Copaxone

Copaxone

There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. There are several medications thought to slow the progression of the disease. In some people, these medications can reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups, and may help reduce the number of brain and spinal cord lesions. These medications are fairly new, so it is unknown if they help reduce the extent of disability from MS

One of these medications is Copaxone. This injectable medication is used to treat Relapsing-Remitting MS. It has no effect on the three other types of Multiple Sclerosis.

Researchers are not completely sure how Copaxone works to slow MS progression. It is believed that the drug prevents damage causing cells from forming, and at the same time stimulating the beneficial cells to help reduce the damage in the areas with lesions.

Those who choose Copaxone therapy for MS give themselves a subcutaneous injection (shot under the skin) every day. The medication is dispensed in pre-filled syringes. Measuring is not necessary. Patients using this therapy will be taught how to give injections and for most people the entire procedure takes less than one minute.

As with any medication, there are side effects associated with Copaxone. The most common side effects are swelling, redness, pain, itching or a lump at the injection site. Some people experience a break down of the fatty tissue in the area they take injections.

Just as common are general body reactions like chest pain, weakness, nausea, joint pain, anxiety, muscle stiffness, and feeling flushed. According to the makers of Copaxone, these effects are mild and do not usually require medical treatment.

Less common, but more severe side effects include hives, skin rash with irritation, dizziness, sweating, chest pain, trouble breathing, severe injection site pain and general painful or uncomfortable changes in your overall health. Patients experiencing the above side effects should stop taking injections and call their doctor immediately.
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American Sports Nutrition

American Sports Nutrition

The Americans usually dominate sporting events. They appear bigger, stronger and have longer resistance. They say that the secret is through their hard work and training. But their real secret is their diet that gives them that strong physique.

Their diet and nutritional intake is different compared to us. So what is in this american style of sports nutrition? I will elaborate some of their diet and nutritional technique for you to have more strength and energy as you play your game.

Do you want to enhance your performance and increase lean muscle? Try the creatine that is commonly found in American sports nutrition.

This will give you more energy to work out longer and harder that will help you get maximum results. Creatine can also help you recover quickly. This supplement will work for any athlete who does weight lifting and any other quick burst of activity like sprinting. You may be able to do more before you hit fatigue point.

Your body converts this unique powder into adenosine triphosphate, which is the energy of our cells, and stores it into the mitichondria of each muscle cell giving it reserved energy. Every muscle contraction is fueled by atp, so we can do more because of the stored atp. This can enhance your performance and lean muscle gain.

This product is 100% pure pharmaceutical grade creatinh monohydrate. You should at least take 1000 grams per dosage. Creatine does not contain any additive and filters. This chemical is found naturally in many foods so it is practically safe. And it will also not affect hormonal levels.

Whether your goal is for maximum athletic performance, increased lean muscle or prolonged endurance, creatine is the answer for you. It also has cardio protective qualities. Creatine from American sports nutrition is the best way to supplement a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Another one would be the American sports nutrition whey protein. It is a high quality, lactose free and predigested protein. This nutritional supplement is a great natural source of high potency essential amino acids.

If you want an increase in muscle strength, do it with American whey. The ion-exchanged whey protein in this supplement is the most preferred and bio-available for your body. This means your body can utilize the supplementation of American whey better than other types of protein.

American whey protein is also low on calories, tastes great, and mixes easily with rice, milk and water. It also comes in a variety of delicious flavors.

There are many more diets out there like the American sports nutrition that offers protein as the main component of their nutritional diet. Examples of these are the American whey creamy vanilla extreme, American whey double dutch chocolate, and the American whey wild berry.

They just differ in the dosage as you take them but practically the same results. Some of them require a lot of quantities for the supplement to work. And it also has to be taken in regularly if possible you should follow the diet everyday.

You may have noticed in the American sports nutrition’s that the main nutrient they are focused on are proteins.

So what is in proteins that make it so vital in the nutrition of Americans? Proteins are the main body builder nutrient. Protein focuses on the production of muscle cells. Protein also participates in muscle contraction or the movement of muscles.

