aphrodisiac


The search for the viagra alternative is relentless. On the natural approach, besides Tongkat Ali, now the attention is switching to我的美人(wo3de1mei3ren2, “My Belle” in Chinese), pun for Watermelon.

It is now believed that watermelon is richer in citrulline than previously thought. Citrulline is the amino acid which converts to arginine in the body. This boosts nitric oxide which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other ED(erectile dysfunction) drugs.

Watermelon is one of the most common and favourite fruit in Singapore and around the region and most probably worldwide. It is not uncommon to see people savouring pieces of watermelon during lunch hours at those public eating places. Did these people feel the anti-ED or extra sensation ?

Surely not. According to the report, Dr Bhimu Patil of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University disclosed that although the flesh has citrulline, most of the citrulline is found in the watermelon rind.

Who will eat that ?

During your next lunch hour, start looking out for those people bitting the watermelon rind or those asking the juice vendor to grind the rind together with the red or yellow juicy flesh. Sweet and no side effect, you know ?

Hang on !

No one including the researcher can tell how many “Belle” one will need to achieve the desired effect.

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Its advertisements were pretty attractive in English and Chinese. Its target market is practically the whole world of people (yes, it has Halal certification to cater to the world’s Muslim community) with “Symptoms of Cell Deterioration” – nocturia, lethargy, urinal disability, arthritis, incompetence, fatigue, skin aging, obesity, cold-averse). Its news coverage is all over the Internet. It had been sold through the Internet and possibly through multi-level-marketing (MLM).

Some of its online promotions have even stated that a certified laboratory in Singapore has tested that it is not adulterated withAphrodisiac Western Medicines or Illegal Drug Ingredients” and that it was “categorized as food and no MAL number is required” (MAL number is a approval number issued by the Ministry of Health of Malaysia). As listed on some promotional pages, it is stated that its main ingredient is the “Ginseng of The Desert” (Cynomorium Songaricum ) which “Helps invigorates the kidney and supplements essence for kidney YANG and insufficiency of blood manifested as impotence, nourishes the intestine and relaxes the bowels“. Other ingredients include “Ginseng Extract, Hydrolysed Protein, Enzyme, Pomegranate, Polyphenol, Malt“.

Why then would post-market analysis by the Health Science Authority (HSA) of Singapore proved otherwise for Mentalk, “The World First Energizing Candy” ? HSA’s press release on their website stated they found the presence of “Aminotadalafil, which is chemically similar to tadalafil,” It “can cause serious adverse reactions such as heart attacks and strokes in susceptible individuals. Heart patients who are on nitrate drugs may suffer severe hypotension which may be fatal.

What is more worrying as HSA put it was that As the product is marketed as a food-like item, there is potential danger to the wider population if the candy is unwittingly eaten by consumers, including teenagers and young children. . One of its advertisement stated “One world, One Candy”.

As of this writing, follow-up actions by HSA and relevant authorities are underway.

Is it a case of trying to cheat passed the health authorities by submitting a truly safe sample for the lab test and then launching the adulterated version ? If so, it really took guts to have so many ads and one of them to state that “Mentalk does not contain any steroid, western or illegal drug ingredients”.

Or is this a case of product that fell short of its effectiveness after launching and thus with the pressure to maintain the growth plan after pouring some much into the marketing of it, a decision was made to “refine” the product resulting in the adding of extra undeclared ingredients into the formula? If so, it is really foolish to do it in countries like Singapore where our HSA and AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) are very proactive in conducting post-market survey and analysis of products, especially those that are too good to be true. HSA has been doing public education and awareness campaign.

Oh, I am surprised that Mentalk had included the actual Singapore ALS Laboratory report in their advertisement. Didn’t the report has the same statement “This report cannot be used for advertising purposes.” printed at the top of each of their test reports just like those from laboratories of HSA and SGH (Singapore General Hospital), etc.

Well, Members of the public are strongly advised not to buy or eat ‘Mentalk’ candy. If they have already purchased the candy, they should throw it away immediately. If they feel unwell after eating this candy, they are urged to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

For more update on this candy issue, visit http://www.hsa.gov.sg

5 + 4 about Good Cholesterol.

