Search Term: " Consiuion "
Did cannabis oil prove to be a miracle cure for this little boy with epilepsy?
January 16, 2017 12:59 PM
Bruno Delgado of Florida is one case that shows the miracle medicinal cannabis can provide to patients who suffer from seizures. He went from suffering from 300 seizures to barely any. It makes his condition much more manageable. In order to get to the point they are at, his mother had to go over the recommended dose imposed by Florida law. However, she says it is much more preferable to his suffering. Many people are calling for marijuana to be legalized so research can progress. Right now, they are hindered by legal restrictions.
""Though cannabis use has now been legalised by above 50 American states, it is still considered illegal for any sort of usage and labelled as a narcotic drug by the federal government.""
Vitamin A -- Where It Comes from and What It Does.
March 22, 2014 08:50 AM
Vitamin A helps battle off contamination. It likewise serves to keep your skin smooth and supple. You can get a great deal of vitamin A from your sustenance - with liver meats being the best source. A few vegetables - carrots, broccoli leaves (the leaves, not the stems), sweet potatoes and kale, run a far off second, alongside spread.
Dietary vitamin A hails from two sorts of sustenance:
* Animal sustenance sources give "dynamic" manifestations of vitamin A - the form can use the vitamin promptly. They are called 'retinoid'. Retinoid are frequently utilized within skin creams and dermatological pharmaceuticals, as vitamin A is well known for its skin revival properties.
* Plants give carotenoids (to illustration beta-carotene). Carotenoids are changed over by the constitution into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the most widely recognized of the carotenoids. A brilliantly colored intensifies; this is the thing that gives carrots and sweet potatoes their orange shade.
"Collaboration" is the point at which two or more substances join to make an impact more terrific than either could perform on its own. All supplements in the constitution have a synergistic impact, and vitamin A is no special case. Assuming that you as of recently have an iron inadequacy that brings about frailty - insufficient oxygen-transporting red platelets that abandons you ceaselessly tired a vitamin A insufficiency too will exacerbate it. Iron and vitamin A supplements taken together for frailty are more viable than either of these taken separately. When you don't have enough zinc in your eating methodology, the figure has a harder time proficiently utilizing vitamin A.
The main sign of a vitamin A inadequacy is debilitated vision especially 'night blindness the powerlessness to see well in faint light. Vitamin An is utilized to structure the shades required in the retina for vision, and without enough A, your eyes can't do their employment. Keep in mind when your mother used to let you know to consume carrots so you could see well? There's truth in that old home cure.
Is Beta Carotene The Safe Vitamin A?
March 21, 2014 02:29 AM
What is beta carotene
Beta Carotene is a capable pwerful antioxidant that is useful for the heart and circulatory. In the constitution, it is changed into Vitamin A for the support of solid skin, great vision, and a strong immune system. Vitamin An is fundamental for ordinary structure of epithelial cells that ensures the form from ecological defilement.
Does Coral Calcium Alkalize The Body?
March 19, 2014 07:59 PM
What is coral calcium
Coral Calcium is a salt of calcium inferred from fossilized coral reefs. Coral Calcium is discovered commonly installed in the dirt in Japan. Coral calcium is made principally out of the shells and skeletons of reef-building coral and tiny ocean life, for example, star sand that occupy the zone.
Benefits of coral calcium
Calcium is a mineral we essentially need to have consistently, to keep our bones, teeth and nails solid, and avoid osteoporosis as we get more established. Notwithstanding upholding solid bones, calcium is fundamental in the sound working of the circulatory and sensory systems. Calcium is likewise crucial for fitting blood thickening. Calcium is 35% of our physique's mineral cosmetics and our first mineral. Incorporate these key minerals to your eating methodology today. What's more not at all like other calcium supplements, coral calcium does have exceptional properties that make it worth determinedly acknowledging as a supplement to your day by day diet.
All about trace minerals.
March 18, 2014 10:26 AM
While much accentuation is put on the trace minerals that are discovered to be crucial to the human form, to be specific, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc, there are additionally follow minerals which help the figure to perform its normal schedules. Follow minerals are required by the constitution, yet just in little measurements. Moment measures of follow components can mean the distinction between poor and fitting health. A number of them perform distinctive, critical capacities which are needed by the constitution. In this article, we'll examine a portion of the diverse follow minerals that are of service to people.
