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Cod Liver Oil: Unattractive Name With Powerful Effects
Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil has strong health benefits. If there were an award for weirdest sounding, most aptly named, and effective dietary supplement, cod liver oil would win it easily.  Originally derived from, you guessed it, the liver of a cod, cod liver oil contains DHA, EPA, vitamin A and vitamin D, it is one of the best supplements you can add to your diet.  Cod liver oil promotes healthy skin, strong bones and teeth, healthy joints, cardiovascular system health, strong nervous system, and a smooth running digestive tract. So what is it about this befittingly named supplement that makes it so special and effective? Modern day cod liver oil is produced by cooking the whole cod body and fatty tissue of during the manufacturing process of fishmeal.   This process yields an oil that is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA.  It is in large part these polyunsaturated fats that give cod liver oil supplements their amazing qualities.  Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, meaning they cannot be synthesized in your body yet they are crucial for normal metabolic function.  Cod liver oil is one of the best sources of the fatty acids DHA and EPA you can take. The DHA and EPA fatty acids found in cod liver oil have several health benefits attributed to them.  Some studies have linked omega-3 consumption to helping improve your LDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), cardiovascular functioning, brain health, and joint inflammation.  While these studies are by Read More »

Go Green with Green Tea
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
Green Tea

Green Tea is a simple solution for many ailments. Go to any supermarket for tea and you will see an array of teas to choose from. Oolong tea, white tea, black tea, breakfast blend tea, and earl grey tea, just to name a few. With the myriad options for types of tea, it can be easy to forget about one of the world’s most popular teas. A tea that has been drank for thousands of years, has been renowned for it’s health benefits, and tastes delightful too! We’re speaking, of course, of green tea. Green tea originates from China but is now grown across the world and enjoyed on every continent. Part of the reason for its growth in popularity is the perceived health benefits. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that scavenge the body for free radicals. Free radicals are charged particles that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and atherosclerosis. Also, since green tea is minimally processed (its leaves are not fermented like in other teas) it has a higher concentration of antioxidants than other teas. It’s not as though a cup of green tea a day will keep the oncologist away, but consuming foods, such as green tea, that are high in antioxidants can reduce the effect of free radicals and therefore the occurrence of cancer. If you are trying to lose a few pounds or maintain a desired weight, green tea may be able to help with that as well. Green Read More »

Multi Mineral Supplements Are Just As Important As Multi Vitamins.
Multi Mineral

Don’t forget your body needs multi mineral supplements. Along with nutrients and vitamins, your body also needs minerals. Yes, vitamins are important to your health, but don’t forget about the critical role minerals play. Minerals, also referred to as essential minerals or dietary minerals, are just as crucial to your body’s function as anything else you consume. Without the proper amount of minerals your body cannot perform its basic operations. Most people have heard of taking a multi-vitamin, but many don’t think of taking a multi mineral supplement to make sure their body has what it needs to function properly. Even though minerals are key, your body is unable to produce them on its own. You get most of your minerals from plants and select animal products. By taking a multi mineral supplements you ensure that you get the minerals you need. There are several different multi mineral supplements out on the market. Below is a short list of what most multi mineral supplements include. Calcium – The most prevalent mineral in your body, calcium is predominantly found in your teeth and bones. Since it is so important, calcium is heavily represented in many multi minerals. Magnesium – From energy production to maintaining cellular structure, Magnesium is used in a wide array of bodily functions. In conjunction with the other essential minerals in multi mineral supplement, magnesium helps your body do its basic processes. Phosphorus – Much like magnesium, phosphorus is used for all sorts of purposes in your body. Read More »

St. John’s Wort: What you need to know
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
St. John's Wort

The effects of St. John’s Wort are unclear and often come into question. There are few other herbal supplements that spark as much debate and competing clinical trials than St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) was named because its brilliantly yellow flowers bloom around June 24th every year, the birthday of St. John the Baptist, and “wort” being the Old English word for “plant”. For centuries, this shrubby perennial plant has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of mental and emotional disorders. But does it work? How? Is it right for you? Part of the reason so much controversy surrounds St. John’s Wort is because no one is exactly sure how it works. The bodily mechanism by which St. John’s Wort works is uncertain and subject to intense conjecture. Nonetheless, it is believed to involve inhibition of serotonin reuptake and therefore increase the level of serotonin in the brain. This is a similar process used by major antidepressant prescription medications that use selective serotonin reuptake. As to its effectiveness in treating mild depression and other mental disorders, it depends on whom you ask. Since it is pharmacologically unclear how St. John’s Wort works, it makes discerning its effectiveness difficult. As it stands now, the evidence supporting St. John’s Wort is not established enough for scientists to give a definitive answer. While the FDA in the United States does not condone prescribing it to treat mild mental disorders, other countries and bodies, such as Germany, recognize Read More »

Potassium Is A Vital Mineral For Proper Cell Function
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
Potassium

