Archive for the ‘Vitamin’ Category

Why You Should Take Vitamin E Everyday

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Taking vitamins these days is getting more complicated all the time. It is hard to know if you should take extra vitamins or not? Some people say you should take vitamins because we don’t get enough vitamins in our food in our modern diets. Some people say we shouldn’t take vitamins because they are not a natural way for out bodies to absorb the vitamin and we should get our vitamins only from the food we eat. It is a very controversial argument as to weather we should take vitamins or not. I guess it is a personal choice to take a vitamin or not but it is always best to ask your doctor before going on any vitamin regimen. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and it works in protecting the membranes in our nervous systems. Vitamin E also protects the membranes in our muscles and cardiovascular system. Vitamin E is important for our good cardiovascular health. Our hearts depend on adequate amounts of vitamin E.

Vitamin E is one of the least understood vitamins in the world today. Vitamin E is found in foods like green leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce. So always remember to eat your salads. It is also found in wheat germ oil and rice. To get extra vitamin E it is best to just get it from the foods you eat. Eating salads every day helps you get the vitamin E you need for good health.

Vitamin E is good for your skin. Everyone wants to have nice healthy looking skin and vitamin E helps our skin age gracefully. Vitamin E moisturizes and protects our skin from drying out. You can find vitamin E in many skin care products form suntan oils to facial cream and hand cream. Vitamin E works best for our skin when we take it internally. Vitamin E is also good for shiny, healthy hair. You can find vitamin E in many hair care products.

Vitamin E has been found in laboratory tests to have a positive effect of muscular dystrophy and it may also have an effect on the neuromuscular functions. It is known that vitamin E is needed for the proper function of the reproductive system.

It is necessary to have a proper amount of vitamin E in our diets to maintain good health. Vitamin E is one of the vitamins that we understand the least yet it is so important for us to have in order to maintain good health. Without vitamin E we would have all kinds of health problems from dry skin to heart trouble.

Worried About Heart Disease? Get the Right Vitamins!

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

For those who exercise and avoid junk food, they think that their heart is strong and healthy. However, lack of certain vitamins can be as disastrous for your heart as eating a gallon of butter a day. However, for those who are concerned about their heart. There are several vitamins that can help you fight heart disease and keep your body healthy.

First of all, using vitamin B3 (Niacin) to help lower your chances for developing heart disease and has proved to be effective in lowering triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and raising HDL (Good Cholesterol). Thus, reducing the risk of heart disease. However, for optimal effects use niacin with other doctor prescribe medication. Consult your doctor before taking niacin.

Secondly, using vitamins B6 and B12 is also important for maintaining a healthy heart. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, deficiency in vitamins B6 and B12 may raise your risk of developing heart disease. However, results are not yet conclusive. Nevertheless, eating foods rich in B6 like potatoes, bananas, oatmeal, tomato juice, tuna and peanut butter and foods rich in B12 like milk, eggs, salmon, beef and yogurt are still beneficial to your heart and body.

Also, to keep your heart strong, consume foods or dietary supplements with vitamins C and E. Studies have proven that these vitamins can prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol form producing plaque. Plaque can eventually block arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke. Foods like vegetables, fruit and whole-grain food products are the best source of vitamins C and E.

NOTE***Consuming too much vitamin E can ham your liver, before taking dietary supplements of vitamin E consult your doctor.

Next, recent reports from medical journals, including the American Heart Associations, display evidence indicating that individuals with low levels of vitamin D in their system have a higher chance of developing heart disease than those who maintained a healthy level of vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the easiest vitamins to get, because all you need is 15-30 minutes of sun every day in order to absorb enough vitamin D. However, due to the large portion of the population that works in door and are unable to get a sufficient amount of sunlight, eating foods which contain vitamin D, (milk, yogurt and cereals, salmon, and cod liver oil and other types of sea food) is a good alternative.

Note*** Consuming too much vitamin D can be harmful to your body. Before taking Vitamin D supplements, consult your doctor.

A balanced diet is the best way to get enough vitamins to keep your body and heart healthy and fight heart disease. Before taking nutritional supplements. Try eating healthier and exercising regularly to keep your heart and body strong.

Why You Should Check a Vitamin D Level Before Orthopedic Surgery

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Are you scheduled for orthopedic surgery? Better check a vitamin D level before heading to the operating room. A new study shows that almost half of all people getting orthopedic surgery are vitamin D deficient – and it could affect the outcome of their surgery.

Vitamin D Deficiency before Surgery Could Delay Recovery

According to a study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, vitamin D deficiency among people getting orthopedic surgery is surprisingly common and it could make it harder to heal. When they looked at charts from over 700 patients scheduled for orthopedic surgery, they found forty-percent were vitamin D deficient and an even higher number had levels that were not optimal. This included patients undergoing all types of orthopedic surgery from hip and knee replacements to surgery to repair a fracture. Even some healthy athletes getting surgery for sports-related injuries were vitamin D deficient.

Why are doctors concerned about low vitamin D levels before orthopedic surgery? Vitamin D is critical for successful healing of bones and muscles and being vitamin D deficient can slow down the healing process. Adequate vitamin D levels are especially important in the two to four week period after surgery when bone is actively remodeling as part of the healing process. To have the best chance for proper healing, a person should correct a low vitamin D level before entering the O.R.

Correcting Low Vitamin D Levels before Surgery

Researchers in this study emphasize the importance of correcting vitamin D deficiency before getting bone or muscle surgery. Correcting low vitamin D levels is slow and usually requires high dose vitamin D supplements for at least a month before surgery. Not every surgeon checks a vitamin D level prior to surgery, so you may have to ask to have this test included in your pre-surgical blood work. The sooner a level is drawn before surgery the better – so you’ll have time to correct any vitamin D deficiency.

