|Health Topic FAQs|
- Chocolate Cravings
- Colloidal Minerals
- Healthier Teeth
- Milk Thistle
Question: Are chocolate cravings real? If so, what causes them?
Answer: Researchers in Arizona have confirmed what chocoholics have always known: episodes of chocolate craving are real. The researchers also say the cravings are probably based on a combination of chocolate's nutrients and chemical composition. A report in an issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association says chocolate can be a sort of "self-medication" for some. Certain compounds found in the treat, called biogenic amines, also are produced in the brain and have been linked to regulation of mood. From a nutrition standpoint, chocolate may ease the effects of magnesium deficiency, a condition that some studies have linked to premenstrual syndrome. Researchers Dr. Douglas Taren and Kristen Bruinsma of the University of Arizona in Tucson say chocolate cravings appear to exist in about 40 percent of women and 15 percent of men.
Answer: Quality and content is a very great concern in this industry. Which product is chosen makes all the difference in the world. I do, however, disagree with the ADA party line "nobody needs to supplement" statements. The iron example is valid and addressed by our products and supplementation programs. The sodium example is not only foolish, but how many supplements have you seen that add sodium?
While I do agree that the word "colloidal" is used and misused in many ways in our industry, the form that minerals are delivered in is of the utmost importance. In order of preference: 1) liquid, 2) capsule, 3) tablet. The easier it is to digest, the more good you will get out of it, period.
As for the chemical form of the mineral complexes delivered: 1) minerals chelated with amino acids, peptides, or small proteins, 2) other organic complexes, 3) inorganic forms and acidic environments, 4) basic ones. While not every mineral that plays a role in the optimum functioning of the body has been studied individually to determine the best form for it to be delivered to the body in, ALL OF THE STUDIES THAT I HAVE SEEN THAT DO COMPARE MINERAL BIOAVAILABILITY BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMPLEXES DO SHOW THE ABOVE RESULTS. There is a very nice paper on iron supplementation to children in Brazil that I have a copy for everyone.
I tend to not use the word "colloidal" anymore due to the misuse in the public. Liquid chelated minerals are the most bioavailable.
David F. Davenport, D.V.M., M.S.
Question: I am 68 years old and have been told I have Diabetes Type II about 2 years ago. I did not want to take the drugs and tried to get my sugar down by diet and exercise. It appears I did not diet or exercise enough. A blood test a few days ago showed me HAl-C at 7.4 and my sugar at 154. My HDL was 33 and LDL 172. Triglycerides at 182. Albumin at 83.3. I was also told that a new type of test has detected a beginning of a Kidney problem. I have been told to take Lotensin 10MG - Pravachol 20MG and Glucophage 500 MG. I have read about a Dr. Whitaker who publishes a Health and Healing paper. Vanadyl sulphate at the rate of 150 MG a day are his recommendations. I really do not want to take the drugs as their side effects are risky. Can you give me some advise.
Answer: Type II diabetes develops as your body develops resistance to insulin. Many nutrients help insulin to work properly. Chromium and vanadium are the two most important trace minerals participating in blood glucose regulation. There are however many complex interactions in which many minerals, trace minerals, and vitamins play a role. We have a a great deal of success diabetics and others with glucose control problems when we start them on a broad based general supplement that contains a variety of minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants (our Liquid Complete Formula is my strong recommendation). When full strength is reached on the general supplement, once a week 1 chromium amino acid chelate 200 mcg or 1 vanadium sulfate 7.5 mg (1.4 mg elemental vanadium) is added (alternate weeks) until the desired blood glucose level is obtained. Check the level of Vanadium that was recommended, 15 mg does not seem like a reasonable amount.
Calcium and magnesium deficiencies are very important causes of hypertension. We have helped many people control their blood pressure and remove themselves from hypertension medications through proper supplementation of these minerals. You need to be very careful when shopping for the mineral supplements to ensure you know what you are getting.
