and set aside, letting it the rice cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Lightly cook the green beans in a pan.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp to another pan, then add the onion. Sauté the onion for several minutes.
  5. Add the beef in with the onions. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. If your preference is for a lighter cooked meat, cook for a shorter period of time.
  6. Add the green beans and rice to the meat and onions.
  7. Spread the moringa leaves on the stir-fry, thoroughly mixing the leaves in with the rest of the mixture.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove the stir-fry from the heat and serve.

Recipe #7: Moringa and [Insert Dish of Choice Here]

This entry does not have a specific recipe, however, there are many suggestions online about simply adding moringa to dishes one typically eats. Small amounts of moringa powder or finely chopped moringa leaves make nice additions to scrambled eggs, salads, sauces, guacamole, and even popcorn and pizza!

The range of recipes for incorporating moringa powder include porridge, cornbread, lattes, brownies, and popsicles. Essentially, moringa is capable of being cooked into most diets.