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Dietary supplements magnesium and health
 

Dietary supplements magnesium and health

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Habitually low intakes of magnesium induce changes in biochemical pathways that can increase the risk of illness over time, dietary supplements of magnesium may be needed.

Habitually low intakes of magnesium induce changes in biochemical pathways that can increase the risk of illness over time, dietary supplements of magnesium may be needed.

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    Dietary supplements magnesium and health Dietary supplements magnesium and health Document Transcript

    • Vimacel Blogs Vimacel Research | Using Whole Plants Rather Than Drugs Why is it that often it is better to use plants rather than drugs to help heal? It’s largely to do with the complex nature of plants compared to the isolated constituents of drugs. Many of the drugs found in your local chemist shop are based on plants. Herbs are found to be effective in healing a particular condition and then the hunt is on to find the so called “active ingredients”. These are then isolated, synthesised and developed as drugs. According to Dr. Andrew Weil of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine, this is done to provide for ease of production and research, and to make production profitable for drug companies. It’s hard to patent a plant that has been around for millennia and used medicinally for nearly as long. Because plants contain an array of complex constituents the body can selectively utilise those that will work best for it, and many constituents in the herb act in balance with each other. This leads to two benefits in particular for the patient. Firstly, it means that many of the side effects experienced by those using pharmaceutical drugs are avoided. An example of this is White Willow or Saileach (Salix alba). Willow contains the constituent salicin, which changes to salicylic acid in the body. This is the basis of the common drug aspirin. Now, it is well known that aspirin causes stomach problems, increasing risk of ulcers and gastritis. No such problems occur with Willow, it eases pain without the attendant problems. And the herb, Meadowsweet, with similar constituents is actually used by herbalists to help with digestive problems! The second benefit we receive from the complexity of herbs is that they can have what herbalists call an amphoteric effect. That is to say that herbs can have different effects on a condition depending on the needs of the body. The body takes from the herb in question that which is needed. Examples of this action in herbs include Ginseng and the Indian or Ayurvedic herb Gotu kola. Ginseng both stimulates and relaxes neurones in the central nervous system, depending on the state of the body. This is why it is important not to use the herb in a standardised form or take products containing extracts of the herb. Whilst drugs may be needed in emergencies and where there is little time for the body to fight a particular condition, Dr. Weil asserts that ”in many cases, particularly with the chronic, degenerative diseases of modern civilization, there is time to allow the body to participate, to choose just what it needs. As it slowly heals, it can develop a new balance; a dynamic equilibrium that helps it cope with stress in the future.” We have been using plants, with all their balanced complexity for many the long year now and for most people, for most of the time they work and work well. This article was originally printed on February 27, 2012 on the Wexford Herbal Medicine Clinic Blog Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine.
    • Vimacel Research | Plant’s Survival Instincts Helping Humankind While doing research for Vimacel, I came across this chapter of a book on rainforest herbs. The following has been reprinted from Chapter 2 of the book The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, by Dr. Leslie Taylor, ND. It’s also very important to note that all living things have inbred survival instincts. It is literally part of the cellular makeup of all species on earth. In highly mobile species like humans and other animals, the main survival instinct and mechanism is “flee, fight, or hide.” Even bacteria and virus species have learned to flee or hide from immune cells and chemical agents attacking them, as well as to fight them by mutating or changing their own physical structure to defend against them. With stationary plants rooted to the ground and incapable of physically fleeing from danger, their survival instinct is controlled by wonderfully complex and rich chemical defense mechanisms that have evolved over eons. Plants have either created a defense mechanism against what might harm them, or they have succumbed and become extinct. In the species-rich rainforest, there are many species of fungi, mold, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and insects that attack and kill plants. It is of little wonder that rainforest plants contain so many potent and active chemicals: the plants are in a constant battle for survival in an environment literally teeming with life that is constantly evolving. From soil-borne root rot (a virus) that attacks tender herbaceous plants, to the fungi and mold smothering the life out of huge canopy trees, or to the incredible number of insects devouring any defenseless leaf in the forest, rainforest plants have learned to adapt, create chemical defenses against attack, and survive. Within this rich arsenal of defensive chemicals are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-mold, and insecticidal chemicals with tested potent actions. This is the mechanism the plants use to survive, grow, and flourish as well as to fight the many disease-causing organisms that attack them. It is likely that within these diverse chemicals created to protect the plants from disease, at least a handful or more will be harvested and put to use protecting humans and animals from the same types of disease-causing organisms. This is yet another reason to respect and value rainforest plants as very active potent herbal remedies and to protect them against humankind’s destruction (against which the plants have no defense mechanism). Please respect them—and please help to protect them. More is Not Always Better: Be Careful About Dosage Amounts Too many Americans today buy into the idea that herbal products and medicinal plants are like food and are more or less benign and/or safe at any dosage. This is partly a result of legal restrictions stating that these products must be sold as “food supplements” in the United States. Also at play is that old American philosophy of excess: “if some is good, more is better.” This idea is also somewhat prevalent in the food and dietary supplements market. While this may be true for some foods and dietary supplements, it is certainly not true for many of the biologically active medicinal plants that are sold here as herbal supplements. It is also not true for many of the rainforest plants discussed in this book. Traditional dosage amounts for herbal remedies have been included in the plant information provided in Part Three of this book for a reason. These dosage amounts are based on the long history of the plant’s use and should be followed within reason. They have been calculated for an average-weight adult person of 120 to 150 pounds and should be generally adjusted up or down based on body weight. Take less if you weigh under 120 pounds, and more if you weigh more than 150 pounds (up to double the recommended dosage if you weigh 300 pounds or more). If you plan on taking more than one and one-half times the dosage that is
    • indicated for your weight, it is best to check with a qualified herbalist, naturopath, or physician who has experience with the particular plant you are choosing to take at higher dosages. PROBLEM OF ONE VS SEVERAL CHEMICALS While many drugs have originated from biologically active plant chemicals, and many plants’ medicinal uses can be attributed to various active chemicals found in them, there is a distinct difference between using a medicinal plant and a chemical drug. The difference is one that scares most conventionally trained doctors with no training in plants. Drugs usually consist of a single chemical, whereas medicinal plants can contain 400 or more chemicals. It’s relatively easy to figure out the activity and side effects of a single chemical, but there is just no way scientists can map all the complex interactions and synergies that might be taking place between all the various chemicals found in a plant, or a traditionally prepared crude plant extract, containing all these chemicals. It is not unusual for a plant to contain a single documented cancer-causing chemical and also maybe five other chemicals that are anticancerous and which may counteract the one “bad” chemical. Overall, the plant extract may even provide some type of anticancerous effect. In some instances, a particular plant chemical’s activity is enhanced or increased when it is combined with another chemical or chemicals that occur naturally in the plant. An example of this is the rainforest plant cat’s claw. First, the crude extract of cat’s claw was shown to boost immune function. Then, specific alkaloid chemicals in the plant were scientifically documented (and patented) to be the “active constituents” that provided this effect. However, scientists discovered much later that if they extracted just the alkaloids, these alkaloids were less potent at stimulating immune cells than they were when combined with other chemicals (called catechin tannins) that the plant contains. Adding the tannin chemicals to the alkaloids increased the immune-stimulating effect of the alkaloids by almost 40 percent. In this instance, a drug made using only the alkaloids would probably be less effective than a crude extract of the plant that contained both alkaloids and tannins. The drug industry often misses the boat in this regard. However, their motivations are different. Crude plant extracts cannot be patented or approved as drugs. The drug researcher’s goal is to come up with a single chemical with good biological activity—one that can be changed in some way (without losing activity) so that it can be patented as a novel chemical and then be synthetically manufactured into a new patented drug (like adding a salt molecule to the plant chemical coumarin and patenting it as coumadin). Sometimes the isolated chemical might not be quite as effective as the crude extract in which it was found, but the researchers have the ability to deliver more of the chemical therapeutically by increasing the dosage of the single chemical. Sometimes, they can even improve on the activity of the plant chemical by modifying it in some way, which also makes it patentable. Even if patents were not an issue, the drug company still would not be able to provide enough scientific data on how so many naturally occurring plant chemicals work individually, much less in combination with one another, to get a crude plant extract approved as a drug under our current drug regulations. The quinine tree and its quinine alkaloid are again a wonderful example of some of the limitations in this regard. Scientists selected just one single alkaloid from the crude bark extract, the chemical that evidenced the highest antimalarial effect, to turn into a drug. But the crude extract actually had at least fifteen unique chemicals which were individually found to be antimalarial. The crude extract also contained other chemicals that had a different activity: they reduced fever (one of the main symptoms of malaria). Yet even other chemicals were found to be effective regulators of the heart and could be used to treat arrhythmia. (Sometimes very high fevers cause irregular heartbeat or increase the heart rate.) No wonder the crude bark extract was used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years by the indigenous people to treat malaria. It killed the bug that caused the disease, and in the meantime, it treated the symptoms
    • the disease was causing! But similar to the guaco vine, the content of the active chemicals in the quinine tree can fluctuate. Some species of quinine trees can have 1 percent of the main antimalarial alkaloids, while others have up to 7 percent. How would a doctor know if a crude extract contained enough of these main chemicals to be therapeutic or how to prescribe proper dosages if these chemicals varied from extract to extract? For years, this alone has justified the use of the synthesized drug over the natural crude bark extract. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. To learn more go to Vimacel.com Vimacel Research | More than just a pretty flower MIT chemists engineer the periwinkle plant to produce compounds that could become more effective cancer drugs. Recently I was doing research for Vimacel and came across this article. It was originally printed on November 4, 2010 by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office. Humans have long taken advantage of the huge variety of medicinal compounds produced by plants. Now MIT chemists have found a new way to expand plants’ pharmaceutical repertoire by genetically engineering them to produce unnatural variants of their usual products. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Sarah O’Connor, have added bacterial genes to the periwinkle plant, enabling it to attach halogens such as chlorine or bromine to a class of compounds called alkaloids that the plant normally produces. Many alkaloids have pharmaceutical properties, and halogens, which are often added to antibiotics and other drugs, can make medicines more effective or last longer in the body. The team’s primary target, an alkaloid called vinblastine, is commonly used to treat cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. O’Connor sees vinblastine and other drugs made by plants as scaffolds that she can modify in a variety of ways to enhance their effectiveness. “We’re trying to use plant biosynthetic mechanisms to easily make a whole range of different iterations of natural products,” she said. “If you tweak the structure of natural products, very often you get different or improved biological and pharmacological activity.” O’Connor, graduate student Weerawat Runguphan and former postdoctoral associate Xudong Qu describe their engineered periwinkle plants in the Nov. 3 online edition ofNature. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.
    • Swapping genes Engineering new genes into plants has been done before: In the 1990s, scientists developed corn that could produce an insecticide called Bt, which comes from a bacterial gene. However, O’Connor’s approach, known as metabolic engineering, goes beyond simply adding a gene that codes for a novel protein. Metabolic engineers tinker with the series of reactions that the host organisms use to build new molecules, adding genes for new enzymes that reshape these natural synthetic pathways. This can lead to a huge variety of end products. Most metabolic engineers use bacteria as their host organism, in part because their genes are easier to manipulate. O’Connor’s work with plants makes her a rare exception. Though humans have long recognized the value of medicinal plants, “there has been a lot less effort to engineer plants to produce things that could be of even more value,” says Edward Eisenstein, associate professor at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. “One reason for that is that plants tend to be complicated. They’re not as simple to manipulate as bacteria or yeast or even simple fungi.” On the other hand, the complexity of plant synthetic pathways means that in many cases, it may be easier to modify the plant rather than try to reconstitute the entire plant pathway in a different organism such as bacteria. “This is a very nice study that might get more people to think about engineering plants rather than using them as a source of genes,” says Eisenstein, who was not involved with the research. In previous experiments, O’Connor and her students induced periwinkle root cells to create novel compounds by feeding them slightly altered versions of their usual starting materials. In the new study, they engineered the cells to express genes that code for enzymes that attach chlorine or bromine to vinblastine precursors and other alkaloids. The two new genes came from bacteria that naturally produce halogenated compounds. It’s much more rare for plants to generate such compounds on their own, said O’Connor. It is also possible, though very difficult, to synthesize halogenated alkaloids in a laboratory. To make alkaloids, plants first convert an amino acid called tryptophan into tryptamine. After that initial step, about a dozen more reactions are required, and the plants can produce hundreds of different final products. In the new genetically engineered plants, a bacterial enzyme called halogenase attaches a chlorine (or bromine) atom to tryptamine. That halogen stays on the molecule throughout the synthesis. In future work, the researchers hope to engineer full periwinkle plants to produce the novel compounds. They are also working on improving the overall yield of the synthesis, which is about 15 fold lower than the plant’s yield of naturally occurring alkaloids. One way to do that is to introduce the halogen further along in the process, said O’Connor.
    • Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. To learn more go to Vimacel.com Science Confirms That One Plant is as Effective as 14 Drugs Recently I was doing research for Vimacel and came across this article on Tumeric. It is titled Science Confirms That One Plant is as Effective as 14 Drugs and was originally printed on May 15, 2013 by Sayer Ji on the IntelliHub Website. Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. In fact, our five-year long research project on this sacred plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. This entire database of 1,585 ncbi-hyperlinked turmeric abstracts can be downloaded as a PDF at our Downloadable Turmeric Document page, and acquired either as a retail item or with 200 GMI-tokens, for those of you who are already are members and receive them automatically each month. Given the sheer density of research performed on this remarkable spice, it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications, including:  Lipitor/Atorvastatin(cholesterol medication): A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from Turmeric compared favorably to the drug atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) on endothelial dysfunction, the underlying pathology of the blood vessels that drives atherosclerosis, in association with reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic patients.  Corticosteroids (steroid medications): A 1999 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that the primary polyphenol in turmeric, the saffron colored pigment known as curcumin, compared favorably to steroids in the management of chronic anterior uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease. A 2008 study published in Critical Care Medicine found that curcumin compared favorably to the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone in the animal model as an alternative therapy for protecting lung transplantation-associated injury by down-regulating inflammatory genes.[iii] An earlier 2003 study published in Cancer Letters found the same drug also compared favorably to dexamethasone in a lung ischaemia-repurfusion injury model.  Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine (antidepressants): A 2011 study published in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica found that curcumin compared favorably to both drugs in reducing depressive behavior in an animal model.  Aspirin (blood thinner): A 1986 in vitro and ex vivo study published in the journalArzneimittelforschung found that curcumin has anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects compared to aspirin, indicating it may have value in patients prone to vascular thrombosis and requiring anti-arthritis therapy.  Anti-inflammatory Drugs: A 2004 study published in the journal Oncogene found that curcumin (as well as resveratrol) were effective alternatives to the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone,
    • naproxen, indomethacin, diclofenac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, and tamoxifen in exerting anti- inflammatory and anti-proliferative activity against tumor cells.  Oxaliplatin (chemotherapy drug): A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that curcumin compares favorably with oxaliplatin as an antiproliferative agenet in colorectal cell lines.  Metformin (diabetes drug): A 2009 study published in the journal Biochemitry and Biophysical Research Community explored how curcumin might be valuable in treating diabetes, finding that it activates AMPK (which increases glucose uptake) and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression (which suppresses glucose production in the liver) in hepatoma cells. Interestingly, they found curcumin to be 500 times to 100,000 times (in the form known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids(THC)) more potent than metformin in activating AMPK and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). Another way in which turmeric and its components reveal their remarkable therapeutic properties is in research on drug resistant- and multi-drug resistant cancers. We have two sections on our site dedicated to researching natural and integrative therapies on these topics, and while there are dozens of substances with demonstrable efficacy against these chemotherapy- and radiation-resistant cancers, curcumin tops both lists:  Cancers: Drug Resistant  Cancers: Multi-Drug Resistant We have found no less than 54 studies indicating that curcumin can induce cell death or sensitize drug- resistant cancer cell lines to conventional treatment. We have identified 27 studies on curcumin’s ability to either induce cell death or sensitize multi-drug resistant cancer cell lines to conventional treatment. Considering how strong a track record turmeric (curcumin) has, having been used as both food and medicine in a wide range of cultures, for thousands of years, a strong argument can be made for using curcumin as a drug alternative or adjuvant in cancer treatment. Or, better yet, use certified organic (non-irradiated) turmeric in lower culinary doses on a daily basis so that heroic doses won’t be necessary later in life after a serious disease sets in. Nourishing yourself, rather than self-medicating with ‘nutraceuticals,’ should be the goal of a healthy diet. Vimacel | Papaya Leaf Recently I was doing research for Vimacel and came across this article on Papaya Leaf. It is titled ‘The Health Benefits of Papaya And It's Role In Fighting Cancer and the Immune System’ and was printed on September 27, 2012 on sugarhillharlemny.blogspot.com/. I found it very compelling and wanted to share this article with my readers. Papaya (Paw Paw) is a sweet and succulent fruit found in tropical climates around the world. Its health benefits are many; it is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, lycopene, beta-carotene and other vital nutrients. Many cultures successfully use the leaf, seeds, skin and pulp of this miraculous fruit for various diseases, infections and skin conditions. Today, researchers and scientists throughout the medical community are stepping up the investigation into the health benefits of papaya leaf (pawpaw twig) and the role it plays in fighting cancer, wound care, its anti-inflammatory benefits and how it helps to strengthen the immune system. Groundbreaking studies are showing that the enzymes and other compounds found in the leaves, skin, pulp and seeds of the have a variety of medicinal uses.
