Corydalis: Is This Right for You?

Corydalis blossom in the spring woods

Corydalis is an herb often used in traditional Chinese medicine for pain relief. Experts say it can be used for headaches, menstrual pain and back pain – even back pain caused by nerve problems or muscle spasms.

Though corydalis has been used since ancient times, much of the modern research done on corydalis so far is still in early stages. Studies done in animals suggest that corydalis may be effective at treating pain triggered by cold and may help block inflammation and nerve pain.

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Maca: Is This Right for You?

Peruvian Ginseng (Maca)

If you find yourself dragging through the day, maca could be the pick-me-up boost you’ve been waiting for. Maca, a vegetable also called Peruvian ginseng, has been used for centuries to boost endurance and energy (and as an aphrodisiac).

Packed with protein and other nutrients, maca grows wild in several South American countries including Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Argentina. People living in the Andean highlands have cultivated it as a staple root crop for at least 2,000 years. It can be eaten baked, roasted, prepared as a porridge or taken as a supplement.

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Plant Sterols: Is This Right For You?

Green sprout from pills

Plant sterols, or phytosterols, are naturally occurring plant molecules that are very similar to cholesterol. In the intestines, plant sterols interfere with cholesterol absorption. Researchers have found that when plant sterols are ingested, they are not well absorbed by the body but latch on to cholesterol receptors in your intestines. As a result, less cholesterol is able to pass from your intestines into your bloodstream, so cholesterol levels in the blood are lowered. That cholesterol is instead excreted in your feces. Plant sterols are naturally occurring in many foods and some foods are fortified to include more plant sterols. They are also available in supplement form.

Do They Really Work?
An influential study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995 reported that 2 grams of plant sterols a day for one year lowered LDL cholesterol by 14% and total cholesterol by 10%. A subsequent meta-analysis found that the consumption of an average of 2 grams per day of plant sterols or stanols lowered serum LDL cholesterol by 9-14%. This correlates to a reduction in the risk of heart disease by about 25%. Read more  »

Beach-Ready: Swimsuit Cleanse Testimonial

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On the show, we offer you a lot of suggestions and solutions, and we’re always happy to hear your success stories! On today’s show, we’re introducing the 7-Day Swimsuit Cleanse, based on Dr. Caroline Apovian’s book, The Overnight Diet. According to Dr. Apovian, if you follow this cleanse, you could lose 5 pounds in one week – without giving up the things you love. Read a testimonial from Kerri O’Shea Kirchner, a 30-year-old mom of three from Lancaster, PA. She’s a dedicated Dr. Oz fan and swimsuit-cleanse success story. Read more  »

Diindolylmethane (DIM): Is This Right for You?

supplements

Looking for a superantioxidant to help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases? Diindolymethane (DIM) may be the supplement for you. It’s both an antioxidant and phytonutrient. It can be found in a variety of vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. However, in order to get the recommended amount of DIM, one would have to eat at least two pounds of these vegetables daily.

Some experts also recommend DIM to fight chronic inflammation in the body, especially as it ages. With inflammation, it gets harder for your body to absorb nutrients from food, to keep it’s immune system under control, and fight pain.

Is DIM Effective?
The cancer-fighting data on this supplement is preliminary and mostly done in animal  or in-vitro studies. Because it’s a newer area of research, there has been little research on humans. There is increasing research evidence of its effects on estrogen metabolism, which is important since some dangerous cancers, including breast cancer, can be fueled by excess hormone exposure.

Currently, there are clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that are focusing on using DIM to treat breast, cervical and prostate cancer.

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Aspirin: Is This Right for You?

Is aspirin right for you?

Aspirin has a wide range of health benefits and treatment abilities. Many would consider it a “miracle drug” because it can not only ease everyday aches and pains, but it may save your life. That’s why it’s on Doctor Oz’s ultimate supplement checklist.

People use aspirin to relieve muscle aches, headaches and toothaches and to reduce swelling, prevent blood clots and, most importantly, improve survival after a heart attack. New studies even suggest that taking aspirin can reduce your risk of cancer. However, is this drug for you? And is it completely safe? Read more  »

Capsicum: Is This Right for You?

Chili powder and pepper

Looking for a way to boost the burn in your workout? Adding something hot and spicy to your diet, like capsicum extract, before your workout may optimize your calorie burn.

Capsicum comes from red hot peppers; it’s what gives them its spicy taste. Small levels of capsicum can be found in paprika as well, which is used to flavor less spicy foods like ketchup, cheese and salads.

Capsicum is also available in a capsule form, so you can enjoy capsicum’s benefits if you don’t like spicy foods.

How Does It Work?
Capsicum stimulates metabolism by activating a chain of events in the body that help to melt fat and break it down in the body. It activates the sympathetic nervous system that is associated with thermogenesis, which speeds the body’s oxidation of fat. With exercise, studies have shown that capsicum increases fat oxidation by 42%! Fat oxidation is the process by which the body melts excess fat and converts it into energy. Capsicum has also been shown in some trials to also decrease appetite, improve circulation and have some antioxidant effects. Read more  »

5-HTP: Is This Right for You?

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5-HTP is a chemical compound that is naturally produced in your body as it makes serotonin, an important hormone for regulating your mood. Some doctors consider 5-HTP to be the best natural appetite suppressant. 5-HTP is also naturally produced in various plants, including the seeds of griffonia simplicifolia, a West African shrub. In addition to suppressing your appetite, there is some research that suggests that 5-HTP can also help treating headaches, insomnia, depression and fibromyalgia – but is it right for everybody?

How Does HTP Work?
The body makes 5-HTP naturally from tryptophan and, then, converts it into serotonin. This neurotransmitter has many powerful effects on the brain. Not only does it improve mood, it also suppresses hunger and helps to curb weight gain. Read more  »

Sensa: Is This Right For You?

What if there were a powder that you could sprinkle on your food and cause you to lose weight, no matter what you ate? That powder may be Sensa, a new weight-loss product that claims to change how you smell and taste food. It was created to stimulate the brain in a way that compels you to eat less, and therefore lose weight.

What Is Sensa?
Sensa is a weight-loss program that uses unscented, flavorless crystals called “tastants.” The crystals are sprinkled on food. The power of the tastants comes from its ability to manipulate your sense of smell.

The physician who developed Sensa, Dr. Alan Hirsch,noticed that if patients lost their sense of smell, they experienced significant weight gain. Therefore, Dr. Hirsch developed this supplement to enhance the smell and taste of food.

Sensa targets “sensory-specific satiety.” In other words, it activates the brain’s pathway to satiety through the part of the brain that controls smell. Usually, as you eat, you don’t feel full until a signal from your stomach travels to your brain to tell your brain that you are full – this can take 30 minutes or longer. By targeting sensory-specific satiety, Sensa is designed to make you feel full faster.

In a research study that Dr. Hirsh performed, his participants lost an average of 30 pounds in 6 months. Read more  »