Vitamins and Supplements

WdiologonewMedical Report:  Fish Oil

Fish oil has long been lauded as a great source of heart-healthy fat and new research from Harvard University shows that it also helps the body reduce inflammation. The body converts an active ingredient found in fish oils, known as DHA, into a chemical called Resolvin D2.

Researchers studied the effects of this chemical on mice suffering from full-body inflammation and found that Resolvin D2 was able to dramatically reduce this inflammation and increase survival rate. Inflammation occurs when the body’s natural defenses against infections are mistakenly directed at healthy tissue. This means that in order to combat inflammation, most drugs currently used must also suppress the immune system , something that can be dangerous for patients whose bodies are already weakened by infection. In the study, they found that Resolvin D2 was not only a powerful anti- inflammatory, but it was able to reduce inflammation without affecting the immune system. Because of this, researchers feel that this active ingredient in fish oil has great potential as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and stroke.


By David Liu and editing by Rachel Stockton

Editor’s note:

New York Times reported just minutes ago that President Barack Obama’s daughters, Malia, 11 and Sasha, 8 have just been vaccinated against H1N1 or swine flu. The White House released the news to show the public that H1N1 vaccine is safe.

There should be no doubt the vaccine is safe for healthy people as trials have demonstrated. The majority of the citizens do not want H1N1 largely because they believe the drug is not safe. Their concern is in a sense justified because it actually remains unknown whether the h1n1 flu vaccine is safe for those who have medical conditions and pregnant women because trial conducted thus far involved only healthy individuals.

The efficacy of the vaccine is another issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the h1n1 vaccine is made in the same way other seasonal flu vaccines are made each year. Because of this, CDC health officials said the safety and efficacy should be the similar if not the same to that of seasonal flu. But seasonal flu often does not match the circulating virus strain and thus the efficacy is often not as high as thought.

In any case, no matter you have received flu vaccines for seasonal flu and or H1N1, make sure that you take high doses of vitamin C and vitamin D because these health supplements have proved effective in preventing and treating colds and flu.

The following is an article about a study showing that high doses of vitamin C help colds and flu.

One study suggests that you may be better off taking mega doses of vitamin C during the winter to prevent and even treat flu, including h1n1 flu regardless of your immunization status.

The study published in Oct 1999 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that taking 1000 milligrams of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, reduced flu and cold symptoms compared to use of pain relievers and decongestants.

Gorton HC and Jarvis K, whose affiliation was unknown (from the abstract of the report) enlisted 463 students, aged 18 and 30, as controls and 252 students in the same age group as test subjects.

They tracked the number of reports of cold and flu symptoms among the test subjects in 1991 and reports of similar symptoms among the controls in 1990. The controls were treated with pain relievers and decongestants while the test subjects were given 1000 mg each hour for the first six hours of reporting symptoms; then three times each day for the next three days.

The researchers found that reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85 percent, compared with the control group.

They concluded that mega doses of vitamin C administered before and after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented said symptoms.

This is not the only study that has concluded that taking high doses of vitamin C prevents and helps victims of the flu and colds. Vitamin C has been known to boost one’s immunity against these illnesses.

Those who bet their winter on the seasonal flu and or h1n1 flu vaccine need to remember that these vaccines are often not as effective as thought. Chances are very good that if you get the vaccine you will still get the flu. So do not forget to take high doses of vitamin C in the winter. Another, possibly more effective, supplement you can enlist to protect against flu is Vitamin D, in high doses.

chickeneggBY JULIA BROWN • Fresno Farmers Market • October 15, 2009

This is an age-old question that might never be answered. Although vendors at the Fresno Farmers’ Market may not have the answer to this question or why the chicken crossed the road, but we sure do have a supply of fresh brown eggs.

Eggs have been consumed by humans since the beginning of time, before recorded history: Ostrich, quail, duck, goose, even turtle eggs and the more popular chicken egg that most of us eat today. In ancient Rome, the egg shell was crushed on the plate before eating to prevent evil spirits from hiding in the egg.

Eggs contain and provide several vitamins and minerals and are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D along with vitamins A, B6 and B12, iron, protein, potassium, calcium, folic acid and the list goes on.

