Perhaps you hate pills but you know you need your vitamins

Big Shotz
Liquid health boost

Maybe you don’t like popping pills…

But you’ve just started a new exercise regime.

Or you know that you need vitamins and minerals for a specific diet or health reason.

There’s now a multivitamin and mineral drink you can take instead.

Big Shotz is a little bottole of essential vitamins and minerals plus Omega 3 to help you take care of your body and encourage it to perform well.

It comes in a Mango & Passionfruit flavour with 11 vitamins, 6 minerals, Omega 3 and Pre-biotic fibre for optimised health and optimum flavour.

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Are Your Children Getting the Vitamins They Need?

Some children’s vitamins may be more useful than others according to Kimberly Beauchamp, ND

Before you serve up the gummy vitamins, chew on this: some children may not be getting the nutrients they need most from their multivitamins, some may be getting too much of certain nutrients, and others may not need a multivitamin at all.

Do they really need a children’s vitamin?

Eating a healthy diet goes a long way towards preventing nutritional deficiencies, but how much do we really know about which nutrients children are getting enough of in their everyday diets and which ones we need to supplement?

That’s the question that researchers from institutions including Tufts University and the National Institutes of Health attempted to answer in a study published in the Journal of Paediatrics.

The study looked at the diets and supplement use of 7,250 children between 2 and 18 years old to see if taking supplements helped fill in nutritional gaps, or if it led to excess intake of certain nutrients in children who already had good diets.

Following are the percentages of children who took dietary supplements:

  • 23% of 2- to 8-year-olds
  • 23% of 9- to 13-year-olds
  • 26% of 14- to 18-year-olds

Here’s what the study showed:

  • Where diet worked: Most of the younger children got plenty of phosphorus, copper, selenium, folate, and vitamins B6 and B12 from diet alone.
  • Where supplements helped: Dietary supplements helped fill in nutritional gaps (especially of magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E) among older children. The prevalence of inadequate intake of all of the nutrients examined (except iron and phosphorus) was significantly lower among children who took supplements. There was a significantly higher prevalence of inadequate calcium and vitamins A, C, D, and E intake across all age groups among children who didn’t take supplements. Most of the children between 2- and 8-years-old who didn’t take supplements didn’t meet the recommended intake for calcium and vitamins D and E.
  • Where supplements didn’t help: Even among children who did take supplements, more than one third didn’t get enough calcium or vitamin D. Children who took supplements were more likely to have intakes above the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. Younger children were also more likely to have intakes above the UL for copper and selenium.

Still wondering what to do?

The take-home message from this study is that younger children may be getting enough of most nutrients from diet alone, but may benefit from boosting intake of certain nutrients, like calcium and vitamins D and E. Older children might benefit from taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement, and making sure that they get enough calcium and vitamin D. “These findings may have implications for reformulating dietary supplements for children,” the authors commented.

(J Pediatr 2012;doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.05.009)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Nutrient Recommendations from Both Sides of the Atlantic

News on recommended vitamin levels by Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD

The European Food Safety Authority has weighed in on the debate about how much vitamin D, calcium, and essential fatty acids can be taken safely over the long term. These recommendations, which are issued by the Institute of Medicine in the United States as well, are known as tolerable upper intake levels (ULs). The science on nutrient safety isn’t always 100% clear, so it can be helpful to consider where different panels of health experts around the globe set these limits.

Compare and contrast

The upper end of safe intakes for most nutrients are not ordinarily reached or surpassed by people eating a typical diet in Europe or the US. For the majority, food alone will not put a person in danger of nutrient toxicity. But when adding dietary supplements and fortified foods, upper intake levels are needed to protect people against toxicity. We can use these numbers to guide our choices for safe use of dietary supplements and fortified foods.

