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Rhododendron caucasicum

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I've posted this over at my home. It sparked a few pages worth of posts but nothing on sourcing it. Then we discovered a place that offered it for $145 per kilo. Just wondering what ya guys think of this interesting little bastard.

Rhododenron caucasicum
The genus Rhododendron (Ericaceae) is one of the largest and most diverse genera in the plant kingdom. This genus consists of over 800 species distributed throughout the world. The name is derived from the Greek rhodon, meaning rose, and dendron, meaning tree.

Rhododendron caucasicum (high altitude snow rose) is an elegant evergreen bush, inhabiting the elevations of 10,000 to 13,000 feet high in the Caucasian Mountains of the northern region in the Republic of Georgia. Rhododendron caucasicum, indigenous to the Caucasian Mountains, contains a unique phytochemical composition that is specific only to this particular species which grows in the northern part of the Georgian Republic. This species possesses various health-promoting properties and it’s the only species of Rhododendron genus that has been proven safe for human consumption (Rossiyski 1954; Bostanashvili and Kemertelidze 1956; Gedevanishvili and Tzereteli 1955, 1956, 1960).

In Georgian traditional medicine, the Rhododendron caucasicum remedy is used for coughs, removing phlegm and chronic bronchitis, and it is used in the treatment of arthritis and gout. It is also used for myalgic pains whether rheumatic or not, but especially of the facial and ocular region which appears to provide special indications for its use. Tea of Rhododendron caucasicum’s spring leaves and buds also have been used in treatment of glaucoma, heart irregularities, depression, burst blood vessels in the eyes, bacterial and viral infections, etc.

Phyto-active molecules in Rhododendron caucasicum

Since the beginning of the 20th century until now, Rhododendron caucasicum has been the subject of intensive phytochemical and clinical studies that highlighted its medicinal properties. This research was significantly intensified during the 1930's primarily as the result of a Georgian scientist, Dr. Sergei Vasil’evich Durmishidze.

After graduation from Tblisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, Durmishidze went on to do graduate study in Hungary. He soon was selected to become assistant to his professor, the revered Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt, M. D., Ph.D., the scientist who would discover, characterize and name Vitamin C; one of the accomplishments for which Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937. At the time Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered Vitamin C, he simultaneously discovered, characterized and named P-vitamin activity.

Unlike other vitamins which are singular nutrients, P-vitamin represents a group of nutrients – each of which is known as a phenolic and/or a flavonoid – and each which exhibits P-vitamin activity.

The primary benefits of P-vitamin are that 1.) P-vitamin must be present for Vitamin C to be absorbed and processed, and 2.) P-vitamin protects against capillary fragility. Examples of capillary fragility include heart disease, strokes in which the blood vessels of the brain become weak and burst; varicose veins; hemorrhoids; bloody noses; bleeding gums; broken capillaries of the eye, face and body; etc.

Following study with Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi, Durmishidze returned to the Republic of Georgia to complete his doctoral work. There he continued his plant and vitamin research which initially, primarily concentrated on Rhododendron caucasicum, a plant in which he had witnessed, during his childhood, what he later realized was indicative of strong P-vitamin activity.

Because of Dr. Durmishidze, and the revolutionary discoveries being made in the field of phytomedicines and vitaminology, the studies of secondary plant metabolites with P-vitamin activity became the first priority for scientists at Tblisi State University. In 19..., one of the world’s first department of flavonoids was founded at Tblisi State University. Eventually Georgian research motivated official Soviet governmental research to begin as well.

The research of Professor Durmishidze (Durmishidze 1981), demonstrated that the extract from Rhododendron caucasicum did indeed provide physiologically significant P-vitamin activity. The active constituents in Rhododendron caucasicum responsible for its pharmacological activity are group of phenolics acids and flavonoids (Egger 1962; Shalashvili 1967a, b; 1973; Harborne and Williams 1971). Recently scientists discovered a new compound, dihydroflavonol, called taxifolin and its glycoside astilbin (taxifolins) along with highly active flavonoids, which represent major active phytomedicinal constituents in Rhododendron caucasicum.

Following a wealth of pharmacological and toxicological clinical studies, in 1954 the U. S. S. R. Health Department recommended Rhododendron caucasicum-based extract for treatment in cases of high blood pressure and chronic venous insufficiency (Turova et al. 1950; Rossiyski 1954).

Rhododendron caucasicum
Major physiologically active constituents: flavonoids and phenolic acids
Phenylpropanoids and organic acid: chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, rhododendrins, salidroside, tyrosol and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives.

Flavonoids: taxifolin+astilbin (taxifolins), quercitrin, quercetin and quercetin-glycosides, kaempherol, myrecetin, rutin, isoramnithin, kaempherol, quercetin, arbutin.

Proanthocyanidins and Anthocyanins: based on cyanidin, delphinidin, petunidin, malvidin.

Catechins: (-)- Epicatechin, (-)- epicatechingallate, (+)-catechins, (+)-gallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin.

The chemical composition of Rhododendron caucasicum is strongly dependent on the season of harvest. Consequently, the pharmacological and medicinal properties of extracts are dependent on their chemical compositions.

Historically, to make the unique Alpine tea, only spring leaves and buds of Rhododendron caucasicum are harvested for use. Early harvesting assures that the concentration of several key physiologically active compounds such as flavonoids, taxifolins and phenolic acid derivatives are the highest. Only spring leaves extracts of Rhododendron caucasicum, high in special phenolics, possess the highest bioavailability and pharmacological activity.

The concentration of hydroxycinnamic, chlorogenic and gallic acid derivatives in spring leaves and buds extract was estimated as 10 to 15%, while in the extracts derived from summer-fall’s mature leaves the concentration of these compounds did not exceed 1 to 2%. In addition, the presence of high taxifolins was detected in buds and spring’s young leaves, while they are virtually absent in summer-fall’s leaves extract. The presence of taxifolins (taxifolin + astilbin) is very rare in the plant kingdom.

To appreciate fully the pharmacological properties of whole Rhododendron caucasicum extract, we provide a brief overview of the major active constituents responsible for its medicinal properties.

