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Alleviating and treating ailments Through recommend supplements

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Many practitioners of complementary medicine recommend supplements for a wide range of health problems affecting virtually every body system. For most of these conditions, conventional physicians would be more likely to prescribe drugs, though they might treat some disorders with supplements. For example, iron may be prescribed for some types of anemia, vitamin A (in the drug isotretinoin, or Accutane) for severe acne, and high doses of the B vitamin niacin for reducing high cholesterol levels.

In this tool, certain vitamins and minerals are suggested for the treatment of specific ailments. However, the use of nutritional supplements as remedies, especially for serious conditions, is controversial. Most doctors practicing conventional medicine are skeptical of their efficacy and believe it is sometimes dangerous to rely on them. But based on published data and their clinical observations, nutritionally oriented physicians and practitioners think the use of these supplements is justified — and that to wait years for unequivocal proof to appear would be wasting valuable time. Until there is clearer, more consistent evidence available, you should be careful about depending on nutritional supplements alone to treat an ailment or injury.

For thousands of years, however, various cultures have employed herbs for soothing, relieving, or even curing many common health problems, a fact not ignored by medical science. The pharmaceutical industry, after all, arose as a consequence of people using herbs as medicine. Recent studies suggest that a number of the claims made for herbs have validity, and the pharmacological actions of the herbs covered in this book are often well documented by clinical studies as well as historical practice. In Europe, a number of herbal remedies, including

St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, and saw palmetto, now are accepted and prescribed as medications for treating disorders such as allergies, depression, impotence, and even heart disease. Of course, even herbs and other supplements with proven therapeutic effects should be used judiciously for treating an ailment.

What supplements won’t do
Despite the many promising benefits that supplements offer, it’s important to note their limits — and to question some of the extravagant claims currently being made for them.

As the word itself suggests, supplements are not meant to replace the nutrients available from foods. Supplements will never make up for a poor diet: They can’t counteract a high intake of saturated fat (which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer), and they can’t replace every nutrient found in food groups that you ignore. Also, although scientists have isolated and extracted a number of disease-fighting phytochemical compounds from fruits, vegetables, and other foods, there may be many others that are undiscovered — and ones you can get only from foods. In addition, some of the known compounds may work only in combination with others in various foods, rather than as single isolated ingredients in supplement form.

Supplements won’t compensate for habits known to contribute to ill health, such as smoking or a lack of exercise. Optimal health requires a wholesome lifestyle — particularly if, as people get older, they are intent on aging well.

Although some of the benefits ascribed to supplements are unproved but plausible, other claims are far-fetched. Weight-loss preparations are the leading example. Though they’re extremely popular, it’s questionable whether any of them can help you shed pounds without the right food choices and regular exercise. Products that claim to “burn fat” won’t burn enough on their own for significant weight loss.

Similarly, claims of boosting performance, whether physical or mental, are difficult to prove — and any “enhancement” will be a limited one at best in a healthy person. Though a supplement may improve mental functioning in someone experiencing mild to severe episodes of memory loss, it may have a negligible effect on the memory or concentration of most adults. Likewise, a supplement shown to combat fatigue isn’t going to turn the average jogger into an endurance athlete. Nor is it clear that “aphrodisiac” supplements are effective for enhancing sexual performance if you aren’t suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction.

No supplements have been found to cure any serious diseases — including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS. The right supplement, however, may help improve a chronic condition and relieve symptoms such as pain or inflammation. But first you need to consult a health professional for treatment.

Source:Your Guide to
Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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This chronic condition, which actually encompasses several related disorders, is marked by an often painful inflammation of the intestines. Symptoms may be eased with dietary changes, vitamin supplements, and soothing herbs….CLICK & SEE

Symptoms

Early symptoms may include constipation and the frequent urge to defecate, with passage of only small amounts of blood or mucus.
Later symptoms include chronic diarrhea with rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, general malaise, arthritis, mouth sores, blurred vision, painful joints, poor appetite, low energy, and weight loss. After a decade, there’s increased risk for colorectal cancer.
Symptoms may come and go. A severe attack can cause nausea, vomiting, dehydration, heavy sweating, loss of appetite, high fever, and heart palpitations.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you have black or bloody stools, or painful, mucus-filled diarrhea.
If symptoms suddenly worsen.
If you have a swollen abdomen or severe pain (especially on the lower-right side) — it may be a sign of appendicitis.
If severe abdominal pain accompanies fever over 101 F.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for several related disorders (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) that often first strike people in their 20s or 30s. Typically, all or part of the digestive tract becomes chronically inflamed and develops small erosions, or ulcers. Bouts of inflammation are followed by periods of remission lasting weeks or years.

What Causes It
Experts are not entirely sure why people develop IBD, although heredity plays a part. More than a third of IBD sufferers know of a family member afflicted with the disease, and it’s four times more common in Caucasian and Jewish families. The disease may be triggered by a bacterium or a virus, or by a malfunctioning immune system. Factors such as stress and anxiety, or sensitivity to certain foods, can all contribute to flare-ups.

How Supplements Can Help
IBD usually causes a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from food, so a daily high-potency multivitamin is essential. Additional supplements, taken together, may also be beneficial, especially during flare-ups.

What Else You Can Do
Determine if certain foods trigger flare-ups and then eliminate them.
Apply a hot pack or hot water bottle to the abdomen to prevent cramps.
Minimize stress with yoga, meditation, and regular exercise.
In addition to chamomile, herbal teas made from flaxseed, slippery elm, or marshmallow aid digestion and soothe the intestines. To make the tea, use 1 or 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of hot water; steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain.
Ask your doctor about nicotine patches, which may help put active cases of ulcerative colitis into remission, according to a small Mayo Clinic study. Of 31 patients who used high-dose nicotine skin patches for four weeks, 12 were significantly better; only 3 of 33 who wore placebo patches showed some improvement. But side effects were common, including dizziness, nausea, and skin rashes. Additional research is needed.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin B Complex
PABA
Licorice (DGL)
Vitamin E
Vitamin A
Essential Fatty Acids
Acidophilus
Zinc/Copper
Chamomile

Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill twice a day for flare-ups; then reduce to 1 pill each morning for maintenance; take with food.
Comments: Look for a B-100 complex with 100 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 100 mg all other B vitamins.

PABA
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day for flare-ups.
Comments: Take 1,000 mg twice a day for maintenance.

Licorice (DGL)
Dosage: Chew 2 wafers (380 mg) 3 times a day, between meals.
Comments: For flare-ups; use deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) form only.

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU twice a day for flare-ups or maintenance.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 50,000 IU a day for flare-ups; reduce to 10,000 IU a day for maintenance.
Comments: Take only 5,000 IU a day if you may become pregnant.

Essential Fatty Acids
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) flaxseed oil or 5,000 mg fish oils a day.
Comments: Use enteric-coated form of fish oils as maintenance.

Acidophilus
Dosage: Take 1 pill twice a day between meals.
Comments: Get 1-2 billion live (viable) organisms per pill.

Zinc/Copper
Dosage: 30 mg zinc and 2 mg copper a day.
Comments: Add copper only when using zinc longer than 1 month.

Chamomile
Dosage: 1 cup of tea up to 3 times a day.
Comments: Use 2 tsp. dried herb per cup of hot water.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

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

Categories
Healthy Tips

The Essential Multivitamin

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More Americans take a daily multivitamin than any other supplement. It’s an easy, safe way to get numerous benefits from a variety of nutrients without having to pop a handful of pills every day……..CLICK & SEE

Taking a daily multivitamin is especially important for older adults because as we age, our bodies become less efficient at absorbing vitamins and minerals from food. And if you follow a vegetarian diet, you may not be consuming enough of certain vitamins and minerals to begin with.

When choosing a multivitamin, pick a brand with high quality control, high reported bioavailability (this means your body can absorb the vitamins), and few additives. These include multis by Thorne, PhytoPharmica, and Vital Nutrients. Don’t choose a multi that contains iron unless you’re a woman who is still menstruating or your doctor has recommended that you take additional iron.

Multivitamins got a boost in June 2002, when the Journal of the American Medical Association published two articles by Harvard doctors on their benefits. The doctors recommended that everyone, regardless of age or health status, take one. We agree. Among the heart-related benefits you might reap are a lower homocysteine level and less oxidation of LDL. Some of the nutrients most likely responsible include:

B vitamins. One of the best reasons to take a multivitamin every day is to be certain to get your fill of B vitamins. This family of vitamins — thiamin, riboflavin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), cobalamin (B12), folic acid, biotin, choline, inositol, and para-aminobenzoic acid — plays a critical role in every function inside your body. But the vitamins really shine when it comes to your heart. Folate, B6, and B12 help prevent a dangerous buildup of the amino acid homocysteine. If homocysteine levels rise too high, they damage endothelial cells (which line the arteries), blocking the production of nitric oxide and leaving arteries more prone to plaque buildup. Keeping homocysteine in check is a good enough reason by itself to take a multivitamin.

Another B vitamin, choline, helps your body process cholesterol. And vitamin B5 can actually lower LDL and triglycerides and raise HDL, at least at high doses. The vitamin apparently works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your liver makes.

Generally, a multivitamin will give you all of the B vitamins your body needs. But if you have elevated homocysteine levels, talk to your doctor about taking an additional B vitamin supplement. Should you decide to do so, don’t exceed the recommended dosages. Because they are fat soluble, many of these vitamins can build up in the body to toxic levels.

From:Cut Your Cholesterol

Categories
Healthy Tips

Choosing the Right Vitamin

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Learn to navigate the supplements aisle with these tips:

Been vitamin shopping lately? If you have, you probably needed to visit the pain-relief aisle afterward for something to deal with the headache all the choices caused. Here’s what clinical nutritionist Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., author of The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, recommends to make it easier to choose the right ones:

  • Choose natural versions, rather than chemically synthesized versions, when buying fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and beta-carotene.
  • Avoid additives like coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, starch, and other ingredients that you simply don’t need with your vitamin.
  • Don’t worry about chelated minerals. Chelation means the minerals have an added protein to enhance absorption. But they’re often more expensive, and the studies on whether they really are absorbed faster than nonchelated minerals are sparse.
  • Don’t worry about time-release formulations. These supplements may actually take longer to be absorbed and provide you with lower blood levels of the vitamin or mineral.

From:Stealth Health