Tag Archives: Vitamin D

Supplemental Nutrition

SupplementalNutritionJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

In a perfect world, everyone would have access to foods that comprise a healthy balanced diet. In general, individuals who are proactive regarding preventive health and healthy aging focus on whole foods and optimal nutrition, as well as make informed choices about vitamin and mineral supplementation. As people become more knowledgeable about health and wellness, many turn to nutritional supplements, not only to address deficiencies, but to support specific nutrient requirements at all stages of life. Those who regard supplementation as an investment in long term health, ideally choose supplements that target their individual needs, and are aware that an all-inclusive healthy lifestyle embraces diet, regular exercise, restful sleep and other aspects as well.

When diet alone is not sufficient to meet an individual’s nutritional needs, supplementation becomes integral to wellbeing. Specifically those with malabsorption issues, allergies or food intolerances, dietary restrictions or certain autoimmune conditions may require supplements to correct nutrient deficiencies. As well, supplementation is beneficial for those with specific hormonal imbalances or those who are pregnant, bedridden, or recovering from an illness. If one is overly stressed, fatigued, traveling, training, avoiding sun exposure, or not sleeping well, this is also good time to supplement. Of particular interest is cognitive health and mood support, key foundations for optimal wellness and healthy aging. It would appear that the most popular supplements are positioned around need states.

A recent survey of those who regularly take dietary supplements found that vitamin D was the most widely used supplement, followed by omega-3 fish oil, CoQ10, probiotics and multivitamins. Rounding out the most popular supplements are B-Complex vitamins, magnesium, curcumin, vitamin C, calcium, melatonin, protein powders, digestive enzymes, fiber, milk thistle and resveratrol, as well as bone, joint and vision support formulas. Per the 2017 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 79% of women are supplement users, while 73% of men regularly use supplements. The survey concluded that women tend to be more proactive about preventive health and are more likely to incorporate supplements into an established health and wellness regime.

Five supplements highly recommended by nutritionists:

Fish oil – Essential for healthy heart and brain function, as well as a healthy inflammatory response, omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Choose a formula with a high concentration of EPA and DHA, as well as purity and sustainability certifications.

Probiotics – Scientific evidence shows that gut health directly affects immune health. A daily probiotic can help ensure proper gastrointestinal function, as well as hormone balance. There are many quality brands from which to choose, including multi-strain and shelf stable formulas perfect for traveling.

Vitamin D – Rising rates of vitamin D deficiency can be attributed to inadequate sun exposure, especially during winter months and the prolific use of sunscreens. Necessary for bone, neuromuscular and immune health, as well as overall healthy function, vitamin D is one of 24 nutrients essential for survival.

Magnesium – Magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function, as well as healthy sleep. This extremely important nutrient is a cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including metabolism, protein and fatty acid synthesis, bone health, steady heartbeat and energy production.

Protein powders – While protein may be largely obtained through diet, athletes, weekend warriors and seniors can benefit from protein supplementation. Ideal for muscle gain and weight loss, sufficient protein boosts metabolism and can reduce appetite. Both plant and animal based protein powders supply amino acids, highly effective for stimulating muscle growth, retaining muscle mass and improving strength.

Like many things in life, when it comes to supplements, quality and trust matters. Professional Supplement Center offers many science-based effective products without added fillers and unnecessary or artificial ingredients.

OmegAvail Hi-PoOmegAvail™ Hi-Po by Designs for Health®: Sourced from Alaskan pollock, this high potency fish oil provides 1500 mg of triglyceride-bound  EPA and DHA molecularly distilled omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The formula includes lipase to ensure maximum absorption and prevention of aftertaste. Distillation and filtering ensures purity and the removal of heavy metals, PCBs and other contaminants. Gluten free, Non-GMO, natural lemon flavoring.

Probiotic...Probiotic Professional 100 by Professional Supplement Center®: Probiotic Professional 100 provides 100 billion CFU of four researched strains of beneficial bacteria in acid-resistant capsules to ensure more targeted release. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO shelf stable formulation.

Vitamin D3 5,000 IUVitamin D3 5000 by Pure Encapsulations®: Each hypoallergenic capsule provides 5000 mg of highly absorbable vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol in support of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurocognitive, cellular and immune health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Magnesium BalanceMagnesium Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: This highly absorbable magnesium blend supplies patented chelated magnesium for enhanced absorption. Magnesium supports bone and cardiovascular health, energy production and neuromuscular function. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.

