Friday, September 30, 2011

Bisphenol A - Another Common Toxin

From an article entitled "BPA: Should You Worry?", by Lisa Collier Cool on Health Line, we're glad we seeing more and more articles on common toxins, as the fourth leg of health is to avoid toxins. It is hard to avoid every single toxic substance, and it generally takes exposure over and over to develop health problems, but any toxins at all degrade the body's cellular health and that of course can manifest the damage in any number of ways,....from headaches; inflamed cells, organs and blood vessels; and, chronic pain to include joint pain, especially on weight bearing joints such as knees. Anyway, Lisa Collier Cool's article brings to focus the relative unknown, to most consumers, toxic BPA.

BPA: Should You Worry?", by Lisa Collier Cool

For 40 years we ate and drank from containers containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in producing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Those substances are found in hundreds of products, from water bottles to compact discs and medical devices. Until recent years, the American public didn’t suspect that BPA could be harmful.

This week, BPA is in the news: the Breast Cancer Fund, a California-based organization working to identify and eliminate environmental causes of breast cancer, issued a report blasting the use of BPA in canned foods aimed at kids.

Why is BPA dangerous?

In 2010, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), collaborating with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, issued a statement expressing “some concern” regarding the effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children. BPA can leach from the materials in plastic tableware, baby cups, and the epoxy resin coatings inside cans, especially when
those products are heated, releasing the harmful chemical into food and liquids we consume.

BPA leaches because the ingredients used in producing polycarbonates and epoxy resins are just loosely bound enough that they break down under heat or when damaged. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about BPA: In 2008, following news reports about possibly harmful effects of BPA in plastic water bottles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that the amount of BPA exposure Americans receive from food-related materials on the shelves at that time was safe.
However, more recent studies prompted the NTP to take another look.

How dangerous is canned food for kids?

For their report, BPA in Kids' Canned Food, the Breast Cancer Fund studied six canned foods that are marketed directly to youngsters: Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli; Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth; Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs; Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth; Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’ & 123’s with Meatballs; and Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup All six products tested positive for BPA, with the Campbell’s soups—Princess Cool Shapes and Toy Story Fun Shapes—testing the highest.

The Breast Cancer Fund’s report stresses that it is not the occasional canned-soup lunch that has them worried, but “…the repeated servings of canned soups, pastas, vegetables, fruits that a child eats in a week, in a year, and throughout her developing years, are what drive our…campaign.”

How can you protect your family?

The jury is still out on just how much BPA exposure is safe for children and adults. The FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research continues to study BPA, and the Breast Cancer Fund is staging a “Cans Not Cancer” campaign to get BPA out of canned foods and replace it with a safer substance.

In the meantime, parents can take steps to protect their infants and children from possibly harmful effects of BPA:

• The Centers for Disease Control advises mothers to breastfeed babies for at least their first 12 months, if possible, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• Discard scratched baby bottles and feeding cups. Damaged utensils harbor germs, and they might release small amounts of BPA.
• Don’t pour hot baby formula or other liquids into bottles or cups that contain BPA. When you mix powdered formula with water, heat it in a BPA-free container and allow it to cool down before transferring it to the baby’s bottle.
• Never heat baby bottles in a microwave oven. If a ready-to-feed liquid needs to be heated, warm it by running warm water over the bottle.
• After sterilizing and cleaning baby bottles, allow them to cool before adding formula or milk.
• Canned formula does contain small amounts of BPA. The good nutrition in the formula outweighs the small risk of BPA exposure when baby drinks the formula, but be sure never to heat formula in the can.
• Every plastic container displays a recycle code on the bottom. Those with code 3 or 7 may contain BPA; take special care to avoid putting hot liquid in these bottles and cups.
• The Breast Cancer Fund suggests cooking with fresh and whole foods, rather than canned, as much as possible: instead of canned macaroni lunches, consider cooking dry pasta and mixing it with fresh or jarred sauce. Instead of canned soup, buy prepared soups-in-a-box—the large boxes that resemble oversized juice boxes, now available in most supermarkets. And instead of canned fruit, cut up fresh or dried fruits for kids’ snacks.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

FDA Releases Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients

The FDA released its updated draft guidance on new dietary ingredients (NDIs) on July 5, 2011. The draft guidance is intended to assist industry in deciding when a pre-market safety notification for a dietary supplement containing an NDI is necessary. The draft guidance provides the FDA’s interpretation of what qualifies as an NDI, advises when an NDI notification is necessary, and explains the procedures for submitting an NDI notification—the types of data and information manufacturers and distributors should consider when evaluating the safety of a supplement containing an NDI.

Upon initial review, the nutritional supplement industry generally believes the draft guidance is overly burdensome and plans to submit comments to the FDA during the 90-day public comment period (July 5-Oct. 3, 2011). After taking those comments under review, the draft guidance could be revised and then will be finalized. Should the draft guidance as it stands become official guidance from the FDA, every other nutritional supplement company in the United States would likely incur added costs and spend more time bringing new products to market.

Generally, Supplement manufacturers, the good and the not so good, are considering that the intent of the draft guidance is not to ban or make illegal existing dietary supplement products that contain recognized dietary ingredients. It’s still early in the FDA’s typically long process for creating official industry guidance documents. Much could still change during the next few months. FDA guidance documents do not have the force of law. On the contrary, the FDA states that guidance documents only “represent the FDA’s current thinking on a particular subject. They do not create or confer any rights for or on any person and do not operate to bind FDA or the public.”

MyAchingKnees comment: I believe most Nutritional Supplement companies are sweating bullets over this (FDA regulations) as any new regulations and requirements by the FDA will shoot up their costs of manufacturing not just significantly but exponentially. Some of you may be paying three times as much for a bed pan pill! The only companies that are not sweating it are the ones who already make pharmaceutical grade products at FDA registered facilities. Still, I think the makers of high quality products still prefer not to have over regulation as this would force the vast list of food grade supplement makers to up their quality and this would greatly diminish the heretofore great differences between food grade and pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fish Oil Supplements

I see people taking Fish Oil capsules, usually from large bottles purchased at national store chains. I usually ask them why are they taking Fish Oil supplements and I'll usually get an answer like "someone told me fish oil is good for my health."

Indeed, Fish Oil and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good for your health. Omega 3 Fatty acids are linked to cognitive function in the brain and who doesn't want a sharper mind? A healthier cardiovascular system is another known benefit as well as the often told result of lowering your cholesterol.

I have had great benefit from my aching knees and back from a combination of Omega 3 Fatty Acid and Glucosamine whereas my chronic pain is completely gone.

However, back to those large off the shelf bottles of Fish Oil. I tell people, if I were you I would be careful taking food grade, off the shelf Fish Oil as there is no other nutritional supplement being sold today with the impurities and toxins. in fact there is a reported law suit against multiple fish oil manufacturers because of PCB's and other chemicals found in these supplements.

There is thought to be many trillion gallons of mercury, petroleum products, dioxins, and fertilizers among other toxic substances dumped into our water supplies each year. Way more than enough to cause the consumer to re-think buying non-pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements, let alone give them to your kids. In fact, several friends of mine had giant bottles of fish oil, a three month supply, on their desks that they purchased for $9.99. This is a very necessary nutrient so you think you are getting quality at $3.33 per month? To ad insult to possible toxic injury, those tablets smelled,...well, fishy! And you get to taste it twice, once going down and then again with the "fish burp"! Great.

I take a highly purified, pharmaceutical grade version of Fish Oil capsules giving me the a high dose of Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) nutrients that is really necessary in tooday's western diet where we often exceed the recommended 2:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios in our bodies by 10 to 20 times, providing a fertile ground for oxidative stress and the resulting inflammation to affect our health, sometimes first detectable in joint pain.