Iodine is advantageous to the human figure because of the way that it serves to control advancement and usefulness in the thyroid organ. This is a capacity of most extreme criticalness, as the thyroid organ is answerable for to such an extent. The generation of vitality inside the human figure, fortified digestion system, discourse capability, and solid hair, skin, and teeth are all because of a legitimately working thyroid organ.
Copper is an alternate essential follow mineral. It has been discovered to be vital for legitimate assimilation of iron in the human form. It additionally works with the cell reinforcement Vitamin C to help structure elastin, which is a substance utilized within the muscles of the constitution. Fitting bone development, and also the best possible building of red platelets are likewise made conceivable because of copper.
Manganese, in itself, is capable cell reinforcement. Notwithstanding performing the capacities of a cancer prevention agent, manganese is answerable for fitting breakdown of amino acids and vitality generation. Vitamin B-1 and Vitamin E are likewise influenced by manganese, as it helps the form to metabolize them legitimately. Also, sex hormone creation is controlled by manganese.
While of service for all people, diabetics specifically profit from the best possible measurements of chromium. It helps insulin in the constitution to metabolize sugar, keeping glucose at a sensible level. Chromium is additionally answerable for serving to clean garbage out of our conduits, lessening cholesterol and triglycerides.
Potassium works in pair with sodium in regulation of the physique's waste procedures. It animates the kidneys to help free the assemblage of harmful waste. Heart rhythms might additionally be stabilized by getting the correct dose of potassium. It is likewise known to encourage send more oxygen to the mind, which can bring about clearer considering.
Selenium is an alternate follow mineral that has critical cancer prevention agent properties. Some therapeutic reviews have demonstrated that a fitting selenium admission may bring about a diminished shot of contracting bosom, lung, colon and prostate malignancy.
The trace minerals recorded above are simply a portion of the more applicable follow minerals. There are numerous distinctive follow minerals that your constitution requirements and it might take truly a long rundown to depict every one of them. To get all the minerals you need, make sure to consume your everyday necessities of products of the soil. This sustenance’s hold probably the most vitamin and mineral-rich mixes accessible, and are beneficial to consume, to boot!
What's So Special About Bentonite Clay?
March 09, 2014 10:46 PM
What is bentonite
Bentonite Clay is mined around Fort Benton, Wyoming, from whence it got its name. Really Bentonite is found in ample supply in the northwest of the United States around Wyoming and Montana. Bentonite has been utilized by Indians and locals for a long time to cure a mixture of maladies by detoxifying the form.
Bentonite is really simply regular earth from the beginning. It is 61% silica additionally holds 18% aluminum, and little measures of iron, sodium, and magnesium. It is basic, with a ph of 8.3 to 9.1.
Bentonite works inside by drawing in a mixed bag of toxic substances from the gastrointestinal tract. The Bentonite Clay has a negative charge while the toxins have a tendency to have a positive charge. Along these lines there is the fascination of the toxins to the dirt. When these are assimilated, the figure wipes out the earth and toxins and you are healthier
Protecting kids from Colds is a simple as Enhancing there immune system.
August 22, 2005 02:30 PM
Lax hygiene and parents who permit their children to attend school when they are sick are the main reasons that thousands of cases of colds and flu leapfrog from child to child each school year. Millions of school attendance days and adult work days are lost each year when schoolchildren get ill. In addition, schoolchildren can get and give a host of other illnesses, including strep throat, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), and impetigo. Sick children should stay home; a single child can easily infect 10 or more other children.
If a sick child sneezes on, drools on or touches an object, the germs can be picked up by others who touch that object. The most proven way to reduce this problem is basic hygiene. In one day-care study, kids caught fewer colds after they were taught to wash their hands regularly and the toys were disinfected three times a week. It is vital to teach your child to cover his mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing, and then to discard the tissue and wash his hands. Other ways to pick up germs are by petting a dog or a cat, handling dirty underwear, and using public restrooms. In one study, investigators added a mixture of bacteria and a virus to everyday objects at home and found that telephone receivers and kitchen faucets transferred enough organisms to the hands and then to the mouth to cause infections such as colds and diarrhea.
Hand washing is an important prevention measure, in terms of keeping healthy. The problem in some schools is that they make it difficult for kids to wash their hands. They don’t always have paper towels or adequate soap available. With all the things that are important to learn in school, one of the most important is washing your hands before eating and after going to the toilet. The purpose of school is to learn. And what’s more important to learn than good hygiene? Since regular hand washing is one of the best defenses against the spread of colds and gastrointestinal infections, teach your children to lather the hands with soap for at least 15 seconds, scrubbing between fingers, under fingernails and around the tops and palms of the hands. Teach them to dry their hands with a clean towel and to use the towel to turn off the faucet, open door handles, etc. You may also provide your child with sanitizing lotion so they can protect against disease when a bathroom is not close by.
When eating out or at a mass-prepared school lunch, first wash the hands. Avoid any raw food that doesn’t look washed or any item that has been implicated in a current outbreak of food poisoning. Eating raw fruits and vegetables at home where you can wash them may be a better choice. If you are unsure about the drinks served, have your child carry their own bottled water. The best way to fight back against these germs is to enhance your child’s immune system. Adequate nutrition is the backbone of health. Even marginal deficiencies of a single nutrient can profoundly impair the immune system. At least have your child take a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement every day. Eating sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, and orange juice all significantly reduced the body’s ability to have an effective immune system. These effects will start within less than 30 minutes and last for several hours. The white blood cells will not have the ability to gobble up those nasty bacteria the way they usually can.
Food is the largest challenge facing the immune system. When there is complete digestion, healthy bowel microflora, a healthy constitution, and minimal exposure to foods or elements that are toxic to the body, the immune system can do its job. Weaknesses in one or more of these areas can result in a weakened immune system. More than 50 percent of the immune system takes its signals from the digestive tract. It is one of the largest immune organs of the body that defends against the barrage of toxins ingested daily. Intestinal microflora also impact human health. The “friendly” bacteria living in us compete with the “not so friendly” germs and help us stay healthy.
The new U.S. food pyramid suggests we consume 5 servings of fresh vegetables daily and 3–4 servings of fresh fruits daily. Sounds easy enough. Yet, only 20 percent of the populations does this. It is also important to get adequate protein and fat in the diet. Water intake is vital as well. It’s best if the 6–10 glasses (depends on the age of the child) does not contain chlorine or fluoride. Dehydration may be a big factor in whether they stay healthy. By making even simple changes in your child’s diet and lifestyle, you might be amazed at how few illnesses she has this school year.
June 25, 2005 08:04 PM
Chitosan is not only very useful, it is also very safe. Chitosan has been used extensively in nummerous industrial, health, and food applications.66,71 Nevertheless, all substances when taken improperly or in gross excess can be detremental to our well-being. For example, water is normally safe when swallowed. On the other hand, breathing large amounts of water can be deadly. Similarly breathing air is relatively safe whereas intraveneous injections of air are usually fatal. To determine the relative safety of various foods, scientists run experiments to determine the food’s toxic level or LD50. Chitosan has been found to have an LD50 of over 16 grams/day/kg body weight in mice.122 Chitosan is a fiber which expands to form a gel in the acidic environment of the stomach. The problems encountered with extremely high doses of chitosan were caused by gastric dehydration and impaction due to the expansion of the fiber.123 To put these data in context, the authors compared Chitosan to common sugars stating “[I]t appears that chitosan is less toxic than these substances.”122 Mice are not men. For safety purposes data gathered in mice is divided by 12 to get the human equivalent.124 The relative LD50 in humans then would be 1.33 grams/day/kg. Given that an average person weighs 150 pounds or 70 kg, this means that the toxic amount for a person would be greater than 90 grams per day. Conservatively, one could feel very confident below the 10% level, or 9 grams per day. Clinical studies have used amounts in the 3-6 grams per day range with no adverse effects. As with any fiber, a person is well advised to drink plenty of water. Changing our diets affects our colon function. Constipation or diarrehea may occur in some persons depending on their individ-ual constitutions and on how well the Chitosan supplement was originally formulated. Even though Chitosan is not digestible by our enzymes, it can and is degraded by soil and water microorganisms. This makes Chitosan environmentally friendly. This was recently acknowledged by the US Environmental Protection Agency when it exempted Chitosan from tolerance level testing.68 Any breakdown of chitosan by our colon microflora would release D-glucoseamine which is itself a wonderfully beneficial nutrient for osteoarthritis sufferers.125 Because Chitosan can bind lipids and certain minerals, it is best to take essential fatty acid supplements, fat soluble vitamins and mineral supplements separate from Chitosan. Taking Chitosan with D- or L-ascorbic acid helps increase the amount of fat bound and decrease the loss of minerals. 77,126
Centering Your Heart
June 13, 2005 10:15 AM
Centering Your Heart by Lisa James Energy Times, January 4, 2004
The romantic view of the human heart conjures up vivid images: The gallant lover, the committed enthusiast, the wise sage. When the romantic philosophy speaks of the heart, it speaks of things that lie at the very center of what it means to be human.
