News on Health & Science

Health Claim Filed for Vitamin D

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The Alliance for Natural Health USA is filing a Qualified Health Claim Petition with the FDA for vitamin D. For years, the FDA held that health claims could only be made if there was Significant Scientific Agreement (SSA) about the claim — a standard almost impossible to reach in science. Following court losses, the Agency finally acknowledged that consumers benefit from more information.
As a result, the agency has established interim procedures whereby “qualified” health claims can be made, so long as the claims are not misleading.

According to the Alliance for Natural Health:
“It means that if the FDA accepts our petition, producers and sellers of vitamin D will be able to make certain specific claims about its ability to treat certain diseases or conditions.”

In the event you decide to supplement, vitamin D3 is 87 percent more potent at raising vitamin D blood levels than vitamin D2, according to a new study. Vitamin D3 also produces a 2- to 3-fold increase over D2 in the storage of the vitamin.

Scientists gave 33 healthy adults 50,000 International Units (IU) of either vitamin D2 or D3 each week for a total of 12 weeks. About 17 percent of the D3 ingested was stored by the subjects, and the rest was consumed or metabolized.

According to the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism:

“Given its greater potency and lower cost, D3 should be the preferred treatment option when correcting vitamin D deficiency.”

You should also be aware that if you use strong sunscreen, it can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Take the case of Tyler Attrill, a 12-year-old girl whose condition came to light when she failed to recover properly from surgery.

According to BBC News:

“Tyler Attrill used factor 50 cream which, according to her consultant, could have deprived her of the essential vitamin and caused the bone disease rickets.”

The condition, which is likely shared by many others, caused Tyler pain for a number of years before it was diagnosed.


The Alliance for Natural Health January 18, 2011
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism December 22, 2010
BBC News January 19, 2011

Posted By Dr. Mercola.Feb 10. 2011

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Healthy Tips

Increased Levels Of Vitamin D3 For Optimum Health

Vitamin D is one of the most beneficial nutrients for your entire health from head to toe. But as you get older, you are no longer able to maintain the adequate amounts of vitamin D that you need. So how can individuals help support optimal bone mineral levels and enhance their bone strength, while preventing this from becoming a continuing cause of their deteriorating health?

Most experts agree that adding more vitamin D to the diet through foods and/or supplements can help increase your bone strength. And contrary to decades of warnings about overexposure to the sun, a moderate amount of daily sun exposure can flood the body with vitamin D from the sun’s rays.

Research from The Vitamin D Council states that as little as 20 minutes spent in the sun produces up to 10,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D. This is close to 50 times the amount of the United States government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 200 IU per day.

A vitamin D deficiency can not only lead to decreased bone strength, but according to the Council, medical studies show that ensuring optimal and adequate levels of this vitamin may promote heart and cardiovascular health, support strong immunity, enhance your mood and mental health, promote strong and healthy muscle function, and maintain healthy cellular function.

In fact, vitamin D is so important for the body that it helps maximize the use of other key nutrients including magnesium, zinc, vitamin K2, boron and vitamin A. However, obtaining and supplementing with the right kind of vitamin D can produce the greatest benefits for your health, as well. The Council states that vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is the most potent form of the nutrient and has strong health-promoting properties.

Source : BETTER Health Research :

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Suppliments our body needs

Vitamin E

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Vitamin E is the collective name for a set of 8 related tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties Of these, ?-tocopherol (also written as alpha-tocopherol) has been most studied as it has the highest bioavailability, with the body preferentially absorbing and using this form.
………..RRR alpha-tocopherol  (Vitamin E).……………
It has been claimed that ?-tocopherol is the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant, and that it protects cell membranes from oxidation by reacting with lipid radicals produced in the lipid peroxidation chain reaction.This would remove the free radical intermediates and prevent the oxidation reaction from continuing. The oxidised ?-tocopheroxyl radicals produced in this process may be recycled back to the active reduced form through reduction by other antioxidants, such as ascorbate, retinol or ubiquinol.

The functions of the other forms of vitamin E are less well-studied, although ?-tocopherol (also written as gamma-tocopherol) is a nucleophile that may react with electrophilic mutagens, and tocotrienols may have a specialized role in protecting neurons from damage.[6] However, the roles and importance of the various forms of vitamin E are presently unclear,[7][8] and it has even been suggested that the most important function of vitamin E is as a signaling molecule, and that it has no significant role in antioxidant metabolism.

Most studies about Vitamin E have supplemented only alpha-tocopherol, but doing so leads to reduced serum gamma- and delta-tocopherol concentrations. For more info, read article tocopherol.