Cholesterol, the fat-like substance is the word that most people especially the middle-age group and above hate to hear.

It is a constant advice that we should all cut down or avoid red meats, seafood and products from animal fats because they are high in cholesterol or are high saturated fatty acids which will raise the triglycerides (a form of fat made in the body) and cholesterol levels in the body. However, for most people, without the wonderful delicious pork, beef, mutton, liver, skin of poultry, ham, bacon; drunken prawns, chilly/pepper “Sri Lanka” crabs, “hum/tua tao/lala” (clam), “sotong” (squid, cuttlefish), lobsters; butter, lard, egg yolk, etc., life will be meaningless.

That is just negative which we remembers. The flipped side is that our body needs cholesterol for functions such as making hormones. Besides being found in those products above, it is also produced in our body.

There are good and bad cholesterols. They can’t dissolve in the blood and have to be transported through the bloodstream in different carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) deliver cholesterol to the body, while high-density lipoproteins (HDL or “good” cholesterol) take cholesterol out of the bloodstream to the liver which will then passes them out of the body.

We are told the higher your HDL cholesterol, the better it is. Now, I learned that biological reality is more complex as genes direct the body’s production of HDL and that many of us might not be lucky enough to inherit genes that result in a lot of HDL. Luckily, genes are only part of the story because lifestyle factors and, to a smaller extent, medications can strongly influence HDL levels.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) and the American Diabetes Association advise people to aim for HDL levels of at least 40 mg/dL. An even more protective goal, according to the NCEP, is 60 mg/dL or higher.

Why is having high HDL cholesterol is important?

At first, scientists believed that HDL was simply a garbage collector that picked up cholesterol from an artery’s walls and delivered it to the liver for disposal. That’s still considered the main role of HDL, but research is starting to suggest that HDL can help protect the heart in many ways:

  • Reverse cholesterol transport. HDL latches onto LDL embedded in an artery wall, lugs it back into the bloodstream, and carries it to the liver. The liver collects cholesterol from the HDL particles, packages it into bile salts and bile acids, and dumps it into the intestines for excretion.
  • Antioxidant activity. LDL cholesterol in the artery wall is bombarded by oxygen free radicals, which turns it into oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is the stuff that’s actually responsible for arterial damage — and research shows that HDL can help protect LDL cholesterol from free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammatory action. HDL helps to quiet the inflammation of an atherosclerotic plaque. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) reflect the inflammation of such a plaque and HDL may neutralize CRP’s tendency to perpetuate the inflammatory cycle.
  • Antithrombotic activity. Plaque rupture triggers the formation of an artery-blocking blood clot. By halting the flow of oxygen-rich blood, the clot kills heart muscle cells (heart attack) or brain cells (stroke). HDL reduces clot formation and accelerates the healing process that dissolves clots.
  • Endothelial function. Blood vessels plagued with atherosclerosis sustain other damage. In particular, the endothelial cells lining the arteries fail to produce normal amounts of nitric oxide, the chemical that allows arteries to dilate (widen) when tissues need more oxygen. HDL helps preserve nitric oxide production and protect endothelial function.

How much does HDL help?

The Framingham Heart Study was responsible for many landmark discoveries about HDL cholesterol, and the Physicians’ Health Study helped confirm that HDL was protective, reporting that various HDL subtypes are all helpful. Data continue to show that the good cholesterol is very good indeed.

  • Heart disease. Low HDL levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, while high levels are protective. According to the Framingham Heart Study, cardiac risk rises sharply as HDL cholesterol levels fall below 40 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In general, each 1 mg/dL rise in an HDL cholesterol level can be expected to cut cardiac risk by 2% to 3%.
  • Stroke. Strokes come in many forms, but the most common type, ischemic stroke, shares many risk factors with heart attack. High HDL cholesterol levels reduce the risk of stroke; in several studies, HDL cholesterol is a much better predictor of risk than LDL cholesterol, particularly in people older than 75.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Normal erections depend on many things, including healthy arteries that produce good amounts of nitric oxide. It’s no surprise, then, that the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that 16% of men with low levels of HDL cholesterol had erectile dysfunction, but none of the men with the highest levels did.
  • Longevity. Several investigations suggest that high HDL levels are linked to longevity, particularly exceptional longevity. Other research links high levels of HDL cholesterol to preserved cognitive function in old age. More research is needed to learn if HDL deserves the credit or if other genetic factors are responsible.

