Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

You May Not Want to Take That Multi-Vitamin

pills

Why One-A-Day Vitamins are Not The Healthy Way To go

 

If you’re currently taking or considering taking a multivitamin with a recommended serving size of only one pill a day, you’re pretty much wasting your time.

 

Why?

 

It’s very doubtful can pack enough vitamins and minerals to truly make any real difference in complementing your healthy diet.

 

Producers of multivitamins have come up with some pretty amazing ways to compress ingredients, but not to this extreme… not down to where a single tablet provides you the vitamin and mineral levels you need on a daily basis.

 

And speaking of minerals, many producers of one-per-day vitamins don’t even bother including essential minerals like potassium or magnesium in adequate enough amounts to really make a difference.

 

What about other nutrients from sources like vegetables, fruits and herbs? Shouldn’t they be blended into your multi as well? I certainly think so.

 

But it’s also vitally important to know when to take your multivitamin. To maximize your multivitamin’s benefits, you should take a few tablets first thing in the morning and with lunch, or with an early dinner to help optimize your nutrient absorption.

 

Before we jump further into all the nutrients I believe should go into a multi, let’s first take a closer look at why all multivitamins are not created equal.

 

Some may in fact have little impact on your health. So remember, you must be very cautious when choosing a product to ensure that your multivitamin really benefits you.

Why You Should Avoid Synthetic Forms of Certain Vitamins Like the Plague…

 

In my opinion, if you shop for your supplements at discount stores, you may be seriously shortchanging yourself because many of those products typically use cheap synthetic isolate forms for certain important vitamins.

 

Instead of seeking a good multivitamin, millions of people take certain forms of vitamins, which may do less to support their optimal health.

 

You see, certain synthetic forms of vitamins are partial vitamins, combined with other chemicals. They’re completely different than vitamins from whole, real food.

 

When you remove a part from the whole, you get “synthetic,” “isolated” or “fractionated” pieces of the whole, but it’s simply not the same.

 

Here are four major problems with these kinds of vitamins…

 

Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.

Your body only absorbs a percentage of some forms of vitamins and minerals – and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in combination whole food form.

Certain synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others.

You may experience side effects of certain synthetic vitamins because the form of the vitamin is not the natural form.

You’ve heard me say it before… Fast food and a sedentary lifestyle can be a disaster for your health. Don’t let your multivitamin add to the collateral damage.

 

In fact, you want to be sure your multivitamin benefits you and offers a real and significant contribution to your health, especially if you’ve already adopted healthy lifestyle practices.

Many people who suffer from allergies can not take some vitamins and minerals, and then they can not take some brands.  Especially children!

 

Who Doesn’t Want to Feel Great All the Time?

 

One thing you can do to optimize your health and feel great is to maximize your immune system’s capabilities.

 

Because face it – everybody wants to feel good all the time, don’t they?

 

Now is the time to start moving toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. Start today, by adding just one raw vegetable per day to your diet… a small, doable step toward your better health.

 

Why make these changes today?

 

Because, ideally, it is best to receive all your nutrition from high-quality unprocessed foods. In fact, before focusing on finding a good multivitamin, I highly recommend first evaluating your diet and your lifestyle.

 

If you are eating a wholesome diet composed of raw fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and raw dairy from reliable sources, then you may have less need for a multivitamin.

 

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you may find it impractical or impossible to eat right all the time.

 

Therefore, even when you take the steps of adding raw veggies to your diet, getting some exercise and obtaining vitamin D from sunshine, you still might want to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin every day – just to be sure you’re getting well-balanced and optimal nutrition.

 

Plus, even if you do well with your diet choices, there is another important factor that involves the actual food supply itself…

 

Up to 50% of the Nutrient Value of Your Food May Be Lost From the Start

 

A number of carefully controlled studies have provided startling evidence that by the time food reaches your table, serious nutrient content could already be lost.

 

Some estimates report the nutrient value lost at over 50%!

 

This is largely the result of conventional farming methods that rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which deplete the soil of nutrients… nutrients that must be absorbed by plants in order to be passed on to you.

 

And it does not necessarily end there.

 

In many cases, it’s likely you unknowingly further deplete the nutrients in your food – just by the way you prepare it. For many foods, cooking will seriously impair the nutritional value.

 

So, realizing that you cannot always obtain the whole unprocessed foods you need – and knowing how easy it is for valuable nutrients to be destroyed – you now know why I believe adding a good multivitamin to complement your diet is a sound move.

 

What Can a High-Quality Multivitamin Do for You?

 

While I cannot endorse taking a supplement in place of living a healthy lifestyle, it is true that a good multivitamin benefits your optimal health.

 

A high-quality multivitamin helps promote your strong immune system, building up your body’s defenses.*

 

If you need help if adding the correct vitamins and minerals to your personal healthcare plan, contact us and we will be happy to go over this with you.

 

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Do Not Take Folic Acid if…

folicacid

 

DO NOT take multivitamins that contain folic acid. and If you are pregnant, DO NOT take prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid!

Folic acid supplementation is dangerous – especially for pregnant women

Women who take supplemental folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers collected data on women’s folic acid intake from multivitamins over a 10-year period – they found that the women who took multivitamins containing folic acid were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those that did not. 1,2

A study published earlier this year found a 163% increased risk of prostate cancer in men taking folic acid supplements.3

A new meta-analysis of folic acid supplementation and colorectal cancer risk found that those who took folic acid for more than three years increased their risk of having a colorectal adenoma by 35%.4  In the U.S., Canada, and most recently Chile, colorectal cancer rates have climbed since the advent of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.10-11

Another new study, has found that folic acid supplementation by pregnant women increases the risk of childhood asthma by 26% 5, and yet another study linked folic acid supplementation during pregnancy to increased incidence of respiratory tract infections in infants, especially those resulting in hospitalization.6

This past month in Norway, where there is no fortification of flour with folic acid, researchers conducting a six-year study on the homocysteine-lowering effects of B vitamins in patients with heart disease made an unexpected finding:  the patients whose supplement included folic acid had a greater risk of cancer incidence and cancer mortality.7  These patients were 43% more likely to die from cancer.

Most alarming was another study that compared women who took folic acid during their pregnancy to those that did not.  Thirty years later those women who were given a hefty dose of folic acid during pregnancy were twice as likely to die from breast cancer.8   Shocking info huh!  One more thing:  180,000 people die each year with diseases that are related to folic acid.  Even more miscarriages are related to folic acid.

Eat foods rich in folic acid for natural digestion of this mineral, and your body knows how much you need.

 

Vitamins and Supplements

Do not take multivitamins that contain folic acid, and if you are pregnant, Do Not take prenatal vitamins with folic acid.

folicacidfoods

DO NOT take multivitamins that contain folic acid. and If you are pregnant, DO NOT take prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid!Folic acid supplementation is dangerous – especially for pregnant women

Women who take supplemental folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers collected data on women’s folic acid intake from multivitamins over a 10-year period – they found that the women who took multivitamins containing folic acid were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those that did not. 1,2

A study published earlier this year found a 163% increased risk of prostate cancer in men taking folic acid supplements.3

A new meta-analysis of folic acid supplementation and colorectal cancer risk found that those who took folic acid for more than three years increased their risk of having a colorectal adenoma by 35%.4 In the U.S., Canada, and most recently Chile, colorectal cancer rates have climbed since the advent of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.10-11

Another new study, has found that folic acid supplementation by pregnant women increases the risk of childhood asthma by 26% 5, and yet another study linked folic acid supplementation during pregnancy to increased incidence of respiratory tract infections in infants, especially those resulting in hospitalization.6

This past month in Norway, where there is no fortification of flour with folic acid, researchers conducting a six-year study on the homocysteine-lowering effects of B vitamins in patients with heart disease made an unexpected finding: the patients whose supplement included folic acid had a greater risk of cancer incidence and cancer mortality.7 These patients were 43% more likely to die from cancer.