1 IU of vitamin E is the biological equivalent of about 0.667 mg d-alpha-tocopherol (2/3 mg exactly), or of 1 mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.

The term vitamin E describes a family of 8 antioxidants, 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the only form of vitamin E that is actively maintained in the human body and is therefore, the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.

It is an anti-oxidant vitamin that protects us from damage to our cells, and prevents and dissolves blood clots. Vitamin E has also been used by doctors in helping prevent sterility, muscular dystrophy, fibrocystic breast disease, calcium deposits in blood walls and heart conditions.
A deficiency of vitamin E may lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, lack of sexual vitality, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles.

Since vitamin E is oil soluble, we store it in our bodies. High supplemental amounts may interfere with blood clotting. Vitamin E should not be taken along with iron. Supplemental doses over 400 IU may cause temporarily high blood pressure.

The Recommended Daily Allowance for adult males is 10 mg and 8 mg for adult females.

Food sources of Vitamin E

Particularly high levels of vitamin E can be found in the following foods:






*Red Palm Oil


*Spinach and other green leafy vegetables

*Vegetable oils — Canola, corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed

*Wheat germ




Because most of the food sources of vitamin E are foods that aren’t consumed in large amounts, a therapeutic level of vitamin E may be achieved only with supplements.

Benefits Of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important nutrient that helps your body in a variety of ways. You should get enough from a healthy, balanced diet. However, high amounts (400 IU) may be harmful.

Click to see Why do we need vitamin E

The benefits of vitamin e for the overall good health of individuals are substantial. In particular, vitamin e is very important in healthy and proper skin care.Click to learn more about BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E

Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin E also contributes to a healthy circulatory system and aids in proper blood clotting and improves wound healing. Some studies have shown that vitamin E decreases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and certain types of breast disease.

Other studies have shown that taking large doses of Vitamin E has decreased the risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Animal studies have suggested that vitamin E does slow the development of atherosclerosis, but the American Heart Association doesn’t recommend using supplements until the effects are proven in large-scale, carefully controlled clinical trials.

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to six months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Some people take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in these vitamins won’t cause a problem. Remember, you only need small amounts of any vitamin.

Some health problems can make it hard for a person’s body to absorb these vitamins. If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor about whether your vitamin absorption will be affected.

Vitamin E Controversy – Cause or Correlation?
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous and should be avoided. This study considered doses of vitamin E in excess of 400 IU per day to be high and doses of vitamin E less than 400 IU per day to be low. Is it true that high doses of vitamin E are dangerous? Does the danger out weigh the benefit of vitamin E supplements?
Click to learn more from Office of Dietary Supplements • National Institutes of Health

Click to learn more from Micronutrient Information Center

Side Effects:
In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.

Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.

Recommendations :

Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:

0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day
7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day
14 and older: 15 mg/day
Women who are producing breast milk (lactating) may need slighly higher amounts. Check with your doctor.


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Suppliments our body needs

Different Suppliments that We Buy

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Supplements come in a variety of forms that affect both their ease of use and, in some cases, their rate of absorption.

Common Forms

For most people, tablets and capsules are the most convenient form of supplement to take, but there are other options as well.

Tablets: Easily stored, tablets will generally keep longer than other supplement forms. In addition to the vitamin itself, tablets often contain generally inert additives known as excipients. These compounds bind, preserve, or give bulk to the supplement, and help tablets break down more quickly in the stomach. Increasingly, supplements are available in capsule-shaped, easy-to-swallow tablets called “caplets.”

Capsules: The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E are typically packaged in “softgel” capsules. Other vitamins and minerals are processed into powders or liquids and then encapsulated. Like tablets, capsules are easy to use and store. They also tend to have fewer additives than tablets, and there is some evidence that they dissolve more readily (though this doesn’t mean they are better absorbed by the body — just that they may be absorbed more quickly).

Powders: People who find pills hard to swallow can use powders, which can be mixed into juice or water, or stirred into food. (Ground seeds such as psyllium and flaxseed often come in powdered form.) Powders also allow dosages to be adjusted easily. Because they may have fewer binders or additives than tablets or capsules, powders are useful for individuals who are allergic to certain substances. In addition, powders are often cheaper than tablets or capsules.

Liquids: Liquid formulas for oral use are easy to swallow and can be flavored. Many children’s formulas are in liquid form. Some supplements (such as vitamin E) also come in liquids for applying topically to the skin. Eyedrops are another type of liquid.

Chewables: Such supplements — usually packaged as flavored wafers — are particularly recommended for those who have trouble getting pills down. In this book, the most common wafer form is DGL, a licorice preparation. DGL is activated by saliva, so the wafers must be chewed, not simply swallowed.

Lozenges: A number of supplements are available as lozenges or drops that are intended to dissolve gradually in the mouth, either for ease of use or, in the case of zinc lozenges, to help in the treatment of colds and the flu.

Sublingual tablets: A few supplements, such as vitamin B12, are formulated to dissolve under the tongue, providing quick absorption into the bloodstream without interference from stomach acids and digestive enzymes.

Special Formulations

You will usually pay more for a supplement if the label says “timed-release” or “chelated.” Does it provide extra benefits? Hardly ever, according to available data, and so paying more for this type of product is generally a waste of money.

Timed-release formulas: These formulas contain microcapsules that gradually break down to release the vitamin steadily into the bloodstream over roughly 2 to 10 hours, depending on the product. (“Sustained-release” is another term that describes the same process.)

There are no reliable studies showing that timed-release formulas are more efficiently utilized by the body than conventional capsules or tablets — in fact, the gel-like substance that acts to delay the release may actually interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. And although timed-release versions of niacin may help prevent unpleasant side effects, this formulation (which is commonly used to lower cholesterol) can be harmful, so is not recommended.

Chelated minerals:
Chelation is a process in which a mineral is bonded to another substance, or “chelator” — usually an amino acid. This attached substance is supposed to enhance the body’s absorption of the mineral. In most cases, there’s no proof that chelated minerals are absorbed any better or any quicker than nonchelated minerals.

In fact, there is no solid information that any process or added ingredients improve the absorption of vitamins or most minerals. It’s more important that supplements meet standards for dissolving within a set period of time — indicated by the designation “USP” on the label.

Natural sources:
Advertising claims imply that the vitamins derived from “natural” sources (such as vitamin E from soybeans) are better than “synthetic” vitamins created chemically in a laboratory. They may state that their natural products are more potent or more efficiently absorbed — and manufacturers generally charge more for natural products. But what is “natural”?

Actually, most supplements, no matter what their source, undergo processing with chemicals in laboratories. Some products labeled “natural” are really synthetic vitamins with plant extracts or minute amounts of naturally derived vitamins mixed in. Hence, “vitamin C from rose hips” may be mostly synthetic. And even the most natural products are refined and processed, and contain some additives. In any case, there’s no difference chemically between natural and synthetic vitamins — nor can your body distinguish between the two.

Some researchers consider natural sources of vitamin E more effective than synthetic versions. But the International Units (IUs) used to measure vitamin E’s potency take this into account, so a capsule designated to provide 400 IUs will have that potency no matter what its source.

Generally, there’s no reason to pay more for supplements advertised as “natural.” The cheapest synthetic vitamin or mineral supplement will give you the same benefit. Of course, the cheapest supplement isn’t always the best. You should check the excipients, or additives, in a supplement to be sure that you aren’t allergic to any — and you may have to pay more for a supplement with fewer of these filler ingredients.

Herbal Remedies

You can purchase whole herbs and make up your own formulations. But for ease of use, tablets, capsules, and the other prepackaged forms described here (including forms for external use) are readily available in drugstores, supermarkets, and health-food stores.

Tablets and capsules: You can avoid the taste of the herb if you take it in tablet or capsule form. Both tablets and capsules are prepared using either a whole herb or an extract containing a high concentration of the herb’s active components. In either form, the constituents are ground into a powder that can be pressed into tablets or encapsulated. Some herbs are available in enteric-coated capsules, which pass through the stomach to the small intestine before dissolving, minimizing potential gastrointestinal discomfort and, for some herbs, enhancing absorption into the bloodstream.

Tinctures: These concentrated liquids are made by soaking the whole herb or parts of it in water and ethyl alcohol. The alcohol extracts and concentrates the herb’s active components. (Nonalcoholic concentrations can be made using glycerin.) Tinctures are usually taken in small doses — say 20 drops, or 1 ml, three times daily — diluted with water or juice.

Teas, infusions, decoctions: Less concentrated than tinctures, teas and infusions are brewed from fresh or dried flowers, leaves, or roots of an herb; these can be purchased in bulk or in tea bags. Although tea is generally made with boiling water, the herbal teas recommended in this book are prepared as infusions, using hot water on the verge of boiling, which preserves the beneficial oils that can be dissipated by the steam of boiling water. As for decoctions, the tougher parts of an herb (stems or bark) are generally simmered for at least half an hour.

Use these liquid remedies as soon as possible after brewing them, because they start to lose their potency within a few hours of exposure to air. Store them in tightly sealed glass jars in the refrigerator, and they’ll retain some strength for up to three days.