Rhododendron caucasicum
a) Chemically taxifolin represents a flavonoid dihydroquercetin (do not confuse with quercetin!) and astilbin represents its glycoside form (3-0-alpha-1-rhamnosyl-2R,3R-dihydroquercetin).
Taxifolins, as well as hydroxycinnamic acid, chlorogenic acid and gallic acid derivatives, are the most perspective natural antioxidants, and possess the highest antioxidative activity among all previously known antioxidants (Teselkin et al. 1996; Tiukavkina et al. 1996; Prior and Cao 1999). Each are able to act as protectors of the human organism against the destructive affects of free radicals, which are one of the main causes of development of age-related neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
c) Taxifolins show health promoting effects on blood vessels and provide reliable protection against harmful factors that cause atherosclerosis, cardiac, hepatic, and bronchi-pulmonary diseases. Taxifolins helps protect the liver against toxic substances (Closa et al. 1997) and stimulate transport of bile from the liver cells to the gall bladder.
d) In compliance with data of clinical investigations, the following indications for application of taxifolins were stated: Bronchopulmonary diseases, including acute pneumonia, chronic obstructive bronchitis, bronchial asthma (infectious-dependent form) in exacerbation as a pathogenic therapy. Myocardial ischemic (non-stable stenocardia/angina pectoris) supraventricular rhythm disturbances in composition of complex therapy in combination with other medical drugs.
e) Taxifolins stimulates the release of fat from adipose tissue (Loose connective tissue in which fat cells accumulate) (Motoyashiki et al. 1998), and thereby makes those cells available to be burned off during exercise.
f) Taxifolins stimulates the norepinephrine-induced lipolysis (decomposition) of rat fat cells (Han et al. 1998).
g) Taxifolins exhibited potent and dose-dependent antinociceptive (pain relief) action against acetic acid-induced abdominal constriction when administered intraperitoneally or orally. Taxifolins were more potent than acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and paracetamol (acetaminophen), two standard drugs used for comparison (Cheninel-Filho et al. 2000).
h) Taxifolins inhibited eye lens and recombinant human aldose reductase; inhibited the accumulation of a glucose reduction product, sorbitol, in human red blood cells; maintained the clarity of eye lens incubated with a high concentration of glucose; and may be effective for preventing osmotic stress in hyperglycemia (Haragushi et al. 1996).

Based on clinical trials taxifolins were included to the list of medical preparations permitted for medical application as an antioxidant and capillary protective preparation (Provisional Pharmacopoeia Article 42-2398-94 approved on July 29, 1996, Order of Minister of Health and Medical Industry of Russian Federation No. 302 of 29.07.1996).

Rhododendron caucasicum
3,4-Hydroxycinnamic acid (3,4-HA):

a) Inhibits the activity of the neuronal 5-lipoxigenase (Koshihara et al. 1984). Neuronal 5-lipoxigenase is the key enzyme in the synthesis of leukotrienes, inflammatory eicosanoids that are capable of promoting neurodegeneration. The aging process increases neuronal 5-lipoxigenase. 5-lipoxigenase expression might play a significant role in the development of aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases (Uz et al. 1998).
3,4-HA tends to inhibit platelet aggregation and biosynthesis of thromboxane. Tromboxanes act as a mediator causing bronchoconstriction in allergy-related disorders (Koshihara et al. 1984).
c) 3,4-HA as structural analog of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine inhibits peroxynitrite mediated oxidation of dopamine (Kerry and Rice-Evans 1999). Why is this finding so important? An elevated level of reactive peroxynitrite species is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Abe et al. 1997; Hensley et al. 1998; Good et al. 1998). Reactive nitro species promotes the oxidation of serotonin.
d) 3,4-HA resulted in a statistically significant increase of vitamin E both in plasma and lipoprotein. Lipoproteins from 3,4-HA acid-fed rats were more resistant than controls to Cu2+-catalyzed oxidation (Nardini et al. 1995, 1997; Vieira et al. 1998).
e) Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL/bad cholesterol) are toxic to endothelial cells (A layer of smooth thin cells which line the heart and blood vessels). Toxic concentrations of mildly oxidized LDL induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of endothelial cells. The presence of 3,4-HA prevents the apoptosis of endothelial cells induced by oxidized LDL. In addition, 3,4-HA acts as a cytoprotective (cell protective) agent (Laranjinha et al. 1994; Vieira et al. 1998).
f) 3,4-HA possess high antihypoglycemic effect reducing blood sugar levels (Hsu et al. 2000; Cheng and Liu 2000).
g) 3,4-HA possesses strong antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus type I and type II (Thiel et al. 1984).

Rhododendron caucasicum
Solvent-free extraction
Almost all antioxidant compounds sold in the marketplace are extracted using encyclopedic amounts of organic solvents. Perfect examples are grape seed and pine bark extracts, sold under several different names, which became well-known during the early 1990's as best selling sources of proanthocyanadins.

The methods of extracting grape seed and pine bark extracts almost always include the use of organic solvents. The organic solvents used are highly toxic and cannot be completely removed from the substances after the extraction process. Toxic residue remains in the end products consumed day-after-day by the public.

The irony is that grape seed extract and pine bark extract products are purchased, in-part, because of their reported free radical neutralizing properties. However, the toxic organic solvents which those same products contain produce powerful free radicals. Therefore, much of the free radical neutralizing activities of grape seed and pine bark extracts are spent cleaning up the very free radicals they create.

Rhododendron caucasicum is not only by nature a far more effective free radical neutralizer, not even a trace of organic solvents can be found in Rhododendron caucasicum because no organic solvents are used in its extraction or processing from beginning to end.

Chemical Analysis – Toxic Organic Solvent Residue PPM
Extract Chloroform Butanol Ethylacetate
Rhododendron caucasicum extract 0 0 0
Grape Seed extract 50 40 21
Pine Bark extract 50 27 13
Gas chromatographic analysis to determine the parts per million (PPM) of organic
solvents found in substances/products following processing.

When we drink tea or eat food, the body extracts the nutrients using water and low pH. Therefore, to assure maximum potency, antioxidants should be extracted by using water, and only water, as a solvent. Rhododendron caucasicum extract that is sold worldwide is extracted using only water and a high-pressure filtration technique. The concentration of total phenolic compounds in Rhododendron caucasicum leaves extract was estimated as 40 to 50% dry weight (Shalashvili 1967; Shalashvili and Djishkariani 1969; Shalashvili 1973).

Rhododendron caucasicum
Weight management
More than 54.9% of Americans adults are overweight; 22.3% of American adults are obese. (Allison et al. 1999). Overweight and obesity can be causatives of, or increase the severity of, nearly all other adverse health conditions. The cost of treatment for weight-related illnesses, premature death and lost wages due to being overweight or obese is estimated at $99.2 billion dollars per year in the United States alone, and the toll of the illnesses continues to increase.

Between 1960 and 1994, the prevalence of overweight American adults increased from 31.6 to 32.6% of the population, while the prevalence of obese American adults grew from 13.4 to 22.3% of the population (NIDDK 2001; Flegal et al. 1998). From 1991 to 1998, obesity increased in every state of the United States, in both genders, and across all races/ethnicities, age groups, educational levels, and smoking statuses (NIDDK 2001; Mokdad et al. 1999).

