What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that is essential for living organisms. It is a structural
element in bones and shells and it serves as a necessary messenger in cell
physiology. For example, calcium is involved in muscle contraction, the electrical
conduction of the heart, and neurotransmitter release. Calcium combines with
phosphate to form hydroxylapatite, which is what is found in bones and teeth.
Where is Calcium found?
Calcium can be found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other
good sources are seaweeds (kelp, wakame, hijiki), almonds, hazelnuts, sesame,
pistachio, blackstrap molasses, beans, figs, quinoa, okra, rutabaga, broccoli,
dandelion leaves, kale, fish with soft bones (canned salmon and sardines), and
fortified products like certain brands of orange juice.
Calcium is also sold in supplements. When taking calcium pills, no more than
600mg should be taken at a time for ideal absorption, and therefore the pills
should be taken throughout the day. Some of the different forms of calcium
supplements are: calcium carbonate (most common and least expensive),
calcium citrate, calcium phosphate (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite), coral
calcium, calcium lactate and calcium chelates.
What are the benefits of Calcium?
Calcium is used to prevent and treat hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, and rickets. It
is also effective in treating hyperkalemia (high potassium levels), renal failure,
and dyspepsia (calcium carbonate is used as an antacid). Calcium is also used to
treat hyperparathyroidism and to decrease PMS symptoms. For some, it reduces
the risk of colorectal cancer, fluorosis, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension,
stroke, pre-eclampsia, and weight loss.
Are there interactions between Calcium and food, herbs or other supplements?
Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium, whereas many fibers decrease
calcium absorption. Calcium supplements may decrease the absorption of dietary
iron, zinc and magnesium. High levels of caffeine and high levels of sodium
increase calcium excretion and may be linked to bone loss.
To purchase calcium: http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/cal-apatite-bone-builder-prime
Practioner code: DGroothuisRD
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that
cannot be made or stored by the human body. It is an essential nutrient
that acts as an antioxidant, and therefore blocks some damage caused by
free radicals, which may cause conditions such as cancer, heart disease,
and arthritis. It also plays a role in immune function. Vitamin C is
important in many enzymatic reactions, and it is a cofactor for the
synthesis of many important biochemicals. It is needed for the growth
and repair of body tissues and is needed to make collagen, which
comprises the skin and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also needed for wound
healing and bone and teeth maintenance.
Where is Vitamin C found?
It is found mostly in fruits and vegetables, especially guava, red pepper,
kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, papayas, strawberries, oranges, kale,
spinach, tomatoes and mango. It is also found in some cuts of meat, such
What are the benefits of Vitamin C?
Ensuring adequate vitamin C prevents and treats scurvy. Additionally,
taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per 30mg iron increases iron
absorption. It has also been shown to be effective in reducing age-related
macular degeneration, albuminuria, atherosclerosis and peripheral arterial
disease, cancer, common cold, erythema, gallbladder disease,
hypertension, lead toxicity, and improved physical performance and
Are there interactions between Vitamin C and food, herbs or other supplements?
Some data shows that vitamin C increases serum chromium absorption. It
also increases iron absorption. High doses of vitamin C have been shown
to decrease serum copper levels. Other evidence suggests that vitamin
B12 is destroyed by vitamin C supplements, so supplements should be
taken at least 2 hours after meals.
What is bromelain?
Bromelain is an extract from the stem and juice of pineapples. It is a mixture of
proteases/proteolytic enzymes, which are enzymes that digests protein. It is
used to treat a number of conditions due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Where is bromelain found?
It is a supplement that comes from pineapples. It is available in tablets and
What are the benefits of bromelain?
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain is frequently used after an
injury or surgery to reduce swelling. It may reduce swelling, bruising, healing
time and pain after surgery; it also decreases inflammation in minor muscle
injuries, sprains, and strains. Bromelain may also be effect in treating treat
ulcerative colitis, arthritis, and muscle soreness after vigorous exercise. It is also
used to help treat sinusitis. Some studies show it may be useful in debridement,
which is a process that removes dead tissue from the skin.
Are there interactions with bromelain and medications or foods?
Do not take bromelain with other anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications.
Additionally, it may increase risk of bleeding during surgery and should be
stopped 2 weeks prior to any scheduled surgical procedure. Bromelain should not
be taken with soybeans or potatoes, since they are inhibitors of proteolytic
enzymes and may inhibit bromelain activity.
Are there side effects from bromelain?
Some people report mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Do not take bromelain if
you are allergic to pineapples, wheat, celery, carrot, fennel, papain, or grass
What is astaxanthin and where is it found?
Astaxanthin is a reddish carotenoid pigment found in microalgae, salmon, trout,
red sea bream, shrimp, lobster, fish eggs, and many bird species. It is a powerful
antioxidant very similar in structure to beta-carotene. It may stimulate immunity
and protect cells from damage therefore and may be beneficial for
cardiovascular, inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease.
What are the benefits of astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is used to treat age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s
disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cancer and hyperlipidemia. It is also used
to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, exercise-induced muscle soreness, rheumatoid
arthritis, and menopausal symptoms. Topically it is used for sunburn and
Are there interactions between astaxanthin and food or medications?
Be careful taking astaxanthin with other carotenoids because it may decrease
Are there side effects from astaxanthin?
