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Hypertension : The Natural Solution

Hypertension : The Natural Solution

Arterial hypertension (or high blood pressure) affects around 20% of the French adult population, and it is also the most frequent cause of cardiovascular problems. The risk of suffering from it increases with age. A person is considered to have high blood pressure when diastolic pressure is over nine and systolic pressure is over 14 – being respectively the lower and upper numbers recorded when measuring blood pressure.

High blood pressure is considered as a “silent” or “insidious” disease, as many people do not realize that they have it until symptoms arise. Besides, very few people regularly get their blood pressure checked. Yet, that illness causes major cardiovascular complications and leads to 62% of strokes as per the WHO. The excessive mechanical pressure upon the arteries causes anomalies and fosters rigid artery walls. It therefore increases the risk of atheroma appearing or worsening.

The most frequently affected arteries are the carotid (brain), coronary (heart), kidneys and lower limbs. Thus, some risks are heightened, such as the following consequences: strokes, ischemic heart disease (angina and heart attacks), peripheral arterial disease (narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the legs) and chronic kidney failure. The fragilized arteries may also require dialysis in the long term. Moreover, the high blood pressure indirectly increases the heart’s activity – because it maintains a constant blood flow – and then leads to left ventricular hypertrophy and gradual loss of its contractile activity (possible outcome is heart failure). In that respect, high blood pressure is mainly critical because of its long-term consequences on various organs. Conventional medicine offers a range of “solutions”: diuretics, beta-blockers (to reduce the heart beat) and calcium channel blockers (to diminish vascular resistance) etc. However, these treatments are symptomatic and go along with side effects.

Naturally regulating blood flow and blood pressure helps limiting the risks of heart diseases, while effectively protecting the body.

Which plants are most effective?

Red vine: blood flow regulation

The EMA (European Medicines Agency) has acknowledged red vine’s effectiveness in treating circulation problems (venous insufficiency and varicose veins), capillary fragility  (small blood vessels that form under the skin), burns and irritations caused by haemorrhoids. The Agency also states that red vine holds some antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-oedema virtues; it protects the liver as well, and procures antimicrobial and diuretic actions. These properties have been tested by scientific researches on grape polyphenols, including resveratrol and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC).

Resveratrol (grape skins) is a powerful antioxidant which has shown promising anti-ageing effects on some primitive animal species. Overall, it protects and s timulates the circulatory system.

Anthocyanins (red vine leaves) reduce capillary permeability and increase their resistance, thus preventing the venous circulation to stagnate. In grapes, this action is potentialized by the presence of tannins, astringents and vasoconstrictors (the OPC): they facilitate venous return. Refer to the properties of grape seeds for further information.

Therefore, consuming red vine extracts helps protecting the venous system by maintaining the elastic fibers, re-establishes circulation, prevents and reabsorbs oedema.

Grape seeds : better circulation

Grape seeds are particularly rich in OPC antioxidant, which are 20 times as efficient as Vitamin C and 50 times as efficient as Vitamin E. OPC have a perennial impact on free radicals, the latter being responsible for various disorders within the circulatory system. Indeed, free radicals destroy cellular membrane, damage collagen and lead to the hardening of arteries (increased risk of high blood pressure). As opposed to those disorders, OPC improve blood vessel elasticity, prevent blood platelets from sticking together, hence reducing the risk of blood clots and aphasia. Moreover, those complexes also help diminishing the amount of cholesterol deposed on blood vessel walls. Grape seeds finally boost exceptional anti-inflammatory and anti-oedema properties.

Numerous clinical studies have been conducted in France to demonstrate how grape seeds can be used to treat capillary fragility and varicose veins. In a double-blind study, 71 patients with venous insufficiency were divided in two groups. Each group was given a daily dose of 300mg of either grape seed anthocyanidins or a placebo. 75% of the former showed significant reduction in functional symptoms, compared to 41% of the latter. Tests show that administering anthocyanidins enhances venous tone in patients with extensive varicose veins. Another clinical trial featured two groups of geriatric patients suffering from low capillary resistance. Each group was treated with 100-150mg of either anthocyanidins or placebo. 50% of the former showed improved capillary resistance after two weeks.

Blueberry to strengthen the capillaries

Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C and contain iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. They are also composed of a record-breaking quantity of flavonoids with anti-cancerous, antioxidant and fluidizing properties. Apart from other phenolic components, blueberries contain a high concentration of anthocyanins, which positive effects have been described above.

