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Vitamins & Minerals


  • 75% Of People Are Deficient In Vitamin D! Are You?

     

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    It is not unusual to start feeling the lows during our long winter months.  Even though it has not been as cold as other years, the lack of sunlight can definitely be a cause for depression, low immune system, and in general, an overall sense of aches, pains and malaise.

    With lack of sunlight the one vitamin that gets the most affected is our vitamin D levels.

    If there is one vitamin that you need to take during the winter months, it is Vitamin D.  Vitamin D works as an anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and even as an anti-cancer agent.  It is also known to boost the immune system to fight infections, and help boost brain health. 

    Consider the following facts:

    -        Topical sunscreens block vitamin D production by 97-100%.

    -        The risk of having a heart attack is twice as high if your levels of Vitamin D are low

    -        There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of type 1 diabetes

    -        Medications such as Metformin (for diabetes) work only 13% of the time if your vitamin D levels are low vs 60% of the time if you have adequate levels of Vitamin D

    -        We can decrease the progression of osteoarthritis with adequate levels of vitamin D

    -        Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are more severe if your vitamin D is low

    -        If your vitamin D levels are low, then you will have higher risk of dying of cancer!!

    So do you think we need to measure vitamin D levels? Absolutely!!!

     Recent studies show that in order to receive the best levels of protection our blood vitamin D levels should be about 120-200 nmol/l.  I personally don’t like to recommend cod liver oil as a vitamin D supplement because it also contain Vitamin A and too much vitamin A taken for long periods of time can cause health problems.  I prefer to recommend a liquid emulsified vitamin D which you can easily find in your local health food store.

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  • How to Choose Probiotic Supplements

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    Finding the right type of probiotic for your body is very important. But unfortunately it is not as easy as you want it to be. There is a large range of probiotics, all with different ingredients and different things they do for your body. To find the right probiotic, follow these steps and tips:

    Read the Label

    It is important to read the probiotic label so you know exactly what types of probiotics are in the product. All labels should include:

    * Multi-Strain: Many labels only include the species, but the different strains provide different benefits.  Since most people don’t know exactly what strain of the good bacteria you are missing, it is safest to choose a probiotic that is multi-strain to increase your chances of benefiting from the product.

    * Number of organisms in a single dose: an adequate therapeutic dose is anywhere between 50 to 100 billion bacteria.  If you choose a probiotic that only provides you about 2 billion bacteria, chances are you are not going to feel a big difference from taking the product.  It is best when the product specifies the guaranteed number of organisms at the time of production and the minimum number of organisms guaranteed at the time of expiration.

    * Storage information. The label needs to tell you the best storage for the probiotics. Always keep your probiotics away from heat and moisture. Most probiotics are not very stable and need to be refrigerated.  A good quality probiotic can be shelf stable but without being irradiated either. The shelf stable probiotics are an excellent choice for travellers.

    * Delayed Release capsules ensure that the bacteria can survive through the acidity in your stomach and be able to reach your colon.  The main benefit that we get from the good bacteria is in our colon.  If you get a regular capsuled probiotic, you run the risk of killing most of the bacteria in your stomach acid.  Choose a delayed release one!

    * Dairy free and gluten free option.  The regular probiotics are usually cultured in dairy.  If you are the type of person to suffer from digestive tract problem, you will probably benefit from also avoiding dairy.  Hypoallergenic probiotics are cultured in other means other than dairy.  Make sure your probiotic is dairy and gluten free.

    I recommend Wise XS Probiotic by Wise Vitality. (www.wisevitality.com) It is the one that has given the most benefit to my patients. 

     

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  • Choosing a good probiotic

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    Probiotics help with our immune systems and our digestive systems. They will help with any yeast infections you may have and any digestive problems you have come across. Look for these things in a probiotic:

    * Find a probiotic with multiple strains of bacteria. This is because the gut contains 30-40 strains. The more strains, the happier and healthier you will be.

    Here is a list of different health conditions that probiotics can help with:

    * If you are traveling, take a multi strain probiotic a couple of weeks before your trip. Taking this will help prevent traveler’s diarrhea. Many people get traveller’s diarrhea by digesting food or water that has been infected with bacteria.  It is also a good idea to take your probiotics with you and take it during your trip.  Of course, you will have to choose one that is shelf stable and therefore ok to keep outside of the fridge.

    * If you are dairy intolerant, you should take a probiotic that is dairy-free which means that the bacteria has been culture in something other than dairy.

