After 12 shoulder surgeries I was left with a lot of pain and arthritis and osteoarthritis. Seeing a pain specialist to deal with the pain, he put me on two different types of morphine and told me that I would be on it for life. Thinking that this was as good as it gets I reluctantly took the morphine but my pain levels were still between 6-8 on a scale of 1-10.
Understanding the latest media attention on multivitamins
Many of you have probably seen the headlines regarding multivitamins and their inability to prevent chronic disease in the past few days – the result of three studies published in theAnnals of Internal Medicine.
Starting from a 30,000-foot view, the premise of these studies is the first problem: looking at the use of a multivitamin alone as a way to prevent disease. The purpose of a multivitamin is to fill in nutritional gaps and provide optimum levels of vitamins and minerals. It is well established that the vastmajority of Americans fail to obtain even adequate levels of these nutrients.
Prevention of any disease is a multi-factorial process that has to include diet, weight management, and lifestyle. To expect to see disease prevention accomplished by virtue of taking a daily multivitamin is a flawed premise. So, why are these large-scale (and very expensive) studies undertaken? It is simply the model of research that scientists and physicians understand – studying a single drug to determine what effect it may have on a single disease. Studying nutrition is far more complex.
While a drug has a primary effect (usually something positive), they also have a myriad of side effects (which are usually negative and even life threatening). Every year pharmaceuticals are removed from the market because of these serious side effects. A study published in JAMA in 1998 showed that as many as 125,000 Americans die each year of properly prescribed pharmaceuticals – wow! When was the last time a vitamin was removed from the market?
Vitamins and minerals all have multiple positive functional roles to play in our bodies – which is why so many Americans pop a multi each day. People simply feel better when they take a multi because they are filling in those all too common nutrition gaps.
All three of these studies showed that multivitamins have an excellent safety profile. Well, of course they do! The only “potential harm” that continues to be mentioned every time we have a study such as this published is the slight increased risk of lung cancer in smokers who took beta carotene. My response to that is – smokers: stop smoking!
Let me quickly summarize these studies. The largest one is another report from the Physician Health Study – previous publications of data from this large government funded study did show an association of reduced cancer associated with multivitamin usage.
The next study looked at cognitive decline in physicians – who are at the upper end of the intelligence scale and pretty well nourished. Showing a significant change in cognitive decline in this population is going to take some intervention beyond a multi – as this population is most likely doing lots of the right things to protect their brain function.
The third study tried to show that higher doses of specific vitamins decrease the likelihood of a second heart attack in folks who have already had a heart attack. Hmmm. Maybe we should look at weight reduction, cholesterol, blood pressure lowering, and blood sugar management as opposed to putting the burden of prevention of a second heart attack in someone with heart disease on vitamins!
I have been recommending a multivitamin (and beyond) to my patients, and consumers in general, for my entire 30 years as a physician – and nothing in these studies changes my mind. The statistics on inadequacies in our American diet are clear – most everyone is deficient in multiple nutrients. Here at Shaklee, we have the Landmark Study, published in the journal Nutrition in 2007 that showed a nice correlation of better health with multiple supplement usage, starting with a multivitamin. We have over 100 published studies that validate the connection of nutrition and health. I urge you to continue taking your Shaklee supplements – but also, to remember the importance of eating healthfully, avoiding fast foods, and getting to a healthy weight on your journey to better health.
By Cheryl Myers
Some consumers do not know how to identify a natural vitamin from a synthetic one. Vitamin and mineral supplements may contain labels that are too complicated for you to understand. You may not even know what to look for in a vitamin or mineral supplement.
Some manufacturers of commercial vitamin and mineral supplements add synthetics to vitamin products, typically to increase the vitamin’s potency, but many synthetics are made from derivatives of coal tar – a known carcinogen found in cigarette smoke. This is only one of the reasons why it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.
5 Steps To Identify The Ingredients On A Vitamin Label
Look for the words “100 percent natural” on the product’s label. Some product labels may contain the words “natural,” but manufacturers can claim “natural” on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. The Organic Consumers Organization recommends looking for products that contain “100 percent plant-based” or “100 percent animal-based” on the product’s label.
