Vitamins and micronutrients is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

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For the most part, all of these dietary requirements can be obtained from a balanced diet, but recently dietary supplements have become a popular resource for balancing dietary nutrition. Dietary supplements are especially recommended to elderly people as nutritional insufficiency is commonly seen in this age group. Supplements can go a long way towards building longer, healthier lifespans by protecting against health decline and disease caused by insufficient nutritional intake.Despite the added health benefits, use of dietary supplements increases the risk of exceeding the recommended doses for vitamins and nutrients. Previous studies reported contradicting evidence on the benefits of vitamin use; some showed evidence of improved health while others have observed a higher risk of mortality for multivitamin users compared with non-users.These reports raised safety concerns for long term multivitamin use. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at dietary supplement use in an Icelandic elderly population to identify how supplement intake contributes to the risks of exceeding recommended nutritional values, and to investigate whether supplement use is associated with mortality.

This study included5764 Reykjvik residents;58% female and 42% male with an average age of 77 at the beginning of the study. Prior to the study, scientists assessed the general health of all individuals in order to account for other factors that could influence mortality. Researchers recorded the educational status, smoking patterns, alcohol consumption, degree of physical activity, and other lifestyle characteristics that have an impact on human health. Participants filled out questionnaires explaining their dietary patterns and frequency of supplement use and submitted their supplements to a registry. To calculate the nutritional content obtained for each individual, scientists looked up the nutritional contents of each specified supplement in a database and multiplied nutritional content by the frequency of weekly use.

Results indicate that 77% of study participants used at least 1 dietary supplement.The most popular vitamin was fish-liver oil, used by 55% of the participants, followed by multivitamins, used by 31% of the participants. There were very few instances where vitamin and mineral consumption exceeded the recommended daily dose; the only notable exceptions were that 22% of the participants who used B6 supplements exceeded the recommended intake, as did 14% of participants who took Zn. Overall, patterns showed that vitamin users were less likely to smoke, were more educated, consumed less alcohol, and had a lower prevalence of diabetes than non-smokers. However, no correlation was found between dietary use and hypertension. Within a 7 year period, there was a total of 1221 deaths among the registered participants, but no significant correlation was identified between the use of vitamins and mortality rates. read more…

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Brain Vitamins – want to be smarter?

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We all want to be smarter. Whether you are still studying or already working, you want to have a sharper mind that can easily process everything that’s happening. From solving the most complicated problems in a major subject or figuring out the most efficient process of getting things done for your boss, we just want to be smarter at handling things. Admit it, there is an advantage when your mind works better. Fortunately for us, there are food supplements that can boost our brain’s critical thinking skills. Fighting the brain fog may not be as hard as what others may think with these vitamins you can easily buy at the local drugstore.
Vitamin D
According to the National Institutes of Mental health, one suffers from having poor brain health if they don’t have enough Vitamin D in one’s system. While it is commonly something we get from the sun, we can also get it from fortified dairy products and vitamin supplements. This vitamin helps boost our abilities to process information and have a healthy memory. Even pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to take Vitamin D supplements to help with their baby’s cognitive development. Aside from going out in the sun (but only when the heat is not scorching hot), it’s best to take supplements!
Vitamin B12
Dr. Weil It’s often known as the “brain vitamin” that has been proven to help keep a brain mss healthy for an old age in a Finnish scientific study on Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that anyone who lacks Vitamin B12 in their systems often suffer from forgetfulness, short attention span, decreased ability in performing math calculations, fatigue, and confusion. Read more Health Tips For Engineers Who Work Fulltime On The Computer It is highly recommended to have a diet rich in B12-foods commonly found in fish, poultry, beef. Go see a doctor as well for a blood screening in order to find out if you have Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Omega 3’s
NUTRA Ingredients We’ve all heard plenty of commercials about how omega 3 is good for you but did you know it’s also good for your brain? A diet rich of omega 3 can be found in protein sources such as organ meats, liver and fish! People who do not have enough of this in their system are prone to have a damaged nervous system. Potential dementia and mental illness may also be also developed.

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Food first to promote good #cardiovascular #health

Cardiovascular disease continues to be responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other disease. As physicians, we use medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, to control the workload of the heart and to increase blood and oxygen flow.

In some cases, we also use surgical procedures to address life-threatening cardiovascular conditions. But we are often asked by our patients if vitamin and mineral supplements could help in managing their condition or in generally improving their cardiovascular health.

