Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Archive for June, 2012

Improving hair, skin, and mood

Red clover is a perennial herb that contains phytoestrogen-rich isoflavones. In this study, 109 postmenopausal women, aged at least 40, took 80 mg of red clover extract per day, or a placebo–or the reverse–in two 90-day periods. The women rested without taking any supplement for seven days in between the two 90-day trials. At the end of the 90-day period, while there was no change for placebo, women in the red clover group believed that the quality of their ¬†scalp hair and skin had improved. In addition, the red clover group reported increased libido, better mood, less tiredness, and more restful sleep.


Fewer hot flashes, night sweats

For the same group of 109 women over the same study period, doctors measured three additional symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, and overall menopausal symptoms before the study, at 90 days, after a seven-day pause at 97 days, and at 187 days. Before the study, all participants had a similar intensity of hot flashes, frequency of night sweats, and overall menopause symptoms. After taking the placebo, the three symptoms improved by an average of less than 10 percent each. After taking red clover, each of the three symptoms improved by an average of more than 25 percent.

In discussing their findings, doctors said that women and their physicians are questioning conventional hormone therapy because the benefits are uncertain, leading to more individualized treatment focusing on alternative therapies. Phytoestrogens, such as those in red clover, have estrogenic effects that are less potent than hormone therapy, but may prove to be a more beneficial alternative.


Reference: Gynecological Endocrinology; 2012, Vol. 28, No. 3, 203-7

From the June 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 26 - 2012
categories: Herbs, Supplements

Green tea may have many health benefits, and in this study, doctors tested an antioxidant flavonoid in green tea, EGCG, for a link to brain activity and mood. Participants took 300 mg of EGCG, or a placebo. Before and two hours afterwards, researchers took a resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity.

While the placebo group did not change, the EGCG group had a greater sense of calm, reduced feelings of stress, and a significant increase in alpha, beta and theta brain waves, which correspond, respectively, to relaxation, reasoning, and creative powers.

Reference: Appetite; 2012, Vol. 58, No. 2, 767-70

From the June 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on June - 10 - 2012
categories: Herbs, Supplements

Whey protein reduced “hunger”hormone

In this study, 90 overweight and obese people who were otherwise healthy took 56 grams of whey or soy protein per day, to the same amount of calories in the form of carbohydrates as a placebo. Doctors measured body weight and fat monthly, and collected food diaries every 10 days. After 23 weeks, the whey group had lost an average of 3.9 pounds more body weight and 5 pounds more fat-mass compared to placebo. The soy group lost about half these amounts compared to placebo, which doctors said was not statistically significant.

The whey group also lost one inch around the waist while the soy and placebo groups had not changed. Researchers also measured ghrelin, a hormone the body produces to tell the brain when it is time to eat, and found lower levels of ghrelin in the whey group compared to the soy and placebo.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition; 2011, Vol. 141. No. 8, 1489-94

From the April 2012 Newsletter

Van's Health on June - 1 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Weight Loss