Posts Tagged ‘supplements’

By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: April 08, 2010

Any alternative or nutritional supplement, whether recommended by a medical professional or purchased over the counter, can be of great benefit to your health—but can also present risks. When beginning a new supplement regimen, make sure you take the following important steps to ensure your safety.

The benefits of most complementary supplements are usually clear, such as garlic’s antibiotic effects or chamomile’s stomach soothing properties. However, like most prescription medicines and some foods, alternative supplements may also produce side effects, such as upset stomach, drowsiness, or nausea. In some cases, the potential side effects are even more serious than that.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of having problems with your supplements:

Understand what the supplement is supposed to do and when you can expect results.

Carefully read the label and any materials inside or on the package.

Be sure you understand all directions. Do you know when, how often and how long to take the supplement? If the packaging doesn’t help you understand those things, consult with your healthcare provider.

Check the expiration date, and stop taking anything in your cabinet that is past its date of expiration.

Vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements may interact with over-the-counter and prescription medicines, so be sure to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have and what side effects to watch for. Make sure they know about any other supplements or medications (prescription and over-the-counter) that you are currently taking so you can help prevent unwanted drug interactions. Write up a list beforehand and take it with you so you don’t leave anything out.

Pay attention to any differences in how you feel. If you notice a new symptom, tell your doctor or healthcare provider when it started and how it’s different from previous symptoms. Occasionally, a symptom caused by your illness can be mistaken for a drug reaction.

Keep your supplements in a safe place. Most supplements are best stored out of direct light in a cool, dry location. Don’t keep them in a medicine cabinet above the sink, where moisture can potentially seep into packaging and alter effectiveness. Also, keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Be safe with your supplements! By following the above tips, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your daily supplements without compromising your health.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and Healthy)

Chris

spirulina

By Catherine Lewis, AHJ Editor — Published: July 23, 2009

I’ve recently become fascinated with a blue-green alga, one-celled organism called Spirulina. An organism you may have never heard about! It is among the largest single celled organisms in existence. In fact it grows so large, that by itself, it can be seen with the naked eye. (To give you some perspective, most single celled organisms have to be magnified in order for you to see it, so the fact that Spirulina can be seen with the naked eye means it’s big.) When dried out in the sun, it turns into a sort of white crust, therefore causing many to believe that Spirulina is actually the “manna” the Israelites consumed as they wandered the deserts during their sojourn from Egypt. It’s no wonder that they were able to consume it so easily, because Spirulina contains nearly every vitamin and mineral that you would need to survive! Naturally, there are health benefits, which go along with using Spirulina, and fortunately, it can be purchased in pill form, making it easier. Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits you get when eating or taking Spirulina!


As you know, the Earth has many undiscovered herbs and natural remedies. When you hear on the news that some amazing food or cure has been discovered in the wild, you tend to be surprised. This is even more so for those of you who believe all remedies are man-made. As a matter of fact, remedies for diabetes, tumors, and a plethora of other conditions have been discovered growing in the wild, which include blueberries and cinnamon, but the most interesting natural wonder by far is Spirulina. You would be amazed at how much undiscovered known remedies the Earth still has for you to find. 

Some of the health benefits that you get with eating or taking Spirulina are:

Iron: Spirulina is saturated with iron, which is great because your body needs iron to survive. Iron is the most neglected mineral in your body, even though it’s essential to a healthy immune system.

Lutein: Highly recommended by doctors for preventing macular degeneration, or in easier to understand terms: vision. Spirulina comes with heavy doses of this drug, more than enough to meet your recommended 20 mg. 

Beta Carotene: About ten times more concentrated than carrots, and much better for you, providing all the nutrients that you would normally obtain from eating carrots. 

Food Cravings: Studies have shown that Spirulina helps diabetics control their food cravings, which is a plus when you need to keep your blood sugar down! 

Essential Minerals: Spirulina contains the essential minerals: manganese, iron, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, iodine, calcium, potassium, selenium, boron, germanium, copper. That’s like an entire meal for you in one bite.

Protein: With Spirulina you can get your protein fix, as it contains about sixty percent protein, which is higher than both red meat and soy. Indeed, Spirulina is 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein.

As you can see, there isn’t really a downside to eating this little blue-green alga, and it is in fact, grown all over the world! Some individuals will even eat it during the primary course of their meal. It has even been baked in cakes. Naturally, it’s not a complete replacement for a full meal, but it’s a great supplement, and extremely healthy for you. 

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: July 23, 2009

You may not think that being deficient in a simple vitamin or nutrient could lead to your death. Poor health, perhaps, or possibly even more tame conditions such as an upset stomach or headache. But death? In fact, a recent study indicates that being deficient in Omega-3s may be responsible for up to 96,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States.


A new study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that Omega-3 deficiencies account for about 96,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States. Even more shocking, the Omega 3 deficiency is responsible for more deaths than trans fats which runs close behind. According to the study, there are 12 causes of preventable deaths linked to lifestyle and metabolic factors that can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle change.  

Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth highest killer of Americans, according to US health surveys, when it comes to preventable deaths. The leading cause of preventable death due to diet and lifestyle choices is tobacco smoking, which accounts for up to 500,000 deaths per year. Second is high blood pressure, accounting for some 400,000 deaths per year, followed by obesity, physical inactivity and high sodium intake. Omega-3 deficiency ranks a close second to deaths from high sodium intake.  

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, many in the medical community as well as in the public health community are looking for ways to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths due to lifestyle choices. Omega-3 fatty acids are available in supplement form and are an easy way for people to get this necessary nutrient that not only promotes heart health, but can also promote digestive health and even mental health.  

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease when taken in supplement form. These acids come from fish oil and have proven to be beneficial when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol and balancing it with HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for the digestive system as they can reduce the amount of fat in the liver. In addition, new studies indicate that not only are Omega-3 fatty acids beneficial when it comes to improving cognitive abilities, but are also helpful for those who are suffering from depression, a serious and sometimes fatal condition.  

More studies on lifestyle choices and diet changes are needed to expose the risks that people take when it comes to their diet and health. While many people are well aware that smoking and obesity can significantly shorten the lifespan and cause premature death, many are not aware of the fact that a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty fish oil can also be a cause of death.  

Those who take Omega-3 fatty fish oil reduce the risk of heart disease, according to studies. In addition to helping reduce the risk of heart disease, supplementing your diet with Omega-3s can also protect against prostate cancer. There are clearly many benefits to getting more Omega-3s in your diet.  

Omega 3s can be found in fish oil supplements or krill oil. There is some evidence that krill oil is even more beneficial when it comes to heart and liver health than fish oil, although the effects on other parts of the body are not yet known. 

It’s simply a fact: Omega-3s are an essential part of a good diet. Making some lifestyle changes, diet changes and adding Omega-3 supplements can end up saving thousands of lives each year . . . perhaps you included.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and Live Long!)

Chris

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By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: May 28, 2009

Picture this: You have finally committed to an exercise program, you are running down the sidewalk or around the track, you are “feeling the burn,” and you are feeling great. Suddenly, you aren’t feeling that great anymore, your leg muscles start to burn a little too much, you try to keep going, but can’t. It hurts. If you have ever exercised vigorously, you know about the burning sensation that occurs in your muscles. But do you know why this happens? Keep reading to find out why your muscles begin to burn and what you can do about it!

Your muscles begin to “burn” when lactic acid is released from your muscle cells. This lactic acid is released as fuel in order to replenish the supply of energy that has been used up by your muscles during the workout. There are differing points of view on whether or not this lactic acid actually causes the burn or, coincidentally, just happens to accumulate at the same time the burning sensations start.

No matter the cause, this burning sensation is very uncomfortable and will hamper your athletic performance. Whether you are a professional athlete or play sports for fun, lactic acid buildup can literally cramp your style. The sensations caused by lactic acid buildup are extremely uncomfortable and can result in the feeling that you simply can’t take even one more step or swim even one more stroke. However, there is a solution to this.

Betaine anhydrous is a supplement often taken by athletes who are hoping to avoid the pain of lactic acid buildup. If used correctly, betaine anhydrous has proven to be quite effective. It is known to reduce lactic acid levels and may allow you to work out longer and harder, while simultaneously reducing the associated discomfort.

Many athletes take supplemental betaine anhydrous in order to reduce the lactic acid buildup that is present after vigorous exercise. There is disagreement between many experts on whether or not this lactic acid buildup affects the muscles over a span of time, but betaine anhydrous continues to be a popular preventative measure.

Another great benefit of supplementing with betaine anhydrous is that it can lead to larger muscle mass. This may benefit the professional bodybuilder down to the average person looking to get toned. Studies have also suggested that betaine anhydrous may help fat tissue become less dense, making it easier to shed.

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Betaine anhydrous is considered to be an extremely safe supplement that can be taken indefinitely with no known side effects. Betaine anhydrous may have other benefits that include improved heart and general vascular health.

While there are no miracle cures guaranteeing complete freedom from muscle soreness, there is evidence that betaine anhydrous can at least mitigate these problems. Betaine anhydrous is considered to be a safe supplement with a good track record – use it to improve your track record!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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By Erin Jansen, AHJ Editor, Oct. 2008
I have always loved to read about how food and vitamins and supplements interact with and support a healthy body! I’ve poured through countless books and articles on the topic and I’ve taken vitamins and supplements for years. My best friend recently asked me “what is the end-all list of vitamins and supplements I should be taking?” so in an effort to keep my final list handy so I can share it with her and my other friends, I’m publishing it on AHJ.

I recently turned 40 and realized that what they say is true, your body really does change as you get older. Even though I eat a balanced, organic diet and exercise regularly, I know the importance of supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals –partly because some of these supplements your body no longer creates but still needs.

I know it can get confusing with all the different milligrams versus micrograms versus IU, but don’t worry, most of the natural supplements you find at the health food store are broken down in these measurements. Here is my end-all list of the most important vitamins and supplements every adult should be taking.

