The 5 Must Have Supplements for Your Health

It’s not easy to eat right all the time and even if you are you may not know that consuming fruit, for instance, with protein will inhibit your bodies ability to absorb the nutrients you are ingesting.

Taking certain supplements will help to insure that you are getting the nutrients you need everyday.

Bioavailability and absorption are two important factors when it comes to sufficient intake of micronutrients. For example, oxalates are a chemical found in tea. While herbal teas are good for you, this chemical can limit the bioavailability of several nutrients, like iron and calcium. Tea has become as much a staple in many diets as coffee or water – meaning your body may not be benefiting from your “perfect” diet.

Another common example is consuming milk with a meal containing eggs – it is highly unlikely you will absorb much of the calcium in the milk. Iron, found in eggs, binds calcium in the intestines, limiting absorption. Ideally, these two micronutrients should be consumed three hours apart, but do you really have time for that much planning and fretting?

Supplements, however, do not replace healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Choose those supplements which are designed to address our specific needs and you can achieve optimal health and benefits for your body and mind.

Struggling with Weakness or Fatigue?

Don’t let these feelings get in the way of your fitness goals. Instead, get your iron levels checked. Low-iron or iron deficiency anemia can lead to a host of symptoms including: tiredness, low-motivation and poor circulation.

BEWARE: Big pharm and big brother want to take over the supplement industry

Our government, which is getting bigger and bigger, is continually trying to take away the rights of us citizens. Being consistent, the government has taken hold of several industries over the last few years to no benefit, and is now set its sights on the supplement industry. The FDA, a sheep in wolves clothing, is claiming they’re interest in taking over the supplement industry is public safety. However, government statistics show that supplements are basically benign, especially when compared to prescription drugs. Not to mention the outstanding natural health benefits associated with supplement intake.

If the government gets their way, they and the pharmaceutical industry know the supplement industry companies won’t be able to afford the FDA’s drug trial process. Most supplement companies will go out of business if supplements, which includes vitamins, are treated as drugs under the new regulations; drug companies like Merk, Pfizer and others will step in and take over.

Drug companies are not in the business of building health. It is in their best interest to have as many unhealthy people as possible. Its so important that big pharma spends more money on ads than it does on research (twice as much). It’s a marketing driven industry, trying to convince people they have an affliction and the drug companies have the answer.

Is it any wonder why there have been so many drug recalls associated with so many deaths. Perhaps if big pharma spent more on research, and the FDA did their job, many people wouldn’t have lost their lives needlessly. And this is who we’re supposed to put our trust in running our supplement industry?

Taken from Mercola.com:

Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011, introduced at the end of June by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) is trying to treat vitamins as if they are drugs, allegedly to “improve the safety of dietary supplements,” which implies that supplements must be a major safety hazard to begin with. Durbin’s bill goes hand-in-hand with new FDA regulations that amend the definitions for new dietary ingredients (NDI’s), and together, they can threaten your health and freedom of choice, and further serve to strengthen the fatally flawed paradigm of health and medicine.

An estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs that, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and administered, and an estimated two million more suffer serious side effects.

How does the safety of supplements compare?

In 2001, 84.6 percent of all substances implicated in fatal poisonings were pharmaceutical drugs, according to that year’s American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) report. This compares with 0.8 percent for all dietary supplements combined, even including substances such as dinitrophenol, a dangerous (and illegal) substance banned in 1938, as well as the central nervous system stimulant Ma Huang (Ephedra). ONE drug alone, the anti-asthma drug theophylline, which was responsible for 15 deaths that year, amounted to 66 percent more than all the available dietary supplements combined.

According to CDC mortality data for 2005, prescription drugs killed more than 33,500 people that year, second only to car accidents. That same year, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 27 deaths that were associated with dietary supplements

Legal DRUGS are killing massive numbers of people, not vitamins and supplements. Unfortunately, one reason for all these drug deaths could be the lax way the FDA “regulates” the drug industry by not requiring that all serious events in a trial be made public:

“When a clinical trial that is undertaken by drug companies shows that a drug has serious side effects, there is no law that says that study has to be published or made public in any way,” Dr. Dean says in her book.

Vioxx is a perfect example of a product that was approved without having published all the clinical studies where serious events that resulted in the deaths of over 60,000 people were discovered.

