All About Your Health and Apex, NC

Discover interesting health tips and happenings in our favorite town of Apex, NC

Ten Supplements You NEED To Be Taking

1.      Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 strengthens the immune system and helps relieve the effects of stress on the body.  Vitamin B12 is also required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.  Vitamin B12 is also used in the treatment of memory loss; Alzheimer’s disease; boosting mood, energy, concentration; and slowing aging. It is also used for heart disease, lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease), male infertility, diabetes, sleep disorders, depression, mental disorders, weak bones (osteoporosis), swollen tendons, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, preventing cervical and other cancers, and skin infections.

Some people use vitamin B12 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and gum disease. It is also used for ringing in the ears, bleeding, liver and kidney disease, and for protection against the poisons and allergens in tobacco smoke.  Vitamin B12 is applied to the skin either alone or in combination with avocado oil for psoriasis and eczema.

2.      Green Tea Extract

The catechins in green tea extract, especially one known as ECGC (Epigallocatechin Gallate) protect your body against respiratory and digestive infections, short circuit the reproduction of cancerous cells, help lower high blood pressure, reduce the levels of LDL and total cholesterol in your blood, and – believe it or not – helps fight cavities.  Green tea extract should definitely be an ingredient in any health supplements that you take regularly.

3.      Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced by your body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.  Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone. It is also needed for bone growth and remodeling.

4.     Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid (also known as lipoic acid, thioctic acid, or ALA) is a fatty acid produced in every cell of our body.  One of its primary functions it to help convert glucose into energy at the cellular level.  Health supplements containing ALA may help your body control its use of insulin, help protect against memory loss in aging, Alzheimers’ disease and stroke victims, increases blood flow to the nerve endings and helps reduce symptoms of neuropathy.  Biologists have also discovered that ALA is a powerful antioxidant that protects against the free radicals which may cause heart and liver disease, cancer, cell aging, and other conditions.

5.      Calcium

If calcium levels in the blood are low, calcium will be taken out of your bones. Therefore, it is important to consume enough calcium every day to maintain adequate blood and bone calcium levels. If you can’t get enough through your diet, and most people don’t, then there is calcium supplementation to ensure you get your adequate daily intake.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health claims the average American gets less than half their needed calcium from their diet.  Because our high protein diets and the high consumption of caffeine also deplete the body’s supply of calcium, the NIH recommends daily health supplementation of calcium for most American adults.  The recommended calcium intake for adults is 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams daily, depending upon age, gender and personal circumstances (for example, a woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding or dieting might require more dietary calcium). One serving of dairy product provides approximately 300 milligrams of calcium, so those who do not consume enough calcium from food sources may need calcium supplements to meet their daily requirement.  Many people think they get enough calcium from their multi-vitamins, but that is not necessarily the case.  Multi-vitamins typically contain no more than 200 to 250 mg of calcium.

6.      Saw Palmetto (for men)

Saw palmetto is a small palm with berries that have medicinal values that is grown in the southern U.S.  Beta sitosterol, the active ingredient in saw palmetto, improves urinary flow and reduces the frequency and urgency of urination in men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.  The recommended daily health supplementation is 160 mg of saw palmetto extract standardized for 85% to 95% of fatty acids and sterols for best effects.

7.      Black Cohosh (for women)

Black Cohosh has been used by Native Americans for more than two hundred years, to help relieve menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause. Today is still used for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes/flushes, irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances.  It is also used for PMS, menstrual irregularities, uterine spasms and has been indicated for reducing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and neuralgia.  The American College of Gynecologists recognizes the value of using black cohosh to treat menopausal symptoms, though they suggest limiting treatment with black cohosh to six months or less.

8.      Vitamin C

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant.  It also helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.  Vitamin C also helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protects against heart disease, aids in the absorption of iron, prevents scurvy, and decreases total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Research indicates that vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may cause cancer). Supplemental vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold; help delay or prevent cataracts and macular degeneration; and support healthy immune function.  Vitamin C, along with Vitamin E, may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

9.      Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Since its discovery in 1957, CO Q10 (ubiquinone) has been widely studied.  It’s a component in the mitochondria in every cell in your body, where it functions as an antioxidant.  Among the benefits associated with taking health supplements containing CO Q10 are fewer and less severe migraines, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced incidence of atherosclerosis, increased energy and heightened immune system. 

10.     Fish Oil (DHA and EPA)

The omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil, DHA and EPA, are essential for your body to make new cells, particularly brain and nerve cells. Because of the low availability and contamination of natural sources of fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids, health supplements containing fish oil extracts, particularly DHA, are a vital source of these important nutrients.  Fish oil also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and reduces the incidence of some cancers.

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