The link to better brain function cannot be tossed aside with quality Omega 3 supplements. I have several friends who I introduced to a daily pharmaceutical grade mineral and anti-oxidant supplement and adding an alike quality Omega 3 has significantly decreased ADD/ADHD behavior in their children, between the ages of 6 and 14 years old.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scary (and Toxic) Substances

MyAchingKnees has written many times before about the four legs of health and one of those legs being “Avoidance of Toxins”. Devon Jarvis, of SELF, wrote an article posted on Yahoo! About Scary Products: Which to Eliminate, Cut Back On or Quit Worrying About.

Why this is important to us is because toxins can interfere with our immune system, creating more oxidative stress which of course results in inflammation and that inflammation can manifest itself to joint pain and connective tissue and muscles which can enhance the pain from that joint.

1. Triclosan, the chemical used in hundreds of germ-fighting products, may damage the liver and disrupt thyroid hormones. These products contribute to drug resistance, and people using antimicrobial soap get sick as often as regular suds users, a review in the American Journal of Public Health finds. Toss triclosan. Gotta sanitize? Opt for alcohol-based gels.

2. Tobacco smoke contains ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and 50 chemicals known to cause cancer. "Plus, smoking damages your lungs, kidneys and liver, the body's detoxifiers, which protect you from other chemical exposures," notes consumer advocate Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Toxic Free.

3. "Fresh" paint smell signals volatile organic compounds, solvents that can trigger breathing issues, headaches and dizziness, and that research links to reproductive problems and birth defects, says Gina Solomon, M.D., senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in San Francisco. Low- or no-VOC paints from brands such as Benjamin Moore have a similar texture but less toxicity.

4. BPA, the synthetic estrogen linked to cancer and abnormal brain development, is in the lining of most food and beverage cans, and it can leach out. Whether the food is organic doesn't matter, USDA tests show. When possible, buy fresh or frozen items; there's no BPA in plastic freezer bags, says Sarah Janssen, M.D., senior scientist at the NRDC.

5. Using chlorine bleach, cleaning sprays and disinfectants more than once a week is linked to asthma, says the author of a 2010 Spanish review of studies. Dr. Solomon adds, "There is a role for strong cleaning agents if used with care." Save them for serious mold and mildew, and never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia, because the combo produces toxic fumes. Wear gloves, open the windows, and dilute every cup of bleach you use in 10 cups of water.

6. Plastics Memorize the numbers 3, 6 and 7. These recycling codes mean plastic may have BPA, Dr. Landrigan says. Instead, store food in glass or plastic with codes 4, 5 and 12. But no plastic is "microwave safe." The claim means a container won't melt, not that chemicals won't seep into your dinner.

7. “The word fragrance on a label may stand in for hundreds of chemicals," Dr. Solomon says, including phthalates and musks, endocrine disrupters that have been linked to reproductive dysfunction. The laundry room is a good place to cut back. Seek out unscented detergents and dryer sheets, as coating clothes with chemicals means you're exposed all day, all over your skin.

8. AspartameDespite Internet rumors, a National Cancer Institute study of nearly 500,000 people discerned no link between consuming this sweetener and developing leukemia, lymphoma or brain cancers. Nor is it tied to multiple sclerosis or lupus. (But remember, most soda cans do contain BPA.) MyAchingKnees comment: Boy, they got this wrong! Do not use Aspartame! It has been linked to lethargy, headaches, muscle fatigue, memory loss, tremors, even seizures. If you consume diet drinks with Aspartame, do yourself a favor and stop for a week and notice the difference!

9. Cotton Even though conventional cotton farmers use high levels of potentially planet-harming pesticides, there's no evidence that simply wearing the fabric harms consumers, testing by the Bremen Cotton Exchange in Germany reveals. As for tampons, they expose us to 13,000 to 240,000 times fewer dioxins than our everyday diet does, according to a report in Environmental Health Perspectives. Be confident choosing any brand that works for you, organic or not.