    Feed and Treat Your Gut Properly

    Having the right probiotics is important for your gut, but now you have to keep it healthy. The bacteria in your colon thrive on non-digestible fibers. This is also known as prebiotics. Feed the bacteria two-four daily servings of vegetables such as garlic, artichokes, green leafy salads etc  to keep your gut happy and healthy.

    Choosing the right probiotic for your body is very important. Probiotics have been known to prevent illnesses. This is one of the reasons why finding the right probiotic is so important. Doing some research on the perfect probiotic for you ensures that you get a good quality product.

     

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  • Adding Probiotics to Your Lifestyle

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    Have you thought about adding probiotics to your diet? You create a good and healthy lifestyle for yourself when you add probiotics to your life. Probiotics keep your digestive and immune systems healthy.

    Here are some things that probiotics can do for you:

    1. Help your urinary tract health - To help your urinary tract system working properly, the intake of probiotics is important. Probiotics will help prevent any bacteria from invading and damaging your urinary tract system. 

    Getting a urinary tract infection can be painful and uncomfortable. Medical Doctors will prescribe antibiotics but there is always a chance that it will return. By adding probiotics to your diet, you can stop it from recurring. Not only do the probiotics ward off any infections, they also help the system to maintain the good bacteria.

    2. Women get many rewards from taking probiotics - Sometimes a woman’s normal bacterial flora may get off balance. This can lead to an increase in urinary tract infections described above as well as vaginal issues. When not taking a wholesome amount of probiotics, women can experience yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.

    3. Boost of your immune system - Consuming foods rich in probiotics can help your body to maintain a healthy intestinal foundation. Enthused immune responses have been shown with the incorporation of probiotics in your everyday lifestyle and diet.

    5. Fight obesity - When wanting to lose weight, you should add probiotics to your diet. This is because by adding probiotics, you can help boost your usual bodily functions that can help to stimulate weight loss naturally.

    6. Digestive health - This is one of the greatest advantages of taking probiotics. Antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria. But when probiotics are taken daily, the amount of good bacteria in your body increases. Having healthy bacteria in your body is needed to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Lack of good bacteria in your body can result in diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. With the use of probiotics, chronic issues like irritable bowel syndrome can be taken care of.

    Adding probiotics into your lifestyle makes your body healthier and helps it function more efficiently. Consumption of probiotics has been shown to help relieve symptoms for many sicknesses. They have also helped to make people feel better and make their systems work better.

    Try Wise XS Probiotic! (www.wisevitality.com) This multi strain, high strength and delayed release probiotic is one of the best one in the market because it is delivered directly to your colon where we need them the most.  It is also shelf stable so you don’t have to keep it in the fridge – great for travellers!

     

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  • Nutritional Supplements to Help Prevent Illness and DiseaseĀ 

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    Often times, we find ourselves running to the drug store or the all-night clinic so that we can feel better after catching a cold, or worse yet, the flu. More often than not, we are all so busy that there is no time for preventative maintenance when it comes to our health.

    However, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure when it comes to preventing illness and disease. If you invest a little time and a little bit of money into preventative medicine and techniques, chances are that you will be spending less time and money at the doctor’s office and clinic down the road. 

    There are many ways to prevent illness and disease: 

    * Proper nutrition

    * Vitamins and supplements

    * Good hygiene

    * Homeopathic remedies

    One of the best ways to prevent illness and disease, however, is in the nutritional supplements you take. Truth be told, many individuals are so busy that cooking, exercising, and even sometimes washing your hands an extra time or two throughout the day are all a struggle.

    A dietary supplement is meant to enhance your nutritional value, not replace it. The most common form of dietary supplement is a multivitamin and mineral supplement.  Traditionally, many individuals take more Vitamin C during the winter to prevent colds and flu, and more Vitamin D due to lack of adequate sunshine. A multi-vitamin with minerals is commonly taken all year round to help prevent disease and keep the body’s immune system running optimally.   A multivitamin and mineral gives you a little bit of everything but not a whole lot of anything to worry about toxicity levels.  It will offer you the needed cofactors for your cells to carry out necessary enzymatic activity for energy production and as well as general well being.

    Some people even rely on herbal remedies to prevent illness and disease. Remedies such as Echinacea and Astragalus can help you with your immune system.  While milk thistle and burdock can help to keep you liver healthy.

    As always, if you are not sure of what supplement to take or if you are concerned about a particular illness, perhaps one that is hereditary, speak to your naturopathic doctor and find out which supplements he or she would recommend for that particular illness or disease.

    Read more »

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