    • The Parts of Papaya That Are Effective One of the reasons that papaya or paw paw is so unique is that all parts of this fruit, including the leaves, flesh, skin and seeds have nutritional and health benefits. In the tropical areas of the world where papaya is readily available, the consumption and use of papaya for enjoyment and medicinal cures are part of everyday life. Papaya Leaf Tea: Papaya Leaf Tea reduces inflammation, activates immune system response, and inhibits tumor cell growth through the strengthening of the immune system and increasing the natural anti- tumor effects that occur in immune response. The tea is ideal for individuals that enjoy drinking herbal teas and many find that it has a similar taste to green tea; but it is packed with more nutritional and health benefits. Papaya Leaf Extract: Papaya leaves are successfully used for Dengue Fever, digestive upset and for treatments of serious illnesses including cancer. Scientific research indicates that papaya leaf extract regulates T-cells and increase the immune system response to cancer. Papaya leaves are not readily available in stores in the United States; a concentrated extract of the leaf is available in both capsules and liquid formulas from the company Herbal Papaya. Papaya Seeds: Papaya seeds are proven effective for eliminating human intestinal parasites without significant side effects. Papaya seed extract capsules have antihelminthic and anti-amoebic properties that kill parasites and intestinal worms throughout the digestive system. Fermented Papaya: A current clinical trial at Ohio State University is evaluating the benefits of using fermented papaya in diabetic wound healing. Known for its antioxidant properties and protection from oxidative damage; the study centers on determining the angiogenic response of wound sites. Papaya Flesh: The nutritional benefits gained from the regular consumption of papaya are extraordinary. This nutrient rich fruit aids in digestion, helps to strengthen immune systems, and lessens inflammation in joints and throughout the body. Papain, which is concentrated in papaya, breaks down proteins and aids in digestion. Organic papaya fruit and leaf juice is ideal for individuals that do not have regular access to fresh organic papayas in their area. Papaya Skin: The skin of the papaya has been used for generations to assist in burns and wound healing by placing it directly on infections and other skin maladies. Additionally, when making smoothies with the papaya flesh, the fruit does not need to be skinned. Understanding The Immune System The immune system is a network of organs and cells in the human body that defends against toxins, foreign invaders, and infections. When an invader is detected, the immune system launches a fighting response by producing antibodies. The immune system is made of white blood cells including T-cells and B-cells. T-cells are responsible for coordinating the immune response to destroy infected cells. B-cells on the other hand make the antibodies that bind to invaders to allow the other cells to destroy the invaders. When the T-cells do not send signals to the B-cells, the B-cell is not able to make the antibodies necessary for an attack. Autoimmune Diseases When the immune system is not working properly, it can become unable to detect the difference between healthy and unhealthy cells and attack normal healthy cells in error. This results in a variety of autoimmune diseases where the body actually turns against itself causing damage to healthy cells and tissues. It is estimated that nearly 24 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases including Celiac
    • Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Graves Disease, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many others. Prescription medications for autoimmune diseases often focus on suppressing the immune system's response thereby limiting the natural ability of the immune system to fight off critical invaders including those that fight cancer. How T-Cells Are Related To Cancer Treatment & Immunotherapy T-cells cells help our bodies fight infection and attack and destroy invading infectious agents. They are produced in bone marrow and are further developed and matured in the thymus gland. After they become mature, they are found in blood and the lymphatic system. Essentially, T-cells directly influence the natural immune response in suppressing tumors and cancerous cells. A healthy immune system produces T-cells regularly to help fight diseases, infections and cancer causing toxins. The immune system is central to protecting against AIDS, cancer and other diseases of the autoimmune system. Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the natural immune response to wage a war against cancer and other diseases. Today, this is a growing area of cancer treatment that focuses on boosting the immune system so that it can effectively combat foreign invaders including those responsible for cancer. Researchers and scientists at Stanford University's Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy Research Program are working on new strategies to exploit the human body's natural immune response to destroy tumors. These include therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and cell-based therapies to increase the patient's immune response to attack cancer in their body. Papaya Increases Regulatory T-Cells Activated platelets help the immune system's response in inflammatory diseases. Platelets are an integral part of the body's natural inflammatory process and are currently being researched to determine their role in fighting inflammation and improveming T-cell responses. Recent studies in mice show the role of platelets can enhance the antigen presentation, improve T-cell responses and play a critical function in normal immunity. Carica papaya leaf (paw paw twig) extracts can be used to enhance the production of selected blood parameters aiding in tumor cell regulation, according to the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. In addition, researchers have found evidence to support that Carica papaya (paw paw leaf) extracts increase T-cells and help to mediate the body's inflammatory response and potentially alleviate inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation Inflammation can occur anywhere in the human body. It is a process caused when the immune system triggers a response to an outside invader or foreign substances. In autoimmune diseases, the system triggers the response when there are no substances to fight off. Symptoms of inflammation include swollen joints, pain, stiffness, and general flu symptoms. Inflammation also can affect internal organs. Ethanolic extract of Carica papaya leaves have been shown to reduce anti-inflammatory activities in the body. By reducing inflammation and increasing T-cell activity, the body is more apt to fight foreign invaders that cause disease. The Relationship Between Papaya And Cancer Cancer causing toxins, tumors and other outside invaders are fought off by the immune system. A healthy immune system that has active and healthy T-cells is more able to fight off foreign substances that can lead to cancer and other serious health problems. Additionally, inflammation in the body can cause the immune system to function inadequately thereby increasing the risk for cancer. Carica papaya helps to reduce inflammation, increase healthy T-cell activity thereby encouraging a healthy and active response to cancerous cells in the body. The link between the consumption of papaya leaf extract, papaya leaf tea, and papaya and cancer in general will continue to be researched. Papaya and Pregnancy
    • Grown in tropical areas throughout the world, papaya is a luscious and healthful fruit. As mentioned above, the seeds, leaves, flesh and skin all have medicinal qualities. Ripe papaya has not been found to be dangerous to pregnant women or their baby, however, unripe or green papaya early in a pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. In some parts of the world, unripe papaya is used to induce labor. Papain in high amounts from green papayas is believed to jumpstart and strengthens labor contractions, thereby hurrying along the process of labor. There currently is no scientific evidence to support this theory, however, thousands of women across the world standby this practice. It is important to note that medical practitioners recommend that pregnant women during the first two terms of pregnancy avoid unripe or green papaya as the same naturally occurring chemical reactions that can encourage labor can cause a spontaneous miscarriage. Papaya Products & Better Health Scientific research indicates that there is a positive relationship between papaya and cancer. Paw paw cell regulation is being researched throughout the world as a potential cure for autoimmune and other serious disorders. Papaya helps to increase the immune system so that the body is able to fight foreign invaders. Unfortunately, most people in North America do not have access to fresh papaya. Pure papaya products available include papaya leaf extract, papaya leaf tea and papaya seed extract in capsule form for individuals that do not have access to the fruit. Papaya leaves are not available in stores; therefore, to receive the health benefits of mentioned above, the extract from the leaves is the only way to receive its benefits. In the United States, you can purchase papaya leaf and juice products manufactured by Herbal Papaya online. Their organic seed extract is also available. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. To learn more go to Vimacel.com ------ Vimacel | Benefits of Papaya Leaves Recently I was doing research for Vimacel and came across this article on Papaya Leaves. It is titled ‘Benefits of Papaya Leaves’ and was printed on http://the-benefits.blogspot.com/. I found it very compelling and wanted to share this article with my readers. Benefits of Papaya Leaves Papaya Leaves turn out to have a myriad of benefits to the body. Do not misunderstand behind the sense of bitterness turns to save properties so much. And what are they? We know that papaya is also good for the body, but the leaves are also not to be underestimated. Here are some of the benefits of papaya leaves that you must know: 1. Benefits of Papaya Leaves as an Acne Medicine For those of you who do not feel confident to have facial acne. Especially for women who always pay attention to beauty. Papaya leaves can treat it is to make a mask. How to make a mask: take 2-3 papaya leaves are already old. Then drying and mash until smooth. Add about half a tablespoon of water, new can be utilized to advance the full face.
    • 2. Benefits Digestion Streamlining The leaves of the papaya plant contain a chemical compound karpain. Substances that can kill microorganisms that often interfere with digestion. 3. Increase Appetite This benefit is especially for kids that are difficult to eat. Take fresh papaya leaves, and the size of the palm of the hand. If you have found a little salt and half a cup of warm water. Mix and blend. Then strain the water, well water that can be used to increase appetite. 4. Scarlet Fever Who would have thought that papaya is also able to cure dengue fever. Try to take five leaves. Add half liter of water and boil. Take water if it has been left behind 3/4 only. Stars had never prove it, so if things do not improve immediately to the doctor immediately (even if the patient feel better suggest him to the doctor). Consider it for first aid! 5. Benefits of Papaya Leaf to Reduce Menstrual Pain Women often make use of the ancient Javanese papaya to treat menstrual pain. Simply Take 1 sheet of leaf only, add tamarind and salt. Then mix with a glass of water and boil. Let cool before drinking the potion papaya. 6. Anti Cancer It is still uncertain, but from several studies that the benefits of papaya leaves can also be developed as anti-cancer. Actually, not only the leaves but also stems papaya can be used. Since both have milky latex (a milky white sap). Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. To learn more go to Vimacel.com -------- Vimacel | Papaya Leaves – A Cure For Low Platelet Count? Recently I was doing research for Vimacel and came across this article on Papaya Leaves. It is titled ‘Papaya Leaves – A Cure For Low Platelet Count?’ and was posted on December 27, 2012 on the mywellness.in website. I found it very compelling and wanted to share this article with my readers. Papaya. Just the right fruit if you are looking for a glowing, clear skin, a healthy bowel and a strong immune system. However, few of us know that Papaya leaves are packed with health benefits that may help save many lives by supporting platelet production. Papaya leaf extract has recently become the subject of several studies owing to its therapeutic value and scientists are intrigued by its potential benefit in supporting blood platelet count.
