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Benefits of Calcium and Magnesium
December 27, 2012 01:51 PM
Two important nutrients that are common deficiencies in the diet are calcium and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral for bone density, blood clotting, muscle contractions, and many other smaller mechanisms essential for human life. Magnesium has similar actions to calcium in the body. It is also found in the bones and is important also for protein synthesis and as a co-factor in the body's essential enzymatic reactions. These two nutrients work together and are commonly seen combined in multivitamins and other supplements.
Calcium and magnesium are important nutrients for every person, but especially for women and children who are still growing. Maintaining an adequate intake of these two nutrients can be challenging, especially if a person is lactose intolerant. This is why many people turn to dietary supplements. It's fairly common to see calcium and magnesium in the same supplement and for anyone who is concerned about their dietary intake, supplements can be a good idea.
While these two nutrients are essential for bone density and overall health, many people who take supplements may not be taking the right kind. Some types of magnesium and calcium supplements cannot be absorbed by the body and will instead pass through the digestive system without entering the bloodstream.
Most health professionals recommend calcium and magnesium aspOrotates. This is a unique mixture of calcium and magnesium with aspartic and citric acid as well as a whey protein concentrate that contains orotic acid. The acids in the supplement work to break down the calcium and magnesium partially, contributing to a higher digestion and absorption rate in the body.
These are some of the health benefits of these two nutrients and why it is so important to maintain adequate stores of them in the body. If taking a supplement, be sure to take calcium and magnesium aspOrotates in order to absorb these nutrients.
How can I Tell if I am Magnesium Deficient?
February 09, 2011 01:25 PM
Magnesium The Essential Mineral
Magnesium is a dietary mineral that has established nutritional values in most countries. The presence of magnesium inside the human body involves many different chemical reactions, assisting more than 300 enzymes in their functional roles. That’s why we need to meet the daily recommended allowances for this dietary element, which has been calculated by the scientific community to supply the body with amounts adequate to support body functions.
An Essential Mineral
Not all enzymes are capable of producing the effects that they are programmed for on their own, and enzymes identified to rely on the presence of magnesium can be traced in almost all metabolic pathways. Molecules that comprise the structural units of RNA and DNA are extensively used as a source of energy of all cells, such as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. When enzymes utilize ATP for energy, they require another molecule that secures their binding to ATP, which is magnesium. In addition, ATP being the main source of energy that powers the functional roles of cells more often than not necessitates that it be bound to a magnesium ion to be fully activated.
Magnesium is ubiquitous in nature, and green leafy vegetables are ideal sources of this dietary element as well as nuts, wheat, seafood, and meat. In spite of that, it has been reported that in the US alone more than 60 per cent of the population does not meet the recommended daily intake for magnesium. The availability of magnesium in our diet does not ensure absorption of this essential mineral, and a significant fraction is in fact excreted along with other waste products in the urine or feces. Interestingly, diet high in protein or fat actually interferes with the absorption of magnesium.
A general feeling of malaise must not be taken lightly, for it is key indicator of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is indispensable at the cellular level, and insufficient amounts of this element will certainly affect the way you feel, bringing about the perception of fatigue. If you feel weak all the time for no known reason, then it is recommendable to visit your doctor and find out if you have an alarming case of magnesium deficiency.
Keep in mind that high concentrations of protein and fat in the foods that you eat contribute to malabsorption of magnesium, and subsequently malnutrition. Certain medical conditions are known to deplete your reserves of elemental magnesium present in your body, notably diabetes mellitus. Drugs and medications also washes away the magnesium found in your diet and your body especially osmotic diuretics, cisplatin, ciclosporin, amphetamines, and possibly proton pump inhibitors.
Continued exposure to stress and excessive intake of alcohol both result in the unhealthy drop of magnesium levels in the blood. While there are environmental settings that we may not be able to alter, we can certainly control what we ingest. Supplementation is the only surefire remedy for magnesium deficiency, but the best way to combat whatever symptoms you are experiencing is to seek medical advice.
It is Essential You Get Your Magnesium Daily!