Western medical science, though, views the heart as a biomechanical pump-marvelously engineered to be sure, but a physical device amenable to surgical and pharmaceutical tinkering.
Between romance and technology lies the Eastern path. Eastern medical traditions, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and India's Ayurveda, see the heart as a seat of energy that must be kept in right relationship with the rest of the body.
TCM: Yin, Yang and Qi
The two great polarities of yin and yang are always shifting and rebalancing, according to Chinese philosophy, in our bodies as in everything else. Yin is dark, inward, cold, passive and downward; yang is light, outward, warm, active and upward.
The energy that keeps us alive is called qi, or life force. Organs, including the heart, are seen as places where qi resides. Organs supply and restrain each other's qi, which flows along carefully mapped meridians, or channels. Disease occurs when disturbances in qi interrupt the flow of energy so that an organ experiences either a deficiency or excess of yin/yang.
According to Chinese precepts, disturbances in the heart affect the whole body. "The movement of the blood throughout the body, TCM circulation, is managed by multiple organs, which in turn interact with one another. A failure in any one part of this system can result in pathology," says Jonathan Simon, LAc, an acupuncture expert in private practice and at the Mind-Body Digestive Center, in New York.
"If there's a circulation issue, all the organ systems are going to be deprived of the nourishment supplied by the blood. The heart seems to have a dramatic effect on everything else in the body," says Ross Rosen, JD, LAc, CA, MSTOM, Dipl AC & CH (NCCAOM), of The Center for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine P.A. in Westfield, New Jersey.
Connecting the Dots
While Western medicine probes the heart's physical functioning, TCM searches for energy imbalances by looking for patterns in a person's complaints.
"The wrong approach, in my opinion, is to try to relieve a Western ailment before you have established the proper pattern," Simon notes. "For example, I once had a 20-year-old, slim patient who came to me complaining of hypertension. She had seen several other acupuncturists before she got to my clinic, all of whom had prescribed the number-one formula for hypertension in TCM. When I interviewed her, I discerned a very different pattern from the classic one for hypertension. I gave her the formula associated with her pattern, not her symptom, and she had great relief over the next three weeks. After consultation with her Western physician, she began to cut back on her medication, and is now off of her meds."
TCM emphasizes taking a thorough medical history and using a sophisticated pulse-taking technique called the shen hammer method. Rosen calls pulse "the blueprint of one's health."
As in conventional Western medicine, TCM sees diet as a major culprit in heart disease. "Poor diet will cause problems depending upon on the constitution of the person," explains Simon. "For example, if one eats an excess of greasy and spicy food, that may build up and generate excess heat in the body. That may manifest itself as someone with a quick temper, red face and high blood pressure. On the other hand, a vegetarian who eats only salads may have low energy, a sallow complexion and low blood pressure. I try to tell my patients to keep balance in their diets, but to avoid cold, raw and greasy foods."
TCM also sees unsettled emotions as a source of illness. Stress "creates stagnation in qi and in the blood, eventually," Rosen says. "When stagnation is long or severe, heat starts being produced. We say that heat goes into the blood and steams the body, and heat starts to dry out the vessels. This process winds up turning into atherosclerosis-it kind of vulcanizes the vessel wall. It deprives the vessel of its moisture, which deprives it of its elasticity. Blood pressure starts to increase."
Managing one's emotions and not overworking body or mind is key, says Rosen: "The heart houses the spirit, the shen. When we see people with imbalances in emotion, the spirit starts to become agitated; once the spirit becomes agitated, the whole heart system goes out of balance."
Signs of agitation include insomnia, anxiety and an inability to feel joy, along with chest pain and heart palpitations. TCM uses nutrition, herbs and acupuncture to bring the body back into balance.
Ayurveda: Constitutional Energies
Like TCM, Ayurveda sees health as a matter of balancing the subtle energies that power our bodies. In Ayurveda, these energies exist as three doshas, or basic constitutions:
* Vata is cold, dry, light, clear and astringent. The skin of vata individuals is generally dry, thin, dark and cool, with hair that's curly, dark and coarse. Vatas change their minds readily and crave warmth.
* Pitta is sharp, light, hot, oily and pungent. Pitta people tend to have skin that's soft, fair, warm and freckled, along with fine, fair hair. Quick-witted, pittas hold strong convictions. They prefer coolness, since they tend to perspire profusely.
* Kapha is cold, heavy, oily, slow and soft. Kapha skin is pale, cold and thick, and kapha hair, which is usually brown, is thick and lustrous. Stable and compassionate, kaphas don't like the cold.
Few people are one, pure dosha. Most contain varying levels of vata, pitta and kapha (abbreviated VPK), generally with one predominating.
Ayurveda views the heart as "governing emotions and circulating blood," according to Sophia Simon, MS, LAc, of the Karma Healing Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania. In Ayurveda "heart problems arise mainly due to improper diet and stressful lifestyles," which causes a "derangement of vata dosha. This leads to thickening of the arteries, resulting in angio-obstruction."
"Stress reduction is very important in heart disease," says Simon. "Meditation helps a lot with stress reduction, especially simple breathing exercises, yoga, etc." Some of Simon's recommendations have a familiar ring: Don't smoke, do exercise, eat a plant-based, low-fat diet. In addition, she says you should:
* Avoid coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine.
* Be loving and compassionate to all mankind.
* Do things in a casual way. Speak softly. Avoid anger, especially holding anger for a long time.
* Indulge in healthy, whole-hearted laughter.
In addition, Simon notes that garlic is an Ayurvedic herb "most useful for heart problems.
Keep your balance: In the great Eastern healing traditions, it is the key to keeping your heart healthy.
Energy Cycles - Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves
June 12, 2005 02:09 PM
Energy Cycles by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, August 2, 2003
Feeling stressed out and exhausted from an overburdened schedule? Regenerating your personal energy necessitates defusing stress. Stress and lack of energy don't just frazzle your nerves; they can leave you depressed, anxious and vulnerable to a long list of health problems.
According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, a psychiatrist at Emory University, Atlanta, when your brain overcharges on prolonged stress, your body pays a heavy, tiring price.
"If stress has effects on the brain and neurological function, then stress has effects on all parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, immune system and digestive system," says Dr. Bremner, author of Does Stress Damage the Brain? (Norton). "The long list of damaging effects can include heart disease, memory impairment, depression and even increased susceptibility to stroke and cancer."
A Good Night's Sleep
Although getting a good night's sleep is a basic part of lowering stress and boosting energy, many of us seem to be tossing and turning through an epidemic of insomnia. The fact that so many people appear to suffer from disturbed and unsatisfying sleep may signal not only a personal energy lack, but also a deeper health crisis developing on the horizon. Lack of sleep, along with stress, not only contributes to those lackluster afternoons of the blahs, but it can also derail your basic body rhythms, weaken your immune system and make you age quicker.
Researchers at the University of Chicago report that lack of sleep may deplete your get-up-and-go by upsetting basic metabolic functions and interfering with hormones. Pretty serious stuff: When people in this experiment cut back their sleep time to about four hours each night, their bodies behaved as if they were twenty years older and they started showing signs of developing diabetes. These effects happened in only a week of missing sleep (The Lancet, October 23, 1999).
The drastically reduced sleep schedule slowed the thyroid gland, reducing the production and action of thyroid hormones. As a result, metabolism slowed and the non-sleepers developed that awful sluggish feeling too many of us know and hate.
Stress from lack of sleep also coaxed the adrenal glands into releasing extra amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone whose purpose is to force the body into providing short-lived energy boosts. But after a while the body flames out, its ability to cope with daily demands drained even further.
"We found that the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging," says Eve Van Couter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We suspect that chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but could also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss."
And when are you are constantly short-changed of sleep, it builds up an accumulative effect. Particularly susceptible are busy parents, shift workers, menopausal women and college students.
One way to take back your energy from this metabolic madness is to get twelve hours of sleep a night for a week. But aside from hitting the snooze button a few hundred times, a possible antidote to this cortisol nightmare may be vitamin C.
Fight and Flight
The human body, which evolved before the advent of split-level houses and SUVs, was built to survive life-threatening, physical danger. When it encounters modern-day stress, such as traffic jams and credit card bills, it releases extra cortisol, heightening the body's immediate ability to run or fight. As a result of cortisol release, senses go on high alert, heart rate speeds up, blood flow to muscles increases, and the immune system mobilizes to deal with what it thinks is an imminent crisis.
However, unlike physical danger that rapidly resolves (either you get away from what's trying to harm you or it does you in), today's stress drags on and on (at least till the next exit on the expressway), and the cortisol in the body continues to circulate.
The long-range result of persistent cortisol is a drop in energy, rampant fatigue and lowered immunity. You feel constantly tired and you get sick more often. You may also gain weight.
But researchers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville have found that large doses of vitamin C "reduce...the levels of stress hormones in the blood and also reduce...other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen," according to P. Samuel Campbell, PhD (American Chemical Society, 1999). Dr. Campbell believes that our prehistoric ancestors probably consumed large amounts of vitamin C in a tropical diet rich in fruits. "If so, the physiological constitution we have inherited may require doses far larger than the present RDA (the amount the government recommends) to keep us healthy under varying environmental conditions, including stress."
Iron Out the Fatigue
If you are a premenopausal woman, a lack of iron may also be draining your body of energy. According to experts, as many as one of every five women who menstruate may suffer anemia caused by a lack of iron. This type of problem is also frequent in teenagers and during pregnancy. (But before you take iron supplements, talk to your health practitioner to make sure this is the source of your fatigue.)
"Women with heavy menstrual flow have the greatest risk (of anemia)," points out Susan Lark, MD, in Healing with Vitamins (Rodale). Dr. Lark recommends eating more iron-rich foods (like organic red meat) even if you are not anemic, since a mild iron deficiency can drag you down into the doldrums.
Vegetarians necessarily eat fewer iron-rich foods than do meat eaters. But if you take a vitamin C supplement when you consume such iron-rich vegetables as lima beans, pinto beans and spinach, your body can absorb more of the iron in these foods.
The Krebs Cycle: Keep the Wheel Turning
All of your cells make the energy that keeps you going. This process, a complicated chemical reaction called the Krebs cycle, transforms fatty acids and carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for cellular energy. Mitochondria, small structures in each cell, are the centers of this energy production.
Energy production requires oxygen. The more oxygen available to the cells, the more energy is produced. Deep breathing and moderate exercise are simple, quick ways to oxygenate the body and boost energy. That is why walking, jogging and other physical activity wakes up your brain and restores pep.
If you've been looking for ways to feel more energetic, take a deep breath and go for a long walk before you sit down to your rejuvenating lima beans and vitamin C. And another thing...take a pass on those late-night TV shows. Sleep is more important.
Iron: The Body's LifeBlood
June 10, 2005 10:29 PM
Iron: The Body's LifeBlood by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 16, 2004
Two billion people, including one in 10 American women, are lacking iron. Here's how veggies and other foods can supply you with enough of this vital mineral.
Back in the days of black and white television, a popular commercial cautioned viewers about the dangers of iron-poor blood. While those ads trumpeting the debilitating fatigue of iron deficiency have disappeared from our colorized video world, medical researchers now recognize that many of us, in fact, are hampered by an iron shortage. What those old ads missed: a lack of iron can slow you down mentally and physically even before it shows up in your blood.