Potassium is an indispensable part of your body and diet. Potassium is essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in your body. In fact, every single cell in every single living thing has potassium in it. Along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium, potassium is an essential electrolyte your body uses to conduct electricity so that your cells function optimally. It plays a crucial role in heart function, skeletal strength, digestive health, and muscular function. The body uses the balance of potassium and other electrolytes for all of its basic functions. A positive ion (like potassium) and a negative ion (like chloride) when slightly imbalanced create what’s called electrical potential. It is this electrical potential and how finding the correct equilibrium with this potential that in large part determines how the cells in your body interact and function properly. It is such an important part of your body because it enables communication between cells or initiate changes inside the cells themselves. So now that you know how important it is to have potassium on a cellular level, how does having the right amount in your diet help you? 1) Bone health: Research has shown a positive link between a diet high in potassium and bone health. While more studies are needed to determine the level of effectiveness of a potassium rich diet, it can be used to supplement your diet and increase bone strength. 2) High blood pressure: There is some evidence that link low levels Read More »

L-Leucine Can Be Used For Both Muscle Building And Weightloss
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
L-Leucine

L-Leucine is an incredibly unique amino acid. Every wonder what’s in some of those “miracle” weight loss supplements? Chances are if you are taking a weight loss supplement one of its many ingredients is l-leucine. It is by no means a miracle, but l-leucine is an amazing amino acid that has some qualities that burns fat while building muscle, which does make it pretty extraordinary. L-leucine is a common ingredient in many weight loss supplements because it has proven to be effective in gaining muscle, metabolizing fat, and curbing appetite. Not naturally produced by the body, l-leucine is an essential amino acid that must be consumed from a variety of foods. L-leucine is most typically found in protein rich foods like animal meats, dairy products, and eggs. Unfortunately, if your diet doesn’t include animal products it is much harder to get l-leucine. However, there are supplements you can take supplements that include l-leucine and other amino acids. If you are vegetarian or vegan and still want the benefits of l-leucine, a supplement will be the easiest and best option. Regardless of your diet, you can benefit from having the right amount of l-leucine in your body. While most amino acids are responsible for getting nutrients to individual cells without any regard of the type of nutrient, L-Leucine appears to only burn fat and not muscle. In fact, it is the only dietary amino acid that has the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. At one time, it was considered to Read More »

Walking the emotional balance beam
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
Emotional Balance

The management of your emotional balance intensity is key to your health. Traditional psychology once focused primarily on behavior and cognition and how it relates to stimuli. On its face, this seems logical. Psychologists want to know what you think about a specific stimulus and then accordingly how you act. However, psychologists world wide have begun to investigate the role your emotions play in your decision making and have found that in a lot of cases it’s less important what you think (in relation to your decision making) and more important what you’re feeling. Thus, there has been renewed focus on the importance of emotional balance. Emotional development starts before any substantial cognitive or physical development. Emotions serve the purpose of telling you what is important and then help construct a psycho-biological reaction. Your emotional balance is so vital because it helps determine 1) How critical a stimulus is; 2) Your ability to regulate your cognition; and 3) How adaptive you can be to your environment. Keeping an emotional balance means you can accurately assess the importance of an environmental pressure. If somebody you just met tells you about a time they stubbed their toe badly and you burst out in tears, you’re emotional balance is out of whack. Part of the evolutionary advantage of maintaining a healthy emotional balance is being able to allot emotional and cognitive faculties appropriately. If you are dedicating all your mental energy towards something that is inconsequential, you’re missing the point of having emotions in Read More »

Echinacea: Herb With Magical Effects
Posted By on September 24th, 2012 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 12
Immune Support

Echinacea is a natural substitute for many health concerns. Native Americans first discovered Echinacea as an herbal remedy when they observed elk seeking out the plants and consuming them when sick or wounded.    It wasn’t until the mid 19th century that the Echinacea became popular in eclectic medicine and was used for a wide variety of ailments including snakebite, anthrax exposure, and pain relief.  In the 1930’s this wonderful herb became popular in both Europe and America as an herbal remedy.  Now, it is used as an herbal remedy to cold symptoms.   So now that you know about the history of Echinacea, does it prevent or treat cold symptoms? Are there any side-effects or health concerns? Echinacea is popularly believed to be an immunostimmulator, activating the body’s general immune system and helping to fend off infections.  It is thought that fat-soluble alkylamides and polysaccharides found in Echinacea have a immunomodulatory effect.  This herb also seems to stimulate chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation.  Add to all this that Echinacea is thought to contain chemicals that attack yeast and fungi that are harmful to the body.  As far as medicinal herbs go, Echinacea has a wide range of potential benefits to your health. Most of us know Echinacea as an herb that is primarily used to prevent or treat colds.  But does it work?  The answer is a bit complicated. Part of the problem with the scientific studies regarding Echinacea is that studies use different types of Echinacea plants Read More »