10. The debate over water fluoridation shouldn't have you questioning your Crest. The feds have advised utilities to lower the amount of fluoride allowed in tap water, due to studies linking fluoridation with bone fractures and stiffness; however, both environmentalists and dentists agree that fluoride toothpaste is safe and necessary for everyone older than two. Check the label for a paste without triclosan—some brands add it, supposedly to prevent germs, plaque or gingivitis. MyAchingKnees comment: I have not used a fluoride toothpaste for 5 years now. I have been using a natural toothpaste. My dentist always remarks how well my gums look and I have had no cavities. The last time I had my teeth cleaned, I relented and took the fluoride treatment afterwards and I about vomited and developed a headache. Nobody can tell me that Fluoride is either necessary or not a toxin.

11. Teflon coated pots and pans. The EPA is working to phase out perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in making Teflon coating. Nonstick cookware, however, doesn't expose you to PFOA, even when you subject it to extreme heat, confirms a study in Food Additives & Contaminants. Scratched parts are fine, too, so flip your flapjacks fearlessly.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Choosing a Multi-Vitamin

My topic really isn't choosing a multi-vitamin, it's more aimed towards rebutting an article I saw in the local newspaper about Nutritional Supplements and some of the not so good advice the article was passing out to ti's readers.

Newspaper. Avoid supplements that provide more than 100 percent of the daily value (DV) for any vitamin or mineral.

MyAchingKnees: What?!? The DV's are in most cases 70 years old. Consuming 100% of the RDA was supposed to protect you against the diseases of that time,...scurvvy, ricketts, etc. The rise in degenerative disease over that time frame is, in my mind, largely due from the lack of nutrients we consume and the degrading value of food produced. Add in the population's propensity to eat fast foods and heavily processed and packaged items for the microwave then you have an environment where you are most probably getting very little nutrients unless you are very careful. Even then a person needs enhanced does of nutrients to enable the bodies immune systems to protect against oxidative stress and the degenerative diseases that result.

Newspaper: Take 600 IU's of Vitamin D each day.

MyAchingKnees: Even the USDA recently changed the RDA from 400 IU's to 800 IU's. Most Nutritional experts will now agree that 1,800 IU's of Vitamin D is more of a minimum dose. Vitamin D is very important to immune system function,..and no, you will not produce enough Vitamin D from spending your days in the Sun.

Newspaper: Before taking supplements, check with your Doctor and ask him/her what they recommend.

MyAchingKnees: With my respects to all Doctors, maybe the first question should be "Do you know anything about nutrition and/or nutritional supplements?" Most Doctors will reply, concerning supplements, that you get most of what you need from foods. Oh really? I supposed they know what you eat? The sad fact is that almost everyone cannot get the nutrients they need from foods.

Newspaper: The newspaper article went on to list a bunch of recommended supplements, based on their daily cost broken down! That's called selling your health to the lowest bidder.

MyAchingKnees Taking the recommended supplements from the newspaper, I checked them against the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, 3rd Edition, to see where these recommended supplements rate on the scale of 0.1 to 100, with 100 being the highest quality, although no supplement yet has attained a score of 100. FYI: The highest score is 96.1.

Nature's Bounty Ultra Man Time Release , Score of 12.5
Kroger Advanced Formula Complete , Score of 4.9
One A Day Active , Score 5.1
Nature Made Essential Mega , Score of 17.9
Rite Aid Whole Source , Score of 6.2
Kirkland (Costco) Signature Daily Multi-Vitamin , Score of 5.2
Equate (Wal-Mart) Complete , Score of 4.9
Centrum Silver , Score of 4.7

......again, the above choices were the Newspaper's recommendation. Like I always say "Proof is in the pudding" and "Let the Buyer Beware"

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vitamins You Need and What You Don't?

Came across an article titled "Discover which of these vitamins you need to be taking—and which you don’t" from Yahoo! Health. I thought it did not go far enough and actually had a couple things wrong, so I am posting it below with my comments.