Whey Cool Protein...Whey Cool Protein™ Natural Vanilla Flavor by Designs for Health®: This proprietary non-denatured whey protein concentrate is sourced from milk from grass-fed cows that graze on pesticide and chemical free pastures. Low temperature drying and filtration preserves the full range of important protein components including lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, serum albumin, active peptides and growth factors. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Organic Plant...Organic Plant Protein Smooth Chocolate by Garden of Life: This certified organic plant protein blend provides 15 grams of energy-giving protein per serving. The formula includes soluble and insoluble fiber as well as essential fatty acids, probiotics and enzymes. Gluten, soy, dairy, tree nut, fillers and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.

References:
Can the Elderly Take Whey Protein? https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-elderly-whey-protein-8318.html
What Does Magnesium Do for Your Body? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-does-magnesium-do
What are the health benefits of vitamin D? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php
13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-fish-oil
10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Whey Protein. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-whey-protein
8 Health Benefits of Probiotics. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1&q=probiotic+supplement+benefits

A, D, E, and K – The Fat Soluble Vitamins

FatSolubleVitaminsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInfluenced by their molecular properties, the solubility of nutrients determines how well they will be absorbed by the body. Whether a vitamin is soluble (dissolvable) in water or in lipids influences where it can be utilized and whether any excess will be excreted or stored. Water-soluble B-complex vitamins and antioxidant vitamin C are quickly and easily utilized; any excess intake is eliminated so daily replenishment is required. Not surprisingly, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require some dietary fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized. Excess intake of these nutrients is stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues until needed. Dietary fats are also required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for numerous biological processes. Vitamins A, D and K cooperate synergistically, and also work in tandem with important essential minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Nutrient deficiencies are generally the result of dietary inadequacy, impaired absorption, increased requirement, or increased excretion. While a well-balanced diet containing a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods can provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies are incredibly common. Unlike vitamins A, E and K that have multiple dietary sources, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. As food sources are limited, a deficiency can occur when dietary intake is insufficient over a period of time. Since vitamin D is synthesized through skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, restricting sunlight exposure can also create a deficiency of this nutrient. Additionally, low serum levels of vitamin D can result from inadequate digestive absorption, or the inability of the liver and kidneys to complete the synthesis of vitamin D from ultraviolet light.

Vitamin A

Also known as retinol, antioxidant vitamin A is critical for the maintenance of normal vision, as well as the growth and specialization of virtually all bodily cells. Vitamin A has important roles in embryonic development, normal immune functions, red blood cell production and free radical scavenging. Naturally present in foods such as organ meats, salmon, dairy products and colorful fruits and vegetables, vitamin A is actually a group of nutritional organic compounds that include retinol, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene. Although it is best known for the ability to support eye health, vitamin A also helps to relieve inflammation and supports bone, immune, skin and tissue health.

Vitamin D

All vitamin D, whether obtained through sunlight exposure, diet or supplementation, is biologically inert. To become biologically active it and must go through conversion, first in the liver, then in the kidneys. As optimizing vitamin D levels is important to disease prevention and long term health maintenance, one must expose large amounts of skin to the proper amount of sunlight, or supplement with vitamin D3, a highly potent, quickly converted bioactive form. Actually considered a prohormone, vitamin D has the potential to provide numerous health benefits when adequate levels are maintained. Among its many functions are the facilitation of calcium, phosphate and magnesium absorption, cell growth modulation, and inflammation reduction, as well as immune and neuromuscular support. Vitamin D may play a role in protecting against certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune diseases and depression. As many individuals either avoid sun exposure or block ultraviolet rays with sunscreen, supplementation with vitamin D3 may be a wise choice for those who with low serum levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Required for the proper function of many organs, enzymatic activities and neurological processes, antioxidant vitamin E fights free radicals, helps reduce inflammation, and works to balance hormones naturally. Found in seeds, nuts, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables, vitamin E helps boost immunity and supports blood vessel health. Although more studies are needed, vitamin E may support cardiovascular health by helping to prevent platelet clumping and plaque buildup in blood vessels. Through its ability to fight the inflammation and oxidation linked to numerous health conditions, vitamin E may aid in the prevention of cataracts, arthritis and some cancers.

Vitamin K

Well known for its crucial role in proper blood clotting, vitamin K is also essential for building strong bones and preventing heart disease. Of the three types of vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3, natural vitamin K2 is synthesized in the digestive tract and is the form most often recommended for supplementation. Viewed as an important nutritional intervention for improved bone density, vitamin K2 aids the deposit of calcium and other important minerals into the bone matrix. Additionally, published research has indicated that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity. By aiding calcium placement in the bones, vitamin K helps to keep calcium deposits out of arteries and blood vessels, thereby preventing  arterial calcification, or atherosclerosis, that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Primarily present in leafy vegetables, vitamin K can be found in fermented foods and animal products, such as meat and dairy.

It can be nutritionally challenging to get the macro- and micro-nutrients the body requires, particularly when one is elderly or dieting, or has illnesses, allergies, or dietary restrictions that require the elimination of entire food groups. The result of sub-optimal intake of nutrients is a sub-optimal state of health. RDA’s, known also as Daily Values (DV), are typically based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. With diet alone, the average American will fail to meet RDA’s for B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Even those who consciously eat a nutritious diet each day may fall alarmingly short of their RDA’s for maintaining optimal health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of overall health and longevity:

Comprehensive...Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories: Micronutrient testing offers an accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies. This test measures 35 nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and metabolites, as well as amino and fatty acids. Test kit, shipping labels and complimentary post-test consultation with Registered Nurse included.

 

Vitamin A 10,000 IUVitamin A 10,000 IU by Pure Encapsulations®: Largely derived from Norwegian cod liver oil, this product supplies an optimum amount of vitamin A per serving in support of healthy bodily function and maintenance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Vitamin D 5,000 IUVitamin D 5,000 IU by Douglas Laboratories®: One tablet supplies 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of calcium absorption, bone metabolism, and optimal health. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Natural Vitamin E...Natural Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols by Douglas Laboratories®: One softgel provides 400 IU of pure, natural alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols in support of free radical defense. Gluten and soy free formulation.

 

K2-7 plus D3K2-7 + D3 by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formulation supports healthy serum calcium levels, healthy bone and calcium metabolism, and vascular elasticity. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.

 

References:
Nutrients and Solubility. http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Vitamins/vitamins.html
Which Vitamins are Water Soluble and Fat Soluble. https://www.medicinenet.com/water_soluble_vitamins_vs_fat_soluble_vitamins/ask.htm
Vitamin D: A Hormone for All Seasons – How much is enough? Understanding the New Pressures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240026/
The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24790736

 

 

Fibromyalgia

FibromyalgiaJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInvisible to the eye, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms of widespread muscle, tendon, ligament and body pain often accompanied by tenderness in specific areas of the body known as tender points. In many cases fibromyalgia may be initially misdiagnosed, as individuals generally experience a range of symptoms that can include joint stiffness, sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive and memory issues, depression, irritable bowel, whole body fatigue and more. Lab tests are often used to rule out other possible co-existing conditions. Fibromyalgia can affect anyone. Yet, for unknown reasons most of those diagnosed with the disorder are adult women.

Although fibromyalgia may be attributed to a number of factors, exact causes remain a mystery. The disorder is frequently attributed to traumatic events that can be physical, emotional or medical, such as a motor vehicle accident, a traumatic life event, or an illness or infection. Hormonal disturbances linked to chronic stress, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may also be contributing factors. Genetic mutations are believed to play a role, as those with a family history of the syndrome are at greater risk for developing the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a life-altering centralized persistent pain state that varies in intensity from day to day. A multi-disciplinary team approach for the management and relief of symptoms is often recommended, as currently, underlying causes are not identified and addressed. As the body is designed to heal and health is the natural state, affected individuals must play an active role. Self-management strategies may help to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of periodic flare-ups. Although fibromyalgia results in painful and uncomfortable symptoms, the condition is not life-threatening and doesn’t result in organ or muscle damage.

Like the management of other chronic conditions, healthy daily lifestyle habits can help with symptom relief, minimize the impact on one’s life, and lower the risk for other health problems. Conventional approaches include medication, exercise and physical therapy. A more balanced approach includes complementary and alternative therapies. Supplements, along with lifestyle changes and other treatments, have been shown to help lessen pain, increase energy and promote healthier sleep.

Pain relief: Take medications as prescribed. Over the counter pain relievers should only be used as needed for as short a time as possible. A long soak in the tub with added Epsom salts can help to reduce deep muscle pain and promote better sleep.

Stress reduction: Focus on recognizing and reducing signs of stress, such as shoulder tension and headaches. Restorative yoga and meditation may help to lower stress and reduce pain.

Physical activity: Due to pain and fatigue, many find it difficult to be physically active. Yet, research has shown that daily activity is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Develop a low-impact exercise routine to help reduce pain, increase energy, reduce stress and aid more restful sleep. Walking and water aerobics for a short period a few days a week are good starting points. As pain decreases and energy increases, one may gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Sleep management: Pain makes it difficult to get restful sleep, and lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms. Getting sufficient sleep can help to ease pain and fatigue. Establish a healthy bedtime routine and avoid afternoon naps, as well coffee, alcohol and stimulating exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Nutrition: A balanced healthy diet and proper nutrition supports energy production and good health, and reduces the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Although no specific diet for fibromyalgia has been identified certain dietary strategies, such as eating more plant foods, reducing animal foods, staying hydrated, and reducing sugar intake, support overall wellness. Fermented foods and foods rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants can keep the digestive system on tract, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Alternative therapies: Massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may be helpful to relieve pain, reduce stress, improve function and promote natural healing.

Dietary supplements commonly used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms include:

D-ribose: D-ribose is a naturally occurring unique sugar used by all bodily cells to build energy. Well-tolerated in supplemental form, D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal tissue. A pilot study found that D-ribose significantly improved energy, sleep, mental clarity, pain intensity, and wellbeing in those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

SAMe: Naturally produced by the body, SAMe boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, which may help improve mood, and relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Harvard Medical School researchers have found that SAMe is safe and effective for treating symptoms of mild depression.

5-HTP: This natural amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and behavior. Many individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin. 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia symptoms. Maintaining therapeutic blood levels of magnesium is associated with a lessening of symptoms of depression, tender point soreness, and fatigue.

Vitamin D: A review of published studies found that vitamin D levels may play a key role in the relationship between pain and sleep. Researchers theorize that vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleep hygiene could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments in fibromyalgia and other pain related conditions.

Adaptogenic herbs: Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola help to improve metabolic and cognitive function, and defend against the negative consequences of stress by inhibiting the release of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulations to address symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Corvalen Ribose...Corvalen® Ribose Chewable Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: These all-natural D-ribose chewable tablets are clinically proven to help restore energy, support cardiac function, and reduce muscle stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. D-ribose helps to reduce energy loss in times of stress, and accelerates muscle and tissue recovery after exercise. Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

5-HTP 100 mg (5...5-HTP 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Clinically studied 5-HTP supports and encourages brain serotonin levels that can lead to positive effects on emotional wellbeing, appetite control, and wake/sleep cycles. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Malic Acid +...Malic Acid + Magnesium Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula blends malic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid, with magnesium, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These synergistic ingredients may have a beneficial effect on fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as the healthy structure and function of the immune and skeletal systems. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

Bio-D-Mulsion ForteBio-D-Mulsion Forte® by Biotics® Research: Designed to be helpful for those with absorption issues, this formula provides vitamin D3 in a highly bioavailable, micro-emulsified form for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten free.

 

Bio-Adaptogen UltraBio-Adaptogen™ Ultra by Nutra BioGenesis®: This professional ayurvedic blend of adaptogenic herbs provides nutritive support during times of stress, and supports healthy adrenal function, optimal energy levels, and overall wellbeing.

 

Magnesium (glycinate...Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Encapsulations®: Important for numerous bodily functions, this product supplies highly bioavailable magnesium chelate along with vitamin C. Less likely to cause bowel discomfort than other forms of magnesium, magnesium in glycinate form provides support for neuromuscular and cardiac function, mood balance, and the proper metabolism and utilization of essential nutrients. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
What is Fibromyalgia? https://www.fmcpaware.org/aboutfibromyalgia.html
Fibromyalgia. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fibromyalgia/?adfree=true
Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia. http://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia#is-fibromyalgia-real1
Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, causes, and treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147083.php
7 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/fibromyalgia-natural-remedies#1
Magnesium and its Role in Fibromyalgia Treatment. http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/magnesium-fibromyalgia-treatment/
The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109576
Vitamin D Supplements, Quality Sleep Could Help Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Other Chronic Pain Conditions. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/06/07/fibromyalgia-chronic-pain-may-be-relieved-by-vitamin-d-supplements-qual/