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Information on Supplements

Multivitamins

Complete: A good multivitamin supplement should include biotin (necessary for carb. metabolism), within a proper balance of B vitamin complex. Biotin is often low in many multi-vitamins on the market due to the cost of the ingredient. Minerals are also necessary for a basic foundational multivitamin. These include calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium and molybdenum. Some things that your vitamins should not contain are artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives.

Balanced: A daily multivitamin should have about 100% Daily Value (DV) for vitamins A, D and K. The B vitamin "complex" should be at least 100% DV in a multi-vitamin. Many B vitamins work together to help metabolize energy. A vitamin with a complete B "complex" will include: B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), Niacin, B6 (Pyridoxine), Folacin (Folate), B12 (Cobalamin), Pantothenic Acid and Biotin.

Bioavailable: Choose a supplement that has been clinically tested for potency and absorption by the body. Ask to see the published research on clinical trials ... your vitamins should be tested by both the manufacturing company and an independent laboratory ... with peer-review publication in medical journals such as American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, European Journal of Applied Physiology, and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

How you take them: Vitamins should always be taken with food, to enhance absorption. If the "serving size" is two, take one with breakfast and one with dinner, to achieve the nutrient totals listed on the label.

Additional Supplementation

B Complex: The B vitamin complex should be in "balance" because taking extra amounts of a single B vitamin is unwise, because excess amounts of one B vitamin can cause an artificial depletion of another. There are health benefits to taking more than 100% DV of the B complex vitamins, such as during stress, times of poor diet or high sugar intake. Typically the correct balance involves taking more than 100% DV of an appropriately formulated B complex. On days when you are stressed or ill your body needs additional B vitamins, if you are not taking them other body systems will be compromised (ie. nervous system disorders, low energy level, increased carb cravings). B vitamins are safe, on "low need" days any unused B vitamins will not build up to toxic levels, because they are water soluble and will be eliminated.

C: Your body is capable of many things ... but it can't make or store Vitamin C! A timed release vitamin C encourages maximum absorption over several hours. Look for C with bioflavinoids, to enhance to absorption of the vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body maintain it's natural antioxidant defense against damage to your body's cells by the environment and poor diet. It also has a key role in supporting your body's immune function, teeth, gums, bones, blood vessels and muscles.

A, D and K: Vitamins A, D and K are fat soluble vitamins that can build up in the body if taken in large amounts over a period of time. For example, high doses of Vitamin A can result in brittle nails, hair loss, jaundice, enlarged spleen, irritability, and decalcification of bones. Higher than the DV of these vitamins should be done only under the care of a qualified health professional for treatment of specific symptoms or diseases.

E: Vitamins E supports heart health. The Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study shows that taking Vitamin E in levels of at 400 internal units (IU) and 800 IU, showed increase heart benefits. Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study, Lancet, 1996; 347:781-6

Calcium: Since Calcium is a "macro nutrient" (you need large amounts), it can't be fit into one tablet. If your calcium supplement provides a large amount (500 to 1000 mg per serving) check the "serving size". It should be more than one tablet and be taken through out the day. A product containing calcium in a very dense pill may not be absorbed well. Beware, some calcium supplements are made under such extreme pressure, so they can't be digested in the body very well, and much of it ends up being wasted. Try this at home: Place your calcium tablet in a cup of water. Check on it in 30 minutes. If it is not dissolved by then, it probably will not be digested or absorbed in your body either. For a more absorbable calcium supplement, the forms that are best absorbed are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. And the most that you can absorb at one meal is approximately 300 mg, the rest is wasted. So spread out your calcium consumption.



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