The use of supplements in the United States has risen in the last 20 years: While only 40% of the American adult population took supplements in 1994, the number rose to over half of all adults by 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This increase could be attributed to more people becoming concerned that they aren’t getting enough nutrients, but how do you know which vitamins you need, how much you need and how often you need them? Read on to get the lowdown on 11 of the most common dietary supplements. If you’re considering adding any of them to your healthcare regimen, be sure to talk to your doctor first about any side effects, risks or complications.

B Vitamins
There are several B vitamins, from B1 to B12, and they're all incredibly important to our body's functioning. But a commonly deficient one is B12, a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). "B12 is a common deficiency; some people just have a harder time genetically absorbing it than other people do," says Max Langhurst, a naturopathic specialist and supplements advisor at Patients Medical. "We put people on B12 because they're either low or they have a diet that doesn't support it enough. For instance, someone who has dietary restrictions, whether it be an allergen, [dairy or shellfish in particular] or a different lifestyle, like if they're not eating meat." He also says people who consume a lot of alcohol might want to supplement B12. Otherwise, Langhurst says a multivitamin should be fine. "Every multivitamin will have a spectrum of B vitamins."

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: Thaimin 27 mg; Riboflavin 27 mg; Niacin 40 mg; Vitamin B6 32 mg; Folate 1000 mcg; Vitamin B12 200 mcg; Biotin 300 mcg; Pantothenic Acid 90 mg.

Due to the growing focus on osteoporosis and bone health, calcium supplementation rose from 28% in 1994 to 61% in 2006 among women 60 and over. "If you eat a fair amount of green leafy vegetables, dairy and meat, you're getting plenty of calcium. So to me, 500 mg a day is enough as a supplement—again 'supplement,' not 'replacement,'" says John Pan, MD, executive director at the George Washington University Medical Center for Integrative Medicine. While Langhurst recommends a bit more for anyone over 50 years old, there is a limit. "No more than 1,200 mg per day for people over 50 because there's a concern of calcium deposits [which leads to unabsorbed calcium settling into the body’s soft tissue]. Excessive calcium is also associated with mineral imbalances," he says. Dr. Pan, however, doesn't really think the problem with bone health is solely related to calcium deficiency. "Taking extra calcium doesn't hurt. We want them taking calcium, but the problem is that calcium isn't enough for bone health. Vitamin D is really more important," Dr. Pan says. "Vitamin D regulates how the body uses calcium."

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: I take about 1,070 mg of Calcium a day. I have my wife and aughter take 1,600 mg a day. You also need about half that amount in Magensium as well.

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may not be a vitamin you've heard much about before, but it's an important one, especially for people taking certain medications for high cholesterol. "Statins (a medication millions of people around the world take) are used to lower cholesterol, but they also block the formation of CoQ10, an essential ingredient [used by] the mitochondria to make energy," says Dr. Maroon. "This can lead to muscle cramps, memory impairment and a whole lot of other complications." If you are taking a statin, Dr. Pan says your doctor should be telling you to take CoQ10. If he or she is not, ask why. "Most cholesterol drugs are a statin, which deplete CoQ10, so you really need to take an additional 10 mg," Dr. Pan adds.

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: CoQ10 is what we call an optimizer. The body produces it, but begins to reduce this production as the person reaches middle age. It is a great supplement for people with circulatory and heart issues. A 70 year old friend of mine had good luck taking a pharamceutical grade nutritional product and adding CoQ10. His heart ejection fraction went from around 19 to 27 and his blood presure went down 10 points both sistolic and diastolic. I do not take a CoQ10 supplemt, but sure as heck reserve the right to take it if I feel like it can help.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid
An important supplement for just about everyone is fish oil, which contains an omega-3 fatty acid that can help with everything from cardiovascular health and brain functioning to arthritis and inflammation. "Science is saying you need 500 mg and is encouraging people to eat cold water fatty fish (like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, trout and mackerel) twice a week," says Duffy MacKay, ND, a naturopathic doctor and vice president of Scientific Regulatory Affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition. But the reality is that people aren't eating enough fish, so fish oil supplements have become globally accepted. However, according to Langhurst, not all fish oil supplements are created equal. "You want to look for whether or not it's molecularly distilled, because that's the process that will filter out some of the metals," he says. Some of the higher-quality brands Joseph Maroon, MD, professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh and author of The Longevity Factor, recommends include Nordic Naturals, GNC and Carlson.

