Sunday, April 25, 2010

Are Supplements Really Necessary - Steven Horne

Many years ago I was helping out a friend who suffered from severe emotional problems. I gave her some free herbs and supplements, which were helping to balance her nervous system and regulate her blood sugar. Unfortunately, when she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, her doctor confiscated them and threw them away.
According to her, her doctor said, "Don't waste your money on supplements. You can get all the nutrition you need from a McDonald's hamburger, milk shake and French fries." I was amazed by this. If he had said, "You can get all the nutrition you need from a well-balanced diet," I might have given him some credit, but as the movie Super-Size Me proved, no one can be healthy on a diet of fast food.
But it does beg the question. Are supplements really necessary? Can you really get all the nutrients you need from a well-balanced diet? Of course you can. Dr. Weston Price found that native people living on traditional diets were extremely healthy and rarely got sick. However, all the animal food they ate were from wild animals and they ate organ meats (brains, heart, liver, glands, etc.) not just muscle meat. Furthermore, their diets contained plant foods that we think of as medicinal herbs (like dandelion, burdock, chickweed, etc.).
So, can you really get all the nutrients you need from a modern supermarket diet? Probably not. Most of the fruits and vegetables are 14-days old and have traveled an average of 1,000 miles to reach the produce section. That's enough time for huge nutrient losses to occur. Even the organic meats, eggs and dairy products aren't the nutritional equivalent of their wild-caught counterparts, and the commercial animal proteins are extremely lacking.
And, this is the real food we're talking about. Most people are eating heavily processed foods. There is no way that this food can provide all the nutrition the body needs to be healthy. It's a major reason why we have huge problems with obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and the other serious health problems that plague most modern people. Native people living on traditional diets didn't have these problems!
So, even if you're eating real, whole foods, it doesn't hurt to supplement a little. Here are the seven basic types of supplements I find most people benefit from. I think investing in some of these supplements will do more good for your health than the new "health insurance" legislation passed in Washington this week. These supplements are real health insurance, especially when coupled with a good diet and other healthy lifestyle practices.
You don't need to use all seven of these supplements. Pick the three or four that are most appropriate for you.
SuperFood Supplement
The first thing most people think of when they think supplements is a multi-vitamin and mineral. If you want to take one, that's great, but I personally don't do well on them. What I do like are whole food supplements like GreenZone and the new Collatrim protein powder
I also like herbal supplements like HSN-W, I-X and other formulas of nutrient-rich herbs. I find the body assimilates and utilizes the nutrients from these whole foods better than vitamin and minerals supplements. I use specific vitamin and mineral supplements more like "natural drugs" to provide temporary support for the body while it heals.
But, whether you choose a multi-vitamin or a superfood supplement, a basic supplement helps make sure you're getting extra nutrients to make up for deficiencies in modern foods. I like to think of it as taking out "nutritional health insurance."
The mineral content of our foods has dropped to less than 10% of what it was 100 years ago. We simply cannot get the minerals we need from food alone. That's why I highly recommend that at least periodically, people should take Mineral Chi Tonic so they get the trace minerals they need.
Most people don't eat enough raw food. Traditional diets had a lot of fresh, raw food, which is rich in enzymes. Traditional cultures that consumed more cooked food also ate enzyme-rich fermented foods. This gave them the enzymes their diet was missing. Since most of us don't eat fermented foods, but do eat a lot of cooked food, I think a basic enzyme supplement like Protease Plus is essential for most people. This is especially important after age 50 when digestive function begins to decline.
It's no secret that most Americans don't get enough fiber. Adequate fiber, taken with plenty of water, lowers cholesterol, protects you against colon and other cancers, helps your body get rid of environmental toxins and keeps you regular.
My favorite fiber supplement is mixing Psyllium Hulls Combination and Flax Hull Lignans. However, I'd start slowly (1/2 teaspoon) and work up to it if you're not used to taking fiber. Also make sure to drink plenty of water when you're taking fiber.
Also, if you have colitis or any inflammatory bowel disorder you're better off using straight slippery elm or UC3J. It's gentler on the bowel.
If you've never taken antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills or chemotherapy and you've never drunk chlorinated water and you eat natural yogurt or other fermented foods every day, you probably don't need to supplement the friendly bacteria in your colon. Everyone else probably needs Probiotic Eleven or Bifidophilus Flora Force.
If we were eating lots of fresh, locally grown produce we wouldn't need antioxidant supplements. However, if you don't eat your fresh fruits and vegetables every day (and most people I know don't) or you have any kind of inflammatory condition, you need antioxidants like Zambroza.
Essential Fatty Acids
If you eat grass-fed meat, drink raw milk from grass-fed cows, use eggs from pastured chickens and eat sardines, wild salmon or deep ocean fish several times a week, you are getting your omega-3 fatty acids naturally. If you don't, you may need to supplement them, as well. Flax seed oil or Super Omega-3 will get you what you need.
Sensible Supplementation
I personally don't take everything on the above list every day, except for maybe my enzymes, but I do take most of the supplements on the above list fairly regularly. And, I eat a fairly healthy diet, as well. I think it's the combination of the two that has kept me fairly healthy into my mid-50s, and I believe that the extra nutrition (coupled with other good health practices) can keep me vibrantly healthy into my 80s and 90s.
So, yes, I believe that supplements are important for people living in modern society, even if you eat a fairly healthy diet. And they are essential if you're going to indulge in those fast food burgers, fries and milk shakes on any kind of regular basis.