One large egg has only 75 calories and half of those are in the yolk, while the egg white contains no cholesterol and little if any fat. The color of the egg shell is caused by pigment deposits as the egg is forming. Generally, chicken breeds with white ears lay white eggs and chickens with red ears lay brown eggs. However, there is no evidence of nutritional difference between the two.

White eggs are thought to be more mass and industrially produced, while most prefer fresh-from-the-farm brown eggs.

So whether you like yours pickled, deviled or sunny side up, the goodness of a fresh brown egg can’t be compared. Come, make the drive out to the country and let the venders at the Fresno Market supply all of your farm market needs.

Homemade bread and noodles, pies, cakes and cookies, fresh Amish butter and yogurt, locally grown fresh produce, flowers and herbs, jams and jellies, home decor items like birdhouses, hand poured soy candles, hand loomed rugs, pillows, floral wreaths and the list keeps going. Make the trip to the Fresno Market and stock up your pantry shelves with homemade goodness, your family will be glad you did and so will your wallet.

We all look forward to seeing you soon. And like always the coffee will be ready and waiting for you and it is always free.

The Fresno Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday in May to November at the Old Fresno Schoolhouse, rain or shine. For more information, call (740) 545-0849.

By Erica Molina Johnson / El Paso Times

Posted: 10/12/2009

Some people don’t get enough nutrition through food alone. Experts recommended adding vitamin supplements. (Photo illustration by Rudy Gutierrez / El Paso Times)

EL PASO — Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the human body to function properly.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a mineral necessary for strong teeth and bones.

Vitamin A helps maintain the body’s vision, bone growth, reproduction and the immune system.

Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells.

Dietitians said even people who munch on vegetables and faithfully resist the fast-food drive-through might need a little extra help getting their recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals.

But relying on vitamin supplements can do some people more harm than good.

“Some people think you can take more and more and more, but there is a ceiling as to how much a person can consume and be healthy,” said Suzy Weems, a professor of nutrition at Baylor University and a representative of the Texas Dietetic Association

Despite that, she said, the claims printed on the vitamin boxes, such as promoting heart health, energy or mental clarity are often too tempting for some to resist.

“They sell to all kinds of folks, and the desire is to want a quick fix and an easy fix,” Weems said.

She said people concerned about their nutritional status should start with a visit to their doctor or dietitian to determine whether they’re lacking in any recommended vitamin or mineral.

A quick way for people to check their own intake is to type in their food consumption information at Problems signaled there are good

indications of things to discuss with your doctor, Weems said.She said people should know their nutritional status before taking doses of individual vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C. People can be tested for such deficiencies by their doctors.

Vitamin deficiencies could have serious health ramifications.

Veronica Juarez, a registered dietitian and representative of the Texas Dietetic Association, said the ease, price and availability of packaged and prepared foods often draw people who want to save time or money on their meals.

The result can be a deficiency in one or more vitamins and minerals, leading to a higher risk of developing certain medical conditions.

Juarez said she commonly encounters adults who have deficiencies of vitamin D — most often produced by the body from sun exposure. Vitamin D is also is found in foods such as fish, eggs and fortified milk.

“If you get five minutes of direct sunlight a day without any sunblock, you can synthesize it into your skin,” Juarez said. “But with skin cancer and wrinkles, dermatologists have done a good job about getting the message out that too much sun is not good for us.

“We go from one extreme to the other in our society,” she said.

A deficiency of vitamin D can inhibit a body from absorbing calcium well. A lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets, weak bones and osteomalacia.

“Vitamin D deficiency is one example of where we do need an extra supplement,” Juarez said. “It’s very hard to get it in your food in the ways we need it.”

Juarez said it’s likely that many people are falling short of their daily recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals.

“We have to be realistic,” she said. “We’re not getting all the recommended vitamins on a daily basis. Even just eating at home, if you stick to one or two types of produce items, you might be limiting yourself to certain vitamins and minerals your body needs for long-term good health.”

For most people, the answer is not supplementing to make up for specific deficiencies but to use a simple multivitamin.

“You could start off with a basic multivitamin. Talk with your physician and get tested for vitamin D and other deficiencies,” Juarez said.

Weems said a standard multivitamin without a lot of extras, such as ginseng or ginkgo biloba, should be fine for many people. Those extras are often not tested as thoroughly as the vitamins and minerals recommended by the government to be taken daily, she said.

