Archive for the ‘Vitamins’ Category

The Benefits of Easting that Orange . . .

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

One orange provides almost 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. eating the whole orange gives you dietary fiber as well. Keep as much as possible of the albedo (the white matter under the peel), which contains the highest amount of valuable bioflavonoids and other anti-cancer agents. Oranges are also a good source of vitamin A, the B vitamins, amino acids, beta-carotene, pectin, potassium, folic acid, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, manganese, chlorine and iron.

The average orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot inhibiting properties.

This high amount of anti-oxidant and flavonoids makes oranges one of the best fruits to promote optimal health.

Nutritional Supplements

Monday, August 17th, 2009

It’s hard to know where to begin when speaking of nutritional supplements. In 1982, supplement sales amounted to only two billion dollars. By 1999, sales were more than $15 billion, and growing more each day.

Only a couple of decades ago, just a few vitamins and minerals were the only supplements nutritionists needed to know about. Now with all the scientific advances that we have seen and are seeing every day, we’re beginning to understand how these supplements work in the human body.

Traditionally doctors have told us we don’t need supplements. They kept saying that over the years even as they began taking supplements for themselves. The FDA and other branches of our government are slow to come into the 21st century. Because the pharmaceutical companies basically write the laws on food and drugs, and the need for health care, neutraceuticals are being outlawed in many cases. The Food Guide Pyramid is calculated to contain all the nutrients a body needs. They maintain therefore you don’t need supplements if you follow the Food Guide Pyramid. Today we know the Food Guide Pyramid is neither accurate nor complete.

Those who propose taking supplements are often negatively placed into the alternate health care position. But we know there is a profound difference between the absence of scurvy and optimum health when taking vitamin C. And unfortunately until recently the FDA has taken the stance that one size fits all.

Do we buy fire insurance because we know we’re going to have a fire? So nutritional “insurance” will help provide us with a healthy body. Also, many drugs prescribed by doctors drain away vital nutrients. For example, if you are taking Lipitor, your doctor should prescribe Coenzyme Q 10. Mine didn’t. The essential fatty acids in fish oils does a better job than Lipitor in lowering cholesterol. But following that line would make a hugh dent in the $20 billion a year in sales for Lipitor alone. Take away the 95% that is not needed and see where that leaves the pharmaceuticals.

The reason the pharmaceutical companies need to advertise so heavily in print and TV is that thinking people would stop buying all these drugs if not for the scare tactics of the pharmaceutical companies. When people stop buying all these processed foods and go back to whole food without the nutrition taken out the pharmaceutical companies would loose billions and billions of dollars each year and they want to feed the fat cats.

Healthy supplements for your children

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

In today’s economy it’s hard to find a company that in reality looks out for children. Nordic Naturals is one company that does. Along with their omega-3 EFAs for adults they have a whole line of vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids for children.

I remember when I was a child my mother would give my brother and I cod liver oil. It tasted terrible but we were told it was good for us. Now Nordic Naturals has come out with a new product for children, the “ultimate fish oil gummie” for two year olds and above. It’s a gourmet treat made with purified fish oil from anchovies and sardines, sources of high quality EPA and DHA, and has a natural tangerine flavor.

Nordic Naturals was founded with an interest in children’s products because U.S. children were not receiving adequate levels of the essential omega fats in their diet.

Nordic Naturals distributes 150 plus products in over 20 countries on all 7 continents and is the international leader in omega-3 fish oils and EFA blends. To ensure the health of your children go to your health food store or visit www.nordicnaturals.com.

Celiac Disease & B Vitamins

Monday, March 9th, 2009

On Thursday, March 4, I had a display table on health and wellness at the Multicultural Forum at the River Center, St. Paul, MN. One of the visitors at the table told me they had celiac disease. Celiac disease is intolerance to gluten in wheat. And people with this intolerance risk having high levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Studies have shown that high levels of homocysteine may increase the risk of heart disease. Some studies say that 1.5 percent of the population have celiac disease and I seem to find many of these people. The following information will be of interest to those people.

That same day, March 4, I came across an article stating that daily supplements of B vitamins may improve the overall health of people with celiac disease. This Dutch study led by Muhammed Hadithi of VUmc University Medical Center in Amsterdam included 51 adults with celiac disease and 50 healthy controls and found that people taking daily supplements of vitamin B6, folic acid, and B12 had significantly lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. This was published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. It appears that many of us are short on certain vitamins. The doctor has put me on vitamin B6 (and this should only be done under a doctor’s supervision).

 

To your health and wellness.

 

www.nutraingredants –usa.com; Vitamins may help coeliac disease management: Study

 By Stephen Daniells, 04-Mar-2009

 

More on Vitamin K

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Dr. Andrew Weil brings more light on this neglected nutrient.

This group of fat-soluble compounds has many benefits from strengthening bones and improving cardiovascular health to decreasing cancer risk.

There are two main forms of vitamin K. Phylloquinone, or vitamin K-1, is produced by plants and makes up 90 percent of the vitamin K we get from foods such as cauliflower, parsley, kiwifruit, avocados, olives, Brussels spouts, broccoli, and dark leafy greens. The other 10 percent comes from a group of menaquinones, called vitamin K-2, which comes from bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract converting K-1 to K-2. Some foods that have K-2 are some meat products, egg yolks, fermented dairy and fermented soy.

Both a Japanese study and a Toronto study showed fewer fractions with vitamin K, and the Canadian scientists noted lower cases of cancer. A German study of 11,319 men found a 35 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer. A Dutch study of about 4,600 volunteers showed a 50 percent less chance of plaque buildup and a lower risk for heart disease.

Vitamin K-2 is less likely to be destroyed by blood thinners, antibiotics, and drugs used to lower cholesterol.

For the complete story go to Dr. Andrew Weil’s Self Healing newsletter, December 2008.

Vitamin K

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Vitamin K promotes blood clotting. My doctor recommended K for my minor surgery in 1960.

In the 1930s, Danish researchers noted that baby chicks fed a fat-free diet developed bleeding problems. They finally solved this problem with an alfalfa-based compound that they named vitamin K.

Today scientists know that the bulk of the body’s vitamin K needs are met by bacteria in the intestines, and only about 20 percent comes from foods.

Vitamin K sets in motion the blood-clotting process when there is a wound. Without it we may bleed to death.

Too little is usually found with those people who have liver disease or intestinal illnesses that interfere with fat absorption. Too much is only dangerous if you’re taking anticoagulants. Otherwise there seems to be no danger.

Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin K. Broccoli, spring onions, and brussels sprouts are also good.

Vitamin E

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Vitamin E has also been in the news today. In fact on the evening news with Katie Couric the other day a doctor stated there is no scientific proof that any vitamin supplements do any good. Evidently he doesn’t read medical journals today.

Vitamin E is a generic term for a group of related compounds called tocopherols, which occur in four major forms: alpha, beta, delta, and gamma-tocopherols. Alpha-tocopherol is the most common and most potent form. Being fat-soluble, vitamin E is stored for long periods of time, mainly in the fat tissue and liver.

Vitamin E is found in only a few foods and many of these are high in fat.

One of vitamin E’s basic functions is to protect cell membranes, and it also helps the body use selenium and vitamin K. Currently vitamin E is known for it’s antioxidant abilities. Because is protects from free radical damage, some experts believe that vitamin E may slow the aging process,

The RDA for vitamin E is 15 mg (in the form of alpha-tocopherol) for all adults but higher doses are needed to work as an antioxidant.

Too little vitamin E can lead to neurological damage and can shorten the life of red blood cells. Too much may cause the risk of bleeding. Large doses of vitamin E can interfere with the absorption of vitamin A.

To obtain the disease-fighting potential of vitamin E, experts recommend 400 to 1,000 IU daily in capsule or tablet. 