If you want to have bigger, leaner and stronger muscles, there should be a massive intake of proteins before and after your training. That is why protein is so important not only to athletes but also to normal people as well. Protein also contributes to the height of a person.

If you want to be as tall as the Americans, you have to have a lot of protein in your diet or at least use the supplements that American sports nutrition offer.

We must remember that it is not about the nutrition we get but it is about how we get it and when we get it. There are optimal times where the nutrients we get will enhance our performance and boost our nutritional level. American sports nutrition targets these optimal times in order for our body to get the most out of it and help us be healthy and build up our muscles.

A Look at Pain Relief for Fibromyalgia

A Look at Pain Relief for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disease that affects the musculoskeletal system. Symptoms vary widely among sufferers, but generally include muscle and joint aches, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and tenderness in several of eighteen specific areas, or “trigger points” on the body. Fibromyalgia is often overlooked by sufferers as the inevitable result of a busy schedule and everyday stress. When patients do seek treatment, doctors often misdiagnose fibromyalgia as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or another musculoskeletal condition. It affects women far more often than men, at a ratio of about ten to one. While some cases result from a specific trauma, more often the exact cause is unknown.

The first step to fibromyalgia pain relief is being properly diagnosed. The condition is not completely understood by the medical community, and there is no specific course of treatment. Most advice given to patients reads like a weight-loss program, recommending low-intensity exercise, drinking lots of water, and reducing mental and physical stresses such as those caused by saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, meat and sugar.

Anti-depressants are often prescribed as part of the treatment, which elevate the mood of the patient. Muscle relaxants and sleep aids may also be recommended. Since fibromyalgia sufferers are often found to be low in manganese and magnesium, both of which help balance thyroid function, nutritional supplements may prove beneficial as well.

Physical therapy is another essential component for fibromyalgia pain relief, as it teaches patients methods of walking, stretching, and exercise that reduce muscle tension and fatigue. A physical therapist will also teach patients how to make use of ergonomic tools in their daily life, like padded chairs and special keyboards designed to minimize muscle strain.

Some patients choose to incorporate alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy into their treatment. While the efficacy of these natural treatments has not been carefully studied and quantified, testimonials of fibromyalgia sufferers indicate that all of these alternative treatments may help alleviate symptoms of the disease. Whatever patients decide upon, it must be remembered that there is no simple cure for fibromyalgia, and a comprehensive plan that address mental and psychological symptoms and promotes healthy lifestyle habits is the most direct method of obtaining fibromyalgia pain relief.

Best Supplements to Gain Weight

Best Supplements to Gain Weight

In the world of gaining weight, people are always in debates what are the best supplements to gain weight fast, easy, and healthy. There are those who stick to the traditional routines such as workouts and proper diet while there are also those that rely on more conventional ways such as the use of weight gain supplements to ensure that they are getting what they need to gain some more weight.

Experts say that both ways —the traditional and the conventional ways—could work if a person really wants for gain weight. However, certain guidelines must be followed religiously to ensure that there will be no complications in the future.

Why use weight gain supplements?

Before, the only people that are into weight gain supplements are those who are so much into body building. In fact, majority of the best supplements to gain available in the market were made especially for those that make bodybuilding as a life and as a career. These supplements are being used by the bodybuilders especially if they have upcoming competitions.

But, as time went by, people—even those who are not into body building—have been trying various gain weight supplements because they believe that gaining weight is one of the easiest way to achieve a firm and sexy body. So, what they do is take up some of the best supplements for weight gain and enroll to a gym or fitness center that offer rigorous workouts.

Through regular workout and physical activities, people who have gained weight can lose some the way they want it to be.

If you are one of those who are looking forward to gaining weight to achieve the society’s ideal physique, then you should try using weight gain supplements. Weight gain supplements are those that being use by people to complement or boost their weight gain. These may come in forms of beverages, tablets, and the like.

In the market today, some of the best supplements to gain weight include weight gainers which are usually protein shakes that provide sufficient supply of calories in the body, spectrum flaxseed oil which is high in Omega 3 good for having enough supply of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the body, multi-vitamin and mineral packs that helps converts the food to vitamins and minerals readily absorbed by the body’s tissues and hormones, creatine which enables the reuse of the body’s stored energy and shows results as soon as possible.