Juarez recommended checking out the company producing the vitamins to be sure it’s reputable, as well as checking out the absorption rates of the item you plan to ingest. Internet research and conversations with pharmacists can help people make their decisions.

While not having enough of a vitamin or mineral in your system can be dangerous, consuming too much can have as many health risks.

“More isn’t always better,” Weems said.

She said if a person is already getting enough of a vitamin in food, a vitamin supplement could prove to be too much.

She said people can begin to harm their health if they consume too much of a vitamin or mineral.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, a few examples of this are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and other problems that come with taking too much vitamin A.

Too much vitamin D can lead to nausea, vomiting, constipation, confusion and heart rhythm problems.

Taking too much vitamin B-6 can cause nerve damage to a person’s limbs, and too much vitamin C can lead to kidney stones.

People also have to be sure to talk to their doctor about possible interactions with medicines before beginning a vitamin regimen.

For example, vitamin K can interact with Cou madin, a medicine prescribed for people at risk of developing blood clots. Vitamin E can interact with drugs such as anticoagulants and cancer therapies.

In addition to possibly harming your body by consuming too much of a vitamin, people’s bodies can’t process too much of a vitamin and can excrete it quickly.

“A lot of the water-soluble ones will move right on through and go right out through the urine,” Weems said. “Riboflavin is one of those B vitamins, that if you take a huge dose, the urine will turn a fluorescent yellow.

“That’s a good indicator those levels are extremely high,” Weems said.

She said 100 to 125 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals is a good measure for most people, unless otherwise advised by a doctor.

Although vitamin supplements can be a good way to ensure a person is meeting daily needs, healthful meals remain the gold standard.

“It’s what your mom said and what your grandma said,” Weems said.

She said people should consult the food pyramid and ensure they’re eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, lean dairy products and other items.

“Sometimes people are making better choices than they give themselves credit for,” Weems said.

Erica Molina Johnson may be reached at; 546-6132.

Losing Your Friends to Joint Health

This Halloween, consider trying out a really different costume. You want something that nobody can guess what you are. You could dress up in a long black sheath, for example. Wait till you see the look on their faces when you tell them you’re a sea cucumber! If that idea doesn’t suit you, try dressing up as a cherry. Okay, so you’ll be the weirdest person at the party. But since you’re dressed weird, you may as well play the part of the obnoxious friend bent on educating everyone on joint health.

Use the costume to launch a full scale attack. Dance, sing really loudly, or do whatever you have to do to illustrate your point. Since it’s a Halloween party we’re taking about, don’t be afraid to use a little fear mongering to get your friends interested in their joint health. Sure, they laughed at your costume at first, but now they’re going to really be scared!

Tel l them scary stories about what happens when you don’t take good care of your joints. Images of Quasimodo might come to mind. (Another excellent costume idea!) Use your unique storytelling ability to describe how glucosamine, chondroitin, cherry extract, and MSM help support joint health. Your friends may never invite you to a party again, but won’t you feel great knowing that you’ve educated them about their joint health?

vitaminsBy BARBARA QUINN – Monterey County Herald – October 3, 2009

I’m working on a nutrition-related project and came upon some nice-to-knows about vitamins. Allow me to share:

•Vitamins are substances that are vital to life. Unlike fat, protein and carbohydrates, vitamins do not contain calories. Neither do they produce energy. They do, however, help to release energy from fat, protein and carbohydrates.

•Vitamins are needed in teeny-tiny amounts. Vitamins are required in milligrams (one-thousandth of a gram) or micrograms (one-thousandths of a milligram).

•Water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and the B vitamins are destroyed by exposure to air. (As soon as you cut an orange, it begins to lose vitamin C.) So, eat fruit as close to fresh as possible. And refrigerate most fruit and vegetables in airtight containers.

•Microwave cooking is a good way to cook vegetables because it requires less heat and water exposure that can destroy some vitamins. One vitamin that is destroyed by microwave cooking, however, is vitamin B-12. So, best cook your meats and milk products (major sources of vitamin B-12) on the stove or in the oven.

•Vitamin A is one of those “more is not better” vitamins. Although vital for vision and maintaining the lining of all our body surfaces, excessive vitamin A can weaken bones and cause birth defects if too much is ingested during the early weeks of pregnancy. Best to get vitamin A (or its cousin, beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body) in foods such as milk, cheese, eggs and brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

•Vitamin D is an unusual vitamin because it is not essential that we get it in food or supplements. That’s because vitamin D is primarily made when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Most folks need to get it both ways, however.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. E-mail her at

By Jennifer LaRue Huget |  October 2, 2009

The copy advertising new Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant says, “There’s never been a more delicious way to cherry pick your antioxidant.”