Ginger for Motion Sickness

Take this root with you
on your next road trip
With summer vacations looming
many of us will be venturing out
on the open highway or open water.
And for those prone to motion
sickness, this can mean nausea and
But there is effective relief from
motion sickness without the use
of medications that can make you
drowsy and ruin your outing. Ginger,
the common spice, has demonstrated
itself in numerous studies
to be an excellent aid in relieving
nausea due to motion sickness.
Capsules work best and travel well.
Healthy Bits
Vol 1/No. 2.

Capsicum for Stress and Depression

Hot n’ Spicy mood lifter
We all know someone who just
loves their spicy food. Well, as it
turns out, there is some science
behind the love of spicy foods.
Capsicum (cayenne, hot peppers)
increases the release of feel-good
endorphins when the spice hits
the tongue, according to Dr. Paul
Rozin, Department of Psychology
at the University of Pennsylvania.
Endorphins are known for their
ability to reduce stress, relieve depression,
and significantly raise the
spirits. So if you need an emotional
lift, add some cayenne pepper to
your next meal.
Source: Psychological Review,

Magnesium for Heart and Diabetes

Magnesium helps
prevent type II diabetes,
heart disease
In an analysis of seven large scale
studies, Swedish researchers found
a “significant” link between magnesium
intake and diabetes. The
research team found that diabetes
risk dropped by 15% for every 100
mg increase in magnesium intake.
Many people are deficient in
magnesium, which may, in part,
account for the high incidence of
diabetes and heart-related problems
associated with low magnesium.
High stress, menstruation, high
intake of starches, alcohol, diuretics,
antibiotics and other prescription
drugs can all increase urinary
excretion of magnesium.
Previous research has already
shown that magnesium helps the
heart muscles relax, reduces blood
pressure, and helps control homocysteine,
and C-reactive protein
levels (all heart disease risk factors).
Magnesium researcher, Dr.
Mildred Seelig, M.D., MPH, puts
it bluntly: “Magnesium is the real
key to treating metabolic syndrome
X and heart disease risk factors.”
Experts recommend people
receive 500 mg of magnesium per

Green Tea for Cancer

Green tea halts cancer
tumour development in
its tracks
According to a leading authority
in the field of cancer research, tea
leaves—particularly green tea—are
an “extremely rich source of anticancer
molecules, called catechins,
polyphenols which can represent
up to one-third of the leaves’
Green tea, according to Dr. Richard
Beliveau, stops cancer tumour
development in it’s tracks: “One
of the main effects of green tea’s
catechins is that they prevent the
microtumours we spontaneously
develop during our life from creating
a new network of blood vessels
essential to their growth.”
Without the ability to develop
blood vessels (a process known as
angiogenesis), cancer cells cannot
acquire enough oxygen and nutrients
to grow and spread.
The amount of catechins found in
just one cup of green tea, according
to Dr. Richard’s research, is
enough to block the process of angiogenesis
and starve cancer cells
of nutrients.
Have you had your green tea
Source: Beliveau, Dr. Richard, Sip
Your Way To Health, Toronto Sun,
Monday, April 14, 2008, pg 40.

Joint Pain

of ingredients
provides relief
of joint pain
In 2004, Nature’s Sunshine Products
participated in a collaborative study
of glucosamine, one of the key
ingredients in a unique natural formula
called EverFlex, sponsored by the
National Institutes of Health/Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) and
with the Association of Analytical
Chemists (AOAC). Glucosamine, in
combination with chondroitin and
MSM, helps reduce
and pain due to
arthritis and joint
The combined
ingredients of
this formula also
help to regenerate
cartilage to help
repair joint tissue

Zinc for Endurance

Zinc improves exercise
Scientists already know that our
muscles need zinc, but a study
from investigators at the Human
Nutrition Research Center in Grand
Forks provides new details about
zinc’s key role in exercise and
Consuming less than the recommended
amount of zinc reduces the
activity of a certain enzyme in the
body with the result that the heart
has to work harder, the researchers
Workouts during the low-zinc
stint left volunteers panting as
their hearts worked harder to carry
carbon dioxide to the lungs, where
it is exhaled.
That’s in contrast to the volunteers’
performance during the
regimen in which they received the
recommended amount of zinc. The
study, reported in 2005, provides
the first evidence that the carbondioxide-
removing enzyme won’t
perform normally in people during
exercise if body stores of zinc are
too low.
Source: American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, volume 81,

Vitamin D3

Dr. Feldman’s research focuses on the role of vitamin D in prostate cancer. Studies suggest that vitamin D elevates levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) in prostate cancer cells, reducing the risk of prostate cancer development and metastasis.
 Another research group, at the University of Rochester, has recently shown that vitamin D inhibits the spread of human prostate cancer cell lines and blocks two critical steps in tumour angiogenesis. 