Here’s how tolerable upper intake levels compare on both sides of the Atlantic:

Vitamin D

  • The UL for children 11 years old and up and adults is 4,000 IU per day in the US and in Europe.
  • The UL for 8- to 11-year-olds is 4,000 IU per day in the US, though in Europe, the UL for this age group is lower, at 2,000 IU daily.
  • The UL for 1- to 10-year-old children is 2,000 IU per day in Europe, though in the US this age group is broken down further. In the US the UL is 2,520 IU per day for 1- to 3-year-olds, 3,000 IU per day for 4- to 8-year-olds, and 4,000 IU per day for 9- to 13-year-olds.
  • The UL for infants—children under 1 year old—is 1,000 IU per day in Europe, though in the US, again, this age group is broken down further; the UL is 1,000 IU per day for newborns up to 6 months, and increases to 1,520 IU daily for infants 6 months to 1 year old.

Calcium

  • In Europe, the UL for calcium is simple: 2,500 mg per day for all adults.
  • For children, the European Food Safety Authority has indicated that, “Although available data do not allow the setting of a UL for infants, children, or adolescents, no risk has been identified with highest current levels of calcium intake in these age groups.”
  • In the US, the calcium ULs are broken down by age, with daily levels set at:
    • Newborns to 6 months: 1,000 mg
    • 6 months to 1 year: 1,500 mg
    • 1 year to 8 years: 2,500 mg
    • 9 to 18 years: 3,000 mg
    • Adults up to 50 years: 2,500 mg
    • Adults 51 years and older: 2,000 mg
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women, 18 years and older: 2,500 mg
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women, younger than 18 years: 3,000 mg

Essential fatty acids

  • The European Food Safety Authority states that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to set safe upper limit values for essential fatty acids, which include the long-chain omega-3 fats found in fish and seafood. However, they indicate that supplementing up to 5 grams per day appears to be safe, and recommend all adults get a minimum of 250 to 500 mg of these omega-3 fats daily for good health.
  • In the US, there are no official safe upper limits for essential fats, though the FDA indicates that intakes up to 3 grams per day are safe. The American Heart Association indicates that aiming for 900 mg per day of omega-3 fats—the amount that research suggests can lessen cardiovascular disease risk—is a good goal for all Americans.

Supplement with savvy, factor in fortification

There is much overlap between the safe upper limits for vitamin D, calcium, and essential fatty acids set by health agencies in Europe and in the US. Where these numbers diverge, you should consult your doctor or dietitian with any questions you have about how much of these nutrients are safe for you.

Also keep in mind the following points as you plan out your nutrition choices:

  • Use safe upper limits. These are set to provide guidance on appropriate nutrient intakes for the general population. There are always exceptions: for example, higher levels might be needed to address deficiency. Also, higher amounts may be needed to treat a particular medical condition. Consult your doctor or dietitian if you feel you need higher levels of any nutrient.
  • Keep track of all sources of nutrient intake. Many foods are now fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and/or essential fatty acids. If you use fortified foods, you may not need any dietary supplements of these nutrients at all.
  • Go to food first. Most nutrients are best absorbed, and occur in safe amounts, in their naturally occurring form in food. For example, our bodies do best with calcium from dairy, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, rather than larger quantities of calcium taken all at once as a dietary supplement.
  • Remember balance. Sometimes, taking large quantities of one nutrient can make it harder for our bodies to absorb or use other important nutrients. Before you supplement single nutrients, talk with a knowledgeable doctor about getting a good balance of all vital nutrients.

(European Food Safety Authority, “Upper intake levels reviewed for vitamin D and calcium” http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/120727a.htm and “EFSA assesses safety of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids” http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/120727.htm published July 2012)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognised expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.<

Fruit juice should always be healthy juice so be selective about what you drink

If you want to know the truth about fruit juice, some juices are better than others. Many use poor quality fruit which won’t provide all the health benefits you expect and don’t taste like they should either.

Sunraysia sets its standards higher: nothing but juice from the best quality fruits, packed with real healthy benefits and tasting delicious. It’s made them a household name the world over.

Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body
Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body

As juice makers, Sunraysia are especially keen that you not only drink something tasty, but something that helps you feel happy. That’s how their blend of fruits and botanical extracts and sometimes vitamins too, are designed to bless you.

They don’t add any preservatives, artificial colours or artificial flavours – keeping it 100% natural so your body feels loved.

