Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another View - The 5 Most Important Supplements

From an article on Yahoo! News, comes a reasonable accurate recommendation about the 5 most important supplements, with our comments following each recommendation.

1. A high-quality multi-vitamin

Topping the list is an excellent quality multi-vitamin. This is essential because a multi “fills in the blanks” of your diet (no matter how good it is), so you’re not running dangerously low on the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal functioning.

Be sure to avoid the TV-advertised one-a-days you find in your local drugstore. These are nearly worthless because their ingredients are based on the “bare minimum” official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), now upgraded to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). The RDA evolved from the old Minimum Daily Requirement (MDR) set by the government. This means the nutrients in most of the popular multis contain the minimum doses necessary to prevent nutritional -deficiency diseases, such as scurvy (vitamin C), beriberi (vitamin B1), and others. This certainly is not how to guarantee optimal health.

These mainstream multis are notoriously feeble. For example, Consumer Reports recently concluded that Centrum is the worst vitamin for seniors in its class. Consumer Reports also found that The Vitamin Shoppe’s One Daily failed to dissolve in a simulated stomach environment, while containing less vitamin A than its label claims.

You can avoid this pitfall by sticking to high-quality, bioavailable multivitamins that are reasonably priced and lab-tested.

MyAchingKnees comment: There is nothing to regulate what of the shelf food grade supplement manufacturers list on their label. The U.S. Olympic Committee doesn't trust them why should you? Pushing aside the quality issue, yes everyone should take a multi-mineral, mega antioxidant supplement - if you think you are geting his from you foods, then you are fooling yourself.

2. A quality omega-3 supplement

Fish oil is today’s bestselling supplement — and with good reason. The EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in omega-3 fish oil have profoundly positive effects on human health. DHA slows your liver’s production of undesirable triglycerides, making it extremely protective against heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, fish oil is incredibly effective at reducing inflammation. It accomplishes this by triggering the release of prostaglandins (natural substances that regulate immunity, inflammation, blood clotting, brain function, plus a host of other essential functions).

There’s not enough room here to list all the healing effects of omega-3. The highlights include: Healing blood vessel walls … keeping the blood thin (thus minimizing clotting) flowing smoothly … lowering blood pressure … stabilizing blood sugar … and brightening your mood.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily dose of 500-1,000 mg of DHA and EPA from fish oil to reduce heart disease — but I think this is a paltry dose. I prefer to take 6,000 to 9,000 iu daily in three equal doses — and find this really helps my arthritis.

MyAchingKnees comment: I also think that a Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement, combined with Glucosamine are what has eliminated by decades old knee pain and greatly reduced my back pain. It has been known to help brain function, hence the appropriate use in ADD/ADHD kids.

3. Co-enzyme Q-10

CoQ-10 (also known as ubiquinol) is a nutrient produced by the “energy factories” in your cells called mitochondria. Taking a CoQ-10 supplement boosts the way your cells produce and use energy. It also helps your body burn fat … improves cholesterol ratios … boosts your physical energy levels … and improves thyroid and pancreas functions.

By the way, statins — the widely — (or is it “wildly”?) prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs — actually deplete your body’s natural CoQ-10. Statins block production of cholesterol in the liver, where CoQ-10 is also manufactured. Without sufficient CoQ-10, statins can cause liver damage … irregular heartbeat … muscle weakness … leg cramps … heart attack and stroke (the two potentially fatal conditions that statins are supposed to prevent).

Other medications also can limit your body’s production of CoQ-10, including: Diabetes drugs....antidepressants.....female hormone replacement therapy … and blood pressure meds. If you take any of these, you definitely need to supplement with CoQ-10.

MyAchingKnees comment: I do not take CoQ-10, although in the limited people I have known that have taken a pharmaceutical grade version of it that is three times as potent dose wise as the common dose, have experience great benefit. Through not changing my real food diet, and only through the daily consumption of pharmaceutical grade supplements, my cholesterol went from 210 to 150. I would not hesitate to add CoQ-10 to my supplements if I had any reason to believe I needed this potent optimizer in my body. And I very well may need some at some point, as our bodies manufacture CoQ-10 but that diminishes with age.

4. Magnesium citrate

You’ve been hearing about calcium and bone health forever — but did you know that magnesium and calcium are like conjoined twins? Calcium can’t even be absorbed unless magnesium is present. Without it, calcium is much less effective in maintaining your bones and regulating your nerve and muscle tone.

In fact, new research shows that Americans need far more magnesium than the current RDI — and that you should really be consuming twice as much magnesium as calcium for optimal health.

Magnesium may be the most important mineral you can take because it’s a key player in 300 essential bodily functions, and is used by all of your organs. It activates enzymes … powers your energy … and helps your body absorb vitamin D, potassium, and zinc.

The majority of Americans are magnesium-deficient due to the low-quality, processed foods in the typical American diet. Produce grown in mineral-depleted soil won’t provide much magnesium, either.

If you have blood sugar issues, you should know that magnesium helps regulate blood sugar and insulin activity. In addition, magnesium’s ability to relax muscles and nerves makes it one of your best allies in the battle against anxiety.....hypertension.....restless leg syndrome......sleep disorders......and
abnormal heart rhythm.

MyAchingKnees comment: I would have named this essential supplement Calcium. You cannot take a high quality calcium supplement without Magnesium in the same tablet. It is believed most women are calcium (and magnesium) deficient as well as an appropriate supplement for teenage girls to ensure they are getting enough. I have had my daughter on it since age 11. Additionally, an absence of Calcium may very well be a factor in joint pain.

5. Sunshine vitamin D

This is rapidly becoming the miracle vitamin of our time. Every week, it seems, there’s a new finding about D’s marvelous benefits. Most Americans are badly deficient in vitamin D because doctors consider the sun our enemy — and your skin converts solar rays into this essential vitamin.

Numerous studies show that this amazing vitamin is protective against all cancers (even skin cancer and melanoma!)......strengthens bones.....prevents and even heals diabetes … protects against heart disease … lowers blood pressure … reverses depression … and elevates mood.

Whenever you can, spend 10-20 minutes sunbathing — without sunscreen. (Your body transforms sunshine into all the vitamin D it needs.) If your access to sunlight is limited by season or geographic location, take 2,000-5,000 IU of a good quality vitamin D supplement daily. (The elderly and African-Americans need higher doses.) Official recommendations call for a scant 600 IU, which is far too low. Just make sure you purchase vitamin D3 (not D2) because the D3 form is 87% more potent than
vitamin D2.

MyAchingKnees comment: Ha Ha, you will not get enough Vitamin D from the Sun. A minimum of 2,000 IU per day will ensure your body and therefore your immune system get the Vitamin D it requires. You may need more. I have several friends taking 4,000 to 8,000 IU a day and swear by that dose.

As always, let the consumer be aware. Do your own research and do not limit it to vitamin ads making claims there is no way to check. Unless of course they use "in-house" labs.

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  1. Thanks for posting this, reading your blog I’m amazed how much time you have put into it
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  2. Great article and love your comments. Thanks!