One third of all Americans suffer from insomnia, which is defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of issues including anxiety, stress and depression, and lack of sleep can cause a whole host of health issues. Recent research over the last 10 years has shown that exercise can help reduce insomnia. A study at Rush University showed that women who exercised were less depressed and reported that their sleep changed from poor to good. Exercise can be performed at any time of day to improve sleep, even right before bedtime. So put away your sleeping pills and melatonin and get active. It will not just help your body, but your mind and sleeping habits as well!
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic herb that contains chemicals used to
decrease stress, reduce inflammation, decrease blood pressure, calm the
brain, and affect immune function.
Where is ashwagandha found?
Ashwagandha is a type of plant whose berries and roots are used to make
medicine. It is sold in supplemental form only, both orally and topically.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha has many uses. As a tonic, it is used to increase both
longevity and general health. Additionally, it is used to treat arthritis and
decrease inflammation. It is considered an “adaptogen,” which helps
increase resistance to environmental stress. It is also taken to decrease
anxiety, insomnia, and fibromyalgia, and it is taken to help with symptoms
of GI disease, diabetes and epilepsy. Some people take ashwagandha to
improve sexual function, menstrual issues, and treat infertility. Others use
ashwagandha to improve thinking ability. It is also used topically to treat
wounds and backaches.
Are there interactions with ashwaganha food, herbs or other supplements?
Ashwagandha should not be taken with other herbs that have sedative
properties, such as valerian and St John’s wort.
Ashwagandha should not be taken during pregnancy. People with autoimmune
diseases or peptic ulcer disease should not take it. Additionally, ashwagandha
should be stopped two weeks before any type of surgery.
What is 5-HTP and where is it found?
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a byproduct from the amino acid, tryptophan. It
is naturally produced from tryptophan in the body as the body makes serotonin.
It is also found in various plants, including the seeds of a West African plant
called griffonia simplicifolia. However, the amount of 5-HTP in foods is
insignificant, so 5-HTP is sold as an over-the-counter supplement.
What are the benefits of 5-HTP?
5-HTP has been shown to be effective as an antidepressant. It may also be
effective as a treatment for fibromyalgia and its symptoms, such as pain,
morning stiffness, and sleeplessness. Some people take 5-HTP to treat sleep
disorders, anxiety, migraines, tension headaches, and PMS. Others take 5-HTP as
an appetite suppressant and use it to aid in weight loss.
Are there interactions with 5-HTP and food or medications?
5-HTP should not be taken with MAOI or SSRI antidepressants. It should also be
avoided if taking carbidopa, demerol, tramadol or pentazocine.
Are there side effects from 5-HTP?
5-HTP may cause heartburn, stomach pain, flatulence, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea and anorexia. There is some concern, though it is unclear, that 5-HTP
may cause eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), which is condition that
presents with muscle tenderness and blood abnormalities. However, this is
controversial and some research suggests EMS may have been caused by a
contaminant in the supplement rather than the 5-HTP itself. If you decide to take
5-HTP, it is very important that you buy a trusted, reputable brand that will be
free of any impurities or contaminants.
Summer is finally here! The warm weather means more time outside and more lunches and dinners on the BBQ! Every year there are articles written about the link between BBQ meats and cancer. But is this true?
When meat is grilled under high heat at a BBQ, chemicals called HAAs (heterocyclic aromatic amines)and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are found. Both of these chemicals can be converted to enzymes that may damage DNA. There appears to be some link; a study published last year found that the DNA in prostate cancer cells had been damaged by DNA. The study proves an association, not a cause, but it definitely something to keep an eye on
It is possible to lower carcinogens in meat by marinating the meat before cooking, microwaving the meat, flipping the meat frequently, and trying not to char the meat. As with everything in life, try to eat BBQ meats in moderation and not overdo it. You don’t have to avoid the BBQ, just take precautions to lower your risk, and enjoy your summer!
What is black cohosh?
Black cohosh is an herb that comes form the roots of a plant grown in North
America. In some people, it seems to work similarly to estrogen and may
increase or decrease estrogen in different parts of the body. Black cohosh root
also contains chemicals that work similarly to serotonin and may reduce
inflammation and affect the immune system.
Where is black cohosh found?
It is a supplement. It does not come from any food sources.
What are the benefits of black cohosh?
Black cohosh has effectively been used to treat some of the symptoms of
menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes,
headaches, sleep problems, and heart palpitations. It also may be used to
relieve arthritis pain, to regulate periods, and to decrease PMS symptoms.
Lastly, black cohosh can also be used topically for acne and the removal of
Are there side effects from black cohosh?
Some common side effects of black cohosh are headaches and stomach
discomfort. There have also been a few cases of liver damage, so people with
pre-existing liver problems or those taking medications that may affect the liver
should avoid black cohosh. Also, pregnant women, women with endometriosis,
and those with a history of breast or uterine cancer and endometriosis should
avoid black cohosh as well.
Are there interactions with black cohosh and medications?
Black cohosh should not be taken with medications that may harm the liver or
any medication that may be changed by the liver. Also, if you are taking birth
control pills, hormone replacement therapy, sedatives, or blood pressure
medication, do not take black cohosh without the consent of your doctor.
To purchase bromelain:
Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD