Posts Tagged ‘mineral’

Are There Any Reasons to Take a Multi-Vitamin?

Why is it that obtaining optimum health is so confusing? Everyday you’ll read conflicting information about all sorts of health products and diets. The same goes for vitamins. It’s fairly safe to say that a daily multi-vitamin will help prevent symptoms of vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

With so many tasks to fit into every day life, it can be difficult to make sure that our diet is full of all the nutrients necessary to our health. Also, the thought of preparing a meal from scratch after a hard day’s work means that many people eat out at restaurants and fast food outlets instead. While convenient, the truth is that people are losing control of what they eat. Restaurant food offers portion sizes that are often double and even triple what they should be. Preparation methods generally involve using artery-clogging oils, and other saturated fats.

But eating out isn’t the only problem. Stress wreaks havoc on the body, and often works to diminish whatever nutritional value people are getting from their food. It’s difficult to escape stress, and eating on the run, and eating at odd times during the day. Plus, be honest, just how often do you skip meals because you’re just “too busy”?

Nutritionally-void foods, stress, insufficient exercise, and generally poor eating habits spell disaster when it comes to eating a balanced diet. Yet these are the very reasons why so many people are choosing to supplement their diets with multivitamins.

If the above scenario sounds like the way you live your life, there’s a good chance you’ll benefit from a daily multivitamin supplement. It’s usually not necessary to first consult with a doctor. If your health overall is good, and you’re not taking any medication, a multivitamin that meets recommended daily allowances will be sufficient.

What Happens to Excess Vitamins?

In general, over-supplementation isn’t much of a problem with water-soluble vitamins such as B and C. If your body experiences too much of these vitamins then they will be passed via your urine. It’s still a good idea to check what the symptoms of over-supplementation are, for instance vitamin C can cause diarrhea.  Just look at these diarrhea statistics.

Fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and D, are different in that the body will store excess amounts. But still, even at levels that are slightly higher than the recommended daily allowances, there shouldn’t be any adverse effects. Excessive consumption however is not advisable and may even trigger health complications.

Vitamins Are Found in Many Foods Already

As with many things in life, when taking a multivitamin supplement, moderation is key. Please be aware that a lot of the food you are eating already is probably supplemented with vitamins, cereals and orange juice for instance. As always, contact a doctor or nutritionist if you are at all unsure.

Once you have decided that a multivitamin supplement makes sense, the only thing left to do is go out and buy some. Multivitamin supplements are available in tablet or pill form and liquid form. I’ve also bought it in powder form which you’re supposed to mix in with a drink, unfortunately it made me want to GAG! With so many brands available, you may want to take time to read the labels or look for a familiar manufacturer. Select the form you’re more likely to take on a regular basis and you’ll be one step closer to having a healthy body!

Chromium + Diabetes + GMTV

This morning I was watching a feature on GMTV about diabetes, diet and supplements. They were talking about the progress of a diabetic lady who is currently on a Glycaemic Index (GI) diet under the advice of Patrick Holford, a well-known UK nutritionist.

I thought things were going very well, the lady featured talked about how easy the diet was, how she’s feeling much better and how, with the help of a consultant, has weaned herself of the medication.

Patrick then goes on further to talk about what foods have a low Glycaemic Load (low GL) and what supplements should be taken, including chromium and cinnamon.

So far, so good.

Then this other expert (sorry can’t remember what she does) starts to get really angry at Patrick accusing him that this low GL diet is nothing new, it’s simply common sense and that there’s no need for all these supplements because they can be obtained from your diet.

Wow, she really “got her knickers in a twist” over this. I wasn’t expecting that sort of behaviour on a morning TV show, especially since the diet appears to have worked. She accused Patrick of being irresponsible because people shouldn’t be coming off their medication simply because of a diet.

Luckily Patrick kept his cool and simply explained that there have been numerous tests to show that using chromium supplements have been shown to work and that the diabetic’s results speak for themselves.

Personally I think Patrick handled things very well. At no point did he suggest that anyone should dump their medication in favour of his diet.

Chloride Health Benefits

Chloride is better known as part of the double-act “sodium-chloride” otherwise known as table salt. It’s not a mineral you’ll read much about in the health magazines but it is still important to your health nonetheless.

Chloride is a type of electrolyte which works in conjunction with sodium and potassium. This particular electrolyte is found mainly in the body fluids surrounding cells. It works with the other members of the electrolyte family to help control fluids within the body and maintain electrolyte balance.

Because our bodies prefer to be pH neutral, chloride helps maintain this by reducing acid levels. Chlorides act as neutralizing agents and their work helps to bring the acid/alkaline level back into balance.

Within the stomach, you’ll find that chloride appears in the form of hydrochloric acid. In order for your body to effectively digest food, hydrochloric acid helps break the food down so that it can be absorbed by the small intestines.

In the liver, chloride may also help in the process of removing waste.

Sources of Chloride

You’ll find chloride in many processed foods such as ketchup, French fries, canned meats, canned vegetables and olives. Chloride is plentiful in processed foods because of the high levels of preservatives needed to keep these foods fresh.

Here in the UK there’s been a lot of bad press about salt. There’s been lot of TV ad campaigns encouraging us to reduce our salt intake because most people consume too much. However our bodies do require chloride and it’s suggested we take 750 mg/day.

Chloride Deficiencies

Because of the bad press salt has many people don’t realize that salt is required by our bodies, so instead of reducing salt intake they cut it out all together. This is what my boyfriend’s mother did and ended up in hospital due to weakness.

Low blood pressure and a general feeling of weakness are two symptoms of a chloride deficiency. When chloride levels drop the body usually experiences a simultaneous loss of potassium via the urine. A condition known as alkalosis can develop if acid levels in the body drop too low. This is a dangerous condition that causes the blood pH to become elevated.

If your body is not getting enough chloride and potassium you develop hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis and its symptoms cause the affected person to lose the ability to control muscle function. This in turn causes problems with breathing and swallowing, and if not addressed, may lead to death.  Learning about health is important, especially if you are wanting to build muscle quickly.

If you have suffered serious bouts of diarrhoea, vomiting, excessive use of diuretics, or excessive fluid loss due to sweat then this can create a deficiency of the mineral. Many athletes take supplements of salt because drinking more water that is lost in sweat can dilute the salt within the body. Also when you exercise salt is excreted through your sweat so it’s important that it’s replaced.