This is a viable question, particularly since supplement labels make some very dramatic claims. While some research shows that supplements may help lower cholesterol or blood pressure, it remains unclear if they can prevent or improve cardiovascular disease. It’s important for patients to understand the science of supplements and to have realistic expectations about how they might impact cardiovascular health.

Popular supplements

There is a wide variety of supplements that claim cardiovascular benefits. Some of the most popular and the ones we are asked about most include:

• Fish oil, garlic — attributed to preventing plaque build-up in arteries, lowering blood pressure and increasing “good” cholesterol.

• Antioxidants — credited for repairing cell damage caused by free radicals, including the cells in our hearts and lungs.

• Vitamin D, B vitamins — said to be helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease.

• Fiber — found to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from food.

• Probiotics — thought to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

It is true that all of these can positively impact cardiovascular health, but the ingredients that do the work are all found in food, and recommended daily levels can usually be maintained by simply eating properly.

Eating fish each week and cooking with garlic or garlic oil can help with plaque build-up and high cholesterol. Antioxidants can be found in berries, dark chocolate and dark green vegetables. Dairy products, egg yolks and whole grain cereals contain vitamins D and B which can lower risk of heart disease. And fiber and probiotics that help lower blood pressure are found in vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. Isolating these important nutrients in pill form rather than ingesting them through food is not advisable.

Food first

Food contains hundreds of ingredients that, together, promote good cardiovascular health. Because there is no supplement that can adequately replace all the benefits of food, it is best to use food as your primary source of nutrition, then supplement any gaps if necessary.

Assess your overall eating habits to determine if you can make small dietary changes that would allow you to avoid supplements. If there are one or two food groups you dislike, learn about the key nutrients in them and then choose a supplement to meet only those needs. If you eat a large amount of fast food and frequently drink low-nutrition drinks such as colas or tea, you should consider making significant overall changes in your diet before adding supplements.

Supplement safety

Patients who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease should talk to their physicians prior to using any supplement, even a simple multivitamin. Certain supplements may actually be harmful to these patients since they can reduce the effectiveness of medications prescribed for heart failure, coronary artery disease or high cholesterol. In some instances, supplements such as L-carnitine and lecithin can even contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries of certain people.

If you are under the care of a physician for any cardiovascular condition, you must follow your doctor’s advice and be certain to discuss the effect of any supplement you consider. If you do not suffer from a cardiovascular condition, seek advice from your family physician or a nutritionist who can help you make an informed choice. read more…

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The 10 Best Multivitamins for Women

The 10 Best Multivitamins for Women

With so many options, here’s how to know what supplements are worth taking.

With countless supplements on the market today, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a multivitamin. “It’s important to first point out that multivitamins are not actually necessary for everyone,” says Laura Moretti, MS, RD, a Clinical Nutrition Specialist who specializes in sports nutrition and female athlete triad at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. “If you’re eating a balanced diet where you consume a variety of nutrients, you might not need one.”

However, it is recommended that certain groups of people take a multi each day in order to fill some nutritional gaps. And while it’s best to consult with a primary care physician or registered dietitian about your individual needs, Moretti offers a quick primer on multivitamins before shopping at your favorite wellness store.

Who Should Be Adding A Multi To Their Regime

According to Moretti, those who do not consume a healthful diet, who eliminate one or more food groups, who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, or those have a poor appetite (possibly due to health complications) may not be receiving the 27 nutrients the body requires. “There’s a lot of potential deficiencies with these lifestyles and we just want to make sure you’re getting everything your body needs,” she states.

Here’s What A Woman Needs

As a general rule, Moretti says the top essential nutrients for females include folic acid (for childbearing-age women who might become pregnant and pregnant women), calcium, and vitamin D. “Low bone density is something we see a lot, so ensuring that females, in particular, are getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D will help for bone health,” she explains.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommends that women of childbearing years take 0.4mg of folic acid, while the US Preventive Services Task Force states that dosage can climb to 0.8mg. Moretti suggests 1,000 mg a day of calcium—taken in separate doses since we only absorb about 500 mg of calcium at a time—and at least 1,000IU of vitamin D. “Your doctor might recommend a higher dosage of vitamin D, but that would be something determined by a blood test.”