    • What Does Reduced Platelet Count Mean? Platelets are tiny blood cells that have a very important job in your body. Whenever you get a cut or a bruise, platelets rush to the area, club together and form a clot that stops bleeding from the damaged blood vessel. Thrombocytopenia or a reduced platelet count can decrease the body’s ability to clot blood in case of an injury and can lead to excessive bleeding. Certain viral infections, dengue, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies and chemotherapy can cause a dip in platelets. Some painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines can also affect platelet production. A platelet count of less than 150,000 platelets per microlitre of blood is considered lower than normal. Conventional treatment includes blood transfusion and medicines to improve platelet count, however recent research has shown promise in the use of papaya leaves in treating this condition. Have We Found A Cure For Dengue-induced Low Platelet Count? The Dengue virus affects the bone marrow, the flexible, soft tissue that fills up the hollow insides of our bones. Since platelets are produced in the bone marrow, dengue leads to a decrease in platelet count. Recent studies have shown that papaya leaves contain complex substances that may support the release and production of platelets by the bone marrow. A breakthrough study by Dr. Sanath Hettige of Srilanka indicates that papaya leaf extract helps to "normalize clotting and repair liver damage caused by dengue". Dr Hettige’s controlled clinical trials of about 70 dengue patients found that the patients who were given papaya leaf extract recovered fully within two days without hospital admission. In an interview to Srilanka's leading newspaper, The Sunday Observer, Dr. Hettige added that it is important to take papaya leaf juice at the early stages of dengue, before the disease progresses and damages vital organs. Dr. Hettige is said to have submitted an application for patent rights for the use of papaya leaf extract as a cure for dengue. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. To learn more go to Vimacel.com -----
    • Vimacel | The Story I am often asked why not just have one or two Vimacel™ products to cover the full spectrum of medical disorders. The answer is simply…receptors. Membrane receptors are specialized protein molecules in the membranes of cells, to which external molecules (hormones, neurotransmitters, drugs) attach, triggering changes in the function of the cell. This process is called transduction: the external signal is transduced into action. Hundreds of receptors are known and there are undoubtedly many more yet to be discovered. Many drugs exert their therapeutic effects by activating or blocking membrane receptors. With that said, every medical condition has a variety of receptors. Pharmaceutical companies attempt to make new drugs as selective as possible, producing drugs that bind strongly to their target receptors. These drugs tell the cell to divide, die, or allow an open transportation system so substance(s) can freely enter and exit. For example, depression drugs target specific receptors, while neurological drugs, cancer drugs, and others target other specific receptors. Clearly, if a receptor is to receive an external chemical signal, part of the protein molecule must be outside the cell. This is the recognition site, which binds specifically with the messenger molecule. In my years working for a pharmaceutical company, our research department spent hundreds of millions of dollars on experimental compounds with specific receptors in mind. For these reasons, I started to extensively review various plants, their chemical structure, and clinical research papers to formulate the perfect combination that could really help people looking to improve their overall health. I have spent 10 years working for major pharmaceutical and biotech companies. During this time, I gained extensive knowledge on the immune system in clinical applications. With my knowledge and expertise in the pharmaceutical business, along with my personal passion for health and wellness, I set out to develop, Vimacel™ formulas, a product that focuses on precise plant ingredients and their effect on certain receptors. We take the power of nature, the power of plants, in an attempt to transform the way we look at medicine. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. Vimacel™ uses ONLY vegetable capsules and glass bottles. NO plastic containers. NO Gelatin capsules. To learn more go to Vimacel.com -------------
    • Vimacel | The Story Continues Vimacel™ takes the power of nature and the power of plants, in an attempt to transform the way we look at medicine. With my vast knowledge working in the cancer field, we focused on elements that have a large negative effect on the immune system when we developed Vimacel™. Microbes were one of the biggest culprits. We researched clinical studies and found an amazing treasure trove of natural plants that may improve one’s overall cellular health. I then called on past colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry. These scientists developed some interesting early stage cancer compounds over the years that then blossomed into commercialization. With their help, together we took several different plants, examined their activity, and then started our ‘In Vitro’ clinical design process. We took detailed notes, examined tissue culture, and experienced phases of trial and error. As our clinical work elevated, we started to see signs of progress in the activity of these plants across tissue cultures. After years of formulations, measuring the exact milligrams needed of each plant in combination with other plants to make the most powerful and effective plant formulas, we found the right combination of plants for each Vimacel™ product. We were so precise with our formulas that even a difference of 25mg had a dramatic effect in our ‘In Vitro’ studies. Vimacel™ products are natural formulas that are effective in supporting the immune system and the cells within our bodies. We believe Vimacel™ is unlike any other product on the market. We were excited to introduce Vimacel™ formulas to the world in January 2013. Vimacel™ products are sold through Exican Life Sciences. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. Vimacel™ uses ONLY vegetable capsules and glass bottles. NO plastic containers. NO Gelatin capsules. To learn more go to Vimacel.com ----- Vimacel | Abnormal Cell Growth One of Vimacel’s key attributes is to help control abnormal and atypical cell growth. Cellular changes affect the organs and our entire system. Atypical cells appear to be abnormal. However, this is not necessarily the case as many factors can lead a cell to appear to by atypical, including inflammation and infection. The great thing about atypical cells is that they can be transformed, if you will, back to a normal cell. This can be done by resolving the underlying problem or from therapy. Many times, your physician will simply keep a close eye on the
    • situation to make certain they do not become abnormal. Other times, appropriate action will be taken to reverse the process that is causing the atypical cell growth. Vimacel™ helps minimize both abnormal and atypical cell growth. We all have abnormal and atypical cells in our body. The key is to keep these potentially devastating cells under control. This can be done by proper nutrition and with the help of Vimacel™. By allowing our body’s internal system naturally to control, conquer, and minimize proliferation of abnormal cells is the way to keep healthy. We are not talking about an overnight process. It takes time, effort, and consistent behaviors. Committing to a Vimacel™ program for the long term will help one take control of their health. It’s truly amazing the amount of clinical data that has been hidden over the years on plants that have incredible abilities to improve the overall health of a person. Plants have become a focus of many health companies due to their unique abilities. Currently Vimacel™ has developed 16 different plant-based formulas for health and wellness, with more in the development stage. We are also poised to grow into other fields of health such as Neurological, Autoimmune, Cardiovascular, and Joint Health. Vimacel™ products are natural formulas that are effective in supporting the immune system and the cells within our bodies. We believe Vimacel™ is unlike any other product on the market. Vimacel™ is part of an Integrative Medicine approach to treating people naturally. Integrative Medicine combines alternative medicine with evidence based medicine. Vimacel™ uses ONLY vegetable capsules and glass bottles. NO plastic containers. NO Gelatin capsules. To learn more go to Vimacel.com ------ Vimacel | Black Cohosh As the founder of Vimacel, whose philosophy is taking the power of nature and the power of plants, in an attempt to transform the way we look at medicine, I find it extremely interesting talking to people and finding out what natural remedies that they use for various symptoms and medical conditions. Recently, I met a woman named Mary who was going through menopause and suffering from the typical menopausal symptoms—hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, sleep disturbances, hair loss, just to name a few. While I can’t relate to menopause, I can understand the frustration and exhaustion that comes with lack of sleep and how it can affect all aspects of your life. Mary mentioned that she had gone to a medical doctor and had received hormone therapy to help with menopausal symptoms. She thought that it would be the answer. Much to her disappointment the hormone therapy caused side effects, such as bleeding, bloating, headaches, mood changes, and nausea. She said she ended up feeling worse, instead of better. A few months ago, her friend suggested that she may want to consider alternatives therapies, mentioning that she had heard of an herb called black cohosh. Black cohosh (known as both Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa), is a member of the buttercup family, and is a perennial plant that is native to North America. It is an herb sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. What I found when I did my research on Black Cohosh is that it has been the subject of study for many decades throughout Europe and has been found effective time and again in reducing frequency and severity of hot flashes, irregular periods, and vaginal dryness. Though researchers in America continue to hotly debate this matter, in Europe women have rarely resorted to the conventional HRT American women spend millions on, largely because they prefer over-the-counter herbal preparations to pharmaceutical solutions.
    • Several studies have reported black cohosh to improve menopausal symptoms for up to six months, although the current evidence is mixed. In Mary’s case, she found black cohosh to be an extremely useful form of natural, plant-based endocrine support that boosted her hormonal transition. Vimacel provides this information solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. ------ Vimacel | Benefits and Uses of Aromatherapy Some people love running, others love music, we here at Vimacel love researching alternative forms of medicine. The latest we have been reading about is aromatherapy which is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant-derived materials, known as essential oils (EOs), or other aromatic natural botanical oils for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, and cognitive function to promote physical and psychological well-being. They have been used for centuries not just as a pleasing fragrance, but also for the healing powers of the oils. The essential oils are extracted from flowers, leaves, shrubs, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and fruits of different plants. These essential oils are highly concentrated natural plant extracts. The oils are believed to bring therapeutic effects when inhaled or applied to the skin. Some of the more popularly used essential oils are lavender, rose, eucalyptus, peppermint, and sandalwood. Each has its own health fighting properties. Lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils because it can be used to treat many physical and mental complaints such as headaches, insomnia, eczema, acne and dandruff. It can be added to grape seed and almond oil to make massage oil for relaxation. Like lavender, rosemary is reputed to have many physical and mental benefits and can be added to grape seed and almond oil to make a calming massage oil. Eucalyptus or peppermint are said to make you feel energized. Eucalyptus can be used for the treatment of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, coughs, colds, and sore throats. Peppermint can be use to decrease fatigue. Eucalyptus and peppermint can also be helpful for relieving muscle aches and pains as well. Sandlewood essential oil has a calming and earthy aroma, and is commonly used in incense and perfumes. It can be used to relieve itching and inflammation and also decrease the symptoms of depression when used in massage. Aromatherapy is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach. Aromatherapy works by either inhaling or applying the essential oils to the skin. Once the inhaled scent reaches the part of the brain that influences the mental and physical we can feel its effects – brightening our mood, helping a stuffy nose or reducing inflammation. Essential oils enhance our health and well-being with their cleansing and soothing properties. Vimacel provides this information solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. ------ Vimacel | Acupuncture for Allergies Vimacel loves doing research into alternative forms of health and wellness. For those not familiar with what an allergy is, it is when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a
    • threat to the body. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Common allergens are pollen, animal dander, some foods, mold, drugs, and dust mites, just to name a few. The inflammatory reaction that occurs is an attempt to get rid of the substance from your system. This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous. Symptoms of allergies are sneezing, running nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, hives, breathing difficulties, and much more. Many people choose to take over-the-counter (OTC) allergy pharmaceuticals when they have allergies. The problem is that while many over-the-counter remedies promise symptomatic relief, they rely on inhibiting the allergic response; antihistamines (Chlor-trimetron, Benadryl, etc.) are a good example. Other types of drugs used to treat allergic rhinitis or asthma include ones which act on the nervous system (Albuterol, epinephrine), cortico-steroids (prednisone), and decongestants. The problem is that they only make you feel dull and groggy and mask the symptoms instead of addressing the cause of allergies. If you are looking for an all natural alternative method acupuncture is an excellent treatment option for seasonal allergies. Acupuncture treats the whole person, and focuses on balancing the immune system which leads to substantial long-term health benefits in managing allergies. Recently there was an article published in February in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it found acupuncture led to significant improvement in quality of life and antihistamine use. If you are suffering from fall allergies Vimacel encourages you to look into acupuncture as a treatment plan to restore your health and breathe easy again. ------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Storing Vegetables for Maximum Nutrients Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division research recently read a new study from Rice University that suggests that the refrigerator may not be the best place to store your vegetables for optimal nutrients. Just like boiling your vegetable to long takes out valuable nutrients the Rice University study found refrigerator your vegetables do the same. Taking your vegetables out of the refrigerator and exposing them to light for 12 hours a day helps boost their anti-cancer effects. The researchers’ rationale is that vegetables are alive even after picking them and that circadian rhythms influence vitamins and antioxidants in plants so the cycles of light and dark that produce is exposed to influences the different amounts of health-boosting chemicals for your immune system and its nutritional content. In nature they are subjected to light and dark with night following day. So essentially, staying in a dark refrigerator or staying in the constant light of a supermarket is not optimal for the vegetables. As a result of storing vegetables in this manner, researchers found that your immune system may not be getting the full health benefits. They surmised that we should store our
    • vegetables and fruits under light-dark cycles to enhance their health and anti-cancer fighting compounds. While Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division research on immune system finds this information interesting, we are not sure how practical this strategy would be for the average consumer to alternative their fruits and vegetables between light and dark. What if future appliances could alter how much light and dark your broccoli was receives prior to your consuming it? That may be more practical than leaving it up to the consumer to remember. It will be interesting for Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division to follow future research as they develop what pattern of light and dark maximizes the production of healthy chemicals in our fruits and vegetables. -------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Lifestyle and Breast Cancer Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division wants you to know that we take womens health issues extremely serious. Did you know that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women? Based on current incidence rates, 12.4 percent of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives. This estimate means that a woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age—a woman’s risk of developing this disease increases as she gets older. Most (8 out of 10) women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50. Other factors can also increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, including inherited changes in certain genes, a personal or family history of breast cancer, having dense breasts, beginning to menstruate before age 12, and starting menopause after age 55. While those are all risks factors beyond our control, new studies are highlighting the large role that lifestyle plays when it comes to breast cancer risk. Figures from the International Agency on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization), indicate that the chance of getting breast cancer is higher in women who are overweight or obese. They estimate that 25 to 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were a healthy body weight and exercised more regularly. According to the research, "Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn fuel breast cancer. Even in slim women, experts believe exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more fat into muscle."
    • The seasons are changing and so are your priorities. Take a good look at your schedule and add in some time for yourself. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to take control of your health and transform your life with regular exercise and eating a balanced and healthy diet. --------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | PMS Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division recently read a study on womens health conducted by Harvard Medical School. It stated that 75% of all menstruating women experience premenstrual discomfort in some form, though only about 3% to 8% of those women have symptoms that are severe enough to disrupt their lives. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division knows that premenstrual syndrome with the cramping, bloating, fatigue, cravings, and mood swings can make a sane women feel like she is going crazy. Although there is no real "cure" for PMS, many treatments and lifestyle changes are available to help you cut down on the discomfort. Improve your diet—limit your consumption of salty foods and sodium to reduce fluid retention and bloating. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the week before your period. Limit your intake of highly refined and processed carbohydrates such as chips, crackers, and snack foods. These foods can trigger overeating and upset your digestive system. Limit the amount of sweets (candy, cake, cookies, breakfast pastries, pie, jams, jellies, and soda) in your diet. These can cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar that contribute to moodiness and irritability. Avoid or limit caffeine consumption to decrease feelings of tension, anxiety, and irritability prevent breast tenderness. In addition to dietary changes, the following lifestyle habits can help as well. Exercise more it can help with both physical and emotional PMS symptoms. You may also find some benefits from checking out herbal remedies such as black cohosh, chasteberry, evening primrose oil, ginger, raspberry leaf, dandelion, or natural progesterone creams. Get adequate rest and plenty of sleep. Then make a conscious effort to reduce your stress level. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division doesn’t want you to suffer with PMS every month if you don't have to. Try to incorporate these habits into your life throughout the month to improve your overall health and well-being and feel your best. ------
    • Vimacel Womens Health | Osteoporosis Prevention Measures The Vimacel Womens Health Division has been reading recent research on Osteoporosis prevention measures. Osteoporosis, which means porous bone, is characterized by a decrease in the calcium content of the bones, leaving the bones thin, weak and susceptible to fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) estimates that 10 million people currently have osteoporosis, while 34 million are thought to have low bone mass; which places them at significantly increased risk for the condition. Of this, 80 percent are women. This number is expected to rise as people are living longer and leading more sedentary lives. The chances of developing this condition increase dramatically with age, especially with women. Womens Health issues such as Menopause is thought to contribute to osteoporosis because of the loss of the female hormone estrogen, which effects the amount of calcium in the bones. There are often no warning signs for osteoporosis until a person experiences a fracture, often after a minor fall. It is important that people at risk of osteoporosis take steps to help keep bones healthy and reduce their risk of developing the condition. The following are osteoporosis treatment and prevention measures:  Regular exercise will strengthen the muscles surrounding weakened bone  Healthy eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D  Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake  Limit caffeinated drinks – excessive caffeine can affect the amount of calcium that our body absorbs. The Womens Health Division of Vimacel knows that Osteoporosis can significantly impact quality of life. Help mitigate osteoporosis complication by starting early with proper preventive care and treatment. -------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Strong Core Exican Life Science Womens Health Division knows that it is important to stay healthy at every age. Part of staying healthy and living a life gilled with vitality is making sure you get the exercise you need. However, when it comes to exercise most people are unaware of the importance of strengthening the core muscles. Maintaining a strong body core is important at any age for balance, posture and back health.
    • So what is considered your core? In all, the core is comprised of an incredible 29 muscles that wrap around your mid section that connect and support the pelvis and spine. These include large muscle like the rectus abdominis (you may know this as the six-pack or abs), glutes and lats as well as many more muscles. The core muscles around your trunk and pelvis work as stabilizers for the entire body and help your lower back, hips, and abdominal muscles work together to increase balance and stability. They are the essential foundation of all your body’s movements, whether you are running, lifting, bending to pick something up, lifting a package, swinging a baseball bat, or tying your shoes. Therefore, core training is not just about abdominal muscles, it’s also consists of working muscles that are found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, glutes and the entire area that connects to your spinal cord that helps your body support your spine. Working your core helps so that the load of supporting your body weight isn’t just placed on your bones. Having strong core muscles can reduce lower back pain and make everyday activities easier. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division knows that those with solid cores have a lower risk for future injury. If you take care of the muscles of your core they will inevitably take care of you. ------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Sleep Issues Exican Life Sciences Womens Division knows that millions of people suffer from insomnia issues. Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your mood, health, and energy. For many people they choose to use sleep medication, which in most cases only makes the problem worse, or creates a dependency on the drug that is near impossible to break. Exican Life Sciences Womens Division recognizes that a sleep deficit can have serious on your health by impairing your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability. Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. Sleep deprivation can also dramatically weaken your immune system putting you at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and many more ailments. Don’t despair if you suffer from insomnia. There are techniques that you can learn to help get a restful night sleep. Keeping your bedroom cool and dark, your body needs to cool down in order to sleep while any light will disrupt your internal clock. Vigorous exercise will help exhaust your body and allow you to sleep more soundly. So exercise regularly and thoroughly. Remove the computer, television, telephone and any other electronics from your bedroom. These items do not belong in the bedroom. Keep the bedroom reserved for sleep and sex only.
    • Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol will hinder sleep. Exican Life Sciences Womens Division Clinic knows that sleep is an essential ingredient of a healthy lifestyle. By improving your sleep, you can improve your physical and mental health. ------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Simplify Your Life We here at Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division know that for many of us, there is a time in our lives as we are venturing off on our own, where we yearn for a life of luxury. The nice house, expensive car, you know the story. And then you begin to try to keep up with the ‘Joneses’. Does this sound familiar to any of you? Many people think that having ‘stuff’ equates to having a great life, yet for many of these people happiness is elusive. When you have to work so hard and make so much money just to pay your bills to maintain your lifestyle, it generates a lot of pressure and worry. It truly takes the joy out of life. For friends of ours at Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division, it took a financial and medical crisis for change…after years of being unable to keep up with everything they felt they had to do, with little time and money left over to do the things that they actually wanted to do…life started unraveling. Health and immune system issues in the form of cancer and financial issues had finally taken their toll. But then an interesting thing started to happen. Their reality began to change and they started to see things in a new light. A light that clearly said, ‘simplify your life’. They began to learn to live simply and discovered what they truly valued. Realizing that meaningful experiences were more important than owning the latest and greatest house, vehicle, gadget, the list could go on and on. Having options took precedent over having possessions and personal growth was chosen over bragging rights. No longer did they burden themselves with social expectations and useless possessions. They cleaned house literally and figuratively. Now they are living the kind of lifestyle that is truly fulfilling. Exican Life Sciences Womens Division wants to remind you that it is much easier to attain life’s pleasure when we take control of our lives. Don’t wait until things are out of control to start living a more simple life. -------
    • Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Fall Foods The Womens Health Division at Exican Lifes Sciences loves the fact that fall is coming. We realize that each season has its perks, but for us there is something invigorating about turning off the air conditioning and feeling crisp cool weather (sans humidity), experiencing the crunch of leaves beneath our feet and beautiful foliage all around us, making s’mores by the bonfire, and partaking in the abundant and healthy fruits and vegetables that the fall harvest provides. Ahhh, the delicious fruits and vegetables of fall…we all know that nutrition is fundamental to health and well-being, so the Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division would like share some with you. Apples are probably the most popular fall fruit—there are thousands of apple varieties, with a range of colors including red, russet, yellow, and green. Textures and flavors vary from tart and crisp to soft and sweet. Not only are apples delicious eaten raw, juiced, or baked in your favorite pie they are also packed with potassium, calcium. Folic acid, and vitamin C. Another yearly fall favorite are pumpkins…no they are not just for carving. Pumpkins contain carotenoids, which help prevent cancer and heart disease. They are great in pies, pasta, and mashed. Other fruits that peak in the fall are root vegetables, such as beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips. They add a hearty flavor to stews or roasted meats. Greens like cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts and spinach are rich in vitamins and nutrients and readily available during cooler months. Winter squash and broccoli are other delicious, fiber-rich options for vegetable enthusiasts to roast or tuck into creamy casseroles for a healthful boost. There’s no denying that the weather is perhaps the most anticipated part of the fall, but honestly with the great fruits and vegetables of the fall harvest our mouths can’t stop watering. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to add some healthy fall fruits and vegetables to your diet and enjoy the health benefits. ---------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Drink Water Do you want better health then Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to put the sugary stuff away and start drinking more water. One of the benefits of drinking water is that adequate hydration has a huge impact on your immune system. Approximately 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking water is essential for survival for both womens health and mens health, every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Our
    • bloodstream cannot maintain the body’s fluid balance to transport nutrients effectively, digest food, or regulate body temperature unless we drink enough water. Drinking plenty of water is crucial for your body’s ability to flush toxins and ensures that your cells get all of the oxygen they need to function properly. Drinking water is crucial to the health of your immune system. Water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. It allows your cells to take in nutrients, and it also allows them to expel waste products. If you don't drink enough water, toxins will build up, weakening your immune system. Water not only cleans your body, it helps create new cells, it safeguards the heart, cures headaches, boosts metabolism, and boosts brain power. It also helps prevents common chronic ailments such as arthritis and joint problems since drinking water helps lubricate the joints. Drinking water can help with depression, without sufficient amounts of water your brain will not produce enough serotonin. If you want to increase your immune system's ability to fight off colds and flus drink water. Water helps flush out the immune system and keeps you well hydrated and healthy. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division knows that true health cannot occur without proper hydration of the body. When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy. -------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Life With Arthritis Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division read an article about Carrie Ann Inaba, a longtime dancer and “Dancing with the Stars,” celebrity judge, has been suffering from a painful arthritic condition called spinal stenosis. Arthritis includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis that occur often are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Some forms of arthritis are autoimmune diseases, which make the body's immune system attack itself. Arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability. It limits the activities of millions of Americans—for example, severely limiting an individual's mobility or use of their hands. For 1 of 3 adults of working age (18–65 years) with arthritis, it can limit the type or amount of work they do or whether they can work at all. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, swelling, stiffnes, and aching, in or around the joints. Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms. Carrie Ann Inaba wants people to know that although arthritis is more common among adults that are 65 years or older, people of all ages (including children) can be affected. Of the 50 million Americans who suffer with it, two-thirds are under the age of 65.
    • Arthritis is more common among women (24.3%) than men (18.7%) in every age group, and it affects members of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is also more common among adults who are obese than among those who are normal weight or underweight. The Womens Health Division of Exican Life Sciences recommends the following to help manage and reduce the symptoms of arthritis. You can reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis by controlling your weight. If you have osteoarthritis you can reduce the symptoms by losing weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can protect your joints. For womens health and mens health with arthritis, physical activities such as walking, swimming, and bicycling can have many benefits. Regular exercise can actually reduce overall pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise can keep your bones strong. Thinning of the bones can be a problem with rheumatoid arthritis, especially if you need to take steroids. Exercise helps bones keep their strength. By exercising regularly, your joints will soon realize the benefits. --------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Migraines Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division knows that migraines affect 30 million Americans each year. Migraines are painful headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Studies have found that being severely overweight may almost double a person’s chances of suffering from migraines, according to a study published online in the edition of Neurology, where researchers surveyed 3,862 people who provided information on their height, weight and frequency of migraines. According to this research study, which was conducted out of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, obese people are 81 per cent more likely to suffer from episodic migraines compared to people of normal weight. The research also emphasizes on weight loss and exercise, along with healthy eating, suggesting that it could help those who suffer from migraines, as it is obese people who are more likely to suffer from migraines. The findings also point out that the link between obesity and migraines is higher for those under the age of 50. ‘Previous studies have shown a link between people with chronic migraines and obesity, but the research has been conflicting on whether that link existed for those with less frequent attacks,’ said researcher Dr Barbara Lee Peterlin, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Womens Health and Mens Health This latest study builds on previous research published in 2011 which found that exercise and weight loss can be just as effective at preventing migraines as medication. In that study researchers examined the way people's body fat distribution can affect their risk of migraine attacks. What they found in the earlier research was that women in the study with a larger
    • waistline had an 8% increase in reported migraine headaches. Men with an increased waistline had a 4% increase in reported migraines. Women over the age of 55 with increased belly fat actually showed lower numbers of migraines. The 2011 study author Dr. B. Lee Peterlin, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, said, ....it "suggests losing weight in the stomach area may be beneficial for younger people".. "especially for women." "For some diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, excess fat around the waistline appears to be a stronger risk factor than total body obesity." Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to listen to your body. ----------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Drink Up Campaign Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division has been reading about Michelle Obama’s new ‘Drink Up’ water campaign. At an event last week in Watertown Wisconsin, the first lady announced a “Drink Up” campaign to encourage adults and children to grab a bottle or glass of water and drink up. Womens Health and Mens Health Research indicates that about 40 percent of Americans drink less than half of recommended amounts of water each day, and about 25 percent of kids under 19 drink no water at all, according to government statistics cited by campaign officials. “I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water. It’s as simple as that,” Obama said. “Water is the first and best energy drink,” she said. “I drink a ton of water.” Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. There is no universal requirement for water intake, and your needs will vary widely based on age, gender, body size, health status, and physical activity levels. Numerous environmental factors, such as high temperature and humidity levels, also influence water needs. It is difficult to estimate an exact amount of water needed for an individual, so thirst should be used as a general
    • guideline for most individuals. In other words, if you are thirsty, drink, and if you’re not thirsty, don’t force yourself to drink simply because you believe it to be a healthy practice. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to join Michelle Obama and drink up for your health. --------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Dietary Supplements Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division has been researching dietary supplements. According to the CDC, more than one-half of U.S. adults are taking one or more dietary supplements a day in an effort to stay healthy. In today’s fast-paced world many of us are not getting the nutrients we need from the food choices that we are making. Depending on your situation dietary supplements may be helpful if you're not getting all the nutrients you need. Walking into a health food store can be an overwhelming experience. Which way to turn to work your way through the maze of shelves stocked with hundreds and hundreds of dietary supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, protein powders, the list can go on and on is often times a daunting task at best. Dietary supplements also may be appropriate if you:  Have had surgery on your digestive tract and are not able to digest and absorb nutrients properly  Don't eat well balanced meals or if you consume less than 1,600 calories a day  If you are a vegetarian or vegan who eats a limited variety of foods  Have a medical condition that affects how your body absorbs or uses nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas Womens Health Division Considerations for Taking Dietary Supplements  Know whether the dietary supplement you are taking should be taken on an empty stomach  Eat a healthy diet. Taking supplements is not a viable excuse for eating an unhealthy diet.  Make sure you tell your doctor if you taking dietary supplements.  Follow the dosage instructions that are printed on the package label.  Supplements taken in large amounts for an extended period of time can have side effects. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division encourages you to talk to your doctor or a dietitian before taking dietary supplements about which supplements and what doses might be appropriate for you.
    • ---------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Benefits of Vitamin C Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division has been following the benefits of Vitamin C. Experts report that Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective dietary supplement nutrients. Scientifically controlled studies using vitamin C for colds show that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. Giving the immune system vitamin C can often shorten the duration of the cold. Womens Health Research Vitamin C is an important factor in producing collagen, therefore, useful in wound healing. For cuts, burns, and surgical wounds, vitamin C taken orally helps wounds to heal faster and better. Applied to the skin, vitamin C may protect the skin from free radical damage after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Dietary supplements of vitamin C also act as an antioxidant, helping to prevent eye disease such as cataracts. The use of IV (intravenous) vitamin C to treat cancer is growing in popularity around the world as positive research continues to accumulate and build a strong case for its effectiveness. A study that took place in Germany showed that IV vitamin c notably improved the quality of life for breast cancer patients. Its antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation. It supports the body's immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body. New research indicates that dietary supplements of vitamin C may improve your mood. In a recent study, researchers found that people who have vitamin C deficiency often feel fatigued or depressed. Studies show that vitamin C can have mood-elevating effects. So it makes sense that vitamin C levels could affect mood — but more research is needed. Exican Life Sciences Womens Division wants you to know that if you if you also take a supplement, try not to exceed the upper limit of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. As always, talk to your doctor first before taking any supplement. -------- Exican Life Sciences Womens Health | Are You Getting Enough Calcium Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division wants to know if you are getting enough calcium in your diet. While we all know that calcium is vital for optimal bone health, nearly 80% of American women do not consume the amount of calcium recommended to help maintain healthy bones. Taking dietary supplements such as a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
    • Womens Health Benefits of Calcium Dietary Supplements Making sure you are getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D can significantly increase bone mass in both growing children and young adults, and it can decrease bone loss during aging and for post menopausal women. Research suggests that consuming calcium may also ward off colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. Promising research supports an adequate calcium intake as a way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Before you consider dietary supplements or calcium supplements, be sure you understand how much calcium you need. How much calcium you need depends on your sex and your age. The following chart is what the Mayo Clinic recommends. Calcium: Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults Men Daily RDA Daily upper limit 19-50 years 1,000 mg 2,500 mg 51-70 years 1,000 mg 2,000 mg 71 and older 1,200 mg 2,000 mg Women 19-50 years 1,000 mg 2,500 mg 51 and older 1,200 mg 2,000 mg As you can see from the chart, calcium is important at all ages. And whiles diet and good nutrition is the best way to get calcium, calcium supplements are an option when your diet doesn’t contain enough calcium. In order for your body to absorb calcium you need vitamin D. For this reason, many calcium supplements contain vitamin D. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 international units (15 micrograms) a day for most adults. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division wants you to maintain good bone health. ---------
    • Exican Life Sciences Dietary Supplements | Your Health Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division knows that the reality of our fast-paced world means more fast-food and eating meals out which in most cases equates to eating less than perfect diets. Many people are finding themselves skipping meals because their busy schedules don’t allow for time. For those who are not getting the vitamins and minerals that their bodies need, dietary supplements may give you a boost. Adding dietary supplements to your diet can improve your energy levels, help keep your skin and hair healthy, and help with digestive issues among other things. So what is exactly is a dietary supplement? A dietary supplement is intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. Supplements as generally understood include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, among other substances. U.S. authorities define dietary supplements as foods, while elsewhere they may be classified as drugs or other products. There are more than 50,000 dietary supplements available. More than half of the U.S. adult population (53% - 55%) consumes dietary supplements with most common ones being multivitamins. Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division understands that it's important to remember that dietary supplements are designed to supplement your diet, not to replace nutritious foods. However, some people may need dietary supplements because the vitamins and minerals they need are hard to get in the quantity they require. Dietary Supplements Are Recommended For  Pregnant women  Nursing mothers  Strict vegetarians  People with food allergies or intolerances  Senior citizens Exican Life Sciences Womens Health Division believes that in addition to eating well, exercising, and reducing stress in your life, dietary supplements are key to creating optimal health. -------
    • Background Information on Dietary Supplements As defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which became law in 1994, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that: • is intended to supplement the diet; • contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents; • is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; and • is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement. A new dietary ingredient is a dietary ingredient that was not sold in the United States in a dietary supplement before October 15, 1994. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires specific safety information from a manufacturer intending to market a dietary supplement containing a new dietary ingredient. This information is not required for older dietary supplement ingredients. Are dietary supplements different from foods and drugs Although dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA as foods, they are regulated differently from other foods and from drugs. Whether a product is classified as a dietary supplement, conventional food, or drug is based on its intended use. Most often, classification as a dietary supplement is determined by the information that the manufacturer provides on the product label or in accompanying literature, although many food and dietary supplement product labels do not include this information. What claims can manufacturers make for dietary supplements and drugs? The types of claims that can be made on the labels of dietary supplements and drugs differ. Drug manufacturers may claim that their product will diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease. Such claims may not legally be made for dietary supplements. The label of a dietary supplement or food product may contain one of three types of claims: a health claim, nutrient content claim, or structure/function claim. Health claims describe a relationship between a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient, and reducing risk of a disease or health-related condition. Nutrient content claims describe the relative amount of a nutrient or dietary substance in a product. A structure/function claim is a statement describing how a product may affect the organs or systems of the body and it can not mention any specific disease. ----- Information on Dietary Supplements
    • In addition to regulating label claims, FDA regulates dietary supplements in other ways. Supplement ingredients sold in the United States before October 15, 1994, are not required to be reviewed by FDA for their safety before they are marketed because they are presumed to be safe based on their history of use by humans. For a new dietary ingredient (one not sold as a dietary supplement before 1994) the manufacturer must notify FDA of its intent to market a dietary supplement containing the new dietary ingredient and provide information on how it determined that reasonable evidence exists for safe human use of the product. FDA can either refuse to allow new ingredients into or remove existing ingredients from the marketplace for safety reasons. Unlike drug products, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to "approve" dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. Once a dietary supplement is marketed, FDA has to prove that the product is not safe in order to restrict its use or remove it from the market. In contrast, before being allowed to market a drug product, manufacturers must obtain FDA approval by providing convincing evidence that it is both safe and effective. The label of a dietary supplement product is required to be truthful and not misleading. If the label does not meet this requirement, FDA may remove the product from the marketplace or take other appropriate actions. What are some additional sources of information on dietary supplements? Medical libraries are one source of information about dietary supplements. Others include Web- based resources such as PubMed and FDA. For general information on botanicals and their use as dietary supplements please see Background Information About Botanical Dietary Supplements. -------- Dietary Supplements Vitamin A What is vitamin A and what does it do and do I need to take a vitamin A supplement? Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type, preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A in foods and dietary supplements is beta-carotene.