Overweight and obesity have become two of the most common disorders of the 21st century. Overweight and obesity are, at least partially, results of rapid economic evolution and the inability of our bodies to keep pace.

Since the beginning of human history, our species has evolved in circumstances where nutrients were in short supply. One never knew if the next meal would be found in an hour, a day, a week, or longer. In order to survive, our bodies had to adapt to those conditions by developing physiological methods to combat weight loss and retain energy stores. The dilemma is that we now are in the modern age, a period that is a mere blink of the eye in evolutionary terms, and suddenly big portions of tasty, varied foods, at reasonable prices, are available everywhere. However, our bodies are still programmed to collect and store fat to protect our organs from nutrient depletion – and the bigger we become, the more provisions our bodies attempt to maintain. In other words, being overweight forces us to eat more and more. This and lack of daily exercise (or often the lack of any physical activity), also slows the process of eliminating unwanted pounds. And the more inactive we become, the more easily we become fatigued, depressed and lethargic, which further reduces any motivation we have to exercise. This is compounded by the fact that when we do diet, the body, to protect its existence, slows the release of energy, thereby creating more even fatigue, depression and lethargy – all of which leads to further weight retention. The good news is that there is a solution.

The absorption of dietary fats is dependent on the action of pancreatic triglyceride lipase (DeCaro et al. 1977). Triglyceride lipases are enzymes required for fat metabolism. In humans, triglyceride lipases are found in the gastrointestinal tract, bound to the surface of the intestinal wall, which comes in contact with food (Chapus et al. 1988; Carey and Hernell 1992). The breakdown of dietary fats is critical to facilitate nutrient absorption by these intestinal membranes. Dietary triglycerides must be broken down to free fatty acids and monoacylglycerols before they are absorbed (Carey and Hernell 1992). In the absence of triglyceride lipases, dietary fats are not absorbed and, instead, are excreted from the body during bowel movements.

Of course, our bodies need some fat (essential fat) in order to perform properly. Therefore, if we could create a safe method to partially block lipase activity, it would be a very helpful tool in reducing fat absorption from the diet.

Drug companies have introduced a fat blocker for weight control. Orlistat, an inhibitor of gastrointestinal lipase, limits the absorption of ingested fat. The Endocrinology and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (FDA) unanimously recommended the approval of Orlistat to help people lose weight and decrease obesity-related health risks. Orlistat (also know as XENICAL) represents the first of a new class of antiobesity drugs called lipase inhibitors, which act in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent the absorption of fat. Since our bodies will suffer by total elimination of fat, it is wise to be sure a drug is only a partial lipase inhibitor and not one that abolishes all lipase function.

A search for natural products that could partially block the activity of the pancreatic enzyme lipase also was successful. Clinical research showed that physiologically relevant lipase-inhibiting properties are found in Rhododendron caucasicum extract obtained from the young spring leaves, but not from summer-fall mature leaves.

The individual effects of two types of Rhododendron caucasicum extract from: a) spring leaves, and, summer-fall leaves on the digestion of fat and protein were studied in 132 volunteers at Moscow State Hospital and Center of Modern Medicine (Abidoff 1997).

150 mg. of either Rhododendron caucasicum extract were given to patients three times a day prior to food intake. Samples of feces were collected and analyzed for total fat and protein. A control group (placebo) received the same food, but without either of the extracts.

Results of this relatively simple, but scientifically very elegant clinical study indicated that Rhododendron caucasicum extract derived from young spring leaves stimulated fat excretion with feces up to 15 to 20% compared to the summer-fall extract and placebo groups. Feces of patients who received the spring leaves extract were high in fat and low in protein. Contrarily, feces of patients who received summer-fall leaves extract were high in protein and very low in fat. Thus, the administration of the spring extract of Rhododendron caucasicum stimulated the release of fat, while summer-fall leaves extract stimulated the release of protein.
We do not have available comparative studies of the effectiveness of Rhododendron caucasicum extract versus Orlistat (pharmaceutical lipase enzyme blocker), but results provided above clearly indicate that fat-blocking properties of Rhododendron caucasicum young spring leaves extract is quite significant and very promising.

At the present time it is very difficult to identify specific compounds in Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extract that are responsible for lipase-inhibiting properties. However, we tend to think that the presence of all naturally occurring constituents in Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extract are essential, and we strongly recommend that standardizations of Rhododendron caucasicum spring leave extract use all of its major constituents: hydroxycinnamic, chlorogenic and gallic acids, and taxifolins. Only careful analysis of extracts for the presence of key positive compounds will help to avoid any possible attempt of adulteration/substitution of this unique extract with inferior summer-fall leaves extract.

During three months of clinical trials, patients who received Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extract reduced their original weight from 5 to 20 pounds, and showed statistically significant increases in the body protein: fat ratios. This was observed in comparison with patients who received the summer-fall extract as well as with placebo control group (Abidoff 1997). Equally important is the weight was lost without the use of any of the popular, yet potentially quite harmful, weight loss substances found on the market today (Haller and Benowitz 2000; HN 2000).

Some people might think that a reduction of 5 to 20 pounds within the first three months is not enough. But according to researchers, fast weight loss is not healthy and people who lose weight very quickly regain weight very quickly. It is therefore advisable to loose weight slowly, and to keep in mind that there are substantial health benefits to even modest weight loss.

A study by Dr. Lynn Moore, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University, reviewed files of about 400 people who participated in the Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948. Those participants in the study, between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, who lost four or more pounds and kept if off for four years, were 25% less likely to develop high blood pressure during the next forty years. Participants between the ages of 50 and 65 years old who did the same were 30% less likely to develop high blood pressure. Participants who lost 8 to 15 pounds and kept it off for four years cut their diabetes risk by 33%.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Dr. Moore stated. “Even that modest amount of weight loss makes a big difference. That’s an exciting health message (McKinney 2000; Zazinski 2000).”

As Dr. Moore’s research shows, it’s equally important to keep off any weight you do lose. For people who are entering those middle adult years, the thing to do is not allow yourself to gain weight.

To prevent weight gain, lose weight, and keep off weight already lost, we should simultaneously do two things: Reduce fat intake and stimulate the release of fat from adipose tissue where non-metabolized fat (triglycerides) is stored.

Adipose tissue fat is conservative and very difficult to force out of its tissue-efficient storage, but there is a lot of fat in that storage with which we can work. For example, an adult with 33 lbs. of body fat has more than 110,000 kcalories of lipid (fat) fuel stores, which could provide 2,000 calories daily for about 2 months.

It is interesting to note that exercise, in addition to burning calories, stimulates adipose tissue fat release with the action of a special enzyme called “hormone sensitive lipase,” so named because its activity is regulated by catecholamines. The hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, glucagon, and adrenocorticotropic activate hormone-sensitive lipase, which catalyzes (stimulates) the rate limiting step in adipocyte (fat) lipolysis (decomposition). By catalyzing the rate-limiting step in adipose tissue lipolysis, hormone-sensitive lipase plays a key role in the regulation of immobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue. Hormone senstive lipase deals with “warehoused” fat stored in adipose tissue and is quite different from pancreatic lipase that was presumably inhibited by spring Rhododendron caucasicum extract.

Japanese researchers Motoyashiki et al. (1998) recently demonstrated that taxifolins – one of the major compounds in Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves – stimulates fat release from adipose tissue. Remember that Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extract was high in taxifolins (2 to 5%). We believe that taxifolins-dependent adipose fat release might be a second part of the weight management story observed in the abovementioned clinical trial. In addition, Dr. Motoyashiki et al. discovered that taxifolins enhanced the release of lipoprotein lipase activity from fat pads. Lipolysis in the fat pads was stimulated by the presence of taxifolins alone in a dose-dependent manner.

In another study Dr. Han (1998) observed that taxifolins stimulate the norepinephrine-induced lipolysis in rat fat cells. Furthermore taxifolins stimulate adrenocorticotrophic hormone-induced lipolysis. Dr. Han also studied the effect of taxifolins on the prevention of obesity in mice. High-fat diet-induced obese mice were treated with herbal extracts containing high taxifolins in combination with green tea for 10 weeks. The effects on noradrenaline-induced lipolysis were examined with isolated fat cells and a cell-free system consisting of lipid droplets and hormone-sensitive lipase. It was demonstrated that the antiobesity effects of taxifolins in high-fat diet-treated mice might be due partly to the enhancing effect of flavonoids on noradrenaline-induced lipolysis in adipose tissue. The results suggest herbal extracts high in taxifolins might be an effective crude drug for the treatment of obesity and fatty liver caused by a high-fat diet. These results indicate that Rhododendron caucasicum, high in taxifolins, as well as the extract Rhodiola rosea, high in rosavins (See Chapter 5.), are the best “fat-mobilizers.”

In conclusion, we must emphasize that supplements of special herbal extracts along with a low fat diet will help to reduce weight significantly. However, the supplementation of Rhododendron caucasicum extract in combination with daily physical activity will help to control weight permanently.

For more information on weight management, see chapter 5: Rhodiola rosea and Rhododendron caucasicum: Synergetic effect of weight reduction.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Prevention of, and treatment for, heart disease
The functioning heart is the signature of life for all multicellular organisms exceeding .02 to .04 inches in diameter. The human heart is a hollow, muscular organ which weighs only 9 to 12 ounces. Its intrinsic conduction system generates electrical impulses that cause it to contract; an action which is heard and felt as a heartbeat. During each contraction, the heart squeezes out about 2½ ounces of blood, then relaxes, then contracts again. Each day over 100,000 rhythmic contractions pump about 1835 gallons of blood through over 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. Thus the tissues of the body are supplied with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to sustain life (Tortora and Anagnostakos 1990; Burns 1997; Frazier 1997).

For many centuries, Rhododendron caucasicum has been used in Georgian folk medicine to support healthy heart function and to prevent and treat adverse heart conditions. Research indicates that Rhododendron caucasicum’s powerful P-vitamin activity, and adaptogenic and antioxidant properties, help normalize heart function and blood chemistries, and help protect the heart from, and repair damage caused by, free radicals, high blood pressure, etc. These indications are supported by the results of clinical trials in which Rhododendron caucasicum was administered to heart patients.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Positive effect on atherosclerotic and heart attack patients
Prof. D. M. Rossiyski, M. D., Meritorious Science Worker at the Russian Medical Academy, conducted a clinical study using Rhododendron caucasicum extract. These tests were performed under clinical conditions at the Cardiovascular Health and Prophylactic Centers at the First Moscow Central Hospital. All together 70 test subjects were diagnosed with circulatory insufficiency and atherosclerosis, with primary damage to the aorta and coronary vessels, and were under observation. Some patients had high blood pressure, vestigial occurrences of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cardiac insufficiency. The dose of Rhododendron caucasicum extract was 150 mg. three times per day administered over a period of 15 days.
Results: The pains suffered in the chest and behind the breastbone in those who had them disappeared. Decreased blood pressure normalized to an average of 110/70, coronary circulation improved and the content of cholesterol in the blood serum decreased (Rossiyski 1954).

Rhododendron caucasicum
Positive effect on rheumatic damage to the heart
Eighty patients 19 to 60 years old with manifestations of cardiac insufficiency were under observation at the First Moscow Central Hospital. Along with their usual antirheumatic treatments (antibiotics, corticosteroids, glycosides), Rhododendron caucasicum extract was administered. The dose was 130 mg. three times per day. Improvements were seen in their general health, their blood pressure had gone down and their cardiac function had stabilized (Rossiyski 1954).

Positive effect on mitral valve prolapse (MVP)
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is one of the most common cardiac problems, and is thought to affect anywhere from 5 to 20% of the general population. Although males are affected, females predominate. MVP symptoms seldom begin before the early teenage years; approximately ages 14 in girls and 15 in boys. However, people of any age may be affected. MVP is a congenital disease thought to be inherited as a dominant trait; this syndrome is sometimes called dysautonomia. When a person’s mitral valve does not function normally, it may cause one of the portions of the valve to "billow" backward slightly into the upper chamber during the heart's contraction. This is called a prolapse. The "billowing" usually creates a clicking sound, a murmur, that can be heard with a stethoscope.

While approximately 60% of people with MVP experience no symptoms whatsoever, 40% suffer from mild to severe symptoms which usually include one or more of the following: irregular heartbeat, tachycardia, chest pain, panic attack, fatigue and weakness, or fainting. People with MVP also are extra vulnerable, especially following certain dental or surgical procedures, to bacterial endocarditis – a rare but potentially fatal infection of the mitral valve and lining of the heart (AHA 2001; MVPCA 2001; SMVPS 2001; HIN 1997).

Drs. Gukasian and Ivanova performed clinical studies at Moscow State Hospital on 30 people ages 15 to 52 years old who had been diagnosed with 3rd degree insufficiency of the Mitral Valve.

