Friday, December 27, 2013

Popular Antacids Could Cause Vitamin Deficiency

People taking acid-inhibiting medications, such as Prilosec, Zantac, Pepcid, or Nexium, could be short on Vitamin B12, writes Kristen Fischer on Yahoo! Health.

According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) suppress gastric acid production, which can mean that the Vitamin B12 in food is not properly absorbed into the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to serious health complications, such as anemia, nerve damage, and dementia.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older adults; it has potentially serious medical complications if undiagnosed," the authors wrote.

Scientists from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. examined data from 25,956 patients with a new Vitamin B12 deficiency diagnosis between January 1997 and June 2011, and 184,199 patients without Vitamin B12 deficiency. They compared the two groups based on exposure to acid-inhibiting medications.

Among those who were newly diagnosed with a Vitamin B12 deficiency, 12 percent had been on PPIs for more than two years and 4.2 percent had been on H2RAs for more than two years; 83.8 percent were not on any of the medications. In the control group, 7.2 percent had been on PPIs for two years or more and 3.2 percent had been on H2RAs for more than two years; 89.6 percent were not taking acid-suppressors.

MyAchingKnees comment: I believe the major cause B12 and other deficiencies stem from eating nutrient poor foods and not taking quality supplements which are necessary to ensure your body receives the nutrients it needs to function properly.  Of course, taking OTC and prescription medications  can cause side effects, some very significant, as many Doctors treat the symptoms of a patient's health issues rather than trying to build that patient's health.

The researchers concluded that those on PPIs and H2RAs ran a higher risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. And the higher the dose, the greater the risk.

They also discovered that the deficiency was more common in women and younger people. Once people stopped taking the medications, their risk went down.

“We cannot completely exclude residual confounding [factors besides the drugs] as an explanation for these findings, but, at minimum, the use of these medications identifies a population at higher risk of B12 deficiency, independent of additional risk factors,” the authors wrote.

Should Patients Stop Taking Acid-Inhibitors?

While their findings do not indicate that people should stop taking these medications, the researchers encourage physicians to be aware of the findings.

The strength of the association between acid-suppressors and vitamin deficiency increased with the medication dose, but not with the total length of time a person takes the medication, noted Dr. Douglas A. Corley, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

Knowing that Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possibility, should patients taking acid-suppressors ask for screenings? Talk to your doctor, Corley said.

“These results raise the question of whether patients on long-term acid suppressing medications should be screened at least once for vitamin B12 deficiency,” Corley said, noting that his statements refer to those who've been on the medications for more than two years.

The most commonly used PPIs are Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix, and Aciphex. The most popular H2RAs include Zantac, Pepcid, and Tagamet.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Case Is Closed: Multivitamins Are a Waste of Money, Doctors Say

This is a recent article posted on LiveScience.com 150811128.html , by Bahar Gholipour, Staff Writer, trying to make the case that "People should stop wasting their money on dietary supplements, some physicians said today, in response to three large new studies that showed most multivitamin supplements are ineffective at reducing the risk of disease, and may even cause harm." I think this is total crapola and have a lot to say concerning this misinformation.

The Article,....

The new studies, published today (December 16, 2013) in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine —including two new clinical trials and one large review of 27 past clinical trials conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — found no evidence that taking daily multivitamin and mineral supplements prevents or slows down the progress of cognitive decline or chronic diseases such as heart diseases or cancer.

"The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified and they should be avoided," the physicians wrote in an editorial published along with the studies.

This message is especially aimed at people who have no signs of nutritional deficiency — meaning most supplement users in the United States, the researchers said.

MyAching Kees comment: Who are the "people who have no signs of nutritional deficiency"? It is basically impossible to receive your necessary daily nutrients through today's food supply, therefore practically everyone has a need for supplemental nutrients. It could take years even decades for obvious signs and symptoms of chronic disease associated by nutritional deficiencies to become apparent. Many people will simply accept their reduced health and chronic conditions as just the process of getting old. I am saying don't accept that without a fight and high quality nutritonal supplements are one of your main tools in your arsenal in the fight.

"Study after study comes back negative — yet people continue to take supplements, now at record rates," said Dr. Edgar Miller, one of the five authors of the editorial and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

MyAching Kees comment: These studies are flawed. They use people in various states of health and lifestyles, giving them a incomplete mix of low quality supplements often in lows doses. These studeis are also done by the conventional medical community who have a stake in seeing patients with chronic diseaes so they can prescribe various solutions to their ills, often with side effects, and chalking that up to the lesser of two evils.

There may be a psychological component to taking supplements, Miller said. Despite evidence showing supplements hold no benefit for the general population, some people may rationalize they need supplements because their diets lack necessary nutrients, Miller told LiveScience.

