Tag Archives: Cancer

Enjoy A Polyphenol-Packed Refresher

vine vera banner presents Enjoy A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

It seems that most people believe there is no crisis that cannot be handled with a coffee. Indeed, judging from the human dependency on coffee, it would appear that most humans don’t believe themselves capable of addressing most of the daily challenges of life without some kind of caffeinated beverage on hand to lessen pain, speed thinking, and quicken reaction time. While the growing news about the health benefits of coffee seems to make it more and more attractive, coffee does have its downsides: namely the tendency to produce jitters, difficulty sleeping and the lows that result as a reaction to the caffeine-generated energy boost. What if you discovered that there has recently emerged a beverage that provides all the positive effects of coffee, with little of the negatives? Matcha tea, anyone?

What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is the age old newest thing to hit the market. It originated more than 1,000 years ago in Japan when Japanese monks discovered its ability to make them feel “calm, yet alert” during endless hours of meditation.

The reason that the tea is so strong is that the leaves are not steeped in bags, but dissolved in water, leaving all the antioxidant powers of the leaf intact. As a result, you get antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 17 times that of blueberries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, anti-carcinogenic and 60.5 times that of spinach.

Cancer Prevention
Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants which knock out free radicals in the body. The most potent catechin in green tea is EGCG, which is anti-carcinogenic properties. A 2003 study done at the University of Colorado found that one cup of matcha has 137 times the EGCG or regular green tea.

vine vera banner presents Enjoy A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

Some of the oldest living people in the world live in Okinawa, Japan. The longevity of these people has been partially attributed to matcha green tea consumption. Although the tea is most popular in Japan, it is becoming widely recognized throughout the world for its ability to fight inflammation, aging, and oxidation.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol
According to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition green tea beverages can significantly lower serum total and LDL cholesterol concentration.

Weight Loss
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted in 1999 revealed that catechins found in green tea extract have thermogenic properties capable of promoting fat oxidation beyond that explained by tea’s caffeine content. The study showed that consuming green tea increases the body’s thermogenesis, or rate of calorie burn, by 8-10% to 35-43% of energy expenditure daily. Yet another study showed that exercise done immediately after consuming matcha green tea resulted in a fat burning increase of 25%.

Mood Booster
Matcha tea can contain up to 5 times more L-theanine than most tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive abilities which induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is associated with the brain’s beta wave activity. Alpha wave activity combats this, relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and lowering blood pressure, counterbalancing the jittery effects of caffeine. Thus, matcha tea promotes clarity of the mind without the nervous energy related to coffee.

What do you think? Are you ready to trade in your daily java for some matcha? Let us know!

The Benefits Of Resveratrol

Wine and grapes

If you are a follower of Greek mythology, you may know that Greek gods were superior immortal exceptionally beautiful beings believed to have powers over controlling the world or some aspect of it. You probably also know that the Greek gods drank a lot of wine. Did anyone ever make a connection between the two? Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red wine and grapes. It is said to promote longevity and offer a range of health benefits from promoting weight loss to combatting cancer. Could it help us achieve god-like status? You be the judge. Here are some of the benefits of resveratrol.

What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants as a natural defense against stresses of the environment and is theorized to be able to do the same for humans. Antioxidants are compounds which have been shown to neutralize free radicals which cause aging, cancer, and heart disease. Although Japanese knotweed tops the list of plants with the highest content of resveratrol, a large amount is found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol protects the grapes against sun damage and fungi disease, making red wine, produced with the grapes, a source of the antioxidant, although in an albeit small amount.

Woman drinking wine

Resveratrol and the French
Resveratrol is thought to be the cause of low rates of heart disease in France. Even with the French habits of smoking, coffee drinking, and the consumption of a high-fat diet, the incidence of heart disease remains low in the French population. The theory is that the resveratrol in the red wine the French consume counteracts the effects of poor health habits, and also contribute to the longevity of the French people.

How Does It Work?
Resveratrol helps to protect cell DNA and reverses the damage caused by free radicals leading to cancer, and aging.

Woman pondering


  • Skin Care
    Research indicate that resveratrol can fight skin damage caused by UV light. A study publishes in the FASEB found that when directly applied to skin, resveratrol can protect against the effects of aging caused by sun exposure.
  • Weight Loss
    Scientific finding show that resveratrol can stimulate the production of adiponectin, which is a hormone throughout to fight obesity and insulin resistance. Animal based and test tube studies show that the compound can help to speed metabolism and slow down the formation of fat cells.
  • Brain Health
    A study published in the journal Neurology in 2015 showed that individuals suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease demonstrated small improvements in their self maintenance abilities after taken resveratrol supplements daily for a year.
  • Cancer
    A report from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reveal a number of studies suggesting that resveratrol may have anti cancer properties. A study on cell cultures revealed that resveratrol helped to slow the progression of breast cancer in its early stages, and prevented estrogen from reacting to DNA molecules and forming compounds associated with the beginnings of cancer.

Have you taken resveratrol or used it in your skin care products? Let us know what you think. Is resveratrol the new miracle antioxidant?

The Truth about Mineral Oil

Woman looking into a microscope

There’s been much debate about whether or not the colorless, odorless mineral oil is actually good for skin, and the answer seems to vary depending on who you ask. However, there are quite a few fans out there, and with good reason. For a long time, mineral oil has been used as part of many a beauty regimen and using it has numerous benefits including helping to make the skin feel softer. Here are some truths that you should know about mineral oil so you can make a choice about whether or not you feel it’s the right product for you.

Highly Refined
Mineral oil is made from petroleum, specifically, it’s a product result of distilling of petroleum. It is one main reasons why some are turned off even before using it. Even the association is enough to have them choose something else. However, mineral oils that are used in beauty products are purified and highly refined, which leads to…

Mineral Oil and Cancer
The extensive purification process that mineral oil goes through allows it to be completely safe for use in beauty products. According to the Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition on the National Toxicology Program site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mineral oils that are untreated and mildly treated are “known to be human carcinogens.” There are different grades of mineral oil, and while some are untreated or mildly treated, those in beauty products are, as previously stated, purified and highly refined. According to the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer on their List of Classifications, Volumes 1 – 115 page, “Mineral oils, untreated or mildly treated” are labeled as Group 1 while “Mineral oils, highly-refined” are labeled as Group 3. According to their classification system, Group 1 is described as “Carcinogenic to humans” while Group 3 is described as “Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”

Mineral Oil and Acne
Another one of the biggest debates regarding mineral oil is that it blocks pores and could cause acne. One of the best ways to tell about the chances of that happening is to look at its comedogenic rating. The system ranges from 0 which means that the oil won’t clog pores to a 5 which means that there’s a very high chance of the oil clogging your pores. When it comes to the comedogenic rating of mineral oil, it has a score of 0. So you really don’t have to worry about acne and breakouts while using skincare products which use mineral oil.

The Feel of Mineral Oil
Mineral oil can feel greasy (some will be put off by the feel more than others), so if you have oily skin, it may not feel particularly comfortable to use, but on other skin types, it shouldn’t feel off-putting. To see how it might feel on your skin, do a patch test instead of immediately slathering it all over your skin. It can also give you a good idea about whether the mineral oil and your skin are compatible.

There are several myths out there about mineral oil, but the truth is that many people who use it won’t experience problems, and instead, can reap the benefits of using it. If you’re thinking of using mineral oil on your skin, it is best to consult your dermatologist first. This is an especially important step if you have skin sensitivities or you’re taking medication. You want to make sure you don’t do anything that could cause your skin to get irritated, so a quick and simple conversation with your dermatologist work wonders and also let you reap the benefits of mineral oil.

Coenzyme Q10

Sorting through every single skin care ingredient can be a tedious and confusing task, so we’ve decided to make it as easy as possible. One of the biggest areas of skin care is anti-aging and it seems there is a new “it” product or ingredient all the time. An ingredient that has been used in skin care for some time, but is now receiving attention is coenzyme Q10. Keep reading to find out more about this skin care ingredient, what it does in the body and how it benefits your skin.

Coenzyme Q10

What is Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as ubiquinone or CoQ10, is “…a natural antioxidant synthesized by the body, found in many foods, and available as a supplement,” according to health and lifestyle expert, Dr. Andrew Weil. Generally speaking, coenzymes support enzymes as they perform their various biochemical functions. Specifically, CoQ10 is used by cells to produce the energy that your body requires for cell growth and maintenance, and it has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals and minimizes the damage done by free radicals. When you are young, your body produces plenty of CoQ10, but factors including aging and stress lower your body’s levels of CoQ10. Over time, as your levels of CoQ10 decrease, your cells have a harder time regenerating and managing stress.

What Does CoQ10 Do?
Multiple claims have been made about CoQ10 and the health benefits that this coenzyme possesses, including:

  • Heart Health – Dr. Andrew Weil states that CoQ10 “is beneficial for heart health in many ways. It assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol, helps assure circulatory health, and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle. CoQ10 may also help support the health of vessel walls.”
  • Cancer – Research in 1961 found that people who suffered from cancer also had low levels of CoQ10 in their blood, particularly with people who suffer from myeloma, lymphoma and cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, lung, prostate, head and neck. Research has suggested that CoQ10 gives the immune system a boost and that in conjunction with traditional treatment, CoQ10 may help fight cancer.

There is also some research that suggests CoQ10 may help with weight loss, migraine headaches and periodontal disease.

CoQ10 and Your Skin
In addition to the above health benefits, CoQ10 helps to keep your skin looking young and healthy. Because CoQ10 has strong antioxidant properties, it helps to protect your skin against free radical damage, which is a major source of aging. Additionally, CoQ10 helps your body produce new collagen and elastin, both of which drop as you age. Your skin requires collagen and elastin to keep a firm, youthful and plump appearance.

CoQ10 is available as an ingredient in anti-aging skin care, and you can also get this coenzyme from dietary sources or supplements. Prior to orally taking CoQ10, doctors recommend that you seek advice from your healthcare provider, but it is generally considered to be safe. Topically, you can use CoQ10 to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.