What’s obvious is that the number of people taking supplements and vitamins is continuously growing. It’s a $60-billion-a-year industry, and the drug industry wants a piece of that pie, as evidenced by drug giant Pfizer, which recently announced that it’s going into the supplement business to counter some of the losses from its blockbusters that are soon going off-patent. The FDA is apparently on-track to protect its client’s vitamin and supplement interests by proposing the new policy it slipped in just before July 4.

What can you do? Go HERE and get involved.

Health Benefits of Acai Berry Supplements

Acai (pronounced AH-sigh-EE) is a palm tree that can be found in South American and Central America. Countries such as Brazil and Belize are rich in acai. Other names for acai include acai extract, assai, assai palm, acai fruit, acai palm, cabbage palm, Euterpe oleracea, Amazon acai, Amazon acai berry, and of course, acai berry.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Because the berries of the tree have such a high level of antioxidants, they are used to make medicine, supplements, powders, and drinks. The berries can be used in foods and they are also eaten whole.

Many people use acai berry supplements to improve arthritis, lower cholesterol, and improve general health. They are also used to promote weight-loss and they are used in anti-aging creams, shampoos, and conditioners. There are few studies to support the benefits of acai berry, but studies do demonstrate the protective properties of antioxidants.

So far, there are no studies to suggest that acai berry is dangerous. At the same time, there are no studies to support how it might interact with other supplements, herbs, or prescription medications. It is also unknown if acai berry supplements are safe for pregnant women. The issue is not acai berry, it’s the way it may be processed, the amount contained per capsule, if the supplements are made from pure acai, or if the supplements contain other substances or chemicals. Because of this, doctors recommend getting the antioxidants you need from food.

If you prefer acai, it’s best to eat the berries raw or make your own homemade juice as most store bought juices contain loads of sugar or additives. The problem is, finding raw acai outside of South or Central America can be tricky. Use your favorite search engine to seek out importers. It might be expensive, but if you want to enjoy the benefits of raw acai berries, this is your best bet.

Other Foods that Contain Antioxidants

Antioxidant substances include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, poultry, and fish. Some of the most antioxidant rich foods include:

-Red Beans
-Kidney Beans
-Russet Potatoes
-Black Beans
-Artichoke Hearts
-Pecans
-Black Plums
-Dried Prunes
-Pinto Beans
-Sweet Cherries
-Cereal (oats, barley)
-Cabbage
-Hazelnuts
-Spices (cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cayenne pepper)
-Apples

Antioxidants can also be found in some meats, such as beef. For more information about acai and other antioxidants, visit Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Are Vitamin B12 Supplements Safe?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that the body needs for proper red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and neurological function. B12 can be found in many foods and it may be added to others. It is available in supplement form in regular and prescription strength.

Foods that naturally contain vitamin B12 include liver, clams, trout, salmon, yogurt, tuna, milk, eggs, chicken, and ham. B12 is usually added to breakfast cereals, which provide 100 percent of the daily value. At 48 micrograms (mcg) and 34.2 mcg, respectively, liver and clams contain the highest amounts of vitamin B12, while chicken has the lowest at 0.3 mcg. Liver provides 800 percent of the daily value and clams provide 570 percent. Trout provides 90 percent and salmon provides 80 percent.

It’s very easy to get enough B12 from diet alone because the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are so low. Individuals age 14 and older need only 2.4 mcg per day. Pregnant women need only 2.6 mcg and lactating women need 2.8 mcg.

While vitamin B12 deficiency is unlikely, it is not impossible. B12 deficiencies may affect individuals with untreated anemia and the elderly because the body’s ability to absorb the vitamin decreases with age. In these cases, B12 supplements may be prescribed in either regular or prescription strength. The strength and dosage will depend on the severity of the anemia other condition.

Although it’s best to take vitamin B12 supplements under a doctor’s care, this vitamin is not dangerous. Even if taken in large amounts, a B12 overdose is highly unlikely. When taken orally, any B12 that cannot be absorbed is eliminated through the colon.

If you think you might be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, contact your doctor to discuss your concerns. He will order certain lab tests that will help confirm a deficiency. Once confirmed, he may prescribe prescription strength B12 or a low dose vitamin B12 supplement that can beurchased at any vitamin emporium or drug store.

For more information about vitamin B12 supplements, visit the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health at http://ods.od.nih.gov/.

Do you Really Need Milk to get your Daily Dose of Calcium?