    • How much vitamin A do I need The amount of vitamin A you need depends on your age and reproductive status. Recommended intakes for vitamin A for people aged 14 years and older range between 700 and 900 micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) per day. Recommended intakes for women who are nursing range between 1,200 and 1,300 RAE. Lower values are recommended for infants and children younger than 14. However, the vitamin A content of foods and dietary supplements is given on product labels in international units (IU), not mcg RAE. Converting between IU and mcg RAE is not easy. A varied diet with 900 mcg RAE of vitamin A, for example, provides between 3,000 and 36,000 IU of vitamin A depending on the foods consumed. For adults and children aged 4 years and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has established a vitamin A Daily Value (DV) of 5,000 IU from a varied diet of both plant and animal foods. DVs are not recommended intakes; they don't vary by age and sex, for example. But trying to reach 100% of the DV each day, on average, is useful to help you get enough vitamin A. What foods provide Dietary Supplements More on Vitamin A vitamin A and do I need to take dietary supplements? Vitamin A is found naturally in many foods and is added to some foods, such as milk and cereal. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin A by eating a variety of foods, including the following:  Beef liver and other organ meats (but these foods are also high in cholesterol, so limit the amount you eat).  Some types of fish, such as salmon.  Green leafy vegetables and other green, orange, and yellow vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and squash.  Fruits, including cantaloupe, apricots, and mangos.  Dairy products, which are among the major sources of vitamin A for Americans.  Fortified breakfast cereals. What kinds of vitamin A dietary supplements are available? Vitamin A is available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A), or a combination of preformed and provitamin A. Most multivitamin-mineral supplements contain vitamin A. Dietary supplements that contain only vitamin A are also available.
    • Am I getting enough vitamin A? Most people in the United States get enough vitamin A from the foods they eat, and vitamin A deficiency is rare. However, certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough vitamin A:  Premature infants, who often have low levels of vitamin A in their first year.  Infants, young children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women in developing countries.  People with cystic fibrosis. What happens if I don't get enough vitamin A? Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States, although it is common in many developing countries. The most common symptom of vitamin A deficiency in young children and pregnant women is an eye condition called xerophthalmia. Xerophthalmia is the inability to see in low light, and it can lead to blindness if it isn't treated. Dietary Supplement Calcium What is calcium, what does it do and do I need to take a calcium dietary supplement? Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body. How much calcium do I need or do I need to take a calcium dietary supplement? The amount of calcium you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg): Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 200 mg Infants 7–12 months 260 mg Children 1–3 years 700 mg
    • Life Stage Recommended Amount Children 4–8 years 1,000 mg Children 9–13 years 1,300 mg Teens 14–18 years 1,300 mg Adults 19–50 years 1,000 mg Adult men 51–70 years 1,000 mg Adult women 51–70 years 1,200 mg Adults 71 years and older 1,200 mg Pregnant and breastfeeding teens 1,300 mg Pregnant and breastfeeding adults 1,000 mg What foods provide calcium? Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:  Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium for the majority of people in the United States.  Kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are fine vegetable sources of calcium.  Fish with soft bones that you eat, such as canned sardines and salmon, are fine animal sources of calcium.  Most grains (such as breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals), while not rich in calcium, add significant amounts of calcium to the diet because people eat them often or in large amounts.  Calcium is added to some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice beverages, and tofu. To find out whether these foods have calcium, check the product labels.
    • Dietary Supplements More on Calcium What kinds of calcium dietary supplement are available? Calcium is found in many multivitamin-mineral supplements, though the amount varies by product. Dietary supplements that contain only calcium or calcium with other nutrients such as vitamin D are also available. Check the Supplement Facts label to determine the amount of calcium provided. The two main forms of calcium dietary supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is inexpensive, but is absorbed best when taken with food. Some over-the-counter antacid products, such as Tums® and Rolaids®, contain calcium carbonate. Each pill or chew provides 200–400 mg of calcium. Calcium citrate, a more expensive form of the supplement, is absorbed well on an empty or a full stomach. In addition, people with low levels of stomach acid (a condition more common in people older than 50) absorb calcium citrate more easily than calcium carbonate. Other forms of calcium in supplements and fortified foods include gluconate, lactate, and phosphate. Calcium absorption is best when a person consumes no more than 500 mg at one time. So a person who takes 1,000 mg/day of calcium from supplements, for example, should split the dose rather than take it all at once. Calcium supplements may cause gas, bloating, and constipation in some people. If any of these symptoms occur, try spreading out the calcium dose throughout the day, taking the supplement with meals, or changing the supplement brand or calcium form you take. Am I getting enough calcium or do I need a calcium dietary supplement? Many people don't get recommended amounts of calcium from the foods they eat, including:  Boys aged 9 to 13 years,  Girls aged 9 to 18 years,  Women older than 50 years,  Men older than 70 years. When total intakes from both food and dietary supplement are considered, many people— particularly adolescent girls—still fall short of getting enough calcium, while some older women likely get more than the safe upper limit. See our Health Professional Fact Sheet on Calcium for more details. -------- Do You Need To Take a Calcium Dietary Supplement Certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough calcium and may need to take a calcium dietary supplement.
    •  Postmenopausal women because they experience greater bone loss and do not absorb calcium as well. Sufficient calcium intake from food, and supplements if needed, can slow the rate of bone loss.  Women of childbearing age whose menstrual periods stop (amenorrhea) because they exercise heavily, eat too little, or both. They need sufficient calcium to cope with the resulting decreased calcium absorption, increased calcium losses in the urine, and slowdown in the formation of new bone.  People with lactose intolerance cannot digest this natural sugar found in milk and experience symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea when they drink more than small amounts at a time. They usually can eat other calcium-rich dairy products that are low in lactose, such as yogurt and many cheeses, and drink lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk.  Vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products) and ovo-vegetarians (vegetarians who eat eggs but no dairy products), because they avoid the dairy products that are a major source of calcium in other people's diets. Many factors can affect the amount of calcium absorbed from the digestive tract, including:  Age. Efficiency of calcium absorption decreases as people age. Recommended calcium intakes are higher for people over age 70.  Vitamin D intake. This vitamin, present in some foods and produced in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight, increases calcium absorption.  Other components in food. Both oxalic acid (in some vegetables and beans) and phytic acid (in whole grains) can reduce calcium absorption. People who eat a variety of foods don't have to consider these factors. They are accounted for in the calcium recommended intakes, which take absorption into account. Many factors can also affect how much calcium the body eliminates in urine, feces, and sweat. These include consumption of alcohol- and caffeine-containing beverages as well as intake of other nutrients (protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus). In most people, these factors have little effect on calcium status.
    • Botanical Dietary Supplements A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent and can be used as dietary supplement. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve health may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines. In naming botanicals, botanists use a Latin name made up of the genus and species of the plant. Under this system the botanical black cohosh is known as Actaea racemosa L., where "L" stands for Linneaus, who first described the type of plant specimen. In the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) fact sheets, we do not include such initials because they do not appear on most products used by consumers. Can botanicals be dietary supplements? To be classified as a dietary supplement, a botanical must meet the definition given below. Many botanical preparations meet the definition. As defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which became law in 1994, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to supplement the diet; contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents; is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; and is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement. How botanicals are commonly sold and prepared? Botanicals are sold in many forms: as fresh or dried products; liquid or solid extracts; tablets, capsules, powders; tea bags; and other forms. For example, fresh ginger root is often found in the produce section of food stores; dried ginger root is sold packaged in tea bags, capsules, or tablets; and liquid preparations made from ginger root are also sold. A particular group of chemicals or a single chemical may be isolated from a botanical and sold as a dietary supplement, usually in tablet or capsule form. An example is phytoestrogens from soy products. Common preparations include teas, decoctions, tinctures, and extracts: A tea, also known as an infusion, is made by adding boiling water to fresh or dried botanicals and steeping them. The tea may be drunk either hot or cold. Some roots, bark, and berries require more forceful treatment to extract their desired ingredients. They are simmered in boiling water for longer periods than teas, making a decoction, which also may be drunk hot or cold. A tincture is made by soaking a botanical in a solution of alcohol and water. Tinctures are sold as liquids and are used for concentrating and preserving a botanical. They are made in different strengths that are expressed as botanical-to-extract ratios (i.e., ratios of the weight of the dried botanical to the volume or weight of the finished product). An extract is made by soaking the botanical in a liquid that removes specific types of chemicals. The liquid can be used as is or evaporated to make a dry extract for use in capsules or tablets. -----
    • Botanical Dietary Supplements A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent and can be used as dietary supplement. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve health may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines. In naming botanicals, botanists use a Latin name made up of the genus and species of the plant. Under this system the botanical black cohosh is known as Actaea racemosa L., where "L" stands for Linneaus, who first described the type of plant specimen. In the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) fact sheets, we do not include such initials because they do not appear on most products used by consumers. Can botanicals be dietary supplements? To be classified as a dietary supplement, a botanical must meet the definition given below. Many botanical preparations meet the definition. As defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which became law in 1994, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to supplement the diet; contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents; is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; and is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement. How botanicals are commonly sold and prepared? Botanicals are sold in many forms: as fresh or dried products; liquid or solid extracts; tablets, capsules, powders; tea bags; and other forms. For example, fresh ginger root is often found in the produce section of food stores; dried ginger root is sold packaged in tea bags, capsules, or tablets; and liquid preparations made from ginger root are also sold. A particular group of chemicals or a single chemical may be isolated from a botanical and sold as a dietary supplement, usually in tablet or capsule form. An example is phytoestrogens from soy products. Common preparations include teas, decoctions, tinctures, and extracts: A tea, also known as an infusion, is made by adding boiling water to fresh or dried botanicals and steeping them. The tea may be drunk either hot or cold. Some roots, bark, and berries require more forceful treatment to extract their desired ingredients. They are simmered in boiling water for longer periods than teas, making a decoction, which also may be drunk hot or cold. A tincture is made by soaking a botanical in a solution of alcohol and water. Tinctures are sold as liquids and are used for concentrating and preserving a botanical. They are made in different strengths that are expressed as botanical-to-extract ratios (i.e., ratios of the weight of the dried botanical to the volume or weight of the finished product). An extract is made by soaking the botanical in a liquid that removes specific types of chemicals. The liquid can be used as is or evaporated to make a dry extract for use in capsules or tablets. -----
    • Vitamin B12 Dietary Supplements Vitamin B12 is a nutrient and dietary supplement that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body. Some people have pernicious anemia, a condition where they cannot make intrinsic factor. As a result, they have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from all foods and dietary supplements. How much vitamin B12 do I need? The amount of vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in micrograms (mcg): Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 0.4 mcg Infants 7–12 months 0.5 mcg Children 1–3 years 0.9 mcg Children 4–8 years 1.2 mcg Children 9–13 years 1.8 mcg Teens 14–18 years 2.4 mcg Adults 2.4 mcg Pregnant teens and women 2.6 mcg Breastfeeding teens and women 2.8 mcg What foods provide vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods. Plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods including the following: Beef liver and clams, which are the best sources of vitamin B12. Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, which also contain vitamin B12. Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products that are fortified with vitamin B12. To find out if vitamin B12 has been added to a food product, check the product labels. --------
    • More Information on Vitamin B12 Dietary Supplements Vitamin B12 is found in almost all multivitamin dietary supplements. Dietary supplements that contain only vitamin B12, or vitamin B12 with nutrients such as folic acid and other B vitamins, are also available. Check the Supplement Facts label to determine the amount of vitamin B12 provided. Vitamin B12 is also available in sublingual forms (which are dissolved under the tongue). There is no evidence that sublingual forms are better absorbed than pills that are swallowed. A prescription form of vitamin B12 can be administered as a shot. This is usually used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is also available as a prescription medication in nasal gel form (for use in the nose). Certain groups may not get enough vitamin B12 or have trouble absorbing it and may need to take dietary supplements: Many older adults, who do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin B12 naturally present in food. People over 50 should get most of their vitamin B12 from fortified foods or dietary supplements because, in most cases, their bodies can absorb vitamin B12 from these sources. People with pernicious anemia whose bodies do not make the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12. Doctors usually treat pernicious anemia with vitamin B12 shots, although very high oral doses of vitamin B12 might also be effective. People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, or who have digestive disorders, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease. These conditions can decrease the amount of vitamin B12 that the body can absorb. Am I getting enough vitamin B12? Most people in the United States get enough vitamin B12 from the foods they eat. But some people have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from food. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 1.5% and 15% of the public. Your doctor can test your vitamin B12 level to see if you have a deficiency. ---------- Do I Need a B12 Dietary Supplement What happens if you don't get enough vitamin B12 and should you take a dietary supplement?
    • Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and megaloblastic anemia. Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems with balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. Vitamin B12 deficiency can damage the nervous system even in people who don't have anemia, so it is important to treat a deficiency as soon as possible and take a dietary supplement. In infants, signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include failure to thrive, problems with movement, delays in reaching the typical developmental milestones, and megaloblastic anemia. Large amounts of folic acid can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting megaloblastic anemia, a hallmark of vitamin B12 deficiency. But folic acid does not correct the progressive damage to the nervous system that vitamin B12 deficiency also causes. For this reason, healthy adults should not get more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day. What are some effects of vitamin B12 on health? Scientists are studying vitamin B12 to understand how it affects health. Here are several examples of what this research has shown: Dementia As they get older, some people develop dementia. These people often have high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Vitamin B12 (with folic acid and vitamin B6) can lower homocysteine levels, but scientists don't know yet whether these vitamins actually help prevent or treat dementia. Are there any interactions with vitamin B12 that I should know about? Yes. Vitamin B12 can interact or interfere with medicines that you take, and in some cases, medicines can lower vitamin B12 levels in the body. Here are several examples of medicines that can interfere with the body's absorption or use of vitamin B12:  Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®), an antibiotic that is used to treat certain infections.  Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), that are used to treat acid reflux and peptic ulcer disease.  Histamine H2 receptor antagonists, such as cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®), that are used to treat peptic ulcer disease.  Metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplement and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients. ----------
    • Vitamin B6 Dietary Supplements Vitamin B6 is available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of pyridoxine. Most multivitamin- mineral supplements contain vitamin B6. Dietary supplements that contain only vitamin B6, or vitamin B6 with other B vitamins, are also available. What is vitamin B6 and what does it do? Vitamin B6 is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function. How much vitamin B6 do I need? The amount of vitamin B6 you need depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg). Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 0.1 mg Infants 7–12 months 0.3 mg Children 1–3 years 0.5 mg Children 4–8 years 0.6 mg Children 9–13 years 1.0 mg Teens 14–18 years (boys) 1.3 mg Teens 14–18 years (girls) 1.2 mg Adults 19–50 years 1.3 mg Adults 51+ years (men) 1.7 mg Adults 51+ years (women) 1.5 mg Pregnant teens and women 1.9 mg Breastfeeding teens and women 2.0 mg What foods provide vitamin B6? Vitamin B6 is found naturally in many foods and is added to other foods. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B6 by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
    •  Poultry, fish, and organ meats, all rich in vitamin B6.  Potatoes and other starchy vegetables, which are some of the major sources of vitamin B6 for Americans.  Fruit (other than citrus), which are also among the major sources of vitamin B6 for Americans. ------- What Vitamin B6 Dietary Supplements Are Available What kinds of vitamin B6 dietary supplements are available? Vitamin B6 is available in dietary supplements, usually in the form of pyridoxine. Most multivitamin-mineral supplements contain vitamin B6. Dietary supplements that contain only vitamin B6, or vitamin B6 with other B vitamins, are also available. Am I getting enough vitamin B6? Most people in the United States get enough vitamin B6 from the foods they eat. However, certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough vitamin B6:  People whose kidneys do not work properly, including people who are on kidney dialysis and those who have had a kidney transplant.  People with autoimmune disorders, which cause their immune system to mistakenly attack their own healthy tissues. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease sometimes have low vitamin B6 levels.  People with alcohol dependence. What happens if I don't get enough vitamin B6? Vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon in the United States. People who don't get enough vitamin B6 can have a range of symptoms, including anemia, itchy rashes, scaly skin on the lips, cracks at the corners of the mouth, and a swollen tongue. Other symptoms of very low vitamin B6 levels include depression, confusion, and a weak immune system. Infants who do not get enough vitamin B6 can become irritable or develop extremely sensitive hearing or seizures. What are some effects of vitamin B6 on health? Scientists are studying vitamin B6 to understand how it affects health. Here are some examples of what this research has shown. Premenstrual Syndrome
    • Scientists aren't yet certain about the potential benefits of taking vitamin B6 for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But some studies show that vitamin B6 supplements could reduce PMS symptoms, including moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating, and anxiety. Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy At least half of all women experience nausea, vomiting, or both in the first few months of pregnancy. Based on the results of several studies, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends taking vitamin B6 supplements under a doctor's care for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. ------- Vitamin C Dietary Supplement Most multivitamins dietary supplements have vitamin C in them. What is vitamin C and what does it do? Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun. The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease. How much vitamin C do I need and do I need to take a dietary supplement? The amount of vitamin C you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams (mg). Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 40 mg Infants 7–12 months 50 mg Children 1–3 years 15 mg Children 4–8 years 25 mg Children 9–13 years 45 mg Teens 14–18 years (boys) 75 mg Teens 14–18 years (girls) 65 mg Adults (men) 90 mg Adults (women) 75 mg Pregnant teens 80 mg Pregnant women 85 mg Breastfeeding teens 115 mg Breastfeeding women 120 mg
    • If you smoke, add 35 mg to the above values to calculate your total daily recommended amount. What foods provide vitamin C? Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin C by eating a variety of foods including the following:  Citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruit) and their juices, as well as red and green pepper and kiwifruit, which have a lot of vitamin C.  Other fruits and vegetables—such as broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes, and tomatoes—which also have vitamin C.  Some foods and beverages that are fortified with vitamin C. To find out if vitamin C has been added to a food product, check the product labels. The vitamin C content of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking. Steaming or microwaving may lessen cooking losses. Fortunately, many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, are usually eaten raw. --------- More Information on Vitamin C Dietary Supplements What kinds of vitamin C dietary supplements are available? Most multivitamins have vitamin C. Vitamin C is also available alone as a dietary supplements or in combination with other nutrients. The vitamin C in dietary supplements is usually in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements have other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids. Research has not shown that any form of vitamin C is better than the other forms. Am I getting enough vitamin C? Most people in the United States get enough vitamin C from foods and beverages. However, certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough vitamin C:  People who smoke and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, in part because smoke increases the amount of vitamin C that the body needs to repair damage caused by free radicals. People who smoke need 35 mg more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers.  Infants who are fed evaporated or boiled cow's milk, because cow's milk has very little vitamin C and heat can destroy vitamin C. Cow's milk is not recommended for infants under 1 year of age. Breast milk and infant formula have adequate amounts of vitamin C.  People who eat a very limited variety of food.  People with certain medical conditions such as severe malabsorption, some types of cancer, and kidney disease requiring hemodialysis.
    • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin C? Vitamin C deficiency is rare in the United States and Canada. People who get little or no vitamin C (below about 10 mg per day) for many weeks can get scurvy. Scurvy causes fatigue, inflammation of the gums, small red or purple spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and corkscrew hairs. Additional signs of scurvy include depression as well as swollen, bleeding gums and loosening or loss of teeth. People with scurvy can also develop anemia. Scurvy is fatal if it is not treated. ---------- Dietary Supplements Vitamin E What is vitamin E and what does it do? Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun. The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions. How much vitamin E do I need or do I need to take dietary supplements? The amount of vitamin E you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended intakes are listed below in milligrams (mg) and in International Units (IU). Package labels list the amount of vitamin E in foods and dietary supplements in IU. Life Stage Recommended Amount Birth to 6 months 4 mg (6 IU) Infants 7–12 months 5 mg (7.5 IU) Children 1–3 years 6 mg (9 IU) Children 4–8 years 7 mg (10.4 IU) Children 9–13 years 11 mg (16.4 IU) Teens 14–18 years 15 mg (22.4 IU) Adults 15 mg (22.4 IU) Pregnant teens and women 15 mg (22.4 IU) Breastfeeding teens and women 19 mg (28.4 IU) What foods provide vitamin E?
    • Vitamin E is found naturally in foods and is added to some fortified foods. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin E by eating a variety of foods including the following:  Vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils are among the best sources of vitamin E. Corn and soybean oils also provide some vitamin E.  Nuts (such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and, especially, almonds) and seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also among the best sources of vitamin E.  Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, provide some vitamin E.  Food companies add vitamin E to some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarines and spreads, and other foods. To find out which ones have vitamin E, check the product labels. -------- Information on Vitamin E Dietary Supplements What kinds of vitamin E dietary supplements are available? Vitamin E supplements come in different amounts and forms. Two main things to consider when choosing a vitamin E supplement are:  The amount of vitamin E: Most once-daily multivitamin-mineral supplements provide about 30 IU of vitamin E, whereas vitamin E-only supplements usually contain 100 to 1,000 IU per pill. The doses in vitamin E-only supplements are much higher than the recommended amounts. Some people take large doses because they believe or hope that doing so will keep them healthy or lower their risk of certain diseases.  The form of vitamin E: Although vitamin E sounds like a single substance, it is actually the name of eight related compounds in food, including alpha-tocopherol. Each form has a different potency, or level of activity in the body. Vitamin E from natural (food) sources is listed as "d-alpha-tocopherol" on food packaging and supplement labels. Synthetic (laboratory-made) vitamin E is listed as "dl-alpha-tocopherol." The natural form is more potent. For example, 100 IU of natural vitamin E is equal to about 150 IU of the synthetic form. Some vitamin E supplements provide other forms of the vitamin, such as gamma-tocopherol, tocotrienols, and mixed tocopherols. Scientists do not know if any of these forms are superior to alpha-tocopherol in supplements. Am I getting enough vitamin E or do I need to take dietary supplements? The diets of most Americans provide less than the recommended amounts of vitamin E. Nevertheless, healthy people rarely show any clear signs that they are not getting enough vitamin E (see next question for information on the signs of vitamin E deficiency).
    • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin E? Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people. It is almost always linked to certain diseases where fat is not properly digested or absorbed. Examples include Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain rare genetic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia and ataxia with vitamin E deficiency (AVED). Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it. Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system. -------- Dietary Supplement Iron Iron plays a key role in the making of red blood cells, which carry oxygen. You can get iron from food and from a dietary supplement. Iron, one of the most abundant metals on Earth, is essential to most life forms and to normal human physiology. Iron is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. In humans, iron is an essential component of proteins involved in oxygen transport. It is also essential for the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity. On the other hand, excess amounts of iron can result in toxicity and even death. Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions. Iron is also found in proteins that store iron for future needs and that transport iron in blood. Iron stores are regulated by intestinal iron absorption. What foods provide iron? There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry. Iron in plant foods such as lentils and beans is arranged in a chemical structure called nonheme iron. This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Heme iron is absorbed better than nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron. A variety of heme and nonheme sources of iron are listed in Tables 1 and 2. Table 1: Selected Food Sources of Heme Iron [10] Food Milligrams per serving % DV*
    • Table 1: Selected Food Sources of Heme Iron [10] Food Milligrams per serving % DV* Chicken liver, pan-fried, 3 ounces 11.0 61 Oysters, canned, 3 ounces 5.7 32 Beef liver, pan-fried, 3 ounces 5.2 29 Beef, chuck, blade roast, lean only, braised, 3 ounces 3.1 17 Turkey, dark meat, roasted, 3 ounces 2.0 11 Beef, ground, 85% lean, patty, broiled, 3 ounces 2.2 12 Beef, top sirloin, steak, lean only, broiled, 3 ounces 1.6 9 Tuna, light, canned in water, 3 ounces 1.3 7 Turkey, light meat, roasted, 3 ounces 1.1 6 Chicken, dark meat, meat only, roasted, 3 ounces 1.1 6 Chicken, light meat, meat only, roasted, 3 ounces 0.9 5 Tuna, fresh, yellowfin, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces 0.8 4 Crab, Alaskan king, cooked, moist heat, 3 ounces 0.7 4 Pork, loin chop, broiled, 3 ounces 0.7 4 Shrimp, mixed species, cooked, moist heat, 4 large 0.3 2 Halibut, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces 0.2 1 Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Nonheme Iron [10]
    • Food Milligrams per serving % DV* Ready-to-eat cereal, 100% iron fortified, ¾ cup 18.0 100 Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared with water, 1 packet 11.0 61 Soybeans, mature, boiled, 1 cup 8.8 48 Lentils, boiled, 1 cup 6.6 37 Beans, kidney, mature, boiled, 1 cup 5.2 29 Beans, lima, large, mature, boiled, 1 cup 4.5 25 Ready-to-eat cereal, 25% iron fortified, ¾ cup 4.5 25 Blackeye peas, (cowpeas), mature, boiled, 1 cup 4.3 24 Beans, navy, mature, boiled, 1 cup 4.3 24 Beans, black, mature, boiled, 1 cup 3.6 20 Beans, pinto, mature, boiled, 1 cup 3.6 21 Tofu, raw, firm, ½ cup 3.4 19 Spinach, fresh, boiled, drained, ½ cup 3.2 18 Spinach, canned, drained solids ½ cup 2.5 14 Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, boiled ½ cup 1.9 11 Raisins, seedless, packed, ½ cup 1.6 9 Grits, white, enriched, quick, prepared with water, 1 cup 1.5 8 Molasses, 1 tablespoon 0.9 5 Bread, white, commercially prepared, 1 slice 0.9 5 Bread, whole-wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice 0.7 4
    • *DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient. The FDA requires all food labels to include the percent DV (%DV) for iron. The percent DV tells you what percent of the DV is provided in one serving. The DV for iron is 18 milligrams (mg). A food providing 5% of the DV or less is a low source while a food that provides 10–19% of the DV is a good source. A food that provides 20% or more of the DV is high in that nutrient. It is important to remember that foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet. For foods not listed in this table, please refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database Web site. If you do not get enough iron you will want to take a dietary supplement. --------- Dietary Supplement | What Affects Iron Absorption If you take an iron dietary supplement it is important that you take it with food to minimize side effects. Iron absorption refers to the amount of dietary iron that the body obtains and uses from food. Healthy adults absorb about 10% to 15% of dietary iron, but individual absorption is influenced by several factors. Storage levels of iron have the greatest influence on iron absorption. Iron absorption increases when body stores are low. When iron stores are high, absorption decreases to help protect against toxic effects of iron overload. Iron absorption is also influenced by the type of dietary iron consumed. Absorption of heme iron from meat proteins is efficient. Absorption of heme iron ranges from 15% to 35%, and is not significantly affected by diet. In contrast, 2% to 20% of nonheme iron in plant foods such as rice, maize, black beans, soybeans and wheat is absorbed. Nonheme iron absorption is significantly influenced by various food components. Meat proteins and vitamin C will improve the absorption of nonheme iron. Tannins (found in tea), calcium, polyphenols, and phytates (found in legumes and whole grains) can decrease absorption of nonheme iron. Some proteins found in soybeans also inhibit nonheme iron absorption. It is most important to include foods that enhance nonheme iron absorption when daily iron intake is less than recommended, when iron losses are high (which may occur with heavy menstrual losses), when iron requirements are high (as in pregnancy), and when only vegetarian nonheme sources of iron are consumed. Should I Take an Iron Dietary Supplement? What is the recommended intake for iron? Recommendations for iron are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dietary Reference Intakes is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intake for healthy people. Three important types of reference values included in the DRIs are Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL). The RDA recommends the average daily intake that is sufficient to meet the
    • nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals in each age and gender group. An AI is set when there is insufficient scientific data available to establish a RDA. AIs meet or exceed the amount needed to maintain a nutritional state of adequacy in nearly all members of a specific age and gender group. The UL, on the other hand, is the maximum daily intake unlikely to result in adverse health effects. Table 3 lists the RDAs for iron, in milligrams, for infants, children and adults. Table 3: Recommended Dietary Allowances for Iron for Infants (7 to 12 months), Children, and Adults [1] Age Males (mg/day) Females (mg/day) Pregnancy (mg/day) Lactation (mg/day) 7 to 12 months 11 11 N/A N/A 1 to 3 years 7 7 N/A N/A 4 to 8 years 10 10 N/A N/A 9 to 13 years 8 8 N/A N/A 14 to 18 years 11 15 27 10 19 to 50 years 8 18 27 9 51+ years 8 8 N/A N/A Healthy full term infants are born with a supply of iron that lasts for 4 to 6 months. There is not enough evidence available to establish a RDA for iron for infants from birth through 6 months of age. Recommended iron intake for this age group is based on an Adequate Intake (AI) that reflects the average iron intake of healthy infants fed breast milk. -------- Can You Benefit from Iron Dietary Supplements There are three groups of people most likely to benefit from iron dietary supplements: people with a greater need for iron, individuals who tend to lose more iron, and people who do not absorb iron normally. These individuals include:  pregnant women  preterm and low birth weight infants  older infants and toddlers  teenage girls
    •  women of childbearing age, especially those with heavy menstrual losses  people with renal failure, especially those undergoing routine dialysis  people with gastrointestinal disorders who do not absorb iron normally Celiac Disease and Crohn's Syndrome are associated with gastrointestinal malabsorption and may impair iron absorption. Iron dietary supplements may be needed if these conditions result in iron deficiency anemia. Women taking oral contraceptives may experience less bleeding during their periods and have a lower risk of developing an iron deficiency. Women who use an intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy may experience more bleeding and have a greater risk of developing an iron deficiency. If laboratory tests indicate iron deficiency anemia, iron dietary supplements may be recommended. Total dietary iron intake in vegetarian diets may meet recommended levels; however that iron is less available for absorption than in diets that include meat. Vegetarians who exclude all animal products from their diet may need almost twice as much dietary iron each day as non-vegetarians because of the lower intestinal absorption of nonheme iron in plant foods. Vegetarians should consider consuming nonheme iron sources together with a good source of vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, to improve the absorption of nonheme iron. There are many causes of anemia, including iron deficiency. There are also several potential causes of iron deficiency. After a thorough evaluation, physicians can diagnose the cause of anemia and prescribe the appropriate treatment. -------- Does Pregnancy Increase The Need For Iron? Several major health organizations recommend iron dietary supplementation during pregnancy to help pregnant women meet their iron requirements. Nutrient requirements increase during pregnancy to support fetal growth and maternal health. Iron requirements of pregnant women are approximately double that of non-pregnant women because of increased blood volume during pregnancy, increased needs of the fetus, and blood losses that occur during delivery. If iron intake does not meet increased requirements, iron deficiency anemia can occur. Iron deficiency anemia of pregnancy is responsible for significant morbidity, such as premature deliveries and giving birth to infants with low birth weight. Low levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit may indicate iron deficiency. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Hematocrit is the proportion of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. Nutritionists estimate that over half of pregnant women in the world may have hemoglobin levels consistent with iron deficiency. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 12% of all women age 12 to 49 years were iron deficient in 1999–2000. When broken down by groups, 10% of non-Hispanic white women, 22% of Mexican-American women, and 19% of non-Hispanic black women were iron deficient.
    • Prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among lower income pregnant women has remained the same, at about 30%, since the 1980s. The RDA for iron for pregnant women increases to 27 mg per day. Unfortunately, data from the 1988–94 NHANES survey suggested that the median iron intake among pregnant women was approximately 15 mg per day. When median iron intake is less than the RDA, more than half of the group consumes less iron than is recommended each day. Several major health organizations recommend iron dietary supplements during pregnancy to help pregnant women meet their iron requirements. The CDC recommends routine low-dose iron supplementation (30 mg/day) for all pregnant women, beginning at the first prenatal visit. When a low hemoglobin or hematocrit is confirmed by repeat testing, the CDC recommends larger doses of supplemental iron. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences also supports iron supplementation during pregnancy. Obstetricians often monitor the need for iron dietary supplements during pregnancy and provide individualized recommendations to pregnant women. -------- Some Facts About Iron Dietary Supplements Iron dietary supplements is indicated when diet alone cannot restore deficient iron levels to normal within an acceptable timeframe. Dietary supplements are especially important when an individual is experiencing clinical symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. The goals of providing oral iron dietary supplements are to supply sufficient iron to restore normal storage levels of iron and to replenish hemoglobin deficits. When hemoglobin levels are below normal, physicians often measure serum ferritin, the storage form of iron. A serum ferritin level less than or equal to 15 micrograms per liter confirms iron deficiency anemia in women, and suggests a possible need for iron dietary supplements. Dietary supplemental iron is available in two forms: ferrous and ferric. Ferrous iron salts (ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, and ferrous gluconate) are the best absorbed forms of iron supplements. Elemental iron is the amount of iron in a supplement that is available for absorption. Figure 1 lists the percent elemental iron in these supplements.
    • Figure 1: Percent Elemental Iron in Iron Supplements The amount of iron absorbed decreases with increasing doses. For this reason, it is recommended that most people take their prescribed daily iron supplement in two or three equally spaced doses. For adults who are not pregnant, the CDC recommends taking 50 mg to 60 mg of oral elemental iron (the approximate amount of elemental iron in one 300 mg tablet of ferrous sulfate) twice daily for three months for the therapeutic treatment of iron deficiency anemia. However, physicians evaluate each person individually, and prescribe according to individual needs. Therapeutic doses of iron dietary supplements, which are prescribed for iron deficiency anemia, may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dark colored stools, and/or abdominal distress. Starting with half the recommended dose and gradually increasing to the full dose will help minimize these side effects. Taking the dieatary supplements in divided doses and with food also may help limit these symptoms. Iron from enteric coated or delayed-release preparations may have fewer side effects, but is not as well absorbed and not usually recommended. --------- Dietary Supplement Magnesium Magnesium, an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives). Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions
    • across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. An adult body contains approximately 25 g magnesium, with 50% to 60% present in the bones and most of the rest in soft tissues. Less than 1% of total magnesium is in blood serum, and these levels are kept under tight control. Normal serum magnesium concentrations range between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol)/L. Hypomagnesemia is defined as a serum magnesium level less than 0.75 mmol/L. Magnesium homeostasis is largely controlled by the kidney, which typically excretes about 120 mg magnesium into the urine each day. Urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium status is low. Dietary Supplement Assessing magnesium status is difficult because most magnesium is inside cells or in bone. The most commonly used and readily available method for assessing magnesium status is measurement of serum magnesium concentration, even though serum levels have little correlation with total body magnesium levels or concentrations in specific tissues. Other methods for assessing magnesium status include measuring magnesium concentrations in erythrocytes, saliva, and urine; measuring ionized magnesium concentrations in blood, plasma, or serum; and conducting a magnesium-loading (or "tolerance") test. No single method is considered satisfactory. Some experts but not others consider the tolerance test (in which urinary magnesium is measured after parenteral infusion of a dose of magnesium) to be the best method to assess magnesium status in adults. To comprehensively evaluate magnesium status, both laboratory tests and a clinical assessment might be required to see if you need a dietary supplement of magnesium. ------- Dietary Supplement Magnesium Recommended Intakes Intake recommendations for magnesium, dietary supplement, and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences). DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and sex, include:  Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals.  Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.  Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): average daily level of intake estimated to meet the requirements of 50% of healthy individuals. It is usually used to assess the adequacy of nutrient intakes in population groups but not individuals.  Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.
    • Dietary Supplement Table 1 lists the current RDAs for magnesium. For infants from birth to 12 months, the FNB established an AI for magnesium that is equivalent to the mean intake of magnesium in healthy, breastfed infants, with added solid foods for ages 7–12 months. Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium] Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation Birth to 6 months 30 mg* 30 mg* 7–12 months 75 mg* 75 mg* 1–3 years 80 mg 80 mg 4–8 years 130 mg 130 mg 9–13 years 240 mg 240 mg 14–18 years 410 mg 360 mg 400 mg 360 mg 19–30 years 400 mg 310 mg 350 mg 310 mg 31–50 years 420 mg 320 mg 360 mg 320 mg 51+ years 420 mg 320 mg *Adequate Intake (AI) Food Magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods and in beverages. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods as a dietary supplement. Some types of food processing, such as refining grains in ways that remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran, lower magnesium content substantially. Selected food sources of magnesium are listed in Table 2. Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Magnesium [10]
    • Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent DV* Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20 Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 78 20 Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 74 19 Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup 63 16 Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits 61 15 Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup 61 15 Black beans, cooked, ½ cup 60 15 Edamame, shelled, cooked, ½ cup 50 13 Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons 49 12 Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices 46 12 Avocado, cubed, 1 cup 44 15 Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces 43 11 Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup 42 11 Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 42 11 Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium 40 10 Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet 36 9 Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup 35 9 Banana, 1 medium 32 8 Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 26 7
    • Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Magnesium [10] Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent DV* Milk, 1 cup 24–27 6–7 Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 24 6 Raisins, ½ cup 23 6 Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces 22 6 Beef, ground, 90% lean, pan broiled, 3 ounces 20 5 Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup 12 3 Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup 10 3 Apple, 1 medium 9 2 Carrot, raw, 1 medium 7 2 *DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for magnesium is 400 mg for adults and children aged 4 and older. However, the FDA does not require food labels to list magnesium content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient. ---------- Magnesium Dietary Supplements Magnesium dietary supplements are available in a variety of forms, including magnesium oxide, citrate, and chloride. The dietary Supplements Fact panel on dietary supplements label declares the amount of elemental magnesium in the product, not the weight of the entire magnesium- containing compound. Absorption of magnesium from different kinds of magnesium dietary supplements varies. Forms of magnesium that dissolve well in liquid are more completely absorbed in the gut than less soluble forms. Small studies have found that magnesium in the aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride forms is absorbed more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and
    • magnesium sulfate. One study found that very high doses of zinc from supplements (142 mg/day) can interfere with magnesium absorption and disrupt the magnesium balance in the body. Medicines Magnesium is a primary ingredient in some laxatives. Phillips' Milk of Magnesia®, for example, provides 500 mg elemental magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide) per tablespoon; the directions advise taking up to 4 tablespoons/day for adolescents and adults. (Although such a dose of magnesium is well above the safe upper level, some of the magnesium is not absorbed because of the medication's laxative effect.) Magnesium is also included in some remedies for heartburn and upset stomach due to acid indigestion. Extra-strength Rolaids®, for example, provides 55 mg elemental magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide) per tablet, although Tums® is magnesium free. Dietary Supplements Magnesium Intakes and Status Dietary surveys of people in the United States consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than recommended amounts. An analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005–2006 found that a majority of Americans of all ages ingest less magnesium from food than their respective EARs; adult men aged 71 years and older and adolescent females are most likely to have low intakes. In a study using data from NHANES 2003–2006 to assess mineral intakes among adults, average intakes of magnesium from food alone were higher among users of dietary supplements (350 mg for men and 267 mg for women, equal to or slightly exceeding their respective EARs) than among nonusers (268 mg for men and 234 for women). When dietary supplements were included, average total intakes of magnesium were 449 mg for men and 387 mg for women, well above EAR levels. ----------- Magnesium Deficiency and Dietary Supplements You may need to take magnesium dietary supplements if you have symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to low dietary intake. In otherwise-healthy people this is uncommon because the kidneys limit urinary excretion of this mineral. However, habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency. When You Need to Take Magnesium as Dietary Supplements Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.
    • Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted. Groups at Risk of Magnesium Inadequacy Magnesium inadequacy can occur when intakes fall below the RDA but are above the amount required to prevent overt deficiency. The following groups are more likely than others to be at risk of magnesium inadequacy because they typically consume insufficient amounts or they have medical conditions (or take medications) that reduce magnesium absorption from the gut or increase losses from the body. People with gastrointestinal diseases - The chronic diarrhea and fat malabsorption resulting from Crohn's disease, gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease), and regional enteritis can lead to magnesium depletion over time. Resection or bypass of the small intestine, especially the ileum, typically leads to malabsorption and magnesium loss. People with type 2 diabetes - Magnesium deficits and increased urinary magnesium excretion can occur in people with insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. The magnesium loss appears to be secondary to higher concentrations of glucose in the kidney that increase urine output. People with alcohol dependence - Magnesium deficiency is common in people with chronic alcoholism. In these individuals, poor dietary intake and nutritional status; gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and steatorrhea (fatty stools) resulting from pancreatitis; renal dysfunction with excess excretion of magnesium into the urine; phosphate depletion; vitamin D deficiency; acute alcoholic ketoacidosis; and hyperaldosteronism secondary to liver disease can all contribute to decreased magnesium status. Older adults - Older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults. In addition, magnesium absorption from the gut decreases and renal magnesium excretion increases with age. Older adults are also more likely to have chronic diseases or take medications that alter magnesium status, which can increase their risk of magnesium depletion. --------- Dietary Supplements | Magnesium and Health Habitually low intakes of magnesium induce changes in biochemical pathways that can increase the risk of illness over time, dietary supplements of magnesium may be needed. This blog focuses on four diseases and disorders in which magnesium might be involved: hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches. Hypertension and cardiovascular disease Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Studies to date, however, have found that magnesium dietary supplements lowers blood pressure, at best, to only a small extent. A meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials found that magnesium supplementation for 8–26 weeks in
    • 545 hypertensive participants resulted in only a small reduction (2.2 mmHg) in diastolic blood pressure. The dose of magnesium ranged from approximately 243 to 973 mg/day. The authors of another meta-analysis of 22 studies with 1,173 normotensive and hypertensive adults concluded that magnesium supplementation for 3–24 weeks decreased systolic blood pressure by 3–4 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2–3 mmHg. The effects were somewhat larger when supplemental magnesium intakes of the participants in the nine crossover-design trials exceeded 370 mg/day. Dietary Supplements A diet containing more magnesium because of added fruits and vegetables, more low-fat or non- fat dairy products, and less fat overall was shown to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 5.5 and 3.0 mmHg, respectively. However, this Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet also increases intakes of other nutrients, such as potassium and calcium, that are associated with reductions in blood pressure, so any independent contribution of magnesium cannot be determined. Several prospective studies have examined associations between magnesium intakes and heart disease. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study assessed heart disease risk factors and levels of serum magnesium in a cohort of 14,232 white and African-American men and women aged 45 to 64 years at baseline. Over an average of 12 years of follow-up, individuals in the highest quartile of the normal physiologic range of serum magnesium (at least 0.88 mmol/L) had a 38% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death compared with individuals in the lowest quartile (0.75 mmol/L or less). However, dietary magnesium intakes had no association with risk of sudden cardiac death. Another prospective study tracked 88,375 female nurses in the United States to determine whether serum magnesium levels measured early in the study and magnesium intakes from food and supplements assessed every 2 to 4 years were associated with sudden cardiac death over 26 years of follow-up. Women in the highest compared with the lowest quartile of ingested and plasma magnesium concentrations had a 34% and 77% lower risk of sudden cardiac death, respectively. Another prospective population study of 7,664 adults aged 20 to 75 years in the Netherlands who did not have cardiovascular disease found that low urinary magnesium excretion levels (a marker for low dietary magnesium intake) were associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease over a median follow-up period of 10.5 years. Plasma magnesium concentrations were not associated with risk of ischemic heart disease. A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies found that higher serum levels of magnesium were significantly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and higher dietary magnesium intakes (up to approximately 250 mg/day) were associated with a significantly lower risk of ischemic heart disease caused by a reduced blood supply to the heart muscle. -----
    • Dietary Supplements | Magnesium Clinical Trials Magnesium dietary supplements can actually improve the body’s use of calcium. Higher magnesium intakes might reduce the risk of stroke. In a meta-analysis of 7 prospective trials with a total of 241,378 participants, an additional 100 mg/day magnesium in the diet was associated with an 8% decreased risk of total stroke, especially ischemic rather than hemorrhagic stroke. One limitation of such observational studies, however, is the possibility of confounding with other nutrients or dietary components that could also affect the risk of stroke. Dietary Supplements A large, well-designed clinical trial is needed to better understand the contributions of magnesium from food and dietary supplements to heart health and the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes Diets with higher amounts of magnesium are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes, possibly because of the important role of magnesium in glucose metabolism. Hypomagnesemia might worsen insulin resistance, a condition that often precedes diabetes, or it might be a consequence of insulin resistance. Diabetes leads to increased urinary losses of magnesium, and the subsequent magnesium inadequacy might impair insulin secretion and action, thereby worsening diabetes control. Most investigations of magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes have been prospective cohort studies. A meta-analysis of 7 of these studies, which included 286,668 patients and 10,912 cases of diabetes over 6 to 17 years of follow-up, found that a 100 mg/day increase in total magnesium intake decreased the risk of diabetes by a statistically significant 15%. Another meta- analysis of 8 prospective cohort studies that followed 271,869 men and women over 4 to 18 years found a significant inverse association between magnesium intake from food and risk of type 2 diabetes; the relative risk reduction was 23% when the highest to lowest intakes were compared. A 2011 meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies of the association between magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes included 13 studies with a total of 536,318 participants and 24,516 cases of diabetes. The mean length of follow-up ranged from 4 to 20 years. Investigators found an inverse association between magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in a dose- responsive fashion, but this association achieved statistical significance only in overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25 or higher) but not normal-weight individuals (BMI less than 25). Again, a limitation of these observational studies is the possibility of confounding with other dietary components or lifestyle or environmental variables that are correlated with magnesium intake. -------- Dietary Supplements Magnesium | Short-Term Clinical Trials
    • Only a few small, short-term clinical trials have examined the potential effects of dietary supplements of magnesium on control of type 2 diabetes. For example, 128 patients with poorly controlled diabetes in a Brazilian clinical trial received a placebo or a supplement containing either 500 mg/day or 1,000 mg/day magnesium oxide (providing 300 or 600 mg elemental magnesium, respectively). After 30 days of dietary supplements, plasma, cellular, and urine magnesium levels increased in participants receiving the larger dose of the dietary supplements, and their glycemic control improved. In another small trial in Mexico, participants with type 2 diabetes and hypomagnesemia who received a liquid supplement of magnesium chloride (providing 300 mg/day elemental magnesium) for 16 weeks showed significant reductions in fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin concentrations compared with participants receiving a placebo, and their serum magnesium levels became normal. Larger and longer clinical trials are required to determine whether magnesium dietary supplements areof value for treating or controlling type 2 diabetes. Osteoporosis Magnesium is involved in bone formation and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Magnesium also affects the concentrations of both parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D, which are major regulators of bone homeostasis. Several population- based studies have found positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in both men and women. Other research has found that women with osteoporosis have lower serum magnesium levels than women with osteopenia and those who do not have osteoporosis or osteopenia. These and other findings indicate that magnesium deficiency might be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Although limited in number, studies suggest that increasing magnesium intakes from food or dietary supplements might increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal and elderly women. For example, one short-term study found that 290 mg/day elemental magnesium (as magnesium citrate) for 30 days in 20 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis suppressed bone turnover compared with placebo, suggesting that bone loss decreased. ---------- Multivitamin Dietary Supplements Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements contain a combination of vitamins and minerals, and sometimes other ingredients as well. They go by many names, including multis and multiples or simply vitamins. The vitamins and minerals in MVMs have unique roles in the body. What kinds of MVM dietary supplements are available There are many types of MVMs in the marketplace. Manufacturers choose which vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients, as well as their amounts, to include in their products.