Always remember that it is your choice as to the drugs you do or don't take. I advise everyone to copy the section from the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) that refers to any new drug that is recommended to them. Less is known about how cholesterol affects heart disease than is implied by the human health care profession. The current hypothesis is that when LDL cholesterol is damaged (by oxygen radicals) it is collected together in too large amounts and causes local damage to blood vessels. The thought is that the more VLDL and LDL present in your blood, the longer it will circulate and the more likely it is to be damaged. Some important facts that are often not mentioned about cholesterol lowering programs:
1) Cholesterol is a very important molecule. It is the backbone of many hormones and the substance that covers every nerve to make them work correctly. 90% of the cholesterol in the body is made by the body. The highest concentration of cholesterol is in the brain.
2) While it is true that a higher % of the people with higher LDL and VLDL cholesterol develop coronary heart disease (CHD) than do those with lower LDL or VLDL levels, the huge original studies that were done to spark this cholesterol movement also showed that those people with 200-220 had rising death rates from all causes.
3) If you do not completely fast for 10-12 hrs before your blood is drawn, cholesterol and triglycerol measurements are worthless.
4) For completeness, you need to know your VLDL level, Pravachol is not indicated for those with hypercholesterolemia due to just increased VLDL (this is more rare than high LDL/VLDL combinations).
5) Before starting medications of this class you need to do blood tests to check your liver function. These tests need to be repeated after you start your treatment and then twice a year as long as you take it.
6) Only damaged cholesterol is thought to cause any damage. It is well documented that supplementing antioxidants will lower the amount of oxygen radicals present in your body. Less oxygen radicals means less chance of the cholesterol being damaged. Supplement a variety of antioxidants, not just one or two.
In general the broader you supplement, the less you need of any given component. Also, a more complete history and more personal recommendation can be given when speaking directly.
David F. Davenport, D.V.M., M.S.
Question: How is folate deficiency treated? What is the recommended daily allowance of folate? Is it bad to take more than the recommended amount?
Answer: It may have nothing to do with your reason for asking about folate, but it is good information on folic acid.
Folic acid deficiency is only associated with one type of birth defect: neural tube defects. These defects affect the brain and spinal chord. Most of these defects occur when the women does not receive enough folic acid in early pregnancy or even before she gets pregnant.
The RDI for folic acid is 400 mcg (.4 mg). In some situations the minimum needed may be 800 mcg. There have been no side effects seen at doses as high as 15 mg (15,000 mcg). The only potential problem would arise if someone is deficient in Vitamin B12 at the same time they are getting high amounts of folic acid.
Please do not focus too narrowly on folic acid. There are many problems that affect both the mother and the child that can be avoided with proper mineral and vitamin supplementation.
At the latest meeting of the American College of Nutrition in Washington, D.C., a presenter showed, through a meta-analysis (taking all the big studies and looking at them together) of the scientific studies done with supplementation of pregnant women, that 80% of all birth defects (including low birth weight babies) can be avoided if a women takes a general supplement before she gets pregnant until she gives birth. There are also serious conditions affecting the mother's health that can be lessened through supplementation: Calcium and Magnesium-hypertension and pregnancy toxemia; Chromium-gestational diabetes; Iron, Vit B6 and Folic acid-anemia.
I am purposely not answering your original question, because I do not feel it is appropriate. All women who are pregnant or who want to be pregnant should supplement a wide range of minerals and vitamins for the health of their child and their own health.
David F. Davenport, D.V.M., M.S.
Question: I have periodontal disease. What can I take for it?
Answer: Anyone suffering from periodontal disease may have an ally in coenzyme Q10. In a study, patients with poor gum health – including swelling, bleeding, redness and tooth looseness – showed improvement after taking a daily dose of 50 mg of CoQ10. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring nutrient needed by every cell in the body and is best known for its role in fighting heart disease.
Question: I've been keeping a daily diary of when I suffer from migraines, and, after looking at the diary, it appears that certain foods are triggering some of the migraines. So, I started keeping track of every time I ate those foods to see if I got a migraine each time, which I did. Is avoiding these types of food the only thing that can be done about this?
Answer: My impression of food triggers of migraines is that more of an allergic response is involved than the direct "drug type" effect of raising blood pressure.