You don’t need milk, but you do need calcium and vitamin D. In many areas across the U.S., such as urban food deserts and rural areas, milk may be one of the only calcium-rich foods available. So unfortunately, people living in these areas might not have a choice. In other areas where a wide variety of foods is the norm, you could easily consume enough calcium without including milk in your diet.

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions. Serum calcium is very tightly regulated and does not fluctuate with changes in dietary intakes; the body uses bone tissue as a reservoir for, and source of calcium, to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids. The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure and function.

The recommended daily intakes (RDI) are 1,300 mg for teens 14 to 18 years of age and 1,000 mg for adults ages 19 to 50 (males up to age 70). Females age 51 to 70 need 1,200 mg and all adults over 71 need 1,200 mg. Infants need the least amount of calcium, so the risk of inadequate intake is miniscule. Babies from 0 to 6 months need 200 mg and ages 7 to 12 months need 260 mg. Toddlers ages 1 to 3 need 700 mg, children ages 4 to 8 need 1,000 mg, and kids and tweens ages 9 to 13 should consume 1,300 mg.

Although milk has been heavily marketed as the best way to get the calcium you need for strong bones, there are many other foods that contain more or just as much calcium per serving as milk. Eight ounces of milk contains anywhere from 285 to 302 mg per serving, depending on whether it’s nonfat, reduced fat, lactose-reduced or whole. Foods that contain around the same or more calcium than milk include:

-Sardines (324 mg per serving)
-Cheddar cheese (306 mg)
-Calcium-fortified cereal (100-1,000 mg per serving)
-Soy milk (80-500 mg per serving)
-Yogurt (415 mg plain, 245-384 mg fruit)
-Calcium fortified orange juice (200-260 mg)
-Mozzarella (275 mg)

If you’re allergic to dairy products, you can still get enough calcium by eating sardines, salmon (181 mg per serving), spinach (120 mg), tofu (138 mg), turnip greens (99 mg), kale (90 mg), Chinese cabbage (74 mg), and instant breakfast drinks (105-250 mg). Bread, broccoli, sour cream, tortillas, frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding and cream cheese also contain calcium.

Doctors agree that obtaining calcium mainly from food sources is best, but supplements can fill the gaps when needed. The two main forms of calcium in supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is the most popular of the two, it’s widely available, and it’s inexpensive. Both forms of calcium are well absorbed, but calcium citrate is better tolerated and absorbed by individuals with reduced levels of stomach acid. The body can absorb calcium citrate effectively when taken with or without food. Calcium carbonate is absorbed more efficiently when consumed with food.

There are several other types of calcium that can be found in supplements and fortified foods. They are:

-Gluconate
-Lactate
-Phosphate

Several different forms of calcium can be found in calcium-fortified juices, but a popular type is calcium citrate malate. This form of calcium is well absorbed by the body and it’s also inexpensive.

For more information about calcium and to print a food chart that lists calcium rich foods along with daily values, visit the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health at http://ods.od.nih.gov/.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Natural vitamin D is elusive. This necessary nutrient is naturally found in just a handful of foods, but it can be found as an additive in many processed and packaged foods. Vitamin D is also available in supplement form. Fortunately, the average healthy person gets enough vitamin D from sun exposure and food, so deficiencies among healthy adults is uncommon.

According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis. Moderate use of commercial tanning beds that emit two to six percent UVB radiation is also effective. Individuals with limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet or take a supplement to achieve recommended levels of intake.

The best food sources of vitamin D are the flesh of fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil are also excellent sources. For example, one tablespoon of cod liver oil contains 1,360 IU (international units) of vitamin D. This is 340 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA). Salmon, mackerel and tuna have 39-112 percent of the RDA. Small amounts of vitamin D can be found naturally in mushrooms, beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. They contain anywhere from 2-15 percent of the RDA.

Fortified foods contain vitamin D as well. Fortified milk, orange juice, yogurt, breakfast cereals, margarine, and soymilk contain anywhere from 10 to 31 percent of the RDA. For example, fortified cereal contains 10 percent of the RDA and soymilk contains 30 percent. Fortified milk averages 29 to 31 percent.

