Saw Palmetto for Prostate Health

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD155472626

Saw Palmetto is an herb typically associated with alleviating issues associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is widely used in many formulas for prostate health along with a variety of other compounds such as: stinging nettle, lycopene, green tea, selenium, zinc, vitamin D3, phytosterols, and pumpkin seed oil.

BPH is a nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate. The enlargement of the prostate leads to a narrowing of the urethra. Common signs and symptoms of BPH include: decreased force and stream of flow, dribbling after urination, increased frequency of urination, increased nighttime urination (nocturia), and occasionally painful urination (dysuria).

How do they believe that saw palmetto works? It is believed that the liposterolic (fat-soluble) extract of saw palmetto berries induces inhibition of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) binding to prostate cellular receptors, inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase, and interference with prostate estrogen receptors. Most experts believe DHT to be a major factor in the cause of less-than-optimal prostate health and prostate enlargement. Testosterone is metabolized in your body to DHT, and the enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT is called 5-alpha-reductase (Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci.May 2012).

Many clinical studies over the years (30-90 days in length) have demonstrated a significant difference in urine flow, volume voided, dysuria, nocturia, etc. after taking saw palmetto. They have also seen that roughly 90% of men that have mild-moderate BPH feel some improvement in only four to six weeks! More recent clinical studies have observed saw palmetto’s use from six to around twelve months. In a relatively recent study, researchers compared saw palmetto 320 mg/day (Permixon) to the drug Proscar at 5mg/day. There were similar decreases in many of the symptoms of BPH, but saw palmetto did not have the side effect of erectile dysfunction that the drug did. Another similar study using saw palmetto and nettle root (Prostagutt forte) and the drug Proscar came up with similar findings.

There are no known interactions with this herb, but note that most of the clinical trials excluded men taking diuretics, alpha blockers, and anticoagulants. Possible side effects are mild gastrointestinal disturbances. NOTE: Because saw palmetto is used for mild to moderate BPH stages I and II, it is contraindicated with advanced BPH. BPH should be diagnosed by a certified healthcare practitioner or physician.

Recommended use is to take 320 mg of saw palmetto berry extract (standardized to 85%-95% fatty acids and sterols), all at once or in two divided doses with meals. Use at least six months to determine its effectiveness.

Beta-alanine and Whey Protein as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Beta-alanine is a unique version of the amino acid alanine. Beta-alanine supplements are taken to help increase intracellular levels of carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide that consists of the amino acids histidine and alanine. Increasing intracellular levels of carnosine helps protect your body against uncontrolled oxidation and glycation. Carnosine is also a powerful intracellular buffer that reduces acidity. This fact is of interest to athletes. During exercise, your muscles produce a pH-lowering byproduct known as lactic acid. Lactic acid interferes with muscular contraction due to its high concentration of hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions that are released from lactic acid cause a painful chemical burn within your muscle tissue. Carnosine reduces the acidity and keeps your muscle pH up by absorbing these hydrogen ions. The net result of increased carnosine levels is an increase in your ability to extend a set of given exercises beyond normal limits. You can train harder, run longer, and obtain better results. Preformed carnosine is available in supplement form, but it can be pricey and difficult to absorb intact. A better strategy is supplement with beta-alanine. Beta-alanine increases intracellular carnosine levels better than taking oral carnosine supplements. If you desire to push yourself to your absolute limit; beta-alanine supplements are crucial.

Whey protein is a superior form of protein due to its ideal aminoacid content and its high bioavailability. The body better utilizes and retains the amino acids from whey protein when compared and contrasted to other protein sources. Whey protein is rich in the amino acids valine, leucine, and Isoleucine. These amino acids comprise roughly one third of your skeletal muscle structure. Supplementing your diet with whey protein provides your body with the building blocks to recover from intense workouts. Whey protein is also high in the amino acid cysteine. This amino acid helps boost immunity by boosting glutathione levels. Whey protein is also very low in fat so you can use it while dieting as well. If your mission is to build a better body, you better be training hard and supplementing with whey protein.

Creatine as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Creatine is a tripeptide that can be biosynthesized from the amino acids methionine, glycine, and arginine. In other words, your body can make creatine as long as the appropriate building blocks are available. If you are deficient in any of the three aforementioned amino acids, your body’s ability to synthesize creatine will suffer. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely solely on those amino acid building blocks to form creatine. Preformed, supplemental creatine is available. Once in the body, creatine is phosphorylated (forming creatine phosphate) and is ready to be used by skeletal muscles, cardiac tissue, and the brain. Creatine phosphate increases strength by regenerating ADP into ATP (It does this simply by donating it’s phoshate to ADP). ATP is the universal energy molecule that allows for muscular contraction. The heart, brain, and skeletal muscles demand a constant supply of ATP. Numerous studies have clearly indicated that supplemental creatine boosts strength and athletic performance. Creatine keeps your muscle cells in a hydrated state, creating an anabolic environment. It has also been shown to act as an antioxidant and to decrease mental fatigue. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied form of creatine. Creapure is a trademarked form of micronized creatine monohydrate. The particle size of this micronized version of creatine is substantially smaller than the traditional monohydrate form. Creapure is also devoid of contaminants and is the purest form of creatine available. Creatine is clearly conducive to muscular gains, greater energy levels, and increased strength.

Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC as Part of a Mens’ Supplement Regimen

By Kevin Duerr136147555_Small

As a supplement educator at Natur-Tyme, I often have male fitness enthusiasts ask me what they can do to increase power, strength, energy, endurance, and focus through their supplement reigmen. I will be devoting three blogs to this subject. In the first blog I discuss Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha GPC. In the second blog, I discuss Creatine, and in the third blog, I discuss Beta-alanine and Whey Protein.

Acetyl L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is readily absorbed and has been shown to cross the highly selective blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain tissue, it has demonstrated the ability to increase acetlycholine levels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is paramount for cognition, mental acuity, memory, and muscular contraction. Acetyl L-Carnitine also boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and the hormone testosterone. This indicates that you should feel more energetic and stronger while taking this supplement. Acetyl L-Carnitine also enhances fatty acid oxidation. So not only does this supplement boost brain health, energy, and male hormonal output, it also can result in a marked reduction of body fat. Acetyl L-Carnitine is a potent antioxidant, protecting the brain from free-radical attack. In addition, it guards the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) from the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. Protecting the mitochondria is vital because it is the site of ATP (energy) synthesis. Taking Acetyl L-Carnitine should help you: think clearer, have greater energy, and get leaner.

Alpha-GPC is a naturally-occurring, water-soluble phospholipid. It absorbs extremely well and readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Alpha-GPC supplies a highly-bioavailable form of choline to the brain. Alpha-GPC is a potent precursor to the neurotranmitter acetylcholine. It has been shown to increase cognitive function, alertness, memory, attention, and even faster reflexes. Alpha-GPC increases human growth hormone levels (HGH) as well. It does so by potentiating the effects of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH). HGH is the hormone of youth that helps maintain a youthful appearance and a strong, lean body. Through a hormonal cascade, maintaining optimal growth hormone levels will help maintain healthy testosterone levels as well. Lastly, Alpha-GPC increases strength and muscular power through its effect on cholinergic transmission. Bottom line—You should think faster and feel stronger when taking Alpha-GPC.

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