Glutamine that helps increase a person’s muscular volume by enhancing the immune system, liver tablets came from high grade beef liver which is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, and testosterone boosting supplements that works well for people who are way beyond hormonal production.

Before buying

Experts say that that best supplements to gain weight are those types that can help a person reach the target calorie intake everyday. To avoid using products that can cause you side effects in the future, make sure that you:

– Read the label of the supplement thoroughly to ensure that you know that ingredients from what you are about to take.

– Consult your physician about it before you finally buy and use it to make sure that you know how much of these supplements should you take.

– Conduct a research what to look for in a weight gain supplement and where to find the best supplements to gain weight on the market today.

Acupuncture and Arthritis

Acupuncture and Arthritis

Arthritis is a complex disorder that comprises several distinct conditions, all of them sharing one common symptom: chronic joint pain. For years, a significant aspect of modern medical science has been dedicated to finding the cure for arthritis, with varied results. Some forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis – a degenerative condition affecting the cartilage leading to inflammation of the joints – are irreversible, hence, much of the treatment has been focused more on pain reduction than on an actual cure.

However, a new study has made a connection between acupuncture and arthritis. The study said that the combination of acupuncture and arthritis can significantly reduce pain and improve function in those suffering osteoarthritis of the knee.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical procedure wherein hair-thin needles are inserted into points along “energy channels” – meridians, where the life force of the human body flows through. This is thought to help unblock the clogged energy channels and thus, help ease pain as a result of such blockage.

As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – a form of alternative medicine based on the belief that an essential life force, qi, flows through the body along channels called meridians – acupuncture is among the oldest form of medical procedure in the world. The first form of acupuncture was started in China more than 2,000 years ago but is now widely practiced in Asia and Europe. With the recent discovery about the connection between acupuncture and arthritis, specifically on its role as a pain reliever, the procedure is increasingly becoming popular in the United States as well.

As opposed to what you may believe, getting stuck with needles for a few minutes is not as torturous as it sounds. In fact, most people who believe in the healing connection between acupuncture and arthritis, say that there is only a slight stinging sensation when the needles prick the skin, but that is all. There is no pain after that. The needles used in acupuncture are very thin, smooth, and solid, unlike hypodermic needles which are hollow with cutting edges. The length of each session may vary, depending on the kind of disorder you wish to be treated. When it comes to acupuncture and arthritis, treatment may require two sessions a week and may last for several months.

Study on Acupuncture and Arthritis

The study on acupuncture and arthritis was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Considered as one of the largest and longest clinical trials to show such conclusive effects of acupuncture and arthritis on patients, the study reported a 44 percent average reduction in pain and a 40 percent improvement in mobility.

For purposes of the study, the researchers enrolled 570 patients who are aged from 50 above, with arthritis of the knee, and who had been suffering significant pain in the same the month before the study was conducted. The patients were then randomly assigned three different treatments, and it was found that those who specifically underwent acupuncture and arthritis treatment had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function.

“We have demonstrated that traditional Chinese acupuncture is an effective complement to conventional arthritis treatment and can be successfully employed as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis,” says Brian Berman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Quick Facts for Losing Weight Naturally

Quick Facts for Losing Weight Naturally

When it comes to losing weight, you'll likely face many decisions. There are so many options for losing weight, such as weight loss supplements, organic components, exercise, and healthier eating habits, you can easily get confused or discouraged in the journey. But losing weight naturally with all of the above factors working together seems to be the best way to get rid of those unwanted pounds. Let's explore these options.

Discover the Reason You're Not Losing

Before you can lose weight, you should first try to discover the reason you are not losing.

Write the following heading on a piece of paper: Why I don't lose weight.

Then, list possible reasons for not losing weight. Some of these include poor blood sugar regulation, under active thyroid, overeating, lack of sleep, viral infections, lack of exercise, and slow metabolism. To lose weight the healthy way, you can use the process of elimination to discover which of these hinders your weight loss.

