The supplement aisle of any supermarket or natural grocery store can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of products on the shelf, all claiming different benefits. Some are labeled with a letter of the alphabet, others are named after a tree root, and some seem like they belong on the spice aisle.
With an industry so big and so confusing, it’s alarming that there are still no strict regulations for these over the counter products. This has been an on going health frustration, leading doctors and legislators to speak out.
In 1994, President Clinton signed the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This placed dietary supplements as a subcategory of food. Therefore supplements can go to market without submitting proof of safety or efficacy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 17 years later, this law remains despite the stories of harm and the urging of physicians for change.
Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food safety. Denmark’s equivalent to that is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, also known as the DVFA. Stateside, we tend to think of extra vitamins as a positive thing but in Denmark, vitamin fortified food is a diet-don’t. The DVFA has made it clear that their stance on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals is one of suspicion and concern.
The theory held within the DVFA is that a properly balanced diet negates the necessity for supplementing with extra vitamins. In fact, they believe so strongly in the dangers of vitamin and mineral overdose that fortified foods must first be approved through a pricey application process. Foods found to contain what the DVFA classifies as dangerous levels of fortification are not granted approval.
Among the products recently pulled from the shelves of a small Copenhagen store is Ovaltine. At my home, we use Ovaltine as a chocolate milk treat because it’s nutrient enriched- I feel a lot better about that decision as opposed to pouring a giant glob of chocolate flavored syrup in to my son’s cup. What strikes me as particularly odd is that Ovaltine hasn’t yet been granted shelf-space and yet Red Bull (with its copious amounts of both vitamins and caffeine) has, according to the New York Times.
Bariatric weight loss surgery is on the rise every year in America. Between 200,000 and 250,000 adults receive bariatric surgery annually. A smaller statistic that seems to carry more weight is the fact that about 1,000 American teenagers received some sort of weight loss surgery last year and the number is increasing every day.
The most common types of bariactric procedures are gastric bypass, gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy, and all involve surgery which is very risky, especially for teenagers.
While some of the risks for post-op teenagers come from the surgery itself, other risks come from the ability of the patient to follow rules. Since the procedures limit the amount of food one can eat, malnutrition is a very serious threat, made worse for teenagers who are still developing and need those nutrients for proper growth. Because of the risk of malnutrition, most patients are required to be on a strict vitamin regimen for the rest of their lives to ensure the body receives the vital elements it can no longer obtain from food.
Often the focus of crude jokes, PMS is an all too real scourge for many women. PMS stands for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and refers to the wide range of feelings and symptoms that many women experience in the two weeks leading up to the beginning of their menstrual cycle. Many women report feeling out of sorts, easily frustrated and overwhelmed. Often food cravings for salty, sweet or chocolate foods, are reported. In a few rare cases, women have even used the hormonal swings of PMS to avoid prosecution for crime.
Many women turn to medications, such as antidepressants, to minimize the mood swings and unpleasant feelings of PMS. Zoloft is one drug that has been cleared by the FDA for treatment of PMS symptoms, but recent studies have shown that there is relief to be found in natural sources. (more…)
If you’re faithfully taking your daily multi-vitamin, you should be proud of yourself. You’re doing a good thing for your body and your overall health, right? Unfortunately, you may not be helping yourself as much as you think.
A recent MSNBC article reported that many of the vitamins and supplements on the shelf are not as nutritious as they claim and, in some cases, they are more potent than they claim.
The FDA has strict guidelines and regulations for prescription drugs, however there is not process for regulating vitamins and supplements. The only testing on these products is done independently. ConsumerLab.com and its researchers conducted a test on 38 multi-vitamins and published their findings this week. The tests concluded that eight products contained too few of the specific nutrients, two contained more nutrients than the label stated, and three simply had improper labeling.
By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
I am regularly asked which supplements are safe and helpful for weight loss. While I maintain that healthy eating and exercise are essential for weight loss, there are some supplements that can help.
Here are my Top 8 Safe Weight Loss Supplements:
1. A high-quality full-spectrum digestive enzyme formula that includes amylase, lipase, and protease, among other enzymes, is also beneficial. Take 1 to 3 enzyme capsules or tablets with every meal to help your body break down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your food into the natural sugars, essential fatty acids, and amino acids needed for optimal digestion and healing.
2. Other enzymes that aid weight loss include: lipase, nattokinase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD), or a single product that includes some or all of these enzymes. Start with 1 capsule or tablet of your chosen enzyme(s) on an empty stomach 20 minutes before or at least 1 hour after meals, three times daily. You can gradually increase that amount to 3 capsules or tablets at a time, three times daily, or more with the guidance of a nutritional medicine practitioner who is experienced in systemic enzyme therapy. (more…)
Water is boring. Why drink flavorless H20 when your tongue can be excited by bubbles or, well, flavor?
Unfortunately, with that flavor everyone craves usually comes a lot of excess calories and sugars, and despite the fact they come in liquid form, flavored beverages like tea and soda (even diet soda, which people seem to think because it is calorie free, it is an acceptable substitute for water) can dehydrate you rather than re-hydrate you.
Neuro has heard the plight of the under-hydrated adult craving flavor without junk, and offer a large array of tasty, hydrating waters that focus on every area of your health.
Not sleeping well? You’re covered. Libido needing a boost? Neuro’s got the stuff. Looking to drop a few pounds? You got it.
By Jessie Gorges and Kelsey Murray
Forget the Peeps and chocolate bunnies; get your children, significant other and family members something healthy this year for Easter.
According to Dr. Kavey on WebMD.com, too much sugar can be a problem for children because it can lead children into lifelong obesity. “The reason that we think of it as a problem is because of the big rise in obesity in childhood, and that rise has occurred over the same time period that there’s been a major increase in the amount of simple sugar that children consume.”
Check out these healthy Easter basket treats with little to no sugar that everyone is sure to love.
Punflay specializes in creating apps for the iPhone and iPad that are aimed at kids. One of their newest apps is an interactive storybook for the iPad called The Vitamin Adventures of Don and Flip, which teaches children about different vitamins. This app is appropriate for kids from kindergarten to third grade.
With childhood obesity on the rise, it seems more important than ever to find fun ways to teach children about healthy eating. This app takes a crack at this challenge. The story follows Don and Flip and they intact with the fellow inhabitants of GoGoo Island and learn about the vitamins in different foods. Each food they encounter comes with a quick game, followed by a description of that vitamin. Kids will also learn what foods contain each vitamin, and the list is unfalteringly healthy.
Most health and fitness advice is full of don’ts: Don’t eat after 7, don’t eat fast food, don’t enjoy anything you eat, ever again. That negative connotation is why people view fitness and weight loss as a punishment, or something to be white-knuckled through.
Lasting change is made when you build a habit- and habits are made by systematically DOING something repeatedly until it becomes ingrained. Depriving yourself will not build habits, being proactive will.
So instead of pummeling you with more “don’ts” to make you feel like a failure, here are 50 things you can DO, today, that will improve your health. Pick one a day to try out, or choose one and repeat it everyday until it becomes a habit, but either way, these little “dos” will boost your health the second you do them.