Vitamins

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Categories of Supplements

2016 December 5 by

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There are so many types of nutritional supplements, and so much information and promotion, that it’s often difficult to know what supplements are appropriate. Taking a general multivitamin is no longer considered adequate. And the number of specific supplements available is overwhelming. I have suggested a program in other articles, but in this article I would like to just categorize the different types of supplements that are helpful to take in different situations.

Universal supplements

There are a few supplements that are a good idea for everyone to take, including babies, young children, and adults.

Vitamin D: Virtually everyone is deficient in vitamin D because of inadequate sun exposure for most of the year. Everyone should be taking vitamin D and have a target blood level of 50-100 ng/mL. It usually takes 5,000-10,000 IU/day to bring up your level this high.

Omega 3 fats: The typical sources for these beneficial fats are fish oil and flax seed oil. They support brain function and prevent inflammation. A typical adult dose is about 1,500 mg of EPA.

Probiotics: Healthy immune function and digestive health depend on a healthy digestive tract lining and the right balance of intestinal bacteria. A broad spectrum probiotic with at least 20 billion CFU is a good idea.

Antioxidants

As we age our bodies produce less antioxidants that prevent inflammation and tissue damage. Taking some antioxidants after age 50 is a good idea. And taking the most potent antioxidants gives you more bang for your buck. Some of the best antioxidants are N-acetyl-cysteine (the building block of your body’s own production of glutathione), resveratrol, astaxanthin, CoQ10,  and alpha lipoic acid.

Immune system support

Anyone struggling with low resistance to infections or autoimmune disease could benefit from taking adaptogens that balance immune function. The best product for this purpose is a medicinal mushroom formula containing reishi, shitaki, cordyceps, and others. Astragalus is an herb that serves this function, and often these formulas will include astragalus as well.

Multivitamins

Although it is most beneficial to get vitamins from fruits and vegetables, taking a high quality multivitamin can provide insurance that you’re getting what you need. If vitamins are natural and food sources they will generally be better absorbed.

Treatment

There are many supplements that can treat specific imbalances in the respiratory tract, digestive system, brain function and cognition, mood disorders, and other health problems. These include amino acids, specific herbs, and vitamins/minerals. A trained nutritionist/herbalist can provide prescriptions for your unique set of symptoms and imbalance.

Our stressful lives often result in energetic deficiency states, including adrenal insufficiency and other hormone deficits (thyroid, sex hormones, or neurotransmitters). Tonification treatment with specific herbs and supplements can bolster the underlying deficiency and help reestablish healthy function of glands that contribute

Inflammation is often a major factor in the pathology of chronic disease including heart disease, arthritis, organ degeneration, diminished brain function, and cancer. An anti-inflammatory nutritional support program is essential in controlling these disease processes.

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Do you need to take supplements?

2015 December 26 by

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In an effort to remind you of some important health tips I am sending some of the best selected previous posts for your new year health program.

A supplement program

Your need for supplements depends on many factors. Your age, the quality of your diet, and your state of health will all be factors to consider. For example, if your diet consists of whole foods, organically grown, with very little processed or packaged food, and a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you will be getting many valuable antioxidants and vitamins from your diet. Include some calcium sources, clean protein products, and healthy fats and your diet may be perfect. In that case you may be fine with just a vitamin D3 supplement whenever you are not exposed to significant sunlight. Remember that organic produce contains significantly more vitamins and antioxidants than commercially grown, agribusiness produce. The extra cost will be recouped in your need for less supplements.

Which Supplements?

If your diet is less than perfect, then you may want to include an omega-3 fat source in the form of Antarctic krill oil, fish oil, or flax oil, a high quality multivitamin, antioxidants in the form of vitamin E (400 IU mixed tocopherols), CoQ10 (50-100 mg), or resveratrol (100-200 mg), and probiotics. Similarly, if you are older than 50 then your body’s own production of these nutrients is decreasing, and taking them will help to restore and maintain your youthful state. Everyone needs to take vitamin D3 unless you have plenty of sun exposure (for example, during the summer) or if you have been tested and have adequate vitamin D levels (50-100 ng/mL). The correct dosage for adults is usually 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day (preferably with vitamin K2 to assist absorption).

If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you will benefit from specific supplements. Any digestive symptoms may be a sign of an intestinal imbalance that will benefit from a probiotic supplement and a prebiotic such as fructooligosaccharides, arabinogalactan, and inulin. Digestive support can make a huge difference in your absorption of nutrients from foods and from supplements. A digestive enzyme supplement may be helpful in this process as well, especially if there are signs of reduced breakdown of foods, symptoms of gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort.

Inflammation

Many forms of chronic illness are a result of inflammatory processes. Allergies, arthritis, heart disease, skin disorders, and diabetes all involve chronic inflammation. Taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements will always benefit these conditions.