Results: The treatments of 150 mg. of Rhododendron caucasicum three times per day significantly improved and normalized the general physical states, pulses and arterial pressures of the test subjects. Even the subjects who were not expected to improve had some improvement in their general and physical states after receiving Rhododendron caucasicum extract. Improvements were obvious in those who were taking the extract over those who did not receive it. The average heartbeats in those receiving the extract were lowered from 90 to 70 beats per minute. The systolic blood pressure was lowered from an average of 177 to 160 mm Hg. (Place reference here.)

Rhododendron caucasicum
Antiarthritis activity
Arthritis and rheumatism are among the most common chronic pathological conditions in the U. S. A. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the term arthritis refers to more than 100 separate conditions. All of these can affect quality of life and deprive people of their physical and financial independence. Nearly 43 million Americans have arthritis (AF 2001). Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease is one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is the substance on the articular surfaces of the bone that acts as a cushion. Cartilage breakdown causes the surface bone to rub against the opposing bone causing pain and loss of movement. This disease is most commonly found in middle-aged and older people and can range from being very mild to severe.

Osteoarthritis affects the hands and weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, feet and back. There is such a high frequency of relatively mild OA found in society (subclinical) that it tends to obscure its major impact on our health as a nation. The exact causes of OA are not known. Although age is a leading risk factor, research has shown that OA is not an inevitable part of aging. A variety of factors may lead to osteoarthritis including obesity, joint inflammation and chronic infection. Musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cost the U. S. economy an estimated $65 billion per year in care, lost wages and annual productivity (AF 2001).

There is one theory about the overall cause of arthritis that has to do with the abnormal release of the enzyme hyaluronidase from the cartilage cells, which leads to cartilage breakdown and destruction of the joint. Hyaluronidase breaks down the hyaluronic acid that is an essential constituent in collagen. In medical research literature this enzyme is known to play a crucial role in the activation of procarcinogens (PCG). These PCGs are initiators of cancerous activity in the bowel (colon cancer). Factors that influence the activity of this enzyme include diet, pH and microbial ecology in the gut (Ref. National BioTech Laboratory, 1996).

Rhododendron caucasicum extract possesses strong activity against hyaluronidase. Perhaps the antiarthitic activity of Rhododendron caucasicum is based on its inhibition of Hyaluronidase. Rhododendron has been used in Siberian and Chinese Folk Medicine to treat arthritis for more than century. A study compared the antihyaluronidase activity of Rhododendron caucasicum, Grape seed and Pine bark extracts. Results presented here were obtained at the Georgian Institute of Plant Biochemistry. The results clearly indicate that the antihyaluronidase activity of Rhododendron caucasicum extract was much stronger when compared with common proanthocyanidins containing extracts such as Grape seed and Pine Bark:

The effect of Rhododendron caucasicum extract on hyaluronidase activity also was tested in vivo on animal models (rabbits). After preparation of the test area, 0.05% of hyaluronidase was injected together with a blue color dye. The rate of distribution of blue color in the skin was then measured at time zero and after 20 minutes. The rate of color distribution throughout the skin (cm. per min.) was used to evaluate the effect of limiting hyaluronidase induced skin collagen degradation with different extracts.

These results indicate that the effect of hyaluronidase on skin collagen degradation was nearly abolished by Rhododendron caucasicum extract, while the restricting effects of Grape seed and Pine bark extracts on hyaluronidase were significantly lower.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Prevention and treatment of gout
Currently, gout affects about 1 million Americans. Its effects are seen in men much more often than in women (NIAMSD 2001). Gout (hyperuricemia) is a disease that causes sudden and severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness and swelling in some joints. It usually affects one joint at a time, and many times shows up as a painful manifestation in the big toe. It also can affect the knees, ankles, foots, hands, wrists, and elbows.

The pain and swelling associated with gout are caused by a build up of sodium salt of uric acid in an affected joint. Uric acid is a substance that normally forms when the body breaks down certain proteins and circulates their associated waste products throughout the body. As a normal course of metabolism, it usually is dissolved in the blood and passes through the kidneys and out into the urine. However, in people with gout this process does not occur completely, and excess uric acid crystals build up in the system accumulating in the joints or other tissues. Either the body produces too much uric acid from the consumption of certain foods, or the kidneys are not able to get rid of the uric acid before it settles out of solution. An attack of gout can be triggered by drinking too much alcohol, eating too much of the wrong types of food, surgery, a sudden severe illness, crash diets, and sometimes by injury to a joint.

It is believed that there is no cure for gout, but it can be controlled. Proper treatment can help to avoid severe attacks and long-term joint damage. Treatment consists mainly of taking medication and modification of diet. Doctors may recommend that people with gout avoid certain type foods that are high in purines, such as anchovies, steak, gravies and liver; and people with gout should avoid taking supplements containing DNA and RNA. The goals of treatment are to relieve pain, prevent future attacks and prevent joint damage.

Rhododendron caucasicum extract has been used to treat gout for many centuries, and has been proven to be effective based upon the findings of several clinical studies performed in the former U. S. S. R. As few as 5 to 6 doses will generally provide relief.

According to the results of clinical trials performed by Prof. Rossiyski on 170 volunteers with severe attacks of gout, the extract of Rhododendron caucasicum increases the discharge of uric acid through dieresis (urination). In just a few hours, after only 5 to 6 doses the pain and disagreeable symptoms associated with gout were relieved (Turova et al. 1950; Rossiyski 1954).

The positive effect of Rhododendron caucasicum extract on gout might be related to the ability of its constituents to detoxify the liver of accumulated waste and thereby protect this crucial organ from devastating free radicals. For example, taxifolins protect the liver from toxins (Closa et al. 1997). The protective effect of taxifolins on the liver is much stronger than that of vitamin E. The total liver cholesterol and the liver phospholipid (a specific type of fat) concentration tended to be decreased by feeding taxifolins to rats (Igarashi et al. 1996).

It is possible that the antigout and the hypotonic effect of Rhododendron caucasicum extract observed in various clinical studies (Rossiyski 1954) might also be related to the stimulative effect of the extract to release sodium salt from circulation.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Eyes: protection and treatment
It is estimated that 67 million people worldwide currently suffer from glaucoma, of whom up to 3 million are Americans. Every year, more than 100,000 Americans develop glaucoma – and every day without treatment takes them closer to blindness. Worldwide, glaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness, and it is estimated that 120,00 Americans are now blind as a result of the disease (Quigley 1996; GRF 2001; NEI 2001; PBA 2001; TGF 2001).