MyAching Knees comment: Lets talk about evidence. Me. A 45 years old man, BP constantly around 138/96. Cholesterol at 210. Rising PSA, A1C, and homecystine levels. Knee pain upon climbing stairs to boot. Start taking high quality nutritional supplements in doses considerably above the 70+ year old Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Six months later and continuing today (9 years later) my routine blood pressure around 118/84; cholesterol at 151. PSA, A1C and Homocystine continuing to drop. Last blood lab results stated that my chances of developing chronic heart disease are 0.5 on a scale where 3.0 is half the average risk. Not only will I not take prescription medication, but my Doctor say's none is indicated.

The new findings are in line with those of previously published studies that have found no benefits from dietary supplements, including B vitamins and antioxidants, and even suggested possible harms. Results of clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people have shown that beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements actually increase death rates, the researchers said.

MyAching Knees comment: Again, flawed studies with the "possible harm" scare. If these studies were conducted on a set of people exactly the same with exactly the same lifestyle (cloned people for example) AND gave them all the nutrients, just not cherry picking a few nutrients, and gave them quality supplements in the right doses - then these types of studies may begin to have meaning.

"We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with most mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful," the researchers wrote in their editorial.

The use of multivitamin and mineral supplements among Americans has increased to about 50 percent in the mid-2000s, up from 40 percent in the early 1990s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For some supplements, such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, studies have found declines in use, following reports of their negative effects on lung cancer and mortality.

MyAching Knees comment: Cancer? My wife had surgery to remove a cancerous turmor in her sinus and frontal lobe. Doctors all recommended she stop taking supplements. She enters into seven weeks of radiation treatment being told that she will lose 30-50 lbs, be have continious nausea and fatigue, head aches, sore skin around head associated with the radiation and some other side effects. She was told to quit taking her supplements, but refused. She never had nausea,...did not lose any weight,...and the Doctors told her that have never had a patient breeze through surgical recovery and radiation treatment like she has.  You would think these Doctors would like to know what she did to be different,.....what she did to keep her health through the cancer treatment. But,  As good as they are in what they do - surgically remove tumors and irradiate the affected site - they don't understand the simple connection between nutrition and health.  

In contrast, sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies that didn't find benefits, the researchers said. The U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, and reached $28 billion in annual sales in 2010. Similar trends have been reported in the United Kingdom and in other European countries.

The dietary-supplement industry maintains that for many Americans, diet alone may not provide the necessary vitamins they need daily, Miller said.

"The industry tries to create the impression that we are deficient, but randomized trials show that we are not all deficient and we don't benefit from supplements," Miller said, adding that clinical trials include people with varied diets from the general population.

The new review study looked at clinical trials that included a total of 450,000 older adults. All together, the researchers didn't find clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on cancer and heart diseases.

MyAching Knees comment: Look the terms this article is using,....."clinical research, studies,...randomized trials",......kind of leaving off the who, what, when and where aren't they?

In another study, researchers looked at the effects of taking a daily combination of nutrients —including vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene and B vitamins — in 6,000 men ages 65 and older who were followed for 12 years. The cognitive performance and verbal memory of participants who took multivitamin supplements didn't differ from those of participants who took placebo.

In the third study, the researchers examined whether high doses of multivitamins and minerals could prevent heart attacks, strokes and death in 1,700 people who have already had a heart attack. After an average follow-up of five years, the results didn't show a difference between participants who took dietary supplements and those who didn't.

MyAching Knees comment: "no difference between participants who took dietary supplements and those who didn't",......what supplements are they talking about anyway? The low quality food grade off the shelf supplements? Or the pharmaceutical grade supplements containing all the nutrients in the right doses? These un-named physicians can keep their "clinical research, studies,...randomized trials",.........we're going to keep doing what we are doing and that is take the best supplements we can find, avoid toxins as much as we can, and live a physical lifestyle which has been possible these last 9 years since my knee pain is gone. We're just going to maintain our healthy lifestyles trying to live long and die short which is the opposite of most Americans.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Surprising Immunity Boosting Foods for Cold and Flu Season

Timely `on winter colds and flu, given the cold fronts that just have passed through, by and posted on Healthy Living

According to the CDC's weekly FluView report, "flu activity continues to increase in parts of the United States." Additionally, my super-scientific Sneezers on the Subway observations indicate that colds are also on the rise. And while the CDC stresses that the best ways to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated against it and wash your hands properly, there's evidence that certain foods can help boost immunity and might help ward off colds and the flu. Here are a few you might not know about:

Organic, Whole Milk: The findings of a just-released study on organic milk and fatty acid composition, published in the reputable peer-reviewed journal PLOS one, indicate that organic milk contains a better balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids than conventional milk. And omega-3s have been linked to tons of benefits, including boosting immunity by increasing the activity of phagocytes, "cells that fight flu by eating up bacteria," says Prevention. You'll also get the most omega-3s from whole, rather than skim, milk though you'll have to weigh whether the extra total fat and calories are worth it to you.