The type of anti-inflammatory from supplements and herbs will depend on the type of inflammation. An omega-3 fat supplement with adequate levels of EPA has a general anti-inflammatory effect. Specific illnesses will call for specific forms of treatment. For example, allergies are often helped by taking Quercetin, stinging nettle, bromelain, and n-acetylcysteine. Arthritis sufferers notice reduced joint pain and swelling by taking bromelain, turmeric (Curcumin), and Humulus lupulus (reduced iso-alpha acid preparations RIAA from hops). Auto-immune conditions will also need a combination of supplements with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Detox

If you are concerned about accumulation of toxins or exposure to radiation then you may benefit from supplements that help detoxify metals and radiation. This includes a chelating agent such as chlorella or modified citrus pectin. In addition, antioxidants, liver support, and digestive support will encourage the metabolism and elimination of heavy metals and radioactive elements.

I would be happy to discuss a specific supplement plan that fits your needs and supply you with high quality and lower cost supplements. Just send an email to cureguide@gmail.com.

 

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Develop a Retirement Health Plan: It’s Never too Early (or too Late)

2011 June 13 by

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If you are planning to retire, will you be healthy enough to enjoy retirement? This should be a time of pleasure, travel, getting involved in those hobbies you have postponed, and fostering relationships with loved ones. All the things you have wanted to do all these years. You don’t want to be suffering with chronic symptoms or have your health deteriorating. And only you are in control of your health.

The major problem with aging is inflammation, and inflammation is promoted by being overweight. So weight control should be a major component of your health plan. The problem is that your metabolism slows down ten percent every decade, and you need to increase the amount of exercise by ten percent every ten years just to keep up. Otherwise you will slowly gain weight, or if you are overeating you will drastically gain weight.

Controlling your weight involves two simple steps. Establish a regular exercise routine, preferably one that includes resistance training with weights plus interval training. These two will be the most effective way to kick start your metabolism and keep it increased over the following 24 hours. Join a fitness club and get a personal trainer to put you on a program appropriate to your level of fitness. Schedule a time for exercise three days a week, and establish an exercise routine. You can use free weights or machines. You can take aerobics classes that you enjoy. Pilates, dance, spinning are all good. Or have your trainer give you an interval program.

The second part of your program is establishing a lifelong eating program that will keep you healthy and fit. This can vary with your personal needs, preferences, and body type. It always includes eating whole foods and avoiding processed and packaged foods. As we age we become less able to process a high carbohydrate diet without gaining weight. If you are overweight, my advice is to get rid of grains and other starches including root vegetables (potatoes). Focus on eating vegetables, salads, fruit, soups, clean animal protein products (organic eggs and hormone and antibiotic-free meats), and some dairy if you like. Avoid bread and other baked products, pasta, and cereals. Eat fruit for desserts instead of cookies and ice cream. Avoid pesticides as much as possible by eating organic produce. Stick to your program.

You will also want to take nutritional supplements. As we age our bodies produce less antioxidants and enzymes. This results in tissue damage. You can forestall this aging process. Take an omega-3 fat supplement to prevent and treat inflammation. Krill oil is the best source(2 per day). Fish oil and flax oil are acceptable sources too (1,00-2,000 mg each of EPA and DHA). A broad spectrum probiotic supplement with meals will prevent inflammation too (20 billion + CFU). Take antioxidants, like full spectrum vitamin E (400 IU), reduced glutathione (100-150 mg), resveratrol (100 mg), CoQ10 (100 mg), and alpha lipoic acid (100 mg).

Avoid petrochemicals including commercial shampoos, laundry detergents, soaps, air fresheners, and cleaning supplies. Avoid pesticides in non-organic foods. These are all hormone-disruptors and carcinogens.

If you have health problems seek out holistic medical care to treat chronic problems like arthritis, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, low thyroid, osteoporosis, and all the other symptoms associated with inflammation. Avoid the cascade of conventional prescription drugs so that you don’t end up on a long list of pharmaceuticals as you get older.

Stay healthy. Your life depends on it.

 

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Boosting Kids’ Immune Systems

2011 March 10 by

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For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere kids are back at school and winter weather is approaching. This means dealing with colds, coughs, and perhaps flus. Prevention is the key. The first step for parents to take during cold season is to build immune function in your children and create the highest resistance to infection possible. We can accomplish this by activating the immune system and encouraging resistance through a healthy diet, adequate sleep, maintaining exercise even in the winter, and using nutritional supplements.

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Anti-aging Supplements

2011 March 10 by

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OK all you folks who want to stop the aging process, prevent cancer, and become immortal. What are the most important supplements to take? Here’s a short list:

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