That’s antioxidant, singular.


The drink’s Web site calls the product a “healthy boost” whose “splash of antioxidant” will “help you through your day.”

The antioxidant at hand is Vitamin E, of which an 8-ounce serving of Cherry 7-Up provides 10 percent of the Daily Value. Like other antioxidants, Vitamin E is thought to help protect against heart disease and cancer by interfering with the activity of unfettered oxygen particles — free radicals — that roam your body, causing inflammation and other damage.

But not all Vitamin E is created equal. Studies have shown that Vitamin E in supplement form (as in this 7-Up; more on that in a moment) doesn’t offer protection against cardiovascular disease or cancer; one study in 2004 even showed that very high doses of Vitamin E supplements increased risk of death, though only by a tiny bit. And more recent research suggests that taking Vitamin E supplements may diminish the benefits of exercise.

So it’s generally recommended that we get the 20-odd daily milligrams (the Daily Value is 30 International Units) of Vitamin E we need from such food sources as almonds, wheat germ and leafy greens.

None of which are to be found in Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant. The product, though it is said to be naturally flavored, contains no juice, according to its label. And the ingredient list includes Vitamin E acetate, a man-made supplement.

It’s hard to figure why its makers cherry-picked Vitamin E — and why they didn’t toss in other popular antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A while they were at it. At least then they could have touted antioxidants, plural.

In any case, whether you buy it sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or the artificial sweetener Splenda, 7-Up has no nutritional value. But I have to wonder whether adding the antioxidant is a move intended to sidestep a soda tax, should one materialize. Would highly sweetened sodas be exempt from such a tax if their makers could argue that because they contain an antioxidant, they were a source of nutrition and not just another cause of obesity?

Food for thought.

lologoby Kim Sampson, September 27, 2009

So, I just took my daily vitamins and supplements and got to thinking….I know what works for me, but what works for others?  I am going to share with you my daily cocktail and I would love for you to share yours, tell me what has worked for you or what has not worked for you.  What are some of your favorites?  I look forward to your responses!  =)

First, I do not stick with any ONE brand, I may stick with a certain brand for one particular thing, but not for all my intake.  For all you die-hard Shaklee users…I haven’t been able to afford Shaklee, but I would really like to try the Vita Lea.  A few other products sound good as well.  I do get most of my vitamins from Swanson’s Vitamins in Fargo, ND.  They have the lowest prices on brand name vitamins and carry quite a wide selection of their own products.  Just know what you are buying…not all vitamins are the same.

So, each day I start with a good whole food multi-vitamin.  I did use Nature’s Way Alive for awhile but felt there was too much Vitamin A in it.  So, now I am searching for a good mutli.  I am currently using one from my local health food store, and I have liked it, but it is spendy.  I would like to try Vita-Lea or the Rainbow Light multi.  Anyone have opinions on those?

Next is, CoQ10…I take 300mg per day.  With that I take Alpha Lipoic Acid.  300mg of that a day.  ALA is a “recycler” and can recycle unused vitamins and supplements.  I guess it is good to take with CoQ10.  Not exactly sure why…maybe you can tell me.  =)

Then, I take 1000mg of Vitamin C and 100o IU of Vitamin D3.  In the winter I will double up my Vitamin D3, as I live in Minnesota, and geographically, I will just have to supplement.  Vitamin C, I will take more if I feel I am coming down with something.  I am not set on any certain brands of these two vitamins.

Then, I take 500mg of Green Tea.  I am not really even sure why I take it, I guess it is a good anti-oxidant…Dr. Burrascano has it on the list, so, I just take it.

MILK THISTLE! A must for anyone taking antibiotics.  It really helps the liver.  I take 175mg a day and my liver enzymes have been good during my whole treatment, except for the week I wasn’t taking milk thistle.  So, it does do its job and it worth every penny while you are on antibiotics.  It really helps the detox process.

