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Carnitine

What is carnitine?
Carnitine is a compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and
methionine. It is needed for the transport of fatty acids into the
mitochondria in order to generate and produce energy. It also acts like an
antioxidant and helps protect the body against free radicals.

Where is carnitine  found?
The highest concentrations of carnitine are found in red meat and dairy
products. It is also found in nuts, seeds, legumes, some fruits and
vegetables, cereals, brewer’s yeast, and carob.

What are the benefits of carnitine?
Carnitine is effective in improving the red blood cell count and hemoglobin
during hemodialysis in End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It is also been
used to improve symptoms associated with angina, CHF (congestive heart
failure), MIs (myocardial infarctions), infertility in men, and low birth
weight infants. Carnitine is also used to decrease fatigue and to treat
symptoms of hyperthyroidism. It is often taken to improve athletic
performance and is used as a weight loss supplement; however, there is
no consistent evidence to show that it works. Some studies show carnitine
reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass, which may contribute to
weight loss in some people.

Are there interactions between carnitine and  food, herbs or other supplements?
None known

Are there interactions between carnitine and  other medications?
Carnitine changes the effectiveness of Sintrom (acenocoumarol), thyroid
hormone and warfarin. Be cautious and talk to a doctor before starting carnitine
while on one of these medications.

To purchase carnitine: http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/l-carnitine-with-chromium

Pracitioner code: DGroothuisRD

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Calcium

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

 

Vitamin C-1000

Vitamin C

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
as liver.

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
osteoarthritis.

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.

Bromelain

Bromelain

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
capsules.

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
pollen.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin

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
wrinkled skin.

Are there interactions between astaxanthin and food or medications?
Be careful taking astaxanthin with other carotenoids because it may decrease
absorption.

Are there side effects from astaxanthin?
None reported

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

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.

5-HTP

5-HTP

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.

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Black Cohosh

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
warts.

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:

http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/black-cohosh-plus

Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, both very important for bone health. The active form of Vitamin D is called D3 or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol. Optimal blood levels are 30-100 ng/mL. Where is it found? Vitamin D has many dietary sources including fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna), fish liver oils, liver, fortified milk, fortified orange juice, egg yolks, edible mushrooms, irradiated mushrooms (with UVB light), and some brands of yogurt and ready-to-eat cereals. Besides these sources, the body can also manufacture its own Vitamin D through sunlight exposure. Ten to 15 minutes of exposure 2-3 times per week is adequate to obtain the needed UVB ray. It is harder to absorb Vitamin D from the skin as we get older because the body is less efficient.

What are the benefits?

Intake of Vitamin D is used to improve balance, increase muscle strength, prevent falls, reduce the risk of bone fractures, and improve osteoporosis and osteomalacia. It has been shown to play a role in immunity, inflammation, and may impact the performance and training of athletes. Research also suggests that Vitamin D prevents the development of chronic and autoimmune diseases – such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, MS and certain cancers.

Are there interactions with medications?

Some drugs can deplete Vitamin D levels in the body and may require Vitamin D supplementation. These drugs include carbamazepine, cholestyramine, colestipol, corticosteroids, mineral oil, orlistat, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, stimulant laxatives, and sunscreens. However, high Vitamin D intake can also adversely impact certain medications and combination with the following drugs should be monitored: aluminum, atorvastatin, calcipotriene, cimetidine, cytochrome P450 3A4 enzymes, digoxin, diltiazem, heparin, thiazide diuretics, and verapamil. Some of the signs and symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency are bone pain, muscle weakness and discomfort, decreased bone density and risk for bones fractures, and hyperparathyroidism. Side effects from overdosing on Vitamin D are nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.

If you are interested in purchasing Vitamin D, please click here and enter practitioner code:  DGroothuisRD

 

Acai Berries

Acai

What is acai and where is it found?

Acai has become a popular supplement because it is an antioxidant with weight loss and anti-aging benefits. Acai is a berry that comes from the Acai Palm tree in Central and South America. It is sold as a fruit, a juice, and in supplement form.

.What are the benefits?

People take acai to treat metabolic syndrome, obesity, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction. It is also taken to promote weight loss, for detoxification, and for anti-aging.

Are there interactions with food or medications?

None known.

Are there side effects?

None reported. However, if it is consumed raw an unpasteurized, there is chance the juice may be contaminated with a parasite, which occurred in Brazil in 2006.