For many centuries, Rhododendron caucasicum has been used in Georgian folk medicine for the treatment of various age related vision-degenerative disorders – including glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a specific pattern of optic nerve damage and visual field loss caused by a number of different metabolic events, which can affect the eye. In the case of glaucoma, dystrophic changes in the eye drain system causes decrease of its permeability and elasticity. Consequently the circulation of intraocular liquid is disturbed. Most, but not all, of these disorders are characterized by elevated intraocular (inner eye) pressure, which is not the disease itself, but the most important risk factor for the development of glaucoma. For many decades scientists have wondered why Rhododendron caucasicum is so effective in the treatment of elevated intraocular pressure. The recently identified taxifolins, along with its glycoside astilbin, in Rhododendron caucasicum might be responsible for this especially important health effect.

Taxifolins were applied to patients who had glaucoma, sclerotic macular dystrophia (progressive hardening of retinal tissue due to inadequate nutrition of retinal tissue), and diabetic and hypertension angioretinopathia (retinal destruction). Taxifolin was prescribed at 20 mg., 4 times per day during 30 days. The result: Researchers noted that all patients exhibited vision acuity rise, improvement of sensibility and conduction of optic nerve, and their vision fields increased by 10 to 15 feet. (Place reference here.)

Taxifolin preparation’s effect for treatment of patients with glaucoma was also studied at the Eye Microsurgery Institute of the Russian Medicinal Academy of Sciences. Results of these clinical trials revealed that taxifolin stabilizes cellular membranes and permeability, and inhibits the development of tissue dystrophic changes. (Place reference here)

Japanese scientists Haraguchi et al. (1997) demonstrated that taxifolins inhibited recombinant human aldose reductase (the conversion of glucose to sorbitol – an important step in the formation of diabetic cataracts). Taxifolins also inhibited sorbitol accumulation in human red blood cells. Furthermore, taxifolins maintained the clarity of rat eye lenses incubated with a high concentration of glucose. Taxifolins may be effective for preventing osmotic (eye) stress in hyperglycemia (Haragushi et al. 1996). These discoveries clearly indicate that herbs high in taxifolins are synergetic to lutein and might be helpful in promoting good eye vision.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Antibacterial action
Most species of bacteria are not harmful and, in fact, are essential to life on earth. However, several species of bacteria have been responsible for more than decimating entire civilizations. As recently as the late 1800's, over 25% of all children in the United States died of bacterial infections before reaching puberty. Although that percentage has been greatly reduced in developed nations, bacterial infections still impose a significant threat to our health.

Each year in the United States, millions of people suffer through bouts of strep throat, an estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli (Escherichia coli) infections occur, and infections by staph and other pathogens are making hospitals dangerous places to be sick.

In New York City alone during 1995, 13,500 hospital patients became infected with Staphylococcus aureus at a cost to the city of over $430 million. More alarming is that the death rate of those patients infected with Staph was more than double the death rate of patients not infected; and this isn’t just a New York problem. The rate at which patients acquired infections in American hospitals rose 36% from 1975 to 1995. Of the 36 million U. S. hospital admissions during 1995, 1.8 million infections were acquired by patients, which contributed to the deaths of over 88,000 of those patients. Most alarming is that many strains of pathogenic bacteria are becoming progressively resistant to drug treatments (Fisher 1998; Bonner and Dunnett 1998; Rubin et al. 1999).

A rather unique adaptogenic quality of Rhododendron caucasicum is that it allows probiotics/good bacteria, such as those that exist in yogurt and in our intestines, to survive and thrive, while at the same time it is highly active against many pathogenic bacteria. The following tables show Rhododendron caucasicum’s activity against pathogenic bacteria in tests performed in vitro.

Substance Amount used 24 hour test Staphylococcus aureus Bacillus anthracoldes Escherichia coli
Rhododendron caucasicum extract 10 mg. Colonies surviving= 0 12 25
Number of bacteria colonies at beginning of test= 12,000 2,900 2,120

Substance Amount used 24 hour test Bacillus disenteriae Bacillus proteus Streptococcus haemolyticus
Rhododendron caucasicum extract 10 mg. Colonies surviving= 0 0 0
Number of bacteria colonies at beginning of test= 1,900 9,000 1,100

Rhododendron caucasicum has been used for hundreds of years in Georgian folk medicine to prevent and treat infections. That fact and the above results indicate that Rhododendron caucasicum may provide an effective first line of defense against harmful bacteria.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Unparalleled antioxidant properties
A human is composed of over one hundred trillion (100,000,000, 000,000) cells. Each cell is composed of well over one hundred trillion (100,000,000,000,000) molecules. Each molecule is composed of a group of atoms, and the volume of each atom primarily is composed of pairs of electrons. Therefore, we, as humans, are basically molecular structures. While illness, accidents or self-inflicted trauma can damage our molecular structures, there is constant damage being done to the human molecular structure by an equally dangerous enemy: free radicals.

Scientists in the 19th century were known to use the term “free radical” when referring to a pretend group of atoms that form a molecule. In the past scientists did not believe that free radicals could exist independently or in a free state. But thinking changed with the work of Ukrainian/Russian expatriate Dr. Moses Gomberg, who produced the first independent organic free radical, triphenylmethyl, at the University of Michigan in 1900. From then on, the term “free radical” evolved to mean a relatively unstable molecule with one or more unpaired electrons. (Cooper 1994; McBride 2000). But how do stable molecules lose electrons and become unstable free radicals?

Generally, when a toxin reaches a cell of the human body, either as a result of touch, breathing, eating, poor digestion, etc., it damages the architecture of the cellular molecules, leaving behind one or more molecules with unpaired electrons. Any event during which a molecule gains too much oxygen, loses too much hydrogen, and/or is otherwise caused to lose electrons is referred to as oxidation. The remaining oxidized molecule with one or more unpaired electrons is referred to as a free radical.

Upon becoming free radicals, most react by immediately attempting to steal replacement electrons from other molecules. If not neutralized, free radicals can create a chain reaction of damage to other molecules thereby turning hundreds, thousands, millions and billions of additional molecules into free radicals – sometimes within as little as a billionth of a second.

Because cells are composed of molecules, every molecule of a cell that is damaged means that the cell is damaged. As a result, the damaged cell begins to fail at what it was designed to do.

Any kind of stress and exercise causes free radicals; simply existing results in free radical damage because oxygen itself is a free radical and amongst the commonest oxidizing agents. Nonetheless, much of the most severe free radical damage is caused by toxins; toxins which we instinctively seem to know are bad for us; toxins such as tobacco smoke, industrial pollutants, food additives, insecticides and so on.

Once free radical damage begins, it progresses exponentially, much like the rotting of an apple. In recent years, a variety of specific, clinical, pathological systemic events have been found to occur in the human body that are connected to the damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals have been shown to react with vital cellular components such as nucleic acids, proteins, and cellular membranes leading to disturbances in their structures and functions.