PROBIOTICS!! I take one with 50 BILLION active cultures.  How can they get 50 billion of anything in a little pill?  How can they count to know there is that many in there?  Anyways, it is made by Renew Life, Ultimate Flora Critical Care.  I just wish I could find a GOOD probiotic for less cash….this one is like $35 a month or every two weeks, depending on my body’s need!  Probiotics are great, especially while you are on antibiotics, but they are really good for your immune system, and you could take them all the time.

Then, I take Schiff Glucloumine Plus MSM 1500mg.  I started taking these this summer, and this brand I am sold on.  I am not having nearly the amount of joint pain I was having previously.  True test will be this winter.  I like this supplement alot though.  Two thumbs up!

Then lastly, my EFA’s.  I do 2000mg of Schiff Omega-3 Fish Oil each day, they are enteric coated to prevent fish burbs.  I love it.  I used to do Coramega, but prefer this.  It is cheaper and I feel I get more bang for the buck.  My doctor told me to take 2000mg a day.  I do think it helps.  And I do take a plant form EFA.  I take Evening Primrose Oil….I take 1300mg a day, by Twin Lab.  It is suppose to be good for the brain as well, and it helps with hormone fluctuation….girls, you know what I am talking about…PMS!  I have been taking it for about four months and can honestly say it has helped my PMS….ALOT!  I am SOLD on Evening Primrose Oil.  Dr. Busrrascano says you should take two EFA’s, one from animal, one from plant.  These were my two choices.

I did take Garlic and Ginko for awhile, but my doctor advised against it, for me. I would like to add mushrooms to my cocktail…I hear they are really good for inflammation and a great anti-oxidant.

So, that is about it.  I know that many of you take ALOT more than I do.  I would really like to know what you can not live without!  What you felt was useless.  And do you find any certain brands better than others?  I like Schiff, and Nature’s Way….I found a good teen vitamin for my daughter by Rainbow Light.  I would love to get some Shaklee, but the price scares me away.

I never used to take vitamins…I thought it was stupid, but when you have Lyme, it is almost a must.  Lyme compromises your immune system, you must do everything you can to keep it built up, so your body can fight the disease.  When I finally started taking them, I could see my body was able to fight better and I felt better.  What works for one may not work for another, that is why I thought it would be fun to see what everyone’s “Cocktail” was and how it works for them.

So, what is your daily vitamin/supplement intake?



swansonAcai – an Overnight Sensation for Younger Skin and Better Health

Up until “The Perricone Promise” was published in 2003, most people in America had never heard of acai. But when anti-aging guru Dr. Nicholas Perricone named this fruit to his list of top ten superfoods for gorgeous skin, acai’s unknown status changed overnight. All of a sudden everyone wanted to try this mystery food, even though most of us couldn’t even pronounce it.

Acai (ah-sigh-EE) is a berry that grows on a palm tree in the Amazon rain forest. The most exciting feature about acai is its deep purple color, which immediately signals antioxidant potential. A fascinating fact of nature is that the brilliant colors of foods are not only appealing to the eye, but they’re also a potent source of cellular protection, as the pigments are the actual antioxidant compounds of a fruit or vegetable. Acai doesn’t disappoint, for it’s literally bursting with anthocyanins and other antioxidant compounds.

According to the antioxidant theory of aging, unstable molecules in our body damage healthy tissues and this is what causes our bodies to eventually break down. Antioxidants neutralize rogue molecules (called free radicals), helping to keep us healthy on a cellular level. Naturally, then, acai offers an important contribution to anyone seeking youthful looks and vitality. The health benefits don’t stop with its antioxidant profile, either! The acai berry is one of the few fruits that contain essential fatty acids, which help keep the skin smooth and the heart healthy.  Acai is not readily available at your local grocery store; however Swanson Health Products offers an extract of this super fruit in capsule and softgels, as well as acai juice.

probiotics-and-the-digestive-systemBy Janice Norris/ Health is Wealth -Heber Springs, Ark. – September 26, 2009

Bacteria has a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of actually taking a few billion a day, in the form of supplements, may seem hard to accept. However there is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests you can treat and, even prevent illnesses, with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria, called probiotics. The normal, healthy intestinal tract contains an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria). Most of these tiny colonies of life actually protect us from invading harmful germs. When the good bacteria are destroyed, the body is left open for harmful bacteria to take over resulting in many forms of illness. This can happen for several reasons but the most common is the use of medications called antibiotics in the treatment of infections.


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