Most alarming was another study that compared women who took folic acid during their pregnancy to those that did not. Thirty years later those women who were given a hefty dose of folic acid during pregnancy were twice as likely to die from breast cancer.8 Shocking info huh!

If folic acid can have these dangerous effects, why is it included in most multivitamins, prenatal vitamins and fortified grain products?

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a member of the family of B vitamins that is involved with DNA synthesis and DNA methylation, which essentially turns genes on and off. Because of these crucial functions, folate plays important roles in fetal development and nerve tissue health as well as cancer initiation and progression.

The protective effects of folate against neural tube defects (NTDs) have received much attention in the past. Unfortunately, this knowledge and public attention did not result in a campaign by the U.S. government encouraging women to get plenty of natural dietary folate from vegetables – instead, pregnant women are pushed to take folic acid supplements.

Folic acid is chemically different from dietary folate, which results in differences in uptake and processing of these two substances by the cells in the intestinal wall. Some folic acid is chemically modified to be more similar to natural folate, but the intestinal cells are limited in how much folic acid they can modify – excess folic acid often enters the circulation unmodified. Scientists do not yet know the implications of circulating synthetic folic acid. Many Americans, through multivitamin use and consumption of fortified foods, are taking in excessive amounts of folic acid, and thus may have unmodified folic acid circulating in their blood – this could contribute to the cancer-promoting effects.9,10-11

The recommendation that pregnant women take folic acid supplements is especially troubling – these women could safely increase their folate status and prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) by eating green vegetables, but instead they are instructed to take folic acid supplements, which put them at risk for breast cancer later in life. The children are also put at risk –women who take folic acid supplements as a substitute for good nutrition fail to provide their unborn children with the additional nutrients in folate-containing foods. Maternal nutrition is a critical determinant of childhood health – there are inverse associations between maternal vegetable intake and childhood cancers.12-13

Unlike synthetic folic acid, folate obtained from food sources – especially green vegetables – protects against breast and prostate cancer.

Paradoxically, in people who do not take folic acid supplements there is inverse relationship between dietary folate intake and breast and prostate cancer.14,3 Folate is an essential nutrient with vital functions. It is probable that folate levels need to be tightly regulated by the body – that the timing and dose of folate is an important determinant of whether folate has positive or negative effects. Folate’s actions on DNA may prevent cancer from initiating, but may also promote the proliferation of tumor cells that may already present.15 Luckily, getting our folate exclusively from food ensures that we do not get too much. It comes naturally packaged in balance with other micronutrients and the body regulates its absorption.9

Rich sources of food folate

As a reference point, the U.S. RDA for folate is 400μg.  Below is the approximate folate content for a 100-calorie serving.16

Spinach, raw 843 μg Edamame 225 μg
Endive 835 μg Tomatoes, yellow 200 μg
Romaine lettuce 800 μg Tomatoes, orange 180 μg
Asparagus, cooked 750 μg Chickpeas 150 μg
Mustard greens, raw 700 μg Red peppers, raw 150 μg
Collards, raw 550 μg Papaya 90 μg
Okra, cooked 520 μg Snow/Snap peas, raw 100 μg
Bok choy, raw 500 μg Summer squash 100 μg
Broccoli Rabe, raw 375 μg Tomatoes, red 85 μg
Arugula, raw 340 μg Strawberries 75 μg
Artichokes, cooked 330 μg Oranges 70 μg
Brussels sprouts, cooked 300 μg Beets, cooked 50 μg
Broccoli, cooked 300 μg Blackberries 55 μg
Cauliflower, raw 225 μg Avocado 50 μg
Red leaf lettuce 225 μg Sunflower seeds 40 μg
Celery, raw 225 μg Quinoa, cooked 35 μg

Clearly, we do not need synthetic folic acid supplements to meet our daily folate requirements.