The RDA for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. For seniors, the RDA is between 400-600 IU. However, research shows that higher daily doses of 700-800 IU may reduce the risk of fracture in adults aged 60 and older by 25 percent. A reduced risk of fracture is just one benefit of vitamin D. Other benefits include:

-Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus (vitamin D’s major biological function)
-Aids in the absorption of calcium
-Protects against osteoporosis and osteomalacia (hardens bones and teeth)
-Protects against hypertension (high blood pressure)
-Protects against cancer
-Protects against several autoimmune diseases
-Protects against rickets in children

Sun exposure and consumption through major and fortified food sources should provide enough vitamin D, so supplements are not usually necessary for healthy adults. However, vitamin D deficiency is possible, especially in the elderly population, obese people, exclusively breastfed babies, individuals with fat malabsorption syndromes, individual’s with inflammatory bowel disease, and individuals who have limited sun exposure. In these cases, a supplement may be necessary.

A physician will determine the amount needed to correct vitamin D deficiency, but the tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) are:

-0 to 6 months: 1,000 IU (25 mcg)
-7 to 12 months: 1,500 IU (38 mcg)
-1 to 3 years: 2,500 IU (63 mcg)
-4 to 8 years: 3,000 IU (75 mcg)
-9 years and older: 4,000 IU (100 mcg)
-Pregnant or lactating: 4,000 IU (100 mcg)

When vitamin D deficiency occurs, symptoms may or may not be present until disease has developed. If symptoms are present, they may include:

-Bone pain
-Delayed tooth formation
-Dental deformities
-Loss of height
-Muscle cramps
-Poor growth in children
-Poor posture
-Spine and other bone deformities
-Tingling
-Weakness

While the consuming the right amount of vitamin D has many benefits, over consumption can be dangerous. Taking too much vitamin D can cause nausea, weight loss, and irritability. Severe side effects include mental and physical growth retardation, movement of calcium from bones into soft tissues, and kidney damage.

For more information about vitamin D, visit the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health at http://ods.od.nih.gov/.

Vegan diet kills 11 month old

Vegans Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou fed their 11-month-old daughter Louise only mother’s milk, and she died suffering from a vitamin deficiency. The two are currently on trial in northern France, charged with neglect.

The pair called the emergency services in March 2008 after becoming worried about their baby’s listlessness. When the ambulance arrived, the baby was already dead.

According to Yahoo Health:

“An autopsy showed that Louise was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency which experts say increases a child’s sensitivity to infection and can be due to an unbalanced diet … The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to hospitalize the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.”

Breast milk is the best food hands-down you can give to your baby. But, it does have one downfall: its nutritional value is influenced by the mother’s diet. If the mother is consuming a diet that tends to be deficient in nutrients, such as a vegan diet, nutrients will be missing in her breast milk.

In the tragic case reported above, it appears 11-month-old Louise lost her life because her mom’s vegan diet created vitamin deficiencies in the breast milk she was exclusively fed on. Sadly, there were warning signs that the milk was not providing proper nutrition months before her death, as the baby was sickly and losing weight, but they were ignored.

People following a strict vegan diet are often convinced that it is the healthiest way of eating possible, which was most likely the case with Louise’s parents. But this tragedy can serve as a powerful warning for those who choose to avoid all animal foods.

Mercola.com
Yahoo Health

Vitamin D anticancer research project

Vitamin D3, which is technically a prehormone, has a whole host of benefits. This invaluable substance has a role in preventing or treating many diseases including cancer. Below you’ll find a letter I received as being a participant in a Vitamin D study, the results of which were published in the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment

GrassrootsHealth New Research Publication in the Anticancer Research Journal, 2/21/2011
Dear Michael,

Congratulations and thanks to absolutely everyone who has participated in and supported this project! According to one of our panel members, Dr. Anthony Norman:

“This paper provides a long awaited insight into a dose-response relationship between orally administered vitamin D3 and the resulting levels of serum 25(OH)D in over 3600 citizens. The results will allow a new definition of high vitamin D dose safety and reduce concerns about toxicity. This is a landmark contribution in the vitamin D nutrition field!”
Anthony Norman
Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, Emeritus
University of California Riverside

Key findings:

There were 3667 people’s first test data reported on

No suggestions of toxicity were reported even up to intakes as high as 40,000 IU/day (not a recommended amount, however)

It’s going to take about 9600 IU/day to get 97.5% (almost everyone) to the 40 ng/ml level. Individual variations however range from 0 to over 50,000 IU/day!