Numerous clinical and epidemiological studies have sorted out the causality that exists in the relationship between the consumption of blueberries (flavonoids) and the reduction of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.

The phenolic compounds contained in blueberries should also reduce blood lipid oxidation, consequence of oxidative stress and inflammation of the vascular system. As a matter of fact, a placebo-controlled and double-blind study of 60 patients with chronic venous insufficiency showed a substantially improved condition after 30 days of treatment with blueberry extracts.

To conclude, we have seen that blueberries strengthen the capillaries by protecting them from oxidation, improve the contractile function of blood vessels and stimulate the regeneration of the rods in the retina. For the record, RAF pilots used to eat large quantities of blueberries before nocturnal flights during WW2 to improve their eyesight.

Meadowsweet to improve blood flow

Meadowsweet has been known for centuries and among other components contains salicylic derivatives (including salicyl aldehyde, methyl salicylate etc), which are forerunners of acetylsalicylic acid, universally known as aspirin. Just like aspirin, meadowsweet has 
anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, yet it also has a major advantage over aspirin, as it is extremely safe. Unlike aspirin (synthetic), which causes ulcers and bleeding in the stomach when used for extended periods of time, meadowsweet combats gastric acid. It also contains flavonoids, tannins and a number of trace elements, such as iron, sulphur and calcium.

Meadowsweet has the following recognized properties:

Anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic and is recommended for chronic pain, migraines, throat infections, laryngitis etc.
– Thins the blood (Vitamin K).
– Fever reduction (salicylic derivatives).
– Gastroesophageal anti-acidic properties.
– Diuretic and astringent (flavonoids and mineral salts): it powerfully clears uric acid from the body.
Intestinal antispasmodic and urinary pain sedative.
– Diarrhoea prevention.

It is also recommended to treat cellulite, arteriosclerosis and all diseases related to the body being overloaded with waste.

Olive leaves to naturally lower blood pressure

The ‘fashion’ for a Mediterranean diet is the result of a significant body of research which has demonstrated that the death rate from heart disease is lower in olive oil-consuming countries.

Moreover, olive leaf extract is proven to be effective, making it a safe preventive and therapeutic treatment for high blood pressure. It improves circulation by relaxing and dilating the arteries and also aids diuresis, reduces oedema (fluid retention) and blood urea nitrogen levels.

Why? Because it contains components such as :

Oleuropein, a significant oxidation inhibitor.
Oleuropeoside lowers blood pressure and is effective against the effects of high blood pressure, such as headaches, dizziness and buzzing in the ears. It also has diuretic, hypoglycaemic and anti-spasmodic properties and vasodilatory and anti-arrhythmic action.,
Flavonoids – these are antioxidants which help to neutralise free radicals and play an important part in protecting artery walls.

According to a University of Milan study, olive leaves help prevent arteriosclerosis and coronary diseases. The properties of olive leaves enable them to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and increase ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL), which in particular makes them an invaluable complement when treating non-insulin dependent diabetes.

Blackcurrant – anti-oxidant and purifying properties

Blackcurrant berries (just like black grapes) owe their intense colour to complex molecules, anthocyanins, which have properties similar to those of Vitamin P, and trap free radicals. They also contain three times more Vitamin C than oranges and are rich in Pro-Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Recent research has found that blackcurrant’s anti-oxidant power comes from a synergy of its various components (anthocyanins, quercetin, and Vitamins A, C and E).

Blackcurrants are also vasoprotective and venotonic. They boost capillary resistance and 
permeability, thus improving microcirculation. In this respect, they can be used to prevent and treat symptoms of capillary fragility (rosacea and broken blood vessels on the legs). Blackcurrant in particular counters blood vessel wall aging.

We also know that blackcurrant seeds are rich in essential fatty acids from the Omega 3 family (such as alpha-linoleic acid and stearidonic acid) and the Omega 6 family (gamma-linolenic acid, for example). These fatty acids are thought to have blood pressure lowering and 
anti-inflammatory properties.

They are also unique because the body is able to effectively assimilate the elements contained in the seeds. They are circulated in the blood and then excreted in urine and are effective along the length of the tract.

A blend of six plants acts effectively and comprehensively

Each of the aforementioned plants contains components with their own unique properties and which seem similar. However, it is important to stress that these plants need to be “combined” to achieve a targeted and comprehensive effect.