It is not recommend to take prenatal vitamins generally available on the market because of the potentially harmful ingredients that they contain, such as folic acid. Sensitive to the needs of women who are pregnant or of childbearing age, Dr. Fuhrman designed his own prenatal vitamin called Gentle Prenatal, Gentle Care Formula, which is recommended.

Special recommendations for pregnant women:

– Gentle Prenatal (delivers the iron and extra vitamin D needed by pregnant women) – Osteo-Sun – DHA+EPA Purity – A nutrient dense diet, rich in green vegetables (and folate)

Gentle Care Formula (multivitamin and mineral) Too much of certain nutrients, including folic acid, has been shown to have negative health effects and may also promote breast cancer.1,2,16 This formulation avoids potentially toxic ingredients, such as vitamin A17 , beta carotene18-20, folic acid, copper and iron. All of the ingredients are selected for optimal quality, absorption, and gentleness. This balanced antioxidant blend also offers phytochemical and carotenoid concentrates from green food extracts.

Gentle Prenatal (multivitamin and mineral) contains the same carefully designed combination of vitamins and minerals present in Gentle Care Formula, but has been uniquely tailored to the needs of pregnant women with iron and more vitamin D.

References: 1. Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ et al. Folate intake, alcohol use, and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):895-904. 2. Kim YI. Does a high folate intake increase the risk of breast cancer? Nut Rev; 2006; 64(10PT1) 468-75. 3. Figueiredo JC et al. Folic acid and risk of prostate cancer: results from a randomized clinical trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Mar 18;101(6):432-5. Epub 2009 Mar 10. 4. Fife, J et al. Folic Acid Supplementation and Colorectal Cancer Risk; A Meta-analysis. Colorectal Dis. 2009 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print] 5. Whitrow MJ, Moore VM, Rumbold AR, Davies MJ. Effect of supplemental folic acid in pregnancy on childhood asthma: a prospective birth cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec 15;170(12):1486-93. 6. Haberg SE, London SJ, Stigum H, Nafstad P, Nystad W. Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and early childhood respiratory health. Arch Dis Child. 2009 Mar;94(3):180-4. Epub 2008 Dec 3. 7. Ebbing M et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality After Treatment With Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. JAMA. 2009;302(19):2119-2126. 8. Charles D et al. Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer. BMJ 2004;329:1375–6 9. Harvard School of Public Health; The Nutrition Source: Keep the Multi, Skip the Heavily Fortified Foods; http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/folicacid/ Date accessed: 8/29/08. 10. Hirsch S et al. Colon cancer in Chile before and after the start of the flour fortification program with folic acid. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Apr;21(4):436-9. 11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/591111 12. Kwan ML et al. Maternal diet and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124(4):503-14. Tower RL et al. The epidemiology of childhood leukemia with a focus on birth weight and diet. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2007;44(3):203-42. Petridou E et al. Maternal diet and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in young children.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Aug;14(8):1935-9. Jensen CD et al. Maternal dietary risk factors in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (United States).Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Aug;15(6):559-70. 13. Huncharek M et al. A meta-analysis of maternal cured meat consumption during pregnancy and the risk of childhood brain tumors. Neuroepidemiology. 2004 Jan-Apr;23(1-2):78-84. Pogoda JM et al. An international case-control study of maternal diet during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk: a histology-specific analysis by food group. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):148-60. 14. Sellers TA et al. Dietary folate intake, alcohol, and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study of postmenopausal women. Epidemiology. 2001 Jul;12(4):420-8. 15. Kim YI. Folic acid fortification and supplementation–good for some but not so good for others. Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):504-11. 16. http://www.nutritiondata.com/tools/nutrient-search 17. Bjelakovic G, Nikolava D, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patient with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;16(2):CD00776. 18. Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701. 19. Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126. 20. Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can’t Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.