    • Among the most common MVMs are basic, once-daily products containing all or most vitamins and minerals, with the majority in amounts that are close to recommended amounts. Higher- potency MVMs often come in packs of two or more pills to take each day. Manufacturers promote other MVMs for special purposes, such as better performance or energy, weight control, or improved immunity. These products usually contain herbal and other ingredients (such as echinacea and glucosamine) in addition to vitamins and minerals. The recommended amounts of nutrients people should get vary by age and gender and are known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs). One value for each nutrient, known as the Daily Value (DV), is selected for the labels of dietary supplements and foods. A DV is often, but not always, similar to one's RDA or AI for that nutrient. The label provides the %DV so that you can see how much (what percentage) a serving of the product contributes to reaching the DV. Who takes MVM dietary supplements? Research has shown that more than one-third of Americans take MVMs. About one in four young children takes an MVM, but adolescents are least likely to take them. Use increases with age during adulthood so that by age 71 years, more than 40% take an MVM. Women; the elderly; people with more education, more income, healthier diets and lifestyles, and lower body weights; and people in the western United States use MVMs most often. Smokers and members of certain ethnic and racial groups (such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans) are less likely to take a daily MVM. ------- Effects of Multivitamin Dietary Supplements On Health People take Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements for many reasons. Here are some examples of what research has shown about using them to increase nutrient intakes, promote health, and reduce the risk of disease. Increase nutrient intakes Taking a Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements increases nutrient intakes and helps people get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals when they cannot or do not meet these needs from food alone. Some people take a Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements as a form of dietary or nutritional "insurance." Ironically, people who take MVMs tend to consume more vitamins and minerals from food than those who don't. Also, the people least likely to get enough nutrients from diet alone who might benefit from MVMs are the least likely to take them. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention For people with certain health problems, specific Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements might be helpful. For example, a study showed that a particular high-dose formula
    • of several vitamins and minerals slowed vision loss in some people with age-related macular degeneration. Should I take an Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements MVMs cannot take the place of eating a variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet. Foods provide more than vitamins and minerals. They also have fiber and other ingredients that may have positive health effects. But people who don't get enough vitamins and minerals from food alone, are on low-calorie diets, have a poor appetite, or avoid certain foods (such as strict vegetarians and vegans) might consider taking Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements. Health care providers might also recommend MVMs to patients with certain medical problems. Some people might benefit from taking certain nutrients found in Multivitamin/mineral (MVM) dietary supplements. For example:  Women who might become pregnant should get 400 mcg/day of folic acid from fortified foods and/or dietary supplements to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine in their newborn babies.  Pregnant women should take an iron supplement as recommended by their health care provider. A prenatal MVM is likely to provide iron.  Breastfed and partially breastfed infants should receive vitamin D supplements of 400 IU/day, as should non-breastfed infants who drink less than about 1 quart per day of vitamin D-fortified formula or milk.  In postmenopausal women, calcium and vitamin D dietary supplements may increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures.  People over age 50 should get recommended amounts of vitamin B12 from fortified foods and/or dietary supplements because they might not absorb enough of the B12 that is naturally found in food. ---------------- Dietary Supplement Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health Part 1 This blog summarizes the results of eight evidence-based reviews on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids from food or dietary supplement sources for the prevention and treatment of several diseases. These reviews were prepared under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). All reviews were sponsored and funded by the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Five reports were published in March 2004 and 3 additional reports were published in February 2005, all of which are available in their entirety and summary form on the ODS web site (ods.od.nih.gov) and the AHRQ web site (www.ahrq.gov).
    • Dietary Supplement Three reports focus on cardiovascular disease (CVD), including the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmia (the heart's beating rate and disorders of its rhythm), cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, and intermediate markers of disease such as heart rate variability. One report focuses on omega-3 fatty acids and asthma. Another report addresses the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on type II diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, renal disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and osteoporosis. Another report addresses the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive function in normal aging, the incidence and treatment of dementia, the incidence of Parkinson's disease and cerebral palsy in infants, and clinical outcomes in progressive multiple sclerosis. Another report evaluates whether omega-3 fatty acids improve the outcomes of patients undergoing organ transplantation. These reports were prepared by the Tufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-based Practice Center (Tufts EPC), the University of Ottawa Evidence- based Practice Center at the University of Ottawa, Canada (Ottawa EPC), and the Southern California/RAND Evidence-based Practice Center in Los Angeles (RAND EPC). ----- Dietary Supplement Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health Part 2 Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for a number of functions in the body and are available as a dietary supplement. Some types of omega-3s are found in foods such as fatty fish and shellfish. Another type is found in some vegetable oils. Summary of key findings The polyunsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) must come from the diet because they cannot be made by the body. ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is converted in the body to the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). LA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is converted to the fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA). Most American diets provide more than 10 times as much omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. There is general agreement that individuals should consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 fatty acids to promote good health. Omega-3 fatty acids are available as a dietary supplement. Good sources of ALA are leafy green vegetables, nuts, and vegetable oils such as canola, soy, and especially flaxseed. Good sources of EPA and DHA are fish and organ meats. LA is found in many foods, including meat, vegetable oils (e.g., safflower, sunflower, corn, soy), and processed foods made with these oils.
    • EPA and DHA are metabolized through the same biochemical pathways as AA. EPA and AA are precursors for hormone-like agents known as eicosanoids. It is not known whether a desirable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids exists or to what extent high intakes of omega-6 fatty acids interfere with any benefits of omega-3 fatty acid consumption. Impact on cardiovascular disease: According to both primary and secondary prevention studies, consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, fish, and fish oil reduces all-cause mortality and various CVD outcomes such as sudden death, cardiac death, and myocardial infarction. The evidence is strongest for fish and fish oil dietary supplement. -------- More Information on Dietary Supplement Omega-3 There has been a substantial amount of research on dietary supplement of omega-3s. More Information on Dietary Supplement Omega-3 Impact on heart function: Animal and isolated organ/cell culture studies demonstrate that omega- 3 fatty acids affect cellular functions involved in ensuring a normal heart rate and coronary blood flow. Impact on CVD risk factors: Fish oils can lower blood triglyceride levels in a dose-dependent manner. Fish oils have a very small beneficial effect on blood pressure and possible beneficial effects on coronary artery restenosis after angioplasty and exercise capacity in patients with coronary atherosclerosis. Impact on asthma: No conclusions could be drawn about the value of omega-3 fatty acid dieatary supplement in the prevention or treatment of asthma for adults or children other than the fact that they have an acceptable safety profile. Impact on other conditions: Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce joint tenderness and need for corticosteroid drugs in rheumatoid arthritis. Background information about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids & their known functions There are two major classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) -- the omega-3 and the omega-6 fatty acids -- distinguished by their chemical structure. Only the fatty acids alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) must come from the diet because they cannot be made by the body. ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is converted in the body to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA also occur naturally in some foods. LA, an omega- 6 fatty acid, is converted in the body to arachidonic acid (AA). Both EPA and DHA are metabolized through the same biochemical pathways as AA. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids in general decrease triglyceride and very-low-density lipoprotein blood levels in
    • hyperlipidemic individuals but may increase or have no effect on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. ---------- Dietary Supplement Omega-3 Information Commonly used dietary supplements that contain omega-3s include fish oil (which provides EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil (which provides ALA). Both AA and EPA are further metabolized to produce hormone-like agents called eicosanoids, which include prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes. Eicosanoids regulate fundamental physiological processes such as cell division and growth, blood clotting, muscle activity, secretion of digestive juices and hormones, and movement of substances like calcium into and out of cells. However, AA and EPA lead to the production of different subgroups of eicosanoids with sometimes opposing effects. Eicosanoids formed from AA (particularly the series-2 prostaglandins and series-4 leukotrienes) are released in the body in response to injury, infection, stress, or certain diseases. They increase platelet aggregation and enhance vasoconstriction and the synthesis of substances involved with the inflammatory process. Eicosanoids derived from EPA (particularly the series-3 prostaglandins), in contrast, decrease excessive series-2 prostaglandin production. As a result, adequate production of EPA-derived series-3 prostaglandins may help protect individuals against heart attacks and strokes as well as certain inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and asthma. Dietary Supplement The omega-3 fatty acid DHA, while not involved in eicosanoid formation, is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain and is important for brain development and function. Synapses are rich in DHA, which suggests that this fatty acid is involved in signal transmission along neurons. DHA is also required to produce one member of a family of compounds called resolvins that participate in the body's response to inflammation in the brain. The DHA-derived resolvin in particular helps to reduce inflammation brought about by ischemic insults (reductions in blood flow). (EPA also helps to temper inflammatory responses by decreasing production of proinflammatory compounds such as cytokines.) ------- Dietary Supplements Omega-3 Where Can I Find It Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of dietary supplements. For example, products containing flaxseed oil provide ALA, fish-oil supplements provide EPA and DHA, and algal oils provide a vegetarian source of DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health and disease
    • Epidemiological studies first published in the late 1970s noted relatively low cardiovascular mortality in populations such as Eskimos with high fish consumption. The apparent health benefits of fish are explained, at least in part, by the EPA and DHA they contain. Since these early studies, hundreds of observational and clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the effects of EPA and DHA from marine sources and ALA from plant sources on CVD and its many risk factors and intermediate markers and to understand the potential benefits of increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary Supplements The three reports by the Tufts EPC focused on different areas of research concerning this relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular health and disease and involved systematic reviews of the available scientific-medical literature. The first report focused on whole animal and isolated organ and cell culture studies to assess the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on arrhythmogenic mechanisms and outcomes. The second assessed the effects of EPA, DHA, and ALA on various CVD risk factors and intermediate markers of CVD in healthy people and people with dyslipidemia, diabetes, or known CVD. The third reviewed experimental and observational studies that investigated the effect of dietary or supplemental omega-3 fatty acids on specific clinical CVD outcomes (e.g., myocardial infarction and stroke) and whether these substances can play a role in the primary or secondary prevention of these outcomes. ---------- Dietary Supplements Omega-3 Research Omega-3 dietary supplements animal and isolated organ/cell culture studies review indicate the following. A systematic review and screening of the literature identified 86 studies that met inclusion criteria and provided appropriate data. Of the 26 studies on living animals, a meta- analysis of 13 studies (with rats and monkeys) that compared the antiarrhythmic effects of ALA or fish oil with omega-6 fatty acids showed that fish-oil dietary supplements (but not ALA) significantly reduced risk of death, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. Since the majority of these studies were conducted by one research group, studies need to be repeated in other laboratories to confirm these results. Another 60 studies evaluated the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on isolated organs and cell cultures. Seven of them reported that EPA and DHA (and in one instance ALA) protected against spontaneous or induced arrhythmias in both rat and guinea pig models. In the presence of various arrhythmogenic agents and across the species studied, omega-3 fatty acids consistently decreased the contraction rate and thereby had a protective effect compared with other substances, including placebos. Cardiovascular risk factors and intermediate markers of CVD Many proposed risk factors for, and intermediate markers of, CVD exist. One report addressed the following risk factors and their relationship to omega-3 fatty acids in adults: total, LDL, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; triglycerides; lipoprotein (a); apolipoprotein (apo)
    • A1; apo B; apo B-100 and LDL apo B; systolic and diastolic blood pressure; fasting insulin; C- reactive protein; fibrinogen; blood clotting factors VII, VIII, and von Willebrand factor; and platelet aggregation. The intermediate markers of CVD reviewed were coronary artery restenosis after angioplasty, carotid artery intima-media thickness, exercise tolerance testing, and heart rate variability. The literature review excluded studies of children, studies of daily omega-3 fatty acid intakes greater than 6 g/day, and studies less than 4 weeks long. A total of 123 articles that meet final eligibility criteria were reviewed regarding 23 potential risk factors and intermediate markers of CVD and tissue levels of omega-3 fatty acids. For most outcomes of interest, analysis was confined to the largest randomized trials. Fish Oil Dietary Supplements Overall, strong evidence showed that fish-oil dietary supplements had a substantial and beneficial effect on triglycerides that was greater with larger intakes of fish oil; most studies reported a net decrease of about 10-33%. There is also evidence of a very small beneficial effect of fish oils on blood pressure and possible beneficial effects on coronary artery restenosis after angioplasty, exercise capacity in patients with coronary atherosclerosis, and heart rate variability (particularly in patients with recent myocardial infarctions). No consistent beneficial effects were apparent for the other CVD risk factors or intermediate markers analyzed. Regarding concerns that glucose tolerance might be adversely affected by omega-3 fatty acids, there was no consistent evidence of a detrimental effect. ------- Research Evidence on Dietary Supplements Omega-3 One report examined how dietary supplements of omega-3 fatty acids affect specific CVD outcomes such as myocardial infarction and stroke and investigated whether these fatty acids can play a role in the primary and secondary prevention of these outcomes. A systematic review of the literature and subsequent screening identified 39 studies that met the investigators' inclusion criteria for reporting mortality or CVD clinical outcomes with a follow-up of at least one year. The primary prevention studies included 22 prospective cohort studies and only one randomized, controlled trial (RCT); they were conducted in countries around the world, most cohorts had several thousand subjects, and studies lasted from 4 to 30 years. The secondary prevention studies, in contrast, consisted of 11 RCTs and one prospective cohort study that reported outcomes on CVD populations; they included over 16,000 patients and lasted from 1.5 to 5 years. Overall, evidence from both the primary and secondary prevention studies supports the hypothesis that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, fish, and fish oil reduces all-cause mortality and various CVD outcomes such as sudden death, cardiac death, and myocardial infarction. The evidence is strongest for fish or fish oil dietary supplements whereas the potential effects of ALA are largely unknown and the relative effects of ALA versus fish oil are not well defined. In the only RCT that directly compared ALA and fish oil, both treatments reduced CVD outcome. No consistent differences in the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on CVD outcomes were found
    • between men and women, largely because the proportion of women in RCTs was small and data from men and women were not analyzed separately to address any differences. The lessons to be drawn from all these studies to date regarding use of omega-3 fatty acids dietary supplements for preventing and treating CVD are not completely clear. Because the studies involved a variety of methods of estimating fish or omega-3 fatty acid intake, background diets, background risk for heart disease, settings, and methods for reporting results, the validity of applying the results of studies conducted outside the United States to the U.S. population is uncertain. Furthermore, dietary supplements intervention trials are limited by the multiple and complex dietary changes in the trials that make it difficult to distinguish among components and determine which specific components or combinations of these diets are most beneficial. For example, the different types of fish consumed and the method of food preparation may cause different effects. ------- Dietary Supplements  See Also  What is wheatgrass — And why is it in my drink?  Vitamin D toxicity: What if you get too much?  Prenatal vitamins: OK for women who aren't pregnant?  Too much vitamin C: Harmful?   Vitamin water: Better than plain water?  Multivitamins: Do young children need them?  Vitamin D deficiency  Chocolate: Does it impair calcium absorption?  Calcium supplements: Do men need them too?  Calcium supplements: When should they be taken?  Fiber supplements: Safe to take every day?  Ground flaxseed: Better than whole?  Herbal supplements: What to know before you buy
    •  Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance  Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?  Vitamin D and MS: Is there any connection?  Multivitamins — Are they the best thing for you?  Dietary supplements: Greater accountability needed  Calcium supplements and bone health  Dietary supplements not without risks  Supplement use increases, but a healthy diet is the key  Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?  Vitamin D for babies: Are supplements needed? I LEFT OFF HERE