That’s the philosophy that goes into their Wellbeing Drink combining apple, cherry and beetroot to boost your immune system. It’s also why they make a Prune Juice naturally rich in anti oxidants, or carrot juice rich in beta carotene, and tomato juice rich in lycopene.

Sunraysia’s Pear, Apple & Vanilla Drink is designed to be soothing. Their Orange, Mango & Passion Fruit Drink contains ginseng and guarana to give you energy. And their Beetroot & Evesse apple juice promises betaine, to help maintain a healthy heart, and polyphenols to help improve blood circulation.

Alternatives to milk

Possibly 75% of people around the world are lactose intolerant – which might go some way to explaining why there are so many alternatives to milk.

But there are numerous other reasons too, it might be simply be beneficial to health, or autism related, or asthma, or galactosaemia, or a sensitivity to casein or one of many other problems with drinking milk.

Whatever your reason it’s important to make sure you’re still getting the calcium, iodine and vitamins that you need.

Here are some of the alternatives…

Goat’s milk
Rich in nutrients and easier to digest (even though it still contains lactose). It has less casein but almost as much fat and calories as cow’s milk. However, it can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency in children.

Sheep’s milk
Sheep’s milk has twice as many minerals, eg. calcium, phosphorus and zinc and the vitamin B-complex, as cow’s milk. But it is also higher in calories and fat. Like goat’s milk, it is easily digested. And it’s also a good source of iodine, which helps if you suffer with thyroid problems.

Camel’s milk
Five times as much Vitamin C as cow’s milk. Helps with diabetes. Contains some lactose. Not easy to source.

Buffalo’s milk
Higher in calcium, protein and iron and contains more vitamins and minerals (including calcium and iron) and 43% less cholesterol than cow’s milk. But it also has twice as much fat and still contains lactose. Not easy to source.

Hemp milk
Half the amount of protein of cow’s milk, and calcium is often added. Rich in Omega 3, minerals and vitamins, hemp milk also has a creamy consistency. No lactose.

Quinoa milk
Quinoa is a very digestive food and nutritionally well balanced. It’s protein contains all essential amino acids and it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. No lactose.

Spelt milk
A good source of fibre and B-complex vitamins. Cholesterol free. No lactose.

Oat milk
Rich in fibre, lowers cholesterol and low-GI. It’s actually the preferred energy drink of many athletes. A pleasant milky taste. No lactose.

Barley milk
Has a higher phosphorus and potassium content than regular milk. Helpful in repairing the body, though it doesn’t contain calcium. No lactose.

Kamut-wheat milk
Highly recommended for its milk-like taste. No lactose.

Millet milk
Lower in fat, higher in fibre and less calories than cow’s milk. Rich in protein and minerals. No lactose.

Rice milk
Compared to soya, rice milk is considered closer to cow’s milk in taste and texture. It is naturally sweet, low in fat and high in fibre. But it’s also low in calcium and protein. No lactose.

Soya milk
Soya milk is high in protein so it’s useful for cooking with. It is also comparatively cheaper than other milk alternatives due to its ubiquity. However, some avoid it because it can raise estrogen levels. No lactose.

Almond milk
Tastes great, and has some of the lowest calorie counts of all milk alternatives. No lactose.

Hazelnut milk
A thicker consistency. It also provides calcium and sulphur. No lactose.

Coconut milk
Lots of phosphorus, iron, magnesium and fibre makes coconut milk a superfood. It’s low in calories, boosts immunity and has a distinctive creamy taste.

Cashew nut milk
Delicious but not easy to find. Just as well it’s easy to make… Cashew’s are a good source of copper and magnesium.

Raw milk
The argument is that pasteurisation destroys some of the goodness in milk which would actually make it digestible for people with gut problems. It remains to be seen whether ‘green top milk’ is actually helpful for people with psoriasis and high blood pressure.

UV milk
Possibly the milk of the future: milk that is treated by UV instead of pasteurisation?

Lactose-Free milk
Or, of course, you could take the lactose out of the milk

You can also make milk from peas, peanuts, or seeds!