The migraine diary should be expanded from what is described to include a complete food diary. Everything that enters the individuals mouth for a full month should be written down. Only after the month is up should patterns be looked for. This helps to avoid biases and lapses in memory.
Complete avoidance of certain food components is not always possible, and digestive aids such as Betaine HCL, digestive enzymes, and probiotic may often be useful in degrading the antigens so that an allergic reaction is not "triggered".
Some cheeses may be more likely than others to be a trigger. Any food may trigger migraines and the search for food allergies is critical to all migraine treatments. I feel that confirmation that an individual is sensitive to the cheeses is very important because avoiding the cheeses altogether if a person is not sensitive to them could worsen their condition. This is because calcium deficiencies are strongly linked to headaches, and if a person stops eating cheese, they will be lowering their intake of calcium.
David F. Davenport, D.V.M., M.S.
Question: I have heard that milk thistle is an antidote for death cap mushroom poisoning and can help prevent and repair liver damage. Is this true? Are there any health risks or side effects to taking it? What's the proper dosage?
Answer: Having researched several books, I am taking your answer from the Physician's Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines 1999 edition, pages 1138 and 1139.
Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) Silymarin acts as an antagonist in many experimental liver damage models; in particular, death cap mushroom poisoning.
The therapeutic activity of silymarin is based on two sites or mechanisms. To begin with, it alters the structure of the outer cell membrane of the hepatocytes in such a way as to prevent penetration of the liver poison into the interior of the cell. Secondly, it stimulates the action of nucleolar polymerase A, resulting in an increase in ribosomal protein synthesis, and thus stimulates the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new hepatocytes.
The drug is also said to be a cholagogue (an agent that stimulates the flow of bile from the gallbladder to the duodenum). The drug is used for dyspeptic complaints, toxic liver damage, supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis. It is also used as an antidote to Death-Cap poisoning.
Precautions And Adverse Reactions: No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Dosage: The average daily dose is 12 to 15 gm of the drug or an equivalent of 200 to 400 mg of silymarin, calculated as silybin. I hope that this will provide the information that you were looking for.
Frank A. McAlister, II – V.P. of Operations
Question: Other than things like Midol and Pamprin, what should I take to help with PMS?
Answer: Calcium works very well at relieving the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The most abundant mineral in the body, calcium aids in the regulation of blood pressure, muscle contraction, enzymatic activity, heart beat and is crucial for good bone health. If you take calcium supplements, use the citrate form rather than carbonate, which is basically limestone and not easy to metabolize. For best absorption, take dosages in small amounts during the day between meals and before bedtime.
Answer: The form in which minerals are presented to the body is extremely important. When minerals are attached to other molecules the body can easily recognize, it can absorb, use, and get rid of excess much more easily than if the mineral is in a more basic inorganic form. While vanadium is a heavy metal that can have toxic effects when one is exposed to the wrong form, vanadium sulfate and vanadium amino acid chelates are forms that the body can recognize and dispose of what it doesn't need. You didn't mention your specific concerns, but I have not seen any reports of long-term side effects due to someone taking high quality pure vanadium sulfate as a supplement.
Our source of vanadium sulfate comes from a distributor that only deals with medical professionals. Impurities could cause exposure to more harmful vanadium complexes.
Chromium and vanadium are the two most important trace minerals participating in blood glucose regulation. There are however many complex interactions in which many minerals, trace minerals, and vitamins play a role. We have a great deal of success diabetics and others with glucose control problems when we start them on a broad based general supplement that contains a variety of minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants (our Liquid Complete Formula is my strong recommendation). When full strength is reached on the general supplement, once a week 1 chromium amino acid chelate 200 mcg or 1 vanadium sulfate 7.5 mg (1.4 mg elemental vanadium) is added (alternate weeks) until the desired blood glucose level is obtained.
From the little information you gave me, I would say that your supplementation program may be too narrow. In general the broader you supplement, the less you need of any given component. Your personal situation might call for that much vanadium for that little chromium, but I doubt it.
David F. Davenport, D.V.M., M.S.
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