Baby aspirin (1x a day) – OK, so it’s not really a vitamin or a supplement, but a half aspirin daily (or 162 mg) can do wonders for your heart. Take 162 milligrams every day for life (it takes at least three years to establish the full benefit).  

CoQ is also a good for heart health.

Multivitamin (2 x a day) – Forget the “one a day” branding, you’re supposed to take a multivitamin twice a day. Your multivitamin is a fountain of micronutrients! Be sure to choose an all-natural multi and not a chemically produced one. Your multivitamin should have the following:

  • Magnesium (400 milligrams daily)
  • Calcium (600 milligrams twice daily)
  • Vitamin A (1500 IU)
  • Vitamin D (400 IU daily for those under 60 years old; 600 IU for those over 60)
  • Vitamin C (600 milligrams twice daily)
  • Vitamin E (400 IU daily)


Folate 
(1 x day) – This is a B vitamin, you need a daily dose of 800 micrograms.

Vitamin B6 (1 x day) – Take a daily dose of 6 milligrams

Vitamin B12 (1 x day) – Take a daily dose 25 micrograms

Omega 3’s (DHA & EPA) (1 x day) – The all important essential fatty acids, you want an omega-3 that has DHA and EPA.  Take a daily dose of 2000 to 4000 milligrams.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – This is the third omega-3 fatty acid: ALA.  Take a daily dose of 2000 milligrams.

Coenzyme Q10 (1 x day) – A powerful anti-aging supplement, CoQ10 should be taken with a meal containing some fat or even better, in combination with soy or vegetable oil which enhances its absorption. Take at least 30 milligrams daily; you can take up to 300 milligrams.
 
L-carnitine (1 x day) – This is an amino acid that helps transfer energy between our cells. Take 1500 milligrams daily.

Resveratrol – This is a flavonoid found in red wine that acts as an antioxidant and decreases the aging of the DNA in mitochondria (the cell’s energy plant). A good dose is 100 milligrams.

Optional:

  • SAMe – This in a natural amino acid effective with depression. The usual dose is up to 1200 milligrams daily (on an empty stomach).
  • Glucosamine – An important chemical for cartilage, ligament, bone and joint health, take 1500 millilgrams daily.
I would disagree and say that glucosamine should be taken regularly for joint health with chondroitin 1200mg.  As long as you are not allergic to shellfish.

Keep in mind this is my personal list of best advice practices I’ve compiled over the years.  It is not meant as a substitute for medical advice and if you have any questions, you should contact your physician or alternative health care provider. A Votre Sante!

 

 

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Do you ever get that feeling of utter exhaustion – almost to the point of being weak or sick? Or you’re so tired that you are unable to perform your regular, everyday activities? You may be suffering from more than just simple sleepiness. Fatigue is becoming more recognized as a health problem recently, and can severely affect your overall health. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, there are things you can do to combat this debilitating condition.

What is Fatigue? 

Fatigue can be physical or mental, and is not always associated with feeling drowsy. There are multiple causes for fatigue, including prolonged mental stress, jet lag, depression, disease, lack of sleep and vitamin deficiencies. To treat fatigue, you can make behavior modifications, dietary modifications and can utilize the benefits of several natural remedies.

What are the signs of fatigue?

  • Consistently being tired or sleepy
  • Consistent irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive Problems
  • Reduced immune system strength
  • Muscle weakness

To combat fatigue, consider the following behavior modifications:

  • Increase your daily water intake
  • Monitor your caffeine intake throughout the day
  • Eat breakfast and eat consistent meals throughout the day
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Avoid overeating during the day to avoid fatigue in the late afternoon
  • Increase your iron intake
  • Begin or maintain regular exercise habits
  • Participate in relaxation training and techniques including meditation
  • Examine your current levels of stress
  • Consider adding natural nutrient supplements to your diet

Ginseng is a root that is native to the harsh conditions of Siberia. It has been used throughout Eastern medicine for generations for its numerous health benefits. Ginseng is best known for its ability to increase energy levels, to decrease stress levels and to improve a person’s ability to manage stress. Ginseng is most commonly added to the diet in capsule form or in hot teas.

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that plays an important role in energy production within the body. A deficiency in L-Carnitine can create the feeling of weak muscles and muscle fatigue. L-Carnitine can also help to metabolize fat that is used as energy, and when added to the diet can improve your energy levels and stamina. You can add this important amino acid into your daily routine through capsule or tablet supplements.

Maca roots are found in Boliva and are used for a number of health benefits, including increased endurance, stamina, the reduction of stress and the enhancement of sleep quality. The Maca root has been used for centuries in South America and is now most commonly offered within a capsule or tablet form as a dietary supplement.

Coenzyme Q10 is a relatively new molecule that was discovered in 1957. Coenzyme Q10 is responsible for 95% of the energy production in the body. Coenzyme Q10 can be synthesized within the body and is found in several food sources, primarily meats and organ meats. You can also add this important molecule into your diet through multi-vitamins and targeted supplements.

Fatigue is a common problem among millions of people around the world – so you’re not alone! With lifestyle changes, dietary improvements and the addition of powerful supplements, you can reduce the effect that it has on your overall health and get back to feeling yourself!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris Kolba