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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Category Archives: Vitamins & Minerals

Posts on Vitamins & Minerals.

Eggs to lose weight?

If you like eggs, and want to lose some weight, this might be just for you. A recent study of men and women who ate two eggs at breakfast (as part of a reduced-calorie plan) lost a whopping 65% more weight than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories. The egg eaters also felt more energetic. As far as the yolk, nutritionists are encouraging you to eat the yolks in that they contribute to the weight loss, but also increase the HDL cholesterol as well as being a good source of vitamin B12 and choline. I wouldn’t recommend the buttered toast, hash browns and bacon to go along with those eggs, if you are trying to lose some weight, however, having protein to start the day, helps reduce appetite and keeps blood sugar levels from wild fluctuations.

Muscle Cramps and Hydration !!

Have you ever had a cramp in a muscle?  Chances are you have.  The most common reason is generally due to lack of hydration.  Many people just do not drink enough water.  Also another reason for cramps is an imbalance of electrolytes in your system.  Usually the culprits are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and often vitamin B.  Sometimes an easy fix for this is to try a sport drink (low carb) that contains these electrolytes.  It is an inexpensive fix for cramps. Avoid caffeinated drinks if you have recurrent cramps.  Massage and stretching are also good for post cramp issues but continue to hydrate all day long.  Drink fluids more often (every 15 minutes) if you are working out.  You might not know this, but many people with chronic headaches can also help themselves by hydrating more often.  Hope this helps!!

Flu Prevention

Did you know, in this region, the norovirus has ran rampant at several schools and recently caused the closing of a local high school?  The controversy around flu vaccines will always be prevalent however in an article in our local paper, a physician said “truth be told”, the flu shot rarely prevents the flu.  However, there are some herbs and foods that can help combat the risk of catching the flu.  For instance glycyrrhiza lepidota (licorice plant), helps the body stimulate anti-virus compounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can raise blood pressure, so if you take BP meds, consult your doc. Red Korean ginseng helps reduce the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections however it too can increase blood pressure. Cranberries and elderberries are directly toxic to the influenza virus and can be used without contraindication. Echinacea  tea is often used to fight flu symptoms, as it can enhance the immune system with its anti-viral properties.  If you are allergic to ragweed you may want to avoid this. Just a couple things you can do to fight back during the cold and flu season and don’t forget the usual Vitamins C, D and zinc!!

Stress & Acupuncture

Christmas always brings out the best or worst in people depending on if Santa has you on the naughty or nice list.  Of course trying to be nice all year can be difficult and stressful.  Did you know that acupuncture is great for stress?  There are specific acupuncture points for patients that can help reduce the feeling of anxiety and stress associated with the holidays or those incidents in life that affect us. Also certain supplements are good at helping reduce stress symptoms such as B-complex, Valerian root, melatonin, magnesium and lemon balm among the many that are effective. Finally, laughing and smiling also seem to be good stress relievers.  Don’t you just love the joyful sounds of children laughing during any occasion? Hopefully, your holiday season will be filled with love, laughter, fun, thankfulness and significantly less stress!

Zinc and Cold Protection

Wow!! Goodbye summer, hello fall…!  Obviously the colder weather will soon be upon us and along with that is the increased risk of catching a cold.  A recent review of some nutritional studies has connected zinc with reducing the severity of colds.  In fact, zinc lozenges containing 75 mg or more of zinc acetate, has been associated with reducing the number of days experiencing cold symptoms from 7 to 4.  It also was shown to prove effective regardless of cold severity.  One thing to know, is to find zinc lozenges without citric acid because citric acid can reduce the ability to absorb zinc.  I personally take 30 milligrams of zinc daily, year round and can honestly say it helps protects me from catching a cold.  Also remember my blog on consuming more spinach which also is considered a super-nutrient food that would be great for the cold and flu season also.

