Vitamins

Vitamins are essential biomolecules that act as both catalysts (meaning a substance that increases or decreases the rate of a chemical reaction) and substrates (meaning a molecule that is acted upon by an enzyme) in chemical reactions and are required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body. With the exception of biotin, vitamin D and vitamin K, the body cannot manufacture vitamins — they must be obtained through food or nutritional supplementation. There are 13 known vitamins categorized as either fat-soluble (meaning absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of lipids) and include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K or water-soluble (meaning dissolves easily in water) and include eight B vitamins and vitamin C. The body stores fat-soluble vitamins for long periods of time while water-soluble vitamins (excluding vitamin B12) remain in the body for a short period of time and must be replenished more frequently.

Amniotic Stem Cell Lines May Hold a Potential for Therapy

Scientists at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Harvard School of Medicine report in the Journal of Nature Biotechnology that they have isolated stem cells from amniotic fluid [1]. Further, by introducing growth factors, they were able to get the anmiotic fluid-derived stem cells to differentiate (a concept from developmental biology describing the process by which cells acquire a “type”) into muscle, fat, bone, blood vessel, liver and nerve cells.

Merck Focuses on Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer Drugs

Merck recently announced that it will collaborate with Hong Kong-based Chi-Med, a pharmaceutical firm that focuses on researching, developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals, health supplements and other consumer health and personal care products derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine and botanical ingredients, to develop new cancer drugs.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is native to Iran and was likely domesticated during the Bronze Age to feed horses arriving from Central Asia. It was later used in Greece around 490 B.C. as horse feed for the Persian army. The name alfalfa comes from the Arabian al-fac-facah, for “father of all foods”. A perennial herb, alfalfa was and is easy to grow, thriving in many varied climates throughout the world, and provides an excellent protein-rich food source for cattle, horses, sheep and other animals.

Welcome to Highlight HEALTH

Highlight HEALTH serves as an information medium to provide knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements, nutrition and health news. We evaluate scientific information, disseminate research results and educate readers who are seeking better health to promote an enhanced quality of life.

The information presented at Highlight HEALTH is intended for the general public, patients, healthcare providers and caregivers, and is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

Improvement of dietary habits can be crucial for the prevention of disease and promotion of health. Similarly, vitamin, mineral and herbal supplementation can play an important role as diet alone is often inadequate to provide all essential nutrients. Along with diet, the elimination of household toxins can improve home health and have a significant impact on a person’s overall health.

Articles on Highlight HEALTH reflect the following:

  1. Documentation and References: Health science, including research in nutrition, biochemistry, metabolism and medicine, are essential resources for determining the effects of nutritional supplementation. Published clinical trials are required for determining supplement efficacy and safety. Undocumented claims and hearsay are not acceptable for website publication. All articles presented on Highlight HEALTH include bibliographic citations and research article abstracts from published scientific literature.
  2. Home Health: Your home should be the safest place in the world. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 89% of poison exposures occur in the home and cosmetics/personal care products and cleaning products are two of the most common forms of poisoning for children under the age of six [1]. Most household cleaners contain toxic chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia and petroleum [2]. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has identified more than 150 chemicals in the home that have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities [3].
  3. Myths and Education: What you don’t know can hurt you. In the world today, it’s difficult to sort out the corporate propaganda from what’s best for you and your health. Unfortunately, much of the health advice and possibly care we receive is motivated by marketing objectives and individual profit. Educate yourself so that you can protect you and the ones you love.

References

  1. Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System, American Association of Poison Control Centers, 2000. Quick Facts on Poison Exposure in the U.S.
  2. Answers.com – chemical poisoning.
  3. Dadd, DL. Home Safe Home. Tarcher, 1997.