Ways to raise your HDL

  • Exercise. Exercise is an important way to boost HDL levels. On average, sedentary people who start to exercise regularly can expect their HDL levels to rise by 3% to 20%. The benefit can occur with as little as one mile of walking or jogging a day, but the more you do, the better your result. Brisk walking for 40 minutes a day is a good target, but if you need more help, aim higher.
  • Watch your dietary fats. Saturated fat won’t affect your HDL cholesterol, but it will raise your LDL cholesterol. The latest American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines call for limiting saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories. Reduce your intake of trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. Trans fat lowers HDL cholesterol and raises LDL cholesterol, a double whammy to health. But unsaturated fats like virgin olive oil may boost HDL levels, and the omega 3 fats in fish, nuts, and canola oil may promote cardiac health even if they don’t affect your HDL reading.
  • Watch your carbs! Or at least the types of carbs you’re eating. Diets that provide large amounts of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates are clearly linked to low levels of HDL cholesterol. Avoid highly refined carbohydrates in favor of coarsely ground, whole grain, unrefined carbs like whole grain bread, oatmeal, and beans.
  • Alcohol. Moderate drinking will raise HDL levels by about 4 mg/dL, which should cut cardiac risk by about 10%. This translates to one to two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women. For this “prescription,” count 5 ounces of wine, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer as one drink.
  • Weight control. Obesity is linked to low HDL levels, but weight loss can help. Exercise and diet are the dynamic duo for weight loss, but shedding excess pounds will boost HDL levels over and above the independent effects of regular exercise and a healthful diet.

Erectile dysfunction has gone nutty !

During the Canton Fair 2007 in Guangzhou in April, I first saw the new wonder-pill that is supposed to help erectile dysfunction and “enhance sexual ability”, just like what Viagra or Cialis has been doing for the hundred of thousands of men around the world.

This pill is not created from drug but from walnut kernel extract.

Today, in our local newspapers,The Straits Times, it printed a report by The Star newspapers of Malaysia that a team of Malaysian researchers has just developed a similar tablet name N-Hanz which is comparable to Viagra. Like the one I saw in China, this N-Hanz has to be taken 1 hour prior to sexual performance and will last for about four hours. This looks like going to outshine Tongkat Ali, the potent herb of Malaysia that was supposedly a safe alternative to Viagra.

The active ingredients they found inside the walnut which will cause the enlargement of the blood vessels and enhances blood flow in the male sexual organ is “arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric acid”

It was also said that “because it is not a drug, it is safe for those with hypertension or diabetes or (those) who have recently had heart bypasses”.My salute to those who recently had heart bypasses and still wanting to go for such sexual thrill! They can sure shout “I’m coming” because Heaven’s waiting.

What is amazing is that it said that “a person would need to eat about 3.3kg of walnuts for the same effect as one tablet”. I wonder if the Romans and French had been eating so much regularly to achieve such effect since one of the researchers said that he read about them which led him to conduct the research.

Did the Malaysian researchers know that the Chinese had launched the products 2 months before?

What has cat whiskers got to do with your kidneys ?

Cat Whiskers HerbThat was exactly what I asked when I was given the product, Good Image Cat Whiskers Tea. Cat Whiskers good for cleansing and strengthening kidneys ?

As I digged further, I began to love it. Besides its aroma, it is a nice detox tea for cleansing the kidney and urinary tract. Instead of keeping a cat at home, I am looking forward to growing this beautiful herb in my little balcony and touching its whiskers.

It has been called Kidney Tea, Holy Tea, Toddler Tea, Stone Removal Herb, Ageless Herb, Romance Herb and Cat Whiskers Herb (click here) but its botannical name is Spicate Clerodendranthus.