Only a complex of active ingredients enables the body to effectively regulate blood flow and blood pressure by acting on several “fronts”. Please be aware: consuming complexes of plant extracts can be dangerous and in light of the differing compositions of natural products on the market, it is vital to check the origin, dosage and concentration of the main active ingredients inproducts. Moreover, while many products are available containing dry extracts taken from one or all six of the plants I have mentioned, few offer carefully-developed blends to ensure maximum effectiveness in order to have a comprehensive and synergetic impact. Indeed, active ingredient synergy is an additional piece of information for the body, telling it where and when the active ingredients will act, without ever interacting!

– It contains a carefully-developed blend of dry extracts of red vine leaf, grape seed, blueberry, meadowsweet, olive leaf and blackcurrant, known to reduce high blood pressure and aid blood flow

– The complex also contains bearberry, galega and grapefruit, known for their hypoglycaemic properties
– The complex contains 100% natural active ingredients, with a “smart” and sequential formula designed to ensure that the ingredients act effectively and in synergy
– It is fully bio-available and bio-compatible
– It acts on the circulatory system as a whole and effectively regulates blood pressure
– The complex contains 100% natural active ingredients, with a “smart” and sequential formula designed to ensure that the ingredients act effectively and in synergy
– It is fully bio-available and bio-compatible
– It acts on the circulatory system as a whole and effectively regulates blood pressure
– The complex aids microcirculation thus acting on the whole vein system
– The complex ensures a healthy blood balance by acting on sugars and cholesterol
– It is compatible with medical high blood pressure treatments

As the result of the latest drug innovations, it comes in the form of “controlled-release” micro-granules in order to ensure that the active ingredients are released in the body in an extended and targeted fashion so that optimum results are achieved.

The result of the latest pharmaceutical innovations, it is presented in a special microgranular form.

The microgranules have a biocompatible neutral core (patented), and a semi-permeable membrane that protects and releases 96% of the active ingredients (no contamination by dust and moisture, no risk of sticky clumping in a wet environment).

The microgranules also provide greater protection in the stomach, thus eliminating any side effects

They ensure improved compliance due to the reduced dosage, and greater comfort due to masking the taste and odour of plant extracts.

Sources:
[1] Source INSERM – www.inserm.fr/thematiques/circulation-metabolisme-nutrition/dossiers-d-information/hypertension-arterielle
[2] EMA study:
[3] Henriet JP. Exemplary study for a phlebotropic substance, the EIVE Study [translated from French]. Fairfield, Conn: Primary Source; not dated. Study mentioned and summarised in: Natural Standard (Ed). Herbs & Supplements – Grape seed (Vitis vinifera, Vitis coignetiae), Nature Medicine Quality Standard. http://www.naturalstandard.com/
[4] Delacroix P. Double-blind study of Endotelon W in chronic venous insufficiency [translated from French]. La Revue de Médecine. Aug/Sept.1981;no.27-28:1793- 1802. Study mentioned and summarised in: Natural Standard (Ed). Foods, Herbs & Supplements – Grape seed (Vitis vinifera, Vitis coignetiae), Nature Medicine Quality Standard. www.naturalstandard.com
[5] Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray Michael T (Ed). Textbook of Natural Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, US, 1999. p. 994.
[6] Royer R.J., Schmidt C.L., “Evaluation of venotropic drugs by venous gap plethysmography. A study of procyanidolic oligomers “, Sem. Hop., 1981, 57:2009-2013.
[7] Dartenuc J.Y., Marache P., Choussat H., “Capillary resistance in geriatry. A study of a microangioprotector Endotelon”, Bor. Med., 1980, 13:903-907.
[8] Neto CC. Cranberry and blueberry: evidence for protective effects against cancer and vascular diseases. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun; 51(6):652-64.
[9] Gatta L., “Experimental single-blind study: 60 pts with venous insufficiency received bilberry extract equivalent to 173 mg anthocyanins daily of placebo for 30 days”, Fitoterapia, 1988, 115:109-116.
[10] Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects.
[11]Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray Michael T (Ed). Textbook of Natural Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, US, 1999. p. 994.
[12] Susalit E, Agus, N Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: Comparison with Captopril., Effendi I et al. Phytomedicine. 2010 Oct 29.
[13] Syed Haris Omar, Oleuropein in Olive and its Pharmacological Effects.
[14] Research on blackcurrants: “Antioxidant Activity of Black Currant Anthocyanin Aglycons and Their Glycosides Measured by Chemiluminescence in a Neutral pH Region and in Human Plasma”. Matsumoto, H., Y. Nakamura, et al. (2002). J. Agric. Food Chem. 50(18): 5034-5037
[15] Thesis on “Le Cassis (ribes nigrum L.) : études botanique, chimique et effets thérapeutiques”, Stéphanie GERBAKA, Grenoble 2013

