Tag Archives: Cardiovascular health

Are You Getting Enough Potassium?

PotassiumJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

One very important key to wellness is potassium sufficiency. Essential for good health at the most basic level, potassium is critical for the proper functioning of all cells, tissues and organs. Potassium is not stored in the body and must be obtained through a healthy diet of potassium-rich foods and supplementation as needed. Although the Institute of Medicine and the USDA recommend 4700 mg of potassium per day, and the World Health Organization recommends an even lower amount of 3600 mg per day, the typical American falls far short with an average intake of 2640 mg per day, about half of what is needed to support overall heath and avoid potassium deficiency.

Unfortunately, one of the many problems with the standard American diet (SAD) is that only a very small percentage of the population actually consumes the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables daily to ensure proper amounts of potassium. The SAD diet tends to include fast foods, processed foods and restaurant foods, that unfortunately are high in sodium and very low in potassium and other essential nutrients. Excessive sodium intake negatively affects fluid homeostasis and puts extra strain on the kidneys, which must filter the blood and control fluid levels. A quality diet rich in potassium helps to offset the negative hypertensive effects of processed salt.

Electrolyte balance – As an electrolyte, potassium helps to conduct electrical charges within the body and maintains the balance between the electrical and chemical processes that support vital functions. Along with sodium and other electrolytes, potassium helps to regulate the balance of body fluids, which affects nerve signaling and muscle contraction and impacts the cardiovascular system.

Stroke prevention – Research shows that potassium-rich diets reduce stroke risk for both men and for women, who are particularly at risk of dying from stroke. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which helps blood vessels to relax and allows blood to flow more freely, thereby reducing the risk of clotting that can cause stroke.

Brain function – High levels of potassium allow more oxygen to reach the brain, supporting cognitive function and stimulating neural activity. Potassium plays a key role in maintaining electrical conductivity of the brain, and helps to moderate and regulate electrical transmissions throughout the body.

Cardiovascular health – Low potassium levels can cause heart rhythm disturbances and muscle weakness. Research has shown that those who are at the greatest risk of developing cardiovascular disease are those whose diets are both high in sodium and low in potassium. Those who consume too much salt and too little potassium are more than twice as likely to succumb to a heart attack.

Blood pressure support – Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by helping the body to secrete sodium, balancing out the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. Potassium is a crucial mineral for regulating and supporting healthy blood pressure, as studies have shown that low potassium intake is linked to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke. To reduce high blood pressure, lower sodium intake while increasing potassium consumption.

Bone Health – Existing evidence suggests that a potassium-rich diet positively affects bone-mineral density, especially in older women. Studies show that when potassium intake increases, urinary calcium excretion decreases, leading to improved bone mineralization.

Muscle Function – Sufficient potassium is required for normal muscle contraction and relaxation. Potassium helps to maintain optimal nerve and muscle function and supports natural reflexes by stimulating neural connectivity of the muscles and the brain. Low potassium levels are linked to muscle spasm and leg cramps. Sufficient potassium intake make help prevent cramping and painful spasms.

Potassium deficiency may be an underlying side effect of a medical condition. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition, please consult a healthcare practitioner before supplementing. Individuals taking ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers or potassium-sparing diuretics may require monitoring of potassium levels.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support overall wellness:

Potassium (citrate)Potassium (Citrate) by Pure Encapsulations – This product supplies 200 mg of potassium citrate, along with vitamin C, in support of numerous physiological functions, nutrient metabolism, muscle function, and cardiovascular health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

 

PotassiumPotassium by Nutritional Frontiers – This combination formula provides 99 mg of potassium aspartate, along with niacin and vitamin B6, in support of optimal utilization and absorption for proper nerve and cardio functions. Gluten free vegetarian formulation.

 

Potassium-HP (With...Potassium-HP™ (with magnesium) – This high potency powdered formula provides 1200 mg of potassium citrate and 120 mg of magnesium citrate. It is intended for use solely under the advice and guidance of a healthcare practitioner. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

Potassium Citrate 99...Potassium Citrate by Now Foods – This well absorbed and highly bioavailable formula provides 99 mg of potassium citrate in support of electrolyte mineral balance and nervous system function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Potassium Citrate...Potassium Citrate 400 by Biospec Naturals – This formula provides a clinical dose of potassium citrate along with citric acid in support of critical bodily functions, proper metabolism, cardiac function and energy production. Suitable for vegetarians.

 

References:
Health Benefits of Potassium. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-potassium.html
The #1 Nutrient You Need To Avoid A Stroke. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-1-nutrient-you-need-to-avoid-a-stroke_us_57b74acfe4b0b51733a34ff8?section=&
Minerals of life – sodium and potassium. http://guardian.ng/features/natural-health/minerals-of-life-sodium-and-potassium/
5 Minerals for Better Health: Minerals. http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/vitamin-e-and-health-five-minerals-for-the-body.aspx?PageId=3#ArticleContent
Potassium & Heart Health. http://www.foodinsight.org/Content/3840/IFIC_PotassimFactSheet_FINAL%20(2).pdf
What Are the Benefits of Getting Enough Potassium? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-getting-enough-potassium-2035.html

 

 

Healthy Aging Support for Men over 40

HealthyAgingMenJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

It happens to all of us. We wake up one morning and are surprised to find ourselves suddenly in midlife when we feel no different than we felt yesterday. Right about the time we reach age 40, we may begin to realize that we are not invincible, and that we need to take steps to protect our longevity and long term health. While we may look forward to many active years ahead, how we live now will determine how we live in later life. Practicing prevention with a healthy lifestyle, while we are young, will result in healthier years ahead. It will also reduce the risk of developing preventable chronic diseases and gender specific health issues associated with aging. As well, a dismissive attitude towards prevention can have dire consequences in the long term. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the top health concerns for aging men are prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction, weight management, diabetes and stroke.

Men’s protein needs are proportionally greater than women’s, especially when combined with regular physical activity. Physically active men who wish to maintain lean muscle mass as they grow older require more protein than sedentary men. As metabolic rates decrease with age, good quality protein along with vitamins and minerals help to maintain both lean muscle mass and energy levels. Good nutrition is needed to maintain immune function and overall health, as well as to protect muscle, bone, prostate, cardiac and vision health. Antioxidant vitamins that help prevent oxidative damage also become more important with aging. Older adults need more calcium and vitamin D to help maintain strong and healthy bones. Fiber keeps the gastrointestinal tract running smoothly and helps to reduce cholesterol and maintain weight.

Cardiovascular health – The American Heart Association indicates that one in three adult men have some form of cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and homocysteine levels begin to creep up with aging, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Adult men should monitor their cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as high levels are known contributors to heart disease, and high blood pressure is common in younger males. Essential nutrients for heart health include omega-3 fatty acids for decreased inflammation, and maintenance of healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels; folate and vitamin B6 for maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels; CoQ10 for maintenance of cellular energy; healthy fats for reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels; polyphenols, to aid relaxation of blood vessels and lower blood pressure; and antioxidants such as resveratrol, to combat oxidative stress and reduce free radicals.

Weight management – As we age, metabolism slows and exercise becomes increasingly important. Eating for health and controlling portion sizes are critical to maintaining a healthy weight. A poor diet that includes salty and highly processed foods contributes to hypertension, high blood sugar and ultimately, obesity, poor health and a host of age related chronic illnesses. Healthy foods for weight management include eggs, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, fish, lean proteins, beans and legumes, and healthy fats such as avocado.

Diabetes – Along with the current obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes is a significant health concern for older men. Blood glucose levels should be monitored, as blood sugar can frequently be maintained or lowered with a healthy diet and lifestyle, often warding off pre-diabetes, diabetes and insulin dependency. The American Diabetes Association recommends that those eating a largely plant based diet should be sure to get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12, omega–3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D and iron. For diabetes prevention, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends exercising to reach and maintain normal weight, following a healthy nutritious, low glycemic index diet, not smoking and limiting alcohol.