Low Vitamin D Levels before Surgery: The Bottom Line?

If you plan on undergoing any type of orthopedic surgery, check a vitamin D level at least six weeks before and make sure you’re within the normal range. It could lead to quicker healing – and a better outcome.

References:

Eurekalert.org. “Vitamin D deficiency rampant in patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, damaging patient recovery”

Whole Grains, Vitamin B3 and Arthritis

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The following information has been gathered and compiled through personal experience, twenty-five years of writing about health issues, while traveling, teaching classes that include T’ai Chi, Qi Gong, herbal information, martial arts and other health related subjects. The article also contains feedback from students and anecdotal information from readers of my columns. The following are my opinions and deductions from those sources.

Whole grains contain more than just roughage and fiber that contribute to bulk, they also have lots of vitamins and minerals. Whole grains, as their name implies, contain all the parts of the grain in naturally balanced and time release proportions. Most grains are moderately acid forming, with the exception of millet and buckwheat. Buckwheat contains a high percentage of oxalic acid, which may or may not be destroyed in cooking. Oxalic acid is a component of kidney stones and, if kidney stones or other kidney disorders are a problem, it might be advisable to avoid buckwheat.

Grains have different flavors and can add variety to meals. Some grains, like white rice and many wheat products are processed, or highly processed, food and not truly whole grains. Brown rice has the outer coating intact and the outer coating contains the majority of nutrients. White, or polished, rice has had the nutrients in the outer coating removed and then a small amount, of which a large portion may be actually chemical pseudo-nutrients made in a laboratory, added back in and labeled as “fortified.” This is the case with other grains as well. The nutrients that have been removed are then packaged up and sold as supplements. Personally, I prefer to eat the whole food as opposed to eating the processed version and paying for a pill. My mouth has never watered over the thought of taking a supplement.

Whole grains have a nutty flavor where processed and fortified grains, which have been reduced to simple carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates in the milling process, taste and act like the simple carbohydrate sugars they are. Many people have become accustomed, and addicted, to the sugar taste and dislike the true whole grain flavors. When I was in Canada a few years ago, there was a family from the orient staying at the resort where I was doing research. They disliked brown rice and would eat white rice only. I talked with them, and they told me they didn’t like the taste and that brown rice was considered a “peasant food” where they lived.

Sometime, in the early, mid-twentieth century, missionaries in the South Pacific, who had been eating white rice and feeding the brown rice to their chickens, ran out of brown rice. They, and the locals, had a high incidence of pellagra. After eating white rice for a period of time, the chickens began to display the same pellagra symptoms as the locals and missionaries. Once the chickens were put back on brown rice, the problems disappeared. Researchers discovered in 1937 that niacin, the third B vitamin to be discovered hence the designation vitamin B3, could prevent pellagra. The outer coating of brown rice contains niacin (known as nicotinic acid in medical circles). There are three D’s that sum up pellagra: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and death. In 1943, researchers found that vitamin B3 could relieve soreness and stiffness associated with arthritis. At that same time, the pharmaceutical companies were promoting their latest patented miracle cure, cortisone. Since there are few, if any, profits to be made in prevention and naturally occurring substances, the vitamin B3 information wasn’t highly publicized.

What’s so Special About Vitamin K?

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Vitamin K may not be as well-known as, say, Vitamin C or the B vitamins, but it is just as important to our health. Vitamin K is a generic term, a group word that refers to different types of compounds. The most common types are K1 and K2. We obtain vitamin K1 from the diet. Type K2 is synthesized in our body by naturally-occurring bacteria in the intestines. However, the amount of vitamin K produced in our intestinal system is not enough: We need a varied and balanced diet to make sure that we meet the daily requirements in vitamin K.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it is absorbed with fat from the food we eat. It is stored in the liver and in fatty tissue. Its name derives from the German term Koagulationsvitamin (clotting vitamin) because it plays an important role in the chemical reactions that ensure blood clotting. Hemostatic balance is achieved a) when the clotting process (the coagulation cascade) is activated to stop bleeding, but also (and just as importantly) b) when clotting is kept under control. Vitamin K is of vital significance to that balance because it helps the liver produce both clotting proteins (which are called vitamin K-dependent clotting factors) and natural anticoagulants (proteins C and S). There is also evidence that vitamin K may promote bone density and help prevent and repair osteoporosis.

There is a vast array of natural dietary sources of Vitamin K: spinach, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, parsley, asparagus, soybeans, organ meats (liver), wheat bran, eggs, dairy products, strawberries, bananas. Make sure that your daily diet includes 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables, and there should be no need for supplements.

As a matter of fact, vitamin K deficiency is pretty rare, and when it does happen it is mostly because of conditions that prevent the production or absorption of the vitamin. Vitamin K deficiency can occur because of long-term anticoagulant therapy, chronic use of certain antibiotics that kill the intestinal flora that produces vitamin K, alcohol dependency, liver disorders, and malabsorption disorders (i.e. disorders that impair the absorption of fats, and thus of vitamin K). Newborns are also at risk for vitamin K deficiency because their intestine is sterile and does not synthesize this vitamin. Newborn infants are given vitamin K by injection, while major-brand formulas are vitamin K-enriched.

If you are considering taking vitamin K supplements, please consult your physician to avoid side-effects. This is especially important if you are taking anticoagulants (esp. warfarin), as vitamin K may interfere with the effects of warfarin. Consult your physician and clinical dietitian to make sure your diet includes foods with the vitamin K content that is right for you.