A Woman's Dilemma: Hidden Deficiencies Experts estimate that one in 10 American women are low in iron but many haven't become so deficient that they are aware of their shortage. In other countries, up to eight in 10 women run short on iron. While researchers once believed that iron deficiency was only serious if it was drastic enough to cause anemia (what used to be called "tired blood"), studies now show that even mild deficiencies can compromise health.
Worldwide, public health experts believe that the lives of about 2 billion people are affected by iron deficiency. Most of these people are women, who lose blood on a monthly basis during their childbearing years. Men are generally not low in iron. Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells-particularly the creation of hemoglobin, the reddish pigment in these cells that enables them to deliver oxygen to muscles and other bodily tissues. If you are very low in iron, the resulting anemia leaves you feeling fatigued.
Your body stashes iron not only in your blood cells, but in your liver and other tissues as well. When you don't consume enough iron, first your liver stores decrease, then your tissue supplies disappear and, finally, your blood runs low and you develop anemia. Early on in the iron-depletion process, a low iron count won't make your daily activities more difficult. Cornell University researchers found, in experiments on women who were mildly depleted, that taking or not taking iron supplements had no effect on how these women felt while exercising.
" Supplementation makes no difference in exercise-training improvements in women with low iron storage who are not yet tissue-iron deficient or anemic," says Thomas Brownlie, one of the Cornell researchers.
Supplementing Your Supply
Even in the beginning stages of iron deficiency, however, experts still believe you should take supplements: an uncorrected iron shortage can mean serious problems lurk ahead (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 5/04). For that reason, the next time you visit your healthcare practitioner you should request a serum transferrin receptor concentration test, which can detect an early iron shortage. (Don't start taking iron supplements without consulting a knowledgeable medical professional.)
" It would be useful for women who test low for iron but who are not yet anemic to have this test," notes Cornell's Brownlie. "Women found to be tissue-iron deficient will find exercise exceedingly difficult without improving their iron status-which could be achieved by increasing consumption of iron-rich foods or iron supplementation."
If you let your iron levels run down so low that it shows up as anemia, not only will you be tired but your thinking may be fogged as well. " Millions of women who are mildly iron deficient must work harder than necessary when exercising or working physically, and they can't reap the benefits of endurance training very easily," says Jere Haas, PhD, one of the researchers involved in these studies and a nutrition professor at Cornell. "As a result, exercise is more difficult so these women are more apt to lose their motivation to exercise."
Meanwhile, researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina report that, as you age, anemia can make you more vulnerable to disabilities while weakening your muscles and draining your strength (Journal of the American Geriatric Society 5/04). That type of anemia may be linked to shortages of both iron and vitamin B12.
" Our results suggest that anemia is a risk factor for disability, poor physical function and low muscle strength-all which can threaten the independence of older adults," says Brenda Penninx, PhD, lead researcher. If you are a woman who exercises frequently, cuts calories to lose weight or eats a mostly vegetarian diet, watch out-you may be at high risk for iron depletion.
To steer clear of iron shortages, the Cornell researchers recommend eating lean red meat. If you are a vegetarian, taking vitamin C with meals improves your iron absorption from iron-rich foods like peanuts, whole wheat, brown rice and leafy green vegetables, as does using iron cookware.
When it comes to absorbing supplemental minerals like iron, not all minerals may be created equal. In particular, minerals that are in chelated form are generally believed to be absorbed more efficiently in your digestive system. The word "chelate" comes from the Greek word for claw. Chelated minerals are chemically implanted into proteins known as peptides. This bound molecular structure mirrors the way minerals are contained in natural whole foods, which have been found to contain their own natural chelates.
Chelated minerals are more well-suited to your digestive tract. A key advantage of chelated formulations is their stability after you swallow them. Many other forms of supplemental minerals-which are often combined with inorganic salts or organic acids-may be broken down prematurely in the digestive tract, leading to poor absorption and a stomachache.
Chelates, however, maintain their structure sufficiently to reach the spot in the digestive tract where they are most efficiently taken into the bloodstream. Once there, the body's digestive enzymes dismember the proteins and convert the minerals into absorbable form.
Getting enough iron and other minerals is not that difficult a task-it's just one that is too often overlooked. But if you pride yourself on your iron will or iron constitution, or just seek to iron out a few of the kinks in your health, you may need to significantly pump up your iron.