Oils: Oils extracted from herbs can be commercially distilled to form potent concentrations for external use. These so-called essential oils are usually placed in a neutral “carrier” oil, such as almond oil, before use on the skin. (Milder “infused” oils can be prepared at home.) Essential herbal oils should never be ingested. The exception is peppermint oil. A few drops on the tongue are recommended for bad breath, and capsules are beneficial for irritable colon.

Gels, ointments, and creams
: Gels and ointments, which are made from fats or oils of aromatic herbs, are applied to the skin to soothe rashes, heal bruises or wounds, and serve other therapeutic purposes. Creams are light oil-and-water mixtures that are partly absorbed by the skin, allowing it to breathe while also keeping in moisture. Creams can be used for moisturizing dry skin, for cleansing, and for relieving rashes, insect bites, or sunburn.

Standardized Extracts

When herbs are recommended in this book, we often suggest you look for “standardized extracts.” Herbalists and manufacturers use this term to describe the consistency of a product. When creating an herbal supplement, manufacturers can extract the active components from the whole herb. These active ingredients — say, the allicin in garlic or the ginsenosides in ginseng — are then concentrated and made into a supplement (tablets, capsules, or tinctures). They are standardized to supply you with a precise amount in each dose.

Sometimes, instead of standardized extracts, manufacturers process the whole, or crude, herb. In this case, the whole herb is simply air- or freeze-dried, made into a powder, and then packaged into a supplement — again a capsule, tablet, tincture, or other form.

Whether a standardized extract or the crude herb is better is an ongoing controversy among herbalists. Supporters of crude herb supplements contend that the whole herb may contain still unidentified active ingredients, and that only through ingesting the entire herb can all the benefits be obtained. On the other hand, advocates of standardized extracts argue that the active ingredients in whole herbs can vary greatly depending on where they’re grown and how the herbs are harvested and processed. Standardization proponents say the only way to be sure you’re receiving a consistent amount of active ingredients is by taking standardized extracts.

Although standardized products are indeed more consistent from batch to batch, this fact doesn’t guarantee that they are more effective than whole-herb products. But in many cases, you would have to use a much greater amount of a whole herb to achieve a similar therapeutic effect. More to the point, reliability and consistency can be of great value, particularly when a product proves to be beneficial for a specific disorder.

When you buy standardized extracts: The amount of an active or main ingredient in a standardized herbal extract is often expressed as a percentage: Milk thistle “standardized to contain 80% silymarin” means that 80% of the extract contains that ingredient. Accordingly, recommendations in this book for most standardized products are given as percentages. For example, a 150 mg dose of milk thistle standardized to contain 80% silymarin contains 120 mg silymarin (150 x .80 = 120). Sometimes, though, a standardized extract product will simply state the actual amount of active ingredient you’re getting (e.g., 120 mg silymarin) rather than listing a percentage.


Multivitamin and mineral formulas are not new products, and many herbs have traditionally been paired with others to enhance their benefits. The most straightforward pairings combine herbs with similar effects, such as valerian and chamomile, which both act as sedatives. Other formulas include herbs that address different symptoms of an ailment, not unlike a combination cold remedy that has one ingredient for congestion, another for sore throat. Still others feature an array of substances touted as antioxidant “cocktails.” And supplement manufacturers have also marketed herbs with vitamins and other nutritional supplements such as amino acids.

Some of these combinations can promote health and may also save you money. In addition, you may find that fewer pills are needed to obtain the desired effect. For example, liver-detoxifying products called lipotropic combinations often include the nutrients choline, inositol, and methionine and the herb milk thistle — all of which, in a blend, assist liver function. These formulas cost less and are more convenient to take than individual supplements.

In some combination products, however, certain ingredients are present in such small quantities that they can’t have any therapeutic effect. They are there simply to promote the product. So it pays to check the label to determine the amount of each ingredient.

The Hype Factor

In an effort to distinguish one brand from another, supplement manufacturers have come up with their own jargon in promoting their products. The following terms commonly appear on supplement labels and in advertisements. Each term implies a superior product, but none has a standard definition agreed upon by experts or by the regulations governing the manufacture and sale of supplements. Pay attention to the specific ingredients and directions on a label rather than the hype of these terms:

Clinically Proven
Guaranteed Potency
Highly Concentrated
Maximum Absorption
Natural (or Naturally Occurring)
Nutritionally Comprehensive
Quality Extract
Scientifically Standardized

Source:Your Guide to Vitamin, Minerals and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)