Testing is necessary to determine what the starting serum level is and how to adjust intake

It took 3 tests (1 year) to determine the optimal dose for each individual

The NEW rule of thumb for dosing will be changed. We’ll publish a chart for all very shortly. Currently, it is stated that you can increase the serum level by 10 ng/ml with 1000 IU/day. Per our research, this is true only when starting at about 10 ng/ml. If you want to go from 50 to 60 ng/ml, it will take an additional 2000 IU/day (i.e., the rise is only 5 ng/ml for each 1000 IU/day).

Please visit our website, GrassrootsHealth and listen to the interviews with the study’s authors, Dr. Cedric Garland and Dr. Robert Heaney. They both speak to the significance to public health of this study.

Another key item that I am very aware of is the public’s readiness to ‘take charge’ of their own health. With this view and the information to make it happen, we are bound to see some very exciting things with own health!

The research article is ‘open access’ so that everyone can download and read it! Please do so here: GrassrootsHealth Research Article

Again, very, very many thanks to all of you for your participation and support. You are helping change the face of public health! We CAN move to a much more ‘preventive’ model of healthcare. Please let me know at any time how we can best help.

We do need your ongoing financial support as well, to keep ‘spreading the word’. Please consider a donation to Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency for our future health.

Onwards!

Carole Baggerly

Director, GrassrootsHealth
carole@grassrootshealth.org

How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Supplements

When a woman decides that she would like to have a baby, she should consider taking pregnancy supplements. Pregnancy supplements or “prenatal vitamins” may be taken before, during, and after pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are recommended by doctors because a pregnant woman, or a woman that may be planning to become pregnant, needs additional vitamins such as folic acid, iron, zinc, and calcium.

Folic acid is one of the B-group vitamins. B vitamins help with the development of the baby’s nervous system. It also helps prevent neural defects and congenital malformation. Folic acid can be found in beans, rice, orange juice, fruit, green vegetables, lentils, and rice. Doctors recommend a minimum of 400 additional micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day in addition to obtaining folic acid from foods. Many pregnancy supplements contain 800 mcg.

Iron is essential during pregnancy because it’s needed to produce the right amount of blood necessary to supply nutrition to the placenta. Iron can be found in broccoli, spinach, whole meal bread, muesli, and strawberries, but getting enough through food sources may be difficult. Some doctors recommend 28 milligrams of iron daily for pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women. When taken with vitamin C, as a supplement, in fruit, or fruit juice, iron is absorbed more easily.

Zinc and Calcium are necessary for the healthy development of the developing embryo. If you pay close attention to your diet, it’s possible to get enough calcium and zinc from food sources, but because this is not always realistic, some doctors recommend an additional 25 milligrams (mg) of zinc and 200 milligrams of calcium from supplements. Zinc is found in oysters, wheat germ, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, peanuts, and dark chocolate. Calcium can be found in spinach, fortified orange juice, soymilk, sardines, tofu, turnip greens, navy beans, brown rice, oats, shrimp, almonds, and oysters.

There are literally hundreds of brands of prenatal vitamins on the market. Brand is not as important as the right combination and amount per pill. The best pregnancy supplements typically have a minimum of:

Vitamin A: 4,000 IU
Vitamin C: 120 mg
Vitamin D: 400 IU
Vitamin E: 30 IU
Thiamin: 1.8 mg
Riboflavin: 1.7 mg
Niacin: 20 mg
Vitamin B-6: 2.6 mg
Folic Acid: 800 mcg
Vitamin B-12: 8 mcg
Calcium: 200 mg
Iron: 28 mg
Zinc: 25 mg

Many pregnancy supplements are also made with allergies and food sensitivities in mind. Many are made without yeast, gluten, milk, lactose sugar, preservatives, salt, artificial flavors or soy.

It is important to note that doctors recommendations may vary based on the woman’s physical condition, diet, and other factors, so it’s always best to consult with your physician before taking pregnancy supplements.

Veggies vs animals

A study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, 28 February, 2009, found vitamin K consumption to strongly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. This finding surfaced with an analysis of a cohort study, Prospect-EPIC, consisting of 16,057 women aged between 49 and 70, none of whom had cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. To the surprise of many, those who got their vitamin K from plant forms by eating lots of leafy vegetables did not fare better than the normal population. However, those women who got their vitamin K from animal sources like whole eggs, cheese, goose liver, and animal fats had substantially reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Enig, Mary., and Sally Fallon. ?Caustic commentary? Wise Traditions, 2009;(10)2:11

Unfortunately, the researchers are calling for vitamin K2 supplementation not a healthy diet consisting of animal products, which would yield a whole host of other health benefits.

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