Eye health – Changes in vision and hearing loss are relatively common for people in their 40’s. Many will typically notice problems with close range vision especially in low light. Some may experience floaters or dry eye syndrome. Good nutrition and eye friendly nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, zinc and essential fatty acids support and preserve long term vision health, and help to reduce the risk of developing age related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts.

Prostate health – The majority of American men develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an enlarged prostate. A prostate-healthy, largely plant based diet that includes legumes, garlic, onions and flax seeds, plus other modifiable lifestyle factors, including regular physical activity, can prevent or positively influence progression of the disease. As obesity is a risk factor for developing BPH, a diet high in vegetables, fruits, fiber and nutrients can help ward off weight gain, thereby supporting prostate health. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, red grapefruits, papaya and other red fruits and vegetables, helps to lower the blood levels of antigen, a protein connected to prostate inflammation and BPH.

Stress management – Chronic stress is a known high risk factor for coronary disease. Participation in regular exercise, healthy amounts of restorative sleep and relaxation techniques reduce stress and help allay future health concerns. Healthy eating is crucial to provide immune and energy support during times of increased stress. Whole, unprocessed foods that contain fiber and phytonutrients boost immune function and help maintain overall health. As stress creates a greater physiological demand for energy, oxygen, and circulation, a daily vitamin and mineral supplement can provide micronutrient support. Supplements including antioxidants, B vitamins and omega-3 fats are particularly important for those under stress.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements for men’s health support:

Every Man's One Daily by New ChapterEvery Man’s Once Daily by New Chapter – This whole food complexed multivitamin is specifically formulated to meet the needs of active men and provide support for immune function, energy production and cardiac health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Trilogy Men by Vibrant HealthTrilogy Men by Vibrant Health – This unique product supplies a daily power pack that includes a 100% organic plant based multivitamin, mercury free EPA and DHA fish oil, as well as a 12 strain probiotic. It provides 20 billion CFU of helpful microorganisms in support of healthy blood sugar levels, cardiac health, energy production and immune and overall health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Al's Formula (Basic Nutrients For Men Over 40) (VMM) by Thorne ResearchAl’s Formula Basic Nutrients for Men over 40 –  This comprehensive formula, specifically designed to meet men’s nutritional needs, provides prostate support, promotes healthy cardiovascular function and supplies all essential nutrients for overall health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

 

Enzyme Nutrition Multi-Vitamin for Men by EnzymedicaEnzyme Nutrition Multi-Vitamin for Men by Enzymedica – This product provides 100% whole food and enzyme activated nutrients that enhance the utilization of vitamins and minerals. The formula includes guaranteed potency probiotics, nutrient rich superfoods and daily botanicals in order to support increased energy and stamina, heart health, and immune function and to promote longevity. Gluten, soy and dairy fee, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

 

MultiMedica for Men by NuMedicaMultiMedica for Men by NuMedica – This comprehensive multivitamin, mineral, botanical and amino acid formula is designed to meet the unique nutritional requirements of men. This product provides overall wellness support and antioxidant protection, along with prostate, liver and adrenal supportive nutrients. Gluten and dairy free.

 

Homocysteine Factors by Pure EncapsulationsHomocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations – This high quality product provides activated vitamin B6 and bioavailable folate in support of the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

 

References:
Nutrition for Older Men. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/healthy-aging/nutrition-for-older-men
Top Health Concerns for Men and Women. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2012/03/top-health-concerns-for-men-women/
10 Top Health Risks for Men. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-10-health-risks-for-men#2
Healthy aging – http://www.healthcommunities.com/healthy-aging/healthy-living-tips-40s.shtml
Diet and Nutrition – http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y
Important Nutrients for Stress Management. http://paleoleap.com/important-nutrients-stress-management/
10 Essential Nutrients for Heart Health. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7757/10-essential-nutrients-for-heart-health.html
Key Nutrients – http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/meal-planning-for-vegetarians/nutirents-vegetarians.html
Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/diabetes-prevention/preventing-diabetes-full-story/