Blood sugar regulation means controlling the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates you take into your body. When your blood sugar levels are too high, this causes you to be hungry and encourages your body to store fat instead of burning it. Test this by reducing sugar intake for a month or two and see if this boosts your weight loss. If you plan to take a supplement, probably the best weight loss supplement to look for is one that will help you regulate blood sugar levels. Some supplements also supply ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a phosphate molecule that is a source of high energy for the body.

Next, add exercise to your daily routine if you're not already active. If you already exercise, try going a little longer each day. Make a few small changes to your eating habits such as eating fresh fruit as a snack instead of candy or snack cakes, grilling, baking, or steaming foods instead of frying them, or dining out less for several weeks. Also, reduce portion sizes for each meal little by little. And, be sure to get plenty of sleep every day so your body can function normally.

If none of these seem to help boost your weight loss, you might need to see a doctor to find out if there's a viral infection, thyroid issue, or any other health problem that could hinder your weight loss.

How to Lose Weight Safely with a Weight Loss Supplement

Once you've answered the question “why can't I lose weight?” you might want to try a weight loss supplement as well. But be very careful. Some weight loss pills are unhealthy and can even be dangerous. Be aware of the chemicals and ingredients they contain. Thankfully, there are natural weight loss supplements that provide healthy ingredients for your weight loss efforts such as caraluma fimbriata (cactus plant to suppress appetite), Chinese green tea, and other organic components. You might also find a supplement that helps with other needs such as DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), a chemical linked to memory that is found in fish.

As with any supplement, consult a doctor before trying something new, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or take prescription medication.

Losing weight naturally is the safest way. Use the guide above to determine why you're not losing weight and how you can make lasting changes for better health.

Common Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Common Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unlike other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease. The immune system of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis turns on its own, specifically attacking the joints and other surrounding tissue. In a way, rheumatoid arthritis could be likened to allergies but with starkly different symptoms. While the common symptoms of allergies include runny nose, itchiness of the eyes, and skin rash, the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis include inflammation in the lining of the joints and pain in the affected areas.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects more than two million people, usually between the ages of 20 and 25. Additionally, the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis occur in all races and ethnic groups, regardless of age or sex, although it appears that the disease affects two to three times as many women as men.

Diagnosis

Since the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis differ from patient to patient, there is no single method of making accurate diagnosis. Moreover, the symptoms tend to develop overtime, making it even more difficult to identify the disease early on. To determine the existence of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis, health care professionals apply a variety of methods from blood testing to X-rays. Aside from identifying the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis, these methods are also used to rule out other conditions that may display more or less the same symptoms.

The other factors that health care practitioners often take into account when diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis include:

* Medical history
* Physical examinations
* Laboratory tests
* X-rays

After Diagnosis, Now what?

After a patient is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the next step is to learn as much as you can about the disease in order to understand it. First up, you need to understand that early detection of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis s often the key to helping you live longer despite the disease. Remember that there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis and that as the person ages, the symptoms may grow worse. However, if you identify these common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis early on and undergo aggressive treatment, you increase your chance of living a long and healthy normal life.

Dealing with the Pain

One of the most common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain. Usually this is accompanied by some degree of depression, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness. Most patients who suffer joint pain also suffer morning stiffness in and around the joints. Sometimes the pain becomes too much to bear that patients refuse to move as motion will only serve to aggravate the pain.

However, recent studies show that exercise can actually alleviate some of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. Constant motion balanced with a good diet and plenty of rest will ease the pain that comes with this debilitating disease and help you live a better life.

Be advised that you should consult with your doctor first before attempting any strenuous exercise routines, as there are some types of exercises that arthritic patients should not do.

Why Is It So Difficult To Lose Weight After 30?

Why Is It So Difficult To Lose Weight After 30?

Have you tried to lose weight after 30? Wasn’t that more difficult than ever before? Guess what? It’s even more difficult after 40! Have you ever wondered why your body reacts differently to the same regimes you apply in different stages of your life?

People that have never had a weight problem get flabbier after 30 without clear explanation. They start exercising and they don’t see any improvement. They eat less, and they still don’t achieve any significant change. What they don’t take into consideration is the aging impact on their body.