Finish with Spinach

If you are of a certain age you probably remember the Popeye the sailor man cartoons.  His claim to a strong finish was the consumption of spinach.  Did you know that spinach has very high levels of zinc, iron, and Vitamins A and C?  Though spinach isn’t thought of in conjunction with the cold and flu season, it does have superfood powers.  In fact, it is one of the few vegetables that can increase in nutritional value once cooked because it has a high water content and ability to reduce to about a quarter in size when cooked. It is a super dense nutrient food with antioxidant compounds and may help with brain function. Spinach should be a vital food used year round and it just may help prevent catching nasty stuff during the cold and flu season!

Ectopic Fat, Cardiovascular Risk

Fat Distribution

Ectopic fat is important! Have you noticed a little more chub around your waist lately? Did you know that one risk factor relative to health is exactly where this lipid  is stored on the body? Growing evidence associates the location of fat in the body, to increased risk of disease. This risk is not so much associated with how much fat we carry but where we carry it. If we carry this lipid tissue along our waist, liver, heart, pancreas or muscle, we are generally more at risk for disease. Tell tale signs include an apple-shaped fat distribution pattern, primarily in the abdomen, chest and shoulders. Even people with the same BMI measures can have different risk factors based upon where fat is located. Unfortunately ectopic fat can be present even if one is not clinically obese or even overweight. On the flip side of this coin, the presence of obesity does not necessarily mean there is ectopic fat present.

Risks

Since these lipids are more dangerous to health ( cardiovascular issues) when it is located along our waist and internal organs, there must be some risk factors. There are risk factors that we can control and some we cannot.  Controllable risk factors include, stress, sleep, activity levels and smoking. Other controllable risk factors include calorie intake higher than calorie burn, the standard western diet, night eating and high fructose corn syrup. Demographics include age, ethnicity, gender and genetics, all which are uncontrollable.

Physical and Lab Measures

There are some physical and lab evaluations that are associated with ectopic fat than can provide important details if one wishes to pursue them.  Though finding out your BMI is helpful, a better way is to get a Bio impedance analysis which uses electrical measurements to provide measurements of lean tissue, fat tissue, and fluid distribution. There are also several biochemical assessments such as salivary cortisol, C-reactive protein, ESR, hemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose and insulin as well as fructosamine and C-peptide.

All this information is fine, except what are the solutions?  Solutions include diet, exercise, lifestyle and nutrition via nutraceuticals.  I will discuss this in detail next time!

Supplements and Injury

Just read an article that states about 5% of all pharmaceutical ER visits are due to dietary supplements.  This accounts for about 23,000 visits yearly.  This also means 95% of those ER visits (roughly 440,000) are from prescription meds.  Supplements are unregulated by the FDA however the manufacturers cannot make unsubstantiated claims not backed by scientific study.  Many however do.  I utilize supplements in my practice for a variety of reasons however all are used for therapeutic value and based upon studies that show efficacy.  When taking supplements, one should research the ingredients and decide what particular need is being addressed, what the supplement is used for, what its effects are and are those effects going to impact your particular problem. Also know that some supplements can interfere with meds and vice versa. Stay informed!

Vitamin D and disease

The RDA for vitamin D has been increased to 600 IU for anyone 1-70 years of age and 800 IU for those over 70.  Even these numbers are probably too low.  Vitamin D deficiency in the US tripled between 2007 and 2010.   Many studies are now showing that we are terribly lacking in vitamin D as a society and unfortunately it is associated with osteoporosis as well as a variety of other disorders including cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer disease. Sunlight is a good way to boost your levels as well as supplementation.  There are lab tests for vitamin D levels however it is a fat soluble, so too much can be an issue in and of itself.  Most people can tolerate up to 5000 IU without much of a problem but consult your doc if you think you may be deficient.

Chiropractic and Health and Vitamins

I read an article in our local paper on multivitamins which said that the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a report that concluded there was no correlation between taking vitamins and better health. In fact, the USPSTF did put out a statement late last year stating, ” based upon lack of evidence, the Task Force determined that it cannot recommend FOR or AGAINST taking vitamins, and minerals, alone, in pairs or in multivitamins in order to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.” So it was very misleading story, not about a general health statement but a statement on two specific health diseases. We often have to dig a little deeper to find the real story. The statement went on to say that patients should talk to their physician about using these supplements. If you do talk to your doctor, make sure they have experience using them with patients. Many Chiropractors utilize supplements with their patients!