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: I feel that the benefits from an Omega 3 Fatty Acid are grossly overlooked. I feel it is a key ingredient in my reduction of knee and back pain as well as enhances my cognitive functions. I have several friends of mine who are Mothers who report a change in their ADD children when put on a daily nutritional supplement and optimized with a Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement.

Folic Acid
From 2003 to 2006, only 34% of women aged 20 to 39 used a dietary supplement containing folic acid—a number doctors would like to be higher. Folic acid is very important for women, especially during their childbearing years, because it helps prevent neural defects in fetuses and is beneficial during the early stages of development. However, sometimes women don't know they're pregnant until they are two, three or four weeks into it, which is why it’s important for young women to start taking a supplement before conception, says Dr. MacKay. Folic acid is found naturally in leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans and whole grains. "If you have a robust and varied diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, you might be one of the few Americans who can get all your nutrients from food. But for the rest of women, folic acid in a multivitamin is important," Dr. MacKay adds.

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: Folate 1000 mcg a day;

Iron is an important part of overall health, as it is an integral part of many of the body’s proteins and enzymes. Because it helps with the transportation of oxygen in the blood cells, iron deficiency can cause fatigue, poor work performance and decreased immunity. "Iron is so important and it can be hard to get with specific diets, like vegetarians, who aren’t exposed to a lot of iron. But it's one you shouldn't be supplementing unless you need to," says Dr. MacKay. "When you get a blood count at the doctor's office, that's an indicator of your iron status, so a lot of times a doctor will tell a young woman, 'You're a borderline anemic; I want you to take a multivitamin with iron in it.'" Unless your doctor recommends it, however, you do not need to take an iron supplement. "If you take too much it is not good for you," says Dr. Pan , MD.

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: Not to take a supplement that has Iron in it as it interferes with the abodrbtion of toehr nutrients and is an easy supplement to take a toxic amount of. Generally in the western diet we get enough iron with red meat and green vegetables.

Sleep disorders affect between 50 and 70 million Americans—that's nearly 20% of the population, according to the NIH. While melatonin is not a sleep aide, it can help balance a person's wake-sleep cycle. "It's a hormone produced in the pineal gland that regulates your circadian rhythm," says Langhurst. "Each person is different, but when the lights are off, your body produces it. If you are exposed to too much light, it can throw that off." Langhurst cautions that no one under 18 years old should take melatonin, because their body produces enough of it. For those over 18, Langhurst says it is safe to use for insomnia in low doses. "Start with 1 to 2 mg," Dr. Pan recommends. "That's the standard dose for sleep."

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: Meltonin will work if you get a quality product. Try .5 mg first, then inch up by .5 mg but do not exceed 2 mg. I weigh 180 lbs and took 1 mg several nights in a row to test. I drifted off to sleep in about 20 minutes, sleep good, but when I awoke I was alittle groggy.

According to the CDC, 40% of U.S. adults take multivitamins, making them the most commonly consumed dietary supplement. And for good reason: "If you have a good, healthy diet—you eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.) and don't have a high meat intake—then I think you're going to get most of the nutrients you need. But the majority of people don't do that…because of the nutritional status of most people in this country I think a good multivitamin is the best place to start," says Dr. Maroon. He recommends a "targeted" multivitamin (one intended for your gender and age group), that contains B vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E and K as well as various minerals, like calcium and magnesium. "I think the GNC products, the Mega Men and Mega Women vitamins, work well."