Find the “food source” list on the products label. If the product’s label does not contain a list of natural food sources, then the product is synthetic. Look for food sources such as yeast, fish, vegetable and citrus.
Identify whole foods in the ingredient list instead of the particular nutrient. Dr. Ben Kim, a chiropractor and acupuncturist with his own radio show, says to look for foods on the list of ingredients that contain a certain vitamin, such as “acerola cherry powder,” which contains vitamin C. If you can identify “vitamin C” in the ingredient list, Kim says you can almost guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.
Look for salt forms on the product label, a synthetic added to supplements for increasing the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look for include acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate and succinate.
Learn how to read the product’s label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic. Words that end in “ide” or “ate” indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics.
For instance, if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product.
Additionally, the letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic. As an example, look for “fish oils” when buying a vitamin A supplement. If the product’s label states “palmitate,” it is a synthetic vitamin A supplement.
Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid
Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
- Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
- Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Biotin: d-Biotin
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
For all natural non GMO Vitamins go to www.smartsolutionsforliving.com
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn’t store it. We have to get what we need from food, including citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.
You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, along with vitamin E, beta-carotene, and many other plant-based nutrients. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. The build-up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
It’s rare to be seriously deficient in vitamin C, although evidence suggests that many people may have low levels of vitamin C. Smoking cigarettes lowers the amount of vitamin C in the body, so smokers are at a higher risk of deficiency.
Signs of vitamin deficiency include dry and splitting hair; gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate, easy bruising; nosebleeds; and a decreased ability to ward off infection. A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy.
Low levels of vitamin C have been associated with a number of conditions, including high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, stroke, some cancers, and atherosclerosis, the build-up plaque in blood vessels that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Getting enough vitamin C from your diet — by eating lots of fruit and vegetables — may help reduce the risk of developing some of these conditions. There is no conclusive evidence that taking vitamin C supplements will help or prevent any of these conditions.
Vitamin C plays a role in protecting against the following:
Results of scientific studies on whether vitamin C is helpful for preventing heart attack or stroke are mixed. Vitamin C doesn’t lower cholesterol levels or reduce the overall risk of heart attack, but evidence suggests that it may help protect arteries against damage.
Some studies — though not all — suggest that vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It helps prevent damage to LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which then builds up as plaque in the arteries and can cause heart attack or stroke. Other studies suggest that vitamin C may help keep arteries flexible.
In addition, people who have low levels of vitamin C may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease, all potential results of having atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease is the term used to describe atherosclerosis of the blood vessels to the legs. This can lead to pain when walking, known as intermittent claudication. But there is no evidence that taking vitamin C supplements will help.
The best thing to do is get enough vitamin C through your diet. That way, you also get the benefit of other antioxidants and nutrients contained in food. If you have low levels of vitamin C and have trouble getting enough through the foods you eat, ask your doctor about taking a supplement.
High Blood Pressure
Population based studies (which involve observing large groups of people over time) suggest that people who eat foods rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, have a lower risk of high blood pressure than people who have poorer diets. Eating foods rich in vitamin C is important for your overall health, especially if you are at risk for high blood pressure. The diet physicians most frequently recommend for treatment and prevention of high blood pressure, known as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, includes lots of fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with antioxidants.
Despite the popular belief that vitamin C can cure the common cold, the scientific evidence doesn’t support the notion. Taking vitamin C supplements regularly (not just at the beginning of a cold) produces only a small reduction in the duration of a cold (about 1 day). The only other piece of evidence supporting vitamin C for preventing colds comes from studies examining people exercising in extreme environments (athletes such as skiers and marathon runners, and soldiers in the Arctic). In these studies, vitamin C did seem to reduce the risk of getting a cold.
Results of many population based studies (evaluating groups of people over time) suggest that eating foods rich in vitamin C may be associated with lower rates of cancer, including skin cancer, cervical dysplasia (changes to the cervix which may be cancerous or precancerous, picked up by pap smear), and, possibly, breast cancer. But these foods also contain many beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, not only vitamin C, so it’s impossible to say for certain that vitamin C is protecting against cancer. Taking vitamin C supplements, on the other hand, has not been shown to have any helpful effect.