Pickled Turnips: "Scientists have discovered that eating a traditional Japanese pickle could have 'protective effects' in preventing people from catching the flu," according to The Independent's recent article on the immunity boosting properties of a friendly bacteria in the pickles called suguki. If you can't find suguki, consider adding sauerkraut and kimchi to your menu -- the lacto-fermentation process by which these and some other traditional pickled products are made produces probiotics (those good-for-you bugs most associated with yogurt).

Red Grapes and Blueberries: These fruits may have "a significant benefit for immunity," according to a New York Daily News article reporting on an Oregon State University study. "Findings published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research showed that two compounds, resveratrol found in red grapes and pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the bodys ability to fend off illness." (Findings of a separate study, published in BMJ, linked blueberries, grapes, and apples to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.)

Golden Kiwifruit: You might want to keep your eyes open in exotic fruit section of the grocery store for this sweet, yellow-fleshed kiwi, as a small study (funded by a fruit exporter, so take it with a grain of salt), suggested that this fruit could help with congestion and sore throats. (See The New Zealand Herald's "gold kiwifruit 'wonder drug' for colds" for more.) But if you can't find the gold kiwis, don't worry: Regularkiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C.

"Five a Day": While many studies have drawn associations between certain nutrients (e.g. vitamin C or E) and increased immunity, the article Healthy Diet Fights Infection by Boosting Immune System from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter cites a study in which participants who increased their produce consumption from two to five servings per day of any fruit and vegetable saw increased immunity. Yet another reason to eat a balanced diet filled with whatever fruits and vegetables you love.

MyAchingKnees comment: Pickled Turnips? No thanks. But it IS possible to protect yourself from seasonal colds and flus.....and I don't mean by getting a flu shot. Something is wrong with your immune system if you get sick several times a year. I used to put up with being sick,..getting the occasional cold or bout with flu with headaches and racking joint pain. I even have had pneumonia three times. Once it was so severe that the Doc's thought I was having a heart attack. But in the past 8 years, going on 9, I have no been sick once. Not once. Sure is nice to use your work sick days for something other than lying in bed.  Eat right - low glycemic,.....take quality supplements, avoid toxins and live a physical life. 

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Friday, December 6, 2013

The Truth About Your Metabolism

The Truth About Your Metabolism From Men's Health, .....well maybe not the whole truth, but interesting enough to post. 

People talk about their metabolism a lot. You'd think they actually understand it. But often that's not the case. Here are four things you should know about the M-word:

Burning Truth No. 1: Skinny People Have Fast Metabolisms

VERDICT: Sometimes

"There are slim people with slightly low metabolisms who just don't eat very much," says Michael Jensen, M.D., an endocrinologist with the Mayo Clinic. "And there are heavy people with really high metabolisms who eat a huge amount."

Burning Truth No. 2: Lean Tissue Burns More Calories Than Fat Does Even While You're Asleep


"Your brain, heart, liver, and kidneys use a lot of energy, even when you're lying still," says Dr. Jensen. Muscle and the GI tract don't use much at rest; fat burns practically nothing. His estimate: You burn about a calorie per minute at rest. A quarter of that is torched by muscle, and 1/50th of it is burned by fat.

Burning Truth No. 3: Some Guys Can Only Slim Down By Slashing Calories


"In 30 years I've never seen anyone with a truly low metabolic rate," says Dr. Jensen. "People who think they need an 800-calorie diet often have resting metabolic rates of 1,500 calories."

So why can't they slim down? They're often eating many more calories than they realize. His fix: Accurately record everything you eat for two weeks. Unhealthy trends may emerge.

Burning Truth No. 4: Cutting 500 Calories A Day Means You'll Lose A Pound A Week

VERDICT: Not Quite

A pound of fat does equal 3,500 calories, and you may lose a pound the first week. "But when you eat less, you lose lean tissue, so your basal metabolic rate goes down," says Dr. Jensen.

Surprise: You may gain more than a pound after a 3,500-calorie pig-out, since calories stored as sugar cause you to retain water.

MyAchingKnees Comment: You can spend your time trying to figure out Metabolism rates, what foods may increase it, and what doesn't. You can try the latest fat burning tablets from the local pharmacy. Or you can just accept that diet and exercise, minimizing the bad foods you eat and increasing your physical activity is the most assured way to lose weight.

If you try some of those well advertised diet plans out there just be aware that most of these diets fail because they do not provide the nutrients your body needs. That's why some people get sick during their diets as their immune system is depressed from the lack of nutrients, and that's why some people gain weight after the diet as they are nutrient starved when they come off their diets.

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