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Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease

Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease

Some scary data

Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death: a heart attack occurs every 5 seconds, a stroke every 6 seconds, 17 million people die each year from heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, half of deaths and disability cases resulting from a heart attack or stroke could be prevented by acting on cholesterol levels.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a specific form of lipid or fat, partly made by the liver (endogenous), and partly provided by the diet (exogenous). It is essential to the body since it is a major component of cell membranes and ensures their fluidity and permeability. The metabolism of cholesterol is, for its part, the precursor of many molecules such as steroid hormones, bile acids, etc. Finally, it is also a constituent of bile. [1]

Cholesterol exists only in one form, but it is however transported in the blood through two distinct types of protein: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to all cells. If the synthesis, absorption, transport and catabolism of cholesterol are not regulated, LDL-cholesterols accumulate and can contribute to the formation of plaques that gradually clog the arteries:

– the coronary arteries: first affected, these fine arteries nourish the heart muscle. If they get clogged, the heart no longer receives oxygen: it is myocardial infarction.
– the arteries of the neck (carotid in particular): they irrigate the brain and their occlusion is at the origin of cerebrovascular accidents, commonly called “cerebral attacks”,

– the arteries of the limbs: they take the blood to the toes if they get clogged: it is arteritis of the lower limbs.

Regulating your LDL cholesterol levels naturally can just save lives

Red Rice Yeast to block the synthesis of cholesterol

Red Rice Yeast has been used in China and other Asian countries for centuries as a traditional remedy. It is a substance extracted from rice after it has been fermented with yeast (red) called Monascus purpureus.

Red Rice yeast naturally contains several ingredients that control LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lipids in the blood: it has been shown that taking 2.4 grams of yeast Red rice reduces LDL cholesterol by 22% and total cholesterol by 16% in 12 weeks.

Why? Because it contains more than 10 monacolins which have a chemical structure identical to that of statins, substances with powerful hypocholesterolemic action. The main monacolin of the yeast Red Rice is monacolin K. This is the natural equivalent of lovastatin, a classic synthetic drug prescribed in cases of hypercholesterolemia. According to a 2008 study, results obtained with a supplement providing 10 mg monacolin K (natural), are comparable to those obtained with 20 mg to 40 mg Lovastatin. [2]

It was also noted that the effectiveness of Red Rice yeast on LDL cholesterol reduction is enhanced by its content of sterols, isoflavones and monounsaturated fatty acids or “healthy fats”.According to tests conducted in China, the yeast of Red Rice also seems to have positive effects on other factors of cardiovascular disease.

Caution: To be effective on cholesterol, the monacolin K content in yeast Red Rice should be about 10 mg.

Phytosterols, to repress the concentration of cholesterol

Phytosterols are plant lipids that have a chemical structure very similar to that of cholesterol and partially hinder its attachment by occupying its absorption sites in the intestine. It has been demonstrated since the 1950s that long-term intake of phytosterols makes it possible to reduce the concentration of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) by 10 to 15% without affecting the level of “good” cholesterol. (HDL). [3]

Understanding the mechanism: The digestion and absorption of cholesterol takes place in several stages, the emulsification of fats, the hydrolysis of lipids, the formation of micelles and finally absorption of the micellar content. Phytosterols disrupt this mechanism by competing with cholesterol in its solubility in micelles. Presenting more connectivity, phytosterols take part of the cholesterol within these “carriers”.

Result: the unassimilated cholesterol is shifted to the intestinal lumen and immediately eliminated in the stool. In parallel, phytosterols act directly on the metabolism of cholesterol by ensuring a better elimination of LDL and reducing the activity of ACAT2, an enzyme ensuring the esterification of cholesterol, key step for its export from the intestine towards other tissues.
In addition, recent research concludes that phytosterols are effective in preventing cardiovascular disease [4] and stimulate immune responses.
The simultaneous intake of phytosterols and statins (yeast of Red Rice) can further reduce cholesterol [5]: in fact, the two treatments have a complementary effect, statins reduce the production of cholesterol by the body, while phytosterols limit its absorption in the intestine.

Guggul, to capture and “trap” the Cholesterol

In India, the medicinal properties of Guggul, the resin of the Mukul Commiphora tree, have been recognized for millennia. Thus, according to Ayurvedic doctors, it eliminates “the accumulation of a fatty substance on the walls of blood vessels.”

The most interesting compounds of Guggul are Z- and E-guggulsterones which are phytosterols, with particular actions on hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. [6]
They allow in particular:
– activation of LDL-binding membrane receptors in the liver, leading to a decrease in plasma LDL-C (bad cholesterol),
– to block the mechanism of controlling the level of production of bile acids produced in the liver by the oxidation of cholesterol. Indeed, it is closely monitored and regulated by the body while their synthesis consumes not less than half of the cholesterol. Guggulsterones thus make it possible to block this control mechanism, hence their lipid-lowering action. [7]
– stimulation of thyroid function by direct action on the endocrine cells of the thyroid, leading to a regulation of the appetite, favouring the production of gastric juices, accelerating digestion, and facilitating the elimination of waste,
The action of guggulsterones appears to be potentiated by the other components of guggulipid: a 10 to 30% decrease in blood lipid levels is observed depending on the conditions of the experiments and the subjects tested.
Note that guggulipid can also act:
– to treat acne (nodulocystic),
– to relieve some rheumatic inflammatory joint and tendon.

Conclusion

The “health” benefits of these three active ingredients are well established and their association will allow acting on endogenous and exogenous cholesterol, to regulate triglycerides and to rebalance the level of lipids in the blood.

Nevertheless, to be optimal this combination must:

– Containing monacolin K from the yeast of red rice,
– Use a dispersible form of phytosterols, these being insoluble in water and in oil, therefore hardly ingestible: LIPOPHYTOL. Best dispersible form of phytosterols (plants). Micro-encapsulated, it facilitates their incorporation into dietary supplements and allows good assimilation by the body.

Related Articles

Sources:
[1] A lire : Patrick Lustenberger et jean André, Le métabolisme du cholestérol et des stéroïdes, Full article here

[2] Ong HT, Cheah JS. Chin Med J (Engl). Statin alternatives or just placebo: an objective review of omega-3, red yeast rice and garlic in cardiovascular therapeutics. 2008 Aug 20;121(16):1588-94.[3] Lichtenstein AH, Appel LJ, et al. Summary of American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations revision 2006. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Oct;26(10):2186-91. Review. Full text here
[4] Demonty I, Ras RT, et al. Continuous dose-response relationship of the LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect of phytosterol intake. J Nutr. 2009 Feb;139(2):271-84. Full text here
[5] Jong A, Plat J, et al. Effects of long-term plant sterol or stanol ester consumption on lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in subjects on statin treatment. de Br J Nutr. 2008 Nov;100(5):937-41. Summary here
[6] Kelly M. Shields, Pharm.D. , Michael P. Moranville, Guggul for Hypercholesterolemia, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2005;62(10):1012-1014.
[7] Bruneton Jean, Pharmacognosie, phytochimie, plantes médicinales, 4e ed, pages 898 à 900

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The Global Approach to Well Being

The Global Approach to Well Being

Here at Laboratoires Activa, the French specialist of bio-cellular nutrition, we have set ourselves the goal of designing a new generation of natural supplements, taking into account all the physiological mechanisms of the human body and based on the concept of Phytovitality.

These innovative supplements are formulated to create a synergy between active ingredients (plants and trace elements) and optimise their targeted delivery using the patented technology of microgranules. A sophisticated blending protocol is developed for each product, guaranteeing bioavailability and biocompatibility.

Activa’s team has been innovating and distributing in the health supplements industry for more than 20 years thanks to their in-house state of the art research and development, manufacturing and commercial operations. Activa’s multidisciplinary team is working along these lines in collaboration with healthcare professionals, in order to contribute to advances in cellular nutrition.

Laboratoires Activa focus has always been on Ethics together with maintaining the guarantee of rigorous and safe manufacturing processes in the development of their 3 different programs.

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3 Ranges of Natural Supplements for Self-regulation

3 Ranges of Natural Supplements
for Self-regulation

The exclusive Laboratoires Activa program, designed and formulated with a new perception of nutritional supplements.

  

The objective of each well-being complex is to enable and strengthen the ‘vitality’ of a targeted area of the body without causing any disturbance.

  • 100% natural active ingredients 
  • Quality standardized titrated dry extracts with high levels of tracers
  • Guaranteed GMO-free, pesticide-free, heavy metal-free, dye-free
  • Bacteriological control
  • We develop formulas to create a synergistic action of components that restores the balance of the body
  • Total bioavailability for total assimilation
  • Perfect biocompatibility: deep-down benefits for vitality, without side effects and without overloading the body.
  • The microgranules provide gastroprotection, quickly passing through the intestine, and a controlled release of active ingredients with increased exchange surfaces.

   Ultra-fast action on the targeted area or system, from the very first intake.

  • Action from the first signs of discomfort
  • Taken alone or as a supplement to a prescribed treatment
  • 100% natural active ingredients, no colourings or GMOs
  • Highly bio-assimilable components
  • A specific formulation for fast action
  • Packaging and shelf life suitable for crisis

A micronutrition range for a balanced and self-regulating metabolism

To ensure an excellent physical and mental dynamic, it is important to maintain the right balance of the components of our body, namely lipids , proteins, carbohydrates and the antioxidant protection system.

The human Structure Program is built on five core principles:

  • Activation: the ingredients work synergistically to give the body everything it needs to reach its full potential.
  • Nutrition: the ingredients has been specially selected and used in exactly the right quantity
  • Exchange: optimize the cell transport pathways that govern vitality and restore the body’s natural language.
  • Integration: each bioavailable and biocompatible formula is spontaneously identified and recognized by the body for optimal assimilation.
  • Synergy: the Human Structure program enhances our body’s ability to self-regulate.

A strong assimilation capacity by your body: 3 programs from Activa, essential for our equilibrium, that are completely bioavailable. Each supplement, with 100% natural active ingredients, will ideally be recognised by the body and because of this, will be fully assimilated and physiologically active.

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EPA and DHA in Omega 3, what do they do?

EPA and DHA in Omega 3, what do they do?

The EPA & DHA are “anti-platelet aggregation”

When blood platelets stick together, they can form arterial plugs (thromboses) that prevent blood from flowing. This blood clot can detach and block a small vessel in the brain, resulting in a transient ischemic stroke. Omega 3 promote the production of nitric oxide which protects blood vessels.

Moreover, EPA and DHA are anti-atherogenic since they fight against the formation of fatty deposits(1).

Indeed, EPA inhibits the synthesis of thromboxane – prostaglandin promoting platelet adherence – and on the other hand, stimulates the production of prostacyclins that decrease platelet aggregation.

DHA & EPA help fight against oxidative stress

We know that oxidative stress plays a role in the formation of clots. By incorporating itself into the platelets’ membrane, EPA protects them against free radicals and thus reduces their aggregation. A 3-year study of 563 men with hyperlipidemia showed that supplementation with Omega 3 reduced the concentration of platelet adhesion molecules, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and stroke (2).

Moreover, in chronic heart failure (CHF), cardiomyocytes are disorganized and free radicals are produced in excess, exceeding the neutralizing capacities of enzymatic equipment. Daily supplementation with Omega-3 significantly increases the concentration of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a key enzyme in the fight against free radicals (3).

In conclusion, through a set of complex mechanisms, not yet fully clear, Omega 3 reduces triglyceridemia, platelet aggregation and regulate heart rate and contractility, thus protecting against cardiovascular risk.

Impact of DHA & EPA on the heart from childhood

Several studies have shown the relationship between blood DHA levels and blood pressure in healthy children. Children who are breastfed, either by breast milk or by milk supplemented with Omega 3 have a lower blood pressure at the age of 6-7 years(4). More generally, the needs of a child between 3 and 9 years are 250 mg EPA + DHA and rise to 500 mg between 10 and 18 years, but the levels of these two omega-3 fatty acids are too low in the Western diet. Supplementation with DHA and EPA during pregnancy, lactation and childhood, therefore, plays an important role in cardiovascular development and function(5).

What are optimum needs in DHA & EPA?

Although omega-3s have many virtues for the human body, they are still insufficiently consumed today, since our diet provides us with only 30% of the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes).

After evaluating the French population’s daily intake of omega-3, the ANSES recommended: “the implementation of a policy aimed at increasing the level of omega-3 intake” (6).

The minimum physiological requirement for DHA and EPA was estimated by the ANSES to be 500 mg/day for an adult. Adults in France receive an average of 350mg of EPA + DHA per day for women and 420 mg/day for men (7). They are therefore below the 500 mg/day guideline. Supplementation of about 100 mg minimum is essential for good memory and optimal brain function.

Activa Human Structure Cardio,
quality Omega 3 to support the cardiovascular sphere

 

Related Articles

Sources:

[1] O’Keefe JH Jr & Harris WS: From Inuit to implantation : omega-3 fatty acids come of age. Mayo Clin. Proc. 2000 Jun;75(6):607-14.
[2] Smith BK. & Al.: Exercise plus n-3 fatty acids: additive effect on postprandial lipemia. Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1365-71.
[3] Mori TA & Woodman RJ: The independant effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on cardiovasclar risk factors in humas.2006 Mar;9(2):95-104.
[4] Hjerkinn EM & Al.: Influence of long term intervention with dietary counseling, long chain n-3 fatty acid supplements, or both on circulation markers of endothelial activation in men with long-standing hyperlipidemia. Am. J. Nutr. 2005 Mar;81(3):583-9.
[5] Luostarinen, 1997
[6] Oméga-3. Afssa Février 2009 – www.afssa.fr
[7] EFSA. Scientific opinion – Labelling reference intake values for n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The EFSA Journal 1176, 1-11, 2009
Forsyth JS, Willatts P, Agostoni C, Bissenden J, Casaer P, Boehm G. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in infant formula and blood pressure in later
childhood: follow up of a randomised controlled trial. Br Med J. 2003;326:953.
Koletzko B. Fats for brains. Eur J Clin Nutr 1992 ; 46 Suppl 1: S51-62.

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Monitoring and controlling Bioavailability, a technical expertise

Monitoring and controlling Bioavailability,
a technical expertise

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Blueberry, one of Activa’s star ingredient for better blood circulation

Blueberry,
one of Activa’s star ingredient
for better blood circulation

1- Reduction of oxidation

Phenolic compounds in blueberries help to reduce oxidation of blood lipids, the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation of the vascular system (1). A controlled double-blind study against placebo,[2] involving 60 patients with chronic venous insufficiency, showed significant improvement in symptoms after 30 days of treatment with a Blueberry extract (3).

Blueberry helps to stimulate hair growth

Blueberry strengthens scalp capillaries by protecting them against oxidation and improves the contractile functions of vessels thereby improving the supply of nutrients to the hair bulb (root).

By fighting microcirculation problems, blueberry stimulates the vitality of the hair bulb, promotes regrowth and hair growth. Associated with other plants, it also helps to fight against the harmful effect of free radicals.

 

2- Stimulation of microcirculation

Numerous clinical and epidemiological studies have been published on the relationship between the consumption of blueberries and a reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. They indicate that consumption of flavonoids reduces the risk of loss of elasticity of arteries including those of the legs (arteriosclerosis).

Blueberry High in anthocyanins that support blood vessels

Sources:
[1] Gatta L., « Experimental single-blind study: 60 pts with venous insufficiency received bilberry extract equivalent to 173 mg anthocyanins daily of placebo for 30 days », Fitoterapia, 1988, 115:109-116.
[2] [1] Anderson ML1. A! preliminary investigation of the enzymatic inhibition of 5alpha-reduction and growth of prostatic carcinoma cell line LNCap-FGC by natural astaxanthin and Saw Palmetto lipid extract in vitro. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(1):17-26
[3] USDA. USDA database for the flavonoid content of selected foods. 2003.
[4] Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects

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The Power of Polyphenols

The Power of Polyphenols

What are Polyphenols? 

Polyphenols are phytonutrients that can be found in certain plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and seeds.
These micronutrients give the plants their specific dark red, purple or blue, vivid colors and are known for their numerous health benefits such as reducing oxidation and inflammation in the body, supporting immunity and a healthy cardiovascular system. They are also known to help with weight issues and diabetes.

In order for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to be released, polyphenols have to be consumed and ingested by the bacteria in our gut. Their consumption in return supports the growth of healthy bacteria and a balanced microbiome.