In addition, there is no evidence that taking large doses of vitamin C once diagnosed with cancer will help your treatment. Moreover, some doctors are concerned that large doses of antioxidants from supplements could interfere with chemotherapy medications. More research is needed. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C or any supplement.
Vitamin C is essential for the body to make collagen, which is a part of normal cartilage. Cartilage is destroyed in osteoarthritis (OA), putting pressure on bones and joints. In addition, some researchers think free radicals — molecules produced by the body that can damage cells and DNA — may also be involved in the destruction of cartilage. Antioxidants such as vitamin C appear to limit the damage caused by free radicals. However, that said, no evidence suggests that taking vitamin C supplements will help treat or prevent OA. What the evidence does show is that people who eat diets rich in vitamin C are less likely to be diagnosed with arthritis.
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lower your levels of vitamin C. If you take these drugs regularly for OA, you might want to take a vitamin C supplement.
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Vitamin C (500 mg) appears to work with other antioxidants, including zinc (80 mg), beta-carotene (15 mg), and vitamin E (400 IU) to protect the eyes against developing macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 in the United States. The people who seem to benefit are those with advanced AMD. It isn’t known whether this combination of nutrients helps prevent AMD or is beneficial for people with less advanced AMD. This combination includes a high dose of zinc, which should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision.
Some excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, green peppers, watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with vitamin C. Raw and cooked leafy greens (turnip greens, spinach), red and green peppers, canned and fresh tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapple are also rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, air, and heat, so you’ll get the most vitamin C if you eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Vitamin C supplements have a diuretic effect, meaning the help the body get rid of excess fluid. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when taking them.
Most commercial vitamin C is made from corn. People sensitive to corn should look for alternative sources, such as sago palm.
Vitamin C increases the amount of iron absorbed from foods. People with hemochromatosis, an inherited condition where too much iron builds up in the body, should not take vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C is generally considered safe because your body gets rid of what it does not use. But at high doses (more than 2,000 mg daily) it can cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset. If you experience these side effects, lower the dose of vitamin C.
People with kidney problems should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin C.
People who smoke or use nicotine patches may need more vitamin C because nicotine makes vitamin C less effective in the body.
Infants born to mothers taking 6,000 mg or more of vitamin C may develop rebound scurvy because their intake of vitamin C drops after birth. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C.
Vitamin C may raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In older women with diabetes, doses of vitamin C above 300 mg per day were associated with an increased risk of death from heart disease.
Taking vitamin C right before or after angioplasty may interfere with healing.
If you are being treated for cancer, talk to your oncologist before taking vitamin C. Vitamin C may potentially interact with some chemotherapy drugs.
If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vitamin C supplements without first talking to your health care provider:
Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — Both aspirin and NSAIDs can lower the amount of vitamin C in the body because they cause more of the vitamin to be lost in urine. In addition, high doses of vitamin C can cause more of these drugs to stay in the body, raising the levels in your blood. Some very early research suggests that vitamin C might help protect against stomach upset that aspirin and NSAIDs can cause. If you regularly take aspirin or NSAIDs, talk to your doctor before taking more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) — High doses of vitamin C may lower the amount of acetaminophen passed in urine, which could cause the levels of this drug in your blood to rise.
Aluminum-containing antacids — Vitamin C can increase the amount of aluminum your body absorbs, which could cause the side effects of these medications to be worse. Aluminum-containing antacids include Maalox and Gaviscon.
Barbiturates — Barbiturates may decrease the effects of vitamin C. These drugs include phenobarbital (Luminal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), and seconobarbital (Seconal).
Chemotherapy drugs — As an antioxidant, vitamin C may interfere with the effects of some drugs taken for chemotherapy. However, some researchers speculate that vitamin C might help make chemotherapy more effective. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, do not take vitamin C or any other supplement without talking to your oncologist.
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — Vitamin C can cause a rise in estrogen levels when taken with these drugs. Oral estrogens can also decrease the effects of vitamin C in the body.
Protease inhibitors — Vitamin C appears to slightly lower levels of indinavir (Crixivan), a medication used to treat HIV and AIDS.