In a study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1,179 healthy postmenopausal women were divided into three groups, one taking 1,400-1,500 mg of supplemental calcium, another taking that amount of calcium plus 1,100 IU of vitamin D3, and the third taking a placebo. The researchers found that the women taking calcium and vitamin D3 together had a 60% decrease in their overall cancer risk compared to the other two groups. Researchers described the finding as “a breakthrough of great medical and public health importance. No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact.” 
The researchers’ final conclusion: “Improving calcium and vitamin D nutritional status substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women.” Improved lung health A study recently published in Chest, has found that the higher the level of vitamin D in your blood, the better your lungs seem to function. Harvard researchers found that lung cancer patients who had higher levels of vitamin D in their blood and had undergone surgery in the sunnier months were more than 2.5 times more likely to be alive after 5 years than those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D. And it helps treat steroid-resistant asthma. Research conducted at King’s College London revealed that vitamin D supplementation may help patients that don’t respond well to inhaled steroids (the typical asthma treatment) to become more responsive to therapy.
Bone and skeletal health What you probably already know is that vitamin D in essential for calcium absorption and bone formation and strength. Research shows that the more vitamin D one has the less of a risk of breaking a bone. When women took 800 IUs daily of vitamin D the risk of breaking a bone decreased by 33%. Studies have revealed that in winter months bone density can drop up to 4%, reaching the lowest density in early spring. Supplements are required to prevent this drop. An analysis of five studies on the benefits of vitamin D showed that a sufficient daily dose of vitamin D can reduce the incidence of falls in those 65 or over by 22%. Cardiovascular health Vitamin D has been found to relax the large blood vessels, and thus help prevent high blood pressure. 
In a study involving 1,700 participants, those with high blood pressure coupled with low levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to have a heart attack, angina, stroke, heart failure, or other cardiovascular events than those with higher vitamin D levels. Having low levels of vitamin D may also increase the risk of calcium build up in the arteries, a significant component of atherosclerotic plaque. Arthritis help In an 11-year study of 30,000 people, those who consumed the most vitamin D were 30% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D helps keep cartilage healthy and strong, reducing the risk of developing arthritis. If you’re already battling arthritis, research suggests that getting enough vitamin D can slow its progression by 50%.

Thyroid BBT test

The basal body temperature (BBT) is
a highly sensitive and accurate measure
of low thyroid function, perhaps
exceeding the reliability of available
blood tests. The late Broda Barnes,
M.D., a pioneer in the diagnosis and
treatment of thyroid disorders, developed
this test and successfully diagnosed
and treated many patients based
on its results.
Basically, the test involves taking
your armpit temperature for four days
and averaging the results. Depending
on your temperature, you may or
may not be experiencing high or low
thyroid hormone production.
To check your basal body temperature,
follow these simple steps:
Step 1. Keep a thermometer by your
bedside so you can take your temperature
before getting out of bed in
the morning. (It is important to move
as little as possible while taking your
Step 2. Shake down the thermometer
to read less than 92˚ F.
Step 3. Upon waking in the morning,
take your armpit temperature for
at least ten minutes.
Step 4. Record your temperature.
Repeat these steps for four days.
(Menstruating women should record
their temperatures on the second, third,
fourth, and fifth days of their periods.)
Calculate your average temperature for
the four days. A normal metabolic rate
will result in a waking temperature of
between 97.8˚ F and 98.2˚ F. Temperatures
below 97.8˚ F may indicate,
at the least, subclinical hypothyroid-
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of
thyroid disease?
Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) is
a silent illness because it goes largely under-reported and
The thyroid is susceptible to damage from environmental
toxins, especially chlorine, fluoride and bromine which
are chemically related to iodine and compete with it for
receptor sites on the thyroid gland. Furthermore, the lack
of minerals in the modern diet starve the thyroid of needed
nutrients. When your thyroid gland is not working properly,
your metabolism and energy levels are disrupted. Here are
some signs of possible thyroid problems:
Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone
• Graves’ Disease
•Feeling too hot
•Increased perspiration
•Rapid heart beat
•Hair loss
•Weight loss
•Increased bowel movements
•Malabsorption of nutrients
•Light and infrequent menstruation
•Hand tremors
•Separation of nails from the nail bed
Hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone production)
• Fatigue
• Slow heart rate
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling cold
• Weight gain
• Depression
• Scaly/dry skin
• Weak immune system
• Hair loss
• Constipation
• Difficulty concentrating
• Slow speech
• Goiter
• Yellowish skin tone on palms
Source: Balch, M.D., and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Prescription for
Nutritional Healing, Avery, New York, 1997.
Test Your Thyroid At Home:
Home-based test to measure thyroid function
ism. Temperatures higher than 98.6˚ F
may reflect hyperthyroidism. If you
feel your thyroid gland is not working
properly, see your health-care provider.
Source: Lavalle, R.Ph., C.C.N., N.D., Breaking
the Metabolic Code, Basic Health Publication,