Peroxidation is a most extreme oxidation of molecules, and results in compounds being converted into peroxides. Lipid peroxidation also occurs due to free radical invasion and it has a direct and deleterious effect on cellular components, as will be explained further in Chapter 3. If an imbalance exists in the regular production of systemic enzymes such as superoxide dismutase or catalase, the free radical cascade becomes excessive and will cause any number of systemic pathologies: heart disease, tumors, a stroke, emphysema, and/or other diseases. In other words, we are aging and dying because of the damage that free radicals do to us.

Research has shown that natural substances interchangeably called antioxidants or free radical neutralizers can repair cellular free radicals. Natural free radical neutralizers do this by donating one of their own electrons or a hydrogen atom to the cellular free radical. After the free radical neutralizer has repaired the free radical, it becomes a free radical itself – however it is less reactive than a typical free radical, and it is able to repair itself by interacting with other free radical neutralizers (Wardman 1993). It, therefore, makes sense to maintain effective free radical neutralizers in our systems – to constantly quench the molecularly destructive thirst of free radicals.

Because free radical damage has been shown to be a causative of many diseases, it is possible that free radical neutralizers may help in the prevention of, or act as the cure for, many diseases.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Phenolics identified in spring leaves extract
As previously mentioned, hydroxycinnamic, chlorogenic, gallic acid derivatives and taxifolins are the most powerful free radical neutralizers known to date (Prior and Cao 1999; Teselkin et al. 1996; Tiukavkina et al. 1996). Phenolic antioxidants derived from the spring leaves of Rhododendron caucasicum meet all criteria for the best and safest antioxidants.

What criteria should an antioxidant possess?

Consider the following:

a) Bioavailability
Compounds are less effective as antioxidants of internal body organs and tissues if they are not bioavailable. To have a significant physiological effect, a compound must be able to cross the intestinal membrane and reenter circulating blood intact after passage through the liver. Therefore, a high level of bioavailability should characterize an antioxidant’s physiological efficacy. Rhododendron caucasicum meets this criteria.

Biologically friendly
An antioxidant should not interfere with other important metabolic functions and processes, such as the absorption and metabolism of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Rhododendron caucasicum meets this criteria.

c) Affordable
An antioxidant should be affordable for all of us and readily available. Rhododendron caucasicum meets this criteria.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Constituents of spring leaves are more bioavailable
Comparative results have shown that the active constituents of extracts of Rhododendron caucasicum’s spring leaves are more bioavailable than those extracted from summer-fall leaves.

a) Spring leaves harvested during March are high in hydroxycinnamic, chlorogenic, gallic acid derivatives and taxifolins, and are lacking in OPCs. Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extracts contain 50% total phenolics.

Summer-fall leaves harvested during late September, were high in OPCs (30 to 35%), low in simple phenolic acids and virtually devoid in taxifolins. Rhododendron caucasicum summer-fall leaves extracts contain 70% total phenolics.

Two hundred milligrams of Rhododendron caucasicum extract obtained from both spring and summer-fall leaves, was given to 107 volunteers in each group. Blood serum samples were collected to determine the antioxidant status of plasma, measured by the total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP). A control group received 200 ml. of water. The results of these very simple and unique studies clearly indicate that the TRAP value of plasma serum after the ingestion of 200 mg. of Rhododendron caucasicum spring leaves extract, was 62% higher compared with the antioxidant value of plasma produced by the same amount of summer-fall leaves extract. The TRAP value of plasma serum after administration of Rhododendron caucasicum extract from summer-fall leaves was only 5%±1. Only 5% to 6% higher compared with the control group that received only water (baseline).
These results clearly indicate that the ability of natural antioxidants to enhance the plasma antioxidant status is dependent on the structure and bioavailability of the individual molecules present in the extract, rather than on their total concentration in the extract.

The biological effects of phenolic antioxidants on metabolism and health are dependant on their structure and bioavailability. Bioavailability is often mistakenly equated with absorption, but actually bioavailability is defined as the percentage of the ingested substances that enters the blood circulation intact after passage through the liver. Bioavailability of natural phenols is one the most complicated fields of research. Surprisingly, the bioavailability (pharmacokinetics) of a majority of herbal extracts sold in the United States have not yet been studied, and benefits are often based on the assumption that all dietary supplements are bioavailable.

The bioavailability of different classes of natural phenols in our diet is an important factor for evaluation of their functional role and effect on human physiology, metabolism and health. The physiological and nutritional significance of plant phenolics still are not clearly understood, although there are many “test-tube” in vitro based claims that can be obtained from marketing literature. That is why we believe that it is very important to provide scientifically correct information about the bioavailability of the most common classes of phenolics in our diet. That is why Georgian researchers believe that the determination of total plasma antioxidant status is a good indicator for the bioavailability of natural phenolics in general; although it is clear that bioavailability also should include the metabolic effects of individual classes of phenols on our body. Despite its limitation, the examination of plasma antioxidant status offers valuable information about the actual activity of natural phenols as antioxidants and their bioavailability. In addition, such examination can be performed and validated at any respectable independent analytical laboratory.

As we mentioned before, qualitative analysis revealed that major polyphenols extracted from the spring leaves of Rhododendron caucasicum are relatively small sized molecules of flavonoids and phenolic acids. These active antioxidants possess various health-promoting properties and are more bioavailable for humans compared with large OPCs molecules. OPCs are not absorbed from our diets as they form insoluble complexes with the macromolecules such as proteins and carbohydrates. OPCs are non-permeable to membranes, both because of their size and relative polarity (Woodward and Reed 1997; Zucker 1983; Zaprometov 1994). This fact may account for the low antioxidant value of plasma serum that was observed after taking OPCs extracts from summer-fall Rhododendron caucasicum.

Rhododendron caucasicum
Rhododendron caucasicum is a unique plant among all other Rhododendron species, and is proven safe for humans. It is reported that other Rhododendrons (mainly flowers) contain grayanotoxin (large numbers of toxic substances). These are formerly known as andromedotoxin, acetylandromedol and rhodotoxin. The presence of specific grayanotoxins varies with the plant species. These compounds are diterpenes, polyhydroxylated cyclic hydrocarbons that do not contain nitrogen. They are soluble in lipophilic chloroform and other organic solvents, but are not soluble in water (Humphreys and Stodulski 1985).

