Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Thursday Sep 29, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Role of Vitamins and minerals in the body

Vitamins control the chemical reactions within the body that convert food into energy and living tissue. Regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical process that releases energy from digested food. Vitamins help the body use the energy in nutrients, maintain normal body tissue, and act as a regulator.

Minerals are chemical elements needed for several body functions including building strong bones, transmitting nerve signals, maintaining a normal heart beat, and are used by the body to produce necessary hormones.

There are 13 vitamins and 22 minerals we have to get from our food supply. While only needed in small amounts, vitamins and minerals are nonetheless important because you cannot function biologically without them. According to a recent study, North Americans are lacking 72% of the nutrients they need daily. This is one of the reasons we need supplementation.

Do we need supplements?

A multiple vitamin-mineral supplement should not replace good eating habits, like the name suggests it is a supplement to the foods we eat. They  might not be for everyone, depending on your lifestyle factors and biochemical individuality, but most can benefit from taking a good quality and balanced supplement at the right dosage.

Many people take supplements that are not appropriate for  their needs because they randomly choose a product they heard about in the news or through a friend, or just picked something from their supermarket shelf. Remember, just as your diet is best customized to your unique needs, so should your supplements be tailored to your body type and blood work. Consult with your doctor, after blood work has been done.

Note: One basic problem with the health system in the U.S. is our doctors’ lack of knowledge about supplements and other nutrients. It is understandable why patients rely on other sources, so that much of what they believe is shaped by what they see, read, and hear, often from unreliable sources.

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Tags: , Adrenal, Antioxidant, Cancer, cardiovascular Health, Diabetic, Digestive, General Health, Immune System, Organ

10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on 10 dangerous Food Additives to avoid

Food additives are substances intentionally added to food during manufacturing to increase the the desirability of the finished product. Additives can alter the color, texture and stability of the food or reduce the spoilage time. There are approximately 2000 different types of additives. The standard American diet includes 3-5 pounds of those additives per year. Additives can be toxic chemicals that can give rise to a number of symptoms. The most common are psychological or neurological such as depression, headaches, mental dysfunction,mental illness or abnormal nerve reflexes. Preservatives accumulate in body fat. The most common allergic reaction experienced is hives.

Additives;

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) / BHT (butylated hyroxloluene);

BHA and BHT are antioxidants. Oxygen reacts preferentially with BHA or BHT rather than oxidizing fats or oils, thereby protecting them from spoilage. In addition to being oxidizable, BHA and BHT are fat-soluble. Both molecules are incompatible with ferric salts. In addition to preserving foods, BHA and BHT are also used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Sodium Benzoates;

it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.  Benzoic acid and benzoates are widely used and are commonly found in shrimp and farm raised fish is extremely high amounts.

There is much more concern over the issue of sodium benzoate in Britain. Professor Piper of Sheffield University says that his studies of sodium benzoate in laboratory tests suggest that it can create free radicals and damage cells. While it is already linked with leukemia, new research suggests is may lead to cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s disease.

In 2000 the World Health Organization reported that there are many studies showing that sodium benzoate can cause hives, asthma and anaphylactic shock in sensitive people.

Sulfites:

Sulfites are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. The FDA estimates that one out of 100 people is sensitive to the compounds. Typically used to prevent browning, color changes, or microbial spoilage. Commonly sprayed on fresh fruits, vegetable, and fresh shrimp.The average person in U.S consumes 2-3 mg per day. If restaurants are the main source of meals, then an average of 150 mg per day is consumed.

 Sodium nitrites and Sodium nitrits:

Nitrit-nitrate toxicity is due to its affinity for the oxygen carrying molecule in the blood, hemoglobin. Nitrates convert hemoglobin to methemeglobin which causes problems with oxygen transport. Heating nitrites or their coming into contact with stomach acids converts nitrites to nitromines a substances known to cause stomach cancer. Adding nitrite to meat is only part of the curing process. ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is added because of its effect on flavor. Sugar is added to reduce the harshness of salt. Spices and other flavorings often added to achieve a characteristic brand flavor. Most, but not all, cured meat products are smoked often the curing process to import a smoked meat flavor. Sodium nitrite, rather than sodium nitrate, is most commonly used for curing (although in some product, such as country ham, sodium nitrate is used because of the long period. In a series of normal reactions, nitrite is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide combines with myoglobin, the pigment responsible for the natural red color of uncured meat. Combined they form nitric oxide myoglobin, which is a deep red color (as in uncooked dry sausage) that change to the characteristic bright pink normally associated with cured and smoked meat (such as wieners and ham) when heated during the smoking process. Potassium nitrite is a type of nitrite that is commonly employed as food preservative, while potassium nitrate is commonly employed as a synthetic food preservative and color fixative. It is also the active ingredient in most toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Monosodium glutamate:

It enhances the flavor of protein by exciting the taste buds. It can overexcite the nerve ending and cause symptoms referred as “Chinese restaurant syndrome”. Symptoms are reported as a burning sensation in back of neck, headaches, chest tightness, diarrhea and flushing of face.

 

Salicylates:

These are aspirin like compounds used to increase or enhance  the flavor foods. Those allergic to aspirin can experience reaction from eating food high in salicylates such as curry powder, paprika, thyme,  dill, oregano, and turmeric. It is also found in the following prepared foods: Cake mixes, pudding, Ice cream, gum, soft drinks and most dried fruits and berries.