On ‘the pill’? Then your vitamin levels may be low

It is not well known that taking the pill is likely to effect your vitamin levels.

The contraceptive may not only deplete your vitamins, but your minerals and antioxidant levels too.

A depletion in nutrients is likely because your liver needs more vitamins to metabolise the birth control pill. And, because the pill sends a woman’s body into a pregnant-like state, your nutritional status could be affected. However, there are few conclusive studies on this. Blood tests are not sensitive enough indicators of changes in nutritional levels, so there is still a lot of guesswork out there. The best that can be said at this point is that individual needs vary.

You can find a good list of vitamins, minerals and antioxdiants at GoodnessDirect.

'The pill' may reduce vitamin levels
'The pill' may reduce vitamin levels

The vitamins and minerals thought to be effected are:
Vitamin B-2 Riboflavin
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-9 (Folic acid)
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
Vitamin K
Iron
Zinc
Magnesium

It is often advised that consumption of Vitamin E should be increased because it helps prevent blood clots.

Antioxidants
A recent study noted that antioxidant levels are also effected, particularly CoQ10 and Alpha-tocopherol.

Some good advice
The pill is still a valuable contraceptive and is over 99% effective. It is best to seek sympathetic medical advice if ever you are considering your options.

If you’re a teenager and you’re on the pill it is all the more important to pay attention to your nutritional intake. Some medical writers advise that everyone should take nutritional supplements and antioxidants.

Certainly, adjusting your diet to increase your nutritional intake with wholegrains, vegetables, nuts and seeds and decreasing sugary, highly processed foods will also be helpful. GoodnessDirect is a useful source of supplements and healthy food.

Footnotes…
Here are a list of websites for your own research. If you know of any others please let me know.
1. Woman’s Health: What’s Wrong With The Pill
2. Obstetrics and Gynecology International: Effects of Oral, Vaginal, and Transdermal Hormonal Contraception on Serum Levels of Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, and Total Antioxidant Activity
3. Colorado State University – Extension factsheet: Nutrition and Oral Contraceptives
4. Nutrient Depletion Checklist: Oral Contraceptives
5. Eat Healthier Foods – Endometriosis Part 42: Oral Contraceptive Pills and Vitamins

Post Script
Finally, an interesting point about how the pill can encourage yeast in the vagina by boosting estrogen levels. This is a complex area. Contraceptive pills contain less estrogen than in the 1960s, but it’s still possible for an imbalance of estrogen to result in too much yeast in the body. Also there’s a lot of mythology about yeast infections, but when they are real they can have a serious impact on a woman’s health.

See The V Book: Yeast Infections

Chlorella

Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a single celled fresh-water, microscopic algae, measuring between 2 and 8 micons in diameter. It is one of the oldest forms of plant life on the planet.

Fossils of chlorella have been found that are over 3 billions years old. It has the highest chlorophyll content of any known plant and this gives it its characteristic emerald green colour. The name chlorella is derived from the Latin for leaf (green) and small. Discovered in 1890 by Beyerinck, chlorella was not studied closely until the 1940s.

Nowadays, chlorella is cultivated in man-made filtered fresh water ponds. With the favourable conditions of strong sunlight, pure water, clean air, the remarkable algae multiplies at an incredible rate, reproducing four times in twenty-four hours.

Chlorella is one of the most scientifically researched foods and has many clinically attested health benefits. Although it has yet to gain popularity in the UK, it is claimed that in Japan chlorella is taken regularly by 30% of the population. There it is regarded as a functional whole food, rather than a dietary supplement.

Nutritional profile

Chlorella consists of approximately 60% protein in the form of amino acids. It is superior to animal proteins such as meat and eggs, because the body has to break these down into their component amino acids before it can utilise them for its own particular types of protein. Chlorella is considered a complete protein because it contains all 8 essential amino acids

Chlorella is a perfect food that provides nearly all of the body’s nutritional needs. A single gram typically contains the following nutrients:

Beta Carotene 1.8mg Calcium 9.76mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 15µg Copper 0.8µg
Riboflavin Vitamin B2) 0.048mg Iron 1.08mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 0.26mg Magnesium 3.99mg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 17µg Manganese 19.4µg
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 17µg Phosphorus 0.22mg
Vitamin B12 1.26µg Potassium 9.27mg
Vitamin C 0.15mg Selenium 7µg
Vitamin E 0.09mg Sodium 0.3mg
Biotin 1.91µg Zinc 11.2µg

Health Benefits

Cancer – Chlorella contains beta-carotene, which has been shown to destroy cancer cells. It also provides antioxidant vitamins C and E and selenium. Chlorella increases levels of inteferon, one of the body’s greatest natural cancer defences, which in turn stimulates the activity of T-cells and macrophages, thus enhancing the immune system’s ability to combat bacteria, viruses, chemicals and foreign proteins.

Cardiovascular health – Chlorella is the richest natural source of chlorophyll, which has a structure almost identical to that of haemoglobin. Chlorophyll cells have a magnesium molecule at the centre and this mineral is essential for the heart to function properly. Chlorella is also a good source of Omega-3 oils, which are known to protect against heart disease. Research programs have indicated that regular use of chlorella helps guard against heart disease, reduce high blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Anaemia – Chlorophyll stimulates the production of red blood cells and is effective against anaemia.

Digestion – Chlorella contains digestive enzymes. It also causes the friendly lactic bacteria in the gut to multiply at four times the usual rate, improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. The indigestible shell acts as a bowel fibre, stimulating peristalsis. Chlorella also strengthens the intestine and relieves chronic constipation.

Detoxification – The indigestible outer shell of chlorella binds with heavy metals and other toxins in the body and removes them. This cleansing of the blood, bowel and liver begins after chlorella has been taken regularly for 3 months or more depending on the amount taken.

Alzheimers – The use of aluminium in deodorants and cooking utensils has been incriminated in Alzheimers disease. Regular long term use of chlorella cleanses the system from such heavy metals. A greater supply of oxygen to the brain aids alertness and mental focus in Alzheimers’ patients and those suffering from dementia and Attention Deficit Disorder.

Immunity – Chlorella induces higher levels of interferon and stimulates macrophages, cells that actively protect against disease by digesting foreign substances in the body. Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) unique to chlorella stimulates healing and replacement of cell tissue.

Wound healing – The high amount of chlorophyll accelerates wound and burn healing when applied topically. Chlorella also promotes the healing of diabetic skin ulcers, which can lead to amputation if they become infected. This is thought to be due to an increased production of TNF which promotes fibroblasts, the cells the body uses to repair wounds. Taking chlorella on a regular basis over a long period of time will increase the body’s ability to heal itself of cuts, scrapes, rashes and more serious wounds without the need to apply it externally.

Arthritis – Because chlorella is very alkaline, it helps to neutralise the body’s pH, which is frequently too acidic as a result of consuming too many processed foods and fizzy soft drinks. Arthritis is one condition associated with an acidic constitution. Chlorella also contains vitamins A C and E and Selenium, which together combat arthritis. Chlorella’s outer wall contains glucosamine, which cartilage, tendons and ligaments rely on for constant renewal.

Promotes growth in children – CGF stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete hormones for growth.

Anti-ageing – Not only does it contain powerful antioxidants, chlorella has an abundance of RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which are associated with anti-aging.

Culinary Use – Chlorella extract can be added to dough to improve the appearance and flavour of bread and to keep it fresher for longer. It can also improve the flavour of other foods, such as wine, cakes, biscuits, pasta, rice.

Dosage

For general maintenance, a daily dose of 3-4 grams is recommended. If it is being taken to relieve actual symptoms, the dosage should be increased to 5-6 grams. It is best taken about half an hour before meals for the optimum digestive benefits.

Conclusion

Chlorella can safely be taken by adults, the elderly and children aged over two years. It contains all the components essential to life, making it the most nutritionally potent wholefood available. Because it is a whole food, rather than a concentrated extract it can be taken in large amounts with no unpleasant side effects. In fact, chlorella has not been found to have a single detrimental affect on human health.

Jemma Morriss