Aging is a Reason for Gaining Weight and the Obstacle to Losing Weight
There are more than 20 theories about aging but the most researched one is the “Free Radicals” theory. Free radicals are atoms or molecules in which at least one electron is unpaired causing an instability (a stable atom contains a balance of paired electrons which encircle the nucleus).

This instability causes the electrons to be very reactive – they bond easily with healthy molecules and damage them. According to the free radicals theory, this damage is what causes you to age and to become vulnerable to certain diseases.

The most common free radical is an oxygen radical, which occurs in the mitochondria when an unpaired electron interacts with oxygen. Mitochondria are your cellular power plants, the tiny structures in your cells that provide energy in the chemical form of ATP. This is your “fuel” for all your life functions. It helps your heart to pump and your lungs to distribute oxygen when you breathe.

When free radicals are formed in the mitochondria, they reduce the power of your cellular power plants to produce energy efficiently. You are not running out of energy because you’re aging. You are aging because you are running out of energy. Free radicals gradually shut down your power as if you are slowly turning off a light dimmer.

Free Radicals and Energy Reduction are the Roots of Most Aging Problems
Without energy your metabolic rate drops causing you to accumulate more body fat. You are losing muscle mass, bone mass, facial collagen and you are tired even when you have over-slept.

Energy reduction at the cellular level also decreases the hormone secretion in your glands. The most abundant hormone in the body is DHEA. It is known as the “mother of all hormones” because it is involved in manufacturing of other hormones, especially the sexual hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

DHEA peeks at the age of 20 but afterwards declines sharply so at age 45 you have 50% of your high peek DHEA, and at the age of 65 you have only 10-20% of what you had at age 20. As the mother of all hormones DHEA represents a decline in other hormones as Human Growth Hormone, (HGH), Testosterone (in men), estrogen and progesterone (in women).

Studies show that as lower your hormone level is, as higher your tendency to accumulate fat.

Weight gain after 30 is a result of a vicious cycle of aging. Aggressive free-radicals decrease energy production which decreases hormone level and your metabolic rate to levels that most diets cannot help.

Anti-Aging Can Support Weight Loss by Neutralizing Free-Radicals
The most common way to fight free radicals is by increasing significantly antioxidants in your body. Your body produces antioxidants naturally or it gets it from food like fruit and vegetables.

Antioxidants are form of enzymes that attack free radicals by attaching to the unpaired electron and neutralize it. There are 2 kinds of antioxidants:

The first type patrols the body, blocking the formation of free radicals.
The second type disarms the already existing free radical before they bind with healthy molecules.

Studies show that today’s fruit and vegetables are not rich in antioxidants as few decades ago. It is impossible to get the recommended level without supplements as multi-vitamin, vitamin C, and vitamin E in the right dosages. But this by itself doesn’t make the difference. No one lose weight just by taking antioxidants.

Anti-Aging Can Support Weight Loss by Boosting Energy in Your Cells
You can increase your cells energy if you exercise regularly and supplement your food with energizers. Energizers are vitamins and minerals that increase the energy production in your cells. Well studied energizers are Lipoic Acid, Chromium Picolinate, Coenzyme Q-10, and others. Cardio training is the best exercise to boost your cellular energy. Cardio training is what you may know as aerobic exercise like jogging, cycling, rowing or other activities that ramp your heart rate.

Anti-Aging Can Support Weight Loss by Increasing Hormone Level and Accelerating Metabolic Rate

An expensive and still questionable way to increase your hormones is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy must be recommended and supervised by a doctor. But criticizers recommend staying away and not messing with the side effect risks of hormones.

You can boost your hormone level significantly without a doctor and for free if you engage in resistance training like free weights, weight machines, bands, cables or even body weight.

Studies show without a doubt that resistance training stimulates secretion of HGH and testosterone. But that’s not all. Resistance training has many other benefits. It helps to gain muscle and reverses the aging damage of losing muscle. The more muscles you have, the more fat you burn because mussel growth accelerate you metabolic rate.