Food coloring:

Artificial dyes are widely used in foods, beverages and drugs. The most common coloring agents used are called AZO dyes (dyes impregnated with nitrate). Most are petroleum products derived from coal tar. Certain tissues in the body are more susceptible to dyes, especially those that have a quick turnover such as the cornea of the eye, tissue in the mouth, tissue lining the stomach and small intestine, and blood and lymph tissue. Out of 33 know coloring agents, the following are the most commonly used.

Blue No. 2: Found in high amounts in cat food and soda pop, it is implicated in causing brain cancer.

Citrus red: Found in Florida oranges

Green No. 3: Implicated in Thyroid cancer. Found in lime drink and soda.

Yellow No. 6: Implicated in Kidney cancer. Found in soda pop and candy.

Yellow No. 5: Tartrazine- high in allergic responses and ADD (attention deficit disorder). Those allergic to aspirin might be allergic to tartrazine. Tartrazine sensitivity is common in individuals (around 20-50%). It is a known inducer of asthma medications (aminophyline) and in some sedatives, steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics. Some vitamins can also contain tartrazine.

Other food containing tartrazine are: Orange drinks, Gelatin desserts, Italian dressing, Cake mixes and icing, Seasoning salt and Macaroni and cheese.

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Tags: , Adrenal, Cancer, cardiovascular Health, Diabetic, Digestive, General Health, Immune System

Top 10 Best Cancer-Fighting Foods

Monday Mar 7, 2011 | Dr. Said | Comments Off on Top 10 Best Cancer-Fighting Foods
Cancer: There are about 200 different types of cancer. They can start in any type of body tissue. What affects one body tissue may not affect another. Tobacco smoke may cause lung cancer. Overexposing your skin to the sun could cause a melanoma on your face. But the sun won’t give you lung cancer and smoking won’t give you melanoma. Apart from infectious diseases, most illnesses are ‘multifactorial’. Cancer is no exception there is no single cause for any one type of cancer.  Every year more than 500,000 people die from cancer in the United States alone, up to 60% of those deaths can be prevented if we adopt healthier lifestyles base of many researchers and cancer specialist.

 

 

 

1. Dark Leafy Greens – Dark greensare rich sources of antioxidants called carotenoids.  These scavenge dangerous free radicals from the body before they can promote cancer growth.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cruciferous Vegetables – Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain strong antioxidants that may help decrease cancer risk. Sulforaphane, a primary phytochemical found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, or HDAC enzymes. HDAC inhibition is an emerging field of cancer treatment and represents a promising pharmaceutical and dietary approach. Emily Ho, from Oregon State Un (Oregon, USA), and colleagues have investigated the effects of sulforaphane in normal, benign hyperplasia, and cancerous prostate epithelial cells. The team observed that 15 micromoles of sulforaphane caused cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in benign hyperplasia and cancerous prostate epithelial cells; and did not affect normal cells whatsoever.  Sulforaphane also selectively decreased HDAC enzyme activity.  The researchers conclude that: “[Sulforaphane] exerts differential effects on cell proliferation, HDAC activity and downstream targets in normal and cancer cells.”

 

3. Tomatoes – The compound lycopene, (which is most easily absorbed from cooked tomatoes) has been shown to prevent prostate cancer, as well as cancer of the breast, lung, and stomach.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Garlic – Garlic is one of the most valuable and versatile foods on the planet. Garlic belongs to the Allium family of vegetables which also includes onions, chives, shallots and leeks.  Garlic contains a number of compounds that can protect against cancer, especially that of the skin, colon, and lungs.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Grapes – Grapes (and red wine) contain the chemical resveratrol, which is a very potent antioxidant that can prevent cell damage before it begins. Red and the dark grapes all contain a rich supply of anthocyanins, the antioxidant polyphenolic that conveys many health-promoting properties of grapes. Grapes rank with blueberries and blackberries as excellent sources of  antioxidant.

 

6. Green Tea– The flavonoids in green teahave been shown to slow or prevent the development of several types of cancer including colon, liver, breast, and prostate.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Blueberries – Of all the berries, Blueberries are the richest in cancer fighting compounds.  They are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer. Blueberries, being very rich in antioxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, A and copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, Iron  (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Blueberries are also low in calories.

 

 

 

 

8. Flaxseeds– Flax contains lignans, which can have an antioxidant effect and block or suppress cancerous changes. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods  The omega-3 fatty acids can also help protect against colon cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Mushrooms – Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates, calories and sodium and are cholesterol and fat free!  They are high in riboflavin and contain as much fiber as 1 medium tomato.  They are also a good source of niacin, pantothenate and copper.  Many mushrooms contain compounds that can help the body fight cancer and build the immune system as well. 

 

 

 

 

10. Whole Grains Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds including antioxidants, fiber, and phytoestrogens.  These can help decrease the risk of developing most types of cancer.

Common Types of Whole Grains:

Remember, along with a healthy diet, a physically active lifestyle is important for cancer prevention as well.

 

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Tags: , Antioxidant, Cancer, Digestive, General Health, Immune System