Connection Between Vitamin B3 and Skin Cancer – Vine Vera Reviews

You know how to take care of your skin. Keep it clean, moisturize and every time you anticipate sun exposure you should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. What you might not know is that you may be able to reduce your risk of skin cancer with a vitamin.

Dermatologist examining a woman's skin for cancer.

The Study
An Australian study focused on the link between skin cancer and vitamin B3. The deadliest skin cancer is melanoma, and melanoma was not the focus of this study. Rather, this study focused on basal and squamous cell cancers which are two very common forms of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are very rarely fatal, though they are persistent cancers that can continue to return time and again. The study involved 386 individuals who had suffered from at lest two skin cancer in the previous five years. The 386 people were split into two groups and one group was given 500 milligrams of vitamin B3 to take twice daily while the other group received placebo tablets to take twice daily.

The Results
Participants in this study had to continue vitamin use twice a day for an entire year. Until the very end of the research neither participant nor doctor knew who had been given vitamin B3 and who had been given the placebo. The findings suggest that taking vitamin B3 did reduce the rates of skin cancer. Additionally, vitamin B3 helped reduce the rate of pre-cancerous skin growths known as actinic keratoses.

Participants in the study were followed for an additional six months to see whether the vitamins provided a lasting effect once they were no longer being taken. The research indicated that the return rate of cancers was about equal in both the placebo and vitamin group indicating that in order for the vitamin to be a viable help, it must be taken continuously.

The Implications
Dr. Richard Schilsky of the American Society of Clinical Oncology stated that the study must be taken for what it is and that much more research will be needed. He also noted that Australians have higher rates of skin cancer than nearly anywhere else in the world. However, he did find it encouraging that the nicotinamide, the specific vitamin in B3, could be an alternative to the more costly procedures of removing skin cancers. Because basal and squamous cell skin cancers tend to reappear, the cost of surgery, freezing or radiation can become quite high.

The Australian researchers also warned that this study was not intended to make people with no previous history of basal and squamous cell skin cancers run out to begin taking vitamins. The only research conducted so far was among participants who already had skin cancers. The researchers theorize that nicotinamide is beneficial because it helps to repair the DNA of cells that have been damaged by sun exposure.

While the research is both interesting and hopeful, for the present doctors and skin care experts recommend that you practice safe and sensible skin care habits. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and be sure to reapply frequently. Taking good care of your skin is an important part of keeping your entire body healthy.

Resveratrol Could Reduce Alcohol Related Cancer Risks

Vine Vera was delighted to come across yet another study that showed how effective the ingredient Resveratrol truly is. As you already know, Vine Vera uses Resveratrol in each of its products to offer your skin with the very best of anti-aging skin care solutions. Vine Vera examines this latest study on Resveratrol to discover what else this superb ingredient has to offer to the skin.

Vine Vera reviewed a study that was published in the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Journal, November Volume. This study was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Colorado and it talked about how Resveratrol could actually help in blocking out the cancer risks related to alcohol drinking.

With the holiday season coming to a close, this is an ideal time to include some Resveratrol into your regular routine because all that binge drinking and excessive alcohol intake during the holiday season also brought along with it an increased risk to all kinds of cancer, including breast cancer, head cancer, liver cancer, neck cancer and colorectal cancer.

According to Prof. Robert Sclafani, an investigator at the Cancer Center (University of Colorado), the body has ways to repair the damage caused by alcohol, but when one ends up consuming too much of alcohol, the body is eventually unable to rectify some of the damage that is caused by excessive consumption.

The human body converts alcohol into acetyl aldehyde in order to metabolize it. The body uses aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) to convert the acetyl aldehyde into acetic acid, which can then easily be excreted from the body. When alcohol is in its partially processed state of Acetyl Aldehyde, it produces cross links that can lead to cellular death. Therefore, if there is more than enough alcohol in the body, the body ends up having a backlog of Acetyl Aldehyde which still needs to be converted into acetic acid. As a result, the body ends up having insufficient ALDH and this ultimately leads to all the cross-linking which increases the risk of cancer.

Prof. Sclafani mentions that there is a compound in red wine which blocks out these cancer causing effects of alcohol and he believes that this compound is none other than Resveratrol. The researchers used this particular study to determine that Resveratrol actually killed the cells that had unrepaired DNA damage to prevent them from causing cancer. Evidence also suggests that Resveratrol can directly bind with RNA and DNA, activate antioxidants, kill the cells that cause the most damage and prevent inflammation. That being said, it is also important to understand that Resveratrol isn’t a magical compound. It is definitely useful for the body, but even Resveratrol has its own limitations. At the most, it might help out in significantly reducing the probability of cancer because of alcohol consumption, but it cannot eliminate the chance altogether.

Clinical trials are currently ongoing to actually determine the ability of Resveratrol when it comes to preventing liver cancer and colon cancer. Sr. Schlafani and his colleagues also plan to test this ingredient in the prevention and treatments of other types of cancer such as head cancer and neck cancer.