Aging is Not an Obstacle Anymore to Weight Loss
You reverse your aging damages backward and slow your aging forward when you burn fat and gain muscle. You can accelerate this process by reducing free-radicals and increase energy production using supplements. But there is no way to achieve it without special exercises that boost hormone level and nutrition that decreases blood sugar.

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis Elbow Treatment

How do you cure tennis elbow? First you have to know what causes it and how it happens. Tennis elbow involves injury to the extensor muscles of your forearm and its tendon origin. You have to be aware of the tissues that you have injured to eliminate the symptoms. The elbow is a hinge joint allowing both flexion and extension. The bone structure and its ligaments make its function stable. Tennis involves repeated gripping and twisting movements which work your extensor muscles. If repetitive micro-trauma is placed on the tissues, these tissues are unable to cope up which results to muscle tear on this area.

Tennis elbow treatment for tennis elbow injury varies, depending on the severity of the injury. Some treatment may include stopping or limiting activities that causes the pain, in these cases a band is wrapped around the forearm near the elbow or a wrist sprint is recommended and are used to protect the injured muscles as they heal.

Other primary tennis elbow treatment includes; anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), injections, and by the treatment called R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). But these tennis elbow treatments however can just treat the symptoms but not the main cause of the injury. In severe cases, an injection of medication into the injured area can relieve the pain. Surgeons recommend exercises such as stretching and strengthening the muscles to help stop the condition from returning. Some go through therapy and as the condition improves they gradually return to normal activities. This condition however is recurring in most cases. If the non- surgical forms of tennis elbow treatment do not work, then surgery may be recommended.

Here are categories of tennis elbow treatment: reducing pain, which includes the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; reducing inflammation, by putting packs of ice on the injured area combined with compression and elevation; inducing the healing process; maintaining fitness, by rehabilitation of the injured area through exercise; and control force placed on injured tissues, such as tennis elbow braces and wrist sprint.

A new form of possible tennis elbow treatment has arise, one is called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, wherein sound waves are used to induce so called ‘micro-trauma’ to tissues that initiates a healing response and helps to decrease inflammation. Another is Autologous Blood Injection, were in the Journal of Hand Surgery reported the results of a small group of patients who underwent injection of their own blood into the location of lateral epicondylitis with the underlying idea that the blood injection supplies the necessary healing components to help cure the problem.

The Truth About Herbs

The Truth About Herbs

Have you taken echinacea to stay healthy through the winter, ginseng for more energy or valerian to ensure restful sleep? If so, you're not alone. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, more than 38 million Americans take herbal supplements. With more Americans using herbs to improve their health, it's important to know how to choose and use them safely.

“Herbs may play an important role in overall health and well-being, but many people are still learning what works and what should stay on the shelf,” said registered dietitian Lynn Laboranti, M.S. “Consumers should do their homework and talk to their doctor about what herbs are right for them.”

What do you know about herbs? To test your herbal IQ, Laboranti poses the following questions:

Q: Can echinacea boost immunity?

A: Several scientific studies have shown echinacea to be an effective, natural way to boost immunity. When taken at the first sign of not feeling well, echinacea helps stimulate the body's natural defense system. Echinacea should not be taken for more than eight weeks at a time.

Q: What does St. John's wort do?

A: Clinical and laboratory research has earned St. John's wort a growing reputation as an herb that helps enhance mood. It has few side effects, but may cause light sensitivity and decrease the effectiveness of some prescription medications. It's important to talk to a health care professional before using St. John's wort or other herbal supplements if you take prescription drugs.

Q: Does soy relieve menopause symptoms?

A: Soy contains naturally occurring isoflavones, which have been shown to help relieve menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats. Soy foods and soy isoflavones also help support hormonal balance in women during the menopausal years. Experts recommend 30 to 65 mg of soy isoflavones (5-8 ounces of soy milk or 1 to 2 soy tablets) daily to receive a full benefit.

If you choose to take herbs in tablet form, Laboranti recommends reading a product's label for additional safety and dosage information. Nature's Resource herbal supplements, found at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens, feature an extended, multipage safety label on the bottle. The booklet, called “Herbal ABCs,” contains extensive information on the specific supplement, drug/herb interactions, contraindications, adverse effects, allergy warnings and special safety instructions.