Tetracycline — Some evidence suggests that taking vitamin C with the antibiotic tetracycline may increase the levels of this medication. It may also decrease the effects of vitamin C in the body. Other antibiotics in the same family include minocycline (Minocin) and doxycycline (Vibramycin).
Warfarin (Coumadin) — There have been rare reports of vitamin C interfering with the effectiveness of this blood thinning medication. In recent follow-up studies, no effect was found with doses of vitamin C up to 1,000 mg per day. However, if you take warfarin or another blood thinner, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C or any other supplement.
Source: Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acidUniversity of Maryland Medical Center
Your body is capable of many things, but it can’t make vitamin C. Shaklee Sustained Release Vita-C 500 mg offers sustained-release protection hour after hour, using a proprietary sustained release system.
Dr James Dowd, who works at the Arthritis Institute of Michigan, has been prescribing Vitamin D to people suffering from chronic disorders. Just in case there were any doubts about the importance of vitamin D – the ‘sunshine’ vitamin – two major studies published last week confirmed just how essential it is for good health.
One study found that people with higher levels in their blood were more likely to survive cancer, the other that having very low levels increased your risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous research has linked high levels with fighting off infection and helping with all sorts of chronic problems. But there is a catch: we make most of our vitamin D when our skin is exposed to fairly strong sunlight and we can get more from oily fish and a few foods like cereals that have been fortified with it.
Now a new and controversial book by an American doctor suggests that taking even higher levels of the vitamin – 10 to 15 times the recommended amounts – can work wonders. Dr James Dowd, who works at the Arthritis Institute of Michigan, has been prescribing vitamin D to people suffering from chronic disorders such as arthritis, back pain and headaches and the result, he claims, is a huge improvement in their symptoms.
As Dowd explains: “In the past I would have given her anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medication, a pill to lose weight and drug treatment for hypertension.” But several years earlier he himself began to suffer symptoms of joint pain and fatigue and after researching other treatments, devised a very different “and much more effective approach”.
The cure involves a high dose supplement of vitamin D and simple dietary changes, including cutting out wheat and cheese and encouraging a greater variety of fruit, vegetables and protein. It also involves a certain amount of exercise. “It sounds almost magical,” Dowd admits, “but in fact it’s just common-sense medicine based on good science; the sort that has eluded many physicians for decades.”
Vitamin D is essential for good bone health, but as research now suggests, it is also important in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Quite why is not clear. However, we do know that the level of vitamin D in our bloodstreams is dropping, partly because of concerns about the link between sun and skin cancer. It has been estimated that in America and the UK as many as 90 per cent of the population are not getting nearly enough vitamin D from the sun and diet can’t make up for the shortfall.
A great article from Food Matters on Supplementation. Well worth a look.
The foundation for a longer, healthier life
More than 50 years in the making, based on 12 Shaklee clinical studies, with 80 bio-optimized clinically proven nutrients, Vitalizer provides the best spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-aging phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and live microorganisms.
L.Lee Coyne PH.D. writes about supplementation. He states that “suplementation is no longer an option if optimal health is the object. In fact, if you are not prepared to supplement your diet at some responsible level, I would question your desire to develop optimal health.”
It has been estimated that fruit and vegetables lose up to 80% of their nutrients within 72 hours after harvesting.
We can no longer count on our food to give us all the nutrients we need.
L.Lee Coyne PH.D. goes on to say “If you are planning to use a generic brand, synthetic, cheap concoction, it won’t do you any good. Cheaper products that don’t work are not cheaper.”
(From his book “Fat Won’t make you Fat”)
Dr. Bruce Miller Certified Nutrition Specialist has this to say in “The Nutrition Guarantee”:
“The cost of illness in the United States, much of it nutritionally related, has increased by 500 percent in the last ten years and continues to skyrocket. Many claim that food supplements are too costly to take on a regular basis. Well consider these numbers. On any given day we spend $10.4 million on potato chips, $434 million on toys, $5.8 million on cat food, and $8.5 million on dog food, but we only spend $3.7 million on vitamins. Considering our priorities, surley we will decide that if we spend $30 million on candy for our children on one Halloween night, we can afford food supplements for ourselves and our families.
We talk too much about the cost of good nutrition and too little about the cost of bad nutrition. ”
See the about us page to find out what it has done for me.