Posts Tagged ‘vitamins/ supplements’

The warmer months are here. Are you knowledgeable enough about your summertime vitamins to ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need once the temperature starts to rise?

Let’s test your know-how and get you as ready as possible nutritionally speaking for the summertime scenarios that are about to come your way.

Q. Insects and mosquitoes are a problem in the summer. The more time you spend outside camping, hiking, picnicking and playing sports the more of a problem it can be. Which vitamin when taken by mouth is an effective insect repellent? Is it vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin D or vitamin K?

A. If you guessed vitamin D because it is the sunshine vitamin then you made a good guess but the correct answer is vitamin B1. If you consume enough of vitamin B1 then the insects better beware when you come around!

Q. To prevent sunburn and/or to ease the discomfort of it if it happens to you you should  consume more dark colored berries such as blueberries, vitamin C and bioflavonoids, vitamin A or beta-carotene  or omega-3 from fish oil (or from flax seed oil)?

A. The answer may surprise you – it is all of them. Every one of these healthy items is important and should be something you take in more of when the weather is hot.

Q. If you bruise easily then you need to add which nutritional supplement to your regular diet? Is it vitamin C? Or could it be vitamin K which is often found in combination with vitamin D? Or could it be bioflavonoids or bilberry extract?

A. The answer is that it is all of these. If you bruise easily then it may be time for you to closely examine your daily diet and to start taking supplements.

Q. Which of these items should you include in your first aid kit when you head out for a fun filled day at the beach, or walk the trails or go camping? Is it vitamin C, garlic or tea tree oil?

A. The answer is tea tree oil. It is a mild antiseptic that comes in handy for everything from abrasions to bites to minor cuts to stings. No first aid kit should be without tea tree oil!

Q. It is night time in the summer and you are trying to sleep but you are just so hot! What can you do to cool down in order to be able to sleep? Should you drink some decaffeinated iced green tea with L-theanine? Should you turn on your quietest fan and place a bowl or bucket of cold water behind it so as the ice melts it will blow cold air into the room? Should you take melatonin an hour before you head to bed?

A. The answer is all three. All of these things will help you to relax and fall asleep when the room feels like it is too hot to handle!

Hopefully this simple test will help you to be more prepared for the summer that is to come and will allow you to enjoy it to its fullest! Always remember that your health needs to come first though.


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Glucosamine is a fancy sounding word for a compound that resides in healthy cartilage in the human body. Let us take the time to learn more about this naturally occurring substance and what it can help.

What Glucosamine is:

Glucosamine is also sometimes called glucosamine sulphate. It is created from glucose and an amino acid known as glutamine. Glucosamine is an essential element of the body because it makes a molecule that is required for many vital functions. This molecule is responsible for general growth and development. It also plays an integral role in mending tissue and cartilage when damage or trauma has occurred.

It is believed that the level of glucosamine in a person’s body begins to decline as they age. In particular decreased levels have been noted in individuals over the age of 50 years and beyond.

Glucosamine as a Supplement:

For those who are lacking in adequate supplies of glucosamine they can buy it as a supplement found in most supermarkets, pharmacies and natural health food stores. The glucosamine that is found in vitamin/mineral supplements is chemically produced in a lab and comes from a substance you may have never heard of before. The substance is known as chitin. Chitin is taken from the shells of crab, shrimp and lobster.

Sometimes glucosamine cannot be found as a supplement on its own but instead is combined with other strange sounding substances such as chondroitin sulphate or methylsulfonymethane (MSM). The purpose for the combining of these supplements into one is because both MSM and chondroitin sulphate make for more flexible cartilage and can work to prevent cartilage from being destroyed or damaged by harmful enzymes.

Please note that you do not have to obtain a prescription from your doctor to purchase glucosamine. This is the case for most nutritional supplements sold on the market today.

Glucosamine and Osteoarthritis:

Glucosamine and the other substances mentioned here have been shown through research studies to help with the soreness, swelling and pain that accompany osteoarthritis. In particular those who suffer knee arthritis show improvement when they take supplements. A glucosamine supplement can lessen the uncomfortable symptoms of osteoarthritis because it helps to reduce the stiffness in the joints.

Some studies even suggest that glucosamine plays a role in slowing down the speed at which the disease progresses.

In case you are not well acquainted with what cartilage does for the body, here is a quick explanation for you. Cartilage is an elastic substance that works to cushion the joints. It is comparable to rubber. When a person suffers from osteoarthritis, the cartilage is no longer elastic and instead becomes stiff and brittle, leading to often overwhelming tenderness and discomfort.

This has a detrimental effect on the joints that it is supposed to be protecting. The joints become more vulnerable as a result of this, as well as more prone to injury. This can lead to trauma, loss of movement, and terrible pain. It can also lead to further deterioration of the cartilage.

Due to the fact that glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that manufactures and repairs the cartilage around the joints, taking it as a supplement on a steady basis can aid the body in healing itself. The supplement works with the natural glucosamine to give the body what it requires.

As far as vitamin supplementation is concerned, glucosamine receives top marks for performance. Other health conditions that it has been shown to help include rheumatoid arthritis, chronic venous insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and a variety of skin conditions.

You can find general tips and suggestions about vitamin myths and truths here.

Ask your doctor for more information and remember that you need to be aware of drug interactions if you are currently taking any type of medication (prescription or over-the-counter).


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