Don’t Stress About The Form…

 Whether you choose a capsule, tablet, powder, liquid, or chewable supplement is entirely your choice. “I’m fine with any form,” says Moretti. “The way I see it, whatever is easy for someone to commit to will work!”

…Or The Time On The Clock

 And there is no better time of day to take your supplement, either. “if it’s in the morning after eating breakfast or at night before going to bed, it does not matter—as long as you’re getting it in,” says Moretti.

Scan Before You Swallow

Keep in mind that supplements are monitored as a sub-category of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “They’re regulated as a food, not like a drug, so the FDA does not have to look at these products before they hit the shelves,” continues Moretti. She warns against multivitamins that promote increased energy since they may contain stimulants, which could lead to numerous side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, disturbed sleep patterns, and anxiety. “Be careful,” she adds.

With the approval of your doctor, we’ve listed 10 quality multivitamins to consider: 

weight-loss-scale

Weight loss is one tough issue we face. Well, maybe some of us don’t, but they still work hard to maintain their slim. If popping a pill would make us loose weight, we’d all be thin as reeds. However, besides cutting down on carbs and working out, their are supplements that could help us reach our goal.

Vitamin B-12

Even though there isn’t a solid proof that Vitamin B-12 could be used as a dietary supplement for weight lose, It is believed that it could play a big role in how the body uses calories. Vitamin B12 may support energy production by helping the body convert food into energy. More energy will hopefully result in more exercise and greater motivation which will lead to safe and healthy weight control.Your body does need vitamin B-12 anyway to support the function of your nerves and blood cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids could help loosing weight. They are a great addition to your diet. they also may protect your heart and blood vessels from damage and disease. Consider eating fish a couple times a week, as part of your healthy eating plan.

Calcium

It is believed that Calcium could play a role in weight loss management. There are different theories that support that. The first is that calcium may bind with fat in the intestines and prevent your body from absorbing it. The second theory is that calcium may inhibit the production of hormones that cause fat to accumulate in your body.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential in digestive processes and activates enzymes that let your body absorb and use the food you eat. It helps to regulate your metabolism, which in turn may help you to burn more calories. Magnesium is also a good source of energy. It’s possible that a diet that includes sufficient magnesium allows you to increase your metabolism and produce enough energy so you move more, thus helping to burn calories.

Green Tea

 Curl up watching a nice movie with a cup of green tea sounds tempting. Green tea can help you lose fat, especially the abdominal fat. However, some studies don’t think that green tea is not so significant when it comes to weight lose. But still,Green tea contains antioxidants that might help protect your heart.

Fruits and Veggies

Don’t skip looking at the salad menu when you eat out! Eating a balanced diet, including five servings of fruits and veggies each day, is the best way to make sure you get all the vitamins you need to maintain a healthy weight, especially if you can’t eat any kind of food we mentioned.

 

At the end, Vitamins alone will not serve as the magic solution for weight loss. You still need to exercise and, eat healthy food that are low in calories and rich in nutrients to lose weight and look great! read more…

Want to skip supplements – Eat Well

ar-170539916If you ask most men you know what vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements they take daily, you’re likely to get a list that includes a multivitamin, vitamins B, C or D, fish oil and probiotics. Yet new research is changing the old advice about taking your daily vitamins in the form of a pill.

“A well-rounded diet is the universal recommendation for men, whether teenaged, elderly, or in between,” says Dr. Natalie Hogan Bessom, doctor of osteopathic medicine and family medicine resident physician with the Washington Health System. “The American Heart Association dietary guidelines do not support the use of dietary supplements, but strongly recommend a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Bessom specializes in lifestyle renovation and health innovation and says many research studies in the last decade have pitted dietary supplements (including various vitamins, fiber and fish oil) against their naturally occurring food sources. They found that the synthetic supplements do not hold the same health benefits as the actual food sources of the vitamins. “Vitamins, minerals, fiber and oils exist in whole foods in such a way that their potential can be unlocked by the other naturally coexisting chemicals,” explains Bessom. “The daily vitamin routine is going out of medical favor. Vitamins are not regulated by the FDA and can get very costly. If a doctor has not tested and confirmed a vitamin deficiency in male patients, there is no reason to be taking any dietary supplements.”