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: The fact is that a person cannot eat good enough to provide their bodies with all the nutrients it needs for optimal health. A multi-vitamin, mineral anti-oxidant is essential. However, the GNC products are rated very low in the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. GNC Mega Men is rated on a scale of 1 to 100, at a fairly low 21.1, while the Women's Ultra-Mega are rated at 28.2, don't subject your health to the lowest bidder.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, a nutrient found in foods, like citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables, and fortified products, like juice, acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage by free radicals, which are "compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy," according to the NIH. "Vitamin C is a vitamin that's water soluble, and it's excreted very rapidly, so taking a high dose in one pill doesn't make sense," says Dr. Pan. "If you're taking 1,000 mg at a time, you're not absorbing it fast enough. So generally speaking, taking 500 mg is all you need to take. But if you want to [increase dosage] because you feel a cold coming on, then taking 500 mg three times a day is better because you're excreting it every eight hours."

Vitamin D
Vitamin D, a nutrient found in fatty fish, meat, dairy and fortified soy beverages, helps build and maintain strong bones by helping in the absorption of calcium, according to the NIH. It also helps muscle, nerve and immunity functions. While the use of dietary supplements containing vitamin D has increased for both men and women since 1988, it hasn't been enough, according to Dr. Maroon. "Vitamin D is either low or deficient in 50% to 60% of people in the United States . They should take at least 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day," he says. "And optimally, whenever an individual gets a physical examination, they should get their vitamin D level measured and then supplement accordingly." Dr. Pan agrees, saying that people really need to make sure their vitamin D levels are high enough. "Vitamin D is the only vitamin that I measure first and, depending on the level, determine how much they should be taking. Then I re-test until they get to the optimum level," he says.

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: Even though the FDA upped the RDA for Vitamin D from around 400 mg to 800 mg daily, we feel a person needs around a minimum 1,800 IU - again this is a minimum. I take 3,800 IU a day.

Zinc is a necessary nutrient found in the body's cells that aids the immune system, as well as helps the body grow from conception and through childhood, according to the NIH. But once you've reached adulthood, it's not necessary on a day-to-day basis says Ed Park, MD, MPH, an anti-aging expert at Recharge Biomedical Clinic. "Zinc has been shown to shorten the time of colds and flu. So if you're feeling that scratchy nose or throat, zinc will shorten that up," says Dr. Park. "But in general, zinc deficiency is not a big problem. It’s a metal, so I wouldn't recommend daily supplementation. It's not something you need to replace, like iron or calcium."

MyAchingKnees comment: Recommend: I disagree that as an adult Zinc is not necessary on a day to day basis. I take 20 mg each and every day.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Celiac Disease on the Rise?

I am posting this article because there are so many people with degenerative diseases that they just accept,…..”Oh, I’m getting old”,…..”It’s genetic and I can’t do anything about it except manage the symptoms”,…….Some people’s comfort level is actually at the point where they accept the disease as opposed to the sometimes “uncomfortable” changing their life style somewhat. A lot of degenerative disease has it’s root cause in oxidative stress resulting from poor nutrition. This can be true from joint pain to circulatory issues to digestive problems such as IBS and Celiac disease. Why someone would not make changes in their nutritional program, such as eating better and taking quality supplements in order to provide a much better quality of life is beyond me. But we all know someone whose identity is wrapped up in their “sickness”, and they are comfortable with that. I’m niot and never will be. I am in better health now at 52 years old when I was 40 or 30 or even 20 years old.

By Lisa Collier from Yahoo! Health

Nearly five times as many Americans have celiac disease today than in the 1950s, a recent study of 9,133 young adults at Warren Air Force Base found. Another recent report found that the rates of celiac disease have doubled every 15 years since 1974. The debilitating digestive disease is now estimated to afflict about 1 in 100 Americans. Why is exposure to gluten--a protein in found in barley, wheat, rye, and possibly oats, as well as other everyday products, including some brands of lipstick, vitamins and lip balms—making more people sick than ever before?