Wheat germ is a great dietary source of vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and whole grains are also a good source for vitamin E.

Vitamin C

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Vitamin C is probably one of the best known of all the vitamins. As early as 1742 lemon juice was known to prevent scurvy, a disease that plagued long distance sailors. It was finally in 1928 that this helpful component was known as vitamin C. It is the body’s most water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C is active throughout the body helping strengthen the capillaries and cell walls. It also helps in producing hemoglogin in red blood cells and assists the body to absorb iron from foods.

Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin C are linked to heart attacks. Vitamin C may also lengthen life. In one study men who consumed more than 300 mg of vitamin C a day lived longer than men who consumed less than 50 mg a day. Another study showed that over the long term, vitamin C supplements protect against cataracts. For people with type 1 Diabetes, which interferes with the transporting of vitamin C into the cells, supplements of 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day may prevent complications of the disease.

The RDA for men is 90 mg a day and for women it is 75 mg a day. But most experts feel that 200 mg a day is better for everyone. 

Too little vitamin C is linked to increased risk of heart attack, cataracts and a shorter life. Large doses of over 2,000 a day may cause loose stools, diarrhea, gas and bloating, but is corrected by reducing the dose.

For general health get 500 mg of vitamin C a day. Citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, red peppers and dark greens, strawberries, and kiwifruit are all good sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin B-12

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Most people get enough vitamin B-12 in their diet but often after age 50 some individuals have have a hard time absorbing B-12. Mild deficiencies increase the risk of heart disease, depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B-12 was the last vitamin to be discovered in the 1940s. It was identified as the substance in calf’s liver that cured pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B-12 is essential for cell replication and is particularly important for red blood cell production. It also assists in converting food to energy and plays a critical role in the production of DNA and RNA. It works with folic acid helping the body process homocysteine and lower the risk of heart disease. 

Research shows that low levels of B-12 are common with people with Alzheimer’s disease. This vitamin keeps the immune system healthy. Some studies suggest that it lengthens the amount of time between infection with the HIV virus and the development of AIDS.

The RDA for vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms a day for adults, and many experts recommend that you get 100 to 400 micrograms. Supplements of vitamin B-12 are very important for older people and vegans.

Too little vitamin B-12 leads to fatigue, depression, numbness and tingling in the extremities. Too much is just excreted in the urine.

Animal foods are the primary source of B-12. these include organ meats, oysters, sardines and other fish, eggs and cheese.

For more information check: Guide to Drugs and Supplements

Vitamin B-6

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

This is probably one of the most important vitamins and involved in more bodily processes than any other vitamin or mineral. Government surveys have shown that one-third of adults and half of all women are not getting enough B-6. This vitamin seems to play a role in treating PMS, asthma, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Vitamin B-6 is the “workhorse” of nutrients performing over 100 jobs many times a day. It functions mainly as a coenzyme, an action that with other enzymes speeds up chemical reactions in the cells.

Another name for vitamin B-6 is pyridoxine. As a supplement it comes in several forms, pyridoxine hydrochloride or pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). 

This vitamin forms red blood cells, help cells make protein, manufactures brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) as serotonin.

Getting enough B-6 through the diet or supplements may help prevent heart disease. Working with folic acid and vitamin B-12 it assists the body in processing homocysteine, an amino acid-like compound that has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other vascular disorders.

Vitamin B-6 is a building block for neurotransmitters and may help in reducing epileptic seizures and well as relieving depression. As many as 25 percent of the people with depression may be deficient in vitamin B-6.

The RDA for women and men under 50 is 1.3 mg a day. One survey found that half of all American women fail to meet the RDA for vitamin B-6. Mild deficiencies of B-6 can raise homocysetine levels, increasing the risk of heart and vascular diseases.

High doses of vitamin B-6, over 2000 mg a day, can cause nerve damage when taken over long periods of time.

Fish, poultry, meats, chickpeas, potatoes, avocados, and bananas are good sources of vitamin B-6.