What’s Happening in Health
Shop Articles Contact Us AUGUST 2009
Welcome to the Amazing-Solutions
What’s Happening in Health newsletter
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This month’s articles:
Vitamin D & Calcium Supplements
A daily supplement of Vitamin D and Calcium can protect against disease and promote better health. But you must be careful to use the proper dosage…Read more.
Shaking Table Salt Blues
Find out what the National Institutes of Health calls a healthy daily salt intake…Read more.
Antioxidants Highest in Ripe Fruits & Vegetables
Fresh produce cannot ripen after it’s picked. Here’s what to purchase and how…Read more.
Vaginal Estrogen Creams
Hormone creams aren’t always as “low-dose” as we’d like, so use them wisely…Read more.
Brisk Walking is Best
Don’t run. Brisk walking is just as good for your heart and much easier on bones…Read more.
Sushi Dangers
Once considered an ultra-healthy way to eat, some sushi has far too much mercury…Read more.
Peach Pizzazz

Vitamin D (with Calcium) Supplements—Just Do It
The verdict is in: Vitamin D plus Calcium is about as close as you can get to nature’s perfect elixir. Over the past two years, research data has suggested that this combination of nutrients not only protects bones, but can also:

Reduce your risk of cancer. Over a thousand healthy, postmenopausal women were given a daily dose of vitamin D (plus calcium) and were found to have a 77% lower risk of developing cancer than women not taking the supplement. In a separate study, researchers found that men with the highest levels of vitamin D in their blood were significantly less at risk for prostate cancer, including the most aggressive form of the disease.

Lower your risk of diabetes. After reviewing the results of 44 distinct studies, researchers reported that a daily supplement of D plus calcium does appear to protect against type 2 diabetes (glucose intolerance).

Protect your heart. Among men and women tracked for five years, those with both high blood pressure and low blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely as other research participants to have a heart attack or stroke.

Prevent depression. Researchers recently found that low blood levels of vitamin D are strongly associated with depression in people over 65.

Control your weight. A new study finds that postmenopausal women taking a daily vitamin D plus calcium supplement gained less weight over time. And found it easier to lose weight.

Ease chronic pain. Researchers found that one in every four adult participants being treated for chronic pain had low blood levels of vitamin D and, to get relief, they needed nearly twice as much analgesic medication.

Still, too much D and calcium may be dangerous. Researchers at Duke University report that older adults taking too high a dosage of the two nutrients are more prone to brain lesions—areas of damaged tissue associated with cognitive impairment.

What’s more, you want to look for a supplement that offers vitamin D3, not its close relative D2. For years, scientists thought they were equally beneficial. But it turns out that after 14 days, D2 vanishes completely from the body while D3 keeps working.

Wondering which brand to buy? Across the board, New Chapter is a great source for high-end supplements. Their Bone Strength Take Care is available in 30, 60 and 120 tablet sizes. Recommended daily dose is 3 tablets, offering 1000 IU of D3 and 685 mg of calcium. Slightly more expensive than some brands, its high quality makes it worth the extra money. See www.newchapter.com

Salt Shakedown…
The connection between salt intake and high blood pressure is well established. But how much salt is too much? According to the National Institutes of Health, you should aim for no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. That’s almost exactly one teaspoon of table salt. So shake less. And read food labels. Amazing-Health Tip: Just one serving of many canned soups, for example, contains half your day’s allotment!

Buy fruits and vegetables ripe…
Did you know that ripe produce is higher in antioxidants—those wonderful molecules that actually eliminate disease-causing free radicals from your body? Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables stop ripening once they’re picked. Although they can get softer (and even juicer), they will not ripen—that is, become sweeter. So get the antioxidant boost you’re after by purchasing produce that’s already ripe and ready to eat. Amazing-Health Tip: Top 10 antioxidant-rich foods are: artichokes, all beans, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, Russet potatoes, pecans, and ground cinnamon, cloves and oregano.

Vaginal estrogen creams—even a little is a lot…
One of the presumed benefits of a vaginal estrogen cream is that it delivers a lower dose of hormone than pills or patches—exposing you to less risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Nevertheless, vaginal estrogen creams still deliver estrogen at higher doses than those recommended for the treatment of intimate dryness. And they can elevate the estrogen level in your blood. So, if you and your doctor decide that you should use one of these prescription creams, try using less than the amount indicated on the applicator. Amazing-Health Tip: Many women get adequate relief by filling the applicator just one-eighth full.

Walk, don’t run…
New research suggests that regular exercise can substantially reduce your risk of vascular dementia—a slow, progressive loss of memory and other cognitive function. And while that’s exciting news, it’s nothing to work up a sweat over. Literally. Scientists have found that 30 minutes of brisk walking, done 5 times a week, is just as protective as more vigorous workouts. Amazing-Health Tip: When you do brisk walking you travel about 2 miles in 30 minutes. It’s the pace you keep when you’re late for a meeting—breathing deeply but able to maintain conversation.

Sushi lovers beware…
Recent studies found that 20% of surveyed sushi bars and restaurants in Manhattan, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego were serving tuna with mercury levels so high that the FDA could legally have prohibited sale of the fish. (Mercury has been linked to increased risk of neurological problems and cardiovascular disease.) The biggest offender was bluefin tuna (also sold as “ahi”), which contains three times the mercury of fresh tuna steak or fillet. So ask your waiter what kind of tuna is being served and don’t order sushi that you know is bad for you. Amazing-Health Tip: Consider switching to salmon or shrimp sushi—both are low in mercury.

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