Constipated? Herbs can Help With Constipation!
January 28, 2011 11:58 AM
Sometimes feeling constipated can get in the way of our activities. It can easily be prevented, but our day-to-day routine may not allow us to do so, inasmuch as diet and inactivity both contribute to the common incidence of constipation. Its chronicity could damage our productivity apart from the fact that bowel movement characteristic of constipation can be a real pain. Herbal laxatives that alleviate the unwanted sensation of recurring constipation have been available since time immemorial.
Over a tenth of the worldwide population has been afflicted with constipation, and one may experience it at least once in a lifetime. In the US alone it is the most common reason for digestion-related visits to the doctor, accounting for up to 3 per cent of the total pediatric complaints. Chronic constipation is more widespread among women and children, and becomes a more frequent health problem as we age. While it is not a disease in itself, it may be a symptom of another gastrointestinal ailment, and thus knowing its underlying causes helps in doing away with it for good.
Many different factors give rise to primary constipation, the type most prevalent among adults. Symptoms ongoing for over 6 months is in general associated with lifestyle factors such as diet high in protein but essentially devoid of fiber. High consumptions of meat products translate to increased workload for your digestive tract, and countless patients have reported elevated levels of protein in their diets while constipated.
Dietary fiber has been identified as a substance that aid digestion in that it readily changes into watery slurry, resulting in the formation of stools that induce easy defecation. In fact, fiber is directly involved in preventing constipation by promoting the health of the gastrointestinal tract. The absence of fiber in the diet for long periods of time leads to the slow passage of foods in the alimentary canal.
If you are constipated at very short intervals such as to feel irregularity of bowel movement in a week, then you should act on it as soon as possible. Holding off defecation does lead to constipation. Your gut signals your brain when to release the fecal matter, and if you don’t respond to what your body tells you, the fecal matter turns into an impacted mass that may obstruct defecation.
The use of herbal laxatives eases defecation. One of the functions of the colon is to absorb water from waste products, but certain herbs like aloe lax, rhubarb, and senna display osmotic properties, that is, they attract water present in the alimentary canal down to the colon. The resulting watery environment softens the hardened stool trapped in the colon and promotes motility inside the bowels.
Also, herbal laxatives contain chemical compounds that stimulate the intestinal walls to move the fecal matter, resulting in the evacuation of fecal matter. That being said, it is imperative that you read what the label says on over-the-counter laxatives and strictly follow the recommended dosages to avoid undesirable effects that these compounds may bring.
If you want to avoid herbs, a double serving of magnesium could do the trick as well. if you get enough fiber in the diet and still experience constipation, you should increase your water intake. Lack or water is also the reason for constipation. Your alternative is a good herbal laxative.
Remember to never stay on herbal laxatives long term, short term use of not more than 2 weeks to prevent dependency.
A Good Vitamin Plan Is Essential To a Health Child To Help Fight ADHD
December 21, 2010 06:19 PM
Have you known any child who is having difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity? This child is probably experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role.
Like many other health conditions, ADHD probably is a result of a combination of factors. There has been no cure for ADHD yet palliative management is promising in reducing symptoms of ADHD and improving the child’s well being and optimal functioning. These include medications, psychotherapy, training and education or a combination of these managements. In this article, we will be focusing on the natural vitamins that can help fight the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms which include:
1. Choline: Choline is a vital precursor to the production of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine and Acetylcholine. These nervous system chemicals are helpful in supporting concentration, alertness, and memory.
2. Zinc: Studies show that children in ADHD categories have lower levels of zinc and clincal studies reveal that those children who supplemented with extra zinc along with traditional ADHD medications have reported improvement of signs and symptoms most especially hyperactivity and impulsivity. Foods high in zinc include Seafood, oysters, salmon, crabmeat, and, red meat like beef, lamb and pork, poultry such as turkey and chicken, dairy products, nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
3. Fish oil: Most Oily Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids With DHA. These chemicals can improve mental skills and enhance the child’s ability to organize activities. Possible cause for the low fish oil status of the ADHD children may be impaired conversion of the fatty acid precursors namely Linolenic Acid and alpha-linolenic acid to their longer and more highly unsaturated products, EPA and DHA, which are fish oil fats. Fish high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, butternuts and soybeans.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium can have a calming effect. The best thing about magnesium is that it is abundantly found in many foods. Low dietary magnesium levels could lead to anxiety, irritability, and/or restlessness. This mineral can also play a role in sugar metabolism, which is important when wanting to stabilizing moods and concentration. Magnesium, a calming mineral, can be found in foods like nuts, black beans, peas, seeds and ready-to-eat whole grain cereals.
5. Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 is needed for normal mental development and is important in the synthesis of brain chemicals including dopamine , serotonin, and norepinephrine. A B-6 deficiency has symptoms of inability to concentrate, irritability, and short-term memory loss. Regular consumption of vitamin B-6 could help reduce behavioral issues in a ADHD child. Good sources of B vitamins are milk, fish, eggs, yeast, green-leafy vegetables and cereals. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and can improve our mood.
These are some of the natural vitamins that we find in our food. A good multiple vitamin supplements with iron can be safe and effective.
If you Suspect your child has ADHD, whats stopping you from getting him or her on a supplement plan today?
Which Calcium is Best?
October 17, 2006 03:52 PM
Customers walking into a health food store today are faced with a vast array of calcium supplements. They might ask: which one should I pick? Which one is best? Not easy questions to answer. All calcium forms will accomplish the same task: providing your body with a nutrient that it needs to build healthy bones and teeth; however, which form of calcium has the features that you want in a calcium supplement? Looking at shelves of calcium products is kind of like shopping for a car; there are many makes and many models—some are basic and others are more sophisticated.
Fortunately, there are many forms of calcium to satisfy your needs. Like the car lot, a health food store offers many options; therefore, you have to select a calcium product that consumers will feel confident in taking regularly and that will provide the most benefit.
Some consumers have done research and will come armed with information. They have already made choices based on advertising, word-of-mouth or an article they have read. They already know the form of calcium they want, be it a “Ferrari” or a “Ford.” If the client doesn’t have a specific preference: asking these basic questions will help in the selection process:
1. Do you prefer tablets, capsules, softgels, liquid or powder?
2. Do you have high or low stomach acid?
3. Do you have absorption issues?
What is calcium?
Calcium (Ca) is one of the most important minerals found in our bones and teeth—99 percent of body calcium is found there. But the calcium molecule does not like to travel alone and, in its more basic state, it comes bounded to carbon (C), Oxygen (O), and/or hydrogen (H) molecules or in more complex form, it is bonded to organic or amino acids that act as stabilizing carriers. On most labels, the amount of calcium listed actually indicates the pure or elemental calcium because it is that amount of the calcium that is deemed important to our daily supplementation, not the complex of the materials with which it is bonded.
Where does calcium come from?
Other than the calcium found in bone, the only natural form of calcium found in nature is calcium carbonate, a calcium molecule bonded to one molecule of carbon and three molecules of oxygen (CaCO3). One of the most common minerals on the face of the earth, calcium carbonate is called calcite, aragonite or vaterite by geologists. In its geological form, it constitutes approximately four percent, by weight, or the earth’s crust.
Commercial sources of calcium carbonate used to make supplements are: limestone, dolomite, oyster cell, egg shell, coral and sea water (have you ever seen that white deposit left by hard water? That’s mostly calcium carbonate). Calcium carbonate is the starting material for all other forms of calcium supplements. From this starting material, calcium can be reduced to more concentrated forms, such as oxide or hydroxide or it can be chelated (bonded) to organic acids and amino acids to help support enhanced absorption.
Lets look more closely at the different forms of calcium that are available as supplements.
Calcium Oxide (CaO): this form is 71 percent elemental calcium and is also called “lime” commercially. This is one of the oldest and most inexpensive forms of calcium used in a variety of commercial applications and it is occasionally used in supplements where space and price are a factor. It sometimes can be found in inexpensive mass market calcium/mineral combinations or multivitamin/mineral products and in a unique algal calcium from Japan. Unfortunately, CaO is a strong alkali that may cause stomach distress, which is why it isn’t often used in health food supplements.
