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Advances in the Microbiome

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Healing ‘Leaky Gut’

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is essentially a system of muscular tubes that propel materials along its length, to enable the absorption of nutrients and the excretion of waste products. The wall of the GI tract is sealed by a layer of intestinal epithelial cells. As well as selectively absorbing nutrients and excreting waste products, the GI wall acts as a first line of defense by preventing potentially harmful toxins or bacteria in the gut from entering the blood. Certain conditions and treatments may damage the GI tract, resulting in loss of integrity of the GI wall. Known as intestinal permeability

Tocotrienol: High Performance ‘Super Vitamin E’

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient, that protects cells from oxidative stress, and which cannot be made by the body. Oxidative stress results from the overproduction of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells, and con-tributes to the development of chronic dis-ease. The term vitamin E refers to a family of eight closely related compounds: four tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocotrienol) and four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol). Figure 1 shows the molecular structures for tocotrienol and tocopherol, which are quite similar in that they both consist of a chromanol ring and a phytyl side chain. The

Phytoestrogens Explained

Menopausal    women    searching for  safe  and   effective   alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will inevitably come across “phytoestrogens”, either in their whole food form or as a concentrated extract in a supplement. But what exactly are phytoestrogens and how do they work in the human body? Are they even safe? Many answers remain unknown to the general public and the literature can offer mixed results as well. Let’s clear up some of the confusion. The term “phytoestrogen” can literally be translated into “plant estrogen”. In the 1950’s, this estrogenic activity was discovered in plants when researchers  investigated  the  cause   of

Menopause: What Are My Natural Options?

Menopause is a normal, natural and inevitable event that affects all women reaching middle to late adulthood. In a very basic sense, menopause occurs as a result of aging. Changes in the structure and function of the female ovaries  lead to a drastic drop in estrogen  levels and permanent cessation of menses. Unfortunately, its associated symptoms can make this process quite uncomfortable for many women and can negatively impact their social life, psychological health and overall well- being.1 The most common concern in postmenopausal women are hot flashes; these cause an episodic feeling of heat, intense sweating and flushing of

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic dysfunctions are a major risk factor for cardiovascular incidents such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and non-ischemic cardiovascular disease1. The constellation of symptoms indicative of metabolic dysfunction include: central obesity (apple body types), glucose intolerance, insulin resistance (eg. non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), hypertension, dyslipidemia, high markers of inflammation, and poor blood clotting (hyperfibrinolysis). Given the complexity of this syndrome, identifying and developing treatments can be very difficult. As we learn more, we gain a greater understanding about how we can approach the underlying cause of metabolic dysfunctions while managing the symptoms.Given the wide array of symptoms, metabolic syndrome was often overlooked

Interview with AOR Founder, Dr. Traj Nibber

We sat down with AOR’s founder and director of research Dr. Traj Nibber to gain some insights into AOR from the man who started it all. 1 . What is your educational background, and what made you decide to become a scientist? I have a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences with hospital experience (clinical pharmacy) from the University of Aston, UK, an MSc in toxicology from the University of Birmingham, UK and a PhD in histopathology specializing in surgical pathology from University of London, UK. My interest has always been in research. Unlike pharmaceutical research which takes 15-20 years to bring

Stress-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction: The Hormone-Neurotransmitter Connection

Several studies have examined the influence of emotions on cognition, but common everyday situations also testify to the prevalence of this phenomenon. Indeed, who has never forgotten something important under the effect of acute stress, or hasn’t witnessed a menopausal relative complaining about becoming forgetful? The mechanisms and neural circuits involved in emotions and cognition are inextricably linked, and the maintenance of this delicate neurochemical balance is easily disrupted from exposure to stress. Stress triggers a cascade of hormone and neurotransmitter release throughout the brain, affecting our thoughts, decision-making process and behavior. Understanding the Impact of Stress Hans Selye (1907-1982),

Strontium Citrate Demonstrates its Safety and Effectiveness

Introduction to Strontium In 2002, AOR introduced the world’s first strontium citrate as a dietary supplement for bone health. There have been some recent concerns about strontium’s safety as well as a lack of information regarding strontium citrate. The goal of this article is to discuss the foundations of such concerns and to increase awareness about new research on the safety and effectiveness of strontium citrate. Strontium is a natural element. In nature, it is found in highest amounts in the ocean and consequently in certain bony fish. 99% of the strontium found in the human body is in the

New Perspectives and Natural Compounds for Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions are generating greater medical and research interest as public awareness grows, especially in terms of their impact on younger and more vulnerable populations. A recent study found there are approximately 30,000 concussions or head related injuries reported annually among the 12 to 19 year old age group, with over 80% being sports related.1 While these numbers are increasing every year, the majority of concussions are still not being reported, so the true numbers are most likely underestimated. An explosion of recent research has uncovered some of the pathophysiological pathways involved in TBI. While one

Nitric Oxide and Bone Cell Formation

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a simple molecule consisting of one atom of nitrogen and one of oxygen, making it even simpler than water. Research into the effects of this small but important molecule began in the 1970’s when scientists started to examine why blood vessels relaxed when certain compounds were added. This led to the discovery of NO and its amazing effects in the body, with NO being named the molecule of the year in 1992. In 1998, twenty-some years after this research first began, a Nobel Prize was awarded to these researchers for their breakthrough discoveries regarding NO. Over

Memory and Cognitive Performance

The human brain is like no other in terms of its ability to simultaneously synthesize information and carry out complex tasks on a regular basis. While it would be naïve to say that we fully understand its interrelationship with the rest of the body and our environment, modern research has made great strides to elucidate its various structures and functions. Here is a brief look at our current understanding of cognitive function and the risk factors that threaten its well-being. While a focus on memory is highlighted, all aspects of cognitive performance including language, reaction time, focus, mood and information

Skeletal Development and its Influential Factors

A typical adult human skeleton consists of 206 bones. The skeleton gives support to the body and acts as a reservoir of various minerals. In spite of its solid appearance, the bone constitutes a very dynamic tissue that undergoes a continuous process of formation and resorption. The complex molecular mechanisms regulating bone remodeling are not fully understood, but we know that it involves a crosstalk between two types of cells: bone breakdown and resorption cells called osteoclasts and cells that form bone called osteoblasts. Osteoclasts degrade the mineral matrix in response to a variety of signals, while osteoblasts deposit new

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