There are many types of polyphenols, however most of the ones we consume, such as anthocyanins, come from the flavonoids group of polyphenols. Anthocyanins are water-soluble colored pigments that give a rich dark and vivid red-purple color to fruits and vegetables. They are found for example in berries, particularly blueberries and blackberries, or red grapes. Mostly known for their strong antioxidant properties, they protect cardiovascular capillaries and promote venous return. They also improve the contractile function of blood vessels as inflammation is reduced. They are also used to support the capillaries of the scalp to prevent hair fall and support hair growth. Indeed often, hair fall is linked to poor circulation in the blood vessels at the surface of the scalp.
Our products with polyphenols

Following a balanced diet with plant based products rich in polyphenols will surely have great health benefits. It will help your body fight free radicals and inflammation, support a healthy cardiovascular system, and promote a healthy gut.

However, while polyphenols display a wonderful and wide range of health benefits, these phytochemicals are sensitive and the way they are consumed may impact the polyphenol content of the food you eat. For example, the polyphenol content of onions will greatly decrease once they are cooked. Using the microwave or high-temperature cooking modes like frying will also reduce the content of beneficial phenolic compounds in the food.

While watching your diet to include polyphenol sources, it may be useful to support your body with natural supplements that will provide a bioavailable source of polyphenols, readily available for your body to use for optimal action.
We recommend supplements that are gastro protected, to maintain the integrity of the active ingredients until their point of absorption.

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Melatonin, “The Sleep Hormone”

Melatonin, “The Sleep Hormone”

Melatonin, also called the “sleep hormone” is produced by the pineal gland at dusk. Melatonin thus plays a fundamental role in regulating our body clock as is responsible for the sleep/wake cycle.  The pineal gland is sensitive to light and production of melatonin will reduce in the morning to onset awakening. Taken in excess of 1 mg, it helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.

Melatonin is widely known to help your body adjust to jet lag. When you travel through different time zones your pineal gland doesn’t adjust straight away to the new dusk “time”, delaying your onset of sleep. Tricking the body by giving it melatonin helps adapt to the new time zone until your body adjusts its circadian cycle.

 

Not only inducing sleep, melatonin is known to also improve the quality of your sleep during periods of stress. Indeed the overall studies published since 2001 show it influences the time needed to fall asleep.

Melatonin works well to treat delayed sleep-phase disorder. This problem is related to a disturbance of the circadian rhythm. Sufferers fall asleep between 3 am to 6 am and wake up around midday  to 3 pm.

Researchers have found that people with certain health problems had melatonin levels below average. They have also made a connection with the consumption of melatonin during the day that could help reduce some psychological stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety and agitation. Researchers conducted a study taking into account stress as a major contributing factor to depression and demonstrating the importance of resynchronization of circadian rhythms for effective treatment of depression. This study highlighted the melatonin potential as an antidepressant.

Finally, it has also been shown to help people suffering from migraine, irritable bowel syndrome  and fibromyalgia, as it can reduce chronic pain.

Consumption of melatonin at a reasonable dose is relatively safe, however it should be used with caution and moderation and restricted to short term use. Prolonged use could have some physiological side effect on your body’s natural production of melatonin. Your pineal gland could become lazy or stop its production if you substitute it with synthetic melatonin.

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Biocompatibility, the subtle balance to respect the body physiology

Biocompatibility, the subtle balance
to respect the organism

Biocompatibility defines the capacity of a substance designed to interact with a living organism without interfering, disrupting or modifying the later. Biocompatible is a term commonly used in the medical world to refer to medical implants or prosthetic materials used for humans and designed to be in harmonious interaction with the receiving body without creating a disturbance in its functions and physiology.

In the world of health supplements and medication, it applies to the capacity of the substances or active ingredients used, to be assimilated and/or active without creating any disturbance in the organism. This concept should be of prime focus in the research and development phase of any product. Making sure the formulation will fulfil its targeted function with total respect of the delicate physiology of the body.

In order for this balance to be respected, several factors must be addressed:

  • The organism environment
  • The targeted function to support
  • The possible interaction between the various composing substances
  • A global action on the disturbance
  • Not to supplement but to support the body, so it can manage the disturbance on its own.

Laboratories Activa herbal supplements blends, do not ever fight against a symptom but aim to strengthen the body’s natural self-regulation so that it recovers all its vitality through cellular stimulation and regulation. The regulation is performed by the body itself and therefore confer total biocompatibility, which limits the undesirable effects and any interaction between the different treatments in progress.

The body is then respected, and its cells are capable of regulating dysfunctions. All of this is to ensure an effect from 20 minutes to a few hours after intake without disturbing the organism.

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