Researchers at the Institute of Plant Biochemistry at the Georgian Academy of Sciences subcutaneously applied 1 mg. of Rhododendron caucasicum for every 2.2 pounds of body weight in rats and rabbits. No side effects were detected (Shalashvili 1981). In another study, rabbits were given 2 mg. of Rhododendron caucasicum extract per 2.2 pounds of weight. They also showed no outward toxicity or other side effects. In order to determine lethal dose (LD50), rabbits were given different extremely high doses of Rhododendron caucasicum extract (50% polyphenols). Lethal doses were found to be as high as 100 mg. per 2.2 pounds of body weight. To correlate to humans, the average human normally consumes 30 to 180 mg. of Rhododendron caucasicum 2 to 3 times per day. Therefore, Shalashvili’s research on animals indicates the lethal dose of Rhododenron caucasicum extract for a 150 pound human would be approximately 6,818 milligrams – 227 to 37 times the normal human dosages. Even at such high doses as 100 mg. per 2.2 pounds of body weight, electron microscopy and histological analysis of liver and heart tissues revealed no changes in rabbit ultrastructure. No other structural changes were seen to occur in any of the other tested rabbit tissues even when the extract was applied at doses of 2,000 mg. per 2.2 lbs of body weight (Shalashvili 1973).

NOTE: Do not confuse Rhododendron caucasicum with azalea, or the beautiful rhododendron hybrid plants which grow in backyards, or with Rhododendron from Siberia, or with any other species of rhododendron. Only Rhododendron caucasicum (also known as Rhododendron caucasicum Ungern) possesses the unique healthful properties described herein. Other species of Rhododendron contain neither taxifolin nor phenylpropanoids and may be hazardous if ingested. Obviously, no other species or variety of Rhododendron should ever be combined with Rhododendron caucasicum/Rhododendron caucasicum Ungern, and always be sure that Rhododendron caucasicum/Rhododendron caucasicum Ungern is a spring leaves extract. Please do not adulterate this miracle medicinal plant extract.

Chapter 3.

Diabetes is a complex chronic disease, which affects an estimated 15.7 million people in the United States.

Diabetes is characterized by a progressive breakdown in normal insulin-related usage of glucose, the body's basic source of blood sugar energy.

The body's use of insulin and glucose is a paradoxical "double-edged sword.” On the one hand, the body requires balanced insulin output from the pancreas and liver to transport glucose effectively to all the other organs and tissues. On the other hand, any insulin imbalance or loss of insulin sensitivity can cause a chronic overabundance of glucose. A chronic overabundance of glucose damages the body’s blood vessels, which leads to a functional breakdown of body organs and life. A chronic overabundance of glucose, caused by insulin imbalance or loss of insulin sensitivity, is the disease called diabetes.

When diabetes develops in children or young adults, it usually is caused by a fundamental breakdown in the body's ability to produce enough insulin for normal functioning. This is called juvenile insulin-dependent diabetes. Juvenile insulin-dependent diabetes, also called Type 1 diabetes, accounts for about 10% of all diabetes cases (ADA 2001; AACE 2001).
When diabetes develops later in life, it usually is when organs and tissues lose their ability to respond effectively to insulin. This condition is called adult-onset non-insulin dependent diabetes. In adult-onset diabetes, also called Type 2 diabetes, glucose is over-produced by the liver and underutilized by other organs and tissues. Either form of diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, is a disease with serious, deleterious health consequences. If left untreated, diabetes can cause retinal degeneration and blindness, lead to kidney and nerve damage, contribute to atherosclerosis, and in extreme cases even result in amputations and death. The specifics are even more ominous: 12,000 to 24,000 Americans lose their sight each year because of diabetes, approximately 27,900 have kidney failure, diabetics are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease, two to four times more likely to have a stroke, and three times more likely to die of complications of flu and pneumonia, and more than 56,000 amputations are performed on diabetics each year. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and about 798,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with diabetes this year. It is estimated that the cost of treatment and lost productivity totals $98 billion annually in the United States alone (ADA 2001; CDC 2001).

Adding to the problems is that the number of Americans afflicted with Type 2/adult-onset diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, and it also is striking at younger ages. The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that from 1990 to 1998, the number of Americans with Type 2 diabetes increased by 33%, with a 76% increase among 30 to 39 year olds. In the past, Type 2 diabetes rarely struck before middle age – 40 years of age or older; now it is sneaking up on young adults and even children, frequently causing permanent damage even before it is diagnosed (Neergaard 2001; CDC 2001).

“Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in this country...., states Dr. Helena W. Rodbard, the president of the American College of Endocrinology. “It is crucial to empower patients to manage their disease more effectively thereby avoiding complications....(AACE 2001).”

Three strategies for diabetic treatment
The prime objective in the treatment of diabetes is to lower abnormally high levels of blood sugar to normal levels and then stabilize the blood sugar at those normal levels. Three therapeutic strategies are generally used to achieve this:

A) Reduce glucose absorption from the diet
Reduce glucose synthesis in the liver
C) Accelerate glucose metabolism

Ideally, the most effective strategy would be to achieve all three objectives at the same time.
Recent research has identified two unique natural compounds that appear to do just that.

The double solution of chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic acids
New studies suggest that two unique compounds, chlorogenic acid and hydroxycinnamic acids, taken together:

1.) help reduce dietary glucose absorption in the intestines, and
2.) simultaneously help reduce glucose synthesis in the liver, and
3.) simultaneously speed up the metabolism of glucose.

To fully understand and appreciate the context and full value of this new discovery, a brief explanation of glucose biochemistry is essential:

1. The enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) plays a m

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Seems last paragraph was cutoff:

Chemically, chlorogenic acid is an ester formed between hydroxycinnamic and quinic acids. Research of Dr. Welsch and his colleges at Rutgers University reveals that the glucose transport across brush border membrane vesicles isolated from the small intestine was reduced to 80% in the presence of chlorogenic acid and 30 to 40% in the presence of hydroxycinnamic acid, while treatment with other organic acids had no effect (Welsch et al. 1989). These results suggest that both chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic acids are involved in the regulation of glucose levels including the unique ability to inhibit di

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interesting lil compound here. I understand that some ppl have a tendency to get the 'latest, greatest' supplement only to be let down and have their wallets lighter. But this one is one that has ALOT of potential, no comments?

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QUOTE(BrooklynJuice @ Jul 18 2003, 09:00 PM) interesting lil compound here.  I understand that some ppl have a tendency to get the 'latest, greatest' supplement only to be let down and have their wallets lighter.  But this one is one that has ALOT of potential, no comments?

Maybe a summary would help (what it does, mechanism of action).

A lot of us (or maybe just me) don't have time to read huge posts unless they look profoundly important.

-David Tolson

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its a 5-10minute read

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Anyone give this a shot yet? Seems a bit expensive.