To find out more about celiac disease and the health effects of gluten-free diets, I talked to Christina Tennyson, MD of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City

What is celiac disease? A debilitating digestive disorder, celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. When people with the disease eat foods that contain gluten, a damaging reaction occurs in the lining of the small intestines, blocking its ability to absorb certain nutrients. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition, even if the person is eating a seemingly healthy diet.

What are the symptoms? One reason why this autoimmune disease often goes undiagnosed for as long as 10 years is that symptoms can vary from person to person. Among the more common warning signs of celiac disease are abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, constipation, lactose intolerance, nausea and fatigue.

How serious is it? Because celiac disease robs the body of vital nutrients, people who have it are at increased risk for anemia and osteoporosis. People who have celiac disease and don’t eat a gluten-free diet also face a higher threat of bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma. The Air Force Base study found that during 45 years of follow-up, those with undiagnosed celiac disease were four times more likely to die.

What causes it? Although the cause isn’t fully understood, two genes are known to play a role, says Dr. Tennyson.

Why are rates rising? One theory is that today’s grain-based foods contain more gluten than they did in the past. Another is that kids are exposed to gluten at an earlier age, contributing to increased risk. A frequently proposed explanation is the “hygiene hypothesis,” the theory that we are too clean for our own good, resulting in weaker immune systems because we’re not exposed to as many diseases.

Does a gluten-free diet help people lose weight? Many gluten-free foods are actually higher in calories than their gluten-containing counterparts and therefore lead to weight gain, reports Dr. Tennyson. “One of the pitfalls is that these foods are often highly processed and high in fat. Some ingredients that are used are low in fiber, such as white rice flour, tapioca and corn starch, causing constipation.” To avoid these problems, people with celiac disease should work with a nutritionist, she advises.

Does a gluten-free diet have any health benefits if you don’t have celiac disease? Possibly. In a randomized study in which neither the researchers nor the participants knew if the foods they were eating contained gluten or not, 68 percent of people who thought that a gluten-free diet improved their GI symptoms reported worsening of their symptoms when they were fed gluten-containing foods without their knowledge. However, the study only looked at 34 patients. Use of gluten-free diets for other conditions, such as autism, is highly controversial.

How trustworthy is gluten-free labeling? While products as diverse as lipstick brands to chocolate and many types of groceries carry gluten-free labeling, right now, there are no legal standards that have to be met in the US. In 27 other countries, food labeled as gluten-free food can’t have more than 20 parts of gluten per million. Nearly three years after the FDA’s deadline for a rule to define “gluten-free,” the agency is finally getting serious about tackling the dangerous risks people with celiac disease can face due to misleading labeling.

What’s the treatment? Although there’s no cure, symptoms can be effectively controlled through dietary changes to avoid all foods with gluten. However, if you think you might have celiac disease, don’t start a gluten-free diet until you’ve been tested for the condition, since eliminating gluten can cause misleading test results, cautions Dr. Tennyson. Because the disease can also spark vitamin and mineral deficiencies, patients may also need supplements. For people with severe small intestine inflammation, doctors sometimes prescribe steroids.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

TOSH - The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital

Located in Murray, Utah, The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital or TOSH is a sports based scientific research and care facility internationally recognized as a premier facility and leader in sports medicine, orthopedics, science and research.

TOSH provides sports and nutritional science and research, physical rehabilitation and surgery at their state of the art 100,000 square foot facility.

Clinical researchers at TOSH report that more than 10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis symptoms, and that muscular weaknesses, such as in he quadriceps is a risk factor for predisposing the knee the osteoarthritis, impaired physical function and patient reported pain and increasing pain.

Interesting to MyAchingKnees because of our focus on nutritional supplementation, not only to address causes (not symptoms) of knee and joint pain, but for optimum health, is TOSH's research into the influence of Vitamin D with Glucosamine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids and other micro-nutrients for patients with osteoarthritis symptoms and/or knee pain and diminished mobility.

Come visit TOSH, who is making real, positive differences in the lives of people, at their website

Go to their Sports Science and Research area and click on research for some ground breaking articles on nutrition, oxidative stress and joint pain.

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