Herbal Dietary Supplements Glossary
Supplement glossary containing definitions of the most popular herbal dietary supplements used for health, fitness and bodybuilding.
ACETYL-L-CARTINE (ALC): Helps in the conversion of choline into acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter in the body. ALC also increases the release of sufficient levels of acetylcholine necessary for transmission of messages in the brain from one nerve cell to another.
ASPARAGUS: The Chinese believe that this herb will increase feelings of love and passion. In India, it is considered effective for increased fertility and helping to relieve discomfort associated with the menstrual cycle.
BACOPIN: Helps improve memory by facilitating repair of damage to the synapse--the protein network in the brain where signals are transmitted from one neuron to another. Bacosides are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in Bacopin help to fortify kinase, the protein in the body responsible for replacing worn-out neurons with new ones.
CHITOSAN: This remarkable substance is derived from the exoskeletons of shellfish. Chitosan is an insoluble non-digestible fiber that bonds with up to 12 times its weight in fatty oils in a process known as polymerization. Taken 30-45 minutes before eating, chitosan can bond to some of the fat content in consumed food. The result is a fat polymer too large to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. Instead, the fat polymer passes safely through the digestive tract and is excreted from the body.
CHONDROITIN SULFATE: Another of the mucopolysaccharides found in cartilage. Acting as a water magnet, chondroitin helps elevate the levels of synovial fluid in the joint. Along with the water attracted by chondroitin are essential nutrients necessary for healthy cartilage and joints.
CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Creatine is produced naturally by the body and is essential for the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is utilized by the muscle fiber during physical exertion. As ATP levels are depleted, muscles become fatigued and levels of lactic acid increase. Supplementing the body with creatine monohydrate helps saturate muscle tissue with stores of creatine helping to increase stamina and decrease recovery time.
D-RIBOSE: A form of sugar that occurs naturally in all living cells. D Ribose is required by the body for several important functions including the productions of ATP and Nulceotides--important compounds necessary for the production of energy in muscle cells. D-Ribose may also have significant benefits for the cardiovascular system. Research indicates that ribose helps the heart recover faster following intense training. The body may typically require several days in order to recover from a single workout. The intake of D-Ribose helps increase the production of nucleotides and may reduce recovery time from days to mere hours!
DANDELION: This remarkable herb is high in essential minerals, helps reduce blood pressure, enhances liver function and rids the body of excess fluid. Dandelion is regarded by many as one measurement in helping prevent breast cancer and support uterine and ovarian health.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethonal): Formally sold as a prescription medication, DMAE is available today as a dietary supplement. Like ALC, DMAE is thought to have a direct effect on the production of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
GARCINIA CAMBOGIA: This herb has been a part of traditional Hindu medicine for thousands of years. Only recently was it discovered that one of the active substances found in garcinia, (-)Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), proved effective in helping to suppress the appetite, burn fat and inhibit fat synthesis! HCA competes for one of the enzymes, Acetyl Coenzyme A, produced by the body necessary for fat synthesis. The result is a diminished level of fat that can be synthesized and stored by the body. The fat that cannot be stored is utilized by the body and leads to increased energy levels and decreased appetite.
GINKGO BILOBA EXTRACT: Study after study demonstrates the benefits of this amazing herb helping to improve circulation in the brain, increase mental alertness and concentration. Ginkgo Biloba is also being researched for possible benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer s disease.
GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE: A long chain amino-sugar naturally occurring in cartilage. It is the major building block of the proteoglycans and used specifically for production of glycosamineoglycans (GAGs). GAGs are proteins that bind water within the structure of cartilage. Glucosamine also stimulates the chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans.
GREEN LIPPED SEA MUSSEL: Contains rich stores of mucopolysaccharides and high levels of hyaluronic acid a major constituent of synovial fluid and helps to lubricate the joint and protect against cartilage damage.
GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE: Dating back to ancient Ayurvedic medicine, the common name of this herb is gumma which means sugar destroyer!. In addition to helping regulate blood sugar levels in the blood, gymnema sylvestre may also inhibit a certain degree of sugar from being absorbed.
L-GLUTAMINE: Thought to have a positive effect for increased concentration, this amino acid is known to play an important role in helping to combat stress, elevate energy levels in the brain and increase mental alertness.
L-HISTIDINE: An important amino acid usually found to be deficient in those suffering from arthritis. Proper intake of L-histidine may prove beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with joint disease or injury.
L-LEUCINE, L-ISOLEUCINE & L-VALINE: Know as the branched chain amino acids, these three building blocks of protein are recognized as essential amino acids--they are available to the body only through dietary intake. Supplementing the diet with each of these amino acids may be especially important to athletes due to the potential benefits in sustaining muscular strength and stamina.
L-TAURINE: One of the most abundant amino acids found in muscle tissue, taurine is considered to play an important role in glucose and amino acid metabolism. It also serves as an anti-catabolic agent. Intense training can deplete the levels of taurine faster than the body can produce it. Adequate supplementation may be extremely beneficial for athletes.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): An essential nutrient required by the body and plays an important role in the production of collagen. Insufficient levels of MSM can lead to the inability of the body to repair or replace damaged tissue. MSM also plays a significant part in controlling pain caused by inflamed tissue cells created by the inability of cells to remain permeable and regulate fluid levels in response to atmospheric pressure changes. This may be why many people claim to be able to predict weather changes by the pain in their joints. MSM helps regulate fluid transfer in the tissues by keeping the cell walls flexible and permeable.
N-ACETYL-CYSTEINE (NAC): This potent antioxidant may offer important benefits for athetes. Recent research indicates that NAC may help reduce the amount of lean body mass lost during anaerobic exercise.
PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE: This phospholipid is present in the structure of cell membranes. Research conducted in Italy during the 1980 s established that phosphatidylserine improved memory deficits, restored age-dependant electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities, prevented the decline in learning capacity and prevented some degenerative nerve cell changes in certain areas of the brain.
POTASSIUM (Gluconate): This important mineral is a major component of the cells in our body and is required for muscle contraction, production of energy, synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. Even the beating of the heart depends on potassium. Potassium benefits athletic performance, but is depleted from the body by excessive loss of fluid like that experienced during intense workouts.
SHARK CARTILAGE: In addition to its natural content of chondroitin and glucosamine, shark cartilage displays some amazing properties that go beyond those of refined mucopolysaccharides. Research demonstrates shark cartilage to be a powerful and non-toxic anti-inflammatory. Of particular interest to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is the potential effect of shark cartilage strengthening the immune system.
SIBERIAN GINSENG: For centuries, this amazing herb has been held in high regard for its many medicinal properties including increased fertility and stimulation. It is also thought to be beneficial for the prostate.
ST. JOHN'S WORT EXTRACT: The use of this herb dates back hundreds of years and is considered an effective treatment by many for depression and anxiety. Demand for the herb continues today as a natural mood elevator.
TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS: This herbal extract may help increase testosterone levels by enhancing the body s production of luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. LH is produced by the pituitary gland and plays an important role in triggering natural testosterone production.
VINPOCETIN: An oxygenator and activator of cerebral metabolism. Helps increase levels of glucose consumption by the brain for increased energy to brain cells, increases microcirculation through brain capillaries and improves cerebral blood flow.