Andie Lugg, registered dietitian at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center in Washington, agrees that supplementation may not be necessary if you eat right. “If consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet consisting of ample amount of fruits, vegetables, lean protein choices, low fat dairy and complex carbohydrates, there is likely no need for a daily multivitamin as the body recognizes vitamins and minerals from food first, rather than supplements,” Lugg says. “Too much of one nutrient can pose serious health threats, so it is important that all supplements be approved by a physician. Also, some supplements/herbs can interact with medications, so if taking prescribed medications, check with a health care provider first.”

That being said, supplements may be a beneficial nutrition boost if you know you are not consuming a well-balanced diet.

So how do you know if you are getting enough vitamins and minerals from your food? Bessom says a good way to start is by eating a Mediterranean diet, which consists of high amounts of vegetables and olive oil with very little emphasis on protein and dairy. “This dietary lifestyle choice bolsters the highest overall health benefits,” she says. “It has been shown to prevent and reverse heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and depression. There is also emerging research in the realm of cancer prevention that suggest dietary choices may impact cancer risk much more than previously believed.

Following a Mediterranean diet means consuming primarily plant-based foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains and using olive oil and herbs to season and flavor foods. Poultry and fish are included at least twice per week and dairy products, sweets, red and processed meat are limited to only several times per month.

Fiber is important for heart health as it helps to lower LDL cholesterol and men older than 50 need upwards of 50 grams of fiber per day. Great sources of fiber include fruits with skin, vegetables and whole grains. As for protein, both Bessom and Lugg agree that more is not always better for men. “Protein has always been a big nutrition topic for men,” Lugg says. “It has been seen as the manly thing to eat excessive amounts of, or even include a protein shake in the daily diet.”

But she warns that if that protein is not being turned into muscle via exercise, the excess will turn into fat. As for meat, new research shows a link between the intake of red meat and colorectal cancer. “In short, red meat should be consumed in moderation,” says Lugg, “and leaner meats (turkey, chicken, fish), and other forms of protein such as eggs, yogurt, beans and soy foods should be the first choice when picking a protein.”

Bessom points out that plants have protein, too, and spare the cholesterol and fat. “One cup of green peas contains 9 grams of protein and 117 calories,” she says. “Eating two cups of spinach in a salad provides 12 grams of protein for just 40 calories. Other plant sources of protein include nuts, spinach, lentils, quinoa, beans, oatmeal, avocado, chia and flax seeds, sweet potatoes, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts and soy products. All of these have at least 5 grams of protein per cup or more.”

Bessom says dietary supplements have been shown to have benefits in special situations. “Males who have recently suffered a heart attack or have chronic heart failure are recommended to increase their consumption of fish oil,” she says. “One serving of fish two to three times per week is best. Recently, studies have supported the synthetic supplementation of fish oil for cardiovascular benefit in these specific patients (1,000 mg per day).” read more…

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Calcium Supplements: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

Image: Calcium Supplements: Are You Getting What You Pay For?

(Copyright Dreamstime) By Rick Ansorge   |   Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:40 AM

 

Calcium is an essential mineral found in foods and dietary supplements. Its best-known benefit is building and maintaining strong bones, and slowing bone loss. But it plays a critical role in heart health, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.

Which calcium supplements are the best, most effective, and budget-friendly?

A new review published by ConsumerLab.com — a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition — aims to answer those questions by ranking the best available supplements on the market.

The organization’s Calcium Supplements Review rates 27 products evaluated by the group.

Among the findings:

  • All 27 products contained the listed amount of calcium. But one product was not approved because it did not contain the listed amount of magnesium and also was contaminated with lead. A second product – labeled as “fast dissolving” – was not approved because it did not dissolve quickly enough.
  • The other 25 products all had consistently high quality.
  • Prices varied widely, ranging from 4-80 cents for a 500 mg dose of calcium.

Based on the organization’s research findings, the review’s authors identified a Top Pick for each of nine categories. To be a Top Pick, a supplement had to pass ConsumerLab’s tests of quality, provide calcium at a reasonable price, contain a reasonable dose, and offer a convenient formulation.

Two of the Top Picks are:

Overall Top Pick. GNC Calcium Citrate, which provides 500 mg of calcium per two-caplet serving at a cost of 9 cents. This supplement is also the Top Pick in the “Calcium Only” category.

Calcium and Vitamin D. Bayer Citracal Petites, which provide 400 mg of calcium and 500 IU of vitamin D per two-capsule serving for 11 cents. read more…

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Buy Bayer Citradel Petites here