Although it can be found in Malaysia (called Misai Kuching or Misai Kucing), I can’t wait to visit Xishuangbanna in China Yunnan Province to see the mu of Cat Whiskers.

Malaysia pins hopes on herbal Viagra for biotech push

By Clarence Fernandez – Mar 19, 2007
Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s answer to Viagra is a traditional herb the country has picked to spearhead its push into biotechnology, but now it faces the challenge of convincing the world the remedy is both potent and safe.Surging interest in the herb, “tongkat ali”, has spawned dozens of products, from pills to beverages, that play up its reputed aphrodisiac properties, and could even threaten the sway overseas of ginseng, a more-widely established remedy in Asia.

Generations of ageing Malaysian men have sworn by the rejuvenation effects of “tongkat ali”, scouring the countryside for it so eagerly that it has almost vanished from all but the deepest rainforest, and now has the status of a protected plant.

Scientific studies show that concoctions of “tongkat ali” can help hormone production, making rats and mice more frisky, but have yet to prove it can reliably produce the same effect in humans, researchers say.

“It can have different effects on different people,” said Abdul Razak, head of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, which is driving research and commercial production of the herb.

“For me, it gives the energy to play a game of golf without getting tired, but has no other effects,” said Razak, who takes two capsule supplements of the herb before each weekly game to increase his stamina.

“Tongkat ali”, which scientists call Eurycoma longifolia, is a slender evergreen shrub with bitter, brownish-red fruit that is native to Malaysia and Indonesia.

All parts of the plant which grows up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall can be chopped up fine and boiled in water to make the traditional medicine.

As Malaysia looks to biotechnology for economic growth, scientists are taking a harder look at the aphrodisiac qualities of tongkat ali, which means the “walking-stick of Ali,” in Malay, and they say it could spawn drugs to treat cancer and malaria.

PREPARING FOR COMMERCIAL USE

Five years of research studies in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States have helped to identify the key compounds in the herb, Razak said.

“All these compounds have been found, have been tested and have been patented, and we are now in the process of carrying out clinical studies, and hopefully after some time we might even commercialise this,” he added.

A Malaysian industry and government group says the rapidly growing global market for aphrodisiacs is worth about $4 billion and could reach nearly $7 billion by 2012, but plans for “tongkat ali” to grab a share of this pie hinge on proving it is safe.

In Taiwan this year, Taipei city officials banned six brands of coffee from supermarkets because they contained “tongkat ali”, saying the plant had not been evaluated for safe use, although there were no confirmed reports of side-effects, newspapers said.

The episode in January stirred indignation in Malaysia, where some officials publicly defended the herb, saying its safety and efficacy had been demonstrated by hundreds of years of use.

Others said the incident showed how far Malaysia still has to go to prove its claims for the herb.

“We’ve still got a lot of homework to do as a nation,” said M. Rajen, chief executive of Tropical Botanics Sdn Bhd, which counts among its products Malaysia’s most popular fish-oil brand.

Makers of ginseng, which has a global market of about $2 billion a year, according to some industry estimates, would be ruthless in battling competition from “tongkat ali”, he said.

“What we see in Taiwan and elsewhere is an example of this ruthlessness,” Rajen added. “Because we have not done our homework, we cannot fight it.”

But Malaysia is confident it will convince the world. Officials of Power Root Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which exports tea and coffee drinks containing the herb to Japan and South Korea, have said they are looking to the United States and the Middle East.

“One day ‘tongkat ali’ will be marketed internationally, even in Harrods of London,” Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said in January, at the launch of a $7 million biotech research centre that will study ways to clone the herb.

At the Forest Research Institute, workers in white protective gear poured sacks of the herb into gleaming stainless steel dryers and grinders to turn out powder for capsules.

“It’s high time for ‘tongkat ali’ now,” said researcher Mohamad Shahidan, grinning through his face mask. “Everybody wants to try it.”

http://health.asiaone.com.sg/alternativemedicine/20070319_001.html