Calcium Hydroxide (CaHO): at 54 percent elemental calcium, it is the next highest source of elemental calcium and is also known commercially as “slaked lime.” It is used where space is an issue. Although it is also a strong alkali, it is more stable than calcium oxide. It is most often used as a component of multi-mineral formulations or in addition to other forms of calcium (i.e., calcium citrate) to provide potency where space is an issue. It is not often used as a single ingredient in health food supplementation. This is for people who want a high dosage of calcium from a minimum amount of pills in multi-mineral formulas.
Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3): at 40 percent elemental calcium, it is the most widely used form of calcium in single ingredient calcium supplements as well as combination supplements. Inexpensive and an abundant source of elemental calcium, it is the only form of calcium found in nature outside of bone. It is the primary form of calcium used in the mass market and in antacid products. This is for people who have high stomach acid and who need a buffering type of calcium. Also for people who want a high dose of calcium in a minimum amount of pills.
Calcium Citrate: at 21 percent elemental calcium, it is one of the most popular forms of calcium supplements in the health food market as well as the mass market. This calcium salt does not lower stomach acid as much as calcium carbonate. This calcium salt is usually recommended for people who have low stomach acid, have had stomach surgery or who need a form of calcium that will not lower their stomach acid further.
Calcium Gluconate and Lactate: these two forms of calcium are high soluble. Since the amount of elemental calcium is much lower (9 percent and 13 percent respectively), they are used more often in powder form and mixed with liquids or food. When mixed in a beverage, the calcium is already dissolved and is ready to be absorbed. This is the best calcium salt for people who have overactive bowels, who have trouble swallowing pills or who don’t like the taste of pre-formed liquid calcium supplements. These calcium powders can be mixed in juices or smoothies or added to food as they are virtually tasteless.
Calcium Orotate and AspOrotate: In the mid 20th century, Dr. Hans Nieper, a German scientist, advanced a theory that orotic and aspartic salt forms of calcium are transported directly to cell membranes for better absorption. The Solaray brand developed an aspOrotate formula, which combines three organic acids: aspartic acid (-Asp), orotic acid (-oro) and citric acid (-tate) into one product. The aspOrotate formula has become one of the most popular calcium formulas and is exclusive to the Solaray brand. This product is for customers who appreciate the idea of combining the enhanced absorbability of three organic acids into one. Aspartate and citrate are also part of the krebs (energy) cycle and are natural to the body’s metabolic systems and, according to Neiper, calcium Orotate and Aspartate are mineral transporters that enter into the cells to facilitate enzymatic actions rather than being extra-cellular. For people who believe that intracellular calcium is of importance, calcium Orotate and aspOrotate may be good choice.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite: this is another “natural form of calcium usually as a mineral ash form bovine source bone. Bone meal is also a form of calcium from bovine bone. These forms of animal derived calcium are for customers who want a source that is closest to their own bone matrix. Not for vegetarians.
Calcium Amino Acid Chelates (*HVP): this form is calcium carbonate bonded (Chelated) to a form of amino acid complex such as whole rice concentrate or other grain source. This form is for customers who want the additional bioavailability of amino acids.
Calcium AEP: Another form of calcium endorsed by Dr. Hans Nieper who theorized that calcium would cross the cell membranes more readily when it was combined with phosphatidyl ethanolamine or Amino Ethanol Phosphate (AEP), a nutrient found in nerve sheaths. This highly specialized form is for very educated customers who are proponets of Hans Niepers theory.
So, which form is best?
Calcium, like cars, comes in a variety of forms. Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many choices? The point is, there is no best one, there are only individual choices. Although we have our favorites, taking a calcium supplement, regardless of which one it is, should:
Our primary concern when choosing a calcium supplement should be to provide our body with the right amount of calcium daily so that our skeleton and teeth can maintain proper mineralization and strength as the cells continuously break down and rebuild. The type of calcium complex we prefer is entirely up to us.
*HVP = Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein